jump to navigation

Question: “What does the Bible say about illegal immigration?” February 4, 2017

Posted by JP in Discussion.
add a comment

From Gotquestions.org

Answer: Note: We wholeheartedly believe that Christians are called to be compassionate and merciful toward immigrants (Exodus 22:21; Leviticus 19:33–34; Matthew 25:35). We also believe that the United States should have a more compassionate and merciful immigration policy. However, that is not the question at hand. The question at hand concerns illegal immigration—whether it is wrong to violate a nation’s borders and transgress its immigration laws.

Romans 13:1–7 makes it abundantly clear that God expects us to obey the laws of the government. The only exception to this is when a law of the government forces us to disobey a command of God (Acts 5:29). Illegal immigration is the breaking of a government’s law. There is nothing in Scripture that contradicts the idea of a sovereign nation having immigration laws. Therefore, it is rebellion against God to unlawfully enter another country. Illegal immigration is a sin.

Illegal immigration is definitely a controversial issue in the United States (and some other countries) today. Some argue that the immigration laws are unfair, unjust, and even discriminatory—thus giving individuals justification to immigrate illegally. However, Romans 13:1–7 does not give any permission to violate a law just because it is perceived as unjust. Again, the issue is not the fairness of a law. The only biblical reason to violate a government’s law is if that law violates God’s Word. When Paul wrote the book of Romans, he was under the authority of the Roman Empire, led by Emperor Nero. Under that reign, there were many laws that were unfair, unjust, and/or blatantly evil. Still, Paul instructed Christians to submit to the government.

Are the immigration laws of the United States unfair or unjust? Some think so, but that is not the issue. All developed countries in the world have immigration laws, some more strict than the USA’s, and some less strict, and all have to deal with illegal immigration. There is nothing in the Bible to prohibit a country from having completely open borders or to have completely closed borders. Romans 13:1–7 also gives the government the authority to punish lawbreakers. Whether the punishment is imprisonment, deportation, or even something more severe, it is within the rights of the government to determine.

Illegal immigration is a complex issue. The vast majority of illegal immigrants in the United States have come for the purpose of having a better life, providing for their families, and escaping poverty. These are good goals and motivations. However, it is not biblical to violate a law to achieve a “good.” Caring for the poor, orphans, and widows is something the Bible commands us to do (Galatians 2:10; James 1:27; 2:2–15). However, the biblical fact that we are to care for the unfortunate does not mean we should violate the law in doing so. Supporting, enabling, and/or encouraging illegal immigration is, therefore, a violation of God’s Word. Those seeking to emigrate to another country should always obey the immigration laws of that country. While this may cause delays and frustrations, it is better than acting illegally. A frustrating law is still a law.

What is the biblical solution to illegal immigration? Simple—don’t do it; obey the laws. If disobedience is not a biblical option, what can be done in regards to an unjust immigration law? It is completely within the rights of citizens to seek to change immigration laws. If it is your conviction that an immigration law is unjust, do everything that is legally within your power to get the law changed: pray, petition, vote, peacefully protest, etc. As Christians, we should be the first to seek to change any law that is unjust. At the same time, we are also to demonstrate our submission to God by obeying the government He has placed in authority over us.

“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God” (1 Peter 2:13–16).

Advertisements

7 Things Christians Need to Remember About Politics February 1, 2017

Posted by JP in Discussion.
add a comment

How to be in the world, not of the world, in a culture of political vitriol.

Not only are believers excused for their political indiscretions, but they are often applauded for committing them. Slander is explained away as righteous anger; winning arguments are esteemed higher than truthful ones (whether or not the “facts” align); and those who stir up dissension are given the pulpit. So I balk when pastors tell me the Church should engage in the political process. Why would we do that? The political process is dirty and broken and far from Jesus. Paranoia and vitriol are hardly attractive accessories for the bride of Christ.

Rather than engage in the political process, Christians have a duty to elevate it. Like any other sin, we are called to stand above the partisan dissension and demonstrate a better way. Should we have an opinion? Yes. Should we care about our country? Yes. Should we vote? Yes. But it’s time we talk politics in a way that models the teachings of Jesus rather than mocks them.

It’s time we talk politics in a way that models the teachings of Jesus rather than mocks them.

Here are seven things to remember about politics:

1. Both political parties go to church

There’s a Christian Left and, perhaps even less well-known, there’s a secular Right. Larry T. Decker is a lobbyist and head of the Secular Coalition for America. He’s an “unaffiliated Christian,” but his entire job is devoted to keeping religion out of the U.S. government. Party lines are drawn in chalk, and they’re not hard to cross. The Church must be engaged in politics, but it must not be defined by the arbitrary lines in politics.

