If You Think The Resistance is About Politics—You’re Not Listening

Friend, we don’t think you’ve been listening.

If you’d been listening you’d understand.
If you’d been listening you’d see us clearly.

If you’d been listening you’d hear the honest cry of our collective hearts.
If you’d been listening you’d know why we’re doing this—
You’d know why we resist.

This resistance isn’t about a political party.
It’s not about blue state or red state.
It’s not about Democrat or Republican.

It’s not about a politician or a preacher.
It’s not about religion or the rejection of it.
It’s not about Coastal Elites or Bible Belters.
It’s nothing even remotely that small or insignificant.

This is an unapologetic, nonpartisan affirmation of Life
not just life that agrees with us,
not just life of one complexion or orientation or nation of origin,

not just life that aligns on every issue,
or votes the way we vote,
worships the way we worship,
loves the way we love.

This resistance is not a rebellion against nation or an act of treason—but a declaration of the deepest patriotism.
We resist because we believe that the America we aspire to us is big enough for all who wish to be here,
because we believe that its beauty is in the richness of its diversity,
because we remember it was born out of people seeking refugee from 
because it is not a birthright to be guarded but an undeserved blessing to be shared.

If you knew this, you may have joined us in the streets of this country as we marched these past few months.
You may have stood shoulder to shoulder as we bore witness to one another’s inherent worth.

You’d have seen the unbridled joy of disparate souls declaring their interdependence.
You’d have felt the sweetness of strangers recognizing their kinship together.

You’d have realized that this is not a funeral, it’s a birth announcement.
It is not a protest of what we are against but a celebration of all that we are for.
And most of all you’d have realized that you too are welcome here in our America.

The greatest tragedy right now is that you believe that we are the enemy or think that we believe that you are the enemy.
We don’t believe that you are; nor is faith, family, security, safety, or whatever you treasure because chances are we probably treasure it too. That’s how Humanity works.

Hatred is the enemy, bigotry is the enemy, injustice is the enemy, isolation is the enemy, inequality is the enemy.
It is against these things that we resist, in whatever form they take and from wherever they originate and whatever religious or political affiliation conceives them.

We are for every life, which means that we are for you too.
We don’t advocate for healthcare for our families alone, but for yours.
We demand well-funded public schools, not just for our children, but yours.
We fight for the rights of all women to have autonomy over their bodies, not only those who vote Democrat.
We are insisting on pristine air and water not just for our future generations, but yours as well. 

We understand that poverty knows no color, creed, or nationality,
that illness and injury are not partisan intrusions,
that age and vulnerability befall us all, whatever our orientation or distinction. 

We believe that every family is worth protecting.
We believe that every child deserves defense.
We believe that every marriage is equally sacred.

We profess all humanity as fully deserving of dignity.

We only wish you would refrain from shouting from a distance.
We wish that you would stop telling us why we’re doing this.
We wish you would stop taking a battle posture.
We wish you could see this country as large enough for us all.
Most of all we wish you would really listen, because if you were to really listen—you’d never think so small as to talk about politics ever again.
If you’d listen you’d understand that we are as much for you as we are for ourselves.

We’ll keep resisting because those we resist for are worth it.
All we ask is that you endeavor to listen.
If you do you’ll hear the immutable truth:
We really are in this together.
This really is the way forward.
It truly is America’s greatness.

The beautiful photos in this piece were taken at the Moral March on Raleigh, and are used by the kind permission of Raleigh photographer Daniel Hosterman

344 thoughts on “If You Think The Resistance is About Politics—You’re Not Listening

  1. This is beautiful and I agree with every word of it. If only the other countries came here legally and without intentions to harm.
    How do know ?

    • Angie,
      The harm you fear is not substantiated. It’s given to you by powerful politicians to create divide in our country. And refugees are legal. And the number of illegal immigrants into the US has substantially decreased in the past few years.

    • Angie, we don’t know. We can never know if it’s someone here legally or illegally, our neighbor, our colleague, someone of a different faith – or someone with no faith. We can never know what’s going to happen to any one of us in the next second. All we can know is how we want to live in this present moment. I choose to live with a heart and actions that reach out to anyone – just as I’d like to be treated. Of course we need to be careful to not deliberately put ourselves in harm’s way as we live our lives minute by minute. Perhaps it would be helpful to do some research that tells how many Americans have been harmed by those from other countries compared to the number of those who are killed or harmed by our own “home grown” Americans. The statistics are astounding.

    • Angie I just read this too ! I agree with you on this ! But I do not agree with sharia law & the Muslim terriorist training camps which can’t be researched by typing the above words . I don’t agree with the covering of the face as any man can dress up & be a terriorist . I do t agree with a Muslim woman telling my friends that their going to take over our country & kill all of us . I don’t agree with the Muslim mother in Illinois telling me after we both partake in staying at school in a overnight function lockdown to supervise to my face that the women here in America are whores ! I asked her how did you get that idea of just filth ? She replied ,”from watching the jerry springer show !” I explained to her that they have alot of actors on this show ! It’s just for ratings. & fir entertainment , but i , for one am not interested to watch a bunch of trash on tv when I can watch a decent movie or documentary . I looked at her & said “, my body is my temple ” & I am decent & I do not smoke or drink nor do I steal or harm another person . There are most of us here in America as I . So please don’t judge us by a movie & hate us & think differently than you . It is just our appearance in clothing . I am no whore . She said she did not know & she was sorry for judging .

      • From an Islamic perspective, a woman wearing shorts to the grocery store in July makes her a whore because she is exposing a part of her body that could sexually arouse men. It is not just Islam itself but also the worldview it creates in its followers. Some of the fundies here refer to something they call the “Christian Lifestyle,” whatever the Hell that is. By the same token and in the same way, there is an “Islamic Lifestyle.” In the context of that lifestyle, any woman who does not cover her head (or even her whole face in some Islamic contexts) is viewed as a person who should be ashamed of themselves. It is viewed in the same vein that Americans would view a woman walking down the street and into a grocery store completely naked. Take some cultural anthropology courses at a local college, and it will be easier for you to see what is really going on with this Christian and Islam thing.

    • Angie Carter,

      Please stop listening to those who promulgate fear just so they can get voted into positions of power. Please listen to John P’s loving heart, instead.

    • Surely we have learned something in the last 70+ years. Does no one remember the boatload of jewish refugees we sent back to Germany and Auschwitz? I had hoped we learned our lesson and was better than that. Peace

      • Actually, Kathleen. We never leaned that lesson. As I was growing up in Tennessee many years ago, I heard various versions of this numerous times from my adult elders here, there, and yonder. It went like this:

        “Them people in them overseas countries is not like us. They don’t have the same basic respect for human life that we Americans do. Because there’s so many of them in places like China, life is cheap and easily dispense with. Now, Tony’s gonna marry that Thai girl heeza datin’. She grew up in a heathen culture. We gotta git her into a nice, conservative, local church, introduce her to Jesus, and get her straightened out. Then she’ll be able to be a real American and fly right.”

        So basically, Kathleen, the only real human beings on planet Earth are us Americans, particularly Southern hillbilly Americans, and all the other peoples of the Earth are wild-eyed heathens who need to be straightened out. Americans are important. You foreigners are never important. Get over yourselves and bow down to the dominate American culture on this planet. That includes you British, Canadians, and Australians too.

        This is what the old people in the American South taught me when I was growing up. Come live in Tennessee!!!!

        • Hi Charles,
          You just reinforced my joy at having been brought up in the Northeast. I come from some of the original peaceniks who thought all people where equal in Gods eyes. By the way I lived one year in West Virginia, how I got there is another story, but I know what you are talking about. I use to talk to the janitor where I worked, who happened to be a person of color, as a grownup man, who was my senior in age and had children my age, and I got death threats. So I get you, Peace

          • Kay,
            I do know that. But in the 60’s they were not very welcoming to a very naive young northerner. It’s a shame that people don’t understand the impact they make sometimes for a lifetime. Have met a lot of wonderful southerners. Please don’t take offense. Peace

          • Yes, Kay, you are right. Some of my FB friends are from the Deep South and various places in the Bible Belt, and they love it when I forward them John P’s blogs because his words resonate so deeply within them.

        • An there ladies and gentlemen of America is why we have the Tea Party, The Trump-Pence administration, McConnell, Ryan, and Fox News as this is the mindset of those pathetic fearful people.

    • Seeking absolutely safety and the assurance thereof is a fool’s errand. Life is replete with suffering and death. It is also replete with joy and birth. To expect joy without suffering is to not fully live.

    • Steven Charleston

      I am a transgender person. I am a person of color. I am a refugee. I am a senior citizen. I am a single mother. I am an immigrant. I am a person chronically ill without medical care. I am a child in school. I am all of these and more. I am every vulnerable person in my society, every person at risk. What happens to the least of these, happens to me. I am not disconnected from the heart of those who are harmed. I am not blind to them or deaf to them. I am them. They are me. We are the common family of breath and blood, the human face of hope and fear.

          • Please do not judge others or post snarky comments which does nothing for anyone but stir ire. Allow others to have a different understanding than yours. Abortion is not a simple issue and it’s not something to misjudge. The breadth of misinformation and lies about abortion are harmful to our society.
            The federal government does NOT provide abortion funding. This is fact, not myth. You can search the budget of the federal government and see that they give nothing to fund abortion – it would be illegal if they did. Many conservatives don’t know the list of services that Planned Parenthood offers, they’re about Family Planning and the PREVENTION of unwanted pregnancy! They actually help LOWER the abortion rate. They educate on forms of birth control and they provide medical services like STD testing, cancer screenings and other medical necessities that are vital to women’s health. The very small fraction of abortions done in the US, are done within the first trimester when the embryo isn’t able to live outside the womb.
            They offer help to women all over the world – including those in countries where they are targeted for repeated rapes and mistreatment. Abortion is a last option for those who come to the choice for various reasons -such as:

            • certain types of infections
            • heart failure
            • malignant hypertension, including preeclampsia
            • out-of-control diabetes
            • serious renal disease
            • severe depression
            • suicidal tendencies.
            • Exposure to intimate partner violence.
            • Absence of partner due to estrangement or death.
            • Lack of financial and/or emotional support from

            Whatever their reasons, they’re autonomous human beings who have the right to choose what is best for their well-being. I know of a woman who tried for years to have a baby, and when she in later life, finally got pregnant – she was in the last trimester when she found out the baby was dead, and that she had cancer of the uterus. She was forced to have an abortion that broke her heart. This is not uncommon.
            It’s not for us to judge.
            Do you judge people for other things that you deem immoral based on your own limited perspective? Stop. Because “judge not lest ye be judged”. Let the powers that be make that decision, not you and not politicians or anyone else. A woman has the right to decide for her own body and her own well-being what is right for her and her family.
            Most of us liberals, are also against the death penalty because we see the complexities there too – and we’re against the horror of war and we’re against the dangerous ravages of our planet – we want our children to have clean air and clean water and live in a healthy environment.
            It’s time that we stop our divisions and work for the whole, not just for some.
            Compassion is caring about others – not just the self.

    • Angie, I’m so glad John’s words spoke to you. If harm comes to you, it will be from another American. It will be by someone you know. If there is a mass shooting, it will be by a white American male. If a woman is raped, it is much more likely to be by someone she knows. Please do not fall for the politics of division and those who seek to make you afraid.

