The Monster

We all make mistakes.

Every one of us can recall times when our judgment was temporarily clouded; when our emotions betrayed us and in a moment of weakness or fear or misplaced anger, we chose horribly and later found ourselves embarrassed and ashamed to realize what we’d done. Such regret is universal—as is the desire to escape culpability when that regret rises up.

But there comes a time when we run out of excuses, when we can no longer plead ignorance or impulsiveness or having been duped, when we have to own our poor decisions and declare our error—times when to not do so would be to willingly repeat the transgression or to prove ourselves more committed to perpetuating a lie than admitting the ugly truth we see in the mirror. There is always a morning of accountability that calls us to face what we’d done the night before. It is here now.

In November there might have been people who could have explained away their support of Donald Trump as a statement of discontent with politics as usual in America, a desire to shake up the bureaucratic status quo, some FoxNews-induced belief that Hillary Clinton was somehow actually the corrupt one. But November may as well have been a lifetime ago. There is now a monstrous body of work to evaluate and it demands to be seen in the raking light of honest, sober objectivity. 

To still be supporting this man in these days with all that we have seen, is to declare war on decency, on equality, on any semblance of forthrightness or fair play. It is to double down on the bigotry which was dismissed as hyperbole during his campaign and which has been ratified hundredfold since taking office. To witness his absolute disregard for the Constitution, his violent allergic reaction to facts—and not condemn it all becomes an indictment of one’s own heart. It becomes an act of aggression against humanity.

The are truths that are self-evident in the light of these days that may have been obscured in the campaign:

A brilliant healthcare alternative is not coming.
Coal jobs are not coming back.
Taxes for the middle class are not coming down.
Mexico is not paying for the wall.
Muslims are being persecuted.
Protection for those with special needs are evaporating.
The poor are getting thrown to the lions.

Public schools are being thrown under the bus.
Crumbling bridges and highways are being left to deteriorate.
The elderly are being left to fend for themselves.
The environment is being willfully set on fire.
The whole system is being intentionally blown-up.
The rule of Law in our Government is being trod upon.

Aside from the highest percentage of the wealthiest in this nation—no one is “winning.” This is a nonpartisan tragedy.

Though it’s still an incredible stretch, I can understand a vote for Donald Trump back in the Fall. I can make a bit of sense of such irresponsibility or recklessness as an isolated event brought on by a well-crafted campaign of fear. We all do impulsive things when we are terrified, when it’s dark and we’re convinced there’s a monster under the bed. But eventually the light comes on and we have reality at our disposal and we get to choose to see things as they are. I can’t fathom those presently determined to stay in the dark, to pretend they’re not seeing what they’re seeing—when what they’re seeing is a danger to them too.

It’s morning here in America, friend. The brilliant light of day is illuminating every dark corner and exposing every unsavory decision from the night before. Regardless of your vote in November, there are millions of people sharing this nation with you today who don’t care to hold the past against you or to nurture a grudge that keeps you shamed.

We just desperately hope you’ll be part of the way forward with the rest of us who see that the monster isn’t under the bed—it isn’t Muslim or gay or Democrat.

The real monster isn’t even one man with a great capacity for evil and an unprecedented power to wield it.

The real monster is hatred and the silence that feeds it.

And the monster must be stopped.

609 thoughts on “The Monster

      • Two things explain it. Cognitive Dissonance, which is an extraordinarily difficult thing to admit, let alone change, and the Dunning-Kruger effect.

        • Seems problem is Dunning-Kruger moved into the Oval Office. One solution is for Cognitive Dissonance to grow rapidly in the country’s population to point it must find resolution, perhaps moving Dunning-Kruger back to Trump Tower. Thanks for the handles.

    • He’s appointed a pro-life Supreme Court Justice.

      What’s to “defend”?

      I’m thrilled with our new president.

      (No, I don’t defend his past sins or that he said some naughty things 10 years ago).

      • Joe Catholic:

        You and your one-issue cronies are the poison that will eventually kill this country. And there are plenty of us who will remember what you’ve done.

        • That “one issue” is very important since millions of innocent lives are at stake, but there are many other issues as well, such as a fair and efficient health care system, and many other economic issues. I still would have voted for Trump had this human rights issue not been on the table.

          • Do you think people would care if guns were used to kill the unborn rather than having their arms and legs removed?

            You couldn’t execute someone on death row like this yet we do it to the innocent. Go figure.

            • One can not be pro-life if you are not pro-child. Everything this individual has done, not only kills, but he kills all hope, and will kill freedom. For those individuals who do not understand life and death. Last year 800 women died in childbirth in America. I know, I am an RN, advance practice. Women with cancer, addison disease, kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease and they get pregnant, these wives of men, because birthcontrol pills are only 98.5 % effective, and then there is rape by men. Perhaps some men need to think again, even you.

            • ridiculous. most abortions occur in the few weeks after conception- there are no arms or legs or organs. I am an MD and I am not religious so I don’t believe that collections of cells are people. I don’t believe that acorns are oak trees. But even if you do , say that. say I think these things have souls. not that they have functioning nervous systems . Thats just absurd. You are entitled to the view that the microscopic early fetal cell collections have souls. But we don’t believe that. So you don’t get to tell us what to do with our bodies, or our fetuses. Hold onto yours – and be sure to support all the other people who hold onto theirs who can’t support them, or educate them or give them what they need when they become actual people. But you don’t get to tell the rest of us to do that.

              • So well thought out and spoken. The truth in the world today: it takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to raise a successful and well child. Many people to not have enough to even support themselves. Why would or should someone else be able to make that decision for them?

            • BS No one removes arms and legs anymore. That went out when abortion was made legal. Get your facts straight or don’t post.

          • Joe Catholic: then you are an idiot along with all the other mindless drones who sold out this country to Trump, Wall Street, and the Russians.

              • “I heard today that Trump is also a KJB agent.

                Now I’m scared too…”

                Spare me the sarcasm. You are far too self-righteous to feel fear.

                Besides no one is saying he’s a KGB agent, but he is certainly fraternizing with the type.

              • Joe Catholic, I can put that rumor to rest, he is not smart enough and he is not trainable so he is merely their stooge.

              • ?KJB. Thought for a minute you were making a clever allusion to Russian spies. Really only those in the know realize it is KGB. You pulled a fast one on us. We will continue to hang on your every word. Can’t find your fund of knowledge just anywhere.

                • Anonymous, you give him far more credit than deserved, even he would not blaspheme by calling Trump a King James Bible agent. Or maybe he says Two Corinthians too, who knows?

            • Keep supporting those baby killers! Perhaps you can explain to God why this country should not be judged as harsh as Sodom and Gomorrah for all the innocent deaths that “your people” have endorsed and enabled.

              • We will be a lot better able to explain our position and solutions than you will Arthur. You might want to think about that for a bit. I was not “congratulating” myself, I was merely pointing out all the ways you and the Christian Right hypocrites have not helped the problem. I could be wrong, but I think God notices those things in addition to your finger pointing.

              • Oh for CHRIST’S SWEET SAKE will you PLEASE knock it off with catchphrases like “baby killers?”

                You CLEARLY have no idea what you’re talking about and I don’t want to keep getting these ridiculous messages from the likes of you.

                • Well “you’re people” spit on people like my uncles and used the same term towards them. How ironic that it’s the liberals now that are killing the babies.

                  I guess you are so much smarter than I am. Please educate me.

                  • “Well ‘you’re people’ spit on people like my uncles and used the same term towards them. How ironic that it’s the liberals now that are killing the babies.”

                    First of all, you illiterate boob, it is “your people,” NOT “you’re people” (“you’re” is a contraction of “you are”)

                    As to the rest of that post I have NO idea what you are talking about; what have your uncles to do with this topic?

                    • Allow me to educate you. You don’t want me to call you people “baby killers” and I brought up my uncles, who were Vietnam Vets, and were spit on and called “baby killers” by a bunch of cowardly draft dodging, drug taking liberals.

                      Fast forward to the modern day where it’s the liberals that are the ones who support the murder of babies (i.e. abortion).

                    • “Allow me to educate you. You don’t want me to call you people “baby killers” and I brought up my uncles, who were Vietnam Vets…”

                      Well first of all, shit-for-brains, you neglected to state that your uncles were Vietnam vets.

                      “…were spit on and called ‘baby killers’ by a bunch of cowardly draft dodging, drug taking liberals.”

                      That assumes a LOT that does not necessarily apply. People who attended university received draft deferrals; blame that one on the Federal government, not the “cowards.”

                    • And while we are on the subject, your precious Donald Trump is one of those very people who received draft deferrals for attending college.

                    • Given that you are “so smart” I thought you might have understood they were vets. My apologies for overestimating your intelligence as well as your manners due to your use of foul language.

                      Be well and enjoy the nice weather 👍

                    • “Given that you are “so smart” I thought you might have understood they were vets. My apologies for overestimating your intelligence as well as your manners due to your use of foul language.”

                      How could I POSSIBLY have *understood* something that you did not even mention in the first place?

                      And if it is foul language you want, I shall give you a feast. Shove it up your ass and then put your head up there as well.

                    • My precious Donald Trump? Whoever said I supported him? I’m registered independent and didn’t vote.

                    • You are a foul mouthed pathetic human being. You must be friends with that other loser, Charles.

                      Have fun being a moronic jerk and a poor excuse for a human being.

                  • Well Arthur, you do need some education. Let’s start with, Romans 12:17 “Do not repay anyone evil for evil” or as we know it, “two wrongs do not make a right”.

                    And also on your so-called my people spit on people like your uncles: “There is nothing in the historical record — news or police reports, for example — suggesting they really happened. In fact, the Veterans Administration commissioned a Harris Poll in 1971 that found 94% of Vietnam veterans reporting friendly homecomings from their age-group peers who had not served in the military. Moreover, the historical record is rich with the details of solidarity and mutuality between the anti-war movement and Vietnam veterans. The real truth, in other words, is that anti-war activists reached out to Vietnam veterans and veterans joined the movement in large numbers.”

                    “Stories of spat-upon Vietnam veterans are bogus. Born out of accusations made by the Nixon administration, they were enlivened in popular culture (recall Rambo saying he was spat on by those maggots at the airport) and enhanced in the imaginations of Vietnam-generation men — some veterans, some not. The stories besmirch the reputation of the anti-war movement and help construct an alibi for why we lost the war: had it not been for the betrayal by liberals in Washington and radicals in the street, we could have defeated the Vietnamese. The stories also erase from public memory the image, discomforting to some Americans, of Vietnam veterans who helped end the carnage they had been part of.”
                    ~Jerry Lembcke
                    author of “The Spitting Image: Myth, Memory, and the Legacy of Vietnam”

                    • “My precious Donald Trump? Whoever said I supported him? I’m registered independent and didn’t vote.”

                      If you didn’t vote you don’t get to bitch about it. You are a useless drain on the nation if you fail to take part in this most essential process.

                    • Thank you Sandi, my brothers both served in Vietnam, they did not take a deferrment although they could have, unlike all the warmongers in the Bush Admin and the current Pres. and they came home and marched against the war. My bros were never spit on even though they lived in the evil East so thanks for them. Peace

                    • Kathleen, our nation has plenty of real horror stories in it, there is no need for anyone to perpetuate myths like that one. I am sure some of the gung-ho types met some resistance but many Veterans did join the Anti-War movement due to what they saw and lived through and the actions of the war-mongers who did not seem to care. And still don’t. They talk a big game on the veterans, and workers, but the tale of the tape will still play out.

                    • Thank you Sandy Sanders. I was in solidarity marching side-by-side with my brothers returning from Vietnam. When my own brother returned from Vietnam disabled, he was welcomed by the counter culture, not the VFW,

                    • Oh, Arthur Curry get off your soapbox. There are plenty of conservative women out there who have had abortions. Get educated.

                    • As a Vietnam veteran who was spit upon and called a baby killer in an airport in Hawaii on my way to Vietnam (hadn’t even been there yet), and when I came home was treated with disrespect when I entered a veteran’s post, I guess I’m part of the 6% myth you dismiss.

                    • Phil, whatever you are a part of, the truth is still the truth for those who lived it. Not all tell the same story.

                      “Though no definitive proof can be produced to absolve activists, or to confirm their innocence, one can examine existing records and determine that, with the lack of positive proof and in the face of other events, it is unlikely any spitting occurred.”
                      http://www.vvaw.org/veteran/article/?id=215

                    • “Stories of spat-upon Vietnam veterans are bogus. Born out of accusations made by the Nixon administration, they were enlivened in popular culture (recall Rambo saying he was spat on by those maggots at the airport) and enhanced in the imaginations of Vietnam-generation men — some veterans, some not. The stories besmirch the reputation of the anti-war movement and help construct an alibi for why we lost the war: had it not been for the betrayal by liberals in Washington and radicals in the street, we could have defeated the Vietnamese. The stories also erase from public memory the image, discomforting to some Americans, of Vietnam veterans who helped end the carnage they had been part of.”
                      http://www.vvaw.org/veteran/article/?id=350

                  • and yet Kat there are people that disagree with your statement.

                    But if you want to persist then you agree that depriving people of adequate food, shelter and health care is killing that person? You agree that corporate pollution and greed harms and at times kills people right?

                    You agree that removing the requirements that health insurance covers pregnancy related health care harms and kills right?

                    You agree that defunding research into the cure for cancer or other diseases is anti life right?

                    You want to use the term “baby killers” Kat?

                    Then you agree that since your side has no problem with killing via corporate greed and pollution, mass proliferation of guns, lack of adequate food shelter and health care that your side are…well…just life killers, right?

                    oh sorry, did you think you care about life if you want to stop abortion but don’t give a rats ass about that life after its born or if it dies through means other than abortion? Sorry, no, that isn’t the definition of “life.” Or more specifically that isn’t the only way life dies and if you’re not willing to lift a finger or to have government do something to stop such death in all cases you are not pro life.

                    • blah blah blah

                      Same old irrational defense of killing life in the womb. Look, others are dying over there, so we can kill 2,000 babies today over here.

                    • Spot on James! You frame their utter hypocrisy and demented insistence on their cause perfectly!

                    • Amen James…
                      The Republicans play the “baby killers” all the way to the bank, and the people keep falling for it.

                      These people claim pro-life, as they refuse any help to “any” life once it leaves the birth canal.

                  • Even if that is what you believe, the operative word in your rebuke is “you”. If that “you” does not abort a baby, then that “you” is not killing that baby. Supporting a woman’s right to choose that option is not aborting a baby or killing that baby anymore than supporting the death penalty is killing someone, or supporting a war means you want people to die, or supporting the Girl Scouts means you want people to be fat. Every one knows the truth concerning this issue.

                    • WOW! I have been reading a number of these posts and am siting here wondering how this discussion zeroed in on abortion and right to life? There are MANY other things that are just as if not more than important that tRump is doing that should concern EVERY American. There will never be one answer to the abortion issue as people are not willing to take an honest look at all sides. Even then there will NOT be a concensus of agreement. Can we PLEASE change the subject? Let’s take a look at the other things being changed that affect ALL living souls here in the USA . The climate – health concerns – funding for the poor and weak. Yes people – you can’t be for “right to life” issues if you are going to walk out of the maternity ward the minute the child is born.

              • This so-called pro-life nonsense has to stop. You are no more prolife than “the executioner” himself. You’re kidding no one with that farce. If you don’t want to help the poor, you aren’t pro-life. If you’re ok with cutting Meals-on-Wheels, you’re not pro-life. If you’re ok with not covering pre-existing conditions, you’re not pro-life. I could go on but I know I’ve already wasted too much time on you.

                • Thank you for that. You are 100% + correct. I have yet to find a republican that is real pro-life. If they were they would being helping those in need and not just themselves. I know more non-christians who are moral and giving than any republican I’ve ever had the unfortunate experience of meeting or knowing.

              • Arthur Curry, according to your own bible, the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was that its citizens were “arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned. They did not help the poor and needy.”
                Does that sound familiar? If God decides to “destroy” America, it will be because of people like Trump.

                • What bible are you reading? I suggest you pick up a bible and really read it! Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed because of their wickedness. All this justification for saying abortion is not wrong does not make it right. Do you really believe that our Lord, Jesus Christ, would smile and give his blessing on every aborted child because it was inconvenient for the mother to have the child? The strategy of shifting blame with the argument that the poor peoples needs are not met is a lofty excuse.

                  • Kat, is this “Biblical” enough for you? Ezekiel 16:48-50

                    48 As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, your sister Sodom and her daughters never did what you and your daughters have done.

                    49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

                  • And Kat, also according to the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, he killed not just the sinful men and women, he killed all the innocent children, infants, newborns, in the cities.

                    The very Christian strategy of transferring punishment from guilty people onto innocent people, or as we like to call it “scapegoating”, is repugnant too. So do not insist God is overly concerned with the innocent or the unborn, the Bible is not always helpful.

                    • Kat, what is numbers 5:11-31 in the Bible describing?

                      Oh..also…you do realize the United States isn’t a theocracy right?

                    • Interesting logic. God as the creator of all things and who holds each of us in existence by an act of his will, including our soul after we die, has every prerogative to do with his creation as he sees fit. God can never be unjust because he IS Justice.

                      Nothing you cited excuses humans from killing each other, especially innocent life in the womb.

