Tag Archives: Christians

Crusading and Finger Pointing in a Time of Crisis

We are in the midst of the biggest health and economic crisis of our lifetime, but there are still people using Facebook to post their political agendas, political finger pointing, hatred and bigotry, and their false sense of superiority over their neighbor.  I am talking about both Republican and Democrat supporters, conservatives and liberals, as well as Christians and self-proclaimed do-gooders!  I for one do not give a rip about anyone’s political preferences or conservative or liberal views, especially during this time of crisis. There may be a time for those views, but now is certainly not the time.

With the current crisis, the last thing we need is finger pointing and disingenuous religious posturing.  Pointing fingers of blame and citing scripture followed by arrows of hate and ridicule of neighbors does nothing but deepen the divide in our fragmented country.  To get through this crisis, we need to do something that has become quite rare for Americans – work together.  There is enough blame for everyone to share without the petty constant reminders on Facebook.  For those who don’t believe it, look in the mirror.

Every day, I see people post comments and memes seeking God’s intervention, and then turn around in their next post and spit out hate and disdain for neighbors who believe differently or support a different lifestyle.  It is time we get real about being human beings and start acting like we care about one another!  In these troubling times, how can so many pray for God’s intervention while refusing to extend a hand of compromise, peace, and love to their neighbor?  They may be fooling themselves and others, but they are not fooling God.

If people want others to believe their Christian posts, they need to start acting like a Christian when they post.  I have the utmost confidence Christ is neither a Republican or a Democrat, and it is highly doubtful he appreciates the hateful rhetoric some people consistently spew forth on Facebook.  Crusading against your fellow man does not make a person a better Christian – it certainly does not speak well of Christianity.

If it is necessary to toss anything at a neighbor perceived as an enemy, why not try a prayer rather than ugly, heartless, and mean-spirited language?  That takes no more effort while possibly healing our division and enabling us to work together as human beings truly concerned for each other’s worth and preservation.  God bless our little Southern pea-picking hearts, in these troubling times, we can certainly use all the support and prayers we can muster even when our actions so often prove we are not deserving of God’s grace and healing touch.


©Jack Linton, March 20, 2020

This is America: It is Time We Remember Who We Are

Although I believe there must be immigration laws, I also believe human beings have a right to seek a better life for themselves and their children.  If that was not true, God would not have led the children of Israel to the Promised Land.  The Israelites were immigrants to Canaan and God blessed them.  Likewise, God has blessed America.  Except for America’s indigenous people, all American citizens are or were at some point in their family history immigrants to this nation, and like the Israelites, God has blessed this nation of immigrants greatly.  Therefore, the only rational conclusion is the pursuit of a better life by immigrants is blessed in the eyes of God regardless of the self-righteous tantrums we throw or the vilifying mud we sling.

One of the most important documents in the creation of this nation was the Declaration of Independence, and that document clearly outlines three “unalienable rights” that are given to all human beings by God our Creator:  life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  The Declaration of Independence also declares the sole purpose of government is to protect the “unalienable rights” of all human beings.  It does not specify Americans, Hispanics, or any other nationality or ethnic group.  Through this document, the wisdom of our founding fathers speaks in support of all human beings.  It is clear in its message, a message echoed by the inscription on the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor; your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” that the United States was founded by believers in freedom and believers in the inherent right of all human beings to pursue a better life.  Therefore, the migration of families seeking a better life –  should not be construed – cannot be construed – a criminal offense if Americans believe in the values on which our founding fathers established this nation.

Of course, known criminals should be turned away as well as those not willing to work for the American dream.  Such people are not immigrants seeking a better life; they are cancers that rightfully should be denied access to our nation.  However, there are many many more immigrants who, if given a chance, would prove a benefit to the nation.  In a nation, struggling to find people who want to work, immigrants are a proven workforce that could strengthen this nation’s economy.

