Category Archives: Faith

When Mean People Are Discriminated Against

Bullies don’t need a reason.  And they don’t care that it hurts.  And they enjoy what they do.

Sometimes bullies bully because they are bigger.  Or because they are better at things like football.  Or because they are pretty.  Or because they aren’t doing as well in school.

Or because THEY were bullied.

Dan Savage is a bully.  What he does he does out of a vindictive mindset.  He uses words to hurt people.  And just because he says he’s sorry doesn’t mean it’s okay.

(CNN) – Columnist and gay-rights advocate Dan Savage is standing by his comment that “we can learn to ignore the bulls**t in the Bible about gay people” at a recent conference for high school students, a line that prompted some to walk out and spurred intense online debate.

Some Christian students walked out of the Seattle speech, prompting another controversial line from Savage: “It’s funny to someone who is on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible how pansya**ed people react when you push back.”

Savage apologized for that specific remark in Sunday’s blog post, writing that his word choice “was insulting, it was name-calling, and it was wrong.”

Mr. Savage is no different than those who have bullied people all over the world through all of time.  And the fact that he has been bullied doesn’t change that fact.

America: What Is It

I sometimes think about what it means to be an American.  What it means to say that I love my country.  Or that someone is destroying it.

I think that I’ve come to the conclusion that being American means something different than merely being a member of the tribe that lives in this land mass.  It means that you have embraced an ideal.

It means that you accept that individual liberty reigns supreme and is the ultimate sovereign.  The individual citizen is not ward of the state, rather, the state is subservient to the individual.  No other place on earth, in the history of the earth, has struck such an understanding, such a vision and a way of life as we have done.

We love our land, our mountains and rivers and valleys.  The towns and the roads.  The “things” in America.  We love ’em all.  But the fact is that you could transport all current Americans to Europe.  And all Europeans to America.  Nothing would change.  The Europeans would be no more American than they were.

Think of this, no where else in the world can a man born in a foreign country move to another country and “become” one of them.  I was born in Minnesota.  I could move to Japan.  I would never BE Japanese.  Or German.  Or Nigerian.

Only here can you BE American.  If only you buy into the ideal that is America.  Through hard work, personal sacrifice and dedication to an ideal, anyone can become an American.

We throw our arms open to all.

So when we say that someone wants to destroy America.  Or change America.  Or hates America.  We don’t mean that he doesn’t care for the people, the land or the lives of the citizens.  It’s that he hates what America IS.  And what it IS is a mindset that differentiates us from all of the world.  It is an attitude that I am responsible for myself.  Responsible for myself but charitable to my brother.

THAT is what we mean when we say that people hate America.

Friendship, Morality and Brotherly Love

The tenants of a Master Mason.

In a world so eager to differentiate one from another based on politics or faith is it any wonder that we see war and conflict all around the globe?  Where we see walls rather than bridges?

It is with no small amount of honor and satisfaction that in a region dominated by the differences of Arab and Jew we see the peaceful association and love and admiration from one to another in a Free Mason’s lodge:

A Greek Orthodox Palestinian Arab, Nadim Mansour, has been installed in Tel Aviv as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of the State of Israel, a position he will hold until 2013.
Israel has had two previous Palestinian Arab Grand Masters – Yakob Nazee (1933-1940) and Jamil Shalhoub (1981-1982).
Nadim Mansour, who was born in Haifa but moved to Acre aged five, was initiated – as a Lewis – into Lodge Akko in 1971, of which his father Elias was a founder, and in 1980 became its Master. He also has the rank of 33rd Degree in the Ancient and Accepted Rite.
Currently, the Grand Lodge has about 1,200 members in 56 lodges, working in ten languages – Hebrew, Arabic, English, French, Hungarian, Rumanian, Turkish, Russian, German and Spanish – and five different religions.

As the governments of the region prepare for war, Free Masons continue to do what they always do, rejoice in the sublime existence of a love between one brother and another.

It will not be until the world can follow the example f the gentle Mason and leave the differences of the profane world outside the door of the temple and agree that all man can find reason TO agree.

Of Honor, Tradition And Things Cool

During the Civil War a family here in Raleigh lost several brothers.  They were buried and then…lost.  They were buried in graves marked with headstone and forget.  As urban sprawl sprawled, they were forgotten and lost.  Until recently:

Raleigh, N.C. — The bodies of two Civil War-era soldiers were re-buried Saturday in Raleigh.

Brothers Joel and Joseph Holleman died and were buried in 1862, but their remains were unearthed in Raleigh last month by development. Excavation near PNC Arena turned up the brothers’ bones.

On Saturday morning, the two men rested under honor guard at the North Carolina Museum of History.

A horse-drawn artillery caisson bore them to Oakwood Cemetery where the North Carolina Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans buried them with a military and Masonic service.

One of the men was a Mason; he received a full Masonic funeral.  I wish that I had known this was taking place; I’da tried to go.

In the photos you can see North Carolina Masons marching in procession, accompanying their fallen Brother.  A lambskin apron is resting on the alter, presumably to be placed upon the coffin which shall contain his earthly remains, and with them laid beneath the silent clods of the valley.  Finally you see a Mason holding a sprig of Acacia; the symbol to Masons that we are all walking through our probationary state to be reunited again with the Supreme Architect of the Universe in that temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.

I’m a sucker for pomp and circumstance; ritual and tradition.  This is good stuff today.


Of Liberals And Conservatives: Rush and Maher

Rush stepped in it.

I know he’s an entertainer.  I know he’s just a commentator looking for ratings.  I know he likes to lambaste.

But there’s a line; he crossed it.

What I find interesting isn’t that Rush crossed that line or the hot water he’s now in, that’s predictable and this’ll pass.  What I find interesting is the standard that liberals have of themselves.

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The Downside Of Schools Today

My family attends a local private Christian school.  Very small.  Very awesome.

We love LOVE it.

This past week my kids brought home an assignment that required them to identify a piece of classical “Americana” to memorize.  This could include famous speeches, classical poetry or even religious texts.

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Why I Hate Religion But Love Jesus: Two Stories

There’s a poem going through the innertubes.  I’ve seen it a number of times on my Facebook feed and finally decided to watch and listen.  I don’t enjoy the genre [never have enjoyed rap] and the lyrics are somewhat strained.  But the message……yeah man, that’s some cool stuff:

So I did a quick search and found a response.  Much less popular, but I enjoyed that message as well; perhaps more so.  I acknowledge that if I were to bow my head in prayer before a meal with a Jew, a Muslim and a Hindi, my God would hear and acknowledge each of our supplications.

It’s a crazy thing, God.  But if you have ever considered a conscience while feeling the wind on a cliff, or the sweet sound of a babies laughter, you’ve heard what I hear.

Jesus Was A Socialist

I see these from time to time.  Mostly on Facebook, sometimes in comments.  The gist is that Republicans are seen as Christians.  Christians, well, we have our Jesus.  And the theory is that if our Jesus commanded that we take care of the poor and the sick, why are we so against things like Obamacare and Medicaid?

Usually the point is made through a drawing, picture or cartoon:

I’m not so tender and fragile that I don’t find humor in this.  And the point is not lost on me either.  We SHOULD work to make the world better for all of those in it; especially those who are least able to do this for themselves.

That’s where the point kinda ends though.  See, the idea that because Jesus would have us do a thing out of love and goodwill is vastly different that thinking we should create a government mandate to require that same activity.

For example, Jesus also commands us to pray like this:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed by Thy Name…..

No one seriously feels that we should pass a law that says all of us should pray the Lord’s Prayer.  Additionally, Jesus commands us to:

Go, baptize all the nations.

In a similar manner, no one thinks that we should pass legislation requiring all US citizens go and get baptized.

My reaction to these cute and witty injections is usually to take the  message to heart, laugh, think of my friend on Facebook who posted it that I haven’t seen in 20 years and move on.  Sometimes I need to comment.

Hat Tip: Gette

Tebow, God and The NFL

Well, I think we can put aside the argument concerning God’s love for Tebow.  Lest there be any doubt, please consider that Tebow had 316 yards passing.

John 3:16 anyone?

Further, I wonder if any other famous athletes took time on the field of play to give thanks.  In more than just a personal small “look in the sky” thing?

I think that Mr. Bavaro would often pray.  Here, in this iconic photo, you can see him genuflecting and what seems to be a motion of crossing himself.