2. Political talk radio and cable “news” only want ratings

When media personalities tell you they are on a moral crusade, they are lying to you. These personalities get rich by instilling fear and paranoia in their listeners. If we give our favorite political ideologues more time than we give Jesus, we are following the wrong master. There are unbiased, logical and accurate news sources out there. But it’s up to you to be a good steward of information—to fact-check for yourself, take ideology with a grain of salt and make decisions based on facts rather than gossip.

3. Those who argue over politics don’t love their country more than others

They just love to argue more than others. Strife and quarreling are symptoms of weak faith (Proverbs 10:12; 2 Timothy 2:23-25; James 4:1) and are among the things the Lord “detests.” We need to rise above the vitriol and learn to love our neighbors the way God commanded us. We need to love our atheist neighbor who wants to keep creationism out of schools; our Democrat neighbor who wants to keep gay marriage and abortion legal; our Republican neighbor who celebrates death penalty statistics and gun ownership; and yes, even the presidential candidate from the other side.

If you’re mocking your governing leaders on Facebook, the Holy Spirit is grieved.

4. Thinking your party’s platform is unflawed is a mistake

The social policies of your party were constructed by imperfect politicians fueled by ambition. It’s nearsighted to canonize them—and it will make you obsolete in a few years. Every four years, the parties adopt a current, updated platform at their respective conventions. And while they stay on general tracks, every four years the platform evolves to meet the needs of a growing, modernized and changing party. The Republican party of today doesn’t look like it did 10 years ago. We need to know when to change our views to meet a changing culture—and when to stand by them.

5. Scripture tells us to pray for our governing leaders (2 Timothy 2:1-4) and to respect those in authority (Romans 13:1-7)

Translation: if you’re mocking your governing leaders on Facebook, the Holy Spirit is grieved. We should spend more time honoring our leaders and less time vilifying them. This doesn’t mean praying the President will be impeached; it doesn’t mean praying your candidate will win. God commands us to pray for our leaders—for their wisdom, for their hearts and for them to be led by Him.

6. Don’t be paranoid

The country is not going to be destroyed if your candidate loses. As 2 Timothy 1:7 says, “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” Stand up and demonstrate what God has given you. America has functioned—albeit, at varying levels of success—for years under the direction of alternating Democrat and Republican control, and at every flip, the other side thought it was the end of the world. It’s not. And if we’re a Church that believes God is in control, we have to believe that He is the one in control of the end times—not whoever’s in office now, and not whoever succeeds them.

7. Stop saying, “This is the most important election in the history of our nation”

It’s not. The most important election in the history of our nation was when Abraham Lincoln was elected president. Before that, we thought it was OK to own people. Every generation thinks it’s living in the most important moment in history. We’re not, our parents were not and our children probably won’t be. And that’s OK.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated from an original version posted in September 2012.

Read more at http://www.relevantmagazine.com/current/politics/7-things-christians-need-remember-about-politics#HjOrEzOKr7d4kS4j.99

Political thoughts January 25, 2017

Posted by JP in Politics, Venting.
1 comment so far

There is so much I want to say but usually choose to keep to myself because of the ongoing contention of the recent election and inauguration of Mr. Trump, however I will attempt to ramble about a few things here just to get them out of my head:

The election and the role of the electoral college:

5 times in our history has a Presidential Candidate won the election despite loosing, or allegedly loosing the popular vote: Donald Trump 2016, George W. Bush 2000,  Benjamin Harrison 1888, Rutherford B. Hayes, 1876, and John Quincy Adams 1824.

This happens as a result of the Electoral College and its role in the Presidentia election process. I have to say that I am not necessarily a fan of the electoral college system, however I have done some thinking about it and realized a very important aspect that bears some attention. Our nation, our government is not a strict democracy; it is a republic, or more accurately to my thinking, a representational democracy. Our system works for us because portions of our populace are represented by an elected official (Congressmen and Senators). Laws are voted upon and passed by these elected officials who theoretically act in the interests of those who elected them. We vote for a Congressman and the winner of the majority of those votes is elected to serve us in Washington D.C., Senators are restricted to 2 per state.  This method of electing representatives serves a valuable purpose: in states such as California, where the population and political leanings are wide spread we are represented by Congressmen who represent the political ideas of a segment of our population. Subsequently, those areas with high populations (Bay Area and Los Angeles) do not have more say in the will of the totality of the state as most of the areas, or counties, throughout the state have different political ideals than those in the heavily populated urban areas.

