Saturday, December 02, 2006

Imams, Airplanes, and my Grandmom

From Renee--I wanted to make some comment about the religious intolerance we're seeing against Muslims lately, but I've been coming up blank. Today I checked my e-mail and saw something from the local interfaith peace group. It was written by Rabbi Arthur Waskow. I've decided to post it in its entirety. It can be found online here.

Dear Friends,

On November 20, 2006, six imams on their way home from a conference of imams were forced off a US Airways flight in handcuffs because they had been praying before entering the plane. - Though they had gone through security and in every other way had satisfied every requirement, someone on the plane wrote a note to an attendant: Their presence made him or her uncomfortable.

Did US Air invite the frightened passenger to choose a different flight?

No. Instead, they forced the imams off the plane in handcuffs, and even after checking on their bona fides refused to let them board another flight.

Two days later, Imam Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, whom I had met in several vigils against the use of torture, called to ask me whether I would join a pray-in by Jews, Christians, and Muslims at Washington National Airport the next Monday morning.

I groaned. I had intended to come back home to Philadelphia on Sunday evening from a family Thanksgiving visit to the Midwest; to get to Washington in time, I would have to switch my flight and stay overnight in Washington.

I groaned - and said Yes, of course.


Here is what I said at the pray-in near USAir's ticket counter on Monday morning:

"My grandmother was born in Poland and came to America when she was in her teens. When I was eleven years old, she came home in tears from a visit to the kosher butcher in our neighborhood. She said that one of the women in the buying line had used a derogatory Yiddish word about African-Americans, and my grandmother had spoken up:

" 'You must not talk that way! That is the way they talked about us in Europe!' "

"That is why I am here today. My community knows very well that what might seem small acts of contempt, of dehumanization, can grow into mountains of death and disaster. So I am here to say to USAir: YOU MUST NOT ACT THIS WAY.

"Through her tears, my grandmom stood tall for an America that would not talk this way, would not act this way. How can I do otherwise?

"So far as I am concerned, I will do my best to fly on airlines other than USAir until US Air fully apologizes to the imams and makes full recompense to them. Then we will know that in America, we do not act this way!"

After leaders of each community spoke, the Muslims prayed in the traditional way, through prostration and chant. Then I chanted the prayer "Oseh shalom bimromav, hu yaaseh shalom alenu, v'al kol Yisrael - v'al kol Yishmael - v'al kol yoshvei tevel --

"You Who make shalom, harmony, peace, in the ultimate reaches of the universe, teach us to make shalom, peace, within us, among us, among all the people Yisrael, among all our cousins the children of Ishmael, and among all who dwell upon this planet."

Several Christian ministers drew on the prayers of their own tradition for justice, for peace, for prayer itself.

And to all these prayers we together said: "Ameyn, ahmin, amen."

Shalom, salaam, peace - Arthur

The Tent of Abraham: Stories of Hope and Peace for Jews, Christians, and Muslims

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Open Thread

Awwww! Look at the kitties! (Via Cute Overload.)

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Friday, December 01, 2006

Katharine Jefferts Schori's statement on World AIDS Day

Every time I hear Katharine Jefferts Schori speak, she mentions the importance of the UN Millennium Development Goals. Since one of those goals is to Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, I figured she would have something to say today...

"Words, words, words won't help us in our fight against the pandemic. Now is the time for action."

As people across the world pause to commemorate another World AIDS Day, my mind is drawn to these words, spoken by my brother Archbishop, Njongonkulu Ndungane of Cape Town, earlier this year at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS.

My purpose in writing on World AIDS Day, then, is not simply to add more words to a debate that is already long on rhetoric but short on action. Rather, I hope my words will remind Episcopalians that our voices –- if united as ONE –- can make a critical difference in the fight to rid the world of a pandemic that claims the lives of 8,000 of God's people each day, destabilizes entire regions, and keeps hundreds of millions of people living in extreme poverty.

