01 Mar 2013

The Author

I am author of the book, "Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World" from Civitas Press. I also contributed an essay to “The Practice of Love: Real Stories of Living Into the Kingdom of God,” under my pseudonym Arthur Dimmesdale. By trade, I am a certified athletic trainer.

I am keenly interested in the theme of redemption and seeing it play out in the Christian community. I'm also intrigued how tragedy affects Christians and how we view it in relationship with the cross. My theology is somewhere between Asahel Nettleton and Bruce Ware.

I'm originally from Arkansas but currently reside in Western Kentucky. I am a husband to my beautiful wife Allison, and a father to three.

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Oh, Obama! Microchips! Gun Control! Is The End Near?

fbfridgeI enjoy living in rural Kentucky most of the time. Good people who are willing to jump at the chance to take care of you when you have a problem. People who care about one another. They smile and say “hello” at you, even if they don’t know you. They take pride in themselves and their work. It’s a lot like the town I grew up in Arkansas. I love small towns, people who love life and love their neighbors.

Recently, there seems to be a growing outrage at the Obama administration and the direction it is headed in. Before the election, there seemed to be hope among people I knew that a new president would be elected and that would “fix” everything. That didn’t happen.

I have to admit, I’m not the greatest fan of Facebook. But on my Facebook front page, there are an alarming number of posts on terrible things that appear to be happening.

I thought I’d just ignore writing about it until now, but today, I couldn’t take it anymore. Let me state first that I’m not a Republican or Democrat. I’m a Libertarian. Moreover, I tend to care very less about the political things that are occurring than the people around me.

In recent days and months, I’ve seen a large number of people accusing the government of coming after their guns. The usagunFacebook posts read like this: “You can come after my guns if you want, Obama, but you’ll have to get through me first.” The arguments stem from the idea that countries under dictator rule, like the Philippines, started with a gun nab from the general public.

Over the past few months, I’ve seen all kinds of maps, statistics, propaganda and statements made by gun owners. I understand the frustration, I really do. If I owned a large number of firearms and believed the hype of people thrown at me, I would probably believe the government was coming to get them.

Worse, I’ve seen some pretty horrible things lately. During the Sandy Hook massacre, some people rose up and said it was a farce. It was a conspiracy. Some said the government made it all up and staged it. There were no dead children. There was no “real” shooting. It was all staged so that the government could make a play on assault rifles and to impose gun control on the American people. It seemed almost counter-intuitive to even argue against such stupidity, but people did.

There’s a new one popping up – Obama wants to put microchips in us and it’s even in the Obamacare Act. Microchipping is nothing new. Rapture enthusiasts have been looking for the “Mark of the Beast” before 1988 when Jesus was supposed to return then. Now, Facebook posts are coming in telling us that we will all have microchips installed thanks to the president. Really? Not so fast, my friend. According to people who actually read things: “there is no language in the public law stating — or suggesting — that all Americans will be implanted with microchips.

But in our Facebook, Twitter, fast-paced society of believe it first before you research it, we pass it along before we do the first Google search. We believe the worst conspiracy theory before we do the mildest bit of research.

conspiracyIf you’re really hard up for a conspiracy theory, check out one of the most popular conspiracy sites on the Internet: Above Top Secret. It’s one of my guilty pleasures and has been since 2009. Every week, you’ll find someone on there telling you that the end of the world is this week. The aliens are coming for us this month. The government is gathering people in secret prisons as we speak. Holy cow, we are all in for it and there’s nothing we can do about it except write on a message board!

If we calm ourselves down and think about it does it make sense that Obama is going to mobilize all the federal resources at his call and come after our guns? Well, think about it. Since Obama took office, over 65 million firearms have been purchased by Americans. Does it seem rational that he’s going to come after every single gun in the United States? Take a deep breath and answer that question. If you still aren’t convinced, think about all the gun lobbies who have his ear and the ears of every legislator in the country. Really.

And after that do we really think the government is going to line us up for microchipping? No of course not. They’re going to administer it in our children’s vaccines. Or in our booster shots. Or in other nefarious ways. That’s how. Deep breath. There you go.

You may not like the way the economy is or the recent tax hikes. Lord knows I don’t. You may not like the rising gas prices. I sure don’t. But we have to control our emotions at some point. You know what a lot of the problem is? The people who vote. Check out this chart that tells us how often we reelect the incumbents.

tippiIn the past year, I’ve become aware that people I know are “preppers.” People who are preparing for the end of the world. They are building fallout shelters in their backyard, stockpiling water, food and supplies. Listen to a lot of right wing radio shows or conspiracy radio shows and you’ll hear companies that specialize in food products that are “apocalypse ready.” Hey, more power to these people. I have a Barbie collection. So what? I’m an all-American male that likes to have a Tippi Hedren Barbie from “The Birds” that has said birds attacking her. So what?

My dear, departed mother was a sweet mother, but she was an anxious woman. I loved her with all my heart and soul. Yet, I get my terrible anxiety from her. After my father died, she moved near me and lived alone. She didn’t have a lot to do except take care of her cat, blog and watch CNN Headline News and The Weather Channel. All day long.

After about six months of this, I noticed her getting very anxious about national events. She’d say, “Did you notice the thing about terrorism?” or “Do you think that the government is going to cut Social Security benefits?” or “Do you think we’re going to war in such and such a country?” I finally said, “Mom, I love you very much. You have a wonderful life and family. Do me a favor and please, please stop watching the news. As a favor to me.”

Begrudgingly, she did. But after a few weeks, much of her anxiety subsided and she wasn’t so nervous about the things in the world she had absolutely no control over.

I watched “Bowling for Columbine” recently by Michael Moore. I’m not a Moore fan and I thought about 95% of it was overdone and sensationalized. However, the one thing I did take away from it was that Americans live in fear. He went to Canada to compare how Americans live in a whole lot more fear than Canadians do. Our media shares much of the blame for that. We buy into that fear and it effects our hearts, souls and minds.

What can any of us do? Stop worrying. Relax! Don’t buy into those tacky Facebook messages when we see them. Don’t laxbelieve anything we read on social media before we check it out from a real, critical source. Don’t spend too much time watching the news. Be informed on social issues, but don’t get too worked up. Live in the now with your family, your friends. If you do have a social issue that has an impact on you, call a congressman. Then take a deep breath and move on.

We need informed citizens. We need informed citizens who vote. What we don’t need is fanaticism, misinformation, lies and anger based on fear.

My advice? Relax. Enjoy your life. Don’t wait for an impending doom when there are smiles and memories all around you waiting for you.

2 Comments
2 Comments
  1. Greetings from another small town Arkansas boy (Pocahontas, Rector, and Searcy) now living in Tennessee. I’m with you on this. Sometimes I feel like I’m living in the Twilight Zone because so many people around me believe what seems to me to be zany, far out, and impossible. Some of it is fear whipped up by certain media as you said. And some of the time, they want to believe it, to help prove something their ego has invested in, I guess.

    • Hey Steve,

      Thanks for the comment. That’s a great point about ego. I suppose there comes a point too where someone just invests so much that they can’t give it up or it is hard to alter their world view. For that matter, I guess that’s true of most of us.

      Good to hear from a fellow Arkansan.

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