An open letter to whom it may concern at
Paramount and Twentieth Century Fox:
I saw Noah last year and over the weekend I saw Exodus.
I want to thank you for choosing ART.
You see after viewing Noah and Exodus I felt inspired to write you and just THANK YOU for keeping it REAL on these last two films. It’s just great to see Studios take a risk for once and really go out on a limb. With all the formulaic and silly reboots over the last couple of decades, everything from Smurfs to the A-Team, it’s just refreshing to see such a genuine and sudden appetite for ART.
Sure, you could have played it safe and served the over 260 million Christians out there. But instead you were like, “Nah, we’re gonna keep this on the Rizzle and tell it OUR way, Ten Commandments“, that’s been done, that’s not art”. You don’t win an Oscar by doing the same thing twice. Oh’ and let’s not forget The Passion of the Christ that stinker made like a billion dollars, anything that makes that kind of money AIN’T ART. Noah with rock people! That is art!”
It’s thrilling to see the studios go all Cannes on us, forget the bottom line; “We want to make a STATEMENT.”
May I suggest, if you, your investors or shareholders, are interested in doing another Bible film, just to like throw people off their game, you could spend half the money and hire my new film unit the American Dream Labs. I know we don’t have the resume in film that Ridley Scott or the guy that made “the black swan”, but, sometimes what is on the paper isn’t what is important. My team does have a very long history of undeniable success.
We would take a CRAZY approach to film-making, what we would do is tell a story that proclaims God is real. We would make a picture about GOOD MEN that were GOOD fathers, we would show their weakness, but we would give them the benefit of the doubt. Oh and I almost forgot we would follow the story as outlined in the Bible, because the 260 million believers out there just might care to see their stories HONORED and RESPECTED. They just might want to see their heroes portrayed as heroes and the villains as villains.
Now that would be some Avant-garde stuff right there, to Honor the story, that’s like some 4th floor MOMA over your head type ART.
But sincerely Rob Moore Vice Chairman of Paramount pictures, I remember the look in your eyes in your screening room as you tried your best to convince us that Noah could be a hit. You had convinced yourself because you were being a good soldier for the studio. Let’s change the course.
We are currently in development on several projects. We intend on doing it ourselves as it doesn’t seem Hollywood has any intention of even trying to understand a business model that works. Maybe we are wrong. If so: Please take us up on our challenge, half the budget and we will quadruple your sales on the same film.
260 million fans of the Bible would love to see you set the record straight.
The letter from Glenn below was circulated to the staff of Mercury Radio Arts and we are excited to share it with all of you now:
This past year has been memorable – for our collective success and for the important perspective it provided as we look ahead to 2015. As you may know, I have been through some things on a personal level over the past few years, but have come out stronger with an even clearer sense of purpose and direction and I am very excited for what the future holds. I am a fan of pivot points, because when you experience and understand them – they can change your life in very positive ways.
Let’s take a minute to reflect on where we are today and how well positioned we are going forward. As we look to the future, I am very excited to share with you that Betsy Morgan, who has been President and Chief Strategy Officer, will be our new CEO. Betsy will work to build on our success with Chris Balfe, who has meant so much for me personally and for the company.
Seventeen years ago a 16-year-old kid drove to a local coffee shop to meet me to discuss a charity website I was trying to launch. He was the most professional and dynamic 16-year-old I had ever met. I hired him. Which at the time, I think meant I got him concert tickets and steak dinners. When I first launched my radio show nationally, I hired him again and this time for slightly more than steak dinners, but honestly not much more. Chris Balfe has been my friend and the CEO of Mercury Radio Arts for 12 years. He has helped me launch every product line and every new crazy adventure and we have done well together. Twelve best-selling books, a leading website, a top radio channel, and a cable channel – a cable channel are you kidding me?
I know it is going to be a hard act to follow; under Chris’ watchful eye we have done things that no group of people our size have ever done, things that people thought were impossible. We proved them wrong. And I think that under the leadership of our new CEO, Betsy, we will continue to prove that there is another way and we’ll confound the skeptics again.
Betsy has been with us for almost four years. She helped build theblaze.com and knows our culture, knows our mission, she knows you, you know her and she knows me. More than that, Betsy has helped me evolve, pushed me out of my comfort zone and has helped define the thinking of where this company needs to go. Unbeknownst to many, Betsy has already moved our place in the world forward.
The end of the year is always a time for reflection and gratitude and I want to thank all of you for your commitment and to reinforce my commitment to you.
I look forward to sharing our 2015 plan in January. But until then, Revolutionary THINKING, EVOLUTIONARY steps.
