The GOP Isn’t Pro-Life or Christian

“If Jesus came back and saw what was being done in his name, he’d never stop throwing up.” – Hannah and Her Sisters

For the past few decades the GOP has attempted to claim sole ownership of faith in America, never missing an opportunity to make a loud, showy stand, shamelessly declaring itself the party of Jesus. I don’t think he got the invite, because what’s currently unfolding in this country in his name, is about as antithetical as one can get to the heart of the Biblical Jesus—short of painting oneself red, donning a pointy tail, and brandishing a pitchfork.

Their recent resume is impressive in its sheer, unapologetic malice:

Trying to ban Muslims from entering the country in the name of supposed safety.
Attempting to take healthcare from 24 million of our poorest and most vulnerable.
Leveraging fear of people based on the color of their skin, their religious tradition, their sexuality.
Leveling Native American burial lands to run oil lines.
Legislatively assaulting the LGBTQ community at every turn.

Rolling back protections for the planet we’re standing on, the air we breath, the water sustaining us, the atmosphere surrounding us.

Gutting funding for the Arts and exponentially raising it for the Military.
Putting leaders in place who are intentionally dismantling the systems of education, commerce, environmental protections, and law that we’ve worked for hundreds of years to secure.
Taunting foreign nations into war and claiming Trump is anointed by God for it.

These are the professed people of Jesus?
These are the supposed lovers of life?
It would all be laughable if it wasn’t so infuriating.

It’s time we called out this sanctified nonsense masquerading as something redemptive because it’s gone on far too long and done too much damage to too many. We need to stop letting people corporately co-op the faith tradition of love your neighbor as yourself, while inflicting this kind of willful violence to the breadth of humanity. We need to name the hypocrisy of those committing such violations of people and of the planet, while simultaneously trying to claim they’re pro-life Christians, because the two endeavors are fully incompatible.

Christianity is not America First, it’s not God Bless The USA, it’s not Capitalism, and it’s not every man for himselfBeing a Christian requires following the sacrificial, humble, compassionate example of Jesus. It demands a life turned outward to heal and help and bring peace. It is not a matter of watching Fox News, waving a Bible, and then giving the figurative or literal middle finger to everyone who doesn’t look, talk, worship, believe, or love the way that you do.

The way of this Presidency is not the way of Jesus, and those of us who recognize it need to say it—whether we are Christians to not. We need to call this what it is: franchising out Jesus’ name in order to justify prejudice. It’s white privilege and rabid nationalism wrapped in Bible verses. It’s identity theft of the worse kind; claiming to be Jesus and then spitting on the least of these. It is the grossest example of taking God’s name in vain. 

The unapologetic bigotry, the abuses of power, the complete disregard for the truth, the preying upon the poor and vulnerable, and the absolute absence of a moral compass of this Presidency and of those amen-ing it—is all the very kind of perversion of religion Jesus abhorred. 

The current GOP platform under Donald Trump reads like an annotated list of the things Jesus devoted his life and ministry to naming as evil and pushing hard against in the Gospels. Christians should be loudly opposing this Administration, not doubling down and defending it. They should be demanding sanctuary for refugees from the pulpit, they should be condemning the casting aside the sick, they should be marching alongside Muslims and people of color, they should be leveraging their social media platforms to advocate for the diversity of life. The likes of Paul Ryan and Mike Pence and Jeff Sessions should be terrified of the people of Jesus right now—instead of finding safe sanctuary in their collective bosom.

Professed Christians supporting this President and these Republicans can quote the Bible all they want. They can drive to a building every Sunday morning and exude reverence for an hour. They can name drop Jesus like he’s a personal friend who does them favors—but in the end, practically speaking they are working for the opposition.

That’s not to say that sincere, loving, faithful Christians can’t identify as Republicans (as many certainly do), but these folks should be the most vocal in these moments in castigating their party, in intentionally distancing themselves from such systemic bigotry, and in joining in the work of reflecting the Jesus they claim by resisting the GOP platform. A political party, like a nation, has no business claiming a faith tradition.

As my friend John Fugelsang recently commented, “I’m not saying Trump is the anti-Christ, but I will say that Christ is the anti-Trump.” And this is the rub for Christians in this GOP: you get to worship one or the other—both is not an option. 

This mean-spirited, predatory, violent movement in America in these days is many things, but it is not Christian and it is not pro-life. Let’s not pretend otherwise.

488 thoughts on “The GOP Isn’t Pro-Life or Christian

  1. I do agree with this paragraph

    Christianity is not America First, it’s not God Bless America, it’s not Capitalism, and it’s not every man for himself. Being a Christian requires following the sacrificial, humble, compassionate example of Jesus. It demands a life turned outward to heal and help and bring peace. It is not a matter of watching Fox News, waving a Bible, and then giving the figurative middle finger to everyone who doesn’t look, talk, worship, believe, or love the way that you do.

    • but it is about being a christian, and having standards, setting standards, inviting others in but keeping your standards .
      If you let everything in the door and water down, whitewash truth so everyone is not affended , then you will have a self seeking, godless society of everyone doing what they feel is right in thier own eyes. God warns of this thru out the old testiment . and no one is exempt. Dont tempt God

      • If you are a Christian, the Old Testament is just a history book, NOT a rule book. If you are following Jesus, you are working from the New Testament. And Jesus let EVERYONE in; his ACTIONS were always LOVE, compassion, healing and teaching.
        The only “standards” you need are these words from Jesus, from Matthew 22:36-40: “36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
        37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
        His coming ended the specific use of the Mosaic law, the Ten (plus about 600 more) Commandments because Jesus came to fulfill the Law. Each of those Ten Commandments would be obeyed just by loving God and loving your neighbor. And from Jesus’ own actions, he set the example that the word “neighbor” means everybody else on the planet, not those that you JUDGE acceptable. He most definitely said that Christians were not to judge.

        • Unfortunately, the problem is not a GOP vs DEM, or even a pro-life vs pro-choice issue. It is much more complicated than that. The Bible describes it many times as a problem of the heart. How do we resolve the evil that flows from the human heart?
          How a does a person who hates himself love someone else by this principal?

            • I know I have a problem with my heart at times… Hey, Pavlo, you on board?… Do you have a heart problem from time to time?

              • I definitely do, and I often call on Proverbs 4:23 to remind me how important guarding the heart is. Thankfully Jesus gave his disciples John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” which calls me to a higher standard of love much like described in 1st Corinthians 13 vs 4-7, an agape love. I am very thankful that I do not have to rely on my own merit or heart’s desires.

              • Once again Pavlo…you are way too political… Don’t you think that an equal number of Dems have a heart problem as Republicans?… How is your heart Brougham?… is it a grudge muscle against a certain demographic or way of thinking?… you say you are not political, but you will praise political hacks breaking the law on the left, but vilify political hacks breaking the law on the right..put a mask on and write a blog that is not political…you are a literary hack..

          • Only Jesus can do that, my friend. The Bible says:”The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jer. 17:9 Jesus through His life, ministry, death burial and resurrection broke the power of sin that rules over our hearts.

          • Yes yes….!.he has no respect for himself and therefore for no one else.His heart is empty ,his soul is black….he just doesn’t acknowledge it .But God does have a way to counter this behavior,sometimes gently,sometimes by going through a windshield,as my friend says.He Will get your attention eventually.

        • KGC.

          I don’t see the OT as just a rule book. [The 10 Commandments only takes up a few pages in the Old Testament.] I see it as God’s story about His People. Of which, we are very much a part of. The story of Creation, and Man’s Fall is extremely relevant to today’s Believers, not to mention Abram’s faith, Moses, Joshua, King David, Solomon, etc.

          From Genesis to Malachi its all about one thing. FAITH. And from Matthew to Revelation, it’s all about one thing. FAITH.

          Jesus distilled it when he said, “the only work I have given you to do is, to Believe in Me.” John 6:29.

          • A simple faith for a simple mind. Great Leslie. In my opinion you have both, which is why this fundie bullshit is so appealing to you. There is a lot more to the Christian faith than that and that alone. You just do not want to admit that truth—because if you did—and you came face-to-face with it—you would be required to do all those other things Jesus commands you to do—and you simply do not want to do them because they violate everything that you REALLY ARE and that you REALLY VALUE deep inside—and they threaten your bank account.

            • Simple faith, simple mind. even a child can understand it, and the lowliest of low can understand it. God is full of love for the foolish ones. that’s a huge compliment to me that I would be considered a fool and an idiot.

              • What is not so complimentary to yourself is that you do not desire to go further into faith. You wish to stay in one place. Fundamentalism does not encourage growth except along pre-prescribed lines. As if they have control of the Holy Spirit.

                • Gloriamarie. I have to chuckle. I’m well aware about the kind of growth that God offers. Patience, kindness, long suffering, hospitality, compassion, love, knowledge, discernment, joy, etc. [My faith is alive, moving, not sitting in lotus position in a Himalayan cave.]

                  [I also know that practicing spiritual techniques, & jumping through spiritual hoops & reading more books and taking more courses are not part of Christian Growth. ]

                  I’ve got the bible, and Ive got the Church body. I’m too busy serving, to go on pilgrimage, or sit in meditation. God isn’t looking for a good pew sitter, or a good course taker.

                  My ‘stagnant’ fundamentalism compels me to give my cell # to various homeless and needy, so we can talk, and pray and meet together, almost daily. I know where they stay, I know their birthday, their family members, their church, their doctor, their social worker, what they like to eat. I feel like you’re keeping score. which is very unpleasant.

                  • And you cast your votes for people who don’t care if those homeless people live or not.

                    Seems to be it is acting more like the Pharisee than the Publican to boast of your good deeds.

                    So your own words prove my point.

                    • Jesus didn’t tell the politicians to take care of the fatherless, the poor, or the widows. He instructed the church to do that. Anyone that relies on the government for their existence has constructed a god for themselves and that breaks the first and second commandments.
                      God’s people should be taking care of those matters, not government.

                    • You have a point but that Jesus did not instruct politicians, he instructed us and he did not say that we could not or should not instruct our politicians WE ELECT TO REPRESENT US “to take care of the fatherless, the poor, or the widows.” Anyone that relies on the government for help is relying on the followers of Christ, and what is right to see that their need is met. God’s people are taking care of those matters, including using the government WE ELECT AND PAY FOR to do so. There is no Biblical basis for not using our collective tax dollars to help people.

                    • Gloriamarie – where do you get that interpretation from what Leslie has written. Methinks you have an agenda here to call out anyone who doesn’t follow you. For me and by the sounds of it – ZZI follow Jesus – not some jumped up holier-than-thou, troll who puts people down for expressing an opinion different from their own.

                  • So you think she is “keeping score”, even mention it is “very unpleasant”, yet you still needed to get your “what I do” points on the board!

                    • Not at all. Just curious why gloriamarie judges my so called level of growth ? She measures me which shows she thinks there are ‘levels’ of Christians. I say there are no ‘levels’. I prefer not to mention what i do for Jesus. But Pastor John harps on it quite a bit. Saying that fundamentalists are hypocrite s.

                    • leslie m, there may or may not be “levels” of Christianity but if there are, it is the Christian Right that decides them. I am constantly assured I am “not a Christian”, “am headed for hell” and “cannot be serious”.

                      You conflate being called a hypocrite with not personally doing anything of service (and while many do nothing), that is really not the issue. We know many fundamentalists do their duty.

                      The hypocrisy is in believing in service, performing service, but speaking against using our tax money to multiply that service and rigidly denigrating those who see that as an extension of our service. Criticizing those who need or use services, and then in insulting those who will not agree with their POV. That is worse than hypocrisy!

          • In the Torah and The Writings… both of which originate with us Jews. Actually, one of our greatest teachers, Hillel the Elder, and possibly the only one who crossed path Jesus once said to a young would-be convert, “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah. All the rest is commentary. Go and learn.”

        • Christ himself said He came not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it. I take Him at His word.

          I was listening to a message by Michael Youssef the other day, and he posited that the commands in the scripture you cite aren’t a replacement of the 10 Commandments, but a summary of them. Love God with everything you have covers the first 4, and Love your neighbor as yourself covers the remaining 6.

          If you’re following the 2, you’re following the 10, it’s pretty simple. Put God first in your life, before anyone or anything else; and do not treat other people like garbage, for any reason or excuse, whether or not they know you’re doing it.

          • Scripture suggests he was summarizing them into 2 commandments by quoting Old Testament. The often forgotten new commandment that he gave is in John 13:14 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.” Which is far greater than loving your neighbor as you love yourself. Jesus love was unconditional.

        • Kate, you speak with profound ignorance…and ignorance of the Scripture. The traditional mantra, “WE SHOULDN’T JUDGE” is as asinine as they come!

          First, Jesus DID NOT forbade judging! What He forbade was “UNJUST CRITICISM”. There is a clear difference between the two, but one must have spiritual discernment to know the difference.

          We make judgments every single day of our lives, including YOU and everybody on this blog. In his writings, John makes many judgments all the time, most of which are complete nonsense!

          To speak of and about evil dealings, is NOT judging. When Jesus declared to His Disciples concerning false teachers, He declared: “BY THEIR FRUIT YOU SHALL KNOW THEM!” That requires judging and discernment, not crying and complaining.

          If someone commits an evil crime against another, we’re to called that crime for what it is, and the perpetrator should be brought to justice. And the justice system has every right to “judge” the individual guilty of the crime.

          Jesus forbade “hypocritical” judging in which we fail to see our own sin while we’re pointing to the sins of others. You guys need to take a course in Biblical Exegesis in order to get off of the “don’t judge” mantra!

          • That’s the thing, Wayne. You don’t see your own faults. You’re so quick to point the finger st others, but so slow to realize you have three fingers pointing back at yourself.

            Empathy also isn’t your strong suit. You fail to take even one moment to look at the point of view of others, instead choosing to vilify. It isn’t that you don’t understand people who are different from yourself, it’s that you refuse to.

            Glass houses, Wayne. Glass houses.

            • I agree with you Caitlyn — glass houses.
              Do you think the following post was said with love, kindness and empathy?

              And yet, every day, fundies like yourself beat, abandon, and abuse children like this. Why? Because the bible tells them it’s wrong, that their kids are “freaks”, that if you’re born this way, you’re some kind of punishment to them. I came out to my parents when I was four, and was beaten. Every time I mentioned it, I was beaten, I was told I was worthless, and that God hated me. So, when I went away to college, I just never went home. I made my own life and family, and became the woman I am today.

              Let’s be 100% honest and real for a minute here. I know you disagree with the fact that I’ve transitioned, and that you believe it’s wrong. You also believe my marriage to my wife is a sham, and that our love isn’t, by your standards, “real”. Okay, I get that, fine, you are completely allowed to believe that, and I know I can’t change thar.

              However, you have to realize that you not only also can’t change who I am, but you don’t have the right to tell me who I can or can’t love, who I can or can’t marry, what bathroom I should use, or anything else concerning the way I live my life, just like I can’t do those things to you, or anyone else, unless those things can cause direct and irreparable harm. That’s called “civil liberties”.

              You can choose not to understand people like me, and I can’t force you to. You can, however, not be so utterly hateful.

              • No, it was said with the hope of both uf us seeing our differences, and maybe finding common ground. It was also a plea to you (and people like uou) to stop vilifying people like me.

                • Caitlyn-
                  You are so blinded by hatred that you yourself have become the abuser, the very thing you hate.

                  • Oh don’t even. I don’t hate anyone on this world. I may dislike you, but you have to give me a reason. When you try to delegitimize my marriage or my gender, yeah, that’s pretty good grounds for disliking you.

                    Here’s a story. Last fall, my wife and I went on a date to this really nice seafood restaurant near us. We bother had our wedding sets on (she always wears hers, but due to my work, I usually wear just a simple gold band), she wore a really cute blouse and capri pants with heels, I wore a turquoise knit dress and black heels.

                    Anyway, I know the owner of the restaurant, so we typically don’t have a problem getting a table there. There’s a bar attached, so after dinner, we decided to have a drink, and then we were going to take a nice walk before we drove home. Within thirty seconds, a guy had come over and started hitting on me. I tried to be polite and tell him I wasn’t interested, that my wife and I were on a date, but as soon as it dawned on him what I was saying, out came the slurs. “You lesbo slut! You’re going to go to hell! Maybe I should take you out back and show you what a dick feels like!”. And it just kept coming until the bartender came over and threw him out.

                    We stayed there for about an hour, then the bartender walked us to our car. It’s a good thing, too, because guess who was outside? Yep. The guy. We called the police and went back in. I know he may have tried to rape us, because his threats had made that perfectly clear. Had he found out I was trans, well, I may not be typing these words.

                    My trepidation when it comes to people is based on incidents like that. I refuse to hate people, because hate gets us nowhere. However, if someone gives me a reason to dislike them, them I’m going to dislike them until they redeem themselves. I’ll give anyone a chance, which is more than I can say about the people who choose to vilify people like me.

