Every year in December we all start making goals in our heads: Lose 20 pounds, walk more, gym memberships, new cars, buy a house, etc. and rarely do any of us actually stick to our grand plans. So, I have a resolution to propose, one that we could all use, and one that will greatly benefit our fellow man.
That’s it! No gimmicks, no memberships, and nothing out of your pocket, but it might be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. It might challenge you, it demands that you remember what your Faith stands for, what your convictions stand for, and it means you have to question where your allegiance should lie. We have become reactionary, and not reasonable. Passive, and not compassionate. Quick to defend, slow to mourn.
Years ago I watched as someone on a show trained one of their dogs to respond to clicker training. Upon hearing the sound, her dog would respond by doing whatever her master requested of her, and immediately she would be rewarded. At first she questioned it, she was confused, but eventually the response was automatic. Eventually she would respond with or without a reward, because it had become chiseled into her mind that upon the “click” she needed to heed the request of her owner.
In this post, I’ll show you how we are all just a bunch of clicker trained dogs. That’s what this is all about, not just the actions of our government, but the reactions of the people. I’m going to touch on multiple topics, today’s blog is my alphabet soup of opinions, and I’ll probably say enough to offend everyone at least once. Fingers crossed.
This week two large, news worthy topics took center stage: Gruber was questioned about admitting to the fact that the architects of the ACA lied to the people in order to pass a bill that harmed the people. Then arrived the – suspiciously timed – release of the Senate report that detailed CIA interrogation tactics. Last week Ferguson was still in the news, followed by the news about Garner, pouring gasoline on an already thriving fire. It seems as though it is one thing after the other, and very few people have been rational.
Issue #1: CIA Interrogation Tactics
I’ll go ahead and rip this band-aid off first. I was challenged by a post that I read by Matt Walsh. He made an incredibly good point concerning the release of the Senate report, and by “Senate report,” I mean Democrat Senate opinion report. I digress, the point was, if we are going to say we have the moral high ground, we should stand by it. This is something I need to think about when it comes to torture. I’ve never lost sleep over the idea of water boarding a man who would murder my family without a care, but at the same time, can I justify calling America the moral high ground when “rectal rehydration” and “hypothermia” are practices we use on our enemies? Like I said, this is something I need to mull over. This is not to say that the report should have even been released, but it was, so I’ll think it over.
I believe that torture has the potential to save lives, I’ve held that position for quite a while, and will probably continue to do so, regardless of what the “findings” say. The report was written by Democrats, by cherry picking through 6 million documents, and they didn’t interview anyone with the CIA. Personally, I don’t want to hear the bleeding hearts on the left preaching about the suffering of terrorists. I noticed that there were a few practices that we don’t use. For example, we don’t behead them, we don’t fly planes into their buildings and force their innocent family members to burn alive or jump to their death, we don’t steal, rape, torture, and behead their women and children, etc. So my questioning has nothing to do with whether they deserve it, but rather who we wish to be as a country, and what techniques we want to put our stamp of approval on. Let’s all be honest, the level of care that a terrorist deserves would probably be something worse than what Jack Bauer could deliver while armed with a towel, hack saw, and table lamp.
Democrats: “Those poor terrorists!”
Republicans: “Yeah, those poor tortures, beheaders, rapists, and child slaughterers. Give me a break.”
While I might agree with the Republican viewpoint, I have to mull over who we are, not just what they deserve. For example: I’ve studied Calvinism vs. Arminianism (I don’t align with either), but I always hear the same thing from the New Calvinist perspective, “But we ALL deserve hell, Marybeth, so it’s not unfair to say that God made some people with no hope.” My reply has always been, “It’s not about what we deserve, it’s about what He promised.” I see interrogation tactics as the same type of issue, it’s not all about what they deserve, it’s about what we stand for. Put a bullet in their head, I’m not going to lose sleep when the terrorist that looked into the face of a child while he took off their head loses his life. It’s not about how evil he is, it’s about how good we claim to be.
