Archive for the 'Social Issues' Category

Exploitation of Race Card Destructive to America

Exploitation of Race Card Destructive to America

The Radionian
By Ashton Pittman, Opinions Editor
May 2010, Volume 86, No. 7

A year and a half after we elected our first non-white President, the race card continues to play a shameful role in American politics. It seems almost impossible to criticize legitimately the President’s decisions without enduring accusations of racism. If anything, racial accusations have become even more prominent than before.

The latest issue to draw racial ire is Arizona’s immigration bill, SB1070. The bill allows law enforcement to verify the status of people reasonably suspected of being illegal immigrants.

Since being signed into law, it has met a firestorm of controversy. Politicians and pundits from across the nation have been quick to inject race into the mix, suggesting that the bill mandates racial profiling.

In a piece entitled “The Arizona of 2010 is the Alabama of 1963,” The Huffington Post’s Robert Creamer argued that the law will result in attacks against Hispanics akin to those perpetrated against civil rights marchers. Others have likened the law to the segregationist Jim Crow laws.

The immediate move to play the race card disregards the facts in favor of brash hysteria. The bill states, “The attorney general or county attorney general shall not investigate complaints that are based solely on race, color or national origin.”

The truth is that illegal immigrants are responsible for a large amount of crime in Arizona, including drug trafficking, theft, violence and even murder. For the protection of its citizens, it was necessary for Arizona to pass a bill that would allow it to enforce its immigration laws.

The law is not about race; despite the fact that 76 percent of illegal aliens are Hispanic, the bill specifically disallows racial profiling. As bill sponsor Russell Pearce said, “Illegal is not a race; it’s a crime.”

Frankly, those who default to the race card anytime their beliefs are challenged represent an appalling form of intellectual cowardice. By marginalizing those with whom they disagree, they divert attention from the actual issue and avoid ever having to qualify the merits of their own position.

They also “divide and conquer” by encouraging people to vote along ethnic and racial lines. Perhaps they are the true modern day segregationists.

Exploitation of race for political gain is destructive. Its anti-intellectual nature undermines healthy debate and births racial animosity that did not exist prior. Most unfortunately, it diminishes the sufferings of all those who have ever truly faced the harsh reality of racism.

Out of respect for common decency, it is incumbent upon Americans of all colors to reject the gross abuse of the race argument, reserving it only for those times when it is plainly warranted. When that day comes, we can begin to engage in a national dialogue that exhibits some semblance of integrity.


Victim Mentality Offers No Legitimate Excuse

Victim Mentality Offers No Legitimate Excuse

The Radionian
by Ashton Pittman, Opinions Staff
April 2009, Volume 85, No. 6

In Tyler Perry’s most recent film [at the time of this writing], Madea Goes to Jail, there is a scene that takes place in a prison support group in which the minister admonishes those in the group to forgive those against whom they are holding grudges, in order to release themselves from the bondage of unforgiveness. When one woman protests, insisting that “You don’t know what my father did to me,” Madea speaks up, and begins lecturing her by telling her that she is fed up with people using the victim card and thereby excusing themselves from ever being successful in life.

One of the gravest vices in modern American society is this victimhood mentality that has been adopted by those who can point to unavoidable life circumstances, and then make the case that because of these circumstances, they will never be successful, and therefore even attempting to be such is futile. They eschew every opportunity for betterment that is presented to them, and resign themselves to a mundane existence in which the status quo is never challenged.

Some might say, “I am poor, and because of the greed of the rich, will always be this way.” What about women like Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling, who rose from being a poverty-stricken single mother to being the world’s first billionaire author?

From Rags to Riches: J.K. Rowling, once a struggling single mother on Welfare, worked diligently on the Harry Potter series and eventually rose to international fame as the world's first billionaire author, due to a determination to emerge from the endless cycle of poverty and welfare that so many resign themselves to.

Still others may contend, “I am black, and because of racism, I will never be allowed to advance in life.” What about Michael Steele? He was raised by a widowed mother, who chose to work for minimum wage, refusing dependence on government assistance. By his mother’s example of personal achievement, he forged on to become the current chairman of the Republican National Committee, with a host of other offices and achievements under his belt.

