Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Does Anything Grow Between a Rock and a Hard Spot?

An entry to my personal journal written on 1 November, 2015.

I see on the news that the world is deep in an immigration/refugee crisis. Now don’t make the mistake of assuming that I am not compassionate towards the plight of these people and their circumstances. I am very aware of their tribulations and I am compassionate toward their care and fate. But I can’t help but think of those receiving nations and the troubles that are just beginning; being overburdened by the needs of these immigrants/refugees. You see, there is a difference in my mind between that of an immigrant versus a refugee. Immigrants choose to leave their native country and refugees are forced out due to war or other tragedy.

There is a lot of talk throughout the world about these receiving countries opening their borders and allowing “uncontrolled immigration”. They are being called racist if they don’t just open their borders and allow free or “uncontrolled” entrance. So many are cowering to this demand to allow them in without being able to care for them. I am really surprised that those people condemning a controlled immigration or entrance can’t, don’t or won’t see the obvious problems of uncontrolled immigration or entrance. No I am not really surprised, just astonished more precisely.

These immigrants and/or refugees come with nothing generally, but the clothes on their back. This is not to say that I am unfeeling toward their plight and what they are escaping from and what they are leaving behind. I recognize their harrowing experiences. I have witnessed many of mankind’s struggles first hand in my own world travels. And their plight has made a profound impact upon me and my love for my brother’s and sister’s and their sometimes horrifying struggles.

As an avowed, converted, and baptized member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I feel I am stuck between a rock and a hard spot.

So here is the rock. There are some thoughts in my mind and feelings in my heart that are creating a moral dilemma within me that I believe many like me may also be experiencing. I want to help and support the needs of these, our brother’s and sister’s. But I struggle when I see on the news of the ingratitude of many of these immigrants/refugees towards their hosts in the European countries or refugee camps they are flocking to. Many of them are single men or traveling without wives and children. Why? Where are their families? Who are they really? What is their motives for leaving their homeland? What is their motive for entering this country? All legitimate questions I believe. Questions that can better be answered through controlled access into the country they are trying to enter. Not to keep them out as much as it is to protect the country they want to enter, its citizens and it's resources.

So how does controlled entrance or immigration protect a country and its citizens? First in my mind is the security of my nation’s citizens and the innocent citizens of the world. Sadly, the world is a place where extremists will do anything to bring harm to those whom they consider to be their enemy. There is no doubt in my mind that these extremists are using the mass exodus of the refugees to plant the seed of their brand of extremism wherever they can land to cultivate it. For those who overlook this very real possibility or refuse to believe it by their own complacency are sure to suffer the consequences. Secondly, it seems obvious to me that the country accepting them will suffer tremendous financial burden in feeding them, clothing them, housing them, caring for their medical needs, and finding employment for them. (Or at least something productive for them to do). All these things I believe an accepting government should do for them in their dire circumstances. But these things are all funded in my country by the taxpayers. It is not free money! However, I believe that those who can, should. So, those who can I feel have a responsibility to help in these tragic situations according to their available resources. So allowing an uncontrolled entrance could completely deplete the resources available to provide for these refugees/immigrants. Then it makes sense to me that a controlled entrance will enable these resources to be planned for and used properly. Not simply thrown at a problem and hope it solves itself.

Now I recognize that most refugees or immigrants are not potentially dangerous to the safety of anyone. I understand they too are the enemies and innocent victims, of those who consider my countrymen and women to be their enemies. Perhaps my years of service in the military, training and preparing to fight a less than obvious enemy, has caused my mind to be jaded. Perhaps my experiences have hardened my heart a bit toward assumed motives of perceived extremists. However, I have been trained to stay alive and I did that during my time of service by being ever vigilant and not letting my guard down. Like Ephesians 6 teaches us about putting on the whole armor of God. I have done my best to do just that, and to remain ever vigilant in the cause to protect myself, my family and my friends from the fiery darts of the adversary. Even from whomever the adversary convinces to fling them for him. It seems, possibly, that I have not yet been able to figure out how to take the armor of the infantry soldier off or tear down the walls I built in order to do my job as a soldier.