                    • We cant change the fact that martiage as God intended it is ONE MAN, ONE WOMAN. It isn’t hateful to call
                      Sin what it is and want people to live as God wants and be right with him.

                    • Actually marriage has been “redefined” many times. From the family arranged marriage of strangers, to the buying and selling of brides, to the age limits, to the incest laws, to the miscegenation laws, to the polygamy laws, to the rights of the disabled, to equal rights for homosexual couples. Marriage has not been static, just like people have not been.

                    • That is your and I repeat your interpretation of God, not mine. My God is larger and more loving than the one you believe in. It is your right to believe what you want, it is not your right to tell me what I have to believe. Can you not get it through your head that you are not the Savior, someone else already has that title. You are the reason I no longer call myself Christian but call myself a follower of Jesus. You have turned him into a terrible caricature.

                    • MM, you seriously didn’t go there. There are 8 types of marriage that are specifically given the green light in the Bible.
                      1. Man + Woman
                      2. Man + Wives + Concubines
                      3. Man + Woman + Woman’s female slaves
                      4. Man + Woman + Woman + Woman + Woman, etc.
                      5. Man + Brother’s Widow
                      6. Rapist + His Victim
                      7. Soldier + Female Prisoner of War
                      8. Male Slave + Female Slave assigned to him by the slave owner

                      Plus there is a homosexual marriage favourably spoken of in the Bible.

                      If you are going to cite the Bible in an attempt to remove human rights from a certain demographic, you have to read the whole thing (preferably in the original languages).

                    • Ted, your story of the drug abuser rings very true. The problem comes with equating this to people living the truth of the way God created them as if somehow this is a sinful decision rather than a recognition of God’s will.

                  • Your bullying will not change the truth. She is fighting back, she is reacting to what was said and done to her. She is not “blinded by hatred” and she has not “become the abuser” in any sense. You should be ashamed to have made that post!

                    • He doesn’t get it. I really don’t know why I’m arguing with him. Maybe, deep down, I hope he can understand what I’m saying, but I doubt it. *shrug*

                    • I once had a friend that had a problem with drugs and everyone tried to reach him. He would hang out with other drug users and they would support his habit and console people who cared and loved for him would respectfully warn him of their beliefs about where his life was heading. He and his other friends that were misled by drug use would talk about the people trying to butt into their lives. They were the problem, they were the issues, this common element that didn’t believe in their cause to have fun with drugs. They weren’t doing anything destructive, it was their bodies.
                      When my friend finely came out this drug induced coma of a life he was dying in, it occurred to him that just because someone had went through the pain and trials and life that he had, does not make them a support system he should rely on. He revealed to me that having friends that used with him and claimed to “support” him actually drug him down further the abyss. People who love you will not be afraid to tell you the truth respectfully and still love you when you disagree with them.

                    • Ted, you tell the story, you typed the words “People who love you will not be afraid to tell you the truth respectfully and still love you when you disagree with them” And yet you keep insisting that is not what we are doing. Way to totally miss the point dude!

                      So tell us, what words will help you see the truth we see before it is too late?

                • For what it’s worth, that is exactly how I read it. I would like to say that what you have posted here may not change Ted’s mind or those in the same place he is in, but you have changed and enhanced other people’s understanding. So please continue know that you are making a difference. There will always be the Ted’s of this world, I believe because of their own insecurities. That doesn’t mean you don’t try but in the end I think it is their loss not yours. Peace, Love, Resist and Persist.

          • Yep, Wayne, we will be judged by our fruit, but what you call “bad fruit” I call plums because you are only looking for apples as the ones in Genesis. Good plums are indeed bad at being apples. So is the same in people and loving relationships. I believe, may be wrongly, that G-d will judge the fruits by their fitness to be harvested instead of comparing them to “the one and only” fruit, the Genesis apple.

              • The Apple, by tradition is considered to be the forbidden fruit of the garden, represents the masculine man Adam and the feminine female Eve together, the only way people and relationships are to be by fundamentalist Christians. The plum represents something other than an apple, like LGTBQ people and relationships, considered to be a major damning sin to fundamentalist Christians, who reject any other fruit than an apple as “bad fruit from a bad tree”.

          • Wayne, it is clear that you do not read the Bible you are thumping. To say anyone else here is speaking “with profound ignorance” only proves it.

            It is not remotely “asinine” to believe and say, “do not judge” We see that message in Matthew 7 and 12. Luke 6, John 3 and 8, James 3 and 4, Romans 2, 12 and 14, and many more, one of my favorites is, Proverbs 31:9 “Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
            I do not know in which language, using the term “do not judge” is not meant do not judge unfairly or as you call it, “unjust criticism” but maybe English is not your native language.
            I will agree “there is a clear difference between the two” in some contexts. If we are talking about a killer caught at the scene and on video committing the crime, it is not “unjust criticism” if we comment with harshness towards him. If we are talking about a loving, committed homosexual couple, or a transgender person and we speak harshly, using Bible quotes to condemn their loving choice…well those are just not the same thing. I would agree that “spiritual discernment” is called for. I just don’t see much of it in your posts.
            Yes, we do all “make judgments every single day of our lives”, but having the “spiritual discernment” not to call what anyone else feels or thinks, “complete nonsense” merely because it does not match your narrative is again called for.

            Before we “speak of and about evil dealings” we should use “spiritual discernment” to see if we all agree on what is “evil” rather than pound the table in all caps and assure people you alone know what is evil.

            I have not heard anyone here or Reverend Pavlovitz trying to say the justice system has no “right to “judge” the individual” accused. Can you quote that part of your accusation?

            When Jesus said, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven”, maybe he meant only when you do it as a hypocrite…but maybe not. And maybe when he said “…When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it” he meant only when you do it as a hypocrite…but maybe not.
            I can appreciate you feel you are an expert “in Biblical Exegesis”, but maybe you are not.

            Many in Biblical times likely questioned the likes of Paul, David, or Moses as they told their truths but like them, what you are “convinced” of is not of any interest to most of us. We feel Reverend John Pavlovitz is “a genuine man of God” and that is why we come here. You may take your thundering hate and leave. I am fairly certain no one has elected you “God’s spokesperson” either. The issue is not any of us believing God would “sit on the back of a Donkey or an Elephant” but the “elephants” trumpeting that God does.

            Let’s be clear here Wayne, if the Republican Platform was all that, you would not need to lie about the Democratic Platform. Under the teachings of Jesus, “evil people” are those who deliberately seek to harm “the least of these” while pretending strong faith in God, and that is not Democrats. You do remember the story of the sheep and goats don’t you?
            You are lying about the “2012 election cycle at the DNC convention” too. But that is no surprise by now.

            Be assured that Jesus knows the heart of people in the RNC, and the hypocrisy of people like you, Jerry Falwell Jr, Pat Robertson etc too.

            No one “believes in killing the unborn and snuffing out their lives”. We believe in the right to privacy, liberty, freedom and the right to choose what happens to your own body. If you believed in those things you would support the right to choose as much as the right to own guns, because both have indeed “shed innocent blood”. But the Christian Right fights any regulations on guns.

            No one “embraces sexual immorality and perversion”. We believe God created the LGBTQ people just like he created us. When did you choose to be heterosexual? Do you want to punish or take away the right to marry from heterosexuals who perform the exact same sex acts as the LGBTQ community? YOUR interpretation of the Bible condemns those you judge, but what if you are wrong and God made them the way they are for a reason you do not know? What if the condemnation you see in the Bible for that one “sin” is not really a worse abomination than wearing two kinds of fabric or adultery or divorce? You are LITERALLY playing with fire since you believe in hell.

            How parents have sex does not determine the strength or morality of the family they have. Sterile people still have the right to marry.

            People like you make others reject the Bible far more than those you claim reject it. Your hate and judgment is palpable and how does that comport with what we were told? How is your behavior causing people not to come to God any better than those you condemn? Hint: It isn’t. If your interpretation is wrong, you are one of those people who “pretty much told Him where to go….because they know better than He”!

            Your notion that God creates Transgender people to be what you want not what they want is like saying God creates the poor to be poor, the rich to be rich, the ugly to be ugly…not how it works.

            People are not “confused and misguided” nor do they “blame God”. They are as they are and why that is any of your business is the only real question here. Where is your license to tell anyone how to live?

            You sure seem more than capable of complaining about anything you don’t like, and making demands of others too, are you “weak” and “whimpy”?

            I am not surprised you cannot speak honestly of “SAFE ZONES” either. You seem incapable of empathy or compassion like so many others in the Christian Right.

            I think even you should see that Reverend Pavlovitz has no fear of calling out sin. He is just not the typical right-wing puppet that many clergy are. And not for nothing but you have conveniently ignored some hard truths of the Scripture too.
            You can go on for days, it will not make you right. If we are indeed “evil and misguided” are you not supposed to “turn the other cheek”? There were more lies and evil in your posts than any others on this whole thread. Hint: Our forefathers said equal means equal and while they certainly did not live that, it is still what our Constitution says and it is what is right. I get that you like many others on the right only want to be held to your own standards, but again, that is not how any of this works.

            I think you should take your own advice. “Grow up! Stop whining and behaving like a spoiled little brat! Stop playing partisan politics and start really embracing the truths, even the hard truths, of the Scripture”. “Most of your writings are filled with anger, bitterness, hatred, and ugliness”. No, your ugly little piece didn’t hurt any feelings, because we see your emptiness and we pity it. We will all likely even pray for you. May God have mercy!

            • YOUR body, not someone else’s. The baby’s body is NOT your body. It is a seperate person, with the same right to life ax anyone else.

              And God gives us the gender we’re meant to have. He doesnt make mistakes.

              • MM,please tell me this:

                #1) Are you in favor of a national health insurance plan that pays for women’s neonatal health care even if that means that men will be paying for these services as participants in the national health insurance?

                #2) If not, are you in favor of a national healthcare plan that pays for proctology and treatment of erectile dysfunction even if that means that women will be paying for these services as participants in the national health insurance?

                If you answer no to #1 and yes to # 2, then you are not in favor of the living.

                #3) Are you in favor of WIC program which assures that pregnant women and their children received adequate nutrition at crucial stages of development?

                If you answer no to #3, then you are not in favor of the living.

                #4) Are you in favor of Head Start, free lunch programs, Meals on Wheels?

                If you answer no to #4 then you are not in favor of the living.

                #5) Are you opposed to the death penalty?

                If you answer no to #5 then you are not in favor of the living.

                I could go on but these are enough to demonstrate whether you actually care for life or only the unborn.

                Thank you.

              • MM, I will agree with you that God gives us the gender we’re meant to have. But I understand that gender is in your head and it is about who you know yourself to be. Biological sex is what organs you have “down there”. There are many different reasons having to do with biology and genetics why the person’s knowledge of themself might not line up with their physical presentation. I encourage you to do a little research.

              • It is not a woman’s fault that her womb is in her body. And yes the fetus is part of our body until birth. It is NOT a “seperate person” until birth. And there are no rights for a person not born in the Bible or the Constitution.

                So by your logic, God means for babies to be born with severe deformities, disabilities, diseases, or incapable of ever taking care of themselves? Seriously? What kind of God do you worship?

        • Jesus did not come to abolish the law (Old Testament) but to fulfill it. He is the God of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

        • I struggle with the issue of how best to give my money. What is the wisest and best use of each dollar. Knowing that we can help 12 Muslims by creating safe zones with food and water for ever one we bring here doesn’t make me a hater.

        • Do you realize that when Jesus said “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” he was quoting the Old Testament prayer known as The Ve’ahavta?

          Love your Lord your God,
          with all your heart,
          and with all your soul,
          and with all your might.

          Christians that automatically dismiss scripture from the OT are selling themselves short.

        • Kate, you are too simplistic when you say that to Christians the “Old Testiment” is just a history book. If you study the Bible, you will see that there are themes that run throughout. Jesus said, “I come to fulfill the prophecy, not replace it”.

      • Mr. Freeman, nothing he said above, nothing Jesus told us to do, precludes any Christian “having standards, setting standards, [or] inviting others in but keeping your standards”.

        Jesus “let everything in the door”, was his message, his standards a “water down, whitewash truth”? I get it that you believe yours is the only interpretation of scripture, but what if you are wrong?

        What if you have used your erroneous understanding of scripture to exclude, refuse, ignore or punish someone who did not deserve it according to Jesus?

        What if instead of the literal act of homosexual sex (which heterosexuals can and do perform) the scripture is talking about promiscuity and sex outside of wholesome loving relationship? You feel so sure you are right, but how is that your decision to make when God made homosexual people the same way God made you? Why are their desires perverted but yours are correct?

        None of this is about no one being “affended”, it is about everyone being treated the same. We are ALL sinners, where is sin ranked that you can want the force of law to punish some for theirs as you ignore or not even know of others?

        Nothing about following Jesus would ever give us a “self seeking, godless society of everyone doing what they feel is right” because that is not what Jesus said to do. But even if it was, our laws are not based on the Biblical understanding of our faith, nor should they be when the world is not all Christian,

        God does warn us and you do not seem to have listened with a whole heart because here you are, sill judging, still pronouncing people sinners and claiming they are the ones who “tempt God”. What if it is you temping God with ignoring the love commanded?

        • The Bible is not a book meant to be privately interpreted. If you understood that it is part of the Church who wrote and interprets it, then you would look to the Church to understand what was meant, for example, about homosexual acts being an abomination.

          • I know that is what you have been told, but show me in the Bible where it says that? Not to mention how many different churches there are and how differently they all interpret, proclaim and follow the Bible.

            • I know you will be as shocked as I to read that in this one case, I agree with Joe ACP. Until the Reformation, it was a given throughout all of Christianity “then you would look to the Church to understand what was meant.”

              Although his example was wrong. There is too much evidence which demonstrates his suggestion that the church before the Reformation didn’t care partickuary about homosexuality. That prejudice is another thing given to us by the Reformation.

              “Not to mention how many different churches there are and how differently they all interpret, proclaim and follow the Bible” Again, Patricia, another post-Reformation phenomenon.

              Taking off my Church Historian hat now.

              • Gloriamarie, how then does that history comport with the Bible being the word of God and not the word of the church and rabbis and priests’ version of it?

                If the Bible “is not a book meant to be privately interpreted” how has that happened since before it was even printed and disseminated?

                If I accept that it is merely “part of the Church who wrote and interprets it”, how is that valid in my life as being anything more than a vehicle to control the people of the church.

                I freely say, if that is the “purpose” of the Bible, I do not accept that control and interpretation and I reject the premise that I should.

                Like I said, the many religions, denominations, versions of abominations, ranking of sin and Christians is something I want no part of, and not how I interpret the New Testament.

                The Old Testament laws, rules and elevation of the rabbis may well be proof of that purpose but it still leaves so many people behind, I fail to see the benefit of being “in that club”.

                I guess the Right-wingers are right on this, I am not a Christian.

                • Sandi, “Gloriamarie, how then does that history comport with the Bible being the word of God ”

                  The Bible is not the word of God. I wasn’t called that until sometime after the Reformation. The only word of God is Jesus, as John 1:1 tells us.

                  “If the Bible “is not a book meant to be privately interpreted” how has that happened since before it was even printed and disseminated?”

                  The Bible was not read devotionally as it has been since the printing press was invented. The priest read the lessons to the people in church.

                  People also learned of the Bible through stained glass.

                  One thing we never seem to keep in mind that with the Age of Englightenment there was a huge paradigm shift in the way people in the west think. So huge that it is almost impossible for those if us on this side to really comprehend how people t=on that side thought.

                  “anything more than a vehicle to control the people of the church.” A good example of post-Age of Enlightenment thinking.

                  Up until the Reformation, we can correctly speak of the history of the Church as undergoing constant renewal. There is no doubt but that Martin Luther was divinely inspired but other Reformers tossed the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.

                  Oh, it is so frustrating to attempt to answer your questions in such a medium as this. Honestly, I’ve read copiously in this stuff and how to summarize it without being just silly with the over-simplifications?

                  “I freely say, if that is the “purpose” of the Bible, I do not accept that control and interpretation and I reject the premise that I should.”

                  No one has said that That is post-Age of Enlightment thinking and doesn’t fit the historical parameters from the years before the AofE.

                  Furthermore, it is Protestant propaganda.

                  “Like I said, the many religions, denominations, versions of abominations, ranking of sin and Christians is something I want no part of, and not how I interpret the New Testament.” Before the Reformation people thought in terms of the 7 Deadly Sins and the 7 Cardinal virtues. No sin was considered worse than any other and no virtue was considered better than another. It is the Protestants who introduced the idea that some sins are worse than others.

                  It proved contagious and infected other parts of Christianity which had never thought this way before.

