Orlando tragedy, gun control, and radical Islam

Jun 16, 2016 by

The radical Islam terrorist attack in Orlando has once again brought the topics of gun control and radical Islam to the national debate. Adding fuel to the furor is the fact that the site of the terrorism was a gay nightclub. This adds homophobia to the debate along with Islamophobia and the second amendment. Sadly, the last 8 years under President Obama has done little to bring clarity to any of these issues. In fact, the various positions on these topics have grown further apart, rather than heading towards some form of consensus.

What is lamentably apparent, especially on social media like Twitter, is the knee jerk jump to conclusions along with the immediate use of the tragedy to promote a particular political agenda or other world viewpoint. In too many cases it is all to apparent that there is little real anguish or grief for the horrendous loss of life. In fact often the first comments posted are immediate references to the NRA, gun control, homophobia, and how fill-in-the-blank needs to be done now to end the senseless slaughter. If my pessimism and dim view of the human condition are troubling, believe me when I say they trouble me as well. I have lived to see the citizens of our country become increasingly divided over far too many issues.

The sad truth is, there are no simple one step answers to gun violence, radical Islamic terrorism, homophobia, or Islamophobia. That should be readily apparent to anyone in light of the fact that none of these issues are simple in nature or origin. I am not going to go into detail on what I think should or can be done to address any of these issues. I am neither an expert on any of them nor do I have the time to address such complicated issues in a simple post.

What I will say is that jumping on tragedies like this and using them to call for the death of the NRA, taking away the rights of lawful citizens to own firearms, blaming Christians for homophobia, calling for all Muslims to be deported or banned from coming into the country, etc., etc., etc., are not legitimate or even rational answers to any of these issues. What needs to occur is rational, honest, civil debate and national discourse. Peoples individual rights and viewpoints need to be acknowledged during the course of this discourse. The rule of law as well as the Constitution of this great country need to be upheld. There can be no room for self-righteous anger, hatred, and intolerance.

Nothing will be resolved in 140 characters on Twitter or in a Facebook post. Communities, churches, local, state, and national government should focus on these problems and try to discern practical answers that can address these issues while still respecting the Constitution, existing laws, and the rights and freedoms of every citizen. It can and has to be done.

 

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The State of the Union

Mar 28, 2016 by

state-of-the-union-historyNo, I am not the President of the United States. Nevertheless I feel compelled to present my own State of the Union, as I have never been accused of being introverted. The government has its take on the state of our country while the citizens of this great nation have their own. Seldom are the two in agreement on anything. The government seems to see things through rose colored glasses, which is what frequently happens when you are basically critiquing yourself. The citizens however, are critiquing those whom they voted as representatives for their interests. Things tend to be seen much more clearly from the perspective of the citizen as the state of the union is in reality about the state of us, the citizens.

Let me start with the 500 pound gorilla in the house, the economy. The President will present all sorts of statistics that demonstrate how well the economy is doing under his wonderful leadership. Has there ever been a President who painted himself as anything other than a genius when it comes to the economy? I am not an economist, I can’t easily counter with facts the claims made about the economy when statistics, presented as facts, are as tenuous as the wind. But I do know what I see, hear, and experience. What I see is 11 stores shuttered in the local mall I shop at. I see other upscale stores replaced with moon golf and Red Dragon martial arts venues. What I hear is the lady who rents from a friend of mine being unable to find steady work as a painter and having to move because she cannot pay the rent. What I experience is the young lady who is my Bible study class telling me she is desperate to find a job, any job, and yet is unable to do so. What I experience is the unbelievable cost to feed a family, pay the utilities, and pay my taxes. These events tell me that the economy is not in the state that the President says it is in, statistics be damned.

As bad as the economy may be, the moral state of our union is much more troubling. The rancor, divisiveness, intolerance, and apathy that is the hallmark of society today is far removed from what it was when I was a child. You can see this in the elections that are currently taking place across our country. Again, while politics has never been played out in a completely civil manner, the degree to which civility in politics has taken a nosedive is stunning. This decline in civility can be seen in every other aspect of our society. Racial tensions have never been higher, even with a black President. Religious intolerance, where religious protection laws are portrayed as anti-LGBT and businesses are being destroyed simply because the owners were exercising their religious beliefs, is rampant. LGBT rights are not greater than religious rights, both need to be respected.

Our national security is threatened at a level unseen since WWII. A weak, naive foreign policy, based on misguided beliefs and ideas, has emboldened our enemies while at the same time left our allies isolated, ignored, and betrayed. Our president just finished visits to Cuba and Argentina, neither of which has ever been an ally of ours, while completely ignoring the only democracy and ally we have in the Middle East, Israel. China is building artificial islands in the South China Sea and militarizing them, while Russia has committed aggressions against South Georgia, Ukraine, and the Crimea. We have unlocked billions in frozen assets to Iran, the worlds largest sponsor of state terrorism, while at the same time doing little to deter them from obtaining nuclear weapons. Iran still threatens us and has even taken our sailors prisoner, continuing to mock us at every turn. North Korea daily threatens us with nuclear annihilation while our response is to weaken our military capabilities to almost historic lows.