Not to compare to what you have going on in your life because I know many Americans have it much, MUCH worse, but a ton has gone wrong this weekend for us. Two cars broke down, including the transmission on a new (used) truck, we lost our water heater and the heat in our house. We went tree hunting and our truck got stuck in the mid and had to be pulled out. When we finally did get out, a rock spit it self out of my tires and cracked the wind shield of our friends car behind us. We had a skunk hit us and the house after falling into a basement window well. The bedrooms downstairs still reek of skunk. I don’t know how long or what it will cost to get the smell out. Those were the highlights, but despite all of this my family has been laughing and singing, reading playing and praying together all weekend.
My heart is full. Full of truth and joy. The joy that comes from the truth, that no matter what happens everything will work out as The Lord intends it to work out.
It isn’t what happens to you in life, it is how you respond to what life deals you.
At the same time, my heart is heavy because I did something I shouldn’t have. I checked the news.
What is wrong with us? We are fighting over TVs, toys and panties?
Read the next series of stories: Protestors on the streets and in the malls marching, beating people up, looting business’ and for what? A protest based on a lie? A protest based in anger? Free stuff? Right next to those pushing and shoving for a discount on meaningless crap that we will never remember by this time next year.
More Americans are foregoing medical care due to costs than ever before. Why? Insurance companies and the government got rich on a back door deal.
The Caliphate is growing in intensity and out of control with no answer in sight. In fact, no one I would trust is even looking for one. Mock those who warn. Mock those who see. We have seen this story play out over and over again. It is the basis of what we used to call the greatest story ever told.
Our president is becoming more of a king everyday, lecturing us on how to behave while praising the protestors and remaining silent while his treasury and fed issue another trillion in debt to pay off the loan of the last trillion.
Charles Ponzi is alive and well, the people have gone insane and the republic is swooning.
Why is this happening? What is wrong with us? Read the news and the despair of Longfellow becomes an echo of our present..
“And in despair I bowed my head:
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”
We have fallen so far and so fast that most have forgotten what it even feels like to be treated or to treat others with dignity, compassion, humility, love and respect.
Hannah, my daughter, and I were in a local store today in the mountains. It was one of those old fashioned family owned stores that carries anything from paint to toys. The kind I grew up with in my home town of mount Vernon Washington.
There at the front door by the cash register there was a “secret Santa tree”. It broke our hearts seeing how crowded the tree was with children who needed clothes, shoes, a book. … Hope.
With so many in need, so many lost, so many angry, filled with fear, sickness, hopelessness or hate what can we do?
We wanted to take every name off that tree and help them. But we couldn’t.
Why try when even if we could do the entire tree we wouldn’t make even a small dent in the universe of despair.
“There are too many names on this tree. So many names in such a small town”. I whispered to my daughter or maybe just myself.
We are the miracle others seek.
We are His hands. No matter how bad you have it, someone else within ear shot has it worse.
18 months ago, my wife and I agreed that if my health didn’t change for the better, this would be my last public year. You know the story. But since I announced my troubles, I have met so many who have it far worse health wise than I do. In fact, as I was hurting in the cold, waiting for a tow truck the other night off the side of the road, a neighbor stopped his car and stood out in the cold and waited with me.
He has many health problems. His pain is profound, he may lose a limb and I am sure there have been times that he may have welcomed death, even if merely for a fleeting moment.
Without flinching or complaining he stood with me, he asked about my pain. He was there to ease my burden.
This is who I want to be. This is who we must inspire others to be. We need to reach down deep within ourselves and find the best man or woman we can find. Your past doesn’t matter, nor does your pain, financial status or race.
What matters is what you do with your life.
Let us stand with others. Stop looking at what we don’t have, how our life is so tough, how no one notices us and see what we do have, the blessings that we fail to notice every day and begin to notice those around us.
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”
Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!
This last line is a mistranslation and I have always felt it was important to correct it.
It should read:
Of peace on earth, to men of good will.
Let’s us be men of good will and our hearts will be full as we find the peace The Lord has promised each and every one of us.
From our simple little home nestled in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by farmers who have never made the Forbes list, but are far wealthier than I have ever been — Good night America.
Being thankful in the good times is easy. It’s when times aren’t so great that we have our work cut out for us. Gratitude is a muscle, and in order to have a heart of gratitude you have to work out that muscle consistently, in both good times and bad.
It’s been a crazy week. I want you to remember something in the midst of the chaos: there’s always something to be grateful for.
