Tag Archives: politics

He’ll Listen to the Science

Lately, it’s been both a jab and a stinging response, the punchline of President Trump’s that’s become sort of a campaign slogan for Joe Biden: “He’ll listen to the science.”

Trump’s point is that Biden will make decisions based on bad science from bad scientists; Biden’s point is that Trump doesn’t care about scientific facts.

In my opinion, neither their arguments are going to make much of a difference right now. However, there’s a much more disturbing truth to the statement that, if Biden really does “listen to the science,” could potentially lead us down a very dark and sinister path.

Which Science?

To be fair to President Trump, it’s not that he doesn’t listen to science, it’s that he listens to the science he believes.

Stop for a moment and think about what is really meant when we use the word science. Science is NOT truth. Science is NOT immutable. Science is NOT determined by consensus (or vote). Scientific data CAN be interpreted differently.

When a person says he will listen to science, what exactly does that mean? Let us not forget the facts of “science” have often changed. Consider this tiny list of examples:

  • The coming ice age
  • The earth is flat
  • Piltdown Man
  • The benefits of smoking
  • Bloodletting

So, it’s certainly forgivable and understandable for the President to question certain scientists and listen to others. What proof does Biden have that his scientific advisors are infallible?

The More Serious Question

But what really scares me is that Joe Biden says that yes, he WILL listen to science. And based on what I’ve already heard and read, if current science (or should I say, “scientists”) believe it or promote it, then that’s all ol’ Joe needs. Listening means acquiescing.

Therefore, even if the “science” proves valid, what of the ethics? What of the morality? That’s the serious question.

Already it’s been announced that – because of science – Biden will make all sports and restrooms accessible to transgender and gender-fluid students. Because of science, abortion will be allowed far beyond any previous limitations. And based on the scientific advisors around him, Biden will more than likely impose a national mask mandate and mandatory shutdowns.

Disturbing? Yes! Because if all it takes to enact public policy is the consensus of politically motivated scientists, then what is out of the question? What moral or ethical line is out of bounds?

What freedoms are on the chopping block?

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Filed under America, community, Culture Wars, politics, the future

“In the End”

Music

I love good music, especially live music played by the ones singing their own songs. As a matter of fact, as a musician, I respect those who get up on stage and perform, regardless their style. At least they’re not singing to tracks.

Therefore (full disclosure), when I am riding in my car on long trips (anything over an hour) I tend to scan the channels for anything to keep me awake. For the most part, when I listen to the radio or music from Pandora or other sources it’s usually Christian music or talk radio. But sometimes talk radio can put me to sleep, so that’s when I turn to the “worldly music.”

Sheryl Crow

Last night, as I was driving home late from dinner I had with a fellow pastor, I decided to listen to some 1980’s rock on Pandora. That’s when a song I’d never heard before started cranking out a catchy, enticing rhythm. It was a song by Sheryl Crow called “In the End.” Did she do that song in the 80s?

Anyway, Sheryl Crow is an accomplished songwriter as much as she’s ever been a singer. I like her voice and music style, so when when all of that talent comes together the sum is usually something entertaining. This song, “In the End,” is a prime example.

The Jesus Part

So, I started tapping my left foot as I began keeping time with my fingers on the steering wheel. Because “all I want to do” is stay awake, I didn’t really bother paying close attention to the lyrics.

But then the lyrics of the second verse of Sheryl Crow’s song spurred my attention.

There’s a man on the cross with His arms open wide
And a tear that can quench the world’s fire
But His name is a shield to the ones who would wield
Their own power and greed and desire

Sheryl Crow

She didn’t call Him out by name, but I do believe she was referencing Jesus. And on top of that, she was singing about those who use the name of Jesus to become rich and powerful. In other words, she was singing to the ministers who would take advantage of the “believers,” a common theme and stereotype promoted by the left.

A Shield?

Notice that Crow said the name of Jesus is a “shield” for those who want to use Jesus to get what they want. It’s nothing new, either. Remember Simon Magnus from the book of Acts? He actually wanted to purchase the power of the Holy Spirit in order to use God’s power to make a profit.

Have you ever heard it said, “Jesus I like, but I can’t stand his followers”? That’s kinda the idea.

