Tag Archives: Violence

The Coming Incivility War

In a recent interview on CNN, Hillary Clinton said:

“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about… That’s why I believe, if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again. But until then, the only thing Republicans seem to recognize and respect is strength.”

Now, I understand that politics can get ugly, and that’s unfortunate. Anyone who dares enter the political landscape had better be prepared for misrepresentations and dirty tricks, slimy deals and back-stabbing colleagues. But what has historically been little more than mud slinging is now becoming even more than character assassination; it’s getting dangerous.

In the above-mentioned interview, Clinton referenced the “swiftboating” of John Kerry. She also talked about the “lies” the “right wing” told about her. But in both of these cases, including others she mentioned, we were dealing with wars of words. Even if lies were told (and I certainly don’t believe all the stories about her were lies), lies should have been expected – it’s politics… dirty, old-fashioned political theater.

But ever since Donald Trump defeated Hillary Clinton, politics-as-usual has become a thing of the past. No longer is it acceptable to have a conversation; words have been exchanged for screams toward the sky and door-banging. When Hillary lost, the old way of doing things had to change and a new norm had to be established.

Even if Donald Trump is guilty of saying racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, or Hillaryphobic things, what about his words justified violence as a response? Even if Trump disagreed with everything every Democrat ever stood for, does that justify threatening every Republican’s life?

Hillary said, “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” but how many conservative college professors called for the castration of Democrats? How many conservative comedy writers rejoiced at the thought of at least ruining somebody’s life? How many conservative school employees have asked when someone was going to “take one for the team” and kill somebody?

With all the violence, threats, intimidation, calls for attacks, death threats, and physical assaults meant to disrupt the lives of American citizens just going out to dinner or walking to work, how are the above words any less disturbing than anything Trump was accused of saying that supposedly promoted violence?

You see, regardless of your political persuasion…regardless of how you felt after the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh…where will ending civil discourse and the mature, adult-like exchanging of ideas lead? Where will you draw the line? What if you don’t win the next election, will you up the ante and resort to armed conflict?

That’s the way lots of other socialists around the world have done things. Why shouldn’t I be nervous?

I fear for America.

In December of 1941 the Japanese decided to end talking, resulting in the awakening of the “sleeping giant” Admiral Yamamoto feared. My question to the liberal and angry left is this: What kind of giant are you about to awake?

Even though so many of us saw what we believed in, some of our most treasured biblical institutions, assaulted by the Obama administration, we remained civil and kept our fight within the realm of discourse. We didn’t call for attacking Democrat representatives every time they went out to eat. Yet, amazingly, there are people who call themselves Christians who side with this new Democrat strategy. They evidently have no problem with the call for incivility and continue to support the people who endorse it.

I don’t understand.

Who is the author of confusion? Would the Prince of Peace identify with those who harass and intimidate? It would seem to me that Jesus is not behind incivility and terroristic threatening, so why would His followers condone it?

America survived a Civil War, but will we survive an Incivil one?

Advertisements

6 Comments

Filed under America, current events, politics

Gun Control (An Imaginary News Conference)

The News

As most of you have surely heard, a crazy, angry, self-described gay black man, festering Vester, shot three innocent people while on live television, killing two. All of the ones shot were white, and that was no coincidence; the killer described his reasoning for the shooting as racial in nature.

The last I heard (although I may be mistaken), Roanoke, VA is not burning. No, the only thing burning was the emotional currency in the pocket of gun-control advocates such as Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration. As a matter of fact, before either one had time to delete an email or get in a round of golf, both were demanding for more “common sense” gun legislation… to keep us safe.

Even FOX News, the relatively pro-conservative cable news network, had one of their top people, Megyn Kelly, interviewing the father and fiance of the slain reporter, Allison Parker. In less than 24 hours removed from the murder both were on national news pouring out their broken hearts – AND calling for more gun control… because, of course, “crazy people” should not be allowed to buy guns.

How I wish someone would interview me. Oh, but they can! At least in my imagination.

The Interview

News Anchor:  Today we have the Reverend Anthony Baker here with us in the studio. Reverend Baker is a pastor, an author, a father of three, a pet-lover, and a proud gun owner.

Me:  Thank you for having me.

N A:  Pastor Baker, with all the gun violence right now, how can a father and a pastor be pro-gun? How can you claim to be a role model in society, and yet own a gun?

Me:  Well, first off, I don’t claim to be a role model; those are your words. But with regard to your main question, I am “pro gun” the same way I am pro-tools.

N A: Excuse me? Can you clarify?