                    • Congrats, cj, you turned God into a monster.

                      As for abortion, it would be nice if those that oppose it take responsibility for the consequences of their position and pay The price for it.

                      Just like it would be nice if they actually showed concern for life…all of it instead of solely opposing abortion

                    • Which is why captain obvious, I did not say God was/is “unjust”. And why I did not say anything “excuses humans from killing each other”. You love to construct false narratives to knock them down…what do they call that again?

                      My point was and my point remains that the “value” of every life is not decided by us. Women lose pregnancies they want desperately to keep, some cannot even get pregnant, some do not want the pregnancy they get. But through it all, God is with them and he lovingly welcomes the miscarried or aborted fetus into his protection. The poem you placed the other day even affirmed that.

                  • So, you are assuming all women have abortion because they don’t want the child. That is real interesting, so now please explain why there are so many not wanted children alive in America?

                    • WOW! I have been reading a number of these posts and am siting here wondering how this discussion zeroed in on abortion and right to life? There are MANY other things that are just as if not more than important that tRump is doing that should concern EVERY American. There will never be one answer to the abortion issue as people are not willing to take an honest look at all sides. Even then there will NOT be a concensus of agreement. Can we PLEASE change the subject? Let’s take a look at the other things being changed that affect ALL living souls here in the USA . The climate – health concerns – funding for the poor and weak. Yes people – you can’t be for “right to life” issues if you are going to walk out of the maternity ward the minute the child is born.

                    • You are right, of course, but no matter what the original subject may be, there are some one-issue people who aren’t willing to acknowledge that the world has any problems others than abortion.

                  • What does this have to do with the issues in this country today, and how does a debate on abortion help. Typical trump supporter trying to distract everyone

              • It isn’t my place to explain things to God. I am not a right-wing fanatic, so I don’t feel worthy to instruct Him. I would like to ask Him if he is okay with the U. S. waging war on innocent people, if He approves of anti-Muslim hate speech, if He thinks we should punish gay people for being who they were born, if it is okay with Him for the very young and the very old to suffer because they are not productive (productive being defined as making money), how He feels about corrupt people who represent themselves as leaders. Finally, I would humbly ask Him what He wants me to do about the unholy mess this country is in because I just don’t know.

                • Joyce, those have been my prayers for years. Given my disability, handicap, health, and poverty, this is what God has led me too and I invite you to join me.

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

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

              • OK, here I go again. I’ll keep saying this with my last breath: When you men are the ones who can get pregnant and give birth, then and THEN ONLY will you have any standing in this debate. You’re not the ones who get stuck with the lease, so STFU about abortion.

                • How do you feel about women who oppose the injustice of abortion and stand in defense of the unborn? Do they get a say? Will you listen to them?

                  • They can decide for their womb, just like we can. You are the odd person out and always will be. The only one claiming there should be only one choice and voting accordingly is folks like you. That some of those folks happen to be women, only makes it more abhorrent not less.

                    • Thank you for answering for Susan, but I would still like to hear what she says since she directed a post towards me and since I followed up with her. She has implied men have no say in the matter of protecting innocent life in the womb, which also seems to imply that SHE THINKS women do.

                    • Ah gee Joe Catholic (this week), did I interrupt your attempt at a conversation? Isn’t that just annoying and rude? You really are not credible on any level at all.

                  • Joe. Stop. Just stop. Everyone here is so freaking sick of hearing about dead freaking babies that we could collectively scream. If you can’t stay on topic, and refuse to talk about anything else, then do everyone a favor and wait until John actually makes a post about abortion. Then, by all means, comment. Until then, stop trying to steer every single conversation to serve your own purpose. It isn’t just annoying, it’s rude, and it shows what a self-centered person you are.

                    • The hypocrite hiding under the cowardly alias of Joe Catholic, at least this week, had the unmitigated gall to object to someone responding to something JC addressed to another person when he himself has repeatedly inserted himself into conversations.

                      You have no right to object to someone getting in your face when you do that in response to every single thing someone posts here and you do it far less politely than anyone.

                  • Joe Catholic, you have never answered my question about your absolute laser focus on making abortion illegal, not alleviating the demand for abortion by birth control and economic support of both the mother and the baby, not considering the health and welfare of the mother in the decision, ignoring her right for bodily integrity, etc.

                    I cannot conclude anything else but this is your obsession with overturning Roe vs Wade and ignoring everything else. I admire your steadfastness but I believe other factors must always be considered since life is far more bigger, messy, and ambiguous than our religious doctrines will ever be.

                    • I think everybody already knows about birth control, not that I can support it myself and neither can I support fornication.

                      Half the time there is an abortion the woman was using contraception that month.

                      Why do you want there to be less abortions? Because you think they kill babies?

                    • Joe Catholic made this up “Half the time there is an abortion the woman was using contraception that month.”

                      Challenge him to prove that with actual evidence and real facts and not from his usual fake news sources

                    • I know it so I don’t go toe-to-toe with him on abortion. I will engage him on a different subject. My statement was to challenge him to state his obsession with pregnant women’s choice to carry the child or terminate the pregnancy and since he has not I will not engage him any further on that subject.

                    • Very misleading, Joe. Here’s the truth.

                      “54% of women having abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Among those women, 76% of pill users and 49% of condom users report having used their method inconsistently, while 13% of pill users and 14% of condom users report correct use. There is no contraceptive method that can prevent pregnancy 100% of the time.”

                      Next time, tell the whole story, not just what fits your narrative.

                      http://www.womenscenter.com/abortion_stats.html

                    • That’s gorgeous, Gloriamarie! Thank you for sharing it! How are you feeling today? I’ve been worried. <3

                    • Thank you for asking, Caitlyn Anne. I feel awful.

                      Thank you all for your prayers. I have no family except 92 yr old mom who is quite distraught. Please pray for her and if I die, that someone would care for her as she will be all alone with a touch of dementia. Very worried about her

                    • Hang in there, okay? Just know that we’re worried about you, and hoping and praying you (and your mom) will be okay. <3 Get some rest.

                  • Again Joe where is your concern for the injustice of poverty, of homelessness, of lack of adequate food and health care?

                    How come you don’t want government to do something about that?

                    When will you stand in defense of the already born?

                    Because you can’t really say you want to defend the unborn if you’re fine with it dying the second it’s born. Nor are you defending the unborn if you’re fine with it dying before its born because the mother doesn’t have adequate food, shelter and health care or if the unborn baby is poisoned via corporate pollution and greed.

                    You want to claim to be standing in defense of life? Then stand in defense of all life, Joe.

                    Until then you don’t give a rats ass about life…you’re just simply seeking to control women via their vaginas.

                  • Do you think abortions just cease if they are illegal? You need to revisit the back alley butcher days, my friend. You know, where infection, hemorrhaging and death were quite common. Now there is counseling, options are presented and skilled doctors. You are the hypocrite and quite delusional.

              • Arthur Curry
                I’m still awaiting Gods judgement of America for the slave trade, Germany for Hitler, and countless other atrocities committed on a daily basis all over the world. Needless to say I’m not holding my breath.

              • Believing in a fairy tale of any god or goddess is proven to be a joke. We are here, live, die, and are gone. No afterlife, no spirit in heaven. Children believe in the fairy giving money for their old tooth. What is bad is that we have over 7,000,000,000 people here on earth. Half living in poverty. Regulation of the growth of people coming into existence makes sense. We are the equivalent fungus growing on our huge, metaphorical, orange. Until we kill humans from existence because of our lack of long term fore thought.

                • I doubt we will have continuous growth of population and here is why. Our population growth was very slow due to the horrific death rate of children. Before industrialisation the average woman would have about 5 children only to have 3 die before they had children themselves. We were not living in balance, our children were dying in balance. Then the Industrial Revolution happened and more children were living so the population exploded. As the population stopped being overwhelmingly farming and became factory workers then the extra children were not an asset, they are another mouth to feed, a liability. As the 20th Century revolutionised medicine, birth control, and production the fertility rate dropped. Right now the fertility rate per woman is 2.3 worldwide from 3.39 twenty years ago and it looks like it is in a downward trend. The US has a fertility rate under 2.0, which is the replacement point. Due to demographics it looks like the world population will eventually stabilise at some where between 10 to 13 billion if the current trends continue so we should not see a doubling of the world population from current levels.

              • you should probably keep your sky magic to yourself and let the rational, sane people run the government. Don’t you have some kool-aid to get to?

              • Keep believing your dogma…I do believe… but at the moment I belief the love for ALL people out weigh the fetuses that some choose not to have or can not have due to health risks, shame (from rape), or incest (from rape)… my goodness how can you turn a blind eyes to the children losing health care. I guess their lives do not matter to those of you that think only of the young fetus in a woman womb (her womb)… think about the children that will have to be born from no abortion to those that have serious issues where they beat their babies and children… pouring hot sauce in their eyes for goodness sake… what about them?
                I sadly was never lucky enough to have children, so I am not a big fan of abortion especially used as birth control… but even I can see that all you DJ fans because of this issue alone are cracked in your beliefs.

            • And when you can no longer argue you resort to name calling. But yet you crucify trump for name calling. You can manipulate and argue any Trump behavior, but face it, he is a great President. If you admit that you think you think it harms all your beliefs. I have no regret for voting Trump! He is doing an awesome job!

              • Can you be more specific? Exactly what is trump doing that is so wonderful? Is it his constant lying you admire? Perhaps it is his childish tantrums. Maybe it is the way he belittles people or savagely attacks anyone who dares disagree with him. Or could it be the way he summarily fires those who run afoul of him by doing their job? Is it his enormous ego and his ultra thin skin? Just wondering.

          • It has recently been reported that the catholic popular vote did not go to Trump. I don’t think your values and political stances are representative of the majority of Roman Catholics. So it offends me that you call yourself Joe Catholic. Could you kindly change your twitter account name to something else. How about “alt right Catholic”?

            • Joe, you say those other issues are important..but yet you support a party that has absolutely no interest in solving those other issues. You support a party that is far too interested in wars no matter the cost, giving fellatio to the rich at all costs and harming the life you claim to be oh so concerned about in order to pay for those things.

              You are not pro life. you are pro birth. You don’t give a rats ass about life if it dies another way. Certainly not enough to change your political positions. Certainly not enough to demand that your party do something about it. And certainly not enough for you to offer to help pay to take care of all those unborn lives you want born.

              If that one unborn child you save dies from lack of health care that you and your party took away, Joe, that child is still as dead as if you aborted it yourself. If that child dies from lack of food because your party cut the food stamps it was dependent on you don’t care. Again that child is still as dead as if you aborted it yourself.

              And yet you don’t care.

              So you can claim to be prolife all you want…but until you apply that claim to all your political beliefs..it’s mere sophistry..its mere hypocrisy.

              And as for human rights, Joe, abortion isn’t the only subject that falls under that heading.

              So does health care, food, shelter, income, etc.

              All the things that your precious Trump and the GOP are trying to take away.

              So let us know when you want to actually be pro life instead of just pretending it.

          • Trump and the Republicans are dead set against any “fair and efficient health care system” and you apparently don’t give a damn how many pregnant women lose prenatel care. Newborns can just die for all you care.

            • Right! Just make sure they stay in the womb long enough to be born, then they can go to hell for all most of the anti-choice group care.

          • And what will happen to those children after they are born? Great healthcare, decent housing, drug free parents, ability to go to great public schools? Look beyond your own nose, Joe Catholic. You are supporting a man that doesn’t give a rat’s ass about you, your quality of life, or the unborn child. Would you be willing to adopt the child? If no, than you are more hypocritical than our so-called POTUS. If so, than no doubt your church members will pick up the slack.

            • And I’m sure Joe will find a way to rationalize his continued support of Trump despite Trump’s appointing Julie Kirchner, member of the hate group/ white supremacist group FAIR, to a government position.

              Some of FAIR’s ideas are that that nonwhites should be sterilized and not allowed to breed. FAIR’s founder was John Tanton, an avowed white supremacist and eugenicist. The group has also advocated forced abortion, infanticide and government enforced selective breeding.

              Oh yes..quite pro life of them. But then Joe has already proven that he doesn’t really give a damn about life. If a baby dies the second after its born Joe doesn’t want to lift a damn finger to save it.

          • What you are failing to admit is that this administration is NOT pro life just pro birth. When basic help for the poor and handicapped is taken off the table they will lead a miserable existence after birth. Decency and morals are gone is is truthfull was and transparency. Anyone who still supports this is a selfish narrow minded jerk

          • Life continues beyond the moment of birth. Healthcare, clean air and water, education and all those things which allow a person to enjoy quality of life are also important.

          • I agree with you on the sanctity of life. That’s why I can say with as much certainty as possible in such a situation that you will go to hell for neglecting, abusing and wilfully letting the living die preventable deaths. That’s what your ongoing support for Trump amounts to. You only want to save unborn lives so you can inflict pain and cruelty on them. Read Matthew 25:44-46. If you don’t live that, you’re just another tool of Satan proclaiming to follow in the footsteps of Christ so your can ca use more misery and suffering.

          • Such blindness is hard to fathom. Are you another one who wants to defend the unborn but has no concerns for those already born who need help? It sure sounds like it.

          • Joe Catholic – yet another pathetic bagger boy who after a lifetime of rejection by women because he’s a no-game lame, exacts his anti-women “revenge” by couching his insecurity in “religion”. But please, bring out your idiotic biblical defense, you know, the one that displays no knowledge of Hebrew, Greek, or Aramaic but is chalk full of twisted English editing and translation used to control rubes like you BOY

          • And lo, over the hill comes the new, wonderful healthcare!!! Oops, my bad…. Not so much. His own party can’t come together.
            There are no amazing strides forward. The world is laughing. The president fires people who might find evidence against him. But go ahead and glorify him. We’ll all go down together and you’ll be wondering what the hell happened. The ones who know what he is won’t be surprised.

          • So, we are going to try stopping the legal abortions. How many will be killed because they have to search out illegal abortions. Or who will defend the child you have saved from an abusive parent because he was unwanted. Or who will feed and clothe that unwanted child. We’ll save them from the abortionist and send them off to a country that feels no need to give them free health care or food stamps because someone who didn’t want them is lazy and undeserving.
            I’m against abortion. I’m also against pro-lifers who think their way is the only way. If you are truly pro-life, get out and fight for those who are unable to work because they are taking care of children they were forced to have. Those people who rely on assistance for food and healthcare.
            Oh wait. Your choice for president says they are scum and undeserving. What a surprise.

          • Yeah sure, we need more babies without health care, non existent education, filthy air and water and no promise for a future since the GOP ignores kids after they are born. You are the problem, and your dismal mansplain is not only ludicrous but will never stop women from taking care of THEIR bodies, chump. You are the definition of Deplorable.

          • As you know by now, there is no fair and efficient healthcare system other than Obamacare, and it looks like the two parties may come to an understanding on how to fix it — not repeal and replace.

        • I so agree with you. And I am one who will remember what they did to this world making a mess that even my grandchildren may not be able to fix. Peace.

        • Just wait until the Protection Policys take place. YOU reep the reward, it will protect you from the most dangerous states in the union, muslum terror states , made into safe havens.
          Muslums have one agenda , world domination thru what ever it takes, no holds barred, They dont care about life , They only care about force, facism, death to all who dont obey them.

          • Christopher, your ignorance cup overflows. But on the bright side, you prove why right-wingers are so objectionable.

            • Chris, when did you **** your pants and surrender to ISIL? Because you are doing exactly what they want. They dearly want it to be a “war between the West and Islam” and there you sit..helping them with that goal.

              When did you turn traitor to the ideals of the United States?

              • Oh anon and your little friend Joe there can whine about minorities all you want but the fact remains is that you and your fellow fascists and you right wing theocrats..are a minority.

                Your precious trump, child, “won” with less than 20% of the country voting for him.

                You and yours are a dying breed, the country, despite whatever you try, is moving beyond you and yours. Trump, child, is merely the last gasp of a dying group of morally depraved bastards that you and yours are part of.

                So crow all you want, children, but in the end you will still lose.

                And its real easy for you to sit there and be an utter asshole, Anon, when you don’t even have the balls to put a name to your bullshit.

          • HA, whether you like it or not, little man, in another 100 years Muslims will be the majority in the world. And there is not one thing you can do about it. Go chew on that. Such deplorably idiotic spew.

        • That’s what you think snowflake. Thankfully our country is back on track. Democrats need to stop obstructing everything and maybe start thinking about helping the American people versus themselves.

          • “Snowflake” is a Nazi term used to describe the falling ashes of the incinerated Jews at the concentration camps. It has been adopted a shibboleth by Neo-Nazis and parroted by corn syrup and meth filled bagger boys like you out of ignorance. You obese pasty Confederate bagger boys praise your draft dodging coward blowhard because he mirrors yourselves. PATHETIC PUNK

          • Obstruction is all you will continue to get, dear. There is no role for you or the 45*POS as we move FORWARD without any of you. Stay tuned. Any day now your dismal leader will be taken out in cuffs, probably wailing like a girl. Cannot wait. YOU are the MINORITY in this country and will be treated as such.

        • There are many issues out there and abortion is not one of them. You have the one-issue mind and that is trump is good for this country and he really isn’t.

      • Yeah, Joe. HOW DARE YOU! How dare you care for the innocent and oppose the slaughter of human beings that takes place every 97 seconds!

