All this week, my bogs are about The Secrets of Hillsong docu-series. Yesterday’s ruffled some feathers. Today’s probably will as well. Tomorrow’s DEFINITELY will. They are all on my Patreon site and are all public this week.

So, no, you don’t have to be a subscriber to access them, this week. But you can become a subscriber if you’d like. Just throwing it out there …

Black Lives Matter. 

Never before in the history of word play has there been a more confusing and unnecessarily politically charged phrase. It is literally the “who’s on first” of societal discussions. 

“Black lives matter.”

“Yes. All lives matter.”

“NO! BLACK lives matter!”

“So, you mean ONLY black lives matter?”

“Of course not!”

“So…ALL lives matter?”

“NO! BLACK lives matter!”

“Third base!”

I can’t keep up. I never could. So, I stay away from the phrase altogether. Mainly because I’m offended by the underlying premise in the first place. Who, in God’s name, ever said that black lives DIDN’T matter to begin with!?!? The notion is obscene. 

I don’t say the phrase because if you actually have to say it, that means you’ve thought the opposite at some point. And I have never thought black lives (or any lives) didn’t matter. 

But we get caught up in these silly arguments as ways to somehow prove we’re not racists, or play some verbal chess game with people we want to shame, and put them in semantic check mate. 

My lifelong record on race is clear. I’ve written about it extensively, in songs and blogs. I have an adopted child of a different race, and I married outside my race. My grandfather battled the KKK in the 50s. My father marched in civil rights marches in the 60’s.  

I have nothing to prove to you (or anybody else) about how I feel about (or interact with) different races. Nor will I be dragged into some virtue-signal-of-the-moment nonsense, where I have to black out my profile picture or say the correct phrase or donate to some cause de’jour. And if you’ve rushed to do any or all of those things, to prove yourself as a non-racist, then I hate to tell you this…but you might be kind of a racist. Because that means you’re nervous about it. 

I’m not nervous. 

That Hillsong pastor, Carl, spent 2020 throwing his back out trying to contort the correct way, in order to not get labeled a racist. That was such an insidious part of that time.  

See, race is an illusion. Period. Any man, from any race, can impregnate any woman of any race. That means the human race is ONE species. It’s just science. 

If an Asian man and a white woman couldn’t produce a child, it would make race something to actually study more deeply. It would, indeed mean, we were different kinds of hominids. 

Therefore, Homosapiens might have a good reason to not want little Heather to date Neanderthal, Max. Because maybe they wouldn’t be able produce children. Or maybe there might be some possible genetic defect that could occur in their children, by crossing species. But that isn’t the case. We’ve been mixing races as long as boys and girls with varying skin pigments have been looking at each other googly-eyed from across the room. 

And we’re all a mix of something. Our skin and features are all based on how close to the equator our ancestors settled. That’s it.   

Everything else is culture.  

But we still use this single feature as a fulcrum on which to base so many things. When I was a kid, I thought by 2023, we wouldn’t even be talking about race anymore. I thought we’d be WAY past skin color, wearing silver jumpsuits and teleporting – like in Star Trek. But here we are, still acting like it’s 1953.  

People overuse the word “woke.” It’s a punch line, now. But the basis for “woke” is essentially a term meant to show that you have awakened to how everything in the human experience is based on your race or gender or sexual whatever. The belief that EVERYTHING is informed by those factors, is essentially “woke.” 

And this ideology is more present in “journalism” than any place on earth. 

The piece of the Hillsong docu-series that had me rolling my eyes the most, was when they waded into the “systemic racism” piece. Because there’s no red meat more succulent to a New York based reporter than to see a bunch of white men standing on a stage (or anywhere) together, who also don’t affirm LGBTQ, whatever, whatever (they lost me after the Q. I literally can’t remember any more letters in sequence. It’s like having to remember a password at this point) issues. 

But sometimes, the white guys up there aren’t practicing “systemic racism.” They’re just guys doing their thing. And they’re part of a world that seems to attract white guys. Or maybe they just all know each other the way people get to know each other. 

There are all sorts of reasons why white guys might be hanging out together. Black guys might do the same. Women might do the same. Gay guys might do the same. 

Several years ago, I ran a non-profit. I asked so many women to be on my board. It was literally my quest to have the board mainly be female because I valued their input on some of our core issues. 

NO. WOMAN. WOULD. DO. IT…except two. 

So, if you saw a photo of my board, you might think it was a boys club. But it wasn’t. It was comprised of the only people who would actually show up. They just happened to be white guys. I didn’t plan it that way. It wasn’t “systemic.” It was just people who agreed to serve. 

Sometimes a church isn’t being systemically racist. Sometimes, they’re just appealing to a certain demographic. And sometimes, their leadership is simply comprised of people who posses certain talents and abilities they need for those positions. 

I kept waiting on the journalists to go see if T.D Jakes was making sure he had appropriate white representation on his staff. Or Creflo Dollar. Or Oprah Winfrey. Or Tyler Perry. Or Jay Z. 

See, I don’t care about those people having enough white people on their staff…because I don’t care about race. And neither should any of us. 

Meanwhile, most of the journalists who were telling us about how white men controlled this church…WERE. WHITE. MEN. And I kept yelling at the TV, “Why should I listen to you, white boy? You’re part of the same apparent problem at Vanity Fair and Hulu.”  

Not only was it necessary to paint Hillsong as racist, but it was also necessary for them to show how the church didn’t affirm gay people. 

This is a new wrinkle for every church theses days. But I don’t see any outcries about Mosques or Synagogues not being “affirming.” It’s just the Christian people who are apparently supposed to change everything about their orthodoxy in order to be on the “right side of history.”

Look, I laid out my thoughts on organized religion yesterday. But people have the right to have organized religion. And those religions come with rules and regs. And just because they don’t change those rules and regs to be what you want to them to be, doesn’t make them horrible. 

It makes them a religion. 

And religions do what religions do. Not being LGBTQ affirming isn’t the equivalent of hate. It’s basically being what Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were in 2008. It’s being what the U.K. was until 1967. It’s being what the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) was until 1973. 

Everybody gets a minute to catch up to whatever the new and improved sexual thing of the moment demands…except Christianity. That one never seems to get a pass.  

Look, if Hillsong was actually systemically racist or if they didn’t extend compassion and love to gay people or trans people, then yeah…they weren’t being very Christ like. 

But sometimes we find racism where it actually isn’t. And a bunch of white people being gathered in one place isn’t racism. It’s just people, who also have no say in what race they were born into, being somewhere. That’s not racism. White people gotta be somewhere, too. 

And sometimes, you can love someone deeply and want the best for them, while still being conflicted about their sexuality, over certain texts in the bible that you base your life on. 

But, hey…

Sex is not as simple as race. Not by a long shot. 

Tomorrow, we talk about THAT part of the Hillsong saga. 

Buckle up. It won’t be what you think …    


Yesterday’s piece on Hillsong:








It only took 3 songs. 

That’s usually about all it takes. 

Sitting in the back of an Uber, on my way to the airport, I kind of halfway paid attention to the music the driver had playing. They usually have something “safe” on, to break the tension of awkward silences. And the volume is normally set just below what you can actually distinguish, making it “background noise.” 

This Uber ride was no different. And as we swerved and jerked through the early morning traffic (this guy was a horrible driver), I immediately recognized high-quality production and well-executed vocals. But I couldn’t quite make out who those vocals belonged to. 

All I knew was the songs were upbeat and “positive” sounding, with big chant-y choruses, obligatory breakdowns and swirly guitars. After listening to the third 20-something white dude, sounding like an amalgam of Imagine Dragons and Coldplay, hit that high note, with a perfectly coiffed rasp, I was like, “Ohhhh….this is Christian radio.” And I haven’t heard Christian radio in years. 

