State validation

Why do so many Christians seem to require the state’s validation of their beliefs?

Is their faith so weak that without constant reminders that the majority of the country also believes in God and Jesus that they would fall away?

Do they think Jesus is sitting up in heaven with a lightning bolt saying, “By Dad, if those Americans don’t get around to plastering my name on every state owned building, I’m so going to smite them…”?

What is the deep seated inner need for this? I think some people need to right, so they can be assured that other people are wrong.

But I’m honestly curious at this point. So any Christians out there who do want Ten Commandments monuments on government land and prayer in schools and other displays by the State of theism in general and your faith in particular, please explain to me why you want that and why we can’t simply let the government be secular and each of us practice our religion as we believe God wants us to?

Random news…

  • Shorter Jeb Bush: Americans should be less like those Wal-mart workers (whose managers force them to only work 29 hours a week so they don’t get benefits) and more like those 8 year-old kids who work in the factories that produce the crap Wal-mart sells (whose managers force them to work 16 hour days for 50 cents a day!)

    Just think of it, if you had started working at 8 for .50 a day and you set aside .5 a day towards your 401k, you could have almost $10,000 when you retire! Truly the American dream.

Oklahoma Supreme Court abolishes Christianity…

Look, Oklahoma Supreme Court,  if I don’t have a public display reminding me of my Christian faith, then all we have left are our bibles, our churches, Christian books, Christian radio stations, Christian movies and TV shows, Christian T-shirts, Christian breath mints, and novelty Christian chotskies like Precious Moments figurines.

How am I expected to maintain my faith with such a paucity of reminders not to go out and worship idols?

A helpful primer for Christians regarding SCOTUS’ decision today…

So what happened today?

The Supreme Court has legalized gay marriage today in a 5-4 decision that applies to all 50 states. Meaning that gay people can now marry one another anywhere in the country.

So what does this mean for me? 

Honestly? Probably nothing. I’m assuming if you’re a Christian concerned about this ruling that you’re not gay, so it doesn’t really affect you at all.

So this doesn’t invalidate my marriage?

Nope. You’re still married.

But isn’t my marriage less special now? 

Is it? Do you still love your spouse?


Then no. You’re marriage is the same as it was yesterday.

But what about religious liberty? 

What about it?

Isn’t the gay agenda going to force all Christians to accept their lifestyle and outlaw the bible and preaching that homosexuality is a sin from the pulpit as ‘hate’ speech? 

Okay, first, I would guess that most gay people aren’t evil monsters out to destroy you personally. Second, you mention religious liberty, so you’ve obviously heard of the First Amendment, which would prohibit any attempt by the government (Federal, State, or Local) to suppress you or your pastor’s ability to call being gay a sin all day long.

Now, that won’t stop gay people from saying that your insistence on saying that makes you a bigot, because that is also personal speech protected by the 1st Amendment.

I’m not sure I like that.

Well, then you probably shouldn’t go around telling random gay strangers that they are depraved sinners.

What about my church or my church’s school? Will they be forced to hire gay people and offer benefits to gay spouses? 

Are they forced to hire gay people now?


There’s you’re answer. The courts have typically given religious institutions a great deal of latitude when it comes to who they hire. Typically, the employees must agree with a statement of faith and conduct. If you’re church or church school doesn’t want to hire gay people, they don’t really have to.

Where the law gets a bit murky is if a religious institution is running a for-profit business that serves the general public or runs a service that accepts state or Federal funds. In those cases, you may be held to existing anti-discrimination statutes by the courts.

Well… what if I own a business like a bakery and a gay couple want to buy a wedding cake? 

Personally, my answer would be to bake them the cake, go to the wedding if they invite you, hug them, dance with them, wish them the best, befriend the couple, and when you’ve earned the right to do so, then you can bring up your faith.

I’m not sure Jesus would approve of that. 

Jesus was constantly accused of hanging out with sinners, prostitutes, and traitorous tax collectors that defrauded the people. He was also accused of loving wine a bit too much. Even if Jesus thinks that gay folks are sinners, I’m sure he’d understand.

What if I still don’t feel comfortable baking that cake? 

One answer is that you should do it because it’s your job. And part of that job is serving all customers under the law regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or creeds.

Another answer is which would you rather you and your faith be known as, the person who said “No because your love and marriage are sinful and God will judge you” or the person who bakes the best damn cake ever, greets them with a smile, and hugs them?

Yet another answer would be to ask why you don’t feel comfortable doing that? Is it just because the customers are gay? Would you a heterosexual divorcee’s second wedding? Would it occur to you to ask them about their past marital status?

But I don’t like the government telling me I have to cater their wedding! 

I don’t like speed laws or paying taxes. It’s the price we pay to live in a civilized society. So render to Caesar and all that.

Okay, but what about Sodom and Gomorrah and fire and brimstone and all that?

Somehow if God didn’t destroy America for slavery, ethnic cleansing, Jim Crow and the “strange fruit” of Southern trees, Imperialistic violence and massacres in the Philippines, rampant gun violence, and hell, let’s throw in the Iraq War, I think we’ll be okay now that Adam and Steve can say, “I do.”


So, there’s really nothing in this ruling that affects me? 

Nope. Not at all.

Then why is everyone so angry? 

Beats me. Probably fear of change. Politicians using fear to con people into giving them money or to distract them from realizing how badly we’re all getting screwed by the constant collaboration between corporations and governments, but that’s just my guess.

