Sep 252014
 

american-flag2My son can no longer wear any clothing to school that has an American flag on it.

He cannot wear a or display a lanyard he kept keys on because it was imprinted with the Christian fish symbol.

Someone may get offended.

 

They would probably be much more offended at my response to their offense, because now, I’m offended too.

No one cares more about immigration reform and migrant rights than I do.

Having said that, and having proven it at no small cost… if our flag offends you, go somewhere else where you don’t have to see it.

If any display of faith offends you, follow the ones that have flag issues.

I don’t consider myself a nationalist or even a “patriot”…but this is ridiculous.

One of the reasons you came here in the first place was to enjoy the liberty to be who you were created to be and to think and speak freely and safely.

If that freedom now offends you, feel free to go somewhere it doesn’t exist…but don’t try and take it from us.

My hope is that at some point the state will understand that the job of the school is education, not to to be some sort of social mill turning out vacuous clones of some ideal, faithless, non offensive, drone.

They should see the T-shirt I’d like to send him to school in now…

Bad language alert…if swear words offend you, stop reading now.

There is a big dust up over on the “Naked Pastors” Facebook page.

The ex wife of a well known “emergent” pastor and writer is telling the story of her (alleged) abuse at his hands.

The thing that caught my attention was that the word was (allegedly) spread by his equally well known peers that this woman was “batshit crazy”.

( I have to say “allegedly” because the Christians are already getting lawyered up).

I first heard this phrase in a pastors meeting and I think I heard it almost every week in those meetings.

Since that time almost three decades ago, I still hear that phrase when a woman is speaking up about abuses in the home.

There is a systemic devaluation of women in the culture of American evangelicalism…and it’s a far bigger spiritual problem than anything the gays can throw at us.

Hypocrisy isn’t just a a religious problem.

The national media is up in arms demanding that the NFL police the character and morals of it’s players.

I suppose that’s fine, if the players union and the league come to agreements about such policies.

I wonder though why the media isn’t as up in arms about the music that many of these players listen to and is the backbeat of the popular culture.

I had my son give me the names of the five most popular songs on his peers iPods in the seventh grade…then I looked up the lyrics to those songs.

The result was a collection of the most sexist, misogynistic, violent, filth imaginable.

That filth is being pumped into 12 year old brains through $300.00 headphones.

That’s what they listen to at recess.

But the flag offends them…

Back to my cave.

 

  62 Responses to “Loose Ends”

  1. Hey, I used to get detention for not having my shirt tucked in. My wife used to get detention if when on her knees her skirt didn’t touch the ground.

    Schools have always been oppressive brainwashing centers.

  2. One thing to point out. I doubt that any fellow student has ever been offended by what a peer student wears. I don’t think little Mexican kids run to the principal and complain because Johnny has an American flag on his t shirt.

    It is ALL. 100% the teachers and administrators … and they have an agenda and the children are the pawns. We can get monkeys to do a better job.

  3. My neighbor across the street and his little buddy used to play this filthy, misogynist “music” extremely loudly in his front yard while drinking beer and smoking dope. We are on good terms with this guy so usually when I glare at him, he gets his little buddy to turn down the racket a few notches but a few months ago I just couldn’t stand it anymore and told him that his music was blasting curses into our neighborhood. He began to put up a defense, saying it was his culture, and I said it was a terrible culture and he should work to improve it. What kind of culture sings about violence on women? What kind of sick culture is that? To his credit, the “music” has been kept down ever since that talk.

  4. everstudy – those kids weren’t offended – they were trouble makers.
    And I doubt that is the reason Trey’s school banned them.

  5. On the NFL – You know how they make a big deal about pink month for breast cancer. A show for women. And you can buy all their merchandise in a pink color with “a portion of the proceeds going to cancer research”

    Well, I heard yesterday on ESPN radio that for every $100 sold, only $11 actually makes it as the donation for cancer research. About $35 or so goes for cost of goods sold…and the $50+ leftover goes right to the profit margin of the NFL.

