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Rejoice,

This is the day that the Lord has made.

Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

This is one of my morning prayers and reminds me to try and be faithful and LISTEN as I go through the day. Others are and have been important throughout life. "Love your neighbor as yourself" is also a good reminder in many ways. Reminds me-- my actions often speak louder than my words. Thank you for your very important article. It is very enlightening. Also loved the poetry shared today.

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Two brief observations. Since scripture is seen by evangelicals as the inspired, inerrant word of God it then belongs to God. It cannot be mine.

Secondly, as a double cancer survivor I have many operating scars. I am a follower of Thomas Merton's and wonder what these folks would make of Isaiah 53?

Rev. Scott Brown

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Love your enemies. How awful for Jesus to have said that. I'm not sure anyone else in the NT agreed. How does that work, anyway? Here comes the debate. There aren't that many COs.

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Thank you for your good and thought provoking words. I'm troubled by how often the Christian Nationalist folk identify themselves as the persecuted or oppressed and latch onto "revenge" type passages and seem to completely miss the teachings of Jesus.

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thank you Diana....its so sad isn't it to have scripture used as defence or even a weapon. No wonder our kids don't want anything to do with "Bible Believers."

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diana, my life verse is "he had no majesty to attract us." I think that is pretty funny. i haven't used it as a joke yet in a blog post, i am waiting for the right moment, or in a video. it is kind of bragging though if it is true, to say the suffering servant verses apply that closely. so that is interesting. have a good summer! from RFB

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I can’t own something I didn’t make, create, build, or purchase. Otherwise is pretend ownership. I can dedicate self to—I am unworthy to own. Just, follow. TY 😌

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The undoing of the enemy and foe mentality can be hard. But if we refuse to undergo that type of deconstruction we can become like the very thing we oppose. Thank you for pairing this reflection with the two poems at the end. You are truly inviting us to a non-violent resistance against evil not only in the US but also south of the border. Our "far right" Christian nationalists feel affirmed, entitled, and justified by what they see happening in the US.

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Hi Diana, Thank you for a useful and enlightening essay. I have long been aware that Alito makes his decisions on the basis of his personal beliefs. However, I didn't know anything about his wife until the recent flag controversy. Wow. Another supreme Court justice who has a wife with appalling beliefs. (The Thomases and the Alito's. What a pair!) Here's what I hear her saying when she asserts that she is German and she expects God to smite her enemies. I hear her justifying the Holocaust on the basis of her religious beliefs ON THE BASIS OF A PSALM FROM THE HEBREW BIBLE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT!!!) The Holocaust was OK because the Jews were defined as the enemy by people like Martha Ann. Here's why that is a problem: Our country was founded on the basis of religious freedom. It's all right there in the first Amendment. Although those original pilgrims were not particularly tolerant of anyone who practiced religion differently from them, by the time our constitution was written, their descendants got it right when they wrote our founding documents. People have a right to believe anything they wish or nothing. However, they have no right whatsoever to impose their beliefs on others who do not share them. Martha Ann has a right to fly any flag she wishes. However her husband has no right to impose his beliefs on the rest of us when he makes a decision that affects all of us. The rule of law in the United States is based on that Constitution, not the Bible. The role of the Supreme Court is to determine what should and should not happen based on the Constitution, not on the Bible. If Alito cannot separate his religious beliefs from his understanding of the law, he ought to resign.

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In government, a separation of powers keeps our leaders honest. Perhaps a genuine separation of church and state would encourage same in these entitled jurors.

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Good punch Diana - thank you! Jack

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Thank for always speaking out in truth. As an older Episcopalian ( and priest), find that the toxic atmosphere circulating in our nation creates a sense of depression...in many. It takes energy and some courage to constantly pay attention to the news...which usually contains

more opinion than news. We have to work to discern what is true. I cling to that Baptismal prayer that we have inquiring and discerning hearts and the courage to persevere. But at my age ( turning 80 - can't believe it) I keep wondering if we're going to make it. Your writings- the Southern Lights gatherings give me hope.

