Be A Golden Rule Citizen!
|A Conversation With America &
Creating the Future 2012
Where the New World Begins!
If You Think I'm Being Tough On
8/3/2002 - So, I want to say a few things to bring this conversation back down to earth.
When I started this thread, I wanted to be sure you knew who I am in this matter... my incredible love and respect for Democracy supercedes my personal concerns, as well as yours.
I've heard some who say that people like me are out to destroy you. It's not true. This is so.. so not personal that, in an intellectually honest discussion, Chuck Rehn and George Bush are irrelevant. It has to do with an objective discussion of Democracy, and what it means to be an American... It has to do with how we can not turn our backs on our responsibilities to a land and a nation and a society, and, at least in my belief, a people truly given a gift from God.
There's an excellent movie on tv these days called "The Contender" starring Jeff Bridges. It's a good movie, but the most poignant part is when the vice-presidential nominee is exposed as an atheist. Her response was to state that she worships in the temple of Democracy.
I am certainly no atheist, but that remark resonates very deeply for me, because I truly do believe our country is a gift from God, intended to be an honorable example and leader of the world in the message of God, the message of freedom and equality and justice and the empowerment of the human spirit.
If God truly made us in his/her image, and there are passages in the bible that describe God as both, then I would have to say that what is occurring is a distortion of the values in the messages and wisdom that God has provided us for wrongful ends.
Believe me, I'm as surprised as anyone that this sort of preaching is coming out of me, that I'm going around the world telling people "God Bless You" and all the other things that would have people make remarks like "come in off the ledge". I am nowhere near "on the ledge". I am firmly grounded. I am empowered.
My law is the golden rule. The mantra I've had since I was a child has never changed.
I am not perfect, but with every step and every breath, I will seek to be more perfect as I walk in the path of God.
People might scoff at me because I speak of the teachings of God. Those who fear the truth would.
Those with unpopular views or views "not in fashion" are often scoffed at. But, look at what I say in this journal. What part of God's teaching am I not representing with my words. Let me say it another way. What part of what I am saying is not found in the bible YOU read?
It's all part of how I know I'm doing this based on my belief in God, and the teachings that I so agree with - I agree with people like Bob Barr, about how we need more moral discipline in our culture. We've sort of lost track of it. But you can't force it on people.
God gave us free will, and he was serious in his intent when he granted it. He wanted to know that people chose to follow him out of free will and choice, not force, coercion or fire and brimstone styled intimidations. And God would certainly not approve of global oppression, and destruction of all the beautiful gifts placed on this planet for us to share.
I've driven across this country 4 times, and even though I was weary after every trip, all I wanted to do after resting was get back into the car and do it again. We are blessed with such a beautiful land, and such wonderful people. And because of the values we profess as a nation, we are burdened and blessed with the responsibility to cause a world that is just and at peace.
I loved my Southern Baptist Preacher's sermons, I truly did. But I've always believed that faith should be based on choice, and I actually chose not to be a minister because I was concerned at how organizations used God, and people's righteous absolute faith, to further political goals. And I firmly believe that churches are absolutely necessary in any culture.
I doubt there is anyone who, deep in their hearts, wants to hurt others or deprive others. Humans do things that we know are wrong out of frustration, disillusionment, hopelessness, fear and desperate acts of survival.
It's easy to place people in jail, and ignore the social conditions that cause their criminality. And sure, there are people who are pathologically criminals, truly mentally ill, but God told us to treat them with compassion and love, not vengeance and evil. They are still our brothers and sisters to care for.
I'm not into pampering people who are truly criminals. I'm into understanding them. For to understand them would have us understand the deepest, darkest parts of ourselves that we hide behind the veil of the facade of righteousness.
The parts of us that come to the surface when our backs are up against the wall.. and we look to the patterns of our culture for wisdom that will lead us to the actions that we take, and our leaders of this great nation have provided us an example, a role model, that says that what there is to do when your back is up against the wall is whatever it takes, right or wrong, good or evil.
God's hope is that we will remember his teachings and apply them in every moment of our lives, and not fall prey to the temptations afforded by power and wealth, domination and oppression, advantage over the vulnerable. That is the truest test of character, and the scale by which your actions, and the actions of each of us as individuals, will be ultimately judged. Values that would have us give when it would be easier to take, care when it would be easier to ignore, love when it would be easier to hate.
The idea that we should have a planet where all of the resources and fruits of this planet would be managed in such a way that serves us all, as a one world, planetary government is a righteous cause. But you are doing it wrong. It must be done. But not this way.
