J Walking

J Walking


An apology

posted by David Kuo

Richard Land’s most important assertion in his post is correct. The language I used in my post on Mike Huckabee and evangelical leaders was, “unchristian, harsh and hostile.”
While I stand by the substance of what I wrote – that things are changing in the evangelical political world – the way I wrote it was personal and hurtful and there was no excuse for it.
To him, Tony Perkins, James Dobson, and Gary Bauer I apologize and ask for their forgiveness.
Unrelated to the apology, I want to add this – when I suggested some Christians fast from politics for a spell, I did so as one who had done exactly that.
In 2004 and for much of 2005 I didn’t even dabble in politics. It was that time away that allowed me to see just how much of an idol politics had become not only in my life but in the lives of so many evangelicals.
As I wrote, the idea for a fast wasn’t (and isn’t) a call for permanent withdrawal or retreat – merely a strategic one, a spiritual one… much as people fast from food. It isn’t that food is evil, it is just that there are times when food becomes an idol or one needs to put even the most basic things of life before God. So too with politics. My suggestion was for a temporary retreat and then for a return to the political arena – perhaps with a different perspective. That is what I have done.
Many may disagree with my perspective these days but it isn’t accurate to make me out to be a hypocrite by suggesting I have not followed my own advice to fast from politics.



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James

posted October 29, 2007 at 5:11 pm


David: You got it right the first time. James Dobson, Tony Perkens, Gary Bauer and Richard Land (not to mention Jerry Fallwell and Pat Robertson) are as unChristian as can be. Their relationship with the word of Jesus is a fraud.



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Shannon

posted October 29, 2007 at 5:29 pm


I don’t think all Christians should fast from politics because I lot are able to put it into perspective. But I have definitely seen Christians who have made it an idol and they should step back for awhile and see what they should really trust their whole life in. A relationship with God, who loves us more than it is imaginable, or people (from EITHER party) who mostly would ignore us if we didn’t pick them on one day out of a year.



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Anonymous

posted October 29, 2007 at 5:53 pm


David, I’m afraid I agree with James. To use Christianity as a means of drawing hysteria, fear, and ultimately violence out of otherwise good people – is not of Christ. You know these people and I don’t. You probably know a side of them that is about their goodness. I have no evidence of that. I find them dangerous, small minded and ultimately about controlling the masses. They want a theocratic world just as the Mullah’s do. Religion and faith are different things and when leaders become religious leaders instead of models of faith, well, you have to call it what it is.
Fred Phelps is sort of the official right wing hateful person and we can all say – well, I’m not as bad as that. Goodness, I hope his excesses teach all of us what hatred for Jesus can do to a person. James Dobson, Gary Bauer etc are about vengeance, control, and a sort of pseudo-Christianity that claims Christ, but refuses the cross. Like to put others up on that cross however.
Your tone was a bit snarky perhaps, but these people need to take a good look at themselves. We do too – all the time. It’s hard being a Christian – and creating new victims in the name of Jesus is simply immoral. That is what these fellows seem to do – over and over again.



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Larry Parker

posted October 29, 2007 at 5:55 pm


It takes a heckuva man to say he was wrong and ask forgiveness of someone who wrote such a virulently un-Christian (IMHO) letter back to you. You were tough in your original posts, definitely, but not with the harsh, slashing edge of Richard Land in reply.
As I’ve said, before I’ve gotten to know you, your background, and your thought processes, I thought terrible things of all of the Religious Right. I realize now that was wrong (to you personally and in general), but I’m going to be honest — like some of your other combox posters, I still agree 110% with your characterization of the “mullahs” …



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Marlene

posted October 29, 2007 at 6:01 pm


You were very gracious in your apology, David — I admire your contrition even though, (as is noted above, and to my way of thinking) it was not necessary.
If only the people you criticized were as humble and honest as you have been. I see no evidence of that in their conduct.



