The Holiday Season…

A lot of the blogs I read have been pretty quiet during the holidays.  Mine has too.  It has been good to give my mind and heart a rest.  I have been listening to lots of music instead of the “news”.  On some days, I’m just not interested.  It will be soon enough to get back into the fray.  We have an inauguration coming up on January 20 and I’m sure there will be lots to blog about in this coming year.

With that in mind, I want to wish America a very good New Year 2009.  I am praying that it is so, even though I just read an article that says it won’t be (see why I don’t want to read stuff sometimes?).  But I am optimistic for the future, not because of the president our country just elected, but because I believe there is another,  more positive, change coming…and it will be good change for our nation.  It will be a change in the hearts and minds of the American people.  That change will be the understanding that government cannot provide  the answers to our problems; it is not possible.  But there is One who can and that is the God of the Bible.  He is the only answer for the problems we face.   May our elected officials and the people of our nation find His wisdom in the coming year.

Are We There Yet?

Children ask this question on long car drives.  Are we there yet?  Have we arrived?

But today I am asking it in an entirely new context.  Yesterday, I caught part of a movie with Glenn Ford about WW2 and the French resistance movement in France.  I didn’t get to see the whole thing, but I think I would like to.   As I watched it, I began to “see” things.  First I “saw” the intolerance of the Nazis  to any political dissent against their agenda. They were totalitarian, cruel, and evil in their goal to conquer.  The individual person was nothing to them.  When the individual no longer counts, this is a dangerous place to be.  I think we see this in the vociferous attempts to crush any views supporting the sanctity of human life and traditional marriage.  Look at the outcry against Pastor Rick Warren, who is to deliver the invocation at the Presidential inauguration, because of his beliefs.  He doesn’t hate people.

Then I saw the sacrifices, the bravery by those who did resist them and were crushed.  They lost their own children and eventually their own lives.  They sacrificed themselves rather than give in to the intolerant ones. Then I saw how evil was allowed to rule for a time.  The Nazis were eventually crushed, but it seemed they were “allowed” to rule and do their evil for awhile before they themselves were conquered.

How does this pertain to our time?  I “see” this same “spirit” of intolerance operating in our own country, though I concede it is restrained at the moment. But I believe it is growing.  We are seeing it all around us.  It can function on the right or the left, but today it seems to be much more prominent on the left.  There seems to be a lot of hate out there.  And there are groups, operating under the banner of “God” that are displaying this same spirit, but that attitude is not from the God I know.  He hates sin, but He never hates people.  He values people and He would never behave the way these groups are behaving.

So, I ask it again…are we there yet?  I believe we are on our way.

Merry Christmas To You Too…

I caught myself yesterday wondering if it would be “ok” to say Merry Christmas to someone in an email, someone I didn’t know well.  I was concerned that I might “offend”  the person.  This morning I am thinking, my, my, how far we’ve come.  And it’s not good.  I agree there are certain things that shouldn’t be said to people, things that would be downright rude, but “Merry Christmas” isn’t one of them.  “Hey you, you’re ugly” would be.  That’s a personal, derogatory remark.  But Merry Christmas is not a personal attack on anyone.

A long, long, time ago, I was offended at many things.   Today, I’m not.  What’s the difference?  There came a time in my life where I decided to take personal responsibility for my own actions and feelings.  If I was offended, then it was my problem; it wasn’t someone else’s fault.   Some might say I got “religion” ; I got saved (from myself).  Jesus is not touchy, or fretful, or offended all the time and He taught me how to do the same.  I’m a much calmer, nicer person now, not all uptight about everything and everyone.

There’s a lot of fuss going on up in Washington State in the capitol building.  It seems some people are taking offense to the nativity scene being displayed there, so the atheists are putting up their sign that actually attacks the beliefs of Christians.  And now it seems the whole world wants to have a say and put their signs up too, one such as “Santa Claus will take you to hell”. Have we really become such a nation of self-centered whiners (to quote a congressman), where we can’t let others have free speech or even have a party?  Maybe these people aren’t as busy as the rest of us preparing for the holidays and they need something to do.  Under the banner of free speech, I defend their right of expression, but I don’t defend anyone’s right to be rude.  Where is respect for others?  Respect…now there’s something we seem to be lacking.

