Very often, I get emails from strangers who have read one of the many things I've written over the years for the Huffington Post on the fate of the Church in America.
I got another email again yesterday. This time, the inquirer, himself a writer himself for a major religious...
I'll be attending and presenting at the upcoming Parliament of World Religions meeting this year in Salt Lake City, October 15 - 18, 2015.
I would never have guessed I'd be doing this: posting a reaction to Fox's Morning Show Hosts.
But, frankly, I can't help it.
Really? This is what it comes down to now? Pastors arming themselves with handguns in churches across this land?
Oh, for God's sake.
I seem to be having many "Oh, for God's sakes" reactions these days.
I've heard stupid things in my life. This ranks right up there among some of the stupid...est things I've EVER heard.
Two things here...
1. First of all, we do not know the facts yet about why this delusional, misguided young man decided to take up a firearm, enter the church, sit for some time, and then begin firing a weapon, killing innocent souls.
So, shouldn't we hesitate to jump to conclusions, as these morning show hosts do here?
They call it an "attack on faith." Is it? I don't know. I'm pretty sure nobody knows.
My own guess is, it is not. But I do not know this, maybe it is. This network seems convinced, however, as it has reported on other stories in a similar fashion, creating this myth that there is a widespread attack on faith in this country.
Really? I think not.
There is a widespread departure from faith. Scores who are leaving the Church and so it is true the Church and church leaders might feel as if they are under attack.
But a "real" attack?
I don't think so.
Christians persecuted in America? Give me a break.
I do not deny there are Christians in some places on the planet who suffer from real attacks and some are even killed, as we have seen ISIS engaging in real attacks and reported in the news over the last couple of years.
But an attack on faith in America? I think not.
Admittedly, we might learn this young man did in fact hate Christians or the Christian faith and, as a consequence, plotted to take the lives of as many as he could. I do not deny this possibility. My guess is, however, this will turn out to be race related. Now, that IS a problem in this country still, even after all these years.
But, in either instance, we do not know. My advice to these misguided television hosts, and to all of us, is that we reserve judgment until we know the facts.
2. Which leads me to my second concern. Pastor's arming themselves? Clearly, these unwise souls hosting this morning show think ministers ought to pack power to protect their flock.
Really? I don't think so.
If you do not yet know why I so seldom watch Fox News -- not that it really matters to anybody -- but this is clearly the reason why. I'm not too thrilled in fact with anything "journalistic" in the U.S. any longer and journalism was one of my principal studies in college.
I can remember feeling admiration for news reporters, as well as morning show hosts on major networks, not because they were perfect, but because they were mostly responsible. They attempted to display some measure of intelligence... even if they were not... they exercised caution at jumping to conclusions when stories broke across the world... and, generally speaking, they were persons of class, dignity, respect, and admiration.
I cannot say that about any of these broadcasters. They display no level of intelligence at all. Furthermore, they are completely irresponsible, misguided, and clearly unwise broadcasters. I don't care if they are "just morning show hosts" auditioning for ratings. They present themselves as spokespersons and intelligent-thinking people...
And, clearly, they're neither.
They certainly have no class... no wisdom... and no sense.
And, no, ministers don't need to pack. Ministers would do better to...
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YOUR GOD IS DEAD!
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But why would anyone leave? What explains the widespread departure?
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Or, used to come to my mind.
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Want to live a better life in the new year?
I can think of many things our world needs. I can think of few things the world needs more, however, than this: better people living better lives in a world gone very wrong.
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"You are a 'New Age' Christian!"
What does this mean? And, why do some religious people feel it necessary to label everyone else?
My critics sometimes say to me, "You've just become too 'New Age' for me." Or, "You're just another 'New Ager."
What is meant by this criticism?
Given the widespread departure from the Church in all its varied expressions, it is a legitimate question. Add to this the reality that the Millennial generation has not only left the Church but does not seem to be returning and you have a recipe for disaster.
In the last few...