                  “The Old Testament laws, rules and elevation of the rabbis may well be proof of that purpose but it still leaves so many people behind, I fail to see the benefit of being “in that club”.”

                  The Hebrew Scriptures did not do this.

                  Well, this has probably been a waste of my time. There just isn’t anyway to do your questions justice in this setting.

          • You and I have had this discussion before, but I want to ask you, what gives you, or anyone else, the right or privilege to declare what my wife and I do in the privacy of our home to be an “abomination”? Is what you do with your spouse an abomination? No? Neither is what we do.

            Further, the place where that’s declared in the Bible (Leviticus) also declares tattoos, wearing “mixed fabrics”, and not beating your wife to be “abominations”. Tell me, how’s that cotton/poly blend shirt you’re wearing feel?

            See how ridiculous that sounds?

            Stop judging who and how people love, and the world would be a much more peaceful place.

            • I don’t have any right to tell you what to do. I do have the right to express my opinions about what is right and wrong. Some people would call me a “murderer” because I eat chickens. They’re entitled to believe that and state that. It doesn’t bother me at all.

              The point I was trying to make was that we were not left with a book and no guidance in how to interpret it. We were never meant to be “Bible only” Christians. The same Holy Spirit that guided the writing and compilation of the Bible also guides the Church, but that part is missing in the post-reformation churches, hence there are thousands of different interpretations and different denominations.

              • You say “We were never meant to be “Bible only” Christians” and certainly the controlling church says it, but where in the Bible does it relieve us of our personal burden to understand and follow?

                Why IS there a “King James Version”? How can you possibly know the veracity of every priest and scribe given what we know of actual history?

                If you are staking your soul on what the church tells you the Bible means, God wants and Jesus instructed, will the church be taking your place in Heaven or Hell?

            • Caitlyn Anne, what is really ridiculous to me is Christians citing a text written for Jews.

              Since Jesus tells us He fulfills all the law and all the prophets, and tells us that there are now Two Great Commandments, it seems to me to make more sense to do what Jesus tells us to do, rather than box ourselves up in what the Jewish Scriptures say.

              • How am I to understand this scripture and rhe many like it?
                Matthew 5:17
                “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

              • That is a false comparison.

                Driving off a broken bridge causes serious physical harm and possibly death. Go alert and raise the alarm.

                A married couple living a private life of love, mutual support, and relationship brings no harm. There is no imminent danger. Your only responsibility is to keep your nose out of their business.

                • Thank you! I used to have a neighbor who would tell my wife and I how awful and sinful we were, and how we needed to “change our lifestyle”. She even tried to set my wife up on a date with her nasty, scummy son. She finally moved away, and our new neighbor was great, but that lady used to get me so angry I could scream.

                  There’s nothing like coming home after a long day at work and hearing “here comes the fag/freak” being screamed at you.

                  • How Christlike of her! (I seriously need sarcasm font.)

                    I am so glad that you no longer have to put up with that harridan.

                    • We’re used to it, though. It seems like someone always has something negative to say, no matter where we are. Personally, I can’t understand how people can maintain such a negative outlook on people who are different from themselves. We don’t look down on cisgender or heterosexual couples, we don’t thumb our noses at people of faith, we don’t yell racist or sexist slurs at people, so what gives people the right to yell homophobic, transphobic, or sexist slurs at us, and to hide behind a bible as an excuse to do so? I just can’t get my head around it.

                    • It is not hard to “understand how people can maintain such a negative outlook on people who are different from themselves”. If you look at what so many churches preach, if you look at the right-wing media empire’s message of division and use of “sin” to label and divide, if you look at the South and their preoccupation with the Bible as a weapon and the Confederacy as a role model, it is not hard at all to know where hate originates, why it resonates and why they really do believe they are “better than” others.

                      I can’t get my head around it either. Not for the LGBTQ community, not for Msulims, not for minorities, not for the poor, not for anyone. But it sure is there.

                    • Maybe I just don’t want to believe that people can actually think that way. I see what you’re saying though. It just makes me sad that so many people can be so closed-minded, and that they think it’s okay to hurt people. <3

                    • Perhaps the tables should be turned. Perhaps they need to hear that I think they are wrong, that perhaps they are going to hell, that perhaps their soul is in danger. Nah, then we would be like them. Just remember that there are more of us who think you should live the way you want, love who you love and are happy that you do. And……don’t think you are going to hell or are an abomination. I have trouble wondering what the heck is going on in their head. Oh well, probably would scare me if I knew. This is my way of saying Be happy because I believe that makes God happy. Peace.

                    • More of us do need to be proactive, to speak up and to call it out. No one would get away with any of that in front of me or in any forum I am in but the truth is that they are so comfortable they can behave like cretins because the good people stayed silent too long.

                    • I agree and I do, but I have to say it doesn’t seem to matter to them, they get on their self-righteous horse and look down their noses. My hope is that this younger generation will be able to curb this stuff. My grandson and his friends, some who were brought up in evangelical households, don’t agree with the older generations, They think it is much ado about nothing. I am hanging my hope on them. My generation doesn’t seem to get it and my son’s generation doesn’t seem to get it but perhaps this younger one will. I know that my kids get it so who knows. Hope this makes sense. Peace………….

                    • That’s how I usually handle it, I try to point out where they’re wrong about us, and how we all should just live our lives in peace. They don’t always get it, but I try.

                • Precisely, it is a foul analogy because in this case, there is no bridge that is out, there is a perception and interpretation that the bridge is out and hurry, hurry, we must punish those who do not “know” what we think we “know”. Using the force of law to push your religious view is wrong.

                  • Some folks don’t understand that “freedom of religion” includes “freedom FROM religion”.

                    • No, they sure don’t. They also do not really understand what kind of life they would have to live in order to even have standing to tell anyone else how to live. Do you know anyone who lives like Jesus? I sure don’t. So who among us can tell us how to live? People who do that are not doing as the Bible says IMO:

                      “9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.”
                      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%208

                      “13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”
                      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+14%3A13-23&version=ESV

                  • So let me get this straight, because you don’t believe it to be sin therefore it can’t cost the wages of sin, death, it’s a false analogy because there is no penalty of of non-sin. This is a circular fallacy. What is the empirical evidence supporting your conclusion? Logically this makes very little sense.

                    • “Empirical evidence, also known as sense experience, is the knowledge or source of knowledge acquired by means of the senses, particularly by observation and experimentation. ”

                      My observation and experimentation show me that the only danger to those who are not cisgender straight white males comes from those who have been taught to hate and from those who have been taught that their existence is an abomination.

                      No one has direct observation of heaven and who is in or out, and certainly no one has been able to experiment on heaven.

                    • Do not pretend you are even trying to “get this straight” and no my reasoning is not just because I don’t believe it to be anymore sinful than the hundreds of others we all commit daily, it is that I do not believe we know enough to judge others, which is likely why we were told over and over not to do so. I further believe that we have to live the exemplar life of Jesus before we can even begin to speak of sin in others.

                      Everyone is capable of reading and interpreting the Bible and that you believe anyone needs you to do it for them is a mark of your hubris not your special knowledge. Tell me where in the Bible God ever ranks sin and tells you precisely which ones are hell fire determining? Who lives without sin? Who decides the “penalty” of any sin?

                  • Is it your assertion to punish is equatable to love? Why is it punishment for someone who loves you to warn of impending harm?

                    • Because you are not just “warning” and you damned well know it. This issue has been one of using legal force for over a century and even now it is still precarious and fought over. This is WAYYYY beyond some hypocrite issuing “a warning” about anyone else’s “sin”.

                • Romans 6:23 teaches “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
                  And my responsibility as a Christian is to love like Christ did as evidenced by John 13:34. I must warn those of impending danger because I love them.

                  • That is the point. There is no impending danger to be warned of. Your “love” is placing a heavy burden on others; a burden that you yourself do not choose to bear.

                    • Because you believe it to be so does not make it so. Provide evidence that there is no harm done with these actions.

                    • This is an interesting perspective, the love I speak of is found in 1 Corinthians 13 vs 4-7, not the colloquial reference used in today’s culture. While I agree there are many that possess evil in their hearts and act under the guise of love, I have seen very similar behavior here from the top posters in support of John. As Jesus said the fruit will be a sign of what type of tree it is. Matthew 7:18 “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.”
                      I feel it is a case-by-case investigation of the heart of an individual and not the overarching principals of the group.

                    • Then get out of the group and stop trying to analyze and determine our heart and sin. It is not working, you are doing the very thing we are not to do.

                      You do not really understand what kind of life you would have to live in order to even have standing to tell anyone else how to live. Do you know anyone who lives like Jesus? I sure don’t. So who among us can tell us how to live? People who do that are not doing as the Bible says IMO:

                      “9 Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak. 10 For if someone with a weak conscience sees you, with all your knowledge, eating in an idol’s temple, won’t that person be emboldened to eat what is sacrificed to idols? 11 So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. 12 When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.”
                      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1%20Corinthians%208

                    • 13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died. 16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.”
                      https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+14%3A13-23&version=ES

                    • It is as if, in your eyes, you call good plum trees “really bad apple trees” and good plums “really bad apples” and therefore these “bad apple trees” are producing “bad fruit”. Personally I would rather have a good plums than a perfectly good looking but rotten apple in this case. So is the case of good loving relationships. You would rather discard the good plums (good same sex marriages) and keep the perfect looking rotten apples (bad and destructive hetero marriages). That is your opinion of fruits, of course, but is it possible that G-d will judge his fruits differently than you? Running around like chicken little warning us about eating “those bad purple apples” gets old fast for those of us who like good plums and apples. Talk to the hand because I’m not listening anymore.

                    • Robin
                      These are not my words or my ideas. I can only fall back to the Scripture and lead my life as God has commanded. Left to it’s own devices my sinful flesh would wreak havoc with sinful actions, I have no control without Jesus and the Holy Spirt. As to how God will judge, there’s a book for that.

                    • Sorry you have so little self-discipline and control. That must make life really difficult for you. If you would like, I know a few really good therapists in the Chicago or Central Michigan areas that could help with that. Also, I hear martial arts is very good with helping one’s self discipline, maybe you should look into that.

                  • Get it through your head, ain’t nobody buyin’ that you love them or that your “warnings” and sin ranking is done in the love of Christ.

                    • It doesn’t matter if you buy it or not I do love you and I want the very best for all of God’s people. I am not beholden to you just like you are not beholden to me. But as a Christ follower I am obligated to love you and welcome you REGARDLESS of your beliefs with open arms. This does not mean I have to accept what the Lord has revealed to me to be sin. In fact I loathe my sinful flesh and can only be purified in the blood of Jesus.

                    • Loathing how God made you, made us, can lead to many mental issues. “Let go and let God”. You are entirely too tightly wound to be healthy. And no, I do not believe in your professing of love so there is still that. People who love with the love of Christ are the most open, humble, accepting, affirming, warm and welcoming people on this earth. Do you believe that describes you?

                  • It is wonderful that you feel so much love for everyone. But, your work must be exhausting. Do you seek out adulterers, killers, liars, thieves, molesters, abusers, blasphemers, etc? Or, are you a one hit wonder like so many who come to this blog?

                    Either way your “work” must not leave you much time to address your own failings. Worse yet it doesn’t leave you much time to enjoy your blessings of those that love you back, of the wonderful gifts that God has shared with all of us, of the joy that can be shared every day.

                    Your life sounds very sad so I will pray that you find peace.

                    • Thank you.
                      I seek to warn all that sin, there is no particular sin greater than others. I have sinned much and am thankful for those that warned me, albeit a long time to come out of my sin I did and I rejoice that I did.
                      If you are asserting leading a life for Jesus and loving my brothers and sisters is sad then sign me up for sad.

                  • Do yourself, and everyone else, a favor: stop. We’re adults, and we can take care of ourselves. I promise.

                    • The human race has demonstrated that with more than 120B murders in the 20th century that’s more other 19 centuries combined. Subjective morality leads to death. For my sake and yours I truly hope that subjective morality does not win.

                    • Prior to the 20th century, statistics on murder weren’t kept in most societies, so that’s a very, very subjective statistic, and the statement as a whole isn’t factual. As for subjective morality, we can’t base that on religious beliefs, as everyone’s beliefs are different based on which religion they belong to.

                      For example, pentacostals believe women are immoral if they don’t wear skirts or dresses. Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, they all have little tweaks as to what they consider moral (just look at the Catholic Church and their relationship with organized crime through the years). Then there’s Native Americans, who largely had no truly organized religion, and yet followed a similar moral code (though they largely accepted gay, lesbian, and transgender members of their tribes, calling them “two-spirit people”, and in many cases, allowing them to hold special positions within the tribe).

                      Your religious beliefs do not dictate my morals. Common sense and human decency, yes.

                    • Oh Ted, “subjective morality”, whatever you may mean by that, will not “win”. But love will. Love always wins. Real love Ted, not the “God told me to tell you” kind of love.

                    • That’s what fundies like Ted don’t understand. Real love doesn’t judge. Real love doesn’t denigrate. Real love doesn’t harm.

                      Real love is unconditional. It’s kind, it’s generous, it’s grateful, it’s warm, it’s comforting, it’s fulfilling. Sometimes it can be messy, sometimes it can be difficult.

                      Above all that, love is beautiful and awesome. At least the love I have in my life is. <3

                    • No, thank you! You and several others make this blog a better place. Some others, well, not so much! But whack-a-mole is fun too.

                    • Caitlyn

                      Are you disagreeing with my point that the human race left to it’s own devices will destroy itself without objective morality?

                    • No, I’m saying morality would still exist whether or not religion existed.

                      As for where I get my morals from, that’s easy. Common sense. I live my life by some pretty simple rules:

                      Don’t do anything that’s directly hurtful to anyone, including yourself.

                      Don’t be hateful.

                      Follow your heart, but listen to your head.

                      Be your best self.

                      Be genuine, people know when you’re not.

                      When you find love, love with every little piece of your heart.

                      When the trash is full, take it out.

                      Pay attention, you might miss something beautiful.

                      Live your truth.

                      Life is short. Take care of yourself and those around you.

                      When someone needs help, help them if you can, and support them if you can’t.

                      Put the toilet seat down when you’re finished.

                      And above all, remember to love.

                      Those rules have served me well, I would say.

                    • Ted, seriously, stop digging son! You are too deep and not striking gold or even water!

                      In truth, “objective morality” is a false doctrine. If morality was objective rather than subjective we would ALL, all over the world, share the same moral values. And we don’t. We never have.

                      The Bible not only contains immorality, it condones it. Do you have slaves? Would you have sex with them if you did? Would you offer your virgin daughters to protesters? Would you cast out your own son by your slave if your wife told you to do so? Would you consider a man who killed someone to get his wife a good, moral man? Come on dude, you seem not to even know the Bible you thump.

                    • Thank you, I suspect he can’t stop because that is the way he feels superior. I truly think that if feels a need for him, screw the person he is battering with his love. Peace.

                  • Well I prefer to look for the good in people not the bad. And, I know enough to leave a wide berth between myself and people who feel they have the right to throw “warning” stones at others in the name of God.

                    Peace

              • Caitlyn-
                The question was where do you derive your morals not what are your morals?
                What is to keep others to agreeing with your morals, why would a person want to subject themselves to your morals? Why is stealing wrong to many atheists?

                • Because common decency tells me that stealing is a hurtful thing, and you shouldn’t hurt people. This isn’t that difficult.

                  Ted, I’m sorry that you feel that you need a manual to tell you how to live your life. It must be so painful to live that way. If there’s anything I can do to help you break through and deal with that pain you seem to be trying to suppress, please, feel free to reach out to me. I’m always willing to talk and help people work through things. Talking about past trauma has always given me a lot of clarity.

            • It’s not Leviticus we’re referring to. The fact that it’s a sin is repeated in the New Testament and that’s still valid. The Jewish laws arent.

              • Yeah, what about adultery? That is one sin that Jesus himself spoke of and yet none of the Christian Right condemns it or divorce (even in their politicians) and they sure do not try to legislate bans or punishment for it! Hypocrite!

                • Sandi, yes, the Christian Right are a bunch of hypocrites. They went to war, almost, over Bill Clinton’s adultery, blame his wife for **his** failure to keep his pants zipped, and then turn around and not only vote for but idolize a serial adulterer.

      • Dear Christopher Freeman:

        ‘…having standards, setting standards, inviting others in but keeping your standards…’

        Translation:

        LAW! LAW! LAW!
        DUTY! DUTY! DUTY!
        WORKS! WORKS! WORKS!’

        This may be sung to the tune of ‘Standing on the Promises.’

        ‘Handing out the rule books, a big, fat yoke!
        Writing up the standards for you lesser folk!
        Every little misdemeanor we will note!
        We are the Phar-i-sees!

