You’re a Christian, You’re a Bigot, Yet You Still Want To Have Thanksgiving Dinner

You are happy that Donald Trump won an election. You’re proudly posting it on social media as you did throughout his horrifying campaign, not quite in patriotic pride but in a sore winner fashion – you know: crying liberals, sore losers, sour grapes, and all that. But you have a little problem…your friends and family – the very folks who said before this rancid election that Donald Trump was a racist, misogynist, xenophobe, bigot, and sexual predator – are now not only saying that he still is all of these horrible things despite victory, but they also say that you support all of this as well. You feel this isn’t fair, I’m sure, because you’ve memorized the ten commandments and sing a great alto line on “Amazing Grace.” Maybe you’re not that bad of a person despite supporting the guy that mocked the disabled reporter.  But there’s the dilemma that you’re going to have to see the people who think your beloved Trump is the devil at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. You still want to have the same relationship with friends and family and have Thanksgiving dinner like everything is okay…so what can you do?

You can’t grab women by the p***y, for starters. You can’t call Mexicans “rapists” and “drug dealers.” You can’t throw Muslims out of the country or force an entire religion to sign a registry. You can’t build a wall to keep folks out. You can’t deport people who have been working toward visas and citizenship for years despite our flawed system. You can’t call women ugly and ask people to “just look at that face” in attempts to supply proof. You can’t say that “you never saw a skinny person drinking a Diet Coke.” You can’t walk into a woman’s dressing room to inspect the ladies as they undress…I mean “inspect your product.” You can’t give unconstitutional religious tests. You can’t kill you enemies’ women and children. You can’t encourage others to “knock the h*** out of” people who don’t like you, even if you’ll pay for the lawyer fees afterward. You can’t mock the disabled. Now, if you have endorsed, encouraged, or excused this kind of behavior over the past two years, is it still possible to have day of thanksgiving and then a bit later wish peace on earth and goodwill toward men? That’s a tough one since you’re a Christian, you’re a bigot, and you still want Thanksgiving dinner. Consider this:

“Salt water and fresh water cannot come from the same spring.”

I know the anger must be welling up inside of you at this point. After all, I just said “you’re a bigot” as if I really know you. I know you feel this simply isn’t true. However, there’s nothing simple about it. You may have simply endorsed a candidate without considering the full scope of what you were representing by supporting him. He said a lot of stuff – A LOT of stuff. The cool, reality-show candor that has always intended to do one thing – generate television ratings – may have lured you alongside his ultra-conservative, alt-right pandering, but the vile hate speech transforms what you may see as “simple” into something way more complex than you are able to casually walk away from. I know it’s tough trying to force fresh water out of the spring that has flooded the world world with salt water for the past two years. You don’t think what has happened is that bad. After all, you probably don’t wear white robes and march with the KKK. You probably don’t use the “n word” or tell racist jokes. You probably do not think that ALL Mexicans are rapists or ALL Muslims are terrorists, that is if you know any Mexicans or Muslims at all. You may not even want to touch random women inappropriately, either, or rape them. You may not want to start a series of seminars and call them a “university” in hopes of scamming people out of money with a fake school. However, you, dear Christian and Donald Trump, pushed hatred, divisiveness, disrespect, intolerance, misogyny, bigotry, xenophobia, sexism, and rape speech into the public eye as acceptable practices and then said “you should just move on” once your candidate had won the electoral vote. You said these nasty things alongside Donald J. Trump either explicitly or as an innocent bystander who thought they were voting as a “conservative” – meaning you are speaking volumes through your silence on these issues. It was a done deal on Friday after the election and just in time for church on Sunday. We saw that you had changed from the person that sat in a pew beside us and turned into a conduit for all of the qualities that we prayed to God would leave the world so that peace on earth could reign. Your message changed – not the truth, not Christ…but your message. It is in your voice and in your silence, yet it is still probably a mystery to you why some seem so sore that a bigot won the election. Why can’t we all just “move on?”

You, oh Christian bigot, want the victory of a sexual predator to be the end of the process. You don’t rape women, right? So why do I want to keep this going? You want the alt-right (translated: white nationalist bigot) chief strategist appointment to be an issue overplayed by the media. Why do I want to keep talking about racism? You want the conversion therapy-endorsing, talk radio host, ultra-conservative to be the spiritual guide for the man who can’t control his Twitter account. Why do I want to talk about religion and politics? The bigotry continues to compound now that what has proven to be one of the most tumultuous, unpromising, and thoughtless transitions to power in our country’s history is taking place. My family and friends, my children’s classmates, acquaintances of color and different ethnic and religious backgrounds are holding dire and fearful conversations with me and we are met with nonsense-filled soundbytes such as “deal with it,” “move on,” and “build that wall.” There have been an unprecedented amount of hate crimes recorded in the wake of this election, some of which have happened in my city, and you want to know why I cannot just deal with it. Your silence on these issues speaks volumes. Your insensitivity proclaims at least widespread, acute ignorance or at worst, a deep-seeded, seething hatred.  No white robes or swastikas are necessary to make this kind of point. Victory is no salve for the wounds of bigotry and hate speech.

You want the victory in the matter to be where those of faith must concede to the scriptural command of praying for and supporting leaders, as if Trump’s victory has made the practice of excusing sin something that is righteous in the process. You assume prayer wasn’t also made for the loser in the election. You assume prayer hasn’t been made for Trump already. This faithless assumption is the same assumption people make when they say “we took God out of our schools.” Silliness. Utter silliness. That is spoken like a quaking coward, unaware that no man – no group of men, faithful or faithless – could remove the God we serve from anything at our feeble wills. Complete faithlessness! We of faith have been praying every day. No Christian that I know has said they won’t pray for and support the country’s soon-to-be leader. He, in fact, needs fervent and dedicated prayer!

By the same token we that are of faith hold all Scripture to be profitable for reproof. Now that Trump has won the electoral vote, no Scripture says that it is okay to be a bigot, a xenophobe, a sexist, a sexual predator, or a misogynist OR that it is okay to idly support such practices. Even if you saw something that you thought was right or good in the veiled and often absent policies of xenophobe Donald Trump, the means in which he achieved support was heavily dressed in sin, hatred, and mockery. Remember that even the truth, if cloaked in sin, is still sin. To your brother and sister in Christ it looks like you endorse sin yet still wish to be seen as one who models themselves after Christ and is filled with the Holy Spirit. It’s a complex proposition. We’re not disagreeing on economic policy or healthcare plans – we’re disagreeing on it not being okay to mock the disabled or promote rape culture. Presidents change, but truth and sin do not. Speaking against such hatred never ends, as Scripture has it – we pray for His kingdom to come and His will be done on earth. While you endorse it either in full voice or silently, it must be discussed. It is being praised in public forums and those of faith must respond, not with voices of anger (and that is difficult) but voices that reveal the sin, rebuke the sin, and convict the souls of those involved.

