Saturday, October 5, 2013

A Christian Nation

I was watching a TV news program and a man in Texas was complaining about foreign religions infiltrating into our “Christian Nation” and we needed to put a stop to it. There are others like him and I do not think that they understand the term “Christian Nation” or they would not make those statements. Perhaps they would any way for that is what they think they want. While we are a country whose citizens are predominately members of the Christian faith, we are not now nor have we ever been a “Christian Nation” and as a Protestant Christian Pastor I do not want us to be so.

The term “Christian Nation” denotes a country that has established an official relationship with a Christian church. England is a “Christian Nation” because it has established an official Church/State relationship with the Church of England. Queen Elizabeth is officially the head of the Church of England. Spain is a “Christian Nation” because it has established an official Church/State relationship with the Roman Catholic Church. There are also Islamic Nations and Buddhist Nations where the government has official standing with their religions.

Our founding fathers established this country as one that provides us with total freedom of religion with a clear separation of church and state. As a Christian Pastor I believe that freedom has been a major blessing for the Christian faith in America. With great wisdom they placed in our constitution the first amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

We have always had other faiths than the Christian faith in our country and their rights to freedom of religion have been respected here. There are over three hundred denominations of Christian church in the USA and their rights of freedom of expression in the practice of their faith are respected here. That would not be true in a country where a religion has been established as a state religion. Think about it folks we do not want the government telling us what church to belong to, not even my church.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Keeping up with Technology

One of my volunteer positions is to teach computer use to residents of a retirement living center in downtown Louisville. The computer is only four years old but the printer is ten. The printer works fine but has started leaking ink and we have not been able to figure out why. The result of all this was a decision to replace the leaking printer with a new one.

I was given the task of shopping for a new printer with a budget of a hundred dollars. I thought will that will be easy. I should have expected to face what happened instead of being easy it was a challenge. Printer technology has evolved so that the choices are better if you are setting up a new system. The retirement center resident’s computer needs a cable connected printer that is a printer only. We really have to keep it as simple as possible.

Shopping for a unit that only prints and can be connected by a USB cable took more time and effort than I thought it would. Online and in stores are all these wireless all in one printers that are so wonderful. They will connect via wireless to your computer [newer models] and your smart phone or tablet. They will not only print but copy, scan and put out the trash.

I did manage to find what I needed at Target and it was on clearance sale. It was the last one in the store that met my needs. This printer better last a long time as I don’t think that I will be able to find a replacement. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Popularity Polls

Way back when I was an undergraduate I took a class in statists at Texas Christian University. What an eye opener for public polling.   Looking for stats? What stats do you want? It is all in how you ask the questions and who you ask. Most national pollsters today like Pew Research do a good job of random polling to get a good sample of what people think. But even they sometimes get it really wrong. Governor Romney had so many polls that showed him winning that he only wrote a victory speech.

Today we are in the midst of an argument over health care and the polls are all over the place and it all depends on who you ask what question. If you ask about the “Affordable Care Act” you get a positive set of results but if you ask the same people about “Obamacare” you get a negative set of answers. It is all in how you phrase the questions.

I am skeptical when a politician says, “The American people want ….  [You can fill in the blank]! Of course they will state that the American people want what the speaker wants. Americans are a diverse people and we don’t all want the exact same thing and politicians need to wake up to that fact. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


I woke up this morning to the headline that the Government was shut down. Funding for the government has run out and non-essential people have been sent home with out pay. I wonder how that feels to be declared non-essential. Does this mean that these people are not needed? Some in congress might think so but then some of us might think that about congress.

It is more of a government slowdown than a shut down and I can understand the frustrations on both sides of congress. Perhaps congress should work without pay during this time. I would say that they are non-essentials but they are the only ones who can deal with the issue. That leaves the rest of us dealing with the children in congress crying “It’s not my fault.” when in fact it is all their faults.

My opinion is that a bill in congress should focus on only the item at hand and not be weighed down with extraneous issues. I wonder how long the federal government can operate with non-essentials staying at home; this problem will not end with this one item being fixed because one side or another will do the same thing with the next item coming up.

Monday, September 30, 2013


In a "Peanuts" comic strip, good old Charlie Brown is reading while Lucy swings. He says, "It says here that the world revolves around the sun once a year." Lucy gets this totally stunned look on her face and says, "The world revolves around the sun? Are you sure? I thought it revolved around me."

          We all know people like that, people who think the world revolves around them, and when we have to deal with folks like that, one of our immediate responses is, "How dare you?" Yet in our world we have to deal with those who are self centered and not Christ centered and we must reflect Christ in their presence. How else will they come to know him except through us?