Monthly Archives: December 2013

Weighing in on the “Duck Dynasty” controversy

OK…I’m weighing in. There are some things that I do not post on Facebook (or anywhere else in public view) that I truly believe. And there are some things posted to my wall that I remove. I do this, not because I question who I am, but the respect I have for my position. Let me explain.

While I do not speak for any organization directly, there are some people who see me as “the Chaplain from Huber Heights”. So, even though I do not speak for the city, or it’s Police Department, I do not tend to be controversial. As a matter of principle, I try to avoid it.

I truly believe in Freedom of Speech. I truly believe in (to use common terms) my religious principles. My relationship with God isn’t negotiable. It’s not up for debate. My good friends likely know where I stand on any issue. I have stood for the Constitution and pledged my life to it’s defense before, and will if I ever need to again. So if you want to say anything, it’s a free country. Me and millions of others have worked to keep it that way.

My goal on Facebook and on my blog is not to trumpet who I am and what I believe. If you do , that’s OK. Freedom of Speech is working as it is designed. My goal on Facebook is to keep in touch with family, and keep my supporters updated on my “ministry”:to show support for First Responders and Public Safety forces, honor our fallen, and encourage those who remain. Will I post some things along the way that folks may disagree with, or even may find offensive? Probably.

Here is the only opinion I will offer publicly: This is not a “Freedom of Speech” issue (as I see it). The constitution says “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”. The government is not restricting Phil Robertson’s speech, it’s A&E, in a sense one of his “employers”. Just like I can go to work and tell my boss that “You’re doing a bad job” or “I hate the way you….”. I can do that. It’s a free country. And my employer has the right to show me the door. My speech is protected, but I am not protected from the outcomes of my speech. If you want to claim it’s media double-standard you can. You can claim it’s people harassing country folks. You can claim it’s a bias against Christianity. Is it true? Maybe. But that’s for better minds than mine to decide. But the way I see it, it’s not a problem with “Freedom of Speech”.

I owe it to the Huber Heights Police Division and the Butler Township Police Department to not do anything (in word or deed) that would cast a negative light on them. And as a friend pointed out, in the last four days we have lost 3 good officers and 2 firefighters: heroes. I owe it to them to make sure they are not forgotten. I owe it to those who remain to be ready to help them if they need it.

Please distribute to all Police, Paramedic and Fire personnel – Merry Christmas

First, I again want to say thank you to all the Chiefs, Sheriffs, Officers, Administrators, and fellow Chaplains who have made it possible for me to distribute this message.

I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday season. For those of you in stations or cars working during the holidays, we appreciate the sacrifices you and your family are making while ensuring our safety and security. It does not go unappreciated or unnoticed.

It’s that time of the year again. The Holidays can be a source of wonderful joy. I look forward every year to having some down time, spending time with my family, and going back to my home town to see more of my family. And there’s always a stop (or two or three!) at a police station or fire house to spread more of my support.  It’s a time of traditions. Most of us have them, though yours and mine are likely different. I know that some of you reading this will be working those days. Some of you volunteered so the department newlywed can have that first Christmas with his new bride or the new father with his newborn on Christmas morning. Some of you will be busy at work when I crawl out of bed on Christmas morning, or will hear the tones drop multiple times that night. Some of you will do it in freezing temperatures, and others will do it in warm ones. You will change your holiday schedule and family time around your work, and may not even think about it because “That’s what I do.” As a Chaplain, I’ve been privileged to see some of what goes on “behind the scenes”. I hear the stories and see the sacrifice. Lots of us do. Don’t ever forget that. But if you do, you know where to find me. So, do Doc a favor this Christmas. Have a great time. Be with people you love during the Holidays. Find some time to relax. Do something that makes YOU happy. Sit and enjoy some warm cocoa, or a cold drink (a good raspberry tea is my drink of choice) and enjoy it. You deal with the bad enough. Find some good and soak in as much as you can.

During the holidays, I always put in this information, because I know that someone may need it. The holidays are meant to be times of joy, happiness, time with those we love and hope. While it can produce stress for even the best of us, for some of you can be a time of sadness, frustration or depression. It can be hard to balance out what you have to deal with and still know that there are great people in society as well. I also know that it’s hard for us to reach out sometimes (and I’m no exception to this rule). If you find yourself struggling in this holiday season, don’t hesitate to reach out for assistance. Your departments may have Employee Assistance Care, Chaplains, Chiefs, and any other Supervisor available for help. There is also other Clergy and/or even friends for guidance and assistance should you need it. My phone is always on and I’ll make myself available to help you in any way that I can. Call us, grab us after roll call, send an email. Reach out if you need to.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and best wishes for 2014. I’ve said it before and will say it again, you all are heroes. I don’t know how often you hear it, but I’m certain it’s not nearly enough.