But false prophets, millionaire ministers, and greedy pastors are not the only ones who hide behind a “shield,” a banner, a motif, or an ideal to fleece the sheep. Ever noticed that the most broken, crime-ridden, blood-splattered, poverty-stricken cities have been run by Democrats?

Have you ever noticed that the very same people who have been in charge for so long continue to say they are the ones needed to fix things? Why is there still poverty in black communities? Why is our national debt practically untenable, yet they say we are not spending enough on infrastructure, education, and abortion clinics?

Why is it that every Democrat politician leaves office richer than when they were elected, and by far more than the accumulated wealth from their salaries? To be fair, I could ask the same for the Republicans, too!

In the beginning of Crow’s song she is clearly referring to politicians and their “believers” who blindly accept every promise. The second verse shines light on the greedy preacher or televangelist. Both will eventually get what’s coming to them… in the end.

But what of those who year after year, decade after decade, hide behind the “shield” of the disenfranchised, the poor, the homeless, the hungry, etc., etc., etc.? It’s so easy to label those behind the pulpit, but what about the podium?

In the End,” who are the ones always telling their followers exactly what they want to hear, yet never delivering? Who are the ones hiding behind the “shields” of race, gender, equality, tolerance, benefits, and handouts while accumulating more and more power over those for whom they promise to wipe their tears?

I don’t believe in Karma, but it could explain the increased rat population.

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Filed under General Observations, Jesus, music

Controversial Tuesday: A White Man Speaks

It’s Controversial

Just think about where we are right now… It’s controversial for a white man, a Caucasian, a human with less melanin in his skin to speak out about almost anything, especially issues revolving around the very color that makes him controversial.

It’s controversial to say that “all lives matter.” It’s controversial to ask why there’s no “white national anthem” to be played at professional ball games. It’s controversial to even suggest that law and order should be maintained instead of rioting being the common response to anything … well, … controversial.

But even the word “controversial” is controversial, now that I think about it. It carries with it the idea of public disagreement and disputation. Yet, what is the common reaction to anything disagreeable or worthy of dispute? Conversation? Deliberation? Compromise? Debate?

No. If you dislike something or someone, the new normal is to riot, burn and break things, and kill cops in cold blood.

But I guess just suggesting that is controversial is controversial. Welcome to “Controversial Tuesday”!

Controversial Fear

So, now that we’ve open the floodgates of controversialness, let me dive into the rushing tide and try to stay alive amidst the foaming white (no offense) waves (because there aren’t black waves, even if I wanted to be politically correct).

As you are aware, the wisest people in the world act and play games for a living. One such game player, LeBron James, recently made a statement that was shared on ESPN’s Twitter feed.

If you can’t see the words in the link I shared above, Mr. James said: “We are scared as Black people in America. … Black men, Black women, Black kids. We are terrified.

OK, so let’s discuss it (like sane people are supposed to do). 

Why are people of color, specifically “Black” people, scared? From what I understand, the men, women, and kids are afraid of the police, right? Because all police are racists and can’t get enough of black men’s blood, right? That is the narrative the media is telling us, correct?

But here’s a bit of a news flash to which the African-American community should pay attention: A lot of white people are afraid of black people! Oh, and here’s something else…. because of the regular reinforcement of “black power” stereotypes, they have every logical reason to be! Add to that the senseless violence that has been perpetrated on white people and police in the name of “Black Lives Matter,” and what are white people supposed to think?

As a matter of fact, let’s look at where we are when considering the potential for incurring personal, bodily harm.

  • A black man or woman might be afraid that a policeman stopping them could lead to a misunderstanding, racial profiling, excessive force, unlawful search and seizure, false charges leading prison sentences, or maybe even death by asphyxiation or gunshot.
  • A white police officer now has to assume that any approaching black man could shoot him in the face for no apparent reason other than hate.
  • A black man or woman can wear garments featuring any and every anti-American, pro-revolutionary, Marxist, racially-provocative, or even blatantly racist image or statement without fear of being questioned due to the overwhelming intimidation factor BLM support has garnered in the media.
  • A white man, woman, boy, girl, or even toddler risks having eggs thrown at her head, drinks poured over them, being mercilessly beaten in the street, or simply shot for nothing more than wearing an American flag or MAGA hat.

