Fixing Relationships This Election Has Broken

“I feel betrayed.”

These were the words that a friend of Mexican descent recently shared with me, about the Bible Belt suburban neighbors she once thought she knew and felt at home with; those whose children she’d made pancakes for after sleepovers, those she’d treated as her very own. She used to believe that she belonged with these people, that these were her people, that they were for her.

But on a Tuesday in November everything changed. Now there is alienation. Now there is fracture. Now there is a palpable distance between them—and bridging it feels impossible.

She isn’t alone.

Hers is the story of tens of millions of Americans, trying to repair what has been broken over the past year; trying to rebuild relationships stretched well past the point of collapse by this election and the aftermath of it. It might well be your story, too.

Every day I cross paths with people from every corner of this nation who are gingerly navigating similar daily minefields; living with, working for, being married to, or worshiping alongside people whose vote has driven a seemingly impenetrable wedge between them. 

And I’m one of them.

As a person of faith raised to extend forgiveness, I confess that I am failing miserably these days. As hard as I try, I am not finding much mercy for those whose choices feel so antithetical to my own heart, those whose votes sanction such malevolence and indignity and violence. And as the days pass, this resentment seems to only grow as I watch people double down on what I’d hoped was a momentary lapse in judgment they’d have confessed to and repented of by now. And as they willingly, boldly reiterate their decision, I can’t reconcile the image I once had of them, with the reality of their political affirmations.

Simply stated: there are people I once respected whom I no longer do in the way I used to.

I’m not at all proud to say this—it is as much confession as it is declaration, but it is the jagged, unvarnished truth. I’m not sure how to simultaneously affirm the marginalized communities so threatened by this President, while nurturing relationships with those who gladly consent to him. Right now the two tasks seem incompatible; to do one it feels like betraying the other, and so my support for those who are hurting and vulnerable comes at the expense of relationships I’d once held dear. They are the very real and close collateral damage of this election.

Chances are you’re walking this road right now. Either through daily explosions over the dinner table, an uneasy truce of small talk, through social media silence, or physical disconnection—you are enduring a level of relational brokenness right now that is unlike any before. And since those fractures are as individual as your specific ties to the people you were close to, finding a way forward that heals universally is a tall order.

Honestly there are likely many relationships that will never be the same—this may be the price of being fully authentic and standing unapologetically for the people and the principles you believe in. An event like this has exposed things that will be impossible to fully bury again, and though you may never be able to repair all that has been broken with people you know or love or work with—it is still worth trying. It’s worth having difficult conversations, seeking to understand, overcoming assumptions, mapping out common ground, and striving for something redemptive, wherever there is a similar willingness by the other. And where there is not willingness—the chasm between you may be permanent.

Right now the one fragile reality we can hold onto is that every person believes he or she is good and right. No one ever genuinely imagines they are doing damage, that they are being hateful, and bad as someone might appear from across a table or across a Twitter exchange or across the aisle, no one ever thinks they are the bad guy. In a nation of 300 million people, there are exactly zero who believe they are wrong or hurtful—and this is at least a place we can find commonality.

I am still not sure I will again be able to have the emotional proximity, the sense of shared affinity, or the familial bond I once had with some people because of what this election has revealed to me about them, but because I believe everyone is worth it I am trying:

I am trying to listen more than I speak,
to offer an open hand more than a closed fist,
to see the best in the people I find it difficult to see good in,
to give them the grace I desire for myself.
I fail regularly but this is my daily aspiration—because if it ceases to be so, then I become as harmful as I now perceive them to be.

I hope reconciliation and healing can come for us (and for you and those you are estranged from), but at the end of the day I know that the alienation and betrayal my Mexican friend now feels is not okay, and that she is worth the turbulence I now encounter to stand alongside her and to advocate for her. This is perhaps what times like these do best; like a crucible they burn away impurities so that something else can be yielded. Maybe what is being forged right now is something priceless though costly: we are losing fair-weather friendships and familial comfort in order to find our truest voices. 

In these moments everything is raw and the wounds  are so very fresh. Right now our memories may be our best chance at reconciliation with those with whom there is separation; to remember that there was a day before the past year, when these relationships were meaningful and life-giving and beautiful. They still might one day be again, but the road to bridge the distance created by this election may be longer and more painful than any of us realize. Hopefully we can keep walking it.

May this nation find a way to repair all that is broken among us and between us and within us.

Even if it follows a terrible noise or a long silence—may love still have the last, loudest word.

 

 

 

 

 

402 thoughts on “Fixing Relationships This Election Has Broken

  1. That’s where I am right now. I have found that, for the sake of my mental health, I have had to cut some people out of my social media. I have also found myself blocking friends of friends.

    I find myself asking the question, in an effort to understand, “Why did you support him?” The answer is inevitably some platitude about “making America great again.” And when I dig deeper, I find horrific prejudice, dismissal of his boasts about committing sexual assault as “boys will be boys,” and so on. I cannot accept that in my life, and I’m not going to apologize for that.

    • The heart of mankind is despartly wicked, this is man with out god, and rebellion to gods plan for people
      This is an example of people of the past deciding to follow man and his lust , his own way , instead of learning, leaning, denying his own lust. and saying no to his way.
      Change to Godly ness, Ten Commandments of Holyness

      • This is part of the issue, Christopher. There are true Godly believers on both sides of this gulf. On one side are those who understand compassion one way, while those on the other side understand compassion differently. It’s the old debate, do you give a fish or the tools with which to enable folks to continually supply his own fish. But hate has no place in this debate.
        Speaking from my experience as a long time Christ follower, neither candidate personally appealed to me, so I gave more credence to the two party platforms. There is a huge gulf here … one party actually disavowed God, allows abortion on demand, and gives “special” rights to those who want us to believe same-sex relationships are just as much marriage as heterosexual relationships. The other party believes in individual liberty, the right to make our own choices, a smaller government whose primary role is national security. The right also believes life is sacred, that it begins at conception, and adoption is a much more life-affirming option.
        The fundamental differences supersede individual candidates, and they are not new differences. People today simply have we are one nation under God. We, as adults, are able to “agree to disagree!”

        • Major digression. You reminded me of a joke.

          Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will sit in the boat with his buddies drinking beer all day.

          As the relative of men who fish, this has an element of truth to it.

        • There is “a huge gulf” all right and some of it is filled with lies. The Democratic Platform has not “disavowed God” nor given anyone “special” rights” that is just patently false partisan and divisive hooey!

          And “individual liberty, the right to make our own choices” means, abortion on demand (within the parameters of law) and it means LGBTQ equal treatment under the law. You do not have to like it but you do have to stop pretending those are “special rights” when they are not.

          You are welcome to believe the moon is made of cheese but it will not make it so. Why do you people think there are so many sects and denominations and differing churches all claiming to be based in the Bible, God and Jesus Christ? Because there is more than one way to interpret the words of the Bible, the history of the life of Christ and the will of God for mankind. Otherwise there would be no need for the hundreds of differing churches and denominations.

        • “Special rights”? Really? Is loving someone a special right? Is waking up next to the person I love a special right? Is visiting them in the hospital when they’re ill, or just being with them when they’re healthy, a special right? Is marrying them, pledging my eternal love for them, promising to be by their side for the rest of our lives, a special right? Is raising a family with them a special right? Is wanting them to be safe a special right?

          Oh, that’s right. It’s only a “special right” because we’re both women.

          Bullshit.

          What’s funny is, I have a lot of heterosexual, cisgender friends. Most of them have been married, but all but one have been divorced at least once, some of them multiple times, and my wife and I have outlasted all of them. We’re just as in love as the day we met.

          We don’t need special rights. We just want the same rights as everyone else.

        • Barbara you said, “gives “special” rights to those who want us to believe same-sex relationships are just as much marriage as heterosexual relationships. ”

          Here’s the thing. You don’t have to believe or disbelieve anything because there are facts and you can learn them. Two adults can legally marry regardless of their anatomical sex. That marriage gives everyone the same list of rights and responsibilities. Not special rights or fewer responsibilities, equal rights and responsibilities. Your belief or disbelief does not change this fact.

          To paraphrase Wanda Sykes, if you don’t like gay marriage, don’t get gay married. There is nothing else you need to do except take your nose out of other people’s business. It has nothing to do with you and it doesn’t affect you in the slightest.

        • This was the original pledge of 1892, with no mention of god.
          “I pledge allegiance to my flag and the republic for which it stands, one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”
          I guess we were godless before the phrase was added, in 1954 🙂

        • “The other party believes in individual liberty, the right to make our own choices”
          Would that include the liberty to choose a same sex marriage partner? Would that include a woman’s right to choose whether to end a pregnancy?
          “The right also believes life is sacred”
          But perhaps some lives are more sacred than others? The USA’s record in foreign conflict and the ‘collateral’ slaughter of (foreign, not-so-sacred?) children suggests otherwise.
          There seems to be some contradiction here.

          • MoreInSorrow, the “contradiction” is total hypocrisy and they do not believe “in individual liberty, the right to make our own choices” not by a mile!

        • Dems do not openly allow abortions..Such bs..If that is your barometer for politicians, relinguish your right to vote. One candidate bragged about sexually assaulting women..the other had a private​ sever and remained in her marriage thru circumstances that most would have walked away from. The other did the opposite.
          I will never agree to disagree with such nonsense.

          • Just wanted to say I agree with Gloriamarie. When I saw your post it put a smile on my face. Thanks for hanging in here. Peace, friend.

            • Thank you Kathleen, I really appreciate the support. Like Mr. Rogers always said, I “always look for the helpers”. A strong community looks out for each other.

          • Sadly, though, Sandi, the loudest voices are the trolls. We must not allow them to divert us from John’s words.

            • They won’t. I think people who read the threads, and as someone told me once, many read who never comment, they know who is who and where each heart is coming from. The trolls are only fooling themselves.

              • Yes, Sandi, they are truly only fooling themselves if they think they are changing anyone’s minds.

                Except perhaps they are driving them to resist. Here are some facts. On Wed evening my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff had 138 members. As of today, the membership has grown to 327 members.

                The conservatives here are spurring people to take action against the evil GOP agenda.

                One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.

                https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

                • Gloriamarie, I have been reading John’s articles and the comments below for a few months now. I have read many of yours and seen your link a few times. Your comment here struck me tonight. You are right, the trolls (especially those working and living in the WH) effect change only in that they motivate us to do more! Tonight for the first time, I followed your link and read your group discription. I am also currently disabled and haven’t been able to joint in on marches or demonstrations and that sometimes makes me feel as if I am not an equal participant in pushing back against this darkness. Thanks for giving me inspiration and reminding me that I don’t need to march to stand with others. Thank you!

                  • AmiBeth, I am delighted to approve your membership to Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff.

                    If you respond to this I wont be able to read it as I have unsubbed from following the comments to this particular blog when I came home after tending to the car and saw that the number of comments had just exploded.

                    I am thinking there has been some particularly nasty and vicious things that have been said because requests to join my group shot way up.

                    On our own, one person may not accomplish a lot, but as a group, acting collectively, we can accomplish a very great deal, maybe eve save the ACA.

                    One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.

                    https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

                    • And I want to thank all you ladies for being here and being so amazing and kind. I always have a difficult time with people like christian conservatives, because usually, if I’m decrying their rhetoric and standing up for whoever it is they’re denigrating, I’m doing it alone. It’s nice to have a few friends and allies around on here. <3

          • I’m happy you are here too. Remember I was the first to beg you to stay.

            Almost everybody who says they are going to leave a board comes back the next day. Sometimes two days later. I’ve done it myself a couple of times (not here). Charles left the board in a huff and it lasted about 20 minutes.

            But I am happy you stayed. There is much you can learn from me.

            • Oh I agree, you are a virtual textbook on what is wrong with the Christian Right so there is much to “learn” from you. Nothing is more vivid than the visual proof you provide to the points I make. You are very useful in that regard.

            • The unrepentant narcissism of this comment is a wonderful eye opening example of all that is wrong with the American Christian Right. And I’m a prolife moderate conservative. wowzers.

    • Me too Sharon.

      It is God who reconciles us to him and then we are given the ability to reconcile with others. Keeping the door open, having the benefit of the doubt, hoping people will turn around– that is love poured out because we can love and never have it reciprocated– we can love and never receive love in return from others, but we must not give up.

      The source of that powerful love which restores relationships comes from– the God of love– not from within ourselves. I cannot muster it up. As a human I fail because, as a human, all I see is my struggle.

      But the good news is — Jesus said if we lack anything all we have to do is pray and God will provide. My prayer recently has been for God to help me love my enemy.

    • You said it well. I am with you on this. There are some things I won’t apologize for, my commitment to people who really need me, those being discarded. I believe I never really knew some people and it has been an eye opener. Some things are just unacceptable especially in close proximity. Peace, Love and Resist.

    • {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{[Sharon E. Cathcart}}}}}}}}}}}}}}}} You are not the first to say this and will not be the last. I doubt that is of any comfort at all. At least, it wouldn’t comfort me because a loss is still a loss.

      Every reason that has been offered about why people voted GOP is insupportable when compared to the teachings of Jesus. No one who truly loves and knows Jesus could have voted this way. It’s a harsh reality, but John P has blogged about it often enough and enough of us have agreed that the words are out there. I pray every day that people come to their senses and join the resistance.

      One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

    • I voted against the injustice of abortion. Trump is against it. Hillary was for it. It was an easy decision. But I don’t hold it against those who think differently than I do. It’s not really all that hard to give people the benefit of the doubt and be a little gracious.

        • It’s no problem whatsoever. I can be friendly and gracious towards you, but it’s impossible for you to be likewise towards me. You have hostility that you don’t want to let go of.

            • Precisely Kathleen. Maybe it is an amnesia injury and we should be more sensitive to his special needs but I think the truth is more like he expects to daily take advantage of Christian love and charity and feels victimized when the scheme won’t work.

          • Yes, I admit you can change your skin and pretend to be cordial and civil, but there is no need, that ship sailed on day one and she ain’t coming back. “I yam what I yam” and y’ar what y’ar and never the twain shall meet. If others fall for your trap I am sure they end up regretting it.

              • I am just too old to be turning over new leaves and expecting a different outcome, I have seen people like him my whole life and their faux piety, faux sincerity and veneer of civility while claiming it is “with love” and “for your own good” and “to teach” is all just a smoke screen to be mean and vindictive. I will never do that to anyone who does not prove they deserve it, but once they do…

                • Agree, we spent 40 years dealing with this and had to be diplomatic in how we responded. Every church we served had those who knew better than anyone else what was best for everyone. Then they would go behind my husbands back and make trouble, because he was too liberal, all the while shaking his hand and smiling. I don’t have to be diplomatic anymore, it is life altering having that freedom from sanctimonious people. Peace…………

                    • And so the twain never shall meet since you make an excuse to shut out and judge anyone who thinks outside of that tiny little intolerant box of extreme leftwing liberal thought.

                      And you totally MISSED THE POINT of the blog host who seems to be making a little progress. A very tiny step in the right direction. Not much, but it’s hopeful.

                    • You really have a serious problem with honesty don’t you?

                      You keep whining that I want to shut you out when I have responded to you more than any other entity posting here (except maybe one or more “Anonymous” entities.

                      Why are you the only one here who should be allowed to judge and refute anyone who thinks outside of that tiny little intolerant box of extreme Catholic doctrine you peddle? How is that exactly?