Even as America is heading into some uncharted waters and peace has yielded to riots, looting, hate, anger, and vengeance- gratitude must win the day.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ignoring or brushing off frustrating leaders and the disturbing news of the day. I’m just so sick of pointing to the fire – I’m ready to go grab a bucket, scoop up some water and extinguish it. I realize my bucket isn’t nearly large enough to put a dent in this flame but that’s exactly why I’m focusing all resources I possibly can on stories that give hope and inspiration. They inspire me to look for the good in a situation, and spur me to action. If that is true for me it is likely true for you as well, and that would mean millions more buckets helping to put out the fire.
We are to teach the truth and correct principles, but we can’t do that at the expense of actuallyliving out those principles. How do we live them out? Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly. What does that look like, exactly? Glad you ask. I saw a perfect example last weekend in Ferguson, Missouri with the local Tea Party there.
A couple weeks ago I spoke with Lauren Hill, a young woman with terminal brain cancer. I can’t even begin to imagine what it must feel like to be given a death sentence at such a young age. If anyone has reason to complain, mope, and give up hope it is Lauren Hill. But she’s battling this disease with every fiber of her being. She was determined to play in a college basketball game, and the team had to adjust the schedule because they didn’t know if she’d live long enough to make it. Well, she made the game and she even scored the opening basket, which was an inspiration to millions. Many said that would be her last game, but Lauren wasn’t having any of that. Last Friday night, despite being too weak to practice for 2 weeks straight, Lauren appeared in her 2nd game and scored again. She collapsed to the floor after attempting the shot. Because of her efforts, despite suffering from constant nausea, vertigo, headaches, memory loss, inability to focus, weakness – Lauren has raised more than $350,000 for pediatric cancer research. Simply awesome. People like Lauren stop me dead in my tracks when I’m caught in a cycle of complaining:
Who am I to complain about my situation?
Who am I to complain about the partisan divide?
Who am I to complain about anything?
Thanksgiving is the beginning of what I like to call the trilogy of holidays and I love thatThanksgiving is first up because gratitude is so crucial to well-being. The problem with complaining is it accomplishes nothing and drags everyone else around down into the muck.
There’s no denying we’re living in difficult times. But while a life of comfort, completely void of adversity sounds pleasant, there’s actually a big problem with it. Mainly, it’s a complete and total lie. No human being in all of history has ever lived a life free of adversity, pain, sorrow, regret, and to pretend otherwise is an exercise in futility. Also, adversity reveals character – and how we handle adversity has immense power and influence on others. It can teach, inspire, and motive them. Look at people like Lauren Hill.
So this Thanksgiving I’m going to do my best to view any adversity I’m facing in a new light. I will not complain. I will be thankful for another opportunity to show other people that there’s another way, a better way, than what the world teaches.
I hope you do the same & continue to share your stories with me. They give me great hope, strength and faith.
Tania and I just watched ‘The Blacklist’. James Spader is genius. One of my all time favorite bad guys. There is no one that can play that role like him. I have loved him since two days in the valley. He and Shatner were brilliant in ‘Boston Legal’. Brilliant again in this series.
I am trying to “escape” from time to time from all that is happening by watching movies and TV.
Yet, the insanity is dragged in to our escape.
Why can’t we make TV this compelling without the real dark streak? What is it about us that is attracted to this? Are we? Or is this just where the best talent is? If so, why?
I want to share something’s with you over the next few months. Some struggles and better yet: some ideas. Maybe you will agree and want to join me, maybe not. Sometimes I really don’t know anymore.
The more I learn, the more I realize how ignorant I am and how much of it has been self-imposed over my whole life.
I don’t know if we are on the same page. Are you overwhelmed? With everything. There is no escape.
I read the news. Heck, I saw most of what is here coming. I did my best to warn. To point to exits, but too many were asleep. They still are. So now what?
Wait for the beheadings? The riots all over the world, the pictures of our troops trying their best to help the poor Ebola victims, the cost of food or gas, the homework from our kids or the trash on air?
I can’t fix this stuff. Neither can you. Hopeless?
No. We are just talking about the wrong stuff. We are talking about the problems. We need to talk about the solutions. That is where our frustration is coming from. We all are ready to get back to work and fix things.
People want me to still talk about the news and what is coming. I have already told you and you certainly don’t need me to tell you. First off, I may be wrong.
But, you feel it in your gut.
Something is coming. The whole world is about to change. But it doesn’t have to be bad! The world needs to change. What we are all doing now doesn’t work.
It is time to prepare in a new way. Prepare to be the tip of the spear of light and honor, courage, healing and decency.
Isn’t this something we can all get behind? It doesn’t matter how you vote, what color your skin is or how big or small your bank account is. We are all human. We all have a stake in the future and we all want to be a part of something good.
