No, It’s Not You. This is Crazy.

I know what you’re thinking.

I know you feel something breaking inside lately; an invisible fracture that only you’re fully aware of.

I know the way you walk away from conversations with people you once relied on for wisdom and clarity and compassion, doubting your own sanity because you no longer recognize those things in them.

I know the way you feel internally estranged from the friends, coworkers, family members, and neighbors you used to find affinity with—and you wonder if you’re losing your mind.

I understand how you stare at the perpetual parade of horrible scrolling past you, from the second you wake up prematurely in the early morning until the stretched out nighttime moments you try unsuccessfully to fall asleep—and how you question the grip you have on reality.

I know the disbelief you feel in the presence of loved ones and ministers and leaders who now seem to be speaking some strange foreign tongue that you can’t make any sense of.

I hear the nagging question you ask inside your head a few hundred times a day: “Is it me, or has a huge portion of this country lost its mind?”

It isn’t you.

You’re quite fine, and this is of course both good and terrible news—because of what it says about you and about the place you find yourself.

The fact that you see how wrong this all is, means your faculties are intact, your mind is fully right, and your heart is working properly. It’s all confirmation that you still have a soul doing what souls are supposed to do: keeping you deeply human in profoundly inhumane times.

This is why you need to hold tightly to that soul because it is more rare and valuable than ever.
It’s why you need to embrace this holy unrest in the center of your belly; because it is the greatest weapon against the present epidemic of apathy.
It’s why you can’t allow your right mind to make peace with such abject madness.

If enough time passes, an otherwise healthy person can start to get used to sickness. They can slowly begin to convince themselves that almost any horrifying, toxic, painful, twisted reality is acceptable.
Little by little they can gradually allow themselves to acclimate to the nightmare, to come to see it as normal.
Either that, or they determine that they’re actually out of their minds and they collapse inside.

This is a reminder that this is not at all normal and that you are right to feel this disorientation.

I need you to hear this, friend:
You’re okay.
You’re not alone and you’re not crazy.
You’re also in good company.

Right now there is a massive army of similarly walking wounded sharing this place with you; fellow exhausted souls who realize that none of this makes any sense—people concluding that for their health, they will need to create distance from people they once allowed close proximity.
There are millions of good people out here still looking to be the kind of people the world needs; those committed to doing no harm, burdened to bring something decent where it is missing.

There are many of us who see clearly:

This President is not well.
He is not normal.
His behavior and his words and his demeanor are all unhinged, dangerous, and wholly unworthy of his lofty position.
We can see that this is a bastardization of humanity, a rebellion against goodness, a mutiny against sanity.

We can see that those sanctioning and defending and co-signing it are equally unwell, equally disconnected from anything benevolent, similarly propelled by fear and greed and bitterness.

And that’s why we need to keep resisting it.

You need to push back against the madness that tries to convince you that you’ve gone mad.

You need to press on, because in days when hatred is normalized, goodness matters.

In times when truth and news are pliable, truth-tellers are worth more than gold.

You’re not upside down right now, friend—a good portion of the world is.

But be greatly encouraged.

Loving resistance is a world-turner.


Order John’s book, ‘A Bigger Table’ here.



170 thoughts on “No, It’s Not You. This is Crazy.

    • Interesting how many right-wingers seem to have nothing better to do than scour the internet for liberal writings so they can post insulting or hateful comments.

      • I’m not liberal and if I were more eloquent, I could have written this piece. He put into words the very thoughts I’ve been thinking over the past year. These aren’t only liberal thoughts, they’re human thoughts.

      • Isn’t that the truth Iris! I’ve learned a lot about some of my fellow Americans and it’s terrible. So much hatefulness and plain meanness! It’s been an exhausting year!

      • Truth! When they somehow wake up and realize that skincolor means nothing, you can’t take anything with you, and although we call our supreme being by different names, it’s all the same God.

    • Joe Catholic, if you are Catholic then you are not practicing your faith. This man and I use the term loosely, would rather have a PEDOFILE in the Senate than a Democrat. I have daughters, how about you? And you’re okay with this? You need to go to confession, soon.

      • Joe Catholic may be a Russian troll. He definitely isn’t a follower of Christ. Which, last I checked, was what a Catholic and a Christian was supposed to be.

    • This article made me cry . It got to a place inside of me that I have been repressing, but I know that really really hurts. Thank you for bringing the feelings out of me and for making me feel OK. It is been really hard year for me. Thank you for making me feel that I am not alone.

    • I find it hypocritical that you identify yourself as Catholic. However, I suspect the nearest galaxy is closer to you than any of the Spiritual or Corporal Works of Mercy. You’re a sad individual Joe.

  1. Thank you for this. I live in a red state. I used to be a kind person–I now find myself screaming at my Senators and Congresswoman over the phone. Do something!! I know I’m not alone-I belong to several groups of progressive like minded individuals but this constant assault from our government has indeed left me feeling like one of the walking wounding.

    • I keep saying that too, “I used to be a nicer person. A kind person. I used to care.” Now? I just dont care if they all die from infections from shooting themselves in their foot and not being able to access healthcare. I dont care that they will lose their access to affordable foods. I just dont care anymore. Being a progressive in a red State is torturous.

    • You “used” to be kind? But because of Trump you’re not kind? True kindness doesn’t depend upon circumstances or who is president. It’s easy to be kind if thing are going your way.

      • He’s replying regarding the nasty cruelty that’s part of Trump’s primary agenda, and how all decent people with a soul reject it. It’s not hard to understand, Joe.

      • Joe, practically everything is going the right wing’s way, and yet you people are evil and cruel. How much is enough for you people? Your side doesn’t strike me as nice at all. Of course, your side never did strike me as nice….

    • You don’t have to wait for the government, for elections, for pressure on those ‘in power’.

      Direct action gets the goods.

      I’m not saying to ignore the election. But please don’t let anyone convince you that you are powerless between rounds.

      I got involved with local tenants who were being pushed out by developers posing as saviors. Pick something that you see. Near you. Talk those affected, ask what is needed.

      And remember that a little bit of frustration has amazing leverage applied to our foes… and our friends.

      This year someone kicked me out of a meeting… just because I asked so many publicly uncomfortable questions.

  2. I so needed to read these words this morning, you convey exactly how I have been feeling. I am so tired and I know I am not alone in feeling this way but you are able to put into words what so many are going through. Thank you.

