Wednesday, September 3, 2014

JV Kicks Varsity Butt - I'm Not Talking About Football

I normally keep my serious opinions to myself. I have close friends that I consider family of all political parties, races and religions.  I don't sugar coat my beliefs but I also don't try to cram them down their throats. I stand firm in what I believe/support but I am able to do so while respecting the right of others to disagree.  The day that we can't be understanding of another person's right to disagree with us will be a very sad time.  I do not believe in "political correctness".  I do however, believe in respecting the views of the opposing party, of every person's right to have opposing views.  I am writing about my view/beliefs.  I am in no way saying that I am 100% correct in those views and that anyone disagreeing with me is wrong.  I do not intend in any way to offend anyone. 

I recently saw a report in which President Obama referred to ISIS as junior varsity.  Anyone familiar with sports understands what that comment means.  Basically they are new players and their skills aren't as strong as the varsity players (USA).  From what I can see those fresh JV players seem to be kicking some varsity butt. 

For the record, I do not believe that everything happening right now is President Obama's fault.  I do not solely blame him for anything, I feel I would be ignorant in doing so. (Not passing judgment on anyone's opinion on this)  The president is the "face" of our country. He is our "leader" but I do not believe that many decisions fall on the president alone.  The president is the front man, the face that we lay blame on.  The person we love when life is grand and the person we hate when something tragic happens.  I can't believe every decision lies on the shoulders of this one man.  After all, if he was busy single handedly making every decision about our country when would he have time to play golf? (It's funny...admit you laughed) Like I said, I don't believe President Obama is to blame for everything.  I believe he deserves respect as the president of our country. That doesn't mean we have to agree with him but as Americans we should respect the position of president of our country.  We should present a united, strong front to the world, to our enemies, to anyone wishing ill upon our country.  I lay blame for the country we have found ourselves in on every political leader. Decisions are made by Congress, the House, the CIA, the DOJ, local and state leaders, basically every 3 letter organization within our country.  It's not the president's fault alone! It's our government, a government that is so big that they believe they know better than us what is in our best interest.  A government that thrives on projecting hate and dividing our country.  A government that has convinced us that instead of standing united as citizens of the United States of America we are a country of Democrats, Republicans, white people, black people, legal immigrants, illegal immigrants, etc.   I did not vote for President Obama. I don't share many of his beliefs on policy.  I have not agreed with many of the official decisions made by the White House. I believe that several actions of the president have been disrespectful to the parties involved and to the country as a whole. Do I blame the president? No.  I have no way of knowing that those decisions were his to make.  The president is not all knowing/all powerful.  I do not hate the president. The president pushes the agendas of the supporters that got him into the position of president.  They all presidents included.  I have never agreed with 100% of the decisions made by any administration/White House and I do not believe that I will ever see a day that I do.  I do not support bashing of the president.  How does that make us look to Iraq, ISIS, Russia?? Weak, divided, vulnerable, an easy target just to name a few. 

I have recently became extremely interested in ISIS.  Who wouldn't? The death and devastation caused by this organization is something extremely hard for me to comprehend.  How a group of people can be filled with the evil and hate required to commit these acts is beyond my understanding.  I do not believe that anyone is purely evil, I believe that there is  good in everyone but I also believe that the hate this group feels is so powerful that it has overtaken the good in these people and buried it so deep that they may never get it back.  I pray for them.  I pray that they will see the light, that they will see all of the destruction they are creating.  The hurt that they are causing the families of the fallen.  The fear they have created in millions around the world.  I pray that God reminds them of the goodness, compassion and love they felt in their hearts as innocent children and they realize that they do have the power to change the world, in a much different way. 

So, who is ISIS? I wasn't sure. I knew they were new, large and scary.  I assumed that since they were a new organization that they were weak.  Until recently I didn't see the issue with President Obama's reference to them as JV players.  At that time, he probably didn't either.  Who expects an organization to grow so fast?  Who expects there to ever be a day that Americans will be fearful of a foreign organization making a large scale attack on domestic soils.  9/11 was a moment that most of us felt would never happen again.  I can't bash the president for saying something that I was thinking also.  ISIS is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.  I had to dig a little further because that didn't tell me anything.  ISIS claims religious authority over all Muslims of the world.  ISIS is the new Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda actually cut ties with ISIS because of their brutality.  Any group that is cut by a terrorist organization because of their brutality is one to be feared from the get go.  ISIS emerged from the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and they follow an extreme anti western interpretation of Islam.  They promote religious violence and refer to those that do not agree with it's interpretations as infidels. 

