So Long, Coach Richt

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Mark Richt isn’t the head coach of the Georgia Bulldogs anymore. I figured that I would say that someday. I hoped that I would say it after he announced his retirement while hoisting a national championship trophy. It didn’t work out that way.

Mark Richt inherited a very below average Georgia team. For years, the recruiting classes were great. But, for years, the teams were not. So the powers that be decided that it was time for a change. And that change came in the person of the young assistant coach from Florida State.

Richt’s impact was almost immediate. The words hobnailed boot are etched into the ears of Georgia fans because of Georgia’s win over Tennessee. The inexplicable string of losses to Georgia Tech came to an end. And eventually, there were SEC championships and a few national championship near misses. But, for all of his accomplishments, Coach Richt couldn’t win the game that mattered most. And that, in the eyes of many Georgia fans, meant that 15 years was long enough.

Richt was done in by the same thing that ruins almost every other coaching tenure. Unmet expectations. If you’re unfamiliar with the expectations that Georgia fans have for their head football coach before every season, here they are.

  1. Win the SEC Championship game.
  2. Win the National Championship game.
  3. Find some kid who looks just like Herschel Walker. Only faster. And bigger. And who shoots lasers out of his eyes at Auburn fans while galloping to the end zone for the seventh time in one game.
  4. Cure cancer.

Mark Richt failed miserably at meeting those expectations.

Here’s the part where I’m supposed to say that Richt exceeded expectations when it came to caring for and developing young men during some of the most important years of their lives. Sadly, most people don’t care about that sort of thing. They say that Richt would make a better chaplain than he does a coach. They say that supporting the man who brought the Dawgs to new levels is the equivalent of settling for mediocrity. In short, they say, “We want to be Alabama.”

And we probably will.

Sure, there’s a chance that our next coach could be the second coming of Nick Saban and have Georgia competing for a national title every year. But it’s more likely that we’ll become the Alabama of the late 90s. You know, the Alabama teams that only real Alabama fans cheered for. The teams that went through coach after coach in an effort to replace the Bear, even if it meant breaking rules. So yeah, we could end up being a lot like Alabama.

Roll Tide roll!

I was content with us just being Georgia. Maybe that makes me a mediocre kind of guy. Fine. I can live with that. Sure, I’d love to see Georgia win it all a few times a decade. But I don’t want Georgia to win so that I can find personal validation through a team.

Coach Mark Richt is the only Georgia coach that my kids have ever known. When I told them Sunday afternoon that he had been fired, they were confused.

“Why? He only lost three games!”

I didn’t know what to say to that so I just told them that some people expect you to win it all every year and are quick to get rid of you when you don’t. Welcome to the world of sports business/politics/organized crime, my sons.

Most of the experts are saying that Kirby Smart will be the Bulldog’s new coach. No matter who it is, I’ll still be cheering for the Dawgs. But it won’t be the same.

It won’t be the same because Mark Richt was more than just some loud mouth trying to convince injured young men that they weren’t really hurt just so they could add another win to his resume. He was a coach who cared an awful lot about winning. But he cared even more about the young men he was coaching.

Men like all-world running backs named Todd Gurley who called Richt, “The greatest coach of all time” when he found out about the firing.

Men like kicker Marshall Morgan who were reminded by Richt that one kick doesn’t make a life right before one of the biggest kicks of his life.

Men like walk on Chad Gloer who, when on the verge of being kicked out of school for missing too many classes, got a call from the head coach himself every morning at 8 just to make sure that there would be no sleeping in.

And even for the men who he didn’t coach. Men like Devon Gales who was seriously injured while playing against Georgia this season and was treated like he was part of the Georgia Bulldog family. Here’s what he had to say about Coach Richt being fired. “I am saddened to hear about Coach Richt’s firing. He is a wonderful coach, mentor, and man of God. He and the staff understand that football is about more than just winning, it’s about shaping, molding and influencing the lives of young men.”

There are an awful lot of folks in our state who have yet to learn that lesson.

Early on in Mark Richt’s time at Georgia, several players were starting to fight on the field. Bulldog safety Sean Jones saw it from the sidelines and headed onto the field to help his teammates. But Mark Richt cut him off. Standing in front of the NFL-bound defensive star, Richt simply held up his hand like a traffic cop. There was no screaming, cussing, hopping around or any of the other things that out of control coaches do to try to control their players. I’m not sure if he even spoke a word. But Sean Jones turned around and went back to the sidelines.

