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Friday, April 24, 2009

I know Miss Ward and Mr. President, you're no Miss Ward

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Miss Ward.mp3

Do you know anyone who suffers from low self esteem? It’s quite a thing isn’t it, to see someone capable of so much accept so little? Or to see someone who has so much going for them live as though that were not the case? Allow me to tell you a true story that happened to me in Jamaica when I was about eight years old; this story takes place over the span of seven years:

When I was eight years old I was attending a private prep-school called, “Alex French Prep.” I was not a good student and my teacher Miss Lamont would not let me forget it. Now in Jamaica, teachers have the full permission of parents to discipline students as they see fit, even if it means a good spanking. Miss Lamont’s favorite mode of discipline was the use of a heavy-duty twelve-inch aluminum ruler which she would use to slap our open palms. I don’t think Miss Lamont liked teaching but I think the prospect of using her Aluminum ruler is what got her out of bed everyday. And I always gave her a reason to use it; she did not like me. I remember one day when five students (including me) didn’t do their homework. We were all standing around her explaining why we didn’t have our work completed when in a fit of rage she reached out, grabbed me and gave me a good spanking in front of the whole class; the other kids got off with a warning. That was my life at Alex French Prep.

Fast forward to High school seven years later, my grades are still embarrassing and the effects of Alex French Prep still linger. That is until the ninth grade, when on the first day of my math class, Miss Ward walked into the room and introduced herself. She was a life long educator whose calling was to help children. My new math teacher took an interest in me and slowly but surely, my grades started to change (across the board) for the better. School became fun for me and my parents (for whom the success of their children was and continues to be everything) started to have hope for their youngest son again. Meeting Miss Ward was a pivotal event in my life and I wish I could find her today to explain how important she was to me. I wish I could tell her that her encouragement and faithfulness to me made a huge difference in my life.

When I look back on this time in my history and the difficulties I faced, I would have to say that my parents had even greater difficulties. Loving me as much as they did, it was hard for them to watch me squander all that they worked so hard to provide. It was difficult for my parents to watch me under perform while knowing with certainty that I was capable of doing better than I actually did.

Now you may not agree with the worldview of every United States citizen, but I will say this, when citizens speak-up out of love for country, we must not dismiss them as a bunch of misguided, racists rednecks. The tea-party participants had a legitimate concern; the idea that big government tends towards oppression of the governed, and to dismiss them as a bunch of misguided, redneck racists would be analogous to me dismissing my parents as a couple of misguided, racist rednecks for caring and acting to put me back on the right path. Dismissing loving parents or loving citizens does not make any sense.

We the citizens of the United States like parents all over this country, entrust our kids and our country to a caretaker. Will that caretaker be in the mold of my prep school teacher Miss Lamont or will that caretaker be in the mold of my high school math teacher Miss Ward? As of right now, President Obama is no Miss Ward. My High school math teacher would never throw her students under a bus in order to remain a popular teacher. President Obama on the other hand, after sitting through a fifty minute rant by Daniel Ortega describing how evil the United States is, responded to Ortega by saying the following:

"To move forward, we cannot let ourselves be prisoners of past disagreements. I'm grateful that President Ortega did not blame [ME] for things that happened when I was three months old. Too often, an opportunity to build a fresh partnership of the Americas has been undermined by stale debates. We've all heard these arguments before."[1]

Keeping his personal reputation pristine is rather petty and quite frankly childish for the United States President isn’t it? And bashing his (our) country at every turn is getting a bit old. Interestingly enough, you will not find any other world leader bashing their country during any of Obama’s overseas visits; the United States was the only country trampled underfoot. Do you recall my story in Prep school that time when I didn’t do my homework along with a bunch of other kids, and my teacher Miss Lamont reached for me alone and gave me a spanking? Well President Obama did the same thing, reaching for the United States alone and giving it a spanking (albeit a verbal one).

Our president should be willing to be dragged through the mud if it promoted the wellbeing of the Country. Say what you will about George Bush, but he was willing to sacrifice his own popularity for the sake of our country, and he in fact did so. May our President find it in his heart to recommit himself to the oath he took at the start of his presidency, to uphold and protect the constitution of the United States and not to uphold and protect Barack Obama

Danian Michael
Political Agenda


[1] ( “Obama endures Ortega diatribe” a news article by Fox news highlighting the content of a meeting in PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad and Tobago featuring The socialist president of Nicaragua, Daniel Ortega. The quote in my article was our President’s response to Ortega’s perpetual repudiation of the United States (basically Ortega gave a hate America speech).

