Come watch election returns at Gator City

Here I am with Rob Zeller at the Black Tie and Blue Jean Dinner.

 This election night I will be at Gator City, located at 1728 W. University Ave. I will arrive sometime after 7pm, when the polls close, to see how my friends did. My own race is not until March, but I am a local elections junkie, and I love to watch how these turn out. Gator City is owned by Rob Zeller, who was a supporter of mine during this past Mayor’s race. Rob has decided to run for the District 3 seat on the City Commission. Come on by and say hello! Keep in mind that I am NOT buying everyone a beer…

Empowerment Sunday

Reverend Al Sharpton

If you went to my calendar page, you saw that there is an event on October 24th called Empowerment Sunday. It is a Democrat event, but anyone can go. Their goal is to get out the vote for early voting that day at the County Administration Building from 1-5pm. The rally is at Bo Diddley Plaza, located at 111 E. University Avenue on the corner of SE 1st Street and E. University Avenue. The special guest speaker will be the Reverend Al Sharpton.

I have paid to have table space there.  I will also be speaking from the stage at some point, although my race is in March. Other candidates who will be on the ballot Nov. 2 will be speaking also.

Come by my white canopy tent to say hello and participate in my “experiment”! I won’t say what that is until you get there. No, it won’t hurt!

Patriot Day in Gainesville

This is taken from the original proclamation of September 11th as Patriot Day:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim September 11, 2002, as Patriot Day. I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services and candlelight vigils. I also call upon the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, as well as appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half-staff on Patriot Day. Further, I encourage all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes on that day and to observe a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 a.m. eastern daylight time, or another appropriate commemorative time, to honor the innocent victims who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

I don’t think it had ever entered anyone’s mind that “appropriate ceremonies and activities” would include burning copies of the Koran. But the pastor of a local church (that I will not dignify by naming) thought it would be good to forget all about those who died in the Twin Towers by creating a media spectacle. This has lead to a lot of denouncing and name calling and threats against the safety of  the offending pastor as well as random innocents.

If something good comes of this, at the very least I hope it is the recognition that when a Christian minister steps out of line like this, that large numbers of his own kind will denounce him. The second thing is that you can denounce a person like this without fear of reprisals. This is America, and you have the right to issue opinions both popular and unpopular. Unless the person issuing it is very prominent, opinions in America are not news.

So why did this become news?  Was it the threats from the other side of the world? No, I believe they would not have noticed this in the Middle East without the news media.

Today, I am going to observe Patriot Day by remembering those who died on 9-11, and by using the freedoms that were bought for me with blood: I will do some phone banking for a local political candidate. And I will do some work on my own campaign. I want to make some REAL news.

The REAL Haters will be here this weekend

Sunday, April 18th, the infamous Westboro Baptist Church will be bringing their wretched show to town. This is that incredibly noxious “God Hates Fags” church led by Fred Phelps and his deranged family. According to their website, they will be coming to Gainesville to protest 3 churches and a Jewish student center at UF. I cannot blame you if you don’t want to go to that link, so the schedule of their picketing expedition is as follows” Noon to 12:30PM at Trinity United Methodist Church, and 1-1:30 at the Hillel Center at 2020 W. University Ave. Then they skedaddle over to Queen of Peace Catholic Church at 10900 SW 24th Ave from 5-5:30, and finish out their “Reign of Error” at Saint Augustine Catholic Church at 1738 W. University Ave from 7-7:30.

Now you might ask, “Don, why are you so put out with Westboro Baptist Church?” It’s because they ruin God and Jesus for so many people. These ignoramuses go traveling around the country as if they are some sort of prophets setting the rest of the church straight by showing how mad we are supposed to be at the rest of the world. They rub salt in the wounds of the very people God has commanded us to heal and to whom we should show compassion. Then they rebuke everyone who is not like them. Is this really the Great Commission Christ gave to the church? Is this the example set by Jesus? Of course not.

So how should we respond to these modern day Pharisees? In the New Testament, those were the very people for whom He reserved His harshest criticism. Likewise, these frauds deserve our strongest condemnation. They do not belong to the Kingdom of God at all. They are (wait for it) of the Devil.

I know that it is a popular feeling that they should be ignored by the mainstream church. I believe this is a mistake. I believe this is the time to stand up and be counted. If the church is serious about reaching people in the LGBT community, then they need to stand with them and show them the love.

I am not saying you have to sell out all your beliefs. After all, many Christians disagree about major issues of eternal consequences, but DON’T hate each other! In fact, you are good neighbors and look out for one another. That’s all I’m saying: be a good neighbor and stand up with them against these clowns that you KNOW are dead wrong. And you know they are.

So, look at that schedule. I challenge you to come out and protest them at one of these locations, or more.