Charges of sexism and recounts of tragic events in one’s personal history are some other oft-used justifications for a lack of ambition. The truth is, almost anyone can find a sticking point either in past or present circumstance upon which the victim card can be played. Some people will then enslave themselves to the government, placing their lives and financial security in the hands of a politicians and taxpayers. For others, it simply means settling for a dull, unfulfilling job and casting aside personal dreams and aspirations. It can even go beyond the financial side for many, affecting the emotional and psychological sides of life.

But isn’t this kind of thinking the exact opposite of what made–and hopefully, will continue to make–America great? What if our founding fathers and the people of the American colonies had practice such a mindset? What if they had given into the demands of King George III and Parliament, and relinquished all claims to freedom and independence, due to a belief that they had no chance of breaking free of Britain’s empirical bonds?

America as we know it would have never existed. But instead, they started a revolution.

“It is incredible that soldiers composed of men of every age, even of children of fifteen, of whites and blacks, almost naked, unpaid, and rather poorly fed, can march so well and withstand fire so steadfastly,” observed one French officer during the American Revolution.

Regardless of the circumstances of the time, these people moved onward, because they had a goal in mind.

“We have it in our power,” wrote Thomas Paine in Common Sense, “to begin the world over again . . . the birthday of a new world is at hand.”

This is the power that was endowed to all people by God; the power to choose the course of their own lives; to pursue new opportunities, and to overcome opposition. We should care for the least among us–not by appeasing a victimhood mentality–but by lovingly challenging them to achieve their true potential.

Claims of victimization as an excuse for failure may be applicable in some countries, but not in America; here, if we choose to become slaves to circumstance, we alone are responsible. It is our duty, not only to ourselves, but to our fellow man, to cast away the chains of victimhood and reach beyond what our circumstances tell us we can achieve.

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The Link Between Gay Genocide in Uganda and Christian Fascism in America

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni supports a law that would imprison or put to death homosexuals in his country.

The Proposed Gay Genocide Law in Uganda

Uganda may be preparing to pass and implement one of the greatest legislative travesties of human rights in decades. While Uganda has had a long history of intolerance to homosexuality, it is now preparing to take this hatred one step further–a new law, with goals reminiscent to those of the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, is currently going through the Ugandan legislature, citizens caught practicing, supporting, or defending homosexuality could face not only imprisonment, but the death penalty. Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, recently described and explained the law in an interview on Fresh Air:

[The] new legislation adds to this something called aggravated homosexuality. And this can include, for instance, if a gay man has sex with another man who is disabled, that’s aggravated homosexuality, and that man can be – I suppose both, actually, could be put to death for this. The use of any drugs or any intoxicants in seeking gay sex – in other words, you go to a bar and you buy a guy a drink, you’re subject to the death penalty if you go home and sleep together after that. What it also does is it extends this outward, so that if you know a gay person and you don’t report it, that could mean – you don’t report your son or daughter, you can go to prison.

And it goes further, to say that any kind of promotion of these ideas of homosexuality, including by foreigners, can result in prison terms. Talking about same sex-marriage positively can lead you to imprisonment for life. And it’s really kind of a perfect case study and the export of a lot of American largely evangelical ideas about homosexuality exported to Uganda, which then takes them to their logical end.

The legislation is supported by Ugandan dictator Yoweri Musevni, who, in 1998, following a visit to America, had this to say:

When I was in America, some time ago, I saw a rally of 300,000 homosexuals.  If you have a rally of 20 homosexuals here, I would disperse it.

The Family: Religious Fascism in America

But this story is not only about Uganda; there is an American connection here, if not an American root. The Ugandan legislator who introduced the bill, a man by the name of David Bahati, is a member of The Family, a right-wing religious organization (which resembles a cult more than anything) that seeks to influence national and international policy based on their “Christian” beliefs. According to Sharlet, the founder of the group was a man by the name of Abraham Vereide:

[T]he founder of the group, Abraham Vereide, said that God came to him one night in April 1935 and said Christianity has been focusing on the wrong people, the poor, the suffering, the down and out. [God said] I want you to be a missionary to and for the powerful, those who he calls the up and out. They can dispense blessings to everybody else through a sort of kind of trickle-down religion.

Such a supposedly “Christian” theology can easily be dismissed, as it is wholly inconsistent with Christian scripture:

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -James 1:27 (NASB)

Following a hunger for power on religious motivation does not seem to line up with “keeping oneself unstained by the world.”

Throughout history, there have been millions of men who claimed to speak for God, and such men, or “false prophets,” have led countless people, societies, and nations into ruin and destruction.

The deception of The Family from its founding developed into a group of people who wielded religious appeal in their ascent to power. Sharlet says that “when The Family talks about power being the bottom line of the New Testament, they really mean it. Power trumps love.”

In the tumultuous years of the 1930’s and the 1940’s, The Family actually embraced the ideas of Hitler and Mussolini. They then developed their own idea–something that they called “Totalitarianism for Christ.” In fact, an oft-repeated mantra of The Family was “Jesus didn’t come to take sides; He came to take over.”

Below is a video The Family released several years ago calling Christians to action in order that they may come to control all society, or “the seven mountains of culture” — in terms of government, education, media, arts and entertainment, religion, family, and business. Loren Cunningham, the founder of Youth With a Mission (an offshoot of The Family) claims that God spoke this plan directly to him.

This may sound like a fringe group to you, but the level of power The Family has managed to obtain in the U.S. since its inception may surprise you. There is a shockingly large number of Family members serving at high levels of U.S. government right now, comprised of both Democrats and Republicans.

Currently elected Family members include: Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wy., Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., Sen Mark Pryor, D-Ark., Rep. Mike McIntyre, D-N.C., Rep. Joe Pitts, R-Penn, Rep. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn., Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., and disgraced Gov. Mark Sanford, R-S.C.

One of the most shocking people associated with The Family is a woman who has played a key part in breaking the glass ceiling of women in politics–and no, it’s not Sarah Palin. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been a part of secretive religious organizations, including The Family, for nearly 20 years.

That is not intended to be an attack on Hillary or any of the other officials listed. I am not attempting to claim that they support the Ugandan laws or the overall goal of The Family (if they even know about it). As Sharlet explains:

Democrats and Republicans get involved with this with the best of intentions.

Someone comes to them and says hey, let’s talk about prayer. Let’s reach across the aisle. Let’s get together. This is the group that sponsors the National Prayer Breakfast, which a lot of congressmen mistakenly think is an ecumenical event going back to the early days of the republic. In fact, it’s a private, sectarian event organized by The Family as a sort of a lobbying fest. But they get involved with the best of intentions and, I think, are slowly brought into a relationship where they start moving rightward.

Whether or not the listed officials have any sympathies with the true goals of The Family is irrelevant; the mere associations just proves how deeply entrenched this fascist organization is in high levels of American power.

A Call to the Defense of Human Rights

Even as The Family continues to exert influence in America, the extent to which it has influenced Ugandan policy cannot be ignored. Should this horrendous miscarriage of human rights become law, Uganda will become the center of one of the greatest, state-sponsored genocides since Hitler’s Holocaust.

One thing is now clear — the argument that the persecution of homosexuals cannot be compared to the persecution of blacks is not valid; no one in Uganda will ever have to fear death or imprisonment because of their dark skin, but millions of them will face those fates based on their personal sexual preference.

It does not matter what your personal view is on homosexuality, as to whether it is right or wrong. All who love freedom and respect life should speak out against this law, and encourage our national leaders as well as our religious leaders to send a clear message.

Props go out for this statement released by Christian leaders which speaks strongly against this Ugandan law, concluding by saying that:

Regardless of the diverse theological views of our religious traditions regarding the morality of homosexuality, in our churches, communities and families, we seek to embrace our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as God’s children worthy of respect and love. Yet we are painfully aware that in our country gays and lesbians still face hostility and violence. We recognize that such treatment degrades the human family, threatens the common good and defies the teachings of our Lord — wherever it occurs.

Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church and author of the best selling book, The Purpose Driven Life, who has a large sphere of influence amongst Ugandan Christians, also released a video statement:

There are many American leaders and other leaders worldwide who recognize human dignity and understand that we are all endowed with the liberty to choose the course of our own lives without having to fear government control of our private lives–especially at the threat of imprisonment and death. It is incumbent of such leaders to speak up.

For all of those who would seek to justify this on religious grounds, this is a true Christian outlook on all oppression:

Learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow. -Isaiah 1:17

President Obama must step up and strongly condemn this law for the evil travesty that it is, without diplomatic refrain. Whether I voted for you or agree with you, Mr. President, the world is looking to the President of the United States for leadership; lead first by defending life, liberty, and human dignity in the face of oppression and genocide.


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