The Nazarene Fund: Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE NAZARENE FUND?

The Nazarene Fund is an initiative of Mercury One dedicated to the evacuation of particularly vulnerable Christians from countries like Iraq and Syria into new countries where they might rebuild their lives.

Between now and December 2015 our goal is to raise $10 million to save more than 400 families from regions taken over by ISIS. ISIS has used the Nazarene sign to symbolize death – we will use it to symbolize life.

More details here.

WHAT WILL THE MONEY BE USED FOR?

Donations to The Nazarene Fund will be used to resettle Christian families who have been displaced by conflict in the Middle East, primarily at the hands of ISIS. Should it become impossible or impractical to resettle families, the contributions will be used to provide additional humanitarian support where they are forced to stay.

WHY DO YOU SAY “PRIMARILY AT THE HANDS OF ISIS?”

While ISIS is the most influential – and perhaps most dangerous – group terrorizing Christians in the Middle East, it is not the only one. Other terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra, and less organized terrorist sympathizers have also caused enormous persecution against the ancient Christian communities in the Middle East. In fact the pro-longed genocide against Christians in Iraq dates back at least till 2004, and began at the hands of the ISIS’ predecessor, Al-Qaeda in Iraq.

YOU CALLED THIS “GENOCIDE” – DOES THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY RECOGNIZE IT AS SUCH?

While the United States and the United Nations have refused to formally designate the ISIS threat against Christians as a “genocide,” a growing number of human rights activists and organizations are finding ISIS to be guilty of crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.

The legal definition of “genocide” according to Article II of the United Nations’ 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide legally defines the term as any of the following acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethical, racial or religious group, as such: (1) killing members of the group (2) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group (3) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part (4) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group (5) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

THIS OBVIOUSLY SEEMS LIKE A GENOCIDE; SO WHY HAS THE U.S. AND UNITED NATIONS NOT RECOGNIZED IT AS SUCH?

If genocide were formally declared, then it would trigger certain international mechanisms that are meant to protect the group under threat. Some human rights activists believe the United States fails to declare the ISIS threat against Christians as “genocide” because it would force the United States government to be more involved in providing direct assistance to them. Presently, the United States government’s response has been dismal, and especially so with regard to the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East.

Here, you can read additional information on what would automatically happen if the United Nations were to declare this a genocide, as well as specific evidence of genocidal acts by ISIS against Christians.

BUT, HOW IS IT FAIR THAT YOU ARE PRIMARILY FOCUSED ON CHRISTIANS?

It’s not a matter of fairness – we wish we could help everyone – but it is a matter of practicality, resources and urgency. The United States is a Christian majority country that can more quickly and more easily rally support for displaced Christians.

We also have a grave concern for all of those being effected by ISIS in the region, not excluding the majority Muslim population, which has been the victim of more terrorist related causalities than any other religion or culture. However, the Christian community faces a particular threat of extermination.

Lord George Weidenfeld is a British peer who has personally rescued 25 families from ISIS, resettling them in Poland, and he did so because he was himself rescued by Christians in 1938 as a young Jewish boy. Now he says, “he is repaying the favor.”

When Weidenfeld was asked by a reporter why he was only helping Christians, he responded, “I cannot save the world, but there is a very specific possibility on the Christian side.”

He went on to say,

I want to focus on something I can — with great difficulty and effort — achieve. I have tremendous sympathy for Muslim victims, but . . . there is an enormous amount of Muslim money in the Muslim world [for them to help their own], and the other thing is the logistical problem: Muslims could be shifted a few hundred kilometers away from the conflict but the Christians will have to find safe havens on the other end of the earth.

Columnist Charles Krauthammer, who is distant cousin of Weidenfeld, defended him in The Washington Post by saying, “this comes under the heading of no good deed goes unpunished. It’s a rather odd view that because he cannot do everything, he should be admonished for trying to do something.”

We agree.

If we had limitless resources, we would help everyone, but we don’t. So, we’ll start with those we can most easily help, the Christians.

WILL YOU BE “VETTING” THOSE WE HELP EVACUATE? HOW DOES THAT WORK? AREN’T YOU CONCERNED ABOUT BRINGING IN PEOPLE WITH ILL INTENTIONS?

Yes, those we help evacuated will undergo a thorough “vetting” process to ensure they aren’t actually closeted terrorists.

