What It Means to Be An American

At the beginning of this year, I saw U2 perform at their 30th-anniversary concert of  Joshua Tree album. It was a humble, reflective celebration of what is probably Bono and U2’s most famous album. There is an emotion that while the album touches on social issues around the world is undeniably American. Bono has stated in several interviews that he loves America and what it has been for the Irish people.

During a San Diego concert, Bono spoke these words: America “has become our second home,” Bono said. “It’s not just a country, is it? … It’s a great idea; it’s one of the best ideas ever.” “A country built on hope cannot be driven by fear,” Bono went on to say in the brief address in between songs. “A country founded on equality cannot allow hate to pull it apart.”*

America is a nation of immigrants. Unless you are a Native American, your ancestors came from another country usually in search of a better life. It is a crazy thought that people in a day and age where they were not as readily connected as we are now would leave all things familiar to travel to a land they have never been. Not only a place they have never been but a land full of danger and trials. My first question is why? What would drive someone to that place? Well the answer I have always grown up being told is freedom, and while that is very true, it is an oversimplification.

Freedom alone isn’t the only thing that draws people to America; it’s goodness. It’s the words written on Lady liberty. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” –Emma Lazarus Those words send a message of hope in a nation built by refugees of political, religious, or economic persecution.

It seems though, that we have chosen to forget that part of our history. When I look that those in the conservative thought camp I hear constant anti-immigrant sentiments, and the fact is none of this is new. The Irish were met with hatred and contempt, and the newcomers versus old comers have been a battle waged since the inception of America.

It seems that when we have tasted of the goodness of America, we have no interest in sharing the blessings.

What it means to be American is to be able to be something new, it isn’t just freedom. It is the freedom to dream and to know that the only thing stopping you is you. While you may believe that the systems are out to destroy you, the opportunity to succeed still can be done in the USA. It is that ideal that has brought millions into this country. Maybe the system is crushing you, and all you can see is the injustice. Instead of pointing our fingers at immigrants and others in general. Maybe it’s time to better ourselves.

U2 has released a single off their new album Songs of Experience. The track Get Out of Your Own Way I think speaks to all of us.

Love hurts
Now you’re the girl who’s left with no words
Your heart’s a balloon, but then it bursts
It doesn’t take a cannon, just a pin
Your skin’s not covering
And resistance
Love has got to fight for its existence
The enemy has armies for assistance
The amorist, the glamorous, the kiss
A fist, listen to this, oh

[Chorus: Bono]
Get out of your own way, oh, I
Get out of your own way, oh, I

[Post-Chorus: Bono]
I could sing it to you all night, all night
If I could, I’d make it alright, alright
Nothing’s stopping you except what’s inside
I can help you, but it’s your fight, your fight

[Verse 2: Bono]
Fight back
Don’t take it lyin’ down, you got to bite back
The face of liberty’s starting to crack
She had a plan up until she got smacked in the mouth
And it all went south
Like freedom
The slaves are lookin’ for someone to lead them
The master’s lookin’ for someone to need him
The promised land is there for those who need it most
And Lincoln’s ghost said…

[Chorus: Bono]
Get out of your own way, oh, I
Get out of your own way, oh, I

[Post-Chorus: Bono]
I could sing it to you all night, all night
If I could, I’d make it alright, alright
Nothing’s stopping you except what’s inside
I can help you, but it’s your fight, your fight

[Chorus: Bono]
Get out of your own way
Get out of your own way
Get out of your own way

[Outro: Kendrick Lamar]
Blessed are the arrogant
For there is the kingdom of their own company
Blessed are the superstars
For the magnificence in their light
We understand better our own insignificance
Blessed are the filthy rich
For you can only truly own what you give away
Like your pain

We are the only ones who make ourselves victims and only we can decide who we want to be. The opportunity to be more is what America is made of. This is the freedom that caused people to sell everything they owned. This is the future that so many died for, and give everything in defense of. The opportunity to become more is the American dream. That is what it means to be an American.

*Source: http://www.glennbeck.com/2017/09/26/a-country-founded-on-equality-bono-encourages-americans-with-this-stirring-speech/?utm_source=glennbeck&utm_medium=contentcopy_link

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Hope and Change: A Call to this Generation

About two years ago I was hit hard by life. My dad decided it was time to move on. I was living in Houston at the time and I was left wondering what to do. The questions of whether it was my fault haunt me to this day. It’s a pain that stays with you and turns into anger when people expect you to do the impossible while they are requiring the ordinary of themselves. It was at this time of my life I was faced with two options. I could sit in my house and pout about how the world seemed out to get me or go and change it. It was at this time I saw the poor and helpless for the first time. I saw the murder of the unborn as genocide for the first time. I saw a church shooting itself in the foot with its apathy lack of passion. I asked myself is there hope, and if there was, could I even hope to make a difference? God gave me answers to my questions. He told me I’ve given you breathe, use it to turn the world upside down. The world will hate you and your own friends will criticize you, but you will be about my business. It was that day I decided I would do something. I never looked back. I have never let the status quo be since that day.