That’s where the problem lies now. At first you may have been able to feebly justify support of misogynist Trump because he was not Hillary Clinton (she’s the one called “Crooked Hillary,” remember?). Hillary Clinton is out of the way now. All of the excuses such as “Trump is better than Hillary,” “but Hillary Clinton did this,” “but Bill Clinton did that,” “email servers,” “Benghazi,” etc., now have no role in your conversation. You can no longer say “but Hillary Clinton…” because she’s out of the picture. All that is left is that you, and you alone, endorsed bigotry, racism, hatred, xenophobia, rape culture, and sexism and now have no scapegoat on which to cast these sins. You stand holding this torch high. It’s you who has identified yourself this way. This is probably what your friends and relatives are having such a difficult time stomaching:  you chose sin as your voice and you celebrate it as your side in victory. It would be different had you spoken openly against xenophobia, racism, violence, and rape culture with some intelligent defense of policy or platform, but that never happened (if it did, then this blog isn’t for you, I suppose).

That goes deeper than just a vote. It seems you are capable of excusing sexual harassment for political victory. You are capable of advocating a pro-life platform for unborn girls while advocating for the rape and sexual harassment of “born” girls. You are capable of excusing xenophobia to prove America can be great again (whatever that means, as if America isn’t great now). You will excuse bigotry in order to win an election. You endorse sexism as long as you have a chance at winning an argument. You let bullies mock the disabled at the expense of a reporter and applaud the faux virtue of “telling it like it is.” You let a deceased war hero’s mother and father be mocked in order to properly support a political party and condemn the faux sin of “political correctness.” You allowed an entire nation to be labeled rapists in permission to stir up fear of minority groups and at the expense of creating fear for Mexican Americans.You permitted a man to receive accolades and votes despite saying that he would grab a woman by the p***y at the expense of those who have experienced abuse who walk silently among you – they are everywhere and you spoke against them. You extolled the virtue of the sanctity of marriage while, at the same time, you lauded the three marriages, mistresses, extra-marital affairs, and current pornographic model/escort wife (and add “plagiarist,” if indeed that actually makes a difference at this point) of Donald Trump. You reduced rape culture to “locker room talk” and then pointed fingers to accuse the victim of adultery (Trump’s opponent) for the sins of the adulterer (her husband).

If you are capable of doing this in a political race, where else will you do this and what will be your trigger? At family functions, at schools, around my children, on social media? I’m sure by this point that your blood pressure is high and you want to scream a red-faced “NO I WOULD NEVER DO THAT!” at the top of your keyboard’s lungs. But…what if you wanted to win again? What if you wanted to vote just to spite those who said this kind of behavior is sinful behavior? What if you just don’t care or are prone to turning a blind eye to injustice yet again? That’s why I wonder what you’ve become and how you became blind to the banner that you, through Trump, were waving. That’s why I have a hard time thinking about what side dish I’ll bring to your table at Thanksgiving. It is trite, trivial, and fleeting. I am bringing my sacrifices to an altar and I have a problem with my brother.

You’ve tied yourself to Trump’s identity; his words are your testimony. When Donald Trump was speaking with what I thought was plainly revealed, inexcusable, and sinful hatred, I was certain that it could be seen in light of how Scripture condemns it. Now that he has won, I see that many ignore Scripture, excuse the sin, and stand by such behavior. Many of you excuse yourselves from even discussing this behavior or being questioned by others through reason of victory. Sin, faith, and truth do not work this way.

Please understand that there are and will be those that are hurt because you would support such sin. Injustice and unrighteousness, whether enacted first hand or endorsed from the sidelines as a bystander really, really hurts those to whom it is aimed. And regardless of what position you play on the team of injustice, you’re still on the team. That goes for the players, cheerleaders, and spectators.  You have allowed sin to be a path that’s considered as a just means to achieve what you want. You turned away from truth and justice and opted for sacrifice – the sacrifice of those who are victims and are oppressed by such hatred. You condemned all the groups who were the dumping ground for Donald Trump’s hatred and shockingly turned around and mentioned God with the same voice. Once you endorsed hatred, claimed God, and then won the race, you turned with residual disdain toward those who were shocked at your behavior. Maybe you suggested moving on or dealing with it. Maybe you mocked the fear of those who are afraid. Maybe you mocked small movements like the safety pin or large movements like peaceful protests against such language and hatred. Not only did you endorse Trump’s brand of hatred, but also those who are trying to show solidarity by moving on and dealing with it by speaking about how bigotry is sinful. Maybe you’ve looked at others and said things like, “it’s over now. Get used to it,” “America has spoken,” “oh look, you’re candidate didn’t win so now you’re hurt,” “I had to support a candidate I didn’t like for 8 years, so get over it,” “people are saying worse things about Donald Trump now than he ever said about anyone else,” “oh look, Trump opponents are causing riots,” “oh look at who is intolerant now,” “no matter who is president, Jesus is King.” Maybe you’ve posted it on social media with pictures of Kermit the Frog, Willy Wonka, or Hitler. How far down into the salty waters will you wade? Are you truthfully joyous in this behavior? Does patriotism become stronger in the mockery of its smaller parts? What does your Book say about seasoning speech?