That said, CIA, playing a Janeane Garofalo audiobook as torture? You’ve gone too far.
Like I said, my mind is not made up by any stretch of the imagination, but I am willing to think outside of the box. I’m willing to question the response I’m supposed to give upon hearing the “click.” I love having my position challenged, we all should, and that’s the reason for this post. We have become accustomed to spitting out a canned response before thinking. We hear a news report, a certain politician we support, a tagline, etc. and we don’t even take the time to think through our convictions and responses, we just go dig out that over baked one-liner, or that thoughtless opinion, and throw it back at the world. We become one huge food fight, where nobody even cares what the fight is about, they just want to defend their own.
Issue #2: Gruber & The Really Stupid Voters
Someday that will be a movie title. What can we all take away from this? The Democrats in charge do not care who they hurt. Their reactions are not based off of logic, but are instead based off of defending their own side. They don’t care if you lost your insurance, they don’t care if your Grandparent was denied chemo, they don’t care if you can’t afford groceries AND healthcare at the same time. They don’t care. They care that they were caught, but they don’t care about what this bill has done to families across America. When questioning Gruber, Trey Gowdy dropped the mic, threw down the gauntlet, and made Gruber wish he was never born, and every Conservative cheered and fist bumped over the much needed take down. Rightly so. But I think Issa won the show with a very important question to Gruber, one that I believe was widely overlooked by both Liberals and Conservatives. Issa asked Gruber if anyone at any of the events he spoke at (vast majority, if not all, were democrats) ever stopped Gruber to say, more or less, “Wait a second! You’re openly calling those that vote for our agenda ‘stupid?’” Of course Issa worded it differently, but the point was made, and Gruber said that he had not been corrected by anyone. That, to me, speaks wonders. This wasn’t just an opinion by an MIT Professor going off the rails, this was more than likely the opinion of the room, and anyone who felt differently and didn’t speak out concerning such a detrimental topic to the American people, is nothing but a coward. Period.
Let’s just take a moment here to pretend that the President didn’t know and agree with Gruber’s opinion of the average Democrat voter. Okay. Moment over.
The immediate response is not anger over the lies, as it should be, it is simply anger over the fact that this was made public knowledge. Do you see how heartbreaking that is? We as Conservatives shouldn’t just be attacking Gruber, we should be asking Democrats why they betrayed their own people, why they lied to their own voters. Gruber doesn’t need to apologize to us, he wasn’t talking about our stupidity, we didn’t vote for the bill, but the average Democrat voter did, and we should be using this opportunity to show them as such.
The world we live in today is fogged by our own lack of compassion, we have been thoughtless about choosing our allegiance, and both sides of the fence have failed the people, as well as law enforcement, and our moral compass. We have put individuals in power that have hurt our neighbors, just for the sake of padding our own pockets.
Issues #3&4: Michael Brown & Eric Garner:
Concerning my comments above about immediately choosing allegiance, immediately upon hearing that Michael Brown was killed, the majority of responses were similar to those listed below:
“I’m sure the police officer felt his life was in danger, this kid was probably causing trouble.”
“Hmmmm…Black kid, white cop. Explains everything.”
Days later Darren Wilson had a support page, and the responses changed to this:
“Brown was a criminal, a thug, and didn’t respect authority. #ISupportDarrenWilson”
“Brown was an unarmed black child!!! #BlackLivesMatter.”
No one was in their right mind. No one. Those who right off the cuff supported the officer without having facts just seemed, well, cold. Plus, now everyone knows that you are going to support someone with a badge, with or without facts, and with or without cause. That’s called a gang mentality, friends. Those that immediately jumped to preach on race did nothing but follow the path laid out by the media and an incredibly corrupt Government. So what was the right response? Well, in my opinion, it would have been something like this:
“Wow, heartbreaking news about a guy that lost his life. Praying for all involved, and that the truth, no matter who it benefits, prevails.”
