Let’s Start Calling Progressive Catholics What They Really are: ‘Mainline’

By John Zmirak Published on February 22, 2017

Last week I noted how many prominent Catholic institutions and leaders are starting to morph into liberal “Mainline” Protestantism. Look at the moral message and public witness broadcast by fashionable Jesuits, secularized Catholic universities, and bishops obsessed with “social justice” issues — like San Diego bishop Robert McElroy, who is joining the anti-Trump “disruption” campaign.

Can you really tell these Catholic groups and people apart from their functional equivalents at the Episcopal Church or Presbyterian Church, USA? Would a child growing up in the parish which Tim Kaine attends get a much different understanding of Jesus than if he grew up in Neil Gorsuch’s liberal Episcopalian parish? You could take an Uber from St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church on Park Avenue in Manhattan to the gay-friendly St. Francis of Assisi at Penn Station, and the message would be identical — although the latter parish claims communion with the bishop of Rome (the pope), and continuity with the popes and saints of 20 centuries. 

The Catholic orders and dioceses that misread Vatican II as a license to cast off their traditions, rules, spirituality, and doctrine have served as a kind of Catholic lab experiment in applied Mainline Protestantism, and the results have proved the same: plummeting vocations, empty seminaries, beautiful old churches thinly populated by handsome, elderly people, and lots of pricey real estate that can be sold off to Katy Perry.

Worst of all, such Catholics have disconnected completely from most of the doctrines and morals that St. Benedict, St. Ignatius or St. Clare would have considered crucial to salvation — just as too many Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian churches have cast off the faith that drove Cranmer, Wesley or Calvin.

When you prove that an agnostic leftist’s argument is incoherent, he won’t trot out St. Paul on the “folly of the wise.” The chief reason progressives stay attached to religion at all may be that it gives them a righteous license to blather.

Progressive Christianity is a License to Blather

To fill in this yawning “doctrine gap” these mainline churches (Catholic and Protestant) embrace the same hysterical politics as any secular leftist, though they season it with that special brand of preening self-righteousness and proud irrationalism that only bastardized Christianity can offer.

When you argue with a secular leftist about the Muslim colonization of Europe, or a guaranteed universal income, at least he won’t whip out the Sermon on the Mount and try to beat you over the head with it. A Mainline leftist will. (He’ll ignore, of course, the fact that no generation of Christians has ever read the Sermon as demanding his policies.)

When you prove that an agnostic leftist’s argument is incoherent, he won’t trot out St. Paul on the “folly of the wise.” The chief reason progressives stay attached to religion at all may be that it gives them a righteous license to blather.

So I’m going to stop calling Catholics like Fr. James Martin, SJ, or Michael Sean Winters “progressive” or “liberal.” Let’s take the politics out of this, and call them what they are: They are Mainline, and their little corners of the Catholic church are dying just as quickly and surely as the gay-friendly Anglican parishes in suburbs of London. 

Mainline Churches: Learn from Their  Autopsy

In his new book The Triumph of Faith, historian of religion Rodney Stark offers a learned autopsy of the once-mighty mainline churches. Catholics should read it. For too long we have simply looked over at such churches and snickered, confident that the Holy See was going to purge the heretics in our ranks.

Since that’s apparently not going to happen any time soon (quite the contrary), we need to learn from the fate of our Anglican, Methodist and Church of Christ brothers in decline. Over at Juicy Ecumenism, Joseph Rossell offers seven key takeaways from Stark’s book. Points 3-7 are of crucial interest to Catholics:

(3) “Some religious institutions — but not all — fail to keep the faith. In an unconstrained religious marketplace, secularization is a self-limiting process: as some churches become secularized and decline, they are replaced by churches that continue to offer a vigorous religious message. In effect, the old Protestant Mainline denominations drove millions of their members into the more conservative denominations.”

(4) “The wreckage of the former Mainline denominations is strewn upon the shoal of a modernist theology that began to dominate the Mainline seminaries early in the nineteenth century. This theology presumed that advances in human knowledge had made faith outmoded. … Eventually, Mainline theologians discarded nearly every doctrinal aspect of traditional Christianity.”

(5) “Aware that most members reject their radical political views, the Mainline clergy claim it is their right and duty to instruct the faithful in more sophisticated and enlightened religious and political views. So every year thousands of members claim their right to leave. And, of course, in the competitive American religious marketplace, there are many appealing alternatives available.”

