Friday, May 29, 2015

Michelle Obama’s Speech At Oberlin College: A Sermon amongst Sermons Every American and Citizen Of the World Should Hear.

Socrates once said, “I cannot teach anybody anything, I can only make them think.” At the Oberlin College, Dr and First lady Michelle Obama called for the thinking mind of the students in particular and America as a whole. During her Graduation speech, she said everyone now wants to build, “…A community of likeminded folks and tune out all of the noise. We feed our twitter feeds with voices that confirm rather than challenge our views. If we dislike someone’s Facebook post, we unfollow them; we just unfriend them.”[1] That is the utopic world that currently bedevils this country. She continues, “In the real world, there are people who hold their opinions just as passionately as you do.” Every child should be taught this as they grow up. We are too intolerant for a supposedly “civilized" society. If someone disagrees with you, they call your job for you to be fired. If you are not fired, you are frozen. Where will they call if you don't have a job? If a teacher reads a poem that has a different taste, he is fired.[2] If someone said that he does not approve of the homosexual lifestyle, the LGBT community rallies for him to be fired.[3] If you say that you support homosexuality and abortion, the conservatives will also set fire on your back. If you are a Democrat, you hate the Republicans, and if you are a Republican, you hate everything Obama, even when some of his policies benefit your own family.
Aristotle once said, “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." Can we then say that we are educated when we cannot entertain thoughts we don’t accept?  Unsurprisingly, if a parent does not like the Pintrest of a teacher, she requests that he or she be fired.[4] People are forced to take fake names to voice their opinions in 2015. This time they are virulent because there is a big gap between the ghost name and the individual. Sometimes when people use their real names, there is at least sympathy or restraint from saying hurtful things to others they don’t know. No wonder marriages go kaput because the couples cannot debate to a consensus. While in school, many were never taught to deal with kaleidoscope of opinions. Where then is your education? It is no secret that principals and deans check the social media accounts of future teachers before employing them. Consequently, if they disagreed with the candidate, no matter his or her qualification, they will not hire that individual. In other words, they trample underfoot Voltaire’s caution to, “Think for yourself and let others enjoy the privilege of doing so too.”  All who prevent others from thinking are functional illiterates and not educators.
According to Plato “The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things.”  The interaction with different ideas is the lovely thing, plaything that every child in a school should play with. It is important for people to know that if you do not make people to think, you are not teaching them anything. A man “becomes a philosopher after he gets married to a bad wife” because he is now transcending his world of idealism into one of realism. The problems that did not exist now exist, and abstract knowledge becomes concrete experience as he reasons in his mind to reevaluate his values, if at all they make sense. It is high time parents and everyone else memorize that society is not an automaton; it is like Balaam’s horse. If pressed too hard, it will kick of its master. That is why there is a lot of rebellion today because truth was sheltered from the people, or they were kept from thinking. Rebellion comes because the oppressed wants to be free. This time around, it is the mind that is seeking to be free.
Many have been raised up to be the taskmasters who accept only acquiescence or the puppet masters who pull the strings from afar. I don't agree on many of Obama's social policies, but I cannot take that as an excuse to hate him or talk less of the wife, even when the things she is saying are true. If someone gives an opinion you don't like, give yours and let the audience you are trying to convince decide.
Initially, the conservatives fought against racial discrimination, and they also fought to increase the Age of Consent to 14 from 7 in Delaware and 10 in California respective. Unfortunately, it would seem with time values and priorities have changed. The Christians and Conservatives in America must do more with integration. No one should be hated for thinking or looking differently from us. The school is an academic environment, so it should be opened to all thinking. Parents should teach their kids the right thing at home, so they will make a better choice when they come to school. It is because my parents exposed us to different ideas as we were growing up that I have been able to stay tolerant, no matter what philosophy you espouse. I will give you 5 personal examples which are public records because some of you are used to telling lies that you think everyone is dishonest. You could verify the verifiable if you need to do so.
I am sure that you have read me say several times that Islam is inherently a very violent religion. That does not mean that I hate Muslims. In 2004, my Muslim neighbor, Ali had left the kids (13 and 10 years old) home with the wife. The wife went to the store to buy grocery and one of the kids had mistakenly called 911 because he heard about calling 911. He was just from Africa, so he was excited with having a phone in his hand. They have told him to call 911 if he was in danger, so he called for no apparent reason. When the police came, they saw scars which were traditional incision marks for protection, so they misjudged that the kids were being abused. They called Department of Children and Family services (DCFC). The kids were taken away from them for almost one year. They were Muslims, and they were my neighbors. I decided to intervene as their primary character witness. The judge was amazed that a Christian was a witness for a Muslim. It showed that the couple were really good people. Just because they were Muslims did not make them bad people to me.
