Position Statement on “Unite Norman” Recall Petition

An ad-hoc group called Unite Norman has developed a recall petition for the Norman mayor, Breea Clark, and four city-council members, including Kate Bierman, the representative for my ward (1). [One of other the targeted representatives, in a rural ward that surrounds mine on three sides, already has resigned under pressure, in part to perform “advocacy” she can’t do in the city-council role.]

The link summarizes the organization’s reasons. I don’t agree with all of Unite Norman’s positions, and am not a member; however, after two weeks of careful thought and deliberation of the principles and issues at hand, Elke and I signed the recall petition. Yes, this is despite the fact that a new election shall be held early next year anyway. We are fully aware of this (see below). The city charter ensures citizens the right to petition for recall, and thousands of us are exercising that right.

Below, I reproduce a comment that I made on the Unite Norman Facebook page, elucidating why we signed the recall for our representative and the mayor.
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I’m sorry to report that I voted for Kate, and now regret doing so.   [At least I didn’t vote for Breea Clark.] While campaigning, Kate came to my house and spent an hour with us, very friendly, asking for concerns and appearing to listen and take notes.  It seemed to be a good discussion.  Among several issues raised, she agreed that Norman should advance to the 1980s and synchronize stoplights citywide.   She promised to fight for that.  I see zero evidence she has done so, nor any results; and results are what matter.

Knowing she supported the storm-water utility issue, I tactfully expressed my opposition to the unnecessary and duplicative bureaucracy of a so-called “stormwater utility” and laid out a well-reasoned case that seemed to surprise and enlighten her.  This included a better solution involving (I’m summarizing lots of detail here) keeping storm water in water/sewer dept., with lower overhead, and more fairly assessing urban and rural Norman based on *percentage* of property that’s impermeable instead of absolute area.  She had never heard that argument before, called it “brilliant”, and seemed very interested.

She acted respectful and again took notes.  So far, so good.  Then she utterly ignored my input and pressed for the wasteful, rural-unfair, and unnecessary measure that unsurprisingly failed on the subsequent ballot, nevertheless.  When I pressed for why on the Facebook page, it was under the bogus straw-man rationale of not letting the perfect get in the way of the good.  It was neither perfect nor good.  That’s why we voted it to a resounding defeat!

Furthermore, in our meeting, she did an all-too-good job of reading the room, and gave no inclination of since-displayed radical leftism, and support for extremist left-wing causes.   Those include resolutions supporting and endorsing immoral sexual behavior and gender deviancy.  Those are not city matters, but personal ones.  The city council should represent all the citizens, not the radical Alinskyan fringe seeping out of university academia.

Every minute and tax dollar that she and these other radicals on the city council have spent on fringe extremist social causes, instead should have been of getting the nuts and bolts of the city’s infrastructural needs addressed.  

Finally, turning one’s back on citizens is a literal and figurative no-no.  All citizens deserve to be heard.  That was rude and uncivilized conduct unbecoming a public official.

Adding it all up, this was a monumental betrayal of my and my wife’s votes.  She’s not getting them again.  And even if it ultimately doesn’t matter, my wife and I signed that petition, with pride, no apologies.  Even though we agree with and practice wearing masks inside stores and other businesses to control disease spread.

A few of my co-workers have signed too (those who haven’t already moved out of Norman due to the creeping radicalism, inattention to tangible issues, and growing taxes).  

Sure, a recall so soon before the election may seem wasteful.  I get that.  But principle must matter. 

A message needs to be sent.  

Thank you for your efforts.

Independence Day Reflections and Resources

On this day of America’s birth, in a time of fluxes both positive and deeply disturbing, I reflect upon the founding values of liberty and equal creation by our Creator, espoused explicitly in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution — the two greatest, most important documents of civilizational freedom ever prepared by mortal humanity. Liberty from tyranny led to momentous moments of 4 July 1776, the founding date of the beacon of the free world for over 200 years. Upholding liberty is not only the responsibility of our soldiers, sailors and aviators, but all of us, and each of us individually.

