The ‘Gospel’ According to Joe Scarborough

Joe Scarborough is the current co-host of the MSNBC show “Morning Joe,” where wife Mika Brzezinski sits alongside him.

He used to be a Republican.

No, really, I’m serious. But let’s start with some background.

Joe’s early days garnered him a Catholic high school degree, a B.A. in

History and a Juris Doctor. This was seemingly preparation for what was to come.

From 1995 to 2001, he served under the GOP label as a U.S. congressman from the great state of Florida.

While in the House of Representatives, he was awarded a 95 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union. He also signed on to then-Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s famed “Contract with America.”

Apparently, something major happened to Joe in the years that would follow, politically, personally and otherwise. And it has a lot of folks who once admired him trying to figure out what the heck went wrong.

I’m one of them. Joe and I go back to the days of “Conservative Chic.” Truly historic times.

Among other professional and personal interactions, I was a guest on his former prime time MSNBC show “Scarborough Country.”

Ideologically, a very different media figure is sitting in the host chair today, and now it looks like spiritually as well.

He seems to be able to act, speak and breathe very comfortably in a realm of irrationality.

There are many puzzling things about Joe 2.0. But rivaling for most disturbing is a recent one in which he appears to move from presenting questionable news to preaching questionable theology.

His current claim is that long ago Jesus Christ placed a sort of stamp of approval on abortion.

Using his platform on the “Morning Joe” show, he veered into what can aptly be described as a spiritual danger zone, twisting the Word of God to bolster a pro-abortion position.

Joe told his audience that since there is no biblical passage to point to in which Jesus explicitly mentions abortion, then ending a life in the womb must therefore be acceptable to the Lord.

He didn’t stop there, though. He went on to directly attack Christians, stating that those who believe their faith instructs their consciences to view abortion as a moral wrong are heretics.

As a former Southern Baptist, Joe evidently feels comfortable enough with his biblical expertise to take to the MSNBC pulpit regarding the content and meaning of the Gospels.

“Jesus never once talked about abortion,” he said. “Never once, and it was happening back in ancient times. It was happening during His time.”

Joe went on to charge Christian pro-lifers with “perverting the gospel of Jesus Christ down to one issue” as well as accusing them of being guilty of “heresy.”

He wasn’t done yet. He asserted that pro-life individuals have “conveniently overlooked the parts of the New Testament where Jesus talks about taking care of the needy, taking care of those who are helpless, who live a hopeless life.”

Well here are a few Sunday school lessons that many of us, including Joe, might want to use to refresh our memories and maybe even update our consciences.

The Good Book is filled with passages that tell us just how precious each one of us is in God’s eyes.

— He tells us that He created each of us “in his own image.” (Genesis)

— He tells us that each “fruit of the womb” is a “gift” from above. And that He “knit me together in my mother’s womb.” (Psalms)

— He says that “before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” (Jeremiah)

— He speaks the words of love to us, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

(Jesus quoted in the Gospel of John)

— He describes the feelings of joy present in pre-born life, “…the infant in my womb leapt for joy.” (from the Gospel of Luke: What Elizabeth, who is pregnant with John the Baptist, says upon hearing the greeting of Mary, who is pregnant with Jesus.)

— He tells us that each one of us is His “temple” and that His “spirit dwells” in us. (1 Corinthians)

Guess it’s appropriate we end with a round of Jesus Loves Me.

Because He really does. From the moment of conception.

How God Saved the Life of Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper, known prior to his fame days as Vincent Damon Furnier, credits his faith in Jesus Christ, along with his daily scripture readings, for freeing him from the vice-grip of alcoholism.

Cooper’s public religious professions convey an especially hopeful and deeply moving message to those who find themselves facing the same life circumstances or those of a parallel nature.

The iconic singer and songwriter is frequently referred to by music critics and pop culture aficionados as “The Godfather of Shock Rock.”

Known for his elaborate goth-tinged stage shows, Cooper’s Hollywood persona stands in stark contrast to his present day personal life. He is a devout family man who has been married to his bride Sheryl Goddard for four and a half decades. The couple has three beautiful daughters together.

The name “Alice Cooper” was originally used by a rock band, which came to fame in the 1960s. After the band broke up in 1975, the name had become so closely associated with Furnier as an individual, he began using the band’s moniker as his stage name as well as his legal name.

Having initially dubbed themselves “Nazz,” the band members discovered that another successful music group, headed by rock icon Todd Rundgren, were already using the same name. The group subsequently chose “Alice Cooper” as its new brand.

Following an audition in front of another rock music legend, Frank Zappa, the group was signed to Zappa’s new record label, Straight Records.

An interesting pop culture anecdote. The Alice Cooper band experienced an exponential surge in its trajectory at one pivotal point, due to an unusual spontaneous event that was actually severely misreported at the time by the press. The occurrence took on the apt label of “The Chicken Incident.”

In September of 1969, while the Toronto Rock and Roll Revival was raging on, a live chicken somehow managed to make its way onto the stage. The bird proceeded to nestle into a feather pillow that Cooper used during his performances.

With little familiarity or experience with farm animals, and making an assumption that chickens could fly, Cooper threw the bird up and over the heads of the crowd. Instead of flying off into the distance, the chicken fell beak first flat onto the front rows of attendees, who reportedly mishandled the poor bird and unfortunately precipitated its untimely demise.

The following morning an embellished version of the story appeared on the front pages of newspapers all over the world, where it was reported that the frontman of the band had bitten the head off of the chicken and had even drank its blood.

