Freedom is up to you.

As this Presidential cycle comes to fruition I’ve heard and read ideas that have provoked thought, others that have been covered in pure ridiculousness and finally the rantings of disgustingly outright dishonesty.

Sordid affairs, criminal collusion and the ignorance that allows this part of human behavior to occur, has been on full display.

Through this a comment was made that drew my attention.  “God is on Donald Trump’s side.”

It reminded me of the famous Lincoln quote “Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side;  my greatest concern is to be on God’s side….”

It’s really a wonderful statement in that Lincoln understood his own fallibility as well as duty while giving credit to a “higher power”.

It is an incredibly important measurement of honorable leadership.  The giving of credit AND the taking of blame.

It is the purity of the knowledgeable, to appreciate the gift of Free Will in one hand, while embracing its responsibility, in the other.

So let us be knowledgeable.

Tens of millions in America have lost their way.

Too many have cast off humility as though it is a weighted stone, not a pillar of society, and embraced the beating of their own chests.  Too many believe it is their “right” to ask for or demand things because “they can”.

Too many believe they are the “higher power”.

I have never been a God fearing man.

For those of you who have read Late Bird you know I don’t see the “Big Fella Upstairs” as vengeful.

I believe in a loving God that has given us Free Will and the ability to use it in any manner we decide.

Whether one believes in God, or not, doesn’t remove Free Will from the equation as “belief” in a “higher power” or not, is a practice of…Free Will.

I’ve also had plenty of experiences that I’ve felt were wrong or unjust.  This is not “God’s Will” nor should the blame be laid at the feet of a higher power.

Those that commit acts of aggression or apathy are the ones responsible for such action(s).

It’s called Personal Responsibility or lack thereof.

These actions will continue to increase due to a lack of consequences, not because the “Big Fella Upstairs” is angry.

I don’t profess to speak for God, or attach human qualities, but if I had to my guess is, if God is up there looking upon human activity, the most common emotion to fulfill his day, would be sadness.

Sadness that we have been given so much knowledge but seem never to learn.

Over the years I’ve had plenty of conversations about what happens after our time here is over.

A friend of mine who’d seen combat told me decades ago “there’s nothing after this Jason, we go back into the ground.”

A female Sunni Muslim told me one time “good acts” are the key to the afterlife.  When I asked her if there were “72 virgins” awaiting her arrival she said she wasn’t sure.  Because we were having a pleasant chat I also inquired as to why she was covered head to toe but the men were not.  Seemed unfair to me.  She looked at me for a few seconds and said “you’re right”.

Yes, I know.

I’ve discussed Buddhism with many and their view of Nirvana and Rebirth.  The concepts of Siddhartha Gautama are interesting but the one thing that drew my attention was and is its practice in oppressive Communist China.

Perhaps a discussion for another day.

The two most important concepts to me, in regards to Jesus, are the simple yet powerful ideas to love God and love one another.

Sounds like the answer to every human related behavioral issue on the planet.  This leads me to a conversation I’ve had a few times over the years.

It usually goes something like this:

Jason: Yes I believe in Jesus.  No I do not call myself a Christian.

Friend: How can you believe in Jesus but not call yourself a Christian?

Jason:  How can you not believe in him?  Jesus is the only one I am familiar with that the entire planet changed the measurement of time over.

Friend:  Measurement of time?

Jason:  BC, Before Christ, AD, Anno Domini, In the year of the Lord.  Every nation around the world regardless of religious views recognizes the current year as 2016…AD.

Friend:  Another reason to be a Christian.

Jason: Okay let me get this straight.  If we both exit the planet at the same time and arrive at the gates of Heaven, St. Peter is going to give me the stop sign and wave you on through…according to you.

Friend:  Yes.

Jason:  And that is okay with you.

Friend:  Of course it isn’t. That’s why I want you to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

Jason:  I appreciate that.  Let me ask you this.  I have known plenty of criminals who have abused men, women, and children and claimed to have found Jesus.  Because of this they will be heading through with you while I will be left with the alternative?

Friend:  Yes.

Jason:  Again I can appreciate your concern although if the abusers are getting through I don’t think this is the place for me but let me try and explain the way I see this.  If we both arrive together you have already stated you are going through while I am being stopped right?  Maybe you’ll give me a little wave or something but once we arrive it’s every man or woman for themselves yes?

Friend:  Yes.

Jason:  Okay.  This is the way I see it.  If we get to the gates and St. Peter waves you through I’ll wish you well and deal with whatever is coming my way.  However, let’s say we get to the gates and Pete sees us coming and instead of you getting the green light…I am.  Who knows why?  Maybe the rules changed, maybe Pete’s just having a bad day.  Regardless I get a big “attababy” or “well done son come on home” while you are told there is “no room at the inn.”  If this were to happen I’d stop at the gate and say “I appreciate it Pete, I really do, but it’s either both of us…or none of us.  There is no way the loving God I know is leaving anyone at the gate and neither am I.”

Shoulder to shoulder.

My fellow Americans.

My greatest concern is not whether God is on our side.  My greatest concern is whether we are on the side of the Big Fella Upstairs.

The side of virtue and tenacity, grace and perseverance, compassion and critical thinking.

God has blessed these United States.

Freedom is up to us.

Freedom is up to me.

Freedom is up to you.

In for a penny, in for a pound.

Jason Kraus

www.aleadernotapolitician.com

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