If You Are Gay and Afraid

The couple who came to me for counseling had a typical problem; they were fighting more and more and communicating less and less. They were frustrated and angry. They were afraid. And they were gay. How a Christian minister who believes practicing homosexuality is a sin, found himself counseling a lesbian couple who knew his beliefs is a very long story.  I realize I am opening myself up to a lot of criticism by telling this story. Some gay people may accuse me of using this instance as cover for my thinly veiled homophobia and hatred of everything LGBTQ.  Some Christians may accuse me of accommodating a sinful lifestyle and being a closet liberal (pun intended).  The reason I take the risk now is the same reason I took the risk to counsel this couple back then; it bothers me to see people in pain, especially the pain caused by fear.  I feel like less fear in the world is a good thing, don’t you?

We are told gay people are afraid because Trump won the election.  That is one of the meme’s of the Establishment and Elite and Educated.  Have you noticed it is standard operating procedure for the E, E, and E’s to make monolith’s out of every group and every issue.  All women are pro-abortion.  All Hispanics are for open borders.  All gay people are afraid of Trump… Perhaps one of the greatest things accomplished during the last election monolith_vii_by_grindx-d54ty0tcycle is the thorough discrediting of the legacy media. The “main stream media” as they were called and should never be called again, were exposed as willing organs of politicians, enabling liars to hide and doing their best to create narratives helpful to their preferred outcomes by hiding truth. Did you know that by a margin of 49 percent to 36 percent, Hispanics support a policy causing illegal immigrants to return home by enforcing the law?  If that had been reported honestly before the election would it have made you question how Trump was going to perform among Hispanics and therefore in the election in general?   When you are presented with a headline or a lead item in a news cast that blandly implies a group of people are for something, against something, unhappy about something, or scared about something, question it, don’t just swallow it whole in the neat little propaganda pill they hand you.

All gay people don’t distrust Trump, but some do.  All gay people aren’t afraid of Trump, but some are.  I can see how the LBGTQ community could be confused by Trump.  He’s a New Yorker who has done business in one of the most gay friendly cities in the world for many years.  He invited Peter Thiel, the openly gay co-founder of Pay Pal, to address the Republican convention last summer in prime time, and he seems pretty uninterested in what bathroom people use.  On the other hand he tapped a thoroughly Christian running mate in Mike Pence, the Indiana governor that the LGBTQ community has been told wants to discriminate against them and “convert” them.  When it comes to same sex marriage Trump was against it before he was for it and is for it until he might be against it again. Trump said he was open to appointing Supreme Court justices who might overturn the decision to legalize same sex marriage.  I read an E, E and E article on the subject of Trump and LGBTQ that insisted millions of people are “devastated” and “terrified” by Trump’s election.  Maybe that is so.  Maybe you are gay and afraid.  Maybe you know someone who is gay and afraid. What can you do about it?

First off recognize that fear is a tool people use to get us to do what they want us to do. Fear is a strong motivator. Go look at the shelves in a grocery store the next time a big storm is supposed to come through your area. The shelves get pretty empty even if a storm hasn’t impacted your town in a hundred years.  Fear has low sales resistance. If I can keep you afraid I can keep you buying what I’m selling. Good questions to ask are: who is telling me to be afraid and what do they stand to get out of it?  In the case of the E, E, and E’s they have a lot to gain by scaring us. It’s a major way they maintain power and position. Vote for us, we’re the only ones who care about you.  Read our paper, we’re the only ones who understand you.  Send us your money, we’re the only ones who will fight for you. Implied in all of this is that there is an enemy who doesn’t care about you, doesn’t understand you, and ultimately wants to destroy you.  Who is that?  Seriously.  Who is that?  Who made a family pizza joint in Indiana into the Westboro Baptist Hitler youth?  Who took a wedding photographer and a bakery in the middle of no where and did the same thing?  Why?  If someone thinks Jesus isn’t cool with catering, photographing, or caking your gay wedding is it really the equivalent of showing up at the ceremony with signs that say “Death to Fags”?  It isn’t.  And the corollary that Westboro haters are equivalent to all evangelical Christianity is just as unrealistic.  But some people have something to gain by making us believe those things; by trying to make us afraid of those things.

