Atheists Attack Christian Speaker. Lists Atheists Hate Speech Against Christianity

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Asking for Prayers

I was up all night with Mama again last night.

She’s gone from sleeping around the clock for days on end to not sleeping at all. She’s also beginning to hallucinate again. Nothing bad. She just hears people telling her how pretty she is. I’m ok with it so long as it stays positive.

Hospice is supposed to help me figure out what we can do to regulate her sleep.

In the meantime, I’m just tired. Not sad. Not miserable. Just tired.

I’ve asked for your prayers before, and you always come through.

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America is Still the Hope of the World.

I’m a bit behind the curve in covering Pope Francis’ trip to Korea. But it is a significant event.

I spent a week with Youth With a Mission in Hawaii a few years ago. While I was there, I met many Korean Christians who were training to go into missions all over Asia. One of them told me that Korea is the number two missionary-sending nation in the world. The first is the United States. These were Protestants, but the Catholic Church is also growing in Korea.

All this underscores the savage persecution of Christians in North Korea, as well as the history of Christian martyrdom in Korea as a whole.

South Korea would not exist without America. It would have been absorbed into Communism, and the people who today have built a country that can compete both economically and in missionary-sending on a world scale would be enslaved, instead.

The freedom of South Korea was purchased with American blood and treasure.

South Korea is an example of what America has done all over the world in protecting and building other nations into free societies. The fact that this has been such a massive fail in Iraq raises questions that we need to consider with an honesty that I do not think we have the courage to entertain.

America, which once freed whole civilizations from tyranny, is crippling and wounding herself with political correctness, corporatism, moral decay, partisan bickering and the petty nihilism of the pampered. I do not see any indication that we are willing to accept the astringent of honest self-appraisal.

In fact, we throw people overboard whenever they raise questions that poke holes in the politically-correct magic-think we use to shield ourselves from the realities of life.

Martin Luther King, Jr said, “A lie can not live.” He was right.

But lies that comfort people in their fears, the self-lies we use to shield ourselves from the stark realities of life, only die after prolonged, vicious and utterly wasteful battles to defend those lies from the truth. America has always been able to face truths before, however reluctantly.

We turned high-powered water hoses and unleashed dogs on the truth in the battles over segregation, but we allowed the truth to be said and in the end, the truth prevailed. We fought a whole civil war over the truth of the humanity of all people, and even in that terrible event, the truth prevailed. Will we be able to face the many truths we are denying now?

I do not know.

I only know that if we do not, we will destroy ourselves for the lies.

Pope Francis is visiting South Korea, a people and a country that America saved and then empowered to become a great free nation. We have much to be proud of when we call ourselves Americans.

America is still the hope of the world. I saw that in the faces of Iraqis who were hoping and praying that the Americans would come to save them from ISIS.

No one can destroy America but America itself. The question for all of us is are we so in love with the comforting lies we force everyone to parrot that we will, in fact, destroy ourselves? Are we willing to die for the lies we tell ourselves to keep from facing the truths we don’t want to know?


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Amazing Grace

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5 Healthy and Holy Things You Can Do For Pope Francis and For Yourself.

Pope Francis challenges all of us.

Evidently, a lot of people are irate with the pope because of the choice between their politics and their faith that he’s put in front of them. I’m caught in more prosaic conundrums. I made the decision a long time ago — and it was painful at the time, with a lot of payback from the outraged — to dump partisan politics and follow Jesus. I think that means, among other things, following the teachings of His Church and his Vicar.

I did this so many years back that I have trouble relating to people who are faced with it now. Most of the people throwing these hissy fits over the pope’s leadership are private citizens. They don’t face reprisals for accepting the Pope’s teaching. I doubt that they’ll lose their friends. I’m pretty sure that no one is going to try to get them fired from their jobs or picket them or threaten to kill them.

I can see that putting faithfulness to the teaching authority of the Church ahead of their politics a big, big deal to a lot of people. But I honestly have trouble grokking their anguish.

Not that Pope Francis’ encyclical or his recent statements left me unscathed. I’m not reeling from the blow or anything.  But I know that the things he’s suggested are going to require sacrifice from all of us, including me.

For instance, am I supposed to bury my retirement savings in a mayonnaise jar in the backyard? That’s about the size of it if I keep my investments totally out of the hands of people who do evil with my hard-gotten gain. I certainly haven’t gone out and bought bonds issued by arms dealers or companies that manufacture abortion drugs. But I imagine some of my money gets to them, anyway. I have a chunk of my savings in total market index funds. That means I own a piece of everybody.

Should I sell this and put the money … where? Maybe the mayonnaise jar?

Another troubling thing is air conditioning. It seems that the Holy Father doesn’t think too highly of refrigerated air.

I live in an area where the temps go over a hundred degrees almost every summer. This isn’t the desert, so the heat has the added punch of high humidity. When I open my front door on a hot summer day, it feels like I am standing in the gateway to hell.

Am I really supposed to switch off the air con?

I tossed my politics overboard for Christ so long ago that, while I can remember the fear and dread I felt at the loss of friends and the attacks that I knew I would be subjected to, I can’t conjure up even a twinge of the emotion itself. That’s all burnt bridges and spilt milk for me now.

The heat of an Oklahoma summer is a present reality. No conjuring is needed to recognize that it drains the life out of me like pouring baking soda in a battery.

I can, if I become convinced that it’s what I must do, empty a mayonnaise jar, dig a hole and toss my savings into it. That I can manage.

But air conditioning? Give up air conditioning? Isn’t there some other way to heed the pope’s call?

For those of you like me, who trust the pope and want to follow him, but who aren’t quite ready to rip out the air con, here are five healthy, holy, and relatively painless things you can do. Implementing them will not only give you time to work your way into the tougher things, it will grow your faith while you do them.

1. Honor the Sabbath day. I experienced an out-of-the-blue conviction that I had been ignoring one of the commandments on a Saturday afternoon about a year ago. I’ve been doing my best to be a Sabbath keeper ever since. The surprise is how good it’s been for me. Since I take care of my elderly mother, my day of “rest” isn’t all that restful, but it is a day on which I don’t do the world’s work.