    • Angie, I understand your concern. But I am more afraid that if we turn away those seeking to be here, we will lose 99.99999% of the good people. In doing so, we may be sending them back to war, famine, political unrest, prejudice, poverty. In the case of the Muslim ban, we are refusing to accept people escaping from just those things–and if we force them to stay where they are, they will lose hope. And terror will win because we would have prevented people who would otherwise have come here and had a good (normal) life–and they will be angry with us and feel hatred that we refused them. There is nothing else for these people, especially the men, in their home country, but to join in with the terrorists. Even those who do not choose to may still be forced into being a member of ISIS or any other terror group. I’m willing to take the chance of that 1 person in a thousand that is trying to get into the country for terror’s purpose. Immigrants are already checked out very thoroughly before being allowed a visa to immigrate.
      Which leads me to the illegal immigrants. I suspect that many of them are NOT terrorists, but people who do not have the time to wait for an approved visa. Their situations are so dire, so imminent that they must leave their country NOW, not years, months or days from now. For whatever reason, they WANT to be here for the opportunities our country provides that theirs does not. We might have a few terrorists coming in under that particular umbrella; someone who is going to do heinous (illegal) acts is not terribly concerned with being here legally. But again, I suspect that the actual numbers of terrorists among the illegal aliens are small enough that once again, the risk is worth it. It’s offset by all the hundreds, even thousands of people who are only seeking a life for themselves in a place that has always offered the opportunity for that life.
      We are a nation of immigrants. You may have been born here, but unless you are 100% Native American, somewhere in your family tree, someone came from another country to live here. We were all from somewhere else, coming to America to pursue life in a country that was full of opportunities, freedoms and safe from oppression.
      Even the blacks, brought here as slaves, have these same legal rights. Whether they are actually able to exercise those rights as fully as a white person is a discussion for another time. I don’t think that they would really want to return to Africa–most of them have no idea which actual country they came from. But the wonder of America is that if they decided they wanted to move to (whatever nation) in Africa, they can. Whether that country would take them is a different question.
      Immigrants are NOT the problem. LGBTQ+ people are NOT the problem. Women are NOT the problem. Democrats are NOT the problem. Republicans are NOT the problem. (Really. Bear with me.) Blacks/color people are NOT the problem. Urbanites or rural folk are NOT the problem. What is the problem?? The fact that the very rich have become so separated from the rest of this community, this citizenry, that they have no connection TO and no compassion FOR others. Politicians and corporations (Upper, upper management only) have worked to separate the rest of us from each other so that we will not notice their salacious pillaging of our lives, our resources and our country. They have so much of the money, taken from the hard labor of their workers, taken in onerous taxes, gained through legal loopholes that allow them to not only pay NO tax, but to actually receive MORE money in the form of tax credits from the government. With all of the egregious wealth, they have and are gaming the system to continue to favor only them, to hell with the rest of us. We aren’t even people to them; we’re just “human resources” to be used and discarded, like any other resource.
      So it may seem helpless for those of us “down here”. How can we fight against all that money? Easy. Simple. By uniting all of the PEOPLE into one citizenry, one community that will stand up and say, “No more, no further; give us back our country, give us back our dignity, our chances to succeed.”

    • We don’t know. How do we know the intentions or the heart of anyone? I choose not to live in fear or suspicion of everyone who is different from me. In their hearts, they may not be different at all.

      • Joyce, You are 100% right. In our hearts, most of us want exactly the same, no matter our skin color, race, religion, country of origin, sexual preferences.

        I can give proof. A few weeks ago I was at the branch libraray and there was a shooting out in the parking lot. The police responded quickly and gunfire with the perp was exchanged who then jumped the fence into a day care center where there were children. People emerged from the library, the restaurants, businesses and leaped over that fence and grabbed the nearest child shielding them with their bodies while the olice captured the shooter. They didn’t stop to make sure the baby they grabbed was “one of theirs.” they just protected the closest child to them.

        My neighborhood is very much a UN. We have LOTS of refugees here from Ethiopia, Somalia, Sudan, many Koreans, Vietnamese, Hmong, Latinos, blacks, whites, Chinese. All of their attention was ficused on protecting children from gunfire.

        I live every day among refugees. There is nothing to fear.

    • We don’t know with certainty; we only see what hate is doing to us and our nation. If we believe through our faith, any faith, we can only trust our best instincts and be open to compassion.

    • Do you stay at home, on cloudy days, afraid you’ll be hit by lightning? There is more chance of that, than of you being attacked by an immigrant terrorist.

  2. John, I appreciate your wisdom and clarity in voicing what I and many others feel. This resistance truly is about love of humanity and I am proud to be a part of the movement.

  3. Dear John P.,

    Thank you once again for hitting the nail squarely, speaking what must be said, for your obedience to the Holy Spirit to speak the words laid on your tongue and fingers. Bless you and yours, always.

  4. Once again you have expressed my feelings so eloquently. Thank you for some sanity in an insane world. I would note that it would appear that from some of the comments they are still not listening. But with your words on our hearts we will not be deterred. Peace,

    • Kathleen, no, there are those who will not listen, just as there were and are those who refuse to listen to the Gospel. Or, at least, they refuse to listen to any Gospel except the one that supports their bigotry, prejudices, racism, and xenophobia. We see it over and over here in the comments.

      • Gloriamarie,
        I know, but I also think they need to be called out every once in awhile. That was my call out. I know that it won’t make any difference but every now and than my soul demands that I do that.
        Hope you are doing well and your mom is doing well. Still praying for her and you.

          • You was, I did not take any offense. I just felt a need to explain what was on my heart. Like I have said before sometimes I make a muddle explaining myself. And then it’s “You got some splaining to do, Lucy”. Peace

      • Did it occur to you that it is more likely that your attribution of “-isms” to those who have sincere hearts but are struggling to find the answer will justify them not listening? Just saying. Don’t we want to find the good in all people, refugee and citizen alike,?

        • Mom-of-four, you do, Kathleen does, I do, others of here on these comments do. But there are Entirely Too Many in these comments who do not. They make themselves conspicuous by their treatment of John P and those of us who agree with them. Sorry to say it, but unless we face and accept the truth, we will never be free.

  5. So women who make bad choices and have an abortion are worth it but the true victims…unborn children are not worth it? So those who don’t yet live in this country are worth it but the protection of those already here are not worth it? Please speak to my concerns. I believe this is politics because I can send you a 5 minute video where Obama, as Senator, has the same concerns about aliens coming into the country but when Trump says it, it comes off as divisive. Also, Trump never said that he would get rid of universal healthcare and go back to the old way. He just wants to tweak the current system to make it better. We have done the same thing with wellfare and social security over the years. Obama Care was just a first draft like anything else.

      • Gloriamarie,
        Thank you, I almost commented and then thought better. You know about the 60+ votes to repeal Obamacare which leaves nothing to tweak. Something like that. Your comment is so much better. Bless you, Peace

        • When they repeal Obamacare with nothing to replace it, they will have ended their political careers due to the deaths of so many loved ones from preventable, treatable causes. Even people deluded enough to vote GOP still love their families and their friends and there will be an outcry of rage and grief and the GOP will get what is coming to them. Not sure when, but it can’t be soon enough for me.

          • As usual, Gloriamarie, you speak what I think. Somehow the deluded think that stuff will be taken away from everyone else but they will get to keep theirs. Like all the elderly who voted GOP and still think that their SS and Medicare will be ok, it’s the other guys they will take away. It makes no sense and drives me crazy. It is also very dare I say unchristian. Just saying, Keep preaching, who knows someone might hear. Peace.

            • Kathleen, it is heartbreaking sad what is going to come of all this. People are going to be shocked when they discover they are “the other guy.” We are all going to be victims of their evil, even the trolls here on these comments.

              I pray for us all that we survive.

            • Considering that there at this moment a bill introduced into the House to reduce the benefits of 70% of Social Security recipients by 27%, and this bill was introduced by a REPUBLICAN, and since the GOP want to privatize social Security, i.e. gamble it away on the stock exchange, I dont think the Democrats are using scare tactics but stating exactly what the GOP intends.

              • Thank you, Gloriamarie, This is a continuation of the “I’ve got mine, you can get your own, and I am not about to share it with you”. This has been growing for a long time. Peace,

              • Do you understand, G.A., that Social Security, as it exists today, is impossible to continue? The money is simply not there. It cannot continue. Saying that it is not nice to change it or take it away does not change the facts, anymore than saying that it’s not nice that a man should die because he fell out of a tenth-story window does.

                • Zaklog, what you state about SS simply is not true. The government has been borrowing from SS for decades now – THAT is why there’s a “shortfall”. If the government repaid what they’ve taken from SS, it would be solvent for a very, very long time. This “SS is going broke” is a total fabrication created by the government to avoid paying what they’ve looted from it.

            • Joe does that mean you did not vote your pocketbook at all when voting Republican? Or was it just their policies regarding Abortion and LGBTQ rights?

              I remember you talking about regulations that interfered with how you run your business.

              • Regulations, Joanne, as I understand their purpose, is to protect the public from various ills such as illegalities, fraud, theft, climate damage, etc. I am suspect of anyone who claims regulations interefered with how they ran their business.

              • Thank you for your response. I would love to cut the fat too. On the other hand getting rid of government workers then creates another problem of creating jobs for those same people.

                I haven’t seen the trickle down theory work yet, for me anyway.

                I did not find Trumps solution to the Carrier deal a great idea. Although saving jobs is good, putting the burden on the tax payer doesn’t seem a good way to go.

                I don’t have any good answers nor do I think either party has all the right answers.

              • Benny/Joe/Lone/Peter/ Let Them…/Everyone Has…/ Zaklog the D…

                All the same person.

                Jane Ira Bloom “I Loves You Porgy”

          • I agree. It is not just the sick people. It is all their sons, daughters, cousins, etc. who will be incredibly pissed off when their loved ones die from lack of insurance.

              • Tell you what, Zaklog–you go fall off a scaffold and get a compound fracture of your leg. You have no insurance, and the local hospital isn’t obliged to treat you, since you don’t (or did you intend this scenario to include treatment of life-threatening injuries first, pay for the rest of your life?. That’s not likely over the long term, because hospitals can’t afford it). Infection sets in, as it so often does with compound fractures, but you still have no insurance. You’re not one of the lucky ones, and you die. Insurance would have meant that you were treated, given antibiotics, and quite likely survived. Who won’t die from lack of insurance?

              • Zaklog, try having cancer without insurance. If you haven’t had any direct personal experience in that area, you would be appalled at what it costs. You damn well better have insurance if you expect to come out on the other side.

    • Peter, first of all, it’s none of your bloody business whether or not any woman chooses abortion. I hate to be crass, but you men who will never have to face the reality of an unplanned or unwanted (yes, not every baby is wanted; deal with it) pregnancy have no standing in the debate, because you’re not the ones who get stuck with the lease. Secondly, as far as terrorists killing Americans, since 9/11, more Americans have been killed by American citizens/white supremacist males who love their guns than by any foreign terrorists. Those are the people I’m more afraid of by far. And don’t you think it’s just a tad too convenient that the country that supplied the 9/11 gang is left off of Trump’s list because he does business with them? As is Pakistan, a country that’s been playing us for fools for nearly 2 decades now. And finally, Trump and the GOP have no intention or idea of replacing Obamacare with a damn thing, or they’d have produced it long since. They merely intend to open health care and insurance to the free markets, and average people will have two options: pay out the wazoo, or die quicker. Take your head out of the Faux News echo chamber, put down the Kool-Aid and take a really good, clear look around you.

          • Oh, Susan, I loved your words too. I also agree with Kathleen. She and Joanne Musto have a real gift when it comes to talking to the people who despise John P.

            • Thank you, Since I am so impressed with you and Joanne Musto and agree with both of you, that is one of best compliments you could give me. Made my day. Peace

              • You’re welcome.

                My vision of the Body of Christ tells me I must do the but that God wants of me because others will do the bits I can’t.

                I do what I am able here.

                Also in my FB groups:
                Compassion Reading Group, we are only on page 9 of Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life, so it isn’t too late to join and many libraries have the book.

                Celebrate What Christians Have in Common is a self-eplanatory name:

                And, of course, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff where I take action and invite others on the side of the angels to take action:

                I am handicapped and disabled so I do what I can with what I have in the time I am given.

              • How fun ladies! It is good that we have found each other here with John who speaks so much of what we have in our hearts. We are each others umbrellas when the rain of hate pours down on us. But who doesn’t love when the sun finally breaks through the clouds like those movies try to imitate when they portray the image of Jesus being with us.

                • Joanne, and others, are you active on FB? I’d love it if you were to send me friend requests and we can get to know each other better, share each others’ lives, support each other.

                    • Did you close it due to a bad experience? If so, I am very sorry. There are some strange people out there in cyberspace. Many of them abusive bullies who think being faceless or using a pseudonym gives them license to be obnoxious.

                    • I grew up in a small town. Besides my family most of my “friends” were people I have known all my life. A few had become more political than I.

                      I received one too many meme telling me that if the Jews had guns there wouldn’t have been a holocaust along with 1 too many monkey pictures.

                      I felt it was easier to remove myself than to think less of my friends.

                  • Gloriamarie, I have never gotten involved with Facebook, matter of fact I have avoided it like the plague. My kids and grandkids don’t much either. If I ever lose my mind and do it, will let you know. Peace

                    • One has to use it with discrimination. I find I waste, I mean, spend, far more time here than I do on FB. The three groups I run don’t take that much time and when FB friends post, I only read the updates to their status as I don’t need all the political stuff they post because I will have already read it. All my FB friends and I are on the same page, politically.

