Thoughts of a messed up Christian saved by God's grace

Saturday, March 21, 2020

March musings

  It is three months into the year, and I have blogged once. Sorry to the one or two people who read and are interested in my blog.....

  The reason is most likely depression related. Even though I have been on two meds, one for depression and one for anxiety, they just don't seem to be working anymore. The other time it was close to this bad, I lost my interest in reading. This time around, I don't want to be around people, with the exception of family.... and by people, I mean groups of people, though I am pretty content to stay home and not be around anyone.  I even dislike going to church and being around so many people - don't look so horrified, unless you have been severely depressed, you wouldn't get it...... and I dread work days, even though I like my job.....it is just a constant barrage of people, and I'd rather be at home by myself. Maybe that explains hermits and recluses....maybe they are just severely depressed people who don't want to be around others. I think the depression was compounded by my last birthday when I was hit with so many negative emotions, and had the desire stronger than ever for a family of my own......an impossibly.

But enough about my emotions and mental state. I hope this blog doesn't go on too long, but it will be one with multiple subjects that I will most likely work on over a period of a few days. It all depends on what is on my mind.

***Man, this is long. No one is going to read it all :)

1) Politics

  I am trying more than ever to stay away from politics on social media. I may address it some on here. It is MY blog after all, and people read it at their own risk. I am extremely bothered more and more as the days go by at how political Christians have become, and how it takes precedence over God's Word in how Christians act and react. I have noticed it more since 2016, maybe because I have been on the outside looking in on conservative and Republican politics.

 I took a step last month I had been considering for a while. I un-registered to vote. I have previously been a strong proponent of voting, but I have my reasons for doing so. I may register again at some point, but it will be Independent if I do so. No one is ever going to infer or say that that the Republican Party owns my vote or that I must vote Republican if I am a registered Republican.

 Is it hypocritical of me to do this after being so emphatic about voting? Maybe, maybe not. We are allowed to change and evolve in our thinking and beliefs. If for years I was outspoken against women, saying they had no right to vote, no right to do anything but be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.....then I flipped on that thinking, would it be bad and hypocritical of me? No one would think so. (And that was a made up example...I don't think that).

  I have become so disgusted by the Republican party, so-called conservatism, and politics in general, that I want nothing to do with it. I know all of the arguments one could throw at me, but the truth of the matter is the Republican party keeps putting up worse and worse and more liberal candidates each election, and unless they do better than 2016, I can't see me ever voting for their candidates again. "But the Democrats will win." Yeah, they might.....but I didn't want the one who won in 2016 to win either. And maybe a liberal president would get the American Christians' attention back on God instead of politics if we needed to pray more about our nation and what we might face.

  It truly wasn't a careless decision to un-register to vote, but I do feel good about it. And who knows...maybe it will keep me out of jury duty. :)

  Something great would be if a 3rd party would actually have a chance. The two main parties are too corrupt and too much alike. We need a change.

 And a warning if you have read this far: #11 and #12 will be about Donald Trump.

2) I like a Justin Bieber song

  Yeah, I was shocked too. There is a song I heard a few times while on break in the coffee shop at work. They usually have country music playing in there. I liked it, and had no clue who sang it. I finally looked it up the other night and discovered it is a by a duo called Dan + Shay doing a trio number with none other than Justin Bieber. Wow. Who knew?! It is a pretty cool song, titled 10,000 Hours. I did find out Justin no longer sound like a girl when he sings. The first time I know of hearing a song by him a few years back, I thought it was a girl singing. Guess he is out of puberty now. :)

 Confession: I like some country music. I grew up in a church where it was considered wrong. I heard it preached against, but then I heard Southern Gospel preached against....The country music on my iTunes is wide and varied, a few songs by certain artists.

 Maybe I am wrong on my thinking, but I believe Christians should listen mostly to Christian music. If one is truly a Christian, aren't they going to want to listen to music about the one they serve? However, I don't believe secular music is wrong, depending on the lyrics and maybe other factors. Southern Gospel will always be my favorite genre', followed by some CCM, Praise and Worship, and country.

 I do believe one should not follow too closely or idolize any singer or group, no matter their belief system or lifestyle. For instance, I like a few songs by Tim McGraw, but he and his wife are brainless when it comes to the Second Amendment.

 Below is one of my all time favorite country songs: Live Like You Are Dying by Tim McGraw.

3) All things gay

  There doesn't seem to be much middle ground on views of gay issues. On one side you have the agenda to push all things gay everywhere and on everyone. They are even pushing it on kid's programs on TV and in movies. On the other hand, you have the evangelical Christians acting like it is the worst sin ever, and not having much love, if any, for gay people.

 Even some of the groups and people I follow on Facebook who are same-sex attracted Christians practicing Biblical sexuality lean too far the wrong way.

 Brief explanation of 3 main views in the Christian world of same-sex attracted individuals?