There is no room to say such things. Mockery is provocation for response and doesn’t promote moving on, does it? Avoiding the issues of bigotry that were clearly spoken by the candidate isn’t actually dealing with the issues. Moving on is what you’d like, right? Good! The holidays are coming soon. Make up for lost time and lost ground. Focus on a new voice – one that wasn’t present in supporting the bigot. Speak about how you will not stand for racism. Speak how you will not judge a woman based on looks. Speak about how it is not okay when anyone sexually forces themselves on others. Stand up for victims of rape instead of for their oppressors. Learn the names and stories of the refugees you condemned. Tell others you will not stand for a misogynist calling women pigs and other slurs. Tell your family that you won’t stand for other nations being demonized. Speak up for children’s health care, citizenship, and education if you are truly pro-life. Campaign for peace, not war, if indeed life is precious.  Be honest if you know nothing about the illegal immigrants you were force-fed the fear of. Don’t be cruel if you hear that someone may be losing insurance because your candidate spoke so openly about cancelling the health care options for the uninsurable. Stand up in courage and speak out against fear mongering. Stop excusing sin as a bystander. Strengthen your faith and the faith of others instead of speaking against or mocking those who are desperately trying to “fear not.” Speak so that you may earn the trust and integrity you’ve lost as a credible, genuine person of faith. Speak for what is right instead of for what won this election, so that you may be a peacemaker. Speak so that the city on the hill, the light of the world, may not be hidden.  Don’t speak for the side of division, but for the side of unity. You cannot reveal God through mockery. The Holy Spirit does not convict through actions that ridicule others. Speak for Christ, for Christ’s sake.

You, Christian bigot, bought and sold the slogan “Make America Great Again,” not “Mock America Into Being Great Again.” You can’t do that by saying that others are crying about sour grapes or spilled milk. You can’t do that by telling the losing side to “just deal with it.” You can’t make anything great by gloating in the same way that you can’t make anything great by giving voice to oppression and hatred.  You’ve tied yourselves to the millstone of the racist xenophobe. You have no room to plummet further into those dark, salty waters with that millstone around your neck. Either act like a person of faith or stop wondering why others find what you say to be bigoted.

It was hard for me to find that I have relatives who could say they’d “grab a woman by the p***y.” I was shocked to find I had cousins who have pageant daughters who now supported a man who they support walking into their dressing rooms (months after faux-outrage at the idea that a transgender person might walk into their bathroom). I stared in disbelief as the friend I sang “Tie Us Together, Lord” with at church camp now believed that “they’re sending us their rapists and drug dealers.” It was stunning to watch as former and current WIC and welfare mothers in my family excuse rape culture, despite being self-proclaimed pro-lifers, and would also agree that we should “bomb the sh*t out of ’em,” – “’em” being ISIS’ men, women and children (how’s that for pro-life – let ’em be born then kill ’em). I have watched as marriages in my family were broken and friends and relatives moved in with each other outside of marriage and then proclaimed that marriage was a sacred institution all the while belittling same sex marriages, parading the Clintons’ marriage, or giving silent approval to the Trump brand of marriages and affairs. It was hard to watch those with whom I have worshipped and had, in thanksgiving, prayed in church for freedom to assemble and for the Lord to “please send us those who need you most,” look at an entire religion and judge that it needed “extreme vetting” and a “registry.” It is hard to watch those who have been WIC and welfare mothers or single parents who have lived with their parents because they were unable to afford their own lives speak about how the helpless and homeless refugees should be turned away – all while calling them “Trojan horses” and “terrorists”. It was hard to watch those I love support wholeheartedly a racist who quietly accepted David Duke, Steve Bannon, and the KKK’s endorsement without saying a word, even when Trump was questioned and despite my family’s interracial children and marriages. It was hard for me to see Christian and non-Christian friends and family, some of whom are disabled and have disabled children, support and cheer that the disabled could be mocked on national television – in doing so you mocked your own family…my family…and that is sickening. It is hard to watch pastors and deacons from various chuches I have attended post about “Islams” (which, for the record, should be “Muslims”) and try their hand at racist humor by posting on social media that “A white man evicts a black family from their home” (in reference to the White House). People of faith and good conscience are vacating truth for the side of a political argument in all of these instances. The church, in supporting and endorsing this behavior, not only silences the voice of truth but also speaks with a different voice- a voice dripping with hatred and wink-wink-nudge-nudge bigotry. I feel I have been lied to. I have broken bread and worshipped with those who now excuse this behavior and take the side of the oppressor rather than stand for and with the oppressed. I learned about forgiveness, redemption, and salvation from some of you who wipe off hate speech as a casualty of the election, as if all is fair in love and war, and God’s truth can be put on hold until the election was won. This goes beyond losing an election. We laid our faiths on the table and sold it for corruption and rot.

Those of faith are sickened and hurt because you, Christian bigot, seemed to have renounced faith in this campaign. You used or endorsed speech that hurt us and those we serve. You hid the Word of God. You put the lamp under a basket. You scourged Christ again. Instead of moving on and having meaningful dialogue about why you or America excused sin for victory, you ask why I still want to talk about these things and then mock me for it. You accuse me of being a sore loser. I ask why it is okay to say these things and am told to move on, what’s done is done.  It is indeed a time to move on, but those of faith are moving without you and despite you. We’ll have those conversations whether you check into or out of them. Our Text discusses it whether you are there to read It with us or not. We’ll count it a blessing to be mocked by you for the name of Christ. It’s just the way Scripture has asked that we do it. You’ve lost our trust, broken and weakened our family on these issues. That’s not on Donald Trump or Hilary Clinton – that’s on you. We can’t tell you that bigotry is wrong and it’s a shame that we felt we had to tell you in the first place. It’s wrong whether I say it or not. Now you have to take responsibility for your behavior. That will be tough now that you cannot conveniently blame it on Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. You  must speak what you believe in light of what you have already said through your actions. What you have asked me to do in asking me to move on is accept the hatred you voiced against those we are called to serve, overlook it, and then go peacefully into the holiday season like nothing happened. I will forgive you, but first I must “tell it like it is, no political correctness.”

You have, explicitly in full voice or as a silently-endorsing bystander, voiced bigotry, xenophobia, misogyny, racism, sexism, and rape culture with one voice on November 7 and then turned to voice Thanksgiving and Peace On Earth, Goodwill Toward Men on November 9. It’s all mixed with your version of “look at who has sour grapes because Trump won.”

“Salt water and fresh water cannot flow from the same spring.”

“No man can serve to masters because he will love one and hate the other.”

My family has a mixture of folks:  retirees, former and current WIC/welfare single mothers, divorcees, pageant teens, immigrants, missionaries, educators, artists, students, atheists, a Muslim, interracial relationships, happily-marrieds, those who are living together outside biblical marriage’s sanctity, non-profit volunteers, health care professionals, those struggling with addiction, low income, high income, veterans, teachers, men, women, children. Not one of these went untouched by some form of hatred spewed during this last campaign. While 60 million Americans excused and approved sinful behavior, another 60 million said that this was not okay. Victory by one side does not excuse sin. The Bible said this form of bigotry is not okay. Christ said this is not okay. It is not okay. There is no vote to decide what is truthful and what is sinful. That was decided long before we voted. I hated racism before Trump was elected. I still hate it. I hated violence toward women and misogyny before Trump was elected. It’s still sin. I hated labeling immigrants as rapists before Trump was elected. This ploy to scare people into voting was, and always will be, sin. I couldn’t trade truth’s values for political gain. We are commanded to be salt, not salt water. We are to help the sick, thirsty, imprisoned, unclothed, widows, fatherless, and the stranger – it’s directly tied to how a good Man identifies us. Salt water and fresh water cannot flow from the same spring.

