A Junk Man’s Treasure

They called him “The Junk Man” because his hobby was to pick up junk and restore it. For Robert Godwin Sr., the satisfaction of restoring all things junk was married into the life of leisure that retirement brings, which often found the former foundry worker sitting behind a fishing pole at his favorite spot. What comes to the fore as the stories continue to surface of this man is that above all he was a man of unparalleled devotion to God, his family, and his fellow man.

It is said the one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. In an instant this past Easter weekend, one man’s junk senselessly snuffed out the treasure of the Godwin family, their Father. As a Nation watched in horror as the ever burgeoning evil of our society retched itself once again upon the innocent, somehow in the midst of the rage a flicker of hope has emerged.

Robert Godwin Sr. has left behind the greatest treasure a man could hope for, the legacy of a God-fearing family. A family who inexplicably could love the junk that destroyed their Father and in his example seek to restore it. To love the unlovable and forgive the unthinkable is the message of Easter in that while we were yet sinners, junk, Christ died for us so that we could be a treasure to a King.

In all that is darkness around us, our foundations crumbling to dust a midst the disdain of future generations and as we arm ourselves against the ever encroaching night, let not despair overwhelm us for I have seen a beacon of hope on the streets of Cleveland in a junk man’s treasure. If there still remains a people who can love in the face of hate then perhaps the America of old still lives. I hold up Robert Godwin Sr as the standard for all that is good still in my beloved Nation. I hold him up perhaps, yes, in desperation as the shining example of the greatest treasure a man can have, a Godly legacy.


Burn That Bridge Down


After reading my last two articles, some may view my thoughts on this matter of the marriage license as a capitulation from my past stance on Traditional Marriage. Nothing could be further from the truth. I still believe that the heterosexual marriage traditions are the foundation of a thriving society, the erosion of these foundations spell doom for those societies, and that history has repeatedly offered us proof that portends these dire repercussions.

I am simply pointing out the obvious. There are many who don’t agree with me. It must be acknowledged that we have entered a time in our Nation’s history where we simply cannot talk to each other. The art and treasure of civil debate is dead.

Once a hallmark of this great Republic, the platform of civil debate afforded a place where those of differing views could express them and oppose vigorously those ideas they found exception with. The merits of these debates and the ideas from which they sprung would be presented to the free market of ideas in the public and the people would decide what they would embrace as a culture. But we have burned that platform down.

We have abandoned what was good and right about our Republic in that it provided for the safe and non-violent exchange of passionate opposing ideas. We have embraced the wrong which is using government as leverage to silence the dissent of our opponents. All are guilty.

Each side wants only their opinions expressed and agreed with. They want the world to be their own echo chamber where every thought is never challenged. Each hopes for a political gain or a legal ruling which they can herald as “settled law” to suppress the views of their opponents forgetting that “Government being, among other things, instituted to protect the persons and concienses of men from oppression,” (George Washington) and using government to silence opinion, belief, rites, and traditions is oppression.

Disagreement, however, is not oppression. The existence of an ideal or belief that contradicts my own does not mandate my subservience to it, nor should it. The idea that beliefs expressed should not be challenged but approached in a manner of acquiescence all to honor tolerance is preposterous and dangerous to society as it lends authority to whomever can express themselves first and loudest, hence, all the shouting.

This is a Republic. There is no such thing as settled law. All laws are subject to the constant review of the citizens of the Republic and can be repealed, changed, or challenged with perpetuity by the will of the people.

So here we are and what do we do? For the social conservative such as I, yes I still am, it is important to evaluate yourself and ask these questions. What do you believe? Will it stand the test of time?

I have found that time usually provides the evidence to dispel folly from truth. So what if the preponderance of evidence is wrong and civilizations can be built without children and a structure to rear them in? Then let time prove who and what is true.

As we’ve shown, the marriage license is the very embodiment of hate and vitriol. It was interesting to see the reaction of my teenage son as I shared my investigations into the marriage license with him. His assessment was blunt, “Burn that bridge down!”

Because it is the bridge that so many have used to attack their fellow Americans and trample so many of their individual unalienable rights, I agree it is time to “burn that bridge down”. A bridge that has not brought us together but a platform for war. A structure steeped in racism, eugenics, and hatred.

If the marriage license is abolished then those of faith can covenant with their God before their church, as to their rites and traditions, without government intrusion. If the marriage license is abolished those who have views on marriage, different from those of the rites of religion, can establish their marriage contract in the way they see fit without experiencing the disapproval of the church or trampling the rites and rights of religion in order to achieve their goals. Religions should be able participate in their faith, rituals and traditions without the bigotry of media, government, Hollywood, or their fellow citizens. Those who eschew religion and its rites should be able to express that without bigotry from the media, government, religion, or their fellow citizens.

