Friday, December 5, 2008


I woke up this morning with a familiar sensation. Hollow-bitterness. It is a feeling of being alone and empty. That really nothing and no one matters because I don’t matter. Since I do not matter the existence of the world is a mild effrontery to me. But since I don’t matter it is nothing to get terribly worked up about.

It does not mean that I shut down. I still get things done and work towards goals. There is not satisfaction or life in it. I am like a robot completing the task set before it because it does not know what else to do. I type and research and formulate papers because I have no answer. I do not have anything else to do.

The one glimmer of hope or joy is in other people. Talking to them. Sharing in what they are going through. But since I am alone those interactions are few and infrequent. The basis for this is that someone had just affirmed all my fears, and confirmed everything I hate about myself. She called me an illusion. That I did not trust, and was not really honest with her. If I think I am honest but I am not then what do I have? Am I not real? Am I another person? I was told I was not worth knowing. That it would take effort and I must not be worth that effort.

None of this is new. Actually she was repeating what a lot of people have told me over my life. Maybe I am bitter that I have to exist in a world I don’t fit. Maybe I am hollow because I have nothing inside. I often wonder how much of an impact I really have. I wonder if I were to disappear if anyone would really care. I know my family would. But I don’t know if anyone else would.

I would if anyone’s world would come crashing down. I know that would not happen. I know if I were to have a funeral a few people would be sad for a while but they would get by it relatively quickly. I think if I lost a close friend it would devastate me. I do not know how I would go on.

I see that as my weakness. I am too weak. I need to be stronger and not need anyone. If other people can move on without me then why do I have to be the one to need others? I just do not have an answer. I know God loves me, but he can love me anywhere. I am not sure why I have to be here. “Dying is the easy part, its life that is hard.”

Monday, December 1, 2008

dreams and journals

I have had two dreams. And I am not sure what they are trying to tell me. First I rarely dream. Secondly normally when I dream I completely controls those dreams. The exception is when my mind is trying to process through issues I am going through. Normally a fear is presented or a desire is addressed. But I am not sure what my brain is trying to process.

The first dream is mixes my college and high school. There was a relationship I knew of in college where the guy had a temper. Now in my dream I took a girl I knew in high school and put her in the relationship with the guy. Now I had noticed she had a black eye. And I instinctively knew that he had hit her. So my response was to be very angry and encourage her to get out of that relationship. I did not like her getting abused.

The next dream comes from that wonderful show gossip girl. I was one of the guys and I was torn between two of the female characters. Also there was another guy who wanted one of the girls. What is my mind trying to tell me?
I am not sure what my mind is trying to tell me.

Also I had a real trip last night reading my old journals. I have really not changed that much since High School. I am a little less superstitious but that is about it. I still have the same problems, fears, senses of inadequacy and sins. Weird huh. I also found a little journal that I had kept a bunch of thoughts in. I am going to start posting them in the quotes section of facebook.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Greatest Con ever part two

I was watching a movie and the end gave me the inspiration for the title of the two part series. In a way the greatest con ever is that the ego convinces someone that it is who they are. Without going into an explanation of the ego I see this and I am hit by it
Because maybe I am not who I think I am. Maybe I am not everything I have been told.

Whenever there is friction between me and someone else I am ready to blame myself. I am ready to say that it is my fault. I like would rather hold someone else in higher regard then think poorly of them. Which is what happened with this woman. I made excuses that put the blame on me and not on her. I was using what Paul said about thinking of others better then yourself as the reason why I am terrible and she is not.

One of the things I started to identify with Paul is his harsh self image. In Romans he talks about how he is the worst sinner. I see that in myself. I tend to view myself as being the worst sinner just like Paul. I think that we both cannot relate to each other there. While this is not the best exegesis of the test it allows me have a more personal understanding of the Bible.

I really do not have an explanation for how everything fits together. It seems like I will live a very mediocre life. That despite the good things that happen in my life they will be balanced out by some really crappy things. I am lucky that I have for what I do have. Without the support of my family and one or two close friends I really do not know how my life would be right now. It seems like life is ok with some really crappy moments.

