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Archive for August, 2019


A sick leader who has posted violent fantasy videos of him knocking down Hillary Clinton and pummeling a CNN reporter may not be the best to decry violence in America.


Click here to see Donald Trump beating a CNN reporter in a fantasy video: https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/donald-trump-cnn-wwe-gif/

Back in September 2017, President Donald J. Trump retweeted a doctored GIF of him knocking down Hillary Clinton — long after he defeated her — with a golf ball.

The sickening and violent GIF (which is a sort of video) created so much outrage he deleted it. (See documentation here.)

This is the same President Trump who believes violent games and movies are one of the main causes of mass murders by American nationalists.

But that’s not all.

There was that violent, fantasy tweet I linked above that he posted of his pummeling a CNN reporter.

This might be the wrong leader to be decrying all the violence in games and creative arts these days.

A man as sick as he is has no moral authority to speak out against any violence or hatred.

That I can tell you.

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A picture taken way and very faraway, outside of the beautiful, peaceful and hospitable city of El Paso in the County of El Paso.

So happens I spent a night at this church in a far-flung part of the county, with mostly Spanish-speaking, charismatic Christian believers, in 2004.

My thoughts and prayers have truly been with those wonderful people way out in the most underrated and peaceful city in Texas, El Paso — as well as those in Dayton, Ohio.

I can’t imagine the contagion of pain and suffering the victims of gun-idolatry are struggling to cope with in El Paso, Dayton and a long, long list of cities.

El Paso County, TX, c. 2004

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So this morning I was reading the book of Philippians, always one of my favorite epistles, in The Message — the Bible translation that the late, great Eugene Peterson gave us.

The late Eugene Peterson, who left us many great books that included his colorful translation of the Bible (The Message)

Peterson went all in with colorful language that makes for easy, breezy Bible reading and study — language so colorful that I often catch myself grinning as I read.

Take, for example, these verses from Philippians 3, which put me in mind of today’s preachers and TV evangelists who fly to and from their fine mansions in their fine private jets with their bellies full of fine food and drink.

    7-19 Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them.

    I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again.

    All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross.

    But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.

    20-21 But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.

Peterson was no fan at all of any megachurches, and a blistering, plainspoken critic of the rich preachers who live on easy street while pushing the “prosperity gospel.”

    “Well, I think it’s a lie,” he said in an interview of the prosperity gospel. “I think it’s just a downright rotten lie. It’s nowhere in Christian tradition, so how does this get going in our culture?

    “It’s greed is what it is. It’s greed given a spiritual name: God will bless you. I want to ask these prosperity gospel people, do your people ever die? Do the people in your church ever die? What do you do when they die? Where’s the prosperity in that? I don’t have much patience with them, to tell you the truth, because I think they’re defrauding people.”

Read the whole interview with Peterson here, with the the former PBS broadcaster and fabulous host of “Religion & Ethics Newsweekly” Bob Abernathy.

Abernathy’s program ran from 1997-2017 and I think I speak for a lot of Christians who miss it — and Pastor Peterson — a lot.

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