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Charity

posted October 29, 2007 at 6:04 pm


I agree with the above posters. I don’t think you were out of line at all. Calling a spade a spade is not a sin. I imagine these people would have given Jesus a tongue lashing for calling people like them whited sepculars [sp].



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Richard

posted October 29, 2007 at 8:48 pm


David,
Your post confirms why you’re one of my heros !



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Elvis Elvisberg

posted October 29, 2007 at 8:52 pm


I dunno, food can be kinda evil.
FWIW, I think your apology wasn’t unwarranted. The nameless poster above makes some good points, but there was some intemperate stuff in your original post. Land was the bigger jerk in your exchange, of course, but that doesn’t mean you’re forbidden to apologize.



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PatientWitness

posted October 29, 2007 at 9:04 pm


Did Jesus apologize when he spoke the truth about the Pharisees? NO! And neither should you apologize for what you wrote, David. Your tone was not hostile. But we see all too often those hypocrites being the first to cry out whenever something is said that they disagree with….



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James

posted October 29, 2007 at 9:25 pm


David: I agree with your orignial post. No changes necessary!!



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Thinker

posted October 29, 2007 at 9:58 pm


OK, I’m over being kind of angry over anyone dissing DK. Reread it a few times. Googled everyone involved. Came to some fairly superficial conclusions (It would take awhile to actually read all of it ) David, sometimes you just gotta say stuff that will get you in trouble with the powers that be. Or as Scripture refers to them “the principalities and powers.” Walter Wink talks about them – those people who started off with ideals, Jesus centered, self forgetting and gradually their early ideals left them. They are left with the things that Jesus gave up in the desert. Power and wealth and self importance are left. They are left without the “angels” that watched over them and left with the “demons” that keep them important. We are all subject to such weakness – all of us. Your apology probably took the wind out of their big ol airfilled selves. But, I think you were right on.
My own church is filled with such men – since they won’t ordain women. They wear the big hats, and cover up pedophilia and accuse others – so smoothly – no one feels the knife. But underneath the big hats and fancy robes – are people who started off with ideals. I suppose my little angry self will have to pray for them and for you and for myself that we might all remember – that time when we knew Jesus – for sure and certain and forgot ouselves. I hang on to my church because there are people like Joseph Cardinal Bernardin (my own favorite not yet a saint) or Archbishop Oscar Romero. Dorothy Day and Thomas Merton. Their journeys were similar – forgetting the self as they encountered God. Serving the poor and desperate. Forgiving no matter what. When I see such behavior among the current crop of bishops or Evangelical leaders – oh my – I will weep and laugh. But I don’t and they display only behavior that puffs them up – keeps their angels away and makes them forget – when they had that time with Jesus. It is our responsibility to make them remember and to remember ourselves what that moment of life was like. Our other responsiblity is to forget ourselves in service. I see people like that and I want to be a person like that, but I’m not there. Neither are Land or the others. New voices with fresher and kinder memories are taking their place. That is a good thing.