All this boils down to a simple idea which is demonstrated clearly by a look at a vote by county map of the entire country:

States themselves are not monolithically blue or red. Here's the projected winner in each county in the US. At first glance, there are a handful of blue islands, mostly concentrated along the coasts, surrounded by a sea of red.

Consequently, perhaps the popular vote leaned in favor a Hillary Clinton, based solely upon the density of population of certain urban areas, but the majority of the Country, spread across the entire country went a different route. Therefore, the duly elected President, Donald J. Trump is legitimately our Nation’s leader.

Now as to those who are protesting:

Get over it. I did not vote for Mr. Obama, nor did I want him in office, but when he was elected I put on my big boy pants and supported him as the leader of our country. I prayed for him to do the right thing, expressed my approval when he did do the right thing, and questioned him when he did not do the right thing. The outrageous behavior demonstrated continuously by the liberal populace, and the media, is doing nothing helpful for this country. We are a country divided and the division is a result of the deleterious behavior of the DNC, the mainstream media, the Hollywood left and the  clueless citizenry who’s agenda seems to be directed by misinformation, ignorance of the facts, and petty grudges of a child who did not get what he wanted. A statement I saw today sums it up quite nicely: YOU SAID “LOVE TRUMPS HATE”, BURNING CARS,  SMASHING WINDOWS, AND ASSAULTING PEOPLE PROVES YOU’RE FULL OF CRAP.

Regarding disapproval, or rejection of Mr. Trump’s ‘policies’:

First of all, you cannot disapprove or reject a policy that does not exist. Marching to protest a ‘policy’ the day after the inauguration is ridiculous.

I recently had a discussion with someone about the Executive Order regarding the Affordable Care Act. As it was explained to me the contention was that this person thought it was distasteful and wrong for the President to issue an Executive Order repealing ‘Obama Care’ a day after the election. My difficulty here is debating an issue with someone who got their information from a news agency that clearly is not reporting the facts (left-wing mainstream media). So here is what Executive Order #1 actually does:

Section 1. Ensures that the existing law is being efficiently implemented, minimizes the unwarranted economic and regulatory burdens of the Act, and prepare to afford the States more flexibility and control to create a more free and open healthcare market.

Sec. 2.  Allows agencies to waive, defer, grant exemptions from, or delay the implementation of any provision or requirement of the Act that would impose a fiscal burden on any State or a cost, fee, tax, penalty, or regulatory burden on individuals, families, healthcare providers, health insurers, patients, recipients of healthcare services, purchasers of health insurance, or makers of medical devices, products, or medications.

Sec. 3.  Provide greater flexibility to States and cooperate with them in implementing healthcare programs.

Sec. 4.  Encourage the development of a free and open market in interstate commerce for the offering of healthcare services and health insurance, with the goal of achieving and preserving maximum options for patients and consumers.

No repeal, no stoppage, no nothing other than allowing some flexibility in the administration of the law in regards to penalties, costs, and implementation of programs.  The worst part of this whole Executive Order is that someone who does not have, or does not acquire healthcare may not have to pay the penalty tax.  Woe is me.

His other Executive Order simple mandates a streamline of the Environmental Impact Reports for high priority projects. Perhaps a needed highway bypass could be built in our lifetime rather than waiting 13 years for an EIR to be conducted or approved.

All in all, for me it comes down to this: Mr. Trump was not my choice for President but he was selected as the Republican candidate and provided a candidate much preferred over the alternative. He DID win the election by a the majority of the country and is now the President of the United States of America. As such he deserves the prayers and support of myself, and the rest of the populace.

His success depends upon our support, and our success as a Nation depends upon his success as the leader of the free world. For those who claim ‘not my president’ I have a simple solution: pull up you panties and support the nation, or pack up your stuff and move out, maybe you can cross the border into Mexico before the wall goes up.