Zappa had become aware of the media coverage and called Cooper to ask him about the veracity of the story. When Zappa was told the details, he reportedly said, “Well, whatever you do, don’t tell anyone you didn’t do it.”

The news quickly spread and became part of the Cooper legend, which cemented the notion that he was the originator of the “shock rock” genre.

It was in the early 1980s, following a period of denial, that Cooper would come to realize that his alcohol addiction was endangering his life. Like so many other public figures who have wrestled with alcohol addiction, the rocker was able to hide his substance abuse from the public. However, as he recently described to the New York Post, it was on one crucial day that he came to the understanding his alcohol use had taken a severe toll on his body.

“I woke up one morning and I threw up blood and that’s how I kind of knew it was over. My wife grabbed my ear and said, ‘Hey, the party’s over,’” Cooper revealed.

He reminisced three years ago with the New York Daily News about this critical time in his life, saying, “Everything that could go wrong was shutting down inside of me, I was drinking with Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix and trying to keep up with Keith Moon and they all died at 27.”

After completing rehab, Cooper was amazed to discover that the intense craving for alcohol he had lived with before had vanished. It was a miraculous occurrence that had graced his life, and he gives full credit for his mended state to the Lord of the Universe.

“Even the doctor said, ‘This is an absolute miracle.’ I said, ‘Why?’ They said, ‘Well, you should be hiding bottles all over the house and you should be sneaking drugs.’ I said, ‘I have absolutely no desire for that at all,’” Cooper told the Post.

“Everyone said, ‘Oh you have such great willpower.’ I said, ‘No, God has great willpower. He took it from me.’ My dad was a pastor, my grandad was a pastor, Sheryl’s dad was a pastor. I had such strong prayer for me,” Cooper shared.

People are continually awestruck by the same book that Cooper reads each day. The Holy Scripture describes numerous unlikely figures that God chooses over time to fulfill his divine plans.

And so it seems fitting, within a supernatural context, that an individual who has been immersed in a secular shock rock world can be brought to a place where he can lift up others.

After God secured a victory for him over his addiction, Cooper seems to have been anointed as a kind of adjunct lay minister of the music industry. He now provides help and counsel to other rock musicians who struggle with substance abuse issues, often answering calls in the dark of night from those in need.

Much like the relatability and candor of his song lyrics, the rocker describes his religious faith in a way in which others can freely accept.

Christianity, according to Cooper, merely “has to do with a one-on-one relationship with Jesus Christ.”

Say a Prayer for Hollywood

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Hollywood is in deep trouble.

Years ago people used to say to me that it really didn’t matter what folks in Hollywood said or did. No one says that to me anymore.

Those of us who are old enough to have witnessed and who fully understand the pivotal role that Hollywood plays in American culture know all too well that Hollywood has completely lost its way.

Over the past few decades there has been an intellectual, social, and moral slide in which Hollywood has actively engaged. The result has been more corrosive on our society than anyone could ever have imagined.

The good news is that we have reached the tipping point, and it has arrived in the form of a movie. The film is called “Habit,” and it is a sinister work that attacks the God of our founding, the Lord of our ancestors, and the Holy One of the ages.

In this blasphemous production, God is a woman.

This alone is enough to offend many people of faith. But the religious-minded among us have found ourselves in this position many times in the past, times in which we merely suffered the affront, chalked it up to free expression and artistic license, and politely rose above it.

In this heinous production, God is not only a woman, but a promiscuous one.

In the tradition of many religious people, promiscuity is a failing, albeit a common one not unlike myriad other stumbles, but nevertheless a serious failing on the part of the individual. Needless to say, when people of faith stumble, they seek forgiveness from The Author of Perfection who always was, is, and will be unblemished.

In this distorted production, God is a female who is attracted to multiple other women.

For people who adhere to the scriptural content of the Old Testament as well as those who embrace both the Old and the New, The Divine Designer created man and woman, and sexual attraction is specifically an innate desire that rests within earthly beings.

In this sacrilegious production, God is a drug dealer.

Here again, believers hold fast to the truth that the God of Our Fathers is sinless. To imply otherwise takes His Holy Name in vain and is a grave offense against Him and against those who worship and adore Him.

And so it is that everyone who is still watching what Hollywood is providing as entertainment for us, in all of its various forms, gets to pick a side.

“Habit” stands as a virtual line in the sand. We are either for its release or against it. We are either willing to tell any company that would facilitate the circulation of this egregious product that we will no longer consume any of its entertainment fare or we fold and give them yet another pass. And we either stand for God or turn our backs.

God’s nature and His identity as God-made-flesh are central tenets of the deeply held beliefs of more than two billion religious people around the globe. Hopefully in this tipping point, God’s side of the scale will be the one that prevails.

Several organizations are now seeking the film’s cancellation. Ted Baehr, founder of Movieguide and the Christian Film & Television Commission (CFTC), recently told The Christian Post that “Habit” crosses a line “that should not be crossed.” The Movieguide site is promoting a petition by the CFTC on CitizenGo.org, which as of this writing has more than 210,000 signatures from people who hope to stop this movie in its ugly tracks.

Another petition, which was started by OneMillionMoms.com, a division of the American Family Association, has been signed by almost 70,000 people.

“Habit” does not yet have a release date or distribution deal. However, with the entertainment industry’s track record, it is likely that those who have invested substantial sums of money in the production of the film will move forward in some fashion with its release.

We need to say a prayer for Hollywood and for our culture.

In the meantime, we need to keep a watchful eye on Netflix, Amazon, YouTube, and other platforms. In this digital era, films go straight to home theaters.

That’s where God’s side has to be willing to be a cancel culture all its own.