Just Lost a FB friend.

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Aside: When reading the Bible I was struck by God's instruction to Ezekiel 2:18-21. Even though I am not Ezekiel and I'm not sure that the messages I get are from God, I believe He is talking to me in that scripture. If not, I'm sure we will work it out when and if we meet.

In addition to the failure of the House of Representatives regarding the Government Shutdown and the Raising of the debt ceiling, two events have disturbed me greatly. The first was a message from a school-teacher and the second the "unfriending" of me by a pastor.

I was lectured by the teacher:

"When you consent to be governed by an outside entity, you're consenting to cede the decision making process to some extent. If the government had to ask for personal approval of every decision by every taxpayer before he/she would hand over the money, the whole system would crash in about 5 minutes. When we live together under a common government, we understand that we're not going to necessarily agree with every single decision made by those in power...but that our process, with all of its checks and balances built in, is set up so that those decisions are generally made by a collection of people who are trying to work toward the common good and honoring the wishes of the people to the extent that it's possible. It's certainly not a perfect system, but if the options are "I'll trust the government to make decisions about how my money can best benefit those less fortunate" and " I don't like the way you're helping the poor so I won't support you helping them at all, in any way", I think I'll choose the former."

To which I responded:

"Your position seems clear. But to be sure please answer the following to assure I understand. If the government is doing it, it is OK to:
1. Fund killing unborn babies?
2. Kill segments of the population because of their religious beliefs or ethnic background?
3. Exempt some from the law because of their religious/political beliefs or position in government?
4. Misrepresent the truth when doing so justifies the ends?

And no, I do not consent to being governed by an outside entity. As a citizen of the USA, I accept my responsibility to be a part of that governance and use the cloak of our Constitution to guide our government to being fair and just to all its citizens."

To be fair, I implied that our government was funding killing unborn babies. While the Affordable Care Act does make provisions for abortions, it does state that a surcharge must be charged for that coverage. Because of the wording of that section of the Act, however, many applicants will end up paying the surcharge unless they are careful during the registration.

The good news is that the teacher with which I had that conversation is still presumably receiving my posts. As I have experienced in the past, my postings have some influence on those who see them. Better, readers engage me in conversations which both educate me and at least illustrate that they have not closed their minds to other viewpoints.

The other situation was surprisingly abrupt. The pastor posted a message lamenting the "waste of money" associated with the government shutdown. A member of the family posted a reply lamenting other wastes of the government, particularly under this Administration and Democratically controlled Senate. The pastor immediately "Unfriended" that family member as well as the rest of the family. His rational was that he did not permit "Hate Speach" on his wall.

That he took such an action was a complete surprise. As my pastor, I enjoyed well prepared sermons which were to the point and theologically well founded. He was a good person, willing to assist when a need presented itself, and willing to mediate differences between members of the congregation. Even on points of disagreement, his were well thought out and presented me with food for thought. I was disappointed when he left our church for another assignment.

Definition Hate speech is a communication that carries no meaning other than the expression of hatred for some group, especially in circumstances in which the communication is likely to provoke violence. It is an incitement to hatred primarily against a group of persons defined in terms of race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, and the like. Hate speech can be any form of expression regarded as offensive to racial, ethnic and religious groups and other discrete minorities or to women.

In my opinion, born of Political Correctness "Hate Speech" is an epithet generally directed to someone with which the author doesn't agree and usually cannot come up with a credible opinion. Secondly, the US Constitution does not prohibit "hate speech", in fact the First Amendment right is clear. Even though laws seeking to delimit that freedom have been passed, it is clear that the founders wanted to keep that right pure.

However, the incident probably has its advantages. I have listened to the pastor. It occurs to me that without his influence, I will be less likely to join the crowd crying "Crucify Him" should that or like events occur during my life.