          • Susan,
            Thank you, but you need to know that I live vicariously in comments like yours. So perhaps we should both keep doing what we do, lifting each other up. Peace,

      • We already have had extreme vetting for quite some time now. Middle Eastern immigrants who were interviewed in the last couple weeks have said that they had to wait 2 and even 3 years to get into the US. Is that extreme enough for you?
        And abortionists are not killing human beings. They are not human beings until they can survive outside the womb. And I suspect that I’d be correct in identifying you as a man, who will never be faced with the dilemma of an unplanned or unwanted (as I said earlier, disappointing as this will be for you, not all babies are wanted – I am a perfect example of that) pregnancy. All I have to say to your anti-abortion stance is that if women should ever be fortunate enough to be running things, and we tried to mandate vasectomies for all men, men would scream to the heavens!

    • Yes he did, Trump is well know in NYC to be a lier and con men, running for president was a game he never wanted to win. Everbody has the right to decide was best for them. God is the only one to judge.

  6. Dear Mr. Pavlovitz,

    A lovely friend of mine in England turned me onto your blog recently and I am so grateful. Your writings consistently make me nod along, and I finish feeling relieved and determined, in equal measure. I am not Christian. I don’t fit into the narrow confines of what the current U.S. administration thinks is kosher. They terrify me. It’s not about politics. It’s about hate and tyranny, plain and simple. We saw this under Bush, this disrespect for humanity and for intelligence. Somehow, those people are back in DC and it sickens me.

    So, thank you, sir, for writing what you’re writing. Thank you for having the courage to be vulnerable enough to write about your own grief, fears, and journey so that others may nod along and see an echo of their own Story in yours, and maybe have the courage to speak up – and even if not, the solace to feel a place at your table. Thank you.

    With grateful regards,

    A. Catherine Noon

  7. Great post! It reminds me of the question I frequently asked a conservative friend (who was otherwise a great guy) when he’d start in on liberal Democrats (me), welfare, trans-gender rights, and other conservative hobbyhorses: “Which of your civil rights would you be willing to give up in order to deny them to other people?” He never could come up with an answer, but it would put an end to that day’s rant.

    • Are you Benny/Joe/Lone/Zaklog/Let the…?

      ” Nobody is being denied and rights by the right.”

      Oh, really? Two words; voter suppression.

      Oh, really? Two words: women’s healthcare.

      Oh, really? Two words: equal marriage

      For starters.

      • My apologies, Ms. Amalfitano, but if I may help clarify:

        Opposing Motor Voter, opposing early voting …

        ANY restriction on a Woman’s Constitutional Right to an Abortion …

        Refusing to accept marriage is a legal status with clear legal, social and economic benefits, not just a religious one, so to deny it to any couple because it defies a very strict version of ANY RELIGION is to enforce a religious-based legal inequality which is also UNCONSTITUTIONAL … plus the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution guarantees if any one State permits same-sex marriage, all States in the Union must also accept all marriages performed in that State … thus same-sex marriage is legal in ALL STATES …

        Such things, supported by some on the Right, are harmful to our Democratic Republic as they alienate and/or marginalize its citizens. It is one matter to legally amend the Constitution to protect the Unborn and another to chisel away at the Constitutional Rights of women because you are unhappy with the Constitution.

        I am Pro-Choice. I am Pro-Marriage. I am Pro-7 Day Voting Period with Enforced Voting. I am also Pro-Gun Ownership and Pro-Speaking Your Mind as well, if that matters.

        • Thank you, Mr. Dosher. I am 100% for the separation of church and state. I will reszist any attempts to impose the agenda of the Right upon the federal law. Also state law.

          As for gun ownership… I personally have a gun phobia for reasons but I recognize that due to a lack of a comma in the 2nd Amendment we are stuck with private gun ownership. However, I think anyone who wants to own a gun, must demonstrate that that person knows how to use it responsibly. I think it should be mandatory that the are training classes. similar to Driver’s Ed classes and I think all weapons must be registered and taxed, the same way we register and tax vehicles. The ban on assault weapons in the hands of civilians must be reinstated.

      • Dear Everyone – the right to a safe and legal abortion has been settled law for nearly half a century now. Do try to keep up with current events. And as far as marriage goes, I’ll bet you’d sing a different tune if someone told you that you couldn’t marry the person YOU loved. Why can’t you people ever put the shoe on the other foot and try to see it from their point of view?

          • When I experience God’s non-judgmental and loving acceptance of myself in prayer, I am called to extend these same identifying features of compassion to others. When I remember that God tolerates and forgives the smelliness of my own faults and failings, I am more ready to accept what I find disdainful in others. The more I know my own great need for the embrace of a merciful, forgiving God, the more I can be forgiving and merciful to those who wound me. The more I truly believe the Holy One loves and accepts me as I am, while longing for me to be all I can be, the more I will gather to my heart all who are part of this vast world of ours.
            — Joyce Rupp in Prayer

  8. Oh, John, so beautifully and eloquently said. You truly listen as God speaks to you and we are so fortunate that you share what you hear with us. It is through your sharing that I am able to feel included in the powerful movement for humanity that has been launched by necessity because of the #45 presidency and the Republican party’s exclusion of all the “others” they have demonized.

    • It is entirely irrelevant that you claim to do so at different times. Besides, that’s a lie because yesterday you posted as both Joe Catholic and Lone Catholic and you had a conversation with yourself. Perhaps Disassociative Personality Disorder?

      Here’s the thing, Benny/Joe/Lone/Zaklog the Deplorable/ Let the… what you are is a coward, what with all these pseudonyms and swapping and changing your fake name, as if you think we are not wise to your trollish tactics. You change your name every time people cease to engage with you because you are a troll and you think you can fool people into engaging with you.

      How old are you? Ten? Because you certainly don’t demonstrate even that high of a maturity level and I hate to insult ten-year-olds.

      • Gloriamarie,
        My 14 yr old grandson is much more mature, so it must be at least less than that, and thinking back on all my boys, I think 10 is too mature. Peace,

      • Now you have 100% convinced me that you are Benny/Joe/Lone/ Let the… because he has also claimed to be straight, married, and a father, and has written quite seriously in a homophobic manner.

        Of course, Disassociative Personality Disorder is always a possibility.

        • So now you steal my name? What an abusive little bully you are.

          This demonstrates how cowardly and how much of a child you are, Benny/Joe/Lone/ Let the…/Everyone…

          John P., Should you be be reading this, this commenter, who regularly changes his alias, has now usurped my identity. Please delete this comment and ban him from your blog.

          This is identity theft and that’s a crime. So we see how deep your hypocrisy goes. Roman Catholics are supposed to be law-abiding citizens.

        • Gloriamarie: i just read what people write, not needing to assign added meaning to someones name (where there is none.). We’re here to act and react to ideas & ‘content’.

          I’ve never been confused by a name … except one or two times by ‘Anonymous’. [But its easy to figure out that sometimes people forget to type their name in. That’s a simple oversight, not a cause for water torture .) And it’s easy to figure out, one ‘Anonymous’ is conservative, and one is liberal.

          I’m only interested in what John P says. His Progressive beliefs should be contrasted with orthodox beliefs. I think it’s important for Christians to know what John & also what his Church stand for, what courses they teach, what authors they push, what spiritual practices they recommend. [To their advantage, it’s good to know .]

          People are free to make choices. Right now, John P is hammering out an even greater divide between liberal church and orthodox church. He has every right to do that.

          It’s important to know, the twain will never meet. Ever. There is no unity.

          • Leslie people are not divided up into liberal and conservative because neither ideological position is right or wrong. Most people don’t even think about politics outside of election time. I think John Pavlovitz is right this is not about politics. It is about our humanity.

            • Im talking about progressive chritianity vs othodox biblical. Not political parties. But Im sure you know that they ea line up under dif parties.

              • Leslie, there is nothing innovative about “progressive Christianity.” All they did was rediscover the writings of the Early Church. Which means that progressive Christians are Biblically orthodox.

            • Kirk, what Pastor Pavlovitz was doing was virtue-signaling, as was this:

              “John Pavlovitz is right this is not about politics. It is about our humanity.”

              ‘About humanity?’ The clear implication is you can not be ‘for humanity’ if you support President Trump … so how is this NOT a political message?

              President Obama was not a ‘humane’ Commander-in-Chief. His orders led directly to the deaths of multiple innocents and indirectly to the death and displacement of tens of thousands. How was this not evil?

              Sec. Clinton was no better no matter how she wished to be painted … unless you think telling a 12 year old girl it is her fault she was raped into a coma was the ‘humane’ thing … which is precisely what lawyer Hillary did in the capacity of providing the best legal defense to the girl’s rapist ~

              And these aren’t something I don’t hold against either of them because I don’t rate politicians by some ‘humanity index’ as if they are aiming for sainthood.

              Politicians are not saints. To do some of the jobs we hire them to do, they can’t be. Stop pretending as if this isn’t the case.

              If President endorses the instant immigration of 100,000 Syrians and ONE newcomer kills one US citizen, that death is on his head ~ not mine and not yours, Kirk. The victim would most likely be alive except for a decision the President made. Sucks to be the one in charge …

              I also know what true fascism looks like and know President Trump isn’t it. It is the fear-mongering and violence FROM the Left which worries me right now, not from the Right.

          • John P has extremely orthodox faith because he believes in loving God with every fiber of his being and loving his neighbor as himself. He believes the Creeds.

            Entirely Too Many People on this blog don’t grasp that fundamental truth about John P. because they have decided Jesus’ words don’t apply to all people. They are wrong.

              • Perhaps he is right. If you don’t appreciate it why read it. He is not the only person who is devout and has those views. Why are you the judge of who is right in God’s eyes and who isn’t. You know I have always fought for your right to hold those beliefs but somehow I get the impression that until I sign on to yours than I am a complete loss. I don’t understand that kind of judgemental attitude. My faith says that I need to worry about everyone in need not pick and choose only those who believe as I do. There are some of us that believe that God is big enough and grand enough to have different roads that will take us to her. Peace

              • Prove it.

                I’ve been reading this blog for some months now and never have I seen any such indication.

                Remember my BA is in Biblical and Theological Studies and my MA in Church History. Church History is an umbrella field that also covers theology.

                John P. has not written anything that isn’t conversant with Gospels the whole time I’ve been reading it.

                So, prove your assertion. With actual facts, quotes within their original context, not proof-texted, with references, citations, etc.

                IOW, not your assertions or opinions.

              • Nope. And I sincerely doubt you are well-enough read in the history of the early church’s primary sources to recognize that the progressive Christians have re-discovered those sources. They have gone back well-past the Reformation to the early church, its teachings and practices.

  9. “You may have stood shoulder to shoulder as we bore witness to one another’s inherent worth.
    You’d have seen the unbridled joy of disparate souls declaring their interdependence.
    You’d have felt the sweetness of strangers recognizing their kinship together.
    You’d have realized that this is not a funeral, it’s a birth announcement.
    It is not a protest of what we are against but a celebration of all that we are for.”

    yes!! just. exactly. this.
    I am reminded of the scenes played out in the streets of Charleston, South Carolina in June, 2015.
    I am reminded of my children, a melting pot of my own, in a way…
    and this… “love is love is love is love is love…” a mantra of mine for years.

  10. John P. –
    I want to express appreciation for this specific commentary.

    In my opinion, the task and goal for humanity is inclusion.
    Therefore, those with a voice, such as yourself – must resist the seduction of division – regardless of the difficulties and differences that separate us from one another.

    I want to believe this commentary demonstrates a higher calling, a more inclusive spirit, a greater sense of suffering and more importantly, the perspective – every man and woman share a common characteristic – we are mortal.

    I hope going forward, you will continue to remind your readers of this inclusive and humanistic perspective while encouraging arguments and debate on how to achieve a better future for an imperfect world and the imperfect who populate it.

  11. John writes as if there are a significant number of people in this country who disagree with his statements, especially the last paragraph. We don’t disagree. We just happen to think that God (was He mentioned?) works through firstly His Church, whom He has commanded to go out into the world (which it has and does amazing works of compassion and salvation to millions abroad), and secondly through whatever creative means available. That can include the government and its programs, but it might not. Any entity can do great harm or great good. The government and its compassion can be a tool, albeit a materialistic, impersonal and inefficient one, but it is only that. John has good intentions, but his seemingly unexamined default position is that every problem can be fixed by the government. Many Christians do not subscribe to that rather one-dimensional view of compassion. But it doesn’t mean that we don’t care.

