Open Letter to Kyle Porter: Choose the Arkansas Razorbacks

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Kyle Porter

(Photo Credit: Scout)

Dear Kyle Porter:

As you’ve narrowed down your schools to the University of Arkansas, University of Texas and Texas Christian University, I would like to explain why playing for the Razorbacks offers you the best advantages. If you’re really interested in a career in the NFL, then you certainly don’t want to play for the Longhorns. To be frank, the Longhorns are awful. The team has a horrible passing game, a pitiful defense, and unacceptable special teams. Even if the coaching staff has informed you that you’re going to be the featured running back and the answer to the team’s woes, how realistic is this? How can you be the answer when defenses will simply load the box against you, considering there’s no passing game in Texas? With Texas out of the way, let’s get down to real business: the choice between the Hogs or the Horned Frogs.

Yes, since Gary Patterson has taken over as head coach at TCU, the school has been successful. Gary Patterson is an excellent coach. Each year, TCU presents an explosive offensive. What kind of “explosiveness” is the question, though? TCU’s explosiveness is a product of their passing game. Yes, the team does run a little but the running game isn’t central to what the Horned Frogs do on offense. Just for the sake of argument, let’s say TCU becomes much more of a running team this year, and they agree to feature you as the star running back, NFL coaches and administrators will evaluate whatever you would accomplish as a running back at TCU as primarily resulting from playing in the Big 12 where defenses are horrible. You can, therefore, amass great statistics in the Big 12 but they will not be highly respected.

Now, let’s talk even more serious business since we’ve gotten Texas and TCU out of the way.

The University of Arkansas is Running Back U! Darren McFadden, Felix Jones, Peyton Hillis, Jonathan Williams, and Alex Collins: names of just some of the great running backs that have been a part of the Hogs. Those running backs have always benefitted from great offensive lines. Last season, as you know, the Razorbacks had the largest offensive in football, NFL included, and it was arguably the best offensive line in the nation. Mr. Porter, as you know, Bret Bielema is known for producing superior running backs, as they run behind massive, athletic and talented offensive lines. With Kurt Anderson, former offensive line coach for the Buffalo Bills, as the new offensive line coach for the Hogs, the team is poised to achieve even greater things in the running game. Under Anderson, the Buffalo Bills had the top offensive line in the NFL. The Hogs’ offensive coordinator, Dan Enos, offers a balanced attack on offense, which led to the Razorbacks having the best offense in the SEC last season. The Hogs are just as explosive on offense as the Horned Frogs but they do it with a truly balanced attack, which means you have less risk of injury.

Kyle, there’s a reason four-star running back Devwah Whaley, one of the top running backs in the nation in this year’s recruiting class decommitted from Georgia to come play for the Hogs: Arkansas constantly has one of the leading running games in the country and one of the top running games in the SEC.

NFL coaches and administrators understand that the SEC is a semi-professional league. When drafting players, they look first to the SEC and not the Big 12. The reality is the top players at every position come to play for an SEC school, with few exceptions here and there. At Arkansas, you have an opportunity to join a backfield where you will be a star running back and will be loved and treated as a star by the school, athletic department and the passionate Razorback fans.

As an experienced defensive coordinator and assistant offensive coordinator, I urge you to commit as soon as possible to the Hogs. Fayetteville, Arkansas is a wonderful place to live, study and play. I’ve worked in the athletic department at the University of Arkansas and can ensure you that you will receive strong academic support in the athletic department, and no other school is going to supply you with the level and quality of academic support you will receive in the Hogs’ athletic department. The University of Arkansas has athletic facilities that are second to none.

Why delay your decision any longer? Who doesn’t want to play in the SEC? Playing in the SEC best positions you for the NFL Draft. The Razorback football program would love to have you and the wild and crazy Hog fans are eager to welcome you to the Razorback family, a family that lasts long after you leave the institution.

Come play where the big men play: the SEC West. Arkansas awaits your commitment to the team and arrival on campus!

Sincerely,

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Arkansas

Donald Trump’s Dangerous Proposed Ban on Muslims Entering America

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Donald Trump

(Photo Credit: CNBC)

Donald Trump has proposed a ban on all Muslims entering America, and this couldn’t be a more dangerous threat to religious liberty in the land of the free and home of the brave. From its inception, America has been a nation of immigrants. All people living in this country are immigrants except Native Americans. Trump’s proposal would impose a religious litmus test on those seeking to become citizens and on those desiring to travel to our country. How can Republicans, passionate champions of religious freedom, continue to approve a man undermining this important freedom like no one ever in American history? Although Trump has provided the 2016 presidential campaign with entertainment, it’s time to end his reality television version of a presidential campaign.

