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It’s time to stop vilifying our military…

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I’ve always hated the labels that redirect the responsibility of misdeeds from individual accountability to life circumstance. Sure we all go through struggles, but why does society categorize those who struggle as individuals who somehow deserve a permission slip? 

She had a child out of wedlock at 16 – Yeah, but she has Daddy issues….

He’s a drug addict – Yeah, but he didn’t have many friends…

She sleeps around – Yeah, but she’s a child of divorce…

He’s a rapist – Yeah, but he was sexually abused…

I’ve known many wonderful and strong people who have overcome much, they know the statistics and refuse to be a part of the social expectations. They may struggle emotionally, but they’re determined not to let their suffering victimize someone else. I’ve also known many who let the social expectations dictate their life, it’s like having lifetime subscriptions to “but” and “because” for them. Those who are responsible shouldn’t feel like they have to prove their responsibility to the world because society tells them that their circumstances put them in the negative to begin with. Everyone is responsible for their own life. Which brings me to the meat of this blog post…

PTSD.

First and foremost, my heart goes out to those in Fort Hood. I’m heartbroken for the families that lost a loved one, those who are recovering in the hospital, as well as all of the families that experienced the terror of those life altering moments. Last Wednesday, we all watched the horror unfold like an all too common rerun of a horrific movie, the sudden stab of its reality reoccurring in our minds for days. 

We are human, when such acts of horror invade our world like an unexpected enemy, our first response is always to question why. Closure becomes the holy grail of healing. We want to know what would cause someone to do such a thing, we want to know how we can prevent such acts from occurring. In some small way, leaving the act so fully unjustifiable seems to prove the existence of unmitigated evil in its darkest form. If we can just get a grasp on to the underlying situation we’ll feel a little safer, right? How do you stop someone from wanting to hurt innocent people? Could this particular attack be stopped? How can we make sure that this doesn’t happen again? How can we keep a wife from having to pick out a casket because a madman snapped?

Answer: We can’t. Period. 

The sooner we accept this scary reality, the sooner we can make improvements that increase our ability to protect ourselves and our families.

Upon turning on the news this weekend I heard the term “PTSD” used roughly 10 times in 30 minutes by 3 different stations. I believe that doing so can be both unintentionally harmful, and sometimes meticulously orchestrated, dependent upon the deliverer of said news reports. 

In an effort to answer the “why”, we’ve placed millions of people who suffer from PTSD in a category labeled “Unstable”. Millions of abuse victims, dedicated soldiers, missionaries, car wreck survivors, etc. suffer from PTSD every day, and they aren’t dangerous or unstable. They’re victims of circumstance, but they know they are responsible for their own actions.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder that can leave you in fear for your own life, as well as the life of others. It can cause you to feel like you aren’t in control of your surroundings, and oftentimes normal everyday activities serve as a trigger for your memory, causing you to relive the specific events. It leaves some unable to speak about the events, it can cause them to avoid situations that they fear, which can become all consuming. Hypersensitivity, as well as addiction, are also possible. It’s very common, and those who suffer are far from alone.

There are also those who suffer from brain damage and severe mental disorders, and I believe that we can do more to help them and prevent tragedies by doing so. But the point of this post is to make it clear that using PTSD to justify the slaughter of innocent individuals is not only ignorant, it’s irresponsible, and it vilifies those who come home from war. It encourages them not to seek help.

They’re heroes overseas, yet suddenly untrustworthy with a weapon on U.S. soil. We’ll send them to fight for our rights, but then question their own rights when they simply ask for help. In blaming PTSD, we also tell them that they’re not responsible for their actions, and we fail the very people that fight for us. Many feel out of control, and so we reiterate to them that they are out of control by placing their decision making process fully in the hands of an anxiety disorder.

So, to make this perfectly clear:

PTSD did not go on a shooting spree. Ivan Lopez went on a shooting spree.

A gun did not go on a shooting spree. Ivan Lopez went on a shooting spree.

Millions of people suffering from PTSD daily did not go on a shooting spree, nor will they. Ivan Lopez went on a shooting spree.

Which brings me to my next issue:

Danny Ferguson was engaged to be married. He’d just returned from Afghanistan, and he sacrificed himself while trying to save others. Danny obeyed the law and wasn’t armed on base.

Carlos Lazaney-Rodriguez dedicated 20 years of his life to serving his country, in seven months he planned to retire. Carlos obeyed the law and wasn’t armed on base.

