Tag Archives: Bible

Infidelity can scar for life

You see this circumstance crop up far more often than politicians care to admit. A pol declares himself or herself to be a “devout Christian” who wears his or her faith on both sleeves and plastered on the forehead.

Then their personal life becomes the subject of tittering and gossip.

That’s you, U.S. Rep. Marjorie Taylor “What’s Her Name” Greene, the lunatic Republican from Georgia. She only recently declared herself to be a Christian nationalist. By golly, she’s devoted to the Bible, its teachings.

But … oops! Now comes word that her husband of 28 years is divorcing her. Their marriage is “irretrievably broken,” he said in papers filed in divorce court.

Oh, but there’s more. Reports are flying all over the place that Rep. What’s Her Name had a fling or two with men who aren’t her husband. I haven’t heard any categorical denial coming from the Georgia flamethrower. What am I — and others — to surmise? One notion might be that the reports of her extramarital tumbles are true.

So, here you go. Politicians who make these proclamations about their faith and, presumably, the sacred vows they take to their spouse open themselves up to even greater scrutiny when their lives take these sudden turns.

Ya gotta walk the walk, Rep. What’s Her Name … not just talk about it.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

Pro-life, pro-choice … or both?

Occasionally I have to grapple with my position on abortion. Am I pro-choice? Am I pro-life? Truly, this issue causes me some grief. To alleviate that grief, I have determined I am both.

I now shall explain myself.

If a woman were to ask me for advice on whether to abort a pregnancy, I could not counsel her to do so. Therefore, that resistance to pro-abortion counseling makes me — in my view — pro-life on the issue.

However, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that strips the court’s Roe v. Wade ruling of its power spurs another emotion within. You see, I also believe that government should not govern how women can manage their own reproductive process. That is not a governmental call. Such heart-wrenching decisions belong only to the woman, her partner, her physician, her spiritual leader and, yes, the god she worships.

I have thought about a gentleman with whom I attended church in Amarillo. His name is Doug and he once told a crowd of fellow churchgoers in a voice loud enough for many of us to hear that he was both a “creationist and one who believes in evolution.”

I learned then that Doug, a fellow who is quite a bit older than I am (which is really saying something), takes the same expansive view of Scripture that I do. We believe that the biblical version of “six days” worth of work creating the universe doesn’t mean the same six calendar days we use to measure that length of time.

So it can be with abortion. I see myself as both pro-life and pro-choice on an issue that when all is said about it really is none of my business.

As a 70-something-year-old man I never have had to make that choice for myself, nor will ever have to make it for as long as I walk this good Earth. Nor do I ever expect a woman to ask me whether she should make that choice for herself.

That suits me fine, too … because I never could say “yes” for any woman to commit such an agonizing act.

johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

No communion for POTUS?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

The Bible is God’s infallible word, yes?

So, with that I want to venture briefly into some dangerous rhetorical territory. Some Catholic bishops want to deny President and Mrs. Biden communion because of their views on abortion.

Catholic Church doctrine opposes abortion. Period. It is not a debatable point. President Biden believes women deserve to have the right to choose whether to terminate a pregnancy, which is against church doctrine. Some bishops want to deny serving him communion at Mass. Given that the first couple attends church regularly, well … that’s a big deal.

My quandary is this: The Bible I have read since I was a little boy does not set any sin above all others. Thus, abortion is no more serious a sin than, say, coveting someone else’s property or engaging in sloth.

How, then, do bishops justify weaponizing a particular sin by denying a politician communion which in effect declares that abortion is more punishable than any other sin? Is that in keeping with Biblical teaching?

Trump sullies Good Book

“This is an awful man, waving a book he hasn’t read, in front of a church he doesn’t attend, invoking laws he doesn’t understand, against fellow Americans he sees as enemies, wielding a military he dodged serving, to protect power he gained via accepting foreign interference, exploiting fear and anger he loves to stoke, after failing to address a pandemic he was warned about, and building it all on a bed of constant lies and childish inanity.”

