Donald and Barack Exchange E-mails

Donald Miller

I want to share a correspondence that has taken place between myself and Senator Obama. Since I closed the DNC with a benediction, people have asked whether I know the Senator and whether we’ve met. Barack Obama and I have had an ongoing e-mail correspondence for several months, the bulk of which I have posted for you.

It all started when I attended a rally here in Portland at which more than 75,000 people showed to support the Senator. Somehow, I managed to get a spot close to the stage and during his speech the Senator pointed at me and told me “Yes, I could,” something I think he stole from the Black Eyed Pea’s, but oh well. Anyway, I was moved by the speech, but I had questions. I can do what? At the time, I was trying to pick paint colors for the living room, but was frozen between Icelandic Blue and Mossy-Rock Green.

To my amazement, Barack e-mailed me shortly thereafter. I don’t know if it is appropriate to share our personal correspondence, but I offer it to you anyway. I’ve posted Barack’s e-mails followed by my responses.

FIRST E-MAIL FROM BARACK:

Dear Donald,

You did it!

Not just yesterday, but every day for more than a year, you did what the cynics said we couldn’t do.

You said the time has come to get beyond the same old tactics that divide and distract us, and you gave people a reason to believe again.

We’re within reach of the nomination, and we are ready to take this country in a new direction.
Thank you for your continued support, and for everything you’ve done to make this possible.
Barack

MY RESPONSE:

Mr. Obama,

Wow. I’m shocked. How did you get my e-mail address? I gave my e-mail address to a cute hippie with a clip board. Did you get my address from her? Do you know her? Can you ask her to call me? Anyway, no biggie, just cool that you wrote.

I wanted to talk to you after the rally but the guy with the curly earphones said you were busy. As for your e-mail, I don’t remember saying “the time has come to get beyond the same old tactics that divide and distract us,” but that’s exactly how I feel. I say a lot of things I don’t remember. My roommate Jordan said I said he could eat my leftover calzone from Pizzicatta but I don’t remember saying that and I know I was planning on having it for breakfast the next day.

Anyway, I hear you are going to Europe. I was thinking about trying to get over there myself but the exchange rate is nuts. My friend Karl said he paid nine bucks for a pint. That’s out of my league. Are you backpacking? Staying in hostels? Watch out in Amsterdam, that place is crazy. Write back about that hippie girl.

I gotta go.

Don

SECOND E-MAIL FROM BARACK:

Donald –

Right now you have a unique opportunity to go head-to-head with George W. Bush.
This week, John McCain and George Bush gathered behind closed doors, away from the cameras, to raise money for McCain’s campaign.

McCain used Bush to raise a reported $3.5 million from a group of about 500 Republican contributors.
That’s a lot of money that will undoubtedly be used to attack us and make the case to continue George Bush’s policies.

John McCain can run from the cameras, but he can’t hide from the fact he’s aiming to continue George Bush’s policies for a disastrous third term.

Let’s show that we’re ready to take him on. Donate to the campaign today.

Thank you,

Barack

MY RESPONSE:

Barack, dude, that first line freaked me out. For a second I was like, no way, he’s surrounded by secret service. And then I was picturing some kind of fight club in the basement of the White House where Dick Cheney and Karl Rove pummel each other in order to “feel.” Did you see that movie? Chuck Palhniuk is from Portland, you know. He’s a bit strange.

To be honest, man, I’m strapped for cash right now. I bought a couple t-shirts at the rally and a bumper-sticker but that’s all the money I had. I should have some money coming in next week and I’ll float you something. Do you need to pick up a flag pin? I’ve got one if you need it. It was my uncles.

Later,

Don

P.S. My friends call me Don, so it’s cool.

THIRD E-MAIL FROM BARACK:

Donald –
I’m about to take the stage in St. Paul and announce that we have won the Democratic nomination for President of the United States.

It’s been a long journey, and we should all pause to thank Hillary Clinton, who made history in this campaign. Our party and our country are better off because of her.

It’s going to take hard work, but thanks to you and millions of other donors and volunteers, no one has ever been more prepared for such a challenge.

Thank you for everything you’ve done to get us here. Let’s keep making history.

Barack

MY RESPONSE:

Barack,

Sorry I missed your e-mail. Did you already give your speech? Do you get this on an I-Phone? My friend Wade and me (he was standing next to me at the Portland rally) ran down to the river because somebody said Starbucks was giving away Frappacino’s. Half true, though. It was just free samples. But Wade and I kept walking around this pole to get back in line and I filled up half a Nalgene before they told me to stop.

Very cool about Hillary. Sometimes you just have to talk it through, you know. I just think it’s cool you guys can be friends. I’m not married but I know my married friends are always looking for other couples to hang out with.

Let me know how that speech went.