    • With respect, I think the only Christians who believe that God is at work in this administration are those who voted this administration into being. As that was at best, merely 25% of the population, that is not very impressive.

      A great many Christians believe that God is a great respecter of the free will with which God endowed us. God expects us to exercise it responsibly.

      Which we are doing by resisting the evil that is this present administration.

    • “…every problem can be fixed by the government”? What? You’re not listening! John’s posts are always calling people who care for all people to use their “outside voices” to be heard by the government so the government understands that it is the MAJORITY of the CITIZENS of the USA who TOGETHER are telling the government that the CITIZENS want THEIR compassion to be reflected in the government’s working — their rules, their bills. No, “many Christians”, including John, do not subscribe to that rather one-dimensional view of compassion, and neither do many other religions or even those who claim no religion. John just points out very eloquently that a government without the compassion that is practiced and desired by the electorate is not a government that is “by the people and for the people,” and that we need to do all we can to consistently make our will known to bring that government back to acknowledging the will of the people who are the government’s constituents, not the government’s subjects.

      • Trump is NOT pro-life, nor is he a Christian – review his media history, past voting record and, most importantly, his lifestyle. Trump is a narcissistic autocrat, and he used the Republican party and administration to get elected, just as the Republicans are currently using him to pass their agenda.

      • As far as the current “so-called” President and his Administration and compassion are concerned – “By their works shall ye know them.” They’ve shown us quite clearly that they wouldn’t know compassion if it walked up, shook their hands and introduced itself.

  12. [Part One of Six]
    “Friend, we don’t think you’ve been listening.”

    By all means. Please tell me what I haven’t been hearing.

    “If you’d been listening you’d understand.”

    Uh-oh … already off to a bad start. Placing all the blame on me … I haven’t been listening … which ignores the reality of me actually listening to what him and others have been saying. I’m hearing you loud and clear, Pastor Pavlovitz.

    “If you’d been listening you’d see us clearly.”

    Doubling down on it being ALL MY FAULT … couldn’t be his fault. Oh no … simply NOT possible he could be wrong about anything … yep, already deciding this is more of the same old tripe. Why? I don’t know? Perhaps because he is insinuating I’m either an utter and complete moron, or deaf, would do the trick.

    “If you’d been listening you’d hear the honest cry of our collective hearts. If you’d been listening you’d know why we’re doing this—
    You’d know why we resist.”

    I actually do suspect why you resist, but please continue.

    “This resistance isn’t about a political party.”

    Except it has been brought about by the Democrat Party losing big time to the Republican Party. It is hard to ignore this happening in the greater dialogue.

    “It’s not about blue state or red state.”

    Actually, had you turned Florida, Michigan and Ohio from Red to Blue, we most likely wouldn’t be having this chat … but please continue.

    “It’s not about Democrat or Republican.”

    Except only yesterday you elevated yet another Democratic figure while castigating numerous Republican ones. It it isn’t about Democrats and Republicans you need to work harder at not bringing politics into it. Perhaps if you simply stopped bringing up the names of politicians? Just a suggestion.

    “It’s not about a politician or a preacher.”

    Check ~ no more beating up any politicians, or religious figures.

    “It’s not about religion or the rejection of it.”

    Check ~ no more beating up evangelicals, or giving a litmus test on whether, or not, someone belongs to any particular religion. I could be wrong. I think this real progress!

    “It’s not about Coastal Elites or Bible Belters.”

    No more Hillary-bashing, or beating up on evangelicals (yet again). I’m cool with this. Carry on.

    “It’s nothing even remotely that small or insignificant.”

    Okay, I’m not sure who has considered this resistance small, or insignificant. It isn’t and people don’t see it this way. It does seen as if you and others are living in utter denial of the 2016 elections though. Again, just a suggestion of how the other side sees things.

    “This is an unapologetic, nonpartisan affirmation of Life—
    not just life that agrees with us, not just life of one complexion or orientation or nation of origin, not just life that aligns on every issue, or votes the way we vote, worships the way we worship,
    loves the way we love.”

    ‘Nonpartisan … are you sure you know what that word means? I hope so. Please continue.
    Ah, ‘… life that agrees with us …” I’m hoping this means you will ‘love they neighbor as thyself’ as opposed to insisting your neighbor loves the way you do, or else. Otherwise, you haven’t been listening to a damn thing, Mr. Pavlovitz.

  13. [Part Two of Six]
    “This resistance is not a rebellion against nation or an act of treason—but one of the deepest patriotism …”

    Fair warning: it appears you are trying to seize the meanings of the words ‘treason’ and ‘patriotism’. After all, it is clearly treasonous thinking to declare the legally sworn in President of the United States as ‘not your President’ if you are a US citizen. It was treasonous when those chuckle-heads did it to President Obama and nothing has changed since then. In the same way it is treasonous to call for his murder. That is established law.

    Patriotism means many things to many people. No one set of people get to define it.

    “We resist because we believe that the America we aspire to us is big enough for all who wish to be here …”

    Which is INSANELY naïve. There are easily 200 million people who would love to come to the United States from around the globe who currently live in wretched poverty. Where would we put them? How would we feed, clothe and house them? How would we educate their young and employ their adults?

    We have people living homeless in our Nation today. We have our unemployed, chronically under-employed and those who have given up on finding work. Our education system is the worst in the Developed World … and you want to bring even more people with negligible job skills in?

    “… because we believe that its beauty is in the richness of its diversity, because we remember it was born out of people seeking refugee from tyranny, because it is not a birthright to be guarded but an undeserved blessing to be shared.”

    Yet the purpose of controlled immigration has always been to imprint our dominant culture onto the immigrants. Why? Well, our culture created this Democratic Republic and our sets of civil and criminal laws which include the multitude of personal, civic and economic liberties which draw immigrants to us.

    Would we rather perpetuate that culture, or that of the culture they chose to leave for whatever reason? In far too many reasons, they left their homelands for damn good reasons ~ corrupt governance, stratified economies, no religious, or personal freedoms … and we do not want to end up like those places. Wouldn’t we rather their homelands end up being more like us?

    Is our societal acceptance of immigrants imperfect? Very much so. Still, we don’t behead dissidents, toss homosexuals off tall buildings to the cheers of crowds below, or legally allow women and children to be enslaved either. The problem is what I described in the second sentence does happen in this day in age and thanks to the 24/7 news cycle, we know about it. Asking people to ignore the fact refugees are coming from countries where stuff like that happens is equally asinine as saying all refugees, or even most, are terrorists.

    • The reason people want to immigrate here is because they love American Culture: aka Freedom & Equality. Refugees do not love our culture. They would be much prefer their own Culture. Its not their choice to pick up stakes. I think US would do well to find a way for them to stay in their own Culture. Knowing something has to be done to improve political conditions in their home country.

  14. [Part Three of Six]
    “… refugee from tyranny, because it is not a birthright to be guarded but an undeserved blessing to be shared.”

    What? By all means, ignore the legions of military tombstones standing as grim sentinels over our war dead, or the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Mr. Pavlovitz. By all means ignore every police offered killed, or crippled in the Line of Duty. Undeserved? This blessing has been paid for time in blood and time again.

    Sons & Daughters, Husbands & Wives, Mothers & Fathers have all lost loved ones so you could print your dissent, revel in your freedoms and march in safety.

    Do you think that small band of sniveling neo-Nazis don’t attack your marches because they fear your huge numbers? No. You march unarmed while they have easy access to weapons. They quiver in the shadows because US law enforcement makes sure the price would be too high for them to attempt to silence you. When they try, and they have, they are intercepted and rounded up – most of the time.

    Undeserved? It is so sad you would think so.

    “And most of all you’d have realized that you too are welcome here in our America.”

    Yet, we are only welcome if we give up all we believe in for what you believe in. Your diversity doesn’t include over 62 million Americans. You aren’t even trying to find any Common Ground.

    “If you knew this, you may have joined us in the streets of this country as we marched these past few weeks. You may have stood shoulder to shoulder as we bore witness to one another’s inherent worth. You’d have seen the unbridled joy of disparate souls declaring their interdependence. You’d have felt the sweetness of strangers recognizing their kinship together. You’d have realized that this is not a funeral, it’s a birth announcement. It is not a protest of what we are against but a celebration of all that we are for.”

    ‘If you know this …’ and I believe you never ask yourself why ‘we’ don’t ‘know this’. Whose fault is that? Not a single march was about a single new idea. 51% of White women who voted, voted against your agenda and for that of the current Administrations. By the virtue signaling of your Identity Politics, they should have all been on board with your rhetoric, but they weren’t. A significant enough portion didn’t buy into what you were selling and are now reselling … and you still don’t care.

    Oh yeah … because THEY aren’t listening … and haven’t been listening for six months now. By all means, don’t blame the message in the least.

    “The greatest tragedy right now is that you believe that we are the enemy or that we believe that you are the enemy.”

    Perhaps being insulted, screamed at and attacked would make us see things this way … that may not be YOU, but your silence in condemning those who do speaks for itself.

    • Our Freedoms were not handed to us JP. We have Freedom bc our citizens have fought violent, bloody , lethal warfare against enemies that wanted to kill, steal & destroy. My gr grandfthr was in the Civil War. Two grandfathers were in WWI. My Dad was on a ship in Japan for 4 yrs in WWII. My Brother served 8 yrs in Navy. And I would be the proudest Mother if even 1 of our sons enlisted.

  15. [Part Four of Six]
    “We don’t believe that you are; nor is faith, family, security, safety, or whatever you treasure because chances are we probably treasure it too. That’s how Humanity works. Hatred is the enemy, bigotry is the enemy, injustice is the enemy, isolation is the enemy, inequality is the enemy. It is against these things that we resist, in whatever form they take and from wherever they originate and whatever religious or political affiliation conceives them.”

    Nice ~ except, the election of Donald J. Trump was JUST. It followed all the rules of our Democratic Republic. Each and every state has verified their vote total and the Electoral College has voted according to its Constitutional authority. The obstructionist resistance to it comes across to many of us as UNJUST. Could you help us out with this … and stop behaving in an unjust manner and stop supporting and encouraging others to act in an unjust manner? Please?

    “We are for every life, which means that we are for you too. We don’t advocate for healthcare for our families alone, but for yours.
    We demand well-funded public schools, not just for our children, but yours. We fight for the rights of all women to have autonomy over their bodies, not only those who vote Democrat. We are insisting on pristine air and water not just for our future generations, but yours as well.”

    Cool beans.
    1) Your continuing inability to accept some of us don’t feel government belongs in the healthcare business is noted. It already has a huge influence through Medicaid and Medicare.
    2) Most of the $1 Trillion spent on public schools comes from the Local and State level, not the Federal (entire budget $28 Billion) … but please muddy the waters.
    3) Except it has become either-or without compromise.
    4) Which is more insanity slathered in virtue-signaling. Who doesn’t want clean air and pristine water for ourselves and our children, correct? The problem is with the price tag attached to what you claim to want.

    “We understand that poverty knows no color, creed, or nationality,
    that illness and injury are not partisan intrusions, that age and vulnerability befall us all, whatever our orientation or distinction.”

    Nice. Does this mean you will finally stop playing Identity Politics and get back to the actual issues? Things like ‘how do we pay for these things?’

    After all, Trump didn’t create a ‘Muslim Ban’, you did. Had Trump wanted to create a ‘Muslim Ban’ he should have put the four most populous Muslim nations on it. He didn’t. He didn’t even put most Muslim nations on the list. In fact, the ‘list’ was compiled by the Obama Administration as places they were having serious verification issues with.

    Oh, and why weren’t Saudi Arabia and Turkey on the list? Because if we had a problem with somebody trying to enter our country, the State Department, or Homeland Security could call their counterparts in those nations to help them out and expect an immediate, competent response ~ because the diplomatic and security services in both countries are fully functional. Unlike every nation which was on the list which is either in a full scale civil war, or has an insane level of corruption with the added bonus of being the home ground of Islamic terrorists.

  16. [Part Five of Six]
    “We believe that every family is worth protecting.”

    Oh, so every household can have a gun now? You are for easing restrictions of gun ownership and Concealed Carry Laws. Let’s start with Chicago.

    “We believe that every child deserves defense.”

    And … who doesn’t? The World Pedophile Legion? I’m sure if Trump could locate such an organization, he just might nuke them. At the minimum, he’d nuke them on Twitter.

    “We believe that every marriage is equally sacred.”

