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The Narrow Mind

I believe it can be scientifically demonstrated that there is a direct relationship between how easily one gets offended and the narrowness of their mind.

 

Yes, this statement is supposed to be a joke. But what makes us offended? It is when we ascribe our own beliefs about someone’s motivation to their speech or their conduct. We assume we know more about the intent of someone than they do themselves. We apply our own prejudices, biases and understanding about life into someone’s speech, rather than opening our mind, and stepping back and really asking ourselves, “is this person really the person I think they are?” Sometimes they are, often they aren’t, but too far frequently we are so quick to react. Just because we ourselves may assign certain judgments to a situation, doesn’t mean everybody else thinks the same way. This is something we have to seriously consider before jumping to conclusions. It takes an open mind to do this. You can’t do this when you are offended.

 

An example is the Confederate flag. For some people, yes, it is a symbol of racism and slavery. But there are other people who simply do not share that association. To them, it represents Southern pride, community, what have you, completely devoid of anything having to do with racism. It is easy to immediately brand them as having a racist motivation for flying the flag, because that’s OUR particular association. It takes patience and a really open mind to dig deep behind the true reasons why people do things.

 

Did you find yourself suddenly bristling at my mentioning of the Confederate flag just now? Question is, why? I’m not defending the flag. I’m simply trying to make the salient point that too often we try and force our own associations into somebody else’s motivations. For some, the Confederate flag is the symbol of American racism, that’s all it can ever be. Since that’s how they view the flag, everybody must as well, therefore it makes sense that by extension, those people would be racist. And now we’re offended. For the Confederate flag flyers, they get angry that those accusing them of all sorts of horrible things cannot understand the more delicate nuances behind what the flag means, and therefore, they get offended back. They refuse to understand the sensitivity that others may have to the flag, and instead vow to fly it stronger and higher out of spite. In the end, walls are erected, and the divide grows.

 

The Confederate flag is a perfect example of what I’m talking about, but there are so many other examples out there. Too many times the past few months, I’ve seen people get outraged over articles that reinterpret what a certain political figure has said, out of context, in order to portray that individual in a predetermined construct. Talk about Fake News, they’re all FAKE, right and left! Go to the source and consider the context, not only of the entire speech, but of that person’s collective works and speech as a whole. And do so with an open mind. Respond, don’t react. Walk away. Seek truth. If we do, I think we will be amazed at what we become.

The Deflated Falcons

What a spectacle that was witnessed in last night’s Super Bowl. As a Denver fan, I am NOT a Patriots fan, however, I can respect greatness when I see it. This idea was suggested to me after the game concluded. Being in the middle of 20 million projects right now, I loved the concept, but realized I didn’t have a whole lot of time to knock it out. This is one hour’s worth of work, but it came out pretty good. If you find it funny, feel free to pass it along, just be sure to give me, Benjamin Hummel, the credit.

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A Word to the Right Wingers

This message is directed to all of my conservative, right-wing, Christian friends, especially if you voted for Trump. If you are at all even remotely observant, you would have discovered the absolute backlash against you and what you stand for all over Facebook today. All kinds of horrible and vile things are being said about who you are and about your motivations, that you know is completely untrue. Unfortunately these straw men portrayals have been perpetuated by a political party and media wishing to use these attacks as a political tool and an effective campaign strategy. This has been going on for generations, so much so, that it has become a truth to so many people.

You are told that you are the most despicable type of evil that exists, and that you must obviously be motivated by hatred, racism, sexism, you name it. You know that none of these things about you are true. You know your heart and your motivations. You know that there is nothing more that you long for than to end this bitter division and to come together as one nation. But you’ve also discovered, like me, that trying to convince people of your true nature, through words, is pointless.

If you wish to stop this backlash against you, you have only one option–to prove them wrong through your actions. That is your challenge over the next four years. You have to live like Christ lived. You have to accept your victories with grace and reach out in love to all people. You need to make it very hard for their character assassinations against you to stick. As Saint Peter said, live in such a way that false accusations against you don’t make sense. And false accusations will come. They will always come. Conduct yourself in a manner that makes them look silly.

I’m officially going to take a stand for decency. Unfortunately, I don’t see a whole lot of it since the elections. And this saddens me greatly. Screw political parties and their leaders! If we allow them to divide us, we let the WIN! Relationships mean much more to me.