        Refrain:

        I am Ho-ly! Ho-li-er than you will ev-er be!
        I am Ho-ly! I am a Phar-i-see!

      • To consider the OT as a mere book of rules or history is like reciting Brownings “How do I love thee? And not completing the poem. One easily dismisses the ‘where we come from and who we are’ of it- God’s story of the pursuit of relationship with his people- it is so important to the relevancy of Christ in our lives today. And none more important than HONORING the Father by DOING love. How I weary of being bludgeoned with the hammer of scripture, demanding sullen obedience. Let my face be washed by the dust from His footsteps, His grit in my teeth, and His footprints directing my path. Where is your joy Freeman?

      • well, chris, when your standards are the opposite of what Jesus Christ taught..are they Christian?

        Oh also there is another standard the Christian right needs to be aware of.

        That the United States isn’t a theocracy. The laws of the United States answer to the US Constitution…the US Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land.

      • I’m not xtian.
        However, even I know that Christ’s instructions were basically “love everyone, don’t come down on their faults, lead by example, be good to each other, cut it out with all the pharisaic judgemental I’m-better-than-you-are nonsense, don’t argue over nonsense, and work to get along with each other in peace irrespective of their beliefs – as long as they’re good to you, be good to them, and extend others the benefit of the doubt.”

        Old testament rules are calcified bronze-age relics that don’t even work well for small groups – they are inherently biased towards power for men and a small priestly claque that supposedly has a closer relationship to the numinous than civilians, which is pure hooey. The whole personal relationship with god thing (or the numinous, however you spell it) ultimately suggests that there’s no need for mediators between regular people and their deity du jour – worship leaders being a prime example of unnecessary insertion and assertion of authority where none should be needed, assuming the theology is internally consistent.

        • meh, thank you for your comment. I have often noticed that many non-Christians have a better grasp of how Jesus wants us to live than many Christians. May you continue to hold us accountable to our Lord’s teachings. Thank you again.

          • 2 Peter 1:19
            19And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,

        • That isnt even an actusl law. The government cant endorse a state faith or forbid worship. But God can be mentioned.

      • Having standards for what you believe is correct religious behavior for yourself is great. It’s when you start demanding that others adhere to your standards, your religious values, that you cross the line into unacceptable.

        • Does this not conflict with “love your neighbor as yourself” If I truly believe cheesecake is bad for you and I love you, would I not try to warn you about eating cheesecake?

          • Bullsh*t Ted. God has given each person the freedom to choose. You fundies are always trying to negate God’s will in this matter and substitute your own will for it by trying to take over the government and use it to force other people to submit to what you believe. I’ll tell you this Ted. If you try to tackle me and break my leg to get me into Heaven, I will crack you over the head with the nearest 2 X4 board I can find in self-defense and send your sorry ass straight there.

          • No, you would let me enjoy my cheesecake. It isn’t anyone’s place to tell me whether or not I should be eating cheesecake, what toppings I should put on it, or even whether or not it’s a New York style cheesecake, aside from maybe my doctor or my wife.

            And now I need to bake a cheesecake this weekend. And smother it in my homemade blueberry sauce. So much for my diet…

              • Ted, seriously, not getting it in neon, is not helping your case. YOUR interpretation may well be that “something” is poison, but that does not mean it really is poison. Do try to catch on.

                • Romans 6:23
                  “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

                  If we are speaking in particular to the sexual relationship fostered by God:
                  Gensis 2:24
                  “24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”
                  Matthew 19:4
                  4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
                  And what is the alternative to a Godly marriage (i.e. Adultery, Divorce and any other form of sexual relationship outside of God’s plan as laid out in Genesis)
                  Matthew 19:11
                  11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

                  • This, of course, was before medical science and the discovery of the plethora of intersex disorders that fly in the face of what one traditionally believes defines us as men and women.

                    For instance, I have what’s known as androgen insensitivity syndrome, or AIS. As a result, when I was born, my immediate gender was, shall we say, ambiguous. The doctor did a quickie surgery and sent us on our way.

                    The problem is, I knew I wasn’t the gender that doctor assigned me at birth by the time I was four years old. So, as soon as I could, I fixed it.

                    Meanwhile, I developed very few masculine traits. Very little facial hair, poor muscle tone, high voice, you name it.

                    Now, as far as the whole “eunuch” thing… *opens pants and looks down* hmm… nope, Doesn’t apply to me. Sorry.

                    • I can’t imagine how I would feel if I had this disorder, or a child of mine had this disorder. This cries out to me as a genuine appeal of the heart.

                    • And yet, every day, fundies like yourself beat, abandon, and abuse children like this. Why? Because the bible tells them it’s wrong, that their kids are “freaks”, that if you’re born this way, you’re some kind of punishment to them. I came out to my parents when I was four, and was beaten. Every time I mentioned it, I was beaten, I was told I was worthless, and that God hated me. So, when I went away to college, I just never went home. I made my own life and family, and became the woman I am today.

                      Let’s be 100% honest and real for a minute here. I know you disagree with the fact that I’ve transitioned, and that you believe it’s wrong. You also believe my marriage to my wife is a sham, and that our love isn’t, by your standards, “real”. Okay, I get that, fine, you are completely allowed to believe that, and I know I can’t change thar.

                      However, you have to realize that you not only also can’t change who I am, but you don’t have the right to tell me who I can or can’t love, who I can or can’t marry, what bathroom I should use, or anything else concerning the way I live my life, just like I can’t do those things to you, or anyone else, unless those things can cause direct and irreparable harm. That’s called “civil liberties”.

                      You can choose not to understand people like me, and I can’t force you to. You can, however, not be so utterly hateful.

                    • Thank you for being so honest. That last sentence you wrote can apply to so many people who look and think differently than him and I hope he truly takes it to heart. Peace

                    • Caitlyn-
                      I am sorry you were hurt in the past and people did not accept you the way you are.
                      I can imagine to establish trust in most interactions is hard for you. I can certainly understand the coping mechanism of dealing with pain being to stereotype people that disagree with your world view but this is not always the case. Some people genuinely care about people and what happens to them.

                    • It isn’t about having different worldviews. It’s about being able to understand our differences, and being able to find common ground. It’s also about not vilifying someone just because you don’t understand who or what they are. You, and the other fundies I come across all the time typically flatly refuse to even attempt to understand. You may pretend to, but as soon as you see the slightest opening, you tell me what a horrible person I am because I chose to be true to myself.

                      A lot of people feel that I somehow made a conscious choice to be who I am, that for some reason, I just got bored with being male and decided to take drastic, irreversible measures. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. The only choice I made was to stop pretending to be what other people wanted and to be true to myself. Other than that, there was no choice. Why people can’t understand that is beyond me.

          • Ted, you really aren’t very good with this comparison business. I suggest that you find a different way of entering discussion.

            Cheesecake isn’t dangerous and needs no intervention, no matter what you honestly believe. And even if you are allergic to cheesecake, as I am, it doesn’t give us leave to restrict someone else from enjoying cheesecake. Loving your neighbour includes leaving them alone to enjoy their lives as best suits them, even if it isn’t the way that we would lead our lives.

            • So all cheesecake is not harmful? What about cheesecake that has been laced with poison that you may unknowingly digest? Do you warn your neighbors of impending storms or you just let them fend for themselves because they want to be left alone?

              • If your comparison was cheesecake with poison in it, then that is what you should have said in the first place instead of castigating me for taking you at your word. That is a really obnoxious discussion style.

                I have no problem with warnings of real physical danger.

              • Laced with poison? Are you even serious? You’re reaching for reasons to stick your nose in places where is doesn’t belong.

                As for empirical evidence that a relationship like mine doesn’t harm me, or anyone else, I have almost 18 years worth. My wife and I have been together, faithfully, for almost 18 years. I’ve watched my family and friends all get divorced, some of them multiple times, and yet, here we are, and I assure you, we have never been more in love.

                Our marriage harms no one except those who are too bigoted to accept that two women can, and should, be happy together. I’m sorry, but that’s your problem, not mine. You don’t like same-sex relationships? Don’t have one.

                • Best answer yet. I can say with absolute certainty the my husband and I’s marriage of 55 years was not made any weaker because you got married. Perhaps stronger because we have more company, adding people who love and honor each other is a good thing. That in the final analysis is what matters. Peace and Love

                • Only God is good.
                  Mark 10:18New International Version (NIV)

                  18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone.

                    • I find this to be true in my own life. And as a self-aware person who is honest with himself about his own limitations and short-comings that if I without my moral convictions would be more prone to a sinful nature. Without a moral compass of what good is, which is only God as Jesus taught I would fail miserably. I find that realistic not cynical, because the good news is that Jesus is far more Love than I can ever fathom in my heart without Him.

                • i am not clear on what rules you think I am concerned with. I believe Genesis 2 to be a warning to sin not a punishment from God.

          • Well, apparently, you and I don’t believe in the same God, and your standards don’t apply to me.

            Problem solved!

      • Jesus set tbe standards! …. not you, or anyone else. The standards are; “love your neighbor as you love yourself”. “Love your enemy”, “turn the other cheek”, carry the pack two miles, i stead of the ONE that you were asked to carry…..

      • Christ lived, died & was resurrected to fulfil the Law (old “testiment,” as you put it). The greatest commandment He gave? “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.”

      • Christianity is about the New Testament which presents an entirely different world view to the message that preceded Christ’s message of love and respect. .

      • Christianity is NOT about standards at all. The Pharisees were about standards. Christianity is about a relationship with Jesus Christ. If you have a loving , vital, living and ongoing relationship with Him you’ll certainly start to live differently, but it will not be a life concerned with drawing lines and enforcing standards, but a life of commission, mercy and service. Check with the Pope… He’s had a LOT to say about it.

      • Sorry, but this is also not a Christian concept–Christ welcomed those whom others deemed as sinners.
        We’re called to be a witness to the world, not to try to make the world conform to us.

      • This is whyJesus infuriated the Pharisees. He let everyone in – dining with tax collectors, and prostitutes. He broke the Law, healing and working on the Sabbath.

      • Christopher, the Republican Party wouldn’t know the truth if it walked up, shook their hand and introduced itself. Every one of them is the antithesis of everything Christ stood for, and every one of them is a disgrace to humanity.

      • Christianity is not about setting standards. Your church has taught you that. The Bible’s only order to you in this regard is to (1) love one another and (2) share the Good News. Nowhere does Jesus say that it is the individual Christian’s job to “set standards” and then try to force those standards on the world around them.

      • Water down, whitewash, self seeking & godless….. these sound like phrases a group of peaceful God fearing people used in describing a certain group of people who took their land and killed their people. Wouldn’t you say, brother?

      • Old Testament? The Old Testament also urges us to stone rebellious children and prostitutes, tells us that bacon and ham are unclean and that slavery is a natural state of affairs

    • Jesus said, ‘The Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve.”

      Jesus never gathered his people to ‘resist’ Rome. In fact, he called them to cooperate with Rome. ‘Give to Caesar what is his, and give to God what is His.’ [This is not always contradictory.]

      I’m all for drumming up support and votes for either side of the political aisle, while imperfect, our 1-man, 1-vote system is the best system there is, so that the People can be their own Government.

      I agree with the bible about Govt authority…
      –‘God sets up rulers, and he deposes rulers’.
      –‘Let every person be subject to governing authorities. There is no authority except God, and governments that exist have been instituted by God.
      –‘Therefore, whoever resists the authorities, resists what God has appointed, and those that resist will incur judgment.’

      • You said, “our 1-man, 1-vote system is the best system there is” and I would agree, if that was indeed the system we have. In a 1-man, 1-vote system Trump would not be president. George W. Bush would not have been president. Thanks to the Founders caving to slave states and very tiny states, we have a system that mocks 1-man, 1-vote at the national level.

        • As far as electing a president is concerned, it’s according to the states, not the overall popular vote. Each candidate knew that was how the game was played. If the goal had been the overall popular vote, they would have campaigned differently. Trump did not “lose” the popular vote because there was nothing there to win or lose. He might have won the popular vote had he campaigned in NY and CA and had Hillary’s resources. What if Hillary had won the 270 electoral votes and lost the popular vote. There was some speculation that might happen. George Sorros predicted she would win, but lose the popular vote. I don’t think you’d be whining about that now if that had happened.

          There are good reasons to elect a president by state instead of by popular vote.

            • You did make an issue about the “one-man one-vote” statement (though I would rather say “one person”), as if Trump’s election illustrates that our system isn’t fair.

              • His election does illustrate for the 5th time that our system is not fair, but that was not the issue. She said “our 1-man, 1-vote system is the best system there is” to which I merely replied that is not the system that elects our president. If you want to argue that IS the system that elects our president, feel free to knock yourself out.

          • Why no matter the subject, it turns political? I’m starting to believe the Jahova Witnesses are right in not being involved in Government doings. It seems to divide not bring together in love.

          • ACP, if Trump had nothing to lose with the popular vote he wouldn’t have spent the first month of this year throwing a whiny hissy fit about losing it.

      • Dear leslie m.:

        Yet, the cross event is set against all the rulers and authorities of this age. He disarmed them and put them to public shame by triumphing over them by his death and resurrection [Col 2:15].

        The question is, why have professors been reinvesting in rulers and authorities the very power Jesus died and rose again to take from them.

        Blessings!

        • Hi gdd.

          The Resurrection was a visible sign of Jesus’ Victory over The Adversary, (Satan) –Ruler of this World. Although, victory over evil was already assured the day Lucifer fell, with God using Satan for his own Glory ever since.

          God offered the Israelites a Theocracy. To have God walk with them everyday, to be their guide and their judge, and their Father! Alas, they thought they knew better & they declined the offer. It’s not going to happen today either. [Although Christians most certainly can live a godly life with the Holy Spirit living inside them.]

          There have always been Authorities outside of God’s people, they have their own reward in this World.

          While it’s true (Col 1:15) God disarmed the powers and authorities, and triumphed over them. … Satan & his angels never got the ‘Memo’! (his stubborn pride is unbending to the very end.)

          We rest in the knowledge. Very grateful.

          • Dear leslie m.:

            Actually, Satan’s hosts most assuredly DID get the word. It is the Capito-Americanist ‘church’ which now contests Christ’s victory by aligning with the policies of the beast as described in Re 13/17-18.

            Blessings!

      • Leslie,

        “Therefore, whoever resists the authorities, resists what God has appointed, and those that resist will incur judgment.”
        Did you support the black man who God appointed president?

        I didn’t think so.

    • I agree with the first three sentences of the paragraph. Conservative Christians have acted out of fear, rather than love of God, and lashed out in prejudice against minorities in this country. But the last sentence gives me pause, because it applies as much to liberal Christians as conservatives. Here’s a paraphrase: “It is a not a matter of watching CNN or MSNBC, waving a Bible, and then giving the middle finger to everyone who doesn’t talk, worship, believe, or think the way that you do.” Many liberal Christians display the hate toward their conservative brothers and sisters that conservatives do toward minorities.

      • Many conservative Christians seem incapable of distinguishing between hate for their persons and the ideas they hold to.

        I hate every single bit of the GOP agenda. That does not mean I hate the people thenGOP have brainwashed into supporting it.

        However, I do think a refusal by the Christian Right to distinguish between a hate for the party line and themselves actually reveals a deep problem that maybe they see how wrong they are to accept the GOP agenda, but prefer to project their discomfort by claiming we of the left hate them personally.

        It’s a cop out. It’s your issue, not ours. Deal with it. The GOP agenda bears no resemblance to what Jesus tells to do and how Jesus tells us to live.

      • Kris, you are right, I freely admit my guilt. I do not love conservatives. I do not love Republicans. I do not love the Christian Right. I use their method of hate right back at them (fight fire with fire) and I accept that I will burn in hell for all of eternity because of it. But it is NOT, just me “displaying” the hate toward conservatives “that conservatives do toward minorities”. Conservatives earn it, minorities, immigrants, refugees, the LGBTQ, the poor, women seeking abortions do not!

        • Brilliant final sentence. There are some people commenting that I just pass on by because I am not willing to pollute my brain, but I watch for your name and I eagerly read your thoughts. I admire the way that you frame things and appreciate the perspective that you use.

            • I worry about the people that God is not still working on. I am an old lady and God is still wringing his/her hands and working on me.
              Peace,

  2. Amen, amen, amen.

    In the Christian Science Monitor today is an article on violent anti-Christian attacks in Egypt, which are working poorly because the Christian & Muslim communities are supportive of each other, based on the Christians’ kindness & forgiving nature in that country. Wish that were true here.

    • So Compare to Truth, The Bible , God does not support this , in fact he the bible says to preach the word in season and out , have a answer to all who ask concerning the HOPE you have.
      This is Preaching , Teaching, Loving your neighbor as your self. Giving to thier need, NOT GREED
      God Does Not Violate His Commandments or His principles no matter who it is. where it is , who is involved.
      There is no exceptions. Godless men doing what they want in the name of jesus christ. Godless people who dont pray , follow, teach truth , they try to force others to do It according to what they view as truth. Control , Rebellion thats what it is.

