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Jimmy Carter on Katrina
August 26th, 2008 under Baptists, Christianity, ChristianWalk, Katrina, New Orleans, Politics, Poor, Recovery, Social Issues, Walking Like Jesus. [ Comments: none ]

President Jimmy Carter shows the lack of progress after Katrina. He makes me proud to be a baptist!

HT: Schroeder


Hannity, Fox, Violence, and Idiocy
July 31st, 2008 under Christian Crap, Christianity, ChristianWalk, FoxNews, Politics, Racism, Rant, Social Issues, violence, Walking Like Jesus. [ Comments: none ]

Steve asked some great questions in his reply to my last post that I want to address.

What is the difference between his ‘hate’ and yours?

Painting a broad swath of people with a broad brush stroke, based on what news channel they watch, is just as bigoted as anything that news channel may put out.

I could be wrong here, but here’s my justification.
1. A lot of prophets including Jesus engaged in name-calling, but they restricted it to the hypocrites and folks who were self-righteous. I don’t think I’m better than anyone and I’m open to criticism. I have never been described as self-righteous. Those who know me can testify to that. Pointing out errors within the “Christian” community is not hate.
2. Christians who cannot see how offensive and hate-filled the Fox News folks are are idiots. Sorry. That’s just how it is. Folks who call themselves Christians and are racists are idiots too since they don’t see how racism is inconsistent with the message of Jesus.
3. Idiots aren’t necessarily bad people. I was raised in a very racist context. When I was a kid, I told jokes about persons from various ethnic backgrounds and didn’t think anything of it. However, as I grew up and became more reflective about the message of Jesus, I realized that what I had done was sinful and I needed to change. I realized that I was a sinner and an idiot.
4. I think Christians who watch Fox News and are not offended by the hatred and bad behavior of the folks on the air are idiots. God still loves them and I do my best to love them too, but they’re still idiots.
5. When folks on the other stations start telling people to “Shut up!” and cut their microphones off, then I’ll find them offensive too. Why can’t Christians see this is wrong?
6. When CBS or NBC or any other “news” station refers to Michelle Obama a “baby momma,” I’ll find that offensive too. Why can’t Christians see this as racist?
7. Would real networks joke about a terrorist fist jab? Is this really Fair and Balanced? If you think it is, then you’re an idiot.
8. I could go on, but these ought to be enough. If it’s not, you might be an idiot too. I’m not saying that you’re a threat to America that needs to be stopped (But I probably should.) and I would never use violent terms such as “war against” or other terms that might be used to justify violence against idiots.


Why Pray?
July 30th, 2008 under Christian Crap, Christianity, ChristianWalk, God, Poor, Quotes, Social Issues, Walking Like Jesus. [ Comments: none ]

prayers.jpg

I saw this banner at one of my favorite sites: Unreasonable Faith. My son introduced me to this blog and I’ve really grown to enjoy it. Here’s Daniel’s response to the banner:

Is it really surprising there is a market for this kind of book, since unanswered prayers are the only kind that exist?

I feel sad for people who are stuck thinking their prayers are unanswered because their technique is bad or because they don’t know “God’s secrets” to prayer.

By the way, since I’ve stopped praying, I’ve noticed I still get the things I want… about 50% of the time. Same as before. And think of all the time I’ve saved!

The other day, there was also this interesting quote on the site:

24,000 children died today from starvation. What makes you think God will answer your prayers?

—Atheist bumper sticker (via William Lobdell)

Daniel raises some tough questions for Christians. I welcome his perspective. The above quote has changed my prayer life quite a bit!


Southern Baptists, Social Issues, and Presidential Candidates
July 2nd, 2008 under Baptists, Christianity, Politics, Social Issues, Walking Like Jesus. [ Comments: none ]

Baptist Press, the official news outlet for Southern Baptists has weighed in on the presidential election. According to a recent poll by LifeWay Research, 80 percent of Southern Baptist pastors support McCain and 1 percent back Obama. Fifteen percent were undecided.

