Cracked 5 … June 27th, 2017


Jonathots Daily Blog

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Ways to Celebrate Our Founding Fathers on July 4th Other Than Fireworks

A.  POWDER AND SNUFF

A cavalcade of powdered wigs and various opiates and hallucinogenic drugs inhaled and smoked by the Continental Congress

B.  REACH FOR A LEECH

Bring your family for a once-in-a-lifetime “placing of the leeches”–so they can see how the colonists attempted to cure all disease (paramedics standing by in case of great blood loss)

C.  “TAKE A NEGRO TO WORK” DAY

Call up one of your friends of color and take him to your job as your slave, complete with chains and desperate expression. Yes, you can be Tom Jefferson, and he can be just “Tom.”

D.  ODORATION

Come and experience various chambers with early American body odor sprayed in, to give you the experience of sniffing people who wore too many clothes and did not use deodorant.

E.  MUSKETING

Salute to the Second Amendment–a Revolutionary War Gun Show, complete with unreliable, sometimes exploding flintlocks, and a chart displaying that it would take approximately seventeen straight hours for a mass killer to murder 25 people with a musket. (That’s if everyone agreed to hang around for the re-loading.)

 

 

 

 

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Freedom Part 3: SPEECHERS… July 3, 2013

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protestHuman beings are defensive.

It is perhaps our worst attribute. We spend much more time trying to explain, qualify or rationalize our positions than we ever do considering whether they are valid.

So our founding fathers, thinking they were being extraordinarily intelligent, came up with the First Amendment. In that particular assertion, they concluded that the new nation of America should give everyone freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Their thought was that everybody should have the right to say whatever they want to say and believe whatever they want to believe.

Back to the original point: human beings are defensive.

In other words, once we speak something aloud, we are much more likely to kill someone in order to defend our ridiculous notion than we are to change our minds. We are also more accustomed to stomping our foot and preaching our rendition of God than we ever are to believing there’s additional revelation of the Divine available to us through the testimony of others.

So we end up with speechers and preachers.

Because we have granted people the right to have an opinion, we have also told them they are not responsible for the truthfulness of their ideas. We have allowed folks to meet in conclaves of religiosity with no responsibility for the human beings around them because their interpretation of some holy book grants them the privilege of irrational behavior.

Not even in a perfect world would freedom of speech and freedom of religion be applicable. The first thing perfect people would do is be more quiet and not try to force their convictions on others.

Even though I agree that it was a noble gesture–to give everybody the right to their opinion–it is insane to think that speechers and preachers, who have no regard for the freedoms of others, should be allowed to indiscriminately spew their venom into the air without recourse.

Not only is it stupid to yell “fire!” in a crowded theater when there is no blaze, it is equally dangerous, if you believe there is a blaze, to scream “fire!” knowing that it will create a panic.

Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are two of the weakest parts of our Constitution. They do not take into consideration that defensive people will continue to give “speeches” and “preaches” in order to justify ideas that were present for the dinosaurs’ demise.

So what can we do?

Well, we certainly can’t throw out free speech and freedom of religion. And I’m not suggesting that we develop a police state, where what people think and believe is analyzed by committees and judged for accuracy.

But I am suggesting that a generation of rejuvenated human beings, who truly have been “born again” in their emotions, spirits, minds and bodies, take some personal responsibility for their words and for their contentions about God’s will.

I would suggest three questions:

1. Is what I’m about to say or believe going to make things better?

2. Does what I’m going to say and believe have any historical value, or has it already been proven to be erred?

3. Is what I’m going to say or believe ready to be changed by me when I realize that at least part of it is wrong?

Jesus said it this way: “By your words you are justified and by your words your are condemned.”

From that, I gain the insight to use my freedom of speech and religion, BUT … to do it wisely.

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 Jonathots, Jr.!

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A More Perfect … May 2, 2012

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People are always itching to ask.

After getting past “where you’re from” and “how long you’ve been doing this,” there is a desire for human beings to know the bend of your political persuasion. But because such discussions can often be contentious, most folks opt to believe that you’re “one of them.” So therefore, the Republicans are convinced I’m a Republican and the Democrats likewise think I fall within their mantle. But each one will usually pat you on the back and say, “Well, at least we can all agree–we’re proud to be Americans.”

I’m glad to be an American. I am not proud. 

