Following up on last week’s kvetch regarding conservative new media talking a great game when it comes to impacting culture, yet near-unanimously failing to do so, an introduction to someone who walks the talk. And has been doing so for quite some time.

Ritchie Furay pastors a church in Broomfield, Colorado, some thirteen miles southeast of Boulder. He is an unassuming man who looks far younger than his seventy-two tours of duty on this planet might suggest. He and his wife have been together going on forty-eight years, with kids and grandkids a-plenty. And lest one wonder “gee, that’s nice and all, but what does this have to do with changing the culture …”

… he’s also a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Back in the 1960s, when popular music was beginning to rediscover its long neglected role as social commentary’s voice, there was for a brief time a band that proved seminal both in its impact on a generation of music, culminating with the Eagles, and on modern culture as a whole with its lyrical bent. Even as important as the band was, its members work after disbanding proved to be crucial in musical and societal change. The band was Buffalo Springfield. One of its three-headed monster leadership? Richie Furay.

Although as far as public recognition Furay remains well behind Buffalo Springfield’s other main members, namely Stephen Stills and Neil Young, Furay was a vital element of the band’s sound on all fronts: guitar, vocals, and songwriter. His “Kind Woman” became a staple of the band’s catalog, a track that perfectly captured what at the time was a revolutionary and hitherto unimaginable fusion of country and rock. Turn on any modern country radio station and you will hear the full impact of Furay’s work. He did not singlehandedly invent country rock, but Furay was one of the first artists, if not the very first artist, to make it work.

Following Buffalo Springfield’s demise, Furay rounded up a bunch of like-minded artists for a new band named Poco. Poco never made major headway commercially, but was revered by its fans and peers for refining the country-rock genre. Furay eventually left the band to get together with fellow veteran artists J.D. Souther and Chris Hillman; it was during this period in 1974 when Furay came to Christ. Over the subsequent years Furay has focused more on pastoral duties than music, although he still records and performs. And, as the following clip from his most recent album recorded a couple of years ago showcases, he still has his songwriting chops, presented via his clear with just a touch of twang tenor, hitting the high notes without breaking a sweat:

At this point, one might think “gee, that’s nice and all, but I’m still not getting what this has to do with changing the culture.” Bear with; we’re getting there.

Richie Furay breaks the mold of rock artists by being a full-bore unapologetic conservative. He routinely speaks up about political views on his Facebook page, where he equally routinely politely and directly engages with his fans. Which in and of itself breaks the mold of most rock stars and celebrities who prefer maintaining as much of a distance from their fans as possible.

Wait, you didn’t know that? Not surprising.

Here’s the deal. Want to read more about Furay; his music, faith, and political views? Hmm, let’s see. RedState? Nope. HotAir? Nada. Breitbart? Nyet. Not a word.

Try Rolling Stone.

It unfailingly amuses and saddens how conservative blogs and the people who write them can endlessly tonguebathe themselves about the great and mighty service they are providing in molding and shaping public opinion. Problem is, they’re not. Outside the echo chamber, no one knows they exist. Even within the echo chamber they change nothing. Remember the #NeverTrump torrent that poured forth daily from the high rollers? Boy, that sure changed things in favor of President-elect Rubio and … oh, wait …

Maybe it’s time to change course. These folk know the definition of insanity, correct? Then why continue to do the same thing that has repeatedly proven to not be worth, and not work, a lick?

Try talking about someone with a good guitar lick. Try something other than another rewrite rehash of today’s talking points and MSM regurgitation. Instead of blabbing all politics, all the time, all the same, write something people actually want to read. Talk about a musician. Discuss an author. Review a movie. Tell a story about what is happening, or has happened, in your or a friend’s life. In short, give someone other than hardcore political junkies a reason to read anything you write.

No one is asking anyone to disavow their political beliefs. What is being suggested is political bloggers embracing reality. You are not changing anyone. No one knows you exist. You are a one note, one trick pony in a dog and pony show playing to an empty circus tent. Stop.

Reach out. Branch out. Write like a human being for human beings. You engage culture when you engage people. Start.

And along the way, talk up great music by a good man.

Given the present kerfuffle over Meryl Streep’s Golden Globes anti-Trump philippic, this seems like the perfect time to … discuss an upcoming awards show. Namely, the Grammys. Specifically, a band receiving its first-ever Grammy nomination. Category? Best Rock Album. Band? Weezer.

