Friday, July 8, 2016

Just Thinking.....About America

What can you say? How do you digest the devastating wounds that we are inflicting on ourselves? At what point will we see that the culture that we have created in this country is killing us from the inside. At what point do we realize that our politicians are useless to help fix the gaping wounds that are bleeding life out of America? At what point do we realize that meaningless arguments and the hatred spread from social media to the streets of our country is succeeding in nothing except for driving a deeper wedge between “US” and “THEM?” We are all US! We are citizens of the U.S. At what point do we realize that it’s not O.K. to continue to bury our heads in the sand and pretend that we don’t know our country is imploding? It’s not acceptable to say it’s not your problem. It’s not reality to say “It’s not that bad.” At what point do we quit blaming our broken condition on things that are irrelevant to the real problems we face? At what point do we realize that we have to turn to turn back to God if we have any hope at all of righting this sinking ship.
I have watched with incredible sadness and I admit overwhelming anger, the events of the last several days, months and now years. What I see is that death drives hate and hate drives death. What I see is that when you create a culture that devalues life then lives are lost because they are not valued. It is a natural, and seemingly obvious, conclusion. Maybe not? From the abortion clinic to the nursing home to the streets of our cities life doesn’t really mean much anymore. Oh we say it does but in reality we watch people being shot, we watch the news of officers being murdered, we debate whether our taxes should be used to kill unborn babies in the womb and then we yawn as we go back to posting selfies and discussing the Kardashians.

 I love our Police Officers! Let me say that again so there is no confusion, I LOVE OUR POLICE OFFICERS! I can’t begin to imagine and I won’t pretend to try and understand the pressure our law enforcement officials are under. They have to deal with stuff every day that all of us who sit on our high horses pretend to understand and feel free to criticize. They are asked to walk in to situations that require split second judgments and actions. Their job description is to run in while you are running away. They see and experience on a regular basis what many of us would not wish to experience even once in a lifetime. Those who are so critical of law enforcement tell me, when was the last time you put your life on the line for someone you don’t even know? Hmm…awfully quiet out there. These individuals are husbands and wives, sons and daughters, friends and family. They don’t have any desire to die. They don’t look forward to being shot or stabbed our assaulted. They don’t enjoy being criticized or hated, but they are willing to risk all of these outcomes to protect you and me. All of you who are or have been in some way involved with law enforcement THANK YOU!

Having said that, we also must address what is real, not just what we wish to be real. What is real is that there are bad police officers. Not all officers are bad! A majority of officers are not bad! A lot of officers aren’t bad! There are VERY FEW! The problem we face in our country right now is these few give the whole community a bad name. As I type this, I am broken to be watching the news of the Dallas Police Officers who were inexplicably executed in cold blood. Their crime? I guess their crime was to show up and protect the people who were protesting them. I admit that I don’t know everything that is going on in this situation, but it appears at this moment, they were killed as some form of protest of what other officers supposedly did. Maybe this information will change as the investigation proceeds. If it is true then why are they paying the price for the bad apples who aren’t true police officers, but thugs in a uniform? I can only believe that all of the faithful and committed officers out there wish to get rid of these criminals in uniform as much as anyone else. Why would they want their names and reputations damaged by these frauds?

It is so awful and absolutely unacceptable that we seem to be constantly presented with videos or accounts of young black men being shot by police officers. When I see what I see, the evidence seems pretty convincing that they are being shot down without legitimate cause. Do you know what the problem with my opinion is? I don’t have any idea what I’m talking about. I don’t know who is telling the truth because I wasn’t there. I don’t know what happened before these recordings began. I don’t know what the officers perceived to be happening. I don’t know if they were threatened. I don’t really know anything.

The sad truth is the loudest voices of hatred against the police are emanating from people who don’t know a shred of information more than I do. As hard and as dangerous as it seems to be to say some of those who are killed are killed because of terrible choices they made. It may not be politically correct to say, but it is true. Maybe we could let each case be investigated and allow those with knowledge to determine what really happened. If the evidence is as it seems to be, these so-called officers are guilty of murder. When it is true that one of our fellow citizens is gunned down, then justice must be served. If it is shown that the one who was killed is at fault then we must face that reality also and put the blame where the blame is justified.

There are more than a few of my friends that look at these protests that are happening related to these incidents and are quick to criticize. They see anger and, at times, the destruction of cities. It is easy to dismiss this as simply criminal behavior. However, just as it is true that there are some criminal police officers, there are criminal protesters. There are those who are willing to destroy their own communities, not to truly protest anything, but just because they can. Sensible people of any racial background cannot believe the destruction of neighborhoods, businesses and property are productive ways to make their voices heard. Murdering innocent police officers is no more justifiable as a tactic as the incidents that are supposedly being protested. Sometimes criminals are just being criminals.

However, we CANNOT use the activity of criminals to outshine those who are protesting for what may very well be a justifiable cause. If people of any color are being shot unjustifiably then a protest at the very least is in order. If my son or daughter was shot for no reason, mistaken reason or even worse criminal reason, I would, most certainly, protest as well. I would likely demand justice and not stand down until I received justice. Why is that so hard to understand? We are all the same and we would probably react in similar fashion. It’s true right? Be honest.

Here’s the thing. When all is said and done there is an answer for all of this that very few are willing to hear. The answer is Jesus Christ. Anyone who has truly studied the Word of God and understands what it teaches about love, hope, reconciliation and peace knows that this is the answer. I know this opinion is easily mocked and ridiculed. However, what I also know is that in Christ there is no white, black, Hispanic or any other racial separation. There are only sons and daughters of the Living God. I love our country. I am praying that God will visit us again and help us to pull out of the mess we have made. I am not concerned with what anyone thinks about my answer to all of this. It is reality. I think for the believer in Christ there is no more time to worry about what people think, we must pray, we must love, we must preach the good news of Jesus Christ. It is our only hope.

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