Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The name is still the same so just click here to join me!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
My disjointed thoughts on the so-called Ground Zero Mosque.....by Henry Brooks IV on Tuesday, August 17, 2010 at 9:32pm.
I never have claimed to be a biblical scholar nor have I ever played the role of learned political historian. You will probably never see me on MSNBC, CBS, or FOX News giving "expert" analysis of the difference between Orthodox Jews and Hasidic Jews or the similarities between Suni and Shiite Muslims. That's not my field and I would end up looking like a complete idiot if the questions moved anywhere past the surface of any discussion on theology. Luckily, I understand my limitations and try (very hard) not to step into that area with my $0.02 lest someone make intellectual change out of me. In this way, I am much like a majority of Americans...I can quote enough scriptures from the King James Bible and sing enough hymns to look like I attended Sunday School as a youth and quote enough from the U.S. Constitution to show you that I watched the ABC network every Saturday morning so I wouldn't miss Schoolhouse Rock.
Now that I've laid out my qualifications (which are minimal), I want to express my thoughts on a topic that's been scraping the chalkboard of mid-term election politics for the last week or so: The Ground Zero Mosque.
First, let's get some facts. Contrary to the popular title being given to it, this project is neither a mosque nor is it even at Ground Zero. A group of American citizens has decided to go into a dying part of lower Mannhattah, purchase a building in disrepair, demolish it and build a cultural center. This center will be open to all people and will have a swimming pool, gym, culinary school, library, 500 seat auditorium, and host childrens services, programs, and exhibitions. The group happens to be Muslim. There will be a mosque. There will also be a September 11th memorial.
What's wrong with that? Sounds like a good idea, huh? Build a community center for all to enjoy, create some jobs, clean up a dying area of the city, possibly spark other businesses to open in the area...this is a GREAT idea, right? Ok, here is where things get a little tricky. The Cultural Center will be built roughly 2 blocks from Ground Zero and this is obviously causing people serious emotional damage. The question is, why?
Many of those in objection to the cultural center claim that it is being built too close to the place where radical Muslim extremists flew 2 planes into the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001. They say that building the center, which will include a mosque, so close dishonors the memory of those who lost their lives on that day and in that spot.
This is where I get confused.
Is my hearing bad or are these people saying that being a Muslim means you are so closely associated with terrorists that you SHOULD want to forfiet your rights as a citizen so that our feelings dont' get hurt and we can keep holding on to our religious bigotry.
I get confused because I don't understand how we, as freedom loving, flag waving, liberty huggin', rights totin' Americans, can allow ourselves to make the blanket association and accusation that all Muslims are terrorists. Now, some of you will take offense at that statement and if I cared I might apologize but since I don't care...STAND OFFENDED. If two weeks ago you were thanking our troops for fighting for our freedoms and today you are saying that all Muslims are terrorists and EVEN...then you just dropped your pants and took a huge dump on the American Flag. Yeah, you did.
You see, freedom ain't free, righteousness ain't always comfortable and protecting a just society is hard work.
As Americans we have a responsibility to stand up for the rule of law that protects each of us. The fact that we don't agree with someone's stance doesn't give us the right to fight against their right to have and express that opinion. We should smack the taste out of the mouth of anyone that stifles dissent. Dissent is what makes this country great. Dissent is what keeps our U.S. Constitution living. Dissent is what gives us the right to express our opinions, argue, scream, and shout at each other and then go enjoy a low-fat mocha latte together once we decide to agree to disagree. It doesn't mean that we wont fight tomorrow. It doesn't mean that we are enemies. It only means that we disagree and thank God that we live in a country where we can have an open discussion about our differences without worrying about being tossed in jail or killed. That's freedom.
We must fight to protect this right. Whether you are Jewish, Christian, Siek, Hindi, or even Muslim. You don't have the right to write off an entire religion because of its crazies. No one should write off Christianity or be afraid of Christians because of the acts of some radical Christian extremists. As a matter of fact, we (Chrisitans) tend to qualify such statements with the caveat, "...but they aren't really Christians. Not if they would do that." Why can't we accept that Muslims feel the same way about their crazies?
Build the Center. Open it to all who visit the area. Run a shuttle to the Ground Zero monument so that people can understand the true meaning of Islam. Our founding fathers understood it and they wrote about it. Ben Franklin (remember him?) wrote that
"even if the Mufti of Constantinople were to send a missionary to preach Mohammedanism to us, he would find a pulpit at his service." -Benjamin Franklin
Since I'm a brotha and we are talking about reconciliation and peace you know I couldn't leave you without a Martin Luther King, Jr quote so here it goes:
"Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?' Expediency asks the question, 'Is it politic?' But conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?' And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right." -Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
So to those who are afraid of the center becoming a training ground for radical muslims I ask if this center scares you? If so, why? Are you afriad of Muslims or are you afraid of the unknown? Whatever your answer, I suggest you visit an Islamic center and learn a little more. To those who would ask if this center is "politic" or a good move I would counsel them to look past the current pain or political climate and seek the answer in the long term. Do you hate Muslims or do you hate Hate? To those who ask is it right I would tell them to stand on that which gives us the right to even ask that question...the Constitution of the United States of America.