Ex-gay: Those who firmly believe it is wrong, and work at staying away from all things gay. Often they use programs and groups to help battle the attractions and desires.

Side A: they believe you can be a Christian and have sexual relations with the same sex...possibly within marriage - not positive about that - and believe in gay marriage. They embrace all things gay, while claiming to be Christians. They pretty much hate ex-gays.

Side B: They practice celibacy, and cling to terms like gay and queer like we conservatives cling to our guns. (Which reminds me, I haven't shot my pistol since Thanksgiving.....) Many, like the guys on the site Your Other Brothers, watch gay programming, and embrace pretty much anything gay except the sex. Some, if not all, approve of same sex relationships minus the sex, though a lot of them are willing to call Side A Christians and take offense at anyone daring to say Side A can't be Christians if they are having sex with the same gender. Believe me, I know. I have dared to say that and have been ripped apart by Side B people.

 Me? As I have no problem admitting, am attracted to other guys, a battle I have had for most of my life. I believe what the Bible says, and I also believe it is wrong for a Christian to use terms like gay and queer as identities if they are truly serving God....something I have debated many people on. I know of one young guy, one of the Your Other Brothers guys, who is a preacher and proudly calls himself queer. I may blog about that identity thing more some other time. (Calling yourself queer or gay, and clinging to everything gay except the sex surely doesn't fall in what the Bible says about laying aside the weights and sin that so easily takes a hold over us).

 My main focus was meant to be on how Christians should act. I took my three lovely nieces out for Mexican a couple of weeks ago (in the olden days when you could eat inside a restaurant) , and the subject somehow came up. I don't remember exactly how she worded it, but my youngest niece voiced that Christians need to be more careful what they say about gay people, and how they act about it. And she is so right. The answer is not to pay gay people on the back and tell them God is fine with their lifestyle and actions. That is only helping them to a an eternity in hell, but Christians need to stop acting like it is the worst sin ever, and that gay people have a contagious disease.

 I have related this story before on my blog, but I have something to add to it, so excuse the repeat if you have read it before: About 11-12 years ago, my Sunday School class was covering some main issues of our day. One was homosexuality, and it was brutal. I was still extremely in the closet about my SSA. There were two men who were especially vocal and un-Christian in what they said. One said he would rather have a murderer around his kids than have "one of those perverts" around them. If it happened now, I would probably stand up and say what I thought. Instead, I sat there fighting tears and the desire to walk out.

 Not too long after that, one of those men was caught viewing pornography on the computer of the Christian business he worked at. His wife still hasn't forgiven him, and it was rough on his kids. But it doesn't end there. A couple weeks ago - oh, this is what brought up the discussion with my nieces - I saw a friend suggestion for this man's oldest daughter who has walked away from God and the way she was raised. Her background picture is her kissing someone. I was curious if it was the same young man she had been dating a few years ago, so I looked better, and discovered it was another female and she is engaged to marry her.

 I feel bad for her and her family, and don't share that as a "haha on him" thing. The point I want to make is we truly need to do better in regards to what we say about gay people, and how we act. There are a lot of people who are SSA and hiding it from everyone - their parents, their siblings, their best friends......even their spouse. It is scary to tell people, and it is no wonder. It could be your child, your sibling, your parent, your spouse....your pastor. People don't choose to have the attractions, and the attractions and desires are not discriminatory or picky in who they hit.

 Think about it: If you have a nasty opinion of gay people, call them perverts, say they deserve AIDS, etc....do you think anyone is ever going to come to you with their struggle? Do you think it will strengthen your relationship if you are acting so horribly about what they are secretly struggling with? What if someone you love deeply is secretly struggling with it, and you talk hatefully about gay people around them?

  Since "outting" myself on this blog a few years ago, I haven't seen any repercussions or heard of any....but I am a loner. There really isn't anyone other than my nieces or nephews that I can call up and meet for lunch.....but then I always pay for theirs..... :)......and I usually talk to the same few people at church. I don't know who knows and who doesn't know, and am not close enough to enough people to notice any difference. Maybe a lot of people don't know. They would have to have personally been told by me, read my blog, figured it out, or been told by someone else. That brings up an interesting question....do the church gossips know?

 True story: I have had bigger repercussions and bad reactions for daring to speak out against and not vote for Donald Trump than for "coming out of the closet" as a guy with same-sex attractions.

  I'll close this already too long part with two stories, the first is one I have related before:

There was a young man who played guitar in the worship band for his church. He met with his pastor and confessed that he was attracted to other males and needed help and prayer. His pastor promised to pray for him, and they parted ways. At the next service at that church, the pastor told about it from the pulpit, turned to the horrified young man standing on the platform behind him, and told him to leave his church and never come back....... that "his kind" were not welcome there.