PS: A long time ago, I discovered very quickly that the people who where violently opposing my political stances were doing so based on a premise about what I stood for and my motivations that was completely flawed. I errantly believed that if I could simply reassure them with persuasive word that what they thought about my politics was incorrect that we could at least open up a conversation and find some common ground.
So I became a crusader. I used Facebook, this blog, and other social media outlets as a forum, looking forward to getting a conversation started. But boy was I so wrong. Over time, I discovered that this was not the case. People preferred to hang on to their misconceptions, despite my pleading, and I lost a lot of dear friends as a result of it. When I discovered it was a worthless effort, I withdrew, preferring simply to be an observer. If I’m going to be crucified for my beliefs, I’d rather it be for my love of Christ, not over stupid politics. Only rarely will I make an exception… and I feel that now is one of those times.

PPS: I’ve watched with alarm over the past 24 hours people justify all kinds of retributory acts, including violence, against anybody who voted for Trump and for the Trump presidency. Their excuse is that it’s totally okay if it’s done in the name of “protesting the great evil.” This made me beg the question, what if, just what if, you are wrong about your assumptions of Trump and his supporters? What if he has had a change of demeanor recently? What if it is possible for him to moderate toward the middle while in office? Would that be welcome news to you? Would that provide the proper relief you need to put your fears to bed? Are you willing to put at least a glimmer of a hope that he does the right thing?

Vote YES! on Amendment 71

sworn enemies 05-01-08

For this cartoon, I’m resurrecting an oldie. I first published this cartoon in 2008! Almost ten years ago, that’s how long I’ve been deeply concerned about this issue. Finally, FINALLY we get to vote on an amendment that proposes to fix this problem.

Our state constitution is the easiest amend in the nation. The problem is, it should be very DIFFICULT to amend. It’s the freakin’ constitution! What we’ve gotten over the past couple of decades is citizen legislation via our amendment process, and it’s created all kinds of problems, not among least are amendments that actually contradict each other. Since our constitution can not be “corrected” without a majority vote of the people, it becomes arduous and cumbersome to fix those mistakes. This is why we have an elected legislature! Budget issues, traditional legislation… these are issues that should have no place in our Constitution.

The other problem is that constitutional amendments have been put on the ballot and passed solely on the support of the urban areas, without any input from the rural areas, ostracizing them from the rest of the state. It allows easy access to cement into our constitution laws that could potentially pit the interests of the urban areas against the interests of the rural.

Amendment 71 will fix that, requiring a small percentage of petitionary support from ALL Colorado counties before it can be added to the ballot. It still allows for the citizen legislature. It just keeps it more fair.

I’m alarmed at the opposition against this amendment, and most of it is based in misconception and falsehoods, obviously being spread by the outside special interest groups who are enjoying tampering with the sanctity of our state. Saw a whole slate of people who said their primary objection is that John Hickenlooper supports it, therefore it must be bad. Yeah, well, so does Bill Owens (Republican, remember him?) and every other sensible lawmaker who has served this state. Others have noticed that conservative groups are backing it, therefore they can’t support it. Soooo… let me get this straight, half of you reject it because some Democrats are supporting it and the other half are rejecting it because a bunch of Republicans are supporting it. Are you guys nuts?!? Perhaps if you could see beyond your partisan loyalty, you’d recognize that maybe the reason BOTH sides support it is because it is a GOOD IDEA!

Others have strongly objected to the idea that it would allow the rural counties to have veto power over the initiative process. Um… yep. It’s exactly that mindset that we need Amendment 71. If you’re trying to ram a BAD law into the Colorado Constitution, then that rural county veto would end up being the only stop gap that we would have. If you don’t want them to veto your Constitutional Amendments, DON’T MAKE BAD LAW!

It’s the exact same reason why our founding fathers assigned two senators to every state, regardless of size. In our republic, the little guys still deserve a voice. That’s why I support Amendment 71 and encourage you to do the same.

Common Ground

Whatever side you are on, you have to admit, this is a WEIRD election. I’m not trying to make a political statement with this piece (so no hate!), I’m just trying to be funny. And I’m not trying to go after your particular chosen candidate (I’m actually jabbing both, an equal opportunity offender.) After decades of bitter political rivalry, it’s good to see the two sides finally have something in common…

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Never Hillary trumps Never Trump

After much consternation, I have decided that I’m going to vote Donald Trump this election. Here is why.

There’s only going to be two outcomes from this election. Either Trump or Hillary is going to get elected. I’m sorry, but no third party will carry a single state, and even if they did, that’s incidental to the amount of electoral votes that person will need to take the election away from Donald or Hillary.

So my only choice is, who would be worse? If you truly believe that moral condition of both candidates is the same, then your point would be valid, it doesn’t matter who wins, the conclusion is the same, might as well write-in Alfred Newman.

