Tag Archives: freedom

We Have No One Else to Blame

“Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, their glory is in their shame.  Their mind is set on earthly things.”  Philippians 3:19

According to a recent ABC poll 83% of Americans responded that they are of the Christian religion.  That’s a pretty big number.  According to polls over the years homosexuals make up anywhere from 1% to 3% of the American population.  Yet the will being displayed in government and in pop culture is the will secularists and supporters of the lgbt community.  Now how exactly is it that approximately 263,000,000 people are being dictated to by 3,100,000 to 9,500,000 people?  How is it that people that call themselves Christians allow the society they live in to become so ungodly that now as recently as just yesterday a Christian bureaucrat was thrown in jail because she would not issue marriage certificates to gay couples because it violated her conscience?

I’ll tell you how it happens and if you’re as angry as I am the first place you need to look is in your bathroom mirror.  You need to look there and get angry at the person you see staring back at you because that’s the person that let this happen.

I once heard my pastor say that the most popular face in the church is George Washington.  Because when the offering plate gets passed around that’s normally the only face you see in it.  The fact is that we have become a perverse church who’s god is in their belly.  Hey I’m just as guilty as anyone else so don’t think I’m up here on a soap box lecturing and pretending that I’m above this.

We show where our loyalties lie when we won’t come off with our cash.  We throw ol’ George Washington in the offering plate when we make $400/week.  We say we can’t afford anymore than that because of bills but our bills are things like the fully loaded cable package that we can’t live without or the 3 gallons of ice cream we have in the freezer.  Don’t make up excuses.  If you created a line item budget showing how much money comes in and how much money goes out and exactly what it’s going toward I’m 100% certain that every single one of us will find that we pay a lot of money for things that we don’t need and then turn around and act as though those things are necessities.  Meanwhile back at the ranch the damned farm is burning down and we let it happen.

What I mean is look at the amount of money that lgbt groups and secular progressives have spent on campaigns to change minds and look at how much money we have spent to change minds.  Try getting around town on 1$ in gas.  You won’t get very far and yet we try to accomplish the exact same thing as Christians.  We want to give like Ebeneezer Scrooge and expect to reap over flowing harvests.  But the woeful fact of the matter is that he who sews sparingly the same reaps sparingly.  And brother when we sew sparingly in our nation today we begin to see the deliberate and cruel treatment of Christians right out in the open even though we supposedly make up the majority.

Our gods are our bellies.  That’s the sad fact here in America.  We have placed money on a pedestal.  Paul called the love of money the root of all evil because he knew what we need to know and that is that money is a servant and it serves the desires of the person who has it.  We spend it to “get” things.  The modern church in America has become a black hole of desire.  We don’t want to come off with anymore than we have to because the rest of that money is like our own little fix.  It’s like our own little morphine drip.  We have become junkies and let our country go to hell on a moped.

Wake up Church of America.  We will soon find ourselves in quite a spot if we don’t change our ways.  I mean it’s already here.  Christians are being dragged into court and fined more money than it takes most people several years and sometimes a decade to earn.  Christians being thrown in jail and told to comply or else.  Like Solomon once said “Only a fool sees trouble coming and does not prepare themselves.”  Change your ways or else you’ll pay more than it would have cost you to save yourself.


What Being an American Means to Me.

Sometimes I feel like I am alone and I wonder if there are people out there like me.  What I mean is that I feel so disconnected from from our current cultural, political and philosophic ideas of what it means to be an American.  I was born here and yet I don’t always feel like I fit into the mold of what many people consider to be what it means to be an American.

Today you have to wave a flag or throw your support behind the democrats or the republicans.  You have to gush at the service of military members because that is what is considered socially acceptable.  To be an American you have to love our military which is being used by a corrupt and evil government and if you don’t then you are a borderline traitor…..You’re an ingrate.  And I never said anything about disrespecting or disliking.  I just said that to many people if you are not gushing at every opportunity to lift the police up like they are demi-gods or the military as though they are legendary folk heroes then you are looked at like you’re Judas.  But let me tell you what being an American means to me.  If there is any ounce of patriotism left in my bones it lies in these things.

