Monday, October 13, 2008

Opposite Way

I’m listening to one of my new favorite songs. It’s called Opposite Way by Leeland. I’ve been thinking lately- I’ve started to run the opposite way- and I would really love for you to join me.
Things have been really hard for me lately, I feel rejected in my own town. That’s why I haven’t blogged much lately- I haven’t had the inspiration to.

Not too long ago, a long-time friend of mine told me that I was opinionated. Well, I guess if she wants to call me opinionated because of my convictions and beliefs… that’s her opinion. As for me, it’s conviction. It’s strong beliefs I have- not opinions. calls it confidence in the truth or existence of something not immediately susceptible to rigorous proof: a statement unworthy of belief.

Here's a list of just 5 people who had convictions in their beliefs.
Francis Lewis
New York delegate saw his home plundered & his estate completely destroyed by British Soldiers. Mrs. Lewis was captured and treated with great brutality. Though she was later exchanged for two British prisoners through the efforts of Congress, she died from the effects of her abuse.
Who was Francis Lewis? One of the brave 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence. What was he convicted about? Religious freedom & liberty for all.
Call him opinionated if you want. There were those who did and still do.

Samuel Adams
One of the Founding Fathers of the United States. He was instrumental in garnering the support of the colonies for rebellion against Great Britain, eventually resulting in the American Revolution, and was also one of the key architects of the principles of American republicanism that shaped American political culture.
He once said: "It does not take a majority to prevail ... but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men."
Call him opinionated if you want. There were those who did and still do.

Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln began his political career in 1832, at age 23, with an unsuccessful campaign for the Illinois General Assembly, as a member of the Whig Party. The centerpiece of his platform was the undertaking of navigational improvements on the Sangamon River. He believed that this would attract steamboat traffic, which would allow the sparsely populated, poorer areas along the river to flourish. He was elected captain of an Illinois militia company drawn from New Salem during the Black Hawk War, and later wrote that he had not had "any such success in life which gave him so much satisfaction."
Before becoming the first Republican elected to the Presidency, Lincoln was a lawyer, an Illinois state legislator, and a member of the United States House of Representatives.
He was an outspoken opponent of the expansion of slavery & he introduced measures that resulted in the abolition of slavery, issuing his Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and promoting the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.
He was the sixteenth President of the United States. He successfully led his country through its greatest internal crisis, the American Civil War, only to be assassinated as the war was coming to an end.
Call him opinionated if you want. There were those who did and still do.

Martin Luther King
An American clergyman, activist and prominent leader in the American civil rights movement. His main legacy was to secure progress on civil rights in the United States and he is frequently referenced as a human rights icon today.
"Our aim must never be to defeat or humiliate the white man, but to win his friendship and understanding. We must come to see that the end we seek is a society at peace with itself, a society that can live with its conscience. And that will be a day not of the white man, not of the black man. That will be the day of man as man... I come to say to you this afternoon, however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, because "truth crushed to earth will rise again." How long? Not long, because "no lie can live forever." "
King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. He was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 and Congressional Gold Medal in 2004; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established as a U.S. national holiday in 1986.
Call him opinionated if you want. There were those who did and still do.

Sojourner Truth (aka Isabella Baumfree)
Truth was an American abolitionist and women's rights activist.
She was born into slavery in Swartekill, New York.
The state of New York began, in 1799, to legislate the abolition of slavery, although the process of emancipating New York slaves was not complete until July 4, 1827. Her owner, John Dumont, had promised Truth freedom a year before the state emancipation, "if she would do well and be faithful." However, he changed his mind, claiming a hand injury had made her less productive. She was infuriated. She continued working until she felt she had done enough to satisfy her sense of obligation to him by spinning 100 pounds of wool. Late in 1826, Truth escaped to freedom with her infant daughter, Sophia. She had to leave her other children behind because they were not legally freed in the emancipation order until they had served as bound servants into their twenties. She later said: “ I did not run off, for I thought that wicked, but I walked off, believing that to be all right.”
On June 1, 1843, Truth changed her name to Sojourner Truth and told her friends, "The Spirit calls me, and I must go." During the Civil War, Truth helped recruit black troops for the Union Army. She worked diligently to improve conditions for African-Americans and she met President Abraham Lincoln. In 1865, while working at the Freedman's Hospital in Washington, Truth rode in the streetcars to help force their desegregation.
In 1870, Truth tried to secure land grants from the federal government to former slaves, a project she pursued for seven years without success. While in Washington, D.C., she had a meeting with President Ulysses S. Grant in the White House. In 1872, she returned to Battle Creek and tried to vote in the presidential election, but was turned away at the polling place.
Truth spoke about abolition, women's rights, prison reform, and preached to the Michigan Legislature against capital punishment. Not everyone welcomed her preaching and lectures, but she had many friends and staunch support among many influential people at the time.
Call her opinionated if you want. There were those who did and still do.

I have recently asked friends to join me in praying for our nation. We meet on Sunday afternoons and pray for country, it’s leaders, it’s liberties, and it’s problems. The turn-out has been spectacularly small. How dare we take for granted what so many before us fought & died for. How dare we bask in apathy not only concerning our freedoms but also concerning our faith, our beliefs, our convictions.

I will not be apathetic. Call me opinionated if you want to- but it’s conviction- it’s belief. Has anyone ever accused you of being opinionated for what you believe and hold fast to?
Has anyone ever tried to intimidate you for what you do or don't believe? Well, get ready, it's happening.

As for me, I will continue to stand & believe as our forefathers & foremothers did. Go ahead, call us opinionated. I'm running the opposite way. And as Martin Luther King said,
"...however difficult the moment, however frustrating the hour, it will not be long, because "truth crushed to earth will rise again." How long? Not long, because "no lie can live forever."