Posts Tagged ‘ President Obama ’

To Be Colorblind, Racially Speaking

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

2 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

As you commentate in the backseat in regards to the people you see on the sidewalk or driving the cars next to us, I’ve officially learned the language of “2 and a half year-old.”

I’ll hear you say, “Look at that brown man. Where’s he going?”

Or, “What about that yellow woman? She drives a truck?”

Though I was pretty confused the first several times because I was looking for the wrong physical traits, I eventually realized that when you refer to a person’s color, you’re simply talking about what color their shirt is.

At age 2 and a half, you evidently don’t see skin color like the way I’ve been conditioned to as a 32 year-old man who grew up in Alabama.

Knowing about all the segregation that took place just a couple of decades before I was born, I was constantly aware how horrible judging a person on their skin color was.

The good news is, I don’t think you’ll have to deal with this problem as much as I have throughout my life. When you were born, the American President was of both English and Kenyan descent; or as he’s often referred to, “America’s first black President.”

You were born into the least racist point in America’s recent history. (Right?) I don’t think you’ll ever be forced to see the difference in skin color the way I have throughout my life.

It’s tricky for me. I never want to make it seem like I’m truly “colorblind,” because then it takes away from the value of a person’s ethnic heritage and culture.

I suppose at some point, you’ll notice the different shades of brown that all of us human beings have; just like the way you notice what color shirts we wear.

Until then, I envy your innocence.

 

Love,

Daddy 

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I Love Reading Conflicting Religious Post-Election Facebook Comments!

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

23 months.

Yes, I actually voted. Because we all know Tennessee is a major swing state and my one single vote made the defining difference.

The truth is, the main reason I voted is actually because I would have a low self-esteem for the rest of my life if I knew I let an election go by and I didn’t go through the slightly annoying trouble of going out and voting.

It may sound a bit strange that the major motivating force behind me voting was to establish a consistent record for my son to see as he eventually gets old enough to understand the voting process.

But that’s exactly what happened on Election Day.

I want to be able to tell my son that my political beliefs are so strong that I have actually voted in every election since I was 18. So far, so good.

In the quick years it will take him to eventually upgrade from his Thomas the Train trike to his first real car, I will be setting a major example for him everyday along the way.

Basically, I want to brainwash, I mean, teach him the principles of why I support the political stance that I do. And I want to back it up with my actions.

It’s a pet peeve of mine to hear people complain that “they took prayer out of schools” when it’s our jobs as parents to teach our children to pray, in our homes.

Similarly, I get annoyed when people make a big deal about The Ten Commandments not being in courthouses when interestingly, those same people usually can’t even name all ten anyway. Again, if the Ten Commandments were so important to us, we would already memorize and apply them to our lives, teaching them to our children as well.

We wouldn’t need the government’s help in making our faith a powerful thing. Because our faith would be strong enough from the inside to radically change the outside.

I love reading religious post-election Facebook comments. They make me literally LOL, and that’s not a phrase I use lightly.

It’s like half of the post-election Facebook comments say something like, “Thank God! Hallelujah! Obama has been re-elected. Now the women, minorities, gays, and poor will continue to be cared for!”

The other half seems to read something like this: “Start praying for America! Obama being re-elected has officially begun fast-forwarding our nation into the Rapture!”

Here’s the funny and obvious thing I have to point out:

About half of the voters on my news feed who identify as Christians and who post on Facebook about it seem to be Democrats. The other half seems to be Republican.

Our nation will always be about 50% liberal leaning, 50% conservative leaning. Every couple of election terms, the undecided voters and swing states decide to switch back the other way for everyone else.

If suddenly 80% of the population converted to being Democrats, then by default the Democratic party would split into a more conservative and a more liberal sect. Same thing if Republicans became the majority. They’d still split.

Naturally, we find a way to make it to where we have a choice; where we find a side of the fence to relate. There is no easy middle, in order for our political system to work the way it has for so long. We evidently do better with checks and balances.

Neither Democrats nor Republicans are evil or stupid, even as some Facebook comments seem to relay.

I just know I can’t live the rest of my life thinking that half of the population is always wrong. Otherwise, my son would also begin to think that about the American population too.

To think that would simply be wrong; not to mention evil and stupid.

 

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Attempting To Vote For The “Better Christian” For President In 2012

Saturday, September 1st, 2012

21 months.

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, then you know that A) I talk about my son a lot and B) I love discussing politics.

This election is epic! Here we are, deciding which man we believe best represents our own code of morality and decision-making.

For me, the most interesting part is regarding the discussions I’m hearing about the religious beliefs of the candidates, particularly from conservative Protestant Republicans.

Up until 3 years ago, before becoming your neighborhood friendly Ron Paul supporter, I was a Republican and I voted that way every four years.

Like many other conservative Protestants I knew, I voted for the Republican candidate, if for no other reason, because he was pro-life.

While I am still very pro-life, my focus is no longer on choosing the “better Christian,” or in other words, the most conservative Christian candidate.