Sure enough, at the trail-off of that 3rd end-of-the-corporate-conference-theme song, the call letters came through loud and clear. And I was right. 

None of that stuff is bad, per se.I used to write and produce it, too. I have a ton of friends who still do. I love them all. And for a lot of people, it’s uplifting and faith-affirming and all of that. And maybe we need stuff like that. But it’s also not interesting or artful. And it’s why I left that particular business, years ago. 

The quality of faith-based art is absolutely on par with that of its “secular” counterpart. Technology has democratized the media arts. Your favorite worship band’s new single probably sounds just as good as the new Taylor Swift single. 

And that Christian movie or show you saw last month, probably looks as good as any other show you’ve binged on Netflix. 

So, why did I immediately know I was hearing a Christian radio station, if there is no difference in the quality of the recordings? There was simply no depth of field. It was all really well done. Really, really well done. 

Songs – really well done. Tracks – really well done. Vocals – really well done. Mixes – really well done. 

But there were no rough edges. No chances being taken. Nothing risky or eyebrow raising. Not ONE thing made my ear perk up and say, “wait…what is that???”

Everything was solidly on a well-worn path. It was that way when I was doing it 25 years ago, and it’s that way now. 

I can’t tell you how many times I got in trouble over a lyric or for simply producing something that strayed from that path. So, I set sail for different waters, in the world of mainstream music. 

And I lost everything. 

But I also learned a few things …

The thing that would make me very successful in Christian music, was a challenge to overcome in secular; staying inside the lines too much. And the more I ventured into something that might be risky but stood out (a trait that would get me taken off Christian radio) the more the secular people responded to it. 

And, as an artist, I’m just going to say this: when it comes to art…the secular people were right. 

So, I have limped through the second half of my career, where I soared through the first half. But make no mistake…the second half has been the real me, saying the actual things I came here to say. And I have no regrets in that regard. My only regret is not becoming that, sooner. 

But here’s something you should know… 

The very nature of creativity itself is a Satanic or Luciferian exercise. Real creativity demands that you question and defy. It requires you to go beyond what is acceptable. It only works if you’re part rebel and part explorer. Real artists push the envelope. They raise a fist to everything conventional. They abhor the status quo and the conservative mindset. By their very nature, they are geared to shock you out of your comfort zone. 

That is not the nature of compliance and obedience, or a “God servant” mindset. It is the spirit of Lucifer – the one who talked us into doing the thing we weren’t supposed to do. And that spirit is the basis for all your favorite music and art and movies and books.  

So, how do I personally reconcile this utter defiance in the arts, and faith? Well, for me, it’s Jesus himself. Jesus allows me to flip off (metaphorically – don’t get all upset) the world through my art, and he balances the scale. I run as far and as fast as I can. I take it to the edge of whatever I can take it to the edge of…and I can never seem to outrun him. 

To me, that’s how faith and art should co-exist. I’ve always said, you can’t have the Sistine Chapel without a dangling penis. Michaelangelo went to the edge. Somehow, Jesus made it all work. 

So, what’s the point here?

The point is that the culture is kind of a battlefield. Artists and creatives drive it. And one side is serious, while the other side is often playing catch-up….poorly.  

This is very thing is showing up in corporate America.

Last month, it was Bud Light. This month, it’s Target. 

There are big, corporate reasons why these companies are veering so far outside the mainstream of what average Americans are ready to accept. ESG, etc. And they’re going to pay the price from consumers. But this goes deeper than that… 

This is about one side being absolutely sold out. And one side being safe. 

It was only a matter of time before we got Satanic shirts and “tuck friendly” bikini bottoms shipped into America’s heartland. Boycott it over here…it will simply re-surface over there.  

Because you don’t know the covert battle you’re in. Bud Light was willing to lose 7 billion dollars in order to send its message. If you are opposed to that message, just remember that THAT is what you’re up against; THAT kind of dedication and resolve. 

This is not an anti LGBTQ, whatever, whatever post. I have more gay friends than I can count and my hunch is that a lot of them aren’t on board with child mutilation. But the point is if you feel like the culture as a whole is kind of going off the rails, just know that those who lead it are running as fast as they can…without Jesus factored into their equation. 

That’s what artists do.  

And the message of faith will never win in the marketplace of ideas, until it is taken as seriously as the message of…well…not faith.  

If you’re an investor in faith-based entertainment, and you are making your numbers work, slowly and meticulously, and not taking too many chances, you might just be part of the problem. You’re making Hydrox cookies while the rest of the world is making new flavors of Oreos. 

Disney is willing to take the entire company down over their beliefs. Are you willing to do the same? If not, Disney wins. Always. 

I’ve been trying to get a movie made for 13 years. It has some of the largest brands in the world attached to it. It’s a true story about adoption and faith and a man and a woman staying together against extraordinary odds – everything people say they want to see. 

But I can’t get it made by the “secular” folks. It probably doesn’t check enough of their “inclusion” boxes. And I can’t get it made by the “faith” folks because it doesn’t check enough of their “faith” boxes (I know – they’ve told me).  

But it’s honest. And it’s raw. And it’s real. And it’s a risk. 

And the music from it will probably never be played in a certain Uber driver’s car. 

And that’s the point. 







What is crime?

That seems like an easy question to answer. But is it?

If you lived in 1830, and you set fire to a plantation and freed all the slaves, you would be considered an outlaw. You would have committed several “crimes.” 


You might be the only one NOT committing actual crimes against humanity. You might be the only one on the “right side of history.” Ahead of your time. Progressive. On the side of the angels, and all of that. 

Let’s say you lived in Nazi Germany and conspired to kill Hitler. You would definitely be liable for high crimes. But would you really be committing a crime? Wouldn’t you actually be a hero?

Crime is often in the eye of the beholder. 

Especially when you try to overlay what you see as crime onto the framework of a different country or culture. 

Watch the Godfather some time, and ask yourself how all those people (fictional, though they may be – still based on real “crime” families) could justify placing their entire progeny and culture in the crosshairs of the American justice system. Are they all just reprobates with no conscience?

To the contrary, the point of pieces like The Godfather (and, really, almost all organized crime drama) is that the system isn’t seen as just by these immigrants. 

They had no say in setting any of it up. They feel that it is foundationally rigged against them. Therefore, they are justified in setting up their own set of rules and their own power structures. 

This has been the big disconnect with minority communities and “crime” in this country for a long time. If you are only seeing the world through the lens of a “tribe,” then it can be easy to see the American system as something they had nothing to do with, if they don’t see anyone from their race represented in the founding. So, why should they abide by the rules set up by a completely different race of people than them? 

That’s the danger of seeing everything through the prism of race. 

But this is actually how a lot of us see crime, whether we want to admit it or not. We just apply our own situations to it. 

If you drive 50-miles-and hour over the speed limit to get to your dying spouse, are you really breaking the law? And does it matter? 

If you have a moral objection (let’s say you’re a devout Muslim) to baking a cake for a gay wedding, but the law says you have to do it, are you really breaking the law? 

We like to think of the law as this bedrock of virtue, immutable and immovable. But isn’t a lot of it just what we (the people) say it is? 

These are the big questions the founding fathers grappled with when they were writing The Constitution. And it’s why they wrote it the way they did. And it’s why our nation has always been (or supposed to have been) a nation of laws, rather than a nation governed by the whim of the powerful. 

For this principle to remain in tact, however, you have to have people who understand it to the core. And who don’t get themselves caught up in weird rhetoric. 

In 2016, an “outsider” got himself elected President of the United States. And a lot of people felt threatened by him and this entire concept of someone without political experience running the country. 