The other was related to me by my retired Christian friend who volunteers at the hospital 2 days a week:

 A few years back, his church was looking for a pastor and were considering a pastor from another state. The church got a letter from some individual warning them not to consider this pastor. He had a gay son, and the son and his gay friends occasionally came to the church the pastor was currently at. 

Horrors! Sinners going to church!

 Sadly, that scared enough members to reject that pastor. I wonder what Jesus would have done and what He would say about gay people going to church? What would your church say about gay people attending there?

4) Valentine's Day

   Valentine's Day, or Singles Awareness Day, is just another day for me. I did have something special happen this year. My 6 nieces and nephews went together and bought me some of my favorite snacks, and my youngest niece and her boyfriend delivered them that evening after they ate out and got engaged...then visited with me for a while without telling me. They figured I would tell it before they told anyone else. Valid point :)

 I am really happy for them. He is a great guy for her. A September wedding is planned.

 And they made my day and made me feel very loved by their gift and card.

5) Praying for Pelosi

  Of all the American politicians in my lifetime, Nancy Pelosi wins my award for the worst......even over Obama. Scary she is two steps from the presidency. She stands against everything Christians believe, and is for everything we oppose and for things bad for our country.

 But here is a question for you, especially if you are a Trump supporter who likes to say we are supposed to pray for him: Do you pray for her? Do you love her? Believe you me, I have heard so many times how I should pray for Trump, but do those same people pray for Pelosi and others like her? After all the same Bible they are quoting saying to pray for Trump also says to pray for your enemies.

 That is something we are all pretty much guilty of: picking and choosing what parts of the Bible to use and emphasize. Politics plays into that. In my not so humble opinion, it is a cancer that is infecting the church and Christianity. It has canceled out the loving people and being peacemakers parts of the Bible, and become an emphasis on praying for a politician.

 I'll admit it. I don't pray for Pelosi. I have prayed for Trump, but he is still president, so that prayer didn't get answered. Kidding. Kind of.

  And why is it OK for we Christians to attack Democrats with a D by their name, and say whatever we want to? If it is wrong to say certain things about some politicians, then why is it OK to say them about others?

 I have considered making a list of the Scriptures we toss aside when politics invades....like turn the other cheek, be peacemakers, be tender and forgiving to each other.....but I am afraid it would be too long of a list. Whether conservative, Trump supporter, #nevertrump, liberal, or whatever.......too many Christians don't act like Christians when politics invades the scene.

6) Anthony Schmidt

 A page popped up on Facebook this evening as a suggestion to like. I checked it out, and was impressed. Anthony Schmidt is a 12 year old autistic boy who photographs toy cars and makes them look life-sized. It is really cool.

His page is: https://www.facebook.com/anthonyryanschmidt/

There is also a kickstarter page that has some of his stuff: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/anthonyschmidt/small-cars-big-inspiration?fbclid=IwAR012XfPgxYbGvjr6_cZd-2nwBzG5PaORYosZ6gQDHNyq6UHQW_5Kh0KGZk

*7) The flag and the 3 Hebrew children

  OK, this is kind of political too, but not about politicians. I read a statement a few weeks ago that has stuck with me. I can't remember where I read it, but this is the gist of it: "The same people cheering for Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego for refusing to bow to the golden stature are the same people outraged when people won't stand for or pledge to the flag."

 I'll be blunt. Colin Keppernick is a spoiled overpaid athlete who is also an idiot. I wish my bank account reflected how oppressed he is. I was bothered by his actions, and annoyed when Nike made him a spokesman. It didn't affect me, since I have boycotted Nike all of my life because I am not paying that kind of money for a shoe.

 But here is a question: from all I have seen of him - and the last I knew, he was pursuing Islam - the guy is not a Christian, so he is not headed for Heaven. If you are reading this, I assume you are first of all desperate for reading material, and that you are a Christian. So Christian, I have a question for you. Which bothers you more: the fact that he has dissed our flag and country, or the fact that he is most likely headed for an eternity in hell.(gotta add the most likely so I am not accused of judging!)

 Sadly, I would wager that the average American Christian hasn't given much or any thought to his spiritual condition, or cares much about it, if any.

 And by the way, I am not comparing standing for the flag and pledging to bowing to a statue. Though even patriotism can become an idol. What I AM saying is perhaps we Christians shouldn't be so easily offended by people refusing to stand and pledge to our flag....or so easily offended in general.  Even if we don't agree with their reasons, it is their right just as the 3 Hebrew kids had reasons for not bowing to the statue.

 I love our flag and am very patriotic. In fact, my bedroom is decorated in Americana/patriotic themes.

 Ever wonder what you would have done if you were in the 3 Hebrew kids' shoes? I think some of us would bow and rationalize it. "I'll bow and pretend I am bowing to the statute, but inside I will be bowing to and praying to the true God." "I'll repent later." "Surely God doesn't expect me to risk my life over this! He'll understand if I bow." "I'll offend the king if I don't bow, and Christians aren't supposed to offend." I could see me doing that. Or not. It hasn't been easy taking a stand opposite my family and so many in my church in regards to politics. Who knows.