Don

P.S. Also, did you give Al Gore my e-mail address? It’s cool, I just hadn’t heard from him before. We’re friends on facebook, but what does that mean anymore. And please, everybody calls me Don.

An E-Mail from Michelle Obama, came shortly after I was asked to give the closing prayer at the DNC.

FIRST E-MAIL FROM MICHELE OBAMA:

Donald –

Barack likes to tell a story about the two of us standing backstage before his speech at the 2004 Democratic Convention.

The way he tells it, he was too busy in the days before the convention to feel any pressure — but about an hour before the speech, I could tell he was getting a little nervous.

To break the tension, right before he went out on stage I leaned in close and said, “Just don’t screw it up, buddy.”

We laughed. And then Barack brought the house down.

Barack’s speech at this year’s convention will be a culmination of the unlikely journey that has brought all of us so far over the past 17 months.

Seeing it in person will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I’m excited about being there, and if you make a donation of $5 or more before the deadline, you could join Barack backstage. Donate today and you will be registered to join us!

Thanks for everything you’ve done to get us here.

Michelle

MY RESPONSE:

Mrs. Obama,

It’s a pleasure to hear from you. You look lovely all the time. Are we all going to hang out in Denver? I think it’s awesome they asked me to pray.

I just want you to know, I’m not one of those cigar-smoking guys that is going to have your husband out on the back deck shooting b.b. guns till midnight. I don’t know if you made contact to try to feel me out or not, but I’m not like that. I like a cigar every once in a while, but it’s not that big of a deal.

That is awesome what you said to Barack before the 2004 speech, about not screwing it up. That was the first time I saw him speak and I was blown away. But could you not say that to me before my prayer? Please. I just get really, really nervous. I nearly wet my pants before that talk at Harvard. I know it’s just a three-minute prayer, but could you just kind of nod at me when it’s my turn to walk out there? I am just going to listen to my headphones beforehand, like Michael Phelps. 

Also, I don’t have to follow him, do I? He’s not going to do the yes you can one, is he? Think he’d be willing to tone it down a bit, so I don’t look bad?

I look forward to meeting you. I don’t hardly watch football anymore. Just on Sundays, and never when I am at somebody else’s house. No biggie, just saying.

Sincerely,

Donald

P.S. So do I have to register to get a pass. A lady named Kitty called and said there would be a packet at the hotel. What room are you guys in?

FINAL E-MAIL FROM BARACK:

Donald –

As you may have heard, 10 supporters will be joining me backstage before I accept the nomination at the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

The people who make up our movement are of all different ages, races, and backgrounds — and these folks are no different.

They each bring their own unique perspectives and experience, and they are united by their hunger for change.

If you cannot make it to Denver, you can get together with your friends and family and watch my acceptance speech at a Convention Watch Party.

Thank you for your belief in our ability to bring real change to this country. You continue to grow and strengthen our movement in ways no one thought possible.

Barack

MY RESPONSE:

Barack,

Cool about the other guys. Are they fraternity guys? It’s just not my crowd, that’s all. But no big deal.

I can make it to Denver. I told Michelle but she hasn’t e-mailed back. Kitty said my rehearsal would be on Sunday and I could use the teleprompter. Do they control the text from the sound-booth or can you scroll up and down with a button of your own? Have you ever looked through the teleprompter and got eye-locked with somebody and messed up?

Are the other guys giving a prayer, too?

It’s really cool you guys invited me to come. It’s an honor, to be honest. I think it’s great that you pray. I pray too. Tell Michelle I say hello. See you soon.

Sincerely,

Donald

P.S. Can you get Hannah Montana tickets? They aren’t for me, they’re for my niece. I told her I would ask.

•••••

So that’s it. I’m not saying we’re best friends, but I think he’s a pretty good guy for making contact and keeping in touch.

The convention was great. I actually did meet Michelle Obama and she was striking and friendly. She, her brother Craig, and the Obama children came into a room where I was sitting backstage, and for a few minutes it was just us. It was so strange to see this woman who was about to go out and address the nation and I’m telling you, she wasn’t nervous at all. She was just another mother hanging out with her kids. I don’t know how she remained so composed. It was really an honor to be back there.

So this is the new blog. I’ll try to keep it light and funny, because I’m not big on controversy. I think most of it is hype, to be honest. But if you want to chime in, I’ve finally got a way for you to leave comments.

Best,

Don

Donald Miller

Donald Miller

Donald Miller is all about story. He helps people live a better story at creatingyourlifeplan.com and grow their business at storybrand.com. Follow Don on Twitter (@donaldmiller). To read more of his posts on the Storyline Blog, click here.

