I have been … “uninspired” to write because I have nothing new to say. We face the same battles each day, against an un-American … maybe even anti-American US administration that is successfully tearing apart the moral, social, and commercial strata of our nation with little to no resistance.
Yet, there have been … and continue to be “rumbles.” If I had to give a report, I’d say the dissatisfaction among the American people is spreading and churning up pockets of thought. In general, “Get out of my face” thought, although I did see a “Ready for Hillary – 2016” sticker the other day, and I wept in prayer.
I live 10 minutes from the Franklin Regional High School where the stabbings occurred last week. What could cause a decent young man to flip out like this? “Water cooler talk” around here this week has focused on “bullying.” Yet, it now appears bullying was not a factor.
Still, the same news “journalists” (and I use the term loosely) that cry out against school violence, are the same ones who spew hatred of any and all people or groups who think differently than their pundits. The over-paid, over-publicized celebs who make radical statements against “intolerance,” are the most public offenders of tolerance via their TV shows, music and movies.
Tolerance is NOT a synonym for “political correctness.” Tolerance is acceptance – allowing people to think for themselves and using the ability, the maturity to be civil even if disagreement arises. Tolerance is NOT demanding special treatment aside from rights granted by our Constitution. Tolerance is NOT blocking funding for opposition groups. Tolerance is NOT forcing people and/or businesses to go against their religious beliefs for the sake of a few. THAT is COERCION!
Political parties are made up of INDIVIDUALS who possess the right to think for themselves, as granted in the Constitution. BOTH parties also contain some among them who are corrupt, self-serving individuals who wouldn’t know “public service” if they tripped over it! These individuals need to be removed – voted out! They can’t, however, unless there is someone ready in the wings, someone of BETTER character – and YES!!! Character Counts!!!!! That is up to us – you and me. We must educate ourselves. We must see through the BS! We must VOTE!!!
I recommend genuine TOLERANCE! Good, wholesome debate can really help if we can manage our tempers and our words! Self-control is a GOOD thing!
There isn’t much disagreement that our society is getting more and more violent … sicker! The disagreement comes as to the cause. But it seems pretty self-evident that as morality has been shredded by TV & movies over the last few decades in the name of “diversity,” that violence and depression have risen. It’s not rocket science! If the stabilizing factor is removed (God is Dead-1968,) the moral foundation will crumble, and if that crumbles, there is no “glue” to hold the culture together. Holding fast to Judeo-Christian morality does not insist everyone be religious or attend church. It requires nothing except a willingness toward self-improvement, toward greater self-lessness rather than the overwhelming selfishness of our present culture.
Children learn by watching those in authority around them. What does our behavior (as parents & grandparents) teach our children? How will our children learn to get along, to TALK to one another, if we cannot demonstrate how it works? If we don’t learn, it will be our children and theirs who pay the price for our inaction! Are we selfish, self-serving individuals who do everything for a selfish reason? Or can we learn to value each and every person as an individual of value and seek opportunities to give of our self?
Does including the phrase, “So help me God” to an oath add value or impact? The United States Air Force Academy believed so in 1984 when it changed the candidate oath to include these words. But now they are removing the same words because of a complaint by the Military for Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF).
Only a year ago, the Latin word for “God” was removed from the logo of an Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office. The word was removed after objections by the Military Association of Atheists and Freethinkers.
Is religion in the U.S. military under attack from “friendly fire?” Undermining and demeaning Christian faith in the armed forces is expected to come from Jihadists, but it seems that there is a domestic battle being waged as well.
Chaplains Major Steven Firtko, U.S. Army (Retired) and Lieutenant Commander Dan Klender, U.S. Navy, claim they were mocked, scolded and threatened for their faith while enrolled in the San Diego VA-DOD Clinical Pastoral Education Center program, which trains and distributes chaplains to military and VA medical centers in the San Diego area.
According to their lawsuit, Firtko and Klender allege the Center’s supervisor, Ms. Nancy Dietsch, a VA employee, derided them in classrooms and even had one of them dismissed for failing to renounce his Christian beliefs.
In July, Firtko, Klender and their sponsoring organization, the Conservative Baptist Association of America, filed formal complaint against Dietsch and the VA.
Now the lawsuit, filed with the help of Military-Veterans Advocacy, explains that Firtko and Klender have exhausted all administrative options and that the harassment the chaplains endured violates the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the Administrative Procedures Act and the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
“No American choosing to serve in the armed forces should be openly ridiculed for his Christian faith, and that is most obviously true for chaplains participating in a chaplain training program,” said Commander J.B. Wells, U. S. Navy (Ret.), executive director of Military-Veterans Advocacy. “Not only was the treatment these men received inappropriate, it was also a violation of federal law and the religious freedom guarantees of the First Amendment.”