That statement doesn’t condemn anyone, it doesn’t defend anyone. But see, we’ve lost compassion, and as soon as the “click” takes place, we all jump to our own side and defend whichever person we hope is innocent. Basically, we are well trained. Recklessly we pledge our allegiance, not realizing that there isn’t a side to choose. Unfortunately, this happened with Garner as well, and both cases give us the opportunity to see both sides of a horrific coin. In the Brown case we find that Brown’s death, while tragic, was because he gave the officer a legitimate need for self-defense. In the Garner case we find that he should have never been killed, and that the police overused their power.
There is no side to win, and I don’t understand why people don’t grasp such a horrid reality. 2 men are dead. The declaration of innocence in the Wilson case is only justified because the facts were foggy, and the witnesses were conflicting. The majority said that Brown was attacking Wilson, and this gives Wilson the right to exercise self-defense. The Garner case, however, was an entirely different story.
If you are friends with me on Facebook, or you have read my Twitter, you’ll find that I didn’t reference the previous acts of Michael Brown, nor the “thug” mentality that everyone was touting. Why? Because it was irrelevant in my mind. Just like the emotional declarations of dedication from the Wilson followers, and the Police apologists who step over bodies just to defend a badge. I also didn’t base my opinions on the Eric Garner situation on whether or not he had a clean record, or had been arrest 436 different times. I didn’t, and don’t, care. None of it matters.
Last week I once again watched the video of Eric Garner, for what I would guess was the 8th time. It didn’t get any easier to watch, but I kept watching because I honestly wanted to see if I had missed something, I wanted to make sure that I had come to the right conclusion. Each time that I heard him say “I can’t breathe,” my heart broke a little more, and I can honestly say that I cried each time. Then I saw him lying there in the second video, and as the cops did not do anything to assist Garner, other than tap his shoulder and talk to him while he was unresponsive, I questioned what had happened to my country. As Pentaleo waved to the camera like a child while this man lay dying on a gurney, my stomach turned in revolt.
So today, with every bit of disdain that I have for this entire debacle, I’m going to debunk not only the worst excuses that I’ve read, but I’m also going to discuss why the past of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are irrelevant to the discussion, and once again note why we have become a nation of automatic responses with little regard for life. In addition, I’m going to chat about the false narrative that is the race issue.
“Well, don’t break the law and you won’t die.”
Not only is it sad that this is the first defense that most people fly to, it’s also incredibly stupid. Not the kind of stupid that people should have to call you out on, but the kind of stupid that calls for immediate realization and regret. That’s the kind of thing you say and then 5 minutes later think, “Man, that was really stupid.” Not something that the rest of the country should pick up and race around the podium of badges like it’s the most logical sentence proclaimed since Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. It’s stupid, and if you said that, you should be horribly and deeply ashamed of yourself. Notice, I’m not calling you stupid, I’m calling that statement stupid. Beyond that, if you said that before saying ANYTHING else about the human being that lost his life, you should really evaluate your soul. Not in a, “Hmmm…I wonder if that was hasty” sort of way, but more in a “Hmmm…I wonder if I’m desensitized” sort of way.
Let’s break down the issue here:
The death penalty is different in each state, but the main reason it is used is for premeditated murder. In some states, treason, kidnapping, trafficking, espionage, rape of a child, etc. are also listed as reasons, but those are not widely known reasons since the vast majority of the time we hear of someone on death row, it is for premeditated murder. It’s your butchers, your serial rapists/killers, it’s the parasites of society that prey on the innocent, the monsters that give the horror film industry their wild ideas, the father of six selling loose cigarettes on the street.
This is why the past transgressions of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are irrelevant. Michael Brown was killed in self-defense, and I support the right we have to protect ourselves. If someone breaks into my house, I’m not aiming to wound, I’ll leave it at that. They pose a direct threat, and I am in fear for my life. If you believe that any cop in the Eric Garner case feared for their life, I have a farm in Kentucky that I’d like to sell you. See, Michael Brown’s past was irrelevant to me because I KNOW that people can change, and I pray that they give up a life of crime and be productive members of society, that they find peace. While I hope they are held accountable, I would never say that the death penalty is optional for the crime of being a cigar stealing thug. What matters in the Ferguson case is that Michael Brown went after a police officer, another human being, and that person defended their life. That is what matters to me. How saggy Brown’s pants were does not matter. What matters is that Wilson, badge or no badge, had a right to defend his life.