It’s the Hollywood high concept that makes for a great movie. And they’ve even done it a couple of times (Dave and Bulworth). 

But you can go to Netflix right now and watch several comedy special with famous names, where the comedians did entire multi-minute bits about how they felt like thew world was coming to an end by having this guy as president. 

And that was how a lot of people felt. Because, unfortunately, we’ve given the President of the United States King of the World status. 

I was watching a reality show last night, and they were asking the question; “if you were president, what would you do to solve this or that issue?” 

My answer was, “Nothing. Presidents don’t make laws, nor should they be involved in these personal issues whatsoever.”  

But that’s not how most people think. They see the President as a sink-or-swim leader. 

If you feel like the Presidency is too important to be left to an amateur, and you feel like the person who just won is going to turn your country into Nazi Germany, what laws would you break to try and rectify that? 

Answer: ALL OF THEM. 

And if you wouldn’t, then your convictions aren’t real. 

Penn Gillette is a famous atheist. And he always says that if someone doesn’t try to convince him to believe in God, then he questions whether or not they actually believe what they say they believe. Because if they do, they wouldn’t want to see anybody go to Hell. 

His assertion is the hight of passive aggressiveness. But the point is still taken. 

I’ve been challenged a time or two by these kinds of atheists. I just tell them all the same thing – God is love and I love them. Now, let’s talk like humans rather than trying to debate something neither of us can prove or disprove. 

But that kind of simplicity unfortunately doesn’t exist in politics. 

And if politics is your savior, then the leader of it will mean everything to you. So, is breaking the law off limits when it comes to saving the Republic? 

Not if that’s your God. 

This week, we found out that everything Donald Trump said was being done to him, was being done to him. For those who have called him the biggest liar in Presidential history, just for the record, his truth credit score is actually going up with every passing scandal. 

But why wouldn’t you break the law to stop him, if you actually thought he was Hitler? 

This is why attaching that kind of ridiculous hype to someone is dangerous. It makes criminals out of Patriots. It’s also why I stand by my assertion that a certain election was tampered with. 

Why wouldn’t it be, if one side thought they were literally stopping a despot, rather than just defeating a candidate? 

There’s a great line in the movie, The Count of Monte Cristo (in my top ten). “In the end, treason is just a matter of dates.” 

Yes, indeed. 

This is why the Constitution should be our guide rather than the heat of the moment. 

Because, in the heat of the moment…we can all justify crime.    








It’s stuff like this that makes people angry and mobilizes them. 

This is how you lose votes and good will and even moderate interest in what you’re saying. It’s also how reality TV hosts get your attention for elected office. 

Stuff like this …

Tonight, at midnight, title 42 ends. That’s not a big deal for a lot of people. Today is a big news day for talking heads. The former realty TV host got hit for about 5 million in civil damages, based on an alleged rape, back in 1994…or ’95…or ’96. One of those years. The victim can’t remember. 

Tucker Carlson seems to be doing something with Twitter. Okay, good for him. Whatever. 

And, what I think is the most important story of the last decade (and I’ve been saying it for 3 years), the Hunter Biden laptop is revealing pretty much all the things we all knew it was going to reveal – payment for access to power.   

If you think that’s all just a Republican witch hunt and talking point, just answer the ONE question I’ve been asking since all this broke…what BUSINESS is the Biden family in?  

Come on, man. We all know the answer that question. And the answer to that question is at the core of everything everybody has been up in arms about for the last decade or so.

It’s why people are done with politicians. It’s why nobody trusts the press. It’s why everyone is suspect of anything and everything that is said on social media. It’s why people boycott beer and chicken places and try to cancel comedians and why other people try to leverage that anger to sell movies and music and pillows and coffee and phone services and alternative pain medications. 

It’s why millions and millions of people STILL don’t believe the 2020 election was on the up and up. Guess what? I’M one of them. Hell, I’m staring to wonder if ANY election has ever been on the up and up. 

But it’s this little story about title 42, and how it relates to a girl with special needs, from China, that gets me downright angry. And yes, I’m her father. So I admit to bias. 

See, title 42 is this thing in the law that allowed (even mandated) border agents to send people back to their home countries IF. THEY. CROSSED. THE. BORDER. ILLEGALLY. 

For the past three years, it has been about Covid, and not spreading it, etc, etc. Of course we all now know that nobody really ever cared about the spread of Covid. People just really like power and theater. 

Our own mayor (in Nashville) issued an order that NO more than 8 people could gather in one place or they would be fined (or something). ONE WEEK later, he encouraged (on OFFICIAL LETTERHEAD) the ENTIRE city (700 thousand people) to come to the BLM protest in downtown Nashville. But it would be okay, because all the people sweating on each other would be wearing masks. 

Sometimes, I literally cannot get my eyes rolled back far enough in my head.  

Anyway …

The end of title 42 just means that there will be far more illegal border crossings than we’ve had in a long time. And if you think that’s a big deal, you are somehow a racist. I think legal and illegal immigration IS a big deal. 

Let me take this opportunity to be abundantly clear (although, I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years and I PROMISE you some people will read what I’m about to say and comment as if they haven’t read it. It happens every week), I LOVE people from Mexico. Latin culture is my favorite culture. 

I love the food and the architecture and the music and the language. And, yes, I love the women. Sorry, if that sounds old school. But I married a latin woman. She knows she’s my weakness. And that constantly gives her the upper hand in our relationship…unless Sofia Vergara suddenly shows up. Then all bets are off. 

But I digress…

I do not hate “brown people,” a term I find incredibly offensive. How quaint, to reduce an entire population to their skin tone. For me, latin culture isn’t about “skin tone.” It’s about the actual culture. 

Skin tone is just a melanin thing, related to how close to the equator your ancestors settled. There is nothing spectacular or villainous about any of it. It’s like eye color. It just is.

But what’s happening at the southern border of the United States IS villainous. Let me explain …

I’ve travelled the world. I’ll bet most of you have too. It’s easy to go see the rock, now. It’s about plane tickets and hotel reservations. Nobody is setting sail on the wild seas, to a new, undiscovered world, anymore. We’ve mapped it. All the lines have been drawn. And to cross those lines, you have to have something called a passport. 

And if you want to settle inside one of those lines, you have to go through a process with each government that controls those lines. That is the process in EVERY. PLACE. ON. EARTH. This has been agreed upon by every nation and every country on the planet. 

Except for one place …

The southern border of the United States of America. 

For some reason, we still have an issue with enforcing immigration policies in THAT ONE PLACE on planet Earth. 

I have Canadian friends who come down to the States to do concerts, etc. They have to abide by a process. And they can’t just decide, one day, to settle in town without filing tons of paper work and going through a process of either becoming a legal citizen or getting the proper work visas, etc. 

Why do I care about all of this? Why am I angry?

Because my daughter is adopted. She’s from China. 

Before we went to adopt her, we filled out so many legal documents I can’t even remember them all. The American government AND the Chinese government both got complete access to my bank accounts and tax records. My wife and I have our fingerprints on file with the FBI. I distinctly remember the day we had to go do that. 

My daughter was supposed to become a legal U.S citizen the moment she set foot on U.S soil, based on the the 18 months of paper work we did. But that wasn’t completely the case…

We went through another two-year process to get her naturalized and make her adoption legal. I didn’t know we had to do this…but we did it. 

My daughter cannot speak or feed herself. She cannot put on her own clothes or write her name. She requires 24-hour assistance just to get through life. She’s missing a piece of a chromosome. 

So, she doesn’t know (or care) what country she lives in. Her mother and I have followed all the rules and obeyed all the laws and filled out all the paper work. And we’ve NEVER received public assistance on her behalf. Not once, in 20 years. 

