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America, Look Up

The importance of America returning to Christian principles and Traditional Family Values

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Founding Fathers

Do You Really Care About Our Kids?


God has blessed my family with six children, three boys…three girls….a modern day Brady Boggs8Bunch of sorts.  When our family piles out of the Suburban or walks into the grocery store, our presence raises eyebrows.  I wish I had a nickel for every time a person asks, “You know how that happens, right?” My favorite response is, “My wife knows, but she won’t tell me.”  Truth be told, we love kids.  It’s that plain and simple.

We (our family) associate or tend to support a political Party that champions children, starting at conception.  We proudly claim to be the Party of Life.  And that’s the case for the GOP unless the preferred Candidate fails to receive the Party’s nod for nominee and then some moan and groan, threatening to support a third Party candidate or refusing to vote in November.  But my third Party candidate is pro-life, you say.  That’s great, but in our overwhelmingly entrenched two-party system, a third party candidate only serves to steal votes away from either the Democrat or Republican nominee.  In this case, Donald Trump stands to lose the most from individuals dead set against the GOP nominee.

Am I one hundred percent convinced Trump’s a true Conservative?  Absolutely not!  He concerns me…a great deal.  However, am I convinced Hillary Clinton plans to perpetuate Obama’s legacy by sticking America with a third term of Obama’s ideologies?  Absolutely!  She’s promised as much.  And this is one of the only things she’s said that can be trusted.

Time and time again I converse with Conservatives who won’t vote for Trump because their conscience won’t allow it.  Well, if that’s you, I pose the following questions:

Will your conscience allow Hillary Clinton to nominate four or more Supreme Court Justices?

Will your conscience vote for Hillary, a woman worshiped by the nation’s largest abortion provider?

Will your conscience vote for Hillary even after she claimed Margaret Sanger as a hero?

Will your conscience vote for a woman who lied about Benghazi, blaming the attack on a YouTube video?

Will your conscience vote for a woman who compromised national security by unilaterally deciding to utilize her own private server and email?

Will your conscience vote for a woman whose husband sexually harassed and assaulted scores of women?  (Hillary called the women’s charges, “Bimbo eruptions.)

Will your conscience vote for a woman who’s been called “extremely careless” by the FBI?

And let me ask again, will your conscience permit you to allow Hillary Clinton to nominate four or more Supreme Court Justices, who enjoy lifetime appointments?

A vote for a Third Party candidate or boycotting the ballot box in November is a vote for Hillary…a violation of the conscience many claim the desire to protect.

Trump’s not perfect…not even close.  And we really don’t know how America will fare under a Trump/Pence Administration.  Clinton’s track record speaks for itself; Hillary’s term in office might be America’s death knell.

So I ask, do you really care about our kids?

 

 

 

 

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An Open Letter to Donald Trump


Dear Mr. Trump,

Congratulations on all but clinching the Republican nomination.  Unless you fall short of 1237 delegates needed before the Convention, and a new candidate rises from the ashes, you will be representing the Republican Party in November.  Since Ted Cruz emerged on the political scene a few years ago, I have been his fan, and supported his Presidential bid.  You must know I represent millions of Conservatives, disappointed at the outcome of this Primary and Caucus season.  I find it incredibly difficult to comprehend why “Conservatives” and “Evangelicals” chose to support your bid to be President of the United States.  That being said, I intend to support the Republican nominee, even if it’s you, in order to help defeat the Clinton Machine.  I would, however, like you to consider the following observations.

First, you claim to be a Christian, yet you boast of infidelity, slander opponents, and use profanity proficiently.  These behaviors alone create doubt that your stated “faith” is nothing more than a ploy to entice evangelicals to support you.  No, we’re not electing a National Pastor, but America needs a principled leader.  One whose word we can trust.