Given conservatism’s pride taken in ignoring, save for mocking, most all things pop culture, many might be surprised Weezer is nominated for a Grammy. Or that it released an album last year eligible for a Grammy. Or that it still exists, given how it has been a while since anything by the band tore up the charts. It would benefit conservatism greatly if it would be more aware of such things so that it can intelligently engage the disaffected masses who do listen to new music. But that is a topic for another time; back to Weezer.

Weezer’s sophomore album Pinkerton, released in 1996, suffered the dreaded fate of being a critical modest success and commercial pretty much complete flop. Its opening track was doubtless jarring to listeners expecting more of the band’s debut album’s nerdy lyrical bent. Instead, it was a sardonic tongue in cheek humblebrag entitled “Tired of Sex” in which band leader and songwriter Rivers Cuomo lamented regularly – as in nightly – getting laid by different women when all he genuinely wanted was a real relationship. Given how Weezer had introduced itself as the house band for geeky guys who couldn’t score at Mustang Ranch with a wallet stuffed with hundreds, little wonder its fan base had a tough time relating to the tune no matter how unliterally it was presented.

The protagonist in Cuomo’s song is utterly tone deaf to his own farcical whining about how he wants something real while living the dream (that is actually a nightmare) of which so many others desperately dream. Regrettably, we see this same phenomena playing out in real life day after day. Where? Conservative new media.

Conservative new media (CNM for short) should be flying high and feeling really good about itself right now, what with ownership of the White House and both houses of Congress. The NeverTrumpets, their impotent rage over Ivanka’s dad presently filling out change of address forms redirecting all mail from Trump Tower to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue slowly morphing into smoldering butthurt, might disagree on the former. But social media noisemakers have no impact.

Which, actually, is the problem.

CNM talks a great game about being the antidote to CNN even as many of its individual members would cheerfully sacrifice body parts in order to appear on the network. The battle cries of “big tent,” “no litmus tests,” and “engage the culture” still occasionally reverberate through CNM’s echo chamber. But it rings hollow.

Look at the high flyers, the big names, the megatraffic sites. URLs change, but the song remains the same. The same tired faces, the same tired voices offering vapid expository masquerading as analysis, all aimed at keeping the faithful’s ears well tickled. There is no effort for outreach, no genuine attempt at promoting anyone or anything that would bring authentic culture change. Occasionally people bleat that they are trying to do so, yet they immediately wrap themselves inside the same cocoon. CNM has turned itself into Oakland minus the occasional downtown riot. There’s no there there.

Online political discussion can be edifying. It can also be used as an dopamine-drenched reality escape hatch. Who cares about the dishes piling up and the bills doing the same – I’m schooling some fool tool about the latest Supreme Court pick! Because, you know, doing so has so much influence on what’s going on in Washington. Oh, wait …

What is needed is messaging from the heart for the heart, mind, and soul. What is needed is promotion of genuine culture changers such as quality Christian rock artists addressing the world in the light of Christ’s love for all. What is needed is writers who embody the Scriptural admonishment to be in the world but not of it, being all things to all people so that some might be won to Christ. If this involves political discussion, so be it. But do not prohibit culture and Spirit. Christ, soul, rock and roll.

Rivers Cuomo was far more accurate then he likely envisioned when he sang “oh why can’t I be making love come true.” The world has enough politics. The world needs more Jesus. Let’s start talking Him up.

 

While it may be true that when God closes one door He opens another, it doesn’t make it hurt any less when the first one smacks you full in the face. And as a cherished friend noted, afterwards sometimes you have to wait in the hallway for quite a spell.

I’ve been spending some time the past few days dusting off my blog, ruffling through various archive sites and text files, reposting one item at a time from its beginning a decade ago. It has always been a site done in fits and spurts, topics varying from politics to faith to music to sports to a talking polar bear. I rather prefer the latter.

Not entirely unintentionally, I’ve never fit in much blogging-wise. Too varied in topic and non-deferential to Kool Kidz Konservative Klub™ members in favored standing for the political world; the upcoming reposts of assorted swipes back and forth with Mary Katharine Ham should go over about as well as a Trump for President t-shirt at a GOP consultants convention. Well, if anyone actually reads them. Which I seriously doubt.

