Crocodile Trumper Tears and Dead Syrian Children

Photo originally from TheWire as printed by the Atlantic.

Why are you crying, Trump supporter?

I mean, I know why I’m crying, but I’m just a bit confused. You seem genuinely shocked by the brutality in Syria, truly surprised by the unthinkable horror of it all. You shouldn’t be. You should have seen it coming.

This is merely a few God-awful miles down the track of the “Trump Train.”
It is the cancerous growth of Make America Great Again,

of Muslim Travel Bans,
of “bomb the sh*t out of them” tough guy talk,
of religious stereotypes created to rally your base,
of building walls and closing borders,
of “get out of my country,”

of perpetuating the fear of brown people.

This is the human collateral damage of what Donald Trump’s been selling for 16 months now. It is the cost in actual vibrant, beautiful lives, of the kind of incendiary rhetoric and alternative facts and FoxNews truths that you’ve been fine with up until now. This is what you bought and paid for. Maybe not something this sadistic or explicitly grotesque, but the heart is the same: contempt for life that looks different and a desire to rid yourself of it.

I want to believe that you’re truly outraged, but honestly your resume is less than convincing.

You didn’t seem all that broken up when Muslim families were handcuffed in airports a couple of months ago, or when mosques were being defaced, or when many of us were pleading the case for people fleeing exactly the kind of monstrous atrocities you were apparently so moved by now—and getting told to eat our bleeding hearts out by MAGA hat-wearing trolls. You weren’t all that concerned when your President told terrified, exhausted refugees to leave and go home—twice.

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t kiss the ring of a bad guy and then get to be the hero by feeling sorry about what other worse guys do. You can’t tell people to “go back where they came from,” and then beat your breasts like tortured martyrs when they get poisoned to death back where they came from.  

Your tears may as well be candy bars to these dead children. They’re that useful to them now and they’re that helpful to any of us who’ve been fighting for months to have good people in Syria and Iran and Turkey and here in America to be treated like human beings; whether they’re Muslim or gay or Transgender or poor or sick.

You want to be outraged in a way that matters, in a way that sticks, in a way that saves other children, in a way that is redemptive?

Be outraged at a President who plays patty-cake with malevolent dictators,
who says whatever hateful nonsense comes into his head,
who daily murders the truth to justify his misdeeds.
Be outraged at partisan media that insists on manufacturing Muslin monsters for the good Christian folks here to fear and feel righteous in turning away.
Be outraged at the bullies wielding their pulpits and their majority votes like sledgehammers against people of color both here and abroad.
Be outraged at your own laziness and apathy when it comes to looking for the truth and ferreting out what is real and what isn’t.
Be outraged that Donald Trump is lamenting the “poor dead babies,” he once said he would look in the face and tell to go home.
Be outraged that America is becoming as intolerant of diversity as any country on the planet.

Maybe this is a turning point for you. Maybe it is a revelation. Maybe seeing video of quivering, dying toddlers is what it will take to finally make you see that this is what hatred does. Every. Single. Time. This is the only inevitable outcome of people like Donald Trump and his cadre of fear-peddlers, pretending to save the world from the monsters they’ve created just to slay. A unilateral, hastily planned, ill-conceived, and transparently political military strike won’t cover this truth: we’re acting in supposed defense of children we refused sanctuary on our shores, after they were subjected to unspeakable violation in the place we sent them back to. 

The violence in Syria is heartbreaking and inhumane and clearly a blatant act of aggression against humanity—but it doesn’t happen in a vacuum and it isn’t an isolated event. It is cultivated in a million smaller, quieter, less visible ways, and its impact is equally brutal, whether it happens thousands of miles away with chemical weapons or whether it’s wrapped in red, white, and blue and called a Travel Ban. It’s all the same horrible, vicious poison that destroys people by making them into a threat. 

I’m not interested in your tears unless those tears move you to pushback forcefully against the violence happening in Syria and in Chicago, against terrorists and dictators and religious extremists wherever they do what they do and whatever faith tradition they claim. Yes Assad and Putin are the worst kind of horrible inhumanity and they should be condemned and opposed, but let’s stop pretending we don’t see the similarities here at home—if not in severity, then in spirit.

Be equally outraged at all the horrors human beings inflict upon each other, and then we’ll be grieving over the same tragedy and fighting the same fight.

 

1,284 thoughts on “Crocodile Trumper Tears and Dead Syrian Children

  1. Get this. The Easter Egg Hunt is too much of a challenge for all these incompetents in the White House. If they can’t handle the Easter Egg Hunt how can we possibly trust them with the country nd the rest of the world? We can’t obviously.

    So many disappointed children, families, veterans… Just goes to show that Easter is not a day that any of them pay any attention to.

    The Latest Test for the White House? Pulling Off Its Easter Egg Roll
    By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS APRIL 11, 2017

    WASHINGTON — President Trump received an urgent warning in February, informing him of a crucial date he was about to miss.

    “FYI manufacturing deadlines for the Easter eggs are near,” said a Twitter post directed at Mr. Trump; the first lady, Melania Trump; and the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump. “Please reach out!”

    The message came from Wells Wood Turning & Finishing, the company that supplies commemorative wooden eggs for the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, the 138-year-old celebration that has drawn 35,000 people to the South Lawn in recent years.

    The staff of the company, based in Buckfield, Me., wondered whether the Trumps planned to continue distributing the wooden eggs as party favors, or whether they were even going to have a White House Easter Egg Roll at all.

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    RELATED COVERAGE

    Bucket List Item: White House Easter Egg Roll APRIL 21, 2014
    By early March, the White House announced that the roll was on — Monday, to be exact — and soon followed up with a rush order for the wooden eggs.

    By that time, the ovoid uncertainty had raised a question perhaps not as consequential as investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election, a legally dubious travel ban and a collapsed health care bill, but no less a window into the inner workings of the Trump administration: Could this White House, plagued by slow hiring and lacking an on-site first lady, manage to pull off the largest, most elaborate and most heavily scrutinized public event of the year?

    “It’s the single most high-profile event that takes place at the White House each year, and the White House and the first lady are judged on how well they put it on,” said Melinda Bates, who organized eight years of Easter Egg Rolls as director of the White House Visitors Office under President Bill Clinton. “I’m really concerned for the Trump people, because they have failed to fill some really vital posts, and this thing is all hands on deck.”

    White House party catastrophes have been the stuff of presidential nightmares in the past. During his first year in office, President Barack Obama drew harsh criticism for lax security procedures after a pair of aspiring reality-show celebrities successfully crashed a state dinner honoring the prime minister of India, with one of them managing to buttonhole Mr. Obama for a handshake.

    The late start in planning by the Trump White House points to a smaller and less ambitious Egg Roll than in previous years. There may be half as many guests, a fraction of the number of volunteers to manage the invasion of the South Lawn, and military bands in place of A-list entertainers like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Idina Menzel and Silentó who have performed for Egg Rolls past.

    White House officials did not respond to several weeks’ worth of inquiries about the Easter Egg Roll, typically a heavily and enthusiastically promoted affair, and declined to provide basic information such as how many people are expected to attend. It is unclear, for instance, whether Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, will reprise his appearance in a bunny suit for the event, as he did a decade ago when George W. Bush was president and Mr. Spicer was an aide in the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

    Stephanie Grisham, who started as Mrs. Trump’s communications director on Monday, had previously denied that the event was being scaled back from past years. But she acknowledged on Tuesday that attendance this year would be “a bit less,” based on feedback from former officials who had said “the event had become so large that many children were not able to enjoy the planned activities.”

    “Our team has been working very hard to make this year’s event a success,” Ms. Grisham said. “I am confident that the success of this year’s Easter Egg Roll will speak for itself.”

    The evidence points to a quickly thrown-together affair that people close to the planning said would probably draw about 20,000 people — substantially smaller than last year’s Easter Egg Roll, which drew 37,000. It will be staffed by 500 volunteers, Ms. Grisham said, half the usual. Ms. Grisham said she did not have “firm numbers” on the overall number of attendees, and those who provided estimates did so on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to describe the plans for the Easter Egg Roll, which are still evolving just a week before the event.

    The White House has ordered 40,000 of the commemorative eggs — about half of the roughly 85,000 ordered in 2016 — with 18,000 to be given away at the Easter Egg Roll and another 22,000 available for sale, according to Lara Kline, the vice president for marketing and communications at the White House Historical Association, the official retailer.

    The relatively small number, Ms. Kline said, “is due to the limited manufacturing window for this year’s Easter Egg Roll.”

    The employees at Wells Wood Turning were not alone in wondering whether the White House would ever get in touch.

    Washington-area public schools that normally receive blocks of tickets for as many as 4,000 children have yet to hear from the White House, according to representatives for school systems in the District of Columbia; Arlington, Va.; and Alexandria, Va. Several groups representing military families, who have accounted for as many as 3,000 guests in recent years, also said they had yet to be contacted.

    “I’ve had quite a few families from across the country reach out and say: ‘Hey, are we getting tickets? Our family wants to drive in for the event,’” said Ashley Broadway-Mack, the president of the American Military Partner Association, which represents the families of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender service members and has received tickets for five to 10 of them for each of the last several years. “Unfortunately, the Trump administration has not reached out about it.”

    But Ms. Grisham said on Tuesday that tickets had been set aside for schools, children’s hospitals and military families. She could not say how many.

    Read the rest of this sad sad sad story here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/11/us/politics/white-house-easter-egg-roll-trump.html

    • This is big. And scary for a Trump supporter like me. I fear that Bunnygate might bring him down.

      Mr. President, regarding those 45,000 missing Easter Eggs…what did you know and when did you know it? Was that strike in Syria a cover-up? Why are there 45,000 Matryoshka dolls in the Oval Office?

      • Congrats Joe, you have convinced me.

        That you would have supported Hitler if he had gone after abortion.

        And yet you don’t want to pony up the money to take care of those unborn babies you want born. You simply want to dictate to women like a good little fundamentalist.

        But tell me..have you considered the payback that is going to be inflicted on your party for its open theft of supreme court seat that it didn’t have the right to? The fact that now we Democrats have no reason not to place the most liberal judges possible on the supreme court the next time we have both the white house and the senate and thanks to your party cheating and changing the rules there will be nothing for your party to do to stop it? Because with trumps lack of popularity and your party’s constant screwing over of average Americans are your party will lose the senate in two short years and the white house after it. Because no matter how much you are cheering Trump right now he is still awaking disaster. So feel free to gloat if you want, boy, but you and yours are going to pay through the nose for it. Do remember, you don’t speak for the majority.,

        And abortion still won’t be gone

        • There’s a certain naivete, is there not? Abortion has been a reality for millennia. It will always be with us until men respect women. If someone wants to end the need for abortion, then stopping it starts with respecting women and what we say we need.

          • Joe just uses “abortion” as his key issue because he knows it is so divisive and intractable—therefore it is sure to generate the high level of conflict and destructiveness he instinctively feeds on. If it did not exist as an issue, he would feel compelled to invent it to protect himself from emotional starvation.

            • I don’t think he actually gives a flying fig for human life. Not if he embraces the GOP as tightly as he does.

              I’ve come to the conclusion that the Trump budget and the various draconian GOP budgets are an attempt to practice eugenics upon the citizens of the USA. Of course, once that start, the available pool o desirables shrinks and shrinks until there is only those exatly like one’s self.

        • There was no “cheating.” The rules are back to the way they were in 2003, I believe. Democrats always choose loyal liberals anyway, but there’s always a possibility for a surprise from a Republican appointee (sadly). Anyway, the Democrats forced the rule change. They were blocking a super qualified candidate.

          The “gloating” was in response to a “broken promise” rant, and this is a very big and very important promise that was kept.

          Republicans will likely gain Senate seats in 2018. There are many vulnerable Democrats. They’re not going to lose control this cycle.

          What is it with your calling everybody you disagree with “child” or “boy,” btw?

          I speak for the majority of practicing Catholics and for all citizens who don’t live in lopsided California, if you’re bringing up the “popular vote” issue again. Of course nobody knows how the popular vote would have gone if the campaigning had been done to that end. And what if Trump would have had as much money has Hillary? He beat her by spending a fraction of what she spent, and the margins would have been greater had he had all that special interest funding.

          I didn’t bring up abortion this time, but since you did, is an abortion an evil act or not? Are you in agreement with Pope Francis that abortion is intrinsically evil? If you’re going to put the blame on the government not taking and redistributing more money than it’s already doing, then what of those cases where no financial help is necessary from the government or in which the baby could be adopted? In those cases where there is no financial necessity to abort, is it an injustice? Is it a mortal sin for a Catholic?

          • Dear Reader, do not expect that everyone comes here to discuss the host in a friendly or Christian manner. It might be best to ignore the baiting comments.

          • The cheating, child, I was referring to was your party conjuring the rule out of thin air that “We dont’ have supreme court confirmation hearings during election years.”

            This despite the fact that roughly two dozen supreme court justices were indeed confirmed during election years.

            oh and no, child, we democrats have not always chosen liberals. We’ve usually had to settle for at best center left. Why? Because your party has gone so far to the right that an actual liberal wouldn’t get anywhere near it. But now that one is over. We no longer have a reason to give a damn about your party’s opinion because thanks to your party rule changing we don’t have to worry about your party having the ability to filibuster. SO congratulations..you filled a seat that was held by a conservative with another conservative so in effect your party changed nothing about the makeup of the supreme court. Its not like your party has any more chance right now of overturning Roe vs Wade than it did when Scalia was still alive.

            So now when a spot opens up with a Democrat president and a Democrat senate we are free to put the most liberal judges possible on the supreme court and your party won’t be able to do a damn thing to stop it. Hm..Justice Bernie Sanders sounds nice to me.

            oh and no, the GOP isn’t likely to gain senate seats in a year. Why? Because Trump is a noose around the GOP’s neck and the party that holds the White House nearly always loses seats in the midterms. Trump’s less than 35% approval rating if that holds until next year will be the number dragging your party down. And considering how much of an incompetent cluster**** your precious Trump really is..and considering the Russia collusion bit and all the other broken promises he’s made..yeah don’t think that approval rating is going anywhere. Oh his putting gorusch on the bench may keep you and your ilk in his orbit but not even within the gop do your ilk hold the majority..certainly not enough as a single issue.

            For example your party is about to **** over coal miners six ways to sunday. HOw do you think they’re going to respond?

            Oh and btw, child, no your party didn’t change the rules to what they were in 2003.

            • Thank you, James, for your brilliant and factual response.

              I wonder how long this Congress will be avoid impeachment? One of the little Trumps said out loud that the occupant still has his business ties. That’s emolument and impeachable.

              His son-in-law is apparently the CEO of the USA while the occupant golfs and vacations. That’s nepotism no matter how much the Fake First Lady and her husband try to disguise it. Nepotism is against the law.

            • I do not believe you are a practicing Catholic. They don’t talk like you do.

              Clarence Thomas was confirmed with 52 votes, btw. I’m not clear on the dates, but that’s proof that a simple majority was sufficient in the past.

              Regarding the Senate, the math is against the Dems in 2018. They have to defend 25 seats.

            • As far as not confirming during an “election year”–both parties have spoken against that. The fact is that the Republicans had the numbers and they used their leverage (as the Dems would have). Good for them. That’s not “cheating.” That’s politics.

      • And Joe continues to be fine with trump being Putin’s bitch if it means Joe can continue to pretend to be prolife. Its a pity joe doesnt actually care about life or this country.
        All he cares about is being the christian version of Iran’s ayatollahs

        • I see things from a different perspective than you do James. My intentions are good. And note, even though you are crude and rude, I don’t return the favor.

          • Dear Reader, do not expect that everyone comes here to discuss the host in a friendly or Christian manner. It might be best to ignore the baiting comments.

      • Dear Reader, do not expect that everyone comes here to discuss the host in a friendly or Christian manner. It might be best to ignore the baiting comments.

  2. I can’t upload any picture do to problems with the iCloud. If you know anyone who understands this phenomenon, please have them get in touch with me. Thank you.