Unfortunately, presently, we are so focused on the cancers, so afraid of the boogey men our government has created, it is unlikely immigrants will get a fair shake anytime soon.  Such punitive action as removing innocent children from immigrant parents is likely to become more common in coming months, which will do nothing more than feed a domestic cancer that further divides, tarnishes, and shames our great nation.  Labeling all immigrants as criminals and separating innocent children from their parents is barbaric and tells the world that America, built on the premise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, has sadly morphed into a nation living a lie.

Everyone has an opinion about immigration, and in most cases, there is an underlying truth in each of those opinions, but regardless, Americans cannot lose sight that immigration is a human issue in which there is a moral obligation to not only be cautious but compassionate as well.  Immigration, especially the separation of immigrate children from their parents, is not a conservative versus liberal issue.  It is not a Democrat versus Republican issue.  It is a human rights issue that no American can afford to sit back and ignore or blindly support inhumane policies and practices.

Our forefathers understood immigrants to this nation were the nation’s backbone.  They founded America on that backbone, they embraced those no one else wanted, and they stood their ground against tyranny to protect human rights.  Immigration has always been and continues to be a human rights issue.  It is an issue where Americans, especially Christians, must separate themselves from the jaws of politics and stand up for what is humanly right –  They must do what Jesus would do!  Immigration and its solutions are complex, but practices such as separating children from their parents as punishment for crossing the border into the United States is not a complex issue; it is simply morally wrong and should be stopped immediately.  This is America, and it is time we remember who we are and act accordingly.


©Jack Linton, June 18, 2018

Everyone Needs a Little Christmas Magic

Christmas is a time for celebrating family and friends and extending fellowship to all.  It is a time for worship and remembering the sacrifice God made to send his son into the world.  Also, it is a time for reflection on the past year, and boy do we have a year to reflect on!  Beginning with an election campaign filled with calls for disengaging from our love affair with wealth and embracing leveling the playing field for the poor, it is a year to look back on and examine our values.  It was a year that gave support to an isolationist mentality as frustrations grew out of the uncertain impact illegal immigrants had on the economy and rising concern and fears over instability and terrorism in the Middle East.  Sometimes seemingly focused on the disenfranchisement of diversity in America, 2016 was divided by conservative versus liberal, Democrat versus Republican, Christians versus LGBT, and black versus white.  Highlighted by a Presidential election like no other in history, the year gave us reason to question our decency, sense of justice, and even our humanity.  2016 gave us a lot to reflect upon, but unless that reflection leads to lessons learned, it will be just another year to count as a year older, but no wiser.

Hopefully, during this Christmas season, we can slow down enough to realize that in spite of all our problems and differences, we nevertheless work, play, and live in the greatest nation on earth.  We are one people under one flag under God, and regardless of individual stands as conservative, liberal, Democrat, Republican, Christian, LGBT, black, or white, we are one brotherhood sharing the gift of being Americans.  As a Christian nation, we must reflect on our views of the poor, those standing at our door, and the diversity of our brothers.  We must ask ourselves if as Christians we reflect and uphold the views of Christ, who was born poor and never held a job other than as an itinerant preacher, was an immigrant taken by his earthly parents to a foreign land to escape the murderous intentions of Herod, and who as a man of God embraced lepers, prostitutes, and Samaritans.

In 2016, Americans cast enough righteous stones at one another to destroy a lesser nation.  Instead of respecting differences, “I am right; you are wrong” became a recurring battle cry across the nation.  No one was interested in hearing what anyone had to say; Americans only wanted to be heard.  That failure to communicate is still very much alive, but hopefully, the Christmas season will slow things down a bit and allow time to reflect on how we might once again learn to respectfully listen to each.  To do that, we must stop seeing and judging our fellow man as we would have him be and accept each other as who we are.  We must remember during this special season that Jesus was born into the world not to judge us, but to save us, and in turn, to save America, we must stop judging one another.