How does this help the environment? It takes me out of action. Every 7 days, for one whole 24 period, I stop spinning the wheel. I don’t shop on Sundays or run around all over everywhere. I pretty much stay home and hang out with my family. It is a break from the steamroller pressures of daily life.

I’m sure Sabbath keeping lowers my consumption of everything from fossil fuels to credit card plastic. I know that the break itself is invaluable to me as a person. I thought Sabbath keeping was an act of obedience. It turns out that it’s a gift God wanted to give me.

If enough of us start actually keeping the Sabbath, the drop in consumption is bound to have a positive impact on the environment, both social and ecological.

2. Give a couple of oldsters a ride to mass this Sunday. It’s tough for disabled people and the elderly to get to church. They often aren’t safe for themselves or others when they get behind the wheel. Giving them a ride would be an act of holy carpooling.

3. Limit the activities your kids can do after school. Too many parents are really their children’s chauffeurs instead of their parents. They spend an inordinate amount of time, driving their children from one activity to the next. Let the kids pick one activity they like. It can be sports, or chess club or whatever. But keep it at one. Then spend the other evenings at home as a family. This not only saves on gasoline and wear and tear on your car, it will give you and your kids some genuine family time.

4. Turn the thermostat up in summer, down in winter. Dress in cool clothes and use fans to supplement the air con when the weather is hot. Do the reverse in winter. Turn the thermostat down and wear warm clothes. Turn off things you aren’t using. Use power strips to make this easy. It will save you money, and if we all do it, it will have a positive impact on the environment.

5. Give a thought to where you invest your savings. If you have a 401k, you will be limited to the options your employer gives you. But, within that limitation, think about those options in terms of the behavior of the companies those investments represent. Does the company use slave labor to manufacture its goods? Does it have a history of labor or social abuses? Are its products harmful to people? (Big tobacco is a for-instance.)

I think it’s impossible to play cop on all the stocks and bonds held in a heavily diversified mutual fund. Index funds hold stocks and bonds representing the whole market, or a segment of the market. Managed funds hold far less investments. If you have one of these funds, you can look at their portfolios and see if they are weighted to companies that you know are objectionable. If nothing else, you can write your plan managers and let them know of your objections.

I know that these may seem like tepid suggestions. But simple, small things like these, when they are multiplied by over a billion Catholics, can become a culture-changing force.

The important thing is for each of us to look at ourselves and our lives and make positive decisions about how we can follow the Holy Father’s leadership. That’s what Catholics do.


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Yes, I’m a Feminist. Why Aren’t You a Feminist Too?

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Jay

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Jay

I’ve received a few jibes lately from Catholics, claiming that I must be a feminist. These comments are usually full to the brim with what are either implications or direct claims that I can’t possibly be a good Catholic, since I am … you know … the culture wars f word.

Truth told, I am a feminist. I’ve written about it, and, indeed, made whole speeches about it in many public forums. I don’t hide it. I’m proud of it.

In fact, I have a question for those of you who think being a feminist is such a terrible thing:

In a world with widespread and endemic rape,

In a world with female genital mutiliation,

In a world where women constantly suffer degrading name-calling,

In a world where many men consider it their right to beat and batter women,

In a world where baby girls, both before and after they are born, are routinely murdered, simply because they are baby girls,

In a world where the President of the United States calls women pigs and dogs, hints at incest, puts his own wife in a porn photo shoot (which pretty much answers the question, Does he love her? with a big fat “no.”) and is a serial sexual predator who sexually assaults women and brags about it in what he calls “locker room talk,”

In that world, why aren’t you a feminist too? 

I wrote about this last week for the National Catholic Register.

Here is what I said:

Pope Francis recently made a few remarks about women in which he tried to describe the phenomena that I observed over and again when I was a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

He talked about women’s ability to bring “harmony” to the world. That isn’t how I describe it, but I think we are talking about the same thing.

The House District that I represented for 18 years had a large number of illegal immigrants. I refereed the arguments between them and the Anglos of my district on a daily basis. I was the one both sides called to settle disputes, help them with their problems, and often, just to listen to their gripes.

They taught me a lot of things, these magnificently good constituents of mine. They are wonderful, wonderful people, all of them. The hardest thing about leaving public office was worrying about who would take care of them when I was not there to do it.

One thing they taught me in a clear-cut way was the civilizing power of the female.

It is inaccurate to refer to the human race as “he,” or as “man.” Because the human race is not male.

The human race is also not female. It would be just as inaccurate to refer to all humanity as “her,” or “woman.”

The human race is not “man,” and it is not “woman.” The human race is men and women, male and female, together.

Take us apart, and we die. Literally. We go back to the half-humanity uselessness that is man or woman without the other.

I saw this in real-time among the illegal immigrants in my house district. Young men would wend their way across the border to find work. They were young, really just boys, and they were in a strange world with strange customs and a language they didn’t speak. They would rent a house and hole up together;  even 15 young men sleeping on floors and existing to work.

 They went out and stood on the corners or went to the right employment agencies and were hired as day laborers by the local businesses. There was no lack of work from businesses who wanted to pay slave wages. Then they came back, with money in their pockets and nothing much to do.It is to their credit that these young men didn’t usually do anything really violent. But they were trouble. All kinds of trouble. Because a group of men without women cannot function. They descend rapidly to the lowest form of their sex. If they hadn’t been believing and sincere Christians, it would have been much more difficult for me to manage the problems they caused, and they might have done much worse things.

Over time, they were joined by women, and as soon as that happened, everything changed. Men, without women, are a mess. They are dangerous, including dangerous to themselves. Their thinking runs along nutty lines of violence and swagger. They are destructive.

Women, without men hiss and spit and turn in circles.

But when you put them together, it’s almost like a science experiment when you combine hydrogen and oxygen to get water. Put men and women together and you get life. You get men who use their strength, aggression, and physical courage to protect, provide and build. You get women who use their incredible moral strength, intuition and insight to nurture and sustain.

