Pjohanna's Blog

Author Randall Balmer sees a White House that is more moral than under former president Bush. I found this about his book:

How did we go from John F. Kennedy declaring that religion should play no role in the elections to Bush saying, “I believe that God wants me to be president”?

Historian Randall Balmer takes us on a tour of presidential religiosity in the last half of the twentieth century—from Kennedy’s 1960 speech that proposed an almost absolute wall between American political and religious life to the soft religiosity of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society; from Richard Nixon’s manipulation of religion to fit his own needs to Gerald Ford’s quiet stoicism; from Jimmy Carter’s introduction of evangelicalism into the mainstream to Ronald Reagan’s co-option of the same group; from Bill Clinton’s covert way of turning religion into a non-issue to George W. Bush’s overt Christian messages, Balmer reveals the role religion has played in the personal and political lives of these American presidents.

Americans were once content to disregard religion as a criterion for voting, as in most of the modern presidential elections before Jimmy Carter.But today’s voters have come to expect candidates to fully disclose their religious views and to deeply illustrate their personal relationship to the Almighty. God in the White House explores the paradox of Americans’ expectation that presidents should simultaneously trumpet their religious views and relationship to God while supporting the separation of church and state. Balmer tells the story of the politicization of religion in the last half of the twentieth century, as well as the “religionization” of our politics. He reflects on the implications of this shift, which have reverberated in both our religious and political worlds, and offers a new lens through which to see not only these extraordinary individuals, but also our current political situation.

The religious right gain a lot of monetary compensation by getting involved in politics. They involve their flock, which equals a majority of voters, and candidates are aware of that power to help get them into the White House.  It is all about money and power. It has little to do with the bettering of a society or the following of Christ. There is a fine line that has been crossed, the past eight years has proven that. Theocracy is not what the United States is about.

The interesting fact about this author are his credentials:

Randall Balmer, an Episcopal priest, is professor of American religious history at Barnard College, Columbia University, and visiting professor at Yale University Divinity School. He has been a visiting professor at Dartmouth College and at Princeton, Yale, and Northwestern Universities. He has also taught in the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and is currently the Alonzo McDonald Distinguished Visiting Professor at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.


{January 31, 2009}   Seeking God for Financial Help

It is really turning ugly. The latest news in California from Arnie is that we may not even see our tax refund. We are also going to have higher sales tax, rumor is that it is going to be 10% in Los Angeles. Layoffs are happening by the minute, even Starbucks had its turn. Retail stores are closing and employers are making their employees lose a day of work, unpaid to cope. While people are losing money, the mortgage is getting higher.

Just this past week, a family of seven died in a murder-suicide, due to finances.

The Los Angeles Times has an article about how the churches are getting filled with parishioners. They are seeking help. They are asking for money, literally, to pay the rent: 

But although prayer soothes the soul, it doesn’t pay the mortgage

In desperate times when there is no one to turn to people turn to God. This time, it isn’t strength or answers that they are seeking it is help. The article went on to mention that the priests or pastors are used to helping in a time of crisis, when it is death and divorce, but they are not prepared for what is currently happening. They are not prepared to deal with the economy and the financial struggles that is hitting families hard.

As I was reading this, I couldn’t help but remember the $36 million dollars spent to defeat same-sex marriage here in California. The majority of the people that donated, the high ranking donors, did it for religious reasons. Where are they?

Is it too much to ask for a grassroots movement to help these people now, especially those that are of the same faith, have the same beliefs?

It is amazing how much was spent on defeating an issue that involved two consenting adults, all because of people seeing it as what they do in their bedroom and families are getting thrown out of their homes with children. What a shame.

“The most mean spirited e-mail were from Christians”. I have had that experience all my life. My sister said I am anti-religious because of that experience, which I disagree. Tell a Christian that, and they of course do not see it that way. So what do Christians have to say about this priest, pastor or bishop making this statement, let’s see:

brocoly10 (7 hours ago) -1 Reply
he still didnt say how it was a gift! homosexuality goes against everything the bible says. there is even a passage that says homosexuals will not go to heaven. the pastor is and idiot–youtube comment.

simone56 (1 day ago) 0 Reply
These men are ministers of SATAN! You will find this nowhere in scripture and these people are leading many souls to HELL!–youtube

29martian (3 days ago) -4 Reply
fardawg I definitely agree with you. It’s a gift, but from who? some gifts should be “returned to sender”.–youtube

8. Re: Being Gay Is A Gift From God????
Jan 7, 2009 4:46 PM | In response to: burrelda
May God forgive me but I must speak out here!!!! I about fell off my chair when this was said!!! I wanted to turn the channel but was HOPING OPRAH would have said SOMETHING! I went right to my bible because I know it is in there somewhere the only word that can to mind
ABOMINATION : Mark 13:14
PERVERSION : Romans 1:27
DETESTABLE: 1Kings 14:26
WICKED MEN: Judges 19:22
DO NOT: Leviticus 18:22
I will not judge but my LORD will !!–Oprah website

30. Re: Being Gay Is A Gift From God????
Jan 7, 2009 5:58 PM | In response to: lawalj
I was so sad when this man said that being gay is a gift from god i changed the channel. He not have read the bible, or maybe he’s talking about its a gift from Satan. The city of Sodom was destroyed because of the homosexuality by Jesus father,GOD.–Oprah website

and last but not least, the best one:

Unless this is addressed in some way by Oprah herself, I PROMISE that I will never again be watching the Oprah show, just like I will never again be reading Newsweek because of its article which tried to prove that God’s Word approves of homosexuality and that great men of the Bible like Paul and David were gay! Christians need to start standing up for the truth and the Word of God in this country or we won’t have a country that resembles anything that our forefathers (who were all devout Christians by the way) created

I never thought I would say this, but why don’t Christians just take the O’Reilly on this one?



