Posts tagged ‘freedom’

September 26, 2012

Celebrity Stupidity

by pastortimfowler

The Freedom of Speech

Everyone loves a celebrity. We seek their autograph, their picture, and if you are running for public office, you seek their endorsement. But this brings to mind the old saying, be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.
Today I read about Madonna, (and I thought that she was a has been but I guess she is still a celebrity), and her endorsement of the president for the upcoming election. OUCH! She called him a black Muslim. She should thank her star on the famous Broadway walk that she is not a Republican who said something like that. Why she would be ran out-of-town. But, she is a not and she can say whatever she wants too and not have much backlash. But let me go on record as saying that I think her remarks are absolutely ridiculous and that she should apologize to the president and to the country. I will wait patiently.
Why does she have to call him black? He is our president. I never refer to any president as white or black or Hispanic or any other ethnicity. Is she a racist? If I were to call him black and criticize him I would be called a racist. Does she think that people are stupid? It is obvious that he is not green or blue. I thought that people were people and the color of their skin did not matter. At least that is how I was raised in my middle-income home with white parents and siblings. FYI…we had a cat that was black.
But, Madonna has said stupid stuff in the past and got away with it and it is her right as an American, even though she is white, to say what ever she wants. Freedom of speech does not limit stupid speech and her speech has been stupid at times. But as a celebrity, when she says something, people listen, even if it is offensive to one group or another.
Would it matter if the president was a Muslim? He says that he is a Christian and that doesn’t seem to be a problem. The Republican candidate says that he is a Mormon and I really don’t care. I want to have a president who stands for all Americans of every race and religion. If the president was a Muslim, he would still be the president that was sworn to uphold the constitution of the USA. Does being a Muslin or a Christian or a Jew or a Mormon, or an atheist change that? I hope not and don’t think so.
So why did Madonna say that the president was a black Muslim? The only conclusion that I can come to is that I can think of is that celebrity stupidity is still a part of free speech and as offensive as it may be and as stupid as it may be, she has a right to say whatever she wants in this great country that has great men who serve as president no matter what color they were born or what religion they follow.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!

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September 12, 2012

Blinded?

by pastortimfowler

Muslim Warung, Mt Batur, Bali

It is time to open our political eyes and put on the glasses of realism when it comes to Muslim Extremists. The US Ambassador to Libya was killed yesterday by Muslim extremists and our news media is talking about the US political system being messed up. This outrages me. What has our politics got to do with a bunch of extremist heathens who kill innocent people because their feelings get hurt. The US needs to wake up before we see another 9-11 type attack happen because we refuse to call the real problem what it is.
I know many Muslims in my town. Our church rented a building to worship in for three years from a Muslim. He was professional, respectful, and peaceful. He was not and is not the enemy. He and those like him are friends and fellow Americans. But we must draw a line of separation and clearly identify the fact that extremists in the Muslim faith are the ones who are killing innocent people, especially Americans and those who are not extremist Muslims. Remember, these same extremists even kill other Muslims who disagree with them. It is time to wake up people.
This is not the fault of Obama, Romney, or even Bush. This has been happening for centuries. Anyone who thinks otherwise is ignorant. This is not about our politics. This is not about news ratings. This is about murder of innocent people and it must be stopped. It is time to take the blinders off and see the real fault of those who are committing murder, not running for office or TV ratings.
Terrorism is a real part of our world. It has become so common that it has become accepted and some have turned it into a “plight of repressed people”. Here is the truth: Repressed people still don’t have the right to kill innocent people. Extremist Muslims are not repressed though, they are separatists. They chose to live outside the civilized world’s view of humanity and decency. They choose to use fear and threats to attempt to change minds and intimidate people to change their ways and beliefs. This reminds me of a quote of a previous president of the USA. Franklin D. Roosevelt said, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Americans do not bow to fear. We rise up and unite into the strongest force for good on the face of the planet. We don’t need media or politicians to remind us of the cost of freedom and the right to defend innocent people against terrorism and threats from extremists of any religion, Muslim, Jew, Catholic, Protestant, or atheist.
I believe it is time to take the blinders off or we may end up blinded by having our eyes poked out. Let’s tell the media and politicians to tell the truth and reward that with our loyalty. But when they politicize and twist things for ratings, we need to turn them off, tune them out, and not give them out vote.

