Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Restoring Honor Rally - My Perspective

As both a Christian and a Conservative, I feel called to share my experience from Saturday's Restoring Honor Rally in D.C. Having followed Glenn Beck for a few years now and been anxiously awaiting this day since it was announced a year ago, I knew the rally was going to be an event to remember. What I didn't know was how profoundly it would affect me and what I would feel compelled to stand up for afterward.

I decided to go to the event alone so that I could truly soak up each moment the day had to offer. Along the way I met so many strangers that instantly felt like friends due to the fact that we had all come together for the same reasons; with the same passion for God and Country. Probably one of the things that affected me the most was the fact that with all the strangers I met and interacted with, we were all from different states (and in one case a different country). None of us were "duplicates," and all of us wanted to represent our State with pride! Of course I was there to help represent Maryland, but within minutes I met people from Hawaii, California, Ohio, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, and Holland.

When I asked the woman from Holland why she felt compelled to travel so far to witness this event, she said that it's already too late for Europe; that many from her country feel that the United States of America is the "last hope" for this world. Little does she know that many of us who attended Glenn Beck's rally are afraid that if the U.S. doesn't change it's course soon and go back to our founding principles, that it will be too late for our country as well.

Being at the rally refreshed my spirit, though... and my hope... While the media is trying to say this was a "tea party" event, I can tell you as an up-close witness that it was not. There were people from all walks of life and from all sides of the political debate who chose to come together as one to show that God and Country do go together. They must go hand in hand in order to get us back on track. The Founding Fathers had the vision to put a great foundation under us, but it is wavering right now. Too many of our principles and morals are being smashed by complacency, immorality, and "political correctness." What started out as a Nation Under God, has turned into a place where Christian Conservatives are being oppressed and we are made out to be on the "fringe" of society. I think this rally showed that we are not on the "fringe" but represent a large portion of the constituency, and the folks on the inside of the beltway need to listen.

The program started out with Glenn introducing direct descendants of the Native Americans who met the Pilgrims, and there was a direct descendant of people who were aboard the Mayflower. That was a pretty powerful reminder to see them arm in arm on the stage. As Glenn Beck put it, "and with malice towards none, they got into their boats and they came... God's chosen people, the Native Americans, and the Pilgrims...People came together, in different faiths, in the spirit of God, and the first thing they did was pray together."

This rally was not about telling everyone they have to be a Christian Conservative. It was about uniting people of all faiths to stand up together arm in arm; it was about asking each individual to look inside themselves to discover their true core beliefs and to do inventory to see if we are each living the life we should. Glenn Beck was saying that the way back to honor is through God. The way to fix our problems with government is through Him, because if we all do our personal inventory, we will know what we need to stand up and demand of the politicians who represent us.

On the radio yesterday, Mark Kreslins from Mid-Maryland Live asked me if I felt Glenn Beck got it right. Is God the solution to the terrible politics happening in D.C.? My answer is a resounding YES! If every politician followed the 10 Commandments, or at least lived by the Golden Rule, our country would be in a much better place. Not only would We The People stand up, but our elected officials would finally realize that lying, adultery, deceit and selfishness would not be accepted. They would have accountability and know that if they don't get it right, they are voted out. George Washington and the Founding Fathers gave this Nation a great gift... we no longer have to fight with guns, as they did. We get to fight for righteousness as a Republic, without bloodshed. The government they set up is "one nation under God," for the people, by the people. Glenn Beck did a wonderful job of reminding us of this.

In Frederick County, we have a big election coming up. My hope is that every voter looks at each individual candidate and measures their worthiness to represent us. Character counts and so does selflessness for the greater cause. What do our candidates and incumbents stand for; what have they done for their community to make it a better place? Will they listen and put their constituents first? Do they live by the Golden Rule? I am basing my vote on that in both the Primary and again in November. Will you join me on Election Day and honor your responsibility as a citizen of this great country and vote? I'll see you at the polls.

7 comments:

Liberty said...

I am glad you went down and had a good time, however as a Christian and a Conservative myself, I have great issues with your thinking revolving this event.

You speak of returning to our founding principles, a sentiment which I also share. As much as you and other people wish it to be so, it just is not the case that our founding principles are inherently intertwined with any religious faith.