I, however, do not believe that the final outcomes will be similar. I am mostly libertarian in my philosophy, my key issue being freedom and liberty. Who do I think will respect religious liberty more, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump? Well, that answer to me is pretty one-sided, Donald Trump, no comparison. Who do I think will work to protect the life of the unborn? Well we know Hillary Clinton has already said she supports abortion in the third trimester (a procedure that most of Europe has recently banned!) and whose primary donors includes Planned Parenthood. Again, the answer is pretty clear. Donald Trump, while in the past has been wishy-washy on the issue, at least has given lip service to the pro-life cause, and perhaps has made a genuine stance on the issue.

Pick any issue that matters in regards to liberty and freedom, and on all of them, Donald either is equal to Hillary, or he is fares better.

Are there some concerns about some of his stances? Yes, absolutely, especially when he proposes big government solutions to some of the issues we face. Are there some concerns about his character? Uh, yes, but character has nothing to do with policy. Some of the most charming presidents have had some of the worst policy ideas. Again, I’m a pragmatist. I recognize that we’re not electing a Messiah. We can’t get perfect in this world, so the most we can hope for is better and pray that whomever ascends to the position has a heart open enough to hear God’s prompting on their life and their leadership.

For those of you who can’t stomach a Trump presidency, this isn’t a knock on your position, you make wonderful points and raise reasonable concerns. For me, however, a Trump presidency doesn’t scare me. A Clinton one does. That’s the basis for my rational. Now I could be wrong, verdict is still in the air and the election is still a few months away. I’m not a Trumpster nor a Trump hater. I am persuadable and there’s still much that can be done to move my opinion one way or the other.


PS. I’m really fed up with the BS accusations about Trump and the Republicans being racist. If “racism” is the only reason why you won’t vote for Trump, then you are seriously deceived, and quite honestly, intellectually lazy. Since the Republicans have been falsely and bizarrely (bizarre as to how in the world is it allowed to stick without any evidence!?!) of racism, naturally, Trump must be racist by association. It’s intellectually lazy, because it’s become the go-to rhetoric to try and shut up opposition speech when you don’t know how else to combat it.
After his acceptance speech, I can’t tell you how many liberals and blog writers summed it up by saying it was the most racist thing they had ever heard. Which means, they didn’t listen to it, because if they did, there’s no way in the world a reasonable person would have come to that conclusion. Even if Trump is racist, that speech was the furthest from racist one can get! The whole night both Ivanca and Trump pandered to every single minority group, promising policies to help their group on a personal level, INCLUDING the LGBTQ community! The few shots of the crowd (were very quick, because it’s clear even the networks are trying to promote this racist meme) showed an extremely diverse group complete with Asians, Jews, Blacks, Hispanics and Whites. A large contingent of Hispanics were waving signs proclaiming “¡Hispanics para Trump!” Even with this video evidence, I still heard some claim that there were only whites in the crowd! Yeah, I get that that’s what you hope the truth is, but when reality proves otherwise, how can you mentally get around looking at a picture and then calling it what it isn’t?!
If you’re in the camp that’s trying to tell me that his acceptance speech was racist, then it’s obvious that you had mud in your ears, and truth and reality don’t matter to you, so it’s obvious I cannot reason with you.
If you want to PERSUADE me not to vote Trump, use real FACTS, not broad racist accusations.

Super Delicates

super-delicates-cartoon-bhummel-2016

I apologize for the crudity of this cartoon. I’m normally not this vulgar, but it really has become this type of election campaign.


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Leper Con

Because it’s funny, that’s why.

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Trump the Madness

For those who have known me long, you might have picked up on a few things. First, I am a libertarian leaning conservative. Second, I try not to get mired into any allegiances with individual people or politicians. I simply don’t have the stomach for it. And third, while I will frequently sit back and remain quiet, I am very quick to defend, rigorously, truth and freedom.

 

The latest hysteria over Donald Trump is what has me particularly troubled. Reading the blogs that I do, this feverish outrage is coming from both Republicans and Democrats. Look. Donald Trump is a lot of things. He’s insulting, unfiltered, narcissistic, crass, bullying. But he is also NOT a lot of things that have been unfairly attributed to him. Let’s not make him worse than he already is. The reason he is getting this reputation is that so many are WANTING to believe the false narrative put out about him by both the liberal media AND the Republican establishment. That’s what I’ve noticed about politics over the course of 30 some years. We are eager to villianize our opponents. It’s not enough that we have evidence that such politician has a zit on his forehead. Nope, we are going to immediately proclaim that he has leprosy, thereby justifying our poor treatment and quarantine of that individual.

 

Donald Trump has some undesirable traits. But let’s drop the hyperbole and stick with just the facts. Let’s not allow ourselves to get caught up in the mob mentality and be quick to hate. Let’s not assume attributes to an individual so that we can justify our hate. Yes, I’ve seen the YouTube clips. Yes, they are troubling. But they are a string of clips taken out of context to make Donald Trump appear to be somebody worse than he is. Guess what? I can find a string of YouTube clips of words spoken by Barack Obama himself that suggest that he’s the antichrist. Heck, I could probably slice and dice the words of Mr. Rogers, if I wanted, to make him sound like Stalin.

