Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Monday, October 19, 2009

An Amazing Moment at St. Marks

St. Marks United Church of Christ in New Albany begins each Worship Service with the words, "No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here." These words are taken seriously by the people in the church.

On Sunday, October 18th, we were so incredibly blessed to have a member of our congregation, J. R. Stuart, known to many for us great work at Derby Dinner, and known to us as a friend and brother in Christ. Let me share his words with you.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

You Have a Friend in RuAl!

Al Sharpton is suing Rush Limbaugh for defamation over an article that Limbaugh wrote in the Wall Street Journal. Limbaugh is angry at Sharpton for comments Sharpton made while Limbaugh was trying to purchase the Rams. Amazing. This really cannot happen as Rush Limbaugh and Al Sharpton are really the same person, a person named RuAl.

RuAl is a master of disguise and masterful with voices. He is one person in two personas.

One is as a right wing radio talk show and the other is a left wing activist. They are one in the same person, a man named RuAl. Fans of both will find this shocking and find what I am writing to be utterly impossible, but give me some time and open your mind and eyes and you’ll see my point.

First, they both gain and lose weight at the same time. When RuAl is hefty, so is Rush and Al. When RuAl loses weight, they both lose weight at the same time.

Secondly, you’ll notice that you never see the two of them together. Ever. Rush is on the radio, unseen by human eyes most of the time, and Al only shows up when cameras are around for carefully staged events.

Thirdly, you’ll take note that both of them are noted for having monumental egos; their egos are the size of the Grand Canyon. Their hearts, on the other hand, for those who disagree with them, are the size of a dried pea.

Fourth, you’ll noticed that they are absolute friends of ideological purity.

Rush believes that if you agree with him, you are unable to commit a crime. Falsehoods told in the name of right-winged extremism are fine.

War crimes, if you are a right-winger, do not exist. Gang rape? No problem. If you agree with Rush, he’ll back you to the wall. Genocide, no sweat.

You have a friend in Rush, if you agree with him.

Al believes that if you agree with him you are unable to commit a crime? Perpetrate a fraud in the name of left-winged extremism, is not a problem.

Abject corruption and thievery in the name of the left is just fine. Murder, mayhem, and riots, are not a difficulty at all if you abide with his ideology.

You have a friend in Al if you agree with him.

Lastly, they are both racially insensitive to a fault. They are both racists to different races. But, a racist, is a racist, is a racist.

The thing is this. Rush Limbaugh and Al Sharpton are merely personas of one man named RuAl. There is a clear profile of RuAl for people to see.

First is this. RuAl hates people, all people, except himself. When a movie comes out suggesting you take the person you love the most to see it with you, RuAl goes alone. There is no one he really likes, no one he really admires, except himself. He will pay others lip serve and will pretend to care, but he doesn’t. RuAl hates all people.

Secondly, RuAl hates people to the point that he loves seeing people in conflict with one another. He detests all sorts of cooperation or political bi-partisanship because he sees that people are a peace and feeling good about one another. His contempt for people runs so deeply that he lives to sew the seeds of division in others.

Thirdly, he is arrogant, boastful, thin-skinned, and constantly loves the limelight he finds himself in. He so longs to be the center of attention he has created two personas for himself that he can be with left wingers and right wingers and always be the most extreme person there, and always be the center of attention.

Fourth, he has a sincere religious conviction. He longs for people to worship him. When he speaks of God as ‘other’ he crosses his fingers behind his back. It is he, RuAl, who longs to be worshiped, glorified, and admired.

Lastly, RuAl has one true love beside himself. He loves money. He will or do anything for money. He will say anything for money. He will honor anyone for money. It doesn’t matter the person’s ideological viewpoint because RuAl has a persona to accommodate.

Now one persona is going to sue the other persona to attract more attention and somehow have the ability to transfer assets from one persona to another.

This is all good news. If you are an ideological extremist of any sort, you have a friend in RuAl. As long as you agree with either of his personas, as long as you buy, hook, line, and sinker, everything he’s about, either persona, he will defend you to the max.

The persona of Rush will trumpet you on the radio; the persona of Al will show up with an entourage and preach your cause to the crowds and the televison cameras. No matter who you are on the fringe, you have a friend in RuAl.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Peace if not about ideology at least the way we tend to define it in modern day America, liberal and conservative, the most over-used words in the English language. Peace is actually a concept that comes from either a spiritual perspective or, perhaps best stated, a worldly perspective.

Recently, Sean Hannity said, ““I’ve often said that liberals define peace as ‘the absence of conflict.’ I define peace, very simply, as the ability to defend yourself and destroy evil enemies.”

Without an argument of politics or of American policy, by biggest issue with Hannity on this is that he is defining this inaccurately. Peace as the ‘absence of conflict’ is not a ‘liberal’ perspective of peace; it is actually a Biblical perspective of peace. I cannot imagine that he is stating that a liberal perspective is Biblical and godly where as his is not. He is just mis-stating from whence this idea originates. He demonstrates, at least from my vantage point, the inanity of needing to use the labels ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’ as much as we do. And, Hannity’s definition of peace is actually not unique to Hannity or ‘conservatives,’ but to a world view of Rome.

The Biblical concept of peace comes from the Hebrew word Shalom, which is often described as a peace of God which passes all understanding and an absence of conflict of the highest level. In describing shalom, Isaiah says it with great eloquence:

The wolf shall live with the lamb,
the leopard shall lie down with the kid,
the calf and the lion and the fatling together,
and a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze,
their young shall lie down together;
and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. -Isaiah 11:6-7

As stated, shalom is an absence of conflict at its highest level.

Conversely, there is a worldly kind of peace which is often defined from the Roman Empire, generally referred to as Pax Romana. Hannity’s perspective of peace actually comes from this.

Its root comes from the height of the Roman Empire and is occasionally referred to as Pax Augusta, after Caesar Augustus. It is probably well defined as a super power kind of peace in the fact that people were strongly motivated to not go to war with any of the Roman provinces because they were going to then deal with the army and might of Rome. Rome being, a large and strong super power had the ability to crush any enemies. They also had great will in order to do so and did lots of crushing.

The reality of life is that we do need to defend ourselves and destroy evil enemies. The Second World War was a classic example of that. It was a necessary war with an enemy of immense evil who had to be crushed. We live in a world filled with evil people who do evil things and sometimes strength is the only way to hold people back. We live in a world where Pax Romana is still important and vital.

My issue with Sean Hannity is not his idea of peace through strength. It is the pretense of liberal versus conservative and looking to alienate people just because he seems to want to or it gets him ratings. I’m not sure, otherwise, why he says this.

Meanwhile, we live in a world where we have and need Pax Romana and pray for a world prophesied by Isaiah, a world living with a sense of Shalom.