    You can find me on Facebook and PM there.

  3. US and Allies

    — Tensions between the United States/major European imperialist powers and Russia are at their highest point since the Cold War. Never has the danger of a military conflict between the US and Russia been greater.

    — The administration has made new threats against Syria since the April 6 missile attack.

    — There are new ultimatums to Russia to end its support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

    — President Trump defended the unprovoked strike and called Assad a “butcher.”

    — The G7 backed the US strike and its pretext—the utterly unproven claim that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town.

    — The G7 endorsed Washington’s renewed drive to topple Assad, Moscow’s sole Arab ally in the Middle East.

    Russia and Allies

    — Responded by stepping up its military support for Assad.

    — Discontinued coordinating with the US aimed at avoiding encounters between US and Russian jets.

    — Announced it will upgrade Syrian missile air defenses, which already include advanced S-400 and S-300 radar/missile batteries.

    — Diverted a frigate with cruise missiles to the Eastern Mediterranean.

    — Issued a joint statement with the Iranian military warning that it would respond with force to any new act of aggression against Syria.

    Another False Flag Opp …?

    — Defense Secretary/retired general James Mattis recklessly said that Syria would pay “a very, very stiff price” in the event of another chemical attack.

    — Another chemical ‘attack’ is undoubtedly being prepared already by the CIA and its Al Qaeda-linked proxies in Syria.

    — Mattis claims that the situation would not “spiral out of control,” based on the assumption that Russia would “act in their best interests,” i.e., back down.

    The Media’s Guilty Complicity

    Astonishingly, there is virtually no discussion in the US/European media of the danger of a war between the US and Russia and the consequences of such a turn of events.

    What happens if a US jet is shot down by a Russian anti-aircraft installation or Russian jet?

    What frenzied demands for retaliation will our complicit press spew? What will politicians both of the US and Russia say?

    In the event near certain eventuality Mattis is wrong and events DO spiral out of control [remember WW I?], how many millions will die in the opening minutes of a nuclear exchange between Russia and the US?

    Why is it that no such question is raised by the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Times of London, Le Monde, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung or Sydney Morning Herald?

    More specialized publications ARE discussing War

    Last Friday, ‘The Conversation’ published these words: ‘So, if the new aim of the Trump administration is the removal of Assad from power … this could only happen through a major confrontation with Russia.

    http://tinyurl.com/lopws58

    Since 2013, Russia has built up its presence in Syria.

    From ‘After the U.S. attack on Syria: 3 possible scenarios,’ Russia beyond the headlines wrote: ‘logic of confrontation will force Russia to respond with force’ RBTH also quotes Alexei Fenenko, an expert at the RAS Institute of International Security Problems, who warns that ‘we cannot fully exclude the use of nuclear weapons. For now, Moscow will demonstratively increase its military efforts in Syria.’

    If Russia doesn’t respond, US will attack Syrian bases again. What becomes of Russia’s standing in her allies eyes?

    Defense One technology editor Patrick Tucker’s ‘Can US Warplanes Evade Russian Air Defenses? We May Soon Find Out in Syria’ says that Russia has moved ‘ready-for-World-War-III air defense equipment into Syria early on in the conflict.’

    What carnage will result on all sides as the US, for the first time in decades, faces a modern, well armed and trained military?

    If nuclear war — what then?

    The name to follow is Steven Starr, with ‘Physicians for Social Responsibility.

    In the event of nuclear war, people living in cities from New York to Boston to Philadelphia to Detroit, Chicago and all the way to Los Angeles and San Francisco will likely be obliterated within minutes.

    Given the ‘end-of-world scenario’ now prepared behind the backs of the American and world population by the power/profit-mad Pentagon/CIA criminals, with the full support of both parties and the political and media establishment, it is appropriate to ask:

    1] What preparations are being made?
    2] What is the survival plan?

    The answer is, there are none. The silence of the media and politicians is no oversight. They know that if thos project becomes the subject of public discussion, the social convulsions it would produce will be uncontrollable.

    Even during the Cold War years, dominant sections of the ruling class had a certain caution. Now the relentlessly aggressive tone of media and constant demonization of ‘the other’ [this time, Putin] seems calculated to produce war.

    If there is to be survival, history will record that it was because the whole working class population united and intervened directly in governmental affairs, and seized control of the instruments of war to ensure that they were not used to destroy humanity.

    Blessings!

    • In my first two years of college I studied Nuclear Engineering and Safety and only changing majors once I could not get into the Navy. I can tell you in great detail how to survival a nuclear war, if possible, but the biggest question is; do you want to? A single attack with a 1 Megaton bomb would be far worse than what happened in Syria by a factor of 20 to 200 depending on the city and target. This is stuff of my nightmares.

        • I don’t want to either. Had to hide under the desk as a kid, just in case Russia nuked us. didn’t want to then, still don’t want to. Peace,

        • Hi Sandi. I believe that is the correct answer but my “survival at all cost” drive would kick in. I know I did it in my nightmares. I know too much. 🙁

          • As one who grew up ducking and covering in the Cold War, and in high school English classes read such books as Alas, Babylon and On the Beach, who listened to Carl Sagan talk about nuclear winter, and since I live in a military town that is, I daresay, a military target, the option of living through a nuclear strike is probably not one I have to think about.

            My international friends were petrified that Bush 2 was dumb enough to start a nuclear war but for whatever reasons, thanks be to God, he did not.

            Now my international friends are convinced that the current occupant’s ego is so massive that he thinks he could launch a nuclear strike and no one would dare strike back at us.

            We have just gotta stop killing each other. When kids fight we say “be the bigger person and don’t.” The USA has gotta be the bigger country and just plain stop it.

      • Dear Robin:

        I question the likelihood of survival, but go ahead and post a nuclear war survival plan if you wish. I expect that in the first minute or so, US/Russia alike would lose 30% of their population. Within a few weeks, another 50% or more would be dead. Then there is the possibility of a new Ice Age and the starvation of most who survive within a few years.

        Also, there is the possibility of a high-altitude detonation triggering an EMP [electro-magnetic pulse]. Steven Starr [mentioned above] said that A single detonation over the East Coast would destroy the grid and cause every nuclear power plant affected by EMP to melt down. Imagine [if one can] 60 Fukushimas happening the same time in the US simultaneously.

        You raise the question of the will to survive. Perhaps we should question the right of a race to survive that refused to intervene and stop such apocalyptic insanity in the interest of acquiring for the wealthy raw materials, cheap labor and access to new markets. How wise is it to let ruling-class Capitalist/criminality to run its course?

        I’m more interested in seeing all the public rationales/lines of official political discourse repudiated NOW. The US is NOT the voice of or defender of peace/freedom/truth/justice/equity in the world. Our police/military do NOT keep us safe, but rather keep us compliant and submissive.

        And let the working class around the world state the same in their respective lands. The state is NOT to be respected, feared, served, assisted and — above all — the state is NOT to be believed, because it is a lie. Period.

        Blessings!

        • I think I can sum your statement in one sentence.

          The plutocrats running their respective countries have rocks for brains so they are likely to kill their golden goose called “the global market” with World War 3, and in the process, kill almost everyone.

          Did I get this right?

          • Dear Robin:

            I wish I could say ‘yes.’

            And something like that would be the standard line espoused by Capitalist historians.

            As it is, I believe that war is a necessary byproduct of Capitalism.

            Capitalism has three imperatives. It must have:
            1] Abundant, accessible raw materials.
            2] A cheap [i.e., dirt cheap] labor force.
            3] Access to markets to sell products.

            Capitalism must obtain these wherever they exist and at all costs. But that productive reality is contradicted by the nation state, which creates hinders acquisition of these things.

            War attempts to resolve those contradictions.

            Under Capitalism, war is not optional. You can no more have capitalism without war than you can have a river without water.

            Blessings!

      • Hey Robin. I know this stuff too. Most people do not know what radioactive contamination is—and neither did the people who wrote scripts for The Twilight Zone. They thought the alpha, beta, gamma, and X rays enter a can of beans and contaminate the beans. Not so, as you well know. When a nuclear weapon is detonated, the uranium or plutonium core, which weighs just a couple of pounds, fragments into many trillions of microscopic particles that one might best think of as “simple dust” to understand them analogically. This microfine dust goes way up into the air to 40,000 feet and it also fans out across the land as part of the surface shock wave from the explosion. Each microfine particle of dust is radioactive, and whatever thing it settles on (all dust eventually settles), each dust particle just sits there like a “little sun” and beams out destructive radioactive waves just like the waves of light from our sun up in the sky.

        Going back to that can of beans, the outside of the can may have radioactive dust that has settled on it. However, the sealed off contents of the can remain edible because the settling radioactive dust cannot get into the can to contaminate the food. The radioactive dust can be washed off the outside of the can in just the same way that you can wash the dust off a can that has been sitting on a grocery shelf for a long time. It is then safe to handle, and it is safe to eat the beans inside. However, the real trick is how to get close enough to the contaminate exterior of the can to wash the radioactive dust off. That can exterior might have hundreds of “little suns” sitting on the outside of it, enough to make you sick and/or kill you if you get too close to the can for too long to wash it and the wash water itself may already have “little sun” dust particles in it even before the can washing begins.

        Bottom Line: The average American knows almost nothing about radioactive contamination. If we ever have a nuclear war, millions of people are going to die simply because they do not understand the nature of radioactive contamination and how to deal with it.

        • My “Bottom Line”: I do not want to know anything about radioactive contamination. If we ever have a nuclear war, I want to die in the first wave and never have to learn survival skills in the dystopia soon to follow.
          Not even a little bit interested in it.

          • Me either. I never could figure out how getting under our desks was going to help. Still have nightmares about that.

        • Good point Charles. I believe there would be survivors who could avoid or survive the fallout and the nuclear winter with water, their handy can opener or concrete block (called the “Russian can opener”) and lots of layers of clothes.

          The winter would eventually end and what would be left would be a few thousand Americans standing amongst the ruins, knowing that thing a beauty will be waiting to be created by them. The ruins would be a reminder of the lessons we had forgotten.

          People will create something new not because they want to, but because they have to. They will create in spite of a world highly polluted and left to ruin by us; and they will weep and soldier on for the Holy Spirit cannot be extinguished, even by our own stupidity and foilbles. This is my hope and faith for us. They will truly learn that earth is one organism and an organism at war with itself is doomed. They will know that we are one planet in the incredible vastness of our universe and cooperation, not aggression, is the key to survival.

          • Dear Robin:

            ‘…cooperation, not aggression, is the key to survival.’

            That is the basis of my preferred socioeconomic system.

            Blessings!

          • I like the way you think, Robin. The way that you articulated this is beautiful and so free from dogma. This is what I believe would happen as well, but I’m really hoping that we don’t have to go there. As difficult as it is, I am really hoping that by living and open-minded, inclusionary, and spiritual life, those who live in the world of “my way or the highway” narrow-minded conservativism might see the example before they drag the world down into man-made hell on earth. God bless you.

        • Dear Charles:

          ‘…millions of people are going to die simply because they do not understand the nature of radioactive contamination and how to deal with it.’

          Alternatively, millions will die because they refused to intervene directly in the affairs of state to stop it.

          Blessings!

  4. sojo.net FacebookTwitterInstagram

    SojoMail
    While the Men Were in Hiding, Women Delivered the Greatest News the World Has Ever Known
    Jim Wallis
    On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here: He has risen!” (Luke 24:1-6)

    Imagine what these women — these followers of Jesus — must have felt as they heard the best news in the history of the world.

    In so many of the gospel stories that are familiar to us, women were behind the scenes — always there, always present, always faithful — but nearly always in the background and hardly ever mentioned by the men in the stories, and certainly not the ones writing the stories. Their testimony as women was not even admissible in court under Jewish law; the word of a woman had no public credibility in that patriarchal culture. But God chose to reveal the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection first to women. They were then told to report the astonishing news of the empty tomb to the men —

    Please read the rest of the article here

    https://sojo.net/articles/while-men-were-hiding-women-delivered-greatest-news-world-has-ever-known

  5. GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Folks, I seriously doubt if we will see a new main post from John Pavlovitz until after the Easter holiday weekend. He tends to travel to get away from it all and visit with family on big holiday weeks/weekends. My best guess is that we will not see a new post until at least next Tuesday.

    Now watch me be wrong!!!!

    • After all the years we spent in the ministry, I wouldn’t blame him. This was the most consuming time of the year for my fella. Peace,

    • I’m hoping God is reforming John with his redeeming and transforming love. That’s my prayer for him this Easter season.

      • Well isn’t that special, Patrick? What a typical prayer, that someone is “reformed” to be more in line with what you accept and agree is acceptable.

        • Doesn’t matter what I accept or agree is acceptable. All that matters are God’s loving and holy standards.

          • Patrick, I am pretty sure any rubric of religious doctrine allows anger and calling out…

            If John Pavlovitz was the only voice calling out the Christian Right, you might have a leg to stand on. But that is not the case.

            One is David Gushee: “Rev. Dr. David Gushee is Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University in Georgia. He is the author or editor of 21 books in his field, including Letter to My Anxious Christian Friends, Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust, Kingdom Ethics, The Sacredness of Human Life, and Changing Our Mind. He is President-Elect of the American Academy of Religion and President of the Society of Christian Ethics. His blog won the Wilbur Award as the best in religious publishing in 2015.”

            Here he offers an opinion on a new book: “Frances FitzGerald on how evangelicals lost their way” and he says: “Evangelicals very badly lost their way. And they did so because their gospel stopped being about the love of God in Jesus Christ, demonstrated most profoundly at the cross, and instead became a reactionary jeremiad about saving America by electing Republican politicians and fighting culture wars.”

            “…The Christian faith is not fundamentally about shaping America or any other country. It is fundamentally about nurturing a community of human beings who will faithfully follow Jesus. This is where American evangelicals went wrong.”
            http://religionnews.com/2017/04/12/how-evangelicals-lost-their-way/

            And there are more people who think the same thing. Adam Hamilton discusses this often.

          • Well, Patrick, the statements coming from the Christian right have, at times, not been very loving or holy or of God’s standards. And that is what John is calling out.

            And instead of sitting there thinking “Where, how and when could John be right?” the Christian right on this blog summarily dismiss what he’s saying because it’s inconvenient.

            The Christian right is making the same mistakes, imo, that Christianity, especially my church, made throughout history. It is far too interested in maintaining power no matter the cost, no matter the damage, no matter the devils it allies with, and no matter the corruption and the twistedness that inflicts on both the country and the church.

            The last thing Christianity should be doing is repeating the mistakes of the past where it sought to control and dictate civil authority. That is the path to, among other things, corruption.

            • My wish would be that they worry about their own soul and leave John’s to John, mine to me and everyone else’s to the person it belongs to. Peace,

              • Actually, as believers, we’re called to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers. Otherwise, why wish us peace?

                • Oh Patrick, I owe you an apology, all this time I thought your insults and demeaning attacks on our host were from an angry Christian Right defender and here you were just worried for his soul! Oh my, that is just touching. I am sure that is how anyone feels when they read what you wrote. Clearly my bad!

            • Hi, James
              I’d like to understand your point of view. May I ask:
              What is your definition of the Christian right? Who exactly are they, in your view.
              Thx

          • Hi Patrick,

            You do know that God is infinite, right? He is far too big to fit into one, MAN-interpreted religion, among many, all invented by MAN on a teeny-tiny planet among two-hundred billion solar systems in a smaller than average galaxy among billions in the known universe (that is, known only by MAN).

            From the perspective of this entire, beautiful universe that He has created, when I look back to that teeny tiny planet (among hundreds of billions in a single galaxy among hundreds of billions) and any one of its man-made religions, it is clear that the author(s) could not have possibly known all that there is to know about infinite God from their less-than-microscopic understanding, gleaned over 3-5 thousand years during the 13.5 billion year history of THIS universe alone.

            If I ascribe to any belief system (as opposed to demonstrated and proven scientific facts), I know that just because someone tells me something is true, or a book tells me something is true, or even a large minority of people say something is true, that doesn’t make it true.