  6. Good for you Xenia, for both living in peace and confronting your neighbor…..

    Steve Wright, the whole pink ribbon campaign is a ……(trying to think of an appropriate word instead of….) load of b.s. Cancer ‘research’ is a load of cr@p foisted on the terrified-of-“getting”-cancer public, with a high gloss cover of searching for a ‘cure’….without ever looking at causes and admitting that survival rates are unchanged in decades, yet ‘detection’ rates have quadrupled….by diagnosing patient$ via mammography —and everyone knows that radiation CAUSES cancer, and we all know people who subjected themselves to ‘treatment’ and died miserably anyhow, leaving loved ones in debt to their eyeballs.

    But…. we don’t speak of such things.

    The NFL…. violence begets violence….. but, hey, it’s a ‘game’, so it’s ok.

    Michael….. Your post is profound. Bulls eye. But as with ‘games’, and ‘research’, the general public doesn’t want to think about connecting the dots. Truth doesn’t matter.

  7. Of course…I’m not even going to begin to open the can of worms about the devaluation of women in certain church circles…… Nope. Ain’t goin’ there today.
    Peace.

  8. For adults it would be more of a freedom of speech issue. In public school, I consider kids need the freedom undistracted education. Unless we want to extend same rights for all kids – to wear pagan symbols, flags of other nations, vulgarity, gang colors etc- and put up with the whoopla that would cause – I really support the ultimate dress code: school uniforms! And parents should be able to put phones on emergency call capability only during school hours. All IMO, of course.

    I totally agree on the music issue, observing first hand its influence on my grandkids. I almost had “the big one” hearing some of the lyrics they listen to and it is impossible to police as they are teens now. Then I really had a cow when one of the skate games have on iBox had a function where they could bash pedestrians – including old people, women, kids etc – with their boards. You can bet they heard a long lecture from their hippie freak, pacifist grannie when I walked in on that one! Scary!!!

    I’ve enjoyed football most of my life. The more I’ve learned about the NFL -from their non-profit tax status, misogyny, and the whole culture of violence on/off the field has destroyed my ability to watch it all anymore. SW’s info on the breast cancer campaign seals the deal for me.

    Grateful for all the folks who advocate for compassion and transparency in every part of society.

  9. Great example of being a peace maker Xenia! Good words, Paige! Christian’s could be such a force in waging non-violence against so many of these blights, if not so married to our national culture of violence, again IMO.

  10. Thanks Michael. Good to read your thoughts! Life richer with your contributions to the dialog on faith and culture issues 🙂

  11. This whole dump on the NFL is ridiculous. I suggested yesterday that grocery stores should stop selling to any known spousal abusers.
    Today I would like to add auto mechanics should refuse to work on their cars and banks should tell them to come pick up their money.

    We should investigate who Ray Rice and Adrian Petersen bank with and boycott and protest against these enablers.

  12. MLD,

    It makes little sense to me…especially in domestic issues.
    Let’s add the stressor of unemployment to an already volatile situation.

  13. Thank you, Jean.

  14. Michael,
    People don’t realize the unintended consequence of their demands.
    Forget the rich athletes – If a stay at home wife with 4 young kids knew her husband, the sole income earner ($50K) would automatically lose his job, does anyone think there is a chance in hell she would report?

  15. MLD,

    This gets back to something that is eating me up anyway…we’re real good at getting mad, but not real good at finding solutions.
    We’re addicted to adrenaline.
    You’re right on about the unintended consequences here.

  16. Social workers, counselors etc have been advocating for treatment vs. incarceration, losing job etc for domestic violence offenders for decades! 30 years that I have been personally aware of and involved in. I am thankful that for whatever reason, the discussion is happening. At its core, our justice system and culture at large is deeply entrenched in the politics of meting out punitive rather than restorative justice. And as Paige indicated, selling cures rather than prevention. 🙁

  17. Only just recently has the dynamic of shaming wives for choosing to stay with their partner been started to be addressed. If the abuser isn’t receiving treatment and the wife/kids are not safe, separation is needed of course. There are varying degrees/types of abuse that a cookie cutter, one size fits all can’t address.