Hopefully the magic of Christmas will wrap itself around each of us during this Christmas season, and point to a much higher road in 2017 than we traveled in 2016.  If we cross our fingers, wish upon a star, and pray anything is possible.  Until then, I hope this Christmas fulfills all your dreams and brings peace, love, and joy into your life.  This is the time of year everyone needs a little Christmas magic, and I pray you find yours.  Merry Christmas, and God bless us all!


©Jack Linton, December 18, 2016


Christians, You have been Warned!

Recently, I read an article that caused me to sit up and take notice.  The article, “Adult Coloring Books and Mandalas, A Warning for Christians,” opened my eyes to a sinister plot designed to mislead and warp unassuming Christian minds.  In the article, the author warns that coloring an intricate circle pattern, called a mandala, found in most adult coloring books is a dangerous practice that may lead to submersion with demonic “deities.”  I was astounded!  Although I have long been troubled by thinly veiled threats to the Christian community, I had no idea a coloring book could be so heinous and deceitful.  Unfortunately, coloring books are not the only seemingly innocent everyday item used for the work of the devil.  I know of a far greater threat to Christians than mandalas.  If left unaddressed, this item could threaten the very existence of Christianity – especially in America!

This item – found in every Christian home across America – is actually a sophisticated version of an item people have used for countless centuries.  The media inundates us daily with commercials telling us to buy this brand of the item or that brand.  Yes, it comes in brands!  The devil has cleverly created a brand for every taste!  Shamelessly sitting on shelves in Walmart, Corner Market, Target and just about every other grocery or convenience store in America, it also sits in plain view in Christian homes.  It is a necessity in our lives.  The item is toilet paper!

I do not have a problem with toilet paper itself, but as a Christian, I do have a problem with the shape of the individual tissues on the roll – square.  It bothers me greatly, that until now, no one, including me, has warned Christians to stay away from toilet tissue squares.  When I say toilet tissue squares are not to be taken lightly, I realize most people will think I am crazy.  However, inattention to this threat could very well jeopardize a Christian’s entry into heaven.

The square has long been associated with religion – Christian and pagan.  In both, the square invites a feeling of immutability – God (gods for pagans) is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  This duality of conceptual thinking constitutes a contradiction of balance in the universe for Christians, and places them in a perpetual struggle with all they do not understand.  Multiply this paradox by 165 two ply squares per toilet tissue roll and it is easy to see the gravity of the situation for Christians, especially when they tend to stockpile the rolls in their homes.  Do the math!  Bringing home one twelve pack of toilet paper (the cheap stuff) from Walmart is equivalent to infesting a Christian home with 3960 symbolic pagan squares.  Without knowing it, Christians are turning their homes over to the pagans.

You may say I am overreacting, but am I?  No one can deny the place of the square in pagan beliefs.  Early non-Christians looked at the square as a symbol of the four elements – fire, water, air, and earth.  At Stonehenge, Druids referred to the square within the circle as the Truth of Sacred Geometry.  In Islam, the square is a symbol of the four sides of the heart – Angelic, Diabolic, Human, and Divine.  For the Hindu, the square represents the natural order of the universe, and the square symbolizes an objective awareness in Buddhism.  Sounds harmless enough, but do Christians really want such a pagan symbol in their homes?  Is it in the best interest of the children in the home to keep such a paradox to their Christian faith next to the second most used seat in the house?  Of course not, so why do Christians allow toilet paper squares, an undisputable mockery of what they believe, into their homes?

However, some argue the square is a Christian religious and spiritual symbol as well; therefore, we must not be too quick to denounce it.  I agree to a certain extent.  In Christian symbolism, the square represents spiritual concepts related to the number four, such as the four corners of the earth and the Four Evangelists – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  The square is also frequently used in Christian art as a halo to signify a saintly person.  Although, this lends credibility to the square from a Christian perspective, it nevertheless, creates a paradox of its own, and this is where I rest my case.  SHOULD CHRISTIANS be wiping their hiny with squares that carry significance for their religion?  I think not!

