Rise of the Bully Messiah

I detest bullies. I always have.

They are the greatest kind of cowards this world produces. Bullies are by their very nature, predators. The bully’s tactic is simple: leverage their power to generate fear in someone who possesses less power; to use their cultural advantage to terrorize another, all the while masking their own near paralyzing insecurity and self-hatred. They are small people trying to project themselves as towering.

There has quite possibly never existed a bully as afflicted with such sickness as the man occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue right now. Every single move he’s made since stepping into the office has been that of a predatory coward seeking validation through fear:

Stranding desperate refugees at airports after leaving behind all they know and the place they’ve called home in order to craft a less violent, less terrifying life—and exposing them to violence and terror upon their very arrival.

Manufacturing a phony monster out of the Islamic faith, exposing millions of peace-loving Muslim-Americans, who are already among the most-maligned and persecuted, to further intimidation and ostracism.

Harassing undocumented immigrants who are already living lives far more stressful and exhausting than most Americans would ever endure—by creating the false narrative that they are a parasitic danger.

Taking away healthcare from millions of the most vulnerable and financially unstable, ensuring that their already monumental difficulties will be magnified, and that their daily existence will be made exponentially more painful.

Assailing the rights of women to have autonomy over their own bodies and sexual expressions, and reinforcing an oppressive misogyny that is already a daily minefield they must navigate.

Resuming the Dakota Access Pipeline, quite literally bulldozing over the sacred lands of a people who have, since the very birth of our nation, been treated with contempt and disregard.

Removing protections from Transgender students, already among the absolute most vulnerable, most burdened, most endangered Americans, with a suicide rate far beyond any other segment of the population.

This is the growing legacy of this detestable Bully Messiah of a President, whose tactics are being applauded by similarly insecure cowards who don’t recognize their privilege, and who don’t know they are the entitled, lazy menace draining this country of its greatness. 

The sad irony here, is that the Bully Messiah is not preying upon the weak—no quite the opposite. Refugees, immigrants, the working poor, women, Native Americans, the LGBTQ community: they are the kind of strong and courageous that he will never be or understand. Faced with the absolute most difficult, most dire, most exhausting of days they persevere, they endure, they retain their dignity. Such great character is foreign to a small man so wishing he were big—and he resents them for it.

Meanwhile the Bully Messiah and his Disciples of Cowardice, benefitting from every possible advantage of their whiteness and wealth and circumstance, feel compelled to undermine and attack and further marginalize the vulnerable. They are driven to prey upon those most in need of advocacy, most deserving of respect, and most specifically illustrating what it is that makes this nation great.

Right now, with every transparently predatory move their Messiah makes, the bullies around the country are cheering—but they are the only ones. The rest of us are bearing witness to the premeditated terrorism of a small minority of frightened cowards, and we are pushing back and will continue to pushback. Because if there’s one truth about bullies, it’s that they’re absolutely terrified of resistance. They collapse beneath the pressure of good people who refuse to be defined or silenced by the bully—and thankfully the majority of Americans are such people.

So the insecure, hateful few can have their Bully Messiah and his apparent ascension and their moment of apparent vicarious dominion. They can sing his praises and shout on the street corner and rant online. They can hurl slurs and spray paint doorways and knock over head stones and harass in the hallways—but they will not prevail. They, like all bullies will have to face the reality of their inner smallness and acknowledge the true character of those they harass, which they so covet.

And this bloated, self-inflated Bully Messiah, who sits in the Oval Office each day, reminding all of us that he is little more than a sad, scared, fraudulent child who hates so many in an effort to feel less hatred for himself—will not prevail either. We will not allow it.

To those feeling more unsteady, more at risk, more vulnerable than ever, be encouraged. We are proudly and defiantly standing with you, because you are so worth standing alongside.

America, after all is the home of the brave—and not the bully.

 

 

 

 

 

 

288 thoughts on “Rise of the Bully Messiah

  1. Get Ready America , Pastors, Teachers, leaders
    YOUR creating an environment of unrest, Entitlement ,
    I deserve it mentality you can not control,
    Hate on all sides is real, Not just one side.
    Control is both sides , not just one.
    Bully’s are in every human being , not just one side.
    With out God to control YOUR thoughts, actions, will , you will do what ever YOU think serves you best.
    All for Me, YOU , MY will.
    The Heart of every man woman child is to serve me 1st. Desparately wicked , who can know it. Self Examination , accountability to a higher being.
    The Evil will always strike out, the Meek will always speak and be humble.
    Evil People are self serving to what end. ‘

    Thats what your creating. Thier will be a price to pay for this Anti God Policy of Acceptance of anything.

    • Well said! Good analysis–a deep analysis of the moral relativism, to quote Nietzsche, a “trans-valuation of values denying American and Christian values, and upraising those of Satan, and Fascism.
      The denial of love, for the clutch of fanaticism and idol worship. One could go on, and on.

      • What happens when the Christian Conservatives and the trump maladministration are on the side of Satan and fascism?

      • which is a nice way of saying “Waaaah! My invisible friend isn’t privileged above your invisible friend, and that reduces my ability to push you around!”

        Another xtian absolutist.

        You’re missing the central tenet of the person you claim to believe in: “Do unto others as you’d have others do unto you.”

        For someone who’s been in the military, and is used to an immutable command structure, that does NOT mean “force the love of hateful-jebus on them because it’s good for them.” Instead, it means “Live and let live.” If that means that xtianity ceases to be culturally ascendant, well, is your reason for believing in it because it’s culturally ascendant and everyone else does it, or for some other reason? For most American xtians, it seems like it’s the former, IMNSHO.

    • Bullies are certainly in every human being. That is all I could get out of the story and I agree. Not loving yourself enough is a root cause of it. God does not control us, because he gave us freedom. To be the best human being we can be, we have to use our mind and our heart and realize where we become unhuman and stop ourselves.. It is not easy to be a good person. But becoming “obedient” to a higher Being is not the way. You have to want to be a good person. Not to please a higher being, or out of fear for a higher being. You have to take full ownership of your life. That is why you have your freedom. It can go terribly wrong. But if it could not, how worthwhile would our life be? We have enormous potential. God is counting on us to be the human we can be. It is up to each of us. We have more than enough collective wisdom and goodness in the world’s literature and holy books. No devotion , prayer or meditation will help if we are not devoted to bettering ourselves. We have that capability. A human being can look at him/her self and see the reality of your imperfections, then dedicate your best forces in soul and mind to better yourself.

    • That which really needs to be healed are the hard hearts and stiff necks of the self-righteous religious right. You are more likely to be standing on the side with the goats rather than the sheep on judgement day. (See Matthew’s Gospel if you don’t know what I am saying.) The marginalized asked for your help and you condemned them. As a born from above, baptized by water and the Holy Spirit, follower of Jesus Christ, I am appalled at the attitudes folks like you display. I doubt you even know any of those you so readily condemn. These issues, in case you have been asleep for a decade or so, are no longer in the dark. They are in the light of day basking in the warmth of the sun. You are speaking of God’s children. Do you really believe that God is pleased with your venom and hatred? The God of my salvation would not be.

      • This first showed up as anonymous for some reason so I am reposting. That which really needs to be healed are the hard hearts and stiff necks of the self-righteous religious right. You are more likely to be standing on the side with the goats rather than the sheep on judgement day. (See Matthew’s Gospel if you don’t know what I am saying.) The marginalized asked for your help and you condemned them. As a born from above, baptized by water and the Holy Spirit, follower of Jesus Christ, I am appalled at the attitudes folks like you display. I doubt you even know any of those you so readily condemn. These issues, in case you have been asleep for a decade or so, are no longer in the dark. They are in the light of day basking in the warmth of the sun. You are speaking of God’s children. Do you really believe that God is pleased with your venom and hatred? The God of my salvation would not be.

        Bruce Garner

        • Thank you, Bruce Garner, for reposting when you saw it first came up as “anonymous.” Too many of the various anonymouses here are trolls and I when I see anonymous, I delete without reading.

          I also want to thank you for what you wrote. The Bible is stuffed to the gills with calls to social justice. It seems clear that the Biblical message is that salvation includes social justice.

          Dietrich Bonhoeffer in The Cost of Discipleship talked about “cheap grace” when people claim to be Christians yet sit on their duffs and do not act for social justice.

          • Gloriamarie, salvation does not just include social justice, social justice is THE work that Jesus tells his followers (Matt 25:31-46). Social justice is a necessity, the most visible sign of salvation. Or not. One does not have to be saved to follow that task list. But the ones that cry “Lord, lord” MUST follow that list or they do not actually believe in what Jesus said–ALL of what he said. And as has been mentioned, they will be judged by God specifically on their acts of social justice–and those who did not do the tasks will be cast away from Heaven.
            I would suggest that this aspect of Christianity is very seldom mentioned or reinforced for most congregations. I would love to know how many Christians even know that this is to be their work as Christ-followers. (I know that if I heard it, it was very rarely mentioned, in the 30-some years I attended Christian churches.)

        • Your post brought tears to my eyes. I teach immigrant students. When people scream and have tantrums about Muslims, I often wonder if they know any on a personal level. Not those that have been taunted and feel as if they are pushed to being angry. Not those that are an extreme terrorist, and truly do horrid things, but those that are kind, gentle people. Those that simply want to worship God in the way they were taught to worship God. Do I believe as they do? No. Do I believe Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light? Absolutely. However, Jesus didn’t win the lost by throwing stones. No. He won the lost through acts of love and kindness. Did he speak the truth to the lost? Again, absolutely, but he loved them first.

        • No Darlin’ I am not bullying you. I am proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We don’t hear much of what Jesus taught because what he said and talk are difficult for us to hear and act upon. (That is in response to Kate above.) We want an easy faith. Tell us exactly what to do, give us rules, don’t expect us to have a real relationship with God and work out our salvation in fear and trembling. But that is not the way of Jesus.

          • Oh no? You then have a different Jesus! We need to have our shortcomings pointed out to us because we are too blind to see our own shortcomings. Humble yourself as little children. My Jesus has compassion, but He does not tolerate blatant disregard for holiness.. Be ye holy as I am holy.

            Once the moat in your eye has been pointed out to you by a man with a splinter in his eye we all have to take responsibilty for ourselves.

            • So…..tell me exactly what Jesus said about lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender folks? He said nothing. He did make it clear that relationship was more important than anything else. His primary message was to love God and love your neighbor as yourself and he provided no exceptions. Now….might you be divorced? Well, Jesus did have comments about that…..but we won’t go there.

              • Joe, you need to read your Bible. Jesus said nothing about same gender relationships or sexual orientation. The word “homosexual” was not coined until the early 1900’s so any translation that uses the word is not correct. I didn’t condemn anyone…..just referenced Scripture.

                • Actually, Joe, I have told you all of this before, so don’t play games with me. I’ve read and studied Scripture in depth, including a four year course on it. The only way you can get to your distorted thinking is by taking what Paul said out of the context of the full story, which was usually about idolatry and poor relationships AND taking it out of the culture in which it was written. You are trying to impose something from a culture thousands of years old on 21st century society….yet it is only the parts about human sexuality. Remember, these folks taught that the world was flat and that all the universe revolved around the earth. Do you still believe that? You are stuck in a patriarchal system than is only willing to see things one way. Considering the fact that that patriarchy kept people of color enslaved in a variety of ways for centuries, I would think you might wish to be free of such convoluted thinking. Again, you have played this game with me before so don’t continue to try it just because we are on a new rant.

                • Bit He didn’t condem. whore mongering and incest in the same story? Genesis 19. If you use the Bible ( whichever one) as you rule book, you have a lot of problems. Religion has traded compassion for dogma . And there are so many contradictions that one can choose which they wish to conform to, whichever they are comfortable with. And a song says. ” You have to be taught to be afraid , if people whose eyes are strangely made, of people whose skin is a different shade, you have to be carefully taught. You have to be taught, befoe it’s too late, before you are 6 or 7 or 8, to hate all the people your relatives hate . You have to be carefully taught”. It is called religious indoctrination.

                  • Betty,

                    Are you really stupid enough to conflate incest and prostitution with sexual orientation?

                    Think about why you do so. I bet you’ll find some vey unpleasant truths about your relationship to physicality and carnality. Remember, in xtian mythos, christ is the word made flesh….so he embraced carnality by virtue of his existence alone.

            • Ms Rhuby, I have found that by studying and praying and LISTENING for the Holy Spirit to speak to me that it is God who lets me know when I am moving from the path I should be on. I also have found that there isn’t any other person — including those closest to me — who knows my heart as God knows it; consequently, I am very cautious as to who I allow to tell me what God says I should believe or should be doing or not doing.

