By: Tera Ertz
“12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” 1 Peter 2:12
“A gentle[a] tongue is a tree of life,
but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.” Proverbs 15:4
It’s that time of year again, when shoppers shop, carolers carol, and the people of the nation join the verbal war for Christmas. I must say, I sighed just a little today when I ran across this story at Breitbart.com today. An atheist group out in California has begun the yearly campaign against Christmas. They say they do not intend to offend, and perhaps they actually don’t understand the deep insult they present to Christians as they plaster you Know it’s a MYTH across the top of a traditional Christmas background. I do not know their hearts, and in all honesty, their intent does not matter. It is not what makes me sigh. Atheists are atheists, they reject Christ. While I may know my Savior, I also know that they are entitled to their foolishness. In fact, the same Christ I celebrate this time of year told us there would be those who would reject Him, and not to take it personally.
It is actually what is going to erupt from my fellow Christians in the next few days and over the next few months that causes the deep exhale. I am certain that just as my radio is going to bombard me with Christmas music for the next 19 days at least, my Facebook feed will be replete with Christians encouraging one another to boycott stores that say Happy Holidays in their advertising. It will be overflowing with those proudly proclaiming that they will shout “Merry Christmas” to any and all who speak such horrible, hateful words as Happy Holidays to them. I can only imagine the tone of forced cheerfulness or belligerent glee that will accompany such proclamations. My heart grows heavy as I ponder how many of my fellow Christians will fall into anger, focus on friction, and miss the preparation for the Good News that a child is given unto us for the salvation of mankind.
Are you one of those? Are you already feeling the frustration that there are those who hate God that want to stop you from celebrating His birth? Are you already scouring the news looking for where to shop and where to stay away from? Have you written letters of complaints to the businesses whose ads say Happy Holidays? Can you feel your heart hardening, your spirit sagging, your joy fleeing as you face these coming weeks? Can I tell you a secret? The battle belongs to the Lord. The Christ you believe in conquered the world. He rose triumphant. He granted you the power of His name, and the protection of His Spirit. You don’t need to tilt at the windmills of atheist billboards. You don’t need to lament the loss of Christ in Christmas. He didn’t ask us to do that.
Instead, this Christmas season, focus on the weapons Christ granted you in this battle between the powers. Be honorable among the Gentiles, do good deeds with a servant’s heart so others may see Christ in you. Do not let Merry Christmas become an epithet, spoken to wound or shame. Let the Spirit use you to speak the words of life with joy and grace. Shine the light to prepare the way this advent season. We bring good tidings of great joy. The Christ is born to redeem this lost and dying world. Who knows maybe you’ll even reach one who does not yet believe. Be blessed and be a blessing.
Tera Ertz is the founder of Hope and Change Ministries, author of God Talk: The Beginning, mother of five, and a child of God. You can find her on Facebook, or subscribe to Hope and Change Ministries or Contagious Transformations to keep up with the latest.
Filed under: Faith, Politics, Social Issues Tagged: agnostics, atheists, Christ, Christians, Christmas, Christmas background, Christmas music, Facebook, fellow Christians, Freedom From Religion Foundation, Gentile, Good News, Happy Holidays, Holiday greetings, Hope and Change Ministries, Merry Christmas, politics, tera ertz
By: Tera Ertz
“The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious
and adds persuasiveness to his lips.” Proverbs 16:23
Several months ago, friend and fellow author Max Lindenman noted on one of my Facebook comments that I had mellowed tremendously since the days when he first got to know me on Right Nation. Back in the days before Facebook existed, I gathered with my fellow conservatives, and some not so conservatives, to speak on the news of the day in politics. It was a raucous time, my style was edgy, and I spoke with energy, conviction, and an overwhelming desire to convince the world that my view was the right view. I rarely resorted to cussing or personal insults, yet in my heart of hearts I secretly delighted in talking the opposition into sputtering madness. I carried that same attitude into my internet radio show, and onto Facebook a few years later when several folks I love dearly encouraged me to start getting my views out there. They told me how smart and articulate I was, and that the world would benefit from my wisdom and knowledge. Off I went, ranting with humor, wit, and a great deal of research and knowledge.
Three years ago I came to realize something. I am indeed a relatively smart individual, but so are a lot of other people. I do indeed have a great deal of knowledge in the subject areas I choose to write and speak about, but so do many others. I still deeply believe that conservative principles, both biblically and politically are the best principles for our society. But, and here’s the big but, no matter how smart, articulate or right I was, I was failing to actually benefit the world around me with my conversations. Those who agreed with me already agreed with me, and often already knew the information I was providing. Those who didn’t agree with me did not leave the conversation persuaded, nor were they likely to have learned anything new. I had to ask myself why I was spending such a huge amount of time researching, studying and sharing my thoughts with people. Was I truly seeking to have a positive impact on the world, or was I arrogantly looking to make myself look good using verbal jujitsu to take down those who disagreed?
In my Communicating Effectively class, the professor gave us a form the first day, and stressed its importance several times during the class. He called it the Paper/Speech planner, providing an outline for constructing a speech that met the criteria for the class. On first glance, the structure of that planner irritated me, because I am used to a more free flowing writing style. Yet, by the end of the class, the habit of using the planner to analyze what I wanted to say became invaluable.
Determining the purpose of the speech is always the first step. We rarely think of our personal conversations and interactions as a speech, but each conversation is in fact an ad lib public address of some kind. Just as with a formal speech, if we want those conversations to be effective, it is important to know why we are engaging in that particular communication. What is the purpose of what we are saying?
