Original – Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless – In Christian teaching, vanity is considered an example of pride, one of the seven deadly sins. The deadly sins emerged from words of the Book of Proverbs.
Proverbs 6:16-19 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)
16 These six things doth the Lord hate:
yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
17 a proud look, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 an heart that deviseth wicked imaginations,
feet that be swift in running to mischief,
19 a false witness that speaketh lies,
and he that soweth discord among brethren. (from here)

How do we recognize a bad idea? It doesn’t work? Look around our country? Are the people who rail against others, making demands, twisting arms, bending the rules to win, lying and so forth actually enjoying any sort of victory? Does vigorous and uncompromising hatred actually get us anything that we want? No? Yet more and more vigorous and uncompromising hatred is where our politics are headed.

So is that what we are going to talk about? Vigorous and uncompromising hatred? The unending investigation into supposed collusion with the Russians? All the allegedly stolen elections. Scandals perpetrated within the IRS, the DOJ, the FBI,…. Sanctuary cities? Exploding government budgets? All the innumerable, monumental causes for strife in America? No.

Here we will talk about little things. We fight over little things too these days. People have always fought over little things that become big things.

What is the problem? Why don’t people see through the nonsense?

How do we recognize a truly bad idea? Our worse ideas appeal to our pride, not our love and concern for family, friends, and neighbors. Consider Jesus Christ. What did He do to make that first Christmas Day happen?

Philippians 2:5-11 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Humbled and Exalted Christ

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it [a]robbery to be equal with God, but [b]made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.


Some time back I wrote a series of posts reviewing a book. Here is the last post, WHO IS THIS MAN? by JOHN ORTBERG — PART 7. What did Ortberg write about? He explained just how profoundly Jesus’ teachings altered Western Civilization.

Jesus explained we are all God’s children. He taught that God made every man, woman, and child in His image and likeness. Jesus revolutionized the world by elevating the importance of loving one’s neighbor over pride in one’s self.

Even after 2,000 years Jesus’ teachings are still spreading around the world and changing how people relate to each other. Unfortunately, America’s schools and mass media now hide what Jesus taught, and too many parents don’t know enough to complain and take charge of the education of THEIR children. Because we have become too proud of our self, we are building up to a crisis in America. We are fighting more and more over the most petty and stupid things.


  1. Appreciate the link up Tom. I love how you tied together so many seemingly different blogs in to one theme. Pettiness is indeed everywhere, our culture, politics, etc…is just saturated with it. Outrage is the name of the game and people are addicted to it over the dumbest of things. I just read recently of a man in London who is facing professional censorship over a joke he made in an elevator referring to ladies lingerie.

    Can a culture who obsesses over such things survive? Remains to be seen….

    1. @Tricia

      Given what has been going on in this country, I think Liberal Democrats have set out to destroy our culture. The UK is ahead of us in this downward trajectory, but not by much. Think about what is going on in our schools, the mass media, and with respect to illegal immigration.

  2. Nice work Tom, and I know collating all this stuff is work, especially when you have to tie it all together and make sense. I don’t know how you consistently do it. Must be a gift.

    What struck me was also the one word which was the glue that held these posts together, and that was ‘pettinesss.’
    In the context of ‘there being no God,’ I would clarify and add this is more than petty, but certainly a ‘bad idea.’. 😉

    Agreed though, the garden variety news cycles do major in minors, distractions even, almost kindergarten banter, and it is tiresome to see.

    @doug- hope you saw in the text cited that the Lord took upon Himself NO REPUTATION……………in light of politics this is quite striking, especially when everyone wants a reputation today, because far too many want to compromise, and truth as well as law and order is the casualty.

    1. You speak of truth and law and order when we have a president that violates one of those each and every day.. and the other is being revealed each and every day. It truly does sticks in my craw as an American when evangelicals bury themselves in Christian sanctification while the leader of our country is anything but. The hypocrisy. But hypocrisy is nothing new… it’s a virtue and failing of man at the same time.

      1. C’mon doug-

        Be fair. I didn’t reference Trump at all. I could have easily cited his better points as well as his flaws, but politics is not my area of expertise, such as yours and Ctoms.

        1. I will concede a level of apology to you specifically, CS, because compared to the others who pontificate politics with their religion (or vice versa), as you’ve admitted, you prefer less politics with your religion.. but frankly politics is the underlying pallor to most who share their religious interpretations in blogs these days simply because the social/political climate in general is on edge. it’s rather akin to someone who proudly proclaims they tested out at genius level at some point in their life.. brag about MENSA, yada, yada. For the rest of their life people will be constantly challenging their daily intelligence in the things they do.. jokingly or seriously… trying to bring the genius “down to earth” as simply being human like everyone else. Well.. to me, if a person proclaims their total devotion to Christian principles to the point of using it to judge others (vs. being humble before God), then to me that’s pure hypocrisy… and they open themselves to the judgement from others (“Ease up; we’re all human.”).
          But when the spiritual crosses into the political, and those persons that those spiritual folks support demonstrate less-than-Christian ideals, then that screams a bit of hypocrisy to me. Especially when past decades the evangelical right voting bloc always had to be considered to be placated by any candidate.

