Pearls & Vodka

Who are you giving a bad name?

Happy Friday friends and welcome to Pearls & Vodka’s weekly recap that we affectionately like to call, the “FridayHappy Hour.”

It seems like this week there’s a lot of folks taking offense to the vernacular of others, what kind of bad name are you giving other people who are connected to you?

Grab a drink and read on…

Sunday night kicked off a message of hope spreading through our country thanks to Oprah, or should I say President Winfrey? I wonder if she’ll go by President Oprah instead? Things that make you go hmm…Her message was powerful, let’s face it, she is one of the greatest orators of all time. She could probably sing her ABCs and social media would crown her Queen of the free world. She told the story of Recy Taylor, a woman who fought for justice in the Jim Crow era after she was raped. She spoke of her own experience as a young girl watching Sidney Poitier win the best actor award in 1964. She went on to acknowledge the press and the battles they are facing with our current President. She spoke of Rosa Parks. And she mentioned the #metoo movement and the dream that one day, no little girl will have to say “me too.” Before Oprah even sat down, social media kicked off her 2020 Presidential campaign for her. Will it come to fruition? My gut says no. But that could be the pasta salad talking. Alas, this country does need more powerful voices like Oprah standing up for what is right, unwaveringly. Of course, the naysayers began posting pictures of Oprah with Harvey Weinstein to combat t the 2020 chatter. And here we are, back in the divisive, continually hostile world we have created for ourselves.

Before the Golden Globes aired on Sunday, in Memphis, Tennessee, a congregation stood on their feet for roughly 25 seconds applauding one of their pastors. That really doesn’t sound that abnormal for the church-going crowd. Often times a minister can deliver a word that ignites passion in the hearers and they will applaud the message, and sometimes the messenger themselves. Andy Savage was a 22 year old youth minister in Houston, Texas, when he made a sexual advancement on a female student in his ministry. She was 17, he was 22. He was her youth leader, she was a student in his church.

Jules Woodson came forward when this “sexual incident” happened in 1998. She was told to keep quiet and that it would be handled. Andy Savage resigned from his position, his resignation was followed with a reception in his honor. Jules Woodson’s parents were even approached later on to see if they would object to Savage being brought back on staff. They did object, and as the years have gone on, Savage has gotten married, had kids, and is now on staff at Highpoint Church in Memphis. Jules reached out to Savage recently asking if he remembered the incident and referenced the #metoo movement that Oprah spoke out. She never received a reply, but Sunday morning, the parishioners of High point Church heard from Andy Savage. He shared briefly about the experience and his perspective that it was addressed 20 years prior and apologized yet again to Jules Woodson. And then, there it was, the 25 second standing ovation. In a church house. For a man who acknowledged being a sexual perpetrator.

What kind of world do we live in where Hollywood is getting a social issue right, and the church is not?

How did we become a society that the people of God who are called to be His hands and feet to the world around them, stand and clap for a man who confesses to sexually assaulting an underage woman under his ministerial leadership?

I’m both sickened and furious at this church’s reaction. But yet sadly, not surprised. I did read later today that he is on a leave of absence while they do an audit of the ministry at his current church, but he will still be financially supported in the interim.

When good people stand by and do nothing, evil prevails. Edmund Burke has been dead since 1797 but his words are still true today.

I’m all about confessing your sins, I have to do a lot of it. I’m all about biblical restoration, it’s part of the amazingness of grace. But I don’t know that I could say, with the details we know today, that biblical restoration was completed in this situation. And quite honestly, I feel like Andy Savage got away with something that today we’d practically hang a Hollywood star for. The standards should be exponentially higher for someone in ministry.

My encouragement to “the church” is to stop making Jesus followers look bad.

