For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. - 2 Timothy 1: 7
Trump is going to lie about anything and everything, especially if he's guilty. He's going to order all his people to stonewall congress, to refuse to show up at hearings, produce documents, or answer questions, just like Lewandowski did the other day. He was an arrogant, rude jerk to congress on top of it.
This is absolutely and utterly over-the-top ridiculous. Trump is in direct violation of the law by not producing the whistleblower report. Next he and Barr will try to tie it up in court. That's their little game. It's time for Democrats to freaking step up! It's time to impeach! There is no choice here. This is probably the biggest constitutional crisis we've faced in 100 years.
We all know the Senate won't convict. It doesn't matter. When impeachment begins the house has dramatically increased powers guaranteed by the constitution. They can compel witnesses and documents. There will be no more stonewalling or fines and/or jail will ensue. The American people must know the truth. Without the truth the 2020 election will be illegitimate, based on false information. Voters must have accurate information to make rational choices.
Why do you think Trump hates the press so much? In general the press digs up accurate information. They rely on their peers to do the same and substantiate the story. They fact check one another.
Everything changes when impeachment begins. The courts fast track everything because impeachment powers are spelled out in the constitution. The American people can't let all these crimes slide. What happens if Trump steals the election again with the help of foreign enemies, like he did last time? That level of risk is way too big. Way too big. It;s time to step up and do what the Founders prescribed for this situation.
He can't pardon anyone unless there's a federal conviction of a crime. Conviction isn't the goal here. The truth is the goal. Voters must have accurate information to make a rational choice at the voting booth. Again, that's the number one reason dictators suppress and harass the press, so they can create their own narrative. Trump is trying to do just that.
We can't sit and tremble in the corner because of all the what-ifs. What kind of leadership is that? Accurate information for the voters is the goal. Trembling in the corner is what Democrats do too often, and they lose. Republican don't think things to death and tremble in the corner. Trump is blatantly saying he can do whatever he wants and the law can't touch him. Barr is going along with it. If we don't step up and lead right now regardless of our fears, we're done. We'll all have to get used to fascism. Better to lead now. Lives are in the balance.
Let's get on with it.
Check out our new designs. They speak to current events in a provocative way.
The text is enlarged below each design. Click on the images to order.
Read our most recent broadcast email and join our list.
We're gearing up to engage in live and in-person activism leading up to the 2020 election.
This email spells out how you can sponsor our efforts. We need you.
This article is one worth preserving on our blog.
There are some two thousand verses on justice and poverty in the Bible. Justice and care for the poor and oppressed can be found throughout scripture in every part of the Bible from the law and the prophets to the Gospels and Epistles all the way to Revelation. God lifts up the lowly and brings down the powerful, and feeds the hungry and sends the rich away empty (Luke 1:52-53).
Progressive Christianity stands upon the long liberal tradition of the Church from ancient Judaism through the Enlightenment and into the present. It focuses on the biblical themes of liberation and justice. Progressive Christianity is in some ways a response to conservative Christian neglect of biblical social ethics.
Progressive Christians seek to reintegrate the major biblical themes of social justice back into Christian belief and practice. Fundamentalists neglected the basic biblical mandate to live justly. They have blamed the poor, turned the foreigner and the refugee away, squashed the lowly and gave tax cuts to the rich. Many Evangelicals have, in Jesus’ words become children of the devil (Matthew 25:15).
When we started this ministry in 2009 every day trolls would come to the page and tell us, "You can't be a Democrat and a Christian." They still do but not so often.
In the video below Democratic Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg talks about his faith on The View. It sounds very much like what we've been saying for 10 years. For some reason this outlook of Christianity, which is centered around the teachings of Jesus, has been suppressed in media and culture for a long time. That's finally beginning to change.
People have sacrificed a great deal to carry out this mission. If you view this outreach and message as important work please make a contribution to our ongoing effort. Here's how (click here).
What do you think? This billboard went up in Chicago yesterday and the print ad appeared last month in a Chicago alternative newspaper.
The billboard was financed by an abuse victim using some of the settlement money.
What do you think? What is it going to take for the raping of children to stop?
Jesus said "It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble." in Luke 17:2.
Now we find out the same thing is happening in the US Baptist Church.
