The beauty of writing for the Cherokee Tribune is the freedom they give you to write. They have never told me “no,” to any column I have turned in since beginning in 2012. Every columnist does their own thing. For their own reasons. Most probably do more research than I. It works for them. I’m more of a “I got to feel it” kind of writer. I try to follow my heart. Or my gut if that makes you understand it better. But there is one thing I will do if this opportunity last. I will mention God and my relationship with Him every time it feels appropriate. Maybe this is my version of a ministry. This may sound silly to you. Maybe it is. But without Him, I couldn’t do this.
There are many things I would enjoy writing about today. However, after the events of this week, I feel it would be wrong to ignore the chaos which occurred in our nation’s capital. I have lost friends over recent politics. And like one former friend told me, I really can’t afford to lose any friends because my list of friends is short. I do spend a lot of time alone. It works for me though. So, I go into this week’s column knowing I may lose more friends. If so, it will be because I was open with the way I feel. But before I do, go back in time with me for a minute.
I would spend eight years at North Canton Elementary. I remember saying the Pledge of Allegiance and praying in school. Admittedly, most were Baptists and Methodists with a few others in the mix. We all just prayed together. After all, there is only one God. And no denomination has a monopoly on Him. He is the God of all. Somewhere along the line, a few people decided they were offended by the praying. Those few won. I know they have a moment of silence in the schools. But it is not the same. Despite some’s displeasure with me mentioning this, it’s true. To be honest, I doubt the educational leadership in our county can do anything to change it. I know many of them and know they share my faith. And they know to buck the offended few will land them in court. It could even cost them their jobs. This puts them in a tight spot. Thankfully, God knows the situation too. So, most of our educational leaders are my brothers and sisters in Christ. They are doing what they must do.
This week, Pastor Gary Lamb of Action Church in Canton put out a statement on Facebook concerning the trouble in Washington. He said, and I quote, “If you justified the riots earlier this year (2020) but condemn the ones today, you are a hypocrite. If you condemn the riots earlier this year (2020) but justify the ones today, you are a hypocrite. That simple.” Well said Pastor Lamb. I have never been to Action Church. I haven’t heard Gary Lamb preach. Yet he and I have corresponded several times on social media and a couple of times in person about life. His church is made up of parishioners from all walks of life. I would bet there are some in his congregation who are there because they are not welcomed in traditional churches. His congregation, with many not fitting in to a traditional church setting, do more for our homeless than any other church in our community. These folks don’t do it for glory. It would not shock me if some of his parishioners served others during the holidays while doing without themselves. Let this sink in.
Here is where my friends on the fence will jump off this train. Fiscally, I am as conservative as they come. If you can work and don’t, I don’t care as long as you don’t expect a government hand-out. If you are healthy, able to work, and want more, get a job. If it’s flipping burgers, be the best burger flipper in the business. If you are stricken with an illness preventing you from working, we the people should step in to help. Socially, I stand in the middle of the road. I don’t care what other people believe or do as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone or cost me money. I’m not the judge of morality. This judgment comes from above.
I voted twice for President Trump. Not because I think he’s a nice guy. I don’t. I voted for him because I thought he was the lesser of two evils. Every time he used Twitter, I cringed. But for four years, the left has done everything to destroy him. The extremists burned buildings and stole from stores on television while we watched. Many news outlets would say they were really protesting peacefully because of their hurt feelings. This infuriated me. When the far-right extremists stormed our Capitol, I was equally infuriated. Two wrongs do not make a right.
I am nothing more than a sinner saved by grace. My life has consisted of me saying I’m sorry many times. I will leave you with a scripture which I hope each of us will think about. It isn’t my opinion. It is the Word of God. I John 4:20 says, “If a man say, I love God and hateth his brother, he is a liar.” May God bless the left, the right, and those in the middle. Whether you believe it or not, He loves us all.