Don’t be surprised that you are seen in a different light or that you’re thought less of because you betrayed your faith and family by campaigning as a bigot – even if you had the best intentions in mind. You had to make hard choices in this past election, it seems. You may not be a bigot, racist, or xenophobe, but Trump’s campaign didn’t separate the bigots from the non-bigots. He certainly made no effort to separate bigots from Christians.

You can be a Christian. You can be a bigot. You cannot be both successfully, though, and one will eventually dominate the other. Think about what you’ve said and done to cause this kind of reaction from others. People didn’t call Trump a xenophobe because they lost an election. He said that for himself. You said it for him. Think about what needs to happen now that you have the platform of victory on which to speak before you ask me to join you and celebrate the Baby that was taken in by strangers and was forced to register and who later fled his country as a refugee from mass genocide – I mean, um, the Christmas holidays.

I’m going to engage in serious study and reassess how I now have to engage you, the church, those I’m called to serve, my family, and my friends. My world was radically shaken when hate achieved a high office in my country. I’m truly hoping that in expressing a few thoughts that I, too, haven’t fallen victim to acting out against a group of people in a bigoted and hateful way. I know that my thoughts are harsh and are bound to hurt some of you. I see them as productive discussion, or at least a screen shot of my feelings and faith at this point in time after this horrid election. I’m hoping they aren’t seen as “hate” – at least not the hate that was spewed at Mexicans whose sole crime was being Mexican, or at women who finally put aside their shame and fear of libel charges to come forward and speak against their rapist when their only crime was being sexually assaulted, or the hate that was spewed at Muslims because their crime was choosing Islam as their religion or wearing a hijab. I think all of this can be discussed, no, I think it MUST be discussed. I’m just not sure, with such a level of hatred introduced as normal discourse, how it can be done. At least you’ll know how I feel in the matter before shutting me out with a meme or a plea for me to “deal with it” and “move on.”

I ask myself and you the following question:

Maybe it is time to start making peace with your brother before bringing the turkey to the altar?



Your Mother Likes Hitler

That’s a crazy statement, isn’t it? Why would I attack perhaps your most dearly loved person, your mother, by saying that she likes perhaps history’s most hated person, Adolph Hitler? It is indeed crazy! Why then, on what seems to be a daily basis, do we see television commentators (start at FOX “news” and go from there, see the link below) as well as social media friends (and you know who they are – it seems we all have at least one) who will almost instantly jump to the name “Hitler” when talking politics, religion, and social justice? When Hitler isn’t the knee-jerk default it usually ramps up to Code Level Hitler with these words:  communism, socialism, SS, Nazi, facist, collectivism, Auschwitz, concentration camp, or anti-American.

Whether your friend or pet “news anchor” moves slowly or jumps in one giant leap straight to the payoff term, it seems too many are too eager to play the Hitler card…again and again (despite the endless yawns and eyerolls of those who know better). Here’s a highlight reel if there are some among us who have been spared the silliness:

The reductio ad hitlerum argument isn’t new. It’s been used for years. Don’t take my word for it – google it. Nearly every politician and person of social influence may find themselves subject to being labeled as Hitler for un-Hitlerish reasons. Take, for instance:  Barack Obama, George W., Pope Francis, and even Jesus Christ (I suppose in some sort of time-travel Hitler influence).

Why does this bother me? First, it exalts the sins of hatred, racism, murder, war, and partiality to gain ground in a discussion or argument. Secondly, it exalts and displays the suffering of a race, a targeted minority, broken families, and the innocent in order to gain the upper hand of a discussion or argument. Finally, it takes all the above and makes that which should be considered with utmost gravity and respect and makes it all into trite playthings and trinkets in what is usually inconsequential political discussion by comparison.

Americans bind themselves under a code of law that finds its honor in freedoms guaranteed in our pursuit of happiness rooted in the idea that all men are created equal. I find that comforting. However, as a Christian, my faith goes deeper to insure that not only do I see all men as equal in the eyes of the law, but also in the eyes of God who respects no man. I am to love them as I love myself. The Hitler card isn’t something to be played by those of faith in that frame of mind.

Let’s look at it rationally. The only reason Hitler is used by today’s generation is to appeal to emotions of disgust, hatred, and taboo. If so-and-so is Hitler, and Hitler is to be hated and repulsive, then what you support is also to be hated and repulsive. It’s not used in a historically accurate context nor a context that pleads for that discussion. It’s a jump to extremes that is all too often the case in our social discourse. It’s not usually a fair comparison, but rather an attack on the character of those supporting an opposing viewpoint. Those who see it for what it is classify the use of the Hitler argument as a logical fallacy (google that, too). You may even find that those who are all too eager to play the Hitler card won’t be able to tell you much about the man, the years in which he was a political player, the reason he was a powerful man, any of his works, or what he did that was “so bad” as to think that Nancy Pelosi (or Dick Cheney; insert least favorite politician here) is his current incarnation. Despite the holes in the reductio ad hitlerum argument as a debate technique, look at it on a personal level.

We are of the generation where our grandfathers fought the war. Citing Hitler in political or social justice disagreement of such minor and unrelated consequence lessens that sacrifice and the honor of those who put their lives in the balance to insure the comforts of our current existence in America. It demonstrates a working ignorance of the values of a nation that stopped what it was doing to insure that injustice was stopped. It demonstrates a working ignorance of the amount of death and destruction that had to occur because of the level of injustice in the world. It devalues and cheapens this generation and its legacy.