I know that to some measure the gay wedding business discrimination cases have been used to make a point about equality and to push for it.  As I said in another article, the people promoting the gay agenda have been very successful at shaping and changing public opinion.  The latest poll numbers on gay marriage prove this is true.  Over half of Americans support it.  So there you go, right?  Public opinion is in your favor.  What are you afraid of then?  Trump is going to take away gay marriage?  You won’t be able to get the wedding cake from the homophobic pastry chef?  Really?  No.  I’m going to tell you what you are afraid of.  I learned it in my gay relationship counseling session.  Its a legitimate fear and no opinion poll will help you get over it.  In fact you instinctively know that you don’t want an identity defined by public opinion polls.  Why?  Because we know majorities don’t define right and wrong.  Majorities change.  Majorities don’t offer stability.  Peace comes from stability and fear comes from instability.

When I started to talk with the lesbian couple I asked them about their identities.  Who did they see themselves as?  This is key to understanding the operating principles of relationships.  I knew the one woman well and so I started with her partner.  Before I could say a full sentence the woman said this:  “I am a gay.  I will not listen to anything that suggests I am not gay.  I’ve always been gay and will always be gay.  I would rather go to hell than stop being gay.”  This was the most emphatically anyone ever gave me their identity.  It had the effect of cutting off any further dialogue because what I wanted to get at was a non-sexual, given identity that transcended small, earthly identities.

I want couples to step out of small identities in order to gain perspective on their relationships.  I am honest about my opinion of gay identity, but I don’t need people to agree with me about that in order to see they need a permanent, stable identity.  I’m just as adamant about any temporary identity.  Father, mother, wife, son, daughter. Temporary. One day we are all going to pass into eternity and we will either stand before the Creator or we will fall into nothingness.  Before God we will know who we are perfectly.  As a Christian I believe we can see and accept that permanent identity in the here and now and so I suggest to anyone who needs stability that they can have it in knowing Jesus.  He gives an identity that I don’t maintain. He gives a place that can’t bescreen-shot-2016-11-29-at-11-26-47-am taken away by popular opinion.  He equalizes what doesn’t add up.  Jesus is the answer for fear.  I will tell you what I told my gay friends; I know you’ve thought and felt and believed you were gay from a very young age.  Who am I to tell you that you are not gay?  I know someone who can tell all of us who we are and he isn’t interested in scaring you into believing it (yes this is true in spite of what you may have heard “Christians” say).  He experienced all of hell to make  sure you and I wouldn’t have to.  He lost his identity completely so you can have an identity that will never be taken away.  If you are deceived about being gay he can tell you in a way you can receive.  If you are gay he can help you understand how to live a full life as a gay person.  Most of all he has nothing to gain from you at all.  He is a king and more wealthy than you can imagine.  He has all power and reputation and influence.  He doesn’t need you to affirm or set or participate in his agenda.  He already revealed his whole agenda.  It is this:  perfect love casts out fear.  That’s it.  “Jesus loves you” isn’t a bumper sticker.  It is either God’s whole agenda or it is a complete farce.  Gay, straight, man, woman, child.  You are perfectly loved.  You do not have to be afraid.

 

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Trump, Ignorance and VW Bugs

Before the election the establishment and elites bombarded us with the notion that Trump supporters were non-educated (= not college graduates) white working class and rural.  As the post-mortem on actual voting continues, more of the E and E narrative falls apart.  Trump out performed not only Hillary in the general, he beat Romney’s numbers among basically every demographic he was supposed to lose.  Twice as many Muslims supported Trump as Romney.  He won more of the black vote and the Latino vote than Romney, and he held even with Romney with women.  