Second, for the last 7 years we’ve suffered greatly under miserable and dangerous leadership.  His distaste for American exceptionalism oozes from every speech, and any dissension draws harsh and painful consequences.  He especially hates a press that won’t get in line and carry his water.  Sound familiar?  Many Conservatives hoped to elect a President not only familiar with the Constitution but faithful to honor its implementation.  Please don’t model the behavior of Obama.  Restore dignity to the White House.  And by the way, graciousness and humility go a long way…..

Third, you waved a Bible while delivering a speech at Liberty University.  For the first time in my life, I witnessed a man raising the Word of God over his head, while cursing from the lecturn.  That Book you were waving….your Grandmother’s Bible…holds the key to wise leadership.  It instructs on how to relate to your fellow man.  Most importantly, the Bible explains how one can be guaranteed eternal life.  Mr. Trump, being a successful businessman and entrepreneur means nothing if you don’t have a personal relationship with God.  Recently, I heard one say the Bible is God’s cheat codes for life, but more than that it has given wisdom, insight, and comfort to some of America’s finest leaders.

“It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.” George Washington

“I believe the Bible is the best gift God has ever given to man.  All the good of the Savior of the world is communicated to us through the Book.” Abraham Lincoln

“Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.” Ronald Reagan

Many #NeverTrump people pledge to stay home or write in a third party candidate.  The odds of you defeating Hillary Clinton without their support is nil.  For you to possibly sway some to your side, there must be a stark change in both your attitudes and actions.  You have fences to mend and walls to tear down.  I pledge to pray for you daily and I’m challenging the rest of the Country to do the same.  But most importantly, Mr. Trump, I challenge you to read Proverbs 3:5-6 and apply these Scriptures to your life.

America’s thirsty for a leader in whom we can be proud.

Will you be that man?

Sincerely,

An American Pastor

 

Continue reading “An Open Letter to Donald Trump”

Why Not Respectability?


A few days ago, my 11 year old posed the following question:  Dad, who have been your favorite Presidents. I thought a moment and responded, “Lincoln, Reagan, Washington, not necessarily in that order.” He followed up with another question: Why? Several thoughts came to mind, but I limited my answer to two reasons. They were respectable men, acknowledging the importance of God to help direct the course of a Nation.  My son considered my response then asked the $64,000 question.  If those traits are important, then why are people so excited about Trump?

 

I’ve tuned into each Republican Debate, watching with great interest the back and forth between the frontrunner, Trump, and the other Candidates contending for the Republican nomination.  My two oldest occasionally sit and watch the drama unfold.  Both question the facial expressions and mannerisms of Trump, his disrespect for his opponents and anyone who questions his ideology or his ability to lead.  The last debate stooped to a new low as Trump and Rubio sparred over his hand size and how that directly correlates to another physical attribute.  Maybe I’m too young to remember, but did any of this crude diatribe occur between Reagan and Carter.  I don’t even think Bill Clinton stooped this low…well, at least on the debate stage.

 

Sadly, our culture has devolved into a society of celebrity worship.  For whatever reason, we tend to accept the mudslinging, the profane, and the over-the-top antics of celebrities, explaining away the behavior as “that’s just Hollywood.”  Can anyone imagine Donald Trump leading the pack had he not hosted a successful reality show for years?

 

Are any of the candidates perfect?  Of course not, but at least some act with Presidential decorum.  Imagine for a moment Trump hosting a press conference with Putin in the Rose Garden.  Putin expresses a dissenting view of President Trump’s ideology and “the Donald” shrugs, makes faces, snorts, and calls him “Little Putin?”  Is he truly the man we want representing the United States of America?

 

American made history when electing Obama, the first bi-racial individual to hold the highest office in the land.  Many people voted for Obama, not because of his policies or his experience, but because he was a “rock star” in the Democrat party, a celebrity of sorts, and they wanted to help America do something that had never been done before.  (Why they re-elected him, I’ll never know….)Voting for Trump because he starred on the Apprentice, makes as much sense as voting for a Candidate that’s under FBI investigation.

 

And maybe the single most important reason for not supporting Trump is his answer on repentance.  When asked if he’d ever confessed his sin, he said no and suggested it was better to keep God out of his mistakes.  A man who thinks God isn’t necessary for forgiveness is a man determined to govern a Country without the leading Hand of Providence.  Can America survive another four to eight years of a Narcissist and Chief in the Oval Office?  Only by the grace of God…..

 

Oh, and by the way….if you believe Mexico’s going to pay for the wall, I’ve got some prime ocean front property for sale….in Arizona.

Is Ted Cruz an Evangelical Christian?


Occasionally I suffer writer’s block, so when a friend challenges me with a topic, I dive into the research, grabbing the bull by the horns.  Recently, I was asked to delve into the religious beliefs of Presidential Candidate and Texas Senator, Ted Cruz.  After reading through multiple blogs and combing several articles posted by main stream media outlets, I’m ready to record my findings.

Ted Cruz accepted Christ at the tender age of 8 years old, following the Lord in Baptism shortly later at Clay Road Baptist Church in Houston, Texas.  Pastor Gaylen Wiley of Clay Road administered the ordinance of Baptism, and says of the candidate,

“Ted was just like all the other kids, except he had the IQ of his father.  He was three stages ahead {of the other children}.

As a teenager, Cruz attended Second Baptist High School in Houston.

Whereas some young people leave the church after pursuing higher education, Cruz has faithfully followed Christ his entire lifetime.  In his 2012 Senate bid, Cruz aimed his efforts on winning the hearts of social conservatives and to kick-off his Presidential campaign, he announced his intention to run at ultra-conservative Liberty University.

The right of religious liberty drives the Cruz Camp.  Senator Cruz believes a person’s religious beliefs should be protected even if it conflicts with the law of the land.  And his words can be backed up with actions.  As Solicitor General of Texas, he fought for the “constitutionality of the Ten Commandments’ monument” at the Texas State Capitol and the words ‘under God’ in the Pledge of Allegiance.  And, when Indiana passed a law disallowing the Government to strong arm Christians into participating in same sex marriage ceremonies, Cruz affirmed the state’s decision.  He said,

“I commend the state of Indiana for doing the right thing.  Religious liberty is not some cockamamie new theory the Indiana legislature just figured out yesterday.  It was literally among the founding principles of our nation…”

In recent days, both the Trump and Rubio camps have charged Cruz with lying and utilizing underhanded tactics.  Cruz brushes off the charges, insisting he’s operating above board and that he’s being targeted because he’s a force to be reckoned with in the bid for the Republican Presidential nomination.

I don’t know the man personally. I’ve only observed his work via means of the Internet and television.  That being said, Cruz appears to be the real deal.  When he voices an unpopular view based upon his principles and values, he doesn’t “evolve” on the issue but sticks to his guns.  Of course this practice fails to win over many people from the Washington Establishment, but isn’t that the point?  America needs a leader who fears God more than popularity polls.

Is Ted Cruz perfect?  Absolutely not and he’d be the first person to admit as much.  However, he’s a man who knows and understands the power of Redemption and firmly believes that if a Country focuses once again upon the Constitution and the God of its founding, truly we can speak anew of Reagan’s vision of America,

“I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life…. And how stands the city on this winter night? … After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true to the granite ridge, and her glow has held no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom…”

Possibly Ted Cruz’s most welcomed endorsement comes from one who knows him quite well both on and off the political field, Greg Matte, Senior Pastor at Houston First Baptist Church. Reverend Matte says,

“I consider it an honor to be the Cruz family’s pastor.  We all know Senator Cruz as a brilliant, strong, and confident leader, unswervingly handling the Constitution with respect and wisdom. But I also know him as a husband, father, and friend. We have eaten hot dogs in our church’s gym as our kids played, walked in the park as our kids rode bikes together and our wives talked, and eaten pizza by the pool on a summer evening as our children swam. Ted Cruz is in touch with the normal routines of every day life while also being outstanding in dealing with the complex issues of our day. This combination of character and competence gives me confidence that, under Ted’s leadership, America can once again head in the right direction. Because of what I have seen of Ted Cruz, as a father, a husband, and a Christian, both in and out of the political arena, I heartily give my personal endorsement to Ted Cruz as our next president.”

