“Fix Me” Is The New Black

The Pace Sisters are the latest in the line of black folks who want their lives fixed. But are we looking in the right place?

“Fix me” is the new black. Black people love being fixed, don’t we? There’s no other reason we gather in front of our televisions and computer screens on Thursday nights and have a running commentary on ABC’s Scandal. Never mind the illicit affair with the leader of the free world, Olivia Pope makes her living fixing people. The irony is that she can’t even fix herself. She’s broken. According to this piece in The Atlantic, she’s looking for a savior. The fixer screams from the bowels of her soul, “Fix me!” We watch because something resonates with us about this idea of repairing something that’s broken in our lives. We all experience brokenness on some level. So Shonda Rhimes has merely tapped into that subliminal desire to be fixed.

The OWN Network wasn’t too far behind. They recruited Iyanla Vanzant to host a show they decided to call Iyanla: Fix My Life (clever). Because we all need fixing, right? And predictably so, the show is now the number one reality show on the OWN network. Good job, Oprah: you’ve successfully perpetuated the myth in black people’s mind that we need other folks to fix us. So you go out and recruit a well-known name to step into celebrities’ lives and fix them. This weekend Iyanla was asked to fix the lives of legendary gospel group the Pace Sisters. So let me get this right: you invite a New Thought Priestess and “spiritual guide” who cloaks spiritual language in Gnostic thought to fix your life and expect it to go over well? Cool, cool. But I digress. In the episode, the Pace Sisters were invited to join Vanzant on a two-day retreat to get to the bottom of what was going on in their family. And boy did that ever happen.

In a lucid account, the elder Pace sister, Duranice, recalled a horrific incident of sexual abuse in her past. The visceral response from her sisters and viewers alike elucidates the horrid nature of sex abuse and its impact. Another sister, DeJuaii, also vulnerably shared about her personal life. “I’m angry because I feel that my attraction to other women is wrong,” DeJuaii said, “that who I am is unacceptable because it embarrasses the family.” This caused another sister, June, to walk out of the room. When asked about it later, June stated, “I mean, we know better” (i.e., we were taught better than that). Vanzant scolded June for judging her sister and being saturated in a “dogma and a theology” that doesn’t embrace DeJuaii.

The lamentable thing I got from watching this is that it took a reality show for the sisters to discuss these issues. Growing up in a Pentecostal church, it’s very likely they felt they needed to suppress their issues rather than address them. Am I glad they started to talk about them? Yes. Am I happy about the fallout since then? No.

The Internet has been abuzz about the way some of the sisters treated DeJuaii’s discussion of her desire to be with women. One blogger is fed up with “nice-nasty” Christians like June. Another stated with frustration, “The closer I become acquainted with ‘devout Christians’ and those who represent leadership in the Christian community, the more I begin to feel like religion truly was created as a mechanism to control the masses.”

Unfortunately, many young, black adults share the same sentiments. Church is for those who want to be controlled. It’s stale, judgmental, and unattractive. This iconic group of black women who represent leadership in the church is full of dogmatic and legalistic robots. 

Honestly, the caricature has played out on Christian reality television for the past year. And there’s more to come. This fall, we’ll be “blessed” with the opportunity to look into the lives of a group of pastors in Los Angeles. The show is aptly titled “Pastors of L.A.” No matter what, with these shows, the audience walks away with one thought: the Black church is hypocritical. If this is the perception the networks are giving, who can blame them? The Pace Sisters did very little to ease the burden of Christians who try to prove to the world that not all Christians are hypocritical. They did very little to prove that there are rational, loving ways to address issues (e.g., homosexuality) that have been normalized in our culture. And that’s the problem with Christian reality television. It doesn’t accurately reflect the Christian reality—a reality steeped in deep commitment to Christ and real, perceptible engagement with the world around us.

