“i have seen signs a lot worse” (updated with a comment from nathan)

Nathan Allen, the man who received the letter from the President, has posted a comment under this post – thank you Nathan.

PNJ: Writing the president a letter is like writing to Santa Claus — you really don’t expect to get a response.

Nathan Allen, 26, of Pensacola wrote a letter last year to President Barack Obama to apologize for a sign he held up in front of Obama’s motorcade as it drove into Pensacola on June 14. The president was in town to get a firsthand look at how the BP oil spill was affecting the area. The sign read: “Mr. President, Why did you wait so long?”

Allen said he didn’t think President Obama would reply to the letter …. he received the surprise of a lifetime when he opened his mailbox about four weeks ago. Inside was an envelope from the White House that held a handwritten note from the president.

“I have to say that I have seen signs a lot worse, and part of my job is to take criticism,” Obama wrote.

….Allen said several months after he made the sign, he was reading Acts 23:1-5. He said the passages led him to believe he did the wrong thing by holding up the sign. Part of the passage reads: “You shall not speak evil of the ruler of your people.”

“Right when I read that, it kind of went straight to my heart,” Allen said. “I was like, ‘Shoot, I guess that’s kind of what I did.’ Yes, I have got freedom of speech, but as a Christian I need to be respecting the leader of my people.” Allen said he prayed, and he knew the only thing he could do to make things right was to write Obama.

“I just … told him I will be praying for him instead of holding signs on the side of the road from this point forward,” Allen said.

Full article here here

86 Responses to ““i have seen signs a lot worse” (updated with a comment from nathan)”

  1. February 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm


  2. 2 Shirley
    February 28, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    I do believe Mr. Allen was convicted, bless his heart 🙂

  3. 3 anameti
    February 28, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    This is such a wonderful story. It is amazing how the word of God can stir our concience more than anything else could.

  4. 4 Theo67
    February 28, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    This certainly couldn’t have been a coincidence. Out of the 40,000 letters the President receives every day, that he would choose to get this one… We need to post this bible verse on bumper stickers, to counter the horrible one that the right wingers choose to hold up. They pick and choose the ones they wish to hold up. There’s criticism, and there’s constructive criticism, and then there’s just bad-mouthing for ulterior motives. I’m also surprised that this fairly moderate sign was something this young man thought was insulting or “speaking evil” – but maybe his intention or the feelings he held in his heart were much worse than the words on the paper…

    In any case – this is a good story.

  5. 5 Jessica
    February 28, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with his sign, it’s not evil just a question. I think the President was caught off guard by the oil spill (as we all were) and really didn’t know how to act. It wasn’t a Katrina situation were (sp?) the federal government could intervene immediately, no one was hurt or dying (just the fish and some of the oil rig workers) so he decided to wait (the Paul McCartney tribute was coincidentally bad timing and I understand he didn’t want to pass it up). We just had to sit back and hope BP could find a way to cap the leak. And if he had organized some federal clean-up people would be bitching about using tax payer money to clean up a corporation’s epic disaster. And then he goes down there and they start complaining about his pants. Ri-damn-diculous. Lose lose all around. No one would be able to escape criticism of the oil spill.

    • 6 EDP4BHO
      February 28, 2011 at 7:02 pm

      I personally don’t feel the President took too long for all the reasons you stated, Jessica. No “Katrina” urgency or danger, BP was totally responsible. President Obama reiterated that his people were on it immediately, but the press wasn’t hearing this….too much like right. I in fact heard the President the first time. He worked behind the scenes, gathering facts to make an informed decision on how to address the problem..remember all the noise people made? So this man Allen to me was a self-righteous jerk just like what seems like 70% of the population second-guessing President Obama and his administration, no matter the issue. I concur with your description….”ri-damn-diculous”.

    • 7 Chi
      March 1, 2011 at 4:18 am

      Completely disagree wit you Jessica…

      The President acted exactly as he should have – designated responsibility and sent out the appropriate members of his senior staff to oversee matters, while monitoring progress daily…

      The fake and contrived outrage – as is now familiar with the response to everything this President has to deal with – was just another sly attempt by those angling for anything at all to hang on President Obama’s neck to help take him down…

      Unfortunately even a few well-meaning people like you seemed to buy into the very false narratives – including the bogus arguments about “optics” with regard to him showing up to personally oversee clean-up and cancelling a long-planned tribute – a long-standing White House tradition (and part of every President’s responsibility no matter how trivial it might seem)…

      • 8 anameti
        March 1, 2011 at 11:36 am

        I totally agree with you Chi. The president responded appropriately and timely but the media tried to second guess his decision just like they do in almost all decisions he makes.

  6. 9 Sonjia Duncan
    February 28, 2011 at 4:43 pm

    True, It needs to be spread around.
    When you know better, you do better.
    The Good Words have been replaced by words of hate.

    The Good man deserves words of good not hate.

  7. 10 meta
    February 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    It’s a moving story but this part bugs me:

    “The White House receives about 65,000 letters a day. Since his first week as president, Obama has asked to read 10 letters each day. He hand-writes replies to three or four letters a day.

    Allen sold the note last week to Gary Zimet, 57, who lives about 75 minutes north of New York City in Washingtonville.

    Neither Allen nor Zimet would divulge the selling price.

    Zimet said he has bought seven handwritten Obama letters for between $4,000 and $7,000 each.

    He said he plans to sell the note he bought from Allen for between $10,000 and $12,000.

    Allen said he and his wife, Amber, 25, who is pregnant and is a teacher, would not have been able to help with the church’s building project had he not sold the note.”

    I guess I really don’t like it when people profit off the President’s gestures of kindness. Whatever.

    • 11 cuphalffull
      February 28, 2011 at 5:02 pm

      I feel the same way about selling the note. Also, maybe if one has to find a Biblical reference to in order to show respect for the dignity of the office or just of another human being, so be it, but to me it is part of being a decent person.

