Christian

Let’s Talk About Equal Pay, Purple Penguins.

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“Every single Republican voted against equal pay for women. Every. Single. One.”

Did you hear that, Purple Penguins? Every single Republican. Every. Single. One. They all hate women. They sit around plotting your demise, wondering how they can get you back in the kitchen where you belong. They sit there in their La-Z-Boy recliners, planning to send you back to the 1950’s where June Cleaver vacuumed in heals, and Lucy the ditzy housewife was always getting in trouble with Ricky. They want you barefoot and pregnant, not making the same wages as your male counterparts. They want you to be a woman who has nary a hair out of place while working on a perfect meatloaf in your hot kitchen, glistening with perspiration while they sit in their ivory towers with a firm grasp on your ovaries. Ward – relaxing with paper in hand – need only snap his fingers to bring June to his side, that’s the way they want it to be, ladies Purple Penguins. Without equal pay rights, we women will be back to the days of maki…..

Wait…wasn’t the Equal Pay Act signed in 1963?

Yes. Yes it was. So what is this “equal pay” stuff you keep seeing? It’s about the Paycheck Fairness Act, soon to be followed by the ‘If You Have Lady Parts, We’ll Fool You Act,’ and the ‘Let’s Get Those Boobs To Vote For Us Act.’ Why do you keep seeing propaganda that talks about equal pay for women? Well, it’s simple: They think you’re dumb. Not just run of the mill ‘Oops I put the colors in with the whites’ dumb, but more like ‘Hey, do these paint chips taste funny to you?’ dumb.

But don’t be angry at the left, it’s a special kind of love they have for you. Kind of like the love that Ted Bundy had for his victims, or the love that Hugh Hefner has for his bunnies. You serve a purpose; you’re an item, a voter, and an easily manipulated piece of flesh. They say “jump,” and you ask them how high, then when they are through with you, you’ll be lucky to walk away with any dignity whatsoever. Or in the case of Monica Lewinski, a book deal. This is how the left treats women on a daily basis, you’re good enough to garner votes, but if you step out of line you’re worthless. You’re a fun time, but say the wrong thing and you might just find yourself suffocating in a channel off of Chappaquiddick Island. This is why your illusionary 23 cent wage gap is important to them, but they’ll call men who support genital mutilation “moderate,” and “peaceful.” Betty makes less than Bob because she has less experience and they go all, “CALL UP THE TROOPS!”… Little girl is mutilated and then made into a child bride with the cries of “Coexist” from liberals in the background.

Example: Blake Lively recently published a piece complementing the Southern Bell ideals on her website Preserve. Left leaning Vox did not appreciate her article, and said the following:

“This week, Blake Lively, a popular human with great hair who supposedly stars in movies sometimes, made the most interesting move of her career: she accidentally published pro-slavery propaganda.”

But give other actresses who are simply popular humans with great hair a microphone at the DNC, and suddenly they become the most brilliant individuals in the world, and if you don’t listen to them you’re a slave to the Republicans. Put Lena Dunham in a onesie and have her dance to a song by a man who makes his living singing misogynistic trash, but she’s pro-choice, so clearly she’s beyond criticism. Put Beyonce in a thong and make her an item, but if she stands up for liberal principles she’s suddenly the picture of Feminism. I’m sure that all of the basement dwellers staring at her photos on their computers right now are thinking, “Man, I bet it’s not all body, I bet she’s super smart too.”

Hahahah…hah…hahahahah….Ok, back to the post.

Liberals are so vehemently against individuality that it seeps through their pores, and the women who fall for their rhetoric and share the ignorance with a sense of accomplishment are similar to kids who decided to show their Mom how they learned to paint on the walls with their split pea soup. It’s gross, it’s messy, it’s going to smell for a while, the adults are stuck cleaning it up, and you just can’t wait for them to grow out of that stage.

So what is the bastion of feminism known as equal pay? Well, other than being a glorious talking point for Emma Watson and Kristin Bell (ivory tower theatrics), it’s the “easy job.” When I’m cleaning my house and my nephew wants to help I enthusiastically say, “Well, Bud, you know how you can really help me out? Grab the Swiffer and take it all over the house a bunch of times.” Why? Because he can walk around for hours with that Swiffer, collecting stagnant little dust bunnies and not hurting anything. It’s just a way for me to keep him occupied for hours on end, and make him think he is doing something incredibly useful. Equal pay and reproductive rights are the Swiffers of the Democrat party, they’re the easy job that they can talk unassuming females into carrying around, and in the process they help them collect votes from unassuming dust bunnies women. They might as well pat them on the head upon completion and say, “Good puppy, now you may add “Feminist” to your Facebook bio.” Sure, some liberal women go rouge and run into restaurants yelling about their chicken named Snow, or send vagina cookies with their middle school child, but all in all, the majority tend to stay on the reservation preaching the script.

I remember watching a movie once where all of the men were in the cigar room discussing business, and when a woman entered the room she was basically told not to worry her pretty little head about business affairs. This is pretty much the same thing. Let’s see these “strong” women talk about the labor force participation rate.

Sandra, Why is the LFP at a 36 year low?

Beyonce, What’s the difference between the U-3 & U-6 unemployment rates?

Gwyneth, Where was President Obama’s glorious face on the night of the Benghazi attack?

Lena, How many families lost their insurance, and now can’t afford insurance because of the ACA?

“Don’t worry you’re pretty little heads about such issues, remember, you have ovaries and wages to protect.” – Democrats

See, those questions are above their pay grade. Those questions represent cleaning the fridge, rearranging the living room, scrubbing the floors, etc. that’s the real work. No, no…Women get to carry around the Swiffer of equal pay and reproductive rights, and get dressed up in vagina costumes with tampon earrings; they get to be the show that keeps people from looking behind the stage. They get to march for the right to kill their children, and throw urine at those who respect life. They get to have grotesque sex scenes in their TV shows, portray themselves as objects, and then beg for birth control from their leaders. That’s what women get to do.

But, back to the point, let’s talk about the Paycheck Fairness Act. A) Paying women less than men for the exact same job – when they have the exact same credentials – has been illegal for a while (shhhhh… don’t tell those ladies in the vagina costumes), and B) the data that they used to give the bill any meaning whatsoever was so contorted that we could accurately compare it to the face I make when I listen to Hillary Clinton talk.

Here’s the deal, folks…Men and Women make different career choices. That’s right, after those Purple Penguins grow up, they find that they have different ambitions. Males and females tend to migrate towards different areas of expertise. The data used for the Paycheck Fairness Act does not take that issue into account. SO, while men may choose to become brain surgeons more often than women, and women may choose to become pediatric surgeons more often than men, they get lumped into the same category. Now, clearly a brain surgeon would be paid more due to the higher level of skill set necessary when dealing with the brain. So it isn’t about their genitals, it’s about their career choices, folks. Woman are also more likely to take breaks during their career – by choice – to take care of their budding family.  Men also fill the majority of overtime paying blue collar jobs, while women tend to lean towards salaried white color jobs.