Sean Jones now helps Coach Richt with placing former Bulldog players with employers.

Losing a few more games isn’t what worries me the most about Mark Richt not being the coach of the Bulldogs anymore. The thing that really gets me is that maybe there won’t be an extended hand like the one that Sean Jones saw that one night. Maybe there won’t be a caring voice on the other end of the phone like there was when a suicidal former player called Richt for help.

A lot of coaches have won national titles.

But not a lot of coaches have done the really hard work that Coach Richt has done of molding young athletes into men of character and integrity.

And there is absolutely nothing mediocre about that.


You Are Going To Be Okay And There Is No Need To Worry


A while back, my son asked me about ISIS. He was scared. He had heard about them on the news and seen pictures of them dressed in black uniforms and holding knives. I tried to calm his fears with logic. Looking back, my logic was all wrong.

I told him that ISIS was small. They’re not.

I told him that ISIS wasn’t in our country. They are.

But the next thing that I told him was exactly right. One for three isn’t so bad, I guess.

I told him that we were going to be okay and that there was nothing to worry about.

We really are going to be okay. As followers of Christ, we may find ourselves hanging on crosses like some of our brothers and sisters in the Middle East. “Allahu Akbar” could be the last words that we hear spoken on this planet. But we are still going to be okay. Now, I didn’t go into quite that detail with my young son but my telling him that we were going to be okay was not just something that parents say to get their kids to quit worrying. It is truth. Gospel truth.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 (ESV)

Christian, no matter what ISIS does, you are going to be okay.

And you have nothing to worry about. That’s not a call to apathy. It doesn’t mean that you won’t find yourself in a situation where you have to fight to defend your loved ones. Rather, it is a reminder of Jesus’ complete control over all things. No matter what someone on earth does to destroy your life, family or country, no one can do anything to damage the infinitely better home that awaits you because of what Christ has done for you.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:3-7 (ESV)

There really is nothing to worry about because Jesus will see you through to the end. And, as all Christians know, the end is just when it starts to get good.

Christian, as you watch the news, as you think through scenarios, as you try to comfort your kids, as you pray for wisdom and courage and preparedness to handle whatever situations may come your way by the hands of ISIS, don’t worry about how big ISIS is. They are big enough. And don’t worry about whether or not they are here. They are. Instead, live your life in confidence based on what the One True God tells you in his word.

You are going to be okay and there is no need to worry.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.” Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:1-6 (ESV)

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Donald Trump’s Dangerous Idea About Mosques


There have been a few elections when, left with no other options, I wrote in Ric Flair’s name. When we elect a president a year from now, it appears that we may have the next closest thing to Mr. Flair on the ballot. His name is Donald Trump. The two do have quite a bit in common. Both command a lot of attention, they both are probably not as rich as they would have us to believe and in real life they both are friends with the people they pretend to be enemies with on TV.

Oh, and one other thing.

They both would make terrible presidents.

With each passing week, Mr. Trump proves my point. Recently, he suggested that, in order to fight ISIS, the government should shut down mosques. Here’s what he said.

“Well, I would hate to do it but it’s something you’re going to have to strongly consider. Some of the absolute hatred is coming from these areas. The hatred is incredible. It’s embedded. The hatred is beyond belief. The hatred is greater than anybody understands.”

And all the Trump fans cheer. But if you’re a Christian, or anyone else who cares about religious liberty for that matter, you should strongly oppose this. I know. It sounds good on the surface. Shut down the mosques. That’s where the terror talk is. That’s where the planning is taking place. That’s how we keep America safe.

This plan may lead to more safety but it won’t be America that we’re living in anymore. Perhaps China or the old Soviet Union but not America. That’s because America was founded on the foundation of religious liberty. Not Baptist liberty. Not even Christian liberty. Religious liberty.

To be fair, the Muslim faith hasn’t exactly done a stellar job of separating itself from terror over the years. And a lot of chatter and planning has taken place in mosques. But doesn’t it make better sense to go after the specific mosque that is harboring terrorists? If the mosque down the street is actually a terrorist recruiting center, tear it down, turn it into a BBQ restaurant and punish the people behind all of the terror.

Donald Trump would rather that we just go ahead and do that to every mosque right now. Can you imagine the precedent that Trump’s plan would set?

I’ll help you with that.

Imagine President Clinton or President Sanders saying the exact same words that Donald Trump said. Here they are again.