  18. Anne,

    Completely agree on # 19…good stuff.
    I’m out for the day.

  19. I have to give most of the credit for getting along with the neighbor to the neighbor himself. He is in his mid forties and I’ve known him since he was a little kid. He loves the thug culture but is at heart a peaceful person who loves me and my husband dearly. He sees himself as our protectors. What can we do but love him back? He says awful things but after decades of substance abuse he is oblivious to what he says half the time. He is (or was) extremely intelligent and knows all about world affairs and what-not. Oh, what he could have been! But even as he is, all in all, he is quite lovable.

  20. ***This whole dump on the NFL is ridiculous. I suggested yesterday that grocery stores should stop selling to any known spousal abusers.
    Today I would like to add auto mechanics should refuse to work on their cars and banks should tell them to come pick up their money.***

    It’s certainly your right to advocate for that, just as it is the right of people to advocate for the firing of football players who cannot control their off-field aggression.

    Maybe if engaging in domestic violence was so unacceptable that a perpetrator faced profound social consequences it would happen less.

  21. j2p – “Maybe if engaging in domestic violence was so unacceptable that a perpetrator faced profound social consequences it would happen less.”

    His ‘profound social consequences’ affects the whole family

    But what better ‘profound social consequences’ than nobody does business with the guy – no one sells him food, no one does repair work or provides services from the guy.

    I want to add that Time Warner should shut off the phones, internet and cable TV for these guys. Amish type shunning is too good for these guys.

  22. Amen Anne….. I’m in the same camp…. “hippie, pacifist gramma” 🙂 My grands receive a ‘reasonable sermon’ weekly…. They don’t care, but I feel better. hahahaha Gotta walk by faith here. The world is truly a mess, but methinks it’s been a mess for quite a long time. My hope is built on nothing less…..

    GomerGirl…. I love you too. Great hair cut too. Let’s have dinner.

  23. When I was in first grade we had a teacher who was a JW. She refused to have us do the Pledge of Alligence in her class because it was against her beliefs
    So the parents got together, talked to the PE teacher and every day after PE, we’d stand outside and say the pledge before going in.
    I think if a school told my kid they could no longer wear an American flag, they would have a similar fight on their hands.
    That is absolutely ridiculous!

  24. Michael, this is slightly off topic, but do you know why Matt Redmond took his blog private?

    He is in my book marks and I visit his blog a couple times a month. Went there yesterday and it allows access by invitation only.

  25. Michael, what sort of school does your son attend? Is it a public school? Do the kids still recite the Pledge of Allegiance? Are there any American flags anywhere on campus? Wow.

  26. Isn’t it disrespectful of the flag to make clothing out of it. I remember in my ’60s war protesting days guys would wear the flag as a bandana, or a diaper.

    What is the purpose of wearing shirts with messages? I don’t even have any Dodgers’ T shirts. When I was in school we wore regular close. We didn’t advertise for Nike nor did we pump political or religious programs.

    I just looked through my 1967 yearbook to see if anyone wore “messages” – nope.

  27. Well we did have “Charlie Brown” striped shirts, paisley shirts and then tie dyed shirts.

    Nylon “Wind breakers” were worn a lot.

    No messages until the peace sign came along; the peace sign started it all…ya…that’s it…

  28. Michael,

    “It makes little sense to me…especially in domestic issues.
    Let’s add the stressor of unemployment to an already volatile situation.”

    And that’s only the tip of the iceberg, particularly when it is fostered, enabled, and nurtured within the church.

    Crazy——-yeah, yet who is being kept silent and without a voice to be heard/seen and acknowledged Remains in hiding because this woman’s life has been threatened in so many ways, so she has to stay in hiding in order to survive.

    Just call her crazy, then no one will listen to her or even bother to find out how she might be doing or if she is hungry, homeless, sick, and just needs a few moments of knowing there’s someone out who knows better. After all, she’s just a woman and they are supposedly pastors, leaders in the church, or members of the inner circle.

