The Weinstein Predicament

In recent months, a few high powered celebrities have been exposed as sexual predators. Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein is the most recent assailant to be accused. Before him, it was a few of the boys at Fox News. As you might expect, rather than condemning the evil for what it is, we’ve politicized it. It’s what Americans do.

If our reactions to these disturbing stories were a script, here’s what it would look like.

Republican: “Our sexual predator is less deranged than your sexual predator.” Leans away from the keyboard and smugly folds arms, admiring his stance for truth.

Democrat: “No, our sexual predator is less deranged than your sexual predator.” Lowers megaphone and folds arms, admiring his stance for truth.

Evangelical: “We have determined that the Republican sexual predator is the lesser of two evils so we have decided to throw our full, unquestioning support behind him.” Takes his seat at the table, folds arms, and silently wonders why no one listens to his stance for truth.

Regardless of popular opinion, Christians do not have to speak out on every issue. In fact, it’s probably best if we stay silent on some things, especially those things that we do not fully understand. Complex issues are usually made worse when we try to solve them in 140 characters.

Of course, there are times when Christians do need to speak up, namely in response to evil. But it is of utmost importance that our responses are consistent. If we have condoned evil from a group that we identify with only to condemn the exact same evil when it is committed by the folks on the other side, we forfeit our right to be heard. Sure, our blind partisan support may earn us a seat at the table but it will leave us with nothing to say and no one foolish enough to listen. What does it profit a man to gain a seat at the table and lose his soul?

It’s time to call off our affair with political parties. Actually, that time came long ago but now will do. Otherwise, rather than being salt and light in a decaying and dark world, we will be clanging cymbals in a band that is already way off key. Rather than being peacemakers, we will be side takers. Rather than serving the Lord we will be slaves to earthly overlords.

Evil, regardless of who does it, is still evil. It is not bound by political party or confined to that group on the other side. It doesn’t only take up residence with them. It can be found in us. It can be found in me. All of us need the gospel.

It has been said that those who knew about the actions of these sexual predators but did nothing to stop them are complicit in their evil. I’ll leave it to people smarter than me to figure that one out. But I can tell you that when the Church sends out inconsistent messages regarding evil for fear of losing political clout, it ceases to be the Church and instead settles for being an arm of a political party. This happens on the right and on the left and it must stop.

Jesus told us to take up our cross and follow him. I’m afraid that some who call themselves Christians have put down the cross and picked up their favorite political personality’s dirty laundry and followed him instead.

Jesus will have none of this.

And neither should we.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Isaiah 5:20 (ESV)

 

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A Political Warning For The Church

Silver Islet, Sleeping Giant / Sibley Peninsula, Ontario, Canada

There are a few people in my church who will be voting for Hillary Clinton. There are more who will vote for Donald Trump. And then there’s me. I’ll find someone else to vote for because I don’t like either candidate.

But I love the people in my church, regardless of who they’re voting for.

We really need to be careful. This election year has been more intense than any I have ever seen. The country is divided. It’s been divided for a while but the divisions are becoming more and more obvious. And if we don’t watch out, those divisions will find their way into our churches.

Two emotions seem to rule our political age. They are anger and worry. People are angry with the way that politicians are representing them. And for good reason. But inevitably, that anger toward a broken system usually redirects itself toward other people. We’re not just angry at Washington D.C. We’re angry with one another.

And we’re afraid. Some are afraid of what might happen if Hillary is elected and rules the country with her progressive agenda. Others fear the chaos of a nation led by President Trump.

With that in mind, the words Paul wrote to the Philippian church two thousand years ago seem like they were written this morning.

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Philippians 4:2 (ESV)

Some issue had divided these two Christian women. It’s interesting that Paul doesn’t simply tell them to figure out how to get along. And he doesn’t tell them to find some common interest that they can agree on. If he were writing it today, Paul wouldn’t tell these women to vote for the same person. Instead, he tells them to agree, “in the Lord.”

Everyone in our churches won’t vote the same. There will be people who have different opinions on education, state politics and who the next president should be. And not everyone will agree with the pastor’s political views. We shouldn’t want that. An assembly where everyone shares the same views on every single cultural issue is more like a cult than a unified body.

So the source of our unity will not be our politics. For the church, Christ is what binds us together. At the appropriate times, we can have discussions on school choice and Hillary and Donald. And we can agree to disagree. But we must always find agreement in the reality that Jesus Christ is the crucified and living God who died for the sins of his people and is coming again.

There’s another “in the Lord” phrase in this passage.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4 (ESV)

The answer to your fear of Hillary is not found in Donald Trump. Your worries over a Trump presidency will not ultimately be relieved by a Clinton presidency. Yep, you guessed it. The remedy to our fears are found, “in the Lord.”

When we place our identity in a political party or candidate, consuming fear is a natural result. But when we realize that as believers our identity is found in Christ, we really start to respond to scary situations differently.

