The Slavery of Now

Consider this your warning – today I am going to put something out there that needs to be said.  I have wrestled with this and have been reluctant in the past to say something on the issue and have provided a limited discourse on the topic because frankly I have been told that I lack the necessary anatomy from some peoples’ points of view to have a valid and legitimate opinion on the matter.

When I started this whole experiment at shining the truth on life, culture, society, government, and current events, I promised myself that I would not hesitate to speak the truth and I’ve had a revelation on this topic.  So, with that said… off we go.

The rancor over abortion today and the debate on whether a fetus is a human being or just a mass of biological material is the exact same argument we had as a country from the moment we were founded.

In 1787 abolitionists existed, but in order to get the Constitution assembled and passed by the states, they compromised in order to fully incorporate the United States as we now know them.  The compromise that was worked into the Constitution was that blacks were not fully human – they were only considered to be three-fifths human.

It wasn’t until decades later that those abolitionists broke with the Whig party and formed what is known today as the Grand Ole Party, GOP, or Republican Party.  The first Republican President was an abolitionist – Abraham Lincoln, but that is not the point of this text today.

James Stewart eloquently puts the beliefs of abolitionists regarding the institution of slavery; “All people were equal in God’s sight; the souls of black folks were as valuable as those of whites; for one of God’s children to enslave another was a violation of the Higher Law, even if it was sanctioned by the Constitution,” (Holy Warriors: The Abolitionists and American Slavery, 1976).

How is this notably different than the very debate over abortion today?

Pro-Choice/Pro-Abortion advocates tout personal liberty, choice, reproductive freedom, and reproductive rights of the mother.

Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion advocates tout the rights of the unborn child.

A pro-choice advocate would heartily agree with the statement that a fetus is biologically unequal and genetically inferior to it’s mother until the point of becoming viable outside of the womb. This is no different than the argument of vehement slaveholders in the South that argued that blacks were biologically unequal and genetically inferior in defense of slavery (Igranick).  The same exact argument that justified slavery of an entire race of people and rationalized it because they believed that they were subhuman is the same exact argument that allows for the moral flexibility required to justify the destruction of an unborn child because of inconvenience on the part of the mother.

In our past, in the Dred Scott arguments before the Supreme Court, it was said that “Although he may have a heart and a brain, and he may be human life biologically, a slave is not a legal person,” (Vulgata Magazine).

A Wisconsin appellate court stated in an opinion that “the term ‘human being’ was not intended to refer to the unborn child,” (John Whitehead).

These two statements at their cores are not philosophically different as they assign a human qualification “score” to each which does not equate the slave (i.e. baby/fetus) with the slaveholder (i.e. mother).

The same comparisons can be drawn between the legal rights of slaves before emancipation (none) to that of unborn children prior to birth (none) amongst many others.

What this all comes down to is this – that men, despite our lack of the necessary anatomy, definitely have a dog in this fight, just as non-slaveholders had a dog in the fight over slavery over a century ago.  The argument over abortion has long been made one of choice rather than one of equality before the law, but when that choice is most definitely morally wrong and devoid of legal and rational consistency, then we must make our voices heard.

Everyone makes mistakes in life for which we can seek forgiveness, mercy, and grace, but we should not compound our mistakes willingly.  We need to recognize this present-day slavery for what it is and change not law, but rather the very heart of this nation and world.

 

A Letter to Boys

While I didn’t pen this, it nails my sentiment and since I am a father to two boys and, at least yet, have no daughters, I can find no lesson to one day teach my son in the Miley Cyrus debacle from a few nights ago, however in this case it took two to tango as they say.

Dear son,

Don’t let Robin Thicke be a lesson to you.

Don’t let any of these pigs and perverts you see on TV be a lesson to you. They treat women like garbage; they possess no chivalry, no self control; they are disloyal and dishonest; they spend all day pursuing pleasure at the expense of others, and they encourage you to do the same. You might be tempted to follow suit. In fact, you WILL be tempted. These male pop stars and celebrities, look at them, you’ll think. They take advantage of emotionally broken, self loathing, confused young women, and they are rewarded handsomely for it. Look at their nice clothes and their nice cars. Look how they are admired and loved. Look, they treat women like trash and other women fawn all over them because of it. This must be how real men behave, you’ll think.

