The Bigger Picture

The United States has changed a lot recently and I have to say that I'm a little taken back that people cannot see the warnings about this written by our founding fathers. We, as a people, have given up freedoms that our predecessors valiantly fought to obtain. It's been hard to explain this position to those that feel these are victories. Just looking at the short term gains rather than the big picture. I dare say that most seem happy if they get likes, don't cause controversy, and follow society's playbook word for word. You may not see it this way, you may see it completely differently, you may see the changes over the past week as only good things. That's the great thing about this country, we do not have to agree, we have tolerance for other viewpoints, we have rights under the law to disagree and express our disagreement, that was until this past week.

Yes, I realize many feel it's a small price to pay for what was gained. That what was given up means nothing compared to the new found rights granted. Maybe you do not even see anything given up, it doesn't affect you immediately, so why concern yourself? Why worry about other's when your goals were met? I guess my answer to that would be because those are some of the ideals that founded this country. The idea of the country was that it would be ruled by the people. That there would be equal representation for all laws. That our duly elected congressman would write the laws and if we didn't like what they were doing, we could vote them out of office.

First the SCOTUS decision, and don't feel bad if you have to look that acronym up, I did :) Here we have a group of 9 people, none of which were elected by the people, making a 'decision' that affects everyone in America. I know that this was a major victory for many. Even though a very small portion of our population benefits from this decision, it was a rallying call for equal rights. Just about everyone jumped on board. Victory!

Unless you read the more conservative news sites, something has been going on behind the scenes of which most are unaware. It is an intended consequence of this decision. I say intended because it is happening in other countries and just starting here. So anyone that did a little reading could easily find out about it. The change is that if you do not agree with the new Webster on marriage as defined by the government, you will eventually get in trouble with the government. Just think about that. Probably many are happy, many years of persecution results in the ultimate vengeance against the oppressors. The ability to jail, fine, or run out of business anyone that disagrees. If someone says it's a sin, get them with Hate Speech. If a Church refuses to marry you, hit them with discrimination. One mind, one thought, and dissenters are removed. Does anyone really think this helps the country or advances civilization? Does forcing everyone to one mind make us better?

There was a word, a word that has meant basically the same thing for over 6000 years of civilization. A word that was very good up until a few days ago. A word that does have different conotations, but everyone in the world pretty much knows what it means. It's been depicted in movies, almost always in some type of holy building or temple. It's been part of most of our lives. To some it's a sacrament, to others it's just a piece of paper, to others it's a promise, to others it may be a reward. But everyone knows what it is. Before the laws of man, this word had meaning, and it's meaning was not changed. The laws of man took this word into their laws, there was no problem as everyone understood the meaning. Marriage, one man, one woman.

Then SCOTUS decided, five people decided, five unelected people with no fear of any type of accountability for their actions, five people that are not the picture of equal representation, they decided to change the meaning of this word. Not only change the meaning, but enforce it on the people. If you have not heard, anyone that disagrees and is a business owner providing services for the time honored definition is getting fined and run out of business. If you look at other countries, anyone that publicly disagrees is fined and jailed. These are countries with free speech and religious freedom laws. What's the point of these basic rights if a court can just stomp on them? What's the point of any right, or any law in any document if they can just be taken away from millions by a vote of 5?

1. government changes meaning of word
2. government enforces change
3. resistance is futile, you will be jailed or fined for dissent

No, this is not a Star Trek episode, this is happening today. Not all in our country, but give it time. It is happening in other countries. In a country with free speech laws you can be jailed for speaking out. It is shocking and also not shocking that the press does not see the issue with this. Maybe it just takes a brain that can see the big picture. Can people not read the documents about the crimes of the King that made our country want to be independent? Can people not see that activists are already going after businesses and that Churches will soon be their next target?

Yeah, I know, I sound like a conspiracy theorist, but it is in our news today. The first strike against the bakery in Oregon with many others following. It's gaining ground. We used to be a country that respected different beliefs and cultures. Now we make new laws and punish those that disagree. No I'm not trying to rant here, just sad that this is the country that we leave our children. I'm sad that we are reading page by page out of every playbook on how to destroy our way of life. I am sad that tolerance and bigotry have changed from meaning that we respect and allow other beliefs to a new meaning of everyone must have the same beliefs.

There's a very basic concept that has been made clear to me in these new laws. You cannot give one group rights by taking them away from another group. That is what we are doing and that is not what we are supposed to be about. You must always seek to represent and help all people, not just certain groups. You certainly never trump basic founding rights for new rights. That's where SCOTUS is not doing their job. They should throw anything out that violates the Constitution and there are an awful lot of things in some laws that go directly against religious freedom. Funny how congress shall make no law establishing a religion has grown and grown to mean just about everything. But freedom to practice your religion has shrunk and shrunk to record levels. One is specific to only congress, the other is specific to everyone in this country with no restrictions.

