Saturday, September 9, 2017

ARE WE LIVING IN THE BIBLICAL END DAYS?

The world is NOT ending - at least not today! GOD has not peeled back the ceiling of the Universe to direct the path of the latest hurricane. And, there is NO connection between today's weather patterns and your favorite biblical doomsday verse.

It's instructive to know that the turbulent times of antiquity and scriptures foreshadowing doom are anchored in theological perspective absent the scientific method of modernity. In other words, scripture writers attributing bad weather and terrestrial pressures to an angry GOD were ill-informed about the functions of our planet and that of planets in our solar system and beyond. To put it quite simply, when a hurricane churns in the warm waters of the Atlantic, they move to higher latitudes and ride a jet stream to a given location.

GOD is NOT using his finger and directing these high winds and rains at gay couples in Houston, Florida or any city or town in a hurricane's path. I really wish people like washed up actor Kirk Cameron and Conservative Evangelical Preachers would stop cheapening the awesome power of GOD by attributing the natural functions of our planet to an angry and ill-tempered entity in the sky.

As I've said before, GOD does not send hurricanes because of Man's sins. Every planet in our Solar system and beyond have destructive storms, atmospheric and terrestrial pressures.

For example: Jupiter's "Great Red Spot" - which is the size of two Earths - has been been barreling across the surface of that planet for the last 400 years. The planet Venus has been raining sulfuric acid for millions of years and its 860 degree surface temperatures are hot enough to melt lead. The planet Neptune has wind storms of methane "whirling" across its surface at speeds of 1,200 mph. Dubbed the "Great Dark Spot," Neptune's cyclonic storms move similar to Earth's hurricanes and typhoons. The planet Saturn has perhaps one of the largest storms in our solar system. So enormous and intense,  Saturn's "Great White Spot" thunderstorm actually wraps around nearly the entire planet.

All of these destructive storms, atmospheric and terrestrial pressures are indicative of planets in our solar system, and that of the billions of planets in our galaxy and beyond.  And as far as we know, there are no gays or sinners or social upheavals on Jupiter, Saturn or Neptune warranting GOD's storm-directing punishment to demonstrate his anger. So no, the "end times" are not upon us. Jesus was not seen hovering behind the last solar eclipse. And GOD has not peeled back the ceiling of our Universe to punish Houston, Florida and by extension the United States because of her gay citizens or social constructs or rejection of Christianity or because "Happy Holidays" has replaced the word Christmas.

So the idea that GOD is punishing the United States because of sin or as some self-serving politician suggested - because of voter disenfranchisment - is simply stupid. No, Houston is suffering because of the decisions of Man. If you want to place blame on the floods that ravaged Houston and potentially parts of Florida, it belongs squarely at the feet of developers that are destroying flood-absorbent grasslands. Blame belongs at the feet of city officials that traded wetlands and prairies for profit-driven development projects.

Yes, the blame falls on the back of planning boards and chambers of commerce and greedy developers that build cheap homes in low-lying flood prone areas. And even worse, our failure as a nation to adequately address our antiquated infrastructure. It's both disappointing and farcical that dams and levees built in the early and mid 1900s aren't being rebuilt or replaced.

Hurricanes, torrential rains, floods and storms are a natural function of our planet. The only destructive part of nature is OUR decison to stand in her way. This is NOT GOD'S punishment, these are Man's choices and decisions.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

IS GOD PUNISHING HOUSTON?

As the people of Houston wade through flood waters seeking safety and shelter, spilling from the lips of despicable and vile scriptural hucksters is a type of biblical lunacy that bewilders rational thinking people.

Names aren't important. But what's worth noting is that these skewed and often silly way of explaining tragedy is an integral part of human existence - except in these cases, Conservative Evangelicals ramp up biblical stupidity and take irrationality to new and curious heights.

Whether it's suggesting GOD sent Hurricane Katrina to New Orleans because of gay people or an earthquake to Haiti because of some fallacious pact with the devil or the September 11th terror attack, these scandalous biblical lunatics interpret tragedy - not from a place of rationality or Man's place in modernity - but from an agenda driven by exploitation of fear and yes,  ignorance.