Perhaps it's time for these churches to stop worrying about controlling women's reproductive choice and and limiting the human rights of the LGBTQ community and focus on the their own problems. You know, like the kids in their flocks being raped by the people who are supposed to be their role models.
It did our souls a lot of good to hear these two men speak. They spoke truths we've known inside for a long time. (Two Videos Below)
You only have to listen to Ted Cruz for 44 seconds which sets the stage for what follows.
Thanks so much for your kindness and generosity. We'll make this quick and simple.
— Here's an overview of our history and ongoing mission.
— Here's how to make a secure donation.
— If the only posts you ever see from us are sponsored posts on Facebook or messages by e-mail click on the following link to read how to receive all our updates.
How to See Posts From Your Favorite Facebook Pages More Often
If you would like to make a contribution by mail our address is:
The Christian Left
2001 NE Aloclek Dr. Box #108
Hillsboro, OR 97124
Your contribution is not tax deductible. We favor progressive policy and we make it very clear. We've never liked it when The "Christian" Right hides behind non-profit status while participating in the political process, so we don't do that. We pay our taxes.
Last week-end we had to turn off all our sponsored posts and deliver a special message to you. We let you know that our regular week-end request for help wasn’t working. We explained that we really do depend on your support each week-end to keep going and it’s the only way we’ve been able to dedicate the last 10 years of our lives to The Christian Left. We added that we work hard for this community during the week ‘commercial free.’ On the week-ends we ask for your assistance. You heard us loud and clear and responded to our need. We appreciate it.
(Update Early Evening, Saturday, 12-22-2018: Unfortunately the same thing is happening today. We know things are super busy for people with the holidays and all but please keep us in mind and do what you can. We'll be here to serve you every day, almost 24/7/365. That's been our track record for 10 years. Help us make it another trip around the sun. This is your national progressive Christian ministry! Donation link is at the bottom of this blog post.)
This link takes you to an overview of our history and our ongoing mission. If you have any questions please read that first.
Here’s a couple of examples of the kind of feedback we receive almost every day, “This page truly is a voice shouting from the wilderness. I was so depressed when I had to leave my evangelical Christian world behind. It had become something I no longer recognized and I couldn’t stay. My heart was filled with pure joy when I stumbled across The Christian Left on social media. I knew I had been led here by the Holy Spirit. You have no idea what a relief it was to discover there were hundreds of thousands of other people like me. Thank-you so much for everything you do! Know that you are appreciated from the bottom of this Christian’s heart!”
Another person said this, “Social media has been taken over by evil. This is the only page on the internet that fights back every day by policing trolls who show up to disrupt the community and getting rid of them promptly.”
Just when we thought it couldn’t get any worse for our country it gets worse. The past week has been a perfect example. We have a fake Attorney General who won’t recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation; We’ve lost one of the few forces of stability left in the Trump administration with the resignation of Defense Secretary James Mattis; We’ve been given what is a truly scary picture of the President’s mind via the public resignation letter of Secretary Mattis; The President is announcing foreign policy by Tweet to the surprise of everyone around him including those at the Pentagon, who knew nothing of his sudden plans to pull out of Syria; General Kelly is out as White House Chief of Staff while a temporary Freedom Caucus sycophant, Mick Mulvaney fills in; As of yesterday portions of the government have been shut down in a silly standoff over the political stunt known as ‘the wall,’ which everyone but Trump’s base knows would be ineffective and a waste of taxpayer money; Those who are actually in charge at the White House increasingly seem to be the President, Jared and Ivanka. That’s terrifying because none of them has any experience or knows what they are doing.
If there’s one mission Trump seems dedicated to it’s crippling our government institutions and destroying our worldwide alliances. Putin couldn’t be happier with the actions of President Trump. It’s as if he put one of his agents in the Oval Office.
We’re going continue to be here every day with up-to-the hour coverage of politics and culture. Christian progressives and their allies finally have a place where they can gather, talk about the issues, and enjoy fellowship with one another without harassment from conservative “Christian” trolls. That’s a worthwhile thing.
When you see our requests for support on week-ends please contribute what you can. Those on a small, fixed income need not contribute. Your prayers will suffice. For those who can spare it, here’s how to make a donation. Even 5 bucks helps. Here's how: Click here.