        Do you or have you ever read Batman comics? If so, are you familiar with Arkham Asylum? I feel like we’re in it!

        • Well maybe you should be Arthur! A human being who thinks they should control the womb of a woman is not sane and those who purport to “care for the innocent and oppose the slaughter of human beings” in the womb (who must go straight to Heaven if they are indeed a person), but complain bitterly of their tax dollars being used to support mothers who choose life, or to help immigrants, refugees or children is pretty messed up too.

          • So you think you can do whatever you want with your body even if it means the murder of another human being? Sounds like you might be desensitized to this senseless violence. And I thought liberals were against “redemptive violence.”

            The role of the Church and the government are not the same. Although the government should not foster dependency the Church should provide aide to those in need and that does happen. Praise God there’s a local crisis pregnancy center that assists pregnant women and there are powerful testimonies of these women who kept their children and are doing very well for themselves and giving glory to God.

            I hope everyone can rejoice over that.

            • Oh Arthur, you cannot even be original?

              If you believe in personal freedom, liberty, free will and privacy, you have to believe in allowing a woman the right to decide.

              Again, the vast majority of abortions are done in the first trimester when the fetus is still potentially another human being and even nature sometimes makes the decision.

              It is not that I am “desensitized” in any way. I just happen to value the woman who is here, desperate and hurting and I will support nothing that adds to her misery, especially forcing a decision on her.

              But here is the biggest difference in me and the Christian Right hypocrites who do want to force her to be an incubator regardless of the situation: I work for comprehensive sex education so that teens know the consequences of the act of sex and I work for free contraception and sterilization, I work to support women with strong taxpayer funded safety nets so she is empowered to choose life and can raise the child born, I work to reach and educate the ‘at risk’ who make up most abortion clientele and give them a better chance in life.

              So do not try to tell me that you are more “pro-life” than I am unless you are working and voting for all of that too.

              What do you do to end “this senseless violence” except condemn the woman for her choice and vote to take that away from her?

              • You can stop congratulating yourself for all your good works as you obviously don’t understand that you support murder. One’s identity and value should not be determined by their location.

                The answer to this problem is not more funding it’s the gospel. That’s what these people need. Your pursuing humanist means to solve a spiritual issue and enabling senseless murder at the same time.

                • Yeah sure Arthur, because no woman had an abortion when God was in charge did they. And blacks knew their place too, I hear.

                  • So pro-life = racism? Keep the ridiculous liberal talking points of justifying the murder of innocent people and promoting government as “god”. I’m sure Karl Marx would be very proud of you as is Satan. He likes it when the innocent die.

                    • No Arthur. pro-past = idiocy. But I see how your mind works.

                      As long as you keep up the ridiculous conservative talking points of calling us “baby killers” I will indeed treat you like the idiot you seem.

                      Where can we see your protests over the killing of “innocent people” in the wars and occupations we have done? What about your protest that desperate immigrant children might die if we sent them back? What about your protest for the homeless refugees who might die without us? What about your protests to programs that feed school kids? I mean if you care so much for innocent people and all that.

                      And as the right cheers Trump as “god” and all that is good you have no standing to claim I see God anywhere else. I don’t think Karl Marx would be any prouder of me than Hitler would be of you.

                      For the record, the innocent go to Heaven, Satan likes it when people sin, like condemning others….hint, hint.

                    • Arthur Curry, are only fetuses innocent? Is your God happy about the United States bombing and killing innocent people just because they have the misfortune to live in a part of the world where they are in danger from all sides? Is it okay with you if people starve? Do you feel any obligation personally to alleviate the suffering? Do you recognize anyone you know in Luke 18:11? 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.

                    • Yes, yes Christopher and Arthur and Joe Catholic, we get it. You have no womb but you still think this should be your decision and a vengeful Jesus will get you in the end. I happen to think you are right, he will, but not for the things you think.

                • Arthur, I’m not even going to try to reason with you, as your mind is not only closed, but nailed shut. So I’ll just say this instead: Blow it out your backside.

              • God is the greatest abortionist because 70% of conceptions end in early “miscarriages’ often with the mother never knowing she was even pregnant.

          • What kind of a world are they asking these children to be born in. They are destroying the environment and noone seems to care. There are reputable scientists who believe we may have passed the point of no return and they don’t give a s##t about it. I guess if you use their reasoning then they won’t have to worry because there won’t be anymore babies.

            • In hospital… heart attack… will have that chemical cardiogram tomorrow AM which always makes me so ill

              • Gloriamarie, I am sending you my love and my prayers. Wish I lived out there I would come and hold your hand. My fella has had a couple of those cardiograms, not fun. Just know that all of us that have any decency and care are praying and pulling for you. Be easy friend. Peace and Lots of Love

              • Prayers for the wisdom of your doctors, the effectiveness of their treatment, and an uneventful recovery for you, Gloriamarie. I hope you get good news from your cardiogram, and feel better soon.

                • Heavenly Father, send your ministering angels to Gloriamarie. Send legions. Please give her the rest she needs to recover. I lift up all the doctors & staff to you Lord, keep them vigilant and alert. Give them supernatural abilities to do what is best for Gloriamarie. Praying for GM’s mother, protect her from too much worry & distress, as her daughter goes through these procedures and recovery time. In Jesus’ Name! amen.

        • This so-called pro-life nonsense has to stop. You are no more prolife than “the executioner” himself. You’re kidding no one with that farce. If you don’t want to help the poor, you aren’t pro-life. If you’re ok with cutting Meals-on-Wheels, you’re not pro-life. If you’re ok with not covering pre-existing conditions, you’re not pro-life. I could go on but I know I’ve already wasted too much time on you.

          • Cheryl,

            What should we do then to stop abortionists from killing babies? It’s wonderful that you want to help the poor and the needy and believe it or not those of us who care about the unborn do as well. If you’re doing a better job of it than we are, God bless you for your work. But what about the babies killed by abortion? How can we save them?

            • Somehow, I picture Joe sitting in a dark room with tinfoil lining the walls, sitting at an old desk with a laptop, surrounded by injection molded models of fetuses, baby dolls, and half -eaten microwave burritos.

            • Let me ask you, Joe, do you support Medicaid and Medicare? Do you support the federal school lunch program? Meals on Wheels? Assistance for needy families? Are these questions too difficult for you?

            • How many have you adopted? DeVoss wants a godly country. But she wants to charge higher charge interest on school loans to keep people poor. Is she really a good Christian? My view is that she is actually evil and does not accept, or realize she is hurting people. Are you one of those people who hate abortion but have not adopted 2, or 3, unwanted children. They are needing adoption yet is amazing how many anti abortion people do not adopt children into there life. The anti abortion people judge. Even though Jesus, supposedly said, Judge not lest you be judged.

            • Free and easy access to contraception is the most effective way to reduce abortions. Those who oppose that are yhe most pro abortion.

        • Dear ignorant bagger,

          Refer to your Bible as to when life begins and get back to us to staggeringly ignorant git

          You Confederates are all the same, claiming adherence to a book you’ve likely never read or are too dimwitted to understand and vitiating it into a hateful moronic screed that mirrors your fallow minds. PATHETIC

      • One can not be pro-life if you are not pro-child. Everything this individual has done, not only kills, but he kills all hope, and will kill freedom. For those individuals who do not understand life and death. Last year 800 women died in childbirth in America. I know, I am an RN, advance practice. Women with cancer, addison disease, kidney disease, liver disease, heart disease and they get pregnant, these wives of men, because birthcontrol pills are only 98.5 % effective, and then there is rape by men. Perhaps some men need to think again, even you.

      • What exactly are you thrilled about with Donald Trump? Is it the racism? The xenophobia? The sexism? The inability to tell the truth? How about the insatiable greed? Is it thrilling to watch a guy with absolutely no moral fiber try to run our country like so many of his failed businesses? I’m genuinely curious what about him appeals to anyone who’s not a rich, white male? Oh, is it the way he’s trying to install a fascist regime and police state? Or what about his deals with Russia? I thought communism and the cold war were bad things. Why are people supporting a guy who’s whole administration is guilty of treason. The last time I checked, none of these were good qualities or decisions. Please, tell me why you’re thrilled with having a narcissistic sociopath running the country?

      • I wonder why you would hang around a left-winger blog Joe Catholic (?). Are you hoping to save our souls or just piss us off? (It doesn’t sound like you are trying to save our souls so I am guessing your motives are rather misplaced.)
        Trump has a world of misanthropic gestures for which he must be held to account. His supporters, you included, must defend the indefensible if you would have any credibility. Sounds like a conundrum, good luck. You lose all credibility when you ask “what’s to defend?”. You are unable then to hold your values as a beacon to others — they aren’t. You lose.

        • I think what you’re really saying is that I should just shut up and go away. Wanting to silence the expression of diverse thinking seems to be a sad liberal trait.

          Also, it’s not either/or. I’m not here to save souls and I’m not here to make anyone angry. The use of false dichotomies also seems to be a liberal trait and this device is frequently employed by the blog host and his followers.

          Do you want peace in the world or did your vote for Trump? (Of course there are some who will see this as valid and might use it).

          • Joe Catholic, does it ever even occur to you that maybe instead of us mean ole liberals “wanting to silence the expression of diverse thinking” (as if that is what you bring!), maybe we just want to have some conversation among ourselves without your idiotic childlike demands to insert yourself with what you consider “expression of diverse thinking”?

            Butting in, talking over, dismissing and pushing yourself into our conversation seems to be a sad conservative trait.

            The “false dichotomy” is you claiming to bring an “expression of diverse thinking”. What kind of people follow blogs or websites of those they constantly denigrate and disagree with? It is kinda sick. Go get yourself a life in that great Christian Right imperial realm you and Trump are so comfortable in.

            • Then go make your own safe space where only liberal left wing thought is welcome. So far there seems to be no restrictions on people with other perspectives posting here. I will give JP credit for that.

              Go post on democraticunderground.com. They are liberal only and smack down any any conservative post that rears its ugly head. You won’t see any positive posts about Trump and in the religious forums there won’t be anything as archaic as sexual sin or heaven forbid “sodomy.”

              Also, you can create your own forum for free and can keep my kind out and only hear from Trump haters and people who agree with you.

              You have many options.

              • For those who are sick and tired of reading Joe Catholic (this week’s alias), I invite you to Joe Catholic freezone.

                Invitation offered to you from my hospital bed where I feel truly awful and in case I die and these are my last words offered to this blog…

                When you respond to Joe Catholic in any manner at all, you re giving him what he wants. You are feeding his ego. You are proving to him that he is provolking you. Be bigger than he and ignore him

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

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

                • I will pray for you and your family, Gloriamarie. I can’t say enough for the enlightening discussions on this forum and I hope I will see more of your posts for quite sometime, but I know tomorrow is never promised to anyone. I hope you will recovery.

                  Blessings.

                • It is true: do not feed the trolls. Or in the this case, a man who can not see past his one-track argument to say, “hmmm, perhaps you are right. Perhaps instead of spending my time on the comments section of an internet blog, I should take my good intentions (and I do believe they are good, in his own way, I think Joe pictures himself as an Abortion Superhero) and go put them to work helping actual flesh and blood children who are out in the world, struggling and no longer qualify for the protections granted the fetus.’ Joe, you can volunteer at hospitals to hold babies born addicted to drugs. You can volunteer at just about any public school or Head Start program—they are nearly always understaffed and underfunded. You can offer your services to help refugee families who’ve recently arrived in the country….MOST of them have children (and coming from Syria, they are traumatized) and they need helps with basic stuff like driving them to ESL classes. You could sign up to be a Big Brother. You could become a foster parent. You could pack food boxes or make sandwiches for your local food pantry. You could inquire at the nearest Women/Children’s shelter to find out what they need. You could ‘adopt’ a family in need and make sure their kiddos have enough. Sponsor a young person overseas who needs help paying their school fees (Unbound is a good organization). So many places to do good. If you are really pro-life (vs. simply pro-fetus), go and help some of the people who are already here. We have so much need. And, for the record, no one LIKES abortion. You seem to be operating (like so many others who invest so much time and energy going around calling their fellow citizens ‘baby killers’) on the assumption that women are skipping out willy-nilly to have abortions. It’s not an easy way out, it doesn’t happen easily, it’s already quite regulated (the stories I could tell you) and it is never an easy decision. It is often frightening, (I do sincerely hope you are not one of those awful people standing around outside healthcare clinics, shrieking at the patients and employees. You are not going to stop anyone. They didn’t just POP OVER. By the time a woman walks through the door to get an abortion, it’s already been some of the worst days of her life, I promise you. You are just making it so much worse. And for nothing.) and expensive. Take all that passion and time and throw it into the real world, where there is so much need.

              • Stop whining Joe Catholic troll, I know in that small brain of yours we are all in lock-step but a conversation without people like you can be quite interesting, diverse and informative. You keep that from happening when you chime in like a 4-year old wanting attention.

                If you think the absence of trolls and the obsessed means we are looking for a “safe space” you just confirm your ignorance.

                Yes, “so far” you are allowed to troll freely and I do wish that would change and yes, I may well take you up on the challenge to create a closed group to discuss what John P posts, so be careful what you wish for troll! Oh look, the big man gives “JP credit” for letting him troll freely!

                In case you have not noticed you are on the “smack down” list here too. Whack-a-mole, I call it. You are a sick puppy.

                We do ” have many options”, you on the other hand seem to have none.

              • I’d love to know Joe Catholic , what you actually do for the pro-life movement- aside from stating that abortion is murder? Are you an activist? Does your claim to be pro-life extend after birth? I noticed others ask you some pointed questions about your pro-life stance- in regards to preventing abortion and making life an easy choice for desperate women- but you dodged those questions- and just returned the focus to your anti abortion stance- im not trying to start an argument or attack you for your views – but it is difficult to have a dialogue with someone who doesn’t add anything new to the conversation and refuses to respond to counterpoints- for example- you say abortion is murder- ‘liberals’ say – but what about cases of rape or when the mothers life is in danger? you say-what about the unborn? Conversation goes nowhere- is it possible to have a conversation with you in which you respond to these queries? If it is not, and you just want a forum to state that abortion is murder- that is fine, let me know:) also when is an unborn fetus ‘alive’ according to the New Testament? Isn’t there something more specific the Bible says about this?

              • OK, I am putting this out there. If you are a regular here and you want a troll free experience for John Pavlovitz discussions, email me and let me know. IF there is interest I am willing to set up a WordPress blog (much like this one) that will be by invite only, and allow us to talk, share and discuss freely by invitation only, so no trolls! Think it over and let me know.

                trollfreezone@mail.com

                • I wish you much success in the construction of your echo chamber and in luring away like-minded members from this site who believe that someone who doesn’t believe as they do is a “troll.”

                  Good luck.

                  • When you’re asking the same inane questions over and over, you’re being a troll. When you keep steering every conversation to the same issue that you know almost everyone disagrees with you about, you’re a troll. When you won’t reply to a single question when someone challenges you, and instead return to the same ill-informed talking points, you’re a troll. So yes, dear, you are, in fact, a troll.

                  • Joe Catholic, I’d laugh if it was not so sad that you are a troll and still do not seem capable of honestly admitting what that is.

                    I know it will eat at you not to know what is being said. Learn to live with it.

                    • Sandi, given how rotten I am feeling, reading this cheered me up so much. “I know it will eat at you not to know what is being said. Learn to live with it.”

                      I am so looking forward to his absence.

                      I have a list of the aliases he has used in the past. I’ll send it to you.

                    • Sure you will Joe, I have no doubt. Many of your victims will choose to stay and take it, others will continue to scroll on by your need for attention, and we will be happy not to have to stop and pat you on the head anymore.

          • Really, Joe? From my experience, it’s been quite the opposite. All you’ve done is complain about women having the right to do what they want with their bodies and tell everyone how they’re wrong and what an awful person John Pavlovitz is. Truth be told, we’re simply tired of it. We really, truly are. So yes, we would like you to go away, not because we want you silenced, but because we’re completely sick of your self-righteous, condescending, holier-than-thou, I’m-better-than-you, far-right-wing, judgemental, self-serving horseshit! We’re sick of it!

            • Also, disrespectful, annoying, prejudiced, loathsome, rude, I could go on with the superlatives, but I’m tired, Joe. We’re tired Joe. So please, for everyone’s sake, shove off!

            • True, true, true. It’s not as if he adds anything new to the conversation. We are not masochist, well I’m not, so am tired of getting beat up.

          • “I think what you’re really saying is that I should just shut up and go away. ”

            Speaking for myself, I wouldn’t dream of telling you what to do. But like Lois I do find myself wondering sometimes just what you are doing here. If your goal isn’t simply to piss people off, it must have dawned on you by now that you aren’t going to change any minds (and I will pay you the compliment of thinking that is not your purpose).

            Which leaves being here just to get your jollies. Sick way of having fun if you ask me.

          • Liberal trait? Puh-lease! It is trump who has suggested jailing reporters. Name one liberal who has publicly said that or anything similar. Go on. Just one. I hear a lot of right wing folks justify wrongdoing by their side by saying, “But so-and-so did so-and-so.” as if that makes it okay. Now, Joe Catholic, we can return to your favorite subject: abortion.

      • no, joe, he doesn’t want to appoint a pro life supreme court justice.

        He wants to appoint a pro forced birth supreme court justice.

        That same judge was fine with a company killing an employee.

        That same President is fine with kicking 26 million people off health care. He’s fine with defunding the NIH and the CDC.

        There is nothing pro life there.

        • Yeah, I heard this dodge and variations of it a million times. What about the baby that gets killed by the abortion James. Any compassion or sympathy for the inconvenient critter that gets dismembered and never gets a “choice”?

          Birth doesn’t need to be “forced” btw. It happens naturally. I couldn’t force a birth any more than I could force your food to digest. Nature takes care of that.

          Redefine “pro-life” all you like. Toss stones at pro-lifers and call them hypocrites all you like. It doesn’t change the situation an iota. It either is or is not a grave injustice to purposely kill an embryo or fetus.

          • if you think abortion will go away, Joe, if roe vs wade is overturned then you are woefully naive. Abortion has been around a very long time..it’s even mentioned in the Bible and not in a way that condemns it.

            But you call what I said a dodge? Really?

            Well, Joe, how is it not a dodge for you to sit there and claim to be oh so worried about the unborn but then have no problem with that unborn, or the born, dying from lack of food, shelter, or health care? How is pro life if you’re fine with a company putting profit and pollution over people’s health and lives? A mother shouldn’t be able to kill that unborn baby but a health insurance company should be able to do so by refusing to pay for said mother’s health care? If you want to claim the former is murder then how is not the latter?

            As I said to the other catholic that pops up on this blog, the best way to oppose abortion is to support comprehensive sex and contraception. That actually lowers the number of abortions. Because as unfortunate as it may be, Joe, you’re not going to get rid of it. So all your moral pontificating about it does is make you feel better. You want to pat yourself on the back instead of actually doing something that actually helps.

            To borrow the words of Sister Joan Chittiser: “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.”

            All I am telling you, joe, is that if you want to call yourself pro life then you have to do more than oppose abortion. Because that’s only part of it.

            And considering your side cooks up things like “If a woman has a stillborn child she should be investigated for murder.” or that women should be forced to carry a dead fetus to term” or “women should have to have forced ultrasounds” it seems your side is less concerned about life and more concerned about harassing women. Or how the Fascist Caucus of the GOP demanded that Trump and the GOP remove the regulations that require insurance to cover prenatal, natal and neonatal health care.

            Oh yes..that shows much concern for the life of the unborn and the mother there…

            And I’m the King of Norway.

            Sorry, Joe, your side doesn’t get to solely define “pro life.” Call what I said a dodge if you want if that allows you to rationalize your hypocrisy, Joe, but your hypocrisy is still hypocrisy no matter how much you want to pretend different.

            As long as you and your side label yourselves “pro life” for opposing abortion while not giving a damn about life otherwise then there is no reason to consider your “pro life” title anything but the dodge of a hypocrite.

            Because thinking that government should lift a finger to stop abortion while not doing a damn thing to step in when it comes to hunger, homelessness, health care, corporate greed and pollution is laughably hypocritical.

            So let us know when you and your side want to actually be pro life instead of merely mouthing the words.

          • Joe Catholic , there is. A simple solution to the issue of abortion: if you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one. Problem solved.

              • Joe Catholic, you really have a hangup about abortion, don’t you? Believe it or not, there are other issues of importance. I don’t read Mr. Pavlovitz’s column just to read about and discuss abortion. How many minds do you suppose your tunnel vision comments have changed? Why don’t you get off your backside and do something to help some struggling single mother (or married one for that matter) instead of pontificating in a forum where everyone is sick of you? You absolutely have the right to your beliefs, but the rest of us have an equal right not to be bombarded with them.

                • Applause to you Joyce!

                  Joe Catholic, they don’t chop up the babies and it’s common knowledge that they don’t chop up the babies. You are passing on bogus information and while I know you aren’t ashamed about it, you SHOULD BE!

                  When I was 20 and reckless, I had an abortion, mind you I was raised a Catholic – but my “religion always sided on the dogma” and not on the individual person and the person was always wrong and “doomed” for “our sins”.

                  However, because my “sin” (I never considered it a sin) was corrected by an abortion, I got to leave behind a mistake that I was sorry for and learned from it. 15 years later, when I was ready to have children with resources, a more refined attention span, my good morals evolved and a sincere desire to have a child, I had 2 children who I love, have supported their development and education, told them truthfully about my choices that weren’t always good and encouraged them with full disclosure about how to lead an honorable life.

                  This prolife stance of yours is often used as a cudgel on our young people and this religion is what dooms them to dealing with situations that they aren’t mature enough to handle and then they feel badly about themselves for the rest of their lives. That’s not a loving expression of religion, nor is it kind or fair especially when there is a solution. It seems like you think these people should be punished for the duration. That’s a mean way to treat others Joe. I don’t think that’s in the Bible anywhere.

                  I know about “Thou shalt not kill.” But standing behind dogma and condemning our young people by without providing proper sex education is worse in my opinion than removing a clump of cells from a woman’s womb, especially if it gives her the freedom to later and more wisely choose again.

              • Where are you getting that babies are chopped up? What do you actually KNOW about abortion ( facts about procedure, not hearsay horror stories ) ? I’m not asking because I don’t know, I’m asking to find out what you do KNOW- and I know already what you believe as you have stated it several times.

              • What baby? The vast majority of abortions are carried out while the potential baby is still just a collection of cells. If you go to a restaurant and order chicken, I’ll bet you would be very unhappy to be served an egg.

      • Dear Joe Catholic:

        Pro-life? Are you sure? How would you know? Asked about Roe vs. Wade, Gorsuch said that ‘all of the other factors that go into analyzing precedent have to be considered.’ If perchance that hints at openness to overturning the ruling, it’s no more than a hint and certainly doesn’t amount to a ‘pro-life’ position. At least, it doesn’t for anyone with my level of RTL involvement years ago. So it begs to be asked, Joe Catholic: Why do you shill for Mr. Gorsuch?

        Mr. Gorsuch has no judicial record on abortion. Aside from his text [ http://tinyurl.com/mu5kbz5 — now scrutinized for plagiarism] opposing the right to die, what exactly are his ‘prolife’ credentials?

        Anyone as involved in RTL work as I was years ago knows that whatever candidate Trump said, Mr. Gorsuch cannot for that reason be called ‘pro-life.’ Why would any knowledgeable prolifer call his statement [above] a pro-life statement?

        More to the point – as you label Mr. Gorsuch prolife, how prolife are you, Joe Catholic? And how Catholic are you, Joe?

        To my knowledge, you’ve not spoken against the loss of civilian life in US led or supported attacks in Yemen, Syria or Iraq. How prolife are you, Joe Catholic? And how Catholic are you?

        President Trump has made it abundantly clear that he is prepared to attack North Korea and to do so without warning or Congressional consent. War criminal and US ‘Defense’ Secretary James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis has warned Pyongyang that use of its nuclear arsenal will meet an ‘overwhelming response.’ This means that North Korea’s population of 25,000,000 would be annihilated – with no warning/declaration of war. Overlooking that the US Constitution is now a dead letter, how do you reconcile being thrilled with the new President to your claim to be prolife?

        How prolife are you, Joe Catholic? And how Catholic are you, Joe?

        Niccolò Machiavelli said that the Prince should not keep promises when the reason for making them no longer existed.

        I suggest that Mr. Trump’s pledge to appoint a ‘prolife’ justice served its purpose.

        I suggest that MR. Gorsuch’ elevation occurred because time and again, he supported dismantling all restraints on corporate looting and the expansion of government power to suppress the social explosions that will inevitably result. Or perhaps he was elevated because he implied the [so called] left has too much access to the courtroom. Or perhaps he was elevated because he refused to state whether he views torture practices to be illegal.

        We don’t know who we are here, and maybe I’m wrong. But I’m see all the earmarks of a bourgeois political operative who is all too willing to exploit partisan bigotries in order to stay the working class unity which will lead to the resistance we both know is coming. Increasingly, I’m asking if that is what you do.

        Please understand, Joe Catholic – I’m not being pejorative to I suggest that you’re a political operative. I shill regularly for working class issues which sometimes intersect with JP’s writing. I declare myself a Christian but also a socialist, Marxist and Trotskyist. I post links to the Trotskyist Socialist Equality Party.

        That’s the thing, Joe Catholic. I’m very open about why I’m here. And generally, participants are good with that.

        Given that we may be months or even days from confrontation with North Korea, given that if more polished, tactful and amiable than the crass, bullying and corrupt Scalia, Gorsuch is expected to vote along the same reactionary lines, and given the absence of a prolife Gorsuch record – on what ground do you maintain that he is prolife?

        Moreover, on what grounds are prolife, Joe Catholic? And how Catholic are you?

        Blessings!

      • How is it being “pro-life” only suits people in terms of abortion ! Shouldn’t “pro-life” mean “all lives”?

        • Well one would think so, Shaw, but the same “pro life” people are fine with people dying to poverty, to homelessness, to lack of adequate income or health care.

          Just as they’re fine with the death penalty and fine with wars and especially the targeted killing of civilians.

          And if a corporation wants to harm or kill people via polllution or greed then they’re fine with that too.

          so really what they oppose isn’t the killing of the unborn..it’s that women making their own decisions that they oppose. They just dress it up in faux moral outrage like fundamentalist Muslims do when women don’t wear burqas. It is only about the fundamentalists obsessive need to treat women as chattel.

          After all..if they really were pro life then they would be for protecting all life no matter what stage of life it is in.

        • Yes, it should but THEY don’t mean all lives, just the ones in Joe’s argument where he thinks young women should pay for a mistake and be shamed for the rest of their lives because they had bad judgement AND weren’t provided with proper sex education and preventative methods of birth control during the years with the highest biological imperative to reproduce. That is the hardest thing to swallow here, that the US states with the highest rates of unwed, teenage pregnancy are also the ones that don’t offer sufficient sex education to their young women.

      • Yep. All you care about is making sure that YOUR religious beliefs become our laws. The hell with separation of Church and state. The hell that abortion at one time was illegal and yet you want to bring that time back.

        • Nor does Joe care that same supposed “pro life” supreme court justice got it in his head that a corporation should be allowed to expect an employee to risk his life for their profit.

          Nor does Joe care that same supposed “pro life” supreme court justice said basically that handicapped kids don’t count.

          NOr does Joe, he of “pro life”, care that Trump has allowed a pesticide linked to brain damage in kids to be used.

          Nor does Joe care that Trump wants to cut federal funding for medical research.

          Nor does Joe care that Trump wants to gut the EPA and allow corporations to poison and harm life.

          Nor does Joe care that Trump wants to deprive 26 million people of their health care just so a bunch of 1%ers can have a multibillion dollar tax cut.

          Nor does Joe care that thanks to his party poor pregnant women wont have adequate health care when it comes to their pregnancies.

          And yet Joe will continue to pat himself on the back for being oh so pro life..except for the fact that Joe doesn’t give a ****ing damn about life in any case other than if its at risk of being aborted. And even then he really doesn’t care because he is fine if mothers are dying in back alley illegal abortions.

          Joe claiming to be pro life is just a facade for him to shove his religious beliefs into civil law and down everyone’s throats. Joe can’t even muster up the responsibility to say “Yeah I should help pay to take care of all those unborn babies I want born.” If those unborn babies die he’s fine with that as long as they’re not aborted.

          Like I said before, Joe would support hitler if Hitler had claimed to be “pro life.”

          • No Kathleen B, your attack dog did not “get it right.” You guys sure love to “define” people you don’t know and then beat up the distortion you create. Well maybe not you personally, Kathleen B. You like others to do the dirty work and then you pat them on the back for it. (That’s so cowardly).

            I don’t want my religion to be law. I have never said anyone should be forced to be a Catholic or to go to Mass or Confession, etc. I have never said that although the Catholic Church says the use of contraception in intrinsically evil, that contraception should be illegal. Wanting abortion to be illegal is not to impose my religion on anyone. The right to life from conception until natural death should be a given among compassionate people. Even atheists oppose the unjust killing of the unborn, so it’s not as if that’s some kind of exclusive Catholic position.

            James, besides being vulgar and abusive, is a straw man builder. He creates his own version of how things are supposed to be and how things are supposed to be fixed and defines that as “compassion” and the “only way” and any other thinking outside of his limited scope is “evil.”

            Babies saved from abortion do not just die, but James’ argument seems to be that we should kill them before they are born since they will die anyway because of those evil Republicans. Hitler would like his thinking.

            • No Joe, Hitler would like your thinking. You want to vote for the people to “do your dirty work” and then feign innocence at the harm done because that was not what you wanted.

              Speaking of straw-men, no one said you want folks “forced to be a Catholic or to go to Mass or Confession” but you do want the force of law to end abortion. You have bragged that is what you voted for. That is controlling.

              You claim you don’t think “that contraception should be illegal” but you do think the law should allow any organization that claims Christian ownership should be allowed not to have it covered under their insurance plan. That is controlling.

              When someone said they were still working in their 70’s, you did not even ask if that was due to necessity, you just applauded it and in true George Bush fashion at finding someone working three jobs, you said everyone should do that.

              You seriously need to stop trying to justify what you voted for. We all know.

              • Joe, was that attack dog comment directed at me?

                Sorry, I’m no ones attack dog. The only place I am in any communication with anyone on this blog is here.

                My point with the Hitler comment was that you would gleefully turn a blind eye to.hitlers atrocities if he went after abortion.

                That is no straw man. Because the proof is that you don’t care that Trump and your party are condemning people to misery, pain and yes…death with their policies.

                You certainly haven’t voiced opposition to those policies.

              • To quote: “forced to be a Catholic or to go to Mass or Confession”

                I have a question, Joe. if you legislate your religious beliefs into civil law are you not forcing people to obey your religion?

                How is your side running around screaming “The United States must follow God’s law!” any different than some fundamentalist Muslim demanding that everyone obey sharia law?

      • and what about his failure to protect the most vulnerable among us….you are clearly not a social justice catholic…in my household we continue to pray for our politicians to make wise decisions…to provide for people unable to care for themselves…to not lead us into further war…to heal the divisions between us…and for peace…

        • And Joe continues to pretend that being antiabortion is the same thing as prolife.

          Despite the fact that Catholic social teachings say otherwise. Joe is fine with Trump and minions inflicting pain, suffering and death.

      • How can you say he’s “pro life” when he just voted to sentence a man to death?? That’s not “pro life”, that’s “pro birth”. Wanna try that again?

      • With all due respect…did you even read the article? And, do you really think that thinks ate going well for this administration? That’s what it is addressing…the willingness to blindly look away and accept that things are okay amidst the lies, deception, hatred and the negligence that is hurting the country, but more importantly the people, especially non white people and again believe that nothing is wrong…

      • agree. look at our past Presidents they have not been perfect and have had their own scandals and past mistakes. People are whining because for too long now we have to be overly sensitive to the minority and liberals who want everyone to ‘get a trophy’ or shove their beliefs in our face. their opinions and ideas are the only one that matters. This article was written by a hater with little facts to base his hatred on.

        • Anonymous, I know you will not note the irony in your post, but it is there. So is the hypocrisy. Can you tell us there are no conservative “haters” on the internet? Can you tell us there are no conservative “whiners”? Can you tell us there are no conservatives trying to shove their beliefs in our face as if their opinions and ideas are the only ones that matter? Yeah, don’t bother!

      • Joe Catholic, if he said “naughty things” ten years ago, he’s still saying them now. He was married when he said those things so you apparently don’t believe the sanctity of marriage. But forget everything else and vote in a despot if by threatening the entire American ideals if you can control women and “save” some zygotes.

      • Justices should only be pro law, not pro-life. Your reveling in an ideologue with a political agenda on The Court shows you have no interest in a fair and impartial SCOTUS.

      • None of this has anything to do with his so-called “past sins”. These are sins in action right now!!! And to say you like him because he nominated a “pro-life person to the Supreme Court is reprehensible. The law gives women a choice and if you don’t like it too damn bad. Unless you are having a baby, it is none of your business.He is doing things that are far more destructive to America and those are what needs addressing. Things that affect all of America.

      • It’s not what he did or said ten years ago that is of concern, it’s what he’s doing now. Christ tells us we can recognize His people in two ways – the love we have for one another, and the fruit we bear. Joe Catholic please tell me how Trump is showing his love for his fellow human beings, and what legislation he has actually managed to pass that improves the lives of anyone other than billionaires.

      • Naughty? Bragging about grabbing woman by their p****** is ‘naughty’? That is the definition of sexual assault . He also bragged about how he made sure he could walk in on young women changing clothes while they were competing his his beauty pageants. He wanted Marla Maples to get an abortion when she got pregnant with his 2nd daughter, Tiffany, so he is anti abortion only when it get him something he wants (votes). He denied health coverage to the very ill grandson of his older brother, so do not call Mr Trump pro life. He mimicked the physical disabilities of a reporter, so where is his compassion (or common sense). He is a very shallow, spiritually unaware man. kt

      • The only humans qualified to rule on abortions are the women who need them. Everyones else is motivated by religious beliefs, which don’t count and those who desperately feel the need to control others….usually both are encompassed in one mass of ignorance.
        So take your ignorant abusive, racist, misogynist, bronze age bull somewhere else.

