No Mr. Trump, America is Not a Mess

Dear Mr Trump,


I’ve heard you use that word quite a bit over the past few months:

The world is a mess.
America is a mess.
You inherited a mess.

I’m not sure if you actually believe these statements, or whether they, like many things you say are simply lies meant to instill fear and to mask your own deficiencies—preemptive salvos fired in advance of your failures.

Either way, I want you to know that you’re full of it.

America is not a mess—it is complex, and I imagine this is the disconnect if there is one. It doesn’t seen like complex is your gig. America is made of intricate systems and a complicated history and delicate social relationships and elaborate laws, none of which you seem all that interested in or capable of understanding. So yes, I can see how you would look at all of this and be overwhelmed, as this is what 65 million of us saw coming a mile away. We’re just surprised that you’re surprised. 

The reality is, you didn’t inherit a mess, Mr Trump, you received the job that you politicked for, lied for, likely colluded for, sold the remaining segments of your soul for. Even though you weren’t qualified or deserving or chosen by the people, you received the title of Leader of the Free World, and the least you could do is not act like this country owes you sympathy or some special grace period—or that we’re the problem here.

We’re freakin’ amazing, actually.

We’re what we’ve always been: a beautiful, flawed masterpiece in progress. We are a diverse mosaic made of every kind of humanity on the planet, and we’ve been doing this for a couple hundred years and then some—far before you ever showed up. With all our profound imperfections, we have made a home to freedom and equality and goodness like few places on the planet, so don’t you dare pretend that we’re the issue, and don’t make us think that we’re here waiting in our mediocrity (or worse) for you to bestow greatness upon us, because we both know that ain’t happenin’.

This isn’t a campaign promise, it isn’t a news story sound bite, and it isn’t an ego rally speech tossed like raw meat to your shrinking faithful cult of salivating sycophants—this is the Presidency. It is a big person’s job. It’s complicated and it’s difficult and it requires work, and it requires a capacity and commitment that it’s fairly clear you don’t possess. Most of all, it requires an ability to know when you’re attempting something above your pay grade and when you need to delegate to qualified people, instead of flailing around wildly and blaming everyone else when it all hits the fan.

44 other men already sat where you now sit (where a woman should rightly be sitting), and dozens of them inherited far greater financial, social, or military challenges than you have. Yet not one of them daily complained to the Press about how difficult their job was, and they didn’t blame America for being “difficult”, and they didn’t publicly declare their country a mess (of course none of them spent 20 percent of their days on the golf course either, but then again they seemed to realize the gravity and responsibility of the position.)

But the point, Mr. Trump, is that we are not the mess you say we are, we are not standing on the precipice of certain disaster (your staggering recklessness aside), and we are not presently horrible.

If you stopped golfing and Tweeting, and indiscriminately dropping bombs to distract from talk of Russia long enough to actually took a look around, you’d see:

This country is wildly diverse and quite miraculously coexisting in this reality, all things considered.
Christians and Muslims and Jews are serving in the streets of their cities together.
People are marrying outside of their faith traditions and across color lines.
More and more churches are welcoming the LGBTQ community.

Good people are feeding the poor and teaching children and rebuilding neighborhoods and caring for the elderly.
Families are raising children to be decent and generous and compassionate.
Teenagers are discovering who they are meant to be.
College kids are studying hard and forging their dreams in real-time.
We are straight and gay, bisexual and Transgender.
We are people of every pigmentation.
We are Christian and Atheist, Muslim and Agnostic, Jew and Humanist, Native American and immigrant.
We are refugee and undocumented and 4th generations born here.
We are rural whites and coastal elites and Bible Belters and heartlanders.

In other words, America is being who America has been long before you arrived and (if you can manage not to completely destroy us), long after you’re gone, hopefully less than four years from now. Far from perfect, but even further from being a mess—we’re the place where all people are supposed to be treated with dignity and decency, and allowed to pursue life, liberty, and happiness unfettered. We are the land of the free, the home of the brave, and we’re not falling for your nonsense that pretends we’re anything less than that.

So, Mr. Trump, stop being so cavalier and careless with something that we and our forefathers and foremothers worked so hard for. You don’t deserve this country, and the least you can do is stop try to gaslight us into believing that we are broken and in need of fixing or that we’re something doomed that needs saving.

We just need you to stop fighting and derailing and sabotaging us at every turn and we’ll be just fine.

We’re not the mess here, Mr. Trump—

—we’re pretty damn glorious.



522 thoughts on “No Mr. Trump, America is Not a Mess

  1. Pingback: What Ails Us – v2.0 - JaxPolitix - Disambiguations for the political and social musings of Jack Altschuler

      • Trump should not have been elected. Few know how it happened. I know. It happened because you can’t keep you Dr or your plan – even if you like it. It happened because the cartels are convoying heroin into our neighborhoods. I t happened because we are trillions in debt. It happened because precious children are murdered in Chicago every week in drive byes and all the mayor has to say about it is that Chicago is a sanctuary city. It was anger. I was for Bernie but I know why it happened.

    • Better and better at being a sore loser, sadly delusional demonicrat gliberal with a sharp tongue speaking from a play book not factual. If you have something to say 100% True Honest and speaking only as singular meaning you personally not for the rest of this country for the entire past dating back to when you first became ruler of your fantasy world. Let it be stated clearly so it might stand on its own merit. You claim to be the voice of 350 Million people or more. That is not accurate at all. Speak according to your life and time not inclusive of anyone else here. If you have anything of substance you believe that you can do a better job than Donald Trump…then why are you not our President? Armchair critics are a dime a dozen. Get off your lazy ass and make a name for yourself if you are someone special. The Truth 100% always welcome here. Anything short of that is simply more propaganda or FAKE NEWS. Will you come on board with us to exert an effort in a positive direction for the goodness of the world? Could you find a place in your heart to show us your true intention? Lay down your axe and dagger and let them without sin cast the first stone. Write inspiring articles rather than ones that provoke anger and hostility. It is a time to mend not rear apart. Do your part to mend what you find torn not make matters worse. OK? Thank you. We must all take this to heart and it is an extremely difficult task for some to face however unless this hurdle is overcome progress will not be achieved. Decision…time is of the essence. Pray may God give you strength and power to enlighten your consciousness to become aware, observant and wise.

  2. Thank you for your words John.

    I know it sounds simplistic but in my opinion this last election and Trump himself has brought out the ugly in this country. I guess some of it was always there but now it is rubbed in our faces daily.

    I believe there are truly wonderful and honorable people on both sides of the fence. Neither side has the high road.

    But in my opinion and I do admit to having high standards when it comes to what behavior makes an honorable person, Trump is the face of the ugly American. Liars lie and cheaters cheat. Trump has been both his entire adult life. Although I am saddened by what America is experiencing now, if America prospers that would be a good thing. But, it will never change how I feel about Trump, the man.

    Peace and a Blessed Easter Sunday

    • Yes Joanne and I am thinking about what Jesus did for us today–

      “Forgiveness is the name of love practiced among people who love poorly. The hard truth is that all people love poorly. We need to forgive and be forgiven every day, every hour increasingly. That is the great work of love among the fellowship of the weak that is the human family.”

      ― Henri J.M. Nouwen

      • I feel it is God’s forgiveness that matters. If I misspeak or say something I regret I do apologize. People have the right to accept my apology or not. That is fine. What matters to me is that God knows that I realize I have done something I feel is wrong.

        I try to accept people for who they are. I also try to avoid people who I am uncomfortable around and seek out those who I feel at peace with. I would be more comfortable if I never had to see or hear about Trump. But, that is not the way life is. Trump makes me uncomfortable. God is the one who will decide if Trump has done something that needs to be forgiven. God is also the one who will decide the fate of my soul.

        Blessings this Glorious Easter Sunday

    • Prospers by cutting social security for the retiree who have worked for their social security? cutting free lunch for hungry poor kids to pay for regular golf weekends for chump? cutting meals on wheels for the elderly so Chump can golf and Chump kids can spend weekends in Aspen???! No.

  3. The Truth: , YES , America is a Mess, Mixed Up, NOT sure what happens next, NO real Confidence.
    Yes, NO Real Standard , some do , some dont, some just want more , just more milk to sooooooth the pains of life.
    NO Real security and foundation to believe in.
    The only confidence any one can have is a REAL TRUE Relationship that does not change with every wind of doctrine or friendship out there.
    I you Commit your life to A real relationship with Jesus Christ, Humble your self, cry out to G
    od for the Forgiveness of YOUR sin of rebellion, pride, selfish living and good works of self, to fulfill the need of your heart and make you feel good for the moment to satisfy the conscience for what you have done and do everyday.
    YOU will be saved , Life changed, view on life change , and you will see the world in a whole different lite. The lite of the world is Jesus Christ , NO other, All others are false and will lead to guilt , dissatisfaction, hurt, and anger against god for no smiting the wicked or righteous as YOU see fit.
    God is not A Genie and does not change for anyone. The prayers of a Righteous Person (man, women , child ) Avails much. This means God only hears the prayer of salvation to all who dont believe , then the prayer s of change for all who believe.
    As we reflect this Easter we see a Holy, True, Just God who Sent a Sacrifice to die on a Wooden Cross of Calvary for a World who hates him and Forgave all No matter what sin or what they believe , to show how much real love is. and how Sacrificial Love is the ultimate Price for sin. Rebellion, hatred towards god, and a people who have gone astray.
    Jesus is the only one , that can forgive all sin. with out this payment , there is only Hell and Condemnation . NO other way out. We, YOU, I cannot be gooooood enough to get to heaven, balance the books, account for what has been done thru out the history of mankind.
    The Cross , The Risen Savior paying the price for sin , so that the bridge from sin to holyness can be achieved only thru Jesus Christ , Savior to the World.
    Give Him a Chance , Ask for God to OPEN YOUR EYES Today so you can see clearly and Admit you are a sinner, Yes fallen from birth , not works, sin of inheritance from our , mine, and yours adamic heritage. ADAM , Start of Fall of mankind .
    Ask Jesus Christ to Be the Lord, Savior , Master of your life , and start a New Life . New Beginning, New way of thinking, New way for Eternity .

    • I am SICK unto DEATH of bat shit CRAZY people like this “christopher freeman” person who seize upon every blog post as an opportunity to go into yet another insane rant. Lots of words but very little sense.

      • Regulars quickly learn which names to ignore and scroll past.

        “I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” ~George Bernard Shaw

        Don’t let them spoil the blog. Don’t quench their thirst for attention.

      • Thats ok , cause God has given us all freedom to believe, say, do what we want.
        You dont have to see it my way.
        Truth does not change with every wind of doctrine or view , or want.
        Greatness is thru hard work , Integrety, loyalty, vision. and this is what I preach . to have this you must be able to see past the emotion, ego, likes, dislike s and want to see truth for what it is.
        God is the same today, tommorrow and forever. I will pass, you will pass, but the Word of God, truth will live forever.
        and Only , only what is done for christ will last the test of time.

        • Thank you Christopher, you speak truth, people who hate words of truth will react in anger. I started reading John Pavlovitz’s blogs after my niece started posting him on Facebook and she sadly adopted his way of thinking in her opinions and using his words. The man is a false teacher. He doesn’t believe in the existence of hell and believes the bible is full of errors and not inspired by the Holy Spirit. His readers embrace his words because it brings no conviction to them. President Trump has been a good thing for John Pavlovitz, he can slander him and get paid for doing so. What did he write about before President Trump? I suspect churches that proclaim the gospel and salvation. He leads people away from truth. I’m sad for my niece and all the people who believe lies rather than truth. So sad.

          • Do not be sad for your niece, she is thoughtful enough to not follow blindly in your ways. Instead take pity on yourself for being unable to distinguish fact from fiction.

          • Then put that sad face to use and look in the mirror Kat. Your niece and the rest of us have the much harder task of actually following what Jesus taught instead of listening to the preachers who assure us we have done all that is needed.

          • His preaching that there is no Hell is the ultimate lie and deception.

            Meanwhile, we can entertain ourselves obsessing over Trump’s evils and flaws while ignoring our own.

            • I am a Canadian who grew up with strict rules on behavior, especially the one “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
              Without going into the crude lies and deceitful ways Donald J Trump got into the White house, not to mention the Russian ties all around him, and things that will emerge once the investigation has been completed of the people involved in his running for office and those he has placed in high levels of office.
              He is very worrisome to watch on a day-to-day bases. I think the US deserves a man/ woman of substance and respect; a man or woman that can behave in a dignified manner and stand up with strength and honor in conducting the business of running the United States of America as President of the free world. This man /woman also requires humility, patience and shows a love for the world. Once the US President can respect the World and its inhabitants and show compassion in the midst of chaos, he or she can then bring the world together as one. Love will always conquer hatred and maliciousness in the end. I think the time has come for either Donald Trump to step up to the task or let someone else do the job.

              • Barbara, you rock. Well said. We very much need an adult in the White House, not someone whose emotional development seems to have stalled around age four.

          • Kat, so the Bible is correct when it says that slavery is acceptable?

            The Bible is correct is correct when it says to kill every last man, married woman and child of a people’s you conquer and keep the unmarried women as your sexual conquests?

            The Bible is correct when it says that women shouldn’t leave their houses when they are on their periods?

            The BIble is correct when it says you should be punished for planting two different crops side by side?

            And exactly how much are you selling your daughters for?

            the Bible was written by man. It may have been inspired by God but that doesn’t make it inerrant.

            You have a choice. You can worship God or you can worship the Bible. But if you do the latter you are committing idolatry.

            • Where does it say in the Bible that slavery is “acceptable”?

              Are you asserting that one can use the Bible to justify slavery today?

            • Do you think there is a Hell, James? Pavlovitz says no. Are you with him or with what your Church says about that?

              Does your Church say the Bible is full of errors?

    • I have a news flash for you…..yours is not the only religion in this country….and if you expect us to respect yours, than you must respect ALL of ours. The Bible is your book, not mine. This country was founded so that we may all pursue our own religious beliefs, quit trying to force yours on others. Unless you are an immigrant you were born here in the USA and are a citizen of this country, you are not obligated to practice any one religion, but you are obligated as a citizen to adhere to the Constitution, if that goes against your God, then move somewhere that the laws there are aligned with your beliefs.

    • Or, you could light a Big, Fat, DOOBIE, chill out in the yard and watch all the Easter Bunnies DO IT on the lawn.
      There is nothing to be Saved From – except, maybe your atrocious spelling and WORD YELLS.


    • For Mr. Freeman:

      Jordanian Muslims protect churches on Easter

      April 17, 2017 / 0 Comments
      Muslim youth in Jordan launched an initiative yesterday to protect churches during worship for Easter. Following the bombings in Egypt on Palm Sunday, Muslims wanted to act in solidarity and “underline the unity of Jordanians and to give everyone the freedom to practise their religion without restraints or fear,” according to Fayez Ruqeidi, a resident of Balqa. The initiative was kicked off by a tweet by Kazem Kharabsheh, who said, “On Sunday, our Christian brothers and sisters will be in churches [performing] religious [rituals], [and] extremists [are] threatening our national security… My Muslim friends and I will be in Balqa Governorate, protecting its churches and people.” Muslim residents made commitments to stand in front of churches to protect Christians celebrating Easter inside. There have been no direct threats against churches in Jordan, however, Daesh/ISIS has made many threats against the kingdom as a whole. Security checkpoints have been installed on the gates of churches around the country, a move that has been accepted by Christians as necessary. Jordanian Muslims emphasized the diversity of Jordan as an important piece of their identity; “We are always proud to say Jordan is made up of harmonious pieces of mosaics; it’s truly sad to see such security measures taken out of necessity in Jordan. We live in a small country and we know everyone here,” Amman resident Hala Saadi told The Jordan Times.

      Jordan has some of the oldest communities of Christians, some dating back to the first century CE. Today, Christians make up approximately 4% of the population, and most are Greek Orthodox, although there are also Roman Catholic and Protestant churches. There has been an influx of Christian refugees into Jordan, fleeing Daesh/ISIS from Mosul in Iraq, and also Syria.


  4. I do not know whether it’s just me or if everyone else encountering issues
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    on your posts are running off the screen. Can someone else please provide feedback and
    let me know if this is happening to them too?
    This may be a issue with my browser because I’ve had this happen previously.

    • It may be your browser and how it copes with WordPress. Also, just a word to the wise, if you do not have an ad blocker program running on your computer, the John Pavlovitz blog will do all kinds on insanity inducing behaviors. The Adguard program did wonders for my ability to use this site. Before that, this blog was nearly unavigable.

  5. So beautifully said John. Thank you for helping me to look at the glass half full instead of half empty. Our country’s major problem right now is the greedy politicians in power. We need to get rid of Trump and his cronies before they completely destroy our credibility with the rest of the world. I do not want to be part of an aggressive government that thinks because we have power, we can control everyone’s business by being bullies.

          • Well, never been there but I don’t begrudge anyone if they are fortunate and work hard. I hope you get back there too. My problem is with those who are there and then say I got mine, you get yours and I will take yours if I can because I deserve it all. I have known a lot of people who were very fortunate but took care of others, and I don’t see that with most of the people in power now. It makes me sad. I keep asking how many billions do you have to stockpile before it becomes obscene. Peace and Love,

                • It was not as good as I hoped it would be. I had done better in rehearsal, but it was good enough and I got some since compliments from the leader (and his wife) of another choir in attendance which made me feel good. I’m new to that Church and community and am the only gringo, so I’m a little self conscious and I work especially hard there.

                  Thanks for asking, and thanks for being able to cross over and dialogue with “the enemy.”

                  One of the things that most aggravates me about JP and some of his followers is their aggressive divisiveness, as if it’s impossible to be civil or empathetic with anyone who doesn’t go along with their anti-Trump politics.

                  Those of us who are Christians here believe in Christ’s divinity, death and resurrection, opportunity for salvation and eternity in Heaven, etc., which is so much more important and above who happens to be president.

                  I know you don’t like Trump and that irritates me sometimes, but I don’t hold it against you personally. I could still have a coffee or a tea with you and have a friendly conversation and I don’t think you would hold my support against Trump against me.

                  Anyway, I don’t understand why an Easter Sunday morning would be the occasion for yet another anti-Trump rant, especially from a pastor who I would think would use the occasion to proclaim the Hope of Resurrection and something more spiritual and positive.

                  • I am sure your performance was great!

                    You have never been my enemy. I don’t want enemies – I want to enjoy a conversation so I do appreciate being able to converse with you.

                    I hope you managed to have a wonderful Easter.

                    Mine was grand – All 18 of us were together – a small feat – and I was able to hold each one and tell them I loved them. What could be better? My daughter in laws got tipsy drinking sangria and the men told bawdy jokes. My husband is horrible at telling jokes. He tried once again but flubbed the lines again – which makes it even funnier. Love, laughter, and good food.

                    Peace and Happiness

                    • It must be nice to have a big family. Just two children for us and no grandchildren. I was invited after choir to have a meal with a Mexican family and some other choir members and had Tequila for the first (and probably last) time. It burns. And I was dizzy after just a couple of sips. (I’m not much of a drinker). I did end up saying some funny things in Spanish (before drinking), which is encouraging as far as my Spanish learning is concerned.

                    • For the record, I do not think of anyone here as an “enemy” either. I don’t like some here and make no pretense otherwise but the dismissal of the very reason many of us are here is not helpful either.

                      Trump is not just any old Republican, that was not just any old election and this nation is not being run by people who are inspiring confidence in a time of real peril.

                      Many of us are here because we left a church over the troubling merger with right-wing politics and that is a very hurtful thing to go through. Many of us have lost friends who refuse to see any problem much less danger in what Trump represents, and that is a hurtful thing to go through. Maybe a compassionate person would know that it would be very hard to befriend a Trump supporter here? Maybe a compassionate person would see that constantly harping on abortion being murder is not going to gain respect or friendship instead of putting it all on us? I wonder when this all became a one way street? It is not like our opinions have not been snubbed and dismissed… I just have a hard time seeing the victim here.

                    • I agree. People are not discussing when they tell other people that they are totally wrong and will probably burn in hell. That is an indictment. I have never said that about any of the people who disagree. The tone of what you say matters. Peace,

                    • I did have a half glass of the sangria but I rarely drink. I need to hold on to all the brain cells I have left.

                    • Sandy, When I first started posting here, I let things get to me – which I still slip sometimes – and then I have comment remorse. I already take medication for high blood pressure – so in self preservation I try to ignore what triggers I can.

                      I have always wanted people to get along and be happy. It was quite a shock raising 4 boys who couldn’t walk by each other without annoying the other. I was an only child until I was 13 when my parents adopted my brother who was three. I became his caretaker. My parents bickered constantly and I try to avoid situations like that.

                      And I drive my husband crazy because I will avoid conflict however I can. I will always stand my ground in my own way.

                      Everyone here has their own strategy for coping in this messy world.

                      We can only be what we are.


                    • Joanne, I get where you are coming from. I used to be there and I think perhaps if one understands where each other is coming from there might be less misunderstanding, of course I have been called naive so maybe what do I know. Anyway, like I said I used to keep how I felt to myself, some of that was out of respect for my husbands job, some was being an outsider, you know a liberal easterner in the midwest. For 40 years people made the assumption that because I was a Christian I must believe what they believed, and that included politically, but we believe in the separation of church and state so we kept quiet, he would not allow it in the pulpit nor in the church. Took a beating but since they thought we were in lock step with them we got by. After we retired we kept in touch with some of these people and then came the election with Obama. I received some of the most hateful, demeaning e-mails about the Obama’s, wanting me to forward them to my family and friends. These e-mails were horrible bigoted filth. That was when I decided to take a stand. I sent an e-mail to everyone I knew that I shared things with and stated that I might not have the same leanings as they and so please no more political e-mails. Those good church people sent me e-mails telling me just exactly what they thought of me and it was not nice. Since then I have taken back my voice and my beliefs and if I feel someone is putting someone I believe in down I will speak up. I get that you don’t do that and that is quite alright, I just felt that perhaps I needed to explain where I am coming from. I have the refrain “They came for me and there was no one else” in my head, it haunts me. As you said we each of us have to find our own way. Just thought it might help to know where someone else is coming from. Peace and Love,

                    • Kathleen B. You have a good and kind heart. Maybe I am misunderstanding your words. I have never been afraid to speak my mind here about Trump and the direction of this country. You and I have shared many conversations about memories of the old days which I cherish.

                      Do you feel I am letting my fellow liberals down because I choose a different approach? I have never given anyone the power to change my position on anything.

                      If I was going to strike back, I would have done so to Gloriamarie for singling me out once again. I have no powers here, I have no degrees. I am not a biblical scholar. I am nothing to anyone here – just an old lady. I would be ok with everyone just ignoring me.

                    • No I don’t feel you let anyone down. I just felt compelled to explain where I am coming from. This speaking up is new to me, sometimes I don’t explain myself well. I was agreeing with you that we all have different paths, that they change at times, but nonetheless they are our paths. Nothing wrong with yours and nothing wrong with mine. I probably am more sensitive to someone talking down to me or belittling my walk than I should be but like I said I am new to this. Please don’t take any offense because none was meant. I like you. Peace and Love,

                    • Joanne, you do not let anyone down, but I do think you unwittingly play into some ‘Machiavellian” hands when you give them the respect and “civility” they claim to want and they are still dissing all we stand with or for so who gives anything up, besides you?

                      These conversations are a lot more than just trying to change anyone’s position. They want us to shut up, go along to get along. This is how they do it in churches too. “Well how can you be so mean and call me out when Joanne thinks I am just swell and respects my choices” kind of thing. I know that is not the game you are playing, they on the other hand have more than proven it is what they are doing. See the convo between leslie m and Anonymous about “the Emerging Church” for a tutorial.

                      Honestly, I don’t advise anyone to “strike back”, as it only brings grief. I sometimes wish I could be like you, but alas, “I yam what I yam”. I am no Biblical scholar, teacher or even a wholly knowledgeable student, I have to use my resources quite often to be sure I am on solid ground in understanding. You make great points your way and that is just fine!

                    • Joanne, that was what I was trying to say, she did it better. By the way, I don’t have any degree, higher education or any of that, we spent all our money getting my husbands education. We came from working class families, broken by divorce and so we were on our own.
                      Just got high school behind me. Peace,

                    • Ladies, I don’t want to belabor the point, but obviously I am not good at explaining myself either.

                      When I was 31 my first husband walked away. I was alone with my children, isolated, and living in a small town where everyone new my business. I took a few years for me to put myself back together. I will confess there were times I thought I would sell my soul to the devil to have someone hold me during the night and tell me I was ok. Well, the good thing was the devil didn’t come knocking on my door and I couldn’t afford a babysitter so I could go out looking for one.

                      But I learned to not give up power so someone could diminish me. If someone hurts me or insults me I feel it is because I have given them the power to do so. If I let someone change me into something I don’t want to be, it is because I have given them that power.

                      We are all products of how our lives have been lived. I hope you can understand where I am coming from. I don’t feel used or naïve or any such thing. I don’t think my behavior should reflect on anyone else. Like I said I am a threat to no one. Just another flawed human being traveling, I hope, down a good path. I listen to John’s words and many times he speaks to what is in my heart. Now always, but that is ok too.

                    • Yes Joanne, that is all ok too. No worries, I get it. You do you and don’t worry about the rest. I have been the way I am all my life, I do not know another path. At the end of every day, I have to sleep with my conscience just as we all do.

                      I was 23 when the dad I loved beyond words died. I was blessed to be married to the greatest man who ever lived and he is still my rock. I know what you mean about needing that connection from someone at times. I cannot fathom him not being there for me.

                      I used to hate the saying, “If Jesus brings you to it, He will bring you through it” and I still refuse to believe Jesus would bring anything bad to anyone, but when I look back, I know beyond doubt He did bring me through it.


                    • I am going to post as anonymous now, Joanne, but I totally relate to what you are saying and given that my life has been one of living on the margins I am deeply disappointed by how I have been treated by those who claim to follow John Pavlovitz on this blog.

                      I have met all kinds of people in my life and never thought I should justify myself in condemning anyone.

                      Please Joanne don’t change and Sandi don’t change either because we need your gifts, People need you to stand up and speak out but also to comfort and heal but for Christ’s sake learn to distinguish between who needs a kick in the arse and who doesn’t.

                    • Believe it or not, I do try. Sometimes it is hard to tell. I admit my vision narrows too often in the moment.

                    • Anonymous, Thank you for your words. I hope you have a place or a someone that offers you a peaceful respite and some joy for good measure.

                    • Joanne Musto. Sandi wrote “Joanne, you do not let anyone down, but I do think you unwittingly play into some ‘Machiavellian” hands when you give them the respect and “civility” they claim to want and they are still dissing all we stand with or for so who gives anything up, besides you?”

                      I don’t think you see, but they don’t treat you with the same civility and respect which you so generously offer them.

                      From my POV they are just as condescending, patriarchal, and patronizing to you as they are to the rest of us women, only they disguise it slightly.