So, my question is do Christians really want to use toilet paper squares to wipe and risk going to hell, or should they stand against toilet paper on behalf of Christianity and boycott it?  People did just fine without the stuff for thousands of years prior to its invention in 1857; corncobs and paper catalogues were good enough for our ancestors, so why aren’t they good enough for us?  Also, is toilet paper really about wiping in comfort, or is it pagan evangelism subtly calling to Christians?  As for me, I will continue to wipe, but when I do, I will grab a newspaper or catalog.  It may not be “squeezably soft” or as fluffy as a blue bear, but at least I’ll be true to what I believe.  However, in the end (oops, a little pun), I am sure most people, including Christians, will continue to use toilet paper, but if they do, at least I have done my part and given them fair warning.

Go, and wipe in peace.


©Jack Linton, August 28, 2016

People in Mississippi Would be Better off Minding their own Business

If you have been listening to Mississippi legislators and religious rights folks, you would think HB 1523 was written to protect Christians from gay exploitation. I heard one lady say HB 1523 protected her preacher. Really? What are the odds a gay couple will ask a preacher they do not know to perform their marriage ceremony? I would say slim to none. Just like heterosexual couples, they are going to ask a preacher they know and who supports their lifestyle. Another lady on the news said HB 1523 protected traditional marriage between a man and a woman. Again, REALLY? What harm does a gay marriage cause a traditional marriage? None, unless maybe the man or the woman in the traditional marriage has some sort of latent homosexual leaning. HB 1523 does nothing for Mississippi but show how backward we are as a people. As a Christian, I do not understand the gay lifestyle, but I do not feel threatened by it either, no one should.

Personally, I don’t understand the attraction of two like genders to one another, but that is probably because I think women are the most beautiful creatures on earth. However, some people insist gays are a threat to family values. How? If the mama and the daddy in the home are doing their job teaching family values to the children, the odds are very slim their family values can be corrupted by anyone outside the family. Also, I am not aware of any guys who are sweet on guys or girls who are sweet on girls going wild and committing home invasions in my neighborhood for the purpose of using my bathroom and molesting my wife and I until we convert to their lifestyle. The few gay people I know believe strongly in family values and do not actively recruit.

Could it be gays are not as dangerous as some people would have us believe? As for gays getting hitched and endangering marriage between a man and woman, I just don’t see it. Just this past weekend I passed two churches where a man and woman were getting married, and there was not a single homosexual man or woman standing outside the churches with a gun or protests signs trying to breakup either marriage. Shoot, everything in this world is about money, so do you really think divorce lawyers are going to stand by and let anything jeopardize marriage between a man and a woman? Of course not! As long as there are divorce lawyers, marriage between a man and a woman will always be protected!

As for God, I certainly cannot speak for him, but I have to believe, he has more important things to do than worry about who’s hitting on whom. Besides, if there is a sin involved, he doesn’t need help from me or anyone else buttering the ole “I gotcha rod.” He didn’t need my help building hell, and he sure doesn’t need my help deciding who is or who is not going down there to live. The bottom line is that I don’t have time to worry about the sins of other folks. I have enough to worry about figuring out when it is and when it is not polite to scratch in public.

Heck fire, if I was single, I’d be introducing gay dudes to one another right and left. As a single guy, I would be thrilled to no end if the entire male population turned gay; that would leave more women for me! But, with my luck, the women would take one look at all the gay guys, and then one look at me, and opt for a gay lifestyle of their own or join a convent in Tibet or France or wherever they have convents. But that is okay, I have a beautiful wife with poor eyesight, so other than being left alone and leaving other people alone what more can a person ask for or hope for in life? I guess I could hope that people would learn to mind their own business and leave everybody else to their business, but unfortunately, that ain’t gonna happen!

Straight from Mississippi,


©Jack Linton, April 11, 2016

HB 1523: Mississippi is Better than This!