I’m at my best when I’m at my least political. To wit:

There are certain things we learn, or at least hopefully learn, as we pass through the years. A prime example of this is coming to grips with how we are best advised accepting the fact that we should not expect respect for our anger, this coming into play the first time during our tender years any of us throw a temper tantrum without reaping the hoped for reward. Unless a spanking was that for which we had a honkering.

We also learn, or should learn, to not expect respect for our tears, or reciprocation for our love. These are far more difficult to swallow. We are taught from the beginning to respect others, to honor the heralded awesome power of love, and that true love always triumphs while conquering all and overcoming all obstacles. Yet through bitter and often embittering experience we learn how love is often impotent, incapable of swaying others in any direction let alone one which we desire. Those who do not learn this, such as starry-eyed women unshakable in their pursuit of utterly undesirable men believing they can transform jerks into jewels, invariably have their ship of hopes dashed against reality’s rocks. You’d think this would be sufficient to teach us, but far too often we embody insanity by attempting the exact same thing while anticipating different results. The Biblical truism that pride goes before a fall is not exclusively reserved for the outwardly arrogant. It also applies to those of us who, while outwardly modest and/or well-intentioned, sadly overestimate our own ability.

It hurts when love isn’t returned. The illustration of a rejected Savior is hard to understand until we encounter a one-sided love of our own. The other person doesn’t look at you in a special way. He or she doesn’t soften when you’re around. He or she isn’t interested in a relationship on any level save perhaps that of casual acquaintance, one quickly forgotten the moment close proximity is no longer in effect. Perhaps the person does allow you to approach them, but even then only within his or her strictly defined and absolute, non-negotiable parameters. Held at arm’s length? Most definitely. Held in each other’s arms? Never. And yes, it makes life a living hell. An accurate description, for hell’s torment is not fire and brimstone, but rather separation from love.

The illustration in Scripture’s most misunderstood and misapplied chapter states that when I was a child, I spoke, thought, and acted like a child; in adulthood laying these childish things aside. It seems strange to think, believe, and act on the notion that there are times when laying love aside is an act of maturity. More accurately, not so much setting love itself on the shelf but learning how to be at peace with the fact others can and will disregard your love for them.

It hurts when love isn’t returned. There is no escaping, no denying the pain. If there is anything good to be drawn from these times, it is from the empathy gained for those also suffering; and how it makes more real our need to embrace — more accurately, allow ourselves to be embraced by — the nail-scarred hands belonging to the Man of Sorrows well aquainted with grief. He knows. He understands. He comforts. And He never rejects our love.

Never.

Sometimes being the misfit hurts. A lot.

youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=niiLztHNeUU?rel=0&w=450&h=253
The taste of your sweet breath
The salt of morning tears
Again I say good-bye to you
Hold on tight
So good to hurt so bad
So sad to ride away renewed
Go on laugh
Go on cry
It’s alright

There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something lost about me with you
There’s something blind about the chosen few
There’s something wonderful about love

It’s been an odd week in social media, one in which the conservative side of the aisle poured out its love and money to The Popular Girl™ as compensation for the horror of being widowed at a young age. Next to losing a child, as brutal as it gets. This duly noted, giving a very well-paid political talking head over $400,000 for the college education of a two year old and child not due to be born for another two months gives pause for thought as to whether people engage their brain before thinking with their wallet.

Was I meant to be yours
The will of Christ above
Do you believe true love is blind
‘Cause I don’t know
When I get home come spring
Won’t you be glad to be mine
Just don’t laugh
Please don’t cry
Just say so

There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something dark about destiny
There’s something blue about you with me
There’s something wonderful about love

Strange sights abounded this past week. A full-blown liberal in every sense of the world, a staff member of the despised on all fronts both collectively and individually Obama administration, was hailed as walking atop the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool each day on his way to work. Said individual, regardless of his personal strengths, would have at best received an “unfortunate” cluck over upon his death were he not married to the aforementioned Popular Girl™. No GoFundMe page, no tribute torrent, no maudlin memorials. None. Meanwhile, conservatives continue to tear each other to shreds over Donald Trump and Pope Francis, who according to some will shortly have an armwrestling contest to see which is indeed the Antichrist.