Together, men and women are the creative force that has built all the good we call culture, society and civilization. Take them apart, and you get ultimate and uncaring destructiveness.

That is why we need both men and women in our government. (Read the rest here.)


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Pope Francis’ Pro Life Message

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons.

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Pope Francis’ Prayer Intention for February 2017

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Republic of Korea

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Republic of Korea

I’ve decided I’m going to post Pope Francis’ prayer intentions every month.

This one is challenging for those of us in the West because the Holy Father is asking us to do something that runs against our basic instinct for survival. Americans have always welcomed those in need, and we have a long history of reaching out to help others.

It is unfair and untrue to characterize the American people as indifferent to the suffering of the world. We have demonstrated a willingness to do things which no other great power in history has ever done to  build, help and lift up people all around the globe.

Today we are challenged to find ways to continue with our basic goodness in the face of what amounts to an existential crisis for the whole Western world. Western nations are being flooded with immigrants and refugees whose viewpoints and cultural mores are antithetical to the founding principles of their own culture. Some — not all, but some — of these people refuse to assimilate. They have become violence vectors, breeding terrorist attacks and destruction.

There is a lot of name-calling and shaming being thrown about to try to bully people into standing down and not voicing their concerns about all this. At the same time, there is also a lot of vicious racist talk directed at people who are simply trying to live their lives and become part of the new societies in which they live.

It is not easy for anyone to wend their way through this morass of conflicting ideals and needs.

When the Holy Father asks us to pray for refugees, he is doing the right and the Christian thing. He has stubbornly hewed to the Gospel line in the face of backlash and hatred directed at him because what he is saying runs against the easy impulses that drive the rest of us.

That is to be expected. Anyone who honestly follows Jesus is going to be attacked. They will be attacked because Jesus is not convenient. He does not fit into our politics or our desires for self. He is Lord of All of us, including those who we do not like or fear.

I could say that these are difficult times, but all times are difficult to the people living them. What I will say instead, is that these are the challenges we face today, in our time. Difficult as it always is, our challenge as followers of Christ is to do the Jesus thing, not the smart thing.

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Kellyanne Conway: Was It Foot-In-Mouth or an Ethics Violation?

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Gage Skidmore

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Gage Skidmore

President Harry Truman’s daughter wanted to be a singer. When one reviewer gave her a bad review, her Daddy reacted as Daddies do and sent the man a letter in which he called him an obscene name.

I don’t really think this is a straight-across comparison between the situation with President Trump and the recent cancellation by Nordstrom of his daughter’s fashion line. I don’t see them as the same thing.

Margaret Truman was a young woman in her first trembling attempts at building a professional life. Ivanka Trump is a multi-billionaire, who, as Kellyanne Conway has stated, has run parts of her father’s business empire. This is not a trembling young thing, just starting out. And it’s not about one performance. It’s a business decision based on what is a big business venture of starting a fashion line.

On the other hand, the two situations bear enough symmetry that I’m not disturbed by President Trump’s twitter tantrum over Nordstrom cancelling his daughter’s fashion line. If he in any way tries to use the powers of his office to push her business ventures, then I’ll have another opinion. But a father, shooting his mouth off in defense of his daughter, doesn’t bother me.

The real story here involves Kellyanne Conway, the pro life woman who had a great deal to do with President Trump’s win, and who has been his mouthpiece for months now. Time was, I was a big supporter of Mrs Conway. I saw her as the pro life canary in the Trumpian mine shaft. I backed down about writing about the election largely because someone I trust with National Right to Life assured me that KellyAnne Conway was proof that candidate Trump would stick to his new position on abortion.

I really admired Mrs Conway at that time.

But she has lost a lot of her luster, at least with me, because of her continuous lying. I know that it is impossible to go out in public and defend President Trump without lying, but it gets tedious, listening to her rip off one big windy after another.

People become what they do. Even if she was an honest person before she got into this thing, she’s going to be changed for the worse by it. To put it simply, you cannot lie and lie and lie without becoming a liar.

Then, when she did that little drama with Governor Romney over the Secretary of State position, I began to think of her as a woman who bought into President Trump’s sadism. In short, I’ve gone from a Kellyanne Conway admirer to someone who pretty much dismisses whatever she says as probably a lie.

So, it’s a big surprise to me that I’m stepping up in her defense with this blog post today. Evidently, Mrs Conway, in her role as President Trump’s mouthpiece, launched a defense of Ivanka Trump and her cancelled clothing line. She rambled a lot, but the gist of it was that Ivanka is great.

Ok. So far, so good.

Then, she added a punch line, urging people to go out and “Buy Ivanka.”

That was a stupid thing to say. Mrs Conway was speaking as the Senior Counsel for the President of the United States, and she opened her yap and told people to go out and put money in the president’s daughter’s purse. No doubt about it, it was an ethics violation.

But it was also — or it certainly appeared to be — an off-the-cuff comment that wasn’t said with the intent to break any laws. It was a foot-in-mouth moment from someone who spends a lot of time in front of cameras.

I do not think that Mrs Conway committed an intentional ethics violation. I think she just accidentally said the wrong thing.

I can tell you right now, I couldn’t do what Mrs Conway does. If I spent that much time running my mouth in front of cameras, they’d have a lot better stuff than this to use against me. It’s just too easy to put your foot wrong — or perhaps I should say, put your mouth wrong — and come out with something that can be blown up to big proportions and used to do you harm.

Mrs Conway has been having a lot of bad press moments lately. There’s her ridiculous statement that the Trump administration was offering “alternative facts.” Then, we have the “Bowling Green Massacre” goof. And now this.

She’s obviously getting worn down by being in front of the cameras so much. And frankly, the strain of continuously lying may be eating at her, too.

Whatever’s going on, I think formal ethics charges are way over the top. If she or the President do more than this, if, say, they begin to use the White House to promote Ivanka’s business, then that’s another matter. But I think this one-time foot-in-mouth should be called out so that it doesn’t happen again, and then dropped.

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When It Comes to Political Parties, Wise George Said It All

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Public Domain.

