Friday, March 28, 2014

Church and State

I've long held the belief that the First Amendment has been perverted by the liberal left portion of our nation.  One only needs to ask, "What does a voluntary prayer have to do with the establishment of laws," to see the fantastic stretch of imagination that is required to be a liberal supporter of what has become the modern day "separation of church and state." 

A series of Supreme Court cases, beginning with Everson v. Board of Education, has perverted the First Amendment, and led to a slippery slope of rabid condemnation of our country's foundation of beliefs.  This nation was not founded by atheists, nor was it founded by muslims.  It was founded by Christians who had a strong desire to escape religious persecution in England.  Now, Christians face religious persecution in America, while muslims, who openly seek the destruction of our nation, seem to be a protected species; what an ironic twist. 

Everson v. Board of Education led to the belief that there must be separation of church and state; I dispute that belief.  I believe that the First Amendment was intended to prevent the establishment of a national (or state) church.  It was NOT intended to prevent kids from praying in school, or the display of the ten commandments in front of a courthouse (no laws passed in either case, right?).  The perversion of this court decision (and the others that followed) is absolutely disgusting.  It is now assumed that any mention of God by a member of any government body is an official, state recognition of a particular religion.  Nobody even acknowledges that Everson v. Board of Education started out as an argument about funding school buses.

We now live in a nation where Christians are actively ridiculed by members of their own government for simply being Christian.  Our President even poked at Christianity when he lamented that certain red states cling to "...their guns and bibles."  This is a sad state of affairs.

I believe that our nation is speeding down a path that will be difficult to backtrack upon.  We only need look to Europe (which we fought to become independent from) to see our future; it's pretty bleak.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Why I Hunt

I love hunting animals.  That's an "offensive" statement to some folks, but I can't fully understand why.  As humans, we're omnivorous, as anyone that paid attention in biology class could tell you.  Meat eating is in our DNA, and I oblige it.  To say that I love to hunt is an understatement.  I love everything about hunting: I love the talk, the equipment, the preparation, the stalk, being in the woods, the kill, the meat preservation, the cooking and, of course, the eating.  I thought I'd talk a little bit about the why of it all.

My dad took me dove hunting as a kid and I loved it.  I loved the challenge of it, and I loved the fact that we could bring home food that we had gone out and killed ourselves.  Many Americans take meat for granted.  There really are people out there that believe meat comes from factories somewhere; they really are that ignorant.  The rest of us know that eating meat requires the killing of animals.  I choose to be in charge of that killing, when I can.  My meat is 100% organic, locally grown, hormone free, free range, humanely butchered, or whatever other buzzwords that the overly-sensitive folks are throwing around this week.  This leads me to my next point, which is the fallacy of how "inhumane" hunting is.

Hunting is as old as life itself.  All organisms compete for life, and humans are at the top of the food chain.  The idea that hunting is bad is a very new concept, relatively speaking, since man has been hunting for the entirety of his existence.  The only reason that the anti-hunting crowd even exists is that the commercial meat industry has removed the need for families to hunt.  Meat can now be "harvested" at your local grocery store.  The anti-hunting activists claim that hunters are cruel, but they don't post footage of commercial slaughter houses on their websites.  My kills are humane, and the animals I kill don't spend their lives on death row.  They grow up in their natural habitat, get a chance to breed, and live their lives in the manner that God intended. 

God made us in his image, and I'm convinced that God is a meat eater.  Anyone that differs from that opinion needs to show me God's dental records.  I am a meat eater and, as such, I enjoy harvesting my meat myself.  I love the chase.  I love trying, and usually failing, to outsmart the critters that I'm after.  I love being in the woods.  I love seeing wildlife, even when I don't kill it.  I love the adrenalin that pumps through me when a deer walks in front of my tree stand.  I love the process of releasing my arrow or pulling the trigger, and validating the many hours of practice that got me to the moment of killing that magnificent animal.  I absolutely love the emotions that are involved in the hunt, as complex as they are.

Killing an animal is no small thing to me; I don't take it lightly.  Killing deer has been an emotional experience for me, almost spiritual.  I feel a hint of lament for the killing of such a beautiful animal, and I'm so thankful for the harvest of so much meat; it's very moving.  I wish that the English language allowed me to fully express what I feel when I kill an animal.  I'll never be able to fully explain how I feel when I bring that meat home to my family, or when I put my hand on the ribs of that still warm deer.  

I guess it's safe to say that I love to hunt, but it's also safe to say that I support hunting because it gives back to the environment.  Hunting pumps many millions of dollars into conservation efforts, billions of dollars into the American economy, and is a vital piece of effective wildlife management efforts across the globe.  I'm proud to support the wildlife conservation efforts that hunting contributes to, while enjoying the sport that I'm passionate about. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Things from My Childhood 3: Stealing a Sip

When I was a kid, my dad was a beer drinker.  He would have a couple of beers on the weekend, and often would place a partial can in our refrigerator while he attended to other things.  

When I got to be 12 or so, I would occasionally sneak a sip of those open cans of beer.  I thought I was pretty slick, and it was just a sip. 

One evening, I had dish duty after supper.  My mom had made something fried and, as usual, she had drained the grease from the skillet into a can.  I just didn't know which can...

While doing the dishes, I took a break and decided to take a quick sip of the open beer can that was in the fridge.  I tilted the can back to take a healthy slug, and had to fight the urge to gag as I realized that my mom had drained the grease from the skillet into a beer can, and placed it into the refrigerator to cool.  Yuck!

I didn't tell Mom or Dad about that, so I'm sure they'll laugh when they read this.  God is always watching, even when your parents are not.