To me being an American means that you don’t hesitate when you see someone in trouble to stop what you’re doing and see if there is anything you can do to help.  To me being an American means that you’re interested in working hard and playing harder.  It means that you enjoy spending time with other Americans and talking about sports, or cars, or art or television and by doing so you have become a part of their lives and you have made a bond with them over something that seems so silly.  Being an American means that you think about the sacrifices that our great grandfather’s, great grandfathers made.  You are proud of the good things we did and you sincerely regret the bad things we did.

To me being an American means that you are practical and you loan out trust like a loan from the bank and you’re willing to give people a chance but it also means that you protect yourselves and  your family from those who might do you harm.  It means that we protect those who can’t protect themselves.  We look out for the weak.  We do what we can to help people to get by but ask that they help themselves to get back up as well…..and when you’ve done that they are expected to extend their own hand to help the unfortunate.

Being an American to me means that we’re dreamers, almost to a fault.  We dream big and we try hard to make those dreams a reality.  But sometimes when we fail we don’t see that although we might have failed to reach for the stars we were much closer to touching them than when we started and we expanded our horizons and moved into a new place of understanding.  To me being an American means that we become team players to help others reach their goals.  If there is some way we can help them along the way, a real American helps them out, putting aside their own personal feelings and sacrificing some of their valuable time.

To me being an American has more to do with the principles of God than it does the principles of man.  God made us free to love Him and so we value freedom even if we aren’t happy with the way people choose to handle that freedom.  Much in the same way that the father of the prodigal son allowed his son to run off into debauchery because he valued his son’s freedom we too value the freedom of our family and our neighbors to live the lives they want to live without us sticking our noses in it.

These are some of the things that make me proud to be an American.

Just Call Me Captain Paranoia

I have found that my views on things are constantly evolving.  As I get more information I reassess whatever idea or belief that I previously held in order to come up with what I consider to be a more accurate one.  Synthesis, antithesis and thesis.  It is this philosophical process that kind of guides me into the waters that I am now attempting to venture which is to re-examine my beliefs on socialism as well as (but to a much lesser extent) free market capitalism.

When I was younger I would say that I was unaware that I was a socialist.  I thought I was a conservative because I held conservative views on social issues like abortion, gay marriage, etc.  But in all actuality I was a socialist at heart because I held onto the view that there were ideas that I could implement, laws that I could create, and emotions that I could generate that would lead to a Utopian sort of America.  All of this in the name of God of course.

As good as my intentions were and as noble as they seemed I eventually read some materials that changed my mind on just how productive or good my actions were.  I had a friend who moved out of Ohio to pursue a degree at Indiana Wesleyan university.  On the weekends or on holidays he would come back home and we would hang out and drink coffee and talk about all of the cool ideas he was hearing about at college.  It was at one of these very chill coffee talks that he showed me a print off of a speech given by Nobel prize winning economist F.A. Hayek.

The speech was about something called “the pretense of knowledge”.  I often like to confuse the name of this speech, or at the very least smash it together with Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove or How I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb”.  Hayek’s speech was about socialsm, central planning, or whatever word you want to describe a left wing government.  The main theme in this speech was that central planning could not work because one person or even a large group of people could never have enough relevant information in order to make decisions on how goods and services were to be allocated so that a system could run efficiently.

This paper is really the one that revolutionized my way of thinking.  As intelligent as I believed that I was, I couldn’t have enough information to be making decisions for others because there were too many unforeseen consequences that I couldn’t control.  So my mission started to become one where I advocated for freedom from the shackles of government rather than try to contribute to a system of slavery and incredible inefficiency.

Now after about ten years of this way of thinking I have began to notice something terrifying.  It’s terrifying to me at least.  It’s something that can do the unthinkable; It’s something that accurately predicts the desires of people on a massive scale in real time.  This is a dagger to Hayek’s idea.

