1st, ARGH curse the 49ers! I guess I’ll be pulling for Kansas City now in the Super Bowl.

Not really about pastors but I think it is probably the same.

2nd, Pam and I have a code for something that we don’t want to go to but we know we will be thankful for going to after the fact. The code is “handbells”. It comes from Pam’s personal experience when she played handbells. She would often not look forward to going to handbell practice but she would almost always come back from handbell practice grateful that she had gone.

You may have some experiences like this. You don’t want to do it or go to it at the moment, but you know that if you just start then you will realize that you are glad you did. This was church for me this morning. I really didn’t want to go this morning. Usually I love going to setup for church on Sunday mornings. In fact, setup is often my favorite part of church. Today, however, my bed was calling out to me. Its voice isn’t usually that compelling on Sunday mornings, but it was today. I blame Yoga with Adreine.

Still by the end of tearing down everything we setup each week I was so thankful that I had been there. I love and appreciate all the “threads” that make up Tapestry. Y’all are so wonderful and I was very thankful to have worshiped our Lord with you and pleased Him with our friendship today.

SIDE NOTE – here’s an interesting article from Christianity Today “Want To Pastor A Church You Love? Love The Church You’re Pastoring“. Unfortunately I have known more pastors than I should who loved pastoring but did not necessarily love their present church. They often had no friends within the church (sometimes justifying that by saying it was best not to have friends in your present church – which I am certain is wrong thinking), and often had no love for the place/community in which they ministered. I really like this quote form the author:

Most of the time, pastoral relocation is not because churches want them to leave, but because the pastor is looking for something better – and better is always defined as bigger.

3rd, Pam and I saw Jojo Rabbit Saturday and it was a amazing. I enjoy a super hero movie and sequels as much as the next guy but I wish there were more original stories in film . Jojo Rabbit was truly original. It was funny, emotionally compelling, and just plain excellent.

Online Savings Accounts & Smaller Churches

While I have never in my life desired to be an accountant I do have a strange fascination with filing taxes. I organize for it pretty much all year long and I file as soon as I possibly can (except for the rare occasions where we have owed the government – in which case, I wait as long as I can – and don’t get me started on getting a return equaling giving an interest free loan to the government, I know that is the case, but there are other reasons that we try to make sure we get a return). Then once I have finished our returns I look to see if the boys or mom need/want/will allow me to help them. I’m not looking for any others because I fear it will turn the process from enjoyable to burdensome, so don’t view this post as an open invitation for me to do your taxes. 🙂 I should probably add here that I am not a tax professional and nothing in this post should be construed as actual professional advice – if you want tax advice you should go to a professional rather than me.

Anyhow, this wonderful time of the year has begun and tax forms are beginning to head our way. One of these coming forms is what I am now going to write about because the 1099-INT points to a subject that I would like to discuss. Since we were married twenty-nine years ago Pam and I have tried (sometimes more successfully than others) to maintain a savings account that contains an emergency fund. The purpose of this account is to quickly be available for when we face financial emergencies, not so much to actually increase in value. It is good that the purpose was about preparation rather than a substantial increase in valuation because, as you probably know, the annual percentage yields on most savings accounts have been so low that you really didn’t make any real money on them. For us this has meant that since the IRS changed the rule concerning the amount of interest at which the bank has to send you a 1099-INT (if you earn less than $10 interest in a year they don’t have to send you one) we have not receive a 1099-INT from our main bank (though you are still supposed to report your earned interest on your tax forms). In fact, I already know we won’t receive one this year either because we earned a grand total of $4.03 in interest this year on the largest of our emergency accounts. The the annual percentage yield on our banks savings accounts is a whopping 0.03%.

We also are members of a credit union that pays significantly more at 0.25% APY, which is significantly more than our bank but still not enough for them to need to send to us a 1099-INT.

Then along came the online banks and FinTech companies. This past year we started savings accounts with three online banks/FinTechs. These companies pay much higher rates of interest since they don’t have branches. Here’s what we are receiving rate-wise.

  • online bank #1 – 2.02%
  • online bank #2 – 1.75%
  • FinTech company – 1.80%

The reason I am writing about all this is because of the disruption that these online banks and FinTechs are making in the financial services industry. You see in the first month of being a part of online bank #1 Pam and I earned more interest, on less money, than we had in the previous four years total at our traditional bank. This wasn’t a huge amount (about $20), but still it was 48 times more than my traditional bank had paid me each month. I am pretty sure by the end of 2020 we will have earn more interest in our online bank #1 account than we have cumulatively in our traditional banks’ savings accounts for all of 29 years of our marital life.