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So much more opinion that news. And so much work to discern what is true. I like the idea of having an inquiring and discerning heart, and courage to persevere. Thank you for that encouragement.

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Remember how divided we were in the 60s? I have that memory. But I've read that we were divided during the Depression and the beginning of WW2 (that one surprised me). Heck, we haven't fully recovered from the Civil War. I say, keep the faith, defend the Constitution, urge people to vote, and maybe not in your and my lifetimes but in some future generation we'll recover the 2 steps back and move 3 forward.

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I think lots of people wanted America to stay out of the war. Is that the division that you read about?

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yes

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Diana, were you religious before you joined an evangelical church? My parents were not churchgoers; Dad said he was agnostic and mom rejected Catholicism. I was the only one in my family who went to church.

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I grew up Methodist. My mother went to church with me and my siblings. My dad owned a florist shop and was often working on Sunday. But later in life, he was very active in the UMC. The Methodist strain came through my mom's dad. He was an agnostic, but his aunt (who raised him) was a very serious, strict, deeply pious, socially active Methodist. Her influence on my mother was enormous -- she took my mother to church.

But my grandparents were an odd assortment of ex-Catholics, "nones," and agnostics, with a Pentecostal in the mix. Eventually, one grandmother became a Southern Baptist; my step-grandmother came from a JW family and settled (I think) in a holiness church. It's actually a very interesting family history, one that reveals a long-standing American messiness when it came to faith and denominations.

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That's so interesting to me. What a mash-up, including agnostics. It sounds like you know a lot more about a variety of churches than I do. My experience with the Pentacostals was awful, as the whole situation unfolded. Your descriptions of how people think and what they are exhorted to do in the name of the Lord brought up a lot of memories. Including the peer pressure to speak in tongues and be filled with the Holy Spirit, as well as to send your children to the Way of Faith Academy, because the secular world is dangerous and would lead the children astray.

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I love your post today, Diana! the photo of your Bible open to Galatian 5 and our heart book mark pointing to verse 16-Walk by the Spirit.... I literally, and I mean that in the purest sense, had just just referred to that verse in a comment in Nadia Bolz Weber's "Stuff I'm into" The stuff I said that I was "into"- had to do with Unlearn 365 (the Calvin University program), unlearning evangelicalism, colonialism as well as empire in the church (much of what I would expect what you and Tripp are covering in Christian Reconstruction). It's gotten messy over the past several months but the Spirit is always there, helping, counseling and guiding. I also especially appreciate your inclusion of Joy Harjo's poem. Hope to see you TBC this fall!

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At first their flying of upside down American flag bothered me as unpatriotic. Then I was reminded that it is a naval tradition to fly the American flag upside down when the ship is in distress. Your Cottage comments on the Alito's are a testament to our distress. I framed the New Yorker Cover of the January 18th, 2021 edition, which depicted our flag at half mast. This was also a symbol of our distress at the time. Any way you look at it, the ship is plainly in distress. Diana's point about Jesus and forgiveness is well taken, but this is not at all a function of our government, nor any government I am aware of, for that matter. The Jews can't forgive the Palestinians. The Ukrainians can't forgive the Russians and the united States does not forgive anyone that threatens us or disagrees with us. We do that which we know we should not do. Take the nuclear arsenal as an example. The United States has never declared that are nuclear weapons are defensive only or that we will NOT use them in a first strike, as step that would surely cause death and perhaps the destruction of humanity, entirely beyond our comprehension. This is justified because we feel we have to defend ourselves from our enemies. I don't begrudge the Alito's for calling attention to our distress. i also don't know how Christians are going to find a way to become forgiving, anymore than non-Christians, but I do think we have to have faith the Jesus's teachings will be recognized and realized in our politics, before the ship goes down.

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Bless her heaart. And, yes, I'm from NC.

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