      • The holes in your blinders are just big enough to see the appointment of a Supreme Court justice, and NOTHING else for 10 years. Sad.

      • Joe, what about what he says done during the campaign or since the inauguration? Sure, people make mistakes, but they need to own them, atone for them, learn from them. He’s done none of these things, & he continues to believe he doesn’t have to. The man is truly a sociopath and the longer you support him, the more suffering there will be and the greater possibility of permanent damage to our government, our country, & the world. Think I’m exaggerating? Open your eyes!

      • Joe, you’ve sold birthright (if you are a Christian at all) for a pot of stew. That pot of stew is the so-called pro-life justice. For one act you have shut down your critical judgement. You are blind and have completely lost your way. May God have mercy on you.

    • Election Day will be here before we know it!

      The real question is … will Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Florida & N Carolina vote TRUMP again?

      Time will tell.

        • Really? Cool. The day Minnesota votes Conservative, will be a very blessed day! I hope it’s in my lifetime. :-).

        • don’t count on it you two. Trump is going to be the noose around the GOP’s neck for the next 3 years. Hope you have fun with your party hanging itself.

        • I guess your morning of facing the truth and quit accepting the lies won’t be here anytime soon. Guess you’re like trump, the Devil’s spawn.

      • Christopher Freeman, you are so far off base that I literally pity you for thinking Trump will do any of that. “Favoritism” is his favorite thing FGS!

      • Christopher Freeman, you expect VALUES and EDUCATION to come from that vile creature? No favoritism from the guy who is installing every member of his family in critical jobs? Jobs for which they are almost as unqualified as he is to be president. You are either the world’s greatest optimist or dumb as a sack of rocks. You decide which fits you.

    • In the wake of this election, I have begun studying “belief” and the what happens to individuals. In some cases, belief is benign and it doesn’t hurt other people, but in all cases where a person feels personally connected or identifies with their belief, it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to change their thinking.
      In one book I read, Black Box Thinking, the topic is about failure and using failure to improve (Black Box meaning the ones in planes that are retrieved when they go down so we can learn from the data there). The book discusses DNA results that prove innocence in court cases and how prosecutors’ have gone to non-sensical ends to uphold their “guilty” argument. It’s fascinating to understand. And horrifying at the same time to realize that the people who aligned themselves with Trump will, in great part, NEVER see anything wrong with him. They defend his actions MORE than HE does!!!

    • His agenda will be accompshed. Oh and btw, his agenda was scarcely spoken. For example when you see ACH bill for the first time, the day before the Senate cute, it’s a huge tax reduction from 24% to 16%. This where most savvy business folk make their money – capital gains, NOT INCOME, like the plebes who voted for his pathological lies. Trump et al wins then. Game set match.

    • We finally have a President who believes in the rule of law after eight years of anti American reteric from Obama, the apologist in Chief!

  1. John…I have only been following you for a short time, but I am so impressed with your writing. You say the things that many of us feel in our hearts. I am a 72 year old fully-employed woman. I have been in business for many, many years. The things I have read have opened my eyes, and my heart. Thank you, John. Today’s message was very poignant. W need to wake up America. Our country is in really serious trouble.

    • Thank you for being fully-employed. We need more people of your age working and contributing instead of collecting Social Security and doing nothing. You are good for the economy.

      But I don’t understand why you see Trump as a “monster.”

      • “working and contributing instead of collecting Social Security” Did I do something wrong by involuntarily contributing to Social Security for 65 years?

        • I could have worded that better.

          The sad fact is that what we paid into the system is gone and what we collect will be off the backs of others who are working hard and carrying an ever increasing burden.

          My feeling is that those who are on SS ought to give back in whatever way they are able, by volunteering or working. I’m not there yet, but if I’m able bodied when I retire, I’m going to “earn” my SS payment as much as I possibly can. We ought to have some consideration for those who are footing the bill and ease their burden.

          • Joe Catholic, I am well past my Biblical three score and ten, and I am no longer physically able to hold a job. My husband and I worked for many years before we retired. He lived only a few months following his retirement, so he never drew a dime from Social Security despite having paid into it all his working life. He and I both volunteered in many ways and for many hours while we were working and after (although his post-retirement work was cut short by his untimely death). I feel no guilt about taking my monthly stipend from Social Security because I EARNED it. It is not a gift. Nor is it my fault that the Congress raided the SS trust fund and made it necessary to pay SS from current revenues. I do feel for the current generation and those to come, but this is not a problem I can solve.

            • Amen, Amen, Amen. By the way the raid was to hide the cost of wars and tax breaks for the wealthy. Always on the backs of everyone else. I don’t feel a bit of guilt for my small SS check. It would be chump change for the people who want to take it away.

            • I know. I don’t mean to blame anyone. But it’s not a fair system at all, and the burden gets bigger and bigger on those who are working to support the SS recipients. A better way would be to let everyone control their own money and have a welfare system for seniors in poverty. I know your husband paid a lot, and sadly it didn’t go into an account with his name on it, but to others who were receiving SS while he was working.

              I’m just saying because it’s unfair to those young people who are working, I think it would be nice for those of us who are collecting SS (not me yet) to give back in some way while we are able.

              • To quote joe: I know. I don’t mean to blame anyone. But it’s not a fair system at all, and the burden gets bigger and bigger on those who are working to support the SS recipients. A better way would be to let everyone control their own money and have a welfare system for seniors in poverty.

                Trnaslation: Joe wants more seniors living in poverty because Joe doesn’t realize that most people don’t know how to invest wisely and before Joe says “That’s what investment advisors are for” Joe should be aware that Trump and the GOP want to keep it so that investment advisors can steer their clients money into investments that profit the advisors but not their clients.

                Joe, your idiocy is proven by the fact that not 11 years ago Wall Street Crashed the economy. So if we had the system you want it would have been disastrous.

                • My husband I would be destitute, if Wall St had had our SS. They screwed us over with our IRA so we would be without anything we had paid into.

                • It’s nice of you to do my thinking and posting for me, but not so nice if you misrepresent me and my motives.

                  My opinion is that it is better for individuals to control their own money than have the government dole it out to them. I also believe a system which burdens working people to support an ever increasing number of nonworking people is predatory and unfair.

                  But that’s what we’ve got. It would therefore be nice if SS recipients would show some appreciation towards those footing the bill and give back in ways that would alleviate the unfair burden they are stuck with.

                  I also said that if there were a private system, that there should be a way to help impoverished seniors.

                  But you’d rather demonize than discuss, right?

                • I have been heartened by reading Joe’s thoughtful, albeit misguided (IMO) opinions. He has been respectful and has stated his beliefs. I think it is wrong to engage back with him is such a disrespectful tone, e.g. idiocy.

          • How about, Joe, your side stop getting down on its knees to the rich and make them pay the full suite of taxes instead of getting every way out of paying taxes, hm?

            Because with regards to social security, child, your party has been taking money out of it for decades to pay for all those tax cuts to the rich and all that military spending.

            • Thank you James for saying exactly what has been happening for decades. This business that we need to keep working, I am 75, I started working, cleaning houses, when I was 12, How much longer does he want us to work, for crying out loud. Most people in my generation who were from the working class, went to work at 12 or 13, my husband did, is he still suppose to work at 79. This man is a fool, must have more money than sense. Peace,

              • I made it clear that I believed that “able bodied” SS recipients should consider “giving back.” I don’t expect my 90 year old mother to be doing anything like that. But what’s wrong with the idea of it for those who can? When I collect SS it won’t be money that I put in. It will be off the backs of those who are presently working. So I think I should always be doing and helping wherever I can and as long as I can.

        • You didn’t it’s just the right thinks we are on the dole. I spent all my life working and now they want to take what little I have away and somehow say I don’t deserve that which I paid for. Gotta love their thinking.

              • Democrats have been scaring old people for as long as I can remember that Republicans are out to take their SS away from them, and it hasn’t happened. It’s just a campaign scare tactic. I think perhaps they cried wolf too many times and nobody pays any attention to it anymore, thankfully.

                • Yeah it hasn’t happened yet, Joe, because the people get pissed off and back your party off.

                  And yet your party keeps on talking about privatizing social security. Trump just this last week floated the idea of getting rid of the payroll tax.

                  You do know what the payroll tax pays for…right?

                  Sorry, when your party keeps on talking about getting rid of social security you really don’t get to argue that Democrats saying that your party wants to get rid of social security is a “scare tactic.”

      • Those who are for tax cuts are only collecting their own form of social security. Joe Catholic, change your name to Joe Moron as austerity is never good for the economy……moron.

  2. Thank you, John P, for writing the stuff that needs to be said.

    People have the evidence. People have the facts. People have seen for themselves the truth that our government is in shambles. The swamp that is Wall Street has not been drained, just moved to Cabinet positions.

    Laws are being broken at the very highest levels in our country.

    Pretty certain the Trump occupancy will be the second shortest in our history because he can’t seem to grasp the concept that he is not above the law.

    Although I said it before the election, I’ll say it again, when people chose to vote for the GOP, they chose to vote for authoritarianism, bigotry, fascism, fear, gynophobia, homophobia, isolationism, lies, manipulation, misogyny, prejudice, racism, rape, sexual assault and molestation, transgenderphobia, white supremacy, and xenophobia.

  3. Unfortunately- we have seen the enemy and we are it. What’s happening in america is appalling. What the richest of the rich think they get to get away with is disgusting. What the political hacks- who are mired in the same filth as the donald- think they get to do to our society is mind-numbing. How dare any of them think what they think- believe what they believe- feel what they feel- and pretend they are right. ESPECIALLY THE PROFESSED CHRISTIANS AMONG THEM.

    The UNHOLY are in charge. All you poor idiots who helped this reality come into being- you all deserve HELL whatever it is- but it looks like you’re going to get to experience it right here on Earth.

    What will you do when a nuke takes out an american city because the donald got elected? Weep? Cry? Say oh poor me? It will be to late. Kiss your ass goodby.

    Look in the mirror. If you helped this come to fruition- YOU ARE THE MONSTER. Enjoy you final days on Earth.

    And please- don’t bother me with your rapture shit. You christians die from this- you ain’t going to heaven.

  4. Being the parent of a disabled adult, as well as the sister and friend of many teachers, I can say with some authority that, in fact, health care and education are definitely in peril. I have several friends who are afraid for their jobs due to extreme budget cuts, and we really dodged a bullet a couple of weeks ago when the health care bill, which would have stripped all funding from Medicaid and Medicare (my son relies on Medicaid for his medical care, since his disabilities mean he can’t hold any meaningful employment)) failed in Congress.

    For people like us, right now, times are difficult. Yes, my wife and I both work full time for employers who ate liberal enough that who we are doesn’t put our jobs at risk. In many places, being transgender or lesbian can now make you unemployable. You can also be denied housing, services, or even to be served at a restaurant.

    This is wrong. We’re not “less than”. We’We’re still people. Our sexuality and gender don’t somehow make us inhuman.

    We’re holding on, but we’re scared. We’ve actually considered leaving the country. This should not be happening! We feel as though our country has turned its back on us.

      • You realize, of course, that the work I do is to prevent people like you from having to deal with an infestation, right? Wow, you’reignorant.

        • OK, so you were serious. I looked up that latin name and found “bed bug” and I thought you were making a joke. Anyway, I think it’s very interesting work. I was always fascinated with insects and both my sons wanted to be entomologists at one time, but went in different directions. Maybe you can tell me why there are no fireflies (or as we called them “lightening bugs”) on the west coast.

            • Then how come those which flouresce aren’t out here? I really miss them. They don’t seem to go further west than the Mississippi River.

              I brought some back from the east one time and let them loose in my yard. For one night we had fireflies on the west coast. Probably could get in trouble for doing that, though…

      • Hi Caitlyn Anne. A few years back, I worked for the Multifaith Housing Initiative. It is a collection of people of faith who provide affordable, well-maintained housing in the city of Ottawa. They do important work that goes beyond just a roof over your head. I remember this one poor guy, the only piece of furniture he had was a couch that he had gotten a good deal on. He soon found out that the reason for the good deal was that it had already been in someone else’s home and came with stowaways. He was sleeping in his bathtub. We had to fumigate the building and buy him new furniture. We tried to get the furniture store to make it right, but they didn’t care.

        All this to say, thank you, thank you, thank you for studying bed bugs!

        • I’ve heard tons of horror stories like that, Patricia. It’s so sad, too, because it doesn’t take much for these furniture stores to do a little due diligence in prevention. If you’re talking about Ottawa, ON, the biggest problem is Ontario has ended the sale of the one product that, so far, truly shows promise on bedbugs, imidaclopirid, because it’s a neonicotinoid product, and is extremely harmful to bee species in the environment. I can’t fault them for that (I used to keep a colony), but with judicious usage, the risk could be mitigated.

          One of the things I’m doing right now is, I’m working with a chemist to synthesize a product that will target cimex at the DNA level, hopefully rendering their populations diminished greatly within 10-15 years. The biggest problem is isolating which genes control growth and reproduction, and finding a way to turn those off without creating a product that’s harmful to humans or animals, or even other insects, if possible.

          Thank you for your kind words. I really appreciate it.

            • Someone has to do it, right? It may as well be me. The hours are long, the pay is just this side of horrid, but it’s really, really interesting stuff! ^_^

              • I am glad to know someone in case I have an issue. Always nice to have someone you can go to when the bugs are driving you crazy, that includes the two legged ones. Thanks for your work. Having a family full of scientists I can appreciate the long hours, crappy pay and interesting work. Peace………

              • Caitlyn Anne, your job sounds weirdly fascinating. Thank you for doing it. I hope you and your colleagues are successful soon in finding something that works on bedbugs without also killing off the bees.

          • Yes, Ottawa, Ontario. I didn’t know that about the neonic. But yeah, there is so much concern about the bees and their important work of pollinating crops, I am not surprised that politicians caved instead of finding a balanced answer.

    • You are not less than and no one should feel less than. I hear the scared part also, my husband and I live on SS and we have medicare. If they mess with that, it would be a death sentence to my husband. But you know I have come to the conclusion that a lot of these people don’t care. I don’t know what happened but it is scary. Peace and Love

  5. I’m always amazed that after two months you’re able to read the future with such accuracy… it seems to be impossible to get anything done when the opposition is so unrealistic. They’re fighting against a supreme court justice nominee that they voted in favor for a few years earlier. You can’t expect the dance to continue if you don’t let the musicians start the music. Both sides need to pony up and get with it.

    • I am not a liberal or Democrat and I’m certainly not a conservative or republican. That being said –
      It’s pretty sad how short of an attention span and memory the right wing seems to have. Does no one in your party remember the last 8 years of stonewalling legislation and obstructing progress simply because said legislation was from the Democrats? Republicans did everything they could while Obama was in office to stop congress from doing its job and absolutely refused to give any bi-partisan support.

      Now we have a degenerate rich old man who’s hell bent on destroying this country while taking as much money as he possibly can for his own benefit.
      Anyone who believes that Trump gives a crap about anything other than his ego and bank account are seriously unintelligent, ignorant and probably full of hate. You people do realize that Trump was a long time democrat before running for president? You realize he was very Pro-Choice before he ran for president? Oh and he was good friends with the Clintons before his decision to run? There are too many Instances to count of Trump on tape lying about anything if it suits him. He’s a rapist and a child molester, he is a Nazi sympathizer and a racist that surrounds himself with other racists and the worst thing about Trump? Greed. He is literally trying to dismantle the federal government so he can pocket more money by appointing cabinet members that are sympathetic to his goal of taking as much money as possible and removing any government regulations that stand in the way of corporate profits. Soon we will have a dying planet, a nation that has no middle class and a few individuals that control the entire system. No, not the illuminati, I’m talking about the corporate elite. The CEO’s are the real rulers of our nation and as long as they’re in charge, we will only continue to suffer. Capitalism can only function if someone is being oppressed.

    • Constant unprincipled opposition by the republicans was the hallmark of President Obama’s terms in office. They opposed virtually everything he proposed. I have always favored a return to the time when the two parties worked together to come up with realistic compromises. That is until the republicans strategy became clear that their definition of compromise was that they, repubs, get everything they want and the other side shuts up and gives it to them. I now regard the republican party as the enemy of America and want the Democrats, Libertarians, Independents, and everyone else to treat them as such.

  6. With all the coverage about the fake news Russia put out and the trolling on websites putting out inflammatory comments and their bots at work, I wonder how people now feel duped and ashamed at their shares and re-posts during the election. I un-friended several dozen people who were posting these insane and inane stories. As I walked away from them, I yelled out over my shoulder, “This isn’t true! Check on what you are just posting by clicking a share bottom.” I at least feel vindicated.

  7. APRIL 4, 2017 AT 12:24 PM
    When Vulnerability Hardens Into Hate

    By Dr. Wendy Farley 4-03-2017

    The news these days suggests we are experiencing a rebirth in our country — not of freedom, but of hatred and anxiety.

    But God created the world, and loves humanity. No person, no religion, no race, no ecosystem, no nation, and no blade of grass was made without word, wisdom, and love. Humanity is one in the eye of the divine. The “way” of Christianity is to embody this love in all we do, see, think, and believe.