Timothy Owens was a counselor and had also done time in Iraq. He planned to make the military his career. Timothy obeyed the law and wasn’t armed on base.

Ivan Lopez did not obey the law, and he took their lives before taking his own.

A common misconception that spread like a vicious wildfire after this recent attack is that Fort Hood, a military base, should be well equipped to protect itself. They feed the idea that we must control guns, that we need to control those with PTSD, that we need to have more restrictions, etc. Yet they fail to mention that our Military bases are GUN FREE ZONES.Fort Hood is the liberal utopia! Guns must be registered, no carrying permitted, only police are armed, etc… Yet what was the first response when these policies failed?

We need more control.”

When are people going to realize that violence will always happen, and that the only response from leftist politicians will be to tighten the belt even more? I believe that even they know it won’t work. It’s the same across the U.S., they know the policies don’t work, we have the proof. Feeding the fear of guns is simply a glowing opportunity for Democrats to have more state control. Period. When it fails, they don’t care, they just push for increased control. The accompanying body count of defenseless victims is simply collateral damage for the common good.

My Dad served in the Army for 30 years. He was trusted in life or death situations, highly trained, level headed, etc… I hope I’m not the only one disturbed by the insanity that while he was willing to take a bullet for our country, our country turned around and put him in danger when he came back home. This fact is infuriating to me, and quite hard to stomach.

Is it just a lack of common sense? It’s simple: Those who plan to break the law and murder someone are not going to mind breaking the law to gain the weapon to do so. That’s right, out of the entire military, including millions of those that suffer with PTSD, .00007% went on a shooting spree this year, so that somehow justifies keeping the rest of our military in danger? Go back and recount those zeros so that we can bask in the unrivaled ignorance of gun control.

I often ask why law makers and leftists fight to unarm our military. The only answer I have is one that scares me: They are either dangerously ignorant, and are therefore incompetent to run a country, OR,  seeing men and women in body bags is not a cost they’re not willing to pay for their propaganda and control.

I see people fighting all the time on behalf of military benefits, and I’m not asking you to stop…But I find it equally important, if not more so, for us to fight for their right to protect themselves. Our soldiers fight for the freedoms outlined in the Constitution, then come home and get gunned down because they’re not allowed to have those same rights, then survivors get labeled as ticking time bombs because they have PTSD.

Come on, America…We can do better.

 

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

Cough…Sneeze…Boycott…

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On Friday I stumbled out of bed in what can only be described as an impeccable audition for a movie based on the coming Zombie apocalypse, due to the shards of glass I felt as though I was swallowing, I was grasping at my throat and speaking with the rasp of Marlon Brando; clearly I have a multitude of acting options. Zombie Godfather anyone? AmIRight?

After a couple days of sleep, cold pills, garlic tea, apple cider vinegar, honey and fish oil, I’m finally feeling like I’ve crossed over from “I’m going to die” to “watch it, I’m still not feeling great and the snark is strong.”

So what does one do at 2am while they’re choking down garlic tea? Or at 3am when steaming their face with a hot towel wrapped around their neck? Or at 1am while sitting on the couch dazed and confused and not even sure how I got there? Well, I decided to read Twitter and Facebook. I was able to catch up on all of the bitter – media hating – feelings circulating throughout the US…

I didn’t even know that parts of the US were still awake at that time…unless they were like me, choking down garlic water and fish oil…like a boss.

So, I started thinking about a conversation that took place on Twitter Thursday between Tweeters that have significant followers and more pull in the Conservative movement then I do. They were discussing the idea of taking down NBC, I concurred with them; NBC is the weakest link in the industry and thusly, the easiest kill.

I know, I’m even creeping myself out.

Basically their point is that by taking out NBC you send a message to the rest of the stations that we have reached the end of our rope with the media bias that blatantly ignored the mountains of evidence standing between the Benghazi victims and the truth, or the fact that the IRS is targeting innocent Americans simply because of their political stance. But you see – as those brilliant tweeters noted – we can’t possibly believe that ignoring NBC News would do any good. No, their bread and butter is in the entertainment television that airs during primetime. They also brilliantly pointed out that avoiding all channels, while noble, is a bit of a bigger bite than anyone is willing to take. Reach for the obtainable goals.

Point being, aren’t we tired of complaining yet? If we are adamantly against their truth censorship, why are we boosting their ratings? For entertainment purposes? So let me get this straight, when it comes to Benghazi we are revolted by their silence, yet we’ll watch our favorite show on their channel while we tweet about the evil media bias.  

