BY Marsha M. Brown
At this time of year, I like many of you, reflect on years past when we as Americans held all…most…or at least some of our traditions non-negotiable.
Our beautiful flag – a symbol of democracy, freedom, sacrifice, valor ; a striking, visible representation that we loved…rarely did we see true blue Americans stomp it, burn it out of protest (not unless it was simply beyond repair and only then discarded appropriately); we also respected that many faiths existed and were evident throughout our land – beliefs that were similar and some very different from our own…but we all (for the most part) got along; despite our differences, we lived and worked side by side, accepting that as Americans we ‘shared’ our differences…it was called ‘life’. Some of us would grumble about how a couple raised their kids, some of us judged others for what they had and what they didn’t (shamefully) but we all lived together in this crazy world. And no matter what…no matter what…if the one who vowed a religion, we couldn’t understand…we still stood side by side, arm in arm and hand in hand for each other when a fellow American was hurt, sick, dying or desperate and needed help. That’s because we were united and if anyone or anything went against us our affection for each other kicked in and we were up in arms…ready to support and defend. Homes that were destroyed by fire, hurricanes, tornados and floods brought us all together, again…despite our everyday differing opinions, varying faith, monetary status…we supported, and did our best to lift and meet the needs of our fellow Americans.
Within the last week, while surfing TV channels, some I watch often – some that I don’t…I stopped when I saw the first visual of the story topic showing a fake Santa Claus dressed not in the typical red Santa suit, but rather in camouflage holding a sign that read, “God Bless America”. The Santa was a blow-up figure and the sign he held was a message asking God to bless our country…. but…in this day and time, somebody who apparently doesn’t like God or doesn’t want to acknowledge Him, threw a fit and complained. Whiny-hiney comes to mind! Really?
I had to wonder if that group of miserable trouble makers ever served our country? Left their loved one’s side knowing they might never see them again? Or faced death square on – face to face in miserable wet, dark, places and if they did, I wonder if they ever called out to God for help, or prayed to Him for others who were hurt, dying or dead beside them on a battlefield or in a jungle?
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Again…what we used to do if we even passionately disagreed, was chalk it up to ‘their’ problem…but now their problem has made its way into being our problem…unfortunately.
And then there was the story I saw on the Internet about a challenge regarding the ability/option for service personnel to have Bible scriptures imprinted on the back side of their dog tags…another challenge…seriously? Why? Can adult Americans decide for themselves if they like it, hate it or just ignore that many people have faith, many soldiers depend on it to get them through? My question is not so much that those folks must agree but why are they or their outrageous complaints allowed to influence what other people can and cannot do? Talk about offending someone…that action offends ME!
All due respect to folks who don’t agree with me or who may read this GIG LINE and fall out kicking and screaming…if so, I feel for you, I really do. Naysayers should STOP trying to STOP everybody else’s show of faith or patriotism! Enough is enough! And for the people in this world that hate, hate and hate some more, I feel so sorry for you! Please get a life! Put that negative, mean spirit to rest or kick it to the curb and find something positive to do in your life!
Let me tell you something, I lost my best friend in a car accident when I was 17; lost my 52 year old mother to lung CA; lost a home in a foreclosure when the economy tanked; lost another home (my grandmother’s home that we had just renovated) in a house fire; watched my precious husband and my one true love die from brain CA three and a half years ago and then face CA and radiation myself…and I still believe in God and His love for me and my thankfulness for the things that are such great blessings in my life. But…I NEVER fought in a war or faced what our military has faced and if anyone serving today wants to have something inscribed on the back side of their dog tags…it’s a disgrace if we disallow it in order to accommodate atheists or haters of faith.
Am I ‘rung up’ as we say in the south? Absolutely! Quite frankly, I’m sick and tired of attention seekers and anti-everything bad attitudes! Get a grip! No matter what though, as a Christian who is proud to claim my faith, I love everyone…even the ones who set out to destroy and jump on the rear bumper in order to get a ride somewhere with somebody and I will pray that everyone stop and consider the dark, sad places in life when a whisper to God or even mind speak to Him will give you the peace and comfort you might desperately need.
Lastly, I might not be a Bible scholar and I might not have PHD’s & XYZ’s behind my name, but I know from personal heartache and hardship that love far outweighs hateful misery any day.
Christmas is coming and it earmarks an incredible day in the history of the world. If you see me on the street or call me on my phone (252) 202-2058, I might greet you with Merry Christmas…not Happy Holidays like so many people do now out of fear of retribution (Which I was told on a recent business call…upon hanging up, the fella said, “Happy Holidays” and I responded, “Thank you but to you I say, Merry Christmas!” He promptly replied, “Thank you ma’am, I couldn’t say that unless you said it first.” And with that my friends, I say to you…pitiful! Pitiful because we ARE better than that.
Until next time, be happy, be safe and be proud! We are fortunate to live in the greatest nation of all – can we just hold to at least a few beautiful old traditions? Love each other? Find ways to help the needy? Take better care of our veterans? Can we? Thank you for reading GIG LINE because in doing so…you make me smile. Stay tuned!