Instead of doubting God’s sovereign control, we worship him (Philippians 4:4).

Instead of lashing out at others, we treat them with grace and love, knowing that the Lord is always near (Philippians 4:5).

And rather than allowing ourselves to become consumed with fear, we take our concerns to God in prayer (Philippians 4:6).

That’s when we experience the peace of God (Philippians 4:7).

In just under a month, we will elect a new president. That new president will have a lot of power. But the next president of the United States will not have the power to heal fractured relationships. And that president will not have the power to bring genuine peace to our hearts and minds.

So, no matter our political differences, let’s remember to love each other. And let’s not believe those who profit from preaching a gospel of fear. Let’s not look to Hillary or Donald to give us what can only be found in the Lord.

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A Refresher On The Lesser Of Two Evils Approach

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The house my father grew up in didn’t have air conditioning. Instead, there were several strategically placed electric fans. This being before the days of warning labels and safety standards, about the only thing separating the blades of the fan from the fingers of a child was something that kind of resembled a punter’s face mask from the early 1960s. That is to say, not much.

One day my dad asked his mother what would happen if he stuck his finger in the fan. In her typical fashion, my grandmother said something along the lines of, “Stick your finger in there and find out.”

Not wanting to be disobedient, my dad stuck his finger in the fan.

To the best of my knowledge, that was the last time my dad ever stuck his finger in a fan. Lesson learned.

Conservative voters aren’t quite as astute as my father. They just keep on voting for the lesser of two evils. They can’t quit touching the fan and hoping for different results.

Now that it looks as though Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will be facing one another in the general election, people have already started saying that not voting for the Donald is about the same as voting for Hillary. There is no perfect candidate. Pick the lesser of two evils and get along with life.

While I agree that there is no perfect candidate, this lesser of two evils approach begs the question. Where do we draw the line?

This year, voters will be choosing between a loud mouth crooked politician who supports Planned Parenthood and a loud mouth womanizing businessman who supports Planned Parenthood. Which one exactly is the lesser of two evils again? Oh, the loud mouth womanizing businessman who financially supported the loud mouth crooked politician is the lesser of two evils because he wants to build a wall. Got it.

Many have said that the rise of Bernie Sanders is evidence that our government education system, along with a little help from helicopter parents and participation trophies, has failed us. I agree.

But this works both ways.

The rise of Donald Trump is a result of media pundits with no real principle other than being mad at the other party.

If we truly want to make America great again, we need to look beyond the lunatic in the red hat and look in the mirror. We need to stop voting for a party and start voting on principle. The more we vote for the alleged lesser of two evils, the more principle we give away.

When our principles run no deeper than Anyone But The Democrat or I’m Fed Up, Donald Trump is what we get.

Over the years, conservatives have been given big government politicians, big government family dynasties and big government businessmen and been told to just go with the lesser of two evils. Now that’s gotten us a big government reality TV star.

But there is one thing we can be thankful for this election cycle. We should all be glad that another reality star didn’t decide to run for president on the Republican ticket. If Kim Kardashian decided to run as a Republican and said mean things to Megyn Kelly and Rosie O’Donnell, she’d already be measuring her solid gold drapes for the windows of the White House.

And those of us who recognized the absurdity of electing her as our next president would be told to simmer down and vote for the lesser of two evils. “She’s going to build a wall and make Kanye pay for it,” they might say.

So thank you Kim, for not running. My guess is that you’d probably run the country off a cliff within the first week of your presidency. Such an accomplishment will take President Trump a solid month.

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Bloody Hands

About this picture ... Parallel to the work 366er, I work on a "52 weeks" project. Weekly theme: Paparazzi As Paparazzi often earns "blood money", so I shot this bloody hands ... But my other picture made it and so this picture "just" will be my daily one ... Über dieses Bild ... Paralell zum 366er, arbeite ich an einem 52 Wochen Projekt. Wochenthema: Paparazzi Da Paparazzi`s oft "Blutgeld" verdienen habe ich versucht dies mit diesen blutigen Händen umzusetzen. Da ich dann aber doch noch eine andere Idee hatte, wird dieses Bild "nur" mein Foto des Tages ;) --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Visit me @ Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Skley.Photography

Several years ago I was in a wreck. A guy was parked on the side of the road in, get this, a tow truck. I waited behind him before it became obvious that he wasn’t going to move within the next few minutes. I slowly drove around. That’s about the time that he decided to move. I was going 0 MPH. He was maybe doing 5 MPH. So it wasn’t a very violent wreck. The violence that did take place was all directed at my automobile.

When the police officer showed up I thought things would work out pretty quickly in my favor. I was wrong. The two truck driver told a different story. And the officer seemed to believe him. He even wrote me a ticket. Apparently getting hit by a tow truck driver who also happened to be driving without a license was illegal in that town.

