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Breakdown: The Story of New America

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“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous,” Pima County, Arizona Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said during a press conference Saturday night regarding one of the most vile acts of domestic terrorism our country has seen in recent memory, the outcome of which left six dead and many more seriously wounded, amongst them Tucson-based U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

I could not agree with him more.

While many on both the Left and the Right have decried several of the opinions which I have put forth in my column here at Blogcritics over the past — almost to the date — six months, I believe virtually all would agree that this is exactly the sort of thing whose potential I have been noting ad nauseam, especially as of late. Ever since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the climate in American politics has been deteriorating rapidly, to the point of otherwise capable citizens being hesitant to even consider the idea of public office. This picked up steam after the 2008 presidential election, due largely to the never-before-seen levels of incendiary rhetoric spewed from a bipartisan band of shock jocks and television entertainers, each hellbent on causing his or her ideological opponents to endure the highest amount of public derision and humiliation as possible. Today, all of this has cumulated in an atmosphere of ludicrous absolutes; that there can be no compromise amongst supposed statesmen, no positive feelings exchanged across the aisle, no putting logic ahead of emotion, and, above all else, no placing sensible pragmatism above theoretical principal.

Welcome to the New America, where the radical has become the mainstream.

The reasons for this societal breakdown are as plentiful as the stars shining in the sky on a clear evening, and cannot be dealt with through any executive order or act of Congress. No, our nation is presently facing dire systemic problems, wether they be economical, social, or related in some way to national security. These must be dealt with on an individual basis, and true, long lasting relief will only be achieved when enough currently enraged Americans find the courage within themselves to seek common ground with their most despised political adversaries.

Until then, as I said above, welcome to the New America. Something tells me that all of us who are at least vaguely sane will simply have to get used to it. Our Founding Fathers would not recognize the very land which they fought to establish in the event that they were to return here today.

The term ‘shame’ does not aptly describe what an aberration that is.

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About Joseph F. Cotto

  • Paul

    Mark Satin’s God


    I would like to explain what people refer to as “The Gospel” or “Good News”. In this explanation, I will discuss God’s grace, which unfortunately so many people do not understand or have never been clearly explained.

    Unfortunately, many people attend a Christian church regularly (or attended one in the past) but have never been clearly taught what the Bible stresses as the most important decision that one could ever make. It is only in making this decision that one actually becomes one of God’s children and is “saved” from His eternal judgment. This decision deals with what is referred to as “The Gospel”. If you have never heard “The Gospel” before, here it is. Around 33 AD, Jesus Christ, who is God incarnate, paid the price for every single person’s sin in history by dying the death of crucifixion at the hands of the Romans. He willingly died for every person’s sin that has ever lived and every will live. That includes both you and me. He willing died a death that we deserve for our moral failures in life. Jesus was brutally beaten, whipped, mocked, spit upon, nailed to a wooden cross, and then died. Three days later, He rose from the dead, as He foretold His disciples (group of followers). Jesus then ascended into heaven forty days later. He currently lives with God, His father, in heaven today. During Old Testament times (times prior to the birth of Jesus Christ – B.C.), people had a keen awareness of their moral guilt, as any honest person still does today. I know that I have wronged many people and have felt a deep-seated guilt within many areas of my life. Many people during Old Testament times sacrificed animals to God as a form of limited atonement for their immoral actions. God often accepted these sacrifices, but only in a temporary and limited way. Over time, God changed this extremely limited form of atonement, as He had planned from the very beginning of time. Moreover, God sent His one and only son Jesus Christ down to the Earth. Since Jesus was both sinless and blameless, He willingly died on the cross as an unlimited atonement. It was in God’s will for His son to die in this way. This unlimited atonement is available to any person who whole-heartedly repents of their sins (moral failures) and then asks God to personally apply Jesus’ undeserved death and resurrection as a payment for their sins. It is imperative here that one believes the crucifixion of Jesus Christ was ultimately an act of God’s grace. God did not have to offer an escape from our moral guilt and eternal punishment. However, God is gracious. He has a compassion and love for people that is indescribable. God wants to “wipe the slate” clean for us, in regards to our moral failures. Through this action, we could then enter a personal relationship with His son Jesus Christ and escape his eternal judgment. The Bible refers to moral failures as ‘sin’, or missing the mark of God’s perfect standard of morality. “Sin” is an ancient archery term for an arrow that missed the target. God is loving in the purest sense of the word and would like to grant us victory over the sins that still haunt us from our past. All we have to do is accept this gift of grace from Him. It is free.

    God promises us a way to become morally blameless and gain entrance into heaven after living our physical live here on Earth. Here is what we must willingly do on our part. First off, we must truly believe that God is gracious and extended His grace by allowing His one and only son to die as a ransom for our sins on the cross. We must admit to God that we have failed morally during our lifetime and that Jesus Christ’s brutal death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could ever forgive our sins. After making this decision (accepting God’s grace), we are immediately forgiven of all past, present, and future sins. In addition, we would be guaranteed entrance into heaven after our physical death here on Earth. We would then live with both God and His son Jesus forever. We would be guaranteed to see all of our loved ones who had made this decision during his or her physical lives on Earth.