Work out your own salvation with trembling and fear January 19, 2017

Posted by JP in Discussion.
add a comment

JP's Mind

Php 2:12-16  Therefore, my dear ones, as you have always obeyed [my suggestions], so now, not only [with the enthusiasm you would show] in my presence but much more because I am absent, work out (cultivate, carry out to the goal, and fully complete) your own salvation with reverence and awe and trembling (self-distrust, with serious caution, tenderness of conscience, watchfulness against temptation, timidly shrinking from whatever might offend God and discredit the name of Christ).  (13)  [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.  (14)  Do all things without grumbling and faultfinding and complaining [against God] and questioning and doubting [among yourselves],  (15)  That you may show yourselves to be blameless and guileless, innocent and…

View original post 865 more words

Instead of calling Trump ‘illegitimate’ Dems should try to figure out where they went wrong January 18, 2017

Posted by JP in Discussion.
add a comment
  • At what point does resistance become unpatriotic? Possibly, when elected leaders like Democrat John Lewis attempt to undermine the law of the land.

    The dust-up between Lewis and Donald Trump began with the respected civil rights leader telling NBC’s Chuck Todd: “I don’t see this President-elect as a legitimate president…I think the Russians participated in helping this man get elected. And they helped destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.”

    So, even though Donald Trump won more than the requisite number of Electoral College votes to defeat Hillary Clinton,  Lewis, who has sworn to uphold the Constitution, denies that Mr. Trump, as of Friday afternoon, will be our duly elected president.

    In 2010 after the battle over ObamaCare, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell  vowed to work against the president’s reelection.  That promise, for which he was slammed by the Left, was perhaps unpolitic, but he stopped short of suggesting that Obama was not the rightful occupant of the Oval Office.  McConnell, along with other Republicans, believed that Obama’s policies would not benefit the country; it was his job to try to turn him out of office.

    Trump, of course, did challenge Obama’s legitimacy, questioning the president’s birthplace. But he was a private citizen. His behavior may have been deplorable, but it was not a contradiction of his oath of office.

    The accusation made by Lewis challenges the peaceful transition of power, an essential pillar of our democracy.  As Martin Luther King III said after meeting with Trump, in the heat of emotion, “A lot of things get said on both sides.” That may be true, but Lewis crossed a line and needs to tell the nation that he was wrong.

    The IMF recently boosted its forecast of U.S. economic growth by half a percent, citing Trump’s policies. How can challenging the president-elect’s legitimacy do anything but undermine the promise of faster job creation and higher incomes for all Americans?

    Lewis’ comment not only verges on unpatriotic, it is also wrong. The Russians did not destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton did.

    Moscow did not invent the disgraceful collusion between Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the supposedly neutral DNC to undermine rival Bernie Sanders.

    Putin did not write the emails revealing the Clinton camp’s derisive attitude towards people of faith, or the degree to which Hillary cynically shifted positions to better accommodate polls. They didn’t author the speech in which she said “you need both a public and a private position” on policy or the one in which she said she dreamt of “a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.”

    No, Russia did not create these embarrassments for Clinton. Putin et al did help make them public, but they only confirmed what most Americans already thought of Hillary Clinton. More important, Moscow did not manipulate Hillary Clinton into using the several private email servers that had but one purpose: to avoid public scrutiny.

    To that end she went to extraordinary lengths to destroy and withhold documents that by law belong to the American people – documents that reveal the abhorrent pay-to-play culture nurtured by the Clintons. She also mishandled classified information, which has landed lesser mortals in prison.

    And no, James Comey is not to blame either.  Hillary fans have conveniently forgotten that the FBI Director gave Clinton a pass when he recommended against indicting the Democrat candidate in July. Though Comey noted that the former first lady had been “extremely careless” in her handling of ‘very sensitive, highly classified information”, and though here was “evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information,” Comey argued that no “reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”  Republicans were incensed by Comey’s generous treatment of Clinton.

    When new evidence surfaced, Comey reopened the investigation, and made that decision public.

    A Politico/Morning Consult poll taken after Comey’s October announcement indicated that his reopened investigation had not altered the race one bit.

    What did alter the race was an appetite for change and eagerness for a pro-growth, pro-jobs agenda.  In promising four more years of Obama, Hillary ignored those sentiments.  She ran a terrible campaign, taking for granted core constituents like union workers in the Midwest and mistaking President Obama’s personal popularity for enthusiasm for his policies.

    In July 2015, before the WikiLeaks dumps began, polling revealed that Mrs. Clinton was in trouble. A Washington Post columnist wrote, “It’s hard to overstate just how bad Clinton’s numbers are…. they are in some ways about as bad as Trump’s.” Indeed, 54% of the country had an unfavorable view of Clinton, and 44% had a very unfavorable view – an all-time high.

    Most astonishing is that despite such polling  Democrats never even considered that she might lose. So inevitable was her victory and so supportive and confident was the liberal media, that Trump’s win was as shocking as it was painful.