Generally speaking, the Christian community in the Middle East has represented the economic and social backbone of these societies. Highly educated and successful, they have been university professors, engineers, bankers and administrators. Many are multi-lingual and well traveled. They are non-violent, non-sectarian and have been trusted for many years, employed in some of the most important positions in secular and Islamic regimes. Whatever country takes them in will be blessed by their contributions to society.

Yet, the emphasis of our approach is “verification.” We have an internationally respected and experienced security contractor handling this process on our behalf with the mandate to do their work according to standards that are even more stringent than those employed by others in the international community, including the United Nations.

The vetting program begins with the families being recommended by the local Christian leaders. In most cases, these are people whom the Christian leaders have known for their entire lives. So, we are evacuating people from within an enclosed cultural system. We then meet with each of the recommended IDPs/Refugees personally to begin the process of ensuring they are who they say they are. During this time we record their stories, collect documentation of their identity and then we diligently and carefully verify and cross-check both their stories and their documents. Along the way, we confirm their desire to be relocated and also make sure they fully understand this will be a challenging process to assimilate into a new country and culture. We employ of a number of other “best practices” used by the intelligence community to analyze the behavior of the interviewees throughout the entire process. While we can’t fully disclose all that’s involved in vetting these people, we can tell you that international standards are employed.

During the vetting process, we also work with government officials from the “receiving” countries to ensure all appropriate immigration paperwork is completed and verified.

ONCE THE FAMILIES ARE VETTED, WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?

Families are legally transported from their home or host country to their new country where they are received by individual sponsors or a sponsoring organization (depending upon the country). They are helped to assimilate from finding accommodations to education for their children to finding employment to language acquisition, etc.

Through sponsoring organizations, the families are also provided with some financial assistance with the intent of easing their transition into life and work in their new home and country.

WHERE ARE THE RESCUED REFUGEES GOING TO END UP?

We hope to be able to bring many of them to the United States. However, the United States remains closed to Christian refugees. Meanwhile, a number of European and South American countries have agreed to provide a limited number of VISAS to those we help evacuate.

HOW DO WE PRESSURE THE U.S. TO BECOME A RECEIVING COUNTRY?

Presently, the United States is not a receiving country. If you would like to help us put pressure on the U.S. Government to take in Middle Eastern Christians, then please fill how the form entitled “Are you ready to house a family from the Middle East?” here.

What are some other ways? Write your Congressperson; Raise your voice as an advocate through social media; Get your pastor, rabbi or priest on board; Provide financial support.

AND THIS ALL COSTS APPROXIMATELY $25,000 PER FAMILY?

Yes, we have budgeted approximately $25,000 to evacuate a family of five. This also includes providing some financial assistance to that family for a year.

Normally, families have to be evacuated in a group via charter aircraft after they are already securely transferred from wherever it is they are presently finding accommodation. The families are vetted by international security professionals, and sometimes are required to stay in a temporary location for a number of days. Additionally, there are expenses involved in laying down the infrastructure in the receiving countries, and in general logistical and administrative support in the evacuating countries. The evacuation process is – by its nature – variable, and some evacuations cost more than others. Every situation is unique.

Our goal is to make each evacuation as inexpensive as possible so we can provide as much of the $25,000 as possible to the family as a gift to help them get on their feet.

Those gifts are provided in installments through the first year of their resettlement.

ISN'T THE WORLD ALREADY DEALING WITH THE REFUGEE PROBLEM?

The situation in Iraq and Syria has created the worst refugee crisis since World War II, and the entire world is struggling to deal with it. It’s an “all hands on deck” moment. It is anything but resolved, and unless we work to provide safe and legal ways for the most vulnerable to escape, we will continue to witness the death of those who have been trying to flee without any assistance or those who’ve been forced to stay.

HOW ARE WE EVEN MAKING A DENT IN THE REFUGEE CRISIS?

We cannot save the world, but we can save many lives. Every time you save a single life – to them – you are saving their entire world. We know we can’t solve the whole problem, but we sure can make the difference in the lives of many. Rather than being focused on the enormity of the problem we are focused on the individual lives we can save.

IS THIS RESCUE OPERATION LEGAL?

Absolutely, everything is being done with legal counsel and in cooperation with governments according to established international standards and regulations.

ARE WE BUYING OR BRIBING BAD GUYS? DOES ANY OF THE MONEY GO TO TERRORISTS?

No and no.

HOW CAN I GIVE?