And you’ll be wrong. You’ll be wrong about a lot of things in life — this is what it means to be human — but never will you be more wrong than when you feel the temptation to buy the lies that pop culture sells about the nature of true masculinity. Son, there is nothing glamorous or fun about being a man of low character and no integrity. What you see on TV is a facade. It’s a sales pitch. It’s poison. You see the bright lights and the sexy women, but you don’t see what happens when the cameras are off and these pop culture gods return to their lives as mere mortals. You don’t see them in their big, empty, lonely houses. You don’t see the emptiness in the pit of their souls. You don’t see all the alcohol and drugs they have to use to dull the pain of living a life devoid of real, committed relationships. You don’t see the hatred they have for themselves and for humanity. You don’t see the jealousy they have towards normal, decent men.

Your dad is no celebrity. He’s just an average, boring guy. But he’s got something that every famous and non-famous womanizer envies: He’s got the love and commitment of ONE beautiful, smart, faithful woman. He’s got your mom, and he’ll only have your mom until the day he dies. He ought to be waking up every day shouting praises to the Lord because of that.

Listen, son, don’t let the world tell you how to be a man. They don’t know anything about the subject.

Men are loyal. Men are honest. Men respect and honor women. A man goes out and finds one woman, and he vows to protect and love her for the rest of his life. A man would never betray that vow. Even the weakest and most cowardly man — if he is a man at all — would die for the woman he loves. Your dad is no hero, but let someone try to hurt your mom and watch him suddenly turn into Superman (or Batman, whichever you prefer).

See, son, you don’t have to be big and strong to be a man, although I think you will be one day. You don’t have to be “cool” or athletic. You don’t have to play guitar or fix cars. These are all fine things, but they don’t define a man. A man is defined by how he treats women, by how he keeps his promises, and by how he protects and serves the ones he loves. That’s what makes a man a man. My dad taught me that, he taught it by example. I pray I can do the same for you.

Oh, and by the way, if I ever catch you disrespecting women, I will sit you down and talk to you about it. But first I’ll kick your butt up and down the street. That’s a promise.

Thanks, Matt Walsh, for saying what needed said for the up and coming generation of men that are still boys today.

 

Loving Your Neighbor

~ Radical thoughts to follow. ~

So many Christians these days are stuck in thinking of God as the almighty Creator of the universe, the final judge and authority on everything good, and they fear this powerful deity enthroned in unfathomable power.  They get so caught up in the God who utterly crushed Sodom and Gomorrah, caused the ground to swallow up disobedient men whole, and sent bears to maul dozens of “youths” in response to a curse by His prophet after their “teasing” of him.  If that is the God you know, you are missing Him… essentially in a forest for the trees moment.

Now let me get this straight – the God I’m talking about did all of those things, but He is so much more.  The God I’m talking about is not vengeful and destructive – He is creative, He is merciful, He is loving.  He is not hovering somewhere up in space ready to cast down lightning and hurl giant hailstones at you if you stumble and fall in trying to serve Him.

This is why the concept of God the Father is so important.  Think to your own children if you have them.  As a father, we only want the very best for them.  We teach them, guide them, influence them, discipline them, and love them as much as we can before we turn them loose on the world.  God the Father is no different, except that He doesn’t want us to ever get turned loose, but rather to turn back to Him – to love Him in return and to become not just His child, but rather also His friend.

Few men in the Bible were ever credited as friends of God – Abraham, Moses, David. These men didn’t go on and do measly things either. Abraham is the forefather of two great peoples – Jews through Isaac (by extension Christians) and Muslims. Moses became the first civil rights leader the world has ever seen – he led an entire nation from slavery to freedom.  David established Israel as a nation-state and also provided the family lineage for the Son of God to be born with a royal bloodline.  These men also give us a stark contrast though because of their friendship with God – Moses talked God out of destroying the idol worshiping Israelites, but He also repeatedly angered God as well to the point where he was forbidden from entering the Promised Land at the end of the decades-long journey to freedom.  David had a man killed because he thought his wife was smoking hot and wanted her for himself.  Neither of these men were perfectly moral, but they sought and loved God for who He was and unconditionally on their parts.

It is friendship with God that brings with it God’s unconditional mercy.