  3. Thanks, John
    You’re so right. This is abnormal. So now it’s time for us to be abnormal, to really give love a chance, to be as ‘foolish’ in our Way of following Jesus as are those who are doing the opposite. I can only keep my sanity if I try each day to really share, not not merely ‘believe’ as I’ve been told all my life. If we are really living, sharing with others, we will not only keep our sanity, we will thrive. As did the followers of Jesus, who lived in just as crazy a time as this.

  4. My first impulse was to write “oh my goodness you have no idea how much I needed to read these words today!!” – except that obviously you *really* do. I cannot thank you enough for this reality check. Power to the peacemakers.

  5. Thanks so much John! Reading what you offer is invaluable. It really does help me. On the morning of November 9, 2016 upon waking grabbed my phone to see the election results. I let loose what could be described a primal scream. “It can’t be, it can’t be”! “There’s been a mistake!” These phrases went over and over in my mind. I had taken this day off to literally rejoice with my friends at the fact we had a woman president, that social programs would be expanded. Instead, it was like there was a death in the family. I cried, I’d try to stop thinking about it. I was emotionally exhausted. What will this be, what will this be like? Over these months I’ve looked everywhere for inspiration. I have found some but it could not outweigh this burden. I rarely speak like this because I am a very “un-religious” person but I feel with all the secrets and insanity coming from every side, every angle much has already been and will continue to purge. Hopefully some will be educated with this. But those “interwebs” will still be selling lies. I hope we can push through where we are right now to a new and better tomorrow. Thanks again, John, for being one of those “voices of sanity”. Peace.

  6. It is truly bizarre, this change that some people I know have undergone. Including my own father. The man who once upon a time encouraged me to ask questions and pursue higher education now decries my college degree was “liberal brainwashing”. He’s “for” Trump because the Pope was against him. Yes, he actually, literally said that. Publicly and proudly, he proclaimed that he was for Trump because the Pope was against him, because Mexico was against him. I do not understand. It is not a virtue to blindly follow anyone, much less a 71 year old child who brags about assaulting women because he can. My dad has two daughters and three granddaughters. I just…I can’t. I quit my dad.

    • I know. It’s terrible. My mother “loves what he’s doing with healthcare,” even though it means that I, her daughter, will once again loose access to healthcare. How do I relate to a mother who has said she’s glad I (not to mention millions of others) would die if I became seriously ill? I don’t have any idea how to relate to her about…anything now, knowing she feels that way.

    • Well! here in England, I have felt that Trump is a agent for change – if we do not follow our hearts all will be lost. “To thine own self be true……” Iis about our ability to respond!

  7. Thank you so much John Pavlovitz. I needed to hear this. I feel so alone in my feelings. My family won’t discuss it or if we do, it’s not cordial. Most people avoid it at all costs which makes me feel even worse. I know intellectually I’m right in my thoughts but emotionally I feel handcuffed. I am so glad you share your beautiful words of encoyragement. Godspeed.

    • If advocating for sanity, caring, and safety, if judging people on their character and not their membership in the 1% club, if recognizing the blessing of diversity and the incredible contributions of immigrants to this nation, if treating people decently (not calling names, mocking those less abled, disrespecting women,disrespecting veterans, shoving other heads of state aside to look important, makes me a snowflake so be it. Winter is coming.

    • TXKeith: Please check your grammar. And please refrain from being mean. All polls now show that the biggest support base for Trump is the white, uneducated (except for uber wealthy whites like our Republican politicians who are afraid to do the right thing). So we really are the majority. We just have to keep being kind, speak up to bullies, and keep protesting. Most importantly, WE MUST VOTE.

    • Texas Keith. Not to worry. Trump and his cowboys are headed to new corrals known as Federal Penitentiarys. The indictments yesterday are only the beginning of woes for the Trumpites and their fundie bootlickers.

      • Try not to get your hopes up Charlie. I think you will once again be disappointed and the leftist anti-Trump media will be left with egg on its face.

        Put your time and emotions into finding a good candidate to run against Trump in 2020. A pro-life Democrat would make things very interesting, btw. Are there any Democrat politicians who don’t despise the inconvenient unborn?

        • Pro-Life…what exactly does that mean?
          Question: You are in a medical office, there is a jar with embryos in it, there is a child sitting nearby, a fire breaks out! You can only save one. Do you save the jar of embryos? Or do you save the child?

        • You do realize that nobody thinks abortions are awesome, right? Nobody “despises the inconvenient unborn,” muttering to themselves about how these damn fetuses are just such a drain on our resources, man!

          Not a single politician or human being that I have ever seen or heard identifies as being pro-abortion. But I’ve seen plenty of folks who seem to despise lots of inconvenient already-existing-humans in our country, and run on platforms that revolve solely around attempts to completely disenfranchise these people.

        • Yes. A pro-life Dem nominee would be good. But no one is really pro abortion. Strange that recent GOP pro life legislation also gets rid of birth control, which will lead to many more abortions. The Catholic Church promotes the “rhythm method” which no one hears about anymore. Instruction hrs. should be covered by insurance or public health nursing offices.

        • That’s rich coming from someone who seems to be championing the party that despises the already born. Especially if they aren’t the right color, gender, class, ethnicity or a corporation.

      • I completely agree. Sometimes I cannot get the words out about how I’ve felt since November 9, 2016. I appreciate you and those with working minds here who speak up for the actual population. Thanks!

    • Ooh, TXKeith, that’s a pretty loveless thing to write. Why are you even reading and commenting on this blog? Just for the pleasure of saying mean things to people who don’t share your views? Not that I’m melting or anything, but, personally, I think snowflakes are beautiful. And enough of them together make a pretty powerful avalanche. Folks in the conservative media should really reconsider the use of the word ‘snowflake’ as an insult. Wishing a long, healthy, and happy life to you, TXKeith, non-snowflake. 🙂

    • So it’s either “resist yourself into an early grave” or resist yourselves into early graves” please choose one or the other. You cannot mix them and sound even remotely intelligent. You’re welcome.

    • TXKeith … “and early grave?” Is proofreading too difficult for you?
      Why are people who use “snowflake” as a derogatory insult so illiterate when it comes to writing simple sentences?

