Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Faith Based Initiatives and the Baptist Men's Disaster Relief Project.

I just got off the phone with my dad. I hadn't talked to him in a couple of weeks, so it was a lengthy conversation. He and I are much more alike than either of us can comfortably admit, but to me, he is one of the coolest people in the whole universe.

I miss him terribly.

I called him because I wanted to find out when he was going to New Orleans.

He is a Southern baptist minister, and pastors a little Church in Brunswick, North Carolina. He is also heavily involved in the North Carolina Baptist Men's Disaster Recovery Project. Basically, this operation goes wherever there has been a natural disaster, and feeds relief workers, and victims, among other things.

Dad was a Mess Seargent in the Army when he was younger, and his whole life, if you needed mass quanities of good, edible food cooked very well in a very short period of time, he was the man to see.

This project is right up his alley.

He hasn't yet been called upon to go to New Orleans, but it is a matter of time.

He WILL go.

I told him that if I can be of any help, to let me know, and I will make arangements to meet him there and help, in whatever capacity that I am useful. Live bodies, willing to work, are always useful in some capacity in situations like this.

In case anyone missed it, Hurricane Katrina, a category 5 hurricane caused by global warming brought on by the Bush administration's refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol, and further accelerated by the Bush Tax Cuts for the Rich and the War in Iraq, hit the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi yesterday, pretty much laying waste to everything in it's path. There will be a severe need for disaster relief workers for months to come, maybe even years.

The Baptist Men's Disaster Relief Operation is an amazing thing. It is an All Volunteer Army, dedicated to making life easier for the victims of natural disasters like this one. They can take their equipment trailers and personel into an area where there is no electricity or running water, and cook and serve thousands of meals a day, at no cost to the victims or workers. They cook the food, serve the food, wash the dishes, and provide showers and personal hygiene supplies to whoever needs these services, no matter what the conditions may be. They are highly trained, and very professional. A real class act.

And they do this not for fame, appreciation, or glory, but because they believe that God inspires and directs them to do it. I personally know a lot of these men, and I know this to be true.

They are mostly funded through the Southern Baptist Convention, and private donations, though they do recieve some funding from the Government, through President Bush's Faith Based Initiatives Program.

Over the next few months, the Southern Baptist Men will help millions of people who have been hurt by this disaster, as well as the workers and volunteers who have come to help these people.

So the next time you hear anyone complain about how hateful and evil Christians are, and how bad it is that Religious Organizations have Tax Exempt Status, ask them when was the last time they heard of the Athiest Men's Disaster Relief Project, or saw an Athiest Organization build a Hospital, or a Homeless Shelter, or a Drug Detox center, or anything that helps anyone else. (Government Programs don't count.)

Then point out to them the Baptist Men's Disaster Relief Project, and show them what God's people do in the world. Not because they have to, not because they are forced to, but because they are lead to.

By God.

Whether you believe in God or not, you HAVE to admit that this project is worthwhile, and should be supported.

It MUST be supported.

63 comments:

alaletos said...

While still in high shcool there was a bad storm that did some major damage. and we went on like a 2-3 day trip to help. We built roofs, decks, we cleaned up debry and helped feed people. Its one of my favorite trips .

I got to hang with close friends and help. Its an awesome experience.

your dad is a beast behind a grill!!! laters

Erudite Redneck said...

Amen.

BTW, the Catholic Dr. ER noted this evening that the first relief efforts she saw in N.O. was ... the Baptist Men. ... Did mol' backslid Baptist heart good.

Mark said...

I was listening to the Glenn Beck radio show yesterday. He is a Mormon.

He is going to have an auction next week, with the proceeds going to disaster relief and he invited business owners to call his show and shamelessly promote their business if they would help by donating things to sell.

The remarkable thing was that the first several calls did not want to go on the air, They simply wanted to donate anonymously.

That is Christianity.

screwball said...

I am normally very untrustful of Christians, and I am a firm believer in the Separation between Church and State. Still, now is not the time for this debate. Right now too many people need too much help for this argument.

god bless your father and anyone else helping the Gulf coast right now.

cats dig me said...

I agree with screw here. Mostly super conservative Christians always want to force their religious beliefs on the entire world. This, however is not the time or place for that discussion.