America needs a Godly leader.

America needs a person dedicated to observing and honoring the Constitution of the United States.

Does America need Ted Cruz?

You be the judge.

 

Obama’s Mosque-ing the Truth About Islam


When I heard of the President’s plan to visit a mosque, I half-expected him to submit his resume’ to serve as Imam, post White House duties, of course.   All joking aside, I wasn’t surprised about his visit of goodwill.  Throughout his entire Presidency, Obama has sided with Muslims and refused to identify terrorists as radical proponents of Islam.  Of course, members of the mosque warmly welcomed the President and his message.  Sadly, his remarks failed to truly convey the impact of Mohammed and his teachings upon the United States of America.

The President spoke at the Islamic Society of North America, a mosque with a sordid history and with ties to terrorism.  Terrorism expert Steve Emerson informed the President of the religious institution’s ties to terror.   Knowing of the ties to radical jihad and policies befitting terrorist organizations, the President chose to attend the event regardless of the mosque’s practices.  Emerson said,

“As he has done so many times in the past, he decided to ignore this evidence and still continue his plans to confer legitimacy on a mosque that has a history of having officials making outrageously pro-terrorist statements that would seem to conflict with the president’s policies.”

The President instructed the audience in Islamic History, claiming Islam has always been a part of America because it was practiced by slaves.  He failed to cite America’s problems with Islam from its very founding.  In the 1780’s, Americans faced a hostage crisis.  Many Americans aboard cargo ships fell prey to the piracy of Somalis.  The pirates sailing off the coasts of North Africa only released the Americans once a ransom was paid.   Finally in 1786, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met with Tripoli’s ambassador to Great Britain.  They asked the diplomat why the Muslims treated the Americans with such animosity and disdain.  He answered in this way,

Islam was founded on the Laws of their Prophet, that it was written in their Qur’an, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as Prisoners, and that every Musselman (Muslim) who should be slain in battle was sure to go to Paradise.”

Until Jefferson assumed the Presidency in 1801, America continued to fork over ransoms to free American traders.  At this time, the leader of Tripoli demanded Jefferson pay an upfront sum of $225,000 and then $25,000 per year thereafter.  When Jefferson refused, the leader of Tripoli declared war on the United States.  Several Islamic nations followed suit.

Though Jefferson initially opposed raising a Navy, he did so anyway to combat the Muslims of the Barbary Coast.  When Algiers and Tunis noted the Americans determination to fight, they fled, abandoning Tripoli to fight its own battle.  The United States of America won the war.

Yes, the President’s right.  From America’s inception, the Muslims have contributed much, including providing the impetus for the United States to develop the grandest Navy in the world.

But what about now?  Have things changed?  In recent months, terrorist attacks around the globe have precipitated a greater scrutiny on the rise of Islamic terror.   And though the Obama Administration shies away from identifying the ideology perpetuating these gruesome attacks, everyone knows Islam is the common thread.

After reading through the President’s speech, I found the following segment to be most disconcerting,

“Muslim-Americans keep us safe.  They are our police.  They are our firefighters.  They’re in [the Department of] Homeland Security.”

Granted, I don’t see a radical jihadist under every hijab or burqa, but one won’t find a Lutheran or a Southern Baptist yelling “Allahu Akbar” before spraying a public facility with bullets either.

The President blamed Republicans for perpetuating a culture of mistrust against Muslim Americans, saying,

“..those kinds of cynical political tactics run directly contrary to the values that we hold dear in this country.”

In other words, instead of monitoring the activities of potential Muslims, he would prefer we stick our head in the sand…or at least so it seems.

Obviously, the President has forgotten the key phrase from the Marin Corps Hymn,

“From the Halls of Montezuma to the shores of Tripoli.”