    Agape is the nature of soul, the “precious one-ing” that solders us to the divine. Agape sees the world with the eyes of the beloved and recognizes that the least of these bear the face of Christ. Agape delights in the world and aches for the cruelties, ignorance, and painfulness of our delusions. Because of agape we are all connected to everything that happens — including the world’s suffering and its beauty. Agape teaches us about how to be family, how to live like family, how to live with strength and care in your hands, how to live with joy, how to put your hands gently on wounds and draw out the grief, and how to urge mercy so that good will grow.

    What happens to us when this natural aptitude to feel the pain of the world turns to hate? How do we miss the face of Christ? How do hands made to “urge mercy into shock- stained earth” take up guns and spray paint, or legislation and executive orders against imaginary enemies?

    It is the tragedy of Christianity that the first hate crime in our constellation of texts is Matthew’s, in his telling the story of the passion. Jesus was a great teacher, an inspiring healer, and a man whose radical compassion touched everyone — women without honor, under-employed fisher folk, Roman soldiers, gentiles, Samaritans, scholarly Pharisees. The hearts of Palestinian Jews flocked to him, and this terrified the Romans. They tried to abort his movement by making his death a spectacle of cruelty and unutterable degradation.

    By the time this Gospel was written, the Jews had been crushed by Roman violence. The memory of the time they were suffering servants in Babylon was being re-enacted. The people of Israel had been given the “tongue of a teacher” that it would “know how to sustain the weary with a word.” And yet the chosen people found themselves in exile.

    Some 500 years later, Jerusalem was necklaced by the crucified bodies of Jewish men, and emptied of women and children, carried off to slave markets in distant lands. The beautiful temple, carefully reconstructed after the Babylonian exile, was reduced to rubble. Jews were murdered, tortured, enslaved, and exiled.

    But the miracle is that this outsized cruelty destroyed neither Jesus nor his people — nor the movement begun in his name. One of the world’s great religions were born out of this wreckage.

    Matthew himself categorizes these events in a way typical of hate crimes. The victims of history become its monsters: Pilate becomes an instrument of the Jews’ virulent and irrational hatred. The rabbi who healed the Jewish people — disclosing the goodness and nearness of Father-Mother God, tender in love and mercy — now incites their lust for violence.

    This is how hate crimes portray reality. Because hate crimes are embedded in our Scriptures, it has been easy for Christians to valorize hatred and violence. History remembers Pilate as an appallingly cruel and arrogant prefect, even by Roman standards. History remembers the long anguish of the Jews. But Matthew has turned this world upside down and invites us to sympathize with the empire and despise its victims.

    This is not the good news. It is the context in which we receive good news.

    We read the famous hymn in Philippians 2:5-11 (1-4) describing the humiliation and exaltation of Jesus. Paul is encouraging the Philippians to remain faithful in the face of conflict: “If there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion, and sympathy, make my joy complete, being in full accord and one mind.”

    Paul begs this community to remember that it is compassion, sympathy, love, and community that makes them lovers of Christ. They are being tempted to resort to the usual way — conflict, opposition, and mutual hostility. He implores them to “let the same mind be in you that was in Christ.” Begging the Philippians to put on the mind of Christ, he sings of a power that hollows out ego-clinging and is filled with love, compassion, and sympathy. He does not call the Philippians to correct doctrine, but to “put on the mind of Christ,” and be Christ for a world that would draw them into hatred and opposition.

    This great hymn is a reminder that the ways of hatred and violence are not the ways of God. We are invited to share the mind of Christ and act with compassion and sympathy.

    This Lent, as we face the news of hate crimes committed by petty criminals and by powerful legislators, let us put on the mind of Christ. “Morning by morning” let our “ ears be wakened .” Let us renounce the virtues of empire, demand justice, and testify with the women at the tomb to agape’s resurrection.

    https://sojo.net/articles/when-vulnerability-hardens-hate

  8. I agree with you again Reverend Pavlovitz, but I think you miss a very important part of this puzzle, neither before he was elected and certainly not after he was elected, were his supporters and defenders listening to the same news and getting the same facts as the rest of us.

    Such is life in a right-wing media bubble. They LITERALLY do not know what they do not want to know. From FOX, CBN, right wing radio and hundreds of “news” websites, social media memes, Christian right websites and the jaundiced reports of our reactions, the protests and the resistance efforts, they are convinces he IS winning, he IS draining the swamp, he IS reining in government, he IS changing Washington, he IS creating jobs, he IS working for them.

    NOTHING, not you, not Democrats, not the main stream media, not anyone is going to change their minds. And therein lies the real danger because this is not just a mean, cruel circus act, this is one party rule with power to get Syrians gassed as they wink at Assad. It is one party rule that can cozy up to Russia and dare us to do a damned thing about it. It is one party rule that can change the rules to do whatever the want. It is one party rule that has proven they will lie with impunity and making us mad, having us upset about it is just icing on the cake for the Christian Right.

    “A Reuters story about increasing political activism by the “religious left” since President Trump’s election annoyed some Religious Right pundits this week. On Thursday, the American Pastors Network’s Sam Rohrer, along with his guests Gary Dull and Dave Kistler, devoted their entire “Stand in the Gap” show to trashing the religious progressives highlighted in the Reuters story.”

    “Rohrer was quite fond of his formulation that, unlike the Religious Right, the “religious left” is in fact “irreligiously wrong.” Rohrer and his co-hosts were not shy about judging the progressive religious activists as “false prophets” and “false teachers” that the Bible warns against.”
    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/post/american-pastors-network-denounces-religious-left-says-progressives-cant-be-genuine-christians/

    May God have mercy, there is no other hope.

    • Sandi, and others here, there is a place where the truth is published, every single day. All are invited who wish to engage with evidence, facts, and truth.

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

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

  9. Pastor John: I continue to be impressed with the things you write and with your optimism, but I must disagree with some of your assessment in this piece. First, the rule of law in our government is not being “trod upon,” it is being destroyed much in the same way Hitler destroyed Germany’s rule of law when the Third Reich ascended to power. I agree that it is time for those who put Trump in power to face what they’ve done, but I do not share your optimism that it will happen. Timothy Snyder. a scholar who writes extensively about Hitler’s Germany (e.g., “On Tyranny”) describes German POWs who, even after the Reich had fallen miserably, continued to insist that their Fuhter would prevail. This was true not only of Nazi soldiers, but also of the German “common man.” Having committed to the evils of their fascist movement, many Nazis found it impossible to recant. You are right, however, that the current movement toward autocracy in America must be stopped. Snyder describes a state in Third Reich Germany of “the politics of inevitability,” a mindset in which Nazis believed that no matter what, their fascist government would prevail because it was right, superior to all other forms of government. Many sincerely believed (hoped?) that notion even as their dictator’s autocracy went up in flames. Snyder thinks this politics of inevitability (similar to the mantra of “god is on our side because our constitutional democracy is blessed”) is dangerous because it prevents the populace from seeing the signs of real danger. I believe our country is at this stage now. Even as writers like yourself list all the signs, they fail to see the seriousness of what is happening. Our democracy is being threatened in all the ways you say and if we do not recognize that there is no guarantee that it will succeed, even if our faith is strong, we may see it fall. We agree, Pastor, that we must act!

    • Jack Wall,

      See what you can find about Bannon. One day I heard him say something and I suddenly felt sick to my stomach and when I closed my eyes, I was in a flashback that is from sometime in 1959 when I was only 5 years old, and whatever it was, was not good, and there were a lot of them there.

  10. The real monster is the real enemy of all of us, John. The one who has deceived you and is keeping you in a fearful darkness of deception and bondage with seemingly sweet lies about God. The real monster has distorted the image of your first love and whispers lies to you about the one who loves you enough to die for you. And did.

    The real monster has caused you to doubt the truth of all that God has revealed about himself in his love letter to his children and those who could be. And sadly, the real monster is prompting you to spread his lies through the gifts God has given you. The real monster is deception, powered by hatred and, yes, must be stopped.

    And that starts with you and all of us opening our eyes to the truth of God as he is in all his majesty and love and grace and holiness and not as the real enemy, the father of lies, says he is.

    The real monster is not hatred. This is only what drives him. The real monster is not an emotion. This is what he uses to entice and conquer us. And to get us to use the gifts HIS enemy has given us to attack the one who created him and whom he hates with a jealous hatred.

    Don’t be a pawn of the real monster, John. It is the real God who loves you, not the one whispered to you by the monster, the hater of your soul. Stop helping him lead others away from the truth about a real God.

    • Patrick, the saddest part is you are a kettle calling out the pot. You write like a zealot too. And you sound less lucid.

      • If by zealot, you mean passionate, I’ll take that. And so would, John, I expect. In that respect, we’re a black pot and kettle. Your point made. What saddens you is disagreement.

        What’s less lucid–blaming an emotion or a monster who drives it?

        • Patrick, I LOVE to argue. It is not “disagreement” that ever saddens me.

          Your post was not about passion or the love of God, it was a Pharisee saying he is not like that tax collector. It was you beating him up for not agreeing with you. Don’t blame emotion or passion for your hate.

          Reverend Pavlovitz is blaming the real monster, the one who can do damage that will last a generation or more. You are just whining because you cannot beat back the truth with fact.

          What’s less lucid–blaming an emotion or a monster who drives it?

          • I know you love to argue. But I noticed you only write that something saddens you when you disagree with it.

            People love to call others pharisees when they disagree with their point of view about truth. And I notice that you seem to always run everything through your “Reverend John” filter before making wrong assumptions.

            Case in point. My words have nothing to do with pharisees and tax collectors and everything to do with defending truth. And if that was me beating up John, it was done in love for him and for truth.

            Next wrong assumption from your filter: I do not hate John or his views. Nor do I hate you and your agreement with his views. You know what I hate? Lies and distortions of truth. But any hate I have is directed at the real enemy, not at John or you.

            So please don’t hate bombs at me or your oft-cited pot and kettle or what saddens you. I know where you’re coming from on this stuff.

            You like to use words like whining and hate and pharisee because you seem to think them good weapon words to attempt to shut down people and their views.

            Will you admit that your resistance to my view and your attempt to vilify it is driven by your love for your Reverend John’s words? And is maybe highly subjective?

            • Patrick, the point of the story of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector is that the Pharisee thought he was “defending truth” too. He believed what he was saying. And no sir, your post was not “done in love for him” or “for truth”.

              What you refuse to see is that Reverend Pavlovitz’s post was both, because it is clear he is hurting (which we identify with) and you are just a Pharisee claiming to be better than him.

              Being hateful does not mean you hate anyone. Not what I said.

              If you are so sensitive to what you think are “Lies and distortions of truth” go to your truth place and leave us alone. Your judgment is not needed or appreciated.

              It is clear you do not know where I’m “coming from” at all.

              You like to use words like lies and distortions and assumptions and filters “because you seem to think them good weapon words to attempt to shut down people and their views” so again pot, meet kettle and stop trying to convince us there is love in you here.

              If you bothered to read my response to the blog host, you would see that my “resistance” to your view has nothing to do with what the good Reverend wrote. I do not think I have shown any especial love for his words, but I am here seeking and you only here to berate and rebuke. His words are his, my words are mine.

              He makes Trump look bad, you are making God look bad. Which is worse?

              • You don’t know my heart. You prove it by your untrue words about my love or lack of.

                I know John is hurting. I don’t think I’m better than John. YOU think I think that. I know what I think—don’t claim to know what I think. And there goes your pharisee charge.

                Okay. I don’t know where you’re coming from. Will you give me that right back?

                Being hateful means full of hate. How could a hateful person not hate?

                Why don’t you leave us alone? Wait, I don’t want you to—that’s why. Nor do I speak for anyone but myself. I’m not bothered by your views about truth. Do you speak for everyone as to whether my words (not judgment) are appreciated? Nope.

                Okay, your words are your words. I concede I may be wrong about your allegiance to John’s words. Will you concede you may be wrong about me … about anything?

                Question: If I believe the Bible is true, and defend its truth, does this make me a pharisee?

                • Patrick, your words tell us your heart. You may not want them to, but they do.

                  Funny how you claim to know what I think, what I feel, but reject the same when it is returned. The Pharisee accusation stands and it is clear.

                  Being hateful can mean someone is scared, angry, confused, or just exasperated, it does not necessarily mean “full of hate”.

                  We seem to make you angry and certainly do not bring out the best in you. I was being helpful when I suggested you go to your truth place since you continually see lies, distortions and hate here.

                  I will happily concede I am wrong about you, as soon as you show us I am.

                  • You filter everything I write through a faulty filter. I could tell you the truth about me ’til I’m blue in the face.

                    Do you think Charles is angry?

                    • Patrick, I am not sure how changing the subject will help, but sure Charles makes angry, frustrated posts too, but they are not directed at our host. Do you see me high-five Charles when he does?

                    • Charles is abusive. That abuse should be confronted. It shouldn’t matter that he’s abusing people you disagree with.

                    • Oh sure Joe Catholic, because you all confront those who do the same to us when you agree with them? Grow up and stop whining. If you want to stay where you only come to agitate, do not whine about being called out for it.

    • I don’t know which disturbed me more, JPs post or your comment. Patrick, is this supposed to be some lurid psychoanalysis? Condemning prophecy? Do you know JP personally?

      Further, I don’t know what more I can do. “The real monster is hatred and the silence that feeds it.” I’m not someone to sit idly silent… I’m actively combative within my radius, and really try to expand it. But this succession of JPs posts leaves me deflated and less than encouraged. After reading these posts lately, I’m less than nourished.

      • Not sure what you mean about condemning prophecy. Can you elaborate?

        Lurid psychoanalysis? No, it’s an analysis of John’s words over a couple months time. Don’t know John personally but do know what he believes or doesn’t believe based on his words here and from podcasts I’ve listened to. Funny thing is I may have more interaction with him via social media than most here. 🙂

        • You don’t do it for me today either. You’ve added nothing. I’m certain we’re all, if honest, are all too familiar with the way Satan works; his tactics. If you’re in ministry, you’ve just slighted a virtual congregation. Of not in ministry, you’ve not encouraged a brother or sister. I can do without your brand of “preaching”.

          • Which virtual congregation did I slight? I’m curious. I concede that I may not have encouraged anyone on this blog. I give you that. But I may have encouraged someone.

            Question: Do you think John is correct when he says there is not hell, the Bible is just a flawed “library of books” and is not reliable? That Jesus did not die for our sins?

            • Patrick quit being an ass. Did I say I agree with JPs progressive views? No I didn’t; at least not in totality. As for me… I believe there is a “hell” or separation from God. I do not believe in the infallibility and inerrancy of scripture; I do believe in the infallibility and inerrancy of the Spirit that speaks truth to the reader and I believe that the Spirit always speaks to the efficacy of Christ. I rely on my church also for thoughtful interpretation. And I believe that Christ suffered on the cross for all sin and was resurrected. Is there anything else you would care to assume? I may not agree with JPs progressive views but I think I’m grown enough and secure enough in my faith to actually listen with open-mindedness to his views on social justice, which, IMHO, should be all our concern. I don’t even know why I bothered to answer you… You are being sinister with ulterior motives. To undermine another. Good day.

              • My questions were assumptions? Wow. I just wanted to know where you’re coming from. I always thought questions are questions.

                • Yes, and I understand you Patrick. You were trying to find a foothold by questioning my beliefs (and salvation) in order to dismiss what I had to say, to count it as heresy. I see this all the time… It’s the oldest fundamentalist tactic in the book. If you have a point, just make it.

                  • You are absolutely wrong about my intentions. I am neither a fundamentalist nor interested in calling anyone a heretic. Sorry, you have misread me. I ask questions for clarification and to understand people.

            • Well Patrick if he did, he would not be alone. Atheists, Jews, and Muslims (and many other religions) also question some of your assertions and most assuredly Jews and Muslims worship God.

      • I’m confident I do. Let me break it down for you:

        John thinks the real monster is hatred. He thinks it’s an emotion.
        I think the monster is the devil who is driven and drives others with hatred.
        John thinks he’s telling truths about God.
        I think he’s telling falsehoods about God because he’s influenced by the devil, whom Jesus calls the father of lies.
        I think John is a good and gifted guy. But that he’s allowed his gifts to be co-opted by the real monster—the devil.

        • Yes Patrick we get it, the Pharisee was fairly obsessed and puffed up over his own virtue and righteousness too. He just KNEW he was doing it all right and the tax collector was the one who was in the wrong.

          We get it, you are not like John P, you are not like other people, you are not like us liberals and evildoers, you know the scriptures and you keep them, you fast and give too. WE GET IT, John P is serving the devil while you serve the Lord.

              • Sandi, I’ve interacted with you here more than anyone else. In my view, many of your observations are far from objective and some are drenched with assumptions. However, you are better than some here at engagement and are only partially insulting. You have a better mind than most, too.

                • Patrick, I will say the same thing about you, I find your “observations are far from objective and some are drenched with assumptions” but I know that is the nature of communicating only in written words. It is amazing to me the difference eye contact, inflection, gestures, tone and vehemence make in conversations had face to face. Sarcasm is hard in writing.

                  Unlike some, I come here FOR engagement, not to attack the host or others. However, I will not back off or back down when I see something I think deserves a call out or a push back.

                  I can only dream of how much more understanding we could gain if some did not have the need to attack Reverend Pavlovitz or those who take comfort from the words he shares about his experience we are also having. But alas that is never allowed to materialize and I suppose that is why most of you who so deeply disagree with him are here. Obviously you follow him to badger and rebuke. Is that the Jesus way in your world?