On this World AIDS Day, I urge all Episcopalians to join the "ONE Episcopalian" campaign, a unique partnership between the Episcopal Church and ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History. By becoming a ONE Episcopalian, you can unite your voice with more than 2.4 million Americans who are working, ONE by ONE, to create a world free of AIDS and deadly poverty. You can sign up online at, and it takes less than ONE minute.
Read the rest of Bishop Katharine's statement here. And click here to see pictures of her investiture service.

If you would like to get a ONE banner for your own web site, you can find the code here.

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Howard Dean's statement on World AIDS Day

I knew there *had* to be a statement from Howard on World AIDS Day. He's a *doctor* after all. But I didn't see anything on the DNC web site or blog when I looked. But I searched Google news and eventually found this press release.

"The global HIV/AIDS crisis is one that truly knows no borders. Each day, thousands of people of all backgrounds, of all ages, and from all regions of the world are infected. Confronting this crisis is one of the great moral and public health obligations of our time. Yet, despite all of its promises and rhetoric, the Bush Administration has consistently shortchanged its own initiatives and continues to stand in the way of important efforts to curb this disease. Our government must do its share to expand access to lifesaving antiretroviral drugs, strengthen HIV prevention programs, and commit the resources to develop a vaccine to stop the outbreak.

"World AIDS Day is an important opportunity to recommit ourselves to combating this terrible pandemic. I am honored to stand shoulder to shoulder with those living with this disease, and join all Americans in remembering those we have lost.

"As a doctor, a Democrat, a former governor, and a concerned citizen, I join my fellow Americans in demanding real accountability from our government, and a renewed commitment to doing whatever it takes to combat this disease -- not just on World AIDS Day, but every day of the year."

World AIDS Day ribbon design by jc, available at Cafe Press.

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Today is World AIDS Day

When Bono visited the paediatric ward of the central hospital in Kigali last May, eight-year-old Denyse Mushimiyimana was almost comatose. Newly diagnosed with HIV, her tiny skeletal frame lay motionless on her bed while her distraught father, who is also infected, sat at her bedside. She didn't utter a word. Three months later, Denyse was back at her Rwandan school in a neatly pressed uniform, laughing and skipping as usual with her friends. Her parents are naturally delighted.

Denyse is an example of the Lazarus effect of antiretroviral therapy. "Aids is no longer a death sentence," Bono said. "Just two pills a day will bring someone who is at death's door back to full health, back to full life. Doctors call it 'the Lazarus effect'. I've seen it myself and I have to say that it's nothing short of a miracle. These pills are available at any corner drugstore. They cost less than a dollar a day, but the poorest people in Africa earn less than a dollar a day. They can't afford them, and so they die. It's unnecessary. It's insane."

In view of this, last March, Bono and the philanthropist Bobby Shriver launched a campaign called RED to allow big businesses and customers to contribute to the fight against HIV and Aids. So far, six companies have joined up - Amex, Apple, Armani, Gap, Converse and Motorola - and brought out RED products.

A percentage of sales is donated to the Global Fund, an independent organisation set up in 2002 to fight Aids, TB and malaria. Motorola, for example, donates £10 for every RED phone bought, as well as 5 per cent of the purchaser's monthly bill. Gap and Armani donate 50 per cent of the profit from their RED collections.

Donations from RED products are specifically used to combat Aids in Africa. Just over $10m (£5.1m) has been raised so far. "The RED campaign is one of the most exciting and hopeful things that has happened in the five years that the Global Fund has existed," said Professor Richard Feachem, executive director of the Global Fund. "Through it major corporations and ordinary men and women all over the world are engaging positively and constructively in the fight again HIV/Aids in Africa."

About $6m has gone to Rwanda and $4m to Swaziland to support programmes particularly aimed at women and children. In Rwanda it is being used to increase testing and the availability of treatment. Antiretroviral therapy now costs about $140 per person per year, compared with $10,000 in 2000. The dramatic reduction in cost is a result of the Global Fund buying huge amounts of drugs for people too poor to buy them, as well as the Clinton Foundation's price negotiations with the Indian drug manufacturers.

Not only are drugs cheaper, they are much easier to take. Five years ago, patients had to take numerous different pills at varying stages of the day. Treatment now is two pills a day. Rwanda's compliance rate - the ability of patients to take medicine properly - is now higher than in the UK or US.