            What makes it true is whether not it works. If I see it, first-hand, working in the lives of others, it is probably true. At that point, I may try it for myself, and if it works, then it is true. For me. But just because it works for me doesn’t mean that something that works for someone else is wrong. If I felt that way, I would know that it was my own thinking that was in error. You see, I’m not God.

            The first sign that some form of belief doesn’t work is if it supports closed-mindedness. Similarly, if someone is closed-minded to the validity of other beliefs (the idea that their way is the only way “because God says so”) they have no credibility because they assume that God speaks only to them in the form of whatever their belief is. And that is simply not true.

            • Hi, Edward
              You seem to believe in an infinite, creator God. But you also seem agnostic. To understand you better, may I respectfully ask a few questions:
              1) How would you describe God’s nature?
              2) Who do you think Jesus is?
              3) How would you describe our nature?

              • Edward M. I would avoid engaging with Patrick in this manner. This “pointed question” asking of his is a precision tool fundies have used for decades in an effort to soften people up and then use their “unique fundie understanding” of the Bible to bludgeon them to death. After the bludgeoning is complete and you are bloody all over, they will then kindly ask you to fall on your knees, renounce everything you believe (including your own conscience), and pray to Jesus to turn your life around and believe everything exactly as the fundies believe it, including an inerrant, literally read Bible where the Earth is only 5,000 years old with two first humans, a dinosaur pet named Bowser, and a snake talking to the woman of the house under a fruit tree in her back yard.

                I have seen this “pointed question” trickery numerous times in my 20 years or so of dealing with fundies. This is a SET UP Edward M. Please do not fall into it. Just ignore them. You are too smart to deal with people who are stupid enough to think the world is only 5,000 years old—and that includes you Leslie.

                I have an Easter message for Patrick and Joe Catholic. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ—F*CK BOTH OF YOU FOR DEALING WITH EDWARD M. IN THIS TREACHEROUS MANNER.

                • Charles,

                  Asking questions to better understand another’s viewpoint is treacherous? Wow.

                  Pretty sure if Edward is indeed intelligent and openminded, he won’t feel threatened by a few questions.

                  Also, I’ve personally put up with your vulgarity and crude Cro-Magnon style, but you ought to back off on your attempts to silence Leslie M. Your ham-handedly wrong application of biblical doctrine that you think calls for her to refrain from engaging intellectually with men—especially a dimwitted dude like you whom she could blow out of the water intellectually—is asinine. Leave Leslie alone, you brute.

                  You should stick with your fundamentalist fundie attacks as they’re told by an idiot, full of sound and fury. Signifying nothing.

                  And, by the way, fundies have more fun.

                  Blessings!

                  • My statement stands, and I do not care about the wayward opinions of people like you for whom I have zero respect. Get thee behind me Satan.

                    • Based on your polluting Jesus’ name with your vulgarity above, I’d say you’re right behind satan.

                • The wise speak only of what they know, Charles. A witless worm have you become. Therefore be silent, and keep your forked tongue behind your teeth.

                  • God created us worms to bore into organisms like you Joe Catholic—and eat you alive. How dare you disparage the worm God created and called “good.”

                    • I think that was Gandalf calling you Grima Wormtongue, Charles. Not sure how Joe wormed his way into your mind.

                • Edward M., I encourage you to take seriously everything Charles says here except for the last paragraph. Well, except for one word in the last paragraph. I agree it is treacherous for anyone to engage with either of them.

                  Charles, while I empathsize and understand your frustration, pleaae don’t use vulgar language. You play into their hands when you do and descend to their level. My mother told me to never do that. I believe she was right.

                  • I made a case that an infinite God would find a way to communicate with us and that’s “treacherous”?

                    Your friend is what he is, Gloriamarie. He’s a vulgar and abusive man, and needs to work on that. Don’t excuse it.

              • Patrick,

                Well, I’m not sure that I can answer your questions in a manner that you can relate to or will have any meaning for you. I don’t actually believe in God, as in “to have faith that God exists”, or “trust the idea that there is an omnipotent Creator”. I have come to understand over the last thirty-five-plus years that although the way that I came to God was hardly unique, it is not typical nor is it usually spoken of. My relationship with God is not one of belief, or faith, or a choice to accept His existence, but one of direct experience and conscious awareness. I know God through experiences that began a long time ago and, at the time, I had no idea how to explain what was happening to me. A close friend who was a Franciscan Priest helped me understand my experience(s), although not in religious terms. He was actually having some difficulty with the whole situation but basically told me to not be afraid, to follow my experience, continue to listen, and to not try to explain or label. The best I can do is to tell you that it is very personal, and not describable in words. I don’t make a distinction between Jesus Christ and God, but when I am spoken to, it is the state of mind and circumstances that determine how I perceive “Who” speaks. My experience of God is not aligned with any form of organized religion, nor does God relate to me in that way. My experience has absolutely no connection to the beliefs or experiences of others. The way that I understand my nature (and since I am not unique or special, by extension, the nature of mankind, I assume) is that I am an individualized expression of God. There is a lot more to it all than that, but that’s about as much as I feel like writing about it.

                It may be that the reason your perception is that I seem to be agnostic might have to do with my experience of God being different from your way of understanding God through your religious beliefs or what you are most familiar with.

            • An Infinite God did reveal himself to the Apostles, various witnesses, and inspired them to found a Church or THE Church.

              Don’t close your mind to that possibility. An infinite God is capable of doing such a thing.

              • The singular point of my post was about NOT having a closed mind. Of course, Infinite God revealed Himself to those later known as the Apostles, and other witnesses. And they were inspired to start a church. Where would you get the idea that my mind is closed to that, as you say, possibility? I don’t consider it as a “possibility” though. I believed that it happened. And some people started a church based upon their interpretations, and you now call that church The Church. And other people interpreted it a little bit differently and started a church that’s different than yours. And others, still, started churches based upon THEIR interpretations and started churches that were even more, or entirely different. I have little doubt that this infinite God has inspired beings to start churches all over the universe. As infinite as God is, it just makes absolutely no sense that He would inspire so many beings in so many billions upon billions of places, in so many different ways for me to declare that the one particular church doctrine that I happen to follow is The Only Church that He deemed as The Church. If I felt that way, I would have to be honest and declare myself as closed minded. I wouldn’t like it, but it would be the truth.

                Simply my reply to your comment to me about my statement to Patrick. I am not interested in defending or debating it.

                • Edward M, You said that so well. I keep trying but you did it much better. I don’t understand why people insist on limited God. Anyway, Thanks, Peace and Love friend.

                  • Thank you, Kathleen. Although it’s not the exact same thing, I always liked the line Lloyd Bridges said in the movie “Cousins”, when he was explaining why he preferred standing outside instead of going inside the church during a funeral service. He said, “It always makes me nervous when they try to put God in a box”. I love that line. Not being a bible scholar, I may get this wrong, but didn’t Jesus say something like, “…and build your temples simply, from a pile of rough and ready stones”? Have you ever been to the Vatican? Peace and Love to you, too, my friend.

                    • No I have never been on the other side of the ocean. My submariner was in the Med and went to Rome. He also did Athens but I never was lucky enough. I like the Lloyd Bridges line. I suspect that when people limit God it is because they want to. They make God in their image not the other way around. Then they use that image to try and coerce everyone else. I just don’t see God like that. If you have ever spent any time around a group of children, one size does not fit all, you have to come at them differently if you want them to follow. If I as human know that, how much greater is God’s diversity. Anyway I liked the way you explained. Keep checking in friend because you will be missed. Peace and Love

                    • Right there with you Kathleen, the God that created the world and all in it is beyond our comprehension in his infinite power, love and grandeur. Much of the Bible is people trying to come to grips with that majesty and the power of such Grace. IMO, it has not been done yet.

                      When I have had times I “felt” it (where two or three are gathered, God is with us), it has been literally beyond my vocabulary to articulate but it was the most powerful sensation I have ever known and like the poem “Footsteps”, I know there were times God carried me.

                      More than anything, I do not want to let Him down. Anyone who has read the Bible, or even just the New Testament, knows the overall theme is our command to love. Not in the sense of marital, familial or friendship love, but the kind that sees no color, gender, station, class or cultural division. We are to be that Good Samaritan. We are to be that person who refuses to pick up the stone. We are to be that person that steps into the breach.

                      I do not make friends easily (though I can spot people I will love in minutes), but I share the love of Christ the same for all, even those I do not like or agree with. It does not work any other way. From the words of Jesus and many of the prophets in the Bible, it is clear there is a time and place to stand up and tell your truth, even to the powerful. And there is a time to respectfully follow.

                      I do not ignore the possibility that I am wrong, but the fact that God puts the scripture in front of me that I need, gives me the courage to keep on speaking even when being shouted down and the discernment to know who my friends are and defend them is not something I can take credit for.

                • To quote Joe: An Infinite God did reveal himself to the Apostles, various witnesses, and inspired them to found a Church or THE Church. Don’t close your mind to that possibility. An infinite God is capable of doing such a thing.

                  And maybe, Joe, that Infinite God is using John to call you and your fellow right wing Christian’s to account for your hypocrisies and failures.

                  • Why would I need a Protestant pastor who weeds out the most uncomfortable parts of the scriptures to do that, when I have Catholic Church, all her dogma and doctrines, all the saints, the Pope, the bishops, the Catechism, my pastor, etc?

                    All JP is doing is demonizing Donald Trump and his supporters, giving himself and his followers an opportunity to judge them and feel good about themselves at the expense of tearing others down.

                    I know about my hypocrisies and failures. How I vote, however, is not among them.

                • What about the possibility that one of the Churches IS correct, led and inspired by God, and the others have pieces of that Truth and some of their own mistakes and errors?

                  There is such a Church that can trace her beginnings to the Apostles.

                  And this is not people putting God in a box, but God putting himself in that box, so that we can understand him.

        • –It’s not what we say or we think… it’s what God says, and God thinks. Christians are in agreement with God. His Word is plain.

          • Anonymous, all you do with the statement above is prove how very ignorant you are of Church History.

            • AMEN to that. They also have a simple fundie understanding of the Bible—an understanding that just happens to be wrong in many ways.

              • Simple understanding of the Bible:

                And they were bringing even their babies to Him so that He would touch them, but when the disciples saw it, they began rebuking them. But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.”
                ~Luke 18:15-17

          • That is just patently untrue. If God’s words were so “plain” and all Christians were in agreement with them, there would not be so many denominations and so much variance even within the Christian religion.

            You can deny man’s hand in the transcribing, translation, emphasis and editing as you like, it will never make it true.

            • They once were all in agreement until the Reformation. There will always be disagreements about scripture interpretation when they are not in the hands of their rightful interpreters.

              • I am going to pray that you lose your arrogance, who are you to decide who the proper interpreters are. I seem to believe something about arrogance going before a fall. Joe you can believe what you want, but please stop belittling those of us who have a different interpretation, I will pray for you because I truly do not believe that you have the last word. I don’t believe anyone living has the last word.

                • It’s not “arrogance” to make a case for the Catholic Church. Go ahead and make a case for yours. That’s what discussion boards are about.

                  For more centuries then not, there was one church which was the final arbiter of interpretation of the scriptures.

                  Do you believe God wants there to be 20,000 different interpretations of the Bible. I don’t. And I’m not arrogant to state my belief that God didn’t leave us confused orphans, but did give us a Church and gave that Church authority, beginning when he gave the keys to Peter.

                  Do you want to discuss this or are you only interested in making another personal attack?

                  • No, I don’t want to discuss it. I happen to believe that God does not care if there are many variations, what he/she wants us to be is caretakers of the people and the earth they walk and work on. Not judge them for their interpretation, take care of them and love them, unconditionally. You turn people away with your my church is the only true church line, I’m not buying therefore there is no discussion. I believe that God works with people where they are. I am not so arrogant as to think that my way is the only way. I believe God is much larger and greater than that.

                    • That’s what the Catholic Church says about itself. It’s easy to prove to someone who is open minded and inquisitive. Not so easy to one who thinks there are “many ways” to climb the same mountain, even if those ways contradict each other.

                      Of course Christ honors those who walk in the light that they have, even if there are omissions and errors, but he did create a Church, against which the gates of Hell would not prevail.

      • Dear Reader, do not expect that everyone comes here to discuss the host in a friendly or Christian manner. It might be best to ignore the baiting comments.

        • Dear fellow commenters,
          Do not expect everyone here to fawn over and venerate the blogger while checking their critical thinking at the door. DO expect at least two self-appointed pseudo moderators to attack any dissenting views with emotionally-charged assumptions and vocabulary-challenged name calling. These attacks will be followed by a silly boilerplate statement they seem to think will help them control this social media site and transform it to their own private club devoid of challenging opinions.

          • Joe, you told us you were going to post under only one identity. You are a liar and are here for no reason except to create dissension. I don’t know why causing dissension is so much fun for you, but you are on record as saying you enjoy it.

            It’s too bad you have nothing better to do on Maundy Thursday than write such spew as this.

              • Thanks, Joe, I’ll add this to the list. I don’t a day goes by without Joe posting lies to this group

                  • Yes please do. I have lost track of all the people I’m supposed to be. Thankfully Gloriamarie has psychic powers and can know with certainty the actual identities of various posters, otherwise she’d risk being a liar.

                    • Patrick, I hope you are joking with me. No I am not. I wouldn’t make up names like that? Are you going to be another one who believes every lie Gloriamarie tells? Who knows, she could be the one doing it so she can blame it on me.

                    • Joe,
                      I was joking. I don’t think you made up those silly names. Nor do I believe Gloriamarie is lying—I think she genuinely believes you use 57 names or whatever it is now.

                  • Thanks Patrick. I thought you were joking but not quite sure. I am actually somewhat envious of the creative person I’m supposed to be.

                    Anyway, so you’re correct, if she believes she’s telling thee truth, then her false statements aren’t technically lies, though it is a sin to make such accusations based on suspicions.

                    • Hey, Joe
                      I would like to see the updated list of all your aliases. Some of them are pretty funny. I too am appreciative of the good uber doofus humor in all these silly, yet creative names.

          • A particularly dissociative but frequent boilerplate statement is… ‘Pro-Lifers don’t care about babies after they are born.’ –say what?!

            It can’t even be answered to, because it’s logically faulty. What is the opposite of ‘oxymoron’?

            • Uber Doofus? 😜
              Nah, I know what you mean. Pro-lifers cease caring for babies once they’re born makes as much sense any other straw man around here. It really does require a suspension of logic and a commitment to tired old talking points.

              • You are so right Patrick! It really does require a suspension of logic and a commitment to tired old talking points to even think we could find any Christian right-wingers not standing up for the programs and policies that help mothers and their children. It would likely take days and weeks of research to find such people wanting to take away the safety nets of the women they so champion! We are just creating that myth out of whole cloth aren’t we…busted.

            • I don’t know but the people who say that are morons.

              Imagine running a pet shelter and getting criticisms like, “Too bad you don’t care about PEOPLE too.”

              Or you work for to help cancer patients, so how come those people with heard problems are scum to you?

              They do have some big problems with logic, but so does their guru. Their “logic” appeals to emotions only. The brain needs to be shut down for it to work.

              • “HEART problems”

                I hope Sandi’s Sewing Circle board has a way to edit posts and they don’t have such frustrations.

              • Oh look at Joe making a valid point, why just imagine running a “crisis pregnancy center” and getting criticisms like, “Too bad you don’t care about babies already here too.” Such unfair criticism would likely sting as you point to the many programs, safety nets and policies you back that help babies already here.

                Or if you work to place babies born but unwanted, and someone asked why you do not help those babies born but wanted and living in poverty How come those people with money problems are scum to you? That would surely hurt you until you pointed to all the free day care, clothing, housing and parenting classes you run and support.

                Sure, it is us that “have some big problems with logic” sure it is. No one could ever accuse the Christian right-wingers of not being friendly, generous and welcoming to the poor or working tirelessly with the legislatures to help them any way they can!

