Statistics Be Damned

For me, ideas often begin with a desire to know more. It’s probably like that for anyone that writes.

I’ve been reading for quite some time now about how white on black racism is making a comeback. Nearly to the extent of pre-Brown vs. Board of Education levels. And if the news stories are to be believed, it’s in no way more evident than in the ratio of shooting deaths of “perpetrators” by police officers, based on racial statistics. The level of outrage would indicate police officers are obtaining licensure to shoot African-American men like rednecks receiving deer tags in November.

It just didn’t sound right to me, although it’s also possible to argue racism isn’t making a comeback, it never left at all.

So I did a small amount of digging, and the information I found with only that was alarming, and not only in the way I expected it to be.

Also, I suppose another thing to consider is that controversy sells, not to mention earns ratings points. If it bleeds it leads, right? So I need to take coverage with a very large grain of salt.

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation reported the following on their 2012 Expanded US Crime Statistics Table:

2648 African Americans were killed. 193 by white perpetrators (apparently, not all police). 2412 by other African Americans. 3128 caucasions were killed, 431 by black perpetrators, 2614 by whites.

2013 was much the same. 2491 African-Americans were killed, 2245 by other African-Americans, 189 by caucasians. 3005 white people were killed, 2509 by other whites. 409 by African-Americans.

The conclusion I drew was easy (and based ONLY on the FBI tables).

We are killing each other.

I don’t plan to make a study of crime statistics, but it’s easy to see that the violence and death going on isn’t just 1 or 2 way. We really are killing each other. Racism or not, we just are.

I don’t know how to fix that–both racism and people giving in to their base and violent instincts and just taking lives.

Better education of our kids is part of it, but not the only part.

How do we re-learn something we’ve been taught our entire lives? And not just on a family level, but also a cultural one.

People aren’t all bad–not even mostly bad–white, black or any other color.

Give them a chance.

Absent fathers are another part of it, but as before, not the only part.

Teaching kids that all lives matter is another part.

I think the largest part of all is that the United States seems to so abhor what is usually described as traditional values, we are scattering and running in all directions rather than looking inward, to our hearts.

We are becoming more Godless by the day, which is also very evident. Media confirmation is not needed for that one.

That’s another problem, and not-so-easy to solve.

Partly due to the standard-bearers for Christ not holding the banner particularly high, even on a good day.

That is not an easy-fix, but certainly a possible one.

We have to remember that He in us, is greater than he who is in the world.

And then we have to live like we believe it.

It isn’t the only thing we can do, but it’s something.

And change has to start somewhere.

We needn’t accept what the world tells us to.

Statistics be damned.

Is The Bible Truthful? It Is To Me, and I Will Tell You Why

I like to read all kinds of different websites and blogs when I have the chance, and occasionally I will read Huffington Post articles that others have shared. They clearly had a more liberal bent to them, but it was easy enough to overlook in the interest of having something to read on lunchbreaks, etc.

Then the other day they posted this.

If I ever had any doubt that Huffpost was dragging its left wing on the ground, this little nugget removed it. Sure, it’s an opinion piece, but why not publish something opposing as well? The supposed minister who wrote this, while clearly well-spoken and rather erudite forgot to mention something that occurred to me.

Now, I am no apologist, and certainly no pastor. I have only been six classes deep into biblical studies.

But I know this much about biblical truth.

If you know God–really know him–you can feel the truth of his word when you read it. It’s powerful, and personal, and sometimes nearly ineffable. Sometimes when I read scripture, it’s almost as if the bible vibrates in my hands.

the truth

Not just in the mind, but the heart.

Also, if His book is not truth, and He isn’t who scripture says he is, then He is a sham. If He is God, then what is to prevent Him from Divinely inspiring others to record His word? If He is not God, then we are truly stuffed.

His Word, left for us, is part of both Him and His divine nature. Yes, not every version is exactly the same, but neither is every language. Yes, the King James version was commissioned, but the documents it was based on were real, with many documents of the same era still in existence.

His Word is not actually the book itself, but the wisdom and truth within.

I acknowledge the difficulty of a person who’s never acknowledged God in believing scripture is actually the word of God, but it’s equally difficult for me to imagine someone who professes faith not believing.

I believe His word is real, and though I may not read it as much as I would like to (or should), it is no less truth to me.

Without God, my life would not be worth a darn thing. Scripture helps me to walk that jagged path with a little more surety in my step.

The…minister who wrote this HuffPost article? Despite his eloquence and writing ability, appears to have lost his way. If the Word is not truth, then what does he preach from? One can only hope that his article causes little more than a Left-leaning backslapping party.

Lastly, I would say that denying truth doesn’t change it. I have learned that the hard way.

But I learned.

Blessed Assurance, Part III

I know my wife isn’t the biggest fan of overt and public sentimentality, but something happened a couple nights ago, and I thought I’d go ahead and share it, because it felt significant to me. She’s probably used to me getting all “Air Supply,” anyway.

Plus, everyone who knows me knows I have a gooey center.

We went to bed not that long after getting home from the Rock Youth 4th of July extravaganza, and we were both tired. We lay there and talked quietly for a few minutes, and laughed over a few dumb things, and then I fell asleep holding her hand–with our entertwined hands clasped between us at chest level.

What I thought about the next day was that I hoped I got to do that when this particular love train pulls into the depot for the last time.

But I have peace in my heart either way.

My faith assures me there will be plenty of time for that stuff.

Forever is a long time.

I never thought I would be down with the optimism.

Can’t help it.

My wife is rad.

And she makes me want to do awesome things together.