When you justify manslaughter by saying that he simply shouldn’t have committed a crime, you automatically make the death penalty a logical choice for EVERY crime. Resisting arrest is NOT punishable by death. Period. So stop using that incredibly stupid tagline. If you attack a cop while resisting arrest, then you might have a case.
“I stand in solidarity with the protesters! Because I’m against a police state.”
Since when is burning down buildings a way to lessen the police state? Actually, you’re just giving people a reason, or at least they think it’s a reason, to support a police state, or what they don’t think will turn into a police state. You might not be out there lighting buildings in Ferguson on fire, but supporting those that do is not only dumb, but you should ask for a job in government since you’re currently helping them for free, you might as well get paid. Staaahhhhhhppppp.
“Fact: Garner was arrested multiple times before.”
Fact: So were many high profile pastors, CEO’s, and other productive members of society. People do dumb things all the time, that still doesn’t justify the death penalty. We hope that people change, and until they do, we hold them accountable for their actions, we don’t kill them. He could have been arrested 30 more times for the same crime, and guess what, IT STILL WOULDN’T JUSTIFY THE DEATH PENALTY. They don’t execute people for selling cigarettes. Apparently the fact that due process is for all people, even those with a criminal past, comes as a surprise to some people.
If you need more information on this issue, please see the section dedicated to “Well, don’t break the law and you won’t die” again.
Moving on to “He had a heart attack, the cop didn’t kill him.”
Have you ever been so amazed by what someone has said that you tilt your head sideways and give it a couple seconds so that maybe their brain catches up with their mouth? This kind of reminds me of that. I’m sure that choking him, cutting off his oxygen until he passed out, smashing his face into the ground and creating positional asphyxiation, leaving him to lay there unconscious, etc. had nothing to do with his heart attack and death. Nothing at all. By the way, what’s the price on unicorns in your world, have they gone up with inflation? The coroner ruled it a homicide for a reason, and I don’t think it’s because he owns a Guy Fawkes mask and moonlights as an anti-cop protester.
Prison guards are trained to avoid positional asphyxiation, even with larger inmates. I know this comes as a shock since they’re criminals, and jumping on their back and choking them out should be totally copasetic to the masses, but apparently the people who train Prison Guards realize that even inmates have rights. So those saying that positional asphyxiation just happens, that’s why rules are put in place in terms of force. Accidental abortions happen when you push your pregnant wife down the stairs too, maybe it’s a good idea not to push your pregnant wife down the stairs.
“If he said “I can’t breathe,” clearly he could still breathe at least a little.”
*Blank stare* If you can watch the video and have this response, you’re grasping. That’s like watching a house burn down and having the insurance company refuse to pay you because the microwave was still usable.
“It’s because he was black!”
Are there racial issues in this country? Of course. It’s on both sides. Do either of these instances have to do with race? Of course not, and no one can prove that they do. I could dig up multiple videos and news stories that involve caucasians being the victims of police overreach, but then I’d have to deal with receiving a bunch of pictures telling me to call a crackhead the next time someone breaks into my house.
Beyond that, you do realize that a black superior officer stood by and watched Garner be taken down like an animal, right?
“1,501 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty in the last 10 years.”
Heartbreaking number, truly, it is. Whether it’s 1501, or 1, it is a sad number. We should always mourn the loss of an officer. We should always mourn the loss of a father, mother, sister, brother, daughter, son, etc. The problem that I have with this statistic is what it is being used for, and that I found this line on a Conservative site, mocking the “I can’t breathe” case. First we see a cartoon with a grave marked “Police: Killed in the line of duty,” followed by the caption: “We can’t breathe.” So because these 1,501 law enforcement officers have died, somehow Eric Garner’s death is irrelevant. The article then went on to call American neighborhoods “War Zones,” it was at this point that I stood completely still to see if I could feel the Founding Fathers turning in their graves.