                      Some people are here for honest discussion, some are not. In fact some are here to speak in the nastiest possible way. For example the anonymous person who told Kathleen B she should just change her name to “ditto.” Kathleen B doesn’t deserve that from anyone here.

                      There are people here who want to manipulate us, treat us with disdain, and sneer at us. I personally can’t understand why anyone would engage such people, but I will support the efforts to provide real evidence and actual facts.

    • For love of God Joe, how can you claim to be a Christian and support that phony, crook liar. Any Atheist would be a better Christian than Donald Trump. We spend tens of millions for his and his family to vacation EVERY WEEKEND at hotels owned by him. What does it take for you to realize you have been had. You fell for the lies the Russians fed you about Hilary. I guess it is easier for you to just go along with him, than admit what a fool you were taken for.

  6. I guess I will continue with my broken record. Thank you, for speaking the truth, at a time when the truth seems to be in short supply. I do believe this is the best post, to date, that I have read. I needed this and I needed this put out in the universe. Thank you for all you do, and Happy Easter to everyone. I am praying that the hatefulness that DT has allowed to flourish in this country will wake up all the good people who went along, to get along, and change the trajectory of this country. May it happen. I prefer to be on the side of those who need a champion not a group of wealthy men who see this country as their personal plaything. I resist and persist. Peace and Love,

    • The hate I see is hatefulness towards Donald Trump and those who support him. That’s what this blog is. A place to come to to have your hatred validated.

      What a sermon for a pastor to preach on Easter Sunday.

      More sore-loserism. More hating on Trump. The religion of anti-Trumpism.

      Today is the day we celebrate that Christ rose from the dead. I am happy my pastor will not be whining about Trump and politics today but will be preaching the Good News.

      Focus on your own sins, Pastor JP, and help others overcome theirs and find Salvation. We know you don’t like Donald Trump. But that doesn’t have to be a way of life and shouldn’t be your “message.”

      • So go do your celebrating and Trump worship elsewhere. This is not the place for you, this place is not about you (other than the clear picture you paint of why we are divided), this place is not what you need. You have all the answers, you know all you need to know, you say that over and over and over. So go away and leave us alone! You are an interloper and a bully who wants to disrupt and demean our purpose here. You cannot and it apparently just eats at you so you keep interrupting, keep pestering, keep dismissing as if your opinion matters. This is not your blog. You do not matter.

        • Hating on Trump and his supporters is a purpose worthy of demeaning, especially on Easter Sunday when a pastor of all people just might be focused on something a little more spiritual.

          Note that not hating Trump and speaking out against Trump-hatred does not equal “worshiping” Trump.

          You’ve made the terms “bully” and “troll” meaningless since you apply them to anyone who disagrees with you.

          • I am still praying for you Joe. That you are so concerned with our hatefulness but just brush aside your own. I am praying that the Holy Spirit change your hardened heart so that you can see the errors of your way and your hypocrisy.

          • Interesting, but I did not experience the Trump bashing you refer to. Instead I see John celebrating Americans no matter what they look like or what they believe. I do think that you are an extraordinarily unhappy person, Joe, and you come here to spread your anger & dissatisfaction around. I hope you can find some peace somewhere; it obviously won’t be here.

          • That is a typical right-winger ploy but no one renders any word “meaningless” and it is not true that I have applied “bully” and “troll” to anyone who disagrees with me. Your continued dishonesty is registered…again, by you.

          • Joe,
            Happy Easter to ya, He is risen!

            I want to say that I appreciate your voice on this blog. I think you make some good points. And I know it’s hard to resist snarking at times with the vitriol you (and probably I) bring on ourselves. I just encourage you to stay civil and comment with a smile and the knowledge that this is spiritual warfare. And greater is He in us (and all believers) than he who is in the world. And we can take heart—Jesus has overcome the world.

            Now, let’s the good fight of faith.

          • Well, Joe – let’s have a little chat about who the “haters” are in this country. What did people like you do for the last 8 years but hate, viciously and vociferously? Whatever his flaws may have been, President Obama was a good and decent man who was subjected to lies, slander and disrespect on a level I’ve never seen in my 60-plus years! And all that eminated from people like you. Don’t you dare presume to lecture John Pavlovitz or anyone else here on putting a lid on our feelings about Trump (and no, I will never, EVER, dignify him with the title of President)!

            • I didn’t like Obama’s policies but I didn’t hate him on a personal level. I din’t demonize him as JP literally has done by calling him “The Orange Demon” in a previous post.

              If I were a pastor, I wouldn’t center my “faith” around hating President Trump. That’s weird and provides no spiritual guidance except in the wrong direction.

        • Sandi, I thank you for that from the bottom of my bleeding, liberal heart. I couldn’t find the words. Sometimes his gall leaves me speechless. I read what he said to my husband, his comment was, who does he think he is and why is he here commenting. Peace and Love,

      • Joe Catholic, I see that you find fulfillment in Donald Trump, and that he expresses the Gospel Message of Institutional religion that requires obedience rather than humility.
        Thankfully, our American democracy allows for a plurality of opinions on the subject of religion, and shies away from a monolithic, or “state religion.”
        The Current Occupant of the Oval Office, aka; The President of Mar-a-Lago, has bedazzled evangelical Christians in order to gain a foothold on power. I’m not certain of, nor do I make any claims as to his motivation. It could simply be an effort to boost the value of his naming rights, which is how he makes money.
        Or, it could be he wishes to impress the Fox News, Breitbart and InfoWars pundits he consumes on a habitual basis. He “reads nothing,” he has stated, because [he] “gets everything from cable news.”
        The President of Mar-a-Lago is well adept at Reality TV, having starred in The Apprentice, and Celebrity Apprentice for several years. As anyone who has worked in any capacity on one of these so-called reality shows knows, the reality presented is a fake one. These shows are scripted. Nothing is as it seems. Reality is altered for maximum drama.
        I think that The Current Occupant saw an opportunity to play a role in the reality program called “The 2016 Election” with the goal of increasing brand awareness, as the Celebrity Apprentice franchise was waning in popularity. I’m not sure he ever intended to actually win, as his having nearly 2,000 government positions yet unfilled (link: ) would indicate, as does the chaos at the upper levels of the administration.
        So, to characterize valid criticism as “hatefulness,” is somewhat of an exaggeration. I distinctly remember all of the mock lynchings, racist rantings, “birther lies,” and personal attacks of our previous president I witnessed at several dozen Tea Party rallies I attended while doing research on a book. Most of it was valid criticism, but some of it veered into outrageous slander. The Current Occupant was chief offender, having fanned the flames of the birther lie for the entire term of the previous President.
        JP’s criticisms are valid, and reflect the views of the majority of Americans. The policies and “philosophy” of The President of Mar-a-Lago is a reality show with no basis in reality.

        • Well said Phil! Thank you for that truth. It seems Trump voters are not willing to admit the truth or that the church and politics is a dangerous mix. But let them tell you the dangers of Sharia Law. They apparently are not very good with connect-the-dot puzzles.

          • Jesus promoted God’s Kingdom … therefore church and politics do mix well and with good results. Jesus said the kingdom is within you. So we are all trying to make this world reflect the kingdom we think best represents God. What we disagree on is the worldview.

        • No Phil. I just voted for Trump because I thought he would be a better choice for president. Just like I voted for Romney. But my guy Romney lost. I was bummed out. For a couple of DAYS. Then I got back on with my life. I didn’t much care for Obama, but he wasn’t an obsession as Trump is with JP.

          I wouldn’t preach how bad Obama was on Easter Sunday. It would be about Christ dying and rising and salvation and stuff like that instead of demonizing a president and getting my followers all stirred up against a man instead of for Christ and instead of focusing on their own flaws and sins.

          What would have been a refreshing change would have been that JP looked for some good in Trump and his supporters and offered prayers of hope for reconciliation…instead of stirring the pot.

        • And let me guess Kat, you NEVER go to a site or anyone else to have your opinions or feelings validated? Please! Just own that you sold out your Christianity to vote for Trump and you like it. The shame is only in denying that truth. Ask your niece.

      • Dear Joe Catholic:

        Washington has pushed the world to brink of nuclear war. Statements from US officials have laid bare the recklessness of the tactics being pursued by Washington, threatening a war on the Korean peninsula involving the use of nuclear weapons and the deaths of millions.

        800,000 Iraqis go to bed hungry. A new survey, the most comprehensive ever carried out in Iraq, found that 53 percent of residents and 66 percent of internally displaced people are vulnerable to “food insecurity.” That fits my definition of severe humanitarian crisis.

        The United States doesn’t have elections to win or not. You get utterly vetted candidates casting out slogans in plastic campaigns awash with big money and are then told that we got our way?

        The ‘election fraud’ attack on voters is mythology. In reality, it is elections themselves that are a fraud. Successive Reichadistrations make it rather plain that your elections are an exercise in mutual masturbation.

        What has ‘sore-loserism’ to do with anything?


    • Amen, Kathleen. Thankful for another great post by John, and folks like you that give me hope. “Resist and persist”-yes! My faith calls me to.

  7. On target again, John. You say things that I think, but could never eloquently express. Great column. Happy Easter to you and your dear family.

  8. Trump will leave the country and the world a mess. Making messes is what the manchild does best. Besides whining like a little best of course

    • Hi James. A number of us here have concluded (rightly or wrongly) that Christopher Freeman is an elderly person with something wrong with him—perhaps a recent stroke or incipient dementia. For that reason, I and others here have decided to go easy on him because something is clearly wrong.

      When my mother was in the nursing home, there was a severe stroke victim who sat in a wheel chair. His mind was mostly gone, but he could still speak clearly. All day long in that wheel chair (24/7/365), he repeated over and over and over and over again the following 11 words—never saying anything else:

      “Get, get, get—a box of nails up on that roof.”

      We think something milder but quite similar is going on with Christopher Freeman. He has a classic fundie, holiness church (probably pentecostal) message—and it is in many ways a good message—so we just let him rattle on without much criticism.

          • A hateful, uncompassionate, foul-mouthed peach that Pavlovites hypocritically turn a blind eye to his hate but will call out Joe if he does something like switch from Quilted Northern to Charmin.

            And Charles says he’s “Passionate about being compassionate.”

            What’s next? OJ volunteering at a battered wives shelters?

              • Charles is beyond doubt a tough cookie, but the thing is, that there is no reason to be tolerant of the intolerant and no reason to be compassionate to those who are not. The Christian Right really gets that one wrong. Being liberal, tolerant, and having the love of Jesus, does not mean we will not call out the BS we see, it just means we will see the source and adjust accordingly.

                I do not see any of you calling out Wayne and his filth. Or Anonymous when they curse or abuse within your POV…

                • We too will call out the BS we see like when Charles rudely calls peoples a-holes or women b*tches.

                  If I see Joe or anyone else call you a b*tch I’d say something. The problem is Charles’s blatant hate and foul language to conservatives would be seen as “bullying” by you and anyone else (and rightly so) if it was done by a conservative toward a liberal.

                  As for Wayne I’m not that familiar with him and what he’s said. If he uses foul language or speaks abusively then he should be held accountable as should the inappropriateness of the liberals here.

                  • Wow, you can’t even get the really simple concepts right. Unless Charles has phoned you or this site has audio, he has not verbally abused anyone. There is a distinction between abusing someone and answering fire with fire. I have not seen Charles attack or abuse an innocent person. And he has not done so any more than the Anonymous posters and others on the right have done that I have seen. Funny how you seem to miss those posts.

                    You lie that I call people a “bully” for disagreeing with John P too. I call you a bully (and have called others the same) when they REPEATEDLY denigrate John P and others here. I have asked you to just post your disagreement and move on, but you won’t ever do that, you just keep coming back and maligning, demeaning and dismissing people. THAT is what a bully does.

                    And if you are not bullying someone, you are trying to knock the discussion down with tangents and your obsession with abortion. You already admitted you do not come here seeking John’s wisdom, POV or “preaching” so you ONLY come here to disrupt and argue. THAT is what trolls do.

                    • IMHO, when Charles says “F**K U,” which he has done on numerous occasions, or calls people “A**HOLES,” which he has done many times, or calls Leslie a “BITCH” which he has done twice that I have seen and I believe another woman here was also so blessed by him, then he is being “verbally abusive.”

                      Regardless of what it’s called, it’s wrong. And it’s also a form of bullying. Calling it being a “tough cookie” is a form of compliment, and this type of behavior should not be complimented or encouraged, even if it’s directed at those evil people who voted their consciences in favor of Donald Trump.

                    • Again Joe, I do not think you understand what bullying is. It is crass to use such language towards anyone but that is not bullying per se. If he goes after nearly every post she makes, if he repeatedly treats her (or anyone else) that way, then he would be a bully. But I have not seen that. See Wayne’s repeated hideous behavior or your own when you are on an abortion roll. An odd epithet is not the same as repeated bullying.

                      I certainly did not mean to “compliment” Charles for his language by saying he is a “tough cookie” at all. That kind of name calling attack is not something I encourage or support from anyone toward anyone (like the anonymous poster who called me a sow). But I have yet to see his visceral response not be in response to someone else’s insult or false indictment. Just as I do not call anyone a liar, bully or troll out of thin air.

                      Speaking of consciences, you are the one using the word “evil” in the context of those in favor of Donald Trump. Slip of the mind?

                      You call out Wayne for his repeated crudity and vulgarity and I will do the same for Charles. Otherwise, stop whining!

                    • “Many wrap themselves up in justifications, excuses and misconceptions. They do not reproach but instead pamper themselves, presenting for themselves excuses in everything. In no way do they accept being blamed for anything, and therefore, they can never truly know their self which remains beautiful in their eyes, despite all their shortcomings”

                      + Pope Shenouda +

                      [ From ‘Before the Just Judge’ ]

                    • “By gentleness you can win even an enemy; by violence you can lose even a beloved”

                      + Pope Shenouda +

                    • Joe, take RESPONSIBILITY for your OWSN behavior as an adult does. To whine about someone else’s behavior and complain that is worse than yours is what a child does.

                      It doesn’t matter that Charles is in the wrong when he curses because his sin is NONE of your business.

                      The only sin you get to be upset about is your own. Jesus says so, unless you claim to know better than Jesus.

                      So ignore the splinter in Charles’ eye and pay attention to the two by four in your own.

                      If you really are an adult and not the ten year old little boy I suspect you really are, take responsibility for your own issues.

                    • The “F**K yous”, “a–holes”, “b*tches”, denigration, hate, and unfair broad brush paint of hate towards all things conservative by Charles is bullying.

                      I was bullied as a kid. I know one when I see one. Charles is a bully.

                    • By that definition, we are virtually all bullies. The crudity of the language alone does not make anyone a bully IMO. Charles posts less than Joe Catholic, Anonymous or Wayne and until you call them bullies too…no sale.

                    • GA- Joe is not whining. He’s exposing the hypocrisy of liberals like yourself who say nothing when Charles bullies others or uses coarse language

                    • As I am pointing out the hypocrisy of conservatives like yourself who say nothing when Wayne, Joe, or Anonymous bullies behave the same way.

                  • Joe- Just remember these people are blindly loyal to JP, deny hell, believe Christians and Muslims worship the same God, believe homosexuality is not a sin, and deny the atonement.

                    If they are blind to the truths of Christianity they’re probably going to be blind to the actions of “one of their own.”

  9. Best Easter message for Americans ever……….I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…….John Pavlovitz, I’m so glad you’re on the planet at this time

    • Same to you Patrick. As the locals here in East Tennessee might say:

      “His’n is risen.”

      It is an Appalachian/Elizabethan poverty thing that emphasizes the importance of the word “one” in a Southern Appalachian person’s life. People were so poor that if anything good and memorable ever happened to them in life, it happened in “ones.” For example, if all mom could afford to give her children for Christmas was sticks of peppermint candy and she had eight children (often the case), she would buy each child “one” stick pf peppermint candy and that was “his one” or “her one.” Often expressed as “his’n” or “her’n.” This emphasis on “ones” translated into many other areas of conversation as well. For example, when talking to a group of people, they use the term “youins,” which is literally translated as “you ones.” There is no such thing as a group—not really. It is just a bunch of “ones” who happen to be sitting close to each other. The human body, like the peppermint stick, is “your one.” No one gets anything meaningful in life except as “my one.” One is all you will ever get as long as you live with momma here in the shadows of the deep mountain valleys.

    • Happy Easter to JP & family. What a Joy!! Thank you God for sending your Jesus to us. The only faith available that does not depend on our own merit. All else pales.

  10. John, on Easter Sunday?????

    Now the light has come. It has come for all of us. May this Easter season be a blessing for all people, of all faith journeys, as the hope that it represents speaks to all of our hearts. May it remind us that life itself stands in the midst of us. We do not have to be afraid. May it symbolize that what we thought held us back has been rolled away. Reality has changed. May it inspire us to give thanks for one another and to pledge to work even more closely as a family in the days ahead, for when the light comes, it comes for one and all.

    —Steven Charleston

  11. Thank you for your voice, and your willingness to share your thoughts. In this time of fear and uncertainty, you hit the nail on the head with both your calls to action, words of encouragement, and your voice that expresses what so many of us wish we could scream from the mountain-tops. With Gratitude…

  12. All that is true as is one other aspect.
    Mr. Trump, every word out of your mouth and from your twitter feed has to do with your own insecurity, lack of moral compass and the largest human ego the world has ever seen.
    Of course America is not a mess, neither will it be great again as you think but will be when your sorry self is out of the picture, then it will be great again.

  13. I worry about people who come to a blog for preaching. It could be just me, but if you come here seeking a religious message of Easter, maybe you have your own heart and mind in the wrong place?

    I don’t know if this blog was created as a pulpit but I have not seen or read anything to make me believe it was. I find it laughable though that so many come here expecting religious teaching and preaching and decrying the lack.

    This is a blog that allows John P to express his opinions. I am sorry if his opinions do not meet your expectations for a man of faith, but in truth, that is your problem, not his. We will all answer for our words, actions, efforts, and “works” just as we will answer for our faith. If your answer is, I regularly beat up on a guy who dared to express his opinions on his blog, while hiding in the safety of anonymity…

    John has the courage to put his name, his faith, his opinion on public display and the cowardly, having none of the above, mock, demean and dismiss it. That is so small it is sad.

    I cannot say if John P is bringing anyone to God, but I do say he is speaking for and giving comfort to many here. None of you can say that. You are the majority, you enjoy power by association he does not have and will not have. Everyone here knows that he is the minority voice. How then, can any of you deny being trolls or bullies? It literally defies any other explanation.

    • Sandi. I was one of the earlier people who visited the John Pavlovitz blog several years ago when John would actually respond to comments. I think the blog was pretty young then. You are right. From near the beginning, he made the clear point that this blog’s purpose had nothing to do with presenting sermons—as if it is a pulpit on Sunday morning. It was never intended to be that. Indeed, he asked his responders to avoid sermonizing and quoting long lists of scripture verses—not because he hates pulpit sermons or scripture verses—but rather—because that is not the purpose of the “Stuff That Needs to Be Said” blog, and it was never intended to be. The so-called “The Table” (this blog) is just a place where John Pavlovitz comes to air his mind out about assorted subjects that touch on faith issues, and people can join in if they have a comment. I guess you could call it a ministry—I do sometimes—but even I have never seen John Pavlovitz call this blog “a ministry.” You might better think of it as a place where a person, who just happens to be a church minister, comes to talk about the subject that is on his mind on a particular day and how that relates to spiritual matters in his mind—not necessarily in your mind—but in his mind. Everyone needs a steam outlet—and this blog is one of his.

      I know Leslie and others here think John Pavlovitz should be preaching the “Gospel of Salvation” ONLY on this blog because it has an enormously high readership and that is what their fundie preachers do all the time when they have a big crowd, but like I said, this blog was never intended to be a Sunday morning pulpit—per se. It is a place for friends (hopefully) to just meet, read, and share opinions on various matters that are on the mind of John Pavlovitz on certain days when he puts up a main post. Unfortunately, even I forget this sometimes.

      I think Leslie would say something like:

      “Charles. It is clear to me that John Pavlovitz wants to be close to Jesus in the right way.. He is so very close right now.—so very close. If we could just get him over the already low speed bump of “proper salvation and belief,” it would be so wonderful. With his excellent writing, enormously high readership, and his still reasonably young age, he could turn this blog into a Bible-preaching salvation center that would eventually save millions of souls from Hell. We need to find a way to get him over that low speed bump and into preaching properly here for the specific purpose of saving souls. What a blessing that would be!!!”

      But again—from the very first—that was not the intent of this blog when it was created. If you want that folks, go down to a local fundie church in your community and get it. They have plenty of salvation only preaching down there on Wednesdays nights and Sundays. As H.L. Mencken famously stated, this country has so many Christian fundamentalists that all a person need do is go to a train station with an orange in hand, close their eyes, throw it, and he will be almost sure to hit a fundie. The same is true of fundie churches, especially here in East Tennessee where I live. There is no lack of so-called “Bobble-Bleevin”churches with salvation only preaching and teaching—just loft an orange into the air with your medieval siege machine and you are bound to hit one.

      As many secular authors have stated in American literature—and rightly so—the American South has been and is now “gospel saturated.” It is like this here in East Tennessee were I live and just about anywhere else in Tennessee:

      Preacher: Have you heard the gospel of salvation?

      Citizen: You’re kidding me—right?

      Preacher: No. I’m serious.

      Citizen: Pack it on down the street preacher. Everyone in these here parts has heard the whole thing thousands of times.

      John Pavlovitz, once a northeastern Roman Catholic, lives in the American South now—and he knows all that. John has heard it a thousand times too. This blog is for talking about OTHER MATTERS related to the Christian faith that are important in the scriptures. Indeed the scriptures are saturated with talk about these OTHER MATTERS. Unfortunately, people like Leslie and Patrick, who are obsessed with salvation preaching alone, tend to dismiss these OTHER MATTERS as being unimportant—and rarely talk about them because:

      “Jesus is coming tonight at 10:37!!!! We have a desperate emergency rescue operation underway!!! Oh woe is us!!! Oh woe is the world!!! What shall we do—so many souls potentially writhing in the flames of Hell!!! I am reduced to tears!!!”

      Fine. Go on with your hysterical obsession if you must and preach the gospel of salvation most Americans have already heard 1000 times or more. However, others of us in the Christian community who have already said our “Sinners Prayer” and have been baptized would like to talk about the OTHER IMPORTANT MATTERS in the holy scriptures that you people tend to ignore. Jesus says those other matters are important, and we agree. Christian living and how we treat our seven billion brothers and sisters on Planet Earth, in its many aspects, is an important subject that needs discussing. John Pavlovitz does a lot of that here on this blog. This blog is a discussion center—NOT A CHURCH.

      • Charles, what a great comment. That is what I felt but I appreciate the confirmation. How true it is, that if I want preaching I will find a church, that is not why I read this blog. I have found a community of for the most part like minded souls, souls who care deeply about the same things I do. So thank for your comment and thank you for your presence here. Peace and Love,

        • Pastors don’t demonize presidents and use them as scapegoats. Even if this is not his “church” he claims to be a “pastor” but inciting criticism and anger towards a president is not leading anyone towards any greater Truth, just self-righteousness and divisiveness.

          He should be encouraging his followers to see Christians who voted for Trump as brothers and sisters and not as enemies.

          • When one is dealing with The Anti-Christ it is a pastors duty to call them out.. JP is far to kind to “45”. He speaks only the truth, sorry if that offends you. I am not naive enough to think prayers will change Trumps soul..he does not have one.

            • Kenneth,
              Do you truly think Trump is the anti-Christ and doesn’t have a soul?

              And do you really think God doesn’t love Trump enough to listen to prayers offered for him?

              • Actually, in the crazy world of Hal Lindsey, the pig who has used Jesus to make a Midas fortune for himself by doing what Jesus commanded him not to do, Jared Kushner is more likely to be the Anti-Christ. Why? He is Jewish and the Anti-Christ is supposed to arise from the Jews. Jared’s business address is street number 666 on 5th Avenue, NY, NY.

          • John P is very much a religious preacher, teaching his philosophy and understanding of the bible and his understanding of Jesus & Jesus’ life. He does influence those that listen to him. He is strongly putting forth his religion.

            I don’t think pastor John could be further from the truth than he is now. He’s as far from it as –the east is from the west.

            • And I, as a follower of Jesus, would say he is closer to the truth and the teachings of Jesus than you and Joe. But hey, that’s just my opinion, just like what you wrote was just yours. Right.

      • Charles,
        You seem to have a gift for caricature that’s even more extreme than John’s. I have to hand it to him though, he’s much more loving and much less crude when he exercises his gift.

        But then again, as you say—there are other important matters in scripture that take precedence over the Good News. Like discussing the various matters on your master’s mind. Such as bashing Trump, bashing other Christians, distorting scripture, bashing Trump, bashing other Christians, unburdening others from the existence of hell and accountability to a holy AND loving God, bashing other Christians, bashing Trump, the folly of the atonement, bashing Trump … all the other important matters Jesus and John P. are concerned about.

        • Patrick. Now who is engaging in generalized caricature? I think you are just jealous because other people do not label your posts as “brilliant” or “great” like they often do mine and those of john Pavlovitz. That must be very hard for a person with a strong writing background, and I truly do sympathize and empathize with you on that. You have to remember that excellent writing is not all about “presentation.” The quality of the content is important too, as well as knowing your target audience. Just keep practicing. You will get there eventually.

          • Charles,
            You’re right—knowing one’s target audience is king. And providing content that appeals to it is vital. My target audience is a minority these days, and my content is not wildly popular because it goes against the spirit of this age, unlike John’s. It’s a trendy and lucrative time to be a false teacher.

            Actually, people do label my posts with superlatives like great, etc. No, I’m not jealous. But thanks for calling my writing excellent.

            I know my blog will never take off like John’s because its content is not endorsed by the enemy.

            Btw, I read part of one of your posts; I think you’re cutting yourself long on its brilliance. And John’s a pretty good writer, but not a great one.

            Just keeping it real.

        • P.S. Patrick. Quit putting words in my mouth. I said nothing about one taking “precedence” over the other. Both are important—BUT—you people have ignored much of the Bible—things important to Jesus—simply because of your tunnel vision obsession with salvation alone. Jesus told his disciples to go into all the world and preach the good news to every creature.


          “Forget about all those other things I said, did, and deemed important in scripture. Instead, go ye like wild-eyed, obsessed, fanatical, maniacs into all the world; preach the bad news of damnation and Hell to every creature; and turn it into a hysterical emergency rescue operation based on 18th century and 19th century tent revivalism in rural America. You are now associates of mine in the Fire Insurance Corporation of America. And always remember. Nothing else is important. We are in the fire insurance business for one reason—and one reason only—to sell policies.”

          • Charles,
            You don’t know me. You don’t know that I think . If you did, you’d know that I’ve never liked the fire insurance nonsense. I’ve never endorsed scaring people into Heaven. I came to Christ because of a longing for truth. People seek Jesus for different reasons and different aspects of his nature draw them. Mainly because God draws them.

            I didn’t say you think other important matters take precedence over the gospel, you just seem to really be tired of hearing other Christians share it. I can only go by what you write here.

