Author: admin

War on Christmas? The Real Issue Is How CHRISTIANS Behave.

It’s about Christ – so it’s really a holiday (holy day) for any who love Christ. How could we expect those who do not love and follow Christ to be super sensitive to the religious, or spiritual meaning of the season? Why should we harass them about it? We should not! That’s not very welcoming, and the Gospel is about welcome. What really matters is how WE, ourselves, respond to these holidays. Or more to the point – what really matters is how WE are responding to Christ week in and week out throughout the year. What if someone...

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Is Trump a Christian? What Does it MEAN to Believe In Christ?

There was some excitement among certain Republican Christians when Dobson said Trump had become a “baby” Christian and should be cut some slack on that basis. Two observations: A novice at practicing the Christian faith is not someone we should automatically admire, and trust, and therefore surrender top leadership posts to. Paul says to beware of promoting novices. Well, of course. Democrats can win elections and do evil without pretending to be “born again” Christians – but Republicans pretty much have to profess Christian faith and in some way or other make good with the evangelical vote. So, for...

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Recent Most Popular Posts (late Nov 2016)

“Letter from Birmingham Jail” – Short Quotes from Martin Luther King’s 2nd Most Famous Literary Production. Samaritan Lives Matter – Jesus and Racism Kid’s Version of the Declaration of Independence “Turn the Other Cheek” Means “Resist Them Non-Violently” I’m Relieved Clinton Lost – But Trump is Still Dangerous Why Many Christians Do Not Vote Republican Veterans Day – Those Who Serve Democracy are Mostly Non-Military Cowboy’s Christmas Prayer – and some Good New Year’s Values I’m Ticked at Bernie but WOW – Good Response to the Election Hitler Defended Christian Morality and Family Values Was Jesus Violent? The Temple...

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Give Thanks Wisely – for All That is Good

It’s (almost) THANKSGIVING We appreciate food, and housing, clothes, and transportation. We prize friends. We are very grateful for family. We live by faith and fellowship. We feel – and express – thankfulness for many wonderful blessings. But there are some things we should not be thankful for! I expect we can each make a pretty impressive list. The confusing thing is that some believers think they will offend God if they are not thankful for EVERYthing.  I believe that is wrong. Should we really thank God for abuse and murder of women and children, and men? For cops...

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Samaritan Lives Matter – Jesus and Racism

Samaritans in Jesus’ day were both religiously and racially despised. The phrase “Samaritan lives matter” would have been very offensive to the Jewish culture in which Jesus was raised and in which he was a teacher and doer of good. But to Jesus, clearly Samaritan lives did matter. Today, to Jesus, clearly “Black lives matter,” and Hispanic, and immigrant, and Muslim, and atheist, and imprisoned, and gay, and African-American, and Native American, etc.  It is true and appropriate to say so.  We must emphasize the value in God’s eyes of excluded groups.Jesus is just willy nilly stepping on all...

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I’m Relieved Clinton Lost – Still, Trump Is Dangerous

I am no fan of Donald Trump. But I felt a strong sense of relief as more states turned red last Tuesday and it became obvious Hillary was going to lose. It surprised me – but not greatly.  But Trump is dangerous in several ways, to all of us. Hillary – the Clinton Cartel – is Dangerous So I’m glad they got pushed back hard.  Hillary was Deliberately stirring up tension with Russia It was unnecessary, based on fabricated concerns, and could easily and quickly have led to a major world-wide disaster. On board with the TPP If you...

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About PublicChristian

This blog was an active Christian Democrat site for a few years in the mid-oughts (around 2005). It seems to be coming back to life in late 2016.  I am still a Christian, but not a registered Democrat. The “Christian” part means I take the Bible seriously as a profound guide in matters spiritual and moral, with special concern for the teachings by and about Jesus of Nazareth. That implies reading it carefully and honestly, and responding to it honestly. And that includes self-criticism before, and often in place of, that which is much easier – the criticism of everyone else. So I try not to write what I am not personally, spiritually engaged with to some real extent. I was a registered Democrat from 1968 into Obama’s time. And still, much of the perspective here might be described as Christian Democrat, as long as we take “Democrat” to mean something more like FDR than like what we’ve been seeing lately. I am an old preacher’s kid from Nebraska, currently pastor of an American Baptist church. I have also been a high school and college teacher (history, philosophy, etc.), a dairyman, and a rural mail carrier, among other things. My cute smart wife and I have 6 kids, plus kids-in-law, in their 30’s and 40’s, including a severely handicapped daughter. We have a nice bouquet of grandkids scattered across...

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Veterans Day: Those Who Serve Democracy are Mostly Non-Military

“Thank you for your service” – I have heard that often, and I appreciate it. I thank those who say nice things to me, a US Army veteran – or to, or about, so many, many other veterans.  It is valuable to be thankful, and to be explicit. And the free meals, and reserved parking spaces are nice! Still, I always want to say:God and a soldier all people adore In time of war, but not before; And when war is over and all things are righted, God is neglected and an old soldier slighted. Please give AT LEAST...

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I’m Ticked at Bernie but WOW, Good Response to the Election!

Bernie made a very brief, very wise statement about the election of Donald Trump. He has a way with words, and with clarity of thinking. Bernie, who ran so competitively against Hillary for the Democratic nomination, and who – we now have abundant evidence – was cheated out of the nomination, and who many have for months believed would have pretty easily beat Donald Trump in Tuesday’s election, The church in this country, those who claim to be believers in – that is, followers of – Jesus of Nazareth, had better make clear – to ourselves, and to everyone...