    Never really met her—he made sure of that. What they saw was PTSD. What they heard was terror, grief, heartbreak, and her cries. Of course, they bought his spin on it, while he wore the mask of sanity, while maligning her long before she figured out what was really going on and that which he did not want to be exposed and then held to an account.

    From one who knows and speaks the truth to those who will listen.

  29. I’m just gonna say, “Wow” about the school’s decision. That certainly doesn’t resemble the Rogue Valley that I grew up in and that would never fly in the Upper Rogue.

  30. “This gets back to something that is eating me up anyway…we’re real good at getting mad, but not real good at finding solutions.
    We’re addicted to adrenaline.
    You’re right on about the unintended consequences here. ”

    That is a very astute observation of human nature. Sometimes I think we forget that we live in a [somewhat] democracy. I think its time to raise some hell and throw the damn tea into the harbor. They valued their freedom from oppression more than their luxury of fine English tea. Always loved those feisty New Englanders.

  31. MLD said “What is the purpose of wearing shirts with messages? ”

    I think is all about personal branding. I won’t go into detail on the tee shirt I saw on a young girl in the gym the other day, other than it was extremely shocking to me. I can’t imagine how it would make a women feel but since it was a young girl wearing it, who am I as a man to say anything?

    But I think personal branding started out with the dot com boom and now with social media when everyone started their own web site, etc…Churches are doing the same thing in their aggressive advertising budgets with some churches turning more into “America’s got talent” performing arts studio with a Christianeze message on the side.

  32. Terms like public schools, public land, public servant are laughable. When you see the word public, it means govt-run.

    Gotta say the big gov fan outrage here is humorous. Wonderful and “necessary” until they step on your toes.

  33. Wow… I’m only partway through the Tony Jones thing at Nakedpastor.com but I actually don’t see the common thread being treatment of women (sorry Michael, I almost always agree with you on pretty much every topic) – I see the similarities as being a) treatment of anyone getting in the way of the vision/”bus”, and b) the narcissism of leaders.

    I think I said this a number of months back here, but I really do think that while theologies are one thing to hash out (I’m reformed, not emergent), the larger issue is “cult of personality”. What do both the emergents and Mark Driscoll have in common? No accountability structure, just celebrity power-wielding. I guess it can happen to Presbyterians, especially when they start their own parachurch ministries, but it doesn’t seem to be as often or as pronounced. And I would guess that MLD would say Lutheran ecclesiology keeps it in check there?

  34. So Jim, why do you keep hiring all these government people to run things. I don’t vote … therefore I don’t hire anyone. 🙂

    Even your libertarian candidate is going to sign off on government works … no more voting allowed. I wonder what would happen in an election and both candidates got zero votes?

  35. MLD,

    I’m in a closed primary state, and have never voted libertarian. I didn’t vote for the most libertarian republican candidate in our recent county commission primary, as he wasn’t the best candidate. I vote because of my vested interest in local politics, and incomplete ballots are tossed.

    Looking forward to voting YES on our Nov medical MJ proposed amendment to the FL constitution.

    I pay for their federal crap because I’m forced to at gunpoint. I’m guessing that most people pay taxes for the same reason.

  36. Jim,
    If your state requires that you vote for all offices, state, federal and local or your vote does not count – then perhaps you need to start reform there.

    If that is what you are saying, then I would say that your state legislature has been passing around the MJ for far too long.

  37. You can submit incomplete ballots in CA?

  38. Well let’s clarify terms.
    If Incomplete = not all offices voted for – not all propositions voted on – then yes

  39. Well, Florida’s infamy is well deserved. I seem to remember a little story about hanging chads….

  40. Michael,

    So many people, and many CC people, are voyeuristically drawn to the “entertainment” of vicariously living through the great tribulation via books and movies. But here we are, living in the (mere) collapse of our American empire, and it isn’t fun or entertaining at all to anyone, even to CC folks. It is very hard to avoid the corruption that the media virus brings, nor the symbiotic relationship it has with the straying human heart. Thank you for pointing it out.

