Monday, August 21, 2017

Only Love Will Drive Out Hate

Ulysses S. Grant -- Civil War General and U.S. President
In these days of intensifying tribalism in America, it's helpful to look back to earlier hard times in our nation.   I was struck today by something moving in the recollections of President Ulysses S. Grant as he wrote of his experience as a Civil War general, the general who, along with Abraham Lincoln, saved the Union.

Grant was traveling on horseback in late June, 1862, on his way to Memphis.   Except for various outposts, this was Confederate territory, only lightly held by Union troops.

Watch what happens when men of honor meet; men who hold quite different perspectives (emphasis added):

I halted at La Grange. General Hurlbut was in command there at the time and had his headquarters tents pitched on the lawn of a very commodious country house. The proprietor was at home and, learning of my arrival, he invited General Hurlbut and me to dine with him. 

I accepted the invitation and spent a very pleasant afternoon with my host, who was a thorough Southern gentleman fully convinced of the justice of secession

After dinner, seated in the capacious porch, he entertained me with a recital of the services he was rendering the cause. He was too old to be in the ranks himself--he must have been quite seventy then--but his means enabled him to be useful in other ways. 

In ordinary times the homestead where he was now living produced the bread and meat to supply the slaves on his main plantation, in the low-lands of Mississippi. Now he raised food and forage on both places, and thought he would have that year a surplus sufficient to feed three hundred families of poor men who had gone into the war and left their families dependent upon the "patriotism" of those better off. 

The crops around me looked fine, and I had at the moment an idea that about the time they were ready to be gathered the "Yankee" troops would be in the neighborhood and harvest them for the benefit of those engaged in the suppression of the rebellion instead of its support. 

I felt, however, the greatest respect for the candor of my host and for his zeal in a cause he thoroughly believed in, though our views were as wide apart as it is possible to conceive.

Grant could have had the gentlemen imprisoned.  Instead, they listened to one another with honor, and, no doubt, took their leave with courteous words.

Today, it feels as if we a nation degenerating into rival tribes based on perceived identities.  One pictures tribesmen with shields and spears shouting and brandishing their weapons in defiance at one another, each tribe nursing grievances toward the other.

Martin Luther King wrote this: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

If Dr King is right, and I believe he is, then it also seems right that "We will never with hate drive out the hate of those who hate from the left or from the right.  Only love will drive out hate."


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

U.S. President Saves Children in First Day in Office

I want to say at the outset of this post that I do not judge women who have had abortions. There is only love in my heart and and hope for blessing for any woman who has been down that road. It is abortion organizations, and the idea of abortion for any and every reason that I find contemptible.

That said, on his first full day in office, President Trump by executive order has saved the lives of many children around the world by re-instating the "Mexico City Policy". These sons and daughters of other lands would have been killed by abortionists using American foreign aid funds......which come from your tax dollars and mine.

In 44 years (January 22, 1973), abortion organizations have killed 60 million American children. If that wasn't evil enough, we exported abortion abroad through foreign aid.

According to the San Luis Obispo Tribune, "the Mexico City Policy requires foreign non-governmental organizations to not provide or promote abortion services if they receive funds from the U.S. government. Specifically, the funds would come from the United States Agency for International Development, and abortion cannot be presented as a “method of family planning.” Promoting abortion services includes work such as counseling for women that includes language on abortions."

Taxpayer dollars cannot be used to kill our own nation's children.  For us to pay for or promote abortion in other countries with taxpayer dollars is flagrant hypocrisy at best.

Thank you, Mr. President. Well done.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Sex Slavery Flowers in Our Toxic Hyper-Sexual Culture

Recently, several hundred in our city attended a hard-hitting session on combatting sex trafficking.  We learned that dozens of girls have been trafficked from our community alone in recent years, and sex slavery is on the rise in America and around the world.  No family is safe from the impacts of trafficking.

After watching the short film Chosen, Benjamin Nolot, founder of the non-profit foundation Exodus Cry, spoke to the group.  Exodus Cry produced the sex trafficking documentary Nefarious: Merchant of Souls. (See below)

This image of "GIRLS" deeply troubles me because it
demeans my daughters, my sisters and my granddaughters.
It makes them "meat". How many of the girls in the establishment
that this points toward are sex slaves? I am asking
myself.....why are we allowing these signs on public streets???
Nolot said demand for illicit sex is rising because of our hyper-sexual culture and its impacts on young men who have learned about sex from entertainment.  The same hyper-sexual culture can lead vulnerable young women to believe that their sexuality is the basis for their worth.

Pimps enslave girls and young women by preying on their vulnerabilities.  They may shower them with affection, expensive gifts, and meals to gain their trust.  Once they have sex, the girls are captured.  Using promises of big money and threats of removal of affection, threats of violence against family members, or threats agains the girls themselves, they remove them from their family and social connections and move them into larger towns.  There the girls are sold repeatedly for sex.

Sex slavery pays.  Pimps can make more than $300,000 from a single girl, a Los Angeles study found.  Making trafficking too risky to operate is one way of fighting back, Nolot says.  Our county now has two staff in the District Attorney’s office assigned full time to sex slavery cases.  The D.A.’s office reported life sentences have recently been handed down for sex trafficking convictions.

Education is another way of pushing back.  Teaching girls in age-appropriate ways to detect lies in the culture and in entertainment is a first levels protection.  Later we can teach them to detect the moves of pimps is important.

Dealing with the demand side is something we must manage as a wider society, he believes.  If we abandon our young men's masculine education to the culture we are abandoning them to the pornographic culture…..and the pornographic culture feeds the social cancer of sex slavery.  Pornography contributes to sex trafficking and the ruin of lives of young women.   And.....prostitution is NOT a "victimless crime". 

We must begin to see prostitutes as victims — no woman on the planet ever really wanted to be a sex slave.  As long as we believe somehow in our hearts that prostitutes have thoughtfully chosen this lifestyle or that they are part of some lower class of humanity, they will continue to be bought and sold.

No one is safe from sex trafficking, Nolot said. Our daughters and the daughters of our families and friends are not safe as long as there is a demand for illicit sex and unscrupulous individuals are willing to prey on them for profit.  Slavers prey on girls from good homes, not-so-good homes, rich homes, and poor homes.  No one is immune.

We need a paradigm shift.  Now more than ever our culture is increasingly toxic in the area of sexuality.  Tens of thousands of young girls are enslaved because of our failure to confront these evils in our culture. 

You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know. ― William Wilberforce