One of my ex-students unfriended me on Facebook because I said that homosexuality is a deviant lifestyle that God prohibited. He labeled me a “bigot” uttering, “hate speech”. A few years ago, a teacher called Sanford was accused of choking a child. I knew that he did not do it. I also knew that he was a homosexual man. However, when I heard that he had been suspended pending investigation, I called him and asked him if he wanted me to be his character witness. He made arrangements with his lawyer, and I went to face the Board on the day of his trial. He was so happy because he did not believe I could stand for him, after all we have had some debates with him. When I faced the board, I told them that I am a Christian who is against homosexuality, so I could not support him for any other reason than the fact that I knew his character. I knew the victim too he was accused of choking. He had asked me one time if I was gay, and I said no I wasn’t. Then he said, "thank God you are not like Mr. Sanford.” I also knew that the teacher could not do it. The saddest part about it was that all the other teachers (even the gay ones) who knew and mingled with Sanford refused to stand for him because of the backlash of testifying for a gay man. One of the teachers told me that the principal wanted him to go “because you know, he likes men.” It is no more his skills but his personal life that is being evaluated. Who then is the bigot and hate speech carrier: me? What type of society are we building? Simply because he is gay does not make him a criminal, but simply because I say that i homosexuality is a deviant lifestyle doe snot make me a bigot. Simply because a woman is wearing a transparent dress with no underwear does not make her a slut or a call girl.  
Another time I was talking with some members of the LDS (Mormon Church) when a neighbor waited until they were gone. She came and asked me with bemusement what I was talking about with those people. I asked her if there was anything wrong with them, and she raised the issues of polygamy, control and clique tradition. Then I asked her if they have hurt her personally? She said no. I asked her if she had visited them or read anything from them. She said no. I said, in so far as they are encouraging people not to do evil, I will support them. I don’t need to think like them. Romney is a Mormon and Holyfield is an evangelical. They teamed up for a charity boxing match to raise money.[5] The money they raised was going to help Charity vision: a nonprofit that helps children to see.
The real world needs tolerance and cooperation for better results. If you think that you are holier than another person, try to help them to achieve that standard, rather than hand them over to the devil. I do acknowledge that the homosexuals and the Atheists are becoming more and more very intolerant. If you are not a member of a given religion, they will not hire you. Sadly, some Mormon members want to hire only Mormon members. Notwithstanding, we must still do our share to foster tolerance as Christians. 
One time, one of my students gave me an invitation to attend their church. It was a Jehovah’s Witness gathering. I went there and talked with the parents and the people. She was very happy, and her church members were very appreciative of my presence. It is like going to their football games or sports activities each time I am invited.
Another time one of my students told me that she was a witch and would like to teach me witchcraft. I told her that I cannot tell her to change, but I don’t practice witchcraft. I told her that I was willing to debate about it if she desired, or she could bring the best of their members or her parents to debate with me. She looked at me and then asked me why I would not like to be wizard. I explained to her, and then she turned and said to me, “I am sorry; I did not know that you were a Christian. I hope you do not hate me now. I told her that she was fine, and that if she felt concerned that I was treating her differently, she should let me know. I told her that I was still opened to any debate with her or her parents. She told me that her parents don’t know that she is a witch. I did not treat her differently from the way I treated her because it was her right to think and believe what she wanted. God will shifter through the goats and the sheep or the chaffs and the wheat; that is not my job. I am merely a mortal sinful man. She said, ‘I wish all my teachers were as open-minded as you are.”  Many people like others to listen to them, but I wonder if they are willing to listen to others.
During a Town Hall meeting at the City College of New York, Ken Adelman was disappointment with Mandela for his models of human rights promoters like Castro, Gaddhafi and Arafat. Mandela told him that, “one of the mistakes that some political analysts make is to think that their enemies should be our enemies.”[6] In that same Town Hall meeting, in an attempt to respond to the executive director of the American Jewish Congress: Mr. Henry Siegman, Mandela in a paraphrased version told him that the ANC was not ready to accept Svengalis. He was right because a philosophical gathering should not be close-minded. Mandela showed that he was free because he could think freely and also let others do same and the schools are not drone centers where people sit afar to pilot; every child and teacher should be the pilot of their own drone. 
Furthermore, I must place this caveat, repressing freedom of speech is fighting against God, and God will not sit silent against you. I have seen what God has done against those who have persecuted me just for my ideas. To ask for someone to be fired from their job because they said something you do not like is the same as revenge, and that makes you a participant in their evil. Yours is to rise above their evil. There are people who have treated me so badly that if I had complained, they would have paid with their jobs or even their freedom; however, vengeance does not belong to me; it belongs to God. 

Until then, people should not be persecuted for their opinions in 2015.

St Arrey of Ntenako

[1] "First Lady Michelle Obama Speaks at Oberlin College." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2015.
[2] Freedlander, David. The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast, n.d. Web. 29 May 2015.
[3] "Immaculata Suspends Teacher for Anti-gay Facebook Rant." MY CENTRAL JERSEY. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2015.
[4] "Teacher May Lose Job Over Funny Pinterest Page." 1035 KISSFM. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2015.
 [5] "Mitt Romney vs. Evander Holyfield - ENTIRE FIGHT." YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2015.
 [6] "1990 Town Hall Meeting With Nelson Mandela (New York, USA)."YouTube. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 May 2015.

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (I Cor 15:19). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Hamilton Ayuk. Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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