            You people? Stop labeling me, man.

  14. Dear readers,
    And now for a counterpoint:

    I seem to remember that Mr. Obama repeatedly used the word “mess” to describe the economic downturn he inherited from Bush. It’s kind of what politicians do—blame their predecessor in order to get started on a “fair” footing. No matter.

    John takes Trump’s use of the word “mess” way too personally. When Trump says that America’s a mess, I think he means in terms of America’s standing in the world, its security or lack of, our galactic and unsustainable debt and his perceived “unfairness” of existing trade deals. I don’t think he thinks America’s a mess because of its diverse citizenry.

    Again, John attributes such nefarious intentions on Trump like these:

    He thinks Trump means to instill fear in us.
    He wonders if Trump seeks to mask his deficiencies and future failures that somehow Trump knows are coming.

    From what I have seen from the current president and egomaniac, I don’t think Trump envisions any of his actions will result in future failures.

    John’s belief that Trump is overwhelmed by America’s complexity is understandable—progressive pastors, like many progressives, seem to think those who don’t see America like they do are simpletons. Conservatives and moderates like Trump have a different view of what makes our nation great and/or messy that cannot be broad-brushed into two neat categories: messy and complex. Yet John continues creating “masterpieces” by bitterly flinging paint at the canvas.

    The reality is that America has profound problems. One can use the word mess, if one likes. John seems to think Trump thinks America’s a mess because of it diversity. I don’t think this is fair or accurate. John is right to attribute America’s past greatness to our forefathers and mothers who worked hard to make it great. And yes, they were of diverse countries of origin and ethnicities.

    However, I’m not sure John understands what made this diversity work so well, what made it help make America a wonderful country. Here it is:

    In their diversity, they shared and pursued a common dream that united them—they became Americans (not hyphenated Americans) who pursued life, liberty and happiness … TOGETHER with a common vision.

    Hillary lied just as much or more as Trump in her quest for the presidency. A truth John always seems to ignore.

    “Sold the remaining segments of his soul?” As if the soul can be segmented. To whom did he sell part of soul, John? I thought you’re not even sure the devil exists. This is so silly that it can only be yet another product of John’s deeply felt election hurt and Trump hatred.

    Neither candidate deserved the presidency. In fact, deserve has nothing to do with it.

    Here is the humongous flaw of John’s post: When has Trump said that Americans are the problem? This is a colossal stretch and a product of John’s ideology.

    And then he waxes eloquent about how our diversity makes us a masterpiece in progress. Diverse mosaic? These are Jimmy Carter’s words.
    Here’s the truth straight from the keyboard of the Uber Doofus:

    “A culture with different people with different beliefs and points of origin can be strong—but only if its people are united by a common dream.”

    John equates Trump’s desire to increase security by building a southern wall and restricting immigration as bigoted, racist and the reason Trump calls America a mess. This is John’s opinion and he’s running with it. Talking points and progressive filtering be damned.

    Faithful cult of salivating sycophants? Hmm. I’m certainly not a Trumpling … or a Pavlovite. And neither are many who hope the president succeeds.

    The reason a woman is not sitting in the presidency Trump now “occupies” is because she sucked just a little more than he did in the campaigns. That is all it is:

    Two flawed candidates, two lying people, one represented business as usual based on an eight-year direction; the other promised change. Her surrogates emailed damning things and got caught, which cost her votes. The pendulum swung. Get over your absurd anger and misdirected outrage, you political pastor, you “polstor.”

    –more to come–

    • Clearly Patrick’s blog has no traffic so he needs to come here and denigrate the host, create diversions, whine and try to create some viewers for his defense of Trump. Patrick, the only absurdity here is you. Go get your own audience for your drivel.

      • Actually, at least one person here (maybe more) traffics my blog. I see that you are still unable to engage in civil discourse.

        • I wonder, wonder oo oopa do who—who wrote the rule that says:

          “Public discourse must be civil.”

          Most of the discourse I see on the Internet, especially from American conservatives, is anything but civil. Jagged teeth dripping with blood and mouths frothing with foam is about all I ever see or hear from them. Has anyone here ever listened to conservative talk radio? I will never forget one day when the subject of race was being talked about. It was pretty heated, and one person brought up the subject of the African nation Niger and mentioned that the Niger River flows through it. Then one old conservative Bubba called in and said:

          “Wait a minute (long silent pause). Do you mean to tell me that them Africans have a country named Niger and a river with the same name? Why that’s amazing!!! Don’t you see. Even they know WHAT THEY ARE, and they named the country and river after WHAT THEY ARE. The caller thought Niger was n*gger.

          Civil discourse? Take that back to English class bozo—because your national conservative mob is the pot calling the all the kettles black. Sure. We do the same thing—but only in response to the conservative outrages we are always hearing from your camp.

          • Charles,
            From you, I’ll settle for coherent discourse. Take that to your cave and fling it around until it sinks in. 😜

            • You forget dear fellow. My business is studying cavemen. A cave, properly occupied and with the right prehistoric amenities, can be a warm and comfortable place.

        • Wow, that was a typical condescending comment to Sandi. I see quite a few from men, when women speak out with the same force & strength of opinion as they do, but get labeled, an “angry woman”. Some men really need to evolve from their chauvinistic viewpoints, it’s extremely annoying. Most men didn’t like Hillary for the same reasons, because she was an outspoken, aggressive woman. Saying, “I didn’t like her politics.” BS, it was because she was a woman. Build a bridge & get over it.

          • Thank you. I am glad to see I am not the only person here calling them out for their condescending, patriarchal, patronizing attitudes.

            Thank you.

    • Patrick,

      I would like to reply to a few if the points you raised, and agree with you on one.

      First, while it is true that both Trump and Obama complained about what a “mess” the previous administration left behind, I don’t think that is debatable that the overall situation of America (unemployment, involvement in military hostilities) was in wore shape when Obama took office than when the current president did.

      Unemployment was twice as high (no matter how you measured it), we were involved in two wars paid for entirely on credit, and a lot of people lost more than 30% of the value of their homes – with many in inner cities losing even more. The stock market was at record lows, and pensions / 401k plans were at rock bottom. Every one of those measures was incrementally better when The Current Occupant took office.

      Secondly, I agree with you that the President of Mar-a-Lago does not mean that he thinks Americans are a “mess” because of multiculturalism. I don’t think he cares one way or the other. When he is using that word, it’s entire purpose is to put fear in the mind of everyone – fears that he alone can solve.

      And, lastly, the obfuscation of candidate Clinton was no where near as prolific as it is with the President of Mar-a-Lago. Sure, she is a typical Party loyalist who will carefully construct her words, and will make side deals that will financially better position herself and her family. If she were a man, the words to describe such behavior would be “shrewd, strategic, smart and business-minded.” We most definitely have a double standard toward professional women in America, and I don’t know if we will ever expunge it from our social fabric, it is so ingrained. There is hope, however, given the Resistance movement that the election of The Current Occupant has engendered.

      But, since Ms. Clinton is resigned to hang up her political campaign boxing gloves, perhaps the loyal opposition should select another Democrat pol to pillory.

      As far as change? You betcha! Minorities, women, the poor (including those hapless coal miners The
      President of Mar-Lago used to get elected) and immigrants will bear the negative consequences of those changes.

      Patrick, I can only assume that you are an honorable soul, so it does not further my interest, nor anyone else in this Fora to impugn your character to engage in political / ideological discourse.


      • I would just like to add, as a person who does not support Trump, that I have no problems with his weekends at Mar-a Lago. I know they are expensive, but we need to remember that President of the United States is the hardest and most important job in the world today. It is so difficult that it turns the hair of even young men gray. Even Presidents need to rest and recharge their batteries for the coming week. We also need to remember that we have a unique situation with Mr. Trump. We have never had an American President as wealthy as Trump. Mr. Trump’s “civilian normal” is an opulent way of life with lavish surroundings. The White House and Camp David look opulent and lavish to a person like Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford, or Lyndon Johnson. To a man like Mr. Trump, they look like a small room in a cheap dive hotel occupied by a criminal character on “The Twilight Zone.” No one could get properly rested in an environment like that. People get rested best in comfortable environments that are calming and familiar to them. That is why President Trump goes to Mar-a-Lago. It is his home and it is a place that it most restful and comforting to him. Therefore, I do not begrudge him for the taxpayer expense involved with him going there most weekends. We would accommodate any other President, so why not him as well? Sure, he may be the dippiest and most dangerous President we have ever had—and his ignorance level is obviously enormous—but I had rather have a properly rested Donald Trump more than a strung-out, unrested Donald Trump prone to making even more mistakes in action and judgment simply because he is fatigued. That is how I feel about it.

        • Charles,

          Now, that is an interesting spin, and I would agree with you except for one small, fact. The President of Mar-a-Lago spent much of the past 8 years badgering the previous president for “wasting taxpayers money on lavish trips and golf outings.” We have thousands of tweets to prove it. He said, ad-nauseum, how that when he became president that he would be so busy “winning,” that he wouldn’t have time to play golf, or go on lavish trips.

          And, you’re right – the last thing anyone wants is for The President of Mar-a-Lago to make any MORE screw ups than he has already in just 100 days!

          I have a son in the Air Force, so I most definitely want a well relaxed, calm president. Hey, I know a way that he can get tons of rest and spend as much time as he wants in his cushy resort, or dictator-splendant NYC digs….

      • Hi, Phil
        I hear you about the state of the union being worse when Obama took over. I agree that it was much worse. My point is that nearly all incoming presidents talk about things being bad in order to get off on “fair” footing for their first 100 days.

        But you lose me a bit when you say Trump’s purpose is to instill fear when he talks about the mess. I think he genuinely thinks things are a mess based on his view of what America should be and his agenda. I don’t think he’s clever enough nor nefarious enough to play on our fears.

        I do think you give Hillary too much credit. She comes off as a conniver and serial liar to me. And yes, Trump lies too.

        Question: Would you describe Trump as “shrewd, strategic, smart and business-minded?”

        Another question: If Trump was the Democratic candidate against say Jeb Bush, would you’ve like him more? Would he be shrewd, strategic, smart and business-minded?

        Not sure I can go with you about Hillary making side deals to financially better position herself. That seems a little too generous. There are less powerful politicians in jail for doing that sort of thing.

        I’m glad Hillary has hung up her campaign boxing gloves—she’s 0-2.

        Also, do you think a Democrat female candidate with less baggage and more appeal can break the glass ceiling? I do.

        Thanks for not impugning my character and for the refreshing give and take.

    • Patrick the Pharasite!

      I like it. It rolls off the tongue easily. It fits him perfectly.

      And it makes me laugh when I see it. Pharisee +parasite. How apropos.

  15. I’ll wrap this counterpoint with these words about diversity and what make can make America great from my blog post at:

    “Let’s talk about a dream that once made our nation strong. But it’s not about diversity for diversity sake. It’s about a shared American Dream that unites us.

    This was a dream that beckoned hopeful immigrants from all over the world to come to America for the chance to build new lives through opportunity and freedom. If they could only get to our shores, they reasoned, they could work hard to become citizens in a nation that, far from perfect, afforded them the best chance to build new lives.

    What happened to this dream? It still exists but has been overshadowed by the limiting, shaming and militant god of cultural diversity.

    If my grandfather had arrived in 2017 instead of 1909, he would find a once promising and relatively united country torn and tugged by division and a glorification of all things different.

    Instead of seeing a diverse nation of fellow immigrants now citizens united by a shared American Dream, he’d likely be encouraged to not only preserve his cultural heritage, but to resist fully embracing an American culture—the very culture he’d scrimped and saved and sacrificed everything to join and become an American.

    Today’s diversity dealers don’t build bridges; by overemphasizing our differences, they build barriers.

    Our once shared American Dream has has been trampled and disparaged by a small, but vocal minority who decry its legitimacy. A dream that galvanized generations of immigrants has been replaced by a glorification of cultural diversity.

    Don’t get me wrong—there’s nothing wrong with cultural diversity per se—but there’s everything wrong with it when it divides us. Diversity, with the right perspective and emphasis, CAN make us uniquely American. A culture with different people with different beliefs and points of origin can be strong—but only if its people are united by a common dream.

    We’re different, but let’s be different together—as Americans.

    Let’s resist the diversity despots who create barriers between us by emphasizing our differences. By coming together, we can get back to what Americans do best together—pursue a shared dream with innovation and spirit—and commitment.

    And, while we’re at it, let’s drop the silly hyphen. It only gets in the way.”

    Thank you, my fellow Americans. And may God bless our nation. 😀

    • You know, Patrick, if I wanted to read your blog or was interested at all I would go there, It does strike me as tacky that you come here to sell your goods. I know I am an old lady but this does seem like bad manners. I did not realize that things had changed that much. Does John P go to your blog to sell his?

      • Kathleen,
        I don’t begrudge you your opinion. You can read my blog post that ties into this one, if you want. Or not. There may be someone here who would like to read more about my opinion regarding diversity and how it can make America great … and glorious … as John asserts. No offense, but I think you may be looking at this blogging stuff just a tad through an outdated filter, but like I say, I respect your view.

        I rarely include links to my blog, but I think today’s post here has a real tie-in to one of my posts and I’ve already written it. See the utility of including a link? I could rewrite it or copy/paste it in a comment box, but that’s much more work and would make for a giant comment.

        John doesn’t need to go to my blog to sell posts—he’s big-time and has been blogging much longer than have I Plus, he’s riding the Zeitgeist, the Spirit of the Age. I’m resisting it.

    • Hi Patrick, We can agree to disagree about Trump and his spoken words about America. I remember him only mocking anything and everything about America.

      Anyway, I think you might have missed something about this melting pot of a country. My Grandparents immigrated from Portugal as teenagers. They never learned English. I think many immigrants were the same way, hence many states had cities that had Portuguese immigrants in one area, Italian immigrants in another area, Chinese immigrants in another area, etc. I think it was a way to help each other adapt to their adopted country and keep their own traditions. Portuguese still have festas. Irish celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Italians have their own clubs and so on.

      Immigrants were usually welcomed because they took the jobs no one else wanted. My grandfather worked in the fields. My mother and her sisters had to quit school after 8th grade to work in the fields. The Chinese worked on the railroads. The Polish, Irish and Italians worked in the “sweat shops”. The Mexicans were brought in to work in the fields.

      Now you hear that Immigrants are taking away jobs. I don’t actually know anyone whose has lost their job to an immigrant. How does one do that? Do they offer to work for less money? Whose jobs are they taking? For years companies say they have to use that visa program to hire people from other countries because they cannot find people here who can do the job. Why is that? Why haven’t those companies invested in education here and have people here trained? It cannot be both ways – either there are no jobs here or there are lots of lazy people who chose not to work at all these available jobs. It makes no sense to me.

      Whose is going to work in the fields? Who is going to clean motel rooms or clean rich people’s homes? It seems America has always used those who come here for a better life for cheap labor. Anyway my point is most immigrants have always strived to preserve their cultural heritage while working hard to have a life. It is part of what made America great.

      I think bitterness and anger and yes some bigotry has caused this animosity. In my own inane way I place part of the blame on people like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and their ilk. They pound the table with their faux outrage wanting everyone to be angry, angry, angry but they never offer legitimate solutions. They have done their job well over the years.

      Anyway just musings of an old lady. You do not need to worry about promoting your own blog here. You are not alone. People do it all the time. If it bothered John, I would have imagined he would have stopped it long ago.

      PS I think the wall is ridiculous and if I had a choice I certainly wouldn’t want my taxes wasted on such a thing.

      PPS Hope you are enjoying your Easter. It is raining here now.


      • Joanne, you just described my hometown. We had these lovely neighborhoods with different ethnicities, with lovely restaurants and I loved it. That is one of the things I miss, besides the ocean, when I came to the Midwest. The diversity was lovely and I had friends in all of the neighborhoods, I was taught how to swear in numerous languages and got to partake in new rituals. How sad it would be if we lost that beauty. By the way, I don’t want my money wasted on any wall. Peace and Love,

      • Thanks, Joanne. Happy Easter to you, too. I really appreciate your even-handed, openminded and civil spirit. Such as breath of fresh air.

        I agree with you about the “we’re losing American jobs to immigrants” mantra. My Italian grandfather worked in coal mines and an his brother worked as a bootlegger for Al Capone (lol). Immigrants did and do the jobs many Americans don’t want. If an immigrant is smart and driven enough to take an “American job,” more power to him or her. I want the best guy or girl for the job to get the job. Part of what made this country great is the beauty of the merit system.

        My relatives on both sides (my mom’s Irish) stayed true to their own ethnic traditions while becoming Americans. That’s natural and healthy. The key is that they became Americans.

        I too think Hannity and Rush share some of the blame. But on the other side, people (politicians, college professors) who champion diversity above assimilation should share some of it, too. I think they foster division in the name of Cultural Appreciation and diversity. I think it’s gone too far and is not helpful in uniting us with a common American dream.

        I’m not crazy about the border wall either, but would like to see existing laws enforced or changed. One or the other.

        I was actually promoting one of my blog posts and only because it ties into the issue John raised. But thanks for giving me latitude. I’m not sure anything bothers John here :D.

        It’s raining here, too. But there’s record snow in the Tahoe and Truckee ski areas—yea!

        • Patrick. Just for the record, I have no problem with you or anyone else sharing their own blog content here on the John Pavlovitz blog. I think it adds to the quality of the discussions here, and I would be happy to visit your blog. You and I do not disagree on everything. What is the link to your blog again?

          By the way, just in case you are not aware of it, John P. has an electronic setting on this blog that throws into automatic moderation any comment that contains more than one link to another Internet site or blog. So, you might have to insert links in multiple responses if you have more than one link to present. I really like you more than I let on.

    • And being civil to you instead of insulting you and your efforts here gets anyone what? Your thanks and a barbed remark toward others. You are pitiful and nothing you have offered here has been civil discourse. You insult your host constantly and then whine about civility. You are truly without true conscience.

      • Sandi,

        Depends on what you want to get? If it’s agreement with the blogger and with you, insults will not get what you want. But as you can see, I can agree with some viewpoints here … i.e. the resistance to partisan shills like Sean Hannity and the questioning of the need for a border wall.

        Also, John is not really a blog “host.” Not sure where you got that idea. Yes, it’s his blog and he’s the blogger, but it’s set up for others to share their views. The blog isn’t his home nor is it a garden party. It’s a forum for opinion—for him as the blogger and for us as commenters. Disagreeing with the blogger and offering counterpoints to his views is not insulting. If the blogger felt insulted he’d ban my IP address or remove the comment functionality. And if he simple posts and doesn’t care about comments, which seems the case, that’s his prerogative.

        It’s high time you learn how a social media forum works, Sandi. Stop taking my disagreement with the blogger personally. Or can you not handle disagreement with your views?

        I’m pitiful and without conscience? Please. I don’t question your conscience. Why so nasty?

        • You truly are lacking in any kind of self-reflection. Of course he is our host. I never said this was his home or private property. If he ever hopes to have the kind of community here he set out to have, he will have to set up blocking for bullies like you. There is no other way. You manage to disrupt nearly every discussion.

        • Patrick,
          Those branded are marked as chosen and cannot be redeemed.

          The sow belongs to us….do not interfere with the trough from which she feeds.

    • Patrick. Do you know what that shared American dream really is? As an archaeologist and historian, I do. In English America, it began with John Rolfe and the second Jamestown colony in Virginia. That American dream was to get:

      “Wealthy with the money and material possessions of this present world.”

      That has always been the real, baseline American dream. It was shared by the Spanish conquistadors who came to the New World to find kingdoms of gold, steal it from its rightful owners through conquest, put some in their own pockets, and send the rest back to Spain for the national treasury.

      Even the person my dad always referred to as the “little man” or “common man” has always felt certain (however falsely) that he too would one day be wealthy as Midas simply because he lives in the United States and feels it affords him a fair chance to do it. The trouble is—that this was never really true for most Americans—and it is now far less true and far less possible than it was when I was a child in the 1950s and 1960s. Our economy and markets—and the centering of most of our jobs and wealth in the 1 percent will not allow that anymore. We are up against the wall—and it has little to do with diversity or nondiversity.

      However, the most important point that we as Christians need to understand—and this includes you Patrick—is that the American dream of becoming wealthy and comfortable is not a Jesus-compatible dream. Indeed, Jesus speaks out AGAINST wealth and comfort in material things as a driving aspiration–and He does so numerous places in the New Testament. The classic American dream is anathema to the WAY of Jesus.

      I will let our friend ggd take it from here.

      • Charles,
        I agree with your take about the American dream of becoming wealthy and comfortable not being Jesus-compatible. Amen. The American dream I’m talking about doesn’t include wealth and comfort, but opportunity and the realization of potential. It’s about freedom and family.

        The American dream my grandfather pursued was for a decent home where he and his wife could rear their two kids, send them off the college and later work in his garden.

        My father’s American dream was to expand on his dad’s dream by being his own boss, rearing five kids with his wife and leaving behind a family business that my mom lives on will pass on to us.

        My American dream is to do all those things while following my Lord and Savior as best I can and someday having him welcome me into his kingdom with the words, “Well done, my son.”

        • Nice. What kind of business is your mom in—the one your dad created? I am trying to recall whether Congress repealed that so-called death tax law that stood so much in the way of parents willing family businesses to their children. I too believe that parents should be able to easily pass family businesses on to their children—and in tried and true small businesses that have earned community trust from one generation to another. Today we live under a predatory business in environment where businesses like Comcast have taken on the role of wolves and customers are no longer customers—but sheep to be devoured. I think it is getting worse too. In this kind of environment, family members need to know about old and trustworthy businesses that can be depended on to deal with customers in a fair and balanced way. I think many of those are the businesses handed down from one generation to the next within a single family. What do you think?

  16. When you mentioned in your article who we are gay, straignt, transgender, and all the ethnic groups why did you leave out polygamous? Many people in many parts of the world practice the art of two wives (In Arabia up to 3). Yet, no one gives it the recognition it is due. Was that an over sight? Please include a full rainbow!

    • Polygamy is illegal in all the jurisdictions of the US, states & territories. John doesn’t promote anything illegal here.

        • Being gay has never been illegal. Homosexual activity was once illegal in the US and still is, even unto death, in some nations of the world.

          There isn’t any fear or hate on my part. I don’t have an opinion about it pro or con.

      • Corporate America would be solidly against having multiple wives or husbands, even though the Bible allows for multiple wives. Why? Corporate American needs a small nuclear family with only two married people and just one or two kids. Nuclear families are small and thus easy to threaten, bully, manipulate—and most importantly—move quickly from one area of the country to another. If we still had extended families in one house like we did in the late 1800s, there would be multiple people with jobs and income in a single house. If the boss says, “Jones. I need you to move your little family to San Antonio for a year and then to Laramie for another two years,” the easy answer in 1884 was: “Nothing doing boss man. I quit.” A person could live at home in their extended family, still have a secure plate of food on the table, and have more than enough time to find a new job.

        • The Emergent Church [like pastor John’s] is already on board for polyamory. In their beliefs & teachings there are no moral absolutes. [‘What’s true for you, many not be true for me.’ ]

          Emergent Church acknowledges that pre-marital sex is acceptable and that Monogamy in Marriage is ok for some, –but not for all. [Some need more partners, or different sexes to be fulfilled.] They say human sexuality is fluid and so are sexual relations.

          At their 2000 General Convention, The Episcopal Church had this Resolution: [#DO39]
          –‘so far, the issue of human sexuality is unresolved.’
          –‘non-marital unions are approved, as long as they are ‘a holy love’. ‘
          –‘we denounce promiscuity.’

          • Thank you! And, I think that is the sentiment of 90% of our blog friends. It is time for those of us who are emergent to push for polygamy! You nailed it Leslie M

            • I am clearly not in this “90%” because I literally do not know what you two are talking about and I am not going to bother with looking it up. My faith is based on the teachings and stories of Jesus from the Bible with elucidation from scholars, theologians and the saints I see walking the talk. Agreeing with a point anyone might make or the anger at the Christian Right for dragging the skunk of politics into the church is not being against God or faith in any way, shape or form if that is indeed what you are trying to say. And if it is not what you are saying, don’t bother trying to explain.

              • Sandi. … we’re talking about the fact that Progressive Christians are no longer beholden to Monogamy in Marriage, and no longer recommend chastity before Marriage. The reason we bring this up is, that Human sexuality is very important part of a Christian’s life. It’s good to know what our own church teaches about this matter. Nothing to do with politics. The bible has a lot to say about human sexuality.

                • I am a liberal progressive follower of Jesus Christ and that you lump us all together is galling. You do not know what you are talking about. I have been married 55 yrs, my sisters who think the same as me, one for 60 yrs, one for 54, another for 43 yrs. My children who believe the same as I have had one partner, one for 27 yrs and the other for 20 yrs. We believe in the marriage vows we took, not planning on having more partners. Actually our track record is better than some of the conservatives you follow. How about the guy who left his wife in a hosp bed fighting cancer to go off with a younger woman. You come on here and act like you are an authority on something you don’t have a clue about. Now if someone thinks there should be mutiples, that’s their choice but to make that giant leap for all of us is bs.

                  • Kathleen, what I have seen from Leslie over and over and oer is that she makes some truly hideous statements about certain people, and especially John P and politically liberal people.

                    But she never backs up these assertions with any evidence. So as far as I am concerned, until she provides actual facts and figures, she is making it up to agitate and bait people.

                    What she cannot or will prove are in fact lies.

                    • I know that but she just galls me sometimes. Some of the biggest philanderers are Rep or Conservative Christian Ministers and then she says something like that. I really do need a prompt that says “Step away from the keyboard”.

                  • I think what she means is that even though you may live by old fashioned standards yourself that you would not think it is wrong or goes against Christianity for others to have multiple partners, just as you do not seem to think it goes against Christianity for two men to have sexual relations with each other.

                    Leslie means in the overall sense that it is objectively evil for people to have sexual relationships before marriage, have a same-sex partner, or have multiple partners. She means that although some progressives might not go down that road themselves, they will approve of others doing so and will say that it is within the boundaries of Christian behavior.

                    • So now you are leslie m. too? And that is NOT what she said, nor is it what I find “Progressive Christians” believe. You all can claim we countermand the Gospels all you like, it does not make it so.

                    • You can not legislate according to your or my christian values. You have no idea how I feel on any of these issues. What most of us are saying keep your christianity out of our government. Period. I would say the same thing to anyone’s brand of christianity, any one’s brand of Judiasm, anyone’s brand of Islam. It does not belong in our govt. You can preach til the cows come home whatever you want, I don’t care. I care about you trying to legislate your brand of religion. You might want to remember that what you do has a lot more to do with your salvation than what you keep preaching. I am not arguing with you because you don’t listen. My guess is that while your waiting for someone to take the bait you have your rebuttal. By the way, you folks like to make fun of me that I am talking behind your back when you and Leslie and others do the same thing. Come on, grow up.

                • Where do you get this stuff? The Internet? I am a Progressive Christian and no one has shared any of this”no longer beholden to Monogamy in Marriage, and no longer recommend chastity before Marriage” stuff anywhere I visit. Where are you people getting the information you are distorting?