— Robert Hendrickson
Rector at St. Philip’s Episcopal Church in Tucson, Ariz.

The comments attributed to Robert Hendrickson speak so well, so eloquently to one of my enduring frustrations.

It is that Donald Trump is able to persuade the enabling class of voters to whom he clings that he actually speaks their language, that he feels their pain, that he cares about them, their concerns, their loved ones.

He trooped over to the Episcopal church in Washington on Monday to stage a ridiculous, clumsy and laughable photo op. Millions of Americans — me included — saw it for what it was. Others, though, see it as some sort of demonstration that Donald Trump actually cares about them.

How else can I say this, other than to say simply: No. He doesn’t care. Not about you, or me, or anyone other than himself.

For this amoral/immoral imbecile to grasp a Bible — a book of which he has zero knowledge or understanding — and display it in such a fashion soils and sullies the holy and revered text it contains.

Keep it in church, not in City Hall

The mayor of Wylie, Texas, a town not far from where my wife and I live, clearly is a 15th-century man.

Eric Hogue is getting some serious criticism for declaring that women cannot lead prayer in public places because the Bible forbids it. What? Eh? Seriously?

Hogue cites passes from 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy — two books in the New Testament — that says women should remain silent in church. They can’t lead prayer while worshiping, the mayor interprets from Scripture.

Some folks have called on him to resign.

Hogue happens to pastor a church in Wylie, a town of about 51,000 residents in Collin County. He said his congregation interprets the New Testament passages literally.

Fine, Mr. Mayor/Preacher. Here’s a thought for you to ponder.

You are entitled to lead the church any way you see fit, presuming you continue to have the support of your congregants. However …

You took an oath to lead a secular government, led by a secular document — the U.S. Constitution — that expressly forbids the mixing of religion in public policy. If the mayor chooses to disallow women from leading, say, invocations to start city council meetings, I suppose that’s his call to make. He says he can’t go against his “conscience.”

The mayor just shouldn’t allow his religious beliefs to dictate public policy as he is empowered to enact according to the oath of office he took when he became the leader of a secular local government.

POTUS wishes us a ‘happy’ what?

What’s next from Donald J. Trump? Oh, he might decide to wish us a “Happy Pearl Harbor Day.” Or, maybe it’ll be a “Happy 9/11.”

Today, the president of the United States, sent out a Twitter greeting that said: “HAPPY GOOD FRIDAY TO ALL!”

This, of course, comes from the individual who once cited a New Testament passage from “Two Corinthians.” 

OK, for Christians around the world, Good Friday is not a day to be, um, “celebrated.” It marks the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. That’s in the Bible, too, Mr. President. The Gospels tell us about that terrible event.

The happiness arrived three days later when, according to Scripture, they went to the tomb where Jesus’s body was interred … and he wasn’t there.

Easter is Christianity’s most joyous day, Mr. President. It’s when we celebrate Jesus’s resurrection. It gives us faith in an eternal life that awaits Christians.

But … what does it matter to this fellow? You see, the evangelical leadership will look straight past this president’s Biblical ignorance.

Amazing.

Trump was ‘chosen’? By whom and for what purpose?

There can be little if any doubt that Energy Secretary Rick Perry has swilled the Donald J. Trump Kool-Aid, the elixir that turns Trump foes into slobbering sycophants.

The lame duck energy boss, who’s leaving office at the end of this week, has declared that the president is the “chosen one” who got elected in 2016.

Really? I could swear I heard the former Texas governor declare that Trump was a “cancer on conservatism.” He said that during the 2016 presidential campaign when Perry was one of a large group of Republicans challenging Trump for the party nomination.

Perry told Fox News that Trump was “sent by God to do great things.” I am resisting the urge to upchuck my breakfast.

I will not delineate the areas where I believe Trump has fallen flat on his face as president, other than to say that Perry’s phony-sounding fealty to Trump has the sound to my ears of a cult follower.