So this all leads me to my hard spot. The First Presidency of the Church has released a letter encouraging members that we may contribute to the Church Humanitarian Fund. These funds are used to aid our brothers and sisters throughout the world who are suffering. This letter was released by the First Presidency relating specifically to the refugee crises throughout the world due to “civil conflict and other hardship”. They also encouraged the members to participate in local refugee relief efforts. I was also reminded by an article contributed by the Church News on the website, that several hundred early saints in Nauvoo were forced to flee their homes in the dead of winter. They too were refugees fleeing oppression, finding refuge in temporary camps across the frozen Mississippi River in Iowa. I have ancestors who endured this oppression, including the extermination order given by the hand of the Governor of Missouri. These are my ancestors who endured incomprehensible hardships so that I wouldn’t have to.

My hard spot, it seems then is to trust in The Lord. Trust in Him that those who contribute to the relief of our refugee brothers and sisters, if there be those undeserving of this contribution, for their relief, it will be to the blessing of those who willingly gave and to the condemnation of the undeserving receiving it. But that is not for me to decide. Nor for me to worry about. That is the Lord’s work. His responsibility. Not mine. And so to that, I support and sustain The First Presidency in their efforts to serve all the children of our Father in Heaven. I support The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in its efforts to provide humanitarian relief to those who suffer. I support the First Presidency in their encouragement of the members of the church to participate in local efforts to provide relief.

I do have a few questions though. These same folks throughout the world demanding open borders, are they also demanding that conditions change or improve within the native lands of these refugees/immigrants? What are these loud voices doing themselves to provide relief? Why is it unreasonable to establish a refugee camp(s) within their own regions, where relief and protection can be provided by and through multinational forces and agencies?  

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Somethings to think about!

If you have a couple of hours available, watch this video. Research for yourselves and finally think for yourself, deciding how you want to participate in your own future. I am afraid that it is going to require more courage than I have ever displayed in my entire life to stand up for my rights. My God given rights. No one else will do it for me. No one else can do it for me. God bless America, and may he preserve the Constitution of the United States. He will only preserve it through the righteous efforts of those who acknowledge His hand in all things.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Power Mongers

I am growing ever more annoyed everyday at the hatred towards one another, or one group or the other.

It seems that if someone who does not have the same opinion as the other, then the fight is on. Who can be the loudest? Who can overpower whose belief without regard for their right to have a differing opinion. Who can gain control (power) and exercises dominion over others? Who can embarrass and/or ruin the credibility of another?

It has become the national pastime to create a divide between our people in this country.

People are describe by something that sets them apart from others. Black Americans, white Americans, Mexican Americans, gay and lesbian. Our political organizations wreak the most havoc. Of course they are at the root of all evil in this country. Republicans vs Democrats is not good enough for those who desire absolute control.

We have divisions within the divisions, liberal democrats and conservative republicans. I listen to the Bill O'Rielly's and the Allen Combs' and sometimes get fired up when they spew their opinions all over the airwaves. I do have to express that I agree that there are groups who would love nothing more than to gain absolute control of this land to exercises their form of "ism". Which in my opinion they would like nothing more than to rid our land of religion and ridicule those who believe in a higher power, and make it illegal to believe. Some would love to take my guns from me, others think home protection comes with a cyclic rate of 300 rounds per minute. There are also those who would like nothing more than to see this country fail. Some of those people hold political office.

Those folks have made it "cool" to be loud and in your face. "Screw the man. Rules and morals are only holding us back. No one should be able to tell me what to do." I truly believe that people are becoming extreme in their politics, lifestyles, appearance because society is breeding the position that popular and/or cool, (depending on your age), are living alternatively to a disciplined, thoughtful, respectful, in-control life.

