"If You Are A Christian, You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself."
"If You Are A Christian, You Should Be Ashamed of Yourself."
Although this is a bit of old news (isn't funny that events from a weekend ago could be considered 'old'), this fight and shooting at the 49ers - Raiders football game last weekend has been stirring inside me. It says loads about our culture. It magnifies the problems we have with basic discourse as sports fans, adherents to the right and left and, sadly, even advocates for different Presidential candidates within the Grand Old Party. And the actions of the NFL to cancel a pre-season game and all tailgating begs a question that extends to the war on terror; "Why are we so hell bent on penalizing the greater population for the actions of the few?" So you can see why I - Mr. Pea-Brain - have had a difficult time figuring out what I wanted to rant about. (AND RANT, I do - with apologies for the length. Those wanting to get to the Perry/Palin can scroll to "What Happened To Civility." OR - read a much more succinct blog by MadTruthinCt - "We Can't Become Them")
For those who don't know what happened let me quote a recap from another very fine blogger, Gabriel Pema
During the game, several fights broke out in the stands and in the parking lot. Two of the fights have been spread virally via YouTube videos and have made headline news. In one instance, there was a shooting. Two victims are now in the hospital, with one of them in a life threatening state. Overall 39 people got arrested during the game.There were reports saying that one of the shooting victims was wearing a t-shirt that read, "F--- the Niners." Although I love dark humor like the next guy, unfortunately there are many Niner fans that would say the guy had it coming.
THE VIOLENCE DILEMMA FOR MEN
The typical main stream media line here is; this is just a few bad apples. You'll hear a small quartet chime in with, "this is the celebration of violence in the RAIDER culture, the NFL and men in general." Far fewer will just be honest and admit - as a society - we don't do a good job of collectively giving men an understanding of how to deal with masculinity.
This is NOT an apology for these miscreants of non-discipline. But the issue of violence for men isn't simple when Jay-Z urges us to "cap the mutha-fu****" and Oprah wants us to read Tuesdays with Morrie.
There are probably a handful of common ways people would describe me. Outside the obvious (a big nose and a bit slow) the most common thing people know about me is I'm a Christian who should be committed (or a committed Christian - whichever fits), I love the Chicago Cubs and I take great pride in having roots from the South Side of Chicago - 58th and Halstead to be specific. One of the reasons I like the last description so much is that Calumet City is known - at best - a blue collar city and - at worst - a very tough, hard, dangerous place.
Why do I like that so much? Because (attention women and compassionate conservatives,) a man was built to be dangerous. It's why we outnumber women 2 to 1 in movies like Scarface, the Dirty Dozen and the Expendables. And, I don't know, but it's my own theory that the women who see this films are desperate to see a real man.
Now, just to be clear. I am NOT advocating for violence or defending the actions of these idiots. So, as some of you read this next part - please take off your judgementalism hat, because I feel some issues in our culture need to be brought to light. I want to start with this dilemma that men have had in the area of violence and finding their identity and expand it to many of the fundamental problems in our culture. Women and liberals, I'm going to let you peek behind the magic door. It's Confession Time.
I know you won't believe this, but I was not always the virile, red blooded, strapping hunk of testosterone that make women faint just by taking off my shirt. (And no, its not from body odor. My sweat smells like Flaming Hot Jack Daniels Honey Hickory Chipolte BBQ sauce). I had the great misfortune (in regards to this subject) to be born to a pair of hard working liberals. Now my father was an amazing man in many ways. He was tested as a genius as a boy but never excelled vocationally. On the other hand, he would take janitor's work for his third job just to make sure my mom and I were fed and I had the right gear to play little league. He was a boxer in the Navy. A champion of his weight class I was told. And, unfortunately, some of my earliest memories were from my dad getting physically violent with my mother. In my memory, always following a verbal onslaught from her that would have humiliated my father's training sergeant.
As a modern male of the species, you are told that eating a hamburger is the moral equivalent of murder. We are told to regard effeminate men - even transvestites and transgender-ed as morally equal. For a long time, we men were told that opening the door for a woman was offensive to them. We were told that they could earn a paycheck just as good as we could and in fact, they should earn more. They were reasonable, stable, virtuous and we were perpetually stuck in adolescence. Movies like Steel Magnolias and Thelma & Louisa were acclaimed works telling 'truth' about men. Why, if we decided to stay home, clean the house and change diapers they would knock down that monument of Iwo Jima and put one of us up there instead. In short, we are told there is no real value for traditional masculinity. Especially up until 9/11.
