Two works of art from “shithole” countries, both displayed prominently in their usual place, above the couch in our living room

Two works of art from “shithole” countries, both displayed prominently in their usual place, above the couch in our living room

Two works of art from “shithole” countries, both displayed prominently in their usual place, above the couch in our living room.
At bottom right, next to the light switch, a small painting I bought on my trip to El Salvador. On the left, a larger painting that the people of Petit-Guave Haiti gifted me with, at the conclusion of one of my five trips there.
Just a reminder of the creativity, beauty, and heart of the Haitian and Salvadoran people.
I’m struggling a bit with tomorrow. In recent months, I’ve made a conscious effort to *not* respond to the President, when these stories break. And our scripture tomorrow is on the temptation of Jesus…trying to discern what, if anything is the connection. (And, if I mention it at all, clearly if will be without mentioning the actual word…) Any words of advice would be welcomed. But my guess it will be something like this…
The temptation for *us* is always to be so wrapped up in the outrage and offense of the WORDS, that we fail to really see the far more dangerous ACTIONS.
Truth is, other Presidents have said offensive things. As this story was unfolding, my thoughts moved to LBJ. Frankly, I can imagine *him* absolutely using that word. (He’s on tape using a very similar word when talking to his tailor).
But LBJ had a real heart for the poor and for racial justice. He was by no means a bleeding heart liberal. But the Civil Rights act, and his war on poverty, show a heart for the plight of racial minorities, and working class Whites.
Remember: the President’s “shithole” comment was made in the context of a discussion on immigration (and also included Africa…). It seems to indicate his loathing for black and brown people, and his preference for White Europeans. Hard to read it any other way. Add in the Muslim ban and comments about a Latino Judge, and you’ve got a very troubling picture of his *actions,* not just his words.
We must keep our focus on this, on confronting his policies and actions, and not allow ourselves to be tempted and lulled into a false sense of accomplishment from Tweeting our offense at the Presidents offensive comments.
To that end….
What will YOU do to support immigrants from lands like Haiti, Salvador and Africa?
How will YOU support continued immigration from those lands?
And if you meet someone from these lands, especially if you are White, consider speaking and acting especially kindly toward them.
Can you imagine how it must feel to be the African clerk at 7-11, or the Haitian doctoral student at your local university, and hear the White president call your nation a “shithole?”
Whites bear a special burden in this historical time to show that we believe in the multiracial democracy that is America.
And, of course, Christians always called to see Jesus in “the least of these.”
We are compelled by God to do so.
For me, I will continue to ponder all the incredible life-lessons I’ve leaned from my Haitian and Salvadoran friends. The art that graces our walls is a symbol of the parts of them I carry with me always.

However, if these places are too familiar to you, let’s take a Thailand Cambodia Vietnam itinerary to discover more new things.
For more informations about a trip to Asia, please visit the site:


  1. If you’re interested in offering your congregation an opportunity, I’m sure we could work on a refugee event there as a “take action”. <3

  2. Tiffany Jobi Jelke that would be amazing.

  3. We might be able to host a “meet the refugees from the podcast” event with several able to share their stories and do Q&A?

  4. Eric Folkerth I’m working on some options for local faith congregations so after the quarterly DRAN meeting on 1/18, I can get you some well-defined options. We have a lot of refugees who recently attended leadership and storytelling training and are v…

  5. I’m sure our folks would be interested.

  6. My nephew Paul is from Kenya. He is one of the finest people I have ever known. The President’s comment I took personally because it was aimed at my family.

    What am I doing about it?…

  7. Howie Darter ❤️❤️❤️

  8. Howie Darter yes!!!!

  9. I’m also trying very hard to be the dog on a walk.

  10. Your examples are exactly the kind of positive action I’m talking about

  11. My mother went to Haiti to run a clinic with Doc’s who care after the where the earthquake and the hurricane she went down there twice she loves the Haitian people

  12. I don’t condone his use of the word. I do, however, pray for him daily. None of us is beyond or not worthy of God’s transforming grace. No one.

  13. And I love the art! Pretty!!

  14. Hope you enjoyed last night. Got to see barber Thursday and was there at temple with FIT in the afternoon. But had to spend time with Maria last night.

  15. it was really cool

  16. the temptations could be considered wealth, the acclaim that comes from showing off and deal making.

  17. You are right on track for my ears. Definitely mention your trips and the artwork. I posted something about Jesus and where he was from yesterday that used the word shithole multiple times to illustrate the sickening depth of the president’s comments, but I completely appreciate not using the word as well. I think your call to action is fantastic too.

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