It is either being fed by our political leadership or they are buying into what is being shoved in our faces by a loud few who have access to producing our media. Either way life has become chaotic, hectic, antagonistic, hateful, and down right dangerous.

Now the original point I wanted to make with this blog post, is that so called leaders today have only their own agendas/interests in mind. All we hear in the media is "the democratically controlled congress", the far left, the extreme right, and so on. Each group is stuck on themselves and their positions of "my way is the only way." Each group or group representative can say nothing without attempting to make their opposition look bad. All this is an attempt to sway opinion toward their control. Each election is a war of who will control Capital Hill, not for the good of the people, but for the good of their agenda.

No longer are our leaders serving the people. No longer do our leaders represent their constituents. They don't even consider what they might think. They don't consider the position they hold is a position of duty and responsibility, but a position of power. A few of you may know what I mean when I use the phrase "kingmen". This way of doing things has hypnotized Americans into complacency. "What can I do about it now that he/she is in Washington?"

If our elected officials are not exercising their authority, that we gave them, on our behalf, the way we think, feel, believe, know. Then it is our responsibility to raise the roof. We can control Washington. We do this by getting involved. Get educated about issues and candidates. Vote! If you have something to say beneficial to our pursuit of happiness, say it! If you are concerned about issues, talk to your congressional representatives. If your rep does not do as they said they would. Use your absolute power as a citizen and hold them accountable, and vote them out.

Our elected officials work for us. We pay their salaries. We reap the benefits for their good decisions, and pay the consequences for their wrong decisions. Stop our taxes being used for frivolous crap. Stop our jobs from being sent to foreign countries, stop being a nation of consumers and begin again to be a nation of producers. And take accountability for your own mistakes as-well.  

Saturday, March 15, 2008

YouTube - Jeremiah Wright - Hillary Clinton ain't never been called... - Jeremiah Wright - Hillary Clinton ain't never been called...

I find it ironic that a man who professes to be a man of God, decides to present his sermon in an antagonistic and irreverent way. Is his church his church, or His Church? Does he honestly think he is preaching as Christ did or would have? Does the reverend believe that Christ taught with anger and hostility?

I'm unsure where the reverend in this video came to the understanding that Christ was a black man. My knowlege rests on the fact the Savior of this world was born into a family who can trace their ancestry to the Ancient king of Israel, King David. A poor family yes. But from a family of the tribe of Judah, one of the 12 tribes of Israel. Not to mention He is known as "King of the Jews". Being a Jew does not make you black. Jesus Christ's earthly lineage can be traced back to the first man Adam. Who was created in the image of God. The Savior of the world being created by our Father in Heaven, being born of Mary.
The reverend makes an assumption as he sees it, that rich white people are the controllers and oppressors in this world. Are only they who are of "european" ancestry controlling and oppressive? Looking down on others. Yes in fact. the Roman Empire was brutal and ruthless and conquering and oppressive. And yet of course this occured 2,000 years ago. And so because the ancient romans were the bad guys, so then must all white people of european decent be this way today? Never the less I suppose the reverend would be fine with the Roman empire conquering and oppressing the other white people of ancient England, Gaul, and many other countries of Europe. What of the conquering peoples whose skin was colored other than white, (the Monguls, the Ottomans, etc.).? Does history not show them as controlling?

Nothing is mentioned in the reverends sermon of the oppression and murder of Christ's people before His birth into the world by the Assyrians, the Babylonians, even the Egyptians. It obviously wasn't mentioned in his tirade because it would refute his theory that the europeans are the cause of the worlds history of control and oppression.

Truth is, oppressive control is exhibited by anyone who feels their way is not simply the correct way, but the only way. It doesn't matter what color your skin. Which is pretty much the reason that monarchies tend to not work. Unless the King has an eye single to the glory of God. Sadly mortal man has become carnal and selfish and power hungry. Attributes of a being who desires nothing but to destroy peace and harmony. Simply proving that a democratic republic is pretty much the system of gov't that will allow all folks to be recognized and heard. And I hear reverend loud and clear.