The other day I was perusing through some videos on Youtube.  After watching one particular video something caught my attention in the video.  So I decided to do a Youtube search on what caught my eye and I typed the first letter of what would be a four or five word search and immediately the obscure thing I was looking for came up as the first recommended search term.  What I was looking for wasn’t in any of the description of the video or video tags.  It was incredible.  This started happening over and over.

Analytics has gotten so incredibly accurate at predicting what we want that it is beginning to dispel the idea that we can’t have fast, reliable and relevant information in order to make accurate predictions about what people are going to want in real time.  This is horrifying to me.

I’m not trying to poo poo on you but people for the most part are generally not good.  When you give bad people power they abuse it.  There are no such things as fair haired angels.  It’s dangerous to give someone the ability to control our lives for us in our supposed own best interest.  But that’s exactly what this technology allows to happen.  I’m not against it, I just think this should put us on guard.  Because if our government starts to use the analytic capabilities that a company such as google has it could result in one of the most horrifying tyrannical dictatorships, if not the most horrific, of all time.

The only thing that has stopped the abuse of government in the past is the fact that when a government gets too inefficient the people will rise up and overthrow it.  But if a government can meet people’s basic needs most people are willing to hand over their other rights.  It’s important to be aware of this so that we aren’t sheep going to slaughter.  I know that the government doesn’t have this technology yet or else things would be running better.  But as Google and the government begin having a closer relationship don’t be surprised in what you see happen.  And when a big government has the capability of running efficiently, look out.  For now just call me Captain Paranoia.

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Making Chillicothe a Better Place

I have been thinking about writing this blog for several weeks now but just now got the inspiration or motivation to do it.  I have heard people in the community I live in debate about how to make Chillicothe a competitive metropolitan area on par economically with places like Columbus, or Cinci.  This might be a lofty expectation but I don’t have a problem with aiming high because you become more successful by aiming high even if you don’t ultimately reach your goal.

Even though I wanted to discuss the subject I couldn’t really find what I considered good timing.  That was until tonight when I saw a post on Facebook that a friend commented on which had a map of the state and the county that we live in last year had a record number of heroin and prescription drug deaths and was one of the highest in the state; even higher than Cleveland, Columbus or Cinci.  This seemed like the right time to discuss the state of Chillicothe and what our aims should be, because I don’t like the idea of people being in such a pit of deprivation and depression.  It’s costing our neighbor’s their lives.

A little while back I was reading an article that was posted on the Chillicothe Gazette’s website about how we can turn Chillicothe into a place where our talented people don’t leave to chase higher paying jobs in cities like Columbus, Cinci, Cleveland, etc.  A lot of people had an opinion and some of them sounded really smart or noble, but deep down they were built upon pretty flawed logic.  (It felt like one guy was actually stumping for a political office).

One of the more popular responses, which was getting a lot of amens from people was the idea that we should clean up the city, heavily fine people who didn’t take care of their lawns or had any junk laying around, make the city a tax friendly place to businesses so that we could draw them away from Columbus and keep our young people who are getting college degrees down here so that we can use our local talent to become a more dynamic community.  This had people swinging from the chandeliers and shouting Amen and Hallelujah at the top of their lungs….metaphorically.

But the more that I thought about it the more this seemed rather silly to me.  The first thing we need to ask ourselves is “Do we need our local people finding local jobs?”  Not all people who get a job up in Columbus live up there.  I personally know many people that are perfectly fine with commuting back and forth so it’s not like the opportunity to make good money while living in Chillicothe is a pipe dream.

Another thing is that this person never considered that there are a multitude of other factors in play that cause clusters of highly skilled positions to exist in Columbus.  It’s centralized location in Ohio is a huge factor.  I know several people in the horse racing business that love the track up in Columbus because it is a pretty equal distance to travel to the other tracks in the state.  It’s location is also a major reason that the state capital moved from Chillicothe to Columbus.