For America to forge ahead as the greatest nation of the world, we must combat Islamic terror in the countries responsible for bolstering the likes of ISIS or Al Quaeda.  The numeric rise in proselytes to radical jihad boggles the mind and raises concerns about Syrian refugees migrating to America.  Sure, America’s label of the “great melting pot” continues to exist, but if we don’t properly comb through each individual’s background, “refugees” hell-bent on destroying America will be bringing war and devastation to the shores of America.

Those genuinely seeking asylum from cruel regimes or escaping persecution are welcomed (with vetting of course.)  However, for those with ties to terrorist organizations or with questionable backgrounds need to be incarcerated or shipped abroad.  Let’s keep the radicals in Tripoli.

 

God Spare America


Bible

On September 11, 2001, I sat proctoring a test in a local junior high school, when a fellow teacher stepped into the room.  There to relieve me, he said, “Get to a television.”  I hurried down the hallway and stepped into the teacher’s lounge.  An aide stood in front of the television, transfixed.  I peeked over her shoulder in time to see the second plane plow into the World Trade Center.  For the next several minutes, I watched as throngs of people sprinted from the towers.  And then both buildings crumpled, leaving a smoldering pile of rubble.

For the rest of the day, the world’s eyes were glued to the television, attempting to process the information coming in.  By the end of the day, four hijacked planes delivered death and destruction, killing almost 3000 innocent people.  In one coordinated act of cowardice, radical jihadists stole America’s peace of mind and sense of invincibility.  How would America respond?

Later that day, something happened on Capitol Hill no one expected.  After Congressman Hastert addressed the nation, pledging to hold accountable those responsible for terrorism on our shores, the Congress formed an impromptu choir, gathering in a show of solidarity singing “God Bless America.”

Yes….”God Bless America.”

For the next few weeks, churches experienced a major uptick in attendance.  People scrambled to seek answers to combat fears of future attacks.  It’s true…there are no atheists in foxholes.  Sadly, the singing of “God Bless America” and the new interest in clinging to God faded as the United States settled back into the old and familiar routine of life pre-terrorist attack.  When the Congress linked arms and sang a song beseeching the Creator to bless our Country, for a fleeting a moment I wondered,

“Could this be the beginning of a much needed Spiritual Awakening?”

A few short years later, the Democratic National Convention delegates booed when asked to insert the mention of God and Israel into the Democratic Platform.

Yes.  They.  Booed.  God.

Obviously, the memory of terrorists killing a few thousand Americans was dimmed by a new push to eradicate God entirely from the public arena.

Fast forward to 2015.  It appears those opposed to anything holy and righteous have stepped on the accelerator, speeding up America’s trip to “hell in a hand basket.”  In the last few months, the Supreme Court has overstepped its bounds in legalizing gay marriage, Christians face the targeted efforts of homosexuals demanding everyone honor their unions, and a investigative journalist organization has video evidence that Planned Parenthood harvests organs of aborted babies, including those born alive.  A couple of decades ago, America surpassed all other world powers leading as Reagan’s “shining city on a hill.”  Today, it’s a sprint to the bottom to surpass the wickedness of Sodom and Gomorrah.

And now, Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis sits in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples.  Her professed faith in Christ and belief in the teachings of the Bible dictates her decision.  Obviously, an activist judge wrongly believes the Supreme Court can create laws and finds an opportunity to teach all “bitter clingers” in America a lesson.  It’s becoming apparent the gay agenda isn’t about equality but about forcing everyone to embrace the “alternative” lifestyle.

Unless another horrific calamity strikes America, I don’t anticipate Congress singing “God Bless America” any time soon.  In fact, I’m not even sure we have that right.  We should encourage the President to utilize his “pen and phone” to change the lyrics to “God Spare America.”  That seems more apropos.

Where’s My America?


