Rules….For You and Not For Me?
March 8, 2016

Historically, the law has two copies.  One copy is for those who are the least embraced by a community, town, state or within a country.  The other copy is for those who are seated in power, wealth, politically connected or feared by others.  This argument can easily be traced by at least 2000 years.  In the Roman Empire history records a man named Felix.  Felix was born somewhere between 5 and 10 A.D. According Tacitus he was appointed the position of procurator though the influence of his brother Pallas.  Felix was cruel and ruled by taking bribes and utilizing threats and fear according to Josephus in Antiquity of The Jews.  Felix’s style of rule lead to more crime because individuals of status knew that with the proper bribes their crimes would potentially be overlooked.  The politics governing Rome of 2000 years past in many ways became the blueprint of our current form of government that we call a democracy.  Democracy  has the declarations that were the stated, accepted, and written will of the people.   Prominent individuals such as Felix understood the written declarations for a price could be ignored, modified, enforced inconsistently toward those who were willing to pay monetarily or with a type of “this for that” favor. The entire duration of Felix’s rule was constantly filled with unrest and ongoing conflict within his ranks.

An excellent illustration of the above story regarding Felix is found in the book of Acts 24:24-27. And after certain days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, which was a Jewess, he sent for Paul, and heard him concerning the faith in Christ.  And as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when i have a convenient season, i will call for thee.   He hoped also that money should have been given him of Paul, that he might loose him:  wherefore he sent for him the oftener, and communed with him.  But after two years Porcius Festus came into Felix’ room:  and Felix, willing to show the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.

The facts of Acts 24:24-27 are:  Felix and his wife Drusilla after hearing Paul, knew that he was a man of integrity, worthy of respect, knowledgeable, respected government and loved God.  Felix and his wife Drusilla were intimidated by the astuteness of Paul because of their personal desires for adoration and control.  Felix and his wife Drusilla attempted to set a political and religious trap to discredit Paul;  if he had offered a bribe it would be an admission to him having a flawed character.  Felix and his wife Drusilla were willing to bring public shame upon the must upright man of their day because the refused to be broken by compromising his values.

 

For individuals who do not necessarily ascribe to the Bible as factual, there can be no denying of the external documentation of how Felix and others within the Roman Empire governed.  Equally, there can be no denying that our form of government is a derivative of the Roman form of government complete with the Executive, Judicial and Legislative branches.

Philippians 3:16 might serve as a 21st Century reminder that our United States Constitution is the rule book for every citizen of America and it should not be up for bribes, ignoring, or retribution toward those that one disagrees.  Nevertheless, wereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. kjv

In the words of George Washington: the due administration of justice is the firmest pillar of good Government

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It’s The Law…..But Whose Law?
June 26, 2015

Earlier today in a 6 to 4 decision The United States Supreme Court has ruled that according to the “Law of The United States Constitution” Marriage is now legal according to the government.

The Supreme Court has found a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, striking down bans in 14 states and handing a historic victory to the gay rights movement that would have been unthinkable just 10 years ago.

According to Supreme Just Kennedy,  “The word that keeps coming back to me in this case is millennia,” he said then, referencing the amount of time societies had considered marriage to be only between a man and a woman.

But Kennedy was swayed by the fact that hundreds of thousands of married same-sex couples already exist and that they — and their children — are being treated differently by the law when they move to a state that doesn’t recognize their union. The states in the case also had trouble articulating why they had a compelling reason to deny that recognition, saying only that it was in the interest of children to only allow couples of the opposite sex to marry.

The responsibility of each person in the world not just the United States of America is to respect each individual as a person who is created by God for his glory and honor.  Each individual in the entire world has a responsibility to acknowledge that we are created in the image of God and honor our creator for investing inside every person the ability to show joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, patience, love and an ability to forgive one another.

Today’s Supreme Court ruling in a strange way has somehow concluded that being created in the imagine of God somehow allows the entire world population who is created in God’s image to “legally” engage in transactions as decided by local jurisdictions instead of our creator.

What must also be considered is globally what is seen as the expectation of all people in matters.  For instance, the ruling today by our Supreme Court represents only a small sampling of how this same topic is viewed worldwide by over 195 Countries instead of a sampling of a few:

U.S. Department of State

The United States’ State Department recognizes 195 independent countries around the world. Their list of 195 countries reflects the political agenda of the United States of America and its allies. Missing from the State Department’s list is one entity that may or may not be considered a country, depending on who you talk to.