If you support a woman’s right to choose, then you should support the Republicans on this issue. The wage gap is due to the individual choices made by women. If a woman wants a more flexible lifestyle, she may choose to work less hours (which is more often in women than in men), she would logically be asked to take a pay decrease if she’s, you know, working less. This Act would open up doors for endless litigation if employers work with women on their flexibility and pay, so much so that employers will tighten the reins on negotiations with women. This doesn’t HELP women, it takes away their choices.

Does everyone remember the Lilly Ledbetter info that Democrats were circulating during the 2012 election? You know, the Republicans were against that too, because they hate women or something. Whatever happened to that, you ask? And what exactly was it? I’ll tell you:

Not getting paid as much as men who are equally qualified is called discrimination. The Lilly Ledbetter act was put in place in 2009 by Barack Obama and his handsome face…Once again, discrimination was still illegal before 2009. So, why did Lilly need her own act, you ask? See, Lilly had been approached by her manager with a proposition; she would receive her raise if she didn’t reject his sexual advances. Lilly wasn’t fond of his addition to her job requirements, as most of us wouldn’t be. Unfortunately for perverted coworkers, the vast majority of women do not sit around and think, “boy, I sure wish that 50 year-old suit wasn’t married.

Understand, Bill Clinton? John Edwards? Eliot Spitzer? I digress.

So, she refused, and she didn’t receive the pay raise. Every paycheck from that point on is considered a new case of discrimination. Once again, anti-discrimination laws were already in place, the Lilly Ledbetter Act wanted to change the statute of limitations. In the original anti-discrimination laws, the statute of limitations started counting down from the DAY of the discrimination. Well, Lilly didn’t report her story until later in her career, probably out of fear, but the statute of limitations clock started ticking the day her boss made a really, really, really gross proposition. The Lilly Ledbetter Act statute of limitations starts counting down on the day of your most recent paycheck (because each paycheck is considered a new act of discrimination). So, say you have a boss that gives you a similar Nicholas Sparks worthy offer and you turn him down, and then a year later he leaves. You have 2 new bosses between then and the time you report the utterly romantic proposal, both bosses give you raises without such vomit inducing terms, but even with those raises you still aren’t seeing the first raise due to your refusal of the first proposal. And so, every check is considered a new act of discrimination.

Why did republicans oppose this? Because they hate women? No. They didn’t feel that if an employee had been discriminated against in 2001 under a manager that left in 2002, the new management that took over in 2002 should not have to pay for the (unknown to them) discriminatory acts of the previous manager once the employee retires in 2016. Logical right? Because that would be like being abused by your father, and then making your step-father serve the prison sentence.

Fun Fact: If you double the turnout at the Sak’n Save Sandra Fluke “rally” of 2012, you will have roughly the amount of people that have used the Lilly Ledbetter Act. And that’s not much…

No matter where you stand on these issues, it is important to know the truth. This Lilly Ledbetter Act wasn’t a big deal for women’s rights by ANY stretch of the imagination, and the Paycheck Fairness Act could actually do more harm to women than good. The democrats like giving liberals an “act” that they can tout, because it makes them sound like they stand for something grand and glorious (even if the majority of women don’t even know what it is). But standing for something grand and glorious would be more like marching alongside minorities for civil rights when it wasn’t considered “cool.” Kind of like how the republicans marched for civil rights. Kind of like how George Romney marched for civil rights.

So, wouldn’t it be fair for human beings – male, female, and the purple penguins too – to be compensated for experience, quality of work, difficulty of job, and not what’s found between their legs? Well, that’s already the way it is. With our labor force participation rate continuing to reach new lows, the last thing we need is more bureaucratic tape for employers to muddle through. I’m not saying that there aren’t instances of discrimination, but this type of rhetoric and creating more issues for good employers (the vast majority) and women in the workforce, is not the way to solve those issues.

So, in closing, I’d just like to remind you that whenever I see someone post the ridiculous “Every single Republican voted against equal pay for women. Every. Single. One.” picture, I look at your post like an adult looks at a child after they catch them painting on the walls with their food. It’s a fairly balanced mixture of annoyance and pity.

Thanks for reading!

Mb

P.S. If you don’t get the “purple penguin” reference, you need to read the news more often.

 purple

The Little State That Could…

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Originally blogged in 2012. I started to make a new blog concerning recent events in Israel, however, I then remembered that I had written this during the 2012 debacle. There are a few points that are specific to that particular year, but in general, this post is relevant and is exactly what I would say today. 
If only the Civil War was the only misconception that the left has had in the last day week month decade really, really long time…But alas, it is not.  

In a land far far away situated between Canada and Mexico, the people are split on their alliance, who they support in the war between Hamas and Israel (Trust me, it’s not over.) I have seen too many posts to respond to concerning Israel “stealing” land from the Palestinians. My twitter feed has exploded with derogatory comments, and that is why I decided to write this post.  

Although typing up a basic response (basic for me tends to be a book) and exercising my mad copy/paste skills in each post was incredibly tempting, I decided to write this blog post to address my beliefs and factual backing for what I feel is some of the greatest misconceptions concerning Israel out there today. 

“How would you feel if someone stole your land??? Those poor Palestinians!” 

My gut reaction to statements like the above is to respond to this with, “Really, you’re NOT going to side with God’s people?”. Bus alas, I have always felt that my moral beliefs should be understood by the atheists as well. Even though I feel strongly that a “moral law” is written on the hearts of men BY God, I try to approach my explanations in a way that can’t be construed as being “bible thumping.”

Now…We COULD go all the way back to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Promised Land. The 40 years of wondering in the desert. The history of Jerusalem. The Establishment of the Jewish Monarchy. The Roman Rule, Arab Rule, Ottoman Rule, etc. But for the sake of our sanity, and a goal of keeping this a “blog post” and not a “book,” I’ll keep it short (er)…

Here is my somewhat sporadic, yet condensed, history rant: 

So let’s travel back in time to the 1920’s – 1960’s and deal with those land thieves once and for all. When Israel stole the land from the Palestinians British…Just kidding. They didn’t steal anything. BEFORE the State of Israel was declared, the land was territory of Britain. It became British territory through the Sykes-Picot Agreement (or Asia Minor). They called for it to be shared between the Arab Palestinians and the Jewish Palestinians (Since they recognized both), actually the word “Palestine” was given by the Europeans to name the region (“region,” people, “region!”). The Jewish community, known at that time as the Jewish Palestinians, gave a thumbs up to the concept, the Palestinian Arabs gave a thumbs down. Why is it that we forget about British Imperialism after the whole fall of the Ottoman empire?