My daughter is now eligible for SSI. She actually was 3 years ago. And according to our calculations, she should be getting around $800 a month from the federal government. I didn’t set that up. And I didn’t ask for it.

It’s just what the government says they owe her. But they won’t pay it to her because they keep saying we don’t have sufficient evidence of her citizenship. 

Did you read what I just wrote? 

The United States government swore her in, in the LAX airport. I was holding her little hand up when they did it. A judge in my county declared her my legal daughter and a United States citizen all over again, when she was 2. My dad wore his red, white and blue tie to the ceremony. Pictured below …

And now, the same people who did and said all that have withheld over $30,000 dollars from someone who should be receiving it, because they want a piece of paper I can’t even seem to find anywhere on their website. 

I would imagine this is probably my own fault. I’m probably not pushing the right button or crossing the right T or talking to the right bureaucrat. I’m not very savvy at this stuff. And I HATE dealing with the government. 

But my larger point isn’t about the details of my own case. It’s about the concept of immigration and citizenship itself. And it’s about how power gets divvied up if you’re the in the right political sweet spot. 

Do I care if Hunter Biden buys, sells and ingests illegal drugs? Not in the least. I think all drugs should be legal, anyway. But when I can’t get enough pain medication to get me through a kidney stone attack, because of legal issues, meanwhile I can WATCH my president’s son do a drug deal ON TIK TOK, that’s when I tend to get sideways. 

Because that means there are TWO kinds of justice happening. And that was supposed to be what this country was all about…ending stuff like that. 

When thousands of people simply walk across a border that is apparently this magical place where your skin protects you from being seen as crossing illegally, but my LEGAL immigrant daughter can’t get what all the politicians promised her, because she is lost in their own bureaucracy, you lose me, guy running for office.  

It doesn’t work. Well, let me back up…it works for some people. 

And THAT is why I couldn’t care less about the next presidential debate or really what any politician has to say, unless they are calling out the bullshit. Even then, I don’t trust them. Because they still want a vote. 

New York, you can prosecute Donald Trump in civil court until he’s destitute. And I believe you probably will. But you will never be able to gloss over the fact that the man struck a nerve with the American people for a reason. 

It’s because we’ve all been on the receiving end of some weird red tape nightmare we had no say in setting up, that fails us right and left, then calls us a racist or a sexist or a transphobe or whatever the victim of the moment is, if we say anything about it. And it says we’re the problem when we call it out. 

Couch this stuff any way you want to. Pick your side and fight to the death. But I know how much I’m paying for eggs and gasoline. So do you. And I know when I’m getting the runaround in the real. And unfortunately, it doesn’t just affect a middle aged, straight white man, which is perfectly fine, these days. 

I get it. Privilege and blah blah blah. Whatever. 

But my Asian daughter is now trapped in the crosshairs of a beast that seems to have no beginning and no end. And it will allow me to throw money into it forever, without ever burping up any sanity. 

To the career political class…to the statists, who believe government is our only way out…to activists who use government as their own personal military arm…THAT is why you’ve lost so many of us. 

You represent the beast.








The future is a fragile thing. 

You can raise your son or daughter (or whatever the other genders are) in the best way you know how, but then something can happen to them that causes them to become something you don’t recognize. 

And suddenly all those Sunday School lessons and youth camp services, simply become a part of a past they are now trying to run as far away from as possible. 

We seem to be living in a country (and a world) that has forgotten so much about itself. Things that were bedrock structure, just a few short years ago, are now seen as quaint ideas from another time. 

I saw a video, recently, asking why Gen X-ers (of which I am one) are so passive when it comes to the new social issues. Well, let me take crack at speaking for my much-maligned generation…

See, we are the generation (and maybe the last generation) who remembers hearing our grandparents tell stories about the great depression and WWII. I’ve actually sat at the kitchen table and heard my grandfather talk about several households in his neighborhood actually sharing ONE cup of bone broth, so they would have something to cook stew in on alternate days. 

I’ve heard my grandmother talk about the rationing of butter and tires and the scarcity of meat. I’ve heard the stories of my other grandfather, serving in the Pacific theater of WWII, having to have his hands placed in warm water in order to pry them off of his boot knives, after 20 hours of hand-to-hand combat. 

I’m sorry that I don’t care – even a little bit – about your pronoun choices (which isn’t a real thing because pronouns are something you use in third person when the person isn’t around – and nobody gets to re-structure 3rd grade grammar for me).

Because I had a great uncle, someone I knew VERY well, who lost both his parents when he was 13 and had to raise his two siblings on his own…during the depression. Then, when he was 19 (and the siblings were finally teenagers, and could fend for themselves – think about that) he went to war and fought with Patton’s 3rd army, AGAINST. ACTUAL. NAZIS…not made up ones. 

He got Tuberculosis and frostbite fighting in the Argonne forrest (Battle of the Bulge) and spent two years in a sanatorium, before coming home to run a farm for the rest of his life. 

It would be absolutely embarrassing to present that guy with someone who needed a “safe space.” He wouldn’t even know how to respond to that. And I, nor any of my cousins or uncles or aunts, wouldn’t be able to explain it to him. I can barely understand it, myself. 

His wife (my aunt), got Polio, spent a FULL YEAR in an iron lung, then got out of it only to have to walk on crutches the rest of her life and carry her legs around like baggage. 

I’ve watched her drag herself around a hardwood floor on a rug, in order to wax the floor. “Why?” you may ask. Because it had to be done. Period. 

I’ve heard the stories of my grandparents doing battle with the KKK, in the town where it was formed, and putting their actual lives at risk to fight REAL racism. Not some abstract version of something that may or may not be that.    

The benefit my generation has is that we know how bad things can get. We actually knew the people who lived through some of the worst things in history. We sat on their knees and smelled their cologne and ate their home cooking and watched their actions. And we can’t for the life of us get our heads around the “new trauma” when we knew people who saw all of their friends get blown up on a Saturday then have to regroup and be back on the line 45 minutes later. 

See this picture below? That very thing happened to three of these four guys. The guy second from the right is my grandfather…

We, ourselves, feel embarrassed to be as soft and weak as we are. 

Sometimes, I look at how I’ve made a living all of my adult life, and I just whisper an apology to my grandfather, who laid brick all week and then held two services on Sunday, where he preached sermons he’d prepared at night, when he was home from his manual labor job, tending to bleeding hands and cracked knuckles.  

We, the Gen-Xers, are sandwiched between the two most narcissistic generations in human history; Boomers and Millennials.  

Our parents, the Boomers, rebelled against our grandparents. They made a legacy out of it. But we loved those people. And we kinda knew that they fixed most of the big stuff. And that’s why our moms and dads had the freedom to prance around at Woodstock and drop acid and vote for George McGovern. 

Gen Z is rebelling against us, because they think we are out of touch with their world. 

Maybe we are. And I don’t pretend to know what it’s like to understand the psychological pressure being applied to kids who are scared to walk into school everyday, for fear that they might get gunned down over some abstract political idea nobody even understands, by someone overmedicated and under loved.  

I don’t know what it’s like to constantly have the foundational binary nature of the species called into question around me, IN SCHOOL, all the time. I don’t know what it’s like to be told that I’m going to be replaced with AI before I’m old enough to become anything or that the world is going to burn up if I don’t stop doing everything I’m doing right now (it’s not, by the way). 

But I know that right now it’s 70 degrees outside and perfect. And I know that for the most part, I can plan my day any way I see fit. I know that I have food in the fridge and a comfortable place to sleep tonight. 

These are basic things my grandparents didn’t always have. And we’ve come a long way to get here. 

Sometimes, I think it might not be a bad thing to simply remember that. My generation does remember that. And we remember it because we knew people who reminded us of it. Even when we were rolling our eyes at them (which my generation does a lot). 

So, to those who think my generation is too passive on social issues, I’m reminding you of it now. Settle down, breathe, and enjoy the sunshine. 

Life is beautiful, if you let it be. Things might not be as bad as you assume. Everything might not be the cultural, racial and gender oppression you project it to be (and maybe even need it to be, to feel validated as a person).

Everybody doesn’t have to be a legend. You’re not falling behind if you lose followers on TikTok. Nobody really looks like they look on Instagram.  No, you don’t have to be constantly “changing the world” and “disrupting the status quo.” 

Sometimes, a good tune blasting from the speakers, the top down on a gorgeous day, and fresh air in your lungs, is all you need to be happy. Fall back in love with just living.   

Because take it from the grandchild of someone who had a tough life…like, a really tough life…

you might have it better than you think you do.         








“The Nazarene! The Nazarene!”

Some legends have these as Voltaire’s final words, as he lay dying in agony. Some say his final words were, “I am abandoned by God and man.” 

Most say, he was asked by a priest to repent and denounce Satan, to which he replied, “Now is not the time to make new enemies.” 

Still others say his last were, “I shall go to hell and take you with me, Oh Christ, Oh Jesus Christ!” 

My research couldn’t find any definitive evidence of actual final words. Just a lot of folklore and quotes from people who claimed to have been there or who were reported to have been there. But one thing is safe to conclude: one of the world’s most famous life-long atheists was thinking about God in his last days on the planet. 

He may have been intentionally blaspheming (for dramatic effect – he did that a lot) or he may have been actually wrestling with the almighty, in real time. Either way, it was consuming him as he slipped off into whatever is beyond this mortal coil. 

One thing he said, that we know for sure, was, “A hundred years after my death, the Bible will be a museum piece.” 

He died in 1787. And I’m sorry to tell ya, bro, but the Bible lasted longer than you did. WAY longer. And, why?  Voltaire was a smart guy. He was very quotable and very rich and he led a revolution (of sorts), called “The Enlightenment.” 

So, why, 236 years after he said whatever he said in his final breath, do we still grapple with this ancient book and this ancient notion (God) and we kinda, sorta study Voltaire maybe in a history class or on YouTube or maybe even not at all? I mean, he’s basically a museum piece. 

But why is the God question still in our craw as a species? 

This week, the big news story has been Tucker Carlson getting let go from Fox News. And it has been examined about every way you can examine a thing. 

The prevailing wisdom is that it was all based on financial calculations surrounding a huge legal settlement, as well as other pending lawsuits; business. Some speculate that his criticism of big pharma ruffled too many feathers among his primary advertisers…who are big pharma; business. And still others say it was simple math regarding fiduciary responsibilities to the shareholders; business.  

But, over the weekend, I watched his Heritage Foundation speech. Apparently, he was let go just hours after giving it. And something in it tweaked my interest. About 40 minutes of it was his usual bluster and howl; quick cadence and effortless flow. And many of the usual suspects were dissected and offered up on the altar of applause lines. 

But the last ten minutes were pure church. 

Tucker Carlson, the once bow-tied upper crust, ivy league child of privilege-turned journalistic crusader for the common man, was basically saying that the only thing that can save us now is…well…God.  

And I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “That guy has a lot of power to be able to keep a job at a major news channel and say that.” 

He was fired less than 24-hours later. 

“What are you talking about, Reg? Nobody cares if someone talks about God, anymore. EVERYBODY talks about God!”  you may be saying at this very moment. 

And you’re right. We can thank our lord and savior Jesus Christ for making touchdowns and winning Grammys. We can talk about God in the abstract as much as we want. Nobody cares about that. 

As long as Jesus is a harmless baby in a manger, asking nothing of us and requiring nothing of us, he’s all good. We love that guy. 

Or, better yet, as long as he’s got us on the side of the downtrodden and marginalized, he’s the big anti-bullying hero. That keeps us on the wonderful and coveted moral high ground.

See? I love all these people you refuse to accept. That makes me a “Jesus person” and you a hypocrite. See how much cooler I am than you and probably everybody you know? 

Yeah…we like that Jesus, too. The unlikely dark horse crusader who shuns the majority for people in the shadows. We absolutely adore that Jesus/God archetype. 

But the Jesus/God who is a remedy for social decay or moral failing; the deity north star that must be adhered to, followed and obeyed, in order to save humanity? 

“Ugh. Really? We’re still doing that?” is very often the response. 

And I admit, I tend to lean into the Jesus who loves me unconditionally, without judgement or condemnation. Everybody loves that guy more than the guy who looks you squarely in the eye and says, “stop doing what you’re doing. It isn’t good for anybody.” 

NOBODY likes that guy. 

But sometimes, that guy is who shows up. And sometimes, he is exactly what is needed. 

If you were money changer, back in the day, you wouldn’t have liked Jesus very much. He called you out on your bullshit. Same with the Pharasees. And, contrary to popular opinion, same with the woman at the well. 

Yes, he exposed the real sinners in the crowd. Yes, he showed her mercy when nobody else would. But people always forget the last thing he said to her: “go…AND. SIN. NO. MORE.” 

“STOP THIS MESS, so I don’t have to keep showing up here and doing this,” was basically the message. 

As long as God is loving and forgiving and just some nebulous force out there, guiding us toward destiny and light and life and all that poetic stuff, he’s fine to talk about. 

But when we see a cultural quagmire and get faced with unanswerable questions and get thrown into the deep end of the ocean regarding our direction as a collective, and we decide that maybe there’s a higher force we need to tap into, that may require us to re-examine our own hearts and souls and maybe even change something about our life or foundational principles…that is off limits. 

The Jesus/God who requires us to go and sin no more is just plain no fun. 

And as someone who is a 5th generation preacher’s kid, I can tell you that that message gets people’s backs up. 

My hunch (although I don’t know anyone involved – it’s just a hunch) is that Tucker Carlson finally hit the wrong nerve of the people running his news company. Once you start talking about praying for the culture and repentance and all of that, you call people’s actions into question. 

And who has the right to do that to someone else? These days, our answer is “nobody.”  

The whole notion of God, in the first place, requires us to accept a force that points us in a direction; a way, if you will. Somehow, this force is interested in the human race and how it conducts itself. 

The entirety of the Bible is basically that – a story about how humans act and react and how they get it right and miss the mark. 

For a lot of people, all that kind of belief is nonsense and fairly tale. They’re pretty sure there is no God and therefore no rules made by him. 

But, eventually, you have to ask yourself why anything is wrong or bad. And if it’s bad, what makes it bad? And who decided it was bad, if not something higher than us? And if there IS something higher than us, and it took the time to put down some regulations for us, maybe those things are important for some reason. 

For people who come to this conclusion, and call for some kind of prayer or repentance or reckoning, those who don’t want to hear it (which is a lot of the world) get offended to the point of rage. Just read any garden variety text from the old Testament. It’s a whole thing. 

I don’t know if that’s the nerve Tucker Carlson struck or not. And I ultimately don’t really care all that much about his employment or lack thereof. 

But as he was calling for people who see the world degrading and putrefying before their eyes, to pray everyday, I could almost hear Voltaire in the background, somewhere, screaming…

“That has nothing to do with anything! Or…maybe it does”         








There are subtleties you have to know in order to understand what’s happening. 

We are now all like children caught up in an epic divorce. And we have to learn the covert language being used if we’re going to emotionally survive. 

One of the basic rules of thumb you have to understand, when watching any kind of documentary or listening to a pod cast or reading a blog (wink, wink) is that statists (once called “liberals” or “progressives” – although that’s not what they really are) always blame big business….always.  