HB 1523 is discriminatory in that it singles out a select group of people, and it is contradictory to legislative claims that it protects the religious rights of Christians.   The religious right of a Christian is to love God and his fellow man, and HB 1523 protects neither of those rights.  The bill is little more than a cynical and biased shell game enacted by individuals with selective Christian beliefs.  The idea that such a bill could surface in what a growing number of Mississippians were beginning to hope and believe was an enlightened 21st Century shows that cynicism and bigotry in the state legislature and the state as a whole is alive and well.

If Mississippi legislators truly intended to protect the religious rights of Christians against the participatory sin of doing business with sinners, why didn’t they include adultery, murder, theft, bearing false witness, lying, cursing, coveting, breaking civil laws, laziness, divorce and deceit in the bill?  Could it be that some of those sins hit too close to home and are therefore exclusionary sins?  Legislators can quote the Bible and talk about religious rights all they want, but unlike the Mississippi legislature, the Bible does not single out homosexuality as the only sin.  If it did, HB 1523 might have some merit, but it does not.  Sin is sin; therefore, all sin falls short of the glory of God.  How Christian is it to place hatred of sin above love for the sinner?  Shouldn’t Christians, even Christian legislators, focus on love and witnessing and leave God to focus on sin and judging?

HB 1523 promotes a perpetual state of conservative self-centered sameness; the idea that everyone should be cut from the same template as the writer of the bill and those it claims to represent.  This does not mean the writer or supporters of this bill are bad or evil people; they simply dance a full beat off center, fearful of the changing world around them.  They live in a continuous state of self-flagellation of their human condition powerless to reason beyond their inherited convictions of what is right and wrong.  Their soap box of fanatical righteousness is nurtured by an astute conviction that their beliefs, even when fractional, are beyond reproach as they go about the business of molding the world in their image.  They embrace their phobias as a covetous crusade for their definition of the norm which often disqualifies their understanding of reasonable discourse.  Their belief system is frequently fragmented and soft core, leaving them prone to react angrily even violently when cornered, confused, or contradicted.  They live in constant fear of becoming irrelevant, and it is that fear that ushers them ever closer to irrelevance.

Although Mississippi’s past speaks volumes about its intolerance, Mississippi in the 21st Century is better than this!  Shel Silverstein said we should look at one another only if we first turn out the lights.  With no light to reflect the pigment of our skin or the brother or sister we choose to stand at our side, we are all the same.  It is time we turn out the lights in Mississippi and see our brothers and sisters with our hearts.  It is time we turn on the light in our hearts, and see each other through God’s eyes.  It is through that light that we can conquer the intolerant fear that once again threatens our great state.  HB 1523 is a serpent that should be crushed under the heel of Mississippians unified in supporting the humanity of all people, and in due time, it will be.  No one outside the state will believe this, but Mississippi is better than HB 1523!


©Jack Linton, April 5, 2016


Prayer in Public Schools: It is as It Should Be

Lately, many Christians have come to feel they are being persecuted and denied their religious rights, specifically the right to pray in public schools. They believe there is a direct correlation between not allowing prayer in public schools and the problems that plague America. Maybe they are right about the impact of prayer on America’s issues, but they are misinformed to believe our nation’s problems are due to the lack of prayer in public schools. The truth is that school children have always been allowed to pray in public schools, but their prayers cannot be coerced, guided or influenced by public school employees. Restrictions on religious expression in schools apply to the adults, not the children and therein lies the rub.

It is hard to argue against prayer as an American right to religious expression for anyone. The fact that so many people in this nation’s 239 year history have fled and continue to flee to America to escape persecution for their religious beliefs, validates that religious expression lies at the core of America. Therefore, given this nation’s founding principles of equality and religious freedom, there is no logical reason not to allow prayer in public schools for everyone. To deny free and unobstructed prayer in public schools to anyone is to dishonor America’s heritage as a haven free from religious persecution.

The school prayer issue has become a derisive sore spot for many people as well as for their communities. The issue has become a symbol of the growing perception of the downward spiral of our country; it has become another divisive wedge that threatens to rip the nation apart. But, in a nation that embraces diversity and equality, why do we allow such a sore spot to fester and tear us apart? What could be more unifying than simply permitting unrestricted prayer in public schools for everyone, adults and students alike? Isn’t that what everyone wants?