                      I did not miss anyone’s point, I am just not there and people like you have done nothing to make me want to go there. Nothing. Whether you accept the truth in that or not is irrelevant. It is still the truth.

                  • People “like me” would simply like to talk to people “like you” so that you can understand that we don’t think we voted for an evil man, that we didn’t have evil intentions, and that we don’t want bad things to happen or believe that they will.

                    People like me want to do that for “your” sake more than our own. Again, though you may have responded to me and others, you are shutting us out in the sense that you refuse to deal with us as fellow human beings or your neighbor. You treat us like an enemy.

                    • As soon as you say you are doing it for my sake you just talked down to me and you sir will never understand that. I like my belief system, I have worked on it for 75 years, I am still a work in progress but I will not be talked down to by anyone. Period. I don’t need you telling me over and over what you, you believe, I got it the first time. Surprise I can read and think on my own I don’t need you doing anything for my sake. You need to worry about your own soul and leave mine to myself. I have stated that you can believe what you want and I can believe what I want. Somehow that you can judge my vote but no one can judge yours. Doesn’t work that way. You don’t get to pick what I am angry about. So please peddle your goodies somewhere else, I don’t want them.

                    • Of course you want to do that for “our” sake more than your own, because you just know that we are wrong and you are right. In that same sense “you refuse to deal with us as fellow human beings or your neighbor” unless of course you lecture your neighbors as you do here.

                      When what you support hurts people, as we see daily from Trump et al, you are a manifestation of “an enemy” and we are not obligated to respect that. I have yet to see you respect anyone’s stance on Trump or a woman’s reproductive choice or anything else you don’t agree with.

                    • You didn’t see the evil in the way he spoke about people of other races or faiths, or in the way he spoke about women during his campaign? You didn’t see the evil when he bragged about being able to sexually assault women? You didn’t see the evil when he suggested the “2nd amendment people” take care of Hillary Clinton and judges that she would have appointed? You didn’t see the evil when he suggested the Russians continue hacking into the DNC computers? You didn’t see the evil when he lusted after his daughter? You don’t see bad things happening from pulling healthcare out from under millions of people (which will result in people dying). You don’t think it is going to be bad for people when Meals on Wheels can no longer deliver food to seniors? You don’t see bad things happening when coal companies start dumping their filth into our rivers? And, do you really think bad things aren’t going to happen to underprivileged school children when they can no longer get free meals at school (as a teacher, I assure you that, for many of those children, that is the only food they get)? Or how about all of the people who will lose their jobs when he cuts funding to so many programs? Will that not be a bad thing? I guess, as long as it’s not bad for you, then it is ok. If you don’t think those are bad things, then you need to go back and study your Bible. Read what Jesus says about how we are supposed to treat people, especially the most vulnerable.

                    • Thank you for that comment. I have come to the conclusion that some people are unable to put themselves in other peoples places. Perhaps we have had it too good and too easy. That shouldn’t matter but I think somehow it has made a difference. I know what that child feels like when other children are eating lunch and you have none. Been there, and it is not a good place to be for a child. Back in my day they didn’t provide lunches for children who were hungry. I am not looking for sympathy, by the way. I am doing fine, it was a long time ago but the way we do it now is so much better and yet people didn’t even care or think about what might happen. As far as I can tell they still don’t care. I am truly saddened by that. This is not acceptable. When I read some of the comments I come away with the feeling that there are a lot of people out there who have no idea what is like to be poor. I mean really poor. They should try it sometime they might come down off their high horse.

      • I havent lost any friends over this election. Good manners helps. I did lose one friend when I got born again. She screamed at me and dropped me. I didnt drop her. Shes a liberal progressive Christian.

          • My friend and her husband both yelled at me when i got born again. ‘How can you believe that ?! ‘ …they said. These were friends that i knew from our progressive Christian. Church.

            • That simply is not credible. Unless you joined some known fundamentalist church to be “saved” or unless you and your friends were at some very strange church that is not simply a progressive Christian church, this makes no sense. You are leaving out pertinent details one way or another for some reason.

              BTW, friends being upset with you for leaving a church is not at all unique to progressives. I left a Holiness (Church of God) Church once and was told that I had just damned my soul to hell.

              • I got saved by reading the bible, not by leaving the church i was in. (Episcopal Church). They were mad at me because I previously was on board with Emergent Church Universalism, but then I changed my mind after I read the bible. I was shocked at their viciousness. I never yelled back. I never defended my self. They said, ‘we cannot be friends with someone like you.” I was unable to speak to them after that, and they never apologized. I feel bad about what happened. I had a 9 year relationship with them. Kids grew up together, etc.

                Jesus is divisive, and Jesus is a huge stumbling block.

                Surely you’ve heard of church members falling out with one another.

                • Of course I have heard and known of many church friendships blowing up, even breaking up a church (again, that is how many new churches start). But you said your friends were progressive Christians which from the ones I know, are some of the most meek, open-minded, easy going Christians I have ever known, “yelled” at you and cut off the friendship because you “got saved”. In fact the Emergent Church Universalism has been under attack as heresy, so for them to attack anyone is very far-fetched. I am sorry that happened to you, you must clearly be better off without such people in your life.

                  And no, I do not agree that Jesus is divisive.

              • Sandi, fundamentalists who pray the magic prayer and accept Jesus into their heart (which I can’t find anywhere in the Bible) live with the joy of a persecution complex.

                • “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord, and believe in your heart that GOD raised him from the dead, then you will be saved.” –Romans 10:9

                  • I whole heartly believe , If you confess with your mouth, believe in your heart in and trust NO matter what the cost, God , Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit will come in and OPEN your eyes so you can see clearly. God opens hearts, Eyes , and Closes eyes, hearts to accomplish his judgements . Seek God , thru Jesus Christ for answers, NOT Mankind or leaders who just want followers at what ever cost. God is Love , But He is a Jealous God. And will have NO other False way , religeon , Idol, Worship before Him.
                    Just,Truth, Loving God

            • I am a progressive Christian, and a born again Christian, and I don’t think that was why they “yelled” at you. They must just be unpleasant people.

      • If abortion was the only reason you voted the way that you did then I guess you don’t know the importance of the role of the president. And if you were able to set aside the behavior towards and with women, the hatefulness he expressed toward hispanics and people he deemed to be lesser than himself, the hatefulness he enabled to be brought forth from racist people then you need to take time to reconsider what is really important to the well being of this country while you
        pay the consequences of your thoughtless action.

      • Dear A Catholic Perspective:

        Are you sure? Perhaps you voted for live births to produce canon fodder for injustice in what George Bush called ‘the wars of the 21st century.’

        The thing is, pro-life work for some means a consistent philosophy for life rooted in God’s creation. Some of us don’t see how this meshes with anything happening around us.

        Blessings!

      • So, my question to you is: why is it okay to try to stop abortion (the killing of a fetus) but not stop the killing of our children through hunger and disease?
        I don’t think Jesus would like any of it. I keep hearing how we have to keep God out of politics and we certainly have this election.
        Being Catholic has nothing to do with not wanting to kill the defenseless. Every Christian feels that way. It’s appears to just be an opportunity for those against abortion to be holier than thou.
        I, too, am against abortion. But throughout the Bible it tells us God gave us free-will to obey Him. So why have the GOP taken away that free-will to order people to try to be sin-less? He knows we are not yet loves every one of us anyway.

        • I don’t understand the argument that it necessarily follows that to oppose abortion one wants born children to starve. At any rate, those who make that argument, never side with the unborn, so they have a reason for that deflection.

          The law can’t enforce all morality–only the big things like murder and stealing. But abortion is one of those “big things” and when someone exercises that free will there is a victim, and I believe those potential victimes should be protected.

          • “We can’t legislate all morality, just the big things”. So that makes it okay for the GOP to hang their hats on outlawing abortion, but to turn their backs on the poor, the elderly, the disabled, on minorities, on living children, and on women? Are those not big things?

            Women, the LGBTQ community, and minorities are watching their rights get stripped. Women, the elderly, the disabled, and the poor are losing their health care. The elderly and the poor are losing assistance programs that keep them from starving to death and from becoming homeless. How is that less of a concern than abortion?

            I have a great idea, something that’s already on the table in Texas, that I would love to see go national. These GOP men want to make abortion illegal? Okay, so, how about we make it illegal for the father of a child to walk away from their responsibility as a parent, like the “father” of my stepson did before he was even born? How about we make it illegal for a man to waste sperm, either by contraception, “pulling out”, or masturbation? Why don’t we force men to get trans-penile ultrasounds before purchasing contraception? Seems fair to me, since these are the sorts of things women have to go through.

            Thoughts?

          • Oh, I almost forgot. Every month when men want to go pick up their Viagra or Cialis, since the condition they treat is closely tied to the prostate, we do a rectal prostate ultrasound? Just imagine having to go in every month and having this big, cold, well-lubricated, glowing rod put someplace very uncomfortable and moved around just to get something that a lot of people would consider basic health care, just like women have to do.

            Ladies, what do you think?

            • I love it. I guess we could make sure the insurance co don’t pay for that viagra, you know they just need to abstain. I can’t think of anymore indignities but if I do, I want them put into law. Thank you for your comments, they are beautiful.

              • Thanks, you’re super awesome, and far too kind. 🙂 I could think of worse (testicular exams with mammogram machines, “you may feel some pressure”), but I’m not that sadistic. I just want these men to have an idea of what women have to go through as far as all the health care screenings we have to have before we can have access to something like birth control, hormone replacement, or even just to become mothers. We go through hell and back, and they don’t get it.

                (And before anyone plays the “trans” card on me, there’s versions of these tests for people like me. I see an OB/GYN just like any other woman, and I still have to have things examined every so often. The rules still apply, even for me.)

                • I have to tell you that I had my annual mammogram today and I told my husband by way of explanation, imagine that they do that to your testicles. The look of pain on his face, well, that said it all. He said he would rather not.

                    • I have had them every year for a long time. 20 years. Doesn’t get any easier. I like your description. I decided the machine was designed by some man who hated his mother because she didn’t breast feed him. Told the tech and had to wait until she stopped laughing.

          • Dear A Catholic Perspective:

            You wrote:

            ‘…those who make that argument, never side with the unborn’

            .

            I disagree. I have never agreed with abortion but maintain that after the ‘conception to birth,’ the pro-birth movement is to be critiqued precisely because as a whole it fails to affirm the ‘to natural death’ as a consistent pro-life philosophy requires.

            Donna’s point is good. A consistent pro-life philosophy additionally requires all that is necessary for and all that tends to support life. This becomes as mundane as building codes:

            ‘When you build a new house, you shall make a parapet for your roof, so that you will not bring bloodguilt on your house if anyone falls from it.’

            [Dt. 22:8].

            Tell people this and watch in amazement as the narrative switches instantly to how ‘socialism doesn’t work’ and the like.

            A thoroughgoing prolife philosophy means guaranteed health care and education and development. It means opposition to discretionary, ‘for-profit’ wars and endless militarism and warmongering.

            At this point, the endeavors of the ‘pro-life’ [read pro-birth] movement tend to become considerably less ardent. For the large part, the largely and sadly defunct ‘pro-life’ movement is a political strategy which is abandoned the instant it is seen not to work in the interests of reactionary political causes.

            Blessings!

    • Sometimes we get tricked into thinking that unless we’re willing to give the other person what amounts to an infinite number of second chances, we’re failing as Christians. That isn’t so.

      As Christians, we’re responsible for discerning the spirit, knowing a tree by its fruit, and not casting our pearls before swine.

      As Christians, when fellow Christians hurt us we’re responsible for speaking the truth with love and trying to resolve the situation in a one-to-one conversation. If that doesn’t work, try to resolve it with the assistance of peer mediators. If that doesn’t work, try to resolve it in the presence of a spiritual leader you both respect. If that doesn’t work, be done with it. (Matthew 18:15-17).

      If the Holy Spirit is convicting you because of who you voted for, or not voting, or the way you’ve talked to someone since the election, you’re responsible for confessing that, apologizing for it, and asking what you need to do, to make amends. When someone asks for forgiveness, we’re responsible for giving it. Neither instance is meant to serve as a guarantee that the relationship will be the same as it was before. You could be blessed with a stronger, deeper relationship.

      No matter how you slice it, staying silent isn’t a Christian’s option.

    • I agree with you whole heartily! This is far more than people disagreeing about what a bible verse means or doesn’t mean. People who voted for trump and his ilk, in my opinion, have actually voted for people who don’t care if people starve to death, who don’t care if we ruin our waters, seas, forests, mountains. They see nothing wrong with killing every last rhino, lion, elephant. They see nothing wrong with rolling back legislation that protects our health, the air we breathe, our very planet upon which we live! These people are threatening me, my children and my grandchildren!! They don’t care about becoming informed, listening to FACTS and think it’s fine if millions of caring, loving decent, hardworking people are sent out of this country that they love!! I don’t know that I will ever forgive them/this!! AND I don’t really care to forgive this behavior, just as I would never forgive a Nazi sympathizer!!

  2. As an american , I feel betrayed, left in the dark while my boarders are opened and my faith attacked by foreign religions, undocumented people who run in with no accountability to our or my way of life. They dont want an opportunity , they want it thier way.
    Not america , any other brand will do. Jesus did not accept Sin, or rebellion. Unless you follow the way, the truth , the life of Jesus Christ and the biblical view you cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.
    In the same way thier is a way you come into a country any country , thru the front door, and documented , learning the customs, history, Language , and LAWS of that country.
    NOT the will of foreigners but the Laws of america .
    To maintain Greatness , you must have standards.
    If you dont , you have a great mess of violent protesters demanding thier own way and expecting YOU to cave in to thier demands, ANARCHY , That s right . Get Documented, Id, learn the culture,
    And Most of all stop expecting Me or any other american to give , give , give thru over taxing the workers and lowering the pay scales so you can pay for all the welfare you stole from us. with no accountability. Work , Go thru the right channel.
    Jesus did not allow any one or any other form of religion into heaven. ONLY Thru the Front Door , Salvation Thru Jesus Christ ONLY .
    Dont Deport, Just Document, and Amnesty Thru the right channels .

    • Thanks so much for this post. You certainly make my case and prove my points better than I could. Way to offer the Grace you seem to think you own.

      • This is exactly the way I have been feeling since November 8th.
        Thank you for putting my feelings into words and in a loving way. My heart is sad. The best I can do right now is not to call his supporters names, nor call him names either.

    • Christopher, your post would have more validity if there weren’t flaws in your arguments. The immigrants we have arriving now are not coming here to “attack” your religion. Our borders have ALWAYS been open.
      Immigrants have been coming to this country since the first time a boatload of white Europeans set foot on the land. THOSE immigrants did the things you are talking about and in the process, stole the land and erased as many Natives as they could through killing them outright or by bringing diseases that they had no immunity against.
      Regardless of that, this country was founded on allowing anyone to come here. The Irish arrived, fleeing a potato famine in Ireland; the Jews arrived, fleeing the Nazis; the Italians, the Greeks, and every other country’s people have left to come to America. The “new” immigrants that you speak against are fleeing war and famine. So if we send them back, chances are very good they will die.
      We’re better than that.
      The only comment I will make about welfare is that it is given predominately to WHITE people. Feel free to Goggle this.
      If you say that you are a follower of Jesus, then you were given 6 specific tasks (Matthew 25: 31-46 has them mentioned) to accomplish as the work he directly gave all of his followers. Those tasks all boil down to this: Love. Through Love, you offer compassion and care, you are to reflect Jesus to others. That is the mission of following Jesus; that and to follow the TWO commandments he gave: love your God and love your neighbor. His definition of “neighbor” is every other person in the whole world.
      The world divides; humans label and divide. Jesus is Love; Love unites us all together.
      Those who choose differently are not followers of Jesus. They are blaspheming by using his name as an excuse for their hatred.