Just visit now.mercuryone.org, and donate to The Nazarene Fund.

Well, it's officially official… Michael Avenatti is the worst lawyer in the history of ridiculously bad lawyers. I'm trying to figure out what "National Day" this should be, because with Avenatti it really could go either way. Right now it's a toss up between "The No Good Very Bad Lawyer Day" or "The No Good Very Bad Political Operative Day."

A federal judge yesterday seemed to be confused on that as well. Avenatti has been representing Stormy Daniels in a defamation lawsuit against President Trump. It all started when Avenatti, with his infinite superstar lawyer awesomeness, decided to build his case off of - get this…. A TWEET from the president. Trump tweeted this back in April regarding a man, allegedly sent by Trump, that had threatened her not to come forward with her story:

A sketch years later about a nonexistent man. A total con job, playing the Fake News Media for Fools (but they know it)!

BOOM, Avenatti let loose the hounds of… well, a defamation suit.

But the judge yesterday couldn't tell if this was just bad lawyering or some kind of game of political football. Either way, he opted to rule it as both. The judge stated that the president's tweet was "rhetorical hyperbole", protected under the first amendment, and all or part of the quote "politics and public discourse in the United States."

So forget for a moment that a federal judge has just highlighted that a defamation lawsuit between a sitting U.S. President, a pornstar, and a political activist - masquerading as a lawyer - is now considered normal and business as usual. Consider for just a second that this "lawyer", is actually considering running for president. A man that has shown no qualms at all with parading women (first Daniels and then Swetnick) in front of the entire world, embarrass them, and do it all for his own ugly political greed.

To everyone that donated, you just paid President Trump's lawyers over half a million dollars.

The federal judge ordered the case closed, and Stormy Daniels to pay for all the president's legal fees. And this might be the funniest thing to come out of all this. Daniels set up a Crowd Justice page, kind of like a Go Fund Me, back in April to pay for all her legal fees. As of today that page has raised five hundred and eighty-six thousand dollars. So, to everyone that donated, you just paid President Trump's lawyers over half a million dollars.

As the kids these days say… L-O-L

Wait, 'white woman' is now a disparaging term? I can't even.

Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images

Feminism began in the 1830s as a revolution by affluent white women who wanted birth control and the right to vote. As feminism developed, it expanded its focus so that women of every sort were included. It has even expanded further beyond women, to "marginalized communities." Lately, it's gone a step further and started doing some "marginalizing" of its own.

The madness of the Kavanaugh confirmation hearing was a watershed event. The entire country got an up-close view of what feminism has come to. It has become remarkably anti-truth, or at least unconcerned with truth. Instead, it's about destruction.

RELATED: Kavanaugh might be the force to turn back the blue wave

A lot of women sided with Dr. Ford, because they saw Ford as a symbol of womanhood, just as many people saw Kavanaugh, not just as a man, and not just a white man, but as the symbol of the system they claim to fight, the patriarchy.

For many reasons, the term "white man" has become derogatory, an honest-to-God insult that is not applied to any other race or gender, not in that openly insulting way. The indenting-obsessed feminists and activists have led an untiring charge against white men, and, until now, he's faced the outrage alone, quietly. White women, on the other hand, were part of that struggle against white men. They, like their fellow marginalized people, were the victims of white straight cis-gendered men. But postmodernism and social justice don't stop until the entire house collapses, so now they're going after white women as well.

A recent article in National Review titled "'White Women' Becomes a Disparaging Term" examines this shift.

Today, white women are being lumped together into a giant bloc subject to absurdly broad stereotyping and vitriolic condemnation. They're being told to step back and know their place by writers in the New York Times ("white women benefit from patriarchy by trading on their whiteness to monopolize resources for mutual gain"), The New Yorker ("despite the enduring legacy of testimony by black women, white women have often played the protagonists in the history of sexual violence, and black women have been relegated to the supporting cast") and NBC News ("white women who voted for Trump . . . clearly have no issue with the president's openly misogynistic behavior, his demeaning of female reporters and his mocking of [Christine Blasey] Ford).

