Tag Archives: secular humanist

So-Called Citizens

FeinsteinA New Class of American Citizens

This week, at the confirmation hearings for John Brennan, we learned much about the Obama administration justification for the use of drones, even to kill American citizens.  Senator Dianne Feinstein, an Obama mouthpiece, even created a new class of American citizen…”so called.”

Senator Feinstein was questioning Brennan, President Obama’s nominee for C.I.A. Director, about the justification for killing Anwar al-Alwaki in a drone strike in Yemen in 2011.  Believe me, I do not approve of al-Alwaki’s activities, beliefs, or words, but he was born in New Mexico and that fact makes the following exchange between Feinstein and Brennan most disturbing.

Addressing Brennan on the subject of al-Awlaki Senator Feinstein said, “One of the problems is, once the drone program is so public, and one American is caught up, people don’t know much about this one ‘American citizen’—so called.  They don’t know what he’s been doing, they don’t know the incitement he has stirred up. I wonder if you could tell us a little bit about Mr. Awlaki and what he’s been doing.”

When Brennan didn’t answer her quickly, fully, or loudly enough, the Senator continued her defense, “See, that’s the problem. When people hear “American,” they think someone who’s upstanding. And this man was not upstanding by a long shot.”

John Brennan agreed with her statement with a simple, “yes,” so she persisted in her statement, “And maybe you cannot discuss it here, but I’ve read enough to know that he was a real problem.”

Finally Brennan involved himself agreeing that al-Awlaki “was intimately involved in activities that were designed to kill innocent men, women, and children, mostly Americans. He was not just a propagandist.”

What caused my jaw to drop was the Senator’s summation at the end of the exchange with Brennan, “And, so, Mr. Awlaki is not an American citizen by where anyone in America would be proud.”

The Proud and Upstanding Standard

In the instance of Mr. al-Awlaki, I may, personally agree that he was “worthy” to be assassinated, however, I am flabbergasted, appalled, and frankly, scared to death that this administration has granted itself unchecked authority to kill American citizens.  My reaction is exacerbated by the fact that one of the administration’s greatest supporters, Senator Feinstein describes, and the current C.I.A. Director nominee allows, that the executed was not, “upstanding” or a citizen of whom we could be “proud” and therefore, his execution is justified.  His citizenship was reduced to “so-called” by unilateral decree.

What constitutes the standard of “upstanding” or “proud” put forward by Ms. Feinstein?  I am certainly not “proud” of this President nor am I “proud” of the Majority Leader in the Senate, and the Speaker of the House is not at the top of my list either.  I find the people who made the backroom deals that were done in order to pass Obamacare, far less than “upstanding.”  However, I do not consider them worthy of a drone strike.  I don’t like the socialistic tack this administration is pursuing.  But, however much I may disagree, their citizenship is not “so-called” just because I decide that they don’t meet my standards.

What I find most distasteful and frightening is that no one in the administration has made any attempt to distance themselves from Senator Feinstein’s remarks.  If allowed to stand unchallenged, who is to say what group, what theology, what individual that the government finds challenging won’t be summarily stripped of their citizenship and executed?

Should I Be Afraid?

I am a Christian.  I am a small-government conservative.  I own weapons according to my Second Amendment rights and WILL NOT give them up, nor allow the government to know where they are located.  I write this blog and other articles with the express intent of influencing the thinking of other people.  Am I on a “hit-list?”

President Obama has made his contempt for Christian absolutes extremely obvious.  Mr. Obama and the liberals that support him believe that government is god.  The President’s actions have made clear his total disdain for our Constitution and its roots.  He and his supporters rewrite history whenever necessary.  Christians do not call this behavior “upstanding,” we call it lying and we oppose it.  My role is publicly calling for truth and disclosure.  I do it regularly.  Should I be afraid?

Sorry, Senator Feinstein, but Mr. Alwaki was an American citizen.  I, like you, find his behavior reprehensible, but I find yours not much better.  Mr. Obama, nor you, have the right to rescind his citizenship and execute him without restraint.  Nor would I rescind yours and remove you even if I could.  That is what sets The United States of America apart as a nation.

