Category Archives: lives

I Urge My Readers to Ponder This When Considering the Muslim Question

I hope all of us will try to find opportunities to reassure Muslims in this country that we are ashamed of and completely disavow the recent widely publicized statements proposing that Muslims should be treated differently from other people.

My friend who lives next door is from Bosnia. He was among the Bosnians who became encircled by the Serbian army in 1995 and fled for their lives. For six days, from Srebrenica to Tuzla the Serbian army tried to kill them by virtually all means available as they desperately tried to walk the 70 miles to a refugee camp in a safe area guarded by UN forces, including U.S. Marines. Of the 15,000 men who set off back then, only 3,500 made it through Serb lines

At times, with difficulty, my friend has talked with me some about that horrible ordeal. After recounting some of the horrors of their desperate flight, and the anguish of the people unavoidably left behind to face certain death, my friend, with a mixture of tears and joy on his face, looked up at me and said, “At last, when we saw a U.S. Marine, we knew we were safe.”

Earlier this year, my friend worked hard to pass the written test to become a U.S. citizen.

My friend loves this country passionately. He works hard. He is a wonderful friend and neighbor, a good man. He embraces and adheres to “American values” more fully than lots of folks I know who were born in this country.

My friend is a Muslim.

I keep hearing the anti-Muslim talk on the news, and every time I hear it I cringe, I wonder and worry, What do people like my friend think? How is this affecting them?

From time to time, I raise these questions with him.

Last night I stopped by, and my friend said for the most part, he ignores such talk and he knows that is not what most people in this country think.

At one point, though, he said, “The only thing, though, is when they talk about Islamic terrorists, that hurts me. Because these killers are not Islamic. That’s not Islam. That’s not my faith. These people are crazy killers. They are not Islam.”

Right after he said that, right after I decried and condemned the kinds of things that are being said by some folks and said how much I wish those things were not being said, I got a Lesson in Democracy and American Values.

My friend looked at me and said, “But Roger, you have to accept that people can say these things. This is America. We have freedom of speech here in our country.”

It was a wonderful and profound Lesson in Democracy and American Values.

Nevertheless, I am deeply saddened by the hurt and damage that is being caused by the recent comments and proposals that would single out Muslims for different treatment.

Not only do I regret the hurt and damage these anti-Muslim comments are causing, I worry that those comments and proposals actually serve the goals of the terrorists–which is to divide us and eliminate the “gray zone” in society. [This was recently discussed in a column in the W Post].

The gray zone is the area where all of us, including Muslims, can peacefully live together even though we are of different faiths, backgrounds, etc. The terrorists want to pit us against each other, and thereby eliminate the “middle ground” where we can peacefully live together, and instead force devout Muslims to choose between virtually giving up their faith and/or concealing it and their background, or increasingly sympathizing with the extremists and radicals.

One of the impacts of anti-Muslim talk is to make Muslims less able and less inclined to assimilate as part of the broader community of many faiths, many backgrounds, etc. There was an NPR story just yesterday on a study that confirmed this. And of course it is common sense.

My prayer is that all of us and each of us will try to find opportunities to reassure Muslims that we do not share the views being expressed that Muslims should be treated differently–we disavow and decry and reject those views.

My prayer is that all of us and each of us will ask Muslims in our communities to immediately call us and tell us if they experience any anti-Muslim treatment (vandalism of their mosques, threats, insults, etc.) so that we can join with them in addressing any such problems.

My prayer is that all of us and each of us will become and be good friends to Muslims in our communities. We have much to offer them. And I think we will find that they have as much, if not more, to offer us. Among other things, they can help us in our journey to a more complete understanding and embracing of the values and principles we hope this country will stand for.

Sincerely,

Roger

Roger T. Creager

Blogger’s Note: Creager is an excellent trial and appellate lawyer, very thorough and capable and I am proud to know him as a good colleague.  We are fellow members of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association.  This is reprinted here with his permission.


Article written by: Elwood "Sandy" Sanders

Networking Your Counties: Developers and Businesses are Doing It. Are You?