I was angry.

But there was hope.

The accident happened right in front of the drive-thru window of that town’s small community bank. The lady on the other side of that window saw the whole thing.

Finally! Justice was working in my favor. All I had to do was get the lady at the bank to talk to the officer. Things were looking up for me.

I was happy.

But not for long.

That lady who was working at the bank and who saw everything that happened didn’t want to talk. It was none of her business and she wanted to keep it that way.

I went back to being angry.

I just finished watching another undercover video where the evil practices of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s number one abortion provider were exposed. On Monday night, I saw another one. The first video showed abortionists at a conference laughing about a murdered baby’s eyeballs falling. In the second video, the abortionists talked about how “cute” and “amazing” the heart was of one of her victims. She went on to speak of how much she, “respects development.”

Over ten similar videos have been released since this summer. The Democratic Party has reacted by standing strong on their party platform of child murder. The Republican Party responded to the videos by creating show votes that they knew would never get anywhere just so that they could say that they tried, all the while not upsetting their financial backers too much. If Republican representatives in this country were actually as pro-life as they would like for us to believe, these videos would never had to have been made in the first place. Say what you want about the Democrats but at least they’re consistent. They pretty much tell you that they’re pro-death in their party platform and when it comes down to it, they stick to their guns.

And the American people are really no better. Most of them respond to the horrors documented in these videos by wondering who’s up next on The Bachelor.

We are all the lady sitting at the drive-thru window at the bank that day. We can’t play dumb any longer. Through the wonders of undercover video and the Internet, the tragic events have played out right before us. To do and say nothing is an injustice.

The abortionists in these videos who laugh about killing babies while eating salad and adding up dollar signs in their heads aren’t the only bad guys here. The politicians who use the force of government to fund these operations are just as guilty. So too are the so-called conservative politicians at both the state and federal level who say what their constituents want to hear but who don’t have enough courage to do what God wants them to do.

Eventually, that lady at the bank came out to the scene of the accident. She reluctantly told the officer what she saw and went back to her seat at the drive-thru. I was glad that she said something before it was too late. The officer tore up my ticket. Justice won that day.

But it is losing now. And it’s losing bad.

All because half of our representatives in D.C., including our president, are okay with killing babies. But that doesn’t bother me as much as it used to. I’ve come to expect it from the left in this country.

What really bothers me is the people on the right. You know, the ones who claim to be all for God and country. The ones who are supposedly strong against abortion. The ones who can’t be bothered to do anything about it when the opportunity presents itself.

So if there is one thing that most certainly is a bipartisan effort from our state and federal representatives, one thing they they can finally find common ground on, it is this.

The blood of the unborn is on their hands.

And it’s everyone’s business.

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Little League Girls Softball And Our Next President

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There’s some shady business going on in the world of little league girls softball.

An Oregon softball team was expected to move on to the final round of the Little League World Series. They had been the most dominant team in the tournament. They were a lock to win it all. But, just to be sure and knowing that they would advance to the finals anyway, they intentionally lost a semi-final game, thus eliminating the team with the best chance of beating them. The Oregon team, known as South Snohomish, rested their four best players and had the ones who did play strike out on purpose. Allegedly. The previously unstoppable team was beaten 8-0.

Their plan was coming together nicely.

Without ever having to go through the trouble of actually facing them, they eliminated their toughest opponent and set themselves up for an easy championship by playing against a weaker opponent.

It seems as though this sort of activity is all the rage these days.

Think about it.

What would you do if you had a lot of influence, no morals and wanted the most powerful position in the world? I can tell you what I would do.

I would run for president. I would then get a close friend and former financial backer to run for president in a completely different party.

I’d have him change his positions to match that party’s key talking points.

I’d have him talk loud and hard about things that have Republicans, and most other Americans for that matter, really worked up.

I’d have him, despite his endless wealth and influence, play the role of the anti-establishment victim.

I’d have him convince the people that he was just keeping it real when he said foolish things about women.

And, he would win his party’s nomination.

I would have the benefit of defeating my toughest opponents, the fresh faces with actual ideas, without ever having to face them. My friend and former financial backer would take care of that for me.

Finally, when we went head to head in the presidential election, I would have my opponent and friend’s head on a platter. Nothing violent, mind you. He would just give it to me.

His previous comments regarding women that earned him so much praise a few months earlier would now be used against him.

His financial swagger and arrogance would be used as examples of the failures of capitalism.

I would win the office of president while my opponent and friend went back to his old job of paying off politicians. When you think about it, we would both win. My political underhandedness would win me the presidency. His power, money and connections would win him the person in the office.

Me.

The only real loser would be the American people.

But what do they know anyway?

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I Predict, 2015

Here’s what’s going to happen in 2015. Trust me on this.