“However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”



George Washington cared about America. I honestly believe that differentiates him from just about everyone in a position of power in Washington DC today.

I include in that assessment the Congress, which is so enthralled with loyalty to political parties and personal ambition that they consistently put America last. They have abrogated their duties to author, debate and vote on legislation and by doing so they have created a presidency which is, right in front of our eyes, an elected dictatorship.

The American people themselves have become so devoted to their political party — and it does not matter which one it is — that many of them are willing to toss aside everything else they say they believe to follow these parties.

Christians toss Christian teaching in the trash to follow their party. Catholics attack the Pope because he says that some of the “teachings” of their political party are antithetical to following Christ.

The party in power — again, it does not matter which one it is — demands loyalty from its followers in a “fight” with the “other” side; a “side” which they tell us is nothing less than the spawn of satan. The party out of power — again, it does not matter which one it is — inspires almost hysterical loyalty from its followers in order to “fight” the evils of their “other” side, which,  of course, they say is the spawn of satan.

Both parties claim the moral high road. Both parties say that the other is evil incarnate. Both parties tend to tell the truth when they talk about the other party. Both parties lie, lie and lie when they talk about themselves.

I began writing Public Catholic because I understand politics. I see through things that most other people don’t even really see. I wanted to use this hard-learned knowledge to equip Christians to be more effective for Christ in the political sphere.

But I no longer believe that I have anything to offer that will be heard. My first message, and the one which I just don’t think can get through, is that Jesus has to be first. If you are unable to be around politics without becoming a slave to political forces, then you should stay away from it. Your vocation lies elsewhere.

The most important thing anyone has to do if they want to be effective for Christ in the political sphere is to follow Christ without question. You must follow Him even when it’s unpopular, even when it’s lonely, even when it’s the flat-out and obviously stupid thing to do.

Following Jesus means you follow Jesus.

It does not mean that you pull out lines in Canon law that you think exempt you from following Him. It does not mean that you parse and split the Gospels until you grind them down into some little masticated something that will allow you to ignore His commandments because you have adapted them to fit your political party’s cant.

Following Jesus means you follow Jesus.

You cannot blindly follow your political party and follow Jesus.

You cannot blindly raise up some political demagogue and make him lord of your conscience and follow Jesus.

If you want to follow Jesus, you have to follow Jesus.

Not lead.

Not dissemble.

Just … follow.

Jesus said,

You cannot serve two masters. 

If the master of your conscience, if that which informs your understanding of right and wrong, and tells you what to think and do is your political party, then you are not serving God.

There are many other sayings of Jesus I could use, but that one is enough for now. To be honest, I would like to quit doing this. I don’t think I’m getting through. But for now, it seems that this is my calling. To say what won’t be heard.

Wise George said it all when he told us that political parties would become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.

He was prescient with that statement. We are watching it unfold in real time, right in front of us.

In the midst of this chaos and the deeper chaos that is coming, there is only one Way to turn that offers sanity, hope and a future. That is the Way of Christ.

But that Way requires that we stop giving over our thinking capacities to these two political parties. We absolutely must stop drinking down the mind-bending poisons of lies and propaganda that emanate from them and start thinking for ourselves.

If we do that, we will not all agree. Even Christians, who have the same principles on which they build their actions, will have different ideas about the best way to do things. That is the strength of human beings, that we are each original and that we each one think differently from everyone else. It is healthy, it is holy, for us to be the individuals we are.

It is democracy when we think together about things and work out our differences in open discussion and debate and then settle on a single best solution that is a pastiche, a compromise, of all our ideas. That is the power of the great engine that is our minds.

The blind loyalty to political parties, which are never acting for our good, unless it is by accident, cancels out both our own individual thinking powers, and the enormous power for good that is all of us, thinking together about how we can do what is best for everyone.

Blindly following a political party is offering up your greatest power, which is your individuality and ability to think, on the altar of nothing much. This little g god is like all other little g gods, in that it does not care about you.

When I first got cancer, I put an affirmation in my phone and scheduled it to come up every morning. Change or die.  That was what it said. Every morning I reminded myself that the way I had been living was, in reality, a way of dying.

America is at just such a pass right now. We are tearing our country apart over partisan loyalties. I’ve actually had people come on this blog’s comboxes and flat out say that they didn’t care what happened to the country, they only wanted to get the other side in the political wars.

There is so much hatred in our political world right now that it is scalding to behold. It saddens me more than I can say that so many Christians have given themselves over to this partisan hatred, that they behave as if their country doesn’t matter, as if the common good doesn’t matter, as if the Gospels don’t matter, just so long as they can get even with the other side of these political wars.

It doesn’t matter much which political party you belong to — and I know I’m going to get speeches here about how terrible I am for saying that — but it does not matter. What matters is what you do.

Follow Christ.

Follow Christ and Him crucified.

Stop following the little g gods of political parties and political demagogues.

Then you can be effective for Christ in the political sphere.

But so long as you blindly follow these little g gods of politics, you will be nothing more than a tool for the power brokers who own these parties. You will be a thing they use to help themselves.

Jesus said,

You cannot serve two masters. 

Think about it.

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More Senator Jeff Sessions and Mrs King, Plus a Look at His AG Resume

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Gage Skidmore

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Gage Skidmore

The story of Attorney General Sessions’ unsavory past as a public official just keeps on rolling.

His supporters are turning over rocks looking for “proof” that Mrs Coretta Scott King’s letter was a confabulation. Failing that, they will settle for saying that the Attorney General had a secret and unpublicized conversion in which he became a new person who no longer feels the way he once did.

I consider this latter idea to be the most believable. I just don’t think Mrs King lied in that letter. She had not motive for lying. No one challenged it back in the day when there were plenty of living witnesses to testify to its veracity. I think it’s true.

One oddball method of attacking this letter evidently came from Senator Sessions himself when he noted that Senator Strom Thurmond, to whom the letter was addressed, did not put it into the Senate Record. Considering Senator Thurmond’s reputation, that is an astonishingly weak defense.


