Heroes and Villains

The tornado in Oklahoma that took the lives of at least 24 people was devastating. My initial reaction was the usual numb distance I feel whenever I hear of something horrible.  This was followed by my reading of various articles describing the heroism of the Teachers and first responders that went to work saving lives.

The story of a teacher that lay on top of her students to keep them safe was heartwarming, you can read about it here :http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,20702199,00.html

I can’t believe dealing with the kind of devastation that occurred in Oklahoma.  I felt my faith in humanity renewed after hearing the accounts of heroes.  Then I came across this photo:https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=435525179877046&set=o.429456927083530&type=1&theater

So the teacher said a prayer, good for her.  No, that can’t be left alone though, can it?  Read the comments, about how if we had more prayer in school then things like this wouldn’t happen or comments like this:

Sherry Lynn Fahner It is a shame that we as americans have to change the way we have been doing things, and this is my opinion, because of all these foriegners and their beliefs if you don’t like the way we do things here in america go back to your own damn country prayer belongs in schools, maybe if it our children were learning prayers and about religion in school they wouldn’t be learning it later in life in jails and prisons~~~I commend this teacher~~well done!!

Like · Reply · 8 · 14 minutes ago
So now the villains come out.  They come out to push their agenda as “Christians”.  I use that term loosely because any Christian that I know worth a damn would see this as a tragedy and they would never use it to talk about how the largest religious group in America is “persecuted”.  Usually I’d let it go, and just ignore the racist, hate filled nonsense coming out of the extremists.  Something hit a nerve today, maybe it was the memory of growing up, non-religious and mixed race in the middle of a white, southern suburb.  Feeling like an outcast, and wondering how I would feel if some asshat started ranting about how anything bad that happens is because someone failed to have enough “faith”, or how being a minority meant I was spreading “bad ideas”.  Maybe it was the thought of nine dead children in Oklahoma, who probably were very good kids, and even religious, but apparently not religious enough for God to save?  It’s nonsense, it’s prejudiced and it is most definitely no the belief of the many good Christians out there.
Pray if you must.  Do not let your faith mask your prejudice though.  When you demand your right to pray, remember that there are others out there that choose to believe in something different.  Are they less of a person than you because their heritage is different?
Remember those “rights” you think you are denied?  Read the first amendment again:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Take your self-inflicted butt hurt and shove it.  This is a country of many people, many religions and many diverse backgrounds.  If you don’t like it, perhaps you should be the one that leaves.

The first thing I did with my shiny new online ordination as a minister…

I wrote my Senator, informing him that I love my guns, but I demand background checks.  I got this lovely canned response in return.  I giggle every time I see “Dear Pastor Say”
Dear Pastor Say:
Thank you for contacting me regarding federal firearms laws.  I appreciate having the benefit of your comments on this matter.
As a strong proponent of the Second Amendment, I believe it is essential to safeguard the law-abiding citizen’s constitutional right to own and use firearms designed for legitimate purposes such as hunting, target shooting, collecting, and self-protection.  Restricting this right runs counter to the intent of our Founding Fathers, who expressly guaranteed that citizens would retain the right to keep and bear arms.
It is encouraging that the Supreme Court has upheld the will of our Founders and re-affirmed the ideals our country was established upon.  The Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia v. Heller provides a greater guarantee that Americans’ Constitutional rights remain secure from federal government intrusion.  I was proud to sign an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in that case stating an individual’s right to bear arms is fundamental.  This historic ruling continues to have implications far beyond the District of Columbia.  In 2010, the Supreme Court decided in McDonald v. City of Chicago to strike down the arbitrary gun ban in Chicago—and thereby affirm that the Second Amendment safeguards against state and local encroachments on the fundamental right to keep and bear arms.
As a former Texas Supreme Court Justice and Attorney General, I have firsthand knowledge of crime-fighting policies that work, and I believe that citizens’ Second Amendment rights should not be restricted because of the actions of criminals.  Rather, we must focus our attention on the source of violent crime: criminals who use firearms to commit crimes.  I believe that strictly enforcing the law—and meting out tougher sentences for career criminals and those who use firearms when committing crimes—will reduce crime more effectively than gun or equipment bans, which primarily serve to take firearms away from law-abiding citizens.
I appreciate the opportunity to represent Texans in the United States Senate, and you may be certain that I will continue working with my colleagues to protect our Second Amendment rights.  Thank you for taking the time to contact me.
United States Senator
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
My original email:
Dear Senator Cornyn,
I have been an avid gun enthusiast for over 15 years. I enjoy my days at the gun range as a way of socializing with friends and colleagues. As a CHL holder and before, I never once saw an issue with submitting to a mandatory background check. To me, gun safety is everything. The last thing I would complain about is a quick check to make sure that all is in order. Your vote against the gun check bill yesterday is appalling. Unlike some of my friends, I spend the time to review the content of such items. No “database” was going to be kept, no logical sense was used in voting against this provision. The NRA has done a formidable job of inciting fear in gun owners, driving up the prices of guns and ammo, all for the benefit of their corporate members. I am outraged, I am shocked and I am disgusted at the representation of Texas. You have sold out your constituents to special interest groups.