                • Sandi, this is is the example Joe ignores:

                  On Maundy Thursday, Pope Washes 12 Prisoners’ Feet, Including Women and Muslim Man
                  By Philip Pullella, Reuters 4-13-2017
                  Print

                  Pope Francis washes the feet of some inmates at the Paliano prison, south of Rome, Italy April 13, 2017.

                  Pope Francis visited a fortress prison holding mafia turncoats on April 13, and again included a Muslim and women in a traditional Holy Week foot-washing ritual that previous popes had limited to Catholic men.

                  Francis said a Mass for the 70 inmates of the prison, a 16th century fortress at Paliano 75 km (47 miles) south of Rome.

                  During the service, he bent to wash and kiss the right foot of 12 inmates, commemorating Jesus’ gesture of humility towards his 12 apostles on the night before he died.

                  rest of the article can be read here:
                  https://sojo.net/articles/maundy-thursday-pope-washes-12-prisoners-feet-including-women-and-muslim-man

            • Be quiet Leslie. This is a discussion among men—and you know that your fundie theology does not allow you to teach or direct men in any matter. It is okay for Gloriamarie, Sandi, etc. to do it because they do not cleave to the same bag of theological nonsense that you do Leslie. You have submitted yourself to the fundie way—so stick to it or renounce it.

            • Well sure leslie m, you got us there! I mean there is just so much evidence of the Christian Right standing up for the safety nets and programs to help mothers and their children after all. You sure have us there. We would be really hard-pressed to find a Christian right-winger wanting to cut programs that help the mothers and children they champion!

              • Oh, Sandi, you know her response is that conservatives give more to charity than we liberals do.

                Of course, their contributions do not seem to improve the safety nets and programs to help mothers and their children or those of us in the USA who are impoverished and disabled, just to name two other examples.

                • I have also noticed that there are strings attached to conservative charity, like if you don’t genuflect properly as someone who is taking charity should, or if you don’t belong to the right group and on and on and on.

                  • It’s not enough to be in need, one has to be among the “deserving poor” which is code for employed. Those of us who are single, disabled or too old or too young or to work are not “deserving poor.”

                    I run into this all time as an impoverished, single, disabled senior when I seek assistance from various charitable organizations.

                    I am not married with children, so I don’t qualify for just about anything. Because the charitable giving cards are stacked against people such as I, and we are forced to ask outright (beg and panhandle) it only reinforces their belief that people such as I are “undeserving poor.”

                  • Do you follow conservatives around and watch watch what they do as they open their wallets? You know this by observation or is this just wishful thinking–a way to invalidate their generosity?

                  • You forgot. “We only dispense charity to those who deserve it.” Translation: If dad and mom are alcoholics, then neither they nor the children get any food from the charity.

                • And of course right wingers are demanding that insurance companies cover prenatal, natal and neonatal health care. I mean after all they want to ensure that the mother and the baby have the best health care possible to ensure their safety and survival.

                  Just like right wingers are demanding that contraception be covered in order to ensure that women can use contraception so they don’t have to even consider abortion.

                  And I’m sure that right wingers will be guaranteeing that foster homes will be palaces in order to ensure that the kids in the system won’t be neglected or abused. Just like all those right wingers will be adopting all those children.

                  • James, as you know I had a heart attack last week and am not feeing all that terrific, and as a result, I have to ask… You are being sarcastic, aren’t you?

              • Dear Readers, do not expect that everyone comes here to discuss the host in a friendly or Christian manner. It might be best to ignore the baiting comments such as those Coby made.

                • And cue the boilerplate warning. I think the dear readers can decide for themselves what to do with comments.

              • Why would we? The Whirlpool dryer in the laundry room works just great. Wash your clothes on the rocks in India if you like, but it holds no appeal for us.

          • Dear Readers, as “Shnockleberry Dinkerdonklage” proves above, not everyone who comes here has either an open mind or an open heart.

            They will pretend it is expected that everyone “fawn over and venerate the blogger while checking their critical thinking at the door” which oddly he proves they do, but the decidedly unchristian, insulting and dismissive efforts of commenters such as him have robbed this blog of it’s potential and already John Pavlovitz has stopped participating in the ugliness that they try to pass off as discussion .

            What is laughable is that they will attack our host and all who dare to agree with him with all manner of ugly, insulting “dissenting views with emotionally-charged assumptions and vocabulary-challenged name calling” but then decry that when it is returned. Just like the schoolyard bullies of old.

            A rational person would see us trying to create a place for actual conversation but these immature haters just claim we want to control this site. Clearly that is their objective, not ours. You will laugh even more when you see what they call their “challenging opinions”.

            • And thanks to Sandi, we have an alternative to the ugliness that happens here in these comments.

              please email her at [email protected]

              No trolls need apply. And if a troll manages to sneak onto the group, you won’t last. We will block you.

      • Patrick. I’m not cynical, but, I wonder if pastor John is boycotting his own blog?

        He posted many times today on his FB, and his Twitter, but he stopped posting here the same day some of the Commenters opened their own ‘Stuff that needs to be said’ closed-group.

        • Hi, Leslie — John isn’t adding new posts to his FB or Twitter pages; his old ones either rotate automatically or he or whoever rotates them. I doubt if he ever looks at the comments here, but I wouldn’t blame him for avoiding this silly show 😜.

        • Also, he makes money here with advertisers, so boycotting his own blog would cost him revenue and relevance toward his book writing ambitions. I’m hoping he’s coming to his senses and back to truth.

          • Patrick: Oh. Interesting. thanks for info. I’m not very savvy at all with blogs, etc.

            I join you in prayer. Thank you LORD for being good to all whose hope is in you. You look down at us from heaven, at the sons of men, to see if there are any who understand, any who seek you. Those that know your Name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you. Thank you LORD, that you guide the humble in what is right and teach us the way to go. You alone are faithful. amen.

          • Patrick, would you mind telling us who elected you to decide what is “his senses” or the “truth”? Who is it you claim to represent?

            • Sure thing, Sandi

              Senses: Commonsense, logic, rational thinking; devoid of political propaganda

              I wasn’t elected to tell the truth; I am commanded: Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
              ~2 Timothy 2:15

              Whom I do represent: God

              • Just a warning, Patrick..that’s what the likes of Hitler said too. And Torquemada. And Cotton Mather.

                • That is the problem with people who claim to represent God. Anyone can make that claim when it is simply a man attempting to play God. I think it would be fair to ask them for the letter God personally sent to inform us of their appointment—and no—I am not talking about a letter from the head of their denomination or the seminary where they studied. I want to see the letter from God himself—and it had better sport something clearly supernatural. Funny how so many of God’s personally appointed representatives turn the Earth into a graveyard in the name of Jesus.

                  And never forget. Cotton Mather was a Cotton Mother.

              • Patrick, I did not ask you for a definition of “senses” nor how you believe you will “present yourself to God”. I asked you a very specific and easy to answer question. Who elected you to decide what is “his senses” or the “truth”?

                I get it you give yourself the knowledge and authority to claim he should “come to his senses” and tell your version of truth. Oddly enough, he seems to be saying the same thing to you.

                • Sandi,
                  My ability or calling to share truth is not a matter of democratic election. Nor is it self given. There are no versions of subjective truth; there is truth and there is non-truth.

                  John thinks he’s telling truths that need to be said. I think he’s helpful when he writes about certain things relating to hurting people and such. But when he inevitably veers into politics and spiritual matters, he leaves the path of truth and plunges ahead with his election anger, social issue activism, emotions and spiritual constructs.

                  While I and many others operate from a basis larger than ourselves, John prefers to ride with his own notions based on his emotions.

                  Sandi, there is no subjective truth, no versions of truth, no my truth or your truth. There is only truth.

                  If you’re interested, here’s a thoughtful analysis of objective truth you may enjoy: https://uberdoofus.com/subjective-truth-lead-balloon

                  • I do read your blog. As a home grown Californian isn’t there one thing you can find to mock about Texas? It is a big state, there must be something – ha.

                    Anyway I had read this one and most of it went over my head – as do a lot of things here.

                    I get progressive Supreme Court justices – bad. Are you saying the Church and the Constitution should or should not be entwined? Isn’t that what all the hoopla was about during the campaign was getting either a conservation for the right or a liberal for the left?

                    • Hi, Joanne
                      Thanks for reading my stuff. Yep, I can think of some things to make fun of Texas. For example, the big hair stereotype of middle-aged well-to-do Dallasite women is always fun. Then there’s the proclivity to do everything bigger and better when it comes to outdoor sports shops with mega bass boats, guns and other man toys.

                      And I can’t forget the same principle that applies to all-you-can-eat barbecue, chicken wings, chicken fried steak, etc. Everything is indeed bigger in Texas, including the waistlines.

                      I don’t think the church and Constitution should be entwined. The separation of church and state was initially meant to protect the church from the state, not vice versa, as people claim today.

                      Unfortunately, you’re right—the concern for both sides is getting a Supreme Court justice who leans their way. My point is that ALL justices should stay out of activism and do their jobs, which is only to make sure lower court rulings are constitutional.

                      An activist judge at any level is not objective or impartial.
                      I think the Supreme Court and its justices should judge based on law, precedent and especially by the letter of the Constitution. It is a static and beautifully conceived and written document that is just as relevant today as it was in the late 1700s. Just as the Bible is just as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago.

                      Why? Because it was written by God ultimately, and its contents are based on God’s wonderfully loving, just and holy character and will—and because it is meant to rule and guide people whose nature hasn’t changed an iota since Adam and Eve.

                    • Patrick I do agree with you about the church and the constitution. I wonder when the Constitution became like the Bible – reading it with different eyes. You would think the law would be the law . It sure was a mess this year. But I do think it was hypocritical of the republicans to maneuver like they did. I remember when they thought Hillary might win some were fine with leaving the number of Justices at 8 after they blocked Mr. Garland. I think even if she had won they would not have let her pick one. They have too much power now. I, of course, prefer when each side can counter the other side’s extremism.

                      My son has to go to Texas every so often. He always likes to go to that famous BBQ place. He says everything there is about the
                      M E A T!

                      Anyway thank you for clearing up my confusion. Have a Blessed Easter.

                      Peace

                    • I like Texas but it’s too hot and the drivers are very aggressive. It’s worse than LA, at least in the Houston area.

                  • So clearly Patrick is not going to answer the question. That means his appointment is self-derived. Patrick believes he is the one to tell us when, and on what subjects John P has come to his senses and is telling the truth.

                    Patrick believes his own “ability or calling to share truth” means he cannot be mistaken, or apparently questioned, as he and his friends here are the only ones telling the truth. Only they know it.

                    Patrick loves to say that “John thinks he’s telling truths that need to be said” but Patrick KNOWS when he is not and he is honor bound in service to God to tell us when that lying starts. How dare anyone speak on the problems of politics in the church or spiritual matters as God leads him to do unless it agrees with Patrick’s truth because there is only one truth and Patrick and his friends here are the ones who bring it.

                    So yes, it is obvious that Patrick and his friends here are the only ones who “operate from a basis larger than ourselves” and that John P and the rest of us “prefers to ride with his own notions based on his emotions”.

                    Such discernment! We are not worthy.

                    • Sandi, there is a whole gang of people here who refuse to answer questions. And yet, when their questions get answered they either ignore the answers (because they are full of evidence and facts) or they use the answers to excuse sarcastic comments because we don’t believe the way they do.

                      The men in that gang are uniformly chauvinistic, condescending, patriarchal, and patronizing to women.

                      Anyone who has been here for a while knows what I am talking about and people who have just discovered this blog will soon see what I mean when they become targets and victims of the gang.

                    • The men who are dissenters here don’t treat the women any differently than they do the men. It’s sad that you would play the victim card again. It seems to be a variation of “please be nice to me because I’m a girl.”

                      You’re not seeking fairness and equality, but special treatment. Expect to be called out on your errors just as much as any man would be and don’t hide behind your gender.

                    • Over and over you make posts that make me question your ability to comprehend, Joe.

                      Nothing I said above was remotely connected to whether “the men who are dissenters here…treat the women any differently than they do the men”. Nothing.

                      I am playing no “victim card”. But since you brought it up. you are the one who complained on behalf of a lady, not me. I don’t think either of you are capable of being nice to anyone who disagrees with your POV. I have yet to see it.

                      It is moronic to claim I am seeking “special treatment” and you have never found me hiding behind my gender, or an alias.

                      Joe, you are just not very bright apparently.

                    • Good call, Sandi. I could not make out where he was coming from, just didn’t make sense. I guess the victim card is better than your mother wears army boots. Peace and Love,

                    • Joanne,
                      The Constitution became like the Bible with people reading it with different eyes, as you say, when they found it didn’t support their viewpoints.

                      They then redefined it as a living, breathing document that adapts to cultural changes rather than providing a guide for how to interpret cultural changes in accordance with law, society and government. “Living, breathing document” is code for changeable and adaptable.

                      Our Constitution is a static legal document, a charter for our nation. It says what it says and doesn’t say what it doesn’t say. No more, no less.

                      If citizens want to change something they don’t like culturally, they should persuade their representatives to craft legislation and vote for it.

                      They shouldn’t try to use the Constitution to support their agenda.

                      The Republicans did exactly what the Democrats would’ve done when they sat on Mr. Garland’s nomination. Hypocritical or not, both parties do this kind of thing all the time. They call it strategy.

                      If Hillary had won, there would’ve been nothing they could have done to stop Hillary from nominating someone. But they could’ve filibustered the nomination like the Democrats wanted to do with Mr. Gorsuch.

                      I don’t like the political games any more than you do. Reps and Dems all need a shot of character, in my view.

                      I love and miss barbecue—real barbecue. Every time my wife and I go to Texas to see my mom. we eat barbecue at least three times. Yum.

                      Have a happy Easter, too!

                    • Something you posted earlier in this thread has bothered me a tad. You said that the separation of church and state was to protect the church. It is also in their to protect us from the church. The early history of this country showed exactly how deadly the church could be when it got in bed with the state. They hung people because they wouldn’t pledge their allegiance to the preferred church. Puritans came here supposedly for religious freedom and then immediately set up their church as the state’s church and everyone had to attend and pledge their tithe. I know because my ancestors were on both sides, and one who was a Quaker was hung in 1620. Other groups were severely persecuted. So the separation protects all sides of this issue as it should. It may be that the powers that be believe as you do, what happens when the power shifts. Just felt that on behalf of those ancestors who were persecuted that I needed to speak up.

                    • Kathleen B. What you say seems logical. Since people came here to get away from the Church of England it certainly would make them hypocrites to give a different church the same powers they fled from. Although people in power can certainly be hypocritical and America has had a long history of abuse towards many newcomers to this country and even those who were here first.

                    • The early history of this country is not pretty when it comes to forcing their beliefs on others. My grandfather came out of a group that was hounded by whatever Christian church had the power at the time, and they were Christians. His great great grandfather was imprisoned because he would not stop helping people on Sunday because the group in power believed all the nonsense about the amount of steps etc to keep Sunday holy. He believed that fixing the poor’s shoes for free on Sunday was how to keep it holy. They didn’t like it so they fined up, put him in prison, etc. So to say that the constitution is only to protect the churches is wrong, it is also to protect it’s citizens from the church. Sorry, I am so passionate about this, I used to see the sadness in my grandfather over how his people were treated. By the way, they weren’t newcomers either, they came over during the great migration, 1620-1650. I feel that I owe it to them to keep fighting to keep any church from taking over. Peace,

                    • Your feelings are certainly understandable. I should have said America has an ugly history of treatment of those who are thought of “lesser than” by the rich and/or powerful. Although it does seems to be a worldwide issue – or a human issue.

                      I am only a second generation American born, so I do not have the history your family has. You have every reason to be proud.

                      Peace and a Happy Easter To You

                    • Exactly, Patrick. The Constitution is a static, carved-in-stone document. Given this we can allow the government to:

                      Establish a state religion because the 1st Amendment only prohibited the Federal government from doing so.

                      Ban and confiscate all firearms that don’t fit the definition of “arms” was in 1789.