We face serious threats from terrorists foreign and domestic. This isn’t the time for a comedy show; it’s time for authentic leadership. While Mr. Trump doesn’t have the support of a majority of Republicans, he’s receiving the highest percentage of support in this crowded field. Even in a crowded field, Trump’s reckless policies and positions should prevent him from being the Republican frontrunner. Will the Republican Party be comfortable with being labeled “the anti-religious liberty Party”? Well, that’s exactly the message it will send by keeping Trump as its frontrunner and making him the Republican presidential nominee.

In response to Mr. Trump’s radical Muslim policy, former Vice President Dick Cheney stated the following: “Well I think this whole notion of that somehow we need to say no more Muslims and just ban a whole religion goes against everything we stand for and believe in. I mean religious freedom’s been a very important part of our, our history.” I couldn’t agree more with Vice President Cheney. Cheney’s remarks underscore my argument about Trump’s assault on religious liberty, and they emphasize how Trump’s Muslim policy threaten the fundamental values and principles responsible for America being an exceptional nation.

How can you believe in the idea of American exceptionalism and bar all Muslims from entering America?

Our efforts to aggressively combat terrorism shouldn’t ever come at the cost of erasing core American liberties, values and principles. I love America and believe we should employ all responsible measures to protect the homeland. Imposing a ban on all Muslims wishing to enter America will only embolden extant terrorists and buttress the campaign to recruit new terrorists. Trump’s policy gives radical Islamic terrorists the false evidence of America’s hatred of Islam they need to proliferate their malevolent propaganda through various mediums.

What a sophomoric and discriminatory homeland and national security strategy: ban all Muslims from America to keep the nation safe. Seriously? True evidence that Trump is a joke of a presidential candidate. The joke, unfortunately, is being maliciously played on our country.

Republican voters have the power to end this cruel joke today.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

President Jimmy Carter is Cancer-Free: Never Lose Faith

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President Carter

(Photo Credit: Life News)

Former President Jimmy Carter announced he’s cancer-free, demonstrating the power of faith to conquer what many suggest is impossible. President Carter’s healing is a testimony of the power of God’s grace. When you put your faith in the power of the Finished Work of the Cross, Jesus will heal you. In Zechariah 4:6-7, God informs us that whatever our mountain may be, including a mountain of sickness and disease, shout “Grace, Grace” to that mountain and it will become a “plain.” Because of Christ’s love for President Carter and his faith in grace, the mountain of cancer that once afflicted him has become a plain.

President Carter had people across the world praying for him. Look at what God will do when Believers across the globe join in unity for intercessory prayer.

When we pray, we should speak to our mountain (cancer, poverty, pain, etc.) and tell it to be cast into Hell (Mark 11:23). Believers have been given the authority to use their mouths to command the healing they and others need. The key to seeing healing manifest in your and others’ bodies is to believe that you have already received what you desire when you pray (Mark 11:24).

An unwanted report from your doctor indicating you have cancer doesn’t mean you’re going to die. Starve your fear and feed your faith with the Word of God. Allow President Carter’s example to inspire the hope of Christ in you. While I understand the argument that President Carter was able to benefit from the best medical care on the planet, numerous other famous and wealthy people have died with cancer. One shouldn’t, therefore, falsely believe his cancer being cured is simply a product of his economic and social privilege; cancer doesn’t care about privilege. Cancer kills regardless of privilege. Grace has healed President Carter!

President Carter, millions of people across America and globe rejoice with you and for you. What God has done in your life proves He’s still performing miracles.

May God continue to bless you, President Carter, and may God continue to bless America.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Jamal Bryant’s Hypocrisy and Intolerance

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Dr. Jamal Bryant

(Photo Credit: News One)

Pastor Jamal Bryant recently referred to a group of black pastors who met with Donald Trump as “prostitutes” and “pawns.” Jamal Bryant, Pastor of Empowerment Temple A.M.E. Church in Baltimore, Maryland, opposes Donald Trump for his inflammatory rhetoric and discriminatory positions, especially toward minorities. He ironically employs the same type of rhetoric and takes the same type of positions on black pastors who decide to meet with Trump. When did sitting down and engaging in civil discourse with someone make one become naïve, a pawn, prostitute, and coon? While I adamantly oppose Donald Trump, I refuse to characterize black people and pastors who meet with him using the aforementioned labels. The time has come to expose Pastor Jamal Bryant for his hypocrisy and intolerance.

