Last week’s vote (June 2016) to repudiate the Battle Flag by the
Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) caught me by surprise and left me in
shock. I have long considered our denomination to be socially
conservative, prudent, and wise to stay out of issues that do not
directly impact the mission of our church. I am a deacon but more
importantly on this topic, I am a student of history and the Bible.
While I do have ancestors who defended against the invasion of 1861,
that does not make me uniquely qualified to make statements based on
emotion to defend or excoriate these veterans and their symbols. I
understand fully what they fought for and it certainly was not what some
in our leadership have shamefully claimed. Truth and hard facts are the
best way to approach difficult issues. We must get this right as a
church. Lincoln’s War of 1861 cost our country the lives of 625,000
soldiers and the lives of 50,000 Southern civilians (black and white).
It changed the federal government forever from one that was limited, to
one that controls every aspect of our lives, deeply divided this country
upon racial lines, and set slaves free only to re-enslave them to
The topic of the Confederate Battle Flag, history of the
SBC, history of the flag itself, race, and the true topics of
importance are too complex to tackle with ad hominem arguments, rhetoric
and straw men. No, we need truth to tackle such issues and to admit
this argument is based in political correctness. The truth and only the
truth will heal wounds that keep being picked by those who profit from
race and division.
A massive fight ensued between Finnish citizens and migrants in the town
of Forssa, located in southern part of the country. A total of around
100 people armed with bats and pipes were involved in the clashes in
front of a local migrant center.
Finns reportedly attacked the migrants first on Tuesday
evening, according to media reports. The latest clashes come amid a
growing number of fights between the locals and the migrants over a new
migrant center that was built in Forssa.
Witnesses described a
large group of locals gathering by the migration center. The group began
to fight the migrants, who are living in the center, Finnish
Broadcasting Company YLE reported.
Both groups used weapons such
as bats and pipes, police said. A total of five people were reportedly
injured and two of the participants were detained, according to the YLE.
Of the eight years I spent in the U.S. Air Force, I
spent the first three as an intelligence officer assigned to Strategic
Air Command Headquarters near Omaha, Nebraska. For the first year, I was
one of less than a dozen Second Lieutenants assigned to a base with 23
general officers, about 180 full colonels, and over 800 lieutenant
colonels or their equivalent U.S. Navy or British Royal Air force ranks.
They were from all the U.S. services and included RAF intelligence
officers and three RAF bomber crews. My specialty was photo-radar
intelligence. This was during the infancy of satellite intelligence and
the early years of computer and missile technology. I didn’t always
appreciate it, but I could not have had a more interesting job. Although
my specialty was photo intelligence, it required a great deal of
collaborating intelligence to figure out what the Russians and Chinese
Dale Smith, 60, of Johnsonville, South Carolina, holds a Confederate
flag as he looks out to Fort Sumter from the Battery in downtown
Charleston, South Carolina, as they wait for cannons to be fired to mark
the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, Tuesday, April 12,
The Department of Veterans Affairs will no longer allow Confederate
flag imagery to be flown on flagpoles at national cemeteries on Memorial
Day or Confederate Memorial Day.
The policy change follows debate in the House of Representatives
earlier this year over continued display of Confederate imagery on
federal lands. It also further reduces the number of flag images that
can be displayed on federal land after the National Park Service made
similar policy changes last year.
The Veterans Affairs decision comes a few months after an amendment
barring the display of flag imagery in VA cemeteries was added to the
House’s fiscal 2017 Military Construction-VA spending bill (HR 4974),
but later removed from the conference report (HR 2577) behind closed
Senator Bernie Sanders is hoping to advance the movement that backed his
presidential campaign by launching a new political organization, dubbed
“Our Revolution,” to fight money in politics and push for a progressive
As the fall semester begins, parents, students, taxpayers and donors
should be made aware of official college practices that should disgust
Hampshire College will offer some of its students what the school
euphemistically calls “identity-based housing.” That’s segregated
housing for students who — because of their race, culture, gender or
sexual orientation — have “historically experienced oppression.” I’d bet
the rent money that Hampshire College will not offer Jewish, Irish,
Polish, Chinese or Catholic students segregated housing. Because there
is no group of people who have not faced oppression, Hampshire College
is guilty of religious and ethnic discrimination in its housing
University of Connecticut administrators thinks that more black men will graduate if they spend more time together.