So, uh… how about those Dodgers? 

I’m an Angels fan.

I’m so sorry. 

Yeah, me too.

Life with a Preschooler – a three act play

I love my daughter. I really do… but some days…

Act 1 – The Family Dinner

Child: What did you make for dinner, Daddy?

Dad: Meatball soup.

Child: I don’t like that.

Dad: Yes, you do. It has potatoes, meatballs, and soup. You like those things.

Child: I don’t like that.

Dad: Eat it. And you’re welcome.

Child: Aw, man…

Dad: If you eat your dinner, you can have apple pie afterwards with mommy, daddy, and your brother.

Child takes two bites of the broth.

Child: Can I have dessert?

Dad: No.

Child: (Whining voice) Why nooooooot?

Dad: Because you haven’t eaten your dinner.

Child: I did eat it!

Dad: Eat. Your. Dinner.

Child stares at bowl for ten minutes, stirs the soup around for a bit. Stares at it again.

Child: Can I have dessert now?

Dad: No.

Child: (Whining voice) Why noooooot?

Act 2 – Dessert in the living room.

Mom, Dad, and Brother are eating pie in the living room watching TV. Child climbs up on couch next to Dad. Puts her hand in his apple pie.

Dad: No! What are you doing? Moves her hands away.

Child puts her feet up by Dad’s face.

Mom: Knock it off now.

Child sits up and puts hands on Dad’s plate near pie. Dad moves hands away.

Dad: Last warning, kiddo.

Child ignores Dad. Puts hands back Dad’s arm near the plate as he’s trying to take a bite of apple pie.

Dad: Okay, go get me a toy. I told you to stop and you didn’t. Now you owe me a toy.

Child: NO! I just wanted to hug you!

Dad: That isn’t what you were doing. Go get me a toy, or I’ll choose one myself.

Child: No! No!

Mom: Okay, Dad can choose the toy to take away and now you owe us a time out.

Child: No!

Dad goes to get a toy. Child tries to physically block him from her room. Dad ignores her. Picks a cheap happy meal toy Child has had buried in  a drawer for six months.


Dad contemplates inventing time machine to go back in time and warn past self to wear a condom.

Mom: Go to timeout.

Child: NO!

Mom: You don’t say no to us. Go to time out or Dad will have to take another toy.

Child: NO!

Dad takes another toy.

CHILD: NO! I’m SLEEPY! I’m so tired!

Mom: Then you can go to bed if you’re not going to listen.

Child: NO!

Act 3- Early bed time.

Child uses whining voice throughout entire act.

Dad: Get in your pajamas, please.

Child: No!

Dad: Does daddy have to dress you like when you were a baby or are you going to be a big girl and put on your pajamas?

Child: I don’t want to go to bed.

Dad: Your choices are bed or time out. Pick one.

Child: I just want to watch TV

Dad: Well, you could, if you went to timeout and sat quietly for four minutes.

Child tries timeout. Plays with a toy she found buried under a chair. Dad takes it away. Child puts feet up on the wall. Mom tells her to stop. Child ignores Mom.

Dad: Well, this isn’t working, so back to bed.

Child: No!

Dad carries her to bed. Child kicks and cries the entire time.

Dad: Okay, put your pajamas on.

Child: No!

Dad: Do you need help with your dress?

Starts to unzip the back of dress.

Child: I”LL DO IT!

Dad: Okay, Sweetie. You do it.

Child changes Clothes. Dad tucks her in.

Dad: You know, I don’t like punishing you. I just want you to listen to mommy and daddy.

Child cries, then starts playing with a toy.

Dad: (Sigh) Fine. Good night.

Child comes out of room four more times, loses two more toys. Dad almost starts dropping F-bombs on multiple occasions. Manages to refrain, but does mutter, “Jesus Christ….” under his breath once before drinking a few glasses of wine and wondering about that time machine again. 

End scene.

More bodies for Moloch…

Yet another isolated incident.

But this isn’t about guns, because it’s never about guns. And it’s definitely not about race, because it’s never about race.

God damn it.

In which Franklin Graham steps on a rake

If you’ve been watching TV and all lately, you might have come across a Wells Fargo commercial in which two women have decided to adopt a daughter who is deaf and they meet her and speak in sign language with her introducing themselves as her new mommies.

While some may find the spot heart warming and even commendable with its positive message about adopting children with special needs, Franklin Graham sees it a little differently:

He characterized the touching spot as just another example of “the tide of moral decay that is being crammed down our throats by big business, the media, and the gay & lesbian community,” and urged his flock to follow his lead by boycotting Wells Fargo.

Well, okay… I mean… wow… that’s certainly your right. But you do know that most companies these days not named Hobby Lobby are pretty cool with gay folks and have realized that the best way to compete is to attract a diverse workforce and customer base, right? And therefore it might be a bit difficult to find an institution that takes its business strategy from the book of Leviticus. (They also had a really strong objection to the ‘no usury’ bits.)

Apparently not.

As Brian Tashman at Right Wing Watch pointed out, it appears that if Graham wanted to distance his father’s money from those who support “The Homosexual Agenda,” he should have done a little more research.

In the past year, BB&T sponsored the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade...


Nor is BB&T merely paying lip-service to the LGBT community. Earlier this year, the bank hosted a gay couple’s wedding reception in its South Beach branch.

Double Oops…

No doubt, he’ll have a good laugh, calm down, and live and let live… or you know… start the First Bank of Graham.