Category: Politics

My Vengeance?

 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. (Romans 12:17a, 18-19)

 I was watching a Met playoff game recently. I wasn’t in a good mood, seeing how poorly they were playing against the Padres. At the conclusion of one inning, what initially appeared to the usual between-innings ads began running. Suddenly, an ad appeared for a congressional candidate in my state. He and some women appeared, and they were extremely angry. Why? Because they said his opponent would take away the right to abortion.

I was angry and infuriated – I yelled and called down God’s judgment.

My wise wife reproved me, asking what right I had to take over God’s role! I accepted her rebuke. I was reminded to be glad that God is slow to anger – he gives people time to repent ……. guess what, God was extremely patient with me! Otherwise, I would have been doomed!

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

The hymn “At Even, Ere the Sun Was Set” by Henry Twells gives me good attitude guidance for handling my disagreement with the other side in any debate:

“And none, O Lord, has perfect rest,
For none is wholly free from sin;
And they who fain 1 would serve Thee best
Are conscious most of wrong within.”
1 gladly and willingly

Twells’ point is not that I am so filled with sin that I dare not express an opinion, but rather that I express my opinion without having a sense of my own moral superiority. If I am on the right side of an issue, I am meant to be a humble expositor of God’s truth. Sometimes I might even be wrong and need to be corrected!

It’s especially easy to be enraged right now. Social media, Twitter, and political ads are not known for calm rational discourse and winsome arguments! Yet, we are called to be irenic 2.
2 irenic – favoring, conducive to, or operating toward peace, moderation, or conciliation

How are we doing in our battle of rage and division versus love and seeking common ground? In our furious view that only we can set things right, how easy it is to forget who is really in charge!

Gracious in Defeat

Pete Alonso was shooting for a three-peat, hoping to win the Home Run Derby at Dodger Stadium, the site of the MLB All-Star game.

He reached the semifinals, but the semifinal winner was a young rookie phenom on the Seattle Mariners named Julio Rodriguez.  In his post-Derby interview, Alonso expressed what a thrill it was to compete again and complimented the effort of the victor.

“Sometimes it’s just not good enough. I thought I put up a great performance, but J-Rod was just better tonight. He did an excellent job and sometimes you just gotta tip your hat.”

 He said he’d look forward to the chance to do it again next year.

“If I’m healthy and I’m willing and able, then absolutely,” Alonso said. “I love this event; I think it’s an absolute blast.”

Wouldn’t it be great if a politician who lost could be so complimentary towards the guy that beat him? And have a wonderful anticipatory attitude towards their possibly having a rematch?

 I’d be much more likely to vote for a politician who expressed such a gracious attitude!


I just listened to the finale podcast of Dan Carlin Hardcore History Supernova in the East.[i] It concludes by describing the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Exceptionally grim details.

For those of us who were kids during the cold war…. we would wake up from having a nukemare. In one of mine a fireball was over the Alpine Tower (which was visible from my New Jersey bedroom window in Tenafly), and thousands of birds were flying away from the flames.

I now view it as likely that a nuclear weapon will be used somewhere during my remaining lifetime. I am surprised that it has been almost 77 years since atomic weapons were used against Japan, but I can think of reasons for the delay.

First, in the US vs USSR cold war, we had the MAD (mutual assured destruction) doctrine. That was a strong constraint against atomic warfare. Second, other nuclear-armed countries like Israel and the UK have behaved responsibly. Even nuclear-armed India and Pakistan have (so far) not brought nukes into their disputes over Kashmir.

But what about the largest invasion force in Europe since WW 2 poised on the Ukrainian border? I am surprised that, considering all the nukes that are in that area, I have not heard much talk about nuclear risk.

I don’t know if Putin would nuke Ukraine. But now consider proliferation. Countries that want to join the nuke club. Would North Korea nuke South Korea? What would hold Kim back? Self-preservation? What if he thought could get away with it? And what about Iran with its hatred of Israel?

I know that God is in control of history. God has (so far!) restrained nukes. But will this restraint last indefinitely? Could there be a World War III nuclear conflagration that would be the end of life as we know it on our planet?

I don’t have a crystal ball for that. So, I’ll conclude with the advice from Ecclesiastes:

Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.

Good to keep right with God in advance of any nukemare!


My Encounter With Bob Dole

In 1996 at lunchtime, I jogged from my IT job at UPS to the Morristown Green, to attend a lunchtime rally for Presidential Candidate Bob Dole. (That was back when Republicans thought they had a chance to actually win New Jersey’s electoral votes.)

I shook Bob Dole’s left hand and said, “On to victory!”

When I got back to the office a colleague said: ” Don’t wash that hand!”

Well, Bob Dole didn’t go on to victory that year even though he did come closer to Bill Clinton than expected.