    O24H

  41. The “Flag Salute” was a brilliant idea to SELL FLAGS.

    It was curiously authored to be recited,
    “I pledge allegiance to my Flag and the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

    “In Francis Bellamy’s recollection of the creation of the Pledge, he recalled “At the beginning of the nineties patriotism and national feeling was at a low ebb. The patriotic ardor of the Civil War was an old story … The time was ripe for a reawakening of simple Americanism and the leaders in the new movement rightly felt that patriotic education should begin in the public schools.”[13] James Upham “felt that a flag should be on every schoolhouse”,[13] so the publication “fostered a plan of selling flags to schools through the children themselves at cost, which was so successful that 25,000 schools acquired flags in first year.””

    The Bellamy salute is also a curious thing. it appears someone else liked the idea.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bellamy_salute

    “In 1940 the Supreme Court, in Minersville School District v. Gobitis, ruled that students in public schools, including the respondents in that case, Jehovah’s Witnesses who considered the flag salute to be idolatry, could be compelled to swear the Pledge. A rash of mob violence and intimidation against Jehovah’s Witnesses followed the ruling. In 1943 in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette the Supreme Court reversed its decision. Justice Robert H. Jackson writing for the 6 to 3 majority went beyond ruling that public school students are not required to say the Pledge on narrow grounds, but asserted in clarion words how such ideological dogma is antithetical to the principles of the country, concluding with:

    “If there is any fixed star in our constitutional constellation, it is that no official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion or force citizens to confess by word or act their faith therein. If there are any circumstances which permit an exception, they do not now occur to us.”

    In a later case, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals held that students are also not required to stand for the Pledge.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance

  42. I always find it funny that the evangelicals who lean right, those who insist that the pledge be said daily in our schools are almost all the very same ones who do not and would not allow the creeds to be said in their churches.

    A bit of irony. 🙂

  43. #44,

    What’s wrong with the creeds? Does it detract from the performance on stage or is it a doctrinal issue?

  44. Jean #45,
    I don’t know – but they are the words you will never hear in CC or SBC… but both would be vocal if the local school banned the pledge.

  45. MLD,

    There’s irony by the groups that don’t like liturgy of any sort. On the one hand they rail against the RCC for the priest’s intercessory role, but on the other hand want all evangelical “worship” focused from the pulpit or praise band (rarely a choir). The evangelical method makes the preacher way more important than the priest.

  46. I think it goes back to “the Catholics say the creeds, so we will not say the creeds.”

    As to the pulpit and the bands, a Lutheran church is designed that the readings are done from the far left of the chancel area and the preaching is done from the far right side and the cross and the altar (representing the sacraments) are at the center.

    If you go to an older Lutheran church, the organ and choir are in the back, usually up on a loft, unseen so as to not draw attention.

  47. #47,

    It may not be intentional, but there’s a reason why the celebrity preacher phenomenon appears almost exclusively in evangelicalism. I would argue that this phenomenon correlates to the worship style of their churches. But other things contribute as well, such as nifty titles for their leaders, such as “senior teaching pastor.” I even remember seeing one church which listed its in house theologian. Where does the living water spring from?

    So here’s Paul: “When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.”

    Why would Paul write such a thing? Was that false modesty? Is that how preachers view themselves today?

  48. Legal marriage and spiritual marriage….that Tony Jones is a piece of work.

  49. Jean, there are far more instances of titles, setting oneself apart from the congregation with robes or special dress, special seats at the service and the like in the liturgical churches than the others.

    As far as celebrity…I guess if you look at the dying denominations in this country, those losing members on a regular basis (and not replacing them with new converts) then the risk of ego and celebrity is mitigated.

  50. Steve said; “As far as celebrity…I guess if you look at the dying denominations in this country, those losing members on a regular basis (and not replacing them with new converts) then the risk of ego and celebrity is mitigated.”
    _____________________________________________________________
    What? CC doesn’t even have membership so you are way out of your league even talking about any denomination losing members. Do you understand that converts to a celebrity are nothing more than what the Bible is warning about there:

    “Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. Therefore be alert” (Acts 20:28–31)

  51. Steve,

    “Jean, there are far more instances of titles, setting oneself apart from the congregation with robes or special dress, special seats at the service and the like in the liturgical churches than the others.”