I have some solace thinking that things will get better. I will end up doing quite well. I have a weird optimism that seems to think things will turn up aces but I have no proof it will. So the greatest con is thinking all the crap I have been told is really me. I have a future that I control. It is matter of accepting what I cannot change and work on what I can change. And knowing the difference between the two. Then shamelessly ripping off the serenity prayer. Ha.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

the greatest con ever part one

I have been doing a lot of thinking recently. Thanksgiving is generally a time that lets me know where I am. Thanksgiving is the time to spend with family and loved ones, the people you hold close and share a special connection. For me it reminds how alone I really am. I spend thanksgiving alone. No one invites me to a dinner expect as a pity invitation or the impersonal invitation you give to friendly acquaintances. I am not sure anyone has invited me without knowing I was going to spend it alone at first. Thanksgiving is the time I know no one will care how I spend it or what I will do. And that seems to cap off what I have been thinking about.

In high school my youth pastor said something to me that hit me right to the core. He was explaining to me why he did something and his reasoning behind it was because I was sensitive. That was so revealing to me. It seemed so right. I am sensitive. I am not made of stone but everything hits me full on. I look at society and I see that being sensitive is bad. A man should be tough and ready to fight. A man should not let emotion get to him but be strong. Strength is the key not being sensitive. I am a deviant.

In college I found the word to describe how I acted socially. I was an introvert. I was not good at glad handing and did not like big groups. I am nervous about being rejected by strangers. One of my professors mentioned that in America the extrovert is the ideal and no one wants to admit to being an introvert. I see now that the introvert makes people uncomfortable. They have secrets and no one likes that. Not only was I a deviant because I was sensitive but I was a deviant because I was an introvert.

For good or bad I place a lot of my esteem in how I think others perceive me. I had one friend say how lucky we were that women looked at personality more then looks. I never had a woman tell me I was cute, and here I was being lumped in as being ugly. So it reinforced this concept that I was ugly. I have no confidence in my looks. The story I seemed to get over and over is that I am not attractive. Every time I asked out a woman I got rejected. In high school they literally laughed at me. In college they used God as an excuse. I told someone I was thinking about asking out a certain person and I was told I was intimidating. So now I am ugly and intimidating. Those two concepts made so much sense. They explained why I was so lonely. Why no one liked me and why no one I asked out ever said yes.

So I have this terrible self image of myself. I have no confidence to walk up to someone and start a conversation. So when I do talk to someone I am awkward and that makes the whole experience uncomfortable, which feeds back into all the harsh things I believe about myself. So I am in an ever deepening well.

I would like to say that being a Christian fixes everything. That because I have Jesus I do not feel bad that no one likes me. That I get all the love I need from God. But a cold look at my heart reveals this to be untrue. So I say I am unfaithful. I do not love God enough. I am not a good enough Christian. Now I am ugly, intimidating, and not a good enough Christian.

Recently an experience has destroyed any contentment I had at Fuller. I was ok with being me and I was happy here. But now I am so twisted up inside. I let a woman in too close. Because I was sensitive I had no barriers or protection. I had nothing to guard myself with. She asked me if the words I spoke were my own or someone else’s. They were my own. But the doubt that came from that forced me to check everything I said. Were they my own? Was I merely an amalgam of other’s wisdom? I think they are my own but who can really say.

We had a bit of an age difference. But I did not really think that mattered. If we were in different places of life and therefore incompatible than it would be apparent. But if we were compatible then the age difference would mean nothing. But everything I did and said was evaluated based on whether it was mature or not. Was I “grown up” enough or was I merely a child playing at being an adult. I had to watch everything I did in a new light. I was so unsure of what I was doing and saying.

For a while it was weird between us. She was not sure she wanted a relationship and she had a lot to think about. I keep thinking over and over in my head how I was being perceived. Were my physical looks going to hurt me? Was my awkwardness going to drive her away? Was I too young? Was I too weird? What would she think of my apparent defects? Is this the sign I am really unlovable? And it did come crumbling down. One evening I had these expectations with her. And instead I was thrown into a new situation I was ill prepared for. I was awkward, introverted, and I knew any good view of me she had was destroyed.

The next day I got a call for a conversation. She confirmed my fears. I am unlovable and she did not want to deal with that. It was too much for me. Too much to process and to try to understand. I just left. I was hurt and angry. I had no response. I let her in so close to let her see me and I wanted to know her. But it was a brutal experience. The person I let me see me ended up rejecting me.

