Tag Archives: politics

When Hatred Becomes Necessary In America

hatred in America

What a weird few weeks it has been in America. Genders and races are changing right in front of the whole world. There has been tragedy and a response to said tragedy that has dwarfed even the events themselves and created a debate all its own. There have been some very important and remarkable Supreme Court decisions. Politics and emotion have collided and created a hurricane of debate about very serious issues.

And among it all, the word hate keeps being thrown around, whipped from both sides, hurled toward anyone who would dare disagree with the “mainstream.”

“Don’t hate.”

“That’s hate speech.”

“You’re hateful.”

“A hate crime.”

“Keep your hate to yourself.”

“Stop hatin’.”

“Haters gonna hate.”

“Your opinion is proof of your hate.”

Some of this hate is expected, born of disbelief and anger; born of revulsion to crimes that are unimaginable and viewpoints that are unbelievable.

I’m not one to shy away from a political or religious debate. I never have been. But I’m learning now how to make my opinions and views work for more effective change in the hearts of people rather than just temporary agreement in an argument. I like my opinions. I stick to my convictions. I’m not backing down and I’m okay with voicing my dissent.

But even if I end up shaking my head in bewilderment at your viewpoint, my opinion is proof only of my disagreement. And I am 100% capable of disagreeing without any hatred at all, as most people of faith are. Hatred is an emotion. Opinions should be based also on fact, whether that fact is drawn from scientific evidence, historical proof, or religious belief (which, to many, is fact).

So please, don’t mistake my dissenting opinion for hate. I. don’t. hate. you.

But I’ll tell you what I do hate—I hate sin.

I hate the way it twists and turns, weaving is way into willing hearts. I hate the way it defiles and deceives, and I hate the way it manifests itself in evil acts that serve to divide and destroy.

I hate how it abolishes tradition. I hate how it revises what is allowable. I hate how it murders and destroys families, leaving nothing but sadness and devastation it its wake.

I hate what it’s doing to our country, our neighborhoods, our relationships. I hate what it does to me.

And I think it’s 100% okay to hate sin. In fact, it’s encouraged. Even the Bible talks about how God himself hates sin.

We need to hate it, but before we can hate it, we need to know what it is.

“People are afraid of what they don’t understand.” How many times have you heard that or a variation of it?

Ladies and gents, you need to understand sin. (The more you read about and understand Christ, the more you will be able to recognize sin).You need to not be afraid to stand up against it. And you need to hate it. You need to hate it with the joy of knowing that one day it will be destroyed.

But until that time when sin is finally obliterated, what do we do? What about when something happens that walks all over our moral convictions, heats our emotional coil and threatens to spew words from our angry and frustrated mouths?

There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers. –Psalm 6:16

Proof right there from the scripture that God himself hates much of what has happened in this country over the last few weeks. Plug those events right in.

How have you added to it?

Sure, you didn’t pull a trigger inside of a church and spill innocent blood (in fact, like most of America, you were probably deeply saddened and repulsed that such a thing could happen). You didn’t spout racist propaganda, placing yourself above others. You didn’t sit on the Supreme Court. You didn’t issue court rulings or devise the very court cases that brought the rulings.

But did your reactions leading up to and after these events add to the hatred listed above?

Did you lie to support your side of the argument? Perhaps you pulled at half-truths just to feel like the victor?

Were you conceited and disdainful, filled with self-righteousness because of your views?

Did you run headlong into a conversation full of nasty words and vitriol?

Have you stirred the pot, making the angry, heated words flow even faster rather than cooling the situation with words that heal and encourage?

You don’t have to agree with the other side of the argument.

Once again, disagreement is not hatred and disagreeing with sin is not only encouraged, it’s necessary.Rick Warren

The winner of the disagreement is the one who leaves with his or her integrity intact, having soothed the angry mob with words that present the only version of Christianity that some people will ever see. The winner is the one who refuses to fuel the fire with more sin, but instead stokes it with the love of Christ. Sometimes this means walking away from the debate all together. Sometimes it means keeping your mouth shut, even when that is a difficult thing to do.