      • 12 Dorothy Rissman
        February 28, 2011 at 6:00 pm

        Do you remember the story of the woman who was dying and could not get her insurance company to pay for treatment for her cancer? She had written our president, and he replied. She sold it because it would cover her treatment expenses. As I recall she sold it for 10,000? I think that is okay. She apparently bawled when it sold. She cherished it. teary, teary.

      • 13 Dorothy Rissman
        February 28, 2011 at 6:06 pm

        Ten to one says he is probably a redneck. Probably never wanted Obama to be president. Jerk.

        • 14 EDP4BHO
          February 28, 2011 at 7:05 pm

          He may not be a bad redneck…LOL. Not all are. But he, along with too damn many, thought he knew more than the administration what should have been done during that spill. Boy, I never knew we had so many brainiacs in this country, though test scores don’t reveal this to be true.

  8. 15 Fred
    February 28, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    this story touches my heart 😦

    I am happy God spoke to Mr Allen and happy that his church is benefiting in this but reading ” I have seen sighs a lot worse” tugs at my heart and it hurts because the President;our First Lady have been called all kinds of names and he is aware of those insults 😡 😦

    So I pray Malia and Sasha haven’t read or seen any of that sh!t their dad has been called for meaning well and doing the right thing by us 😦

    yeah as much as I tried seeing some positive in this;this story hurts coming the from President’s POV 😦 😦 😦 😦

    • 16 Theo67
      February 28, 2011 at 11:26 pm

      I agree with you – that part of the story really made me sad. I had hoped that when he’s riding in his motorcade that they moved too fast for him to read the signs. But when I saw the videos of him waving, and he told the story last year of seeing the one guy giving him the “thumbs down” – I kind of started to suspect that he saw the protestors and their signs. It’s sad that when he’s travelling away from his family, he also has to see signs of the ignorant.

  9. 17 Sue in Minnesota
    February 28, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    In general, we have a very immature culture. Disagreeing and being disrespectful are distinctly different. I don’t think this gentleman’s sign was disrespectful…but I don’t know what was in his heart. I applaud this man for choosing to be more self reflective and self aware.

    President Obama handled the Gulf Oil Spill, an unprecedented catastrophe and one that the oil companies themselves were not prepared for, very well considering it’s size, scope and the lack of immediately available solutions. If you followed WhiteHouse.gov you would be aware that he was on it immediately, our MSM created an alternate and false meme, they obscurred facts in favor of controversy. I can’t say it enough….the MSM more than sucks, they threaten the health of our Democracy.

    I’m really sorry that our culture tends to value money more than people. That is upside down in my opinion, but as with everything, it is a choice.

  10. 19 Sonjia Duncan
    March 1, 2011 at 10:28 am

    The Media is not our friend, the Free Press is a myth that we choose to believe.

  11. 20 Nathan Allen
    March 2, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Thank you all for the very fair comments.
    Dorothy, I have a college degree and am currently pursuing a master’s degree, and have paid every dime of my schooling(no grants). I don’t feel like a redneck, although when you have been working in the sun all week laying sod, your unexpected picture may look a little “red-neck-ish.”
    For the others, I was thrilled that I had received the letter from our president. In my apology letter to him I even expressed my thanks for his many hours of dedicated serving, and expressed my sincere thanks to his family for allowing their husband/father to devote his time to serve our country. It was an honor to receive the letter, and I did not originally intend to sell it. However, I was moved to sell it in a similar way that I was moved to write the letter of apology. My personal relationship with God motivates me to follow His leading. I sold the letter because I found out it was more valuable to God in the form of money for my church’s building program than in the form of a framed letter on my wall.
    Again, thank you for the kind comments on this blog. I have read several blogs since the original article ran, and this was by far the most gentle, hence, I felt comfortable responding to only it. For the glory of Jesus Christ – Nathan Allen

    • March 2, 2011 at 6:42 pm

      Thanks so much for commenting Nathan, really appreciate it. You were great to write that letter to the President, you stood by your religious principles and not many do that. It’s never easy saying sorry – I know that better than anyone! Take care Nathan, thank you again.

      • 22 LOL
        March 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm

        Isn’t it amazing how much of the same we all are? At the end of the day 65-70% of those of us in the sane middle only want what is best for our country, our children, and ourselves. And if we all learned to talk to you each other rather than talking past each other we would find out how much we have in common. Sure, you have your differences and I have mine and that’s fine. That should be no cause to degrade each other. As my Vice President would say ” Question a man’s Judgment, and not his Motives”

      • 23 Dorothy Rissman
        March 2, 2011 at 7:13 pm

        I guess I blew that one Chipsticks. My bad.

    • 26 Fred
      March 2, 2011 at 7:01 pm

      GOD bless you Nathan Allen you and your family 😀

    • 27 Dorothy Rissman
      March 2, 2011 at 7:12 pm

      Nathan, I owe you an apology. To sterotype is wrong. It seems so many people in the South don’t take a liking to President Obama, and I get careless with some of the words I use. Congrats on your education.

    • 28 AnitaW
      March 2, 2011 at 7:19 pm

      Haha. You have a good sense of humour. And you have to be careful of some of those blogs because they spill a lot of hate. This one is a definite haven.

      As to your letter, I have to agree with the President. I’ve seen worse. I’m glad you were one of the few who received a personal response. I would have disagreed with you a sell for profit, but not a sell that’s going to help others.

      There was a young woman in Michigan who sold her letter to make a down payment on a home for her and her family. I didn’t have a problem with that either.

      Everyone has to decide what’s best for them and their families. It sounds as if this i what you did.

    • March 2, 2011 at 8:02 pm

      Hi Nathan, I felt your convictions to do what the Word teaches us to do. You can’t behave the way He wants us to behave if we don’t study His Word. We, the Obamadiary family get really, really protective of our President, especially when something untoward is posted about him. ThanX for sharing. And the way you handled this situation shows you believe what He tells us-through His Word- how to correct our mistakes. We make mistakes; we all are fallible. Yours in Christ, GL

    • 30 collegekay
      March 2, 2011 at 8:12 pm

      God Bless you Nathan.

