Davis v Davis

Davis, Kim, Gary, 365 Christianity, Clerk, Christian, Rights

Unless you live in cave in the Canadian wilderness you have probably caught whim of a Legal vs. Christian faith confrontation in Kentucky. The case revolved around Kim Davis’, Rowan County Clerk, refusal to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples, a ruling recently handed down to lower courts by our U.S. Supreme Court.

Kim’s justification is that the mandate violated her conscience and civil liberties as a born-again Christian. In other words, her freedom of speech and right to dissent were being denied.

In another case, Charee Stanley (47), a recent convert to Islam, was recently suspended by ExpressJet for refusing to serve alcohol to passengers as it violated her religious beliefs. Other flight attendants simply volunteered to take up that part of the job. No problem!?! Except for one Flight Attendant who filed a complaint against her. Thus, the 12 month suspension for Charee.

Are these two cases the same? Similar? Totally different issues?

A perspective. First, I am a Davis— Dr. Gary Davis, to be exact. Second, I also am a practicing Christian. I even teach Christians how to express our faith in ways that make sense to normal people. Most people have NO IDEA who genuine Christians are. They think we are ALL like Kim Davis. I am not like Kim Davis. We may share the same Biblical faith, but that is where it ends.

At the risk of being accused of tooting my own horn, allow me to record a recent texting incident between myself and a friend (not a Christian) that I interviewed for my next book, THE WHISKEY CHRONICLES: what normal people think of Christians. He initiated this conversation—

TD: Just 2 words, “Kim Davis?” Thoughts?

GD: Kim Davis?

TD: Kentucky “Christian” city clerk.

GD: Oh, her. One word, JERK!

TD: Hahaaaaahaa. What do normal people think of Christians? Probably Kim Davis! It’s unfortunate. But I think of Gary Davis…, a real Christian. Time to get that book going.

GD: You are an amazing Encourager, TD! Writing. Writing. Videoing. NEED more Bourbon to finish book.

TD: Hahaaaahaaa. I’ll be right over with a barrel.

Question: Who did more to further the cause of Christ? Davis…, or Davis? Who would draw more people TO Christ? Who would polarize people more?

I’m sorry, Kim; but what were you thinking!?! I am sorry I referred to you as a jerk in my text; it was more of an emotional reactionary response than a reasoned one. Please forgive me.

I live in New England where under 1% of the total population attends church (except Boston; 7%). That’s not genuine Christians, who believe the Bible and attempt to follow its teachings; that percentage is even less. America is NOT a Christian nation; never has been, never should be. We ARE a nation that promotes religious freedom…, within our communities, and in the workplace. Kim believes she upheld her faith by denying marriage licenses to same sex couples. I believe she violated both her job mandate and Scripture’s mandate to be subject to the Bible’s teachings and with government ordinances—

 “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities… .” ~ Romans 13:1 (NIV Bible)

Seriously, Kim Davis, although I support your right to dissent, your shape of Christianity just did more to embarrass the name of Christ in our society than to draw people to Him. But you are not alone; too many Bible believing Christians still insist ondefending the faith against this world rather than befriending the people who live in it. Christians are not a bad lot if you can push past our oft offensive antics.

Question: So what can we do to resolve our differences? What can we do live in community with one another.

Comments & criticisms welcome.

…for what it’s worth,

  Gary

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Damn Hot

HeatDamn Hot

Last week was the hottest scorcher of the summer in New England. People in the South say you get used to this. I grew up in the south and never got used to it. The heat made me sick— migraines, dehydration, exhaustion. Now I live in New England where people never need air conditioning! Wanna bet? Last Wednesday it was 99º. The heat index for the day felt like 105º. Add to that the 78% humidity…, oh never mind. Maybe it’s just me.

How does the heat affect you?

No, not the daily temperature: HEAT; PRESSURE; being pushed to your limits and then some. STRESS! The majority of us cannot stand too much heat. We simply give into the pressure and blow up. Thankfully, there are still some stalwarts who will give our lives for what we believe in and not give in.

Various sciences of our day have offered healthier stress-coping mechanisms for dealing with the HEAT. Here are some—

§  Take care of yourself.

§  Eat healthy, well-balanced meals

§  Exercise on a regular basis

§  Get plenty of sleep

§  Talk to others. Share your problems and how you are feeling and coping with a parent, friend, counselor, doctor, or pastor.

§  Avoid drugs and alcohol. Drugs and alcohol may seem to help with the stress. In the long run, they create additional problems and increase the stress you are already feeling.

§  Take a break. If your stress is caused by a national or local event, take breaks from listening to the news stories, which can increase your stress.

Recognize when you need more help. If problems continue or you are thinking about suicide, talk to a psychologist, social worker, or professional counselor. http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/manage-stress.aspx

Here’s my list—

§  Go into the woods & hit a tree: or, into an alley and pound a wall.

§  While you’re in the woods, let off some steam.

§  Contrary to the professional opinion above, find a “mate,” you can have a nice, cold Fosters with. This is a great way to dissipate the Heat.

§  Take time to process everything.

§  Write things down to clarify what really happened, or, what was said. Put it away for a week; then take it out & read it again. Still accurate?

§  Don’t blame God. [You know it’s not His fault.]

§  If you are the cause of the heat & stress, apologize.

§  If you are the recipient of the pressure, the stress, the HEAT, find people to help share the load. Then do the same for them when they need help.

There are probably many more ways to handle the HEAT. But I’m tired of thinking about this on a 90º day.

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

Tolerance isn’t what you think it is

Gary, davis, reverberation, wilhelm, friedrich, hamlet, thesis, antithesis, tolerance


Georg W
ilhelm Friedrich Hegel was a German born 19th Century philosopher who speculated on the nature of Being and Nothingness (“To Be or Not To Be…? Hamlet?). He concluded that for every thesis, a statement about some idea, there is an opposing antithesis, an opposing idea. These two opposing positions would battle it out and result, most of the time, in a synthesis of the two. Hegel used this formulation only once, but it formed the basis for many of his subsequent hypotheses.

So today, 200 years on, what does this have to do with anything?!?

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel  1770 - 1831  In these last few weeks/months/years our society has become so reactionary that people are neglecting the common courtesy of thinking before they act. Too many of us are jus’ letting” it all hang out, blowing up, accusing each other, not even listening to the other group’s full thesis. Thus do tempers flare, stereotypes flourish, and a kind of seething hatred takes over, further widening the gap between people and positions. Winning is all that matters. Being right. It’s always tit for tat: thesis vs. antithesis. We never seem to grow into a synthesis beyond all our posturing.

The recent Supreme Court rulings for gay-marriages, Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlyn Jenner, and our President striking a nuclear pact with Iran, Confederate Flag waving, have all contributed to the further polarization of the Left & the Right, Conservative vs. Liberal, Bible Belt/Wheat Belt vs. East/West Coasts & our larger cities. E pluribus unum still means Out of many, One; but we are hardly definable by that precept any longer

It would be more accurate to admit that we are a nation of individualists, of special interest groups, of political parties & sub-parties, of religious and non-religious groups all seeking dominance in the dance of democracy. One group wins over another, then another group triumphs: thesis- anti-thesis; we never arrive at a synthesis for the common good.

It’s time we brought divergent groups, parties, & whoever to the table of human decency and admitted we live in a pluralistic society. We are bound together not to fight only for our own rights, but to fight for each other’s right to exist and to have a voice. We owe it to one another to learn NOT to tolerate one another, but to defend each other, to care about the prosperity and happiness of people who are not like us. We may not be “under God” any longer (probably never were), but at the very least we owe it to ourselves and to our children to work on a resolution to all the brawling for self-aggrandizing superiority.

IF we do not, this reactionary positioning will have reverberations well into many future generations.

Synthesis.

God help us all

  Gary

Winning

Gary, Davis, Gandhi, Winning,

First they ignore you,

then they laugh at you,

then they fight you,

then you win.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

1869 – 1948

I’ve never won much in life. Well, that is, if you consider, kewpie-dolls at the county fair, the first prize in a match-box car race, or a Monopoly game, or certain sports events worth winning; I just don’t seem to be cut out for winning: not, at least, at this level. I’d rather put my time and energy into winning the battle for the souls of men & women, for justice, for clearer communication between peoples who don’t even want to talk with each other, let alone consider loving each other. I’d like to bring peace where there is very little of it: that’s worth winning.

Winning is different for everybody. For some of us, every human exchange is a competitive event:  someone has to win, someone has to lose. These people play their game with every ounce of their strength and will power (in sports, business, simple conversations, or relationships) to win. For three years during college I was on our Debate Team; I never lost even one debate. As I grew in life, after college, a couple graduate programs, & a doctorate, I had to learn how NOT to win. Why? Because I lost too many relationships always trying to win, to be right, to wind up Number ONE. It wasn’t worth it to me.