America is one of the few places in the world where people can worship as they choose without fear of religious persecution or physical retribution for their beliefs. Religious freedom is as much American as apple pie. So is prayer in school. Consequently, prayer in school should not be debatable; prayer is a fundamental right of all American citizens regardless of their religious beliefs. In America, religious expression is an open invitation to everyone regardless of where they work, what tongue they speak or what religion they embrace. Therefore, a logical solution to the prayer in public schools issue is to open prayer to everyone.

Why should there be any restrictions on prayer in public schools? Prayer does not need to be restricted; all that is needed is a plan to make it fair and accessible to everyone. However, if we are to allow unrestricted prayer in public schools and make prayer available to everyone, we must exercise caution and have a plan that honors the religious diversity of the communities in which schools exist. The plan must be free of prejudice, bias and disenfranchisement of anyone’s religious beliefs or rights. For example, the chart below provides a logical diversified plan for prayer in public schools that provides fairness and accessibility to all.

Weekly School Prayer Schedule:

Day The following religions will lead school prayer on the day assigned: Open School with Prayer over the Intercom Start Each Class with Prayer Prayer at Lunch Prayer at School Activities
Monday Christianity Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tuesday Judaism Yes Yes Yes Yes
Wednesday Islam Yes Yes Yes Yes
Thursday Other Religions Buddhism Hinduism Muslim Baha’i
Friday Other Religions Unitarian Universalist Wiccan/Pagan/Druid New Age Scientology
Saturday Nonreligious/Secular No No No No

This chart illustrates what prayer in public schools might look like without the restrictions that are currently in place in our public schools. Is this what Americans want? Is this what Christians want? Would such a plan work? Probably not. When it comes to their religion, most people struggle to see beyond their own nose. Most people, including Christians, would balk at any plan or situation that held their children as a captive audience to philosophies and beliefs they do not support, and that is exactly why prayer exists as it does in today’s public schools. Current restrictions on prayer in public schools have nothing to do with a conspiracy to take God and prayer from schools. The religious limitations placed on adults in public schools are a safeguard to protect children from adult religious influences that may be in conflict with the religious teachings and values taught in the home and church. For parents, for Christians, to insist prayer be allowed in schools without restrictions is dangerous to the very values the Christian community or any other religious community wishes to instill in their children.

It is difficult for many Christians to understand that the right to pray in public schools does not only extend to Christians. Not only have Christians fought and died for freedom and religious rights in America, but many non-Christian families have sacrificed for this nation as well. They have just as much right to pray and shout their religious convictions from the school rooftop as Christians. So, doesn’t it stand to reason that rather than turn public schools into a religious battleground or marketplace for the souls of a captive audience, our children, that we as a society impose some restrictions on the role of religion in public schools?

What is so wrong with prayer being in the hands of the students as it is now? No law in America has ever silenced student initiated or student led prayer in public schools. Public school children are free to pray as they wish, talk to their peers about their God, and even hold hands during lunch and pray as a group. They have never been denied their right to personal religious expression through prayer or even witnessing to other students. The law only prevents adults from initiating and leading religious expression in public schools. The only limitation on prayer in public schools is undue influence by an adult.

I am a Christian, and I for one do not want any adult in school or otherwise influencing the religious beliefs of my grandchildren other than their mama and daddy and their church. As Christians, we should teach our children how to pray at home and in church, so that when they get to the school house they are comfortable praying if and when they choose without adult coercion, influence or guidance. As a former high school principal, one of the most powerful testaments to faith I ever witnessed was students holding hands and bowing their heads in prayer in the school cafeteria. They didn’t need an adult to call them together to pray. They didn’t need an adult to say, “Bow your heads, let’s pray.” They were led by their faith, a faith that was instilled in them at home and in church, and that is how it should be.


©Jack Linton, August 29, 2015