40 Days for Life was something that I got involved in after a friend of mine at breakfast challenged a group of us to go out to an abortion clinic. Most of us had never been. It was the first time I was ever emerged into a battle where lives are being snuffed out before your very eyes. It is a sobering experience. I attempted to get more involved but my parents’ divorce was not final so hearings kept requiring me to go to Houston.

It was not too long after that I discovered the judge in the family court back in Houston decided that homeschooling was not a legitimate form of education and that my dad should put my siblings in public school. I could just accept the violation of rights or I could fight it. I chose to fight. I began a petition and was able to get over a couple thousand emails sent to the Judge urging her to reconsider her decision. Tim Lambert of Texas Home School Coalition wrote the judge and there was a change.org petition was shared across the world. A little under 2,500 signatures came in before I closed the petition. It became a success when the judge recognized homeschooling as a legitimate education option after she received thousands of emails and a couple dozen calls.

I then became swamped with emails of people who were encouraged by my efforts and would still fight to be able to home school. I even got an email where one woman said she was inspired to home school her kids because of what I did. All it took was one high school student to stand up and not accept the status quo. People underestimate youth. They have low expectations of them. If just one person goes against the flow it will at the least leave an impact that affects future generations.

One of the next things I did was follow Jason Vaughn around the Capitol for about two weeks. We were working to help push the Texas pro-life bill through, HB2. After watching the first bill die in the first special session there was a great push when Governor Perry called a second special session. Tons of protesters showed up at the Capitol for the next couple of weeks.

Media was crucial for the pro-life group out at the Capitol. There were a handful of us equipped with cameras to record and catch the opposition acting unethically. If nobody was out there using social media tools and getting the footage, people would not know what was going on in the Capitol. Jason Vaughn the guy I was helping out, got Hail Satan trending worldwide on Twitter when several videos of people shouting “hail satan” were produced during the session. Everything that happened only happened because a handful worked overtime to make it happen. If those folks were not there the goings on in the Texas Capitol could be a lot different. The bill may have died because of all the negative media attention and lack of respect for the politically incorrect viewpoint.

 

 

So what am I saying? We need young people to rise up and speak up for their generation. We need 20-somethings with their free time standing for truth. Because if not them, then who will? We live in an exciting time where before us where we have the responsibility to stop an agenda that intends to turn America into a godless socialist wasteland. You don’t have to have connections, great leadership potential, and communication skills. God doesn’t need your talents; He just wants you to be willing to offer yourself to Him as a vessel to use. My story is a testimony of how God chose to use a kid from a broken home who was told his whole life that he was worthless and ineffective. That he would never succeed. That he should be content with his quality of life. It’s a story of how he said no and resolved to do something to fight for justice. That story can be your story if you are just willing to look at the world around you with a different pair of eyes. If we had an army of young people that were willing to fight for the unborn, the widow, and the orphan then if that army was only a 100 strong, I believe that a difference can be made. The only thing that is stopping us is you not getting involved. This generation is in a crucial time in history if we do not defend the Judeo-Christian principles that this nation was founded on we head towards a fall much like Rome’s. If we rise up there is still hope that we can spark a revival to stop the downward spiral into darkness. It can only happen if you are willing to serve. It’s time for you to lead the escape, to light the path, and make known the present danger. Everybody talks about hope and change, let’s be the generation that actually makes these things a reality.

Loving Our Enemies

When I look at my companions’ and fellow co-workers I don’t just see familiar faces, but the faces of patriots like those of old outnumbered and worn, fighting a uphill battle in the face of staunch opposition. Standing for the unborn is serious job that requires those that believe in life to put in long hours. It taxes upon a person’s strength because evil does not sleep. I have had minimal sleep, and have not ceased to work an almost 24/7 schedule to defend life.

 

Sometimes I do look at my co-workers and wonder why am I killing myself over this? Why am I fighting so hard against a foe so big and abusive like Planned Parenthood? Why do I take endless photographs and walk among angry protesters and listen to people calling me a sexist bastard and illogical fool? Why do take the insults and threats that are sent in hateful passion by pro-choicers? I’ll tell you why. Because I serve a God greater than Planned Parenthood and a God so big that He can’t stoop to their level. I stand for those who can’t speak because it is right. I stand for those who can’t speak because if not me who will stop murder?

