Posts Tagged With: Founding Fathers

OUR President

I had to post this because I almost forgot what a REAL President and First Lady look like….

The photo to the left is a post I recently saw on facebook!  I shot off this post on facebook as my status, “I saw a post earlier today that was a photo of FORMER President George W. and Laura Bush with a caption that read, “I had to post this because I almost forgot what a REAL President and First Lady look like….”! How DISRESPECTFUL! I am sorry America… but PRESIDENT Barack Obama and FIRST LADY Michelle Obama are REAL and he is PRESIDENT! Even if you do not agree with their divisive politics that help the poor have insurance and teach children about nutrition and exercise… at least have respect that they ARE the PRESIDENT and First Lady of the United States of America!! Even when the person you did not vote for wins….he (or she) is still winner and comments like above just show you are a SORE LOSER!”  

I was ashamed and embarrassed for the person that posted it for so freely being disrespectful to OUR current President and First Lady, Barack and Michelle Obama!  True, not all Americans love the current President and some may even miss FORMER President George W. and Laura Bush.  But for someone to infer that President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are not REAL and deserving of our respect is a VERY SAD commentary of discourse in America.  To disagree with the politics of the President is completely normal if you have differing views, but the growing acceptance to disrespect the office of President is alarming to me.

I did not want to mention it in the very first paragraph, but now I am one sentence into my third paragraph I will say it – I think it may, in part, be because he is black!  But now I said it I will not dwell on it, but it does deserve mentioning.  I find ANY white woman pointing in the face of a black man to appear racist to me.  To see a sitting governor do it to a sitting President!  WOW!  I am not so naive as to think Obama is the first President to be disrespected, but to mention race one more time…. as a society, maybe this is a good place to start toning down the hatred, rhetoric, hyperbole – even if it is so we do not appear to be racist.  Political discourse will ALWAYS be a part of politics, but it is possible to disagree without being so blatantly RUDE!  

The following is a reply I recieved about my post, “We’ll just have to ‘Agree to Disagree’ on your post. Obama is NOT my president, and Michele will never be my ‘First Lady’. Disrespectful or not, what is disrespectful, in my opinion, is how fast Obama’s administration has managed to degrade and destroy what has taken millions of working-class families decades to accumulate. Perpetuating the ‘handout mentality’ of low and poverty-level Americans is like ‘keeping them in chains’, they might as well call it ‘Slavery’.”  All I could say to myself was WHAT THE FUCK?  I want to respect her opinion, but I am at a complete loss to know what she THINKS Obama has done?  It is rhetoric that has NO fact to support it!

Yes… we (she and I) DO have to agree to disagree! I in NO way have seen him perpetuate ANY such policy – namely because Congress has done NOTHING to support ANY of his polices since ObamaCare.  Even ObamaCare is not so much about entitlement for the poor (the poor already had Medicaid) but for people like me with pre-existing conditions like Multiple Sclerosis! I had no health insurance for 2

Our President is ALSO a loving husband and father!

years and so YES, I supported ObamaCare… because now I have insurance and I am getting treatment again. But I feel conservatives only see he is a Democrat and does not understand that ObamaCare was built on Republican Bob Dole’s health plan that was the basis for Romney as a Republican Governor to also use.  Even in an effort to gain bipartisan support, they tried to demonize the program that in Romney’s own suggested alternative (as Presidential candidate) to his own plan established in Massachusetts wants to keep the KEY provisions of ObamaCare! They FIGHT it just because it is a Democrat’s plan.  But even as a Democrat… I never said or acted as if Bush were not MY President, because at the end of the day we are all still Americans and that even includes President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama!  As all past Presidents, I feel they have represented America with ALL the best intentions that what they did (do) was (is) good for our country!  I feel both the President and First Lady have represented America very well, with grace, poise and  dignity – they are a GREAT First Family!

Repeating LIES does not = Truth!

