Wednesday, October 1, 2008

AN INTERESTING COMMENTARY

*****UPDATE*******
After posting the paragraphs that our school principal put in his weekly newsletter, there has been a very interesting commentary going in the comment section of this post - I thought I would share it here. I love to hear brilliant minds in conversation with each other (because I don't have one of those minds). I usually don't take much interest in politics either, but this has caught my attention. Scroll down to the bottom to read the conversation. Certainly food for thought.
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This afternoon, after we got home from school, I was reading through the weekly newsletter that our Headmaster, Jason VanBemmel, sends out. There is a section in there titled "Speaking From My Heart". I thought this was so well said, that I just wanted to share it here.

The Loss of Respect and Consideration


So the House of Representatives failed to pass a tough piece of legislation to rescue banks and investment companies from bankruptcy over our bad debt. Without getting into the pros and cons of the political debate, I want to comment on the nature of the discussion surrounding this process.

What I noticed in all of this activity was something very indicative of the sad state of affairs in our country. The media referred to President Bush as “the lamest of lame ducks” and said “It would almost be better if he weren’t there.” I heard other commentators say, “No one takes him seriously when he speaks anymore.” Now whether you agree or disagree with the President’s proposal, one thing should be clear: When the President of the United States speaks and offers a solution to such a huge economic crisis, he should be taken seriously. To have a sitting president who is so disregarded and disrespected is as serious a crisis for our nation as the economic crisis.

The media have fueled this disrespect toward the President. They have relentlessly criticized and undermined the President for almost eight years, dropping the respect and decorum typically offered to the office of the presidency. News anchors and reporters have repeatedly referred to him as simply “Bush” or “George Bush,” and not “the President” or even “President Bush.” This is an unprecedented level of casual disregard for the leader of the free world and for the office he holds.

And so is it any wonder that politics has become so divisive and so poisonous? In this as in other areas, politics is merely a reflection of the health of our society, a barometer of the condition of our cultural soul. We have created for ourselves a disrespectful and inconsiderate culture. We are so casual and so flippant in our conversation and our conduct, that only one word adequately describes us: rude!


Rudeness comes from casual disrespect, which comes from a callous selfishness. It is an attitude that disregards the honor due to others and cares only about itself. Our society is infected with disrespect and rudeness at all levels, and it is getting worse, accelerated by the Internet and our 24-hour-a-day news channels with the talking heads who must out-do one another in rudeness to get ratings. Whether its Chris Matthews or Keith Olbermann on the left or Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly on the right, these guys are rude, selfish, disrespectful and arrogant.

But if you read the comments people post connected to any issue online, you will see why these men are so rude. If you’ve seen the way children speak to their parents in the grocery store or the mall, you’ll see it even more clearly. If you watch Spongebob Squarepants or the other popular media our children’s brains are fed regularly, you’ll see the same reality. Our culture is rude. To be successful in a rude culture, you must be ruder and more disrespectful than the next guy.

People say they want more positive politics, but political reality simply mirrors cultural norms. We will not have more respectful politics until we have a more respectful culture. We will not have a more respectful culture until we have more respectful homes, families, schools and churches. So, what about your home? How do you speak about others, especially those in authority, in front of your children? Are you cultivating an attitude of disrespect? How do you allow your children to speak to you or to others? Do you model, teach, correct and train your children to be polite and respectful? What do you allow your children to watch and imitate? There’s no other path to a respectful society, but for us to start forging it, one home at a time.

Wade's Comment:

I would concur with Mr. VanBemmel that we live in a rude society. It isevidenced in how we dress and how we speak to each other. But, Mr.VanBemmel, the political discourse will not change and become more honoringin this country because the worldviews of the two sides have taken suchdivergent paths that there is no common ground, no sense of honor for theopposition whatsoever. At the core of this great divide is the stark figure of Jesus Christ. He iseither the "Rock of Salvation," or "A stumbling block." He confounds thewise. Our political divisions in this country are not in how the economyshould operate or whether we should send troops to Iraq any more. Ourdivisions are grounded in our view of the cross. Granted, there are many inpolitics and the press, who don't realize that the division is based onfaith in the Savior, but listen to them try to explain the difference in thetwo sides and they stumble over themselves to explain why the other side isso entrenched in what they believe.Core beliefs are tightly held and are non-negotiable when all other beliefscan be altered and tweaked a bit, "in the interest of compromise." This istrue for the conservatives in the area of abortion as an example. We justthink it is morally wrong to kill a baby in a mother, no matter how youcouch it. The opposition sees nothing wrong with it and cannot figure outwhy we are so DOGMATIC in our beliefs. We think homosexuality, adultery,co-habitating, same sex marriage, pornography and a dozen similar moralissues are not just opinions; we think they are laws of moral conduct thatwere established by God for our protection and are not to be violated ornegotiated in any way. The liberals don't see any problem with CHOICES regarding these core values,but they know that if they give in on one core issue, we will go afteranother one and another one until all the choices in opposition to the Wordof God will be eliminated. The liberals will fight to the death on each ofthese core values, just like we will. You see, liberalism has become theirGod to them. As a result, there will never be civil politics as usual inthis country again. I agree that they say inflammatory things about the sitting president,George W. Bush, but we said the same things about Bill Clinton. JimmieCarter is still thought by many to be the worst president in history and hasno honor or respect among conservatives. Yes the liberal pundits andHollywood liberals vilify rather than honor the office of the presidentwhile Bush is there, but what did Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity say aboutBill and Hillary Clinton when they slept together in the Whitehouse. (Oops,see what I mean?) What do we give to Al Gore, John Kerry, and now, BarakObama, honor or ridicule? The honor has vanished in the political arena because we do not honor whothe opposition is in his core beliefs. In the founding of this country,Thomas Jefferson and John Adams vehemently disagreed with each other on therole of government, but they were great friends and respectful adversaries.Their respect came from who the person was and what their core values were.That fundamental respect is gone in politics today, even in Christiancircles because we do not respect who the opposition is. I have no respectwhatsoever for Bill or Hillary Clinton as people, do you? I have no respectfor Al Gore, do you? I have no respect for Barak Obama, do you? When aperson stops legislation to halt the practice of killing babies while theyare coming out of the birth canal, (they call this heinous act partial birthabortion), like Barak Obama did, there is nothing he could ever do or say toearn my respect short of apologizing and righting his wrong.Look at what happens when someone enters the national scene who really holdsthese core values as dear, because they believe in them from their heart, like Sarah Palin. The attacks are so vicious, so personal, and so nastythat a fair-minded person is taken aback. A real believer in core values hardly stands a chance in the public arena now days. So get ready, the rancor of political debate is just starting to heat up. If McCain wins, the liberals will try to tear him apart. If Barak Obama wins, the same thing will happen from our side. Honor and respect for the opposition? There is none because this division in the two sides goes to a man's core values and those are non-negotiable.

Wade Hulcy

Jason's Comment:
I think if you saw the video that was made featuring the children in California singing a praise and worship song about barrack Obama changing the world and if you understand Black Liberation Theology, which is Barack Obama’s theology, you will come to one clear conclusion: Politics is the religion of the left. The state is their church and Barack Obama is their Messiah. Those of us who love the Lord and worship Him alone and who envision a more limited role for government, one held in its proper sphere under God’s sovereignty, cannot allow the state to become the god of our age. This is a central and unbridgeable divide.

Video:
http://wbal.com/apps/news/templates/?a=13635&z=11

However, Christian should be setting the example for our culture in loving our enemies, praying for those who persecute us, giving honor to the King (which the early Christians did, even to emperors who saw themselves as gods). We have been dragged into a nasty, hateful, disrespectful process without injecting any bit of grace or love into it.

So as much as I disagree with Senator Obama and as much as I would HATE to see him become president, I need to respect the fact that he is a human being made in God’s image and is worth treating with respect and dignity.



Jason A. Van Bemmel
Headmaster


Wade's Comment:
Jason,Thanks for your response. I support your statements whole-heartedly. In fact, I find Mr. Obama personally attractive. Sad to say, his beliefs and the people he has chosen to associate himself with, are a threat to those who love liberty, limited government, and protection of the unborn. I have learned after many years of being involved in conservative politics that the other side does not fight fairly. They will do anything and say anything to stay, or reacquire power. We must recognize the opposition for who they are and stand for right. We can do so, as you say, with grace, but we also must be wise, resolute, and prayerful. Keep standing for right and stay in the fight,

Wade

post signature

6 comments:

Wife and Mom said...

This is well said and so true. I cannot stand hearing the disrespectful way that many speak of our President.

collegelife101 said...