Speaking of people making others look bad. Come on Donald. I thought really the best thing for your Presidency would be to remove your Twitter account. Unfortunately now, I’m seeing that would not even scratch the surface. Your comments in a bipartisan meeting yesterday about other countries in the conversation on immigration, if true, are disgusting. I use the word “if” because I was not there. I’ve not heard a recording. Sure, I’ve heard the reports from those that were there, but alas, I reserve the right to say “if.” I have to be honest and say I’m not shocked by the rhetoric. But I am disappointed. This man has some really good people working for him. Sure there are a few bad apples here and there, thank God Bannon is gone, though this sounds like something he would say. But Donald Trump has some really good staffers, people in his administration that care about others and see the world through different lenses. And yet he shoves them in these positions to deal with the fall out of his vernacular. Sure, they signed up for the job, and they knew a bit of what they were getting into. But his words do not define them, or their moral character. The witch hunt for the heads of those in the West Wing based on the President’s tirades seems off topic to me. They are not elected. They serve at the will of the President. That’s their job. If you are so irate about the President’s company, and I am someone who is, then don’t vote for him. Go volunteer for some other candidate. Go door to door. Go work at a phone bank. Go volunteer at a voter registration drive. Do something. Be the change you want to see. I know I will be in the coming days. Join me. And to those who hail from the countries that were referenced, you are welcome here, you are loved, your history and your homeland are not defined by this man’s words. We see you, we are praying for you, and we are here to help.

Don’t define all Americans, or more specifically, all Republicans by this President.

And to my son, and to other little ears that can hear this verbiage or will read it one day, you never have the right to demean where anyone is from. You never have the right to speak ill of someone because they are different than you. You WILL welcome everyone with open arms, you will encourage those who seek shelter in your nation to do so legally and with your help, you will accept those who are different and you should know, our differences are what make us a beautiful nation.

Also, just because I feel like it needs to be said, and corrected, Africa is not a country. It’s a continent made up of 54 beautiful countries full of beautiful people who count on this nation to be the “shining city on a hill.”

In my home state of Arkansas a young man pulled a weapon on police officers and was  shot and killed. A group of young men were pulled over for a traffic violation. The dashboard cameras show the entire incident. The officers were being very laid back, non-confrontational and joking around at times with the young men. They asked the men if they had anything on them, excusing “even a little bit of weed.” They all said no. One young man became fidgety as they were being patted down. He began saying he could not go to jail. They assured him to just be calm, all would be fine. Instead, he knew he had lied to the officers, he had a gun on him. He pulled the gun, began firing and they returned fire, shooting and killing him. Apparently the young man was also facing potential charges in connection with a series of robberies. His family is obviously devastated, they want more proof of validation to the officer’s actions. I’m not sure how much more proof they need than actual video footage, but I understand losing someone in such a manner must be devastating.

Yesterday here in our new hometown of Charlotte, a domestic violence situation escalated and a young man killed his girlfriend. The police searched for him all day and as they were meeting in the parking lot of their station to debrief, he drove up and opened fire on them. He was also shot and killed. Jonathan Bennett was 23 years old. He was arrested twice in 2017 for domestic violence issues. Yesterday he shot and killed his 24 year old girlfriend Brittany White and kidnapped their 2 month old baby. The baby was found unharmed. The  officers who were ambushed only suffered minor injuries thankfully.

Parents, we have to raise a generation of young men and women who know how to treat each other with respect. We have to raise children who know right from wrong. We have to raise children who do not see crime and violence as the answer, ever. We have to do better.

I can’t just leave you all with all the yuck from the week, though there has been a lot.

  • The Carolina Panthers have agreed in principal to bring Norv Turner on as their new OC, I’m a big fan of this move, bring on the  Year of SuperCam!
  • Auburn landed a huge QB prospect for the 2019 class!
  • Blake Parker, an amazing clean up pitcher the Angels avoided arbitration and signed an almost 2 year deal. He’s a good ol’ Arkansas  boy and the younger brother of a friend of mine!
  • A friend of our family stars in a Hulu Show called Future Man and it was renewed for a 2nd season!
  • Jeff Bezos donated $33 million in College Scholarships for “Dreamers” who are in the US through DACA!
  • David Letterman is making noise again, this time on Netflix, as a Letterman fan, I’m thrilled! Check out his interview with President Obama here!

Have a great weekend friends, and remember Sunday kicks off the new format here at Pearls & Vodka, so be on the lookout!

Cheers!

XOXO

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

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