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home : blogs_old : ability and accountability February 26, 2015

Ability and Accountability
By Richard Haddad, Prescott Valley, AZ
rhaddad@westernnews.com
"[Children] don't remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are."
"Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It's a good life, enjoy it."

-- Two of my favorite quotes by Jim Henson

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Does God still fit in America?

 By Richard Haddad

Norman Rockwell captured this moment in his painting "Our Heritage" as young Scouts remember George Washington at Valley Forge where he prayed asking God's help for the soldiers huddled in the cold.

There is a disappointing movement in this country to take Christ out of Christmas.

But the pressure to dilute Christianity or acknowledge God in America doesn't stop there. Throughout the country pressure is being applied to lawmakers and civic leaders to censor any reference to Jesus Christ or God in our schools, public monuments, or in prayers at public events.

An example is a campaign a number of years ago to remove the Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda at the Alabama state judicial building. The campaign was successful and the monument was removed.

How disappointed our founding fathers must be as they gaze down at this distorted manipulation of the Constitution.

In our efforts to be politically correct we are eroding one of the very principles this nation was founded upon - the belief in God and applying our faith to guide the leadership and growth of this country.

What kind of example are we setting for our children if we bow to the ways of the world and mute our belief and trust in God?

Placing our convictions under a bushel is also an insult to the generations of men and women who came before us - those who fought and lived with faith to make a moral America.

In times of war when this country was under attack, many of our veterans prayed to God to bring us victory. Our soldiers still pray today, and our prayers are with them and their families.

Let us not be afraid to express our prayers or belief in God.

Christmas is about Jesus Christ and the wondrous blessings acknowledged by those who believe in him.

I hope we will keep Christ in Christmas, and God in America.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.


Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Article comment by: Citizen Atheist

Mr. Haddad ... You, Sir, claim that removing the Ten Commandments, a clear indication of the three Abrahamic religions (as opposed to any others) is in the constitution? By your omission of the rest of the story you have mislead some of these readers.

The Constitution is a secular document. The Constitution strictly forbids the US Government from endorsing any religion. By displaying the laws of one religion on government property, anyone who defends this is scoffing at the Constitution.

Do your research, Mr. Haddad or get out of journalism.


Posted: Sunday, January 18, 2009
Article comment by: Tells it like it is

Chris Bergman, are you familiar with what a "know it all" is? It's an egotistical, brain-washed, pious decepting, sanctimonious, self-serving, self-righteous, arrogant being who BELIEVES only he has the truth and PRETENDS to be GOD. That is 100 percent YOU.

Posted: Sunday, January 18, 2009
Article comment by: Something to think about

Big Dog, Bergman, and "Cast the first stone". You should all go back and read your comments. Do you think they sound "Christ-like"? Big Dog: If you don't show respect for the beliefs of others, how can you expect others to respect your beliefs? Bergman: What makes you think people want to be treated condescendingly? You don't like it, so why do you do it? "Cast the first stone": Are you perfect? Were you chosen to cast the first stone? Did any of you read your own comments? I thought part of being a "Christ"ian is acting in a Christ like manner. Do any of you think you've acted in a Christ-like manner? I bet Christ wouldn't be arrogant, condescending or unkind to anyone. Have any of you ever even thought of that? If you do not know how to respond in a Christ-like manner, then why respond?

Posted: Saturday, January 17, 2009
Article comment by: God save us from the spewers

Let us pray ~ Almighty God in Heaven (or where ever you might be at this time), please bless your sons and our brothers, brother Chris Bergman, and brother Big Dog(in the house), for they do not know they come across as all knowing, self-righteous, judgmental, psycho-babbling, elitist, hypocrites who insist they have the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help them God! So help 'em God! Help them God! No one else has the truth. I don't have the truth. My hamster don't have the truth. My lizard don't have the truth. Heck, my people don't even have the truth. If we don't have the truth, I'm sure all those other heathens who visit this blog don't have the truth. So please, God, please, please, please, God, with all your mighty power, show them that it is far better to keep their mouths shut than spew a bunch of non-sense banter. AMEN! Praise you God, have mercy on all us worthless, heathens. Please, show us your works through our brothers Chris and Big Dog(in the house) that they may spew non-sense no longer! AMEN! Praise Jesus! Halelujah!

Posted: Saturday, January 17, 2009
Article comment by: Right to believe what I want

Have you ever heard of the separation of church and state? Here is the First Amendment: “ Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. ” Thomas Jefferson said: "Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear." "I have recently been examining all the known superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition (Christianity) one redeeming feature. They are all alike founded on fables and mythology." "I never will, by any word or act, bow to the shrine of intolerance or admit a right of inquiry into the religious opinions of others." "Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites." This country was not founded upon a belief in God. That is absolutely 100 percent wrong. Our founding fathers did believe in morals, ethics and values and mention a man's "creator," but they never refer to "God." Those who say this country was founded on "Christian" principles and "God" are so biased and do not fully understand how the constitution was written or what it's intent was.

Posted: Monday, January 05, 2009
Article comment by: 1bigdogdude@live.com

Mr. Bergman...I hate when you're right! :)

Posted: Monday, January 05, 2009
Article comment by: 1bigdogdude@live.com

Mr. Lopez...That may be your interpretation, but that is not what I said.

Posted: Monday, January 05, 2009
Article comment by: Chris Bergman

Forget it BigDog. As I told you before, we’re not dealing with a Christian, we’re dealing with a cynic. He’s not really interested in Truth. This is why Jesus warned us not to cast our pearls before swine. bergman_blogs@yahoo.com

Posted: Monday, January 05, 2009
Article comment by: Chris Lopez

Got it Big Doggie....Don't bother doing any good deeds or charitable work, nobody cares, especially God. Thanks for the clarification.

Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2009
Article comment by: 1bigdogdude@live.com

Mr. Lopez...You don't need to stop your charitable works. However, if you think you HAVE to do it in order to get into Heaven, you are mistaken. Salvation is not something we can earn. It is a free gift from God. Also, bragging about your charitable deeds isn't too cool, either. God knows what you do. Why do you need to tell us about it? Well, that is all the reward you will get for your work. If you brag about it here on earth, God will not praise you for it in Heaven. THAT is in the Bible. It is not my opinion. See you in Heaven. OH, BTW, you referred to "this rock full of sinners". All of us, including YOU are sinners. Being forgiven of your sins does not negate the fact you are a sinner. You are just a sinner saved by grace. You might want to climb down off that high horse you seem to be on. God just might knock you off of it otherwise.

Posted: Friday, January 02, 2009
Article comment by: Chris Lopez

Thank you Chris. I have been giving so much money to the poor each year thinking it would help me meet Jesus at the second coming. Now I can stop all that charity stuff, because like Chris said No matter how much good you do, it won’t be enough. If all you need is faith, and I got that already. I believe the things I’m supposed to believe, so I’ve got a first class ticket to heaven. I’m going to live it up while I’m stuck on the rock full of sinners, until Jesus takes me away to my great reward.

Posted: Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Article comment by: Chris Bergman

Mr. Lopez, care to fill us in on the rest of that conversation involving the “Eye of the needle?” No? Well here, allow me; the Apostles were confounded at Jesus’ statement so they asked, “Who, then, can be saved?” Jesus answered them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.” (Mark 10:24-27) Everything is context isn’t it Mr. Lopez. If you call yourself a Christian, you should know this. bergman_blogs@yahoo.com

Posted: Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Article comment by: Cast The First Stone

Mr. Lopez...In case you don't realize it, your post comes across like that from the mind of a very judgemental, sanctimonious person. You criticize others and then imply that YOU and only YOU know what the Bible says. Please read the other posts. You are not the only quoting Jesus. What gives you the impression you are better that the others? The other messages made more sense and weren't judgmental like yours. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone." and "Judge not, lest ye be judged". There, are those enough quotes for you? Please get out of the pulpit. You are doing NOTHING to help others come to salvation. You may think you are, but you are the reason so many turn away and/or stay away from the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Posted: Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Article comment by: Chris Lopez

Jesus said it will be easier to pass a camel through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter heaven. And he said blessed are the poor for they will inherit the kingdom of heaven. So brothers, I beseech you, if you want to join me in heaven, do as Jesus said and rid yourself of all worldly goods. Don't be fooled into thinking all you have to do is have faith in Jesus. Do you really think it's that easy to achieve eternal life? These two guys are saying they know the mind of God and know exactly what God wants to allow you into heaven. I'm the only one quoting Jesus. I thought he was being pretty clear when he said being poor gets you into heaven, but go ahead and explain to us what Jesus was thinking and what he really meant....

Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Article comment by: Chris Bergman

Michael, allow me to take a different approach than Big Dog. The God that created us does not answer to us for what is right or wrong. So if you fail to understand His purpose, don’t blame Him. God cares a great deal about what we do here on this Earth. Our failure to live perfectly is the basis for His justified wrath toward us. However, since none of us are able to live perfectly in every word, thought and deed from the moment of our birth there is no way we can “earn” entry into heaven. That’s why salvation (being saved from that wrath) is a “gift” of “grace.” You cannot earn it. No matter how much good you do, it won’t be enough because even if you did everything just exactly right it would be no more than what is already demanded of you and could not pay for the “less than perfect” (we call that sin) you’ve already done. Yet, in love, God Himself, gave Himself to take that wrath upon Himself (the whole story of Christmas, remember?). In the person of Jesus He lived the perfect life that you and I cannot. He died the death and received the punishment you and I deserve. The third day He rose from the dead (Easter) to demonstrate that He had accomplished His purpose. He now offers you the gift of putting His payment in place of your debt. You need merely accept it (that’s called faith). As for the lost in third world countries; that’s a matter you’re just not ready to understand yet. Look to your own salvation first then we can talk about God’s plans for the unreached.

Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Article comment by: 1bigdogdude@live.com

Michael, If you know about Jesus and refuse to accept His death for your sins, you will not get into Heaven. However, if you have never been told the Gospel of Jesus Christ, well, God won't condemn you for refusing to accept something you've never known about. Yes, God does care about what we do while on this earth. As I said, just doing good deeds won't get you into Heaven. Even if someone has Jesus "pounded" into them, as you so eloquently put it, it does no good at all if they don't accept Him as their Savior. So, in answer to your question, no, those people do not have an advantage. This is not just MY opinion. This is all in the Bible. Jesus said, "No one comes to the Father except through Me. For I am The Way, The Truth, and The Light." Of course, if you don't believe in the Bible, it really doesn't matter what it says, now does it? The preceding are MY beliefs. I am sure you will disagree with them. By all means, go ahead. Unlike some, I will not shove the Bible down your throat or try to pound Jesus into you. That is not my job. If someone asks me about my beliefs, I will share them with that person. I am not going to stand on a street corner and yell at you like some people do. Either you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior or you don't. The choice is yours. I've already made mine.

Posted: Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Article comment by: Michael

So BigDog, the only way God will allow one of his children into heaven is if they accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I thought your God might care a little bit about what I do while on this earth, but apparently not. Do you think people who are brought up with Jesus pounded into them all day have an advantage to getting into heaven compared with somebody in the third world just trying to survive each day who has never heard of Jesus? That poor sap has no chance of getting into your heaven.

Posted: Saturday, December 27, 2008
Article comment by: 1bigdogdude@live.com

I need to scroll to the bottom of the Blog Page more often. I can't believe I've been missing this lively discussion. Okay, now that I'm here, here is my two cents worth. Practice whatever religion or non-religion you like. But please quit referring to religion and God/Jesus as if they are the same thing. They are not. A Christian is someone who follows the teachings of God/Jesus. Someone who is "religious" is a person who follows a certain set of religious ceremonies. For example, if you want to go to confession, kiss the pope's ring, say 10 Hail Mary's and 20 Our Fathers, go ahead. That is religious law. You don't have to do that in order to gain entrance into Heaven. You can kneel on a rug and face Mecca 5 times a day if you wish. However, that is not required nor will that get you into Heaven. Those are just a couple of examples. I am not saying doing those things are wrong. If it makes you feel better, then go ahead and do it. What I am trying to say is, don't get caught up in all the legalistic aspects of religion. Legalism in religion is like a millstone around your neck. Personally, I have chosen to lose my religion and concentrate on a personal relationship with God/Jesus/Holy Spirit. Some people refer to the third member as the Holy Ghost. To me, "Ghost" refers to someone who is dead. The Holy Spirit is very much alive in my life. Following those rules and regulations set up by a specific denomination is not what is needed to be saved. Accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior is. You can be a Christian and still be Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Protestant, Evangelical, etc. But calling yourself one of those does not, will not and cannot make you a Christian. Memorizing the Bible will not make you a Christian. After all, the devil can quote scripture better than most. Giving millions of dollars to charity, donating tons of food to a food bank and building homes for the homeless are grand and noble deeds, but they will not gain you entrance into Heaven. Works, by themselves, will do nothing for you. One of the nice things about having Jesus Christ as your Savior is that it will make you want to do those things in order to reflect the love of Christ to others. To sum it all up; Lose Your Religion! Get a PERSONAL Relationship with God! And most importantly, don't try to shove your beliefs down the throat of non-believers. None of us can change another person. Only God can do that. As always, these are MY beliefs and I am in no way trying to force you to come over to my way of thinking. Please express your opinion without bashing mine. Happy new Year to all.

Posted: Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Article comment by: Chris Bergman

Shari, I agree with you as to our Founder's intent. I merely demonstrated that quoting good men to discredit religion is as futile as quoting villains to discredit the attempt to discredit religion. What is true is not determined by who espouses or opposes it. In turn you have made an error of your own. Owning a Bible doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car. Just because someone calls themselves a Christian doesn’t mean their behavior is consistent with the Christian message. It’s Christmas, Shari, what is the message? As to why some Christians feel threatened, consider this; how would you feel if you were asked to alter how you expressed what you believe so as not to offend Christians? That is what is being demanded of us. We are told we must be more “inclusive”, “tolerant” and “fair” because some don’t believe like we do, but it’s one sided. Those who don’t believe like we do aren’t asked to change their behavior for us. What you’re doing is the moral equivalent of saying that because some cannot hear, we must not listen; because some cannot see, we must not look; because some cannot speak, we must remain silent; because some cannot move, we must not act. I’m sorry, Shari, but there is reason to feel threatened. What you want us to accept is a shell game of shifting definitions. What you call “fairness” is not. What you call “tolerance” is not. What you call “inclusiveness” is not. What you want from us is not… in our power to give. bergman_blogs@yahoo.com

Posted: Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Article comment by: Shari

Chris, one thing you're forgetting . . . all those leaders tried to abolish religion COMPLETELY, both in public and in private. Here in the U.S., no one is trying to abolish Christianity, or any religion; they're just trying to keep it seperate from the law of the land. Before I was born, Iran used to be an exotic place many Americans traveled to for vacation, until religion found its way into politics. Saudi Arabia is another nation overcome with the intermingling of religion and politics, as is Afghanistan. I know, I know, it's Islam though, right? What about during the time of the Spanish Inquisition, where many Jews and others were persecuted for not being Christians (or rather, Catholics) or following their ways? Again, the intermingling of religion and politics was to blame. I'd rather live in a society where our laws aren't governed on one religion's bible, and I'm free to practice my beliefs in Temple, while my Christian friends attend Church Sunday morning, etc. I don't understand why SOME Christians (not all) feel so threatened. No one's telling them not to attend church, or forcing them to pray to Allah. I suspect they have never walked in the shoes of a minority group, so perhaps they're fearful of what is different. My advice? Get over it, be thankful for your freedoms, and enjoy this holiday season!

Posted: Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Article comment by: Chris Bergman

When all is said, we have no reason to wish that the Italians and Spaniards should free themselves from the drug of Christianity. Let's be the only Folk who are immunized against the disease. – Adolf Hitler … The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is required for their real happiness. – Karl Marx … Religion is one of the forms of spiritual oppression which everywhere weighs down heavily upon the masses of the people, over burdened by their perpetual work for others, by want and isolation. Impotence of the exploited classes in their struggle against the exploiters just as inevitably gives rise to the belief in a better life after death as impotence of the savage in his battle with nature gives rise to belief in gods, devils, miracles, and the like. – V. I. Lenin … Tell me, “Christian Nation”, shall we continue? Shall I also quote George Washington, Sam Adams and Noah Webster for their positive insights into religion? Would you like to hear from Mao Tse-tung, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Ill or perhaps Castro; or are you willing to admit that what a person says is true or not true does not make it true or not true? What makes a thing true or not true is that it is, in fact, true or not true; independent of what others have to say about it. Here’s a final quote for you, “It takes no great act of reason to believe in nothing, but rather a greater act of faith than I can aspire to.” – Me bergman_blogs@yahoo.com

Posted: Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Article comment by: Christian Nation

"This would be the best of all possible worlds if there were no religion in it"-John Adams..."Lighthouses are more useful than Churches"-Benjamin Franklin..."Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man"-Thomas Jefferson

Posted: Monday, December 22, 2008
Article comment by: Angel

God fits in anywhere, if you let him/her.

Posted: Sunday, December 21, 2008
Article comment by: David Lundy

While Chris Bergman used different words than I might have, he conveyed the message I would have. Frankly, whatever the framers of the constitution had to say ABOUT the constitution is not as important as what they said IN the constitution, and that is what we live with today. It is of little moment that any or all of the heroes who signed their names to the document believed or didn't believe in a deity. What is important is that their document left every individual in this country today. and every day since the constitution was signed, free to believe or not believe in whatever and whomever they want to without the government telling them they are right or wrong. So, whatever you want to pass along to your fellow citizen, feel perfectly free to do so within the four walls of your place of worship or on any street corner you choose or to whomever you select, but do not be offended when the Supreme Court says the government cannot/will not join you in your message, no matter what beliefs the founding fathers had.

Posted: Sunday, December 14, 2008
Article comment by: Chris Bergman

Stephen, two things. First, being in the majority does not make you immune from attack. On the contrary, it makes you a bigger target. Basic Christian beliefs and practices are constantly under attack in this country. If you don’t read Christian publications you probably don’t hear much about it but that doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Next, I have experienced very little in the way of anti-CHRISTmas this year, but that’s likely because I’m personally rather immune to all the nonsense that surrounds such things. I’ve already made up my mind to rejoice in the season, wish people a Merry Christmas and happily accept whatever greeting they return. As it turns out, if my fellow Christians simply hold Christ in their hearts and refuse to bow to pressures to “moderate” their beliefs and behaviors for fear of offending, then Christ can’t be taken out of Christmas, at least for us. The rest, sad to say, never had Him to begin with.


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