Seventy-two years ago, Japan carried out an unprovoked, surprise attack on the Pearl Harbor Naval Base.
Later on that day, Dec. 7, 1941, after hearing of the success of the raid, the Japanese commander and the actual planner of the attack, Admiral Yamamoto said, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."
Councilman Chris Anderson has awakened a sleeping giant and likewise filled him with an unshakable resolve.
I wrote this in an email to Mark West before the Referendum Petition began, “We are the confused, unorganized majority.” That is no longer the case.
We needed the signatures of 6,000 Chattanooga registered voters to stop the Domestic Partnership Ordinance from being implemented and send it to the ballot in August 2014; we got 10,000.
But this story is not really about our skill in organizing, but God as this story shows.
Chattanooga has been a city with a history of an unashamed devotion to Jesus Christ. This ordinance battle was really a battle for the future identity of Chattanooga.
By Thanksgiving, we had turned in 2,400 signatures to the Election Commission.
One morning, Mark said that God had impressed him that the number of signatures that we needed to get was 10,000. Earlier that same morning, God spoke to me that the number should be 10,000. But 10,000 was a mountain for just a two week campaign.
On Black Friday, our plan to reach shoppers was not going as well as we anticipated. It was slow, very slow. Mark said something to me about hoping to get 400 by day's end.
As the day closed we couldn't believe it ---- 1,163 signatures were turned in. Saturday it was 753. Sunday the churches collected signatures again, and after church, many people walked the streets door-to-door. The total for the day 1,300+.
Then came Monday. All the workers went back to their regular daytime jobs. We might have had 10 people out getting names. Again, we were hoping for 400. Monday evening our total for the day was 3,240. And that brought our total to exactly 8,900.
Tuesday was the last day. We hoped again for 400, maybe 500. We got 1,132 which brought our total to 10,032.
Here was the verse God gave me. "Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known." Ps 106:8 For His name's sake.
The five council members who voted for the Ordinance together garnered 5,433 votes to win their seats. We got 10,000 signatures in two weeks ---really a mere 12 days.
But like Belshazzar they don't seem to be able to read the handwriting on the wall.
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I am not a theologian, but I am pretty sure God is not a voice in the head of Charlie Wysong or Mark West.
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While I appreciate your attempt to glorify your gathering of 10,000 signatures in a city of 171,000 as somehow divine, you and/or the Tea Party are neither the majority or a sleeping giant...you are merely delusional.
By the way, does God sound like George Burns or more like Morgan Freeman?
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Godzilla was a sleeping giant too.
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Mr. Wysong, I appreciate your hard work and the hard work of others in gathering signatures for the petition. You have attempted to give God the glory in all of this, but your comments regarding awakening a sleeping giant sound prideful to me and undermine that intent.
There should be no room for pridefulness for the true follower of Jesus. Remember that God resists the proud. Everyone has sin, and we need to continually examine our own hearts. If we do that, humility shouldn't be a problem.
And please allow me to remind you that we are talking about people - many of whom are hurting. I am not in favor of the ordinance and would sign the petition if I were eligible, but never should people be trampled in our efforts to "stand up for what's right."
Your words weren't disrespectful but the flavor of them was. This is why people don't want to be Christ-followers...they see hatred and disrespect. Those things are not of God.
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I would say that the 10,000 signatures garnered by the "Westites" represent what could be termed the warm market for your cause. Some would say that they were hardest, coldest hearted of our community as well.
Among all the moralizing of your stance against domestic benefits has been the travesty of the city having taken such from retired employees. And I would agree with that one point, they were wronged. But where was your moral outrage to get the right thing done on their behalf? Didn't see that on any of your petitions, you just used that group for your own gain and to promote your self-righteous position.
And as far as awakening the sleeping giant? Just saw the results of a poll done by Vanderbilt regarding support for domestic partner benefits in Chattanooga. Sixty two percent for such benefits, 31 percent against.
I am so glad that my church works hard to advance the love and message of Jesus Christ to all His children.