August 29, 2012

Hateful Speech

by pastortimfowler

Speech is Silver

I saw this on Facebook today: Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate. When I read it I thought about our nasty political climate and presidential campaign and it made me think about these verses of the Bible:
1 Timothy 2:1-2 (GW)
1 First of all, I encourage you to make petitions, prayers, intercessions, and prayers of thanks for all people,
2 for rulers, and for everyone who has authority over us. Pray for these people so that we can have a quiet and peaceful life always lived in a godly and reverent way
.
Christians should really think before they post things on Facebook or anywhere else that are full of hateful words. I think that it is very easy for us to lose our credibility as the people of love that we are supposed to be when all people see or hear from us is hateful slams of those we disagree with. Some of you may quickly say that in America, we have freedom of speech, and that is true, but as Christians, we have freedom from sin and using hate filled speech is sinful.
Years ago, I got out of the Navy and because I needed a job to provide income immediately, I went to work as a car salesman. One of the things I had to do is learn about the competition’s cars. All car makers make a model to compete with the others, like compact, mid-sized, full-sized, and pick-ups. What you learn is that there are subtle differences between each of them and that a good salesman could tell you what they are. My boss told me to learn those differences, not to talk down about the other make of cars, but to point out the ways your make of car was better. For instance I might say to a customer, Yes sir, the Chevy does have good towing capability, but the Ford we sell will tow a thousand pounds more than that. Given the fact that they are both fine vehicles, wouldn’t you get more for your money with our better towing capability?
But for some reason, people like to talk about the bad stuff or the different stuff as if it were bad. I was told years ago that different is not always wrong, it is just different. That is the way our country was built, to respect and give freedom to be different. But in the case where different is in deed wrong, slamming that wrong publicly rarely results in change. That is where Christians need to remember the words written in the verses above. Whatever leader is in place, it is because God has allowed that leader to be there. We are to follow the laws of the land and to respect those who are in authority over us and most of all we are to pray for them. Romans 13:4 The government is God’s servant working for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid. The government has the right to carry out the death sentence. It is God’s servant, an avenger to execute God’s anger on anyone who does what is wrong.

So I challenge you to promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate. Love covers a multitude of sin.

July 5, 2012

Freedom Fading

by pastortimfowler

US Flag

I love our country. As yesterday celebrated the birth of our freedom, I couldn’t help but get a bit nostalgic. I served in the US Navy for nine years and come from a family where my dad was a twenty year Navy vet. From the time I was a child, I was taught to love our country and its freedoms. Standing at a baseball game while the National Anthem played, removing my hat and placing it over my heart was a regular event in my childhood. We would go to cemeteries and place American flags on the graves of veterans for patriotic holidays like the 4th of July. In elementary school I got to be the one to raise and lower the flag and was selected because my dad had taught me the proper way to fold it.
The freedom that we have here was earned and won on the battlefields through the years. Freedom does not come without a price and that price is a high one. But men and women from the beginning of our country’s founding have thought it worth paying whatever price needed to secure it. Every generation has those who question the times and fear that freedom is fading. Our founding fathers put many layers of protection into the documents of our government to help protect what had been won and to remind each generation of the fragile nature of freedom.
Today we are experiencing many things that threaten our freedom. People who use this freedom to fight against free markets and religion don’t realize that if they are successful, they could lose the very freedom of speech that they are using to fight what they disagree about. The attack on our free market society is one that scares me. The demonizing of people who own companies that hire good, hard-working Americans is counter-productive to our freedom. The idea that if you work hard and achieve the American dream of owning a business and having it be successful is somehow made to seem wrong. Instead, we are being force-fed that our country is about fairness rather than freedom. And, somehow we are supposed to think that fairness means taking what someone worked for and giving it to someone who does not work? I am confused.
I also worry about how our schools and local government make anti-American laws and policies. I am always hearing about cities and communities who won’t allow the flag to be displayed, even on the graves of veterans. Or schools that don’t allow the pledge of allegiance or patriotic shirts because they might offend those who are here illegally. That flag represents a country that loves those who come here for help and offer opportunity for all who are willing to work hard and legally to make a better life. Our schools are a place to teach children how to read and do math and science and to grow up to be productive members of a society of free people. Nothing is offensive about that and pledging to support our country and our freedom is not a bad thing. If we quit supporting what this country stands for, we won’t have people coming here for freedom…duh!
Religion is another place that I feel our freedom is being threatened. Yes, I am a Christian. I am a pastor and I have a personal attachment to this part of freedom. I guess the two areas that I feel most threatened from freedom of religion standpoint it the way we are being told that separation of church and state is a constitutional issue. It is not. That phrase is not in the constitution; read it for yourself. This is what the constitution says about religion and government: The constitution states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Separation of church and state was a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Danbury Baptists in 1802, talking about the intrusion of government into church business and how unconstitutional it was. Government is not to intrude in religion, not vice-versa. All legal citizens are free to participate in whatever level they chose in our government, no matter their religious beliefs.
Secondly, I feel freedom threatened by the bending over backward of our government to accommodate the Muslim religion and even to allow a perverted part of that belief, Sharia law, to override our countries laws, in some cases. Nothing against that faith, but that perversion of that faith allows for the killing of many people, including Christians. How can our government work so hard to suppress Christianity, which is responsible for more charity work all over the world than any other organization, and promote, often through silence, or making of special exceptions, a religion that kills those who don’t believe their way? I know these are isolated cases, but this is a serious issue that must be watched.
I am not in a panic mode, but I think that we should take a hard look at how some are attacking freedom. No, it is not a perfect country that we live in, but it is the best country and the most generous country in the world. I was happy to celebrate its independence yesterday and look forward to continuing the annual celebration. Freedom can only fade if we let it. Let freedom shine brightly for the world to see!