Sorry to call so late
The planet turned four times
You’re on my mind but you’re nowhere
In my world
Please kiss the little bird
God bless the cozy cage we share
You kill me
You thrill me
You threaten my dreams, girl

Life is unpredictable, simultaneously cool and cruel. Paraphrasing Shakespeare, the quality of sympathy is not strained when it comes to Mary Katharine Ham. But neither should it be misplaced, defined as cash donations for one who like so many in conservative new media has become what they profess to oppose, namely a cyberspace recluse living behind corporate media’s castle walls albeit ones with conservative runes carved above the impenetrable self-satiated door.

Do not let the present sorrow obscure reality. The conservative blogosphere was founded on the principal of citizen journalists directly addressing not only fellow citizens with the truth, but also a corrupt mainstream media ensconced in its ivory tower, never so much as acknowledging let alone addressing the public.

That changed when the first third-party paycheck arrived.

It used to be that monetizing blogging consisted of placing a Google Ads link on your site. Now, we have Salem Media owning HotAir and RedState and Townhall and Twitchy, the leading example of a third-party entity taking over what once were blogs and transforming them into corporate media mouthpieces albeit ones with a usually conservative bent.

There are very, very few blogs and bloggers left; genuinely independent voices offering news and analysis. (As a side note, I am honored to write for one on this site.) Instead, we have countless casual format columnists drawing their material from the same mainstream media sources they insist are cesspools of liberal bias, adding nothing except “me too” or “f u.” They excel at making themselves the focus of attention, especially when some real or imaginary slight comes their way. Their call to battle is cry outrage! and let slip the tweets of butthurt. Promoting the conservative agenda is a side issue. The primary focus is self-promotion, moving ever further up the ladder in pursuit of exposure on the selfsame mainstream media they insist they exist as its opposition.

Everyone enjoys an attaboy from others; a retweet or a blog post link. But how many conservative new media high rollers return the favor save for other at or above their exposure level? They excel at asking us to laugh when they laugh and cry when they cry. But return the favor? Not so much. Say something about this, and you are immediately set upon by a wolfpack of sycophants and wannabes hoping that by doing so they will curry favor with the elite. Excuses made for the select abound: they’re too busy, blah blah blah, how dare you speak to them in that manner. Let them be and quit making a fuss knocking on their ivory tower’s door!

Again, conservative new media has become what it once professed to oppose.

There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something wonderful about love
There’s something liberating death alone brings
There’s something funny about a lot of sad things
There’s something wonderful about love

Love remains; mercy triumphs in the seeming failure of the cross. The bloodstained wood is followed by the empty tomb. Throughout our temporal sorrows and joys, forgiveness and understanding through our shared humanity, led by the Man of Sorrows, should guide our way. But do not be fooled; do not substitute a pity party for sympathy. The poor and the orphan need our help. Others need love, not fulfillment for love of money.

youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=6aJqf1_kAa4?rel=0&w=450&h=253

What a mess this world is in
I wonder who began it
Don’t ask me
I’m only visiting this planet

— Larry Norman

youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=o0MIFHLIzZY?rel=0&w=450&h=253

The news cut through social media yesterday and today, the liberal Obama staffer husband of conservative new media darling Mary Katherine Ham killed while riding his bicycle. Sympathies to Ms. Ham, and to the couple’s young daughter, now left fatherless, plus the couple’s unborn child who will never know his or her father.

Life on Earth is an endless parade of magic and loss, the joys of life and love running parallel with the sorrow of goodbyes. It focuses, or at least ought to focus, our attention on what matters: faith, family, friends. Far too often, priorities are skewed in favor of the temporary and temporal. We rant about that which, or who, offends us; we rave on behalf of that which, or who, floats our boat. We argue the meaningless, then are immersed in utter astonishment when the unfortunate fellowship pays a visit.

A side note. I am mindful of Ms. Ham’s lengthy and deep connection with Salem Media; she is a former writer for Townhall and current writer for HotAir along with being a frequent guest on Hugh Hewitt’s show. I am equally mindful that Salem practices complete separation between its political and religious divisions. Here’s the deal.

Salem has a bunch of Christian-only websites and radio stations/programs. Okay, fine.

Salem has a bunch of politics-only websites and radio stations/programs. Um, okay.

Now, the assorted political pundits who talk and/or write for Salem will claim the mantle of Christian at the drop of a hat. Well, except for Allahpundit at HotAir with his whiny-ass atheism and Dennis Prager & Michael Medved’s Judaism. But they’re conservatives, so nothing else matters. Right, Salem?