This is sadly true. I'm a college student and it drives me insane how people (My age, younger, and older) have such a lack of courtesy for each other. They constantly demand respect towards themselves while offering not even the slightest glimmer of it towards others. I understand that some people disagree with The President and are entitled to their opinions, but would it kill them to have a bit of class in expressing them?

aswewalk.com said...

Heather, I posted this to my home school group and this is the response I received from the author of our curriculum. I have to admit I haven't read nor thought through his entire response. However, he asked me to add it to your comments because he was having a hard time getting his comment to post. Food for thought...Deb


Dear Deb and All,

I would concur with Mr. VanBemmel that we live in a rude society. It is
evidenced in how we dress and how we speak to each other. But, Mr.
VanBemmel, the political discourse will not change and become more honoring
in this country because the worldviews of the two sides have taken such
divergent paths that there is no common ground, no sense of honor for the
opposition whatsoever.

At the core of this great divide is the stark figure of Jesus Christ. He is
either the "Rock of Salvation," or "A stumbling block." He confounds the
wise. Our political divisions in this country are not in how the economy
should operate or whether we should send troops to Iraq any more. Our
divisions are grounded in our view of the cross. Granted, there are many in
politics and the press, who don't realize that the division is based on
faith in the Savior, but listen to them try to explain the difference in the
two sides and they stumble over themselves to explain why the other side is
so entrenched in what they believe.

Core beliefs are tightly held and are non-negotiable when all other beliefs
can be altered and tweaked a bit, "in the interest of compromise." This is
true for the conservatives in the area of abortion as an example. We just
think it is morally wrong to kill a baby in a mother, no matter how you
couch it. The opposition sees nothing wrong with it and cannot figure out
why we are so DOGMATIC in our beliefs. We think homosexuality, adultery,
co-habitating, same sex marriage, pornography and a dozen similar moral
issues are not just opinions; we think they are laws of moral conduct that
were established by God for our protection and are not to be violated or
negotiated in any way.

The liberals don't see any problem with CHOICES regarding these core values,
but they know that if they give in on one core issue, we will go after
another one and another one until all the choices in opposition to the Word
of God will be eliminated. The liberals will fight to the death on each of
these core values, just like we will. You see, liberalism has become their
God to them. As a result, there will never be civil politics as usual in
this country again.

I agree that they say inflammatory things about the sitting president,
George W. Bush, but we said the same things about Bill Clinton. Jimmie
Carter is still thought by many to be the worst president in history and has
no honor or respect among conservatives. Yes the liberal pundits and
Hollywood liberals vilify rather than honor the office of the president
while Bush is there, but what did Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity say about
Bill and Hillary Clinton when they slept together in the Whitehouse. (Oops,
see what I mean?) What do we give to Al Gore, John Kerry, and now, Barak
Obama, honor or ridicule?

The honor has vanished in the political arena because we do not honor who
the opposition is in his core beliefs. In the founding of this country,
Thomas Jefferson and John Adams vehemently disagreed with each other on the
role of government, but they were great friends and respectful adversaries.
Their respect came from who the person was and what their core values were.
That fundamental respect is gone in politics today, even in Christian
circles because we do not respect who the opposition is. I have no respect
whatsoever for Bill or Hillary Clinton as people, do you? I have no respect
for Al Gore, do you? I have no respect for Barak Obama, do you? When a
person stops legislation to halt the practice of killing babies while they
are coming out of the birth canal, (they call this heinous act partial birth
abortion), like Barak Obama did, there is nothing he could ever do or say to
earn my respect short of apologizing and righting his wrong.

Look at what happens when someone enters the national scene who really holds
these core values as dear, because they believe in them from their heart,
like Sarah Palin. The attacks are so vicious, so personal, and so nasty
that a fair-minded person is taken aback. A real believer in core values
hardly stands a chance in the public arena now days.

So get ready, the rancor of political debate is just starting to heat up.
If McCain wins, the liberals will try to tear him apart. If Barak Obama
wins, the same thing will happen from our side. Honor and respect for the
opposition? There is none because this division in the two sides goes to a
man's core values and those are non-negotiable.

Wade Hulcy
wade@konos.com

Cheryl said...

Hi Heather,
Thank you for posting this article. I've linked to you from my blog so my readers could pause to think about this as well.
Many blessings,
Cheryl

Wife and Mom said...

You have been invited to play a game with me! Go to my page and read if you want to play. :)

Cindy said...

This was a very thought provoking post!! I thank you for it. I would like to link you on my blog if you wouldnt mind.(beautiful photos too!!!)