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Donny

posted October 29, 2007 at 10:34 pm


I think you’re wrong Thinker. Just as I have been writing to David for some time now, Land is in the right.
What Christian reading these blogs didn’t know David would be called out by someone (other than me) in the Evangelical world that he would have to respond to appropriately? Yes, yes, I know I am just a peasant, one of the little people stuck in the old days.
When you violate truths you will get challenged. Since Tempting Faith came out and was sucked up by the Leftist propaganda machince and helped push the Democrats into Congress, David has not taken a fast from politics even though he has demanded that “other” Christians (Evangelicals) do. David, has lambasted and denigrated James Dobson over and over again and has never proven once why this man is so bad. I have asked over and over again why or how has this man violated scripture, and the cyber crickets palyed on.
I have been saying the exact same thing as Land has been saying without veering even once. I even notice more and more brave voices of dissent over at Wallis’s blog. The Left will not rule for long. How long did Nero last?
Prove your point via the New Testament witness, Thinker.(?)
Jesus quoted scripture to prove His point time and time again. He also challeneged others with it time and time again. His Apostles followed suit in the exact same way.
Even Satan, when he used scripture in hopes of presenting a progressive view of things, was put in his place by Jesus using scripture correctl.
The Evangelical leaders have presented the correct version of the New Testament whether it is popular with certain kinds of people or not. Jesus did the same thing. The Evangelicals have not altered it, or rewrote, or revised the New Testament to gain party invitations.
The Progressives have. The Liberals have. I have asserted that time and again and I have used scripture consistently to prove it.
David did what was right (correct) to do what he did here. He was wrong. No one has ever shown how Dobson and “the Evangelical” leadership violates the Gospel mission. Well, of course they do when they commit adultery, or engage in homosexuality, but, that is for a different blog. And notice they ARE held to the proper Gospel accountability. Leftists ignore it.
I am also very sorry that I come off as arrogant and superior to others. I am nothing more than just a guy living life and working every day to take care of his family. I came here as a challenge and have yet to see anything from the Left other than epithet and ad hominem comebacks. The typical Leftist reply.
I am most sorry that I am taken as if I have any disdain for David. I care about him as much as I do people I actually know. David (as you know) is a wonderful and passionate believer and a man that is used by Leftists in dishonest and deceitful ways. And, David is Christian towards them still. And, as you can see, he is a million times a better man than I am.
I am confident in the path blazed by Christ Jesus and His Aposltes that there is only one Way, one Truth and one Life.
It is a wonderful thing to see such a Christian as David Kuo here at Beliefnet.
May David forgive me.
Thinker, and you too.



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Thinker

posted October 29, 2007 at 11:06 pm


Hey Donny,
We are people who love Jesus – I see people on the conservative ends of things and on the progressive ends of things and all along the middle – they want to be like Jesus. You are among those people. There is no doubt of your faith. We were touched in the same way by the “Awe” post last week which tells me that – we are all human beings, created by God to love one another. We all wept and prayed together for Mitch and his family. In the things that count -we are one.
Sometimes, I just cannot understand why you must demonize those who do not think as you do and thus – in your eyes -are incorrect. I’m trying to remember a little quote from St. Teresa of Avila about that, but it’s late and I’ll have to pull it up to my conscious self -tomorrow.
Often Donny, you ask us to prove it by scripture. Pretty much everything I do or say comes out of a grounding with Scripture. Jesus goes into the desert for 40 days. What did he give up? Why are those still the very things we seek? My point about Land and the others is that they have been seduced by those very things – power over others, relevance, riches – that I believe we are to give up if we want to follow Christ. It is not that they started that way – it is just the way it has happened. I recall the “angels” of the churches that John speaks of in Revelations. They were the very “spirits” of those churches and such spirit can be corrupted by seeking power, by idolizing wealth and by many other things.
Your heartfelt apology is certainly accepted and I apologize to you if I have ever offended you.
We are both Christ followers. It seems that we are to be about forgiveness. So much of what Jesus had to teach us was about forgiveness. And yet we dwell on anything but forgiveness.
Donny, we have very different worldviews and they clash. Yet both of us dream of the Kingdom of God. Perhaps God asks that we learn from one another. That perhaps not all progressives are bad hedonistic people and not all conservatives are selfish and vindictive . We are all human beings created in the image and likeness of God. Jeremiah dreamed of the day when the law – the essence being love God and neighbor -would be written on our hearts. The day is now. It has always been now.



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Doug

posted October 29, 2007 at 11:34 pm


Well, I missed your Mullahs post the first time around and absolutely thought it was wonderful, which means you probably have some atoning to do. I’m a terrible person.
It is unChristian to call them Mullahs. Calling them false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves would have been Christian, however, and just as fair.