The planner outlines three main types of purpose for a speech: informative, persuasive and celebratory. In our more personal interactions, we might add others like expressing emotion and relationship building. Unfortunately, too often we could also add making ourselves sound smart, making someone else sound stupid, or insulting someone. Most of us in the arena of politics and faith spend a tremendous amount of time and energy in conversations, whether in person, on social media or on blogs. If we want to use that time wisely, to make our speech judicious, we need to take this first step in all our speech, not just the formal ones.
- Define our purpose for engaging – are we seeking to inform? To persuade? To build relationships? To tear others down?
- Once we have defined why we are engaging, we need to set aside any emotional reactions that don’t serve that purpose.
- For those of us who are Christians, we need to remember that no matter the stated purpose here, our main purpose should always be to bring glory to God in all that we do. We can’t do that effectively if our focus is on building ourselves up or tearing others down.
Next up: Who?
Tera Ertz is the founder of Hope and Change Ministries, author of God Talk: The Beginning, mother of five, and a child of God. You can find her on Facebook, or subscribe to Hope and Change Ministries or Contagious Transformations to keep up with the latest.
Filed under: Faith, Politics Tagged: Christianity, communication, Conservative, Conversation, effective, Facebook, faith, God, God in the Public Square, Max Lindenman, Monroe's motivated sequence, persuasion, politics, religion, speaking, speech, tera ertz
They the funded and published a journal, “The African Repository”, for the purpose of perpetuating propaganda of Black inferiority and the need to “segregate the races”. This was done to win public support.
The Publication asserted such concepts as “Africans were ordained by God and the laws of nature to be inferior” and “They are to be pitied, but are doomed to remain inferior.”
The Colonization Society was led by clergy, college presidents, and officials from both the Republican and Democrat Party. It’s officers had included Daniel Webster, William H. Seward, Francis Scott Key, and Winfield Scott. It was praised and embraced by the legislatures of 14 states.
In 1829, the Pennsylvania Assembly endorsed the American Colonization Society and agreed that shipping Blacks back to Africa would be “highly auspicious to the best interests of our country.”
President Abraham Lincoln would later become the leading advocate of Colonization.
The following are his words in a “Speech on the Dred Scott decision” (June 26, 1857), where he criticized both political parties for not sufficiently championing Colonization:
“I have said that the separation of the races is the only perfect preventative of amalgamation. I have no right to say all the members of the Republican party are in favor of this, nor to say that as a party they are in favor of it. There is nothing in their platform directly on the subject. But I can say a very large proportion of its members are for it, and that the chief plank in their platform — opposition to the spread of slavery — is most favorable to that separation.
Such separation, if ever effected at all, must be effected by colonization; and no political party, as such, is now doing anything directly for colonization. Party operations at present only favor or retard colonization incidentally. The enterprise is a difficult one, but ‘when there is a will there is a way;’ and what colonization needs most is a hearty will. Will springs from the two elements of moral sense and self-interest.
Let us be brought to believe it is morally right, and, at the same time, favorable to, or, at least, not against, our interest, to transfer the African to his native clime, and we shall find a way to do it, however great the task may be.
The children of Israel, to such numbers as to include four hundred thousand fighting men, went out of Egyptian bondage in a body.”- President Abraham Lincoln
So while Lincoln and most Republicans in the 19th century were definitely not in favor of chattel slavery, most of them wanted absolutely nothing to do with the notion of social equality for Black Americans.
It was an interesting time, as Democrats in the south wanted to own and control Black Americans, many Northern Republicans wanted to get rid of them altogether.
The American Colonization Society spearheaded the establishment of the African colony of Liberia, where over 12,000 blacks were transported to. The total number of Black Americans shipped “Back to Africa” and other countries, due the efforts of the American Colonization Society, is said to be well over 15,000.
In the final analysis, it appears that both the Republican and the Democrat Party of the 21st Century have been engaged in a bit of historical revision, as neither have been completely transparent about its history of racism.
Many Republicans love to shout on rooftops how they freed Blacks, championed civil rights bills, etc., and how Black Americans are indebted to the Republican Party.
Nevertheless, for all the accusations of Black Americans today being ignorant of knowledge about the history of the Democrat Party’s perpetuation of racism against Blacks, it could be reasonably argued that most Republicans today are without any substantial knowledge of the GOP’s role in perpetuating discrimination against Black Americans throughout its history.
Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. was well aware of it, which prompted him to say:
“Actually, the Negro has been betrayed by both the Republican and the Democratic party. The Democrats have betrayed him by capitulating to the whims and caprices of the Southern Dixiecrats. The Republicans have betrayed him by capitulating to the blatant hypocrisy of reactionary right wing northern Republicans. And this coalition of southern Dixiecrats and right wing reactionary northern Republicans defeats every bill and every move towards liberal legislation in the area of civil rights.”- Dr. Martin L. King
This is why it is so important to pledge our loyalty to Constitutional Principles and Biblical ethics rather than blindly follow the rhetoric of partisan politics, which, with smooth words and fine speeches, often deceives the minds of the miseducated and disinformed constituents in both the Republican and Democrat Parties.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Abraham Lincoln, African American, American Colonization Society, Daniel Webster, democrat, Democratic, Francis Scott Key, Lincoln, Republican, United States, William H. Seward
I was once caught up in Orthodox Islam and, later, the Nation of Islam.
The common denominator is that Islamic propaganda does a great job in selling millions on the false notion that it is a natural religion, particularly, for those who are “oppressed”.
They point out how Christianity was supposedly forced on Africans by slave traders and that the “White man gave us his religion in exchange for our identity”.
Many young White Americans are starting to buy into this lie.
Yes, it is true that everything Black was once couched in language that made it evil and all that is white, the language made it good.
Heck, even Napoleon tried to blow up the Sphinx, hating it’s African origin.
These facts make it much easier for many to be led into deception.