Every now and then you need some disruption. We’ve seen it in other industries – 10 years ago who would have thought that you would have jumped into a stranger’s car instead of hailing a taxi (Uber and Lyft), or that I would randomly stay at a stranger’s house instead of a hotel or motel (AirBnB and VRBO) – and it is happening now in the financial services industry. This is why you are beginning to see the big banks do some of this too. For example, Capital One now offers 1.70% APY on their 360 savings accounts, and Goldman Sachs and American Express are doing the same thing. Smaller banks and credit unions have done this for awhile but you know when the big banks change is coming – they don’t do something unless they have to do so to stay competitive.

It is a reminder to me that just because I have always done something a certain way doesn’t mean that is the best way for it to be done any longer, or ever. This isn’t just true for savings account, transportation, lodging, and the other industries that have been disrupted in the past 10 years, and it isn’t always something big happening. Sometimes the disruption is a move to something smaller. Read about the phenomenon over the past few years of local, independent bookstores reviving – here’s a quick search of related articles. These independent bookstores offer something that people want and isn’t being offered by the big book stores and Amazon don’t/won’t/can’t offer. It is also why some small coffee roasters are producing coffee that is widely recognized as amazing (I’m looking at you Ruby).

I wouldn’t be surprised if small churches aren’t this disruption in modern Christian faith in the near future. For the longest time in American Christianity (specifically, but not exclusively, Evangelical Christianity) the mega-church model has been the goal for so many churches. I’ve heard the saying “if you aren’t growing, you’re dying” or “healthy things grow” in various church conferences and events more times than I can remember. I’ve discussed before some of my struggles with such a mindset (HERE), but it can basically be summed in the mindset that healthy things mature, rather than necessarily grow. There are a lot things about big churches that can offer a great deal to help people mature as disciples of Jesus Christ, but there is also much that smaller churches can offer that larger churches don’t/won’t/can’t. Being a small church may be an advantage that Christianity in America needs right now. So many of the voices that I admire in Christian writing and thinking right now, voices that I believe are speaking prophetically, producing maturity, and calling disciples to deep faith, are involved in small communities of faith. This could just be me connecting to people from smaller churches, BUT it might be something about smaller churches that is more conductive to producing this type of mature faith. Just because the big church has been the model of success in the church for the past 60 years doesn’t mean that it should be the model now, and that model may be being disrupted during our present age.

As I have written before small churches are wonderful things.

If You Are A Financial Planner You Should Know This

Today I talked with an individual who was selling himself as a personal financial planner and as a part of his spiel he regularly referenced the national debt and what it would probably mean for future tax rates. Unfortunately, everytime he referenced the national debt he actually said national deficit. Maybe I’m expecting too much but I feel like you should know the difference between the debt and deficit and use the terms correctly if you are a financial planner and encouraging people to make certain investments based on the future tax rates possiblle due to our increasing debt.

National Deficit – how much we spend each year as a nation over our income (taxes, tariffs, etc). The opposite is a surplus, where we have more income than we spend.

National Debt – the total we have borrowed over all the year’s deficits (less the year’s with surpluses).

Projected 2018 National Deficit – Around 800 billion

Current National Debt – Around 21 trillion.

“This Will Never Make the Press” or Whatever

Every now and then I write a post and then pick a random date in the future for the post to publish. This is because the post is usually inspired by something that I have recently seen, heard, or experienced with someone I care about and I don’t want them to be worried that I am writing about them. This is one of those posts.


I am tired of seeing people post something on their social media that begins with some form of the phrase “this will never make the press“. The reason I am tired of this is because invariably I have already read about whatever subject or event they are griping about on some of the media that they are saying would never post anything about that subject of event.

My friend: The mass media will never write about ….

My friend: The left will never talk about …

My friend: The right will never mention …

Me: Hmmm, that’s weird, I just listened to an NPR podcast on that.

