Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September 30, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Pastor Appreciation Month
Special Edition



That's this year's theme song for PAM.

A neighboring pastor framed it so well.

"What does Pastor Appreciation Month mean to me?...About two cards!"

Whenever I talk to members of the church that cooperated with his-really-His call to them, they say how much they love him.

He's in debt up to his ears.

He's maligned unmercifully by people because he's a champion for Jesus rather than them.

He's been their under-compensated and over-worked indentured doulos for nearly two decades.

What's it been worth?

About two cards.


Yes, October 1 ushers in PAM.


While pastors of every flavor and franchise - most of 'em with some notable exceptions not worth mentioning because exceptions to the rule are, uh, exceptions to the rule like when abortion is a choice worthy of Christocentric apology - keep pouring it out, the unrestricted irascibles, irregulars, and irreconcilables transferring their sicko pathologies to them 'cause pastors are paid to be holy keep pouring it on.

Or as a leading newswoman in the South said, "Pastors deserve Purple Hearts; since they probably suffer more wounds in battle from 'friendly fire' than anyone or anything else."


Parenthetically, I'm O.K. for now; or at least until the minority who hate me become the majority for God knows I know they know they're always in the, uh, shadows.

I'm too old for ecclesiastical BS.

Besides, I still get calls from other churches that are ready to take me as soon as I feel like that minority has become the majority or get tired of the majority letting the minority make life so miserable for my family that catches my sicko transferences.

Gotta take it out on somebody.

Pastors are human too.

I've got to do my best with His best in and through me for people with real problems instead of wasting time/energy/emotion on people whose biggest worry is whether their deodorant will keep 'em dry all day.

You know what I mean; and if you don't, you're part of the problem if you know what I mean which you don't.

Be that as it is regardless of how much people who say they love Jesus while mistreating others to prove they really don't love Jesus protest, I'm blessed to serve our family of faith on the corner of Lincoln and Main in Belvidere, Illinois; loving 'em to my death and appreciating 'em more than they know, admit, or dare to entertain.

We've just about completed the pruning prescribed by my predecessors that is a prerequisite to growth.

It took four years.

The last few months have been great!

Our leadership is on the same page with a membership increasingly receptive to fresh wind and fire to be a beacon and safe haven.

Or as I prayed as inspired a few Sundays ago, "The times of judgmentalism have ended in our family of faith. Contention has given way to cooperation. The kairos moment has been seized and we move forward in unity for Your peace and purity..."

So don't read anything personally pejorative or even positive in the preceding or following as confession, contention, or, uh, whatever...

I'm just reporting.



Did you know most polls reveal over 75% of pastors would relocate or change jobs today if they had the chance?

No wonder old Hans told young Luther to go into law; and that was pre-Reformation.


It's like the shrink who told our doctoral study group at Drew, "Problem people in your churches are usually constipated. That's why they dump on you."

Yeah, Bob, I've used that before; but, geez, it's good.

Speaking of pastoral ministry as a job or vocation or beruf for the educated, an engineer from the left coast wrote, "PAM testifies most eloquently to me that we believers are collectively immature and self-centered enough to require nudging to consider and properly acknowledge and express appreciation for the qualifications and accessibility of the men who are placed in positions of pastorship over us."

While he's gonna get letters from the other gender for that one, pastors are slobbering while, uh, others are just starting to get ___ed off.

This non-pastor went on, "I cannot help but think that being a pastor is almost as dirty of a job as garbage collector; demanding long and unusual hours without advance notice at marginal pay at best and easily inducing disillusionment, depression, burnout, and disruption to marriage and family life."

Not bad for an engineer!

He concluded, "One former pastor of mine put it aptly, 'If you are capable of doing anything else than being a pastor, do it! Being a pastor will destroy any man who isn't directly called into it by God.'"


A pastor in South Carolina wrote metaphorically, "My dad told me a very long time ago that if a woman really meant a lot to me that I would find a way to let her know on days other than February 14. He said showing love and appreciation on the other 364 days was more genuine."

Then leaving the metaphor for folks too dense to get it, he explained, "PAM has always seemed too Hallmark for me. I mean people buy a card without anything in it to help for months of deprivation; and then they spend the other eleven months gossiping about us, taking us for granted, dissing, and ignoring us."

He thinks PAM is kinda like Halloween.

It's another metaphor.


Pastors' wives from around the country shared these, uh, uh, uh,...reflections (euphemism):

Illinois: "PAM means listening to my pastor-husband complain all month about how he is not appreciated."

Pennsylvania: "I had no idea what it meant to be a pastor's wife until I became one. It sucks! He's always out, stressed, beaten up, underpaid, and treated like __ by people who parade around like they're holier-than-thou. My children hate the church because of how he's treated and how they're in a fishbowl of unrealistic expectations where people always complain about them because their own children are so screwed up. You want to know why PKs are so notorious? It's because of what churches do to their daddies."

Tennessee: "Several denominations in many towns where we've lived made a big deal of PAM. They had community dinners, gift certificates, testimonials, and cash gifts. Doing this in October separated it from the other holidays when our husbands were so busy making everybody but their own families merry. Do you know how many Christmases and Easters that I've spent with my family since starting one with a pastor? Zip! Well, I also think it's worth noting that no Presbyterian church that I've ever known has ever participated in what I just mentioned."

Maryland: "My husband says it's a missed opportunity to express appreciation. One word comes to my mind: disappointment. Sigh!"

Texas: "My husband didn't have to take a vow of poverty. It's been imposed upon him! It's pathetic how people don't appreciate his call, education, how he's sacrificed so much of us and himself...I can't continue...I'm crying just thinking about it...I wish you hadn't brought it up...I've been thinking about divorcing him to get my kids and me away from it all."

New Jersey: "PAM? What a joke!"

Florida: "You want to know how to make my husband feel appreciated? Stop those ___s in the church who are always lying about him! I don't understand why he's supposed to be so nice to everybody while they treat him like ___! If people really appreciated him, they'd help us pay some bills and throw those ___s out of the church that are up to no damn good in our life or the life of the church. Nobody protects my husband from abuse! PAM? Yeah, right!"



Of course, there are some contented vicars out there:

Missouri: "I get a very nice check that comes in real handy around this time of the year. They buy a big cake for fellowship hour. I get lots of gift certificates for family dinners and movies and stuff like that. It's neat. I like PAM because the church likes me."

Illinois: "I normally am very upbeat about this month because my congregation has typically taken very good care of me and shared their affection in very practical ways. But we have gone through an organizational change in the past year, and there is no committee now that looks after this matter as an annual event. I am wondering if anyone will remember without having to be reminded or without it being programmed as part of an annual calendar of events. I'll let you know."

North Carolina: "I got a new car one year because they appreciated all of the driving that I do to serve them. Then I got a big check to pay off bills another year. They sent me to Israel one year. But I never tell any of my pastor-friends about this because they're as good or better than me and get nothing more than a nod or box of chocolates from Hershey's. Oh, the local funeral directors give all of us gift certificates to a local restaurant. Thanks for not printing my name. Pastors around here are already jealous because I'm pretty happy."

Praise the Lord!


Quick hits from less enthused colleagues:

New York: "I recently saw an episode of Seinfeld that was about women 'faking it' during sex. It made me think of PAM. I was fired during PAM because 3 out of 750 members did not like me. The folks where I am now started PAM early this year. Two members are spreading gossip and rumors about me that are causing division in the church and the elders aren't doing anything about it. PAM? It's not on my calendar, brother!"

Pennsylvania: "It means six more books that I won't read and getting a card from people who don't attend worship."

Florida: "If I had stock in Hallmark, I might like it; but I'd rather have a few extra bucks."

Illinois: "It hurts like crazy when no one says or does anything to remember me during PAM. The Devil uses PAM to discourage those of us who need some appreciation. Sad but true."