                  I am just a Christian struggling to understand the pain I feel at those I loved, admired and studied Jesus with, choosing Trump It is a wedge that is only growing with what you all post.

                  • Sandi,

                    One of the things I have been wanting to say is that when they come in here to attack John P. and others, is that they are coming in this blog, as well all my life and others like us, is that they are representing their religions to us. They are showing us every day who they are and how they are not loving or caring people, they are the ones who are showing us exactly what their religions and beliefs are what they are like. For example of many, many that I have had, like one time some woman told my friend and I that we are “low class”, and when we asked “why???” she told us that we are NOT Catholic. She really represented her religion to us very, very well of what NOT to be like her, and the religion.

                    • Thank You Sandi and Kathleen! I know I had wanted to add to this, and I just found the posts here.

                      Besides all of the many people representing their religions, churches and their beliefs, which most showed me why to stay away from them, but they were not only pushing me away from them, they SHOVED me away from them. We see others coming in here doing the same things, over and over to come in here to represent their beliefs, and every time I see them shoving us away, and I have even see some of them say that they love us, yet ummm, try to find that anywhere coming from them. They all are still shoving us away from them, and not a bit of love for their neighbors, all I can ever hear from all of them through my lifetime and in John P. blog, I certainly can hear and feel contempt coming from them, from mild to out and out full hatred coming out from them, again they are representing their beliefs and/or their religions to us, and this is why they are shoving us away from them, and they don’t know they are doing this, or they are doing that deliberately, either way, if they think they are going to make us be like them, the way they talk/write at us, with their contempt towards us added to that, they continue showing us who they really are, and I am glad that I believed the same things most of my life as John P. and others here also believe the same things, also more and more all the time are getting away from those who represent their beliefs, religions, and churches with their contempt towards others, so I am starting to think to just let them keep on doing what they are doing to shove more people away from them, they are not going to be able to change us in here, most of us have been through them like that already, so they can’t, will never be like them again, ever, we know that we are on the right path now.

  11. Thank you Pennsylvania (my beloved home state), Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, North Carolina, and Florida.

    Thanks to you, we’re going to make America great again, in spite of the whiners and sore losers, and those who demonize you and our President.

      • Near the Harrisburg area. I’ve been a west-coaster for over 20 years, but I miss PA and often think about moving back. I don’t know if I could take another winter there, though.

        • Joe Catholic, if that is not you in the image, don’t use it. I detest people using photos that are not them. Just don’t.

            • If you still don’t know, I’ll give you a clue. He has a very famous brother (from a different mother).

              I’m going to keep this avatar for the duration of this thread, in spite of your protestations, but since I’m a nice guy, I’ll compromise a little and post a photo of myself for a few hours, from when I was very young.

    • Oh sure Joe Catholic, we could not possibly be good Americans who see danger in the lies, the con, the hate-filled administration, no we are all just “whiners and sore losers” and we are just picking on poor hard-working Trump because we are awful people.

      So what does that say about what the Christian Right has done to Obama and his family for more than 9 years now?

      • Boy, that is the truth. Man, Melania poses nude and that’s just peachy keen but Michelle has her upper arms bared and she is a harlot and is going to hell. That is so even handed. Yeh.

        • Who says? This is what you say we say, not what we actually say.

          I support Michelle Obama’s right to bare arms.

          • You know, after the way she was treated there are some things that it is in bad taste to joke about. Just saying,

            • It was a harmless joke and not at all mean spirited.

              I don’t know that she was treated so badly. She lived like a queen for eight years, and now is living in a mansion and will soon be a multi mutli millionaire. I’d trade places with her. (That doesn’t mean I’d want to be married to Barak, however).

    • Many of us in Wisconsin did not vote for this I human pig !!! This state is so gerrymandered . That is the real problem. Our gov has divided this state and now the same is happening in the whole of the country!!!! Shame on you for selling out to traitors of our country!!!!!!

      • Gerrymandering doesn’t affect Presidential or US Senate elections. It doesn’t affect Governor elections either, and you have a great Governor. You’re lucky.

        • Wrong again A Catholic Perspective, gerrymandering is how the party builds strength and controls the narrative to get to one party rule and sustain it and you and your Christian Right pals play right along.

          • Joes of the many disguises is one of those people who believes if he repeats a lie often enough, it will become the truth. He will always be wrong.

          • It has no effect when votes are cast.

            It also has very limited overall effect anyway. There are a majority of Republican Senators, a large majority of Republican Governors, and of course a majority of House members, whose districts can be drawn, or “gerrymandered,” but the percentage of control is less than that of Governorships.

            —————————————————–
            Their bottom line finding is that if congressional “districts were drawn randomly with respect to partisanship and race, Republicans would only expect to lose a single seat in Congress to the Democrats.”

            https://electionlawblog.org/?p=91074

            • They also admit, “However, the type of gerrymandering that benefits Republicans appears to be different from the type of gerrymandering that benefits Democrats. For example. Republicans appear to make most of their gains as a result of having full institutional control over the districting procedures in their states. This allows them to etch partisan bias into their districts without any effective opposition. Our analysis reveals that Republicans tend to take advantage of these opportunities”

              If you think that does not matter, you are wrong. Sadly they do admit there is nothing to be done about it now.

        • Joe Moron, show us the percentage changes positive or negative involving Gerrymandering. I know you can’t do the math…..moron.

      • Anonymous is right, the gerrymandering is the real culprit and it was a deliberate and planned event. There is a terribly titled book on how they did it. It was a “Republican scheme optimistically called redmap, for Redistricting Majority Project. redmap was created in early 2010”.

        And now the nation is “Ratf**ked”

        http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/06/27/ratfcked-the-influence-of-redistricting

        Not to mention the insane notion that 1 person can “represent” a district that is almost a million people (largest) or even about 500 thousand (smallest). Our nation is in real peril and Trump is merely the eruption of the boil.

  12. “But there comes a time when we run out of excuses, when we can no longer plead ignorance or impulsiveness or having been duped, when we have to own our poor decisions and declare our error—times when to not do so would be to willingly repeat the transgression or to prove ourselves more committed to perpetuating a lie than admitting the ugly truth we see in the mirror. There is always a morning of accountability that calls us to face what we’d done the night before. It is here now.”

    Yes, we’re accountable.

    AND WE GOT IT RIGHT THIS TIME.

    YIPPEE!

          • He should be protected from those who would shut him down – John P demonstrates courage expressing his opinion and strength of character allowing disagreement.
            I suspect he understands – shutting down dissent is equivalent to silencing himself.

          • Sandi,
            I ask – where was John P ordained? You asked why does it matter?

            Well now, since John P claims to be a pastor – I see no disrespect (given the rigors of theological education, training and acceptance into the clergy – that being ordained conveys and bestows) in asking, where was John P ordained?

            As for your opinion, I disdain the clergy – this is quite false.
            In my opinion, I believe every thinking individual should be interested in where and to what manner a “pastor” or “priest” has prepared him or herself and of course – examine the ecumenical associations that exist with being ordained.

            What I disdain and therefore challenge – is any individual claiming to possess some theological credibility, authority or pedigree when in fact they have none.

            Until John P produces an answer to the question – he remains just another pundit, with questionable theological positions.
            Given his preference for logical inconsistencies in his rhetorical essay’s, often void of theological principles – it remains prudent to ask – “does this pass the stupid test?”

            So, while I will defend forever John P’s right (and yours) to freely express himself – I will also defend my right to remain skeptical.

            • Wow, as the wife of a ordained minister, you really have your nerve. Are you a member of his church if not then it is none of your business, don’t read his blog but don’t question his credentials. He does not sign as pastor or whatever. There are people who buy their credentials, my husband went to college and graduate school for 7 yrs but they are still ministers ordained and they don’t have to prove anything to you.

              • Kathleen – As the wife of a retired minister – you should actually know better.
                But, let’s address my “nerve” to question the essay’s of man who others call “pastor”?
                First, we have been warned of the coming of false prophets.
                Second, we have been warned of the deceptions that follow.
                Third, there is something wrong when others blindly follow and fail to test all spirits.
                Fourth, the vetting process….seminary and ordination, though not perfect, are processes in which the church maintains continuity, credibility and governance.
                and fifth, you earn respect, John P has something to prove…to every reader of his essay’s. For him to think otherwise is foolish and arrogant,

                I find it sad, you have so little respect for your own husband and so many men and women who have earned the privilege to be called “pastor or minister”.

                • Here’s the thing Anonymous, you have earned no privilege of credibility, integrity or honest inquiry so the bottom line is, if you feel he is those things you fear…RUN! And never look back until you are safely in the arms of the Christian Right leaders who have “earned” the privilege of your respect. We won’t even miss you.

                  • Dear Sandi –
                    I have no doubt you won’t miss me….but I’m the nightmare that never ends….you see – I have no religious convictions or concern for your tormented mind and soul.
                    I could care less about your fragile personality or your dependent and warped world view….
                    I have no moral restrictions burying you in the hypocrisy you feel so comfortable bathing in.
                    I see – your path was set a long time ago – you already know the destination and that you need no guide. I see….

                    • No, I would not miss your interruptions and inane posts, but the only person you a “nightmare that never ends” for, is you. Not having religious convictions just makes you a troll of the lowest kind.

                      You would do well to worry about your own tormented mind and soul.

                      You hide in anonymity and attack our host and others yet I am the one with a “fragile personality”? Good one.

                      I will agree that you have no moral restrictions but I can’t say it is working for you.

                      You do not seem to see the shit you wear so your opinion on mine is less that credible.

            • Anonymous, like the people who made an industry out of pushing hate against Hillary Clinton, there is no evidence you would likely accept.

              A rational person (and I am not accusing you of being one) would realize that having been at this “speaking out as a pastor” for years now, if he was not being honest about his years serving in the church, one of you haters would have offered up some evidence of that being false by now. Many have questioned by way of demeaning but none have discredited his claims of service.

              As I tried to allude to earlier, being ordained means nothing in and of itself if you can get credentialed and even perform marriages online or work in Vegas.

              There are denominations in America that accept lay service and denominational training to become lay leaders and preach as well as serve in other leadership roles without specific ordination “papers” too.

              In other words, as is typical of people like you, there is a lot you do not know and you demand others research it and feed it to you. Do your own research if this is such an issue with you.

              • well Sandi – that sums things up nicely – given your standard – John P is just like those back woods pastors (fundies in Charles jargon).

                Oh wait – you can claim divine inspiration and call yourself a pastor too – with a little work, you can make a little money on the side as well – click bait seems to work….

                Of course, you’ll need to avoid any discussion that you have actually devoted and demonstrated through educational rigor the credibility of being ordained……ever noticed how that remains a prerequisite before being called pastor?

                Funny, how my question appears to rattle some here who think and call John P is a pastor, prophet, minister or priest – when in fact – he just a man, expressing an opinion.

                I think I will stay the course and respect the hard work that is required to complete seminary and be ordained – regardless of denomination or the protests of those who follow a personality rather than the word God.

                • If you are serious, you might try being a little less self righteous and a little more humble. The crack about making money was uncalled for. Trust me if you are serious about the ministry then unless you are one of the shills on tv you don’t expect to make a lot of money. So look down your nose all you want but that is not what God expects of his messengers.

                  • Kathleen,
                    I’m surprised you didn’t qualify yourself again but it helps to understand – you simply don’t like the manner in which I choose to write.

                    All things being equal – I’m not writing as a messenger of God and frankly….for you to presume to know what God expects sounds more self righteous than anything I’ve written.

                    • I am going to try one more time to explain, perhaps it wasn’t clear. I don’t read what John writes like a lemming that will follow him over a cliff. I read what he says because he has come to the same conclusions as I and he speaks my truth. I don’t read him because he is a minister, a pastor or whatever, I read him because I agree. He wouldn’t have to be a pastor, he does not say he speaks for a church, or for a denomination, he is speaking as he sees it. Now if it bothers you that you don’t know what his education is that is on you. I am so mystified that you read his blog and than try to cast aspersions on him i.e. his education but don’t understand that some of us don’t care. I can think for myself, I don’t agree because he writes what he does, I came to by myself after 75 years on this earth. Hopefully you will understand where I am coming from. By the way, there were many times people who disagreed with my husband would question his credentials and after 7 years of higher educ and duly ordained by a mainline church that is insulting but it is a common means that some people use when they disagree. Peace

                    • Well said Kathleen, same for me. I respect his credentials as presented but it would not matter if he is not an ordained minister from a specific divinity school. I feel I have known saints and not a one of them was ordained either.

                      Seems to me that anyone concerned with credentials would be speaking against the Christian Right and their love of politics as much as they do against liberal Christians and theirs…but that is not what they post.

                      Seems to me that anyone concerned over “false prophets” would worry less about those who are asking the church to follow the teachings of Jesus than those asking people to leave Trump alone.

                      The goal here is clear, Anonymous whoever, how ever many, Patrick and Joe Catholic (this week) and others all seek to diminish this blog writer and they just claim it is about credentials.

                    • Agree, Agree, Agree. I sometimes think that they don’t have anything else. I will admit it annoys me because I have seen my husband done this way. He is the finest gentlest man I have ever known, as honest and yet to watch people question him to try to discredit him. We knew they thought that was the way to get people questioning him and doubting him and sometimes, mores the pity, it worked.

                    • I don’t complain about “credentials.” I complain about him unfairly attacking good people.

                    • Kathleen,
                      I have no doubt you are committed to every word John P writes.
                      Conversely, you should ignore any points I’ve made.
                      I understand what you have written and acknowledge it.
                      Peace.

                • Yeah, yeah, yeah, but you are still here giving him the hits that add to internet legend now aren’t you.

                  Frankly, I think lay people can give testimony too. But that is just me.

                  • internet legend…..lol…..if you say so…..

                    Funny, on one hand I consistently defend John P’s right of expression and on the other, I exercise my own…..
                    I wonder, why are some here so emotionally invested, they are easily offended to discover someone disagrees with an essay’s tone, content or intent? I wonder…..

                    I agree with you – lay people can (should) testify…..

                    • So do you think anyone builds a following overnight? It takes time, effort, a good audience and yes, “hits” on the website.

                      To expend the energy and effort you have and then claim you are just a man saying his piece is dishonest and not credible. You hide in anonymity and attack the host. You are not invested in anything but tearing down voices you don’t want to hear. Which is a problem so easily solved.

      • Leslie,
        I suspect your memory is better than my own.

        Perhaps, the discussion above will give pause to other readers who believe John P is a pastor or minister which of course suggests ordination.

        In fairness – I do believe ANY person can testify and express “their” spirituality. However, there exists a wide difference between – let’s say – me, expressing my spirituality and that of a pastor or minister.

        You see, I’m only speaking for myself while a pastor represents normally a larger group with shared theological or spiritual norms and values.

        I think, I could have done a better job of making that distinction rather than allowing the easily offended carry on as if this distinction was meant to discredit.
        Perhaps it was not completely lost on those who prefer to remain silent.

        Regardless – if he was ordained – I wanted to know – the specific denomination that professed his stated and intimated biblical and theological positions.

        It appears, there is none….so, we have only the opinion of a man.
        Nothing more, nothing less.
        It’s easy to defend another man’s opinion when you agree with him…..
        I wonder….how many here possess the courage of John P – in the arena of free expression and ideas? I wonder…..

        • Whichever Anonymous you are, you may feel there is “a wide difference” as you like, I do not see any such thing. A man who has served in ministries for 18 years and unlike you, has the courage to be public and fierce in his testimony is not lacking in spirituality, nor does not actually BEING a pastor or minister at this time or being ordained with paper or degree mean he lacks the authority, knowledge or ability to offer his opinions.

          No one has indicated he is “the second coming” except those of you determined to undermine his credibility, integrity and knowledge. And we see right through that. Clearly you give more credence to opinions you agree with, but if he was ordained would you be supporting what he is saying? Then why the issue?

          As the comments here and on Facebook prove, he does represent a larger group with shared theological and spiritual values.

          No one is “carrying on” because we are “easily offended” and you were trying to discredit him.

          Sadly I doubt there is a specific denomination that professes” his stated and intimated biblical and theological positions” because churches that actually follow Jesus are very hard to find and churches without the Christian Right domination are also hard to find. THAT IS HIS POINT.

          You HAVE, the opinions of a man who has spent 18 years in church ministry in some capacity, who is clearly intelligent, well read, a good writer and who is fearlessly sharing his passion. How much “more” you need remains your problem.

          We already know how many do not possess the courage of John Pavlovitz. They are here as “Anonymous” or a made up name, or a partial name. His is front and center. If you have such courage, show us your name, show us your blog, show us your church, show us your faith and works? THAT is courage.

          • You speak the truth. My husband is ordained, mainline church, retired, and he holds John’s view. They are not the official views of the church, they are his views. That does not negate his ordination, his and I repeat his ministry. By the way, I would add this smacks of the birth certificate bull that went on for 8 years. This is some peoples way of trying to legitimatize another. Peace.

          • It doesn’t take courage to demonize people who didn’t vote the way you wanted them to vote.

            It doesn’t take courage to tell people what they want to hear, such as there is no Hell and therefore no consequence to their behavior.