Example: Pass the popcorn and tub of ice cream, I’m going to rant about NBC on Twitter while I watch The Voice.

Mull it over. *Jeopardy Music*

In addition to the blatantly obvious option we clearly aren’t capitalizing on with the news channels, why are we watching shows with false equality preaching  frequenters of Rodeo Drive? They preach on equality, yet attack us daily on Twitter and Facebook, mock us in movies, manipulate masses into hating us, and what do we do??? Being like the chronically enabling wife of a drug addict, we help them of course!

Example: We are like victims of the Soviet Union scattering outside intelligence for the dictators.

Somehow liberal entertainers have come to believe that they are the Lionhearts of world peace and unity, the Musashi of equality. Just for fun I thought about giving their tactics a run by punching someone in the gut and saying “bullying is bad!”…But then I realized that unless I am wearing something from the newest collection by Dolce & Gabbana and surrounded with bodyguards, my newly acquired ideals of helping the world finally realize the anti-violent truth would be futile.

This week I was reminded of a meeting that took place in the summer of 2012, a breakfast involving the leader of the free world and multiple A-list celebrities. Ok…so mostly b-list.  Clearly lacking the credentials for involvement in the green energy discussions (unless you count emission ranting about airplanes…WHILE ON AN AIRPLANE), we must ask a simple question: why exactly were these red carpet gods there? Clearly the stars themselves exuding the sheer confidence in the fact that they’re advocates for all that is good and right made them qualified by status alone; however, the President on the other hand knows why such involvement was necessary, and it didn’t involve the brilliant brains situated behind the flawless faces.

See…Now you understand why I get my full 8 hours of sleep every night. Because in the shadows of the night, in the natural expectorants that cause the coughing up of lungs, in the putrid stench of garlic tea – the boycotter awakens in me.

So, like the great Twitterers (sp?) suggested, I’m beginning with NBC. It’s basically a 12 step program…I might even suggest some anniversary chips for those of us who make it past seasons of The Voice without watching. I’m also giving up a lot of movies, making a choice not to go see some of the new movies in theaters, etc.  If the entertainment industry wants to become the US version of the Goskino, I don’t want to have anything to do with their rise to power…ok, more power. I’m starting to see the entertainment industry as not just being “biased” at this point, but as painting Socialism as the paragon of fairness while silencing any truth.

I went down the list of NBC shows, and to be honest I had a few on there that are in the series recording list on my DVR. For a brief moment I thought about ONLY watching those shows, slapping myself across the congested head for such an ignorant idea did indeed happen. It was 2am, people! I then remember 5 words that I will repeat whenever I think about supporting the targeted network after its most brutal display of leftist safety netting yet… “What difference does it make?”… Then it hit me, those boxes coming home from Benghazi containing the remains of Americans could have been filled with the remains of my family members. In the poignant words of Mr. Nordstrom: It matters.

It didn’t matter who was in those boxes to Hillary and Obama, standing over the caskets they spewed vitriolic lies and knowingly misled this country. The networks in question continuing to insult the intelligence of Americans with empty claims and false comparisons, propaganda that would give the Soviet Union a run for its money. Treating journalists with integrity as outcasts and spinning their own stories so as to take blame away from the people responsible.

Even now after some reporting has been done they are still managing to cover for our President. In the world that every other President lived in -Democrat or Republican – this would be a Presidential term ending occurrence. Yet somehow they have managed to place some blame on Clinton, some on the lower men on the totem pole, some on a few higher ups, the majority on republicans, a bowl full on Jay Carney, and nothing on the President of the United States…you know…their boss.

So what do I want out of this? Do I think the networks are going to shut down because of 1 person boycotting, or 100 people boycotting? No. But if we join the cause and encourage others to put aside their personal entertainment addictions for the sake of the Benghazi victims, Gosnell victims, etc. maybe we can make an impact. Maybe we can dent the ratings. Maybe we can send a message that those men deserve proper news coverage, those children and women deserve proper news coverage.

So, will you join me? Will you be a voice for those who are no longer with us? Will you fight the media bias you claim to hate?

So grab a book, take a walk, or watch other channels…Even if you never see them fall to their knees apologizing for their mistakes, you have the knowledge that you stood for something on behalf of the Benghazi victims. You’ve proven that in some little way that to you…

 “it matters”.

Collision Of Church & State

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I believe that every Christian in the US has an increasingly blurring line where Faith meets our morals, and whether the world likes it or not, it trickles down to our political obligations.  For most of us it  isn’t enough to move our proverbial mountain of daily tasks from it’s top position into the secondary category, but it shows its ugly head every once in a while making us think a bit.  But what if our daily lives were lived with the passion of the disciples, our lives revolving around Christ which then directly correlates to a heightening of our attention to the moral boundaries?