The author adds that:

A writer for The Root castigated Taylor Swift because "like some white women, she uses her privilege to not be involved until she's directly affected." Talia Lavin, the New Yorker fact-checker who resigned in June after erroneously suggesting that an ICE agent (who turned out to be a combat-wounded Marine Corps veteran) had a Nazi tattoo, continues to contribute to The New Yorker and tells her 51,000 Twitter followers, "patriarchy won't protect you no matter how hard white women fight for it." "White women use strategic tears to silence women of colour," ran a headline in the Guardian. On the basis of five phone calls, plus the story of what happened to Emmett Till in 1955, Rolling Stone published an essay entitled, "Why White Women Keep Calling the Police on Black People," blaming them for "a new 21st-century version of Jim Crow."

The mainstream media, like 4th wave feminists—and, believe me, there is a serious overlap—has become interested in activism. They want to destroy everything that they disagree with—the most horrible person to them would be the cis-gendered straight, able-bodied, financially-independent white man who is politically conservative and Christian, especially if he voted for Trump and listens to Kanye.

The Left's kind of activism is dangerous, too, because it's a postmodern form of activism, so truth doesn't matter and language is a weapon used to attack whoever is deems "oppressors," which has, until now, been mostly white men and anyone who tries to defend them and anyone who disagrees with the postmodern politics of the Left. Anyone who has tried to stand up and say, "This isn't right, you're being sexist and racist by accusing 'white men' of all these things, and calling them sexist and racist." But that doesn't matter. And it doesn't work. These people have literally accused Shapiro, an Orthodox Jew, of antisemitism, and called Candace Owens and Kanye West, who are black, white supremacists. They call Christina Hoff Sommers, who is a feminist woman, a misogynist. We could spend all day going through examples, but you know plenty already.

These activists can say whatever they want and attack whomever they please and nobody can stop them.

These activists can say whatever they want and attack whomever they please and nobody can stop them. As anyone who has so much as disagreed with them will tell you, they are ruthless. White women used to be part of their tribe. But now, they are finding out how ruthless their former allies can be. Hopefully, there's enough sanity left among enough people in that tribe to realize what's going on. Hopefully, they realized that maybe they'll be next.

Go to the polls and keep mob rule at bay

Scott Olson/Getty Images

November is nearly upon us, and polls are starting to come out. The most recent was a poll conducted last week by the Washington Post and ABC News that showed Congressional Democrats have an 11 point lead heading into the midterms. The biggest swing, as expected after the Kavanaugh circus, is Independent women who are sliding Democrat 52% to 38% Republican.

This is a significant build on the lead last reported back in mid September. Real Clear Politics took the average of eighteen total polls, minus Rasmussen - because it's uh… Rasmussen - and it showed Democrats holding on to a slim lead of six and a half points.

RELATED: Kavanaugh might be the force to turn back the blue wave

If this trajectory holds, it appears that the Left got exactly what they wanted when they tried to destroy a man's life all in the disgusting name of politics. They wanted a repeat of the 1991/92 Clarence Thomas fallout - later dubbed "The Year of The Woman - and they're on pace to get it.

How is it that we are so easily played by these awful people we call politicians? This is something I realize everyone listening right now already knows, but if your first thought is emotion every time someone in Washington opens their mouth… take a step back! Do some research and ask yourself, "Why am I feeling so outraged?" This has never been more important than right now. The left is abandoning the rule of law and moving towards mob rule. There's a reason why they all want to abolish the Electoral College. They want to work you up into a frenzy, and then they want to unleash you on the polling booth. But it's all fake. It's a con.

If fiscal responsibility is this bad now, imagine how bad it'll get with a Democrat controlled House, Senate and Executive Branch. The Mercatus Center at George Mason University just released their annual report on fiscal accountability, showing which states are run the most efficiently. Over the past several years, these are the worst run states in the entire Union: Illinois, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Mexico, New York and Rhode Island. Notice a common denominator here? Every single one is a blue state.

We cannot hand power over to mob rule.

On the other hand, these are the most efficiently ran states: South Dakota, Tennessee, Nebraska, Florida, Utah, Alaska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Montana. Umm, yeah… ALL Red states.

The facts and numbers are there, but the Left doesn't want you to see them. They don't want you doing your own homework… they just want you pissed off! Don't give in to the outrage. We cannot hand power over to mob rule. There's too much at stake.

"May you live in interesting times" it seems, is actually not an ancient Chinese saying, blessing or curse. The strongest match one can find to its origins comes from the Yorkshire Post in 1936:

Sir Austen Chamberlain, addressing the annual meeting of Birmingham Unionist Association last night, spoke of the "grave injury" to collective security by Germany's violation of the Treaty of Locarno.