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I Will Vote for Jill Stein, the Green Party

I changed my registration from Democratic to Green Party this summer, and will vote for Jill Stein tomorrow. In a recent article I summarized why I will vote for neither of the major party Presidential candidates. [ “I’ll Vote Niether Trump Nor Clinton – Corrupt, Dangerous.” ] Of the two best-known minor parties, I choose the Green Party over the Libertarians. Gary Johnson seems practically not to believe in government at all. He made that clear while he was governor of New Mexico, and it holds up in statements by himself and his campaign. I have two major problems...

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Two Types of Religion – Authority, Love

Sometimes I feel there are obviously two primary modes for religious practice in this world. That amazement is the opposite of complacency and self-satisfaction. And that gentleness is very different from constant critique and judging.We all, if we are religious at all, mix these together to some extent.  But they are clearly very distinct – maybe opposites – and there are many, many churches or individuals in which one or the other is blatantly dominant. And this distinction applies in every religion (or non-religion) I know anything about – Native American, Judaic, Muslim, Hindu, secularist, atheist, – whatever. It’s...

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I’ll Vote Neither Trump Nor Clinton: Corrupt, Dangerous

As a Christian, and as an American, I cannot vote for either Trump or Clinton. Her threat is great … in terms of international bluster and clout, and in terms of control and intimidation of powerful people here at home – including the media, and the national security apparatus.It’s my opinion. We may disagree, and you may have arguments against my positions. But this is what I think. And that’s partly why we have (some of us, for now) freedom to vote, and to vote privately. Trump is erratic and a bully. He has a terrible, public record of...

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Contempt and Hate – Have We Been Voting for That?

Sadly, our votes and elections are, whatever our motives, putting lots of people in positions of power who – in our names – are a) not interested in understanding the plight of people on my lists below, and who are b) quite willing to do them damage through indifference – and through deliberate public policies of exploitation and direct oppression.If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? … Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?Many of my friends would protest and say it isn’t true...

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The Quiet Places in Our Lives Make Our Public Activity Safer

Contemplation and Public Action The public good is most in danger when the voluntary visits to contemplation are neglected in favor of immediate communitarian action. We don’t have to go off and become full-time contemplatives. But times of stepping aside from the race do help provide for safer involvement in public life. He says, in fact, that “the public good is most in danger” if such times are squeezed out of our lives.  [These quotes are from from James V. Schall, Professor of political philosophy at Georgetown University (in his Another Sort of Learning, 1988, Ignatius Press).] 'Contemplation' can...

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The Trump Danger to many Christians is Real

Christian friends: If you support Trump, it is a pastoral problem for me. You are increasing the danger – the fear and threat – in which a significant percentage of my Christian friends, including my congregation, live.It is vigorously un-Christian to approve the stirring up of anger and danger and hate against our fellow citizens. those whose skin is darker (a little or a lot), all of the women, those with Jewish heritage, Muslims, or people who might be Muslim, those a little less “conservative” than others, any who have had abortions, any who have been active homosexually etc....

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Are Economic Matters a Moral Issue? Isaiah Thinks So.

In spite of Isaiah, and other Bible sources, we’ve all heard this – something like: I. It is NOT the government’s place to interfere in economic matters – tell people how they should spend their money or how they should treat their employees. That warps economic process and is an abuse of freedom and a terrible threat to all of us. So it is anti-American and very unChristian. And it will lead to socialism and Communism and fascism and tyranny.A major theme of the Bible is that there is indeed a higher standard for public behavior than the preferences...

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100 Quotes

Nerd alert! This is a list that used to be behind the quote widget on the upper right of the page. They are from various places, maybe half from my personal reading (books). I’m not documenting sources because I don’t have time or did not record them. There’s good nourishment here! But you may have to chew for at least 5 or 6 seconds to get it. Eat and enjoy! [Here’s another list of short quotes – about 50 of them.] A miracle, just take a look around: the inescapable earth.    -Wistawa Szymborska A liberal state is an achievement...

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German Christians Sold Out to Power and Glory

[A Review of Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, by Charles Marsh, 2014] This book is not written to coddle nor to discomfort whatever our self-image is as American Christians today; Marsh is trying to show reality. To me, two eras of Bonhoeffer’s life seem particularly important to our current experience in the United States, and I will get to those in a minute.The terrifying crucial factor was the willingness of pew-level Christians to see Christ and the Bible replaced by enthusiasm for a strong Germany and a strong, “Christian” leader. Marsh walks us from an introduction to...

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NE Gov Candidate – "Do Justice, Love Mercy"

Chuck Hassebrook (D-NE Governor candidate) closed out his campaign last night by quoting Micah 6:8. “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?” Coming from him that is entirely credible because that’s how he has lived his entire life. And unlike others, he did not go into politics wealthy and he’s not coming out of it...

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A Few Chips Must Fly / Gaza & Israel

This lists casualties of the Israeli efforts to subdue the Palestinians in two recent months. [This is from a powerful diary over at Daily Kos. Her article adds some very helpful historical illustration and comment.] I do not ask that you read the lists. But do scroll through them; you’ll get the point. Both lists span July 8, 2014 to August 13, 2014. And the people on both lists were just that, people. Living, breathing, dreaming people. The original author begins with David Harris Gershon’s … diary discusses an Israeli pilot dismissing the killing of Palestinian women and children...

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Wish I’d Said That!

Nothing in the world
is more dangerous
than a sincere ignorance
and
conscientious stupidity.

~Martin Luther King, Jr.Tweet

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