I did find one article which went through some of the White House claims for support of civil rights by Senator Sessions. When these claims are taken apart and vetted, they tell the story of someone who was neutral in situations cases, rather than the “strong supporter” the White House claims.

However, it seems true that Senator Sessions did not do anything to harm Civil Rights in the instances that are cited. I think that’s the most positive indication of a change that I’ve found, and I do take it seriously.

The most recent thing I’ve seen in support of Attorney General Sessions is a YouTube video of Mrs Martin Luther King, Jr, at what appears to be the dedication of the Rosa Parks Library. Evidently, Senator Sessions was in the audience during this dedication and Mrs King acknowledged him in her introductory remarks.

It is a good thing, and hopefully an indicator of a changed heart, that Senator Sessions was present for this dedication. But introducing prominent people in the audience is a common courtesy. It is not an endorsement.

I am beginning to think that, whatever he did in the past — and as of now, I consider Mrs King’s letter far more convincing that the things brought forward by AG Sessions’ supporters — he was more or less a disinterested bystander on civil rights in his time since then. I am not certain of this by any means. But there is indication of it from reliable sources.

As I said in other posts, we’re going to find out if he’s a racist or not. This man is the Attorney General of the United States.


Here is the video with Mrs King acknowledging the presence of Senator Sessions at the dedication of the Rosa Parks Library.

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Did Jeff Sessions Receive an Award from the NAACP?

Governor Mike Pence of Indiana and U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech hosted by Donald Trump at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Gage Skidmore

Governor Mike Pence of Indiana and U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama speaking to supporters at an immigration policy speech hosted by Donald Trump at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Gage Skidmore

Did the same NAACP that came out swinging against Senator Jeff Sessions’ nomination as Attorney General of the United States give him an award in 2009?

A photo of a plaque containing the words “NAACP Award for Governmental Excellence” is making the rounds today. The plaque, dated 2009, was found by an employee who was clearing out an office of Sessions’. It appears, from some of the photos, that the plaque was still in its box when it was found.

This photo is enough for those who want to be persuaded to decide that Attorney General Sessions is a changed man from the one Mrs Coretta Scott King wrote about in 1986. If you would like to read her letter, go here. You’ll have to click through to get to it, but I encourage you to read it in full.

For the record, and on the record, Attorney General Sessions labeled this letter “damnable lies.” That, and not this plaque, was his defense.

Personally, I don’t find the photo of a forgotten plaque all that persuasive, even if it turns out to be genuine.

Here’s why.

Public officials get awards all the time. They come in the mail, they are handed out at functions. They come raining in from everywhere. I myself have received awards from just about every group you can name, including groups that are diametrically opposed to one another. A photo of a plaque does not mean much, especially when the plaque meant so little to the recipient that they never took it out of the box and never produced it in their favor later.

I can tell you for sure that the awards that mattered to me got and continue to get more care than Attorney General Sessions gave this award. I cherish every award I got for pro life activities. I hung them on my office walls and have them still. I also cherish the awards I got from the firefighters and LULACS and for my efforts against violence against women. No one would ever find them in their original box. I’m proud of them and what I hope they say about me.

If Attorney General Sessions is indeed a changed man, we will know soon enough. We’ll know because a man who is not a racist cannot support some of the policies of this president. We’ll know because of what he does with the power of his office.

The plaque photo has caused quite a stir. A lot of people running are trying to trace it down. But the question of whether or not the National NAACP gave Attorney General Sessions this award appears to be settled. They did not.

Here is the NAACP’s statement concerning the plaque photo, emphasis mine:

“The NAACP is composed of more than 2,000 local and state units around the country.  Upon learning of the allegation that one of those units bestowed an award on Senator Jefferson Sessions in 2009, the National Office of the NAACP immediately undertook an investigation.  While we already have strong reasons to doubt that any such award was given to Senator Sessions, we will continue our investigation until we are confident that we know all of the facts.  What remains true and unchanged is the NAACP’s strong opposition to the nomination of Senator Sessions to become the next Attorney General of the United States.  The NAACP’s position against Senator Sessions is based on his decades of conduct as a prosecutor and, later, U.S. Senator from the State of Alabama.  In matters of civil and human rights, civil liberties, fair policing, voting rights, sentencing fairness, women’s rights, hate crimes and more, Senator Sessions has repeatedly demonstrated that he is clearly unsuited to perform the duties of an Attorney General in these crucial times.”

Snopes has been investigating the plaque photo and had this to say about it:

However, the above-displayed award has some unusual aspects to it. For instance, we found no record of anyone else’s having received an “NAACP Governmental Award of Excellence,” nor were we able to locate any reports (from 2009 or otherwise) regarding the NAACP’s honoring Sessions with such an award.

When we reached out to the NAACP for more information about the award, a staffer confirmed to us that the national NAACP office does not give out an award by that name as part of their regular honors.

Did a local NAACP office give Jeff Sessions an attaboy? That would be the same Alabama NAACP that staged a sit-in against his confirmation as Attorney General. Was it a gag gift from one of Sessions’ friends?

We don’t know yet.

We do know that he did not produce it in his defense, and he did not claim to be an award-winning civil rights supporter during his confirmation hearings or the debate that followed. We do have the NAACP’s confirmation of their opposition to his nomination based on what they say is a decades-long history of racism.

Whatever this plaque was or is, it appears that it did not mean all that much to Attorney General Sessions. He didn’t think it meant he wasn’t a racist. If he did, he would surely have used it to clear his name.



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Read the NAACP Statement About Attorney General Sessions’ Confirmation Yourself.

Dr. E. Faye Williams, National President/CEO of the National Congress of Black Women, speaking outside Mitch McConnell's house on Capitol Hill as the Senate votes on Jeff Session's confirmation Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Laurie Shaull

Dr. E. Faye Williams, National President/CEO of the National Congress of Black Women, speaking outside Mitch McConnell’s house on Capitol Hill as the Senate votes on Jeff Session’s confirmation Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Laurie Shaull

A photo of what appears to be an award to Attorney General Jeff Sessions from 2009 is being circulated. I’m not sure what this means.