 What matters is that we take a stand for God and right today.

 The day may come in America when Christians don't have rights and freedoms. The freedoms are dwindling and usually lose when they come up against liberals. The day may come when we don't want to stand for and pledge to the flag, so maybe we shouldn't be so dogmatic about the issue. (I say that, but I'll probably be ticked the next time someone refuses to do it........)

8) New drink (to me)

  My 2 favorite drinks are diet caffeine free Coke and diet Gold Peak Tea. I am not a huge pop drinker. It is my drink of choice when I have pizza and some other foods, but I don't go and get a can out of the fridge when I am thirsty. I drink a lot of the tea and water.

 One of the things in my snack basket from the nieces and nephews was a box of the Crystal Light packets you mix with a bottled water. The flavor is raspberry lemonade. I liked it so much that I bought the size you add to 2 quarts of water. I also got cherry limeade to try. It is pretty good too. I may try to drink more of that drink as it would save me money on all the tea I buy. I go through a lot of it, and usually have at least 4 64-oz bottles of it on hand, 2 of them in the fridge.

9) The vacation

 The last week of February, I took a week's vacation. Since the 5 days I requested were book-ended  by two weekends off, that turned into 9 days off in a row. It was awesome. I went to Sugarcreek, Ohio on Monday and Tuesday, and took advantage of the package deal the Dutch Hose Inn there does during their slower times.

 The rest of the time, I spent most of at home. (Maybe I could be a recluse...) I really like how I have my place fixed up. Even though I never have company, I enjoy it. And I am not what some consider typical bachelors to be like. I keep the place clean and mostly clutter free. Once in a while, the dining room table gets away from me. And I hate to dust. Dishes in the sink bug me, so unless I am soaking something, they don't stay there very long before being washed. The dish drainer is a different matter. Dishes put there to dry can stay there several days, and I often pull dishes from there to use instead of from the cupboards.

 I did do some housework on my vacation, but outside of church and my 2 day trip, I pretty much stayed home away from everyone.

 Speaking of company, my two oldest nieces have not been to my new place yet (moved here in August). They are bad with directions, and don't know how to get here. I need to fix that.

 Back to the trip: I enjoyed my free breakfast and late lunch, plus all the other free stuff. I did a lot of shopping, and bought several more books. Yeah, like I don't have enough.

9) Corona virus

  When people first started talking about the Cornona virus, I thought it was a joke that had to do with the beer. Then I found out it was a real thing.

 I am not saying we shouldn't be careful, but every couple of years there is a new disease that everyone freaks out about, and maybe a few people die from......but it never amounts to much. It is just a bunch of hysteria. More people die in the U.S. from the flu than from Corona, Ebola, etc.

 Since I started working at the hospital 7 years ago in June, I have become germophoic. I constantly sanitize, and always use a paper towel to open the bathroom doors. Why do so many people not wash their hands after using the bathroom?! It is nasty! I even see it at church, then those people shake hands with at least the pastor who shakes hands with everyone in the church. Maybe we need hand sanitizer stations in the church.......

Seriously, the media blows these things out of proportion, and everyone panics. We had boxes of masks at the hospital in different locations for people - there is a hand sanitizer stand with 2 boxes of masks in the lobby where I work - but they had to remove them all. People were taking them home. I came in one morning, and there had been a full box and at least half of another out. The half or so box was gone - box and all - and the full box was empty. There is no way they got emptied out by normal use after I left at 5 pm.

 I don't need to relate everything that is going on  - the TP shortage, etc...if you are paying attention, you know. It is like our country has gone insane. Thankfully, I tend to overstock on that important paper product, and should have enough to last me for quite a while. I was amazed when I was at Walmart today.

I am even getting emails from restaurants telling what they are doing to take precautions.

 Personally, I think it will all blow over in a few weeks. I could be wrong. We will see. I did have a lady preacher tell me yesterday that her prophetess friend prophesied a cure would be found on March 27. This was after I offered  her a mask from my secret stash after explaining we can't have them out since people are taking too many. She proved my point by saying "I'm taking a few"...and took 4."

 Sadly, those who should be trusting God seem to be panicking with everyone else.

***Things have obviousy gotten much worse since I wrote this - one hazard of working on a blog post over a period of a couple of weeks. I did finally manage to find ground hamburger and sausage.

 And if you haven't watched this, you should. It is only a few seconds past a minute long.

10) Division in politics

  It does bother me how much politics has divided us. Obama divided this country like it hadn't been in many years, and then Trump came along and hasn't done anything to make it better, and went a step further by dividing Christians and conservatives. That is one reason I am trying to back off, but it really isn't fair that people who oppose him are expected to be silent, while Trump supporters bash whoever they want.