One of Bryant’s chief objections to Trump is his supposed discriminatory viewpoints. If Pastor Bryant is truly a champion for racial and social justice, why hasn’t he ever protested the history of discrimination inside of his own fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., a historically black fraternity. Numerous past and present cases across the nation exist of his fraternity discriminating against applicants for membership. Pastor Bryant overlooks his fraternity brothers’ biases, but finds Trump’s alleged discriminatory words to be unbearable. This, sir, is a shameful double standard.   

Blinded by his self-righteousness, Bryant fails to see the irony in calling black pastors “prostitutes” for meeting with Trump when he slept with a prostitute while married, which led to a divorce and his daughter being brutally teased. A prostitute, sir, is who you had sex with, causing your marriage to end and resulted in your ministry being tarnished; a prostitute isn’t a pastor simply meeting with Mr. Trump. Mr. Bryant wants people to be tolerant of his past errors but isn’t tolerant enough to allow pastors to meet with Trump without harshly condemning them. Yes, continue to critique Mr. Trump and expose his foolishness but don’t demonize those who choose to have discussions with him and those who endorse him or who will inevitably endorse him.

In a televised church service about two weeks before Labor Day 2015 at Empowerment Temple A.M.E. Church, Pastor Bryant told the congregation and the television audience that if they would “just give God a shout He’s going to pay all of your past due bills by Labor Day weekend.” Sir, all of my past due bills are still past due. Mr. Bryant, are you going to pay my past due bills? I guess you desire me to tolerate your false prophecy, huh? Unfortunately, you’re unwilling to tolerate black pastors meeting with Trump, so people are going to experience trouble overlooking your phony prophecy.

While you find Mr. Trump’s rhetoric to be unacceptable, you seem to think calling women “hoes” is acceptable. Hypocrisy! You also think it’s okay to call men in church who don’t meet your deficient standards of masculinity and righteousness “sanctified sissies.” Before you try to castigate Mr. Trump about his troubling language, you’ve got to deal with your own. You’ve offended all women by addressing them as “hoes,” and you’ve offended all gay men by referring to them as “sissies.” At some point, Pastor Bryant, you have to realize you have zero credibility when it comes to policing people’s words. Why do you want everyone to be tolerant except you? Some assert that I’m using his past to discredit his fundamental arguments against these black pastors who met with Trump. Mr. Bryant made his past relevant when he attacked their integrity by labeling them “prostitutes” and “pawns.” It’s, therefore, fair to examine Bryant’s integrity by assessing his record, a record that’s quite disconcerting. Save your crying about folks using his past against him for Oprah.

On yesterday, Mr. Bryant communicated the following message through a Facebook status: “Sometimes maturity is not what you say BUT…what you ignore[.]” Seriously, are you going to lecture people about maturity? With all of the immature things you have said and continue to say and do, you’re certainly the wrong person to lecture folks about maturity. Maturity would have told you not to describe pastors simply meeting with Donald Trump as “prostitutes” and “pawns.” Since you had sex with a prostitute, does that make you a pimp?

Pastor Bryant, have several seats.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Republicans Should Overwhelmingly and Quickly Reject Donald Trump

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Donald Trump

(Photo Credit: Vice)

If Republicans are serious about taking the White House back in 2016, they must make it clear quickly by demonstrating an overwhelming rejection of Donald Trump. Although Dr. Ben Carson is now the leading Republican presidential candidate, and Senator Marco Rubio is the leading Republican presidential establishment candidate, 42% of Republican voters believe that Donald Trump will inevitably be the Republican presidential nominee. The reality is Donald Trump will lose in a landslide to Hillary Clinton. Trump will perform horribly with Hispanics, women and independent voters. While “Make America Great Again” is a great campaign slogan, it’s not enough to win the presidency in 2016. Mr. Trump is a talented entertainer and businessman but we’ve suffered from enough cruel comedy during President Obama’s tenure in office. Republicans need to coalesce really soon around a candidate who can win. Trump is simply not the right answer.