(6) “Even though so many have left, most of the people remaining in the former Mainline pews still regard the traditional tenets of Christianity as central to their faith. As a result, the exodus continues.”

(7) “Many liberals have attempted to make a virtue of the Mainline decline, claiming that the contrasting trends reflect the superior moral worth of the Mainline. … Meanwhile, the Mainline shrinks, and conservative churches grow.”

You could say exactly the same of Mainline Catholic parishes as well, who lost congregants to more doctrinally substantive parishes, lost vocations to more traditional orders, and lost Catholics altogether, sending good men like Vice President Mike Pence to join an evangelical church instead. Can faithful Catholics really blame him? This may be why (according to Pew) forty percent of native-born U.S. Catholics officially leave our church.

What worries me as a Catholic is the fact that our Church’s centralized structure only allows so much room for escape, especially when the pope himself seems to be siding with the Mainlines at every opportunity, and punishing the orthodox. Pope Francis keeps electrifying the corpse of Mainline Catholicism in the faint hope of reanimating it. That Frankenstein experiment won’t work, but its side effects might well kill off many vital, faithful pockets of authentic faith and Christian living.

All we can do at this point is wait, and pray.

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  • missy

    I am an ex-baptized Catholic (now identifying as an Evangelical) who has recently left the Catholic Church/faith because of what the Church is endorsing/blessing under Pope Francis with his vision and crafty political ambitions for worldwide leftist bent socialism and inclusiveness to accept just about anything these days. The Church (for the most part) has sadly lost sight of the fundamental basics of their teachings/spirituality which no longer attracts me to want to be a Catholic — so I left.

    • James McHale

      While this appears to be a commonplace occurence within Families across America, this hombre is hanging on for more ‘unified clarity’……….Employing the adage: Don’t quit 5 mins. prior to the miracle!

      • retiredconservative

        I have to admit that much of what comes from the Vatican and much of what I read that is reported of Cardinals, Archbishops, and Bishops, as well as, the words and actions of my own diocesan Bishop AND the terrifying lack of reverence among my parishioners at mass have all brought me to an abrupt confusion regarding Catholicism.

        I have begged Our Lord to guide me. I toyed with the idea of searching out an Evangelical community where I could remain anonymous. I asked Our Lady for guidance. I was reminded that, after Jesus’ ascension, the church was small and oppressed. It overcame insurmountable odds to become what it has been for the past 2000 years.

        I don’t assume to know God’s will in our mass confusion and the confusion and ambiguity and HERETICAL teachings that are coming from far too many church leaders.

        But I am praying that Holy Spirit sweep heterodoxy from the guidance of our Church leaders, that the Holy Spirit bring all Catholics back to the teachings of the Magisterium and to Christ’s own words (whether the gospel writers had a recorder or not). Prayer and fasting, that’s all I can do.

        • James McHale

          Bravo!………Note: Remember, Christ promises us that Church will remain until time’s end
          (@ some way/shape/form)

    • Billy Chickens

      Just because we have a bad pope doesn’t mean the teachings of Christ have changed. Instead of praying for Francis (I have a hard time with that also) you jump ship and swim to the nearest island with no fresh water. And you know what that means.

      • James McHale

        Notwithstanding ‘national sovereignty’ topics…………Has anyone discerned that the current Pope (inspirationally & prayerfully elected by august/sober/judicious College of Cardinals)—whose actions/words may baffle some—might be setting down visionary tracks that the more primitive amongst us might be occasionally too impatient to allow some ‘lag time’ for so-to-speak–> A “morally unified ‘gelling'”?………..Just one humble & basic man’s theoretical conjecture

        • James McHale

          PS Nobody said that faithfulness isn’t occasionally challenging!………After all, it the Church higher ups that maintain the real present challenges of discerned teaching to us the esteemed, end recipient Flock!

          • James McHale

            PPS ……..In the meantime, beware of pitfalls of judgementalism, as that is not our current job
            VS
            Simply living lives of Christian example/fortitude is

        • Billy Chickens

          Not me….Hmmmm…”Inspirationally and prayerfully elected by august sober judicious College of Cardinals.” That is hilarious! I think you mean “by the majority of liberal, not really believing Christ anymore, loose thinking but rigid in their liberalism, intolerant aging hippies”, right?