As of now, I stand by what I wrote in this post concerning Attorney General Sessions. I do regard his confirmation as a tragedy for American Christianity because so many Christians chose to ignore his racist past in order to blindly support President Trump and whatever he does.

I also question the wisdom of nominating him in the first place. There are many people who could have been nominated who do not have the burden of this shady past concerning racism. I wonder what our president was thinking when he made this decision. It has an undeniable symmetry with the race-baiting campaign he waged in his quest for office.

I also think that Attorney General Sessions should not have been confirmed. If that had happened, President Trump would simply have offered another nominee. This surfacing of a photo of what may be an old award is indicative of the ugliness of Attorney General Sessions’ racist past. Whether or not he has changed is something that appears to be so debatable that his supporters (who are in reality Trump supporters, not his) are searching to find ways to refute it.

The fact that they have to search is itself an indictment of the man. If he had truly changed, it would be more apparent than that. Among other things, the NAACP would not have opposed his confirmation as they did.

Someone this dubious should not be the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. And Christians have no business blindly following any political leader the way they are following President Trump. Many of them follow President Trump, even when what he does opposes the Gospels.

Here is the NAACP’s statement following Attorney General Sessions confirmation. Read it yourself.


FEBRUARY 9, 2017

Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was confirmed as the nation’s 84thUS Attorney General this evening, despite intense opposition by the NAACP and hundreds of organizations due to his historically weak and questionable support for voting rights, police accountability and the rights of immigrants and women.

The NAACP mobilized its memberships and collaborated with partners to flood the Senate with millions of phone calls asking senators to oppose Senator Sessions. President and CEO Cornell William Brooks, Alabama State Conference President Bernard Simelton and Alabama branch leaders helped mobilize two state-wide protests involving hundreds of NAACP members, national staff, and supporters for sit-ins at Senator Sessions Mobile, AL office that resulted in the arrests of nearly 15 NAACP members and supporters.

Media coverage of these events created a groundswell of protests and direct actions against his nomination. Through the mobilization of our Washington Bureau, legal teams and national staff, the NAACP successfully fought over nine times in nine months to beat back racist voter suppression laws in North Carolina, Texas and other states that saved millions of votes.

Through our 2,200 branches across the nation and national partners and coalitions, we organized protests and rallies across the nation and utilized social media to create millions of digital impressions, retweets, and posts on Facebook and Instagram calling on supporters to demand that the Senate vote to #StopSessions.

In January alone, the NAACP earned in support of its #StopSessions campaigns gained 43,000 new Twitter followers, generated hundreds of posts earning over 14.5 million views and more than 370,200 engagements. With Facebook, our supporters churned out 573,000 page “likes,” and posts were seen 4.1 million times, while videos were watched 1.07 million times in January alone. These numbers represent the floor of our potential activity in mobilizing support for the protection of civil rights rather than its ceiling.

Despite all our work and the coalitions we’ve collaborated with, Senator Sessions was confirmed today along a clear red versus blue partisan line of52-47. Rather than hang our heads in despair, the NAACP will continue to hold the new AG and the Department of Justice accountable for enforcing protections against voter suppression, the use of consent decrees as a means of reigning in racism within police departments, protection of women’s rights and the humane treatment for immigrant communities and sanctuary cities.

The NAACP will call upon members of Congress and the committeesexercising oversight over the Justice Department to ensure that the senator does what he is supposed to do to protect the vote and to end voter suppression and police brutality.

While we vigorously opposed his nomination, the NAACP and our branches across the nation and around the world are committed to working with the new AG in the same way we have worked with all previous AG’s to ensure the consistent and diligent protection of civil rights.


Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here.

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Is Jeff Sessions Confirmation a Tragedy for American Christianity?

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Gage Skidmore

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Gage Skidmore

In a move that I regard as a tragedy for American Christianity, the United States Senate consented to President Trump’s appointment of Senator Jeff Sessions as the new Attorney General of the United States.

They did this, despite Senator Sessions past as a Jim Crow public official. They did this after silencing Senator Elizabeth Warren for the heinous crime of reading aloud a letter from Coretta King, who is the widow of Martin Luther King, Jr. This letter detailed Attorney General Sessions’ Jim Crow actions as a federal prosecutor.

I do not know if Attorney General Sessions has since had a turn of heart and changed in his racism. I do know that the Trump apologists who supported him in their usual knee-jerk, anything-Trump-does-is-holy-and-right manner did not bring such things forward. Instead, they resorted to the trashy, bully-boy Trumpian tactics of mis-using their power to silence legitimate debate and commentary.

The sad and frightening thing is that so many Christians supported this. We now have an Attorney General with legitimate Jim Crow bona fides, and very public and outspoken Christians put him there.

This is not the first time that Christians have abandoned following Christ to follow Trump. It is just one item on a list that is beginning to be too long to list in a blog.

It began with their decision that misogyny was ok, if it was candidate Trump who was calling women pigs and dogs and attacking women based on their appearance. It took an irreversible step forward when Christians — including Christian religious leaders — decided that sexual assault was ok, if candidate Trump was the assaulter.

It also began with candidate Trump’s dark race baiting against Hispanic people, with his demonizing of them and using them as a vote-getter. When Christian people bought into this, they bought into open, frank and outspoken racism. And they liked it.

It began when Christians decided that a First Lady who had posed in porn photos, including girl-on-girl sex, was fine with them. It went a step further when it came out and was confirmed by the editor of the publication in which the photos were placed, that candidate Trump had put his own wife in a porn photo shoot, that he was, in fact, “eager” to do it. What kind of man does that? What kind of Christian supports it?

It began when the tapes became public of Donald Trump, private citizen, bragging and hinting at sex with his own daughter, saying that what they “had in common was sex” and that he wanted “to date her” and agreeing with a commentator that she was “a piece of a–.” Again, what kind of man does that? And what kind of Christian supports it?

It moved right on through Christians supporting the obvious lies of a sociopathic liar and carrying this to the point that they became co-liars along with him.