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canucklehead

posted October 30, 2007 at 12:31 am


Yeah, Dave, and while you’re at it, how ’bout apologizin’ for saying in your book that Madonna had hairy armpits in her Playboy spread? I’ve been ransacking every used bookstore I can find just to be sure you’re correct in how you cite your primary sources.



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Donny

posted October 30, 2007 at 12:44 am


I haven’t the time to answer Thinker in the way deserved, but, here is something I can:
“Calling them false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves would have been Christian, however, and just as fair.:
Posted by: Doug
///
And Doug, you do that by “proving it.”
Get out your bible and prove how and why the Evangelical leaders like Dobson and Falwell are false prophets?
You will not be able to. Since, they have fought the good fight and have kept to the road less traveled, the narrow road. The Leftist world is the same whether it be from Christians or from Secular Humanists. And humanism denies Jesus. read their “manifesto” for yourself. No where “in the Bible” can you find support for things that drive Liberal-Progressive political power. It is as i claim, Marxist and fleshly.
David, has not been able to list even a single example of wrongdoing by Dobson, for example, other than “he’s in politics.” Certainly Jerry Falwell and James Dobson et al, preached the Gospel the way Jesus did. Please prove that they didn’t? The Gospel is there as witness and as testimony.
False prophets and false teachers are known by lying. Both Falwell and Dobson hold to the teachings of Christ Jesus and His Aposltles. Leftists teach that marriage “can” be adulterated and even rewritten for abominations to be OK as “civil rights.” It was not Evangelicals that approved “no-fault” divorce. And certainly there is no such thing as same-gender marriage anywhere “in” the Bible. Making excuses for “the poor” to be miscreants, criminals and deviants supported by everyone’s tax dollars and to enslave them to valueless handouts is not a Christian concept. Maybe in some world views, but not in the Christian Church that the Apostles built, and that, Dobson and Falwell et al keep to. All Christian charity begins with bringing the Gospel.
Ravenous wolves in sheeps clothing, fatten up the sheep for slaughter. They do not attack as a frontal assault. Read the point of view of Jesus. And the word “slaughter” is represented by Liberal-Progressive actions and behaviors far more than anything the “conservative” Evangelical Leaders do, promote, say or teach.
I’ll bet my Bible collection that it is not Conservative Evangelicals that demand to give out birth control pills and condoms to 11-year old children. (As just ONE example of Liberal-Progressive false teaching.)
Prove your accusation Doug. As you can see, I have no problem with the same advice.
I’ll be back tomorrow.
Donny



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David ex-fundamentalist/evangelical

posted October 30, 2007 at 2:05 am


I am Canadian and an ex-born again christian, I follow what goes on in the big country to the south very closely. I grew up in a very conservative evangelical Baptist church. I eventually found the inconsistencies and outright crazy ideas of most evangelicals (eg Creationism) as well as being disgusted with the actions attributed to god in the OT I could no longer call myself a Christian. That happened after seminary, and a degree in physics. Ahh those godless scientists destroying another believers faith with truth.
I am in the process of reading a book by Chris Hedges called “American Fascists: The rise of the christian right in America. I fear what is happening in your country that led to Bush and the Iraq war, it is so tied to the fundamentalist christian right.
What I see and this has been going on for a while is the absorption of American Nationalism into the teachings of the church. It is almost as if the US is god’s chosen people not the Jew’s. The worst part of all this is that it is clearly taking on a fascist tone similar but not the same as what happened in Germany prior to WW2.
The paranoia of the “liberals” as being almost non human and certainly deserving of being tortured in hell like the Jews were in Hitlers gas chambers and ovens is sickening. In fact the whole idea of a god who tortures is repugnant.
Of course since I am a liberal minded PERSON (not some kind of boogie man) this applies to me. Well I am ready to take that risk.



