Tag Archives: editorial

The Trayvon Martin Tragedy: Fear – False Evidence Appearing Real?

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and love and of sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

Fear: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain etc. whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid.

The same emotion that moves us to protect our loved ones can also lead us to hurt others. It can make us look at each other with apprehension and distrust for absolutely no reason at all. It can drive a rational person to irrational acts.

We will never know what was going through the mind of George Zimmerman the night of February 26, 2012. We can imagine, we even have gut feelings, but we will never know. We will never know the personal demons that propelled him to follow a teenager, confront him, and then shoot him to death. Published reports state he is adamant that he acted in self-defense. What is not clear is from what he was defending himself, especially if he felt secure enough to begin a pursuit.

We will never know what was going through the mind of Trayvon Martin the night of February 26, 2012. We can imagine, we even have gut feelings, but we will never know. We will never know what he saw in the eyes of the man who confronted him. We don’t know if he even felt he could converse with the imposing person in front of him or if he suspected, at first, that he was in imminent danger. The recorded 911 calls, however, highlight what we do know – a shot rang out and a young life was cut short.

I will let politicians and media expound on the racial overtones of this matter. One would have to be either oblivious or in denial to not realize that racial profiling played a part in this tragedy. Instead, I am saddened by how much fear had its role. Trayvon Martin’s fear is not hard to understand; being followed, confronted and having a gun flashed before you would scare the most hardened person, let alone a child. It is the fear that George Zimmerman felt, the imagined threats that prompted him make dozens of “false alarm” calls in the months preceding the shooting, the rage that moved him to question the civil liberty of an individual he felt didn’t belong in his area, the twist in perception that turned a can of Arizona tea and a pack of Skittles into weapons that warranted the use of deadly force that saddens me. I am saddened that a man was so filled with fear that it overshadowed his rational thought processes; making him seek justice for a crime that was not being committed.

Fear and a rush to judgment have changed the lives of two families forever. If justice actually prevails, it will still feel hollow because two parents were robbed of the experience of seeing their child reach his full potential. There will be no winners because a man’s actions will forevermore be analyzed and treated with suspicion because of his fears. Let’s do away with fear and walk in the way God wants us to: in power, love and sound mind.

Is This Behavior Befitting Elected Officials?

AP

I’ve never hidden the fact that I am a supporter of President Barack Obama. I like his vision for the country and his ability to stay focused on his goals in spite of heavy, soul-wrenching opposition. Whatever your take on the president, you have to admit no other Commander-In-Chief has faced such an uphill battle with regards to his birthplace (yes, Hawaii is a vacation spot AND a US state), respect (what other president has had a member of Congress call him a liar during a State of the Union address?) and roadblocks when it comes to his vision for America (only doctors, independently wealthy and relatively healthy individuals could view universal healthcare as an affront to personal liberties.)

With that said, I am more than disappointed in Obama’s and Speaker of the House John Boehner’s inability to compromise on a resolution for America’s debit-ceiling crisis. These are intelligent men that are coming across as both stubborn and arrogant. It’s very easy to cross your arms and draw a line in the sand on the “principle” of this issue if you are a millionaire. A government shutdown is not going to adversely affect them on a personal level. Their children will still attend private schools. Their mortgages will be paid. They will not have to choose between paying a bill, buying groceries are refilling their maintenance medications. However, the vast majority of their constituents are not as privileged.

This is not a game; this is life. In a culture where workers are expected to do the jobs they are hired to do, it is sad to see these two engage in such childish antics as walking away from negotiations then holding press conferences to try to outdo the other. Shameful.

My message to Obama, Boehner and all the members of Congress and the Senate: Please grow up. Buckle down and do what is best for all Americans instead of pandering to people who would least be affected by a government shutdown. Enough is enough. Elections are right around the corner. If you can’t do it, I will make sure to vote for someone who can.

Are We Loving Our Children To Death?



“There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end leads to death.” Proverbs 14:12

Our society has come a long way. Technological and social advances have opened remote worlds to the masses and have helped foster understanding and tolerance. It is through the power of these advances that I am able to share this message with you today.

However, as we advance, it seems our willingness to accept has turned us away from common sense. In these “enlightened” times, we have deemed the practices and norms that fostered a generation old-fashioned, cruel and, in some instances, illegal.

There was a time when one could tell a misbehaving child that his parents were going to be informed of his mischief and that child would instantly begin to behave. That was during the time when parents had more control over their children and administered discipline when necessary. No child wanted to be on the receiving end of a spanking. Now, children misbehave in front of their parents with no fear of repercussion. Parents are either too weary from daily stresses, too afraid of the opinions of others or so focused on making their children happy that they are afraid of properly disciplining them.

By discipline, I am not referring to violence. No one – child, woman or man – should have to contend with being beaten. A hand to the bottom is not the same as a fist to the eye. Anger should never be a factor in disciplining a child; love should always be the basis. You don’t love a child by turning a blind eye to his or her antics. You love a child when rules and expectations are set and by making sure he or she understands there are consequences to their actions – both good and bad.

I know this is not a popular sentiment and I certainly don’t mean to offend. However, there is an influx of wayward children who have absolutely no respect or consideration for others. And, if you ever have the opportunity to hold a conversation with them, you will find that these children have no idea that they are disrespectful and inconsiderate. They feel they are normal because everyone they know acts the same way.

We have to start doing better by these kids. It always starts at home. Loving your kids is natural. Raising them is tough. Most parents do the best they can and this is not admonishment to them. It is just a plea to not love them to death.

Osama Bin Laden Is Dead

Osama Bin Laden is dead. Osama Bin Laden is dead. Osama Bin Laden is dead.

Did you find that slightly annoying? No, not the fact the world’s most wanted, ruthless and maniacal terrorist has met his fate. I’m referring to the reiteration: Osama Bin Laden is dead. Osama Bin Laden is dead. Osama Bin Laden is dead. Those watching CNN’s coverage of the President’s statement confirming the death of Public Enemy No. 1 were subjected to correspondent John King’s drone repetition of this breaking news. I understand King’s consistent delivery of this message was actually meant to convey the significance of the event, but I was left with the feeling that the moment was more about King being the “first” to confirm this news and less than the network being the medium providing some measure of closure to the families of the thousands of innocent lives that were lost that fateful day ten years ago.

We should temper our rejoicing of Bin Laden’s fall. His death is not the end to the war on terror. In fact, America is now on heightened alert with the very real possibility of retaliation by al-Qaida. We should commend the brave Navy Seals who risked their lives to bring the world one step closer to peace. In addition, we should commend President Barack Obama for having the foresight and patience to order the U.S strike at the right moment and not just when an opportunity presented itself. The highest praise, however, should go to God for guiding the steps and actions of our special forces and the president.

Proverbs 24:17-18 counsels us, “Do not gloat when your enemy falls; when he stumbles, do not let your heart rejoice, or the Lord will see and disapprove and turn his wrath away from him.” So, let’s use this moment, this emotion-filled historical moment, as a time of reflection and honor to the victims of 9/11 and to the servicemen and servicewomen who have and are risking their lives for the betterment of our country and our world.