God bless all those who are helping in the relief efforts.

alaletos said...

In addition to my earlier post. me and a few guys from church are taking the church bus and our big tent, and medical supplies, and we are driving to Louisianna to help a local church who is currently housing 400 families. So I May see your dad. Cuz we will be in baton rouge and New orleans.

tugboatcapn said...

Cool, AJ!
When are you leaving?

Just be sure not to force your Religious beliefs on anybody while you are there, and try not to help rebuild any Government buildings...

tugboatcapn said...

That was pretty good, Guys...

(Paraphrasing)"Christians really, REALLY suck, but right now we need them to keep on helping people, so now is not the time or place for this discussion...And God Bless!!"

I am very proud of both of you.

Thank you for your kind comments.

rich bachelor said...

Well buddy: you're the one who got all political about it.
Good luck down there.

tugboatcapn said...

Just because someone looks down their nose at me doesn't mean that I am beneath them, Bachelor...

alaletos said...

we will have all of our information, and campsite by next wednesday.

Pastor Mike was on the radio today, we have had crazy donations for food, toiletries, and all kinds of stuff. all thats gonna be sent by truck.

Ill keep ya posted on whats happnin

cats dig me said...

Just because someone, or some group, does something good, doesn't mean everything they do is good. I appreciate all the kind Christians helping out in this time of great human suffering. That doesn't let them off the hook for condemning the rest of humanity to hell because we don't share their narrow view of God.

cats dig me said...

And please don't "paraphrase" my words. I am a professional writer and am quite capable of speaking my mind in my own terms. I never said ALL Christians suck. I never used the word suck at all.

My opinion is that the few super conservative theo-cons in this country want to set the agenda for all of us. I have no problem at all with open-minded, loving, forgiving Christians.

screwball said...

and I said that "normally I am very untrustful of Christian."

no one has ever used the "suck" word.

screwball said...

I grew up in a household that did not practice religion. even as a small child I was told by christians that I was going to hell--very hostily, I might add. now, as an adult, this continues.

because of this abuse, I do not care for christians.

I have nothing against Christ, but christians rub me the wrong way.

tugboatcapn said...

Well,then, thanks for clearing all that up for us.

cats dig me said...

You are very welcome, kind sir.

screwball said...

we were gonna let it go, but you pushed the issue:

(Paraphrasing)"Christians really, REALLY suck, but right now we need them to keep on helping people, so now is not the time or place for this discussion...And God Bless!!"
-------------signed Tug

frankly, Tug, that wasn't called for. we were being very civil.

o-likewoah said...

hey dude if you end up going let me know when- cause i do want to do something when it becomes possibal- lake maybe when gas situation straightens out. Let me know if and how i can help

btw- hey i miss you guys alot (and i can almost play cowboys from hell...though i am about a beat and a halfe too slow)hope to hear from ya soon

o-likewoah said...

correction to previous post:
*A LOT* its two words, sorry DJ :P

rich bachelor said...

And that "looking down their nose" thing really needs to have been a joke about the "good luck down there".
I was really honestly giving you the blessing, in as much as people like me do that.

tugboatcapn said...

So was I.

You guys can't form a thought without attacking the things that you feel threaten you, and I am calling you on it.

Your so called "civil" comments were very offensive to me. Aparently you guys believe that it is okay to attack, and disparage, and insult people who you don't understand, and who are different than you, as long as you do it in the name of diversity.

Please...

As to my paraphrasing of your comments, I will continue to do it whenever I want, so you have been warned.
Just because you did not use the specific words that I used, does not mean you did not say what you said. (And it didn't sound any dumber when I said it than it did when YOU said it.)

And the best part is, This is your idea of CIVILITY!

For people who make their living with words, you guys sure don't have any idea how your words sound.

tugboatcapn said...

By the way, Screwball, I have no idea what you do for a living, I just assumed that the two of you worked together, or something like that.
Please forgive me if I was wrong.
Thanks.

screwball said...

let's go back for a moment, my original post was not meant to be offensive at all. considering the state of emergency going on, we shouldn't fall into attacks--which happened anyway.

to me, that post wasn't offensive at all, but someone had to imply that it meant something offensive beneath the surface. it didn't. I'm glad that secular and none secular organizations are trying to help the situation.

now, let's move on.