We are the generation where mass genocide is not a threat in our country. We are talking about the actual slaughter of innocent men, women, and children. We are talking of Nazi government suspicion and the imprisonment of millions based on a citizen’s looks, nationality, and relationships. We are talking about atrocities the likes and levels of which have not been experienced in America since Hitler’s time. We are talking about a legacy created for a race of people that is still spoken of with fear, tears, and solemnity as well as those who sympathize with the plight of those of Jewish faith and descent. We are talking about a legacy of equality that has been threatened in such a way that all Americans must safeguard it with utmost respect and strength. We are talking about direct descendants of Jews who were able to escape with little more than their lives and often times without family, children, and dignity. We are talking about a finely distilled racism that has been abolished in our country in pursuit of supposedly a higher moral framework. Why would we dare bring any of this up in order to tear down another person’s political views, candidate support, or religious discussion? How tasteless, barbaric, insulting, and wrong does one have to be in order to assert a viewpoint in a political or spiritual discussion that is by all history and factual analysis not even comparable? We shouldn’t devalue an entire race in order to say we don’t like the current state of affordable healthcare, gun control, or rule of law. We shouldn’t make the death of millions of innocent men, women, and children nothing more than mere trinkets to played with when talking about the state of gun laws. How embarrassing! Who among us has that lack of shame?

Pulling the Hitler card to evoke the emotion of hatred into an argument is in line with the lack of shame in the current plights of pundits and armchair activists in the digital age. Pro-gun activists bray loudest in the news and on social media in the wake of gun violence enacted toward elementary schools. Freedom of speech activists picket funerals of those lost too soon in battle (and in the name of religion, nonetheless). An unarmed child can be shot dead by an armed man and laws can be made to make murder appear to be a fair fight. Shame has been lost. Everything we don’t like is Hitler; we don’t care who gets hurt because we have freedom of speech. There is nothing wrong with the second or first amendments or the law – but our sense of shame has been lost in a false sense of patriotism, or God forbid, Christian honor. Politicians attempt to make careers riding behind these banners. Christians try to reshape and reinterpret the word of God to fit such situations. Some would rather risk hurting victims of such horror and those who suffer from the legacy of racism and genocide in order to gain the upper hand of an argument. Some would rather fire the buckshot of hatred on social media than speak reasonably, honorably, and without extreme, ballyhooed, apocalyptic, and hypothetical comparisons.

You can’t reason with the victims of the Oklahoma bombing by calling them “McVeigh.” You can’t speak to a 9/11 victim and expect reasonable conversation if you were to compare them to “Bin Laden.” You would have no ready ear by calling a Christian “Judas.” Why would you expect to be considered with any credibility by calling any American “Hitler?” It makes no sense.

So let us look at what isn’t Hitler:  healthcare, taxes, a politician who isn’t playing a major role in mass genocide and a world war, a person with an allegiance to the views of one political party or the other, the president (whomever he may be), food stamp administrators or recipients, the elite rich, the elite poor (you know, the ones we like to advertise the most as mooches who have cell phones and buy anything above generic-quality food at the grocery store), atheism, or any religious view that doesn’t advocate hatred, racism, and genocide. There are many things to add to this list. I only list a few things to get the common sense ball rolling.

Things that are Hitler:  Adolph Hitler.

For those of us that are of faith, let us entreat those as a mother would her children. Let us season our language as with salt. Let us love our neighbor as our we love ourselves. For those of us that are not of faith, let us entreat with some sense of honor, dignity, and historical accuracy. Remembering that we’re all looking for happiness because we are equal is a good start, too. These traits can be learned through building character as well as taking a simple middle or high school history course in order to learn who Hitler actually was and why his name shouldn’t be thrown around as a commonplace word in the social discourse vocabulary.

Move past hatred with the lessons learned from history rather than threatening what we, as honorable humans, vow will never happen again. Start with honor rather than hatred. Employ respect rather than shame. Make comparisons accurately with intent to progress rather than divide. Honor and dignity are easily attainable if we will only choose to act with honor and dignity.

If that seems too lofty or unreasonable, then we could begin with an even simpler baby step:  Stop using Hitler comparisons. It’s tasteless, self-degrading, and asinine.

Love God. Love each other. It’ll clear the confusion.

Merry Chr…Duck! You’re Under Fire!

I enjoy catching up with friends who live at distances on Facebook. It is nice to be able to do that especially when the holiday season rolls around. Most posts are typical: here’s my Christmas tree, here’s 100 pictures (half of which are blurry) of a Christmas party, here’s yet another picture of a mischievous shelf elf, here’s a selfie (posed impromptu, of course), laments over an imagined “war on Christmas” (keep the “Christ” in it, folks), and finally the support/opposition for Mr. Duck Dynasty for his remarks on homosexuality.

Double take.

What? Now the screen is split between cutesy, mischievous elves, blurry Christmas trees, and a grizzled, bearded old guy under provocative headlines and enough hot-headed, shot-from-the-hip comments to make for a Fox News audition reel.

There are what seems to be two warring factions on the final recurring post about Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty. First, there is the outcry of my “Christian” friends who seem to feel that Phil Robertson is being persecuted unjustly for speaking his mind about the Bible and homosexuality. He is being persecuted so badly that he has been dismissed from his hit television show and that his first amendment rights have been stripped away. Next, there is the group that points the finger at Christian groups and gives a big “I told you so.” They feel that Christians are all the same: judgmental, homophobic, intolerant, narrow-minded, hate-filled, self-righteous bigots.

What is wild is that my Christian friends are all posting basically the same sentiments in support of Mr. Duck Dynasty independently of each other. It’s as if they all emailed each other prior to posting their “stand up for the truth,” “I support the first amendment,” “one side gets more free speech than the other” posts. I would not find this so uncanny if they didn’t do THE EXACT same thing with those silly shelf elves.

My Facebook news feed is one big, not-so-spirit-of-Christmas, hijacked mess.

(insert long, deep sigh)

There’s a problem in this. The Duck Dynasty/homosexual/homophobic posts are acts of provocation rather than acts to make peace. The posts contain more condemnation than goodwill. The posts contain more of a “I dare you to not like my beliefs” attitude that are more off-putting than welcoming. These posts are not an act of love. They aren’t posts of loving a neighbor as oneself. I’m slowly realizing that those who want “a Christian nation” the most are usually the ones who are the most counterproductive to such an idea. It’s there that I realize most of my christian friends don’t really have what they like to call the “Christmas spirit” (despite tree and elves) nor do they maintain the practice of faith as is detailed so explicitly in the Bible when it comes to teaching, practicing, or professing beliefs in a public forum.