 

The point is, STOP! Take a deep breath. Before you start lashing out all of these hateful accusations against an individual, ask yourself if the means by which you are doing so is not hateful itself? The ironic thing is, I’ve seen several of my friends on Facebook repost a picture of Donald Trump painted naked (with a very small …), complaining about how Trump is so crude. Huh, what? Is not your posting just as crude? Are we to the point where the wrong we proclaim to hate we are allowed to exercise in response?

Are we to the point where the wrong we proclaim to hate we are allowed to exercise in response?

Take a deep evaluation. Where did your ideas about this person come from? Are they based on a personal knowledge of that individual, or have they been worked up by all of the far left or far right blogs and YouTube videos you’ve been watching? Here is what I know. Ten years ago, during the middle of the “Apprentice,” NOBODY would have suggested Donald Trump was any of the things they are now accusing him of being. He was clearly not racist on his TV show (ask contestant Amarosa). He was not bigoted. He was not Hitler. He was not Satan. He didn’t become those things until… he joined the presidential race as a Republican. Suddenly, Donald became all of those things.

 

People loved him back then. They envied his wealth, his influence. They watched his show. They loved the way he said “you’re fired.” And yet we were SOOO willing to forget all of this once the political mud slinging started. How do I know this?

 

I went to Donald Trump’s Facebook page. I wanted to see who among my friends liked it. I was shocked. Some of the most outspoken against Mr. Trump currently liked his page. Both from my liberal and Republican friends. No doubt they liked the page long before Donald entered the race and simply forgot they had done so. What changed? Did Donald Trump change? Or did you allow yourself to get caught up in the hype? (Quick, run to your Facebook and double check this isn’t you!)

 

Sean Hannity made the observation that Donald Trump is very polarizing. You either love him or hate him. There seems to be no middle ground. I’m trying to be that middle ground. I’m not a huge fan, but I don’t revile him either. The point of this blog is not Donald Trump, but the greater picture of the human condition. Let’s together avoid mob think and start searching and standing for truth.

Newtonian Physics

Broncos win!

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Day of Rest

Just my feelings after every Bronco’s win this season.

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The Force that Is The Donald

trump-go-roundFor the most part, I have been sitting back watching the Republican primary race unfold, a bit detached from everything, and somewhat amused. Reading the copious blogs that I do, apparently, I’m in the minority, as the Republican infighting has become fierce. And at the center of it all is Donald Trump.

It has become quite clear to anybody who is honest that the Democrat party is now the Socialist party of America. I’m not bagging on it, it’s merely an observation, and even honest liberals I’ve talked to say the same thing. The Republican party is going through an identity crisis, trying to decide whether it wants to fill the slot that the Democrats left open, or move back to its classically liberal (and by that, I mean more in the sense of libertarianism… it’s been documented that the term “liberal” has been hijacked by the progressive left, a term once belonging to the Republicans and once standing for individualism, liberty, personal and fiscal responsibility) roots on which it was founded.

And in the middle of this epic battle, enter stage right, Donald Trump! The non-politician, uncouth, politically incorrect fireball has swooned a YUGE majority of Republican voters and the political class cannot figure out why. Liberals are going nuts, eager to exaggerate Trump’s antics in order to further the false narrative of all conservatives being the worst reprobates ever to walk the planet. And with Trump commanding 30% in the polls, it’s not hard for them to try and lump everybody in that camp.

However, let’s peel back the hype a little, step outside our political allegiances, and let’s break this down rationally. This, at least, from how I see the world.

To start, Donald Trump is the product of bully politics, not the cause of it. If you are not a conservative, then you probably do not understand just how frustrating and demeaning it has been when the Democrats and the media successfully tar, feather and brand conservative ideas as being hate-based. Even during the most egregious violations of first amendment rights, conservatives who dared to defend those rights were charged with all sorts of anti-(fill in the people group here). The classic example was when Hobby Lobby questioned why they should be FORCED to purchase something for their employee, simply because she wanted it, when it violated their religious objections (aka, the contraceptions). Heck, I’m against being FORCED to purchase ANYTHING for my employees, let alone something I disagree with. And yet, we were told that because of our LIBERTARIAN and FIRST AMENDMENT stance on this issue, that we wanted to roll back woman’s rights, stick women in the kitchen with bare feet, deny them voting, etc. It was infuriating, because women’s rights had NOTHING to do with the issue, but bully politics was shown to be highly effective.