                      Confiscate all papers and items without a warrant that don’t conform to the definition of “papers and affects” as defined in 1789.

                      The government compels all common law filings to the court to be tried in front of a jury and settlements may not be permitted.

                      The states can do whatever they want because they are not bound by this Constitution, only the Federal government is.

                      If that is how you want the Constitution to be enforced then what of the Bible? We must eschew all learning and knowledge gained in the last 2000 years to encourage Christians to follow the rules set in the Old Testament and all of the Letters of Paul? After all the Bible is a static, written-in-stone, document, right?

                    • My post was in response to Gloriamarie playing the “gender victim” card in order to silence men as if any disagreement with a woman is an act of “chauvinism” or “condescension.”

                    • Joe Catholic, if your “post was in response to Gloriamarie”, why did you hit the “reply” button on my comment? And if you knew you were replying to my post, why not address it to her then? Your silly games are hard to keep up with as it is.

                • Good job, Sandi,
                  My sense is that Patrick believes that he is the decider and evidently God made him so, ie, we should listen up and believe and do things his way. Peace and Love,

                  • Hi, Kathleen
                    Your sense is inaccurate. You didn’t read my reply carefully. I said nothing about being a “decider”; nor about God making me so. This is key: We are all subject to truth, and we’re all accountable for our embrace or rejection of it. We’re all “deciders” of what we do with it.

                    • Just saying “the “gender victim” card” is an excellent example of language that is chauvinistic, condescending, patriarchal, and patronizing to women.

                      Yet another way one of the members of the gang fail to take responsibility for their attitudes toward women.

                      Sorry I had to stick this in this place, but there was no “reply” opportunity higher up.

                  • Kathleen, What I wrote about church and state separation is this:

                    “I don’t think the church and Constitution should be entwined. The separation of church and state was initially meant to protect the church from the state, not vice versa, as people claim today.”

                    Note the word ‘initially.” What I meant and mean is that the original purpose was to protect the church from the state, which is reflected in Thomas Jefferson’s words in his letter affirming his agreement with original proponent of the concept, Baptist theologian Roger Williams. Here are Jefferson’s words:

                    “Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their ‘legislature’ should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State.”

                    • The only thing I said was that it was equally important that the state not establish a religion. That is not the same as protecting the church, that in my mind is protecting people from the church, if that is their desire. My point was that we should not let the fact that the constitution protects it’s citizens from the state establishing a religion. Just that it is a two way street and we would do well to remember that. I didn’t take issue with your statement I just think that we need to remember both the establishment of a state religion and the state staying out of people’s choice to follow or not any religion. That was all. I just wanted to be sure the whole story is out there. This is something I am deeply passionate about and I won’t apologize. Peace

                    • So we are in agreement that church and state should be separate and we all have the right to worship or not worship as we chose.

                      Yea!

                      Now we can enjoy our Easter either on the beach, in the woods, or attending a church service where I will appreciate listening to my son play. I won’t join in the singing as people would run screaming from the building but I will tap my foot and try not to dance.

                      Happy Easter

                      Peace

                    • Amen, and on one side note, when I was growing up I used to be jealous of my friends who were 1st, 2nd, or 3rd generation because they could all speak two languages, had great customs and wasn’t boring like my family. It always looks better on the other side, doesn’t it. Have a wonderful Easter, good luck to your son and Peace and Love,

                    • Ha! My mother’s parents immigrated from Portugal and my father’s father from Germany. My parents couldn’t or wouldn’t try to learn each other’s language so I never learned either of them. But both sides had wonderful customs and food.

                      My Dad would always sing this song in German that sounded like it was full of bad words. Every year I would ask him to tell me what it meant. He said he couldn’t until I was at least 16. Finally at 16 I asked him and it was just a silly song about a dog and no bad words.

                      I wish I could have learned both languages.

                      Happy Easter To You

                      Peace

                    • To quote Patrick: Kathleen, What I wrote about church and state separation is this: “I don’t think the church and Constitution should be entwined. The separation of church and state was initially meant to protect the church from the state, not vice versa, as people claim today.” Note the word ‘initially.” What I meant and mean is that […]

                      No, it was meant to protect both.

                      Because you can’t protect the church from the state if the state isn’t likewise protected from the church.

                      Look at it this way. If the Christian church can dictate to the state then where is the freedom and equality for nonChristians?

                      And then the next question becomes “Which Christian church gets to dictate to the state?” Because its not like Christianity is this monolithic thing in which all parts agree on everything with all other parts. So that would mean you’d have denominations of Christianity fighting with each other over control of the state.

                      Sorry, I would just as soon not repeat the Philly Bible riots of the mid 19th century.

                      And then the final question becomes: What happens then under your idea when we Christians are no longer the majority?

                      Strongly guarded as is the separation between religion and & Gov’t in the Constitution of the United States the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies, may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history (Detached Memoranda, circa 1820). –James Madison

                      That’s rather clear that the separation is meant to protect the government as much from the church as the other way around.

                    • James, Thank you, you did much better than I did. I know I get too emotional on this issue and then I don’t do it justice. You did it justice and I thank you. Peace and Love,

        • You are so observant leslie m! He is posting links to old commentaries on his FB page, but he is indeed on vacation and out of the country. He should be back by the middle of next week. I am sure he will be touched by your concern and caring.

          He interacted with this blog for a long time, he does not seem to do that now. I wonder whatever could have happened to make his own blog unpleasant for him? One of life’s great mysteries I suppose.

          • You seem to know a lot about John’s doings and whereabouts—are you his personal assistant as well as his blog discussion enforcer?

            • On unmoderated boards there are always people who fill the vacuum and become self-appointed moderators. I have to give props to Sandi. It took her all of ten minutes to assume that role.

          • Joe, during The previous 8 years how many right wing blogs did you go on and chide them being anti-obama and anti-hillary and anti-bernie?

            • You mean this is a “left-wing” blog?

              It’s not about Christianity?

              If I had gone to a Catholic blog and the central theme was “Obama is evil” I would have chided them about that for sure. That kind of stuff doesn’t help one be a better Catholic or Christian. Demonizing and scapegoating people is attractive to some but very unhealthy, and not at all Christian.

        • Dear Joe Catholic:

          You do realize that the title of this post notwithstanding, the Syrian attack represents the expression of the will of the CIA and Democratic Party over that of the Presidency.

          Blessings!

        • I was warned… I was given an explanation (I guess)…and I persist…

          I see your guy is going to let the states decide whether or not to fund Planned Parenthood. Since most of the states are Republican we know where this is going. Does this make you happy Joe? It makes me sad. All those low income women and their babies will be at risk. While you are at the “Stations of the Cross” today and then at Easter mass will you pray with me for those women and babies? They really need your prayers now.

          Of course, this won’t affect women with money. They are going to continue having their abortions. I would think women with money are more bothered about an “inconvenience” than women whose constant major concern is making the house payment and putting food on their table.

          Happy Easter and Blessings

          PS Look like John’s blog has been co-opted. I must have missed a lot.

          • Dear Joanne Musto:

            ‘Of course, this won’t affect women with money…’

            Thank you for affirming the class import of this issue. It matters hugely whether a pregnancy is a ‘surprise’ or a threat to one’s livelihood.

            No sooner is the expectant mother’s need of health care for her and her child, for her continuing education and for her material needs mentioned but the ostensibly pro-birth narrative shifts to how socialism is a ‘failure,’ how you can’t help those people, etc., etc.

            Of course, I’ve already questioned Joe Catholic’s ‘pro-life’ credentials [ http://tinyurl.com/kbnzbj9 ], but that was on another ground.

            In the interests of saving children’s lives, I’d be interested in hearing what Joe Catholic has to say about providing for young expecting mothers.

            I’d also be interested in hearing what Joe Catholic might have to say about holding accountable President Trump, the CIA and our proxy sponsors for their role in the nerve gas attack they unleashed on Khan Sheikhoun.

            Blessings!

            • Of course Joe will support defunding PP.

              Despite the fact that a lot of what they do actually lowers the number of abortions.

              Because in Joe’s mind only rich people should be able to afford contraception.

              • In my pre-Catholic days when I was also po, I used contraception in our marriage (I am embarrassed to say, but learned a better and more respectful way after becoming a Catholic). At any rate, I found contraception to be quite cheap. I don’t think a guy has to be rich to buy a box of Trojans.

          • Hi Joanne. I’m happy to see you posting again. I have no comment about Planned Parenthood at this time. I don’t know anything about that.

            My mind is on the Good Friday service this evening. I have a couple of solos (en espanol) and I’m practicing. I’m also nervous. I don’t know why I get myself into these things, but if feels good when it’s over.

  6. Hey everyone. I forgot to tell you. Two new posts are up on my blog at the following safe link:

    https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

    One involves a very meaty synoptic history of Christian fundamentalism in the United States. I doubt most fundies and nonfundies are aware of this history in any kind of detail. Happy reading!!!

  7. While we know, as we reflect on today– Good Friday, it appeared as though God had forsaken his son Jesus and his enemies were quite pleased with themselves and his demise,

    –we also know, this is not the end of the story.

  8. Pingback: Crocodile Trumper Tears and Dead Syrian Children – FairAndUNbalanced.com

  9. This is how a true Christian behaves:

    On Maundy Thursday, Pope Washes 12 Prisoners’ Feet, Including Women and Muslim Man
    By Philip Pullella, Reuters 4-13-2017

    Pope Francis visited a fortress prison holding mafia turncoats on April 13, and again included a Muslim and women in a traditional Holy Week foot-washing ritual that previous popes had limited to Catholic men.

    Francis said a Mass for the 70 inmates of the prison, a 16th century fortress at Paliano 75 km (47 miles) south of Rome.

    During the service, he bent to wash and kiss the right foot of 12 inmates, commemorating Jesus’ gesture of humility towards his 12 apostles on the night before he died.

    The high-security prison is reserved almost entirely for prisoners known in Italy as “collaborators of justice,” those who turn state’s evidence to testify against their former comrades and need special protection.

    During the 1980s and 1990s, it held turncoats from the Red Brigades guerrilla group, but now most “collaborators of justice” are former members of Italy’s three notorious organized crime groups — the Cosa Nostra, the Camorra, and the ‘Ndrangheta.

    The Vatican said the 12 included three women and a Muslim man who has decided to convert to Catholicism and is due to be baptized in June. The 12 included 10 Italians, an Albanian, and a prisoner from the pope’s native Argentina who had written to him.

    His predecessors held the Holy Thursday Mass in majestic settings either at the Vatican or a Rome basilica. Francis changed the tradition after he was elected to stress the importance of going out to serve the poor, the sick, and the imprisoned.

    The change drew the ire of traditionalists because all of apostles were male followers of Jesus, but the pope said the ritual should be open to “all members of the people of God.”

    The visit was private because most of the inmates could not be filmed or photographed.

    “We are all sinners. We all have defects,” the pope told the inmates in an improvised sermon broadcast by Vatican Radio.

    By washing their feet, Francis told them, he was willing to do “the work of a slave in order to sow love among us.” He urged them to help each other.

    Two of the 12 are serving life sentences, and the others are due to be released between 2019 and 2073.

    Francis has condemned organized crime groups, saying their members indulge in the “the adoration of evil.” He has said members of organized crime excommunicate themselves from the Church by their actions, but could return if they repented.

    https://sojo.net/articles/maundy-thursday-pope-washes-12-prisoners-feet-including-women-and-muslim-man

  10. Dear Folks,

    Today is Good Friday. Our Lord hangs on the cross suffocating in agony. Could we drop any arguments and discord and reflect on this great even all Christians have in common?

    Good Friday

    “GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD,” John writes, “that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” That is to say that God so loved the world that he gave his only son even to this obscene horror; so loved the world that in some ultimately indescribable way and at some ultimately immeasurable cost he gave the world himself. Out of this terrible death, John says, came eternal life not just in the sense of resurrection to life after death but in the sense of life so precious even this side of death that to live it is to stand with one foot already in eternity. To participate in the sacrificial life and death of Jesus Christ is to live already in his kingdom. This is the essence of the Christian message, the heart of the Good News, and it is why the cross has become the chief Christian symbol. A cross of all things—a guillotine, a gallows—but the cross at the same time as the crossroads of eternity and time, as the place where such a mighty heart was broken that the healing power of God himself could flow through it into a sick and broken world. It was for this reason that of all the possible words they could have used to describe the day of his death, the word they settled on was “good.” Good Friday.
    – Originally published in The Faces of Jesus ​ by Frederick Buechner

  11. Saint Maximus of Turin (?-c.420), Bishop
    Sermon 38 ; PL 57, 341s ; CCL 23, 149f
    The sign of salvation
    In his Passion the Lord took upon himself all the misdeeds of humankind that afterwards there might be nothing to bring us harm. The cross is therefore a great mystery, and if we try to understand it, the whole world is saved. When sailors go to sea they first of all set up the pole of the mast and spread the sail so that the ocean may be opened out to them. In this way they make the shape of the Lord’s cross and, thanks to this sign of our Lord, they securely reach the harbor of salvation and escape the peril of death. For the sail spread to the mast is in fact the image of this divine sign, just as Christ has been raised up on the cross. Now this is why, because of the confidence motivated by this mystery, these men do not worry about gusts of wind and they arrive safely at their desired harbor. In the same way, just as the Church cannot stand without the cross, so a ship is weakened without its mast. The devil torments it and the wind strikes the ship. But when the sign of the cross is raised up then the devil’s injustice is repulsed, the squalls fall at once…
    A farmer, too, does not start working without the sign of the cross. When he assembles the parts of his wagon he imitates the shape of a cross… The sky, with its four directions, East, West, South and North, is also arranged like an image of this sign. Man’s form itself represents a cross when he raises his arms; in our bodies we proclaim the Lord’s Passion, especially when we pray with uplifted hands… This was how the holy man, Moses, became victorious when he made war on the Amalekites, not with weapons but with his hands lifted up toward God (Ex 17:11)…
    Thus, with this sign of the Lord the sea is opened, the land cultivated, the skies governed, men are saved. And I would even affirm that with this sign of the Lord the depths of the dwelling-places of the dead lie open. For the man Jesus, our Lord, who bore the true cross, was buried in the earth and that earth, which he had worked deeply, which he had broken, so to speak, in every part, made all the dead it was holding back to spring forth.

  12. The cross bears us and the weight of the world. Nothing is too much. Here is our hope: everything is held and healed on this broken body which the Good Shepherd chose to lay down for us. “Look on the one whom they have pierced.”

    – Br. Luke Ditewig

    Society of Saint John the Evangelist

    • Dear Jeff Charles:

      When a police worker guns down a working-class youth on America’s streets, it takes months or even years to complete the investigation.

      In the case of the Syrian events, it required only minutes for the US government to affix blame, and only three days to execute the punishment, with the Trump Reichadistration serving as judge, jury and executioner.

      Analysis of crime must investigate motive, means and opportunity.

      Neither Russia nor Syria had any reason or anything to gain from the use of nerve gas on a town that was not a significant military target.

      Even during the intense fighting in Allepo, Assad’s regime did not use gas.

      Moreover such an attack would inevitably provoke US military retaliation. On the brink of complete victory in the protracted, undeclared US/CIA civil war, Assad had no reason to risk this.

      However the CIA-backed ‘rebels’ themselves — with the US military and intelligence
      apparatus — have every interest in staging such a provocation to thwart Assad’s consolidation of rule throughout Syria.

      Moreover, numerous investigations, including the UN’s own chemical disarmament agency, have made it clear that the Al Nusra Front has carried out similar attacks using both chlorine and sarin gas, which they have received from their regional backers in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey and which they themselves have proven capable of manufacturing.

      There was a similar attempt to blame Assad for the yet more lethal Ghouta gas attack in 2013. But that was debunked by the veteran American journalist, Seymour Hersh. On the current attack, respected US physicist and missile expert Theodore Postol, emeritus professor at MIT [ http://tinyurl.com/kxodx6g ], says that the physical evidence strongly implies that the delivery system for the nerve gas was a mortar shell placed on the ground, not a bomb dropped from a warplane. That means the attack was almost certainly carried out by those who controlled the ground around Khan Sheikhoun, the rebel forces linked to Al Qaeda.