Instead of fearing God because of His righteousness, power, and judgment, we should strive to befriend God because He is right there waiting for us to do just that.  It’s all that He wants as our Father…. the absolute best for us.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Matthew 22:37

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Need Heroes

My sons are both young still – the oldest is not yet school age and the youngest is not yet two.  Both are enamored with superheroes – Spiderman, Ironman, Captain America, Superman, Thor, and others.  I’m not surprised though – these fictional characters do astounding things and neither boy is old enough to yet distinguish reality from fiction, which means that they sit in awe through Marvel’s Super Hero Squad show or a DVD from the library with their favorite heroes in it.  My wife has said before that she feels surrounded by it at times as they play as their favorite heroes together.

Now some part of me says that they are too young to really grasp the heroes and to watch the cartoons and in many cases they are and we try to limit which ones they get to watch for age appropriateness, but as I thought more about this fascination, I saw something in each of these characters, something that few mediums in today’s society are capable of teaching.

Just think about the messages that these characters can convey to young impressionable minds with their words and deeds.  You can even see instances of scriptural truth in the words of these creations of the mind.

I believe there’s a hero in all of us, that keeps us honest, gives us strength, makes us noble, and finally allows us to die with pride, even though sometimes we have to be steady, and give up the thing we want the most. Even our dreams.

Spiderman

Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

Romans 13:14

If anyone knows what it’s like to be on the outside, I do. Sometimes I feel like I’m out there fighting all alone. Sometimes I feel like giving up. But, then I remember that what I stand for is more important than anything else.

Superman

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will live with them
    and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
    and they will be my people.”

Therefore,

“Come out from them
    and be separate,
says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
    and I will receive you.”

And,

“I will be a Father to you,
    and you will be my sons and daughters,
says the Lord Almighty.”

2 Corinthians 6:14-18

Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world — “No, you move.”

Captain America

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place,and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Ephesians 6:13-17

So when my boys run around with their play Captain America shields or acting like they’re Superman and flying about, or Spiderman leaping and running and fighting “bad guys,” I smile a bit knowing that these seeds of truth are finding their way in piece by piece.

Ultimately, I know that they will learn that these characters are fictional.   Hopefully the truths that they learned will remain.

Strength and might must be tempered by compassion and justice.

Liberty deserves and requires sacrifice.

Truth must never be abandoned or denied.

Courage is acting in spite of fear rather than a complete lack of it.

In the end, I hope that they one day learn the most important lesson of all though – that each of us has the opportunity to be heroic because it is the character behind our actions that make us heroic, not the actions themselves.

A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.

Christopher Reeve

Fallout – Zimmerman Verdict

I held off on posting more on this trial until the verdict was in because so much was supposition based on what evidence would be submitted, what testimony would be heard, and what conversations would occur between the jurors once the case was given to them to decide.

Personally, as someone who paid attention to the situation from the beginning, the trial, and has served on a jury before as the foreman, I have just a few observations.

  1. The prosecutorial misconduct in this case stretches from here to China and back – concealing evidence, apparent construction of evidence/testimony, and a gross overcharge on murder two.
  2. The judge was pretty clearly biased and at one point in the trial it was almost as comedic as a Saturday Night Live sketch with the number of objections sustained by the judge for the prosecution and overruled for the defense.  The verbal lashing she gave the defense, during their portion of the trial regarding Zimmerman’s potential self-testimony, was ridiculous and unbecoming of anyone on the bench at any level.
  3. The reaction of the masses as an whole were not unexpected by me.  There are strong opinions about this whole case – perpetuated by the media’s handling of the case (constant referrals to Trayvon Martin as a kid and using pictures of him that predated that fateful night by five or six years at the least gave the perception of an innocent kid instead of a large black man who was physically larger and more athletic than Mr. Zimmerman).  The media’s portrayal essentially convicted Mr. Zimmerman months before this trial which left the riotous fools wanting blood when he was eventually acquitted in court.
  4. Now the more radical members of society are calling for the blood of the jurors from professional athletes, politicians, and other so-called celebrities are lamenting the verdict publicly – further fanning the flames of hate and distrust in society.
  5. It’s watershed moments like this that lead some people to make stupid decisions – such as those that lead to riots, arson, revenge attacks, and other criminal acts.
  6. While I live in the suburbs, I’m not completely confident that will be a buffer anymore in light of active threats and that is why my magazines are loaded for my FDR.