      • Christopher, I have rewritten your text in standard English in an attempt to figure out what you are getting at. Unfortunately, I was not any closer to sussing it out due to your use of undefined antecedents and because I had to guess at what the missing words might be. Can you try again?

        < < <

        So compared to truth, the Bible, God does not support this [undefined antecedent – what does God not support?]. In fact, the Bible says to preach the word in season and out. You must have an answer to all who ask concerning the hope you have. This is preaching, teaching, and loving your neighbour as yourself. You should give to their need, not their greed.

        God does not violate His commandments or His principles no matter who it is, where it is, or who is involved. There are no exceptions. There are godless men doing what they want in the name of Jesus Christ. There are godless people who don't pray, don't follow, and don't teach truth. They try to force others to do it [undefined antecedent – do what?] according to what they view as truth. Control and rebellion, that's what it [undefined antecedent – that's what what is?] is.

      • Mr. Freeman, do you even realize how ridiculous you sound? “God Does Not Violate His Commandments or His principles no matter who it is, where it is , who is involved”? Oh really? King David ringing any bells? God sure loved that man who literally broke several commandments. And he is just one of the “fallen” men and women God used and apparently favored. So there are exceptions.

        Several in fact. Not my list, but a good one.
        Abraham -Was old.
        Elijah – Was suicidal.
        Joseph – Was abused.
        Job – Went bankrupt.
        Moses – Had a speech problem.
        Gideon – Was afraid.
        Samson – Was a womanizer.
        Rahab – Was a prostitute.
        Samaritan Woman – Divorced.
        Noah – Was a Drunk.
        Jeremiah – Was young.
        Jacob – Was a cheater.
        Jonah – Ran from God.
        Naomi – Was a widow.
        Peter – Denied Christ three times
        Martha – Worried about everything.
        Zacchaeus – Was small and money hungry.
        The Disciples – Fell asleep while praying.
        Paul – A Pharisee who persecuted Christians before becoming one.
        http://jarridwilson.com/god-uses-flawed-people-to-share-hope-to-a-flawed-world/

        Again, only YOU are claiming there would be “Godless men doing what they want in the name of jesus christ”, “Godless people who dont pray , follow, teach truth” if we lived as Jesus taught us. No one else sees that, or says that, certainly not Jesus.

        And how can you have the gall to say it is those others who “try to force others to do It according to what they view as truth”? When that is precisely what YOU want to do? Projection?

        • Sandi. i love your list. thank you. a long list of repentant sinners, that while belonging to God for eternity, continually asked God for forgiveness. Like we all do, for as long as we are here.

          • We are ALL repentant sinners and we ALL sin, so this ranking and dividing by sin is crass and pointless and not what the Bible says to spend our time and effort doing.

            • I would never rank sin. and I’m only concerned with my own sin. not others. i don’t think everyone is repentant. Jesus said the road to everlasting life is narrow and few find it.

              • Leslie. Most fundies i have ever known rank sin—either explicitly or implicitly. In addition, they are hyper-concerned about the sins of others and are nearly blind to most of their own sins. They will say: “I have these three sins” when others people see the 106 sins in them they do not see. Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism are doomed—because they have walked out on Jesus while falsely claiming to be “in him.”

              • leslie m, of course you rank sin. The whole notion of using the force of government to enforce it is the real problem. It is the Christian Right ranking sin and pushing for some to be to punished, excluded, refuted, denied or discriminated against by law because they rank sin.

      • Dear Christopher Freeman:

        Which part does God not support?

        Kindness?
        Forgiveness?

        We’re aware that 2Ti 4:2 is out there; but our Bibles have more to them than Ex 20 and 2Ti 4:2.

        Blessings!

        • These people only believe in kindness and forgiveness for people just like themselves. Muslim? Gay? Transgender? Buddhist? Hindu? Sikh? Arab? Not so much.

      • Note the word “ask.”

        The word is “ASK”

        If someone ASKS, share with them all you want.

        If someone doesn’t ask, DON’T BELABOR THEM WITH IT.

        It’s unappreciated and pushy, and it is very much contra human nature. Humans become adherent to memes when they see that they represent an example, not when someone beats them over the head with “YOU MUST BELIEVE OR BE DOOMED FOREVER!!!”

    • It is like no one listened to Christ. what I learned from Christ was Humility. When one lets go of their arguments os life not working the way they think it should then I remember on my knees requesting humility. I thought that it would be the end of everything but it was then I learned it was the beginning of something that I beforehand thought impossible.
      The strength to find Humility opens up the Universe.

  3. Only God , Jesus Christ knows what work will stand.
    But Know this , if it does not pass the litness test, Compared to biblical standards , then you know it is in vain. NO Good Use .
    God , Thru Jesus Christ made it very clear ONLY what is built on a Firm Foundation will stand the test of Time. and There will be many who profess, say, do the works in thier own strength and might.
    Jesus said the father at the time of judgement of the souls of mankind will say depart you workers of iniquity , I never Knew you. , This is clearly that some things done will be of no useful value. NO matter how good they may seem. The real Question is MOTIVE , What is it. Why are they, you or anyone doing it.
    Is it to further the kingdom of God, Minister to the Saints, Lead the True Christians in right relationships , or Selfish, self seeking Ego. Filling the need to be noticed.
    Always ask Why?, Always Compare to Scripture, Always Ask God who Thru the holy Spirit give peace and comfort to those in turmoil.
    Its not always about love , acceptance, pride, will, sometimes its about Gods Punishment for Rebellion, Sin, UN Godly Actions that lead to Eternal Death, and Spiritual suicide.
    As you look into this Seek out Truth , and Holiness, Not what you see in front of you . The answers are not always what you see.

    • Christopher, what if I told you the Trinity is far greater than our religions and scriptures? What if I told you, except for Jesus’ words and actions, are guidelines, not “the only truth”? What if the Trinity wanted us to fight for love and justice above all else and Jesus came to earth to show us how? Think, what are you putting first: Scripture, Paul, the Church, or the Trinity.

    • Mr. Freeman, if you think the overall message of the Bible is not “always about love”, there is clearly nothing anyone can say to help you. Ask what? Based on what? You can pull verses out of context to prove just about any point. Take any issue and pro or con you can find Bible verses to support you. Your certainty when we are even told, we will not know, we will not understand, we will not decide is clearly hubris in action.

      In the end, we all have to stand before God with the life we have lived, the words we have said, the acts we have committed and omitted and the love or lack thereof in our hearts. Your angry certainty works for you here and now.

  4. Gutting “funding for the arts” is not “Christian”? The government needs to be in the arts business? No it doesn’t. But it does need to be in the protection business, so it’s ridiculous to pit the arts against national defense.

    • The arts – painting, sculpture, literature, music, etc – is pro-life. It’s what gives meaning to being human.
      Escalating the military is not about the protection of US citizens but rather protection of US corporate interests abroad which has created the instability that is anti-life.

      • I agree, I would add that clean air and clean water are part of being human. Makes you wonder what kind of a world they envision for these children to be born into. Peace,

        • Dear Kathleen B:

          Makes you wonder what kind of a world they envision for these children to be born into.

          A-HAAA!

          Blessings!

        • And no doubt the world would beat a path to your door, but many worthwhile projects would never happen without public funding and that would be a shame in many cases. Not yours, but in many.

      • As an artist & musician, I can knowingly say that Government is anathema to Artists. It’s something to resist.

        • As a musician and songwriter, I completely disagree. The NEA has funded many wonderful projects that otherwise would never have seen the light of day. The Kennedy Center has celebrated many great musicians, writers, and artists. Without music education, I never would have discovered my own talents (I play guitar, piano, bass, synthesizer, drums, dulcimer, and mandolin).

          • Leslie is just touting the Republican belief that the arts are anti-Republican and that artists tend to be anti-God. The Republicans despise PBS—and with good reason. It speaks the truth, and the truth is always a threat to people with a dictatorial mindset. Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals have an authoritarian mindset that is dictatorial in nature. Republicans claim to support American freedom. They, in fact, do not. They and their fundie friends support freedom for certain selected Americans and American groups while pursuing the destruction of American freedom for those Americans they do not like.

            • Just saying Artists are unconventional and dont like being controlled. Anytime u give money to someone there are strings. (even the liberal patrons want something. Prestige. ‘In Crowd’ status. Vicarous thrills that comes from hobnobbing with Artistes.

            • Charles, I agree, it’s like I have always said, they say they support religious freedom, meaning that they get to decide the religion and they have the freedom to make everyone else join in or else. Peace,

            • Charles and Caitlyn Anne, I think the real reason that the GOP hate PBS is that it makes people think. They present an issue from several POV, being faithful to offer the evidence that supports each POV, and the GOP hate that because it is truth and because it is easy to see which POV is based on caring, compassion, generosity, and kindness.

              The GOP risks losing control of their Stepford People through PBS.

                • The irony of you claiming anything that does not comport with your version is “brainwashing” after voicing the right wing talking points is rich! And the right-wing media that rejects science, education, and truth makes you an expert on “treacle”? Rich indeed!

                  • Well, clearly calling it such says something about the fear of the person writing these words, doesn’t it?

                    I don’t knwo how many times I’ve listened to PBS on the radio or watched it on TV and have failed to be impressed at how many different voices they are willing to represent.

                    Unlike Fox and the various conservative pundits.

                    I think my point has been proven. The GOP wish to eliminate funding to PBS because they are afraid of people learning to think and breaking out of the GOP hogwash.

                  • What’s ironic is that Betsy DeVos, with her for-profit schools, teachers that only follow a script and her brain performance centers aka brain washing could possibly use taxpayer money to churn out scores of little god fearing conservative robots.

                    Makes me think of those pictures of Hitler youth – hair slicked down, all parted on the same side, same uniform, and same blank somber expressions on their faces. Can’t tell one child from another.

                    Scary!

                    While my daughter-in-law who lost her job during Bush II’s recession went back to school for 5 years and got her teaching credential gets called a overpaid liberal brainwasher on these pages. She is very involved in her church and makes around $40,000 a year – much less than the average income for Americans.

        • Dear leslie m.:

          My family has considerable musical and artistic talent, and I question whether you speak for all artists.

          Arts, culture and access to them are a basic component of a healthy society. Likely that’s why like everything else, the arts attacked relentlessly.

          Once powerfully innovative, American film, music and art served a powerful democratic and humanist spirit. THAT is why culture had to be subjugated to the profit motive. The result is a terrible, cultural degeneration.

          The attacks on culture from funding cuts express the general brutalization of US society. The gutting of museums, orchestras, theaters, public television and radio, etc. mirror the drastic cuts to, or outright elimination of public schools. And many schools have seen the arts stripped from their program.

          Yet media ownership by giant corporations, who function as government mouthpieces and apologists for bourgeois wealth/privilege meet no objection!

          We begin to see from where these attacks originate.

          The damage this philistine and mercenary approach has done to the intellectual and moral fabric of society is impossible to quantify.

          This is why grant/subsidy decisions for the arts must be taken from the hands of politicians/bureaucrats and put under the control of committees of artists, musicians and other cultural workers.

          I suspect that at least some musicians, artists, educators, communities, and families would agree.

          Blessings!

            • Dear Caitlyn Anne:

              To give credit where credit is due, I cribbed it.

              Essentially, that was copied from the Program of the Socialist Equality Program, Sections 82-84.

              It’s always interesting to see how people react to the Program when they don’t know what it it 😉

              Blessings!

              • How do you know she didn’t recognize it? That seems to me to be a fairly condescending remark. You might have asked her, rather than assume.

                • Dear Gloriamarie Amalfitano:

                  The SEP platform is some 20 pages. And most people haven’t read it. It would seem to me to be presumptuous to assume that people have read it.

                  Blessings!

              • That doesn’t shock me at all. The only thing that makes socialism untenable is human beings’ inherent greed. If it weren’t for that, socialism would be a fabulous system.

                • Dear Caitlyn Anne:

                  As I see it, socialism is necessitated precisely because of greed. As I see it, Capitalism is the highest expression of greed in human history.

                  Blessings!

          • I’m pretty sure Govt doesnt contribute that much to the Arts in the first place. Very small amount. That could easily be made up from private funding.

            I’m against taking Art/Music out of schools, K-12. But I think that’s been dwindling for over a decade. Not good. I thought Art & Music were mainstays of public education, and already budgeted for.

            I think you’ll find that Conservatives value Classical Education more than Progressives do. Classical Education includes substantial Art / Music curriculum.

            The privately run Symphony Orchestra that I play with occasionally gets some Govt grants. But the red tape and hassle & time consuming grant writing is barely worth it. I was on the Board of Directors for 4 years.

        • Dear leslie m.:

          If US commanders are being freed from restraints, if operations are increasing the number, scope and intensity say in Yemen, the South China Sea, the Korean peninsula, Syria, and Russia’s borders, and demanding that ‘allies’ comply with our directives in these and other areas — how is referencing that as ‘not escalating the Military’ not providing political cover for operational military escalation?

          Please define what ‘military escalation’ actually is.

          Blessings!

        • They do want to escalate and it is not nearly our biggest priority.

          “…there is not, to my mind, a strong case for questioning the unit-by-unit excellence of the Army in particular, or the U.S. military in general. Nor is there a serious concern about the adequacy of resources on a unit-by-unit basis for equipment, people, and training. In short, there is no readiness crisis requiring dramatic policy intervention.”

          https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2016/08/15/the-state-of-u-s-military-readiness/

          • Dear Sandi Saunders:

            Yesterday the top US commander in the Middle East, General Joseph Votel, declared Iran to be the “greatest long-term threat to stability” in the region. Among other measures, he called for military action to disrupt and undermine Iranian influence and activities. This use of military force would constitute an act of war. It would destroy the international nuclear deal struck with Iran in 2015. It would set the Middle East on the path for another disastrous conflict.

            On Monday, the US, flanked with Britain and France, walked out of a session of the United Nations General Assembly set to discuss a global ban on nuclear weapons. After leaving, the US and its warmongering allies delivered reporters a statement protesting the UN proposal.

            The assertion that ‘”they” do want to escalate’ bespeaks a staggering level of hypocrisy.

            Blessings!

            • Let us not forget how deeply the Republican Party opposed the Iran Nuclear Weapon deal, the lies they told about it.

              I suspect the GOP might, on its worst days might desire to wipe the entire Middle East off the planet.

            • Dear gdd: He also added, “We are paying extraordinarily close attention to this, but I feel very confident in our ability to protect ourselves and to continue to pursue our missions,” he said, adding, “Iran has a role in the region. I want to be clear that we think differently about the people of Iran than we think about the leadership of Iran—the Revolutionary Council that runs Iran. Our concern is not with the people of Iran, it is with their revolutionary government.”

        • Leslie m. When was the military in proper working order? During the decades it “lost track” of 7 Trillion dollars? During Vietnam? During Bush II”s war where the military did not know how to fight that war and most certainly did not know how to win it. Billions of dollars just disappeared in Iraq – just “poof”. They even sent reservists in without proper body armor. Of course Cheney’s old company – Blackwater – made out good. Is this the way we treat our heroes?

          How many of those Republicans who shouted if you are against the war you are against the military or you are unamerican sent their own loved ones over there to die? Why has it been ok to send thousands of Americans mostly men to die. For what? Bush was told it would cause greater chaos. It did.

          Do you think treating our heroes like throwaways is a good enlistment policy?

          Trump wants to build a military that is “gonna be so strong, nobody’s gonna mess with us.” He wants more ships, submarines and increasing fighter aircraft. He wants to bolster missile defenses.

          This is from a man who thought the voters should know his penis size was more than adequate. Even if he thinks/imagines someone insults him he attacks.

          Everyone wants our country defended. We want the smartest most effective military. China or North Korea likes to parade its tanks and missles as a show of strength. Do you think all those tanks would make it over here before we blew them to pieces? Those tanks are for defense not offense. That is not how the next war is going to be fought.

          Trump wants to shrink the State Department – one avenue of keeping peace.

          If we do not find out where the missing trillion dollars went how do you know his big injection of money will not end up in the same place?

          Trump can only understand with visual aids. I don’t want another generation of mostly men and some women part of that visual aid.

          Do you really think American can make it alone? Are we going to burn coal in our homes to bring back jobs? Republicans have been making each state a right to work state – forcing lower wages. They complained Obama was a job killer even though the opposite was true. They call some (mostly black, hispanics, and immigrants lazy for not working and living on the dole. Yet the whites who lost their jobs from coal etc. have no jobs. You cannot have it both ways – plenty of jobs where people should be working or no living wage jobs to be had. Which is it?