    And Trump’s open support of the LGBTQ community continues to be ignored …

    “We profess all humanity as fully deserving of dignity.”

    Dignity is nice. It costs nothing … except, I have a feeling you are going to expand on the meaning of dignity until it costs something. Wait and see.

    “We only wish you would refrain from shouting from a distance.”

    Yet all too often when speakers on the Right wish to stand up and speak, they are the ones being shouted down, not the ones from the Left. Last year, it was an endless parade of people going to Trump rallies and attempting to disrupt them. In 2017, we have violent incidents at UW, UC-Berkeley and NYU to show us how intolerant the Left is.

    “We wish that you would stop telling us why we’re doing this.”

    This cuts both ways. Stop calling President Trump supporters racist, misogynist, homophobic, xenophobes, Fox News-worshiping monsters because the vast majority are not … no more than all of ‘you’ are anarchistic, man-hating feminazi, deviant Atheists. Stop it and you will look less petulantly irrational as if you were reading your talking points off of Mother Jones, Salon and CNN.

    “We wish you would stop taking a battle posture.”

    We wish you would stop having your peaceful protest turning into riots, smashing things, burning vehicles and … oh yeah, hurting people. Yes, we know most of your protests do not end up as riots. A surprising number of them do ~ enough for the rest of us to be wary … because those are TERROR tactics.

    “We wish you could see this country as large enough for us all.”

    ‘Us’ as in all ‘us’ citizens, or ‘us’ as in everyone who wishes to live here? Few in the opposition to this ‘resistance’ have a problem with the former. The latter – no. Far too many of ‘us’ believe in borders and proper immigration. This land is, in fact, not big enough for every refugee from around the globe.

    We are better of making their homeland a place worth staying in than simply opening our borders to EVERYONE, which seem to be the approach of the Left.

  17. [Part Six of Six]
    “We’ll keep resisting because those we resist for are worth it.
    All we ask is that you endeavor to listen.
    If you do you’ll hear the immutable truth:”

    And here is where you screwed up ~ “immutable truth”.
    What this means is unassailable dogma. Once you define anything as ‘immutable’ … the argument is at an end. There can be no give and take, no compromise. Your position becomes the Correct one and all other are rendered False by fiat – no further discussion necessary.

    I’m reminded of the memories of the interrogations in ‘Darkness at Noon’.
    ‘Are you Listening? Why don’t you listen? If you would only listen.’ on and on again as if you had somehow missed what they had been saying all along.

    Then it becomes, ‘why are you making yourself the enemy? Why would you want to be the enemy {rolls out the list of all the good things they stand for} of all this? What is WRONG with you?’

    Again, as if, we couldn’t discern the good and bad qualities of your position, but still decide, taken as a whole, your position was the wrong one. At issue is not the fact many of us can find fault in our stance – we can – President Trump is a handful and then some – it is your inability to faults in your own, your inability to bend which leads to no level of compromise.

    “We really are in this together.”

    Actually, ‘WE’ have never doubted that. You have.

    “This really is the way forward. It truly is America’s greatness.”

    No, there is another way forward – the way of the American political process which you are fighting at every turn. It was achieved by one side playing by the rules and winning against steep odds. Now, having lost the election … you do this.

    It isn’t like what Trump is doing is ‘shocking’. These are many of his campaign promises. He is acting on them.

    So, were listening and we are not liking what we are hearing. If ever there was an excellent reason to vote Republican in 2018, it is right here … in these arrogant words of Pastor Pavlovitz and hundreds of others like him who chide and belittle us.

    You did not give a damn about a single Trump voter last summer. You didn’t give a damn about them this November 8th. You were stunned by us on November 9th. You have been fighting us ever since, showering us with unfettered condescension and vanity.

    Our voices and concerns have zero worth in your eyes. You tell us this time and time again. We aren’t listening? No, we are and we know there is no hope of dealing with you and others like you. No Quarter it seems. Why? I’m not certain.

    By refusing to budge even after your defeat. After showing you that all virtue signaling did was shut down discussion, not change minds … and you changed nothing. You are doubling-down on the policies which led to your defeat. How can that be read as anything more than a cosmic ‘Shut Up!’ to the rest of us?

    You have not listened. You have not learned. You are getting ready to repeat the lessons of 2016 all over again which will only compound this national tragedy of polarization and extremism.

  18. [Addition]

    A ‘fun’ aside: it seems recently a Syrian refugee kid did to a 14 year old Canadian girl at a school function what Brock Turner did to that woman at Stanford except neither one was drunk. He was suspended for one week ~ the refugee, not Brock. The mother was told to be ‘sensitive’ to the fact he was displaced from his homeland and from a different culture. The assistant principle suggested what the daughter was wearing might have brought on the assault … she is a woman, btw.

    But ‘HEY, that was in Canada!’ right? Just like the mosque shooting …

    • Word Superman – do you feel better now? I hope so.

      But it is fascinating to watch – more on the lines of watching the after effect of a train wreck, where you hope that no one was actually killed but watching the battered and bleeding bodies crawling out of the wreckage makes you secretly happy you weren’t a passenger.

      Was that what you were going for? Or were you going in for the kill? Because if you go on some comment threads they say it in fewer words. “All libtards should douse themselves with gasoline and
      light a match.”

      Frankly I don’t feel like I or a lot of the people here deserve all that scorn. But you are Word Superman. Maybe it is your way of saying I love to have cordial discussions where we exchange views as we each have our own stories of why we believe as we do.

      From an aging flower child – Peace, Love, Happiness and Rock & Roll

      • Joanne,
        I suspect he thinks he can overwhelm us with all his words. What he doesn’t get, I suspicion, is most of us just bypass it. If you have to take that much space to justify yourself, well, some of us aren’t impressed. When they start telling me how they are going to help lift people up instead of just repealing and destroying everything then they will get my attention. Just saying,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Peace,

      • Dear Joanne,
        Is it ok to ask – what exactly do you disagree with?
        Perhaps you have a reason (for others who bothered to read is point of view), to question one or more of the points James made?

        • I will answer any question. I even answered one from Zaglog.

          I rechecked my words and did not see where I said I disagreed with him.

          I admire James, I have said so often. I admire him as a man and as a writer.

          His writing, when it comes to critiquing John seems angry and sometimes hyperbolic. He is very passionate. It is a wonderful thing to have passion and creativity like he does.

          He just sees John’s words differently than I do. So when he shows such scorn for John’s words maybe I take it too personally. It would be like someone writing a bad review for a cherished book and mocking everyone who enjoyed that book.

          • My problem, Ms. Musto, is Mr. Pavlovitz’s post is insulting to everyone who holds a reasoned stance in support of the November Decision. I am not 9 years old and he isn’t my Grandmother lecturing me on what I may have done wrong yet that is the precise tone he is taking here.

            Many in the opposition are listening.

            He isn’t offering any new points which would alter anyone’s opinions. I’m sure if you agreed wholeheartedly with him before you read the first word, you still do. If you disagreed, there wasn’t a single thing he said which would make one even consider changing their mind.

            This is a train wreck alright. You’ll are being shepherded into another disaster because what John is offering isn’t dialogue – it is dogma.

            Immutable truth? Spare me. This post was just BAD. I read it, re-read it and then wrote a short response. It didn’t begin to address the bilge John was tossing out … so I began to addressing individual sections … then individual lines … thus the essay.

            As the Duke of Wellington said: “They came at us in the same old way, and we beat them, in the same old way”.

            Pastor Pavlovitz offered nothing new except to exclaim “You aren’t listening to me!” when actually saying “why aren’t you believing what I’m telling you?” which is a road we have gone down many times before.

            Fine. If you want another ‘stunning’ upset in 2018, stay the course. That is precisely where you are heading. Lots of nodding heads, bland agreements and then a gut-stabbed feeling the morning after yet again with the knowledge multiple folks around you who you were sure were on your side – weren’t … yet again.

            • James – there is simply no easy way to say this….we are witnessing and participating in a cultural shift….I count myself fortunate – having some capacity to stand back and try to see things as they truly are -without sacrificing principles or interjecting filters and expectations.
              I suspect, you do the same and therefore can appreciate the difficulty and challenge.

            • I read the whole thing (all six parts and the addendum). You did a pretty good job of replying to what was basically demagoguery.

              Sadly, a reasoned argument only works with reasonable people. Someone who believes as blindly and as passionately as JP isn’t going to care about reason or logic.

              Don’t get discouraged, but don’t expect your words to convince the blindly dogmatic true believer.

          • Dear Joanne,
            I have no problem with your loyalty to John P. – in fact I arduously defend his right to make commentaries and of course the right of others to agree or disagree with some degree of clarity and acuity.

            What I was trying to understand…..given your stated disdain for James’ lengthy opinion – if there was something specific.

            To be clear – I am not interested in your emotional reaction rather I’m interested to learn if you had an argument or counterpoint to one or more of James’ positions.

            My take away from this is – you “feel” James’ tone was angry or hyperbolic.
            This essentially tells me the interaction is over – as I am certain your know – denying or debating with someone over feelings is well….pointless and typically unproductive.

      • You have to ask? I’m one point down, DANG IT! I bear the Mark of Cain with soulful eyes and dour animus yet know God has placed worse challenges before better women and they did not lose heart. Can I try any less than they?

        • James, It has been pointed out to me when I was pulled over by the comment police that I showed “disdain” for your words. I am sorry. My excuse for my behavior was pointless and typically unproductive.

          I think you won by winning Joe’s approval.


    • Dear James,
      I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

      Obviously, there are some here who will not appreciate your point of view or the length of your response as I did.

      Normally, I dissect the commentaries – today I thought I saw a change in the writing approach – to one less divisive.
      If my perception is somewhat correct – the inconsistencies and contradictions will speak for themselves.

    • All this lecturing about how we’re in denial about the election results doesn’t set well when it comes from the people who spent 8 YEARS denying the legitimacy of a twice-elected President. But carry on…..

    • James: I’m pretty sure John P is not going to understand your rebuttal. [I don’t see him as a precise thinker, or a deep thinker, or a critical thinker. sorry, sloppy, comes to mind.] I think he does automatic writing. It loops & loops, going over the exact same bromides, day after day. To me, his writings can be read a paragraph at a time, & fast forward. [Your writing, merits reading word-for-word.] I believe ea style of writing appeals to ea group. Can’t say why.

      I think John P values feelings and personal experience a lot, and portrays that as being the Truth. I’m more skeptical about emotions being used as indicators of truth. Emotions have much value, but I don’t think they are always reliable.

  19. Thanks JP for the post and the beautiful photographs. That is the word I want to live in. Everyone getting along and working together towards the common good– despite their differences.

    • Stopping terrorism and finding a way to end abortion– is in my opinion for the common good. You will find most, if not all people, think abortion and terrorism are bad. There is your common ground. The problem is we differ about how to go about things. Deporting people and denying help to people in crisis and yanking funding from programs — without counting the costs or examining the impact on people, in my opinion, is not the best way. Thinking good thoughts is what it is all about friend. This is where the battles is– in our own minds. We will truly be able to make peace and progress towards the ideal when we stop fighting about our differences and start working together to find creative solutions. We need the talents, ideas and experiences everyone brings to the table to do that. Don’t you think?

  20. Dear John Pavlovitz Reader:

    Much of what is said is good and needs repeating. But methinks we err to suppose that genuine resistance is apolitical. Unless we speak specific truth to specific forms of unjust institutionalized power, what exactly are we really resisting? Just a thought …


  21. Pingback: The Trump Administration - Page 100 - Playa del Carmen, Mexico forum

  22. So much for resistance when reality strikes….
    Gov. Jerry Brown has asked President Trump to declare a major disaster for California because of damage from January storms.

    My my….how quickly Trump is now suddenly recognized as the President as CALIFORNIA begs for federal assistance….

    • You know you need to check out some facts. California is one of the states that give the most money to the federal government and one of the least dependent on federal money. Most of the states that Trump won are higher on the list of being dependent on the government.

      Every time another state has a disaster I donate to Red Cross. I cannot donate a lot but I donate what I can because this is my country.

      Who else can California go to? You are a JERK.
      I live in California and not too far from the flooding.

      Hopefully Trump will not have the balls to deny help to those suffering just because he is in a snit.

      • Have you noticed the only time they have a fit when a state gets assistance is a blue state. And if they just checked the records they would find that the blue states get less than a dollar back for every dollar sent to the Feds but the red states all get more than a dollar back for everyone they send. Then they gripe when a blue state has a disaster and needs assistance. Who do they think are paying for their disasters. Peace,

        • Really Joe. This is what you have to say to me. I guess I have to let that thread go. I thought you were a Christian – a good Catholic. So you tar my whole state with your hate including me. You really had me foooled.

