Dec 10, 2007

"...it was me, the gunman and God"

Good odds, that.

It's not like you're going to see Jeanne Assam's story in the MSM.[Update: they're finally catching up on this story.]

Many, many moons ago, the JR and I lived in the inner city of J'ville, and were quite active in an inner city non-denominational "fellowship." Almost a commune, really. I worked part time in the old Mormon-now-converted building we called our home church for the better part of four years.

In that place, at that time, there was a great exodus of mental patients that got kicked to the curb from their group homes and institutions. Probably half of them became what we lovingly and pitiably called the "pillars of our church."

A goofier band of congregants, you can't imagine. The rest of us were outlanders from the suburbs with a desire to make a difference in our city.

But if it wasn't the 250-lb. woman in shorts and halter top, cigarette hanging from her lower lip, who had assumed herself up the back stairs only to appear behind the pulpit area shouting, "Where's Johnny-boy?" it was the Tourette's sufferers and air-talkers out in the congregation.

And, it was the inner city, in the 80's. Not a friendly or safe place to live. So yeah, we had a self-appointed bouncer named Gary. A brick wall of a man, like the guy in The Green Mile. He came into church one day during service, bawling like a baby because he had to deck some guy out on the sidewalk. Knocked him cold when the idiot wouldn't back down from trying to rant and rave his way into the little church.

It's likely Gary only spared us some new eyebrow-raising concern or perhaps a bit of a scuffle inside the building. But I think about Gary today, and others like him, who feel the sense of ownership--be it of their home, church, or place of business. Those who feel the responsibility of their relationships and acquaintances and who act with selfless courage and tempered humility.

And now I read where Me-too!-Mike-Huckabee wants to, "take back this country for Christ!"?

I'm not so sure Huckabee has the onions that Jeanne Assam had on Sunday. This, from a slight woman who had been fasting and praying about her future for three days:


Toward the end of the interview, she was asked, 'What was in your mind when he went down?' and she responded:

'How awesome and powerful God is.'

[Stupid need for clarity: this is about self-defense, not about militant religious zeal.]

Please pray for her, the victims, their families during these next few weeks.

And keep your gun, and your God, within reach.

18 comments:

Erica said...

I think if one has faith that Good can overcome Evil, and one is armed with that Force of Good, then there is a very likely chance that should a Force of Evil unfold, and manifest itself as a threat, the Force of Good -- and by that, I mean "your gun, and your God" -- can surely squash it.

If that made any sense.

Terrific post, Joanie. I hope more peeps expose her as the hero she is. Especially to those of us who live in crime-laden cities where, in some cases [i.e., NY], permit to carry a pistol, while legal, is heavily frowned upon. All the criminals seem to do it though, regardless of what the law says.

'mouse said...

"In that place, at that time, there was a great exodus of mental patients that got kicked to the curb from their group homes and institutions."

Ah, The Reagan Legacy. I can forgive a lot of differences of political opinion but this always struck me as cruel.

I'm glad you were involved in helping pick up the pieces.

Joan of Argghh! said...

If it struck you as cruel, it should be more about the cruelty of an indifferent family or local community that couldn't/wouldn't muster up the money to take care of their own, but left the blame at the feet of their "Government God" and allowed the exodus to move forward unhindered. No ideas flowed from our city government, just blame and tort and lawsuits that certainly taught someone a lesson, but did nothing to alleviate suffering and probably lined more than a few lawyers' pockets.

We Republicans and Democrats in that small church merely had the courage of our own local political convictions: that personal care and responsibility for our fellow humans begins with letting them sleep on your own couch...

Not in robbing your neighbors for the cash to take care of them.

'mouse, the smallness of your comment should shame even you, and I take no credit or pleasure in it.

This post was not about politics, but about the human community, and the integral fortitude to do what needs to be done. You rarely comment here, but today saw some sort of opportunity to score some political satisfaction.

Enjoy your narrow little moment in the sunshine of your own specialness.

'mouse said...