When our children were in their formative years I used to tell them— If you put yourself on Top, there’s only one direction you can go. If you put yourself on the Bottom, there’s only one direction you can go. ‘Nough said.

So, my question to you is this— What’s worth winning? Is it scoring that winning point in a game? Being summa cum laude at graduation? Becoming Senior Vice-President by age thirty? Or simply driving the coolest car? To be sure there are some things in life worth winning; and, there are some things in life not really worth fighting for. We all need to pick our battles carefully. C a r e f u l l y.

For me, I just want to make a difference in this world before I check out. How about you?

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

Certainty, probability, or mystery

Certainty, probability, or mystery— where are you most comfortable? Most of us are low-risk people; we fall somewhere in between certainty and probability. Of course, some of us will not make a decision unless we are absolutely certain of the outcome. This is a good character trait if you are designing cars, space ships, medical procedures, or nuclear fusion colliders; maybe not such a good trait if you are launching a new art form, or writing a book, or nurturing your EQ (Emotional Quotient).At one time or another all three of these qualities will emerge in our lives to suit the occasion— some, more than others. Booking a flight to Glasgow should be more of a certainty; but in today’s airline industry it is oft only a probability, or worse, a mystery. Asking someone to marry you may seem like a mystery, but it had better be more of a probability if it is ever to become a certainty.

Trying to live exclusively in any one of the three individualities causes problems. Insisting on complete certainty produces fear and insecurity: dwelling on the probability of something coming to pass might reduce being proactive, or commitment to see it through, and doubt: whereas living in the mystery will leave you with a sense of wonder, true, and no way to support yourself. Mystery does spark ingenuity and creativity; but it is dedicated perseverance that will bring your dreams to life. And a Team of like-minded individuals. And Money. And Faith. Faith that this will work! You have to believe in yourself…, and your ideas.

So if you find yourself frustrated, floundering, feeling lost at sea and directionless, it is probably more likely than not that you are ready to Go for it!

So STOP waiting for further proof of certainty. Jump into the mystery. More than 150 years ago, Danish philosopher/existential theorist Søren Kierkegaard called it a “leap of faith.” He was right.

Being comfortable in your skin is not always the best thing for us. A little trepidation is a good motivator.

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

Thou Shalt not Screw up

Distant Shores Media/Sweet Publishing

Are you a screw-up? Most of us, at one time or another, have made such a mess of things that there is virtually no recovery. We wreck our futures by doing dumb things in our teens. We forfeit our chances of a promotion by cutting corners, back-stabbing someone else, doing end-runs around our boss. We destroy our family relationships because we just had to be right…, about everything. We even cheat on our wives thinking they will never know. Who exactly are you kidding!?!

Some of us have even developed screwing-up to an art form. We seem to screw up no matter what we do. Is this intentional? Of course not! Unless we are complete idiots and don’t believe that our actions have consequences. They do, actually. All of them.

Advice: How to Stop Being a Screw-up.

1.      Be the first to say you’re sorry— to your boss, fellow employees, to your wife and kids. Life dictates that none of us get it right all the time. Admit your mistakes.

2.      Learn from the experience— No, really. Do I need to point this out? Well, yes I do. Far too often we stop thinking after our ass is out of the fire and go right back to the same stupidity. Learn some proper ways of going beyond your apology and correcting the mess. Learn the procedures, buy some flowers, be proactive in making a contribution to the situation and set things right again!

3.      Change your attitude— Not everyone will take your side even if you say you’re sorry. Work at both personal and professional action steps that will transform you into a new person. In other words, stop being a jerk and make a difference in this world. That’s a good place to start.

4.      Recover— Do not wallow in your failure: fight for another future. Whether it’s on the job or in the home, you will need to overcome that woe-is-me fixation. Teach yourself to move on. Fight yourself to beat that lingering depression that drags us all into an abysmal abyss.

5.      Watch internet vids that make you laugh— No really. I mean this. Get your mind off your failures and lighten up. Try cat videos. It won’t solve your problems but you will breathe a little better once you release some of those depression-blocking endorphins within your soul…, and maybe even in your alimentary canal.

6.      Have a beer! A good one. If you pay $15 or more for a good beer you won’t be able to wallow in your vomit from having too many.