If the only posts you ever see from us are sponsored posts on Facebook or messages by e-mail click on the following link to adjust your settings. There's an easy way to see all of our posts.
How to See Posts From Your Favorite Facebook Pages More Often
If you would like to make a contribution by mail our address is:
The Christian Left
2001 NW Aloclek Dr. Box #108
Hillsboro, OR 97124
Thanks so much and Merry Christmas!
2018 In a Nutshell ...
The Week in Review. The Bad, the Ugly and the Good.
— Republicans are gunning for healthcare yet again. They slipped a provision into their tax bill that took the fine for the individual mandate down to zero. Then a group of Republican governors and AGs filed suit against it. They knew it would likely cause a judge to declare the ACA ‘unconstitutional.’ They undoubtedly planned and colluded with one another to come up with this strategy. That decision made by a Texas judge could easily land in the Supreme Court where two fresh, illegitimate, right-wing extremist justices (Federalist Society puppets) stand ready to strike it down. If the case lands on their bench they won’t let their puppet-masters down.
In the 2018 midterm elections healthcare was the number one area of concern among voters, even above the economy. If conservatives pull off this coup against the American people don’t be fooled by their empty promises about ‘protecting preexisting conditions.’ They’ll find a way to gut that provision. They’ll allow states to ‘set it up themselves,’ and the red states won’t. Or they’ll allow insurance companies to price ‘high-risk’ people out of the market. The ACA already protects people with preexisting conditions. Republican have sabotaged it from the beginning. It’s not perfect but it’s a big step in the right direction. Allowing Republicans to get rid of it will be a giant leap backwards. It will probably take decades to get back to this point.
If all the Republican governors had allowed the Medicaid expansion, and if traitor Joe Lieberman hadn’t stripped out the Medicare at age 55 provision, the coverage would have been even better and less expensive. Again, Republicans have been sabotaging the ACA from the beginning, because “Obama,” and because “abortion.”
— After the Blue Tsunami made the wishes of the American people clear lame-duck Republican state legislatures are carrying out relentless power grabs against the will of their citizens, crippling the power in incoming Democrats.
— Widespread Republican election fraud was uncovered in North Carolina following the mid-terms where it’s such a mess both parties are planning another campaign.
— In Florida voters passed a bill restoring the voting rights of released felons. Republicans are dragging their feet and throwing up roadblocks against the will of the people.
— The Republican dismantling of the Obama Recovery continues with the federal deficit and debt skyrocketing at record pace following massive Republican tax cuts. They claim ‘Entitlement Reform’ is the only way to fix the fiasco they’ve created which is code for unprecedented cuts to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Meanwhile the stock market continues its downward spiral.
— Indictments, plea deals, prison sentences, and newly discovered Russian spy networks swirl around the most corrupt administration in US history. Every rock a reporter or investigator turns over reveals another level of seemingly unending corruption.
— Immigration reform is an ugly mess with immigrant children dying in US custody while Trump threatens to shut down the government over the wasteful and unnecessary political stunt known as ‘the wall.’
— Despite campaign promises to the contrary nothing is being done to relieve American college students of staggering and debilitating debt burying graduates so deep they’ll never get ahead. The problem is just being ignored and made worse by the incompetent and unqualified wife of an Amway (ScamWay) Billionaire donor, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Ms. Devos is the sister of Erik Prince, founder of the Blackwater private mercenary force. The stink runs thick in that swamp.
— Our reputation worldwide couldn’t be worse as Trump coddles murdering dictators who chop up reporters. This while he tries to cover up a $50 million bribe he wanted to give Vladimir Putin in the form of a top floor penthouse in a proposed Moscow Trump Tower. Meanwhile he chides our European allies like France to the point where they tweet back at him to ‘leave our country alone.’
Have you heard enough yet because we could keep going?
The one positive aspect to our otherwise depressing national nightmare is the new congress! Thank God for the Blue Tsunami, the biggest mid-term gain for the house in US history! We will finally have some oversight and real congressional investigations!
