Deeper Than “God and Guns”

Obama’s “bitter” comment reveals his misdirected faith in government over self-reliance

By Lenny Curry

Barack Obama said, “They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Obama’s statements reflect a belief and reliance on a government and disdain for those who disagree. Obama, a Harvard-trained attorney, was really saying that we are knuckle-dragging, bible-thumping rednecks. And if we were smart, we would worship at the church of government promises and government hand-outs. We would hand over our guns.

Obama does not understand us. He does not understand that our faith and gun ownership is much deeper than just “God and Guns.”

My paternal grandfather was on the USS Oklahoma in Pearl Harbor when Japan attacked. He survived the attack. My maternal grandfather received the Bronze Star medal for his part in fighting through France and Germany. Both men were from small towns and were proud of this country. They were working class men who faced many difficult economic times. Both men owned and used guns. Neither man was bitter.

My father learned electronics while in the Navy. He leveraged his trade as a television repairman and eventually opened a small business. I worked in that business while in middle school, high school and college. That business taught me the power of the pursuit of happiness, it put me through college, and it made me proud of my father. It made me proud of my country. Times were often tough. My father never was and is not now a bitter man.

My mother and both of my grandmothers spent time teaching me to rely on my family, to pray and to be grateful for my opportunities.

I attended community college, ultimately graduating from the University of Florida and earning my CPA. I am now a business owner. I have kids of my own. I will teach them the same values despised by the leading Democratic presidential candidate.

My faith is not only a belief in a creator; it is a philosophical belief in something other than government. It is a belief in personal responsibility in good times and bad times. It is a belief in the pursuit of happiness and being grateful for the liberty that affords me opportunity.

Maybe my kids will be Ivy League educated, maybe they won’t. I hope they will. But regardless of their station in life, I will have taught them to handle a gun, to pray, to be grateful for opportunity and to pursue their dreams. I will teach them to be proud of men and women like my grandparents and parents. I will teach them to be proud of this country. I will teach them to rely on themselves and their faith, not their government.

Lenny Curry is the CEO and Managing Director of a professional services firm. He lives in Jacksonville, Fla. Email him at:

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