So, back to the middle of the 1920’s. The British divided the land, giving the Jews west of the Jordan river, and the Arab Palestinians what we now call Jordan. Then came the whole “We want ALL the land, lets push those Jews into the sea” idea. So, they started the war games trying to drive the Jews out, and they still haven’t ended, nor will they anytime soon. The Brits turned a blind eye to the chaos that they could no longer control, and the Jews decided that it was time to fight back and protect the land given to them.

Then the British turned the states back over to the UN (Adoption remorse?). BUT, upon receiving yet another offer to have both a Jewish Palestinian state AND an Arab Palestinian state the Arabs said, “no, we want all of the land that is both East & West of the Jordan river.” Too bad…so sad Well…isn’t this a pickle.

Since the Sinai Peninsula was traded to Egypt for peace, and Jordan was originally going to be within the Israeli borders, technically the most accurate way to describe the actions of that time period would be to say that ISRAEL is the one with whom had land “stolen” from them. There were NO Palestinian borders. None. Zip. Ninguno. Geen. It was a region. How do you steal land from the Arabs when land is GIVEN by the British to the Jews? Because they wanted it? Are we 5? It’s like when your Mom puts out a platter of cookies, just because you lick a cookie then put it back on the platter doesn’t mean the cookie is actually yours. It wasn’t their time to play “claim that territory,” because the British had already claimed it, and then GAVE it to whom they chose.

SO, throughout this time the Jews PURCHASED more land from the Palestinians, the Palestinians were removed from the land. No, not by the Israelis, but by the Arab countries that wanted to invade Israel. They said “flee so that we may bring our peaceful religion’s war machines into position!” Ok…maybe they didn’t use that exact verbiage, but you get the point.

Throughout all of the wars, including the one between 1948-49 the Jewish Palestinians ended with a slightly larger state than what the UN had proposed. BUT, by the time we hit the 1960’s the Arab Palestinians had control of 85% of the Palestine territory, compared to the 75% they had been given.

Bum bum bum…The Six Day War.

The Six Day War was for the exact same premise as all of the previous wars between the Arabs and the Israelis. The Arabs rejected, and STILL reject Israel. The Egyptians had used United Nations troops from the Sinai Peninsula to block shipping to Israel’s port of Eilat. This was an act of war, and the Arab nations have NEVER denied that it wants Israel OFF the map. They don’t want peace.

It’s simple: They don’t want Israel to exist.

During the Six Day War Israel fought Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia…etc (The Arab Republic) And they win. (Somebody had their spinach…and you know…GOD…) Jewish people had control of the Sinai Desert. If you haven’t seen a map…that’s a large chunk. Israel (being the last shred of good in the Middle East) told the ready to flee Palestinian Arabs to stay in hopes of educating and finally finding peace between the two nations of people. Then in the 1980’s Israel gave the Sinai Desert to Egypt in an act of peace.

But from the beginning of the wars, up through current day, the Arab Palestinians have had ONE goal:

“Our aim is the full restoration of the rights of the Palestinian people. In other words, we aim at the destruction of the State of Israel. The immediate aim: perfection of Arab military might. The national aim: the eradication of Israel.” – President Nasser of Egypt in 1965

“We will not accept any coexistence with Israel…Today the issue is not the establishment of peace between the Arab states and Israel . The war with Israel is in effect since 1948.” – Nasser in 1967 

“This is our chance Arabs, to deal Israel a mortal blow of annihilation, to blot out its entire presence in our holy land” Cairo Radio

Oh, but they weren’t just filling their “burn book” with Israel…

“Millions of Arabs are … preparing to blow up all of America’s interests, all of America’s installations, and your entire existence, America.” Cairo Radio

So, you can be angry at America, and angry at the Brits, but the facts are, it was British territory, and it was GIVEN. Israelis are not thieves, in fact, they have given land to promote peace, and any of the land gained during the wars was because they WON the land during a war NOT started by them. But the problem isn’t the offers, the problem isn’t the lack of peace, and the problem isn’t Israel.

The problem is that the countries surrounding Israel want her gone.

The problem is that while Israel wants peace, Jihadist don’t know of such a thing as peace.

The problem is that while Israelis wants “coexistence,” terrorists want to drag their family members lifeless bodies through the streets.

During this time, Iraq proclaimed that “Israel was an error which must be rectified.” Palestinians stated that “it is either us or the Israelis,” and Syria declared that it was time to “explode the Zionist presence in the Arab homeland,”etc. So from THOSE quotes alone we can clearly see a reason for a bad case of sellers remorse on behalf of the Palestinians. So while the Palestinian militant movement of Hamas is dragging bodies through streets and committing war crimes both by aiming at civilian locations, and hiding behind their own civilians, you’ll have to excuse me while I look at you with puzzled amazement when you proclaim your support of Hamas…Or better yet, your condemnation of Israel.

Israel tries their hardest to avoid civilians. They were even warning them with phone calls, roof knocking, and even dropping leaflets over Gaza warning them to “avoid being present in the vicinity of Hamas operatives.” Of course there are civilian casualties of war…But one side is doing their best to avoid as many as possible, and the other is meticulously planning them out.

Egyptian President Morsi backed Hamas and stated that Israel needed to end the aggression. Mr. Morsi is a high-ranking member with the Muslim Brotherhood and has an open door policy with the White House, what we fail to see is that the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, and Hamas are basically sister terrorist organizations. They’ve all vocalized their deeply rooted hatred for Israel, including the Muslim Brotherhood…and yet our President supports them. Why haven’t we cut off economic funds???

Hamas is a progeny of the Muslim Brotherhood. When the Muslim Brotherhood says “jump”, Hamas says “how high?”. Of course Morsi had the power to create a “ceasefire,” he’s had it all along, and Israel has no urge to continue fighting. Hamas backs off, Israel backs off.

But hold off on your “peace celebrations.” For Israel hating Morsi to encourage a “ceasefire” tells us that deeper, more sinister plans against Israel are lying in anxious wait. We can’t possibly be ignorant enough to believe that he has had an instantaneous change of heart concerning Israel. The Morsi government has turned a blind eye towards the killing of Christians, and now are bringing in a new level of dictatorship. Egypt is about to get very bloody. So, right AFTER the “ceasefire” Morsi comes out with his sickle and hammer ideology…Sounds legit.

Islamic theocracies…They redefine the word “brutal”.

Back to the point…I ask that you put yourself in the shoes of Israel. Let’s say you purchase a house. While unpacking your dishes and settling in, suddenly a rock comes crashing through your window with a note:

“Dear Israel Jones Family,

We hate you and hope you die. We want to demolish your home, preferably with you in it, and build a pool, maybe even a mini bar with ackawi dip and smooth cardamom coffee equipped with straws long enough to accommodate our Burqa wearing women…You know…If we decide they can have coffee. So, we have weapons and will be violently attacking your home, and probably trying to vaporize your children.