“Well, I would hate to do it but it’s something you’re going to have to strongly consider. Some of the absolute hatred is coming from these areas. The hatred is incredible. It’s embedded. The hatred is beyond belief. The hatred is greater than anybody understands.”

Of course Clinton or Sanders would never say this about a mosque, you might say. And you’d be right. But they very well could say the same thing about your evangelical church.

Maybe it would sound something like this.

“I hate to do it but it’s something we’ve strongly considered for quite some time. Some of the absolute hatred is coming from these areas. They won’t marry homosexuals. They oppose a woman’s right to choose. The hatred is incredible. It’s embedded. The hatred is beyond belief. The hatred is greater than anybody understands.”

If this happens, hopefully someone in your church has a nice basement for your church to meet in.

Islam is a demonic religion. Allah is a false god and Mohammed is a false prophet. Apart from Jesus Christ, Muslims, even the kindest and most sincere, will spend an eternity in hell. But religious liberty applies to them just as much as it does to us.

Sadly, Mr. Trump doesn’t seem to understand this.

And, even more disturbing, he just might have his name on the ballot next November.

Which means that I’ll have to write-in Ric Flair again.

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Being Cautious About Syrian Refugees Does Not Make You UnChristlike


Do you remember when Bruce Jenner became Caitlyn Jenner? In the blink of an eye, the former Olympian who I had not even thought about in two decades became a woman, went on the cover of a magazine and won an award from ESPN for being courageous. And I wasn’t even allowed to say, “Man, what is Bruce doing to himself? That’s weird.”

The tolerance police would have called my reaction hate speech.

And some Christians would have said that I wasn’t acting like Jesus for still calling him Bruce.

Both would have joined together to remind me of the importance of compassion.

Well, that same chorus is singing but this song is about the Syrian refugees who our country’s leadership is working hard to bring to the United States. Some Christians have stated that it is our duty as followers of Christ to show compassion to all (insert anywhere between 10,000 to 250,000) of these refugees. Nonbelievers have said the same thing. When nonbelievers start enlisting Jesus to help them prove a political point, look out. It’s about to get interesting.

If you have second thoughts about letting these refugees in, some would say, you value comfort over compassion and your faith simply isn’t radical enough. However, most of those same folks probably go to sleep at night behind the comfort of a door that they locked to keep out unwanted guests who probably just wanted to come in and eat in peace. The nerve!

Perhaps it would help us to take a look at what it means to be compassionate.

One time I was with my wife and small child when we saw a lady who needed a ride. I’m sure that you’ll forgive me for profiling but this lady appeared to be on drugs. I offered her a ride and she accepted. So there we were. Me, my wife, my infant son and some lady who we were all hoping wasn’t carrying a shiv. Finally, our short but anxious trip was over when we dropped her of at a location which, for the record, was not a church building.

It was a quiet ride home after that.

Later, my wife shared some wisdom with me in a very kind way. That’s one of the things that I love about her. She expressed to me that my compassion toward that woman could have very easily turned into a lack of compassion toward my wife and son. Quite simply, I put those under my immediate care in unnecessary danger.

So I read the story of the Good Samaritan to my wife and yelled at her for not being radical enough.

Not really. She was right. There were other options. For one, I could have called a cab for the lady and paid for it myself.

When it comes to allowing thousands of Syrian refugees into our country, there are other options besides, “Bring them on in. WWJD?!”

First, if we really want to talk about compassion, perhaps we should take a minute to think about what created all of this in the first place. It was the United States, along with help from other equally misguided western nations, that helped to create this monster we now call ISIS. That’s not just an Obama problem. It’s not just a Bush problem. It’s a horrific American foreign policy problem that has been going on for decades. When we needlessly topple foreign leaders and create even worse terror groups to take their place, it may be too late and our nation may be too complicit for any call for compassion to be taken seriously.

We must also consider the very real possibility that there is more than meets the eye with some refugees. According to the United Nations, an overwhelming majority of these refugees from the Mediterranean region, not just Syria, are men. According to Time, they are fighting age men. Now that could be because they don’t want to fight in Syria and they are leading the way to scope out a new home, church and little league soccer team to enjoy with their wives and kids. Or it could be what we might refer to as a soft invasion. Either way, shouldn’t we at least take the time to think about this?

Is it really unChristlike to question the narrative when it has already been documented that at least one refugee agency does not track refugees once they enter the country and that one of those refugees has already gone missing?

