Do It Right The First Time

salute

I want to share a little story with you.

My scoutmaster (we’ll call him Scott) once gave a Scoutmaster Minute that has stayed with me for almost 10 years.

The incident took place during his time in the Army. Scott was an officer, and had just gotten off a brutal shift that had lasted nearly 24 hours with no rest. He joked that at the time he thinks he was taking coffee intravenously just to stay awake. Anyway, as he walked to his barracks, a very nervous looking soldier wearing civilian slacks and a white t-shirt approached him. He said, “Sir, can I have a word with you?”

Scott was about to say yes, when it registered with him that the soldier who was addressing him was not in uniform. Sternly, he rebuked the soldier and said, “If you’re going to address a superior officer, you need to be in uniform. Go change and then come back and talk to me.” The soldier protested at first, but Scott was firm. The soldier left and returned in his uniform, but it was disheveled and unkept. Scott again rebuked the soldier for his unprofessional appearance, and sent him back a second time. This time, the soldier took care that his appearance was professional and worthy of standing before the superior officer.

This time, Scott was satisfied. He said, “Now that you’re dressed appropriately, let’s take a walk. What did you want to talk to me about?”

Nervously, the soldier said, “Sir, I’ve been very depressed for a long time. Tonight, I told myself I was going to go out, ask to talk to the first person I saw, and then kill myself in front of them.”

Scott was shocked! The soldier continued, “But after you sent me back to put on my uniform, it gave me time to think, and now I’m not sure what I want.”

Scott spent the rest of the evening counseling the soldier, who ultimately decided not to take his own life. The moral of the story? Standing on ceremony may be a hassle sometimes, but there are good reasons for it.

Never underestimate the impact of insisting that things be done the right way, the first time. Because Scott insisted that the soldier follow the proper protocols of respect, the man’s life was saved.

Are Blacks Being Eliminated in the US?

 

Whitney Curtis/The New York Times

Whitney Curtis/The New York Times

You’re probably already familiar with the events occurring in Ferguson, Missouri where an 18 year old unarmed black man named Mike Brown was shot and killed by a white police officer. The response from both social media and the ground has been that this is yet another instance of racist white cops killing unarmed black men in what is clearly an indication of systematic racism. The media has had a field day with the story, and it has clogged news sources for weeks.

I’m not here to argue that Mike Brown was or wasn’t at fault. Nor am I here to defend or deny my “white privilege”. I’m not even here to defend or condemn the white cop who did the shooting. You can find that material elsewhere.

I want to talk about a rap song that was trending on Facebook recently called “Don’t Shoot”. It’s a collaboration between rap artist The Game and about 13 other artists. Honestly, I rather enjoyed the song, which is a response to the events in Ferguson. While I don’t necessarily agree with their perspective, I liked it’s musical qualities and the fact that it was talking about something important (as opposed to sex, drugs, and alcohol). Check out the lyrics here.

One particular line stood out to me (from collab artist Problem): “The revolution has been televised/If I sit here and don’t do nothing/Homie that is genocide.” The message is that the African-American community needs to take notice of this event, and rise up and demand justice. This line really stood out to me because the rapper says that Mike Brown is the start of a black genocide and this is evidence that something needs to be done.

While I recognize that this is probably hyperbole to illustrate a point, Problem missed the mark. He decided it was worth his time to participate in a song and talk about black genocide from systematic racism. Yet, he won’t talk about the real black genocide that has been waged legally in this country for more than 40 years (and arguably much longer than that).

The Real Black Genocide

According to the CDC, since 1973 more than 16 million African-Americans have been aborted. If you think this is a solely a function of low-income demand for abortion, think again. The fact is that Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in America, has a long and storied history of racism against minorities, particularly African-Americans. Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was a vocal advocate for eugenics (the philosophy, infamous for its adoption in Nazi Germany, that seeks to create a superior race by eliminating those “unfit to breed”), birth control, and sterilization.  Her legacy is steeped in racist ideology, and while it is true that eugenics was mainstream in America in the 1930’s, she had no scruples about pushing her elitist agenda. Many of her contemporaries openly praised Nazi eugenic methods as “humanitarian” and “scientific”, positions that Sanger herself fiercely defended. She was a member of the American Eugenics Society and was a speaker at Ku Klux Klan gatheringsYou can read all about the legacy of Sanger here.