Another interesting article by Baptist Press identified the candidates’ positions on “five issues important to social conservatives.” These issues are: Judges, Abortion, Gay Marriage & Gay Rights, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, and Global Warming.

In regard to Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Baptist press describes it this way—“Both Obama and McCain support giving federal funding to embryonic stem cell research, which kills the tiny human beings.” OUCH!

I’m not too surprised about the “top five social issues” except for the long discussion on judges. I am a bit shocked that immigration isn’t on there. If pressed for my top five I’d have to say they are the following: poverty, health care, environmental issues, human rights, the war in Iraq. I might need to revise these a bit (Any suggestions?). Corporate greed and consumerism really bother me, but I doubt a presidential candidate can do anything about that.


Follow Jesus, You Maroons!
May 22nd, 2008 under Baptists, Christian Crap, Christianity, ChristianWalk, FoxNews, God, Hypocrisy, Racism, Rant, Social Issues, Walking Like Jesus. [ Comments: 3 ]

Woman at the WellWarning…this is a rant. I’m really ticked so there might be a few offensive phrases. See the picture on this post? It’s Jesus with the woman at the well. She was a Samaritan woman. Jews hated Samaritans. Jesus didn’t. He saw her as a human being. God’s kind of like that. You know, loving, not a racist, etc.

I’m flippin’ sick and tired of so called Christians making negative comments about “those Mexicans.” Five words: shut up you flippin’ moron! Read your Bible. Think a bit. Would Jesus be pissed about them coming here to “our” country? I don’t think so. In fact I know he wouldn’t. He’d tell you alleged Christians that you must, Jeez I know this will be a shock, love your neighbor. OK, they’re taking our jobs and costing us lots of money for providing their children with healthcare and education (Why is it that I usually hear this from old retired farts who don’t work anyway?) Let’s just pretend that these “Mexicans” are costing us lots of money and are our enemies.

Guess what? Take a look at your dusty old Bible again! Jesus says we’re supposed to love our enemies. Holy Crap! What to do? Why don’t you shut the heck up, think for a freakin’ minute, turn off Fox News and read the Gospels. Out loud. It’s really not that complex. Do you honestly believe that Jesus would be pissed about providing heathcare for children? We’re one of the richest countries in the world. If we really are a Christian nation (which we’re not) we should be glad to help those in need and not just those who have oil under them and are in need.

Why can’t you ignorant racist bigots realize that your ancestors were probably immigrants too? Of course that really shouldn’t matter if you’re a Christian because you’re supposed to LOVE them anyway. They are children of God, whether you like it or not. Their children are human-freaking-beings created in the image of God! Love them too!

In case you forgot. The Christian’s primary citizenry is the KINGDOM OF GOD not the United States. I know that makes me sound unpatriotic, but if I’ve got to chose someone or something to be obedient to it’s going to be Jesus. Not George Bush, that Hussein Obama guy you like to trash and certainly not that foul mouthed old fart that called his wife the “c” word. If following Jesus hurts the American economy then so be it. If it means I might have to, God forbid, make sacrifices like spending more money on others and less on myself I’ll gladly do it. Jesus’ sacrifice makes anything I do seem a bit lame anyway.

Sorry to break the news to you. If you’re going to follow Jesus, you’re going to have to love those “Mexicans” just like he does. If you’d like the scripture references email me at howie (dot) luvzus (at) gmail (dot) com. I didn’t provide them here because I didn’t want to waste your time and they should be a given anyway.

I wrote this because I love those “Mexicans” and hate to hear you trash them. They’re my brothers and sisters. I also wrote this because I love you too and it pains me to see you miss out on the opportunity to demonstrate God’s love to someone in need.

Now shut up and follow Jesus, you maroons!


Southern Baptists Aren’t Evangelicals
May 21st, 2008 under Baptists, Christian Crap, Christianity, ChristianWalk, Hypocrisy, Politics, Rant, Social Issues, Walking Like Jesus. [ Comments: none ]

foyvalentine_.jpgI remember the good old days in the Southern Baptist Convention. Although many of the moderate professors were rude and condescending toward fundamentalists, the tone of the SBC was a lot less negative in general. You can see that in the resolutions at the conventions prior to the Fundamentalist Takeover in 1979.