Pick any issue, and the results were the same. Voter ID? You’re a racist. Religious freedom? You’re a homophobe. Border security? Bigot. Fiscal Responsibility? Hater. Republicans in Congress gave lip service to defending all of these things, but in the end, the false accusations made almost every single one of them cave to the Democrat’s demands. It’s as if Republicans were at the playground, getting bullied, beat up, and lunch money stolen by the mean Democrats. Republican voters are so sick and tired of being bruised and battered. All of a sudden, Donald wanders onto the playground and socks these bullies a few times in the nose, leveling the field a little bit. Perhaps his method isn’t the right way to handle it, but does it matter? Republicans have turned the other cheek so much that they’ve run out of cheeks! They don’t even know if he is a conservative, but they don’t care, he’s taking it to the establishment, and he’s not afraid to fight.

Obama has probably been one of the most divisive presidents in recent history. He has made no bones about the fact that his real enemies are conservatives. Instead of defending truth and justice, blind of partisan politics, he attacks and intimidates conservatives, using every department of the federal government he can get his hands on. You can only beat up somebody for so long before they snap. Republican voters do not want to simply switch the balance of power. They want revenge. They want paybacks. They want liberals to have a slight taste of the injustices they have suffered since 2008. To them, Donald represents that. When liberals began attacking the Donald, instead of cowing like most Republicans, he swung harder. That’s attractive to a lot of people.

Look, I’m not saying this is my position, it’s just my assessment of a lot of voters in the party based upon what they are saying on the various blogs and political forums. I happen to lean more libertarian. I also like to sit and observe, often times with amusement, the political sphere before I come in heavy with assumptions and judgments. I am the perfect portrayal of the political middle, at least from where I’m standing. 😉

It’s debatable whether or not Trump would make a good president. I would hope that before swearing to take an oath of office that he would read through the Constitution and Bill of Rights, from foreword to final period, so that he knows that the president should have limited powers. I do worry that we will trade a left wing tyrant for a right wing one, and I’m not even sure he’s even all that right wing. People point out that he used to be a Democrat and that he can’t be trusted. Well, Reagan used to be a Democrat too, and he turned out okay. Who knows? All I know is that the inclusion of Trump in the race has made this a very interesting election season indeed.

Thoughts the morning after the Paris attacks

We are at war. By we, I mean anybody who loves freedom. We do not get to choose not to be in this war, it was waged against us. When someone picks a fight with you, you don’t get a choice not to be in the fight. There are two choices: Stand up and defend ourselves, or be destroyed. There is no other choice. These attacks demonstrate once again that there is a such thing as evil in this world, and that evil cannot be compromised with or appeased. You can give evil everything it demands, and it will still take more. You see, the only thing that will satiate the blood thirst of these people is absolute power and dominion and freedom loving folks stand in the way. There was no Western nation more friendly and accommodating to Islam, and still, look at what became of it.

Radical terroristic Islam is just like Nazism of the 1930s and 40s. It must be conquered in a similar manner. This cancerous thought must be destroyed. Our challenge today is that there is not a single figurehead like Hitler that we can focus our energies on. There is no single nation state we can turn our attention to. We must give young people tempted by this ideology a clear and obvious choice. First by destroying with swift resolve anywhere where this cancer resides, but then having the international community come back in to help rebuild the societies that are left behind. Teach the beauty of freedom and make the choice clear. Choose tyranny and you will be destroyed or choose freedom and you will thrive.

Trump-Go-Round

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Here’s a little caricature. It just seemed to make sense, and for crying out loud, it’s funny! I’m actually not really trying to make a huge political statement with this (it’s okay to let loose once in a while and just have fun, right?)

Do I think the Donald will win the nomination? Who knows. Am I supporting him in the primaries? Well, he certainly isn’t my first choice, no. I’m not sure who I really like, but I like the gumption Carly or Ben are displaying, and I’ve always been a huge fan of Marco Rubio. Regardless, Trump has certainly taken command of the conversation, of the electorate, and whether the Elephants like it or not, he is riding their party on the endless cycle of the American political system.

Defending Choice

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To read the article this cartoon is illustrating, go here.

http://www.ccu.edu/centennial/review/september-2015/

The Supreme Court has ruled that homosexual marriage is the law of the land, based upon the belief that gay marriage is somehow a due process right. Marriage itself, perhaps, maybe, but as originally defined. This had nothing to do with denying anybody the right to marriage, but rather whether or not individual states could define what it looks like. Perhaps changing the definition to include same sex partners makes sense from a secular humanist worldview, but the problem is, last poll I checked, approximately 60% of Americans still identified themselves as Christian.