          If Trump shrinks the government rapidly he will have more looking for jobs and he will have to say the jobs report it fake again.

          Is there no truth anywhere?

    • I agree, but that is exactly what the Republicans have done. Yes, your country needs to be secure. AND yes your populace needs to be uplifted, educated, informed, entertained, and sustained by the arts. Studies have shown that children who have arts education are better able to think their way through problems, see different solutions, and are more creative. That creativity extends to more than the arts. It also informs science, medicine, innovation, and invention. The arts have also been shown to have a positive effect on physical and mental health.

      Consider the way that the arts support worship. There is the beauty of vestments, fair linen, altar frontals, antependiums, and banners. There is statuary as well as murals, tile work, decorative columns, and paintings. There is music that affects our heart rate and the very way we breathe, and that encourages brain functions that allow us to be open to the divine. Of course, worship can be had without any of these elements, but they so exquisitely express the glory of God’s creation.

      • Of course the arts are wonderful. I defend that the Vatican holds such treasures for the entire world to enjoy and be inspired by. That doesn’t mean the government needs to support PBS. If I want to listen to Pavoratti, I’ll buy a CD or find my own way. I don’t need a PBS special to subsidize whatever interests I might have in classical music, and don’t need or want to force others who have no such interest to pay for it.

        But that’s still beside the point. Defense spending stands on its own. Is it necessary or not? Is an increase in spending necessary or not? It doesn’t go against Christianity to put that first and above spending on the arts, and I suspect that what he refers to as “gutting” probably is a small cut.

        • If there are those among us who are as wearied by the cognitive dissonance of those who defend evil in the name of God, I can offer you a place of respite and solace where all we do is sit in God’s presence and enjoy being there. No anger, no arguments, no divisiveness allowed

          Celebrate What Christians Have in Common
          https://www.facebook.com/groups/1409874399270377/

        • If there are those among us who are as wearied by the cognitive dissonance of those who defend evil in the name of God, who defended a bloated defense budget that is larger than that of the next twenty countries combined, which is so bloated that they can afford to misplace $7 trillion dollars, so bloated that it can afford to spend $1.5 trillion on a jet that will never fly because the design was flawed from the get go, I can offer you a place to take action against such nonsense where we demand a budge that meets people needs.

          If there are those among us who are as wearied by the cognitive dissonance of those who defend evil in the name of God in which civilians are killed every day, be in attack by US forces, in refugee camps, fleeing invaders and have no place to go, I offer you a place to take action against evil.

          Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff
          https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

        • Yes the defense of this country is important. But the Pentagon has “lost track” of 7 Trillion dollars in the last couple of decades. I though Republicans were the pros of looking out for our tax money. They need to correct this first before they are handed more money. No private business would last with such shoddy bookkeeping. This is the people’s money.

          We know that this “lost money” didn’t make it down to the actual boots on the ground soldiers. There would not be homeless veterans, veterans who commit suicide, veterans who fall prey to a corrupt charity. There is no excuse to treat those heroes who risked their lives for this country as throw away people like our cars, phones, etc. That is not “pro life”. It is not ok to treat any American as a throwaway.

          Any person who lives on a budget knows you cannot keep throwing money at something that shows no interest in true accountability.

          I want my country protected from our enemies but at what cost. How much waste is ok? Bigger is not always better no matter what Trump believes. He has 6th grade solutions to complicated issues.

          Also we do need disease research, we need disease control or contaminants control. It would be illogical not to centralize those issues as part of protecting this country. What happened to “leave a small footprint”. Do we not care about the America we leave for our children, their children?

        • ACP, do you have any idea what the federal budget for the NEA is? Do you have any idea what the federal budget for PBS is? Any clue whatsoever?

          To quote: It doesn’t go against Christianity to put that first and above

          Our military budget, child, has not suffered one bit because we also fund the NEA and PBS.

          And considering how often you conservatives kvetch about sex and violence on tv and in the movies it’s flat out hilarious that you then turn around and attack PBS.

          Oh did I say hilarious? I meant tragically sad. Because you can’t look past your own damn selfish greed and your overcompensating desire for more guns.

          We spend more on our military than the next 30 countries combined. It’s time, ACP, that we also spend money investing in the country and the people the military is supposed to defend.

          Because all increasing the military budget is give defense contractors fatter profits. It’s not about improving our defense anymore..it’s about giving as much money to the military industrial complex that Dwight Eisenhower warned us about.

          Your side is making the same stupid mistake that the Soviet Union did. More money for the military, less food for the people.

          • JK. China and India are the only countries that are larger than USA. (population wise). So it makes sense that we would have a large budget for our Military. No other country compares to us, the Leadership, the citizens, the assets & resources we have. Unparalleled.

        • Dear A Catholic Perspective:

          You wrote:

          It doesn’t go against Christianity to put that [Defense spending] first and above spending on the arts…

          Please explain what makes this true. Why exactly are we supposed to believe this? Where can the truth of your proposition be seen?

          Blessings!

          • Isn’t that the purpose of government? To protect citizens? (Or to recite Shakespeare?)

            • Dear A Catholic Perspective:

              At issue is the assertion of Defense [read ‘military’] spending over the arts.

              So I’m still waiting…

    • Dear A Catholic Perspective:

      You wrote: ‘[Government] … does need to be in the protection business.’

      I reply: What you call the ‘protection business’ is a ‘protection “racket.”‘

      The US Pentagon is moving to a major escalation of slaughter in Yemen. No particular Yemeni target [Yemen has nothing of value]is in view. Mainly, the intention is to provoke military confrontation with Tehran an indirectly weaken Russia.

      In the past, our phenomenally wealthy Saudi allies deliberately target hospitals, schools, factories, food warehouses and even livestock. Lacking clean water/medical services, some 10,000 Yemeni children died since 2015. The destruction of water and sanitation facilities led to cholera epidemics. Then the Saudis deliberately bombed Yemeni hospitals, leaving 15 million with no health care.

      Even before the war, Yemen depended on imports for 90% of its food, and 70% of those imports came through Hodeida. With Yemen on the brink of mass starvation, our glorious US Navy backs a blockade of the port city of Hodeida.

      When the bourgeoisie [ruling class] and its bipartisan political lackeys drag the US into another illegal war of genocidal proportions against one of the world’s most vulnerable populations — that is not defense. That is not Christian.

      ‘Churches’ that condone such actions are no true congregations of Jesus Christ.

      The ‘defense’ plea proffered as political cover for potentially genocidal crimes is not Christian.

      The endowment of such policies with legitimacy departs from Jesus Christ.
      A while ago, I wrote:

      We reject the false doctrine…

      that the church can or must acknowledge any absolute allegiance in place of or in addition to the God that Jesus Christ proclaims from the Scriptures, or that Christian trust, hope and life may rest in, or be found, or be mediated by other spiritual or earthly powers, figures, institutions, administrations or events, with their visions, promises or operations.

      The unstated premise that millions of Yemenis may have to die for our safety and security is a lie. Proclamation of that lie is fundamentally idolatrous. The implementation of that lie binds any society and those who advocate for it in the service of Satan by implementing for our salvation a mass system of human sacrifice.

      Blessings!

      • Of course, gdd, you do understand that the murder of Yemeni civilians by US forces results in fewer mouths to feed.

    • we spend more on our military than the next 30 countries combined, child. The military is by far and away the biggest slice of our budget.

      How much more do we need to spend?

      And if you spend so much on the military that the country the military is supposed to be protect is bankrupt and worthless because of it then what’s the point for the military?

      And the reason government should support art is simple. Because art is who we are as a people. It is part of our culture. Its our voice, child.

      So you can sit there and be selfish if you want but cutting the miniscule budget for the NEA is short sighted.

      • Dear James Kessler:

        As I see it, the United States is in serious, irreversible economic decline.

        The military seeks to offset decline [in profits of the wealthy] by arranging through force what it can no longer accomplish with economic/trade/diplomatic power.

        Unable to pay for this vast, conventional military, the US will rely increasingly on nuclear weaponry, increasing exponentially the likelihood of thermonuclear holocaust.

        As for the working class, the ruling class and its bipartisan political servants abandon it to its own destiny. Otherwise expressed, we are on the fast track back to the Middle Ages.

        The only alternative is for the whole working class here and world-wide to unite, reject all forms of partisan politics, and enter directly into political process.

        Only by seizing power can humanity hope to stop the madness of nuclear annihilation.

        Blessings!

        • Good thing you are wrong. Having seen what power gained has done throughout the history of man, I cannot agree that the way forward is “for the whole working class here and world-wide to unite, reject all forms of partisan politics, and enter directly into political process”. But that too is not going to happen.

          The way forward is so simple and easy that it defies any explanation except greed that it has not already happened. We must move toward protection of the vulnerable as the powerful continue to gain. Given the French Revolution, I think they can be convinced of the wisdom, but only if we stop choosing sides, claiming God is on our “team” and that the Bible sanctions our hate. And that is why even simple and easy is doomed to failure. Many in this nation are still fighting the Civil War of over 150 years ago…

          • Dear Sandi Saunders:

            It seems to me that if anything is doomed to not happen, it is the protection of the vulnerable even as the powerful continue to gain.

            How you expect the bourgeois draw from 1789 lessons it needs to survive is, I believe, based on a faulty reading of what the Revolution represented, and the forces it embodied.

            To say that the way forward is ‘simple and easy’ reflects hopelessly romantic thinking. I see this as an open door to opportunism.

            The French Revolution was a bourgeois revolt against the feudal system of production. The coming revolt represents a globalized proletarian revolution against a now obsolete nation state.

            But you are entirely correct that God cannot and should not be recruited for our political agendas.

            Blessings!

  5. Thank you, since I have been following you, I would have to say this is your best. Every word you write has been rolling around in my head and heart. I so appreciate you making something coherent out of them. The knowledge that my husband and I aren’t alone in what we see and believe is happening, is some kind of comfort. I hope the rest of the country will wake up before we reach the point that the harm done to the people and the planet don’t reach the point of no return. Thank you for your voice. Peace, Love, Resist and Persist.

  6. (DISCLAIMER: I am speaking in general terms here; when I say “Christians” I am referring to those who say that they love Jesus but they adore 45. This is not about ALL Christians.)
    Matthew 6:24: “No man can serve two masters: for either he. will hate the one, and love the other; or else. he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
    That is a Bible verse the hypocrites should read. If they really want to say that they are obeying the Bible, then they have to take the WHOLE book, not just those parts that “justify” their actions. (Like Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS), who says he doesn’t support Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion because he believes some poor people just don’t want health care. Link here: https://thinkprogress.org/roger-marshall-poor-people-do-not-want-health-care-obamacare-repeal-b49325664fd9 ) It goes on: “Just like Jesus said, ‘The poor will always be with us,’” Marshall, a doctor and first-term congressman, said. “There is a group of people that just don’t want health care and aren’t going to take care of themselves.” He continues in that vein, becoming more and more offensive as he wants to deny healthcare, specifically Medicare and Medicaid, to his own constituents. And he has government-provided healthcare. OH the irony!!
    John P, I loved the opening quote. Yes, Jesus would throw up–but i think he’d also dig out the whip he used back in the day when he drove the money-changers out of the temple. It’s not that we have money-changers in the courtyard of our churches…no, we’ve got the money-changers and other swindlers sitting right there in the pews.
    Religion is a man-made hierarchy; it forms a framework around what is supposed to be a spiritual life. And without trying to foment trouble here, I would like to point out that mankind has had a deep spiritual connection right from the start. The very earliest statues of deities were female; for thousands of years, people maintain a spiritual connection to Mother Earth. They were celebrating Life. In Christianity, the followers focus on and “celebrate” Death, because of the idea that he was crucified. There’s far too many churches whose entire community life is centered around repentance and being “washed in the blood”, lots of repetition of “Jesus died for your sinners”. Dying on a cross was really no big deal. Thousands had it happen to them. The Romans were rather fond of crucifixion to subdue the population. The focus should be on the Resurrection, or back onto Life.
    The GOP is using the Pavlovian technique of “trigger-reward” for their followers. The trigger is the word “Jesus!” and the followers get the reward of feeling smugly superior to everyone else.
    When you KNOW that you are special, you lose your connection to the local, national and global community of lives. And when you do that, you are NOT doing the work of following Jesus. (By the way, he set 6 tasks for his followers; not a single one of them is a political requirement or situation.)

  7. If what i have is given in obedience and not force and I give out of my love for God, Jesus Christ, and his commands then I have done well.
    But if it is fascism, communism, control, over taxation the expect the fall, judgement is from God.
    The Obama Care Taxes the Working Class, not the rich, and not the poor, and makes us slaves to apathy.
    We become dependent on the forced system instead of our will to survive.
    If the leaders had to pay out of thier pocket , doo with out , take less for what they do, work extra time to make up for loss’s, and work 2-4 welfare jobs to make ends meet. Then they would have empathy for you and me. and not tax so heavily
    Nothing is Free, There is a price, cost, payment

    • Actually, freeman, the party that has most screwed over the working class..is the Republicans.

      You and your fellow conservatives have let the top few steal everything leaving the rest of us with crumbs. And you can sit there and complain about the ACA all you want..but on what grounds do you think depriving 24 million people of their health care is a good idea?

      And as for the insurance mandate of the ACA..you probably should bother to remember that it was the GOP who cooked up that idea in the first place.

      That supply side economics bs you preach..that libertarian bs you preach does not and never has worked.

      • Here’s a whole buncha stuff that the conservatives have fought against, but thanks to liberals we now benefit from them and all of them are in favor of the working class:

        1. The 40-hour work week.
        2. Weekends
        3. Vacations
        4. Women’s Voting Rights
        5. The Civil Rights Act of 1964

        6. The right of people of all colors to use schools and facilities.
        7. Public schools.
        8. Child-labor laws.
        9. The right to unionize
        10. Health care benefits
        11. National Parks
        12. National Forests
        13. Interstate Highway System
        14. GI Bill
        15. Labor Laws/Worker’s Rights
        16. Marshall Plan
        17. FDA
        18. Direct election of Senators by the people.
        19. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Workplace safety laws
        20. Social Security
        21. NASA
        22. The Office of Congressional Ethics. Created in 2008.
        23. The Internet
        24. National Weather Service
        25. Product Labeling/Truth in Advertising Laws
        26. Rural Electrification/Tennessee Valley Authority
        27. Morrill Land Grant Act
        28. Public Universities
        29. Bank Deposit Insurance
        30. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
        31. Consumer Product Safety Commission
        32. Public Broadcasting/Educational Television
        33. Americans With Disabilities Act
        34. Family and Medical Leave Act
        35. Environmental Protection Agency
        36. Clean Air Act
        37. Clean Water Act
        38. USDA
        39. Public Libraries
        40. Transcontinental Railroad and the rail system in general
        41. Civilian Conservation Corps
        42. Panama Canal
        43. Hoover Dam
        44. The Federal Reserve
        45. Medicare
        46. The United States Military
        47. FBI
        48. CIA
        49. Local and state police departments
        50. Fire Departments
        51. Veterans Medical Care
        52. Food Stamps
        53. Federal Housing Administration
        54. Extending Voting Rights to 18 year olds
        55. Freedom of Speech
        56. Freedom of Religion/Separation of Church and State
        57. Right to Due Process
        58. Freedom of The Press
        59. Right to Organize and Protest
        60. Pell Grants and other financial aid to students
        61. Federal Aviation Administration/Airline safety regulations
        62. The 13th Amendment
        63. The 14th Amendment
        64. The 15th Amendment
        65. Unemployment benefits
        66. Women’s Health Services
        67. Smithsonian Institute
        68. Head Start
        69. Americorps
        70. Mine Safety And Health Administration (This has been weakened by conservatives, resulting in recent mining disasters.)
        71. Food Labeling
        72. WIC
        73. Peace Corps
        74. United Nations
        75. World Health Organization
        76. Nuclear Treaties
        77. Lincoln Tunnel
        78. Sulfur emissions cap and trade to eliminate acid rain
        79. Earned Income Tax Credit
        80. The banning of lead in consumer products
        81. National Institute of Health
        82. Garbage pickup/clean streets
        83. Banning of CFCs.
        84. Erie Canal
        85. Medicaid
        86. TARP
        87. Bail Out of the American Auto Industry
        88. Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act
        89. Wildlife Protection
        90. End of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell
        91. Established the basis for Universal Human Rights by writing the Declaration of Independence
        92. Miranda Rights
        93. Banning of torture
        94. The right to a proper defense in court
        95. An independent judiciary
        96. The right to vote
        97. Fair, open, and honest elections
        98. The right to bear arms (Do you really think extreme right wingers would allow anybody besides themselves to have firearms if in power?)
        99. Health care for children and pregnant women
        100. A stable and strong government established by a Constitution
        101. The founding of The United States of America
        102. The defeat of the Nazis and victory in World War II
        103. Paramedics
        104. The Brady Handgun Act
        105. The Glass-Steagall Act (It has since been repealed and we’ve been paying the price for it.)
        106. Oil industry regulations (The Gulf paid the price after conservatives tore many of these regulations down.)
        107. The Affordable Care Act which makes insurance companies more honest and fair.
        108. Woman’s Right to Choose
        109. Title IX
        110. Affirmative Action
        111. A National Currency
        112. National Science Foundation
        113. Weights and measures standards
        114. Vehicle Safety Standards
        115. NATO
        116. The income tax and power to tax in general, which have been used to pay for much of this list.
        117. 911 Emergency system
        118. Tsunami, hurricane, tornado, and earthquake warning systems
        119. Public Transportation
        120. The Freedom of Information Act
        121. Emancipation Proclamation, which ended slavery
        122. Antitrust legislation which prevents corporate monopolies (These laws have been savaged by conservatives, which is why corporations are getting huger and competition is disappearing leading to less jobs and high prices.)
        123. Water Treatment Centers and sewage systems
        124. The Meat Inspection Act
        125. The Pure Food And Drug Act
        126. The Bretton Woods system
        127. International Monetary Fund
        128. SEC, which regulates Wall Street. (Conservatives have weakened this regulatory body, resulting in the current recession.)
        129. National Endowment for the Arts
        130. Campaign finance laws (Conservatives have gutted these laws, leading to corporate takeovers of elections.)
        131. Federal Crop Insurance
        132. United States Housing Authority
        133. Soil Conservation
        134. School Lunch Act
        135. Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act
        136. Vaccination Assistance Act
        137. Over the course of nearly 50 years, liberals contributed greatly to the eventual end of the Cold War.
        138. The creation of counterinsurgency forces such as the Navy Seals and Green Berets.
        139. Voting Rights Act, which ended poll taxes, literacy tests, and other voter qualification tests.
        140. Civil Rights Act of 1968
        141. Job Corps
        142. Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
        143. Teacher Corps
        144. National Endowment for the Humanities
        145. Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966
        146. National Trails System Act of 1968
        147. U.S. Postal Service
        148. Title X
        149. Kept the Union together through Civil War and rebuilt the South afterwards.
        150. Modern Civilization

        • Dear Gloriamarie Amalfitano:

          Actually, I suspect that the impetus for some of those things came from socialists; liberals picked them up later. Jest sayin’.