Several counties in the state of Alabama have already abolished the marriage license and the state legislature is moving to follow suit. The real change must come from We The People. For politicians, courage is a commodity bordering on extinction right in line behind common sense marching in lockstep over the precipice to oblivion. Legislators quiver, ponder, and flounder on what to do until they awaken to find history has passed them by and they are left on the wrong side of it. If change is to happen, we must “encourage” our legislators to do the right thing.

There is only so much reason you can share with some before you realize there is no reason to share it all. In any conflict there are those who are more interested in the destruction of their foe than the resolution of the argument that was the impetus of the war. This solution will reveal who is interested in peace and who is vested in hate. I am convinced that, with the abolishment of the marriage license, those on each side, who are solely fixated on the destruction of the beliefs and rites of those they find objectionable, will be exposed to the American people, rejected, and the rest of us can live in peace.

My Rites Have Rights

Today I write of rites and rights. This phonetic pun is meant to catch your attention with a little pithy fun but there is an underlying truth that we must explore. It would seem that in this age we have sacrificed the right to rites in obeisance to the rite of rights. I’ll explain why I’m right.

In last week’s column, we examined the anti-miscegenation laws and eugenics which are the tap root to flower of the Marriage License. While the marriage license is manifestation of deep seeded racism within certain political circles, it also shows that government has no business in the business of personal choice. Specifically, should government decide who should and shouldn’t get married and should it have the power to punish those who disagree with its decisions?

Anti-miscegenation laws were abolished to stop those who were using the power of government to implement their eugenic beliefs that blacks were an inferior race and should not enter into marriage with whites, which eugenic experts held as the purest highest race. Still, every culture has traditions and rites passed down to this day that encourage children to marry within their race. Should government make it their business to encourage “sensible” modifications to these cultural rites?

A person’s choice to adhere to a ritual or belief, beyond the pall of physical coercion or violence, is their choice and according to the constitution cannot be infringed upon. Until this new age, we as a people refused to violate the rituals of other cultures present here in our melting pot, no matter how disagreeable, distasteful, or confusing they seemed, unless it could be proven coercion by force was in play. This steadfast adherence to freedom passed down from our Founders was the beacon to all who came to hope that they could live and practice their faith and culture without reprisal in their daily lives.

Our Founders were not so far removed from the exodus of many fleeing religious persecutions from the different countries of Europe and England. It should be noted that these religions had been told by their governments that their faiths could not be practiced in public or in their workplace. Some were punished for preaching sermons which government found intolerable and inappropriate to be voiced from a public pulpit. There was a state religion which government demanded be the template for all others.

So many of these groups through various means secured charters to flee to a world where they could worship and live their lives in freedom the they way they chose. These early settlers could not flourish under the “keep your beliefs in your own four walls” of the old world which is so prevalent now in the aging Democrat Party and the New Republican Party. This penal form of “freedom” is a study in contradiction. It amounts to nothing more than sentence of confinement by an over bearing government. Freedom is not freedom unless you are free wherever you may be.

But times bring changes. Recent polls and trends among the Nation’s youth, especially college students, have revealed a disturbing trend of beliefs that freedoms apply only to certain people or groups. That government is best suited to decide which belief systems are deserving of constitutional liberties is an argument that in years past would have been disregarded as barbaric and dangerous in light of world history, but in the surreal light of the imploding Republic, the generations of our tomorrow have embraced these seeds left from the shadows of fascism in dream of a new tomorrow. Sadly, as a wise man once said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

Many are now content to let government be the purveyor of morality. It is in style now to persecute Christians and their “intolerant beliefs”. The calls for the elimination of the First Amendment for those with unsanctioned beliefs comes from the shortsightedness of those who believe what is “en vogue” now will remain so without change or a shift of the pendulum.

The hammer of government has returned and all sides are intent on gaining control of it to advance their belief system with no care for the danger signs history has left for us. It is evident that some feel that shouting loud enough so that opposing views are silenced is preferable to debate and that a tantrum is sufficient argument for getting what they want. Short term satisfaction is of paramount importance and long term repercussions be damned.

We have burned the platform of civil debate to the ground while the structure in the marriage debate that needs to be burned is the bridge of the marriage license. It is through this structure that government has attacked and trampled the freedoms of those whose marital and religious rites it finds unpalatable. Some are thrilled to destroy those who hold unsanctioned beliefs while others are incredulous to find that there are some whose god is not mammon and really is…well…God.

The new modern rite of our society is to pursue rights as a validation for all behavior and lifestyle choices. It is the new religion and government is its god. All these beliefs have savaged each other  in a quest for a marriage license, a government overreach steeped in racism and government eugenics. If these truly seek the attainment of right and not the destruction of their fellow Americans rights, there needs to be cessation of the trampling of the right to rites.

These questions remain: Can these competing views on marriage return to the platform of civil debate without trampling certain unalienable rights? How can we allow all lives to live  in freedom in our every day exercise with a pattern of decency and deference to our fellow man? It is time to right a wrong and abolish the marriage license. This is the answer.