For the most part, Mr. Trump offers only anger and name-calling. Anger and name-calling are not policies. Yes, Americans should be angry about the state our nation right now. It doesn’t take being loud and offensive to evince that anger. How about presenting a detailed comprehensive plan that reveals how you will bring substantive reform to America? The American people understand we’re facing serious challenges and problems, including increasing national security threats, a struggling economy, a broken immigration system, and ridiculous healthcare costs. The challenges and problems we’re experiencing demand competent and proven leadership. While competent and proven leadership does not have to come from someone with political experience, of course, Republicans need to support a candidate who is providing detailed solutions to the challenges and problems America confronts. In President Obama, we’ve had an opportunity to see the harsh consequences of electing someone not ready to lead. Republican presidential candidates who aren’t focused on detailed solutions to America’s challenges and problems aren’t ready to lead.

Being an effective President of the United States isn’t about who has the best personality or who has the best one-liners. If we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit that the person who is best for the job may just be boring and soft-spoken but has an undying commitment to policy matters. Do you really see Donald Trump as a person with a real commitment to policy matters? To this point, he’s not given us any reason to believe he’s devoted to policy. He’s too focused on polls, attacking other Republican presidential candidates, and making the most outrageous statements possible to garner media attention. With this being the case, how can Republicans persuade the American people they’re serious about the White House if they elect Mr. Trump as their presidential nominee?

It’s time for Republican voters and the Republican Party to eliminate the unnecessary division between establishment and anti-establishment; this is complete foolishness. While the division within the Party’s ranks constantly increases, a Democrat continues to occupy the White House. The time has come to narrow down the list of Republican presidential candidates to Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Marco Rubio, Governor Jeb Bush, Governor Chris Christie, Governor John Kasich, and Carly Fiorina. How serious are you really about electing a Republican for President in 2016? If you’re really serious, then you will admit that Trump cannot win the White House in 2016.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

10 Reasons Your Church Could Be in Decline

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Black Preacher Preaching

                                           (Photo Credit: America Preachers)

Mountains of debt, significantly plummeting church attendance and membership, and uninspired members: fundamental signs your church is in decline or failing. Do the members of your church have nostalgia for “the good old days” instead of enjoying the present and looking forward to the future? Unfortunately, too many church leaders are unwilling to engage honestly with serious issues and questions about their ministries. If in the past a church had great attendance, a constantly burgeoning membership, and limited to no indebtedness, and those phenomena are no longer in place, the leaders of the church must be candid in their approach to resolving these problems. Pretending like problems don’t exist in your church will further exacerbate them. The purpose of this piece is to offer 10 reasons your church could be in decline or failing.

