Recent history has witnessed the endangerment of two unique world cultures, the sea gypsies and the Christian Democrats. Both have been declining in numbers over the past several decades and the future for both cultures does not look promising.
The sea gypsies are a nomadic sea faring people who live in Southeast Asia clustered around the islands off of Burma and Thailand. In the past, the sea gypsies or “Salons” freely roamed the oceans and rarely lived on land. But recently the Thai and Burmese governments are relocating them into permanent camps and working to assimilate them into society. This has not worked very well in some cases. The Thai have schooled many of the young Salons during the monsoon season when it is risky to be at sea only to see the sea gypsies jump back in their boats and head back to open water when the weather clears.
Likewise, Christians in the democrat party are a primitive people who joined the party generations ago in the early years of the party as farmers and later as laborers and union workers in factory jobs. The Christian Democrats traditionally lived in rural areas but later collected in cities to follow job openings. From generation to generation the Christians kept their faith and values in an ever-changing party unaware of the gap that was forming between the Christians and the party leadership. Like the Thai and Burmese governments work to keep control over the Salons, the democratic leadership works to keep the Christians in the fold at election time. But after elections, as the Christian segment continues to profess faith in God, the rest of the party vigorously works to rid religion from society.
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The sea gypsies are exploited by the growing number of tourists that crowd the Thailand beaches each year. Tourists pay to go see the “primitive” culture in the “wild” where the sea gypsy children beg the tourists for candy and money. These few trinkets collected by the Salons keep them content enough to stay put in the camps.
The Christian Democrats are also exploited. This is never so obvious than at election time when the candidates take trips to black churches to exploit the congregations there. The candidates awkwardly dance to gospel music, misquote a couple of Bible verses and rehash last year’s sermon about Republican exploitation of blacks. The black community may beg for solutions to their high poverty levels, 70% illegitimacy rates and high drop out rates but the democrats have done little to ease the societal pain or point the black community in a new direction. They may throw a few dollars at the black neighborhoods but do little else to alleviate the destructive downward spiral. With guidance from the black democratic leaders, this historically has been enough to keep the black Christians in the democratic fold.
There are also complaints from environmentalists on the mainland that the sea gypsies are destroying the marine habitat by setting off dynamite for fishing. These accusations have not been validated but the sea gypsies are taking the heat.
The Christians are the ones taking the heat these days from those minority democrats that preach tolerance but have none. The atheists in the democratic fold want their views imposed as law. They blame the Christians for imposing on their freedoms. Instead, these atheists want a society where their view of heaven and hell- that there is none- that their view of a Divine Creator- that He does not exist- that their view of religious symbols- that none should be displayed- become the rule of law for the rest of us.
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The sea is where the Salons long to be. They are a private people who like to stay to themselves. They have been slow to take on the language, religion and culture of the more progressive mainland. But, they are also dangerously unaware that the world around them is changing.
The Christian Democrats long for peace and justice. They have a strong abiding faith in their Creator. The danger is that they don’t see where the rest of the party is heading. They are not aware that their leadership in the National Council of Churches would rather give up their faith in God than give up the party doctrine. These Christian Democrats would rather keep believing the election-time sermons than see the Party they grew up in lead the efforts to remove symbols of faith from society, move to constrain the voices of children at Christmas concerts, and fight to deny the freedom of speech and display of religion. As the Christians continue their prayers for peace the democrat leadership moves to eradicate prayer from public life.
The Sea Gypsies of Burma and Thailand were decimated by the recent tsunami. Many have not been accounted for. A group that did their trading in the Rangoon market has not been seen since the disaster. You can donate to the Sea Gypsy Relief Efforts by going here.
The Christian faith has been under attack from recent rulings in courts across this country. You can donate to the Thomas More Law Center dedicated to the defense and promotion of the religious freedom of Christians by going here.