Author Archives: idchristian

Christian America and Racial Unrest

King James gave us the King James Bible. He also planted tares along with the wheat that America is harvesting today. He gave us Jamestown, which was built on the tribal lands of the Algonquin Indians. 1605, unbeknownst to the Indians who never heard of England, King James signed a “Charter” which read in part “all the rights to all the lands, woods, soils, grounds, ports, rivers, mines, minerals, and commodities” were awarded to a group of English merchants to establish a colony for profit.

On April 26 1607, a group of ill prepared entrepreneurs established a settlement in the mosquito infested, marshy swamp lands of coastal Virginia. By winter only 38 of the original 105 colonists had survived. They were dispirited, weak, and disorganized as well as being surrounded by indigenous peoples who were, (depending on who you asked), either “hostile,” or “not happy with all these illegal aliens.” Reinforcements, fresh supplies and John Smith brought help and order, saving the colony which started to make a profit by selling the newest rage in Europe, tobacco. The local Indians established a truce and relationship with the English, trading crops for European wonders, products, gizmos and inventions.

Two things happened in 1619 (one year before the Pilgrims) which was a game changer. Women arrived from Europe (up until this time only men were part of this enterprise). The second thing was Africans were brought to the New World to tend to tobacco growing which was very labor intensive. Most who came were indentured servants. Indentured servants sold themselves for 4 to 8 years as a price of passage to a new world and all its possibilities and opportunity. Indentured servants, black and white worked side by side under the hot Virginia sun and horrific circumstances, sometimes right alongside their masters and their master’s family. Sometimes the indentured servants would try to run away. In 1640 three “made a run for it.” They were the Three Musketeers for Freedom; they were free until they were caught in Maryland and tried for violating their indentured servant’s contract. A Dutchman named Victor, a Scotchman named James Gregory and an African named John Punch stood before the “Justice.”  Victor and James were whipped and four additional years were added to their contract. John Punch’s sentence was different. He was to be a slave for the rest of his life. This was the first seed of such a great sorrow planted in American soil which would produce a bitter harvest still being reaped to this day. What happened to John Punch’s quest for freedom in Virginia would eventually lead to the Civil War and to the battles fought at Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and the civil unrest and resentment felt today by many blacks when they see the Battle Flag of the Army of Northern Virginia on a pickup truck driving around some monument in Charlottesville today.

The House of Burgesses felt it had to address the costly problem of indentured servants bolting (both “negro and white.”) Time lost in the field, as well as chasing, tracking, and transporting fugitives back called for measures both punitive and preventive and land owners sought a remedy for such a costly annoyance. Courts added additional time to the servant’s contract, or working a year while wearing a leg iron, or even being branded on the cheek with a red hot branding iron. White indentured servants felt no compunction to “not dream” of running away with a black servant until a law was passed which added the time of any or all the blacks who helped them or of those they helped to their own sentence, so a division of difference was cleaverly wedged to separate men and women by race, not their indentured standing. Laws upon laws were passed to discourage runaways, even to the point of fining the master for the inconvenience of allowing it to happen in the first place. This caused punishments to become more severe. Chattel slavery as an institution was being legally forged, link by link until the very heavy chains of injustice would wrap America like those that entwined Marley’s Ghost. The landowners of Virginia were not “racists” at first. They did not hate black people. They were businessmen and all these laws had to do with “profit” and sending more tobacco, and eventually cotton to Europe.

Before 1662 a slave born to a white master, might find legal standing upon declaring her Christian faith and her paternal relationship to her white father. Seeing that danger, in 1662 the House of Burgesses passed a law stating that a child born to a slave was a slave, regardless of who the father was. So much for inalienable rights endowed by the Creator. Indentured servitude was not as financially lucrative as slavery and if slavery was to be protected, laws were passed to close this way of escape. Legal status was changed from the paternal to the maternal relationship. If your mother was a slave it did not matter who the father was, you were born a piece of property with no rights, no recourse, and no hope of freedom.

King James and all those who passed laws that took away tribal lands, or turned people into property have died long ago, but the spectral memories which still haunt the House of Burgesses and hover over the unmarked graves of those who failed in their attempt to “make a run for it,” should cause us to pause and like Ebenezer Scrooge to ponder the ethereal visitation of conscience and thank God that we have awakened in time for Christmas morning as an opportunity to know the love of God and have a change of heart, and to live to see another day when both slave owner and slave, in cotton fields and cotton mills, in counting houses, and call centers strive no more to lord over anyone, but rather practice what we preach as we sing Joy to the World, the Lord has come, and for the Prince of Peace to bring salvation from a Prince of Darkness and to remove the shackles of the worst kind of slavery: sin. Ebenezer Scrooge enquired as to the continued availability of a large turkey hanging in the butcher’s window on Main Street, intending to show a kindness to the Cratchit household and then determined to increase Bob Cratchit’s wages and seek medical assistance for Tiny Tim. Charles Dickens, was neither an Apostle nor one of the Magi, but he raised his Ebenezer (like Samuel in I Sam 7:12) reminding us that a Christian nation (if there is or ever was) should be “doers of the word and not hearers only.” -id