A Letter to My Sons

Even though you are both still young, there is so much you know and understand.

I enjoy watching you take in the world one amazing thing at a time with joy, astonishment, and apprehension.  You have so many firsts still ahead of you, that I look forward to experiencing and guiding you to and beyond.

Sometimes being a father is hard work.  There is doubt if you are doing things right.  There are so many things out of my control that can impact you forever.  There are points where we do and will disagree and butt heads in the future, but even knowing these days will come I will love you through them.

There are so many things I want to and need to teach you in the few short years where I get to influence you: the nature of God, Christ, the ways of the world, the importance of family, the nature of truth, the importance of justice, the source of liberty, and the responsibilities that go with all of that knowledge.

Today is Father’s Day.  God put you here to do mighty things for Him and I cherish the opportunity to lead you to Him and then set you loose to do those things.  It is a father’s greatest responsibility, but also a father’s greatest joy and blessing to be granted that opportunity and blessing.   Through you both, I have come to understand the nature and heart of God much more clearly as he is both my and your Father as much as I am your father and the love and joy that you bring me, I know he feels toward me.

I know there will be times where my words come up short, but your heavenly Father’s words never will.  I know there will be times where you and I fail each other, but I will always ask you to forgive me and forgive you in the same way when it happens.

Regardless of those small happenings in everyone’s life, I will never cease loving you because you are my sons, and that is how God loves us – regardless of how often or how terribly we abuse His love, He will always forgive us and welcome us back to Him.  In fact, He will pursue US.  He will find us hiding in the dark, afraid to come out because of shame, guilt, or whatever is holding us back and bring us home to Him if we just ask.

Today on Father’s Day, I wanted to write something for you… words from Our Father that I hope one day make sense to you as they now do to me.

The father of a righteous child has great joy;
    a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.

Proverbs 23:24

My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
    and do not resent his rebuke,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
    as a father the son he delights in.

Proverbs 3:11-12

You saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son.

Deuteronomy 1:31

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
    are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
    whose quiver is full of them.

Psalm 127:3-5

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

 

 

The Death of the Republic: Action

It is time to act.

It is time to reject apathy.

It is time to reject ambivalence.

It is time to reject passivity, tolerance, and fairness.

It is time to embrace liberty.

It is time to ensure justice.

It is time to take a stand – to set in stone what you believe and prepare to vigorously defend it regardless of the cost to you personally.

How do we as a country solve this problem?

How do we conquer the attitude of “it doesn’t affect me?”

Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

Ephesians 4:25

For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

1 John 3:11

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

John 13:34

It all affects you.  Every. Single. Last. Thing.  The change that must be made comes from within.  If you are not willing to stand up next to your brother, next to your neighbor, next to your fellow citizen against all evils and in every time of need, we will fall. We must change how we behave personally.

We must be a bulwark against tyranny, not for our own sake’s, but for our fellow citizens, our neighbors, our brothers, and our families.

We must passionately take up the standard of liberty, the Constitution, and the Word of Almighty God as the foundations of liberty – unshakeable, immovable, and eternal.

We must stand on fact, highlight truth, and shout it from the mountaintops for all to hear or the beacon of freedom in the world will be extinguished.  It may very well be extinguished one day, but the truth will never be extinguished as long as one man or woman has it on their lips.

We must take seriously Christ’s command to love God and love our neighbors.  We can say we love God, but if we do not take action to prove that love, what good is it?  We can say we love our neighbors, but if we do not act on their behalf even when they do not want or do not think that they need it, then we have not fulfilled the command.

We must display our passion for our ideals more than ever, and our willingness to not only take up arms to defend liberty, justice, equality, and freedom, but to lay down our lives ultimately if necessary for them.

We must, through our actions, through our voices, and through our lives – how we live and how we die – express with no reservations that there are some things worth giving it all to attain and preserve.

Proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.

Leviticus 25:10

I hope to one day tell me sons that their father did not stand by indifferent and ambivalent about the future of their country and of earthly liberty.

I will one day stand in judgment before my Creator, and I will answer for whether when the time came whether I stood or sat idly by.

I will stand.

I cannot and will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God.

Martin Luther

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

The Death of the Republic:What next?