We can propose the things we want to accomplish legislatively as well but we all know McConnell won’t go along with any of it. He’s already broken the Senate and the Supreme Court. He’s not about to stop now. Anything that would make Democrats look good in any way he’ll be against. It’s not about the country for him. It’s about personal ambition, power, greed, and the party. He’s a traitor in every sense of the word. He’s quite possibly the worst politician in our nation’s history as far as the damage he’s done. History will agree. We’ve had our finger on its pulse every day for a decade.
In the long-term, even though it’s sad to have to point out, this old, white, racist generation is dying off. There’s a young, vibrant, progressive generation of leaders bursting at the seams and waiting in the wings. They aren’t going to put up with any of this crap.
Reform is coming whether the old guard likes it or not. Young people are just up and walking away from the right-wing, cult religion the Republicans hijacked, distorted and ruined. Not to worry though, they aren’t walking away from Jesus or his teachings. They’re rejecting the apostasy known as The “Christian” Right. They know it’s a scam and a sham and they aren’t having it. The faith will evolve back to what it once was, a spiritual framework with Jesus at the center.
The next two years are going to be interesting to say the least. We’ll be here every day to keep you informed and plugged in to the largest gathering of Christian progressives (and their allies) in the world. The Christian Left admin team has been the hardest working admin team on Facebook for 10 years.
It is that time of year when many people do year-end giving. If that’s something you do every year please put us in your mix. We work for you with no commercials all week. On the week-ends we ask for your help. Don’t forget about ‘The Rebel Jesus.’ Though we fall short, it is him who we attempt to follow, not religion. Please make a donation today. Here's how: (Click Here)
** Please don't skip over the above request. Come back to it when you're done reading. We try not to bug people with excessive ads on our blog or other frequent fundraising messages. We work hard to moderate this community and keep it a haven free of conservative trolls. We keep the content on our social media page fresh every hour of every day. If everyone who reads this makes a contribution of any amount we'll be just fine, even if it's 5 bucks. If you're on a small fixed income just pray for ongoing success and survival. Thanks so much.
If our sponsored posts are the only posts you see Google “How to receive all updates from my favorite Facebook pages.”
To read more about our history, our mission and our activities click here.
If you prefer mail our address is:
The Christian Left
2001 NW Aloclek Dr. Box #108
Hillsboro, OR 97124
Rebel Jesus - Jackson Browne
All the streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants' windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
While the sky darkens and freezes
Will be gathering around the hearths and tables
Giving thanks for God's graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus
Well they call him by 'the Prince of Peace'
And they call him by 'the Savior'
And they pray to him upon the seas
And in every bold endeavor
And they fill his churches with their pride and gold
As their faith in him increases
But they've turned the nature that I worship in
From a temple to a robber's den
In the words of the rebel Jesus
Well we guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus
Now pardon me if I have seemed
To take the tone of judgement
For I've no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In a life of hardship and of earthly toil
There's a need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure
And I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus
by Naomi Hanvey
Tonight, as part of my annual holiday tradition, I watched the 1983 movie, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, for the umpteenth time. This movie, based on the book by Barbara Robinson, explores the story of a group of poor children who hear the Christmas story for the first time when they decide to take part in a church Christmas pageant. There's a lot about this story worth talking about - the classism and judgmental superiority of being shocked by poverty and its consequences, or the very depiction of the Herdmans, written to make suburban white readers in the 1970s gasp and shake their heads in dismay, but which kids today hardly bat an eye at because it's so familiar. But I'm not going to talk about that. I'm going to talk about something the Herdmans noticed when they heard the story of the nativity for the first time: where is Herod?
In the book, the Herdmans are really captivated by the role Herod plays in the Christmas story, attempting to manipulate the Magi into revealing Jesus' location so he can murder the child. In fact, in the book, they're so interested in Herod that they end up going to the library and doing research on the notorious life and reign of Herod the Great. They begin to plan a sequel to the Christmas pageant in which the Wise Men and Joseph get revenge on Herod, much to the dismay of the narrator's brother Charlie, who fears they are going to make him play Herod so they can beat him up.
It's kind of obvious why we don't usually see Herod in the Christmas story. We don't want to complicate the pure, sacred narrative with this subplot of murder and intrigue, right? The image of the nativity creche isn't quite as picturesque when you add a paranoid king slaughtering children in the periphery.
