A Wish For All The Difficult People In Your Life

I received the following in an email yesterday. I could not resist publishing it for all the world that is not on my email list to see.

Is there anyone you wish this for???

A Wish forAll the Difficult People in Your Life

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Context Is Everything

As a continuation of yesterday’s blog, http://emuelle1.blogspot.com/2005/07/breaks-over-back-on-your-heads.html, I want to make a few comments about the Bill of Rights. Actually, there is one specific right that I would like to discuss among the original 10.

The Founding Fathers wrote the Contitution of the United States to specify what the federal government could do. Then they wrote the Bill of Rights to specify what it could NOT do. We hear a lot of misconceptions about the rights listed within. The original ten amendments to the Bill of Rights were intended to guarantee individual rights that the federal government could not take away, with the 10th amendment also adding the states.

Before I go any farther, I will say that I consider myself to be somewhat of an amateur Bible scholar. I enjoy studying the Bible, especially in a historical context. It truly comes alive when you study it in light of the history and culture of ancient Israel. In any case, whether you believe the Bible or not, you most likely have seen people take parts of it far out of context. If you think non-believers are bad, I know many brothers and sisters in Christ who are just as bad. If you think the liberal churches take things out of context, I’ve seen the conservative ones do it too. I often hear about the “twenty verse rule”, which says that each verse should be read in the context of the previous twenty verses and the following twenty verses to avoid misapplication of the verse. Some verses operate just fine as stand alone verses, but often can be taken out of context when used alone.

That brings me back to the second amendment to the Bill of Rights, which reads as follows:

Amendment II
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

We hear quite a bit about how this amendment doesn’t really mean “the people”, but it means that each state has a right to a militia and that since we have the National Guard in each state now there is no need to maintain a militia as the National Guard maintains that role. (If that is the case, why are they in Iraq? As the caption to a cartoon I read says “When I joined the National Guard, I had no idea what nation I would be guarding!”)

When you look at the context of the rest of the original Bill of Rights, however, you see that each right is a personal right. YOU have a right to freedom of speech, YOU have a right to NOT have soldiers quartered in your home (so far, the only amendment not directly attacked by the courts), YOU have a right to be secure in your person, place, effects, papers, etc, and YOU have a right to a speedy trial by jury of your peers, YOU have a right against self-incrimination, etc. If every other right is a guarantee to the individual, then how can they say, in context, the only the second amendment is a collective right, the fulfillment of which is met by a National Guard on assignment in Iraq?

If the second amendment is not a personal guarantee, then what good is it? Now, why would you want to own a gun? Or several guns? Why is the second amendment in there in the first place? The British attempted to disarm the colonists to prevent them from rebelling. A disarmed population cannot stand up to itself. Perhaps you have seen the T-shirt “Mass murderers agree- gun control works!” No tyrant can stand up to an armed population. It is the final check and balance against the government growing too large or too tyrannical. “But it can’t happen here!” you say. Oh, can it? Look at Waco, Ruby Ridge, etc. Our government is perfectly capable of killing all of us to meet it’s own ends.

Let’s look at the Bible for a moment. Don’t worry, skeptics, this is not evangelistic, merely historical. During the time of the judges, the Philistines occupied Israel for forty years. Here is an interesting detail that we are given about how the governed the Israelites:

1Sa 13:19 Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make [them] swords or spears:

There was no metal smith in the land. The Philistines made sure of that. Why? Because they didn’t want the Israelites to arm themselves and rebel. Even after Saul was made king, we are told that only himself and his son had swords. The rest of the army was fighting with farm implements for a while.

What I would like for you, the reader (and I have no idea if anyone reads my blog or not) to take from this are a few things to think about. One is, what is the proper context of our founding documents? Forget the party line mentality that pervades our culture today. Use your own brain to analyze what you see and here. Also, think about who exactly benefits from the general population being disarmed? I mean, besides the criminals. Britain has some of the strictest gun control legislation in the world; so strict even that their Olympic pistol team has to practice in another country. Yet their gun crime is through the roof. The criminals love the fact that nobody can shoot back, and the politicians love that the criminals won’t march on Parliament.

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Break’s Over, Back On Your Heads

The title for this entry is from the old joke about Hell. A man dies and finds himself in Hell. The Devil meets him and tells him “This is the new, user friendly Hell. There are three doors. Each one is how you’ll spend your eternity. You have an hour, so take your time and choose wisely.”

He opened the first door, to find a firey pit. Men were chained to posts and eternally flogged by demons as the flames burned around them. He decided that would not be an acceptable choice.

The second door revealed an icy slope. Men eternally pushed giant boulders up the side of an icy mountain, only to have a demon kick them back down when they reached the top, forcing them to repeat this for eternity. He closed the door behind him, deciding that this won’t do either.

The third door revealed people standing neck deep in a pit of fecal matter, but they were drinking coffee and smoking and joking. The demons stood around the sides of the pit looking bored.

When the Devil came back to ask him if he’d made up his mind, he replied “Of course, I’m not stupid! I’ll take door number three!”. The Devil told him “As you wish”, and he went in to spend eternity there.

He grabbed a cup of coffee from the urn and stepped into the pit looking for a smoke to bum and a person to talk to when the head demon cracked his whip and bellowed “All right, break’s over, back on your heads!”

When I was in the Navy, we often used that statement with each other to indicate that the fun is over and that it’s time to get back to work.

I hardly know where to begin. We just finished the long weekend of the summer. Everybody calls it “the Fourth of July”, but that is not proper. If you look at the calendars of every nation of the world to follow the Roman calendar, you’ll discover that each and every one of them shows a Fourth of July. Look at the small print in ours. According to the office calendar that I have in my cubicle, it is “Independence Day (US)”. That’s right; if you live in the United States it is Independence Day. I get so sick of hearing it called by it’s improper name, just as I’m sick of Christmas time being referred to as “the holidays”.

Sadly, we may not see another Independence Day, at least not as we know it. CAFTA, the Central American Free Trade Agreement, passed the Senate and is expected to get voted on in the house very soon; July 11th was the last I heard. If this passes, we can kiss our independence good buy, along with our jobs and our economy.

And so, America, “break’s over, get back on your heads”. Contact your representative and tell them to vote NO on CAFTA. See http://www.stopcafta.com for short videos and more information.

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