Foy Valentine, when asked if Southern Baptists considered themselves Evangelicals, said emphatically that “we don’t share their politics or their fussy fundamentalism.” He also condemned their “theological witch-hunts.” Ah, the good old days!

Recently, an Evangelical Manifesto was composed and signed by such Evangelical greats as, Mark Noll, Alvin Plantinga, Daniel L. Akin, Kay Arthur, Max Lucado, and Jim Wallace. There are many Southern Baptist pastors that also signed on.

However, Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, was critical of the document. Surprise, surprise. Mohler is about the most negative commentator, other than me, that I’ve ever read. Here’s a brief summary of his concerns:

1. Al says it doesn’t condemn non-Christians enough!

“it leaves out the question of the exclusivity of salvation to those who have come to Christ by faith.” Al wants to make damn sure that any group he supports makes it very clear that certain folks (probably lots) are going to hell! This statement wasn’t clear enough for Al: “the only ground for our acceptance by God is what Jesus Christ did on the cross and what he is now doing through his risen life, whereby he exposed and reversed the course of human sin and violence, bore the penalty for our sins, credited us with his righteousness, redeemed us from the power of evil, reconciled us to God, and empowers us with his life ‘from above.'”mohler.jpg


2. Al also isn’t satisfied that Evangelicals don’t condemn other Christians!

Al writes, “Another complication on this score comes from the fact that Evangelicals are identified as ‘one of the great traditions that have developed within the Christian Church over the centuries.’ There is a sense in which this is true, of course, but relegating the Evangelical understanding of the Gospel to just one among many Christian traditions undercuts our witness and sows seeds of confusion.”

God forbid that someone might confuse an Evangelical with one of the pagan streams within Christianity!

3. Al says it’s not negative enough!

He writes, “Evangelicals sometimes have to make strong judgments, the authors assert, but only after clarifying that the “Good News” of the Gospel “is overwhelmingly positive, and is always positive before it is negative.” Further: “Evangelicals are for Someone and for something rather than against anyone or anything.”
This is a wonderful statement, and entirely true. Nevertheless, as a statement of public relations it will not get very far — not if any honest discussion or disclosure follows. As the authors recognize, to be for one principle is to oppose its opposite. Those holding to contrary principles will not be persuaded to cease stating that we are against their principles and aims.”

4. Al says civility is overrated!

Al asks, “Where does a commitment to civility meet its limits? Can one speak truthfully of the Gospel, and of the fact that faith in Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation, and be considered civil?”

Nope. Southern Baptists still aren’t Evangelicals. Unfortunately now that folks like Mohler are “in charge,” those fussy fundamentalists are too nice, civil, and liberal!


Guys: Don’t Pee Sitting Down!
January 28th, 2008 under Christian Crap, Christianity, God, Humor, Social Issues. [ Comments: 4 ]

“>
This sermon is about how men need to Pee standing up! KJV lovers are kinda wacky! Some folks give me a hard time about my use of Acts 9:5. Well, listen to this guy who rails about how the Bible teaches men to be real men. You can show this by peeing standing up.

Sorry Shirley, looks like you’ll need to start looking before you go!
anderson.jpg
Steven L. Anderson is pastor of Faithful Word Baptist Church…a soul-winning, independent, fundamental, King James Bible-only Baptist Church in Phoenix, Arizona.

Steven’s Sermon, Why Billy Graham is On His Way to Hell, can be found here.


John Mellencamp Sings about Jena
October 4th, 2007 under Racism, Social Issues, violence. [ Comments: 1 ]

Check it out here.

HT: Man! I forgot.