Sir Austen, who referred to himself as "a very old Parliamentarian," said:

It is not so long ago that a member of the Diplomatic Body in London, who had spent some years of his service in China, told me that there was a Chinese curse which took the form of saying, 'May you live in interesting times.' There is no doubt that the curse has fallen on us. We move from one crisis to another. We suffer one disturbance and shock after another.

I like the quote, Chinese or English, as it gives us a correct or new perspective on strife, should we care to view our struggles as neither blessing nor curse. My father taught this to me as a small child. But I only really learned it in one of the darkest chapters of my life. Alcoholism and divorce. There is nothing that life can hand to you that is in itself bad. It all depends on what you do with it. Will you allow it to change you in destructive ways through anger, bitterness and despair? Or will you allow it, whatever it is, to strengthen you through enlightenment, correction, humility?

There is nothing that life can hand to you that is in itself bad. It all depends on what you do with it.

We have a desperate need for humility in our society from DC to Hollywood. Everyone left and right is convinced that either they are or their side is absolutely right. And if someone on their side strays from the pack, then they must be "a traitor to the race, party or cause". They are wrong and we remain right. Scientific atheists "know that there is no God" even though almost everything they now believe or "know" in science now proves that the scientists that came before them were wrong. How can those whose field has been built on enhancing, evolving, or outright proving that others and their theories were wrong, be so certain? If those who should be the least certain of final truth are now calling heretic for those who disagree, we are indeed living in interesting times.

But it isn't a "them" problem even though that is what the world is currently trying to sell each of us. It is instead a simple "us" issue. Perhaps we don't see it because we are so busy staging, filtering, or enhancing the colors on our Facebook or Instagram pics that we can no longer recognize or even like the simple truth about us and what our life really is. Much of our life is a lie. We have been marketed to since we were born, told that we are not complete unless we wear, consume, own, vacation at or buy product 1 or 2. It has gone so far as telling us that not only are we not good enough if we don't have all of that, but now, we cannot even be a part of the great new society unless we believe and champion (product, politician or party) A, B or C. Opinions have become products.

Now, however, we are in the next and perhaps final stage. We ourselves are the product. Companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon and YouTube no longer see us as the customer, but what we do, think and believe are now commodities. If you cannot fill this line in: "I am ____________ , Someone will always be there to fill it in for you. Buy this makeup to use the word beautiful. This label to let others know "I AM cool, or in style," or even "I AM rich.'

Buy Democrat to be "compassionate," "smarter than others," or "science-minded." It doesn't matter if you really are any of those things in reality, the label is all you need. Buy Republican if you want to be patriotic, support our troops or for family values. We now buy and believe labels and always judge a book by its cover. Buy the label "Christian" and you can love any life you want but you now can use religion to excuse either yours or anyone else's behaviors. Buy the label progressive and you believe in science even though you deny it in basic biology.

Even labels that were never for sale like "courage" come with a price tag, and its price keeps going lower and lower. Now, this once time revered label can be yours for simply saying things out loud to a room full of people who agree with you and will all cheer when you say it.

Labels and words are experiencing a fire sale and it seems "everything must go."

What comes next is always tough.

Heaven knows the proper price to attach to something so celestial as freedom. — Thomas Payne.

Each generation, except for the last, has had to earn and renew their freedom. They did not buy or sell the label the "greatest generation." In fact, it wasn't even them that came up with that title. It was the "boomers." At the time, there were no labels - they just saw themselves as people, as Americans. They saw the crisis not as anyone's fault, but rather as their turn to stand and do the right thing. It is what they did with their "crisis" that made others bestow the "greatest generation" title on them, and only years later.

We are living in a time of great crisis, not much different or of smaller scale than the great struggles of the past. All of the labels we think we have now, will fall away. Those that we have bought will become worthless and every new label will be purchased with blood, sweat, tears and courage.

Barack Obama and Donald Trump are neither the problem nor the solution. They are a symptom.

What we will face, in the end, will not be smaller than what many of our grandparents or great grandparents faced in the World Wars. No less frightening than the global economic unrest of the 1930's. Nor will it be any greater. It will just be ours. And just like the generations past, it will be our choice on whether or not we survive. What a blessing. The boomers feasted off the crisis of their parents and never truly had to choose life or death, freedom or slavery. They never had to push themselves as a group beyond what humans thought possible to achieve something as valuable as freedom.