RonaldReagan

My favorite President, hands-down, is Ronald Reagan.  I remember 52 American hostages marching from a compound, released from an Iranian prison minutes after President Reagan was sworn into office.  I swelled with pride.

I remember Ronald Reagan standing at the base of the Brandenburg Gate, near the Berlin Wall delivering a hopeful speech to the people of West Berlin:

“In the 1950s, Khrushchev predicted: ‘We will bury you.’ But in the West today, we see a free world that has achieved a level of prosperity and well-being unprecedented in all human history. In the Communist world, we see failure, technological backwardness, declining standards of health, even want of the most basic kind–too little food. Even today, the Soviet Union still cannot feed itself. After these four decades, then, there stands before the entire world one great and inescapable conclusion: Freedom leads to prosperity. Freedom replaces the ancient hatreds among the nations with comity and peace. Freedom is the victor.

And then the line known to the entire civilized world:

“Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”

Two years later, the people of a freed East Berlin tore down that wall.

 

Reagan’s determination and drive to see Communism topple, reminded all of the President’s desire for America to be a “shining city on a hill.”  I swelled with pride.

For two terms, the “Gipper’s” speeches never failed to invoke America’s greatness.  Due to the lackluster and feckless Presidency of Jimmy Carter, Reagan ushered in a new era of hope and Patriotism.

Yes, I miss the Reagan years.

Fast forward to 2001.

Though many bash George W. Bush, I appreciated his leadership in the first few hours and days after 9/11.  (I shudder to think the outcome had America been under the leadership of Al Gore.)  The President visited Ground Zero to thank the emergency personnel working to find people buried in the rubble of the Twin Towers.  At one point, he climbed atop the remains of a crumpled fire truck and spoke to the firefighters.  Someone shouted, “I can’t hear you.”  The President grabbed a bullhorn and said,

“I hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked down these buildings are going to hear from all of us soon.”

My heart broke the day jihadists turned planes into torpedoes, but something about a Texan living in the White House brought hope that America wouldn’t cower to evil, but would take the fight to our enemies’ homeland.  And that’s what happened.  I swelled with pride.

Since 2008, I can’t think of many reasons to be proud of our Country’s leadership.  Sure, Americans elected the first African American to the highest office in the Land…but that “accomplishment” rested solely in the hands of the voters.  From personal conversations, I have discovered many voted for Barack Obama, not because of his political experience, but because of his skin tone.  Some who had never voted for a Democrat previously, jumped on the “Let’s make American History” bandwagon.  But since his election and re-election, has the President accomplished anything of merit?

In 2009, the President boasted that his Stimulus bill would create “shovel ready” jobs.  What happened?  Nothing.  While meeting with the Jobs and Competiveness Council in Durham, NC, the President chuckled as he announced,

“Shovel-ready was not as shovel ready as we expected.”

In fact, not only has job creation been stagnant, but  millions have been added to the rolls of government assistance.  This certainly doesn’t instill pride.

Our status in the eyes of the world has diminished as well.  Israel wonders if we are truly an ally.  We allow Russia to run roughshod over the Ukraine.  ISIS rampages across the Middle East, leaving in its wake a trail of destruction and bloodshed.  Our deal with the Iranians prompted celebrations in Iran.  (If Iran thinks they received a good deal, doesn’t that insure America didn’t?)

And on the American home front?  This Administration has cranked up race relations rhetoric, throwing fuel on the smoldering cities of Ferguson and Baltimore.  Now, Black Lives Matter and Louis Farakhan have challenged African Americans to wage a war on white people and our law enforcement officers.  What does our President do?  Snaps selfies by a glacier to propagate his climate change agenda.  Not much to be proud of there either.

And then there’s our President’s misguided view of heroes.  In my eyes, military personnel deserve our respect and gratitude.  Also, those who put on a uniform to keep us safe on our city streets.  Mr. Obama seldom honors men and women willing to lay down their lives for the American people, but rushes to congratulate a homosexual who decides to openly play on a professional sports team.  It’s hard to show pride in that.