The Independent Red Edition link

There are several more articles in that edition. . . .

Having written (stolen) that, I'm finding that I need to say more. About last week, with the true friend of my heart, as she stood at her brother's bed in ICU. We both looked a bit like ducks (the face masks and gowns), and I had a vision of him waking and seeing us, standing there, lookin' like something out of Disney. Would he laugh.?

And what does one do when someone you love is being stolen away from you? Cry?

And why can't we do better in caring for the millions and millions affected? And the one? The one we love? I have no answers. I wish I did.

This is from last year's Aids Day:

...And a wonderful organization to support:
Chicago House & Social Services, now in its 20th year of providing housing and support services to persons living with HIV/AIDS.
"Where Have All the Ribbons Gone?" ribbon.html


Names Project


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Thursday, November 30, 2006

World AIDS Day

Tomorrow is World AIDS Day. I think that deserves more of a post than I have the knowledge or time to write. Somebody please write something. If you're not already a front page poster, you can either mail me a post, or you can just post in the comments, and I will magically transport those comments to the front page.

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Howard Dean in Canada

From the comments:

Yippee, the video is already up of Dean's speech tonight in Canada. He was so great, got a good reception, and got a dig in at Fox News. They seemed to appreciate his coming.
Some great smiles from Howard in the couple minutes I watched, but it's one of those videos where I can't get the screen capture softward to work.

Here are a couple news articles I found about the appearance:

Grits told to spread message of hope (from the Ottawa Sun. Presumably "Grits" are Canadian liberals. I think.)

Dean, 58, may be best remembered for his over-amplified Dean Scream speech that helped bring his 2004 presidential bid to a screeching halt.

Dean -- speaking laboured French that nonetheless earned him applause for the effort -- joked about it to the Liberal delegates, telling them he was so happy to be in Montreal he could scream.

"I learned my lesson the hard way," he added in English.

Looking south, Liberals start long road back from the Globe and Mail

Campaign everywhere, Dean advises Liberals as convention opens from CBC News

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Humpday Thread

Update from Shelley in the comments:

Speaking of science, this is worth, I think, immediate e-mailing to your Senators and Reps:

The Environmental Protection Agency libraries are at this moment being gutted by the Bush administration. The libraries are being closed as we speak.

Scientists who hold valuable records about pesticides and the environment are being forced to literally put these documents in the shredder.

On Al Franken's show on airamerica today, we were told that not only is vital material being shredded, but in one EPA library they were forced to sell off $40,000 worth of office furniture for $327.

It is happening now in an attempt to dismantle these libraries (so important for keeping data about polluters) before the new Congress can get in and stop it.
I asked Shelley if she had a link, and she pointed me to the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility web site. Here's a link about the closing of the EPA library.

For anyone who missed it, Keith Olbermann's "Worst Person in the World" from Monday's show...

But tonight’s winner, Linda Crosshauer, the National Science Teachers Association president. Laurie David, co-producer of the Al Gore movie “An Inconvenient Truth,” and wife of the actor Larry David, tried to donate 50,000 DVD copies of the movie so science teachers could show their students.

She said they e-mailed back that they couldn’t accept the DVDs because, among other things, doing so would place, "unnecessary risk upon the National Science Teachers Association capital campaign," especially certain targeted supporters. Who might they be?

Who wouldn’t donate lots of money to the Science Teachers Association if it accepted copies of “An Inconvenient Truth?” Try Exxon Mobile and Shell, which had already donated millions to the association and the American Petroleum Institute, whose own movie the association happily accepted and distributed. It’s called “Fuel-Less, You Can’t Be Cool Without Fuel.”

I got Copernicus and Galileo on the phone. They say the Earth revolves around the sun. What hang up on them? All right, I’m sorry, we have taken millions from the Flat Earth Society. Linda Crosshauer, president of the National Science Teachers Association, available at the right price, Monday's Worst Person in the World.