Reading posts from some of “my fans” you are left with the impression that I am a sell out, or a traitor or maybe even just a “Mormon hypnotist”. I love that last one, I read it tonight. It made me laugh out loud.
First off: These posts do not come from my fans. My fans are good, decent people. We may not agree on everything but I know them, they treat people right and stand up against bullies.
America needs to understand one thing if we are going to have a dialogue. Trolls live on left, right and middle. As Frank Sinatra said “some people get their kicks stomping on a dream”. But those people are a very small minority. But vocal. Studies show only .5% of any audience actually posts comments. Most of us read them on all news, information even entertainment sights and think “who are all these people?”
The goal whether they even know it or not, is to get us to stop talking, stop sharing and stop believing in one another.
It is a lie, we read them and we begin to believe that they are the majority and we are the loners. Good and decent people are in the majority. Those who hate are in the minority. Those who want violence and revolution are in the vast, vast minority weather they be from Occupy Wall Street, jihadists or “patriots.”
I don’t ask you to trust me. You don’t have to believe in me. Just believe in yourself and believe in your neighbors.
I ask you to do your own homework and think. You don’t like me, don’t agree with me, or think that I am on the wrong side of the issues that is fine with me. It is what has always made our country great. Everyone had an opinion and no one was forced to step in line.
I believe my calling now is to repair any damage that I may have done unintentionally. To work toward reconciliation. Many don’t agree with me and that is okay. Please work on what you believe in. We need to all be working on a million different solutions. If I don’t like yours — cool. But unless it involves violence go for it. Maybe I fail but you don’t. Celebrate, we all win!
It is why I built TheBlaze. They will report on the news. They will help other news agencies if called upon and we will do our best to tell the stories that America needs to hear for the record. I will also continue to piece things together when I can help explain WHY something is happening. (See the show I did on Sykes – Picot and ISIL last week).
But there is something else I must do as well. I feel a strong pull toward standing firm in what I believe. But making sure that what I believe and what I share is rooted in the highest possible principles. It is too late to solve many of our issues. The system is going to reset because it must. So what is the use arguing about policies when it is our principles that will actually be our life boat and our second chance?
Sometimes it is all so overwhelming. I am not the man He needs me to be. None of us are. Yet, here we are.
I think we all want to go back. Not to the “good old days” but to the days where we were a bit more innocent or naive.
I really just want to go back to a time where we all believed that generally we all wanted the same things. Peace, decency, fairness, honesty and a chance to forgive others and ourselves. To start again and chart our own course using common sense and self-responsibility.
The “good old days” weren’t that good. In fact many of them really sucked.
But we were different.
We believed we could change the world, we believed things would be better for our kids, that God lives, he cares and we should serve him by serving others and we really did believe that the good guys win.
Everything about today screams at us that we should abandon those beliefs. It is why we tune out.
Think. Those who told us to tune out and turn on in the 1960s, are those now running the world. They no longer tell us that. They just shape policies, business, news and entertainment to get us to do so. And even when we do, our “escape” is often to dark places written by those who also no longer believe.
The blind leading the blind.
I just want to go back to something normal. I just want all this hate and fear to stop. We all do. Right? So why don’t we? Who really is in control?
Cheyenne (my 8 year old) asked me what unalienable meant this morning on the way to church. I explained, “that there are some things that were given to us by God and no one can ever, ever take them away. They are unchangeable.” (Rights)
Why are we allowing our right to believe in a better tomorrow be taken from us? More precisely, Is it taken or are we all just giving it away? Unalienable. We are the one doing the damage. We are letting our belief slip away while we blame it on someone or something else.
I am sorry, I am thinking out loud. I have a tough week ahead as do you I am sure.
If you have lost hope tonight, borrow some of mine for a while. Take care of it, nurture it and grow it because there may come a time when I will need it returned. But tonight, I am strong enough to shout from my rood top: “I still know that the good guys win. I believe things can and will get better. I believe in God and I believe the best way to serve Him is to serve our fellow man.”
Tomorrow, let’s have fun. Let’s find something worth living for. Let’s find something we are excited to tell our spouse and children about. Let’s do something worthy of remembering.
Goodnight America. See you in the morning. In the meantime: Dream big.
The video I want to share with you is just the beginning of a story I will begin to share with you in the coming weeks. You have seen many ALS videos I am sure over the last ten days. This is the most memorable to me.
Too many of these videos have been all about the celebrity or the challenge itself. Few have connected to what it is really all about. A horrible disease that ravages the body and kills usually fairly quickly. One of my favorite minds, Stephen Hawking, has ALS. He is the very rare exception on life expectancy.