Texas: "What do I think of PAM? Not much. It's not on anyone's radar in my church. I've never alerted anyone to it because it might appear self-serving, might cause some sick members to use the other eleven months as open season on me, and the target on my back is big enough already. If people really wanted to celebrate PAM, they'd live openly as Christians! When I see that happening, I feel appreciated. By the way, I get lots more cards from churches that I've served before than now. It seems churches miss pastors after they've left and wish they would have shown more appreciation so they would have stayed. Hey, KD, have a happy PAM!"

Tennessee: "It was created to boost the profits of Christian greeting card companies. I hope they didn't print too many cards! While the church I serve is very generous at Christmas, PAM isn't in their minds at all. What does PAM mean to me and most pastors? Well, here's the short answer. Not much!"

Indiana: "I find myself asking lots of questions during PAM? Why do we need a special month? Why doesn't anyone remember that special month? Isn't God's appreciation enough for us? Why did it begin? Were some people feeling guilty about misusing and mistreating their pastors? I really question the motives behind PAM. Why appreciate people that you ___ on most of the year?"

And here's one from a pastor in Virginia who admitted getting drunk so he could feel uninhibited enough to comment: "___! They need to appreciate the role of appreciating the Author of ministry! ___! I wanted people to know Jesus when I started. That's the only ___ing appreciation that I need. ___! I've tried to get them over churchianity; but, ___, all they do is act like pagans in nicer clothes. Don't give me some ___ing 'Greatest Pastor' mug in October and then a 'Get Out of Dodge' pink slip in November! Nobody cares! Why am I even bothering to write to you about it? If people really cared, so many of us wouldn't be thinking about committing suicide! I better stop drinking or I will."

I have been counseling three pastors who have thought about getting out of ministry by ending their lives.

PAM is not therapeutic.



Yes, that song is profane.

That's what PAM has become to most pastors.

It evokes sarcasm, cynicism, and, increasingly, the kinda dark thoughts encouraged by demons in the shadows with the unrestricted irascibles, irregulars, and irreconcilables.

The world is bad enough without the church making it look better by comparison.


Some non-pastors were sympathetic:

Indiana: "The longer I serve in God's house, the more I see the critical nature of congregations. I am appalled at the lack of compassion on the part of many individuals who vent their spleens on pastors. PAM for me is reading Ephesians 4:7-16 with a prayer that we will take seriously what it means to be the church and what it means to love those who have committed their lives as pastors."

New Jersey: "I didn't even know about PAM until you asked me about it. I really believe pastors and their congregations better be having mutual appreciation every day if they expect to carry out the work of the Lord. I guess I better bake some brownies for our pastor now that you've reminded me about PAM. Maybe a lot of prayers for him would be better!"

Illinois: "PAM means a time to reflect on the person who has given her/his time to guide, protect, reprove, and love people regardless of their affections or affiliations. It's a time to honor a pastor who has vowed to live like Jesus and is trying to set an example of being free for Jesus. For me, personally, it didn't mean much to me until I met the voice behind KD (You better print this!). I never met a pastor until you who really tried to live as an example of loving like Jesus so unconditionally even when treated so shabbily. Thanks, I love you for being a good example of what God wants me to be!"

Vermont: "It means being grateful for the pastors in my life who really pastored. I mean the ones who preached the Word and didn't care whether people liked it or not. Pastors who corrected me when I needed correcting. The ones who risked being liked, honored, loved, and adored for His sake and for my sake. You, ___, are in that category; although I may not have appreciated you in the 70s as much as I do now. I'll bet you've got some people in your church and community and even presbytery who are really upset with you for telling them the truth about them; and if they're like me, they will thank you some day. But don't hold your breath right now! Keep on, ___! You are a blessing to those you pastor...even the ones who say you aren't!"




A few more thoughts, analytical and otherwise, from NPs (non-pastors):

A lawyer and very important player in the PCUSA (Kentucky): "PAM means that we focus on the blessings we have received from the Lord as members of His body and a congregation in particular...the blessing of having The Good Shepherd as our shepherd...of being in a body of believers who have discerned the call and provided the support for our under-shepherd...for the blessings through our pastor - his sermons, his leadership, his character, his witness, his family...then we respond with praise and thanksgiving to the Lord and with expressions of appreciation to the pastor and his family - notes, gifts, and other means. And not forgetting the family who raised him, the Christians who supported and encouraged him, the seminary that trained him."

A businessman and very important player in the PCUSA (Virginia): "The only times I have ever been exposed to PAM is when I have read about it in The Presbyterian Outlook...When I go to my presbytery's website, there is nothing about it...We tend to forget the pastor's job has to be one of the most difficult and important these days; so I'm all for thanking them in a public way with more than a smile."

A retired woman (Florida): "It's like Mother's Day and Father's Day to me. There should be no reason for a designated day or month to show those who go the extra mile for us how we realize and appreciate having them in our lives...It should not be necessary; and the very notion that it is necessary is a sorry commentary on the Christian ethic in today's church."

A lawyer whose daddy was a PCUSA pastor (Missouri): "Hadn't thought much about it, but that is no surprise since the word pastor means herdsman in Latin; and what do the dumb sheep think of their herdsman? Not much; 'til the wolf comes and then they are glad for the pastor's rod and staff to comfort them! So I guess that means this dumb sheep better ask his pastor and family to dinner in October to say, 'Thank you!' When you're back in Kansas City where you should have never left, you're invited and can stay with us!"

A photo-journalist (Pennsylvania): "Why should pastors get a whole month? Hell, secretaries get one day. Mothers get one day. Fathers get one day. Even Martin Luther King, Jr. gets only one day...Pastors are like dairy farmers - milking it for every drop. They work one hour a week on Sunday - maybe 15 minutes if you count the sermon that everybody ignores. Other than Hebrew and Greek, their education is easy. They get free parking at hospitals. At church dinners, they're always first in line. They are paid a few pennies for the weddings and funerals that cost thousands. What a gig! And they want a month of appreciation? I have to stop now because my tongue in cheek is starting to sting."

A brilliant PR dude who has counseled almost all recent Presidents except, uh, the current one (California): "Sorta like National Almond Month? I would say PAM is about a 2 on a scale of 10 to most folks; and that's probably rather high...Is there a National Lawyer's Appreciation Day?...Thank you, KD, for listening to His call, for overcoming your defects and stumblings, for maintaining a soft heart in the face of emotional and spiritual abuse, for staying fixed on Jesus when there were/are lots of other folks yelling 'look here' or 'look at this.' Thank you for internalizing God's loving embrace and returning it to your congregation and those whom you meet. Thank you for remaining vulnerable when you knew you would be wounded. Thank you for returning treachery with forgiveness, intolerance with welcoming, narrowness with a higher vision, ignorance with kind scholarship, repression with innovation, heresy with Biblical certitude...You are one of a rare breed; even though you choose to endanger yourself on a two-wheeled-over-powered suicide device."


There are three things that I'd like for PAM.

Ain't gonna happen.

Jesus will have to suffice.

He does.

Now back to PAM's theme song...


Blessings and Love!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

September 26, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



Well, I just did that.



Help me, Jesus!



Well, not exactly.

There are always consequences to sin even after confession and repentance.

Maybe not with God.

But plastic people don't think much about God.



Seriously, I just cut up my last two cards.

I haven't used them for over nine months.

Well, uh, O.K., I did use 'em twice for gas on my way back from Pittsburgh after a recent memorial service for an old friend.

But I've become cash only.

It's quite freeing; and it's taught me to like the clubs in my bag.


So how did it happen?

Selfishly, I like golf; and I always thought it was the arrow not the Indian.

A really good golfer in North Carolina healed that self-deception before Thanksgiving last year.

Selflessly, I haven't vouchered anything for professional expenses since 1977.

I just viewed it as part of my giving to the church, uh, over, uh, time with, uh, interest.

And I've always liked being generous with family and friends in, uh, a postponed payment kinda way.