Yesterday, I named apathy and lack of passion as the cancer and disease eroding the foundations of this great country.  These two problems are downright evil as they have colored gray all of the fundamentals that we once cherished as a country.

Instead of a dedication to God and our neighbors, we are now growing self-centered.  The deeply rooted apathy we as a nation have exhibited toward current events and the scandals now being exposed to public scrutiny is rooted in this self-centeredness.  Just focusing on the NSA data-mining revelation from last week I have heard personally people justify this destruction of the Fourth Amendment’s warrantless search and seizure protections by indicating that it doesn’t effect them personally, that they have nothing to hide, and if it helps to keep us safer, then it is well worth it.

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery?

Patrick Henry

This is indifference on full display.  Even after a full explanation of what the snooping entailed and how wide-sweeping it was as an affront to liberty, the people I asked all stood by their initial perceptions of it being no big deal because it didn’t impact their day-to-day life.

That is hedonism.  They are living for the moment.  That hedonism is in and of itself a chain of slavery I liken to modern-day bread and circuses as they appease that person’s need for pleasure at any expense.  As long as the pleasure outweighs the pain, then they will accept it without second thought.

Apathy. Ambivalence. Passionlessness. Hedonism.

Americans are druggies.  As long as our cortexes are teased and pleased on a fairly consistent basis with entertainment via movies, television, books, sex, music, pop culture, and other distractions, we will submit to ever-increasing chains from our would-be masters as they don’t personally effect “me,” or we rationalize away it as an inconvenience or a necessary evil.

This hedonism explains so much about our culture when you think about it.

  • incumbency equals job security despite our displeasure with the government in total
  • the destruction of the nuclear family as husband, wife, father, and mother roles are societally redefined to be more inclusive and fair to debauched behavior and living situations
  • the run-away national debt as we spend the next generations economic output today in order to fund our lavish, irresponsible, hedonistic, pleasure and comfort-based lifestyles
  • absolutely no forethought about the consequences of our actions either in part (individually) or in total (as a country)

All actions become devoted to the self.  The problem that crops up with this devotion to pleasure though is that we rarely band together with others because of their problems, but only ours.  We begin to not see the needs and threats to our neighbors or delegitimize them because helping does nothing for us personally – there is no pleasure or gain to be found in standing next to Eric Snowden, the man who revealed the NSA’s domestic spying operations, there can only be negative repercussions from a vengeful government out of control.  Instead of standing as one in defense of the ideals of our founding and those that hold us together as a society – equality, justice, and liberty for all – we fall apart.

Imagine a society where neighbors only look out for themselves.

They hear a scream in the night from next door and double check their door locks rather than even risk glancing outside to see if their neighbor is in need of help.

They decide that married life is too hard and decide that they’d rather be single and free to pursue the lusts of the flesh – bouncing from bed to bed in search of momentary thrill.

They decide that the problems of the country are too big and they are not smart enough to know how to solve them so they stop paying attention and just elect whoever is running with the D or the R next to their name, or just choose to stop voting altogether.

At 30, they tolerate the new bureaucratic rules that establish that no life saving measures would be taken for anyone older than 60 years old because they are too expensive under a strapped medical care system hamstrung by Obamacare and the single-payer option passed years later to replace it.

Fear is people’s primary motivator after pleasure. They fear to criticize what they see as wrong in their hearts because the government has grown too strong and too big.  It has eyes and ears everywhere and can cobble together truthful-enough evidence to silence opposition because the IRS, ATF, DHS, and NSA.  They fear to point out corruption at work or in public because of the personal destruction of their careers or reputations that they fear from annoying the wrong person.

The people in power recognize these fears and play on them in order to further tighten the screws by enacting more onerous laws, rules, and modicums of behavior in order to further control the citizens and make them into slaves.

Because people are so focused on their own pleasure and are fearful of anything that might upset that, the birth rate will decline.  “Why take on the challenge of raising children?” many will ask.  “Why destroy my body?” “Why tie myself down?”