I have a disdain for A LOT of the Tea Party’s divisive politics and how they feel cooperation and compromise are an evil part of politics.  Even

Hyperbole is BAD for the Nation and BAD for your soul!!

as a CHILD I was taught to share and play nice with others!  A concept that escapes most Tea Party idealist.  The Tea Partiers seem to ALWAYS go back to our “Christian” fore-fathers as their point of reference.  They want to legislate their Christian beliefs in a nation founded on Christianity – NOT FREEDOM!  The founders of our nation left England because the KING was basically “legislating” his idea of Christian beliefs .  The founders intentionally left religion out of our constitution because they knew religion and government were separate entities.  As a gay man in America, I am astonished at the idea that Christians (not all… but A LOT) in some way feel that if I am given equal rights and benefits of marriage, it in some way  effects their marriage.  They feel they have a responsibility to remove freedom in our nation and enact laws based on their beliefs.

MY Presidents!

Bush was MY President, Obama is MY president and even if Romney wins he will be MY President, because I am proud to be an AMERICAN more so than a Democrat (or even a Republican as I was most of my life)! People need to unite, love, support and encourage each other – not say things like Obama is NOT MY President… unless you have left the USA and surrendered  your Passport & citizenship- He is YOUR President…. just maybe not who you voted for! 

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The North Pike Pharisees

Why do so many Christians feel they are entitled to have prayer at public school functions? Don’t they have church and even Christian schools for those that find that important? Why do so many Christians STAND UP with outrage on an issue like being told to stop praying at ballgames, but so few Christians stand up for the poor, the hungry, the ones needing health care or for the civil liberties of others? Why can’t Christians understand that freedom of religion in the United States also means freedom FROM religion?  Most churches offer Sunday School, youth programs, worship, and some even offer mission opportunities for school aged children, teenagers and young adults.  Church provides a place to learn and exercise one’s religious beliefs and practices – not public schools – well not public school football games (or any school functions for that matter)!

North Pike Schools is one of the latest schools to be told by threat of lawsuits to stop praying at school functions. I graduated from North Pike Schools where I attended all 12 years of my compulsory education. On September 23, 2011, the North Pike School Board received a letter from the Freedom From Religion Foundation reminding them of current laws regarding prayer at school functions. This of course has enraged the local Christian community. So many Christians forget all opportunities where they can exercise their religion, but tell them there is something they can’t do…. then they become livid!

Superintendent of North Pike Schools, Dr. Ben Cox handled the situation administratively saying, “North Pike will suspend prayer at sporting events and other functions. The school board doesn’t agree. Students, patrons and parents will still have the individual right to prayer.” (1) This would have been the best place to stop, but he went on to say, “It’s not a violation of federal law to have prayer at an event as long as the school does not initiate it. We encourage our patrons to express that right of religious freedom.” (1) This is how I translate the last part: it is not a violation of federal law to push the issue by trying to find a little loophole to bypass the law and have students and parents pray anyway. So I hope students at North Pike read this as I remind them it is not a violation of federal law to try to find loopholes in the school’s handbook, guidelines, or rules.  I encourage the students to exercise their rights to dress and behave how they want at school, and I challenge them to express this right.  When your parents say be home at 11:00pm for curfew, come home, then go right back out because they only said be home at 11:00pm; they did not say you cannot go back out. This is what Dr. Cox is suggesting; just find a way to justify doing what you want regardless of the law or rules.  Let us teach our students instead of following the rules and/or laws, let us just find a way around it.(2)

Christians’ arrogance is one of the main reasons I no longer self-identify as a “Christian”.  I do not see many that act Christ-like, but this fact does not make me less a follower of Christ to say – this is not what Jesus would do.  The Bible has often been used as a weapon against me because I understand its purpose differently, so let me turn the tables and use their “source” of how to behave against them.  Matthew 6: 5-6 says, ““And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”  Now, I also know the Bible also has passages that support praying out loud.  So, like with most issues, we can all misuse and interpret the Bible to support just about any of our opinions.  But I also know the Pharisees (Luke 18:9-14) were not looked upon fondly by Christ as they patted themselves on the back for how holy they were.  I am sad to say, I see Pharisees in this issue and some will say they see the Devil in me. I feel God inspires me to stand up when I see injustice done in the name of religion or even freedom of religion; but other than God on my side, I also have the law on my side!

If more Christians stood up for “causes” other than those that only affect them, I would have more respect for their outrage.  Where is their outrage for how the poor are treated in the U.S., where is their outrage for how healthcare coverage is not available for all, where is their outrage for how Wall Street wrecked our economy with no executives being arrested – only given bonuses, where is their outrage for working Americans losing their homes in foreclosure?

Pastors and Christian leaders may ask themselves, why is the number of Americans identifying as “non-religious” growing? (3)   May I suggest behavior like this affects their Christian witness!  Maybe fighting to keep prayer in schools, this behavior makes fewer people see Christ and only see people that are unjustly angry?  Many Christians have forgotten to minister to people and only unite for self-serving purposes!  And before arguing that people identifying as non religious is growing because prayer is being taken from school, look at it as people have seen these same Christians fighting to keep prayer in schools while NOT seeing them stand up for the poor, hungry, sick or lonely.  They have seen them persecute, name call, and justify hatred while bullying groups of people in the name of God!  But I can speak for myself: I identify as non-religious, but I do still believe in a God, the principles of Christ’s teaching; however religion has done more harm to my faith than help it grow!

Christians can always pray to themselves, and I am lost to understand why they feel everyone should be exposed to the practices of their faith.  They are free to say a prayer to themselves any where, any time; no one wants to stop that, but praying to an audience gathered for a school function is not appropriate.  This arrogance of feeling persecuted because they are told to follow the law reminds me of how spoiled some act…. I can do what I want… this is a Christian Nation!  I fell to remember learning at North Pike that this is a Christian nation, I remember learning that the United States is a Nation founded on FREEDOM!  As they have freedom OF religion, the rest of us have freedom FROM religion!

The founding fathers came to America to escape forced religion.  King Henry VIII established The Church of England (the Anglican Church) as THE religion for England.  So escaping from being forced to practice a certain religion is what inspired the founding fathers to start a new nation….. not establishing another Christian nation or they would not have felt religious persecution in England.  Their intent was that religion would not be part of government.  In the United States, public schools are funded by government funds and Christian practices should not be endorsed by the school, nor should Atheism, Muslim, Hinduism, Buddhism or ANY faith. 

Schools and teachers have enough responsibility to teach, inspire and keep students safe in an academic environment; so, let’s not add religious education to the public schools responsibilities.  Could schools even compete with all the various Christian faiths as to what is appropriate to teach about religion.  I do not think many practitioners of the Pentecostal faith would want a Methodist or Baptist to teach Christian values to their children or vice versa… not to mention Catholics!  The only thing I have found they all can agree on is hating gays!  I have been told if someone does not like prayer at school functions, they can stay home – oh that is a great argument, the praying Christians get to decide who comes to PUBLIC school functions!  My response is, if someone objects to following the law… they can send their kid to private school where Christianity is part of their curriculum.  Christians could simply decide to meet before school functions in the parking lot, say a prayer, then go in to watch the game or better yet – just pray before they leave home for the game or function.  A moment of silence – that is a joke!  Spontaneously reciting something like the Lord’s Prayer out loud, in unison – WOW… group defiance and disrespect for the law 101!!!  But heaven forbid they try finding a simple, legal solution that even satisfies the people that see things differently instead of trying to find ways to just circumvent the law.

I love the teachers, coaches and leaders at North Pike, I received a great education there, and know the dedication it takes to be a teacher, but let’s teach the students right – they are are school to learn, to be educated in academics.  Children learn from the example set before them and North Pike’s leadership is encouraging anarchy, encouraging finding ways around the rules – so do not be surprised when this example is followed by the students in areas other than expressing their religious rights!  I am a former youth minister and I dare say that less than 50% of these students are even actively involved in church.  Many feel they are standing up for their Christian beliefs but how dare people that don’t agree with them stand up – even fellow Christians that see football games as a place to watch football… not a place to pray?  What is your goal North Pike?  Education or religion?  Embrace the lifestyle of the Pharisee or hypocrite and enjoy its consequences!!

*(1) –http://www.enterprise-journal.com/news/article_4215d664-f103-11e0-bb58-001cc4c002e0.html

*(2)http://www.enterprise-journal.com/news/article_4f643ef2-f282-11e0-82f2-001cc4c03286.html

*(3) – http://www.christianpost.com/news/survey-non-religious-americans-on-the-rise-in-every-state-37380/

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