My greatest fear in life is to be rejected. To come up short and be told I am unworthy. Honestly it really seems like I am rejected. I am spending Thanksgiving alone in traditional Matt fashion. Tomorrow I will watch TV. Looking for some solace in media. There is a lot more for me to say. Maybe I will. But that will be for tomorrow.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


It is really a wonderful thing. It lets us know everything is going to be alright. We do not need to worry about anything. One area that I need security is relationships. I once knew a woman in college who wrote me letters over the summer. I thought we were getting to know each other and then she called me one day. She started to talk about how she met a guy from Scotland and they were dating and she was sorry. I had no clue how to react. I had no intentions toward her and an apology sounds like she thought there were intentions. I saw that our relationship was being misinterpreted and I did not know why. I saw that I could not trust her.

I could not trust her in the sense that I could not anticipate what she was going to do or think. I need to be able to understand how someone is going to react to be friends with them. I do not need to know every aspect of their life, but I need to know generally how they are going to respond to a situation. Since she fell outside of this realm I was scared off. I have had enough relationships that were crappy because I did not have a sense of the person. I am not closed from meeting someone new but I want to know what a person is like before I let them in close. I am incredible throw off by being around someone and not knowing where I stand. It lets my imagination take over and start to come up with fantastic ideas. These ideas have no basis in reality but then again I am not sure what to expect.

So without expectations I have no security. Any crazy idea could be possible good or bad. Sometimes it is easier to believe crappy possibilities because they seem more real. I am not sure what to do without security but in the end we have ultimate security with God. We will never know God well enough to anticipate Him. We will have security in knowing He loves us and He will never abandon us. So if you want real security then trust in God. Anything else will probably fail you pretty big.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

easy money

I was perusing that wonder gift of the internet and I saw something incredible. On hulu there is a show called Easy Money. This is a show about those people that give pay day loans to people that re unfair and take advantage of people. We know these are bad people and they do bad things. Their avarice is apparent and their morals are nonexistent. But the thing that hit me was the portrayal of Christians. One of the characters is a part of a contemporary worship choir at her church. So in the show they are blasting a Christian song as background music. I am a little saddened by this. This means that that holder of the rights of this song let this happen. They did not check into what their song will be used for. So Christianity and worship are not really flattered here. Secondly there is a hint that the pastor is carrying on a relationship with the character in an inappropriate way. Winks generally have the connotation of something underneath and conspiracy. So Christians are portray as no better or different than anyone else. I guess I should not be surprised by this but I am. I do not like the idea that Christian would fit so seamlessly into a show about loan sharks. That instead of being the opposite of the loan sharks they are in cahoots with the loan sharks. I am not sure what the response is but it tells me that I need to be different.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I am not dead

There is so much to write about I am not sure what to write about. So recently I have been given a mortal insult. If we still had code duello I would have to consider it. Personally everything that I am comes from personal piety. My faith is my source. That God is the most real and from that I do everything. My views of theology and philosophy are based on God. My views how what to eat and how to act are from god. If anything about me is nice then that is because God is so cool. If anything about me is crappy then that is because I did not let god in and I choose sin over God. So this guy mocked that. He scoffed at that idea that personal piety was important. That is about as bad as it gets to insult me. If you deny and mock the thing that I hold most dear then I have a problem with that. One cannot insult what a person holds most dear and then expect things to be good.

Also another negative note I am finding I do not like conferences. Christian conferences are not designed for introverts. They do not give the introvert time to relax and process what is being said. They just start to rush a person around. From the time I get up to until 8:30 they have me rushing somewhere doing something. Spiritual health does not come from business. One does not get closer to God when they are surrounded by voices crying for attention all day. It is driving me insane. I have started to skip things in an effort to get back under control. I have been trying to get as much sleep and reading for fun as possible. I am trying to relax and find some way to connect back to God despite all the noise. It is tough. I guess this reinforces my need for quiet in God and rest in him. Never let something suck your soul, but find time for God and chill in Him.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


The only conversation I have had for the past three days was over the phone. This may seem innocuous but really this is vexing. I am not an extrovert by any means. I do not even like groups of two. But I do need to talk so someone. It helps me process and sort out my thoughts. It allows me to hear feedback from someone else. if I think something up without input from somewhere else I only get caught up in thinking how right I am. When I think along my line of reasoning and I end up believing line of reasoning is perfect. It helps to hear from others.