May 30, 2012

Its ALL Your Fault

by pastortimfowler

Different Sides

Now that Mitt Romney has gained enough delegates to officially receive the Republican presidential nomination, the campaign is gonna get nasty. If you think that what you have heard up until now was bad, wait for what you are going to see in the next few months. These guys better put on their toughest skins and hang on for dear life.
I would be lying if I said that I totally hate the political season. I do get tired of the lies that are told from both sides. I also get tired of the smears of a personal nature. I wish that the candidates would just say what they are going to do and how they are going to do it and let us decide for ourselves about their character. But there has to be some way of knowing about a person’s past and who they associate with. It would be nice if the media would research this and put out an information source for those who want to read it. But that won’t happen and we, the voting public, will have to sort through the slants and angles that is called the news.
I guess what bothers me the most about this time of year is how I am almost forced to choose sides between friends. I know that I often voice my opinion in my blogs, but I try my best to keep it civil. I also feel that a blog is a place for thoughts, feelings, and opinions to be voiced. But sometimes Facebook, and yes I know I post this on Facebook, is a place where some really hateful stuff is posted that is very stereo typical and often down right ignorant and hateful. I am talking about people who I consider in many cases, personal friends. But they use Facebook to say things that I have never heard them say in person and it is often very decisive. I have seen this especially in the political realm. Right and left hate blurbs that are meant to somehow make you seem involved, often make you think about who your friends are. If they feel that strongly about their point of view and people who view things differently, then maybe the friendship needs to be examined.
Right now many of you are jumping to the conclusion that I am talking about you. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that I care that much about your stupid rants on Facebook. I care more about what they do to relationships. I never knew some things about some of my friends until they made that one really thoughtless posts that said something that lumped me into the group of worthless, lowlife, scum that you were talking about. And I bet you didn’t know that about me. Maybe we need to spend more time talking to those who are different from blasting a stereo type on Facebook.
Here is something that I know about differences. They are healthy in a relationship. My wife and I are almost complete opposites in many areas. We have been married for over 30 years even with those differences. But I never post something hateful about something that I know that she feels strongly about. That would hurt our relationship. Instead I appreciate our differences and have found that they make us a stronger couple. There are some things that I am passionately against that she likes, but that does not make her wrong or lump her into a group of hate mongers. I have found that some of those things make her far better at dealing with some situations than I could ever do.
In our political arena, we have become so polarized that we can see no good in the other party. But that is not the way our founding fathers intended it to be. They understood that there must be checks and balances in our leadership and that if each party used its strengths, together we would have a great country, like the one that we are in danger of losing if we continue the trend toward total one-sided hatred. Healthy debate is a wonderful thing, but stereo typing gets you to the point where nothing gets accomplished. Sadly we see this in Washington today. And I am sure that you know exactly which side is the problem (HAHAHA).
I have learned in my years of dealing with life and relationships that there is never only one side who can take all the blame. Sure there can be a degree that is greater on one side than the other, but never is it completely one-sided. We shouldn’t let politics divide us to the point of losing our ability to listen to other opinions and solutions to problems that need to be solved. And if we can’t agree that one side’s ideas are right for us, we don’t have to throw them into the category of evil.
We just celebrated Memorial Day to honor those who gave their lives for our freedom. I served in the Navy with people from every walk of life and never once did we let our differences stop us from serving the country that we love. It is freedom that allows us to have our opinions and to voice them. It is freedom that allows us to be different and still be Americans. So be careful not to get locked into the polarizing speech that causes folks to choose a side over a friendship. Strong friendships are far more valuable than strong opinions spoken behind the screen of a computer.