Libertarians (once called “conservatives” or “Republicans” – although that’s not what they really are) always blame government….always.   

When something underhanded or sneaky or wrong is taking place in the world, we all have our knee-jerk reactions as to where the blame should lie. For a lot of people, greed (and, in turn, big business) is the deadly-sin-of-choice to denounce first.

Greed, for these people, trumps sloth, gluttony, pride, lust, envy and wrath. In fact, the other six are seen as victimhood in a lot of ways. Sloth could just be your work style. Maybe you’re just a quiet quitter. Gluttony is probably based on your unique metabolism. And we should be celebrating all body types. Pride is just self esteem. And isn’t that a good thing?

Lust? Come on, man. What are we in the 1950’s here? That’s just biology. 

Envy is you’re own personal journey. And wrath is okay (even encouraged) as long as it is directed toward the right people. 

But, greed…we still haven’t found a justification for greed yet. That’s still something we can pounce on with total abandon. 

In the movie Wall Street, Gordon Gecko famously said, “greed…is good.” And with that phrase, the fictional character summed up what opponents of the go-go 80s hated about the Reagan era and gave progressives a high horse, from which to look down on the rest of society, for a generation. 

But here’s the thing about greed….it, like all “sins” is imply self-preservation taken to its most extreme and unhealthy conclusion.

In fact every “sin” is just that; a basic, human instinct taken to an extreme perversion. 

Sloth is just the need to rest – which is a real thing – turned into a character flaw. 

Lust is the divine desire to connect and pro-create – the FIRST commandant of God – taken to an unbalanced place of the simple use of another person, without emotion or consequence. 

Envy is the desire to do and be better morphed into unhealthy obsession.

Gluttony is the primal need to feed the body – a good thing – turned into feeding an insatiable appetite, which is unhealthy. 

Wrath is righteous indignation against injustice, twisted into the mere performance of violence. 

Pride is a healthy confidence in your ability, mangled into placing yourself on a pedestal larger than someone else. 

But we linger on greed. It’s the one seventh of those sins we refuse to find a good off-ramp for. 

So, knowing this, you can now watch or listen to people pontificate about this or that situation and know exactly where their motivations lie. 

This week, I was watching a long pod cast regarding misinformation associated with saturated fat and how the government guidelines have been wrong on this subject. Yes…that is how boring I am. 

The people talking to each other were dropping studies and truth and iron-clad data that is hard to refute. They were all doctors and scientists and all educated in ivy league schools. 

This wasn’t “bro-science” or some influencer’s opinion. These were serious people talking about serious things. But then, it happened…the bias showed itself. 

They started connecting the dots to corporations and those corporations’ ties to governmental agencies. Let’s be clear about something: the government made guidelines and enforceable regulations regarding food, that wasn’t based in good science. 

But these doctors were blaming the corporations. 

To them, the greed was the original sin and driver of the problem. 

But I don’t see any sin (per se) as the problem when it comes to government. The problem is apathetic power. 

Last week, we celebrated the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. And in that story, you can find a dozen villains. You can find betrayers and deniers and culprits and out-and-out scoundrels. 

And we often place Pilate – the man who ultimately had Jesus tortured and crucified – in kind of an ambiguous space. We see his wife as the sympathetic dreamer, who was ultimately on the right side of history. And we see him as this guy who just washed his hands of the whole thing and let the mob have their way. 

But we never place blame where it ultimately lies…on the cold, faceless, nameless, bureaucracy that carried out daily crucifixions as a matter of mundane course. 

Yeah, you could’ve had Judas. You could’ve had Peter and Caiaphas and the soldiers and the angry mob and all of it. But without the state there to carry out this horror, totally lawfully, in broad daylight, without anyone who could stop it, there is no crucifixion and no burial and no resurrection. 

We always need to blame a person. When sometimes, a system is the true monster. 

Yesterday, we all paid our taxes (Americans, anyway). Or we filed. Or we (like me) filed an extension. And if we don’t do this, we will ALL be punished by the state in some way; either fined or put in prison. 

I filed an extension because my last two returns have yielded refunds. But those refunds have been seized by the I.R.S., to pay some phantom debt, from some year, I can’t make heads nor tails of. So, I have to get to the bottom of it. And it may take a minute. 

They may be right. Or they may not be right. But it doesn’t matter. THEY have the ability to simply reach in my bank account and remove money. I have to prove them wrong. They don’t have to petition a judge and prove their case, before taking action. They don’t even have to inform me. They just basically do whatever it is they want to do and then say, “come at me, bro.” 

I’ll bet, if you’re old enough, you’ve got an I.R.S. (or other government agency) story like that of some kind.  

I can handle greed. At least I know what I’m dealing with. The world is showing a multi-national company (Anheiser Busch) what they think of an ad campaign, at this very moment. 

And that huge corporation has been brought to its knees. Because people have a choice in beer. 

But once you set up a government, you have no recourse against it. IT is the final say. I’m a big fan of the American ideal, because it at least tried to setup guardrails and ways to counter that government, knowing that unchecked power leads to corruption. 

Because bureaucracy doesn’t have a face. There’s no bad guy to blame. It’s just a mountain of red tape and paper work that steals your soul and possibly even your life. 

I always found it fascinating what Pilate said about Jesus – “I find no fault in him.” 

But then, he simply allowed the state to do what it does…crucify the next man up.  

After all, those are the rules.                









That’s what my latest 23 and Me email was regarding. 

A couple of years ago, my wife got me a 23 and Me for Christmas. So, I spit in the thing and sent it off. Even though I couldn’t care less about my (or anybody else’s) ancestry. My wife was interested and that’s really all that matters. Husbands, can I get an amen?

Even though my family ALL knows about our Cherokee great-grandmother, no Native American markers were found in my bloodline. All Scottish and Irish and English…basically, a garden variety white dude…according to 23 and Me. 

The speculation is that a lot of the Native American markers are removed from these tests, because the United States Government doesn’t want millions of people making claims on it. 

I used to think assertions like that were ridiculous. But after the last few years of learning what my government is not only capable of, but eager to participate in, I’m a firm believer that anything and everything is possible and probable, now. I owe my the-moon-landing-was-faked friends a huge apology. 


Every so often, I’ll get a new email telling me something new and (they think) interesting about my genetics. The latest one said that I have a genetic predisposition to not liking cilantro. Whatever…

And it’s not true. 

I kinda like cilantro in certain foods. I can take it or leave it. I don’t hate it. I don’t love it. And my hunch is that only a tiny piece of it has anything to do with my genetics. 

The email prior to the ground-breaking cilantro revelation, said that I was genetically pre-disposed to not being able to distinguish musical tones. *Insert epic eye-roll here* 

I read this email on my phone, while standing in line at the grocery store, paying for food I bought with money I earned distinguishing and manipulating musical tones. As I was scrolling this nonsense, I was listening to the interval between the check out beep and the song on the overhead sound system and accurately pinpointing it as the 5th of the chord being played…literally, at that very moment. 

I don’t have perfect pitch. And maybe that’s some part of the genetic thing. But I’ve written over 30 radio hits, as a songwriter, and made a living in the world of music for over 30 years. I can distinguish tones. I do it every single day of my life. 

If I had gotten this genetic information when I was 12, I wonder how hard I would’ve worked at my craft. Would I have simply given up and said, “well, the genetics are what they are. I’m trapped in a musically inferior shell. I might as well embrace my inability to distinguish tones and do something else.” 

Maybe the best thing that ever happened to me was not being told I couldn’t hear tones. Because we build narratives about ourselves on foundational beliefs…

“I’m not good at this or that. I have a predisposition toward this or that. My genetics will only allow me to do this or that.” 