Me:  Absolutely! I am all about having the right tool for the job when it comes down to home repair, vehicle maintenance, etc. For example, I hate it when I get into a project, such as replacing the brakes on my car, only to find out I had the wrong tool to finish. Guns are nothing more than tools.

News A:  Tools for murder, you mean.

Me:  No, that’s not what I mean.

N A:  But just the other day innocent people were murdered by a crazy man with a gun. That was the tool he used. Don’t you think if we had more laws in place banning easy access to guns  then less people would have to suffer this horrible fate?

Me:  There are already more laws on the books than you can shake a stick at, but that doesn’t stop bad people from breaking them, does it?

N A:  And what is your point, exactly, Mr. Baker?

Me:  A gun is just a tool. Bad people use them to do bad things; good people use them when they have to. And if a bad person was trying to kill me or my family, then I’d prefer to have the best tool for the job. There’s nothing evil about the tool, only how it’s used.

N A:  Do you not think there should be more laws to keep crazy people, people with mental issues, from buying guns?

Me:  There are already laws that prohibit that, but they are only effective when you know who the crazy people are. Are you going to start testing everybody? Do you have a “crazy test” in mind?

N A:  A crazy test? Anyone diagnosed with a mental illness, for example. Should they be allowed to buy a gun like the shooter did?

Me:  No, a person who is legitimately mentally unstable should not be allowed to purchase a handgun. I have no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is where do you draw the line at “crazy,” especially when you emotionally push an agenda to “get guns out of the hands of crazy people”? How do you define what is crazy?

N A: What do you mean?

Me:  Isn’t it true that recent studies published by leading psychology journals have suggested that people of faith, like Christians, are brain damaged?

N A:  Are you being serious? That’s silly!

Me:  So, you’re already calling me silly, so is “crazy” just around the corner?

N A:  Oh, come on now… You can’t be serious.

Me:  Actually, I am very serious. Around 2011, I believe, an article was published in the Scientific American citing a study done at Duke University. The study claimed to prove that those who were religious, especially those who claimed to be “born again,” had brain damage, specifically atrophy to the hippocampal region.

N A:  I’ve never heard of that. I’m sure it’s just a…

Me:  And then there’s plenty of people like Dave Silverman, American Atheist president, who described the religious as “mentally damaged.” And then there’s the Left’s favorite talk show host, Bill Maher, who calls religion a “neurological disorder.” These are the type of people the White House has over for lunch and after-dinner games of Twister!

N A:  What does that have to do with…

Me:  These are the people our government listens to! The Billy Grahams of the world have fallen out of favor and are thought of as kooks! It’s the atheists, the radical left, the anti-God people like Mickey Weinstein who are are on the warpath against Christianity, so why isn’t it plausible that at some point the “crazy test” to weed out gun purchases will include Christians, or anyone of any faith that holds beliefs contrary to what the government says is healthy?

N A:  For one thing, there’s the First Amendment. Second, there’s the Second Amendment. In other words, the Constitution.

Me:  Ha ha ha! Are you serious! You must be crazy yourself! President Obama has already proved the Constitution means nothing when you’ve got an agenda to push through.

N A:  Don’t you think you’re being a little paranoid, Pastor Baker?

Me:  See, you’re already attaching labels. Pretty easy, isn’t it?

N A:  Pastor Baker, let’s get right down to the point, OK? Do you think there should be stricter gun control, or not?

Me:  Not.

N A:  You are a man of the cloth, a man of peace, and yet you don’t think we have a problem with guns in this country?

Me:  No, I don’t think we have a problem with guns in this country. Not at all.

N A:  That has to be the most uninformed answer I’ve ever heard! Don’t you watch the news? Haven’t you seen the murders? Haven’t you read the statistics?

Me:  Yes, I’ve seen all that, and it all points to something far bigger than a gun problem; it’s a heart problem. The old saying is as true as it’s ever been: “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” It’s a heart issue. It’s a nation that has turned its back on God in every area of life issue.

N A:  So, you think it’s that simple, do you? You don’t think getting the guns out of the hands of criminals and the insane would save lives?

Me:  Theoretically. Possibly. But this is America, you know. As the Japanese general once said, “There’s a gun behind every blade of grass.” You know there’s no way to get the guns out of the hands of the criminals. Only the law-abiding citizens would likely obey the law and give them up. The bad guys would just keep being bad and keep having guns. The good people would suffer, that’s all.

N A: Then do you think it’s hopeless?