Beyond that, this Conservative site is the same one that houses writers who will take Mom’s Demand Action to the cleaners for bending statistics to fit their narrative. Shannon Watts is constantly taking gun statistics and fitting it into her agenda, and we all, myself included, rip her to shreds. She even has me blocked on Twitter, which I consider to be a badge of honor. I, a responsible gun owner, don’t appreciate her false and damaging numbers, and I, an American who cares about our freedoms, don’t appreciate it when a Conservative site does the same. They tout 1,501, but they don’t give you all the facts. Nowhere in the article does it say that more than half of those officers died in automobile or motorcycle accidents, another group from heart attacks, etc. and it is misleading to not mention this information. Especially since the number of cops killed by perpetrators per year was, as of 2013, at its lowest point since the late 1800’s. You mention the facts behind the 1,501 number and all of the Conservatives say, “Well, they were in the line of duty.” but we all know that’s ridiculous, they were going for the shock value. They wanted you to imagine 1,501 officers dying at the hands of people like Michael Brown and Eric Garner, but the reality is that cops usually defend themselves with lethal force when the situation calls for it.
“Well, at first I was mad when I watched the Garner video, but then after the legal definitions were explained to me I realized that what the officer did was justifiable under the law.”
Hmmm… Please add on to that. How about, “I watched the video, and if what the officer did is justifiable under the law, we need to change the law.”
Seriously, is anyone not concerned with the fact that people watched that video, were horrified, and then calmed down after being told that the cop was within the law? Like “Well, I watched that woman get stoned by her husband, freaked out a bit, but then calmed down when I realized that he is allowed to do that.” What, shouldn’t that raise the concern level, not lower it? Everyone was spouting off over whether it was a chokehold or not, really? Like you’re going to watch the video and think, “oh, well, this is not a big deal if his arm is situated like this.” “I just watched a man die tragically, for selling loose cigarettes, but it’s okay because of a definition.” So, after being told that I need to wait for the entire story, that I need to look at the law, and that I need to understand his past and health conditions, I’d like to throw my blanketed response back at you: If you watch that video, and for ANY reason, think that it is okay, I’m going to disagree with you, vehemently. If that is allowed by law, I want the law changed. If we are going to allow this in the name of not paralyzing cops, then we need to embrace the label of “cold barbarians.” If we can’t find a happy medium between this and sitting back and forcing the police to do nothing, then we have finally succeeded at allowing our Government to become that obnoxious kid on the playground who refuses to play unless you let him change the rules.
This happened in Ferguson too. We said that having every cop look like the terminator was bad, and that military equipment should not be allowed, and then suddenly when law enforcement stands back and watches looters burn buildings, people look at me like, “See…I guess you got your way!” I’m to the point that responding to such ridiculous statements is a waste of time.
“People just need to comply with police. Period. It’s not that hard, do what they ask you to do.”
Said Soviet Russia. My problem with this statement is that it’s blanketing ALL issues. If a cop wants to see my ID, sure! If that’s the law, I’ll hand it over. If he wants to search my car without reason and warrant, ummm…no. People need to learn their rights.
“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.” – James Madison
“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” – Benjamin Franklin
Our Founding Fathers did not only warn of armies that attack other countries and destroy them, the majority of the time, they warned about armies that destroy their own country. Does that mean that I think every law enforcement officer is going to turn on the people? Don’t be silly. But it does mean that I believe the Founding Fathers wanted power over the people to be limited, very limited. Like not choking a guy out over a cigarette tax limited. As the saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Many people feel that giving government more power will somehow make those who enforce such power side with us if anything were to go awry. People don’t seem to understand that law enforcement officers across our country – good, decent, brave law enforcement officer – are upholding laws against guns that go against our Constitution and tax laws – ahem – that support the nanny state ideals. Why? Because it’s their job. Sure, if the chips fell some of them would not do the government’s bidding, but friends, the reason why the Founders said that it was detrimental to keep control over such institutions is because the vast majority will follow orders, and will even use violence over taxes. Look no further than every other country that has ever welcomed such tactics. When/If gun control is enforced, guess who knocks on your door to collect guns? Do you think that everyone that lived in Russia and Germany were barbarians who didn’t care about their neighbors? You can’t possibly be that foolish. No, they were controlled by a few barbarians who demanded that those beneath them do their job, and guess what, they did.
“Let’s see who you call when someone breaks into your house!?”
I nominate this argument as the worst yet; the champion, the incomparable, the unparalleled. It’s horrible, ignorant, and downright silly. It’s overused, abused, and not even close to logical. It’s like poor rationale on steroids. I’ve covered this before, so now I shall cover it again…
If someone breaks into my house, I’m going to call the cops. Because it’s their job. If someone mugs me, I’m going to call the cops. If someone rapes me, I’m going to call the cops. If someone steals in the store, I’m going to call the cops. If someone hits my car, I’m going to call the cops. Heck, if I want to, I might just have the police on speed dial on my phone, because they’re the first people I’m going to call if I catch someone doing something illegal.
So, I have a wonderful doctor, he is one of the best doctors I’ve ever been to. (I have a point, don’t worry.) He’s a lung specialist, and a darn good one at that. As a chronic asthmatic, he changed my life. I can’t say enough about the man, and I honestly appreciate doctors more than most people because I spent a lot of my life in their care. I don’t care if they own yachts and large houses, they’ve earned them! Years ago, my doctor was on vacation for 2 weeks, but I had what I thought was a particularly bad cold and had to see whoever was available to get some help so that I didn’t step into overnight stay territory. The doctor I saw, in my opinion, was not just a mediocre doctor compared to mine, but she didn’t even deserve to be measured on the same scale. She had no idea what to prescribe me, I basically told her what to give me after she shrugged her shoulders. She wrote me prescriptions, didn’t listen to my lungs, and sent me out the door with access to more medications than the pharmacy could hold, but none that actually did any good. I walked out the door with what my doctor would diagnose as whooping cough 3 weeks later. I was miserable for weeks, couldn’t work, couldn’t sleep, and sick from self-medicating because she didn’t do anything to diagnose the issue.
My point in all of that is to say that I had no issue calling out this doctor, even though it’s a profession that I highly respect. She failed to do her job, and made the hospital look bad. My doctor found out who she was and wanted her location and information so that he could make a call to whoever was in charge that day (I had gone to a local hospital since I knew he was out), that instantly made me trust my doctor even more. Doctors are humans, and just like the entire human population as a whole, there are going to be some people that excel at being good, many that are decent, and some that wear see through Cheetah print pants, a pink sports bra, and curlers to Walmart.
I have something I need to tell you guys: Police officers are human. I love them, I respect them, and I appreciate them, but they’re human. Some of them are going to be outstanding at their job, some deliver Christmas trees to kids, some bring groceries to single mothers, some care about criminals and Mom’s that steal because they can’t feed their kids, some are really sweet and let me go with a warning, some work at homeless shelters, some give homeless men boots during the winter, and some may have grown tired of seeing people hurt and now have a hair trigger personality, and a few others joined simply because they have a superiority complex (They can usually be seen with shirts that say, “Police Officer, because bad-a** isn’t an official title”). Balance is found when we remember that every profession – even those who save lives in the medical world, those who fight wars, fight fire, patrol the streets, and restock your cantaloupe in the produce department – is going to have both good and bad individuals. If you limit their power and remove the government overreach attacking our nation like a plague, you’ll lessen the opportunities to use lethal force, which means you’ll lessen the chance of those few power hungry police officers getting in over their head, which means you’ll lessen the chance of a horrible situation. Add in the fact that we could use more training, and less warrior mentality type attitude encouragement, and we would begin to see a change.
I have something else to tell you: Scrutiny is not attacking. Holding an institution responsible for their actions is not anti-that particular institution. Limiting is not paralyzing. Respecting does not mean I need to worship.
So, when you ask me who I’m going to call when someone breaks into my house, I’m going to call the police, and I’m going to expect them to do their job. Sending videos to my inbox of cops doing good things after I ask us all to be vigilant of how much power we give law enforcement is like me sending you clips of Dr. McDreamy saving someone with brain cancer after you complain about your recent ER visit. It’s irresponsible, and has NOTHING to do with the problem. You heard the click, and you responded by bowing down to your idols. You didn’t do what the Founders told you to do, you instead tried to make me feel unpatriotic, uncaring, and anti-cop while you bounced on the body of a victim with a pogo stick. When in reality, my way creates a positive relationship between the people and law enforcement. So, now that I think about it, maybe you’re the one that supports a system which causes the police to be viewed in a bad light with the public. Chew on that one for a bit.
Do I share videos of the awesome things many cops do? Of course! Am I thankful for the police? OF COURSE! Are they who I am going to call if someone harms me? Of course! Am I going to ignore issues in law enforcement to fancy your narrative? No. I’m not.
And remember who we are. We are not Europe, we are not China, we are America. Our country was Founded on individual rights, self-protection, and a Government that is supposed to run on a hands off approach. The same rights that gave Wilson the right to protect himself, and Garner the right to live and face due process. Respecting the police is pertinent; not fearing what they can become with too much power is dangerous. That means we are ALL responsible to hold ANY guilty party responsible. Badge or no badge. Michael Brown was responsible for his death, Eric Garner was not responsible for his. So, where should your allegiance be placed? Right now I’m talking about politically, of course I know that God is the blanketed answer, but right now I’m talking about us as a country. Look to your left and your right, no matter what they are wearing, be it a police uniform or a waitress apron, they are who your allegiance should be dedicated to. The People of this country. Your first response should be to protect their rights, at all cost. Countless soldiers have given their lives in the name of our freedom, it is our job to respect that freedom. It is our job to protect that freedom from our Government.
So this year, I challenge you to think. Think about who you defend, are you defending the rights of the man behind the badge, or just the badge. Think about who we are, are you putting your opinions to the challenge and ensuring that they can face fierce scrutiny? Think about your neighbor, if they lost their home because their already impossible budget was stretched to the limit because of the ACA, would you care more about Gruber’s remarks? Until we start seeing people, and stop seeing color, uniform, and political party, we will never heal this country.
At church one day my pastor was talking about gossip. Of course he told us not to spread it. But equally important, he said, don’t listen to it either!
I turned around to my sister-in-law and whispered, “Oh my gosh! You know who does that?”
She quickly replied, “Who?!?”
On the surface, that is hilarious. What about below the surface? While it was intended to be funny and she fell for it, I mean to tell you she went a long way that day from where she was even just minutes before. A lot of the time, we like to hear a great message and in our minds say, “Ooh! I wish so-and-so could hear this! It would be perfect for him/her!” How do we get to the point of realizing that the message is intended for US? Of equal confoundedness, if we do realize it, can we quantify the importance of it? Can we APPLY it effectively?
How true is it that the origination of this country, the Declaration of Independence, the importance of the Constitution, the history of ‘why’, etc., still impacts our lives? Not at all? A little? A few patriotic holidays? Of course we are all in different pages of the same book on this. Let me try to bring it closer to home.
According to popular understanding, and a somewhat overly simplistic overall view, the American Revolution goes something like this:
Political rebellion. Taxation w/o representation.
Ok. Mostly true. But why did this unfair taxation mean so much? Was there more to it?
See, the Puritans came over fleeing persecution. A changing of the guard overseas sealed their residency as hopes of a deal and an eventual return were lost. The recognized state religions did not include the Puritans… and later on ‘those silly Presbyterians,’ generally speaking, our founding fathers. Think of the emphatic deliberate language of the Declaration. Of the Constitution. Their faith encompassed every aspect of their lives! They deemed it worth fighting for to not have their motives altered! They feared the corruption of a state army over the sacrificial ideals of a volunteer army… the free expression of their faith rather than chancing worship tainted with spite! Talk about conviction!
Now for sure, your lot in life does NOT dictate your freedom in Christ. But our lot was BOUGHT with the blood of remarkable selfless patriots who dreamed of a society in which God could be openly worshipped with the purest of hearts and NO EXCUSES! Something the king did not want. Thus the greatest free society in the history of mankind was born.
But was this really worth the sacrifice? Was it just?
This is where it gets tricky. My opinion aside, there are obviously different schools of thought on this. The safe answer I will initially give is, they certainly thought so! There is absolutely no way to insert yourself into that time in history and objectively answer that question. Is west of the Mississippi a beautiful place to live? Yep! But given a British rule we may never have known. Not wanting trouble, the English had prohibited settling in Indian territory. Now we know.Don’t misunderstand: THE ENDS DO NOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS! You could no sooner say a lot was learned about hypothermia from the holocaust so the means are justified. That would be absurd. There is myriad gray area here so I’ll just skip to my personal conclusion. In The absence of objective evidence that could clearly dispell the validity of the war, it is valid. As previously mentioned, America bears shame. But America bears honor as well. In the end, some things are what they are and we can’t go back.
But where does that leave us and was anything brought ‘home?’
Regardless of where you fall in the revolutionary debate, we live in a country conceived as it was conceived. A nation that has done tremendous amounts of more good and probably no less bad than it might otherwise have done. The current state of the nation, despite the propaganda and rhetoric, historically speaking, offers more hopelessness than hope (poverty nearly always increases as more and more poverty reducing government sponsored programs are introduced!) Would be Christian charity is reduced! Worth noting is the governments utter lack of faithfulness in the financial handling of any program.
Hitting home is the absolute certainty that barring a drastic change in fiscal thinking, our children and grandchildren will very shortly be bearing a burden that cannot be overcome. Hitting home is that in the name of comfort we choose death over life every time we ignorantly buy a product from a supporter of the abortion industry or vote for a proponent. Hitting home is that we cheer death panels over compassionate end of life care. We encourage sex by telling our kids they aren’t able to wait (sex ed). We cleverly Tweet offensive degrading scathing insults. We ignore the needs of children of God and instead choose a newer car, a bigger house, a nicer boat. We are conceding the ability to very freely seek and save the LOST to feel good about helping people when in reality it only creates more people who need help. Why would we do that? We are allowing the government to tell us our convictions don’t matter and that the alleged ends DO justify the means. We remove ourselves from the whole process…
We are willing to sacrifice our birthright for a bowl of soup!
In my opinion if none of this describes you or you are unable to produce some area of your life that needs a severe overhaul, then thanks for visiting our blog! If we are unable to see how these things apply to us, then is there any hope?
God has used foxholes to produce real Christians. Joshua, son of Nun, knew God as did all of that generation. The next generation knew OF God. Then next KNEW NOT God! Free to choose and free of hardship, what would you choose? Chastisement and hardship definitely can be a tool God uses to rebuke and/or get our attention. It is at His discretion to cause a nation to rise up or fall based on their response to Him… and to change His mind based on changes in responses. But Free will is one of His greatest gifts to us. We are still free to choose God and for the moment, we are free to love Him out loud!
Maybe we can keep it that way. Maybe we can’t. But since we have it that way now, and even if we didn’t, do we not KNOW that we need to be doing more? Not just ideally but politically?
Currently we are free. Less and less, but would you not agree that if we lost it that the cost of trying to get it back would be all but unaffordable? Regardless of the original justification – which I think was just – we have a precious freedom to protect Now. We must try to keep it. And regardless, to do more.