 

Today in front of the Texas House doors after House Bill 2 passed to the Senate, I saw a father and a son and the father told his young boy to tell the screaming and chanting pro-choice protestors to say “I love you”. That little boy shouted and his voice rang clear among the shouting. He was heard, and was ignored because truth is meaningless to those that want convenience over it. That young boy voiced a message that while we hate abortion and the effects that it has on our society. We do not hate the people supporting it. Our passion is life and to protect all human life.

 

My challenge to you is to tell a pro-choicer wherever you are and regardless of who they are. Tell them that you love them. Love is the only thing that is more powerful then hate. We need to overcome hate with love. I can guarantee you that even though the people yelling at the Reps walking out of the house heard that little boy and will be responsible for the hate that they inflict on others knowing the attitude of those that stand for life.

 

So go and overcome darkness with light, hate with love, and Satan with Jesus. We need patriots and Christians alike to fight the good fight and stand for life in the Texas Senate and Senate Bill 1. I challenge you to show love whether it be correctional, disciplinary, and parental love to show that love to those that want to murder their children. The world needs answers and we have them. Go let that answer be heard.

Stand For Life!

The past few days have been the beginning of a fight in the Texas legislature of unborn children’s right to see the light of day. It has awakened me to the harsh reality of people promoting the murder of innocent children. The things that I have seen in the past few days are so horrific that I would never want to speak of them because of their sick nature. Yet I know that I must so that people know what evil is and will realize that we must rise up opposing it.

I have seen a 70 year old woman shaking before a mob of angry primarily white protesters booing and threatening her. I have seen women with fake blood streaming down the inside of their thighs bragging they just had their own abortion. I have seen people with aprons drenched in fake blood offering cheap late term abortions. I have seen people singing and chanting “hail satan” inside the Texas capitol. I have seen children being pushed and shoved by adults because they stand for life. I have seen good and evil at war these past few days. It says in

Ephesians 6:12

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

We are not only fighting a legal battle at the Texas capitol right now but a great spiritual battle is raging before us and we need to have troops on all fronts. We need prayer warriors, protesters, legislators, and children to do their part wherever they are. You can do your part and no job is unimportant or too small.

We desperately need people to rise up. It is time for your voice to be heard. I’m sure you have a voice in some way; it’s time for you to use it in defense of those who can’t speak for themselves. When we disregard life we lose the meaning to live. There could not be a more important time to speak because millions have been murdered on our watch and it is our duty to speak. Please consider coming and standing and attending the upcoming rallies this week.

Yesterday was the celebration of our nation’s birthday. Our founding fathers were the first patriots and those who rise to stand for life will be the patriots of today. It is important to remember that about third of Americans were for independence about a third sat the war out and a third were for staying with England. So from our nation’s founding we were not all on the same page that is why we have a constitutional republic not a democracy. Those who stand with us will be in my book the John Hancock’s, the Benjamin Franklin’s, the George Washington’s, and John Adam’s of our day. They will be the men and women that stood in the gap and defended what was right and were willing to suffer the consequences. I salute you those who are standing and those will stand this upcoming week as patriots and freedom fighters of the Republic of Texas, The United States of America, and of Jesus Christ our Lord the sole author of our salvation. Stand for Life!

You can follow me on twitter @AndrewDK95  to keep up to date with the Texas Capitol activities.

Speaking at the Capitol.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkOaCPC_gk8

Good Men Are Doing Nothing – Homeschooling Threatened in Texas – Urgent Action Required

Image

My name is Andrew Koch and I am 17 years old. I have been homeschooled all my life.  I have lived in five states and have traveled the country. I love life and I love the gifts God has given me. Homeschooling is probably one of the greatest gifts in my life. It enabled me to go and learn various skills at a young age and test my abilities. I came from a somewhat Christian environment.  In 2011, my father filed for divorce.
Please sign this petition as well as write the judge. https://www.change.org/petitions/judge-sheri-y-dean-of-the-309th-district-family-court-harris-county-to-allow-maurya-koch-to-live-in-san-antonio-texas-and-homeschool

My world was crushed. I could not imagine life without a dad. It didn’t matter what I thought because it didn’t change reality. God had a bigger plan. The Hon. Sheri Y. Dean allowed us to move in temporary orders to the San Antonio, Texas area. We have been living here for two years and have found support with incredible friends and a loving church  that have sustained us during this time. My family will unanimously tell you that San Antonio is our new home and we would never want to leave.