  • http://obamatalk.org Matthew Anderson

    I am incredibly uneasy concerning the 2012 election. With everything that is happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Middle East (not to mention the U.S. economy) we seriously should demand a good leader. I’m far from convinced that President Obama or any of the Republican challengers so far have the experience or skills it takes to get the job done the way it needs to be done. Being president of the U.S. is an exceptionally difficult job. Do you think there is any man or woman out there with the experience, skill, and moral conviction to do the job?

    • Laura

      If you’re talking about experience you DO realize that Obama has been president for the last 3 years…

      • http://followingjesussucks.org Shon

        He’s had the title for 3 years. I don’t know if he’s really “been” one.

      • Mike T

        Laura,

        …and your point is?

        The Captain of the Titanic was the most experience of the White Star Line.

        This President will not be able to run on his record of the past three years. His few successes were carried out and planned by people that were in the military long before he ever served in government. His successes were also the times he said “yes” to their advice – he has said no more times than he has said yes – those decisions will haunt us for decades.

  • http://1912.us Aaron Helton

    Mr. Miller,

    I’m not sure if you’re ever going to see this but after scouring the Internet through dead links and publicity sites, I found no means to send you an email (this comment is unrelated to your post though it’s still a great story)

    ‘Searching For God Knows What’ -WAS- my favorite book. You -WERE- my favorite author. I actually owe a large part of a personal journey from being a religion-hating atheist to becoming a Christian to YOU after a dear friend of mine recommended Blue Like Jazz, which is what makes this all so very disappointing:

    As I stated ‘Searching For God Knows What’ is one of the most amazing books I have ever read, which made me give the New Testament a chance after hating it for so many years only to realize I never really knew it until I read your book. I was excited to see your new extended version of ‘Searching For God Knows What’ with the game and everything, and it was just as, if not more, amazing reading it a second time with the extra content- UNTIL I REACHED THE TOP OF PAGE 158;

    WTF the Dan!? You’re no better than the Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells of the world when you dehumanize homosexuals by calling their lifestyle a “depravity”.

    Just where does Christ even mention homosexuality in the bible? I’ll wait. (I know the answer to that question, by the way, because I’ve read the gospels thanks to you). I may have missed the gay-bashing in the original copy or it just wasn’t there, but either way, the reason you are such a revolutionary evangelical is because you revealed how progressive principles are ironically more aligned to Christianity while showing the conservative ideology to be more contradictory to Christ’s teachings; THAT’S HOW YOU CONVERTED ME, THAT’S HOW YOU’LL CONVERT MILLIONS!

    It’s NOT the Jews, the liberals, the secularists, the atheists, the democrats, the progressives, the feminists, or the gays that serve as the greatest threat to Christianity- it’s people that justify blind nationalism, financial wealth, oil, war, violence, guns, hate, and intolerance by perverting Christian principles.

    You said yourself in one of your books that you can’t really blame anyone for not wanting to have anything to do with Christianity after seeing those people- on page 158, you were one of them.

    Sincerely,

    Aaron H. Helton

    • Sydnie Langeler

      This is a letter I wrote for class and i wanted to send it to you but i couldn’t find anything other then this.(:

      Dear Mr. Donald Miller,

      I’m writing this letter to tell you how your book affected my life, and how your life reminded me much of my life and my friends’ lives. The book Blue Like Jazz helped my realize that I need to focus more on my religion, also that I can’t let people change me or effect me in anyway. I was born and raised in a Christian family, and always had the values of a Christian. The problem was though that I never really lived the life of a Christian and was changed by the people around me quite easily.
      Within your book you talked about how some of the friends you had growing up were not necessarily the best influence on your life. I myself was able to connect with that because I tend to hangout with the crowd that does not make the best choices, and I have given in sometimes to what they do and want. I feel horrible about it, and I have stopped since then. The thing is though I have gone against my values, and I am in the processes of changing my life for the better. Recently, I have met with a group called B.L.I.N.D., which is a student-ran organization that is based on changing your life and making good choices. Being in this group and reading your book has helped me get through some tough times in my life. About the time, I was giving your book to read I was cutting myself and had started smoking.
      Your book helped me realize that I need to get things straight, and that everything is not as bad as it may seem. I hardly ever cut myself now and I have not smoked once since I have read it. It showed me that my religion, Christianity, is what I need to focus my life on. It also showed me that by surrounding myself by misguided people that I myself have become misguided. I need to start to surround myself with people that believe what I believe. The thing is though we cannot just leave the misguided alone we, as Christians, need to guide them the right way without changing ourselves.
      Through your book I was able to see that they’re people out there that are trying to make a difference and know what is right and wrong. I would like to be one of those people one day. Your friends and people you met through that period of your life really help me figure things out. I was amazed with the booth that you made at your college for the students to go to, repent, seek forgiveness and truth to get straight. I believe that that took a great amount of courage to do and that it should be done in all college schools.
      The experiences you went through really opened my eyes to life from a different view and that is not always greener on the other side. I would like to thank you for writing about your life and path to forgiveness and repenting. I believe now that I can make my life how I want it to be and I hope to read more or hear more about you.