Now, ask any of the Salem politicos to so much as breathe a word about Christ, or especially to support those serving Christ, on their show and/or website. “What? WHAT?!! We can’t do that. It might turn people off who follow us for our politics! We’ll talk about Jesus over here … maybe. Now go sit in your corner and quit bothering us.” I have personal experience with this, having received nothing but silence or cheap shot insults back when I tried to reach Hugh Hewitt and his radio show producer Duane Patterson about perhaps coming on the show to discuss my book. Of course Hewitt can promote his religious tomes all he wishes. Also worth noting is the time a couple of years back when Daniel Amos leader and Christian music giant Terry Scott Taylor was in a very bad place financially. Patterson was informed of this. He was begged to have Hewitt say something about it on air on behalf of the fundraising campaign mounted by Taylor’s friends and fans. Did he? No. Hypocritical? You betcha.

But don’t say so out loud. At least not on social media. Point this out and you’re a malcontent. A troublemaker. You don’t understand. You can’t mix religion and politics! Well, we can … but we don’t.

Of course not.

Well, how important are your politics now, Hugh Hewitt and Duane Patterson? How much comfort will Donald Trump not knowing the names of Islamic terror groups leaders bring to a young widow? What assurance of faith and life eternal will come from hosting a Presidential debate, Salem Media? To the point, how do you justify building a platform, then failing to use same to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

You will see and hear much weeping on Salem websites and radio shows over Ms. Ham’s loss. Which is proper. But once the moment has passed, it will be business as usual.

Which is everyone’s loss.

youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=-MonUvXjDrY?rel=0&w=450&h=253

Life has a peculiar way of focusing priorities; the one and done playoff loss (again) half a world away of one of your two favorite football teams and your other favorite football team sucking rotten ostrich eggs in the season opener sitting next to the pile of work laundry demanding attention and the text message from a coworker hunkered down in an emergency shelter, waiting to see if a vicious wildfire has spared her losing her home. It is not looking good in that regard. Meanwhile, another coworker and her family are celebrating the daughter’s third birthday at Disneyland.

It is in moments such as these that music, God’s language, becomes ever more vital. We need the release, the reminder of the divine, the voice that celebrates and diverts attention and comforts and whispers it will be all right. We need the words of that song to provide focus and healing, saying what needs to be said yet we can never say. Be it sacred or secular, the divine voice speaks to all with ears to hear, reminding us that there will be a tomorrow and we should never fail to love today. Music is not an escape from reality. It is a portal to what is real.

Some days, you need to hear the wondrous stories.

youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=SPdONfPts-4?rel=0&w=450&h=253

I’m hopeless
Hopeless and tired
Will you give me the sign I’m looking for?
I am mired with the earnest and sight-inspired
Hopeless

Kickstarter campaign is currently underway;  successfully reaching its initial goal in a few days. Objective? Remaster, and for the first time release on vinyl as well as a remastered CD, the 1992 album Dig by Christian alternative rock band Adam Again.

Adam Again was Gene Andrusco’s brainchild. In the days of his youth, Andrusco was an actor, playing Darrin Stephens on Bewitched among other roles. As an adult, Andrusco chose to go by the name Gene Eugene and focused his artistic side on music, be it as an artist (in addition to Adam Again he was also a founding member of The Lost Dogs), producer, or for a time record label owner. He died in 2000 at age 38 from a brain aneurysm.

One of Andrusco’s brothers in musical arms described him as a genius artist and amateur human being. Take from that what you will. Despite his stubborn addiction to being the aforementioned human, Andrusco was universally loved by those he worked alongside no matter how exasperating he could be, which from all reports was substantial. He was far more adept at musical and lyrical expression than personal, hardly a unique trait among artists throughout the centuries.

I’m helpless
Helpless and silent
Can you return my voice?
You left me mute and defiant
But I can’t get my hands untied
I’m helpless

It is well worth noting how uncomfortably parallel the world in which Dig was released, namely the contemporary Christian music world of the early 1990s, and today’s conservative new media world align. At the time Dig first saw the light of day, contemporary Christian music (CCM for short) was populated by a few heavy hitter record labels and artist managers who dictated which artists and musical genres would receive the lion’s share of promotion, with all others left to fend for themselves via word of mouth among a handful of rabid enthusiasts. This is why at a time when alternative rock and grunge ruled the mainstream music world both in attention drawn and records/concert tickets sold, the handful of Christian artists working in this field were privately praised but publicly ignored by CCM’s business side in favor of übersoft praise schmaltz or syrupy Top 40 pseudo dance pop. Adam Again, along with other bands and artists – Daniel Amos, The Choir, 77s, Undercover, Altar Boys, Steve Taylor, Veil of Ashes – who should have been heralded were instead literally and figuratively shoved to the back of the bus, left to fend for themselves. Substitute Salem Media and National Review for record labels and artist managers, and Trump Derangement Syndrome for the music promoted during that time … you get the picture.

