On January 22, men and women around the country will be celebrating or mourning the passage of Roe. Unless there is a united front to put pregnant women first, Roe will continue to provide a wedge issue, an excuse to raise money, or a reason to March on Washington. Women deserve better. Children deserve better. America deserves common-sense solutions that empower women to choose life.
As I found researching my new book, Gunfight, in 1956, after King’s house was bombed, King applied for a concealed carry permit in Alabama. The local police had discretion to determine who was a suitable person to carry firearms. King, a clergyman whose life was threatened daily, surely met the requirements of the law, but he was rejected nevertheless. At the time, the police used any wiggle room in the law to discriminate against African Americans.
Ironically, the concealed carry permit law in Alabama was promoted by the National Rifle Association thirty years earlier. Today, the gun rights hardliners fight to eliminate permits for concealed carry, as Arizona has done.
Eventually, King gave up any hope of armed self-defense and embraced nonviolence more completely. Others in the civil rights movement, however, embraced the gun.
So when I stand to pray in worship I never pray that God protect our troops for the simple fact that we don’t have any troops. We do not gather as Americans who plead on behalf of national interests or partisan favor before either God or the world. We are the church. Who we are has been determined by whose we are. We are people of God. We gather as the body of Christ united with Christ’s body throughout the world. Yet I do pray for the protection of soldiers and civilians alike. I pray indiscriminately, without regard to borders because all people are creatures made by the hand of God and are so loved by God that God sent God’s only begotten Son on their behalf.
So back to Justin Bieber. Whenever the word started getting out about Bieber’s new smoking habit, someone started a site about “Cutting for Bieber” and the idea was to get all of Justin Bieber’s fans to cut themselves and put pictures up the web to get him to stop smoking. It sounds crazy.
But the fans did it.
Thousands of pictures of teens cutting themselves started to roll in, along with comments begging Justin to change.
The more I read scripture, try to follow of Jesus, the more my life keeps getting messed up. Messed up in a good way though. I don’t see where Jesus or his earliest followers, the church, were concerned with all things patriotic, engaging in violence, smitten with national politics and political parties, desiring to attain wealth and prosperity, eager to sing their version of God Bless Rome and cast a scornful eye on anyone who doesn’t sing along with them, etc… In fact, quite the opposite, the church was concerned with loving God by loving their neighbors, even their enemies rather than doing them harm. They refused to patronize Caesar and the Roman Empire but instead practiced charity to one another and towards the poor with whatever they had, and they boldly proclaimed Jesus crucified as the only hope of salvation.
I offer four biblical considerations we might ponder after one of the greatest cheating scandals in sports history.
1. Internal desires are the root of our external sins.
2. To fulfill our selfish desires, we often look for shortcuts.
3. The threat of being uncovered often causes us to dig a deeper hole.
4. Exposure is inevitable– now or in eternity.
In second place to Abel Mutai, the Kenyan athlete who won a bronze medal in the London Olympics, Anaya suddenly had a chance to surge ahead. According to El Pais, Mutai mistakenly thought the end of the race came about 10 meters sooner than it did, and stopped running.
Then, he “looked back and saw the people telling him to keep going,” Anaya told CNA. “But since he doesn’t speak Spanish he didn’t realize it.”
So Anaya slowed, guiding Mutai to the actual finish line.