Suffice it to say that I and the President do not see eye to eye on the state of the union. I know that there are many, many more citizens of this great country that feel as I do. Unfortunately I do not have much optimism that things will change for the better any time soon. Actually, I am as pessimistic about the future of our country as I have ever been in my life. The Democrats offer us Hillary or Bernie. Hillary was a disaster as Secretary of State and her reckless disregard for law, procedure, and national security in the establishing of a private email server should have every voter cringing at the thought of her becoming president. Bernie is a Socialist who is anathema to everything our Founding Fathers stood for and promoted. His grandiose plans of free everything will cripple the already overburdened taxpayer with more taxes. It will also generate an even bigger government than the already far over-sized one we have currently. The Republicans are as big a disaster as the Democrats, almost. The only reason Donald Trump is doing as well as he is with voters is due to the great level of anger and frustration that the voters feel by their betrayal by establishment politicians. He would be a disaster as a president, on a scale with either Hillary or Bernie. Ted Cruz, being a Constitutional Conservative, closely reflects my political view. But I fear even he would be just more of the same. The two parties have merged into one party, where there is no middle, only the extremes on either side.

The damage done to our country may be irreversible. This great experiment of a Republic that the Founding Fathers made for us may have run its course. And as history has shown, the downfall of most nations comes from within. The only solace I take is my faith in God. He is in control and his Will will be done. That is sufficient for me. I just wish it hadn’t happened in my lifetime.

 

 

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Progressives are ruining our country

Aug 17, 2015 by

I hate talking Politics as it makes me frustrated. Let me just say that I will be more than glad when President Obama is no longer our “lead from behind” leader. I am literally praying that the next Presidential election will bring us a President who can at least make a dent in undoing the tremendous damage Obama has done to our country and not do any additional damage. I love the breadth and diversity of the Republican Party’s candidates. Any one of them would make a good President, while a few of them would make a great President.

On the other side of the table we have the Democratic Party with Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, or possibly Joe Biden or God help us Al Gore. Three old white males and an old white lady. What happened to the diversity of the Democratic Party? Hillary is a pathological liar who thinks she is above the law and can do anything she wants. Bernie Sanders is an outright Socialist. Joe Biden is a pervert and just plain a creepy person. And as for Al Gore, he belongs in a mental institute.

Do I sound partisan? You bet. I have always been a right leaning conservative. But I have been almost as disappointed in the Republican Party as I am disgusted by the Democratic Party. The voters gave the Republicans decisive victories in two elections, giving them a majority in both the Senate and the House. Have things changed any for the better since then? Nope.

With Republicans like John McCain, Mitch McConnell, and John Boehner having a stranglehold on Congress, there might as well not be a Republican Party. I almost wish Donald Trump would run as an independent but I am afraid it would punish the country much more than it would teach the Republican party a lesson if a Democrat won the Presidency again.

Am I hopeful for the future of our country? I have to be or I would become permanently despondent. I think Ted Cruz or Mike Huckabee would make a good President. But my real hope for the future lies in my faith and the promise from God that evil will be defeated in the end. The Bible promises us that in the end, good will win out over evil, and evil will be defeated — finally and completely. It tells us that “in keeping with (God’s) promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3:13).

So I pray for our country and our leaders every day and I hope you will too.

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The Government has got the first amendment backwards.

Oct 20, 2014 by

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a government redress of grievances. Seems pretty straight forward. But in this new world of Progressives, political correctness, and a government that has far overstepped the bounds set by the Constitution, it has been turned topsy-turvy.

Time and time again, Atheist organizations like the Freedom From Religion group, having nothing better to do with their lives, have filed suit against any person, group, or organization that has even a remote connection to the local, state, or federal government and has anything to do with religion, specifically the Christian Faith. They always cite either the “establishment” clause of the First Amendment, or the “separation of church and state” argument. Both arguments are completely bogus, legally groundless, and have nothing to do with the First Amendment.

In a recent especially egregious example, the openly gay Mayor of Houston Texas, has subpoenaed five Houston pastors to turn over their sermons and other pastoral communications to the city for signs of “political activity”.  Read this story for the whole sordid mess.

Houston Persecution

In another case, two Christian ministers in Idaho are being threatened with fines and jail if they refuse to perform same-sex marriages. Again, you can read the whole pathetic story here.

Idaho Persecution

In the Houston case, it is strange that the Houston Mayor has not subpoenaed any Muslim Imams for their sermons and other communications for signs of “political activity”. But that is a whole other blog post.