Majority rule with protection of minority rights is an essential American ideal. Who is the least of these, in need of the most protection from tyranny? There is no smaller nor less-powerful minority than the individual. As such, protection of individual liberty must stand supreme over tyranny of any sort, whether from a numerical majority, a shrill and disproportionately influential minority, the seductive delusion of collectivism, oppression via coerced compliance, the laziness of herd-mentality groupthink, and outsized influence of the loudest mob(s) of any given hour, day, week, or year.

With individual liberty comes a responsibility to uphold and preserve the freedoms for future generations to benefit, and not to squander freedom on foolish pleasures, nor selfish hedonism, nor lawless disregard for others. Instead, love your neighbor. That’s not a bureaucratic exercise, but an individual one: you and me. Jesus didn’t say, “Love thy neighbor — at governmental gunpoint”. Love can only be authentic if freely given, and compulsory “love” isn’t real. It has to come from within, to each as he or she is called by God to serve one another and this nation.

The American ideal, a fortification and refinement of the “ancient liberties of the English” that predated even the Magna Carta, inspired in no small manner by the Sinai Covenant of the Jewish Exodus, Constitutionally codified into Founding law of this land, was intended to transcend crises, inspire the endless struggle for freedom worldwide, and protect liberty throughout.

As I reflect on the concept of freedom today, and the founding ideals that birthed the greatest national beacon for freedom ever constructed, I offer glimpses of the American ethos in multiple forms in the comments below. As you consider where we have been, and where we may be going, 244 years into this great experiment, I invite you to be inspired and stimulated by these resources.

SHORT ESSAY: “Equality and the American Dream” by native Canadian C. Bradley Thompson

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/07/03/equality_and_the_american_dream_143606.html

LONG ESSAY: “The Origins of Freedom” by native Englishman Os Guinness

https://www.rzim.org/read/just-thinking-magazine/the-origins-of-freedom

SPEECH: “The Boys of Pointe du Hoc” by Ronald Reagan

From the 40th Anniversary of D-Day, Normandy, France, 6 Jun 1984

SONG: “Americana” performed by Moe Bandy

A song about the heart and soul of this nation: its people

PHOTOGRAPHY: “Flag of the United States of America”
from Image of the Week

PRAYER: “For America In A Time Of National Crisis

Dear Father, there is much happening with our nation at the moment as we are facing a time of crises. The nation seems to be teetering on the edge of destruction and our government seems to have little ability or will to reverse what is coming upon our land and its citizens. Lord, there is increasing unrest and we ask that You guide our nation through this difficult period.

Lord, we pray for all in authority over our land and ask that You would lead and guide the decisions they are to make in this time of crises. We ask that those in leadership positions would be given the wisdom and ability to address all that is looming on the home-front at this present time. Give them grace to govern according to Your will, and may they not be motivated by self-interest, greed or party politics, but rather may they be led to guide our nation onto the path of peace and safety that only comes from You.

Protect all those that are in any way at risk or are suffering from lack or from fear of what is happening in this time of national crises. May we as a people unite together under Your banner of truth, to support and encourage each other, as we face this national crises together, as one nation under God.

Amen.

Source: https://prayer.knowing-jesus.com/prayer/for-america-in-a-time-of-national-crisis-423

DOCUMENTS: The Declaration of Independence and Constitution
I have seen several surveys indicating that the majority of Americans never have read these fully, word for word to completion. That’s unfortunate and troublesome. If you haven’t, here’s your chance to fix that problem. Read carefully and considerately, they still should take less than an hour of your time. This PDF can be printed and carried with you everywhere you travel for ready reference, self-reminder, and reflection.

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Office%20of%20Citizenship/Citizenship%20Resource%20Center%20Site/Publications/PDFs/M-654.pdf

Open Letter to “Christian Left” Friends

I consider you a brother/sister in Christ, and siblings sometimes disagree. That’s cool.

