Posts Tagged ‘truth’

Our country is divided and not simply by the Mississippi.

Racism, political perspectives, gender, immigration, our President, religion, foreign policy, climate control  — we are even divided on how to fight about all this.

It’s a fight. So how do we fight?

Do we call each other out? Publicly, online, in social media? Or do we call each other “in,” privately, “Let’s have a talk,” then hug.

Loretta Ross wrote an article in August published in the New York Times,”I’m a Black Feminist. I Think Call-Out Culture Is Toxic.”

She wrote the following, “Call-outs make people fearful of being targeted. People avoid meaningful conversations when hypervigilant perfectionists point out apparent mistakes, feeding the cannibalistic maw of the cancel culture. Shaming people for when they “woke up” presupposes rigid political standards for acceptable discourse and enlists others to pile on. Sometimes it’s just ruthless hazing.”

“We can change this culture. Calling-in is simply a call-out done with love. Some corrections can be made privately.”

Karla Thomas writing  for Medium in an article called, ‘Mad About Call-out Culture?: Stop Centering White Cultural Norms & Feelings” disagreed. She says there is a clear need to publicly call out wrong, loud and clear, in order to reform our culture and move toward fairness.

Interrupting racially offensive behavior, (or any other –ism,) in the same forum or elevated forum and at the same volume as the aggression was made, is paramount to ensuring that anyone from the oppressed group in ear or eye shot knows that those transgressions were seen and will not go unaddressed.”

“It is critical here to realize, that when an aggressor makes a transgression then is called out, and the rebuttal is, “well you could have told me in a nicer manner” or “it’s rude to call someone racist,” there is a clear and purposeful choice to avoid the message that points out their racism and to focus on the messenger.” 

Both make good points. The articles would be worth your time. They were published in August and are easy to find.

How do we heal our divide, particularly over what divides us the most.

Call people “in” and work together, that is for sure needed. Call out abuse, lies, hate, racism, gender inequality — that’s needed too. We must never silence oppressed, harmed voices.

Let’s talk about racism. The articles focused on that. For you who are white and think racism is not a big deal for you, I’d encourage you to read White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo. Her books are worth your time. School yourself! Open your minds.

What do you think?

I think racism is a huge problem in the United States and we need get to talking more and better about this soon. This is important. We better take some action to bring about change. This matters now!

What would Jesus have to say to us about all this. He sure did some publicly calling out of wrong. He was ruthless on the people who thought they were the best class, better than others, but then he defended the women called out for adultery. Jesus always defended the oppressed. He always confronted the powerful, privileged elite. What does that tell you?

Wisdom knows when to say what! And wisdom chooses the most powerful and effective way to say it.

Feel free to post a comment. Just click the talk bubble at the top of this post and comment there.


The news is booze! It will make your head wooze.

Last week — being over-exposed to the Presidential election news — I found myself anxiously consulting the headlines several times a day. Not good. I  began to suffer a kind of polical poison-brain.

When my brother Steve told me he had read an article that said overexposure to negative, unsettling or  violent reports on the news has an ill effect on health, I unhooked.

I was suffering from toxic political waste. It can cause stress, anxiety and depression.

I’m better now.

Over the weekend I baked an excellent pizza,  I went to the park with my family, I settled down to reading a fine biography of Ben Franklin, I took in a fun and inspiring Christian music concert, and I had an excellent time at church yesterday surrounded by people who don’t thrive on insults. Last night I watched 60 Minutes where I saw that a church — guided by love not fear — was sponsoring Syrian refugees.  How refreshing!

This week I’m living differently. I am glancing at the political circus, but I’m not buying a ticket to the big tent. With the lack of integrity that characterizes some of our candidates, with the level of hostility, vitriol and brutality that defines this election, I think it is best for me to wean myself from political voyeurism.