      • I love people , but fear the Godless, Selfseeking, selfish who with no standard have been raised to take, steal, rape, pilferage what ever they desire.
        There are rules so we can have order , God is order and God has Rules .
        God is love , But he Judges the heart of mankind. Clearly written in many old testiment, new testiment writings .
        If God did not even Spare the world from the flood, from the invasion into isreal 70ad, in world wars thru out history , what makes you or any other person think he will turn a blind eye to sin and rebellion.
        Read like your life depends on it.
        Jesus Christ paid for all sin. That does not mean all people or mankind, womankind or children accept or believe.
        The battle of the whole world is for the hearts of mankind. God vs Satan, Good vs Evil
        If you have no standard and you just accept any thing which comes thru the door , than the standard you do have will be whitewashed with stain, and deluded and what you believe will fall by the wayside.
        Matt, Mark , Luke, John Gospels are very clear.
        The book of Hebrews, and Romans are very clear.
        The books of Timothy , titus, 1john, 2 john are very clear.
        If not spend more time in prayer and ask god who gives to all HIS children to thier benefit.
        God is love.
        But with standards , He hates Rebellion, Sin, other false Gods who replace him with false worship of idols, man, other forms of false worship

      • Sorry , But you shall have no other false god before the one and only true god.
        God Calls me to extend the right hand of fellowship to the immigrants and be hospitable , but letting them know that they are a guest and if they want to stay , they must follow the rules of the house. not their own rules of what ever , where ever , how ever.
        Vetting , Id, screening makes sure everyone follows the same rules. Like a team , we have to have rules and standards.
        Extend Grace , But set Rules to follow . Ten Commandments , Rules for all , not just the narrow few.

        • Dear Anonymous:

          Sorry, but you have completely missed the point.

          You cite the second commandment [which necessarily implies also the first].

          You give lip service to gracious behavior only to withdraw it in the same breath; you then bring your manmade ‘standards’ to bear on the refugee/immigration crisis our policies created.

          God’s instructions also included multiplying and filling the earth.

          The point of my question [which you demonstrated admirably] was to show that we have more ‘faith’ in our ‘house rules’ than in the word of God. The intent of the question therefore was to ask – what if you must choose between Christ and your house rules?

          Blessings!

  3. This is well said and clearly from a loving heart. My only disagreement is with the idea that to fail to “give them the grace I desire” means “I become as harmful as I now perceive them to be”. I just think that is patently not true.

    Are we diminished when we cannot forgive? Yes, I believe that is true. But I also cannot make the “crime” of harming the same as the “crime” of not forgiving the harm. One harms me, the other harms many.

    I know God demands an open heart and to love all. I will pay the price for not loving those who harm, belittle, judge , insult or deny the vulnerable and the different. I accept that. I am not fit for Heaven or Grace, I have always known it. Some never get that revelation. But I think someday they will.

    • Ah, Sandi, you wrote, “I know God demands an open heart and to love all. I will pay the price for not loving those who harm, belittle, judge , insult or deny the vulnerable and the different. I accept that. I am not fit for Heaven or Grace, I have always known it. Some never get that revelation. But I think someday they will.”

      Yes, please

  4. Me too Sharon.

    It is God who reconciles us to him and then we are given the ability to reconcile with others. Keeping the door open, having the benefit of the doubt, hoping people will turn around– that is love poured out because we can love and never have it reciprocated– we can love and receive love in return, but we must not give up.

    The source of that powerful love which restores relationships comes from– the God of love– not from within ourselves. I cannot muster it up. As a human I fail because, as a human, all I see is my struggle.

    Jesus said if we lack anything all we have to do is pray and God will provide. My prayer recently has been for God to help me love my enemy.

    • btw I don’t think people are nearly as divided as you say we are all entangled together, we are in the same lifeboat and all need to be rescued.

      • Facts are feelings. This is what’s wrong with our country. They think their opinion has the same weight as facts. They dont. Millions are grieving this betrayal right now . You live in a bubble if you don’t know anyone suffering from this. I know the guilt must be overwheming. Too bad. Please apologize and clean up your mess. An apology in person might go a long way. Say ‘ I was wrong about 45.’. It might be that essy. Try it.

        • Theresa Veasey, Please give me some evidence that facts are feelings because I find this statement confusing. It may be a fact that I feel a certain way, but that I feel a certain way may not be based on a fact but on my interpretation, which is not a fact because it is subjective and can be wrong.

          So you see my confusion. Thank you.

        • Today I spoke with a friend who voted for Hillary. Everyone else in her family voted for Trump and she said to me “I won’t let Trump get in the way of loving my family, although we are fiercely divided on this one issue. ”

          I think that is love in action.

          I think that is the narrow path.

      • This is a good point. As a population, we have been encouraged to be divisive, by people who wish to profit from the division. The election of 45 just made it all the more obvious. There’s not one of us that doesn’t want America to be great…we just have different philosophies about how to get there, and have been told people on the other side of the aisle are wrong and evil. This problem didn’t start with Trump, and it’s not going to be solved by him leaving office. The only solution I think is person to person. Under the platitudes, through the bigotry…and under there you will find fear. Diffuse the fear, and maybe change a heart. Right now there are a bunch of people with buyer’s remorse. Perhaps it is time to listen to them, and gently educate them.

  5. Pingback: biblebeltsite

  6. Do you have any idea how many mexicans and gays and jewish liberals voted for Trump? Thousands. These were the”closeted” voters that got him into office! because they refused to have a socialist Hillary Stalin in office and pacifist towards all of radical Islam who murder, and torture women and gays and loathe the jews. They were tired of corrupt politicians on both sides.
    I have Mexican friends who voted Trump bec they are legal American citizens and are tired of the illegals entering.
    There are many outspoken blacks and gays and mexicans who are hoping for change and many that work for him.
    It doesnt mean you have to like the man just because you voted against the democratic platform.
    He isnt presidential and says stupid things but he wants a change and almost impossible for many to see any positive view with the biased media against him and peoples minds swayed and set in one direction.

    • I say voting for that vile man in spite of his very obvious problems is an indication of an absolutely closed and confused mind “swayed and set in one direction” much more so than those you accuse of being for “socialist Hillary Stalin” and seeking “pacifist towards all of radical Islam”, because none of that is even true.

      • Sorry but it is all true and you living under a rug if you dont see it, or haven’t heard it or seen it. Hillary wrote her theseis on Saul Alinsky who was a communist /Stalin sympathizer and said she “highly admired him”.
        Anyone on the far left platform is borderline communist or ( full blown secret communist) and that is why many minorities voted for Trump! Including some of my miniritie friends. No other reason. He is not racist. Many minorities work for him. The media made him out to be and everyone going wild crazy over that just because he wants to make entry to the country more secure. He is not against immigration. The media goes wild on that one too. How about just for making it strict as when my grandparents came in from Poland!? Thats the way it was and should always be: Rules. Good health. Papers. Then come in and live the dream. I dont care too much forTrump, but not going to go full on against him. and I used to like Hillary until I did my political research.
        So if you still think Hillary and left dems arent radicals- take a look at what Salinsky wrote, the “admired” mentor of Hillary:
        “Subject: Saul Alinsky’s predictions VS YEAR 2015Saul

 Alinsky died about 42 years ago, but his writings influenced those inpolitical
 control of our nation today.Rules for Radicals, Recall

 that Hillary did her college thesis on his writings and Obama writesabout
 him in his books. Anyone out there think that this stuff isn’thappening
 today in the U.S.? All eight rules are currently in play. How tocreate
 a social state by Saul Alinsky:
        There

 are eight levels of control that must be obtained before you are ableto
 create a social state. The first is the most important.1)

 Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people.2))

 Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor peopleare
 easier to control and will not fight back if you are providingeverything
 for them to live.3)

 Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you areable
 to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.4)

 Gun Control – Remove the ability to defend themselves from theGovernment
 . That way you are able to create a police state.5)

 Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, andIncome)
 

6) Education – Take control of what people read and listen to – take controlof
 what children learn in school.7)

 Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.8)

 Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. Thiswill
 cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthywith
 the support of the poor.Does

 any of this sound like what is happening to the United States? Alinskymerely
 simplified Vladimir Lenin’s original scheme for world conquest bycommunism,
 under Russian rule. Stalin described his converts as ‘UsefulIdiots’
 . ”
        Investmentwatchblog.com
        I say no more.

        • I am not “living under a rug” but you are clearly living under the influence of the right-wing media empire if you are still defending Trump and bashing anyone.

          • Precisely! They cannot be bothered with facts and truth, they have a narrative to push and water to carry. If they applied that zeal to being a servant of Jesus much would be solved in this nation!

            • That’s why, whenever I see someone say “Saul Alinsky”, I just tune them out. They’very been listening to Alex Jones a bit too much.

      • SS: I know pastor John believes in putting ourselves in someone else’s shoes before we judge, or complain of unfairness.

        Conservatives also know the feeling of being stabbed in the heart, and betrayed by their President: (Obama)
        –Socialized Medicine (a type of tyranny), against the will of the people
        –voted against saving the life of Abortion Survivors.
        –Close ties with radical leftist terrorist Bill Ayers, & numerous Communists, Socialists, and anti-American groups.
        –Apology tours
        –Support of Muslim Brotherhood with strong terrorist ties, celebrating Arab ‘Spring’.
        –Controlling the free press through covert monitoring
        –Least transparent presidency in modern history.
        –Least willing to meet with opposition, OR his own ! supporting law makers
        –Broadcasting bin Laden’s death within 2 hours, thereby insuring immediate destruction of crucial intelligence.
        –Fort Hood Terrorist is called work place violence.
        –Blatant hostility and actions to match against our Jesus’ homeland, Israel.
        –Refusal to admit there is evil.
        –‘Leading from behind.’ (the worst possible leader does that.)
        –Going AWOL during Benghazi attack, lying about a videographer, next stop Las Vegas with J. Lo, & re-election fund raiser.

        Every day for 8 years, we winced. Obama continued to pile on, even during his Lame Duck days. On his last day in office, Obama ensured open exchanges in 15 Govt Agencies of surveillance against Americans, thereby ensuring leaks that hurt Americans, but helped his Party.

        • Well the right-wing media machine has sure done a number on you. To even compare Obama and Trump is laughable, but you go right ahead. As Shakespeare noted, “the truth will out” and the spin cycle is useless when it is empty.

          • There is no comparison. Trump will go down in history as a great president. Obama will go down as a typical leftwing panderer. All politician. No statesman. His claim to fame will be the first black president, not any accomplishments.

            • And we can add faulty recounting of facts to your portfolio. That had to be hard to type given the abundance of Trump’s foulness and dishonesty. I am sure the Catholic Church is proud of you.

          • I guess she would rather see people dead than have a little deducted from her paycheck to help a sick person. Maybe Jesus will kick her in the ass for it one day. Then she’ll wake up!!!

          • Sandi…. I read the NYTimes every day. That’s where I get my news. I watch CNN. and MSNBC. All of the above was reported in those media outlets.

      • Sorry. But still quite credible, it is all true and you living under a rug if you dont see it, or haven’t heard or seen it. Hillary wrote her theseis on Saul Alinsky who was a communist /Stalin sympathizer and said she “highly admired him”.
        Anyone on the far left platform is borderline communist or ( full blown secret communist) and that is why many minorities voted for Trump. No other reason. He is not racist. Many minorities work for him. The media made him out to be and everyone going wild crazy over that just because he wants to make entry to the country more secure. He is not against immigration. The media goes wild on that one too. How about just for making it strict as when my grandparents came in from Poland!? Thats the way it was and should always be: Rules. Good health. Papers. Then come in and live the dream. I dont care too much forTrump, but not going to go full on against him. and I used to like Hillary until I did my political research.
        So if you still think Hillary and left dems arent radicals- take a look at what Salinsky wrote, the “admired” mentor of Hillary:
        “Subject: Saul Alinsky’s predictions VS YEAR 2015Saul

 Alinsky died about 42 years ago, but his writings influenced those inpolitical
 control of our nation today.Rules for Radicals, Recall

 that Hillary did her college thesis on his writings and Obama writesabout
 him in his books. Anyone out there think that this stuff isn’thappening
 today in the U.S.? All eight rules are currently in play. How tocreate
 a social state by Saul Alinsky:
        There

 are eight levels of control that must be obtained before you are ableto
 create a social state. The first is the most important.1)

 Healthcare – Control healthcare and you control the people.2))

 Poverty – Increase the Poverty level as high as possible, poor peopleare
 easier to control and will not fight back if you are providingeverything
 for them to live.3)

 Debt – Increase the debt to an unsustainable level. That way you areable
 to increase taxes, and this will produce more poverty.4)

 Gun Control – Remove the ability to defend themselves from theGovernment
 . That way you are able to create a police state.5)

 Welfare – Take control of every aspect of their lives (Food, Housing, andIncome)
 

6) Education – Take control of what people read and listen to – take controlof
 what children learn in school.7)

 Religion – Remove the belief in the God from the Government and schools.8)

 Class Warfare – Divide the people into the wealthy and the poor. Thiswill
 cause more discontent and it will be easier to take (Tax) the wealthywith
 the support of the poor.Does

 any of this sound like what is happening to the United States? Alinskymerely
 simplified Vladimir Lenin’s original scheme for world conquest bycommunism,
 under Russian rule. Stalin described his converts as ‘UsefulIdiots’
 . ”
        I say no more.

    • As those are not the people John is addressing this blog to, I don’t see the point of defending non-white people who voted for the GOP.

      There are still families who are torn asunder, friends losing friends, that is what John is writing so compassionately about. Have you no compassion for those that ache?

    • For those who find Deborah’s use of “socialist Hillary Stalin” as offensive as I, here is where we can fight the evil represented in the kind of thinking that produces such an obnoxious phrase:

      One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

    • Wow socialist Hillary Stalin.. We will have to ignore that type of psychotalk. You obviously know nothing of socialism or Stalin. This is the tragedy of US.. people have captive partisan- poisoned minds and have lost the ability to reason and evaluate facts. Please open a history book and read about Stalin first. No normal person talks like this. A cult member would.

  7. Thanks for these words, John. I am at a place right now where I cannot trust any Christian who voted for Trump regardless of their reasons, be it women’s choice or LBGTQ rights or boarder security. The marriage that conservative Christians made with the Republican party is complete and fully revealed. Now, in order to defend their marriage, they reverse engineer their faith and their spiritual mandate to rationalize their beliefs and actions. They reframe debates, they play loose with verified facts, they protect their marriage at all costs. This has led me to completely deny my relationship with evangelical Christianity (and I have a master’s of divinity degree from a major American evangelical seminary). I feel betrayed. I feel I am a stranger, an outsider, an alien. And yet, I am the one who is ridiculed and attacked.

    • Right there with you. I am sure you know you are not alone. This feels like an out-of-body experience in many ways. But in truth this has been coming for a long time. Christians fell for the right-wing media lies and distortions because that same media played up to their faith and values while having neither. It is a marriage alright, but a sham marriage that we have no need to honor or respect.