 I think politicians thrive on dividing America, Trump included. (If that wasn't the case, he would never have called we conservatives who oppose him "human scum".) The politicians in the two main parties are not that different anymore, but they sure succeed in getting their supporters fighting with each other. It doesn't help that politicians care more about their agenda and pleasing those who support them the most with $$.

 It is just sad that Christians aren't any different or better about how we act in regards to politics than those who do not profess to Christianity, and too many people in the church circles I have been raised in don't act any better than the world when it comes to politics.

  Maybe social media makes it worse. I am a conservative, so I remember opposing the Clintons and mostly liking Bush. The internet and social media was all expanding when he was president. I remember there being  "Kill Bush" Facebook groups, and reporting them with no luck. Then I get Facebook jail for saying no Muslim should be in any American government office. True story.

 I don't know what the answer is. Evidently it isn't God, since God's people aren't any different than the world. And the first part of that was sarcastic. I know God is the answer to any problem.

 Maybe I just need to start doing my part, but it is so frustrating being in the place I am: being conservative and Christian, but not supporting the man so many others do. I may address my frustrations at the end of this post.

***I am seriously backing off after this on Trump. Not because my opinions of him have changed for the better, and not because I believe I have no right. I am just really tired of him and of the attitudes that I have no right to speak out against him.

11) Donald Trump (You were warned)

 Yeah, you knew I'd get to him at some point. Read no further if you are one who thinks he should not be criticized. By the way, my favorite cousin said I am too focused on Trump. It is hard not to be when my Facebook feed looks like praise and worship time of Trump. Seriously, how many pro-Trump posts do people need a day? And did people not notice all of my anti-Obama posts I did for 8 years....back when freedom of speech applied to me? :)

  I am 100% serious when I say this: I am concerned about the Trump mania by so many Christians. The things this man is guilty of and the way he acts, you would think Christians would want nothing to do with him, but many praise and defend him like he is their religion.

 Back during the 2016 election, I read an interesting comment. I don't remember who it was, but he said if you were going to vote for Trump in the election, you should do it weeping and sorrowing that your voting choice had to be a man like him.

 And let's get the Christian stuff out of the way here. Trump's supposed conversion came right at election time when he needed the Christian vote. James Dobson announced the conversion. Trump didn't even do that. If he still had had a D by his name, the same people believing his conversion would be as skeptical of it as I am. And if you believe he is one, than you should also accept Hillary's and Obama's claims of being a Christian.

 The problem is that if a politician does enough that Christians in America agree with, then they translate that to his being a Christian and chosen by God. Political issues define a politician's spiritual state.

 But anyway, let's recap:
a) Long time liberal, long time supporter of liberals and their causes, including the Clintons.

b) Committed adultery on at least 2 of his wives

c) Bragged about grabbing women by their genitals in vulgar terms. Something that is sexual assault, by the way

d) Paid of a prostitute

e) Even now, is vulgar

f) Current wife was in lesbian porn

g) Fought the Tea Party

h) Said that Hillary would make a great president

i) Defended Bill Clinton during the sexual accusations, and attacked the women.

j) Defended Hillary during Benghazi

k) has done gun control measures, and talked about doing more

l) Has his kids in White House positions, something that would be decried were it anyone else

m) Acts like an immature brat on Twitter, and attacks people for daring to criticize him

n) Promised to further gay rights

o) appeared at a LGBQT for Trump rally holding their flag.

p) supported transgenders using whatever bathroom they wanted

q) strip clubs in his casinos

r) draft dodger

   And I could come up with enough to go beyond Z if I thought longer.  My point is, there is nothing about this man that should have Christians so enthralled with him. I could not do it, but I understand people voting for him over Hillary....though I wanted neither.....but I cannot understand the daily over the top posts praising and defending him. For way too many Christians, defending him is more important than how they treat we who dare speak up.

 Not all Trump voters and supporters are alike, but the Trump support movement has been compared to a cult, and there are some similarities. Consider this: Not only will the average Trump supporter refuse to criticize him - and he has done things that should be criticized - they try to stop others from criticizing him. There is an unhealthy loyalty to the man. At best, some will say "he isn't a good man, but....."

I have a  friend - or I guess former friend now - from work who is a Christian, but has an unhealthy idolization of Trump. My atheist buddy from work commented about how often she posts about him, and said you'd think that is who she worships. His words. Anyway, she posted the following on Wednesday. I know it was bad, but I commented "Go ahead". And she did. It is pretty bad if a Christian doesn't want anyone for friends who dares say something negative about a politician and doesn't stand for her post.

  It is sad that supporting him has become equal to being conservative, and sadder still that supporting him has become synonymous with evangelical Christianity. Trump is NOT a good man, and it truly is alarming to me how over the top loyal so many Christians even in my own church are. It seems the worse he acts, the madder he makes Democrats....the more Christians love him.