Jena 6: Proud of My Texas Baptist Brother!
September 19th, 2007 under Baptists, crime, Louisiana, poor, Racism, Social Issues, violence. [ Comments: none ]

jena6.jpg

I’ll have to admit, after the exchange between some racist knuckleheads from Texas on the second anniversary of Katrina, I was ashamed to be a Texan. But Bruce Prescott reminded me today about a fellow Baptist Texan that is concerned with racial issues (in a good way). His organization, Friends of Justice, is a criminal justice reform organization formed in response to the infamous Tulia drug sting of 1999, in which over half of Tulia’s black males were arrested, about 15% of the town’s black population.

Recently his organization that began as an alliance of Baptist ministers, farmers, school teachers, meat packing workers, fork lift drivers, defendants and their family members also turned their attention to the Jena 6. They’ve done a heck of a job organizing and getting the word out about the Jena 6.

Keep up the good work my brothers and sisters from Texas!

From Ethics Daily:

An American Baptist pastor in Arlington, Texas, is credited with bringing international attention to a civil-rights case in a small Louisiana town known worldwide as the Jena 6.

Thousands of activists were expected to descend on the rural community of 3,000 people–about 350 of whom are black–this Thursday to protest the racially charged sentencing of a black teenager convicted of a felony in the beating of a white student.

 

 

Action Updates

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The Costs of Living in New Orleans
September 17th, 2007 under Katrina, NewOrleans, Politics, Racism, Social Issues. [ Comments: 1 ]

The costs associated with living in a post-K New Orleans are hard to calculate. Sure there are the increases in property taxes, insurance, and utilities. Although they are terribly unfair, they are to be expected. The unexpected costs can also get to you. See my friend Michael’s latest shock.

But probably the biggest costs are ones that are not easily measured in dollars and cents. For instance, prior to Katrina, I only had one job interview that didn’t work out. Having lost my job, spent countless hours in Craigslist, and been to many unsuccessful interviews has done a lot to damage my ego. Being separated from my family for four months so I could bring home some bacon was also terribly damaging in a variety of ways I’m still trying to understand.

Along the way, I’ve picked up way too many pounds, type-two diabetes, a more “colorful” language, and thousands of dollars on my VISA account. I’ve lost some friends, a bit of my faith, and according to one of my colleagues—the hope I used to have.

As soon as my son graduates from High School I might bolt for greener pastures. The latest cost is also not really related to money. Well, it’s sort of related….

My daughter attends Lusher Middle School. To say we’ve had problems with buses this year is an understatement. We arranged for a paid bus to take my daughter to school and drop her off in the afternoons. It was only about $400, but it bothered me because there are many parents on the Westbank that can’t afford to pay for a bus. The alternative? Send their kids to crappy schools. You see, there’s a stereotype out there that all Westbankers are white and rich. It’s far from true, but it makes some people happy to write of whole groups of people that way. Easier to hate.

Now I’ve got a justice issue. I feel guilty because some of my neighbors won’t be able to afford to send their kids to a “good” school. Then great news! We get free buses! Of course the Principal of Lusher did not notify the parents of this great gift because “buses have not been a part of the culture here.” Hmmm. Sorry we’ve imposed upon your “culture” by importing kids from other areas of the city. Isn’t that one of the purposes of charter schools to allow students better access to better schools? Guess not if they’re from the wrong neighborhood. Further, Riedlinger defended not telling parents about the buses by stating, “As parents express interest, we give them information.” I wonder what other helpful information we should ask about? Are there other services?

Why the heck wouldn’t they want to tell parents about services? Why should we have to ask? Hmmm….Looks like they might be hiding something? Great way to run a school! The don’t ask, don’t get information rule is a heck of a management style. Especially if you want to show how much you care for your students!

Then we hear that the free buses have been cancelled again! Only, Lusher administration knew about this for quite some time. If we had known about this, we wouldn’t have cancelled our contract with the paid bus service and lost over a $100!

Fortunately, we have a new contract with a bus service. It’ll cost us another several hundred dollars or so, but we can afford it. Now I’m feeling guilty again. Wish the Lusher folks would feel guilty too.


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