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SkipChurch

posted October 30, 2007 at 9:11 am


So here’s my question:
What is the conservative Christian ‘dream’ political program?
Abortion illegal– that much I got.
But what else?
Prayer in all public schools? No teaching of evolution? No tax-supported aid to the poor(enslaves them to ‘valueless handouts’!)? Criminal penalties for blasphemy? No divorce except in case of adultery? Criminal penalties for homosexual behavior? No homosexual teachers? Fines for failing to attend church? Lots of guns for everybody– or no guns for anybody?
There seems to be a lot of wailing and gnashing of teeth and wringing of hands about the wicked, un-Christian, Marxist, fleshly trend in American politics, but not much beyond that. So what is the program? Let’s hear it.
You know, the Scripturally-based government was already tried on these shores, and it got modified pretty quickly.
As we are approaching Thanksgiving, here is a report of a Puritan trial…
September 7, 1642 Bradford, G. (PCR 2:44):
Thomas Graunger, late servant to Loue Brewster, of Duxborrow, was by this Court indicted for buggery with a mare, a cowe, two goats, diuers sheepe, two calues, and a turkey, and was found guilty, and receiued sentence of death by hanging vntill he was dead.
Now I know what you’re thinking: A TURKEY?? Is nothing sacred?



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Doug

posted October 30, 2007 at 9:31 am


Donny, I appreciate your challenge. I have a problem with the whole idea of proving things biblically because it can’t always be done but mostly because the standards of proof. Let’s take a proof you offered a few days ago: You said that since Jesus talked about a man divorcing a woman, that it proves that he wants marriage to be between a man and a woman. It does not prove that because there is no “only a man may divorce a woman,” it does not say “a man may only divorce a woman,” and because if it were written in only those ways it would be talking about divorce, not marriage. So interpretations that are equally valid include:
1) Jesus used the most common example and that portion of that verse was descriptive, not prescriptive.
2) That same-sex couples may not divorce but mixed couples can.
3) That men may divorce women but not the other way around.
There’s nothing wrong with your interpretation but it is an interpretation, not eternal, biblical truth.
Another problem I have fundamentalism is that it assumes that all words in the bible mean exactly one thing and mean it eternally, whether they are words, phrases or sentences and that the context is meaningless. We do not speak to each other that way so it seems a little innovative to think that the word God gave us to understand him by is not in a language we ever use.
Finally, there is this flaw in your personal “proofs.” We can agree, mostly, on what the bible says, but your syllogisms regularly have this problem: They typically read in the format that bible says x, democrats do y, therefore, democrats are ungodly. Both your assertions have to be true for the conclusion to be true and while you do pretty well on your major premise, your minor premise is never supported and usually scurrilous.
Actually, a perfect example of your behavior is my comment above. Jesus says in Matthew 7:15 “”Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. ” so I quoted scripture accurately as you often do. Nowhere is there proof that Jesus was referring to your buddies in the movement, which I asserted as the case. Therefore, I did not prove my conclusion. It was an unkind comment and the perfect analog for most of your “proof,” which is why it’s good I don’t look down on you.
In all my time here, I can’t remember a single instance where you had proven what you claimed to have proven. You prove something, I’ll try. In the meanwhile, I’ll continue



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Doug

posted October 30, 2007 at 9:34 am


My fastest repentance in years:
“faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1
It is not certainty. I’ll continue to read the bible looking for God, not proof.



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Jillian

posted October 30, 2007 at 6:55 pm


“Because of the New Testament’s frequent depictions of Pharisees as self-righteous rule-followers, the word “pharisee” (and its derivatives: “pharisaical”, etc.) has come into semi-common usage in English to describe a hypocritical and arrogant person who places the letter of the law above its spirit.”
(Wikipedia)



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SkipChurch

posted October 31, 2007 at 8:41 am


So how about it, Donny… how would you fix societies ills through actual, specific policies and legislation.?
What is your dream political program for America?



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Doug

posted October 31, 2007 at 11:43 am


OK, Donny. I expressed myself, you expressed yourself. We move on, I hope, as friends. I imagine Jesus told the woman to go and sin no more because sin is bad. Of course, I’m no scholar.



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