Despite what some may say, being cautious about allowing thousands of young men into our country who may or may not be here to attack us is not unChristlike. You could even make the case that it is very Christlike.

“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Jesus said that in Matthew 10:16. But it doesn’t sound very radical, does it? That’s because most of us have grown to believe that compassion and common sense cannot work together when in reality they are two sides of the same coin. If you don’t believe me, try writing your name, social and checking account number on the bathroom wall of some place where someone in need might be able to find it. Get back to me and let me know how the rest of your family feels about your so-called compassion.

Yes, we must be compassionate and we must remember that we are a nation of immigrants. But we also must be wise. And there’s nothing wise or compassionate about trusting the same government that cannot adequately handle public schools to somehow take care of thousands of refugees from the current headquarters of global terrorism.

Christians, show compassion. Even when it’s hard. Obey what Jesus said, even when it involves the illegal immigrant who lives two doors down from you. But do all of that because you love Jesus, not because those who created the problem in the first place are condemning you for not jumping on board with their proposed solution.

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We All Get Along With Each Other Just Fine


I eat a Thanksgiving meal two times a year. The more traditional one is with my family on Thanksgiving Day. We eat all of the usual foods and watch the Detroit Lions find creative new ways to embarrass themselves on national television.

The other meal takes place the Sunday before Thanksgiving. People from my church make a bunch of food and we take it to the Jackson Housing Authority. We don’t just serve food to our friends over there. We eat it with them. It’s one of my favorite meals of the year.

Most of the people at the housing authority are black. Most of the folks at my church are white. But, despite the best efforts of the professional agitators in our culture, we all get along with each other just fine.

In that small community room and the garage connected to it, people are just eating. There’s really nothing complex about it. It’s not a summit on race relations. No one stands up and apologizes for something terrible that happened 200 years ago. I don’t even preach a sermon. Yet somehow, we all get along with each other just fine.

There are no safe zones in the room where we eat together. There are no debates. There is a lot of laughter. And eating. There’s something about sharing food from the same pot that makes you put aside your differences. It’s hard to hate each other when you both have potato salad on your chin. During this meal, a lot of us have potato salad on our chins and we all get along with each other just fine.

Our Thanksgiving meals probably won’t do much to fix the racial chaos that is happening in our country. It won’t do anything to stop whatever racial slurs may have been said at some college campus. It won’t keep rich kids from going on hunger strikes. But while we’re eating that meal in Jackson, Georgia, we’re all getting along with each other just fine.

For one night at least, the racial turmoil we see on the news is exposed for the foolishness that it really is while we all laugh and eat together. And during that time, we’re all reminded that racial healing will never come through hashtag activism, guilt trips, racial superiority or government programs.

And during that one night, there is no Black Lives Matter, no KKK and no news media.

And we all get along with each other just fine.

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The Real Deal

Tim Tebow getting cut by an NFL team is not Christian persecution.

A non-Christian coffee company acting like a non-Christian coffee company is not Christian persecution.

The following video gives just one small example of what Christian persecution looks like.

If you fell all to pieces over a red cup, you’ve got some work to do before the real deal comes your way. But hurry. There may not be much time.

A Few Words For The People Who Think That College Should Be Free


Don’t go.

Or if you’re already there, drop out.

College drop outs have gone on to do tremendous things with their lives. You could be one of them. Contrary to popular opinion, you can live a fulfilling life without a college diploma.

But you think that a college diploma is your right.

Why? Where is this written?

The Bible? The Magna Carta? The Constitution?

No, no and no. The Constitution does speak of our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Here’s the trick. Your pursuit of happiness can’t cut in on someone else’s pursuit of happiness. When it does, it stops becoming a right and starts becoming criminal.

I don’t blame you for this. Most likely, you’ve been raised to believe that it’s all about you. You were probably given trophies for being on little league teams that went 2 and 14. And, most likely, you attended a school where babysitting and indoctrination took priority over education. So it’s not all your fault.

Someone has to break it down for you and since no one has up until this point. I’m happy to do the job.

Maybe college isn’t for you. I know. I know. It’s your dream. I get it. I had a dream too. My dream was to be a starting running back in the NFL. Things came to a screeching halt for me when I was about 12. So I found something else to do. I didn’t try to force my dream on others. I just found a new one. You should do the same thing.