This ruling created a very sticky situation for many Christians who hold strong beliefs about sexual purity. How much of the power of the State is going to try and interfere with those beliefs and do Christians have protections to live and conduct their lives around those beliefs? As the Kim Davis situation has demonstrated, apparently, Christians are to conform or else….

When the cake lady first made the news, I thought, well, heck, only an extreme leftist kook would think it is okay to deny religious freedom to a sole proprietor. Getting into the mix of the debate, boy, was I sure wrong. The number of people who assumed that once you run a business you no longer have religious freedoms was shocking. So what are those protections for then? The closed door of one’s private home? To some, yes.

The reasons were broad, and the misconceptions were many. Because I feel like the ease at which people were willing to castigate the Christian business owners was so great, and because of the dangerous precedent this creates, I really feel like I need to address each debating point brought up. The LGBT movement has done a great job labeling any spoken word that isn’t lock step with their agenda as being hate-speech, thereby shutting it down. But, what is more hateful? Destroying the livelihood of a fledgling mom and pop business, bringing upon the couple poverty and ruin, simply because they wouldn’t do what their competitors down the street were happy to do? Or talking about such issues?

 

Christians do not have the right to force their views on others.

This is the first and most common objection. And I absolutely agree with them. Problem is, the Christian photographer did not go and seek out the gay couple and tell them they couldn’t get married. I would take issue with that. Rather, the gay couple came to her and told her, “by force of law, you have to photograph our wedding.” Excuse me, but who’s forcing who in this situation? Who is getting their freedom denied? The gay couple can simply pick up the phone and find another photographer. And if you know anything about the photography industry, you’ll know that 99% of photographers embrace homosexual marriage. The issue has never been about lack of accommodation.

In some cases, such as with the baker, the business owner even offered an alternative, a friend who would do exactly what the gay couple wanted. They were in essence saying, “I cannot do this because it would violate my beliefs, but I don’t want to deny you the right to these services, so here is the number of my friend.” By still pursuing the lawsuit, the gay couple in essence responded with, “You are not allowed to have those beliefs. We’ll do what we can to change them.” Who is being more tolerant here?

 

The 1964 Public Accommodation Act forbids Christians from denying service to anybody.

Boy, have I heard this one, and boy is it being misapplied in this situation. The problem is, using this objection is trying to paint over this whole situation with a broad brush, refusing to acknowledge or recognize certain very clear distinctions. If the Christian baker said to the homosexual couple, “get out of my store, you are gay,” I would defend the gay couple. That’s not what happened. The baker mentioned that they made birthday cakes for the couple in the past. So clearly, they are not denying service to the gay couple. The distinction is whether or not an artisan or craftsman, like the bakers, can decide what kind of products they produce. Or whether the state has the right to dictate to them the object of their art.

The analogy I keep hearing is, “Well does that give an auto mechanic the right to turn down a gay couple because it’s his religious beliefs?” This argument is not even analogous. Of course, the auto mechanic has to serve the gay couple. If they are doing the same transmission work on the gay couple’s car as anybody else’s, then, yes, they have to serve them. I defer back to the birthday cake example. Now if the gay couple came to a car airbrusher and asked to have “Gay Pride” spray painted on the side in rainbow colors so they could drive their car during Pridefest, the airbrusher should have the right to say “no, this is not the type of product I wish to create.” And if I was that airbrusher, I would protect my butt by referring them to a friend who would. The issue isn’t that he doesn’t want to serve the gays, the issue is that he doesn’t want to support that message!

That’s a huge distinction that keeps getting lost. The examples are numerous. Should a printer be forced to print porn if they disagree with it? Should a restaurant owner be forced to cook meat, in order to “accommodate” all of us meat eaters? No! In all cases, even the most leftist would say, if you want meat, go to a restaurant that makes it.

The other giant hole in the accommodation argument is the fact that most of these people finding themselves in trouble are actually independent freelancers, without a storefront or retail space. To the photographer, the caterer, the musicians–they are literally saying come and BE IN our wedding, or else we will destroy you. This has nothing to do with accommodation on the part of these freelancers.

 

I would be happy to take on a Christian project, even though I’m not Christian, I don’t understand why you Christians can’t do the same.

This is usually the final retort I hear. And to it, I say, that’s great! That’s your choice. I wish to support your right to make money however you see fit, and if that means creating art and product that violates your core beliefs, more power to you. No doubt there are some Christians that would still bake that cake, even in spite of their beliefs. The point is, that is your CHOICE, and that’s what I am defending.

If you decided NOT to create a Christian product (say an illustrator turned down a job from Focus on the Family), I would support that choice as well. In the case of the pizza shop, GoFundMe shut down the  GoFundMe page that was set up to help the pizza business offset the costs of being targeted by a liberal reporter because the cause was in violation of their beliefs. GoFundMe refused their service to a Christian because of their beliefs! And these same LGBT people applauded GoFundMe for this courageous decision without even recognizing the sheer irony of it. Do I support GoFundMe’s right to do this? While I disagree with the decision, the answer is yes.