The Pace Sisters were looking for answers. Olivia Pope is still looking for answers (“Dad?!?!”). Let’s be candid here. We’re all looking for answers. We all want our lives fixed. But here’s the true “reality”: brokenness is part of the human narrative. The events in Oklahoma a few days ago confirm this. And we all look for meaning and purpose. Unfortunately, we tend to look for that meaning and purpose outside of our Creator. That’s why we create dogmatic, legalistic rules without life transformation. That’s why we try to earn merit with God ourselves. That’s why we look to a man (or woman) to affirm us. That’s why we work so hard to climb the corporate ladder. But one Pauline truth is informative here: “In [Christ], all things hold together” (1 Colossians 1:17b). All things. Your marriage. Your life. Your pain. Your scars. Your finances. The only Person capable of fixing our lives is Christ Jesus. Iyanla can’t. Olivia can’t. Barack Obama can’t. Congress can’t.

So after we reach the end of our DVRed episode, after the shock wears off, after the social media commentary is over, we still need a Fixer. No cameras. No pretense. Just Him. *insert Shonda bulb flash*

Geno’s Awkward Moment

Doug Williams (pictured above) is the first black quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl victory. (Photo Credit: John Biever/Sports Illustrated)

A week ago, a group of young, black men descended on the city of New York to fulfill their lifelong dreams—being selected in the National Football League draft. This week, pundits discussed the draft ad nauseam. Teams were graded for their picks. Players were analyzed to determine whether they’d fit their new teams’ culture. But not many of the pundits discussed the proverbial elephant in the room when it comes to black athletes—particularly quarterbacks.

The First
I remember it like it was yesterday. Watching Doug Williams hoist the Super Bowl XXII MVP trophy was a pivotal moment in my life. A black man. A quarterback. A leader—one who led his team to victory on one of the biggest stages in American television. He beat a quarterback that most feel is one of the best of all-time, John Elway. And he beat him handily: 42-10. It was a long road for Williams. He entered the league in 1978—the 17th overall pick. As the starting quarterback with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he was paid less than 12 other quarterbacks in the league—backup quarterbacks that is. Not only was he the lowest paid starting quarterback, he wasn’t getting paid as much as over a dozen backup quarterbacks! But on January 31, 1985, he showed the world that he belonged.

Fitting In
Black quarterbacks have spent the past several decades proving they belong. Research conducted a few years ago showed that one of out every three black quarterbacks drafted are converted to another position. That same study revealed that, since the NFL draft’s inception, approximately 13% of the quarterbacks drafted were black. Of that number, only 2% were drafted in the first round.

There’s been a stigma attached to the black quarterback for a long time. They’re athletic, but don’t seem to be as cerebral as their white counterparts. Or at least that’s the perception of some. And they tend to base it on Wonderlic test scores from the NFL Combine. The Wonderlic test is a 12-minute 50 question exam designed to measure the learning and problem solving ability of employees. On average, NFL quarterbacks scored a 24 on the test. Notable Wonderlic scores for black quaterbacks? Vince Young scored a 6 the first time he took it. Former Kansas State quarterback Michael Bishop scored a 10. NFL bust Jamarcus Russell scored a 24 on the test. Quincy Carter, a former for my beloved Dallas Cowboys, scored an impressive 30. Notable Wonderlic scores for white quarterbacks? Dan Marino, Terry Bradshaw, and and Jim Kelly—all Hall of Famers— scored 15 on the test.

What does that tell us? Not much. Data is all over the place. Yet, black quarterbacks receive a higher level of scrutiny when it comes to reading defenses, memorizing playbooks, and leading NFL teams. Admittedly, black NFL quarterbacks have been hit and miss. From the late Steve McNair, who was inches away from becoming the second black NFL quarterback to win a Super Bowl to Colin Kaepernick, who broke Michael Vick’s single game postseason rushing record by running around, through, and over the Green Bay Pakers, black quarterbacks have had great success in the league. But there’s also the cautionary tale of JaMarcus Russell. Russell was selected first overall in the 2007 NFL draft (over some guy named Calvin Johnson). Russell had a strong arm and, as mentioned above, scored well on the cognitive testing in pre-draft camps. Neither translated well on the field (not to mention that he ballooned to around 300 pounds).

The Future
Last week, during the first round of the draft, Geno Smith sat. And sat. And sat. His name wasn’t called. Expected to be the first quarterback drafted, instead he was drafted in the second round. Ironically, E.J. Manuel, another black quarterback who wasn’t on most peoples’ radars, was drafted in the first round. As I watched the camera fixed on Smith late in the first round, I envisioned one of those “that awkward moment when…” memes. And I couldn’t help but think about black NFL quarterbacks’ struggles to prove themselves at a position traditionally dominated by their white counterparts. This year two of the eleven quarterbacks drafted were black. They also just so happened to be the first two selected in the draft. Progress? Only time will tell.