“God’s used imperfect people all through history. King David wasn’t perfect. Saul wasn’t perfect. Solomon wasn’t perfect,” Perry said in the interview, which aired this past Sunday.

Oh … my.

You may go now, Mr. Secretary.

What Bible is Franklin Graham reading?

The Rev. Franklin Graham inherited the mantle of his late, great father, the Rev. Billy Graham, in preaching biblical doctrine as pitched initially by Jesus Christ.

I do not deny Franklin Graham’s influence on the nation’s evangelical movement. However, I have to wonder which version of the Holy Bible empowers him to say:

That a Democratic candidate for president, Pete Buttigieg, should “repent” for his “sin” of being gay, and that it’s OK to throw his support behind Donald Trump, who has cheated on all three of his wives and who has acknowledged that his celebrity status enables him to grab women by their pu***.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Franklin Graham in 2000 when he came to Amarillo for a series of “crusades” at Dick Bivins Stadium. He came across as a pleasant man and we had a cordial visit. I recall asking him about his political activism and he spoke forthrightly about his support for politicians who espouse their Christian faith.

However, the man’s support of Donald Trump continues to perplex me. He looks past this president’s lengthy life prior to becoming a politician, a life that has included an endless array of behavior, conduct and lifestyle that spits in the face of the holy figure he purports to worship.

Juxtaposed with that we hear Rev. Graham suggest that “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg must repent because he is an openly gay man who also happens to be faithful to his husband. Graham recently cited the Old Testament passage that calls for gays to be put to death, for crying out loud. He also did not mention that Jesus called on us to love everyone unconditionally.

Buttigieg’s presidential campaign has caught fire in recent weeks. He has emerged from a no-name, unknown Midwest mayor to become a legitimate contender for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination. Many conservatives, though, are focusing on his sexual orientation.

Franklin Graham is one of them.

Perhaps this matter illustrates one of the beauties — or curses, if you choose to call it that — of the Bible. We are free to interpret it any way we wish. We can take certain passages and mold them to suit our own bias.

I choose to draw a different interpretation from the Bible that Franklin Graham and I both read.

As for his support of the serial liar, philanderer, pu*** grabber Donald Trump . . . well, that’s his call. It doesn’t make sense to me.

Too funny to let pass

There’s really very little to add to this item that showed up on my Facebook feed this evening.

I had seen the president’s Twitter message hailing the possible return of Bible studies to our public schools. I already have commented on that notion, suggesting that church — not our public schools — is the place to study God’s holy word.

Then there’s the response from the individual who thought it appropriate to remind Donald Trump about what the Old Testament says about adultery, a sin about which the president has actually boasted.

I’m out.

Yes, there is a church-state ‘separation’

A former colleague of mine used to insist that because the United States Constitution doesn’t contain the phrase “separation of church and state” that the concept somehow is not relevant.

Well, I would remind him that the First Amendment about a prohibition against writing laws that establish a state religion implies the separation graphically.

Enter the new man nominated to become the U.S. attorney general, William Barr. He has declared his skepticism about the “secular” state the founders created in the late 18th century. He wants to invoke “God’s law” when enforcing the laws of the land.

I am going to presume he means the laws of the Christian God. But what about the laws of all the other gods that Americans worship? The Islamic god, the Jewish god, the Hindu god, the Buddhist god, the Shinto god? Do they matter? Of course they do! Or at least they should.

Except the founders created a Constitution that say there should be no law passed “with respect” to a particular religion. It stipulates there should be “no religious test” for anyone seeking public office.

The words “Christian,” “Christianity” or “Jesus Christ” are not mentioned in the Constitution. Nor does it mention “Jewish” or “Muslim” or “Buddhist” or “Hindu.”

So, to the AG-designate, I merely want to urge him to stick to enforcing the laws of the land, as enacted by Congress, signed by the president and affirmed by the courts.