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Tag Archives: Black Lives Matters

These are the Times that Try Men’s Soul

In order to make sense of the chaos and vast trials dealt by 2020, you have to go back in time. If you don’t learn from hints left behind by historians, you’ll fall prey to future lies, schemes and uprisings. Thomas Paine was an English-born American political activist, philosopher, theorist, and revolutionary. Paine authored two of most influential pamphlets at the start of the American Revolution. Paine’s work inspired the patriots in 1776 to declare independence from Great Britain.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might, Deuteronomy 6:5.

Two of my favorite quotes from Thomas Paine are listed below. “Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph”. “These are the times that try men’s souls.” Common Sense challenged the authority of the British government and the royal monarchy. The plain language that Paine uses spoke to the common people of America to openly ask for independence from Great Britain. These words were like the spark that ignited states to commence the American Revolution.

Behold, all souls are mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is mine: the soul who sins shall die, Ezekiel 18:4.

Fast forward nearly 250 years, the death of George Floyd has spawned a new movement. Whether out of compassion, fear or guilt, many Americans have donated to, joined or participated in Black Lives Matters protests. Citizens across the country in all 50 states have come out to support this cause. Yet, actions speak louder than words. Will Planned Parenthood representatives begin to convince African American woman not to have an abortion? Is defunding the police really the answer? Yes, Thomas Paine was right, “these are the times that try men’s souls.” I pray to the Lord that God will save and restore America before this country is torn apart.

by Jay Mankus

Rosewood Revisited

The 1997 film Rosewood starring Jon Voight and Don Cheadle details the horrific events of the first week of January 1923.  Known as the Rosewood massacre, a rural town in Levy County Florida, this movie depicts the events which culminated into a race riot.  This history lesson provides a painful reminder of how white parents taught their children not to play with African American kids.  When a white woman lies about being raped by a black man, all hell breaks loose throughout Rosewood.

But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream, Amos 5:24.

As I watched this for this first time in years, some of the scenes are reminiscent of modern events.  Whether its Black Lives Matters protests, tension between law enforcement and the African American community or violent acts upon innocent people, a mob mentality influences one’s ability to use common sense.  The byproduct of this distraction often leads to emotionally outbursts, harsh comments and regrettable actions.  This is the climate in which we now reside, helping to explain some of the awful headlines in the news.

When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers, Proverbs 21:15.

If you revisit Rosewood or watch it for the first time, its not easy to digest.  Some of the content will make you cringe.  Other parts may shock you or cause you to feel sympathy for how black were mistreated by white for centuries.  Yet, one must look toward the future while remembering the words of Dr. Martin King Jr, “its not about the color of our skin, but the content of our character.”  In view of this, may this country come together as one to live, learn and rise above past transgressions.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

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