However, more and more, over the past 80 years, the truth has been revealed that people of African descent have played a major role throughout human history, in that which is both good and evil.
Not just that which is negative, as some would have us to believe.
The truth is that there Black Africans were in the “Upper Room” when the Holy Spirit came.
A Black African took the Word of God back to Ethiopia after being witnessed to by Phillip (Acts 8:26,27) and, thus, Ethiopia became a Christian nation, long before any European nation thought about it.
There were Black African “Coptic Christians” in the 1st Century, in Carthage by the 2nd Century.
The notion that Christianity is a White Man’s Religion” is not only historically inaccurate, but it is a lie from the pit of Satan’s hell intended to distract from God’s reality.
Food for thought for the day, for those who have been miseducated by radical Islamic propaganda or by that of Black Nationalists.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Christianity, Ethiopia, God, Holy Spirit, islam, Jesus, Nation of Islam, Origen
“4 Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. 5 So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.” James 3:4-5
“Do not feed the trolls.” Tera Ertz
With the rise of social media, the ability to communicate has increased exponentially.
The GOP Led House of Representatives Should Repeal President Ronald Reagan’s Failed “Anti-Drug Abuse Acts”
Falsely advertised as intending to nab “drug kingpins”, the laws were actually created to mass incarcerate petty drug offenders in mostly urban communities.
Offenders found with as little as 5 grams of crack cocaine were sentenced to a mandatory 5 years in prison, while offenders with 5 grams of powder cocaine were typically give a plea of “usage” or simple “possession”, both misdemeanors.
Ironically, while studies have shown that an estimated 66 percent of all crack cocaine users are White Americans, 79 percent of those sentenced to prison for crack cocaine are Black males, as predominantly Black communities are profiled for crack distribution more so than predominantly White Communities.
There should be no differences between how crack and powder cocaine are adjudicated and, furthermore, there should be no differences in the way some communities are policed when it comes to the distribution of cocaine.
Overall, the disparity in sentencing for crack and powder cocaine offenses have shown overwhelmingly that President Reagan’s “Anti Drug Abuse” policies are both unjust and discriminatory.
In effect, had it been 3.5 grams of crack cocaine, Radel would have had a mandatory felony conviction and spent time in jail.
Is there any doubt that racial disparities exist in cocaine and crack possession & sentencing, which allows white Americans leniency in the courts compared to Black Americans?
That is not “the race card”, but is fact. U.S. Senator Rand concedes this stated fact, even as his GOP peers still refuse to come to terms with the failures of these Acts.
Sen. Paul is co-sponsoring a bill to eliminate mandatory sentencing entirely. It is time, for Reagan’s “Anti Drug Abuse” law have only served to create socio-economic despair and perpetuate institutional discrimination.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Crack cocaine, Freedom From Religion Foundation, GOP, Reagan, Ronald Reagan, Substance abuse, Trey Radel, United States
By: Tera Ertz
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11
“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31
I ran across an interesting article on Cracked.com a while back that referenced a…
I have repeatedly said that a multi ethnic, economically diverse leadership team is more credible than trying to play race politics.
Race politics also won’t solve the problem of the Neo Confederate, Libertarian wing of the GOP.
The GOP is going to have to decide if it treasures the Neo Confederate Libertarian vote more so than the coveted minority vote. No way are the two going to co-exist, as no Black American in his or her right mind is going to stand alongside of Confederate Flag waving Libertarians.
Candidly, millions of White Americans are disgusted by this presence within the GOP. What’s worse is the denial of the GOP that this exists within its ranks.
People are not just plain stupid.
The GOP needs to understand or comes to terms with the reality that collaboration and strategic alliances should never be based upon common skin color, but based upon a commonality to survive.
So the first step in creating strategic alliance should not be identifying “common color”. It should be identifying common needs or concerns and begin to develop and cultivate partner relationships around those common concerns.
If the only so called magnet is one’s skin color, then, for example, Christian missionary work would be futile because anytime an Evangelist who is not of the same skin color of the hearer, the words would fall on deaf ears.
There has to be a heart connection. Not a color connection. I really don’t understand what this concept seems to be so foreign to those who, of all things, claim to be Christian.
Notice that I am not attacking individuals. I am indicting what I think are harmful concepts and ideas, as well as calling into question the GOP’s loyalty to the Confederacy, which makes no sense, in light of the fact the Confederacy is a part of the Democrat history.
When the State of Texas held their first Confederacy Convention, they adopted the following language:
“We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.”—Secession Convention, ”A Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union“
This language was adopted from what was called an “Ordinance of Secession”, which was adopted by each of the States formally seceding. All Democrats.
Why any Republican would associate themselves with it via a flag or group (i.e., “Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy) is truly baffling to me. It certainly won’t endear them towards minorities.
Time will tell if the GOP will learn that valuable lessons of history.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: African American, Chris McDaniel, Confederacy, Confederate Flag, Confederate States of America, Democratic Party (United States), GOP, Neo Confederate, Reconstruction Era, Thad Cochran, United States, White American
By: Tera Ertz
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
“It's a dream that we can find a job with wages that support a family. That we can have health care that's affordable for when we get sick. That we can retire with dignity and security.
Though Lincoln would say, during his speech, “the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here.”, we have indeed not forgotten, nor shall we ever, for we still have “unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced”"
The Gettysburg Address in Full:
Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.
But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.“- Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863
It is said that in our history lies our future. In this instance, I sincerely hope so, for it we absolutely need a “new birth of freedom” in a nation where freedom is not cherished nearly as much as the days of Lincoln, particularly the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: A New Birth of Freedom, Abraham Lincoln, All men are created equal, Consecration, Gettysburg Address, Pledge of Allegiance, Unfinished creative work, United States
By: Tera Ertz
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” Romans 12:6
“Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To their own master, servants stand or fall. And they will stand, for the Lord is able to make them stand.” Romans 14:4
I have found myself frustrated in recent days with many of my fellow Christians, nowhere more so than in politics.
