Facing the Bully

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been involved in a men’s group studying the book “Wild at Heart” by John Eldredge. He relates the following story in chapter five, “The Battle for Every Man’s Heart”:

A few years ago now my middle son, Blaine, made the big transition to first grade. That’s a huge step for any child – leaving the comfort and safety of Mom’s side, spending all day at school, being among the “big kids.” But Blaine’s a very outgoing and winsome boy, a born leader, and we knew he’d handle it swimmingly. Every night at the dinner table he regaled us with tales of the day’s adventures. It was fun to recall with him the joys of those early school days – a shiny new lunchbox, brand-new yellow No. 2 pencils, a box of Crayolas with a built-in sharpener, a new desk, and new friends. We heard all about his new teacher, gym class, what they played at recess, how he was emerging as a leader in all the games. But then one night he was silent. “What’s wrong, Tiger?” I asked. He wouldn’t say, wouldn’t even look up. “What happened?” He didn’t want to talk about it. Finally, the story came out – a bully. Some first-grade poser had pushed him down on the playground in front of all his friends. Tears were streaming down his cheeks as he told us the story.

“Blaine, look at me.” He raised his tearful eyes slowly, reluctantly. There was shame written all over his face. “I want you to listen very closely to what I am about to say. The next time that bully pushes you down, here is what I want you to do – are you listening, Blaine?” He nodded, his big wet eyes fixed on mine. “I want you to get up…and I want you to hit him…as hard as you possibly can.” A look of embarrassed delight came over Blaine’s face. Then he smiled.

Good Lord – why did I give him such advice? And why was he delighted with it? Why are some of you delighted with it?, while others are appalled?

Yes, I know that Jesus told us to turn the other cheek. But we have really misused that verse. If you take one passage of Scripture and hold it up while ignoring all others, you will come to absurd conclusions. Paul said, “It is good for a man not to marry” (1 Cor. 7:1). Well then – no man should marry. Jesus said, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor…” (Matt. 19:21). Then why do you still have possessions? Do you see the foolishness of this?

If Jesus intended to teach us, “Never resist a bully,” why does he also tell his disciples, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one” (Luke 22:36). Buy a sword? “The disciples said, ‘See, Lord, here are two swords.’ That is enough,’ he replied” (Luke 22:36). He arms them. And that little matter of making a whip and using it to clear the temple – that doesn’t seem like turning the other cheek, now, does it?

We do not want to teach boys that bullies should never be resisted, and we do not want to teach bullies that they can get away with it! Yes, Scripture teaches the wise use of strength and the power of forgiveness. But you cannot teach a boy to use his strength by stripping him of it. Jesus was able to retaliate, believe me. But he chose not to. And yet we suggest that a boy who is mocked, shamed before his fellows, stripped of all power and dignity should stay in that beaten place because Jesus wants him there? You will emasculate him for life. From that point on all will be passive and fearful. He will grow up never knowing how to stand his ground, never knowing if he is a man indeed. Oh yes, he will be courteous, sweet even, deferential, minding all his manners. It may look moral, it may look like turning the other cheek, but it is merely weakness. You cannot turn a cheek you do not have. Our churches are full of such men.

At that moment, Blaine’s soul was hanging in the balance. Then the fire came back into his eyes and the shame disappeared. Now, I gave that advice to a boy I could trust who was at the time in first grade. I did not give this advice to a high school boy whose enemy might pull a gun on him. There is wisdom and context. But we must not strip a man of strength and call it sanctification. Yet for many, many men their souls still hang in the balance because no one, no one has ever invited them to be dangerous, to know their own strength, to discover that they have what it takes.

I guess I’d never really looked at that whole “turn the other cheek” passage in that way. I’ve never really believed that Jesus was quite the passive man that he’s often made out to be. You know, the guy in all those Biblical movies that has that meek look on his face all the time, devoid of much emotion or strength, and seemingly floating two feet off the ground and never really engaging anyone in the process. On the other hand, I probably never really pictured him as the angry, driven man who chased the moneychangers out of the temple, either. Regardless, Eldredge makes a great point here.