So the only conversation I had was with a friend in Oregon. He was nice enough to let me blather on but it is disconcerting to keep talking and realizing how much I needed to get out. In college I had a good friend I was able to talk to. Here there are a few people to talk to but most of them have more pressing relationships they need to deal with. I am not about come between a marriage.

If anything this highlights the need of community in faith. We all need to talk to people about important things. We need to talk to people about God. We also need to talk to
God. None of us can live life alone but with others the journey is so much cooler.

Monday, September 29, 2008

do not go it alone

I have a few rules I do not break. I don’t go out to movies or eateries by myself. You have to go with someone else not alone. I just feel creepy and weird. I think the same is true with religion. I can’t do it alone. I make mistakes and do not get the joy of talking and learning from others. This is important because I wanted to go out to watch the Steelers play today. But I didn’t have anyone to go with. So like with eating and movies you need to practice religion with friends.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dodgers game

I did something I have not done in years. I went to a Dodgers game. I learned something. I like true fans. Behind me sat a guy and his lady friend who loved the game. He gave the loudest cheers and boos and she knew everyone’s name and stats. It was amazing. They got so excited for every hit and every base run. It made the game more fun for me.

I do not really know much about baseball. I am not really a fan. I am a pirates fan and they suck. So I do not care. But seeing fans who love their team make me enjoy it more. I like can take part in that joy. So it got me thinking about church. Because everything goes back to faith. I wonder what it is like if Christians were like that. Not pushing their faith on others but really excited. What if they are cheering the Bible, not to force it on others, but to take joy in it. That is the faith I want. I want rave about the Bible like a sporting event. Like it is the greatest thing ever. Maybe that is the attitude to have concerning faith. To cheer it and be excited about it. Maybe that is what attracts people to it.

Also Jon Vales is a cool guy for inviting me to go with him to the Dodgers game.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

my singleness

Why I have resigned myself to being single.
Because I do not think I can be friends with single women. It is not a matter of sexist but in how I view friendship. I view friends as people I get to know. I tell them what is happing in my life. They tell me what they are up to. Sometimes we share intimate information. We hangout together. Now an important thing is that I hate hanging out in groups of people. Even if it is a group of my friends I do not like it. I like meeting people one-on-one. That is the rub. It has been my experience that single women freak out if a guy wants to hang out with them alone. It turns into this big deal about dating and sexual tension. Nuts to that. I will never get to know someone hanging out in a group and no one will get to know me in group. That is not how I socialize. Also single women tend to freak out if you share anything personal with them. That is with the caveat of being within the realm of my experience.

So I do not put much trust in “being friends first.” because we will never really be friends because I don’t play social games with dating. I don’t get a group together for the purpose of hanging out with one specific woman. I don’t intend to either. Also I guess I am a bit intense because I want to get to know a woman and find out what is happening in her life. I could care less about superficial interactions. I want to know what is going on. I guess that is too much for some.

Now I can be friend with women who are dating or married. They know I am not trying anything so they don’t freak out. They don’t assume I have hidden motives. I really don’t have hidden motives. I am incapable of guile or cunning. I let people know what is happening pretty much all the time. And that is why I will probably remain single forever.

I have no problem with this. I am not upset about it. It is just on observation I have made. I won't have to worry about a marriage giving me responsibilities that are not about God so that is cool. Paul had it right when he extolled the benefits of singleness.

When did I become Pastoral?

When did I become pastoral? I mean that in the way of ‘when did I turn into someone people who open up to and then try to offer comforting wisdom?’ It started with a conversation with a friend who needed to hear a testimony. He just needed to hear about God working in the life of others. I was happy to oblige because I had run smack into God recently. Then I was talking to another friend and he was worried over some family. So I listened. I offered some comments and then did not upset him so that was good. Then a youth explained to me some problems she was having with her sister. I was dumbfounded as to how to respond but I listened. I said what I could. Last night I was talking to a friend from high school I haven’t spoken to since high school and she needed to talk. So I did the whole listening thing with offering a few comments.