The video was done by people who know exactly what it is and have begun to all they can to, if not cure it, give those who suffer through it a bit more time and a higher quality of a dignified life.
It is the Carrick Brain Center.
Last week I spent five days with these amazing people. What they are doing for those vets with TBI, PTSD and all others who have, almost all, given up hope of finding any answers let alone a “cure” is remarkable. I have witnessed others who had, through injury, lost the ability to speak or walk get up and walk or tell their spouse for the first time verbally, “I Love You.” Many, go on to live lives they never hoped possible.
When people arrive in their offices, they have already been treated by, on average, 15 different specialists. I know. I am one of them.
They have changed and my wife and I believe, they saved my life over the last year. I have not shared some of the struggles my family and I have been going through over the past five years because I don’t like tell stories when I don’t know how they end. But, I know now and thanks to the doctors at Carrick it has many more chapters yet to be written and a happy ending.
The CBC has recently begun working with ALS patients and even those with Alzheimers. The early results are promising. With luck and support they will complete their work and change the world by changing the way we treat people with many kinds of brain dysfunction.
I was there when they filmed this ice bucket challenge on Friday morning. Early that morning, my doctors came in with wet hair and tears in their eyes. I hope to share the story of the woman in this video with ALS with you and so many others soon.
Let me begin with a quick story that happened to me Monday morning as I was in their “civilian relaxation room” (where non vets can go to rest after, what is in some cases, very intense treatment). There, I met a man named “Kevin.” He is a police officer. He suffered a severe brain injury in 1997 when he was hit head on by a semi truck, he has not been in the field since. He now works in the evidence room. We sat and just talked for a few minutes. Then, something amazing happened. Before either of us knew it, the two of us along with others including nurses were on our knees praying and thanking God for all of His mighty wonders. I have seen doctors and their offices all over the country and the world. Nowhere have I seen a place so willing and able to allow people of faith to include God in the healing process.
The other important point in this story is what Kevin told me on Friday. In his first four days, Kevin made more progress than he had made in the almost twenty years since his trauma.
Pray for these heroes of medical science. This is all cutting edge and because of that, no insurance carrier will cover the costs … Yet. Tania and I help personally when and where we can, Mercury One has seen the results in former patients like Marcus Lutrell and others and has assisted financially and has made an ongoing commitment to help our hero vets that have been brushed aside and lost in the nightmare that is the VA.
I am so thrilled to report that the word about them is spreading like wild fire and thus there are many charitable pioneers that are getting on board to help raise awareness and much needed funds.
Unfortunately, because their results are many times nothing shy of miraculous, people who have given up are calling and traveling from all over the country to see if they can help. Some times they cannot, many times they can, but what I find so heartening is, at all times they care. I have seen their staff weep with sorrow for those they had to send away long after the would-be patient left and Thank God, I have seen them weep with joy on multiple occasions because of the miracles of hope and healing that have been found.
These people make a difference in people’s lives. Those who have given up hope find it again when they cross the threshold of The Carrick Brain Centers.
Glenn may be on vacation, but he is still keeping up with the news of the day. He authored the article below late last night, giving his opinion on the latest news in the Middle East, Ferguson, and the U.S. economy and what it means for you.
What does our future hold? Chaos, a reign of blood and horror across the whole of the earth? Or a peace, prosperity and freedom our founders could not even have imagined.
I choose the latter. I choose to live in a world where we are all in it together. Where we choose by our own free will to belong to something bigger than ourselves, where we are heard and we listen to others. I will, with all the creative power contained with in my simple human form, be a part of a generation that strive to have control over my own life, while I help build up others so they may do the same.
Make no mistake, life is a choice. Just as ones silence is indeed a powerful form of speech, when we refuse to make a choice – we are indeed making one. We are choosing to accept what ever comes our way. The problem is, “what comes our way” is almost always something we regret.
This time, I believe, what is coming our way has a price tag that no human will be willing to pay.
Please let me explain, and while I do, I ask that you put aside your opinion of me, whether it be good or bad. I only ask you to hear me out, ponder the questions I raise, use critical thinking and trust yourself. If you disagree and you can make a cogent case, I will be the first to celebrate, as I do not wish for what I am showing you to be our future.
After 9/11, we changed forever in ways we now don’t even want to think about. Just remember what America was like before Homeland Security, secret courts, and full body scanners at the airports. I wish more would have considered the warning I gave, and I certainly never hoped it would lead to collective apathy.
Recently, those in DC, who for years have been blinded by their own political interests, are now beginning to warn us of new disasters that, they, for years mocked and said were “warped fantasies and delusions.”
However, the time to deal with this dangerous ideology in the way currently being discussed, has passed. The caliphate poses a new and much more dangerous global threat. One that could change the entire world forever.
