wise words


“No one longs for what he or she already has, and yet the accumulated insight of those wise about the spiritual life suggests that the reason so many of us cannot see the red X that marks the spot is because we are standing on it… All we lack is the willingness to imagine that we already have everything we need. The only thing missing is our consent to be where we are.”

– Barbara Brown Taylor

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Gays Need Not Apply

It comes as no surprise to me that another church in Oklahoma has divested itself from their national organization.

This time the honors go to First Presbyterian Church of Enid. They voted 131 – 69 to pull out of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

The reason?  They don’t want gays in the pulpit or as deacons or elders.

Prejudice once again raises it’s ugly head in a Christian church whose figurehead spent lots of time with the outcasts and sinners of his society.

Why can’t these “Christians” in Enid do the same?

Their pastor, Roy Schneider, said in his resignation letter that the issue “is about far more than biblical sexual ethics.”

“It’s about our understanding of such core issues as justice, sin, repentance, grace, love, forgiveness and biblical authority.”

If Christians wonder why so many now question their faith, take a good look at this latest attempt by a church to rid itself of “sinners.”

I doubt very seriously these Enid Christians follow every precept of their Bible. 

I haven’t heard of public stoning for adultery, bans on eating shellfish or pork.  Nor have I heard of the members of this church religiously adhering to all of the rules and laws set forth in the Bible.

What we see here is a group supposedly committed to being good Christians by their very act of leaving their national group over gays acting in a way contrary to what Jesus would have done.

First there was the apple.  Since then Christians have used another fruit, the picked cherry, to determine which parts of the Bible they want to follow and which ones are more convenient to ignore.

I wonder if these congregants of First Presbyterian of Enid are also tossing out the adulterers, the drug and alcohol users, the child and spouse abusers, the blasphemers, those who curse…. There’s a long list of sins for them to go over in the Bible.

It’s too easy to call these people hypocrites.  It’s harder to call them Christians.

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Send in the Clowns

19 October 2011

There was yet another Republican debate on cable last night. My first thought was WHY?  What could this Conservative version of the seven dwarfs say that they haven’t already said?


Herman Cain, the flavor of the month, bleated on and on about his 9-9-9 plan.  The fact that scholarly economists and economic groups have shown conclusively that his tax plan will do harm to the lover income groups while lessening he tax burden on the wealthy is of no concern to Cain.

His mantra is “they’re comparing apples to oranges.”

He needs to reframe his analogy.  Kumquats and pears?  Bananas and guava?

Taxes are taxes.

Cain’s plan won’t work.  That he still insists that those who disagree are immediately wrong is more an indication of his leadership style than his intellectual ability.

I’ve worked for several people like Cain.  They honestly, if wrongly, believe they are the smartest person in the room and will berate and shout down those who disagree with them, even when the facts prove the Cain’s of the world wrong.

But not to worry, there’s not much of a chance Cain will win the nomination.  Let him make a few more electric border fence or it’s the fault of the unemployed they are out of work and he’ll be kicked to the sidewalk just like all of the front-runners have been.

Perry and Romney had me excited.  For a few moments I thought they would turn the debate into the latest version of the WWF’s Monday Night Raw.  Instead they regaled us with heated rhetoric that helped no one have a better understanding of which might make a better president. 

What we didn’t get last night (or any other debate night) was a real plan by a real candidate on how to rebuild America.

The saddest part of this whole circus is the sorry state of the Republican Party.  No longer articulate standard bearers of their party, the GOP has been reduced to a collection of shrill, factually inaccurate, red meat tossers more concerned with raising money and stirring the base than raising hope for the people of America.

The theme music for the remaining debates should be “Send in the Clowns.”

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