  8. John P, you speak my heart. You speak the heart of all who are on the side of the angels. Current events are showing us that we can choose to be on the side of the angels or we can choose to be on the other side.

    If we are on the side of the angels, we can choose to be part of the solution.

    Or we can choose to contribute to the work of those in opposition to the angels and the entire company of heaven.

  9. Dear John Pavlovitz:

    The country hasn’t lost its mind, but it is profoundly confused and disoriented thanks to continual ruling class attacks on the working class.

    The President may be unwell, but he is still an outstanding example of where a significant layer of the ruling class finds itself.

    If you’re serious about push-back, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and start addressing issues of social class.


  10. My husband and I feel heartbroken every day. We aren’t sure where to go to church any more, we feel disconnected from friends and family who are “his” supporters and are using “his” bullying tactics to make it look like there is something wrong with us.

    I would sure like to find a group of like minded individuals in our community, not sure where to turn. We are so grateful to have your words and advice to get us through our days. We bought your new book, Pastor John, and find so much hope.

    Keep up the good fight and good messages!

    • Look for a Unitarian Universalist church in your area. You’ll find the most intelligent and compassionate people are there.

  11. Thank you for this reminder. Just this morning I read comments by two coworkers wondering whether or not the FBI informant was going to show up dead as a suicide before testifying due to being shot in the BACK of the head four times, a reference to Clinton being responsible for multiple murders. I have learned to turn my thoughts away and repeat several times “keep your eye on the prize.” It helps.

  12. John – I feel like your writings are part of the issue and are exacerbating the issues. Everything is geared towards: 1) nothing is good 2) nothing is right 3) the Christian church is terrible…and so on. Guess what – I’m a Christian and I do NOT believe that the lesbian gay community is damned to hell, are “immoral” or “wrong”. I do NOT believe that the president isn’t “normal” or is “unwell”. There actually is a time that the POTUS needs to be strong, decisive. We can’t always coddle and pacify. We have no idea what he goes through each day to keep us safe. He may not be Miss Manners but we’ve tried that route and it didn’t work. All of this name calling, pointing fingers, etc. doesn’t help anyone. Please remember: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” Whatever your beliefs – this is what works. Show compassion, faith and give hope & love out into the world. It’s simple really. Be still and lead by quiet example. Thanks for listening.

    • It is the president that calls names and finger points and if you can’t seem to see that – you are clearly the type of person that this post is about. Those fake “Christians” that distort scripture to serve themselves not others… god bless and hope you wake up. You will be held accountable. Pray for truth and ask god to grant you the power of intellect and reason.

    • Thank you once again for your wisdom and for keeping us sane in insane times! Truly, you have offered so much love, peace and wisdom in desperate times and I hope you understand how much you are loved and appreciated! Thank you!!!

    • Donald Trump is the most unfit, incompetent man to EVER sit in the Oval Office. He’s a cruel joke on our country. Perhaps you should stop watching Fox “News” for a few minutes. Trump is an absolute disaster, a vile, vengeful and vulgar man – a poor excuse of a human being. He is in this for himself and his family; he does not give a shit about the regular folks in the country. I cannot understand how you could possible rationalize even being allowed through the gates to the White House. I and tens of thousands of Americans LOATHE him and everything for which he stands – and does not stand.

    • Lori Trump is not keeping us safe. I and many many others believe he is doing the exact opposite by his daily actions. “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” ~Ben Franklin

    • “Please remember: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love” Whatever your beliefs – this is what works. Show compassion, faith and give hope & love out into the world. It’s simple really. Be still and lead by quiet example. Thanks for listening.”

      The above comment is the most Anti-Trump, Anti-GOP statement possible. No person could construct a philosophy that is more diametrically opposed to what the entire conservative movement stands for than the above statement.

    • Gentle Jesus, meek and mild, eh, Lori? I have 68 years of uninterrupted Church participation and am positive beyond a doubt that that morality , decency, and – yes – patriotism are NOT passive pursuits. This is not going to be fixed purely by ‘random acts of kindness’ – nor even a ‘thousand points of light’ , although those simple goods must continue unabated. Those of us who care must Rage AGAINST the Dying Of The Light!

  13. “In times when truth and news are pliable, truth-tellers are worth more than gold.”

    Yes…and thank you for once again speaking truth to power.

  14. THANK YOU!! At least I know now, I’m not he only one who felt like they were an alien on another planet . Trying to stay sane. Thank you!!

  15. This one made me cry because…well, because… Yes! I am feeling VERY not normal! I needed someone to tell me “Hey, you’re okay.” Needed to be reassured that there are thousands of soul mates out there feeling the very same thing. If ever there was a message I desperately needed to hear right now, it was this one. Thank you, God and thank you, John Pavlovitz.

  16. Thank you. I needed that encouragement just now, and for what may well be a long time to come. It hasn’t been a year, and the country seems to have gone mad. Can no-one see that this president is unfit for office; or, worse, do they see and are aiding him in order to get what they want from him? I suspect the latter, and it frightens me.

    All the racists, bigots, white supremacists, and worse have been encouraged to crawl out from under their rocks and spew propaganda for their causes. There is more hatred and fear and violence in the country than I have seen in many decades, with all its terrible consequences, and I have no hint of when it will fade. Hope and love don’t seem to have much chance, unless I can believe that they will impel like-minded people to vote these divisive, dangerous people out of office at the first opportunity. That hope, I will cling to.

  17. Your words are so encouraging Thank you for helping and sharing the love in your heart in these most difficult times. God bless you.

  18. AMEN to that. BMEN to that. CMEN to that. DMEN to that. FMEN to that. GMEN to that. HMEN to that. IMEN to that. JMEN to that. KMEN to that. LMEN to that. MMEN to that. NMEN to that. OMEN to that. PMEN to that. QMEN to that. RMEN to that. SMEN to that. TMEN to that. UMEN to that. VMEN to that. WMEN to that. XMEN to that. YMEN to that. ZMEN to that.

    Now, So let’s see who we have on our side:

    AMEN (The best quality men who make straights A’s.)

    DMEN (The blue devils at the Duke University School of Divinity.)

    GMEN (Federal law enforcement.)

    KMEN (Cayman Island bankers.)

    OMEN (The prophets.)

    QMEN (The LGBTQ people.)

    SMEN (The men with seminal ideas.)

    TMEN The faculty at the University of Tennessee.