It started when a blue-haired-toxic-smelling-and-speaking church lady on the session said at my second session meeting ever as pastor, "And do you think we're paying for all of the stamps that you use to invite people to church or send those stupid cheery notes of yours?"

So I've charged computers, books, stamps, pens, pencils, and all of the rest ever since; and I've plopped down a lot with two churches oppressed by spirits of poverty in the last ten years.

Of course, that ended nine months ago; and I've vouchered two things that I couldn't handle with cash in the past two months.

I feel awful about it; and apart from the noble reasons, that's why I hope to hit pay dirt with my next book.

When I finally figured out the sin of it all, I decided to do something about it.

I've still got a mountain ahead of me; but, at least, I'm climbing up rather than continuing the slide down.



That always helps when I'm feeling down about life or ministry.

Truth is God has always come through for me; because even though I can be a real ___hole at times like family and friends and churchgoers seem so eager to point out, I do trust Him with this time/space and what comes next.

It's a Psalm 37:25 thing.


I like to get caught in sin every now and then.

I know that sounds strange; but I am...

Be that as it is and will always be because I just can't escape my humanity, I really thank God for Jesus whenever I'm reminded of my past, present, and future sins or how I often live antithetically to what I believe and how I want to behave as exemplified in Jesus and explained in Holy Scripture.

Or as I say to those who will admit our shared humanity, "Praise God for the sin that reminds us that He's saved us from it in Jesus."

Or something like that.


Speaking of sins, October is around the corner.

You know what that means.

Pastor Appreciation Month!

It's that month to express our affections and affirmations for the women and men who take their vows of, uh, whatever these days and seek to serve or be served - depending upon who and where - in those churchy contexts.

I was wondering, "What does Pastor Appreciation Month mean to you?"

The next edition of KD will be dedicated to it.

Or something like that.


Blessings and Love!

O.K., I couldn't handle my sin with plastic; but knowing you can, charge some gifts to KD or buy some books for yourself!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

September 22, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



I'm opinionated.

I know that comes as a shock to you.

I'm not judgmental.

Here's the difference as explained to me by an old female African-American about 20 years ago: "You love 'em and let God judge 'em!"



When I was young and famous and not nearly as humble(d) as now, I was called to a fabulously well-to-do church in the Midwest.

That prompted two recollections.

First, from a mentor: "Pastors are never called from one church to another church for less money."

Second, from a seminary classmate: "Somebody's got to minister to the rich."

Be that as it is in most instances, I was one of the youngest pastors of one of the largest churches in the franchise; prompting counsel that was ignored by the calling committee: "You calling Dr. Kopp is like my 25 year old daughter coming to me and saying, 'I have found the perfect man to be my husband. O.K., he's only 12; but it will work out over time.'"

He was prophetic.

Be that as it was in that instance, two elders came to see me shortly after being installed.

They told me that I had to fire the organist because he was gay.

I asked how they knew he was gay.

They said they just knew.

It must have been gaydar.

Anyway, I said they were gossips.

They asked what that had to do with the organist being gay.

I said I'd talk more about it after they figured that out.

We never talked about it again.



A college professor in Ohio said anyone selling drugs should be executed.

His son was arrested for selling LSD in Toledo.

He called and asked if I had any pull with local judges.



An insurance salesman in North Carolina was rabidly pro-life.

His 12 year old daughter became pregnant.

He called to ask absolution after the abortion.



___ happens.

I wish there wasn't so much gray in our time and space.


Yet ___ happens.

I've still got my opinions; and I'm not shy about sharing 'em.

I've just stopped being so judgmental.

I believe that's why Jesus chose grace over law.

There's more wiggle room.

Read Matthew 7:1-6.



Until that happens, I'll keep trying to ride to...



Blessings and Love!

A special thanks to the five of ya'll who sent in some support before the thought police take over!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

September 17, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Whenever there's an article in the paper about somebody dying in a motorcycle accident, several clippings are placed in my church mailbox anonymously.

Nobody clips current standings showing the Yankees with the best record in MLB and shoves 'em down my throat.

I don't know if folks just want to keep me posted on bad news or if they're expressing hope that...



President Carter comes to mind.

I voted for him.


Considering JC's squeaking by Ford in 1976 (50.1% to 48% in popular voting and 297 to 240 electoral votes) and then being trounced by Reagan in 1980 (50.7% to 41% and 489 to 49 electoral votes), I had company in my conversion from him.

Coupled with voting for Nixon once, I've often mistaken political indigestions for inspirations.

It's like going into a church that looks really good with familiar sounds and lots of nice symbols; yet discovering any connection between what's going on and Jesus is impurely coincidental.


ACORN comes to mind.

Any connection between ACORN and PBHO is...



Getting back to JC (him not Him), I remember November 2, 1976.

President Ford had finished his unsuccessful campaign for election to the job handed to him by his disgraced predecessor who I voted for once.

I watched returns with seminarians sporting "JC Saves" buttons.

Idolatry always ___ off God.

Anyway, it didn't take long before lamenting my vote for JC (him not Him).

I was befuddled by his "punishment" of the Soviets for invading Afghanistan by canceling our participation in the Moscow Olympics while selling our best computer technology to 'em.

He had the spine of a snail vis-a-vis Iranian ragheads.

I learned he would not meet with Martin Luther King, Jr. when he was a state senator because it was considered political suicide in the Georgia of the late 60s; more than hinting that Mr. Born Again Christian wasn't above sacrificing his heralded Christian principles for political expediency.

Oh, sorry, he did win a Nobel Peace Prize in 2002; but it's hard to be impressed/thrilled by that in recollection of Yasser Arafat cashing the same check.

Oh, sorry, he has done such good work building homes for the poor with Habitat for Humanity; even while he's been tearing down America whenever mugging for TV since being tossed from the White House.

Unlike former Presidents Bush, Clinton, and Bush who have been rather dignified and statesmanlike since leaving office, JC has become nothing more than a whining, bitter, resentful, jealous, and judgmental sour-pussed-tosser-of-sour-grapes.

Sadly, my daddy's cruel joke before JC's only inauguration as President proved to be prognosticating: "What's in a Jimmy Carter sandwich? A little peanut butter and lots of baloney!"

Well, he's at it again; claiming anyone who disagrees with PBHO is a racist.

I can hear the Gipper's voice from the grave: "There he goes again..."

We've got a fourth floor in a local hospital with a room just for JC (him not Him).



Farmers wisdom: "If you're in a hole, stop digging!"

Equestrian wisdom: "If the horse is dead, dismount!"

The Bob Rule: "If you think you're right but everyone thinks you're wrong, you may be right; but you just may want to consider everybody thinks you're wrong."

JC (him not Him) keeps coming to mind.


This seems like an appropriate moment to recall a recent letter: "Hi! I enjoy KD; except I am always put off by your use of @#$%. To me that reads like a swear word. If that is what you intend, why? If it isn't what you intend, why do you use it?"

Fair enough.


It helps that my anonymous friend "enjoys" KD.

Be that as I'm glad it is, I responded: "While I'm sorry that you're kinda put off by @#$%, I addressed that long ago with someone else who assumed - hmm - it was my way to express profanity or something else pejorative. Actually, it's just my way to separate sections of KD. But I'm thankful for your concern. It allows me to repeat why I use 'em."

I added, "I was going to use a cross or something; but I felt that was too presumptuous on my part; kinda like clergy who put 'The Rev.' before their names."


A blast from the past: "You asked me years ago to head a committee. I asked why. You said, 'You get along with all factions in the church.' I said, 'There aren't any factions in the church.' You said, 'See what I mean?'"

His preface to that recollection: "When PBHO uses the word we, he means Democrats, employees of his administration, and everyone who agrees with him. When he uses the word they, he means Republicans, employees of the Bush administration, and anyone who disagrees with him."

Hello, JC (him not Him)!

