Month: February 2017

God Is Love – A meditation on 1 John 4:16

God Is Love – A meditation on 1 John 4:16

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I originally wrote this piece in 2015 as a Facebook post following the striking of DOMA by the Supreme Court. It is a shot taken at “Christians” who would deny those that love each other the legal rights of marriage.

God is Love  (1 John 4:16)

A simple sentence, but one that is often lost in the days of an us vs. them Christianity, in which many of my brothers and sisters in Christ find themselves in the current days. Millions of dollars were spent defending legislation that existed for no other reason than to prevent loving couples who held different beliefs from being allowed to be married in the eyes of the government. To rob these couples of a basic right which would in turn allow them to be at each other’s side until the very end of their days, and allowing them to literally cherish each other until death parts them.

But God is love. A tenet that will stand the test of time, even as people like Ted Cruz fight to keep injustice and prevent love from blossoming. Even as people praise County Clerks for stepping beyond the rule of law for religious reasons, and not issuing licenses for people to be allowed to marry in that county at all.

But again, God is love. God’s love is nigh on impossible to define with the limited vocabulary that exists in the English language, but the Greeks gave us a word that is passable. Agape. Unconditional love. Regardless of where you or I or anyone has fallen short on the expectations of God, the love is still there. But to deny love, is to deny God, and that is unholy.

Legislation at what cost

Millions were spent to defend this legislation, and people swear they will continue to fight tooth and nail to uphold “traditional marriage;” which is a axiom I don’t understand. Prior to 1967, in many states of the union, the joining of interracial couples was illegal in several states. Then came Loving vs. Virginia, in which ALL NINE JUDGES ruled on the basis that such denial of the marriage contract was illegal. I was thirteen years old when the act of marital rape became illegal in all 50 states.

But God is love. And I wonder how much more good could have been done with those millions of dollars, rather than to allow them to become attorney fees. If yesterday was an average day, and the last reported trend from 2010 has not increased, twenty-two veterans lost their final mission, and ended their own life on American soil after surviving the hell that is war. If last night was an average night, 49,933 veterans were homeless last night on American soil. Had we had the courage to behave the way God wants us to by following the example of sacrificing the unblemished lamb for us out of love, why did we spend millions of dollars pursuing a hateful agenda that was more in line with the vile that Fred Phelps and his clan spit every day, instead of following in the lines of “God is love.”

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An Open Letter regarding Betsy DeVos

An Open Letter regarding Betsy DeVos

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Unto Majority Leader, Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, other Senators from the several states, and my fellow Americans, does David Mitchner of Webster, Kentucky send Greetings:

I hope and pray that this open letter finds its way to your eyes, or at least a summary is passed from one of your many aides to your ear. We as a country stand on the brink of a great decision, one that will effect my son’s future, as well as effect every other child who will reach the age to attend elementary, continue into secondary, or post-secondary education in this country for the next four years. Of course, I speak of the confirmation vote of one Mrs. Betsy DeVos.

Her stance on charter schools is misguided at best, and absolutely deplorable at worst. Charter schools and private schools, those schools that can chose their students often fail to protect the interests of our most at risk students. With the focus on test scores, a charter school can deny entry to anyone who might cause those scores to drop, including therein: students with disabilites or students with backgrounds that are not necessarily condusive to having great test scores. Are you prepared to tell these students that they are not deserving of an education? Because a yes vote to Betsy DeVos is a vote against protecting the children who are most at risk in this nation.

Public education in America is the fundamental bedrock that guides our nation. We put men on the moon with our public school system. Great leaders have been molded and guided by public school teachers, and because of the offering of a fair shake required by Title IX, we have seen us build possibly the most educated society in the history of the world. This is not open for debate. Nor is the fact that legislators trying to meddle in education, instead of having educators guide the system is what has caused the system to appear broken. Now is not the time for a person who has never attended public school, nor has had any family member attend public school, to be in charge of public schooling.

Senator Elizabeth Warren questioned Nominee DeVos regarding protecting post-secondary enrollees from predatory for-profit colleges, as the Secretary of Education is in charge of a massive student loan bank. Nominee DeVos seemed unprepared to answer the question, as if it was a topic that she had no idea fell under the Department. Nominee DeVos seems to be a one-trick pony, whose only desire is to open charter schools across America, at tax-payer expense, to enrich her colleagues. This is unacceptable in my mind.

Further, Nominee DeVos’ massive campaign giving to the Republican members of the HELP committee that vetted her and voted to approve her to the full floor vote reeks of at least the appearance of a conflict of interest. One should not be allowed to purchase a cabinet post, especially when one appears so unqualified that, to use the vernacular of Kentucky, an old yeller dog would probably do a better job than her.

Senators, I beg you to vote NO to the confirmation of Ms. DeVos. It is a scary time for me, but as Secretary of Education, Mrs. DeVos appears to be someone who will have a negative impact on my son’s education. And that, dear Senators, is a dog that just won’t vote. I’m from the Ohio River Valley, and grudges run deep here. I will remember if you vote yes, and I will do everything in my power to ensure that you do not win your next reelection.

I beg of you to not be empty suits and “Yes Men” to Mr. Trump’s horrible nominee. But rather, to stand up for the children of this great Commonwealth, and the children of this great nation. It is to them that your greatest duty is beholden, not the President, not the party, and not to me.

Sincerely yours,
David Mitchner

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