And yet, Matthew spends a significant portion of his nativity account focusing on Herod. And in fact, from both a narrative and a theological standpoint, Herod is essential to the story of Christmas.
A few of my friends have written wonderful things this season about the Magnificat, the song Mary sings when she visits her cousin Elizabeth while they are both miraculously pregnant. In it, Mary praises God for overturning the power structures that have kept people like her oppressed and downtrodden, celebrating the revolutionary new kingdom that God will usher in with the birth of God's Son - of her son. This, my friends have emphasized, is the good news of Christmas: the promise of liberation for the oppressed by God's conquering the oppressor.
What are these power structures? Who is the oppressor in the nativity story? Well at this point in time, it's Rome, of course, the occupying pagan government. But apart from Augustus ordering a census that sets the events of the story in motion, Rome is pretty absent from the narrative we read in the gospels. Instead, we see Herod as the story’s antagonist. Herod was a puppet ruler, subservient to Rome. The story of his rise to power is as convoluted and full of intrigue as is Octavian's - full of assassination plots, strategic marriages, and political maneuvering. Herod represents power at its worst, power that exists for no other purpose than to increase, and which will stop at nothing to maintain itself.
Herod became the tetrarch of a small chunk of Palestine called Judea. The whole region of Palestine seems to have been perennially problematic, constantly at war with whoever was occupying it at any given time (this was one of the reasons it was broken into separate jurisdictions under Roman rule). Herod's job, presumably, was to keep the Judeans from revolting against Rome - in other words, to maintain "law and order." Herod was Jewish (ish) himself, and he went to some great lengths to build good PR with his province by rebuilding and expanding the temple in Jerusalem. It was Roman policy to allow conquered peoples the right to practice their religious and cultural traditions. So really, all Herod had to do was to maintain the status quo.
It's into this situation that Mary proclaims:
"He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
and exalted those of humble estate;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty." (Luke 1:51-53 ESV)
This describes a complete overturning of the status quo. Mary's song depicts God aggressively - dare I say, violently - tearing down existing power structures in order to lift up the humble and lowly. God is, in short, a revolutionary, the very opposite of what Herod represents.
Sometimes I think we mistake peace for the status quo. Especially for those of us whose lives are pretty good, who are neither poor nor oppressed, it's easy to think that "peace" simply means "the continuation of things as they are, without any interruption to myself." That's certainly what peace meant for Herod. And yet, as Mary's song indicates, the arrival of Jesus - the Prince of Peace - represents a direct threat to Herod and to everything he stands for. Herod probably didn't care if Jesus actually was the promised Messiah; it was enough for him that he might be seen as a Messiah, a figure for people to rally around and support over himself. Remember, as the instrument of Rome, Herod's power depended on keeping the Judeans in line, and the Judeans had a habit of rising up around charismatic leaders and revolting against the powers that be. Herod's job security depended on nothing changing in Judea - politically, economically, socially, or theologically - so this rumor needed to be squashed. And so Jesus had to die.
For those like Mary who do actually live in poverty, hunger, or oppression, peace means the opposite of the status quo. It means an end to things as they are so they can be as they ought to be. It means bringing down the people in power - not to put new people in power, but to replace the entire structure of power. Peace requires radical, absolute, irrevocable change, change that threatens the rich and the powerful and the comfortable.
This year, let's put Herod back in Christmas. Let's remember that there are people and forces in the world to whom Jesus is a threat, and who will do anything they can, often in the very name of "peace," to prevent him from enacting his radical agenda. But Jesus didn't come into the world so things could stay as they are; he came to turn the world upside-down. He came to bring true peace, the kind of peace Herod feared but Mary longed for. Let's take a hard look at the structures of power in our world that keep many people perpetually locked in powerlessness, in poverty, in hunger, in danger, in fear, in want - and let's enter into the work of Christ, which is to undo those structures. Let's be willing to risk losing the comfort that comes with maintaining our current way of life, in order to usher in the reign of peace foretold by Mary so long ago.
Merry Christmas, all.
About TCL Blog
We’re not about Dogma here. We’re just Christians who think the political and Christian right-wing have their priorities wrong.
Charles Toy is the founding member of The Christian Left. We're sure you will enjoy his passion as well as his wit. Guest bloggers featured often.