            • MsRhuby, is right. I am 62 yrs old and I have NEVER witnessed such rudeness and disrespect directed at a president, just because people don’t want to accept that Hillary Clinton didn’t win the election. I remember being disappointed several times that the candidate I voted for didn’t win. I can’t even watch CNN anymore b/c Don Lemon and his cronies hate Donald Trump so much they are obsessed with choosing the most hatful statement they can come up with to demean and deface our president. Not Good!

              • MsRhuby, is right. I am 62 yrs old and I have NEVER witnessed such rudeness and disrespect directed at a president, just because people don’t want to accept that Hillary Clinton didn’t win the election. I remember being disappointed several times that the candidate I voted for didn’t win. I can’t even watch CNN anymore b/c Don Lemon and his cronies hate Donald Trump so much they are obsessed with choosing the most hatful statement they can come up with to demean and deface our president. Not Good! Correction: hateful

                • I completely disagree with you, Ms Pattycake. I only have to think back to the past 8 years to remember much greater rudeness and disrespect toward a president. If you need some reminders, go to Twitter and just read back through Donald Trump’s timeline.

      • I would agree except that you sound so self-righteous. Our baptisms in Jesus (or any other faith) are not meant to be self-congratulatory or to be proclaimed to the crowd as credentials for saying our opinion. BTW, I’m an English professor, and spelling isn’t meant to be a battering ram either. I’m sure I’ve made mistakes in this paragraph, anonymous, but I’m proud to sign my name.

    • Good post. The simple belief crowd, cheap grace crowd I think are significantly wrong here. It was by doing that Jesus brought the wrath of those who persecuted and killed him. Not just his teachings, but his actions as well.
      I believe those days are returning: while Fascism always need an enemy, that awful philosophy always overplays it’s hand. We are called to respond.

    • If by darkness you mean white supremacy, hate for everyone other than those like yourself, then I agree. All that had been partially under a rock, emerged and was encouraged. Bulling became the new Patriotism.

      • I agree, I always knew that it was there but had no idea how much it was there. Was living in a fool’s paradise I guess because I thought my generation and my children’s generation had done better jobs. I wonder if we were fooling ourselves. By the way, I am 75 and my children are in there 40’s and 50’s, since my grandchildren are just starting out I let them off the hook but they are going to have to roll up their sleeves and help fix this mess. I give them my apologies, my love and my support. Peace,

  2. I so agree with this post,as we are dealing with this daily and will eventually destroy us.I find it hard to believe why the GOP does not act to change😠

  3. Thank you! Every time I read anything from you, I want to stand up and cheer. Please help us put a different “face” on the “Christianity” that is, as Jim Wallis says in “God’s Politics”, really “Pax Americana”. How can so-called “Evangelicals” support a bully Messiah who stands against everything that we, as Christians, should support. We have our Messiah telling us just how wrong this all is.

  4. There’s something I think the bullies in the majority overlook at their peril. It is simply this: There are no guarantees that the privileged will always stay privileged, that the powerful will eternally be in power. Social and demographic changes, civil rights movements and elections, can all change the balance of who is privileged and comfortable and who is not. Today’s majority can so easily become tomorrow’s plurality, and will remember how the former-majority treated them. Today’s bullies glory in the power they wield over their victims…but there’s no guarantee they’ll always hold that power.

    Someday, white Christian Republican cisgender heterosexual men won’t be the majority in our society anymore. The racial and religious shifts are already happening. I wonder how they’ll feel about all the prejudice they’ve codified into “religious liberty” laws, when the beneficiaries of those laws are people other than them.

    • Exactly. I’d just not refer to them as the ‘majority’. They really aren’t. They have the majority of political leverage right now, but in truth, they aren’t the majority of Americans.

      • No they have managed to have most of the wealth at the moment but the crash and depression changed that once and who knows it could again. They are playing fast and loose and obviously they don’t remember history.

        • The economic policies of this administration are the exact same economic policies embraced by both the Bushes, Reagan and the administration that took office in Jan, 1929.

          The exact same policies. And what happened every single time these economic policies were employed? The economy crashed and those adverse effects were felt all over the world.

          • I’m not sure what this says, that our education system is so bad that they don’t teach history very well, or people are too lazy to study history. Peace,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

            • When I was in high school, we were taught quite clearly what caused the First Great Depression. When Reagan et al started spotting trickle down economics, I recognized it as the same stuff that caused the Depression. What what happened? The economy crashed .

              Bush 1 et al embraced the same policies and the economy did not recover.

              Bush 2 et al embraced the same policies and the Second Great Depression ensued.

              We have got to convince people to vote in 2018. Because we have to get as much opposition to the GOP as we can or the economy is going to crash again.

              We have GOT to learn from our history. Wh have GOT to cease being distracted by the red herrings.

              • Gloriamarie,
                Well said. The Spanish-American philosopher, George Santayana, said over a hundred years ago, “Those who do not remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.” William Shirer, in his “Rise and Fall of the Third Reich,” used it, crediting Santayana. I think greed and will to power push this selective memory, or in some cases, this total lack of respect for our history: lack of compassion,
                indifference to the suffering of others (e.g., the actions of others such as the 2nd collapse of the economy fueled by more greed of the banksters and the uber-wealthy.

                  • JC, I agree fully with this. We also ought to recognize that there are quite a few actual philanthropists in the world, and in this country. I had an aunt and uncle who were wealthy, and lifelong members of the GOP. They lived simple lives, and giving lives: and there were many, many beneficiaries, of them, whilst they lived, as well as after they died.

                • I, for one, am tired of being forced to watch history repeat itself over and over.

                  It’s such a shame that somewhere along the line, maybe with the Reformation, that we threw away the concept of the Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Cardinal Virtues which combat the deadly sins.

                  The only thing that trickles down from the top is dysfunction.

        • She was not being facetious. The French had a term for the bread dough that adhered to the sides of the pan after the baked bread was dumped out. It was caked onto the bread pans and was called “cake.” Basically, she was saying: “Then let them eat the crumbs and burned dough caked to the bread pans.”

    • Ah, then they will really start in on “Religious Liberty”, perhaps they will finally understand that religious freedom is not about making insisting everyone follow your religion, but true religious freedom is about respecting other peoples and allowing them to follow their tenets. I am not holding my breath though. This has been going on since the Mayflower landed in Plymouth. Peace…………..

    • “White Christian Republican cisgender heterosexual men” are not the majority now. Apparently you missed the point that 53% of WHITE WOMEN voted for the dumpster. If you’re part of the white women group- that’s on YOU. Own it.

      • Only 53% of the few registered voters who voted were white women. Not 53% of all white women in the USA. So please don’t lie.

        As for me, I voted for Bernie in the Primary and for Hillary on Election Day. Becuase I can recognize an abuser, a bully, and an habitual liar when I see one.

        • Your first paragraph is confusing to me. White women do not make up 53% of the electorate. Whites only comprise 72% of the country, so a rough estimate says white women are 36% of the population. I know of no statistics that show white women vote at a rate of150% of their prevalence in the general population.

          What is true, per this article in the Times, along with various other spots, is that 53% of white women who voted, did so for President Trump, which was what J. Bruce Wilcox was saying.

          https://www.google.com/amp/s/mobile.nytimes.com/2016/11/10/opinion/white-women-voted-trump-now-what.amp.html?client=safari

          As for calling other people liars, there’s something about glass houses and throwing stones you should familiarize yourself with. I know I’m not the only person here to call you out for posting things that are entirely devoid of truth.

    • tammy, –in that case, pretty soon, the white christian conservative cisgenders, will be entirely supported by your hard earned tax-dollars –free housing, free health care, free college, sanctuary cities, and special rights. Not a problem. Thanking you ahead of time.

  5. Thank you, John, for saying what everyone in the USA needs to hear. 100% percent of this is 100% percent truth.

    One day, when you get a chance, I would love you to write something about the embrace of lies by this bully and all those cowards. Inventing a massacre in Bowling Green. Inventing chaos in Sweden that doesn’t exist. Are just two of the many.

  6. Thank you John. I have thought that Trump was a bully since the first time I saw him as a candidate.

    Throughout history there has always been bullies. President Trump just happens to be the bully with the most power now. He is just particularly distasteful as the face of America even though we have never had a “perfect” President.

    Republicans have been bullies – Democrats have been bullies. It seems over time most people with power become bullies in their own way from the thug with a gun to some teachers, to some church leaders, to some of the wealthy, to some corporations, to the government. I truly believe absolute power corrupts absolutely for the majority. I hope I am wrong.

    Evidently it must be some human failing that many succumb to. The only hope is that more humans can hold on to their moral fiber than those who cannot. Of course if it goes the other way, if everyone becomes a bully that will be the cannibalization of the world. No bully likes another bully who may be stronger than him or her and has the power to humiliate them – their worst fear.

  7. I think the GOP is just afraid of him, and afraid for their own careers. That will change, I think, as their constituencies confront them, but straying from the party line has consequences.

    I just think the Strange-Haired one just enjoys the adulation. By tapping into this sink of outrage, he achieves what he wants.

    This ugliness is a human reaction to change, and we’ve had a lot of that. It’s not just the social changes and I don’t really think they’re driving it; the changes in technology have been stunningly fast. Changes in medicine are coming so fast that nobody can keep up with it. And people are deeply unsettled by change of any sort, good or bad. Immigrants are just an easy-to-see target, as they have always been.

    I’m not approving the unrest, just trying to understand it. Is it also possible that these furious people were mistreated as children? I’d bet so.

    • Afraid of him? Not yet. To those who would destroy what they perceive as a grossly overreaching government, he is a useful idiot, distracting the culture warriors while the real work goes on in the shadows, late at night and on weekends, without vetting or challenge because it is hidden.

      The trouble is, in a digital age, not only do things move quickly, nothing is as secret as it once was. When the leaks cut too deeply and often, when the mistakes pile up too high, when the useful idiot’s mastery of our desire to be entertained at the lowest level fails to have an effect, then the culture warriors will need to fear the angry idiot. And then we will need to be ready for the deluge.

      • “And then we will need to be ready for the deluge.” What is that going to look like, Mosswings?

        I ask because I think all we have seen this past month is chaotic unconstitutionality. Seems to me we are already being deluged, so I was wondering what form you think is coming. Seems to me we already have evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors.

        • Dear Gloriamarie Amalfitano:

          Personally, I believe that a quiet coup d’etat is in progress already. Implemented quietly and slowly, it is not recognized for what it is.

          The Republic is ending even as you read this. And I believe that it would be misguided to try to save it.

          It makes more sense to me to let it fall. We have more important work to do, namely — to consider the shape, basis and nature of the Second United States Republic.

          Speaking only for myself, that is where my allegiance lies.

          Blessings!

        • Trump is delegating government to his advisors, and those advisors, together with top GOP/Tea Party/PAC forces, are executing the first phases of a long prepared strategy to reverse the New Deal and Great Society order.

          Trump also is finding out that governing is not like being the CEO of the country. Yesterday’s piece on Vox was a very interesting look into the effects of thin skin and a disdain for institutions:
          http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/2/22/14658062/donald-trump-illiberalism-losing
          The worry in my mind is that we can very quickly descend into illiberalism under the smokescreen of an erratic President. It will happen quickly, and not obviously.

          • Dear Mosswings:

            And I would add that this ‘New Deal’ was factored into the US political equation at a time when the 1917 Revolution was fresh on bourgeois minds and had considerable sympathy among American workers.

            What the fascistic right won’t tell you is that the ‘New Deal’ was necessary to save Capitalism from itself. Now that the ‘deal’ is being dismantled, those same revolutionary forces that were feared in the 1920s-30s will dominate the public mind again. The bourgeoisie knows this and the militarization of police/radicalization of the courts is preparation for the repression that the ruling class is reading against the working class.

            As all progressive legislation of the past century is stripped away, it will become ever clearer to working people that they have nothing to lose but their chains!

            Blessings!

            • Excellent post, especially on the reasons on the progressive nature of the great programs who helped humanize Capitalism, and make our lives better. Your point about saving the country is right on. Many of the greatest generation have told me that the programs helped cool the national anger toward the formerly conservative, good for nothing majority republicans. Who told me this: Mr. Tom Cromwell, former WWII naval aviator, Senior Corporate officer-and lifelong Republican. He would in no sense recognize that party as his own.

          • I agree with most of what you say, but I wouldn’t say that Trump is “delegating”. He is and has always been a useful tool for the very smart people behind the scenes who really understand power and have no need for the limelight, as he does.
            They used the hate and ignorance of a large voting block and the Trump’s own vanity and shallowness to rise to power and they now pull the strings behind his public face. Trump is a political nobody. His ignorance of policy is so profound that nearly every day he lets slip how completely clueless he his. So much the better for those who control his puppet strings. Even if he ever does come to the realization that he is being used, he won’t have the savvy to put a stop to it.
            He will only last as long as they need him as a distraction. Once they enact the horrible backwards changes you are mentioning, they will use one of the many reasons for impeachment that already exist to move him out of the way and he will be replaced by Pence, who has the chops to be a proper dictator. If they succeed (and thankfully the resistance is growing to the point where it seems less likely all the time) 2016 may have been our last presidential election.