It sticks me as terribly weird. I never thought I would be in this role really. I know that I am going to be a pastor but this is still weird. I mean I just don’t know why anyone would confide in my at all. I don’t think I have some special skill at listening. I came to the conclusion that people are more happy to know me then they are unhappy to know me. It is very confusing. Because I still remember quite clearly that a number of people dislike me. I don’t know when I got into this position. Apparently I am approachable but not much beyond that. I don’t know.

Monday, September 8, 2008

God suffers with us

I have learned that I need to believe a few things about God or I would be unable to worship Him. One of them is that God must suffer with us. I would not like a God that removed himself from our pain. I would not be able to love a God that could be uncaring. But I do think God suffers with us.

I was talking to a friend and he had some serious things weighing on him. I need to know that God was just as concerned as my friend. I can be empathic towards my friend, but God is feeling everything with my friend. I know that my friend is not alone and has God. I know that I am not alone when I suffer. I do need to remember that God is with me sometimes.

I think we are a little too quick to compare suffering. That if you do not great some arbitrary mark you should not feel bad. But I find suffering to be so subjective. I don’t think we can honestly disregard someone’s suffering because it is not “severe” enough. So God is in our subjective suffering feeling the pain we go through.

Now I also think that when faced with the suffering of others we can recognize that their suffering may be bigger and that humbles us. I do not think it is something we can force onto someone but it is within that we learn to hold the suffering of someone else in higher esteem.

Friday, September 5, 2008

God is pretty cool

I cannot ignore God. Things happen in my life and I realize that there most be a divine hand involved. The funny thing is that I generally dislike it when people blame God for everything. You meet a woman and fall in love, which is not necessarily God in my opinion. I do not think that God picks who you date or marry or decides who you hang out with. But I do think God takes advantage of situations and uses them for His purposes. I was in a class taught by an Anglican and my love for the Bible was reawakened. I started to love the Bible like I did back in high school. I do not think God forced me to take that class but I do think God take advantage of the professor to speak to my heart. So there God is inviting me back to loving him.

Then there is God bringing me back to ministry. I had a rough experience in ministry earlier. It shook my desires a bit. I am home for vacation and my home church wanted me to work while I was home. I would only be there five weeks and they felt it was worth the investment. That actually felt like some high praise to me. That even a couple of weeks would be good for them. God has taken advantage of this situation to tell me that I am still called to ministry despite my rough experience. I know that God still wants me to preach others the good news.

Some could say I am reading into situations. I may be doing just that, but I think it is alright because anything that glorifies God is alright.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Coldplay is horrible

As the title mentions Coldplay is awful. Their songs all sound the same. They are like the Red Hot Chili Peppers in that regard. They have a pride and arrogance that is rooted in a desire to be bigger then the Beatles. Funny thing is that only the Beatles are going to be that big. ever. Every christian school I go to I find people clinging to Coldplay and extolling their glories. If these Christians were half as evangelical with God as they are with Coldplay then there would be more Christians. In conclusion if you like Coldplay then you are wrong. Jesus and the Beatles are way cooler.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

I am back and culture.

I finally have some time. I was working at a church for a while but 4 months in I started getting some weird messages. Like you need to have a youth night, you should have started one a while ago. But no one ever told me that four months ago. Then I was told the hours I work on Sunday do not count as the hours I work for church. Sunday is the big day for pastors so that is silly. Some more bad stuff happened and I resigned. Then they called me selfish.

Now I have all sorts of free time. So that means posting some more:

Engaging culture is essential for ministry. If you read Stanley Hauerwas you may find that the church as been trying to accommodate to culture for a long time. I agree that the whole trying to synthesize rational philosophy, Christianity, and natural science is trying to accommodate modernist ideas and the issue that Christianity was very connected to the state. But I do not think there is Christianity without culture. Jesus would have started something totally new instead of being a good Jew. So /Jesus used the context and culture of his time to share his message.

As Christians we need to engage both faith and culture in a radical way. Christianity cannot kowtow to control but neither can culture be rejected out of hand. The church needs to address what people are concerned with and then share with them in those concerns. The church has a social justice role but is not the sole mover of social justice. The Church has a role of helping to guide the spiritually of people towards God. Without engaging culture the church cannot minister to people but instead stands off speaking its own language. If one visits a Christian college they see this “Christian Culture” at its finest unable to communicate to non-Christians without arrogance and pride. This is not something that there is an easy answer but it seems that the first step may be listening and approaching people in humility.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


Ugh work has me really busy right now. So here is a quickie.