{January 6, 2009}   London Advertisement
Stop Worrying about it and ENJOY LIFE

Stop Worrying about it and ENJOY LIFE

Why the advertisement? In response to Christian advertisement warning people who rejected God were condemned to spend eternity in “torment in hell”.

Sound familiar?

{January 4, 2009}   Discussions of the Bible

I love discussing the bible. I am always amused to the conclusion that people come to towards me: that I am not reading the whole context, that I am pulling it OUT of context and that I am misquoting the scripture. The truth lies in the fact that there are many levitical laws that are broken by many Christians, some state that as long as they repent they are forgiven and all is well, but is it?

My question always ends on the following: Why don’t you let God judge me? Why must you do the judging, or more importantly, why do you feel compelled in changing me? I follow all the laws, I pay my taxes and most importantly, I respect the beliefs of others. I always listen, and yes I bring up questions and when I do, people end up getting frustrated.

One of the most important work that Christ did on earth was to preach and he always focused on the oppressed. His biggest thing was to bring them to His father. The Christians of today are no where close to that. They are always angry and condem and judge.
Matthew 19:17-22

17 So He said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.”
18 He said to Him, “Which ones?”
Jesus said, “ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ 19 ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
20 The young man said to Him, “All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?”
21 Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Only ONE good: God.

26 But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

But with God all things are possible…is it possible, that to many in this secular world I am a sinner, but to God, I am one of HIS sheep? I have been called many names, on one of the comments here, I was told my brian is weird, but to God all things are possible.

I am not a fanatic of the bible, I like to read it because those that feel that need to preach to me, should in turn be prepared for other parts of the bible, and not just those tiny bits and pieces they grab onto. I have to admit though, the bible was written by men, translated by men and continue to be interpreted by men.

{January 3, 2009}   1 Corinthians 6:9-10

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (New American Standard Bible)

9do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

So does Bristol Palin fall under this bible scripture? Sarah Palin was very vocal on her religious views and trying to push them onto America. A significant part of Palin’s base of support lies among social and Christian conservatives. Her positions on social issues emerged slowly during the campaign: on abortion (should be banned for anything other than saving the life of the mother), stem cell research (opposed), physician-assisted suicide (opposed), creationism (should be discussed in schools), state health benefits for same-sex partners (opposed, and supports a constitutional amendment to bar them). Her respect for the state constitution was illustrated by her first veto as governor. Alaska’s Supreme Court had ordered the state to provide health benefits to same-sex partners of public employees, finding that this was mandated by the state constitution’s equal protection clause. Palin vetoed a subsequent attempt by the legislature to enact legislation to take away the same-sex benefits. After being advised by the state attorney general that the legislation was unconstitutional, she said that signing the bill would be in direct violation of her oath of office. (Anchorage Daily News, Dec. 29, 2006 article.)

Now what is the statement of her grandchild’s birth?

The governor went on to say, “When Bristol and Levi first told us the shocking news that she was pregnant, to be honest, we all at first looked at the situation with some fear and a bit of despair. Isn’t it just like God to turn those circumstances into such an amazing, joyful blessing when you ask Him to help you through?”
The official statement also includes a quote from new mom Bristol, who “obviously” doesn’t support teen pregnancy: “Teenagers need to prevent pregnancy to begin with—this isn’t ideal. But I’m fortunate to have a supportive family which is dealing with this together. Tripp is so perfectly precious; we love him with all our hearts. I can’t imagine life without him now.”

I wonder if this will allow her not to be so judgmental, so stringent on her dogma?

I brought up this text because it is ALWAYS brought up in regards to homosexuality, no matter what anyone states, fornication is right there. Sarah Palin might look at that as a reminder from God about imperfection.

Did God really help their circumstance to be turned around? Does she view her daughter as a fornicator?

So the whole time that the Christians were focused on the “gay agenda” and Rick Warren, the Atheists came up with a WAMMY!


{December 2, 2008}   Losing my FAITH

I was raised in a very strict religious household. I always had my doubts, I always had questions that could not really be voiced or in turn could not really be answered. I finally left that religion, about 10 years ago. About, maybe 5 years ago, I declared I didn’t believe that Satan existed. I am now at a crossroads. I have come to the fork on the road and I don’t know which way to turn.

I have always stated, I am a spiritual person, but do not believe in organized religion. I am now coming to terms that I might not really believe in the existance of God. This teriffies me. I wonder, when I am at my death bed, am I going to regret this?

I like to rationalize and I like to find evidence and facts. I don’t find any when it comes to HIM, yet, at the same time, I can’t find evidence for the opposite.

I don’t like where the world is heading, when it comes to HIM. I sometimes wonder if it is the religious zealots that are pushing me in the opposite direction. That is when I pause and wonder, should I allow them that much power?

et cetera