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Recently, on Facebook I saw a Christian leader and his wife at a black-tie banquet in Florida, “Celebrating Israel.” It was a Christian affair. I’m not sure what they were celebrating per se. 

Of course, I am not “against” or Anti-Israel as such. It’s just that I think being supportive of, caring about, and praying for Jews or the “peace of Jerusalem” as Scripture commands is decidedly different from blessing or blindly defending everything the modern nation-state of Israel does.

This confusion is evident in social media, but it’s long been a part of American Christian culture, the idea that to be considered politically correct in a conservative Christian community or church one must be loud-n-proud when talking about Israel. I’ve long seen people on social media sort of “beat their chest” about being “Pro-Israel” as a way of demonstrating their Conservative or Republican or Christian bona fides.

Again, let me be clear. I am not against or anti-Israel, much less anti-Jewish people. They, like all others, are part of the divinely created human race, are in need of salvation like all the rest of us, should be able to rear their children in peace and security, and should be appreciated for who they are and what they contribute to global society. Certainly, actions that bespeak antisemitism, racial discrimination, or the worst in the genocides of history, are wrong, immoral, and evil, not the attitudes and behaviors that bless civilization, or the Church.

This said, I still wonder about the over-the-top posturing I see among conservative Christian Americans pertaining to Israel, and by implication, pertaining to Arabs, Persians, and Turks living in the Middle East and North Africa. To hear some Christian leaders speak on television, you'd be forgiven for thinking if they are not anti-Arab they certainly sound anti-Arab. But God created Arabs too.

For comparison, let me think aloud about my country the USA. I am patriotic, red-white-n-blue, glad to be an American, proud in some sense of the land of the free and home of the brave, but I do not believe and would not make the case that the USA has always done the right things or done things right, much less given Republican or Democrat, or for that matter Whig or Federalist, leaders have always done things right. 

I think one can love his/her country without arguing it is and always has been right or best. And I think one can critique one’s country without buying into the contemporary revisionist line that the USA has never done anything right, so we must reject and put down and deny our ideals in favor of any and all global alternatives.

Back to Israel, I want this nation-state of people to enjoy human rights to life and liberty, to self-determination, dignity, and respect. I want for them peace, security, and prosperity. But I want these things for other Middle Eastern and North African countries too. It need not be zero-sum, us or them, America supports Israel or American Christians support Israel no matter what they do. No, it can be an intelligent and sophisticated relationship committed to lofty ideals and values.

American Christians and/or Conservatives and/or Republicans or Democrats need to think before they speak, honor good and right causes, reject bad and wrong behaviors, work together for mutual benefit in a free and peaceful world.


Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2018   

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at    

Can political leaders accomplish admirable social goals or useful political changes if they are, at times, less than perfect individuals?

I’ve run into this idea before, not just regarding President Donald Trump, who some reject not simply because they disagree with his policy perspectives but because they feel he is not a nice person, or they believe he hurts or otherwise defames others or entire groups of people with his words, or they simply do not like him.

This piece is not about pro or anti President Trump.  You can make that determination on your own.  This is a think-aloud-consideration about human beings who become leaders.

One reason this is not per se about President Trump is that if you’ve lived awhile, you realize he is not the only political leader who is or was flawed or, at times, a jerk.  In the American context alone, we’ve had some doozies.  FDR, admired by millions for helping stand in the face of Nazism, had a mistress in his youth, may have had others later, and was with his first mistress when he died. 

JFK is by now known to have been an incorrigible womanizer, including during his presidency.  Yet JFK stood up to the USSR’s Kruschev during the Cuban Missile Crisis in a manner that is yet studied in the military as well as leadership studies in general.  He is admired for his vision for the American space program that eventually put men on the moon.

LBJ was a known shamelessly and maybe obnoxiously flirt or perhaps to sexually harass women, but another great failure was the way he treated people in general.  He was arrogant and boorish and imperial to say the least.  But LBJ helped pass the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act, two enormously important pieces of legislation that changed the American social fabric.

Richard Nixon said, “I am not a crook,” but well, Watergate proved otherwise.  But Nixon ended the military draft, opened China to diplomacy, signed the Paris peace accords ending the Viet Nam War, and more.

Bill Clinton will forever be known for saying, “I did not have sexual relationships with that woman,” even though he did have encounters in the White House with intern Monica Lewinsky.  He lied under oath, was impeached, and barely stayed in office.  But he presided over a long economic expansion, paid down on the national debt, enjoyed a “peace dividend,” passed NAFTA, and helped end ethnic cleansing in the Balkans.

You run into this leadership character issue, too, with race politics today, wherein some groups wish to disavow any recognition of Thomas Jefferson because he owned slaves (something that has perplexed many historians), even while he wrote some of the most important human liberty and human rights documents in history.  Or the groups that want to remove Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill because he treated Indians pretty much like unwanted cattle or worse (The Trail of Tears), which he did.  Yet he helped America win the War of 1812, and he strengthened the national government, helped resolve the Nullification Crisis, and ushered in an era of common man democracy.

Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr was apparently a womanizer in private, yet he earned a Nobel Prize and helped awaken a nation to its open secret in ongoing discrimination against Black citizens.  King, flaws and all, clearly should be honored for his nonviolent civil rights work and lasting legacy seeking a color-blind society.

The list could go on. The point is not to overlook the wrong-doing or character flaws or outright sin in leaders’ lives, but to acknowledge that no individual, therefore no leader, is perfect, and if perfect defines leader then we have to stop with Jesus Christ.

Even King David, the great psalmist who solidified the nation of Israel in Old Testament times, and who was called a “man after God’s own heart” put himself in a position of moral failure that had to be called out by Nathan, one of God’s prophets.

This is not to excuse leaders or to give them a free pass to be a jerk or pursue immoral behaviors at will.  It’s simply to recognize that even flawed human beings can indeed accomplish good or even great things at given points of their experience.

It’s a lesson, too, that one should not be over-awed by any leader, i.e. one’s favorite leader of the moment who seems to represent your hopes and dreams so well, because he or she too is only human.  He or she can fail and if you put your full faith and trust in a person, you are vulnerable to disappointment, and so is your philosophy or policy perspectives or movement.

It’s a reminder, too, to not promote “your side” leaders in a manner that states or suggests that somehow he or she is better than the candidate or leader on the “other side.”  Why?  Because as noted, your side leader may fail, and even if not, time passes, your side will be out of power and the other side will be in, and the other side will put forth leaders who accomplish good things perhaps while being less-than-admirable people.

Finally, recognizing that leaders who are not good people can indeed do good things is a reminder that it’s possible to support and appreciate the “good things” while at the same time holding the leader accountable to a higher standard of personal behavior.  Because I think a leader is a jerk does not mean everything he or she does is ipso facto unworthy, or in reverse, because I think a leader is doing good things does not mean that he or she gets a pass to be a jerk.

Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2018   

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One of the things I find fascinating, and at times frustrating, is trying to convey to young adults just how much societal and cultural things have changed. I mean from the time I was their age, and especially since I was in my 20s or when I was a kid.

This may not sound like much, or it may sound like just another old codger grumping about getting older, and maybe it is. But I don’t think so.

For example, I remember the Civil Rights Movement of the 60s, which in some ways is similar to race discussions now but in other ways not at all. Yes, there is more to be done, but No, it is not true that no progress has been made. And if you read speeches given by Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, you’ll hear him calling for human rights for people of all colors and creeds. You’ll hear him dream about a “color-blind” society. This is decidedly not what we are hearing today. Now it’s about “identity politics.” It’s about advancing one group’s rights, or power, versus another. It’s not about respecting and realizing the ideals of the American experiment, as King called us to do, but about rejecting those ideals. Race politics in the 2000s is qualitatively different from race politics in the 60s and 70s.

The abortion issue looms large. Since Roe vs Wade (1973), more than 58 million abortions have taken place in the United States. Now it seems there are fewer political leaders on either side of the aisle who are willing to stand as pro-life, and even more importantly, actually work to change this situation. We’ve had “pro-life Presidents” like Reagan or GW Bush, but we still have abortions. More and more of the next generations simply consider abortion a civil right, so things are not likely to change soon.

Moral issues were front and center in the 60s: “Make love not war,” do what feels good, the whole spectrum of loosening and changing sexual mores, except one key difference. The sexual discussion in those days assumed the existence and historic attractions of man and woman, not the 71 hybrid versions of gender identity some now say exist.

In addition, LGBTQ has become a social force demanding recognition for any and all manner of self-proclaimed sexual proclivities, which in turn are presented regularly on television programs, i.e. sit-coms must have a gay character and entire shows are built around LGBTQ characters.  It’s really incredible how quickly LGBTQ points of view have been embraced by the general culture and by political leaders, like for example former President Barack Obama who began his term opposed to same-sex marriage and by the end was its best-known advocate

“Trans” quickly became the next frontier after same-sex marriage was accepted, particularly through the high-profile transition of Bruce Jenner to Caitlyn Jenner. Bruce, a gold medal decathlete in the 1976 Olympics, and later the increasingly emasculated father of the Kardashian clan, had worldwide fame, so his inexplicable and sad transformation got global coverage and thus reinforced the idea anyone who wants to be trans should be saluted for doing so. And the rest of the population must make accommodations from public restrooms to youth camps. Corporations made a pell-mell rush to present themselves as “with it,” proclaiming their support, or not-supporting athletic tournaments or even entire states like North Carolina where laws existed that seemed to discriminate against trans people using public facilities. In any event, there’s an ongoing movement to try to normalize LGBT and now every manifestation represented by Q, and for a sports fan like me, seeing a hero athlete like Bruce, who was young when I was young, follow the path he has taken is a sad experience indeed.

Don’t get me wrong.  I support human rights and civil liberties. I do not embrace or endorse discrimination against any American citizen, including those with different gender or sex orientation than I understand, nor for that matter undocumented immigrants. I do not want any American citizen to be prohibited from working or living in given communities, etc. But I do not believe every inclination, sexual included, of any individual must ipso facto be embraced and normalized. Some things people want to do are objectively wrong and injurious and should not be legalized.