    • Dave Harlow

      so which comes first, your political bent or theology?

      • missy

        Theology

        • Fr. RP

          Dear Missy,
          Then you can’t embrace the Evangelical Church, for it’s theology is not inline with Christian Tradition, or the Scriptures. Bad Popes come and go, but Jesus founded One Church. Don’t leave the Church because of Judas, or because Peter is busy warming his hands at the Charcoal Fire. May God Lead you Home. Amen.

          Keep the Faith, nothing is worth being separated from the The Living Bread Come Down From Heaven. I will pray for you. And trust me, I am a priest and I know the pain and sorrow of this pontificate (and the rest of the bloody heretics in the Church) all too well.

          Sincerely a Brother in Christ,
          Fr. RP

          • missy

            Thank you Father for reaching out with your kind words and prayers of support.
            It arrived just on time … and I know God’s hand is involved in this. I am praying for His continued grace, wisdom and guidance to move ahead to make ‘a right’ decision (or ‘right’ a wrong one). The ‘prodigal’ is still wrestling — I may yet return back to the flock as a member of the CC. Pope Francis made headlines yesterday in our local paper ‘it’s better to be atheist than a hypocrite.’ Not certain about his true motives when I read the press releases but his leadership in the CC as the Holy See is part of the package. To tell you the truth I strongly disagree with many of his scandalous liberal, globalist progressive agendas (may God forgive me). This is part of the reason why I walked away from the CC to begin with (don’t want to be a hypocrite). Please know your kindness and wise counsel made a difference and it is one I won’t ever forget. God Bless You Fr. RP – and again many thanks!

          • Fr. RP

            Your most welcome. As a brother in Christ it is a blessing to be able to assist a sister in Christ in a time of trouble.

            You wrote: “To tell you the truth I strongly disagree with many of his scandalous liberal,
            globalist progressive agendas (may God forgive me).” And I say to you that you do not need to ask God’s forgiveness for being scandalized by scandalous behavior, especially when it comes from the Vicar of Christ on earth! I pray that you will not allow Judas to lead you away from the Church that Christ himself poured out His most Precious Blood for, rather allow Him to help you carry the cross and return home.

            Seek out a traditional (aka truly Catholic) parish and pray for Holy Mother Church. Pray that God remember her in this the hour of her need and deliver her from the many wolves disguised as shepherds who are presently devouring the flock. Remember to pray to Saint Athanasius, one of the few Bishops who spoke boldly (an suffered immensely for it) against the Arians. It was he and a few fellow bishops and priests and many faithful members of the Laity who saw the Church through those terrible times. Be a member of the Faithful Laity who do the same during these terrible times and I will do my best to be a Priest who does the same.

            The Victory is the Lord’s and we are blessed indeed to valiantly fight beside Him against the Evil One and his unholy forces seeking to destroy Our Holy Mother Church, he shall fail and the Lord shall prevail. Amen, a hundredfold Amen!

          • missy

            Amen, I totally agree with you. We have been warned in The Word of God and all need to be alert and watching for the false teachers/false prophets who I believe are already here who will deceive many of the people of the Church in these last (dark) days. In saying that, I always keep in mind God’s truth is stronger than lies, God’s pure light conquers all darkness and to always be strong in The Lord because the battle has already been won! II Corinthians 11:13 – ‘for such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ’ 11:14 – ‘and no marvel; for satan himself is transformed into an angel of light’ 11:15 – ‘therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; who end shall be according to their works’. I will pray to St Athanasius for the Church. Enjoy your evening and God Bless!

    • Micha_Elyi

      You’re only one sacrament of Confession away from coming home, Prodigal. Please make the journey.

  • ardenjm

    I confess to just not understanding people – like missy – who have had enough and leave the Church to become evangelical, or in fact just nothing as is more often the case.

    Have we forgotten that the Church is not a store where we go and shop for what we want and move on to another store if we don’t get it there? She is the Bride of Christ.