My understanding of our founding principles as a country prohibits the introduction of pride–because it is in the Preamble of our Constitution that “we the people” set out to form “a more perfect union.”

More perfect. That’s one of those phrases that would drive my friend, Janet, crazy. She and I once had a long discussion about how there is no such phrase as “more unique.” Unique is unique, right? And perfect exists as an ultimate goal unto itself. But, as in the case of “more unique” (which by the way, IS proper) there is also such a thing as “more perfect.” More perfect is a mindset that refuses to allow us to become complacent, even when it seems that our status is satisfactory or even superb.

Pride is un-American. It is not worthy of our geneology nor our offspring.

The Preamble of our Constitution makes it clear WHY we require a “more perfect union”–because we decided we wanted to:

  1. Establish justice. Justice does not exist as a living, breathing entity without human beings supplying constant emotional CPR. If we do not breathe into our society a sense of fair play, justice will be smothered by “majority” or purchased by the wealthy.
  2. Insure domestic tranquility. Our founding fathers knew that our greatest enemies are not beyond our borders.Our fiercest adversaries is our own apathy or the belief that we can attack each other to purify our race or cause. Yes, it’s true–the founders of our country, though they insisted on the right to bear arms, also were quite diligent to make sure that we would insure domestic tranquility, allowing the citizenry to walk around without fear of being accosted, attacked or alienated. And interestingly enough, this is followed by:
  3. Provide for the common defense. Do you see how carefully they chose the words? We are supposed to establish justice–in other words, enforce a guarantee of equality.We insure domestic tranquility–a promise to our friends and neighbors that they don’t have to live in fear. But we provide for the common defense–we decide as intelligent people how much it will cost to keep us safe under normal conditions, raise that capital, provide that opportunity and then leave it at that. It does not suggest that we make up enemies or imagine weapons of mass destruction, but instead, use some good, common sense in building our walls.
  4. Promote the general welfare. There’s a word no one likes: welfare. But it falls the responsible for those who are affluent, or even desire to pursue affluence in a capitalistic society, to also be advocates for the members of our culture who are unable to join us on that journey. It’s not so much that we will solve the problem of poverty, it’s just that we cannot address poverty by hating the poor–OR by pitying them. We need to promote those individuals and organizations that have a heart for the general welfare of our fellow Americans, and make sure they are given resources to address the need.
  5. And finally, secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. Why would we need to secure it? There is a nasty part of human behavior that feels we have “more” when we take someone else’s portion. When we believe that something is limited, we either start rationing it or stealing it. Liberty should not be in question in a country that desires to become “more perfect” in its union. There will be very few things we can actually unite around as people, but one of them must be the blessings of liberty. Let me make something clear: there are things people do that I don’t like. Maybe I don’t morally approve of them. I might even have spiritual objections. But the supreme directive of our country–and even of our heavenly Father–is to grant free will and liberty to everyone. Any absence of that is the introduction of pride, which makes us believe that we’re already perfect instead of pursuing more perfect.

I love this country because it has a constitution which within the boundaries of the same document, calls black people less than human, but then amends itself later to admit that they’re equal, and finally, that they have the right to vote. The Constitution is imperfect because it is filled with amendments–an inherent admission by intelligent people that the work of both humanity and God is ongoing in the quest of becoming more perfect.

I’m glad to be an American. I am glad that I have been afforded the opportunity to read a Preamble of our Constitution that purifies our motives in the midst of political dirty tricks. But I am not “proud,” because pride tarnishes the silver of a great idea. And as we know, silver is second place–still working to become gold. 

More perfect.

Let us never give up on the pursuit of America. Our country is not a democracy, a republic or a capitalistic monarchy for the truly wealthy. It is an idea that demands evolution based upon the genuine notion of its founding, the integrity of our goals … and the ever-changing needs of our people. 

  

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John, Tom, Pat and Ben … February 8, 2012

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Just four guys, rebels at heart.

They shared a common anger, expressed individually and tuned to their personal interests. Their primary cause was that all four of them–John Adams, Tom Jefferson, Pat Henry and Ben Franklin–despised King George.

They were radical insurrectionists who were under suspicion for treason, desiring to separate themselves from the existing government. The only reason we know their names at all is because they were successful. Had they failed to unplug themselves from merry old England, they would have gone down in history as a footnote for fools and a parenthetical remark of attempted revolution that failed.