I am surely looking forward to picking up my newspaper sometime this week and seeing no coverage of the great JFK hype.
This man (JFK) had no respect for his own family, for the American people, and especially for the highest office in the land.
He was a rich, spoiled brat whose daddy was a thug. Money cannot buy you class or credibility.
Kennedy was also a rabid racist for most of his life, doing all he could to try to undermine the advance towards freedom for Black Americans, from the time he was a U.S. Senator up until the final couple of years of his life.
Dr. King called him out in his book “Why We Can’t Wait“. King often said Kennedy wants Blacks to take freedom in a spoon and that this was unacceptable.
Malcolm X told Black Americans that they were straight up chumps for supporting a man like Kennedy.
If one were to study Kennedy’s policies and vision, he had intentions of implementing his own version of what later became LBJ’s “War on Poverty“, which was a war on Black American families, evidenced by the breakdown in the family fostered by these failed social policies.
So the revisionists of today, who hype Kennedy as some great man we should reflect upon and honor and mourn, are as dishonest as they can possibly be.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: African American, Americans, Barack Obama, jfk, Kanye West, Kennedy, Kim Kardashian, War on Poverty
By: Tera Ertz
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life,and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:1-5 ESV…
While I support entitlement reform which brings spending under control, I am adamantly opposed to cuts that focus solely on food stamps reduction, but do nothing to reduce corporate welfare, farm and rural subsidies, as well as spending on admin costs for unnecessary federal cabinets.
Frankly, Congress needs to eliminate a number of unnecessary and unconstitutional Federal cabinets as a first solution to reducing spending.
The fact is that residents in inner cities that are, sadly, over-regulated under left leaning rule, are going to suffer the most. That means that this cut will be felt mostly minority families (i.e., Blacks and Hispanics)
I just don’t see, frankly, the balance or the wisdom in the priorities or approach of the GOP controlled House in this particular issue.
I think they are wrong, in effect.
There needs to be a number of initiatives working alongside of reform, such as:
- Repealing the Davis Bacon Act
- Banning Project Labor Agreements
- Passing A National Right to Work Law
- Repealing the Federal Minimum Wage Law
- Reducing the U.S. Corporate Tax to under 25 percent; and
- Eliminating the Dept of Education
All of the above stated would drastically boost the economy and create jobs for those who are unemployed and/or under-employed and are often forced to apply for assistance by virtue of the economic climate they live in.
How is the elimination of the D.O.E. relative to economics? Simple. Bureaucracy in the Public Education system has creating a public school system that is failing miserably, increasing the rate of high school drop outs, illiteracy and, ultimately, poverty. Quality education is a key factor in promoting economic independence.
In any event, there are millions of Americans who are the “working poor”, but a bad economy, and now, ObamaCare, are forcing employers to turn full time workers into part time workers. They are not lazy people, but people caught in the crossfire of political chaos that is destroying our nation’s economy.
A nation that is increasingly socialist, unfortunately.
I don’t believe simply cutting food stamps is the best approach, especially when the same House that cuts food stamps are protecting unconstitutional subsidies for its own constituents (i.e., rural and farm subsidies)
I don’t believe, therefore, that these cuts are really inspired by economic ideas, but instead are purely political.
Any true economic solution will show no favoritism and will not have disproportionate impact on one demographic.
The fact is that most in the in rural areas are also completely on the government nipple.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture distributes Billions in cash subsidies to farmers and owners of farmland annually.
Not only do they receive cash subsidies, but they also get “help” from the USDA, who provide subsidized crop insurance, marketing support, and other services to farm businesses, all of which should be based upon free market services that those in rural areas should have to pay for themselves or utilize private companies. Government should not being providing those services.
This is a clear case of picking winners and losers. Republican officials pick those in the rural area to win. Democrats pick those in the cities to win. Both look out for their constituents, first and foremost.
I believe we need to implement public policies that are founded upon strong free market principles and promote a win/win for all Americans rather than this political game.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Congress, democrats, GOP, House, Labor, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, U.S. Department of Agriculture, United States, United States Congress, United States Department of Agriculture
“Slavery didn’t suddenly begin with Europeans carting Africans en masse to the Americas. Slavery has a long and evil history that has touched almost the entire planet at one point or another.
Depending on how one looks at it, the buying and selling of people hasn’t really ever stopped. It has, however, become more of a mental exercise than actual forced physical servitude.
One thing that hasn’t changed is that blacks living in America seem to still be the target. Too many blacks are now caught in a form of mental bondage.
There was slavery on the African continent long before the Atlantic slave trade. Earlier African slavery mimicked what happened among the Greeks and in the Roman Empire. People captured and sold off their enemies — be they from the next village, tribe or land. It was lucrative for tribal chieftains from both a financial and political standpoint.
In modern America, it can be argued there are people who consider themselves leaders in the black community who are effectively “selling off” millions of their brothers and sisters into economic, spiritual and mental slavery.
And, like the slavery of old, it is all for the benefit of the elites.
For example, many black leaders choose to support the increased influence of organized labor, oppose school choice and demand minimum wage hikes, socialized medicine and amnesty for illegal immigrants. All of these things can lead to a disadvantage in the workforce for black Americans and to high black unemployment.
Furthermore, the promotion and defense of abortion-on-demand that has taken the lives of an estimated 16 million unborn black babies over the past 40 years is one of the most insidious instances of manipulation of fellow blacks for political gain.
