About Me

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Jim Killebrew has 40 years of clinical psychological work for people with intellectual disabilities, and experience teaching, administration, consulting, writing with multiple publications. Dr. Killebrew has attended four Universities and received advanced degrees. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D., Educational Psychology; University of Illinois at Springfield, Counseling Education; M.A., Human Development Counseling; Northeastern Oklahoma State University, B.A., Psychology and Sociology. Dr. Killebrew attended Lincoln Christian Seminary (Now Lincoln Christian University). Writing contributions have been accepted and published in several journals: Hospital & Community Psychiatry, The Lookout, and Christian Standard (multiple articles). He may be reached at Killebrewjb@aol.com.

Welcome to my Opinion Pages

Thanks for stopping by and reading some of my thoughts. I hope you will find an enjoyable adventure here on my pages.

The articles are only my opinion and are never meant to hurt anyone nor to downgrade any other person's ideas or opinions.

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Freedom to believe

In the current political climate with this most recent outbreak of political strategy where rancorous words are being thrown back and forth across the aisle to entice the American people to one side or the other regarding the current state of affairs, as ordinary citizens living in a culture with a multiplicity of ideas, we have a lot of sorting to do. Words about the wishes of one Political Party or another versus the President's wishes regarding economy, health care, immigration and other issues are sometimes harsh and hateful. The two Political parties have made charges and counter charges against each other, and unfortunately, about the American people as well.

Debate has been a part of our political landscape from our very beginning. And freedom of speech is one of our most cherished freedoms. But even as speech is being broadcast into the air, there is another freedom that each of us has as well…that is our personal freedom to believe.

Freedom is a force that lives within each person's heart. No matter where a person lives, there is a yearning to be free from bondage and tyranny. Freedom is a healing balm to a dying world. If history has taught us anything, it is that people will go to any lengths to achieve and remain free from those who are bent on taking it away. If the struggle for freedom is there, and people are willing to die for that freedom, it always emerges to fight tyranny and injustice. Throughout history those who have been conquered eventually rise up and fight back the injustices of warlords and dictators. In our own young nation we have experienced that fighting spirit for freedom many times.

During our own war for freedom from oppressors who would unfairly tax and use us, we fought as a people yearning to be free, not only to speak, but to believe. Magnificent people pledged their fortunes and lives to fight a fight that would establish freedom for "We, the people." From Presidents Washington, Adams and Jefferson all the way to President Lincoln, grave issues that threatened freedom and peace were present in the debates. Issues like geographical expansion for the country, wars in other nations that would require depletion of our own resources and the destruction of an entire race through slavery that would eventually lead us to our own civil war. More recently there have been other issues led by giant visionaries like Susan Anthony and Martin Luther King Jr. At the base of all those issues was a yearning for freedom. Emerging from those issues was freedom to live and grow, prosper and pursue happiness in the knowledge that "all men [and women] are created equal." At the core of each of those issues was a belief.

Take any past issue experienced or a current issue and examine your deepest belief about that issue. Belief cannot be stagnant and powerless. Belief is something that is alive and stirring within each of us. When we become aware of an issue or idea, we begin to form a positive or negative value about that issue depending upon information we receive and how that information aligns itself with our other beliefs. We begin to form feelings toward or against that issue or idea, again, as it becomes aligned with our own perception of all we know about that issue and related issues. As a free and independent people, one of our greatest responsibilities is to participate in the exchange of ideas surrounding issues of our day. Not only that, but to form personal beliefs and opinions based upon the information not only that we receive, but have filtered through our own belief system of knowledge and experience from a lifetime of issues through which we have lived.

So, when elected officials begin to turn on each other and the constituents to whom they must report by disregarding the wishes of the people who elected them, we need to filter that through what we know about our own freedom loving actions and those things we have personally experienced. We then need to decide if the actions of our elected officials match our own personal belief about what we know about our country. And once we have formed our own belief about such information, let us exercise our other responsibility to participate in free elections to ensure that those who exercise their freedom of speech to the extent that it repudiates our own beliefs may continue to do so, just not from within the official position of being an elected official.

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