“Most Americans” and “This message has no content”

There are these nuggets of meaning (or anti-meaning) floating around

Zika fears, Pokéstops

Two presidential candidates

Each holding silk screened banners

The lesser of two evils!


When “most Americans”

Were once again depicted by 

The hastily gathered

Opinions of just a few of us

Through the ghostly-lit rectangular screen

The message seems important somehow

But when we look further

The news is bleak-

This message has no content

Not your issue, I know..

I am a stress eater.

So while the rest of the country is blathering on about a ridiculously totemistic showdown between identically useless political factions, I found myself eating leftover chili and apples that I did not technically need.

Because I am worried about invisible children.

Not the ones trucked out to shop a piece of legislation or a legal decision, real children.

The children in question are very dear to me but as I watch them travel through adolescence I am increasingly dismayed by their choices–joining gangs, dabbling in illegal substances. Sex way before they should.

They are refugees from one of the most repressive regimes on the planet and they have been given the opportunity to come to America–Texas.

But they have not been given the opportunity for much genuine community.

Overlooked by pastors and churches. Stereotyped by people who should have known better. Stopped and interrogated simply for walking down quiet streets.

They learned there were yawning holes in the law.

They continue to long for the chance to play competitive soccer in a town that only makes room for football.

They are falling fast through the cracks.

And I ask myself–who do you call when you see children who live next to a dangerous road lie down in that path and say they are ready to die?

I have always been afraid I would lose a child from their community to that road–too many speeding trucks.

But to see them lying there…and to know there is no one I can call to save them.

How? You ask–how do I know?

I have called before, for other children I loved.

Called pastors
Ordinary people

The answer always the same–uncomfortable silence–this is not our issue.

Is it yours?

“Born that Way”

Let me just say this: we have jettisoned history. We do not know it and it has led us into some serious foolishness.

When Paul wrote:

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NIV)
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders [10] nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. [11] And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

he was addressing a Greco-Roman civilization where children were castrated and bartered as slaves and prostitutes.

We moderns see this verse as divisive and hazardous–separating us into camps of sorts, but we need to work on our reading comprehension.

Read it again.

In my life I have been a few of those people on the list. I am a broken and hopeless person without Jesus.

Most sinners I know go to church often. Most are heterosexual. Most try to clean up their outside and hold on to their mendacity.

Paul is saying,

we all must come clean.

And verse 11 is a triumph, a resounding affirmation of the power of Love in us–to bring about life, healing, safety, and transformation.

Don’t miss God’s outpouring of grace because you refuse to believe you need a bath.

Trust Him. We all need a bath.


Mark 7:3-8 (NIV)
(The Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they give their hands a ceremonial washing, holding to the tradition of the elders. [4] When they come from the marketplace they do not eat unless they wash. And they observe many other traditions, such as the washing of cups, pitchers and kettles. ) [5] So the Pharisees and teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Why don’t your disciples live according to the tradition of the elders instead of eating their food with `unclean’ hands?” [6] He replied, “Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written: ” `These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. [7] They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.’ [8] You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”

When my children were still very young they knew two big words-psychological and hypocrite. The first was introduced by my adopted daughter’s precipitous mental slide.

The second was my adopted son’s favorite go-to epithet for any of us who opposed him.

I always thought his use of the word ironic. Now I think–more tragic and disfiguring. He was consumed by appearing one way and hiding who he was in secret.

The Pharisees and teachers of the law saw themselves as the good guys.. They were the power players. But they were so consumed by the appearance, the trappings of clean, they abandoned the pursuit of holy.

Holy should freak us all out. Holy is scary.

Until holy becomes a man and that man quotes Isaiah and then that man lives out holy all the way to a Cross. Perhaps then it should scare us more.

Lent is about the unclean hands and heart–lifted in honor of a sacrifice so unbearable that only it, only He can make us clean.

Making hypocrites into honest men? Same thing as resurrection.

Imagine–dead to life again. All things made new.

What only God can do.

The New America

It has been over a week since the election and I continue to be shocked by the animosity in our political dialogue.

I recently read about a man who had told his four year old that people from the opposing party were brain damaged. I was not sure what shocked me more–that she was so young or that he was using brain damage as an epithet.

Other egregious examples: any racial insinuations, wrangling about birth certificates, and in general personal attacks against people who you disagree with on public issues.

Something terrible has happened to our political discourse. We treat opposing political viewpoints like mascots for football teams and then we elevate those teams to a status they have neither earned nor deserve. Then we vilify the opposing team.

This hurts us all, but no one more than our children. We justify bullying and prejudice in the name of political parties which have done nothing to earn our allegiance and we begin to view our neighbors as enemies?

Dangerous. We all need to work together–somehow.

To quote a beloved Carson McCuller’s title–the life you save may be your own.

Romney and Obama

So I don’t plan to vote. I have voted in every election since 1988, but this year I doubt I will. What is the point?

In the last election Matt Damon disparaged Sarah Palin’s faith. I am not her biggest fan, but I thought–wow, Matt is speaking his mind about beliefs that have been widely shared by billions for 2000 years.

This election cycle I keep wishing Matt would mouth off about Romney. Heck, I wish Ryan would mouth off about him.

Joseph Smith?! Polygamy? Child brides? A core belief system that has nothing in common with Christian theology. Yet everyone is quiet. Eerily so.

Please, somebody else tell me they are worried about the POTUS-candidate who believes if he plays his metaphysical cards right he will be god of his own world?

And yet I give him credit for driving hard toward the presidency with his wacky beliefs intact. I have watched the smooth and regal president for 5 years now. And I can’t say I know if he has faith in any Being higher than himself.

A free speech issue

A woman on a plane objects to forced proximity to pornography and is told she has no support.  She must endure another person’s objectional material.  Which is, btw, degrading and offensive to women.

No one comes to her aid, and the NYTimes walks on egg shells when they report it.

A respectable American businessman who practices fair, nondiscriminatory hiring and follows his conscience in his business is vilified because he has the temerity to exercise his first amendment right to say he supports a traditional view of marriage.

Guy has a right to talk


The truth is that one of the major reasons the marriage argument is huge and important is that millions of Americans live in fear because of hate.  Hate kills, maims, tortures, intimidates, and dehumanizes people.  Just because of their sexual identity.

No person in this country should have to hide who they are because they are afraid of violence.

No person should be the target of violence because they are gay or transgendered.

We have to start with that.

We have to build from the ground up.

Love requires it.