            • When someone tells me to do something I usually do the exact opposite. Ask my husband.

              But I admit I do not know how to fight. I was an only child until I was 13 and my parents adopted my 3 year old brother. I was then his babysitter. A few years later I was able to convince him to lie down in the back seat while my friend and I cruised the drag when we supposed to be at the library.

              It was quite a shock having 4 boys who were forever wrestling.

              I am a fixer and would like everyone to be happy. I am doomed to constant failure. When I get overwhelmed I curl up in a corner. When I get over myself I get up and do it all over again.

              Both of my parents suffered from dementia before they passed. So I figure odds are not great for me. There was an old movie called “Splash”. The secretary in the movie, obviously suffering from something once wore her bra on the outside of her clothes. So everyday I check in the mirror. I checked this morning and my bra is underneath my clothes so I am good to go.

              • Joanne,
                Someone after my own heart. A good day for me is when I can sit up put my legs over the bed on my own and I know what my name is. Then I know everything else will work out. Now I might have to add checking where my bra is just to be safe. Peace

            • Well done, Joe/Lone/Benny/and other various names.

              nice to see the somewhat humble side of you

              Btw, I only go by Joe so I am the real Joe Catholic after all !

              signed the Real Joe Catholic 😀

              • Benny.Joe/Lone/ Peter/ Let The/ Everyone Has… Seriously, man, you do not fool us. We are astute readers and when we see you saying something to Joanne Musto, for example, using one of your pseudonyms and continue the exact same conversation using another one of the pseudonyms, it is too easy to figure out that you are the same person, posting under a buncha different names trying to suck people in.

                But since are most likely a child posing as an adult, you don’t have the life experience yet to recognize that you fool none of us and all we are impressed by is your cowardice. Of course, you might be using the pseudonyms to fool your parents into thinking that you are using your allotted computer time wisely.

            • Well it’s nice to apologize Joe/Lone/Benny/and other various names, even if it is wrapped up in self justification.

              I will never forget the mocking man video you posted and your devotion to Trump the con man.

              I don’t trust you at all. Apologies are only believable backed up by actions.

            • Look who thinks his opinion matters to those of us who understand what it means tom love our neighbor as ourselves. Look who thinks he has power and authority over our reactions to anything except his trollish cowardice.

          • Might I suggest, since you don’t know the difference and proper usage of “there” and “their” that you employ a spellcheck? Grammarly Light is a good one and it is free.

            • Dear Gloriamarie –
              I have never in the past slammed you or others for spelling and grammer mistakes.

              Do you really want to go there?

              May I kindly suggest, you cut yourself and everyone else some slack….

              • May I kindly suggest you STFU?

                Don’t you know by now that I don’t have civil discussions with anyone who refuses to kiss Mr. Pavolovitz’ perfect butt?

                • Aren’t you adorable?

                  I revise my estimate of your age, you must be only about eight years old with this blatant display of immaturity and bad manners.

                  And yet you were the one who said at Christmas he was sorry he had failed to behave like a Christian gentleman. Clearly you are too immature to know what those two words mean.

      • Joanne, I too live in California, in San Diego. We too have had fierce flash floods with lives lost. It is truly a shame when someone mocks people being killed.

        • Well, I certainly did not expect the reaction. Hopefully it is not the first thought I would have upon hearing any state was experiencing a disaster especially one caused by weather which no one can control.

          I live about 90 miles south of Sacramento. We have had floods in this area before. I live 2 blocks from a canal and in an area that is declared a flood plain. So then you buy Flood Insurance just in case which of course we have never had to use yet. Fingers crossed. More rain expected starting Thursday.

          I will hope that no lives are lost or harmed.


          • Joanne, I am more sorry than I can say to have to say this, but that lack of compassion for others is exactly what I have come to expect from certain people who follow this blog. Especially when they post under various pseudonyms.

            But look at the examples they have in the politicians they revere. People whose lives were adversely affected by that huge East Coast blizzard a few years ago NEVER got their federal disaster aid because a GOP Congress refused to give it to them.

            Governor Brown is doing his job when he requests federal disaster aid for a disaster.

            One would think people would be compassionate and be more concerned about the presence of a disaster instead of their own ego strokes they get from lashing out.

            I admire your attempts to communicate, but I tried that and discovered it is all just a set-up. I called them out on it and you see the result, they troll me.

      • I have a question for you. When all the disasters were happening in the red states during the last administration did you ask the same question of them? They spent 8 years trying to demonize the President to the point of suggesting he might not have evolved as far as all the good white citizens had. Then even before the disaster was over they would ask that self same president for help. Lots of help. Did you deride them? They said he was an illegitimate president. Just saying…….. At least be consistent.

        • Remember how long it took the Bush 2 administration to get basic needs to New Orleans after Katrina? While NOLA was being destroyed that day, Bush 2 himself was here in San Diego having a party on the Ronald Reagan.

          Remember that the people who suffered enormous losses in that huge blizzard NEVER received the aid promised them because Congress, GOP, refused to release it?

          Whenever there is a disaster, wherever there is a disaster, aid MUST be given. A disaster is a disaster that’s why we call them disasters. It doesn’t matter who is affected, we must act to bring surcease and solace. Immediately.

          Compassion is apparently not available for all human beings, according to some folk.

          • Gloriamarie,
            I remember the GOP voting against aid to the Northeast when Sandy hit. It boggles the mind that anyone would try to make a political point using a disaster. I am coming to the conclusion that some people have no bottom. It is disappointing. Peace

        • Dear Anonymous:

          So I reread your post.

          You mention Governor Brown asking for a declaration of disaster and add that “suddenly,” Mr. Trump recognized as the President as California begs for federal assistance.

          Presumably, Governor Brown is State head and legal representative for California.

          I utilized a literary device known as metonym, in which a part or characteristic of a thing is made to function as the whole. For example. If I reference New Delhi in political discourse, it is understood that I speak of the policies of the Government of India.

          Your observation of belated recognition of the Presidency would make sense had the state of California questioned its legitimacy. I hadn’t heard of this happening. I honestly wasn’t aware that the legitimacy of the Presidency was at issue in California.

          Therefore, my question.


  23. “We have the right to live our lives, with God or without, as we choose,” Streep said. “There is a prohibition against the establishment of a state religion in our constitution, and we have the right to choose with whom we live, whom we love, and who and what gets to interfere with our bodies. As Americans, men, women, people, gay, straight, LGBTG. All of us have the human right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
    by M. Streep

  24. This was beautifully written and I share the same sentiment.

    It’s not about politics for me. It’s about common decency, being honest (which we haven’t heard much of these past three weeks), honoring others that are not like us, loving our fellow man and woman, opening our arms to those who don’t have freedom and liberty.

    I’m not a Christian. I am a human being that follows the path of kindness and compassion. I struggle with this path because it is sometime very hard to have this attitude when there are people who say they are Christian or follow a religious faith and spew hate, xenophobia, are racist, bigoted, etc. I don’t understand them and why they hate so much, what they are afraid of.

    John Pavlovitz is brilliant in his writing. He captured exactly why I protest and resist this administration and will never except this presidency, with it’s lies and fear mongering.

    • Welcome, elsa hart.

      Some of us, such as I, are uncomfortable with the identification as “Christian” because of the ugliness now associated with it. I personally am Episcopalian and often refer to myself as a follower of Jesus.

      If you persist with this blog, and I hope you do, you will soon discover that there are ugly Christian voices here. Some of us are gifted to be able to engage. I am not one and so instead, to what they write, I offer gifts of what I love. Sadly, these are not received as gifts but are mocked and scorned.

      Why is that? Because instead of asking for more information, certain people make assumptions that whatever is they feel, I caused it. So they react in ugly ways. They treat John P. the same way. They assume we intend them to feel whatever it is they have **chosen** to feel.

      The way of compassion requires that one cease to make assumptions and, instead, gather more information. You might be inteerested in a FB reading group on Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps of Compassion. We are only on page 9, so we grogress slowly through the book.

      Any who are interested to learn about compassion for all people are welcome to join.https://www.facebook.com/groups/1625117557792102/

    • Well said,
      That is why I started reading his blog. At times one can feel really alone and this has helped realize that not everyone out there is hateful and that I have company in wishing for love and compassion for all of humanity. Peace,

    • Thank you for your sentiments.

      Beware of the crazy people here and especially beware of all the rapists that this blog attracts. There are more rapists here than you can shake a stick at!

  25. Conservative Christians face backlash for speaking out against Trump

    February 13, 2017 / 0 Comments
    On Friday, we reported that several conservative denominations were pushing back against Trump. However, some individual Christian conservatives who have done the same have faced backlash, some even losing their jobs for refusing to “keep quiet.” The Atlantic has gathered a number of stories from people who have had these experiences, including Joy Beth Smith, who was fired from Focus on Family for posts she had made on her social media. Among other things, she had written in support of Evan McMullin, whom she was supporting in the presidential election, and other posts criticizing Trump for his derogatory comments about women. She was told to abide by a “spokesperson policy,” stating that no political opinions could be voiced by employees without prior authorization. Shannon Dingle, who faced a similar situation at Key Ministry, a Christian disability-advocacy organization, said, “It seems like there is this silencing of evangelical women if we don’t stick with approved talking points,” She added that staying silent in this kind of political environment “is more damaging to our witness and more damaging to those who don’t know Christ,” she added. “We don’t say the gospel is only for you if you don’t have disabilities, or only for you if you are part of the religious right.” Others have had funds pulled from their missionary work, been denied gigs as Christian musicians, or faced other ramifications for speaking out against the unchristian actions of the current administration.


  26. These Conservative Christians Are Opposed to Trump—and Suffering the Consequences
    People working in ministry, music, and nonprofit advocacy are facing pressure for their political beliefs.

    Earlier this month, Jonathan Martin jotted off a sad tweet. “I’ve lost count of the number of people who say they’ve had ministry jobs threatened/been fired for speaking out in some way in this season,” the Christian author and speaker wrote. Confirmation rolled in: one story from a church planter in California, another from a former worship leader in Indiana. These are “not people who would historically self-identify as progressives, at all,” Martin told me later. They’re “people who see themselves as being very faithful evangelicals.”

    Donald Trump has divided conservative Christian communities. Most white Christians support Trump, or at least voted for him. Some who have spoken out against his presidency or his policies, though, have encountered backlash. For a small group of people working in Christian ministry, music, and nonprofit advocacy, the consequences have been tangible: They’ve faced pressure from their employers, seen funds withdrawn from their mission work, or lost performing gigs because of their political beliefs.

    Many of these stories suggest a generational divide in the church. Young Christians who describe themselves as theological conservatives don’t necessarily identify as political conservatives, although some who do are also horrified by Trump. The issues they’re passionate about—whether it’s racial reconciliation or refugee care—might not match the priorities of their elders. And the pushback often comes online: Posts on Facebook, Twitter, or personal blogs might prompt a text from the boss or an outraged message from a church friend. For Millennials used to speaking their minds on social media, institutional rules curtailing their freedom—whether they’re standard policies or not—might be jarring.

    America’s divided political environment has made many religious organizations sensitive about what their employees say and do. “A lot of church leaders are wanting to play it especially safe and not wanting staff members to speak out,” Martin said. This impulse, to quiet political disagreements rather than engage them, will shape how these communities evolve: as places welcome to all who share their creed, or only those who hold certain political beliefs.

    * * *

    Joy Beth Smith joined Focus on the Family in May 2016 as the editor of Boundless.org, a website for single people in the church. The 28-year-old is fairly media savvy: By the time she started at Focus, she was shopping a book proposal and had bylines at magazines like Christianity Today. When her blog posts for Boundless started getting picked up—including a piece republished by The Washington Post in June—her bosses were thrilled, she told me recently.

    But Smith was also pushing the Boundless audience. She commissioned a post about race that she described as “mild”—“it basically addressed that there are still racial divides,” she said. When Omar Mateen murdered dozens of people at Pulse, the gay nightclub in Orlando, she wrote a tribute post, which caused a “bit of a stir” among readers, she said: “I don’t know how you can get stirred up over lives that were lost, but people were. That’s kind of the conservative space we existed in and were working against at times.”

    In October, Smith wrote a piece for The Washington Post about her experience with sexual assault, criticizing Trump for his derogatory comments toward women and Christian leaders for not speaking out. And that’s when she started getting serious internal pushback.