Actually, Joan, I came back today because I wanted to make sure that my comment wasn't taken in exactly the wrong spirit it was taken -- you jumped on me in exactly the way you accuse me of jumping into the fray.

In reality I was trying to give you and your community kudos for being one of those "thousand points of light." You were doing exactly what R. hoped to accomplish. If you're still doing it, more power to you. Yay! Seriously.

(The rest of my commentary will be sent to you by email since I don't want to further politicize this thread of yours.)

GUYK said...

Politicians and shamans alternate at the very top of my shit list depending on what day it is and which one has run off at the mouth that day...

And when there is a politician who is also a shaman he will stay at the top of the shit list..I am one that believes that whatever floats one's boat is fine with me..as long as I don't have to man the oars nor buy the gas for the outboard. But I also am one that believes that freedom of religion also implies freedom from religion...and I have had about all of the religious right wing I can handle..

Michelle said...

Ah, what a wonderful feeling, reading the honest and unmotivated writing of a woman I have come to respect more with each passing day. It is posts like these that keep me coming back for more!

To the rest.............yea, politics, and my opinion of such matters, is one of those things that I choose to share with only those who have seen me with no clothing, which is a bit limiting.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Guy you're talking about Huckabee, right?

Because I too, don't need someone who thinks they know What Jesus Would Do. Heck, I'm pretty sure JC doesn't want this country. I read where he said his Kingdom was not of this world.

I'm just glad there are sensible, armed and law-abiding folks out there who know what they would do.

Joan of Argghh! said...

Aw, Michelle, thanks. We're all still waiting to hear more about Hong Kong, ya know...
:o)

Irrelephant said...

Truth be told, Joan, the christianizing of America scares me just as much as anything in this world. Heinlein's Crazy Years are here, have been here; all we need is Nemiah Scudder to arise and take over. Me, I don't care if you worship the christian god, Buddha, Zaphod Beeblebrox or your own navel, I want to know what your POLICIES are and where you plan on guiding this great, misbegotten country of ours.

Joan of Argghh! said...

I'm not sure if Heinlein's Crazy Years are here as much a CS Lewis', "That Hideous Strength" but either way, your comment here would better apply to my post about Romney, Masons, Catholics, and the whole chary avoidance of discussing someone's religion, and the entirely silly discussion of whether or not folks are above the influence of their own beliefs.

Now, there's Crazy for you!

Linda said...

I still don't understand why they had armed security guards in that church. Seems very strange to me.

Paul (aka Joan's son) said...

At off topic, but...

Man, oh man, I had completely forgotten about Gary. You keep doing this to me! Next you'll be telling stories about Sarge or Muffin or Mr. Bojangles or Tony or God only knows what I've forgotten...

GUYK said...

Yep, Joan, I am talking about Huckabee..as well as the rest who wear their religion on their sleeve and expect me to bow to it..

Joan of Argghh! said...

Linda, there's just a huge cabal of Christians with guns and Bibles. The Bibles are for the sons of God, the guns are the sons of the Devil!
(oh, c'mon, just kidding.)

:o)

Seriously, what I find strange is that there as so many children full of rage.

I don't know of anyone except the Amish and the MSM that expects Christians not to defend themselves, or arm themselves. That's just crazy talk!

Joan of Argghh! said...

Paul, I knew you'd pick up on that!

And you've returned the favor with thoughts of Sarge and our pets, and our friends.

My, but the inner city was so much fun and excitement! I bet you don't remember your Brentwood playmate (you and he were both but 4) chasing you around with a stiletto knife...

:o)

Anonymous said...

.... I've had my conceal-carry permit for years and sure hope that I never have to use it.....

Eric

Bou said...

I went to a little church today that takes in the homeless. I was taking them items for children. It was as you describe your church was then. It was the societal castaways... people our society has thrown to the side. It is still happening. I was so proud of the people of that church, trying to help.

Now our county is trying to shut them down. Of course the county isn't going to pick up the slack and help, but that little church isn't allowed to either. It boggles my mind...

Kelly(Mom of 6) said...

Amen.