President Donald Trump has become an idol, a false god, for many Christians. This has reached the point that they actually judge whether or not people are “christian” based on whether or not they are willing to blindly support his actions.

The confirmation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions was a tragedy for American Christianity because it aligns American Christianity with Jim Crow racism. The presidency of President Donald Trump is a tragedy for American Christianity for a number of reasons.

First, because so many Christians, including Christian religious leaders, have been totally and abjectly willing to reject Jesus Christ when His teachings contradict Trump. They are willing to accept pornography, adultery, incest, sexual assault, misogyny and racism without a quibble. In fact, they are willing to attack people who abhor these things and claim that it is not Christian to oppose them.

They have conflated blind following of President Trump with following Christ, even when following Donald Trump leads them in ways of thinking that are diametrically opposed to the teachings of Christ. Catholics among them wave around some something or other in Canon law that they say requires Catholics to turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the evils of this administration on pain of not being a “real” Catholic.

This is a massive tragedy for American Christianity. I fear that it may end up ushering in an almost total loss of credibility for Christian witness in our society.

The standard reply for these things is to say, “But Hillary,” or, “But Obama.” The theory seems to be that these people were so bad that they justify drop-kicking the Gospels and denying Christ His Lordship in our lives to follow a false god who opposes them.

That is specious nonsense. I realize that I cannot reach the people who are so besotted with Trump that they have turned their backs on Christ. That will take the Holy Spirit. Or, I fear, it will take them, suffering the consequences of their blind followership of this demagogue. I fear that in a selfish way, because it means that we will all suffer those consequences along with them.

All I can do is what I am doing, which is to say straight out and without reservation that I am not following any false god anywhere and I urge those of you who still have the wits to think to do the same.

I am not and will never be a member of the “Resistance.” That is just mindless destructiveness, with no purpose, no goal, no reason other than its own brand of mindless hate.

I am not and will never be one of the Christian Trump Worship Cult.

I am in total support of my Hispanic brothers and sisters and those who believe in women’s human rights. I do not follow anyone who supports sexual assault. I do not listen to them and I do not regard them as moral voices.

Women have the right to live and breathe in self-respect, without being accosted and violated by sadistic billionaires who ram their hands up inside them, who call them names and who treat them as things. This is a basic human right. It is at the core of of the Christian witness that there is no Greek nor Jew, no slave nor free, no male nor female, for all are one in Christ Jesus. 

It is a real-life manifestation of the fact that male and female created He them in the Image and Likeness of God.

I believe absolutely in women’s human rights, and freedom from sexual assault is a human right. I just don’t think that giving women the right to kill their own children is the way to achieve human rights for women. Abortion is a knee bending to the devil misogyny, an accommodation to discrimination and the sexual double standard.

Ironically, President Trump is the personification of both misogyny and the sexual double standard. He exemplifies the attitudes and behavior that led so many women to support abortion in the first place. If Christians follow him in this — and right now, many of them are following him the way they should be following Jesus — they will destroy the gains they have made in the arguments for life.

If we want to do something about the influx of immigrants from Mexico, all we have to do is choose the good, positive and Christian response of going to work to help Mexico solve its problems. We need a Marshall plan for South America in general and Mexico in particular.

Opponents of this idea usually say it’s too difficult. But what is “simple” about destroying this country with rage, hatred and unchained evil? What has the demagoguing from the Republicans every election done that has resulted in good? Has the racism of Trump resulted in a healthy country? Has it brought peace? Has anything good come from it?

Doing things the Christian way often seems like doing them the hard way. But, unlike the devil’s way, it always brings good results in the long run.

The confirmation of Jeff Session as our Attorney General was a defeat for American Christianity because so many public and private Christians blindly supported it. It was a defeat because all they had to do was say no to this man and demand that the president make another, better, choice.

We are besmirching the name of Jesus with our fidelity to political evil. We are doing this by putting our political allegiances before the one thing that should be our defining allegiance in every single thing we do. That is our allegiance to Christ the Lord.

I am aware that a lot of people are angry with me, and some of them are going to stop talking to me and begin hating me because I say this. All I can say in answer is that racism is wrong. Sexual assault is wrong. Misogyny is wrong. Compulsive lying is wrong. Demagoguery is wrong.

I know it.

And they know it.

Which is why they are willing to believe any lie to continue supporting these things.


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US Senate Silences Warren for Reading Letter from MLK’s Widow

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by US Embassy, New Delhi.

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by US Embassy, New Delhi.

Note: I’ve been told the links below to Mrs King’s letter don’t work. Since it’s a 10-page letter, I can’t reproduce it here. Instead go here and click through to it. It’s a historic document, and considering that it is talking about the man who is charged with enforcing our laws, a disturbing one. You should read it.


Yesterday, Senator Elizabeth Warren attempted to read a letter written by the widow of Martin Luther King, Jr concerning the 1986 nomination of Jeff Sessions for a federal judgeship.

This same Jeff Sessions, who is now United States Senator Jeff Sessions, has been nominated by President Trump for the position of Attorney General of the United States, which is the chief law enforcement position in America. It is customary for the United States Senate to be a deliberative body in which senators, who are duly elected by the people of their respective states to be their voice in government, are given the freedom to debate without limitation.

However, the act of reading this letter, which is, among other things, a historic document, so offended the senators that they voted to bar Senator Warren from speaking on the floor of the Senate during the debate on the vote to confirm Senator Sessions as our Attorney General. I was curious as to what Mrs King might have said about our prospective attorney general to cause this outlandish behavior on the part of the Senate.

I feel that this vote is an attempt to silence, not just an individual senator, which is reprehensible enough, but is a vote to silence an idea. The idea in question is whether or not justice can prevail if we ignore the character of the people we put in power. The vote itself raises another question which is whether or not we can truly have government of the people if one of the people’s representatives can be summarily silenced for expressing ideas that at least some of their colleagues do not want to hear.

Senator Warren then read the letter on her Facebook page. Here, for those of you who are interested, is the cover letter Mrs Coretta Scott King wrote for her statement concerning the man who is the prospective Attorney General of the United States. You can read the full, 10-page statement — which is damning — here.


