Posts tagged ‘injustice’

May 8, 2012

Marriage Debate

by pastortimfowler

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lel4nd/6168801346/

I don’t usually blog about stuff that is controversial or things that people can possibly disagree with me on, but today I am going to. In my neighbor state of North Carolina they are voting on an amendment to the state constitution that will make marriage between a man and a woman the only legal and recognized form of marriage. It has been very interesting to listen to the talk about this issue. Some people get all freaked out about it and the arguments are often to the point of being ridiculous and even funny. My favorite is the one that says, God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. How silly is that? We all know that Steve was not created until after Jesus walked on water.
I figure that sometime between now and the end of the week I will get asked what my opinion is about this, so I am jumping ahead of the game and putting out my blog before I am even asked.
My opinion is just that, an opinion. I am not the final authority, although I should be. Things would just be so much easier if everyone agreed with me. My opinion is not really an opinion but rather a question. What has been the definition of marriage for as long as there have been marriages? Merrian-Webster Dictionary has given this definition for as long as it has been in print: the state of being united to a person of the opposite sex as husband or wife in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law. There is a 2nd definition that includes same-sex marriage, but it was added within the last 30 years or so. There was a time when no one would ever think of marriage any other way. For thousands of years that is what marriage was. If two people lived together, as lovers, that did not mean they were married. In some states there was a provision under the law called common law marriage, so that people who shared an estate for many years had certain rights, but it was not an official marriage to those people. Why do we need to change the definition? Perhaps there should be another descriptive word for same-sex couples who legally or ceremonially join as a couple.
If we change the definition of marriage because someone doesn’t like what it means, where do you draw the line? The definition of a word that is as old as marriage should not offend people. It was never meant to. I don’t like the word bald meaning no hair, so I think I want it to mean I have hair. Change the definition and I am still bald.
The real argument is not about a definition, but about civil rights afforded to two people who live together. Why not just change that law instead of the definition of the institution of marriage? I could care less if that happens. But we all know that it goes deeper than that. Marriage is something that most people relate to a religious argument. The only religion that I have personal knowledge of and its teaching about marriage is Christianity and from what I understand, it too describes marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Many of the laws in most civilized countries have a religious foundation, including murder and stealing. But many laws have no religious bearing what so ever. Traffic laws for instance have nothing to do with a religious teaching at all. They are made by man for man (and women).
My point is this. If people of the same-sex want to be legally equal in the benefits and rights given to a couple of opposite sex, then make a law to give those rights. Don’t change the meaning of marriage. It has meant one thing for far longer than this modern argument has been going on. Our country has a system in place to help those who are overlooked, by-passed, or even purposefully mistreated. Legislators can amend constitutions and correct injustice, but it doesn’t have to be done by changing a definition. We did not change the definition of slavery to free those who were wronged, we changed the law. A slave is still someone who is owned and controlled by another human.
So that is my blog on the controversial subject being voted on in my neighboring state. Remember that I said that it would be better if everyone agreed with me. Don’t make things difficult, just agree. And by agree, I mean, think like me, act like me, be like me. Later I may try to come up with a word that we can use for same-sex unions that I like. Until then, I will only use marriage to describe a man and a woman, legally able to file taxes as married people. Don’t be hatin’; its my blog.