    The Church Militant here ‘in hac lacrimarum vale’ will go through many trials. Some of which will be caused by her own members. But you don’t desert her when she is unfaithful, ugly, old or when she gets dementia and no longer looks or sounds like the Church. She is then at her most vulnerable and we must cherish her all the more. Even when she lashes out and forgets that you are one of her children…

    That’s the way her husband has always treated her.
    I just don’t understand how any of her children wouldn’t strive to do the same as He did.

    • Patmos

      The church is not a building, just as it isn’t a denomination. Faith in Jesus as the son of the living God is what the church is built on, and consists of everyone who believes (Matthew 16:18). If you turn your back on that, and go against God’s word, you are no longer part of the vine and will dry up and be cast into the fire.

      Jesus gave every indication that you should have nothing to do with those dried branches, it’s why he called out the Pharisees and said follow me.

      • ardenjm

        Well…kinda.
        You see, I’m Catholic. And so the spiritual and institutional Church aren’t separable in the way you’ve separated them here. That’s a very protestant reflex.
        We can, theoretically, DISTINGUISH the two (without separating them) because we can understand that just ‘being a nominal Catholic’ isn’t what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. But the separation of those two distinct realities doesn’t actually happen until the end of time. Scripture is quite clear about that.
        Thing is, the reality of Our Lord’s Incarnation extended in time and space through His Body the Church of which He is the Head means that we can’t “spiritualize away” the physical Church that He established and pretend that the only thing that He intended was an invisible believers’ church. Why? For several reasons.
        First, such a version of the Church is insufficiently incarnational – it’s almost like an angelic, disembodied Church of secret members and doesn’t respect what God intended when The Word became Flesh and dwelt amongst us. Our Lord WANTS a physical, historical, concrete body that we can point to and say: This IS His Church because that ‘fits’ with His own Incarnation in the Man Jesus, 2000 years ago.
        Second, the Church has a teaching of the deposit of the Faith that Our Lord entrusted to the Apostles and that the Holy Spirit, “guiding us in to all truth” infallibly reminds and indeed shows to us (as John’s Gospel says.) This means that there are some churches that teach the fulness of that Truth and others that do not. Evangelicals teach a lot of the Truth of Christ but they also get a lot of it just plain wrong. Because I want the fulness of the Truth – I stay with the Church and her teaching – even when many, many of her members (and even teachers!) fall away from that. Scripture is clear on how grave the judgement against them shall be!
        Third, “You are Peter and on this rock I shall build my Church and the gates of hell shall never prevail against it.” These are trying times for the Church but we haven’t, yet, seen the successors to the Apostles meeting in official council-like circumstances, “opposing Peter to his faith” in order to correct him. Scripture consoles us, therefore: When Peter vacillates himself – others WILL remind him that he has a duty to be the shepherd that Christ called him to be. I expect we shall see something like that happen to Pope Francis before the end of his pontificate. It’s desperately sad, but it’s not that Our Lord didn’t warn us that it could happen. It happened to Peter himself!

        So, you see, whilst there ARE dried branches, fit for burning, whilst there ARE weeds amongst the good grain that will be sorted out at the end of time, whilst there ARE goats and sheeps that will be separated one from another at the end of time NEVERTHELESS the Catholic Church IS the Church that Jesus founded and that was reunited in the Upper Room with Our Lady, St Peter and the Apostles on Pentecost.
        You can’t just leave that Church once you’ve understood that.

        Missy just didn’t understand that. Or she wouldn’t have committed apostasy.

        • missy

          Ecclesiastes 12:13 – ‘let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear GOD and keep His commandments: for this is the whole duty of man’.

          • ardenjm

            Oh I don’t condemn you, missy. I’m sorry if that didn’t come across.
            I should have made a greater distinction between you and ‘hypothetical person Y who leaves the church because they “don’t get what they want” from it.” My bad.

            Of course, not condemning you doesn’t mean that I can’t judge whether any given action is right or wrong. And whilst you must follow your conscience and make a great effort to enlighten it, I’m pretty sure that ‘leaving the Church’ doesn’t count as an intrinsically moral act that one can only decide in conscience to do because one’s conscience is erroneous. In fact Aquinas considers just such a case and says that a person must follow their conscience. Still, in your specific case and just in the little window you gave us onto your reasons, you became an evangelical because of your feelings and because of your rejection of left-wing politics. Neither of which, I suggest to you, count as good enough reasons to abandon the Bride of Christ.