I’d put it another way…God doesn’t want me, as a Godly man, to be a limp dishrag. Yes, there are times when I should keep my calm, turn the other cheek, etc., following the example of Jesus. However, there’s another part of me that needs to passionately engage, to fight strongly for what I believe in.

One of my favorite sayings is “If you’re offended by nothing, you likely don’t care enough about something to begin with.” Point being, there SHOULD be things that we get riled up about and offended by. Should we be offended by everything? Obviously not, but I think Christians have, for too long, fallen into the trap of thinking that we need to just be nice, fall into line, and keep the peace for the sake of our testimony when there are times, in my opinion, that we need to stand up and fight with the kind of passion that Jesus had when he drove those crooks out of the temple.


Kill ’em All?

No, this isn’t about Metallica’s debut album or the outcome of a clash between soccer hooligans. It’s about this classy dame pictured below…

If a baby’s going to be born severely disabled or totally unwanted, surely an abortion is the act of a loving mother.

If I were the mother of a suffering child, I mean a deeply suffering child, I would be the first to want to put a pillow over its face…

If it was a child I really loved, who was in agony, I think any good mother would.

Are you kidding me? These statements were made by journalist and advice columnist Virginia Ironside. Understandably, her comments aren’t currently in vogue but they are certainly becoming more widespread.

In my opinion, this is the logical end of the argument that legal abortion is a necessary evil. This isn’t a topic I’ve covered much here on my blog, if at all. At least I don’t remember the last time I posted anything here about it. However, I felt I had to breach the topic at least once and wonder aloud if this is the road we’ve forced ourselves down over the last few decades.

Now, I realize that most supporters of legal abortion won’t agree with what Ironside is saying but I think most of us could also reach a consensus that it’s possible that the unintended consequences of far too many abortions has led to some deadening of the senses in this area.

I’d like to know what you, the reader, think about this. Is this the beginning of the proverbial “slippery slope” or is it just a representation of a nutjob that should be completely dismissed?

If you’d like to view the interview from which the above quotes were taken, you can do so here…

Hating Haters Who Hate

Well, well, well…Those Tea Party-type, red neck, evil conservatives are at it again, taking away the freedom of religion for those who worship at the altar of the gambling gods.

In a move that should have all freedom-loving Americans standing arm in arm in opposition to the enemies of liberty, the easily-led and simple-minded residents of the Gettysburg, PA area are clinging to their God and guns to strip casino backers of their plans to build a casino near the historical area.

Developer David LeVan, who is heading up the proposed financial worship center, really only wants to reach out to this community with love and understanding in order to bring gamblers and non-gamblers together in unity. However, the haters just can’t stand for others to practice their Constitutional and God-given rights. It’s a travesty, really.

In related news, there’s word that Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, is calling for an investigation into how the anti-casino movement is being funded.

Brought to you by the founding member of HHWH (Hating Haters Who Hate).

Read the real story here… Developer Tries Again to Build Casino in Gettysburg Area

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To Build or Not to Build…

Proposed Mosque/Islamic Cultural Center

…that is the question or, in this case, the multi-hundred million dollar question.

By now, you’ve heard about the plans to build a new mosque/Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero in New York City. I won’t waste the space here on all the details about the building, the Imam involved in pushing it forward, etc.

What I would like to address is, once again, the use of the racism/bigotry/hate card. It’s the constant fallback for liberals who can’t successfully get more than one brain cell to operate concurrently. It’s also not accurate.

Yes…and I really hate having to clarify this constantly but I’ll do it once again…THERE ARE BIGOTS IN THE WORLD. What a newsflash that is, huh? They exist across all racial boundaries, nationalities, political ideologies, and creeds. It’s a human problem common to every group and type of person who’s ever walked the face of the earth. That being said, the crowd opposing the building of this new mosque is no more deserving of the accusation of bigotry than any other. To do so is, in my opinion, shameful to the memory of surviving family members of those who perished in the 9/11 attack at Ground Zero.