We admire them. We call them the “founders of our country.” But as you study them, you find they are four distinctly different gentlemen. Their only mutual thrust is a desire for independence. Unfortunately, they make one major mistake: they free themselves without freeing everybody.

They do exactly what every government proposes, which eventually pronounces its doom. They focus on one group or another–with the intention that when they get in power, they will aid those who have been forgotten.

For John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were anti-slave. Patrick Henry and Thomas Jefferson were from the Commonwealth of Virginia, where slavery was permitted. The four did not discuss the issue because any debate would have blocked the progress of their cause to gain freedom from the British. And hypocrisy entered the procedure–because Thomas Jefferson, who owned slaves, insisted that “all men were created equal” when he penned his purpose and declaration. Any idea, no matter how noble, that allows the introduction of hypocrisy will eventually come apart at the seams. How much longer would it have taken them, in their Continental Congress, to resolve the issue of slavery once and for all, and begin their new nation as free men and women across the board?

I don’t know.

I certainly will not argue with anyone who would claim that such a goal would have thrown an irreparable wrench into the works. But we delayed the discussion–and the war over it–by a mere eighty-five years. And we changed it from a deliberation of men of high ideals into a future time, when less motivated individuals struggled over the issue with guns and cannon–and bloodied our soil.

Can we learn anything from John, Tom, Pat and Ben? I think we can.

If you are a Republican, you cannot say, “We’re going to take care of the rich so they can give to the poor and provide jobs, and then, once we’re elected we’ll come in and sew up the safety net as required to provide for the needy.” We’re smarter than that. If rich people gave to poor people, then OPEC would drop the prices on oil because the American family is struggling.

The Democrats, on the other hand, say they will take care of the poor by forcibly inflicting taxation without sufficient representation on the rich, and then try later to get them to join in the motivation of increasing jobs in the economy. Of course, one problem with that is that the reason that people are poor is not always as simple as mere financial lack, and once you start dumping America’s wealth down a hole called poverty, you may very well find that the pit is bottomless.

No, we have to be a little smarter than John, Tom, Pat and Ben. They should have resolved the issue of slavery as the nation was founded, but instead, wrote into the Constitution that the value of a black man/woman/child was a fraction of what the Lord intended. There was never a breath of peace from that moment on about that particular issue–honestly, even to this day. For a nation founded on slavery still finds it difficult to abandon all of its bigotry.

This is why I’m touring this country with a very simple message. “NoOne is better than anyone else.”

When people first hear it, they give a nod of assent, as if it is a concept already in place, not needing punctuation. But then, as they think about it and realize that each one of us has negotiated our deal for personal independence on the backs and detriment of others, they often become resistant. Because when Jesus told us to “love our neighbor as ourselves,” he presented an answer–but in the form of a puzzle. How much do I love myself? Should I love myself more? Do I love myself first and then love others? Is it a simultaneous action?

The six words, “NoOne is better than anyone else,” becomes the key that unlocks that paradox: we just don’t go forward on anything unless it includes  everybody. That means, in this present political climate, we cannot solve the nation’s problems by taking the side of rich OR poor, but must package ourselves together as total equals. It’s how this country was conceived–and even though occasionally it may be to our distaste, displeasure or contrary to our personal choices and beliefs, it is the only way to maintain the integrity of the United States of America.

John, Tom, Pat and Ben were so anxious to become successful revolutionists that they left out freedom for some people. We paid a horrible price for that mistake. Let’s not do it again. Whether the issue is immigration, abortion, taxes, states’ rights, the economy, jobs or international treaty negotiations, let us correct the mistake of our forefathers by living out the true message of liberty: NoOne is better than anyone else.

Is it possible that if the black race had been freed along with the thirteen colonies, we would have built an even greater country than we have today? Is it possible that in freeing the slaves, our conscience towards the Native Americans would have been more tenderized? No one knows for sure. But we do know that freedom provided for the few offers those remaining souls only the option of war to achieve their own. Most unfortunate.

2012. Let us, as spiritual people, rise up and begin to believe that “NoOne is better than anyone else.”  For I do contend that John, Tom, Pat and Ben would look back at our history and realize that morning in July, 1776, there was one more line that should have been added to the document before signing:

NoOne is better than anyone else.

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Jonathan wrote the gospel/blues anthem, Spent This Time, in 1985, in Guaymas, Mexico. Take a listen:

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