For example, the NAACP called the “right to life” the greatest civil right when defining it to fit the death of Trayvon Martin. But, when it comes to the civil rights of the unborn, a lawsuit was filed earlier this year in Arizona by a chapter of the NAACP to overturn a law banning abortions performed to stop the birth of a child due to its race.
So, by their logic, stopping an abortion to be performed because the baby is of mixed race or because it is black is racist? It’s illogical, but it’s what this NAACP chapter is essentially arguing.
Despite black parents clamoring for spots at charter schools or supporting school choice initiatives that can get their kids out of failing schools and into ones that will meet their children’s needs, black leaders such as Jesse Jackson stand with the teacher unions in opposing reform — even though Jackson exercised his freedom of choice by using his own wealth to send his children to private schools.
Yet, by giving a speech, appearing on MSNBC or sending an “action alert” e-mail, black leaders can shape the opinions of their followers. To me, it’s a “selling off” of black support.
And I consider it much more sinister than the accusation of “selling out.”
Just who are these modern-day “traders” in black power?
Al Sharpton is one. He doesn’t just appear on MSNBC; he has his own show! Jesse Jackson is another. He once was pro-life, but changed his views when he thought he could run for president. The NAACP.
The National Urban League. The Congressional Black Caucus. All are tenacious supporters of the social and economic policies that have devastated families and whole communities, and caused unfathomable depression, decay and death.
Parents are supposed to teach their children to pick their friends carefully.
Obviously, it’s a lesson that must be learned again by many Black Americans. We’ve not only made friends with the wrong people, but too many of us have given them significant control of our lives. And that’s hurting us!
That is, unless one wants to essentially be sold off as a slave in this day and age.
Editor’s Note: This is a New Visions Op Ed, Published by the National Center for Public Policy Research. Reprints permitted provided source is credited. New Visions Commentaries reflect the views of their author, Stacy Swimp, and not necessarily those of Project 21, other Project 21 members, or the National Center for Public Policy Research, its board or staff.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: African American, Al Sharpton, Congressional Black Caucus, Jesse Jackson, MSNBC, NAACP, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Urban League
This weekend, I wrote an article about my Tea Party experiences, sharing a personal evaluation of the character of the movement.
Since that time, I have received an overwhelming response from Americans from all walks of life. Both positive and negative. Some, predictably, were extremely hostile.
This morning, I noted a response from a Black Republican, Aaron Laramore, who keeps up a site, “A Political Season”, a Conservative Blog which highlights Republicans who are making or sharing worthwhile news.
He offers what I found to be a provocative and interesting response to my article:
“A really interesting piece you have written, at least interesting to me, mostly because you are writing as someone with some up close and personal experience with Tea Party members. I think the things you have pointed out are fairly accurate, but I also think you are holding back a bit in terms of addressing the issue of race or prejudice as it relates to the Tea Party.
Let me preface what I say next but pointing out that in my opinion, the issue of whether the Tea Party is or is not racist is complicated by the fact that we as a community of citizens no longer have a shared understanding of what we mean when we say something is racist.
The terminology, through misuse, abuse and overuse by black and white, has become nearly useless to discuss the issue among ourselves. I’m black, so on this topic I talk about it from perspective of blacks and whites.
I would agree with you that Tea Party members are not racist, meaning that I don’t believe they are motivated by a belief in the racial superiority of white people over black people in a way more prevalent than the general population. I’m sure there is some percentage of TP members who we would all agree could reasonably be labeled racist, but that’s true of the universe of non TP members.
So sure, racism is not the prime motivation of TP members.
However, I think you can’t end the analysis there. You are glossing over the topic if you do. To be sure, the Tea Party is motivated by concerns about the growth of government, the size of the debt, the erosion of freedom and liberty.
Those issues are real to them because they are real issues and it would be unfair to say that those concerns don’t motivate the Tea Party. But its no coincidence that these concerns racheted up to near hysterical levels of anger, venom and activism when there was a black president to personify the government and all the concerns, spoken and unspoken, the Tea Party has.
I don’t charge that racism is what typifies the Tea Party faction of the GOP. That’s not accurate. But there is little denying that part of what is operating in their mental background is a concern that their control of America and its government as part of a white voting majority in this country is coming to a close.
The browning of America and transition to a country politically guided by a multiracial electorate is one that they fear.
Here is where the smallness of the Tea Party vision is exposed. Rather than pursue a path of inclusion or of shared opportunity (which requires tolerance of dissenting views as you noted), the Tea Party champions positions which will help to preserve the political strength they have enjoyed and maintain their competitive advantage as against other demographics (so called voter integrity efforts, for example).
It is TRUE that government IS too big and spends TOO much money. But the makers vs. takers meme widely bought into by Tea Party supporters betrays the other impulse at work here. Within 40 years, a multi-racial electorate will determine our elected leaders, not a white majority.
The reality is that a degree of Tea Party fervor is in part about shrinking and diminishing government power to tax them, or to restrain their behavior before that moment arrives to preserve their advantage.
That is part of what’s motivating TP members. And while I think few would admit to the impulse, that it is there is implicitly clear in the tone, tenor and content of their rhetoric, whether its something they can acknowledge consciously or not.”
Mr. Laramore is essentially asserting that the Tea Party Movement is fighting against a “White, Black, Brown and Beige Future” in America, whether consciously or not.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Black people, GOP, government, racism, Tea, Tea Party movement, United States, White people
Most of my friends and family are convinced that the Tea Party Movement in “racist”. It is clear that this, for the most part, is media driven, as the Democrat Party does a good job mastering and winning the propaganda warfare.
However, the question should be asked, is the Tea Party movement in any way responsible for some of the negative perceptions many Americans have of it?
I have attended and/or spoken at over 40 Tea Party rallies over the past three years, in the south, north, and east part of our Republic.