So, who’s afraid, LeBron?

Fearing the Answer

What’s the answer to all this? How do we step back from all the violence on the streets? How do we restore a sense of peace that doesn’t assume danger anytime someone of a different skin color approaches us?

Well, random violence and killing police officers in cold blood is not the way to win an argument. Face it, people … black lives matter, but that’s because ALL lives have inherent value being that we are made in the image of God. Killing non-black lives in order to raise awareness that black lives matter is a failed strategy doomed to reap the opposite result.

But the real answer to the violence will probably require more than many are willing to sacrifice. It will require vulnerability, humility, and love. That’s terrifying.

Here’s the real answer: Forgive. 

If you truly want peace, no profiling, no baseless assumptions, and our children growing up colorblind (like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wanted), then we are going to have to forget vengeance and seeking reparations; we are going to have to start with a new baseline: FORGIVENESS.

Right now we are headed in the direction of chaos, lawlessness, and a never-ending cycle of revenge and death. Ultimately, it will end, but how that will happen should be what truly scares us.

On the one hand, the very thing that the political Left accuses President Trump of wanting will actually come to fruition: tyranny. You see, at some point those in power will have to do what Rome did in order to stamp down insurrections… kill on sight. There will be no more trial by jury, just peace at the edge of the sword.

Think Tiananmen Square, or Russian “peacekeepers.” For example, when the Spetsnaz rolled into Moldova to restore peace after protests had broken out (I was 90 miles away when this happened), they didn’t use rubber bullets.

On the other hand, there is the example of the Waorani tribe in Ecuador (the “Auca” Indians whom Elizabeth Elliot reached with the gospel after they murdered her husband). At one point it was determined that every single man in the tribe who had died had died by the spear. Usually, it was as the result of revenge.

You see, the Waorani culture had been locked in a centuries-old cycle of revenge killing that, according to some, resulted in every death being a homicide, not natural causes or old age. Yet, when they were introduced to the love of Christ, exhibited by the forgiveness Elizabeth Elliot, the cycle was broken!

(See: “Through Gates of Splendor” and “Beyond the Gates of Splendor”)

My advice to LeBron is to clear the court and start a new game: Forgive. 

I’ve spoken. I just hope somebody listens.

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Filed under America, current events

A Note from the Left to the Right: “You’re Lying”

Welcome back to Controversial Tuesdays! It’s the day of the week where I post things that may get me into trouble, or at least tick somebody off.

Actually, I don’t want to make people angry with me. I want people to like me. But we live in a day and age where many, many people are being forced into silence by those on the ideological left through intimidation and actual threats.

Therefore, for today, I want to reply to a post on Facebook by an unknown author. Maybe you have already seen it. However, below is the whole post with my short thoughts or comments inserted.

Just a note for my right leaning family and friends from my left leaning self as we near voting day:

They say we want to disband police departments (and that we hate the police): we don’t, that’s a lie. We want to weed out racism and unnecessary police brutality and for those who abuse their power to be held accountable.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/minneapolis-city-council-intent-disband-police-department/

https://www.blackenterprise.com/black-lives-matter-leader-outlines-five-year-plan-to-eliminate-police/

They say we want to release all prisoners: we don’t, that’s a lie. We want to weed out racism and ensure the punishments match the crimes and to deprivatize prisons.

https://towardfreedom.org/blog-blog/call-for-action-to-release-prisoners/

Only 8% of prisons are privately run.

They say we want open borders: we don’t, that’s a lie.  We want asylum seekers to be given their chance to seek asylum.  We want to help people who are coming from unimaginable terror and poverty help to give them the chances we have.   We want to ensure children aren’t separated from their parents and that nobody is kept in cages.  But we do want proper vetting.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/policy-2020/immigration/

https://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2019/07/are-democrats-now-the-party-of-open-borders/

They say we want to take away your guns: we don’t, that’s a lie.  We want logical gun control to help prevent mass shootings.

Two words: England, Australia.

They say we want to wage a war on Christianity and Christian values: we don’t, that’s a lie.  We want people of all religions to be able to practice and worship freely.