      The beauty here is that God will correct us if we are wrong. So far all I get is affirmation from the Jesus I study.

    • Not by me, Adam, not by me. The simple truth is that any Christian who voted for the GOP has turned their backs on Jesus because they saw a narrative that supported their prejudices and made it seem mainstream.

      The amount of uneducated and uninformed opinion asserted to be as valuable as evidence, facts, and truth is appalling to see but people don’t want to see anything except that which supports their bigotry.

      The Holy Spirit works in people like John P and in you, Adam.

      • Tell us again about what the Democratic Party is doing for the “least of these” i.e. Children in the womb that Planned Parenthood murders via dismemberment every 97 seconds?

        • Sure, happy to.
          We are working to support comprehensive sex education so kids are not so dumb they do not know how babies are made.

          We are working to make all prophylactics methods affordable and accessible for sexually active people.

          We are working to make sterilization available for women who are sexually active but do not want a baby.

          We are working to make safety net programs actually help a woman choose to carry her pregnancy knowing she and her child will be protected and supported.

          We are working on social awareness of the epidemic drug and alcohol use that leads to unprotected sex.

          We are working on access to health clinics so women have knowledge of their own bodies and ways to prevent pregnancy.

          We are working on better job security for maternity leave, daycare services and Head Start programs.

          Now, you tell us what YOU are doing for “the least of these” children in the womb?

          • What will you do to protect the baby on the way to Planned Parenthood today to prevent an abortionist from murdering it?

            Will you even admit that it’s wrong?

            • I will freely and absolutely admit that it is a failure of the church, of society and of mankind, but if I believe in the right to privacy, autonomy and liberty, I have to let women make their own decisions for the world they live in, not the one I wish we had.

              Again, what are you doing to stop or mitigate abortion besides coerce the government and force of law to do your bidding?

              • Your answer surprised me.

                What am I doing? Actually not much more than voting and discussing. I could do more.

                Ultimately changes of hearts and minds are needed. You seem to have a heart when it comes to the unborn. Some are very calloused about it.

                If “choice” is a necessary evil, I wish there would at least be an openness from all sides to pushing the idea that the unborn have a moral worth and that an abortion should be a last resort.

                I understand the poverty side of this issue, but what of the professional women whose careers a baby would jeopardize? I wish I could remember the tv journalist who lamented having three abortions. Here is someone with money and with enough sense to use “protection” so there is nothing society needs to do for them, yet they still abort.

                We need to develop a sense of compassion for the unborn.

                • I really have no idea who you see as being “very calloused about it”, that has never been my experience, with anyone of faith especially.

                  At this point in our evolution, “choice” is the only thing there is because of our biology and physiology. The only way to get to “an openness from all sides” is to stop JUST “pushing the idea that the unborn have a moral worth”. Maybe it is because you are a man, but there is no woman who does not see an abortion as her last resort.

                  The vast majority of terminations are in the first trimester when a woman knows that the fetus is still forming but not yet viable and that knowledge also pushes the decision to be made “fast”.

                  Many do indeed regret it later but that is not going to stop the next woman or young girl who finds themselves in that same desperate decision time frame.

                  Women of real means in supportive relationships with family and friends for support are not really the demographic getting abortions. Again the vast majority are young, poor and unmarried. A compassionate Christian has to take the situation of the mother, the human who is here already and hurting into consideration, not just the fetus.

                  Obviously a career that had you choose abortion more than once speaks to a selfish nature that no law can fix. But again, biology and physiology are the issues a woman faces that no man can truly grasp IMO. Abortions happened when they were illegal too.

                  We need to develop a sense of compassion for BOTH the fetus and the woman in that situation that no one takes lightly.

                  And people need to quit harping on the issue if their only solution is to overturn Roe v Wade! All that will do is doom more children to poverty, being unwanted, unloved and unsupported but a possession nonetheless in a society that also does not want to pay to help them. It is also a story that plays out every day. And your vote seems like it will worsen that situation too.

                  Maybe you need to spend as much time in reflection as you do in lecturing. These are real people you are talking about, not just cute little babies who will have a charmed life if you can just get them born. Not how this works.

                • What about a sense of compassion for victims of rape, incest, or abuse? What about a sense of compassion for single mothers whose husbands or partners walked out on them, leaving them to care for their children on their own, often without support? What about compassion for children with disabilities, whose health care costs far outstrip their families’ means? What about compassion for children in abusive households, whose only meals may come from a free lunch at school?

                  Oh. That’s right. “True Christians” don’t care about all that. That’s all entitlements and hand-outs, and if mommy had kept her legs closed, those kids wouldn’t exist anyways, so screw them. Right? Isn’t that what we’re doing now?

                  What a deplorable pile of horse… manure.

                  • Caitlyn Anne, I am very sorry to tell you Joe ACP doesn’t care about any of that as long as the babies are born.

                    If they die almost immediately because there was no neo-natal care, he doesn’t care because the baby was born.

                    If the clild is malnourished or sick, he doesn’t care because the baby was born.

                    Yeah, it is obnoxious to write these things but it was also pretty flipping obnoxious to learn back in the day when I read his posts.

                • Wealth and sense aren’t a guarantee of the efficacy of birth control. I have a friend who became pregnant while using condoms and spermicidal foam. And then again while accurately using birth control pills. And a third time with a IUD in place.

    • “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble.
      It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. ”
      ~Mark Twain

  8. Not Hugging This One Out.

    The people I’ve fallen out with … I actually wrote them, each, highly-personal, pleading letters before the election, explaining how ACA saved my husband’s life, and how the GOP healthcare plan will most likely result in his death.

    This year, between premiums+deductibles+copays, our insurance will run $40K. We’re fortunate to have the ability to pay, and so, we’re happy to pay. But it’s not right.

    Had we not had insurance, my husband’s $400,000 medical bills over the past two years would have been on us. After paying premiums for over 50 years, we lost it due to pre-existing conditions rejection. ACA restored insurance for us. These “friends” of ours already knew this at some level, but I thought if I could a put an $ value on it, put a real face on it …

    These “friends” know my husband well, we’ve had great times together, they’ve enjoyed his hospitality and love, and they claim to love my husband (most have known him for 30 years or more.) They know of his severe health issues. They know we, as a gay couple, can now – in NC – be thrown out of hotels, stores, restaurants … denied public services … evicted from or denied housing , fired from or denied jobs … legally, for no reason other being gay.

    These “friends” know that the GOP is pushing these anti-LGBT laws across the country. These “friends” know, given a chance, the GOP will get same-sex marriage back in front of potentially more-conservative, anti-gay, SCOTUS, in order to undo our marriage. Most of them have been divorced, of course. Claim to be Christians. Know my husband and have been together 31 years and need the legal protection civil marriage provides and which they so easily take for granted.

    All this they knew before casting their vote. And this is before you factor in the walking obscenity that is Trump.

    And, evidently, our former freinds don’t care.

    Now we know these frenemies are, clearly, just enemies. It’s that simple for my husband and I.

    These former friends knew what was at stake for my husband and me, Yet, they have now chosen to align themselves with a party that is not only intent on harming us … but is proud of the fact. It’s personal, and they knew it before they cast their vote.

    What’s the expression? When someone reveals their true face to you? Believe them.

    • Exactly! Thank you for sharing that, I did not have anything as concrete as your example to show my friends but for those that refused to listen, there is no going back, there is only moving on without them in my life. 4 months in and I still feel lighter. Sadder that the attitude of those like Christopher Freeman above won out, but lighter without that dead weight.

      Another factor that helped Trump win cannot be ignored either, many on the left, because “Bernie was cheated”, who profess to care for the poor, the disabled, immigrants and refugees were also in on the Clinton bashing, sharing the Russian ‘fake news’ hysteria and distorting her record almost as much as Trump and his “lock her up” pals (who are oddly enough now turning out to be liars and traitors!)

      Add to them the Obama voters who just did not vote and the Christian Right got what it wanted. Now we reap the whirlwind. As will they.

      • I so agree with you. I keep saying if only they were the ones who reaped the whirlwind, but they are taking everyone down with them. And like you I am not willing to let the Bernie bashers and the non voters off the hook. They are complicit in this train wreck. Peace,

    • {{{{{{{{{{{{{mike}}}}}}}}}}}}}}

      I am so sorry for all you and your dear husband have gone through. I am so sorry that your “friends” betrayed you two as they have.

      I don’t know if you know this or not, but there are organizations out there soliciting personal stories of how the ACA positively impacted people’s lives. Yours is one that needs to be told to every GOP Congressperson there is and the Cabinet.

      I post opportunities for people to do that in a group I have on FB. I invite you to join and fight with us to preserve the ACA.

      One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

  9. “As a person of faith raised to extend forgiveness”
    You constantly proclaim hate toward Trump and those who voted from him yet have the sanctimonious audacity to claim that you need to forgive? How about coming down from that high horse that dwarves Mt. Everest and humbly apologize for stirring dissension.

    Christians are to trust in Jesus Christ and not corrupt politicians.

    • You would have a point if so many of those Christians who are “to trust in Jesus Christ and not corrupt politicians” had not only voted for Trump, but defended his vile persona, and still do.

        • Victor Stone, if you did not vote for Hillary, and cast your vote for a third party, then, in effect, you voted in a way that allowed this evil to take over our government. If you didn’t vote at all same thing.

          People who voted for third parties or didn’t vote ought, in my opinion, be deeply regretting their action or inaction and join the fight against evil.

          One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.

          https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

    • Victor. This is just a little message to let you know that, while you do have a voice here, the people you most want to listen to you and the people you most need to heed your messages are not listening to you and are not ever going to listen to you. They have been verbally and physically abused by people like you for decades, and because of that, they reject you personally and neither care for nor want anything you are selling. Your typing fingers are wasted breath here.

      • Dear Charles, were you serious about setting up a troll-free place to discuss John’s blog? Because I long for that place.

        • I long for it, too. Because I can’t take the pressure of disagreement. That’s why I deflect any dissent to my preciously held views—constructed by JP, of course—with words like troll and hate. Please Charles, help me, too. I don’t want to learn anything here and would feel much safer and insular with opinions I agree with lock-step. Also, do you have any extra soma tablets?

        • Yes, Gloriamarie. But I would not want to hurt John Pavlovitz or have him sue me. However, the way I look at it, it is no different than having an on-line coffee gathering to discuss a new book. If you really want me to do it, I will. You might not like the way I set it up though. I would prefer to keep out both trolls and fundies because each group is desperate to tear down John P.’s ministry–and they do not care who they have to hurt or steamroll to do it. Plus, these are the two groups that have given ordinary citizens the most hurt and pain over the years. I gather that people most want to escape from the hurt pain and harassment. I can sure do it—no problem there—and I did some research last night on how to totally block IP addresses in WordPress. Easy as pie.

          • Charles, dear, how could I possibly object to the blocking of trolls and fundies? Were it up to I, there are a number of evangelicals who post here that I would block, but your group, your decision.

            What I would love is a place where critical thinkers employ evidence, facts, history, science, sound theology discuss in a caring, compassionate, generous, kind and loving manner how to implement the things John writes. Where all differences if opinions were not met with accusations, assumptions, and insults but with gracious questions to elicit more information to make sure we are understanding each other correctly.

            IOW, a group of adults with appropriate boundaries and limits.

          • It’s extremely easy to set up your own free message board, and easy to to monitor who joins. If it’s the expression of diversity of thought you seem to wish to escape, I suggest you go for it and set up your board.

            Just do a search on “free message boards” and you’ll find many choices and soon will have a forum where you can preach to the choir.

            • Again, the issue is not your mean spirited lectures that you claim are merely “expression of diversity of thought”, it is your effort to bully and persist when that is rejected or refuted. I can see why people want to escape such people. Oddly, you don’t much appreciate getting your own medicine returned either.

      • Don’t listen to the self-appointed bouncer, Victor. Charles thinks he’s the sergeant-at-arms in charge of squelching dissent in this “discussion” arena.

        • “Self-appointed bouncer.”

          LOL

          He’s actually much more than that. He’s an undercover agent and by techniques and devices known only to him, can discern when someone is using more than one alias. He’s got me pegged for 37 of them. I don’t know how he did it. I think he says you are me as well, so that would mean I’m talking to myself. Uh oh…

          • I am sure he appreciates the praise, but do you really think it is hard to discern “you” regardless of the name you use?

        • No. I am the person who is going to establish MY OWN new arena and like most decent blogs—people will be subject to moderation and being blocked. I don’t give a damn about your dissent. You have rights of speech on a public sidewalk or here—but you sure as Hell do not have them in my house or any other space that I own. Just in case you are not aware of it, the First Amendment does not apply on private property—nor should it.

          • Please do. The sooner the better. My feelings won’t be hurt if you don’t invite me, though I would never be so exclusive myself were I to start my own. I’m not afraid of ideas that are contrary to my own.

            • Of course your “feelings won’t be hurt” if we all left, that would leave you and your pals to jump on any new people at will.

              Of course your purposes would not be served on your own page because interrupting Reverend Pavlovitz and his mission is your obsession. You would have no soapbox if you did not have ideas that are contrary to your own to pounce on and refute with dogma.

    • Obama’s extremely poor Leadership was bothersome to me. [But I managed through it just fine.] Trumps character & personality is very odd, I intend to manage my way through that as well. (I prefer Trump’s ideas over Obama’s ideas.)

      Nevertheless, Truth never changes, and our Hope is in Jesus. This world shall pass away like dry wild flowers. We know from our bible, that chaos is increasing, the world is getting worse, not better, and we know that Jesus is coming back for his Church, and then he will come back to Judge, destroy & kill and demolish This World and everything in it. After that, he ushers in the New Jerusalem, a place for Eternity for all his People.

      • The only response I will ever make to leslie m’s comments

        One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.

        https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

        • You don’t have to respond at all, you know. Do you need to advertise your FB page so often? Do you think that’s right or fair to do that? It does interrupt the flow of reading the posts, but that could be your intention. Anyway, what you’re doing is very disruptive and selfish, IMHO.

          • You offer your lectionary dogma at the drop of a word and never ask anyone if they want to read it…pot, leave kettle alone!

            • Sorry that you think being pro-Trump and pro-real Christianity is “terrorizing.” I have no desire to join her liberals only club. Perhaps when her spamming has garnered enough members she’ll retreat to her facebook castle (and stay there)?

              It is selfish to spam a message board or forum with personal advertisements. Anyone with manners and common sense would know that. I don’t care what it’s for, even if it were a pro-life group–it’s very rude.

              • You just proved everyone’s point. You consigned everyone who disagrees with you to hell by your Real Christian comment. Trust me I am not hiding I just don’t want to dialogue with a closed mind. Get over yourself. Somehow you seem to think this blog is yours, get your own because you are not here to do good, you are here just to be a nuisance. I ignore for the most part nuisances. There is nothing you can say that will change my mind about the person in the white house. I suspect that is true of most of us. Go do something positive, it might make you look at the world differently.

              • Oh here we go again, you are the “real Christian” and we are all apostates. What you refuse to accept is that it is not what you are that is “terrorizing”, it is what you do.

                It is no more “selfish to spam a message board or forum with personal advertisements” that invite people to a new network of believers than it is to spam one with dogma no one has asked you for and berate those who do not toe the line of your doctrine. Anyone with manners and common sense would know that.