            • Joe Catholic, I did not say it took “courage to demonize people who didn’t vote the way you wanted them to vote” but it takes courage to publicly stand and question that choice and why it was made as you see and explain the situation.

              You don’t stand and publicly challenge anything so how would you know if it takes courage. Funny how your hubris has you thinking the crazies will only come after you for speaking out publicly?

              Since the Christian Right is a large swath of the Church in America it takes real courage to tell them what they do not want to hear and say you convict them of failure to follow Jesus. That takes a great deal of courage.

              You twisting the narrative here will not change it.

  13. Thanks for another wise post John. I’ve spent the past few months, like many, trying to make sense of what we’re now seeing and living, in the US and other developed nations. And for the life of me I can’t. I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re actually in an evolutionary moment… many of our institutions have been moving toward collapse for some time now, medicine, business, education and now our government. In evolution, what no longer works must unravel before something new can take its place. And I believe that’s what we’re now experiencing. And yes, it’s terrifying… we each must look deep and find ways to support the world through this time. Unfortunately, for the first time in (modern) history this unraveling includes the Planet, environment, nature… the future of our children and grandchildren, to say nothing of the seventh generation.

    I, too, don’t understand how trump voters and the current administration cannot see that their actions will bring their world to an end as well as that of the rest of us. Food shortages, natural disasters, collapsing economies etc are their future as well as ours. And if these events aren’t realistic to the trumpers, at the very least, the GOP will likely never recover from the disasters this party is visiting on the world.

    Historically, Mother Nature always wins… and she’ll win this time too… we’re all likely to see and experience a Reset in our lifetimes. Will humanity survive? Who knows. Read about Singularity, we’ve already passed the point of no return…

    • The sky isn’t falling. Eventually the Chicken Littles will grow weary of their fear mongering and wringing their hands about everything being so unfair and you’ll see that in four years the world will still be here and that we’ll probably be in much better shape here in the US.

      • Joe Catholic, you really have no idea what is going on in this nation and you have proven it. No one said the sky was falling, but there is a shit show in DC the likes of which this nation has not seen in modern memory.

        Americans never ‘grow weary” of caring about our nation and seeking the truth or justice. What you call “fear mongering and wringing their hands about everything” (which again is rich irony coming from the ODS crowd) will bear the fruit of the Russian puppets and their ineptitude.

        If you are counting on Trump to make sure “that in four years the world will still be here” you could be in for a rude awakening. But there is no way this circus will help America “be in much better shape”. That is like pigs flying.

      • As long as the poor and middle class get screwed and the foreign brown people get bombed and the black people learn the place and the rich get their plunder, Joe Catholic will be happy.

  14. This post reminds me of how those old country preachers would preach hell and damnation, sky is falling, and all the other really dark negativity. I don’t see forgiveness but I do see darkness.
    Having traveled extensively internationally to countries of many governmental styles I can tell you whether it is Obama or Trump we have it made!! If you take a historical view, The Republic allows for all sorts of discussion, and voting, participation, etc. Honestly, you really don’t need all the negativity and nastiness. I am not a conservative so don’t put me in those boxes. According to this blog Jesus Christ would not be fit to lead our nation. Honestly, according to the blog he was a liar on par with the worst due to his saying what he did about no one comes to the Father but thru him. I think you have some good points – just roll down the negativity. (just a little.)

  15. Well- John P. – what’s you solution?

    Knoxville, Tenn., could be the first city in the U.S. where Obamacare completely collapses, leaving tens of thousands of people without the option to buy a subsidized insurance policy.

    Humana, the city’s only remaining insurance provider on its Obamacare exchange, announced it is exiting the market in 2018

      • lol…..just like a social parasite…..your entitlement mentality is simply not sustainable…..but never mind that…..go do some research on your two state Republican Senators and their proposed legislation assisting TN with this Democrat created turd.

  16. I am not a practicing Christian (I’m a Buddhist) but I sincerely appreciate the sentiment in your words Pastor John. Thank you so very much.

  17. I am always amazed at the snarky, mean, unwise and goofy ‘religious’ argumentative posts that go on when John strikes the emotions of his posts’ followers.
    Could some of you just cool it?
    Nothing is added when we argue with one another and call each other names!

    It’s great to input our take on John’s writings but the nonsense is just that, nonsense, because it only solidify’s the others position.

  18. Oh my…..Susan Rice interview….funny how CNN, e.g., want to ignore it…..but its in the public sphere now….. yup, it’s going to be a fun summer….bet she takes the 5th or asks for immunity…..

    Susan Rice has now CONFIRMED she unmasked Trump campaign officials, but is denying doing so for political reasons.

    — Rice on Whether She Unmasked More Trump Officials than Usual: ‘I Don’t Have Any Particular Recollection’.

    — Susan Rice Admits Pace of “surveilling” Trump Team increased after the election

    — Susan Rice on Leaking Flynn’s Call: ‘I Can’t Get into Any Specific Reports’

    — Susan Rice Won’t Commit to Testifying About Her Role in Unmasking Trump Team

    • Calm down Bubba, what was Susan Rice’s title? National Security Advisor, case closed. She would have been derelict of her duty had she not checked on which Americans were talking to foreigners under surveillance. And for the ignorant, “unmasking” is not the same as “leaked”. Keep trying though Pavlov!

        • If the pitchforks are out, she might, but she will not be in any trouble because she did nothing wrong. I sure hope someone can tell us what all of those Trump folks were talking to Russians about.

          • “because she did nothing wrong” – wow, do I need to begin citing US Statutory Code?
            I suspect that matters little to you …

            Oh and by the way…..now that we know Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice ordered U.S. spy agencies to produce “detailed spreadsheets” of legal phone calls involving Donald Trump and his aides when he was running for president – NO – evidence exists of illegal activity – other than the “unmasking” of private citizens by intelligence methods that Rice promulgated to others.

            Yup, I guess you have already forgotten Evelyn Farkas…..she confirmed the surveillance on 3/2 & 3/30.
            But let’s go back a bit…remember Senator Diane Feinstein? Yup, the CIA was spying on her – Brennan apologized….remember?
            Or, perhaps Clapper, perjuring himself….in the matter of spying on Americans – Senator Wyden remembers.
            Or, perhaps Senator McCain forwarding the “Steele” dossier to the FBI….funny how this document has been discredited but remains the catalyst for investigations by the FBI, NSA, CIA, Senate & House Intelligence Committee’s where to date they just can’t seem to find any evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump the administration…..

            You’ll let me know if you have some real evidence – won’t you?

            • Anonymous, you are the one making baseless accusations so why don’t you let us know if you have some real evidence?

              Surveillance of Russians has been an ongoing thing, why were so many Trump staffers talking to them? About what do you think?

              You better worry what those legal taps have on your pals not on Susan Rice or any others you named. And again, “unmasking”was well within her purview (it does not mean she leaked any names). If she had not and something went wrong she would have then been guilty of not doing her job. This fishing is just a diversion from Trump being a Russian plant. Orangeous Kissabuticus

              • “Trump is a Russian plant”……lol…..oh my…..well, in the mean time – the dissection and elimination of Obamaville continues…..
                Yup, appears both of us will just have to wait and see how things turn out…..

            • He is the only one not stupid enough to buy the immigration, sanctuary Lie.
              We have many examples of the undocumented killing, stealing, bringing their way of life into the us and forcing it on seniors, children, working citizens . and we keep deporting them. Stop the lunacy. Exterminate once you realize its the same criminal. NO more deportation
              Like US Citizens who go to Jail , Pay for this, So should They,
              Photo ID, NO Mask, Burkas, Coverings to Hide their true identity, Fingerprint, Make sure they have a true ID Card.
              If you don’t have the stomach, balls, kudos to do a Job then you must Pay the price for apathy. that is Crime, Degradation of Society, No More structure, Drugs run rampant , No one wanting to work , Just Drink, Smoke , Use more Drugs for the Next High.
              this is what this creates.
              Wake up out of YOUR Drunken STUPOR and get a grip .
              the good thing about trump is he is no weakling and takes no crap from other bully’s on capital hill or world politics

    • She did her job as National Security Adviser and used her legal authority to lawfully request the name of people who were having conversations with Russian spies and mobsters. The NSA, after following proper procedures, gave her her legally entiitled information.

      Your orange shitgibbon president then proceeded to lie about Obama illegally wiretapping him and falsely accusing Susan Rice of violating some unspecified law. You are now repeating lies and slanders either because you are too ignorant and stupid to know better or because, like your president, you have utter contempt for the truth.

      You also couldn’t care less if Trump and his gang of sociopaths have committed treason because you are a terrible American.

      Does that about cover it?

  19. “Every one of us can recall times when our judgment was temporarily clouded; when our emotions betrayed us and in a moment of weakness or fear or misplaced anger, we chose horribly and later found ourselves embarrassed and ashamed to realize what we’d done. Such regret is universal—as is the desire to escape culpability when that regret rises up.”

    I know the feeling all too well. Every time I sinned or acted selfishly or impulsively.

    But I have no regrets that I voted for Trump (little good that it did in my blue state) and that he won.

    Maybe you need to realize that your candidate lost and that we’re not all so unhappy about it is you think we are and as you are? I mean the whining has been going on for a long long time. Why not think about the midterms and who might be a better extreme liberal leftwinger who you can run against Trump?

    • Joe Catholic, your “regrets” that are not ever going to be admitted even if they materialize, is not the issue.

      Maybe you need to realize that the angst being expressed all over the world and the approval rating of your choice means many, many of us are “unhappy about it”.

      As if there was no whining from the Trump camp when they all thought he would lose the “rigged election”? As if he does not take to Twitter daily to whine?

      We are thinking about the midterms and doing our best to gain those who regret regret voting for this Russian puppet government to help us fight it. And then a much better Democrat to remove him or Pence whichever is in there next time around. That is the method to the anger you see as pointless. Do try to keep up.

    • Dear Joe Catholic:

      Could I inject a little levity into the conversation? This sounds a little like an evangelical conversion.

      Lived in the land of Blue. Then you experience a spiritual quickening. You came to repent of your Blue surroundings, rejoiced in the discovery of Red, and redirected your life aright.

      You find the remedy for your soul in the life of Red, but you still find yourself in a spiritual struggle against the Blue.

      By the way, I’m ‘Red’ myself; but it’s another kind of ‘Red.’

      Blessings!

      • I was red and lived where is was red, then moved to blue, not knowing it was blue or even what red and blue meant, and then learned the meaning of red and blue and became blue about being in the blue, wanting to be in the red, but the red changed to blue and I was stuck being blue staying or going back, but what was red and then turned blue has turned red again and I rejoice in that, but struggle with whether I want to remain in the blue or go back to the red where I’m afraid I might be blue thinking of blue and what I left behind.

  20. Dear John Pavlovitz:

    Once again, I say that this process is decades long.

    It seems arbitrary that Mr. Trump alone is ‘monsterized.’

    Blessings!

    • No gdd, Trump is a special case. He is a rare kind of vile in the American presidency. His mental instability is a clear and present danger IMO. He is steadily writing checks our young people will have to cash in places that bombs cannot fix.

      • Dear Sandi Saunders:

        Alternatively, Donald Trump has stripped off the masque off revealing the true nature of the ruling class.

        Blessings!

        • You could be on to something gdd, but I can see jack boots doing his bidding in ways I never did for Obama, Bush, Clinton or Reagan. Regular folks are ready to line up and do it for him already so the class thing is kinda skewed here.

          • Dear Sandi Saunders:

            Exactly! Two things have changed.

            1] In the absence of a strong, working class position, the entire political spectrum has shifted hard to the right.

            2] Traditionally, the other 9% shielded the working class from 1% demands. But the admin. is now packed with billionaire 1%ers. So its full force will be felt freely.

            What this means is seen from today’s headlines:

            — World teeters on the brink of war.
            — US seizes on dubious gas attack to push for expanded Syrian war.
            — Trump official warns “the clock has run out” on North Korea.
            — Democrats posture as US Senate begins debate on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch.
            — US justice department signals rollback of even limited police oversight.
            — Civil engineers’ report details decrepit state of US infrastructure.

            Yesterday, we learned that Trump threatened China with war, and that his Reichadistration welcomed the Egypt’s dictator, el-Sisi.

            And more generally, Trump’s administration plans an economic/military offensive against Africa. All this is done in near total silence [military style secrecy]; but from its opening moves, it is possible to deduce the outline and see where American imperialism’s worldwide militarist offensive is going.

            Resistance to all this takes the form of 225 meat packers in Sauget, Illinois, where workers are entering their third week of strike. Working people everywhere should stand by these meat packers in their opposition to this capitalist system. It is critically important that workers in the St. Louis area — especially autoworkers, teachers and young people — join to defend that struggle.

            The struggle for better livelihoods and neighborhoods is bound up with direct resistance to the Republican/Democratic ‘for-profit’ system of extortion that exploits them.

            Powerful strike action represents a set back to the political class. In addition to shutting down production, strike action raises class awareness and denies the state the compliant citizenry it above all else requires.

            Blessings!

            • Worst things will come
              The bible predicts man’ s intolerance for Man.
              Man is not basically good, Mankind in General is Selfish, selfishness, Narcissistic , full of his own ways.
              The only control is when he see’s his way of life , society, place in the universe is threatened. But Still Selfish.

              God is the only thing that controls the heart and brings man back under control.
              God has a prophecy to fulfill and no matter who you are, what you do, and where you are going , it will take place.
              Remember God , Jehovah, Elohim, the true god is not a respecter of Time or Man
              I , we , You follow him , he does not follow you Trump, pence, or any other politician, or person who think there above the crowd

              • Dear Christopher Freeman:

                How is ‘man’s intolerance for Man’ a prediction? Isn’t that a statement about human nature rather than prediction?

                If ‘man is not basically good,’ has man ceased to be God’s image?

                ‘God is the only thing…’ Isn’t God a person? In fact, isn’t God a community of three persons?

                How does Yahweh not being a ‘respector’ of Time or Man relate to anything I said?

                If we don’t follow any leader, how is it that God appoints overseers in the Church? And how is it that Yahweh appointed shepherd/kings for Ysra’el?

                In what faith community/sect/church are you involved? I’d really like to know from what theological perspective/context you write.

  21. Thanks, John for the inspiration and for being prophetic! “To him (or her) who has ears, let him (or her) hear.”

  22. Thanks for once again going to the heart of the matter and speaking truth, my truth and many others. I am thankful for the community of like minded souls you have provided. I appreciate all that you do and pray you continue. Peace,

  23. I agree with the conclusion:

    “The real monster isn’t even one man with a great capacity for evil and an unprecedented power to wield it.

    The real monster is hatred and the silence that feeds it.”

    • It’s more subtle than that. It’s not the “only” monster, but demonizing a person and a group of people is scapegoating them and that’s monstrous.

      We’re witnessing a “high tech lynching” by the liberal press and liberal haters and detractors.

      • Joe Catholic, you really seem to be missing an irony meter!

        For the last 9 years the Christian Right has been “demonizing a person and a group of people” and you continue to do so. Is THAT “scapegoating them” and “monstrous” of you?

        We witnessed a “high tech lynching” by the conservative press and conservative haters and detractors and you manage not only not to ever admit it, but to play the victim if it is returned. That is hypocrisy.

        • Sandi, I am fairly certain that if you look in the dictionary under “hypocrisy”, one of the first synonyms will be “Republican”. See also: “parallel universe”.

        • But, Sandi if the liberals turn around and do the same thing what does that prove? Only that you feel more justified in your bias because you claim parables for yourself just like the the Christian right you call hypocrites.

          …the pendulum swings back and forth and no one knows the way to peace only division and fighting against each other…

          This is not the gospel as I have been taught ( God sent his only son not to condemn but to save them) unless I am now to believe another gospel, if that is the case I will have to change my mind completely. Do you expect people to do that in a day? Do you think fighting against the vague monster conjured up in your mind is convincing the Christian right to feel Gods love anymore than they criticizing you is making you feel loved? or is everyone just hardening each other and pushing people away? I have read this blog for a long time and both sides do the same to each other.

          The gospel is the middle ground between people.

          “show some damn grace”
          — John Pavlovitz

          • Sally Jane, as I said in another thread, we have worked within the church for over a century, we have worked publicly when our message was stifled and it was to no avail as the church went farther and farther to the right and more and more political for Republicans.

            At this point I have no hope or even intent to convince the Christian right “to feel Gods love” or live the Gospels of Jesus. That ship has sailed for me. “Not my circus, not my monkeys” as the saying goes.

            I am reaching out to the Atheist, to those who do wish to follow the Gospels of Jesus, to those who do not want the church and state to be one, to those who are unchurched but love Jesus. THESE are my people now, and they are who I reach out to and have hope in.

            The Christian Right is wrong!

            • The Christian Right is a thing, a stereotype, a definiton and like any thing does not fully describe a whole person.

              I will refrain from labeling people I meet and be open to each person. I will see them for their diversity and unique characteristics, I will do this in the Spirit of truth, love and grace as Jesus did.

              • Well Sally Jane, if the other 7 billion people on earth did the same, we would not be here having this discussion. Stereotypes happen for a reason. And not for nothing, but the Christian Right made and label themselves. I certainly never asked them to bring politics into the church.

                • I know it’s hard to do and it is a narrow path but that is what I think grace is all about. We live under God’s grace and we extend that grace to those around us.