What Reverend Wright doesn't know about this white man of European decent is that I too do not meet the profile that he has established for leadership in this country. I am white. Yes. My ancestors are from Scotland, (a people oppressed for hundreds of years). However, I am an American. My parents, grand parents, great grand parents are American. I am not rich. My parents are not rich. We had only sufficient for our needs growing up. There wasn't much considered as luxurious in our lives. But my parents from a young age taught me to work. Nothing me and my siblings received from mom and dad was given to them/us, it was earned. Nothing in my life outside of my boyhood home was handed to me. I have busted my hump my entire life to get my little, but delicious piece of the pie. I left home at 17 and started out in the U.S. Army as an enlisted soldier. 13 years later I returned home and started at the bottom of the ladder in the construction world.

I too, like most black americans, hate to be stereotyped. I honestly can say I work really hard to make sure that I give everyone a fair shake. I am fast becoming sick and tired of all the bickering and fingerpointing, the hateful speech about white america owes me... I recognize the fact that this country in its infancy thru its toddler stage built itself by the blood, sweat and tears of enslaved human beings. Those human beings were black men, women and children stolen from their homeland of Africa and sold to white americans. And because of this fact I am convinced that many black american families have deeper roots in America than many white folks who's families may have arrived here years and years later. I am saddened that my country has a portion of its history that is deeply rooted in an unhealthy and devisive practice which today creates an unhealthy and devisive attitude. I am not nieve. I know that there are many white americans who hate those who are not white. I have seen it. I have even experienced hatred towards me from black men, because of the color of my skin on several occasions. It's because these folks have been taught in their youth by a parent or mentor to hate, to look down on people. Or they simply have been deceived into believing that only what they want matters.

Do not hold me accountable for the sins of the forefathers of this country. I owe no mortal man anything except the fundamental respect that all men are children of a Father in Heaven. And my actions are being remembered by this Heavenly Father. And He will hold me accountable for my own sins.

I did not participate in the segregation of this country. I was raised in a melting pot. I lived and went to school with Native Americans, White folks, Black folks, Hispanic folks. They were my friends. The thought never occured to me to not include someone in something because the color of their skin. Do not think that I owe anybody restitution for a crime that I did not commit.

I lived in the south for a time. I know there are social issues that still need correcting. But it starts with the teaching of peace, respect, and love for their fellow man. Not by screaming and hollering. Not by spewing stereotypes and assumptions.

I have seen what preaching hatred leads to. I have witnessed myself how the spirit of contention can destroy a people, a country. Seeing the fear of what lies ahead shown from the eyes of an 8 year old girl. And because of the atrocities she has personally witnessed, that fear will grow into hatred. She will teach it to her children. Unless she is touched and taught by the spirit of peace.

I spent nearly 2 years of my life witnessing first hand how prejudices and finger pointing and hatred that began hundreds of years ago when the Ottoman Empire invaded a European Region.

I have witnessed how tribal leaders of African Nations seek power and glory for themselves. The destruction that follows when an angry and contentious charismatic leader motivates others to do his bidding is hell on earth.

Be careful Rev. Wright. Make darn sure that you are truly preaching the word of God. Make sure you are available to be taught aswell.

I claim no perfection in my life. I don't have all the answers. But I know where I can find them. I just have to remember to ask and be prepared to be taught.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My blog is nothing more than a place where I can put my thoughts and views down. My thoughts, views, and opinions are not meant to hurt or harm anyone. They are simply my thoughts based on how I see the world and how I view right or wrong. I am not affiliated with any organization and certainly my views are my own.

My hope is to present my opinion for people to read. Once read, I hope to receive comments from those who wish to rebut, agree, or present a differing view that would help me to maybe see things differently. A re-education so to speak.