The One Outsider

Taiwan meets the requirements of independent country or state status. However, due to political reasons, it fails to be recognized by the international community as independent.

As it stands, the following 18 countries have legalized same-sex marriage and two allow the union to take place in some jurisdictions.

COUNTRIES WHERE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IS LEGAL

2000 The Netherlands

2003 Belgium

2005 Canada

2005 Spain

2006 South Africa

2009 Sweden

2009 Norway

2010 Portugal

2010 Iceland

2010 Argentina

2012 Denmark

2013 Uruguay

2013 New Zealand

2013 France

2013 England / Wales

2013 Brazil

2014 Luxembourg

2014 Scotland

COUNTRIES WHERE SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IS LEGAL IN SOME JURISDICTIONS

2003 United States

2009 Mexico

Source: Pew Research Center, January, 2015

Here’s my summary, statistics was a class that I didn’t like in my Masters or PhD studies but it has proven to be helpful in so many ways.  But for this analysis statistical analysis isn’t necessary only simple division of 18/195 = .0923076923.  This means that today’s Supreme Court ruling is in the eyes of the world a minority ruling instead of a majority ruling.  The Supreme Court ruling today represents more like a 10% in favor verses 90% opposed world ruling.

In God’s sight it would look more like 0% in favor vs. 100% opposed to the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Acts 5:29-32  Peter and other apostles replied:  “We must obey God rather than human beings!  The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead whom you killed by hanging him on a cross.  God exalted him to his own right had as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins.We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.  When they heard this, they were furious and wanted to put them to death.

In the process of obeying God, we always respect the humanity of everyone.  In the process of obeying God, we never speak in an unkind manner against our government but rather always pray for those that are leading our country.

 

Domestic Violence – It’s Clearly A Crime – Just Not Clearly Defined In Legal Circles
September 8, 2014

Intimate partner violence includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. This report presents trends in intimate partner violence by sex, and examines intimate partner violence against women by the victim’s age, race and Hispanic origin, marital status, and household composition. Data are from the National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS), which collects information on nonfatal crimes reported and not reported to the police from a nationally representative sample of U.S. households.

Take a look at this video and decide what type of crime is being committed?  Is it simple assault, attempted murder, a felony, or a misunderstanding?  Depending upon the officer, the prosecutor, who the person committing the action is or who the individual on the receiving end of the action is, determines how the incident is handled.

http://www.tmz.com/videos/0_ekaflcqq

Females living in households comprised of one female adult with children experienced intimate partner violence at a rate more than 10 times higher than households with married adults with children and 6 times higher than households with one female only.

Females ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 34 generally experienced the highest rates of intimate partner violence.

From 1994 to 2010, about 4 in 5 victims of intimate partner violence were female.

According to The U.S. Department of Justice in a July 1996 National Institute of Justice report to Congress under the Violence Against Women Act:

Within the criminal justice system, data collection is complicated by the division of
responsibilities across many independent entities—law enforcement agencies,
prosecutors, courts, and corrections. Although some local jurisdictions have
established integrated criminal justice information systems, most criminal justice data
are fragmented along operational boundaries. The continued difficulties in obtaining
complete and accurate criminal history records were cited as one indicator of the
inability to track individuals as they move through the criminal justice system or
recidivate for subsequent crimes.

The U.S. Department of Justice 1996 report revealed another eyeopener:

Multi-jurisdictional—multiple State and local agencies
Because of victim and offender mobility, agencies increasingly must be able to share
information across State and local boundaries. There are several Federal and regional
efforts under way to either provide mechanisms to do this or to encourage the
development of these systems. Achieving this goal will take time, however, and many
technical and organizational obstacles will have to be overcome.
One situation where this has been identified as a serious problem is with court
protection orders because officials outside of the originating jurisdictions generally do
not have ready access to the information required for enforcement. In addition,
policies and standards for issuing court protection orders can vary from area to area, making enforcement across jurisdictional boundaries a complex issue for local authorities.