    Almost as soon as the article went up, Paul Batura, Focus’s vice president of communications, pulled Smith into a meeting with her supervisor, Lisa Anderson, Smith alleges. Batura asked Smith if she could have the piece removed from the Post’s website. That would be impossible, Smith explained; and besides, she had written the piece under her own byline, not as a representative of Focus. Batura told her to remove her affiliation with Boundless from her personal social-media accounts, and at the end of the day, she was given notice of an official conduct warning.

    The next day, Focus leadership sent out an email to the staff clarifying the organization’s policy on political speech, according to documents shared by Smith. “The most prudent path for all of us—and the most protective approach for Focus—is to leave the policy statements up to Jim Daly, Paul Batura, the quarterbacks, or others authorized to speak on Focus’ behalf,” wrote Joel Vaughan, the chief of staff and human-resources officer at Focus. He added that “it is permissible of course—and often helpful—to agree publicly with positions Focus has taken, such as linking personal pages to Focus posts … or to Jim Daly’s blog.” A few days later, they asked Smith to take down several social-media posts about Evan McMullin, who she was supporting for president. The message was that “‘sometimes the wisest course of action is not to engage,’” Smith told me. “Of course, that’s what Christianity has been doing for years, and it hasn’t worked so well for us.”

    At the beginning of November, Focus circulated a “spokesperson” policy, according to Smith. It stated that public-facing representatives of the organization were not allowed to comment on candidates for political office, and could only speak on political issues with Focus’s authorization. Smith was asked to take down more posts: Right after the election, she wrote a Facebook status lamenting transgender suicide. “It comes across as smug, disrespectful, and distinctly partisan,” a staffer told her, according to a text exchange Smith shared. “I think there’s a lack of wisdom in going at this on social. Please pull.”

    On November 18, Smith’s bosses told her they didn’t think she could be a good spokesperson for Focus on the Family, according to Smith. She was given two options: She could resign, get a severance, promise not to take legal action, and sign a non-disparagement agreement. Or, she could choose to be fired. She chose firing.

    In an email to me, Batura declined to comment on Smith’s situation “out of respect for the privacy of our current or former teammates.” In general, Focus “[advocates] for biblically relevant issues and [encourages] our employees and constituents to vote for those candidates who most closely reflect and represent their conscience and convictions,” he said. People who represent Focus “are not to ‘get out ahead’ of the organization on issues that could be relevant to the work and ministry of Focus on the Family or speak against an established ministry position,” he continued, citing the organization’s nonprofit status as the main reason for these policies.

    Roughly eight months after she moved out to Colorado Springs to join Focus, Smith packed her bags and moved home to Illinois. She talked in only vague terms about the reason for her departure, but after she posted about it on Facebook, a woman in North Carolina named Shannon Dingle reached out. “I just kind of got a sense that it might have been similar to what happened to me,” Dingle said. “I knew how lonely it felt.” Smith, as it turned out, wasn’t the only one who had recently been through something like this.

    * * *

    Dingle, 34, writes and speaks about welcoming disabled people into the church. She has a background in special education, and several of her six young kids have special needs: One is in a wheelchair, another is autistic, and another is HIV-positive. She started working with Key Ministry, a Christian disability-advocacy organization, in 2014, speaking at conferences and writing blog posts for the organization.

    Even though Dingle and her husband attended a Southern Baptist church at the time, she had always held some politically liberal positions, she said. But she didn’t feel like that would be a problem at Key. “Most of our materials said we served Christ-honoring churches, and we let churches decide if that fit them or not,” she said. “It always seemed to me, from the beginning, that what mattered was that we agreed on the essentials. Anything else, in who we served and who we were, was totally acceptable.”

    You may read the rest of the article here:

    • Gloriamarie, Thanks for sharing the articles above. Both sad and uplifting, sad because doing the right thing cost them their jobs, but uplifting because they did the right thing. Peace

      • They did do the right thing—and if they had fired me—I would have worn it publicly and proudly. Of course, I have to say that anyone who would get mixed up organizations like those to begin with—even to the point of working for them—was just plain crazy. They should have never even gone in their front door to begin with.

  27. When I first visited the John Pavlovitz blog several years ago, John had his e-mail address posted prominently and encouraged people to write to him. Best I can tell, he appears to have removed his e-mail address from his blog—which means none of us can contact him. I am just wondering what the motive was for removing it. Was it any of the following:

    1) Safety and security

    2) Harassing e-mail messages from his detractors.

    3) Too many messages to respond to from too many supporters.

    4) I have reached a new and higher plain of ministry where I no longer need the “little people” who send me e-mail messages.

    5) Something else I have not thought of here.

  28. I would like to congratulate Joe Catholic, Anonymous, and their various aliases for pretty much succeeding in doing something no one in the United States has ever succeeded in doing—a 95 percent shutdown of the John Pavlovitz blog. Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical pastors and church members all over the United States have desperately wanted that to happen for several years now—but were apparently unable to figure out how to do it.

    It was a masterful feat of engineering on your part Joe, one I quite frankly thought would never work when it became clear to me that this was your ultimate goal. I might quibble with your methods, but no red-blooded American can argue with success. Therefore, I will not. I will simply congratulate you on a job well done. Congratulations Joe.

    Being a professional scientist—all of us are curious by nature—was “blog shutdown” a skill you learned on your own by trial and error over the years. If not, did you take a training course to learn how to do this? Can a person get paid money to do what you have succeeded so well in doing here? I really would like to know more about this. If you would like to discuss this, send me an e-mail message to tcbkjbbrown@comcast.net. I am truly fascinated with what you have done here and how masterfully it was done. Thanks and have a good day!!!

      • No. But look at the thread above. Normally, lots of other people would be showing up and engaging in conversation. That is not what is happening. Almost everyone except for a very small handful of diehard regulars like you and me are gone. Joe Catholic, his sidekick, and his aliases have succeeded in torching this place. No one wants to enter a building that is already roaring in flames, and no one wants to re-enter a building where they have been burned once by a PREVAILING dysfunctional environment created by a man on an obvious malevolent mission to destroy John’s internet ministry. Heck, if I were as desperate to get rid of this ministry as many fundies preachers are, I would have gladly paid money to someone like Joe to make this happen.

        I have visited and participated in blogs and forums for as many years as John P. has been in ministry—and I can honestly say—I have never seen anyone succeed so masterfully at dysfunctionalizing and destroying a blog as what Joe and his sidekick “Gray Anonymous” have succeeded in doing here over the past couple of months.

        It really is a marvel to behold. A person cannot do something like this without extraordinary experience and skill learned from many years of trial and error or through a formal training course in social media disruption. I am just wondering how Joe came by the skills to launch such an extraordinary and coordinated attack—and how to properly escalate and sustain the attack so it can do maximal damage. You do not succeed in doing something like this by accident—unless you believe you have a special gift for buying lottery tickets. This was premeditated malevolence conducted in masterful fashion on an almost professional level.

        • Don’t you know John P personally? Can you tell him what’s happening. maybe he could ban the more poisonous voices.

          • Have you thought that maybe people stay away because of you, as well. You ALL jump down peoples throats when they make a comment you don’t like. And people cant get a word in because you flood the blog with you own words. People need to chill and give some space for other voices.

            • hmm…..
              Hates little handmaiden just can’t handle others having a different point of view.

              It’s plain enough to see – notice how she gets all “self righteous” when others are not intimidated by the sloppiness of her psycho- intellectual babble.

            • One More Time: It isn’t differing POVs. It’s the way people choose to express themselves. It is possible to disgree using respectful and validating language.

              When people make assumptions about other people, when people write in demeaning terms, then that person is a troll and doesn’t deserve any attention at all. I have my very own personal troll. That person will write something revolting in response to this.

              I ignore but the person will respond to everything I write even after being told I ignore. Someone is a pathologically obsessed with me. I suspect people avoid making comments because they don’t want to be treated this way. Especially by someone too cowardly to use an actual name.

              • oh my gosh gloriamarie. you have called all that oppose your views here stupid, ignorant, islamophobic, homophobic, bigots, ill-educated, misogynist, cowards, mentally ill, pathological, and recently made repeated accusations of rape. wow.

        • Then, Kathleen, I would ask you to search your conscience to see if you and any who support me, might be willing to also report it to John P. I believe Charles has John’s email address and now we have Charles’.

    • I’m pleased that you have finally admitted to something I have suspected for awhile that this is playtime for you. Thank you for admitting that you mock those of us who believe that there just might be a different and more human way of achieving life, liberty and happiness for everyone. You seemed consumed with the idea that we are all evil, well, my guess is that we all care about the unborn, but I also care what happens to them once they are on this planet, anywhere on this planet. I don’t seem to get that from you, So you keep playing but it won’t change any minds because this is grown up business. The business of loving all and I mean all of your neighbors whereever they are. Peace

      • Kathleen. I just did an Internet search on “Learn How to Troll.” There are actual manuals on line that teach people how to be better and more effect trolls, how to disrupt blogs, forums, and websites with maximum efficiency. Just do your own search and take a look.

        But even more troubling, take a look at this brief article from “Psychology Today.” Internet trollers have been studied en mass. Read about what they found out here:


        Note the word “play.”

        • Charles, Thank you, that is an interesting article which sadly confirms what I have always believed. I am going to take the last two suggestions to heart. I have always felt that if we ignore them they will get bored and move on to someone else. Please God let it be soon. I would hate to lose this place now that I have found a lot of like minded souls. Peace…………

        • Charles, the author never mentioned that we have one who is bat-shit crazy. He admits he used several names and even talks back and forth to himself. He really needs help but all we can do is ignore him. Sometimes he (oh so kindly engages) and then turns around and calls people “filthy liars”. He scares me. Take the advice of a professional and ignore him.

      • Quite a while back I said any response to him was stroking his ego and giving him what he wants. He’s like his idol, HWSNBN, al, any publicity at all strokes his ego. Neither care what sort of publicity they get as long as they get it. That’s why it hurrts me to see Joanne Musto drawn into hsi web. He is going to hurt her, big time.

        • Gloriamarie,
          I agree with you. I have decided that I will not read anything he posts and am going to ignore. I will engage with those people who are willing to engage in a civil manner. I am not going to let him spoil this because he wins. I have found over the years that that is how they win by dividing us. I have seen it over and over in the church, a faction will come into the church, cause hate and discontent and the church splits, only that isn’t enough because they are still not satisfied and it will split again, It then becomes a shadow of what it used to be. I think the trolls are the same. I have the same concern for Joanne because she seems to have a very soft heart. Peace,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

          • Thank you, Kathleen, for your support. Sadly, even agreeing on a strategy is feeding his ego.

            The sad thing is tht new people join, and as did Joanne, get sucked into thinking it is possible to have a reasonable conversation with him.

            I wish Charles would stop engaging him. It is one thing to have a mission to expose the Christian Right for what it is and another to engage the trolls.

            Please note how none of them ever prove the dastardly accusations they make against John P.

            And as for the way the immature one made fun of my name… there were girls in my sixth-grade class who were far more creative when it came to making fun of my last name.

            Of course, they were bigots in the making, just as he is.

            So let us agree to ignore, pray for Joanne and Charles, among many others here.

            • Gloriamarie, I am in total agreement. By the way, I understand about making fun of names, my maiden name was Barnes, so you can imagine what they did with that. Peace……………

              • Yes, I can imagine and I am sorry that you went through that. Children can be so cruel as we see in the postings of Benny.Joe/Lone/Pete/Let the…/Everyone has..

                I am so glad to have met you, so to speak.

                • Gloriamarie, As for what kids did, I got over it. Matter of fact it is a joke in the family, seeing who got called the worst name. That is what children do, Now adults, that’s a whole other thing. I am glad to have met you too.

          • –you guys are hilarious. Half of your posts are about how you’re going to ‘ignore’ ‘trolls’. Let’s talk about John Ps ideas and philosophy.

    • I’m sorry Joe Catholic. I grew up down South and have watched Southern Belles far more masterful than you doing the “What? Little ole me?” song and dance you just did in this post. I am not buying it because your “artwork” on this blog has far outraced a simple “little ole me.” The worker is known by the quality of his work.

      • dang Joe….seems to me – you’re getting flamed for no reason….as I was told earlier….if your not taking flack – you’re not over the target.
        I’m afraid, even attempts at civil discourse will cause eruptions…. “Don’t you know by now that some can’t have civil discussions with anyone who refuses to kiss Mr. Pavolovitz’ perfect butt?”

