The Green New Deal is making some noise lately and I want to weigh in on it. At this point I believe that it is one of the greatest set of ideas that has ever been formed next to freedom of speech.
America first! This proclamation has been touted significantly over the last couple of years. As an American, having an attitude of America first is wonderful. But, what exactly is America first? How do we determine what is best for us? These two questions are what I am going to try to answer.
America first involves a strong economy, military, borders, and trade deals in favor of American interest. I support these American first policies. I would be a fool if I did not. First, other countries would tear us down limb by limb until we were no better than them or worse; misery likes company. I am not one who believes in American exceptionalism as we are all created equal. America has been given this unique position as the wealthiest country in the world, we can use this to make our lives more comfortable and do our best to help our neighbors.
Every country desires a strong economy. Regardless if we like it or not. Workers are divided up by income. In America there are lower, middle, and upper classes. Generally the majority of the population is in the lower to middle class structure with the smallest percentage being the upper class. This will primarily always be the case, although in America we have great divides in wealth between the middle and upper class. The middle class is becoming closer to the lower class as corporations look to cut cost and pass the savings on to new generations who are hired at a fraction of their predecessor’s wage.
At the moment the jobless rates are at record lows. It is very easy to find a job although it is not so easy to find a middle or upper class job. Most families are made up of two incomes with one or both income earners working two jobs. Family life is cut, with providers living a life working and not much time being. In my opinion this is not America first. So what, I have a job, I have two jobs, but if I do not see my spouse or kids what does it matter? Yet to provide shelter, clothes, and food you do what you must in order to survive. Corporations understand that to squeeze as much productivity out of their employees they will work them more, and pay them less. The price of living goes up, but wages stay the same. This is not America first.
America is the wealthiest country with the most powerful military ever known to exist. A superpower as America needs a strong military in order to stay at the top; this is understandable. Possessing a strong military is placing America first. What is not placing America first is using this military for unjust causes. In my opinion there has not been a just conflict since WWII. Korea, Vietnam, both gulf wars, and Afghanistan simply were not needed to advance the country. Currently we have thousands of troops at the Mexico border as a political stunt keeping us safe from migrants. This is not placing America first.
A country needs borders not a wall and razor wire. A country such as America was founded on the premise that this land is open for those who seek a better life. This is America first. Currently foreigners are not welcome in the country, especially if you are poor. While we shake hands with Saudi murderers we spray tear gas at children. This is not America first. America first would be to stand up to outlaws such as the prince of Saudi Arabia. Kindness and compassion are the footsteps of God, and this is America first.
A Deal Maker
Currently America has a president that is supposedly an American first type of guy. He is supposedly a great deal maker. This is up to interpretation. There is no America first without putting the people first. An unregulated market and high tariffs on goods only will hurt us. Unfortunately people are too greedy not take advantage of deregulation. If you want America first you protect the people from cheats and scammers. This is not possible when you have someone who has always been a cheat and scammer running the show. Donald Trump is not America first.
Nate talks about Memorial day. Nate also talks about a lot of issues in which the church has decided in many different ways to take a stand. Education, immigration, the cult of Trump, and how this all falls into memorial day and our desire to remember those who died in service to our country and those who have passed on who served our country.
The country is saddened by the recent shooting resulting in the death of four Marines. As a veteran I think it touches me just a little bit more when I hear of the senseless deaths of my fellow men at arms. We still have fresh images of the shootings at Colorado, Sandy Hook, and the tragic deaths of our fellow Christians in a prayer meeting in Charleston. These are just the shootings that make the headlines let’s not forget the hundreds of shootings that take place in Chicago. People around the nation are starting to call Chicago Chiraq, in relation to Iraq and a warzone. For all purposes it seems we have a problem with violence in the country. Many on the left would say that we have a gun problem. Do they have a point? Do we have a gun problem? It is hard to actually know how many guns there are in the country, estimates put it in the hundreds of millions. Pew Research Center states that 52% of Americans are in favor of protecting gun ownership.1 I agree with the 52% I think that gun ownership in America is a right that has long been protected yet, over the years more restrictions have been placed on citizens who wish to be gun owners. Due to poor choices I have made in life I cannot own a gun based on legislation. More legislation is being looked at regularly in order to restrict gun ownership to more Americans. I support a person’s right to bear arms, and I always will. For me personally, after playing around with guns for 5 years in the military I really don’t care about my personal gun ownership; I had my fair share of gun play during that time.