The absence of a national definition of domestic violence causes irregularities in the
inclusion/exclusion of more informal relationships such as current or ex-boyfriends/
girlfriends, roommates, and cohabitants.  For example, Michigan and Kansas
have added a box on their crime incident report forms that officers must mark to
indicate whether an incident was domestic violence related. Other States (e.g.,
Connecticut, New York, and Wisconsin) have separate forms for reporting domestic
violence. The special domestic violence report form enables States to collect offense specific
information that may be more difficult to include in a general crime incident
report form. Use of a separate form, however, does carry the physical and
psychological burden of additional paperwork, which increases the likelihood that
officers will fail to complete or submit a report.

Because domestic and sexual violence victims can face possible reprisals by the
offenders, a heavy burden of embarrassment, and other repercussions, obtaining their
cooperation can be extremely difficult for law enforcement and other agencies. The
act of reporting domestic violence and some sexual violence incidents may be
considered by victims as a last resort or as a way to make an irreparable break in a
relationship. Consequently, the victims may perceive reporting as an admission of
personal failure that they cannot face or believe is avoidable.
Additionally, the problem of adequate training of personnel in handling these cases
often was cited in the project panel discussions and survey responses. As many
jurisdictions are recognizing the seriousness of these offenses, new laws and policies
are being adopted, which in turn may require time to train all relevant staff in new
procedures and to fully implement them.

For all the above reasons, under reporting of domestic and sexual violence can be
more of a problem than for other types of offenses. Although efforts can be made to
overcome some of the factors hindering accurate reporting, some barriers may never
be completely surmounted given the nature of these crimes and the social and
behavioral issues involved.

Because identifying domestic violence crimes may involve consideration of a criminal
act, the relationship between the victim and offender, and the offender’s motive for
committing the act, properly classifying cases can be more difficult than for other
types of offenses. For example, a crime incident that would normally be considered a
property crime (e.g., a burglary, motor vehicle theft, larceny, or vandalism) could be
classified as a domestic violence incident if the perpetrator’s intent is to harass or
intimidate the victim. This may require the investigating officers to go beyond the
facts initially presented for a complaint to its possible underlying circumstances.
An additional complication for data reporting is that some States have not mandated a
specific domestic violence offense with which to charge an offender. In these
instances, the offender is charged with another offense, but his case may be flagged as
a domestic violence case for reporting purposes. Other States have broader family
violence statutes that include domestic violence.

As early as 1930 the Uniform Crime Reporting System has been in existence and all states contribute data into it in one form or another.  The UCRS was not mandatory however.  In 1980 the FBI replaced the old 1930 UCRS with the National Incident Based Reporting System NIBRS.  The new NIBRS is not mandatory for states to enter data.  Whether it’s the old UCRS reporting or the newer NIBRS reporting system, neither system has a clearly defined category for Domestic Violence under Category A or Category B Crimes. 

Time has come for our communities, schools, churches, businesses and families to demand that individuals who commit domestic violence be held accountable for their behaviors.  Men are to honor women as vessels of high value.  Women are to esteem men as one who is her point man or one who is willing to go before her.  Behaviorally, whenever domestic violence presents itself, it is certain that someone is functioning below God’s expectations.  There is never a time when domestic violence should be accepted or explained away in a civilized society.

Taking A Bribe Will Require A Lifetime To Pay
March 11, 2014

I have always been intrigued by the wisdom and sometimes the ignorance of older people.  As a child born to parents who were 54 and 43, I could never escape being around individuals who for the most part were the same age or even older than my parents.  By age 19 I landed a job working with W.R. Grace in downtown Memphis, Tennessee.  W.R. Grace back in the 1970’s and early 1980’s was one of the top 5 chemical companies in the entire world.  The world headquarters for the company was located in Manhattan, New York.  The Memphis offices was the major accounting center for the world operations and was located in the elite 100 North Main Building.  My office area was located on the 14th floor where the company comptroller, payroll and fixed assets employees were.  On floors 15 through 18 other operations were located included the Chief Operation Officer’s staff.  The main lobby was spotless and each morning the hallways were filled with professional and political people whose offices filled the 36 story building.  The fourth floor had a cafeteria and many shops that sold almost anything that a person might need.  There was a custom jewelery store owned and operated by Mr. Carlos.  In fact the name of the store was Carlos Jewelery.  Mr. Carlos would sometimes stand in the doorway of his very high end store and just smile and watch people throughout the lunch hours.  Numerous times I would stand and look at the many custom designed jewelery crafted by Mr. Carlos who always kept what I called a coal miners light on his head.  As time went by, Mr. Carlos took me into his store and began talking to me about how to look at diamonds and what was considered a great stone compared to just a typical stone with little or no clarity.  There were days when Mr. Carlos would point out various local Memphis politicians to me who had offices in the 100 North Main Building or they would be going to the offices of individuals for various purposes.  Mr. Carlos was affiliated with what appeared to be every organization of substance in the state of Tennessee.  Mr. Carlos was active in his Jewish religious order.  Mr. Carlos belonged to the Chamber of Commerce.  Mr. Carlos was well connected to every political power group in the entire state of Tennessee.