          • missy

            No offense taken and thanks for asking (I Corinthians 2:5: ‘that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God’). I left the CC after much angst and soul searching. Just one of the myriad of reasons involved Pope Francis and his ambitious globalist left wing agendas. As for being accused of being an apostate – so be it (my conscience is clear). I know I am the righteousness of God in faith. I have found my niche in the body of Christ and I am happy with my decision. Ephesians 3:4 ‘there is one body, and one spirit, even ye are called in one hope of your calling’ (3:5) one Lord, one faith, one baptism’ (3:6) ‘one God and Father of all, who is above all, and in all and in you all’ God Bless You.

          • Micha_Elyi

            You do realize, don’t you Missy, that every time you use Scripture as an authority, you implicitly acknowledge as an even greater authority the Church, from which the Bible comes to us. The Catholic Church’s authority is not merely “wisdom of men”, its authority was granted by Christ Jesus to the 12 Apostles and continues today through their successors, the Church’s bishops.

        • Patmos

          It took you a lot of words there to say that you prefer to cling to a dried branch. What? Was the handling of the abuse scandal not a red flag to you?

          • ardenjm

            You mean in the way that Our Lord, knowing that Judas would betray Him, still chose him to be an Apostle?
            Come on: the abuse scandals? Really? EVERY Church has had abuse scandals. EVERY Church handled them badly. In fact arguably the other churches – certainly the Orthodox churches – have concealed more perversely even down to this day. But in any case, why are these things not a red flag to me? Because that is the nature of fallen humanity present within the Body of Christ:
            You’ve taken Patmos as your name yet the great visionary doesn’t seem to have enlightened you:
            The Woman – the Mother of the Messiah – is taken to the desolate/wilderness (erhmon) for protection in Revelation 12.
            Yet a few chapters later in Revelation 17 John is stupefied to find in the (same) desolate/wilderness (erhmon) the harlot of Babylon.
            Have you never wondered what is causing his stupefaction?
            That the Church be both the Woman and the Harlot. That there be members who are saints and members who are wicked.
            And this leads to your next error:
            Just like the ‘good tree producing good fruit’ your use of the ‘dried branch’ analogy Our Lord uses conflates his statement about individuals with institutions. Only individuals can be trees producing good or bad fruit, only individuals are branches grafted in or pruned for the burning. These parables are not to be applied to the Church as a whole.

            So no, the abuse scandal is not a red flag for me – it confirms what I have always thought:
            “When the Son of Man returns will He find faith on earth?” AND
            “The gates of Hell shall never prevail against you.”

  • Dave Harlow

    Did Jesus instruct us to take in the alien, feed the hungry, visit the sick and care for the widow?

    • Yes.

    • Patmos

      “Did Jesus instruct us to take in the alien…”

      He was speaking to individuals, not as a matter of national policy. If it were God’s will for his people to welcome in a people and ideology that warred against him, ancient Israel would have merely welcomed the Assyrians and Babylonians.

      There’s a deeper lesson there, I wonder how many got it.

    • Peter

      He did. We can do that in many ways, by charitable donations, by Church donations, by foreign aid and these things we already do.

      We can always do more. I know I can.

      Don’t confuse what you say with an open door for jihadists to walk right in, because it won’t work. Don’t make it political.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    So, which faith tradition would Jesus choose to affiliate with were He to make a surprise visit to 21st century American Christendom ..? One may also query as to which institutionalized expression of the faith ( so called ) would Satan call home were he obliged to choose ..?
    Fantasies perhaps, but applicable for the conclusions one might draw from those considerations. Seems to me The Master has visited all of them – at one time or another.
    The devil likewise. Question is, how much of a welcome do either of these iconic personages presently have in our spiritual institutions ( or loony bins as the case may be )
    The Masters formative years on earth found Him in the synagogues , both to hear & be heard. The bible records that Jesus’ subsequent visits to the synagogue caused no small stir. No record of any visits after those incongruous occasions are recored.
    I’m not implying that a conscientious witness to the faith should disparage any particular “religious” tradition. The scripture exhorts that we believers not “forsake the assembling of ourselves together”. The key word is assemble. What is it that we in our vastly differing religious traditions have assembled?! I will cut to the chase. God has managed to preserve for Himself a faithful remnant , who have chosen Him as their objective, throughout all the variations on the theme that men have proposed. It will be those who continue THAT tradition that will endure the duration. Meanwhile, be content w/where you are if where you are is where you should be. Otherwise like the Master, let there be no record of your having returned to the institutions that have refused Him place …