The judges who are siding with the LGBT movement in these cases are doing so for the purpose of advancing a personal agenda and without any amount of compassion for the Christians. It’s not enough for Christians to live and let live, as many have. They must change their thinking about homosexuality. If we cannot persuade them, then we will force them, by the power of the state. Lives ruined, First Amendment redefined… that’s what this cartoon is about.


PS, I’m not making any judgements on homosexuality, one way or the other, with this particular post, as I feel it would detract from the greater point that I’m trying to defend, and that is of freedom. I have many friends and some family who have chosen this lifestyle, and God bless them, I love them dearly and they are wonderful people. Sometimes defending freedom means defending people with whom we disagree.

Transparency

benjamin-hummel-transparency-2015The first time I ran this cartoon, I was very sick and my drawing of Hillary was embarrassing. I’ve since redrawn it and I’m quite pleased with the caricature, in fact, I think it rather funny, which is the point of caricature to begin with.

I cannot say with any measure of certainty, whether or not Hillary Clinton did illegal things with her emails, server, etc. I can make assumptions and I will let the legal experts sort it out, but I am amazed at the absolute lack of scrutiny made by the Democrat party. Seriously, if this were a Republican, his entire party would turn on him and he would be mincemeat within a week, guilty or not. That’s what I’m hoping to draw attention to (draw attention…, see what I did there?) with this cartoon. I am so fed up with the blind allegiance to these political candidates, on both sides. Is it not beyond the realm of possibility that this human being you have put up on a pedestal could have acted inappropriately, if not illegally? Wouldn’t you want to search for the truth, in order to hold everybody accountable? In America, are we all not responsible to the law? Or are those in power exempt?

No more needs to be said than that. Hope you enjoy the cartoon!

Just a silly cartoon.

As the election of 2016 ramps up, I have plenty of fodder for upcoming cartoons. (If I can find time to work on them). However, in the mean time, here’s a little light hearted cartoon that I think both sides can enjoy.

TWITTER-DISCIPLES

Jeffco Schoolboard Recall

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To start out this post, I have to say, I hate recall elections.  They are a blight on the democratic process. I have always been consistent in this. I spoke out when Republicans used the “recall” process to remove two Democrat Senators in Colorado Springs just as strongly as when I spoke out against the Scott Walker recall. It is disgusting, it undermines the will of the people. In the case of the Colorado Springs’ Senators, the excuse was, oh, well, they passed laws that were anti-second amendment. Yes, so did a majority of State Senators, and so did Governor John Hickenlooper. Was it a bad law? Yes, it was a terrible law, but I’m sorry, when you elect anti-second amendment Democrats, that’s what you are going to get. Why should there be any surprise in this?

The same goes for Scott Walker. He spelled out exactly what he was going to do when elected. The people elected him anyway. Then he did exactly what he said he was going to do. And we are shocked, why? Yes, there’s a small minority interest group (with a national, organized powerbase) that doesn’t like what he did, but that should not give them the right to out him like they tried to do.

The same is true for this current Jeffco recall. The conservative school board ran on a platform that included many of the changes they said they would enact. The people who elected them were fully aware that this was the type of board they were going to get. These members did not hide their intentions when trying to get elected. To recall them is to completely disregard the collective will of the people of Jeffco. If they are doing a crappy job, then let that be determined properly and legally, when their term ends and they are up for re-election.

In researching this cartoon, I wanted to get inside of the heads of those behind the recall. I went on their websites. I watched their TV clips. I listened as they spelled out a variety of reasons for the recall.

First, they claim that the state of Jeffco schools is a disaster. I suppose this is subjective, because I, as a Jeffco resident and tax payer, am very happy with the changes. Based upon the increase in higher teacher pay, more local control, and more financial equity among individual schools, to me, it looks like things are actually moving in the right direction.

Secondly, these proponents of the recall kept pointing back to the changing of the AP program and the consequent student walk out. That whole debacle was a manufactured farce to begin with, as I have documented in other blogs. The school board only mentioned they wanted to bring the curriculum up for review, to see if it needed to be changed. The outrage over the review was remarkable. Accountability comes with reviews. To be outraged at the review indicates zero desire for accountability. And of course, the student walk outs, make no mistake about this either, had nothing to do with ideology, and everything to do with taking the afternoon off. Most students, when pressed, could not even answer why they were marching.

Another big claim they make is that the board “broke the law,” in regards to the compensation of the new superintendent. My guess is that these people realized that simple policy differences are not enough to warrant a recall, and in order to get enough signatures to hold the recall, if they added “and they broke the law,” people would sign the petition, most likely without even asking questions.