“Fuel-Less, You Can’t Be Cool Without Fuel.” ? Yer kidding, right? Sounds like one of those videos voiced by Troy McClure that the kids on The Simpsons watch at Springfield Elementary.

And from last night's show...

Gingrich against freedom of speech?
Nov. 28: At a dinner honoring the First Amendment, Newt Gingrich reportedly suggested a "different set of rules" might be necessary to stop terrorists using freedom of speech to get out their message. Keith Olbermann discusses the constitutionality of this with Jonathan Turley.

In the comments, floridagal reminded us that Howard Dean is in Canada today.

It would be nice if some Dem I could get excited about was planning to run in '08, but at least Frist has said he won't run. (But, there goes that series of "Cats Against Frist" designs. Dang.)

This is funny--long, but funny... Have A Walker Texas Ranger Christmas by Hunter. It's not just about Chuck Norris' wobbly on WorldNetDaily about people saying "Happy Holiday", but also goes on to describe the Very Right Wing commentary by a WND writer about the imams who got kicked off the airplane for praying. But, back to Chuck Norris, after reading this diary, you might want to take a peek at Fact: Chuck Norris does not understand irony if you didn't see that blog entry when it was published last month.

Finally, in response to the peace wreath kerfuffle.

Happy Birthday, Prince of Peace

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Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Why People Give

I’ve been thinking quite a bit this holiday season about why people give gifts, and I think I have come up with the basic reason people give...


People give in hope, or expectation, of getting something back.

Now immediately, we think of greed as a bad thing. And with the holiday gift exchanging extravaganza that is about to be upon us, we think of the people that “exchange presents” during the holidays, knowing that if they buy a gift for someone, that someone will buy a gift for them. And yes, this is a common motivation for gift giving during the holidays, but let’s look at some other forms of greed first…

We’ve all “given” to political candidates in hopes that they will win, or perhaps given to a charity like the American Cancer Society in hopes that they will find a cure for cancer to save a family member. We hope we will benefit from the outcome of our “giving”, but so will society as a whole.

People also give as a relief of guilt, or a boost in self esteem, or a sense of religious obligation. Giving makes people feel better about themselves. Regardless of the emotional “reward”, the giving is still a good thing.

For example, you may give time at the Soup Kitchen because you genuinely want to relieve hunger. But it also makes you feel good about yourself for doing it. Just because you get an emotional reward, and it was probably the subconscious motivation for doing it in the first place, the hungry still get fed.

So how does this all relate to Holiday gift giving? You’re probably not going to save someone from freezing, or benefit all society, with the sweater you give your aunt. But you will make her feel good knowing that you cared enough to give her a token of your love. And you’ll feel good about yourself for making her feel good.

And even if you and your aunt are only exchanging gifts to get one in return, is that really a bad thing? Two people feeling good is a good thing, even if the underlying motivation is greed.

Now I know someone is screaming something about our “materialistic society” at their computer screen right now, so I feel obligated to clarify that a gift does not have to be expensive, or necessarily cost anything, to produce a positive effect. It’s the act of giving that satisfies the greed. Giving someone a box of homemade cookies will make you feel as good, if not better, then giving someone a PS3. And the recipient gets homemade cookies! Yummm!

So go ahead, give yourself permission to have a Very Greedy Christmas. It’s way more fun than a Buy Nothing Christmas ;-)

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Open Thread

The adorable Siberian Husky puppy is from Things That Make You Go Aahh

Talk amongst yourselves.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

War on Christmas ("Jesus wept" edition)

Honestly, if someone really desired to declare "war" on Christmas, I think the most devastating way to do that would be to attack what Christmas stands for. Like celebrating the birth of the "Prince of Peace". Oh, wait...

Peace sign creates stir: Pagosa homeowners asked to remove symbol or risk fine

Here's a Kos diary discussing this story, as well as the origin of the peace symbol:
Apparently the peace sign is a sign of OMG SATAN!

There is no "War on Christmas", but "Peace on Earth" and "Good will" are taking quite a beating

See also War on Christmas: I surrender, which includes some background on the origins of many Christmas traditions. And, from 2005, How The ACLU Didn't Steal Christmas.