  And this will be a strong statement and rather incendiary: but I understand the atheist friends of a friend of mine: they said after the way Christians defended his moral flaws and supported him in 2016, they never want to hear another Christian talk about morals. They have a point. If a Christian tosses aside all of his immoral stuff, then they do have no right to moral outrage. A Facebook friend of mine did a daring post a while back. He said that one thing gay presidential candidate Pete Buettig did was get Trump supporters caring about morals again.

  Lastly: I am not saying it IS a cult, nor that all who vote for him are over the top loyal. And I will add this: the more people have tried to silence me - some even ordering me to stop criticizing him - the more I dislike him and despise politics and the Republican Party. I am weary of this attitude that he should not be criticized. That is not American, that is not free speech, and it is not Christian. It all truly has shaken my faith, and shaken the beliefs my church has.

 Vote for him if you must. Support what you consider right that he does......but don't defend everything he says and does. Don't idolize him, and stop trying to shut down those of us who bring up legitimate criticisms and concerns.

12) Why I dislike Trump so much (remember...you were warned)

  I know a lot of people don't understand why I dislike the man so much.....well, I don't understand how anyone can like him very much, so we are even :)

 So, I thought I would try to put it into words for anyone interested in knowing why. I will say this up front: my dislike has been fanned as much by his supporters as by him.

His morals:

  If Trump supporters and voters are honest, Trump is not a nice man, nor a good man. The Christian right has spent the last several years before Trump all up in arms about morals. How many politicians have we stood back outraged over their immoral discretions: Gary Hart, the Kennedys, Bill Clinton, and more.

 Then comes along Trump: serial adulterer who they say bragged about it, has strip clubs in his casinos (I thought for sure that would sink his Christian support), vulgar (just recently use the f-word, so that hasn't changed), bragged about sexually assaulting women), and did and said other questionable things.

 Suddenly, morals in a politician weren't important. Beating Hillary was more important than what we stood for and against for years.

 I'll be honest. I've done things I wished I hadn't....but I wasn't running for president, and these are many of the same people who still act like being gay is the worst sin ever, while they embrace the likes of Trump. The double standard disgusted me, and the push by so many religious leaders for people to vote for him and ignore their conscience and long held principles knocked my faith for a loop.

The lies and false accusations

 To be anti Trump after the 2016 primaries made you a pariah. The truth didn't matter anymore, and Christians suddenly were OK with false accusations and untrue statements:

"If you are not for Trump, you are for Hillary"
"If you aren't for Trump, you are for Hillary and for baby killing"
"A 3rd party vote is a vote for Hillary" huh?!
"If you don't vote for Trump, you are a Pharisee"

 It didn't matter if you honestly felt you could not as a Christian vote for him, other Christians were determined to guilt or scare you into going against your convictions and conscience... even people in my own church.

 Don't believe in wearing ties? They understand that and won't try to change your mind.
Don't believe in drinking coffee? No worries.
Don't believe you should vote for Trump? You Pharisee! You must vote for him.!
(And yes, I know people who don't believe they should wear ties or drink coffee).

Untrue posts

 This is different from above. There are a lot of Trump supporters who will post anything that makes him look good, whether or not it is true. And yes, I have a couple of examples.

1) We can say Merry Christmas again since Trump is president. Newsflash: we were allowed to say Merry Christmas under Obama. It was never outlawed.

2) He is the best president ever! Even if I liked the man, I would find this statement untrue. I personally believe he is one of the worst when all is taken into consideration, but that is me. But take into consideration all of the presidents before him....come on, it just takes a little bit of thinking to know it isn't true.

3) He is the most pro-life president we ever have had. He still has not de-funded Planned Parenthood, and he signed a bill funding them. How can anyone say that with a straight face?

4) The Bible is his favorite book. Uh, no it isn't. The man did nothing remotely Christian until he needed the Christian vote, and has done nothing to warrant such a wild notion.

  Those are a few right off the top of my head, but there have been many stories and posts that are simply not true. I know...when Obama was president, I loved to share stories that showed how bad he was, but I found a lot that were not true after researching a bit. That might be something we all should do before so quickly sharing news stories.

The Biblical comparisons

 Trump has been compared to Bible characters such as David, Queen Esther, Sampson, and others. His impeachment trial was compared to the trial of Jesus. It is rather nauseating if you don't like the man.

Multiple Facebook posts

 Maybe it is wrong of me, but I am un-following a lot of people on Facebook who post constantly praising and defending Trump, or attacking anyone who dares oppose him. A while back, I counted the posts of a couple people. I went past 30 posts on both before I got to one that wasn't about him. Some of these people post dozens of pro-Trump posts a week...then they are upset if I do one against him a few times a month. Go figure. It is a true statement that was mocked that a lot of people praise Trump more on social media than they praise God.

