Monday, August 28, 2017

Founding Fathers

Lately there have been calls to rid America of confederate symbols and monuments, including statues of the Confederacy.  I have lived in the North all my life.  These symbols have no effect on me.  I am not an African-American, I did not live in the South.  So I don't believe I have any say in what happens to these symbols.  The ones to make that decision are the ones most affected by them.  

But I have heard calls of destroying the symbols of our Founding Fathers, including George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.  This I wholeheartedly disagree with.  

Growing up, I had no idea that Washington or Jefferson had slaves.  Honestly, I didn't really care about these long ago presidents.  I called them dead white men, and was tired of hearing about only them in my history classes.  I wanted to learn about world history, what life was like around the world for all people groups.  

About 10 years ago my mom and I went on a tour of historic sites on the East Coast, including Washington, D.C., and Virginia.  We visited Mount Vernon, Washington's home, and Monticello, Jefferson's home.  I knew by then that Jefferson had slaves and had a relationship with a slave.  But I don't think I knew about Washington.  

This was a struggle for me, as by seeing these sites, seeing the battle grounds of Valley Forge, and learning more about the Revolutionary War, I had come to admire these two men.  I couldn't fathom why they were slave owners, I thought they were better than that.  

I don't honestly know what they were like as slave owners.  All I know is that Washington was the general who won the Revolutionary War, and Jefferson was the one who penned the Declaration of Independence.  

This affirms to me, yet again, that most people have good and bad in them.  Washington and Jefferson were good presidents, just had bad thinking when it came to slavery.  Like most other famous people, we cannot simply discard someone because they happen to do something or think something that we don't like.  This doesn't take away the good things they dd.  It's like that saying, "you can't throw the baby out with the bathwater."  

It is so easy nowadays to quickly judge someone, anyone, based on one thing.  But what we don't realize is that people's actions and ideas don't come out of thin air.  They come through experiences, thoughts, emotions, and relationships.  It is too easy to judge someone without thinking what it's like for them.  History has evolved over time, so what we thought was OK back then we know now to be wrong.  

Let us not forget the great accomplishments of our Founding Fathers.  They chose to risk their lives to fight the tyranny of the British government.  They could have taken it easy, and profited from trade with the British.  But they chose to mark their own trail, to beat their own drum.  They chose to take a chance on the impossible, and somehow made it possible.  For that, their monuments should be a testament for all time.  

Monday, August 14, 2017

A Violent Weekend

This was written by the father of a man who on social media had tried to defend his actions at attending a white supremacist rally in Virginia last weekend.  I feel for this man, and his family, who wonder how his son came to develop such racist ideas to think that it is OK to be a part of such racists groups.

I used to live in the Fargo-Moorhead area.  I know racism abounds there. Even though it is a town full of people who vote Democrat.  These same Democrats I know are racist.  

I take offense that these neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups consider themselves Christian.  Nothing they believe in is in the Bible.  They probably have never cracked one open.  I have read, studied, and learned the Bile for years and know that their rhetoric is not Christian.  It is from the fiery pit of hell.

I also take offense that they consider themselves Republican.  My parents are Republican.  They find the violent actions of these groups repugnant.  I know plenty of Republicans that are not racists in any way.  

Needless to say, to see and read about the violence this weekend saddened me. I guess I was living in blissful ignorance thinking that the KKK was no longer an issue.  I guess living in the relatively diverse state of MN I got blissfully ignorant.  I knew there was still trouble in the South, just not to this extent.  It boggles my mind that any one with a knowledge of history and the Bible would join these groups.  Nazis were not Christian either.  In fact, they persecuted Christians, and created their own cult-like religion.  

I am just shocked at the ignorance of these groups.  How neo-Nazis can deny the Holocaust is beyond me.  You can just go all over Europe and see the concentration camps.  Didn't they see those horrible videos in grade school that showed the mass graves of Jewish bodies?  How can they deny it?  

Some people may say it's just human nature.  And maybe it is.  Some people are so brainwashed into their thinking, whatever violent thinking they have, that they don't question it.  They continue to pursue it to the end.  But we don't have to accept it.  We can strive for better.

I hope that this father's hopes will be fulfilled.  I wonder if the son knows how much grief and sorrow he is causing them.  I wonder if this madness and insanity will ever end.

Thursday, August 3, 2017


People ask me why I live in MN if I hate the winters so much.  So here are my reasons:

1.  My family is here.

2. My church is here.

3. I've lived in Cutters Grove for 20 years.

4. I've volunteered and subbed at Anoka Technical College ABE for 8 years, and, Lord willing, am starting a part-time teaching job there starting after labor day!

5. MN State Fair, need I say more?

6. The Mall of America, need I say more again?

7. Duluth and the North Shore.

8. Moorhead, where my parents grew up and I went to college.

9. Minnesota's historic sites and museums.

10. Although they are short, the summers.