(To be fair, it should be noted that Sanger did live in a time where the “science” of eugenics was wildly popular. Some have used this as an end-all justification for her actions, but the ends never justify the means. Leben Magazine has a great article about the American church and eugenics in their July 2014 issue, which I will post here when it is available online.)

Think this is just in the past? Think again. Planned Parenthood has never renounced any of its racist history and its highest national award is still called the Margaret Sanger Award. In 2008, the CDC data revealed that 42% of all abortions come from black women, yet African-Americans make up only 12.6% of the population. Abortion centers overwhelmingly target minority and traditionally African-American neighborhoods and Planned Parenthood has nearly 80% of their abortion centers in minority neighborhoods. Life Dynamics, a pro-life advocacy organization, did their own analysis of zip codes and found that abortion centers were most likely to be found in minority neighborhoods, and they published their survey and methodology for public scrutiny. The abortion rate among black women is five times higher than among white women and it has been reported that in some states, such as Mississippi, black women get 78% of the abortions. Planned Parenthood claims it does more than just abortions, but the fact is that they referred out a mere 5,000 women to adoption centers vs. the more than 350,000 abortions they performed in 2007. (And it only makes sense: abortion pays. According to Planned Parenthood’s own website, an abortion will run you anywhere from $300 to $1,700. That’s a nice chunk of profit which keeps the corporation motivated to keep bringing in abortion clients as opposed to referring to an adoption agency, which doesn’t pay. Some abortionists charge more than that, with late term abortions running between $2-3,000.)

In New York city, more black babies are aborted than are born alive, with 1,223 abortions for every 1,000 live births. Yet, suspiciously, the rate of white abortions is a mere 265 abortions per 1,000 live births.  Finally, in a full circle to the events in Ferguson, the current President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, surmised that the events in Ferguson show us how important it is for people to have the choice to abort their children. (Interestingly enough, Richards’ echoes the sentiment expressed in a 1950 pamphlet distributed by the Human Betterment League of North Carolina, which advocated sterilization of “mental defectives”. They said, ” No child should be born to subnormal parents and denied a fair, healthy start in life.”) Ferguson is the kind of community that Planned Parenthood has historically worked to eliminate.

Injustice Demands A Response

Black genocide from racist cops in Missouri? No. The real holocaust has been going on for years, arguably since the end of slavery. The real black genocide has claimed more than 16 million victims at a rate of 363,000 a year, and is the number one killer in the black community. It masquerades as justice, flaunts itself as choice, and tears down the black community from the inside.

If rap artists are going to take a stand against injustice, against genocide, against evildoers, they need to start here. This is the real black genocide. Innocents are being slaughtered for profit, and the victims are disproportionately black. Worse yet, the worst offender of these crimes is a multi-million dollar pseudo-corporation that has hundreds of locations nationwide; the quintessential greedy conglomerate. When we ignore the decimation of the black population by abortion, we quietly fulfill the vision of the Margaret Sangers of the world; one where minorities are wiped out. This is the great civil rights debate of our day. The abortion industry in our country has its roots to an openly racist agenda and this is an agenda that has never been denied. Since 1973, over 25% of the black population has been eliminated through legal abortion.

I could go on and on about the racist practices of abortion practitioners, like how Planned Parenthood accepted donations that were specifically earmarked for black abortions. You can fool yourself into believing that it isn’t happening anymore, but the evidence points to the contrary. Want to help stop the black genocide? Start here. It’s much more important than what’s going on in Ferguson.

For more information about Planned Parenthood’s prolific racist history, watch the incredibly well-researched documentary Maafa 21.

