Kim Davis and false Christian persecution

Let me put my “confession” out front before anything is said.  I am a Christian.  I was baptized long ago back in my hometown in Alabama inside a Baptist church associated with the National Baptist Convention.  I grew up with Sunday School and Sunday service being a part of my weekly activities just as anyone else would attend regular school.  I was a youth speaker for a time, along with my cousins, because our grandmother encouraged us to visit with other churches and volunteered our services if they needed a speaker.

I am also a government employee.  I don’t hold an elective office, but when I go to work, I do work on behalf of the U.S. government.  I know that my actions, while on the clock, are those of mine as well as my employer and that I cannot let my personal views cloud my judgement when it comes to enforcing the law.  Now that I’ve got that out the way, let’s talk about Mrs. Davis in Rowan County, Kentucky.

Mrs. Davis is entitled to hold and exercise her religious beliefs as a private citizen without fear of government interference.  She had those rights last week, last year, and she will have those rights next week.  As an agent of the government, however, Mrs. Davis cannot couch her actions as said agent in her personal religious beliefs.  The government is not a religious entity, and her job is not a religious job.  There is a reason for separation of church and state, and her case is a perfect example of why we need to protect that separation.

As a private citizen, she has every right to announce that her religious faith tells her that homosexuality is a sin.  She also has every right to speak out against homosexuality as it pertains to her religious belief system.  If she chooses to not associate with members of the LGBT community as a private citizen, then that’s her prerogative.  The moment that she clocks into work or lifts a pen as the County Clerk of Rowan County, she ceases to be a private citizen expressing her beliefs.

The government cannot discriminate against people based on numerous criteria.  Most recently, sexual preferences have been added to that list.  The Supreme Court has ruled there is a constitutional right for same-sex marriage, and until Congress or someone else passes any type of constitutionally sound legislation to change that ruling, it is the law of the land.  The Constitution was not written with an all-inclusive list of rights that are protected by it, hence the 9th Amendment and its wording.

The people who are claiming that she’s being persecuted because she’s a Christian need to quit peddling that lie.  There are millions upon millions of Christians in this country who are freely practicing their religion and not being arrested for doing so.  Any Christian can walk down to their town square, city center, or anywhere else and kneel and pray.  No officer is going to come and arrest them for exercising their religion.  Those who spread this crap need to quit playing the victim card (as many of them say about other groups) and realize the potential harm they’re causing to our society.

If this were a case of Mohammed Salim refusing to serve females that entered his office without wearing a niqab, would the same religious freedom people stand behind him for his actions?  I seriously doubt it.  If it were a follower of Judaism not fulfilling the requirements of the job as a public sector worker because of their beliefs, would we see the same type of religious circus going on?  I don’t see it.

At the root of it all, we operate under laws that we elected people to pass and enforce.  We can’t arbitrarily change things just because we don’t agree with them because that’s not how it works.  Nobody’s religious rights are being affected or squashed by these rulings.  If you have a job that requires you to serve the public as an agent of the government, then you have to remember that you are the government when you’re on the clock.  Your actions are not your personal actions.  They are the actions of the government.  If you cannot fulfill that job because of a personal conflict, then your best recourse is to seek employment elsewhere.  The role of the government and the protections afforded us from the government are not going to change without significant effort to do so.  No matter how much we cry about it.

Gone home to Lovetron

One of my all-time favorite NBA players has passed away today.  Darryl Dawkins, aka Chocolate Thunder, died today of a heart attack.

I honestly remember him playing like it was just a few years ago.  It doesn’t seem like it’s been 30 plus years since he helped the NBA bring breakaway rims as standard equipment.  Known for naming his dunks, it was the “The Chocolate-Thunder-Flying, Robinzine-Crying, Teeth-Shaking, Glass-Breaking, Rump-Roasting, Bun-Toasting, Wham-Bam, Glass-Breaker-I-Am-Jam” that brought the end to a glass backboard in Municipal Auditorium in Kansas City, Missouri on the night of November 13, 1979.  As a kid, I was blown away looking at the replays of that dunk on the news.  Before that happened, you would not have been able to convince me that such a thing was possible.  Just to prove it wasn’t a one time thing, Dawkins shattered another backboard a few weeks later.