 I don’t even know where to begin. It’s sort of like someone telling you they don’t want to take away your right to eat sugar cubes, but they want to ban sugar. Of course, there is a regular offensive taking place which targets conservative Christian doctrine. The author of this defense of liberalism and Democrats is either naïve or disingenuous.

They say we want to get everything for free: we don’t, that’s a lie.  We want to work hard and make sure that healthcare and education are affordable for all.

Wait, so no more Obama handouts? No free phones? No free rent? No free daycare? No free food? No paid maternity leave? No minimum wage hikes? No FREE health care? Riiight.

They say we want a war against traditional marriage:  we don’t, that’s a lie.  We want people of all sexual orientations to be able to love freely, no matter who you love.

No, THAT is a lie. The redefinition of marriage is an assault on what traditional marriage even is. To want people to love whomever they want is not the same argument as the government and forced social acceptance of same-sex marriage.

They say we want to destroy or rewrite history: we don’t, that’s a lie.  We want to recognize the ugly parts of our past and do everything we can to say “that’s not okay, let’s not honor those aggressors, let’s not let those things happen again”.

Then why all the re-written history books? Why the destruction of monuments? I could go on.

They say we want to take away your constitutional rights: we don’t, that’s a lie.  We choose to believe science and wear masks and try to prevent the spread of this disease.

Actually, I don’t believe you even CARE about our constitutional rights. And as to believing science, science is not a thing to believe; the results of scientific study are. Therein lies a huge problem – who you gonna believe?

They say we hate America:  we don’t, that’s a lie. We just recognize our faults and want us to do better, be better.

Seriously? I mean, SERIOUSLY? https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3262700537144792&extid=d3T9xRzsUWsnsNO2

Stop with the us vs. them.  Stop with the straw man arguments.  Stop with the fake news.  Stop with fox news.  Our position is one of empathy, compassion and logic.  Stop believing the hype. Stop with the division.   Just because we want equality for all doesn’t mean we want to take anything away from you. – Unknown. Please share.

No, you actually DO want to take away from me the right to believe differently than you do without being beaten in the streets, harassed at restaurants, or being made to fear for my life if I publicly express my support for President Donald Trump.

Peace out.

Not in Portland, Baltimore, Wisconsin, Atlanta, etc., etc., etc.

What do you think? Is it all lies? One side or the other? Feel free to leave a comment, but try to be nice.

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Filed under America, politics

“I Don’t Know How a Christian, Especially a Minister, Could Vote for Trump”

WARNING!

Welcome to “Controversial Tuesday“!

I have decided to devote Tuesdays each week to something controversial. If you remember, a couple of weeks ago I asked what you would like for me to write about.

From your responses I will craft my posts.

“I Don’t Know How a Christian…”

The title for today is a statement I have heard for the last 4 years in some form or another. And now that an election is just months away, it’s a statement or question that’s being repeated time and time again.

Why Trump?

As a Christian minister, my conscience will not allow me to vote for Joe Biden, or any Democrat (because of their support of abortion). But then you may ask, “Do you mean to tell us that you think Donald Trump is more of a Christian than Biden?” No, I don’t think that. All I can do is judge them by their actions and take them at their word.

Then, in a raised, indignant voice you might come back with, “Do you mean to tell me, as a Christian, a Baptist pastor, you would actually condone voting for a man who groped women’s privates, owned strip clubs, and has made millions off of questionable construction deals?”

I would say that’s a fair question, to which I would continue, “Do you mean to tell me it would be MORE Christian to vote for a man who constantly sniffs young girls and touches women, was known to walk around naked in the VP mansion, and helped his son make millions from Russian oil companies?”

The Video

You know what, I’m going to YouTube and I’m going to record a video. There’s more to say and I don’t want to type it.

On a final note, and something that I wish I had addressed in the video, is the claim that America is being destroyed by Trump, or the claim that Trump brought in an era of violence, meanness, hatred, etc. How can one suggest such things?

Was it Trump who marched in the streets the day after the election carrying signs reading “Not my president!”? Was it Trump who was attacking people wearing MAGA hats? Was it Trump who was forcing the race card into every conversation? Was it Trump who was falsely accusing anyone of colluding with the Russians to steal an election? Was it Trump who nothing, not one thing, not even a syllable spoken was positive?

No one cared about Trump until he shockingly got elected and defeated Hillary Clinton. So many serious left-wing voters were crushed when Hillary lost, and there was no way they could forgive the Orange Man.

Maybe next Tuesday I will talk about the Police. Any suggestions to the otherwise? 

 

11 Comments

Filed under Abortion, America, Culture Wars, politics, voting

Statements, Services, and Studies: A Whole Day’s Worth

It is Sunday evening in Georgia,

and all I can say is that I’m glad I’m not in Atlanta. However, I’ve got a daughter, a son-in-law, and a granddaughter in Charleston, SC, and it’s bad there, too.

Honestly, I’m furious and sickened by the senseless thuggery and domestic terrorism that’s spreading havoc across the country. There’s no excuse for it. None.

Well, I’ve written about the subject of the protests and riots, already. So, what I’m going to do tonight is share the video that was my day.

The first video is from Facebook. I hope you can view it. I went live this morning before the scheduled morning service that had been recorded earlier.

The second video is of the service prerecorded for airing at 11 a.m. Unfortunately, I got the date wrong! 😩

The last video is from tonight where I was live from Augusta, GA. Even though it was originally on Facebook Live, I uploaded it to YouTube.  In this study I taught from Acts 9 while sitting in a hotel lobby.

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Filed under Bethlehem Baptist Church, Bible Study, Christian Maturity, Christianity, Church, community, current events, Preaching, Selah

Is It Perception Or Deception?

The Way We See It

If I have heard it said once, I have heard it said a thousand times, “perception is reality.” And if I have puked once…well, you know the rest.

What is it with man’s twisted view of reality and truth? Where do we get the idea that reality is what we perceive it to be? Is truth really relative to our own perception of the way things are? Just because a person believes something to be true doesn’t make it true, only believed.

Have you ever argued with someone who is color-blind over the color of a tie? Have you ever tried to convince someone dying of thirst that it’s not really water, but a mirage? Have you ever tried to convince a 3-year-old that germs are real and that hands need to be washed before eating? Some people think they know what they see, but they don’t.

Have you ever tried to argue with an ophthalmologist (eye doctor) about the letters on the wall? Yes, a “B” may appear to your flawed eyes as a “D”, but that doesn’t change what is on the wall.

Hot or Cold?

Sure, there are certain times when it seems like truth is relative, and here is a good example.

When my wife and I walk into a room, both of us will perceive a different sensation. If the temperature on the thermometer reads 70 degrees, then my wife is going to exclaim, “Why is it so hot in here?” On the other hand, I am going to say, “I think it feels fine.” I may, depending on how hot the temperature is outside, think that what my wife perceives to be hot is actually cool.

Both are correct based on our individual experiences and perceptions, but in reality the truth of the temperature is still 70, regardless of how we feel about it.

Clean Drunks

Several years ago I was unfortunate enough to transport a bunch of college kids to a party. It was unfortunate because long before some of them ever got on the school bus they had already been drinking.

The place they were going to was up a mountain. About 5 minutes into the trip, about the third or fourth curve, one girl decided to vomit on the window, down the inside wall, and between the seats. It was all liquid, all alcohol, and all nasty. A few minutes later she felt she was ready to go party some more, for, in her eyes, she was perfectly clean. The only problem was that we (everyone on the bus) could tell she was soaked…in other words, we weighed the “spirits.”

God Sees Everything

When it comes to self-perception, reality is what God sees. He not only sees the outside, but the heart is bare before Him. As the proverb says, a man may consider himself clean, which is his own perception of reality, but the Lord knows what’s really going on.

For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

It is foolish for men to try to justify their sinful, dirty actions before a holy God. It is foolish to depend on our own perception of what is right and wrong. Our eyes only want to see what makes us look good, not evil.

That is why we need God’s wisdom.

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Filed under General Observations, Life Lessons, voting, wisdom

Unliked, But Respected (a repost)

It’s going to be a busy day, today, so I was scrolling through the past and came across this post from 2017. I thought it would be good to repost it. Why? Because it shows how one person can make a difference in his/her community. It shows how just one person can affect even the direction of the government, if only temporarily.