          1. I appreciate they who can toggle politics with religion, such as this site and the regular guests,

            While we all may be hypocrites, God’s word still has the best of solutions, after all, He created government.

            Knowing this at least puts us in the right direction. Without law and order, there would be nothing but chaos. Ie, riots such as funded by Soros, etc,

          2. @Doug

            That would be a stinging rebuke except for two facts: your blog railing against Trump and the absence of any specifics in your comment.

            When I mix politics and religion, I do so because politics involves moral decisions. Because politics involves moral decisions, I want my fellow citizens, especially Christians, to consider what the Bible says about morality and government.

            Do some people keep their religious beliefs out of their politics? Apparently, but we might want to give some thought as to why that is possible. Lots of
            Americans have substituted what they call pragmatism for religion. Because they have no foundation which would support principled beliefs, these people risk abandoning all principles. No way to discern between good and evil.

      2. @Doug

        We were suppose to vote for your candidate? And still you talk of hypocrisy.

        If Trump was breaking the law the Establishment would have charged, impeached, and removed him. Trump is not one of them. That’s why they slicked Mueller on him, and Mueller has investigated him, looking for anything he can use against him. All he has is process crimes against some of Trump’s associates.

        Mueller has spent tens of millions and two years, and still you rant. Sad!

        1. Mueller has brought in nearly 200 indictments so far.. many were part of Trump’s circle of buddies at some point or another. Hardly a waste of time. And it’s not over yet.

          1. I expect punishing anyone who would dare to run against the Establishment is a high priority for the Establishment. However, it all has nothing to do with the reason we supposedly need a special council.

          2. Actually as of 4 days ago “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has indicted or gotten guilty pleas from 33 people and three companies that we know of — the latest being former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen.”

            Also to be fair and accurate in this not one of those implicated President Trump in any manner. Nor were any of them a part of the original or updated mandate to the investigation which was to establish how or if Russia interfered with the 2016 election and if any Americans colluded with them.

          3. @directorfsm

            Thanks for the link.


            33 sounds like a lot, but please note that the numbers are inflated with the Russian nationals and companies. Mueller will never prosecute those people. They won’t come here. Even if they did, Mueller has not got a case. Think about this.

            The prosecution team sought the delay on the grounds that it’s unclear whether Concord Management formally accepted the court summons related to the case. Mueller’s prosecutors also revealed that they tried to deliver the summonses for Concord and IRA through the Russian government, without success. (from =

            When Concord Management and Consulting showed up to defend itself in court, Mueller’s Team complained.

            Here are some other reference on that.




            Mueller’s team is engaged in a political operation, not law enforcement.

          4. You have zero evidence that anything Mueller is doing or has done is anywhere “political”, but I know you like your conspiracies. We won’t know a thing until it’s over.
            It’s not up to Mueller to determine who may or may not show up in court… he investigates and passes indictments… and there are many Russians… and what will Trump do about that.. absolutely nothing. THAT’s where the politics comes in.. the President himself.

            TheHill? The CourthouseNews? The Washington Examiner? You think you could cite as gospel any other non-mainstream-based Conservative opinion sources?

            At least I tend to favor CNN because it’s an actual news reporting source.. not a re-hash of political interpretation that uses opinion more than fact. But then again… our national divide is based on facts being subjective.. and not factual.

          5. @Doug

            The mainstream new outlets hid their bias for years. The Conservative outfits are relatively honest and upfront about it.

            How does The Hill lean? Don’t know. Given who it says its clientele is (, I can’t imagine that outfit as Conservative. Factual? Maybe.

            Is Mueller’s investigation political? He has been at this for two years. How much time does he need?

            The only public evidence that anyone colluded with the Russians comes from what we know about who paid for that so-called Golden Showers Dossier. That points to Democrats, and Mueller apparently does not think that worth his time. Yet because Rod Rosenstein did not describe what crime Mueller was suppose to investigate, as DOJ policy requires, he probably could investigate that angle. It is most certainly tied to Trump and Russian.

          6. Actually (on top of your “actually”) There’s over 50 people and entities… here…

            My original “200” I erred as those were criminal counts… the stats are here….

            Nonetheless, to my original point, seems like whatever money has been spent to support Mueller has indeed had some return on the investment.
            I should also add, given Trumpsters like to always fall back on “the original mandate” as if that was some excuse for Trump, here’s a list of all the people so far KNOWING interviewed by Mueller to date (likely many more)..

