Guns, Murder, Pagans, Clowns, and Stinkin’ Badges


The Color Rush to Judgment

When the dramatic talking heads clamor for an end to “gun violence” do you wobble in your ideas about the best potential solutions?  Are you unsure what to say in response to mass shootings?  Out of frustration you have perhaps said, “I just know that in this circumstance ‘thoughts and prayers’ aren’t enough and moments of silence aren’t enough.”  Maybe you’ve always been a proponent of responsible gun ownership with background checks, proper education and training, and respect for sportsmen.  Hence, you struggle to understand the violence while also holding firm to the fact that law-abiding responsible gun owners, with a right (and need) to protect oneself, shouldn’t be penalized for the few who seek to inflict horrible harm.

An emotional friend felt this way not too long ago.  She said, “I’m asking for solutions here.  We must act to save lives, without subjecting ourselves to hysterics or extremism.  Without giving ourselves over to living in fear, I want solutions.  Is there one?

Well, if you sometimes feel this way, there’s only one basic truthful response.  There is no ultimate solution for murderous human hearts if left to mere mortals.  This isn’t to say there’s no solution at all, however.


Did He Write “Pro-Life” Twice When Meaning to Type “Pro-Choice”?

A friend who’s a prolific blogger wrote:

Since the pro-life view of “real” murder is contingent on the “location” of where a murder is committed, how can the location of the murder be reconciled with how we treat murder outside the womb?  There seems to be quite a glaring inconsistency here.  Second inconsistency:  If I murdered someone and was found guilty of murder, what would you think if I employed the typical pro-life misplaced compassion approach to the murderer and said to the judge:

“Judge, you have to understand, there are two victims in this crime, the person I murdered and me.  I’m absolutely sick to my stomach over the murder I committed, and I’m ashamed of myself.  Yes, I did it, but society lied to me by telling me that my happiness and fulfillment and convenience were of paramount importance.  So, the person I murdered blocked me from attaining what society has told me I’m entitled to.  Based on what I’ve now come to understand as societal lies, I should be sentenced to suffer the guilt and pain I feel for murdering that person.  Your honor, that punishment – and only that punishment – is clearly enough.”

If an outside-the-womb murder ever went down like this, would you believe that the judge should let the murderer go with the sentence being “guilt and shame?”  Or would you believe that the judge should dismiss the morally unjustifiable defense, and sentence the murderer to some type of punishment, perhaps even the death penalty?

The phrasing of his argument is a tad stilted, particularly to ears not familiar with this line of argumentation.  However, he cleverly attacks the “pro-life” movement; calling attention to the massive inconsistency among people in the pro-life community (if they truly do believe a baby is murdered inside the womb during an abortion).  In essence, the “pro-life” community embraces a “two-victim” view.  Have you ever heard a “pro-life” leader call for women guilty of carrying their babies to abortion mills (or self-inflicting an abortion on the baby) to be arrested and charged with murder or accessory to murder”?  Along with my friend, I see this as a glaring inconsistency.  With every other murder, someone is arrested, charged, tried and punished if found guilty.  The “abolition” movement aims to clear this up.


Sarcasm Intended

There’s a growing list of things Frederick County Pagan Schools gives to employees for free, but that students, parents, and tax payers are increasingly made to pay for.  However, (insert sarcasm font) there surely must be a policy somewhere saying something like the following:


Recognizing the important role parents and families play in supporting student success, the Board of Education (Board) encourages parents and families to attend school system activities of interest.

Parent Attendance at School-Sponsored Activities

Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS) sponsors many worthwhile athletic and non-athletic activities throughout a school year. Many of these activities are of interest to parents and families. It is the desire of the Board that parents and families have the opportunity to attend FCPS sponsored programs of interest at no cost upon showing their identification for entrance.


Does This Now Mean Only Adults Will Listen to Adele?

A tone deaf friend, with sincere seriousness, asked the following question:  “If you’re a woman and support Trump, please tell me – why?  I promise I won’t judge you, but how can you still continue to support this clown?  I’m seriously interested in hearing your side.

Ha!  “I promise I won’t judge you… how can you continue to support this clown?”  LOL  SMH

Full disclosure:  I am not a diehard Trump supporter.  I didn’t vote for him in 2016, and am hilariously on record having called him a clown myself.  This said, I’m afraid my friend is kidding himself by thinking that any Trump supporter wouldn’t view his question as a statement passing judgment on not just President Trump but also his supporters individually.  The way he posed the question makes it appear that he wasn’t actually interested in a fair minded dialog, but instead might have been interested in stirring up a fight.  When you notice people doing this, I have some advice.  Before such an unhelpful battle gets fully engaged, tap out immediately and say, “Au revoir”.


We Don’t Need No Stinking Badges!

This story contains the line, “Efforts to reach Mr. Campos were unsuccessful Tuesday.  A Las Vegas police officer who was outside his house told a Wall Street Journal reporter the family wanted to be left alone.