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My Sensible Solution For Immigration Reform

A Nation of Immigrantsveteran-300x263

Immigration reform is a hot topic of conversation at the moment.  It was a key issue in the last election cycle.  There are many who argue passionately for amnesty being extended to illegal aliens already in the country and there are many who argue passionately that the word “illegal” still has meaning.  Unfortunately, there is far more heat than light being generated in most of the debates.

Politically, both parties seek to get an advantage with a growing voting bloc.  Both parties want to be seen as the champion for Latinos.  Both parties want to be able to trumpet that THEY are responsible for Hispanics gaining political clout in the United States.  And both parties risk losing part of their base voters who live in border states.  We live in interesting times.

Displayed on a plaque on the inner pedestal of the Statue of Liberty, is the poem, The New Colossus¸ written by Emma Lazarus.  It was a donation by Lazarus to a fund-raising effort to construct the base of the Statue.  She initially declined to contribute the work, but a good friend convinced her that her work would be of great significance to the immigrants who would sail under Liberty into New York Harbor.

While Liberty was not conceived and sculptured as a symbol of immigration, Lazarus’ poem has become exactly that.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

We are a nation of immigrants.  Unless you hail from Native American roots, your ancestors “came” from somewhere.  As you read the history of our nation, people came here looking for a better way of life.  People came here looking for freedom.  People came here longing to worship in whatever manner they saw fit.

As a matter of historical fact, Native Americans were treated poorly and duped into questionable treaties by the Western Europeans due to naivete on the part of the Native Americans and European cunning and overwhelming firepower.  Some argue that the current political situation and argument is hypocritical at best.

Into the secular dispute, Christians must include a discussion of Biblical, Kingdom principles.  As Christians, which side of the debate should we support?  If it comes to a vote, how should we vote?

A Nation of Laws

Illegal immigration is a personally difficult subject.  I have good friends on both sides of the debate and even more importantly, I have personal who were born in the United States, but whose parents came here illegally.  The parents have never violated the law, have held jobs and (I assume) paid taxes, and lived quiet lives.  The entire family has a deep, personal, and active faith in Jesus Christ.  Each of them attends and supports the church with time, energy, and substance.  For me, simplistic answers are insufficient.

If I take the position that mercy should be shown to illegal immigrants and amnesty and citizenship should be given to those who arrived here illegally, but have not engaged in criminal behavior since their arrival, I compromise the rule of law and make it anecdotal.  The problem with anecdotal law is that it can change at the whim of any ruler.  The basis for the establishment of our nation was to escape anecdotal law and launch a system based on the concept that “all men are created equal.”

Illegal immigrants steal American taxpayer dollars through Medicare, Medicaid, and other governmental programs that provide “free” benefits and do not require citizenship as a basis for receipt.  “Theft” does not always happen at the point of a gun or result in an arrest and conviction.  Robin Hood is celebrated in folklore, but in history, he was a common thief.  Does then that immigrant family I know actually participate in “criminal behavior?”  And should the parents be deported?  Does anything less threaten the rule of law in America?

Those who argue for amnesty always use “grace” and “mercy” as their arguments.  Those arguments are not without merit.  Jesus had little use for the Pharisees and Sadducees who were the lawyers of His day.  He chided and condemned them for creating regulations that no one could keep and called them, “hypocrites” regularly.  Does that mean that we should lay aside our laws and simply welcome all who find themselves within our borders no matter how they arrived?

Mercy without a standard is meaningless.  If anyone who can geographically locate himself within what are now our borders, then our borders are meaningless.  What purpose do they serve?  If our borders are to be protected, if lives are put at risk and tax money is spent to do so, then our borders must be significant and citizenship must be significant also.

A Sensible Solution

I wonder what would happen if politics were removed from the debate?  Would there be so much name-calling and vehemence if illegal aliens who became citizens could not vote…ever?  It seems to me that caring for all those who are genuinely in need is a Christian mandate, but as a legal American citizen, I resent having my vote diluted and my resources reallocated to people who have broken laws without my consent.