            You will note that list crosses into previous administrations regardless of party affiliation, and across a number of federal agencies.

            Three things… first, it is oft surmised that a special prosecutor with no limits will be presumed to “find something”. Let’s assume that might be true. Second… if “something” is found… it still has to be adjudicated in a court of law. Three, impeachment can be anything Congress wants it to be as “high crimes and misdemeanors” is pretty broad and has no legal definition and requires no specific prior legal crimes. Essentially it’s a “performance review”.. not a court of law.

            We shall see.

    2. @ColorStorm

      The arguments Atheists use against the existence of God are petty enough.

      Creation declares the glory of God, Atheists demand proof. If God presented Himself to us, we could not comprehend or survive the encounter. Still, that is what they want.

  3. Bad ideas also happen when we allow an ideological identity to dictate what we accept as truth. Voting for candidates just because they have an R or a D behind their name is stupid. Our current political climate doesn’t allow any compromise. The leftists believe that as long as Trump is in office, the country is “in the toilet”. It doesn’t matter what he does as President because their criticisms of him are personal. He’s just a horrible guy so they oppose him even when his policies benefit them. Stupid.

    At the same time, ideological identity causes leftists to advocate for destroying the borders, abortion, massive tax increases on our most productive citizens, and letting men go into girl’s locker rooms. The response to any criticism of these bad ideas is, “You’re hateful.”

    1. @John

      Have you ever heard a little child say “bad mommy”? The child is usually just complaining mommy won’t give him what he (or her) wants. We have adults who think at that level.

  4. Thanks for the mention,Tom. Scatterwisdom used a good word, “pettiness.” Whether it’s fuss about red trees or trying to sell us fake photos, it’s just petty and foolish. Something else that happens in the process, all the good stuff going on in the world gets buried and that bias can skew our perception.

    1. @IB

      When we exhibit pettiness, we do so because of pride. The problem with that is that until we set aside our pride we may find ourselves elevating the stakes. Our lies will grow in number and size. Our threats will grow in severity. We will do violence and destroy property. Eventually, we will unravel the civil society, and the law that is suppose to protect will become the greatest menace.

  5. Tom,

    After reading your post, I believe the description of the word ‘pettiness’ might describe the present state of politics in the USA.

    1. undue concern with trivial matters, especially of a small-minded or spiteful nature.
    “the sheer pettiness of the officials was quite startling”
    o lack of importance or worth; triviality.
    “these awesome moments lift us above the pettiness of the world”

    As I seem to often relate news I read to King Solomon wisdom writings, it is apparent that in Ecclesiastes Chapter Three, times in life, he only mentioned only important, or significant times in life we experience.

    In other words, a lot of time is being wasted in our lives focused on petty matters in the opinions are being expressed in the news media.

    If you discern the sadness of the wise, they lament that “there is so much to do and sol little time to do it.”

    Whereas, if you discern the sadness of a fool, they lament about petty matters, whether it is in their personal life, work, or political views, in my opinion,.

    Regards and good will blogging..

      1. Pride and perception indeed serve to cloud
        out or bury all the good and worthy deeds and time that may occur in our short lifespans.

        Regards and good iwlll blogging.

  6. Just wait for tomorrow’s post Tom when I lament the tale of a red-nosed reindeer.
    Thank you for including my simple ramblings with the likes of you, Salvageable, IB, CS, Tricia, and Mel…I am truly humbled.

      1. Oh, Tom, buddy.. don’t be so condescending. My issues of importance are not necessarily your issues of importance.. we all push our own agendas.. or support the guy/girl who does that for us. You’ve posted to me in the past when I’ve lamented about the inflexibility of Conservatives toward levels of compromise and you stated that compromise was over. In this post you are complaining about no compromise… then continue to pass judgement on the importance of other people’s agendas. Jeepers.

        1. @Doug

          Go back a read the proverb under that picture. Is that proverb where we should compromise?

          You have your issues? Fine. I have mine. That’s where we compromise. You use your own resources and the resources of likeminded souls to pursue your issues, and I will happily do the same.

          When we are truly interested in compromise, then as much as possible we agree to keep the government out each others lives. The minute we use the government to force our beliefs on each other we better have a good reason. Government is about force, not compromise.

          1. “Government is about force, not compromise.”

            Sorry you feel that way, Tom. I’m an “old” republican… feeling less government intervention is better, especially as it relates to business and the economy. Now, that’s not a blanket conditional statement I hold as gospel… hence my leaning more “liberal conservative” by an old definition. Some things do need regulation and levels of control for the public good to prevent excesses because business exists by nature to make money for its investors.. and not to fulfill the overall needs of society in all aspects.
            But even with all that, Tom, I would never reach a conclusion as you have above.

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