    • 31 Sue in Minnesota
      March 2, 2011 at 10:49 pm

      Namaste Nathan…..and thanks for providing additional insight, expanding our understanding of you and your personal experience.
      I personally appreciate any and all efforts to open up, and respectfully improve the types of conversations we as Americans and citizens of the world are having. If your time and interests permit I hope you’ll consider returning to visit/comment here again.

      You had a personal and meaningful interaction with our President. President Obama’s actions come as no surprise to me as I have come to know him as man of great dignity, decency and respect. You seem to be a person who demonstrates the conviction of his faith which is both laudable and in short supply in our current political enviornment. Each and everyone of us can make the choice to actively listen, respect and treat each other with tolerance and kindness, we are after all, All God’s Children.

    • 32 edwina
      March 4, 2011 at 9:51 am

      Dear Nathan,

      Your letter was so inspiring on many levels. It takes a big person to say I’m sorry and I really commend you for it. Obama is not perfect but as our president and a child of God, he deserves our prayers. You are demonstrating that you can oppose the president’s policies and still respect the man and the office of the presidency. God bless you and do whatever you want with your letter, it’s yours to enjoy but just know that you have given us all a great gift by your gesture of writing to the president. You are walking the walk of a true Christian with your compassion, understanding and humbleness. Thank you so very much.

      All the best to you and your family,


  12. 33 Asher in Boston
    March 2, 2011 at 7:30 pm

    The fact that he wrote an apology letter was good enough for me as Chipsticks stated,”its never easy saying sorry” and as the President said, I too have seen signs alot worse. ie hateful and racist from the teabaggers. I applaud his deed of apologizing. And thanks Nathan for posting on our lovely oasis the TOD.

  13. March 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    This was an amazing post. Thanks Chipsticks for creating a place where we are supportive and civil. Dorothy don’t beat yourself up over this. We all care about the President so much sometimes we goof. What I like most about this blog and BWD is that it is OK to goof – I do it weekly.

    • March 2, 2011 at 7:55 pm

      I goof hourly WiW, so I’m jealous that you only do it weekly! 🙂

    • 36 Dorothy Rissman
      March 2, 2011 at 11:26 pm

      Thank you to WIW and Chipsticks for understanding that at times I get very tired of those who need to be critical of our president. Yes, I guess I goofed, and I did apologize to Nathan, but I will still stand up for the president on the way he handled the Gulf Spill. No one else would have could have done a better job. Perhaps I have forgotten. Did Nathan vote for Barack Obama? Sorry Chips, I adore you but, I am very sick of the negativity against the president. My question will be, will Nathan vote for the Barack Obama in 2012 because he got a letter from the president?

  14. 37 Michele
    March 2, 2011 at 8:24 pm

    Hello Nathan, I hope one day you answer what we all at this blog need to know sooner than later. What did you mean by what took you so long Mr. President? Did you know he had assembled a team at the White House that same week to try to solve the problem. Do you really think in your heart of hearts, Bush would have gotten BP to create a $20 plus billion dollar fund? Lastly, can you tell us what media sources you follow?

    • 38 Dorothy Rissman
      March 2, 2011 at 11:27 pm

      I think that is a good questions Michele. thanks.

    • 39 EDP4BHO
      March 2, 2011 at 11:53 pm

      After reading Nathan’s post and all the others, including mine, I still have to ask…..what was your point, Nathan, in questioning the President in the first place? You never did address that here. Inquiring minds want to know, and did you not know that immediacy with which he approached the problem? As you have witnessed to your Christian beliefs, does the good book not also teach to be patient and understanding, and not judging before you know all the facts?

  15. 40 VotingPoet
    March 2, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    This is our oasis, I love it here. I know I don’t post that much but thank you for the civil discussion with Nathan. This is how Peace is made. Peace, J

  16. 41 CTGirl
    March 2, 2011 at 9:01 pm

    Chipsticks, thanks for creating this place! Nathan, thanks for your comment!

  17. 42 meta
    March 2, 2011 at 9:03 pm

    Nathan, thanks for joining the conversation and for speaking out about your values and principles. Money often carries a lot of strange energy and I also feel very loyal to our President and his expressions of goodwill.

    I hope you and your family continue to feel great about the contributions you were able to make to your church and that those feelings will renew your faith again and again.