    WMEN (All the women with good hearts.)

    XMEN (The mutant super heroes.)

    YMEN (The population of Yemen.)

    ZMEN (The population of Zanzibar.)

    Not bad. Not bad at all. Good job John P.

    * The word “men” includes women as equal partners.

  19. John, I’m a 77-year-old Episcopalian who absolutely loves your vision and courage to print what you think, feel, and know to be true! I appreciate your writings and they confirm my beliefs, some of which have radically changed from years of Christian and just plain old human living. I am challenged by you, occasionally, but still, end up in your corner. Thank you for being a modern-day prophet.

  20. Thank you so much. I have needed your words of encouragement and sanity for 8 months now. You have kept me from going Atheist and losing my faith in Christianity, the religion. I will never lose my faith in the Trinity. Please continue to be brave and do the right thing by reminding all of us scared souls! God Bless you!

  21. Thanks for this.
    It is, however, deeply painful to hear “you are not alone” when, in fact, I am. Relationally, physically, emotionally – in the ways that human beings NEED to not feel and be alone – I am. I have tried. I have “reached out.” I have pursued community. Nothing has worked and I can’t take this pain anymore.

  22. Kindness an undervalued and under-cultivated quality in our country today. People are actually being told that kindness is “a weakness” instead of a strength. It is a key contributor to happiness, increases your health, can reduce stress, and a host of other benefits to yourself, with other benefits to others as well. Everyday kindness is so important but many reserve kindness only to those that act, looks, and think like themselves. This stops kindness from spreading and makes the world seem to be upside down when leaders insist on being unkind to the ones being lead. The opposite, cruelty, which is being reinforced by our leadership, is self-defeating in the long run.

      • Joe C ~ Tell Trump to be kind to us, and include those Congressional Trump Toadies who are also Hell-bent on increasing the taxes on the middle class and the poor in order to further enrich the largest corporations and the wealthiest 1% of individuals and families, the beloved donors, not their constituents. Now that the Republicans have passed their Trump-loved taxation bill, they want to go after Medicare and Social Security ~~ so “the least of these” will be taxed the most, and will also lose the safety net that workers have paid into for years or decades. Don’t you remember that Trump promised during his campaign to not touch Social Security and Medicare? HE LIED!

  23. Thank you, John! May I share something I wrote at the beginning of the year, just before the inauguration? I was feeling this then! And then the horrific fires just occurred in my beloved Sonoma County in CA. Strange, almost eerie times but we are saying here: “The love in the air is thicker than the smoke.”

    A New Land

    “What is to give light must endure burning.” Victor Frankl

    fires of grief
    burn thru every pore
    every crevice of self
    every belief held tightly
    even of inherent goodness

    beliefs fail us now
    watch as they dissolve
    fly away on the breeze
    ashes in free flight
    no time to bid farewell

    fully awake, eyes wide
    turning toward the east
    the return of light, a new day,
    surrender to who knows what
    gently hold the darkness

    as revealed in outer form
    step forward in terror
    and in trust, asking:
    how can i be of use
    this burning one?

    carry the torch
    of initiated innocence
    stumbling at times
    falling, yet knowing
    the fire will light a way

    beyond a shallow safety
    to a new land where
    the heart of the world
    pulses and sings
    in billions of ears

    somewhere between
    terror and trust runs
    the deeper river
    of resolve, and there
    we will reside, there

    the sun outshines
    the fires of grief
    a prayer rises up
    in a yet unspoken
    language of light

    • Thank you for this post of Victor Frankl’s “What is to give light must endure burning”. My favorite part, and where I choose to be is “…somewhere between terror and trust runs the deeper river of resolve, and there we will reside,…”
      We live in a dualistic society with all the grey in between.
      For sanities sake, I invite you all to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. The powers that be, the .25% that run the world are effectively dividing our nation. We have to face the fact that there is a large portion of the population that felt the same way about Obama, and they choose to think that running a country like a corporation might be a good thing. At least it will be different, less caring for the masses. Strip down the benefits that allow us to be human and take care of our families, while sending the recovered costs up to the top and the share holders, the uber wealthy. After all, it is about the bottom line, right?
      I could go on and on about this, but instead I am inviting you to consider that when you find yourself in despair, you are unconsciously giving away your power. STOP THAT RIGHT NOW!!!
      Seek out your like minded communities, we are out there. And once you have, don’t just dwell there because it is safe and soothing, it is time to buck up, take two steps back and see where you can put those energies you have let drain from you into an effort that supports your values. We are in a big time of chaos. Chaos always happens before change. Like it or not, we are in for big change. Find your new personal neutral, normal isn’t what it used to be for anybody. Listen to your heart, listen to your gut, and consider with your intellect. Care for those you love, and if you can’t respect others with differing opinions at least treat them with neutrality, it is so wasteful to hang out in hate. It hardens the heart.

  24. This is so refreshing. Who ever thought that folks would be criticized for being empathetic or companionate? We must recognize this state of mind and support one another.

  25. Thank you, I need these words today. Every day I see my nation being turned into the world I escaped when I was 18. I’d rather die than go back to those times.

  26. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
    1 Thessalonians 4:16
    Recommended Reading
    Revelation 21:4-5

    The longest verifiable lifespan on record is Jeanne Calment who died in August 1997 at the age of 122 years, 164 days. The youngest person in the top-ten longest-lived people died at the age of 116 years, 45 days. Remarkable, but nothing in comparison with Methuselah who died at the age of 969 (Genesis 5:27).

    • We see Odin and Loki as children in 977 AD, and the events of the first Thor movie take place a little over 1000 years after that. We know, therefore, that Thor is at least a millennium old. Since he looks physically to be in his late 20s or early 30s in the modern MCU, we can assume he has many thousands of years left in his life-span. When you think about it, all of his time with the Avengers is probably functionally meaningless to him.

  27. I appreciate this viewpoint, but if the conversation ends as “he’s crazy” then we don’t get very far. We need to take it a step further and look at ways we live our lives that support this craziness. What products are we buying that support the destruction of our planet? What investments are we making that support concentrated wealth? What changes are we willing to make in our own life that may feel like sacrifices but move the needle towards reducing waste and reaching out to help those less fortunate? Trump didn’t get into power overnight. There are ‘human’ forces of craziness that elected him. I agree that there is an awakening, but let’s not all freeze with a pointed finger.

  28. Thank you John, I’ve been feeling this way since last summer, I was afraid then and more afraid now.
    I told my husband I needed to go see my children one last time because after the election i wasn’t sure of how the world was going. We’re in Az. Right now so we packed up the RV and headed to Ct. stayed until just after Thanksgiving and headed back, got back and was happy due to the way the world was going. It doesn’t seem to get better. It’s a real”y scary America out there right now.
    Thank you again John.

  29. Thank you. Somehow, you always seem to write just the essay that makes it possible to pick myself up and keep fighting. I needed it. Hope is a terrible, wonderful thing. Knowing it’s not just me and a handful of friends feeling outraged at the crap tornado in the oval office and his minions screwing everything up, is a relief. I was finding it hard to breathe. Easier now.


  31. Oh, god, thank you. I didn’t know how much I really needed to hear this til I read it and found tears running down my face.

  32. Oh, god, thank you. I didn’t know how much I really needed to hear this til I read it and found tears running down my face. I have been separated from my whole family in this insane maelstrom.

    • Your family won’t forgive you for voting for Hillary? They really should overlook your leftist politics and treat you as part of the family.

  33. Thank you, John, for these comforting words. A lot of us do feel like “walking wounded” these days. But we won’t be cowed into submission to the dark forces. It may get tough sometimes, but we will persevere. We will stand up to the darkness. We will do our best to restore sanity to a world of madness.

  34. We are resisting with good people, thoughtful plans and actions. Not just whining. But it is all so sad to be dealing with such cruelty, greed and narcissism. So much harm being done. But as Obama has said, we have lived through terrible times before now and made it. I have to believe we can this time too.

  35. John,
    Thank you, brother, for your wisdom and counsel this morning. Probably the only way I will sleep better is to ignore the news, but feel inspired that I am OK and not alone. I am a humanist but believe that I share your values and life philosophies and acknowledge that I follow your words as one of my three “ministers”. Ours is an intellectual and emotional connection that is based in the unmitigated belief in the human soul. Is it not true that we identify only a different source for that faith? Or that in the Grand Scheme of Life, it doesn’t really matter what the source is? And that the very essence of our humanity is the continuous search for definition of the human soul, and its manifestation in our existence? How more powerful “Loving Resistance” would be when a voice like yours would specifically address how we could strengthen the bonds that exist among those of Faith and Different Faiths, as well as of No Faith.

  36. I am fortunate to only have a very few friends that support this administration, and we have agreed to not discuss it. Most of my GOP friends saw the light before the election and chose not to vote for this loser. They too foresaw this nightmare. This does help me! But I am still fearful of the society his administration is creating. The poor examples being set for our children and grandchildren. It keeps me awake at night. My stomach is always tied in knots. Its great to know I’m on the right side of this “story”, but we are still being held hostage by this loser and his minions. They entire agenda is to create chaos and destroy our country. Sadly, they are doing a great job of that! What will be left when we rid ourselves of the garbage? How do we repair the social dynamics? What can we do if they get more judges on the Supreme Court?

    • If Trump appoints another anti-abortion judge, we just might overturn Roe v Wade which could be the beginning of criminalizing abortion, at least in some states, and the beginning of stopping the grave injustice of murdering the unborn.

  37. And where were you when Obama did worse? Muslim brotherhood in the Whitehouse. Racial division at an all time high. Highest national debt. Lowest employment. Where were you then? Hanging on O’s every word because you are most definitely insane.

    • Literally nothing you say or believe about Obama is true. You have been brainwashed into a right wing cult (Cult45). Facts and reason no longer have any effect on you. You need to be deprogrammed. I hope some day you get it.

    • We were in this universe where literally none of what you said was true. Any interpretation of the stock market, the unemployment rate or virtually any other metric was improved under Obama. Unemployment was north of 9% when he took office and below 5 when he left, for instance. The stock market tripled. And throughout it all, he actually knew and cared what his legislation would do, treated his opponents with respect, and seemed to actually want what was best for the nation.

  38. We in Australia are stunned and appalled at what is happening over there with you guys, and wonder how Americans let this happen! Our country too appears to have been hijacked; our government practices human rights abuses, flouts treaties, imprisoning refugees indefinitely. You may be familiar with what is happening on Manus Island and Nauru. As for Trump and the US, I posted this on Facebook:

    This is bullshit what is happening in America! Americans whether you are in the US or abroad, and Aussies in the US, don’t stand idly by while democracy is being dismantled and a nuclear holocaust risked by a couple of aged toddlers aided by Twitter. Shut Twitter down! Speak to your senators, get involved, say NO!
    Speak up! We are all brothers and sisters! All one family!
    For heaven’s sake, let intelligence and love come forth, and bring calm, not conflict.
    Write your own cry from the heart or copy and paste this, let us all cry out “NO!”

    A president venting on Twitter in the wee small hours is really talking in his sleep. What if his Twitter account was closed? Cannot Jack Dorsey muzzle Trump?

    • Mr. Blake, I understand your dismay and disgust at Trump’s tweets, but I can’t agree with you that Twitter should shut him down. Since what goes on in his mind seems to come straight out his typing fingers, I think his tweets give a pretty good idea what he’s thinking, and what he wants to do. I–and I suspect, a lot of other people–would rather be forewarned than taken by surprise. Those warnings give us some time to gather the knowledge and support to oppose whatever his latest harmful idea might be.

    • Some of us think differently than those way out on the left who lost their power in Washington and have subsequently also lost their minds over an election they thought was in the bag.

      Just watch this blog as an example. 24 hours anti-Trump, and from a preacher. But he’s a leftwinger and politics seemingly is their religion.

      • Then why are you here Joe?

        Do you think that somehow we’re going to listen to your TRNJ ravings? Do you think you’re going to convert some of to your side?

        No, you’re just another heartless, soulless, bully that gets off on causing pain to others. Much like your President.

        If you truly are Catholic, I have a little prayer for you:

        May God in his infinite mercy be far kinder to you on your day of judgment, than you have been to the poor, the outcast, the downtrodden, the LGBTI, and the others you mock.

    • Joe,

      Great message and I will copy and re-paste it. The only worry I have is that we are already too far down the road to make a difference.

  39. Please do a piece on the need to speak up for what is right, even in difficult situation. Maybe you could include how Jesus wants us to. I have so many people to share an article like that with.

  40. Somehow this piece made things click for me. See, I have a couple “invisible illnesses.” Fibromyalgia and Ehler’s Danlos Syndrome, PTSD and other co-morbid bonus gifts. Essentially, I live a life of pain. The pain levels vary, but without opiods (which, if I’ve taken a dozen in the past 5 years I’d be surprised) my pain level never goes below a 3. My norm is a 6 or 7. And over time, you get used to it. It still hurts like hell, but you ignore it and act as if a 6 is a 2. Take your meds because they do help a little. And reduce stress. To nothing if you can. Long enough at nothing and the average level may go down to a 4 or 5 for a while. And you start wondering if maybe, somehow, you’ve gotten better. Maybe you were blowing a tiny thing into a huge problem. Maybe you really CAN work and make enough money to stop living below poverty level and start using that fancy Bachelor’s degree you got over a decade ago. Maybe, just maybe, the voices in your head that say you’re just lazy are correct.

    Until you go to work. And 6 weeks later they are letting you go, because you know what… you didn’t have the cognative function, the physical staying power, the stress tolerance to do a receptionist job when you know you have a 145 IQ and the degree to make much higher figures.

    Your brain was playing tricks on you. Making you question what you know is true. Making you wonder how you could possibly be right about yourself when everything else, everyone else is arguing against it. You just got so used to the sickness, it became such a normal state of things that you started insisting that you couldn’t possibly really be sick. What you are is normal. The way our world is is the new normal. But don’t imagine that that normal is acceptable. It isn’t. Because if and when a cure comes around, you may be so accepting of this abnormal normal that you don’t take the cure.

  41. “Only people with hope will struggle. The people who are hopeless are grist for the fascist⁺ mill. Because they have no hope, they have nothing to build on. If people are in trouble, if people are suffering and exploited and want to get out from under the heel of oppression, if they have hope that it can be done, if they can see a path that leads to a solution, a path that makes sense to them and is consistent with their beliefs and their experience, then they’ll move.

    “But it must be a path that they’ve started clearing. They’ve got to know the direction in which they are going and have a general idea of the kind of society they’d like to have. If they don’t have hope, they don’t even look for a path. They look for somebody else to do it for them.” ~~Myles Horton in The Long Haul (1990) With thanks to Terecita Fln Grnwood

    ⁺ Perhaps “Fascist” is overly dramatic. If that’s what you believe, then I withdraw it lest it get in the way of the rest of the message. Apologies all around.

  42. Historically, this is how terrorists & tyrants work. They rely on unpredictability, on continually creating chaos, altering routine, robbing their targets of safety, stability & MENTAL REST UNTIL THEY RELENT. RESIST !!

  43. Thank you!!! Wonderful words-we all need that…this last year has been excruciating…….he’s a mad man and he doesn’t let us forget it for a moment- a constant reminder of the pain……… beats us down emotionally- it’s hard to stay asleep; it’s hard to concentrate and people who are trumpies no longer make sense and cease to be trusted friends……that in itself is a sorrowful realization…..but now you identify friends and distinguish them from “people you know”………..

  44. I suppose you are unaware that in the 1990s the Russians turned over large amounts of their weapons grade uranium and plutonium to the United States for storage and safekeeping because they did not have a secure place to store it in Russia—basically doing it like you keep your money at your local bank. If the Russians have not withdrawn it, it is still being stored for safekeeping at the Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The Russians probably had to pay the U.S. Department of Energy a large money fee to store these weapons grade nuclear materials for them across many years because safe storage requires a lot of human monitoring—which costs money. Might this be the materials you are talking about—and one of your right wing extremist rags has just twisted the story for your consumption—knowing how utterly undiscerning and gullible you fundies are? I have to tell you. It has been my experience that you fundies will jump and grab onto lies quicker than my dog goes for meat treats.

  45. Pingback: Worth Reading — 11.1.17 | A Touch of Cass

  46. The conceit that people who may have backed and/or continue to back Trump are unhinged is wholly unjustified. The failure to have previously recognized and the continued refusal to acknowledge their complaints will only exacerbate the situation. You can’t show a better way if you ignore those that need teaching.

  47. While, deep down, I know it’s not me, it’s so essential to get confirmation once in awhile. Thank you.

    Do major civilizations go bonkers every so often?

  48. Thank God I found this beautiful group and thank you John
    At first I thought I was the only person horrified by this “movement ”
    What is going on
    Last days perhaps

  49. Most who look at other s think they are the norm :
    What is Normal
    What is acceptance to the public ;
    I think about all the artist who have sung , written, talked about this topic.
    Seems everyone thinks thier idea is the norm.
    Well God , Holy God has Spoken to mankind.
    Your accepted in his grace, His love, His norm
    YOU will never , ever be normal , or meet up to the expectations of others.
    Your peace has to be within from a source that is eternal.
    Living Water that never leave you thirsty.
    That is the Relationship of Jesus Christ, The Holy Spirit , The peace no one else can give , take, compare to , or remove.
    YOU are the only one who can accept, or turn down this gift.
    Not by works so no one can take credit, or boast of themself, or give them selves a pat on the back.
    God is a Jealous God , He does not accept other s stealing his Glory
    No False religeon, False gods, False paths to heaven
    God is Real, Jesus Christ Born to Die on a cross for OUR sin, the sin of all mankind
    So we see there is only a norm according to your perspective.

  50. Hmmm, interesting Reverend. I won’t even address most of your thoughts in this article because they are so transparently hateful toward President Trump and anyone who voted for him. The one item that I will address though is the following paragraph;

    “Right now there is a massive army of similarly walking wounded sharing this place with you; fellow exhausted souls who realize that none of this makes any sense—people concluding that for their health, they will need to create distance from people they once allowed close proximity. There are millions of good people out here still looking to be the kind of people the world needs; those committed to doing no harm, burdened to bring something decent where it is missing.”

    Short some of the illogical rantings of Minister Louis Farrakhan and Minister Fred Phelps of the Westboro Church, that one paragraph in your blog has to be one of the most hateful things I have ever seen or heard a minister preach! From that one paragraph you are telling your followers that I (and millions of others who voted for Trump) are;
    1) Those who have “wounded” people…..because, I assume, we don’t agree with them and hold views contrary to theirs.
    2) Those who are ruining the health of the friends and family who we do not agree with.
    3) We are not “good people”.
    4) We are not “the kind of people the world needs.”
    5) We are committed to doing harm.
    6) We are not trying to bring something decent to the world.

