To this day I love Sargeant Joe Friday (portrayed by Jack Webb) and Dragnet. I watch re-runs most nights on Prime Video. Some reading this of our daughter's generation and younger would be like, "Sargeant who?"
I began seven months ago, a process of renewal. Re-branding. Refocusing. I created this website and for someone with not a technical bone in their body, I did pretty well. A lot of trial and error. A bunch of time spent reading and viewing tutorials.
I am now convinced that there is little within the realm of possibility we can't do if we put our minds to it and stick with it.
This has been one heck of a year and here in Texas, a sweltering summer of simmering tensions here and around the country. Which led me to write this post.
There are so many voices out there and my goal is to be a strong voice of reason and truth. I make no apologies for being a follower of Jesus Christ and I certainly make none for not being "religious." I chafe at being labeled "Christian."
Jesus by birth was a Jew. By nature a King. He was never "Christian." He was never religious. Anything but. He is a King. His Kingdom as he taught, is not of this world. But we as his followers have to live in this world. And, just as He, live in accordance with the Constitution of the Kingdom - the Bible. And for him, the laws of Rome. For us, the Constitution of the United States and the laws of our local jurisdictions.
Herein lies the rub and it is where my work at www.cipsinc.org comes into play and my speaking and teaching in this space, sans the chapters and verses. Same teaching on life and leadership here and in secular spaces without all the references to scripture and verse because the world no more gets that than it did in Jesus' day. That's why he taught in parables and told stories to which people in that agrarian society could relate.
This is the extent of my religiosity. I love God. I am a student and teacher of His word. I love Jesus. I am a sold-out follower. I have just checked out of the man-created system of religion and all that goes with it. I have been a faithful member of my church for well over thirty years and rarely miss a Sunday. We as the body of Christ are to gather together. So there. Make of this as you wish. I am who I am. Too far gone to change.
In American culture today, what does being Christian even mean anymore anyway? Today it has become distorted and wrapped around the axle of right-wing politics. Certainly, the rhetoric that has taken over the Christian religion in America is a far cry from the teachings of Jesus.
I even heard the other day about a guy being interviewed and asked about some of Jesus's teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. Some of the teachings from the infamous discourse were put forth to some evangelicals at a rally and one guy responded, "That was then, this is now." What? No turning the other cheek or loving your neighbor as yourself... weak stuff. "That was then, this is now." Really?
So some Christians now know more about life and living by the "good book" than the one who wrote the Book? It would appear.
A former president under multiple indictments, the sitting president's son under indictment. Brewing hatred, revisionist history. In Florida, the total erasing and rewriting of American history as it pertains to the ugly parts (slavery, the era of Jim Crow, etc.).
But newsflash Florida! We can't be erased. You should have learned this by now. Resilience. And I dare say, the God who brought us through that will bring us through this. History will not be kind to Florida, its governor. My state Texas nor our governor.
Who, one would think would have more empathy but he has anything but. And he is from my town. His mother was a public school teacher here in Duncanville, Texas and he graduated from Duncanville High School, the same year I graduated from Jefferson High School in deep East Texas - at the time, racist as all get out and a bastion for the KKK.
So it is ironic that Governor Abbott here in Texas is leading the charge to dismantle public school systems which was the very system in which his mother taught and provided for him after his father passed away.
With all of this heady craziness, many have forgotten how good God has been to them and are in a position to help others but are doing anything but. Apparently not believing in the God they so loudly proclaim. But this isn't a hit piece so I will leave that be.
We have in my state and in this country, a government compromised. Leaders of character and integrity are driven from office in favor of the most radical, loud, and extreme voices.
Those who really have a heart to serve have hunkered down. Closed their mouth, lest they get "primaried" or ostracized from the cool kids in their party. The cool kids are leading both parties down the path of destruction. And my former party, the Republican Party, the one that I loved and served for four decades, the party that included people who taught me so much, opened doors for me, embraced me - that party today is unrecognizable and its end is sure. It's only a matter of time.
Political parties in this country have cratered before and rebirthed as new. The same will be for the Republican Party. With all the infighting, lack of clear message, the attraction of and growing number of extremists... It is on a course of implosion which may be necessary to right its ship. It will not, cannot survive at this rate. It is becoming more marginalized, less inclusive and more callous.
Rising levels of tensions, weakened and struggling churches. The Christian faith in evangelical America has been largely overtaken by fear and right-wing political talking points with a little Jesus and Bible sprinkled on top.
Many black churches, with the exception of the well-established mega-churches, are struggling to find their voice among wave upon wave upon wave of revisionist history. A weakened voice too because many in a fight for survival, have taken pages from the world of entertainment, forsaking the pages of the Bible. They too have gotten away from what brought us over. It's just not white evangelicals.
The Civil Rights movement was birthed in the church, led by a Baptist minister, and was rooted in the struggle for black people to be recognized as human with all the rights and privileges of humanity.
That movement, such as it is, has gotten away from its Christian roots and has morphed into and has become intertwined with LGTBQ rights and transgender rights. A movement rooted in the church and scripture, that movement is dead. Dead.
And no, white people or white evangelicals didn't kill it but greedy and selfish black people whose leaders were and are still all too willing for the sake of power and position long sold out the most vulnerable.
Every right that every group, any group, race or culture, sexual orientation -- no matter who or how far away from the Bible and scripture they may be.... And I am going to say the quiet part out loud that many blacks privately say but are too afraid to say publicly.
Welp, all I know are the facts -- and every group, race, culture, sexual orientation and gender, piggyback off the hard-earned and fought-for rights that so many black people died for. Yet, where were they when the dogs were being unleashed to tear into innocent black flesh and the water hoses turned on or when blacks were being lynched and tortured?
You get the picture. Not there for the struggle, but here reaping and demanding the rewards. Truth. The quiet parts out loud. And if the truth be told, this is why there are such underlying tensions between blacks and Hispanics. Blacks and gays. Blacks and transgenders. All use the Civil Rights movement and Dr. King, yet where were they then?
This is the quiet part out loud and until we mature enough to have the difficult conversations and talk about some of these real issues, there will be continual conflict and seething anger.
Every group rides the back of the black experience yet few fight against so many of the problems black people still experience. The quiet part out loud.
What once was up is now down. Blacks, Whites, Republicans, Democrats, Hispanics ... America is on a crash course. It is the last remaining superpower and if one would track the implosion of Rome, America is on that same track.
The Roman Empire was too powerful to be brought down by forces from the outside. It imploded because of extreme immorality, corruption and a blatant disregard for anything having to do with the true and living God. Debauchery.
Look around at America. It is no less immoral, corrupt with a growing and blatant disdain for God and the teachings of the Bible.
It's one thing to crow about being founded as a "Christian nation," (America wasn't by the way) and another to live up to that. Why isn't it living up to it? It is living up to what it was founded on. Hate, oppression and greed. Capitalism. With a little black robe regimen and pulpit preachers thrown in.
Christianity is love. It's loving your neighbor as yourself. It's looking out for the poor, the widows, and the infirmed. Those who can't take care of themselves -- the most vulnerable. Not the most connected.
If America was founded as a "Christian nation" (it wasn't) how far it has fallen and continues in free fall.
So, I end this as I began. Musing about how far I have come over the past 7 months and the growth I am so thankful for. No fear of any human. I will use this space to write truth, about issues of the day and hopefully be a source to whom people can turn for truthful, thoughtful not hateful observations and solutions.
We have given, I have given far too much oxygen to the problems. And it is getting late in the day. I am a truth seeker and all I know are the facts. And facts, not fiction is what you will get here.