  18. 43 Nathan Allen
    March 3, 2011 at 2:31 am

    Thanks again for all of your more than polite posts. I have enjoyed scrolling through them. I would love to take a second and answer them to the best of my ability.
    Dorothy: Did I vote for President Obama? Will I vote for President Obama if he bids for re-election? The answer to both is ‘no’. I explained in my letter to the President that I do not see “eye to eye” with him on many social, fiscal, and other political issues. Please do not read the last couple of lines as me saying “I hate Obama!” Because most certainly, I do not. I just believe that as a voting American, it is my duty to vote my conscience. Elections get politicians into office, but more importantly they can stand as a perspective to a national attitude. Admittedly, at election time I felt an underlying desire to vote for President Obama because I saw him as a)the winning candidate in the race, and b)the first black man to be elected President of the United States. Both are largely historical events, and I thought it would be a wonderful thing to be a part of that. It is no secret that I am a white man, but I must say that because of my Christian views I rejoiced when President Obama was elected because of what it meant for our country culturally. I think that the pre-civil rights era was a dark time for our country and serves as a reminder to those of us today that the agreed concensus may not be the right one. I cannot deny that the work that men like Martin Luther King, Jr. had done came to fruition in the election of 2008. In the most transparent way possible(and please do not perceive this as negative) I was thrilled that we were able to elect a black President, indiscriminate of political party or persuasion. Finally, Dorothy, thank you for the kind apology. I was not offended at all and understood your frustration.
    Michelle: What did I really mean by “what took you…”? If you go to PNJ.COM you will be able to find the news story as it was printed on monday locally. It is the only news source that contacted me and interviewed me for the whole story. I think that the article will be able to portray the frustration of the immediate circumstance compounded with the underlying sentiment of the entire local community here about the devastation of our natural resource: the beach. Black oil + white sand = lost tourist revenue to our community. The sign was written to echo those two sentiments. Note: I did address the sign to “Mr. President” intentionally, and not to “obamanation” or any other derogatory phrase. This was largely in part to my Christian upbringing where my father and mother instilled in my brothers and I that we were to respect all of our leaders(political, employers, parents:) with equal respect and not to be rude towards them.
    Did I know that he was amassing the clean up team? Would Bush have done better? I hesitate to answer these questions because they seem like the open end of a loaded pistol. I believe that President Bush may have acted in the exact same way as President Obama did. I must admit though that he will never be given that opportunity, and that President Obama was, thus leaving us to only acknowledge and accept what has been completed and refrain from saying any negative ill-informed anecdotal comments about either of their administrative decisions.
    What media sources do I follow? none. I know that can seem uninformed, well it is, in a way. I spend alot of the time in my truck or car listening to podcast sermons from guys like John Piper, Matt Chandler, John MacArthur, Tim Fellure. I figure the eternal matters more than the temporal. The way I see it you are dead alot longer than you are alive, so you better make sure you know what’s going down when you are dead. Because of that I devote my free time to these sermons and to reading as much as I can(usually by old dead dudes). The news I get through my Yahoo! page when I open my email, or through Google headlines. I feel that the radio carries far more opinion than news, and yet again, I’d prefer to invest in the long-term.
    EDP: Doesn’t the good book say something about being patient, understanding, and slow to judge? Excellent question. I believe that the good book, the Bible, is the word of God. It is Him talking to us. He definitely says things like “be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” He also says things like “be angry and sin not.” I think that He really understands how we are on the inside, “how we tick”, if you will. The incredible thing to me is that in spite of our often sinning/doing the wrong thing, He still would desire to have a personal relationship with us and communicate to us. One thing that the article did not mention on PNJ.com was that before I got it right with President Obama, I got on my knees and got it right with God. It was after I got it right with God that I was led to write our President and apologize for the offense to him. See, as I see it, any offense no matter who it is against is ultimately against the loving and just God of the Universe first. If we ever want to “live peaceably with all men” as scripture says, it starts with being “at peace with God”. I encourage if you want a good quick read, get a Bible (I use the King James Version) and flip to the back to the little book of Titus, and read the short little chapter 3. I think that it is providential that I just read that passage this week in my personal devotional time. I truly believe that passage speaks my heart and tells how I try to live.
    Thanks again to all who let me have a voice here. For the Glory of God and the Supremacy of Jesus Christ – Nathan Allen

    • 44 Theo67
      March 3, 2011 at 3:07 am

      Nathan – thanks for coming back to answer some of our questions. This has been an educational experience.

      I do want to address one point in your last response, which I think is indicative of the current problem we’re facing in this country. You said “I believe that President Bush may have acted in the exact same way as President Obama did”. We know what President Bush might have done, because we saw him react to a disaster – one in which he had plenty of warning and a lot more time to react, and one which was not as difficult to solve as the BP oil spill. I’m talking about Katrina. We knew the storm was coming. We saw the people calling out for help. And we waited for an apology that never came. What took him so long?

      I think it’s important for us to see this from the perspective of the truth. We know what Bush did. Just as we know what the Republicans have promised what damage they will do to this country. As long as we continue to pretend that people aren’t serious about their stated intention, or when we try and ascribe different reality to what we know actually happened, then we are doomed to continue to repeat the same mistakes. People in this country voted in a group of Republicans who have said “so be it” to the potential of hundreds of thousands of Americans losing their jobs, regardless of party.

      You may not agree with the Democratic philosophy. And you may think that you don’t agree with anything that President Obama stands for. But I think if you explore what he actually stands for, not what you think or what you’ve heard he stands for – you maybe pleasantly surprised. He’s quite down to earth. He’s focused on improving the middle class. And he’s trying to be transparent, fiscally responsible and move this country forward. I would challenge you to visit http://www.whitehouse.gov, and see what he has actually done – and then tell me that you can’t find some common ground with him.

    • March 3, 2011 at 9:14 am

      Hi Nathan,

      Thank you for coming back and answering people’s questions, there hasn’t been much civil debate between the two ‘sides’ – and I hate using that word – so I do appreciate you getting involved here. I think the President would be impressed by all this civility!

      It is, of course, your duty to vote with your conscience, as it is for everyone – whether they are religious or not.

      But where you and me might disagree is that I also believe it is the duty of every voter to inform themselves of the facts before they cast their vote, rather than allowing themselves be persuaded by one-sided opinions, on either ‘side’.

      That’s why I would agree with Theo67 when she challenged you on your comments about President Bush and the likelihood that he would have responded to the BP Oil Spill in the same way as President Obama. The facts just don’t support that theory, Nathan, honestly.

      I won’t go over old ground, namely Bush’s abysmal response to Katrina, but even Bush supporters conceded that that response was wholly inadequate. And what has been done to the region since then – see Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine – is beyond shameful.

      The point, too, is that the BP Oil spill wasn’t a natural disaster – it was a direct result, like the West Virginia mine explosion and, indeed, the Wall Street collapse, of the Republican belief in deregulation. This is what blanket, rather than selective, opposition to ‘Big Government’ gets you.

      If there had been careful regulation of Wall Street and the mining and oil industries then the economy would not have been brought to its knees and people would not have died in West Virginia and the Gulf. That’s just the indisputable truth, Nathan.

      And what cannot be disputed either is that the BP Oil spill was a direct result of a Republican administration, all the time chanting “Drill, baby, drill”, allowing the oil industry to go utterly unregulated, with little or no demand for safety measures.

      I can’t remember where I read it, but it was absolutely true: the BP Oil disaster wasn’t Obama’s Katrina, it was Bush’s second Katrina.