The problem with both these cases, and many like them, is that they have no basis in law, especially with regards to the Constitution. The First Amendment was written to protect religion from political persecution, not protect the government from religion. The “establishment clause”, for those like the members of the Freedom From Religion organization who are obviously confused by simple sentences, specifically states  “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion”.  Where in either of these cases is Congress making a law respecting an establishment of religion? Right, I did’t read of one either. It further states that Congress shall make no law prohibiting the free exercise of religion, which in both of the above mentioned cases is being violated. If Congress cannot prohibit the free exercise of religion, neither can the city or state.

With regards to the argument of “separation of church and state”, that phrase does not even appear in the Constitution. So as far as the Constitution and the First Amendment are concerned, there is no legal ground for the city of Houston or the State of Idaho to pursue harassment and persecution of Christians in this manner. In fact, both cases violate the free exercise of religion as well as abridging freedom of speech. In both instances the Christians are being persecuted by homosexuals although that is not always the case. The Gay Mafia is alive and well and as intolerant of the views and rights of others as any other hate group. How cases like this are even being won is beyond me. Apparently there are many courts and judges who are equally baffled  with the simple wording of the First Amendment or choose to ignore its true and stated purpose and intent.

 

 

 

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Why You Hate Fox News

Sep 18, 2012 by

I have noticed for some time how many liberals hate Fox News and spend inordinate amounts of time mocking and denigrating it. After some thought I think I have a reason for their hatred and disdain. It isn’t that what Fox News says or reports is necessarily wrong, misguided, or distorted, rather it is that they say anything at all.

Many liberals base their political and moral viewpoints on what I would describe as thin ice. The facts, rationale, history and perceptions upon which they build their viewpoints are on such shaky ground that any viewpoints, facts, or histories that either do not support their views or directly contradict them cannot be allowed to see the light of day. Since liberals cannot do anything to actually stop these contrary viewpoints from reaching others, they choose to instead vilify and discredit the messenger. Their rationale is that if the messenger is labeled as biased, dishonest, a nut job, or some other such adjective or noun, then the message must likewise be tainted.

If you as a liberal truly believed your political and moral viewpoints are valid and based on substantial facts, histories and other data, you would welcome other viewpoints and beat them against your views and come back convinced that you were right all along. The opposing viewpoints, in other words, would reinforce your viewpoints as being valid. But since too many liberals viewpoints will not stand up to this type of scrutiny and analysis, it is much easier to just dismiss the messenger so you will not have to exercise your mind and reinforce and re-validate your own viewpoints.

In other words, the best defense is to have no defense at all for your beliefs. Much easier to demonize the messenger. So carry on all Fox News haters, and don’t forget to get in a shot at Fox News either here or on Twitter, Facebook or Google+. I expect nothing less.

 

 

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Showing the American flag is never ‘incendiary.’

May 12, 2010 by

The recent incident at a California high school in which school administrators sent five students home for refusing to turn their American flag t-shirts inside out has highlighted the increasing insanity of political correctness. Administrators called the showing of the American flag during a school Cinco de Mayo event ‘incendiary.’

Administrators first told the students to remove their American flag bandannas, which they did. The students were then told they had to turn their American flag t-shirts inside out. The students rightfully told the administrators that that was disrespectful and they chose to go home instead. The administrators told the students that they did not want any fights to break out between Mexican-American students celebrating their heritage and those wearing American flags. One student quoted an administrator as saying they were “starting a fight and that they were fuel to the fire.”  The students were told that they could wear the American flag any other day but today was sensitive to Mexican-Americans because it is supposed to be their holiday.

A statement released by the school district said that it did not agree with the school’s actions, but this came only after a storm of protest over the incident. More than 100 students were spotted leaving after school wearing the colors of the Mexican flag, including some who had the flag painted on their faces or arms. To their credit, I don’t think most of the Mexican-American students complained about the students wearing the American flag. This seems to be mostly about a bunch of idiotic school administrators who are afraid of their own shadows and cover their bad decisions by citing school rules that really don’t apply to the situation.

Let me try to put into perspective just how stupid the administrators decision was. Every school that I know of  flies the American flag while school is in session. Did the administrators haul down the American flag and hoist the Mexican flag that day? If they did I think that is actually a crime. When St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the country, are Irish-Americans offended when the American flag is flown during parades celebrating their culture and heritage? Similar questions could be asked about the celebrations for Mardi Gras, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Octoberfest, the Chinese New Year, and the many other cultural and religious celebrations that are held every year in the United States.

Unless I am mistaken, all the Mexican-American students that were supposed to be offended by the showing of the American flag are U.S. citizens first and Mexicans second. How can they be offended by the showing of the flag of the country they are citizens of? Celebration of their culture and heritage is not lessened or harmed by the showing of the American flag. In fact, if Mexican-Americans truly want to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, they should show both the American flag and the Mexican flag. They should be equally proud of their Mexican heritage and the country they are citizens of. There shouldn’t be any day when students are prevented from displaying the American flag.  This doesn’t seem to me to be too hard a concept to grasp. But apparently it is for some school administrators in California.

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