Sincerely, All of your neighbors, Including the people who sold you your garage.”

Would you not defend yourself? Israel has been taking numerous attacks over the years, rockets, warnings and brutality. But when Israel defends itself we give a “stand down” order?

I support Israel. I support her because God told me to. I support her because it’s LOGICAL. I support her because she is the one shred of decency left in the Middle East. I’m ashamed that 51% of my nation turned their back on her by voting in a President that supports her enemies.

Alright, I’ll finally get to the end of this post. But just know that if you’re dealing with Hamas sympathizers, you are not alone. We live in an America where a dictator gets a majority vote, and the people support terrorists and brutality in the Middle East while preaching on “peace.” There is more of this to come. How do I know this? Because “God said so”…

MB

 

A Rose by Any Other Name…

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When I was 9 years old I attended a private school in Pennsylvania, stiff upper-lip teachers, uniforms and all. We read a great deal of books while at school; in addition, we had to list off a number of books that we would read during the year at home. The part I hated most would grow to be the part I appreciate most now: comprehension tests. After each book we had a set of rigorous questions to answer, each pertaining to intricate details found within the book. With the glaring eyes of a teacher staring through you as you stumbled for the answers to the multitude of questions, you quickly learned to actually pay attention when you took to reading your books.

Could my teacher have simply taken us through the areas that answered the questions? Of course. We would have passed the tests with flying colors, received a good grade, and the clouds would have opened up and beamed a heavenly glow around a highly approved teacher. But what good would it do for our actual education, not just the grades on a paper? Nothing. You can teach a child to pass a test, but the result will not be the comprehension of the materials.

Welcome to Common Core.

I could go on a 6 page tangent over the idea that classic literature and personal writing is somehow deemed irrelevant to those that add their approval to such poor standards, but alas, I won’t only focus on this one issue since it is simply one large missing portion of a widely flawed initiative. Ok…For the sake of being honest, I’ll probably focus a lot of this post on said portion. Our society would rather have kids droning on about vampires and Anastasia Steele than topics and stories that challenge the reader to create within their mind a space welcoming of creativity, and that’s the sad fact.

Common Core attempts to prepare kids for the workforce (emphasis on “attempts”), not for college. By high school, common core will place kids years behind the education level in other countries. Can schools do anything about that? They can modify the standards by an additional 15%, but the standards themselves are under a copyright by NGA Center, and the Council of Chief State School Officers; regretfully, they are the only group that has the legal right to change the standards. So if your school says “we modified and only partially adapted” in an attempt to bring levity to the change, realize that they are grossly misleading you, or they have no idea what they’re talking about – both of which should concern you.

Why did states welcome Common Core with open arms, many knowing the issues it would cause? The almighty dollar. Money trumps the future of your child’s education in today’s world, it’s as simple as that. Money and waivers are given to those that welcomed Common Core standards and testing. Period.

Sandra Stotsky, Professor of Education Reform, had the following to say about Common Core standards when she refused to sign off on the standards:

“As empty skill sets, Common Core’s ELA “college readiness” standards weaken the base of literary and cultural knowledge needed for authentic college coursework, decrease the capacity for analytical thinking, and completely muddle the development of writing skills.”

She goes on to note that English teachers are being asked to teach on materials that are beyond their skill set. At minimum, 50% of the curriculum must be filled with informational nonfiction material (questionable material at best); reducing literary material to dismal levels, occasionally minor quotes and sections are substituted instead of allowing students to absorb the full material.

Maybe now is when you might question the importance of literature. “What’s the big deal?”… As infuriating as it is to even hear it be questioned, I believe that we should seize the opportunity to explain.

If not for the works of Mary Wollstonecraft, the original feminist movement may not have been born. No, not today’s feminist movement, the feminist movement that would be revolted by today’s feminists and their ultimate goal of objectifying women across the globe.

“…and women, intoxicated by the adoration that men (under the influence of their senses) pay them, don’t try to achieve a permanently important place in men’s feelings, or to become the friends of the fellow creatures who find amusement in their society…

…as blind obedience is ever sought for by power, tyrants and sensualists are in the right when they endeavor to keep women in the dark, because the former only want slaves, and the latter a play-thing.”  – Mary Wollstonecraft

Literature is an important key to understanding moral customs and cultural differences. We learn about the beauty of a free society and the struggles highlighted for our minds to analyze. We are forced to contemplate good and evil, acknowledge the differences between our fellow man, and imagine for just a time that we are struggling with the lost. Our emotions are challenged, and our compassion developed. It teaches us the benefits of metaphors, comprehension, and depth of character; every person, every stage, every smell, every scene is custom to the reader. Building it inside of our minds while the story unfolds. They are not just a people spoken about in our history books, the characters become a being that we know and care for; we develop a logical response to both good and bad actions through our connection to the character. You may choose to toss it out with the pile of what you deem to be useless art, but I fear that the societal decline that has accompanied the lack of reading and writing is of no coincidence.

Let’s also not forget that our failing vocabulary could use a substantial lift.

See “bling,” “twerk,” “cuz,” “totes,” “peeps,” “adorbs,” “realz,” “dat,” “haz,” “luv,” “YOLO,” “swag,” “outa,” “dat,” “whatevs,” etc…. I rest my case. Do you realize that many of those words won’t even be corrected by autocorrect? Dat should totes make you weep 4 humanity, Peeps, 4 realz.

Our education system is encouraging/forcing kids to waste much of their time on not using their mind to contemplate morals, use critical thinking or build worlds inside their imagination. If time is the true currency, what our schools are doing is as frivolous as flushing your money down the toilet. In reality, it is more so. Once again Stotsky reiterates:

“Teachers and parents are regularly being told that more technical and persuasive writing will boost students’ critical thinking.  But little analytical thinking is apt to appear in letters to the principal about cafeteria food that kids are often encouraged to write in order to practice writing a “persuasive” letter. Reading researchers know there is absolutely no research to support the idea that increased study of “literary non-fiction” or “informational” texts in the English class, or increases in persuasive writing, will increase students’ level of analytical thinking.  There is every reason to believe they will, instead, lower the level.”

To read her full statement, click here.

I would be remiss if I also didn’t note that we had already experienced the failures of universal testing with NCLB (No Child Left Behind). Schools in low income neighborhoods became what Common Core wishes for all schools to become: test preparation programs. NCLB disciplined high performing schools and children on its war path to lift poor performers up. This never works. It’s never worked. Why do we keep trying such doomed experimental programs with education AND economics???