  1. Envy present at all levels. When church leaders are envious and they refuse to address envy among their members, this leads to damaging disunity in their churches. Your church will never grow and experience success when its leaders and membership are dominated by a spirit of envy. Although you might claim that the power of the Holy Spirit is flowing powerfully in your church, you’re being dishonest when envy is highly prevalent in your church. The pastor of your church has to check his or her own envy and promote a spirit of unity among the membership. When people are more talented and anointed to do sundry tasks than you, provide loving support for them and don’t undermine them.
  1. The pastor is a manager instead of a leader. If your pastor has to have his or her fingerprints on everything, he or she is simply a tyrant. In various religious communities, we’re too quick to call someone a leader simply because he or she is occupying a position. A pastor who micromanages every aspect of the church’s affairs is a manager—not a leader. An effective pastor delegates authority and responsibility to other leaders and members of his or her church, and he or she trusts them to accomplish what needs executing; he or she does not supervise every detail of their work. People should feel comfortable operating in their gift without fear of receiving a negative critique or unnecessary requests from him or her to modify their work.
  1. Too many messy people. Messy pastors, church leaders, and members are the ultimate destruction of churches. Pastors and church leaders should be working to resolve messiness in the church and not participate in the messiness themselves. What are some of the ways in which a pastor can be messy, you ask? One way is for him or her to sit at home with members of his or her family and plot the undermining of certain individuals they don’t support. Another way a pastor can be messy is to pick and choose “favorites” in the church and believe anything those favorites run and tell him or her. Finally, one of the most damaging ways in which a pastor can be messy is to use his or her sermons as vehicles to attack those members he or she has problems with and to galvanize support from other leaders and members to join him or her in opposing those members. Too many churches have people who are committed to gossiping about members of their own churches, and this results in breakdowns in communication and relationships, envy, disengagement, and a dearth of productivity.
  1. The pastor selects “favorites.” Everyone in your church should be valued and feel valued. There shouldn’t be a class system within a church where “the favorites” rule as elites and everyone else is powerless and voiceless. What would Jesus do? Treat everyone the same.
  1. Too much emphasis on giving money. While it takes money to have a successful church and do effective ministry, members shouldn’t be bombarded with unremitting discourse about giving money. If your church really has something great to offer, then people will give liberally without relentless requests for and talks about money. Too many pastors are so focused on money that they have turned Jesus into a footnote and afterthought in their churches. Jesus should always be put in first place. When you put Jesus in first place, He will bless your church and abundantly supply you with money.
  1. A lack of focus on serious evangelism. Incessant focusing on money in many churches has led to soul-winning not being a top priority. Many church leaders will say that soul-winning is their top priority—only to turn immediately to soliciting money again. If you want your church to grow, you have to make a real commitment to winning souls for Christ. The money your church needs is found outside of the church: the lost souls who need to come to Christ are the additional sources of money. You cannot continue to ask for money from the same people already in your church; recruit new members through evangelism. Want a successful church? Have a church without borders—don’t remain stuck in the four walls of your building.
  1. The absence of the Gospel of Grace. One of the most frustrating phenomena about most churches is their pastors are still teaching, preaching, and witnessing as if the Mosaic and Levitical Laws are still in effect. Pastors, Jesus didn’t die on the Cross to grant you the right to lord your authority over people. Jesus died on the Cross to empower people with freedom and power through Him. Unfortunately, too many pastors are afraid to teach and preach about grace in a comprehensive way because they know this will mean that they will have to surrender their micro-managing control over their members. The New Covenant is not about subjecting one’s self to a bunch of rules and regulations; it’s about receiving God’s agape love and being empowered through the grace of Christ. When your pastor refuses to engage deeply with grace, he or she is simply a control-freak! The absence of the Gospel of Grace results in church members believing in their own performances instead of believing in what Jesus has already done at the Cross. Right believing produces right living—not vice versa.
  1. Not enough focus on teaching and studying the Bible. It seems that all many preachers want to do is scream, holler, and speak in tongues. What about imparting the Word of God, though? It’s a close and consistent study of the Word of God that brings deliverance, prosperity, healing, joy, peace, happiness, love, and etc. to people—not your screaming, hollering, speaking in tongues, requests for money, rules, regulations, and “good advice.” Unfortunately, too many pastors aren’t equipped to teach the bible properly. Many lack the necessary intellectual aptitude to teach the bible so they just attack those who are educated and say that “the Holy Ghost will reveal all things” as cheap cop out for their inability to rightly divide the Word of Truth. A pastor and his or her congregation can only progress successfully through the regenerating washing of the Word of God. Instead of having all of these revivals and “tarry services,” start having more Word of God revivals where a close study of the bible occurs. You can always identify a pastor does not really know much about the bible when he or she turns Bible Study into regular Sunday service—where testimony, singing, and non-scriptural focused discourse are placed at the forefront over teaching and studying the Word of God.
  1. A lack of meaningful innovation. Although all change is not good change, numerous churches across the nation are declining or failing because they refuse to discontinue their useless traditions. This does not mean that they need to fuse secular phenomena into their church services and practices, but your churches shouldn’t suffer from routinization. Church leaders should listen closely to members about new ideas, and they should observe successful practices and programs of other churches and implement them.
  1. Jesus isn’t being made the top priority. Too many churches aren’t being governed by the dominant principle of Jesus being in first place in all matters. When this governing principle is absent, churches continue to decline and inevitably fail. In every decision that one makes in your church, there should always be a focus on how the decision reflects Jesus being put in first place.

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Black Mother of Three Kids Needs Your Help Immediately

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Charmine Mitchell

(Photo Courtesy of Charmine Mitchell)

Recently, Charmine Mitchell, a devoted black mother of three precious children, unexpectedly found out that her husband, Royce Mitchell, passed away. Unfortunately, her husband did not have any insurance to cover burial expenses and other essential living expenses for his wife and children. Although Mrs. Mitchell is seeking employment, she’s currently unemployed and is left struggling to pay the mortgage for her and her children and is left struggling financially to support her children’s needs. In America, when tragedy strikes some of us, we all share in the heartache of those victimized by tragedy. Americans always rise to the occasion and help fellow Americans in need. By making a financial contribution—no matter how small—you can make a significant difference in helping to ease the struggle this widower and her children are now facing. It’s already horrible that the family is facing the heartbreak of the loss of a husband and father, but to have the added burdens of not having any money for burial expenses, to pay the mortgage and support their living expenses is tragic as well. Go to Mrs. Charmine Mitchell’s GoFundMe Page and provide the best financial contribution you can make: Click Here to Donate! All contributions are greatly appreciated, and Mrs. Mitchell and her kids are grateful for your support in this difficult time for them.

Many thanks,

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison