Chaplain's Corner

Welcome to the Chaplain's Corner!
We set aside this space to share with you some of the words our Camp Chaplain has penned. We pray you take some time to read over these posts and take them to heart in your daily lives.

Our Camp Chaplain is Pastor Mark Girten of the Crooked Creek Baptist Church in Crittenden County Kentucky. Pastor Girten has had many of his writings published in local newspapers.

Has Absurdity Become the Fabric of Our Lives?

posted Nov 2, 2017, 6:44 AM by Edward Georgen   [ updated Nov 2, 2017, 6:44 AM ]

The dictionary defines absurd as “completely unreasonable or illogical; ridiculous.” We are living in an era of the absurd. If you doubt this, just check out the internet or mainstream news media. (Sara Palin has very correctly referred to it as the “lame stream” news media.) Much of what is passed off there as “news” is actually political propaganda and sensationalized entertainment. We are being sold ideas through the mainstream news media, internet, television entertainment, movies and even sports events, but many of these ideas are absurd.

Dr, Charles Mackay published his book, now known as Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, in 1841. He said, “Every age has its peculiar folly; some scheme, project, or fantasy into which it plunges, spurred on by the love of gain, the necessity of excitement, or the mere force of imitation.”

I agree with Mackay's statement that “every age has its peculiar folly,” but ours has it in abundance. And, yes, the motives are “the love of gain, the necessity of excitement, or the mere force of imitation.” We live in an age of emotionalism and trendiness as well as absurdity. Genuine, honest thought has been replaced with feel- good nonsense embraced by mobs who sometimes express themselves through violence.

I recently came across Ann Coulter's book, Demonic. The subtitle is “How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America. You might say that the framework of her book is the work of a French physician, scientist, and social psychologist, Gustave Le Bon, who, as Coulter put it, “perfectly captured the liberal psychological profile in his 1896 book, The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind.”
She tells us that “his ground breaking book, The Crowd, paints a disturbing picture of the behavior of mobs. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini used his book to learn how to incite a mob.

According to Coulter, “all the characteristics of mob behavior set forth by Le Bon in 1896 are evident in liberalism ----simplistic, extreme, black and white thinking, fear of novelty, inability to follow logical arguments, acceptance of contradictory ideas, being transfixed by images, a religious worship of their leaders, and a blind hatred of their opponents.” She gives numerous examples of these characteristics of absurdity in her book. It is well worth reading.

So, has absurdity truly become the fabric of our lives? You be the judge. I posed the question this way because of a slogan of the cotton industry: “Cotton: the fabric of our lives” and recent statement of offense by someone encountering cotton decor products in a store and being upset about that. I'm sure it didn't stop the individual from wearing clothes that day.

It's interesting to me that some individuals can find racism at every turn, and in the most innocent and mundane things. It's even more interesting to me that such absurdity is given the time of day.

The Apostle Paul's words in the first chapter of the Book of Romans, in the Bible, have certainly come to pass: “Professing to be wise, they've become fools....” Why does America suffer such fools?

Another example of such foolish absurdity is the current controversy concerning NFL players refusing to stand for our national anthem in protest supposedly of racial mistreatment of minorities by police. Seems to me they are painting with a very broad brush. Most police officers are honorable men and women doing a very difficult job. From what I've observed, they have received much more undeserved and unfair mistreatment than any minorities have. Maybe it's time for certain sanctimonious NFL football players to lose the chip on their shoulder. I'm not impressed in any good way by grown men being paid millions of dollars to play a sport who are whining about how oppressed they are as a minority. How ridiculous!

One of the characteristics of mob mentality given in LeBon's book is a religious worship of their leaders. Colin Kaepernik, who started this nonsense, has been canonized by some NFL players as the great shining example of fighting racism.

What I see there is a shining example of ingratitude and ignorance. He was adopted into a loving family and a comfortable middle class home. He was given the opportunity to rise to the top of his profession and make millions of dollars as he was idolized by millions of people.

This was all possible because he lives in a country where veterans paid for his freedom, some with their lives, and he has the audacity to disrespect them. Shame on him and all those who admire and support him and his fellow players who continue his cause. Do they think that they would have the opportunities they have in other countries. If so, go. I for one won't watch their games. I won't buy their merchandise and kudos to those who don't as well. It's time to send a message: We don't support the absurd.

Lastly, since there's no shortage of the absurd, most recently California has legally made a third gender, while The Boy Scouts of America are trying to do away with gender all together by inviting girls to join. (This even though there's already a girl scout organization in existence.) By the way, do we call them Boyl Scouts now?

Have we become so inundated with the absurd that we hardly even notice any more? Cotton is the least of our concerns, because absurdity has become the fabric of our lives. 

“Ebenezers Scrooged: More than Just Memorials Is at Stake”

posted Aug 25, 2017, 2:53 PM by Edward Georgen

You may only associate the name Ebenezer with that mean old man who is eventually transformed in Charles Dickens' story, A Christmas Carol, but the name has relevance for our time. In I Samuel 7:12, we read, “Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpah and Shen, and named it Ebenezer, saying, 'Thus far the Lord has helped us.'” To put it simply, an ebenezer is a monument. And from its inception, this nation has acknowledged God's help.

So what's the big deal about memorials? Why do they matter? Dr. B.J. Ward has an answer: “Monuments are an important part of history. They are books that never go out of print and require no new editions to bring them up to date. They are the milestones of the centuries, the oracles of the ages. They inspire the youths and young men to emulate the heroism, the manhood, and the patriotism of their ancestors.”

I found this to be true in my young life. At the time I first began to study American history in the fourth grade, I was taken by men like Washington, Lafayette, and Frances Marion (the Swamp Fox) of South Carolina, whom our city of Marion is named after. Why? They were courageous and heroic men, freedom loving patriots worthy of imitation.

But I was also fortunate enough at that time to live in Vincennes, Indiana. There on the Wabash River, in Vincennes, stood the George Rogers Clark Memorial. The younger brother of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, he was also a man who sacrificed for the cause of freedom in our American Revolution. He came up through difficult country in the Winter and captured a British fort there on the banks of the Wabash so that our forces would have control of the Ohio River Valley Territory. This was of strategic importance to the survival of our new nation.

That memorial was a way for me to connect with my people who had gone before me, to touch history in a very personal way. I am a better person for it.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:8, “brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.” Memorials help us do that. They matter!

But there is a scourge upon our land. More and more, with each passing day, our memorials, that have stood for many long years, are being vandalized and even removed by lawless and hate-filled groups.

They act under cover of darkness, which says a lot for the evil of their deeds. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus, spoke of such in John 3:19-21: “ This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

These unrighteous robbers of our heritage and history are sneaks, cowards, and lawbreakers. Such people are certainly not qualified to pass moral judgment, seeing as they act as criminals and moral reprobates.

And just as guilty are the government officials who supposedly represent us but don't allow us a say in the removal of our monuments. They are contemptible enablers, promoters of evil and all that goes against the principles of freedom that made this country great. They should be removed from office, for they are unfit to serve.

Even in Paducah, Kentucky, our own backyard, it is happening. Some who are misguided, misinformed, or malevolent are calling for the removal of the Tilghman Statue and the Tilghman name from the high school. Have you ever asked yourself why after so many decades of these monuments standing, this is suddenly considered a problem?

John Suttles, Kentucky Division Commander of the Son's of Confederate Veterans, has it right when he said, “ It's not about white or black supremacy. It's about honoring those who shed their blood and lost their lives on the battlefield.” The same can be said for the Confederate Battle Flag.

Here's an example from Salisbury,Rowen County, North Carolina of why the Confederacy fought and why there are many monuments all over the country. At the top of their monument are these words, “Lest We Forget.” “In memory of Rowan's Confederate soldiers, that their heroic deeds, sublime self-sacrifice and undying devotion to duty and country may never be forgotten.” It continues with these words: “They gave their lives and fortunes for constitutional liberty and state sovereignty in obedience to the teachings of the fathers who framed the Constitution and established the union of those states. Deo Vindice (Latin for “God will vindicate”) R.I.P. (Rest in peace.)”

I ask you: Who sounds more honorable? These Confederate soldiers or the hateful and ignorant who would maliciously deny them and their descendants their honorable history and heritage? There was no mention of slavery on this monument because that was not what they were fighting for. I've said it before, and it's true. Seventy-five percent of Confederate soldiers did not own slaves. That was not what they fought for. Monuments help preserve the truth.

Perhaps you're thinking, “that doesn't concern me.” But it does! The people behind removing monuments won't stop with Confederate monuments. At time of this writing there have been other monuments under attack (Columbus, a church's steeple and grave markers destroyed). They hate the principles of freedom this country was founded on. They have no respect for free speech or equal treatment under the law, or the law itself, for that matter. For them the ends justify the means. They've taken a page, or several, out of the Marxist socialist handbook. Violent revolution is their solution.

Compare the American revolution with the French Revolution. One ended in the blessings of freedom and one ended in many deaths and a tyrant, Napoleon, coming to power. What made the difference? One honored God and one rejected God, following a socialist revolution.

Does this nation, so blessed by God, really want to go down that road of violent revolution? This battle isn't about monuments alone, but about what kind of nation we will have.

It's time to stand up against bullies and thugs and cowardly or misguided politicians, and not allow our monuments and our country to be stolen. Ignorance and apathy are destroying our country. Please, don't stand by and do nothing. We all loose if you do. Sign petitions, call your officials, speak out with your neighbors and friends, and pray. Your nation and your community need you. When it's all said and done, what will history have to say about us? Will you be proud of the nation you leave your descendants?

Military Shouldn't Be Social Engineers' Plaything.

posted Jul 31, 2017, 8:44 AM by Edward Georgen   [ updated Jul 31, 2017, 8:44 AM ]

I have a high regard for our nation's military. We all owe them a great debt of gratitude for their service and sacrifice. That goes for their families as well. So when individuals of a liberal (Marxist socialist) persuasion attempt to treat them as a social experiment rather than what they are meant to be – a strong force for the defense of this nation – it gets my blood to boiling.

I commend President Trump's recent decision to not allow transgendered people to serve in the military. President Trump's decision came after listening to sound advice of his military leaders and advisers. It was determined that their presence in the military would be disruptive. Honestly, when life and death decisions have to be made in battle, how clear can those decisions be if you're battling ones own sexual identity?

I'm sure we will hear from the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgendered) community about how unfair this is, but I would say to them that it is unfair for taxpayers' money to be used to support a military that will be weakened just to force Americans to put their stamp of approval on those whose misguided or confused sexual identity is the most important thing in their lives.

During times of war, some Americans were rejected due to physical conditions (flat footed, color blindness and severe acne to name a few), and labeled 4-F. Why? Their condition would have weakened the effectiveness of our nations fighting force. Their ability to perform would not be up to required standards. Was this fair to them on a personal level? Maybe not, but there are greater considerations. The safety and freedom of a nation is at stake.

Also at stake is this nation's moral fiber. A brainwashing campaign has been at work in this nation since at least the 1960's. Half or more of this nation's citizens have embraced Satan's lie that anything goes concerning sex. Even some in the church have swallowed the lie. As the apostle Paul wrote long ago, inspired by God, men will be, among other things, “... lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power...” This is part of what God has to say on the matter, as recorded in II Timothy 3:1-7.

But sadly, many people, some even in the church, care more about what the LGBT movement says than what God says. It's very sad that a nation that was founded on Christian principles and a biblical worldview has gotten so far away from God and His rule.

The LGBT movement likes to talk about fairness when it comes to their interests, but do they practice what they preach towards others? In a word, no.

The St. Louis Cardinals baseball team has for many years hosted a Christian family night at their ballpark. They should be commended for this. They announced doing this again this year. Their special guest was a player who is very outspoken about biblical morality and family values. And, as you might expect, the LGBT movement had a fit, demanding that the Cardinals cancel this event. So much for fairness.

It's time to stand up for what's right as God defines it, not as man defines it. In fact, it's past time! We're now living in difficult, dangerous and trying times, as Paul wrote about in II Timothy 3:1-7. The time is late and the need to stand for what's right, as God defines it is great. If the church won't stand up against the bullying tactics then is it any surprise our county won't. Too many Americans are either confused, callous, cowards or uncaring.

What this issue of transgendered people serving in the military is really about, like so many other issues of our day, is the question of whether God will be acknowledged and honored as the one true living God and Creator who has revealed Himself and His will through His Word, the Bible. Genesis 1:27 is clear: “God created man in His own image.....male and female He created them.”

If we reject God's will and His design, there are consequences. Paul wrote about this in Romans 1:18-32, particularly verses 21-25: “For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man.... Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator....”

There it is – the problem with the LBGT movement's, misguided views and goals – in a nut shell, in Romans 1:25: “...they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature.....” They have rejected the truth of God and worship the creature; their sexual identity, or “orientation” as they like to say, is their idol, the most important thing in their lives. And God tells us what he thinks of those who give their stamp of approval to this belief and behavior in Romans 1:32: “and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.”

It comes down to this: will you honor God the Creator or man the creature? Will you be called to account one day for giving “hearty approval” to those who rebel against and mock their Creator, or will you stand for what is right in God's sight? Choices bring consequences. As Romans 1:18 says, the very word of God: '...the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness...” Choose wisely, don't be fooled, and don't support ungodliness. God and our military deserve better.   

True Liberty Versus License

posted Jul 10, 2017, 12:12 PM by Edward Georgen   [ updated Jul 10, 2017, 12:12 PM ]

Having just come out of a season of several patriotic holidays this might be a good time to reflect on and consider the topic of freedom.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness....” With these and other words a nation was born. In fact more than a nation – the greatest experiment in liberty of all time.

What a privilege to be an American! But what responsibility goes with that privilege and blessing of God. “We hold these truths....” Do we? We should hold them first in our hearts as most precious, and as our guiding principles. But we should also hold them forth for our fellow citizens, coming generations, and the world.

President Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it along to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.” In order for that to never happen, we need to understand what those truths are.

First of all, those truths are self-evident. That means they are realities that any sane, reasonable person can recognize and acknowledge as true and factual.

What are these truths that we hold to be self-evident? First, that all men are created equal. Notice the use of that word “created.” At the time of the writing of these words in the Declaration of Independence (1776), Darwin's theory of evolution was not in existence. Even if it had been, however, the founding fathers generally would not have bought into it, being highly educated and godly men. I thank god for our nation's founding documents that acknowledge and honor our Creator.

As I said, these self-evident truths acknowledge that “all men are created equal.” Sadly, our founding fathers dropped the ball on this one in allowing the institution of slavery. This was later corrected. However, it is still a wonderful thing that this self-evident truth is officially acknowledged as our Creator's intent.

It is sad that some people speak of and promote racism and social class. Truly, there is only one race – the human race. All the genetic material for all human beings came from two common ancestors, Adam and Eve.

Racism is a matter of ignorance and hate, unworthy of any American holding the self-evident truth that “all men are created equal.” Racism is an affront to God, as every person is made in His image, and it is an affront to the dignity of the individual.

Another truth we hold to be self-evident as Americans is that these men, created equal, are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, such as life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Inalienable means “unable to be taken away from or given away by the possessor.” We, as human beings, have a right to live (including the unborn children in the womb), to do so freely, and to pursue happiness responsibly, not because man or some government says so, but because these are God-given natural rights.

There are some in our nation who think freedom is being able to do whatever they want to do at any time, even if other's rights are denied in the process. They have the attitude that they are entitled to rights that others don't have. Groups like “Black Lives Matter,” by their criminal actions as well as hateful words and their very name, deny the self-evident truth that “all men are created equal” and show themselves to be the true racists. They deny those of a different skin color the human dignity and respect that is due them because of the hate that is in their hearts.

God-given freedom is not the same thing as license. The definition of license is “freedom to behave without restraint” or “to deviate from facts or accepted rules.” This sort of freedom, which is license, often turns into lawlessness, and is not true liberty. True liberty takes into account the welfare of the individual and society. The Apostle Paul wrote in Galatians 5:13, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the sinful nature, but through love serve one another.”

Mark Levin writes, “The individual in the civil society strives, albeit imperfectly, to be virtuous – that is, restrained, ethical, and honorable. He rejects the relativism that blurs the lines between good and bad, right and wrong, just and unjust, and means and ends. In the civil society, the individual has a duty to respect the inalienable rights of others and the values, customs, and traditions, tried and tested over time and passed from one generation to the next, that establish society's cultural identity.”

In the last few years, we've seen a trend toward license and lawlessness in the name of liberty and justice. This is like trying to mix oil and water. It's not going to work. Even some of our government leaders have been guilty of this. They need to be held accountable.

It's high time we took seriously that axiom, “Freedom is not free.” Are you and I willing to pay the price for freedom? What is that price? Someone has said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” I borrow again from the Apostle Paul's writings in Galatians 5:1. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.”

Let's remember, defend, and live those great words of our nation's Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness....”

And in the words of Leviticus 25:10, inscribed on the Liberty Bell, “Proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof.” 

Present Times Look a Lot Like 1984

posted Jun 1, 2017, 7:07 AM by Edward Georgen   [ updated Jun 1, 2017, 7:07 AM ]

Remember the classic novel, 1984, written by George Orwell? I read it in high school. It was about a totalitarian government that went so far as to monitor every move of its citizens, force them to profess things they knew weren't true, and in general, worship and serve the government and its party line. Sound familiar? Today we call it political correctness, but there really is nothing correct about it, nor American about it. It's straight out of the Marxist socialist play book, and yet many citizens of this country have embraced it. As the old saying goes, “I never thought I'd see the day.” Are we living in the U.S.A. Or revived U.S.S.R.? The Beatles may have sang lovingly of it in their song, “Back in the U.S.S.R.”, but I see nothing to love about such tyranny.

We hear a lot about rights these days, but our true God-given rights talked about in our Declaration of Independence and supposedly guaranteed in our Constitution's Bill of Rights, are being ignored and contradicted by those with ignorant or evil motives.

It is no accident or coincidence that the very first constitutional amendment in our Bill of Rights guarantees religious freedom and freedom of speech. These are mentioned first because they are foundational to all the rest of our freedoms. And then comes our right to bear arms in the second amendment. The founding fathers very wisely realized these rights were all necessary to our protection against a tyrannical government like the one written about in the novel, 1984, and the one we see developing before our eyes today.

These foundational rights in the Bill of Rights--freedom of religion, speech, and the right to bear arms in defense of our liberty –are the very ones most under attack today. The attack is very cleverly coming under the guise of “fairness” and “civil rights”, but it is really plain old politically-correct mind control. God-haters, government officials, and tyrants are attempting to force many of us to accept their line of thinking, even though it goes against our religious beliefs and conscience, or else. This is about as far as you can get from truly American behavior.

Even many large corporate businesses are playing tyrant. Safety of Americans, particularly children, has been trumped by politically-correct bathroom and fitting room etiquette. Corporate America and businesses are to sell products to the public. Not be our conscience and tell us what to believe. I think God and His word have that covered. 

That which is morally wrong should never become a political right. The God of the Bible, our Creator and Redeemer, is the only One who has the right to define morality, and He has!

Why are so many people listening to lies? One of these lies is that homosexuals are born that way. I've yet to see any scientific proof from studies in genetics, yet many people believe this lie simply because it has been repeated and they want to believe it. The God of the Bible is a good and loving God, but how could that be so if He made homosexuals that way and then condemned them for it? How absurd! Homosexuality is a behavior, not an identity. At one time, both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association considered homosexuality as something to be treated, according to their manuals. Then along came political correctness, and that changed. Sometimes, science, even soft science, is politicized. 

I hear a lot these days about homosexual rights, and its couched in terms of civil rights. The homosexual movement has painted homosexuals as victims who are being persecuted. This is laughable. Studies have shown that they earn more money per capita than heterosexuals and they have greater political clout for their numbers. They are anything but victims. When was the last time you watched a television program that doesn't show homosexuality as something we all should support? Victims? I think not, but I can tell you who have become the victims. We whose religious beliefs and conscience are being trampled in the politically-correct dust. We who are being vilified as bigots because we disagree with the party line. Big Brother is alive and well! The politically-correct homosexual propaganda being peddled on practically every episode of every television program is nothing more than mind control, or what was once called “brain-washing”. The only thing is, you can't wash something with filthy water.

I do not discriminate against people who indulge in homosexual behavior, but that hardly means I'm obligated to put my stamp of approval on their behavior at the expense of my conscience and religious beliefs. My right to the free exercise of my religious belief as I see fit is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Other's right to force me to believe what they think I should believe is not. It's time to take a stand, as the government of North Carolina did, against the federal government's “thought police”. Tell Big Brother and his friends to go jump in the lake, preferably in another country. This is the U.S.A. , not the U.S.S.R. Revived. Nor is it 1984.

Pride and Prejudice

posted May 15, 2017, 3:26 PM by Edward Georgen   [ updated May 15, 2017, 3:26 PM ]

I recently picked up a copy of the “Early Bird” paper and saw an article on the front page that at first warmed my heart.....until I began to read it. It concerned the recent decision by our state government to keep Jefferson Davis's statue in the Kentucky capital building. So far, so good. Then I read the details. It's said that the Devil's in the details, and I believe it.

I read that the statue is staying for now, but that decision may be revisited later. I thought “we the people,” myself being one of those, had spoken. Apparently not. Petitions have been signed, phone calls made, a board has sat, and yet, it seems we may have to fight the good fight again later. Do you ever get the feeling that your government officials are representing someone besides yourself?

The article also informed me that plans were in the works that some sort of notice be posted by the statue to give context. What concerns me about that is that it will possibly be of the politically correct variety rather that the historically correct variety.

I thought we already had some pretty good historical context on the statue's pedestal. It lists Jefferson Davis's many accomplishments in the U.S. Government as well as the Kentucky legislature. He had commissioned surveys for the transcontinental railroad and served in the U.S. Military as a West Point graduate in at least two wars prior to the Civil War. He was a statesman, something many of the politicians today know little about. In short, he was a good and honorable man, a true son of Kentucky that we should be proud to honor.

So why is Jefferson Davis so vilified by some? I think the answer is ignorance of historical facts, and a tendency of some to jump on a self-righteous, politically correct bandwagon to feel morally superior. The key word is “feel.”

Informed opinion should be based in facts, not feelings. It comes down to the prejudice of those who think they are fighting prejudice. How ironic! The word “prejudice” means to “pre-judge, to judge before the facts are known.” Prejudice comes from ignorance, which is defined as a lack of knowledge. Too many Americans don't know their history, and it's killing our country.

If you asked Americans why the Civil War was fought, many would say slavery was the cause, and they'd be wrong. Slavery was certainly an important part, particularly here in Kentucky, but there was a bigger issue at stake.

The Civil War happened because part of the nation believed in the primacy of local state government, and part of the nation believed in the primacy of a distant, out-of -touch, centralized federal government. There were two very different cultures in this nation at that time, trying to figure out how to peacefully co-exist. One was a well-mannered, slow-paced, heritage-based, agricultural society. The other was, in contrast, a somewhat impersonal, fast-paced, industrial-driven society. The two cultures failed to compromise and clashed in a bloody civil war that cost more American lives (600,000) than any other war we fought.

Today, we also have two very different cultures clashing. We, too, have some who think distant, out-of-touch, centralized federal government is the answer. They have basically made government their god and savior. I'm reminded of an old Steppenwolf song from the late 60's that spoke of big government as a “monster on the loose that's put our heads into the noose” and called “America, we need you now; we can't fight alone against a monster.” But sadly some don't see it for what it really is. Ronald Reagan did; He said, “A government big enough to give you everything is a government big enough to take it away.”

Then there is the culture that recognizes smaller, more localized, accountable, limited, servile government. Our nation started with that ideal, and it served us well...... until the monster grew out of control. Do you ever get the impression that you're here to serve the government rather than the government being here to serve the people?

So, will history repeat itself? Will it come to bloodshed and disaster one day? Not if the pride of an historically-informed opinion rises above the prejudice of ill-informed political correctness. My prayer is that America will not need to fight that same culture war again. I hope that is your prayer as well. 

Open Letter to Dr. Moore and Southern Baptists

posted May 12, 2017, 10:12 AM by Edward Georgen   [ updated May 12, 2017, 10:13 AM ]

“Open Letter to Dr. Moore and Southern Baptists”

As a Southern Baptist pastor, graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity degree), proud member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (Jim Pearce Camp of Princeton, KY), and a lover and student of first-source-based complete history of this nation, I was saddened to the point of disgust by the anti-confederate flag resolution produced by the SBC.

I must take issue with some of the ideas expressed in Russell Moore's article appearing in the June 22nd issue of The Times Leader. I was disappointed at how such highly educated men, though well-meaning, could so misrepresent the true meaning behind the Confederate Battle Flag and turn it into a scapegoat for racism.

In his article, Russell Moore said, “...we cannot dismiss this as just about symbols. Symbols matter.” I couldn't agree with that statement more, and the ones who rightly chose and defined these symbols are the ones who used them to create the Confederate Battle Flag.

This flag, which Russell Moore called ”one lingering divisive symbol,“ actually contains both patriotic and Christian symbolism. That “X” on which 13 stars are fixed represents the Cross of St. Andrew, a Christian symbol. Those 13 stars are reminiscent of our original 13 colonies, and represented the 11 Confederate states plus the exiled Confederate governments of Missouri and Kentucky.

We are mistakenly told that the flag represents racism and hatred and that Confederate soldiers died for the cause of slavery under this flag. Actually, these states lawfully seceded from the Union when the U.S. Government failed to listen to them and truly represent their interests. This was no different from what the 13 colonies did with Great Britten. Seventy-five percent of Confederate soldiers, who proudly fought under the Confederate Battle Flag, didn't own any slaves. 

Obviously, they were not fighting under a flag representing slavery or racism.

Russell Moore said, “ The Convention recognized what the flag represents, and what it says to our African-American brothers and sisters in Christ.” Did it really? I think they got it exactly wrong.

According to Moore, “The flag hearkens back to a day when in order to justify idolatrous mammonism (worshiping wealth), Southern religion wove a counter- biblical folk theology that stood on the other side of Jesus.” Southern religion? What of Northern religion? Slaves came to this nation on ships flying the Stars and Stripes, not the Confederate flag. The two largest slave markets/ports were Boston and New York City. If you want to talk about a, “ counter-biblical folk theology that stood on the other side of Jesus” the North had its fair share. Both the North and the South are responsible for the evil of slavery, but we all, as right-thinking Americans, need to disabuse ourselves of this untrue notion of the North as good and noble when it came to the issue of slavery, and the South as evil.

The Confederate Battle flag stood for the values this nation was founded upon. Thus we have that very accurate name for the War between the States: The War of Southern Independence.” It was Lincoln who, for political advantage, attempted to turn the war into a slavery issue midway through the war. Apparently, Honest Abe wasn't always so honest.

And along those lines, I question the fairness of Moore's statement that “the flag also points to years and years of domestic terrorism against African-Americans, often with threats of physical violence.” It's not the Confederate flag that is guilty, but those groups like the KKK that have hijacked and misused that flag that are guilty: By the way, the KKK has also marched with the Stars and Stripes. If it's simply guilt by association, I'm waiting for that SBC resolution censoring Old Glory. Let's be consistent.

Your article's headline did say that the cross is more important than a flag. While I agree with that statement, I don't see that the two are mutually exclusive. It might interest you to know that one of the Confederate Battle Flag's nicknames is quite appropriately “the Southern Cross.” It also might interest you to know that the Confederate Battle Flag is considered by many nations around the world to be a symbol of freedom. It was flown over the destruction of the Berlin Wall, and many Eastern Bloc nations flew it upon regaining their independence from communist oppression.

Dr. Moore, you claim that “the cross and the Confederate flag cannot co-exist without one setting the other on fire.” I beg to differ. It was under that flag that tens of thousands of Confederate soldiers turned to Christ or rededicated themselves to Him in a great revival during the war. That is historic fact. American Indians were persecuted and killed under the U.S. Flag. Perhaps we need yet another SBC resolution.

Under the Confederate Battle Flag, tens of thousands of American Indians served, including one Indian general, Standie Wattie. And with them served tens of thousands of Orientals, Hispanics, and African-Americans. You might say that this flag that you have maligned and slandered is a multicultural banner. Those are historic facts. I believe you chose the wrong flag to blame for irresponsible racism.

Allow me to share a personal story. A few weeks ago, our church hosted an African-American guest speaker. He's a deacon in his church in Atlanta, GA and an evangelist. I hosted him in my home and we had a great time of fellowship. We fly the Confederate Flag in our front yard. He had no problem with that flag because he knows what it truly stands for.

Blaming a flag for racism out of ignorance is much like blaming a gun for criminal behavior. Will be be doing yet another resolution to not own guns? You have painted the Confederate flag , “the Southern Cross”, as a stumbling block to the Gospel. I guess that's appropriate in a way. Didn't the Apostle Paul call the cross of Christ a stumbling block for some? But it still is true and honorable. I wish I could say the same for that SBC resolution. As I said earlier, I would expect better from highly-educated men and spiritual leaders. In the name of fighting prejudice and discrimination for the Gospels sake, you have pre-judged out of ignorance and discriminated. I would not call this the SBC's finest hour, nor does it make me proud to be a Southern Baptist. I will continue to hold up the cross of Christ even as I fly “the Southern Cross,” that flag with the Cross of St. Andrew and those 13 stars. The same Jesus who said, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” also said “the truth shall make you free.” Those who have brought that resolution on the confederate flag and voted for it have played fast and loose with the truth. Following the news of that resolution brought tears to my eyes, too, but for different reasons.

It was not the confederate flag that caused people to act criminally in Ferguson, MO, nor was it the Confederate flag that caused a deranged gunman to kill African-American church members in Charleston, S.C. Nor is it the Confederate flag that's responsible for the death of countless African-Americans each year by abortion. It is people's sin and failure to take responsibility for their sin. Our current president and many others have taken every opportunity to support this sort of bad behavior. Are Southern Baptists now going to do the same? Let's place blame where it belongs. The church does a disservice when it tries to fight racism and irresponsible behavior by making excuses for it. Considering the state of our churches and the multitude of sinful behavior in this world we as pastors need not jump on the politically correct bandwagon but get back to teaching the Gospel, which includes repentance from sin.

Bro. Mark Girten
Pastor, Crooked Creek Baptist Church
Marion, KY

Let Your Watchword be “Heritage, not Hate!”

posted May 11, 2017, 11:36 AM by Edward Georgen

Heritage, not hate! Most of us have seen the bumper sticker. The battle for America's soul boiled down to three words and an explanation mark.

Heritage has always been very important to me. I am a proud American; I served my country as an active duty U.S. Marine, honorably discharged in 1978. 

I am a proud Kentuckian; born in Morganfield, descended from blue collar Salt- of-the-earth types (farmers, coal miners, construction workers, etc.). I am a proud former resident of Texas, a state known for its proud spirit of freedom and independence. (and, yes, big egos). These are the places and the cultures that have contributed to who I am. I guess that's why I value heritage so much. 

One of the definitions of heritage is “relating to things of historic or cultural value that are worthy of being preserved.” Note especially the words “historic” and “cultural.”

I have had a love of history since I first studied American history in the fourth grade. As a recruit in Marine boot camp at Parris Island, SC, I was introduced to the colorful and proud history of the Corps, and lovingly embraced it. 

In fact, it was more than just history, as important as that is. The Marine Corps instilled a culture in its recruits, one of honor, devotion, and pride.

This culture was captured in a book written by Captain Marion F. Sturkey, a Marine helicopter pilot in Vietnam, entitled Warrior Culture of the U.S. Marines. 

Concerning my Kentucky heritage and history, I drew from Daniel Boone a love of the land and freedom, and from Jefferson Davis a love of noble character and service to my God and fellow man. 

Concerning my Texas residency of over three decades, and its culture and history, I can say the same. It epitomizes the spirit of freedom and independence under God. 

There is another influence in my life that I've yet to mention that represents who I am. In importance, it follows only my relationship with Jesus Christ, His Church, and my wife and family. It's a non-racial, non-sectarian, non-profit veteran's educational organization known as Sons of Confederate Veterans. 

I know that for many Americans today, there is unfortunately a knee-jerk reaction to anything Confederate, due to ignorance of historical fact. Long-standing myth concerning the War for Southern independence (erroneously referred to as a civil war) has for too long replaced historical fact. The definition of “myth” that applies here is “a widely held but false belief.” 

Some of these widely held but false beliefs are that race relations were better in the North than in the South, that cruel treatment of slaves was the norm, that the South was fighting for the cause of slavery, and that the plight of most former slaves was better after the war. None of these things is true, yet many Americans have been taught to believe these things. 

What is the solution? In one word, read! And not just anything. Read first-hand accounts written at the time or shortly after by the people who lived it. You would be amazed at how the truth is far different from what is generally accepted and taught. 

One book you might start with is The Slave Narratives, an official United States document put together during the Great Depression using testimonies from some of the last surviving slaves of the Old South. There is also a book called Official Record: War of the Rebellion, another official report of the United States concerning the War for Southern independence.

Contrary to popular belief, you will find more than seventy percent of these accounts giving a positive view of the relationship between slaves and masters as close and respectful. Not quite the view you get from Uncle Tom's Cabin, a fictional work. 

Just for the record, I am not advocating slavery. What I am advocating is that accurate and fair and complete historical fact be communicated and taught.

We just came out of April, which is, among other things, Confederate History Month. I bet you didn't hear about that on your local or national newscast! Nor did you probably hear about the historical significance of it in school. 

We are now in May, a month in which we celebrate both Armed Forces Day (May 20th) and Memorial Day (May 29th). Did you know that Confederate Veterans have been recognized by The United States government as equivalents to Union Veterans by law, the most recent being U.S. Public Law 85-425: Sec. 410 approved 23rd May, 1958?

I'm a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans because I consider it an honor and a privilege and important, to educate my fellow Americans, Kentuckians, Texans and Veterans as to who these brave and noble Confederate soldiers were and what they stood for. 

They loved and sacrificed for God, home, family, self-determined government, and freedom. To smear their good name, and spit out the name Confederate as if it's a curse word and the epitome of evil, is a disgrace and the greatest of injustices. It's high time the true account of history is told. The truth will set you free!

I want to ask you this, as we come upon Memorial Day and the tradition of honoring servicemen at Arlington National Cemetery, do you realize that the sacred ground there was property of General Robert E. Lee, unlawfully seized by the federal government during the War for Southern independence? There are those today in New Orleans and other places who in the name of diversity or political correctness would eliminate any and all trace of part of history. Diversity as I understand it is giving a wide view of all cultural beliefs. Picking and choosing is called bigotry or racism.

Seek the complete and accurate history. Don't settle for and spread myths of so-called history. Heritage, not hate!  

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