      Sorry for going on and on, Nathan, but I’d love to read your response to a question that has, genuinely, always puzzled me. How can committed Christians support a party that rejects the biblical belief that ‘I am my brother’s keeper’? I know that people on the right define ‘keeper’ in this sense as tax payers having to support ‘welfare bums’, but most moderates view it as a moral obligation to help, when possible, those who through no fault of their own have hit hard times.

      Wouldn’t Jesus, for example, like the President’s efforts to see more people have health insurance? Would he not be happy to see kids with pre-existing conditions no longer being denied healthcare?

      I’m not being smart Nathan, I promise – I just honestly don’t know how committed Christians can support some Republican policies, because I’m pretty sure the Jesus I know wouldn’t!

      Thanks Nathan.

  19. 46 Titti
    March 3, 2011 at 5:58 am

    Thanks Theo67 Bush would have done the same thing – indeed?!
    This post sadden and touched me when I initially read it. Sad that Nathan would even think of writing the sign and touched that the president replied stating that he had seen worse (which IMHO he was trying to make this guy feel a tad better about his actions).
    I applaud him for apologising but I would implore him to stay more informed on earthly matters.

  20. 47 barb
    March 3, 2011 at 10:03 am

    Nathan this is such an amazing story. I honor your conscience. You did something and after turning to the Source that is most important to You decided to follow the scripture and wrote a letter to our President. At the time you did it for very unselfish reasons and you were willing to admit when you were hasty before going to the scripture for guidance. If only more of us in the US would stop. think and follow our source of guidance, mine being “Do unto others and you would have them do unto you” It’s not always easy because I get angry at all the people who condemn our President before they study what he has done. He has accomplished more in two years that any other president. He saved us from a complete destruction of our nation. I thank God we are not in a depression now because of his actions and the unemployment
    rates have become less, with still a way to go. But it is better and that is good.

    I can understand your circumstances working hard everyday and going to College paying your own way. I did that also at one time. It’s not easy and takes a lot of motivation. You also try to do what is pleasing to God. My prayer for you is that you do go to http://www.whitehouse.org if you are so led to read what our President has accomplished for the good of our country and even the world. He is so loved by other countries and they can’t understand why some Americans feel the way they do. I believe that President Obama is uniting us as a world and that certainly is what Jesus would want, does want. We each have to start with ourselves. We are all different and must follow the path which gives us peace.

    I want to thank Chipsticks for posting your story. May you find growing confindence and strength in your journey. In my heart, I believe that God would be pleased with you selling the letter to build his church so others can find comfort. I would be very hard pressed to sell a letter from our President but then who knows, I could feed a lot of children with that money but I would take a picture of it and put it on my wall first. LOL

    • 48 barb
      March 3, 2011 at 10:50 am

      Nathan, I am going to say something here and I don’t want you do be offended. You were led to atone for your deed.
      I am speaking about the BP oil disaster. When the word first came about this occurance, the President could have got on AF1 and raced down to the site. What good would that have done? None. Instead he sent his team of highly trained people who are experts in the field to make the best assessment of what needed to be done. He has surrounded himself with these type of people, so if you don’t see him immmediately it doesn’t mean he is ignoring it. He would get their assessment and follow through from there. He went down later after many of the problems were already addressed.

      When the revolution broke out in Egypt we didn’t hear from him immmediately but believe me he had every available expert in foreign relations in his office discussing what course of action we should take. He didn’t go gung ho over there with our military and take over Egypt. This was a peoples rising. This came from the grassroots. The course of action was to make phone calls behind the scenes. Obama, Clinton, Gates and others were on the phone constantly confering with our allies on a course of action. Obama made 28 phone calls alone. This turned out to be a nonviolent revolution which achived the goal set out by the people of Egypt. It was what they wanted. In the past we have overturned governments and caused chaos for our own goals in what we wanted from that country. This is how Obama is different. If something can be achieved behind the scenes that is the way he does it. All the news programs were giving their opinion and yelling “Do Something.” Well we were and the media was saying it is going to be terrible, Obama isn’t a leader, he doesn’t know what to do. The are always trying to second guess him and they are always wrong. He did the right thing. It was basically a nonviolent successful revolution. The Egyptians got what they originally wanted and so did we. President Obama believes that all people should have the freedom to gather together nonviolently, have freedom of speach, you know all the things we have in our constitution.

      I was born in the era of President Truman. I can tell you from my experience that we have had some good and mediocre presidents but we have never had one as brilliant, cooperative, willing to work with all people, wanting dialogue with the Replicans and Democrats as President Obama. It’s others who don’t understand him because in the past and now, people just want to disagree. The goal of Republicans is to make President Obama fail. They will do this even if Americans fall by the wayside, not get the health care, cut Medicaid for the poor, et. I could go on and one but will stop for know. As you can see, I support him. You may see differently but that is your choice. Peace.

  21. 49 Hachikō
    March 3, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Dear Nathan, I noticed you proudly declared how you paid your own way through college – not a penny in loans or grants. I assume that means you’re a “self-sufficient, personal responsibility” kinda guy. Why then did you expect the Federal government to do anything to help with the the Gulf disaster? SHouldn’t you and your neighbors have gotten out there on those beaches and clean ’em up yourselves?

    Additionally, you said, “What media sources do I follow? none. I know that can seem uninformed, well it is, in a way.” If you don’t follow any media sources, and you admit you are uninformed, how do you know what President Obama’s policies are? Do you think Yahoo! and Google “headlines” appropriately, accurately, fairly reflect his policies? BTW, It’s not just radio that has replaced “news” with opinions today, it’s all forms of media. ALL.

    You mention these two scriptures in a way that would seem as if they oppose each other: “He definitely says things like “be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.” He also says things like “be angry and sin not.”” They don’t. As far as I’m concerned, they say and mean the same thing. Sure we’ll get angry, but let’s not be quick to judge and resort to anger and let’s not allow that anger to lead us to sin against each other. I lived in Florida at the time and I was sure as heck angry at the BP oil disaster. But anger at the President would have been misplaced. He’s not the one who caused the spill. He was doing his darnedest to fix the problem. I was angry at BP who caused the spill. I was angry at Americans for depending so heavily on a source of fuel that’s destroying our lives. I was angry at the people at MMS who were sleeping and doing drugs with people in the gas & oil industry and allowing them to write the rules and regulations for their own industry instead of doing the job of monitoring them and ensuring our precious resources are protected.

