Friday, June 5, 2015

Read it While You Can: This Website is Not Long for This World Apparently

Lingering in the back of my mind is the power of the invisible hand on the switch, so to speak, that can shut off access to this website in an instant.  As the world moves increasingly to communications via electronic means it becomes easier for interests that control platforms like this one to simply turn off speech and ideas with which they disagree.  Google owns this platform -- blogger.  They are a private business.  They have the right to just switch me off.

Writers like me assuage our fears that such draconian measures would emerge by imagining that we live in a free country.  We tell ourselves that this means everybody has the right to speak freely.  For now it feels like this is still true.  But things are changing in the western world.

As the US Supreme Court prepares to issue it's declaration on faux marriage later this month the view from the north is not encouraging.  Canada is further down the road than US.

We would be wise to heed the recently published warning by Dawn Stefanowisz entitled A Warning from Canada:  Same-Sex Marriage Erodes Fundamental Rights.
I want to warn America to expect severe erosion of First Amendment freedoms if the US Supreme Court mandates same-sex marriage. The consequences have played out in Canada for ten years now, and they are truly Orwellian in nature and scope.

Here is the truly chilling section of Dawn's article:
In Canada, it is considered discriminatory to say that marriage is between a man and a woman or that every child should know and be raised by his or her biological married parents. It is not just politically incorrect in Canada to say so; you can be saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees, fined, and forced to take sensitivity training.
Anyone who is offended by something you have said or written can make a complaint to the Human Rights Commissions and Tribunals. In Canada, these organizations police speech, penalizing citizens for any expression deemed in opposition to particular sexual behaviors or protected groups identified under “sexual orientation.” It takes only one complaint against a person to be brought before the tribunal, costing the defendant tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees. The commissions have the power to enter private residences and remove all items pertinent to their investigations, checking for hate speech. 
The plaintiff making the complaint has his legal fees completely paid for by the government. Not so the defendant. Even if the defendant is found innocent, he cannot recover his legal costs. If he is found guilty, he must pay fines to the person(s) who brought forth the complaint. 
If your beliefs, values, and political opinions are different from the state’s, you risk losing your professional license, job, or business, and even your children.  (Bolding mine)
And since you may not know anything about Dawn here is the opening to her article establishing her bona fides:
I am one of six adult children of gay parents who recently filed amicus briefs with the US Supreme Court, asking the Court to respect the authority of citizens to keep the original definition of marriage: a union between one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others, so that children may know and may be raised by their biological parents. I also live in Canada, where same-sex marriage was federally mandated in 2005.
I am the daughter of a gay father who died of AIDS. I described my experiences in my book: Out From Under: The Impact of Homosexual Parenting. Over fifty adult children who were raised by LGBT parents have communicated with me and share my concerns about same-sex marriage and parenting. Many of us struggle with our own sexuality and sense of gender because of the influences in our household environments growing up.
Even if the Supreme Court of the United States doesn't destroy civil marriage later this month we all know it is only a matter of time.  Politics and law FOLLOW culture, they don't lead it.  And all the hints from American culture point toward a quickening -- not slowing -- descent into madness.

And make no mistake, even the best people don't get it.  Most people I know have resigned themselves to the reality of this vicious tyranny that is literally destroying their own families.  They have decided not to go against city hall, even though they admit to me privately that city hall is very wrong on this one.

Maine evangelicals and lay Catholics (very few of them) took a stand against this demon until just recently.  Now it feels to me that the possession of Maine is pretty much established.

The Christian Civic League has been tamed by political forces under the dome.  They were the last institution to slip into the bridle.  The grassroots that carried the torch during the years I led the fight switched loyalties.  They decided to follow a leadership that has more confidence in Paul LePage Republicanism than I would ever have allowed myself.

I rest my hope and confidence in God and I look for leadership that is willing to call a spade a spade.  The words of Jesus convicted me this week.  I read them out loud as part of the spiritual preparation I have submitted myself to as I anticipate joining with other Christians on June 14th on the steps of the Supreme Court in Washington D.C.  Here are the words of Jesus from Eugene Peterson's Message paraphrase of the Bible.  This is from Chapter 7 of the gospel of Matthew:
Don't look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don't fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life—to God!—is vigorous and requires total attention.
Be wary of false preachers who smile a lot, dripping with practiced sincerity. Chances are they are out to rip you off some way or other. Don't be impressed with charisma; look for character. Who preachers are is the main thing, not what they say. A genuine leader will never exploit your emotions or your pocketbook. These diseased trees with their bad apples are going to be chopped down and burned.
Knowing the correct password—saying 'Master, Master,' for instance—isn't going to get you anywhere with me. What is required is serious obedience—doing what my Father wills. I can see it now—at the Final Judgment thousands strutting up to me and saying, 'Master, we preached the Message, we bashed the demons, our God-sponsored projects had everyone talking.' And do you know what I am going to say? 'You missed the boat. All you did was use me to make yourselves important. You don't impress me one bit. You're out of here.' 
Following Jesus is not at all like building a big following for a website, church, organization or business.  Living the gospel can often be about standing alone.  Suffering.  Poverty.

Those are the qualities of saints and prophets.

Ron Stauble admiring the Chariot of Fire.
People like my good friend and hero Ron Stauble, a retired bus driver.  

My tent making work is driving a van for a local non-profit called KVCAP.  I transport people to programs and doctor's appointments in what I call the "Chariot of Fire."  Pictured above, it is the only van in the Augusta fleet that is red.  The rest of the fleet is white.

Yesterday I saw Ron after I dropped a client off at his doctor's office.   I had a few minutes on my way to the next ride.  Ron was dutifully and joyously performing his Thursday morning ritual of displaying victim images of aborted babies (one is pictured in the center of the snapshot) in front of the capitol city's murder center. 

Ironically, Ron was unjustly fired many years ago by a virulent pro-abortion and anti-Christian leader of KVCAP after five years of spotless driving.  The agency even tried to deny him unemployment.  He challenged them in court.  The agency admitted to the judge that the source of the complaint against him was the democratic party.  The disgusted judge ruled in Ron's favor and granted him unemployment.

I assure you I mean no disloyalty to my employer in publishing this article.  I am thankful for the job.  And like any job one obtains in a radically compromised society I see both good and bad in the principles, practices and policies that govern the operation.  I am thankful that the leadership does not today appear to be so aggressive against Christian pro lifers.

The source of a Christian's joy isn't the approval of KVCAP, the Canadian Government or Google.  A Christian will be full of joy in prison, or under the most extreme forms of deprivation, because they have placed their confidence in God alone.

The writer of Hebrews in the New Testament discusses this by naming heroes of the faith and concludes:
I could go on and on, but I've run out of time. There are so many more—Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, the prophets ...Through acts of faith, they toppled kingdoms, made justice work, took the promises for themselves. They were protected from lions, fires, and sword thrusts, turned disadvantage to advantage, won battles, routed alien armies. Women received their loved ones back from the dead. There were those who, under torture, refused to give in and go free, preferring something better: resurrection. Others braved abuse and whips, and, yes, chains and dungeons. We have stories of those who were stoned, sawed in two, murdered in cold blood; stories of vagrants wandering the earth in animal skins, homeless, friendless, powerless— the world didn't deserve them!—making their way as best they could on the cruel edges of the world.  Not one of these people, even though their lives of faith were exemplary, got their hands on what was promised. God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours. -- Hebrews 11 from The Message

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