Middle of the Channel

One of the sentences I underlined in my reading today describes a president and two of his top advisers during an intensely difficult time in world history. The three did most of their work backstage and quiet, but they kept some very bad things from happening.

“…they kept the ship in the channel.”

That is a fine phrase, don’t you think? Carole has been watching two TV series about living in Alaska. Both extended families have boats. One family lived on theirs until it sank. The other family had a barge-type boat. One pilot was verbally worried about getting out of the channel. Staying in the channel is kind of important.

I don’t know who is at the helm these days. The Ship of State seems to have no rudder or a pilot with any sense of where the channel is. I can’t imagine what John Quincy Adams, Andrew Jackson or Thomas Hart Benton would have said after hearing that Harry Reid intentionally lied about Mitt Romney on the senate floor and justified it because it helped his party win. There would have been hell to pay and the rhetoric would have been hot and loud. They would have verbally shredded him for dishonoring the very house in which he spoke.

“Dishonoring” is a word that isn’t used much anymore.

America has lost her way. The prime example is the current battle over Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Freedom Act. I have no legal or political training so I miss the nuances that headline writers play with and absolutely and totally change meanings the news story was originally about. That we even need those new laws tells me that our Constitutional rights and the specifics of the Bill of Rights have been dumped.

I have rethought the Christian bakers who won’t bake cupcakes for a same-sex wedding. I do not want government or brown-shirted hoodlums forcing that baker to do business with anyone. But, I can’t see how baking cupcakes for someone whose life-choices are objectionable threatens the faith of the baker. I’m betting they serve brownies to adulterers, robbers, perhaps killers, with no reluctance. My gas station does not ask about my sexual preference before they sell me gasoline.

I’m thinking the baker should feel honored that anyone respected his/her business enough to ask them to accept their money for value-added goods. Put a tract in the cake if it makes them feel better. “Show me the money!” The Christian baker is in business to provide a product or service and to show the love of God in the process. A profit-driven business is for making money.

Having said all that, I abhor the government or a hostile minority disrupting businesses or telling the person whose livelihood and capital is at stake how they should run their business. There are more anti-discrimination laws than can be policed.

An Indiana pizza place closed down today. The lady said they wouldn’t cater pizza to same-sex weddings because they are a Christian business. I understand why she said that. I understand the language, but her customers didn’t and the headline writers were panting for someone in the fire fight would give them fodder. I think the Christian pizza people  need to do customer related advertising that says in bold font—

“We cater pizza to same-sex weddings because THIS IS A CHRISTIAN BUSINESS.”

  Selling scones to someone doesn’t condone their lifestyle or make you a convert. If not serving cupcakes, brownies or pizza would change minds and hearts, then, Jesus should have found something else to do on that Friday.

Well, Choir, I’m fully aware that conversation is not being sought. The underlined words seem larger today because it feels to me like we’ve lost track of the channel.

“…they kept the ship in the channel.”

Who feels called to do that?

©2015 D. Dean Benton   http://www.bentonministries.com

Two NEW Benton books:  http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/DDeanBenton/

Caught in the Tail Lights—a novel about divorce. (Nothing novel about divorce!)

Turn Back the Tirade—Anger healing and management

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