Yes, I believed I served in Vietnam to protect Freedom in America. (3rd TFW, PACAF, Bien Hoa RVN)
Yes, I have a son who was born deaf as a result of my exposure to Agent Orange. (3rd TFW, PACAF, Bien Hoa RVN – Ranch Hands Squadron)
Yes, I carry the internal scars and personality defects of this experience.
However, without this experience I would not be able to recognize the truth involved in that war and others, nor would I be the person I am today, both the good and the bad. Nor would I carry a wrenching knot in my stomach watching a corrupt and immoral gaggle of low-lifes attacking Americans to steal their God-Given Unalienable Rights; the rights that I, in effect, took a bullet for.
Yes, I believe in a strong military for the very reasons that our Founding Fathers did when they acknowledged the Militia internally and a Navy to guard our shores. The reason for this is so that we do not have war.
However, the military when used to promote war for material gain of those in power at the expense of the loss of well-intentioned young Americans and disruptions of human love is despicable.
The sight of middle-class Americans rallying to protest overtaxing, overspending, Wall Street bailouts, and government-directed health care scares the bejeezus out of a lot of people. The elite media are full of stories declaring the Tea Partiers to be racists, John Birchers, Glenn Beck zombies, and God knows what. So it’s a relief to read a sensible discussion (subscription required) by John Judis, the decidedly leftist but serious journalist-historian at the New Republic. Once the managing editor the journal Socialist Revolution, Judis went on to write a biography of William F. Buckley Jr. and other books, so he knows something about ideological movements in the United States. Judis isn’t happy about the Tea Party movement, but he warns liberals not to dismiss it as fringe, AstroTurf, or a front group for the GOP:
But the Tea Party movement is not inauthentic, and—contrary to the impression its rallies give off—it isn’t a fringe faction either. It is a genuine popular movement, one that has managed to unite a number of ideological strains from U.S. history—some recent, some older. These strains can be described as many things, but they cannot be dismissed as passing phenomena. Much as liberals would like to believe otherwise, there is good reason to think the Tea Party movement could exercise considerable influence over our politics in the coming years.
Stan Moody has served in the Maine State House of Representatives both as a Republican and a Democrat, pastors a small country church in Central Maine and served as a Chaplain at the maximum security Maine State Prison, where he ministered to inmates in the Supermax unit. He has authored several books on the state of the evangelical church in America, including No Turning Back: Journal of an All-American Sinner, Crisis in Evangelical Scholarship: A New Look at the Second Coming of Christ and McChurched: 300 Million Served and Still Hungry.
Moody has written several recent articles focusing on prison issues, including A Suspicious (and Lonely) Death in Maine State Prison’s Lockdown Unit, At Angola Prison, Does Jesus Christ Save?, and Maine’s New Capital Punishment Law: Solitary Confinement.
Angola 3 News: The Bible uses the word “prison” 116 times, and Psalm 69:33 reads, “. . . the LORD heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners.” Throughout the Bible, prison and executions are identified as tools of oppression against the underclass and dissidents, including the early Apostles and Jesus himself. The Bible presents the liberation of prisoners as a social good, as illustrated by the following noteworthy passages:
“Which executeth judgment for the oppressed: which giveth food to the hungry. The LORD looseth the prisoners.” (Psalm 146:7)
“I the LORD have called thee in righteousness . . . to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.” (Isaiah 42:6-7)
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me . . . to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” (Isaiah 61:1).
Although mothers are certainly the one tie that commonly binds all people throughout human history, it has been celebrated as an official occasion only in this past century.
The struggle toward what we now call “Mother’s Day” began in 1868, with the work of Ann Jarvis to establish a “Mother’s Friendship Day”. Jarvis wanted to encourage mothers to fulfill their unique role which could reconcile the division of so many families as another painful result of the Civil War. Jarvis wanted to expand the concept into an annual celebration for mothers, but she died in 1905 before the day became popular.
Ann Jarvis’ daughter, Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis is credited with establishing Mother’s Day in its current form, following the death of her mother on May 9, 1905. It is the date of Ann Jarvis’ death which was the motivation behind celebrating Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May.
THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.
My children woke up excited to get ready for school. They put on their green shirts, old jeans, and tennis shoes. They packed their gloves, milk jugs (for watering the plants), hand shovels and weeding tools.
Today was like no other day of the year. It was Earth Day!