His conclusion after the blast from the past: "PBHO sees factions everywhere he looks...He is very divisive and his numbers in the polls show it."

Uh, kinda like JC (him not Him).


I wonder if JC (him not Him) would like to go for a ride on my chrome pony later today.

There's always hope...



Blessings and Love!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

September 15, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



Sometime between WWII and Korea, my dad was stationed at an Army base somewhere in Virginia.

It was segregated.

While playing with some black kids on their side of the base, MPs picked me up and said, "You're not supposed to be over here."

As they were hustling me into the jeep for my transfer back to whitey's island, I asked, "Why?"

They did not have an answer that satisfied me.

They never do.



I don't know if it was my conversion or conditioning, but I've never liked people who think they're better than other people by color, class, or culture.

Yeah, I have tried to love the hell out of 'em; but I don't like 'em.

A seminary professor put it so well for us as we paid no attention, "No matter how good you think you are or can ever become, you'll never be good enough not to need Jesus to save you from your sins."

That's why I get into trouble with those self-righteous types in the church who see everyone's faults but their own, Outlaws/Mongols/Whoever who think they have some kinda right to tell me not to wear an 81 support shirt, and jingoists of any other denomination, ethnicity, nation, or mob.

Matthew 7:1-6 comes to mind.

That's the charge.

Romans 16:17-18 is the strategy for dealing with 'em; and I've become pretty good at identifying and isolating the self-righteously irregular and irascible over the years.

It's the only Christian thing to do.



David Horowitz, formerly a whacked-out leftist who has become a whacked-out rightest but always captures my attention because he likes to think about stuff, likened PBHO to the "Manchurian Candidate" over this past weekend on "Just eight months into his presidency, a new BO has begun to emerge. With unseemly haste, PBHO has nearly bankrupted the federal government, amassing more debt in eight months than all his predecessors combined. He has appeased enemies abroad and attacked America's intelligence services at home. He has rushed forward with programs that require sweeping changes in the American economy and is now steamrolling a massive new healthcare program that will give the government unprecedented control of its citizens."


He goes on to say PBHO as the "Manchurian Candidate" is a tool of the far left to implement an agenda that will destroy America.

While I don't doubt folks on the far left want to destroy everyone/everything that's made America great, I'm not so sure PBHO is the "Manchurian Candidate."

If he were, he wouldn't be making so many mistakes during his 24/7/365 muggings on TV: "Uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh, uh..."

Besides, as my favorite high school English teacher says, "Michelle is extraordinary" (translation: uncontrollable).

I've said it before and I'll say it again until I'm proven wrong.

PBHO is a nice young man who reminds me of a junior college philosophy professor: innocuous, ideological, well-meaning, and totally unqualified for the post.

This is OJT 101.

My hope/prayer is he'll catch up with what's really happening beyond the ivy; and because he's bright, he'll make the transition from unqualified candidate who got elected because his opponent was so awful to a President who esteems/enables America's highest ethics.

His response to the murder of anti-abortion hero James Pouillon exposed a heart that I think may not be as good as the left says but ain't as bad as the right screams: "Whichever side of a public debate you're on, violence is never the right answer."

Go Gandhi!

Well, at least it's not Marx or Mao.


Anyone who thinks there ain't some/lots of racism involved in the right's criticism of PBHO think Marilyn Manson, Brittney Spears, and gangsta rappahs have talent on loan from God.

I'm not saying this President doesn't have some serious flaws; and if you think I am, then you're really ignorant because I've been quite clear about my reservations/concerns/fears related to this Presidency (scroll down to previous editions).

And though I've always liked hyperbole as a literary technique, the criticisms as well as lauds for this dude have become increasingly hysterical.

Again, and I may be wrong but, if you love America, you're hoping I'm not, PBHO is a decent guy with some real ___holes in his administration who we pray/hope will be exorcised before it's too late.

Uh, did you ever see that movie called The Manchurian Candidate?


Quick hits!

Oklahoma: "Can we fix the world? No, probably not. Can we make a difference in parts of the world? Absolutely yes! And that's what we're called to do if we love Jesus!"

Minnesota: "You've scratched my itch with these last few KDs...I'm afraid that civility is waning and we are losing our moral compass. We're even revering people who call the highest elected official of our land a liar! Shame on us!"

South Carolina: "America's health care problem is, well, Americans. Trying to fix health care isn't nearly as important as trying to reform ourselves...our lifestyles...My wife and I see lots of folks who contribute more to their own chronic health problems than doctors and insurance companies. So how will health care reform help if we keep doing the things that contribute to our poor health and fitness?"



911 Aerial Photos.recently Dis Classified


That clip from my sister is a reminder that we better start rallying around the flag together before...


Blessings and Love!

Maybe it's time for KD to beg for donations. O.K. Please, please, please...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

September 13, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



When that SC cracker blurted that out during PBHO's rationalizations for his administration's initiatives on 9/9/09, I realized civility in America is going down the crapper quicker than TO's NFL career (scroll down to KD's 9/6/09 edition).

What's up with that?

Didn't PBHO campaign for the job as the best non-partisan bridge-builder since Bernice, Agrippa, and Festus (If you're a Biblically illiterate mainliner, you won't have a comparative clue!)?

JM was aghast, saying the outburst was sooooooo "disrespectful," and called on Joe to apologize; but, uh, that sounded about as sincere as his campaign for the White House.

SC Senator Lindsey Graham, who came off looking a lot like JM during the Sotomayor stuff, said the country is "on the verge of chaos."

Florida Rep Jeff Miller observed, "He is like the Energizer Bunny."

SC Rep Jim Clyburn echoed the sentiment of the state, "I thought Governor Mark Sanford had embarrassed us enough, but Mr. Wilson has gone even lower."

VP JB lamented, "It demeaned the institution."

Talk about calling the...

And so on.

Actually, I thought PBHO acted kinda like a bridge-builder while everybody else went apoplectic: "I'm a big believer that we all make mistakes. He apologized quickly and without equivocation and I'm appreciative of that."



As I've said before, I like PBHO on a very human level; and I'd like to share a Bud Light with him as he tells people to buy my next book.

I think he thinks and think it would be fun to hang out with him; and maybe that would impress Oprah enough to get her to interview me about my book on biker culture as metaphor and challenge to the church.

Be that as I'd really like it to be no matter what my ideologically anal friends on the right don't think, I'm still wondering why he's so divisive if he's such a bridge-builder.

Does it have something to do with being a socialist while wearing suits made by capitalists?

Is it another evidence that racism is still alive and sick in America?

Are people just especially, uh, bitchy these days?

Why does it seem like America's melting pot is boiling over?

Why does it look like there are more wedges dividing Americans than hinges keeping 'em, uh, hinged?

I may be wrong, but everything but heaven appears to be breaking out.


A favorite elder in New Jersey who defies pigeon-holing wrote, "I'm not sure what the ultimate goal is for his presidency, but I know he only has 4 years to accomplish it if his popularity keeps declining."

Always reasonable, she deduces, "It appears the charge of him being a socialist centers around his desire to create insurance for those without it. What's wrong with that? Wouldn't Jesus be for that? He said, 'Love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.'"


Not as insulated from reality as most Republicans who think they're going through tough times if their deodorant ain't keeping 'em dry all day, she observes, "I see the working poor who cannot afford medical insurance despite their labors. Their children don't receive the proper medical care. They aren't unproductive people. Maybe they aren't as smart as those people who command huge salaries; but since when does productivity compute in God's love? Doesn't God expect us to care for the least of these? I want to be on the side of anyone who sees Jesus in his service to the poor! When Jesus comes back, I want to be able to talk about Matthew 25 with him without feeling ashamed!"


Then she really gets into it: "Our economy has been all about profit; which was very successful in the past but so unmindful of honesty, fairness, and charity. What do you think Jesus really thinks about that?"

Hey, I told you that my parishioners and ecclesiastical superiors don't want me to think!