  8. Dear John Pavlovitz:

    Donald Trump is weak.
    Donald Trump is a face.
    Donald Trump is not the United States Chief Executive Officer.

    Look to the power behind the face.

    The elevation of Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster as national security advisor strengthens the grip of the US military on the US Government.

    The choice of McMaster for this position further weakens Trump’s position for preferring China over Russia for the next, discretionary major war.

    The lavish media praise for Trump’s choice of Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster shows the complete abandonment of basic democratic principles such as civilian control of the military.

    Whether lying on your back, or kicking and screaming, you are going to war. The ruling class is absolutely determined to drag the world into a third world war.

    Does this matter enough to anyone even to address it?

    Blessings!

    • You seriously misunderstand the Character of General MCMaster, and General Mattis. They are men of knowledge, patriotism. They do understand their commissioning oaths (unlike Oliver North, e.g.)
      and they play a bulwark against this fascism. Of course, they are but two men, but men of character, and strength. That being said, they are bound to cross the Trump/Bannon/Pence crowd. Then we will see more, I think than we wanted to ever see.

      • Dear Richard H, Randall, Major, USA,(ret.):

        Is this the same General ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis who superintended the heinous 2004 assault on Fallujah in which unknown thousands of civilians died? Would this constitute a Crime of War?

        Is this the same McMaster who denounced the Joint Chiefs of Staff for failing to demand that President Lyndon Johnson commit the resources required to “win” the war up-front — as many as 700,000 troops, no restrictions on ground operations in South Vietnam, and unrestricted targeting of North Vietnam for bomb attacks, including MiG fighter bases and ports where Soviet and Chinese military personnel would likely have been killed?

        Wouldn’t that have triggered WW III in the 1960s?

        Sponsored insurrectionist movements, coups, overthrowing democratically elected heads of state, puppet regimes, currency attacks and other international misdemeanors aside, wouldn’t the fact that the US has been at war for 25 years suggest something?

        For example: The United States Constitution is essentially a dead letter.

        The thing is, we live in such a day where oaths, Constitutions, laws, etc. are meaningless. When the state itself becomes the living embodiment of a lie, there is simply nothing left to affirm.

        At length McMaster, Mattis, Trump and Pence will bow to the dictates of an un-elected bourgeoisie. McMaster’s elevation weakens Trump, but not by bringing a sense of principled nobility to the table; McMaster strengthens the intelligence community/Democratic Party [and some Republicans] line that the next major war ought to be initiated against Russia. Mr. Trump hand favors China as the target for the next major war.

        As a ranking officer, you are well aware that such matters are discussed intensely in policy groups, strategic studies institutes, etc. So is the horrendous supposition that low-yield, tactical nuclear devices could be utilized in future conflicts while averting thermonuclear holocaust.

        Why would any people suffer any regime that would even contemplate such madness?!?!

        As I see it, it is time to reject not only the official narrative but also the framework in which that narrative is set. This doesn’t bode well for the state whatever administration presides over the nation/empire/world.

        Blessings!

        • Thanks for your lengthy, and often correct response. First I will give short responses to each paragraph
          To begin. Your point is generally, partly acceptable to me. It is true, that our history is partly known for using our military and CIA, to kill to take over governments for economic means to favor the 5% and the politicians. Yet we also got the Dalai Lhama out of Tibet, ahead the Chinese troops. We sent millions of G.I.s into harms way, many never to return, to defeat forces of intolerance , hate, bigotry, and great malignity. This is but one of the many instances, when we have worked to for moral ends–even if we were often violent sometimes to do so. I didn’t see that in your response. I admit freely that our real history is often darker, than we like to admit: this needs to be addressed through education, honestly and thoroughly.
          In arguing for the condemnation of McMaster, he took a look at a very badly run war, a war which JFK wished to quit, which sealed his fate. McMaster did a critique of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for failing to do , in one sense to win an immoral war. If I were given an assignment to “prove” the JCS failed their in their military duties, I can tell you that the Chief of that staff, General Johnson (army) aplogized later for his failings,mainly telling LBJ what he wanted to hear.” This was included in a military ethics course, which is mandatory for army officers. Rather than tell Johnson that there were very serious problems with, they downplayed the problems and told Johnson that it could be done. I say again, Viet Nam was one of the worst, if not the worst foreign actions we ever committed. It is little discussed, that Ho Chi Minh, came to America with General Vo Nguyen Gap to seek peace and assistance while throwing out the French. They were stopped by the arch conservative leaders of the State department. A terrible, terrible missed opportunity, killed by arch-conservatives. McMaster’s career was threatened because of his criticism of the generals and politicians, and experts, who dragged this war in to over ten horrible years. General Giap, once admitted that they were ready to call for terms–and then the bombing halt, reinforced their strength that America was tired of that war. With all of this hindsight, we see more clearly the immorality of the Viet Nam. It was generally not so clear then, I can assure.
          My Dad, a WWII vet hated Viet Nam: I joined to serve in that war (but didn’t go there). It nearly killed my parents when I went.
          We do not train generals to lose wars.
          Nor do we train them (very much) to conduct peace. Only largely victorious generals, like Eisenhower, MacArthur,and Schwartzhoph do that. This does not excuse murder, and lied-wars, such as Iraq, with Gush and his pals, who should be in the Hague for Crimes Against Humanity or in American Federal prisons for treason.
          I can only offer the sacrifices of millions of American men and women, who have served their duty in better, and humane causes. People need to know that soldiers, to the lowest recruit private-I’ve been there! are taught the UCMJ and relevant portions of the Law of Land Warfare. And I suspect, in most times when such are necessary, they are usually followed. It is a leadership failure. I do not know, but will look up the issue about General Mattis. I do believe you give them far too little credit at this point: General Mattis has recently been able to persuade the President that torture is wrong. I know that that bully says it still works, but, Mattis, to date is in charge of that issue.General Kelly today insisted that immigration is a matter for the law and courts, not the military. He stood up to Trump to do this: and it worked. Yes as Patton said, all victory is fleeting. The point is to do the right thing in the here and now, in the hear and now. Taken from Case, from the wonderful book by Boston Teran, called, ‘God is a Bullet.’ I recommend that book very highly.)In closing, I am not ready at all to toss the Constitution of the United States. Should it be changed in many places? Ablolutely. Get rid of the Electoral College, Pass the Equal Rights amendment. Give representation by percentage of actual votes, and elect by popular vote, only. Get money out of politics. Enact laws to ensure that professionals do their best to serve their clients, patients, students, for MORAL ends only. Get rid of an interpretation of religious freedom which holds that members of a specific group may practice their religion on anyone else. No discrimination. I have thought of this issue: If somehow, I would ascend to the Presidency, I would make it illegal to do this in ordinary instances, and consider making it against the law to proselytize, as one SF author did recently. (Sorry-don’t remember his name.)
          There is value in the Constitution and our form of Government, though it could be simplified greatly within the Federalist structure. As the universal is usually the moral, i see a much smaller role for states, and note as have others on this site, that the ethics of the smaller red states, as noted throughout history, have often been reactionary, racist, misogynous, and anti individual. Hence, I’d make the enforcement of rights a priority of the new state, as amended. (I am sure I will catch some hell over that….don’t care.)
          Finally on pacifism. Elie Wiesel said, “Neutrality aids the aggressor, not the victim.” I respect conscientous objection with duty toward the nation-in most cases. Thus the Quakers and others who served–many with more courage than I have–I believe are correct, in all but extreme instances.
          Pacifism? Only works because as George Orwell and John F. Kennedy said, without that watchman, and those rough men willing to preserve value, freedom and all life, there is simply no reason for getting out of bed. The idea of that evil many have written of, is real, and it is manifest today, again within our own government, not for the first time. I am reassured that those generals
          will honor God and Country, humanity and all the rest, if necessary, when the time comes. If they do not, I will state I was enormously wrong–and do what I may, to fix the problem. thanks for reading this long, and probably at times incoherrent piece. Ane I wish God’s blessings on you, and yours, and the the participants of this blog, especially John, for telling the truth which must be said.

          • Thank you so much Major Randall.
            Your comment is powerful., factual, and so very true. I believe we all pray that McMaster and Mattis will do the right thing when the Bully decides to sidestep their counsel., as I am sure he will. But., I also pray that the Bully will not be there and that the Republican Party will decimate itself.|
            A New rising of Republicans (real compassionate Lincoln Republicans) need to be resurrected and now is the time. Thank you for your contribution to this blog. Blessings on you and yours as well.

            • Thanks Mr. Peacock. Much appreciated. Life is messy isn’t it.
              Listening to the chants of the people admiring Trump sent a chill up my spine.!
              Keep your powder dry!

          • Dear Richard H, Randall, Major, USA,(ret.):

            Thank you for this. There is indeed significant agreement between us, and you have the grace/courage to acknowledge that you could be wrong. I both can be and often am, wrong.

            I wish our culture realized that an ability to admit our mistakes is a mark not of weakness but of strength.

            I am a naturalized citizen and my knowledge of earlier decades would be stronger had I lived my life here. I appreciate the perspective you are able to bring to the discussion.

            Your commitment to the Constitution and other institutions and processes of state is clearly stronger than my own. This is one of those areas where people must be allowed to make their own decisions. I can decide only for myself when the Republic as such has ended.

            The Electoral College is an archaic institution. That said, some mechanism is needed to ensure that the state embraces truly national policy.

            We have heard much discussion of the separation of Church and State. I would wish to see a separation of the powers of Corporation and State.

            A convinced socialist, I believe that professionals, workers, families, students, patients, clients, etc. themselves should be involved in local elected councils and that the locus of decision ought to reside among those who must live with public decisions. This is more ‘democracy’ than our present power brokers would care to suffer.

            I met with a very sober and scholarly gentleman this evening who observed that some high profile figures around Mr. Trump are beginning to disagree with his statements. As more line up, a 25th amendment possibility grows.

            This would create a powerful reaction among the most backward and regressive layers of society. They would be increasingly radicalized, and I would not put it past Mr. Trump to shift the center of his power outside official walls and into the streets. And while some in the military would oppose this, I wonder if he would also have support. This clearly implies civil war. And again, I wouldn’t put it past Trump.

            It will become clear to more and more people that the status quo is not sustainable. I anticipate not less but more protests, the likes of which haven’t been seen since the First Great War. We won’t be bored.

            Blessings!

            • Hi gdd,
              I have never failed to learn from you! I am now, a Democratic Socialist, and like you would love to see a serious separation of Corporation and State. The Citizens United decision, passed by all the conservatives on the SCOTUS is a continuing moral, and political blight on our nation. As I said somewhere above, we ought to completely get money out of politics. It can be done. There should be severe penalties for those who offer bribes of any kind, and those who take them. I consider the medical/health/pharmaceutical mess, an outrageous attack on the lower 95%.
              I hope the GOPs attack on the vulnerable, poor, disabled and retired will be a heavy millstone on their (GOP)collective necks, come soon.
              Thanks for the reasoned, well thought out statements here.

            • Regarding the Electoral College: it was created to ensure that a Populist figure, would not be elected, and run dangerously rampant through our world. Ironically, it gave us a president and cabinet who would lie us into a war killing, including our own and allied dead, plus about 65,000 dead and wounded–many for life.
              I’d like to see it go: I don;t see another way, at the moment.

  9. I feel like a broken record but I say it again, Thank you, John, for pointing out and writing what I see and know with far more eloquence than I could muster. This man has been a bully all his life. If people took the time to research this man’s life they would know. He got shipped away as a child because he was a hateful, mean and hurtful bully. He has had his fathers money to protect him from being called a thug but that is what he is. I hope I live long enough to see him unmasked and shown exactly what a black heart he has. Peace…………..

  10. John, I agree with your thoughtful, meaningful and truthful commentary. Thank you for helping to put into words the utter madness in this country of ours right now.

    I remember being bullied by a girl in my neighborhood when I was a kid. One day I’d finally had enough and retaliated by twisting her arm behind her back. She went home bawling and never bothered me again. We need to twist some arms (metaphorically, of course), and the bullies will go back under their rocks.

    Thank you for your insights. I have bookmarked this article.

  11. Just so you won’t make your snide remarks about people talking about you and not at you. You Sir are a bully. So I am not surprised that you have sided with the powers that be right now. Just the fact that you can’t see that taking land away from people, sacred land, that they were assured was theirs, to kill some more of the planet, run roughshod over everyone as not bullying is telling. So don’t bother answering because I’m done. You do nothing but bully.

    • Of course, he would take it as a personal attack, Kathleen. He takes everything as a personal attack and never as a word from God that God is calling him to do better, to be a better person. He did something nice for me, sending me food when I needed it. I need food now and, instead, he lambastes my character because his gifts did not have me worshipping at his feet.

      Yes, he’s a bully and an hypocrite.

    • Bannon says his purpose is to completely destroy and dismantle Government institutions. I would really like know what He would replace them with, since all the Dept. heads that have been put in place have shown that they are going to do just that.

      • I think they are going for totalitarian. I think Bannon sees himself as the brains behind the throne. I see him as the evil behind the throne. I don’t think they believe Govt has a role at all. So if you have paid into SS or Medicare, be advised they want to make sure you do not get it. And those of us who are, and were assured of that when we were working, you know, “You don’t need that high a salary, you’re going to get SS and Medicare, You don’t need a pension, etc” are looking at them taking it away. And don’t tell that people of my generation weren’t told that, we heard that every year when the church council was deciding my husbands pay. And if you are foolish enough not to be afraid of this, watch. You are going to be hoping that someone saves it for you and it won’t be the Powers that be now. Peace……………..

  12. Ten times the pain, ten times the suffering. I have been troubled by these words as they have haunted me since learning that transgender teens may soon have the protection of their government taken from them. About 4 percent of the U.S. population attempts suicide. Over 40 percent of trans people do. Ten times the pain. Adolescence is hard enough. Making it harder on trans children and teens is criminal. Ten times the suffering. Please join me in actively supporting the civil rights of trans citizens. Trans kids have a right to be who they are. – Steven Charleston

  13. Dear Joe Catholic:

    Building a pipeline may not be ‘bullying,’ but designating no-protest spaces and designating protest as riot introduces other issues. At that point, mere advocacy/agitation of protest carries a penalty of incarceration for up to 20 years.

    Were abortuaries designated no-protest zones, and advocacy of pro-birth demonstration carried that penalty, what would you call it? That’s not a rhetorical question, Joe Catholic. I’m interested in knowing what specifically you would call the application of that penalty to that action.

    The Standing Rock Sioux tribe/environmental activists fear that a leak would contaminate the drinking supplies of 17 million people.

    The militarized responses at places such as Ferguson or Flint do not encourage one to believe that the state has any significant commitment to democratic rights. As I see it, it is only a matter of time before the bourgeois state tires of these constitutional dalliances and orders military helicopters into protest areas, turns on the Gatling Guns and turns everyone into mincemeat.

    Moreover Joe Catholic, I believe that many who participate on these fora are aware that this is our future. But they appear on such forums to ‘naysay’ such assertions because these could lead to the political awakening/class unity which the bourgeois and petty-bourgeois layers of society are frantic to avoid.

    Blessings!

    • It is about both and more. Just because the previous writer mentioned one doesn’t negate the other one. Particularly when the person reporting is not the official spokesperson for the Standing Rock Sioux. Are you really that dense? Or maybe you think that everyone else is that dense?

      • The thing is, beginning in 2014 the USACE made no less than 15 attempts to contact the Standing Rock tribe, and received no response to every attempt. In past instances, the tribe had always been responsive to requests for consultation. Even without input from the tribe, the route was still modified in 91 different spots to avoid places of cultural significance. All of this, combined with the fact that not one single centimeter of the pipeline is on their reservation, is why the U.S. District Court in DC held that the Standing Rock was unable to show they would be harmed by the construction.

        Also, In ND & SD, which is where the disputed, incomplete parts are (it is 87% finished), the pipeline is entirely on private land, the owners of which have all granted easements for its construction. If the Standing Rock, or Mr. Pavlovitz, wish to take issue it should be with the private land owners, not the USACE. But then you can’t make it a “Trump is the devil incarnate” issue. All the president has done is said that construction can continue where private property owners have already said it could.

        Environmental impacts should be explored, but the “sacred ground” issue is without merit. Or am I just dense?

      • Dear Joe Catholic:

        Democrats and those in the orbit of the Democratic Party called ‘liberals’ differ from you in terms of tactics, but not on program. At least, not in significant matters.

        The AFL-CIO similarly falls into line with the ‘hire American, buy American’ motto, which pits workers in the US against workers in foreign nations. In other words, it’s still ‘America First.’

        As I see it, your ‘policies’ have no less ‘religious’ import than John Pavlovitz’.

        Blessings!

      • Will it be an economic boon? And for how long? It is far more likely to be an ecological disaster with far-reaching consequences.

        The bullying comes when you try to push this evil across land that doesn’t belong to you; land that has religious and historic significance to others.

        Would you run the pipeline through Arlington National Cemetery? Would you allow it to run through your church? Do you think it would be a nice addition to the Lincoln Memorial? If not, then why would you do that to somebody else?

        • Perhaps those people who think this will be a boom should do their homework. First they should check out what the pipeline disaster looks like in Arkansas, entire neighborhoods where lost. Then they should check for themselves to find that the only boom to the economy will be to big oil, there will be a few jobs to build the thing and then they go away. By the way, ever wonder why Canada wants to send their crappy oil thru the states en route to China, because the Canadians don’t want their land fouled.

        • Thanks Joe. I direct a community choir and two church choirs, having gotten my start as a voice teacher. I always find it strange to listen to a recording of myself. I am far too critical! It is nice to hear that someone enjoyed my compositions.

          I wish you the best in your cantoring and am glad that you experience the joy of singing in community.

          • Joe, a second language, a singer, a cantor – you are a renaissance man. Why does it sometimes seem you purposely antagonize people.

          • I’m not sure that cantor can actually be made into a verb, but cantoring has a fun sound to it. As to being a ham, there are several schools of thought around Psalms. Some people want them very evenly sung with no variation in tone or intensity. They believe it sounds more holy, and if that is what works for them, who am I to quibble. I prefer to interpret the words to give meaning to the sentences. I am not extravagant; just enough emphasis on the more important words to deliver the meaning.

            We had a Rabbi as guest homilist at one of our services. Our priest told me after service that he had said that I had sung the Psalm better than the cantor at his synagogue!

            As to being taken for granted, our organist is a renowned composer and performer, but people talk over the prelude and postlude, not realising that these are an intentional part of the service, and missing out on a free “concert”.

            Maybe I should have a website? I specialise in people who have been told to mouth the words. There are very few people who are truly tone deaf. Each person’s brain develops at its own rate. Some people achieve pitch awareness as infants (me) and for some the wiring doesn’t connect until they are teenagers (my cousin). I want to metaphorically smack every teacher who ever told a child that they couldn’t sing.

            Singing in community is good for both physical and mental health. It makes me pretty angry that that option is removed from some children so early.

          • I was one of those children who was only allowed speaking parts at school programs.

            When my children were young I always sang to them. I later read that if you sing to your children off-key they will never be able to sing on key.

            I love music so I dance because I cannot sing. 3 of my boys are also music lovers – they play guitar and/or drums. One son plays regularly at his church. He says that is the way he prays.

            I wish I could have found someone like you for them to find their voice.

        • Well said. Who would run a pipeline through Arlington National Cemetery, indeed!
          And pipelines over water sources? Typical racist action.

      • Same old tactics. Jobs. Not very many permanent jobs. Not just the Indians but everyone down stream of a under the river pipeline leak is endangered . And there are spills and leaks almost weekly. So you remember in our history when a mining Co had it’s own army to attack miners protesting for safer mining conditions? Many were killed. This is what the pipeline Company did. And the elected Sheriff being paid by taxpayers and the police, the same ,were and are being used to attack peaceful protesters using their First Amendment rights to ” peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances” ? And why is a company allowed to have military forces as a product in a Democratic Society? This is dangerous ground we are treading on. Our domestic police, that are supposed to protect our Constitutional rights are being used to attack then. This is like Hitler’s Brown Shirts and Storm troopers. Little by little we are descending into Fascism. It is incremental and not exposed by the Corp. owned media.

        • This is so true. They keep forgetting those places already contaminated by broken pipe lines. Broken record, you ignore history at your peril because it will happen again. Until we learn and stop it, it will continue.

        • I am guessing he doesn’t want to know that. It’s easier than when something happens like what happened in Arkansas, that Oh they didn’t tell us that.

    • Dear Joe Catholic:

      In this instance I’m less concerned with form than the content of your answer:

      Were abortuaries designated no-protest zones, and advocacy of pro-birth demonstration carried that penalty, what would you call it?

      Take another crack at it!

      Blessings!

  14. –I don’t think there is anything such thing as ‘sacred land’ in USA. I believe its good to honor historical sites, but to native american religions, everything is sacred –trees, rocks, water, animals. (btw, my mother is full member of Ojibwa tribe, Fond du Lac Band. ) There is a way to honor their god, and still build the pipeline. They can have a ceremony and offer their Thanksgiving.

  15. Honest question here: why do we treat gender dysphoria disorder different from other mental disorders? Fundamentally it is no different than an eating disorder. In both cases the mind is at odds with physical reality. A skinny person sees a fat person in one case. A man sees a woman in the other. No one would ever see an anorexic who is starving themselves to death and say “you’re right, you are looking a bit overweight. You probably shouldn’t eat that wheat thin.” Yet we are supposed to encourage individuals with gender dysphoria to embrace their mental image, rather than getting them help in grasping physical and biological reality. It seems inconsistent.

    • Study transgender issues and you will see that they are not the same. And consider the idea that part of your anatomy causes you great emotional distress because it does not coincide with who you know in your heart and mind you really are. Your are telling trans folk to just learn to live with what they have between their legs or on their chests. Do you realize how cruel that it? If you had any other health issue you knew could be corrected, would you just learn to live with it rather than correct it? I doubt it. Trans folks are just interested in their physical gender expression matching their emotional and psychological gender expression.

      • Reposting: the site made me anonymous again!
        Study transgender issues and you will see that they are not the same. And consider the idea that part of your anatomy causes you great emotional distress because it does not coincide with who you know in your heart and mind you really are. Your are telling trans folk to just learn to live with what they have between their legs or on their chests. Do you realize how cruel that it? If you had any other health issue you knew could be corrected, would you just learn to live with it rather than correct it? I doubt it. Trans folks are just interested in their physical gender expression matching their emotional and psychological gender expression.

        • It’s difficult to “pretend” to be transgender, so what you suggest would be very obvious……and wrong. I don’t trust leaving anything to the states. That is the main reason it took so long to end racial segregation…..or have you forgotten?

          • You and I both know anyone can sue for whatever reason, but this would be such a weak case it would be stupid to try.

            So why do you guys get so worked up over the idea that someone who used to have a penis or has a non-functional penis is using the ladies’ room? Why are you not equally worked up over someone in the men’s room who never had a penis or has one that was created surgically? Isn’t that hypocrisy….or just your perverted thinking?

        • I still fail to see the difference. Their body doesn’t match the mental image of themselves. An anorexic “knows” they are overweight. They also “know” they can correct it if they starve themselves, and being thin will make them happy. You’ve not explained the difference, just adamantly stated that there is one. Severe, irreversible surgery should not be encouraged as a treatment for a mental condition.

        • If you are so concerned about the safety of women and girls, you are barking at the wrong door. The place where women and girls are most at risk of being sexually assaulted is in their own homes.

          The problem is that there is no significant history of men dressing as women in order to assault women in public washrooms. Assault is about power and control. Most men consider wearing women’s clothing as being demeaning and lessening their power and control. This proposed scenario is a fantasy engineered to cause baseless fear in order to prop up somebody’s irrational prejudice.

        • Can’t they do that anyway? Couldn’t they always? What is different now? If I were a transgender now woman, I sure would not want to have to use the men’s room

        • yet another fake personality using a fake title…..oh and by the Major…..you need to review the the UCMJ and the conduct of retired officer affairs…..such BS.

          • Tell me what you have in mind. I believe the UCMJ has been amended with regard to many of these issues. Perhaps not the transgender issues yet. I used to cover certain issues with my troops with regard to many issues–commanders which commanders are required to do each year. I am much less knowledgeable about the code for retired officers. Please tell me what your are trying to bring to my attention.

            • Not sure what he was getting that, but transgender personnel are not yet allowed to openly serve. That changes this summer, at least in the navy. People desiring to change gender will be allowed to, but only after an eighteen month period in which they live as the opposite gender outside of work. During this time they will have to remain in their original gender at work, and meet all the height, weight, grooming and physical fitness standards of their original gender. After the eighteen months, if they still desire the surgery and their shrink and skipper sign off on it, they can get it, though they will remain their original gender in the eyes of the navy until their records are updated to reflect the change. That doesn’t take long if you do it in person, which isn’t difficult.