So then we take billionaires and politically motivated organizations and give them the reins to dismantle a democratic institution that has done more to bring equality than any other democratic institution in the USA? We provided opportunity to those who made the choice to seek it out, now we are punishing those who strive for success. Since NCLB & Common Core, there has been an increase in charter schools; meanwhile, thousands of public schools have been forced to close. Public schools that while in poor neighborhoods were the bridge that offered hope and freedom to children that, despite their circumstances, created within themselves the ability to survive & accomplish. Years later we now have increased child poverty, and the continual widening of achievement gaps due to standards that were backed by both sides of the aisle.

Well done, Ol’ Chaps!

Back to Common Core – Not only will children suffer in their reading and writing, but in a world where comprehension is not a priority, math and various other studies will take a detrimental blow. We are already seeing arithmetic problems in grade school students turned into 100+ steps of wasted time. It is making children feel like failures, when in reality, their minds should be built to solve the problem in the most logical way. Horrifyingly, these practices have never even been tested! They’ve turned the United States education system into a giant experiment. The weakness of the Common Core math standards were even noted by the creators of the standards themselves.

But then it gets even better!

We have a nation of kids who have constant entertainment. Video games, television, movies, etc. fill their days. Constantly being fed the narrative. Constantly being mind numbingly entertained. Then we send them to school and expect them to pay attention to the mundane, the redundant, and the unimaginative, then drug them because they are “hyper.”

Historically we didn’t have the issues that we have, and many other countries don’t either, so what gives? Clearly changes in the last 50 years have led us to this point, what were they? Do they have to do with chemicals? Food Dyes? Education? Shouldn’t those be the first questions we respond with before we start pumping children with more pharmaceuticals than an 80’s rock band?

If you or your child exhibit 6 of the 18 ADHD behaviors, you/they can be labeled as an individual who suffers from a “biologic abnormality of the brain” and handed a prescription. Read the behavior list sometime, you’ll likely come to the same conclusion as me: every human being at some point has suffered from ADHD. Imagine the entire population of Nicaragua, that’s roughly how many children in the US alone are on Psychotropic drugs. Kids are diagnosed at an alarming rate. Once signs of a hyper personality are found, parents, teachers, and doctors flock to the easy out like starving castaways who have just come upon a Pizza Hut.

Maybe I’m just primitive in nature, turning from my cave art to watch the spectacle and shake my club in mumbled revolt, but those “symptoms” seem to me to be an epidemic of both the mind and the heart. I’m not a doctor, but I am an observer of society and the downhill slope it’s taking that leads directly to a lava pit.

In a world filled with sensory overload, we’ve lost a huge part of who we are. With every advancement made in video games, the entertainment industry, and now faulty school standards, we slam another nail into the casket of creativity and imagination.  Now I’m not saying that all movies, games, and shows are bad, I’m just saying that as time goes on, our hearts become more invested in things that require little thought process. God created our minds to be used, and when kids are scratching on the walls of conformity we’ve now decided they need a pill instead of a change. They don’t require self-discipline because it’s not expected any longer, and then we have to deal with ADULTS that have no self-discipline.

And Isn’t that a peach….

Welcome to the new America. Start standing up against the change, or conform to the new thought standards, perpetuating a system that creates robots that simply obey the government agenda. Educators & politicians can call what they are doing education, but indoctrination by any other name will destroy as swiftly.

“What appalls me most about the standards is the cavalier contempt for great works of human art and thought, in literary form. It is a sheer ignorance of the life of the imagination. We are not programming machines. We are teaching children. We are not producing functionaries, factory-like. We are to be forming the minds and hearts of men and women to be human beings, honoring what is good and right and cherishing what is beautiful.” Dr. Anthony Esolen – Providence College

Defending Phil…Is it our fault?

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This weekend Phil Robertson made comments that don’t exactly line up with the current liberal narrative taking over our country like a hybrid form of the Black Plague. The comments that he made, while nonviolent, still lead to his immediate suspension from the #1 family friendly show in America, Duck Dynasty. Unfortunately while I understand the 1st Amendment debate, I also understand the 1st Amendment and realize that this isn’t much of a 1st Amendment problem. The overpowering government didn’t silence him, the overpowering media did; in both cases, their overpowering condition is our fault.

As a Constitution loving individual, while supporting Phil, I also have to support the rights of A&E to employ whom they wish to employ. So, I respect the rights of A&E and their ability to make whatever choices they want for their channel, even if it’s the suicide of the network, I stand in amazement over their silencing of a man who was simply asked his opinion and gave it. But then I remember how much of this is our fault.

Why, you may ask? Well, let me explain in story first…

So, every day when Amy gets to work, Bob slaps her as his morning greeting. For years Amy gets so accustomed to the routine of getting slapped that she expects it every day upon arriving at her work. She’s even started greeting Bob, “Good morning, Bob!” she states while she exposes her face in expectation of being backhanded. “Good morning, Amy!”, he kindly says while he leaves an imprint on her face. One day Amy shows up to work and Bob decides to punch her in the face, “HOW DARE YOU!”, declares Amy! Bob stands in shock at the surprise on Amy’s face. Months go by and Bob continues to coldcock Amy in the face during their morning exchange, over time Amy starts getting accustomed to his punching as well.

Well, Christian America, you’ve been punched.

In the groin.

But even worse, you’ve been excited and welcoming the slaps for years. You see, we’ve allowed the entertainment industry to take over our lives, manipulate us, depreciate us, devalue our morals, and dictate our Children’s beliefs. They didn’t sneak into our home when we weren’t there, we invited them, served them tea, introduced them to the family pet, did a little Karaoke… But as long as we post a “Keep Christ in Christmas!!” picture on our Facebook page at some point in the month of December, all of that is forgotten. You see, while A&E has the right to terminate employment with anyone they choose, Americans have the right to not support both A&E and those that advertise on their channel. While this isn’t a 1st Amendment issue, it should be a moral issue worthy of taking action.

Yes…I know that many of the politicians I support are calling this a freedom of speech issue, I personally don’t see it. But then again, that’s the beauty of this country, I don’t have to agree with ANYONE, and those reading this certainly don’t have to agree with me on that point. 

More than likely, when you’re not fighting the good fight for Phil on a Wednesday night, you are watching a show that is consistently throwing your morals on the ground, stomping on them, butchering them, burning them, dousing the ashes in acid, and then burying what’s left in a shallow grave now located underneath a 5000 pound concrete Buddha.

But it’s funny, right? So it totally makes it worth it, right?

What if I told you that the increased amount of sexual content in shows, movies and music is a way for the entertainment industry to slowly manipulate you into thinking that multiple partners is completely natural and acceptable? What if I told you that your continued viewership of such programs prove that they’ve been successful?! What if I told you that they have admitted to this?!?!

What if the government pays to get their anti-gun, pro-gay marriage, pro-meaningless sex, anti-religious rhetoric in shows because it actually works at whittling away at your sensibilities?

“Say wha?!