I think I have just a little insight into the nature of is strengths and weaknesses.
Being “racist” is not a weakness of the Tea Party movement.
In my evaluation, I don’t personally rely upon either conservative or so called liberal media, but will take both sides into account, for no side is always right and neither is always wrong.
My own view is that I agree with the basic principles of the Tea Party movement, which I have always made clear.
However, the Tea Party did not create those principles and do not have a corner on the market in these principles. There are many Americans who do not want to be aligned with the Tea Party, who are Independent and Republican, for example, and are no less American or “constitutional”.
I think one of the greatest weaknesses of the Tea Party movement is extremism. Not from a Constitutional or policy perspective, but from a relationship perspective. There is a sort of “We are the truth, the way, and the light” mentality that is pervasive.
I meet a lot of type A personalities in the Tea Party who are rather poor at empathetic listening, building relationships with those who may disagree with their perspectives, and are unskilled at knowing how to navigate against the opposition without being given unto bitterness and vitriol.
Few Tea Party activists/leaders seem to understand that when you want to lead the lost, you have to love and serve the lost. You cannot lead who you will not serve and you cannot serve who you do not love.
I meet few who know anything about loving others unconditionally.
I will never forget that, when Romney won the primary, I was disgusted. For a period of time, I didn’t think I could vote for him because he is a Mormon and, in retrospect, I will never violate my own conscience again to fall in line with a political agenda or candidate or party.
Nevertheless, I ended up not only voting for Mitt Romney, but writing a ton of articles and doing a series of interviews promoting his candidacy directly in urban communities, taking a relentless beating from even friends and family (See: Peace through Strength), as I was one of the few across the country who concentrated my efforts in the inner cities.
I had property destroyed and was even physically attacked, hit with an Obama sign. Yet, there were Tea Party folks who started out with me, who were intolerant and vicious when I did not immediately jump on the Romney bandwagon.
Their message was “We have to rally against Obama”. My thing was that I had to decide whether I could vote for this guy, Mitt Romney, even as I knew I could not vote for Obama no matter what.
They had no respect for my religious conscience and some tried to publicly malign me right away.
Many Christians felt as I did and many stayed home in the end. I did not. Yet, I had to not only deal with my own conscience, but I had to deal with the vitriol of others who alleged to be on the same side I was on, as I tried to work my way through it.
So if Tea Party folks would do me like that, in spite of the sacrifices I had clearly made and the stances I had taken in defense of the Tea Party (on radio, television, news articles, etc), it was ten fold worse towards those who needed to be educated on the other side.
The fact is that you simply cannot take a position, when the lost rejects you, that: “You are stupid anyway” and that is how most in the Tea Party project themselves who I have encountered.
Too many, furthermore, are paternalistic and dismissive.
One of the things I have always tried to model is patience, empathy, and respect even towards those I don’t agree with. I have not come close to “arriving”, for only Jesus has, but I am confident that, over the years, I have developed a skill set to effectively communicate with Americans across all economic and ethnic/cultural lines.
I have tried to share those skills and the lessons learned with Tea Party friends, but few would really listen. I mean REALLY listen. They too often think that a crass, abrasive style is the only way to go and I happen to disagree. Frankly, I don’t think it is an effective approach.
I know Jesus to be of truth, but He was also full of grace.
I don’t believe the Tea Party movement is a “godly” movement, but is a secular movement based upon ideal political principles that are, in fact, Constitutional.
However, the moral/spiritual condition of man is at the core of our ills and to deal only with the law and to ignore the spirit, will never be successful in righting the wrongs caused by the heart and spirit of man.
I think that this is another weakness of the Tea Party movement. It is not a Christian movement and is unable to really spark a great awakening. It respects the history of the Black Robe Regiment, but rejects the practical application.
So no matter how right I may be and how wrong, for example, my neighbor might be about an issue, if I demean, insult and verbally attack my neighbor because he or she believes things that about me, due to my views, that are untrue, then all I do is cement my neighbor in those perceptions and cut myself off from ever being able to win my neighbor to the light.
That is another weakness of most Tea Party activists I have encountered. They don’t tend to think with foresight when it comes to responding to attacks from the so called left or others who might not understand where they are coming from..
I guess what I am saying is that Tea Party activists/leaders are often extremely toxic, albeit absolutely right in ideas about the way this nation needs to be governed. This toxicity is what many are reacting to. Not just the propaganda of the media.
Among my family and friends, many are Democrat and none are getting ‘freebies” from the government. That kind of commentary, for example, fosters stereotypes and breeds resentments. That is not a public policy discussion, but is an insult that paints a broad brush.
I don’t think there is anything wrong with the principles and ideas of the Tea Party as it relates to the Constitution and Public policy. The problem is few seem to be effective at dealing with people on a personal level, particularly those who do not line up with their ideas and expectations.
Thus, I can see why many have the perception that it is divisive and hateful, even as many who make these accusations are indeed hypocritical, in that they are also divisive and hateful.
In any event, Tea Party leaders and activists would benefit greatly from debating, and critical thinking classes (to learn the skill of empathetic listening and proper responses rather than being reactionary), as well as discipleship classes. And yes, I have met Tea Party activists who I knew were racists.
However, that did not make me go out and declare the Tea Party is racist. I did call them out and called on other Tea Party activists and leaders to weed them out, but most would refuse to hold these people accountable.
I had one Tea Party leader tell me, “When Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are held accountable by the left, then we can talk.”. So the last thing I will point out about its weaknesses is that there is an absence of vetting and accountability.
The Tea Party movement is not racist. Period, but it does not do a good job of vetting itself and making sure it silences those buffoons who come among them with a different agenda than reducing the size of government. Well, my long ‘two cents”.