The situation seems a dilemma until political advantage is removed.  Christians are, I believe, more than willing to assist those less fortunate.  It has been proven again and again, that America responds to needs from a disaster more generously and more quickly than any other nation.  I don’t think caring is the problem.

Don’t confuse a secular debate about law with a spiritual debate about “care.”  Jesus was clear that His Kingdom was not of this world.  He also said that while we are not “of” this world, we are “in” it.

I believe that if the church is allowed to be the church and the government stops playing god for votes, the debate between Americans becomes a profitable discussion and not a screaming match to gain an advantage.

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A Charlie Brown Christmas

CBXmas TreeCharlie Brown TV Special in 47th Season

Our world has changed dramatically since the Christmas Season of 1965.  That was the year that “A Charlie Brown Christmas” first aired on CBS.  It has been enjoyed by millions ever since and has become as much a part of American Holiday TV as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.  But, in 2012, it is not politically correct to tell the Christmas story on secular TV.  In 2012, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, Chanukah, and even Earth Day are all approved subjects for public consumption.  Christmas, on the other hand, creates controversy even when expressed in a 47-year old cartoon.

A Charlie Brown Christmas Parable

“A Charlie Brown Christmas” is the depiction of the loneliness that many feel during the season and the joy that comes from inclusion.  It also contrasts the sacred with the secular in Christmas, and that is the source of the controversy.  “Sacred” is not an acceptable topic for secularists.

Charlie Brown and the little Christmas tree are parallel characters.  Each of them is considered by their peers to be defective and unwanted.  Charlie Brown begins the show looking into an empty mailbox, finding nothing, and exclaiming he “just doesn’t understand” Christmas.  All his friends are so shallow consumed with the secular trappings of the season, that they find Charlie Brown’s search for meaning beyond their understanding.

For the other characters, Christmas is all about Santa and the gifts that they will receive.  Using comically PC language for today, Sally, Charlie’s own sister, says she only wants her “fair share” of the Christmas loot.  The children in the Peanuts neighborhood don’t understand Christmas any more than the secularists of today.  Self-centeredness and consumption have replaced peace on earth and good will toward men.

The Tree

When sent to pick out a Christmas tree, Charlie Brown picks the sorriest tree on the lot, proclaiming, “This little one needs a home.”  After much initial ridicule from the rest of the cast, the tree is trimmed and is transformed into a beautiful centerpiece for celebration.  The tree is a beautiful symbol of God’s relationship with His creation.

That poor tree was ugly and useless.  There was nothing the tree could do for itself.  That little tree was not just unappealing, it was wretched.  Guess what?  We are like that forlorn tree.  We are wretched and hopeless.  Our world is ugly and our presence does nothing to enhance it.  There is nothing about us that makes us appealing, we need “a home,” and love that is beyond our own ability to earn or deserve.

Choosing us makes no more sense that Charlie Brown’s selection of that little tree.  No one can understand why He would choose us, but He did.  Instead of being abandoned, we were suddenly included.  Instead of being the object of ridicule, we unexpectedly have eternal value.  After choosing us, he “decorated” us with His own love, mercy, grace, and righteousness.  He made the ugly beautiful.

Merry Christmas!

The real story of the Birth of Christ contained in the Gospel of Luke is recited by Linus in the performance.  Secular humanists, et. al., would much prefer it not be included, but Charles Schulz was adamant about its inclusion almost 50 years ago, and so it remains.

Frankly, the Gospel is the point; the point of A Charlie Brown Christmas; the point of the Holiday; and the point of life itself.  We were without hope and God chose to become one of us so that we would have the opportunity to know Him.  Why would He choose to do such a thing?  No good reason, but He did.  He “decorated” an ugly tree on Calvary’s hill so that He might “decorate” us with peace, joy, love, and eternal life.

If you celebrate another holiday at this time of the year, I wish you a sincere, “Happy Holiday.”  But, I expect your respect of MY Holiday in return.  No matter how much you secularize, marginalize, ridicule and sue, Jesus is still the reason for the season.

Merry Christmas to Charlie Brown and to you!

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