              It is a pretty good way to solve a difficult problem, in my opinion, and prevents men from claiming to be women temporarily simply because they can’t do enough push-ups.

              • I believe when the regs change, when such issues, are issued first by Department of Defense, down to the various Dept. of the Navy, Dept. of the Army,…..There will be differences as they occur per service, but the
                guidance for the changes
                means essentially the same. CDR, thanks for the clarification, and example.

    • You’re mixing up words with very precise meanings. There is no such thing as gender dysphoria disorder. According to the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5, “gender nonconformity is not in itself a mental disorder. The critical element of gender dysphoria is the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition.” Previously, transgender persons were considered to have a mental disorder called Gender Identity Disorder. It is now understood that this classification arose from the misapprehension that sexual biology determines the internal sense of one’s gender. The existence of intersex individuals (those whose genitalia or chromosomal complement are not strictly male or female) calls into question the idea that gender is immutably tied to sexual biology. From the time that sexual orientation was declassified as a disorder in the 1970s anti-gay factions in the APA mounted an essentially political campaign to classify transgender individuals as having a sexual disorder when in fact they did not, and as having a mental disorder when indeed what they were suffering was a form of depression induced by societal rejection.
      There is no confusion or inconsistent on the part of the transgender individual here – their internal perception of their gender has been shown to be quite solid throughout their life, presenting often as early as age 4 – in the same way that you or I have known that we were girls or boys from that early age.
      The problem lies in our understanding of what physical and biological reality is. It is very much more complex than our simplistic cultural models permit, and this has caused massive rejection rather than investigation.
      Transgender individuals are a quite small part of society, but they are real, and they are vulnerable, and because they cause us to confront our stereotypes of gender, some perceive threats and can be manipulated by political operatives .

      • (1) Mandating that everybody arbitrarily shift the definition of biological sex to self-identification – and threatening to punish those who don’t – is an imposition on an entire society.
        Society cannot simply begin undermining crucial truths like sex because some people are susceptible to more mental health problems due to that truth. That would be an argument for doing away with truth generally.

        (2) The federal government has no role in redefining sex for an entire country, particularly not under laws like the Civil Rights Act – specifically designed to protect biological women from biological men in many cases. This is an issue for states and localities, (if it is an issue for government at all) – which it isn’t, since assaults are already prosecuted, and transgender people have equal access to protection from the police.

        (3) It is irrational to say – women should stop being bothered by men entering their bathrooms and locker rooms if the men self-identify as women. That’s insulting to women and dangerous for them. First, not all transgender women look like women, as some advocates seem to say – the whole proposition of transgenderism is that you can look like Mr. T and be a self-identified woman following other women into the bathroom. Second. there are some men who have taken advantage of this.
        Does the left believe that men should simply be allowed to use women’s bathrooms?
        If not, then why would they assume that self-identified men are significantly more dangerous to women than men who identify as women?

        Sorry- the transgender issue – doesn’t pass the “stupid test”.

        • Your ignorance is obvious. Each of us should be free to live out who we are. None of us gets to decide for others who we are, especially when it comes to gender identity issues. This is really rather simple: If you dress and present yourself to the world as female, then you can pee in the women’s restroom. If you dress and present yourself to the world as male, then you can pee in the men’s restroom. And if you know more than what you see about the person in the stall next to you, then you are not in the restroom for its intended purpose.

      • Excellent post. Those who condemn these folk to Trump’s prejudices are wrong, both with respect to science, and b, with respect to the moral world.

        Time to accept what can be used, followed with good reason and love, and time to put away following beliefs and actions which belonged to an older, less knowledgeable, and less compassionate, less fair era.!!

  16. It is only a matter of time before all those so easily-mislead sheep will realize that the change they so vehemently sought from their current ruler is actually a change they have yet to make within. So fed up with the level of control the 1% had over our government; through their own fear, selfishness and greed, just handed the ENTIRE government over to the 1%.
    “The meek shall inherit the earth”! Newsflash, $.78 on the dollar is meek enough, His daughters will rise up when He says so, for timing is everything. Had Hillary won we could have skipped right to the apocalypse (lifting of the vale – enlightenment) but the kids were not yet mature enough, it was essential to elect the anti-Christ.
    All of yesterday’s prophets are back (with the exception of He whom took His form) and will make their presence know when the time is right. We must continue to shed the light upon our troubled brothers and sisters and YOU and YOURS will remain protected. As it appears you are aware, we are upon this earth for one reason only – to learn how to love, accept and understand one another. Let us give our anger and frustration over to the Creator and keep the faith as the time is so near, this is but a test of our faith. Not that we could pass or fail but to strengthen our resolve for tomorrow we will need it! Thank you for expressing all that I feel with such intensity, the Light be with you now and always.

  17. Then you have, very little understanding of what morality is, and entails. If abortion is the only thing that matters to you, I’d recommend that you voluntarily respond to articles on that topic.
    If you choose not to do that, I suggest that no one here responds to your postings: I don’t intend to.
    There is little to be gained by someone whose understanding is so narrow, and is not open to growth and actual understanding of the moral world, not just abortion, but how we treat ALL others, how we fashion our government, etc.
    Of course those who agree with you and all others,
    have every right to continue on their to do their will. So will I.

  18. It is clear that you have zero understanding of the difference between gender and sex. I find it interesting that you believe that every person with a penis is a danger to women. How do other men feel about your assertion? Are you aware that many transgender women do NOT have penises? I also find it strange that you have no compassion for the vulnerable women who will be forced to use the men’s room because of the incorrect gender marker showing on their ID. They are far, far more likely to be assaulted by men because some men see a man choosing to live as a woman as a direct threat to their own masculinity.

      • logically – Patrica’s the next compassionate “feeling” will be – urinals are discriminatory….it goes something like this – I feel threatened no matter if I squat or stand…..lol

        • Just curious – how do you plan to police who is going where regarding bathrooms? Must we all carry our birth certificates?

          I think a good way to find a bunch of creepers is to have an open application for those who want to be the checkers.

          I am the mother of sons. When they were young – 40 years ago, we only worried about men in the men’s bathroom molesting young boys the same way a father would worry about a daughter being hurt or abducted by a woman in the woman’s bathroom.

          It was worrisome when your son was too old to go to the women’s restroom with me. I always stood outside the door and sometimes opened the door to talk to him so I would know he was ok.

          Have there been any problems and attacks happening now involving transgenders?

          If you are in a stall you have no idea what others have or do not have.

          • Good point, and I would add that it was not a transgender person or a gay person who molested me when I was a child it was a white heterosexual male. This business that if you are different you are a threat is garbage. I don’t check other people in the bathroom, I do my thing and leave. If there is a transgender person in the women’s restroom you wouldn’t know, we don’t do our business in the open, it is behind closed doors. My suspicion is we have been sharing restrooms with transgender people for a long time. No one I know has ever been accosted by them. Would you keep your children from attending the Catholic church because you have priests that are pedophiles.

            • Like you, all the men that sexually assaulted me as a child, teenager, and young adult were straight and white. Sometimes I think all of this pointing of fingers at transgender folk is like a magician’s slight of hand, misdirecting your gaze. “If we can get enough people to be afraid of the transgender people, nobody will notice us continuing the raping and assaulting we’ve been doing since Cain and Abel were in diapers.”

              • Yup. I was sexually molested as a child by a white, straight male. As an adult I was raped by a white, straight male.

                I have no fear of a transgendered woman sharing the women’s restroom with me. I would be safer in that bathroom than I ever was in my childhood home.

                This business of protecting women in bathrooms is a huge a red herring. Another red herring is “Muslim” terrorists.

                We are being gaslighted to be terrified of that which is not frightening to distract our attention from the evil that is taking place to repeal the ACA, gut Social Security and Medicare by gambling it away on the stock exchange, commit sacrilege at Standing Rock,

                Oh I could go on and on

                • Amen!! Amen!! Amen!! and we are not unusual, there are a lot of us women out here that were molested by straight white males, not once but many times. Do we hear anything about that. Noooooooooooooooo

                  • And why don’t we hear about it? where is the public GOP outrage over women sexually assaulted, molested and raped by straight white men?

                    Straight white men think they have a right to women’s bodies that cancels out women’s rights to control their own bodies and what happens to them.

                    For goodness sake, they elected a know serial adulterer, a known rapist, a man who thinks it is perfectly ok to grab any woman by the genitals, man who thinks it is his right to walk into the dressing rooms of beauty pageants and expected naked women and children to stop what they are doing and converse with him.

                    And what’s really tragic are all the number of brainwashed women who also think straight right men have more authority over a woman’s body than the woman.

                    • You write what I have been saying all along. I truly don’t understand some women. I admit it, I have to believe perhaps they have been brainwashed to believe that anything that the man does is ok. Fortunately that appears to be changing. One can hope. If a 75 yr old woman knows better, so should a lot of younger women. Here’s hoping.

              • Perhaps some of them would like to stand at the door and do as he who shall remain nameless, grab them by the genitals. This is crazy.

                • Kathleen, like I said perfect job opportunity for creepers. Yet North Carolina passed a bill. Excellent use of taxpayer money.

                  Joe, again when you are in a stall you do not know what the person in the next stall has or does not have. A man who doesn’t have a penis wouldn’t be standing next to you at the urinal.

                  My son who is 40+ was at a convention. When they had a break he ran to the restroom. He was in such a panic he just went in to the first one he saw. He didn’t realize until he was sitting there and heard women’s voices that he made a big mistake. He tried to wait them out but women’s restrooms tend to fill up fast. Finally he walked out said sorry ladies it was an emergency and left. He is 6’2″. No one screamed, many laughed. No one sued.

                  I have used a men’s bathroom in an emergency before with my husband standing outside.

                  I have 2 gender neutral bathrooms in my house.

                  • I do think that the powers that be know better but it certainly is a way of keeping the people with bigoted attitudes in their side. I believe it is as cynical as that. Get people all worked up about a very marginalized small group of people. I have gender neutral bathrooms at my house too. One of the most loving person that I have known was transgender. I would suspect that the people throwing the stones have never take the time to know someone who is transgender.

                  • The problem is, it’s not just bathrooms, but all gender specific locations. Take, for example, the battered women’s shelter in Toronto that allowed a convicted sex offender in for the night, as their policy was to admit people based on their claimed gender. Once inside he proceeded to sexually assault two women before being arrested.

                    You can’t laugh off concerns about the giant loopholes inherent in allowing anyone anywhere based on their claimed gender when there are already examples of people who have used those loopholes to commit assault. Those women were already some of the most vulnerable in society, and the shelter allowed them to be further victimized.

                    How do you solve that very real problem?

                    • Just because some jerk/jack ass abuses something this sensitive is no reason to make it more difficult for everyone else. I actually question the abilities of whoever was running that shelter. There should have been an assortment of “tells” to support the contention that this person was transgender. Most of what I have read here is indicative of the prevailing ignorance of people about being transgender. It isn’t about dressing as the opposite gender. There are volumes more to it. The problem is the all the boys on this list – most anyway – seem to be threatened by the issue to start with based on their comments. I suppose if you are not at ease and comfortable with your own gender identity and sexual orientation, you post from ignorance or even meanness. Do some real research folks before spouting off. Engage the brain before hitting the keyboard. The link posted earlier is an excellent resource. And in case you don’t realize it, there have been transgender folks of both cisgenders throughout history….just going by different names.

                  • I wasn’t working the desk, and neither were you. You have no idea what the desk worker, probably a volunteer, saw. They allowed the man in based on the policy set by the shelter administrators. Are you suggesting we put the responsibility on everyone to determine who is and isn’t legit? That will work well the first time someone makes the wrong call. Stop letting your righteous indignation prevent you from acknowledging there are actual issues with letting anyone go anywhere. You being mad doesn’t un-assault those ladies.

                  • Bruton Gaster, Again I ask – how do you police it. The best solution would have only 1 person gender neutral bathrooms but that is not going to be done. Public areas are not going to make that change.

                    No one suggested anything when people just knew about little boys getting molested in bathrooms or little girls abducted which has happened for decades. Parents just knew to be careful.

                    Why the worry now?What do you suggest?

                    Do you want to wish away the whole LGBTQ community. You probably have been in the restroom with many that are not the same as you and have never known it.

                  • Ms. Musto, I don’t know how to police it. But I believe it’s incumbent on people who advocate for this policy to make sure it’s implemented in such a way that it doesn’t endanger anyone. As I said before, it’s about more than bathrooms. Bathrooms really aren’t that big a deal. Just make sure the stall doors go to the floor if you’re concerned about peeping tons. It’s other spaces that people like Mr. Pavlovitz just want to wish away. I cited a very specific example of two women who were assaulted at a shelter as a direct result of this policy. If you want a man admitted into a women’s shelter by claiming to be trans, the safety of those inside becomes your responsibility. The shelter in Toronto failed those women. If I make a sweeping policy change, it would be totally wrong of me to expect you to work out the details.