My stance is that, yes, it appears as if it is perfectly legal for the mosque to be built as long as the proper channels are followed and it is approved by the proper authorities. However, that doesn’t make it the morally correct thing to do. In my opinion, those pushing for the mosque to be built, if they’re TOLERANT of the deeply held convictions and sensibilities of those who’ve lost their loved ones, would WILLINGLY forgo their plans to proceed with the project. That would be the RIGHT thing to do. But to many on the left, this isn’t about the right thing to do. It’s about an opportunity to use the trusty bigot card.

Another argument the bigotry pimps have thrown out there is the fact that there is already an existing mosque closer to ground zero than the proposed one would be. I have one thing to say about that…Whoop-de-freakin’-do! I don’t have a problem with one already existing there and nobody I know of is calling for it to be torn down. The problem is building a NEW one and the intent of those wanting it built to be dedicated on 9/11. That’s not to mention the fact that the controversial Imam behind this has made statements about America’s supposed culpability in the 9/11 attacks and other comments supporting known terrorists and terrorist organizations. And another thing about this…If there’s already an existing mosque in that area, reportedly within about 800 feet of the proposed one, why does another one need to be built in the first place? It sounds like the proverbial finger in the eye to me.

According to ABC News, proponents of the mosque say this would be a bridge between Islam and those still recovering from the 9/11 attacks. Just the outcry itself over the plans should pretty much nullify that line of crap reasoning. The public is overwhelmingly against the mosque. The only bridge I see here is one that’s quickly crumbling.

Polly Want a Cracka?

I hate white people, all of them. Every last iota of a cracker, I hate him. We didn’t come out here to play this game. There’s too much serious business going on in the black community to be out here sliding through South Street with white dirty cracker whore [BLEEP ] on our arms and we call ourselves black men with African garb on. What the hell is wrong with you, black man? You had a [inaudible] with a white girl on your damn arm. You want freedom? You are going to have to kill some crackers. You are going to have to kill some of their babies.

Isn’t that just beautiful? It’s pure poetry, isn’t it? It just sort of rolls right off the tongue. It’s prose of the highest order in the English language. This “man” should be very proud of himself for improvising such art of the highest order.

His name is Minister King Shamir Shabazz, a member of the New Black Panther Party. He is one of two members of this radical party who were filmed outside a Philadelphia voting precinct, intimidating voters during the November 2008 Presidential election. The Bush administration took the issue to court and a judgment had apparently been reached when someone within the Obama Justice Department ordered that the case be dropped. One of the official “reasons” given for the case being dropped was that Shabazz was ordered not to take a weapon near a polling place through 2012. So, is it okay to do that AFTER 2012? I’m just sayin’…

The Justice Department has also said that no voters had claimed any intimidation occurred and that there was “insufficient evidence”. Have the folks claiming this actually watched the video? It clearly shows the two New Black Panther Party members outside the precinct, dressed in some type of military garb and Shabazz wielding a nightstick. This also includes footage of the comments quoted at the beginning of this post.

J. Christian Adams, a voting rights attorney with the DOJ, who resigned because of this, wrote the following in the Washington Times…

That claim is false. If the actions in Philadelphia do not constitute voter intimidation, it is hard to imagine what would, short of an actual outbreak of violence at the polls.

Adams says the dismissal of the case “was motivated by a lawless hostility toward equal enforcement of the law.”

The current leader of the New Black Panther Party, Malik Shabazz, had this to say when asked if he condoned the comments by King Shamir Shabazz about killing “crackers” and “their babies”…

I’ll say this. The New Black Panther Party does not believe in going out on the streets and berating black people. We don’t believe in getting up and attacking our people in the streets. We don’t believe in telegraphing what we may or may not do.