      • Leslie that is a very convenient speech for looking the other way as people suffer while we have the means to alleviate it or at least mitigate it. I think the kids call that a ‘cop out’. I do too.

        Bad things happen when good people do nothing and when good people are led into bad choices. Trump’s damage will last for generations. And the whole world knows there is no comparison between Trump and any president in modern memory, much less Obama.

        • Trump works and thinks outside the box. The elites and establishment of both parties are threatened by that. He’s a peoples’ president. A blessing to our country. No comparison to Obama. He stands head and shoulders above him.

          • Keep whistling… Trump is an unstable, dishonest megalomaniac who cannot stay on task for more than moments. You right wingers seem to be lapping that up but the adults in the nation see it clearly. Get out of the right-wing media bubble and you will see he is no blessing to anyone and he stands above no one. Even on the shoulders of Russia.

            • Lots of us voted for Pence. (not Trump). I know progressives dislike Pence, but Christian Conservatives think he’s qualified to be president.

              • Pence is absolutely a right-wing Christian zealot but yes, he is competent and sane which is more than I can say for Trump. His political marriage of his religion and party will have him supporting the same hateful cuts and bigotry but he will have some sense in dealing with colleagues and other nations that Trump utterly lacks and that is the biggest world danger.

                Bottom line, there is no safe space for immigrants (even legal ones), refugees, the LGBTQ, the poor or women under either, but elections have consequences.

                • I can attest to Pence being a religious zealot. Live in Indiana, seen him first hand, robbed public education and gave to religious schools, passed a law allowing people to discriminate against LGBTQ and on and on and on. So he may be sane but not much different in his programs. Perhaps even more rigid. My husband says we should fear what Mike Pence might do if he is in charge. I tend to agree with him. Peace

                    • You obviously don’t live in Indiana. Pence was a horrible governor, and had little chance of reelection. His major claim to fame, RFRA, was not only openly discriminatory toward people like me, but made him a statewide laughing stock. He let infrastructure languish, unemployment soared, and major businesses either left or refused to expand. His successor, also a Republican, has spent the last few months undoing much of what Pence did.

                      Pence as president? You may as well elect a brain-dead hamster.

                    • I live in Indiana and can attest to everything you say. We lost a lot of money when he put thru RFRA. The big deal they made about saving Carrier jobs, him and DTW, well after he gave away the store and they had their big photo op, Carrier jobs are leaving the state along with two other plants. Wonderful job, not. Our public education is getting worse by the year, and I could bore you with a lot of other things but no he would not make a good president. You are right, the Republicans in this state breathed a sigh of relief when he was picked for VP because they saw themselves losing with Pence.

                    • I think you’re right. Next to 45, Pence does look super competent and even keeled. Some people think that makes him even more dangerous than 45, particularly given his history of writing hate into law.

    • Victor Stone you wrote “Christians are to trust in Jesus Christ and not corrupt politicians.”

      Except so many “Christians” have identified their faith with the GOP which has embraced evil.

      One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

    • Wow. That was so true Victor. He loves to write and followers boosting his ego and seemingly causing much dissention as is his number one game now. But he is blinded, seems sincere, but just on that high horse going way to extreme, Doing exactly what he is fighting against. Makes no sense.

      • Apparently, Deborah, you are only here to cause trouble. I am sorry for the paucity of your spirit.

        One can’t help but notice the many voices of those who are disillusioned by their experiences in various churches in the USA. Hard not to be, really, if one is a critical thinker. Hard not to be when one is a caring, compassionate, tender person.

Refuge is offered in the Facebook group ”Celebrate What Christians Have in Common” where a daily buffet is spread of Asceticism and art, cartoons and quotes, comics and contemplation, memes and meditations, music and musings, photographs and prayers, just about anything that is one of the many voices from the many flavors of Christianity.

        There is one discipline required of all who join: one must not utter a negative word because this space is a refuge, a respite, a place of peace and quiet. If one chooses to engage in discussion one may only write about one can affirm in the selection. No arguments, no vitriolic words, no spammers and trolls will be tolerated,

Please come and celebrate what Christians have in common and let us together remember our faith is based upon God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and not the actions and choices of frail, sinful human beings.

        https://www.facebook.com/groups/1409874399270377/


      • Why? It sure worked for the Christian Right. Maybe this is the way to go. No one listened when folks were just being polite and showing their love, that is patently clear.

      • Yeah, good thing those right-wing Christians have not been on any “high horse going way to extreme” because then, Reverend Pavlovitz sounds spot on in response.

      • It is discouraging when pastors (Republican or Democrat) focus on politics over the preaching the Word. Political discussions are about as fruitful as spinning tires in the mud.

        I pray pulpits, podcasts, and blogs can be used by pastors to build up the body spiritually.

        • And oddly enough that is exactly what Reverend Pavlovitz is trying to do. Millions of Christians are feeling hurt and fearful of what has and will transpire. If you do not need his encouragement and honesty, move on. Your piety does not mean others are not struggling. That is just not how it works. Maybe you are not “like that tax collector” so move on.

          • I’m not sure where you are from but I live in the northeast where we don’t beat around the bush, don’t have time spin, might be angered by bluntness but at least respect it.

            I’m going to ask for your forgiveness if this offends you or anyone else- Christians should not be distressed about this or any other election. We are Christians (or at least I hope everyone here is). Nero burned Christians at the stake and what was Paul instructing Christians to do? Pray for those in power.

            If people are in emotional turmoil about Trump I won’t say, “get over it” or “suck it up”, however, I will ask that they go before the Lord if their focus is more on politics than it should be.

            Jesus is what should unite us not whether we check off an “R” or “D” in the voting booth.

            • I don’t disagree on what our effort should be but I absolutely reject that we can ignore the very real world consequences of those “R” and “D” voting choices. We are not a small village, we are a nation of over 300 million and we need government run programs and safety nets for those that do not fair well under capitalism and progress. That is just the reality of the world we live in until we are relieved of it.

              Planning only on what happens next is missing all that “good works” and the caring that “Love thy neighbor” is all about. We are our brother’s keeper in many ways. We cannot just throw stones at those identified as sinners because we ALL live in glass houses.

              With young children you have especial reason to worry about what the future holds. Those who are successfully marginalized and corralled tend to act out in ways that cause real damage against that oppression, so just pushing them out is not going to work as many think it will.

              I have prayed far more for Trump than I have ever prayed for a political leader in my lifetime because like the most obsessed and distracted rulers in the Bible, real people get hurt when we have bad leaders and I have seen nothing to give me a glimmer that he is not a bad leader. He is woefully incapable of what he has taken on as far as I can tell and he is not choosing good helpmates either.

              Yes, Paul told Christians to pray because that was their only recourse, it is not our only recourse. There are no soldiers who will come after us for dissent. Yet.

              • You raise valid concerns about the poor and marginalized. It’s a valid concern and area where Christians should serve passionately. Like you my wife and I pray for Trump. He needs it.

                I am concerned about our national debt and what appears to be a lack of concern from Trump towards it. At some point this will impact my kids or their kids. Ultimately, God is in control.

                I do believe our country will hit bottom as we get closer to the Tribulation.

            • Victor. i agree with you. Lets keep our eyes on higher things, be grateful for how God works in our lives. Praise & Thanksgiving to God.

  10. Thank you again. Your words bring tears to my eyes. The relief at hearing so BOLDLY your thoughts and feelings are so true…the arrow has hit its mark. We all have lines of behavior we find acceptable: in ourselves, our cbildren, our partners, our politicians. The current pres has crossed so many it is shcki g, stunni g, breathtaking. Leading us towards crassness, bullying, the evil of racism, the vileness of sexual assault and the degradation of womanhood, the lack of accountability, ethical standards of morality and decency in those he has chosen for cabinet positions…it goes on and on and on. And those who support him have crossed that line with him and I find that as horrific a problem as the devastation be is causing our country. People who support him have a lower set of morals and ain indecent set of values and feelings I am sickened by it. May God help us heal our country….ASAP!!

    • I agree with what you said. I am an old lady and I deplore the crassness that has invaded our society, the more crass someone is the better people seem to like it. Television should have told us what to expect, all these reality shows, the ruder and cruder people are, the more popular they are, the more they are watched. It is truly sad, sometimes I have trouble recognizing this country. Peace, Love and Resist.

    • Hey Alicia, the point of the blog today was to listen to those who think differently than you do. Be gracious and allow for the possibility that those who didn’t vote for your favorite Democrat are not evil and did not have evil intentions. Try being a little humble and a little gracious. Listen to our reasons.

  11. I am trying to connect with neutral topics, avoiding the giant problem of so many having been persuaded to vote against their own deepest beliefs. The harm already caused to so many is staggering, but feels abstract until it’s done to someone you know. I count on that being true for most people.

    Yet there are also a lot of people filled with untargeted rage who welcome the permission they now feel they have to unleash that rage at pretty much anybody, with the thinnest of reasons. That part confounds me.

    • I am not sure how it “confounds” you. Are you new to social media? I can assure you that the behavior, rage, lies, distortions and depravity that you see has been going on (and from professed Christians too) since President Obama won the election in 2008. Being a political junkie, I have seen and heard it all. This is not new, there is merely the same game with offense and defense having switched sides of the field.

      • Exactly. That is Why no Christian should be a democrat or a Republican. Both nutsy radicals. But both parties have all the moolah so dont see that happening ever.

    • It confounds many of us, Emily. If you would like to take a stand against that and resist such evil, I invite you to a FB group

      One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

  12. I always try hard not to be judgmental and instead strive to understanding why people do and say the things they do. I’ve been having a hard time trying to comprehend my female republican friends. I seek terms like “Stockholm syndrome” to try and justify how they could perceive this president as a good, respectable leader. I try so hard not to resent them when I see the suffering that is induced by current and pending legislation. We often have heated debates where I can actually see a glimmer of hope in them but, like a spring coil being twined the opposite way, they ultimately spring back to their original brainwashed ideology. I know deep in my heart that they will one day come to see the error in their thinking but I am extremely frightened over what it will take for them to see the light. I guess this means my faith is wavering.

  13. Elections don’t ruin relationships our sin does. Don’t blame Trump or those who voted for him because of your sinful pride, self righteousness, and hate.

    • What about your sinful pride, self-righteousness, and hate for those who do not agree with your religion and politics? You have met the enemy, and he is you.

    • Victor, have you been saying these things to Christians who consider Obama to be the very embodiment of evil even though he actually is a Christian?

      If you feel so strongly about sin, why aren’t you busy identifying the sin in the present GOP platform? The sin in Trump’s proposed budget? Why aren’t you don’t something constructive about sin instead of trying to cause trouble here?

      Here’s a place to fight evil.

      One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

      • Did you read my response to Sandi? I was against the bad mouthing of Obama. He won both elections fairly.

        Do you expect me to focus on politics enough to point out every sin issue with the President, the budget, or GOP? I don’t care for politics and have no interest in watching any of the cable news stations that cover it.

        I work full time, am married, with 2 boys (3 and 1). I’ll pray for our leaders (local, state, and national) but do not have the time or interest to follow politics closely. I’d rather be more involved in local ministries.

        • H9onestly, Victor Stone, no. “Did you read my response to Sandi? I was against the bad mouthing of Obama. He won both elections fairly.”

          I’ve been running around dealing with the car and have not had much time to be involved in the blog today.

          “I work full time, am married, with 2 boys (3 and 1). I’ll pray for our leaders (local, state, and national) but do not have the time or interest to follow politics closely. I’d rather be more involved in local ministries.”

          Since you say this is the case, how do you find so much time to invest on this blog? I ask because I am disabled and handicapped and I find every comment on this blog too overwhelming to keep up with.

  14. John, I’m in the same boat. I know in my soul I’m supposed to forgive. But I don’t know how we get from here to there. I know part of the story is that I concealed my identity, what I believe, for the sake of peace. I’m even posting my thoughts here instead of on Facebook to limit who will see this with my name attached.

    • I have some friends in your situation who would not ‘speak out’ so that they could keep their friends and they just chose other ways to vent and express their frustrations. I could not do that. We all have to do what is right for us and be the best version of ourselves in Christ as we go forward. In this world that was already a challenge, now it just seems like an even steeper and harder climb. Good luck to you.

  15. There is another way to see all the confusion, bad leadership, devisiveness and all other forms of breakdown.
    We are entering a new era/epoch in which what we have known is no more, what used to work no longer does and will be replaced with something which serves the earth and humanity in a way not available till now.
    All we need to look at is nature. Nature changes all the time and sometimes rapidly.
    We as a society are not exempt from change, this being a time of rapid change we first have to embrace, move with and find new and better ways to be people of light we are destined to be.
    By the way, some of the arguments written in this blog are part of the problem. The hate, the ‘my thinking’ is the right thinking, the bad mouthing of things one doesn’t even know about, the arguing with each others position – all that and more is part of the mess we find ourselves in today.
    The way out isn’t more of the same but a new direction that does include inclusiveness, love, lack of greed and learning to be considerate of others views and positions.

    • You confuse me, you think this new direction we are headed in will and I quote “include inclusiveness, love, lack of greed and learning to be considerate of others views and positions.” Have you been reading the news?

  16. Thank you again for your words. This is a difficult one because I know that you speak the truth but it’s the doing that does not come easy. I believe if I am honest with myself and I try to be that their are some people who I will not allow in close proximity to me for my mental health. If I am to be a help to those who truly need me I have to be sane and so that means that I will remove myself from some I find objectionable. I don’t think I ever really knew some of these people, I don’t believe had I known them as I do now, they would have become friends of mine, acquaintances, sure but friends, no, I don’t think so. So I see it as a way of cleaning the closet, some things I have outgrown and I am not ashamed of that. I can pray for them but I don’t need to socialize with them. Peace, Love and Resist.

  17. My Dad, my husband, most of the people in this community that I have to live with and do business with. Thank you for this essay and others that you write to voice my feelings and help me not feel so alone.

    • Sherry, your *husband*? I’m so sorry. That must be very difficult. I hope that, in time, you’ll be able to have some peace about this.

  18. It’s a privilege to feel this kind of betrayal only recently. As a black woman growing up in the South, I have watched my white friends, neighbors, colleagues and intimates repeatedly vote for politicians, policies and ordinances that demonized people who look like me. This has been true my entire life. At this point, I’m exhausted with trying to prove my humanity to the white folks around me.

    • I know this is not what you were looking for in making your comment but I feel compelled to say for all those white folks around you, I am sorry, my guess is it is their loss. Also thanks for your comment, it got me thinking about all this in an entirely new way and for that I appreciate that. Without your comment I would not have even gone there. Peace, Love and Resist.

    • Thea, you certainly raise an excellent point and it shames me. Thank you for reminding us of what is really at stake here.

    • The shame I feel for my fellow countrymen for their treatment of you won’t help you or make your life easier.
      What I can do, what I insist on doing, and what I will continue to do , will be to consistently use my very real and undeserved white privilege to speak out and speak up against the injustices you encounter.
      Peace, love and light to you.

    • Thea, thank you for your words and your witness. For everyone else, it is not the responsibility of the oppressed to educate the oppressors. It is exhausting and often thankless work. The oppressors often can only be taught by people belong to their demographic, and even then it can be a daunting task.

    • I don’t know what you look like Thea, but can you be specific as to how Trump has “demonized” you and people who look like you?

