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My political silence is ending…but not on FB.

My political silence is ending…but not on FB.

My political silence is ending…but not on FB. Fire it up.

Since last September when my dog Baron died…


…I’ve tempered my FB posts a bit in realization that FB is just nonsense and utter bullshit when it comes to politics. I love you all but it truthfully is. It devolves down to who can shout the loudest?! 

So back then, I turned over a new leaf on FB and have tried, to the best of my ability, to keep my Facebook posts free of my own personal politics (except for “liking” other peoples’ political posts). Political FB posts are often times just way too divisive. Posts on a screen don’t have the ability to change culture, or advance anything meaningful or tangible, really. It’s just an attempt of who can shout the loudest while reinforcing our own cognitive biases. We simply “like” ideas we agree with, while we dismiss (demean) ideas or people groups we don’t agree with. Facebook has become a different form of the “Christian ghetto”. Facebook requires nothing of the user other than the click of a thumbs up, or sharing things we really, really, really agree with; and we just know that if people will read what I shared they’ll change their minds and agree with my cognitive bias posts. (heavy sarcasm implied)

My blog on the other hand is fair game for any and all topics!…and it’s also where I would like to invite you all to engage me for RESPECTFUL discourse. Topics will include: theology (sin of certainty, books I’m reading, how we read the Bible, turning the other cheek vs why Jesus doesn’t champion christian warriors/soldiers, evolution), racism, politics (Dems and Repubs are both wrong, legislating morality is wrong-er), business (sales primarily), sports (KU, Royals, Sporting KC and muckfizzou), my new love of gravel grinding, BBQ (reviews and my own smoking), cigars (reviews and FDA bullshit regulation updates), etc, etc, etc. 

But everything that has happened from the president recently is absolutely unbelievable, and astonishing. And yet, at the same time, not surprising of him at all. That fact is regrettably the sad, hopeless feeling of pulling the curtain back on Trump’s true character. 

So with all this nonsensical, despicable bullshit going on from the president and the Church’s silence in response to him I might have to start firing the blog up again and I apologize in advance. 😉😎 but seriously, I want to encourage you to engage me – I’m nice…for the most part. So if you don’t understand why I believe something I wrote about, just ask me. My blog is called “Dialogo de Derek” for a reason – it’s an invitation into a conversation. It’s not meant to just be a monologue, or my own diatribe.

Honestly though, writing for me is more cathartic than anything else; it allows me to hammer something out, take a deep breath, exhale and continue on without loosing my noodle. I’ve written several posts recently and just haven’t hit “publish”. If/when I start writing again I will link to the posts on FB, but still keep my FB feed free of my direct thoughts, you’ll have to click the link to see the inner workings of my randomness. We’ll see what jumps from my brain to my blog in the coming days. You’ve been warned. 😉😜 I love you all…or at least most of you. 🤣

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Posted by on August 15, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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“Jackie Robinson” Is Not Our Final Example of Racism. Brutally Honest Opinions

“Jackie Robinson” Is Not Our Final Example of Racism. Brutally Honest Opinions


I am really looking forward to the Jackie Robinson documentary on PBS tonight and tomorrow. I am a big fan of Ken Burns’ documentaries and can’t wait to see this one. 

Unfortunately some will watch this documentary and think, “I’m glad our society isn’t like that today”. Sad. Today, our laws may be different and our sports are integrated but the truth is our hearts tell a much different story. Our hearts still resemble the actions of what Jackie Robinson had to fight against. 

Racism Today

Racism baffles me. 

Yes, I unfortunately understand (and abhor) how people are racist a-holes and try to subordinate people who intimidate them (i.e. slavery – no, subordination is not why slavery started but I do think it might have been a contributing factor for what helped perpetuate slavery), and how the legal system allowed racism to legally linger well into the 1960s. 

But, how racism still exists in today’s society is completely beyond comprehension. Yes, a society will always have outspoken degenerates (today that seems to be the Republican party…sorry, but prove me otherwise), but I have heard racist comments from all walks of life, not just degenerates. 