Listen to me — all of you out there! You were told by this man — your hero — that America is the greatest country in the world!
He told you that Americans were the greatest people — that America could be refined like silver, could have the impurities hammered out of it, and shine more brightly!
He went on about how precious America was — how you needed to make sure it remained great!
And he told you anything was justified to preserve that great treasure, that pearl of great price that is America!
Well, I say America is nothing!! Without its ideals — its commitment to the freedom of all men, America is a piece of trash!
A nation is nothing!
A flag is a piece of cloth!I fought Adolf Hitler not because America was great, but because it was fragile! I knew that liberty could be snuffed out here as in Nazi Germany! As a people, we were no different than them!
Captain America

The Death of the Republic: Symptoms

Yesterday, I made clear my belief that the Republic known as the United States of America is in grave danger.  Today, I will show you why I believe that to be the case.  The problem is apathy, or if you prefer: indifference, inattention, ambivalence, or detachment. These corruptions within the culture and system cancers that have taken root because of an even more dangerous toxin inherent within America.

But you have planted wickedness,
you have reaped evil,
you have eaten the fruit of deception.
Because you have depended on your own strength
and on your many warriors

Hosea 10:14

Let him not deceive himself by trusting what is worthless,
for he will get nothing in return.

Job 15:31

The terror you inspire
and the pride of your heart have deceived you,
you who live in the clefts of the rocks,
who occupy the heights of the hill.
Though you build your nest as high as the eagle’s,
from there I will bring you down,”
declares the Lord.

Jeremiah 49:16

We, as Americans, have been made to be apathetic.  We feel untouchable, so we have neglected the public trust that citizenship in this republic was meant to bestow on each person.  Diversity, fairness, and tolerance are riding high, our economy is the benchmark of the world (even despite the failings in our recent past), and liberty seems to be safe, but the seeds of our own destruction have been sowed.  Our own understanding of liberty and freedom have been altered and changed from those demanding a responsible, attentive, and alert citizenry to those of a complacent one unwilling, unable, or uninterested in those same responsibilities, liberties, and freedoms.

Based on the Nielsen Ratings from the last few weeks, only two non-entertainment programs cracked the top ten watched television shows. Less than 7% of viewers watched news programs of the most watched programs on television.  The majority of viewers watched The Voice, the NBA Playoffs, or other entertaining programs rather than informational programs.  This is evident of a populace not engaged in the problems prevalent in our society, but rather wishing to ignore them or completely oblivious to them either consciously or unconsciously.

For years, with the notable exception of the youth turnout for then-Senator Barack Obama in 2008, the voter turnout has been decreasing as a percentage of eligible voters as they become more disengaged with politics and governmental affairs, apathetic in general, or dissatisfied with the process.

With the revelation of the IRS political-enemies targeting, Justice Department press wiretapping, and NSA wide-swath metadata collection programs, there has been little if any outrage outside of the politically knowledgeable, which make up a small percentage of the population.  In fact, with all of the revelations of scandals of late dating from the ATF’s Fast and Furious gun-running program, through the Benghazi botched response and follow-through, and all of the rest since, the lack of outrage and even a baseline of knowledge amongst the hoi polloi has been shameful as I have observed generally and in the total lack of even a base understanding of what happened, let alone the causes or repercussions.  This lack of knowledge is a sign of the apathy that has taken root amongst the generations today.

The surveillance programs in particular rely on an understanding of the political news cycle that the worst scandals can be swept under the rug in a hurry because the public en masse no longer has the desire to hold the government’s feet to the fire over abuses and usurpations as long as they disappear from the collective radar quickly so they can get back to their entertainment.  The collective attention span has dropped so precipitously that the seriousness of each of these scandals has failed to register.  The scandals, each one, would be enough to bring down an administration in the past, but the speed at which they are being revealed and then replaced in the public consciousness additionally produces a weariness in the public mind.  This same weariness was observed during the last few campaign cycles because politicians never took an off day and the public eventually just tuned it all out.

When apathy becomes an useful tool of the politician to force the public to go along with their plans, that politician has become dangerous to liberty and freedom.  It is not because they convince people to follow their ideas or even have great ideas, it’s that they proverbially beat them until the abused electorate acquiesces to the beatings and just says “whatever you say, I don’t care.”  In addition, when those politicians intentionally obfuscate the political environment and make it difficult to understood who is involved, why, or in what way, they make it easier to fool the public.  As a result blatant positional and topical contradictions go unnoticed because the people simply no longer care to rectify what they hear with what they see.