The phrase “this will never make the …” seems to me to be an easy way to try and lend gravitas to whatever you are writing, or more likely reposting from someone else. Instead of it being a condemnation of whatever sources the person is saying will never mentioned whatever subject he or she is writing about, I have begun to believe that it is a condemnation of my friend. You see I am fairly sure that “this will never make the …” usually means that “I never read the genre or group that I am condemning and I take that as silence on the subject.” Since you don’t read any of the ones you are saying will never talk or write about a subject it is very easy to mistake your lack of hearing or reading for that group’s lack of addressing the subject.

I will use myself as an example. I posted the following Facebook status after the Boston Marathon Bombing in 2013.

I realized later on that the problem was that I didn’t read any majority Islamic focused media, and thus I really had no idea if they were condemning the attacks or not – by the way when I actually took a moment to read some mainly Islamuc sources I realized that they were condemning the attacks. It made sense that I didn’t read any Islamic focused media sources. I’m a Christian. I believe Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. I have very strong theological disagreements with Islam. I believe they are wrong on many core issues (and they usually believe I am wrong too).1 BUT if I am going to say that someone needs to talk more about a subject I should at least first look into their media to see if they are or aren’t addressing the subject. I shouldn’t mistake my lacking of knowledge concerning their media for silence on their part.

So please, at least if you are a friend of mine, stop posting things like “the ________ media will never write about this …” because all it shows me is that you probably have no idea what is being discussed outside of your bubble.



SIDE NOTE – I’ve had this post set to publish on a random date for a while but today I saw a social media acquaintance (If we are actual friends then this isn’t you) post the wonderful graphic below concerning the rescue of the 12 Thai kid footballers and their coach (I pray for their continued safe rescue) while commenting that the news didn’t seem to want to cover this story. Really?!?!?!? I’m not sure what news sources you pay attention to Mr. Acquaintance, because all the sources I pay attention to have been covering it (as well they should). Even Wingo & Goilic, the sports podcast I listen to, discuss them.


  1. I once had a discussion with one of my friends who is Muslim in which she asked why I couldn’t admit that Mohammed was a true prophet, since Muslims would admit that Jesus was a true prophet. I responded by saying that was because I didn’t believe that Jesus was just a prophet but also God, and that would make Mohammed a false prophet. She agreed that we couldn’t agree on this and we finished our coffee and talked about other things. []

I’m All For Working The System But …

I regularly tell my boys to work the system. There is nothing wrong with taking full advantage of what is legally, morally, and ethically allowed. Working the system means playing within the rules and not purposely deceiving people. You just know how the system works and you play within the rules of the system as well as anyone can.

This is part of why I really enjoy the story of Elizabeth Swaney the American freeskier who made it on the Hungarian Winter Olympic Team. This CBS Sports article is titled “Meet Elizabeth Swaney, the American skier who scammed her way to the Olympics“, but I disagree with the thought that she “scammed her way to the Olympics.” Swaney read the rules and figure out a way to use the rules to her advantage. She didn’t deceive anyone. She just realized that if she went to every credited event possible and simply didn’t crash, then she would have enough points to qualify for the Olympics. I like working the system like that. That’s smart, not deceptive.

What Clint Arthur has done for people is an entirely different sort of thing. You can read this Wall Street Journal article for more details. The cliff notes of the article are that the “screenwriter, former taxi driver and organic-butter salesman” Clint Arthur rented rooms at Harvard Business School and West Point for events interested people could pay him $5,000 to $25,000 to “invite” them to lecture at these events. The “invitees” could then advertise to that they have been invited to lecture at those schools, and thus gain more repsct. This isn’t finding a way to use the rules to your advantage (i.e. working the system), but purposefully trying to deceive others for your own advantage.

This works to Arthur’s client’s advantage by giving them unearned gravitas. To quote the article:

That helps his clients stand out amid hundreds of thousands of financial advisers offering similar services whose quality is hard for consumers to distinguish.

“In order for a person to give you a lot of money,” Mr. Arthur said in an interview, “they must admire you, like you and trust you.”

There’s nothing there to respect. You didn’t teach at Harvard Business School, you paid someone to let you speak at their fake “business coaching” event that just so happened to be at Harvard instead of a Super 8. This is really not cool. It is a worse version of “diploma mills.” Come on people, if you want the credit do the work.

Immigration 101

I’m posting Pam‘s and my friend Scott Hick’s Facebook post regarding immigration history and some of the racist thought that has often guided these acts here on my blog primarily so I will know where it is for later. I would recommend reading it, liking it, and sharing it over on his Facebook page.

Here are Scott’s words:

Immigration History 101

Many Americans believe in an immigration mythology that you can simply get on a boat or plane and come to America. They think that immigration even today is like Fievel in An American Tail.

I recently talked to a magistrate, which means she has a law degree and is highly educated, and she was dumbfounded to learn that you can’t just get on a plane and come. Her question, “Are you telling me that say, a professional in Finland can’t just decide he wants to come to America and get on a plane and do that?” The answer under our immigration laws is an emphatic NO. So what is our history?

Until the 1880s there were no Federal laws restricting immigration. You really could just get on a boat and go to America.

But in 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act. This law was explicitly based on racism and was designed to stop any new immigration from China.

In 1907, the U.S. had what has been called the Gentleman’s Agreement with Japan which essentially was an agreement by Japan to end immigration to the U.S.

As racism became more and more entrenched in our laws (i.e. Jim Crow), it fed into distrust and hostility to immigrants as well.

In 1924 (which was also one of the high points of KKK activity in the U.S.), the nativists achieved their crowning victory. Congress passed the 1924 Immigration Act. (This followed on the heels of the 1921 Emergency Quota Act) This Act strictly limited immigration. And, it did so on racist grounds. It accomplished its goal by establishing a strict quota, and limited the annual number of immigrants who could be admitted from any country to 2% of the number of people from that country who were already living in the United States as of the 1890 census. In so doing, the Congress was deliberately trying to exclude people they viewed as undesirable. The law was squarely aimed at making immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe excluded. This hit especially hard at Italians, Slavs and Eastern European Jews. In addition, it severely restricted the immigration of Africans and completely banned the immigration of Arabs and Asians.

According to the U.S. Department of State Office of the Historian the purpose of the act was “to preserve the ideal of American homogeneity”.

These quotas survived until the Immigration Act of 1965. This act did away with some of the worst racist features and instead established a system based on reuniting immigrant families and attracting skilled labor to the United States. However, the system set in place then, which continues to now, still had an annual quota for much of family reunification. (And, the per country limits still apply within these categories, which is why there are extensive waiting lists to legally come even when you have an eligible sponsor) And, by that time, 40 years had passed with no immigration from much of the world. By definition then, there was no one already here from much of the world who could file for family to come and be reunified.

This is why the Diversity Visa Lottery was created. The idea was to allow people to come from countries who traditionally had low numbers of immigrants. So each year, 50,000 of the most educated people in these countries, (a high school degree or equivalent is required, which in much of the world the vast majority of the population could never dream of obtaining that much education) are allowed the chance to file an application to be considered to come.

The current administration wants to abolish much of the 1965 Act on family reunification and also wants to abolish the Diversity Visa. It tells us that this will Make America Great Again.

(I am a lawyer who has focused his practice on immigration law since 1995.)

A Matthew 25 Change

This is the change to the parable of the Sheep and the Goats (found in Matthew 25:34-46) that has been running through my head as I read some of the comments on my friend’s Scott’s Facebook page as he posts about people destroying life giving water and food that has been put out for people trying to immigrate, albeit illegally, to the United States.

Then he will say to those on his left, “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,  I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.”

They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

And the King will say to them “When you destroyed the water and food meant for the least of these as they traveled a dangerous journey, you destroyed water and food meant for Me. For whatever you did to the least of these you did to Me.”

They also will answer, ‘But Lord, You were an illegal immigrant. If you had entered the country the legal way we would have gladly helped.”

And the king will face palm before getting very angry.

The Radical Reformation & Authority – Part #2

Sunday night I posted the first part of this lengthy post (The Radical Reformation & Authority – Part #1).  In summary of that post, the Radical Reformation had a more expansive view of the priesthood of all believers that for some led to an extreme distrust of institutional authority and often led to the institutional authority distancing itself still further from the laity, which became a vicious cycle reinforcing itself. This may have taken place 500 years ago but its influence continues to shape us.

So let’s consider what I believe to be a modern example the distrust of institutional authority that has its roots located within the the Reformation. We have plenty of people who have randomly proclaimed themselves to be experts. Health “experts” whose only experience with health is that they were born with genetics that make them attractive to the majority of the population. Financial “experts” who have gone through several bankruptcies and proclaiming that they can teach us how to get rid of our debt and gain wealth, while failing to mention that the way they are removing their debt and building their wealth is by us buying their books and attending their lectures.  Medical “experts” whose education has come from the University of Google which can be anything from great things like Google Scholar to stupid things like stupid.com. We have any number of other fields in which people proclaim themselves “experts” because they can since we don’t trust institutions.

So often the reaction we see from the institutional authorities to people turning to these self-proclaimed “experts” is a closing in of the authorities to further separate themselves from the laity in their field. Often instead of listen to the real fears and questions of the people they serve the institutional authorities turn a blind eye to those they are supposed to be serving and rely on positional authority to buttress their positions, rather than listening to their clients who are being woo’d by the self-proclaimed “experts” and eve worse sometimes outright charlatans.

In my opinion, a fair number of multi-level marketing companies (I’m not saying all MLMs) are entirely based off of these two phenomenons of the mistrust of institutional authority and the institutions responding by reinforcing their positional authority and credentials. I’ll use medical science as an example. First, convince your prospective client that they can’t trust what medical science is telling them because their physicians, hospitals, pharmacists, and others are only in it for the money. Second, convince your client that you are actually an expert and more scientific than their physicians, hospitals, pharmacists, and others because you took some weekend course, and yet somehow you aren’t actually just in it for the money. Finally, watch as your prospective clients bring this information to their physicians, hospitals, pharmacists, and others who respond by dismissing the client’s concerns and chasing the client back to you.

You can probably think of a few examples that fit in here. I can think of some examples of people who I wouldn’t trust taking care of Pam’s cats (which wouldn’t take a lot of trust because their cats and therefore no great loss 😁) who have become “experts” and try to convince others turn to them for advice on very important matters. These very same “experts” often talk a good game on but don’t actually live out in their lives.

My saddest personal example comes for when I was working a side-job years ago at a store that Pam to refers to as a yuppy-hippy store. What Pam meant about this was that all the products the store sold where earthy and organic, while also being costly so they signaled that you were wealthy because you could afford them. I would fill in at this store a few hours every now and then. Mostly I read because the store was very rarely busy and didn’t have a lot of stocking or other work. Anyhow one day a lady who was obviously weak from ill health came into the store and straight forwardly said to me, “I need to know which essential oils cure cancer.” I was dumbstruck as she told me that she had reached a point where her physician had told her there weren’t many other options for treatment and didn’t respond to well to this poor lady when she started sharing alternatives with him that she had found on Google. She was so desperate she had entered a store she didn’t know and was willing to trust a clerk she had never met.

By the way, friends and acquaintances who sell essential oils (I don’t think there are many of y’all) I have nothing against y’all’s essential oils or you selling them. I think essential oils often smell great.

Some people intentionally and unintentionally take advantage of the type of desperation and mistrust that the woman in my story had. The old-fashion “snake oil salesmen” understood how to use our tendency in America not to trust institutional authority. Our modern versions understand this also. Usually it just cost us poor saps a little money and time. Sometimes it costs us much more.

Of course, questioning institutional authority can and very often is a VERY good thing. There is a great deal of institutional authority that needs to be questioned.  The Reformation proved this. Today there are still tons of examples of credential authorities using institutional authority as a way to shut up or literally abuse the ones that they are supposed to be helping. Pam and I were talking tonight about some of the crimes that have been committed recently by people who had organizational power. Evil has been done by people being controlled by individuals using institutional authority as their cover. Larry Nassar and the abuse he inflicted on so many young ladies involved in USA Gymnastics is just the latest example of institutional authority being used as a means of evil. Questioning the positional authority of credentialed individuals in these institutions helps to keep us all honest and safe.

Another example that I want to consider comes about when those in authority react against “the laity” bringing in information to them. Using medical science again it is an important truth that a patient is the expert of his/her own body. Unfortunately some physicians (institutional experts) fear this. Patients may bring them information they found from good sources and bad sources. Often it doesn’t matter whether the sources are good or bad science. The very act of someone questioning their authority is beyond the pale, so they shut it down.  Pam’s subglottic stenosis journey is an example of this (you can, and should, read about her journey here). “I’m the physician and I know best” is not a good answer when a patient is bring questions about their own treatment. When credentialed experts rely on positional authority rather than earned authority terrible things frequently happen. Ironically, shutting down the patient oft encourages the mistrust of the physician’s positional authority and encourages the patient to go to quacks who will actually listen to the patient. As I said this thing is often a self-reinforcing cycle.