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Birthday cards to Howard

It was nice to see this diary by Tracy Joan of the DNC up at Kos.

From the DNC Mail Room: Your Birthday Cards to Governor Dean

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Pryce declared winner, but recount is automatic

The winner in the race for Representative in Ohio's 15th Congressional District was undecided until today, because the absentee and provisional ballots had not yet been counted in that race. Today, the results have been announced.

The four-member Franklin County Board of Elections certified final vote totals that gave Pryce the victory in the 15th Congressional District over Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy by 1,054 votes, a net loss of 2,482 from Pryce's unofficial election-night count.

The tighter margin is within the half-percent required to trigger an automatic recount, director Matthew Damschroder said.
Two quick thoughts... First, I'm glad that the recount is automatic, so Pryce has no business complaining or claiming that Kilroy is trying to "steal" the election. Secondly, win or lose, I thank Mary Jo Kilroy for standing up for the democratic process and the rights of all voters to have their votes counted.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006

Bishop Gene Robinson on wedge issues as distractions

This is the third part of my transcription of Bishop Gene Robinson's talk at the Center for American Progress, at the point where he finished his prepared remarks, and the host started to ask him some questions.
Part 1
Part 2

Wendy: In terms of the common good, one of the tensions, I think, with the common good, is I think exemplified in the General Convention. There was a nonbinding resolution that called on the church to exercise restraint by not consecrating future gay bishops. And something you said too, during the summer made me wonder about this. In an interview, you asked what was the most important thing the General Convention could do this summer, and you said that the United Nations Millennium Devel0pment Goals, which is something I really appreciated having worked some with the U.N. And you said, "I think God would have us be about taking care of the poor and marginalized in the world, and would actually be quite sad to see us obsessing over sex."

And so I wonder--one of the tensions, I think within the common good is that people sometimes tell people to wait on their individual rights or their group rights for "the common good". And I wonder how you handle that tension within discussions around the common good, and that sense of timing. And also I wonder if you could speak some to the issue of the right using sexuality issues as a tactic, as a wedge tactic to divide the coalition that you concluded on, that could possibly be put together.

Gene: In the last election, I think it was Barbara Boxer who said that she thought the debate on gay marriage was a "weapon of mass distraction". And I think that these sexuality issue debates that we are having is a massive effort to distract us from our mission. As a country--I mean, God forbid we should talk about Iraq, or the 45 million people who don't have healthcare, or, the list goes on and on and on. Better to talk about gay marriage, abortion, etc.

And I think the church is just as guilty of that, although I don't think the church is as conscious of what it's doing. I think in the political realm that's an absolutely intentional strategy. But I think that the church, while not planning to do so, has fallen into it. It's easier for us to fight about this issue than do the mission of the church.

The follow-up to the Mark story--Jesus comes back from the Syro-Phonecian woman thing, and it's the first time he starts talking about the cross, and how painful...whatever is in his mind about salvation and life with God and such, he starts saying, "You're going to have to pay a price for it." And you know what the disciples do? Twice--as soon as he says "This is going to be *really* hard, and you're going to have to pay a really big price", they start talking about who's going to sit on his left and his right in the Kingdom. And another discussion is "who's going to be the greatest?" And I read that to mean talking about the institution. Who's going to be one-up, who's going to have the best title, who's going to get "Right Reverend" in front of their name, you know? Who gets to wear the best vestments? (Points to himself and mouths "Me!" ;) )

We settled that! And I think in response to having to do the hard work of the Gospel, we retreat into something that's more familiar, safer, and is a wonderful distraction. So I think at the end of the day, the sexuality stuff is a distraction.

First of all, I think it's a distraction for straight people, from talking about their own sexuality. God forbid that we should *actually* talk about the state of marriage--the institution of marriage in the culture. And rather than talk about the fact that half of all marriages end in divorce, and what is *actually* tearing families apart (and there are all kinds of things tearing families apart) *I* have an idea--let's talk about gay marriage, and focus on that!

And, I think for the church, it is far earlier to talk about an openly gay bishop than it is to talk about what Jesus talked about, virtually more than *anything* else in the world, which is the plight of the poor. And so the reason I think that our embrace and our commitment to the UN Millennium Development Goals is so important, is that it finally refocuses us on the mission of the church, instead of all this other stuff.

But, you know, I was pretty unglued by the decision our church made. My 0wn personal opinion is, I think we had a failure of nerve. I think that the kind of courage we had in 2003 was just simply not there. I also think we wanted to demonstrate in some way our commitment to the wider Anglican Communion, and our wanting to be in relationship with them. Obviously the sad part of that is that we were willing to do that on the backs of gay and lesbian people.

But, what I said to gay and lesbian people in our church was, I see this as pushing the pause button. We didn't push stop, and we didn't push reverse--we just pushed pause. There's no question in my mind where we're going. We just couldn't find the courage to go there this time.

So, the Millennium Development Goals are just so important, and you know what? If we start caring for the world's poor, alleviating the most extreme poverty. If we start supporting efforts to empower women and children. If we do the work that it will take to ease the suffering that's caused by malaria and HIV-AIDS and so on, if we're doing those things, we're going to be just fine. And if the institution changes, why should we be fearful of that? And why should a denomination, the Anglican Church, that got its *start* because of controversy and conflict, be afraid of change?
Click here for the whole video.

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To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

Revelation 3:14-22
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Matthew 22:34-40
There is nothing more frustrating than having to deal with people who are lukewarm about things that matter. George Bush and his Republican Party are taking this country to Hell in a hand basket and too many Americans' only response is, "Whatever." Touch-screen voting is being implemented across the country even as we see in Sarasota that 18,000 votes can instantly "disappear" in order to help one candidate over another and the only response that we hear from too many Americans is a heart-felt, "Whatever." Our sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, uncles and aunties are being slaughtered as grist for the Iraqi mill and all that too many Americans have to say is, "Whatever." This lukewarm Laodecean attitude is the reason why wicked men can hatch their plans to deprive the populace of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness - the people will merely say, "Whatever."

This is even more true of those who call themselves Christians. There are too many Christians who are zealous for God but when it comes to their fellow man their response is essentially, "Whatever." Someone needs help with breaking the cycle of poverty? "Whatever." Someone needs food, clothing and shelter? "Whatever." Someone needs health care or to be comforted in prison? "Whatever." Many people who call themselves Christians are indeed zealous for God, but in too many instances - like a true Laodecean - their love is lacking for their fellow man.

Likewise, there are too many people who call themselves Christians who are zealous for their fellow man but whose response when it comes to God Himself is essentially, "Whatever." God requires the Christian to pursue His holiness? "Whatever." God refers to homosexuality as being uniquely abominable, using the Hebrew word חועבה "toebah" to refer to homosexuality and other practices which are abominable while using the Hebrew word שקץ "sheqets" to refer to all other practices that are simply to be avoided? "Whatever." Jesus says, "I am the way and the truth and the life - no one comes to the Father except through Me" and the lackadaisical Laodecean replies, "Whatever."

There are too many Christians In Name Only, and much the same way that Republican In Name Only Lincoln Chaffe was spewed out of his seat in the Senate and Democrat In Name Only Zell Miller would have been spewed out of his Senate seat if he had sought another term, Christians In Name Only will be spewed out by Jesus when the eternal election day comes to pass. When we stand before God to give an account of all that we have done in this life there will be many conservatives standing before Jesus, saying, "Lord, Lord, did we not vote Republican in your name, and in your name drive out homosexuals and prevent many abortions?" just to hear Jesus tell them plainly, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" However, there will also be progressives standing before Jesus in judgment, saying, "'Lord, Lord, did we not feed the hungry, and clothe the naked and comfort the sick and imprisoned?" just to hear Jesus tell them plainly, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" Faith without works is truly dead, and works without faith is equally dead. Only a faith that works will lead to eternal life, and that faith must be placed in Jesus Christ - the only way to the Father is through the Son.

I know, whatever.

May the LORD bless you and keep you;
May the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
And may the LORD,
Who wants you to love Him forever,
May He turn His face toward you and give you peace.

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