Since 9/11 we are quick to judge.  There is a fear of Islam, with deep roots, in many people around the world.  We get a nervous feeling in the pit of our stomach if we see a Muslim person getting on our plane.  It's a natural feeling, but a feeling that we should fight.  If we look strictly at ISIS we will naturally form the conclusion that Islam is evil and every Muslim is our enemy. The Islamic religion follows the Qur'an.  Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable, that the purpose of existence is to worship God.  Muslims believe in God, in worshipping God, not gods or idols...the same God that I believe in.  So far, I don't see a reason for us to be terrified and full of hate for the Muslims.  The Bible that I read and follow says that people of all religions will be in Heaven, I believe that means there will be Muslims in heaven.  They believe that our Bible has been misinterpreted over time and that the Qur'an is the unaltered, final revelation of God.  Hold on a sec...I am Baptist and I believe that things have been lost in translation.  I believe the Bible but I believe that some things are interpreted differently than intended originally.  I believe the Bible is also open to interpretation..depending on what is going on in your life you may take a completely different meaning from a verse than I do.  A Muslim woman can not marry without the consent of her guardian and her husband then becomes her new guardian.  Do men not ask fathers for their daughter's hand in marriage and doesn't the Bible state that the man is the head of the home and the wife should be submissive?  Muslims believe the punishment for stealing is imprisonment or amputation of the hands.  Aren't we quick to quote an eye for an eye or that pedophiles should be castrated?  Punishment for adultery is 100 lashes or stoning to death.  I think that is a little extreme but I bet the rate of adultery is low.  And back in the day stoning to death was not all that uncommon.  There are restrictions on certain foods and alcohol is not allowed.  The Bible says not to become intoxicated..another similarity..  Muslums are not allowed to convert to other religions, the punishment is death.  Some versions of Sharia law do not support capital punishment for people that convert peacefully.  Death for conversion is extreme and I don't agree with that.  Yes, Islam is a different set of beliefs than most people in the US hold.  I'm Baptist and I can name a dozen religions that are very common in the US that I disagree with on some level.  I disagree with some Baptists on certain things.  With so many similarities in our beliefs and Muslim beliefs why are we so fearful of them?? Ignorance.   We judge the entire Islam religion based on the acts of a group of extremists that do not follow the beliefs of Islam yet claim to be fighters for Islam.  Does everyone know who Westboro Baptist Church is?  Baptists look at WBC and are ashamed that they attach the Baptist religion to themselves.  We pray that people do not look at them and associate their actions with our beliefs.  We criticize them for their hatred and defend ourselves against claims that Baptists are filled with judgment for others because one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch in the eyes of the world. Islam is not evil.  There are people filled with evil using the religion of Islam as an excuse to spread hate and fear just as WBC is doing with the Baptist religion.  This country's hate and fear of Islam is nothing more than ignorance..judging the entire group based on the actions of a small group of people.  We should not fear Muslims/Islam.  We should fear ISIS and other groups that profess Islam while committing acts that are forbidden under Sharia law.  We should pray for ISIS.  We should pray for devout Muslims and we should help educate others on the beliefs of Islam and encourage them to gain a full understanding before passing judgment on an entire group of people based on the actions of few.

I'm worried.  I read report after report of suspicions of ISIS being in our country.  Reports of suspected attacks on 9/11, of possible biological attacks, of 11 stolen planes that can be used as weapons at any time.  I am scared.  I pray everyday that God will protect our country, that He will open the eyes of our citizens and allow them to see that we must all come together, that we must all look past our differences and work together to protect our country and our freedom.  At one time America stood strong and proud.  We were united, we were proud of where we were and where we came from.  We were the big dog, leader of the pack, the biggest and baddest, feared and respected by all of the world.  We were the place that people dreamed of coming in hopes of creating a better life for themselves and their families.  The Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem meant something.  Now we are a not Americans. We are all people that live in America.  People that have nothing in common other than the country we inhabit.  I am patriotic, I remember the days when flags flew high and people bragged that they were Americans.  I hope that we see those days again, that our children will be proud to say that they are Americans and they are filled with the pride that was, in the past, associated with being a part of the greatest country in the world. 

"I know Jesus and I talk to God. And I remember this from when I was young, faith, hope and love are some good things He gave us. And the greatest is love."

No comments:

Post a Comment