 

Does Courtship Make Sense?

A "court ship"

A “court ship”

There’s an article that’s been floating around the Christian online community in the past week or so called “Why Courtship is Fundamentally Flawed” by Thomas Umstattdt. Like many who read it, I had some interesting thoughts and I would like to share them with you.

While I don’t agree with 100% of what the article says, I thought there were some valid points. It brought to mind certain facets of my relationship with my wife that I find are relevant to the discussion. Namely, we didn’t court. Or at least, we never said, “Hey guys! Guess what! We’re courting!” We never went on a “court” to dinner and a movie, and we certainly didn’t have 24 hour supervision that seems to characterize many courting relationships in many circles. I think it’s important to realistically look at how a relationship works.

Doug Wilson responded to the original article and rightly pointed out that no matter what model people use, the fact still remains that the relationship is comprised of sinful people who live in a sinful world, and you’re going to have to deal with sin. That’s true, but I find the original article more persuasive. Thomas Umstattd also posted a follow up where he answered some of the questions that his original post brought up.

Exclusive Relationships Invite Temptation

One of the most important things that Umstattd pointed out is that the way his grandmother dated was by having mandatory dates with different boys in order to maintain a balance without getting too attached to one or the other. He pointed out that this helped his grandmother (at least when she was young) develop skills to interact with the opposite sex as well as give her an idea of what she wanted in a man. Furthermore, it helped to calm emotional ties with boys by not making it an exclusive relationship.

Courtship, in many of its forms, emphasizes emotional and physical purity and seeks to guard that by adding layers of security on it (which in some cases, is properly interpreted as legalism). As Umstattd points out, this really just exacerbates the problem of trying to stay pure because the hurdles of simply getting into the relationship elevates it to a level of exclusivity that is far above what it needs to be. It is rightly noted that for many guys, just asking to court a girl is tantamount to asking for her hand in marriage. I remember bringing up this very point with my friends when I was in high school and we all agreed courtship was something to be avoided.

When I actually met my wife and we were dating/courting/”going steady”, purity was hard. Duh. Whenever you get a guy and girl together and they’re in love, purity will be hard. Sin makes it hard. The more exclusive the relationship is, the harder it is to fight back. It’s not a defect of relationships; it’s just a fact. My beef is that courtship often accelerates exclusivity prematurely, which makes temptation more intense because of the emotional commitment involved. I recognize that accountability is also a strong part of courting, but accountability does not kill temptation.

Opposite Sex Relationships Are What is Important

My wife and I both have always had strong opposite sex friendships which I believe was key in us meeting and getting married so quickly. We already knew what we wanted, and when we found it, what was the point in waiting? Furthermore, we were friends for a solid two years before we became “official”. We didn’t have a relationship that was closely supervised, which would have made it hard to get to really know each other. Insofar as courtship is about pursuing marriage, then yes, we courted because we always knew we wanted to get married. So in a sense, when we made our relationship official, it was kind of like the start of a very long engagement because we knew nothing would break it down.

I believe that we were unique because we had a good sense of what to look for in a partner. That sense came from having strong opposite-sex relationships prior to meeting. This is what I believe courtship harms. There is often a sense of apprehension among guys about approaching a girl and getting to know her if you believe that she or her father may interpret that as a signal towards courtship (read: engagement). This is what I believe Umstattd was getting at. Don’t kill the relationship before it’s had a chance to grow.

Maybe the system of exclusivity inadvertently invite more temptation and accountability only goes so far. We are what is flawed, and maybe having a system that discourages opposite sex friendships by invoking the specter of marriage prematurely ain’t the greatest.

I highly recommend reading both the original article and the Q&A response that clarifies some issues from the original article. It’s an issue worth thinking about.

What do you think?

 

More like this:

Why You Shouldn’t Wait For Marriage

3 Ultra-Stupid Pieces of Marriage Advice the World Gives You

Why “Marriage Isn’t for You” Is Wrong