      Postol’s analysis replied to the four-page document from the National Security Council, purporting to prove the Syrian government’s responsibility for the alleged sarin gas attack. But it is filled with such phrases as: “The United States is confident” … ‘We have confidence in our assessment’ … ‘We assess’ … ‘Our information indicates’ … ‘It is clear’ and so forth.

      There is one reference to ‘signals intelligence’ followed by the now standard disclaimer that we cannot publicly release all available intelligence on this attack ‘due to the need to protect sources and methods.’ President GW Bush’ fictitious Iraqi WMD claims required the same, standard disclaimer.

      Not one shred of evidence is cited to support Washington’s ‘case’ against Assad.

      It is not asked WHY Assad’s government suddenly resort to sarin gas in a town of no apparent military significance, when it did not use nerve gas—and was never accused of doing so—during the critical battles of the past year in Aleppo?

      Nor is it asked why the Syrian government would attack NOT rebel targets, but civilians in a town controlled by US-backed Islamist rebels.

      Even when Bashar al-Assad’s forces were under attack in his home province of Latakia, where the local population faced the threat of extermination if the Sunni Islamists were victorious, the government did not resort to chemical weapons to beat back the rebel offensive.

      A use of chemical agents in an area of no apparent military significance risks all in Assad’s hour of victory over the US/CIA-backed Islamist rebels. From a military and political standpoint, the use of chemical agents in Khan Sheikhoun is pointless.

      But facing certain defeat, a chemical attack by US/CIA-backed Islamist rebels is a political goldmine. That provides a pretext for US intervention into a civil war that the US-backed rebels are losing badly.

      The Russian government has repeatedly called for an objective, authoritative international investigation into what happed at Khan Sheikhoun. In sharp contrast, the Trump administration claimed to determine the facts [which were announced literally minutes after the attack], identify the perpetrators and carry out the punishment in a three-day period. This isn’t the method of justice or the enforcement of ‘international law;’ this is the law of the jungle, in which the most powerful imperialist military power simply does what it wants.

      It is not explained why Australian academicians are now being witch-hunted for challenging US lies on the Syrian attack. Having suggested that the Khan Sheikhoun gassing was likely another US-backed ‘false flag’ atrocity, Dr. Tim Anderson of the Centre for Counter Hegemonic Studies stands accused of disseminating disinformation and discord. The logic is that anyone who questions any aspect of US or Australian foreign and military policy is guilty of supporting war crimes and should therefore be sacked, or even prosecuted under war crimes or anti-terrorism legislation. It is clear that the Australian bourgeoisie is deeply concerned that any counter-narrative be heard.

      The bid to preclude or silence public discussion is a warning. More than 15 years after the declaration of the ‘war on terror,’ the unending war drive by US imperialism is entering a potentially catastrophic stage. Having devastated much of the Middle East, Washington and its partners are planning even more aggressive actions, posing the danger of direct military conflicts with nuclear-armed Russia and China.

      As the American government and American media pile lie upon lie, Jeff Charles refuses to raise any questions for which any responsible court would demand answers. Both Mr. Pavlovitz and Mr. Charles err to impute guilt for this crime to President Assad. But by presenting this crisis as a matter of painting Trump supporters as ‘rabidly xenophobic racists who only pretend to care about people in other countries,’ Jeff Charles deliberately serves up what he knows to be a bold-faced lie. Jeff Charles – you are not a wounded conservative. You are a supporter of political terrorism so long as that terror serves the political interests of and is in turn supported by the United States government and its agencies.

      Blessings!

        • Dear Kathleen B:

          You’re more than welcome!

          Presumably, Jeff Charles is a paid writer for an outfit known as ‘Liberty Nation;’ it describes itself as:

          ‘…a project of the One Generation Away, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

          It is another of many outfits proffering spurious narratives, national chauvinism, and general misinformation designed to confuse and disorient working class people — all in the name of liberating them. See http://tinyurl.com/k3sw7f6

          It advertises itself as ‘Americans who believe in liberty’ but will not trust you with facts that you need to be free. That much should be evident from Mr. Charles’ screed. Of course, he is welcome to interact with the points made above under my moniker.

          Blessings!

        • Dear Gloriamarie Amalfitano:

          Would love to, but that requires ‘signing in,’ and the last time I did that, my e-mail account was hacked. I’m not inclined to do so for that reason. But you’re welcome to do so if you want.

          Blessings!

    • I read your post, Jeff. Your counterpoints and assessment of John’s lack of evidence and reliance on emotions and talking points is right on. Thanks for sharing!

      • Patrick, what possible “evidence” would you accept and not call “emotional” or a “talking point”?

        John Pavlovitz writes the way that the gospels have been preached for all of my years in it. He is not claiming to be a pundit, a researcher or a political guru, he is speaking as someone with a lifetime in ministry. If that does not speak to your heart or your values, why can you not move on to someone who does? You cannot make him wrong. He is not in fact, wrong. He is speaking about what he sees and hears and unless you are him, you cannot possibly know different. He has as many or more people who agree with him as disagree with him and that means he is telling a truth that more people than just him see. Your efforts are in vain. His have a foundation in what Jesus taught and what Jesus commanded.

        • Sandi,
          I profoundly disagree with you. It’s okay. I have freewill and live in a free country. As do you.
          I’m not looking for evidence from John—I know he’s offering opinion based on his personal experience. I don’t begrudge him that.

          I’m not looking for someone who speaks to my heart and values; I found that God/person 30 years ago this August.

          I need not make John wrong—Jesus has and his words do. John seemingly only follows the words of Jesus he’s comfortable with. I could offer Jesus’ words in refutation of John’s, but this would only be effective if we agreed on Gospel reliability. I don’t disagree with John’s observation; I wholeheartedly disagree with his application.

          John’s influence is not nearly what you may think it is. Millions of people disagree with John. Scores of theologians and scholars disagree with John. The writers of the New Testament (and OT) disagree with John. Reasonable, rational mature Christians would likely disagree with John.

          It’s not about majority numbers here—if it were, John’s spiritual and political views would be dismissed to the dustbin. Don’t try to use numbers to buttress his validity—the math doesn’t work.

          My primary goal is not to turn John from his path—only God can do that. I hope to prompt people who read his emotive words to weigh them in light of scripture, history, logic and context. That is all.

          But I know we disagree, Sandi. Often I think you and I could look at the same cloudless sky, and I could say it’s blue, and you’d disagree with me. This is why it seems hopeless to engage you. That and the personal attacks and assumptions you level.

          Notice above that I made no assumptions about you. Nor did I attack you.

          But you’ll likely disagree with that as well. It’s fine.

          • Once again Patrick, you prove my point without meaning to do so.

            You keep harping about “evidence” and then admit there is none you seek.

            You admit you are “not looking for someone who speaks to my heart and values”, so again, why are you here except to berate and belittle the blog host?

            If indeed Jesus and his words and teachings make John wrong, prove that! Offer Jesus’ words in refutation of John’s. I keep asking you all to do that but instead you attempt to beat down on our host and pretty much anyone who finds value in what he says.

            The words of Jesus can be discussed whether everyone accepts “Gospel reliability” or not. I don’t care what you disagree with or that you disagree with John’s application. Either you can prove he is wrong, or you cannot. If you can, why spend so much time avoiding doing so?

            Again, if “John’s influence is not nearly what you may think it is”, why are you here? If he is the lone voice in a sea of “millions”, why put such effort into denigrating him? Are you just a bully? I have not used “numbers to buttress his validity”, merely to point out that he speaks to some folks, just like preachers in tiny churches all over this nation do. I never said it was about numbers, I have said this was about bullies and trolls from the beginning.

            I do not think that all theologians and scholars disagree with John. Some do as a matter of saving face but others have seen what he sees and so speak about it. I have mentioned them and linked to their writings. What have you offered beyond your blog?

            I do not believe the New Testament teachings of Christ disagree with John. Lastly, I do not agree that “reasonable, rational mature Christians” mostly disagree with John. There would not be such resentment against evangelicals if they did. They likely would not use the tone of indictment or conviction John uses, but they would agree with him in principle if they were mature Christian followers of Christ.

            If your “primary goal”is “to prompt people who read his emotive words to weigh them in light of scripture, history, logic and context” you would offer some of the above instead of just insults and demeaning the value of what he says, so your dishonesty continues.

            Funny how someone so deeply sensitive to personal attacks and assumptions, continually engages in both.

            • Sandi,
              In the past I’d answer your questions above, but I’ve learned it’s simply a waste of typing energy. But I will say this:

              The only point that was proven is your inability to engage in discussion. As expected, you only know how to attack and belittle.

              If you were in a debate class, the instructor would have to stop you every third word, but at least he or she could use you to help others learn civil discourse. And maybe even help you. There’s always hope.

              • No Patrick, once again I have proven you are all talk and no substance whatsoever. This repeated event has to sting.

                You have never once answered my questions or my challenge to prove what you are saying. You have yet to offer anything to discuss. Your point is that he is wrong and we are wrong to agree with him, because you say so.

                All you have done here is “attack and belittle” so it seems exceedingly childish to claim it is only me.

                If we were in a debate class, the instructor would have to at least notice your lack of evidence while claiming it is others only relying on their opinion and emotions. I have repeatedly asked you for proof, evidence that backs up your objections and honest refutation as opposed to your hateful repudiation. You have yet to do so. You may think you have shown civil discourse, but you have not.

                • My proof is this:
                  Much of what John writes does not jibe with Jesus’ words. Or Paul’s or Peter’s or any other Gospel, NT or OT writer.

                  It doesn’t jibe because it’s straight from his emergent-church-believe-whatever-you-want; there is no hell or devil; God meets you where you are not where he wants you to meet him; lack of responsibility and accountability; yada yada.

                  But if you don’t believe in the reliability of scripture, proof will never suffice.

                  If you want me to individually refute each instance of John’s distortion of truth, this would be equally useless because you seem to embrace relative truth and dismiss objective truth.

                  So, it seems to me, we have no common ground with which to operate.

                  • What you all too conveniently leave out is what John says that most assuredly “jibes with Jesus’ words”:

                    Matthew 23
                    A Warning Against Hypocrisy
                    “23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

                    5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries[a] wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

                    8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

                    Seven Woes on the Teachers of the Law and the Pharisees
                    13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. [14] [b]

                    15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

                    16 “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’ 17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it. 22 And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.

                    23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

                    25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

                    27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

                    29 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!

                    33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.”

                    • Righteous rebukes from Jesus to the pharisees of his day. So?

                      And now you’re going to say the Christian Right are the pharisees of our day and that John is rebuking them, correct?

                    • Pat, you might want to read the actual BIble and not the ones that conservatives have created for themselves.

                      Start with Matthew 25:31-46:

                      31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

                      34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

                      37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

                      40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

                      41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

                      44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

                      45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

                      46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

                      THen on the subject of immigrants and refugees there is Leviticus: 33 “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. 34 You shall treat the stranger who sojourns with you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

                      Oh also Hebrews: 13 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body.

                      And as for how your side treats the rich. Or do you think Jesus said to genuflect to the rich and let them hoard all the wealth and power? Oh and lets recall His actions with the money changers.

                      All you have, Patrick, is “Wah! John is calling us conservatives out for not being the Christians we claim you are.” All you have is emotional wangst..you don’t have evidence.

                    • The problem, Jame, is that , as an Evangelical told me, these are mandates for individual behavior and collective behavior is Socialism so he opposes government help with the poor. I don’t think that is it a very effective strategy, as we still have rampant homelessness and disabled at the mercy of judgmental charities and an increaingly indifferent government. I have strong doubts the “Socialism is totally evil so we can’t help the poor collectively” argument is going to fly.

                    • James,
                      So, to make sure I understand you and possibly Sandi:

                      Christians who voted for Trump, aka the Christian Right, are pharisees and goats and will be separated by Christ from his sheep, i.e. John and you and Sandi and whoever else here. Is this about right?

                    • No Patrick, once again you do not have it “about right”.

                      I do not judge other people, even the ones I choose not to associate with. People who voted for Trump have to own that and live with it, the Christian Right needs to realize the danger of politics in the temple and how Jesus would see it.

                      You accused John P of not writing what “jibes with Jesus”, I showed you that he totally jibes with Jesus when he calls out those who are not teaching the Bible correctly. You may not like it, but he is a polemic and he has a very valid point that others share, AND it is Biblical and Scripturally supported.

                  • Patrick, you interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount must be different than mine, Sandi’s, Kathleen’s, and Gloriamarie’s. If that is the case then we can have no common ground for a discussion.

                  • Dear Robin:

                    On that Mt 25 thing … I hope you pointed out to your evangelical friend that these are not mandates for individuals since vs 32 states:

                    ‘All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats’ [Mt 25:32].

                    This looks suspiciously like the separation/judgment not of individuals but of NATIONS.

                    Perhaps the reason for which many are so torn by this spiritual/political chasm is that at some level, deep down, we realize that we are indeed accountable for the ‘state of the nation.’

                    Blessings!

                    • Thanks, gdd. Considering my fundy seems to believe that the clause in the Constitution preamble for the government to provide for the General Welfare of the country equals encouraging Corporatism, when it plainly does not, I don’t think I could convince him that we are collectively and individually responsible for providing to the “least of us” when it says so right there in Matthew 25:32. He can’t make that connection because he refused to allow himself to walk a mile in people’s shoes from a radically different point of view. I realize that is difficult but to not even try is mind-boggling.

                      I seem to learn a lot more from him than he will ever from me because the conservation is one-sided. He talks, I listen and sometimes learn. I talk, he responds but doesn’t truly listen and learn. After awhile I have to tune out.

                    • That would be funny considering that the one of the Founding Fathers complaints was the power of the British West/East India Trade company. To the fundie Robin is talking about..you remember about 8 years ago when you and your fellow conservatives were cosplaying as American revolutionaries on scooters with your tricorn hats and your teabags hanging from said hats? Remember what you guys were saying you were like? That you were like the patriots that caused the original Boston tea party? Yeah..who do you think owned the tea that said patriots were tossing in Boston harbor? It was the British East India Trade company.

                      It becomes even more funny when the Founding fathers proceeded to mandate that companies could only exist for 30 years and that they could only deal in one commodity. Nor could they hold stock in other companies and their property holdings were limited to only what they needed to do business. Oh and political contributions by said companies was a criminal offense.

                      To quote Jefferson: “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them (around the banks), will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.”

                      “I hope that we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

                      And to quote the best President the GOP ever had, Abraham Lincoln:
                      “The money powers prey upon the nation in times of peace and conspire against it in times of adversity. The banking powers are more despotic than a monarchy, more insolent than autocracy, more selfish than bureaucracy. They denounce as public enemies all who question their methods or throw light upon their crimes. I have two great enemies, the Southern Army in front of me and the bankers in the rear. Of the two, the one at my rear is my greatest foe.”

                      “We may congratulate ourselves that this cruel war is nearing its end. It has cost a vast amount of treasure and blood … It has indeed been a trying hour for the Republic; but I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed. I feel at this moment more anxiety for the safety of my country than ever before, even in the midst of war. God grant that my suspicions may prove groundless.”

                      Corporatism has another word that describes it.

                      That word is fascism.

          • I think we all are talking about different things when we say “Jesus’ word”. Joe Catholic thinks that the words of Paul the Apostle should have nearly the same weight as what Jesus said because “If you reject Paul you reject Christ”.

            I will also talk to one of the homeless people that I see when I go to work and ask him, after giving him some money or care package, if he has been helped by a theologian or a scholar of Theology, since they seem to overwhelmingly disagree with JP’s experience and his point of view. His/her response should be interesting.