When you consider both the intensity of the assault on Trump mounted by the E and E’s and the serious character flaws Trump presented to the electorate… well to say the numbers don’t add up is an understatement.  This election will give plenty of people plenty of material to study for a long time.  In fact the “educated” part of the electorate have already begun to deconstruct the results and to explain them to the rest of us.  I want to offer my own bit of semi-educated commentary.  I figure I’ve got as much insight into the result as the E and E’s.  I may even change the mantra of the power structure and culture shapers going forward because as I think about it, this was really part of the pivot that just happened in our culture.  The people in power, the ones I call the Establishment and the Elites, the ones who believe they know better than the majority of the country – how we should think, talk, eat, live, and behave; these people are all “educated.”  They are also the ones who looked out on the country and declared Trump’s candidacy Dead on Arrival.  And they were dead wrong on every prediction they made.  

As with most “educated” people they are reeling at the revelation of how much they don’t know.  The particular pride and pitfall of being “educated” is the belief that one knows either everything or every important thing and therefore can’t be shocked by anything. Trump is a shock to their system like no other because he is their ignorance incarnate. 

When I was a teenager I started dating a redneck girl.  I came from very smart, college educated folks, and even though I grew up in the country I grew up believing we were smarter than the average yokel in our county.  I don’t really know where this feeling came from; it certainly wasn’t something my mom and dad taught me.  I think it was just the atmosphere of my home.  We loved books and learning and went to museums and talked about important things like World War II and current events when the extended family got together for holidays.  We were college graduates and the kids were all on their way to college too. Somehow in my mind this translated into “smarter” and made the leap from there to “better.” Then I met Tina and her family. 

They laughed at my vocabulary. They poked fun at my historical/cultural references. I maintained my inner conviction that, while they may have produced a hot daughter that was all they had on me. I was still smarter and therefore better. But that all changed one day when they asked me to do a relatively easy automotive maintenance task. There was a car in the driveway and it needed coolant. Would I go and put some water in it?  I knew this was a test and I knew I wanted to please them and prove myself worthy of the hot daughter so I grabbed a pitcher of water and headed outside. 

The car was a VW bug. I assumed the game of “stump the chump” was set up to catch me not knowing the engine was in the rear so I went straight to the back and opened the hatch – I’ll show you you bunch o’ rednecks – And then I was undone. I looked up and down and side to side and there was no place to pour in the coolant. I wasn’t going to give up. I knew they were watching and laughing. I searched every crack and crevice of that engine looking for a place to pour in the water. It was a good half hour before I conceded defeat and admitted I didn’t know where to put coolant in the car. Then they laughed at me. VW Bug engines are air cooled they said. No water. No radiator. Everybody with any sense knows that!  Dumb educated boy. It didn’t help one bit for me to tell them that that piece of information was not common sense but specialized and acquired information. They just laughed more. 

Finding out what I didn’t know humbled me and changed my relationship with my eventual in-laws. I found out that there were probably a lot of important things I didn’t know; things that might prove vital if I was going to keep a car and/or my life running. It showed me that there was just as much to learn in a redneck’s dirt driveway in the hills as there was to learn on a chalkboard under flourescent lights in a classroom. It’s a lesson that’s served me well over a lifetime. I think about it every time I see a VW Bug. They aren’t pretty cars but they remind me to stay humble and open minded.  Maybe Trump will do the same for our nation and the E, E and E’s. 

Arrival and Fake News

I saw the new movie, Arrival this weekend.  I wasn’t going to see it but decided at the last minute to give it a try.  Good choice.  Besides being a multi-genre, well acted movie, Arrival delivers the perfect quotable line for this season.  No, not the holiday season, the season of post-election trauma and the race to establish a new media narrative that will discredit Trump and “get our minds right” before the new President takes office.  Here it is:

Language is the first weapon drawn in conflict

Jeremy Renner’s character, a physicist, takes issue with this and insist that technology is the first weapon drawn in conflict.  Oddly enough, Eugene Peterson, author of The Message bible, put these things together for me a long time ago.  In his book Answering God, Peterson says

A tool that is made of words is no  less a tool than one made of steel.