Can't you be like most mainliners and keep Christianity out of this?

She finishes, "When greed rules and capitalists cannot be trusted with benevolent responsibilities as ordered by God, it's time for government to step in! It's not enough to go to church, put 50 bucks in the plate, and walk through life while wearing blinders to human suffering."

I feel dizzy...and convicted!


An English teacher in Illinois is getting tired of it all: "I think PBHO is far from perfect, but I think he's trying and I think he means well; no matter what your daddy says."

She notes, "I think people wanted things fixed NOW and PERFECTLY and that ain't gonna happen with anyone."

She confesses for herself as well as others, "Many people I know voted for him. None of them are unhappy that they did or losing hope yet. Maybe teachers are more patient than most."

Raising the temperature, "I think the socialism fear is overstated and overanalyzed by those who want PBHO to fail. They are pushing panic buttons. Rush Limbaugh comes to mind...I guess I feel that although PBHO is as seriously flawed as anyone, at least he is willing to step up and try to change things and make life better while his detractors just bitch, bitch, bitch...They don't act; and many of them don't even vote."

Getting back to confession; which is always a good thing: "Like Ann Frank, I have to believe in the inherent good of people and I believe he will run the country to the best of his ability without as many old crony influences as we've seen. Even if that ability is limited, it is better than what we had. I am reminded of the crude bumper sticker: 'The only Bush I trust is my own.' That's rude; but I agree with it!"

A final thought: "Honestly, I'm wondering if we didn't elect the wrong Obama. That Michelle seems brilliant!"

Two questions.

What happened to Ann Frank?

Where is WJC's wife?


A Presbyterian pastor in Illinois: "It's the economy, stupid!"

Are you talking to me?

Now that was a good movie!

Regardless, he reflects, "Clinton understood what PBHO and his people do not. America is worried about the economy - and even though health reform or extending bennies to all does matter, it is not on the radar screen for most people; except for how it would negatively impact their wallets."

"In fact," he continues, "most people see this as something that would negatively affect the economy; thus making things worse, not better. The current administration will be short-lived if they do not return to the subject of this economy first and leave the politics of health behind."


A retired school teacher traveling in Europe was honest about the elephant in the room: "Racism is involved. There are many closet racists still in our country."

Still, "Some people believe he lies; and that charge is led by the talking heads who only add to this uncivil cacophony."

Personally, "I am concerned about the debt; which is why I say get out of Afghanistan and Iraq! Until the people in those countries are willing to give up their tribal habits and see the advantages of living in a democracy, we are treading water and losing patriots."



Breaking a stereotype, an engineer on the left coast picks up his shotgun - laptop - and blasts away, "Civility just conceals underlying warfare...I'd rather everyone be honest...I'm not nearly as concerned about the lack of civility as the lack of integrity."

"Obama," he theorizes, "was elected mostly on charm and the fact that he's not a Republican. He successfully spread around enough manure to enable people to believe what they wanted to about him. But his voting record...was quite clear as to what he would actually be; and so I'm not surprised by what I see out of him now."

Getting to Joe, "Rep. Wilson may have broken protocol and been uncivil, but was he correct? Did the President lie?...Politicians have been known as liars for a long time; but what seems new is the level of their loyalty to their own party apparatus over the good of the country and fidelity to the constitution...That's a really bad sign, and John Adams warned us about it."

Stating the obvious because few will, "Those we elect are usually a mirror of what we are. Who are we to decry their lack of civility and integrity if we also lack those qualities?...Obama didn't start this, but his presence hasn't diminished it. He's most definitely a partisan player...distortion and falsehood are not beneath this man."

Where is Ann Frank when we need her?


From the Sooner state: "I have seen more division between the races since the election of PBHO. Even in our own family of faith, you sense the underlying currents of racial tension."

Continuing, "It is very sad to note that many people voted for PBHO in hopes of bridging the gap between the whites and blacks; but instead this seems to have widened the gap. Since his election, groups such as ACORN, ACLU, and other 'minority groups' have come out in an almost vendetta style of 'righting all perceived wrongs.' I am afraid that PBHO has not brought healing to the racial tensions, but, rather, has only increased the tensions and divisions."

"Oh," she prayed more than stated, "that Americans would fall to their knees and humble themselves; turn from our wicked ways, and see God's face and His help; then, and only then, will we see the healing so desperately needed in our land."



A liberal without both feet planted firmly in the air from Maryland: "PBHO is not driving us apart. His election and liberal policies have simply poured more fuel on the already burning right wing attack machine...The issue at heart though is a spirit of incivility that has been growing for years. It shows up in our politics. It shows up in our church debates. It shows up in aggressive driving and generalized social rudeness."

Go on!

He does: "PBHO is not a communist/socialist; just a good old-fashioned upfront liberal who's probably naive."

Back to the confessional: "I voted for PBHO. I'll vote for him again. And if the GOP doesn't get its collective head out of its collective ___, they're going to devolve further and further into being nothing but a lunatic fringe."

Get this: "That's sad. I grew up in Virginia when the GOP was the only opposition to the old racist, segregationalist Byrd machine. It was moderate. It had not yet crawled in bed with Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson or totally sold its soul to the NRA. This was the party of Ike and even Nixon - a wonderfully pragmatic politician who'd have been one of our greatest Presidents if he hadn't been so dang paranoid."

Ergo, "PBHO may not be that great; but name one electable Republican who could do it better...Sigh..."

I envision the heads of Republican jingoists spinning faster than that Regan chick in The Exorcist.


From someone who actually gives $ to keep us in cyberspace (Hey! When you forkin' over?): "I think PBHO is dividing the country and not bringing us together. His past comments have always been punctuated as a partisan: 'We won! Get over it!' He made fun of the tea party people. He is always campaigning. He is supposed to be President of all the people; not just those who agree with him. He makes fun of people who disagree with him. He is condescending. His attitude of entitlement causes friction. How can anyone in his right mind think he's a uniter?"

"Personally," as we head back to the confessional, "I can't even stomach to listen to him any longer. He comes on TV or the radio and I shut it off. His lies and elitist attitude don't sit well with me and, quite frankly, I feel as if I don't have a President right now. I don't feel supported in my right to disagree with him. I don't feel safe from terrorist attacks. I don't feel secure about America's financial future."

"All of this," still in the confessional, "makes me cranky. So I just pray and hope we live through the next 3+ years and can move on from here without America being destroyed in the process."


A pastor from New Jersey who proves liberals have brains: "Our hegemony is fading, helped along by the Bush policy ignoring Colin Powell's sound military advice as well as the wisdom of Tony Blair and others...PBHO is stuck cleaning up the messes of incredible incompetence of the last two Presidents and their Congresses - and I'll toss Reagan in there too - though GWB, Sr. was a man on honor...It is a painful experience for modern reality to catch up to us and we have to realize we cannot behave anymore like drunken Red Sox fans thinking they're number one."

O.K., he got in because of that cheap shot at Red Sox fans.

He adds, "We are losing touch with the ethos of constitutional republicanism that undergirds our democracy and guides we need that Scotch-Irish sense of historical progress driven by individual the lack of Cronkite journalism: just the facts. We are overpopulated with our lack of history...Basically, we are a dumbed-down America!"

Speaking of dumbing down America, you've gotta read one of the forewords to my biker book.

Yeah, that's right!

Help me hawk it and you'll get to read it!


One of Pennsylvania's finest photo-journalists pulled no punches: "PBHO is spending $ we don't have. He is the Wizard of Oz! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain! A chicken in every pot! Health care for everybody! Charge it now! Pay later!"

Seriously, as if those declaratives weren't, "He's saddling the next generation with debt that they'll never be able to pay. The government did not bail out the banks. You and I did! The government didn't help pay for new cars. You and I did!"

He asks, "When will it end? When will we learn to live within our means?"