The lawsuit, Conservative Baptist Association of America v. Shinseki, has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.”
How can atheism “COEXIST” with mainstream faiths (Christianity, Judaism, Catholicism, Buddism) when it precludes any existence of God while the others assume a sovereign power of some nature? We managed for 235 years to peacefully live side by side, yet now, in the name of “tolerance” ALL reference to any deity is being erased. Are we so childish that anyone who disagrees must be WRONG? and therefore, denied freedom?
“The poorest Americans today live a better life
than all but the richest persons a hundred years ago.”
James Q. Wilson, an American academic, political scientist, and an authority on public administration.
In today’s “fairness” political arena, there is a language that has developed. It is a PC language – politically correct. It is a despicable thing, because it limits FREEDOM in the name of “tolerance!” There is a horrible irony in the politically correct language that is supposed to reflect tolerance, it instead is bullying incarnate! It rewards agreement and punishes disagreement! It is defined by whatever position of power exists – and changes with the wind of political change. The sobering thing is that it’s a relatively new development in America. It’s virtually impossible to speak these days without “offending” someone about something, so our response is to remove the object of offense from our language whether it is Christmas, abstinence, or Islam.
We’ve been made afraid. We’ve been made afraid to speak up, to speak our mind on any number of issues we face today, if our opinion differs from those in positions of power. If we do not speak our mind, the argument SEEMS to be solved, but it really just simmers below the surface until the threat is lifted. The abortion argument is a perfect case in point. It never really went away like it was supposed to, it just went “underground” for a time.
Fear, my friends, is VERY telling!
We’re supposed to avoid talk of religion and politics, right? Why? Usually, the answer revolves around ruffling someone else’s feathers, upsetting the balance, the quiet, the calm. Right? Religion (or our personal belief system) and politics are our most personal thoughts, feelings, and ideals. We might even call them intimate.
If I say I am opposed to gay-marriage, it is ASSUMED I hate gays.
If I say I am opposed to “Obamacare,” it is ASSUMED I am unsympathetic to the needs of the poor.
Neither is accurate. I AM poor, for pete’s sake! But I am also rich! FAMILY makes us rich. FAITH makes us rich. WORK makes us rich. STRUGGLE makes us rich. HARDSHIP makes us rich in compassion. ACHIEVEMENT makes us rich. FAILURE makes us rich. INTEGRITY makes us rich. SELF-RELIANCE makes us rich.
In between the liberal position on the LEFT which is allegedly “fairness,” and their accusation of “hate-mongering” directed at certain people-groups, there is a wide expanse of options.
The REAL issue isn’t “fairness” or “equality,”
but the issue is unanimity, conformity, the making of clones!
Think about it.
If you have a home you wish to sell, one of the first things a Realtor will tell you is … NEUTRAL COLORS, right? Whites, creams, beiges … nondescript colors with occasional “splashes” of color. CONFORM!
The same applies to autos. If you look at the cars on the road, most are white, gold, silver … no color. CONFORM!
More seriously, in spite of educational research, curricula is designed to “fit” only a small percentage of our students. Teachers are taught how to present materiel and then assess the student’s grasp of it by narrow questions with specific answers. No critical thought, no independent thought is encouraged. If a student offers an idea, a response different than the one asked for, it is wrong. Sometimes it is word-specific, so that even if a different WORD is used than the one issued, it is wrong. CONFORM!
We are told Religion is fine, but only within certain perimeters.
Fifty years ago, all children were given the tools necessary to mature into responsible, productive citizens. Children with hearing or vision impairment were put into “special” schools where they were given tools to enable them to co-exist in society. Blind children were taught Braille and perhaps the use of a cane or aid-dog. Deaf children were taught sign language and often, lip-reading. Children with other different learning disabilities or mental illness were also given skills to help them be self-sufficient. That was the goal: self-sufficiency. This was the goal for ALL schools and students, to become responsible, productive citizens.
What are the goals today? We have children even graduating from the most prestigious universities with no literacy in world or American history, with sketchy reading skills, and most importantly, with little or no ability to THINK for themselves. Percent of high school graduates who can’t read in 2012 is 19%!!! But they are encouraged to participate in the “Occupy” movement! They are taught a “state ideology” (generally, Secular Humanism, which translates politically into Socialism) from Preschool through any ivy league school you choose while simultaneously, they are taught that “independent thought” is bad. But the goal is … exactly what? When 44% of college freshman don’t make it to graduation, what does that say? With a population gravitating toward government handouts instead of jobs and the benefits inherent in work, with schools that look more like high security prisons, and with a culture that is learning to FEAR freedom, what is the goal of education, of government “social justice” programs, of unanimity?