                  • Bruton Gaster – I was only speaking about the bathroom issue which is what has been in the news lately.

                    You speak of something that happened in Canada that involves a policy set by a woman’s shelter. I haven’t heard of the US making any such policy.

                    If that was the shelter’s policy it was up to the shelter to protect the women which was the purpose of the shelter. Does Canada force them to have this policy?

                    Did you bring it up because you think the bathroom issues are a slippery slope to ?

                    If the US has some policy other than the bathroom issue I don’t know it and I apologize because I have no response.

                  • I believe the previous administration’s directive applied only to schools, though it included bathrooms, locker rooms and showers. Individual states have gone further. Washington State mandates any facility open to the public accept an individual’s declaration of gender, opening themselves up to an incident like the one in Toronto, and a massive lawsuit, when their “compassion” results in criminality. So I guess I consider it a slippery slope, albeit one we’re already sliding down in some places.

                    I posed the question to you, Ms. Musto, because you are one of the few people here willing to engage in honest debate. Maybe the only one, in fact. Thank you for that. This author, and the bulk of his avid readers, act as if there is no room for honest disagreement. They hold the only legitimate beliefs, and anyone with a contrary opinion is a Hitler disciple (hyperbole, yes, but not by much). The transgender debate is but one example. Anyone who stands athwart the progressive express and says “uh, hold on. There’s some second and third order effects here that need consideration,” is accused of being a bigoted troglodyte or, mocked for being afraid to go to the can, despite the fact that those second and third order effects have already played out in places, with disastrous results. Mr. Pavlovitz, in my opinion, embodies the reason we are so hopelessly divided as a nation. He’s no better than Brietbart, Sean Hannity, or anyone else on the far right he so clearly despises. They cause the same problems from opposite ends of the spectrum.

                    The truth, and solution to a lot of the issues that plague our world, lay somewhere in the middle, but you’ll never hear that here.

                    • Honest conversation cannot happen unless the participants are willing to learn something about the subject instead of repeating misinformation they have heard that has been perpetuated by others who also have no knowledge of the issue or situation. And “slippery slope” has always been the fall back position to those who do not wish to insure that all have equal rights.

                  • You’re right, Bruce, a few more sexual assaults are a small price to pay to ensure .4% of the population gets what they want with no safeguards for others. Thank you for proving my point.

                    • The problem is that you have no valid statistics to support your position. All you have is guesses and “urban legend” material to support what you say. Beyond that it’s only the hysteria that straight white males create when they feel threatened. The vast majority of people do not really care who uses the restroom with them. Other parts of the world, Europe for example, aren’t nearly as hung up on bathroom habits. Common restrooms are just that, common.
                      My concern is the ongoing damage and bullying that transgender teens and youth have to endure that drives them to an attempted suicide rate 10 times higher than the general population. Do you want that on your head just because “something might happen?” Well, something is already happening and it’s called discrimination and bigotry leading to young people trying to take their own lives because of the difficulty in trying to just live their lives as they know they should be rather than how someone who has not had any of their experiences thinks they should.
                      Do you know any people who are transgender? Do you even actually know any folks who are lesbian or gay? Do you know teens and youth who fit those categories? Until you do, don’t be spouting off your own paranoid delusions about what “might” happen in a bathroom. The reality is that unless you were doing something you shouldn’t, you have NEVER really know what the gender or gender expression was of the person in the stall next to you!

                  • Mr. Gaster, I will always appreciate any civil exchange with you. I love to learn new ideas and thoughts.

                    For myself, an old lady, I see no extraordinary dangers from the .4%. I am a woman, but I have no liberal agenda despite what Joe C says. That you are looking out for the welfare of other humans is a good thing. I see the same old dangers that have always been there with no good answers to change that.

                    Many women have told you the majority of assaults on women are instigated by someone they know. I have never been assaulted so I can’t even imagine the horror.

                    Men are the ones who usually rape young boys. Neither has anything to do with transgender people.

                    It would be wonderful if there was no evil in this world. You can never know what evil lurks in the person next to you.

                    I will admit I have prejudice against the wealthy and powerful. Not all, of course. But I am more fearful of them than I should be probably, but I believe they have the power to harm many more than creepers can. Not that any harm is excusable or less horrific.

                    Again it is good that you have concern for what you see as more opportunity for greater evil.

                    I do not see what you see so I am no help to you in this matter. I may be wrong. Sorry. Peace

                  • It’s not the restrooms, Bruce. How much more clear must I make it?

                    It’s. Not. The. Restrooms.

                    You seem bound and determined to prove my point, though. You are so convinced of your absolute moral superiority that you are utterly incapable of seeing any possible issues with your position. Here’s a link to the assaults in Toronto, btw, lest you continue to dismiss it as an urban legend.

                    http://www.politifact.com/north-carolina/statements/2016/apr/01/chris-sgro/equality-nc-director-no-public-safety-risks-cities/

                    While it is only one incident, or, rather, one perp and multiple incidents, it’s proof of concept. Guess what happened in Toronto, Bruce? They altered their policy. They didn’t bury their heads in the sand and do nothing. They understand wishing away a problem only works in animated movies. Transgender protections still exist, though they were intellectually honest enough to admit some safeguards needed to be put in place. It’s not about restrooms. Quit prattling on about something I’m not disputing.

                    And what difference does it make if I know any homosexuals? Will you automatically find my opinion valid because my cousin came out to me a few months ago? Does his sexual orientation make me somehow more credible? Should I begin all future comments with “I have a gay cousin, so listen up.” Surely you realize how stupid it would sound to answer that in the affirmative, yet that seems to be one of the points you were trying to make.

                    One more time: it’s not the restrooms. Stop acting like it is. Be intellectually honest enough to admit that sick people exist, and they will exploit the loopholes that will present themselves if you wave your magic wand and proclaim anyone can go anywhere based solely on their say so. Who is going to suffer more long term damage: a trans-woman who has to prove she is what she claims to be, or the next woman who gets assaulted by a sexual predator who sees a new opportunity that you seem not to? If you honestly believe it’s the former then you need to reexamine your values.

                    Not. About. Restrooms.

                    • I don’t think you actually read the article in the link you provided. It essentially refutes your own argument. Even the events they cite were not men posing as transgender women. One was clearly presenting as a male and the others were violating the law. Politifact went back 17 years with their research for evidence. It may not be the restrooms, but it is still discriminatory to require someone to use a restroom that does not fit with how they identify and present themselves. Think about it: How would you react to seeing a very nicely dressed, shapely and obviously very beautiful woman going into a men’s restroom and you ask why and she tells you: I have no choice. I was born a male. The law requires me to use the restroom corresponding to my birth gender. I transitioned into a woman ten years ago but still have to follow this law.
                      This is really more about your discomfort and insecurities than a concern for safety over a man misusing protections not intended for him. There is an “ick” factor you cannot get past. That’s your problem. Again, think about a beautiful woman going into a men’s restroom just because she once had male genitalia (or may still have non-functional male genitalia). You just cannot cope with this concept.
                      And by the way, having had a cousin come out as gay has nothing to do with this. Sexual orientation and gender expression/identity are different concepts. I rather doubt that you have done much research or study on that. The link provided earlier, way earlier in this thread is very helpful if you don’t know the differences in gender, gender expression/identity and sexual orientation.
                      Teens and youth already have enough with which to cope at that age. They are just coming to terms with who their authentic selves are. This is a slap in the face of those who are trying to also cope with their gender expression and identity. They need protections from mean spirited, mostly straight white men, who just can’t see any worldview but their own.

                  • Ms. Musto, I’m not worried about that .4% of society, either. Surely none of them are looking to sacrifice the safety of others so that they can live their lives carefree. I imagine almost all of them would understand the risks that come with opening up sex-segregated facilities without careful consideration. There are ways to solve this, though sadly I don’t have any faith that our elected officials, on either side, care to try. Compromise doesn’t help with fundraising.

                  • Mr. Gaster, it is me the pest again. I read your last post and would love to hear your thought on the ways to solve this that you mentioned in your last post.

              • Joe, please get your terminology correct. A “trans man” would NOT be going to the women’s restroom. It would be a transgender woman who would do that. And most of the time you would not even know that such had taken place. Transgender women go to great effort to present at their identified gender and that includes hormones, surgery, and more than you would ever have the, shall I say balls, to do.

                Now it would be a transgender man who would be going into the men’s restroom. He would have been born a biological (cisgender) female. Again you are not likely to even know. Most of either transgender folks I know use a stall for their own safety from folks like you and because relieving oneself is actually a private event…..at least in the US. If you know more about the person in the next stall except that they are in the next stall…..you are doing something other than using that restroom for its intended purpose.

                • What a great response. We have been sharing restrooms with transgender people forever. Now because they need a bad guy they pick on transgender. We have someone dismantling our govt as we speak and this is what they want to worry about.

                • Joe, you mean like Trump using his ownership of beauty pageants to step into a room where young women are changing their clothes.

                  Creeper men have always found ways to easily prey on women and girls without dressing up as a woman. If you think of a way to stop that it would be great!

                  • Generally they are part of your family. Just saying, I like how all of a sudden they are worried about us girls. Of course the fact that the man they put in the White house is a lech doesn’t seem to bother them at all. I wish they would at least be consistent.

                • Joe, do you still not get what we are talking about with all that has been posted here? A “transman” is someone born a female and transitioning to male. They would be in the same restroom YOU are using. And no I haven’t missed the point. What you are continually harping on is a rarity. Did you not read what women have posted about feeling more safe in a restroom than in other places? Are you just too misogynistic to actually hear what women say?

                • Joe, read my previous comments (except for the typo in the last paragraph which should have read “known” instead of “know”).
                  It is not “ad hominem” when I have followed your single thread comments and responses on this site for months and months. I’ve seen you demonstrate exactly what I said. Calling out what you have done is not ad hominem at all. Some might even call it Christian to do so.
                  So please stop playing the victim here.
                  And your “one note” song about abortion is very old. You need to check your facts about Planned Parenthood. The vast, vast, vast majority of what they do is provide medical services to women from all walks of life in the form of pap smears, breast exams, gynecological exams, birth control and any other health care women need, often to the poor and needy, who have less and less access to good medical care. Yes they do provide abortions but that is not their primary mission. And no, not one penny of tax payer money is used for that purpose. They keep very good records because of being so frequently attacked by people who don’t have accurate information.
                  I don’t know if you have a wife or not. I don’t know if you have sisters, aunts or nieces either. I do know that if I were your mother I would tell you to just shut up and sit down because your ignorance about these issues is annoying and dangerous. But I’m not your mother…..thank God! If you have children, I pray to God they have a resource for what they need to know about human sexuality and human reproduction that is not as judgmental as you are. They would need information and not your scorn.

                  • Liked your comment, I would add that I know women who are alive today who might not be because of Planned Parenthood. They had limited means and no health insurance. Also since they teach abstinence instead of reality, help is needed. Of course the refrain is they shouldn’t need birth control because I don’t believe in it. Well, that is your belief, My answer quite inflicting your belief on the larger society.

                • Joe, I am neither liberal nor democrat, and I do not have an “agenda” in the negative sense that that useful word has unfortunately received. Let me tell you the places that I have been sexually assaulted. School classroom after class. People’s homes. Family parties. Public washrooms are not high on predators’ lists because they are *public*. I referenced statistics when I said that women are in far more danger at home or in a home than they are in a public washroom. Women are not afraid to use a public washroom. Men are afraid for them . Men should listen to women’s experience and not use a false narrative as justification for oppression.

              • I’m starting to think English isn’t your first language. There are parts of it you struggle to grasp. Also, I’m not sure you understand how the law works, Bruce. The very beautiful woman in the men’s room, who you have clearly thought a great deal about, that transitioned a decade ago, would have a changed birth certificate. They’ve done everything else, extensive surgery and what not. They clearly would have followed through with the paperwork. Strange that in your mind this imaginary person continues to use the men’s room. This may be much more about your fantasies than my fears, Bruce. Don’t worry, though, I’m won’t judge.

                • Ten years ago someone would not have even tried to change her or his birth certificate. In many states now they still cannot do that. I don’t know who informs you but you need to do some real research with someone other than the equivalent of FOX News. The link you used refutes your arguments. So perhaps it is not I but you that one might wonder for whom English isn’t their first language??

        • That must be some other Patricia you are talking about. I would never say anything so stupid. Nor would I reject so dramatically the principles of good writing style.

    • Ah Wayne, spoken like a true bully. Have you ever reviewed the events of your life that should cause you to feel so inferior that you need to lash out at those more compassionate than yourself? Believe me, the butterfly has a much better view of life than the slug.

      • Wayne you are very mistaken in this, and you ought to know, if you don’t a) that ad hominem arguments are in most cases invalid, and b)that
        if you so misunderstand why John represents a rational, loving, powerful point of view, then you ought to think about his postings as well.
        His work is the work of a committed Christian, with a powerful social conscience, and a very, in my view at least, simple and accurate view of the being of Jesus Christ the Righteous. You are, as D.P Moynihan stated, welcome to your BELIEFS: you are not welcome to the FACTS.

    • Excellent post. Those who condemn these folk to Trump’s prejudices are wrong, both with respect to science, and b, with respect to the moral world.

      Time to accept what can be used, followed with good reason and love, and time to put away following beliefs and actions which belonged to an older, less knowledgeable, and less compassionate, less fair era.!!

  19. Well said, Mr. Pavlovitz. Your prose is quite insightful and clear. I was a victim of bullying in my early school years (at age 5, I finally smacked my fellow kindergarten bully after months of abuse, when he taunted me on my walk home after school. He never bothered me again and my mother said I did the right thing.) and also from my father, who was an alcoholic. I saw Mr. Trump for what he is long before he ran for president. We must always call out bullies for what they are: sad, insecure brutes.

  20. My comment is addressed to Joe Catholic. Joe, I believe you wrote that all of the apostles were selected by Jesus and authorized to speak on his behalf. It is my reading of scripture which instructs me to understand that Paul was, in fact, not selected by Jesus but was self-appointed as an “apostle”. He, in fact, never met Jesus, never saw him, never heard him preach and was not in attendance at the Last Supper. Please don’t claim that he “met” Jesus on the road to Damascus. As a Catholic, you have undoubtedly been made aware of the contradiction in re this event as recorded in Acts 22:9. In court, when a witness or defendant testifies that he “heard voices”, we do not tend to take such assertions seriously or lend them any credibility. Regardless, Paul, at no time had any contact with or personal relationship with Jesus and was not “selected” by Jesus to be one of his disciples. Yes, we refer to “the disciple Paul” and he clearly had a great influence on the growth of Christianity but this was largely as a self-appointed marketing expert whose epistles reflect his conservative Jewish upbringing rather than the primarily compassionate social conscience and emphasis on loving thy neighbor which was the heart of Jesus’ message. At the time of Paul’s epiphany Jesus was elsewhere. Please correct me if I am wrong but do so with facts and specific references to scripture.

  21. >To those feeling more unsteady, more at risk, more vulnerable than ever, be encouraged. We are proudly and defiantly standing with you, because you are so worth standing alongside.

    We? To those who are feeling more steady, less at risk, less vulnerable then others that is an illusion in my humble opinion!! In Christ these divisions do not separate us from the love of God. It is an illusion that soon disappears under duress that one is conferred privilege because one is the right color, goes to the right Church, has a six- or seven figure income, the right education, the right family, the right job, living a quiet life in a posh neighborhood etc. the consequences of the plan for world domination the bully has made for himself and his friends is taking away our future and our children’s futures. The whole human species is at risk!!
    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
    Martin niemoller

  22. John,

    I hope you as a proclaimed preacher of Gods word, has not forgotten that God is going to hold you accountable not only for your life but for all of those you have led astray. And I am not talking politics here, I am talking about those things that you state on here day in and day out saying they are okay.

    Just because someone is allowed legally to worship a different God, than the one true God who someday we will all bow to, does not make it right. There is one real living Heavenly Father, who sent His son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross. We must accept the free gift of salvation, repent , and confess Him as Lord to spend eternity in Heaven. How will you feel when you stand before Him, knowing how many people you have condemned to hell by your words each day.

    How can you claim to be a believer when you write such horrible ungodly things each day. You are a sheep in wolves clothing, you sir, are a false prophet and it will be brought to light in Gods timing.

    • Angie, f you don’t like what John P writes, don’t read it.

      Otheriwise take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror he holds up in front of you and take the log out of your own eye and digest the words of this modern prophet.

      Please don’t come here and spew ugliness.

      • Gloriamarie,

        I will continue to read John’s blogs because occasionally he writes something so beautiful that it brings me to tears. I find most things he writes that is not belittling the Christian he claims he used to be, or about politics to be quite wonderful . But I read each thing thru the lens of the Holy Spirit. I know i am a sinner and that I sin daily, I, however do not hold the position of authority that many reading this blog give to John. If you are a born again believer of God, you know there is more than love and light to Christianity. God is not just a loving God but a just God and that all Gods are not the same and nor do all roads lead to heaven. Don’t you think that while he is expressing peoples right to worship how they please, it should not sound as though he is endorsing a religion that will lead its believers straight to hell?

        • If you are going to wrtite comments, then please don’t lie when you do.

          John P. is a Christian with a deeper grasp of the divine than many of the voices against him.

          “Born again believer” is not, despite the lies, the only way to be a Christian. That is a Johnny-Come-Lately view of salvation.

          You write ” all Gods are not the same and nor do all roads lead to heaven. ” As always when someone puts words into another person’s mouth that the other person never said, tha someone is lying. You lie, Angie, if you think John has ever written anything that says all gods are the same and all roads lead to heaven.

          How you interpret John’s words is just that: your interpretation. Interpretation is not the same as facts, as evidence, as truth.

          You also lie when you say “he is endorsing a religion that will lead its believers straight to hell” because were you to allow yourself to benefit from his prophetic words, you would find yourself in heaven.

          People who turn their backs on John’s words follow the example of those who ignored the words of the prophet of the Hebrew Scriptures.

          • Gloriamarie,

            I think you misread, I asked YOU, UNDERLINE YOU, “If you are a born again believer of God, you know there is more than love and light to Christianity. God is not just a loving God but a just God and that all Gods are not the same and nor do all roads lead to heaven. Don’t you think that while he is expressing peoples right to worship how they please, it should not sound as though he is endorsing a religion that will lead its believers straight to hell?” I did not attribute the words you wrote of to John but asked you , Gloriamarie, a question.

            Again, addressed to you, Do you believe there is another way to spend eternity in Heaven than to accept Christ as your personal Savior because you know He died on the cross for your sins, and rose again the 3rd to give you the gift of salvation and eternal life? Do you truly believe there is another way to become a “Christian”? HOW? Convince me please Gloriamarie.

            Angie

            • No, Angie. You did not ask me if I am a born again believer. There was no question mark, it was a declarative sentence in the second person which many people erroneously use when they should use “one.” There wasn’t anything to indicate that you were addressing me personally and every reason to believe you were making a generalized statement.

              “Don’t you think that while he is expressing peoples right to worship how they please, it should not sound as though he is endorsing a religion that will lead its believers straight to hell?”

              I don’t think you read John P. carefully enough because he is teaching us what it looks like to love our neighbors as ourselves, to love them as God first loves us.

              “Again, addressed to you, Do you believe there is another way to spend eternity in Heaven than to accept Christ as your personal Savior because you know He died on the cross for your sins, and rose again the 3rd to give you the gift of salvation and eternal life? Do you truly believe there is another way to become a “Christian”? HOW? Convince me please Gloriamarie.”

              Apparently, you must think me a very arrogant person. No one has the authority or power to convince anyone of anything except the Holy Spirit and I am quite content to leave it all up to Her.

              And, yes, as a matter of fact, I do believe that it is possible for people who never heard the name of Jesus to live in Heaven. I live in Heaven right now. Jesus tells us Heaven is “at hand.”

              Paul writes there are those who never heard the Law who live as though the law were engraved upon their hearts. We are created in the image and likness of God. Tht means all human beings have the ability to respond to God, to know God. Even those who have never so much as heard the name of Jesus.

              So, yup, there is more than one way to know, love, respond to God.

              • Gloriamarie, Good answer and you were kinder than I. I used to let people like that bully me, ended up being baptized three times so I could get it right for everyone, than I got a spine and decided it is not anyone else’s business whether or not I am saved. They need to worry about their own soul instead of being so arrogant as to believe they have all the answers. That is also a perfect example why I eschew the label christian and prefer follower of Jesus. Thank you, Peace……

                  • Kathaleen,

                    I apologize for any believers who bullied you. Only you know if your a believer or not, and your words and actions would or should bear that out to anyone.

                    Angie

                • I have a friend who when challenged with the question, “Have you been born again?” answers, “No. My mother got it right the first time.”

                  I am amazed that any legitimate clergy person would baptize someone who has already been baptized.

                  • O they were legitimate. Ended up dunking me three times, as that was the home run of baptisms. By the way, the last time was when my husband and I had started serving a church while he was in college. We were young and foolish and easily pushed around in those days. We learned how to stick true to what we have come to believe and that is the message that Jesus left us. Not everyone’s theological take but the message of love. I think that the best example of Jesus is when you see someone loving another in spite of all the prejudices they are exposed to.
                    I like your comment about your mother getting it right the first time.
                    Anyway, I pay no nevermind to bullies. I have enough problems trying to get it right for myself. Peace,,,,,,,,,,,

                    • ” I think that the best example of Jesus is when you see someone loving another in spite of all the prejudices they are exposed to.”

                      This I agree with, if only it was the whole story.

                  • No,none of the above. Just accept that it happened, that there are people so dogmatic that they can’t see anything other than what they want to see. I will not explain who the people are, with regards to the baptism, because the point was that they bullied. You ought to understand that because that is what you do.

              • Gloriamarie,

                I definitely bow at your expertise in English. I am definitely no expert at the use of punctuation, though I try to get it right. I went to high school in Australia and they teach things in a different method and I have never quite understood English the way I should. I just try to get the your, you’re, etc right and am very happy when no one calls me on those kind of things.

                I agree that John knows how to love, just not sure he is going about teaching it in a way that is loving to all, especially fellow Christians, if he truly is one.

                But as far as the rest of the things you expressed, while I disagree, I do hope you are right.

                Well, said!
                I hope to spend eternity with you, truly, Gloriamarie

                Thank you,

                Angie

                • One of the ways I haver made a living is as a professional editor, Angie, and if you know any others, you will discover that we find we are pedantic bunch.

                  Something to which I neglected to respond. You wrote “Do you believe there is another way to spend eternity in Heaven than to accept Christ as your personal Savior because you know He died on the cross for your sins, and rose again the 3rd to give you the gift of salvation and eternal life?”

                  As far as I know, I became a Christian at my baptism at six weeks old. When I was a toddler I used to play with Someone Else as I called him in the backyard. In first grade when Sr Padua introduced us to the Catechism and I learned the name Jesus, I realized my Someone Else was Jesus and I have been walking the Mystical Path all my life.

                  I have never said “yes” to the question you ask, as the way to become a Christian.

                  As no aspect of my faith is evangelical, fundamentalist or Reformed, I don’t actually believe that Jesus died for my sins. That teaching was invented by the Reformers only a mere 500 years ago.

                  Jesus came to show us how to be better people. He came to show us what love in action looks like. He died because evil people killed Him. He arose from the dead because He is God and death can’t hold him.

                  Nowhere in the New Testament are we asked to assent to the question you raised. Many people in the NT who were baptized did so because they believe Jesus is God.

                  The question “Do you believe there is another way to spend eternity in Heaven than to accept Christ as your personal Savior because you know He died on the cross for your sins, and rose again the 3rd to give you the gift of salvation and eternal life?” feels too much like a magic firmula to this non-evangelical, non-fundamentalist, non-Reformed believer.

                  And, yes, Angie, we are both already living in eternity and in our eternal lives. Our eternal lives will take a different shape, by and by, that’s all.

    • Angie, I gather you haven’t spent much time actually reading the Bible. You are way off base in your criticism of John. He is preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He’s not hitting people who claim to be Christian over the head with Hebrew Scripture clubs. He’s not lobbing bombs from Paul, taken out of context, at people just to intimidate them. None of us knows who will be “correct” when we meet God. I will continue to rely on the grace and mercy of the God I worship to deal faithfully with me. Cast all the rocks you want, but John is preaching the Gospel…..and Jesus often gave us hard instructions to follow. John is closer to doing that than you or I.

      • Bruce,

        Thanks for your response.

        I am quite sure you have no idea how much or how little I read Gods word but I am quite sure its not enough

        John is NOT preaching the gospel of Christ. The Gospel, is that Jesus died on the cross for our sin, and rose again the 3rd day, and that if we accept the free gift of salvation, repent, confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe our heart that God raised him from the dead, we will be saved.