Discipleship is just as important as outreach. It does not matter if you bring a lot of people into a church if there is no growth. When picking volunteers for youth ministry one chooses spiritually mature adults. Now if everyone in the church is new and not mature then there is no one who should be asked to volunteer. Disciple starts the life-changing experience that lead to someone impacting their world for God. Discipleship gives youth a foundation for them to live by and continue to grow no matter where they go. Discipleship and outreach are a combination that we should live by and not just think about getting more people into chruches.

(This is in response to some meetings going on at work)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Theological Youth Ministry

Something about youth ministry that is not very good or interesting is the lack of depth to it. Instead it is about playing games and getting kids into the church. Yeah it is good the kids are in church but what comes next is weak. They just do what any P.E. course does. PE sometimes does it better too. Youth need to be challenged more.

One way to challenge youth more is to actually teach them theology and the bible. One tells youth about sin. Not just a simple message of sin is bad and don’t do it, but sin separates people from God and leads to death. Then teach the youth about the sacrifice Jesus made for humanity. Youth are able to handle some theology. A High school student may be intrigued by the immanence of God and the Transcendce of god. What happens is a youth can start to use the mental capabilities they use at school on their religion.

Youth do not need to be coddled. They are not stupid. School work generally gets more complicated as time progresses. Youth need to be challenge to something deeper then they are experiencing now. Sometimes Christianity is made to easy for the youth. It is something that is just handed to them. Why keep Christianity so safe? They go to college and they face a world of hedonistic pleasure without a secure base. Where in youth ministry do with talk about the spiritual and theological ramifications of drinking? Where do we talk about the psychological and theological meanings of sex before marriage. Instead we just say that it is wrong. Youth go to college and find out that drinking can be a very enjoyable social experience. Some may have sex and then find out it feels good. That they do not feel bad for having sex outside of marriage. Then what they were told in their youth ministries is partly invalidating. These students have been left out without a solid reasoning and foundation. As a ministry there needs to be thoughts and reasons behind the lessons instead of a mentality that promotes legal rules based on authoritarian traditions.

This does not mean we use abstract reasoning with middles school students but instead that youth ministry combines the benefits and positive elements of theology and then combine that with street level ministry. There can be a new movement towards helping youth become lifelong Christians that will influence the communities they live in.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Politics and Religion

In California there was a speaker at a church that preached against war. Since the current administration brought war it is in essence a sermon against this administration. This brought the IRS to investigate this church and the church almost lost its tax-exempt status. The IRS ended that investigation basically saying that the church was guilty of being political but the IRS was not going to punish them for it.

I find this incredible because Christianity has always been very political. Jesus treated woman as humans having rights and certain expectations of dignity. This is incredible to the old standard that women had been treated at the time. Jesus was being very political. When Jesus was talking about turning the other cheek it was not a message of sub service but a message of equity. Depending on how you hit someone determined whether you were hitting them as an equality or with an attitude of superiority. Turning the other cheek meant a person was forcing the other to treat them as an equality. Equality and justice have always been very political.

Martin Luther King Jr. is a very political figure but he was also a religious leader. A Christian whose beliefs lead him to fight for political change and equality. The original Martin Luther was a religious leader who became a political leader leading to the creation of the protestant churches. Martin Luther broke the Catholic Churches hold of European politics that lead to the Catholic Church returning to more orthodox beliefs and practices. Christian churches are hotbeds for change and progression.

Christianity’s tradition of political involvement is not something that can be turned off. The Bible demands people not sin and then act as God would want them to act. They are not to take advantage of others, be violent, allow evil to continue. A Christian who honestly pursues God finds that they become political trying to align what the Bible says with how they are supposed to live. Christians are supposed to defend the voiceless and not help the oppressor.

The laws that are supposed to prevent churches from being political are anathema to what the church does. The church is intrinsically political and only when the gospel is watered down to nothing does the church stop being political. Churches do need to stand up and continue with their political tradition instead of kowtowing to political wishes.

As an aside the republican party is not anymore Christian then the democratic party. They both are self serving without many politicians honestly living the religions they proclaim.