We’ve all heard of the “Good Old Boys Network” referring to wealthy networks for businessmen, developers, and politicians. These networks are not magically manufactured. Regular folk, who just happen to be wealthier and more powerful than everyone else, network amongst themselves to secure their interests against the rubes and rabble that outnumber them in their districts, counties, and states. Hanover County appears to have discovered the possibility that electing developers or their friends to their board of supervisors isn’t necessarily a good idea. They should have saw that coming.

Yet, the grassroots should learn about the power of networking. Whether it’s a conservative blog, an email group, Facebook page, or a TEA Party, creating a network of communication between busy, average individuals allows all the individuals to benefit from the knowledge of the others.

The Richmond Times Dispatch is rarely going to cover news stories about how corruption within government and the business community affect the average Joe. In fact, the media tends to demonstrate an organized effort to get average folks to go to war with one another while they collectively get the shaft.

networking1Communication is the germ of organization. We’re all busy people with work lives, home lives, social lives, hobbies, church, and so on. Getting a large number of us to a Board of Supervisors or School Board meeting can be difficult. Who’s going to watch the kids? Is it going to cost me any sleep? Communication about the importance of these meetings allows people to know what will be covered in these meetings, when to show up at these meetings, and how to prepare, facts and information, at these meetings. Once elected, your local Representatives are often times the ones who are held the least accountable.

What if your local Board of Supervisors began seeing an extra 35 or 40 people show up at their meetings? What if people took notes and sent emails out to another 40 individuals who couldn’t attend? What if someone took notes and blogged about it? What if someone shared those notes on Facebook? Well, what happens is that The Board quickly understands that whatever they do is going to go public. Folk are going to ask them questions at Church or at the Supermarket, or wherever.

I know there is networking going on. I get emails from several people about all kinds of local developments. There are a handful of decent local blogs that produce real research on FOIA requests. There are several excellent blogs that cover politicians, political races, and events. There are community facebook pages that reach dozens if not hundreds of people. Where do you fall on the networking food chain? Are you attending meetings? Are you sharing information? Are you receiving emails from folks attending meetings or doing research? Are you on social media? Do you just read blogs or do you share them?

If you needed to reach 50 people about something important happening in your community; do you know who would be interested in that information and who would be likely to act on that information? Are you networked?

If not, just remember that “the powers that be” are extremely well networked. If you want to protect yourself from politicians and those feeding at the public trough, then you need to be involved in whatever network, whatever the size, in whatever form and with whatever reach, to even the playing field.

 


Article written by: Steven Brodie Tucker

War Room: The Most Powerful Christian Film I’ve Ever Seen

I typically don’t intermingle my religion and my entertainment dollars, but War Room isn’t just a movie with a great Christian Message. It’s a revolutionary and biblical call to action. This is a movie sincere and powerful enough to change the lives of believers and non-believers alike, as many believers find themselves lost in a desperate attempt to control the world around them in what is, inevitably, a losing battle. How often have we read that, as Christians, we are to put our struggles, our fears, our suffering, and our hopes at the foot of God through prayer? How often do we actually do that?

Philippians 4:4-7 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”.

War Room gives us a peak into what this would mean for us as individuals and as families were we to actually put this into practice in our daily lives.

War Room is not a movie to watch without Kleenex (for the Ladies) or a long sleeve shirt (for the men, who are too manly to dry our eyes with Kleenex, let’s be honest). The moments of humor were brilliantly executed. The moments of real, day to day human experience and human struggles were written and performed perfectly. There was never a moment during the storyline where I thought to myself, “Oh Come On! That couldn’t happen”.

Not only does this film touch on questions about the power of prayer, but also questions about what it means to be a husband, to be a wife, and to be a friend; and what it means to truly allow a God believers call Lord to actually have some Lordship in their lives.

I usually see one or two movies in the theater a year and I am thankful that this year War Room was one of them. This is not a movie you will regret seeing for movie theater prices. It’s worth every penny. I’ll probably never write another article recommending a movie to our Virginia Right audience, since that’s not really what we do here; but I just want others to experience the same joy and excitement I experienced yesterday.

warroom_movieposter_01

 


Article written by: Steven Brodie Tucker