01 Oct There Can Be No Liberty Without Virtue (Church, Oct 1)
(Watch 12 1/2 minute excerpt: Alejandro Villanueva and the Loss of Virtue) Jesse attended a funeral Saturday for a woman who was from the South. She was cremated, which Jesse thought was weird. Jesse asked people, “Would you want to be cremated?” Country people, especially blacks, aren’t normally into being cremated — nor donating organs. Suppose you need your body after you die! Some don’t mind the idea of being cremated, saying “I won’t need this tent,” meaning their body, after they die. Jesse was lighthearted about the question, saying, “It could just be me.”
Jesse also mentioned that getting old is unattractive. At the funeral, he didn’t recognize old friends, because their appearance had changed so much. Some had gained weight, let themselves go. Jesse urged a young man Esteban to take care of himself, eat right and exercise. He said, “But I love hamburgers!”
A sad story:
Then Jesse brought up the saddest story he’s heard in a while. An Army Ranger who plays football for the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL decided to stand alone for the National Anthem while his team stayed hidden back in the locker room. America loved him for it because he stood alone. But that day or the next, he came out and apologized to his team and his black coach.
This man lost his life, his soul, when he backed down from what is right. Alejandro Villanueva is his name. He will not be the same. Imagine Jesus backing down! He will be disrespected from now on. He is one of them now. This is how children become like their parents. They cave and lose their identity.
Are you a virtuous person?
How many people have virtue? — You are a virtuous person… One woman responded to this question by asking the definition of the word “virtuous.” Jesse said that question means that she is not virtuous. She disagreed. Jesse urged her not to get hung up on words, nor hold onto them.
Another young lady read the definition of “virtuous” as “having high moral standards.” Some said they have high moral standards, and so consider themselves virtuous. But if you do not hold to those standards, you don’t have them. One man realized he was not virtuous, because he is not consistent — he is a different person at times. Jesse asked him if he prayed every day and night. He said yes. So Jesse said that if you know you’re not, it’s best to see it and not judge it, and then you can overcome it.
When you are virtuous, you are free. You are not controlled by the world. You ware willing to stand alone and be honest without hating or judging. George Washington said that liberty is impossible without virtue.
Jesse remembered when black people were free and moral. But they lost their virtue.
Anger and relationships
One woman watching online asked about anger — she said she forgave her father and mother, but still felt anger. Does it take time to go away? She’d heard Jesse say you can drop anger very quickly.
(A young man watching Church from Mexico asked if he should leave his girlfriend who trusted her pastors more than him. Jesse urged him to call-in to the radio show — and James can help translate. He can also call for counseling.)
Another man in the audience related to the question about anger. He recounted how his one-time fiancee, the mother of his children (who already had children) accidentally texted him a photograph of herself in their home (they were living together unmarried) kissing another man, while their kids slept upstairs. She had meant to send it to a girlfriend of hers. He went to his mother’s house to grab his gun. He thought better of it and stopped, but he was so angry.
Over the months, this man’s fiancee (who takes a lot of drugs) continued to disrespect him and get in his face, and so one day he broke her jaw. He went to jail and child services got involved. So he wanted advice from Jesse. Jesse told him that if everything he’s saying is true, he should leave that woman, have no contact with her at all. Get his life together — move out from his mother’s home, apologize for hating her. He didn’t realize that the anger he had toward his girlfriend was the same as the anger he had toward his mother.
Join us and help BOND
We have our Men’s Forum this Thursday, October 5th, 7pm at BOND — open to men and boys, ages 13 and up. Also, please donate to help us continue to help others. We are moving soon, and will need extra help financially. Thank you all for your support.