by Mike VanOuse, firstname.lastname@example.org
On Friday, 29 May, 2015, the “Freedom of Speech Rally, Round
2,” event was held in Phoenix, AZ, and the counter-protest that accompanied it. The event included a “Draw the Prophet Mohammed” contest in response to the one held in Garland, TX, earlier in the month.
News images of counter protestors included signs brandished phrases like, “Love thy Neighbor” and “Provoke Peace.”
One has to wonder what exactly they meant by, “Provoke Peace.” The sign-bearers appear to be of the ilk whose spectrum of intellect reaches to the breadth of, “Mean People Suck,” and, “Can’t We All Just Get Along?”
They were imploring, “Don’t Provoke Violence.”
“WWJD?” A cursory overview of the New Testament will answer that.
The Prince of Peace came here to establish peace between God and man, by dying for the sins of the entire World, satisfying the requirement of the Law. How did He accomplish that?
Everywhere He went, and everything He did intentionally provoked the religious extremists of His day to anger. When they would castigate Him for violating the Sabbath, He didn’t cower and apologize. He ripped right back by pointing out their hypocrisy, snubbing their presumed authority, causing the antipathy to escalate.
That was His goal: to make them so irate that it would drive them to kill Him. Mission accomplished. That’s not the answer to “WWJD?” It’s the answer to, “What Did Jesus Do?” That’s how He established peace.
Peace is not merely the absence of violence. Living under the threat of violence for being politically incorrect is not peace. It’s oppression. Anyone who’s ever been bullied knows that it’s not a peaceful existence. The absence of peace continues as long as the bullying is allowed. Sometimes, in order to achieve peace, the tension has to be increased until it reaches a snapping point. The peace settles afterward.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the Peacemakers,” and so they are. But the title “Peacemaker” implies that someone has to grow the nards to step into a situation where there is no peace, and instill it - - by force if necessary. That’s why Colonel Colt found it a fitting moniker for his famed six-gun which tamed the Wild West.
After establishing that the purpose of government is to secure the God-given rights of individuals, the Declaration of Independence goes on to say:
“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it… [A]ll experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.“
Followers of Islam advocate official, universal application of Sharia Law as an expression of their freedom of religion. But it is not an expression of religion. It is a “form of government” that is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution. Islam translates to “submit,” and the object is to get the entire world to submit to Sharia Law. Or in other words, to, “reduce [us] to absolute Despotism.”
Pamela Geller pointed out after various Islamic voices called for her being tried by a Sharia Court, that she’s not a Muslim. She’s a Jew. The Catholics haven’t called for excommunicating her for her divorce, because she’s not Catholic. Their canonical law doesn’t apply to her. And the Methodists don’t get upset that she doesn’t pay tithes to them, because she’s not a Methodist. There hasn’t been any outcry against her from the Buddhist or Mormon Temples either.
But the Muslims want to hold her accountable to their Law because they insist that Sharia Law applies to everyone. That’s not religion. That’s a tyrannical form of government, and our founding document declares that it is not only our right, but our duty to throw it off. Ms Geller rightly asserts that when we acquiesce to their demands, we impose Sharia Law upon ourselves voluntarily.
Those who are, “disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable,” would cower in fear of extremists rather than muster the spine to defy. How does that resonate with, “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave?” Imposition of Sharia — voluntarily or otherwise — is insufferable evil.
There is no “peace” in “appease.”
Returning to authentic religion, after Peter professed that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Jesus said, “[U]pon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Many perceive that statement as meaning that the church will survive the attacks of hell. But “gates” don’t attack. They’re a defensive edifice, not an offensive maneuver. Converse to the perception, Jesus was saying that the gates of hell could not withstand the assault of the church.
So Pamela Geller held her “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, and no one would have heard about it were it not for two Muslims who drove down to Texas from Phoenix to execute Sharia dictates on the
infidels by shooting ‘em up. It didn’t work out as planned.
Last Friday’s event in Phoenix, was staged immediately outside the Mosque where the Jihadi assailants received their indoctrination. Or in other words, the event organizer, Jon Ritzheimer, took the fight straight to the gates of hell. I’m not saying Mr. Ritzheimer is a man of God – I know nothing of the man.
I’m saying his tack was righteous.
Watching the events as they unfolded in Phoenix, it was evident that the event attracted some loons. There were people wearing Nazi insignia or brandishing vulgar statements. Scavengers are to be expected when the smell
of blood is in the air. But the underlying purpose of the event was exactly what its opponents called for: to provoke peace.
Stop with the threats, stop with the intimidation, come out into the open and let’s get it over with so that peace can resume. Break the tension and peace ensues.
News interviews with local residents during the Phoenix event highlighted how fear was the predominant response. Well duh: You live within two blocks of a mosque that has produced terrorists. You’re alright with that. But you suddenly get frightened when freedom-loving Americans congregate to stand up to them? Someone’s thinking is askew.