He is not optimistic: "The worst thing that happened was both houses being won by the Democrats. Hell, they can ram through anything they want. No checks. No balances. If the Blue Dog Democrats cave in, the country will go to hell for sure! Come to think of it, we might already be there."


From somewhere near the Hall of Fame in Ohio: "What was unprecedented was that someone told the truth for a change. PBHO is a liar! There is no provision in any of his bills to exempt illegal aliens."

As far as bridge-building goes, "The wedges are going deeper and deeper...This will result in a new civil war - not like the one of 145 years ago with two governments fielding vast and organized armies. It will be a war of assassinations, terrorist acts, a second American holocaust (the first has been going on since Roe v Wade) with disappearances and extermination camps (Don't forget PBHO's buddy Bill Ayers admitted he led the Weathermen to contemplate liquidating 25 million Americans in death camps!), neighbor against neighbor, and families divided."

Holy cow!

He reasons, "People are getting sick and tired of being sick and tired of the corruption in our government, of losing more and more of their rights and being told how good it is for them, and having their wealth confiscated for the sake of taking care of the non-productive leeches who keep the gangsters in office, and being lied to by the state-controlled media that no longer reports but propagandizes. People are tired of the lunatics running the asylum in the name of a tolerance and diversity that does not tolerate anyone who does not toe the party line..."

Car 54, where are you?

He warns, "PBHO doesn't care if he gets only one term to inflict this garbage on America; because as a Marxist, he sees himself as part of a great dialectic that should result in a workers' paradise where wealth will be distributed according to need rather than accomplishment...All this despite the fact that this system has never worked..."

Ending, "I discovered a long time ago that the difference between a socialist and a communist is that the communist is a socialist who has finally obtained the power of the state's guns...And, suddenly, all the voices that once were schmoozed and cajoled into making a place for the socialists at the table...disappear...and there is only one voice left...and no more table..."

I gave up weed too soon.


An apostle in the Midwest wrote, "At every intersection of decision in PBHO's administration, it is clearly socialism."

Expressing hope, "I don't think racism is the issue of most importance to him, but it has it's part to play. He is as white as he is black."

Expressing doom, "He is clearly driving more wedges between different elements of our nation. Every thing he stands for is on the anti-Christ side of the issue."

Getting back to hope, "We can still save America."


A local guy whined while winning, "PBHO challenged Congress to 'meet history's test' and finally fix our broken health care system. He pledged to seek common ground...and assured them all: 'My door is always open.'"

PBHO listens well; remembering, listening and agreeing don't always coincide.

"Republicans," those bastards, "responded by heckling, booing, and hissing. Rep. Joe Wilson screamed out, 'You lie!' as the President defended his health care plan against false right-wing attacks."

Moving out, "We can't afford to let right-wing extremists like Joe Wilson hold health care reform hostage. As PBHO put it, 'The time for games has passed. Now is the season for action.'"

Or, uh, maybe, a time out.

Whatever, as PGA touring pros would say, it's moving day: "Thanks to PBHO's leadership, the path is now clear."




Ya'll remember the pastor who wanted a convertible but wouldn't buy one because some church ladies and PC elders told him that it wasn't the right image for...?

He bought one!

He's learning to be free for Jesus!

A son asked, "Dad, are you going through a mid-life crisis?"

He answered, "I'm too old to be having a mid-life crisis."

I would have said, "Son, you need to change your nightly prayers: '...and if I should wake before I die...'"

Anyway, he had a few comments on, uh, lots of stuff: "Phil Mickelson prides himself on carrying so many wedges in his bag. They have not brought him many major victories. Same for PBHO!"

Then this pastor from Rhode Island really gets into it/him: "PBHO never planned to move to the middle in order to bring people together. He expects everyone to flock to his spot and extol him. While PBHO hides the chip on his shoulder better than W, he's no less pissy when he doesn't get his way. They are both cut from the same cloth."

Are you sure you're talking about PBHO or some churchgoers?

Getting back to that drift, "It has nothing to do with racism. He thinks he is entitled. So did W."

And for folks who've already stereotyped my rag top man, getta load of this: "HRC would have done a better job pulling America together. If necessary, she would have sent WJC to gather the votes...Sexism, not racism, will cost us a healthy overhaul of our health care system."


"In case anyone is wondering," he signs off, "I am a disillusioned life-long Democrat who is equally disillusioned with the GOP."

I'm gonna call this guy and meet him for coffee in January.



Blessings and Love!

Hey! How about that 50 buck comment? We could use some! Contact Kathie today

Thursday, September 10, 2009

September 10, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



I just buried a man's man, elder's elder, patriot, and friend.

There are pastorally presiding times tempting me to sing, "Ding! Dong! The witch is dead..."

Yesterday's memorial service wasn't one of 'em.

Bill was a family patriarch and proverbial pillar of our church.


He was a man's man.

He didn't pull punches or suffer fools gladly.

His yes was yes and no was no (sounds familiar).

He asked one day, "Are you fed up with us yet?"

I answered, "Absolutely; but I'm called to stay."

He said, "Good."

Then we talked about the Cubs and America's slide to socialism.


He was an elder's elder.

Unlike too many church pastors/leaders/members today, Bill never confused his personal feelings/opinions with the will of God as revealed in Jesus and reported in Holy Scripture.

When we disagreed - occasionally but infrequently for we shared some spiritual/emotional/intellectual DNA - he would either correct me or I would correct him or we would disagree agreeably.

That's rare in today's church where people pick up their marbles and run off if they lose a vote, someone says something that offends 'em, something happens that offends 'em, they hear of a better show across town, drums make a guest appearance in the traditional service, a robed choir shows up for the contemporary one, or they decide someone on the church staff is responsible for their spiritual/emotional/intellectual/physical constipation.

Bill wasn't afraid to name the elephants in the room; and he didn't want/expect us to walk on eggshells around him because he sure as ___ wasn't gonna walk on eggshells around us.

He was real; and while the full definition of that word can be found in Margery Williams' The Velveteen Rabbit, here's an excerpt: people who are real don't "break easily, or have sharp edges, or have to be carefully kept."

In other words, an elder's elder doesn't require ecclesiastical babysitting or a pastoral crying towel when they're pouting about someone/something.

He understood Jesus' metaphorical meaning of salt; stinging on an open wound while saving from gangrene.

Not long before he went home to Jesus, I thanked him for not being one of those my-way-or-the-highway types who require us to hold our breath before, during, and after every vote.

I thanked him for helping me in the early years of my ministry in our family of faith to see through the historical/relational/demographic negatives of my inheritance to the possibilities.

He always told the truth as he saw it; even if we weren't ready for it.

When we first talked about expansion and renovations, he said, "Some folks are going to leave rather than admit they don't want to pay up. They'll come up with some excuses to defame others and you; but everyone will know the truth about 'em."

He wasn't one of those guys/gals who burn brightly and briefly in churches; which in church time is under 20 years of enthusiasm.

He could see through posers.


He was a patriot; risking his life in WWII to preserve a freedom in such peril as he graduated.

He did not understand why so many seem so determined to undermine the faith and free enterprise that built America.

Volunteering wasn't something somebody else did.

He liked that JFK quote, "Ask not what..."


He was a friend; especially of Jesus.

And on 9/1/09, we talked about the most important thing of all: his relationship with Jesus.

I asked, "Bill, are you confident of what happens the first second after the last breath?"

He said, "Yes, but I would have liked a little more time."

Then we talked about his shift of focus to football as the baseball season in Chicago ended, typically/annually, on 9/1.

He was my Skin Horse (You won't get that unless you've read the Williams book!).

Moretheless, I wrote on the message board of his hospital room, "It is well with Bill's soul. Confirmed 9/1/09."



Moving from the real, the previous two KDs sparked some comments worth thinking about.