  • Serlio

    There are those fab progressive Catholics all hip to the social justice jive, but they lack the sonorous titles that contribute toward the Episcopalians’ aesthetic edge of coolness. Every Catholic cathedral in the U.S. should introduce chapters of canon-priests, as Europe largely still has, so that each diocese can have a nominal “Canon for Social Justice Concerns”, a “Canon for Global Stewardship”, and a “Canon for Immigrant Outreach”. They can don rainbow chimeres in Choir.

    Then, our dioceses can waste tremendous sums of money on ad campaigns featuring campy taglines like: “The RoMan CaThoLic ChuRch – where DREAMERS dream.”

  • George Bell

    This article is misleading. The positions of “progressive” Catholics still vary widely across the spectrum of issues. For example, you can have a whole group of Catholics whose majority differs with the Church on the issue of artificial contraception, but within this same group you can have a variance of positions on other issues like abortion or theological issues like the divinity of Christ or the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. To lump all “progressive” Catholics together like this in order to make the assertion that they should now be called “mainline Catholics” is a faulty generalization.

  • James

    In a progressive parish, the pews slowly empty, never to be filled again.

    In a conservative parish, the pews may empty quickly, but are quickly refilled with new parishioners, especially little new parishioners.

    Of course, there are always exceptions: A progressive parish with a strong community will be healthier than a conservative parish full of Pharisees. (Yes, I’ve seen both.) Nevertheless, never bet against the side that believes in procreation.

  • Fr. RP

    Well put John! As a Transitional Deacon I was commandeered into helping with the Diocesan trip to World Youth Day in Toronto. While their, one of our faithful young women was with us who was preparing to enter the Nashville Dominicans. One of the chaperones who accompanied us was the Vocations Director of a ‘mainline’ dying religious order of sisters who hadn’t whiffed a vocation in 20 plus years. Immediately prior to the opening Mass, I ran into a small group of Sisters belonging to the Nashville Dominicans and invited them to great their aspiring vocation. About ten minutes later a ‘sea of White’ approached us and joyfully greeted the aspiring sister (who is now faithfully professed): about forty young (the oldest being about 35) fully habited Rosary praying Dominican Sisters exuberantly greeted their soon to be sister. I watched while the polyester business suited feminist sister looked on in dismay and prayed that she would see the obvious, alas to no avail. That was 12 years ago, and her order is all but dead….and I must say, sad as it is, good riddance!

  • James McHale

    On the particular theme of those tempted to migrate (‘drift’) over to some non-RC Christian denomination of some kind VS. simply attending them as a spiritual complement to holy sacrifice of mass attendance for some sort of spiritual enrichment/augmentation:

    Remember the honest role of Mother Church on Earth as the prime mover springboard of all other Christian denominations (the more candid of which will indeed admit to such)…………….Without the Roman Catholic Church—vicissitudes & all—all others would implode or at least be debased @ some way, shape or form, at best, sans proper theological underpinnings, etc……………Analogically, The Sun is ever thus, as opposed to being a mere satellite of sorts…………..Me thinks that the present Holy Father is not as much a place holder (not at all a respectful term for The Vicar of Christ on Earth) as much as a set-up man for any subsequent Pope—He has, over time, intimated as much that he does not expect to last indefinitely within the position.
    All of this aforementioned context might not be too dissimilar to how BHOs recent presidency (& potential/threatened shadow presidency) created the reactionary/seismic shift that = the current blessing of DJT as Prez, which, Good Lord willing, which will lead to a natural, transitional leavening, & subsequently an arguably centrist individual as successor <– Law of Conservation WORKS a la pendulum analogy.

  • James McHale

    The OUR FATHER = The LORDs prayer;

    Therefore, wherever two or more are gathered in His name–> There the Good Lord is present.

    Suffice to say, that be it resolved that whenever/wherever the Lord’s Prayer is cited–> There the Good Lord = present as promised

    Simple wisdom works & cuts though/to the feigned/contrived chase occasionally obstructed by ‘red tape’!

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