So seriously consider if you want the best version of you, as you present Christ to the world, to be the version that also adds to the very things that God himself detests.

Hate can be a good thing.

Hate sin. Hate what it does to the world. Hate how it lies and destroys. Hate how it misleads people into believing that they don’t need God.

Hate sin with such ferocity that introducing people to Christ and his loving forgiveness of sin becomes more important than winning an argument.

Stick to your convictions.

Hate sin.

But don’t be its vessel.


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The American Bubble: A Follow Up To American Sniper Post


What a rollercoaster the past week has been. How does one even begin to follow up a blog post that has gone viral? Never, ever did I imagine that when I wrote out my thoughts about American Sniper (took me all of 20 minutes), millions of people would read them. A few hundred? Sure. But millions?

Thanks, y’all, for reading. Thanks for sharing, and thank you for commenting and reaching out to me. I am truly overwhelmed and humbled.

I found the reaction to this post quite interesting. As I read through the comments, there were several themes that stuck out to me, many questions raised, and a whole lot of gratefulness for our military members who have so honorably served and are currently serving our country.

I won’t address all the themes, comments and questions in this post because it would take forever to write and even longer to read (I’ll try to get to them all eventually), but I do want to address one thing first—the American Bubble.

There were strong reactions to my suggestion that many Americans live in a “bubble.” While many of you whole-heartedly agreed with me, others of you were very quick to point out that no such bubble exists, and perhaps I’m either too quick to jump to conclusions about our American culture or I’m just plain delusional. For those of you who think the latter, the only response I have is: thanks for reading the blog. 🙂

I argue that the American Bubble is very real, and far too many people live inside it.

First off, let me define what I believe this “American Bubble” is.

  • To me, the American Bubble exists for those who are unaware of history, religion, culture, politics, economics, and current events and how all of those things are tied together throughout our world. I don’t mean Americans need to be scholars in these areas, just have general awareness.
  • The American Bubble exists for those whose greatest concerns in life are trivial matters—those who are perfectly content with accepting that life exists only inside of their own understanding; that their world is small and needs to stay that way.
  • The American Bubble exists for those who believe that one human cannot affect the life of another for the better.

Let me expound on that last statement. Far too many people believe that their impact on the world is too trivial to make a difference. They believe that they can’t do anything to make the world better for others, so they might as well not even try—in fact, some go so far as to flat out ignore the plight of others in various parts of the world because they see it as “too sad” or “just too uncomfortable.”

And I think that’s the essence of the American Bubble—comfort.

Too many people are unwilling to move their hearts and minds outside of their comfort zones in order to accept the reality of the world and attempt to do anything to make the world better.

Two points I want to make here:

  1. I do not believe that most of these folks in the Bubble are purposefully ignorant. Many of them simply haven’t been taught.

I was privileged enough to grow up as an Army brat with parents who openly discussed religion, geography, history, and current events, among other things, around our nightly dinner table. I was lucky enough to have the kind of upbringing that exposed me to all kinds of people and places, opening my eyes to the beauty of the world at an early age.

Not every kid grows up like this. I’m very well aware.

In my years of experience as a high school Social Studies teacher (throughout my career I have taught US History, World History, American Government and Comparative Religions), I often find myself shocked at the lack of knowledge high school students have. They have no base for understanding the Social Studies for two reasons: their home situation either doesn’t allow for them to have exposure to these things from the adults or older people in their lives or their parents are in the American Bubble and simply don’t know enough to talk to their kids about these subjects.

Social StudiesAnother problem is that Social Studies is the most undervalued subject in American education. Just ask any elementary teacher. When they are out of time and need to cut something, what’s the first to go? Social Studies. Why? Because our education system places so much weight on math, science, and reading that there’s no time left for the valuable lessons Social Studies brings to making a well-rounded student. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying math, science, and reading aren’t vital—Social Studies actually ties into all the other subjects in a vital way, too, if given the opportunity). Middle school and high school are the same way. In my state, we require only 3 credits of high school Social Studies to graduate, while all other core subjects require four.