Some of the other notable names of his dunks include the Rim Wrecker, the Go-Rilla, the Look Out Below, the In-Your-Face Disgrace, the Cover Your Head, the Yo-Mama, the Spine-Chiller Supreme, and the Greyhound Special (for the rare occasions when he went coast to coast) h/t to Wikipedia.

If I were the NBA commissioner, I’d have to order all backboards to be lowered to half height to honor Chocolate Thunder.  That about the best tribute I could think of to honor him.  While not the greatest player stat wise, he left an impression and a long list of named dunks that will keep him in the memories of NBA fans long after today.

When writing, I have a list of tags that are automatically chosen that I can use.  For this one, Backboard shattering and breakaway rim came up.  Just shows how much of an impact Dawkins had.  Dunk on in Lovetron, brother.  Dunk on.

Our political system is severely damaged

Deez Nuts??? Seriously at almost double digits…

I haven’t written for a while as life has been busy, but that has not kept me from keeping up with things.

First thing to tackle is the message from that image above.  Our political system is in disarray.  It is damaged goods.  Seriously.

I know it’s a long running joke since Dr. Dre’s debut solo release The Chronic was unleashed on the world on December 12, 1992.  Since that date, track #6 Deeez Nuuuts has become part of the urban slang in America and crossed over into the general lexicon.

While a good running joke, it makes for a good laugh during this campaign season.  At the same time, it shows the absurdity of a 2-3 year campaign season and how the fickle mind will easily tire of the incessant droning of campaigns.

When I have to seriously contemplate voting for Deez Nuts, it shows that I have very little to no confidence in either party or their current crop of candidates.  I don’t really trust politicians much, and this election is no exception.

I guess this could also be a good thing depending on how you look at it.  I may be able to finally write in Deez Nuts for an office and it may actually count as a legitimate vote.

RIP Bobbi Kristina Brown

I never met you, but I did have the pleasure of speaking with your mother years ago.  If your spirit was anything like hers, I know you were an angel in spite of your fights with inner demons.  I don’t like to see prolonged suffering, so I hope your family can find peace with your passing.

Hopefully, you and your mother can reunite and be happy together away from the evils of this world.

My condolences go out to the Houston and Brown families.

Preach it brother!!

I came across this video earlier today, and I think Pastor Dewey Smith is speaking an uncomfortable truth that many in the church will not acknowledge.  His message is directed towards the Black church, but the message is one that I think applies to us all.

Over the course of just under 5 minutes, he swats down the “Get out of Leviticus Free” card that many use to talk down about the sin of homosexuality while ignoring the mote in their own eye.  My favorite line is where he talked about others sinning by changing their wives like some people change their underwear.  I don’t ever recall any Christian-based business refusing service to anyone who has divorced and remarried even though that is considered a sin.

One of the most thought-provoking sermons I ever had the pleasure of listening to at church was when the preacher described the function of the church itself.  He told us to not think of it as a place for the saved.  Instead, think of the church as a hospital for sinners who need to be healed.  I think that is a very good way of looking at the purpose of the church.

We all have or will commit sins.  We should always seek forgiveness of those sins as well.  At the same time, we are not the arbiters of anyone’s judgment day, so there’s no reason for us to treat any sinner worse than the others.  If you’re going to treat one sin as though it’s worse than the plague, then be consistent and treat them all that way.  If you’re going to act as though some sins are nothing to blink at, then treat them all the same way as well.  Just be consistent.

Thank you Pastor Dewey Smith for this message.  I hope those of you reading this enjoyed it as much as I did.  I’d love to hear the entire sermon, so if anyone knows where I can find it, please let me know.

If you want to know more about the preacher, then the church’s website is: