Feeling the Bern in Madison


It’s been a couple of weeks now, but I thought I would share a few things about the huge turn out for Bernie Sanders in Madison, WI back on July 1.  I don’t support Bernie but I do respect a candidate who is true to his principles and wishes to engage in substantive debate.

While he doesn’t have much of a shot at beating Hillary for the Democratic nod, the crowd cheered him on as if he were the front-runner.  Of course, it is interesting to note that I had to wait in quite the long line just to see an underdog…  It was interesting being a conservative in this crowd of progressives and socialists.  I must say, I was treated with respect.  I even made a few friends.  IMG_3717

As for the speech, I wasn’t as impressed as the rest of the crowd was.  I left unconvinced.  I heard attacks on Republicans, class warfare and calls for bigger government.  Apart from a few areas of agreement, it was pretty much what I expected.  Here are my live tweets that pretty much give a summary of my thoughts:

We are going to win this election! – @BernieSanders #FeelTheBern

IMG_3733Bernie says he wants to appeal to Republicans through a progress agenda. I think there’s a problem in his logic… #FeelTheBern

Medicare for all, single payer system. #FeelTheBern

Another point of agreement, college loan debt is out of control and something needs needs to be done #FeelTheBern

It’s there hatred on the left? Absolutely. Just mention the name Scott Walker. #FeelTheBern

Real family values adorably apparently means lots of paid time off. #FeelTheBern

Gop had a warped view of family values. #FeelTheBern

Mocking family values now. #FeelTheBern

If someone works 40 hours a week they shouldn’t have to live in poverty – @BernieSanders #FeelTheBern

WI minimum wage is a “starvation wage.” – @BernieSanders #FeelTheBern

Again, I agree that our criminal justice system should be overhauled so that young black men can walk the streets unfraid of harassment.

Hey, I agree, it would be great to spend money on education than incarceration. #FreeAgency

You can’t get tax breaks when children in this country go hungry. – @BernieSanders #FeelTheBern

Income inequality is the greatest moral issue of our time – @BernieSanders #FeelTheBern

Class warfare, attack the rich. #FeelTheBern

There are so many young people here. He’s inspiring this group to political revolution through grass roots. IMG_3692#FeelTheBern

I agree that there is way too much money in elections today. #FeelTheBern

According to @BernieSanders pro-life folks like me are the real extremists. #FeelTheBern

John Nichols introducing… #FeelTheBern

Just saw a woman literally on her knees begging Ed Schultz to interview @BernieSanders #FeelTheBern

Just ran into Ed Schultz. Nice guy, but I hate his show. #FeelTheBern

Literally just bumped into the mayor of Madison. He didn’t have time for a selfie. He was willing but his handler wasn’t in the mood.

Don’t anyone tell this crowd @BernieSanders is an underdog! #FeeltheBern

Just got interviewed by the Milwaukee Journal Standard. The reporter was surprised to see a conservative here. #Feelthebern

Last sound check, this crowd is excited. #FeelTheBern

I’ll be live tweeting the @BernieSanders rally here in Madison tonight. One hour till showtime, big crowd already.

There is one quick thing I would like to clear up.  As mentioned in my tweets, I was interviewed by the Journal Sentinel.  Here’s how it was reported:

IMG_3651Kevin Thompson, who teaches government at a Christian school in Beloit, said he is leaning toward supporting U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, but he came to see Sanders because he is intrigued by his proposal to provide free college education.

“I’ve got to respect a guy who stands on principle, and that certainly is Bernie Sanders,” said Thompson, 38, who lives in Rockford, Ill.

Read the entire article here.

For the record, I did not come because of Sander’s proposal about free college tuition.  As I told the reporter, I came because there was a major presidential candidate in town.  I would have come if it were Martin O’Malley or Ben Carson.  As for my thoughts on free college, I’m not yet on board.  I am interested if it involves the federal government getting out of the load business.  College loan debt is something that is going to have to be addressed sooner rather than later.  But, of course, I am concerned about how it will be paid for and just how much government control it would involve.


Free E-Book Alert – Taking God At His Word by Kevin DeYoung

The fine folks at Crossway have made Kevin DeYoung’s Taking God at His Word a free download.  They write,

In our rapidly changing culture, biblical authority is too important to neglect.

That’s why we recently decided to give away Taking God At His Word: Why the Bible Is Knowable, Necessary, and Enough, and What That Means for You and Me by Kevin DeYoung, a helpful and timely resource for Christians today.

In the book, DeYoung answers important questions about the Bible raised by Christians and non-Christians alike, helping us understand what the Bible says about itself and the key characteristics that contribute to its lasting significance.

Check it out here.

This and That

The Best Way to Teach – As people sit under this kind of preaching week after week, year after year, and book after book, they see inerrancy, they experience inerrancy, they believe inerrancy, and they consider anything less unthinkable. The most important lessons on inerrancy are not the ones in the systematic theology text but in the pulpit. – Tim Challies

The Heresy of Racial Superiority — Confronting the Past, and Confronting the Truth – But I would argue that racial superiority in any form, and white superiority as the central issue of our concern, is a heresy. The separation of human beings into ranks of superiority and inferiority differentiated by skin color is a direct assault upon the doctrine of Creation and an insult to the imago Dei — the image of God in which every human being is made. Racial superiority is also directly subversive of the gospel of Christ, effectively reducing the power of his substitutionary atonement and undermining the faithful preaching of the gospel to all persons and to all nations. – Al Molher

The Cross and the Confederate Flag

Russell Moore on the flying of the Confederate flag:

The Apostle Paul says that we should not prize our freedom to the point of destroying those for whom Christ died. We should instead “pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Rom. 14:19). The Confederate Battle Flag may mean many things, but with those things it represents a defiance against abolition and against civil rights. The symbol was used to enslave the little brothers and sisters of Jesus, to bomb little girls in church buildings, to terrorize preachers of the gospel and their families with burning crosses on front lawns by night.

That sort of symbolism is out of step with the justice of Jesus Christ. The cross and the Confederate flag cannot co-exist without one setting the other on fire. White Christians, let’s listen to our African-American brothers and sisters. Let’s care not just about our own history, but also about our shared history with them. In Christ, we were slaves in Egypt—and as part of the Body of Christ we were all slaves too in Mississippi. Let’s watch our hearts, pray for wisdom, work for justice, love our neighbors. Let’s take down that flag.

Read the whole post here.

Reflections on Father’s Day within the Body of Christ

calmdadToday is my first fathers day as a father. What a day. My wife and children gave me a special breakfast and some great gifts. I can’t help but reflect and stand amazed that God placed me in this role of father. It’s overwhelming to say the least. Yet my day became all the more real once I walked into church.

Here, I received my greatest fathers day gift, I worshipped with my boys. I was almost in tears as I listened to my oldest son singing praises to the Lord during our song service. This was the same boy that only months ago I had to remove from the service because of his disruptive behavior and rebellious attitude toward anything that dared stand against his stated agenda. He certainly doesn’t have the greatest voice, but it is a sweet voice of praise in the ears of our Lord and his dad.

Right now I’m sitting in the back, like the good Baptist that I am, getting ready for the sermon. Before me sits my brothers and sisters in the Lord. As I look at this spiritual family I am reminded of the Lord’s command to rejoice with those rejoice and to also weep with those who weep. Here is what I am looking at:

  • Fathers like me celebrating their very first fathers day.
  • Fathers with many children, examples for me to follow the years to come.
  • Young men who will soon become fathers, great ones.
  • Fathers who are fathers in name only.
  • Children who know what it is to suffer under the horrible reign of an abusive father.
  • Children who mourn the death of their beloved father, clinging to happy yet distant memories.
  • Children who never knew their own father.
  • Children who must grapple with deciding which father to honor: their biological dad or the person mommy is now married to…
  • Children who have estranged relationships with a father they only one cherished.
  • Fathers who mourn the death of one their own children.

I will rejoice and be glad today, but I will also choose to identify with those who hurt today. I love you and grieve with you.  But please know that you have a Heavenly father that transcends both good and bad earthly fathers.  Look to him for your comfort, example and identity.

I am Rachel Dolezal

My friend Bob Bixby uses the Rachel Dolezal scandal to point us to a greater spiritual reality:

The reason we embellish our stories is because we cannot embrace the reality of our nothingness. But it is our nothingness that makes God’s grace so amazing. The pastor who was publicly embarrassed four years ago was caught in a story that he let develop and then ultimately promoted because it met a deep personal need in his life. He needed to feel like he was somebody.  Rachel Dolezal is an interesting case study, but why is it that Christian pastors and missionaries and leaders feel so inclined to tell amazing stories about themselves? What kind of gospel do we proclaim when our leaders — our leaders! — are so afraid to admit error, be real, and be nothing?Are we not missing out on a better understanding of the Gospel that would free us from such empty pursuits of security and self-acceptance? Why is image so, so important? Why do we cherish self-promoting anecdotes and why must we invest so much in displaying evidence of our specialness? Why do clergy especially desperately inflate their pasts?
We are nation of people given over to superlatives. If we do not have the best of something, we have the very worst. If we cannot canonize, we demonize. God forbid that we should be regular folk, just average. And as parents we dread the possibility that our kids are just, well, kind of normal.
Read the whole post here.

This and That

A Day Late, A Dollar Short – All Campolo has done as an evangelical is modify his sexual ethics to conform to the comfortable, safe, middle-class tastes of modern America. He will shock no-one but evangelicals—and, I might add, only evangelicals unfamiliar with his other work. – Carl Trueman

Learning for the Future from the Duggars – As embarassing as it might be to have a juvenile arrest and conviction for sexual molestation, it’s powerful to be able to say as an adult that you faced it head on and dealt with the consequences at the time you committed the act, that you agreed with the court on the seriousness of the crime you committed and you took the steps you needed to make sure you never did it again. – Wendy Alsup