A Quick Note to say…. Thank You!


As we close 2013 and prepare for 2014, I thought I would take the time to say thank you.

I did some checking and made some discoveries I would like to share with you.

Since January 2013 until now, there has been 16, 987 views. This month alone we had  3, 777 views. 

There has been some great conversations, debates, discussions, and even personal connections. I hope there has been thinking and learning as well.

I just wanted to say Thank you for taking the time in reading and participating in Agree or Disagree’s as well as other discussions we have had over the year. I have some exciting plans for the coming year as well. Well, I think they are exciting plans anyway.

Hope you have a great 2014!

Agree or Disagree: Altering Silent Night to remove Christ


Agree or Disagree: Altering Silent Night to remove Christ

Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin , mother and child
Holy infant so, tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, Holy night
Shepherds quake, at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly, hosts sing Hallelujah.
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born.

Silent night, Holy night
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth
Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

These are the “official” lyrics for Silent Night. This is normally how it’s sung. 

At Kings Park Central School, they tried something different. During the school chorus, they decided to remove Christ from Silent Night. This offended many parents which sent cards and letters.

It caused Kings Park Superintendent Dr. Susan Agruso to write this letter of apology. 

Dear Parents and Community Residents,

 

The events of the last few days have served as a poignant reminder of how our actions can be hurtful to others. This time of year is marked by traditions that include concerts in our schools. Yet our joy at the sounds of musical compositions and melodic voices has been marred by a moment we wish we could take back.

 

Silent Night is a beautiful hymn that should have brought harmony to a school district that has seen its share of problems over the past year. The music is inspiring, the harmony is perfect for 10 year old voices, and the children performed it well. The rendition consisted of six lines – the first two lines in stanza one, the middle two lines in stanza two, and the last two lines from stanza one. No disrespect was intended by the district or staff. A good intention gone wrong has offended many and brought undesired attention to our district and community. I offer this explanation so you will know what happened, but it is not an excuse.

 

We teach our students to be understanding and respectful of all cultures and religions. Clearly, in this instance we fell short of our own expectations and have disappointed our families and community. 

 

In the New Year new procedures will be implemented to avoid a repeat occurrence. Please accept my sincerest apologies. There are so many accomplishments to celebrate in Kings Park and so much goodness to cherish in our community. I ask for your continued support as we work together to restore your confidence in us. 

 

Sincerely,

 

 

 

Susan A. Agruso, Ph.D.

 

What do you think? Should they have apologized? Are you offended?

So, you want to “Stand for Truth”?


The above video is one of the many posts and comments that have been going around since Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty had his interview in GQ magazine.

It would seem that many are quite proud that according to this video, Piers Morgan was “schooled” by Bible Scholar Dr. Michael Brown when the question of what Jesus said about homosexuality.

Dr. Brown made three points. The first being that Jesus did not come to abolish the Torah, but to fulfill it. His second point is Matthew 15 points to all sexual acts outside of marriage. Third, Matthew 19 says that marriage is intended for a man and a woman.

Piers you got “schooled”.

A friend of mine posted this video in his Facebook page. A particularly confident person responded by asking if Piers Morgan was an atheist or a bigot, an intolerant and hater of Christ? He also didn’t know Piers well, but based on what he heard Piers was no Christian. Then he posted if we need Jesus to tell us sodomy is wrong.

So, I decided to ask him, as he clearly has a knowledge of what a Christian is this question.

Should a Christian be using the terms Pre-entitlement and Pre-welfare when it comes to black people?

You see, while many of you have been so proud of Phil Robertson “standing for truth” about homosexuals, he also said this about black people. Yet, strangely, you have been silent on this issue. As was that person I asked the question.

Perhaps he needs Jesus to tell him racism is wrong.

For years, I have heard many in the Christian church talk about the importance of standing for truth,or, standing for “Biblical Values”. They will open their Scriptures calmly to verses like Romans 2, 1 Corinthians 6, and Leviticus 18. They feel justified in their stand as they know God will judge them.

They forget that Jesus commanded us to love the Lord you God with all your heart and your neighbour as yourself. And that this commandment is not only in the New Testament, but in the Old Testament as well. That the term neighbour was never clearly defined by Jesus. We were just told to love them.

They feel they have an obligation to confront people on their lifestyle. Yet, you confront back, there suddenly is a silence.

They remind you that truth is offensive. I’ll let my former Youth Pastor Paul Burke respond to that by sharing what he posted on his Facebook wall.

Have you ever sat and talked to homosexuals about their experiences growing up? Have you heard about the bullying? Getting beat up? Literally living in fear for their life? Feeling that the best thing is to kill themselves because they are despicable human beings?

Have you heard about their experience in the church? Being told that homosexuality is an abomination? That they are hated by God and going to hell? Have you heard stories about pastors and elders sexually abusing them and then getting up on Sunday and once again riling against homosexuality?
.
Do you know people leading the charge against gay marriage , while knowing and being silent that their brother in law uses his position as an evangelical pastor to seduce men significantly younger then him? Under the guise of helping them, causing one young man such confusion and pain that his destructive lifestyle led to him getting AIDS.

Do you know gay people who attend church but are afraid to let anyone in the church know? Do you know pastors who hide the fact that they are gay?

Have you learned more about the practice of grace from your gay brother then you learned in the church?

Do you realize that their are people who will read this, who will cheer some tv reality guy on for ‘speaking the truth’ and will be upset at me for speaking truth.

Agree or Disagree: The Supreme Court Striking Down Canada’s prostitution law.


Agree or Disagree: The Supreme Court Striking Down Canada’s prostitution law.

For those who may not be aware, what typically happens is we do a post that we call Agree or Disagree. 

We take a topic and we discuss it. If you go onto my Facebook and add me as a friend, you will see a majority of comments are on Facebook.

Today, we will look at a decision that went down today in Canada. The Supreme Court struck down Canada’s prostitution law. The Canadian Parliament has one year to come up with a new law.

The question is do you think this is a good idea? 

The other question is if you had the opportunity to sit at the table and be a part of the conversation on changing the law, what would you want to say?

I’m looking forward to your comments.

I’ll be honest: I’m disappointed in Christianity today.


I'll be honest: I'm disappointed in Christianity today.

This is Phil Robertson. You know him from Duck Dynasty.

I don’t regularly watch the show. I have watched the show. It’s a good show and I understand why it’s popular.

I really don’t know Phil Robertson, but this is the sense I get of who he is. He shoots straight from the hip. He calls it as he sees it. You ask him a question and he will answer it.

That’s what Drew Magary did. He’s from GQ and he decided to interview Phil Robertson. He asked Phil a question about what is ailing America. This is what he said.

“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” he says. “Sin becomes fine.”

What, in your mind, is sinful?

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.

You can read the entire article below.

Read More http://www.gq.com/entertainment/television/201401/duck-dynasty-phil-robertson#ixzz2nyN2zeF5

This and other things he said in the article led A&E to suspend him for these comments.

Now, the other sense I get is Phil Robertson doesn’t care. He feels that he is standing on the Word of God. Therefore, you cannot and will not change his mind.

Enter the Christian Church.

Boy, were they outraged today! Why? Because of the homeless in their city? Nope, not that!
Or,struggles some have had over finding employment and the difficulty at this time of year? Nope, not that! Children being bullied? Nope, not that either!

They were outraged because Phil was suspended for what he said.

They feel persecuted. They feel that their rights were violated. A man was banned because he READ A VERSE FROM THE BIBLE.

Here are some examples.

The Christian Post started a campaign today called #standwithphil. You can show your support by standing with Phil as he shares Biblical Values and Truth!

The comments on their Facebook were fantastic. Some were upset that homosexuality was “being forced on them.”

Another speaker named Matt Walsh wrote this in his blog.

If you don’t bring Phil back immediately, and publicly apologize to him and to his viewers for attempting to censor his Christian faith, Duck Dynasty will leave your network, find a new home, and all of those ratings will go somewhere else. Then you’ll be stuck with the stragglers who feel like spending a Saturday rubbernecking at mentally disturbed elderly women with compulsive hoarding addictions. That’s how this is going to play out. Congratulations.

Read that here

http://themattwalshblog.com/2013/12/19/dear-ae-congratulations-you-just-committed-suicide/

So, in other words, if you do not act like us, we won’t support you. In other words, instead of looking at a solution and an opportunity, they decide to get into a fight. They decide to act like victims.

They forget what it might be like for them to read comments where millions can read degrading who they are. They forget the real hurt and pain it causes. They forget the history of the people impacted, which by the way, were not only homosexuals mentioned.

Everyone else be damned! We are right! We have ALWAYS been right! We will ALWAYS be right!

Do you want to know what I think? I think this is an act of cowardice.

Harsh words? Yes, they are. But it’s really easy making your comments and standing for “truth” when you don’t actually have to face the people you attack. You have the safety of your forums, where you have the freedom to say what you want.

What’s courage? Stand up and saying NO! Say no to belittling people in the name of Jesus because you feel that the Bible gives you that privilege. Have real dialogue and understand what it is like to be one of “them”.

Be reconcilers. Be healers. Be people of love like the Bible commands you to do.

Stop acting like the group no one wants to be around. Who looks their nose down at anyone.

It’s disappointing.

Agree or Disagree: If you won the lottery, you would give it all to charity.


Agree or Disagree: If you won the lottery, you would give it all to charity.

Tom Crist started his pledge.

Tuesday, Tom Crist gave $1 million of the $40 million dollars to the Tom Baker Cancer Society.

If you haven’t heard, Crist announced that he would give ALL  of his $40 million dollars he won from Lotto Max. You can read that story below.

http://globalnews.ca/news/1034841/40m-calgary-lotto-winner-says-hell-donate-all-money-to-foundation-for-charity/

This is obviously unusual. Rare that we hear anyone make that pronouncement.

The question is, would you do it? Why or why not?

Agree or Disagree: There is a war on Christmas


Agree or Disagree: There is a war on Christmas

This picture is becoming very frequent throughout the year,

Happy Holidays.

The intent of this is to cover all of the holidays that happens during this time of year. These include the following:
Hanukkah
Winter Solstice
Saint Lucia’s Day
Soyal
Christmas Eve

And of course….

Christmas.

Christmas is THE time many Christians and also do celebrate. It is a fabric of our culture for many religious and non-religious. However , many Christians have expressed at the concern turning Merry Christmas into Happy Holidays. The reason is of course because of Christ. They feel that, and sorry to be cliche here, but Jesus is the reason for the season. It is important for them to celebrate that aspect. So, some feel that the phrase Happy Holidays takes that away.

Some Christians also feel that the over commercialization of Christmas is a concern as well. The focus on Santa Claus, Frosty and other non-Christian elements take away the “true meaning of Christmas.”

What do you think? Is there a war on Christmas?

Agree or Disagree: It’s my job to feed my neighbour’s child


Agree or Disagree: It’s my job to feed my neighbour’s child

“Is it my job to feed my neighbour’s child? I don’t think so”

James Moore, Industry Minister.

This comment got James Moore in trouble. In the above article, you will read after some denials, it is a comment he had to apologize for.

It is a comment that angered many people. It is a comment that lacked compassion, sensitivity, and understanding. 

It is also a comment that many have said.

Let’s face it. There is a sense of NIMBY(Not In My Back Yard) that crosses our path. How many of us are willing to admit they have walked past a homeless person and ignored them? Why? Perhaps, there is a sense that there are agencies and organizations that will help out the homeless? Unfortunately, it is a habit that is a part of our society.

We can ignore it, but the reality is we do have an issue with child poverty in Canada. According to a group called First Call, one in five children are statistically poor. British Columbia has the highest child poverty rate in Canada. Below, is a report from CBC News discussing this.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-has-highest-child-poverty-rate-in-canada-report-1.2440909

So, my question to you is this. Is it your or my  job to feed our neighbour’s child?

Agree or Disagree: Old fashioned dating values are still cool


Agree or Disagree: Old fashioned dating values are still cool

The above link is titled “10 old fashioned dating habits we should make cool again.”

From what I see, I still think those “old fashioned values” are still pretty relevant and important. But, have things changed?

What are your thoughts?

Agree or Disagree: The Selfie


Agree or Disagree: The Selfie

This “selfie” was taken at the Nelson Mandela memorial yesterday. Many were quite critical of this “selfie”.

The selfie.

From Wikipedia-A selfie is a type of self-portrait photograph, typically taken with a hand-held digital camera or camera phone, and are usually taken in a slightly tilted manner. Selfies are often associated with social networking. In the Korean entertainment industry the word selca (short for “self camera”) means photos taken of oneself.[1][2][3] They are often casual, are typically taken either with a camera held at arm’s length or in a mirror, and typically include either only the photographer, or the photographer and as many people as can be in focus. Selfies taken that involve multiple people are known as “group selfies”. In August 2013 the Guardian produced a film series titled Thinkfluencer[4] exploring selfie exposure in the UK.

Now, I must admit I don’t partake in many “selfies”. I seem to rather take pictures of things I see rather then spending time taking photos of me. There is probably some positive and negatives to my choices.

I also find it weird to go to places and watch people take selfies. It looks awkward. You are trying to twist around to make sure you and all your friends are in the picture. I keep thinking, let me take the photo for you.

Now, if you are bothered by this photo, check the one below out,

It is a picture found in the New York Post. If you look behind her, you will notice that there is someone that was attempting to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge.

Something kind of bothers me about that picture in the New York Post. It felt like it was a commentary on society. It seems we are interested in making sure people see us rather then noticing the world around them. We seem to have a desire to be noticed at the cool places then notice the people around the place. It’s not just her, it seems to be the way of the culture.

Am I overreacting? Is there an issue with the Selfie?