I’m also honest, sometimes to a fault. And if it’s a fault, I’ll die on that, and stand before God on Judgment Day in full confession thereof. I try to proclaim truth in love, and sometimes that means tough love. Guess my street-tough inner-city background gave me the constitution to employ that as needed, and to endure so much of the BS this world flings at us.

Truly, we’re not meant to be fully comfortable in this life, in this world. That’s because it’s a cursed world. To be challenged is discomforting, as it should be, but can be liberating in the realest sense. I’m challenging you right now. Consider this tough love.

To say I’m worried about your soul and spiritual health is true! After all, I care. Still, your life and choices are yours to follow. As a philosophical libertarian, I’m not going to order you around. Your private choices are your business and God’s. I will, however, make suggestions, and challenge people, and I expect nothing less than the same treatment, per the Golden Rule.

So I’ll elaborate a little. Why do I worry about those Christian friends dipping toes in social leftism? Why do I consider “The Christian Left” to be a complete sentence?

I’ve been there and escaped its clutches, and can see right through its great lie. I wish more people could. It disguises itself as “loving thy neighbor” when it really means “use governmental coercion to steal money/freedom from some to give to others because of how I have been told to perceive them to be mass victims of an oppressive system”. It feeds on insecurities and mutual reinforcement, likes and atta-boys from sycophants, whether you realize this consciously or not.

I’m so thankful to have stepped out of that herd of anger and resentment. I realized that until we assume individual personal responsibility, we’ll be enslaved to worldly groupthink, and in the name of “social justice”, demand injustice in the name of justice.

So from the outside, here’s what I see.

Identity politics and “social justice” are dangerous ideologies, driven to idolatry of victimhood as an end of the means, and wholly antithetical to divinely granted freedoms of thought and speech. The whole subculture of “social justice”, besides being a grotesquely Orwellian, Newspeak-style misnomer, is an alluring yet diabolical worldly phenomenon. It is encouraged and fomented by none other than Satan the devil himself.

Political correctness serves as a device of censorship, suppression and oppression, a cancerous, metastasizing, gangrenous lesion on the face of open, frank and intelligent discussion. I refuse to play that game. Why? Easy. God doesn’t. That alone overrules politicians, celebrities, so-called “social justice warriors” and anybody else’s opinions.

Only His word ultimately matters, not the world’s. Nowhere in His Holy Word (Bible) are “PoC” and other such terms used, or even squarely implied. Jesus loved all the same, regardless of their color. MLK rightly followed that concept when speaking of the importance of content of character vs. the color of skin. Where has that ethos gone?

What about poverty, slavery, censorship, tyranny, other forms of destruction of freedom, based on the Bible? Absolutely worthy causes. We as individuals are called to help. That’s you and me, personally — not using government as a coercive proxy. Jesus didn’t add, “by government gunpoint” to “love thy neighbor.” [Anyone who thinks He did is welcomed to show me those words in the Bible.] Compassion is not a bureaucratic exercise!

Why would that be? Love is freely given and accepted, never coerced. Therefore, “love” thy neighbor logically cannot apply to taxation (which is involuntary) and governmental bureaucratic machinations. Love can be expressed authentically only through freely given personal action and charity, whether time or money or both. And if you somehow think bureaucracy is synonymous with love, and want more taxes, pay more taxes on your own…pay dot gov will accept donations 24/7/365.

The poor and oppressed are of all races. [Did you know the majority of poor in America are not so-called “PoC”? Some good the mythical “white privelege” has done for them! What of their plight in all this?]

My experience growing up in inner-city poverty was a blessing from the Lord. I was a decided racial minority in that environment, and as such, understand what it’s like to be in that societal framework. One message became clear, later reinforced in His Holy Word itself, as God taught me this: we’re all one race…the human race. We’re to “love thy neighbor” with zero regard to his outwardly visible melanin level.

I take that strictly literally, as it should be. I will not extend any less neighborly love to my dark-skinned neighbor as the others. As an aside, he too is a fully devoted servant of Christ, and we’re on the same page on this issue. [A “PoC” conservative? Horrors! Yes, they do exist. My neighbor is one. I follow many others on social media. And their insight on what it’s like to be who they are, I trust more than any naïve and detached “social justice warrior”.]

If you note the importance of how we live, you’re right. We set an example in our behavior. Talk is cheap; actions matter. You will not see me treat someone badly nor unequally based on immutables. Again: why? Easy. Jesus wouldn’t. It’s that simple. Anyone who tries to make it more complex than that is selling you a sucker’s bill of goods.

As a kid on the streets of downtown and East Dallas, I saw more than my share of con artists and shysters, more than most people will in an entire lifetime. Been there, seen it all…I understand their mentality and modus operandi. And worldly “social justice”, as now practiced in America, is a big, systemic social con game.

It’s sad to see people fall for it, especially fellow Christians. The “social justice” movement, as practiced on today’s Left, is of this world, not of our Lord. It disappoints me to see so many Christians dabbling or wholly slipping into that diabolical whirlpool of deceit, resentment, bitterness, and anger.

So what are you doing for “social justice”? If you answer that to me, or if you’re telling others, you’re not doing charity the right way: privately. You’re virtue signaling. Helping others is not done for the sake of bragging rights. It’s not about you. It’s about those in need. I’m not going to be touting my charitable contributions and acts on social media. That’s not why they’re done.

So there it is. If you wanted to categorize me, which really isn’t possible, the closest guess would be “fiscally and socially conservative, Biblical Christian Libertarian”. 😉 And I am fully secure in that. This place is squarely where I truly, wholly believe God has called me to live, with 100% authenticity. It’s home on Earth, until I go Home for good.

If you’re reading this far, you’re a sharp, learned, well-read person. That’s a good thing. Our brotherhood or sisterhood in Christ is why I care enough to go to this much trouble to write all this. Thank you.

As such, I have just one book to recommend for now, outside the Good Book, of course: “How Now Shall We Live” by Charles Colson. Check it out. I’ve never seen the application of the Christian worldview to the issues and temptations of the world so well-explained in a soundly Bible-rooted way. My wife recommended it to me, and it was a great learning experience, clarifying neatly some ideas and tying some ribbons up that had been irritatingly open-ended for some time.

I’d love to compare notes after you’ve read it.

As for the killings of so-called “PoC” that prompt rage and anger and virtue signaling from some of you, yes, they’re sins! Murder absolutely is a sin, whether done by civilian or cop, left or right, white or black, or anyone in between. All murder is a hate crime by default, regardless of what the perpetrator or victim look like. [What? Did you think it was a love crime?]

Horrid acts like the recent Georgia killing, or the far less-publicized but equally tragic daily murders in Chicago or Baltimore, happen with a deep root cause: because individuals and society have abandoned Biblical morals in favor of the vices of innately sinful human nature.

Quite simply, thou shalt not kill. It’s clear all the murderers are deeply lost. They don’t know our Savior. Otherwise they would not do these things. And that includes other violent criminals, even if claiming to be Christians.

We as a society have lost our way in failing to teach kids Biblical moral precepts and why to adhere to them. Not just legal law, but Godly moral law. This is why we have, for example, widespread venereal disease (extramarital sex/fornication), neighbors not knowing each other (failure to love thy neighbor), and obvious violations of any of the Ten Commandments (most crimes, including this).

People infused with the Holy Spirit don’t do these crimes and immoral acts, nor condone them! That’s not judgment, but straight-talk Biblical truth. Truth needs to be heard. Who will listen and heed?

We as a society have lost our way and will keep paying the price (including the loss of innocents) until we repent—individually and collectively—and sincerely seek forgiveness from the Lord. That applies to each and all of us.

The undeniable fact is that these murderers (and rapists, child molesters, those who beat their wives and girlfriends up, terrorists, “religious” killers, and any others foisting violence on innocents) don’t commit the crime if they are truly God-fearing, obedient servants, instead of hate-filled mercenaries. Had they come to Jesus beforehand, and stayed there, this simply doesn’t happen. They either never were, or have gotten lost.

Come, Lord Jesus. We need you.

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