Somebody who likes to think which is why I like her wrote about PBHO's classroom cameo, "I can't believe some of the comments. I thought we had passed a time when we see communists around every corner. Are there no optimists in the world who think perhaps it truly is an attempt to get kids to focus on making the most of their educational opportunities?"

I responded, "My guess, dear friend, is PBHO was only elected because JM was/is so awful. The credentials of this President may be the worst in history; however, he has two good folks in his administration...They are our hope; and maybe like Kennedy challenged Carter...As I have said repeatedly, PBHO is not a demon nor divine; though thoroughly unqualified for the post. I pray for his success every day according to the best American values. I pray for our country drifting so rapidly from what made it so great. Our predecessors, like Bill [yes, the one mentioned above], did not risk everything for what's happening now."

I closed, "I haven't seen as many folks duped by anyone since Brittany Spears became a celebrity."


Of course, KDers are diverse; as illustrated in these responses to my comment about PBHO being a decent guy and neither a demon nor divine (scroll down to the last KD).

From the South: "I'm not convinced decent guys vote to allow babies who have survived a botched abortion to just lie there and die without medical treatment."

From the North: "I think PBHO is a very real person with some very real ideas and I am not afraid of him. I am afraid of sensationalist fear mongers."

From a school superintendent in Illinois: "PBHO addressed students across the country to let them know that they're the ones who are ultimately responsible for their own learning. He said, 'We can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities; unless you show up to those schools, pay attention to those teachers, listen to your parents, grandparents, and other adults, and put in the hard work it takes to succeed.'" He added/ended, "We should be grateful that our nation's leader is addressing our students about this issue. It's something that has been needed for years, and it seems to me that this is a message we'd want our students to hear...Amazing that some people get all worked up when PBHO wants to talk to our kids."

From the ozone layer of reality: "It sounded like he was reading from a script for Mr. Roger's Neighborhood."


A young Latino leader wrote about JJ's mission to Rockford (scroll down to the KD before the last KD or just go to JJ's website).

She started, "It is very important that people understand other cultures and view a person for who they are not the 'tribe' they come from. I have worked tirelessly to bring a better understanding of the often unheard of 'Professional Latin Person.' We work in the community with underprivileged children to try to light a spark of hope in them that they too may pull out of the stereotypical life that seems to be sucking them in."

Turning attention to the other guy in Chicago who's lusting for more face time now that the guy who left Chicago for D.C. is hoggin' most of it which is why he came to Rockford in the first place, "With that being said, I can now tell you that it scared the heck out of me to hear that famed Jesse Jackson was coming to Rockford. I am not sure I understand his motive. While I do my work quietly, he seems to not be able to do anything without calling a press conference."

She concluded, "I truly believe in lifting your people up and giving them hope. I also think that there is a fine line between doing this and instilling hatred and anger with wants of revenge. I am fearful of what will come of all JJ's movie star antics."


A final word after the final word: "I am not doubting that he feels he is a man of God and has good intentions. I am just nervous of his message being misinterpreted; resulting in an uprising rather than an uplifting."

My daddy always cautioned me after I said I had good intentions that resulted in something goin' down the crapper, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."


Speaking of my daddy, he wrote, "I was thinking about that old statement, 'Be careful what you wish for.' I wonder if the voters in the last Presidential election are getting what they wished for? Just a thought."

I like people who think; including my daddy.

I responded, "Absolutely! It's the false hope of having the nanny state take care of you. We are declaring our dependence upon the state. Independence is fading in America. Cries for freedom will sound from those who surrendered it for the sake of being cradled by the latest messianic hope. Certainly, JM was/is a loser - evidenced by recent behaviors exposing him as the court jester at best. But, unfortunately, dad, you were/are right. We are a celebrity culture and we elect on orgasmic moments of ignorant adoration. PBHO comes from the most corrupt political culture in America and never held any job of any substance for very long. Geez. Didn't see this disaster coming! Now that the Republican Party is dead - weenies with about as much ___ as Notre Dame fans who think they have a schedule worth a BCS game - our only hope is Democrats who see the socialistic horrors being enabled by this administration and revert back to something more, uh, American."

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.



And, finally, from a guy near Ohio's Football Hall of Fame who is much smarter/effective/faithful than yours truly: "I never get mad at you from the right or the left...I enjoy reading your stuff and I am not threatened in my convictions by the expression of yours."

Taking issue with my feelings about PBHO being a "decent" guy who's not a demon nor divine, he challenged, "PBHO is a Marxist revolutionary who is using democracy to destroy America. I learned long ago that you can always trust a communist to be a communist."

He ended with a funny; or, at least, I think - that word again - it's funny: "A biker friend (member of my congregation) showed his favorite T-shirt to me. It says, 'If you can read this, the ___ fell off.' His wife has a T-shirt that announces, 'The ___ is back!'"


Bill, I miss you already.


Blessings and Love!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September 6, 2009

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)


Civility is dying in America.

It's dying as quickly as free enterprise.

I've learned that over the years; especially as a pastor, professor, president of a junior tackle football league, biker, police chaplain, parent, partner, and whenever I've been in the five-items only check-out line at Wal-Mart.

As the black judge said to me when I complained about the black woman in the church who didn't like me because I'm Euro-American, "She's just ignorant."

I think lots of people like being ignorant; especially Democrats, Republicans, and so many mainline churchgoers.

Here's what I mean.

People can't even discuss things, uh, civilly anymore.

All you have to do is ask an honest question about someone/something and people are ready to pick up their swords and start slicing.

Because it's my ghetto, I see it happening in the church with frightening regularity.

We can't even talk about changing worship times or music or, uh, almost anything without somebody dropping to the floor like a Pentecostal in heat.

For example, I just asked a friend what he thought about PBHO's planned address to American public school children on Tuesday (9/8) and you would have thought I'd asked if he was wearing briefs or boxers.




Speaking of PBHO's next/daily/24/7/365 "live from everywhere" mugging on the media which kinda reminds me of a figure in the Left Behind series, I think that's why Jesse Jackson had to come to Rockford to idolize a guy or use a guy as an excuse to demand some attention who had a list of priors longer than Pacman Jones.

Anyway, it's been a long time since any President decided to address our children in the classroom to tell 'em that it's important to get an education; and I think that's a really good idea now because they're gonna need to know how to use a calculator to figure out how little of their incomes they'll get to keep after this administration never stops spending everybody else's money for stuff that hasn't helped anybody yet.

While WJC and GWB never took time from the classroom to further whatever they were furthering - I think the last guy to do that was GWB's daddy nearly two decades ago - I guess it's O.K. for PBHO to get some face time before we add him to Mt. Rushmore or name him as our first President-for-Life.

But I have one question.


Considering that he's already on television even more than that Shamwow dude, why does he need more attention?

So I asked some folks what they thought; and already knowing that just asking why gets ya into trouble...



An old friend in New Jersey got ticked at me for asking why.

She started, "Whether you like PBHO or not, he is the elected leader of our country. I think most of the world has gone crazy. I'm not too sure about you lately?"

Well, she'd be sure if she'd just listened to that CSN&Y tune in the 8/30/09 edition of KD that's just been repeated above.

She asked rhetorically, "Do we really want to say to our kids that they shouldn't give the elected leader of our country the time of day? Is there no longer any respect for the men we ask to lead our country?"

Uh, I don't know the answer to the first question; but the second...

She stated emphatically, "I will defend your right forever to disagree with them but you can't disagree very well until you listen to the other side."


Then she said to others because it couldn't be to me because I've said the same thing over and over and over in KDs as well as Fifteen Secrets that nobody read: "If you have come to the point in life where you think you are always right, you better talk to Christ about that."

As my hero Benjamin Button would say, "Absolutely!"

Where's that black judge when I need him?


A really smart guy in Virginia wrote, "It would seem to me that the problem PBHO is having with this is that many people don't trust him! Other Presidents have done this and students received encouragement; which is good."