irs.jpg “In the name of earthly position one might forfeit their character”

One day a certain political figure whose office was in the 100 North Main Building walked by Mr. Carlos’ Jewelery store while he and I were talking.  This was a well known person in the African American business community that walked by.  This was a locally elected government official that walked by.  This was an individual that I had rode the elevator with and had only said good morning to that walked by Mr. Carlos’ store that day.  Mr. Carlos and I both said hello to the individual as he walked by, but it was what Mr. Carlos said to me afterwards that I never forgot.  Mr. Carlos said to me, “young man the person who just spoke to us will never be an effective politician and will never make it to the national political stage unless he does exactly what others tell him he can or can’t do.”  I was speechless and Mr. Carlos quickly explained why he said what he did to me.  In one sentence Mr. Carlos simply stated that the politician had “taken the hat”.

Royalty Free Stock Photography: Glittery hat filled with money “Everything that glitters isn’t necessarily good for you”

Mr. Carlos explained that in almost every circle there are “money hats” designed to ensnare individuals.  Mr. Carlos told me that he cautioned this politician not to be enticed by “the hat”, but he took it anyway.  Sadly according to Mr. Carlos, once you take the hat with the hundreds of thousands of dollars you also have taken all the good and bad intents attached to those who put the money into the hat.  Mr. Carlos described the hat as being so sinister that much like Judas Iscariot, once you have it in your hand and discover all of the corruption attached, you can’t give it back even if you want to do so.  My elderly 54 and 43 year old parents by example instilled in me to owe no man anything except to say thank you.  As a person who is continuing to learn to walk by faith and not by the many promises and offers of people each believer should try the spirits of people before falling for the potential entanglements of what is in that hat.  Do not become enticed by what is offered that you give up the greater gift of what you currently possess as did Eve with Satan.  Do not sell your soul out for evil like Esau forfeited his birthright. Jesus put forth the challenge this way, “what does it profit a man to gain the entire world and lose his soul or what will a man give once he has lost his soul to get it back again?”

Have you ever considered selling your soul in order to gain popularity, wealth or fame?  How did that story end for you?

 

21st Century – Evil Is Called Good and Good Is Called Evil
February 13, 2014

In 2014 honor and value is being bestowed more and more upon individuals who appear to meet criteria that is in direct contradiction to what this country supposedly was founded upon.  Religious freedom without persecution was a major plank in the platform of America.  Today it is almost a crime for Christians to believe what Christians believed less than 400 years ago even in America.  I will talk about a few beliefs religiously that are frowned upon today and I will talk about a few beliefs religiously that some continue to try embracing which should be let go.

1.  In the 21st century Christians who hold to the belief that God is the creator are seen as being out of touch with “world religion”.

2.  In the 21st century Christians who disagree with same sex marriage are labeled as having some type phobia.

3.  In the 21st century Christians who believe that sex (intercourse) is restricted to the marriage bed are seen as living in an outdated and unrealistic dream world.

4.  In the 21st century Christians who believe that blacks and whites should be embraced in equality are seen as trying to create one nation under God that is undivided and offers justice for all.  Ironically that is exactly what we hold claim to in our nations Pledge of Allegiance.

5.  In the 21st century Christians who oppose the idea that only those with “wealth” have a rights are seen as supporting “a welfare nation”.  Welfare by any other name such as “bailouts”, “subsidy”, “grants”, “pork barrel”, “golden parachute”, “incentives”, etc. according to the wealthy is never to be defined as “a welfare nation”.