Red Carpet Treatment

We see them walking along a red carpet like Olympian gods come down from their palaces to worship themselves in the Golden Globes or Oscars. From the silver screen to cable TV’s and DVD’s actors walk across some stage, as an illusion and a figment of man’s imagination. At award ceremonies they stumble over their lines as they try to thank everyone who played a part in their life of pretending. That’s what acting is, pretending. Many times, in telling a story, they pretend to be a nice or a good person, and we were glad to go along with the story. The charges made against Harvey Weinstein and the torrential downpour of accusations is a spoon full of Caster Oil and a dose of reality long overdue. Hollywood has applied heavy layers of cosmetics to make sinners look good and tell lies. As knee-taking has ruined the All American image of the NFL and emptied stadiums, so the current confessional and exposure of Hollywood’s naked truth is Toto pulling back the curtain on America’s Wizard of Oz. Every medium can be used for good or ill. The same printing press that prints a Bible can print Fifty Shades of Gray. It’s not the bad technology but bad theology that’s the problem. In the spiritual world there also is “believe,” and “make-believe.” The Apostle Paul called men to an “unfeigned” faith that is real and needs no cosmetics or casting couches. Some say they have been trying to warn everyone that Hollywood is full of these predators and lies, but no one would listen. I seem to remember another famous actor who spoke the truth, but nobody listened. His name was Jiminy Cricket. When Pinocchio wanted to go off with Honest John and be an actor, he left Jiminy (his old friend) behind, to which the disappointed insect philosophized, “What does an actor need with a conscience anyway?” Forget the red carpet and the glamor and all the Honest Johns of this world promise you. Listen to God (and the little voice called conscience, if he is still around) and the story of the Cross. What should we think about the shocking red carpet revelations? It’s not that we need to think harder, we need to think higher. Don’t think about the curtain call, think about God’s final call   -id

Knee Jerk Reactions

I stopped wearing a Dodgers hat when the Dodgers left Brooklyn. William Penn refused to remove his hat before the English court, after being arrested for speaking to an “unlawful assembly.” The Government ordered that no religious group larger than five persons could gather (except for the Church of England). Wanting to avoid an unnecessary confrontation with the world’s authorities Penn (the eventual founder of Pennsylvania) chose to enter the court without a hat (against the custom of the day) thus eliminating the necessity of removing it as a gesture of deference to the government’s magistrate. God was this Quaker’s Magistrate and Master. The Bailiff insisted they enter with hats and placed the hat on Penn’s head, which he now refused to remove. Penn was sent to jail for this crime of fashion. Continue reading

Battle of Charlottesville

The Battle of Charlottesville
America is perhaps the only Nation in history, in which after crushing a Revolution or Civil war, not only allowed the defeated army to take their rifles home, but allowed those defeated to erect monuments of honor to themselves and a bad cause. What most call the Confederate flag is in fact the battle flag of the defeated Army of Northern Virginia under the command of Robert E. Lee. Continue reading

Is Our President Crazy?

Our President loves professional wrestling. Most elites don’t “get” professional wrestling, and therefore don’t get him either. It’s more than Punch & Judy. It reduces the world to elements even a child can understand. There is a good guy and a bad guy (both wearing tight bathing suits over tights) but in the end the good guy wins and the crowd roars its approval. It’s America reduced to a wrestling ring (never mind that it’s a square) and it is a metaphor that describes how the good guy can make a comeback even after “being on the ropes”. His nemesis often “plays dirty,” and cheats, and everyone can plainly see it, everybody but the referee. Continue reading

Mother Mayhem

Life is what happens between the fetal position and the fatal position. Anyone who will deny the most basic right, the right to life itself, is not just wrong, but dead wrong. Not only do pro-abortionists justify such butchery, they march defiantly through the streets, replacing the spirit of motherhood with malice. Malice is a malware that, like a computer virus, has infiltrated the tradition of good will required for any relationship or society to work.
Forget the computer virus, malice or ill will is a virus that can destroy any assembly of people (national, local, political or religious). At the end of the Civil War, on March 4, 1865 Abraham Lincoln said “With Malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds.” Apparently, some were not listening. On April 14, 1865 Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. So much for malice toward none. Continue reading

Using the “N” word

Hearing someone use the “N” word can be very disconcerting. It is not the word itself, but how it is used that causes us to be uncomfortable. The first time we hear our own children use the “N” word snaps our head back. Some parents are just shocked the first time they hear it coming out of their own children’s mouths. Toddlers love to use it as they think it empowers them. They use it to establish their individualism and independence. Words express what is in the heart and the “N” word is often first uttered to declare defiance. The word is “No.” Not understanding it quickly sends man from the garden to the Ghetto. Learning to use the “N” word is more important than learning to use the potty. Good parents teach their children both. Children who don’t learn the power and importance of control are always making a mess. A child who accepts and trusts their parent’s “no” finds a happier and healthier life. Reaching for the hot stove causes loving parents to sometimes shout “no.” No is an important word and concept. The ten commandments are criticized by adults still in dirty diapers who never learned the importance and safety in a loving God’s “no.” Each of God’s “no’s” is for our good. Man was not made for the Sabbath, but the Sabbath for man. Continue reading