You may feel like you are a nobody, but God made you a “somebody,” and all it takes is somebody to make a difference. And in the process, even if it doesn’t make people like you, it will earn you some respect.


A Bad Law

Not long ago a tragedy occurred in my town of Chattanooga, a tragedy that was felt across the nation, even around the world. Back in November of last year (2016) a school bus transporting children from Woodmore Elementary School crashed, ultimately being nearly cut in half by a tree, resulting in many injuries and 6 deaths.

Almost immediately people familiar with the story, and especially the affected families and friends within the Woodmore community, began calling out for seat belts on school buses. Actually, it was at Erlanger Hospital, where many of the wounded children were taken, that I heard grieving parents scream in anger, “That bus driver was wearing a seat belt, and he’s still alive! Why did he get to wear a seat belt and my baby didn’t?!!” When I heard those words I knew what was coming.

It wasn’t long before Tennessee State House Representative JoAnne Favors (D) of the 29th District put forth a bill that would require all school buses in the state to have seatbelts. The argument was that if the children from Woodmore had been wearing seatbelts, many would not have been hurt, and some may not have died. “How many more children have to die,” they would ask, “until we make seatbelts mandatory?”

The problem, however, was that the only ones arguing for requiring seatbelts on all school buses were those who never drove a school bus or had to deal with all that takes place on one. When bus drivers were given the opportunity over social media to express their opinion, the overwhelming consensus was that seatbelts on a school bus was a bad, bad idea.

I  Had to Act

The bill calling for requiring seatbelts on buses began to work its way through committee after committee, and it began to appear there was no stopping it. As a school bus driver I desperately wanted to state my case in front of one of these committees in Nashville, but how could I? Every time they had a meeting where the public could voice their opinions, we bus drivers were actually on the job. About the only thing I could do was resort to social media.

Early on, way back in December of 2016, I posted to Facebook a short video giving reasons why the seatbelt bill would be a bad law. That video got a little response, but nothing came of it.

Then, on April 28, on WRCB (Channel 3) I saw David Karnes interview Rep. JoAnne Favors and the attorney for the Woodmore families, C. Mark Warren. What they said ticked me off so much I had to do something right then, so I went directly to Facebook Live and recorded the following rant 😉

Click on the screenshot from my phone to watch the video.

The above Facebook Live video was quickly shared among the bus-driving community, and several suggested that I do more, even take off work and go to Nashville. The overwhelming proof that bus drivers do not want belts, and why, became evident in the thousands of views and hundreds of comments which continue to accumulate.

Taking It to the News Media

It is now the evening of May 5th, and David Karnes has yet to return my requests to counter Rep. Favors’ claims on his April 28th television program. Needless to say, especially with the urging of others, I made calls to other news stations in our area, expressing my belief that bus drivers were not getting a fair deal – we were not being able to share our side of this issue… and WE were the ones who were going to have to deal with the results of its implementation!

At first, I called the newsroom of WDEF (Channel 12). The gentleman I spoke with there assured me that nothing would come of Favor’s bill, so there was no need for me to share my thoughts. Well, then… la ti da.

Then, undeterred, I called WTVC (Channel 9). The lady I spoke with, unlike the gentleman at Channel 12, thought what I was saying sounded worth investigating. She told me that what I was saying was definitely interesting, and with the programming director listening in she informed me that a reporter would get back with me on Monday. She asked, “Would you have any problem talking on camera?”

“Heck, no!” I replied. “I’d be happy to talk on camera!” I mean, what kind of question was that? I then referred her to my Facebook page.

Monday came around, but no one called; I figured nothing would come of my call. Then on Tuesday morning, the very day on which another vote was to take place in another committee in Nashville, a reporter called me and set up an interview.

From around 10:30 to 11:30a.m. I sat in front of a TV camera and cameraman, a reporter, and a program director. For a whole hour, I was given the chance to respond to some very pointed questions and give my thoughts on the whole seatbelt issue.