    See, if you’d followed God’s word and been “swift to hear” all sides of the story, “slow to speak” about things you’re “uninformed” about, and “slow to wrath” that drove you to the street with that sign, you wouldn’t have found yourself in a position where you’re apologizing to the President. But hey, you got a letter out of it which you able to sell and your church reap the profits. I wonder what God thinks about that. Hmmm…

    BTW, I didn’t think there was anything wrong with your sign. It was respectful, and as a citizen of this country, you have a right to voice your opinion and be part of the democratic process. Even Jesus weighed in on politics from time to time.

    Also, I don’t have anything against anyone who didn’t vote for President Obama. I don’t expect everyone to like him or vote for him. However, I do expect us all to respect the man and respect the office he holds – as you apparently do. Perhaps you can persuade some of your fellow “Christians” to do the same? 🙂

    Best of luck to ya.

  22. 50 Nathan Allen
    March 3, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    I am not certain how much I want to respond to. I am not seeking to argue or to be abrasive. Politics is a touchy subject and I agree with several of you that we will disagree on our own opinions. In direct response to a few statements, I would like to clarify some things. I would like to point out that it is a complete misconception that I am a Republican. I can understand the stereo-type of white male in the south, but truthfully, I am equally disgusted with the Republican party as with the Democratic party. Party politics is an excellent system, and our two-party system has proven to be an incredible way to control the balance of power in our country, but often people confuse party names with moral values. I am admittedly a conservative. I donate about a quarter of my income every year to charity and to the poor. I feed homeless people, and when my grandfather had a stroke and a heart attack we moved him into our house to feed, bathe, and tend to him. I firmly believe that it is the responsibility of the community to meet the needs of the poor and destitute. Jesus himself said “the poor will always be with you” lending to the understanding that generosity and care should be a key part of any true believer’s lifestyle.
    In an attempt to simplify an answer I answered that I don’t listen to the news. I also am 26 living an a highly connected community. I have two fulltime jobs and work during my off time as a youth pastor with 25 teens. In my connections and interactions I hear about news events. A fifteen year-old girl isn’t necessarily the best news source, so if I hear something then I am prompted to research it out myself. I have been been to whitehouse.gov several times over the past year or so, because I also believe that if you want to know something it is best to get it from the source. I am not oblivious and blindly accepting of any news that I hear. I attempt to be very discerning of people’s motives and attitudes when I read news stories.
    Hachiko: I agree that the verses mean the same thing. My intention in typing them above was to tie them together. I attempt to be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, and when I get to wrath, I get there attempting to not sin in the process of being angry. At the time, I thought that I had done an ok thing. The sign was not designed to be offensive. It was designed to question his actions. After studying the passage in Acts several months later I was convicted that I had done the wrong thing and was motivated to apologize for the sign.
    Finally, governmentally I believe the law of the land is the Constitution and its Amendments. When I held that sign to the President did that conflict with my views of government intervention? No. I believe that the original design of the Constitution is that of a country full of United States, each individual and independent of each other. We still call ourselves the United States of America, but more often than not we use the term in a way that speaks to the states not being separate from each other. I believe it was the responsibility of Florida to handle Florida’s problems, and of Alabama to handle Alabama’s problems, etc. However, the constitution clearly states that on tragedies involving multiple states it is then a Federal Government issue. I believe that a huge part of the President’s job is PR. If you don’t agree then look at his calendar of events since he went into office and see how many events he shows up for just to make an appearance and show that he cares. I truly believe that he is a hands-on president and I greatly respect him as an individual for that part of his personality. I think similarly that with the sentiment of the community when millions of gallons of oil were reaking havoc on the wildlife and preserves of the gulf coast(an interstate area) he could have at least come and shown his face to instill in the community that he was on it. That was my sentiment at the time. Furthermore, BP is an international organization. It also the job of the Federal Government to step in where international entities are in contact with the states. Thus I believe my premise of questioning the President, as the face of the Federal Government, was not out of line with my personal political “self-sufficent, personal responsibility” kinda guy views. Rather, I think that there is personal responsibility. Which is why although my business has taken a hit from the oil spill, I have not sought reimbursement from BP or the federal government. It is my job to make ends meet for my family and I do not hold BP or the Federal Government responsible for my personal provision.
    I hope I was clear, and I am certain that I have probably inadvertently stirred up more trouble than good in my response, but I figured it was only fair to respond. I must admit though, the more political and argumentative the conversation gets on here the less likely I am to want to remain a part of the discussion. Thank you guys for your kindness to me here.
    For the Glory of God – Nathan Allen

    • March 3, 2011 at 4:28 pm

      “Which is why although my business has taken a hit from the oil spill, I have not sought reimbursement from BP or the federal government. It is my job to make ends meet for my family and I do not hold BP or the Federal Government responsible for my personal provision.”

      Why on earth should a multi-billion-dollar company not compensate those who suffered as a direct result of its greed, disregard for the safety of its workers and well-being of people living in the region? If they don’t pay for what they did then where is the motivation for them not to do it over and over again??

      • 52 Nathan Allen
        March 3, 2011 at 8:40 pm

        Regulation by the government is not a bad thing. Fines and restrictions on companies like BP should be the deterent, followed by individual suits or a class action lawsuit by all parties involved. Sadly, over-regulation in some areas and under-regulation in others resulted in the BP disaster. The reason it took months for the Deep Water Horizons well to be capped is that it was over a mile deep. The reason that the well was that deep was because of over-regulation in the area of drilling permits. If drillers were allowed to drill in 500 foot deep water several miles off our coasts, and a tragedy happened, it wouldn’t take six months to cap the spewing oil, it would take a few hours. However, because the regulation forced the Deep Water Horizon’s crew to be on this floating oil rig, the disaster was compounded. Now not only did a dozen men lose their lives but millions of fish and other sea animals have lost their lives too. Currently the issue we are having is not oil coming on shore, it is dead baby dolphins coming on shore. The over-regulation in one area and the under-regulation in safety on that specific rig resulted in the overall disaster. Understand, it was not just under-regulation.