      • Shame on you! Thea did not say Trump demonized her and people that look like her. She didn’t mention him or even vaguely suggest him. She said that that has been happening throughout her life. She should not be expected to do the research on something that you said, not her. You have colossal nerve (and that is NOT a good thing).

        • This thread is about Trump and broken relationships, etc. Why wouldn’t I think she was referring to Trump? Why heap shame on me IF I didn’t understand?

          • Her post was very clear in looking at the historical perspective. You do not admit to not understanding but posit lack of understanding as an alternative scenario instead. If you really didn’t understand, your answer would have been something along the lines of, “Oh, I’m sorry. In rereading it now, I see where I went astray.” I can only be left to think that you were deliberately being a PITA.

            • Well, that’s the way many of you are around here. You’re spring loaded just waiting for that opportunity to be offended and tell off the offender.

              In rereading her post, I see what she meant more clearly now. I did skim over it the first time. But I would still be interested in who those politicians are and how they demonized her.

              The only demonizing I’m seeing is that of Trump and people who supported him.

              • Because an innocent looking question that happens to require a tremendous amount of research to answer, isn’t really innocent at all. It’s a way to trap a person into silence or to discount their original post. It is a deliberate ploy used by people who just want to find something else to argue about.

                If you were sincerely interested in a conversation with her, you would have started by validating her personal experience and offering general expressions of remorse for society’s evil. Instead, you jump in and ask someone whose circumstance you do not know to present you with research to back up something that you said, not her.

                And now you have doubled down asking for the names of the politicians over the course of her lifetime who have betrayed her humanity complete with evidence of how that happened. Did you read my comment where I said that it is not the responsibility of the oppressed to educate their oppressor? If you honestly want this information, Google is your friend. Have at it.

                • As you likely already know, he and those who disrupt as he does, do not “honestly want” anything but to disrupt, discredit and deny the truth others see. If they do not see it, it is not truth. That is their worldview and their raison d’être. Their posts prove this is not about faith.

                  • It’s kind of like when you were a kid, if you said it, you could somehow make it true. Only thing is we are all adults now. Of course if we didn’t have adults like this we wouldn’t have conmen either.

                • Doubled down? Because I want details? She made accusations. She insulted people. Sure, she ought to back that up.

                  • She insulted no one. She witnessed to the reality of her existence. Surely you realise that racism plagues society and you don’t need to ask the target of racism for a research project to back that up.

                    • Of course he realizes it, but normalizing Trump and the right-wing political agenda is more important than acknowledging historical fact and reality. Because you cannot do both.

                    • Yes I do need to ask which politicians she means. It’s a legitimate question, and not one she should have any problem answering.

                    • It’s pretty simple, actually, if the politician has an “R” as their party affiliation, Sandi’s probably referring to them. It isn’t that difficult.

                    • ACP, it is a question, but it is hardly legitimate. You have asked her to name almost every elected person at every electoral level since the date of her birth and list how they dehumanised her. As I already said, she does not need to prove that racism exists. You don’t need to ask that question unless you have a need to oppress her further.

              • You just admitted to skimming a post then whipping out a response unaware and WE are the problem? Seriously, you need help.

                I am sure that the only demonizing you see “is that of Trump and people who supported him” because that offense you can pounce on and renounce because you do not share it is all you have.

                If Trump was the Democratic President (and thanks be to God he went the other way!), you would be right here with us viciously attacking him just as you have Carter, Clinton and liberals. You prove you are not a very deep Christian, but a very deep partisan.

  19. Dear John P, Thankful for your words. My mother and I, my closest friends and their families, I am happy to say, all voted Democratic because we could see the ugliness that would come if the GOP won.

    However, I know many people who are the people you address above and I thank you for your pastoral concern for them.

    I haven’t looked yet at any of the fifty-one comments which precede mine, but I feel certain I will find those who love your words and those that hate them.

    Those that hate them are those who most need them but, tragically, they will not allow themselves to be blessed by them and will instead deter, distract, and drag all sorts of red herrings to get people off-topic and onto their personal agendas. Golly that’s a shame.

    For people who to concentrate on loving Jesus, who want to learn how other Christians love Jesus, who simply want some peace and quiet, I offer sanctuary.

    One can’t help but notice the many voices of those who are disillusioned by their experiences in various churches in the USA. Hard not to be, really, if one is a critical thinker. Hard not to be when one is a caring, compassionate, tender person.

Refuge is offered in the Facebook group ”Celebrate What Christians Have in Common” where a daily buffet is spread of Asceticism and art, cartoons and quotes, comics and contemplation, memes and meditations, music and musings, photographs and prayers, just about anything that is one of the many voices from the many flavors of Christianity.

    There is one discipline required of all who join: one must not utter a negative word because this space is a refuge, a respite, a place of peace and quiet. If one chooses to engage in discussion one may only write about one can affirm in the selection. No arguments, no vitriolic words, no spammers and trolls will be tolerated,

Please come and celebrate what Christians have in common and let us together remember our faith is based upon God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and not the actions and choices of frail, sinful human beings.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1409874399270377/


    • For all who wish to do something about the current administration and where no trolls are allowed, I offer

      One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

  20. Do you REALLY want to fix relations stressed, shredded, or even severed by Election Day in November?

    Truly?

    Take a deep breathe. Fill that cold, empty spot in the pit of your soul with fond memories of the one you are missing.

    From that place, try to imagine a world where you have been viewing the events of the past few weeks and months through the lenses of … hysteria. Just try to imagine we, as a Nation, aren’t headed for disaster. At least consider the possibility.

    Now, get ready to embrace some pieces of reality.

    ***

    First off ~ you were NOT betrayed. If you didn’t see the circumstances leading to some of your family and friends voting for Trump, it is most likely NOT THEIR FAULT.

    It has been the LEFT which has been stifling discussions both pre- and post-election on why people would vote Trump.

    If anyone was betrayed, it has been your family and friend who was left clueless that their vote for an alternative to the vision Hillary Clinton was creating for America’s future would lead to their family and friend abandoning them.

    Heck! I am a life-long Republican. Let’s just say relationships in my circle of friends was a bit awkward in late 1996 after I broke ranks and voted for President Bill Clinton. My fiancee voted for Ross Perot as well which raised nearly as many eyebrows. The difference between that and now was we argued ~ then made up. Our friendship and ability to be their for one another meant far more. Besides, “vengeance” was just 4 years down the road. Vengeance is always 4 years down the road if your side doesn’t win.

    Not today though. Today … today vengeance is today and it will be tomorrow and the the day after tomorrow as well … and I believe that is what is costing friendships. The betrayal today is the betrayal over 62 million Americans are feeling having voted for a candidate, having that candidate win then having the losing side do everything in their power to overturn that verdict ~ a betrayal of our Democratic Republic.

    If you think they might be getting pissed off with you over this ~ having LESS empathy for you and your viewpoints, not MORE, you might be right.

    ***

    Secondly ~ your friends weren’t racist, bigoted misogynists and didn’t become such on November 8th. Instead of examining why they chose to vote in opposition to your political vision ~ and this is EXACTLY what this vote was ~ you chose to call them foul names instead. So, while you are feeling angry, bereft and betrayed, so are they – angry and feeling betrayed by you because you, their supposed friends, having been calling them monsters … and worse when they definitely ARE NOT.

    ***

    Thirdly ~ stop the name calling, virtue-signalling and racing for the moral high ground … every … damn … time. Try to recall ‘those without sin should cast the first stone’ in a non-stone-throwing context.

    If you insist they embrace the precise same morality as you and anything less is evil, then congrats ~ you are a zealot. You are a dogmatic monster masquerading as a pious soul. By insisting everyone be judged by your zealousness, you have become poisonous to our Free Society.

    Oh wait … that would be me virtue-signalling, name-calling and seizing the moral High Ground … for no God damn good reason except to kill of a true exchange of thoughts and ideas and to upset others.

    ***

    Finally, face facts: you are the one who turned on your family and friends over ONE ELECTION. If they have been cordial through 8 years of President Obama, you might want to engage your reason, instead of your passion, when figuring out what is actually going on.

    Did they vote for Obama either time? If so, why did they cross party lines to vote for Trump this time?

    If they never bothered to vote, but voted Trump this time ~ why?

    Odds are VERY HIGH they don’t think they voted for the next incarnation of Adolph Hitler so you might want to ask them why they don’t think he is … ya know … seeped in evil?

    Perhaps they decided to not endorse the US sliding further into becoming a Nanny/Welfare State because that is not what they think the government should become, or do?

    Take in more immigrants? Wait … don’t we have hundreds of thousands of homeless including children and elderly in the America already? What do we do about them?

    Maybe they were worried that 10 hours a week at a job you are highly over-qualified for counts as employed, or feel it is plain wrong to have someone who has surrendered to hopelessness and given up looking for a job to no longer be considered ‘unemployed’?

    Maybe they thought our 8 years of ‘economic recovery’ was a sham and wanted something better for their children?

    Maybe they are tired of our streets and school rooms being turned into battlegrounds?

    Perhaps … oh, perhaps if you began a conversation with something less inflammatory than ‘why did you elect that monster’ you might get somewhere. If you do, they will most likely counter defensively how Hillary was no ‘gem’ and things will spiral to mutual animosity from there.

    ***

    Or, you could go this route:

    “I feel betrayed.”
    When you are the one who has betrayed them twice. Did you make your stance clear before the election so you knew where they stood and argued the points for your side? Afterwards, did you honestly try to find out why they voted Trump for 45?

    **

    “She isn’t alone.”

    Of course she is not alone. There is a 24/7 anguish industry going on here. Before the votes in all 50 States had been verified, people were talking how to stop his election in the Electoral College. Then they talked about Emergency measures President Obama might take to stop a Trump Presidency from actually getting off the ground. Then they demonstrated both on Inauguration Day and the day after including an expressed desire to destroy the White House.

    Then there has been the endless anti-Trump rhetoric from multiple news agencies keeping the hate for Trump going, going and going. It should be nearly impossible to “feel alone” in this.

    **

    “And I am one of them”.

    See above.

    **

    “Simply stated: there are people I once respected whom I no longer do.”

    Ditto, Buddy. The double-standards, hypocrisy and willful blindness really grinds on my soul at times when dealing with members of the ‘Resistance’.

    I know Trump is imperfect and unprepared for the job. I know he’s made mistakes both in his past and very recently. It is not a condition unique to him, or his Presidency, though, so stop treating things like they are.

    ***

    And I end with this … in my opinion rather selfish bit of introspection by the author:
    “to remember that there was a day before the past year, when these relationships were meaningful and life-giving and beautiful.”

    If any relationship was ‘meaningful’, life-giving’ and ‘beautiful’ and you have tossed it away over this election ~ what is wrong with you? Are you so selfish that a person has to be there for you 100% 24/7/365 without a hint of dissent, or cast it adrift?

    If someone was ‘meaningful’ in your life and they voted for Trump, what precisely changed? Did they draw a knife and stab a daughter? Did they steal your car? Did they burn your Bible? No … they exercised their franchise and for that you have cast aside something you consider ‘meaningful’ which suggests to me it wasn’t all that meaningful.

    ‘Life-giving’? Clearly not giving life to someone you cared for because you tossed that away too. You are equating voting for Trump to rounding up people for the Gas Chambers, or a short walk into the Cambodian jungle … which it is not.

    And finally, to me perhaps the worst descriptor ~ ‘beautiful’. A person is ‘beautiful’ until they voice views you oppose at which point you ostracize them, toss them out and heap scorn upon them daily … for the temerity to vote in a manner you don’t approve of. Whatever beauty the person may have, inside and/or out, this shows an ugliness of character for the person casting their friend aside.

    To me, any ‘meaningful’, ‘life-giving’ and ‘beautiful’ relationship would be filled with respect, tolerance and forgiveness. We would have our differences and arguments yet always make up because we valued the relationship and the knowledge we could do more together. We wouldn’t accept any divisiveness brought about by those complications could break our unique characters apart.

    The things which separated us and brought about the rough edges along with our similarities are the things which give relationships meaning. We find the meaning of life in that conflict, forgiveness, exploration and growth. We are beautiful in the love we share and the wonderment we bring because of our differences, not despite of them.

    • Like I said, when some folks don’t get it, it is in bright neon. I’d say “wow” but I am so used to it by now that all you did was remind me why I left them behind. And no, I am not missing them, I am only wondering how I stood it so long. When I see your spleen being emptied I know I made the right decision because you folks are incapable of change.

        • Sandi and Kathleen B. They are indeed incapable of change, and there is a reason for it. Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals learn from an early age that God is an abusive alcoholic husband who owns a baseball bat with rusty spikes driven through it. Even the slightest deviation from the fundie “party-line” or their “bullsh*t fundie doctrine” will cause God to go ballistic, use the baseball bat on them, and toss them into Hell immediately afterwards.

          The fundies also get something else extremely valuable and useful out of Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism. Because these two systems emphasize evangelism over all else, people who want to continue living their lives in greed and selfishness get two religious systems that support their sinful ME ONLY lifestyles. These two belief systems also attract more than their fair share of bigots because they have a long history of racism, and they tend to attract powerful and abusive personality types because they have a history of MILITANCY. In other words, you get to say a quick little repentance prayer to Jesus, get your ACME Fire Insurance Policy, and then acquire a free-reign license to treat people like sh*t. They are masters at treating people like sh*t and in verbally (and sometimes physically) abusing people.

          Understanding their behavior, blindness, and lack of discernment is easy as pie if you know quite a bit about their history. I have dealt with them for close to 20 years in various contexts, only very rarely have I ever found a fundie that does not fully live up to the things I have just stated. They thrive on hatred and in taking their judgement out on people through planned methods of punishment. Like if the science teacher is teaching evolution, it is not enough for them to simply say that they do not believe in evolution. They have to take control of the school board so they can fire the science teacher and make sure the kids never hear about evolution—even if their parents want it taught to them. When Jesus talks about not judging people, he is not talking about just having an opinion. “Biblical Judgement” is having an opinion COMBINED WITH taking action on that opinion to punish the person who has the opinion.

          Does that help?

          • It is good to be reminded of this Charles. I had a SB father-in-law, he has been gone a long time but much of what you wrote reminded me. I was from the North, not a fundie so was wanting in many ways. Fortunately for me, this was my husbands step-father and he didn’t have a hand in bringing him up. You reminded of a time in VA when we went to church and all the people when they found out where I was from, totally ignored me, I didn’t exist. Good christian folks, not.

          • Charles, you do not mince words! But yes, I have had the same experience of them only you forgot that they hide that malevolence with an often velvet glove of piety and patience even as they vote, and support what harms the poor, elderly, disabled and different. We see it here when they get called out, they start finding posts they can respond to with a level, respectful, even friendly tone to make it seem they are being victimized by the mean old liberals who hate God and kill babies.

            Seen this movie a million times!

            Shalom!

    • Well said, James Dosher. And don’t listen to the shills below who cannot engage in civil discussion with anyone who disagrees with John. They like to fling conversation stoppers like “hate” and “trolls” and “neon” because they’re unable to see past there own eyebrows.

      • Pardon me, I guess I just managed to miss all the truth, civility and conversation in his hate-filled screed. I guess that is just another fault of mine, him being so accommodating and approachable and all. His post was BS of the highest right-wing media caliber.

        How about even one of you actually trying to bring a civil discussion here and we will let you know if we can engage it? So far you are 0 for all.

        • Interesting, funny how you always avoid making a rational or civil counter point to specific items you disagree with.
          How “gloria” of you.