          Blessings!

          • While that is most likely true, these are still the accomplishments of liberals to benefit the working class.

            The only thing Republicans do to the working class is to exploit them. There is one of the conservatives right here who said a few months back that he wanted the minimum wage law abolished. If that doesn’t display a desire to exploit workers…

        • These 150 items are what Trump would lead us to believe are “burdensome regulations”.

          Forgive me, I could not resist,

          • Especially #150, Robin, civilization. I don’t think I have ever read more about one’s person’s inability to adapt to civilized life than Putin’s Puppet.

      • Correct James. The only model for a Capitalist system to work is the Keynesian model, which is now prefaced on Demand side economics and the theory (tested) that wealth does not trickle down, it trickles up. Since you get less of what you tax we have been taxing labor more than capital, which resulted in higher unemployment or lower wages because it was cheaper to dump money into the stock market or real estate instead of investing directly into businesses to increase labor. In the 1950’s we taxed capital more than labor, meaning it was cheaper to invest directly into businesses to increase labor and employment and rising wages. The rich complained about the high taxes but their compensation was tied to profitable businesses so it offset the high taxes. The rich paid a much higher tax rate because they could more afford them than anyone else.

        • At one time in my life, I worked on a program which in an experimental manner implemented Milton Friedman’s negative income tax ideas and it as w HUGE success. So many people got out of poverty because of it.

          Sadly, despite the overwhelming evidence that this was a very constructive, positive, successful program that could have replaced the welfare program, no politicians would be convinced to take it on.

          So if we are stuck with welfare, blame the various short-sighted politicians.

            • Sandi, it was heart-breaking. Men and women went to school, got good jobs, got off federal assistance. All through this negative income tax.

              But politicians more desirous of getting re-elected than helping their fellow citizens wouldn’t consider it.

              Yes, it was a form of redistributing income, but it did so in a way that made people self-sufficient.

              It was heart-breaking.

          • The negative income tax sounds a lot like Earned Income Credit and the old program Making Work Pay. The benefits of these programs went to the poor and working poor the most. The GOPers I talk to are incensed that someone could get a negative income tax when they work their butt off. I can’t convince them that the economy is rigged for the wealthy so they blame the poor.

            I find it hopeless. My country is sliding into an Fascist Plutocratic Kleptocracy and I see nothing that can stop it now. I now have nightmares of EAS warnings of nuclear attacks and fallout shelters. I am not sure what happens next.

            • Robin, here’s an article about. Under “Experiments” I worked on the first.

              I share your fears. I really do,

            • I have the same nightmares. It reminds of when I was a child and we had to get under our decks when they had a bomb drill. Messes with your head. Peace, Love, Resist and Persist.

    • Dear Christopher Freeman:

      You wrote:

      The Obama Care Taxes the Working Class, not the rich, and not the poor, and makes us slaves to apathy.

      I reply:

      Actually, Trump’s massive tax cuts to gigantic corporations don’t change the tax burden; they merely shift that tax burden from transnational corporations onto the backs of the working class.

      So yes, there is a cost for everything. You’re going to pay dearly for liberating greedy corporations from all those oppressive taxes!

      Enjoy paying through the nose!

      Blessings!

  8. John says : ” The GOP is not a pro-life, Christian party “…. Sir, true, but neither are the Democrats. That is why your articles are troublesome. You are blatantly siding with the Democrats, knowing full well that there is trouble within each party concerning ” Christ likeness “.

    • Stu, this is a false dichotomy. One can criticize the Republican party without being a Democrat and one can criticize the Democracy party and not be a Republican. Not everyone has their mind for rent to their party. Just because JP is clearly bashing the hypocrisy of the GOP doesn’t necessarily mean he is a shill for the Democrats. I agree with JP in many things but I am no Democrat. My conservative friends call me a liberal and my liberal friends call me a conservative. If a party is going to wear the mantle of Jesus then they need to do what Jesus did.

      • Robin, it is not a false dichotomy… And I did not vote for Trump. What I am trying to say is ,that these things like what Sandi said: ” a voice for connecting to the poor, disabled, imprisoned, widowed, etc….. are ” Heart issues ” and imho , should never be equated to a political party when the baseline and reference is ” Christ “. You do know that there are humble, meek, peace loving righteous people in both parties, right? And that there are haters in both parties as well. To me , it is what is in the individual persons heart that matters. How does the heart that has been captured by Christ reveal itself?… Political parties are inherently secular and arrogant as a body of people. Again, as a group, they cannot represent Christ. They can become pharisitical and claim the high moral Christlike ground. But it is useless, because of their underlying agenda. If you think that a secular, arrogant body of people like politicians have holy intentions, that is certainly your holding belief. But, I think not, and to hold one party above the other on moral grounds is not necessarily eternal. What and who has captured our individual hearts is eternal. Again, imho…..

      • Dear Robin:

        But John Pavlovitz has sided with Democrat Party politics.

        Of course, Kathleen B’s point is also good that people are less inclined to claim the Democrat Party for God.

        Of course I support neither party and I critique both parties from a Christian and Trotskyist position.

        Stu: you say that ‘Political parties= arrogant secularism.’

        I agree. But I would add that many confessing ‘churches’ [fundamentalist/evangelical, but also mainline] are also arrogant and secular.

        As a Marxist and Trotskyist, I find myself in disagreement with all political positions. As a Christian, I find myself agreeing with those who postulate the Kingdom of God as the sole perspective allowed a Christian.

        Blessings!

    • But the Dems don’t wrap themselves up with being the party of Jesus, which is JP’s point. You know, the party of family values etc.

      • Political parties= arrogant secularism.
        Neither party should be given moral preference over the other…. I fear this blog should rather be a political shootout than an expose’ on the Christlike merits of these rich people who adorn themselves in corruption. Both parties, John!!

        • Evidently, Stu, you are one of those who fail to understand what John says. When have the Democrats ever claimed that if a person is a Christian, their’s is the only party to which a Christian can belong?

          Never.

          When have the Democrats ever claimed that if a person is a Christian, their’s is the only party to which is based on Jesus’ values?

          Never.

          That is what John P is talking about. It’s not an issue of whether or not Dems leave a lot to be desired. Of course, they do.

          However, your response falls into the category of “methinks thou dost protest too much” because there is very little in the GOP platform that resembles Jesus’ teachings.

        • Both parties do not adorn themselves in the robes of Christ in the first place. Only Republicans have that hubris.

    • yeah here’s the problem with your argument, stu. The Democrats don’t run around claiming to be the “Christian party” and the ‘Party of God” and all that jaz. The Democrats haven’t turned CHristianity into a political prop and a weapon.

      So are the Democrats perfect from a Christian pov? No. But the difference is that the Democrats don’t pretend they are. The GOP just loves to claim to be oh so morally superior.

      When you raise yourself above the others as superior that means you fall further when you don’t measure up.

  9. Spot on Reverend Pavlovitz! For far too long we have allowed the narrative of “Godless liberal” and “Godless Democrat” because we knew that not to be true but the usurping of God, of faith and turning it into a the face of the party because they give lip service to government force to “end abortion” is obscene. It is Jesus run them out of the temple obscene, dishonest and hubris that demands refuting.

    Thank you for taking on that voice for connecting to the poor, disabled, disenfranchised, imprisoned, widowed, orphaned, homeless, hungry and downtrodden as Jesus did, not as Republicans do. None of us can perform miracles, heal or make whole, but we can use our resources like the taxes collected, the expertise available and the programs needed to help those who need it and yes, deserve it. Because Jesus said so. There need be no other reason!

  10. 2017. Christianity is more than 2000 years old. Who would have thought we needed to hear words like this still , in 2017 , the most fundamental principles of the Christian faith, we have to hear these words again. (We = humanity, let’ s not get too personal here). Makes you wonder .. how about 4017. would we still have to hear these words or will we have grown spiritually and have internalized these principles in our daily lives and in our societies? Christian principles are supposed to transform human nature. They are certainly not something that “comes natural”. The Christianity- as-political power movement that John describes is something else. I always think: what is so special about these type of Christian believers? They just sound like everybody else, like a typical human with the same fears for “the other” , the somewhat tribal ideas, all nothing new.!! Mankind has been like that for thousands of years. Christianity was supposed to bring something new and it really does. But the so called Power-Christians only bring more of old.

  11. Dear John Pavlovitz:

    Had you posted nothing more than the title, the impact would not be diminished.

    Blessings!

  12. This is so, so spot on. If Christians were pro-life, they would be against the death penalty, against the senseless murders of LGBTQ people for no other reason than existing, against the decimation of funding for programs like Meals on Wheels and the school lunch program, and against cutting funding for Medicare and Medicaid. And yet, all they talk about is abortion. I am so tired of this sanctimonious, self-righteous, hypocritical crap.

    When so-called pastors stop celebrating the murders of LGBTQ individuals who were gunned down in a nightclub, when supposedly Christian politicians stop cutting funding for programs that help the poor, elderly, and disabled, when people like me don’t have to fear going out in public because someone might beat us up, stab us, shoot us, or rape us, then I’ll believe that people are pro-life. Until then, they’re all hypocrites.

    • 2,000 unborn babies will be killed today by an abortionist. What is the Democrat program to stop this injustice? Will they even SAY it’s an injustice? That would be a step in the right direction.

      • And yet, when will you say that it is injustice to murder civilians, to allow the DOD to waste money that could have ended world hunger?

        You don’t care about the living, you have made that obvious over and over and over. If you support Republicans because you are deluded enough to believe that they are actually anti-choice, then you also support every single one of their policies that would allow babies to die.

        You are one flaming hypocrite, Joe ACP of the Many Aliases and Disguises. You thought AHCA was a good thing, even though all of the evidence pointed out that it would leave the 24 million most vulnerable of your fellow citizens at risk and you DID NOT CARE even though among the at risk are babies.

        You are pro-fetus and you don’t give two cents for the health and welfare of that baby in the womb, because that AHCA would have denied women neo-natal care. You are pro-fetus and you don’t give two cents for the health and welfare of that baby in the womb, because that proposed budget will eliminate all the programs a baby born to poverty needs.

        Someone should have watched a great deal more Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood and learned how to live with other people.

        • May I add that they are trying to cut the budget of the NIH, which will harm those babies once they get into the world.

          • Exactly, they didn’t want to provide neo-natal care in the AHCA because a man should not have to pay for a woman’s healthcare needs even though men have their fun making the babies that need neo-natal care. But it is ok, I daresay, for a woman’s health insurance gets to pay for the treatment of erectile dysfunction in men so they can continue to have their fun creating babies with no neo-natal care.

            If we ever doubted that the ONLY people the GOP cares about are the rich, straight, white, males, then the proposed AHCA budget proved it.

            All women and all non-white males should abandon the GOP. As well as all white males who are not rich.

            Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff
            https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

      • Yeah, and last June, 49 people were murdered in anOrlando nightclub because they were gay. Transgender women are murdered all the time just for existing. Children all over the country starve to death because their family is too poor to afford food and theit school lunch program went away. Seniors have to decide between food, rent, or medication because they can’t afford all three.

        Is that pro-life?

      • thousands of born babies and older people will die today from lack of adequate food, shelter, income and health care, pollution, corporate greed, ACP. Many people will be killed today by guns.

        WHat is the Republican program to stop that injustice? Will they even say it’s an injustice?

        Every single time, ACP, you bring up abortion that is going to be the response you get.

        Because if you think the government should act to stop abortion then you have no grounds to object to the government acting to stop what I listed.

        As for what Democrats have done to lessen abortion. Yeah that would be supporting comprehensive sex ed and oh yeah..contraceptives. Those things do more to stop abortion than your self righteous outrage has ever done.

      • ACP, I noticed that you seem to for making abortions illegal no matter what, in fact, almost to the exclusion of everything else. Is there any case that you would approve of legal abortion? Just curious.

      • your precious Trump and the GOP want to cut funding for the NIH, CDC and medical research, ACP.

        How “pro life” is that? How pro life is it to cut funding for cancer research? How pro life is it to cut funding for food stamps just so Trump can have his boondoggle wall?

        One of the demands that the so called “Freedom Caucus” made for their support for Trumpcare, though they are more honestly called the “Fascist Caucus” was to end the requirement that insurance covers health care for pregnancies, neonatal care and prenatal care.

        How prolife is that? I mean you and yours want to claim to be “prolife” and “care oh so much for the unborn” but you can’t even muster the desire to see that they and their mothers have adequate health care? really?

        Prolife, ACP, means more than just opposing abortion.

  13. AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN, John P AMEN.

    100% agree.

    May those with eyes read, learn, mark, inwardly digest, and repent of their allegiance to evil and return to God.

  14. I would like to know, when did the words “God bless America” become a statement of fact instead of a prayer to God?

  15. Sometimes it seems that some who claim to be Christians only see their stand on abortion, lgbtq lifestyle, and taxes spent for policies they do not like as what makes them the “true” Christians. Many tarnish the words “Pro Life” when they use it as a weapon, a torpedo to stigmatize those who actually do value all life.

    What happened to the rest of the Commandments – to living by the Golden Rule? God knows everything. He knows when your words or actions belie what is in your heart.

    Thank you for your words John.

    • John’s words are nothing more than sweet-sounding platitudes he applies after he destroys his straw men. New post. Same old tired straw men. Tried and true formula. Get real.

      • Guess you didn’t like your reflection in the mirror John P held up in front of you today. Your reaction really is a case of “methinks thou dost protest too much.”

        Here’s a reason we don’t ever and won’t ever take you seriously here. You hide behind a cowardly “anonymous” while John P and those of unashamed to own what we write do so out loud and proud under our own names.

          • I begin to wonder about your cognitive skills, anonymous.

            I have told you over and over again, it is not disagreement I have a problem with. It’s the way people choose to disagree by villifying John P and others.

            You constantly lie when you say I dislike being disagree with. You bear false witness. Repent.

  16. “I do not believe that just because you’re opposed to abortion, that that makes you pro-life. In fact, I think in many cases, your morality is deeply lacking if all you want is a child born but not a child fed, not a child educated, not a child housed. And why would I think that you don’t? Because you don’t want any tax money to go there. That’s not pro-life. That’s pro-birth. We need a much broader conversation on what the morality of pro-life is.”
    ~Sister Joan Chittister, O.S.B.