                  I am pretty sure you meant to say that other people’s sexuality is a very important part of the Christian Right’s life. I know in my 58 years, I have never heard my sexuality talked about in church, in Sunday School or at a church function at all in any manner. It might be “good to know what our own church teaches about this matter” but most are only worried about the sexuality of the LGBTQ community.

                  • Thank you, friend, you did better than me. I think I am going to put a sign up that says “Step away from the keyboard”. Peace and Love,

                • See I am learning something every day. First, I guess I do not know the meaning of Progressive Christians. Is that someone who does not follow the same exact teachings as you? I really do not know because that is quite a blanket statement.

                  Evidently I am not one of those because I always have and always will believe in the blessed Sacrament of Marriage. I have never heard anyone here say go ahead screw whoever and whenever you want. Many have advocated for more education and less bad, bad, you will go blind.

                  Most here honor their husbands or wives with beautiful words which speaks to their commitment to marriage.

                  I always thought Polygamy was created for the old kinksters who are legally married to one woman but tell themselves it is ok to screw as many other women/children who are willing to put up with that life. Wasn’t it from the old time Mormons?

                  I honestly have never heard of what you are saying. My first husband left me for another woman so sorry if Progressive is the same as being a Liberal I am going to have to call myself something different.

                  I was able to work with only men for decades because I always made sure I was friends with their wives and was never afraid to share my thoughts on marriage and the sanctity of it.

                  I would think that would be mostly a man thing unless there are women who want more than one husband. No thank you. I vote no.

                  • Joanne, an interesting thing about so-called Progressive Christianity… all of the tenets I’ve seen are straight out of the teachings of the Early Church.

                    Because that is true, evangelicals and fundamentalists in particular despise it because it is the teaching from before the Reformation and they can’t be bothered with anything that is not a product of the Reformation. The fact of the matter i, they have no idea what Progressive Christianity really is because they have never researched it. They just hear “progressive” and do a kneejerk rejection.

                    Here are the 8 basic points of Progressive Christians and there is nothing in them contray to the teachings of the Early Church. What evangelical/fundies object to is that based on teachings of the reformation, they think they have the right to exclude people.

                    By calling ourselves progressive Christians, we mean we are Christians who…

                    1. Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life;

                    2. Affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey;

                    3. Seek community that is inclusive of ALL people, including but not limited to:
                    Conventional Christians and questioning skeptics,
                    Believers and agnostics,
                    Women and men,
                    Those of all sexual orientations and gender identities,
                    Those of all classes and abilities;

                    4. Know that the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe;

                    5. Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes;

                    6. Strive for peace and justice among all people;

                    7. Strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth;

                    8. Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love.


                • Leslie, you are sadly misinformed if you think Progressive Christianity says any such thing. I think you are experiencing a knee jerk negative reaction to the phrase “Progressive Christianity” without any idea what is actually meant by that phrase.

                  Basically so-called Progressive Christians have rediscovered the teachings of the Early Church. Of course, since this is pre-Reformation stuff, evangelicals and fundamentalists tend to ignore the teachings of the Early Church.

                  The 8 Points of Progressive Christianity

                  By calling ourselves progressive Christians, we mean we are Christians who…

                  1. Believe that following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life;

                  2. Affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey;

                  3. Seek community that is inclusive of ALL people, including but not limited to:
                  Conventional Christians and questioning skeptics,
                  Believers and agnostics,
                  Women and men,
                  Those of all sexual orientations and gender identities,
                  Those of all classes and abilities;

                  4. Know that the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe;

                  5. Find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes;

                  6. Strive for peace and justice among all people;

                  7. Strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth;

                  8. Commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love.


            • Anonny …. Was just wondering, why is it so important to legalize multiple Marriages (Polygamy), when multiple ‘loves’ (Polyamory) is already acceptable in the Liberal Church, John Ps world, and in American Culture?

              –Do you want 10 marriage certificates? and 10 different alimony arrangements?

              • leslie, obviously you believe the nonsense you wrote about polygamy and polyamory, but it is still a lie. You have no idea what John P believes.

                And since you are such a fine fundamentalist, then you should know that polygamy is one of the form of marriage we find in the Bible.

        • Charles. Today, multi-generational homes are not uncommon. And I know lots of families, that have numerous family members that live in the same community. Polygamy or Open Marriage is an entirely different dynamic. (& very unhealthy to all involved.)

  17. Thank you , Mr Trump for the best easter message in 10 years. May God , the True God Bless YOU all who heard this message.
    I wish you all the best and blessed days to come ever. and eyes wide open , hearts full of grace, forgiveness, and many blessing that God let you see.

  18. This post especially reflects my thoughts perfectly and more eloquently than I could have written. I’m so happy to have recently found your blog. Your words help me feel like I’m not overreacting or crazy!

  19. Apologies, Mr. P – it was difficult getting through your post due to the 12 overly-conspicuous ads. Clearly digital monetization is a big deal for 18 year ministry vets!

    Regardless, I believe the gist of your post is that Trump = Bad, Hillary should have been President (never mind that whole EC thing most of us learned about in 8th Grade Civics) – both of these talkin points being a bit threadbare now – and America is a wonderfully blessed nation completing its divine appointment to be the land of “anything we desire is Godly.” Is that about right?

    To be sure, there are communities where the poor and disadvantaged are being helped, where discrimination of any kind is discouraged (including discrimination against those who truly believe in a more “traditional” approach to life), and where all would be right if we simply loved enough.

    Perhaps. Or maybe (and I’m just spitballing here) there’s something more disturbing, more alarming afoot. The bombing you dismiss as a distraction from the accepted Russian Probe narrative? Do you even know where and why it was used? Do you care? Where you as vociferous in your dissent during the drone offensives of the last eight years? Do you decry the senseless mob culture plaguing campuses today (happy to have you join me for a visit to UC Berkeley for a lesson in your vision of tolerance in action)? Do you ever anguish over the souls persecuted around the world in the name of the Christ for whom you profess to speak, or the millions of unborn souls slaughtered simply for convience? Selective indignation is a malignant condition, John.

    I’m not an ardent supporter of the current Administration. I am, however, a convicted believer in those “red letters” you claim to live out. It seems your penchant for giving voice to secularized feel-good theology is straying permanently into political and social commentary. So much for observations about whose face is on a coin (some may not immediately make that connection but you certainly will).

    How sad that a post the day after Easter from an erstwhile minister is essentially a political pep talk one more time fueling the flames of intolerance from those who so loudly raise its banner.

  20. Dear John Pavlovitz:

    Please define ‘Not a Mess.’

    Russia is accused of interfering with US elections.
    No evidence was provided.

    A UK parliamentary report accuses Russia of interfering with the Brexit referendum vote.
    No evidence was provided.

    Now the US warns of ‘Russian meddling’ in Latin America.
    ‘Anonymous’ US officials are discussing it.

    Just for the record, the US has never interfered in Iraq or Lybia or Yemen or Syria or North Korea or China.

    And the US is threatening war with Syria, North Korea, China and Russia — even though its military is ‘depleted.’

    And Victoria Nuland, Assistant Secretary of State, didn’t reveal that the US spent $5 billion financing anti-Russian Ukrainian Parties it wants to come to power in upcoming elections. In fact, the US has never interfered in elections whether at abroad or domestically.

    And the Supreme Court never ordered an election recount to stop to rule by fiat who won an election.

    And by the way, the US and the world are not messed up.

    So John, if you won’t define ‘not a mess,’ can you at least offer an opinion as to what ‘messed up’ would look like?


  21. I agree with the comments by RG above…while I oppose Trump’s policies and although I can see the pitfalls of his presidency I cannot maintain the level of moral outrage I read in these posts and the comments– nor can I stay bitter and angry about what could have been. I have family, friends and people in my life counting on me to be considerate, patient, caring and kind. I need to focus on the every day tasks that need to be done in my life that make a difference. I work with a guy who love Trump and I have to find a way to get along with him.

    My mom showed me this quote yesterday,

    “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them. “– Dalai Lama,

    …and based on what Jesus– is recorded as saying in the Bible, I think he would agree with the Dalai Lama, despite his religious beliefs.

    I don’t think I need to prove how much I hate the election result or how much I hate Trump’s policies or how much I hate the gloating of confident Trump voters, in order to get things done.

    I come across people every day who are trying to make the best of a bad situation. I am asking myself how I can help– not how I can best tear down Trump in their eyes. I don’t want to be a soldier in a war against Trump… I want to help those who need my help with the best I have to give. That could mean going to a march to protest Trump’s policies but the motivation is to benefit those in need not to attack Trump’s personality and character.

    I don’t know if Trump is the anti-christ and is out to fool me. I can’t dwell on that because it is too distracting and depressing but if I can make someone’s day brighter or better or make a friend in a world of division then that is going to take more than I have within me to give. I need God’s passionate love for humanity to keep me going not more hate for my enemy.

      • Let me put it in a way maybe you can better relate to. If you were witnessing a robbery, would you try to notify officials, have him apprehended etc. or would you pray for him to find the errors of his ways and hope God would intervene?

        Trump has lived his life by robbing people to make himself wealthier. He is a serial thief and should be locked up to protect the rest of society. Instead we make him President and let him put all his accomplices in positions that would help him continue to rob us for their own financial gain.

        • Thank you, you said that well. I refuse to go along to get along. Do you suppose that the people in Germany said the same thing in 30’s. You have to acknowledge what is going on or it gets worse. Peace

        • Agreed Kenneth and as gdd has said several times Trump is a symptom of the flawed system. that allows corporate crime to exsist. It’s repugnant — we know it. I resist not to fight Trump but to help people.

          • Because when Trump falls there will be another to take his place so for me it is not about Trump but what he represents.

        • I will assume your comment is directed to me as you must have hit the reply button under my post. I have never been shy about posting my utter repulsion of Trump, the man. I am 69 years old and am bewildered and afraid of what is happening in my country.

          I have no degrees to wave. I am not a biblical scholar. I have never held an important job or made big money. The only thing I am authority on is my own life and what things I perceive to have affected my life.

          I do not want to be the person who starts shooting bullets of self rightousness the minute someone steps through the door who disagrees with my assessment of Trump. To me calling names or using blanket statements are a weak man’s argument.

          I am here to learn. I find each person unique in their own way. If I can find a bridge I will towards them. I do not want to be told my feelings are wrong, so why would I think I have the right to tell anyone what they feel is wrong? I feel that Republican policies have affected my life negatively. But the Democrats have had their issues also. They just are more closely aligned with the issues that are important to me – especially the social issues.

          That is the person I am striving to be. I stumble, I fall, and I try to move forward.
          Part of it might be my age. I have so many blessings in my life. I don’t want to be filled with anger and terror every single moment. I donate what I can to the issues I care about. I sign petitions. I write to Congress Men and Women. And, I share my feelings about Trump probably too frequently.

          But I also have an immediate family of 16 and my husband and I care for our 2 year old youngest granddaughter several days a week. She brings joy to us and hopefully she will one day remember us kindly.

          I will not give the power to change who I am to anyone or anything.

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

    • No one can fault others for not wanting to dwell on anything you choose to move on from. Same for any outrage you do not feel. But why does anyone have the need to take either away from someone else? Do we always have to “get it” for someone’s opinion to be valid?

      Having suffered through 9 years of the most dishonest, vicious and cruel insults daily to President Obama who was such a moderate president, it is hard to accept anyone trying to normalize Trump or his agenda barely a few months in. None of this was normal, Trump is not normal.

      This hard march to the right is not going to be good for America and if the followers of Christ will not call him out, we might as well admit we are not going to follow Jesus unless it is not inconvenient. Some here sound much like the rich man in Matthew, Mark and Luke, when he asked what he lacked. He “went away in sorrow” because he could not do what was asked. I am not even asking anyone to “do” anything except respect our pain, anger, resentment and fear even if you do not share it. If that is how we feel, why is that wrong? I thought bad things were supposed to bother us. Maybe we won’t wonder in the desert for 40 years, but so what if we do? I just do not understand the need to normalize and move on.

      • Neither do I. I am not sure why we have to be called out if we sincerely feel the need to speak up and be a voice in the wilderness. I sometimes think that we make people feel guilty. If they want to go along to get along that is their choice, be my guest, that is not me or my way. This earth does not have the time for people to wait. They are destroying the environment and we have a limited time to stop it or our children and their children will suffer the consequences that we can’t even imagine. So I need to be able to look them in the face and say I did all I could, I did not stay quiet when they came for someone else or when they polluted somewhere else. I want them to remember that I fought for the earth and the people on in any way I could. Peace and Love,

      • Sandi. Everyone is in pain, not just progressive Christians. There are amazing truths in the bible that address the pain that we feel and the injustice we witness. It would be good for pastor John to point to those passages. That would be gracious & understanding, and merciful if he would do that. [Man’s wisdom can only go so far.]

        –the spirit of the Lord has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life!
        –You have made known to me the paths of Life, You fill me with joy in your presence.
        –The Spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing.
        –I am the bread of Life. He who comes to me will never go hungry.
        –Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
        –Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
        –Those that trust in the Lord, are like Mt Zion. They cannot be moved and they endure forever….

        • Leslie, Listen to what she said and the rest of us. You sometimes treat us like we are illiterate. I suspect that Sandi and a lot of us probably know the bible as well as you, so just listen. We have differing views. I suspect they are quite different than yours, but that is our choice and we really don’t need someone talking down to us. Just listen. Don’t tell us to get over it. We have a right to feel the way we do. John speaks to us. if you don’t get anything out of this except to badger some of the people who comment perhaps the Christian thing to do would be to find a blog that suits your beliefs.

        • leslie m, I do not believe that “Everyone is in pain” but even if that was so, it does not make anyone else’s pain less. I am well aware that “There are amazing truths in the bible that address the pain that we feel and the injustice we witness” but they also address not supporting that or joining in as the Christian Right has chosen to do.

          Why don’t you go find that blog where the pastor meets the need you have and stop telling John what he should post or speak about? His role as a polemic is not to offer the people who are harming the church and the nation graciousness or understanding or mercy as many leaders in Biblical time never did so (neither did Jesus and many other prophets). Jesus did not come to bring anything but scorn to the so called righteous that I can find, he rebukes them at nearly every turn. I am really puzzled why you or anyone else thinks it is any pastor’s job to make you comfortable with harmful choices like Trump and mixing politics and religion. The oddest thing is how clearly you all see that when the pastor is John, or Al Sharpton, or Jesse Jackson, or the subject is Sharia Law…but the Christian Right…no not them. Maybe you cannot see the harm, that does not mean it is not there.

          • Sandi. I would never say people haven’t been hurt by others. I do say, that healing is available.

            Do you wish to be healed? God heals. God’s word is a wonderful balm. Humans will never stop hurting ea other, –so to tackle it from that end is futile. It’s because I care that I point people to Scripture. I think pastor John is toying with those who are suffering, and he’s not offering healing that God gives.

            PS: I thought ya’ll had a ‘safe space’ to go to? You may want to just hang out there for a while –to avoid being offended.

            • leslie m, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate your concern. My “safe space” to share my thoughts with friends is really not your concern though. I will not be abandoning John P’s blog to you people. Not with the faux piety and “healing” you keep trying to pass off as genuine. You are clearly more in line with the hurting than the healing.

        • Dear leslie m.:

          A Gnostic could agree with everything you say.

          So long as there is no hint of incarnation … of ‘meddling’ with the powers/authorities of this age, all is deemed ‘well and good.’

          Those who support the powers and principalities of this age — over and against Jesus’ resurrection — may deride Marx; but they unerringly illustrate his dictum that ‘religion is the opiate of the masses.’


      • Sandi, I do feel outrage, that’s my point. I agree with the way you view things however what I am saying… is …I cannot keep harbouring outrage in my heart. I can’t let my anger and disappointment eat away at me.

        The battle I am fighting is how to live in this messy, broken violent world — (which is not normal)—without letting it ruin me. I need to work on me and overcome the temptation to return evil for evil so that I can make a contribution to each person I meet, whether they support Trump or not.

        I work with a Trump supporter. I don’t have another job I can go to and I can’t quit my job. But that doesn’t mean I sit there and nod my head at everything this guy at work says.

        I am having difficult discussions with people because I have no choice. I don’t live in a bubble. I encounter people who think that because I am white I automatically agree with their prejudices. I don’t pretend to agree with them. I challenge them in creative ways. I choose not to attack them verbally…I choose not to give them the silent treatment. I choose to interact with them because that is the difficult position I am in.

        So, I have determined based on the teaching of Jesus that I cannot go around and fight everyone I disagree with. Because all these people we disagree with are interconnected with us. We don’t live in a normal world and we never have…at least I haven’t. I choose to not let the horribleness of the world make me horrible.

        It is written in the Bible that Jesus said “And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by the mammon of unrighteousness , that when it fails, they might receive you into the eternal dwellings.”

        This is one of the principles Jesus taught which goes hand in hand with what Joanne is trying to say as well.

        We can make friends with the Joes and the Patricks of the world. This is not agreeing with them but acknowledging their existence …and worth… as human beings…. and making the best of a bad situation while working towards making the world around a better place.

        I think the comment section on this blog proves returning insult for insult and arguing and pointing fingers and laying blame and bringing up the sins of the past… over and over and over gain…. doesn’t do anything but stir up continual animosity and strife. I can’t live like that.

        • ….when I said the Jesus quote ” And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by the mammon of unrighteousness… .” I am not saying Joe or Patrick are unrighteous as a judgement of their character, but the lack of wisdom they have because they support an unrighteous system. IMO based on their own comments they support the unrighteousness of the current government … their politics of greed, exclusion, bigotry and economic disparity.

          • sally jane. thanks for your thoughtful words about how you bring your faith into your daily life.

            Note: Joe, me, Patrick, support Jesus –not Trump. Jesus is #1. Numero Uno. The Best. The Highest. God. Many days go by, when we don’t even think of Trump (or Hillary or Obama). We do think about Jesus, a lot. He occupies our minds and our hearts. 24/7. We are busy about our Father’s business. We do what we are able to do.

            • Then, why in the name of all that is holy, if you love Jesus so much would you have ever voted for candidates whose values are completely the opposites of Jesus?

              If someone loves Jesus, they obey him. They love God with every fiber of their beings. They love their neighbors as themselves with no strings attached because God loves us first.

              People who love Jesus want to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick and meet needs.

              It is clear from the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures that it was the responsibility of both individuals and the king, i.e. the government, to do these things.

              The present administration wants policies that will destroy the environment, starve people, make people homeless, withhold medical care so that people die.

              Have any of you who voted GOP even read the GOP National Party Platform and Trump’s proposed budget for yourselves? Or are you content with the Fox News Condensed Version?

              • I don’t really see it as ‘support’ of Trump. We voted for him. He’s President. He’ll be there for 4-8 years. We are not his cheerleaders, by any stretch of the imagination.

                We DO like Conservative policies:

                –Gorsuch rocks.
                –Job numbers are looking up.
                –Fewer illegal crossings (means fewer gangs/drugs & fewer sex slaves.)
                –Stronger Defense (that acts w/o warning our enemies.)

                (none of these Trump policies contradicts God’s Word.)

                • Gorsuch rocks? Then you like the idea of the working person being stiffed, cruelty to autistic children, corporations having rights as people (although evading taxes), prejudiced against the disabled…. Gorsuch is a walking contradiction of God’s word.

                  “Fewer illegal crossings (means fewer gangs/drugs & fewer sex slaves.)” How disingenuous are you? Let’s have some facts and figures from non-partisan, reliable sources to back up this claim.

                  “–Stronger Defense (that acts w/o warning our enemies.)” Our defense is already bigger than the next thirty countries combined.

                  I don’t k now what Bible you read, Leslie, b ut mine says “do not kill.” Mine says “turn the other check” and forbids me to repay evil with more evil. Mine tells me to pray for my enemies.

                • Wrong again leslie m:

                  –Gorsuch overwhelmingly sides with the powerful not the wronged
                  –Job numbers are not looking up, they are essentially the same
                  –Fewer illegal crossings just means we are not welcoming the stranger in need
                  –Stronger Defense means cutting social needs

                  ALL Trump policies contradict God’s Word!

                  • So by your logic we should weaken our national defense so that there is more money for social programs? How weak do you want it to be?

                    Gorsuch’s job is to interpret the law. What’s he going to do as a Supreme Court Justice to harm “the wronged”?

                    • We have the strongest and most capable military and defense system on the entire planet. No one else is even close. There is no need to spend more than we already do and there is no need to cut the safety nets in the face of such need.

                      Gorsuch has already shown how he interprets the laws and the Constitution so there will only be more of that same. Because something is your job, and now, safely for life, does not mean you rule correctly. If you do not know that, shame on you for being his cheerleader.

                  • “ALL Trump policies contradict God’s Word!”

                    They certainly do. We have pointed out the myriad ways this is true but still people choose to be blind to it.

                    It’s heartbreaking.

                  • Is there a better reason I should believe we don’t need to increase defense spending than because you said so?

                    You want MORE illegals crossing the borders? Less is bad? There should be no regulation at all?

                    • I shouldn’t comment but sometimes I can’t help it. What do you suppose you would be doing if my ancestors, who came over here first closed the country and said no more people. We don’t want those Italians, Polish, German, Irish, Jewish or Roman Catholics etc in our country dragging it down. They didn’t and we shouldn’t. Illegal immigration is the least of our problems. I for one thank God for the diversity in this country. We have 1% of the population taking everything the other 99% have, that is the problem.

                    • Plenty of real experts will say the same of our military spending and have for some time.

                      Less illegal immigrants has been a reality for several years now. Obama was both stopping and deporting the entire time he was President.

                    • My ancestors came from Germany…legally. My wife’s from Hungary…legally. My son has a Russian girlfriend who is not yet a citizen but has all the paperwork and credentials to be here…legally. Why should an illegal immigrant be in front of her?

                      What is wrong with LEGAL immigration?

                      Why do you want people sneaking into our country illegally? Stopping that doesn’t stop a diversity of immigrants.

                    • If being here legally did not involve dollar signs you might have a leg to stand on. As it is, unless you come as a refugee, it can take thousands of dollars to come here legally and take several years to complete as well as many hoops to jump through. People living in desperate poverty in corrupt nations do not have the money to come here legally.

        • And again, Sally Jane, to be clear as glass, no one is asking you to. Thanks for telling me that I choose to let the horribleness of the world make me horrible, but not a soul here nor John P has asked either you or Joanne to do that. Not one.

          • Sandi, I am sorry you feel that way. You are giving me a power I do not possess. I would hope you can dismiss my comments as of no consequence to who you are. I speak only on behalf of myself. Just last night you told me it was ok to be myself. Now you single me out once again. What happened?

            As far as I can tell John welcomes all comments here. It is his blog and he has the right to change the rules if he chooses. I seriously doubt any of my words cause him to give me a second thought.

          • Sandi, I was speaking primarily for myself …if it came of as an insult that wasn’t my intention.

            Btw, I watched a hockey game last night and I turned in to a swearing hysterical fan. My brother was shocked and gave me a few side way glances and a hug at the end 🙂

            My team, Boston lost 🙁

        • Thank you Sally Jane for speaking the words that are in my heart. We each choose our own way of fighting our battles. I do not feel that there is only one way written in stone when it comes to speaking to who we are.

          • I am genuinely sorry that either of you felt someone was trying to tell you there was “only one way written in stone when it comes to speaking to who we are”.

            • Sandi, we cannot deny that we all are shaping each other in seen and unforeseen ways by what we say and how we treat each other.

            • I hope nothing I said started this. My original post on this to Joanne was that we all have to follow our own path. She has hers, which works for her, I have mine which works sometimes for me and others theirs. I was just trying to explain a little about where I was coming from, didn’t do it very well, but tried. I can’t help but think this is exactly what those that disagree with us want to happen.
              Peace and Love to all of you,

              • Kathleen, please no worries. Goodness we have shared a lot because we are of the same generation. We have even shared our plans for the end of our days. We have so much more in common than we do differences.


              • Kathleen, I think it is a worthy discussion and not a time waster at all because people need to know that making peace is more than fighting evil policies… it is also about how to reconcile our differences and make bridges.

                I worked in politics and there were some of us who acted as diplomats with a non-partisan stand…. and to tell you the truth at the end of the day we got more done. 😉

                • I agree about the bridge but it can’t be all one sided. Hey, I’m the original Suzy Sunshine, but for me, and not anyone else, I don’t speak for anyone but me, there comes a time when I feel I have to stand up and be counted. I do believe that we all have that moment and it is how we act that counts. That time, once again for me, is now. I have allowed others to define me most of my life, I have decided that I am going to take charge of me. So when I comment it’s just the thoughts that rattle around in my head. Occasionally I take umbrage with someone’s characterization of me and what I believe in but mostly I am sharing my thoughts and beliefs, if they help someone in the same spot fine, if not, then people should move on. I don’t want to belabor this point. I am new to explaining myself so I just would like people to know where I am coming from. By the way, I have a lot of people in the Boston area, so anyone who roots for them, I’m good with. Peace and Love,

                  • Kathleen, in my mind there is no right or wrong here. I am taking a stand with you.

                    And when I want to talk to Joe or leslie or Patrick or Christopher and ask them about themselves and their faith or compliment them and laugh with them…. then I am going to do it because that is who I am. It is not a compromise… it is what I feel convicted to do.

                    So it would be nice to see that I am allowed to do that without being told I shouldn’t eh?

                    • Sally Jane, I didn’t read Kathleen as making any comments about you. I read it to be about the choices she makes for herself.

                      I saw a lot of “I” statements. I didn’t see anything directed at you personally. Unless, of course, I’ve read the wrong comment.

                    • I need that step away from the keys button. I did not take anyone to task for how they handle other people. I was just explaining where I was coming from and why. I guess I was naive enough to believe that if we understood each other a little better than perhaps we wouldn’t end up in one of these rabbit holes. Please everyone I was not and I repeat not taking issue with anyone else. I was just explaining who I am. Peace and Love,

                    • Great ! that’s good then… I will hold you all to it… that… I can talk to Trump supporters who comment here without being told your opinion of my friendliness with them or jumping in and answering for me, Thanks 🙂

                    • Sally Jane, who has jumped in and answered for you? Who has complained about your friendliness to Trump supporters? I keep seeing accusations I cannot match to posts here and it is very confusing.

                    • I agree, I don’t have any issue with that at all, I just felt there was issue because I don’t want to. I just needed to explain where I was coming from, I am gun shy, I have been pulled into the web too many times. So we have this straightened out, I hope, at least perhaps we all understand a tad more about who we are commenting with. I am good with how you handle things, so Peace and Love,

                    • Sally Jane, who is it here that has told you, or implied to you that you “shouldn’t”? First Joanne and then you have said a version of this, but why? Who has said you should not “talk to Joe or leslie or Patrick or Christopher and ask them about themselves and their faith or compliment them and laugh with them”? Who called such a thing a “compromise”?