        • I think you’re mistaking James’ passion for hate. Please learn the difference and realize the truth is you just don’t like what he wrote.

          • Passion still needs to be based in facts and truth or it is still lies and BS. Not enough lipstick in the world for that mess.

        • Dosher’s posts are never “hate filled.”

          And he hit the nail on the head. What kind of relationship falls apart over one election? I know who are the ones who let that happen. The drama queens and those who don’t have a speck of empathy or graciousness. They didn’t get their way and now somebody has to pay. They don’t want to understand.

          • Funny thing, I missed the election where you decide what people here mean. His post was full of condescension and hate.

            “What kind of relationship falls apart over one election?” the kind where you had no idea someone could be so petty, selfish, bigoted and small-minded. Sometimes people do not show their true colors as fast as you do.

            Are you actually claiming to show “a speck of empathy or graciousness” except when using it to prove you can fake it when needed? There is so little to understand about someone supporting Trump at this point that it is almost funny.

  21. Love the sinner, hate the sin.
    Let’s make this real personal: I did not vote for 45; I think he’s the worst thing that could have ever happened to our country.
    HOWEVER. I can honestly say that I love him, as a sacred human being–even while I acknowledge that he has chosen a way of life that denies the sacred in anyone except him and he is his own god.
    I am very fortunate in my life that most of the people I know hold views similar to mine; my parents are the only ones whom I never ever discuss politics with–and they are 45’s voters.
    But given the opportunity, I will, WILL ALWAYS, make choices and act in ways that reflects LOVE, love for all–and I will not condone nor accept the behavior of those who voted for him because that vote completely eradicates any resemblance to Jesus’s followers.

    • You seem to be a little conflicted or to be sending a mixed message.

      One vote against your Democrat choice means that that person is no longer a Christian in your eyes? What kind of love is that? Do you really think they see Trump as the embodiment of evil as you do? THEY DON’T.

      • Do stop whining! This is not just about “One vote against your Democrat choice”. Trump is unlike anything ever seen in our political arena and to keep denying that or the hate expressed by his supporters and the initiatives he wants is just ridiculous. It is all there for anyone to see. This is like you denying weather happens.

  22. When the war started in Afghanistan and Iraq, I was amazed to read articles about how fast the division between Sunni and Shiite developed. They had lived next to each other and been friends who thought nothing could never come between them — that they would give their life to protect them. It didn’t take very long before they were fighting each other.
    I just read an article about how fast the German Jews discovered that all their “friends” were turned against them. It happened within a year.
    Last night I read another article that listed the fracture between people as a sign that become “that which we feared.” Then neighbor will turn against neighbor. It will happen stunningly fast.
    I deleted the articles so I can’t remember the author/titles.

  23. When you create a monster where there is none—either with this president or the one before—you break your own relationships. Life and love are so much bigger than an election or a politician. And, apparently, a pastor.

    • What stands out in mind with this particular essay is the shallowness of relationships (friendships) predicated on the necessity of agreement in political views.

    • If anyone has created a monster where there was none in the case of Trump, you would have a point. No one is ‘crying wolf’ here, this will affect America and Americans for decades to come and the hand of Russia is another worm in that wood.

      Life and love are what is on the line here, for us, our children and their children. And FYI, the Trump administration and one party rule is also much more than one politician.

      • We’ll all be chuckling about this supposed Trumpocalypse in years to come. And John will have to come up with a new enemy. Oh, wait, he has—evangelical Christians.

              • Everyone, please notice the perfectly civil question from Patrick to Sandi and her perfectly accusatory and uncivil answer that not only dodges Patrick’s question, but manages to cast herself as the victim all while stopping potential discussion.

                • No, I am not anyone’s “victim” but the good people of this blog know that we have villains who disrupt deliberately for their own amusement. Just stating facts.

                  Maybe Patrick needs you to defend him, but most of us see that his posts speak all we need to know. As do yours.

                  • That is the truth. It’s like a little child getting all upset because they are not the center of attention. I have decided that they have shown themselves to be gnats and I am brushing them off.

                    • If it tells you anything, “whack-a-mole” was a favorite game of mine… This is truly the most fun I have had in ages! And it is free.

                    • My husband just asked me what made me laugh out loud. Thank you, I am still laughing. Gives me a whole new way to look at this.

                  • And again. Now Patrick and a anonymous commenter are vilified by someone who seems unable to disagree agreeably. Not only does she fail to see any value in their dissent, she supposes to know their minds and calls her all-knowing assessments facts.

                    • OK, let’s all have a moment of silence for poor defenseless Patrick and an anonymous commenter (or two?) who are being just “vilified” by their “victim” (isn’t that what we were called). Funny how “someone who seems unable to disagree agreeably” is so offended to have that treatment returned. They could certainly put “value in their dissent”, but they choose to be snide and simple so I meet that on its grounds, I have been at this a while I do know their minds and I am stating facts clearly in evidence.

                    • yup…..she denigrates anyone who expresses an opinion contrary to her imaginary world view.
                      Funny, how her posts are always based in anger.

                    • Oh, and yours are based in love and light? Gee, how could I have so misjudged your tone and implication? Can you ever forgive me? Pretty please?

                      Like you, I would never deliberately offend. I guess I am just not good at reading your tone. Anyone else having that problem or is it just me?

                    • gloria/aka sandi or kathleen,

                      There’s nothing to forgive.

                      Everyone here can see for themselves – you enjoy picking fights.

                      And while you may believe others are intimated by your rhetorical anger – the fact remains – people could care less about your opinion and remain entitled to have and express their own opinions that oh by the way includes rejecting your madness.

                      Given your prolific presence here and your long history of mental health problems – it is clear – you are a lonely person – encapsulated in a make believe world – where you hide your fear of reality and rejection.

                      Rational and reasonable people – can easily feel sorry for you – but have no reason to value your opinion any more than that of others.
                      Sorry snowflake – there’s nothing remarkable about you – but you already know that – don’t you?

                    • You are a dumb a@@ if you can’t see that we are three different people. No one asked you for forgiveness. Think pretty highly of yourself don’t you. Grow up.

                    • He is projecting his actions and motives onto others. He uses more than one identity so of course others must too and how convenient that he thinks they are the ones who disagree with his tactics. This is one sick fella IMO.

                    • Making things up just makes you a liar. If that is how you want to roll, I won’t stop you. I think rational people see who is trying to intimidate and browbeat us into letting you run the conversation.

                      If you do not care what I say, stop responding to me and prove it. Easy, peasy. You give me every opportunity I take…

                    • Let’s see….

                      Kathleen – since you hardly ever express an opinion of your own….and rarely resort to vulgarity, perhaps in the future you can enthrall everyone with your penetrating insight – or is just easier to mimic and agree with gloria’s insanity than dealing with possibility someone disagrees with you?

                      Sandi – how typical, the matter is specific to others having the right to express themselves – funny how you see others as villains if their point of view is different than your own.

                      Oh yes, I always challenge those you would deny others the right to express an opinion.

                      Sorry Snowflake – I’ve seen people like you before and they are just as insecure and intellectually lazy as you.

                    • I am starting to think you don’t read your own posts. LOL, you are a funny at least!

                      You still want to pretend this is just about you expressing an opinion and me not liking your kindly delivered point of view. I almost feel sorry for you, but I know better.

  24. All good people on this discussion.. just want to say that the overall level of the exchange is far above the average and although some sniping occurs we somehow preserve the connection and do not demonize each other as is today’s new normal.

  25. The liberals here are more concerned with the “here and now” than with one’s eternal soul.

    Loving people straight to hell.

    Keep up the great work!

    • Oh, has driving people away from Christ with your hypocrisy and hate been seeing church attendance rise? IDK who you are kidding, but it is not us.

    • Anonymous, I would appreciate that you not take my comments from other posts and use them to disparage a group of others; that was Not my intent with the original comment. Not sure what your objection is, the comment in context is doctrinally sound. I am a moderate, btw. I for one am not entirely focused on the utility of the cross. I remember that the blood spilled at the cross also coursed through the personage of a man Jesus. He said “I am the way and the truth and the life.” I’m pretty sure He came not just to die for sin but to teach is how to live also. I am not “loving people straight to hell”. I take my witness very seriously; perhaps you could work on yours.

    • I respect people who leave their full names and stand by their own opinions. “Anonymous”? Wow, that’s courageous.

  26. Hi, James, Patrick, Anonymous

    I have spent much of my time here asking question because I really want to know. No one answers them so I promise this will be the last time.

    As you proud of the personal qualities of the man who is our President? Do you believe any President should be held to higher standard? Do you believe that President Trump tells outrageous and slanderous lies? Do you excuse his lies? Do you think his behavior reflects on America’s reputation in this world? Do you think American can go it alone and does not need the respect and cooperation from other countries? Do you think the media should ignore his lies or how his policies might hurt this country?

    Do you think as Bannon does that “chaos” is good? Do you think that dismantlement of the establishment is good for America? If so, do you think that chopping and whacking at everything is the way to go no matter who or how many suffer or get hurt?

    When do you think American was great?

    Do you think Trump should be forced to show his tax returns? Do you think the tax payers have a right to know how much his income grows while he is President? Do you think the taxpayers owe Trump a 4 – 8 years continuation of his and his family’s lifestyle?

    Do you think Trump’s “rallies” which are charged to his campaign funds so he gets to decide who can and cannot attend are the way to go? Do you think that Trump has or should try to bring this country together? He has mocked everyone and called those who did not vote or agree with him his enemies. Do you think maybe he wants hatred and separation in this country? A house divided cannot stand.

    Those are just a few. I thank you in advance for answers to these questions.

    • I don’t give a rip about his tax returns. But if they’re all like the one “scooped” by Rachel Maddow, I would say he’s being screwed over and paying too much.

      I hope he is reelected, but in becoming president, he took a step down and gave himself and his family headaches they didn’t need. They could have had much easier lives, but are making a sacrifice for the good of the country.

        • Yes a “step down” as far as having an easy life. He had it all. If you were a billionaire who could just coast the rest of your life and live lavishly, would you want all the stress and headaches and hard work of a job like that?

          For Obama it was a huge step up. He came from modest means. And he was relatively young.

          Trump at 70 didn’t a full time job like being President or all the nastiness coming at him that goes along with the job. Living in the White House I believe, for him, literally is a step down.

          • I find it to be shameful that you have no more respect for the office you wanted him to have. Clearly you are as clueless as he is. Being our president is not a “step down” for a con man at all. It is in fact, a miracle.

              • Oh, I “understand” that you “don’t believe that Trump is a “con man”, but that cannot change the fact that he is, has always been and will remain just that. I don’t think he conned you. I think you want exactly what he is doing and how he is doing it too.

                • I want health care reformed. I want regulations to be eased which unnecessarily shackle business and commerce. (We need a good economy for the poor too. It doesn’t help to restrain the goose that’s laying the golden eggs). I wan “originialist” Supreme Court Justices. I want a better economy for all. ETC.

                  Whether that happens remains to be seen, but that’s what I voted for. So long as you’re going to tell me and my people that we voted for Hitler, knowing we voted for Hitler, it’s going to make our tea times together a little bit strained.

                  The theme of this blog is to “FIX” broken relationships. You continue to drive the wedge…

                  • Again you prove you are more partisan than Christian because none of the issues you want was even related to our lives as Christians. Who knew?

                    I suppose you attack so many people and “skim” so many posts that you simply do not retain information well (I mean you voted for Trump and every other Republican on the ballot), but I have repeatedly said I am not near to being reconciled, making peace, or seeking common ground with folks who have chosen to jeopardize the poor, disabled, elderly, working class, immigrant, LGBTQ, and refugees. Get it through your head, I am not your friend, I do not want to be your friend, I do not respect what you stand for.

                    We can quarrel until Jesus comes again, but that is all we can do. I have standards and rules I expect people to follow as well and doing harm to the disenfranchised is not big with me.

                    • So in other words you really don’t want broken relationships to be fixed. A presidential election that didn’t go your way should be a permanent wall between you and those who don’t see things through your political glasses.

                      Fine. The rest of us will be better than that and will wait for heart to be softened.

                    • ACP, she’s right on this one. In fact, one could easily make the case that taking away services for the poor, the infirm, and the elderly, as Cheetolini is openly trying to do alongside the GOP, is the antithesis of “Christian”. Economic prosperity for the super-rich is not a Christian principle. Plus, if we look at history, deregulation has led to some of the biggest economic disasters in history. In fact, in the 1950’s and 60’s, we had some of the biggest economic growth in our history, and yet, it was also the period with the greatest regulation. So to say regulations are strangling businesses is a historical fallacy. Strangling the rich owners of the businesses, maybe, but not strangling the businesses. The wealthy just want more money, and what easier way to do that than on the backs of the workers and the government?

                    • Again you attempt to normalize Trump and the divide by pretending this is all just about “A presidential election that didn’t go your way” but you cannot do that. It is not honest or accurate.

                      I have lost many elections and none before this one resulted in a chasm that could not be crossed. I see why Trump supporters have to pretend this is all just about wanting to decry those “who don’t see things through [my] political glasses” but you remain wrong.

                      And no, you who still insults Carter and Clinton are nor one iota “better than that”. For you and those like you, there will be no softening as events proof our fear and loathing to be accurate assessments. Pretending you are just like the rest of us is just not going to work.

                    • Once again, Amen. What he doesn’t realize is that I and I would guess a whole lot of us are not ashamed at our feelings of horror and pain. He is trying to shame us, but to me it is a badge of my decency and morality. I don’t want to be like him. I don’t particularly like what he says and I am assuming that if he says it he lives by it.

                    • We should be horrified. Women, LGBTQ, minorities, all are having their rights stripped away. The poor and the elderly are losing their health care. Rape and sexual assault are now, apparently, subjects for “locker room talk”. You’re freaking right that I’m horrified! I’m almost to the point where, if I could afford it, I would try to talk my wife into moving to Canada or Europe.

                    • I am with you 100%. I wonder how they will feel when the world starts calling us the US of Russia. I really don’t understand how there are people out there still defending him. I feel like Dorothy.

                    • I’m not pretending I’m like you. You’re the one with the problem, not me. If the election had gone the other way, I would have seen the result as horrible for our country, but would not have demonized Clinton supporters or have put up a wall. That’s not Christian.

                      Hey, that’s brilliant. You’re the guys who are “putting up a wall.” The Pope says it’s not Christian to do that (unless you also build bridges–buy you’re burning them).

                      My theory is Trump is not your problem (“your” in the general sense). He is your “scapegoat.” You have sins and faults and hate in your heart, and he gives you an excuse and an out–a way to feel “righteous” about who you are and the hate you harbor.

                      Just a theory at this point…

                    • Are you even serious right now? The hate she harbors? Really? That’s some serious projection you have there.

                      So just to clarify, if you’re for equality, justice, health care, love, treating others the way you want to be treated, stuff like that… that’s hate? Wow. Who knew? Glad we have that figured out now. I had it completely backward.

                    • Again, you distort the issue. America is “the one with the problem” and you still defending Trump as just another election is not going to cut it. I do not believe for one moment, “If the election had gone the other way” your posts here would not have “demonized Clinton supporters or have put up a wall”, since you are still doing that for Carter and B Clinton, YOU out yourself because that’s not Christian either.

                      Oh and now you want to tell us what the Pope says? That is rich, what does he say about Trump’s agenda?