Peterson says what Arrival eventually shows:  words are technology, and the most potent weapons humans can control.  And they are the first weapons drawn in conflict.  This is true because no matter whether the conflict is between two savages fighting over a kill or between two nations fighting over an island, the conflict is ideological.  Because the idea is primitive (“This is mine!”) doesn’t make it less ideological.  Whoever controls language controls the battle for the ideas that rise and dominate the culture.  Idea comes from the Greek word “to see” and it means “to form a pattern.”  This is what words do.  It is what they accomplish.

Is this too generic to grasp?  Try to see it this way; by any measure homosexuality is a minority characteristic in the world.  The highest number associated with percentage of population that is gay is 10%, but that number is generally thought to be more than twice the actual number.  It would be both careful and generous to put the number at 5%.  And arrivalthe number of transgendered people would be much less than that, perhaps one half of one percent of the population.  Yet the national “conversation” of the past several years by any measure has been dominated by LGBT ideas; gay rights, gay marriage, gay cakes, transgender bathrooms in school…  Why?  Because the people who set the national narrative have flooded the zone with their words and therefore their ideas (patterns).  They’ve done it with gay characters in TV and movies, they’ve done it with covering relatively minor news stories with national attention.  They’ve done it with strategically placed words, not the least of which is the coopting of the word “gay” as a replacement for the more harsh sounding “homosexual.”  If you are keeping score you’d have to say that people who want to promote LGBT issues have taken great chunks of ground in their ideological war.  If you want to check on this just ask a millennial what they think the percentage of gay people in America is.  You will get an answer anywhere from 25-50%.  And that is effective use of words.

This week the cry from the Elites and Establishment has been the need to get rid of “fake news.”  Obama for all intents and purposes blamed the election result on the electorate being misinformed and lied to by people distorting facts.  The Washington Post ran a story on how to detect fake news and Facebook is in full witch hunt mode to search for and destroy sources of fake news.  This is actually a recognition that they’ve lost control of the war of words.  It has nothing to do with a concern for accuracy in reporting.  If you want a rehash of some of the real fake news we’ve been treated to in the past 8-12 years here are a few:

  • Dan Rather and the faked story of George W. Bush’s National Guard service, complete with utterly falsified documents.
  • Brian Williams the lead NBC anchor claiming to have flown in combat missions over Iraq and that he was in Berlin the day the wall fell, and so and and so forth.
  • Hillary Clinton and Obama tell us the Benghazi attacks happened because of a YouTube video.
  • Hillary Clinton didn’t hide and emails from the public, and so and so forth.
  • Obama says if you like your doctor you can keep your doctor and that Healthcare premiums will go down in order to sell Obamacare.
  • East Anglia University emails that show Climate Change data is being faked to create a narrative of global warming.

There are actually too many examples to list.  Actually the term “Fake News” is a piece of technology; a new weapon in the war of words.  It is meant to make us doubt news stories that don’t derive from “acceptable” news outlets.  But really, after what we’ve been treated to over the past 18 months, does anyone believe the New York Times, NPR, CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, Los Angeles Times are the Swiss in the war of words? Maintaining neutrality at all costs?   Give us a break.  There are too many ears listening now and too many reporters with their own arsenal of words.  Some of them are as nutty as the day is long and some are liars on par with the professional liars.  Fake news is not a new problem.  When Nehemiah was trying to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem he was fed a constant flow of baloney from the Establishment and Elites of his day who stood to lose all their power if he completed his task.  Like him, we need discernment, especially in an era of non-stop 24 hour a day word warfare.  That’s why I am going to stick to Peterson’s use of words:

Prayer is a tool that is made,  mostly, of words.   All the tools are essential: the plow for farming, the book for  learning, pots for cooking, prayers for believing. All the sources of our action-body, mind, spirit-are dependent on tools. Every part of our humanity is in the tool-using business. Life is the  issue, human life: living well, living whole in a world in which  God is in action. To live as a human being means that we use  tools. Animals get by without tools, and angels get by without  tools, but humans need tools. We live well or badly by means of  the tools we have and how well we use them.

I think Nehemiah would agree.

 

Racist!? Yeah You. All of You. 

