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Don’t Let Silva Kill the Dream

Former Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva was arrested over the weekend on charges of “aggravated white collar crime,” meaning that he is accused of stealing more than $100,000. Presumably it was from the Kids Club of which he was the CEO.

But even as the charges reverberate and the denials come, I wonder if what Space X is doing will inspire some of the kids who are watching all of this and learning that the world isn’t everything it’s supposed to be?




On Wednesday of last week, a thirty-year Police Chaplain with the Stockton Police Department was fired after he sent an eMail disinviting another local congregation to an Easter Sunrise Service that is upcoming. In that eMail, Chaplain Jim Reid expressed that the other congregation, an LGBT Church, has a “diametrically different view” of scripture when it comes to homosexuality.

a-confusing-proverb-jesus-with-sinnersShould he have been fired over such an eMail? That is one question that has to be addressed. But deeper questions also have to be answered. Is this eMail really representative of Christian faith and practice? Is it what Jesus would have done? Is disinviting a congregation to an ecumenical service that celebrates the very foundational aspect of Christianity across the entire spectrum of the faith, really in keeping with the spirit of the event?

Most importantly, did Chaplain Reid cross a very specific line with this eMail? And in crossing that specific line, should it have cost him his job?

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What You See…

f_os_fbifinicumshtg_160128.nbcnews-ux-1080-600What you see on a given video, let’s say the death of LaVoy Finicum, is dependent almost entirely on what you personally believed happened BEFORE you saw the tape. If you believed that he had been murdered in cold blood by the FBI, then you might see an old man stumbling to maintain his balance in the snow. If you believe that the FBI acting justly, then you see a man who ran from them reaching for his waist, where he carried a gun. In either case, it is highly unlikely that what you see on the video will change your mind as to what happened.

Why is that?

Why is it that in today’s world when experts speak on a matter, they are not just questioned or even doubted, they are pummeled with counter-claims, pseudo-scientific declarations, fear and figurative torch carrying mobs as if they have unleashed a mad Doctor’s monster?

In Stockton, the politicization and rhetoric has run amok over something called chloramines – a term which until a few weeks ago almost nobody had heard of – when it was announced they would be added to Stockton’s water supply, the people most loudly condemning the action, such as noted science genius Mayor Silva, have been howling.

Science doesn’t help itself when it becomes condescending and elitist. But how do you convince people of truths when they see and hear what they have already made up their minds to see and hear?

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