Here is an article I wrote in response to the vicious attacks from the Congressional Black Caucus that were launched against the Tea Party some time ago: http://www.nationalcenter.org/P21NVSwimpTeaParty91011.html.
If I had it to do all over again, I don’t think I would take a stand in that manner for them, for I learned over the course of time that I was fighting for people who did not have MY back, but would stand with me only if I was 100 percent in agreement with all they said or did. That to me, is another form of tyranny. Control.
I am not interested in being the puppet of either the Democrat Party or any other kind of party. The sense I got, in the end, is that they only wanted a Black Conservative to use in response to Black liberals because they felt they could not say certain things. Some are more than willing to play that role. That is not who I am.
I want to know I am fighting with and for people that actually care about me as a person, in agreement and disagreement. They rarely had interest in me personally or in my family. Not one ever invited me to church or to their house for dinner to fellowship, etc. There was no real unity centered around each other that I experienced.
This is where, in my opinion, the so called left far outdistances the Tea Party movement. They are more people oriented and really tend to rally around each other personally and not just politically. They tend to deeply care about each other. So, while they rarely seem to understand the role of government in their good intentions, they do have each other’s back more often than not.
So I ultimately, for the sake of my personal well being and health, I began to distance myself and, since that time, I have a great peace of mind since doing so and me much more effective in building relationships, as well as reconciling relationships, especially in my own family.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Al Sharpton, Congressional Black Caucus, constitution, democrats, Jesse Jackson, Mitt Romney, Obama, Tea, Tea Party movement, Tea Party Protest, Tea Party protests, United States
The U.S. Supreme Court now has a case in front of it in which it must decide whether state colleges in Michigan can use race and gender as a factor in choosing which students to admit.
The law was passed seven years ago with support of 58% of voters.
It was added to the Michigan Constitution, barring publicly funded colleges from granting “preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.”
I have a few opinions on this.
First, the Supreme Court should not assume it has a right to repeal the vote of the citizens of the State of Michigan, in this instance. I don’t agree that Affirmative Action is a “constitutional right”. Therefore, banning affirmative action is not a violation of anyone’s civil rights.
Most of all, the Supreme Court should never violate the voting rights of those who decided such an issue on a ballot.
However, I don’t believe the affirmative action debate really seeks to resolve the core issue.
If race doesn’t matter, I want to know why is the question still being asked in employment and college admissions applications? I would like to see the terms of the debate changed.
Contrary to the false narrative of many of my conservative peers who bemoan how affirmative action leads to ‘racial quotas”, qualitative and quantitative evidence shows that white women benefit more from affirmative action than either Black men or Black women across the board.
In effect, affirmative action is not providing a crutch for Blacks as much as it is for white women.
That said, I would like to see an end to quotas based on gender or so called race. I believe all employment and higher education should be merit based. We ought to receive only that which we have competed for and earned.
However, there is another issue that is ignored by those who want to end affirmative action.
They are silent on the issue of what is called ”legacy preferences”.
Legacy preferences or legacy admission is a preference given by an institution to applicants on the basis of their familial relationship to alumni of that institution.
Ivy League Universities are said to admit up to 30% of each entering class using this factor.
Legacy preferences are no better, morally, than affirmative action.
Minorities often refer to legacy preferences as “white privilege”. I simply call it hypocrisy.
Therefore, I propose the following solutions:
1. Eliminate legacy preferences in all public institutions.
2 Eliminate affirmative action in all public institutions.
3 Eliminate the question of race in all applications for employment in the public sector
4 Eliminate the question of race in all applications for SAT and Act Exams, college loans, Pell grants, and entrance applications.for all public institutions.
Let’s stop pretending race doesn’t matter when it clearly does to those who claims it doesn’t. If it does not matter, then there should be no reason to ask such a ridiculous question when it has nothing to do with qualification.
I find that those who pursue the elimination of affirmative action, but don’t want to actually address the real issues, are hypocrites, including the Attorney General of the State of Michigan.
If they are serious about getting rid of preferences and quotas, then I support it 100 percent, but they are not really serious about it.
They just want to try to eliminate it for some. Not for all. That becomes clear in the language of their efforts, which focuses on minorities in particular.
Let’s end the hypocrisy and implement real solutions by eliminating any and all preferences, along with no longer asking about race when it actually does and should not matter.
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: Affirmative Action, Barack Obama, government, iran, Michigan, Michigan Attorney General, Michigan Constitution, South Dakota, stacy swimp, supreme court, United States, United States Supreme Court, University of Michigan, Waldorf education, Washington
“8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency[a] in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9 As it is written,
“He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor;
his righteousness endures forever.”
10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.” 2 Corinthians 9:8-11
In the midst of the shenanigans of Washington politics, I have been saddened and distressed, not by the difficulties it has caused to people, but by our reactions to it as Christians. There has been outrage, worry and incitement to fear. My heart breaks. A headline read “All eyes are on Washington over debt ceiling showdown.” Facebook is filled with outcries over the latest tricks to make people’s lives miserable, or the latest rumor of one side or the other caving. My heart weeps. It does not weep for the struggle, that is simply the way a free country works, particularly in a time where it is faced with those who do not particularly like the uncertainty of freedom in positions of authority. It is the response of my fellow Christians.
What will we do if checks don’t go out? What will we do if soldiers don’t get paid? What will we do if the government shuts down parks or roads? What will be do if poor people don’t get the money they depend on? What will we do if… What will we do, what will we do, what will we do!!!! I cannot speak to what should be done by those who do not believe in the God who made the world and sent His Son to lead us back to Him. I imagine there indeed must be distress and perhaps even a little terror for those folks in the dysfunction evident in a nation’s government run without a moral compass or guiding vision. But for my fellow Christians, who profess to follow the King of Kings, the Bible has already answered this question for us. Perhaps we just simply needed a reminder.
Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians at a time when Rome was neutral toward his ministry, but still nearly 3 centuries before Christianity became legal. He wrote this letter to the Corinthians as they worshiped in a prosperous heathen city dominated by the worship of Aphrodite. He wrote this at time when professing Christianity could get you shunned, fired or killed. He told them, and us what we would do as followers of the one true King.
What will we do when the world falls apart? Trust in the sufficiency of God in all things. What will we do when the checks don’t go out? Lift prayers of thanks giving for the certainty that God will make grace abound to us abundantly. What will we do if the soldiers don’t get paid? Lift prayers that God supplies the seeds to the sower and the bread for food and will multiply them so that through us they will produce thanksgiving. What will we do? What will we do? What will we do if the worst happens, the economy crashes, martial law ensues and we are hounded and jailed? Sing praises to the Father as we wait with expectation to see how He will deliver us and who He will save by our trials.
As a Christian, do not fear, do not tremble. Stand strong and joyful. Take your eyes off Washington and put them firmly on Christ. We are His light in the world, it is in this time of darkness we are called to shine. Be blessed and be a blessing.
Tera Ertz is political commentator and theology student who has been contributing to various internet radio and blog sites since 2008. You can find here on facebook, or check out her website at Hope and Change Ministries.
Filed under: Faith Tagged: Aphrodite, Christ, Christian, Christianity, Economy, Facebook, faith, fellow Christians, God, government, King of Kings, provision, shut down, supply, Thanksgiving, Washington, Washington politics
The burden which Habakkuk the prophet did see.
O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!
Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.
Therefore the law is slacked, and judgment doth never go forth: for the wicked doth compass about the righteous; therefore wrong judgment proceedeth.”- Habbakuk 1:1-4
Dr Martin L. King,, Jr. in 1965, after years of fighting against poverty and injustice against Black Americans, introduced what he called a “economic reparations” plan which he felt would close the economic gap between Black and White Americans and provide some level of justice for the sin of slavery against Black Americans.
King said it was impossible to completely economically atone for slavery but that some reparations should be provided to Black Americans to “help” us by leveling the playing field. His proposal was that the government provide $50 Billion Dollars in economic reparations over a ten year period to Black Americans.
The Government responded to King’s proposal by creating the:
- The Social Security Act 1965 (Created Medicare and Medicaid) – July 19, 1965
- The Food Stamp Act of 1964- August 31, 1964
- The Economic Opportunity, which created the Community Action Program, Job Corps and Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), Head Start, Legal Services, and the Community Action Program– August 20, 1964
- The Elementary and Secondary Education Act – April 11, 1965
Initially, Head Start was intended to be an eight-week summer program designed provide preschool children from low-income families with a program that would meet emotional, social, health, nutritional,and psychological needs.
Head Start was then transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services by the Nixon Administration.
In 1968, the government created “Project Follow Through”, in support of Head Start, which was the largest educational Initiative in U.S. History.
Billions have been spent for the specific purpose of train millions of disadvantaged and at-risk Black youth in academic, vocational, and social skills, in order to help them cultivate and develop the necessary tools to qualify for and access gainful employment.
Overall, over $15 Trillion dollars have been spent, since 1965, specifically on the so called war on poverty which supposed to benefit Black Americans.
The problem is that the War on Poverty was filled with traps within it, intended to break down the Black family and make as many as possible dependent on government and prescribed medication.
The government painted the programs with all the ‘bells and whistles” and broke the American people in the process, while never intending for this so called war on poverty to succeed.
While spending billions to “help”, the same federal government increased regulations that would nullify the job training, especially in Building trades.
On a local level,greedy and self serving Black leaders in American’s inner cities also played a prominent role in this facade, as pawns of a nefarious agenda. These so called leaders conned and manipulated the constitutionally and Biblically illiterate. They promoted class warfare and racial hatred. They passed local ordinances and regulations that helped to underdevelop the community and kill jobs.
These corrupt “leaders” found a way to spend trillions of dollars in ways that personally benefited themselves through administrative costs, salaries, and other perks. Indeed, they have been poverty pimps in a very real way.
I call it the $15 Trillion dollar hoax!
Yet, the people are without excuse.
“Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.”- Habakkuk 2:19
We allowed all of this because decided to trust government and man, rather than sticking to the faith and godly principles which got us through slavery and Jim Crow.
We put our faith in things and in people that were devoid of the “breath of God’. We became idol worshippers, exchanging our faith for some guarantees that government really could not deliver. That government never intended to deliver.
So in the end, I conclude, we got our reparations. Far more than even Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. had asked for. However, we allowed ourselves to be manipulated and we elected local and Congressional representatives (i.e., Black Caucus) on the basis of “Black Pride” rather than Biblical ethics.
We got what we ask for, tragically. We received the fruit of our faith in man and government.
Now, it is time for us to turn back towards God in faith, repent for our idolatry and begin to stand upon the principles which have never let us down.
It is also time for us to fully embrace citizenship and all the responsibilities which come with it, including Constitutional literacy.
Ironically, while Dr. King wanted reparations for Black Americans, he did warn us to never exchange our faith for materialism. He also said that there are things that no civil rights bills can do for us, but that we should “reach down in the innermost part of souls and sign with a pen of self asserted manhood, our own emancipation proclamation”.
King saw reparations as a ‘hand up”. He never wanted us to look for or accept government being our “security blanket”.
Yes, we are in a mess, but nothing that is too great for God, if we will humble ourselves.
“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray , and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land”- II Chronicles 7:14
Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: African American, Black, Black Americans, Elementary and Secondary Education Act, Food Stamp Act of 1964, Head Start Program, Martin Luther King, War on Poverty