    You could make this decision today. Please do not wait for the “perfect time”. You could ask God for eternal forgiveness through applying the death and resurrection of Jesus to your life within the quietness of your bedroom tonight. This is the most important decision that you will ever make.

    So you might be asking, “Where in the Bible does it explain what has just been summarized?” Here are some passages clearly stating that Jesus seeks a personal relationship with us:

    “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
    – Romans 10:9-10

    “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; “
    – Acts 3:19

    “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
    – John 3:16

    As long as you repent of your past sins (moral failures) from the heart, confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and apply Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection on the cross as a payment for your sins, you are guaranteed eternal life with God in heaven. You can make this decision at any time, anywhere. You can make this decision alone with God or within a group setting.

    Please know that one cannot sit the fence on making this decision of accepting God’s gift of grace. If one chooses not to decide, he or she has still made a choice. This would be like receiving a check (hearing “The Gospel”) but never endorsing and cashing it in at the bank (personally applying Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection towards one’s sins).

    “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
    – John 3:18

    The result of not choosing to accept Gods gift of grace, which offers eternal life with both Him and Jesus in heaven is clear. You will live the remainder of your life here on Earth apart from Jesus Christ and His empowerment. You will then follow your life plan and not His plan for you. After you physically die, you will then be brought to a dark place where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth”. It is a place of eternal regret. Here, you will remember this very letter and how you were told the truth but chose not to repent and begin a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Remember, if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. You could be diagnosed with a terminal illness tomorrow or be the recipient of a head-on collision while returning home on that all too familiar, two-lane highway this Friday night. If you are considering starting your personal relationship with Jesus Christ, please do not wait to make this decision. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

    The following passage outlines the only requirements Jesus Christ has set to both gain eternal life and begin a personal relationship with Him while you are still alive here on Earth. He makes it crystal-clear in the Bible what is required…

    “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
    – Romans 10:9-10

    God has a plan for your life. You can watch this plan unfold once you accept His gift of grace. This great plan involves your life experience while here on Earth and continues after your physical death on into heaven.

    “For I know the plans that I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
    – Jeremiah 29:11-13

    Please consider what I have said here. I am not sure if you have ever made this decision before, but I needed to make sure that you had the facts. If you should decide that you want to learn more about the life of Jesus and gain a better understanding of authentic Christianity, I strongly recommend reading the book of John within the Bible (NASB or NIV translation).

    In closing, here is a verse that someone once shared with me that finally brought me into a relationship with God during an extremely low point physically and emotionally. The understanding of Jesus’ desire to know me personally changed my life forever. Here it is:

    “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.”
    – Revelation 3:20

  • Ruvy,

    I do not believe that any country holds a monopoly on having too few thinkers and workers. It seems as if we are in the midst of a worldwide brain drain which is so severe in nature that barely anyone notices it happening.

    Talk about societal degeneration.


    Glad to see that you appreciated the nature of the article. I strongly disagree with the timing under which the Sheriff made his statements, and I found more than a few of them to be wrong on virtually every level, but he is absolutely correct with regards to what I quoted.


    When it comes to fiscal matters, I am what could be described as a pragmatic Objectivist as I believe that free enterprise is the only rational and truly humanistic system of economics, though I am very much against the idea of abolishing Social Security and other such nonsense. On social matters, however, I do indeed lean far more towards the center. Also, your comment about this nation’s Founding Fathers’ probable disappointment with the embarrassingly primitive nature of what passes as serious political rhetoric today is along the lines of what I was getting at.

    Glad to see that you enjoyed the article.

  • Joseph,

    Sometimes I think you’re so far right wing you come out the left. But then , like here, you write something that I can get totally behind.

    One caveat. The notion that the Founding Fathers did not lob verbal hand grenades is , of course, not true. But they would probably be disappointed that we haven’t advanced very much, if at all, in our political rhetoric.

    Great piece.

  • ds

    It was almost impossible to find a non-partisan story or blog post on this. Let us pray!

  • Ruvy, As someone who, to the best of my knowledge, has not EVER had any thoughts of their own but merely tried futilely to interpret foggy ancient writings and mysticism, I would have thought a nation of thinkers would be the last thing you would want.

    Can you actually do information as opposed to opinion and mysticism?

  • Ruvy

    As a member of the all-but-extinct Rockefeller wing of the Republican Party, he takes conservative stances on fiscal and national security issues while being a staunch centrist on social matters.

    I believe it was David Rockefeller (it could have been John D.) who said, “I want a nation of workers, not a nation of thinkers.”

    Well, you may not have a nation of workers – but you certainly do not have a nation of thinkers, Joseph. Looks like the all-but-extinct Rockefeller wing of the Republican party has partially succeeded in its goals….

    Mazel Tov!