  13. Dear John Pavlovitz and Readers:

    America’s Continuing Descent into Greatness…

    — China appeals to US to back down from war with North Korea

    — Russia and Iran issue warning against further US attack on Syria

    — CIA Director calls WikiLeaks an “enemy,” says Assange has “no First Amendment freedoms”

    Is Really the Formation into Totalitarianism

    Blessings!

    • Hi, gdd
      I think I read something about you or from you regarding socialism. Don’t want to label you, but am wondering if you lean socialist? Another question I have is this: If you could make America into what you think it should be, what would that look like?
      Thanks!

      • Dear Patrick:

        I don’t lean socialist. I am a Christian who happens to be a socialist.

        Socialists don’t use crystal balls. But the principles they use in their analytical work give indication of what that future may hold. It’s rather like looking at a child and discerning roughly something about the future adult.

        For example: among the many contradictions built into our Capitalist system is the fact of private ownership; this is contradicted the requirement of social labor. Under Capitalism, the interests of the ownership and the working [labor] class are opposed to each other. With production placed under worker control, the basis of that conflict is irrelevant.

        Capitalism asserts the greed of the few over the need of the many. Plenty exists beside worldwide desperation for food, shelter, healthcare and basic commodities. Capitalism is incapable of resolving this contradiction because it is not profitable. But it can be resolved by dismantling the profit barrier, and rationally planned production that serves the need of all not the greed of a few. There world can then enter a new stage of productive development.

        Marx employed many ‘contradictions’ in critiquing Capitalist political economy. That’s less an answer than a framework for finding answers. Still, I think the approach can be helpful. I suggest starting there.

        Blessings!

        • I appreciate your critique of capitalism, but I’m curious as to whether you would like to see America go socialist and what that would look like to you. Thanks.

          • Full socialist? as in get rid of capitalism completely? No.

            But capitalism is not a panacea..it’s not a cure all and it isn’t perfect. And without restraint and proper controls it can destroy and damage. What you call “socialism” is that restraint and proper control. Capitalism does some things well, it does many things good and on other things it does poorly and outright sucks at.

            If you want a metaphor..capitalism is a bull that has a tendency to at times rampage and destroy things.. Would you let such a bull run free to do as it pleases? or would you keep it fenced?

            And the GOP’s definition of “socialism” is so damn broad and misconstrued that arguably the US military is by definition “socialist.”

            And with the way things are going we’re not going to have a capitalist society or a constitutional republic…we’re going to have a a feudalistic oligarchy.

            • James,
              So, to make sure I understand you and possibly Sandi:

              Christians who voted for Trump, aka the Christian Right, are pharisees and goats and will be separated by Christ from his sheep, i.e. John and you and Sandi and whoever else here. Is this about right?

              • All of them, patrick? No, not all. But what Christian virtue does Trump ever display?

                What christian virtue is being displayed in the fear and hate that Trump and company spout?

                Or the utter hypocrisy on display over the years and now of the “family values” crowd. *points at Trump, the Alabama governor, Mark Sanford, Newt Gingrich, Dennis Hastert, etc*

                But right wing Christianity needs to take a long look at itself to figure out where they have misstepped. Where they are not the “moral Christians” they love to preen around claiming they are.

                Sorry, when there are right wing Christian pastors calling for the mass murder of people and the right wing’s collective response is “Meh. Who cares.” then yeah your side needs to be called out.

                When your side gets outraged at the gassing of syrian children but then had previously been keeping those same children from escaping syria in the first place there’s a great deal of hypocrisy going on.

                And this isn’t exactly Christian either: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFTblmpwYDc

                Oh btw, that link is to Fox New’s little music video of Trump’s usage of that MOAB.

                And exactly how is cutting such things as food stamps, Meals on Wheels and the safety net while Trump spends 3 million bucks a weekend golfing Christian?

                Or how is kicking 24+ million people off insurance just to give health insurance executives a multibillion dollar tax cut Christian?

                How is cutting funding to help poor people get attorneys Christian? Or heating assistance?

                And that’s not even going into the times that some of your side of the fence get it into their heads that the United States should be the Christian version of Iran.

                You may not like what John has written. But you shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the idea that there is at least some validity to what he has written. Because speaking for myself the reason that I’m not the republican that i was for the first half of my life is down to two basic reasons:

                1: The Christian right has, imo, gone increasingly out of its mind and 2: it’s dragging the GOP with it.

                As Barry Goldwater once said “Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.

                • Basically and this is just my opinion the GOP and the Christian right are in two camps respectively and collectively. The more sane and moderate ones.

                  And the nutjobs. The problem is the nutjobs have taken over the proverbial asylum over the last few decades and it really accelerated the last 16 years.

                  And instead of sticking the nutjobs back in their proverbial cells what happened is the sane and more moderate ones sat on their asses doing nothing because the nutjobs got them power. *points at the tea party* The problem now is the nutjobs are the ones with the power and they don’t give a rats ass about the more sane and moderate ones and they sure don’t give a rats ass about the rest of us.

                  So do I think that all right wing Christians are “goats”?

                  no. I think that the ones that aren’t goats are letting the goats destroy everything.

                  There’s a friend of a friend that I used to debate all the time. He is a conservative Republican. And while I disagreed with him on a lot I didn’t disrespect him and I didn’t think he was out of his head.

                  But I spent the last 8 years telling him over and over again that his party was going insane and that by letting the tea party and its ilk take over it was damaging the party and the country. For 8 years I told him that his quiet acquiescence of what was going on was a problem. For 8 years I told him that he and his fellow conservatives need to stand up to the nutjobs that were taking over his party.

                  And for 8 years he didn’t believe me.

                  That changed when Trump became the nominee. Because he could not in good conscience support Trump.

                  See I have a unique…well rare view. Like I said before I’m a former Republican. I was one until about 20 years ago. But 20 years ago is when I had my “Come to Jesus” moment with what the GOP was becoming.

                  If the GOP somehow magically went back to being the party of Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower I’d still be a republican. Because, imo, the GOP’s descent and devolving started with Nixon and his southern strategy. That the party of Lincoln is openly courting the likes of David Duke and his ilk galls me beyond belief. That the party refuses to deal with the fact that no..Reagan’s supply side economics doesn’t work as promised bothers me equally.

                  I have no problem with the rich being rich..I have a problem with the rich being the only ones getting ahead. And that’s what’s been going on for decades. I think the best way to lower the amount of money we have to spend on welfare is to rebalance the economy so that it’s fruits aren’t only benefiting those already at the top. I think the present…arrangement is dangerous to the country. That this country experience the results of a similar arrangement before and that this time it’s going to result in something that makes that last time look like an off day at a church bake sale.

                  And that’s not even going into the party’s reaction/response to the fact that the country is becoming increasingly not white.

                  I have spent the last 16 years with a GOP in which George W Bush made me miss Reagan and now Trump is making me miss George W Bush. Two things that if you had asked me if I thought possible 16 years ago I would have laughed.

                  And as for right wing Christianity I tend to be of the opinion that when government and religion..any religion..mix the resulting product is a corrupt mutated monster. When religion and government mix, especially to the extent that SOME on the Christian right want..the result is oppression, persecution and death.

                  IMO right wing Christianity has done more damage to Christianity as a whole in the last few decades than anything else because of that corruption.

                  If I recall right the group with the fastest rise in #’s religion wise in this country is the “nones.”

                  Yeah I would argue that corruption I was just talking about contributes heavily to that fact.

              • Patrick, it depends on what you voted for. If what is happening is not what you voted for when casting your vote for Trump, you are in the same boat as lots of decent people and JP wants you to do something about it, to make it right. G-d didn’t put Trump in office, G-d didn’t tell Paul Ryan and the GOP to dismantle the safety net that millions of American rely on, not because they want to, but because they have to. G-d didn’t do this, people did this and people have the power to make it right.

          • Dear Patrick:

            Citing two of Marx’ many ‘contradictions’ integral to Capitalism is no thoroughgoing critique of Capitalism. If you’re serious about this, no Marxist could do better than to point you to ‘Das Kapital.’ http://tinyurl.com/n5a5c3l

            As for what I envision – in one sentence: affirmation of basic social rights of the working class – every man, woman and child is entitled to develop his/her life to the maximum, without the besetting curse of material want.

            This requires…

            Right to a job
            Right to a livable income
            Right to leisure
            Right to decent/affordable housing
            Right to utilities/transportation
            Right to high-quality health care
            Right to secure retirement
            Right to education
            Right to a healthy and safe environment
            Right to culture

            Additionally …

            Expropriation of and working-class operation of the banks and financial institutions.
            Working Class ownership/management/operation of major corporations [communications/transportation/]

            Social equality

            Political/Democratic Demands

            Extension of democratic rights as in …
            Affirmation of Immigrant Worker rights
            Opposition to militarism/war
            Organization of working-class military
            A workers government

            Blessings!

            • Patrick, I don’t know if you’re Catholic but I am.

              This is the Catholic Social Teachings:

              http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catholic-social-teaching/seven-themes-of-catholic-social-teaching.cfm

              I have on occasion before quoted from that but removed any and all mentions of the word “God” or “Christianity” or any mention of Jesus.

              I’ve been accused of being a communist when I did so.

              Call to Family, Community and Participation
              To quote: The primary norm for determining the scope and limits of governmental intervention is the “principle of subsidiarity” cited above. This principle states that, in order to protect basic justice, government should undertake only those initiatives which exceed the capacities of individuals or private groups acting independently. Government should not replace or destroy smaller communities and individual initiative. Rather it should help them contribute more effectively to social well-being and supplement their activity when the demands of justice exceed their capacities. These does not mean, however, that the government that governs least, governs best. Rather it defines good government intervention as that which truly “helps” other social groups contribute to the common good by directing, urging, restraining, and regulating economic activity as “the occasion requires and necessity demands”.

              Rights and Responsibilities:
              The common good calls for social peace, the stability and security provided by a certain order which cannot be achieved without particular concern for distributive justice; whenever this is violated, violence always ensues. Society as a whole, and the state in particular, are obliged to defend and promote the common good

              Many of the poor live in areas particularly affected by phenomena related to warming, and their means of subsistence are largely dependent on natural reserves and ecosystemic services such as agriculture, fishing and forestry. They have no other financial activities or resources which can enable them to adapt to climate change or to face natural disasters, and their access to social services and protection is very limited. For example, changes in climate, to which animals and plants cannot adapt, lead them to migrate; this in turn affects the livelihood of the poor, who are then forced to leave their homes, with great uncertainty for their future and that of their children. There has been a tragic rise in the number of migrants seeking to flee from the growing poverty caused by environmental degradation. . . . Our lack of response to these tragedies involving our brothers and sisters points to the loss of that sense of responsibility for our fellow men and women upon which all civil society is founded.

              We must speak of man’s rights. Man has the right to live. He has the right to bodily integrity and to the means necessary for the proper development of life, particularly food, clothing, shelter, medical care, rest, and, finally, the necessary social services. In consequence, he has the right to be looked after in the event of ill health; disability stemming from his work; widowhood; old age; enforced unemployment; or whenever through no fault of his own he is deprived of the means of livelihood.

              As for the State . . . It has also the duty to protect the rights of all its people, and particularly of its weaker members, the workers, women and children. It can never be right for the State to shirk its obligation of working actively for the betterment of the condition of the workingman.

              Option for the Poor and Vulnerable:
              The obligation to provide justice for all means that the poor have the single most urgent economic claim on the conscience of the nation.

              The needs of the poor take priority over the desires of the rich; the rights of workers over the maximization of profits; the preservation of the environment over uncontrolled industrial expansion; the production to meet social needs over production for military purposes.

              “He who has the goods of this world and sees his brother in need and closes his heart to him, how does the love of God abide in him?” Everyone knows that the Fathers of the Church laid down the duty of the rich toward the poor in no uncertain terms. As St. Ambrose put it: “You are not making a gift of what is yours to the poor man, but you are giving him back what is his. You have been appropriating things that are meant to be for the common use of everyone. The earth belongs to everyone, not to the rich.”

              Therefore everyone has the right to possess a sufficient amount of the earth’s goods for themselves and their family. This has been the opinion of the Fathers and Doctors of the church, who taught that people are bound to come to the aid of the poor and to do so not merely out of their superfluous goods. Persons in extreme necessity are entitled to take what they need from the riches of others.

              Faced with a world today where so many people are suffering from want, the council asks individuals and governments to remember the saying of the Fathers: “Feed the people dying of hunger, because if you do not feed them you are killing them,” and it urges them according to their ability to share and dispose of their goods to help others, above all by giving them aid which will enable them to help and develop themselves.

              Still, when there is a question of defending the rights of individuals, the poor and badly off have a claim to especial consideration. The richer class have many ways of shielding themselves, and stand less in need of help from the State; whereas the mass of the poor have no resources of their own to fall back upon, and must chiefly depend upon the assistance of the State.

              The Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers

              Growth in justice requires more than economic growth, while presupposing such growth: it requires decisions, programs, mechanisms and processes specifically geared to a better distribution of income, the creation of sources of employment and an integral promotion of the poor which goes beyond a simple welfare mentality. I am far from proposing an irresponsible populism, but the economy can no longer turn to remedies that are a new poison, such as attempting to increase profits by reducing the work force and thereby adding to the ranks of the excluded.”

              All people have the right to economic initiative, to productive work, to just wages and benefits, to decent working conditions, as well as to organize and join unions or other associations.

              All these rights, together with the need for the workers themselves to secure them, give rise to yet another right: the right of association, that is to form associations for the purpose of defending the vital interests of those employed in the various professions. These associations are called labor or trade unions.

              • Now Paul Ryan and others in the GOP claim to be Catholics.

                Then why do they blithely ignore Catholic social teachings?

                • Catholic social teaching does not preclude honest disagreement about how and weather wealth should be confiscated and redistributed.

                  Also, if you’re going to play a Catholic card, play them all.

                  Catholics are against abortion, contraception, same-sex marriage, divorce and remarriage, etc. All kinds of things your guru here is in favor of and promotes as if they are good and Christian.

                  This puts the Bishops statements about social justice in perspective:
                  http://www.courageouspriest.com/catholics-disagree-social-teachings

              • Dear James Kessler:

                Methinks you have perhaps too plainly exposed the economic interests which too often drive what sometimes passes as ‘Christian.’

                It might also be observed that the more nuanced and principled a post, the less it is apt to receive the attention that it merits.

                Blessings!

                • I do not doubt for a moment that there is an “economic interests” component that drives the Christian Right because they will invariably complain of the cost to help people but I think for most of them, it is clearly an acceptance of the unholy trinity, ‘guns, God and gays’.

                  Over and over and over it is “gay rights” they cannot accept and the Bible conveniently offers up a few verses they can use. Same for their obsession with “freedom” and “liberty” when it comes to gun rights i.e. ‘no matter what’ but not so much in the cases of a woman’s womb or gay marriage. You will not meet a Christian Right voter who does not want that God of the Old Testament to help them exclude and deny. They will virtually ignore the rest of the gospel teachings so they can feel they are voting for that unholy trinity. In many of the pulpit messages about voting, those are the only “Biblical” issues that they speak of.

                  • Dear Sandi Saunders:

                    Have you considered the possibility that ‘gay rights’ and several other issues are cited to derail attempts to have that economic [class] discussion?

                    Blessings!

                    • For some gdd, sure I do, for people like Wayne (and there are millions), no. Not even a little bit. It is far more important to the Wayne’s of this nation to beat down the LGBTQ community than worry about how the economy is rigged for the wealthy and powerful with assured inequality. Same for the Joe Catholics and abortion. They will not get past either.

  14. “I won’t say that Trump is the anti-Christ. But I will say that Christ is the anti-Trump.” -John Fugelsang

    • “I will say that Christ is not the anti-anything; he’s infinitely above and beyond being the anti-Trump or anti-anything else.” ~Uber Doofus

    • Seriously though, people are afraid to say Trump is the anti-Christ and rightly so– but the truth is there is no single anti-Christ– anti-Christ simply means denying Christ. It could be a whole group of people. I ask myself what does it mean to deny Christ. It’s not as simple as saying ” I don’t believe” it has more to do with how you treat people and if you love God with all your heart which are the two great commandments.