May 29, 2012

One In A Million

by pastortimfowler

 

Four of us left out Saturday morning on our motorcycles for Washington DC to participate in the 25th Rolling Thunder, Memorial Day Parade of Motorcycles. This was my third time going and another guy’s 17th and the other two of them were going for the first time. It is impossible to describe what it is like to be in the Pentagon parking lot with one million motorcycles and their riders and passengers. We left out for our 410 mile ride to DC with anticipation of having some great fellowship and hopefully sharing Jesus with someone while we were there. At the end of our ride we were looking forward to a meal and a good night’s rest before the parade on Sunday.
Sunday morning we headed over to the Pentagon at 8am. When we arrived the lines of bikes stretched for what seemed like miles. We finally made it in to the parking area where over half of the parking lot was already full. It was barely 8:30am and the parade did not start until noon. So we got off our bikes and began taking pictures and talking to others who were parked beside and around us. We met people from all over the country and Canada and Australia. I don’t think the Australians rode their bikes there.
At twelve noon we hear the roar of motorcycles as the parade through the historic DC areas began. Bike after bike rolled out and the sound of the motors was like the name inferred, rolling thunder. After an hour and forty minutes of bikes leaving the parking lot, it was finally time to crank ours and head out through the parade route. Then another 20 minutes passed and the route came to an end. So we parked the bikes and did the tourist thing, looking at the different monuments and allowing the rich history of our country to sink in. After about two hours of sightseeing, the parade was about over. Motorcycles were finally ending the continuous flow from the Pentagon through the parade route. It was an incredible thing to be a part of.
All of this was incredible to see and hear and be a part of. The patriotism and fellowship with other veterans and the memories of those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom was worth it all. But that was not the most amazing thing that happened.
Out of the millions of people who were there that day, we met one fellow who seemed to be quite lonely. After an introduction and a short talk, he was asked about his thoughts on who Jesus Christ is. He did not know the answer but said he would be happy to hear anything that would offer him hope. He was told about the man who died for the freedom of humanity and the sins of the world. He appreciated the concept and related to what Jesus did. After a few more minutes of talking he asked to receive Jesus as his Savior.
Jesus was more than a one in a million. He is the only one who could do what He did on the cross. But He did it so that he could make a difference to anyone who would believe, even if you are the one in a million in the Pentagon parking lot for a parade on Memorial day.

