Hate Speech

I’m seeing more and more articles on the regulation of hate speech. At first glance this sounds great. They say, “Let’s stop threatening speech that advocates violence and stop speech that “attacks a person or a group on the basis of protected attributes such as race, religion, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, disability, sexual orientation, or gender identity.” Who would be against that, right? Just be careful about what you wish for!

I have always advocated for freedom of speech and dignified language, it was engrained in me as a child; I have never been one for swearing and I will not not hate you for being gay nor for saying racist or bigoted words about others. Sure, I’m often offended by jerks who do so (I will call you a jerk, as I expect you would do the same for me for such behavior) I’ll be offended about as much as I am of those who use use foul language, mock others, and blow smoke while I’m eating and I cannot get away. I’ll probably even “say” something about your language or rhetoric, beware!

Do you hate gay people? Jews? Christian’s? Blacks? How about Russions or Republicans? How about your neighbor? In the same way that I cannot make any of these believe in Christ, I also cannot stop you from swearing, and making bigoted, hateful comments about others. (In the old days I may have tried by knocking your lights out, but that’s forbidden today, and rightfully so.)

I believe in freedom, the right to express opinions that suck. I reluctantly think that so long as you don’t physically harm others, you should have the freedom to be a jackass and hang out with jackasses, even organize and march as jackasses (KKK and certain Gay Pride Parades qualify) Governments and corporations have never stopped sin or sinners, why they think they can do it these days is silly.

I also believe it is within our own hearts to reject and stick up for those who cannot help themselves. We are to believe what is right, just, and true; we find these things in scripture and in our souls, not in opinion polls.

Currently we live in a liberal nanny state. Have you stopped teaching our children that, “Sticks and stones may break my bones. But names will never hurt me?” Then you might be a liberal controlled by the lady in the house.

We are letting Facebook and Google and a host of corporations determine what is proper and acceptable speech. For instance, Facebook has recently agreed to share data considered as “hate speech” with French courts. YouTube banned a holocaust denier but leaves up thousands of UFO and wacky climate change activist websites that say “aborting children women will help save the planet.” I’d call that advocating violence, not just idealistic words. And this one takes the cake, a knitting website just banned posts supporting the Trump administration. Now the UN is “introducing a new “Action Plan” to combat hate speech.” This hyper idealistic, altruistic, and profit motivated shaming of ones personal beliefs is destroying the social fabric of all judeo christian nations and giving more power to the globalists. This is exactly what Hitler did, he regulated what people were to believe about others and punished them for believing otherwise: This is evil! We, I believe, have slipped and fallen down the slippery slope. The phenomenon is not that hate speech is on the rise. The phenomenon is that we have let others take away our freedom of speech. We are letting others tell us what to believe and how we should speak. Let the crazies speak, if we are loving we will see them for who they are. But I see their goal as to ban us politically and to ban our Christian faith (satan uses people as tools). They have already labled us intolerant, homophobic, and bigoted. Their next step is to ruin the lives of all who believe differently than they do. AI data bases will separate the wheat from the chaff and a permanate “mark” of fate will keep us all in line (they foolishly hope). At some point we may even be hung on crosses, sounds familiar right?

The world’s rules are inconsistent, and constantly changing. The good news is God’s rules never change, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as yourself.” This is true freedom, in Him we have nothing to fear!

My Friend Pat

I thank God for you Pat, for you have refreshed my spirit. Your life is exciting, inspirational, and faithful. You are Godly, kind, humble, fun, and full of joy.

Riding Going to the Sun Road

I took a chance on hiring you at my outdoor store when you were but 16 years old. For all these years I thought it was because you were so persistant by coming back week after week begging to work for me. You essentially wore me down and I relented! It turned out that God sent you, and you have become more than a great employee and a super kid. In those day you absorbed my every word. All these years later I am suprised you can repeat my words and tell me how much my training meant to you! I had no idea! I just knew you as a great kid, an always willing and responsible employee. It has been twenty years plus since we last spoke face to face. Facebook and phone calls can never replace the timing of this meeting. Today I know you as a man I respect and I honor for your committed faith. You have a persisting spirit, and your desire to do what is right and honor our God in ALL things is staggering. Your honorable commitments over the years past have had consequences which at the time seemed dire, but now they have produced fruits. You are light years ahead of your peers and the follys of this generation. Keep up the good work!

Together with his wonderful wife Katerina

The bible says of Saint Paul’s friends, “for they refreshed my spirit as well as yours. Give recognition to such people. (1 Corinthians 16:18, ESV). This is why I am making this message public. To my friends, you know there are very few special people God puts in our lives. For me, Patrick is one of these people. His worldly accomplishments are notably worthy of praise, but few of these these are of eternal importance; it is just fun to hear of his adventures, and maybe someday I can share them with you.

Our last supper with friends

What I wish for you to hear today is what I learned from our long awaited reunion. I learned again we should all give thanks to God because of the grace given to us God in Christ Jesus, for in every way we are enriched in Him; in Christ we lack nothing. My friend Patrick reminded me of this truth. A once young, immature kid, by the help of God and the faith in his soul, has grown into a man. He is someone special to me because of what God has done through him. Patrick has given his mind, his talents, and his heart to God. God guides his every move. He trusts in Him in all situations, and when you get to know him you’ll understand the “situations” Pat gets himself into!

Beautiful people!

So, in Christ I boast! We should all be as worthy and humble as my friend Patrick, for in people like him (and in ourselves) we should see Christ. Our friends should see us as faithful and kind, believers in God. They should see the one who has done so much for us that He has changed the way we think and live. This is Christianity! This is freedom in Christ, in so doing we live radically bold and incredibly satisfied lives.

Not So “Bad!”

Someone, a friend, once used the word “bad” to describe President Trump. It’s a simple word. It can mean many things but it is used most frequently to mean some form of low quality, unpleasantness, or evil. For my friend, I understand completely her use of the term to describe her hate of the President. If one honestly believes something or someone to be “bad” we cannot help but hate that person or thing. But now let’s do some thinking. Who else is “bad?” Answer the question please, and be honest! Before you try, remember to make such a charge about anyone requires grounds, settled standards, a diagnosis established on a foundation of immovable truth. To do otherwise could involve a critique based on emotion or pejorative epitaths without regard to their accuracy. Remember, the hatred one has for another must be based on something; to call someone or something bad must not be baseless or else it is merely an insult.

Before you answer too quickly let me ask a personal question, one you can more easily answer, “Am I bad?” Ya, Bob Graham, is he a “bad” person? My friend at first thought might say (I trust), “No, Bob’s not a “bad” guy.” Then she might qualify her statement and say, “I don’t agree with him on many issues, but that does not make him “bad,” I mean “bad” like Trump!” Do you see what’s happening here? We often make a moral judgements of good and bad based on the differences between two people thus vilifying the character of one and uplifting the character of another. The function of critism should not be to compare one moral character to another, nor to let society discharge its hatred on one and not the other. The “grounds” upon which a society stands or falls is always fixed; how far we depart from these standards makes one good or bad. (At this point this essay becomes theological as well as a philosophical exercise.) Unfortunately I must say Bob Graham misses the mark. My friend is wrong, I am a “bad” person too! Maybe she is unwilling or just being kind, but if my faults were exposed and compared to God’s, not Donald Trumps or humanity in general, she would find me to be “bad” too. Humbling, isn’t it!

So what is one to do when we encounter a “bad” person (unless you are deluded or missed the point, we are all misfits). So, we must first look at ourselves and realise we are not perfect. And secondly we must not discharge our hatred critically. C.S. Lewis says about critism, it is not right to “discharge our hatred but to expose the grounds for it; not to vilify faults but to diagnose and exhibit them.” This means you don’t need to be silent always, though for some of us that would be a blessing. It means we need to be more specific when we critise. We need to explain, “in what way is he bad?” Lewis also says it is easier to express our hatred with pejorative (contemptuous or disapproving) words without regard to their accuracy “for the power of their hurting.” Easy is not always better and maybe a punchline on Facebook is not the best place for a critique of your fellow man.

You all should know about or have seen the “Baby Trump” ballon the haters fly in London to humiliate our President. This exemplifies the great error of our day. While the baloon may, to some, be an ingenious comic political work. It actually shows us the heart of the said comedians and Trumps distractors. The balloon is obviously meant to annoy Trump and his supporters. Ironically this opposition claims maturity by making Trump appear adolescent; not because they desire to show us Trumps faults, but because they hope deep down the symbol is one that annoys the President and disrespects his supporters. It would be far more mature for them (and my friend), to explain in what ways Trump is so bad? And then ask, how much different is he from themselves? Remember, calling Trump “bad” if rightly applied, compares his character to that of God, not society; society has often gotten righteousness wrong. The best, and the most honorable, course of action would be to charge me or Trump with a particular fault like “liar” or “thief,” “arrogant or dull.” True faults are particular. One is not all bad all the time; nobody is all good. There are faults by which we are all guilty, but at least among friends they are particular faults by which we can be proven guilty! I think this is why we must all stand before the judgment seat of God! Still, it is common and unavoidable to think of ourselves good or bad, we usually do so by the strength of the standards or characteristics we see in others.

For some, popular pejorative terms, within a particular subcultures (like politics), these terms (“contemptuous or disapproving”) become venomous judgements used solely for spite. Remember, it does not take many words these days to reveal ones passions. And when that happens it is not hard for many hearers to discount the words of the one who has an opposing opinion, specially one with a biblical perspective.

Bottom line! Critiques filled with venom and words expressed with a willingness to wound are useless when one is preceived as predisposed to hate (CNN). And finally, I thank God that Christ died for my “badness.” In his eyes He sees me as His wayard son, repentant, forgiven, and loved. Maybe He sees President Trump the same way, not so “bad,” a work in progress? And, of course, my friend, we must condem the actions of some critically, we are all are depraved, some are wicked in deeds, but God forbid that I should look at them as hopelessly “bad” till God judges us all.