Friday, June 26, 2009

What a Wonderful World

Imagine living in a world where everyone was guaranteed to never, ever be offended. Children could go to school and never be called names, harassed, or bullied. Democrats and Republicans would always agree on every issue. Smokers could smoke wherever they want and nonsmokers would enjoy breathing it in. People of all religious denominations would respect all of each others' teachings. Better yet, we could create one world religion and call it Christabuddhahinduislamowiccajudaism. A woman whose sons and daughters are serving their country could proudly fly her nation's flag in her office.

You say that's ridiculous? What, you mean Christabuddhahinduislamowiccajudaism? Oh, you mean an American flying a flag in her office.

Well apparently for one African immigrant at a hospital in Mansfield, Texas, the American flag is offensive. And since this woman's rights apparently superceded all others in this workplace, the hospital upper management did what came natural to them, they put the flag where they felt it belongs; on the ground.

It is incredible to me how many people believe that they have a right not to be offended, and look to workplace management, lawyers, or the government to come to their aid if they are offended in any way.

As Christians, we should certainly never go out of our way to intentionally offend anyone, but we should not have or support the expectation of living in an offense-free society. There is only one way to assure that no one is ever offended at any time, and that would be to remove all forms of free expression, including the freedom of religious expression. We must never allow that to happen. If you think that sounds far fetched, then you need to realize that there are movements worldwide that aim to limit religious expression; particularly to label the Bible as hate speech. Once government is allowed to start down that road, there will be no stopping it. Do not let your guard down and be on the lookout for those who would remove any freedom of expression, even if it is an expression that offends you.

I am happy to say that the hospital finally got it right in this case and allowed the flag to be displayed. Perhaps that is because this happened in Texas and not San Francisco. The next time around, freedom may not be restored so quickly and painlessly.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Senator Kerry: Bad Comedian, Worse Christian

Senator Kerry,

It's time that you were called out, one Catholic to another. You sir (excuse me, Senator), have shown yet again that you are a Catholic Christian in name only. Your pathetic attempt at humor at the expense of the left's favorite punching bag, Sarah Palin, has shown that there is something deeply lacking in your faith.

How does someone call himself a Christian and at the same time wish for someone to disappear. Whether you agree with Sarah Palin's politics and policies or not, she is a mother, and wife, and a daughter.
Ephesians 5:3-4
"Immorality of any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting among holy ones, no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place, but instead, thanksgiving"

Rather than wishing for the safe return of Governor Sanford, you take the opportunity to wish for the disappearance of Governor Palin instead. In addition to your lack of statesmanship, you are a fraud and a liar when you claim to be a Catholic. How hard must your heart be, Senator, and why? How can someone who has been given so much in life be filled with so much hatred?

It is frightening to think that someone who could say something like this was so close to being President of the United States.

If it were just this one example, perhaps the case could be made that you said if "off the cuff" and didn't really mean it (the Don Imus defense). But when combined with your record on issues of life and repeated verbal attacks on our troops, it begs the question of where your heart is.

Governor Palin will, I'm sure, handle this with class and grace as she always has. Senator Kerry, you could stand to learn from the Governor about how to conduct yourself with the humility of Christ.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Anglican Church in North America

For my very first blog post, I will be writing about an issue that has given me a profound feeling of joy on a personal level; the formation of the Anglican Church in North America. For years, there has been a desire among many in the Episcopal Church to return to sound, Bible-based teaching and practices. I know this not just from reading stories in the news, but because I was once a member.

I was married in the Episcopal Church, and truly thought I had found a lifelong home. My children were both baptised in the Episcopal Church in 2001. In 2002, everything changed when a visiting priest was invited to our Bible study. We were reading a passage in the Bible that referenced the sinfulness of homosexual acts. The priest stated that "we should be open to all loving, committed relationships". When my wife objected, the priest responsed angrily that "You of all people [as an black woman] should understand. Your people endured slavery and are now free. How could you deny anyone the freedom to love whomever they choose?". Later in the conversation, this priest compared her stance to the stance of Nazi Germany in WWII.

We left at the end of the Bible study and were so upset that we didn't attend the church service that morning.

When the pastor returned from vacation, we told him what had happened. Instead of backing us up, he told us that while he didn't agree with the comparisons made by the visiting priest, he agreed with the conclusion; that the church SHOULD bless GAY UNIONS.

We couldn't believe what we were hearing from the pastor of our church. What he was saying was in direct contradiction to numerous passages in Scripture. I decided to do some research on the Episcopal Church as a whole, and discovered that the beliefs of my pastor was now the majority opinion of the leadership of the Episcopal Church.

"How could things have changed this drastically?", I asked myself, "and why didn't I see it coming?". My wife and I talked things over, and we made the decision to return to a church where teaching and doctrine are not subject to the vote of the majority, a spirit of "enlightenment", or popular cultural opinions; the Roman Catholic Church. The Catholic Church's teaching on sexuality and issues of life have remained constant in the face of changing public opinion. I realize that there may be rogue priests or lay ministers who personally contradict the teaching of the Church, but I can be sure that official teaching will be based on what is contained in the Bible and not dictated by Hollywood.

So now that you have some insight as to why I feel the way I do, I would like to extend my sincerest congratulations to all members of the new Anglican Church in North America, and say that my prayers will be with you. After reading some information on your website, about how correct teachings are being restored in many areas, I am confident that your denomination will prosper as more and more disaffected members of the Episcopal Church look for a new home.