Porn In The Pews

According to Covenant Eyes’ 2013 pornography statistics report, fifty percent of Christian men and twenty percent of Christian women admit that they are addicted to porn.

It’s an age old debate. Bigger is better. Size matters. But contrary to all the urban myths, the black man’s biggest sexual organ lies between his ears. And none of this is more evident in the African American male community than when it comes to pornography. I address men here because, honestly, they are 543% more likely to look at porn than women. As of this writing, over 451, 597,025 searches have been conducted since the start of 2013. Yes, that’s only three months! 1 out of every 4 online searches is for pornography. Unfortunately, because the church doesn’t address this issue adequately, many Black Christian men feel like they are alone in their battle to remain porn-free. But statistics have shown that 1 out of every 2 Christian men are addicted to porn (while 1 in 5 Christian women admit porn addiction). 9 out of 10 boys are exposed to pornography before the age of 18. Sadly, 2 out of every 3 young men feel that porn is an acceptable way to express their sexuality. And the pulpit isn’t exempt. 51% of pastors in a recent poll admitted that porn was a potential personal temptation. My goal here isn’t to bombard you with statistics. Instead, I want to highlight a major, potentially unaddressed problem in the African American faith community.

The reason porn is so prevalent in the faith community is because of its addictive nature. For years, the Black church has treated this as merely a sin issue, something to be expunged from a person’s life. Maybe it’s time we went a little further. Although it is important to realize that sex addiction is a sin, it is even more important to realize that sex addiction is a disease that needs proper treatment. In his work, Healing the Wounds of Sexual Addiction, Dr. Mark Laaser describes the cycle involved with sex addiction. He asserts that frequently sexual addiction progresses from fantasy, to porn, and ultimately leads to masturbation. The former naturally leads to the latter. Sound familiar? It should. “Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:15). The task of attempting to treat sexual addiction is to attempt to break this cycle. And, for many, that’s no easy task.

Laaser also asserts that the chemical changes present in sexual addiction mirror drug and alcohol addiction in many ways. In his opinion, it becomes important to treat sexual addiction with the same level of severity. He writes, “Just like alcoholics, sex addicts tell themselves they can quit tomorrow if they want to.  They like to think they are in control, but they are not.” Here’s a video that explains the chemical changes in the brain as a result of pornography:

This is a very real issue—even for saved, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost Christians. So where does that leave Black men? Hopelessly left to our own vices? On the current trajectory, yes. But there’s hope. Psychologist Al Cooper stated that the allure of porn is driven by three engines: affordability, availability, and anonymity. Internet accountability group Covenant Eyes uses the imagery of a three legged stool to paint a word picture of each. Remove one leg and you make the stool much harder to sit on comfortably for someone dealing with a porn addiction. So here are some ways to remove those legs brothers:

1. Remove the Availability
There are tons of internet programs that block certain sites (here’s one). This seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised at how something as simple as putting a great porn filter on your computer can help overcome your addiction. For example, if I were a former alcoholic  it might not be a good idea to visit liquor stores or sit in bars on my lunch break. Removing the temptation goes a long way in helping overcome the temptation. That’s why Paul was so adamant when he told the Corinthians church, “Flee!!!!” There’s a desperation associated with that word. The good thing about steadfast resistance is that eventually it will cause the tempter himself, exasperated from his futile attempts, to flee.

2. Increase Your Availability
Let me tell you, there is no way to overcome any addiction apart from God’s Spirit. Human nature drives us toward sin. Everything natural tells us that it feels right. Only the work of God’s Spirit can help us to overcome this temptation. 

Jesus tells a story in the Gospels about an unclean spirit leaving a man, returning, and finding him more accessible. The man is “empty and swept out”. So ultimately the spirit brings seven other spirits with it. And Scripture says the last state of that man was worse than he was before. The problem was that this man didn’t replace what left with something (or should I say Someone) else. It’s not enough to remove the temptation. Overcoming any temptation is a three-step process: recognition, removal, and replacement.