The rest of the morning and afternoon, even until the evening, I felt sick. What worried me was the fact that I was an employee of the company that had been sued over the deaths and injuries resulting from the Woodmore crash. Going back to November of last year we had been instructed to avoid interviews with the media. But this was different, for I was acting as nothing more than a bus driver in Tennessee who was concerned about a possible bad law. I didn’t know how the news media would edit my interview, and all I could think of was how much trouble I could be in on Wednesday.

However, I wasn’t fired! The following video will show that the resulting editing was not only fair but quite favorable to my position.

The Point of This Post

Wednesday morning I went into work, not knowing what to expect. What I got were “high fives” and multiple joking requests for my autograph. After a few humorous requests, I held up the sign-in sheet where all drivers are to sign their names each morning and said, “Now that I’m famous, all of these sign-in sheets will be worth money, so don’t throw them away.” Ha!

Then, as I was standing there, an older woman, a driver of a special needs school bus (a small bus), walked up to me and began to talk.

“Mr. Baker, I need to tell you something.”

“OK,” I said. Now, keep in mind I had never, not once, spoken with this woman ever before.

“This is me…” she pointed to herself, “…so this is me talking…”

“OK,” was my response, again.

“You know,” she began, “I have never really cared very much for you…”

What was I supposed to say? How was I supposed to respond? Like I said, I had never even spoken with this lady, so what had I done to offend her? Anyway, she continued…

“But I want you to know that I respect what you did…what you said on TV. What you did was courageous, and what you said on our behalf as drivers is very much appreciated.”

Well, now! I got smacked in the face and complimented all at the same time!

Then, in regard to my concern that the management of the company could fire me for being interviewed on television, she matter-of-factly assured me, “And if those people in the office have a problem with what you’ve done, then I will go down there with you and tell them to their face they can kiss your a**, and my a**, too!”

With raised eyebrows and a nod of my head, all I could say in response was, “”Well, uh, thanks…I appreciate it.”

When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. – Proverbs 16:7

All I could think about was how that when we stand up for what is right, even those who hate us may find some reason to respect us. That was the only way I could explain why this older woman who “never really cared much” for me would put her own “a**” on the line.

The Aftermath

Believe it or not, JoAnne Favors pulled the bill! CLICK HERE for the story.

Did my actions have anything to do with it? Honestly, I’d like to think so.

This afternoon, the lady who I mentioned earlier stopped by my car window as I was leaving work. She asked, “So, are you proud of yourself?”

“Well, to be honest,” I began, “I’d like to think I had a part in what happened.”

“I’m sure you did,” she said.

So, yeah, it feels good to have accomplished something…maybe. But it feels better to be respected, 

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Filed under community, current events, Life Lessons, politics, self-worth

Pastors and Politics

I just want to take a quick moment to blog. By that I mean that I want to do what blogging used to be meant for: a web log of thoughts; a diary of sorts.

What thoughts do I want to record and share with the world? Politics. Specifically, pastors and the subject of politics.

The reason I want to simply “blog” is because I have not done any research, sourcing, or anything like that in order to craft a professional opinion piece. This is not meant to be an article worth publishing in a news paper or magazine. I have no links to news stories or pictures to share.

No, all this is meant to be is me sharing my thoughts off the cuff, unprepared, and dangerous.

You see, I have political opinions. I have my opinions about our President. I have strong opinions about the government and the direction we should be going as a country. Yet, as a pastor, my thoughts on these issues are considered taboo, off limits, no matter if they are spoken from the pulpit or elsewhere (and I’m speaking generically, not specifically about my current congregation).

It’s a strange situation to be in, actually. I mean, here we are, pillars in the community, men tasked with preaching truth without compromise, yet if we mention anything about conservative policies we think might better the community, we’re in danger of alienating people and running the risk of splitting a congregation!

It’s pretty sad, isn’t it? Shouldn’t the gospel apply to every area of life? Shouldn’t the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Apostles find application in the voting booth? It would seem so. However, I could preach about anything, even against same-sex marriage, and aside from the vitriolic response I might get from friends of the rainbow, the average church member would support me in my pastoral, prophetic role. Yet, talk about anything political that might hint of my personal persuasions and I’d likely be censured.

Do you ever wonder why this is? Do you ever wonder why it is that a pastor cannot talk about politics that same way he can about adultery, lying, anger, murder, hate, hypocrisy, abuse, weighted scales, and bigotry?