Me:  No, it’s not hopeless. There’s always hope. But there will never be peace until the Prince of Peace comes back to reign. You called me a man of the cloth, a man of peace. I am, and that’s one thing I will continue to preach…peace. But I’m also a realist. As long as there are bigger bad guys out there, bigger guys than me who can hurt me, I will also preach, so to speak, the “peacemaker” philosophy of Samuel Colt.

N A:  So, are you saying you are not for any kind of gun control at all?

Me:  Absolutely not! No! All I am saying is that if only the bad guys have guns – and they will – then the good guys will always be victims. I think the logical thing to do would be put guns in the hands of good people, train them, and create an immediate deterrent to gun crime.

N A:  How in the world could that deter gun crime?

Me:  How many crooks would be foolish enough to continue to break in, rob, and assault if the average citizen was armed? Don’t you think the bad guy would think twice? I would, but then again, I’m not crazy.

And that’s how the interview would end.

Leave a comment

Filed under America, current events, General Observations

Just a Quick Word for Ferguson

Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, “‘Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ saith the Lord.” – Romans 12:19

No amount of cop killings will bring you peace.

No amount of violence will bring meaning and fulfillment.

Burning down buildings and protesting may make you feel like you are accomplishing something, but you’re not; you’re only making it worse.

If you really want to do something that will last, love and pray for your policemen; love your neighbor; pray for your city leaders. Shooting at men only trying to do their job, when you should probably be at one, or at home with your family in the middle of the night, is getting you nowhere.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is not happy.

ALL lives matter.

2 Comments

Filed under America, current events, General Observations

How to Fix the Fergusons of the World In 12 Difficult Steps

My Confession

Let me begin by confessing that I am not a person of “color,” at least not in the politically-correct use of the term. This is important to recognize up front because, according to many, my color (or lack thereof) disqualifies me from commenting on racial issues (unless I’m willing to confess any bigotries).

However, even though I am “white” (regardless of the fact that my shading is tinted by several hues on the palate of history), I would like to suggest some steps that could lead to true reconciliation and sustainable peace, not only in Ferguson, Missouri, but in all areas suffering from racial tensions, gang violence, urban decay, poor leadership, and civil unrest.

The Qualifier

Now, let it be known that the following suggestions will only work in a nation that supports the rule of law, condemns mob violence, and understands that there is a Higher Standard to which all will ultimately be held accountable. As long as we choose to continue down a road toward total moral relativism and anarchy, our cherished Constitution inevitably must give way to tyranny and/or ruin.

“[W]e have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. . . . Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” – John Adams (Signer of the Declaration of Independence and Second President of the United States), 1798

1. Make the “Reverends” preach the Gospel.

You see, here’s the thing: if you claim to be an ordained Christian minister (Reverend), lay off the political charades and race-baiting…preach the WORD! When Jesus asked Peter if he was going to leave like others had, Peter responded with “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68). 

My advice to those like Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson is twofold. First, move beyond the “social gospel” that’s been so perverted, even from what it was intended from the beginning, and on to the true gospel of Christ that cares not about race, nationality, or social status.

The second thing is this: God knows why you’re doing what you’re doing; be careful how you make your fortune and why you demand to be in the spotlight.

For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! … What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel. – 1 Corinthians 9:16, 18 NKJV

If you preach the Jesus of the Bible, you have a message of hope that can change lives and communities, black or white. So many of the following suggestions will show that.

2. Forgive.

Storing up hate and exacting revenge is a never-ending spiral towards destruction. Jesus warned his disciples: “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15). Restoration must begin with forgiveness. Was it not Jesus, even when He was being crucified, that said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”?

Are we more righteous than Jesus?

3. Love your enemies.

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy.‘ But I say unto you, ‘Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you‘” (Matthew 5:43-44).

“If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink: For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the LORD shall reward thee” (Proverbs 25:21-22). Do you want to change people’s hearts? Try doing good instead of burning down buildings!

4. Do more then seek justice.

It is important that justice be served, but don’t be hypocritical about it; those who demand justice should not act like they are above the law.

Micah 6:8 – He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

No one wants to live in a society of laws not tempered by mercy, unless, of course, that person proudly feels he’s never in the wrong. The humble are rarely recruited by lynch mobs.

5. Teach that everyone’s life is sacred because of Who created it.

If you want to live in a more peaceful society, teach its citizens that life is intrinsically precious. According to the Bible, Mankind was created by God, made in His image. When you add to that the fact that He sent His own Son to die in Man’s place to save him from sin (John 3:16), the value of each life then becomes inestimable. Instill this truth into the hearts of a people and there will practically eradicate drive-by’s, abortions, and prostitution.