I say that with the ominous power and authority of someone who holds the honor and title of President of the United States could make 1 speech and bring the world to peace. But that would take an equally unyielding commitment to justice and equality and freedom, and a commitment to the symbol of those virtues that we call Democracy - inspired by the grace and will of God by whatever name we call him.
I am sure you believe I do not respect you, and I beg you to understand that is not true. I have every bit of compassion and care for you that I have for every person on this planet. But I know that my task is not about you or me. It is about saving the greatest symbol ever created to represent the voice of God in the history of this planet. America. Land that I love.
What I know about you comes out of wisdom gained by my own experience. As a teen I suffered the brutality of a man who was as cruel and evil as a man could be when he was drunk. I understood his pain, because he had lived a tortured life. And this same man who did my sister and I so much harm when drunk, was the same man who taught me how to love and show my feelings and and express myself. The man, who, when he was sober, was a friend to all, and everywhere he went, people loved him.
And so, if you had told us of the affliction of your vices, I would have honored you. Because I would have believed that your acknowledgement would have been a sign of your enlightenment by your tribulations. Instead, we experience the policies of a man who is frightened and alone in his conscience, afraid to lose control for fear of failure in the eyes of the people who have deceived you to bring you to the actions you are taking. To beat the demons of your vices took courage. To deny your demons under the veil of the facade of righteousness for fear of exposure is the act of a coward. It is a sign that you truly do not trust the people to understand that we are all inherently flawed and make mistakes, and to have the intelligence and wisdom to make decisions and evaluations based on the honestly expressed ideas that you bring to the table for discussion today. You have been charged with the honor and responsibility of leadership, and you have failed. Do not be ashamed. Learn from it.
I hold myself above no one. I am a person who considers himself a fundamentalist Christian. But not by the twisted interpretations of the world. Not by the pressure of my peers in a church. But inside a very profound and personal relationship with God, which is subject to no one else's judgement, and requires no external validation
And it is not my duty, as a fisher of men, to judge and condemn others. It is my vigil to plant seeds of empowerment, to honor the dignity of every person, plant and animal on this planet. And, then to pray that they appreciate the gifts they have been given.
And you need to know that a whole lot of people will be concerned over my saying that I am a fundamentalist Christian.That term, like Islam, has been distorted to the point where it's meaning is lost to a mis-perception. I did not cause that. But, that is fine with me.
And you probably think I'm one of those Democrats out to get you, but I am not. I have no true party affiliation, and I assure you, there are plenty of Democrats who dislike me. But that is not my concern.
I have no party loyalty, as I did not when I ran for the school board in Arcata California in 1972. I support honest, compassionate leaders. There are plenty on both sides of the aisle.
I did not want to win that race 1972, and when overwhelming support caused me to believe that I would win, I quit making speeches and withdrew my visibility because, heck, I was just a 17 year old kid. But I had a purpose.
And that purpose was to expel the corruption at the helm of our schools that impeded their ability to empower the young people with skills they could use in their communities, so that their communities and all of the heritage that accompanied and strengthened that community would not be lost. It was during that time when rural flight threatened to make ghost towns out of cities that overflowed with the goodness we so desperately say we want today.
And I succeeded at my task, as I knew I would, as the truth ultimately does. The principal was fired or asked to resign, and the President of the school board was un-elected. And things got better very, very quickly. All from planting a seed, and speaking up as an American with the right to do so. That truly is what makes this country great.
And, since I too could be declared as living under the veil of the facade of righteousness by writing these words, having declared myself as a leader, I will, in a day or so, publish the story of my past, my failures, and the defining moments of my life that have lead me to this moment... facts that will lead you to the same conclusion I came to last weekend... that every moment of my life, every experience I've ever had, every hardship and every joy I've ever felt, and there have been many of both... have been to prepare me for this very moment, to stand and challenge you at this juncture in history. And so I will.
And my challenge is this: If you were to do the righteous thing, to acknowledge the truth and resign your office, I would be your champion. Because I truly understand the courage it would take to make that announcement. I would be your champion, to honor the man who truly did bring honor to the White House. But I warn you, if you deceive the people with your fancy words and lies, you will destroy yourself. You can run but you cannot hide. And you know the truth. And so do the people of the world. And the results of your lies can not, must not be tolerated. And whether you accomplish global domination or destroy the world, you will not escape the judgement of God.
So I request that you pray, that you listen to your heart and listen to the voice of God... I believe all people know the difference between right and wrong. And when deciding what there is to do, in determining what is right and wrong, I also believe this:
There is nothing that cannot be accomplished for the good of the world and its people. It's not whether you can, it's whether you will. And so I ask you, please, sir, with all due respect and love for my fellow people, will you?
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