If you’re not American enough to resist wannabe despots, “Be afraid — be very afraid.”
On April 6, 2015, American Thinker published an excellent article titled, “PsyWar: Militant Islam’s Worst Enemy,” By William A. Levinson, which illustrated what “’militant Islam’ fears most: military-grade psychological warfare,” in the form of persuasive anti-Islamic artwork.
We are currently engaged in a war on terror. And the purveyors of terror are terrified by innocuous cartoons. What pathetic cowards.
Did I mention that I’m a Cartoonist?
First published at AmericanThinker.com, May 31, 2015
Romeo loved Juliette. Juliette loved Romeo. But alas, Romeo was a Montague and Juliette
was a Capulet, and those two clans were embroiled in a blood feud in Renaissance
Verona. So to circumvent the customs and
rules of the day, they approached Friar Lawrence, who agreed to officiate their
wedding in secret.
It’s a classic story because the tension created in the
conflict where star-crossed lovers are willing to hazard any risk for the sake
of love and romance has universal appeal to all ages and cultures. For the romantic, the enchantment doesn’t
fade with age.
Many couples fall in love, marry and retire together. Often they’ll emigrate from the hostile climes
of the North and settle into retirement communities in sunny Florida. But they don’t live happily ever after: one of them succumbs to the ravages of nature
and leaves this mortal plane, leaving their spouse alone, once again, in a
community of others of a similar circumstance.
No longer having jobs to occupy half of their waking hours,
and all the children having grown and flown away, the new widows and widowers
have abundant idle time and spend it socializing, finding solace in the
companionship of others, and camaraderie in the fellowship of sufferings.
It is not uncommon in that community of shared grief and
loneliness that a widow and widower will meet, share their hearts, and fall in
love with zeal and passion equal to that of Romeo and Juliette. Yet while they don’t face the dilemma of
springing from rival clans, they face a new challenge: the government.
They’re sole source of income is their retirement benefits,
calculated according to their previous marriage. If the woman was a homemaker, those benefits
are spousal. But if they remarry, they
lose those benefits. It is against their
traditional upbringing to shack-up, but marrying would be financially untenable.
So they seek out a Friar Lawrence: a member of the clergy who is willing to wed
them in secret, in a union ordained of God but hidden from a malevolent
Twenty years ago I attended a Bible study in a traditional,
conservative church, where an elderly student raised the above scenario and
asked the pastor if he would be willing to perform a secret ceremony under
those circumstances. Without hesitation
he answered, “Absolutely not. When a
pastor performs a marriage, it is in conjunction with the civil authorities and
must comply with their guidelines.”
I considered that an uncharacteristically heartless answer
and challenged it. Scripture says that when a man and woman marry, they are no
longer twain, but one flesh. Their retirement benefits are hers at his
passing because our culture recognizes that both parties played equally
significant roles in the production of a family, the foundation of society. The benefits are her property. To deprive her of them is theft, which, scripture condemns. When government violates God’s law, civil disobedience is
justified. The Government – man – is
putting asunder, that which God hath joined together.
But he remained resolute.
Before he tells the groom that he may kiss the bride, he says, “By the
powers vested in me by the Church and the State of Indiana, I now pronounce you
man and wife.” Those powers are only
vested in him so long as he abides by their precepts.
On the drive home I couldn’t help wondering if that was a
ploy. A Bible study is a public setting
and it would be foolish to proclaim publicly your willingness to violate the
Then I wondered how firmly he would stick to those guns when
the government tells him that he is obligated to perform same sex
marriages. At the time (and currently)
open acceptance of homosexuality in the church was a controversial topic, and
he boldly proclaimed from the pulpit that if the denomination were to endorse
it, the local church would secede from the denomination because it was
impossible to reconcile that position with scripture.
At the time, it would have been a ludicrous
proposition. Not today. If you’re a member of the clergy, you might
want to start thinking about how you’re going to respond today. Surely you’re aware that bakers, florists and
photographers have already endured the onslaught.
Given the recent developments where municipalities and
schools are changing their standards based on what gender a person considers
themselves to be at any given moment;
the fanfare and presidential applause regarding the recent
“Trans-Jenner” circus, make it apparent that those who seek to devastate the
underpinnings of Western civilization intend to nullify arguments against same
sex marriage by merely normalizing declaring yourself to be another sex.
Same sex marriage is the zeitgeist. “Romeo and Juliette” is a classic because it
has universal and timeless appeal. Had
it been titled, “Romeo and Walter,” we would never have learned the name
Pastor, what are you going to do when the government orders
you to bless Romeo and Walter’s union?
Mike VanOuse is an Indiana Factoryjack, and can be reached