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April 6, 2012

When The World Turns Against You

by pastortimfowler

9-7-4 Easter

http://www.flickr.com/photos/cobalt/5651018258

Imagine a time when everyone you know turns against you. Maybe you did something that you shouldn’t have. But what if you didn’t? What if you were just misunderstood? What if you were lied about and plotted against? What if everyone you knew left you all alone during the worst time of your life? How would you feel? You may feel a lot like Jesus.
As we get ready to fill our children with more lies about rabbits who bring baskets of eggs and candy, we have to think about the true meaning of Easter, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you thought that you caught a bit of disdain for the Easter Bunny, you are right. At least Santa has a hint of what Christmas is about, but this is pure fantasy and misleading. Easter is the most important holiday for the Christian. It is the single most important part of our belief. Anyone can die, but Jesus was resurrected and that stands alone among all other beliefs. But before you can come back to life, you must die, and Jesus did. It was a painful, humiliating death and everyone who was close to Him left Him and even disowned Him.
Jesus, according to the Bible was a sinless man. He never lied, cheated, or stole, never betrayed a friend, and never turned down helping someone in need. His followers spent three and a half years living with Him and following Him. They were by his side when the blind man received his sight back. They were there when those with leprosy were healed of their disease. They were there when the five thousand were fed with only a few fish and loaves of bread. They saw Him walk on water and calm the storm. They heard Him teach about how He was sent to earth to die for the sins of humanity and that He would rise from the grave.
Just a few days before his arrest and crucifixion Jesus told his followers that one of them would betray him. We all know now that it was Judas and that he sold the information about Jesus for thirty pieces of silver. But what we rarely think about is that if the truth be told, they all betrayed Him. On the day that He was arrested they all began to scatter. They went back to their homes and villages and to their jobs. Some hid and we are told that a few followed from a distance. At one point, one of His closest friends was asked if he wasn’t one of Jesus’ followers and he denied it three times. The last time he not only denied that He knew Jesus, but he cursed Jesus in public and in front of those who had Jesus arrested. Leading up to the day that He was nailed to the cross, most everyone who knew Him, was gone.
The day that Jesus was crucified, he was publicly humiliated in every possible way. The religious crowd laughed at Him and mocked Him. His own people, the Jews, rejoiced that Jesus was dying on a cross instead of the known hardened criminal Barnabas. He even had two convicted criminals hanging beside Him and one laughed at Jesus’ demise. Only a few of his closest family and friends were there and even then they kept their distance.
Even today I feel that Jesus is still being mocked. We have reversed the trend from hiding on the day of his crucifixion to many who claim to know Him hiding the rest of the year. Now that we are all safe, and time has passed, everyone feels safe coming out on Easter for an hour. We just hide the rest of the year in case there is some retaliation. But our coming out on Easter is only under the disguise of wearing new clothes that we call our Easter outfit. We also don’t want to get to close too this horrible injustice so we bring out the Easter Bunny to make us all feel better.
When the world turns against us, we often turn to God. We call on Him to save us from our misfortune and our memories are often short-lived when God answers. But God never forgets us. Even while He was on the cross, He never forgot that without His death, we would have to die. Without His resurrection, we would only rot. When the whole world turns against you, Heaven will not.

March 27, 2012

Justice or Self-Righteous?

by pastortimfowler

gun

Why is there not an uproar about the New Black Panthers putting a bounty out for the guy in Florida who shot the teen? I know that this is a horrible incident and that many were hurt by it, but what gives these people the right to put a bounty on the head of someone who has not even been charged with breaking a law? In America, we are innocent until proven guilty and in this case the man has not even been accused by law enforcement of breaking a law.
I am not a lawyer and I am not an expert on the particular law that this man is not accused of breaking. I am a legal concealed weapons carrier and in my state there is a similar law on the books that says we can stand our ground and defend ourselves if we feel threatened. It does seem to be a bit strange that we can shoot another person because of a feeling, but that is how the law is written. But by taking the course and legally obtaining and carrying a weapon, I do not automatically support and agree with the law. However, I am covered under that law, regardless of how I feel or others feel. This is not my fault nor is it the fault of the shooter in Florida. So why is he the target of such hatred? Where is the outrage not over those who publicly threaten an innocent man with harm, just because they disagree with a law?
It would be nice if there was not a race issue to be talked about, but only the discussion of whether or not the law was broken and if there is a disagreement with the law, then taking the proper steps to have the law changed. That is how a civil society should operate. But when we have groups making threats of taking the law into their own hands, we bring hatred into the picture and civility is left by the wayside. Sadly the race issue threatens to blow things into an all out race war. This bothers me.
Every elected official should be stepping into the public’s eye to stress the legal and civil ways to handle such issues. They should condemn any group who threaten to step outside the boundaries of the law and not back down until the public outcry is for true justice, not vigilante efforts to under mind the law. The media should condemn and expose anyone who tries to subvert the legal system. Clergy should take to the pulpits to remind the church of its obligation to follow the laws of the land and it appointed officials. Every law-abiding citizen should be on guard against groups who put themselves above the law and we should not stand for any of those who are supposed to speak out for the laws of the land if they neglect to do so.
My heart breaks for this young man who was killed. There is never a good way to lose a loved one. But I also feel bad for the man who shot him. Not because I agree with what he did. I was not there and I only have the reports from the media to form my opinions. But his life is ruined without the help of a group like the New Black Panthers getting involved. And I also believe that if this man acted wrongly, he will be exposed for it. There is a process for such things to work themselves out and I believe that for the most part it is a good and just system.
It is easy to understand the anger that can be stirred when an event like this takes place. But anger is not a means to destroy, but a means to make things right. God’s design for anger is to fix the injustice and restore things to it proper bearings. Human anger is often distorted and dangerous, but that is why we have laws and a system of justice. Ultimately I believe that no matter the fault of this situation, God will keep track and make it right. He is the Righteous Judge and no sin will go unpunished. But in some cases, only God knows the true injustice and in that case we must trust Him to make things right.
I pray for the families involved. I pray for peace and I pray for the truth to come out. But I also pray that those who try to take the law into their own hands would be exposed for the menace to society that they are. They are not seeking justice. They are claiming to be self-righteous and only God can do that.