Replacement necessitates increasing your availability to the Spirit of God. Finding ourselves empty and swept out in the porn context means those idle moments where we have nothing else to do. Sitting in front of the computer screen. www…(nothing comes to mind). Empty. Swept out. It’s those moments where decisions have to be made. Will I fill that void with my old habit (which gets worse over time)? Or will I become more available to the life-giving Spirit of Christ? The more we yield to the prompting of God’s Spirit, the less we make ourselves susceptible to our flesh. We are encouraged to walk in the Spirit, but that also necessitates making ourselves available to Him.

3. Create Some Accountability
I’m not talking about the false, “How you doings?” we toss around every Sunday before Church. Because honestly, if folks told you how they were really doing, there’d be no need for a service or a sermon. Prayer would become the focus. Hurting people walk in our churches every week, yet church culture teaches them to be “blessed”, “highly favored”, and problem-free. This can’t be any further from the truth of a lived-out Gospel within the community of faith.

When I say accountability, I mean two steps. First, is personal responsibility. Seems like Job was serious about this. This brother made a covenant with his eyes not to look lustfully at a woman. It might not be a covenant with your eyes, but find a way to make yourself personally accountable. The second step is being accountable to others: creating a space with people you trust where you can be real, transparent, and free to share. For men, this is very difficult. Most men hate talking (unless its about sports or other activities of common interest). That is, until they find someone they can trust. Throughout history, men have learned that collective effort is much more productive than compartmentalized, individual effort. Strength in numbers isn’t just a cliche, it’s a reality. When it comes to porn addiction, although it’s hard to stand alone, standing with others who have your back helps immensely. Illustratively, Scripture tells us that a threefold cord is not easily broken. Find some real, honest, brothers who can help in the accountability process.

In closing, I’m not writing this as a theory. In my college days, I had a “stash”. I know the addictive nature of pornography. But I also have experienced the power of God to overcome something that could have eventually led to my spiritual death. I’m not dismissive when it comes to the amount of temptation and stimulation men deal with regularly. But I am certain that the process described above can help overcome any temptation—including porn. If you are dealing with this issue, start with these three steps: Remove its availability, increase your availability (to God’s Spirit), and create yourself some accountability.

Why I Hate The Term First Lady/Gentleman

The Black church may have created a role that warrants reconsideration.

I want to pose a challenge to all of our readers. I’ll give $100 to the first person that can find the phrase First Lady or First Gentleman in Scripture as it pertains to the Church. If my wife knew I made this promise, she’d probably have me sleeping on the couch tonight. But I’m just that confident it doesn’t exist. There is no such thing as a First Lady or First Gentleman when it comes to the Word of God. They are fabricated, idealistic titles that have invaded Black church culture. I’ve written previously about my disgust with the term on A&E’s show “The Sisterhood”, which closely followed the lives of a group of women who deemed themselves First Ladies. But this week, I think it turned into some righteous indignation (which is a good thing, I think). It’s table turning time.

But let me start with a brief history lesson. The African American pastor has, as long as I can remember, always held a distinguished position in the Black community. In my hometown, you can talk about Black teachers, Black politicians, and other Black public figures. But you bet no dare “put your mouth” on the man of God. There’s that “Touch not mine anointed…” (see Psalm 105:15) thing going on there (a passage of Scripture that’s butchered from a contextual standpoint, by the way). The Black pastor enjoys certain privilege in the Black community. He has a nice parking space at the church, drives a nice vehicle (used to be a Cadillac), and gets fed well.

Enter the first lady. Because of the royal treatment of the black pastor, many of their wives benefit from fact that they are married to the shepherd of the church. Over the years, in the Black church, she has come to be known as the First Lady. As with any title, there are certain privileges that accompany the role of First Lady. Reserved seating is a no brainer. In some instances, she sits in the pulpit with her husband, while in other instances she is front and center in the pews. Depending on your context, an oversized hat may be involved. In that setting, nobody, I mean nobody, wears a hat larger than the church’s First Lady. That’s disrespectful. Regardless of context, certain things are expected of a First Lady. She’s to be supportive, highly visible, elegant, a prayer warrior, and, where children are involved, a great mother. That list is by no means exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of how Black culture has carved out a clearly defined role for preacher’s wives.