"If my premise is correct," he continued, "the difficulty PBHO is having goes back to people not trusting him to stick to encouragement. Somewhere along the way, I read that he will tell the students what they can do to help him. If that is true, it is a very big red flag."

I dunno.

But I do know his staff is releasing the text ahead of time to make changes before he goes on the air.

What's up with that?

The last pastor I know who had his sermons previewed before preaching was fired near Pittsburgh.


The leading Pentecostal preacher in Rockford - Go back to the Simon song! - declared, "The communists came up with the idea that if they started brain-washing the children, they would soon be the adults and would be easy to control. We are following the same path. I do not favor this and I am angered by this brazen attack on our children."

I will not ask him and my old friend from New Jersey to join me for coffee on Tuesday morning.


A pastor's wife from Tennessee got the scoop from sources in the know: "Originally, PBHO wanted 30 minutes to tell American children how they could help him. But now that people are catching on to his political motives, he is backpedaling hourly...Several states have followed Texas in threatening a boycott by keeping their children home on Tuesday. This thinly veiled bit of propaganda was meant to use our children to spread the news that any opposition to PBHO's plans are treasonous."


First goes free enterprise, then goes free speech, then goes...


A pastor near Chicago who has just learned that asking questions of his hierarchy put him on a jingoist's do-do list was kinda cynical/sarcastic; which is why he made this edition's cut: "It's no more appropriate to let the President indoctrinate our kids than it is to let our teachers do it."

He added, "He needs to be working on more important things. He only has three years and few months left to his abomination."

And then getting as personal with PBHO as my friend in the Garden State got with me, "Why the hell aren't his own kids who are in private not public school forced to do this?"



My dad, who had coffee with my New Jersey friend so long ago, deadpanned, "This is the start of PBHO Youth. Sounds familiar. The problem today is that there aren't many of us who remember what started in the beer halls of Munich. Besides, the media have found their new MJ."


I was thinking JC?


A very, very, very smart entrepreneur who happens to be a friend in our family of faith read the original outline and agenda for Tuesday and then asked these questions: "Why are the students so young? Who decided to choose these particular student groups and why? Why are parents not being provided with a preview or synopsis of the speech? What made PBHO think up such a clever idea while there really is no precedent for what he originally intended before we caught on? Why is the handout addressing what the President wants the students to do for him and not what the country wishes and needs for them to do?"


How dare anyone question...?

I hear footsteps...


This is from a West Pointer who moved to the business world: "It's the purple shirts in this era, not the brown shirts. But, yes, they are coming...He is addressing the school children and there are a lot of folks down here [South Carolina] who intend to keep their kids at home on Tuesday."

"1984," he reflects, "did not anticipate the Reagan interlude."

He concludes, "My hope, however, is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. We live in a fallen world filled with false messiahs and shysters; beginning with our politicians and working all the way down. I can't even trust my own heart."

Confession is good for the...


An elder in our family of faith who recognizes the need for the church to provide more and more and more opportunities to learn about Jesus: "Talk about the dictator coming to speak to his kingdom! Get 'em young!"

Truth is what's happening to America are the unpaid bills of the church.

Because we have failed to look up, stand up, speak up, and act up for Jesus as reported in Holy Scripture...


From a left-leaning friend in Minnesota (Duh!): "I remember sitting in my home in Canada when some President started his speech, 'My fellow Americans...' I thought to myself, 'Does he think I'm an American? Does he think Canada is part of America?'"

I did; except for the French part.

"I think," he thought which is the goal of KD for better or worse and left or right, "my parents should have pulled me from the TV and written to him to tell him to never broadcast a speech outside the USA; as it was mixing his politics with my future politics."

And now for my next trick, I will take my tongue out of...


A former intelligence officer who became a pastor for God knows, uh, why, wrote from Florida, "PBHO is more present than Big Brother, more Marxist than Lenin, and more dangerous that Castro."

Tell us how you feel!


"My first thought," another old friend from New Jersey chimed in, "was my mother-in-law talking about growing up in Germany as part of the Hitler Youth."

She ended, "We'll see."

Yes, we will.


A professor and mainline judicial officer wrote from Florida, "1984 was written too soon; and it seems truer every day!"

Explaining himself maybe more than him, he observed, "What I find most troubling is some schools will not allow parents to get their children out of the indoctrination. I am very scared of the brown shirts. I am aware that the world learns its politics from the disgraceful actions of the church and the world is much sweeter than the church these days; which is why I pay all the protection money to our denomination!"

"Many years ago," and he's lived long enough to make such a claim, "I found out that the IRS is much more loving to most pastors than the church. They will negotiate with you! A church can take anything except a pastor with needs!"

That's the kinda salt that really stings to...


From a former military man who shifted to mainline ministry in Tennessee: "There is an old saying, 'If you tell a lie loud enough and long enough, people will accept it as the truth.' PBHO is recycling that approach to advance his socialist agenda."

"However," he theorizes, "any good lie has to have elements of truth sprinkled through it to break down the opposition's defenses. PBHO's speech in its current form appears to be O.K., but any plan, like his health reform disaster, that undermines liberty is a bad plan no matter how nice the guy is who is proposing it."

Getting really personal/prophetic, "If PBHO understood the ramifications of his current actions, he'd surely stop before he destroys the nation that gave him the opportunity to become who he is today."

HD Motor Company has a new slogan for 2010: "Screw It, Let's Ride!"

That just came to mind; and this seems like a good place to plug it in.


One of KD's best sources of information from California: "The U.S. Department of Education, with direct assistance from the White House, developed a curriculum which included students 'writing a letter to themselves on ways they could help the President.' This reeks of Soviet-style politicization of the classrooms."

"If his message is just a civics lesson and an encouragement to stay in school," he states, "it could be valuable. More than 1 million kids drop out of school annually...There is a sub-cultural excuse in the black community that 'books are for whitey' and academic achievement is pointless. PBHO could step into every such classroom and provide a different paradigm to failing kids everywhere."

Getting back to something more cynical, he suggests, "Let us not forget the bigger media cycle agenda...His school talk is one day before his address to Congress as they take up the health care take-over legislation. Making people talk about anything else - a speech to school kids - deflects attention at a critical moment."

Do you really think anyone would use kids to...?


"The youth are who got him elected," an Illinois high school government teacher says, "so he should speak to them. Why aren't our children able to hear all points of view and make their own decisions based on broad-based information? I don't want to raise my child where she only hears what I want her to hear."


Because that's why!


My favorite devotional writer in Oklahoma: "Our President should always be able to address our school children and can be a positive influence in the furtherance of their education if the motives are honorable and just."

"However," she cautions, "it would seem that the American people have little trust in this President's agenda...He has taken many avenues to promote a very personal agenda that many people believe promotes socialism. Can he be trusted to keep socialist propaganda out of his speech? Parents are asking that question. If he can, then he should be given the chance to be heard."



Another optimist from Maryland: "Presidents often visit classrooms. It's expected of them and good image-making to be seen paying attention to a roomful of little kids."

"But," leaving optimism, "PBHO's televised message and lesson plan differ significantly from the others. It comes with a recommended curriculum plan not so subtly designed to identify PBHO as 'The Great Leader' personality in young minds who've known no other supreme leader types. Compare this venture with the pudgy North Korean 'Beloved Leader's' regular messages..."

"When rightful patriotism becomes a guilt-driven moral imperative," he warns, "the glue that holds us together as a nation will dissolve."



My friends on the right get mad at me because I don't think PBHO is the false prophet to the Antichrist.

My friends on the left get mad at me because I don't think PBHO is God's other Son.

I think he's a decent guy who's just human.

I don't think he's a demon or divine.

I think he's somebody kinda like you or me; and because he likes Bud Light, golf, and Yo-Yo Ma, I'm rooting for him!

Besides, baseball season is over in Chicago.

That's bad for a Yankees fan in the Midwest.

It's almost as bad as asking why about anything anymore.


Blessings and Love!

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