    Well Minister Pavlovitz, I won’t bore you with my resume of what makes me a “good” person (this is, after all, the on-line world and people can claim to be whatever they want without proof), however, the assumptions you put forth about me (and those like me) in this one paragraph display such an un-Christian ignorance that I feel that you should be truly ashamed of yourself.

    The most hateful utterance of all in that one paragraph though is you encouraging your followers to “to create distance from people they once allowed close proximity”.

    Way to go Reverend! Encourage your followers to ostracize family and friends! For their “health”! Do you even realize how pathetically un-Christian that is?

    To show you an example of how hateful rantings like that can affect real people, allow me to tell you about someone who reads your hateful rantings…..and how it has affected me.

    It’s a friend’s wife. I have been friends with this guy for fifty years…..since the sixth grade. My wife and I voted for Trump, and this friend’s wife has now ostracized us completely (despite the fact that we NEVER even talk politics with them, we just voted for Trump and she knows it)…..which puts this friend of mine completely in the middle. If that wasn’t bad enough, she has been talking to the wife of another close friend and, on Facebook, posted your blog about “creating distance”…..with this second wife reading and commenting on FB to wife #1 about how she adamantly agrees with what you wrote.

    Well, as you probably guessed, now THIS friend’s wife is ostracizing my wife and I “for her health”!

    Some might call it “health”…..I call it drama, perpetuated and enabled by a minister who should be ashamed of himself.

    The problem, in a nutshell, with liberals like you Minister Pavlovitz, is that you wrap yourself in a cloak of progressive open-mindedness, yet are some of the most close-minded people of all. You see minister, being open minded is a lot like having honor… is easy to be honorable when people are watching or when the honorable thing to do creates an advantage for you. True honor is what you do when nobody is watching or when the honorable thing to do might not have the best result for you personally.

    In that vein, it is easy to be open-minded when you surround yourself with people who agree with you…..the true measure of open-mindedness, however, is how open you are to accepting people who disagree with you or accepting them when elections don’t go your way and “none of this makes any sense” to you simply because you disagree with it!

    So Minister Pavlovitz, keep taking comfort in your close-mindedness and keep encouraging your followers to do the same by ostracizing their family and friends.

    Just don’t preach that it has ANYTHING to do with love.

    • Timothy,

      You and the others like you are espousing a political philosophy that is so far from ANYTHING that Jesus taught, that you are literally displaying Pharasaical hypocrisy. I’m sure that everyone on this blog, except perhaps for the Trumpian trolls that are infesting the internet these days. understands how Christ felt about the Pharisees.

      I truly hope that you don’t consider yourself a Christian, for you display none of the traits of a person who follows the teachings of Christ.

      As such, you have absolutely ZERO right to question Pastor John’s expressions of love.

      • Tori,
        First of all, my religious background is that I was raised Catholic, attending Catholic grade school, high school, and college, so I do have a level of familiarity with Christianity. However, I am not a Christian…..I am an agnostic theist. I believe that there is a God, but that he is unknown and unknowable.
        Yours and my opinions on religion aside, your assumptions of what “political philosophy” that I am “espousing” are just that; assumptions. You have no idea at all what my political beliefs are… more than you know what my religious beliefs are. Much less knowing the quality of the person that I am.
        Yet you judge me anyway to be a “Pharasaical” hypocrite, while at the same time displaying, in the tone of your comment to me, what could only be described as a self-assessment of possessing a sanctity that is far superior to my own.
        Talk about the very Pharasaical pot calling the kettle black!
        Now, having not been a practicing Catholic for over thirty years, far be it from me to get into a bible quoting contest with such an obviously superior Christian as you. I mean, I AM a little rusty in that regard after all of these years. However, just let me say that a very famous Christian named Matthew (not sure on the last name) once wrote, “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”
        Tori, I disagreed with portions of what Pastor John wrote in his article. I responded to what he wrote in a strongly worded manner that challenged him to rethink what he wrote…..and maybe to feel some shame once he did. I, however, had EVERY right to question his remarks when they include him encouraging his followers to ostracize friends and family.

    • Thank you!!! I hope he takes your comments to heart and really thinks about the damage he has created by hit-pieces and click bait posts. I see no fruit from “creating distance” with others.

  51. You miss the whole point Tim. I don’t think John is calling anyone to ostricize themselves from anyone, it is just a result now of our culture. Why be around all this hate??? Now it is no longer “I disagree with you”, it is “I hate you and what to kill you!!!” What else can you do but stay away. We used to consider the cliche “What would Jesus do?” Would he buy a gun, would he call people SOB’s and make fun of them, would he never apologize, would he tell lies, would he bully women and those weaker, would he give financial breaks to the rich, would Jesus spread and applaud hate, even for his enemies? That is what is so shocking, so disappointing, so un-Christ like. Even if you do not believe in Christ, maybe we could at least try to use the “red letters” as a standard for behavior.

    • David,
      With respect, I disagree with you and do believe that Reverend John IS calling on people “to ostracize themselves” from others. What other conclusion can you draw from his statement of,
      “Right now there is a massive army of…..people concluding that for their health, they will need to create distance from people they once allowed close proximity”, especially when the whole gist of the article is “you aren’t alone and I am with you” (the gist, not a quote)?

      Also, lets’ assume that everything that you wrote in this part of your comment is true, that “…..would he call people SOB’s and make fun of them, would he never apologize, would he tell lies, would he bully women and those weaker, would he give financial breaks to the rich, would Jesus spread and applaud hate, even for his enemies? That is what is so shocking, so disappointing, so un-Christ like.” I assume from this that you are referring to President Trump. And again, let’s assume that all of it is true, 100%, no disagreement.

      Well, what was the choice in the election? Between what you stated about Trump or what I am about to write if Jesus was female, that “…..would she call people ‘Deplorables’ and make fun of them, would she never apologize, would she tell lies, would she bully women who accused her husband of harassment and rape, would she give influence to the rich who paid her or her husband or their foundation millions of dollars, would the female Jesus ignore hate when it came from Hollywood and gave her enough money? That is what would have been so shocking, so disappointing, so un-Christ like.” Again, to be fair, let’s assume that all of it is true, 100%, no disagreement.