The first Earth Day (April 22, 1970) had some 20 million demonstrators involved. Today, Earthday.org, which seems to serve as the central hub of Earth Day events, lists “31,464,418 Acts of Green and counting.”
Well, isn’t that nice.
Matthew Sleeth, an emergency room physician was asked by his wife Nancy, a question that would change his life forever. “What is the biggest problem facing the world?” After thinking of all the problems of war, disease, terrorism and poverty, he finally replied that “The world is dying.”
After much reflection and many life changing decisions, Dr. Sleeth released the Green Bible early in 2008. The Green Bible is bound in environmentally friendly materials: a cotton/linen cover, recycled paper, soy-based ink, and a water-based coating. It claims to highlight “over 1,000 references to the Earth in the Bible, (compared to 490 references to heaven and 530 references to love).”
There are many essays in the opening of the Bible by leading conservationists and theologians. In the sidebars, Wendell Berry and others are quoted to offer further encouragement for the stewardship of the Earth.
While the publication may have good intentions, there are some biblical scholars who (perhaps justifiably) criticize the Green Bible. Here is an excerpt from Laurence Vance’s article, “Is God Green?”
In May of 1850, 108 men from across the state gathered to rewrite Ohio’s original constitution, adopted in 1802. This conglomerate of 37 lawyers, 35 farmers, ten editors, eight merchants, seven medical doctors, and the remainder comprised of blacksmiths, surveyors, and millers, set out with a specific purpose: “keep the power in the hands of the legislature, and then tie its hands.”ii To do this, the delegates to the 1850-1851 constitutional convention authored constitutional provisions that left behind a “self-acting Constitution.”
The Ohio Constitution is special because it was passed in an era where the people of Ohio believed in individual rights and resented the authority that attempted to interfere with such rights,” and “had no use for any central authority.”iv This period in the state’s history has a familiar tenor: it coincided with the average citizen’s growing awareness of “the mad rush to rob the state treasury and heap up debts to be paid by generations yet unborn,”v and recognition that the legislature had become “the pliant tool of individual greed.”vi Much like today, this “mad rush” and “individual greed” involved bailouts and gifts to private corporations that claimed to be necessary to our way of life, particularly railroad and canal corporations.
In 1850, to put an end to such things, Ohioans called a constitutional convention.
Wednesday 07 April 2010 by: Dahr Jamail, t r u t h o u t | Report On Monday, April 5, Wikileaks.org posted video footage from Iraq, taken from a US military Apache helicopter in July 2007 as soldiers aboard it killed 12 people and wounded two children. The dead included two employees of the [...]
One would have to be a blind man to not see that America is fast losing the fundamental principles of liberty upon which our once-great country was established. And, without a doubt, the single biggest reason for this decline is the lack of concern and effort on the part of today’s Christians and pastors to resist it.
All over America, when one approaches our pastors and church leaders with the obvious decay and ruination of constitutional government and Declaration principles taking place in our land today, the response flippantly comes back: “God hasn’t called me to do that; I’m supposed to win souls and that’s it.” (Or words to that effect.) As if the call to Gospel preaching, evangelism, and missionary endeavor negates our responsibility as citizens of a free land.
Of course, this call to “win souls” doesn’t interfere with these preachers’ golf games; it doesn’t interfere with their family vacations; it doesn’t interfere with their active membership in whatever local civic organization they happen to belong to; it doesn’t interfere with their hiring of a lawyer if they are falsely accused or defrauded; it doesn’t interfere with their invitations to celebrity politicians for special church recognition on patriotic holidays; it doesn’t interfere with them going to the polls to vote; it only seems to interfere when they are personally asked to take a stand in the gap for our country’s liberties. Then, all of a sudden, they haven’t been “called,” or “God will take care of it,” or “Jesus is coming soon,” or “Religion and politics don’t mix,” ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
This weekend, Ohioans have been reminded of the brevity of life with the passing of Chief Justice Thomas Moyer. We mourn his passing but celebrate his service.
While we are reminded of life’s shortness on earth, those of us of the Christian faith are reminded every Sunday, but especially this Sunday, of the resurrection power of God.
Personally, this is my favorite time of the year. The pressures of life can be staggering but watching the world come to life after the long winter energizes me. But most importantly, being reminded of the most precious Gift we’ve been given and the power the Truth and the Life has over death is a thought that can encourage us all.
As we take some time as a family to reflect and rejoice together, I wish each of you a joyous time together as well.