Believe it or not, I actually have friends who consider themselves “anti-conspiracy theorists”.  But even these people added their names to the long list of folks who said, “This story doesn’t add up.”

The Public information side (and utter lack of public involvement of the FBI) was and is criminally negligent.  Recall also these little details:  A security guard was shot, sounded the alarm, potentially saving the lives of others – and he was nowhere to be seen in the media for ten days.  Ten days?!  AND his house was guarded by a cop?  Why?  Had he been threatened?  If so, by whom?

One of my “prove it” friends actually admitted, “I might have to turn in my anti-conspiracist badge.”  There have been droves joining him in tossing out their stinkin’ “anti-conspiracist badges” in recent years.


Classic Faith Debate Shows Worth a Listen

Differences within the Western Church When Comparing Europe and America  Panelists include American pastor Jonathan Switzer from Frederick, Maryland and German pastor Axel Gertner from Elrich, Germany.  The show dates were 2/7/16, 2/14/16, and 2/21/16.

Sikhism, Islamophobia, and Terrorism  Four episodes examine the historical and sociopolitical backdrop of “race”, immigration, and political correctness – and what Christianity has to offer in response.  Panelists include Pastor Jonathan Switzer and Dr. Harpal Mangat with his daughter Hanah (both practicing Sikhs).  Show dates were 2/28/16, 3/6/16, 3/13/16, and 3/20/16.

Is There Universal Truth?  How Would You Recognize It?  These questions are explored by panelists:  Jonathan Switzer (Pastor at Crossroads Valley Church), Toni Fish (Spiritual Leader at Unity Church), and Dr. Charles Van Meter (Bible-Study/Sunday-School Teacher).  Show date was 11/27/16.

Buddhism as it Relates to Christianity  This is the topic of the shows that aired on 12/4/16 and 12/11/16.  Guest panelists included: Jonathan Switzer (Pastor at Crossroads Valley Church) and Mike Campbell (Member if the Tibetan Meditation Center Board of Directors).

Life After Death  Past lives, reincarnation, and speaking to the dead are all discussed during the two shows from 12/18/16 and 12/25/16.  Guest panelists featured Jonathan Switzer (Pastor) and Carolyn Evers (Visionary and Locutionist).

The Star Doves and What They Represent  Leftist broadcaster, dating service, prayer coordinator, political party, conspiracy theorist, “twilight zone” theologians – all of these could describe a group known as the “Star Doves”.  This was the focus of the two shows broadcast on 1/1/16 and 1/8/16.  The only guest joining me on these shows was Jonathan Switzer, Pastor at Crossroads Valley Church.

The Role of Morals and Religion in Politics  Should pastors and other religious leaders talk about politics?  This is the focus of the show from 1/15/17.  Guests included pastors Jonathan Switzer, Peter Kemeny, and Jerry Price.

The Three Major Monotheistic Religions Square Off  A Christian Pastor, a Jewish Rabbi, and a Muslim who was the leader of a local Mosque entered into the debate ring on a show that aired 1/22/17).  The guests were:  Jonathan Switzer (Pastor at Crossroads Valley Church), Morris Kosman (Rabbi at Beth Shalom Congregation), and Kalil Elshazly (President of the Islamic Society of Frederick).

The Culture of Christ’s Church in Crisis  A sermon with this title was preached using the Book of Acts chapters 1 through 7 as its text.  This sermon preached at Poolesville Baptist Church was presented on the Faith Debate as a three part series on 1/29/17, 2/5/17, and 2/12/17.

The Best of Jon Switzer  The title for this one is a tad misleading.  In the podcasts uploaded on 2/12/17, 2/19/17, and 2/26/17 there were a snippets of Jonathan Switzer sharing what he called the “CVC Minute”.  These short features typically ran approximately three minutes.  In the podcasts being spotlighted here, the entire show features a string of these commentaries by Jon.  Jon Switzer was the Pastor at Crossroads Valley Church and past President of the Evangelical Ministerial Fellowship in Frederick.  He also co-founded of the Faith Debate, having served as co-host for nearly a dozen years.

Who is This Jesus?  This three-part series (2/26/17, 3/5/17, 3/12/17) of Faith Debate shows features a sermon about a miraculous healing and how Luke chapter 2 helps put is all in context.  People (in addition to me) who appear in these shows include:  Jon Switzer (Pastor at Crossroads Valley Church), Neal Acheampong (Pastor at Covenant Family Chapel), and Dina Skinner (my beautiful wife).

Genesis to Revelation:  In Simple Terms  This two-part series of the Faith Debate (3/19/17 and 3/26/17) features a sermon about the message of the entire Bible, which is the Gospel.  People appearing on these shows includes me (using an extended illustration from my grandfathers’ funeral to provide an emotional back-drop for what’s shared from the pulpit), and my wife Dina providing Scripture readings.


Lecrae Belongs on the List

There was a time when a list of the top twenty-five rappers of all-time would have to include this professing Christian.  Now, it’s difficult to know what to do with him.


Many blessings to you,

Pastor Troy Skinner