One very real and possible outcome is World War 3. It doesn’t take much wargaming to see this as a very real scenario and one that does not end well for anyone other than those hoping to “hasten the return of the promised one”.
Please understand, I am not offering a global solution. Instead, I am merely asking you to stop and examine the storm clouds we are now seeing gather and to take a moment and think out loud with me.
If we put all of the turmoil together and really examine the possible and probable outcomes, what happens? If just a few things begin to fall, even into the natural state of entropy, what does the world look like in one year? Five years? Ten?
If only half of what I will spell out comes to pass, it will result in chaos and trouble beyond the understanding of our politicians and our visionless media. It will fall on the shoulders of each of us as neighbors, friends and parents to guide our nation and world in a peaceful, free and loving direction. If we have not mentally, physically and spiritually healed and prepared ourselves, we just may fail the calling of our time.
Let’s just look at the rough outlines of what the world is facing.
Begin here: ask yourself ‘Why is this crazy?’ What makes us, at this time, able to suspend the laws of finance, common sense, or the arc of history. The arc of history has been bent back in the past but always through great movements like that of Gandhi or the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King. Where is that great movement today?
What are the actual economic principles that change the outcome? Know that you are capable of finding the answers. The wealth of a nation works on the exact same principles as your household wealth. Do not rely on others, rely on yourself. Do your own homework and find out what is true.
I don’t think I need to guide you further than these questions. If you just answer those questions and maybe read ‘The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire’ by Gibbons, you will see the historic pathway we are currently on.
Now ask: Is this the way you want it to end? I do not. I, personally, do not know of a Democrat, Republican or Independent that does want it to end that way. In fact, even those Americans that are routing for an entirely new system of government, do not “hope” for this dark outcome. They believe we can navigate these waters and arrive at a new America just as the Egyptian people believed their utopia was just over the horizon during the Arab Spring. They now are seeing the cold of the Arab Winter.
Do you want to be remembered in all of the history books as the generation that allowed the greatest experiment in self rule to apathetically slip away in to the darkness? More importantly, what will our children and grandchildren say about all of us when they are our age? Will they look and ask how were we so blind or with pride in their eyes will they ask how did we muster the courage to face the truth and change the course of history?
We must stop listening to those playing catch up on what is already here and begin to see what is coming.
I am indeed asking you to choose the blue or red pill. But seeing things for how they really are does not mean the outcome is set. It just means we must all figure out how specifically we are going to alter the course. But mocking the theory, ignoring the history or simply turning a blind eye makes us all part of the problem, and our outcome sets itself a little firmer each passing day.
There are solutions. They will not be easy, but they are simple and we must find them together. We must work toward them, so we do not just survive, but so we leave a better world for our children. A world without the shackles of our debt and our shame.
We are all indeed created equal and given by that creator certain rights that no man or government can ever alter or destroy. Among them, meaning there are many more, are:
I have a right to live.
You cannot kill me without a warrant, a jury trial and all that goes with it. No drones or secret courts.
I have a right to liberty.
You cannot detain me, search me or spy on me without a warrant, probable cause, a constitutional court and limits on the governments right.
I have a right to property.
This is why I pursue what makes me happy. I get to keep the fruit of my labors. I earned it. If I earned it illegally than see the first and second right and follow the steps. If not, I may use it legally as I see fit without shame.
But these rights also imply responsibility.
If we merely focus on our rights we must recognize that we indeed will lose them to some future tyrant cloaked as a father, uncle, caretaker and servant. Someone will always be there to compassionately take away all of your pain that comes from personal responsibility. But just like opiates are a godsend for the relief of pain, they come with a heavy price. In the end, if you use them unwisely, do not get off them quickly, or begin to ride the high, you will become a slave to them. If you are still unwilling to pay that now heavy price of deeper pain and suffering you will, in the end, die.
Some opioids are clearly marked “for end of life use only”. They are so powerful that there is no way for the patient to recover from the effects of the drugs but they keep the patient calm, at peace and blissfully unaware of their pending death? Are the painkillers being prescribed for our marked “end of life use only”? If not how do we safely begin to wean ourselves off?
We must face our addiction to fiction. Let us begin to speak and listen to the hard truths. Let us look for those who will tell us the hard truth and run from those who tell us they can make all of our problems go away pain free. Especially if they tell you that it is mainly the fault of one group or another. We must reject the seeds of collective nationalism, book burning, and loyalty oaths.
Instead, let us come together, really listen to one another, then listen to common sense. Let the meanest among us soften our hearts and believe again that it is true that man indeed can rule himself.