6.  In the 21st century Christians who oppose celebrity status to public officials, entertainers, business executives who get special positive recognition for ungodly, unethical, and immoral behavior are blackballed and made a public example to create fear in others,  as if to say the same will happen to you if you as a Christian speak out against us.

Jesus made a declaration over 2000 years ago that is as true now as it was when he made it.  “A house divided against itself will not stand”.  What does that declaration mean you might ask?  A home, a nation, an institution that fights its own purpose for existing will fall.  The tragic conclusion to the father of Christianities  over 2000 year old declaration is that the fall comes from self inflicted wounds by the people within not the nations outside.

 

 

Change Happens….For Good or Bad
March 6, 2013

About 23 years ago I heard for the first time in my life the phrase, “planned obsolescence”.  The term was used within the framework of a community in Washington, D.C. called Barry Farms as public transportation and the incoming metro train system were being built as the infrastructure of change in Southeast Washington, DC.   I remember driving down Southern Avenue off Branch in route to visits what was once Greater Southeast Hospital and seeing police cars detailed at construction sites where the underground tunneling of the train tracks were being drilled.  Above ground at night in these same communities, the murder rate would reach such levels that D.C. became known as the murder capital instead of the nations capital reaching as high as 482 murders in 1991.  The population of Washington, D.C. from 1989 to 2010 ranged from 604,000 to 599,657.  Property damage, rapes, assaults, robbery, burglary, and vehicle thief all remained fairly constant during the 1989 to 2010 time frame.  The one statistic that stood out to this writer was the huge spike in murders.  In 1989 there were 434 murders followed in 1990 with 472, followed in 1991 with 482, followed in 1992 with 443, followed in 1993 with 454, and dropping in 1994 below the 400 rate to 399 and in 1995 to a rate of 360.  A challenging question, “what did planned obsolescence have to do with the escalating murder rate in Washington, D.C.?  The murder rate possibly wasn’t the primary focus of the “powers that be”, but rather the outcome of the 10 – 15 year goal of remaking the city.

Planned Obsolescence is a predetermined production by a manufacturer to insure that a product would be rendered useless and needing replacement within a predictable timeframe.  This forward thinking is only to the advantage of the originator of the concept and rarely designed to be of any measurable benefit to the consumer who purchases whatever the product or idea put forth.  The most current type of planned obsolescence might be found today in electronics.  A  flat screen television that is state of the art today selling for $1,000.00 might be available at the neighborhood flea market only 3 years later for $100.00 or less.  How do you create a design that comes with a warranty insuring the almost complete devastation of people, dreams, academic pursuit for the future?  First their must be a product that at one level is familiar and at another level is so unique that it attracts the attention of marketer’s and consumers.  Marketer’s want to know will this product sell and how much profit can be made over a predetermined shelf life.  Consumers primarily want to know, will this product meet their needs and can they afford it?

Change appears to be a natural event in every arena of life.  Change is embraced by communities, planned by cities, projected by governments but often resisted by individuals personally.  As a mental health professional I observe current generation people holding on to unhealthy, non productive and sometimes destructive behaviors that former family members and old communities of their childhood modeled.  Behavioral patterns are understood better when the history of a person is revealed.  Every morning at 5:00 a.m. everyone got up and ate breakfast at the kitchen table before going to work or school, therefore 30 or 40 years later if your current family doesn’t take time to sit down together each day it could be misunderstood as someone is upset, not connected or too busy for family time.

Change does not imply a total makeover in every case.  In husband and wife relationships change is sometimes resisted as if it is a surrender following a civil war.  Imagine both husband and wife resolving to bring everything learned from childhood good or bad into the marriage about shopping, cleaning, money, sex, children, work, family, etc.  What would you predict the outcome of such a marriage?  A power struggle indeed will erupt.  The struggle is actually a fight to maintain the status quo of one’s home of origin more than it is a resistance to one’s spouse.  Most relationship wars are more about resisting “healthy” change mostly because in doing so, it first requires an admission that in all honesty it wasn’t very healthy even in the family of origin.  Change requires humility of spirit, a surrender of will, and an assurance of self as a person.

What do you fight to hold on to in your current relationships that probably should be changed?