449 Auburn Avenue. NE. Attents. Georgia 30312 (404) 524-1956

March 19, 1986

The Honorable Strom Thurmond, Chairman
Committee on the Judiciary

United States Senate

Dirksen Senate Office Building

Washington, D.C. 20510

Re: Nomination of Jefferson B. Sessions
U.S. Judge, southern/District of
Alabama Hearing, March 13, 1986

Dear Senator Thurmond:

I write to express my sincere opposition to the
confirmation of Jefferson B. Sessions as a federal district
court judge for the Southern District of Alabama. my
professional and personal roots in Alabama are deep and lasting.
Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States
Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the
ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts.

Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a
shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters.
For this reprehensible conduct, he should not be rewarded

with a federal judgeship.

I regret that a long?standing commitment prevents me from
appearing in person to testify against this nominee. However,
I have attached a copy of my statement opposing Mr. Sessions'
confirmation and I request that my statement as well as this
letter be made a part of the?hearing record.

I do sincerely urge you to oppose the confirmation of
Mr. Sessions.


Coretta Scott King

cc: The Honorable Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
United States Senate
308 Senate Hart Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
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America is Breaking Apart Over the Polarizing Worship of Little g gods

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by New Life Church Collingwood

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by New Life Church Collingwood

America is breaking apart over the polarizing worship of little g gods.

We the People have become idiots and fools who follow one banner or the other blindly, without thought. To do this, we lie. We lie about the factual world around us. We lie about those who disagree with us. We lie about ourselves. And we lie about the nature of Jesus Christ.

We have becoming willing to attack anyone — even the Pope — if that person disagrees with the ever-changing teachings of our little g gods. We claim with a straight face that we are the arbiters of holiness, and we posit holiness in blindly following one little g god or the other.

From where I stand, there is no moral difference between those who worship the little g gods of the left, or the little g gods of the right. They are both idol worshippers, and they are both living in a self-made cage of self-imposed delusion.

Sad to say, most Christians have abandoned following Christ to follow their political gods. They trim their faith to fit their politics and denounce anyone and everyone who tries to tell them that this is not faith at all. It is delusion. It is madness. It is turning away from the sanity of following Christ.

Those who say they are Christians do not denounce Christ directly. Rather, they denounce everything He said. They cut the Sermon on the Mount and His clear teachings about the Judgement down to nothing. They attack the Holy Father. They pick and choose among the clergy, reviling those who disagree with their politics and making new little g gods out of those who agree with it.

It does not matter if one has given their soul to a little g god of the right or of the left, they have given themselves over to a nihilistic anti-Christ who plunges them into a constant bath of rageful self-righteousness, irrationality and lies.

People are making themselves into self-righteous, hate-filled, irrational wretches by following these false gods of politics. All they have to do is all they ever had to do, which is turn back to the real Christ, the real Cross, the real Jesus.

I know that I’m getting a bit boring by saying this over and over. But it needs to be said. I would not want to not say it over and over, because it is the only Way.

We need to turn back to Christ. By that I mean the real Christ, not the political christ of our own devising. Stop following political gods, which you made yourself of your own worst impulses, and follow Him.

If you do that, you will take your first look in a long time at humility. You will be like someone waking up from a drugged state to look at the mental and moral shambles you have made of your internal self, and you will wonder, “What was I thinking?”

I am asking you to exorcise yourself from the demonic little g gods of this age and follow Jesus. It is an urgent plea based on a deep love for you that can only come from Jesus. Do not continue to throw yourselves away by following the little g gods of this age. Follow Jesus Who died on the Cross, Who preached the Sermon on the Mount, Who gave us this good man for this time as His Vicar.

I wrote about this for the National Catholic Register. Here is part of what I said.

Most Christians want a comfortable enough, get-out-of-jail-free kind of faith.

They want to go to heaven, but not now. Heaven is for the distant future, when they are very old and die in their sleep after having dozed off in front of the television.

The best of them go to Mass on Sundays and drop a twenty in the collection plate as it passes. They may even read their Bibles and say a quick prayer before grace.

But Jesus, the radical revolutionary who overturned tables and cast the money changers out of the Temple, who called the Pharisees “blind guides, leading the blind,” that Jesus is more than they want.

They are both afraid of and unwilling to follow the history-changing Jesus who moves societies by moving individual human beings.

They resist and even denounce the Jesus Who radicalizes His followers’ minds with counter-intuitive teachings such as “Blessed are the poor,” and “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” They don’t like the Jesus who said “You cannot serve two masters. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

That Jesus, the Christ, the God made human who calls us to be more than the petty greed and selfishness that is humankind’s pit in which we all wallow, is not at all to their liking. He is, at best, uncomfortable. At worst, He is convicting in ways they refuse to be convicted.

There are sins we readily denounce, and sins we love so much we are willing to denounce the priest who preaches on them and deny the Christ who judges us for them.

We don’t much want the Jesus of the Book. We want the comfortable, easy, other-people’s-sins-are-the-only-sins-that-matter Jesus that we can trim and shape to fit our lives and our politics so that we never feel a twinge of personal remorse or regret for any of our pet sins.

We do not want and will not accept the real Jesus who told the power brokering priests of His day that prostitutes and tax collectors would enter into the Kingdom of Heaven before they did. We want no part of the Jesus Who told the rich young man to sell all he had, give it to the poor and then come and follow Him.

The truth is, we want to walk past Lazarus. We want to do it because walking past suffering is a whole lot easier than stopping and stooping to care.

Following Jesus has a price that very few Christians are willing to pay. Following Jesus means going against the zeitgeist, stepping out of the parade and being different. It means not doing the popular thing, but choosing to do the right thing, instead. It means being inconvenient, both to yourself and to those around you.

At the very least, truly following Jesus means standing up in front of the gods of this world instead of kneeling down before them. It means walking away from the worship of the false idols of politics, wealth, power and fame and following Him. It means being an outlier in a society that demands absolute conformity with one viewpoint, one way of living and thinking, or the other. (Read the rest here.)


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