Let us be remembered as giants who conquered the specter of fear. Let us work together to build a better America, one that is more tolerant and free. One that once again, and maybe for the first time truly understands responsibility, justice and mercy.
I agree with Eric Holder about as often as I exercise, which is to say pretty much never. It’s no surprise I’m not usually on the same page as a guy who won’t say the phrase ‘radical Islam’ in public.Despite our many differences, I believe we must begin to look for common ground. Today we don’t have to look any further than Ferguson to find it. Eric Holder was there this week, he met with citizens and explained to them that he understood, first hand, why black people distrust the police. Holder talked about his personal experience of getting pulled over many times, he contends, because of the color of his skin.
Given the history, it’s very understandable for the black community to have a deep seeded mistrust of police. I would argue that more white people, who have no deep history of being abused by police, are beginning to lose some of the blind trust they once had. But that’s not where we will find common ground.
Here’s where I believe we can stand together: stop the militarization of our police force.
If you have a distrust of the local police, why allow them to be armed with enough firepower to invade a small country? Why give them tanks, Humvees, full Spec Ops tactical gear, and fully automatic assault rifles? The local police are supposed to protect and serve, not shock and awe residents and transform their towns into a middle east like war zone at the flip of a switch. Imagine, for a moment, how history would be different if the Birmingham police were militarized like many towns are today.
Police need to be aware of this distrust that exists and continually work to earn it back. Rolling into town with an MRAP will make citizens feel like the enemy, not part of the community.
Let’s ratchet things down. Let’s bring harmony to our towns, not drive the wedge deeper.
We need to stand together on real justice not social justice. No one can fix the past except God. But man can create a justice system that is blind. One that punishes the bad guy whether he is black or white, poor, rich, a cop, attorney General, unemployed, electrician or president. You break the law, you go to jail. Nixon should have been sent to the concrete Hilton, no one is above the law. But that also requires us to wait for that system to work.
The police have to do their part, but so do we. The rush to judgment on both sides hasn’t been helpful. Taking one nugget of information and extrapolating that into a conclusion about what happened is only dividing us more. The right is quick to point to the communists infiltrating and enflaming the protests. But does that make the entire protest illegitimate? No.
Many on the left are vilifying the cop. It’s true that a white officer shot an unarmed black man. But does that make him guilty? No.
In time, all the facts and the truth will come out. What we do between now and then is up to us. We can choose to further the divide or seek common ground. We can’t become comfortable in our own beliefs and throw fireballs at everyone who disagrees. We must continually challenge long held ideas and see if they hold up. And we must, even if it makes us uncomfortable, do our best to walk in one another’s shoes.
I have a whole new understanding of cops in the last five years or so. I still have immense respect for what our men and women in law enforcement do, and I still think most are honorable and decent people. That said, I do think it’s becoming more commonplace for them to run rough shod over the rights of others much more than I would have previously thought.
Before you reach for your fireball, consider the many recent examples where local police seem to overrule the 2nd Amendment. People exercising their right to open carry only to be told they can’t do that. That gets a visceral response. Imagine if the infringement was over the color of your skin? What if you were always deemed the troublemaker because you were a white conservative or carried a Tea Party flag? We must consider this very real history in our response.
Now, to the media on the left, who vilify the police and march the streets in solidarity with anti-police protesters. What makes you any different than what some on the right did in the Bundy case? You were so worried about violence (which never came) and blamed talk radio for fanning the flames. Yet you don’t seem to have much of a problem with the protesters hurling Molotov cocktails and burning the city of Ferguson to the ground. To have credibility you must point out the communists and Islamists and anarchists who are literally in the streets fanning the flames. If you are going to make a theoretical connection between talk radio and violence (that didn’t happen) then you must
point out actual people fueling the violence in Ferguson.
You cannot call for peace in one instance and not in the other. Not if you want to be taken seriously, anyway.
There is common ground to be had. We just have to look for it. We must look for it. I think it can be found here:
The rioting and looting should stop. We should promote the voices calling for peace, restraint, and mercy.
Let’s root for this amazing system of justice to work instead of fail.
Let’s get the tanks, Humvees, MRAP’s, tactical gear and the rest of the military equipment out of our local police departments.
Let’s fire the bad cops and send them to jail when they break the law.
Let’s talk to each other and better yet – let’s listen to one another.
Let’s demand justice, even when it goes against our interests.
Let it begin with me admitting that black Americans view the police differently than white Americans due to history. But let us please ask Eric Holder to reach out and recognize that America is no longer the country of the 1960s. We have a black president and black Attorney General among many, many other high profile leadership roles filled by men and women of many colors. It is happening without force or coercion. It is happening because perhaps for the first time this generation of Americans really does believe “all men are created equal”.