But I’m sure if we had opportunities for people to get good paying, highly skilled jobs down here, we could get people to stick around.  But let’s ask ourselves a question; is cleaning up a few cluttered properties going to cause businesses to suddenly spring up here or leave other communities?  Realistically, no.  Real estate values can have a small part in population growth, but frankly it’s just not a realistic expectation that this move will get people into Chillicothe.  But what it would do is restrict people’s freedom and take money out of their pocket .

Would giving businesses that move to Chillicothe a tax break give them enough incentive to move to here?  Possibly, but how big of a tax break are we talking about.  Because the amount of taxes that they would save would have to be greater than other related costs of moving such as a change in customer base or distance from customers..  And when you consider whether or not profit margins increase or shrink due to added costs that a move would incur upon the business, would a measly city tax break be enough to entice them to come in and set up shop?  Maybe, but like I said it has to outweigh the logistical benefits of being in a place like Columbus and it has to be greater than the costs of relocation or building a business here.

These things sound good when you’re making a stump speech.  But to me if you want to increase the quality of living in Chillicothe enough that people don’t need to turn to drugs to feel good then you need to start at the root of the problem, and it ain’t jobs.  It’s the people in the community that are the problem.  It is the collective will of the people that is the problem.

The type and quality of city that you live in is a direct reflection of the people who live in it.  What I mean is that the reason we don’t have a more dynamic city is because as a community we haven’t displayed the kind of guts that it takes to make a great community.  You want people to stop killing themselves with drugs?  Have a community of people that are fiercely passionate about showing them how much they care about those people’s well-being.

We need a group of people that want to compete with Columbus, and chintzy ideas about throwing crumbs to a multi-million dollar business isn’t going to cut it.  I’m not saying that can’t be persuasive.  I’m just saying that it doesn’t fix the problem.  The problem is the people, because ultimately that’s all a city is.  It’s people.  It’s people who gather together and decide that they want to live among each other.

We need to start being more creative.  We need to stop being greedy.  We want all of these businesses to come in and save us.  Guess what?  There is plenty of money in this town.  We need more creative financing options.  We need people who aren’t afraid to lose everything.  We need citizens who are willing to give up money to get money.  We want businesses and entrepreneurs to come in and save us when we actually need to be the change that we’ve been waiting for.  We need to start up private financing groups.  We need to create our own skilled jobs.  We need to have a killer instinct and we need to have a group of winners step up and thirst for the opportunity to compete with surrounding communities.

Until we can stop being greedy cowards we can never help those who need help.  Jesus said “Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.”  and “And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you?”.  We’re so afraid of giving up our money that we can’t do what it takes to create jobs.  We need to be the change we’re looking for.  God has given us every tool and natural resource we need to make this place a southern Ohio Renaissance.  I would love this place to be like an Italian Riviera.  I would love for this to be a romantic city on a river.  It would be a community that would have far less emotional problems which drives people to try to escape the bleak prospects that many in this community feel.  They try to leave their perception of their current situation and leap into a word of mind altering highs and physical euphoria because feeling something good temporarily is better than living with no prospects.

Who will stand up?  Who will join hands with others and form a core group of people who’s sole mission is to change the hearts and minds of others so that we can look at this town one day and know that we created a little bit of paradise on earth.  Who would like to know that we helped our brothers and sisters out?  Who would like to please God by loving Him and loving others as much as, if not more than, we love ourselves?  The potential is there.  But it’s like trying to find an object in a pitch dark room.  It could be half a millimeter from your finger tips but it might as well be 10 miles away because you can’t see how close you are.  We’re very close, but we often give up because we can’t see it.  We are on the verge of an avalanche of success but we just need some people to get it started.

Should Government Attempt to Preserve Dignity?