There is so much about the Radical Reformation for which I am thankful. Especially their expansive view of the priesthood of all believers. I am very thankful for the questioning of institutions and the power they can claim in our society. We grew our fear of organizational power from the influence of the Radical Reformation’s extreme view of the priesthood of all believers. It may have started with the church but it has long since expanded into all the institutions in our lives. There is good to that but they is also danger. It creates a very fertile soil in which quacks and self-proclaimed experts grow. Sometimes this leads to serious harm. During the Radical Reformation it led to some of the best and worst of faith. My faith tradition wouldn’t exist without the Radical Reformation. There was also some very seriously messed up faith practices that came out of the Radical Reformation. The best and the worst often have the same source. The same is true today. We may be five centuries and an continent away from them but they still influence us.

SIDE NOTE – I am generally not a fan of long blog posts. I think part of this is because I have more difficult proofing them (already one of my weaknesses) in the longer format. I apologize for how long these two posts have been and, therefore, how many grammatical mistakes I am sure are found within the posts. Of course, this is just a hobby for me so you should stop complaining about my grammar. 🙂

Shaming Those Who Don’t Live By The 3rd Thing A Man Does

15ish years ago after a near death experience with a charter bus roof exit hatch (I’m not exaggerating the near death aspect, I still have scars on my arms from the event) Pam and I developed four things that we wanted the boys to remember concerning what it means to be a Terrell man. We figured we wanted the boys to have something easy to remember just in the morbid case that something happened to us.

The four things are:

  1. A real man loves God
  2. A real man loves his family
  3. A real man protects women
  4. A real man protects those who are weaker than him

I struggle with rephrasing the 3rd real man statement because I worry that saying “protects” can imply that women are somehow inherently weaker than men. That’s why we as a family have been thinking through trying to figure out a word that conveys the same meaning. We don’t have it yet but we are leaning toward “respects”. We’ll get it eventually. The important thing is that I wanted the boys growing up understanding that not only were they not supposed to do anything that would hurt a woman, they were supposed to stand up and protect a woman if they saw another man trying to harm a woman. I used to ask them, and still do, to repeat “the four things a real man does” to me whenever they or I were leaving home for awhile (i.e. when they were home it was when I was on trips and now that they are in college it is when they leave to go back to school).

Anyhow all the sexual harassment stuff is driving me nuts. First, I don’t believe anyone should have to deal with such behavior. Second, it violates what I believe a real man does – i.e the third thing listed above, protect women. Finally, I think the guys who do it are trash. Yes, trash is a harsh word and these guys are still made in the image of God and in need of redemption, but right now I’ll just let my anger at their actions have control of my writing for a little while.

One of my favorite scenes in Harper Lee’s book “To Kill A Mockingbird” is when Atticus says the following to Scout:

They’re trash Scout!

“As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it—whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.”

These sexual harrasers are taking advantage of the power they perceive they have, or actually have, over their targets. They are using this power to justify highly inappropriate, definitely immoral, and often illegal behavior against their subordinates or those who are less than them in power or prestige. Then outside of this behavior they try to lead lives of assumed dignity.

I am presently reading Walter Wink’s book “The Powers That Be” and in his discussion concerning Jesus statements in Matthew 5:38-42 he describes Jesus’s statements concerning turning the other cheek, giving your coat, or walking a second mile. Wink says that Jesus’s statements are a means of shaming the powers that were looking to take advantage of those who were weaker. To quote Wink, “The Powers That Be literally stand on their dignity” (p. 105).  Following Jesus’s statements would heap shame on the powerful and prevent them from living the dignified lives they wanted to lead.

It saddens me that so many women, my wife included, have been able to say #MeToo in regard to sexual harassment. It is amazingly brave of these women to say publicly what they have experienced and deny their harassers the anonymity they had hoped for. By saying what has been done to them these brave souls cast light on the ones that sought to harm them. Light exposes evil and that leads to redemption … but it usually shames the perpetrator fist.

To paraphrase Atticus “if you see a man take advantage of his position or power to harass, make advances, or even rape a woman, man, or child who he has some power over, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that man is trash.”