    • Dear Charles,
      I have always wondered if you were John P (though you have denied it)….your writing style is similar to the commentaries with respect to object verb placement….no a big deal.
      Anyway, I seriously doubt this blog was “targeted” for trolling….but yes, people are hired to “troll” social blogs, news sites and of course twitter like comms.
      Can you get paid to this – yup. Unfortunately, these are low paying jobs with no benefits. Check out the Soro’s run orgs….they advertise all the time for this stuff among other things (there’s more money in rioting)….Clinton shut her op down….not sure about the conservative orgs but I suspect they do it too.
      Try looking on Craig’s List in the larger metro areas….in the help wanted and political sections.
      Last and arguably, I don’t think Joe is responsible to the degree assigned. Just my two cents. Cia.

    • Joe – you’ve been reported….the way I see it – you’ve got two options:
      One – change your name (again), or
      Two, put your on your vagina cap with safety pin and wait for Gloria to show up to take you into blog custody…..personally, I wouldn’t go down without a fight….lol

  29. Then why aren’t Saudi Arabia (the 9/11 terrorists) and Pakistan on the list? Because Lord Cheeto has business dealings with them, that’s why. This whole thing is a farce and a distraction.

    • Sigh … because their governments are relatively stable, cooperate with the US on counter-terrorism issues and their Foreign Offices and Security Services return our phone calls.

      Iran regularly refuses to cooperate ~ so they are on the list.

      Precisely who do we call on such issues in Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen? Also take into account large areas of Iraq and Sudan are current wracked by civil war and Islamic insurgency … so their governments have huge holes in their citizenry accounting. Furthermore we KNOW, from the days of the Obama Administration, the above six countries have been heavy infiltrated by ‘foreign fighters’ making an already chaotic situation worse.

      Yes, there are Islamic insurgencies in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Mali, Nigeria, the Philippines and Thailand just to name a few more, but those nations are doing a decent job trying to hold the floodgates shut.

      Finally … how soon we forget:
      Abdul Razak Ali Artan, a Somali immigrant, drove his car into a crowd on Ohio State University campus November 28th, 2016, hospitalizing 13 before being shot and killed by police. By all means, we did those 13 people a favor by letting him immigrate here from Somalia via Pakistan in 2014 and him a favor by letting him come here only to be killed …

      I guess the judge who claimed ‘no immigrant from listed countries became a terrorist’ ruling from the bench in Washington didn’t have access to … Wikipedia … or Google.

      The ban does put more hardship on those trapped in bad places. The lucky ones are on refugee camps in other countries ~ basically people without a home. We aren’t doing them any favors letting them into a country which will only turn into a cauldron.

      We aren’t doing any favors to the ethnic and religious communities from those war torn regions who already have deep roots in our Nation either. They have to both absorb these newcomers and will be subject to any backlash when something bad happens.

      Most Americans can’t wrap their minds around those ‘lone wolf’ radicalized attacks and how nearly impossible they are to stop. You take a person from their home culture then put incredible pressure on them to perform economically, socially and familial and when these young men can’t, they look for any way to make their failure make sense … and someone else to blame.

      Radical Islam is that excuse – it is Western Culture’s fault ~ the excesses of materialism to female equality. It is the United States’ fault ~ Israel to any number of Islamic countries we are, or have interfered with. It is Christianity’s fault ~ reaching back to the Crusades. And, because these men see themselves as failing in some manner, they cannot reach out to other sources of salvation.

      And come a time, the majority of Americans will not care. Islam will be the problem. By all means, make things even harder.

      Sadly, this is Manna from Heaven for the Far Right. The next attack, no matter how un-associated with any of this, will ‘PROVE’ the Left doesn’t care about American lives and Trump will be blameless. It was a 120 day ban …

      I have a sinking feeling this ‘victory’ is going to have a far higher price tag than we currently understand.

  30. I have been having trouble for the last 3 days this being the 3rd day. I would have said something but no one else was complaining. I only have trouble with this website intermittently. It was fine this morning but it has taken me an hour to get through while you guys have been going constantly.

    Don’t you think it would be good to get the facts before you start building the gallows. I thought you could tweet or whatever.

    I am sorry I am not as wise you when it comes to people.

    • Joanne, you are a charming, gracious, lovely woman and it is a privilege to know. But I beg of you, please ignore the trolls.

      • I apologize if people thought you were talking to yourself because of me. I will keep ‘The Real’ in front of my name from now on. The fact that we have different avatars should give them a clue that we are different people.

        keep it real, Joe.

        • No problem Joe, It’s important to speak the truth and I never expected people to go so far with this whole ‘troll’ thing– with you– but so much of it is careless hypothesis rather than based on reasonable thinking.

          I am not trying to hide or fool people rather I was/am hoping to contrast people’s comments to urge people to pause and think. I don’t know if I have been successful at all. By nature I am a story teller and creative thinker and this is how I like to communicate.

          I can remember when I was a child about 11 years old and I saw the movie Citizen Kaine with my mom (she and I would watch black and white movies every Sunday afternoon. It was our tradition) I thought the movie was dark and ominous. The cinematography was cool. I remember being awed by the huge fireplace that dwarfed Kane in one scene. Every mise-en-scène was spectacular– the black and white palate has never been used so well in a movie. But, I never understood the themes or terrible sad fate of Charles Foster Kane until I watched the movie as an adult.

          I think many of us need to mature– none of us are yet perfect in love and perhaps we all need to “give some damn grace” ! (and, no, I am not John Pavlovitz but I will quote him from time to time)

          I hung up my hat from kindly commenting on blogs, as a bleeding heart liberal, because it is time consuming and sometimes never ending and futile. I would much rather deal with people face to face and not shy away from those who are different than me.

          And, you Joe are very different from me. I wonder sometimes what you might be like in person. Do you have kind eyes? a warm handshake ? Are you more compassionate than we give you credit for? If you are so passionate about life and the unborn then you must be passionate about living breathing people as well. I give you the benefit of the doubt despite when you jeer and torment liberals.

          I won’t tell you more about my life at this time. But I have a beautiful child– even gay people have kids, Joe.

  31. Gloriamarie I know you have been hurt in your life. I am sorry for all the sadness you have known.

    Please do not pray for me to see people through your eyes. That is not how I have lived the last 69 years nor is it the way I want to spend the rest of my time.

    Since I have been here you have tried to steer my path. I realize you are much more knowledgeable than me about so many things. I am just a boring old lady. But I always have and always will take responsibility for myself.

    If I do not belong here please allow me to figure it out by myself. I promise I will be fine. I wish you peace, and happiness.

    • Joanne, I have *****most***** certainly not attempted to steer your path. I am deeply hurt that you would say such a thing. All I have done is recognised your tenderness. Do you really consider that an attempt to control you? That raise questions about your life experience. Who abuses you, Joanne, that you are trying to see goo in?

      We want you here. We just don’t want you hurt by the trolls. But, hey, if saying that is an attempt to setter your path… your choice and I have been quite silent when you entertain trolls and will continue to be so,

      • you’re a lair and manipulator…..as long as Joanne agrees with your asinine world view – all is well – but let her have an opinion contrary to you and now she is Persona Non Grata and subject to your vile – just despicable – and Charles wonders why people shy away…..

      • “Several brothers went to Abba Antonios to relate to him certain visions which they beheld and to ascertain from him whether the visions were true or of demonic origin. They had along with them a small donkey which died on the way. Just as they reached Abba Antonios, he, expecting them, said: “How did the little donkey die on the road?”

        “How did you know this, Abba?” they said to him.

        “The demons revealed it to me.”

        “And they answered him: “It is for this reason that we came to see you, for fear of being deceived, since we see visions and many times they come true.”

        “Thus, with the foregoing example of the donkey, the elder made it known to them that their visions came forth from the demons.”

    • Joanne you can take some wisdom from leslie (who I don’t agree with most of the time) and don’t fret so much over the names people post with. Deal with the comments you feel inspired to respond to, take a break when you need it and listen to everyone with an open mind.

      I don’t care much for the Joe Catholic character but I have been impressed with the conversations the two of you have. I don’t think he uses different names in the blog or talks to himself. Because I am not him rather I am his literary foil.

      I think Joe Catholic and Zaklog the Deplorable are two different people. I say that because Zaklog has a persona outside this blog — he is a young man not the older Joe. Trust me I have been around the blogs. Someone like, Wayne for example, I know who he is and after I pointed it out he changed his avatar– he is an antigay troll on other blog sites and has grown more hateful over the years. Make sure you set strong boundaries for yourself so you don’t get sucked in to the negativity and futility that goes on with these kind of commenters.

      As well commenting is not about volume but quality and often we can build bridges and mend the broken fellowship with others– I see those qualities of sisterly love in you. Don’t allow yourself to grow cynical. You may be tired right now. Take a break do something you love and recharge your batteries and draw closer to Jesus. He loves you and cares about your precious heart.

      God is all about grace — not tit for tat or an eye for an eye. Be aware there are different people who comment here– those who are themselves and use their real names, those who use nicknames, those who use pseudonyms and those who post under different names depending on their mood or the point they are trying to make– like me — I am a writer and this blog of messy characters, prima donnas, mystics and everyday people is a beautiful slice of humanity. Blessings and peace to you.

    • Joanne M. — i understand exactly what you wrote. your straightforward honesty is elegant. i think we have differing opinions. i respect you very much.

  32. I’m losing patience with the “Kumbya” mentality that some have displayed when it comes to this professional troll. WAKE UP! He is scamming you and “playing” (his word) you for a fool.

    Use your God-given brain and take him at face value. He admits he is using different identities and talks to himself in his replies. I’m amazed he isn’t institutionalized but I’m even more amazed that some here want to befriend him. YUCK!

    • I have to say I agree with you. I know that he doesn’t exist anymore for me and that’s all I can do, what other’s do, not my problem. I think we have spent far too much time on him as is. So this is my last mention, He or they don’t exist. Peace……

    • lol….and what are you going to do about….oh wait – your here to just to create more hostility – in the words of our resident Benedictine monk – STFU.

  33. Okay. That does it. I am gone from this place. There are other blogs besides this one to go to. I may check back here in a few months to say something. Maybe. Good-Bye y’all.

    • In matters of disagreement– when people fight it is inevitable one will give up and the other prevail– when people choose to not fight love prevails.

    • Charles, please stay. Though we argue, your voice is always one of passion and sincerity for your side. I value your viewpoints though you and I clearly don’t agree. This place, and I, would be lessened by your departure. Remember, if you change one mind, you have changed the World. Again, please remain.

      • I refuse to comment on the miles and miles of catacombs, the Artesian well and stockpiles of Twinkies, Tang and multi-vitamins which may, or may not, be secreted beneath my dwelling. 😉

    • Yeah, I am, too. If we all leave then the troll will have no one to insult and badger but himself. He is his favorite person to talk to , anyway.

      Good luck, Charles. You were fun.

  34. The photos are made me feel good and represent the beauty of people. The smiles, the hope, the diversity– coming together in peace how I long for that !

  35. Thanks so much, John. I could feel your heart in every word. I hope they reach beyond the Resistance. But we need to hear this as much as those “opposing” us. A sweet, humble reminder of who we want to be.

  36. Pingback: In the News with Amy

  37. You say that you do not believe that “we” (Trump supporters) are the enemy. Then why do you treat us like you do?
    You say that you only wish we would refrain from shouting from a distance. The only ones that I hear shouting are the self-styled progressives.
    You say that, most of all, you wish that we would really listen. I am certainly willing to listen to reasoned concerns, however much of what I hear are unfounded insults and attacks. The ones that I see not willing to listen are the self-style progressives who shout down anyone who does not agree with them, even to the point of physical violence to prevent speakers they oppose from presenting their views.
    If progressives would really act in accordance with the views expressed in this posting, there may be a way forward. That is not what I see “the resistance” doing.

    • Every group has its “bad apples”. From your comment, I gather you’ve been unfortunate enough to run into a number of unrepresentative “progressives”; perhaps even people who represented themselves as something they weren’t. I interact regularly with several progressive groups; several hundred people belong, in all. I haven’t seen any who refuse to listen and discuss issues with Trump supporters, and I can guarantee that ANY violent behavior would result in their expulsion from their group. I’m glad to hear that you do still hope for “a way forward”. Perhaps you’d have better luck if you were to contact an organized local group and ask to sit down and have a conversation with some people who actually “walk their talk”. I hope you do.

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