3 Things… August 16th, 2018

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That Will Truly Make America Great Again

1. STOP insisting America is better than other people of other nations

 

2. START promoting equality between the genders and among the races

 

3. CONTINUE growing in tenderness and appreciation for the application of freedom in the lives of all citizens

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3 Things… June 7th, 2018

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Former President Bill Clinton Might Consider to Share With Monica Lewinsky to Affirm His Stance on Gender Equality

1. “I took advantage of you. You were a star-struck young girl and I knew better.”

 

2. “I blamed you and sent the brunt of back-lash in your direction.”

 

3. “I failed to represent my core beliefs and values in dealing with you directly as a human being.”

 

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … October 8th, 2016

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Dear Man Dear Woman

Woman: November, 1976. Forty years ago.

 

Man: That’s before you and I were born.

 

Woman: I know, but they do have history books. You might want to check one out sometime.

 

Man: Why? It’s just a bunch of older people doing the same dumb things we do with less cool clothes.

 

Woman: I assume you’re trying to be funny. Anyway, it was the November issue of Playboy Magazine in 1976, when Jimmy Carter, running for President, made a statement. Everybody was very upset that he did an interview with Playboy. But the admission he made rang out all across the country, reverberating with everything from respect to ridicule.

 

Man: Wait a second–I think I remember this. Something about his heart, and lust.

 

Woman: Yes. When he was asked if he had ever cheated on Rosalynn, he said no, but he had “lusted in his heart.”

 

Man: Where did he get that?

 

Woman: It’s something Jesus said. The quote is, “He that looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery in his heart.”

 

Man: That sounds a little “prudey.”

 

Woman: That’s the way you might take it, but it’s not like that–especially with what’s happened in the last 24 hours, with Donald Trump’s comments about women.

 

Man: Absolutely ugly and distasteful.

 

Woman: That’s not what I’m talking about. The real problem is that equality between the sexes cannot be achieved as long as men see a woman and think “lust” and women are grateful for that, or even proud to be show horses.

 

Man: But there has to be an attraction between the sexes.

 

Woman: Yes, but a man can’t look on a woman just to lust after her and think we’re going to progress the race. It is a setup for inconsideration, abuse, violence, rape and even murder.

 

Man: I see. Because if his intentions are rejected, then he feels that she’s failed to fulfill her part of the bargain by being available.

 

Woman: Exactly. So you see, the problem is not what Donald Trump says, but the way we try to isolate it off and pretend he’s the only one who feels this way, by insisting that men have only one thing on their minds.

 

Man: And therefore, women have one thing on their minds–to try to fulfill that mental image of “sexy” so as to gain importance and worth.

 

Woman: So the key here is, how can we look on each other as people, knowing that in the process, every once in a while some passion and lust will rise up, but it will be based on a mutual understanding.

 

Man: It’s funny–most people would listen to what Jesus said and think he was a tight-assed religionist. But really, he was a humanist trying to get the male and female to honor one another without demanding the initiation of physical intimacy.

 

Woman: You hit it right on the head. So my prayer is that through this discussion about Donald Trump, we’ll get to the real root cause of inequality.

 

Man: Let me guess–until men know that the greatest way to welcome a woman is to include her emotionally, spiritually and mentally, we will continue to have flagrant outbursts from jerks who misuse women to prove their virility.

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Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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Ask Jonathots… September 8th, 2016

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ask jonathots bigger

I had to do a short talk in speech class and wanted to chat about my church experience, but I felt I had to offer a disclaimer about Christianity: “I’m a Christian, but I don’t hate you.” I would love to stop having to do that. How?

Every single week, Americans go and spend money at Wal-Mart, even though it is pretty well known that their products are manufactured through cheap labor, often with the mistreatment of the employees. Should we stop shopping at Wal-Mart because the company has chosen practices that disregard the workers in other countries?

You can feel free to do so, but Wal-Mart is not going to be affected by your decision.

Or you can come to the conclusion that the only responsibility you have is to make sure that your life, your aspirations and your interactions with other human beings are free of intimidation and unfairness.

You’re not responsible for Wal-Mart.

You are responsible for you.

It’s very important that each believer in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth understand that the religious system that represents him is guilty of excess, greed, indifference and at times the subjugation of the poor. The system has drug its feet on issues of human rights and racial and gender equality.

Yet to stop attending a church, turning it over to the indifferent, is failing to capture an opportunity to quietly change the atmosphere.

If enough people show up at the religious system and refuse to merely act in ritual and repetition, then eventually, because the religious system likes to collect offerings, it will have to change in order to accommodate the new spirit.

For instance, I only buy groceries at Wal-Mart. Why? Because most of the products that come into the grocery department are not grown in sweat shops. It is a small consideration but still a difference.

And I don’t refuse to go to the church because it is filled with hypocrisy and vanity, but instead, I go to encourage my brothers and sisters and fellow-humans to be of good cheer, lighten their load and give a damn.

So I suppose if I were standing in front of your speech class, I would say:

“I’m a follower of Jesus. He thinks we should love our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus was fine until the committee showed up–just like the United States was a great idea until politics corrupted it. But I neither give up on Jesus nor the United States just because those who scream the loudest are ignorant. I am a follower of Jesus. I don’t make a very good Christian, because I’m just not religious.”

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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Jesonian: Three in One … June 28th, 2015

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Jane Fonda in Klute

The exact phrasing is, “He needed to go to Samaria.”

Jesus made a decision to pass through Samaria instead of being a good little Jewish boy and going around that province which was known for its heresy and wickedness.

I think I now realize why he did it.

He had a meeting at a well in Sychar. In that one encounter, he succeeded in passing on, for all time and to all generations, his heart on gender equality, judging morality and racial bigotry.

Let’s look at the story.

Having sent his disciples away to get food, he strikes up a conversation with a woman from Samaria. This means very little to us in our day and age, but in the season that Jesus of Nazareth lived on the earth, men and women did not talk. They just copulated.

She was surprised.

She was suspicious.

Honestly, considering her background, she probably thought he was trying to make a pass at her.

He wasn’t.

He talked to her. His conversation with this woman in Sychar was no different in its intensity and intelligence from the conversation he had with Nicodemus, a learned male Pharisee.

Jesus was telling us the following:

Men and women are equals and the more they act like humans, the better they’ll get along with each other.

Secondly, in the midst of the conversation, he asked the woman to go get her husband. She replied, “I have no husband.”

Jesus replied, “You have spoken well, for you’ve had five husbands and the man you’re living with now is not your husband.”

Though she was not totally forthcoming with Jesus about her status, she didn’t lie. He thanked her for telling him as much of the truth as she was able to put forth.

He made no moral judgment on her.

He did not condemn her for having multiple marriages nor insist that she was living in sin.

He established for all time, “I will welcome anyone who’s honest about their sexuality and their situation without offering condemnation.”

And finally, when the disciples showed up and saw him talking to a woman who was of a different belief and race, they were upset–in that “religious folk way.”

You know what I mean? They started whispering among themselves.

Jesus got the disciples out of there so he could establish what he really felt about bigotry, that being:

“I will ignore and fight against racism even if it makes people uncomfortable or my friends disagree.”

In one meeting, Jesus handled three of the largest issues of our time:

  • Gender equality
  • Human sexuality
  • And racism.

And I think if you read it very carefully in the Good Book in John the 4th Chapter, you will understand that to Jesus, women are humans, people shouldn’t be judged by their moral choices and racism is evil.

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