Lastly, a freedom I never dreamed vulnerable is currently battling a national agenda to normalize the Gay/Lesbian/Transgender Lifestyle.  Pilgrims risked life and limb to come to shores of America to insure their freedom to worship how they pleased, when they pleased.  Today, their sacrifice seems almost futile as the Leftist agenda strives to relegate religious practice to the Church building.  However, nowhere does the Constitution demand we compromise our religious convictions once we leave the shadow of the Church steeple.  It’s impossible to take pride in diminished religious liberty.

I still love America, but maybe my adoration stems from memories past instead of a hopeful present and an anticipated bright future.  I pray our generation rises to claim this Country for God and that He rescues her from teetering on the precipice of destruction.  If we fail to turn, I tremble at the thought of America’s demise.  I hope our kids aren’t the first generation to dwell in the largest third world country in the world.

Come quickly Lord Jesus.

 

When Did Americans Become Wimps?


As a kid, I played ‘Cowboys and Indians’.  My younger siblings and I galloped around the yard on stick horses, firing our six-shooter cap guns, and drawing back on our Fisher Price bows and arrows.  We yelled words like “Yeehaw” and screeched like wild banshees, while tapping our mouths.  Those were the days when kids could play.  Today, the politically correct police confiscate gun-shaped pop tarts and frown on the word “Indian” and probably the word “cowboy” as well.  I guess kids living currently play “Cow People” and “Native Americans.”  It just doesn’t have the same ring….

When did Americans become wimps?

As a child, I grew dizzy…sick…and green on Merry-Go-Rounds, catapulted down long metal slides, and sailed up into the sky in rubber seated swings with long rusty chains.  And where were these instruments of death?  At school…sitting on hot black asphalt.  Today, kids play on plastic jungle gyms and kick up pieces of rubber tire as they WALK from one minimally dangerous apparatus to the next.

When did Americans become wimps?

As a little boy, I remember climbing from the front seat of my Dad’s 1969 Ford Fairlane to the back…while it was moving!  I also remember sitting on my dad’s lap while he drove the family from home to church.  Today, if authorities or “well meaning” citizens observe small children, riding in automobiles without being strapped into a five harness clasped government approved car seat, those kids end up in the Division of Family Services System and the parents earn DFS home investigations, sensitivity training, and Sunday supervised visits…if their lucky.

When did Americans become wimps?

I’m not sure exactly.  Maybe it was during the mid-1980’s when lawn darts were banned.

Within the last five years, a school in New Hampshire and a school in New York have outlawed tag and dodge ball because children might get hurt…or their parents might sue.  Good grief, I grew up with holes in my jeans.  Not because I purchased them that way from American Eagle, but because I wore holes in my britches from activities like running, jumping, sliding, wrestling, tag, dodge ball, and Cow People and Native Americans.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the need for certain laws and regulations.  In fact, I’m probably more of a helicopter father than most dads…especially since watching my eldest wage a war with cancer.  I see the benefits of fastening my children in car seats and mulching playgrounds with rubber chips, but I also see the harmful effects of babying the millennial generation.  And sadly, this effort to protect people isn’t just about the physical body.

Everyone’s walking on egg shells nowadays in fear of offending another individual.  Some colleges go to the extreme of designating tiny areas as free speech zones, and only in those specified boundaries may you freely speak your mind.  Thankfully, young people aware of their first amendment rights have fought for free-speech campuses and won, but how much longer can we count on our future generations knowing about the First Amendment, the Second Amendment, or the Constitution in general?  I mean Jesse Watters has discovered that some of our nation’s finest can’t identify a picture of George Washington or the reason we celebrate the Fourth of July.  If we’re not careful, we’re going to dumb and politically correct ourselves into the annals of nations that once were.  (Sorry, I used the word “dumb.”)

