Merry Christmas awakening 2008

It is my prayer that the true joy of this season will grow within your life throughout the coming year – whatever your faith may be.  The Tulsa Today staff includes many of different faiths.  This is not a religious publication, but a local news service of diverse views with the common purpose to advance the best interests of our community.  As publisher, I believe faith in God, regardless of what you perceive God to be, is good for the individual soul, every family, and the greater community.

Tulsa Today is comprised of Creative Conservatives (Democrat, Libertarian and Republican), but our critics (the Loony Leftists) attack our effort here and this publisher personally on matters of faith and public policy.  Here is the story of what happened one cold December night a few years ago in Tulsa. 

Local musicians were playing rock solid blues and, with friends, I went to hear them play.  Also present was a producer for the local PBS Radio affiliate KWGS and her friends.  Without my knowledge, the two groups decided we should compete in a game of pool.  I was selected to play for our crowd.  My opponent, I had never met.

Before the rack was finished, the first verbal slam came.
“The problems in the world can all be traced to religion,” the opponent said.
“Why don’t you go ahead and break,” I answered.
“There is no difference between George W. Bush and Islamic Terrorists,” he said as the break propelled balls about the table.
Well this is not what I planned to do this night I thought, but here we go again … another confrontation with a hater.  Usually, someone this deep in anger is just reflecting their own internal conflicts; rebellion against authority, sexual confusion, childhood and/or adult abuse, or other twisted internals.  Blame authority – claim victim-hood, it all gets so boring if not silly.
“Christians did not fly planes into the World Trade Center,” I answered.  “They did not attack the same buildings in ‘93 or bomb the barracks in Lebanon or the USS Cole, or declare war on civilization as we know it.”
“Religion is the bane of the modern world,” the opponent answered.
“Whatever,” I said while sighting the next shot off the bank.
“Religion should be outlawed,” he pushed further obviously growing angry that I was not fully engaged in answering his rage.
An obvious sign of a misspent youth, I bring a decently skilled stick to the game and enjoy playing pool, but this encounter was not fun and I have never been long in suffering fools.
“Religion should be against the law in America,” he declared again.
Ok, that did it.  Standing up straight with direct eye contact I answered, “I don’t know what your issue may be, but you apparently believe that man individually or mankind in general is your God.  That is as strong a faith as any other. 

I can appreciate that position, but I have met many men and women over the years and I choose to place my faith in God rather than the wisdom of men or mankind.  We will not covert each other nor do I desire to make such an effort so either take your next pool shot or we can take this outside, but one way or the other, this conversation is finished.”

He took his shot.  I ran the table and won the game.  The evening went on.

In retrospect, it appears that 2008 is not only the end of unbiased traditional journalism in America, but also the end of the 200-plus year truce between Americans of faith and secularism.  We have lived together and built a marvelous nation, but the foundation of this great country includes acknowledgement of God’s love, grace, and power.  It is obvious in our documents and immortalized on our monuments, but apparently the modern secularists have come to redefine our foundations and blame Americans of faith for the current war by Islamic radicals.  The how and why of that eludes me.

Here is the fact; Islamic radicals are engaged in the current world war to destroy all who believe seriously in other faiths AND in secularism.  Really read the Koran for more detail, but in short, if you believe strongly in any faith other than Islam, the Koran says you are an infidel and should be beheaded – just as Mohammad did to his enemies.  Islam is the only modern faith founded by a murderer that demands that religion and government be the same worldwide and that war (overt or covert) is a proper method to install such government.

Conservatism is not an ideology or specifically supportive of any one particular religion.  It is more a fundamental approach to life that features self-reliance and personal responsibility with disdain for government management of our individual freedoms, privacy and personal profitability.  Conservatives, in my best analysis, want government out of our bodies, minds, marriages, pocketbooks, bedrooms, churches and off the streets if we can figure out how to do that.
Faith should be celebrated.  Faith, with the exception of radical Islam, promotes peace and good-will towards others.  Faith builds stronger families and individual character and provides a common ground for moral and ethical standards that advance the common good.  As a Conservative and, in my case Christian, I enjoy decorations and celebrations during holidays of any and all other faiths.

Yes, the politically correct will be aghast that a Christmas message to readers would include notes on pool games and public policy (which come to think about it, may have more in common than apparent at first glance), but when it gets down to the basics, this message is for the secularists – a prayer for the nonreligious – may you understand that our common liberty in America is not threatened by individual faith – religious or secular.  Our common liberty is threatened by radical Islam – you know, those folks killing our sons and daughters anywhere they can find them overseas or at home.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for each awakening.