It is my belief that the liberal mindset of the 60's destroyed him as a man. Before I was 9, he did figure out it was wrong to hit a woman. By the time I was 10, however, he sunk into a passive state where he simply obeyed everything my mom told him. Even if my mom made him the brunt of her joke in public, he sheepishly laughed and crawled into the basement when we got home, comforted by the sounds of other men victorious on the field of baseball battles. It was as if he became the weak Marty McFly and my mom became the Meryl Streep character from The Devil Wears Prada
And although I was just a bugger picking, fart-joke telling kid, I knew something was wrong. I went from memories of grabbing onto his pant leg begging him to not hit my mom, to wondering how he could just fold in the face of ANY conflict.
I wouldn't have a word for it until my mid-teens, but I despised him then.
I remember the week before my first day of school in 3rd Grade. I would be, physically, the biggest kid in the class. For some reason, my dad wanted to prepare me for a new school and explained that, having been in Korean War and a boxer in the Navy he knew how to deal with conflict. In fact, should someone poke me in the shoulder or steal my lunch money, the first thing I needed to do was, ....turn the other cheek. He said it so calmly, so convincingly, I didn't think twice about it. The message was, "Walk away or just bear it. When you don't give them anything to fight against, they see there is no challenge and they walk away."
What Dad didn't tell me, was that I would be ostracized for the rest of my childhood, be the last one chosen for any sport and the little girls..... well. Even the little liberal girls aren't exactly attracted to a boy who can't defend himself, or them.
On my first day of school, Tom Creppack, who was about half my height and weight, decided to test the "new" kid. Perhaps the pink and yellow plaid shorts my mom made me wear wasn't the best armor or image I want to project to my new classmates. Just like dad said, I stood still even as his verbal taunts escalated. As a crowd gathered, I was less sure this whole 'walking away' thing would happen. He shoved my shoulder while asking me if I was a ....another name for kitty cat.... and fear so overwhelmed me I couldn't say anything.
His punches landed quickly thereafter and tears fell with any hope of acceptance among my new peers. I remember walking toward home a midst jeers and further insults by the crowd, sobbing uncontrollably, bloody nose and all.
I just had my first level in pacifism. Capitulating to the threats of your enemy doesn't make them stop. Or go away. And, I was so to learn, others would take that as a cue in the form of disrespect and even robbery. My mom and dad assured me I did the right thing, I may have even gotten a dog out of it - I can't remember, but the loss of reputation followed me until college. I learned recently that Tommy went on to serve serious time in prison. I felt no joy over this.
There is a 'life lesson' to those who still think bullies and their facilitators will back down with 'reason.' Or that a fight avoided is necessary to win later. What I learned was that the price of not showing I had a component of 'danger,' would irrevocably be equated with weakness - despite my outward appearance.
I often wondered if I had a "Back to the Future" experience what would have happened if I had crushed little Tommy Creppack. I wonder if I would have had more self-confidence and been a quicker learner. I wonder if I would have been helpful to others who had been bullied. I wonder if a little Tommy would have learned HE had to live within some moral code or there would have been consequences and if he maybe never would have gone to jail. We'll never know.
"It takes a village," but only when you don't have good parenting. (See my blog THE WORLD NEEDS A DADDY )
I tried my best to 'fit in.' I had a lot of academic success and was making a great reputation as being a multi-sport jock - as a bench warmer. But respect never followed. Kids, teachers even coaches made me the butt of a lot of jokes and the fear of not just the physical pain, but the mental agony kept me from stepping out into anything remotely adventurous.
Then a couple of things happened. I got my braces off over the summer and quit cross country for the glory of the football team. "THE" Cheerleader in school - Norma Deckard - dated the team's full back- perhaps one of the toughest 3 guys in all of my high school - and she had NEVER so much as glanced at me. But, the first day we passed each other in the hall and she did a double take quickly averting her eyes when she realized who I was and the serious breach of the school's caste protocol. I am forever indebted to my parents for getting me braces, the orthodontist who took them off, and Norma for igniting in me the thought that I had some value - even if it was just pretty teeth.