Soon, I’m chaperoning over twenty young people from our church to a raucous evening of paint balling.  I don’t know what will offend people more…that we’re shooting “guns” or that we’re a church group, or both.  In fact, this “helicopter” dad is allowing his eldest to go play.  He’s been warned about the stinging projectiles, the bruising, and the outside chance of a small scar.  He said,

“Dad, bring it on!”

In fact, we might just break into teams and play “Cow People and Native Americans.”  I know, I know…it’s offensive.  Get over it.

Benjamin Franklin once said,

“He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither.”

Let freedom ring.

 

This Morning I Cried


This morning as I scrolled Facebook, I clicked on a YouTube video, posted by a friend, of the Gaither Vocal Band.  The group delivered a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem.  Their tight harmonies accompanied a moving patriotic video.  As I watched, I swallowed back a lump gathering in my throat.  Then tears welled in my eyes and soon dampened my cheeks.  Yes, I’m an emotional guy, and yes, occasionally a beautifully sung song (or a “Little House” episode) moves me to tears, but neither was the reason this morning.

This morning I cried for America.

I remember the Presidencies of Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, and Bush II. Under these men (even Clinton), I felt more secure in America’s future than I do now.  On 9/11, I watched in horror as planes torpedoed into the World Trade Center, but not once did I doubt America’s ability to rebuild and to stand resolute.  I remember watching proudly as George W. Bush stood on a mound of rubble proclaiming,

I can hear you, the rest of the world can hear you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.”

Now, our Country’s too busy drawing and re-drawing red lines.  Honestly, I don’t know how this current Administration would respond to another mass attack.  Would they offer the terrorists jobs? Or hugs? Label the event as workplace violence? Or would they hold a press conference to warn Americans to refrain from calling this Islamic terrorism?  Granted, this is sarcastic in nature, but how many of us really trust the current leadership in Washington to do what’s best for America?

American Enterprise Institute published a public opinion report evaluating Americans’ level of patriotism. One of the most astounding and disappointing results was the following:

Americans aren’t as proud of their country as some citizens in other countries are of their own nations. According to a World Values Survey, 98 percent of citizens in Qatar claimed to be “very proud” of their nationality. However, only 56 percent of Americans responded positively in this category.

Qatar?  Are you kidding me?  In Qatar, only Muslims can express their religion publicly, all others must conduct worship services in private homes.  Those leaving the Muslim faith face imprisonment or death.  And yet, 98% of those living in Qatar are proud of their country….How can this be?

Everyday we read of new crippling policies, court judgments, or another round of decisions being written into law by an overreaching “pen and phone.”  The Church sits on the precipice of being made obsolete as the government now attempts to shoulder the responsibility of dictating what is and isn’t sinful.  And now innoucuous entertainment is banned because of a flag that Liberals find offensive.  Many Conservative people are cowering in the shadows, fearful of offending the PC police or being investigated by rogue government agencies.  I wish the above was hyperbole, but that’s the America we currently reside in.

That’s why I cried.

I’m not weeping for myself, but for my family, especially my kids. Unless America rights this ship and charts a new course, what will our future generations face? If we’re not careful, in a few decades, America will be nothing more than a footnote in the pages of history. The Founding Fathers sacrificed too much for this to be our Country’s outcome. Too many brave men and women have paid the ultimate price on the world’s battlefields for us to surrender our freedoms to ideologies intent on destroying American exceptionalism.

At times I feel like Elijah.  After a God-given victory against the prophets of Baal, he fled from another enemy…the Queen.  He moaned that no one else was standing for God.  He thought himself to be all alone.  He suffered from a

“nobody likes me, everybody hates me, I’m just going to go eat worms”

mentality.  God reminded Elijah that there were 7,000 others who had yet to bow their knees to false gods.  Occasionally, the filthy haze of America’s ills conceals the possibility of the United States rising from the ashes to greatness again.  That’s not an impossibility. But for that to happen, America must turn wholeheartedly to God and remember the encouraging words of President Ronald Reagan,

“We are never defeated unless we give up on God.”

Keep standing Patriots, and may God once again bless the United States of America.

 

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