November 16, 2011

Please Keep Winning

by pastortimfowler

Congratulations to Coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils for becoming the all time most winning coach in NCAA basketball history. Last night his team won the 903rd game of his coaching career and that number will only get higher as this season progresses, unless we start being more fair. After all, it is not fair that his team wins so much when there are so many other teams that are not doing as well.
There seems to be a more defined line between winning and losing teams these days. Winning teams always have more points and losing teams always have less. It just isn’t fair. I would like to see the NCAA put some new rules in place to fix this. They need to find a way to take points from the team that is scoring more and give them to the teams who are scoring less. This will make it much more equal and fair and everyone will be happy.
Right now there is a terrible injustice going on in college basketball. Teams like Duke are manipulating the system by using money and their continued winning year after year to unfairly entice better players to their team, thus keeping the worse teams stuck in a losing way. These other teams will never be able to compete as long as Duke is allowed to keep all the points that their players score. That is why I would like to see point equality rules put in place to even the playing field. Here is how that could work.
If Duke is playing a team that is not capable of beating them, and we know they can’t because we will continually tell them that they can’t so soon that will quit trying, that team will get the first 36% of the points that Duke scores. Now this other team should not worry about practice anymore either because this system will fix the inequalities. If that 36% is not enough for the other team to tie, and that is all we really want is for everyone to be the same, then for every basket Duke scores, the points will be divided according to how much the NCAA decides it is needed. Also if the other teams players should decide not to play anymore because of this unfairness, then Duke’s players should be made to finish the game for the other team.
We will also need to address the height thing too. Many players on other teams are not as tall as Duke’s players. This in not fair. Players who are less fortunate than those tall players should have options to make things fair too. Short players should be able to either lower the goal that they are shooting at, use a ladder that is wheeled to them, preferably by a Duke player, use a trampoline to provide extra height of his jumps, or it would just be easier for Duke’s players not to be able to try to block their shots and all the previous mentioned suggestions be available if necessary.
Duke will not be exempt from practicing hard and spending their money to provide top coaches and facilities even if most of their points are taken away. They will need to practice harder and score even more points to maintain the level needed to attract top players and staff to their program. Duke will be responsible for trying to keep the stands full of fans and the networks broadcasting the games even if the other teams don’t try. Remember it is not their fault that Duke is so good and they stink. Basketball has become unfairly controlled by corrupt winners of games and championships.
As far as Coach K’s winning record, that will need to be dealt with too. There are coaches who will never attain that many wins because Coach K is a fat-cat coach. His wins need to be stripped from him and given to coaches who have never coached in the NCAA or are getting fired for not winning any games. This is largely due to “Big Basketball” like Duke winning so that others can not. Perhaps Coach K should be fired and his wins taken and redistributed and a less fortunate “wannabe” coach put in his place to help make things fair.
Fairness and equality will make basketball a game that anyone can play and all teams compete at the same level. Although TV revenue will drop dramatically due to the predictable outcome of every game, money will be taken from other more successful programming that is unfairly being watched.
Coach K…PLEASE KEEP WINNING!