    As a result we have seen mobs riot in protest and a smear campaign second to none waged against the President-elect. Petulant liberals (and more than 50 members of Congress) have announced with much fanfare their boycott of the inauguration.

    The media is furious that they may not have much sway in the new White House, even as they continue to denigrate Trump’s every move.

    Fashion designers have churlishly declared they won’t be dressing Melania.

    Spoiled brats, all, who grossly overestimate their own importance. Trump fans don’t care. They are ready to move on.

    Democrats, including John Lewis, can be forgiven for being unhappy that their candidate lost. But they cannot be forgiven for punishing the country for the astonishing drubbing handed out not only to Clinton but also to Democrats across the board.

    Instead of looking for scapegoats, Democrats including Obama, Clinton and Lewis would profit more from trying to understand where they went wrong and how they lost the confidence of the nation.  That would be to the good of the country – and a more patriotic approach.

    Liz Peek is a writer who contributes frequently to FoxNews.com. She is a financial columnist who also writes for The Fiscal Times. For more visit LizPeek.com. Follow her on Twitter@LizPeek.

November 11, 2016

Posted by JP in Discussion.
add a comment

Angel with an M16

Desert sand
billowing incessantly
coating sweaty skin
in gritty irritation.

Heated air
tinged with smoke
from spent rounds
and rocket’s tail.

Months spent
endlessly training
focusing on this day
this horrible day.

Duty done
honor is satisfied
country is served
freedom now reigns.

Desert sand
billowing incessantly
covering cooling skin
of our hallowed dead.

JP Burns

Better than honor and glory, and History’s iron pen,

Was the thought of duty done and the love of his fellow-men

 

 

 

 

Clinton/Obama = Racial Divide November 2, 2016

Posted by JP in Discussion.
add a comment

Photo: Brunell Donald-Kyei, Vice-Chairwoman for the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, slammed Hillary Clinton and President Obama.

Liberty’s Death October 4, 2016

Posted by JP in Discussion.
add a comment

Liberty's death - so this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause

God’s Grace is Amazing September 28, 2016

Posted by JP in Discussion.
add a comment

I’ve written about salvation and justification, in a couple of posts and in those posts I mention God’s Grace (as do all Christian theologians, ministers, and lay people). However I haven’t really expanded upon the beauty and unbelievable miraculous gift of His Grace.

God’s grace is simply defined as the unmerited or undeserving favor of God to those who are under condemnation. But that hardly conveys the enormous quality of that grace. In the New Testament grace means God’s love in action towards men who merited the opposite of love. Grace means God moving heaven and earth to save sinners who could not lift a finger to save themselves. Grace means God sending His only Son to descend into hell on the cross so that we guilty ones might be reconciled to God and received into heaven. ‘(God) hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

“For  He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor 5:21)

“For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” (Romans 5:17).

Think about this for a moment. Scripture teaches us that as a result of the sin of Adam all mankind is born in a state of sin. The Cannons of Dordt explains:

The result of the fall is total depravity or corruption. By this is meant that every part of man is rendered corrupt. The Canons say that man “became involved in blindness of mind, horrible darkness, vanity, perverseness of judgment; became wicked, rebellious, obdurate in heart and will and impure in his affection.” There was no part of his nature that was not affected by sin.

I would point out that it is our nature that is sinful, it is not the sins we commit that makes us sinful, it is the state of our being, our nature. Lady Gaga sings that we ‘were born this way’, stating that we are all perfect because God made us this way and He doesn’t make mistakes. Perhaps Lady Gaga should read the scriptures. God DID NOT make us this way, and we are not made perfect. God did make Adam perfect and Adam screwed it up for the rest of us. He was MADE, he sinned, and through his sin we all are corrupted products of that original creation.

Romans Chapter 3 tells us with no equivocation that man is sinful in nature:

What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:

“There is no one righteous, not even one;
11     there is no one who understands;
    there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away,
    they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
    not even one.”[b]
13 “Their throats are open graves;
    their tongues practice deceit.”[c]
“The poison of vipers is on their lips.”[d]
14     “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”[e]
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16     ruin and misery mark their ways,
17 and the way of peace they do not know.”[f]
18     “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”[g]

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

I will not belabor the extension of our sinful nature as we all know that biblically ‘the wages of sin is death’. So now, what hope do we have?