I love engaging people. Love meeting all types of people and I have met some wild ones. The more different than me you are the more I am interested. I have learned long ago to take people as individuals. Yes, everyone can be characterized by their beliefs, physical appearance, etc. But until you talk to someone you really don't know what they are about. I ask blacks about discrimination, I ask gays the same question. I am generally interested. I have personal experience with being fat and it's very sad when you ask a fat person about what they face on a daily basis. I ask southerners (all colors) what the confederate flag means to them. I ask blacks what it means to them. I am more interested right now about what it meant to their parents before the witch hunt started. Yes I call it a witch hunt when ever mob rules. When cooler heads do not have time to properly analyse a situation and everyone just reacts. I love finding those people that are willing to talk, willing to have a mutually respectful conversation and exchange ideas. I spent an entire party once in college talking to a young man that claimed to be a warlock. Fascinating conversation and I really appreciate him speaking with me. I met a young man at military school that used to have a black bible, was a devil worshipper, and swears he could do some interesting things. Very interesting. I am pretty sure I spoke with a KKK member and would have been recruited had I pursued it, but I cannot be 100% on that. He was talking to me about the local Klan and I was just dumbfounded because I had no idea they existed in PA. Had some great talks with the toughest man I've ever met. A black dude from North Philly. He had 13 Omegas branded on his body and was photographed in National Geographic. Just a great guy. I really enjoy the history buffs and reenactors that I've met that love the Civil War. It gives me another perspective on the Confederate flag. People that love history and can trace back their roots to the brigades and battles. I've spoken with war vets about their experiences. I spoke to my congressman once. I had great conversations with Orthodox Jews, even got invited to a wedding and really enjoyed how different it was from anything that I had attended. Also fastfood Jews and Christians. By those I mean the people that just put in their time at the holy place, but don't really do anything else. Not an insult, just my own description to differ from psycho Christians, Bible believing Christians, and lying to themselves and everyone else but not a Christian :) I've spoken with military pilots, lots of military people. Those that have seen the worst in humanity, been on the front lines and lived. I've engaged drug dealers and policeman. I spoken with missionaries who give up everything to help others. Priests, Rabbis, not many Muslims. I need to meet more of them. I did have a great friend from Tunasia in college. He tutored me in Calculus. Mormons, spoken with a few of them. Had a great conversation with a nice Puerto Rican lady that was tired of all whites and blacks calling her Mexican :) Lots of Hindus and friends from India, I am in IT :) Brought my team to a steakhouse for a celebration dinner, completely forgetting the Hindus did not eat meat. You learn. Met a black guy from the Carribean on a plane, he was terrified of American blacks, was glad to be going home. I'm adopted and I've spoken with many other adopted people in my age group. There's a lot of us out there, at least before RvW started killing us. Spoke to a woman running a Chinese restaurant in Canada, asking her why after living there for over 15 years she still could not speak good english. Her answer was, no reason to. Great answer. She spoke Chinese at home and in the restaurant and her kids spoke english when it was necessary. Had a great message exchange with a homosexual that went into his history with the catholic church, thank you! Spoke with a gay guy trying to pick me up one night on a beach. Nice guy, not my type :) I spoken with the very rich and the dirt poor. I've had a lot of conversations online with homosexuals about their issues with the church and the laws. In reference to the current 'witch hunt' against Christian Business's he gave a great answer. He said that they tried it the nice way for many years, but no one would listen to them. Gotta respect that. In college I had a friend that was a butchish lesbian and we got close enough for me to grill her with questions. She answered everything and taught me a lot, thank you! I spoken with a man on disability that is afraid to take a full time job because he is afraid to lose his disability. Had an interesting talk with some hookers in Korea. I knew a great family in south Texas that were about the nicest people I've ever met. Had some fascinating talks with many Mexicans at MMA, some cowboys too. Had a very interesting talk with a cab driver in the Bahamas. Loved the orphan boys in Honduras. Online I debate, I learn. I express opinions a lot of time to just see how people react. I want to know where their heart is. Had a great talk with a Doctor in the ER, engaged nurses. The best talk I ever had was with my mother. She was in her hospital bed, dying, we both knew it was the last day she would be coherent, but we weren't saying. We spent the entire day debating Obama because it was right before his first Pres. election. We debated all the issues, she was very liberal. The nurses even came in and joined us. It was awesome, one of my best days ever.

What's the point of all this? Toot my own horn. No, it's to point out that we are a country of many different beliefs and ideals. We come in all shapes and sizes. We do a huge disservice to ourselves by enabling one group by punishing another. There are solutions that may require compromise, but can solve the issues and consider all Americans in their execution. Not just throw everyone out for a select few. I know we have a history of this, but it needs to change. We cannot keep appeasing one group of people by upsetting another group. We cannot keep allowing who ever is in charge to lift up their own and put down everyone else. We cannot think we are the only ones that are right, everyone is right and everyone is wrong. We cannot destroy religious freedom, one of our founding and most basic rights, to bring about new rights. We have to find a way maintain all rights.

Here's what I understand. Gay couples need the same exact legal rights as any married couple under the law. There is no reason for a gay couple to not be able to visit in the hospital, give legal consent, inherit, keep parenting children and everything else that married couples have legally taken for granted for many years. Although a 'marriage' may be something specific and meaningful, the legal rights they are given are from the country and the country has spoken that they want equal rights. (I would rather see it put it to a vote though, because I think that's the way things should be done). The law is for all people in this country, so there can be no differentiation between a straight and gay union. Here's what else I know. Marriage is a holy word to many. Sure it's not used as holy by everyone, but it is to a large portion of our population. It means something very deep and profound to many many residents of this country. If I was President, the word 'marriage, husband, wife" would be removed from all laws and federal documents. Everyone would have a domestic partnership and the rights would be no different for any two consenting adults.

While I'm at it, I would remove skin color and race unless a physical description is required, but that's getting crazy. See there is a way, if we try, to help as many people as possible. To listen to the needs of each and try to find something that can satisfy everyone. Or at least the best compromise. We cannot go on raising up one group by stepping on another. How is the country ever going to be whole. We are always promised unification by all the presidential candidates, but all they really do is pander to their base. Is there any true centrist candidate and by that I mean someone that considers all people. If I was Pres. I would have a cabinet full of people to represent each major group in our nation. People that don't agree with me on everything, but are able to represent the people to the best of their ability and make sure that any laws I passed would not be at the expense of others. I know it's not always possible, but I would try.

No, I'm not running for Pres, to the two of you out there that actually think I have good ideas :) But I'm just sayin.....

The Christian Post