    • Jodie Kelly

      Wow, I’m shocked. I just read “Blue Like Jazz” and I felt like Don touched my soul. God was speaking to me through that book. Don mentioned he loves gay people and liberals and feminists. I’m shocked and sad that he said what he said about homosexuality. It doesn’t shake my faith in God, it just reminds me that everyone is a “sinner.”

      I guess Don lost his humbleness that we all loved. I hope it’s not gone forever. I hope the success of his books didn’t change the person he was. I hope he comes back to Jesus, the One who loves all.
      This makes me very sad, but there is still a special place in my heart for Don Miller. He changed my life with his book. I know I have been judgmental in my life. I have hurt people, I have been prideful, and I’m sure if I had a lot of money, I, too, might act with depravity.
      Don, we miss you and we love you. Come back to your loving, humble self. Come back to the wonderful person you were, the person who converted millions.
      Aaron, try not to judge so harshly. Think about all of the sins you have committed in your own life. Don is a mere human, he might be going through a rough time spiritually. I know he has so much influence, so it’s hard to see him make such painful mistakes. You know who God is, though, and you know what Don said about homosexuals is not of God. It does not erase everything he says that is of God. I still love him and what he did for my relationship with God.

      • Maria

        Don, despite what these people are saying, I’m happy that you are sticking to what the Bible says. Love the people, don’t condone the sin. If you don’t agree, read the Word. It’s plain and clear. You can’t miss it!

        • Michael

          Plain and clear? lol…show me.

      • Debbie

        Why?

        Why do people have a need to do this?

        Do what? Be idiots!

    • Brandon

      Aaron,

      I wholeheartedly agree with you that homosexuality should not be such a focus of the church. You’re right, Jesus never talked about it, so why we are so concerned about it is beyond me. However, I feel that you are taking the mention of this word “homosexuality” out of context in this situation.
      In Searching for God Knows What, Don is writing about a time he was teaching a class at a Bible college and presenting the gospel to them with one key element left out. The quote you are speaking of says:
      “I told them man was sinful, and this was obvious when we looked at the culture we lived in. I pointed out specific examples of depravity including homosexuality, abortion, drug use, song lyrics on the radio, newspaper headlines and so on. Then I told them that man must repent, and showed them the Scriptures and spoke firmly of this idea.”
      He goes on with his telling of the Gospel saying how repenting will lead us to better lives, discussing the beauty of morality, and that having a God-centered life would give them a sense of fulfillment on earth. All of the things you expect to hear when hearing someone share the Gospel.
      The factor he purposefully left out was Jesus. His whole point was that we so often think of sharing the Gospel as a formula that we tend to forget the most personal, intimate and life changing part of it all.
      His use of describing homosexuality as “depraved” was not any sort of political statement or gay bashing. He was simply making the point that we live in a fallen world and we can see that through MANY other things than just homosexuality.
      I don’t know Don personally, but I have read enough of his books, heard him speak enough times, and read enough of his blogs to know that his intentions are pure and he was not trying to offend by making this statement.
      His books have changed my life, too. I hope you don’t write him off just for this. I feel you would be doing a disservice to yourself to ignore what he has to say.

      -Brandon

  • http://1912.us Aaron Helton

    Okay. So I may have overreacted a tad. I just finished the book again and it’s still the most amazing thing I’ve ever read, especially since the chapter on morality practically makes up for the slanderous remark toward gays. Still, Christ never mentions homosexuality. Adultery and divorce, according to Christ, are more detrimental to the sanctity of marriage than anything else. Funny, I don’t see those so “concerned” with saving marriage fighting to make adultery and divorce illegal… interesting. I’m not gay, but I have a dog in the fight, I’m Christian. I was at a coffee shop with a friend a few days ago, and the conversation somehow lead to catholic reformation and Martin Luther. I told my friend what we need is another Martin Luther (minus the antisemitism) while pointing to your book then saying, “I was hoping it was this guy.” In an age where American-Imperialism, Corporate hegemony, economic inequality (whatever happens to be the trendiest rendition of Horse and Sparrow economics), greed, violence, and hate are often sold to the public as virtues via packaging consisting of a warped interpretation of Christianity, we need a reformist now more than ever.

    • Ross

      The New Testament condems homosexuality in the same breath as aduletry and murder in the epistles, and quite explicitly. I whole heartedly agree with you that, as a church we need to focus on problems with divorce and infidelity that are causing great pain in our families. I believe that many Christians become rather obsessive in fighting homosexuality, and that is a problem certianly. However, both Testaments repeatedly leave no doubt that God finds homosexuality sinful. It is, essentially, another form of adultery, as is beastiality and incest.
      We can still love gay people. I have good friends who are gay. They know I disagree with that lifestyle, but I do not believe I have any right to judge. That is for God to decide. If an individual proclaims themselves to be christian, and homosexual then we need to consider biblical discipline, just as we would with an adulterer. Remebering,while doing so, that the Apostles set forth guidelines of discipline that were done out of love for the individual. I’ve struggled with sexual immorality, and have gone through the discipline and it strengthend me and my relationships with God and other believrs, becuase they did it from a position of loving me and not condemning me for condemnation’s, or legalism’s sake.

      • Ross

        Its not about conservatism or liberalism… its about biblical living. We need to live exegiticaly in scripture, praying that the Holy Spirit will divinely reveal the truths of God to us in real and living ways. If we break into progressiveness and conservativism we are no longer living “in the world, but not of the world.”
        We were meant to live in a Theological Monarchy. All of our social systems, arrangemnts and governments are broken beyond repair becasue they were never meant to exist. They are purely human constructs.

      • Maria

        Well said.

    • Joe

      I don’t get why you are throwing a tantrum over Don just reiterating what the Bible says. You’re just coming off as childish and uneducated.

    • http://sarachoe.com sara choe

      hi aaron!

      there was only one martin luther. and there’s only one donald miller. well, lemme take that back — there are probably others who share the same first and last name, but, i think you understand.

      anyway, seems unfair to place those expectations on donald miller. i don’t know don personally, though reading his more recent book “a million miles” multiple times certainly made me think i did, but i’ve a hunch that the storyline of his life isn’t “postmodern reformer” — at least, not explicitly.

      i think what you mean is that don’s built a great platform and he ought to use it and i agree (let me know if i’m wrong). but ultimately, don’s responsible to God in the way he stewards his influence and words.

      all that to say maybe the world needs an aaron helton who’ll keep asking the questions that remind the church to remember what Jesus said and to call the church to listen for what God is saying now.

      • Carol A Ranney

        “all that to say maybe the world needs an Aaron Helton who’ll keep asking the questions that remind the church to remember what Jesus said and to call the church to listen for what God is saying now.”
        I couldn’t agree more. We desperately need honest people asking honest questions. More and more evidence is stacking up to say that sexual orientation is inborn, not a “choice.” It is basically fixed and not changeable. Even Exodus (the organization, not the book) has come around to that viewpoint. Just as we no longer believe that the earth is flat (despite biblical “proof” to the contrary), we need to look at all the homosexual “proof texts” again. Is God going to condemn someone for the way they were born? Is God demanding lifelong celibacy when Paul clearly states that some people are not able to remain pure without marriage? Are the texts perhaps referring to temple prostitution rather than committed, equal relationships between adults? Even the oft-quoted “sin of Sodom,” on closer inspection, was their inhospitality (including gang rape of strangers), not homosexuality. Any attempt to look more closely at these passages is usually written off as part of the “gay agenda” and not undertaken with an open mind and heart. But unless we grapple with those passages and find the true meanings, or at least admit that many are obscure and we don’t know for certain what they mean, we are going to write off and condemn to hell a whole community of hurting people as we reject and condemn them in the name of “righteousness.” Each man to his own master stands or falls. We are instructed not to judge. We are told to love our neighbors as ourselves. What has happened to us that the church is known not as a beacon of God’s love and forgiveness, but a spotlight of God’s wrath and condemnation?

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  • Sarah

    Guys, I hate to break it to you, but Jesus wasn’t a Christian. Jesus was a Jew. That means that He followed laws such as “You must not have sexual intercourse with a male as one has sexual intercourse with a woman; it is a detestable act.” (Leviticus 18:22). Jesus says Himself that He did not come to “abolish the Law” or the teachings of the Prophets (i.e., the laws against homosexuality as established in Leviticus), but “to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17). What Jesus -did- come to do is to cease in what would have been a punishment for homosexual relations before: to be put to death (Leviticus 20:13). While there was only punishment before, Jesus came to serve as a sacrifice before God so that we could have a second chance instead of being stoned to death like in the olden times.

    Homosexuality is still indeed a sin, just as adultery and covetousness are still sins. The choice we have to make is either to continue living in sin and assure ourselves that Jesus (who is God, by the way) changed His mind about what is deemed sinful at some undisclosed point in time while He was physically alive, or to take God/Jesus/The Holy Spirit seriously and accept that homosexuality is still a sin, probably the hardest one of all to overcome, no matter how unfair that may feel to us.

    Jesus loved us all (homosexuals, prostitutes, and every type of sinner included) by dying for everyone (John 3:16), but He also says that we must in turn die, to our sins and ourselves, for Him and that “our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin because anyone who has died has been freed from sin” (Romans 6:6-7). The sacrifice has been made to the Father, but there is still a price that we must pay in order to live with Him in Heaven and that is crucifying our old self and allowing the Holy Spirit to completely rework us.

    • http://jameshartley.tumblr.com James Hartley

      Sarah, thank you for writing that. A wonderful answer full of truth and a tenderness of heart.

    • Jeremy

      Sarah! What a phenomenal well spoken, thoughtful and graceful response! I must apologize and hope you don’t mind, but I am going to have to borrow this as I think it’s likely the best response I’ve ever seen.

    • Emily

      Very well said. Thanks for that.

    • Suesanne

      very well said Sarah! Right on! It’s important to speak truth in love, and you did! You shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free! we all need that freedom in Christ; in Him we are no longer slaves to sin, and by His grace we are overcomers! Our scale and measures as humans are distorted, because we hold human scales, but in God’s Holy Sight, we have all sinned and have come short, and have needed the glory of God, otherwise Christ died in vain! Let it never be, Christ died so may live; He came so that dead people may have life, not that bad people may become good! None of us are ‘good’ in the sight of a perfectly Holy God! Your righteousness and mine are found in Christ, therefore we can stand before the throne of God justified and fully righteous! Thanks for sharing truth Sarah!

  • Maria

    Don, like many other people, I have not found a very good way to contact you. I know you must be very busy, so maybe that is part of it.

    Anyway, I’m enjoying your book Blue Like Jazz. I’m a mother of three, so I don’t get much time to read, but I can’t put it down for long. I’m reading it because I gave it to my dad, who doesn’t know Jesus. I heard from a good friend that your book does a good job at explaining grace. I’m praying that God uses it to open my dad’s eyes to what grace is.

    Anyway, there are a few things I want to share with you. Several times, you bumped against the thought that we are chosen by God. Then you subsequently veered into the thought that we somehow come to find Him on our own. Maybe I haven’t read far enough. Anyway, I know you like to look at our experience on earth for clues as to how God made and redeems us. So, look with me at the birth of a baby. Does a baby choose his mother or does a mother (and father of course) somehow choose him by God’s grace. We are so far below God, intellectually and so forth, just as a baby is below an adult. Just like my child is mine, we are God’s children by adoption. I don’t see any way in which we could have chosen that, if you can see it through this real-life perspective. Like all comparisons, this one has its flaws, but I think it is pretty good.

    Also, while on the issue of birth, I am pro-life (not just Republican). I could never support a candidate whose beliefs stem from a foundation that does not include the sanctity of life. I’m curious about how you can support candidates who so proudly announce that they are “pro-choice.” I would rather call it pro-death.

    Did Jesus appeal to Caesar for social justice or did He make the appeal to his followers? No, the church isn’t perfect, but that doesn’t change God’s will for it.

    I was a Miller before marriage, and you look a lot like my cousin. Haha, could it be we are related?

    I hope you can get the “Blue Like Jazz” movie funded. I would really like to see it. Thanks!

  • Clay Wisner

    Mr. Miller,

    Unlike most of the folks on this comment thread, I’m actually going to comment on your post.
    HILARIOUS!
    Nicely done.

    Come back & visit Houston sometime.

  • http://jameshartley.tumblr.com James Hartley

    Yes, absolutely hilarious and makes want to go read all your books again !! I love what it is that goes on in your brain !

  • Brandon

    I totally responded to Aaron before I noticed that he responded to himself and changed his mind a bit. Way to go!
    Anywho, this post is hilarious and I love Don for it.

  • Billy Purcell

    Unlike most I am not enamored with President Obama
    the most dangerously pro-abortion President in history
    coupled with his take from one and give to another
    policies are un-American, he might be a cool dude but
    we’re at a crossroad in my view, also I think tolerence
    is not a Christian virtue.

    • Carol A Ranney

      Might not be a Christian virtue, but this country is a democracy, not a theocracy, and we cannot expect to have a voice any more powerful than those with whom we share this country. I notice that the religious right seems to feel that the US was founded to be a Christian nation and therefore those who do not subscribe to Christian values (their definition)should take a back seat. The religious right doesn’t act as salt to season the earth, as Jesus told us to do, it comes on with buckets of salt like it was killing slugs.

  • Jacqueline

    This post is brilliant. Laughing my tush off while waiting on a delayed flight in Philly :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amy-E-Mitchell-artist/279615486941 Amy

    I am voting for Obama this year, in spite of my sticking point with him (his stance on abortion). It seems to me that he is moderate on this issue, not extreme as some groups would portray him. His decision to keep the “morning after” pills restricted from minors (without adult consent or prescription) was an excellent rational and pro-life thing to do. It shows wisdom and moderation and, above all, good sense. I voted for Bush for two elections strictly on the basis of his stance on abortion, and I will never judge a person solely on that basis again. I was sorely disappointed in his performance and many of his actions showed a disregard for human life (environment, war, less charity). His presidency had very little impact for the pro-life movement. I voted for Obama in the last election and, while I may not always like his leadership style and I am frustrated by all the trouble Congress is causing, overall I am satisfied with his character. He loves his wife, he loves his children, he loves his dog, and, most importantly, he is a Christian. He speaks very truthfully about obstacles and shortcomings, and he knows he’s not going to be able to get much done except by executive order this year, thanks to the Republican blockade. Because of the Republicans’ stance on tax inequality and the environment, I have no reason to believe their hearts are following Christ. The only moral they have going for them is supposedly “pro-life,” but neither Romney nor Gingrich have good records on this. Romney is a Mormon, not a Christian, and give the air of the detached rich, so-called 1%. Gingrich is a hot-headed issue flipper, whose morals are only grounded until something new seems more advantageous. Just ask his first wife. While I may not be 100% satisfied with Obama, I think he’s the better man, and that’s what has earned my vote. Glad to hear you still support him amidst all the negativity, Don.

    • Carol A Ranney

      Well said. And by his own testimony, yes, he is a redeemed believer. I think he works harder to follow his Christian beliefs (while leading a democratic, not theocratic, nation) than anyone I’ve seen so far on the religious Republican right.

  • Adrienne

    Sometimes the language people use in regard to you and your writing makes me uncomfortable. It’s almost as if they raise you up to a creepy place of responsibility for their faith (and political beliefs). Either it’s “your rightness led me to my salvation” or it’s “your wrongness is turning people away from salvation.” That’s got to mess with your head, no?

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Amy-E-Mitchell-artist/279615486941 Amy

      Once, when I was expressing my fears that what I had said or done may have prevented someone from coming to Christ, the lady I was talking to stopped me. She said, “No. No way. God doesn’t give you that kind of power.” He doesn’t give it, one way or another. While we may choose to be instruments playing in God’s orchestra, He is still the conductor. What He is directing cannot be stopped by our notes, beautiful or out of key. Whether we’re first chair or dead last, we’re still part of the band. We all make mistakes and sometimes we don’t get to be the hero or play the solo. If God is in the process of leading someone to salvation, he or she will get there, in spite of us, not because of us.

      • Alisha

        I love this. Whoever said this to you must have been a very wise women. I had a horrifying experience a couple years ago when I was very involved with the church I was going to at the time. During one of the volunteer meetings the worship leader opened up by asking everyone how many people they had lead to Christ in the last year. I couldn’t believe the question, it was incomprehensible to me that someone would even ask it. It was like we were turning life story’s into tally marks so we could get the most salvation badges. I think people give themselves top much credit, there is not a single one of us who has ‘lead someone to Christ’ ever. It such a complex reaction made up of a serious of events that began when God breathed life into Adam and continued when his son died on and cross, and still continues today in how we decide to treat our waiter when we openly prayed before a meal. No one can take credit for leading anyone to have a relationship with the lord except for the lord himself, he puts the plan in place, and we are all simply parts to the far greater whole.

  • Jeremy

    Sweet! It’s not just anyone who can get personal emails from the President. And yet they seem vaguely familiar. Hmmm…

    ;)

  • Laura

    OK. This is my reply to all this homosexuality rhetoric. First, I am pretty sure that the O.T. and N.T. authors’ understanding and meaning of “homosexuality” were vastly differently than our common understanding of the term today. Which makes me VERY hesitant to say God hates ALL homosexuality (as we under homosexuality today). In fact, I am hard pressed to find examples in the bible which draw a correlation between a state of being (being gay in this instance) and sin. In fact the only instance that talks about a state of being and sin is being a human and that meaning you are a sinner… I know people have TRIED to make the bible say being Black or being a Jew was a sin, but, uhm, we are beyond that (I hope!). When the writers are talking about homosexuality they are really talking about homosexual acts. And, pray tell, what WERE these homosexual acts? Well, in the O.T. they are talking about gay rape, which I think we can all agree on, that’s detestable and a sin. In the N.T. times homosexuality was often a reference to a sex relationship between an older Roman citizen and his young male slave, which, again, we can agree was bad. To sum up biblical homosexuality ≠ present-day homosexuality. That is all.

    • Carol A Ranney

      Kudos. Wonderful clarification.

  • Jeremy J

    After reading the first ten responses, I gave up on finding one for this blog.

  • Seth

    I’ve never heard you speak and have only read a portion of Blue Like Jazz, so I don’t really know if you use sarcasm a lot. But surely you are here, right?? These emails are so generic. You think he’s a pretty good guy for making contact and keeping in touch? That’s pretty easy when someone writes an automatic reply for you.