                      My theory is Trump is your problem and he feeds the sins and faults and hate in your heart, which is why you voted for him. And he gives you an excuse that it is not your fault because you were just voting to save babies.

                      And are you seriously claiming your posts here are not showing your own “way to feel “righteous” about who you are and the hate you harbor”? I don’t see it that way and I am not alone.

                    • Thanks, you speak for a lot of us. I hope for his SAKE he hears the message. Peace…………..

                    • Caitlyn Anne, we have had refugees walking over our Southern border all winter, sometimes in great peril because they weren’t dressed for the cold. The risk of the winter walk was deemed far more acceptable than the risk of staying in the USA. They are being met with great kindness and courtesy by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and immediately taken for medical care.

    • Dear Joanne,
      In the past, I read several posts by you that where excellent. Well thought out and articulate.
      I would like entertain your questions above however 17 questions is difficult given the limited space.
      Respectfully, could narrow your scope or perhaps prioritize your interrogatives?

      • I have a lot more so you can pick one or whatever you have time for. I am happy with any feedback. Thank you. They are equally important to me

        • Your question about Bannon–where did you get that quote? Did you read it in context, and if so can you provide it? Detractors like to wrench statements out of context and turn them into something they really are not.

          • I am sorry what he said was “darkness is good…Dick Cheney, Darth Vader, Satan. It’s power.” 11/15/16.

            I always thought Cheney reminded me of the dark spy on that old cartoon. Spy vs Spy

            And Trump’s son already told us it was a step down for his Dad on 10/20/16.

            No one held a gun to Trump’s head to make him run. It is like he almost knew he would be able to ignore every norm regarding his tax return, business interests, conflicts of interest, etc. when he said he could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone and not lose any votes. So far just norms not actual people thankfully. Prophetic

            • But what did he mean? What is the context?

              I couldn’t find much but I was looking for “chaos.”

              I was surprised to find he’s a Catholic and has spoken at the Vatican. Now he’s my hero.

              Also I read enough to find out the antisemitism accusations are BS.

              You read Mad Magazine? I’m shocked. I liked Spy vs Spy too. There was also a Spy vs Spy vs Spy, and I can’t remember why, but I think she was a female spy. I miss my Mad Magazine and comic book days. Life was so simple then. (Or has time rewritten every line?)

              • The Mad Magazines were my brother’s. Mine were Wonder Woman and Archie and Veronica. I read his. He was not interested in mine. His loss.

                I told you before I don’t know how to post a link here. Sorry.

                • I read Archie and Veronica too. That’s the first time I’ve come out about that. I didn’t care for Wonder Woman. My favorite was Spiderman and most of the other Marvel comics.

                  Do you know how to do a copy and paste?

                  I’ll try to find that on my own as well.

              • ACP: I actually got to meet Dave Berg (The Lighter Side) a few times. I was friends with his daughter, and not that long ago she gave me some of his original drawings. How bout that! :-). He was a larger than life personality.

                • Wow, that’s really cool. I had to do a search to remind myself about “The Lighter Side” but it immediately came back to me.

          • I almost, though not really, cannot believe even you had the nerve to say “detractors like to wrench statements out of context and turn them into something they really are not”. You don’t say! But I bet you think you never do that, don’tcha?

        • OK, so here’s what I found in context:

          “Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they—get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing,” Bannon said of his detractors who criticized the far-right, white nationalist movement that Breitbart and others have successfully rebranded as the alt-right.

          “I’m not a white nationalist, I’m a nationalist. I’m an economic nationalist,” Bannon insisted. “The globalists gutted the American working class and created a middle class in Asia. The issue now is about Americans looking to not get f—ed over. If we deliver we’ll get 60 percent of the white vote, and 40 percent of the black and Hispanic vote and we’ll govern for 50 years. That’s what the Democrats missed, they were talking to these people with companies with a $9 billion market cap employing nine people. It’s not reality. They lost sight of what the world is about.”

          ————————————————————-

          The way I’m reading this is that his critics were comparing him to Cheney, Darth Vadar, and Satan. He said it was “power” because of their reaction to him, not because he wanted to emulate them, though Cheney is a good guy and doesn’t belong in that company.

    • Joanne,
      On the matter of tax returns.
      There is no law that requires a presidential candidate to reveal his tax returns. Forcing or compelling any citizen to reveal tax returns without legal statute, is in my opinion a violation of the 4th Amendment.
      However, as President, Trump is required to release returns per the GAO rules that govern all federal elected officials.
      With respect to “how much his income grows” – Trump has transferred fiduciary control of business interests. Moreover, no law exists that demands he forfeit income from his present or future business holdings. Do we have the right to know? Since this will become public knowledge next year it becomes a mute question.
      With respect to taxpayer’s owing a lifestyle. This is a rhetorical question – in part, Trump is salaried by taxpayers with all the benefits that exist for the office of President regardless of his past lifestyle.

      Now, I would have asked the question differently – is there or will there be a conflict of interest between Trumps business holdings and the office of Presidency.
      Interestingly, this matter is no longer pursued in the press as every Presidential candidate and President must comply with full disclosure laws in order to be granted the appropriate security clearance(s).
      Perhaps the more interesting question is – will Trump try to use his office to advance his business interests? Historically, “every” President has done just this.

      Last, it’s no surprise Trump’s political enemies would demand release of tax returns. Trump denied his political enemies the narrative of class envy or wealth as a wedge in the political arena.

      • The other thing is that career politicians like Hillary file their returns knowing they will be publicly scrutinized, so they arrange their finances accordingly for the best PR effect. Trump didn’t do that because he wasn’t a career politician. It’s unfair that he would be subject to the unwritten rules of a game he wasn’t playing.

      • Thank you for responding. I brought up taxes because a while back Mr. Dosher brought up how much Obama made – which was mostly from books he has written.

        I think Trump’s promise not to discuss his business with his sons is as meaningless as some pinkie swears. That is just my opinion. I admit I have a prejudice against liars. I do not know how to get around that. It is a Commandment, so breaking it constantly without remorse is a mortal sin. It speaks to me as who a person is. And yes all politicians
        lie. But I think he has taken it to a whole new level. Especially when he is forever calling others out for lying. Therefore I feel justified in not believing a word he says. Has he said a truth?

        It will be interesting if he does indeed donate his salary at the end of the year. There have been other occurrences where he has never done what he said he would do.

        Anyway thank you so much for responding. I have been looking for bridges here, not trying to dig deeper moats. This probably isn’t the best place for me.

        Do you think Trump really has political enemies? Did Obama, Bush, Clinton… Is that part of being President? Just thoughts that jumped into my head.

        • Joanne,
          I’m not emotionally invested as much as others in the matter of liking or disliking Trump. Therefore, I’m not motivated to change your mind or for that matter, expend energy being offended by your perceptions.
          So, I will beg your pardon for my innate skepticism and occasional cynicism.

          In high stake politics – every individual who encompasses a position of power will find he/she has political enemies. The catalyst is and remains the pursuit of power.

          With respect to the matter of lying – you are a honorable person – yet, in political campaigns and even in the course of the execution of an office -lying directly, unknowingly or by omission is unavoidable.

      • Trump himself bragged about his wealth and his trappings have been on full display for years.

        Given the revelations of Russian intervention into our political process and social media, coupled with the web of Russian connections in the Trump campaign, it is beyond ridiculous to claim that wanting Trump’s financial entanglements looked at is about “class warfare”.

        People wanted Obama’s college transcripts and yet we should not see Trump International Businesman’s financial information? Really? Why did everyone else since Nixon submit to that normal release? I guess you think that Russian oligarch paid him a $40 million dollar profit on a home just as the US housing market and our economy tanked out of the goodness of his heart?

    • Joanne,
      In your second paragraph, you reference “lies” but are not specific. Perhaps you have some specific items in mind?
      Without more detail, any response I could give would be meaningless or simply a generalization of judgement.

      • I will start with since his inauguration – biggest crowd at his inauguration, massive landslide victory in the Electoral College, Obama tapped wires in Trump Tower. You really don’t need me to list them. You can go to Politifact, unless they are liars too. That do have a bunch though.

        For me it was concerning from the very beginning – Obama’s birth certificate – He loved the media for years when they printed what he wanted – rich playboy – beautiful women – he was in newspapers, on the radio, on TV – now they are his enemies. His remarks about women are all there. During the campaign there was the one that he knew more about ISIS than the generals or he spoke to a top cop in Chicago who told him he could stop crime in a week. My sons never told such whoppers when they were 10.

        This is a 70 year old man. It is a offputting. To me those around him who ignore his lies or excuse his lies are accomplices to his lies. Now some are saying they want him to take back what he said about Obama. That would be a silly and empty gesture for him to be told to say the words sorry. He is 70 not 2. He already told us he doesn’t confess to God, he is not going to humble himself to humans.

        Sorry too many words. I will stop

        • You’re fine.
          Let me tell you what I don’t like about Trump.

          I don’t like the way he communicates.
          Perhaps silly but I find how he chooses to articulate information annoying and in my judgement – unsatisfactory.
          In my opinion, it comes across as disorganized and fragmented. However, since the election, it’s obvious his handlers have step in as his abrasiveness and formation of phrasing and word choice has changed.
          Perhaps he is different in private as others have mentioned but I don’t know.
          Just my two cents.

  27. The majority of the relationships I’ve lost were long before this election, and while most don’t really bother me because of how toxic they were, I do wish I still had a relationship with my parents. The ones I lost over the election were falling apart already because of their bigoted viewpoints they had kept hidden from me for whatever reason that finally came to the surface. I’m just not sad about that, because I don’t need that in my life. <3

  28. I have tried to talk with others from my church about some of my concerns since the election. Right now, their alliance with DJT is stronger than my words of rational thought and moral principals. I am taking a break from church (now at 5 months) because I cannot worship knowing that the heart of Jesus must be broken over some of his peoples journey down a crooked and dangerous road. Thank you for your words, John. I too must always be open to healing, forgiveness, and restoration when the time comes in the future. Meanwhile, I will try to follow and serve Jesus! I will always resist Trump!

  29. This isn’t a clean divide or a clean break.

    It has rough, raw uneven edges.

    It is a tear and a wound that needs healing.

    blessed are the peacemakers

  30. Thank you John for continually stating so well exactly what I’m thinking. Your words have helped me through the nightmare that is our new president when nothing else could. When I think I’m losing my mind and overwhelmed with so much anger and disbelief, it is comforting to know that other reasonable people are thinking and feeling exactly what I am.

  31. I’m certainly someone who is concerned by the Trump administration. However, I believe the tone of John’s writing is on the alarmist side. When I read it, it seems to send the message that all the problems of divisiveness in America begin and end with Trump. I feel that gives him more credit then he deserves, and it divides us more than necessary.

    John puts all the blame of broken relationships on “the election.” What about our own responsibility for maintaining relationships? Where is the personal accountability for managing our ideas and feelings in a way that we are true to ourselves while still being in community with others? We are individually accountable to this.

    • Funny how perceptions can be so different. I think his recent posts have been all about “our responsibility” in what has happened and why. Trump is a symptom of a much bigger problem. He will do damage, that is undeniable, and it will have impact for a long time, but he is a manifestation of what is wrong, broken, ignorant and selfish in our nation and in our Christian community specifically and that is what Reverend Pavlovitz is addressing.

      The situation is alarming. If ‘the Body of Christ’ cannot pull our act together for the greater good, America is doomed.

  32. I think this post will resonate with a lot of people.

    Personally, I’ve withdrawn a little bit. I’ve never been one to broadcast my political or social views on Facebook because I know that there are family members who don’t agree with my views. I’m now conscious of not bringing this up when I’m with relations, even if they do so.

    President Trump pledged that everyone will be covered with any changes to the health care bill. If he was to actually produce an improvement in coverage, as the Affordable Health Care Act did before him, I would be the first in line to acknowledge his good work. But what I see is a bill that will cause millions to lose their insurance. This is the opposite of what he pledged.

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  34. I feel the same way DmC,

    During the time of Jesus there were many prophets and crusaders stirring up people into groups to fight against the oppression of the Roman Empire. In some ways they were good men fighting a good cause– but leading people into futile combat and uprisings that accomplished little than what their human efforts could afford. In a democratic society these battles sway back and forth between the left and right politics of a nation and people are drawn in to that conflict– but no one is winning the war.

    Jesus was not that way.

    He called people out of those futile engagements– he called out everyone to join him including the Pharisees and the poor everyday person alike– to repent of their individual wrongs that contribute to their personal separation from God and their brokenness with their fellow human being. He pointed out the weightier evils and did not excuse the small evils being done. He called the Pharisees out as hypocrites but did not hate them. In fact Jesus made lasting relationships with Pharisees– one of whom paid for his burial.

    Betrayal is a two edged sword.

    One side betrays out of hate the other side betrays out of fear.

  35. Pastor John, Thanks so much for this. You have expressed succinctly the struggles I’ve had seeing some friends in the same way I did before. The thing that strikes me about many of these friends is that they are really uninformed They don’t read or study what is/has been happening (or their source is Fox News). I find many of their parents were Republicans and they are determined they will always vote for the Republican candidate, no matter how inept, mean, ignorant, or narcissistic the candidate is. I’m trying hard not to judge these friends and I avoid any conversations on current affairs that might cause conflict. I feel as if my relationships with them are no longer authentic and I find that sad.

  36. Two good tweets to think about:

    “The core of the progressive argument: “When you exclude, it is wrong. When we exclude, it is righteous.”

    “Not every progressive is a heretic, and not every conservative is a hater. Why is this so difficult for some people to understand?”

    — Jonathon Merritt

  37. John Pavlovitz you said:

    “It’s worth having difficult conversations, seeking to understand, overcoming assumptions, mapping out common ground, and striving for something redemptive, wherever there is a similar willingness by the other. And where there is not willingness—the chasm between you may be permanent.”

    I agree and disagree.

    I think only Jesus will finally mend the broken relationships that cannot be mended now— when he reveals the secret intentions of our hearts and those who have something against us can finally know that the intentions were good.

    This is why I will never close the door completely on anyone but I will protect myself from emotional and spiritual abuse. I had my share of that from conservative fundamentalists.

  38. Don’t forget if you have the gift of prophecy the gift is not given to destroy people but to prepare people …

    “The role of the prophet is to lead us into sacred space by deconstructing the old space; the role of the priest is to teach us how to live fruitfully in sacred space. The prophet disconnects us from the false, and the priest reconnects us to the real at ever larger levels. If “priests” have been largely unsuccessful, it is because there are so few prophets. And to be honest, most ministers confuse the maintaining of order with re-order! This is a huge issue. Such “priests” might talk of new realms but never lead us out of the old realm where we are still largely trapped and addicted; they have little personal knowledge of the further journey. Thus our Western spirituality is so lopsided.”

    for more info, here is a helpful link:

    https://cac.org/the-three-boxes-2016-12-06/

    ( btw Sunny is my nickname ) peace to all

  39. Oh my God, the comments on this. When will I ever learn, it does no good to read them. Everyone so sure they are right, no humility, no stretching toward the one who thinks differently, endless petty bickering. I think I’ll go pet my cat.

  40. It was a poor campaign slogan, but it has become a great mantra, and the way I navigate this: Love trumps hate. Love trumps hate. Love trumps hate. I will do my best to continue to love (and forgive) my friends and loved ones. Love does trump hate. It really does. Try it!

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