        • March 3, 2011 at 8:44 pm

          “If drillers were allowed to drill in 500 foot deep water several miles off our coasts, and a tragedy happened, it wouldn’t take six months to cap the spewing oil, it would take a few hours.”

          Nathan? What would the consequences be if such a tragedy happened?

          Come on, think about it.

    • 54 Hachikō
      March 3, 2011 at 5:01 pm

      Where in the constitution does it say this: ” However, the constitution clearly states that on tragedies involving multiple states it is then a Federal Government issue. “

      • 55 Nathan Allen
        March 3, 2011 at 8:28 pm

        Article 1, Section 8 “Congress shall have the power to regulate commerce…”
        I would start this premise on the commerce clause. I would then build through the enumerated limits of the federal government and conclude with the limits of the states in these situtations, constitutionally.
        Much like:
        Article 4, Section 1 and 3; followed by Article 1, Section 10
        I think the case that the framers were making was that in cases involving multiple states (including tragedies like “Invasion”) it was the responsibility of the federal government to step in. In cases involving one state, it was the federal government’s job to stay out. I hope that I was clear. Again, it is not my aim to be abrasive, and I love studying the constitution. Great question, though.

        • March 3, 2011 at 8:50 pm

          Nathan, for me, that’s a pretty chilling interpretation of those articles, as also offered, coincidentally, by Rand Paul when he was questioning the legitimacy of the Civil Rights Act.

          This very power of Congress to regulate commerce was, ultimately, responsible for the desegregation of restaurants and other privately-owned businesses – Paul, of course, interprets it as meaning that businesses should, legally, be allowed turn away people of ‘color’, if they so choose.

          I could be wrong – and please correct me if I am – but I think that Vinson judge also applied the Rand Paul interpretation to this part of the constitution in his efforts to defeat the President’s Affordable Care Act (ie the mandatory health insurance part).

          Vinson, needless to say, is a conservative.

          So, it seems, our politics determine how we all interpret the Constitution, not the common good.

          Personally, I like the interpretation that supports the Civil Rights Act. I think most genuine Christians would too. We can all study and respect the American Constitution – and there’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ interpretation, just check all those split Supreme Court decisions, But, for me, it’s desperately depressing when right wing ideology takes over and attempts to interpret it in a way that denies people basic rights, or prevents Government from stepping in to help when its citizens most need it.

          Is that Christian, Nathan?

          • 57 Michele
            March 3, 2011 at 9:33 pm

            Chipsticks, I thought nathan was tired of debating with us because he felt we were argumentative and not welcoming. I am starting to think he is a tool and we are wasting time giving him our platform. I say don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.. Let the church say Amen…

            • March 3, 2011 at 9:43 pm

              Oh Michele, I wish you’d speak your mind! But let’s stay civil 😉

              I have to say, I think Nathan is a lot more political than even he believes he is – his views on the constitution are remarkably similar to, for example, Rand Paul and others on the far right.

              Hey, that’s okay Nathan – we all have freedom of political thought! But let’s just be honest with each other, okay?

              Do you, for example, believe the Civil Rights Act is unconstitutional? Do you, therefore, oppose it?

              • 59 Nathan Allen
                March 4, 2011 at 12:51 am

                I do not feel that I am devoid of political persuasion. I do have political opinions. We all understand that my political opinions differ with those of the majority on this website. I understand that, yet in a way that is atypical of others, Brother Huckabee included, I am attempting to just reach out and touch the other side and let them see the humanity behind rhetoric. I’m a real dude. I have a prego wife. I do work the two jobs, and youth pastor. This is the first blog that I have ever typed on in my entire life. I read the comments here and felt that it was the safe place to reach out. I don’t want to argue politics, and policies, I was just hoping that I could thank you for understanding (as several that commented on the original article did not) what the true purpose behind the story was: someone saw where they had erred and sought reparation. I still feel that several that will come across this blog in the future will see my heart through my words and will learn to respect the God I live for. Thanks again, all. For His glory – Nathan Allen

                • 60 Audrey
                  March 4, 2011 at 4:28 am

                  Sorry Nathan, but this Christian isn’t buying what you’re selling!

                  Any clear thinking, holy spirit led, Bible guided person who claims to be a Christian but yet fails to recognize and acknowlegde that Barack Obama lives and exemplifies Christianity in its truest sense, not only loses the argument but is blind.

                  Any truly discerning Christian can see that President Obama has more Christian charity in his one finger than all of those Nathan conveniently chooses to identify with.

                  Christianity in America has become a great cover for unjustified hate, extreme wickedness and the very worst of racism and bigotry in America.

                  • 61 hopefruit2
                    March 4, 2011 at 9:17 am

                    Audrey, I think I’m buying what YOU are selling!!!

                  • 63 EDP4BHO
                    March 4, 2011 at 8:06 pm

                    I’ve noticed that Nathan did not respond to CS’s direct question of supporting the Civil Rights Act. Hmmm, I was going to give him the benefit of being a solid, un-biased Christian, but I wonder now.

        • 64 barb
          March 3, 2011 at 9:14 pm

          Great response, Nathan. May the Peace of God surround you day and night, blessing you and your family and always leading you in the right direction which I am sure He will because you are a good man.

        • March 3, 2011 at 9:46 pm

          Nathan, you are a phenomenal young man. You are holding your own in this discourse with as our Obamadiary family “press you” for clarifications. You are respectful, yet, staid in your answers. Only when we listen to each other can any thing be accomplished. If we could only do this on a grander scale in our nation, being always, ever mindful of the other person’s feelings. If we could have a discourse, not to change minds but just to listen to other’s opinions, we would have a greater nation. I applaud your strength, young man. May God grant you yet more peace and anchor you even more in His Word.