So every time that there is a tragedy in America involving guns, the gun control fanatics go nuts. They forget about the 2nd amendment “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” This amendment has been scrutinized and played with over the years by the ever wise courts. Some conspiracy theorist would say the government is making moves in order to strip the country of their guns in doing so the military industrial complex can have unhindered control. While others believe that a society without guns would be a safer society. Some of them make agreeable points, without guns the mass shootings that I mentioned above probably would not have taken place. We do live in a different day of age from when the 2nd amendment was made into law in 1791. We were still war weary from our independence which ended in 1783. Tensions were still high with the British and the protection of our nation was in the hands of the people, people who were given the right to bear arms. This right proved useful during our next war with the British in 1812. Some may say without the right to bear arms we would not have a country today.
Yet as I said today is a different world. We have a well-regulated militia. It is made up of the 5 branches of the military. Each state also has its own national guard. So it is easy to see that the 2nd amendment was probably for purely military reasons. I believe that the right to bear arms in the United Sates has survived because of the shear amount of guns in the country and because of public support. Guns are a part of American culture, we have a rich gun wielding culture that dates back to our founding days, it is encoded in the DNA of most Americans. Even the staunches gun abolishing liberal politicians have armed body guards at their service. Let me say this again I am indifferent on the gun issue it just creates a great intro into the true purpose of this article the human condition. The idea that regardless of gun ownership or not the human condition is one that is prone to violence, and committing terrible atrocities. We know this through our own history, one does not have to look hard to find that violence and man are synonymous. The difference is the technology in which man possesses. From rocks, to knives, bows, swords, guns, missiles, and atomic bombs, we are violent by nature. So I am a gun supporter not because I think guns are good, but because I don’t think that it makes any difference if they are legal or not. We Americans are especially violent. War is in our nature and even those who protest war, do so violently. Mother Teresa said it best “I will never attend an anti-war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me.” We only have to look at the holy text to find who we become when the ego is in control of our flesh. “The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time.” (Genesis 6:5, NIV) again God points out in Genesis 8:21 “The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.” The psalmist writes “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.” (Psalms 51:5, NIV) Surely it is not a gun problem that is wrong with the country it is a human problem. Are you ready for this answer to the problem? Okay. There is none. Yes, that’s right. If God says we are evil from birth who am I to argue. I am man, I know I am evil. Yet we have a solution that can put are ego into a state of remission. This solution is found in Jesus Christ. Through his teachings by the power of the Holy Spirit we can live much better lives.
The thing is there is no answers to the senseless violence, wars, and terrible crimes that our fellows commit upon each other. We freak out and build walls, put up more security, we arm the police with weapons of war, and our military is continuing to create billion dollar war machines. Do I blame them? Absolutely not. It is in our nature to do such things. All of the left wing anti-gun fanatics who claim that peace will come through gun control or appealing the 2nd amendment are only fooling themselves. None of that will change anything, just fools thinking peace can come through the destruction of the tool. Peace has an opportunity to advance, in fact we live in one of the most peaceful times in human history. Life in the United States holds great value today; abortion aside. For most of human history life was cheap and violence was common place. Today I can get up go to work and not even think about being attacked by a group of bandits, or another tribe marching over the hill to attack my village.
Do I think that the 2nd amendment is written in stone? No. I don’t believe that any law is set in stone. We are human we make mistakes, we create laws that are good for the day in which they were created. I am far from a blind nationalist more of a citizen of the world. I do truly believe that the founding fathers intended the 2nd amendment to be used as a right for the protection of the country. Our culture and the sheer amount of weapons in the United States will insure that guns are not going anywhere anytime soon.
Let me give a word of warning. A natural law set in place by God himself. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. (Matthew 25:52, NIV) I believe that this does not just not apply to those who are in the wrong. Those who live by the sword are also our military, police, and any other honorable profession that requires the use of arms. Jesus spoke the truth, many officers and soldiers die at the hand of another man’s gun. In closing we must continue on with our lives mourn the loss and know thyself. We must know and accept that we are human. Will there be more mass shootings unfortunately yes. Not because guns are readily available, but because we are man.
Kohut, Andrew. “Despite Lower Crime Rates, Support for Gun Rights Increases.” Pew Research Center RSS. April 17, 2015. Accessed July 27, 2015.