Frankly, the whole mess makes me vow to eschew lying, to long to live and act more humbly, to honor everyone I can around me, to be kind to suffering people from other countries, to never be inappropriate with women, to give away more time and money to charity than I ever have before and finally to further open myself to the astonishingly compassionate and unselfish heart of God for all people.

It’s what we are supposed to do.

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6:8


She believes that God has punished her with a heart attack for her wrong sexual thoughts.

His father brutally rejected him, it was never resolved. He now believes that you can’t work through conflict with anyone.

She thinks she can’t leave her philandering, alcoholic, abusive husband because some religious people have told her she shouldn’t.

Each of these people think things that aren’t true. They need truth, the kind of truth that sets frees.

Truth spoken to us is particularly powerful. A person, really any person, speaking truth, modeling truth, being truth is super powerful in freeing other people. Rules and doctrines don’t free people; truth incarnate, truth living in another person, that frees us. A person can say to another person,”I don’t believe that your stroke is a punishment from God,” and that can set in motion a new and healing movement of the heart.

A person can say to another harmed person, “Your father was wrong to reject you. Your father had a problem. He did the wrong thing. He should have loved you. You are worthy of being loved.”

A person can say to an abused wife, “Leave him. Leave your husband. He has rejected you for other women, and you need to set up boundaries and protect yourself from any more harm.”

A person, really any person, can judge a particular situation and give freedom-making counsel. Therapists, pastors, parents, friends do this all the time, and it makes a universe of difference. Therapy is nothing less than truth that unslaves. Counseling is nothing less than an empowering relationship that helps us see ourselves more accurately.

Here is the deal. We all have something to overcome. It is this: Was is! What was, the past, dominates what is, the present.

The past is a despot over the present. Past addiction, failures and broken relationship tend to rule our present ones. Too many of us live with one eye spun to the back of our heads, cycloptic we go forward ever peering past-ward. We crash through the present staring wildly into the past from one ever back-gazing, was-dominant, memory tortured eye. Like this we stumble.

Such deep compassion is needed for we us. We all need truth. We need help reinterpreting our pasts so that that they don’t wreck the present.

We can, as we ourselves learn and change, provide counsel to others, and we can seek out trained therapists, to help us make much needed identity shifts. We can be taught to tell ourselves: “I am not what other people have said I am. I am not the sum of my past decisions. I am not the past. I can be, I am now free to be who I decide to be, who God, who loves me, can help me be.”

Was may be is, but is can also change was, and is is what we help people determine it to be by their present moment choices. Is, with truth in it, actually can change how we see was. The truth can free us from was.

This is powerful stuff, good stuff; truth sets free, and if we become free, then we really can live radically, beautifully and amazingly free lives.

wise stuff

Posted: February 21, 2011 in thriving
Tags: , , , ,

Life is a firehose of information but sometimes we just want a sweet drop of truth. I saw a hummingbird dip its food snagger in a red honeysuckle flower recently. Yum! One sip! Good!

I ran into a couple who had just celebrated fifty years of marriage this week. They agreed that to do that, they had done some serious shutting up. Less is more, over the long haul.

Sometimes we want for small when buried in too much big. Yesterday after being social all day, my pajamas and my bed and my laptop were just right to help me restore.  Simple beats complex, at the end of most days.

In the end, I went to sleep. We all do, always. Sleep is a good simple for it is simply accepting  the day. It is more; the simple act of going to bed each night is preparation for death, the moment when we give in to what was, with no more complicated attempts to change that.

Wise stuff? We need it. More. It explains the world.

Think elegant explanations, like Kepler’s elliptical orbit of the planets,; the beauty is often in the simplicity.

And so, we love a theory and we love a proverb. Short truth delights by telling all with some. We call such collected truth, wisdom literature.

Wisdom literature is ancient, oral, axiomatic, classic, lasting.  It is often pithy, punchy, with a pinch of sarcasm, wit and humor tossed in for seasoning. It skewers us, in a way we like, stabbing sence into our psyches. It shapens up  the mundane into the  sublime.

Want some? 

I invite you to visit