I’m useless
Useless without you
It’s my fault
I am withered, I am weak
And about to find out why I’m so into
Being useless

Gene Eugene was a spiritual descendent of Solomon who wearily described all as vanity; of the Psalmists who cried out:

Why, my soul, are you downcast?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

His was a faith and life of reality, one in which you reached out to people where they were, not where you demanded they be. It is a lesson sadly lost on all fronts in today’s world, especially the one founded on citizen journalism but now choked with the very elitism it once set out to destroy.

youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=P5V8AWUyApU?rel=0&w=450&h=253

Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:

“‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not cry.’

Luke 7:31-32

Referring back to the last post, Trump Derangement Syndrome rampages on, barely checked by the presently rampaging horrors of newspeople murdered on live television, the ongoing massacres by ISIS, and the looming threat of the Iran nuclear surrender. It is one thing to state that Trump is not the answer; hurling incessant insults at those who support him and clogging social media’s arteries with three hundred and eighty-five variations a day of “TRUMP IS A POOPYHEAD AND SO ARE HIS MINIONS!” seemingly never gets old for those who choose blithe ignorance or endless excuses for Congress’ either caving or being inactive in regard to most every major issue conservatives hold dear – the economy, national debt, illegal immigration, governmental invasion of privacy and violation of rights motivated by political opposition, defunding Planned Parenthood, the aforementioned ISIS and Iran nuclear surrender, etc.

It would be productive if Trump bashers were one-tenth of one percent as proactive in detailing solutions to problems as they are, well, bashing. There is no problem with detailing why Trump is a less than ideal candidate, or should not hold the highest office in the land. Make your case; agree to disagree if need be. That said, at some point in the process it becomes necessary to state what, and who, you are for if your words are to carry any weight. Opposition alone is not a strategy any more than hope and change is a policy platform. What do you suggest in lieu of Trump? What do you propose to handle a Congress ostensibly in conservative hands yet routinely either giving in to Obama’s demands or proposing the exact opposite of what they promised in order to ensure conservative support? If we, the unwashed uneducated ill-informed banana slug brained masses own Trump, does the GOP Smart Set own Mitch McConnell and John Boehner?

Where is the shared humanity in the GOP’s desperate effort to purge itself of all things and people Tea Party? Where is the common bond, other than trampled underfoot, between those who wish to be conservative new media leaders and the people they openly deride and despise for having the temerity to support one not approved by the echo chamber’s high rollers? Instead, we see insults, cheap shots, and cries of “if you support Trump unfriend me right now!” Really now.

It is impossible to see the present kerfuffle without flashing back four years to when the conservative new media high rollers mercilessly derided and taunted Sarah Palin supporters when she decided against running. The opposition was pointed and personal against her and her posse. It was also utterly ineffective in accomplishing anything except revealing how many CNMers had zero problem showing their ass in public when it came time to throwing a poorly disguised temper tantrum over how Palin’s popularity revealed their complete impotence in moving public opinion. Now we are seeing the same phenomenon in Trump rolling from strength to strength even as the voices crying against him grow ever more shrill.

The time has come to give this a rest. Conservative new media is in great peril of becoming contemporary political Pharisees. No, I am not comparing Trump to Jesus. I am comparing the reaction to him with the Pharisees’ reaction to Christ when He called them out for demanding of others strict adherence to the letter of the law, namely Mosaic Law, while themselves lapping up adulation and praise for outwardly being living puritanical lights yet inwardly consumed with pride and greed. If there is no respect for others, no acknowledgment of that which binds us together, how can there be leadership when the ones who purport to lead openly despise those they wish to lead?