I’ve already pointed this out (Trump and Black Votes Matter), but it bears repeating; one of the major reasons we now have a President (elect) Trump is racism, but not the way the Establishment and Elites think.  It is actually the exact opposite reason.  The first African American President was supposed to drain the claim of racism of its power; to de-leverage it.  Why?  Because Americans were sick of being called racist and having it gum up honest conversations about our problems.

We are the first nation on earth to attempt a real heterogenous society.  No one seriously attempted this before us.  The idea that “white Europeans” are all one thing is a huge part of the myth that America is a racist nation, and is itself both ignorant and racist.  When Brits and Poles and Norwegians and Frenchmen and Germans and Irishmen and Dutchmen and Scots and Swiss and Italians began occupying the same geography in a free land you don’t think there was racism?  You think they all respected one another’s language and values and religion and eating habits and smell?  No, there was plenty of racism.  Add indigenous Indians, African slaves and Asian immigrants who were possessed of obviously different physical characteristics and you have more racism; even legally sanctioned racism. All of this in one country.  Lots of racism.  Lots of lines of demarcation between people.

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There never was a country like this country, not ever in the history of the world.  Tribes stayed in tribes and either got along with or killed other tribes, but they didn’t choose to become one tribe and go forward as one tribe.  In America all the tribes of the earth were thrown together, some seeking freedom, some seeking to keep their freedom, and some stolen away from freedom

Those who believe the founding of the country was racist and unjust are right, but their haughty classroom polemics against the nation fail to recognize the crucial fact:  the whole earth was racist and unjust.  If you were looking for a place in the world where people all got along and treated each other with respect in spite of their obvious differences, there was no such place.  America was not that place either, at first.  America was a place for people to escape from their particular form of tyranny; religious, economic, political, racial.  But it became a place where the attraction of freedom became stronger than the compulsion of tribalism.  America became the freedom tribe.

Freedom became the engine of the nation and it started to grind down the differences between all its disparate parts.  First it ground down the differences between the European tribes, then it went to work on slavery.  It continued to grind on more and more differences and it does to this day.  The freedom engine is uneven and it doesn’t work as fast as some think it should work.  But this begs the question: where else in the world has it been used on such a scale with this much success for this long a time?  American freedom ground down Nazis and Hirohito, both racist regimes of a magnitude never imagined.  American freedom ground down segregation. American freedom ground down the racist Soviet Union.  American freedom continues to grind off the edges and the grind down the barriers between people. It works. It is at work.

Anyone who has a smidge of classical education instead of a four year $60k plus liberal arts indoctrination or who lives in the work-day-world alongside other free Americans in “flyover” country instead of getting paid to ride a bus to a protest in somebody else’s city, knows American freedom works. We can see it. We see people from all over the world living in our neighborhoods – we actually know that “our” neighborhoods and “their” neighborhoods are not two things.  We shop with people of all religions and colors.  We eat in restaurants with the same.  We go to school together.  Freedom tribe.  And we can see where it still needs to do it’s work.  We don’t need or want people telling us we are racists because we aren’t. We know about racism. Our whole country has a history working on it. dog-whistle-mpa97eedn34868y77fjdht8265txe4hn4wz7gg2zu0We elected a black president to finally break the back of the ridiculous claim that we are somehow the most racist nation on earth and woke up to discover the same old things being said about us. And finally it dawned on the bulk of the country; we aren’t the racists, the E and E’s are. They can’t stop dividing us into groups. They don’t believe in the American motor of freedom grinding away our differences. They believe in locking us up with word games and name calling and control. Trump is a signal to them that name calling won’t work any more. He won because of racism all right.  But not the way they think.  The dog whistle is broken now and the losers are the only ones barking.  The rest of us are going to get on with the business of grinding down the differences between us instead of using them to gain and keep control over people.  I fully expect the E and E’s to give themselves a hernia blowing that broken dog whistle…