Brutally Honest 

{Disclaimer – what follows does not fully encapsulate my opinion of Arkansas because I had a lot of great experiences, for example: I have some good friends who live(d) in Arkansas, 

L to R: Tad, Brian, John, and Me
I met and married my wife in Arkansas, p1010009and both of my precious sons were born in Arkansas.  But my horrible church experiences, and the racism I saw do not reflect favorably on Arkansas, to put it mildly. But unfortunately despite this disclaimer some will completely disregard what I have stated and think I hate Arkansas. This is not true at all.}  

a sign in Harrison, AR

 
Before I moved to Arkansas I had NO IDEA how alive racism is in Arkansas. They have Robert E. Lee day on the same day as MLK Jr day and are realizing how ridiculous and insulting that is and finally might get that changed. 
When I lived in Arkansas  (2008-2015) I heard racist comments on a regular basis: in doctors’ offices, on the golf course, playing soccer, playing softball, parties, out to dinner, everywhere. People in Arkansas were not bashful at espousing their disgusting racist opinions. 

Now that we (my family) have moved from Arkansas to Kansas (my home state), being able to get away from the rampant racism in Arkansas is one reason I’m glad we don’t live there anymore. I don’t want my sons being infected by others’ disgusting racist ways and am glad they won’t be inundated with those views. I hope my sons are so oblivious about the way some people are treated dependent upon the color of their skin that I have to teach my sons about racism and how wrong it is.  Despite Kansas being steeped in historical landmark decisions and actions of racial equality (being a free state, Brown vs Board of Education ruling, John Brown, Bleeding Kansas, and more) sadly more recently Kansas is not perfect when it comes to fighting for marriage equality (again, see the Republican party). 

And please understand not every Arkansan is racist, but when it comes to race Kansas is much better than southern states. (Considering the present state of the South and race that last sentence isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement.)

Racist Christians

The church founded by Jesus should be known for what he was known for: radically embracing those that others refused to touch. – Jonathan McIntosh

Short sidenote that I won’t belabor – if you’re a “Christian” and hold racist views i.e. you’re a racist…I honestly don’t know what to say… What part of Christ’s message embodies racism? Unbelievable. 

Diversity and the Gospel – Christ City Church

This is a link to a great podcast of Matt Washburn guest speaking at Chrisy City Church who speaks about this issue more tenderly and eloquently than I do. I am more blunt and straightforward; for better or worse. 🙃

Rant over for now…I do have a blog post I’m still working on regarding racism, but for now, enjoy the Jackie Robinson documentary and think about how you can help eradicate racism. 

Cheers! 

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2016 in culture, theology

 

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“I’m Sorry.”

It’s been a tough couple of weeks. As a nation we have had so many things to process and work through. Mark Driscoll gets booted (rightfully so) from Mars Hill and Acts 29. Robin Williams commits suicide. And finally, after a couple days of ignoring it, the media started paying attention to what was going on in Ferguson, MO after Michael Brown was killed by a white police officer. And then on top of that all hell broke loose on social media – twitter, Facebook, blogs, etc., about what was going on in Ferguson.

A very tough couple of weeks.

Throughout this past week’s racial tension that we all saw unfold in Ferguson, and then with the horrible fallout on social media, we were exposed to people and media outlets showing their true (racist) colors. On social media I saw “friends” post blatantly racist comments and also post veiled racist comments that were truly disheartening.

And disgusting.

Here in Little Rock, my wife, son, and I attend a multi-cultural church – Mosaic Church. Our church is made up of Caucasians, African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, Eastern Europeans, and other ethnicities. It’s a beautiful thing to witness so many ethnicities worshipping our multi-racial god during what is the most segregated hour (11am-12pm) in America. Regrettably, racism is an issue that is unlikely to be solved in our ethnically segregated churches. If we don’t worship together how can we expect to work together on an issue that plagues our society?…and plagues the South moreso than anywhere else in our country.