        John , does nearly daily espouse ” Jesus is love, and love one another” This is the greatest of commandments. This is a good work of being a believer, and its an amazing message for John to share each day. But there is so much more to the story, and John has a responsibility to share the rest, God is love but God is a just God, a jealous God and can be an angry God. Your right only God knows our hearts, but we recognize each other by our actions and words. John does not share the gospel of Christ, ever to MY knowledge and that is my concern. As a self proclaimed pastor, he has a responsibility so share the whole story, not just one part.. and

        He has a responsibility to love other Christians, even ones he does not agree with. Do you see anything loving about the way John speaks about other believers he does not agree with? Do you see anything about how he writes that would make a believer that he has condemned and called names, want to be more like him if he is Christlike? Do you believe the Bible teaches a way to handle problems you have with other Christians? Does this come close?

        Angie

          • I know I said I’d not respond to JCs posts, but sometimes I believe it necessary to put in my 2cents.
            I suspect that one REASON JP is writing, is that he honors real American values over those expressed by so many members of the GOP, and pointedly, the current president. Both the parties did represent those values–but the GOP has taken to emphasizing many of the worst practices in American History, e.g. racism, fascism,
            misogyny, economic extremism, and economic inequality out the wazoo. Since taking office, the President continues these and other practices which denigrate America daily.
            In the future, I will post a list of American values created by others and myself. It is certainly not the only list, it is inclusive, and of course, rejecting of many practices, ancient and modern.
            Fascism, greed, political extremism , misogyny, racism, unnecessary meanness heaped upon the weak and vulnerable, and lying, lying, and lying, are not American values, though they have been America practices-and probably even the world at one time. Truth-truth and fact matter. The attack on the truth, is inexcusable, and is clearly indicative of totalitarian control and plans. We need not only rational discourse and a belief in facts, truth and scientific inquiry–and FREEDOM OF DISSENT.
            If these are prohiblited and punished, May God help us..

            • JC: Racism and misogyny are hallmarks of conservative thought and action: moreover misogyny is historicaly in some of the Catholic Church, most recently with Pope Benedict’s threats and actions to Nuns in America. The Good news is, the finest,most Christian Pope in my knowledge, is remedying, relieving authoritarian, greedy and misogynistic Churchmen. Look at some recent Church history.
              Regarding Racism, the president just appointed
              a known racist to be the attorney General of the USA. I may be mistaken, but I believe all GOP members voted for him.
              Moreover, the GOP, at all levels has used many, many ways to deny people of color the simple right to vote.
              The GOP is afraid of Black people voting, or holding office. Their work is a vicious, racist attach on Fellow Americans. Police violence is manifest: very few guilty police personnel have been brought to justice. When released from court, they are often welcomed by the Confederate battle flag. Conservative, morally vicious whites.
              I support the police: no one ought to support a murderer.
              I did not claim biologically ill, i.e. a ‘Leper.’ I do hold that you are in terms of argument, dishonest. You are also disruptive, and often mean-spirited. You do not seem to answer factual or rational claims, but attack with ad hominem statements.
              In short JC, it seems a waste of energy and time to treat with you, or your posts. From my heart, I wish it were not so. I do know what it is to be left out. I will admit that you can be a challenge when you respond and i do like that, though your narrowness and mean attack grow stale and objectionable in short order. I hope you will use that head of yours, and leave the far-right dogma behind. Oh, I also seriously reflect on Bannon’s project to destroy the US Government. Imagine the plight of minorities, had it not been for Kennedy, LBJ, Carter:
              Clinton and Obama have given much to our nation in terms of fairness: The GOP, well hardly at all.

              • Thank you for a very honest answer. I agree wholeheartedly. I worry about where this country is heading and what some of our citizens are allowing. You were very succinct with your answer. Peace………..

              • Don’t bother to insult me as if I were an 18 year old Freshman college student. I have had a lifetime of service and teaching, studying and learning. Historically, the Southern Democrats were the racist stalwarts,
                (Civil War)and from 1877 to the 1960s.
                Of course Lincoln, the first Republican fought initially to save the Union, but by increasing time, came to see the need for freeing the slaves, and providing them with opportunities.
                He barely accomplished this due resistance from the Northern Democrats.
                Republicans punished the South, through reconstruction,and withdrew in 1977, to get their president elected: the Democrats got the Federal troops to leave by allowing the GOP to win in a tight race. For years afterward, republicans and northern democrats, having become pro-government, and progressive, worked together in the late ’50s, and through the early 80’s to craft and pass the civil rights laws. When Southern Democrats had exhausted defiance, they incrasingly joined the northern part of the party, to affirm rights for all.
                Slowly, but it happened. Ronald Regan with his Southern strategy, energized whites in the South and Midwest. He deliberately stirred racism, and racist anger. JC, if you are unaware of this, you must have been asleep. Conservative Republicans in numerous states, with help for the conservatives on the Supreme court have whittled back minority rights, by not reissuing voting rights acts. State officials have attacked minority/Black Rights for years.
                Conservatives have increased attacks on Jews, Muslims, Blacks, liberals, the Press and Hollywood: public education, national health plans, our institutions such as Social Security, medicare, and Medicaid. These are attacks on middle class, and impoverished. This disdain for all except the wealthy elite in guise of helping “Forgotten Americans.” Misogyny??? From Trumps language to his actual attack on women, physical and verbal, the constant attacks on reproductive rights,including the fight against Planned Parenthood, which spends 97% of it’s time and money on providing health care for the poor, and under insured.
                The attacks on public health, the attack from Boy Bush, and now from Trump on Title 10, the breakthrough legislation which has helped millions of young women to grow, learn and compete in the world. The GOP is not for the vast majority of the American People: they aren’t for anything, unless they can control, or make money by their actions. Their ‘ethics’ have become the power, militarism, greed and violence, and destruction of fascism. Please attend to CPAC today, with Priebus, Bannon, and Trump. If you have the intellectual courage.

              • Well JC, I cannot dispute with alternate realities, post truth theories, and alternate facts, or the seperate disbelief factual statements known in public venues for years and years and years. Once again your simply denial of historical evidence, facts, histories, stories, legal cases—all which can be examined in the Public Domain, will have to be my defense. If reality and actual morality bother you so much, that your negations amount to blatant lies, I can only pray for you.
                There is such a thing as current history, current news, works on the history of Politics and Race in the US. This all public knowledge friend, and I’d ask you to look at that. As for providing more concrete examples, I have given you broad strokes: you should be able to read real truth. All of my children are adopted, bi-racial, special needs children. I will fight the growth of Fascism, and lies,
                racism, plutocracy, wilful ignorance with all of my being.

        • Angie, many people tend to conflate Jesus and Paul and lose sight of what Jesus said and taught. His teachings were very clear and ran counter to the established religion and regularly irritated the Pharisees which is what got him nailed to the cross.
          Read Matthew carefully especially near the end of the 25th chapter where Jesus is explicit about how we treat each other and what the consequences will be. It’s pretty clear that how we treat each other is of great importance and is the result of our relationship with Jesus Christ.
          If memory serves correctly it is Paul who speaks of the fruit of the Spirit. Good fruit is the sign of God in Christ working in us. That’s how loving neighbor as yourself meshes with loving God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength.
          It’s not our job to save anyone or condemn anyone. Jesus saved us the cross at Calvary around 33AD. Our job is to witness to the power of the Holy Spirit working in us. That manifestation is the result of our faith.
          And before you ask, yes I am a born from above, baptized by water and the Holy Spirit follower of Jesus Christ. Note I did not say “born again.” The original language does not translate that way. In fact there is no actual English equivalent, but “born from above” is the closest to the original ancient language. We often forget (ignore?) the fact that Scripture comes to us first via oral narratives that were later committed to writing. There have been translations and re-translations. For many concepts and words, there is not English equivalent. Jesus did not speak “King James English!” He probably spoke Aramaic in usual conversations and ancient Hebrew in others.
          At any rate, John P is preaching the Gospel. He’s doing a great job of it. And as I have noted before, he is putting the “hard words of Jesus” in front of our faces for us to examine and act. No one told us the road would be easy. But we were promised we would not take the journey alone. I leave it up to my Creator in the end and trust in the mercy and love I know to be in my Creator.

          • Bruce,

            Thank you for your reply and I agree with most of it.
            I agree that John is teaching
            ‘love one another’ except for those who do not agree with him.
            And by the way, I agree with loving the same people John claims to love, I just do not believe he is loving them the way God intended us to. And no, Its not my job to save or condemn, that is the HOLY SPIRIT’S job. But it is our job to witness in action and word. If you will notice I have not argued his politics, only what he shares as the gospel. Your absolutely right, Jesus is explicit in how we are to love and what the consequences are, but how can I claim to love someone if I do not care enough about them to care where they spend eternity? And its only because of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit that I even care to speak out and question. So I am very grateful that if I never meet you this side of eternity, I will spend eternity with you.. and no theres not a lot that is easy about walking this life of Christ, only possible with His assistance. By the way, like “born of above” much better.

          • No, Joe….John is actually sticking very close to Scripture in everything he says. Read the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles, the only record of the early church in Scripture.
            First of all, Jesus tolerated none of the religious “junk” that religious authorities of his day were putting between God and the people of God. He regularly put the Pharisees in their place over their misinterpretation of Scripture….the Hebrew Scriptures. Jesus pointed out hypocrisy and it didn’t sit well with the hypocrites he identified.
            Someone on this list said John P was just supporting the Democratic Party platform. No, not really. John P is just following the examples of the Gospels and the Book of Acts. Those who have read Acts will know that there was no individual ownership of resources in the early church. Everything was held in common for the benefit of all. That wasn’t necessarily a requirement, but if you did agree to that you were held accountable. Remember the story of the couple who sold property to give the money to the church? He lied and said he had given all he had received. He dropped dead on the spot. His wife saw a body being carried out as she came in. When asked the same questions, she also lied. She too dropped dead and both were buried. The issue wasn’t what they gave but them lying about it.
            Most on this list have little concept of the world and culture when Jesus lived and certainly even less about the time of the Hebrew Scriptures. You simply cannot just “transfer” a concept from thousands of years ago to the present and expect it to fit. Science and technology alone shoot that down very quickly. Are you really willing to believe as and adhere to the “rules” and concepts of over 2,000 years ago? I doubt that seriously. Yet you are trying to tell us we have to use those precepts to run our lives.
            There are certain universals: When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus responded with loving God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength. He then added that was the first and great commandment and the second was like it and said to love your neighbor as you love yourself. He followed that with the statement that on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. In other words, this was truly the summary and it did sum up all the rest into these two.
            God gave us all a brain and expects us to use it. Faith is not the recitation of dogma and a list of rules. Faith truly is the ability to trust what we cannot see.
            There is way too much nitpicking on this list from people who are unable to use their brains to think about concepts they never discussed before. No one has all the answers, but it behooves us to look deeper than the surface if we want our own faith to have any depth and substance.

          • Few Ad hominems…are you kidding here? It is not John who inspires hatred: it is those who deny God’s values, American values, and care for Jesus, and His work and message. He is not a divider: you and the ultra-conservative, always judging Christians, often hating Christians, scorning those not just like them. Stop lying Joe: if you would have conversation, be decent and tell the TRUTH.

            • Major, all of us who have had the misfortune to engage Joe Catholic have come to the same conclusions as you post above. And we stop engaging with him, because he is not interested in the lessons of history. logic, and reason . Unfortunately new people come along and think they can have a rational conversation with him, and so it perpetuates.

            • Major, all of us who have had the misfortune to engage Joe Catholic have come to the same conclusions as you post above. And we stop engaging with him because he is not interested in the lessons of history, logic, and reason . Unfortunately, new people come along and think they can have a rational conversation with him, and so it perpetuates.

              Several people follow this blog with the purpose to make fun of, mock, exercise their self-righteous judgmentalism against John P. While overlooking that they are exactly the people who most need to benefit from his prophetic exhortations.

              I personally don’t read them and it saves me a lot of time I would otherwise waste talking about red herrings.

  23. I look forward to each of your articles. If there is any blogger who resonates more with my thoughts about our current times, I haven’t found him or her. I basically think exactly the way you write. Writing is thinking, and you do a great job of expressing ideas that do need to be expressed. Basic love, kindness, and empathy has been turned around to somehow appear weak when these are the very qualities that save people from greater despair. I have always stood up to bullies as an educator, and I’m glad you are voicing your thoughts. Thank you, thank you, thank you….

  24. Gloriamarie,

    I do believe that a person who has never seen or heard of God can come to believe there is one.

    However, I believe the Bible teaches the only way to eternity in heaven is thru salvation, thru faith.

    Angie

  25. Spot on as usual, John Pavlovitz. My worry is what it’s going to take to undo all the damage that will be caused over the next four years – if, indeed, we even can.

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