When you say “broke the law,” the imagery most people get initially is probably going to be something like bank robbers with guns. I have not done enough research into the alleged accusation to know if it is warranted, but from what I have read, it sounds much more of a technical issue than anything else, and the conservative board insists that the charges are baseless. If they truly did break the law, then a prosecutor should have already brought charges. And, in case anybody forgot, this is America, where you are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. If they did break the law, a recall is not what you need, you need a trial. Due process is guaranteed to everybody, not just those who politically agree with you.

Finally, there is one website that makes the claim that these school board members should not serve as head of public education because (wait for it)… they are Christian. Well, there you go. Didn’t realize that Christian discrimination is a cause for recall. (Granted, it was a line item among several other reasons, but it still caught my attention.)

The point of the cartoon is, there is a lot of good the school board has done, whether the haters wish to acknowledge it or not. This good has been documented. Some mistakes have been made as well, yes, but if we ousted everybody who made a mistake, no Democrat would be holding office (and to be fair, neither would Republicans). This recall is disruptive and ruinous. Achievement rates in Jeffco have improved since these changes have been implemented. The unions who are ultimately behind the recall are destroying the train of progress that has been established. This recall hurts the children most of all. These conservatives have put a system into place. Let’s let it run its course and let these school board members do their jobs.

In full disclosure, I happen to be good friends with one of the conservative board members. Does this taint my perspective? Of course, and I’m willing to admit it. However, because I do know this individual, I can give personal testimony that this person is a good and decent individual, who desires only the best for the children of Jeffco. None of the villainous accusations made against him are true. He is a family man, a genuine guy, and a true American. 

Relics of an American Past

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So if you are waiting for my response on the Supreme Court’s decision last Friday, here it is. To sum up what it is really about, let me quote for you the first posting I saw on Facebook the following morning from someone I considered a friend. “The fight is far from over as long as we still have Christians in America,” as she posted a picture of James Dobson. In response, she received several likes and approving comments, many of them taking the occasion to Christian bash.

For the record, I will neither come out condemning nor condoning marriage redefinition, so as to not sully the greater point I’m trying to make. I entertained the idea of using the time to clarify the Christian doctrine of sexual discipline, but apparently such held beliefs are hateful, and it doesn’t matter how many times Christians online have tried to spell out in love and with compassion what they believe in this matter and why, they are completely ignored, misrepresented, and distorted, with few attempts by the other side to try and achieve mutual understanding. Realizing it is a lost cause, I gave up. My biggest concern now is the right of conscientious objection, and after reading that Facebook post, I believe my concerns are legitimate.

In Colorado, the legislature eventually decided to legally change the definition of marriage to include same sex individuals. While I may disagree with that ruling, I completely support the legislature’s right to do so, as that is their constitutional authority. However, it is NOT the role of the court to make such decisions.

Marriage redefinition was already spreading across the nation, with 23 states already having laws that allowed it. It was pretty easy to see that within five years, it would become legal in all 50 states. Such decisions should be left up to the states, as the Tenth Amendment clearly states. But the Supreme Court completely ran right over the Bill of Rights in this decision. For those who are celebrating the decision because you agree with it, my question is, are you okay with the fact that it came about illegally? Are you okay that you got your way by violating the Constitution, and by giving excess powers to a branch of government that should not have it, according to the Constitution? If this was a conservative decision that came about in the exact same manner, would you legitimize it like you are doing with this decision? And the biggest question now is, will you have tolerance for those whose ideas and beliefs about this subject are different than yours?

Finally, the broader point is this: Between the president’s illegal executive orders and the Supreme Court, a lot of law has been created over the past 6 years. It is the job of Congress, when this starts to happen, according to the Constitution, to be that check and balance and to bring about retribution to a lawless president and a lawless court. There are plenty of actions available to them to allow them to do this. Unfortunately, we now have an inept Congress, unwilling to speak up or act out when their rightful power is taken from them. Our founders clearly wanted laws to be created only by the representatives of the people, taken from a broad swath of the country. The president only represents one ideology, his own, and if all power is left to him, he is free to make decisions that marginalizes large portions of the republic. This is something the founders feared the most, which is why they severely limited his power in the Constitution. But if the Congress is unwilling to stand up against it, the onus is on them, and in the end, they are the ones who are making themselves obsolete, relics of a bygone era.

Hold That Thought

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Here’s a Hummel Heights cartoon for your mutual enjoyment.

Totally inspired by the way Bill Watterson could tell a complete story by using pictures and visual allegory. That’s my attempt with this. Illustrating it made me smile the whole time.

Enjoy!