The crisis we are just now beginning to see is a blessing our parents never received. Each of us will have to pick between black and white, slavery or freedom, good or evil, and life or death. We will all know in the years to come who we really are, if we chose carefully or if we simply allowed ourselves to become. We can become, through this struggle, exactly who we were born to be. Our best and highest selves.

If each of us were honest and began to see this struggle in the proper light, we would admit that it is the softness of our foundations that have caused these struggles. Barack Obama and Donald Trump are neither the problem nor the solution. They are a symptom. Look all around you. No matter whom you voted for, you will admit that the country, and perhaps the entire world over, is sick.

We are all feeling it and each of our political doctors are seeing the same symptoms and prescribing the opposite medicine. Each of us, as patients, all so desperate to cure what is killing us, become more and more vested in our own "doctor's cure." Our doctor is right and yours is wrong! At the same times each doctor knows that he or she has everything to lose if his patients begin to seek another opinion, diagnosis or remedy. It is their best interest to keep their patients busy looking at the other side. Meanwhile, none of us stop and ask if the diagnosis is even correct. I guess we are just too busy fighting for what our doctor said.

I am not sure about you, but when I am sick or in pain, I am usually at my worst interpersonally. We all snap at others. We act as our lesser selves. When I am sick, fearful or angry, it is almost always followed by a time where I begin conversations with, "I am so sorry for what I said or did, I was just having a really bad day."

We are all having a really very bad, most difficult day. Everyday, it seems.

While it is true that there are difficulties and dangers that lie ahead of us, we must not assume that we will lay down and watch our country go to ruin. Many, if not most of those who voted for democrats and those who voted for republican have much in common with those who voted for neither. While parties and politicians try to convince us otherwise, and many of us may have believed it or even engaged in this "warfare," it is becoming more and more clear that our neighbors are not our enemies.

While it is true that there are difficulties and dangers that lie ahead of us, we must not assume that we will lay down and watch our country go to ruin.

If you are finding this a difficult concept to reconcile, simply ponder what our ancestors came here for, be it three months or three centuries ago. To make a better life, in a country that would allow you to follow your dream, work hard and keep what you built so your children could live a better life than you did and achieve even more than you did. That opportunity came not from this land, or even its people, but rather from its mission statement: "all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among them life, liberty and pursuit of happiness." While that mission statement was and always be aspirational, it has never been fully achieved. It is shaped and given the best chance to succeed when it is protected by the guardrails of the constitution and bill of rights. It is indeed our laws, which come from our American Thesis, that has created the modern world. It is indeed why people still die trying to get on this side of our border.

Is it too much of a stretch to believe that you and I are not alone in our doubt of our doctors? Are we the only ones left that think our neighbor, who knows how sick we all are, really wants everyone who disagrees with their doctor to die? Maybe they have seen flaws in their practitioner as we have. Maybe if we stop spending all our time looking at what is wrong with "them" and what's wrong with America, we can begin to see the things that are right and good.

Perhaps we are not as sick as some of these doctors tell us we are. Perhaps they are more akin to bad, crooked chiropractors that have done more damage to our spine than good and will bilk us for every dime week after week until we finally say no or are broke. We haven't wanted to listen to our friends, or those who tell us differently, because we feel the fool.

Perhaps we are beyond help and only have months to live, but, I don't think it needs to be this way. If we are going down, I want to go down with my friends and family around me. All of them, even those who told me not to listen to my doctor or the one I angrily chased away because I just knew they were wrong.

It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and light fires. It is harder always to put them out.

It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and light fires. It is harder always to put them out. Easy to lose friends and harder to make them. In the end, our founding documents are just an idea. I think a really good idea. One that says we can and should all be who we choose to be and live the life we build for ourselves with dignity and security.

But that idea fails if no one remembers it or believes in it.

I still do.

I am not a doctor but I think our illness is all in our heads. We have been convinced by those who suffer from some sort of societal Munchausen by proxy, that we are fatally ill and will only survive because of them. I think they need us to be sick and I for one think we as a people have had enough bed rest.

Once we choose to see things the way they are, coupled with who we always strived to be — our best selves — we will be fine and perhaps stronger than ever. I believe if we can once again see the best in each other — put our past in the past, and our strife and crisis in the right light — down the road, some other generation will name this one — I believe it will be good.

But one thing is sure, it will not be one we choose but rather the label we earned.