May 24, 2012

Memorial Day

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hpebley3/3504265592/

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend, when we unofficially kick off the summer. There will be races, baseball, concerts and cookouts. Schools will be letting out for the last long weekend and people will be making their first beach trips of the year. Yet none of this has anything to do with the original purpose for Memorial Day.
The original purpose was a day of healing and remembering the fallen soldiers of the Civil war when General John Logan ordered flowers put on the graves of the Union and Confederate soldiers buried in Arlington National Cemetery . Over the years flowers and flags have been place on all the graves in Arlington and through-out cemeteries all across the USA where fallen soldiers are buried. Most big events like the races and ballgames have a special events honoring these fallen heroes and I am grateful. But unless you go to an event like that, very little is mentioned about the meaning of this day among the people.
I will be heading up to Washington DC for Rolling Thunder. It is a motorcycle rally and parade through the DC area to honor the Vietnam Vets and especially the MIA, (missing in action) and POW (prisoners of war) who were never returned. There will be nearly a million motorcyclist gathered for this event that tops it all off with a parade that runs through the historic DC area. This will be my third time going and each time has been a blessing and an honor.
During a political season, especially one where the presidency is at stake, Americans practice their freedom of speech like never before. As much as I hate some of the hatefulness of the rhetoric, I am reminded of those who died for this freedom and I have to be thankful. Even if you hate everything about our country and you are a citizen here, you have rights that are yours because someone cared enough to fight for them. Many of those who fought for your right to speak freely, will never speak again with words from their mouth, but they continue to scream “You are free!” because of their actions on the battle field that sent them to the grave.
When General Logan decided to have a day honoring the fallen of both sides of the Civil war, his purpose was to have reconciliation and strengthen peace. A flower on a grave will never honor a fallen warrior as much as you having the freedom to speak of their heroics will. We can honor their service by putting aside our differences for a weekend and speaking of the good that came from their deaths. We can say thanks to those in uniform who are still serving. Why not give them some flowers or buy their lunch or simply shake their hands and say thanks. Don’t forget those who served in the past who are still alive. Many veterans struggle with a deep feeling of not being appreciated for the years that they served. If you know a veteran, tell them thanks for their service.
We live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. The free are free because the brave are unselfish. Many of those brave gave the ultimate sacrifice for us to be free. They would want nothing more than for you to have a great time this weekend enjoying the freedom that they died for. But please don’t let this weekend go by without taking a moment to remember those whose gave it all so that we could have such a great place to live. God bless those who sacrificed. Jesus said, “No great love can a man have than to lay down his life for a friend.” God bless America!

September 12, 2011

I Rememeber 9/12

by pastortimfowler

Sunday was a tough day for Americans. We had to remember one of the worst days in our history. I am not one that thinks we should never see those images again, instead, I think we should see them at least once a week, every week as a reminder. For the most part I thought that yesterday’s ceremonies were tasteful and honoring, and I don’t want to get into the politics of it all, so I won’t.
For every bad thing that happens to us in life there are good that can come out of it. Sure, we can linger in the sadness and dwell in the past sorrows, but that is not what God would have us do. He gives us these things to strengthen us and allows us to help others when they face a tragedy in their lives. 9/11 was no different.
I remember 9/12 as the beginning of that strengthening of our country. The news channels began sounding the rally cry and Americans from every walk of life were united in the call to seek justice and to rebuild. There were no politics, no left or right, it was straight down the middle resolve to make it through this thing together. There was no blame or cynicism or conspiracy theories, just good ole American resolve to make things right.
I don’t remember how long it took before people started coming up with political agendas for their responses to 9/11, but the first one got the ball rolling for all the rest and a united America began to do what the terrorists had hoped to do with the attack; we began to divide. What the terrorists could not do, political motivations did. I am not sure who disgusts me more, the ones who attacked our country that day or the ones who attack it over and over when they point the finger of blame at anyone other than the terrorists who did this. This is not healthy for America and it only aids those who want to hurt us.
I know and most of us understand that there are people in this world who have a different belief system than we do. There are those who have no regard for freedom and the free market society that we enjoy here. I know that we have a great privilege to speak freely and voice our opinions against those that we disagree with. But there is a difference between disagreeing with those who oppose your ideas and hating them. I have heard people who live in this country and are citizens of this country say that they hate this country. Many are rich enough to do the following but they don’t…JUST MOVE TO ANOTHER COUNTRY! If what we have here is so bad, get out. Even poor Americans who hate the USA can afford to move to Mexico. If America is so bad, so evil, and so disgusting to you, leave. But they don’t. You know why? Because despite all of our flaws, and all of our differences, we area still the greatest nation this earth. And, if these same people were in another country trying to speak the hateful things that they say here, they would probably be put in jail or killed.
Thinking back on the events that happened ten years ago yesterday, I long for that unity in our country that was so evident in the weeks that followed. We are a great nation that when united can send a man to the moon and revolutionize the way the world acts and thinks. United we can overcome any obstacle thrown our way. But divided we will end up in a deep recession that causes people to be unemployed in numbers not seen since the great depression. It will cause morale to sink to all time lows and motivate nothing but hateful rhetoric. Yep, just like you see today.
I don’t think this is our country’s destiny and this is not where we will stay. We will overcome this just like we did on 9/11, ten years ago. On 9/12, ten years ago, we united as one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. I remember 9/12.