(and yes, I write. I consider it an addiction, not an occupation).

tugboatcapn said...

Well, I have never liked liberals, and I have always believed that they were mostly anti-American, but right now, we really need the taxes that they pay, so now is not the time for this discussion.
You are forgiven.

screwball said...

try not to be a jackass.

tugboatcapn said...

Just trying to fit in, Dude...

cats dig me said...

As far as attacking things we feel threaten us...hell yes! Kinda like Bush attacking Iraq and Afghanistan. You don't seem to have a problem with that.

And as to "disparaging people I don't understand", I understand the ultra-conservative Christian quite well. The uber-con Christian believes that because of their personal relationship with Jesus Christ that they will be saved and go to heaven to sit at the right hand of God. They also believe that not only are all non-Christians going to hell, but people from other Christian denominations are headed there as well. They also think it is okay to force the rest of the world to go along with their belief system and make their religious beliefs statutary law. They usually have a thourough, but superficial knowledge of the Bible. A literal grasp of the Good Book does not ensure an understanding of its deeper meaning. The Bible is mostly filled with metaphores. The theo-cons take it as literal experience.

Your Jerry Falwells, Pat Robertsons et al, use this knowledge of the faithful yet ignorant, average conservative Christian, to bilk them out of money and increase their own power base.

To this end they convince their readers/listeners/viewers that all liberals are evil and want to rip God out of everything. We don't. We want to keep God where he belongs, in the hearts of good people everywhere. We just want to keep that very small wall up that separates church and state. That wall is there to protect you too, Tug. Would you want your children or grandchildren to be forced to learn the Koran if enough Moslems lived here to be a small majority of the US population?

My words sounded dumb, eh? I was simply trying to be up front and honest. I did not want to be evasive about my beliefs, while at the same time I wanted to be supportive of the relief workers. I shall not make that mistake again. Next time I'll be sure to hide my true feelings so no one has to feel "ickey"

Tug, you always ask us to be nice and then you sucker punch us. If we complain about that, you just shrug and say liberals can't stomache a good debate. I can debate, at least that is what it says on that rather large trophy on my bookshelf, but I like my playing fields semi-level.

screwball said...

dude

tugboatcapn said...

You guys did not like it when I turned your words around on you, even though you still defend your intentions when you said what you said.

I do not follow the Falwells and Robertsons of the world. I believe that they do far more damage to the cause of Christianity with their extreme comments and ridiculous positions on controversial subjects than they could ever do good, if they were actually dedicated to the cause of Christ.
Real Christians do not condemn anyone to Hell, they try to lead people to Heaven. They do not want to stifle anyone's freedoms, They simply want to share with the rest of the world the joy that can be realized by a personal relationship with Christ.
If you would like to express apreciation for the work that Christians are doing for the victims of this storm, then do so without adding the un-nessecary caviats of how bad you believe Christians to be.
And I would respectfully suggest that in the future, you should refrain from laying giant turds in the middle of the room, and then complaining that it stinks in here.

Jamie Dawn said...

God bless your dad and all that his organization does. Those of us who have given money, feel helpless in many ways because we are not there in any hands-on way.
I am so thankful for all those who through various organizations are there or will be there to help.

tugboatcapn said...

Thank you very much for your kind words, Jamie.
I will pass along your sentiments to my Dad, and the rest of the fine men in his organization.
The best way to help out at this point is to send donations to the Red Cross, or the Baptist Men's Organization, accessible through one of the links that I provided in my post.

tugboatcapn said...

And thank you very much for providing a link to the Red Cross through your blog.
That is the way to get things done...

cats dig me said...

I find myself almost in agreement with you, Tug. You got my point, exactly, about the Falwells of the world. As I said in one of my initial posts on this subject, I don't have anything against open-minded, loving, forgiving Christians. It sounds like you may be one of these.

You do, however, continue to miss my point about Christians in general. I am NOT speaking about ALL Christians the way you try to make it sound. I am talking about a relatively small but highly vocal fringe group of SUPER conservative Christians.

tugboatcapn said...

Well, neither I nor my Dad are one of those, and within that context, I still am offended at the tone (whether or not it was intentional) of your (and Screwball's) comments.
It was uncalled for.
If I have been too harsh in my responses, then I apologize for being harsh.
I will never apologize for believing what I believe, or defending my beliefs, as I will never fault either one of you for your beliefs, whether I agree with them or not.
I do genuinely enjoy the debate.
Thanks, guys.

cats dig me said...

For my part, I did not intentionally try to offend anyone. If I did, I apologize.

Please understand that I was raised as a fine Christian lad, myself. It wasn't until I was first verbally attacked by a fellow "Christian" that I started to drift away from the church. Then when I innocently asked a few questions about other religions, I was immediately told I was going to hell. No, it wasn't by my parents or anything as heinous as that. It was my then girlfriend's father that started it. After that there seemed to be no end to the line of people waiting to tell me I was evil incarnate.

I don't remember the Jesus I met in Catholic school being such a hard ass. That Jesus loved all little boys and girls.

tugboatcapn said...

And He does.

I went through a similar period of questioning and doubt, not that long ago.
I began to question everything that I was taught as a young boy, but I did it with an attitude of prayerful study of God's Word.
The more i questioned and studied, the more I began to understand that the Bible is indeed filled with symbolism and inuendo, however it does indeed point us to God's unfailing love for us and his desire to lead us onto a path that will insure that we live the happiest, least complicated lives we can possibly lead, provided we obey His laws, and respect ourselves as the property of the Almighty God.
Consciously making the decision to reject God, and his plan for salvation is the only thing that will get you to Hell.
It doesn't matter what I, or any other Christian says...

tugboatcapn said...

I says?
Please forgive any gramatical errors that I may make. I am only a truck driver, you Know...

cats dig me said...

LOL. Them gramatical err's is forgivin. English is hard. I don't envy people who are trying to learn it as a second language. Even people like us, who have lived in the US all our lives, have trouble with it.

I agree with you completely on your last comment about God. Perhaps, on this high point, you and I can end this particular discussion?

And as I said at the very beginning - God bless ALL of the relief workers.

(I won't dull our shiny finish by mentioning that Mr. Bush cut funding for storm & natural disaster relief sometime last year :)

tugboatcapn said...

And he did it by executive order, I suppose...
Or maybe by Imperial Decree...
No Congressmen or Senators voted for those spending cuts, or anything...

Is that the reason that the Faith Based Relief groups beat the Government there by almost four days?

Oh, and I'll let you off the hook on that other thing. I've had enough fun with you about that...

cats dig me said...

Okay, one more since I started it. No, what bush did was to refuse to sign a certain bill which was passed by all them senators and congress people until they took out the "unnecesssary" natural disaster relief funding.

Yes, that is exactly why the private relief efforts arrived prior to the federal government - both faith based and secular. From Portland, Oregon (the closest big city to me), they have sent 3 dozen firefighters and medics, 3 large teams of doctors and nurses from OHSU, and a busload of private citizens. Thats not to mention the $350,000 that has been raised so far AND the $2500 raised by a bunch of neighborhood kids running a lemonade stand. In Portland the religious and secular groups work together to send relief workers all around the globe. I'm sure many other cities, including your's, do so as well. God bless em all.

tugboatcapn said...

Oh, Okay.
Maybe He thought that money was much better spent sending Billions at a time to Africa to combat the AIDS problem, or something like that...

tugboatcapn said...

And I agree with you on this point as well.
God Bless each and every person who helps in any capacity to aleviate the suffering of the victims of this disaster.

screwball said...

now why did Bush cut the funding to fix the levees in New Orleans before all this happened?

tugboatcapn said...

I guess that it was so that when he finally figured out how to cause a Hurricane, and direct it toward New Orleans, then he could Kill a lot more Brown people if those Levees were weak.

Why didn't Clinton allocate enough money to straighten them out?
Or GB41?
Or Reagan?
Or Carter?

That funding cut did not cause those Levees to break, so you can just get off of that one, Okay?

I live in the real world.

cats dig me said...

Did I say that Bush wanted to kill brown people? Did I mention anything about repairing levee's? What I said was that Bush refused to sign legislation that would have more fully funded agencies such as FEMA. FEMA is currently being phased out because Bush and his administration think it is unnecessary. Clinton, Carter, and Bush I all funded FEMA. Only W cut the funding.

screwball said...

but, you see, it could have prevented it. everything pointed to the fact that this disaster would happen, the question was when. the money was allocated for the levees, and then Bush took it away.

true story. it's is in many ways equal to Bush not paying attention to a report that terrorist are planning to use jets as bombs when he shut down Clarke.

typical conservative, deny and disregard

cats dig me said...

He also cut AIDS funding, both in the US and abroad. Gotta pay for those tax cuts for the rich somehow.

screwball said...

nah, the aids funding has more to do with Bush's theocratic agenda. you see, Bush refuses to give money to anyone that recommends using a condom to prevent aids.

tugboatcapn said...

Hey, I just figured out what you guys write...
Talking Points Memos!

screwball said...

whatever

tugboatcapn said...

As far as paying for the Tax cuts for the rich...

Amen! We sure do have to pay for them.

And I want to thank you both for pointing out to me that the President has cut FAR more Government spending than I knew about.
He is doing an even better job than i thought he was doing...

cats dig me said...

So you have graduated from the Bill O'Reilly School of Interviewing. When you run out of facts or your stock rhetoric doesn't cover the situation, just accuse the liberal whacko's of using "talking points". Isn't talking what we are supposed to be doing here? Isn't making a point or points what we each try to accomplish with said conversation?

Let's stick with some facts for a few moments longer. Did Bush cut funding for AIDS? Did Bush cut funding for FEMA? Did Bush say to an interviewer that he uses his faith to make political decisions? Did Bush say that providing condoms to youngsters was immoral?

Please, let's talk about these points.

screwball said...

and our deficit proves that this administration is spending more than another other administration before it.

so what's cut here is more than added there.

tugboatcapn said...

Nope. I learned the "Talking Points" trick from Liberals like you guys.

Okay, we'll talk about those points.

Yes, the President cut funding to all of those programs.
Yes he does let his faith guide him in some of his decision making.
Yes he does believe that condoms are not an effective means of combating the AIDS problem.

Do I believe that there is anything wrong with any of that?

No.

But because of the tax cuts, the funding to the treasury has increased, and will continue to increase at an exponential rate.
The Deficit is going down. (Funny how the only time that deficit spending is bad is when a Republican is in office.)

I do not like the fact that he increased spending to an all time high, because I know why it happened. He spent a lot of time pandering to the other side, and trying to give the Senate opposition whatever they wanted in the mistaken assumption that they would work with him on the things that he wanted to accomplish.
This makes me very angry, and because of that, I refuse to vote for him in 2008.

cats dig me said...

Though I do not know you well, I think I can safely assume that you are a man of good moral character. Let me be clear that I am not saying that you would get yourself into the following hypothetical predicament. Let's say that you are about to have sex with a prostitute (lot lizards, I believe is the term). You have determined that it is highly likely that this woman has AIDS and possibly other disieses. Would you use a condom?

Faith based decisions may be fine if you agree with the man's faith. How would you feel about a Catholic president (say like JFK) relying on his Catholic beliefs which were handed down to him by the Pope? And Bush did not say that "some" of his decisions were based on his faith, he said all of them were.

How, exactly, has treasury funding been increased when tax revenues are down and spending is up? And, my dear sir, it was under Clinton that the deficit was dramatically cut. It was Reagan and both Bush's that had out of control spending.

Isn't Bush working with a Republican Congress? Won't they work with their own president? What has Bush conceded to the Democrats? He rarely loses in a fight with the other side of the aisle.

screwball said...

whatever

tugboatcapn said...

To begin with, I have better sense than to ever mess with a Lot Lizard. Dude, that's just crazy. (They don't MAKE thick enough condoms for THAT...)
Let's put it like this.
Yes, I would use a condom if I was unsure about the sexual history of my partner.
I also have enough experience with condoms to know that you are crazy if you think you are really protected while wearing one.
Next time I need one, I guess I can call the President and have him bring over a box or two.
(Oh, that's right, you guys said he won't do that.
Guess I WOULD HAVE TO BUY THEM MYSELF!!)
Guess what, fellas...
As long as I have sex with my own wife and she only has sex with me, I don't need condoms.
I would much rather everyone be taught that to practice monogamous sex within marriage is actually possible, in the first place, and that it is the best overall plan, secondly, not for religious reasons, but because it is just plain better for you, both physically and emotionally.
We do ourselves and our children a horrible dis-service when we simply throw condoms at a disease that can be controled through behavior.
Monogamy would wipe out AIDS, if it were to be practiced across the board.

I knew about the President's religious beliefs before I voted for him, and I have no problem with our leaders having and following a moral compass of some kind.
I do not hate Christians, you see, so they do not scare me.
JFK wasn't too bad as a President, and he was a Catholic. He was not a slave or a puppet of the Pope, He was just a Catholic.

According to the New York Times, The Deficit has gone down over 100 Billion Dollars since the Tax Cuts were enacted.
Cutting Taxes frees up money for Corporate Growth and research and development of new products and industries. This creates jobs, and allows the jobs that are already here more profitable. That means that more people are paying into the system.
More taxpayers means more revenue.
More paying a little brings in more revenue than a few paying a lot.

tugboatcapn said...

From The New York Times:

BUSINESS/FINANCIAL DESK | July 13, 2005, Wednesday

Sharp Increase In Tax Revenue Will Cut Deficit

By EDMUND L. ANDREWS (NYT) 1348 words
Late Edition - Final , Section A , Page 1 , Column 1

"ABSTRACT - Unexpected leap in tax revenue is expected to shrink federal budget deficit by nearly $100 million for fiscal 2005; Bush administration will announce that deficit will be far smaller than $427 billion estimated in February, decrease that Pres Bush will hail as validation of his tax cuts; Congressional Budget Office now estimates that deficit, which reached $412 billion in 2004, could be under $350 billion this year; tax revenues are running nearly 15 percent higher than in 2004, with corporate tax revenue soaring about 40 percent; increases come from stock market gains and business income of wealthy taxpayers, with 20 percent jump in quarterly payments on investment gains and business earnings."

screwball said...

whatever

cats dig me said...

You will probably be somewhat surprised to find that I (mostly) agree with you. It is wonderful that large corporations are finally paying some more in taxes. Those rat bastards usually find ways to circumvent the system. What the article fails to mention is that payroll taxes are way up. Yes, Bush cut certain taxes, but he raised others. I own a couple of small businesses and our tax rates are up, not down. A cut in the payroll tax and tax incentives for SMALL business would be helpful to us and to the economy. Now my little ol' business only employs 12 people, but combined with all of the other millions of small businesses we employ more than the big guys. How about a tax cut for me?

Of course you wouldn't associate with a lot lizard. I said that in my comments earlier.

I do agree with you that we should teach people that mononogmy is the safest way to be sexually active. I also think that telling folks that abstinence is the only sure-fire way to prevent AIDS. But since people are going to have sex and are going to do so with multiple partners, shouldn't we also make condoms readily available? I don't think that Mr. Bush has to deliver them personally, maybe he could free up some federal funds so that poor people can get some. I appreciate you doing your part in buying your own condoms. Some people cannot afford them. In Africa, where the customs are somewhat different than in America, "throwing" a few million condoms at the disiese could save billions of lives.

Its good to see that people can change their minds. JFK is considered by most to be one of the greatest presidents we've ever had. At the time of his election many conservative Christians thought him to be a threat because he was Catholic. They really thought he would be a slave to his faith and a puppet to the Pope. Is it so surprising that liberal Christians and non-Christians would view a faith-based president like Geo. Bush to be a threat? Maybe we could start working together to get past our small differences.

Oh, and please do vote for George Bush in 2008. Thought I missed that one did'n cha?

Have a happy Labor Day.

alaletos said...

Hey man you will be glad to here This!!!!

Our church is partnering with Bethany world prayer center in Baton Rouge. And we have already started gathering a crazy amount of supplies. We got one donation already for about 5000.00 bucks and we are going to send a truck full of stuff next week.

check my blog. Ill write a post about it.

Laters..

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