Yep, we have the miraculous and encompassing Grace of God. His love for us is so great that He could not bear to spend eternity without us. Our difficulty is that God is perfect in every way and we are not. How does our God who embodies perfect righteousness and perfect justice look upon us with favor when even the ‘best’ of us fall woefully short of His righteousness? He displayed His perfect love and He gave us a way. An unmerited, undeserved, yet totally free way to be absolved of our sins, to be reborn in His righteousness. He gave us the free gift of His grace, His redeeming, saving Grace.

“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:22-24).

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace” (Ephesians 1:7).

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:8-10).

“For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

“For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!” (Romans 5:17).

 

Hallelujah Amen! I am here with no hope of doing anything to earn God’s forgiveness, righteousness, and eternal life in commune with Him, but it turns out that because of His love for me He gave me the gift of His grace so that I am free of my sinful nature and am now an adopted heir of God. THAT is truly amazing!

I am guilty
Ashamed of what I’ve done, what I’ve become
These hands are dirty
I dare not lift them up to the Holy one

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You break my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be

I’ve been hiding
Afraid I’ve let you down, inside I doubt
That You still love me
But in Your eyes there’s only grace now

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You break my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be

Though I fall, You can make me new
From this death I will rise with You
Oh the grace reaching out for me
How can it be
How can it be

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You break my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free

You plead my cause
You right my wrongs
You break my chains
You overcome
You gave Your life
To give me mine
You say that I am free
How can it be
How can it be

How Can It Be – Lauren Daigle

Songwriters
JASON INGRAM, JEFF JOHNSON, PAUL MABURY

Standing for the National Anthem September 7, 2016

Posted by JP in Discussion.
add a comment

Okay, so I’ve already given my last word on the Kapernick sitting protest during the National Anthem, and this post is not intended to belabor to that which I have already given voice.

However, some soul searching, and research, about national respect and protests have given me some insight that I will blather on about in this post…

I grew up as an “Army brat”, my father served a tour in the US Marines and a 20 year career in the US Army so I was raised mainly on military bases until close to high school age. At 18 I enlisted in the Army and am myself a disabled Veteran. Suffice it to say that I have had a long military background.

As a child it was common practice for us to cease all activities during Reveille and Taps (as “Reveille” is played, all U.S. Army personnel are required to come to attention and present a salute, either to the flag or in the direction of the music if the flag is not visible). Those of us who were not ‘Army personnel’ (ie; military families) were taught by our parents to stop, stand, and face the flag or music, preferably with our hands over our hearts. Trips to the movie theater on base were much the same because prior to the movie starting the National Anthem was played and everyone in the theater stood up, hands over hearts, until the anthem finished.

The one thing that sticks with me to this day is that this activity of standing during the National Anthem was never about showing pride in, or respect to, our flag or the anthem; it was, and is, about showing respect to our great Nation, for which the flag and anthem are simply representations.

Let me share what Mr. Kapernick said about his protest:

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color.  To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

 I suppose that this is what really irks me about the whole thing; Mr. Kapernick is allowed to protest as he sees fit as long as it does not harm others, however, his freedom to protest is given to him by the very nation (and those that defend it) which he is disrespecting. I honestly do not think he understands exactly what he is disrespecting. It is not the flag, or the anthem. It is the Nation that provides him the freedom he seemingly takes for granted.

I envision a parent who has toiled arduously to earn money to buy food, labored over a hot stove, after working all day, to prepare that food, and then lovingly set it in front of their child, only to have that child spit on it and push it away simply because it isn’t what he wanted for dinner.

So while I apparently take umbrage at Mr. Kapernick’s insult to the Nation I have willingly and proudly served (yes, I feel a bit personally insulted)  I must remind myself that people get to decide, whether to stand still, keep walking, or sit. They can sing, even if they can’t hit any of the notes, or be quiet. They can put their hands over their hearts, or let their arms hang loosely. They can remove their hats or leave them on. They can cheer proudly, or even jeer.  That’s what is so great about America. You get to choose. No one can order patriotism. You can’t force people to have pride.

FREEDOM IS NOT FREE

I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze
A young Marine saluted it, and then
He stood at ease.

I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud
With hair cut square and eyes alert
He’d stand out in any crowd.

I thought, how many men like him
Had fallen through the years?
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers’ tears?

How many Pilots’ planes shot down?
How many foxholes were soldiers’ graves?
No, Freedom is not free.

I heard the sound of taps one night,
When everything was still.
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.

I wondered just how many times
That taps had meant “Amen”
When a flag had draped a coffin
of a brother or a friend.

I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.

I thought about a graveyard
at the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, Freedom isn’t free!!
Copyright 1981 by Kelly Strong

%d bloggers like this: