Tag: politics

Protesting Vice President Pence

Another week, another protest.  Another week and we will see support for the protest and support against it.  If you thought the anger would end after the election, you were wrong.  Even if Hillary had been elected, the anger and protests would have continued and it may have been worse.

There are three ways to react to a situation, movement or belief.   We can protest, support or be  apathetic.  When we join a side, it is very difficult to see the other side.  It goes both ways – that’s why there is very little agreement in today’s political state.  All of us are seeing events from “our” side and “our” side only.

Let’s take the Mike Pence speech at Notre Dame.  Students walked out quietly to protest his speech.  Some of us (me included) blasted them for being snowflakes or hater tots.  My side said they were “disrespectful”.    The other side declared this a “peaceful protest” and supported the student’s free speech.  In their opinion the students carried out a protest in the correct way.  President Obama addressed ND students in 2009 and was heckled by anti-abortion activists.  Were they disrespectful or were they correct in what they did?  Were they disrespectful or exercising free speech?

Who is right and who is wrong?  Maybe both and maybe neither.  All of us vote by our heart, beliefs, opinions and values.  Opinions change and in time, history’s opinion will change as well.

Let’s look at the most famous situation that ended in support and protest:

On a Sunday before Passover, Jesus entered the city of Jerusalem.  Crowds gathered to cheer Jesus as he rode into the city.   A week later the crowds yelled for Jesus to be crucified.  We have always wondered if some of the same people cheered one week and turned the next week.   Beside the amazing turn of events in one week, there were two other issues going on:  People on the ground at that point really didn’t know what was going on (for real).  Many of those cheering in the first week had false expectations that Jesus was coming to be a king and that he was going to free the Jews from Rome.    They were cheering but for the wrong reason.   A week later the people were paid or told by their leaders that Jesus was a fake and needed to be killed.   Those people thought they were right as well.   What’s even more amazing is that another group of people sat at home on both of those occasions and were apathetic or ignorant to the whole situation!

If social media and 24 hour news were present in Jerusalem during that week, the city may have been destroyed by protests.   On the other hand, the end results probably wouldn’t have changed.  There would still  be people who thought Jesus was going to save the Jews from Rome and those who wanted him crucified.  The only difference would be the amount of hatred, yelling and name calling between the two sides.

Screaming on social media would not have saved Jesus from the cross.  The 24 hour media could not have rushed the Crucifixion before God’s timing.

So what is the answer?  We study.  We learn.  We try to be as educated on issues as we can.  We have civil debates to compare ideas.  We love through differences and we show grace and tolerance.  What we don’t do is share hate for hate.  We don’t ridicule.  We don’t denigrate the other side.  We never strike out in violence.   I have to confess that I fail at this often.  I get too angry and judgmental.   I post nasty comments.  Friends point it out and I confess and delete and try to do better.   Tomorrow is another day.  I hope I do better but I won’t promise!  Sorry for my offenses and for keeping me in check.

Matthew 26

 

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Extremists

Here is a thought process/challenge for today:

Look at any belief, political view, religion or practice and take it out to the extreme and see where it goes.  You may not like the results.  The scripture that I am using below says to avoid extremes and I agree. But this is a challenge to see what the ultimate line of belief or practice is.

Here are a couple examples to start with:

Islam – I am certainly not an expert on Islam (and correct me if I’m wrong) but I believe the ultimate belief is Sharia Law.

Christianity – Give everything to the Lord and lay down your life.  Love your enemy.  Turn the other cheek.  Total forgiveness.

Love/Hate – Pretty obvious…

Some practical political issues:

Guns – Freedom to bear arms anytime, anywhere with no background checks or regulation.

Abortion – The right to have one up to the time of birth.  A fetus has no rights.

Alcohol/drugs – The ultimate extreme result I guess would be death.

Ok.  You get the idea.  Look at any issue and take it to the extreme.  We often look to the “seed” of thought – where did this begin.  I’m encouraging you to look to the “fruit” of the extreme.  Is it positive or negative.  Does it bear life or death?

Once you get to the extreme, is it something that you want to practice?  What steps need to be taken to bring it back to acceptable society levels?  Can we have restrictions without losing our freedom to choose this thought?

Guns – Do we really want to live in the wild west with everyone carrying guns?  Do we want to bring back holsters and walk around ready to shoot?  Do we want everyone to have a gun?  What regulations are acceptable to balance the issue?

Alcohol/drugs – We have tried numerous adjustments.  Some have worked and some have failed.  It has been a continuing process that gets tweaked often.  Age limits.  Prohibition.  Driving restrictions/penalties.  Legalization.  Why can’t we come to an understanding of this process with some of the other issues today?  Trial and error and adjusting laws instead of total freedom or shut down?

Religion – Where are your extreme beliefs leading you?  Are you going to kill non believers or love them?  Are you going to reach down and help the needy or kick them while they are down?

This is an interesting challenge for many issues.  I hope you take time to look at your own life.

Ecclesiastes 7:18   Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.
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I lost, or did I win?

Some Random Thoughts on success and failure following the elections and World Series.

Success and failure are two items that are very, very hard to judge and evaluate.  No one wants to lose.  No one wants to get second place.  Who remembers who was the loser in last year’s World Series or the Superbowl?  Those players may walk off the field feeling like failures but they did get to 2nd place.  Would they have been better off not making it into the playoffs at all?

Let’s take a rising baseball star who is “famous” for his high school ball playing.  He leaves high school a hero and huge success.  He gets into minor league play and is “average”.  He makes it to a major team but is benched and fades out after two years.  Still loving to play baseball, he signs up to play minor league ball in small towns for several years before ending up a coach for a high school team.  Here is the question: When was he most successful?  A rising star in high school?  An average minor player?  A lack luster major?  An average left over player?  Or a coach?  When was he a failure?  Was he ever a failure?

Although his professional career was not “shining”, he did make it to the professional arena.  This is far beyond the hopes of most ball players.  By most standards, this player was very successful and he should be elated.  In reality, he may sit in his room and feel like a total failure because he didn’t “succeed as a professional”.   Would he have been happier to walk away as the high school success?

Many incumbent politicians got voted out of office yesterday.  Are they failures?  Is holding a governor’s post for four years a failure because of not getting re-elected?  Is it an oxymoron to use the term “failed presidency”?  If you make it to the level of president, can you be considered a failure?

We should all strive to reach the best and highest level that we can.  At some point, we will all reach our limit of “success”.  We all hit a point of limit – it may be because of talent, skill, age, time, or just will power.  Success isn’t gauged by the point of limit but the attitude and effort getting there.

Although the “failed” baseball player didn’t succeed in his eyes, in my view he outdoes the player who quits before making the big league.  The challenge to all of us may be finding the “success” at whatever level we are at.  That ball player may end up being the best coach the school ever had.  That failed governor may become the best husband, father, grandfather and citizen in the state.

That is success in my book.

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.

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A Not So Royal Abortion

The ink is still wet on my previous blog – A Royal Abortion (see below).  And now USATODAY hits again.  Only this time they edited their headline –

Kim Kardashian bares bump in a vacation bikini

Now it is just a “bump” not a “baby bump”.  The article doesn’t say “baby” once.   Maybe my blog hit the editor and he/she insisted on leaving “baby” out of the picture!  Maybe no one cares about this baby and only how the mother to be looks.  This baby isn’t destined to royalty.  Except for the fame and wealth, this baby will face what approximately 40% of newborns face – an out of wedlock conception before the previous divorce is settled following a previous divorce.  I’m not trying to judge Kim.  I’m trying to understand the rules of a society that promotes pro-choice while being excited about pregnancy.  Do they think it is really just a blob of tissue in there?

 

This may make you stop and think all day –

The headline today reads “Watching Duchess Kate’s Baby Bump”.  What if Kate decided to have an abortion?  Even USA TODAY calls it a “baby”.  Not a fetus.  A baby.  Everyone acknowledges that it is a baby.  What if she aborted the heir to the throne of England?  Outrage? Cries? Murderer?  “The child was heir to the throne!”  He or she had so much purpose!

What right would she have to do such an atrocity?  Could the Queen stop her?  Could the country stop her?  Remember, it is HER body.  The baby doesn’t belong to Great Britain or does it?

What reasons would Kate have to kill her baby?  She is married, well off, has medical care, she is the right age, she wants to have a baby, and as far as we know the baby is healthy.  There would be no logical reason to kill it.

Except that she has the right to.  It is her body.  Her choice.  Imagine the headlines! The outrage.  She would be hated forever.

Is it based on that fact that this baby has a known destiny?  Or is it because she isn’t young, poor, or unmarried?  I doubt that even Planned Parenthood could justify this abortion.  Controversial?

Jeremiah 1:2 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew[a] you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”

Wounded

We all watch the tragedies happening around the world – earthquakes, war, terrorists.  The news media always informs us of the number that died and the number that was wounded.

The death tolls are always the main focus.  The wounded are secondary.  Although death is certainly final and unfair in these situations, it is the wounded that I always reflect on.  Last week after the Boston bombing, the news media said there 219 wounded in hospitals.  Later I heard 160.  What happened to them?  Were they life threatening wounds or superficial? 

What is wounded?  It is a broad group – anyone with a cut to the people who lost limbs.  In all those reports, we don’t know how serious the wounds are.  Personally I can’t imagine losing a limb while standing on a public street.  I’m not saying that I would rather die but that drastically changes one’s life forever!

We are all wounded.  Some of us have been bullied.  Some of us have been abused.  Some have lost loved ones.  Some suffer from physical or mental ailments.  We all hurt to some degree.  Some of us have lost limbs and some of us have cuts but we have all been wounded.  Where will we get our healing?  Where will we get comfort?  What will inspire us to fight through rehab?  Will we get back in the race?

Be the hands of Jesus today and help the wounded around you.  If you are wounded, allow Jesus to bring comfort to you.

Psalm 109:22   For I am poor and needy, and my heart is wounded within me.

Isaiah 53:5  But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.