Tag Archives: courage

corrupting influence

“[T]here remains [in some parts of the country] a strong bias towards the old error, that without some sort of alliance or coalition between Govt. & Religion neither can be duly supported. Such indeed is the tendency to such a coalition, and such its corrupting influence on both parties, that the danger cannot be too carefully guarded against.” 
― James Madison, James Madison: Writings

Madison’s words are as true today as when he originally penned them almost two centuries ago. Our nation’s founders separated government and religion to guard against this “corrupting influence on both parties.”

Today we are living with the results of not defending against this old error. Madison warned us to ever guard more closely against this unholy alliance.  We should have heeded his words.

Over 80% of white evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump to be our country’s next president. They knowingly agreed with, and endorsed Trump’s clearly stated anti-Christian values.

This is a clear and present danger. The majority of those voting in this election claiming to follow Jesus Christ cast their vote for a lying, racist, fear-mongering, bigot.  They supported a xenophobic, bullying, braggart who is the antithesis of the love of Jesus Christ reflected in the gospels.

How and why this happened should ring alarms for leaders throughout the faith community. When this large a percentage of “believers” abandon the teachings of Jesus to vote for hate and fear, it is a statement that something is drastically and critically awry.

Personally, I see this as a failure of leadership, itself. There has been a significant lack of courage to address the deep divisive issues of our society from the pulpit. Christian leaders have not led by example, and have played it safe and “made nice” rather than confront un-Christian values in our congregations.

And so now, one cannot tell the believers from the nonbelievers without a program. We have met the enemy and they are us.

 

 

 

a prayer for Advent

This is Advent, the season of preparation. The shops are full of gifts that we might give or receive. Streets are decorated and choirs begin the rounds of community centres and retirement homes with their seasonal offerings of carols. As we prepare, we remember another, John the Baptist, who came to prepare the Jewish people for the arrival of Jesus. John, who would prepare a way through a call to repentance, so that hearts and souls would be ready to receive the One who was to come.

Father God, prepare our hearts not only for the celebration to come, but also for sharing that Good News with friends, family and work colleagues should opportunity arise. Grant us courage and a real willingness to talk about the love that came down to earth and walked among us. Amen

take a stand & live alive

These moving words by Dr. King are timely as we approach a time of massive transition and change in our country. We are called to love one another and to seek justice for all. We cannot allow fear of any measure to keep us from speaking the truth and acting on behalf of those who need our help.

As people of faith we need to be a beacon of hope to all those around us that are being told and being shown that many in our society do not value them, and even hate them. We are also called to love those so fearful that they allow their anger and hatred to lead them to verbal abuse and violence against others.

Jesus calls us to be agents of reconciliation. That means we must care enough to get in the middle and show a more excellent way. We must have the courage to act. We have to demonstrate that peace is possible. The answer isn’t fear, but love.

the things I cannot accept

Each of us have the ability to help create a better world for all of us. We do not have to accept the values we do not believe are right, and that do not reflect who we are. We have the power to change the world.

We have the power to create a world where love, compassion and caring becomes the norm. I, for one, will not give in to those around me spewing hatred, fear, bigotry and racism. I will continue to fight for a world where human rights for all are accepted and promoted.

for those without a voice

What a wonderful world we would create if all of us followed Malala’s lead, and lived with her courage. We are not all called to stand against the Taliban, but each of us are given countless opportunities to speak up and speak out for those without a voice. Who in your community has a voice that cannot be heard?

a special kind of courage

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What would our world look like if more of us had the special kind of courage lifted up by Queen Elizabeth? My fear is that far too many of us refuse to stand up for our convictions. We refuse to speak out for what we know is right, for what we know is the decent alternative.

We make the choice to be quiet, to remain silent in the face of immorality and evil. We allow those with power and riches to make choices and take actions that cause harm to millions of our human family and to rape our planet for greed and profit.

That could change if we had the special kind of courage spoken of by the queen. If we all stood up and made our voices heard we could have a world with justice for all and not just for the rich and powerful. But, that takes a special kind of courage.