        • 66 Hachikō
          March 4, 2011 at 12:16 pm

          I can’t claim to know what case the “framers were making.” I can only cite what the constitution ACTUALLY says about this issue:

          “The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.” Article I, Section 9.

          I don’t know enough about state or federal law to be able to say how this has been interpreted and implemented in the past, so I’m gonna leave it at that.

          What the commerce clause has to do with a state declaring a state of emergency and the feds stepping in is puzzling.

          • 67 Chi
            March 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm

            “What the commerce clause has to do with a state declaring a state of emergency and the feds stepping in is puzzling.”

            Lol Hach…

            It’s called pulling random stuff out of a certain southern body orifice – you know the opening at the end of the alimentary canal…

  23. 68 hopefruit2
    March 3, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Nathan, pray tell, where in God’s name do you find the time to work two full-time jobs, own a business, pursue a Master’s degree, work during time off as a youth pastor, AND read & write lengthy detailed posts on blogsites? I think a lot of people would be interested in knowing how exactly you do it, since for many of us just getting out of bed to go to our one job can be utterly exhausting!!

  24. 69 Me4obama
    March 3, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    Mike Hukabee gives Christians a bad name by spewing lies about My president. I hear he is a reverend but he lies over and over to sell books. And he is a conservative Christian. Go figure.

  25. 70 theboysisters
    March 4, 2011 at 12:07 am

    Whatever you guys do, do NOT read the comments on that article. Some serious racism going on there, (in the name of Christ).
    So very sad.

    • 71 Theo67
      March 4, 2011 at 12:09 am

      Christianity appears to have been hijacked by some very devilish types out there. I try not to read comments on the broad viewership websites anymore. But thanks for the warning.

  26. 72 Titti
    March 4, 2011 at 5:28 am

    A lot of people are hiding behind the ‘veil’ of Christianity.

    • 73 Hachikō
      March 4, 2011 at 12:07 pm

      I couldn’t agree more. It’s not Christianity. It’s ChristianISM. They use it as a tool to beat the rest of us down and convince us how much better they are and how misguided and doomed we are.

      I cannot abide the self-righteousness and hypocrisy.

      • 74 EDP4BHO
        March 4, 2011 at 7:52 pm

        Agreed. There are way too many wolves in sheep’s clothing, and false doctrine has confused the masses on most religious fronts, be it Christianity, Islam, Judaism. People need to recognize that religion is man-made, thus it takes a lot of scrutiny to get to the essence of one’s supposed faith. A spiritual following, otherwise known as religion, begins with thought, which leads the heart. As scripture says, “God’s word is alive and working……it judges the thoughts and feelings in our hearts”. Heb 4:12

  27. 75 conlakappa
    March 4, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I have to laugh about the letter being sold. Not from a point of judgment but for the fact that I have an autograph from the previous occupant and looked to see its value on eBay/other sites at the time and found that it wasn’t worth anything! Or very little. So I still have it somewhere in my house. It was in my glovebox literally for years until we donated the car to charity and cleaned everything out. Last I checked, I still couldn’t get much for it!

  28. 76 m
    March 4, 2011 at 9:47 am

    conlakappa…an autograph form the previous occupant of the white house? it is unclear who you mean the autograph is from?

  29. 78 anar
    March 4, 2011 at 12:53 pm

    Nathan, I wanted to thank you for being respectful in your comments. I am an immigrant from Iran who will be sworn in as a citizen next month. The divide between the right and left has been very disappointing to me and what I hear from the far right about many issues has made me doubt if America is as welcoming as it promises to be. However, I really appreciated your effort to reach out and have a dialogue. I think this lack of conversation is what is hurting this country the most.

    I am also very impressed how you make time for two jobs, an education, a business, family and volunteer work. You should give us some tips on time management!

    • March 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm

      Congratulation, Anar!!! Let us officially Welcome you to our diverse, “speak your mind”, “protest if you want”, it is your privilege” Country. Join in with your freedom rights to do all of the above. ThanX for becoming a citizen of our great nation. And so we invite you to become a Proud American!!!

    • 80 Sue in Minnesota
      March 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm

      X2 ….so well expressed, thank you Anar.

  30. 82 Sue in Minnesota
    March 4, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    My challenge with the Republican Party and their agenda, particularily when the Christian Right is considered their political base, is their lack of stewardship of the lessons of Jesus Christ. What is Christ like in their agenda against the poor and middle class? What is Christ like in the ease with which they lie and distort for political gain, case in point Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee, chronic and verifiable liars. Or the lies that lead our country into the Iraq War, the true horror of flagarant lies personified in the lives destroyed or forever altered. Where are the teachings of Christ in that debacle? What is Christ like about lack of compassion, empathy or the ability to recognize and respect the inter-connected nature of our human experience. What is Christ like in their demonstrations of hypocrisy, consider their Pro-life position, when the act of murder is committed against doctors providing a legal medical procedure, their defense is religious justification. What about the death penalty….how does that square with their Pro-life posiitions? Family values……one example after another of Republicans failing to live up to their own openly expressed standards.

    I respect those who strive to live a Christian life, but as Maya Angelou suggested , it is not a destination we are likely to arrive at in this lifetime, it is instead the journey of our lifetime. I also respect all other religions that have at their heart the message of the golden rule. Words are important, they have energy, and at times they are all that we can rely on. But our actions are a more honest measure of our devotion and committment to Christ. Based on actions….President Obama IMO is a better steward of Christ’s lessons than the party of the Religious Right.

    Also, no human being can be 100% self-reliant. Although personal responsibility/self reliancne is both necessary and commendable, it is but an aspect of a larger relationship. To deny or fail to achieve balance between self and others is a source of human failing.
    “it is not about the religion, it is about the relationship.”…Stevie Wonder For me my relationship with God is personal, it guides and it grows me, and it prepares me to interact with the larger world, carefully, respectfully and successfully.

  31. 86 theboysisters
    March 6, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    Bravo Sue, Bravo.

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