    Until you are working to end abortion by creating a nation that makes a woman feel safe, supported and capable of carrying the pregnancy she has,

    Until you are working for comprehensive sex education that teaches teens how babies happen,

    Until you are working for free birth-control and even sterilization,

    Until you support your tax dollars going to feed, house, and educate every child,

    Until you support your tax dollars going to feed, house, educate and support intact families of the poor, working poor, disabled, elderly, and orphaned,

    Do not dare call yourself pro-life, you are merely anti-abortion and against personal freedom.

    • I have this by my computer. I love Sister Joan.
      May I add, until you support an environment with clean air and clean water. Peace,

    • Yes because anyone who doesn’t want a fetus killed by an abortion hopes it drops dead as soon as it is born.

      What a weird and phony false dichotomy and red herring, a perfect deflection from facing the injustice of killing an unborn child.

      Look around please. There are organizations–CHRISTIAN organizations–which take in the woman in the crisis pregnancy situation and help her with her needs. It’s not either/or.

      I’ll believe the choicers care about “the least of these” when they include the unborn. Why don’t they?

      • Good obfuscation, but no one said you “hopes it drops dead as soon as it is born” the logical conclusion of not supporting the safety nets guarantees a hard, hungry, unsafe life for any poor child.

        Indeed, “what a weird and phony false dichotomy and red herring” to claim that is what I said. There is no more “injustice” in aborting a pregnancy than in letting children live in poverty, privation and insecurity because you pay too much in taxes.

        YOU, “Look around please”, there are far more women and children in need than the “CHRISTIAN organizations” can handle, even the government programs have waiting lists.

        I’ll believe the anti-abortion people care about “the least of these” when they include the born, struggling, insecure and hurting in their passion and politics, why don’t you?

      • Joe ACP, I don’t get your laser focus on making abortion illegal instead of making the conditions where most abortions become unnecessary. Could you clear up my ignorance on this issue? Is there any acceptable reason for a woman to have an abortion, ever?

        • It’s just my opinion, but I personally feel that rape and incest are valid reasons to terminate a pregnancy, as well as if there’s severe health complications for the mother or the fetus.

          As far as those “aid organizations” ACP is talking about… have you ever seen how those places treat women? If you’re a rape or incest victim, you’re told you shouldn’t have been so provocative with the way you acted or dressed. If you’re an abuse victim or your husband or boyfriend abandoned you, you’re told that you should have been better. It’s all about blame women. I’ve known women who’ve attempted suicide after having been in those places because of the amount of shame and guilt they put on you.

          How “christian” of them…

          • Catholic Leaders across the Nation Reaffirm Support for Planned Parenthood

            For Immediate Release
            29 March 2017

            Media Contact:
            202 986 6093

            Today, over 100 Catholic state leaders and legislators from 33 states joined together to reaffirm their support for Planned Parenthood in a two-page spread in Politico. The House Freedom Caucus and other ultraconservatives in Congress are bent on using any legislation necessary to defund the organization, including possibly holding hostage the continuing resolution to keep the federal government open.

            http://www.catholicsforchoice.org/catholic-leaders-across-the-nation-reaffirm-support-for-planned-parenthood/?platform=hootsuite

          • There is so much truth in your comment and it makes me so sad that we still haven’t come any further than this.

          • I am right there with you Caitlyn. The older I get, the more disgusted I am by men (and sadly, some very misguided women) who blame women because too many men can’t control their dicks. I’m sick of babysitting little boys who refuse to grow up and take responsibility for their own bodies. Not being male doesn’t mean I’m responsible for the reaction of every penis that I might pass while walking down the street. Not my body = not my responsibility/business when talking about adults.

            • ami, I am reminded of one of my favorite Sayings of the Desert Christians. Amma Syncletica is walking with some nuns and one of the monks approaches on the road and he takes a huge detour to avoid the women.

              Amma Syncletica bellows across the desert at him “If you were truly holy, you wouldn’t even have noticed that we are women.”

              I am also sick and tired of men’s failure to take responsibility for their own bodies and their own bodily reactions. Are they embarrassed when they have an erection out in public and to cover their embarrassment they blame women?

              As I understand the physiology, it is an involuntary reaction, rather like sneezing. But unlike sneezing where one has no choice but to sneeze, not ever erection needs to be resolved because the tumescence does alleviate.

              I consider it really rather childish of men to constantly blame women.

          • Caitlyn.

            Women who get pregnant by a rape or incest/rape are far less likely to seek an abortion than women who have an ‘unwanted’ pregnancy and wish to abort. (25% vs 38%). Of the 25% of women that aborted baby that was a result of incest/rape, 1/2 of them aborted because of ‘extreme pressure from family’. Of the women that carried baby to term, 0% said they regretted their decision. Of the women that aborted, 90% said it was not a good solution to the problem they were facing.

            • Leslie, can I tell you something? I don’t care. I really don’t. The fact that you’re so hung up on the unborn tells everyone you’re pro-birth, and don’t give a rat’s behind about children once they’re born. You’re pro-birth, not pro-life.

              By the way, here’s the real story on rape-related abortion. Your “statistics” are false.

              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8765248

            • Oh and we all know your “facts” would never be from biased opinion pieces or loaded surveys would they? Even if the vast majority of abortions are just for convenience, as you all belief that is how a woman makes such a decision, it is still her womb and her right as a free human being. Wanting the kind of control over people that allows you to decide what happens in their womb, their bedrooms and their marriage is Old Testament Law disgusting, inhuman and patently ridiculous. More so from those who tout “freedom” and “personal liberty” against most government action!

  17. “Christianity is not America First, it’s not God Bless America”

    This reminded me of several years ago. A friend became the new pastor at a church in upstate New York. It was close enough to the border that I decided to go on down and support her at her first service.

    (The border guy was amused that I was entering the US for just a few hours to go to church. I think it helped that I was wearing a huge pectoral cross.)

    After the service, I had lunch with my friend and one of the things I noted was how odd I found it to have so many flags included in the flowers on the altar without it even being a day of national celebration. She said that it had become clear to her in the very short time that she had been there that this congregation was American first and Christian second.

    Some months later, she gently suggested to the altar flowers lady that perhaps there could just be flowers this Sunday and was screamed at that she was unAmerican, which led to a brouhaha in the congregation, and she was fired. She was right. They were American first.

    • Patricia and Kathleen. A number of fundies have bought into the notion that the United States of America is the “New Israel.” The way the story goes, after the temple was razed and the Jews were dispersed from the Holy land. God became sad that He no longer had a chosen people and a chosen country on Earth. Along about 1776, God decided he needed a new Israel to replace the old one—and He chose the USA. Therefore, both the Bible and the founding American documents are HOLY DOCUMENTS. If you think this is bullsh*t, just take a close look at the American history and government textbooks used by homeschoolers. One of them actually says that God made George Washington immune to bullets during the Revolutionary War. The truth is, we have a fifth column of insanity in this country:

  18. I appreciate pastor John’s passion and respect his opinion. I believe him that he thinks his positions are more Christ Like than the Conservative’s platform.

    There are some areas where the two parties can intersect , cooperate, and take action together. (Infrastructure, Schools, Lowering Taxes, etc.) We don’t always have to focus on the divisive issues. That’s how our Govt ‘works’, and good things do get accomplished.

    Conversely, in our opinion, and our passion, Conservatives (& Christians) have their altruistic reasons for…
    –temporary vetting from terrorist countries (nat’l security)
    –rejecting socialized medicine, but lowering costs of services
    –upholding human equality for all (not micro-rights)
    –improving Military & Natl Security (citizen safety is #1 job of President)
    –building highest-safety standard Pipeline (all land is ‘sacred’ to Native Americans and they do build on it– plus the crossing is not on their Reservation, albeit very close, 1/2 mile.)
    –tackling $20 T debt, may mean cutting Arts programs (for a while.)
    –nixing superfluous EPA regulations that strangle healthy economic growth, will maintain highest quality of air, water, soil.

    Conservatives love helping the poor and needy and out give Liberals by a large margin. Conservatives also know the best way to help a poor underprivileged child is to give her Dad good employment opportunities. [Dad wants to support his own children! ] We think Progressives glorify victims, but little else. Trumps policies have done more for Dads in 3 months than Obama did in 8 years.

    • Nice post but you are merely rationalizing not telling the truth.

      I did not read anywhere that Reverend Pavlovitz “thinks his positions are more Christ Like than the Conservative’s platform” though it would not be hard to be such.

      Sure, “there are some areas where the two parties can intersect , cooperate, and take action together” if they wanted to. For eight years of Obama that has not been the case with Republicans and they seem to have lost the ability to do so.

      If you don’t want “to focus on the divisive issues”, you have a funny way of saying so.

      I am sure that in your opinion, and your passion, you do have “altruistic reasons for” your list but…

      “–temporary vetting from terrorist countries” only he chose only some countries that have sent us terrorists and some nations that have not, so that is clearly debatable and not one word has been uttered or study offered on this supposedly new and improved “extreme vetting” that will be put in place. Who is even working on that?

      “–rejecting socialized medicine, but lowering costs of services”, again, sure but that is not accurate or what was going to happen. Medicare, Medicaid, the VA are ALL actually the dreaded “socialized medicine” and other than cutting Medicaid to the poor, nothing was done to touch the actual “socialized medicine”. Nor was there any proof of lowering “costs of services” for anyone.

      “–upholding human equality for all (not micro-rights)”, GREAT, but that is not at all what has been offered or fought for from Republicans since the 1900’s and it is not in evidence now.

      “–improving Military & Natl Security” is just dishonest, we already spend more than the next 6 or 7 largest nations and we already have a military capability that is the envy of the world. And we still cannot stop lone terrorists.

      “–building highest-safety standard Pipeline”, sure, show us where that was even on the table because I do believe that “highest safety standards” went the way of “only using American steel”. Did you see the large spill this week? They are not “safe” and aquifers are precious.

      “–tackling $20 T debt” by “cutting Arts programs (for a while.)” is like fixing a broken back by putting a band-aid on your little toe.

      “–nixing superfluous EPA regulations that strangle healthy economic growth, will maintain highest quality of air, water, soil.” That is patently false and the fact that the fight is on over that piece of presidential work will prove it.

      No one doubts “Conservatives love helping the poor and needy”, the tax deduction alone spurs many, and unless you do not take that tax deduction, what exactly have you given anyone? How is that not a reimbursement? And how does that meet the need for the millions you are not giving to?

      Clearly conservatives do not “know the best way to help a poor underprivileged child is to give her Dad good employment” because far too many of those children do not have a dad present.

      I have no doubt you “think Progressives glorify victims, but little else” and that those the safety nets help do not deserve it and should not get it, but that is an argument you will never win as long as capitalism and profits reign over all.

      I do not know in what realm “Trumps policies have done more for Dads in 3 months than Obama did in 8 years” but that too is patently not true and demonstrably dishonest. Almost all of the jb creation Trump is braying about was the result of months if not years of work already in progress.

  19. John Pavlovitz. Your main post today was a slam dunk. My only regret is that I did not get to write it on my blog. However, I will pass it around to my Christian friends in various places around the country. I want two things:

    1) I want the Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals in the United States to feel like “a people under siege” by both the rest of Christian America and the rest of the American general population. They are as stiff-necked as the sin-committed Jews of the Old Testament, and I remain convinced that the only way to deal with them is to, figuratively speaking, fist-beat their darkness until it bleeds daylight.

    2) I want them to repent of the enormous, and deeply egregious masses of their Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical sins, find the authentic Jesus of the New Testament, and follow HIM, HIS WORD, AND HIS DEEDS BOTH HERE IN THIS LIFE AND IN THE NEXT. John Pavlovitz did an outstanding job of pointing out those egregious sins—but the full and true list of them is extremely longer. I remain convinced that if most Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals, and especially their leaders, ever meet Jesus face-to-face, the first words out of his mouth may very well be: “Excuse me. I don’t believe we have ever met. Who are you?”

    If that offends you, as my friend Patricia used to say, then “tough darts.” I want you to be offended enough to honestly look at yourself and see how the many wrong things you believe do not line up with the Jesus in the New Testament. Line up!!!

    • Charles, I give you the same response I gave to John P today: AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN AMEN

  20. Straw man maker extraordinaire is right. Congrats, John, you’ve managed to misapply all things Christianity to a political party you’re hell-bent on vilifying. Thanks for your comprehensive yet ineffectual carpet bombing. Again, wrong enemy, John.

    • Pretty sure anyone who is driving people away from God, making false prophesy and pretending a faith they do not live is the enemy. I see to remember reading about how we are not to do any of that.

        • Yes, PEOPLE do, but only one party has claimed and proclaimed its “Christian” guidance and bona fides as being led by Christian dogma.

          • Democrats claimed to be a Christian party and led by Christian dogma while supporting slavery. Throughout our history, people in both parties claimed Christianity to support their positions. Can’t we agree this is true?

            • May God forgive you for your lies.

              The Democrat do not claim to be a Christian party. That would be quite the shock to the Muslim and Buddhist Democrats.

              While some Democrats tell us they are Christians, they do not say that they are the only party a Christian must belong to.

              Whereas the Republicans say if you are a Christian, then you must be a Republican because we are the political party of Christians.

              That’s the difference.

            • That is BS of the highest order and those are still not the Democratic Party of today. The only party riding Jesus is Republican. You know it, I know it. They are despicable for it too.

              • Back in the 1970s, the GOP was the only party willing to welcome disaffected Southern racists who had once been Democrats. To get votes, the Republicans were more than happy to welcome them in and give a tip of the hat to the notion that God hates negroes just as much as they do.

            • Distracting and misleading. Both the Democrat party of slavery nor the GOP Party of Lincoln have not existed for over 100 years. The last major changes to the parties were started in the 1970s and 1980s to the form they are today.

        • No one in the Democratic Party has ever said that if you are a Christian then the only party you can belong to is the Republican Party.

          That is how the GOP have presented themselves since the 1970s sometime. Study history, please, become informed.

    • Citizen Kane, all you do is demonstrate an inability to read and lack of understanding of history.

      John doesn’t misapply anything. What he is addressing is what the Republicans have been claiming for and about themselves since the 1970s sometime.

      I guess you don’t like your reflection in the mirror that John holds in front of you. There is a simple solution, repent, and leave the GOP.

  21. The GOP is not pro-life; they’re only pro birth. They tend to see life as a zero-sum game. After you’re born, they will do everything they can to make sure you don’t threaten their share of the economic pie–which includes your share, which they’re not about to give up. You lost, even though you’ve just been born. Sucks to be you.

    • Actually the GOP is neither Pro-life nor Pro-Birth. The true power brokers in the party have nothing against abortion at all. However, they do have a few designated party member voices who pretend like the party is against abortion to “fake out” the Religious Right rhubarbs and easily deceivable fundie pew sitters to make them think the GOP is against abortion. They even put it in their party platform as window dressing—but that is all it is—window dressing.

      Roe vs. Wade was handed down in 1973, while a Republican (Richard Nixon) was President. Across the ensuing 42 years up to the present, the GOP has held the White House for 23 years and the Congress has often been Republican too. Abortion has not gone away, and it is not ever going to go away. It is simply an issue GOP candidates delight in using to trick stupid people into voting for them—and as long as the trick is working—no major action on abortion will ever occur. When this trick wears out, both major political parties will publicly declare their support for abortion. Publicly legal fetus sucking is happening now in the United States. It will be happening 50 years from now. It will be happening 500 years from now. it will be happening 1000 years from now. Somewhere in between all those years, people will finally discover that use of contraceptives can prevent almost all abortions, and far fewer abortions will take place. Given impending environmental doom from depleted resources and unsustainably high populations, the Roman Catholic Church will reverse its stand against contraception—hopefully in time to help save spaceship Earth.

      • Charles, I will agree with you that abortion is never going away–besides its medical functions, it’s too good a fund raiser to keep money from Fundamentalists rolling into religious and GOP political coffers. And I hope, with you, that those who actually oppose abortion will recognize that distribution and use of effective contraceptives will substantially reduce the need for abortions–but it hasn’t dawned on them yet.

        Where we disagree is whether the GOP is or is not “pro-life.” As you say, they have certain prominent members who loudly tout their concern for fetuses and opposition to abortion. The GOP does not oppose them. There was an anti-abortion plank in their political platform. Such maneuvers may be a cynical play for the votes of the rubes who believe them; but if it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s hard to believe that it’s really something different.

  22. General question.

    I was in another city this past weekend. I was going into a busy convenience store and a man was sitting on the curb outside. The man asked me for money, said he was hungry. I gave him $5. I sat down on the curb and asked him how he managed to end up on the street. After a few minutes talking I went on my way.

    Tell me… Which was more or less or neither in the image of Christ? That I gave the man money to meet his need? Or that I spent some time listening to him? Or I didn’t do more to help the him?

    • Well, the right-wingers would note that you did not “teach him to fish” so I suppose you failed in their Christian duty. IMO, you did the best you could with the situation given if all you had to offer was $5 and a few minutes of your time.

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