Can We Stand Together?

There has been a whole lot going on since my last blog and while the topics were hot, as if they were going to get cold any time soon, I wanted to share my perspective on the Georgia flag, as well as my concerns with the tide that seems to be gaining momentum in regards to the war against “hate” and anything deemed “hate”.

I’m an Atlanta native, which may be rare to some, but not those in my circles. I’m also a first generation American on my dad’s side. My grandmother along with her children, my dad and three uncles, all immigrated to Augusta Georgia as World War II was winding down. My dad’s family originates from Austria, and just so no one is confused they don’t put shrimp on the barbie in Austria, but they do have some delicious Snitzel mit pomfritz, which is breaded veal or pork that’s pan fried and served with French fries for all you non-German speaking folks. Along with delicious food, Austria has some of the most beautiful countryside you will ever see in your life! Just view the intro to the Sound of Music and you will see my dad’s homeland, as well as a country that I hold near and dear to my own heart, Osterreich/Austria.

I was born in the late, very late 60’s. During my lifetime I’ve never witnessed segregation. Have I witnessed racism? Yes, and unfortunately it was I who was the victim. But I never allowed that experience to set up a bitter root within my heart. For as long as I can remember my friends and those I’ve hung out with are all shades, colors and nationalities. So when it comes to racism I’ve heard others view points and I have my own experiences to understand that bigotry on any level can not be tolerated. There is no place for it in 21st century America or the world.

Being raised in the south, I’m all too familiar with the roots of slavery and the abominations that were committed in days long before I was a twinkle in my mothers eye. I’ve known about the various symbols racist groups have used to forward their sick agenda. And so, I understand how some find the Confederate flag offensive. In fact, I was relieved when the Confederate flag was replaced by the red and white stripes that are currently on the Georgia State flag. On the day the “new” Georgia State flag was revealed with the red, white and red stripes along with the Georgia seal, I felt as though my past and my present were actually blending onto my home States flag.

Fast forward to June 2015. Nine beautiful people, all of which are African American were killed in cold blood by a racist. A young man who posed with the Confederate flag and espoused his racist agenda. Since that horrific day there has been cries to tear down every single monument and symbol that has anything to do with the Confederacy or the history of the deep South. This even includes the new Georgia State flag, which up until recently I learned is called “the stars and bars”. The original Confederate flag of my beloved State.

For those who are unaware, the Austrian flag (See Attachment) is red, white and red. Very plain but very beautiful and rich with history.

Austrian flag

The same design currently resides on the Georgia state flag (See Attached).

Georgia flag

For me, when I see the Georgia flag it is a constant reminder of my dad and my ancestors as well as a reminder of the State that I love. It’s the perfect blending of a country that is very much an integral part of who I am, along with the State seal of the land I’ve called home my entire life.

When I see the Georgia flag, I don’t see hate. I see love, hope, promise, and I’m reminded of the sacrifices so many immigrants, especially my grandmother and family, made to come to America with the only desire being to give their children more opportunity than they were given. That is what I see when I look at the Georgia flag.

To any who would desire to tear down this State flag I would humbly ask that you consider the feelings of others and the various paths that were taken by every single ancestor, free or slave, and the sacrifices of so many that were given just to be able to voice our opinions freely now. Would you still want to tear down this flag based solely on a personal agenda to free the world of hate? Or would it be possible to understand it doesn’t mean that to others?

The agenda to remove “hate” has begun to spread through our society like wild fire. The sudden need to “purge” our society of anything historical that may reflect “hate”. And it’s this push that has me the most concerned.

Recently the Supreme Court approved gay marriage in all States. And while most see this as a victory, I see it as the ripples of a coming tsunami.

Please stick with me, I promise it’s coming together soon.

While I do classify myself as a first generation American and Atlanta Georgia native, above all else I am a follower of Jesus the Christ, the Son of the Only Living God. So, why is this important and how does it fit into all of this?