My Grandma serves to be quite a significant filter for entertainment. I used to laugh and chuckle at the shocked look on her face when she saw something ignorant, perverted or classless…now I envy it. But you see, once again, we’ve let them into our homes and let them change our perception of how we view quality entertainment. If you’re reading this and thinking “what a prude!”, it’s just another form of proof that what they have been slowly trying to do in our country has been successful.

So, like I stated above, this is not a free speech issue, contrary to popular belief; it’s a moral issue. See, nobody stopped Phil from saying his piece, and technically A&E didn’t silence him, they became unaffiliated with him. Sure, we could make this into a free speech issue, or we could accept it for what it is; a punch in the face that will be continued daily until finally we are used to it. We’ll sit down tonight and watch Scandal (ABC, who is part owner of A&E) while we vent on our phones about Phil. Why? Because the object of our need for necessary entertainment is much too great to sacrifice on the altar of common sense and standing up for what we would sorta, kinda, almost feel passionately about if it wasn’t for that new season of The Bachelorette.

Face it, we have the follow through of…something that doesn’t have very good follow through. We have moments of boldness, but then they die. And not slowly, no, not like “hey, you’ve got 6 months to live”, no, our boldness dies while our spine is yelling “STOP PLAYING ON THE TRACKS! WATCH OUT FOR THAT TRAI…never mind.

“I said “MERRY CHRISTMAS”, ya…I went there”, said with the tone of an egotistical new gang member that just completed his final initiation ritual for the Crips. Yet in June we’ll be saying “I try to stay away from politics, render unto Caesar or something, am I right?”… How can we expect to gain any substantial ground if our moral compass has the stability of that family member you “forgot” to invite to Christmas when they’re off their meds?

The truth – the whole ugly nasty truth – is that we have created this. We are a Christian nation that no longer stands up for ANYTHING. And it’s not even that we have a low attention span, it’s that we are ready and willing to carry the Cross until it gets heavy from the weight of previews for next week’s ground breaking episode of Revenge, or the weight of not causing waves with friends who like to share pictures of their dinner on Pinterest. The “Christian Nation” has become about as deep as a mud puddle with little to no moral outcry.  Seriously, people, it’s time to stand for something!

Us: “I once shared a picture of you on Facebook that said I followed you.” *tips head in pride, widens eyes ready to absorb the overwhelming approval*

Jesus: “Oh! Well then, that changes everything.”

No.

No it doesn’t.

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?”

Oh yes, yep, that makes more sense.

Trust me, I’ve been there. Trying to weed the garden, figure out what glorifies Him. It’s difficult, and it’s an ongoing process. But if you want to change the world, if you want to change the morals, it starts by taking up the challenge and changing yourself to be more like Him.

To end, I sincerely pray that those “fed up” actually mean it, and that something as simplistic and mindless as a TV show – one that’s probably spewing out your favorite propaganda anyway – isn’t enough to destabilize your momentary steel spine. Rebuild and strengthen your moral code, start recognizing the propaganda on TV for what it is. That said, don’t boycott shows just to punish them, boycott the advertisers to do that, boycott the shows because you’re tired of them treating you like mindless drones that need thought guidance. And as I say in multiple other blog posts…

PICK UP A BOOK! (someday I’m going to have this tattooed on my forehead)

Finally, I conclude this blog post with one cute duck.

Image

Women, A National Treasure

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I took some time and prayed about what I would say in this blog post. I know that if I were to let loose on this subject I wouldn’t project someone who is approaching this in a calm manner, whatsoever! I am revolted over the war on woman propaganda that is floating in politics…I have SO many things to say, and will try my best to limit this blog post to a tolerable read.

Right now is the time of year that my family and I are all extremely busy with a business that picks up in the fall and during the Holidays. But in this process I am slowly making my way through what has so far been a wonderful book that was written by Chris Skates titled “Going Green”. I will post more about the book once I am finished…But I would like to post an excerpt that I thought of throughout the day today.

“See, the trouble with young ladies like you these days is you forgot what you are. Just like what I just called you. You’re a lady. Women today haven’t been brought up respected enough to remember they’re ladies.”

After explaining the downward spiral that our society has had on women, and the disrespect for ourselves that comes with society, the character named Ashley then asks the question “So what were we meant to be?”, Walter answers by explaining that she is a “treasure“.

Treasure, what a description. My friends have always told me that I hold men to a higher standard. I don’t find it cute, nor funny if a man makes a crude remark. I expect them to open the door. I expect them to respect me, and to recognize the respect I have for myself. Not as self loving, selfish, or self awarding…But because I AM a daughter of Christ, I have a dedication to my Faith that beckons me to understand that who I am is His creation, and I need to respect His creation.

We are told that we are equal. “Equal. Equal. Equal.” It’s what the media repeats, desensitizing us to what’s ACTUALLY happening. Yes, we have made ourselves equal, men treat us like they would their buddies…Sometimes less, because we DEMAND that we be treated the same, or like I said…less.

I don’t deserve the same as his buddies, I am a treasure…

I don’t deserve to be a reusable tool to fulfill his personal needs and then to be thrown away, I am a treasure…

I deserve to be treated with gentleness, with compassion, with respect…Like a treasure…

Men have lost respect in us because we have lost respect in ourselves. That in no way lets men off the hook, but I am tired of us crying over the death of Chivalry while we as women stand over Chivalry with blood stained hands holding a knife.

Michael Moore came out today saying, in essence, that ALL republicans hate the freedom of women. WOW. The hypocrisy is astounding. I have very liberal friends who think so little of themselves that they have given themselves out like a temporary fix for multiple men. They walk away with a broken heart and a little bit less of who they were every time. If I asked them “Do you feel treasured?” I know what the answer would be. Maybe in the arms of men who use them they feel momentary self worth, but when he walks away the feelings left cannot be described as “treasured”.

We turn on the TV and see Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Jennifer Lopez…etc. They preach on raising your glass and being the object of men. Very…individual? I think not. I meet women daily who are content to being exactly what these women encourage other women to be…objects.

The Pro-Choice supporters try to brainwash us into believing that being Pro-Life is anti women? What? If life begins in the womb, and we respect that life it has NOTHING to do with “hating women”, or a “war on women”…I take great offense by this. Their supporters even admit to the child being a life. Take Naomi Wolf, a feminist and Pro-Choice advocate…

“Clinging to a rhetoric about abortion in which there is no life and no death, we entangle our beliefs in a series of self-delusions, fibs and evasions. And we risk becoming precisely what our critics charge us with being: Callous, selfish, and casually destructive men and women who share a cheapened view of human life….We need to contextualize the fight to defend abortion rights within a moral framework that admits that the death of a fetus is a real death.”