And we do this with culture and politics and just about everything else in our lives. 

I can tell you who the racist is almost immediately. Whoever the first person is to jump to a racial conclusion, is the racist. Now, they may virtue signal and talk a good game about their non-racism and they may stand with this group or that group in solidarity over this issue or that issue. 

But the truth remains that they saw race before they saw anything else. And that means they’ve built their foundational beliefs on something that may or may not be true. 

Last week, my home state (Tennessee) had a little dustup in the state house chamber. Some protesting representatives were removed from office. I was on the phone with a local journalist AS it was happening. And while they were talking to me, about what we were talking about, they were literally getting texts from the secretary of state, as this thing was playing out. 

As this journalist was getting these texts, they were telling me about what was happening…in real time.  

Nowhere in the conversation did the subject of race come up. It was all about some representatives using a bullhorn to shut down a proceeding and yell, “No Action, No PEACE!” DURING a congressional session. 

You can’t yell “NO PEACE” in a government building. It’s textbook, black letter law. 

The journalist told me that this was going to be a big story, because these representatives were probably going to be removed from office over this issue. 

I had no idea if the representatives were black or white or men or women. All I know is I’ve been lectured to about “insurrection” and capital/federal/state building decorum for the last two years. And this secretary of state told my friend (the journalist) that he was sort of bound by the laws of the Tennessee constitution to bring these people up on charges. 

Fast forward a week later… 

I started seeing people talking about the KKK and racism in Tennessee. Then, there were all these memes about standing with “The Tennessee Three.” 

My first thought was, “I totally stand with those guys. They were Johnny Cash’s band.” 

Then, I realized it was about something else …

“Oh…that must be those representatives who got out the bull horn and threatened the peace,” I thought to myself, STILL not knowing anybody’s race or gender…because it NEVER came up in the conversation with my journalist friend.

But then I saw the pictures. 

“Oh. We’re still doing THIS???” I thought to myself. “We’re still boiling all this down to race?” 

In further texts with my journalist friend, I found out that the lone white woman of the three, pleaded her case before the committee for 20 minutes, complete with tears and everything. And then, when one or two people were moved enough to change their vote and re-instate her, she promptly walked to the nearest camera and microphone and called those who had changed their vote for her, racists.  

That’s just a politician doing what politicians do…lying and being shifty. And I don’t know the people who voted on this. They may all be raging, white sheet-wearing characters from Mississippi Burning. I DO know they have literally NO sense of perception and no political savvy, whatsoever. So, I’m not an apologist for anybody – white, black, male, female (or all that stuff in between), in an elected office. I stay as far away from government as I can. 

But the bigger issue is how quickly some people wanted it to be true; maybe even needed it to be true. 

Some people need it to constantly be 1963, for life to make sense for them. The good guys and bad guys are sharply drawn and you can live comfortably in a world of caricatures instead of a complicated swirl of nuanced humans. 

It’s like a good WWII film. You never have to worry about who to root for. 

As long as it’s still 1963, we can sit majestically on our moral high horse and gaze down on all the lesser informed and unintelligent plebes. Easy narratives give us great hooks to use as slogans. And we can breathe easy at night, knowing we’re on the side of the angels. 

But the truth is usually more complicated and convoluted…in 2023. 

Everything that happens to a black person or white person might not be ONLY because of their skin color. In fact, skin color may only be a tiny piece of the equation. It might not be in the equation at all. 

It may only be in the equation because WE put it there.

Sometimes, we create the markers we want to create, whether they’re true or not. And we take things as law and gospel, without digging any deeper. 

You could assume I don’t like cilantro based on a genetics test. And you could decide that it’s all true. Because this is foundational and factual. Isn’t it???

But, guess what?

My favorite salsa in the world has cilantro in it. And I can eat it while singing the right notes. 








For Christians, it is Holy week.

The story of the Passion of the Christ, plays out in our collective societal consciousness like a movie we’ve all seen a thousand times. We can quote so many of the lines: Let this cup pass from my lips. I find no fault in him. Crucify him! Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. It is finished. 

Those are just a few of the big ones. And I can tell you (as a former professional christian songwriter), these lines have been examined and mined almost every way possible, for truth nuggets and hooks and new light refractions. 

And, over the centuries, we’ve concreted the good guys and bad guys of this epic story, into our collective psyche. We’ve got the heroes and villains figured out. And we’ve even got the metaphysical and spiritual part of the why figured out. 

Jesus had to die a cruel death and give a blood sacrifice for the sins of the entire human race, so that all we would have to do is believe in (and on) him, ask his forgiveness (silently, in our seats), and then we would be absolved of all our terrible sins. ALL. OF. THEM.

If you live in a world full of terrible sins, that, my friends, is the deal of the century. The deal of the millennium. The deal of all time. 

But here is a slight problem…

It puts a lot of people out of work and makes others obsolete. 

And that is where the passion story actually starts. 

If you don’t remember anything I’ve ever written or said or sung, remember this one thing I say often: whatever beast you build must be fed. And when threatened, it will fight. 

This is the nature of all living things – not just humanity. 

If you don’t believe me, this summer go take a baseball bat to a hornet’s nest. You will instantly come face to face with this universal truth. 

When I was a kid, I used to get really confused about the passion story. Why were all these people being mean to Jesus? He was kind and holy and forgave people. Didn’t they know the Jesus I knew? 

Well, in a word…no. 

Imagine that you make a living as a money changer. Your father was a money changer. His father before him was a money changer. The money changing system had been developed over centuries, by good people who had negotiated in good faith, and had come to terms with both Jewish law AND Roman law. 

These were serious men, with serious knowledge. 

And they had very carefully created a righteous system of providing both currency and specimens to sacrifice, for the forgiveness of sin. And they did all this with the blessing and support of the most powerful nation on the planet. 

This worked. And it represented hundreds, maybe thousands, of livelihoods. Those livelihoods provided shelter, food, clothes and education for the children of those who worked in the system. This was not created lightly or practiced flippantly. 

Now, imagine some 33-year-old wanna be messiah showing up to this holy place of business and overturning the entire system, claiming HE was how you got absolution. Not the bulls and doves and goats. And that your very existence was an abomination to God himself. 

Did God want my family to starve? Did God not want us to have a roof over our head or food in our stomach? 

This guy was a problem. And he was probably insane. 

How long do you think it would take for someone in that situation to step over to Caiaphas and just whisper, “Hey, man. I’ve got kids to feed. What can you do about this dude?”  

If there was no sacrifice, no drama, no excruciating death, burial and resurrection, Jesus would’ve just been another dude running around talking. So how do you make that drama happen? 

With the passion, God knew exactly which buttons to push to get the sacrifice in just the right place….

You threaten the beast. 

The entirety of why Jesus – the prince of peace, the calmer of seas, the healer of the sick and raiser of the dead – was allowed to die in abject horror, was because he threatened the establishment. He refused to feed the beast. In fact, he proved it to be unnecessary and obsolete. 

That gets you mad hornets every time. 

Please hear what I’m about to say…

I am in NO WAY about to compare Donald J. Trump to Jesus Christ. Not in any way, shape or form. 

But there is an irony not lost on me, that just bout the time in history, almost to the day, that money changers were conspiring with high priests to get rid of “an issue,” a former president is getting indicted for something we’re not even sure is a felony. 

Donald Trump may be the biggest scoundrel of all time. I’ve always been agnostic about Trump as a person…until he was actually president. 

What he presided over was the lowest unemployment rate in American history (which actually means WORLD history). He presided over peace and prosperity and ALL minorities had higher employment rates than at any other time in their existence in this country. 

The stock market broke 86 records in just his first term in office. 