                    • Sandi, I think we wrapped this up and I don’t want to bring up the past again… so if it is okay with you… moving forward– I think I have the assurances I need.

                    • Sandi, it is done, I am going to let sleeping dogs lie. Let’s move on and see how it goes. Is that okay with you?

                • Of course, you did, Sally Jane. If we can put aside egos and party politics and consider what is the best thing for the country, a very great deal could be done.

                  But the very night Obama was elected the first time, the GOP met and decided their policy would be to oppose everything Obama wanted and as a result a lot less was accomplished.

              • Kathleen B.,I wish I could speak to you in private but that is not how this works. In my heart I do believe I have been the target of undeserved arrows and am leery here.

                I do owe you an apology. I overreacted when you quoted part of that verse – I took it as you saying I failed to speak up when you were actually speaking to how the verse affected you.

                I was always moved by that quote also and repeated that verse continuously during the last year. I even posted it on Facebook when I was still on there.

                But since then, for me, another quote has come to mean something to me. It was, to me, beautiful words spoken by a beautiful woman who I admire the most in this world. This woman was disparaged from the moment she was in the spotlight, and continuously since then. She was mocked for what she wore, because her shoulders were showing, for the commitment she showed to health for our children, to her loving respect for her husband and her children. Disgusting hateful jokes were aimed at her, horrible memes were posted. So many things even to this day that no one should have to endure.

                Her speeches were always passionate and beautiful and I was always moved by every word. With all that was thrown at her she has shown true class always. “When they go low, we go high”.


                • As I previously stated in a different thread, I have nothing against Michelle Obama and I supported her right to bare arms.

                  • I was warned….I was given an explanation….I persist…..

                    Yes Joe I did see that one – not one of your better ones but witty none the less. I have always appreciated your humor because you come across as so tightly buttoned up and sometimes, not to be mean, grumpy.

                    You know in your heart that if you were not one of those who were so unbelievably cruel, self-rightous and hypocritical during the last eight years John is not speaking to you with his critical words. He is speaking to those who used God and their religion to legitimize Trump’s behavior.

                    There have always been Republicans and Democrats. It is a good thing, except when one side has too much power.

                    Were you also ok with Trump’s good buddy plastering Melania’s nude pictures on the front page of his newspapers so Trump could show everyone what he has and what he thinks every other man secretly wants?

                    You have to admit Trump does not show women or his wife the loving treatment your idol Reagan did for his wife. He treated Nancy like she was spun gold just as Bush I and II and Obama treated their wives. That speaks to me what makes a man.

                    Also, while I agree we need a strong military we also need a smart military. The Pentagon has “lost track” of 6.5 Trillion Dollars over 2 decades. We know the money never trickled down to the boots on the ground soldier or they wouldn’t have to go on TV and ask for money so they can have a life living with their trauma and injuries. There would not be homeless vets or vets who commit suicide. These are not throw away people.

                    This military obviously did not know how to win Bush’s disastrous Iraq war. Why throw more money blindly at something. Why gut other programs willy hilly before you figure out what we actually need and what we don’t. Isn’t that one of Mr. Kutchner’s many new jobs? It is putting the cart before the horse – to me anyway.

                    This whole administration is illogical to me. A business is made to funnel money to the top. Wealth is not made in a vacuum. It is made from using other peoples input and work.

                    A government is an engine that services all, from the bottom to the top. No part deserves more attention than another.

                    Do you think it is fair to label every government employee as not deserving of their job? What wonderful jobs do you want these people to get? I thought the illegal aliens and nasty regulations took them all. We will wait for all those wonderful, beautiful high paying jobs that the wealthy are going to invest in with all the tax breaks. Just like they did last time. Oh wait, actually they held on to it or sent it overseas. All this while Republican states kill Unions and make each state a right to work state to lower wages.

                    Now see, your kind gesture of acknowledging me opened up a whole floodgate of words from this old lady.

                    This place sometimes reminds of that old cartoon with the sheepdog and wolf who punch a clock and then spend the time fighting until they punch out again to go home and on with their lives.

                    It will always sadden me when people pile on another. I am the champion of the underdog or the one at the bottom of the dogpile even if they are the ones who encourage that behavior. So I will always be your champion. I would think that John would appreciate themany comments you inspire. But again, what do I know?

                    Peace – Always agreeable to disagree

                  • I did think it was one of my better ones. But not as good as what PITA came up with: The Right To Arm Bears

                    I don’t think anyone is out to “legitimize” Trump’s personal behavior. Sure I wish he had been more like Obama and the Bushes regarding how he treated women and having respect for his marriage. Though, he’s not the only President who has had some women issues. There are a couple who are practically worshiped who were notorious womanizers while in office. I just thought and still do think that he is a much better choice. His sins don’t necessarily DElegitimize his ability to govern. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that we could look at his policies and overlook his sins (and leave that up to God).

                    If you need a brain surgeon will you choose the best in the world who happens to be a serial adulterer, or a loving husband who just got out of med school and you’re his first patient?

                    I wasn’t a Michelle Obama fan because of her politics, not because of how she dressed. It never would have occurred to me to make an issue about her bare arms. All I thought was that they seemed to be very well-toned and looked nice.

                    I’m not really “tightly buttoned up.” It just seems that way because these discussions are so negative and are narrowly focused. I don’t take myself seriously. I do tend to get a little to intense, however, but I’m working on that, as well as posting less, especially since I have work to do.

                    I don’t think all government jobs are bad but I do resent that so many government workers make more than than those who pay them, have cushy and expensive pension plans, do not have to compete in the real world and can cling to their jobs like barnacles, and claim to be of the “working class” when instead they’re in a very privileged situation. I do appreciate that Trump is cutting some of this fat.

                    Don’t feel too sorry for Michelle Obama. She traveled the world in style and lived a luxurious life in the White House. She will soon be a multi multi millionaire. She has it made. Many would take a few insults in exchange for all that she has because her husband was President.

                    • I do like the PETA joke. I cannot imagine killing an animal unless you are under attack.

                      I will not say you are tightly buttoned up any more and yes you can be self- depreciating and humerous as I have said many times.

                      As for Trump’s treatment of women, he is not the first or last to rate women by numbers or disrespect them. What is ridiculous is when he tries to be a spokesman for better treatment of women. That train left the station decades ago. The greater issue I have with Trump is his relationship with truth. To me that is a dangerous quality. If you and obviously multitudes of people want to let it pass or excuse it that is on you. I see a man who has not shown regard for any of the 10 Commandments at all, ever. It is just my opinion.

                      I do like your last paragraph though. I am happy to not feel sorry for any of the Trumps because I truly believe they are doing just fine at the expense of every American taxpayer. If at the end of 4 or God help us 8 years I am wrong I will scream in capital letters how right you always were. If he loses money because he makes a disasterous move or is found out to be a crook, he doesn’t deserve the money and that should null the bet.

                      I hope you are having a good day, I really would have liked to hear your performance of last Friday. I appreciate and am in awe of anyone with a talent.


                    • Those of us who eat animals are killing them whether we do it ourselves or pay others to do it. I can no longer eat mammal meat because I don’t like the idea of mammals (like cats and dogs) being killed, though I will make a rare exception if I’m in a social situation where nothing else is available.

                    • Yea Joe, thanks for reminding me. When we do eat meat I like to pretend it originates at the grocery store.


                  • Speaking of the sheepdog and coyote cartoon–you won’t believe this but I believe it to be true because the person who posted this story was very credible. It was on a board where of all things “abortion” was debated. This poster was very pro-choice and worked at an abortion clinic. Her neighbor was a nun and she would go to the clinic and pray outside (against abortion of course). They eventually decided that since they were going to the same place that they should ride together and they did for some time.

                    Maybe some time I’ll record myself and post it though I’m afraid if I do that that I won’t like what I hear. I was not born with any special singing talent. It did not come naturally to me, and I struggled hard and for years to get to a point where I felt comfortable singing in public, and I’m still not ready to sing some songs that I really want to. If you can speak and have no defects in your vocal cords, you can sing. It’s just a matter of working with your voice and wanting to do it.

                    “Piling on.” I know the feeling all to well. I hate to see it when it happens and I am happy to say have never indulged in it, but I do know what it’s like to be on the receiving end, and it’s not fun. Sometimes I can see that it might have been averted but there are other times when I’m absolutely perplexed.

                    Time to get back to working on my Spanish. My goal is to be fluent by next year. I’m working extra hard at it lately. What I unfortunately realized is that I make such a fool of myself using English, why should I expect things to go better in Spanish. Is it really an advantage to be an idiot in two languages?

                    • Joe Catholic, here is another story for you: “Since I left the Catholic priesthood I’ve been able to suspend my belief and consider the arguments on the subject. I want to be clear that my thoughts on the morality of abortion are currently undecided, but no matter what I believe I am certain that religious belief should not influence government policy and subsequently the life decisions of another person.”

                    • And here is one more Joe Catholic: “Like all the mother and baby homes run by the Church, conditions in Tuam had been primitive. The girls were denied basic medical care and refused painkillers for even the most difficult birth because the pain was ‘God’s punishment for your sin’.
                      Their babies were neglected, crowded into communal nurseries where infection and disease ran unchecked. The result was a shamefully high death rate, with measles and dysentery killing hundreds.
                      Infant mortality was often five or six times worse in the Church’s homes than in the rest of Ireland, and judging by accounts of what went on there it is hardly surprising”.


                    • Good Morning Joe. Hope your day will be a good one.

                      I was always the child chosen for speaking parts in school musicals. I really do wish I could sing because I love music. So I dance.

                      I think it is great you have a passion for learning new things.

                      Sometimes this site really does perplex me. I have been asked in the past if I have been abused to explain my willingness to exchange comments with you. I have not.

                      I have felt that I have been singled out as being at the least, an addled naive person who unwittingly allows myself to be used and abused, and at the worst the village idiot to be pitied. I am just paraphrasing and have been assured that the above was not the intent.

                      It is fine because some times being the idiot can bring rewards. Sometimes I like to pretend that I am the normal one and I can find humor in that.


                    • I think we are all pretending we are the normal one, and there is humor in that as most normal people don’t hang out on anyone’s blog, not even their own.

                      BTW, I don’t think you sound at all like you are “assured that the above was not the intent”.

                    • The drop-out priest is not taking into consideration that a religious argument is not necessary to oppose the injustice of abortion.

                    • Why would I not believe that story? I think it is a good story and probably happens often. Our differences should not cancel out our ability to accept people for the good we can find in them.


  22. John P is not alone in noting the problems of a Trump loving church.
    “Entering the sufferings of Christ in our own situation offers the American church its only real future. The time is rapidly approaching when we will no longer be able to avoid this reality. To avoid the path of suffering is to remain ignorant of Jesus; to embrace it is to learn intimacy with Christ.”

    “Our hunger for security and success has taken away our appetite for the gospel. May we seek the grace to enter into an authentic and biblical faith, to stand with the poor and vulnerable, and to become faithful again.”

  23. David, thank you for at least a luke warm endorsement of those that support polygamy. While we might play with words about illegal versus legal if you will look into it you will find that homosexuality was a crime in some states. Long story short freedom is here for some – not all. If my memory serves me right women could not vote until early 1900s. Don’t you think this is the time to bring freedom to those that love more than one? Even Vice Pres. Biden said people should be able to love who they choose. Will we see this freedom?

  24. I’m glad the fate of the world isn’t in the hands of anyone who excessively opines on this blog. It’s like two people in a doomed plane with two parachutes; fighting, wanting the other’s different colored chute until- Well, you get the picture.

    Lord have mercy on us all.

  25. Dismantling Injustice is a study of the Song of Solomon – an ancient Hebrew opera found in the Old Testament. It was written as a rallying cry to the Northern Kingdom encouraging the inhabitants to resist King Solomon’s unjust rule.

    Around the study is wrapped a story which takes place in the halls of Washington, D.C. as an African-American congressman recounts his life.

    The book contains a discussion plan for those wanting to study it as a group.

  26. James in the Suburbs is a study of the Epistle of James – a letter from James, who was likely the brother of Jesus. He was writing to a group of 1st century Christians, who were having to figure out what it meant to follow Jesus while dealing with a lot of problems.

    Around the study is wrapped the story of six men and women living in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia whose lives were changed by the teachings of James.

    The book contains a discussion plan for those wanting to study it as a group.

  27. St. Leo the Great

    “It is a fact: our resurrection has already begun in Christ, and God is continually guiding our feet out of the quagmire of preoccupation with present circumstances to the solid ground of joy and thanksgiving in the eternal life of heaven, helping us to rise again from our fall and to press forward to the fullness of the resurrection, when our bodies too will be glorified with Christ the Lord.”

  28. Well, my Pavlovite friends,

    The time has come for me to say adieu. It has been fun jousting with everyone, but I must now reclaim the part of my life that has been spent tangling with you fellow doofuses these couple months.

    I know you’re heartbroken, but it must be so :-). You’ll have to decode John’s posts on your own from now on, I’m afraid.

    But this doesn’t mean we can’t pray for one another and for the blog “host.” Lord knows, he needs it.

    Before I leave you, here’s a personal message for each of you:

    Joanne Musto—It’s been a pleasure interacting with you. I must say you are the nicest, most level-headed and graceful liberal I’ve ever met. Keep spreading the sunshine.

    Kathleen B—Don’t limit yourself to following along behind Sandi; You have plenty to say and a mind of your own. Hope you visit my blog sometime.

    Sandi—Well, you finally have what you’ve wanted since my first post critique—my departure. Enjoy. But remember, life is more tasty with the seasoning of differing viewpoints. And a word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver. ~Proverbs 25:11

    Charles—Man, I feel like I barely knew you … or liked you ;-). But I have a feeling that beneath that crusty exterior is a soft, gooey filling. You may be alright, after all.

    Joe—Fight the good fight of the faith, man. But try to dial back the snark, if you can. I know it’s tough—I gave in a time or ten, but these guys aren’t the enemy, and neither is John.

    Gloriamarie—I hope and pray that your health improves. You seem like a nice person, but you could learn to trust men a little more. Most of us are just broken, silly numbskulls, after all. Oh, and you can reduce your list of Joe’s aliases. I’m responsible for: Shinky, Shinky Dinky, any variation of Schnickleberry Donkershonk, Gandalf, Darth Vader, Paul, Uber Doofus, Uber, pj, Bud Maunch, James T Kirk, Mr. Spock, Kim Jong-un, and maybe a few more I can’t remember. Oh, yeah, and Silly Snobbers or something like that. Anyway, all me.

    Sally Jane—Thank you for your friendly and fair discourse. You, too are a breath of fresh air and offered some good and smart points.

    leslie m.—Keep keeping it real, and stay in the fight. Don’t let Charles bluff you into silence. He can take as much as he gives and will listen to reason, if you package it in the frontal, in-your-face style and language he understands.

    gdd—Not everything’s a conspiracy. But I appreciated your detailed analysis and insight.

    If I’ve left anyone out, I trust you understand.

    And finally, I leave you with this:

    John’s a gifted exhorter and not a bad writer. I actually kinda like the guy. That said, he’s passionately pushing false teaching based on his anger and disappointment over the election and a perceived doom for the country and for minorities and the poor.

    I’m confident that if Trump hadn’t run and Hillary had won, I wouldn’t be writing this and John’s blog would have a fraction of the followers and influence. Like it or not, the Trump phenomenon has propelled John and his blog into a dangerous place.

    I’m praying for him and for you guys. His is the heavier burden of accountability, but all of us are responsible for our acceptance or rejection of truth. May God lead us to all truth and peace.

    Be encouraged.
    Patrick (the Uber Doofus)

    • Well I will miss you – especially all the names. But I will catch up with you on the other side. Thank you for the compliment. I already take medication for high blood pressure so I do what ever I can (meditation, etc) for self preservation. Learning from others works for me.

      Peace, Love and Rock and Roll – an aging flower child and proudly Californian, born and bred – HA

    • Patrick. Aha! I was wondering who the Trekkie was !! You are one of a kind. I think you made me believe that those with a different worldview, from me, can be approachable. I appreciate your optimism we need more of that.

    • Oh no. please drop in once in a while. Wishing you peace and success in your endeavors. You’re a born leader (follower of Jesus Christ.)

    • Hey, how come you’re going? No more posts at all?

      Yes, I am trying to dial back “snark” and also number of posts.

      You could post once in a while, couldn’t you?

      Thanks for the confession. Now maybe they’ll believe I’m only 50 people instead of 100.

    • Dear Patrick:

      Socialism proceeds from scientific analysis.

      Marxists do not contend that the class interests behind public policies implies that the ruling class never actively lies and/or manipulates public opinion to create the conditions to implement its favored policies. There are obvious conspiracies. The war ON Iraq was based on lies about weapons of mass destruction. And there are similarities between 9/11, the attacks in Brussels, Paris and Berlin. Indicating similarities does constitute ‘conspiracy theory,’ and socialists do not endorse conspiracy theories.

      However we do insist on seeing the actions of the state and its various factions as representing the interests of social classes.

      The assertion that no capitalist party represents the interests of the working class does not constitute conspiracy theory. All that is necessary to demonstrate this is to review the Socialist Equality Party Program.


    • Patrick. Speaking of soft, gooey filling. When our first child—our daughter—was about one year old, we went out to Luby’s Cafeteria to eat. An old man was sitting at a nearby table with his wife. He had gone out to eat with her that night because they did not get out much. She had a case of Altzheimer’s disease that had gone past the point of no return, and his wife had a way of honing in on other people and loudly pestering the living daylights out of them.

      Well, this old lady honed in on our table—and particularly our baby daughter. We had bought a piece of pie for our daughter’s dessert. When she was ready to eat her pie, the demented old lady had already been to our table several times to pester us—dragged back after five minutes each time with great pleadings from her husband. The old lady looked over from her table and spied our daughter’s pie—and then flew to our table!!!!

      Her husband: “Please Margaret. Don’t do this —please come back and sit.”

      Too Late.

      The old lady grabbed a knife off our table and said:

      “This is no way to feed pie to a baby!!! Baby’s have a very special way of eating pie.”

      Then she rammed the knife into the center of the pie crust and opened a huge hole in the middle of it:

      “Now see. You have to put an opening in the top of the pie crust to reveal the soft, gooey inner pie, which is greatly loved by all babies. Now go on little sugar. You eat that.”

      We parents were then treated to a loud lecture about the nature of babies and their natural intersection with the unique world of pie.

      It was all hilarious, and the people at the tables around us were clearly both horrified and entertained. The old lady’s husband finally dragged her back to their table and they soon left the restaurant. We breathed a sigh of relief and finished dinner with our daughter.

      That happened 23 years ago. To this day, when my wife and I encounter a person who obviously has “a few cards short of a deck,” my wife and I look at each other and say in unison:


  29. You are very right, John.
    Trump should not think that all Americans are like those who showed up at his rallies and/or voted for him.

  30. And another good read: ”
    “Flynt’s answer is that his people are changing. The words of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, are less central to their thinking and behaviour, he says. Church is less compelling. Marriage is less important. Reading from a severely abridged Bible, their political concerns have narrowed down to abortion and issues involving homosexuality. Their faith, he says, has been put in a president who embodies an unholy trinity of materialism, hedonism and narcissism. Trump’s victory, in this sense, is less an expression of the old-time religion than evidence of a move away from it.”

    “The 2016 election laid out graphically what is in essence the loss of Christian America,”

  31. Dear Wayne:

    Welcome back.

    Please indicate from which theological seminary you matriculated.

    I asked that before your recent hiatus and you didn’t reply.

    Perhaps you’ll come up with the good coin now.


    • I would not worry about that too much, especially considering how many fundie pastors have no formal seminary education, attended Homer Possum Bible College, got a diploma from a diploma mill, or has some state like Texas issue them a church license a dead tuna could have easily gotten. Me thinks the kettle is calling the pots black.

  32. I really have to be more careful about my reading selections. Oh Wayne, I slipped up and read your post. This is what you have in you a day after Easter? The hate that spews from your foul mouth blasphemes the Cross you use as your token. You come across as so angry it is hard to believe the children you have spoken of cannot feel that from you. I pray they are somehow surrounded with the love they deserve. I am sorry that whatever made you this way has twisted you so.

  33. Wayne. John Pavlovitz is a good man. He is lamenting all the horrible qualities Trump represents. I am too. I suppose there is a time to end the complaints but not for the reasons you give.

    • Yes, he is. And he calls himself a godly man. Wow… Let me have some of that Christianity, good testimony, way to go Wayne. I can’t say I was moved in Spirit by all that but it sure did make my stomach turn.

        • Well unless Wayne and his wife have been personally intimate with JP and HRC, I’d say Wayne’s “beliefs” are nothing more than coarse, hateful speculation. But then he calls us to believe his definition of “holy”. I find that ironic.

          He says JP “behaves like a sissy” – is he JPs neighbor? If so then Wayne’s a voyeur.

          And then the most ludicrous- “Stop spending all your time demonstrating how much you hate the President, and show people a real and true heart of God that is capable of showing love to your purported enemies……like you pretend to tell others!”… Oh that’s just so Christian, Wayne… After you’ve just insulted and slandered… Let’s see… JP, JP’s readership, “stupid” people of California, President Obama, Ms. Rice, Ms. Pence, George Bush, LGBTQ, and President Trump by associating them in your vicious post.

          Everyone is in fact entitled to their opinion, as hateful, as it is. My beef with Wayne is, based on the words he writes, can he ever claim a relationship with Christ? Is truly beyond me. Filthy, just filthy and pornographic. No respectable man speaks like this. That’s why this place needs a moderator.

          • I understand your point….in my worthless opinion – Wayne’s diatribe reflects an opposing perception to the general bias found consistently in John P’s essay’s.

            Your “beef” (IMO) – begs the question – would a follower of Christ choose to display anger? For me, this is the more interesting question and one I struggle with.
            In fairness to your point – vulgarity, all to common today – always diminishes the message and the person.

            IMO, Wayne’s use of slang simply does not rise to the level of porn. However, I do agree – his context and intensity is clear and perhaps meant to insult. But I wonder, did he tell the truth?

            Your call for a moderator to simply protect you from words, ideas or positions you disagree with – is a two edge sword – and a position predicated on intellectual insecurity or a totalitarian personality.

            Given the lessons throughout history – I will always oppose those who promote eliminating or discriminating against those with different opinions – no matter how much they make my blood boil.

            • Anonymous- and this is all I’ll say about this, perhaps I’m more angry with Wayne’s history of salaciousness wrapped up in a Fundamentalist veneer. His intent is to draw attention to himself and use his self-righteous angst with JP as a means to be crude. Lascivious shock value, if you will. It’s uncalled for. I don’t mind people’s opposing views on anything, religion, faith, politics, blog hosts- it’s how I learn and grow. But I do mind perversion.

  34. Wayne. When we pray for President Trump, what words should we say? Should we pray that he go right ahead help Trump dump “the least of these” into the streets to die. Then when they die, do we praise God for their deaths? I have concluded that you worship a character known is “Jarsus.” He’s the Heavenly father that cause you to wreck your car as punishments for kissing your girlfriend good night. About all he is good for is jarring people. Repeat after me: “The door is a jar. The door is a jar. The door is a jar. The door is ajar.”

  35. John, you continue to emblazon my inner most core, working hand in hand with God in strengthening my own boldness of truth. I think of you, your family and your words on a daily basis in my interactions and meeting people and their spiritual beliefs or lack of, with love. And for the truth you speak, to a society who seeks only what feels comfortable and seek those who continue to please their ears, my deepest gratitude and prayers are with you and yours. Be encouraged . 😊

  36. New Study Reveals Racism, Not Authoritarianism, Determined Trump Vote
    By the Web Editors 4-17-2017

    An analysis by the 2016 American National Election Study has revealed that racism played a bigger part in Trump’s election than authoritarianism, reports the Washington Post.

    The 2016 American National Election Study consisted of about 1,200 people from across the U.S. answering survey questions for more than an hour, the questions structured to reveal their political leanings.

    To determine how much the surveyed people were in alignment with authoritarianism — which the Washington Post clarified, “isn’t the same as fascism; [authoritarianism] is a psychological disposition in which voters have an aversion to social change and threats to social order” — the 2016 American National Election Study asked them about their beliefs on how to raise children. If they answered that it was better for children to be well-behaved than considerate, or be obedient rather than self-reliant, they were likely to adhere more to authoritarianism.

    To determine racial bias, the 2016 American National Election Study asked whether the wealth gap between black people and white people was because of discrimination and slavery or black people not trying hard enough.

    Comparing the results of asking about authoritarianism and race — while controlling for various other factors — determined that people exhibiting authoritarian bias were nearly 3 percent more likely to vote for President Trump. People exhibiting racial bias were 20 percent more likely to vote for the 45th president of the United States. “Since 1988, we’ve never seen such a clear correspondence between vote choice and racial perceptions,” Washington Post contributor Thomas Wood wrote.

    Read more here.

    • I am not surprised. I know some of these people, and I have known for a long time how they felt about the “others”. I live in an area where not so long ago the KKK had a stranglehold, now people pretend but if you spend some time around them you know the KKK is still here. This justs confirms what I have felt all along. Peace and Love,

      • The question I have, Kathleen, is this. There are those who voted for Trump who claim they are not racists. Will it make any difference to them that apparently, the majority of the people who voted for him are racists and that by voting for Trump, they voted for racism? SWhen will they ever accept the truth about their actions?

        • They won’t, they never have, it is the I have a black friend syndrome. At least that is my take. There was a town here in Indiana, mind you this was in the 80’s, that when other schools with black players had to play in that town, (normally they go to a fast food place after the game) they would either go straight back to their own town or some other town, because in this town the black players were treated badly by the fast food places. The head of the KKK lived here but they would insist that they were not racist why they even knew a nice black person. So no they won’t admit they got in bed with racists, there will be any number of reasons but not that one. They can pretend all they want but when people are mistreated they will also be responsible for unleashing this hatred on the country. Peace and Love,

          • What I have found heartbreaking are the number of people who voted against their own best interests. They have behaved in a self-destructive manner. And they refuse to see it. I cannot tell you how deeply it pains me.

            It also motivates me to continue the Good Fight to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, care for the sick, provide for needs.

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


            • Something else I am passionate about it to get Christians to stop bickering over theological interests and to re-discover that we have far more in common than otherwise because of Jesus.

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

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

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

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


              • It’s bad manners to “sell your goods” on another person’s blog. Don’t take my word for it. Ask your friend.

                • Sour grapes, Joe, since you must be aware that you, leslie m, Patrick, various anonymous, Christopher Freeman are the reason over 300 people have joined my Progressives group. Your names get cited.

                  Keep up the good work of motivating people to join with your continued attacks upon John P and people here on this blog.

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


                    • Joe, evidently your comprehension skills are lacking. Oh, wait. That’s old news.

                      You are conflating two groups. One group is the troll-free version of this blog.

                      Another group is the one where we take political action against the atrocities the GOP and the Trump “administration” would perpetrate upon the citizens of this country.