      • Indeed. There have been many anti-Christs. Anyone who has turned a back on Jesus’ teaching about how we are to live in relationship with each other in an anti-Christ. Sadly, there are a great many of them.

  15. I’ve always adhered to the old adage “Agree to disagree.” But I find this particular blog personally offensive.

    You don’t know what’s in the hearts of people who are “Trump Supporters”. Your judgment passed on people whom you don’t even know is the very judgment you have attributed to them. “Trump Supporters” are as diverse as the rest of the population and don’t all think and believe alike.

    Every opinion has at least two sides. But when you personally demonize the other side, you can no longer have a conversation about the true issues. This is what is happening on both sides in politics, and it entrenches people deeper into their “side.” This kind of blog only serves to make you feel better, not open any kind of serious dialogue. The self-righteous indignation is ugly and not demonstrative of Jesus’ plea to love one another. I am a very loving and kind Christian, but this made me feel misunderstood, unloved and abused for believing differently than you and others like you.

    These are more complicated issues than can be solved by a blog. Please know there are “Trump Supporters” who don’t support every word he says but, in general, so far, he is going the direction I feel is right. The alternative to his presidency was much more objectionable to me, and how quickly people have forgotten Hillary’s lies.

    Perhaps you could show Trump the same grace you have probably shown Hillary. There have never been any perfect people in the White House, despite the idol people made of the previous president. That can be dangerous too.

    These are my humble opinions, and as I stated in the beginning, I’m willing to “agree to disagree.” Are you?

    • You mean like the way President Obama was treated for 8 years in the White House? Where were all of you when that was happening?

    • Cynthia, I cannot say if John P means to be “personally offensive” but I think he feels the same way toward those who defend Trump and their support of him, so in that, you do “agree to disagree”. He even allowed you the space to do it publicly.

      You can claim we “don’t know what’s in the hearts of people who are “Trump Supporters”, but we believe we do. Unless you are saying you can vote for and support someone without agreeing with what they say or do, which makes no sense.

      Maybe you would be kind enough to share some of this Trump Supporter diversity you see? How do you support Trump if you do not think and believe as he does?

      While I agree that “every opinion has at least two sides” I find it odd that the demonizing from Trump and his supporters seems forgotten in your need to be a victim. It is not like he and his supporters have been welcoming, compromising or complimentary to those who did not vote for him or support him…

      John P no longer seems to participate or moderate this blog, but we can certainly have a conversation about the any issue you like, as long as you accept that we are not likely to all agree.

      The entire campaign of Trump was about dividing and entrenching so that ship sailed and it is not coming back.

      I must ask, if “this kind of blog” is not to your liking why would you come here or read it, much less comment? I will never understand that motivation. I am asking seriously.

      You seem to be wearing some strong “self-righteous indignation” yourself. Jesus was not all love, he called out those he felt were wrong too. Often quite sternly. Read Matthew 23 lately?

      You do not sound much like “a very loving and kind Christian” but denigrating anyone or their blog is hard to do in a loving, Christian way I suppose. At any rate, our understanding, love or belief is not the one you need to be worried with.

      If you are a Trump Supporter who doesn’t “support every word he says”, do share where that disagreement is? That would be a place to look for common ground.

      I have yet to see what direction he is heading in, so since you feel it is right, could you articulate that? I admit I have a really hard time with anyone claiming a problem with Clinton lies, cronyism, corruption or elitism then supporting Trump and his, but I would love to see where you see such a big difference that made her “much more objectionable” than this raucous instability we see now.

      Perhaps Trump and his supporters could show us the same grace they want? Trump, his campaign, his administration and his presidency has been so far from anyone’s idea of normal that it is hard to credit your language of normalization in claiming we are just mad because he isn’t “perfect”. But your dig about making President Obama an “idol” tell us much.

      I really hope you were being facetious in calling those ” humble opinions”. But I absolutely agree that we disagree.

    • To quote: These are more complicated issues than can be solved by a blog. Please know there are “Trump Supporters” who don’t support every word he says but, in general, so far, he is going the direction I feel is right.

      Really? How so?

      ANd as for Hillary’s lies..what lies? With evidence from unbiased sources please.

      And should we go into Trump’s lies?

      To quote: demonize the other side, you can no longer have a conversation about the true issues

      Were you in a coma when Trump and wide swathes of his supporters were demonizing the “other side” whether that “other side” was Hillary, liberals, Democrats, latinos, gays, Muslims or women?

      Just to name a few.

      To quote: Perhaps you could show Trump the same grace you have probably shown Hillary.

      To be blunt…**** no.

      Trump spouted that birther BS for 5 years. Trump has been a liar and a conman and a fraud all his life. He has done nothing but screw over average Americans his entire life.

      There is no “grace” to show him, Cynthia.

      Sorry, your side waged an all but declared war on Obama for 8 years, Cynthia. So no..no one on your side is in any position to demand that we play nice with Trump.

      And since I don’t remember you either chiding your own side about its utter hatred of Obama and Hillary nor do I remember you chiding Trump for being a vulgar insulting manchild you are in no position to be demanding or requesting or whatever it is your doing that we should show grace to Trump.

      **** no. This is the game that your side played for the last 8+ years, Cynthia. You don’t get to say “Can’t we all be friends?” now. If you want to try that tact then you shouldn’t have sat on your tail being quiet the last 8 years. And you shouldn’t have sat on your tailbeing quiet about all the demonizing that Trump and his supporters so gleefully engaged in.

      Is hillary perfect? No. But at least she wouldn’t have been dumb enough to risk world war 3 with north korea, nor would she be dumb enough to try and get rid of the EPA or dumb enough to kick 24 million people off health insurance or dumb enough to gut the safety net so the GOP could give a massive tax cut to the top few that they don’t need. Nor would she be dumb enough to think privatizing social security and medicare is a good idea or that getting rid of the payroll tax is also a good idea.

      Only a gullible fool thinks trump is better than Hillary.

      Sorry, you may not like hearing that..but that is the truth.

    • Thank you Cynthia. I agree. They “demonize.”

      The pastor does not allow for the possibility that those who think outside of his leftwing ideology do so in good faith and with good intentions.

      He demonizes and incites division.

      I could understand it if he were a Democrat hack, but he professes to be a Christian pastor. So maybe he is a Democrat hack masquerading as a pastor?

      Thank you for bringing in some rare and much-needed common sense.

      • Dear Joe Catholic:

        Do you allow for the possibility that those who think outside of your rightwing ideology do so in good faith and with good intentions? Apologies if you’ve addressed this earlier.

        Blessings!

        • To quote Joe: Thank you Cynthia. I agree. They “demonize.” The pastor does not allow for the possibility that those who think outside of his leftwing ideology do so in good faith and with good intentions. He demonizes and incites division. I could understand it if he were a Democrat hack, but he professes to be a Christian

          And what do you think, Joe, you are doing if not demonizing when you claim that a Democrat can’t be a Christian?

          Your chutzpah is amazing considering that for decades, child, your party has done a metric ton of demonizing and inciting division. Hell, you support Trump who did little else but demonize and incite division for the last 8 years.

          Take the plank out of your own eye, Joe. Because your hypocrisy serves you not.

          Because your innocent little victim act, Joe, is utter bull****.

          • do you really want us to start listing all the times that Trump, your fellow right wing Christians and your precious GOP have demonized and incited division over the years?

            Because, Joe, it’s going to be a damn long list.

            All the times your side demonized Obama and Hillary would be a long list by itself.

            So is this really the game you want to play, Joe?

            • “My side” is the Catholic Church and we don’t demonize people in my church. We don’t preach politics. We don’t make “anti-Trump” an article of faith as does Pavlovitz in his conflation of politics and religion.

              • True, the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church, as a whole, has not demonized Obama and H. Clinton, but many right-wing Catholics have, especially those that are Republican. Also JP is “demonizing” those that either still support Trump’s GOP party’s effort to hurt people or stay silent about their dissent about it just like Jesus “demonized” the Pharisees for their show piety and devotion to rules over love and justice.

                • I mean that he seems to be centering his entire faith around being a liberal Democrat and hating Donald Trump.

                  It’s one thing for individuals to criticize a President, but another to make it a way of life especially for a pastor who should be leading people to better things than tossing stones at a president and his supporters.

                • What’s ironic is that the RCCs here, along with the evangelical/fundies, demonize people every single day. They demonize John P, they demonize anyone who disagrees with them. Some do it blatantly, some do it passive-aggressively.

                • You don’t preach politics, Joe? really? Your position on abortion is you preaching politics. Just as the catholic church preached politics on the subject of gay marriage when it comes to civil marriage.

                  And as for demonizing, Joe, you demonize. You were doing it with your cute little assertion that one can’t be Christian and Democrat. And by supporting Trump you support someone who demonizes. And by supporting the GOP you support a party that demonizes. They have done little else for decades.

                  Your “I’m innocent” act is a sham. You are no more innocent than I am the King of Norway.

                  Quit lying to yourself because no one here believes your lies.

                  • Yes I have a political position but I don’t preach it AS A RELIGION, as does your guru Pavlovitz, Mr. James. His politics and his religion are the same thing.

                    Where did I say one can’d be a Democrat and a Christian?

                    But preaching religion to positively influence politics is a different animal, so our Catholic Church was correct in asserting that even in the civil sphere, marriage should be defined as being between one man and one woman.

                    I’ll repeat this one more time so you don’t miss the point again. JP is posing as a “pastor” but he doesn’t “pastor.” He preaches politics almost exclusively, and the politics he preaches is almost exclusively the denigration of our President and those who voted for him.

                    Why isn’t he talking about sin and salvation and heaven and hell and finding peace and understanding suffering, etc.? Why is 90% of his focus on how evil Trump is and those of us who voted for him?

                    • You keep saying that same crap Joe Catholic, but show us where John P has claimed to be a pastor? Show us where he indicates this blog has any relationship to being a pastor. Show us where he advises anyone that this is a preaching blog? What he HAS SAID is just that he is “an 18-year ministry veteran trying to figure out how to love people well and to live-out the red letters of Jesus.”

                      What he HAS SAID about himself is “I enjoy songwriting, exercising, cooking, hiking, and eating emotionally.”

                      What he HAS SAID about this blog is “This is a place where I say stuff that I think needs to be said.”

                      NOWHERE does he claim to be a pastor, NOWHERE does he claim to be preaching. NOWHERE does he claim to be ministering at all!

                      You are putting false emphasis on something he has not said or offered and then tearing that down. Let me think here, something about “straw” and “man”….

                      You clearly come here only to dishonestly attack him. While I appreciate how you make the Catholic Church look. You really need to go get a life.

                    • May I also add that he did not leave his person-hood behind when he became a pastor. He is his own person. If he was preaching it is still his blog and he can comment or preach as he sees fit. If this were a church Joe C and lot of others wouldn’t even come here so why do they think they have the right to tell him how he should think or what he should say. Pretty presumptuous of them. Imagine having a congregation of more than a hundred people and everyone has a different view on what he should preach. Trust me, that leads to two heart attacks and open heart surgery all because good christian folks think they know better than anyone else how you should believe. If you allow everyone to have a say in what you believe than it is no longer what you believe. He needs to be true to himself, not to Joe C or Leslie M or anyone else. I come here to have my thought process challenged not for any preaching. Most of us have our own belief structure, we come here for a challenge and the like minded souls who show up. Peace,

                    • Joe, how many conservative blogs have you gone onto chiding them about demonizing and preaching politics? How many conservative blogs have you gone on and complained about them not giving a balanced view or being one sided?

                    • Dear Joe Catholic:

                      Unless you have actually sat under John Pavlovitz’ politicized ‘preaching,’ everything that you think you ‘know’ about Mr. Pavlovitz speaking is by definition ‘hearsay.’

                      Isn’t it.

                      Now a point of information:

                      Has the Roman Catholic Institution or has it not seen priests in Latin America preach ‘liberation theology?’

                      These are not difficult questions, Joe Catholic.

                      In each case, a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer will suffice.

                      Blessings!

                    • Dear Joe Catholic:

                      You wrote:

                      ‘Yes I have a political position but I don’t preach it AS A RELIGION’

                      I reply: Abortion. Homosexuality.

                      Those are political issues. And yes, you do preach on them. I’m not even going to argue with you on those issues. But you do preach them as religion.

                      To say otherwise is fundamentally dishonest.

                      Blessings!

                    • Apparently every week several members of Trump’s cabinet, including Rick Perry, have a bible study with Pastor Ralph Drollinger.

                      Joe, you might want to look up that Pastor. Especially look up his view of Catholics.

    • Dear Cynthia:

      If every opinion indeed has two sides, where would you factor the kingdom of God into the civic equation?

      In particular, I’m interested in Saint John’s literary device based on the pairing of the Bride of Christ with the whore of Babylon, the Seal of the Spirit with the Mark of the Beast, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb with the feast of fowls, etc. in what is clearly a critique of the economic/political/military power of imperial Rome as it directs the kings of the earth until all meet their doom in Yahweh’s judgment.

      It intrigues me that the Imperial United States ever more closely resembles Imperial Rome in our use of economic/political/military power as we direct the affairs of nations within our grasp.

      Certainly, the US is not Rome; but US spiritual solidarity with Rome is so unmistakable it seems that the resemblance can be denied only by refuting the applicability of Scripture to our time.

      If the Apocalypse is a kingdom of God critique/manifesto of imperial Ideology/Authority/Blasphemy/Extortion/Coercion/Oppression/Injustice/Militarism/Propaganda/Sacrilege, on the basis of what hermeneutic can we maintain that 25 years of continual war as standing policy does NOT bring us under John’s condemnation?

      Blessings!

  16. Pingback: Resistance Roundup: Volume Three

  17. Pingback: Pastor to Trump Voters....'Stop the Fake Tears for These Dead Children' - ProgressTribune.com

  18. I find it amazing that you only seemed to find your voice against things like the war in Syria after the Leftist Obama was out of office. Now it’s all Trump’s fault just because he’s a Republican. You also only seem to have found your voice against racism after some White racist knuckleheads held a legal (if grossly distasteful) rally in Charlottesville, VA. You sound like just another liberal minister who has been silent through the racist ramping up of the Obama administration for 8 years, but now that there is a Republican in office, it’s open season to blame Trump for everything that his predecessors dumped on him, especially the racial division brought on by Obama and the Leftist global cabal that has been trying to bring down America from within for at least 50 years. Obama, to his credit, nearly succeeded in finishing that, and now the globalists in both parties are upset with President Trump because he is dismantling their program to destroy America.
    Frankly, Trump isn’t the only President to impose a Muslim travel ban. Even Obama did it at least twice. There was no outrage then because he was the darling of the Leftists. Why didn’t you oppose Obama’s Muslim ban? I think you’ve already told me—you’re a Democrat, and Obama was your guy! I think the travel ban doesn’t go far enough. We should put a total moratorium on all Muslim immigration for the foreseeable future. When more than 80% of the supposed “refugees” are Muslim men of military fighting age, that is an invasion, not refugee resettlement. And Islam isn’t a race. It’s not even truly a religion. It’s a socio-political ideology that invokes a false deity in the systematic suppression and oppression of anyone who doesn’t submit to Islam.
    Furthermore, Muslims aren’t being brought here so we can give them the Gospel. The agencies bringing them here have all, yes ALL, signed contracts with the federal government, under Obama, making it totally ILLEGAL to proselytize or evangelize them. Our missionaries that are going to Muslim countries have a better chance of making converts and disciples out of these Muslims than these resettlement agencies do with the restrictions they’ve agreed to. Considering the big money they’re being paid by the government, I’d say it’s clearly all about the money.
    So, until I hear your “outrage” at the garbage the Leftist hate groups and Muslims have been doing for nearly a decade, and until you actually do choose to focus on sound Bible doctrine, I must consider you just another angry Leftist hypocrite.
    In my racially mixed family, we condemn racism on all sides, but apparently you cannot do that. So don’t even propose to lecture me about racism in this country. I’ve experienced it!

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