When I switched from publishing the Chester Spotlight paper to publishing ChesterBlog.com, I gave up a nice part time income in lieu of being able to deliver stories faster, display color photos, create videos, and receive instant reader feedback.

Although I don’t get nearly as much feedback as I expected, most of it comes in the form of a blog post comment, an email, or a rare phone call. I look forward to responding to each and every piece of feedback I receive and you’ve made it easy by giving me so little to respond to.

This weekend, I received my first piece of feedback by way of a messenger. Regardless of the method of delivery, I still feel obligated to respond.

Mayor Kirkland wanted me to know that he “loves Jesus everywhere, all the time.” I’m pretty sure he was responding to the post, ‘Does the Mayor’s Religion Interfere with his Politics.


Here’s my response.

I may not look like Captain Obvious from the Hotels.com commercials, but I’d absolutely expect an ordained minister to love Jesus everywhere, all the time. In fact, there are a lot of people who love Jesus as much as he does. Some are very open about it; others kind of keep it to themselves.

I’ve heard from many people who heard the mayor speak in an official capacity as mayor and don’t appreciate hearing references to his Christianity. Some are outright offended. But there are those who love that kind of talk and say ‘that’s who he is’ and it’s okay with them.

Surely, none of us can please everyone, but it’s hard to be totally effective when you impress and offend at the same time.

For me, if the doctor prescribed a pill for my ailment then told me that the Lord heals, I might start looking for a new doctor. If my professor assigned the class a project and said that he wants his flock to complete the assignment by Tuesday, I might talk with the dean. Or, if my attorney said he’d argue my case and by the grace of God he sees the judge ruling in my favor, I’d be in the Yellow Pages immediately.

I’m not so naive to think there aren’t some people who love to hear the mayor blend scripture with city policy. But there are many others who view it as a distraction.

I’d expect that most people voted for the mayor when they considered his twenty years as a state rep over-qualified him to run a small city like Chester. The political title is mayor, not chaplain.

I recently heard Tony Robbins asked what he’d say to President Donald J. Trump if he sought advice. Robbins said he’d tell the President that his communication style is getting in the way of his substance.

The purpose of my blog post was to offer the same advice.

But, in the end, Mayor Kirkland, ‘Do You!’