So as women who respect ourselves, and in turn respect our bodies, and ALSO respect life, we are told we hate ourselves? I know some individuals are very uncomfortable with the comparison between abortion and the holocaust. Well, the only comparison that I will make today is on the worth of a fellow human. By Naomi’s own admission, it is a life, a human life…So then we are allowed to qualify one life’s rights to be more deserving than another? We ourselves make the choice to remove the most basic rights of a person for our own comfort? Sound familiar? Comparison validated?

Society tells men that because they don’t have ovaries they shouldn’t be involved in the abortion debate. I tell the men I know that they belong on the front lines. We were designed to be treasures, our children are treasures, men were designed to protect treasures. Men who stand up for life are men that realize their role, they don’t let the world define them, knock them down, and demoralize them out of the role God placed them in. Actually, that is the first question I ask most men I meet.

I could go on for HOURS, soon I will make a post on abortion alone…The higher suicide rates, attempted suicides, women’s emotional and physical health, the lies of Planned Parenthood concerning women‘s health…etc. The roll Planned Parenthood has played in sexual abuse, damaging the self respect of women across the US…etc. But for now, I will get back to the point of this post.

How is it degrading for women to support men who have the calling to protect women and their offspring? How is it degrading for women to respect innocent life? How is it degrading for women and men to find women as treasures, valued enough to protect?

Akin made a terrible statement, I agree. But while celebrities like Sandra Bernhard, Whoopi Goldberg, and Michael Moore condemn the ENTIRE right side of the aisle for his remarks, they are currently supporting a President who condones the actions of the Muslim Brotherhood against women. A group that treats women as less than dogs.

When did they speak out for the women raped at the occupy protests? Their bleeding hearts are only under the condition that they have the opportunity to ridicule those of us who TRULY do respect women in an attempt to manipulate you into believing what they are preaching. They find us weak. Where are they speaking out for the young girls who continue to be sexually abused while Planned Parenthood hides the deeds of their offenders? Womens rights? Where are their rights? Where are the rights for the baby girls that Naomi Wolf admits to being living human beings?

I will end this blog post with the following…

Women, I pray that we return to respecting ourselves. Be an ACTUAL individual, not the mindless drones that our main stream media would have you believe you should be. Don’t let women like Sandra Fluke try to manipulate you and speak on your behalf. Don’t let President Obama take advantage of you and treat you like a weak minded woman who can’t find her own truths. You are a treasure. You are an individual. Believe it. Live it.

Men, To those of you that stand for life…I commend you! For those of you who treat women with the dignity and respect that they deserve…I commend you! You were designed to protect the weak. You belong on the front lines of these battles! I pray that you encourage other men to do the same… We need you!

Christ told men to love women as He loves the church, as Ravi Zacharias says, this is the greatest compliment he paid to women…That women are as valuable to men as humanity is to God! When we look at Christ and the respect he had for women it is astounding. Let yourselves be treasured.

“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” Proverbs 31.10

MB

The Death of America?

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Jeremiah. 18:7-10: “If at any time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be uprooted, torn down and destroyed, 8 and if that nation I warned repents of its evil, then I will relent and not inflict on it the disaster I had planned. 9 And if at another time I announce that a nation or kingdom is to be built up and planted, 10 and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.” 

Despite the urge I have to jump into Calvinism and Anti-Calvinism arguments, I wanted rather to reflect upon an oft mused topic… That of the “Hand of God” on America. Upon whether that has been or is the case, and, if either of those is true, upon how close we are to losing His hand of grace on our nation.

God states that, unequivocally, He is the one who causes nations to rise up, and, if they do not do the good that He asks and expects them to do, causes them to be torn down. Not many Christians would dispute the idea that God did indeed bless the founding of our great nation… A nation like no other. In which mankind would be afforded freedom like as in no other nation, other than perhaps Israel, the freedom to worship God without interference from government. Despite desperately long odds, Americans fought for her freedom, penned into history the greatest (perhaps inspired) Constitution, and set about screwing things up almost from the word ‘go.’

To begin with, many of the writers of founding documents (and even before official freedom had been gained) owned slaves. Whether or not they abided by the proper treatment of slaves, owned slaves in order to afford those particular slaves a better life than other potential owners may have afforded, or just didn’t know better is important. But critical to this post is simply the fact that they did own slaves… An undeniable black eye in the eyes of people… But what about in the eyes of God? The short argument, under which I’ll offer no other proof than the actual establishment of the U.S.A., is that he allowed for the establishment and didn’t condemn the birth of the country… Omnipotence has it’s advantages and His sovereign will is so frequently masqued and nothing more than confused by the wisdom of men, that the only absolutely true statement is that it happened because it was allowed to happen.

Much like many other religious people, early American Christians claimed land and people by force – Falsely believing that God would have them forcibly capture and convert. As if anything other than the free choice of choosing Christ could ever be an act worthy of divine blessing. Again, the very hand of God is at the very least not against the nation…

The murderous wild west, mob bosses, workers suppressed, Government scandals, free love, the 60’s Sex drugs rock-n-roll, “God is dead”, abortion… Yet we stand. Draw a more specific conclusion if you must, but the absence of divine destruction is, on some level, evidence of divine intervention. It’s been said that God answers prayers, “Yes, No, or Wait.” Well if answered prayer offers blessings, other than God giving you what you ask for to teach you a lesson, (still a blessing) which is not the case, then it would seem to be more likely than not that His hand has been and indeed is on us.

More important than any ensuing argument for or against is the fact that it is His prerogative to cause the rising and falling of nations. One would have to imagine that if His hand is on us, as a nation, that in order for it to remain there, we must change as a nation. “…and if it does evil in my sight and does not obey me, then I will reconsider the good I had intended to do for it.” Individual responsibility aside (for now), it seems to be the responsibility of the nation to not do evil and to obey God in order for Him to even consider continuing ‘the good’ He originally intended. He says He will reconsider the good He had intended to do for it.

So then who specifically is responsible for keeping up our side of the bargain? The president? The Congress? State and local legislature? I submit the answer is both more and less complicated than all that. As of right now and for who knows how much longer, the U.S. Government is the people! Why do politicians campaign? Because it’s the people who elect! We bemoan the decisions of our elected officials, all the bad decisions that they make we don’t approve of, then… we reelect them! It’s our fault. All of it! If I’m in good standing with the bank and they come repo my house, I’m at the bank like NOW with a lawyer and a bad attitude! Why, then, when our country is being redefined and restructured even as I write this blog are we not at the absolute least on the phone in such numbers as to shut down the switchboard?! And on a way more fundamental level, why are we not emaciated from fasting with callouses on our knees from beseeching God, begging for forgiveness, and asking Him “Show me how to be your hands! Your feet! Show me what to say to a world that so desperately needs a Savior but doesn’t even acknowledge there is one! Lord, USE me! Empower me! Open the eyes and hearts of every single person who so much as crosses my path!” Instead, as a whole, we silently prepare a self righteous response to the critics, mingled with truth but the thrust of which is rooted in human wisdom and understanding! And we continue to ‘eat, drink, and be merry.”