To be clear, GOD does not send hurricanes because of Man's sins. Every planet in our Solar system and beyond have destructive storms, atmospheric and terrestrial pressures. As far as I know, life and by extension sin doesn't exist on Saturn, yet storms the size of Earth barrel across the surface of that planet.

So the idea that GOD is punishing Houston because of sin or as some self-serving politician suggested - because of voter disenfranchisment - is simply stupid. No, Houston is suffering because of the decisions of Man. If you want to place blame on the floods that's ravaging Houston, it belongs squarely at the feet of developers that are destroying flood-absorbant grasslands. Blame belongs at the feet of city officials that traded wetlands and prairies for profit-driven development projects. Yes, the blame falls on the back of planning boards and chambers of commerce and greedy developers that build cheap homes in low-lying flood prone areas. And even worse, our failure as a nation to adequately address our antiquated infrastructure. It's both disappointing and farcical that dams and levees built in the early and mid 1900s aren't being rebuilt or replaced. 

Hurricanes, torrential rains, floods and storms are a natural function of our planet. The only destructive part of nature is OUR decison to stand in her way. This is NOT GOD'S punishment, these are Man's choices and decisions.

Ron Holland

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Stop Cheapening Jesus' Return

If the interpreters of scripture are correct and Jesus is to return to our earthly plain, it will undoubtedly be a spectacular event stunning the entire globe. It will be a moment in human history that most assuredly shake the world to its core; and not confused with a silly image on a piece of toast, on the bark of a tree or heated water and ice vapors in the clouds.

So STOP confusing pareidolia and the majesty of nature with scriptural interpretation - devoid of today's scientific and biological advances.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

SHOULD BLACK PEOPLE CARRY GUNS?

The short answer is yes. Given these uncertain and increasingly turbulent times, we have a right to defend ourselves and family.

There are bigots galavanting the country looking for an opportunity to express their racist tendencies in physical ways. Whether it's by the cover of darkeness to burn a church, synagogue or mosque; during road rage incidences or GOD forbid dragging someone into the woods to exact a lynching.

It's NOT an exaggeration to suggest we're living in a danger time. Rabid racists are celebrating their emergence from the dark fringes of obscurity and are chomping at the bit to make their seething hatred known. Anyone that shares my hue of skin should strongly consider measures to protect yourself and that of your family. Is carrying a gun the answer?

As for me and my house, the prudent thing as a husband and father is to exercise my constitutional and GOD given right to protect me and mine with a firearm. Yes, I carry a gun. I've been intentional about making it clear that I do carry. And yes, I take great pride in that decision. But is this the answer for the larger black and other so-called minority communties? I think so, but some people might inevitably differ. Here's why:

As a community we're mired in a conundrum. While we justifiably reserve and deserve to use whatever means to protect ourselves with the use of firearms, the danger in carrying a gun is forebodingly shadowed by a negative or deadly interaction with police.

The unfortunate reality is that police are too quick to feign fear during an interaction with our community. The white community and even white criminals are afforded the luxury of white skinned privilege and nearly always given the benefit of the doubt. People that share my hue of skin is often viewed with suspicion and stereotype. So the idea of carrying a gun carries the danger of becoming a victim of some thug with a badge or some incompetent officer who can't distinguish a real threat from an innocent gesture like following a command to produce a driver's license.

The second unfortunate reality is gun violence in our community. Indeed, major cities like Chicago, my hometowns of Asbury Park and Neptune and even here in Charlotte, gun violence is simply out of control. And because gangs are most often associated with this violence, efforts to reduce violence is usually accompanied by ridding all of our community of guns - which by extension renders us unprotected.

Yes family, this is a real conundrum and an unfair contradiction. Truthfully, as a responsible gun owner, husband and father, I choose to carry because it's my solemn obligation to protect my family. And as someone that wholly embraces my constitutional and GOD given rights, I will NOT abdicate my responsibilities. I would hope that you strongly adhere to and preserve your rights as well. Be blessed.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

THE WHITE NATIONALIST MARCH

WHITE NATIONALIST MARCH: This is why I support their right to gather in Charlottesville, VA...

First, the gathering of white bigots in Charlottesville, VA is fundamental to our democracy. They have a constitutional right to assemble. Infringing on their rights to assemble would be to undermine our constitutional freedoms.

The extraordinary benefit of having these bigots gather in Charlottesville provides us an opportunity to show the world exactly what HATE looks like. Let me disabuse you of the notion that white nationalism, the fallacy of white supremacy and the erroneous "make America Great Again" sentiment are ideological relics exclusive to white sheet clad Klans men.

No, this country and indeed the world needs to understand that white hate wears a suit and tie. White hate dons, jeans, sneakers and the latest fashion. While these hateful white bigots march through the streets of Charlottesville, we are capturing the faces of bigots that assume the role of your neighbor, politician, police officer; college student, television pundit, auto mechanic, tow truck driver; board executive, realtor, etc.

Please stop thinking that racism and the fallacy of white supremacy is exclusive to white sheet clad Klans men or neo-nazi clowns in Hitler regalia. No, these are people you see and perhaps interact with every day, but up until Trump's run for office and win of the White house, they secreted themselves to right wing blogs, conservative media outlets and the less savory places on the internet. But now, they are bearing their teeth. Charlottesville is simply our tool to expose their ugliness. Their hate and prejudice is on full display. So too are their failures in life, their schemes and hateful ideologies.

And sure, there should be counter protests. But what I'm enjoying is the fact that when a mosque, synagogue or churche is burned; when a cross is burned on the lawn of a black family; when racist graffiti is sprayed on a jewish center or some act of violence is perpetrated by a white racist coward by cover of night, law enforcement and the FBI now have video footage of these bigots to begin an investigation.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

IT'S TO CALL OUT STUPIDITY

Lets face it, 33% of the American people support Donald Trump. Most rationale thinking Americans have a healthy skepticism of his ability to lead this nation. Despite Trump's  lies, authoritarian leanings, attempts to obstruct justice with regard to the Russia investigation; his undermining of our democracy and persistent sullying of our Constitution and his vulgar treatment of the media, these people are staunchly behind a man that cynically used every dog whistle to win and sustain the presidency.

Lets face it, Trump supporters are more likely mired in the doldrums of bigotry, averse to seeing beyond the hate spewed propaganda machine of FOX News, loathed to address their own shortcomings and have an innate ability to avoid critical thinking.

Many of these people parrot well the skewed worldview of conservative pundits, but themselves can't articulate a point or policy position beyond the standard talking point. Many of these 33% possess a particular hatred and prejudice toward President Obama and his family. The idea of a black man leading our nation, living in the White House and beloved by most Americans and our country's global friends insulted their sensitivities and stirred their prejudices.

Indeed, these are people that believe President Obama was the anti-christ. They believed, perhaps still do that President Obama was born in Kenya. They believed, despite evidence to the contrary that President Obama was efforting to take away their guns. They were so mired in bigotry and hate that they enjoyed the visceral disrespect hurled at a man who tried mightily to bring our country together.

Now, these same bigots, mired in ignorance and stupidity wholeheartedly support a man that since day one of his presidency erodes our democracy. They support a liar. They support a misogynist. They support a bigot. They support a calculating political opportunist. They support a borderline treasonous traitor that's doing everything possible to avoid fully punishing Russia for its interference  in our elections and intentional undermining of our democracy.

It's time to stop dancing around this issue. The real and immediate threat to our democracy isn't simply Russia or Trump or his nationalist regime, it's his ignorant, ill-informed and stupid supporters.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

GROWING TIRED OF SOCIAL MEDIA

This world is full of heartless, self-centered and despicabley mean people. How easy it is to hide behind a keyboard - be it computer, phone or tablet - and spew vile opinion about people mired in awful and tragic circumstances.

Social media has given an undeserved perch to uninformed and irresponsible people aversed to seeing life beyond their own ignorance. The social constructs of America and that of other parts of the globe consistently churns out dire circumstances and tragedy that unfortunately gives heartless and mean-spirited people license to render ill-informed judgment on  hurting people of all stripes.

And while I enjoy robust debate, must our discourse be mired in mean-spiritedness? Must our exchange of ideas be absent heart and compassion? Shouldn't our self-centered instincts and heartless opinions acquiesce to prayer and compassion?

Truthfully, I'm growing increasingly exhausted with social media - especially where keyboard cowards and trolls are concerned. A social media sabbatical is in order to restore my faith in an humanity that is ever receding to the doldrums of inhumanity. To preserve my own faith, optimism and sanity, I need a break from these social media platforms.