Shortly thereafter I was put in a game to field a punt. The play called for me to catch the ball and follow the 2 guys in front of me as far as I could. Up to this point, I showed bigger promise as "king of the nerds" than an athlete, but honestly - I was still intimidated by doing something wrong and bring peer-inflicted embarrassment to myself. And I don't know why, I'm fully willing to believe it was the confidence from the smile of "THE" cheerleader in school, but I quickly saw the play would end up in about a 10 yard run back and a nose of my team blocker's butt crack. Instead, I decided to simply run where there wasn't anyone trying to kill me - to the right side of the field. As I passed the train wreck of bodies where the play was SUPPOSED to go, I was stunned by a thunder clap that seemed distantly familiar and totally broke my focus and attention. It was cheering. For me. And not just from Norma but the entire cheerleading squad. Coaches were waving their hands down field and my first thought was to stop and make sure I wasn't supposed to do something other than run.
Now most kids had already had a chance to experience this in pee-wee league. Not me. As I came to the sidelines, to pats on the back and my nickname being exalted - I was overcome with the thought that maybe I could do more than I thought.
The next week in practice though, I was sure my life was over. I was running through a routine sled-blocking drill in football practice. As usual I lined up at my turn, crouched down into my stance a couple of yards from the sled and hit the Styrofoam pads in the shape of an opponent. My heart sank as Coach McPeak called me back to repeat this from his perch on the sled. Perhaps, I thought, if I can do this quickly, I can escape to the back of the line and avoid attention, I'd be safe. On his "hike," I hit the pads, fell back on my butt and tried to run off as I heard, "Jimmy Blue, what are you? A g_d damn sissy?"
I prayed to the God I didn't know for a small nuclear explosion to divert not only Coach's attention but the gathering teammates that flocked around like Ron Paul supporters at a medical marijuana hand-out.
"Get your g_d damn butt back on the line and hit this sled like a man!"
I felt my head spinning and tears welling up. If I thought being humiliated by a 3rd grade runt in front of new classmates was bad, imagine a Coach that would make John Wayne look like Dennis Kucinich. As I tried again and again, the level of vulgarity from the coach was only exceeded by my abasement and new ways to question my manhood.
I truly wanted to die.
"Jesus, Jimmy Blue I'm not letting you off until you grow some balls! Even my 9 year old niece would show me more grit than you are. Hit the g_d damn sled!!" This went on for try after try. I wasn't hiding my tears and coach wouldn't let up.
Suddenly, I got tired of being a victim. In fact, I got angry. I surprised myself with that punt run back, but hey - I'd done SOMETHING for the team! I didn't have to take this crap and damn it, Norma Deckard noticed me! And what was the worst that could happen? Could my reputation get any worse? I'd given routine efforts so far and it only drew sharper attacks from coach. No, I would put everything in this. I'd give MYSELF no excuse - no out - for trying to demonstrate some kind of inner power.
My tears dried up, I even let the laughter and coach's vulgarity build a bit as I felt... a determination...inside my chest that I had never felt before. I would hit that friggin sled. I would explode with payback for every joke, trip, sneer and condescension that had clung to me from 3rd grade on. And on the next challenge from the coach....
I'm not kidding that the sled jumped back at least 2 yards not only surprising me, but my teammates. For a moment, the cloud of taunts and laughter were stilled like car engine freezing without oil. I had never felt such satisfaction in my life. I didn't know I was capable of such....power. And it felt right. This was what it must be like to be a man.
Coach McPeak barley grinned as he turned away and said, "Good job son. NEXT!"
Over the next few years, I suddenly grew a penchant to see what I could take. How big of an opponent I could take on. Adding about 35 pounds of muscle my first year of college didn't help. When I came home from my first college break and I had to hide my surprise when our football team's half-back, another pretty tough character, told me he wasn't going to mess with me for fear he couldn't 'take me.'
And I learned of the shock to my former classmates when one girl from high school, who attended the same college I did, reported back I had become the big man on campus. "NOT JIMMY BLUE!" they would exclaim. I loved every minute of it.
Violence connected me to manhood. They say young tiger cubs learn to play with their fathers and siblings roughly, to develop their boundaries. To become comfortable with their power, but to know it's limits. I however was no longer a cub in discovering my growl. And claws. And without the benefit peer or parental oversight, I suffered consequences of learning those limits a bit too late.
Men were "MADE" to be adventurous. They have an innate NEED to know some level of power in their control. Without it, they will have little motivation to explore new worlds, and make chaos into profitable and productive creation. My father, abdicated this nature and became a shell. I remember someone telling me they were shocked my dad looked 90 when he was only in his late 50's. My dad only thought he had a choice between conquering everything, or complete submission to his wife. At some point, his will to fight - let alone find how to - was simply abdicated.
Is the whole "RAIDER" image of being tough the danger? or Is "being a man" all about "being" violent? - Hell no.
In my new love for my own testosterone, I alienated fraternity brothers and ruined relationships. Never having the proper guidance I would get into scraps that would land me across from a nice policeman or two. A couple of them would even try to help me figure out why I was getting into fights and stealing cars.
And although I felt a sense of power, I was still miserable. But I had a deception this new 'personna' was the answer.
One of my closest friends now is a former Army Ranger, Special Ops war hero from Vietnam. He was an elite trained killer and was put in situations that allowed him to exercise that training. I remember him describing taking a tree limb through his thigh, continuing his mission and healing fast to go do it again. This guy is a bonafide bad ass.
I asked him with all of his training was he ever tempted to use his "skills" in other conflicts. Like when the hippies spit on him and called him a 'baby killer' when he arrived home. His answer?
I was trained to kill within a narrow mission, not trained to fight for the sake of fighting. We avoided fights in any and every possible way. We had a mission and we were trained to avoid anything that would interfere with our mission. And our mission was to destroy those intent on killing Americans in Vietnam.THIS I realized was a very real problem with our culture. Many men are searching for an identity and have no idea what their "mission" is.
The "Playboy/Penthouse" mission says being a man is to treat woman as objects and selfishly use them to your own end. The more you have, the more of a man you are. It is a subset of the bigger mission to do whatever makes you happy. If it isn't selfish and self-gratifying, ignore it.
The "Donald Trump" or "Tony Robbins" mission is the proverbial, "get the most toys and enjoy them before you die." Your life is totally in the pursuit of power and prestige, and the trip to get there.
The "Social/Marxist" mission seeks men to procreate and let government take the role of the provider. In reality, the mission is to get by with as little input in life and let someone else take responsibility. They hide behind the "Robin Hood" mentality completely ignoring the underlying notion that you are not only stealing other people's wealth, you are giving up control of your own life for a little illusory security.
The "Fight Club" and "Gangsta" mission is to dominate through violent power. In reality, this is the fundamental tenant of Islam. Forget whether moderate muslims understand this or not. The name "Koran" (Quran) means more "submission" than "peace" regardless of what they say. My long time friend from Egypt (and former government Arabic instructor), explained to me how the 'condition' of their peace - is your willingness to forgo your independent right to worship. Otherwise they are instructed to MAKE YOU submit by any means.
As much as I dislike the RAIDER football team (Go Bears), I am not making an inference that the 'violent' image around this team is inherently dangerous. Like my penchant for being known from the "South Side of Chicago," it helps balance all those years I was in high school choir and Spanish Club. But it doesn't make me want to start gunning down police and running bootleg whiskey.
As I learned while violence gave me some recovered sense of manliness and power, without a "mission" or understanding it's limits and applications, I was destined for trouble.
England and Europe has been dealing with "Hooliganism" for 30 years. But in America, 30 years ago, most of us still let our kids come in at dark and play on the jungle gym with concrete underneath. We certainly had no concern about being shot going to a pro ball game.
WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED?
We have celebrated rebellion as a culture for years. Should we really be surprised by people that A) Don't respect the right for other people to believe as strongly as they do, B) Have no concern for the illegality of assault, and C) Feel they are heroic in violating these laws? As the (now old) saying goes,
If media has no effect on behavior how do these same media giants stay in business by selling airtime that repeats a message over and over again until you buy it?Advertising works whether it's paid for or not. You make movies showing people lying and stealing (even if from the bad guys,) why are you surprised theft, cheating on taxes and the like have soared?
Starting with a abhorrence for authority, it has now passed in many quarters to the family. Dad, (if you watch any TV sitcom) is a mindless, drunken boob whose kids have to teach HIM about life. There are so many voices incessantly trying to tell us that there is no difference in a traditional family, men playing mommy or women playing daddy. And just go to your local shopping mall and you will see both couples, openly castigating one another - in public - for some egregious sin like forgetting the shopping list or wanting to buy a new drill.
It is coarse, but when frustrated to express 'manliness' at home, I have no doubt some significant portion of these hooligans are being henpecked at home. Have you ever looked at the statistics for domestic violence? The mainstream media and society tell us it's always the husbands fault (unless some crazy mother wants to kill her children) but at least 37% to 40% of domestic violence is done to men. And don't forget this is REPORTED violence. You can bet there is an enormous number unwilling to subject their manly ego to admit they are getting a whipping by the "fairer" sex at home. And you can bet that WORDS precede these altercations. I can't imagine most of these are women silently stewing over the 'lid' being down, and then cracking her unsuspecting perpetrating husband over the noggin with a frying pan while he sleeps. We've been CORRECTLY concerned about violence against women. But no one ever seems to talk about the attacks on a man's respect and self-image and what it does to him.
I have first hand experience with women who feel they are entitled - even mandated - to verbally emasculate a man. I have no doubt that women are meant to feel insecure and devalued when verbally abused, and it isn't any better for a man. In fact, when there is an inner 'sense' he is supposed to lead and is subjected to this - he truly is at one of the most complex problems he will face in his life time.
But regardless of the personal situation, it's time to recognize that society itself has been teaching men a very, very confusing message.
And don't get me started on the Church. For quite some time, if there was any conflict in a marriage, the man was guilty until proven innocent. The message today from the pulpit is often for men to give up every desire to make wives 'happy.' I have heard at least a dozen preachers say it is ok to take the tack that "unless momma is happy - no one is happy."
Really? Isn't the model of marriage that of Jesus and His Bride (the church?). Jesus came to be servant, undoubtedly and admittedly . But He didn't obey the Apostle Peter's cajoling to not turn himself in or to fight the Romans sent to arrest to him. He didn't "submit" himself to Peter's desires and demands, but He did die for him. And gently restored him after he openly disavowed any association with the ONLY person who keep him from going to hell.
This is a touchy subject not just with the National Organization of Women, but at the First Baptist Mega-church of Peoria. In his book , "Wild at Heart," John Elderich nails it:
Christianity, as it currently exists, has done some terrible things to men. When all is said and done, I think most men in the church believe that God put them on earth to be a good boy. The problem with men, weare told, that they don't know how to keep their promises, be spiritual leaders, talk to their wives, or raise their children. But, if they will try real hard they can reach the lofy summit of becoming... a nice guy. that's what we hold up as modles of Christian maturity: Really Nice Guys. We don't smoke, drink or swear; that's what makes us men. Now let me ask my male readers: In all your boyhood dreams growing up, did you ever dream of becoming a Nice Guy? (Ladies, was the Prince of your dreams dashing...or merely nice?)So if they people who supposedly have the "manual" on life are getting it wrong - is it so far fetched to think the rest of the society has no clue how to make men into something other than rudderless barbarians or timid, nonessential eunuchs?
Not only do we have badly, or non-existent fathering of our young men, society is sending them 20 different - competing messages - of what a "man" is.
What is lost is the DEFINITION, BOUNDARIES and MISSION of men?
I've watched my Ranger friend play patty cake with his granddaughter. She adores him and he even plays 'tea' with her. This adorable cupcake even called him "a princess," the other day. (She is still alive although someone may want to check on me after he learns I've published this account.) But his ABILITY to use his skills to kill and destroy don't make him a less loving husband, father and business man. He told me,
As a Ranger, the most impressive thing to me about Jesus Christ was when He was being interrogated by the officials. He ignored all the questions, seductions and threats quietly until they asked Him, "Are you the Son of God." He knew His mission and didn't care about the cost to Himself to accomplish it. He's the bravest Man I've ever known.He continued that the demonstration today of men is SELF-serving. When Politicians are intimidated to back off of a truth (Is being gay a "sin" or "do you believe in global warming") they are so concerned with perception and media humiliation they backtrack immediately and say, "I was misquoted."
My friend has learned what the bible has taught all along. Blessed are the meek.
And "meek" is not "weak". The best definition of that word in Greek - prautes - is like a stallion that learns to willingly submit to it's rider. It hasn't lost any of it's power or potential, but it is now 'under control.' But we are too afraid of being "square" or "religious" by suggesting it is ADMIRABLE to submit to authority. Partly because there have been so many abuses of it from King George to O.J. Simpson.
With this in mind, no wonder it is a foreign concept for a young male to abide by laws of the country let alone the Supreme Ruler of the Universe. (No, I don't mean Donald Trump or President Obama. The REAL Messiah).
Instead, Hollywood celebrates the rebel. All authority is bad and to be rebellious is to be 'cool'. Especially in our urban culture.
WHAT WOULD CAUSE SOMEONE TO FIGHT - OR SHOOT - ANOTHER WHO DISRESPECTED YOUR FAVORITE TEAM?
In another day and age it wouldn't be believed. Someone says something mean about your favorite team! GASP! SHOCK! How could someone take that personally? And how do you go from being angered to physical violence or attempt to take someone's life? I mean as a Chicago Cub fan I'd be in fights or jail my entire life.
For some reason this issue of pride has gotten out of hand. One reason, I'm convinced, is because someone has so little REAL pride in themselves - they use an unreasonable response.not just to convince someone else of their worth, but themselves.
They've been hearing from their families, their culture and yes, the devil himself, how worthless they are. They are fighting for someone - anyone - to see the reality they know inside. They KNOW they have value. But it feels wrong. What they are being taught seems wrong. They are taught from MTV, BET and the music industry that sex, power and rebellion gives them freedom. But the more they achieve any of those things - the more difficult life is. And the less value society gives them. They find women who have value, don't value being an object. They find power by force, has a vicious recoil. And rebellion brings more and more bad 'luck.'
If they only understood that rebellion is like witchcraft. And the "system" that gives them a temporary kick - and a increasingly suffocating hangover is designed to not just keep them in slavery - but to kill them.
WHEN WILL THEY GET IT?
It's complex and simple all at once. My Ranger friend had the advantage of a moral code and training. The theory of relativistic or godless thinking is always flawed. There are moral laws that have consequences. Those who were willing to believe in the National Socialistic Party of Hitler's Germany - or who thought that cooperation would be advantageous - did succeed for a time, but in the end lost everything. Similarly today, those who think it is ok to live by 'some' code that is acceptable for them will still fail in some area of their life that doesn't measure up with the Word of God. A man who is honest on his taxes - will suffer intense loss in being unfaithful in their marriage. Just ask Mr.Tiger Woods.
The problem is that influencers of our society are corrupt. Ronald Reagan succeeded against enormous odds because of his virtue and ability to lead - or be 'true north' for those less sure. Funny how 99% of those who chastised his 'simple' intellect and 'idiotic' embrace of supply side economics could find less of a voice when the country was in the middle of the largest peacetime prosperity in our history. He wasn't perfect by any means - but he was unafraid to present the truth of the bible - as he saw it - and try to educate others on why it was profitable for them to embrace it.
Today, we teach corruption and reinforce it with disinformation.
When we are afraid to call 'wrong' - wrong, how can we expect these individuals to have a code that will serve them? We see it in politics today. Only the 'terrorist' tea party and 'crazy' right wing fundamentalists believe in time tested principles of conservative money management, honor, truth and integrity. And you know what - EVEN THEY will fail at times.
We learned this week Even the most devoted Christians fall short of living out the mandates of Christ. But we also know from recent studies those who STRIVE to live by Christ's teachings are happier, more generous, and according to one study have more fulfilling sex lives. What should send shame to Christian parents is that even when equipped with a moral media compass - they still buy questionable music and entertainment for their children against their better judgement.
WHAT HAPPENED TO CIVILITY? (otherwise entitled, "Pardon Me, your stupidity is showing")
So we all know our culture has gone to hell. When Christianity is "uncool" should we be surprised that the virtues it teaches of Love, Peace, Patience and Self Control are also "uncool."
But there is something else at work here when even those who ARE followers of Christ exhibit some of these same symptoms. No shootings (as the the media would like everyone to believe), but very uncivil discourse by grownups who should know better.
For those of you NOT in the conservative movement, our own "Raiders" - "49ers" melee broke out this week when Erick Erickson of the influential conservative blog REDSTATE.com disparaged Virginia Senate candidate and Tea Party favorite - Jamie Radtke. A good version of the story (at this hour) is here.
Now in some regards this is terribly surprising to me. I LOVE BOTH OF THESE PEOPLE and have defended each on Twitter. I believe they both - as best I can tell - represent not just my basic political principles, but many of my life ones as well.
For weeks many of my Twitter friends like Ken Gardner (@kesgardner) and Melody aka/ Perfection Under A Red Umbrella (@prfekrdumbrella) have been amazed at the animus between Perry and Palin supporters, between Romney and Bachmann supporters, between Cain and Paul supporters - between EVERYBODY. (If we could actually find a Huntsman supporter I'm sure they have been arguing with someone as well.)
It came out of nowhere on Twitter although I believe the seeds were planted by Pawlenty's campaign. I'm lucky not to be bald where I've been scratching my head on that one. Why on earth would Pawlenty make personal attacks on Bachmann (has done nothing in Congress, isn't fit to be President, etc.) when A) those charges are blatantly exaggerations and B) they are both Christians? Worse, aren't we as conservatives all about putting the betterment of our IDEAS above personality? If not, there is at least one area where we are no better than the hypocritical liberals who stand for 'social justice' why allowing liberal babies to be killed and their constituents to get further into financial and governmental slavery.
I never thought in my wildest dreams I would see these:
How in the world can you call a veteran Governor who - with some political risk - called the nation to PRAY to Jesus for our country - anti-American? And the woman was one of the catalysts of the Tea Party, who took on the GOP corruption in her state, who cut government 34% in less than 2.5 years is somehow a RINO? What the hell!???
To me - this is the same spirit of those Raiders/49er fans. First, an unbalanced view of truth, met with an unreasonable - even insane - reply.
Yes. Perry spoke at the Bilderberg society. Yes. Palin supported McCain who is no friend of conservatives on a LOT of issues.
But do we really want to show ignorant we are by glossing over the COMPLETE picture? Listen, I am no fan of President Obama's. Even though I think he is at best - a pawn of Marxists - and at worst - intentional in achieving the destruction of the American economy and traditional values for his political purposes, he has done something I've been unable to be completely successful at - staying married to his first wife and consistently supporting his family.
If I were to engage a liberal over Obama's policies, is there ANYONE who thinks it would serve any purpose to simply call him "evil" or worse? Of course, not! I would loose ANY credibility - and thus access - to reach them on any level.
Doesn't ANYONE remember Reagan's 11th Commandment? And some conservatives are 'name calling' and getting all emotional about people that agree with them A BILLION TIMES more than they agree with those who are currently running this country!
And we are supposed to be the grown-ups!
How can the Independents - who WILL decide the Presidential election in 2012 - take us seriously when debase ourselves to the child-like antics of the liberals whose actions we despise?
Erick Erickson and Jamie Radtke are strong, godly Christians. Even though a Presidential candidate couldn't exemplify it - we KNOW how to do this! We all get emotional. We all realize we've gone about things in the wrong way.
What sets us apart how people observe us? Christ said they will KNOW we are Christians by our love.
If Erickson jumped to a conclusion about Radtke's performance - I know he will apologize to her. He doesn't have to agree she is the greatest thing since Sarah Palin or that he still completely agrees with supporting her. But we are supposed to know how to forgive.
Radtke should apologize that either she or her staff made public a private email without following the admonishment of Matthew 18 to GO PRIVATELY to those who have offended you. Yes, Erickson has lost a lot of credibility in endorsing then admitting that his endorsement can be influenced by those paying him. I admire him for being HONEST about it however.
And the whole time, those for limited government, the reform of corruption in BOTH the Democrat and Republican machines are suffering.
In this era of 10 second soundbites and 10 minute news cycles - we HAVE TO REMEMBER OUR MISSION like my Ranger friend.
The mission is NOT to elect OUR favorite candidate. It is to demonstrate integrity, grace and honor WHILE we are attempting to get who we think is the best candidate.
It is prideful to think we understand EVERYTHING about ANY candidate. But we dont have to act like a bunch of untamed hyaenas if we THINK there might be some danger in a particular person. I'm willing to guess you too have found at one time or another you spoke without knowing the whole picture or jumped to a wrong conclusion.
Who knows. Maybe some 49er and Raider fans will see this example and want to be like us. Or at least listen to what we have to say.
IN CONCLUSION: WHAT DOES SOCIETY DO?
When one idiot hides explosives in his shoe to blow up a plane, and no other attempts have happened since, why is it that millions of air travelers every day now have to nearly strip down to their Underoos for every flight? Why is it when one kid is allergic to peanuts - rather than count on the parents to advise the child and his teacher - the entire school now has to become 'peanut free'?
In canceling the preseason game and eliminating one of the BEST parts of football - the tailgate party - these criminals have now held Candlestick Park fans hostage indefinitely. It is another version of 'dumbing down' a curriculum so more kids can pass.
I understand about insurance against future litigation and the dollars and cents of it. And I don't just blame the NFL. I blame society. We are all so concerned with our individual lives, we don't stand together for what is right. Even when thugs stand together for what is wrong. Would it have come to this if the crowd itself had intervened with the 'idiots' before it got out of hand?
We won't know. But I bet they were afraid of being "judgmental."
The 1954 movie, ON THE WATERFRONT is a prime example. The union mob has been killing and stealing. (So what's new?) The Marlon Brando character ("I cudda been a contender") decides to do something about it. An unlikely hero, he goes up against 8 bad guys while hundreds of his fellow laborers watch on. He walks directly into the holdout where he is nearly beaten to death. ALL OF THESE fellow workers know the bad guys are bad, and the Brando character is fighting for them. At the end, over protests of the corrupt union boss, Brando walks with all the members back into work showing the boss he is powerless now.
My question is this: What would have happened if they ALL confronted the 8 guys at once? There buddy wouldn't have been half dead and probably permanently maimed. The union would know they couldn't narrow on any one guy violently without who knows how many to take it's place?
THIS is what the violence culture understands. Superior force. They are only bold so long as they have a reasonable chance at terrorizing their victim. But when that is in doubt, they have no fundamental conviction upon which to draw.
And it's the heart and spirit of this country. Benjamin Franklin said, "We must hang together or we shall surely hang separately."
We have let our culture intimidate us to where we would rather just stay silent and not incur the disdain and wrath of others - rather than to call 'wrong' wrong.
Culture itself isn't like that. It tolerates the promiscuous NFL quarterback until there is an obvious victim. Just read headlines of the past year and you will see multiple players who fit this mold. But turn on sports talk radio and the innuendo and juvenile humor is rampant. I was listening to my favorite Chicago sports talk radio and a former NFL star - now sports talk radio host brought up the name of my pastor, Joel Osteen in a somewhat positive manner. Immediately another analyst castigated him and sneered, "you listen to that stuff?" The NFL star laughed it off nervously and said his "wife" listened to him. He changed the subject as fast as he could.
It reminded me of a time in high school when a kid would ask, "have you ever thought about going to that church thing for teens?" The "cool" kid would jeer and make fun of those who went and the original kid would respond, "naw, me neither." Deep inside they simply were afraid of peer pressure. And it seems that even when you are a strapping physical specimen of a man, with all the success most men would want - a PROFESSIONAL athlete with Superbowl rings, acclaim, a beautiful wife and family - you can still be insecure in who you are supposed to be.
What this sports icon of mine doesn't realize, he just set up his own children - and thousands of others who were listening - for failure.
And one doesn't need to be emotional in stepping up to combat wrong. You know who we should emulate? Texas County Clerk Lacy Nichols and Lt. Terry Lakin. People who didn't emotionally "go off" because they were mad or incensed at the position of a political enemy. They knew what the 'right' thing to do was and cautiously, proceeded at the risk to themselves and their family for the same values our forefathers were willing to DIE for.
If we all calm down. Pray about our decisions. Proceed with the mission of FINDING and PROCLAIMING truth - wherever it leads us, we can not just win back an election - but a culture.
People WANT to be valiant. Men WANT an honorable adventure. And hopefully there are women out there that will pray that we become those men, and will exhibit grace and support in helping us to do so.
(For an excellent article with similar themes by Perfection Under a Red Umbrella, read: The Making of Less Than Equal)