      That was our choice…..Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton…..die of a heart attack or die of cancer! So, does that me SO wrong that I voted for Trump? That I’d rather die of a heart attack (Trump) than die of cancer (Hillary)? Does that make me SO wrong that friends and family should be encouraged by Reverend John from his electronic pulpit to ostracize me?

      • Hi Tim:
        Read your comments and then re-read Pastor John’s piece to determine if I’d missed something when I read it the first time. While I was better able to understand what you were saying, I came to the same conclusion about John’s message. I didn’t sense he was telling me I should separate myself from friends or family who supported DT but that I might be feeling I wanted, needed or had to in order to salvage what’s left of my mind. It was that reassurance that it’s okay to feel that way, that I wasn’t alone in feeling that way that helped me tremendously. That said, I also wanted to thank you for making a point I failed to consider, –a point that’s changed a personal perspective that needed to be changed. Our choices this past election were Trump, the Heart Attack Maker or Clinton, the Cancer Bequeather. Pretty dismal. My “lesser of two evils” vote was HRC; yours, an opponent. My spouse and BFF had to make the same choice you did and it’s taken me an entire year, a well intentioned post and comments from a man named Tim to finally understand that we all lost that day. Our kids lost; our grandkids lost; our country lost. Neither candidate was an acceptable choice; neither was, or is, worthy of leading this nation we call home. We are all worthy of so much more. Here’s hoping that in the future, we all demand so much more as well. Blessings —

        • Mary,
          Thanks for your kind reply. I think that we all have our imperfections, and we accept those imperfections in each other because to not do so would mean that we would have no friends in our lives. Plus, when we can see that the good outweighs the not so good by such a large margin, it is much easier to overlook those imperfections in friends.

          Unfortunately, using that measure, many of our politicians would not qualify to be your friend or mine. So we make our political choices using different measures.

          As far as friends are concerned though, a friendship should NEVER end, nor be affected, over who someone voted for, especially when the choices were like this past election between Trump and Clinton.

          Granted, if the friend is obnoxious about politics, constantly yammering on and on to the point of irritation (whether on the liberal side or conservative), then yes, you may need to separate yourself from that friend. However, for a person to just separate themselves from friends, or hold some grudge, simply because they have an opinion differing from theirs? The problem in that case lies within THAT person, not the person being shunned.

          I my case, the one I alluded to in the original comment, neither my wife nor I ever talk politics with friends… more than we would talk about their weight, or their sex life, or to ask about how much money they earn.

          We are, in fact, the EXACT same people that we were before Trump was elected…..the same beliefs, the same attitudes, and if I say so myself, the same caring, open-minded, accepting people that we have always been. Imperfect? Yes! But the exact same people that we always have been.

          Despite this, we now have three friends that are shunning us simply because the election did not go the way that these friends planned. And these were not simply casual friends either. The one had been my wife’s best friend for 44 years. And the thing of it was, the two of them NEVER talked politics. My wife is at a loss to understand her friend’s actions. The other two have been close friends with us for 35 plus years.

          The only comfort that my wife and I take in this is that we realize that the problem is within them…..not us.

          That is why I commented originally…..I was alarmed that a minister would be preaching to encourage people to shun others over an election result. However, that article was the first of Pastor John’s that I had ever read, and since then I can see (judging from his other posts and the sheer volume of his spite in these posts) that he is on a crusade against Trump and all things that don’t fit his view of the world…..that he uses hyperbole and hate as weapons in this crusade…..and that he is more a political commentator than a preacher.

          I have read very little “Word of the Lord” in his writings, and an abundance of the “Word of John”.

          That’s a shame.

  52. I’m not quite sure I understand the motivation behind this hit-piece on our President.
    The world is “crazy” because of SIN, not because of Trump. You’re getting it twisted sir.
    The world, our country in particular, has fallen victim to a host of issues in the past several decades, most notably (and probably recently in many readers minds) from the rotten fruit of the sexual revolution:
    Radical feminists promoting the legalization of their unborn children, the de-masculinization of men, the hook-up culture, the pandemic of pornography on the internet, fatherlessness, infidelity, sterilization, playing God in the lab and “designing” babies, etc etc etc. No fault divorce and then the legalization of same-sex “marriage” and now the most radical push of the LGBT lobby with transgenderism -a mental illness masked as something “positive” and the scariest of all – the indoctrination of Islam. We are in a hot mess with women calling themselves men, and men calling themselves women, denying their own God-given gender!! It’s so sad and heartbreaking to see all of this! Feminists shouting their abortion, the ACLU pushing for Christians to be punished for not baking a cake for a gay “wedding.” It really does feel like everyone has lost their minds. And I haven’t even mentioned poverty, guns, crime, homelessness and drug addictions. But you see, all of this has ZERO to do with who is sitting in the White House. This is a spiritual battle we are in and it’s up to us Christians (Catholic here!) to be the salt and light in this dark world. Put on the armor of God and get out there and speak the truth in love and MAN UP. We are not fighting our President – we are fighting the radical left ideology that seeks to destroy Christianity in America (just like they fought and basically destroyed Christian Europe). Wake up sir. You’re fighting the wrong enemy.

  53. John Pavlovitz,
    It confounds me that you (or someone) chose to use the image of a ‘woman in visible emotional distress’ to accompany your article.

    Use your own face next time.

  54. Exactly. I remind myself daily that what is going on is based in fear that’s been stoked and nurtured for the purpose of power, also based on fear. And noticing that my reaction is also based on fear. If I let myself devolve to that fear level and join the attacks I will be lost, if we don’t find a way to discuss the policies and stop pointing fingers then fear wins. The love required to overcome this is in us, the only chance for humanity is hidden in us, the pearl of great price. We must practice radical love and discuss with clarity and humility. Will love win?

  55. I appreciate this post! But oddly, I am grateful that some White Americans are perhaps now beginning to know just a fraction of the perpetual woundedness with which Black and Brown Americans have been living since… Europeans landed on this continent. Even when Obama was president, for me, racial assaults and hatred were a semi-regular danger where I live (not far from the birthplace of the KKK). My prayer is that this horror show from the White House will unite followers of Christ of all colors in greater compassion and empathy. Again, so thankful for John Pavlovitz and the likeminded!

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