I know, I know, there’s the old and tiresome argument about separation of church and state.  In 1870 the United States government declared Christmas a federal holiday, signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant.  There was no mandating that you had to observe it, but everyone gets the paid holiday off, even if they don’t celebrate it. Employers have to pay you.   If you are against that, well, perhaps you could work and not take the day off.  I’m sure you have a choice in the matter.  I have never heard anyone complain about getting paid to be off work for this holiday.

So, if someone wishes you a Merry Christmas this season and you don’t like it or you don’t celebrate the holiday, just let them have their party. Don’t be mean about it. This too, will pass.  If you were having a party, I’m sure they wouldn’t interfere.  That is, unless your music is too loud for the neighborhood.

The Meaning of Words….

A recent comment by a visitor prompted me to search out and define some words. My friend at the Conservative Pup did her own research in response to the commenter and her response was excellent, so I thought perhaps some discussion might be warranted. It does no good to sling words around if we don’t know the meaning. I’m willing to have open discussion and I don’t like to put labels on people that are derogatory or that I don’t know the meaning of. Conversely, I don’t care for people applying terms to me that are derogatory and demeaning. So I thought some discussion might be in order. The commenter said the word “conservative” is codespeak for “folks who lean toward fascism”.

Let’s start with the term conservative: The dictionary says a conservative is one who favors traditional views and values and one who supports political conservatism or a conservative party. Conservatism is defined as the disposition in politics to preserve the status quo, the tendency to resist change in preference to an existing order. There are many people with differing values and beliefs in the political party of conservatism. But there are core beliefs in the platform of that party. I won’t be covering them exhaustively. I believe conservatives basically stand for protection for the unborn(which we have always had up until a few years ago) and all other humans, small central government(the framers’ intention), lower taxes so that businesses and families can prosper and not be burdened with supporting a bloated central government bureaucracy.

Since the commenter compared conservatism with fascism, we will look at that definition next. Fascism is a philosophy or governmental system marked by stringent socioeconomic control, a strong central government usually headed by a dictator, and often a belligerently nationalistic policy. It is also defined as oppressive, dictatorial control.

I don’t see similarities in these two definitions. They are opposite. Especially the part about small central government vs. a strong central government.

I will be posting about other terms in the future.

Changing Terminology…

In my prior post, I talked about how the term “liberal” is being changed to the word “progressive”. I think I may have recently heard the new president-elect use it. As I was pondering this, a situation that my husband and I saw several years ago came to mind. We were searching for a local church and had visited one in particular. It was a young church plant in our hometown area. It had a fresh, new style and the people were nice. I noticed a very small sbc under their name. When I inquired about it, I was told it stood for Southern Baptist Convention, but the reason they were keeping it so small and not using it as a part of their name was that they didn’t want to “turn people off”. So what is there about the Southern Baptist Convention that would turn people off? I suppose there are some who would immediately not go there for that reason. I always thought there was something inherently strange about that, like they were trying to hide something. Why wouldn’t you want to say who you are or who you are affiliated with? I really felt there was more to it.

The same thing happened at another church. It was affiliated with the Assemblies of God, yet, they too, were downplaying their affiliation, again in the name of, we don’t want to ‘turn people off”. So how does concealing your affiliation from people, not make you affiliated with that group? Were they trying to disguise who they were? I only bring this up in relation to my prior post, because I believe these church groups were trying to “disguise” who they were, just as I believe liberals who now use the term progressive are trying to “disguise” who they really are. Each group has the same purpose and agenda (whether for good or bad) as when they were openly using their other name; I do not believe that has changed in either case.

Note: I am NOT saying these church groups had any bad agenda; I am only questioning their reasoning behind their decision to conceal their affiliation. Don’t flame me for it.

Amendment…

The quote on my sidebar from Norman Thomas needs amending. I read the other day that the word “liberalism” has such negative connotations these days, that now liberals choose to call themselves “progressives“. So it probably should be amended to read “…But under the name of progressivism they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened”. Beware of change-ing terminologies used to disguise true liberal ideologies that have never worked and are designed to hide those facts. It’s liberal codespeak.