Americans know that these truths are indeed still self evident.
When we can do all of these, we will have rediscovered our values and principles that have always made us an exceptional people.
I, for one, am ready to stop being divided into groups and placed in boxes.
Let’s take a minute and find joy in the simple things. This is who we are born to be. Full of joy! Let’s find a way to live in the world but not become creatures of the world. Look at the way these two look at each other when the music starts.
Let’s deal with the troubles of the day but wash them away. Find your “music” today and then find someone that you can share it with. When Tania and I are at our best, this is the way we look at each other when we see or hear something wonderful.
What a blessed weekend Tania and I had. I asked for your prayers on Friday as I have a tough week ahead of me. I have a few TV specials and am off radio all week, then back on September 2 with a whole new season of great stuff.
This weekend we were so deeply touched. We spent time meeting with those who, on the surface, are very different than us.
We went to meet with the Archbishop of Los Angeles on Friday.
What a good and decent man. While we don’t agree on everything, we do agree on this: Hearts are growing cold. We are a nation divided against itself and we must change that by working toward reconciliation. It will be found through service and love. A reconciliation with each other and the truth of who we are and who in the end we all answer to.
Then, we spent Sunday morning with our religion followed by a service at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church in Houston. I spoke with Joel and Victoria before and after the service. They are always so kind and gentle. While again, we might disagree on “religion”, just as I might have with the Archbishop, we are in total agreement on faith. We all agree that revolution is not needed but instead a “servalution”, as Joel called it.
Service to our fellow man IS service to God. Service will soften our hearts and in turn will turn our country and world.
Then tonight, fourteen friends came to my home back in Dallas to hold a gospel worship service. I am not even sure what “religion” they are. We failed to worry about that. We instead shared our mutual faith. Faith that tells us all that nothing is too big for God. He is a God that creates not divides and never wounds but always heals.
They sang and sang and sang, while I prayed and read and listened to them and Him. It was a night of songs of comfort, unity and healing. Wow.
How blessed we are. I will share a short video with you. It doesn’t do it justice.
What great voices and friends. Coming to praise and comfort, sing and pray, and laugh and cry all in joy!
So many friends that love and serve God. All coming together. Each strong in their own religion and because of that fact, they are unafraid to stand with someone completely different than them in so many ways. As this white bread, damn near albino Mormon, sang with fourteen black and Hispanic (maybe two white people too) gospel singers, I realized how blessed we are as a people.
We are a nation divided by political interests but we are not a nation divided when we focus on principles and values. When we do that, it is amazing how much we find in each other where we are almost exactly alike!
We really have so much in common. This weekend in all of my conversations I found that we all feel like an outcast because those in or out of our own religion question our motives, or faith.
Yet, we all came together under the banner of love, service and love of God.
I figure, If everybody I know is in my religion or everyone I know loves Jesus, I just don’t know enough people.
Let me share something really dynamic and true.
“Something has begun.”
Something full of joy. Something bigger than you or I can imagine. Something born of God. There will be no one “leader.” Instead, it will be millions of us coming together to help, inspire, lift up, love and heal. It is going to be amazing, if we “let go and let God”, as us alcoholics say.
Good and God are coming in a big way. I have no idea what role religion plays. That is up to the churches, I suppose. But I know this, millions of those who attend those churches (and will continue to do so) will join with others who have deep faith and even those with no religion and we will, together, practice what Ben Franklin called the “American religion.”
There is a God
He will judge us
We should serve Him.
The best way to serve Him is to serve our fellow man.
… And America will find herself again, she will be good again and we will save ourselves and our children from the hatred, rage and injustice so many feel tonight. All will be right and well.
PS: In between these incredible encounters, I had an amazing series of email exchanges about being a better man and better people with my favorite atheist Penn Jillette. Followed by a great hour with another friend who is agnostic about how we can help each other reach more people with the message of love, charity and decency.
I am sure many in their circle tell them the same thing. “How can you be friends with that guy, he is a religious freak etc.” Just as some in my circle or the circle of the Archbishop, Joel, my Mormon bishop or the gospel group at my house must hear: “How can you be friends with (him/them)? (He/they) don’t believe the same stuff.”
Here is the first miracle: We all have so many friends that understand that we don’t all have to believe the same thing. In fact, they almost all believe that the world wouldn’t be as great of a place if we all had a uni opinion. There are no “loyalty oaths” in the land of the free I understand. What matters is how you live your life and how you treat your fellow man. The rest is up to you and God.
As I learned last night “there is no one greater than Him.”