I'll close with a quote from George Bernard Shaw about Liberty
"Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it." - George Bernard Shaw
Liberty does mean responsibility. Sometimes you have to do what you NEED to do in order to do what you want to do. We NEED to protect free speech, promote cultural exchanges, promote peace and understanding amongst fellow citizens of different races, religions, and beliefs. But if you want to continue to spew hatred and fan
the flames of discord over the center, feel free. You have that right.
Monday, June 14, 2010
Added To This
Which was multiplied by this
Monday, May 31, 2010
My sincerest apologies for posting pictures so late of our newest addition to the Thomas family, but as you can imagine, life for me has been a little hectic.
Our fifth daughter Tabron Reese Thomas was born Sunday May 16th after many weeks of trying to keep her in the oven until she was as close to full term as possible. She was born at 36.5 weeks at 7lbs 15oz and 19 3/4 inches long. A little bit more than big sis who was born at 38 weeks. Her first name pronounced (Taybren) is my mother's maiden name, I have always loved the name Reese and we just wanted her to have a uniqueness about her.
I had a bit of a difficult time carrying her during the last trimester. At about 33 weeks I developed a yeast infection that was in my blood stream and caused me to have the symptoms of a pregnancy related disorder called cholestasis of pregnancy and after running blood work my there were now bile salts in my blood and my liver was fine but I did have an overgrowth of yeast in my system that was causing me tons of problems.
I actually started dilating at 33 weeks and was given steroid shots for the baby's lungs in case I delivered pre-term. I spent the next three weeks in and out the hospital getting shots to stop my contractions which which were consistent but not strong enough to make me dilate past the 2cm I was currently at but as we all know things change with babies and once we made it to 36weeks and I started feeling better and moving around more things changed. The funny part is the Monday before she was born I had an OB appointment and scheduled her birth for 6/4 since she was actually due 6/9, but that Thursday night I started contracting again, the next day I got up for work thinking that I really needed to make this my last day and prepare just in case. On the way out the door I ran to the rest room only to find that I was loosing part of my plug, I went into work and the contractions intensified. I called my mom to make plans to come after work and pick up the girls and later that night we went to the hospital. Sure enough I dilated from 2cm to 4cm. Again, I was sedated and given drugs to stop my labor as the Peds doc and my doc wanted to try as much as they could to push things back to 37 weeks.
Grace and Mercy as they are nicknamed
Saturday morning we were sent home, I was sedated and slept for most of the day. Mark was scheduled to work an overnight 7p-7a shift so I sent him to work thinking I could really use the alone time to sleep and relax which is what I did since I was still in and out from the relaxants. I woke up though in the early hours Sunday morning with stronger contractions and by the time Mark made it home I was in true labor... I decided to take a bath to dull the pain because I honestly did not want to go back to the hospital. I took the meds given to control the contractions and thought I will just sleep again but as I got out of the tub and started to get dressed my water broke. At that time we just got into packing mode and headed to the hospital which at that time about 11 am.
Tabron @ 6days old
We are at home and settling in right now. My mom has left and Mark has returned to work so its just me and my baby girls and yes Graci is having a tough time adjusting and she is very competitive for my attention but we are making it taking things one day at a time! Thanks for all of your prayers and well wishes on Terry's blog! I have two babies that are asleep so I am going to try for a quick nap. Until next time, stay blessed and encouraged!
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Graci not sharing pizza w daddy!
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
Friday, January 15, 2010
I still follow all of my favorite blogs, and Crystal over at Money Saving Mom wrote this post today and I just had to show my face for this cause. I am sure that we have all heard about the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and I am confident that as believers we have all been called and moved to pray and to help this country. My family and I are no different and while I continuously received texts and Facebook updates on how to donate, I took my time to research and pray which way we wanted to contribute financially. This may come to a shock to some but we have decided to donate to the Yele Hati Foundation which is musician Wyclef Jean's foundation. And while we no longer listen to his music, his foundation is one that has been around since before the earthquake and as a Haitian immigrant he is always spearheading projects for his native country. I find that very noble and feel what better way to help than to donate to a foundation that has personal ties to this impoverished country.
This has been a touching week for us because while things are very tight here in our household, we still are blessed way beyond measure. I only hope that the people of Haiti find help quickly and that they are comforted by our heavenly Father during this difficult time, but still we are donating half of our grocery money for this week to the Yele Haiti Foundation. I plan to link this post to Money Saving Mom and Crystal and her husband will also donate $10 for each post that tells what they have done for Haiti relief and they plan to match other donations to a charity she has named on her blog. You can get the details here.
I will return with more family updates and plans for my blog as there will be major changes happening here. Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful and blessed weekend!