 Here's the thing: I have people wanting me to shut up with my criticisms of him, yet they are posting constantly in support of him while bashing the politicians they don't like....are you starting to understand my frustration?

 I am not saying people shouldn't post post about him....but how many posts in a day and week are necessary? I was tempted to pick some celebrity and post as often about them as so many do about Trump to prove a point, but it would go over their heads, I am sure.

Snowflakes reporting

 Back around the election, one of my Facebook "friends" was reporting to my sister and brother in law who were not on Facebook about what I was saying about Trump on Facebook. It caused problems in my family, and if I knew who it was, I would most likely block them.

 More recently, one of my best friends at work (who is not on social media) told me that coworkers who are on Facebook are always calling her to complain about what I said about Trump. Really?! Are we in grade school?

Silence of his wrongs

 I wish I had kept a list of things, but maybe it is good that I didn't. There have been so many things Trump and his family have done that if it was someone with a D by their name, his supporters would be outraged....but since it is Trump, they are not only silent, they are outraged when someone points the wrong out. Go figure. Shoot the messenger. Though I can't remember a lot of them, I do remember a few:

Gun control: All Obama had to do was mention gun control, and we conservatives went nuts. Trump actually enacted some and wanted to do more, and there was silence. I brought them up to my former friend I mentioned previously. She defended him - of course - and asked if it directly affected me.

Ivanka: Trump's daughter has a lot of the same ideas as Hillary - and there are people wanting a Trump family presidency for the next several years....but yet conservatives don't care. Just this week, it came out that she was doing White House business on private servers just like Hillary did. But she is a Trump, so it doesn't matter.

 There are other Trumps working in the White House, all lifelong liberals too... and were it a president with a D by his name, conservatives would care about the nepotism.

Golfing: When Obama was president, it was a big issue how much he golfed. Trump has done it more, and cost the country far more than his supposed not taking a salary would cost.

Praising dictators: his relationship with and praise of the North Korea dictator amazed even me. The guy has had his own people killed. He isn't a good guy.

Twitter: The man acts like an immature brat on Twitter, attacking anyone who gave him a butt hurt.....but it seems the worse he acts, the more his supporters love him.

Double standards

Yeah, I have covered some, but it bears repeating: There are so many double standards with Trump that it is beyond ridiculous. There really isn't anything wrong for a president to do. It just matters what party he represents as to who will condemn it. There are things Obama did that conservatives criticized, but are OK with Trump doing, and there are things Obama did that liberals were OK with, but hate when Trump does it.

 Even in areas like Epstein. Conservatives love to connect Bill Clinton with Epstein and try the guilt by association angle, Sean Hannity especially. But yet Trump was good buddies with him too.....but that is hushed up.

The attempted censorship of criticism

 I guess the most frustrating thing for me is the attempts of people to silence criticisms of Trump. There seems to be an all too prevalent idea that criticism of anyone else is fine, but for some reason this very imperfect and corrupt billionaire should not be criticized. I honestly don't know if there is anything the man could do that would cause any of his supporters to criticize him. He did say he could shoot people on 5th ave in Manhattan and not lose any voters....it is scary that none of his voters seemed to take offense to that, and it is one time he did seem to tell the truth.

 In countries where there are dictators, criticism of that leader is not tolerated. Are we headed that way with Trump? Don't scoff if you are among those who won't criticize him or put up with criticism of him or his policies.

The over the top loyalty and defense

  When Trump is opposed or criticized, there are a lot of his supporters who immediately go on the attack. Defending him is more important than how they act or treat anyone. Loving your neighbor and other things like that don't matter.....defend Trump and shut that person up who dared speak up against him.

The over the top stuff

 This gets its own mention. I already talked about the comparisons to heroes of the Bible, but there have been other insane statements. There was the Trump/Pence thing where the trumpets in Revelation were compared to them.

 Over and over, we are told God chose him. So did God choose Obama too? Just because a certain amount of Americans like a president does not mean God chose him any more than presidents they don't like.

 And then there is the really wild stuff. Granted, it is like a really extreme fringe of Trump supporters, but they ARE Trump supporters.

 First, there is Jim Bakker saying if you don't like Trump, you aren't saved. But then one of my mom's cousins told me if I wasn't on Trump's side, I am not on God's.

 More recently is the Colberts, who I was not familiar with... and wish I still wasn't. On the Jim Bakker Show, they said if you oppose Trump, God will curse you, your children, and your children's children. Guess it is good I have no kids..... (Link here: https://deadstate.org/christian-activist-god-will-curse-the-children-and-grandchildren-of-people-who-opposed-trump/?fbclid=IwAR396_vnazaqUtXBbK9lYLVdW7H6SPGHaVZWO3RF8iFrwOquSa24LYHpqds)

  And there have been others.

The whitewashed political past

  People crack me up when they go on about how Trump isn't a politician and is going to drain the swamp, and other crazy talk like that.

