LET’S TURN OFF THE MUTE BUTTON

LET’S TURN OFF THE MUTE BUTTON

As we all think about politics and the MANY huge catastrophes that have come upon us this year, we are all asking ourselves, “How do we act? How do we behave? How do we and should we move forward?”

We have been in shock. The Covid-19 pandemic came at us from out of the blue. We were shut down, locked up, and told to stay home. I do not describe this situation with derision as I certainly believe that it was the correct, wise choice for us to stay home given the huge uncertainty.

Do we walk directly into a forest fire when it rages or do we stay home? Of course! We stay home and let the fire fighters fight it for us. Covid-19 has been no different. Regardless, we were shut down and kept home. However, new problems were created as unemployment soared and our social fabric was altered.

Then we witnessed a cold-blooded murder by kneeing. That was easy to condemn as evil of any kind is unacceptable and thankfully the officers were charged and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We were in shock and we all voiced our outrage as murder and clear police brutality is NEVER acceptable.

But our collective mouths opened back up and we have been muted while glued to the televisions when destruction and anarchy resulted and continues.

I have been asking myself and others: why did the subsequent violent destruction and anarchy (which continues) mute me?

I have pondered that because I, generally speaking, am not the silent type. Of course, it is not that I support destruction or anarchy in any form or fashion but I think it was that I was so shocked that I was caught off guard.

Perhaps it is something akin to being a “deer caught in the headlights”. Nonetheless, despite screaming at the tv and at my family and friends, I have been publicly mute. Wordless.

I also have learned that there is wisdom in silence, to never speak in anger, but to only speak gently, calmly and with compassion and love. (And so much that I have seen has angered me.)

Now we see #BLM and M4BL. This has also caught me off guard as well as while I lovingly support all black people who lives matter, I have problems with so much that #BLM and M4BL stand for. Specifically, I object to #BLM’s and M4BL’s support for destruction of all kinds, including, for example, abortions, socialism, and defunding the police.

The problem, however, with a Christian or anyone in our society being silent is that if we are silent, others create narratives and put words in our mouths that we have never uttered.

Public silence also allows further destruction of our society and permits continued looting, pillaging, destruction of businesses, monuments and our history. What good does it do for me to sit in the enclosed safety of my home yelling at the tv? Does the television care that the demonstrators and anarchists have no respect for others’ businesses, lives or that anger and rage never justifies more wrong-doing?

For my entire life I have led a quiet, private life, focused on my family, my career, my home and my church. I understand the temptation to be silent and, as I have written above, I have been muted during the past few weeks. It is tempting to be silent, to focus on family alone, attend our churches, synagogues or mosques and to do private works of charity. After all, what can we say? And it sure is tough to talk when our mouths have been dropped open. We have no words.

But can we stay home and be silent? NO! We must form words. For such a time as this, more so than at any other time of our lives, we must form words. We must engage politically and culturally. Why? God’s Word calls us to be faithful to Him, to his Word and to our culture. Specifically, he calls us to be the light of the world and to point to Him. God is the source of all human dignity and everything that is right and good. He actually describes this situation very clearly for us in His Word and makes it simple for us.

Every single crisis we have faced this year is nothing more than a battle between Good and Evil. We know clearly that satan’s purpose always is to seek, kill and destroy. He divides, creates fury, anger and is the author of ALL death and destruction. The devil wants nothing more than for us to be completely separated from God and Love.

What do we do in response?

We do not sit idly on our couches, do we? No. We do not. To ignore our moral obligations would be to abandon all those who are vulnerable to the left’s dangerous program of cultural destruction, of dehumanization, of economic destruction, and of suppression of liberty.

What do we do?

We see our legal, political, and moral obligation to advance a compassionate, socially necessary and indisputably God-based agenda. We speak. But we speak civilly, lovingly, and with integrity, respect for all others, and we work together to advance God’s kingdom and the United States of America.

We have endless patience. We are never irritated, we are unoffendable, we do not argue, we do not hate and we do not name call. We collect ourselves and behave civilly, meeting fury and destruction with calmness and love. We reason. We pray.

Let’s make America great again…….but to do so, we must turn off the mute button and speak in love, the greatest of all things.

Fireworks

Fireworks

My opponent has made a series of social media posts demanding Brevard’s local municipalities put on a traditional 4th of July celebration. He’s reminded everyone almost daily that he is offering to use $20,000 to pay for it. He has even taken the liberty to name the event after himself. 

Today is Flag Day the day which commemorates the adoption of the first flag of the United States on June 14, 1777 by resolution of the Second Continental Congress. 

Various interpretations of our flag’s symbolism have been presented over the years, my favorite being that made by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.  “The colors of our flag signify the qualities of the human spirit we Americans cherish. Red for courage and readiness to sacrifice; white for pure intentions and high ideals; and blue for vigilance and justice.”

The flag also evokes sentiments about everything that it means to be American:  federalism, integrity, respect for others, collaboration, unity and dignity.

Federalism or the distribution of power from the national government down to the states is a hallmark of our American system.  In Florida, we also have home rule whereby power is transferred from the state down to the local or municipal level for all local decision making.

Unfortunately, there is always a tension in this system with those at higher levels of government always wanting to grab the power and authority for decision-making, an effort I oppose.

Disrespect is one of the key attributes that I have seen in the incumbent’s character.  I have observed disrespect for others across the board in all his dealings but, in particular, the incumbent is repeatedly disrespectful when dealing with local government.  Why, we must ask ourselves, is it that he cannot respect the local governments’ decisions to not have the fireworks celebrations?  

Government’s #1 job is to provide safety. If the local governments have decided not to hold fireworks celebrations due to concerns over Covid19, their decisions should be respected.   Financial concerns are always key in local decision making and may well have played a role as well.