                      See, two different groups. And, as of yesterday, the membership of the latter group skyrocketed to over 400 people. Thank you for your hard work tht repulses people so much they want to take action against people who believe the garbage you believe about Trump and the GOP.

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


                    • I am not Joe

                      Now, I know you call people Joe and don’t know what you are talking about.

                      Just think– every time you claim someone is Joe– you are misrepresenting Joe and the other person.

                      To me, that is giving false and misleading information.

                      Your group of 300-400 may not know it but I know it and so does every person you have misrepresented in the comments.

                    • Don’t you think it is at least a little childish to think any blog or Facebook page can “blacklist” anyone? Especially since few here even use a real name?

                      Joe has admitted to aliases, as has Patrick. Both have admitted to posting as “Anonymous” so surely you can see how that makes someone suspicious, and makes them appear misleading, dishonest and antagonistic?

                      Pick a name already! This is not even hard!

                    • Sandi, no, I don’t think it is childish to think that–

                      because Gloriamarie’s ongoing announcements of her FB page includes a denouncement of people using their specific names and a number tally of the people who are against those she denounces–
                      she is the one establishing a list of names of people who should shun and using a hidden group of people to intimidate them.

                      I don’t think it is childish at all — I think I am pretty woke about what she is trying to do.

                      I think it is a method of silencing and discrediting people—

                      just like you are trying to do by calling me childish.

                      (by the way I did pick a name)

            • Dear Gloriamarie Amalfitano:

              You wrote: What I have found heartbreaking are the number of people who voted against their own best interests.’

              I reply: From my standpoint, that would include about everyone who voted.


              • gdd, I don’t engage with you very often because your grasp of political science leaves me in the dust as I am almost entirely humanities-minded. But you so often remind me of my salad days when I and bunch of other like-minded hippies wanted to replace our economy with socialism. We failed, obviously.

                These days when it comes to voting, my motivations are entirely social justice issues. Which candidates want to see the hungry fed, the naked clothed, the sick cared for, all sorts of needs met. Which candidates would redistribute the wealth by taxing the rich and investing in the poor? Which want to protect the planet, protect endangered species.

                You made a point to someone about unfettered capitalism. Here’s an example of Unfettered capitalism “In an effort to become more business-friendly, the state favored industry over environmental organizations, critics say. The McCrory administration was “very quick to cater to whatever special interest would come forward with an idea to roll something back; they were enthusiastic about it,” Chuck McGrady, a moderate Republican state legislator who favored environmental protections, told me.”

                Now the drinking water is contaminated. Read it here

                • Dear Gloriamarie Amalfitano:

                  I remember those days … And as we began ‘making it’ and became invested in Capitalist political economy, our revolutionary zeal flagged and waned.

                  Your questions are entirely the ones which must be asked.

                  Which candidates want to see the hungry fed, the naked clothed, the sick cared for, all sorts of needs met? Which candidates would redistribute the wealth by taxing the rich and investing in the poor? Which want to protect the planet, protect endangered species?

                  On basic social needs – Paragraphs 17, 51, 57, and 64-67
                  On redistribution of wealth — Paragraph 85
                  On taxation — Paragraph 100
                  On social investment — Paragraphs 102
                  On the environment — Paragraphs 77 – 81, esp. pg 80

                  Here is the document:

                  Socialism requires a consistent program for social renewal on a world-wide basis.

                  That program is the platform of the Socialist Equality Party.

                  I encourage your engagement. I’m thankful for all the friends I have here. I count you among them.


                  • I have an observation, what you have to overcome is the brainwashing that was done about socialism. To my generation if you say that word, it puts us back under the desk at school because those socialists are going to bomb us and we need to be prepared. Just something to throw out there. I enjoy your posts, by the way. Peace,

                    • Kathleen B, those weren’t socialists who were going to bomb us. It was the Communists of the USSR.

                      Socialism and communism are not synonyms. Socialism is an economic policy. Communism is a political policy. Yes, the Communists adopted the socialistic economic policy but then so has the UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA, all more or less. None of those five countries are communist.

                      And all the communists countries are now capitalists, which is another economic policy.

                    • Gloriamarie, I get that, I guess I wasn’t clear, I know and knew there was a difference and that most countries have some socialism in them. The observation I was making was that there are a lot of people in my generation who won’t or haven’t bothered to figure out the difference and were told bad USSR, they are socialists, and never looked any further or questioned anymore and that is something to be overcome. I have no idea how, but I do know there is a segment of our society that think that way. I know a bunch of them. Peace,

                    • I don’t really think it can be said that “the Communists adopted the socialistic economic policy”. More like they appropriated the word, but they took from the workers even more than Capitalism ever has.

                      I am not sure there is a purely Socialist or Capitalist nation on earth. Most are hybrids of Capitalism and Socialism.

                      The thing is, any system can and will be corrupted. There is no perfect system and the US is not going to be changing in our lifetimes.

                    • Dear Kathleen B:

                      Thank you for this!

                      The interesting thing about Capitalism is that constantly, it must explain the conditions resulting from its success. If it produces nothing else, Capitalism generates excuses! All that is needed to reveal Capitalism’s unfitness for survival is time.

                      After 25 years of unbroken war as standing policy, the world knows who sends the bombs and missiles.


                    • My apologies, Kathleen. I filed to understand you. Please forgive me.

                      Please also pray for me as I am ina high degree of physical pain and can’t figure out where to put the heating pad. Put it on my back and my left hip and right shoulder spasm. Move it to one of those places and the other two spots spasm.

                      It would be a bore if it weren’t so danged painful.

                    • No apologies necessary, I sometimes need to do some splaining. Anyone my age will understand that. You have my prayers, I have arthritis so been there done that and I know how bad one can feel. Take it easy, snuggle with the cats. Peace and Love,

                    • Well, yes, of course they are hybrids, Sandi. That’s why I said ” all more or less.”

                      Your point is very well made.

  37. Racism motivated Trump voters more than authoritarianism

    During the 2016 presidential campaign, many observers wondered exactly what motivated voters most: Was it income? Authoritarianism? Racial attitudes?

    Let the analyses begin. Last week, the widely respected 2016 American National Election Study was released, sending political scientists into a flurry of data modeling and chart making.

    The ANES has been conducted since 1948, at first through in-person surveys, and now also online, with about 1,200 nationally representative respondents answering some questions for about 80 minutes. This incredibly rich, publicly funded data source allows us to put elections into historical perspective, examining how much each factor affected the vote in 2016 compared with other recent elections.

    Below, I’ll examine three narratives that became widely accepted about the 2016 election and see how they stack up against the ANES data.

    The rich, the poor, and the in-between

    The first narrative was about how income affected vote choice. Trump was said to be unusually appealing to low-income voters, especially in the Midwest, compared with recent Republican presidential nominees. True or false?

    [How fights over Trump led many evangelicals to leave their congregations]

    The ANES provides us data on income and presidential vote choice going back to 1948. To remove the effects of inflation and rising prosperity, I plot the percentage voting for the Republican presidential candidate relative to the overall sample, by where they rank in U.S. income, from the top to the bottom fifth. The dashed horizontal line shows the average likelihood of voting for the GOP presidential candidate that year; a point above that means an income cohort was more likely than the other groups to vote for the Republican. To most directly test the Donald Trump income hypothesis, I’ve restricted this analysis to white voters.

    The rest of the article is here:

    • Gloriamarie. Trump was elected because of the colossal failure of Identity Politics. (aka: The Victim Olympics, where …’my victimhood is a higher level than your victimhood!’ )

      Americans actually do not consider themselves victims. [It doesn’t ring true. ] We are over-comers.

      Americans want Capitalism (not impotent Socialism), and they want our Constitution to be upheld (not dissected), so our hard-won blood-soaked Freedoms remain intact.

      • leslie m, in listening to Trump voters I find your explanation to be laughable, they are the victims of us mean old liberals and our equality. That was a universal theme. It was why so many racists and bigots joined Trump too. Nine times out of ten they will tell you about all the bad the liberals have done, supposedly to them, not a thing about what they have over-come. What freedoms any of you see Trump giving back remains a mystery. What part of the Constitution you all think he will uphold is another one for the ages. Certainly not the ones about foreign entanglements, emoluments,
        or checks and balances.

        • Sandi, I too find it laughable that conservatives feel so put upon by conservatives. Here’s a list of 150 things liberals have done for the USA that conservatives opposed. Which of them, I wonder, would conservatives wish to be without now that they are used to them?

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

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

          • This is baloney. Too much stuff to refute.

            Capitalism gave us the 40 hour work week.

            Liberalism did give us abortion on demand. Pat yourselves on the back for 50,000,000+ dead babies.

            • Like it or lump it Joe Catholic, but freedom, liberty, and personal autonomy that is every American’s right gave you abortion. Liberals support those things, that’s all.

            • Actually, Joe, it is history.

              “”That happened more than 60 years after workers, through their unions, began organizing for an eight-hour day in the 1860s,” said David Bensman, a professor at Rutgers University’s School of Management and Labor Relations. “When Ford adopted the eight-hour day for his factory, he was responding to a working force that had been demanding the eight-hour day for a long time.”

              Other experts agreed that labor unions, rather than Ford, deserve the primary credit for today’s working-hour schedule — including Matt Anderson, curator of transportation at the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Mich.”


            • Dear Joe Catholic:

              Marx’ seminal work ‘Capital’ [Vol 1, — 1867] devotes much of chapter 10 to the discussion of the working day, including competing class issues, capital’s tendency to lengthen the working day far beyond worker endurance, and the fact that Capitalism requires such practices for capitalists to compete with other capitalists. He reviews at length legislation that regulated the working day. He shows that it is class struggle which determines the length of the working day. The Factory Acts of 1833, 1844, and 1847, the Chartist movement of 1846-1848 and the fight for the Ten Hour Act – these and more are only part of this. Marx wrote ‘the establishment of a normal working day is the result of centuries of struggle’ [p. 137 in the above link].

              Moreover, capitalists seek the elimination of said reforms by cutting overtime pay, implementing speed-up, etc. The clash of class interests becomes clearer than it has been for many generations. The working class rights wrest its social rights from the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie is seeking to reclaim all the concessions of the 30s and 60s. All the social unrest associated with those times will return with a vengeance.

              On what basis can Capitalism deny abortion for those willing to purchase it? Remember – unless you proclaim the supremacy of Market and Self-Interest, you cannot support Capitalism.


              • gdd.

                — killing the unborn in the womb is murderous, inhumane, immoral & tramples on the unborn’s rights. [ ‘Right to Privacy’ was wrongly invoked. ]

                One could always purchase an Abortion, just like someone can always purchase a ‘Hit-Man’ or a Prostitute.

                Capitalism is irrelevant here.

                • Dear leslie m.:

                  Weeell I wouldn’t be so fast.

                  We’ve hard for decades that if Capitalism were only ‘unfettered,’ our economy would straighten out and we would soon be living in millennial-type conditions — grapes the size of oranges and the like.

                  But even advocates of Capitalism in purest forms tend to put some things off limits. You can’t buy munitions or dope or military grade equipment or services such as assassinations, abductions, etc.

                  Ditto for abortion.

                  Clearly, somebody believes that there should be some limitations on the exchange of money for goods/services.

                  It seems that after censoring others for years for ‘fettering’ the economy, Capitalism’s defenders may not be so eager to thrown out all regulations after all.

                  But it does serve as convenient fodder for banter around election times…


                  PS: So long as ‘pro-birthers’ support the claim of the US ruling class/military/pentagon/CIA/intelligence community to blow up infrastructure, invade countries, impose blockades and/or use food and medicinal supplies as political weapons in undeclared wars, no one has an intellectual or moral duty to believe that those who claim to oppose abortion actually do oppose abortion.

            • In other words, Joe, you are unable to refute it because it is actual US history, supported by evidence and facts.

              So instead you attempt to dismiss it. This is typical of you. Whenever any of us provides you with evidence and facts that contradict your prejudices you dismiss the evidence.

              What are you afraid of? Admitting you made a mistake and you are incapable of that?

      • Dear leslie m.:

        You wrote: ‘ Trump was elected because of the colossal failure of Identity Politics.’

        I reply: You should exercise caution there as that comes close to the line espoused by the Socialist Equality Party.

        You wrote: ‘Americans actually do not consider themselves victims. [It doesn’t ring true. ] We are over-comers.’

        I reply: See 1Jo 5:4-5 on overcoming. It errs grievously to equate faith and Americanism. And arguably, the Nov 8 election demonstrates that many Americans believe that they ARE besieged.

        You wrote: ‘Americans want Capitalism (not impotent Socialism), and they want our Constitution to be upheld (not dissected), so our hard-won blood-soaked Freedoms remain intact.’

        I reply: The rise of the pseudo-leftist charlatan, Senator Bernie Sanders attests the desire of many for socialism.

        More Americans recognize daily that the Constitution is a dead letter.

        Freedom is belied by the blood-soaked bodies of slain Americans — be it by police or abortion.

        In conclusion, the STATE believes that freedom is illusory even as it espouses that nonsense as an instrument of social control. That’s why one of the few ‘industries’ that is booming is domestic surveillance, and why increasingly police are being issued military grade gear.


  38. Gloriamarie stated this fact:

    The only sin you get to be upset about is your own.

    Let’s think about his nugget of wisdom for just a second. If this is true, then shouldn’t preachers stop preaching, after all, your sin isn’t their sin? Why should they care about others’ spiritual life at all then? What if Jesus took this wisdom to heart and instead of dying for us on the cross, just threw up his hands and said, whatever, I’m good? Don’t you think that sin upsets God the Father and he means to do something about it? If He is concerned with our sin, why then should we not be concerned with others who also have sin in their life and be willing to show others what is in place to deal with this issue? Isn’t this the main reason Jesus came to this earth and suffered and died for our sins?

    2 Timothy 3:16 says this about the purpose of the Bible;

    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    • I agree Edward, we should be upset with other people’s sins– otherwise those of us who are upset with Trump’s sins— would be declared hypocrites then.

      • Good point Anonymous. We should be so careful though not to compare our standard(s) to others, but rather strive towards a unifying standard, whereas all are equally treated. I know of only one place that could possibly exist for all mankind to stand as equals, the Cross of Calvary, as given in God’s Holy Word. No substitutions, no re-writes, no exceptions, no excuses. Within those bounds, you will find peace, joy, mercy, forbearance, justice and love.

    • “If He is concerned with our sin, why then should we not be concerned with others who also have sin in their life and be willing to show others what is in place to deal with this issue?”

      Edward, I can’t help it. But you sound so clinical about it.

      This “concern” you speak of so often “shows” itself as a pointing finger, a shaking fist, or measuring stick of righteousness between us sinners.

      My belief is Christ knew sin separates us from him but He also knew we needed whole healing.

      Christ good-naturedly invited a flawed, tree-climbing Zacchaeus to dinner. His love and reputation to heal was the draw to Zacchaeus. I don’t recall Christ beating Zacchaeus into submission with a scripture scroll. Unfortunately we don’t know the middle of that story but we do know Zacchaeus was a changed man after dinner. And the story doesn’t say be reappeared bloody and bruised. It’s amazing what an invitation can lead to.

    • Back to the drawing board Ed. Gloria was saying that each person is responsible for their own sins.—a point the Bible clearly makes.

      As for 2 Timothy 3:16, Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals have sinned against the Bible by using this one verse of scripture to nullify the Book of Galatians, where the Apostle Paul valiantly makes the point that the Old Testament law no longer applies to Christians—and that all the written law can do is kill. Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism seek to reinstitute the Old Testament law, and in effect, make Christians into Old Testament Jews—and they use 2 Timothy 3:16 to do that. This is just another one of many examples where Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals both misunderstand scripture and severely abuse it—and hurt people in the process—particularly people who would like to have a deeper understanding of the Bible and the Christian faith rather than forever suck on their milk bottles like the fundies do.

        • Thank you, Charles. I know you know it is the trolls who make fun of my name, shorten it and take all sorts of liberties with it as if they are children with no respect for others.

        • Gallatin Senior High School in Gallatin, Tennessee—circa 1969.

          Question: “How many cafeteria hot dogs did you eat?”

          Answer: “Et tu, Brutay.”

          Been there. Heard that. Just another reason to avoid small town and rural Tennessee.

      • Gloria[marie] was saying that each person is responsible for their own sins.—a point the Bible clearly makes.

        I agree with this statement.

        …where the Apostle Paul valiantly makes the point that the Old Testament law no longer applies to Christians…

        I partly agree with this statement in that the law is only for the lawless, where I disagree is who you include in the definition of a Christian, i.e., the declared righteous, according to God. If the law still applies then, shouldn’t they know of it? (Answer: Yes, they should.)

  39. Here’s an important Trump supporter who now realizes she was conned.

    A Trump district co-chair just called me: ‘I am off the train. We were trumped.’

    Trump district co-chair called me first thing this morning. She emphatically said she is off of the train. This flip has a special meaning given who she is and the kind of supporter she was having invested over $80,000 of her savings for the two years she was on the train. Make sure your Trump supporting family and friends watch her statements.

    Trump former district co-chair Tania Vojvodic

    This Trump supporter shocked me this morning because she was the least likely person I believe would ever flip on the president. But she did. She called me first thing this morning.

    “Good morning Mr. Willies,” Tania Vojvodic said. “This is your scary Trump supporter. I’ve been kicked off the Trump train.”

    Tania used the term “scary Trump supporter” because I wrote an article about her a few months ago when she released a video that went viral titled “This is what makes Trump scary, his followers” that she was not happy about at all. I do not believe she expected that she would have a civil conversation with “this liberal” but she had one. I wrote about that phone call we had in May of last year where, while we disagreed, we were able to communicate at least and exchange ideas.

    This morning she gave me an extended interview detailing why her disillusionment with the president. It is something many of us expected to occur specifically because the president made a one-hundred-degree shift away from many of the promises he made to the people who supported him.

    Please read the rest here:

  40. I need to know something and maybe my blog associate friends can help me because I am confused. Was Jesus telling the truth when he said he was the only way to God? I’ve heard both sides and trying to figure out if he was lying about that?

    • Sorry to tell you, but this is likely not the best blog to find out your answer. You’ll end up leaving more confused than when you came in.

      • Ug! I was hoping to get an answer because it is written by a pastor and the people on the blog seem to be knowledgeable. Under a earlier blog on Hell it seemed to say you don’t need to be a christ follower to be in harmoney with god. That it doesn’t matter if you are muslim, etc. So, I thought; is Jesus lying?

        • Please see my response. That you pose the question “is Jesus lying” really smacks in the face as a red herring. And for all we know, you could be the same two anonymouses talking back and forth to each other.

        • Whether this question is with made with honest or I’ll intent- I don’t know. But I feel compelled to answer. In my opion?Jesus cannot lie therefore He is telling the truth.

          My question to you is- Do you have a pastor, spiritual advisor, or trusted friend you can speak to in person about this? If you do, please start there. Do not ask that question here- please, follow my advice.

        • It is safe to ask your question to anyone—including here. What you have to worry about are the many different shades of answers you will get to it. There are about 46,000 different Christian denominations around the world—and depending on which preacher you ask—you may get many different answers and shades of answers.

          How will you know which answer is correct—or if all of them are. You will not. That is the very nature of the diversity of thought within the Christian faith. Jesus wants to know only one thing from you: “Who do YOU say that I am, and what do you think the answer is?”

        • Yes Anonymous, we can tell just how serious you are by you making the effort to bother with a screen name.

          Of course Jesus was not “lying” but he was speaking directly to the people he wanted to hear that message. You may believe, as many in the Christian Right do, that his message to them (and his message through his disciples) means that no one else can get to God or Heaven but he never explained what that meant for those who never got to hear “the Good News”. He never explains what that means for any devout, faithful servant who worships God in their own way even if they do not know God through Christ. Since he never said specifically that those people could not gain Heaven, we do not know.

          So I do not condemn Jews, Muslims, Buddhists or “sinners” to hell, because I do not know that is what they face. That is God’s decision.

    • Gotta tell you, two things make me think this is not a sincere question. If you really are sincere, I apologize, but hear me out.

      First of all, you are posting as “anonymous.” There are several trolls on this blog who post anonymously. Secondly, your quilt block has been used by several of the more venomous trolls. Thirdly, you are proof-texting, i.e. taking a verse out of its original context and expecting to get an answer. The Bible doesn’t work eisegetically. One can only learn from careful and precise exegesis. But, fourthly, and most importantly, this question is so off topic that it feels to me like the biggest red herring of all time.

      If, however, your question is sincere, here is my sincere answer. Learn to read koine. Read the New Testament in the original language. Do word studies. Explore the primary sources before the Reformation and by that I mean do not limit yourself to solely Reformation and post-Reformation ideas. That is exegesis.

    • Jesus did say that. The key question is: “What did he mean by it?” Unlike Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals—who despise the ideas of fair judgement, leniency, and especially the MERCY that pervade the Holy Bible. If you will read the scriptures, you will note that God is really big on MERCY. It is everywhere. When every fundie I know would be at the door of an American prison screaming for the next execution, God went easy on the first murderer (Cain) and did not demand a life for a life. Jesus also says: “Blessed are those who have seen and believed. Blessed are those who have not seen but still believed.”

      People forget that the earliest Christians believed in Jesus because they actually saw him, patted him on the shoulder, sat in his lap, or stood in front of him and talked with him. Those are the people who saw and believed. After the resurrection, people who had never seen Jesus in person still believed in him as we do today. Therefore, there are two legitimate ways to come to Jesus. You can do it by meeting him in person. You can do it by faith. Hold that thought for a moment because I am coming back to it.

      If you ask a Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical what is going to happen to the millions of gentile people who died before Jesus was born, they will tell you that every last one of them is writhing in Hell right now because they did not know Jesus. They will say it with a smile on their face. If you ask a Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical what will happen to all of the people who never heard of Jesus or his message after Jesus was born, they will tell you that every last one of them is already writhing in Hell or will be writhing in Hell because they never knew Jesus. They will say it with a smile on their face. Sounds fundamentally unfair–does it not? They get the death penalty simply because they never knew there was a man named Jesus who was the means of escaping it. In particular, I am thinking about the millions of ancient American Indians who were two oceans away from Judea with no seaworthy boats and totally missed Jesus and knew nothing about him until the Europeans arrived in the New World 1500 years after the resurrection. Here the fundies will say: “It does not matter. Because Adam and Eve sinned, they were all horrible sinners by inheritance, God knew it, and he gave them the awful fate they deserved!!! And we are glad of it—worthless heathen savages.” By and large, fundies are arrogant and hateful people who choose to err on the side of unkind and unreasonable—so it is not surprising that they would respond in such ways.

      Yes. Jesus did say that there is no way to the Father except through him. He is the door. However, many theologians have concluded that a fair and loving Jesus has a sly trick up his sleeve to severely disappoint the fundies. Just like all those 1st century people who believed in Jesus because they saw and heard him in person, all of the people who lived without Jesus before his birth and lived without Jesus after his resurrection, who did not already reject him, will one day be given a chance to see him in person and choose to accept or reject him at that time. Thus, Jesus is the only doorway to everlasting life in Heaven as the Bible says, but all men will eventually be given a last and fair chance to see Jesus, hear him talk, shake his hand, rub the spear wound on his side, and make a decision to accept him or reject him on that basis. I happen to agree with this theological position—and Billy Graham hopes this will be the way things play out too. As Billy said on “Larry King Live” one night about 15 years ago when I was watching: ” I Certainly hope so.” Blessed are those who will one day see and hear Jesus in person— and choose to accept him and his love.

        • I think you misunderstood what I was saying when I said “fitting in.” The point I was trying to make is that an atheist would probably not feel comfortable (i.e. fit in) at a party at a person’s home if every other guest at that party was a rabid fundie who hates atheists and the evenings discussion is about how God is going to burn atheists forever. It is a bit vague now in my memory, but the point I was trying to make is that if Heaven is filled with fundies, a progressive Christian will feel like he does not “fit in” there—as would a fundie Christian entering a Heaven mostly occupied by progressive Christians. By “fit in” I meant not feel comfortable, safe, and at home.

          With the low level of gray matter you consistently display on this blog, you apparently chose to think that I said or meant something else, which remains a mystery to me, and I said nothing about “fitting in” in my answer above to somebody’s question. Was that you?

          • Well, I don’t really think I fell into one here. I simply gave my best answer to a question. If some people like my answer—fine. If they do not like my answer, that is fine with me too. Any number of people could have answered in any number of ways.

    • In matters of religion, spirituality and faith – what matters is what YOU decide to believe…..the question of truth is important – so I will evangelize and ask you – have you accepted Jesus Christ in your soul and heart?

      The answers to your questions WILL BE revealed as every human being is called to the Father.

      God’s love and compassion for you and every human being is not clouded in confusion or hidden in texts. Nor is it a lie.

      Be kind to yourself and to others – because the TRUTH of faith, the lamb and salvation is received differently by each of us.

      • Can you guess in what country this is happening right now?

        47,155 people have been jailed since the coup attempt on July 15;
        113,260 people have also been detained;
        41,499 people have been released with condition of judicial control and 23,861 people have been released without any condition; 863 other suspects remain at large;
        10,732 of those who have been arrested are police officers, while 168 military generals and 7,463 military officers have been jailed as of April 2, 2017;
        2,575 judges and prosecutors, and 208 governors or other public administrators have been imprisoned. The number of jailed civilians, including handicapped people, housewives and elders, is 26,177
        Over 135,000 people have been purged: A total of 7,317 academics were also purged as well as 4,272 judges and prosecutors who were dismissed due to alleged involvement in the coup attempt.

  41. Every Wednesday to my Facebook group, Celebrate What Christians Have in Common, I post the following prayer. I did not post it previously to Jan 20, 2017 because the membership of that group is international and I did not think it right to post a prayer that is for only one country. But considering the threat Gropenführer is to the entire world, I am compelled to include this prayer from the Book of Commpn Prayer of The Episcopal Church:

    For the President of the
    United States
    and all in Civil Authority

    O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to your merciful care, that, being guided by your Providence, we may dwell secure in your peace. Grant to the President of the United States, the Governor of this State (or, Commonwealth), and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do your will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in your fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

    I then follow up with:

  42. This is, very sadly, true of those who voted for Trump, the GOP, and third party candidates:

    No punishment anyone might inflict on us could possibly be worse than the punishment we inflict on ourselves by conspiring in our own diminishment.

    — Parker Palmer in I will Not Die an Unlived Life by Dawna Markova

  43. Public Dissatisfaction With Washington Weighs on the GOP
    Ryan job rating at 29%; Republicans view their party as divided

    Nearly three months after the Republican Party took control of the White House and Congress, the public gives low job ratings to the president and even lower ratings to the speaker of the House.

    The new Congress is viewed about as unfavorably as the previous Congress. And while both parties are viewed less positively than in January, the GOP’s ratings are more negative than the Democratic Party’s.

    On issues, the Republicans hold their traditional advantage on terrorism, and the two parties continue to run about even on handling the economy – which, along with terrorism, tops the public’s agenda.