I. Don’t. Care.  These are the three most critically damaging words in the English language.  But is that not what we’re seeing in the response to the revelations about NSA’s Operation PRISM.  The American public has been beaten over the head for over a decade as to the threat of terrorism and as a result, a majority thinks that the program is fine despite the fact that it casts a wide net and over half of the citizens of this country are under warrantless and illegal searches of their private communications.  What makes it even worse is that these obvious Constitutional violations require an apathetic public, not just after-the-fact, but during it.

Apathy is destroying the United States of America – this is truth, but apathy is only partially to blame.  There is a deeper fault that is causing the apathy even… the apathy is surely a cancer, but the deeper disease is a loss of and lack of passion.

Passion?

Look at the divorce rate (53% of all marriages end in divorce).  What passion do men and women have for maintaining what was supposed to be a lifelong commitment?  Maintain a lifelong love takes hard work and devotion and our culture celebrates this lack of passion now.

Look at the voter participation rate (barely half of the eligible population votes).  What passion do we have as a people for participating in our democratic republic?  When barely half of eligible voters even bother to cast a ballot, the other half is abdicating their right to choose their representatives.  I may not agree with how you personally choose to vote in a particular instance, but a representative republic does not serve the people if the people do not make their beliefs clear through voting, petition, and redress.

Compare the government approval rate and how likely you are as an incumbent to be reelected (Congress approval rate is treading water at 16%, yet 90% of incumbents were reelected in 2012).  What passion do we have about the problems of our day if we keep sending back the same disliked idiots every two or six years to keep just doing what they’ve been doing?  We say that we hate the performance of Congress and then rehire them come November at a near-unanimous rate.

We do not have passion in this country or for this country.

We have apathy.

We have ambivalence…

and it is killing us.

Without passion for this country and passion in general, how can we honestly expect the next generation to understand the importance of our liberties and freedoms, of the moral, theological, logical, and philosophical foundations upon which those liberties and freedoms were derived?

How can we honestly expect the next generation to care if we do not care?

How can we honestly expect our government to abide by the constraints put upon it by mortal men nearly three hundred years ago if we do not understand those constraints and possess a heart and mind for defending them with words, deeds, and arms if necessary?

How will apathy end up killing us in the end?  Tune in tomorrow.

PSA: Drowning

There are many misconceptions about drowning.  It is so critically important to understand the differences between struggling and drowning because it takes so painfully short of a time for someone, especially a child, to drown.

Rescuing Drowning Children

  1. “Except in rare circumstances, drowning people are physiologically unable to call out for help. The respiratory system was designed for breathing. Speech is the secondary or overlaid function. Breathing must be fulfilled before speech occurs.
  2. Drowning people’s mouths alternately sink below and reappear above the surface of the water. The mouths of drowning people are not above the surface of the water long enough for them to exhale, inhale, and call out for help. When the drowning people’s mouths are above the surface, they exhale and inhale quickly as their mouths start to sink below the surface of the water.
  3. Drowning people cannot wave for help. Nature instinctively forces them to extend their arms laterally and press down on the water’s surface. Pressing down on the surface of the water permits drowning people to leverage their bodies so they can lift their mouths out of the water to breathe.
  4. Throughout the Instinctive Drowning Response, drowning people cannot voluntarily control their arm movements. Physiologically, drowning people who are struggling on the surface of the water cannot stop drowning and perform voluntary movements such as waving for help, moving toward a rescuer, or reaching out for a piece of rescue equipment.
  5. From beginning to end of the Instinctive Drowning Response people’s bodies remain upright in the water, with no evidence of a supporting kick. Unless rescued by a trained lifeguard, these drowning people can only struggle on the surface of the water from 20 to 60 seconds before submersion occurs.”

This doesn’t mean that a person that is yelling for help and thrashing isn’t in real trouble—they are experiencing aquatic distress. Not always present before the Instinctive Drowning Response, aquatic distress doesn’t last long—but unlike true drowning, these victims can still assist in their own rescue. They can grab lifelines, throw rings, etc.

Look for these other signs of drowning when persons are in the water:

  • Head low in the water, mouth at water level

  • Head tilted back with mouth open

  • Eyes glassy and empty, unable to focus

  • Eyes closed

  • Hair over forehead or eyes

  • Not using legs—vertical

  • Hyperventilating or gasping

  • Trying to swim in a particular direction but not making headway

  • Trying to roll over on the back

  • Appear to be climbing an invisible ladder

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