To encourage able-bodied Americans to become unwittingly enslaved to a system that encourages deeper dependence on government programs rather than encouraging independence is outrageous! THIS is a “unanimity” problem. If I can’t afford what my neighbors have, it’s “not fair! This becomes a moral problem AND a fiscal problem.
Unanimity (conformity) is NOT liberty!
Homosexual lifestyle is now introduced to children of kindergarten age. Instead of working on academic skills, pre-reading skills, early math skills, teachers are mandated to talk about “sexual orientation” with children too young to have ever had a sexual thought! This is NOT responsible education!
In reference to gay marriage, the Bible clearly opposes homosexuality. The fact that it is ISSUE is indication that homosexuality is NOT the norm. (Gal 5: 16-21; Genesis 19:1-13) Now, here’s the rub. We, as Christians, are COMMANDED to LOVE one another, not just those with whom we agree.
We often hear the phrase, “Hate the sin, but love the sinner!” Sadly, most Americans, believers or not, have not learned how to separate a lifestyle from a person. Matthew 7 has some very specific instruction, though, for how we should interact with one another. There is NO HATE directed at the person, only any “unholy” behavior, but is homosexuality worse than gossip? or adultery? or gluttony? Perhaps harder to conquer, but sin is sin. It is NOT for us to judge, but to love! Period!
The same applies to the poor. I believe free handouts to the poor do not serve them in any way. Jesus declared, “For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always.” (Mt 26: 11; Jn 12: 8; Mk 14:7) There will always be some people that are unable due to physical or mental challenges to maintain a job. This does not necessarily mean there isn’t something they can do to help on occasion. Our self worth as humans is determined, built, or maintained by our ability to contribute to a family, a community, or a specific situation. WORK is not an evil thing. It is a beneficial thing for humans. The Bible teaches the individual believer to share, John (the Baptist) said, Luke 3: 11-14
“11 If you have two shirts, share with the person who does not have one. If you have food, share that also.”
12 Even tax collectors came to John to be baptized. They said to him, “Teacher, what should we do?”
13 John said to them, “Don’t take more taxes from people than you have been ordered to take.
14 The soldiers asked John, “What about us? What should we do?”
John said to them, “Don’t force people to give you money, and don’t lie about them. Be satisfied with the pay you get.”
No place in there do we see anything about government or mandates. It is not government’s job or responsibility to oversee charitable donations of substance or time & talent. “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.” (2 Thes 3:10)
Which brings me, finally, to abortion-on-demand as paid for by public funds via Federally sponsored programs including, but not limited to Planned Parenthood. It’s OUTRAGEOUS! It has been for 40 years since the decision was rendered that was supposed to silence the opposition! Clearly, it hasn’t as over 500,000 Americans gathered in DC for the 40th Anniversary March on one of the coldest days this winter. The President’s HHS mandate has stirred up more anguish and dissension than ever. Nothing is settled because, as reminded by the Founders, any law that is not in agreement with the “Law of Nature and Nature’s God” will not stand by virtue of the very definition of Natural Law.
No one is debating the instances of rape, incest, or medical emergency. Those are NOT the procedures in debate! As a Conservative, the promiscuity that has taken over our culture via the media blitz is maddening. Our young people can’t get away from the images and ideas of sex, even if they are inclined to try to avoid them. The tools that COULD be used to bring about so much positive change are misused by those wielding liberal, unhealthy ideas of sexuality and relationship, among other things.
CONCLUSION: Though we’re not crazy, we can, as wise humans, recognize the benefits of hardship, if we trust God. We know that God uses everything that happens (there are no accidents) for our benefit but also for the benefit of others around us. We are promised “tribulations!” (Rom 8:28)
We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— 10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
If the CHURCH (the organized institution of all Christian & Catholic congregations) was doing its job correctly, there wouldn’t be the need for any government programs to tend the needs of the poor. Even so, the job of helping those in need falls on We-the-People, the neighbors, the community … NOT the Federal government via need-oriented programs like food stamps, welfare, and medicaid! EVERYONE has something they can contribute, some talent to share, some richness to give no matter how old or young, how rich or poor, how strong or weak. Allowing each person to contribute, allows each one the blessing of giving, as well as receiving. Though it may not always FEEL like it, work and even hardship are beneficial to our human condition!
While political correctness has made huge changes within our society, we can still – that’s WE-the-PEOPLE – can still turn our great ship of state toward a more humane greatness simply with a restoration of a solid moral code that resists PC language. Political correctness comes and goes, but true moral standards stand against the tides of political debate.
“Do you have a BRAIN?
Yes? Then THINK your way out of your mess!”
There is help available, but it’s the responsibility of each individual to grow and become responsible, productive, self-reliant, and contributing Americans!
free·dom [free-duhm] noun
the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.
exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
the power to determine action without restraint.
political or national independence.
personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.lib·er·ty [lib-er-tee] noun, plural -ties.
freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.
freedom from external or foreign rule; independence.
freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice.
freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint: The prisoner soon regained his liberty.
permission granted to a sailor, especially in the navy, to go ashore.
AMERICA is a collection of Americans!
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty
by which Christ has made us free,
and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1
What made America the greatest nation on earth?
What inspired early Americans to amazing courage?
What defined America to the World?
What is PERSONAL FREEDOM, anyway? We often talk about freedom and liberty with unclear images in mind. We point to specific things that restrict our freedom, i.e The Patriot Act, NDAA 2013, or prison. Do we consider the alternatives? Think of all the nations of the earth that do not know, have never known the liberties our Constitution establishes as Law within our borders.
I had the honor of witnessing the *Iron Curtain that cut through Europe from the end of WWII until the end of the Cold War in 1989 when it was finally dismantled by the people of a newly reunited Germany. The people that grew up behind that “curtain” were taught the barbed wire was there to keep the rest of the world out – because we all wanted the wonders of life they experienced. Those of us who are old enough to remember the images of that wall, the images of those attempting to leave the supposed utopia, know the truth. We know how devastating the culture was behind the wall. Those living behind that wall lived and died without any personal freedom. Choices were made FOR them by the “authorities,” the government. Freedom is the very antithesis of life behind the curtain, of life without choices, without personal freedom. It is something worth fighting for.
“The concept of the Iron Curtain symbolized the ideological fighting and physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1989. On either side of the Iron Curtain, states developed their own international economic and military alliances:
The Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the military Warsaw Pact on the east side, with the Soviet Union as the most important member of each
Physically, the Iron Curtain took the shape of border defences between the countries of Western and Eastern Europe, most notably the Berlin Wall, which served as a longtime symbol of the Curtain as a whole.
The events that demolished the Iron Curtain started in Poland, and continued in Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Romania. Romania was the only Eastern bloc country to violently overthrow its communist regime.” (Wikipedia)
Most post WWII Americans are fortunate in that they have never known a time of extraordinary difficulty as was experienced during both World Wars or the Great Depression. For the most part, things have been pretty comfortable for the majority of Americans until recently. We have never had to stand in long “bread lines” or “Soup lines” in front of missions or churches. We have never been asked by our government to turn in our gold and metals to be used in the production of weapons. We have never lived with restricted food purchase. We did experience a brief “fuel shortage” in the 70’s, but that was a minor interruption and didn’t last long. We have not been asked to buy War bonds or known the urgency of the “draft.” And we are quick to forget about those times that Americans were called on to make certain sacrifices for the War effort. Seldom are these issues even taught in our schools today.
During the Revolutionary War, those we celebrate as heroes today, experienced the hardship of personal sacrifice, too. Many were wealthy landowners, but with their involvement in the Revolution, their lands and titles were confiscated by the Crown. “Five signers were captured by the British as traitors, and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the 56 fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.”
Grievous corruption within both political parties discourages many Americans from participation in the political process. The corruption has been tolerated by US – by We-the-People for decades! We did not reach this precipice overnight, but we must awaken and wrestle back the reins of our Representative Republic. It is do or die time, friends! This WRESTLING implies WORK … INVOLVEMENT… SACRIFICE, but ultimately, FREEDOM! Yes! we must WORK to regain what has been stripped from us, in the name of SOCIAL JUSTICE, in the name of TOLERANCE. (Tolerance is just another name for amorality!) We must get INVOLVED to STOP the infiltration of UN involvement in our Republic via the UN “Small Arms Treaty” and “AGENDA 21!” We, as Americans, must re-identify our priorities and separate our NEEDS from our WANTS. We must be willing to make some SACRIFICES for the sake of our LIBERTY, even as our Founders were certain their stand would cost them.
The root of the battle of the Obama Administration is found in one simple doctrine: Socialism = Collectivism rather than Individualism. How many of you have seen or been asked “progressive situational ethics” questions like this:
You live in a small rural village. Your village comes under attack, and all villagers go into hiding. Your baby begins to cry. What do you do?
A. Do you kill your baby to save the village, or
B. Do you take your chances?
Instinctively, I resist either/or situational questions because LIFE doesn’t work this way. While there are occasions where the sacrifice of one saves the many (i.e. a soldier falling on a grenade to save his buddies,) more often than not, there are OTHER OPTIONS. Obama’s world view falls in sharp contrast to our American Heritage.
We are ONE NATION UNDER GOD (whether we actively worship or choose another route,) but we are a nation of individuals free to make individual decisions and choices, individuals free to pursue our own personal dreams and live life in accordance with our personal belief system as long as it doesn’t INFRINGE the FREEDOMs of another.
President Obama and his supporters are moving to build a One World Government by eroding American Sovereignty. What this means is that President Obama does not believe America, and other nations, have the RIGHT to rule themselves. Contrary to John Locke and others who influenced our Founders’ ideas of Self-Government, President Obama adheres to a global community (after all, he is a “community organizer”) with a Board of Directors in control of everything GLOBALLY: food, housing, transportation, commerce, production … EVERYTHING! This is where he is taking the nation, OUR nation, with or without our cooperation!
The practices of Socialism, though seemingly ideal on paper, do not implement well in humans as history repeatedly demonstrates. Find ONE, just one example of a nation that THRIVED under a Socialist or Communist regime. Search history, search the globe, and clearly, history teaches us that Socialist policy, i.e. “fair distribution” DOES NOT WORK!!! It is just another view of oppression of the masses by a handful of elite Know-it-alls who impose THEIR will, THEIR morals, and THEIR ideals upon the population … reportedly for our own good! Obama has been highly successful in turning the great LIBERTY ship of state nearly 180º, and openly talks sedition – revisionary hopes for our 235+ yr old Constitution.
Socialism at work
In contrast, the principles and practices that drove America up the mountain to the pinnacle, clearly have proven good for each and every American. Even the poorest among us in the USA are wealthy by the world’s standards no matter how it feels to those living in what we call poverty. Dreamers from around the world imagine life in the US and struggle to see Lady Liberty’s welcoming torch in spite of the turmoil within our nation.
Until a few decades ago, there was no such thing as RETIREMENT! One worked until they could no longer work, and then it was the family’s responsibility to tend and HONOR their Seniors. Families remained in tact. Children grew up and usually stayed pretty close to home. They supported one another, helped one another, and loved one another. EVERYONE contributed to the family’s welfare as they were able, and everyone reaped the rewards and security of family.
What changed to bring about this general dissatisfaction and restlessness that covers us like a wet blanket, and smothers the life from us? What happened to make us value LIFE so lightly? Success! Success allowed for more Leisure time, which lead to increased pleasure-seeking, which sooner or later, corrupts! Think about it.
Remember Little House on the Prairie or the Waltons? The men and women of the pioneer world (or early 20th century) worked from sunup to sun down. They were exhausted at the end of the day – too exhausted to get into trouble! Too exhausted to drink to excess or run around on their spouse. Obviously this is over-simplified, but as a rule, these men and women of prior generations were much more content. They reveled in the sense of achievement they earned by just surviving from day to day with the help of their faith and their community. Their lives were rich in relationships and achievement. Both of these, Americans today have surrendered. We no longer think we NEED outside relationships, so they are shallow, electronically maintained, and less valued. Similarly, Americans today value the paycheck more than the actual work or achievement of their day, so we look elsewhere for that satisfaction.
My gramma used to say, “Idle time is the devil’s plaything.” Our society today is prooving that to be true.
CONCLUSION: Each of us needs to rediscover the Source of our Freedom and re-evaluate our appreciation for the many choices we still have. What did our personal freedoms cost? Hundreds of thousands of lives. What have you paid for it? What are you willing pay to maintain freedom so America is still the “land of the Free and the home of the brave?” Are we brave enough to pay the price required to regain and maintain our personal freedoms? Time will tell!
According to the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed …” (emphasis mine)
Throughout history, men and women have known personal freedom while living in restrictive societies or under tyrannical governments, even the most vicious. This is because personal freedom is birthed within our own heart and life. Corrie Ten Boom and the Von Trapp family are some more familiar examples, but there are others – many others. If personal freedom lives inside us, it is both a motivator toward the establishment of freedom all around us, and a strength to overcome what obstacles to freedom exist.
When We-the-People find, relish, and remain ready to defend our personal freedom, the sinews of Progressivism will weaken under the contentment of a hard-working, compassionate, other-conscious population.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,
and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1