Politics

Through the cutting edge research of one of its top donors, Cobra Industries, the Democratic Party will develop a way to bring back an old hero to run for president in 2016. Joseph Stalin.

In typical fashion, the Republican Party will follow suit. But they won’t have to bring anyone back from the dead. They’ll just give us one of the Bush brothers. Jeb, to be exact.

Before the year is over, Stalin and Bush will emerge as the two likely candidates for 2016. Conservatives will encourage us to vote for the lesser of two evils. It’ll take most of us the better part of the year to figure out which one that is. By the time November of 2016 rolls around, only 300 people will care enough to vote. Twenty-five people will vote for Stalin. Fifty people will vote for W’s brother. 225 people vote for one of the Kardashians. If we’re still around, let me know how that works out. You can write me at the following address.

Rural Route 1

Gretzky Orr, Greenland 45612

Race Relations

Race relations in this country will actually improve after people finally get fed up and decide to start obeying the following self-imposed rules.

1. We shall no longer listen to what someone has to say about race if that someone calls himself a reverend but does not actually go to or pastor a church or if that someone is the host of a show on Fox News, MSNBC or CNN.

2. We shall make every effort to enjoy a nice meal with people who do not look or think like us. At said meal we will discuss what troubles us. We will be free to disagree but only under the condition that we have another meal together real soon.

3. I’ll bring the sweet tea and gluten-free brownies.

Freedom

A police department in the northwest will confess to buying a tank so that they can use it to fight against people who own guns and believe in the Constitution. Oh, sorry. That happened in 2014.

Sports

The Atlanta Falcons will make history by becoming the first team to make it to the Super Bowl with a losing record, get beaten by more than 75 points in that Super Bowl, fire their coach and general manager and continue to make their fans pay for a new stadium all in a two month time span. Somebody’s got to do it. Why not the Falcons?

Music

Florida/Georgia Line will win the award for Best Musical Act or Performance to be Used for Interrogating Terrorists. They’ll have to give the award back a few weeks later after Diane Feinstein decides that such torture is simply too inhumane.

Also at the Grammy’s, someone will sing something that involves a gospel choir in the background.

Nickelback will have the number one album in the country for a few weeks but you won’t be able to find anyone who will confess to owning one.

Movies

Someone will make a movie about a disgruntled Atlanta Falcons fan who tries to blow up North Korea after his team gets embarrassed in the Super Bowl and he finds out how much he’s going to have to pay for tickets and taxes because of his team’s new stadium. Florida/Georgia Line and Nickelback will team up to provide the soundtrack for the movie.

And then the world will end.

Unless President Kardashian can do something to save us.

Again, let me know how that works out.

You’ve got my new address.

Republican Cliff Divers

Every math teacher I ever had in high school said something like this.

“Okay class, stay with me on these next few problems and then we’ll try something fun.”

“Fun?  Yes!  I love fun.  Stay focused, Jay.”

I was expecting that if we could just manage to sit through a few more story problems our math teacher would take us outside and let us watch dogs catch frisbees.  That never happened.  Instead, we would always just do more word problems.  But these were fun word problems!

I learned two lessons from this.

First, unless you are criminally insane, math can never be fun.  Hitler, I am told, used to do math for fun.

Second, my math teacher and I had two different definitions for the word fun.  I’m sure that she thought that the problem about Harry taking a train to Dallas while Sergio flew to Portland was down right hedonistic.  That’s because she was criminally insane.  As for everyone else in the class, bring out the frisbee catching dogs.

Almost every morning on the news I hear about another “fiscally conservative” tea party politician who is considering abandoning his principles, assuming they existed in the first place, and supporting President Obama’s plan to raise taxes.

It appears that we must clarify what is meant by conservative.

Conservative, at least at the national level, once meant a limited, decentralized federal government.  Now it just means that when progressive politicians want to raise taxes by 30% the conservative thing to do is to complain about what this kind of a tax hike would do to the middle class and then support a 29.5% raise in taxes but use the word revenue instead of taxes.

When the next election cycle comes around there will be a lot of members of the GOP asking for your vote.

“I’m Senator Saxby Chambliss and I’m a conservative with a record of supporting the middle class.  But don’t look it up.  Just trust me.”

These kind of politicians don’t mean what you hope they mean.  If you want to know what they really mean, you can find out by watching how they respond to our nation’s so-called fiscal cliff.

If these self-described freedom-loving, fiscal conservatives support plundering more money from the citizenry in order to pay for a bloated government because, “it’s what’s best for the country” or, “desperate times call for desperate measures” you will have your answer.  What they really mean is that they are wolves dressed in wool.

So the next time a Republican tries to get your vote by telling you that he’s fiscally conservative, ask him to define his terms.

The term Republican, after all, comes from an old latin word used to describe dogs that catch frisbees.

Don’t bother with looking that up.

Just trust me.