So he’s more concerned about another black man being berated in public than a outright call to violence against innocent people? Nice.

When asked to clarify if he agreed with the killing of white “crackers” and “their babies”, Malik Shabazz responded, “Not in that context, no, sir.” So, let me get this straight…There must be a context in which it’s OK, then? Apparently, it’s that context where the baby is menacing and threatening toward one of his people. Yeah, that’s it. I’ve often felt threatened by “cracker babies” myself, ya know?

It’s just another in a long list of offenses against the Obama administration. I wonder what would’ve happened if the people intimidating voters had looked like these folks…

Madness in Manhattan

Let’s see…If you had to choose between allowing a mosque to be built near ground zero in New York City or allowing the Empire State Building’s lights to be lit in honor of Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday, which would you pick? Or framed a different way, what would you do if you had to make a decision between a religion with a history of VIOLENCE towards innocent people and a person with a history of KINDNESS towards innocent people?

In the past month or so, some denizens of Manhattan have made two vastly contradictory decisions. On May 25th, the New York City Community Board voted almost unanimously to allow a mosque and cultural center to be built very near ground zero. Now it’s been announced that the Empire State Building’s owner is refusing to allow the lights on the famous tower to be lit in honor of what would be the 100th birthday of Mother Teresa on August 26th.

According to owner Anthony E. Malkin…

The Empire State Building celebrates many cultures and causes in the world community with iconic lightings, and has a tradition of lightings for the religious holidays of Easter, Eid al Fitr (marking the end of Ramadan), Hanukkah, and Christmas.

Despite the tradition of lighting the building up for these other religious events, Malkin also states that the privately-owned building…

has a specific policy against any other lighting for religious figures or requests by religions and religious organizations.

However, the Catholic League, which requested that the lights be lit in honor of Mother Teresa, pointed out that those lights indeed have been previously lit in honor of other religious figures including Cardinal John O’Connor and Pope John Paul II. Those same lights were even lit in red and yellow last year in honor of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the building. Those colors happen to be the same as those of communist China.

Honestly, since the building is privately-owned, the owner can do whatever he pleases with the building’s lights. However, considering that his decision seems to be rather hypocritical, I hope he reconsiders his decision.

Equal Opportunity, Not Social Justice

In a previous post, I talked about how forced social justice at the hands of the government is, in fact, no justice at all…

It’s our responsibility as individual citizens and/or members of the church to do our part to help those who need it, not because we’re enslaved by the powers of government to do so. In the end, social justice is no justice at all but just an empty vessel fit for serving no one.

Apparently, that race-baiting, so-called “Reverend”, Al Sharpton, thinks differently. Speaking about Martin Luther King, Sharpton said this:

But the dream was not to put one black family in the White House. The dream was to make everything equal in everybody’s house.

MAKE everything equal? I wish he were kidding but that’s the goal of the progressives. They don’t just want everyone to have the same opportunity to succeed but the power to MAKE everyone succeed, i.e., redistribute wealth. I believe the push for healthcare reform was largely motivated by this philosophy as is the emphasis on passing cap and trade legislation and illegal immigration reform. It’s all about taking from those who have and giving it to those who don’t.

For the most part in this country, if you work hard, you have a good chance at succeeding. Not everyone will be a millionaire but the potential is there if you use what smarts you have and work your ass off. There are tons of stories of people who were born in and lived through desperate situations that eventually worked their way out of it and made a success out of their lives. Though I believe that true success isn’t determined by the amount of material goods that we own, but measured by our faith in God, people can still make their financial situation better by good old-fashioned hard work. Obviously, there are some who have higher odds to overcome but the opportunity is still there to rise above it.

Unfortunately for everyone involved, progressives want to take that opportunity away in a Utopian attempt at leveling the playing field. It won’t work. In the end, all it does is spread the misery around in expense of wealth.

Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery. ~ Winston Churchill