I’ll save the rest of my spiel on what’s wrong with education in America for another post. 🙂

My point is, young people haven’t been taught. Then they grow up into unaware adults and the cycle repeats itself. Is this in part due to our culture and our ever-constant shift away from the traditional family? I’m not sure. But I know many adults who just don’t know what’s going on in the world, how we got here, and what we can or should do about it. And I know even more teenagers who are the same way. Thankfully, as a teacher, I have the opportunity to do everything I can to education my students—and trust me, I’m making the most of that opportunity.

  1. The second point I want to make goes to the idea that far too many people believe they can’t make a difference in our world.

I’m certainly not suggesting that once we’re out of the American Bubble of blissful ignorance we should sell all our possessions and join the Peace Corps or become an international missionary (if you want to do that, awesomesauce!)—I’m simply suggesting that there are plenty of ways that we, even right around our own families and communities, can make a difference, and while those differences may seem small, they have a huge impact on the lives around us.

When I mentioned in my American Sniper post that Evil does indeed exist all over our world, I mentioned that we needed to combat it in all areas—from international war zones to the battlefields of our own hearts.

I believe this is one of the ways we improve the world—we start with improving ourselves. We must rid ourselves (as best we can) of hatred, greed, pride, and anger, and put our energies into helping and serving others.

**Side note: My personal belief is that the only way to be able to successfully do this is to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. When you know Him as your personal Savior, combating this evil is so much easier because you have the tools with which to fight. I know there are some of you who won’t agree with this, and that’s okay. This is my worldview. Yours may be different. But if you are interested in learning more about Jesus or my worldview based on Christianity, please contact me. If you’re not interested, just remember that our goal is one and the same: making our world a better place.**

Whether you run the largest humanitarian organization in the world or you simply stop to help an older person carry their groceries to the car, the essence of improving our world lies, I believe, in ridding ourselves of the sin of pride (self-focus) and instead focusing our hearts on serving others.

Little things do make a big difference. Give kind words. Volunteer. Donate money. Sponsor a child (click here to check out WorldHelp for awesome child sponsorships).


Prayer can do mighty, mighty things, folks.

Some of these might seem too small and insignificant to make a difference, but I’ll tell you what—our God can do amazing things with the smallest offerings. There’s miraculous proof of that not only in the Bible, but right around us all the time. We need only look for it. We need only act on the opportunities we are given to serve others, even when we feel like they are not really opportunities at all.shaking hands

Because we live in America, many of us live in relative “comfort” compared to other nations in the world. We’re blessed in that. We’re blessed that we have opportunity and access to education and clean water. While these things are definite blessings, I believe that our access to comfort might have made many of us complacent to the realities of the world. This is an example of us living inside the Bubble—complacency.

And I believe living inside the Bubble, for many, is a choice.

Too many times I’ve heard people say, “I don’t watch the news. It’s just too sad.” Perhaps that’s you. Folks, I’m here to tell you that unless you keep up with current events, not only can you not come out of your Bubble, but you’ll miss out on a lot of the happy going on in the world, too. Yes, there is sadness. There is Evil. There is tragedy. But there are also stories of those who have popped that American Bubble and are doing whatever they can, even in some small way, to make the world around them better. That’s hope, folks, and hope is just about the best news ever.

Many of you let me know that you didn’t need to see a movie like American Sniper to come out of “the Bubble” because you were never in one.

I think that’s fantastic. And rare. I’m so glad that you are more aware of the state of the world and how you can affect it than many others seem to be.

I would like to think that I don’t live in the American Bubble. I’m too much of a student of the world for that. However, that movie jolted me into the reality of what our soldiers face during war time; what our soldiers currently fighting in the Middle East are facing right now. Perhaps you didn’t need that reminder. But I did. And I’m grateful for it because although you won’t find a person in the US who is more grateful for our military than I, I simply needed a reminder of the conditions they face during war time, the struggles they have readjusting once they’re home again, and the realities the families face when their loved one is at war. I was in the Bubble and I didn’t even realize it. I think that can happen to us, too. We get so caught up in our own lives that even if we think we are aware of what’s going on, all we’re aware of is self. That’s pride, and pride leads to selfishness, which is pretty much the opposite of what we’re going for here.