Hillary Didn’t Lose

How’s that for clickbait?  What does it mean?  Trump cheated?  Hillary won the popular vote?  There’s a secret recount going on even as we speak?  No, no, and heck no.  Hillary didn’t lose, Trump won.  Trump won.  Get that into your mental space… I voted for Reagan the first time I cast a vote for President.  I was young, too young to know about Bedtime for Bonzo or Tugboat Annie Sails Again, both movies made by Reagan that proved, if anything, he had bad taste in movie scripts.  I wonder how my dad felt about Reagan.  He knew the actor who became the politician.  Reagan was on the public scene a long time as something other than a political personality.  His first elected office was the governorship of the most populated state in the union, California.  It was probably a shock to the system on the level of me seeing Arnold doing the same thing 30 years later.  Even being the governor of California didn’t take the stigma off him, though.  Reagan was still a barbarian when he ran for President.  He was a joke and a hick.  He graduated from Eureka college, not Yale.  He was a C student and a cheerleader, not valedictorian  and class president.  He was never going to be President if the elites and establishment of his day had their way.  But he spoke to the American people directly.  He had an ability to do what the E and E’s only wish they could do and pretend that they can do.  He was the most rare of all entities, and actor who was not an actor in real life.  He was real in real life, which is hard to do for most anyone except those who are comfortable in their own skin.

Now we have Trump.  He is not pretty.  He is not P.C.  He is a reality TV star.  Everyone over 18 has seen his orange tan and incredible hair on the boob tube.  And he won.  Hillary did BEDTIME_FOR_BONZO_lc3_original_11x14_lobby_card_movie_poster_Ronald_Reagan.jpgnot lose, she got beat.  Why?  In spite of the E and E’s caterwauling, it isn’t because the nation is racist (even blow hard Michael Moore blew that one away)  or homophobic, or stupid, or hayseed, or bitter, or clinger, or religious, or uneducated.  But the country sure was sick and tired of being called all those things.  And especially tired of this one word: propaganda.  Americans have a good ear for bull excrement and when they get fed one mouthful after another about issue after issue they get fed up and start spitting it out.  That’s why 70% of voters said the media is dishonest.  The real loser in the election was the legacy media.  They will never regain their status.  The election of Trump is perhaps more devastating to them than it is to the Washington elite ruling class, although it is a close thing; kind of like the difference between Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Trump won because, and this is very important for him and his new team to get a firm grip, he was real.  He is not popular.  He is not personally pretty.  He won because the warts and the gaffs and the outrageous faults were so real it made it impossible to think he was faking it.  Real beat fake.  And then he spent a year saying things that people already were feeling.  Why is it so bad to secure our border, aren’t we a sovereign nation?  Why not keep people out of the county until we check out who they are and what they’re about?  Why put up with lawlessness in our cities?  Why pretend the emperor’s Obamacare clothes are really there when they are not?  The reality is that Donald Trump is the Rush Limbaugh of politics.  He did not create anything, he just started saying things that a bunch of normal people were saying to each other.  He gave it a voice and Trump gave it an orange face.  Both guys are believable because they are imperfect and only polished on one side while they don’t hide their other side.  That is what always attracts Americans and that is why Hillary didn’t lose.  Reality Trumped her.

The (un)Popular Vote & the Electrical College

Before you say it, yes I know which college I’m talking about… stay with me a minute I’m going somewhere.  I have to hand it to the Establishment and Elites.  When it comes to competition you will never find anyone like them.  When they win, they win viciously and claim a bigger pot than the stakes of the game and when they lose, they never accept the loss and claim the pot belongs to them anyway.  Right now there is an all out effort to delegitimize President-elect Trump’s victory at the ballot box by claiming he lost the popular vote to Hillary and therefore cannot be the President of the majority of Americans.  That’s like saying the Patriots really won that Super Bowl they played with the Giants because they gained more yards and possessed the ball longer than the Giants.  No.  The teams went onto the field and held a competition according to the rules of the game and the Giants scored more points than the Patriots.  They won.  If the goal was yards gained or time of possession the teams would have played an entirely different game with a tom-brady-patriotsjpg-3ad71011f2932bb9.jpgdifferent strategy and allocation of resources.  I know it hurts to lose a Super Bowl -especially when you are undefeated and everyone says the game is just a formality before the whole world recognizes you as the greatest team in history – but losing is losing and the faster you look at the reasons you lost the faster you can get on to the business of winning.  Of course that’s what the Patriots did and they got back to the big game and won it three years later (not that that makes me happy, but hey, you gotta give props)