Furthermore, there is an outcry over free speech as politics are dragged into the discussion. The Constitution is pulled through the mud in the same way it is every time there is some sort of social/political offense taken by Christians. These ingredients are mixed together into a tasteless, boiling stew that repulses both those who long for peace, truth, and justice as well as those who wish to point the finger at the Christian faith and show how worthless that religion is in their eyes. It tends to burn everyone who takes part in it.

Let’s look at the Duck Dynasty fiasco truthfully.

1. No one has had their free speech rights taken away from them.
It has not happened and it will not happen. Mr. Duck Dynasty had freedom of speech and said exactly what he wanted to say during his interview with GQ magazine. Anyone who reads the article (link below), watches the show, or has attended one of his speaking engagements/fundraisers/church lectures knows that he has these opinions. No one expects differently. Neither the government nor his cable TV benefactors prevented him from saying anything. Even though he has been suspended from the show he still has the right to say anything he wants. He will not be silenced unless he chooses to silence himself. He still has his website, social media, more interview offers than he can honk a duck call at according to the infamous article, and any number of people with which to speak his mind. He’s free to do so as guaranteed by The Constitution and the Lord who gave him a mouth (speaking of male body parts, Mr. Robertson).

2. He is not free from the consequences of exercising free speech.
That’s in the law as well. He not free from others having a free speech opinion on the matter. He is also not free from the consequences of having exercised free speech. There is no one in this nation exempt from the consequences of his/her own actions. A citizen’s actions can result in being hired, fired, making/losing friends, developing relationships, developing talents, earning grades, etc. Free speech does not excuse actions. Free speech does not prevent the opinion of others. Free speech is not a free pass to act as one pleases, free from the legal actions of others. Free speech can propel one to success or insure certain failure. In either result, the choice is yours as it is for Robertson.

3. It is alarming that Christians are rallying behind a man that quoted the Bible and spoke so blatantly and crudely about sex in the same interview. They are rallying behind a man who publicly claimed faith while simultaneously condemning and stereotyping groups of people.
This is strange. Mr. Duck Dynasty is being held up as being persecuted for being a Christian as a result of exercising his first amendment rights. This simply isn’t so. Robertson calls out the homosexual community first and foremost when asked “what is sinful?” Read the interview here:
He lumps homosexuals into a group with terrorists, those who practice bestiality, prostitutes, and those who “sleep with this woman and that woman.” This isn’t normal or Christian, folks. Sin doesn’t start with homosexuality – that’s not found in the Bible. Ministry doesn’t start by identifying a sin and then saying something like, “you have a problem with alcohol? You’re just like the terrorists who are ruining our nation.” He then goes on to point out that those who have not had Jesus are the equivalent of “Nazis…Shintos…Communists…and Islamists.” The neighbors we love as ourselves aren’t lumped together or stereotyped as he proposes. They certainly aren’t compared to sects from history that he conveniently omitted who have committed such heinous acts as, say for instance the Crusades, the Ku Klux Klan, Jonestown, or others who have claimed acts in the name of a Christian God. Robertson’s proof-in-the-pudding, Jesus-less cultures list comes across as hypocritical on behalf of Christian culture. It certainly is neither effective ministry nor a statement of personal faith – it’s a declaration of worldview and an unbiblical, personal judgment of groups of people.

Furthermore, the way he describes the male and female anatomy in regard to his own sexual preference is crude and obscene (again, read the interview for the exact list of body parts and wording). This wouldn’t be accepted in a church sermon or on the Duck Dynasty show and it shouldn’t be accepted by those who profess faith. It is obscene to publicly describe such sexual practices in the presence of anyone who searches for Duck Dynasty on a computer (just give it a try – his remarks weren’t private) as many younger and adolescent hunters/fans probably do. It is profane for those who believe the marriage bed to be undefiled.

4. It is business. It is not religion. It is not a free speech issue. It is not a “who’s right/who’s wrong” issue.
A&E suspended Phil Robertson for speaking with hostility toward the viewers to which they market their shows. It’s business, not religion. It’s business, not free speech. It’s business, not “who’s right/who’s wrong.” A&E could have suspended him without him having said anything at all. It’s A&E’s show, not Phil Robertson’s show. There is nothing wrong with his suspension. It’s all perfectly legal and has nothing to do with his religion. It has to do with the way he offended a group of people.

Let’s be frank here. The group he offended isn’t simply “homosexuals,” “liberals,” or “sinners.” As a Christian I am offended at his public description of the male and female anatomy as he describes one as sexually preferable and the other as “illogical.” I am offended that he has reduced what I believe in as the intimate physical relationship of marriage to nothing more than the preference of female and male anatomy. I am offended that he chose to sell his Duck Dynasty brand with provocative sexual discussion (in this manner he is no different from any “real housewife” or “Kardashian” or “Miley Cyrus publicity stunt” on TV). I am offended that he alienates me as a christian from a group of people that have the same right to Christ’s gift as I do or as he does in such a public manner. I am offended that he makes it more difficult for me to minister to people that I am called to serve. I am offended that he lumps people together and feels that one sinful behavior is the root of other behaviors. I am offended that he paraphrases the Bible to justify his statements. I’m still a little stunned that most Christians find this kind of speech acceptable from the mouth of one professing faith. However offensive his statements are he is still by law entitled to them and to all the benefits and backlash that result.

Still, his interview is the result of business and his suspension is a business, not a religious or constitutional, decision. Even in being suspended from the show, Duck Dynasty will continue to air as of the date of this blog. None of the Duck Dynasty hats, Halloween costumes, cups, key chains, or merchandise ad infinitum/ad nauseum have been pulled from the shelves before the Christmas holiday. There is peace in the world of consumer capitalism despite one less character on a reality show.

5. Christians aren’t being persecuted.
You aren’t Phil Robertson. Even if you agree with him you aren’t being persecuted. Shoot (pun intended), Phil Robertson isn’t even being persecuted. He’s simply receiving the just consequences of his actions. If you talk about the human anatomy publicly as a grocery clerk, a banker, a school teacher, or a cosmetologist, then you would more than likely be reprimanded or suspended from your job as well. This was the case before “the ten commandments were taken from court houses” and “prayer was taken out of schools” and “everything became so politically correct” and will be the case as long as a media company markets a product to the public for profit. Persecution would have been if you, not Phil Robertson, were punished for having said nothing at all. When an action receives the expected reaction or just consequences, then there is no such persecution.

6. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
Mr. Duck Dynasty didn’t say he disagrees with homosexuality as detailed in the Bible. He gave his own opinion (or camouflaged the truth, again – pun intended) on what he finds more sexually desirable using the names of body parts as well as stereotyping groups of people and casting sinners into groups with other sinners. He did so in an interview while riding the fame of a worldwide television hit show, one of the most public, widespread platforms a person can hold. I’m guessing that those who are homosexual don’t appreciate being publicly cast into a group with those who practice bestiality no more than those who practice religion (say for instance Christians) like to be cast into a group with other sincere religious practitioners (say for instance Muslims). He also placed homosexuals (and “morphed out from there”) into the same group as Nazis, Shintos (really? “shintos?!”), etc. What manner of ministry or faith is that? It’s puzzling. How he said what he said was wrong, therefore what he said was wrong. Let me restate that: If you say the right thing the wrong way, then what you say is wrong (that’s a biblical principle, for all non-Christians who wonder why I restate this). I’ve said it before in other blog articles but it bears repeating: lovingkindness, goodness, or purity that is wrapped in hate is still hate.

7. Don’t confuse being American with being Christian.
They aren’t synonymous. The more one tries to make them one and the same, the more one will find that one identity no longer exists. They can exist together but they are not the same things. This Duck Dynasty fiasco isn’t a constitutional issue. This isn’t an issue where someone was cheated of their rights and should therefore “take all the way to the Supreme Court.” This isn’t an issue of “if prayer were in schools, then we’d have nothing like this happen, ever.” That ridiculous mode of thought makes Christians appear ignorant of the law. It makes Christians look like they do not respect the law as well – and this is not what the bible teaches in regard our faith. Don’t pull “freedom of religion” by citing the Constitution or exercising free speech. In this case, exercise freedom of religion by exercising the two commands on which all of Christianity is based: love your God; love your neighbor – no more, no less.

8. Embrace the Christmas spirit (be good, for goodness’ sake!).
Peace on earth. Goodwill toward men. It’s hard to be a peacemaker when posting a picture of an elf at one moment and posting the support of a commercially-driven star exiled for an obscene, public opinion (no matter that he quoted the Bible in the same article). Don’t provoke bad feelings and expect peace or goodwill. Hold your tongue. Love your neighbor. Do good things. Count it blessed if you are persecuted. Bless and do not curse. Make peace. Bring peace as far as it is up to you. Make friends. Bring peace with your homosexual and heterosexual neighbor. Bring peace with someone who is angered or embittered. Bring peace within yourselves and with others whomever they may be. One will have a better forum for differences of opinion if this there is a strong, meaningful relationship in place from the beginning. The beginning of understanding and meaningful discussion is guaranteed with the assurance of peace.

Be good, for goodness’ sake. Remember that Santa is watching. If that does nothing for you, then remember that your children, other Christians, potential Christians, and your neighbors are watching. Make peace for them.

I must go and make peace with an elf who has spread marshmallows all over the kitchen floor. Those pictures aren’t going to take themselves.

Here’s to a Merry Christmas.

A Two-Step Method For Putting Prayer Back Into Schools

For many christians, putting prayer “back in schools” is the solution to many public, social, and political problems. Few have proposed a way to do that other than a few slapdash petitions and verbal barbs on social media like FaceBook and Twitter. The wait is now over. I am publishing this method on putting prayer in school in a blog. The complete method is below. However, please indulge me with a little backstory and my preface to the step-by-step method that may revolutionize how some approach getting prayer back into public school systems.

My Story

When I was a child we prayed in kindergarten and first grade. I found prayer in school strange because I never saw the need for some prayers. It was unusual to me because I had already prayed at breakfast before I arrived to school. We had a prayer at the start of the school day and we also prayed before lunch (“God is great. God is good.”). I found the lunch prayer equally strange because “good” never rightfully rhymed with “food” and we never used the phrase “in Jesus name” (as I had been taught) before saying “amen.” All my youthful wonder aside, this means that I had at least five periods of prayer in my school days (two prayers at school and three at home). I remember in second grade that prayer was “removed from school.” There was no fanfare, no fuss. The time in which we had prayer was now used for “a moment of silence or meditation” in which our teachers instructed us to think about our values, settle our minds, pray, center or focus our thoughts, or other things that were positive. I was never aghast that prayer was not practiced. I remember using that moment to pray. I also remember using that moment for daydreaming, too.

I never daydreamed because prayer was removed as an official practice. I daydreamed because of my character. That is also the same reason that I chose to pray. I didn’t pray because I had been disciplined in the routine established at school, either. I prayed because my family was a praying family. My immediate family was part of an extended family who also prayed. We all attended a congregation of believers who were a praying people. By the time I hit first grade, praying was just like brushing one’s teeth or putting on socks – it was natural, easy, and part of day-to-day living.

My parents didn’t make a big fuss that prayer was out of schools. Neither did our clergy.

Shouldn’t they have made a big deal, written letters, picketed, petitioned, and been up in arms that there would “be a decline in culture”, “problems in the schools”, “the country would go under”, and all the other arguments and vitriol that is commonly slung about by today’s Facebook and Twitter addicts?

My parents and clergy had no problem because they knew prayer actually never left public schools. That’s right – it never left!

You see, when there was no more “prayer in schools”, my five times of prayer a day went to, well, at least five times a day. It never increased or decreased unless I used the moment of silence for daydreaming. Prayer being removed from schools essentially meant that there was no more prayer led by public employees during time in which public funds (paid by no religious group and all religious groups) were being spent for education of children.

Preface to the Two-Step Method:

The removal of prayer led by public employee or paid for by the taxpayer is fair. It’s actually better than fair. It’s actually a better advantage for christianity than the constitutional law of no religious respect and no prohibition of practice would be. To accommodate the “prayer” practice of all different faiths would take a good deal of the school day while the respect of no religious prayer practice benefits the education of all students equally. Furthermore, all faiths would need to be represented, even if the student demographic didn’t represent all faiths, so that the practice is institutionalized and all faiths are proven “welcomed”, with no respect given to one over the other, in the eyes of the state as they truly should be. Finally, all students would need to adhere to any strict variation in practice (different phrases, variations on the concept of “God”, formalities such as facing Mecca, etc.) so that the practice in public school is fair and just, showing no respect and prohibiting none.

As fair and just as this may be, this isn’t actually what many christians want. They want their brand of prayer, their brand of faith, and their religious sensibility propagated as the solution to civil and public ails. It’s this mentality that may prevent the successful completion of both steps of the process. When christians proclaim “let’s put prayer back in schools”, they infer a few thoughts and assumptions that must be addressed before tackling the two-step method.