Local officials were elected to make these tough decisions.   I respect the decisions of our local leaders and am committed to putting an end to the trend of attacking them from the District 53 Representative’s office.

In addition, it seems to me that another of the incumbent’s main passions is his need for headlines and of gaining notoriety.  As such, I believe he is attacking local elected officials for his own personal gain, frankly, trying to turn this national holiday into a campaign event. 

See this for what it is.  See the truth.  And then let’s respect our local elected officials and their decision making on the 2020 fireworks celebrations.

GUN CONTROL

GUN CONTROL

The second Amendment of our Constitution reads: “A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

It is essential to realize that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms” means we ALL have the right to own guns. 

The fact that this inherent, essential, fundamental, primal, ancient, natural right to bear arms has been enshrined in the U.S. Constitution means that NO legislative body has the right to prohibit firearm possession.  Americans may all arm themselves for traditional lawful purposes. Furthermore, ALL prohibitive or restrictive regulations or laws created by any state or local governments are unconstitutional.

Anyone who debates this issue wrongly emphasizes the words “a well-regulated Militia”.  Clearly, to emphasize this clause wrongly interprets the Second Amendment and interprets that the focus of the Second Amendment was to protect our militias.[1]  Those holding this incorrect view also typically add the collaterally wrong interpretation that it does NOT mean that citizens have inherent individual rights to possess guns.   While I can understand this confusion, it is important to realize that this is simply confusion and wrong thinking which our U.S. Supreme Court has corrected in its June 26, 2008 decision District of Columbia v. Heller.  

In Heller, our Supreme Court affirmed that the Second Amendment protects our individual, natural, ancient rights to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes such as self-defense or hunting.  The Court also clarified that the prefatory clause about the “militia” was inserted as Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm people in order to disable our two militias, thus we wanted to protect our right to bear arms so as to protect our two militias.  The U.S. Supreme Court also pointed to the history and tradition of the Second Amendment at the time of the Constitutional Convention, i.e., there were many individual arms-bearing rights in State constitutions both before and after the U.S. Constitution was drafted.

Given these facts and our inherent, natural, Constitutionally-guaranteed rights to bear arms, what must be done in Florida to correct our previous unlawful, un-Constitutional decision making?

Recognize that the Parkland bill created 2 wrongs which legislators must correct:  

(1) it unlawfully restricted the rights of those 18-21 years of age from bearing arms and it 

(2) created un-necessary, illegal restrictions on gun ownership when it redefined one of the background check statuses that unjustifiably restricted some potential gun owners for an indefinite period of time. 

Legislators must determine how to correct these 2 Parkland wrongs and return Floridian’s Constitutional rights to bear arms to us.

Another issue that I would very much like the legislature to address is the Department of Agriculture’s CWL permit process.  I have personally experienced the fact that the DOA’s system is awkward, time-consuming, cumbersome, inefficient and wastes staff time when I applied for my own CWL permit.  Legislative oversight is a huge role for a Representative.  I will insist that the CWL permit process is either vastly improved or removed from the DOA.

How do I differ from the incumbent on these issues?  The incumbent: 

(1) wrongly voted FOR Parkland.  

(2) later, the incumbent stated that he made a mistake and that he would reverse Parkland but has not made any efforts toward doing so.

(3) his position on Department of Agriculture control of CWL permits is not clear to me as I have not heard his comments or observed his actions on this topic.


[1] It is important to note that the Florida Statutes in 250.02(1)-(4) define two militias.  

(1) Florida’s unorganized militia “consists of all able-bodied citizens of this state and all other able-bodied persons who have declared their intention to become citizens, who are subject to military duty but who are not members of units of the organized militia”.

(2) Florida’s organized militia is “composed of the National Guard and any other organized military forces that are authorized by law”.

https://www.tampabay.com/florida-politics/buzz/2018/03/30/after-voting-for-parkland-bill-state-representative-says-he-wants-to-remove-gun-control-measures/

https://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/2018/03/29/brevard-rep-randy-fine-file-bills-repeal-gun-control-parkland-law/470886002/

Listen

Listen

Amidst the outrage that is everything in the United States today, I posted on my campaign page Saturday that I stand with our President and Barr.  That is true, I do.  

However, there is MORE which I do not think they are hearing, voices of those I love that I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t hear at first because of my shock and outrage.

Yes.  We all universally condemn George Floyd’s murder. Yes.  We all universally expect our LEOs to protect and serve us and demand that they do. Yes.  The violence and destruction IS pure evil heaped upon evil and must stop. Yes.  The violence does come from organized groups.

However:  there IS more.

There IS the truth of wrongfully incarcerated young black men.  There IS the truth of systemic poverty and crime arising from desperation. There IS systemic, long-standing racism.  There is a component of these protests born from these facts.

Yesterday, I spoke directly to one of the voices that I know and love from the boxing gym.  He is a prosperous, good, righteous Christian black man that I have worked with in the past.  However, he was wrongfully accused of a crime long ago and served a lot of time for it.  He has ALWAYS amazed me that he could be strong enough to forgive and move past the wrongs and thrive.

We didn’t speak of his story yesterday — we only spoke of how he is feeling right now and our lives.  But he is the kind of man we must look to in the future to help us re-build our society.  He is the leader of tomorrow and has been a strong leader of today for our youth for many years.

So, I apologize to this man and the many others that I have known by long-standing, intimate, boxing relationships.  You the silent, quiet, Godly, protesting but completely non-violent ones and are the voices we need to hear.  YOU will be the leaders of our future.  We need you to help hear your stories and understand them and establish our vision for the future, help us define the end-game, how to build up, not tear down.

Let us all be quiet enough to get to know them and hear them.  They are the silent praying types.  

Listen.  You can hear them with your heart.