This past week about a month after the final hearing, Judge Dean made her decision. She has decided regardless of what the children and my mother think that my siblings should be placed into public school and and be forced to move back to Houston. She has taken away our constitutional rights by making a decision in this way. My three younger siblings Nathaniel, Benjamin, and Christiana are crushed by this judge’s choices for them. I am right now fighting her decision in whatever way God leads me.

I am pleading with any of you reading that you will consider writing this judge and telling her that she has dealt treacherously with my mom who never did anything to deserve this treatment. She never petitioned for a divorce it was all forced upon her. You can reach Judge Sheri Y. Dean at this email address sheri_dean@justex.net . Please address this issue as the the divorce case between David and Maurya Koch. You need to write before June 12, 2013 before the judge’s decision is signed.

Please write her and respectfully tell her that this is a free country and in this country we still believe in a person’s right to the pursuit of happiness. Again the this is Judge Sheri Y. Dean from Harris County District Court. If you are from Harris County please add that in your letter.  Please stand up for homeschooling rights and personal liberty in Texas.

God has a plan still and it is our job to find it out. God can use these letters to change the heart of the judge or simply warn her of the spiritual and political ramifications of her judgement.

Again here is the email

sheri_dean@justex.net

You can use this template.

It has come to my attention that in the Divorce case between David and Maurya Koch you have denied Maurya Koch’s constitutional right to homeschool and you have told the family they must move back to Houston. Maurya Koch has committed no crime and yet is being treated as if she has. It will be harmful and unfair to the children to uproot them and force them to go to a school system they have never been in or want to be in. It has already crushed the children and Maurya Koch. Please change your decision for the sake of the children.

if you live in Harris County  tell her that you will not vote for her re-election and will encourage others to do the same, if she chooses not to change her decision

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. ~Edmond Burke

Please pray for my father and his eternal state and pray for my mother that she will have the strength to endure this time.

Please rise up!

40 Days for Life – Lives are Depending on It

Andrew Koch at a Planned Parenthood clinic in San Antonio

Andrew Koch at a Planned Parenthood clinic in San Antonio

It was about 2 weeks ago, I was at a discipleship breakfast when a older young man challenged all of us and specifically me. He asked us the question if any of the men there had been to a abortion clinic to pray ever. Some had been but the end result was that most of us had never ever been once. It was at that point he brought up 40 days for Life and what would be happening a in a few weeks. I felt a need to go as a person attempting to address culture it was my duty to show up at least once.  It was on Wednesday night February the 13th that I went to the Planned Parenthood clinic in San Antonio and for the first time I was emerged into a battle.  A spiritual battle and physical battle over the lives of unborn babies. I was sobered by the dull atmosphere from the blue sign and white illuminated text of death that shown as dusk came. When I first arrived I saw a handful of faithful Catholics and people from the church I attend. That night was pretty big for them because our church moved the prayer meeting to the clinic that particular night and approximately 30 people were there. It was warfare but only a skirmish.

I felt convicted by what I saw, I had recently attended the San Antonio Independent Film Festival and watched many documentaries about abortion and the war on babies. The theme that was in these social commentaries was that it has been only  the Catholic church that has been active in fighting for life. I dearly appreciate these faithful Catholics and how they are willing to sacrifice so much for babies. I went again today on Saturday with a few others I got to come and found about 6 Catholics that had been there most of the day praying with their Rosaries. The entire time only two people showed up that were not Catholic. I say this not to put down the the Catholics, but to send a wake up call to all Evangelical Christians that they are sleeping and allowing genocide to happen on their watch. They say in San Antonio 23% of pregnancies end in abortion.  That is 1% higher then the national average. There are several Mega-churches in the area  and if we had a fraction of those members out on a regular basis the presence and outcome would dramatically change. one of my favorite quotes is commonly attributed to Edmond Burke who said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ” We as Christians need get out and stand for what we believe. We will be held responsible for what we did and didn’t do. We need the church to wake up.

What am I asking you to do?  If you would just being willing to sacrifice one hour of your time during the 40 Days to just pray and stand for life outside one of these places of death. The Catholics are getting old and we need young people and people to fight for truth in society. I plan to be out at my local clinic as much as I can. I ask you to join me. 40 days for Life has been going on since 2008. They have closed the doors of clinics and where once stood a place of murder now stands a Korean Bible Church. Great things can happen if we only take the step of faith and just be there. Lives are depending on it. You can find more information about 40 Days for Life here. You can also subscribe to my YouTube Channel to get updates on abortion and issues in general here.