    But the Democratic Party has made sharp gains compared with a year ago on several issues – notably, foreign policy and immigration. Currently, 49% of Americans say the Democratic Party is better able to make wise decisions about foreign policy, while 36% favor the GOP. A year ago, Republicans were favored on foreign policy, 46% to 38%. Democrats also lead on dealing with immigration, 50% to 39%; in recent years, the parties have run about even on this issue.

    And, with budget debates looming this month in Congress, 48% say the Democratic Party better represents their views on government spending, while 40% say the Republican Party does.

    • They spent so much time being obstructionists and fighting every effort, they have forgotten how to govern. Being ruled over by Executive Order is not going to keep being accepted. This is a failed Congress and it has NOTHING to do with Obama or Democrats.

  44. FBI used dossier allegations to bolster Trump-Russia investigation

    Washington (CNN)The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump’s campaign as part of the justification to win approval to secretly monitor a Trump associate, according to US officials briefed on the investigation.

    The dossier has also been cited by FBI Director James Comey in some of his briefings to members of Congress in recent weeks, as one of the sources of information the bureau has used to bolster its investigation, according to US officials briefed on the probe.
    This includes approval from the secret court that oversees the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to monitor the communications of Carter Page, two of the officials said. Last year, Page was identified by the Trump campaign as an adviser on national security.
    Officials familiar with the process say even if the application to monitor Page included information from the dossier, it would only be after the FBI had corroborated the information through its own investigation. The officials would not say what or how much was corroborated.
    The dossier first came to light when CNN reported that a summary of it had been presented to President Obama and President-elect Trump back in December by top US Intelligence officials.
    Comey’s briefings to lawmakers stand in contrast to efforts in recent months by the bureau and US intelligence agencies to try to distance themselves from the dossier.
    US law enforcement and intelligence officials have said US investigators did their own work, separate from the dossier, to support their findings that Russia tried to meddle in the 2016 presidential election in favor of Trump.
    The dossier alleges that Page met senior Russian officials as an emissary of the Trump campaign, and discussed quid-pro-quo deals relating to sanctions, business opportunities and Russia’s interference in the election. Page has denied meeting the officials named in the dossier and says he never cut any political deals with the Kremlin.
    During the campaign, he traveled to Russia in July, where he gave a lecture critical of US policy toward Russia. That trip drew the attention of the FBI and raised concerns about Page’s contacts with suspected Russian operatives, according to US officials briefed on the matter. Page has said he made the trip independent of the Trump campaign and his speech reflected his own views.
    Page has also disputed any wrongdoing and says there was nothing illegal in his interactions with Russian officials. He blames former Obama administration officials for pushing the Russia allegations.
    “I look forward to the Privacy Act of 1974 lawsuit that I plan to file in response to the civil rights violations by Obama administration appointees last year,” Page said in a statement to CNN. “The discovery process will be of great value to the United States, as our nation hears testimony from them under oath, and we receive disclosure of the documents which show what exactly was done in 2016.”
    The dossier is a collection of memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative working for political opponents of Trump. The memos purport to describe efforts by Russian intelligence to gather compromising information on Trump. CNN reported earlier this year that both President Obama and then-President Elect Trump were briefed on the dossier’s existence in part to ensure that Trump understood what was being circulating among intelligence agencies investigating the dossier, and also to emphasize that Russia sought to compile information damaging to Republicans and Democrats. US investigators say they have corroborated some aspects of the allegations, particularly the conversations between foreign nationals that took place as described in the reports.
    Comey hasn’t mentioned the dossier in all his briefings to lawmakers, according to people familiar with the briefings. To some of them, he has emphasized that the FBI gathered evidence as part of its investigation to support seeking FISA court approval and to take other steps as part of the probe that began last July, according to the officials briefed of the probe.
    The Washington Post was first to report the FISA court warrant targeting Page.
    To obtain court permission to target Page, the FBI and Justice Department would have to present probable cause that he was acting as an agent of a foreign power, including possibly engaging in clandestine intelligence gathering for a foreign government. Comey and other top Justice Department officials would have to sign off on the application, which government officials say involves a rigorous review process.
    Then-candidate Trump cited Page last year in an interview as one of his advisers on national security matters. He was officially on the campaign foreign policy team from March 2016 to September 2016. Page calls himself a ‘junior member of the team” and Trump officials have said he had no influential role with the campaign.
    The FBI became interested in Page, the officials say, in part because of concerns about his interactions with suspected Russian intelligence operatives last year. The Justice Department and FBI haven’t accused Page of wrongdoing and it’s unclear whether any charges could be brought in the investigation.
    The FBI already knew about Page because of his role as a witness in the 2013 federal prosecution of an undercover Russian spy. Prosecutors alleged that the spy had tried to cultivate Page as a source. Page denies he knew he was interacting with a Russian spy.
    Page was also among those who met with Russia’s ambassador, Sergey Kislyak during the Republican National Convention in 2016.
    CNN’s Pamela Brown and Marshall Cohen contributed to this report.

  45. Please sign the petition at the link below

    Testimony that FBI Director James Comey delivered in January, information that Harry Reid wanted to make public before the election, and part of the information that led the FBI to get a FISA warrant on Trump adviser Carter Page, all appear to have the same source.

    The FBI last year used a dossier of allegations of Russian ties to Donald Trump’s campaign as part of the justification to win approval to secretly monitor a Trump associate, according to US officials briefed on the investigation.
    That source is the “dossier” put together by former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele, who originally assembled the information to assist one of Trump’s Republican opponents. President Obama and Donald Trump were briefed on the contents on the memos in January, but it now appears that the FBI took the information seriously enough to use it as the basis of investigation months earlier.

    • Less bureaucrats on the dole is a good thing. They can go out and find honest work now, and those funds will be much better used by the private sector, generating more wealth for us all.

      • So, according to you, protecting the environment is dishonest work?

        Oh, why do I even ask? I am sure you think global warming is a hoax, proving you have no idea what stewardship of the earth means. You do know there is no Planet B, don’t you?

        You really should join my FB group because you would be exposed to evidence, facts, figures, truth.

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

      • You know Joe, the next generations to live on this planet will not thank you or your cavelier attitude concerning the only place they have to live. Always assuming that they manage to survive the mess that you and your vote has wrought. Obviously the directive from God to take care of the earth is one of those you choose to ignore. It is not a hoax but I don’t expect you to care. You sound like I got mine and I want a bunch more. Well I don’t live like that. I want my grandchildren to have a planet that is healthy where what they do have they can enjoy and share. I know that is not the way people are anymore but that is how I choose to live and I vote for the planet and the people, all of them, not just the corporations and the wealthy.

      • I used to work on road construction jobs for a private company (when I was very young). I remember that there were also state construction crews, and there were usually two or three times the amount of guy needed and they didn’t do very much.

        There is nothing wrong with trimming government fat. Even in the military. My uncle joined the Air Force when he was 20 and retired at 40. He was in the Air Force Band. He played a clarinet. He lived into his 80’s and collected a nice pension for over 40 years because of 20 years of being paid to travel the world being a musician. What a gig.

        There is waste in government and there are many redundant and inefficient government positions.

  46. Gloriamaria, I am not two people?! Not sure what you mean by red herring? I don’t think this question could have ill intent. I was drawn to this on a earlier blog post about Hell. I know there are shades of answers but isn’t there only one answer? Or, if there are two I choose to not join any religion. Sandi, as soon as I learn more about how to use this computer I will get a screen name. My point is that if I can be a part of any religion and get the big reward at the end why be a member of any because I would still get the reward. It takes a bunch of effort to be a good muslim, buddhist, christian or whatever. Why go thru it if you don’t have to? I am not a troll, a trump supporter or a right winger. I have read New Testament thoroughly and done some word studies in greek. I keep coming up with Jesus claiming to be the only way. My point is that if he isn’t then, I would not choose to follow because as I said I get there anyway. The bible isn’t the only book of great knowledge. I’m just tired of beating up on Trump as I’ve done my share. So, I changed the subject because I was curious to see if there is one way to god or if that is a lie told by whoever. I think for now I am not going to follow any religion because you don’t have to anyway. Can anyone tell me what is the point in signing up with any religion? I can do my yoga and appreciate the beauty. Maybe religion is the red herring

    • Ronald Reagan’s 1984 Speech Would Enrage Trump Republicans – Because It Promoted Tolerance

      The mere mention of President Ronald Reagan gets modern conservatives and many supporters of Donald Trump all tingly in their naughty parts.

      Conservatives, who praise Reagan as if he were a conservagod, often overlook the former President’s core message of tolerance. (Kind of like the way they cherry-pick the Bible to suit their hatred and fear of anything they don’t like.)

      Reagan’s 1984 speech to Temple Hillel and Community Leaders in Valley Stream, New York promoted equality and acceptance.

      Whether Reagan was talking was about civil rights, religion in government or bigotry of any kind, his words sound more like a modern-day liberal than almost anyone in today’s Republican party.

      “A nation’s greatness is measured not just by its gross national product or military power, but by the strength of its devotion to the principles and values that bind its people and define their character. Our civil rights: on that subject, we are enforcing the law with new determination. Since we took office, the Justice Department has filed more criminal charges on civil rights violations, brought more violators to trial, and achieved more civil rights convictions than any one before us. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: As President, I will continue to enforce civil rights to the fullest extent of the law.
      That’s why I have appointed to the Civil Rights Commission people like Commissioners Clarence Pendleton and Morris Abram and Staff Director Linda Chavez. They recognize that you cannot cure discrimination with more discrimination … And as long as I’m President, we’ll have a Justice Department which argues for the rights of individuals to be treated as individuals, whether the case involves hiring, promotions, layoffs, or any other matter subject to the law.”
      Reagan also brought up the separation of church and state. Earlier this year, Trump vowed to “overturn a law restricting political speech by tax-exempt churches, a potentially huge victory for the religious right and a gesture to evangelicals, a voting bloc he attracted to his campaign by promising to free up their pulpits. Mr. Trump said his administration would ‘totally destroy’ the Johnson Amendment, a 1954 law that prohibits churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates at the risk of losing their tax-exempt status.”

      Reagan said:

      “We in the United States, above all, must remember that lesson, for we were founded as a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. And so we must remain. Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism. We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe or not believe, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief.”
      He also had a thing or two to say about bigots:

      “We must never remain silent in the face of bigotry. We must condemn those who seek to divide us. In all quarters and at all times, we must teach tolerance and denounce racism, anti-Semitism, and all ethnic or religious bigotry wherever they exist as unacceptable evils. We have no place for haters in America — none, whatsoever.”
      Not really what we’re hearing from Trump or his supporters today. Trump’s campaign promises were a bigotry bonanza – from building a wall to enacting an immigration ban – and his supporters lapped it up.

      Judging from Reagan’s 1984 words and sentiments, he must be rolling over in his grave as the party he once headed has devolved into a sexist pit of bigotry, inequality and white nationalist-supremacist hate.


    • Anonymous, there is nothing to learn. Under the comment box there is a box that says “Name”. Pick one, any one, and start using it so you do not look like you are talking to yourself anymore. Problem solved.

      None of us knows that you or anyone else “can be a part of any religion and get the big reward at the end” but we also do not know that you cannot. Faithful service to God, even if under false or misleading doctrine is still faithful service to God.

      I don’t think it “takes a bunch of effort to be a good muslim, buddhist, christian or whatever” but if that is how you see it, I do not see how any reward is deserved, do you?

      What you are forgetting is that the words of Jesus were said TO PEOPLE not to a book. And Jesus did not elaborate on what would become of the Jews, Muslims, Buddhists or other devout people seeking and serving God so we do not “know”.

      My point is, we serve God out of love, no matter who we are or how we accomplish that, not out of fear of missing “the big reward”. God is not small like us, God is not small-minded like us. Jesus often spoke in parables and seeming riddles so betting your soul on a specific sentence is not good policy for anyone.

      No one says you need to join or continue “beating up on Trump”. Most of us can hold two thoughts at the same time.

      Something being discussed or debated, being interpreted differently by some, does not make it a “lie”.

      The only ONE WAY TO GOD is to serve God. Whether you do that through the teachings of Jesus alone, through the entire Bible, through the Bible and the Quran or through a devout faith handed down through your culture, we are all still serving the same God.

      But know this, religion is not God. Joining a religion is not serving God. Not joining a religion does not mean you are removed from God. In many ways religion can be “the red herring” which is why we have discernment and are to use it. The Westboro bunch think they are Christians…are they?

      Accepting God, and wanting to serve God (being devout) means you want to talk about God, you want to associate with others who believe and you want to learn and be supported in that service to God. That is what “religion” or church and do, be that support, but it is not “the way” and you need to know that. “The way” is giving your heart to God in service to his will. Christians believe Jesus was God on earth so there is no ‘get to God “thru” Jesus per se.

      You sound like you need a theologian, and I am not that.

      • Well, Sandi, you could have fooled me that you are not a theologian because that was a fine theological answer.

        I am going to pick up on one point: ” “can be a part of any religion and get the big reward at the end”

        If anyone is a part of a religion because of the ultimate payoff, then they are not a genuine adherent. We aren’t in it for any possible eventual rewards. We are in it because we love God with every fiber of our being.

        Perhaps this will help you. Jesus didn’t come to make us into Christians. He came to make us better people and He is the ultimate example of who we are supposed to become out of love for Him.

        • Gloriamarie and Sandi, That was inspiring. I don’t think there is anything to add to that, unless your proselytizing for a particular church or religion which is not what I read Jesus being about. Good job, ladies. Peace and Love,

          • Thank you, Kathleen. I have been in love with Jesus since I was a toddler playing with Him in the backyard. Not that I knew Who He was at age three.

              • In fact, I’ve written a short story about it. A while ago so I’d have to retype the whole thing and I doubt I’ll be doing that.

                But, yeah, we would walk to the chicken run and I would decide which chicken laid my breakfast egg and thank her. We’d play in the sandbox, the swings, hide and seek. One time He showed me this spectacular spider web and I had my first mystical experience.

        • Gloriamarie said it best! “Jesus didn’t come to make us into Christians. He came to make us better people and He is the ultimate example of who we are supposed to become out of love for Him.”

          • It sounds like a nice slogan, but he did indeed come to make us Christians. Otherwise he would not have built his Church or given authority to the Apostles.

            But I am in agreement that those who are not Christians through no fault of their own will have an opportunity to be saved. (But for those who accept Pavlovitz doctrine, there’s nothing to be saved from, so I suppose to them this speculation is moot).

      • Yeah Anonymous. And if this is truly the first computer you have ever owned or used, you need to get an antivirus/anti-malware program like Norton 360 up and running fast on your new computer before it gets eaten alive—and an Adblocker program too if you plan to visit this blog more. Although I am not God, you should take this warning as if it is coming from God himself and rectify quickly.

      • sandi. –Re Serving God.

        There were many different peoples in the bible (Canaanites, Hittites, Midianites (Ishamaelites), Girgashites, Philistines, Ammonites, Perizzites, Jebusites, & countless others that served their God: Baal, Hadid, Ashtoreth, Anat, Moloch, Tammuz, Mot & others.

        Were they serving the same God as the Israelites?

        I was just wondering, how you can tell which God someone is serving? Or, how can you tell if it’s the same God?

        • leslie m, if you read my comment, I said I cannot tell. I do not know who is serving God or how, so I do not judge any culture, people or religion. I do not know. You do not know. We all serve God as we understand God to direct us. Or we choose not to. In the end, the decision on who was a good servant is His and His alone.

    • My name is not “Gloriamaria.”

      The only response I can give you is to advise you to reread what I already said to you. This is NOT the place to ask such a question. It is also wildly off-topic.

      You have been advised to talk to a spiritual director, a priest, a pastor, a minister. The questions you are asking are much more effectively handled in face to face communication.

      The only thing that will result from persisting in asking here will be vitriolic arguments and that will not help you at all.

      I only happen to see this by accident. I delete any posts from all of the various people who post as “anonymous” because most of the people who post using “anonymous” are here to cause trouble.

      Many of us have begged all the anonymous to adopt some sort of screen identity. To do that click on your quilt block and you should, if I remember correctly, be directed to the place where you can do that. You can even upload an image to use as an avatar instead of the quilt block you now have.

      I would encourage you to do that because for some reason that quilt block is used by a lot of trouble makers.

      Hope this helps.

        • It would make more sense for me to be Gloriamaria as that is Italian and I am, while Marie is French. Mom refused “Gloriamaria” because my last name starts with the same sound as “Gloriamaria” ends with and she thought that would be awkward to pronounce.

          You asked way above someplace if Jesus lies. I can tell you with 100% certainty that Jesus does not lie. However, sadly, people do.

          One reason I shied from answering your question is because of the complicated nature of the possible answers.

          John 14:2 says that there are many mansions in God’s house. I’ve read a lot of commentaries on that one, done word studies on the koiné, and the conclusions people come to are varied.

          Then there is Romans 2:14, (Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law.

          Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life, but the original koiné does not say Jesus is the only way, the only truth, the only life. People infer that. Or make assertive and even aggressive claims for the “only.” But that word is missing from the text.

          I daresay what I’ve written is now going to be attacked. For what it is worth to you, James, I have a BA in Biblical and Theological Studies and I have an MA in Theological Studies, my concentration is Church History. I can read the New Testament in the original language and wished very much to have had the time to learn Hebrew, but alas, I did not.

          I am not really very comfortable discussing this here because I know someone is gonna write something nasty.

  47. Sandi, thank you for your thoughtful response. MY freinds who are Buddhist have to live as good as they can. And, if they fail they do not get the reward. But, they never know their score. So, that is the downside of that. I would at least want to know if I am passing. How do you know you have made Karma? I have many muslim freinds and they are required to keep the 5 pillars of faith. I have a friend that has to pray 5 times a day and difficult on his job. So, it asks alot. I’ve been shown and told about bible verses where Jesus says he is the only way. Muhammad says he is the only way. Mormons say they are the only way. So, you can see my dilemma. If all ways are equal I would say (please don’t take this the wrong way – that I can be god). Just because if it doesn’t matter? It reminds me of Santa Clause. Kids believe it and it is a nice story. But, is it true? Serving an abstract concept is not enough for me. Philosophically, I lean toward rationalism so I have to have at least some proof.. I can’t accept God without some clear evidence written, corroborated, and supported by some history. Oh, the westboro bunch do evil stuff. I will let god judge them but it may not go well. (if there is a god). Thank you again for a challenging and thoughtful response. You were very kind to take your time. I just don’t want a Santa clause cause i need one.

    • Well James, if there was provable truth they would not call it faith, they would call it fact. You do you and good luck with that.

  48. Sandi, I have studied the definition of faith. I came up with it meaning not just to believe something because you want to. But, it means to examine claims that are made, to examine origin. etc. There is blind faith which I as a person who studies philosophy am not comfortable with. I have fiends who are blind faith believers. To me it is sort of like a detective bringing what clues he finds. Prosecutor decides if it is valid enough to bring a case, heard by jury etc. But, I am a major skeptic. Most of my friends are not. I respect your opinion and your writings are thoughtful. I just can’t buy in unless I examine super carefully. Look I am using my name!! Thanks to the encouragement!

    • James, I have friends who are agnostic, indifferent and Atheist. I say be what you want to be. I will talk about faith and my understanding of and appreciation for God but I push or shame no one for skepticism. I do not believe there was someone in the belly of a whale. I do not believe a sea literally parted, I have wondered over the scripture that describes measurement after measurement after measurement of a temple that was never built. I question Lot offering his daughters to rapists. There is plenty in written religious texts and tomes to be skeptical of, not to mention the behavior of so many people who claim to be Christian, but the wonders of the natural world, the seeming soul in my dog, the infinite magic in our capacity to love, sacrifice and even suffer, all make me believe we are not just scientific events.

      • Sandi, I have thoughts on all these if you want to discuss them. But for s partial answer, if you want, you could read my really long answer to James. Part of our problem is that because we are on this side of the Age of Reason, we tend to read the Bible differently when we need to try to read it through the eyes of the first readers who are on the other side of the Age of Reason and its huge paradigm shift in how people think.

        Part of what I would talk about are the different forms of literature in the Hebrew Scriptures.

        BTW, which temple wasn’t built? Salomon had one built and the Jews rebuilt when they returned from Babylon.

          • The book of Ezekiel is indeed a challenge to understand as it is a transition between the prophetic literature and the apocalyptic. Apocalyptic language is symbolic, not representational. I am no expert on Ezekiel, that’s fershure, but I do remember my professors telling us to beware of even thinking Ezekiel was anything but symbolic which I take to mean that even Ezekiel would not expect that temple to have been built. Because for one thing, it is about twice the size of the then Temple Mount.

            For what that’s worth.

    • James, thank you for using a name. I could wish you would upload an avatar because frankly, the quilt block you have been given is one that has been used by a lotta people who write in a less than polite manner. Someone else might be better to guide you through the process if you don’t know it. I think what I did was to click on the quilt block I’d been given and it took me to Gravatar and I uploaded the photo.

      About faith. I am guessing you are familiar with Hebrews 1:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

      One of the problems about having faith in the 21st century is that we have become reliant upon cognition and knowing things cognitively. People want evidence, proof of that which cannot be proven. We cannot prove in modern scientific terms that God exists. God cannot be seen, measured, and weighed. There is no experiment we can perform and repeat multiple times that will prove the existence of God.

      But cognition is not the only way of knowing. There was a huge paradigm shift in the way people thought at the time of the Age of Reason or Enlightenment. It’s important to remember that all of the Biblical texts were written before that. People thought differently when the texts were written than we think now on our side of the Age of Reason. To really over-simplify because of the limitations of this forum, before the Age of Reason people thought more in terms of why and after it more in terms of how.

      Part of the why is the ability to know things through the quality if being. Philosophy, as you probably know, has a special branch devoted to the study of being and it is called Ontology.

      I guess Anselm might be the best proponent of knowing God through the concept of being. Honestly, I think it is the best possible explanation of how we can know there is a God. And once we accept that, a lot of other stuff falls into pace. At least, it does for me.

      In his ontological proof of the existence of God, he writes “[Even a] fool, when he hears of … a being than which nothing greater can be conceived … understands what he hears, and what he understands is in his understanding.… And assuredly that, than which nothing greater can be conceived, cannot exist in the understanding alone. For suppose it exists in the understanding alone: then it can be conceived to exist in reality; which is greater.… Therefore, if that, than which nothing greater can be conceived, exists in the understanding alone, the very being, than which nothing greater can be conceived, is one, than which a greater can be conceived. But obviously this is impossible. Hence, there is no doubt that there exists a being, than which nothing greater can be conceived, and it exists both in the understanding and in reality.”

      If you labored through all of this, I salute you.

      • Gloriamarie, no labor at all. A good presentation of your view. A question though since we are just past Easter. From what you have read and studied did Jesus actually come back to life, or rise again after the horrible death? Or, was that more of a metaphor? Thanks, James

        • Jesus 100% absolutely rose from the dead. Not a metaphor at all.

          Now, it’s obvious from the Gospels, that his resurrected body was not exactly the same as his pre-Crucifixion body, because, after all, He could pass through walls and sometimes people didn’t recognize Him.

          But, yes, He rose from the dead and then ascended into heaven.

          By the way, we are not “just past Easter.” Easter is not a day, it is a season of the Church and it lasts for fifty days and ends on the Feast of Pentecost.

  49. Dear Wayne:

    Earlier, you stated that you have a full, theological education. Yet I have asked you repeatedly from which school you graduated. This you have refused to do.



    • Joanne, please show me the so-called “foul language?” That usually comes from the gay and so-called transgender people that come on this blog.

      • Wayne I am not going to repeat your words, you can reread your own post. If you do not want to admit the that the words you use and the way you use them is for their shock value then it must be exactly the way you think. You come across as someone who is obsessed with body parts and what people do with them. In my opinion the way you speak obliterates any message you are trying to impart.

        I always wonder why some have such an obsession with any LGTBQ issue. The passages you keep relating to have been interpreted differently by others. If you think your way is the right way that is fine. What amazes me is that the Bible is very clear about adultery. It is mentioned almost 40 x more often and is very easy to understand. It is even mentioned twice in the 10 Commandments.

        Why is no one shouting constantly about that? Why are you not shouting about that? It also involves body parts and what people do with them.

        These are all my opinions. I am also of the opinion that any constant screeching soon becomes tedious and easy to ignore.

        • Excellent point Joanne, the Bible has many sins and abominations listed but only this one is used to as a weapon against an entire group of people and they want the force of law to remain behind it.

          Jesus even spoke about adultery yet not even the most fundamentalist among us wants to see adulterers denied equality and the right to marry. They even ignore it in their chosen candidates.

          I think someday the log in the their eye will be seen even by them.

          • Wayne, I am going to have to leave you to God because I despise even the thought of conversing with you. I believe you are wrong, cruel, unChristian and evil.

            • Wayne you said:

              “homosexuality is the only ssin that seems to refuse to kneel at the cross of Christ!”

              Because it is not a sin.

              • Wayne, good to hear we can agree on somethings.

                I think there are many repentant LGBT persons who are believers and are also in same sex marriages.

                I happen to think it is not a sin but I also am sensitive to those who– as a matter of conscience– think it is a sin.

                I am agreeable to you staying in your church– and me staying in mine– We welcome gay christians and same sex couples and I wouldn’t change that, because it means they have a place to go.

                • Good comment. The church I grew up in has a gay pastor, he is married, and the church loves this couple. So there are a few enlightened churches around. Peace

              • Wayne, what you say is rebellion against God is actually people questioning and disputing the church’s view about LGBT people so that we can more loving and hospitable to those who have been on the fringes of society.

                I need to be truthful about who I am. And with others who I meet who are seeking Christ and have same sex relationships I have to deal with their reality. They have entwined lives and family even children.

                I think we have to be careful to ensure they are protected.

              • Wayne, I think you brought up a good point. We shouldn’t put the responsibility of how we live on others. This is why I tell people to make up their own minds. But I am willing to share what I think and how I arrived.

                The people who will be gnashing their teeth are already there– they are already refusing to feed the hungry and refusing clothe the naked and refusing to welcome the stranger or list the prisoners. They are already frustrated and angry and twisted up inside and perhaps they look nice on the outside. All God’s judgement will do– is reveal the hidden truth about each person’s heart.

          • Heterosexual adulterers can marry. So can bank robbers. Murderers too. It’s not sin that precludes same-sex couples from marrying, but that it’s an impossibility from a Christian perspective.

        • Wayne, now you have gone and hurt my feelings. You have given me the same pat answer you give to everyone who responds to your comments by saying something you do not like. I thought I was special. Where is this book called “Typical Gay Rhetoric”? I have never seen a copy so I must have just lucked out by repeating what is written there.

          Do you have joy in your life Wayne? Is the only time you smile when you are writing your words and screaming in capital letters?

          In the past you have called homosexuality a mental illness. I do not agree with that. Do you treat people with actual mental illness to the same hatred you show here?

          I hope you find peace Wayne. Truly

          • Wayne, I think you were describing yourself in your last paragraph.

            I find it so terribly sad that you cannot feel “joy” for the children you speak of or this beautiful earth we have been blessed with. Those are both gifts from God. So is human kindness and compassion. We are filled with so many more. What a dark place you must reside in.

