STANDING FIRM IN FAITH

On July 22, 2018 at 12 noon, Grace Bible Fellowship Church of Antioch, CA will host an annual picnic.  Pastor Smith asked for volunteers to sell raffle tickets.  Several members stood up and accepted the challenge, including  my wife.  About a month prior, our home water heater became dysfunctional and had to be replaced.  The purchase of a solar water heater came with a $500.00 rebate.  More than anything in these trouble times we are called on the spur of the moment.  What did Jesus teach?  If you love Me, keep my commandments (John 14:15).  As faith would have it, the following week we received a rebate check in the mail for exactly $500.00!  Since we will be on vacation, this rebate check will go a long way to provide for church members who are unable to buy a raffle ticket.  This is a great example and confirmation of standing in faith!

~Willie & Joanie Warren

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HONORING THOSE WHO SERVED OUR COUNTRY

     Research done by the U.S. department of Veteran Affairs shows that every day, 20 military veterans commit suicide.

     For four years active duty and two years reserve, I served in the U.S. Military as an Aircraft Mechanic.  Also, I served in the Vietnam War.  After 47 years and decades of struggling with bilateral hearing loss, I finally found the courage to get evaluated at the VA hospital.  As a result, I’m able to lead a more healthier and happier life with bilateral hearing aids.  Conversely, I think about how my life could have been different if, at discharge, I’d received immediate medical evaluation and treatment. Heck, we didn’t get debriefed from the war!  Although the VA has made significant improvements with health care for solders, my experience supports the view that veteran health care should not be privatized.  In my opinion private doctors do not understand the complexity of service-related health problems.

     The hostile, non-welcome-back home experience we received by non-military citizens and non-citizens condemned us as morally corrupt for fighting in the wrong war.  The wrong war?  I suspected something was really out-of-whack while on R & R in Thailand.  G.P. and I were trying to rest and relax on the South China Sea.  A Vietnamese female swimmer asked!  Why are you here?  This is not your war!  Even today, these words are so true.  Wearing my Vietnam cap seems to attract solders from all branches of the military.  Invariably, we agree and feel like we solders were getting all the blame instead of the politicians.

     When a soldier says “I do” to answer the call to protect and serve, we as a nation, promise to take care of our veterans.  Protect us, we protected you.

~ Willie J. Warren, M.A., Retired Professor Miami-Dade College

FREEDOM of EXPRESSION

On Tuesday, October 3, 2017, Susan Page and Julia Fair of USA TODAY news published a series of observations from selected citizens regarding the protest by NFL players during the nation anthem.  Mike Conklin of Mesa Arizona response was thought-provoking and imprecise.  Mr. Conklin explains, “These guys are making millions of dollars, and to say there’s inequality with the police department is an absolute joke,” he says.  In my opinion he’s completely ignoring the reasons why NFL players are protesting.  Either he doesn’t know or he’s just another hypocrite giving lip service to the symbol of the American flag and anthem.  Secondly, freedom of expression is recognized as a right under article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  “Everyone shall have the right to hold opinion without interference” and “everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds . . .”

Mr. Conklin, we must resolve our differences.  It sounds like you are more concerned about athletes kneeling for the national anthem than what the kneeling is about – police brutality and minority discrimination. Men and women died to give us the right to peacefully demonstrate grievances.  I honorably served in the USA Military as an Aircraft Mechanic.  On my return from Viet Nam, American citizens spat on us and called us baby killers while walking in the airport.  Law enforcement refused to intervene.  I don’t see how this is Freedom of Expression!  There’s no denying a plethora of inequalities within law enforcement and our judiciary system.  Are you serious about the NFL players being a joke?  They have the same rights as you have for freedom of expression.  Just because they are making millions, why does rich or poor equate to your disapproval for these young men to express themselves?  Your explanation in USA TODAY is nebulous and I don’t understand why you think NFL Football players shouldn’t be granted freedom of expression!  Without lip service!

I hope and pray that we can find a way to truly keep America great,

Willie J. Warren, Antioch, CA

How Are Textbooks on Islam Portrayed in Schools?

Cameron McWhirter wrote (January 16, 2016) in the Wall Street Journal, “Kristen Amundson, executive director of the National Association of State Boards of Education expects to see parents pushing to change textbooks and curriculum.”

A bill in Tennessee introduced by Rep. Sheila Butt seeks to exclude any “religious doctrine from middle-school textbooks.”  Altercations have gone before state boards in Texas, Alabama, California, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, and Virginia.

David Cook, a religion professor and expert on Islamic history at Rice University, said “Historically, Islamic governments forced conversion and took Christian children from their families and forced them to become Muslim warriors. Many Islamic regimes also taxed Jews and Christians for their faiths.”  “Most major religions, including Christianity, at some point used some sort of political or economic dominance to gain converts,” he said.

Paul Galloway of the American Muslim Advisory Council, a Muslim advocacy group in Nashville said in a statement, “We all need more education about other faiths.”  Saleh Sbenaty of the council added, “This is not Islamic indoctrination; it’s just teaching our kids history.”

Muslims and their supporters proclaim that the controversy to textbooks on Islam amounts to fear-mongering and presents a distorted view of their faith.

What are your thoughts on how religion’s history should be taught in social-studies classrooms? Or, should it be taught in schools at all?

~Revised by Willie J. Warren, Trio Enterprises, Inc.