In my upcoming book 'Entertaining Angels' (due to be released Dec. 21, 2012), I go to great pains to describe how 'insulated' many of us were from 'the real world' as uniform-wearing members of The Salvation Army.
I was an exception, for I personally watched 'cable news'...usually CNN. And when the 'Gulf Wars' were in full effect, I actually asked 'the guys' to scrounge around for a small t.v. set so I could watch the action in 'real time'.
Ever a fan of the superb technology of the Mossad (responsible for the very best of 'night-vision technology'), I watched tracer rounds and 'hits' directed with surgical accuracy by our finest of U.S. military forces.
I read the newspapers and kept current on the 'big things' going on in the world, unlike many of my Salvation Army cohorts.
I knew one young lady, an officer-school candidate, in fact, who 'hadn't read a newspaper in over two and a half years', according to her own reports.
Judging from her 'lack of knowledge about the world', I would have to vouch that her claim was true....Though, at the time, I could not understand how she could 'exist' that way.
On the other hand, politics never was something I either stayed on top of or got involved in. I was 'apolitical' and proud of it to a certain degree.
But that was actually a foolish philosophy, for Christ, himself, was hardly 'apolitical'. He gave it to politico-religious leaders but GOOD, at times!
And Jesus provided sure 'guidelines' for us in terms of 'serving two masters' and 'giving Cesaer his due', so I cannot say that I was not forewarned about what my life would later hold in surprise for me.
Fast forward to 2007 summertime, June to be exact. My local church pleaded with me to 'be their voting delegate' and to 'represent them' at the United Church of Christ (UCC) 'Synod 2007' in Hartford, CT.
"Why ME?", I asked, without a scintilla of false modesty. I felt their 'choice' was ludicrous!
I was 'apolitical' (as I've said before), deliberately withholding my political views from the congregation, for I felt them to be utterly IRRELEVENT to my ministerial and counseling duties, such as they were.
Yet, all claimed that 'I was the woman for the job' without the slightest consideration that I just might be the 'moderate-conservative' amongst them.
I'm sorry, but if my Salvation Army background and obvious pro-life, pro-right-to-bear-arms and pro-capital punishment (in certain cases) stances weren't a dead 'give-away', I don't know what would be.
The congregation responsible for my becoming suddenly political knew very well how strongly I subscribe to the tenets of the Bible as my Father in Heaven dictates...Not something the UCC is very notorious for.
Yet, still they persisted and ultimately I was persuaded to attend SYNOD 2007.
Let me now cut to the chase with this entire-church UCC 'meeting': When I 'hit' the Hartford Civic Center, the 'keynote speaker' was one then-Senator Barack Obama.
All were greeted out front by 'guys in suits and bow-ties', the Secret Service, and lines and lines of tables of 'Democratic operatives' who were 'signing up' and registering voters in bulk.
I was incensed to learn that this 'Synod-In-The-City' was nothing more than a 'first campaign speech opportunity' for then-Senator Barack Obama.
Silly me--I'd actually expected for this to be a 'religious' meeting of sorts, sub-texted by some sociological workshops and an assortment of agenda items for which I would faithfully represent my local church.
Truth to tell, until this point, I was willing to put my personal opinions aside and 'vote on behalf of my local church (FCC Stamford)' as God so directed me. The congregation had sent me there to do just that, hadn't they?
But once I saw all the blatant electioneering (which apparently was not witnessed by many in the UCC at all, for some strange reason!), I welched.
The Senator Barack Obama and myself belonged to the same 'church', alright, but there was no way, no how I could sanction the rhetoric and actions of one Reverend Jeremiah Wright and company, whom Senator Obama so righteously 'admired'.
Indeed, it only got worse for me as I returned to Stamford and finding myself in the untenable position of having to 'defend' Wright while entertaining concerns and complaints (from both the congregation and the community) about the obvious racism in 'Black Liberation Theology'.
I tried to 'defend things' a few times, and then said, 'to heck with it'. This dog was not going to fly.
Since my political awakening in 2007, I have witnessed Wright's 'fall from grace', UCC President John Thomas's 'fall from grace', and any number of truly disturbing and revolting shenanigans eeked out by 'the UCC religious community' under the guise of 'Christianity in action'.
Well, it's anything but Christianity and so much more like a socio-political machine that certain individuals (I am not one of them, for the record) lodged a complaint with the IRS regarding the UCC's 'tax-emempt' status.
The UCC 'skated', of course, and Obama resigned from this church. Since then, a cascade of events has occurred which has rendered the UCC impotent and essentially 'broke'.
There is no hope of it reactivating itself as the 'political machine' it once was, fighting so hard to get President Obama elected, for the simple reasons that they haven't the money and they are under 'scrutiny' should they ever try to play 'loose and free' with the concept of 'separation of church and state' again!
The last thing 'they' need to do is to jeopardize their 'tax-exempt status'...again.
Still, some effects from Synod 2007 persist, one of which is my 'personal politicization'.
Never again will my 'Christian conscience' be totally divorced from the theater of politics.
And never again will I ever trust a 'leader' or 'body' (religious or otherwise) engaged in the political machine while daring to claim 'theological superiority' on ANYTHING...for I know such an entity does not exist apart from the grace of God.
Suffice it to say that I now look upon the 2012 election cycle with a mixture of cynicism, disgust, dread, hope, promise and hope--once again-- for change.
Click on all the keywords below for full background articles on everything I've written about here, especially those of you in uber-Progressive Liberal Connecticut who are hoping to make 2012 a repeat of 2008.
That's not going to happen.
Our eyes are opened now and we are 'still raw' from the Bridgeport 'voter fraud' scandal of the 2010 elections here in the Nutmeg State.
So while the 'bulk' of the Democratic 'libs' think their day in the sun is a 'lock', that is far from a sure thing this go-round.
Voters are disappointed and sick and tired of this abysmal economy...and many are totally apathetic.
In short, 2012 is NOT going to be a repeat of 2008.
"As ever, I say, NOT GOD DAMN AMERICA, BUT GOD BLESS AMERICA"
Reverend Barbara Sexton
"The Biblical Biochemist-Where Science Meets the Cross"
President Barack Obama & Rev. Jeremiah Wright