In fact, it is quite the opposite. Our Founding Fathers made explicit efforts to not include faith among the major tenets of our government (See; The First Amendment). You quote the Pledge of Allegiance with it's words "One Nation under God", however those words were not in the original pledge and had more to do with a fervent anti-communist sentiment during the 50s than any proclamation of national faith.

No one is questioning your ability to practice the faith you choose, nor am I saying that Mr. Beck should not have the right to lead a crowd in prayer on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. I am saying quite the opposite, that our country demands that these things be allowed to happen.

What cannot happen, and what is actually pulling us away from our founding is when Christians decide to rewrite history and believe, because most everyone who initially settled this continent was christian, that somehow this grants them special rights to claim the government as their own.

What Christians need to ask themselves is a simple question of reciprocity. How would I feel if our money contained the words "In Allah We Trust?" What if congress opened up session praising the god Jupiter?

I am guessing many people would be outraged, but in principle, these things are no different than including the words "Under God" in the pledge.

I hope you examine my comments carefully, and please reply if you have any questions or responses.

Thanks!

Craig Shipp said...

Love the photos!

Joshua222 said...

@Liberty,

Greetings. Not only have the event organizers and many attendees gone out of their way to state a theocracy is not the goal (Theocracy is NOT a good thing!), but if you paid attention to the general message of the event, you would understand this. I'll grant you that many people are mixed up about the separation of church and state issue (apparently, you're on that list also).

The founders were very reliant on our Creator and to understand this issue, one must also understand federalism. The founders left "religion" out of the purview of the federal gov't (that is, the states retained the authority around religion's/faith's role in gov't). Please read the early state constitution's for evidence of how the sovereign states addressed this (you'll be surprised) along with the actual text of the amendments ("Congress Shall...", the arguments made during the convention (i.e. notes), as well as the federalist/anti-federalist papers.

Here's to a great (and much needed) conversation!

In liberty,

-Joshua

Liberty said...

@Joshua

I know you are a good libertarian, but your perspective on this issue needs some reviewing. It speaks volumes more about our nation that our Founding Fathers chose to intentionally and explicitly remove the church from the government and NOT create some sort of State sponsored religion or practice, than it does that most of them and the citizens were practicing Christians (as was the style at the time).

Even if they were silent on the issue of religion, it would mean there was room for interpretation, but they were not. They created the Bill of Rights, NOT the Ten Commandments. You have to look at what they COULD have but DID NOT do to glean the meaning from these acts.

The Founders relied on the creator only so much as to provide an alternative to the State - NOT as an implicit endorsement of the particular brand of monotheism that was and continues to remain popular.

It is a rather radical idea you seem to be presenting that the States themselves have the power of religion and the Constitution only exempted the Federal Government from meddling in religious affairs. I know of no credible Constitutional scholars who would agree even a little with that wild assertion. Following that logic, the States can go ahead and start taking away peoples guns! (OK...bad example..) But seriously, the States can't pick and choose what parts of the Constitution they want to follow.


Come on, Joshua, you can do better than that :)

Joshua222 said...

@Liberty,

So, first thing - I'm not a libertarian. Second, plenty of originalist Constitutional scholars hold this thought. I am not arguing about what we currently have (which is far from the limitations within the Constitution and Bill of Rights provided at the Federal level), my argument is what the original purpose is. I also find it quite usual that you have chosen to dismiss the argument made and critique your "opponent"...very typical. If you understand how the 14th Amendment was used in 1925 and beyond, you'd know that this is when the Bill of Rights were first applied to the sovereign states (i.e. The Incorporation Doctrine). I don't have time to debate a very convoluted topic in the comments section. Go back and review the early documents I listed (which I know you won't) and then also reflect on the early states (within the generations of the founders) having state religions (that were supported by taxes) as well as prayer involved at all levels of gov't & public schools. This is the tip of the iceberg. Again, it comes down to an understanding of federalism (along with the powers retained by the states and the people). Something that is apparently lost on you.

Cheers,

-Joshua

inisfree said...

Would someone please explain to me how Sarah Palin became the poster child for this whole Restoring Honor thing? What's honorable about abandoning your elected position to pursue your personal agenda, and go camping with Kate Gosselin's new variety show? What's going on here?

Joshua222 said...

@inisfree,

How does her being a speaker at the event, make her the "poster child?" Answer - it doesn't...it makes her a speaker. My preference would have been that she (or any politico) wouldn't have been on stage. But it is what it is. The overall message was important and positive.