Whether or not God’s hand of favor is on us one thing is for certain: Our demise, if we refuse to turn our lives over to God, is certain. For whatever is done outside of faith is sin. And without faith it is impossible to please God. Is there any way under heaven that our human efforts can possibly persuade a perfect and sovereign God to change His mind over what He has already promised He would do? No.

The buck stops here. I have failed you and you have failed me. And together we have failed God. We are a collective Jonah, hiding under the certainty that our message will be poorly received, laughed at, ridiculed. We are afraid that we will have no response to the critics. On some level, we are also and forever afraid of what we may have to give up. I urge you… Consider what you may be giving up by being unwilling to give anything up!

It’s never too late. Ninivah was saved at the eleventh hour – after the proclamation had already been given. “40 days!” Was her allotted time. Yet God tarried because they repented. It may be that the end is near. It may not depend on us at all. King David was told “the child will surely die,” and despite a prolonged fast and desparate prayers, the child did indeed die. But David didn’t know the eventual outcome and neither do we.

I don’t know about you, but I’m getting tired of sitting and wondering how long God will tarry. I believe He may relent. May… If in the end He does not, at least I will have the peace of mind that comes from preparing not just for a potentially God fearing nation with many more years of the opportunity to spread God’s message of hope, but for an eternity in his presence with as few regrets from this day forward as possible.

How about you?

~Tim~

Check Mate

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  The Game of Chess is not merely an idle amusement; several very valuable qualities of the mind, useful in the course of human life, are to be acquired and strengthened by it, so as to become habits ready on all occasions; for life is a kind of Chess, in which we have often points to gain, and competitors or adversaries to contend with, and in which there is a vast variety of good and ill events, that are, in some degree, the effect of prudence, or the want of it. By playing at Chess then, we may learn: 1st, Foresight, which looks a little into futurity, and considers the consequences that may attend an action … 2nd, Circumspection, which surveys the whole Chess-board, or scene of action: — the relation of the several Pieces, and their situations; … 3rd, Caution, not to make our moves too hastily… ~Benjamin Franklin~
“The Morals of Chess” (article) (1750).

      I sat across from my opponent, coworker, and friend, Eric – amateur chess player, unofficial wine taster, and Imperial Kamado lemon chicken officionado. He was ranked among his peers – but for the life of me I can’t remember his ranking…1650? 1800?  Suffice it to say he was a fine player and a fine friend. 
      
      We frequently went to various coffee shops, played chess, drank a coffee… This particular day, an unexpected thing happened. 

       He was busy practicing his various learned moves and maneuvers, trying out new traps and tricks… I was more of a ‘sure I’ll play you but remind me how the horsey guy moves again…’ player. Not necessarily the most realistic substitute opponent…  I moved my queen… held my finger on her crown (to keep my move unofficial) looked up and down the board… A strange feeling came over me as I withdrew my hand, punched the clock, and avered confidently, “Check Mate.” Despite the fact that I was a complete amateur, I had, to the best of my ability, done exactly as Ben Franklin had advised. My feeble skills no match for his, my lack of experience obvious, the fact that I had somehow ascertained what he was attempting, circumnavigated his defenses, and, with the less than even odds that he wouldn’t see my own strategy, I had won the match.

       “Atta boy, little buddy!” He smiled. Well, for once the coffee was on him.

       Eric and I played recreationally. Garry Kasparov was never gonna be threatened (by me, at least).  I had/have very little interest in chess.  I was just being a friend.  And when it came to religion and Christianity, politics and social issues… well, let’s just say he returned the favor.  As good as he was at surveying the board, anticipating moves, and carefully setting up a perfect combination of defense and offense, he didn’t see the sense in doing the same types of assessments in real life. When the board was put up and the work was done, he just wanted a beer and a movie.

It would be easy to characterize him, and people in general, as careless and it wouldn’t be wrong. Americans don’t just have a right to be involved in politics and the things that affect their livelihood – they have a responsibility. It’s not just ‘the right to vote,’ it’s the responsibility of casting an informed vote. If everyone was involved in educating themselves in order to cast an intelligent vote, then the chess match that the politicians are involved in would be much less interesting. As it is, the general public is so overwhelmingly unaware of the facts, that the average politicians don’t play much more than a game of checkers to win over the masses. “You’re a socialist!” Hop. “You’re a racist!” Hop. “You’re out of touch!” Hop. “You hate American farmers!” Hop. “You stole from Medicare and issued the largest tax hike on middle income families in American history! King me!” Hop hop. It’s like watching a five month checkers match where both players refuse to move their back row. The only foresight these people use is great care to not offend a majority in order to win the election. And the ‘fans’ do not much more than sit in the margins and tweet one line insults at the candidates and their base. “Heard ur guy loves dogs…” (Yeah, choose one. It works either way…) Maybe worse than the ignorant citizen just enjoying life is the politically active person doing nothing more than playing checkers on the side.

Some, then, must assume the role of chess player. Whether novice or grand master, we must engage. In life, in faith, and in politics, we must move more deliberately and cautiously. We must survey the whole board. Rather than fancy ourselves one line geniuses, we need to have a strong opening – necessarily a circumspect attack – a strong apologetic defense. Every time we revert to childish nonsense we lose position and fail to realize it.

And we must arm ourselves with the knowledge of their defenses, offenses, pieces, and players. Hashtags are fun, but don’t sacrifice the opportunity to gain position when you can. Tact is everything.

Someone once said, “People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Are we really the party of compassion? Is the right of someone to hold a stupid opinion as valuable as your right to your brilliant opinion? Seriously, is it? How can we expect to wow people with what we know when what they see is a cocky self righteous conservative so called Christian? Either it’s giving the other person a false idea of what you really stand for – including the God you serve, or it’s giving them the right one. Do we believe that what comes out of the mouth is what spills over from the heart only when the opposition is speaking?
It applies to us too.

The moral high ground is only ascertainable through the vetting of your own heart. Take inventory. Stock up. Study the Greats. Develop a plan. Don’t get distracted. Be prepared at the end of the match, even every move, to know you didn’t act in haste, that you made the best move possible – that you did everything right. Snide comments and clever insults are nothing more than sacrificing pawns. Even one pawn moved all the way across the board can gain you a distinct advantage. Stop wasting them! Instead take advantage of their careless sacrifices.

The game is on. The stakes are high. Enough petty exchanges. We are the party of compassion. We are more than just a one line insult. We are patriots. We are reason. We are truth. Whether Christian or not, we are Americans.

Are you in it to win it this November?

Prove it.

Check.

~Tim~

The Humdrum Christian Life

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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.

Tim