    I’m not sure what your point is Steve. Are you saying that pastors of liturgical churches are trying to place the focus of the service on them by their dress and place of seating? If so, I think you’re missing the point of the liturgy. In the liturgy, the assembly with one voice worships the Lord. It is active participation by everyone, not performance by the pastor with passive listening by the assembly.

    People who participate in liturgy learn and memorize the liturgy. When situations in life require, being able to draw upon liturgy learned and memorized over time in church can be a real blessing to the person in need of words to pray. In addition, liturgy promotes communion of the saints. When Jesus taught his disciples to pray, he didn’t teach “My Father, who art in heaven…..” What did he teach? Why do evangelicals think everything has to come from the pastor?

    “As far as celebrity…I guess if you look at the dying denominations in this country, those losing members on a regular basis (and not replacing them with new converts) then the risk of ego and celebrity is mitigated.”

    This is certainly a dodge on the problems of evangelicalism and celebrity preachers. However, if you are truly concerned about dying denominations, are you suggesting that the answer to their condition is to recruit and promote celebrity pastors? Should churches measure their faithfulness to the Lord based on attendance? If that is your thesis, then Pastor Osteen must be at the top of the ladder. Are you an Osteen supporter?

  52. Actually, one of the points of vestments is that all priests look the same and are somewhat anonymous. They don’t get to sport the latest style, they are required to dress just like every other clergyman of their rank.

  53. Also, those “dying denominations” are not dying because they lack celebrity pastors. They are dying because on the whole, they have abandoned traditional Christianity.

  54. Liturgy, vestments, the building, the art, the traditions, all are enduring, multi-generational, telling of the same story of the love of God, His son, and access through the finished work of Jesus.

    Its home.

  55. “Also, those ‘dying denominations’ are not dying because they lack celebrity pastors. They are dying because on the whole, they have abandoned traditional Christianity.”

    As a member of a denomination (UMC) in decline, I am keenly interested in this topic. Currently, there are people within UMC who argue that the denomination should change its stance on same sex marriage and ordination or membership will decline, while others say that making such a change will cause a membership decline. Which is it, or is this a relevant cause of membership decline either way?

    From the statistics I’ve seen, every denomination in the US (underline every), even the ones that consider themselves “traditional Christianity”, are in decline. On the other hand, some non-denominational Christian churches are growing. Osteen and Hillsong Church, to name a couple, are attracting new members. I imagine that other churches with charismatic leaders are growing too. Should church growth be the metric of faithfulness Christ? It wasn’t to Jesus. On other hand, should declining denominations bury their heads in the sand when their numbers are dropping?

    I’m actually interested in solutions, not competition.

  56. I’m actually interested in solutions, not competition.
    _____________________________________________________________________
    Amen! However, the solution is not that hard to understand. We don’t need to re-invent the wheel. All we need to do is be faithful to Christ’s words. The results are His, not ours. Competition doesn’t belong in the church where one group is a winner and another is the looser. This kind of attitude Steve has about dying denominations is really pathetic and so typical of CC. I hope he can repent of this.

  57. Michael,
    not all school districts in Oregon behave that way. Mine recites the pledge and sings the national anthem at all assemblies, and classes recite the pledge at the beginning of each week. One can always change schools.

  58. Andrew,

    The statistical reality is that the mainlines are dying and have been for some time.
    In my opinion, the reason for this is that they have compromised the message so much there is no reason left to attend them.

  59. Fil,

    My concern isn’t over whether patriotic rituals are observed.
    My concern is over freedom of expression…though I understand the need to keep some sort of order as well.
    Changing schools for a child like mine is very traumatic…

  60. Jean, there are far more instances of titles, setting oneself apart from the congregation with robes or special dress, special seats at the service and the like in the liturgical churches than the others.

    Wrong. Just the oposite is true. What Exnia said.

    Another evangelical lamebrain who can’t find his theological arse with both his hands.

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