Dave Paxton

Like a lot of people led by 21st Century “progressives,” the United Methodist Church is imploding under the almost insane leadership of people like Iowa Bishop Laurie Haller. Everything about Bishop Haller is about feeling over fact.

“I feel, thus it must be true,” is one of the credos of the left. Donald Trump is being impeached largely on the feelings of Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi and Jerry Nadler, along with left-wing loonies like AOC.

This is what we United Methodists got from Bishop Haller last week in her weekly missive. Her prayer was three-fold:

• That “relationships” will be more important than theological convictions.

• That innovation, creativity, and imagination will be more important than stagnation, rigidity, sacred cows and the status quo.

• That our primary focus will be on the Great Commission and the Great Commandment: to go out into the world and make disciples of Jesus Christ and to love God and our neighbor in all that we do.

This is all about ignoring Biblical tenants on homosexuality and other “non-important” theological concepts like the personhood of Jesus Christ, scriptural pathways to heaven, sin and the like.

We Methodists are supposed to be driven by lollipops, unicorns and candy kisses and ignore 2,000 years of Christian (and 6,000 years of Judeo-Christian) teaching.

The problem is that Bishop Laurie’s plea to go out into the world and make disciples of Jesus Christ and to love God and our neighbor in all that we do is soundly based in orthodox Christian theology, the theology she wants us to ignore because it apparently gets in the way of “relationships.” For crying out loud, “relationships” in terms of Christianity, exist because of our theology and Biblical instruction.

I really don’t know what the second part of her prayer means, creativity vs stagnation, imagination vs rigidity, creativity over sacred cows and status quo. It’s mostly squishy gobbledygook to make orthodox, Biblical belief sound mean spirited and hateful.

Simply put, our dear Bishop is as close to a heretic as anything I’ve witnessed in my over 60 years in the church. She is unworthy of leading this once great Christian denomination. It is good that there is coming a pathway out for faithful people who continue to believe sound theology and doctrine create the pathway to positive relationships.

Having written an anti-endorsement of Elizabeth Warren and any other candidates who want to eliminate the Electoral College and thus diminishing Iowa’s place in national politics, I’ve got to tell you I have serious caucus burnout.

And that’s with me almost always switching TV channels of late when political commercials come on. I’m not a huge television watcher anyway, and when I do watch it is either Fox News, the History Channel, Motor Trend TV or sports, none of which are filled with never-ending political ads. When I am watching “Blue Bloods,” “FBI,” “NCIS” or “Bull” on network television, we either mute the station or switch to news for a minute instead of listening to Elizabeth Warren saying Donald Trump is afraid of her, Joe Biden promising he is the only one who can beat Trump, Andrew Yang talking about the completely insane $12,000 a year basic income for anyone 18 years of age or older, or Tom Steyer and Michael Bloomberg describing why they’re “good” billionaires attempting to buy the election.

I watched the commercials for the first couple of weeks of the caucus season, then fatigue set in. It’s not a red or blue thing, either. I had the same fatigue when there were a dozen Republicans running in 2016. This is a terrible thing to say, but the tragic death of Kobi Bryant and non-stop coverage of that event was almost a welcome relief to political commercials, the impeachment hearings and the ad nauseum coverage of this presidential election cycle.

The campaign outside normal TV, radio and newspaper advertising is also exhausting. I get at least a dozen texts a day (thankfully I don’t do Twitter) from candidates wanting my money, wanting me to house campaign workers and begging for my vote for Mayor Pete or Amy or Liz. And I’m a registered Republican. On my newspaper e-mail I clear out between 200 and 300 e-mails every day from virtually every candidate and virtually every candidate is asking me for a $5 donation.

Caucus night is actually fun and I’d recommend it to anyone who hasn’t given it a try. The build-up, however, is mind numbing. I’ll be glad when Tuesday comes and I’m simply sorting through Victoria Secret ads, prostate improvement supplements and pitches to buy the New York Times on-line.

I’m a devoted follower of “The Five” on Fox News and their “One More Thing” segment always makes me laugh. Greg Guttfeld has bits on weird animal videos and Tuesday he showed former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg at a campaign event where a guy had brought his dog. Bloomberg reaches down, grabs the top of the dog’s nose with his fingers in the dog’s mouth and shakes it’s entire head. It was hysterical.

My question is, how can a guy become a billionaire without ever having learned how to address a dog? My wife has never warmed to my string of mostly hunting dogs and I can’t really ever remember her giving one a hug or even an occasional head scratch, but I’m pretty sure she would not greet a big dog by putting her hand over the top of its nose and into its mouth and shaking it.

This is my new presidential standard. If you don’t know how to greet a big dog, you are immediately disqualified to run.

FYI, listen for low growls, wait until the dog sits, drop your hand near the front of its nose, let is sniff you so as to measure it’s temperament and then either pet the top of the dog’s head or see if it will offer a paw to shake.

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