            My husband and I, along with our children, have always accepted and yes loved any of those who come into our lives with an caring heart. Our friends are our family. We are all human beings, the same, yet different in our own beautiful way.

            Shutting yourself off to some because of the way you chose to interpret the Bible’s teachings is your right. To me it is like shunning anyone who has brown eyes. You miss out on so many beautiful hearts. But this is what you have chosen.

            The only place “Typical Gay Rhetoric” resides is in the minds of those who created the phrase – like yours.

            Peace Wayne

            • Joanne, you’re self-deceived! Amazingly, you pretend to love the very people that you’re called to “speak the truth in love” to, yet, you won’t because you lack the understanding of Biblical truth, and the best you’re able to come up with is, “the way you choose to interpret the Bible”. Well, I interpret the Bible the way the Bible is to be interpreted: under the guidance of the author of Scripture, the Holy Spirit Himself.

              When the Bible speaks very plainly and clearly about an issue, it is not our job to soothe our fears of the consequences should we ignore or disregard the truths therein. So, do me a big favor, interpret the following text in its historical, grammatical, and immediate context. Show me what Paul is saying to and about people who live a certain lifestyle. Here goes:

              “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

              I’ll be waiting!

              • Wayne – “self-deceived” that label has been applied to me before here on this blog. Maybe it should be my new middle name since my Mom couldn’t come up with one to put on my birth certificate. It is all good.

                You are not God so you have no idea what is in my heart nor where I will end up at the end of days. As to your list, I am none of those. But you seem to be a reviler.

                You be you and I will be me.
                Peace out Wayne

              • Wayne, I am here at your gunfight empty handed except for one nuggett of knowledge.

                I have said many times here I am not a biblical scholar. You will always be the winner even with both arms tied behind your back and blindfolded.

                I do not pretend to be what I am not. I am not afraid of you. I am nothing to you.

                I do know the definition of a reviler.

                Be at peace Wayne.

                Do not waste your time waiting for an exchange of bullets or even a spitting contest with me. It is not what I do.

              • Wayne, you are kind of freaking me out here Buddy, you sound like a regular person, even gentlemanly.

                If you are concerned about the fate of my soul I really do appreciate the effort and I hate that i will be disappointing you.

                The God I believe in wants me to follow the 10 Commandments and treat people like I want to be treated. I do not have it my heart to judge anyone else like your belief tells you to. I just cannot.

                Who a person is inside is more important to me. I always try to look for the good in people and look at your last comment to me. Who knew that person was lurking under there even for this one moment in time. Thank you for the civility of your last comment.

                I believe anyone using a screeching voice, dripping with disdain, calling names, or using foul words, makes their argument weaker not stronger. The opposite is what a strive for. I often fail and then feel remorse. Obviously John welcomes all comments here and I love a civil exchange of views.

                I am rambling, sorry. I cannot be who you think I should be. God has always been in charge of my soul and he will decide my fate.

                Peace Wayne

      • Wayne I view both you and any foul mouthed liberal the same way– flawed human beings who are treating each other badly. As an observation neither one of you seems happy with how the other is treating you.

        I just happen to agree with the liberal foul mouths.

        …and this cliche is always true

        two wrongs don’t make a right.

        • Wayne, I can read what Jesus, John the Baptist and Paul have said according to the what is recorded in the Bible and I don’t see any comparison between your lewd comments and their words.

          • Wayne I can’t even cut and paste or repeat the salacious things you write. It’s been said before but I think you want to be crass in your comments to exaggerate your point, but the only thing you prove is your own crassness.

          • Sally, Jesus called people “snakes”, “dogs”, “the devil”, “Swine”, “Hypocrites”, etc. John the Baptist called people “Brood of Vipers”, and Paul called people “Dogs”, “Lazy gluttons”, and a few more choice words.

            If the language of all three men were used today from them, they would all be hated, especially JESUS our Lord! And that hatred would especially come from the LGBT community and their surrogates.

            • Jesus said to Peter get behind me Satan but I am sure it was not meant to say Peter was a devil rather it was the language and expression of the time– because Satan means adversary.

              All of the words you listed above are not the same as the unnecessary and crass language you are using to dehumanize LGBT people.

        • Wayne, do you seriously think that Jesus, John the Baptist, and Paul, would speak or write like you do? They never did. You are only kidding yourself if you think your crude writing is any kind of truth at all. It is a cudgel you are for some reason allowed to use here, but it is vulgar, insulting and stupid (to name a few).


    No, The American Church Isn’t ‘in Exile’

    By David Congdon 4-19-2017
    In the wake of the Obergefell v. Hodges decision legalizing same-sex marriage, conservative Christian leaders sounded a dire word: Christians are no longer at home in the United States.

    Rod Dreher, a senior editor at The American Conservative, wrote an article for TIME following the decision with the headline, “Orthodox Christians Must Now Learn To Live as Exiles in Our Own Country.” In his long-anticipated book, The Benedict Option, Dreher tells Christians to “embrace exile.” He alludes to the oft-used Jeremiah 29:7 in his conclusion when he says that “though in exile, we work for the peace of the city.” In a response to Jacob Lupfer, who penned an essay saying Dreher suffers from a “delusional persecution complex,” Dreher claims that Christians are “called by God to be faithfully present here in Babylon … like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.”

    In a similar vein, Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, published a response to the Supreme Court decision in the Washington Post that concluded by calling Christians to “joyfully march to Zion” as “strangers and exiles in American culture.”

    Moore is drawing here on the language of Hebrews 11, which describes believers as “strangers and exiles on the earth” (Heb 11:13, ESV). The idea of the follower of God as an exile has deep roots in the faith, originating in Israel’s history of exile in Assyria and Babylon.

    But instead of “exiles on the earth,” Moore writes “exiles in American culture.” And Dreher speaks of being “exiles in our own country.” Everything hangs on this change.

    Why Exile?
    The idea of the church in exile is once again popular in American Christian circles. Missiologist Michael Frost wrote Exiles: Living Missionally in a Post-Christian Culture in 2006. In 2008, before his own exile from the evangelical community, Rob Bell coauthored Jesus Wants to Save Christians: A Manifesto for the Church in Exile. New Testament professor James Thompson wrote The Church in Exile: God’s Counterculture in a Non-Christian World in 2011. And in 2015, Lee Beach of McMaster Divinity College published The Church in Exile: Living in Hope After Christendom.

    Why the attraction to exile? For many of those in the missional church movement, exile language offers an alternative to the “culture war” rhetoric of the religious right. Instead of a church at war with surrounding culture, a church in exile presents a vision of God’s people living peacefully within foreign territory.

    Seeking the welfare of a foreign city (Jeremiah 29:7) is certainly an improvement over waging constant battle against it. But what does the idea of exile imply about the church? And is it consistent with Christian faith?

    Exile means that one is barred from one’s native land. The people of Israel, for instance, were prevented from living in the land promised to them by God. Followers of Jesus, however, have no native land. The Great Commission at the end of Matthew finds Jesus telling his followers to “make disciples of all nations” (Matt 28:19). In the Acts of the Apostles, Jesus tells them “you will be my witnesses … to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

    If the message of Christian faith is for all peoples and nations, then how can the New Testament writers speak of believers as exiles? The answer is that, for Christianity, the whole earth is a foreign land.

    In the Gospel of John, Jesus prays: “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world” (John 17:14). If the world is a foreign land, then the church is by definition in exile. But so the adage: If everything is exile, nothing is exile. Because the whole world is alien territory, no culture has a privileged position in relationship to God. Every culture is equally close and equally distant from the new creation. For those who follow Jesus, every person is a neighbor and every place is a home.

    Talking about the church in exile is redundant, unless there is a change in the definition.

    Exile and Christendom
    Notice the book titles mentioned above. They describe the church in exile within “a post-Christian culture,” “a non-Christian world,” and a society “after Christendom.”

    To be sure, many of these authors would view the experience of exile as a good thing. They do not necessarily think “Christendom” was a golden age to which we ought to return — and yet the decision to define the church as exilic allows Christendom to set the terms for the conversation.

    Speaking of the church in exile within American culture suggests there is some ideal culture — according to Dreher, “the Judeo-Christian culture of the West” — in which the church would not be in exile. Once we make that move, we have abandoned the early church’s insight that the church is exiled from every culture.

    We end up pining for the Christendom of earlier history, when in fact the only true Christian world exists beyond the end of history.

    But the problem goes deeper. Thinking of the church as exiled from a particular culture further implies the church has its own. Dreher compares the evangelical church to the monastic communities of St. Benedict, while Moore views the church as a new Israel marching to Zion. This idea of church as a specific culture has implications for mission. Moore makes this explicit when he calls American culture “our mission field.”

    Imperialism or Separatism — or Something Else?
    There are only two options at this point: Either the church spreads its culture to others or it assimilates its own into distinct community. The former is the way of imperialism, while the latter is the way of separatism.

    Israel’s mission is of the separatist variety, as defined especially by the book of Deuteronomy, whose message can be summarized as a warning to Israel to remain distinct from the other nations. The prophetic tradition interprets the Babylonian exile as God’s judgment on Israel’s failure to remain separate from other cultures.

    Yet the overall message of the New Testament, especially the book of Acts, is that the church is not a separate community with its own culture. The power of Christianity is found in what scholars of mission call its capacity for contextualization, which means that the message of Christ can be translated into different languages, cultures, and contexts.

    According to Lamin Sanneh, the Gambian missiologist and professor at Yale Divinity School, the Gospel comes “without a revealed language or a founding original culture,” and therefore “all cultural forms … are in principle worthy of bearing the truth of Christianity.”

    Christians today who adopt an exilic identity have abandoned this dimension of Christianity. They are giving up on the contextualization principle. For them, contemporary American culture is enemy territory, and the only recourse is to retreat into a separate cultural community.

    This does not mean, of course, that a church contextualized within the United States would uncritically affirm the culture. But it does mean we need to consider more thoughtfully what exactly constitutes the truth of Christianity and how this truth might relate to its given context.

    Returning Home After Exile
    The Barna Group’s “Faith That Lasts” project, conducted over five years between 2007 and 2011, revealed that nearly a quarter of 18- to 29-year-olds (23 percent) said that “Christians demonize everything outside of the church” was a statement that “completely” or “mostly” described their experience.

    Christians have largely left behind the days when their faith was defined by prohibitions against drinking, dancing, and movies. But the exile mentality remains: Today, Christian culture may be more ideological than moral, the us-versus-them logic more pervasive and more subtle.

    The church communicates an exilic message when it speaks about the need to evangelize “the West” as if this need is greater now than in the past, when it associates “the world” specifically with American culture, or when it waxes longingly about how much better things were “back then” or are “over there.”

    The church needs to abandon talk of exile, and reclaim the possibility of being at home. Home is the cultural context within which the church already exists. Reclaiming home does not mean uncritically adopting whatever seems fashionable at the time. It means approaching cultural changes and developments with an attitude of openness and hospitality, with a readiness to embrace rather than exclude. Reclaiming home means obeying the biblical injunction to live wholly without fear or anxiety.

    Many Christians have already put down their weapons to fight the culture. It is time now to put down the walls of defense that keep them separated from the culture. Perhaps a future generation will yet say that “Christians love everything outside of the church.”

    David Congdon
    David Congdon has a PhD in theology from Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of three books, including most recently The God Who Saves: A Dogmatic Sketch.

  51. June Maffin
    April 19 at 5:40pm
    Why is it that many accept the words of certain networks, leaders, family members, religious groups as ‘truth’ without thinking for themselves? It seems to be happening more and more and while there are glimpses of truth-truth surfacing, fake-truth continues to flood the media and conversations.


    The words of my parents
    “You were given a brain. Use it.”
    often surfaced throughout my life.

    At the age of fifteen
    I decided to leave the church of my youth
    which seemed to expect me
    to leave my brain at the door.

    When I would ask a question
    I was told “Do not question”
    but to “read the books of our faith.”
    I did.

    I had more questions
    and continued to be told
    “Don’t question.”

    “Don’t question?”
    Isn’t that why I was given a brain?
    … to ask questions
    … to doubt
    … to consider possibilities
    … to challenge situations of injustice
    … to think for myself
    … to come to my own opinion

    When I became a parent
    I intentionally taught my son to
    … research subjects
    … be open to learning from others
    … discuss what he was learning
    … listen to the opinions of others
    … come to his own independent opinion

    In other words
    he was raised to be a thinker
    … not simply go with the crowd
    … not simply to agree with my views
    but to come to his own opinions about
    … what is truth
    … relationships
    … politics
    … religion
    … abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment
    and more.

    I like to think that
    … reading and doing research
    … becoming informed
    … respectfully listening to the opinions of others
    … discussing and debating
    … and eventually coming to our own opinions
    is a spiritual responsibility.

    We were given and gifted with a brain.
    Surely the Giver of the Gift
    expects us to use the gift
    at all times
    and particularly
    in these difficult days of
    elusive truth.

    We must seek truth.
    We must pursue truth
    even if it alienates us
    … from loved ones
    … from political party adherence
    … from religious tenets


    Photo & Text © June Maffin

        • I did Gloriamarie, Thank you. A woman after my own heart. I admire and enjoy her sereneness. I strive for that continuously. I only read a few but will certainly check her out again.

          • I’ve know her for years. She has been through a lot in her life. She’s written some books too.

            Joanne, I hurt your feelings and I never intended to. I was actually trying to be supportive of you and maybe a tad protective which was probably condescending of me. I am sorry for it. Please accept my apology and give me your forgiveness.

            • Of course. Everyone here a human being. I use what tools I have, you use the tools you have. We are both making our way through this thing called life. All is good.


  52. Exclusive: Putin-linked think tank drew up plan to sway 2016 U.S. election – documents

    By Ned Parker, Jonathan Landay and John Walcott | WASHINGTON
    A Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters.

    They described two confidential documents from the think tank as providing the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election. U.S. intelligence officials acquired the documents, which were prepared by the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies [], after the election.

    The institute is run by retired senior Russian foreign intelligence officials appointed by Putin’s office.

    The first Russian institute document was a strategy paper written last June that circulated at the highest levels of the Russian government but was not addressed to any specific individuals.

    It recommended the Kremlin launch a propaganda campaign on social media and Russian state-backed global news outlets to encourage U.S. voters to elect a president who would take a softer line toward Russia than the administration of then-President Barack Obama, the seven officials said.

    A second institute document, drafted in October and distributed in the same way, warned that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was likely to win the election. For that reason, it argued, it was better for Russia to end its pro-Trump propaganda and instead intensify its messaging about voter fraud to undermine the U.S. electoral system’s legitimacy and damage Clinton’s reputation in an effort to undermine her presidency, the seven officials said.

    The current and former U.S. officials spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the Russian documents’ classified status. They declined to discuss how the United States obtained them. U.S. intelligence agencies also declined to comment on them.

    Putin has denied interfering in the U.S. election. Putin’s spokesman and the Russian institute did not respond to requests for comment.

    The documents were central to the Obama administration’s conclusion that Russia mounted a “fake news” campaign and launched cyber attacks against Democratic Party groups and Clinton’s campaign, the current and former officials said.

    Please read the rest at:

  53. How the Bible Belt lost God and found Trump

    He’s a divorced adulterer who ran a gambling empire, so how did America’s Moral Majority get so evangelical about Donald Trump?

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    I went down to Alabama a few weeks ago and had a religious experience. A man of God welcomed me into his home, poured us both cups of English tea and talked about what has been happening to Jesus Christ in the land of Donald Trump.

    High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our T&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email to buy additional rights.

    My host was Wayne Flynt, an Alabaman who has made the people of the southern US his life’s work. A 76-year-old emeritus professor of history at Auburn University, he has written empathetically about his region in books such as Poor But Proud. A Baptist minister, he still teaches Sunday school at his church and delivered the eulogy at last year’s funeral of his friend Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird.

    I took my place in the book-lined study of Flynt’s redwood house in Auburn, Alabama, to hear his thoughts on the local economy, but the conversation turned to a central mystery of US politics. Trump would not be president without the strong support of the folks Flynt has chronicled — white residents of the Bible Belt, raised in the do-it-yourself religious traditions that distinguish the US from Europe. I wondered how a thrice-married former casino owner — who had been recorded bragging about grabbing women by the genitals — had won over the faithful.

    Flynt’s answer is that his people are changing. The words of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, are less central to their thinking and behaviour, he says. Church is less compelling. Marriage is less important. Reading from a severely abridged Bible, their political concerns have narrowed down to abortion and issues involving homosexuality. Their faith, he says, has been put in a president who embodies an unholy trinity of materialism, hedonism and narcissism. Trump’s victory, in this sense, is less an expression of the old-time religion than evidence of a move away from it.

    “The 2016 election laid out graphically what is in essence the loss of Christian America,” Flynt says, delivering his verdict with a calm assurance that reminded me of Lee’s hero, Atticus Finch, as played by Gregory Peck in the 1962 film of her novel.

    “Arguably, what has constituted white evangelical Christian morality for 200 years no longer matters, which is to say we’re now a lot like Germany, a lot like France, a lot like England, a lot like the Netherlands, and what we have is a sort of late-stage Christian afterglow.”

    High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our T&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email to buy additional rights.

    The irony is that evangelicals turned to politics to prevent that very outcome. Fearing that so-called secular humanists would impose a moral order of their own through government action, born-again Christians began flocking to the polls in the late 1970s. Their impact was undeniable. They were the shock troops of the Reagan Revolution of 1980. They rescued Trump last year after many political analysts had counted him out, reckoning that the changing demographics of the US had made a white conservative like him unelectable.

    When the Christian right burst to prominence, its calls to defend the unborn were a rallying cry. But unyielding opposition to abortion was not a traditional evangelical position. In 1971 — two years before the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision legalising abortion — the evangelical Southern Baptist Convention, the largest US Protestant denomination, endorsed abortion in cases of rape, incest, “severe” foetal deformity or where there was “the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental and physical health of the mother”. As recently as 1976, it said it believed government should play a “limited role” on abortion matters.

    Abortion only became a leading concern of the religious right when the late firebrand Jerry Falwell and other leaders of the Moral Majority seized upon the issue towards the end of the 1970s. In the decades that followed it became a sure-fire way to mobilise conservatives unmoored by a variety of political and social changes that followed from the 1960s — ranging from federal efforts to take away tax breaks from racially segregated Christian schools to movements promoting the rights of women and homosexuals. (“God made Adam and Eve,” Falwell liked to say, “not Adam and Steve.”)

    By any measure, Trump was an odd vessel for evangelical hopes. He had described himself in the past as pro-choice. When he was growing up, his parents took him to church in New York, but it was one presided over by Norman Vincent Peale, a non-traditional pastor who wrote the 1952 bestseller, The Power of Positive Thinking. Before he married any of his three wives, all of whom are still alive, Trump spent the early years of the culture wars taking in the scene at the Studio 54 disco in Manhattan, where he told a biographer he once watched seven “well-known supermodels getting screwed on a bench in the middle of the room”.

  54. How the Bible Belt lost God and found Trump

    He’s a divorced adulterer who ran a gambling empire, so how did America’s Moral Majority get so evangelical about Donald Trump?

    High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our T&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email to buy additional rights.

    I went down to Alabama a few weeks ago and had a religious experience. A man of God welcomed me into his home, poured us both cups of English tea and talked about what has been happening to Jesus Christ in the land of Donald Trump.

    High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our T&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email to buy additional rights.

    My host was Wayne Flynt, an Alabaman who has made the people of the southern US his life’s work. A 76-year-old emeritus professor of history at Auburn University, he has written empathetically about his region in books such as Poor But Proud. A Baptist minister, he still teaches Sunday school at his church and delivered the eulogy at last year’s funeral of his friend Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird.

    I took my place in the book-lined study of Flynt’s redwood house in Auburn, Alabama, to hear his thoughts on the local economy, but the conversation turned to a central mystery of US politics. Trump would not be president without the strong support of the folks Flynt has chronicled — white residents of the Bible Belt, raised in the do-it-yourself religious traditions that distinguish the US from Europe. I wondered how a thrice-married former casino owner — who had been recorded bragging about grabbing women by the genitals — had won over the faithful.

    Flynt’s answer is that his people are changing. The words of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, are less central to their thinking and behaviour, he says. Church is less compelling. Marriage is less important. Reading from a severely abridged Bible, their political concerns have narrowed down to abortion and issues involving homosexuality. Their faith, he says, has been put in a president who embodies an unholy trinity of materialism, hedonism and narcissism. Trump’s victory, in this sense, is less an expression of the old-time religion than evidence of a move away from it.

    “The 2016 election laid out graphically what is in essence the loss of Christian America,” Flynt says, delivering his verdict with a calm assurance that reminded me of Lee’s hero, Atticus Finch, as played by Gregory Peck in the 1962 film of her novel.

    “Arguably, what has constituted white evangelical Christian morality for 200 years no longer matters, which is to say we’re now a lot like Germany, a lot like France, a lot like England, a lot like the Netherlands, and what we have is a sort of late-stage Christian afterglow.”

    The irony is that evangelicals turned to politics to prevent that very outcome. Fearing that so-called secular humanists would impose a moral order of their own through government action, born-again Christians began flocking to the polls in the late 1970s. Their impact was undeniable. They were the shock troops of the Reagan Revolution of 1980. They rescued Trump last year after many political analysts had counted him out, reckoning that the changing demographics of the US had made a white conservative like him unelectable.

    When the Christian right burst to prominence, its calls to defend the unborn were a rallying cry. But unyielding opposition to abortion was not a traditional evangelical position. In 1971 — two years before the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision legalising abortion — the evangelical Southern Baptist Convention, the largest US Protestant denomination, endorsed abortion in cases of rape, incest, “severe” foetal deformity or where there was “the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental and physical health of the mother”. As recently as 1976, it said it believed government should play a “limited role” on abortion matters.

    Abortion only became a leading concern of the religious right when the late firebrand Jerry Falwell and other leaders of the Moral Majority seized upon the issue towards the end of the 1970s. In the decades that followed it became a sure-fire way to mobilise conservatives unmoored by a variety of political and social changes that followed from the 1960s — ranging from federal efforts to take away tax breaks from racially segregated Christian schools to movements promoting the rights of women and homosexuals. (“God made Adam and Eve,” Falwell liked to say, “not Adam and Steve.”)

    By any measure, Trump was an odd vessel for evangelical hopes. He had described himself in the past as pro-choice. When he was growing up, his parents took him to church in New York, but it was one presided over by Norman Vincent Peale, a non-traditional pastor who wrote the 1952 bestseller, The Power of Positive Thinking. Before he married any of his three wives, all of whom are still alive, Trump spent the early years of the culture wars taking in the scene at the Studio 54 disco in Manhattan, where he told a biographer he once watched seven “well-known supermodels getting screwed on a bench in the middle of the room”.

  55. How the Bible Belt lost God and found Trump

    He’s a divorced adulterer who ran a gambling empire, so how did America’s Moral Majority get so evangelical about Donald Trump?

    I went down to Alabama a few weeks ago and had a religious experience. A man of God welcomed me into his home, poured us both cups of English tea and talked about what has been happening to Jesus Christ in the land of Donald Trump.

    My host was Wayne Flynt, an Alabaman who has made the people of the southern US his life’s work. A 76-year-old emeritus professor of history at Auburn University, he has written empathetically about his region in books such as Poor But Proud. A Baptist minister, he still teaches Sunday school at his church and delivered the eulogy at last year’s funeral of his friend Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird.

    I took my place in the book-lined study of Flynt’s redwood house in Auburn, Alabama, to hear his thoughts on the local economy, but the conversation turned to a central mystery of US politics. Trump would not be president without the strong support of the folks Flynt has chronicled — white residents of the Bible Belt, raised in the do-it-yourself religious traditions that distinguish the US from Europe. I wondered how a thrice-married former casino owner — who had been recorded bragging about grabbing women by the genitals — had won over the faithful.

    Flynt’s answer is that his people are changing. The words of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospels, are less central to their thinking and behaviour, he says. Church is less compelling. Marriage is less important. Reading from a severely abridged Bible, their political concerns have narrowed down to abortion and issues involving homosexuality. Their faith, he says, has been put in a president who embodies an unholy trinity of materialism, hedonism and narcissism. Trump’s victory, in this sense, is less an expression of the old-time religion than evidence of a move away from it.

    “The 2016 election laid out graphically what is in essence the loss of Christian America,” Flynt says, delivering his verdict with a calm assurance that reminded me of Lee’s hero, Atticus Finch, as played by Gregory Peck in the 1962 film of her novel.

    “Arguably, what has constituted white evangelical Christian morality for 200 years no longer matters, which is to say we’re now a lot like Germany, a lot like France, a lot like England, a lot like the Netherlands, and what we have is a sort of late-stage Christian afterglow.”

    The irony is that evangelicals turned to politics to prevent that very outcome. Fearing that so-called secular humanists would impose a moral order of their own through government action, born-again Christians began flocking to the polls in the late 1970s. Their impact was undeniable. They were the shock troops of the Reagan Revolution of 1980. They rescued Trump last year after many political analysts had counted him out, reckoning that the changing demographics of the US had made a white conservative like him unelectable.

    When the Christian right burst to prominence, its calls to defend the unborn were a rallying cry. But unyielding opposition to abortion was not a traditional evangelical position. In 1971 — two years before the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision legalising abortion — the evangelical Southern Baptist Convention, the largest US Protestant denomination, endorsed abortion in cases of rape, incest, “severe” foetal deformity or where there was “the likelihood of damage to the emotional, mental and physical health of the mother”. As recently as 1976, it said it believed government should play a “limited role” on abortion matters.

    Abortion only became a leading concern of the religious right when the late firebrand Jerry Falwell and other leaders of the Moral Majority seized upon the issue towards the end of the 1970s. In the decades that followed it became a sure-fire way to mobilise conservatives unmoored by a variety of political and social changes that followed from the 1960s — ranging from federal efforts to take away tax breaks from racially segregated Christian schools to movements promoting the rights of women and homosexuals. (“God made Adam and Eve,” Falwell liked to say, “not Adam and Steve.”)

    By any measure, Trump was an odd vessel for evangelical hopes. He had described himself in the past as pro-choice. When he was growing up, his parents took him to church in New York, but it was one presided over by Norman Vincent Peale, a non-traditional pastor who wrote the 1952 bestseller, The Power of Positive Thinking. Before he married any of his three wives, all of whom are still alive, Trump spent the early years of the culture wars taking in the scene at the Studio 54 disco in Manhattan, where he told a biographer he once watched seven “well-known supermodels getting screwed on a bench in the middle of the room”.

    • Trump sinned. Sadly he is was not and is not a saintly example for us to emulate. I hope if he hasn’t repented properly that he does.

      Meanwhile, I think he is a good president, and I am grateful we dodged the Clinton bullet.

      • why is it that Trump’s sins deserve your grace but not Hillary Clinton? Why is it that you are willing to overlook the sins of hypocrites but not the people you disagree with?

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