Yesterday I saw something related to the First Lady concept appear in my Facebook Timeline (because Facebook Timelines are basically our news sources these days). I checked out this picture of a pastor celebrating his third anniversary with his spouse. Honestly, my first thought was, “Is this real?” So I did what any sensible, intelligent person would have done. I googled the church. Sure enough, the church existed and the Pastor and his spouse just celebrated their third anniversary. The wording on the original flyer is what got my attention. The pastor’s spouse was referred to as the “1st Gentleman” of the church.

If you haven’t already figured it out, this pastor has a partner in a same-sex relationship. As such, that partner has embraced the role traditionally seen in the Black church in the context of heterosexual marriages—The First Gentleman. And this is not an anomalous occurrence. There are other First Ladies and Gentlemen out there in same-sex marriages helping lead churches.  Look, I’m not here to argue the merits of same-sex marriages. That screams red herring and will distract from the main point I’m making here. Well maybe I will say a few words. First, there’s no scriptural support for same-sex marriages and, as a minister, I wouldn’t officiate a wedding involving one. As “radically inclusive” as we make Jesus out to be,  Scripture is very clear about this issue. The fact that Jesus never condemned same-sex marriages in Scripture doesn’t automatically mean He condones the behavior. There are no specific teachings from Jesus or “red letter” passages on bestiality, pedophilia, or polygamy either. And no, I’m not making a direct comparison between those activities and same-sex marriages. I’m just saying that absence of teaching doesn’t mean that Jesus would condone certain human behavior. Trust me, this is huge and is something the Black church has to process and deal with in the coming years. According to a site dedicated to the community, there’s at least 7,100 documented gay-affirming churches. Some of them are led by pastors who themselves are in same-sex relationships. So there’s an active subculture in the Christian faith that has adopted the practices of the Black church. Among those practices is the adoption of our church leadership structure—including First Ladies (and now First Gentlemen).

But when folks adopt practices that are flawed in the first instance, I think the best approach here is the address those practices in their original context. So the main point I want to make here is that the Black church can’t keep hijacking cultural practices and slapping them in the church setting without seriously considering if we’re missing the mark. Can we eulogize the terms First Lady/First Gentlemen already? Like, for real, for real. Yes, 1 John address the “elect lady“. But scholars can’t even agree if the author is addressing a female leader in the church or the church as a body (Scripture often uses feminine terms to describe the church). Either way, there’s NO WAY we should use this text to excuse our canonization of First Ladies or First Gentlemen when it comes to church practice. Part of the reason we have so many problems in the black church is because we covout titles. That’s the antithesis of the Gospel message. Paul tells us in Philippians 2 that Christ himself took on the form of a servant. Paul, himself, hated titles (see Philippians 3). James, Jesus’ own brother (who could have plugged that fact in his letter), calls himself a term most Christians wore as a badge of honor in the first century—a servant. Does the New Testament address bishops, elders, deacons, and other leaders? Of course it does. But are we faithful to Scripture when we create our own structures, slapping titles on folks that don’t exhibit the accompanying fruit (oops, did I just say that)? Maybe, we should be less worried about titles and degrees and more concerned about worship on our knees. Many in the black community joked about worship-like atmosphere in the white smoke announcement of the Pope this week, but in reality we go to churches and worship our leadership weekly—including the First Lady and First Gentleman. The harsh reality is that if we don’t seriously think about making changes our places of worship will become museums with artifacts rather than places of transformation and change. And that’s a scary thought.


Inauguration Prayers, Black History, and the Homosexual Agenda

Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, speaks to students during the National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Awards Public Forum at Temple Deliverance. (Photo: Mike Brown/Newscom)

Last week, I was excited to read the Washington Post article stating that Myrlie Evers-Williams, wife of slain civil rights icon Medgar Evers, was going to deliver the invocation at President Obama’s inauguration later this month. This was a historic announcement, since Evers would be the first female who wasn’t a clergy member to deliver what has been deemed “America’s most prominent prayer.” Add to that the fact that she’s a black woman and you can sense the pride I felt reading those words. In a month that marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, to deem this a special occasion wouldn’t do it justice. Not to mention that this is just the second time that the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday has fallen on Inauguration Day. Later this year we’ll also mark the 50th anniversary of King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. In a matter of weeks, an African American man will be sworn in for a second term as the president of the United States. For me, there’s a sense of divine providence in the events leading up to this day. Ms. Evers will stand atop the same steps on which King stood to decry our nation’s treatment of African Americans in this country.

