Tag Archives: texas

A Double Standard

Frankie, Craig and I spoke to a religious leader of a small group of committed followers in Texas who really got me thinking. I won’t reveal his name or sect right now but wanted to share some of the things he said.

We met the bearded man in his traditional clothes inside his small and non-descript place of worship. Most people in the area would not even know it was there. The group, though a registered faith based group, refuses to take government money for their small school of 16 students. “God,” he said, “takes better care of us than Uncle Sam.” They don’t vote as policy and will not participate in any politics. He didn’t seem to be attached to America at all as a country or as an idea.

He was not happy with the relativism of American culture. “Everyone says this is your opinion, this is my opinion—each person chooses. But what about right and wrong?”

“Justice will come”, he said. “Sodom and Gomorrah didn’t survive and I don’t believe America will either”.

He said that they appreciate the freedom in this country—they obey our laws, pay taxes, pray for others. But if they were told to do something that violates the Holy Book, they would not do it. He said they were not anti-government but that, “we feel like we are an ambassador here, just temporary. Our citizenship is in heaven”.

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“Journey” team visits The Alamo

The Alamo is small, beautiful building that is close to the hearts of Texans. When I told my father, a native Texan, that we had gone to visit the Alamo, he said that he can’t see it without tearing up it is so moving.

From Ground Zero in New York to Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, the team has visited the major monuments of heartache and triumph of the United States. What these places, battles, and sometimes myths built up around them mean for Americans is a major part of who we are. Craig, from Boston, related it to the Battle of Bunker Hill, a similar emotive battle during the Revolutionary War respected among Americans. It serves as a reminder to us how we have to protect the fragile freedom we have and to thank those who have sacrificed in order for us to have the life we do now.
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We’ve been having a great time traveling the south. Hailey (from Texas) and I (from Alabama) have felt right at home and have loved showing off the hospitality and friendliness of the south. Ambassador Ahmed likes the south a lot; Frankie and Craig (Yankees) are starting to embrace it slowly. Other than our car being broken into in Atlanta, its been a terrific trip.

We’ve been through Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Tennesee so far on this leg. We still have a lot of travel left so keep checking the blog.

Ambassador Ahmed was on “Live at 9” on Memphis Channel 3, WREG this morning. We’ll post the link as soon as they update the website.

Here’s a link to our friends at The Case Foundation. They blogged about the project and linked to a lot of our videos.

Jonathan Hayden