A Conversation Worth Having.

I am as tired as anyone else about the world ending because they put a black man who knelt in respectful protest to the flag. I mean, I guess I do not get it. He never was disrespectful to the flag, or country. To say we don’t have real issues that need to be addressed is a lie. We can as a society do better. The justice system is whack. I know police target blacks I have heard it from a former cop that they do. Most inmates in the largest prison population in the world are black. Who has that prison population, yes, the U.S. of A. Greater population than Russia and China combined.

Now I am white and I am not saying white people don’t go through struggles, get killed by cops, or end up in prison. But generally it’s the black kid with the cell phone that was supposedly a gun that ends up on the news. If you drive through impoverished areas in most cities, who lives there? Black people, and why? These are real issues and Kaepernick used his platform to start a conversation that we are all having.

The funny thing is, I have not seen or heard of one black person protesting Kaepernick or Nike. I am sure they exist, but it seems to be all white people. I am white and know a bit about white privilege. I have been given more chances by the justice system than I deserve. I have never been harassed by the police, or asked for ID, or unlawfully searched. I also never grew up in poverty. Now I know a lot of white people have. I am just speaking for myself.

Can we at least just understand, maybe think about the message instead of being so critical. I know they could have put other athletes in the advertisement, but they didn’t, and maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe we need to be having this conversation.

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The Backyard Preacher Podcast #137 (Memorial Day Episode)

Nate talks about Memorial day. Nate also talks about a lot of issues in which the church has decided in many different ways to take a stand. Education, immigration, the cult of Trump, and how this all falls into memorial day and our desire to remember those who died in service to our country and those who have passed on who served our country.

The Backyard Preacher Podcast #112 (Taking a Knee)

Would Jesus take a knee?  That is the question I propose.  Players taking a knee in the NFL has been a highly controversial topic that has continued to divide an already divided country.  In this episode Nate talks about an event in the life of Jesus in which he did not just take a knee he went above and beyond anything that the players in the NFL are currently doing.

All Hail the United States our True god

Many of my progressive Christian friends are probably use to seeing the many articles floating around denouncing nationalism within the church and for the most part I agree. For the most part. While I am not one on 4th of July church services, there is almost a natural link between church and state regardless of the constitution. From ancient times the King or Queen ruled by divine right called “The Divine Right of Kings.” If you go back to ancient Egypt we see the Pharaoh as the god-king, the high priest of the nation as well as political ruler. It just might be in our DNA to set off firecrackers and salute our nation’s flag, all the while saying a prayer to our deity for another day of freedom.

So while within the Christian faith I think it is important not to go so far as to force feed people a religious diet. We do live in the United States in which the founding fathers had a brilliant and beautiful idea of separation of church and state, we also do not want to leave God out of the government and act like he will not enter the chambers of congress because we will not invite him in, or within the courts because we take down the ten commandments or a statue of Baphomet, as if God was so inferior and able to be stopped by our human measures.

I believe a more centrist approach is needed. I personally think much of this backlash against celebration of the state within a religious context comes from the recent election of Donald Trump. I do not support Trump, but nonetheless I will not be one of those “He is not my President” people, because he is my president as a citizen of the United States. Both sides, liberal and conservative have an opportunity to allow what is going on in today’s government to bring us together. Let this be an opportunity to get back to the basics of Christianity. Let me remind you that Christianity is not a religion of any state, but rather faith in Jesus, unlike the religions of the ancients we do not allow the state control over us. Yet we kind of compromise as Jesus said, give unto Cesar what is Cesar’s.

I believe both liberal and conservative Christians are engaged in what amounts to rebellion. Conservatives want to create a government of the church and by the church, and liberals are moving so far away from the church into the realm of Unitarianism. As a progressive Christian I am not going to sell out my faith and bash everything churches around the country do. Just as I do not want them to bash me and my progressive theology. I believe we can unite once again and agree to disagree.