Growing up we are told that starving children in Ethiopia would be happy to have our meals.  I don’t know about you, but I could never picture the starving children in Ethiopia, my mind was always reverted back to (what I believed to be) the starving child staring at the broccoli.  But I believe even as a child that if I were placed before that child in Ethiopia, if I were able to hug their frail body and see the pain in their eyes my broccoli would have been forgotten.  This is due to the fact that when we are faced with a moral choice we make that choice based off of the results that we can clearly see.  We always hear that you won’t find an Atheist in a foxhole, but we never think about how that mirrors every aspect of our day to day choices.  When we watch a show we know wouldn’t glorify God, we can’t see Him, so we proceed.  He isn’t visibly sitting in our passenger seat when we listen to that song…He isn’t visibly in the theater when we watch that movie.  He isn’t visibly at the voting booth when we vote for the candidate that doesn’t respect innocent life, but promises to fatten our checkbooks. 

So many Christians stray from Politics because it is considered taboo. I tried to discuss it with a Pastor once and he searched the room for listening ears like I had offered to tell him where Jimmy Hoffa’s body had been hidden.  Or we are hit with the bitter hand of separation of church and state when we do arrive at a point where our beliefs had met with conviction only to be dashed before voiced.  When our country was being founded every law was rooted in a moral code, a moral code that our Founding Fathers knew was based within the word of God.  We have a place in politics, and we have a responsibility to hold ourselves accountable to a moral code.  And just like the Ethiopian children, it is our responsibility to make ourselves closer to the issues so that we can understand and feel the moral implications our nation has on its people.

 Most importantly, it should be noted that separation of church and state was designed to protect the church… The doctrine of Christianity is what our nation was built on, it was the catalyst for our freedom…The denomination was to be protected.  If you look at the religious affiliation of the Founding members of our country you will find Presbyterians, Catholics, Evangelicals, and Lutherans…etc.  Keeping the state out of the church meant that all of these denominations had the right to their own core belief system, unlike other countries that were forced under a certain religious code.  But at the end of the day it all came down to one thing, all of the above religions were based off of the core doctrine of Christianity.  We as Christians have a right to speak up in defense of our Constitution because it is our core Faith that built it.  The Founding Fathers were not bashful about the role that God played in the founding of our nation, because their Faith went beyond the walls of their religion. Their beliefs were turned into convictions and then acted upon.   

I think my own Mom would be the first to tell you that I am a realist; sometimes she questions my worst case scenarios of being a bit “cup half empty”.   When people ask me why they should believe in God, they will never get a short answer.  I loved the proof, the facts, the history, the prophecy, and of course this is rooted in a love for my Savior.  I believe that we fail someone when we give them an answer that a high school atheist science teacher can laugh off as an invisible friend.  We all know this not to be true, and we have facts to back our beliefs, but so many times we lack the conviction to stand up for our Faith, and as Paul said, to have a defense of our Faith.

I first started thinking about those facts when I was younger; I was raised around multiple different religions.  I grew up with multiple different backgrounds, my Mom and her side of the family were unwavering core believers in the Catholic faith.  My other sides of the family, well…they were everything under the sun. I grew up going to pot lucks, church bible studies, dinner clubs, VBS…etc.  I have attended Lutheran churches to Pentecostal churches.  Every church had another round of activities that encouraged you to become closer with your fellow members.   I’ve noticed that all of these programs happen to be extremely beneficial to the status of a church member.  This is where I started to question them.   My mishmash of religious influences had made me grasp one concept that truly stuck out in my mind…When Jesus said that the sick are the individuals who are in need of the physicians most, well…He meant it.  Due to so many different denominational views I started digging into the bible when I was very young, everyone had their own contextual view of every verse.  But, muddling through it all I realized that no one EVER has it all right, and never will.  But when immersed into the bible yourself you will not come out without some truths. I personally chose to call myself a non-denominational.  I don’t believe that religion holds any answers to our biblical questions, only relationship. 