When we went to church this past Sunday I was wondering what the atmosphere would be like. Would there be the elephant in the room (Ferguson) that we would not talk about? Would it be tense. Would it be normal? How could it be normal?

I don’t know why, but I arrived at church with an attitude of, “I’m sorry” towards my African-American brothers and sisters. I’m sorry for the way our nation has reacted to the situation in Ferguson, MO. I’m sorry for what happened in Ferguson. I’m sorry for the things that were/are being said in the media. I’m sorry for the hateful, vile things that were/are being said and spread on social media. I’m sorry that we (via the media) clamor to hear about the white couple who has gone missing, but turn a blind eye towards the minorities who die or are murdered every day in our cities’ core. I’m sorry.

But this past Sunday, I also saw hope. I saw understanding. I saw solidarity. I saw this issue addressed in the setting and clarifying manner it should be addressed – with multiple ethnicities being able to converse about the issue.

Every Sunday at Mosaic we close our worship service in prayer and each row of people holds hands with the people next to them stretching across the width of the worship area.

We do this every week and normally it doesn’t mean much more to me than a nice gesture, but this week it seemed like a strong gesture of solidarity after Mark DeYmaz addressed the white elephant in the room.

In the clip below watch what Mark DeYmaz had to say and the 5 questions he asked about the Ferguson situation. (click the play button)

I will have a longer, more in-depth post about racism in the near future – it’s been in the works for quite awhile.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in culture, spiritual, theology

 

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#RB11 and “The Color Orange”

Right now I’m sitting in the Bale Honda service center waiting on the diagnosis/estimate for the repairs on my car.  When I bought my car in 2009, the sales rep at Bale was a HUGE help in the disaster I experienced from Landers Jeep in Benton (never go there) but it seems like I’m here a little too often (other than for my oil change) for a 2008 Accord (a year old but close to 0 miles on it). But for my own mental-wellbeing I chalk that up to being on the road for 30,000+ miles per year. So, yesterday when Jeff and I…

Jeff and I at the KU game watching KU get blown out


…were traveling back from our awesome #RB11 (Reliving Bachelorhood 2011) weekend in Kansas

Jeff and I with our favorite cigar guy at Diebel's on the Plaza

our sustenance for the weekend

...more sustenance

...yes, more sustenance. Ya know, the necessities.

…which included amazing “guy-time” in leading off with ribs at Gates BBQ (pictured above) in playing NCAA 2011 on the PS3, enjoying good cigars (pictured above), seeing our buddy at our favorite cigar store at Diebel’s on the Plaza (pictured above), and then the debacle known as the Sunflower Showdown – KU being demolished by K-State, but we rebounded with more PS3, more cigars, more B&B, and more beer; and then on the drive home singing along to old country classics (neither of us like country music) that we could find on youtube on my phone and pipe into my car – things took a turn for the worse when Jeff selected some Abba, but we recovered by talking about football, power tools, and man caves for the remainder of the trip so as not to question our manliness.

Well, on the drive home I felt the familiar sputtering of the engine on my 2008 Honda Accord and knew I would be visiting Bale on Monday, which is where I sit right now. Fun times. 

I digress.  The other thing I wanted to include in this blog-post was a poignant quote that stood out to me in “The Color Orange”. “The Color Orange” is an ESPN film narrated by Kenny Chesney and is great story about crossing race boundaries in the South when the University of Tennessee had their first black quarterback – Condredge Holloway. I honestly can not stand racism and since I moved to Arkansas it’s even more prevalent and it’s disgusting to me. To judge somebody on the color of their skin just doesn’t make sense to me. If there needs to be judgment I prefer to judge people on the actions they knowingly choose to make rather than almost anything else.

The quote is from Lester McClain who was the first black player at the University of Tennessee.

“50 years is not a long time. Condredge helped this happen less than 50 yrs ago. An example how short 50 yrs can really be; my father was 50 years old when I was born. My father’s father was 50 yrs old when my father was born. My grandfather was born a slave. That’s how short it is. 50 yrs is not very long.”

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2011 in culture

 

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