For example, I do not believe in “cultural relativism.” While I do not in any way believe immigrants or refugees should be discriminated against or in some other way socially harmed because of their faith or culture, at the same time, I recognize that among both Muslim and Christian subgroups in some cultures, actions like FGM or honor killings or forcibly arranged marriages are practiced. I reject these actions, regardless of the religion or culture involved, because these actions are, on a human rights level, immoral and threatening to the individuals involved and to society. They are quite simply, wrong, and I believe society must be able to say so, thus preventing these behaviors. But today, there are many who argue otherwise, saying whatever one’s culture prescribes is, in essence, OK, and the public has no say. This is very different from the American social logic generally applied when I was younger.

I could list other examples of societal or cultural change but perhaps this is enough. And I do not mean to imply that all change has been bad or wrong. I appreciate the progress American culture has made in recognizing how women are treated and in giving them access. I am glad for the progress made in the ways American culture views physically or mentally disabled individuals.

But I am also concerned about what seems to be a cultural decline based upon sporadic and now systematic rejection of American ideals, the ones drawn from centuries of Western Civilization and ones that proved their time-tested worth, like respect for human life and all human beings, respect for truth—even the idea of truth, freedom of religion, and freedom of speech—the right to be heard, not silenced, and the right to access to the public square. If these values continue to be rejected, the changes we are experiencing in American culture will not be beneficial to the generations that come after us.


Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2018   

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Is there any other kind of news? All news sources are biased, in some way, even if unintentionally, but many today are intentional.

So, the only way around this is to read multiple sources. And I say "read" because reading is better than watching or listening. The depth available in a print source, even digital, is often better than the rush-to-judgment infotainment on broadcasts. Plus, in print you can avoid commercials and self-promoting celebrity anchors.

I take umbrage immediately w/pieces alleging news bias is "Conservative" or "Liberal," i.e., the other bad guys. Baloney. They all do it. You don’t detect bias in the news sources with which you agree because bias is in the eye of the beholder. To hear ideologues and partisans talk, you’d think “their side” was always right, never got anything wrong, always supported the best leaders, yada yada. But, of course, this is simply not so.

Tapping into international sources once in a while is helpful, even if you don't like what they might say, because they see us/US from a different angle. This doesn’t mean these international news sources are not biased, just that they’re biased in a different way so you hear a different take and perspective, which in my book is good for thinking.

Gone are the days of Huntley-Brinkley, and gone is Walter Cronkite. But they weren’t unbiased either. So check multiple sources if you really want to gain as much perspective as you can on the breaking “news” of the day.

Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2018   

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I am 65 and experiencing things I never thought possible when I was 25, and I’m not talking about technological wonders.

When I was 25,

-No one searched my bag when I went into a church service. Now, in many churches this is a routine security check.

-Culture knew the difference between male and female, sort of a no-brainer. But not anymore. Facebook offers something like 56 gender options and some are arguing there’s more than 70. I’m sometimes confused, but not about this.

-No one policed the infants and children’s areas for fear someone would come to harm or take a child.  I know this is now necessary and am glad for the people who protect children, but I’m saddened by this obvious change in our culture.

-Churches didn’t have special windows in children’s areas not only so people could walk by and enjoy them but to increase the number of “eyes-on” as an accountability to all adults working with or entering among children, thus to protect the children from various kinds of abuse.

-Criminal and financial background checks were not performed for every personnel hire, even within religious nonprofits, because today, there’s too much risk, too much legal exposure for hiring a person who has serious issues.

-No one thought much about it to see a young man walk down a country road with a rifle.

-Most people thought patriotism was a good thing, even hippies leftover from the 60s.

-On trips short and long our children romped freely on a quilt we placed in the back end, back seat down, of our hatchback Chevy Vega (I loved that car), not in car seats made for astronauts.  Now I am not against progress in keeping children safe, of course, but I am forever amazed at how involved and how expensive our kids’ kids’ stuff has now become.

-Politically correct meant we could answer questions about politics and government accurately.

-Gay meant happy. 

Strange changes, not all of which are progress.


Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2018   

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at    

Flying over the Rockies on a clear day is an experience I'd wish for anyone. I did it yesterday. 

Reddish pink cliffs, towering to sheer, sharp edges. Flat-topped mesas big enough for airports.

White, deep red, and salmon colored rocky crags surrounded by brown lowlands.

Vast dry lands, then lakes trapped at high elevation.

Massive, jagged peaks chained along miles of high lonesome ranges.

Flatlands suddenly interrupted by rock ridged singular peaks rising hundreds of feet above sandy floored deserts.

Broken country, serrated ridges, canyon upon canyon to infinity. Giant snow-covered summits above the timberline.

Snowy landscape far as the eye can see, lined with thousands of valleys, precipices, oddly shaped pinnacles, and infinite rock formations. 

What looks like desolation is actually unlimited resources, terra firma interspersed with flora of fathomless variety, home to fauna fit for a wilderness. Incredible landscape stretching the length of a continent.


Rex M. Rogers – All Rights Reserved, 2018   

*This blog may be reproduced in whole or in part with a full attribution statement. Contact me or read more commentary on current issues and events at, or connect with me at