  • Carmen

    Donald (ada Don) you are hilarious! I love your personal responses to canned emails…..I’m a fan….of yours…..God bless!

  • Jamie Harrison

    Oh good grief, that was hilarious!!

  • Ronnie Daugherty

    It’s funny that a blog about emailing Obama turned into an argument over homosexuality. Just throwin that one out there. Deuces.

  • Amy M

    Donald-
    For just a $1 donation I’ll let you stand next to me before I make my speech on “homosexuality in the Bible” on your unrelated blog post.

    ah, witty banter. so nourishing. :)

  • Elisa

    Is he hard of hearing or sumthin’? You clearly told him to call you Don. Twice.

  • Marisa

    Way to steer clear of controversy Don! I love your books and I love you.

  • Teddysmom

    I met President Clinton and Hilary once. They were visiting children at a hospital where I worked. I thought that was cool. He is taller thought. Hilary talked to my patient for quite some time, and made my sweet 12 yo feel grown up and important. I’ll remember that forever. (not her healthcare policy – but that she seemed to really care about a very sick little girl.).

  • Aandrew

    Dear Don

    I hate to burst your bubble, but I’m fairly certain that neither of the Obamas wrote you any notes. These look like standard e-mail notes that were probably sent to anyone who attended his rallies and left an e-mail address (otherwise I suspect that at some point they would reference something you’d written in a previous note).

    And given today’s political climate (more weeping and gnashing of teeth than ever), the rhetoric of “you already did it” and “yes we can” is seeming like the thing it was: a very expensive marketing campaign.

    But not to worry, I think you’ve done it in all kinds of ways through your courage and writing. Keep it up, Mr.

  • Sarah

    Ah, this post is one of the many many reasons why I love Don Miller’s writing. You have a simply brilliant (and quite British) sense of humour. Quality Stuff.

  • http://facebook Jeff

    I am impressed with your familiarity with the Senator, Don. :)I am not sure any other candidate could have solved all our problems over the last three years, but I do have a problem with anyone circumventing the Constitution. I think blaming any party in congress for blockading is pointless.Checks and balances comes to mind. I am not ready to chime in on the gay issue, yet, but just want to say that it seems to me that not enough people have given much thought to sex. If I left it at that, even I would have to say I was missing a gear. What I mean is that it seems people automatically assume that we all have a god given right to have sex. Maybe we do, but Isaiah 63.1-8 gives an interesting thought. It speaks of god blessing and holding in higher esteem those who never have sex, or those who are virgins. He says he’ll give them a name greater than that of sons or daughters. Might that be a blessing for anyone? gay or straight or whatever? I guess it’s open to interpretation. Edele should write a song about it maybe. Like drawing a line in the sand? :) Just finished A Million Miles in a Thousand Years, a few minutes ago. It’s the only of your books I’ve read and I am blessed for it. Thanks for your work.

  • Allison Roche

    Yeah, Barack has been known to email me, too.. He has these one-liners that are just hilarious. I should call him up for a pint. It’s been too long.

  • Maia

    Wow… that heated up fast.
    Just wanted to say that I’m slightly offended for you, Mr. Donald Miller who I have never met. President Obama never got back to you about that hippie girl! What kind of friend is that?
    Or did he and you just aren’t telling us? Hmmm… Well it is your business, not ours.
    Thanks for sharing. Got a good laugh. Ever want to come to Cairo? Let me know. I put my email address in to post this comment so feel free to write.

  • David

    No kidding. But the emails seem a little one sided. Sound like form letters all written by the same person. All of them seem to completely ignore Domald’s questions and jump into a speech.

    But I’m sure Obama meant it all.

  • http://twitter.com/chadEmitchell Chad

    All of this talk on here has overshadowed the fact that this post is pure hilarity. I’m giggling like a little school girl over here.

  • Ann

    You might possess presidential emails, Mr. Miller, but I have a personal message from him on my answering machine. He called when I was out, during Senator Patty Murray’s re-election campaign, and I was so impressed at our President putting in a call to me, specifically, on her behalf that I’ve saved his message as a valued memento. ;-)

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  • Tom Wahl

    Mr. Miller,
    Thank you for sharing your incredible writing gift. My family has grown tired of my constant reference to our need to write a better story as you speak about in “A Million Miles in a Thousand Years”. I typically only read text books. Since the death of our twenty year old son in a rock climbing accident on April 7th, the day before Easter, I have been trying to figure out the grieving story.
    I still do not understand it but…through your book I have a different perspective on how God can use it to right a better story in my families life. Please pray that I seek God in how this accident can be used to bring glory to his kingdom.
    I realize you are probably a very busy man but I would love to hear your thoughts of my wifes blog as she processes through the grief of our son’s death. Her blog is “tomakeitworththepain.blogspot.com”.

    Thank you and God Bless you!

    Tom

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