The current war that’s being waged in the name of “hate” is not being waged for that reason. It’s being waged to tear down all things related to God. If a State flag, which I never knew until recently, was the first Confederate flag for my State, and also bears no resemblance to the Confederate flag of controversy then who’s to say the Cross will not be condemned as a symbol of hate?

This spiritual war that is being waged in the end is not about symbols, but it’s about souls and most importantly the soul of this nation. How can we continue to say we are a free people if we choose to silence a single individual or group? How can we say we are free if we choose to only listen to those we agree with and not anyone we oppose?

I have gone on record by stating I support the free speech rights of any and all atheists to speak their grievances against those who follow Jesus. However, when I’ve asked for the same courtesy it’s been met with crickets. I haven’t asked the LGBTQ crowd the same question but I have to wonder if their reaction would be EQUAL to that of the atheists? No, I’m not placing both into the same category ‘faith’ wise, only support wise.

For the record, I want all LGBTQ’s to know you have my full support in your pursuit of happiness as well as my respect when you desire to speak out about those who truly garner hate for you. My question for you is: Will you support me and stand for equal respect of my rights to say that I do not agree with the Supreme Courts ruling on same sex marriage, as well as my rights to free speech against any and all who truly garner hate for me as well as all who follow Jesus the Messiah?

A few days ago on Face Book I posted 11 of the 25 items that can be found in Hitler’s Nazi parties rules, I believe they were called. The reason for that is when you read the ones I posted, at first glance they appear harmless. Free education that focuses on culture, etc. I mean they are all things most would agree sound good. However, the heart behind them was NOT. The heart behind them was evil. The desire of that heart was to silence all that opposed that one ideology.

There is a huge danger in tearing down the reminders of the past. The most dangerous is forgetting the decisions that resulted in huge loss of life and repeating them. Does this mean we don’t need to take down the Confederate flag? No, in fact I’m fine with it’s removal from all State owned property. The same as I’m fine with allowing atheists to place their monuments next to the Ten Commandments in courthouses if they choose too. Why would I do that? Well, the Ten Commandments have survived thousands of years and will most certainly survive millions more and exactly what kind of monument are atheists going to erect? If you don’t worship or have faith in anything except yourself then my guess is the most appropriate monument would be a mirror. Which would be perfect because the Ten Commandments are supposed to help us SEE that WE are the problem and WE need a SAVIOR.

In closing, I’m not naive enough to believe that racism doesn’t exist. I’ve witnessed it’s cruel affects recently when I went to comfort my elderly Jamaican neighbor who felt he had just been the victim of racism by some ignorant white person in my neighborhood. After hugging him and reassuring him that he is a wonderful man I told him that stupidity doesn’t know color. Hate doesn’t know color. I also reminded him about the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. That his dream was for his children to grow up in a country where they are not judged by the color of their skin, but the content of their character. And yet, our country has moon walked right back into the mire that it has fought for decades to overcome. The mire of true hatred.

The definition of hate per Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary is: extreme or passionate dislike for something or someone.

However, in 21st century American society the underlying meaning is: to hate any opinion of opposition that is against popular culture or law and silence it.

My fear is this later definition will begin to rear it’s ugly head in the silencing and quite possibly the deaths of many innocents. As a society we can’t allow anyone to be silenced for any reason. Free speech doesn’t just belong to those we agree with, it belongs to those we oppose as well.

History has a way of repeating. It’s sad but true. There were millions of Jews who tasted slavery long before there were any African slaves. There were millions of Jews who died during the holocaust. Due primarily to one group desiring to silence them. My fear is the next holocaust will be of those who stood in the way of all who presently have redefined hate to mean what they want it to mean.

I am one who is going to remain standing in their way, because the love of my Savior and Heavenly Father compels me to continue to stand and demonstrate true LOVE, as well as I desire everyone to have an opportunity at freedom in the country that my family sacrificed so much in their journey to get here.

Jesus said and demonstrated: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:13-14

Now more than ever we need to stand for love. Demonstrate true love, God’s love, to a world that desires nothing more but to silence any and all who are, His reflection. Let’s all stand together.

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