Saturday, April 16, 2005

Maggie H.

My name is Maggie Halowell.

I am a child of God.

I am a human being.

I am a woman.

I am a mother, daughter, sister, aunt, wife, friend.

I am a Christian of faith.

I was raised in faith. My father was my Sunday School teacher. My
parents both volunteered time at our church, cleaning, doing floral
arrangements for the alter, participating in pot-lucks, serving as
mentors in our youth organization, helping at church camp. My father
not only read his five children Bible stories every night, but we were
asked questions about what we had learned, and we discussed these
stories, as a family.

The values we were raised with have served me my entire life. I cherish
those values, and have instilled them in my children. Here is a partial
list of those values:

  • Follow the Golden Rule
  • Follow the Tem Commandments
  • Follow the example set by Jesus Christ and his followers, by performing these types of humble works:
    • Feed the hungry
    • Care for the sick
    • Give a hand up to the less fortunate
    • Visit the infirm and imprisoned
    • Seek to end prejudice regardless of what form it takes
    • Seek to end hatred, for hatred is nothing more than fear in disguise
    • Seek out the good, and the God, in each of us.
    • Seek peace in your own heart, in your family, in your community, in your
    • country, in your world.
    • Be patient, kind, understanding, generous in your service.

Here is how my Mother summed up faith- Live a Christian life, and you
won't need to talk a Christian life. It will radiate from you like the
sun, and others will want to know your secret. There is no secret-just
live a life filled with the love of God, and carry him in your heart. My
cup runneth over.

When I serve God, I do not first ask my fellow human beings; What color
is your skin? What God to do pray to? What political party do you belong
to? Who do you sleep with behind closed doors? How much money have you
tithed? "What is your income bracket?

Those are petty human concerns. God is not concerned with the petty.
God expects much greater things of us.

Alas, it seems we mere mortals must now concerned ourselves with this
pettiness of man. There are those who are perverting the Christian faith
to achieve a very specific political means to an end.

My values will not permit me to ignore my great responsibility, to speak
up when I see God's word twisted and misrepresented for petty political
purposes, and monetary gain. The pilgrims came to this country to escape
religious persecution. For 200 years the document produced by our best
great minds through heated debate, discussion, and deliberation, has
served this country. Insuring, among other liberties, freedom from
persecution. I sense a move afoot regarding persecution of those who
don't think a particular way, vote a particular way, or support a
particular agenda. I must now speak out. As a person of great faith,
love of God, and country, I must speak:

My political freedom lies in not being silenced. My religious freedom
lies in not being silenced. All freedom lies in not being silenced.

As such:

I will seek to insure no one is silenced by those who cannot accept
other points of view or affiliation.

I will seek to insure that those with the smallest, weakest voices are
heard.

I will seek to insure I am allowed to accept the message of the gospel
of Jesus Christ as I have heard it, not as other wish me to believe.
I will seek to insure I am not silenced by those who would pervert my
faith for political ends.

I will seek to insure I am not silenced. Thereby insuring that you are
not silenced.

I will seek the greatness expected, by God, of everyone in this great
country. A country where justice, compassion, diversity, and the peace
of God are honored and allowed to flourish. Where everyone can join
together to reach our highest potential, rather than our lowest common
denominator, separated by ideology and mean-spiritedness.

I extend my hand in friendship and with Christ's' love to all who will
accept it, and call upon them to walk away from this petty man made
"culture war" by seeking that which unites us, rather than that which
will divide us. Let us truly beat swords of disrespect into
ploughshares of brotherhood.

A humble servant,
Maggie Halowell

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