But the E and E’s are not good losers.  They do not give up their place when they are soundly beaten.  That’s because they never really win anything in the first place.  The political left in this country has never won an election where they openly ran on what they believe.  They win mainly through subterfuge and they hold power through a combination of shame, blame, bullying and deception.  And when they lose they lose ugly (see A Trumpocalypse Now).   They want to change the rules after the fact so they can declare themselves winners.  The fact is they lost and they would do much better for themselves if they honestly assessed why they lost.  Also it would help if they understood that persuasion is actually much easier with winsomeness and comeliness rather than riots.  Americans are not being persuaded by the rent-a-mob activity in major cities.  If anything it is having the effect of making the election result cure like hardening concrete.

If the election had been conducted with a winner-take-all popular vote Trump would have won.  I will make a prediction here that Trump in fact will turn out to be the winner of the popular vote when all the reckoning is over anyway.  It will turn out that millions of illegal immigrants will have cast ballots for her and it will erase the current edge she holds in the popular vote.  But the electoral college, which is being raked across the coals by the ugly losers and the ugly winner (would someone please give Trump just a basic primer on the Constitution??) is actually a great blessing.  You know how it feels when your power goes out in a storm?  You want to get it back as quickly as possible.  Do you know that the power grid in your area contains many different pathways to get power to your house?  There isn’t just one way for it to get there.  The electrical distribution system contains redundancies and parallels that allow for flexibility and durability.  Our founders were very wary of single sources of power.  They had suffered and knew the history of the world was full of suffering from power being consolidated in one place with one entity.  By building a system where multiple states had to proportionally elect a President they put a check on many people living in one set of circumstances (lets say the city dwellers and their world) imposing their will for leadership upon a few people living in an agricultural circumstance.  They also prevented one geographical region from dominating others if they turned out to have more or better natural resources.  The electoral college is like electrical distribution.  It ensures a system that will work over the long haul and get the right amount of power to the right place at the right time.  It would be a mistake to change it and it would make us more prone to power overages, not power outages.  And, really, why should the losers dictate to the winners how the game should be played next time??

 

 

How to Protest

There is a lot of angst, anxiety and anger in certain segments of the country, and a lot of people are participating in protests.  As a part of a religious group named after protests I95-Theses-672x372.jpg think I can give some suggestions to those who want to exercise this right.  Martin Luther was a protestor who went up against the greatest power on earth and rocked it.  He may give us some good ideas about how to do this right.

1.  Before you protest on the steps of the cathedral (courthouse, Whitehouse, Congress) or on the streets, work earnestly from within the organization to change it.  Luther spent years inside the church trying to implement changes and correct injustices before he went public.

2.  Do your research – know what you are protesting.  Luther had a well thought out position on the things he felt were wrong.  He could express himself when someone asked him why he was unhappy with the system.

3.  Stay focused on the real issues.  Luther could have protested many things but he focused on a few prominent issues he felt were most important to reforming the church and getting her back on track to function in the way she was supposed to function.

4. Don’t be a coward.  Luther did what he did in the open and in the daylight.  His associations with people were not secret.  He wasn’t funded by people who had an interest in tearing down the church.  He mailed his protestant opinions to the leaders of the church and he nailed them to the door of the church.

5.  Be of good cheer and be FOR something.  This is the most important point of all.  Protesting has almost exclusively become something we do AGAINST things and it is done with a lot of anger.  Luther was not angry.  And the movement he led was actually Pro (for) Testament (witness) OR for the witness to the truth that Jesus and the Bible were the true witnesses to the nature of God.  When Luther discovered the truth of the gospel he was overwhelmed with it and it made him into a happy man, not an angry one.

These principles could really help make some of what is going on much more productive instead of having people in the streets who can’t explain why they are there, funded by people who have something to gain through their anger, unfocused and bitter, looting and diluting their message through crime and unwilling to come in to the table to work on real solutions.