Today, I received some disheartening news. Louie Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta, was removed withdrew as a participant in Obama’s inauguration program. According to an inaugural planner, he withdrew over remarks about homosexuality he made in a sermon he preached in the mid-’90s. The sermon was titled “In Search of a Standard—A Christian Response to Homosexuality.” Man, it must have taken a Herculean Google effort to find that one. But that’s how the public vets people nowadays. Google searches produce “little nuggets” about people that others may use against them. President Obama didn’t have to Google Pastor Giglio, though: He had become aware of Giglio’s work combating human trafficking last year after students at the annual Passion Conference in Atlanta raised millions of dollars for the cause. This year the campaign raised over $3.3 million dollars.

In the interest of full disclosure, my wife and I attended Giglio’s church for over a year when we lived in Atlanta. We loved it. Giglio was genuine, Christ-centered in his preaching, and humble. Today, he’s been called everything from an unrepentant bigot to a pastor on the outlier of mainstream religious thinking (which might not actually be a bad thing). My dream of seeing a representative of the Civil Rights Movement share the platform with someone who genuinely cares and is doing something about modern-day slavery was crushed today. With more people enslaved today (approximately 27 million) than any other time in human history, this monumental occasion could have had a significant, visceral impact for African Americans. Most of these modern-day slaves are “people of color.”

Instead, we revisit an issue that cropped up in 2009 when Rick Warren was selected to give the benediction—a similar outcry that yielded different results. The difference? The President hadn’t expressed his evolving view on homosexuality at that time. But is this really a civil rights issue? I need not go into the matter of civil rights. I think Voddie Baucham does a pretty good job of addressing the issue here. Dr. Russell Moore suggests that what we may have is a de facto establishment of a state church.

As Moore points out:

The problem is not that [Giglio] wants to exclude homosexuals or others from the public square or of their civil rights. The problem is that he won’t say that they can go to heaven without repentance. That’s not a civil issue, but a religious test of orthodoxy.

The truth is that politicizing prayer is the first essential step to creating a state religion. We’re starting to enter the politically correct season of public prayer. So what’s the new standard? What’s the prerequisite when vetting someone to pray for our nation? Offending no one? We know from Scripture that’s impossible. Someone will always be offended. In fact, held to this standard, Jesus Himself would have been disqualified. Were that the benchmark, we’d have an empty podium on January 21st.

Giglio released this statement today:

I am honored to be invited by the President to give the benediction at the upcoming inaugural on January 21. Though the President and I do not agree on every issue, we have fashioned a friendship around common goals and ideals, most notably, ending slavery in all its forms.

Due to a message of mine that has surfaced from 15-20 years ago, it is likely that my participation, and the prayer I would offer, will be dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration. Clearly, speaking on this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years. Instead, my aim has been to call people to ultimate significance as we make much of Jesus Christ.

Neither I, nor our team, feel it best serves the core message and goals we are seeking to accomplish to be in a fight on an issue not of our choosing, thus I respectfully withdraw my acceptance of the President’s invitation. I will continue to pray regularly for the President, and urge the nation to do so. I will most certainly pray for him on Inauguration Day.

Our nation is deeply divided and hurting, and more than ever need God’s grace and mercy in our time of need.

My greatest desire is that we not be distracted from the things we are focused on…seeing people in our city come to know Jesus, and speaking up for the last and least of these throughout the world.

In my opinion, a grace-filled response to critics. In the coming weeks, the nation will be watching intently. Forget the replacement refs controversy last fall with the NFL—Giglio’s replacement will likely get tons of attention from the faith community, and the nation in general. Not because this person prays more eloquently than Giglio. Not because there’s a symbiotic relationship between this person’s prayer and Ms. Evers-Williams’ prayer. But because the selection will likely represent the evolving ethos of our pluralistic society. Disheartening? Yes. Unexpected? No. When it boils down to it, the words of Robert Godfrey ring true: neither the Republican Party or Democratic Party care about the cause of Christ. But I’m glad there are people like Pastor Giglio in this world who do.