Our unbridled tendency to cling to our own circles, our own balance of comfort and flower scented religious complacency has become our excuse to remove ourselves from political and moral obligations.  During our dinner parties we fellowship with other Christians, yes…but are our dinner parties truly dedicated to growing in the knowledge of Christ?  Are they teaching Christians to grow in their Faith and extend the word of Christ to the lost…the sick?  Are our children learning worship songs but missing the meaning and the education behind the song? In a world of no music and parties could we still be moved by the unwavering word of God?  We are reaching an impasse both politically and spiritually, I fear that religion has claimed its ground in the hearts of many, and relationship has been placed on a shelf next to the church directory.

Let’s be honest, the American flag will not be flying in heaven…Our political dedication should be focused on 2 things, the correlation it has with our moral grounds, and the implications it has on the lost.  We are not silent, but long ago we ventured to the middle ground in the name of reaching the lost and I fear that we as a church never returned.  And so many of those that did return, came back with a religious ideology that shut the world out and focused on pot lucks, dinner clubs, and status.  Not to say that there isn’t exceptions, because I have personally witnessed them…but unfortunately they are not the norm.  Whenever I visit a new church I always know what they are like during my first exchange with the Pastor.  I am in my 20’s, and I ask a good deal of questions concerning the fundamental values and objectives of their church.  Sometimes this is welcomed, but most of the time they go on guard as though to show a presence of someone who prefers not to have the supposed boat rocked…As though the questions throw a wrench in the systematical gears of a church family.  My questions are not meant to spark debate, but I am interested in the relationship, not the religion…and the outreach.  I have been to churches that have outreach youth centers that watch R rated movies in the name of middle ground…If that isn’t putting roots in the middle ground I don’t know what is.  But I have also been to outreach youth centers that create an air of acceptance, but also accountability.  I found Christian teens in both, but the daily life results were polar opposites.  The center that had camped on the middle ground produced Christian teens that strived to be accepted by peers.  But the outreach center that was based on accountability produced teens that were approaching fellow students and welcoming them to be friends, but living a moral code that set them apart.  It isn’t about being better than the other person, it is about the lives of those around you being at stake.  The teens that were held accountable were closer to God, they felt the choices of their morals because they had been encouraged and nurtured to grow in Christ as well as be Christ to the world.  

I was forced to look at myself months ago when my Stepdad made a choice that he would no longer support companies that used a company that supported the abortion industry by using aborted tissue cells for testing.  My response you ask?  All I could think about was how Digiorno pizza was my favorite, how could I possibly give that up?  See, we have accustomed ourselves to think that our personal gain is of higher importance than our moral obligations.  So, I have now given them up…unfortunately when they are such large companies you have no idea what they sell, so sometimes I will get stuff home and realize that I can’t buy that item anymore either.   

I think about other countries where they long to merely touch the bible, the same bible that collects dust on our nightstands.  They are imprisoned for beliefs that we shelve while dining with our clicks and discussing our favorite recipes.  They die in the name of the same Savior that we fail to mention on a daily basis to those we know best.  Their life is dedicated to a Faith that sustains them; our lives tend to mirror a dedication that sustains our good name in the church. The people in other countries who are persecuted wake up to a foxhole daily. The disciples had the faith to stand up for what is right…I am just as guilty of these offenses as anyone else, but my heart is heavy with the thought that we will be entering a time of suffering not only on unstable economic foundations, but on unstable spiritual foundations.  And those were the foundations our Founding Fathers relied on the most.  

We have members in our current administration that would prefer our Faith be accompanied by a foxhole.  We not only have a responsibility to act on our Faith, no matter what that means giving up…but we have a responsibility to spread the word of Christ, the middle ground should be a compassion for the pain, suffering and confusion…but our presence in the middle ground needs to be something that is different than the rooted morals that are living in the middle ground.  We need to be vocal in our support of individuals who stand for life, and the morals that were rooted into our nation from men of Faith.  We need to be focused on helping each other grow stronger, because sometime down the road if the current administration has their way, we may be the ones searching for the voice of Christ amidst the silenced masses, left scratching our heads in disbelief.  I know that day is coming…But the thought of being accountable for the thousands of lives I failed to touch makes my stomach turn…I don’t want that number to continue raising drastically.  I want to stand for what is right, and when people question my stance, I want to give them a valid defense as to why.  No matter what status your account balance is, or what you THINK a man in power can do for it…You are responsible first to be a voice for the millions of innocent lives taken by abortion.  No matter what insurance you have or what you think someone can offer, your responsibility is the freedom to worship your God and encourage others to do the same.  It is our responsibility to face the issues, to stare them in the eyes and do what we know we need to do.

We will be blogging about current events and how Christians should be involved.  We welcome feedback and will approve comments as long as they are appropriate. Thank you for visiting!

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