For me, American Sniper wasn’t only about Chris Kyle’s story—it was the story of every man and woman in all branches of our military who has ever had to face an enemy and how life-changing those encounters can be, not just for that person, but for all those who know and love him/her.

Even as a military brat who experienced a life lived with a father deployed to a war zone, I needed the reminder.

The American Bubble is a real thing. I would argue that it’s not just an “American Bubble,” but can be applied to anyone in the 1st world who refuses to acknowledge the realities of how current events, politics, economics, and religion play a vital role in how our world interacts and where we’re headed.

It’s never too late to get educated. It’s never too late to learn. Even if you are educated, it’s never too late to get a little reminder; a dose of reality to make you realize how blessed we are to live in this great country, where we have the freedom not only to choose whether or not to stay inside the American Bubble, but the freedom to do something, even something small, to serve humankind.

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Share with me: What are your thoughts on the “American Bubble?” Do you think it exists? Are you in it or out of it?

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Filed under Just For Fun, The Christian Walk

Should Christians be Concerned with Politics?

Should Christians be concerned with politics?

In a word: YES.

I’ve read many posts lately, most from well-respected bloggers (many of the mommy kind), who have written that we, as Christians in America, shouldn’t concern ourselves with the political climate of our nation or bother being involved in politics.

I couldn’t disagree with this view more.

Why have these posts encouraged a lack of political participation among the God-fearing, Born-Again?

The reasons are many, but most boil down to one idea: We are not meant for this world.

Well, that I agree with. We aren’t meant for this world. As born-again believers in Jesus Christ, we are meant for a Heavenly Kingdom that will one day come– a kingdom where our only ruler will be the perfect Christ who sacrificed himself for us.

And like the many who look forward to that day, I do, too. But until then, we live here, in the imperfect world in need of Christ.

These writers would have us think that as Christians, since we are bound by a Heavenly King, we need not participate in earthly politics or concern ourselves with anything but showing the love of Christ.

I only partially agree.

I am 100% on the bandwagon with showing the love of Christ all the time, to all people, no matter what. 

BUT…the Heavenly Kingdom has not come–yet. And while we are living on this earth, we are subjected to the authorities which God has put in place over us (Romans 13:1-7). 

Thank God that we live in a nation where we have some say in that authority.

Politics in America can be ugly. It can be disheartening. It can be frustrating. There is no perfect candidate.

But we live in a nation where we do have a say, and therefore, it is our right and our responsibility to exercise that say.

The Bible clearly states that our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20) and that we should obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). But wouldn’t it be nice if we could change our political climate and elect men who also serve the God of Heaven?

It’s not an impossible idea.

You can’t legislate morality.

This is another excuse I often hear when people have given up on politics in America.

And yet, God did legislate morality. Just look at the 10 Commandments. If we make the argument that we cannot, at all, create laws based on an innate sense of right and wrong, then we might as well throw out laws that stop people from murdering, stealing, and raping, just to name a few. Anarchy seems to be the only solution for those who think we can’t legislate morality.

Abortion and homosexuality are not the only moral issues in America. We can legislate morality, and we do.

Even among Christians, there is much disagreement over political matters.

But that doesn’t mean we should shut down and simply not participate. On the contrary, as Christian Americans we should be active in our government at all levels, protecting the freedoms that allow us to worship freely, spread the Word, and help others who very much need the love of Christ.

If we bury our heads in the sand and ignore the political climate around us, we may come up to find that we’ve lost the very rights we take for granted.

So pray that God will convict your heart about which candidates and which legislation you should vote for.

Keep in mind that no man is perfect– only Christ is– but over and over and over and over God has used imperfect men to do his bidding. You  only need open the Bible and scan to discover this truth.

Exercise your right and privilege as an American and vote on election day.

It’s important. There’s plenty of God’s work being done when you cast your vote.

***Election day is November 6th!

Share with me: Who was running for President in the first election you participated in?




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