Tuesday, March 16, 2010
TELL ME WHAT YOU LOVE
I am not saying we should ignore the bad and the evil, quite the contrary. But if we don't contrast the negative with the positive, then I feel we only feed into the problem, and it will eventually drag us down too. This is really basic stuff, guys. If you don't like a particular, custom, practice or behavior, just consistently engage in an opposite or competing behavior. When we rant and rail against something, we only give it free air time and seldom changes anyone's thinking and it almost never attracts anyone to your point of view.
Let's consider the pro-life vs. pro-choice issue. I will first state that I know that the taking of a defenseless life is an ugly and barbaric act. I know that wearing a seatbelt is a sensible thing to do. It is a fact that wearing a helmet will cut down on the traumatic injuries from motor cycle accidents. As a recovering alcoholic and smoker I know from firsthand experience that both habits are injurious to your health and will destroy a life. We could all come up with a whole list of "bad habits" that reflect unhealthy or unwise choices, but they all fall under the pro-life and pro-choice category.
Legislated Morality has historically been an abysmal failure. The most notable example of a failed attempts to enforce a moral agenda on the general population was in 1919 when the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was enacted. It prohibited the manufacturing, sale and distribution of all alcoholic spirits. The passage of this amendment ushered in the "Roaring Twenties" and the nation went on a drunken binge like never seen before or since. The Twenties introduced the era of organized crime syndicates and institutionalized political corruption. The illegal booze and crooked money flowed like water.
When the country finally came to its senses and repealed the 18th amendment, the only Amendment to have ever been repealed, millions of lives had been ruined and vast fortunes had been made. Joe Kennedy, the father of the Kennedy clan, was a bootlegger and amassed enough to buy "respectability" and a position as a U.S. Ambassador. His three sons all had a run at the Whitehouse. The legacy of Al Capone left the city on Chicago hopelessly mired in bribery and corruption and even to this day, the machine he put into place in the twenties still functions. And by the way, another "son" of the Chicago corrupt political machine is in the Whitehouse now.
For several years I lived in a "dry" county in Arkansas. It was said that it was a county where "the people drank wet but voted dry." The only people that profited from this arrangement were the bootleggers and the preachers. There was never a shortage of drink or drunks in Stone County, Arkansas. Everyone, including the sheriff and all his deputies, knew where to find bootleg liquor. Money changed hands and the people got what they wanted. Stubborn, self-willed people usually try to do whatever you tell them they can't do.
If I have given you the idea that I am making a case for the use of any mood altering substances, I am sorry. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am trying to make a case against anyone trying to force their will on the will of another individual. I am not against regulations, I am opposed to violating an individual's God given right to make choices, even if those choices are clearly wrong or inappropriate in our view. Whether it be selling or consuming alcohol, wearing a helmet, or smoking in your own space, that really ought to be an individual decision. We all must be free to choose between the positive or the negative and to live with the consequences.
The first settlers to America and the founders of our Republic believed strongly in liberty and the freedom to choose how we live our lives. Our founders wrote extensively on what they valued and laid the foundation on which our rules of law were made. They clearly understood the commandments and believed strongly in the Golden rule.
In recent years, the issue of abortion has become the "hot button" topic and even used as a so-called litmus test to evaluate the suitability of a political candidate. A objective look at "pro-life" movement and its success over the last few decades, it seems to have done more to hurt the cause of protecting innocent life than it has done good. In my studied opinion the reason is simple, it has been the same as the "Carrie Nations" shouting shrilly about what they hate and not talking about what they love. To an undecided observer, what's to like about that? Hate repels, love attracts.
A very popular lady who has recently been in the news a lot tells her own story about her inner struggle with the issue over whether to bring a Down's syndrome child into the world. As any intelligent person should do when facing any difficult decision, she weighed all the options and chose life. You see, she was "pro-choice" and at the same time, "pro-life. At the end of the day, right or wrong, it was her choice and hers alone.
The next time we are confronted with a life situation that we don't support or believe in, we need to take a step back and be ready to respond, not react. If we can present a clear case for what it is we truly love and be able to support it with a rational dialogue, we may have a chance to influence someone to make a positive choice.
As a recovering alcoholic involved in helping others to recover from alcoholism, I would never tell someone with a drinking problem not to drink. First of all, if they were able to stop drinking, then they would not be in the mess they are in, period! All one can do is share their experiences, tell what it used to be like, what happened and what it is like now. We tell them what we love and offer help. It works because it is a program of attraction.
Oh, yes, I forgot. "My name is Chilidog and I'm an alcoholic, and God is doing for me what I can't do for myself."