By saying “let’s put prayer back in our schools” some christians infer three things:

1. Some “christians” assume that prayer was taken out of school.
The assumption that prayer was removed schools is a smack across the face of all praying christians within schools as well as the parents and guardians of those who have modeled and taught the practice. It insults the congregations who have also modeled the practice and worked to provide a safe environment for the practice of prayer to flourish. It insults the students who are praying for learning and social interaction. It insults the teachers who pray to teach well and be able to earn a living. It insults administration who pray to do a good job, manage others well, and uphold strong education standards. It informs students, teachers, administrators, and the public of your mistrust and poor attitude toward their personal integrity. It perpetuates a lie that simply has little basis for productive discussion.

Prayer, just like any practice of faith and religion, is a choice. Just as I chose to daydream during the moment of silence in school, I also chose to pray. The prioritizing of prayer during these times is taught by family and church – not by public employee on taxpayer dollars and state education goals.

Prayer does not need to be led by a public employee for it to occur. This limits God’s plan for prayer and limits the freedom and power of prayer. It certainly doesn’t conform to most christians’ definition of who should pray. What if the employee is Muslim, Buddhist, Wiccan, or Transcendentalist? What prayer should be led? Christian prayer? Islamic prayer? Qawwali hamd? What shall we force one faith or another to do by enforcing one particular mode of prayer or another? What if the student is any of these varying faiths? Are not these freedoms of faith protected by public law? If they are protected by law, then christians should step out of the way, let the protection occur, and enjoy the protection.

A mindset of faith cannot be legislated. Schools try to legislate the standard of one form of arithmetic without complete success. Why would a christian expect that to be done with ALL faiths (as is fair) with the institution of the one religious practice of publicly lead prayer? Why would a christian marginalize another with whom they intend to “share the gospel” by forcing them to practice faith disagreeably?

Furthermore, when attempting to legislate faith, some christians often limit their willing audience and marginalize those who may hear their cause when they call names and cry “socialism”, “communism”, and “Hitler” when they think of prayer being removed. They should see that it was also attempted by far more powerful rulers such as Nebuchadnezzar (for those needing a biblical reference) and it didn’t work, either. Prayer can be legislated for any faith if one faith is favored in the eyes of the law. The issue then leads away from faith and onto the strength of brute coercion. Any christian will agree that prayer has never been brought about or sustained by such ill-contrived means. Most “christians”, though, wouldn’t mind this coercion by force as long as it’s their faith and not another that comes out on top.

2. Some “christians” assume that because prayer is out of schools, God is removed from schools.
Oh believer, tell me, where is it that God cannot be? Is He everywhere? Is He nowhere? Does He only grace the habitation of the righteous while shunning the haunts of the unbeliever?

God does not need christians to define or locate where He is. Saying that God is not in school is a terrible admission of lack of faith on the part of any christian. To say “God is not in our schools” is the same as saying “I do not believe in the power of my God enough to think he could be in schools.” For shame! The same God that is able to forgive sins and make the sun to rise and set is certainly able to be present in a school without your belief (see the book of Job for biblical reference). He is able to do so despite public or private recognition, the presence of christians, or the proclamation of prayer led by a public employee. The believer that professes such a statement says more about his/her faith rather than what he/she believes to be sound public policy. Remedy this lack of faith and the process of prayer in school will be brought about easily and efficiently.

3. The “christians” who assume prayer has been removed from schools are actually the ones who removed prayer from schools.
Here’s where you’ll think I’ve gone off the deep end. Wasn’t prayer removed from public institutions by activists and atheists such as Madeleine Murray O’Hare and Christopher Hitchens? Not so! Maybe activists removed the time that public officials were made to lead students of all faiths (or no faith) in prayer, but christians who believe that prayer is not in schools must not be teaching their children to pray in school. Why else would there be such worry?

My children pray in school. They pray at home. We talk about prayer and we talk about praying in school. We talk about the times that have happened and that will come when they feel that they’re the only people in their class that pray to God. That’s how I know they pray. That’s how christians are taught to pray in Matthew, too. It’s not a public spectacle on the street corner, but rather a private affair that addresses one’s most personal needs. It’s an intimate conversation that a single creation has with its Creator.

That’s proof that prayer is still in public school (or at least in a few schools in our city). If those up in arms would do the same, there’d be no more need to clamor. This is perhaps the biggest assumption to realize and address before tackling the two-step method.

I know these three assumptions are pretty strong statements inferred by well-meaning christians who are simply “wanting to put prayer back in schools.” As strong as these statements are, they are equally as true. The problems of education, politics, or civil disobedience aren’t solved by the “prayer back in schools” mindset. This mindset exposes the frightened demeanor of the weak christian who’s bent on clamoring to prove some semblance of faith in the public eye. It exposes the ignorant state of a believer that would try to secure his/her own beliefs before others by unwittingly placing limits on an omnipresent and omniscient Deity. It exposes the apathetic faith of a believer who would imply that the cure to social ills is by hindering education with religious practice and by abdicating spiritual responsibility and guidance to public officials.

Still, there are those who would like to see children of all faiths led publicly in prayer by their teacher or administrator at school (whose faith has still yet to be determined or legislated). As promised, here’s a guide to get that accomplished quickly and efficiently:

A Guide To Put Prayer In Public Schools:

Step One:
Teach your children to pray.

Step Two:
Repeat until children no longer attend school.

It won’t be done with a Facebook meme, a Twitter war, a public petition to the White House, or by griping about this or that president. Remember, this exposes your weakness, not the public’s, not God’s. At best, you alone look foolish. At worst, you and any others that may buy into this brand of fear-based “faith” will look foolish. If you don’t have children to teach, then feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the prisoners, sit with the sick, guard and care for the widows and the orphans. You will then have an eager audience and may learn a thing or two about prayer in the process.

If none of these ideas are suitable as process or solution, then I am open to other suggestions. As long as my faith isn’t legislated, I am free to say and explore the ideas I’ve proposed and accept ideas from those who agree or disagree. I can even take these concerns to my closet for prayer in my own time, my own language, and my own priority. When I do so, I will not limit the power of God by implying that “He’s not in this place or that place” or that one institution or another would be so much better if I legislated and coerced the practice of prayer.

If christians were successful at showing the love and mercy of God as He wants us to do, then there would be no need to legislate any law, let alone “prayer in schools.”