Here’s the irony: Many Protestants don’t consider Mormons to be Christians; some of the biggest reasons being because Christians believe that Jesus is equal to God and that Jesus was physically raised from the dead. (My understanding is that Mormons don’t believe those things.)

In other words, certain Republican Protestants are voting for the “better Christian,” though, by their own definition of what it means to be a Christian, the man they will be voting for is not actually a Christian.

Instead, they’re voting for the man who best represents their particular Christian values.

This is the first election in a long time where Republicans don’t have a Protestant Presidential candidate to stand behind.

(The only Catholic President in American history was JFK, who he was a Democrat.)

What if Mitt Romney was a conservative, pro-life agnostic instead of a Mormon?

How “non-Christian” can a Republican Presidential candidate be and still be backed by the conservative Protestants as the “better Christian” candidate?

Of course, I keep having to put “better Christian” in quotation marks just to be clear that I personally I am not publicly judging their allegiance to Christ; I think if I did, it wouldn’t be very Christian of me.

Similarly, I think it’s unfair to demonize a President just because he’s with the “wrong” political party.

President Obama is not evil. Nor was George W. Bush. They just happened to be the first two Presidents we’ve had since the Internet has been relevant to mainstream America and since blogs have been subconsciously influential to the masses; so these recent Presidents have been much more rapidly criticized.

It can be so natural to call their actions evil when you’re part of the opposing political party. In the process, the whole other political party in that case becomes evil too.

In other words, either half of America is evil; it just depends on which side of the fence you’re not.

Like I said in the beginning, we as a nation, as parents of children whom we are trying to instill our own morals into, are trying to vote for the man we believe best represents our own code of morality and decision-making.

Sure, our own personal religious beliefs should play into that. But at least for conservative Protestant Republicans, it’s not as simple this time around as choosing the “better Christian.”

So, will America choose a Christian or a Mormon for President in 2012?

 

Top images: US Republican and Democrat, via Shutterstock.

Bottom image: Two voodoo dolls, via Shutterstock.

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President Obama’s “Strong Fathers, Strong Families” Initiative

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Seven months.

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Recently in my post entitled, “The Positive Re-branding of Fatherhood,” I noted that dads are making a comeback and becoming more involved in their kids’ lives.  Call it a trend, call it a movement; I call it a necessary revolution: Men are changing the future of society now by priding themselves in not settling for mediocre fatherhood, but instead, awesome fatherhood.  And maybe even one day the term “Superdad” will actually be as familiar as “Supermom.”

In fact, I was pleasantly unsurprised to read today in another blog here on Parents.com about a recent poll showing that, compared to 50 years ago, fathers are indeed more involved in the lives of their children.  Granted, these days there are less households where the dad actually lives in the same household as his kids.  But for the dads who do dwell with their kids, these dads are definitely more active compared to 50 years ago.

So it’s not all in my head!  Dads really are making a comeback.  What a cool time to be a dad.  This is what The Dadabase is all about.

President Obama Strong Fathers Strong Families

Today, I want to brag on President Barack Obama.  Last week he introduced a new initiative called “Strong Fathers, Strong Families,” which is a program that provides ways for fathers to spend quality time with their children, via free or discounted pricing on fun activities, such as bowling, sports games, and zoos.

In his recent essay, “Being the Father I Never Had,” he openly recognized the fact that despite the heroism of single moms who have raised a large portion of recent generations, the presence of an active father is valuable to the well-being and future of today’s children:

“And even though my sister and I were lucky enough to be raised by a wonderful mother and caring grandparents, I always felt [my father’s] absence and wondered what it would have been like if he had been a greater presence in my life. I still do. It is perhaps for this reason that fatherhood is so important to me, and why I’ve tried so hard to be there for my own children.” –President Barack Obama

For a guy like me whose active campaign and passionate mission is to positively re-brand fatherhood through this blog on Parents.com, I can’t help but feel strong admiration for our President in his public support for the “Strong Fathers, Strong Families.”  I tip my hat to Mr. Obama for using his voice for an idea so necessary and positive for the good of our country.

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I believe that it has become easy and normal to downplay the importance of fathers in the lives of their children. Because we as a society have learned to, in order to survive and move forward.  But I don’t want our American society to simply survive; I want it to thrive.  And even just the name of President Obama’s initiative itself spells it out pretty clearly: A strong father will lead and grow a strong family.

President Obama is not only taking action in sharing my same passion for parenting; but also just like I am doing, he is using his public platform to openly support active fatherhood.  I get it, not every child has the option of being raised by a good man. Many children have selfish, abusive, and/or absent biological fathers; some who have left by choice while others were good men but have unfortunately passed away.

Still, children need a positive adult male role model to fill that void, whether it’s an uncle, family friend, step-dad, a pastor, or neighbor.  It’s not okay that kids are growing up without good dads. Nor is it okay to deny the need or importance of a positive adult male role model in a child’s life.

Dads matter.

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