All Aboard!


It’s religion, not in our selfish attempt at obtaining salvation, but religion in humble reverence to a loving God that is keeping us from being polluted by the world. That’s why we worship Him in song, in the word, and in service on a weekly basis. That’s why we serve Him in deed throughout the week, at our jobs and in our homes and wherever it is that God would lead us.

I often think about this subject. That is, how many in our society, including Christians, view religion in a negative manner as displayed in the above photo. As I wrote in a previous post, I understand the mentality. Our culture is, unfortunately, replete with numerous examples of man’s attempt at justifying himself and doing things for his own glorification rather than God’s. That’s the kind of religion that Christians are talking about when they speak of the word “religion” in a negative manner.

Where I have a problem with this whole line of thinking is that I don’t think many Christians completely understand what they’re saying. They’ve hopped on the bandwagon because, as I previously posted, it’s the “in” thing to do in Christian circles, i.e. it’s become kosher.

Where I’m coming from is simply this…Most folks that we come into contact with on a daily basis don’t attend church regularly. Even though we rightly say “It’s not about religion, it’s about a relationship”, they may not understand our participation in the whole religion bashing thing. I’ve actually run across non-Christians who sort of wonder about that whole attitude that many believers have and it kind of makes them do a double-take or make that trademark Tim Allen grunting noise. Those are the folks I try to think about before I start to participate in the whole “religion is bad” discussion.

The picture of religion I try to keep in my mind is the picture that Jesus himself painted for us in the scriptures. Religion is someone who volunteers to mow the yard of a neighbor who can’t do it for themselves. Religion is providing a safe place for a friend of your child to visit who may not have such a welcoming home to return to. Religion is saying a kind word to a worker at a store who may have dealt with rude customers all day. Religion is being there for a friend or family member who just lost their spouse or child even if you have no earthly clue what to say to them. These things are what Jesus meant when he talked about “pure and faultless” religion (James 1:27).

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AWOL


You’ve heard that elections have consequences, right? Well, is there some unnamed contaminant in the water in the Midwest that causes some politicians to temporarily (or otherwise) lose their ability to do the work they were elected to do? Is there something in the makeup of a Midwestern elected official that blocks the signals between the neurons in their brain from being able to travel from one cell to the next when they think about maybe showing up for work? These are the questions that plague those of us who actually value showing up for work and doing what we’ve been hired to do.

I can certainly understand being opposed to certain legislation and not wanting to vote on it, even it if it is heavily favored by the vast majority of those voting. However, what I can’t understand is purposely abdicating the responsibility to voice my opinion in the form of a vote when that is what I was elected to do in the first place. This is what rubs people the wrong way about this whole situation, regardless of party affiliation.

Part of the consequences of being in the minority when you’re in office is that there may notĀ  be much you can do to stop legislation that you do not agree with. If that’s the case, the responsibility of being in the minority is that you either do what you can do, within the realms of the law, to stop the legislation by whatever means are available to you, i.e. by filibusters and other procedural tactics. Instead, these scofflaws from Wisconsin and Indiana just decided to skip town. No votes. No serious debates in their respective legislatures. Just a packed suitcase, a full tank of gas, and a friendly governor in a neighboring state who’s not willing to enforce the law and jettison your illegal rear end back to whence you came.

I know…You’re probably saying to yourself, “You’re an anti-union neocon!” Well, honestly, I’m not a huge supporter of unions. I do think they’re largely unneeded but I also think there are places and situations where they are not only acceptable but probably completely necessary. I’ve been a union member before and, if the appropriate situation presents itself, I may be a union member in the future. Though unlikely, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for me. Regardless, this particular issue really has nothing to do with being pro or anti-union, Republican, Democrat, or whatever the particular stripe. This has to do with one thing…The rule of law and showing up to do what you’ve been called to do. Plain and simple.