There is another option but I’m afraid that you’re going to like it even less. It’s just one word. Risk. If you really want to go to college, take out a loan to pay for it and hope that you can get a good enough job to pay that loan off in a timely manner. So you might want to switch your major from Studies of Lesbian Culture As It Relates to Reality Television to something a bit more practical. Maybe law.

Here’s the first rule of economics. Are you ready?

Nothing is free.


Even if you get something for free, someone else is paying for it. And I know that you think that you’re sticking it to The Man by making him pay for it. You’re not. You’re actually sticking it to yourself. You see, if you keep making The Man pay for everything, he won’t have enough money to create a job that could’ve been yours. And eventually, he and all of his other one percenters will leave the country. After enough of them leave, guess what. You become a one percenter. So, Mister One Percenter, are you ready to pay for other people to go to school so that they can get a worthless degree in Sociological Metaphors in the Music of Drake?

I didn’t think so.

You have two options. Take the risk that your diploma will be worth enough to pay back your loans without everyone else’s help or just go find a job working retail or driving a delivery truck. Those jobs are no less important than any other job on the planet. Here’s the thing. If you work really hard, show up everyday, go more than three hours without stopping to Snap Chat someone about how terrible your boss is and try not to stage any walk outs, you might just get a promotion. And if that keeps going, you may even work your way into a position where your employer willingly pays for you to go to school. Or, better yet, you might figure out that you’re already making more money than your friends with college degrees.

Imagine that!

And before too long, you’ll be moving on up in the world. You may even find yourself making $300,000 a year. Oh, but wait a minute. That would put you in the the top one percent.

Now you’re the evil, rich scum.

Once you reach your new tax bracket, you’ll probably change your tune about making the top one percent pay a 90% income tax rate so that some kid you’ve never met can go to school to learn about the impact of Taylor Swift’s music on plant life.

Contrary to what you’ve heard, there’s no shame in stepping away from something you can’t afford.

But there’s plenty of shame in calling that thing a right and making someone else pay for it.

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It’s Okay To Be A Regular Christian


Stop beating yourself up. Jesus never called you to be a celebrity. All he asks of you is your obedience.

People love celebrities and Christians are no exception. We have our own set of authors, singers and pastors who have impacted us and who we may even try to be like. While it’s good to have an example to follow, sometimes our lives can look mundane in comparison to theirs. After all, we’ve never preached to thousands, written a best seller or won a Grammy.

What does it look like to live a life devoted to Jesus when the most radical thing you’ll do today is changing a diaper without getting sprayed? We can find our answer from an unlikely source.

You could make an argument that Paul was the church’s first celebrity. He already had a nasty reputation for being violently opposed to Jesus and the church. He was converted to Jesus and by Jesus in dramatic fashion. He was publicly tortured. He traveled great lengths to share the gospel with others and establish churches. And on top of all of that, he wrote a large portion of the New Testament.

And what did you do today, you loser?

It’s near the end of Paul’s life that we find an example of what it means to be a regular Christian.

He lived there two whole years at his own expense, and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. Acts 28:30-31 (ESV)

Paul was a prisoner at this point. But those two years in chains weren’t wasted years for Paul or the Kingdom of God. They were years marked by obedience.

If you’ve grown up in the church, these verses probably look familiar to you. Perhaps they’ve even been the source of encouragement, strength and spiritual growth.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Ephesians 6:10 (ESV)

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (ESV)

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. Colossians 3:23-24 (ESV)

Those are just some of the New Testament letters that Paul wrote while he was a prisoner. The words that the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write some two thousand years ago are still helping people today. You won’t be writing any new additions to Scripture during your seemingly mundane life. Well, unless you plan on starting a cult and I wouldn’t recommend that. Still, don’t underestimate the fruit of your obedience. Your life may be boring or it may seem to be on hold but if it is devoted to Jesus, it is not lived in vain. Your so-called boring routine could very well be making an impact on someone else.

The prison chains that Paul wore didn’t stop people from coming to see him. Acts says that Paul welcomed them all. He knew that people don’t just enter our lives by coincidence. You may not preach before thousands but over the course of your life, God brings about that many to you for his purposes. Be intentional about getting to know the people who enter your life. God put them there for a reason.

But it’s more than just being nice to strangers and friends. The people who came to meet Paul heard him, “Proclaiming the kingdom of God” and “Teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ.” None of us has influence or connections that Paul had. But we do have the same story that he told. God probably hasn’t put you in a place where you regularly have to explain your views on the end times but my guess is that he regularly puts you in situations where you have the opportunity to speak about Jesus. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a preacher. If all you can say is some version of, “I once was lost but now I’m found,” you can count on somehow being used by God.

And besides, you aren’t on your own in this. Paul obeyed Jesus, “With all boldness and without hindrance,” because of the power of God on him. You have that same power.

I’ve never preached to thousands of people but on more than one occasion I showed up to preach and was the only one there.

I’ll never win a Grammy and you probably won’t either.

So what?

Only one thing matters and that’s living a life of joyful obedience to Jesus, whether we live in a war zone or the suburbs. Whether you’re in jail, the suburbs or in the green room of the Tonight Show getting ready to tell Jimmy your testimony, that’s where God wants you to be, for this moment at least. So make the most of it. Do your best to live for his purposes.

No matter where you are.

And no matter how mundane your life may seem.

The best is yet to come.

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Missouri And Yale: We Now Return To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming

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I’ve finally figured out what started the low-grade war that is currently raging on the campuses of Yale and the University of Missouri. It has nothing to do with Halloween or some guy in some truck yelling a racial slur at some student.

We can find the source of the problem at a little league soccer game.

Allow me to explain.

I was standing with my son, waiting for his game to start. The current game was winding down and things were getting intense like they usually do among the parents of six-year-old soccer players. At about midfield, two boys collided. There was nothing special about the collision. It clearly wasn’t malicious and I had seen my own sons endure much worse.

But the mother of one of the fallen boys apparently had not.

The fall happened right in front of her. The kid looked up at her and she forgot the first rule of parenting. Never make eye contact with your child when he thinks that he’s hurt but really isn’t. As soon as their eyes met, the kid screamed. The mother sprung out of her chair and walked out onto the field to pick up her son. In typical soccer fashion, the game carried on.

The mother walked her allegedly wounded child over to the other side of the field. As she did, the coach, who happens to be from another country, was in disbelief. I’m sure that he was second guessing his decision to relocate to the States.

“What are you doing? There’s nothing wrong with him.”

And there wasn’t.

But there is now.

The grown up version of that kid is now on the campuses of Yale, Missouri and a host of others and he’s a viral YouTube sensation for all of the wrong reasons. For years, parents have done everything for their children. And in so doing, they have done nothing for their children. Mom’s have made a big deal out of phantom injuries and have indirectly trained their kids to be whiners. Dad’s have seen it as their responsibility to finance every dream of their kids, even if it means allowing their daughters to play defensive tackle on the high school football team and have thus raised little gods and goddesses who don’t know how to cope when they leave home and find that the rest of the world doesn’t care so much about their dreams.

On top of all of that, when mom and dad do decide to land the helicopter and give the kids some space for an hour or two, television or some video game steps in to fill the parental void. Have you ever noticed what is said after a television show is interrupted for breaking news? “We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.” And that’s just what they’re doing. Programming.

So as a result, you have a generation of coddled, ill-prepared kids who see themselves as the hero in some social justice docudrama. And, when other authorities don’t give them their weekly Robin Williams to Matt Damon “It’s not your fault” hug like mom and dad did, well, shut down the campus quad because the safe zone is about to take over.

But there’s something else at play here.

There are people behind the scenes. It’s the “they” group you and I always talk about when we say, “They don’t want that” or, “They want to take that away from you.” In this case, they want to divide and conquer. And, in this country at least, there’s no better place to do that than on a college campus full of pre-programmed self-identifiying social justice warriors. And there’s no better way to kick things off than by reminding people of how offended they’re supposed to be.

So, Instead of simply not going to a Halloween party because you’re afraid that some costume there might offend you, you have to fight to shut down the entire holiday and then drop F Bombs on a professor when he commits the terrible crime of only listening to you and not agreeing with you.

Instead of dealing with a racist on your own, you have to call for the school president’s head because he didn’t get out of his car to get yelled at by you during a homecoming parade and because he hasn’t rushed right in to join some student’s hunger strike.

Instead of simply ignoring some offensive remark, you now have the campus police asking you to report “hurtful speech.”

What would Rosa Parks say about all of this?

“Wait, you’re upset over what now? I fought for respect and equality and you’re fighting over a Bruce Jenner costume?”

Something like that.

All of this comes together to form what appears to be the beginning of a very public collapse of our nation. And as much as we’d like to blame the government, we can’t for this one. They’re just taking advantage of an opportunity. An opportunity that would likely never have been there if more parents had just kept their seats when their kids fell down and prepared them to deal with pain and disappointment at an early age.

Free speech was once welcomed on the college campus like nowhere else. It was a place where people were encouraged to paint, say or do whatever was within their constitutional rights. It produced a lot of weird stuff but weird stuff is protected too. Not anymore, at least on some college campuses. Now, the truth is weird. Facts are weird. Politely disagreeing is weird. Now, the mob of overgrown kids who were raised by helicopter parents and programmed by television, has determined that constitutional rights are just plain wrong.

On the campuses of Missouri and Yale, the mob is winning.

That should scare you. Because a mob, perhaps you know it by it’s better known and less abrasive name – democracy, is nothing more than two wolves and a sheep deciding what’s for dinner.

Right now, our constitution is for dinner.

And if you love liberty, you might be next.

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Red Cup Rage


It has all of the ingredients.

There’s the large corporation taking traditional Christmas symbols off of their product.

And there’s the large group of people ridiculing those Christians who have a problem with the decision.

I should say that it has all the ingredients except for one. The one thing that’s missing in this latest skirmish in the culture wars is the multitudes of Christians who have a problem with the red Starbucks cup. Ten or twenty? Maybe. But not multitudes.

It all started when Starbucks decided to go simple with the designs on their cups this holiday season. Instead of Christmas trees and snowflakes, the cups are just red. Presumably, they did this so that you can more clearly see how they misspell your name.

I first heard of the Starbucks decision on Facebook. I didn’t find out because a few dozen of my fellow believers asked me to sign some petition against Starbucks. And I didn’t find out about it because another pastor updated his status in ALL CAPS IN ORDER TO INFORM US THAT STARBUCKS IS BEING RUN BY THE ANTICHRIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I found out about it by other Christians who were saying how stupid it is to get mad at Starbucks for not putting Christmas trees on their cups. I spend a lot of time with Christians. Not one of them has come to me in outrage about Starbucks cups. Not once have I overheard two of them talking about how the red Starbucks cup is the fulfillment of an end times prophecy from Ezekiel.

Yes, I know. Some evangelist out west wrote a now viral Facebook post about how the red cup means that Starbucks, “Hates Jesus.” Another pastor in Florida vowed never to shop there again. Also, there are a few people who are telling baristas that their name is Merry Christmas in a ridiculous effort to stick it to the man in Seattle. And, in a wonderful piece of irony, I saw a news site that quoted a woman who said of Starbucks’ supposed anti-Christian decision, “Let them go bankrupt. Screw them.” Now doesn’t that sound like it just came straight out of the Sermon on the Mount?

But other than that, I’ve heard nothing from other Christians. No rage. No threats. Just outrage against an outrage that appears to be regional at best.

Christians do stupid things. Some of them read fake news sites and pass them off as real. Others get mad about all of the wrong things and trick unsuspecting twenty-somethings into writing Merry Christmas on their cups. We should hold one another accountable when those things happen. But we should also do the terribly unpopular job of standing up for one another when we are being misrepresented.

Start a sentence off with, “I’m a Christian but…” and you’re sure to get a lot of likes and cyber pats upon the back from the culture.

Start a sentence off with, “I’m a Christian and you’ve got us wrong on this,” and crickets chirp. Or you get a cease and desist.

I’m not saying that there aren’t people out there who would like nothing more than to take Starbucks down over a red cup. I’m just saying that, thankfully, they’re the minority. Every Christian I know thinks that the moral outrage over the red cup is ridiculous.

All of this is just more proof that we aren’t taking the time to get to know one another. When our interactions primarily occur over a keyboard rather than over a table say at, I don’t know, Starbucks, we tend to allow one or two people to define an entire movement. So every black person is a card carrying member of Black Lives Matter. Every sports fan is a lunatic who gambles his life savings away and neglects his family. And every Christian is ready to set fire to the nearest Starbucks.

Starbucks doesn’t like for customers to carry weapons into their stores. People do it anyway. The higher ups at Starbucks aren’t exactly passing out John Piper books to the first 50 customers each morning. But Christians still go there. And the ones I know will keep on going there, take their read cup with a smile and enjoy the $15 worth of coffee that’s inside.

There are a lot of things to get mad about these days.

A red cup isn’t one of them.

All of the Christians I know understand that. They’re okay with a red cup and they never expect the name of the Christ Child to be printed on the side.

Besides, it would probably be misspelled anyway.

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