6. Condemn any culture/media/personality that promotes and profits from illicit, denigrating, and abusive behavior.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8 ESV

When your children’s heroes are girls that swing naked from iron wrecking balls, pimps that bitch-slap their ho’s, and athletes who’d rather “put a cap in yo’ ass” than score a legitimate goal; when the most listened-to music glorifies multiple sex partners, violence, and drug use; when movies get praised for how many f-bombs they can drop; when “reality” is anything but reality, what can you expect?

7. Restore dignity to committed, faithful marriage.

Statistics don’t lie: most thugs and gang-bangers come from broken, single-parent, and/or abusive homes, especially ones without a father at home.

You want to talk about broken systems? Any system that will promote infidelity, encourage shacking up, reward having multiple children out of wedlock, and yet financially punish the family that prays together and stays together – that’s a broken system. Fix this system and you’ll reduce abuse, poverty, welfare addiction, and petty crime. You’ll also see a drop in the prison population, less depression and suicide, and less use of drugs and alcohol.

8. Discipline youth while they are young.

He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail. – Proverbs 22:8

We cannot wait until our youth get in trouble to start “scaring them straight.” It may be cute, now, as you laugh at your little brat’s actions and giggle at his use of foul language, but it won’t be later when he’s getting arrested for cussing the cop that questions him. Make your children behave well while they’re young; don’t wait till they’re older to lose your temper on them: it will fail.

9. Teach respect for all those in authority, including: parents, teachers, coaches, older adults, police, government officials, and ministers.

Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. – Hebrews 13:17

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. – Romans 13:1-4

10. Hold those in authority accountable to higher, morally-objective standards, regardless of party or race.

“Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? – George Washington (Farewell Address), 1796

11. Create a friendly environment for charitable organizations to do their work.

Simply put, don’t make it hard on churches and charities to do what they do best – look after the needs of the poor, the hungry, and the homeless. Don’t arrest ministers for giving out free food on the street. Don’t force ministries to pay for abortion services against their will, thereby forcing them to close. Encourage ministries to reduce the government’s welfare burden, instead of keeping people dependent in order to secure a political advantage.

12. Demand personal responsibility for criminal activity.

“We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.” ― Ronald Reagan

I may have missed it, but not once have I heard the Michael Brown family, the family’s attorney, the “Reverends,” or the justice-demanding rioters on the street ever address the fact that the young Mr. Brown robbed a convenience store and assaulted the store owner. Did I miss it? Was that fact overlooked? Do we honestly think that had Mr. Brown purchased his socially-influenced, unhealthy, crappy cigarillos, instead of stealing them, the policeman would have still sought him out to shoot him?

There’s an old saying that goes, “Do the crime – Do the time.” When a man refuses to accept any responsibility, he’s no longer a good American. It’s past time people man up and assume responsibility for their own actions.

There’s also another saying: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7).

A New Proclamation

When our nation was young, while we were still at war, our Continental Congress crafted several proclamations calling our leaders and our people to pray.  If we would only humble ourselves, pray, seek God’s face, and turn from our wicked ways (2 Chronicles 7:14), a “fix” for Ferguson might come.

May we commit to do as they did in 1777 and set aside a day…

[For] Solemn Thanksgiving and Praise; That with one Heart and one Voice the good People may express the grateful Feelings of their Hearts, and consecrate themselves to the Service of their Divine Benefactor; and that together with their sincere Acknowledgments and Offerings, they may join the penitent Confession of their manifold Sins, whereby they had forfeited every Favour, and their humble and earnest Supplication that it may please GOD, through the Merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of Remembrance; That it may please him graciously to afford his Blessing on the Governments of these States respectively, and prosper the public Council of the whole; to inspire our Commanders both by Land and Sea, and all under them, with that Wisdom and Fortitude which may render them fit Instruments, under the Providence of Almighty GOD, to secure for these United States the greatest of all human blessings, INDEPENDENCE and PEACE; That it may please him to prosper the Trade and Manufactures of the People and the Labour of the Husbandman, that our Land may yet yield its Increase; To take Schools and Seminaries of Education, so necessary for cultivating the Principles of true Liberty, Virtue and Piety, under his nurturing Hand, and to prosper the Means of Religion for the promotion and enlargement of that Kingdom which consisteth “in Righteousness, Peace and Joy in the Holy Ghost.”

Or, we can simply continue to fight, blame each other, envy each other, hate each other, kill each other, and watch our cities sink deeper into chaos and despair.

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

 

 

1 Comment

Filed under Abortion, abuse, Alcohol, America, Culture Wars, current events, Divorce, General Observations, God, Life Lessons, ministry, music, Parenting, places, Preaching