Friday, August 29, 2008

What a blessing...

Some people are put in your lives to enrich and embolden you. That was definitely my grandmother. She taught me many little things- some of them trivial in nature but always with a moral. Whether it was playing cards and not cheating, even if you are playing solitaire and no one will know, or doing your chores right the first time not the fastest time.

She was an amazing woman who raised 6 amazing children. She was hard headed- I think that is where I get it from that and my ability to grow long nails in a week! She was a loving person and I love her very much. I am proud to have some of her amazing characteristics.

I think about her from time to time and see how many lives she affected just by raising 6 children- how many families have started from there and how much good she is still doing through the values she taught her children that were passed to her grand and great-grandchildren. I hope one day my life can be looked at as having such a great influence on others through my family. That is probably the best testament of a life.

So for now, I will look at the lives living on in her memory and watch children grow up and flourish all because of my grandparents and how they raised a family.

I miss you and I love you Grandmama B

Monday, August 18, 2008

Oh China....

Why does this not surprise me at all?,2933,405187,00.html

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Kim for President....

This morning I heard the Tyson story on the radio and heard many callers defending both sides. I was disappointed with a local radio station's responses to the callers and composed an email with my opinions on the subject.

Below is the email:

I agree that what makes this country great is the freedom of religion. You are not required to be a Muslim, Buddhist, Christian or Taoist. In countries like China, you are not allowed to express your religion especially if you are Christian. One of the things that makes America so great is the ability to express your religion publicly.

That being said, I agree with some of your callers' points. The man who wants to boycott Tyson has every right to do this. Just as a vegan has the right to 'boycott' Tyson for selling meat products. Why he boycotts is no one's business but his own and he has that right. By calling him intolerant because he does not want to support a company that has adopted a Muslim holiday, which he disagrees with, is intolerance at its core.

To truly be tolerant, you must tolerate other's behavior regardless of how you feel about their actions or even inactions. Being tolerant does not imply or suggest acceptance or approval of a behavior. It simply means recognizing a difference in behavior or attitude and respecting it. I find it hypocritical when someone calls another intolerant. To truly be tolerant, you must tolerate intolerance. This morning, it was proven that the morning show is not tolerant of intolerance. I respect your right to be intolerant and hypocritical; however I feel the need to point out that your intolerance negates any valid point you may have because you have proven yourselves hypocritical.

America was founded on Christian ideals. The pilgrims came to this “new” land to express their religion (Christianity) in the manner in which they chose. They were oppressed in England by the Roman Catholic Church. In the Bill of Rights, Amendment one states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This is one of the most misquoted Amendments. It is not freedom from religion. This Amendment was meant to protect the English Christians from being forced to worship in the manner the Roman Catholic Church did. It was not meant to be used as it is today- touted around as ‘get out of jail free card’.

The point of the female caller who was trying to explain assimilation is just this (I believe): by adopting a Muslim holiday and subsequently removing an American holiday, the American culture is being disintegrated. We are assimilating to others’ culture and there by losing our own. Yes, we are the melting pot and we do say “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free…” But we need to preserve the American culture, our identity and our heritage.

Immigrants can come to this land with their culture, their heritage and their language. But to choose to live in a different land is to choose to adopt their culture. I am not suggesting they lose their cultural identity but I am suggesting they adopt the American culture. Much as I would if I moved to France. I would speak their language, use their currency and respect their culture. I would not attempt to make France an extension of America. Assimilation is not a dirty word. It is a sign of respect for the new cultural environment you, as an immigrant, live in.

It isn’t about Christianity and Islam. Tyson is removing an American holiday which was established to recognize the hard work of Americans- be it a Jewish American, Christian American or Muslim American. It is said by the U.S. Department of Labor that the American holiday “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” Tyson is replacing an American holiday with a religious holiday. This does disintegrate our culture. I fully agree with the idea of giving employees a certain number of holidays and allowing them to choose which days they will take off. It does not establish a religion nor does it promote any religion. Tyson is not the government therefore they could very well support any religion they deem worthy. However, I feel that removing an American holiday to make room for a religious holiday is a poor call.

Additionally, Jesus was not tolerant of sin. Jesus loves everyone regardless of whether they love Him. He went to the prostitutes; He reached out to the lepers. Did He go to them and tell them to stay as they were or did He go to them out of love and require a change in their life? No, we are not to be judgmental. No, we are not to cast stones. However, God hates sin. He does NOT hate the sinner. If you are a Christian, you believe that God cannot stand sin because He is perfect and cannot be around sin but He is anxious to forgive and willing to come to you. Jesus was not tolerant of the money changers in His temple. He overturned their tables and made them leave. He died for the sins of the world. No one wants to say something is right or wrong because it isn’t tolerant to take a stand in this world. Jesus did take a stand for right and wrong so essentially He was not tolerant- not by today’s standards. He does not tolerate sin. I am therefore proud of being “intolerant” in this world. I am far from perfect and try my best to not cast judgment but to be reasonable and come to people out of love the way Christ would require. I fail; I falter but I try.

One last comment on some of the callers’ views... The man who called and stated his wife is Muslim and he is Christian yet they worship the same God: The God of Abraham is not Allah. If you research the origins of Islam, you can see Allah is not the God of Abraham. Islam says Jesus was a prophet and nothing more. Yet, Christianity says Jesus was God who came and redeemed the world. How is this the same God?

There is a quote from C.S. Lewis that I love that is summed up by saying Jesus was either a lunatic, liar or Lord. Jesus said “I am that I am”. In that time, the Jewish people referred to God as the great “I am”. Jesus said He was God. He did not claim to be a great moral teacher nor did He claim to be just a good man. He told everyone that He was God. Therefore, the idea that Islam and Christianity worship the same God is false. He was either God, a lair claiming to be God or crazy. One thing He could not be is just a great moral teacher if He knew He was preaching a false doctrine.

This is much longer than I intended and I am not sure you have even read up to this point as I am sure it deviates from your views extensively. It is likely that it has already been deleted and these words only exist to be read by me. But if you have made it to this point, I appreciate your time.



I dont really have many words for this. I am concerned about our world is all I can really say.,2933,397645,00.html