He rolled back regulations that stifled business and created energy independence for the first time I can remember in my lifetime. 

But despite his mean tweets, he committed a few unpardonable sins – he was probably one term away from sealing the southern border. And he threatened the entrenched bureaucracy. 

And I promise you those are the reasons why he is where he is right now. 

For the Democrat party to survive, they need a steady stream of underprivileged, unskilled laborers, coming into the country illegally. They get a couple of generations of voters out of this, as long as they can couch the whole idea of immigration in racial terms. They’ll keep them long enough for the kids to get into college. 

Once one generation gets successful enough, though, they usually lose them to the sanity of the Republican party. 

If you close that southern spigot, you directly threaten the very existence of the Democrat party. 

But that wasn’t the main thing Trump threatened. 

His big sin was showing that it doesn’t take thousands of pointy heads and mountains of paper work to accomplish things. And THAT threatens bureaucrats. And one thing we’ve learned over the last three years is, there is nothing more powerful on earth than the entrenched bureaucracy of the United States government. 

Let’s say you’ve spent over a quarter million dollars getting a political science degree from an ivy league school. And you get a job making $200 k a year working at a think tank, designed to address the myriad of problems in the middle east. 

But then, some brash New Yorker comes into office, who has never even held the position of dog catcher, appoints his 36-year-old son-in-law to the problem, and then kinda solves most of it in about a year? Where does that leave you as a necessary human?

You have no choice but to undermine what was done. You HAVE to go on CNN and talk about how ignorant and misguided the Abraham Accords are. Because if those things work…you don’t. 

Very soon…you’re talking to Caiaphas.

And that’s just one example. There are dozens of others.

Trump’s not Jesus. But he took a broomstick to the same basic human nature our lord and savior took one to, over two thousand years ago…this very week.  

As a very wise young songwriter once wrote, “we still fear whatever we cannot control, and crucify what we don’t understand …”  

Once you’re a hornet, the stick is a threat.

Every time.           








For me, it always starts with a walk…and sometimes Attila the Hun. 

The daily three-mile trek I take through my neighborhood, is where almost all my song and blog ideas emerge. On that walk is where I ask myself all the unanswerable questions…which are the only questions worth asking. 

Yesterday’s internal question was, where does morality originate and why do we even need it?

See, we can decide something is right or wrong. But the question remains: why is it right or wrong? 

We know that racism is wrong. But why is it wrong? We know that rape is wrong. But why is it wrong? You can say it’s wrong because it violates someone else’s rights, agency, personhood, etc. But then, why is that wrong?

And that’s where Attila came in…

I was thinking about how many women he impregnated in his life. Apparently, the number is incalculable. And it is estimated that a full 25% of the entire Asian race has a direct bloodline connection to the notorious conquerer. 

That makes one think, on their casual walk, through an unassuming neighborhood. 

Mr. the Hun wasn’t having “soul connections” or engaging in meaningful relationships or even really womanizing. What that man was doing was straight up populating.  

And that got me thinking about the first commandment of the bible…be fruitful and multiply. So, you could either look at Attila as serial rapist, or you could see him as someone obeying God’s first rule…to the letter. 

And that’s where the inner dialogue about morality started. Because the morality of his actions may have had everything to do with how the women in question felt about the liaisons. If they were somehow honored to bear his children, then was it rape? And if it wasn’t rape, was it wrong?

My own daughter is Asian. And I occasionally wonder if she is somehow related to the historical figure, in some way. And even if she is, I sure am glad she’s here. And that’s a weird conundrum to think about.  

Anyway, that’s how I started my day.

But then, I came home to a text from a friend in Ohio, asking if we were safe. We’ve had some storms the last few days. I thought it was about that. I simply answered that we were fine. 

Then, I saw ONE post on Facebook, about another mass shooting, somewhere. 

I figured it was somewhere else in the country. It’s always somewhere else. 

At this point, I was already well into the day and still hadn’t listened to any news. But after a couple of more hours, I heard from my wife, about the shooting at Covenant School, right here in Nashville. And the gut-punch news washed over me, that the shooter had targeted children. 

And that inner question arose again…what makes something wrong? 

We know, to our core, that ending a human life is wrong. But why do we know it? We have this instinct to keep the species alive. Take away all the emotional poetry, and we still kinda know that human life is important. 

And when someone decides to take that life away – especially a child’s life – we immediately categorize them as something monstrous. And in a weird way, they’re worse than Attila the Hun. Because he was at least creating new life…while taking it at a breakneck pace. Maybe that was his way of trying to balance his Karma. Who knows.

Anyway …

As I scrolled social media to get more information, I didn’t see any of the usual suspects posting the usual tropes about guns and Trump voters and white nationalist hatred, or anybody posting memes quoting Imagine. And the shooter’s race and gender weren’t plastered all over the place. 

Let me give you a dismal but one-hundred-percent accurate rule-of-thumb…if the race (and now, gender) of a shooter isn’t named immediately, it means they aren’t what the press wants them to be. It’s a sad fact, but a true one. 

So, I immediately knew this shooter didn’t fit into a stereotypical category. 

Then, I thought about Maran Morris and her dustup with the ridiculous law just passed in Tennessee, making it illegal to dress in drag. Not that I’m a proponent of dressing in drag. I just think making a law like that is a waste of tax payer dollars and literally when Republicans are at their worst. 

But that’s another blog for another day …

And then I thought about Covenant School. I’m a Nashville native. I know it’s a Christian school. And then, it hit me …

I came in from taking a shower, and asked my wife (who was now watching the news), “Is the shooter a trans person?”

She somberly shook her head yes. 

I came to this conclusion without ever hearing anything on the news or seeing anything on social media. I came to it by piecing together all of the tired narratives we keep allowing ourselves to fall into, but then removing the thing I’d been thinking about all day…right and wrong. 

Once you de-humanize people, it makes it much easier to dispose of them. And it doesn’t matter which side you’re on, when you do it. Suddenly, a little death here or a little pain there is merely collateral damage in pursuit of something you deem to be more important than their lives. 

Why do we keep having mass shootings in the world? 

*They have them in other countries, too. America actually isn’t even in the top 5. Again, another blog for another day*

Because we are failing to have those difficult conversations with ourselves about the value of human life…ALL human life. We aren’t asking ourselves the unanswerable questions. 

And once morality is a sliding scale, the unthinkable becomes…well…thinkable. 

But that alone doesn’t get you taking aim at 9-year-olds. 

We keep getting the politics in front of the science, in this country. And it will eventually be our undoing. We’ve done it with the trans question and we’re going to do it with guns and food and everything else. Because politics assuages our emotional momentary needs. It’s really fulfilling to blame the gun and get that instrument banned. 

But banning a weapon doesn’t address the inescapable idea that somebody, somewhere, decided it was some sort of justifiable act to take the lives of children. At some point, we’re going to have to address the physiology of a brain that thinks that. 

And until we do, we’re going to keep seeing people, who don’t fall into our narrative, doing things we can’t fathom.  

We’re going to HAVE to start looking at what medications someone may or may not have been on.

A few years ago, I saw a report somewhere, that stated EVERY mass shooter in America (in the 21st century), had been on a psycotropic drug. I can’t find the report, now (imagine that – not being able to find a report that indicts the pharmaceutical industry for something). 

But shouldn’t that be followed up on? Or are we dealing with something else?

All I know is, I’ve been around a lot of guns in my life. And never ONCE, did I think to myself, “Damn. With all these guns here, I should go shoot somebody.” 

We have to start at least trying to answer the unanswerable questions. 

Because when we stop trying to answer them, we’re going to get more horrible, unbearable days like yesterday. 

And we’ve already had to deal with Attila the Hun. 







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