That’s my advice. Now get your ass in gear and become a new you.

Life is not a bitch; you can change,

  Gary

infomercial

gary, davis, infomercial, crapInfomercials— the bane of a society with too much discretionary cash. They seem to be designed for people who have little to commit to in life. Thus do they stay up late watching these things for hours on end. OR, they turn on the Home Shopping Network when they get up, hoping to spend their $$$ on something they do not need, probably don’t want, just because it is there and ordering it gives them something to do in life.

Miracle Dicer or Rolls Royce, it’s all the same—$29.95 plus Shipping & Handling. It used to be $19.95 but costs have gone up.

In the name of all that is Right & Good in this world, WHY?!? WHY!?! Why would anybody pay any attention to these mass-sales appeals to take our last vestiges of income and personal dignity?!? Have we no shame? Evidently not.

If you DO have an extra $100 – $500 laying around why not give it to something you believe in? Your church, synagogue, cancer research, a political party (wait, did I just slip that last one in there?). Or buy surprise gifts for those you love; even better, buy a nice gift for someone who loathes you. That’ll shock the hell outta them!

But really…? Another gadget to clutter up your already crammed closets, jewelry chests or kitchen drawers?

Something is really WRONG here people!

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

Why are Christians sooooo boring?

It’s no wonder none of us go to church. It’s just plain boring, and irrelevant, and a time warp into a different century. What the hell are they talking about anyway? It’s not as bad if you attend one of the more contemporary church services: at least they are more upbeat and encouraging.

But I’m talking about the real Christians, the ones you chance upon every now & then amidst the countless jerks4Jesus who claim to be genuine Followers of Christ who don’t have a clue about what’s going on in our world today. Some of them don’t even watch the news, unless it’s FOX News. Why do these people choose to be out of touch with the rest of the world? It’s a mystery.

What I’ve found is that we need Christians; well, not all of them, but some of them really get it, and want to build bridges, come to our parties, drink our beer, and hang out with us. They are the kind we need. They keep us on our toes instead of stepping on them. Some of them are even kind-of fun. A little. But, for the most part, they need our help. They need to get out more. Live life more! And definitely drink more single-malt.

OR, it could be that WE are the problem. We put them off somehow; we scare them; or maybe their radar picks up our secret that we just don’t want them around; which, given their judgmental history is quite understandable. Come to think about it, they probably see us as judgmental of them. Hmmm.

Like John Legend’s ALL OF ME, maybe it’s time we’re both showing hearts. Cards on the table.

Christians may be mostly boring…, but some of us are a little weird too…, and boring, too.

For what it’s worth,

  Gary

la la la la la la la la la la la la la

dr, gary, davis, tmi, smart phone, newsTMI. You get it. We all are under a deluge of information overload. Swamped! Outta time. Outta energy. I’ve actually taken to muting commercials on TV. Just too much too much TMI.

Most people actually recharge their smartphones within arms-reach of their bed, just in case they get a txt, an email, a call at 3:00 in the morning. Wow! How do these people ever get enough REM sleep?!? More information in the wee hours of the morning. Like I really need to know there has been a coup in Moscow at 2:45 a.m. Just as well to learn about it at 6:30 when I reboot my cell phone & grab a cup of coffee.

There is a good side to TMI– constantly absorbing all this news will protect you from giving any time to wonder, to considering the deeper issues of life, to plan for the future, to take time to get away from it all and…, REST. Succumbing to the deluge of information will simply supplant your ability to think. You will slip into a comatose state of continual collection of data with no time to evaluate or integrate it.

Furthermore, having to collect all-the-news-that’s-fit-to-, er, “print,” will interfere with your being able to DO anything about it. But maybe that’s not you; maybe you want to leave it to others to take action. For myself, I cannot do that. I need to make a difference, I need to change things; not fill my head with more and more stuff. Guard what you let pass into your head.

Maybe it’s time we put on our noise-cancelling head phones and…– SHUT EVERYTHING OUT. We ALL need more silence in our lives. Why? So we can hear our inner voice; so we can feel our own breath sustaining our lives; so we can hear the hearts of those around us. So we can simply disconnect. OR, if you don’t have a set of $300 noise-canceling head phones, You could simply cover your ears with your hands, and repeat— La, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la, la… .

                  You do not need to know everything. That’s why we have Wikipedia, and Google and the CIA…

For what it’s worth,

  Gary