We have far too much in common to let our opinion of Trump irrevocably divide us. On this truth we must act.

youtube http://youtube.com/watch?v=5771ewy6O8c?rel=0&w=450&h=253

Well hello there, DaTechGuy devotees! I’m Jerry Wilson, sporadic blogger at Goldfish and Clowns, far more frequent host of Cephas Hour on BlackLight Radio, author of God’s Not Dead (And Neither Are We), and all-around nice guy. Or something like that.

First, my thanks to Peter for allowing me to start posting here on occasion. I promise I’ll pay for all legal fees incurred stemming from any of my assorted scribbles in case I stray into the realm of, oh, naming names and the like.

Second, what I’ll be writing about: sometimes politics, sometimes culture, sometimes faith based on my slightly oddball perspective of being a traditional Catholic/Jesus People-era evangelical hybrid, and sometimes Christian rock’n’roll (or rock’n’roll period, at least that portion now labeled classic rock) which is my bailiwick. Or all four at once. But enough preamble; on to the topic at hand.

In my introduction I neglected mentioning that with the exception of a brief stint in Indiana I’ve lived in the San Francisco Bay Area all my life. To be a conservative out here is a challenge, given how one faces a daily onslaught of propaganda masquerading as local news that would make MSNBC cry liberal bias. Nevertheless I persevere, fellowshipping with my fellow conservatives who are not unlike the seven thousand God revealed to Elijah He had reserved for Himself who had not bowed the knee to Baal. In a similar manner, at the present time out here there is a remnant chosen by grace that has a clue about how things actually operate, this as opposed to how they are evangelized by the worshipers of self and/or social engineers holding local political office, elected to same or no.

Given this perspective, and given how I’ve made more than a few laps around the sun aboard this dusty orb, I find the current Trump phenomenon far more amusing than alarming. I’m not referring to Trump himself; he is exactly what and who he is. Therefore, consider him as you will. Rather, it is the depth of Trump Derangement Syndrome permeating the conservative side of social media that has me chuckling, albeit with increasing grimness as the attacks on him and any who support him grown more personal and vicious with each passing day, if not hour.

According to the more vocal of his detractors, Trump is a charlatan; a political shape-shifter transforming himself with the changing winds. His followers are mindless simpleton drones, closet if not full-blown racists immediately assaulting any who raise the least question about him with aisles of vile bile. To be fair, there are more than a few Trump aficionados viewing anyone who so much as breathes a word not in his highest praise as a charging RINO masquerading as a lion, to whom they feel compelled to respond in the manner of a Minnesota dentist.

This level of hysteria when we are months away from the Iowa caucus does not bode well for the coming election. As we saw in 2008 and 2012, neither the “nominate a true conservative or I’m staying home until you do” or “go to the middle; it’s the only way to win” mindset wins elections. Neither does having a fine fabulous furry freakout this far out. Or at all.

We do not have to settle this right now. Times change; unforeseen events happen, people rise and fall. All remains as it always was: in God’s hands. This does not absolve us of working toward positive change and/or rebuking evil, but it does give cause to slow down and take the long view, rejecting the tyranny of the urgent and understanding we do indeed now see through a glass darkly. I have some hardcore progressive friends who in the early 2000s were convinced, absolutely convinced, that at any moment John Ashcroft would personally round them all up and march them to an interment camp under the guise of safeguarding America. I have some solid conservative friends who were convinced, absolutely convinced, that Obama would cancel the 2012 election via martial law brought on by the antics of Occupy Wall Street anarchists working on his behalf. As you doubtless noticed, neither of these events transpired.

Certainly these are troubled times: a miserable economy with the media daily lying through its teeth about same, unspeakable horrors being carried out by ISIS to which the present administration responds with a mixture of silence and victim-blaming, Iran going nuclear, Russia unfettered and effectively unopposed, China flexing its military muscle even as its economy stumbles toward a collapse that will bring down much of if not all of the world’s with it, massive corruption and lawlessness throughout all branches of the federal government. However, God remains in control. Therefore, be at peace.

In this world we will have troubles. As the poet says:

There’s not a holy man who doesn’t know grief well
Or thinks the road to heaven doesn’t pass through hell
They’ve cried “Let me out”
They’ve heard “No, not yet”
They know before He danced Jesus wept

Stay calm. Abandon the venom. What will happen will happen, and your eighty-fifth foaming at the mouth yea or nay Trump tweet of the day will not change this. Treat each other as you yourself with to be treated. Be the better. Always, be the better.

youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1wWoO_tV4A?rel=0&w=450&h=253