Failing freedom in 2011

Once again, an article I read on Yahoo! has inspired me to write something. I was reading this article about various things that have been banned this year, both in America and abroad. It mentions babies being banned on planes and in restaurants, baggy pants and skinny jeans, too-short cheerleader uniforms, Happy Meals in San Francisco, etc. Three of the items on the list really caught my attention – “happy couples,” “having eyes,” and “brown-bag lunches.”

“Happy couples” referred to a situation in Kentucky where a church voted to ban interracial marriage and bar interracial couples from joining their church. I can’t even believe this type of ignorance is still happening – in a CHURCH, no less. There is no Biblical ban on interracial marriages. Are there Bible verses that could be MISUSED to support this kind of racist decision? Yes. Does this make it right? No. Deuteronomy 7:3 states (addressing the Jews), “You shall not marry them, you shall not give your daughter to their son and you shall not take his daughter for your son.” The “them” referred to in this verse is the gentiles (non-Jewish people). The reason for this was because the gentiles did not worship the same God as the Hebrews. God commanded the Jews to marry only other Jews so that they would not be led to worship false gods by their gentile spouses and families. It was not a RACE issue – it was a CULTURE issue. Another verse that is often misused in this way is 2 Corinthians 6:14, which states, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?” This verse says basically the same thing: Do not marry non-believers because they will lead you astray. The part about light and dark communing has nothing to do with skin color. It’s a metaphor for opposite belief systems trying to come together – they cannot exist in the same place at the same time. That a church would treat people this way is unbelievable, and it is most definitely NOT a Christian way to behave. God created people of all colors, and we are all made in his image. For us to show hatred to other people because of their skin color is a sin. The fact that this type of blatant racism is still around in 2011 means that we have not come as far as we thought we had.

“Having eyes” showcases the absolute absurdity that is the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Apparently Saudi Arabia’s Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (read: religious police) has decided that women with “nice eyes” need to cover those things up so that the men of Saudi Arabia (who apparently lack ANY kind of self-control) won’t be tempted to think dirty thoughts about women other than their wives. Who defines “nice eyes?” Anyone can have “nice eyes.” Come to think of it, I’ve never seen a picture of a Middle Eastern woman with eyes that WEREN’T nice. They are lovely women, and they continue to be oppressed on a daily basis. The eyes are the only thing left that these women do not have to cover up. They walk around in the oppressive Saudi heat, covered head-to-toe in black head scarves and cloaks so as not to lead any male to stray. The extreme Wahhabi form of Islam that is so popular there is intolerant of anyone who is not a devout Muslim and is extremely oppressive to women. My heart goes out to the women and girls of Saudi Arabia because they are so obviously being abused, both by their government and many times by their families and husbands as well. Why we continue to be allied with a nation that so clearly does not share our values and doesn’t even like us is beyond me.

Finally, “brown-bag lunches” talks about how a school in Chicago now forbids students from bringing a lunch from home. They HAVE to pay the $2.25 for a school lunch, or go hungry. Exceptions are made only for food allergies (and possibly religious reasons. The article doesn’t say this, but I would imagine they would allow a kid to bring halal or kosher food as well). The reasoning behind this decision, according to the principal, is that school lunch is healthier than what the kids bring from home. First of all, why is that the school’s business? Believe it or not, parents have been successfully feeding their children for thousands of years without the benevolent dictatorship of the public school system peering over their shoulder. This is clearly an infringement on the rights of parents to do what they think is best for their child. It is not the schools system’s job to feed my kids. That’s my job. Second, this is not a good move for the kids. Yes, the food MIGHT be healthier than what they bring from home (but not necessarily), but if a child doesn’t like what the cafeteria is serving, they are not going to eat it. A hungry kid does not perform well in school, and that is a scientific fact. It’s hard to focus on a math lesson when your stomach is growling loud enough to drown out the teacher. If I were a parent, I would prefer that I pack a lunch for my kid that I KNOW he or she likes and will eat instead of paying money for food that they might not like and probably won’t eat. This brings us to my third point – buying lunch every day is expensive. The cost of a student lunch in this school is $2.25. Kids generally go to school for 180 days a year. This means that for one child, a family will spend $405 each school year on lunch. If they have 2 kids enrolled in this school, the cost doubles to $810 a year. Many families receive free or reduced lunches, but many families do not qualify for these programs even though they are far from wealthy. This puts a hardship on the families that are not poor enough to qualify for free/reduced lunch, but not wealthy enough to be able to throw away over $400 a year. It’s much cheaper to send leftovers or a sandwich with your kids than to pay for school lunch. This is clearly yet another case of progressive government overstepping its boundaries and intruding on the family in ways that are totally Orwellian and uncalled for.

The trampling of freedom exhibited by these incidents, both here and in other nations, really enrages me. How can man (or woman) flourish under governments, churches, and governmental churches that insist on infringing on the rights given to us by the Creator? What the good Lord giveth, the government taketh away, apparently.

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