20160510_195427 I just returned from testifying before the Michigan State Board of Education. The event was live-streamed, and therefore a good number of friends and fellow clergy had the chance to watch. Some of these folks also got to see me do an interview with CBS.

Now that I am home, I’m sipping the Glen Scotia 15-year-old and taking a few moments to scroll through Facebook as well as my email messages. Needless to say, I can see that I’ve already received a few notes about the address – some kindly, others inappropriately critical.

With that, let me offer another attestation to clarify what I mean by “inappropriately”… And this is addressed to the clergy who continue to pester me toward disengaging from the political sphere.

Do me a favor, will you? How about keeping your mouth shut about what you would or would not have done differently had you been in my shoes before the governing authorities. You weren’t there. You’re never there. And you don’t think I should be there, either. So, again, how about just keeping your thoughts to yourself, at least until you’ve done a little bit of the heavy lifting and actually stood beside me at one of these events. Sound good? I sure hope so, because while I think that I’ve more than proven that you can count on me to be beside you if and when the government’s bulldozer is at your church’s front door, I have a recurring sense that I could not count on you for the same. You don’t have it in you, and therefore, you’re words of advice are both ignorant and useless.

Am I being too harsh? Well, let me wrap it up, then, by saying that you are part of the problem, and frankly, you need to just be quiet, since silence appears to be your skill in the face of, well, a lot that matters for most human beings.

So, with that, don’t worry, because as you prefer to continually remind others while sitting on your hands refusing to engage, God is in charge and He has it handled. He sure does, and part of that handling, He accomplishes through people – through guys like me.

Now, consider these words and pour yourself a drink. Maybe we can still be friends, although “acquaintance” seems more appropriate. Still, this Glen Scotia is an optimistic choice for helping to cultivate acquaintances that they would become friendships, that is, if you can actually acquire it. I had to take the initiative and engage in my surroundings in order to receive mine from Germany, but I would not expect that from you. Instead, I’m sure I could count on you to rest easy in the shade of my efforts, praising the giver for a whisky that, first and foremost, whispers of aged rum and red raspberries in the nose. Further on, as this meets the palate, the fruit dissipates to give witness to sour oak, a nip of apple vinegar, pecans, and white chocolate. The finish is a medium tapping of rum-soaked walnut shells and toffee.

On second thought, I’ll keep this for myself. I have a nice bottle of Scoresby that I think you might enjoy. It is most certainly an appropriate reward equal to your effort.