Geez there is so much to write about today that I kind of agonized over what I would write about first because there are a couple of subjects that are jumping out at me.  But you don’t need to get your violins out yet and start playing for me because I bit the bullet and I have decided to write today about whether or not it is the government’s responsibility to protect my dignity.

There is a lot of anger and vitriol over the recent religious freedom law in Indiana and since I have already blogged about this two or three times I won’t rehash those arguments.  What I want to discuss today is related to this law but it is not about the law itself.  It is about an abstract idea that it is the government’s responsibility to preserve the dignity of the gay and lesbian community or any of us frankly.

Many people believe that the primary reason that you shouldn’t allow business owners to refuse service to anyone on the basis of religious convictions because if you discriminate against them you are harming their dignity.  Which, I understand is probably the same way I would feel if someone wouldn’t serve me because they looked down upon me or my request.  I would feel like I wasn’t as important or valuable and it would make me angry or upset, etc.

Let’s say that I went to a restaurant today for lunch.  Let’s say that I am just minding my own business when the owner of the establishment came out and asked me to leave and proceeded to explain to me that because I am overweight that he couldn’t serve me.  I would ask him why and lets say that he/she said it’s because he/she felt like they would be either participating in my sin of gluttony or that he would somehow be demonstrating to people that gluttony was okay and it offended his conscience. I would probably be pissed off and my feelings would be hurt, but does this mean that the government should be trying to preserve my dignity?

Well, first what is dignity exactly?  Dignity is a state of being where something is worthy of quality and respect.  It is a sense of pride or self-respect.  Dignity is a good thing.  It produces a self respect that allows people to believe in themselves.  When people believe in themselves they are much more likely to have a more dynamic life.  People who don’t have dignity go through tremendous amounts of trouble and usually stay stuck in the same old depressing ruts.  But dignity is also subjective.

What I mean is should everybody have dignity?  Most people automatically want to say yes, but what about pedophiles?  I’m not comparing homosexuals to pedophiles, but I am trying to demonstrate that some people don’t deserve to have dignity.  Who we decide should have dignity is a gray area and because it exists as such nobody should make rash judgments.  You shouldn’t hurry to cast judgment on the gays or the religious business owners who have offended their sense of dignity.

But is it the government’s place to protect the dignity of people?  It seems to me that if there is such a gray area on who we decide should or shouldn’t have dignity how is that government bureaucrats suddenly can be trusted to make accurate decisions on dignity?  Just because you form a coalition of people that can sway them to vote one way or another doesn’t legitimize their decision.

How can a third party protect something that only exists to the end of your nose?  Dignity is a personal matter.  You can’t have dignity for someone else.  You can only yourself have dignity.  You yourself have to choose whether or not you relinquish that dignity.  The actions of another can’t take dignity away from you.  It is a conscious or unconscious act of the will to determine whether or not you have dignity.  A third party, such as the government, can never preserve or protect your dignity without creating an environment where the rights of someone are going to be infringed upon.  That’s what the government does.  They either make a law that discriminates against one party or a law that discriminates against the other party.

What should have been done was nothing.  The religious liberty laws, and laws like them are often times a response to other legislation, like the one about the florist in Arizona or New Mexico where she was forced to shut down her business because she wouldn’t provide floral arrangements for a gay wedding.  It’s okay to destroy a person’s livelihood and try to destroy their dignity so long as one party’s dignity is preserved.  This is what happens when the government gets involved.  But to some people that’s okay if they aren’t the one being harmed by the government.  It’s not a party on one side or the other.  It’s both sides that are a problem.  Both sides are generally bigoted and love government intervention so long as it favors them.

To conclude this little derby doo, the government or any third party ultimately cannot protect your dignity for you.  Any action against you can’t remove your dignity.  It has to be your own conscious act of deciding you have no dignity that causes the damage.  Don’t involve the government to try to force, coerce and destroy those that don’t acknowledge that you have dignity.

Please feel free to like, share, follow or re-blog if you like or agree or even if you disagree with me.  Thanks for viewing!