Friday, April 10, 2009

Is the United States a Christian Nation

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The News: President Obama made the following statement at a press conference in Turkey,

“One of the great strengths of the United States is ... although we have a very large Christian population -- we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.” [1]

So to the question on the table, is the United States a Christian nation? Oddly enough, this is a question that even we Christians have to ask about our own Christian communities: Is this or that particular Church a Christian Church? Christian reformers, like Martin Luther and John Calvin, wondered if the Roman Catholic Church was a Christian Church. By the way, the Roman Catholic Church wondered the same thing about Calvin and Luther. Today in the protestant community, you will hear homosexual pastors of some denomination argue that the bible is a collection of cool stories (not to be interpreted literally), so we must not take too seriously the teaching of Scriptures that says homosexuality is wrong.[2] Also there is, the “Open Theist” movement, in which there is a belief that since mankind has free will then God can be wrong about the future.[3] And so as Christians we ask ourselves, are these groups (or denominations) Christian and if they are not, what is the standard for verifying their lack of Christian credentials?

Now I believe that in answering the question, are we a Christian nation, we must apply the same standard that Christians apply in verifying a group’s Christian credentials. I say this because Christianity (like many other terms) find their true meaning by looking at what they meant historically, because the true meaning of the term Christianity is historically qualified within the Christian Church. In other words, I would not look to Marxism or Communism for the definition of a Christian.

What then defines a Christian, whether it be a Church, country or person? May I suggest that at least four ingredients are necessary for such a declaration?

1. One must believe in the inerrancy of the 66 books of scriptures.
2. One must believe that these 66 books are the inspired words of God.
3. One must believe that Jesus Christ is the Only Son of God and that He is the sufficient and only savior of mankind.[4]
4. One must believingly submit (from the heart) to ingredients 1, 2 and 3.

If any ingredient is missing, then I suggest that you are not dealing with a Christian Church, group or person, or country for that matter. Now before we do our analysis, allow me to suggest one more thing. It is insufficient, foolish and ultimately unfruitful (in the case of defining a group) to define that group by the individual testimony of its members. Instead, what we must do is look at the official declarations of that group. In the case of the Church, we must consider the Scriptures alone and in the case of our country, we must consider our Constitution. Accordingly, a University with a student body made up of mostly Jews is not necessarily a Jewish university unless it says so in the school’s charter; after all, a school’s location could account for its large Jewish population.

Now upon reading the constitution of the United States (which I did), I found no declaration of the inerrancy of scriptures. I found nothing about our country being bound to Holy Scriptures and I found nothing even beginning to resemble a declaration of our country’s submission to Jesus as lord over us. We do find that these Christian principles governed the lives of most of the Framers but we do not find that fact expressed in our constitution. Indeed, our constitution was informed by the Framer’s Christian worldview, even though they stopped short of creating a Christian Nation. It is not as if the Framers scratched off Holy Scriptures and wrote United States Constitution. Moreover, I defy anyone to show me that the United States constitution was intended to be a summary of the Bible in the same way a Church’s Confession of faith is.

I wished the framers were more candid about their Christian worldview as they penned the Constitution. I wished they included the Lordship of Christ over this country. They did not and so I am led to the inescapable and disappointing conclusion that Obama may have been right about this one. But he is right only within the narrow scope of his conclusion that this is not a Christian nation. The fact still remains that the set of values he alluded to that binds us as a country, are indeed Christian values even if the President doesn’t think so.

Danian Michael,
Political Agenda.


[1] I found the quotation on The Huffington Post website (

[2] Gene Robinson, the first openly gay bishop of the Episcopalian Church, accounts a conversation he had with Archbishop of Canterbury that the Bible is basically subjectively qualified based on your own interpretation. Basically; the Bible is what you make it. To read his comments follow the following link: (

[3] (“No other God: A response to open theism” by John Frame) John Frame answers some of the main claims of the open Theist for example: Since mankind has free will God can be wrong in His prediction of the future.

[4] The puritan William Gouge (1575-1653) in his commentary on the book of Hebrews said the following, “The main point which is aimed at throughout the whole sacred Scripture, especially in the New Testament, is the principal scope of this epistle, and the mark whereat the apostle aimeth therein, namely this, that Jesus Christ is the all-sufficient and only Saviour of man.”