Think about it… there are people in Christian media and print, along with nationally-known religious personalities, who are taking full advantage of their platforms to say anything negative about our President, even to the point of calling for his impeachment. Yet, if the average pastor stood behind the pulpit and said, “I think we ought to pray for Donald Trump, that he should succeed and become a great President, for our country and the world’s sake,” he’d likely be labeled a fascist, racist, evil Nazi sympathizer.

Oh, I forgot. It’s OK to admit you pray for the President, but only if you’re Nancy Pelosi and your ultimate goal is his imprisonment.

Here’s the thing, though. In every congregation of believers in Christ there are going to be people who are members of different political factions, and that goes for everywhere. Yet, when it comes to issues of right and wrong, good and evil, and how we should live out our faith in the public arena, which includes the voting booth, if God’s sufficient Word cannot find application that should guide the Christian, if there are areas in life that cannot be addressed by Scripture for fear that it might offend the Christian or bruise his personal sacred cow, then is the revealed Word of God really all it claims to be?

Prudence soaked in love; wisdom granted by the Spirit; and a keen contextual awareness are key when considering when, where, and how we should address these topics. However, fear should never be the motivating factor that intimidates us into silence when God has a Word to say.

Those are my thoughts on this Friday afternoon.

God bless.

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Filed under America, blogging, Christian Unity, community, General Observations, politics, Preaching

Thoughts On Impeachment

I am not a politician, nor do I play one on TV. Once I daydreamed about running for Congress, but then I returned to reality and drank a strong cup of coffee – no more of that nonsense.

However, I am a voter who has been watching politicians for many years, especially the last three, and I’ve been pretty disgusted by the whole lot.

Granted, not all politicians are sleazy scumbags. I get it. As a matter of fact, over the years I have had the privilege to know a couple of government officials, servants, who love our country, had high moral and ethical standards, and were not afraid to put their careers on the line while doing the right thing. But those are truly, truly rare these days.

Now, today, I get to see the culmination of three years of attacks on the President of the United States of America: impeachment.

Frankly, I find it funny that we went through two years or more of people absolutely sure Donald Trump colluded with the Russians and played patty cake in a hot tub with Vladimir Putin. They had “evidence” to “prove” it. Yet, none of that is part of the impeachment being voted on today.

As a matter of fact, the Democrat Party in America, aided by the mainstream press (a willing extension of the Party), has done nothing but look for any reason whatsoever to destroy President Trump and remove him from office, even before his inauguration! Even before he took the oath of office, there were protests, calls for violence, fires in the streets, intimidation of voters, and yes, calls for impeachment.

Simply put, the Left has hated Donald Trump since he shattered their dreams and defeated the Ice Queen, Hillary Clinton. There was nothing he could every do to win them over. There would be nothing he could ever do to gain their approval. Simply because he won the election, he, along with half the country (the “deplorables”), would be the recipients of attack after attack after attack. The Left’s pathological hatred would drive their whole agenda.

So, on this historic day, President Donald Trump is being impeached in the House for the most pitiful of excuses for “crimes and misdemeanors” anyone has ever seen. He’s not being impeached for colluding, lying under oath, bribery, tweeting too much, bad hair, getting jiggy with an intern behind the “resolute desk” in the Oval Office, or breaking into the Democrat headquarters. No, he’s being impeached because of misrepresented conversations and disrespecting those who’ve done nothing less than try to carry out a coup.

And the American people are wising up.

Blind hatred can lead one to do stupid things, including self-destructive behavior. When your sole mission in life is to destroy another person, you become bitter, narrow-minded, angry, mean, and eventually delusional. What’s even worse, hatred and a desire for vengeance can wind up hurting the very ones you love – including your country.

When nothing else is as important than vindication, retribution, and the orgasmic desire for the destruction of your enemy, you  become the servant of Evil and the hand tool of the Destroyer.

America is worse off now than if it had let the man elected President do his job, good or bad. Seething, delusional, maniacal, and pathological hate has divided and wounded this nation, all because a single man won an election, thereby stalling the radical agenda of those hell-bent on cultural transformation.

It’s an historic day, for sure.

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Filed under America, politics