 The facts:
Trump donated to liberals and their causes for years. He has been involved in politics for years. He helped fill that swamp with his money.

He was friends with the Clintons for years. He defended Bill during the sex accusations and Hillary during Benghazi. He attacked the women that accused Bill. He said Hillary would make a great president.

 The man did so much for liberals, but that is whitewashed and hushed up.

The gay issue

 I have thought a lot about this stuff, and I think another reason the Trump version of Christianity frustrates me so much, is because of my struggle. It really isn't easy being attracted to the same sex and believing what the Bible says. And I know how so many evangelical Christians feel about it. I know if I had ever truly came out as gay and lived that lifestyle openly, how Christians would react....yet so many Christians who are horrified by that sin have totally embraced Trump with all of his moral failures.

The push-back

 I criticized Obama freely for 8 years with upsetting only a few people. I even warned a coworker at the time who loved him that she might not want me to accept her friend request, but she said she could handle my criticisms of him. Spoiler alert: she couldn't. What pushed her over the edge was my reply to something she said that I think was election night 2012: "If you all think you can do better than him, why don't you run?!" Me: "Anyone could do better than him." :)

 Anyway, too many Trump supporters have this manic urge to defend him no matter what they have to do or say, and with no thought to how their words can affect the other person. Too many of the people in my life care more about protecting and defending the man they voted for than they care for me. Or at least their actions and reactions would make one assume.

 I was bullied a lot in school. The more I have seen Trump in action and how he treats people, the more of a bully he is in my eyes. And yet there are so many Christians protecting the bully on the playground and acting like he is some Savior.

 And THAT also bothers me. The man is a filthy rich politician. Yet he is the only one standing between us and socialism, ruin, etc. I think he has proven that too many Christians' faith is in the wrong things and people.

My faith

  I'll end with this: Everything added up to do with the 2016 election, Trump, and the actions and reactions of so many Christians even in my own church really damaged my faith. Shouldn't we be better than this? Shouldn't Christians act differently than the world in all areas......even politics?

 I don't know why it all affected me so much. I do know during the election time, I was really discouraged. Struggling with same-sex attractions is lonely and more difficult than anyone can ever imagine who has not been there themselves. Are there worse things? Yes, there are....but this is MY struggle, my cross.

 Trump came along, and the more I learned about him the more disgusted I was that he seemed to be winning the nomination...and then he won it. Some of the people who had fought him the hardest suddenly became the worst at attacking we who were not on the "Trump train." Four years later, I am still convinced I did the right thing by voting 3rd party...but I wish I had been silent. As I took a lot of heat from God's people, and saw how so many suddenly didn't care about the morals of a politician and other things we used to care about, it did damage my faith. I have always been more vulnerable than anyone knows, and I took it very badly, especially when those closest to me tried to silence me and would not understand my need to take a stand.

 I have been angry and bitter, and have been tempted a lot in the last 4 years to walk away from God and the church, and have been tempted more than ever to embrace these attractions and sexual desires that have plagued and hounded me for so long. I lost faith in Christianity, in the Republican party, in conservatism, in the church in general, and specifically the holiness church. Anyone who is very political at all and responds in any less than loving way to those they disagree with cannot honestly say they are being like Jesus, obeying his commands, and loving people as He said. Harsh? Maybe...but it is the truth. And yes, I include myself in that. It has all made me very angry and bitter, and the more people have tried to silence me and put me down as they praise and defend a corrupt billionaire politician, the worse it has gotten.

 I don't like who and what I have become.....largely because of politics. Granted, I have never liked much about me anyway..if anything.

 A revelation hit me a few weeks ago that I have been thinking on that includes a few thoughts:
God is not a Republican or Democrat. He isn't political.

I  may be human scum to Donald Trump, but not to Jesus.

God doesn't trash any politician and then expect people to not trash one he loves.....for He loves everyone and does not trash them. Even Pelosi.

God understands why I couldn't vote for DT. He isn't mad or angry at me for it.

  Maybe it is a good thing to lose one's faith in the things I listed. It has made me realize how much I need to change, and that no one is perfect and everyone is likely to let you down at some point. Even the church. But God? He never lets you down, and is always there. He is where our faith needs to be, not in political parties, political viewpoints, or even in a church.

  It IS sad that we let politics divide us....but I don't think the answer is for those you disagree with to be silent. We all have the right to our politician opinions and to voice them, but too many of us can't handle having our politics or politician disagreed with or criticized.

Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers. I am not sure it is possible to be political and be a peacemaker, or to love people as Jesus commanded.....so maybe we would all be better off backing off.

 We are supposed to be living and preparing for another world. America is not our eternal home, but I fear we almost tend to live like it is.

 Me? I am going to work harder at doing my part. That may mean un-following people whose social media posts are 99% political. (not much of an exaggeration)

 There is so much good we can use social media for. It is sad that so many Christians use it for politics.