Sunday, December 29, 2013

Three Terrifying Terms in America

Christian Psychology, Conservative Compassion, Liberal Tolerance.  These three terms invoke a visceral reaction in me when I see them used.  We all learned early on, when somebody says, "Trust me!"  We better keep an eye on everything that isn't locked up or nailed down.  In reading comments by any of the above espousing thoughts, the mindset seems to be to redefine, rather than set the example.  These three terms really seem to be oxymorons.

Christian Psychology brings everything but sound logic to the table.  The New Testament makes reference that believers are to have the mind of Messiah, not the latest self-proclaimed expert and author.  A doctorate in psychology is a secular degree.  To attach a religious adjective only indicates the earnest attempt to mix holy with profane, which is clearly forbidden in Scripture.

Conservative Compassion is probably the most honest term of the three.  It clearly indicates the one in control will be conserving their compassion while determining who is deserving of such.  Compassion offered conservatively, indicates by small measure and micromanaged.  Although I do believe it's fairly honest of the folks who are proud to feel they demonstrate their compassion, conservatively, I would not choose to be on the receiving end of this seemingly small outpouring.  Conservative compassion doesn't evoke an image of outpouring or abundance, but rather a drip or crumbs.

Liberal Tolerance wins the prize for the ultimate in oxymoron.   The very first definition in WordWeb for TOLERANCE:  The power or capacity of an organism to tolerate unfavorable environmental conditions.  When I looked up Liberal, the definition for using is an adjective as it is here is:  Showing or characterized by broad-mindedness . . . I've yet to meet anyone of either political leaning who is broad minded toward the other political leaning.  As for tolerance, I've seen some pretty hateful things said under the guise of tolerance.  Being intolerant of those you define to be intolerable is not tolerance, at all!

I used to say, I hated bigotry so badly, I was a bigot . . . against bigots.  I realize we are programmed to believe that bigotry is steeped in ignorance, but it isn't, it's foundation is pride and hate.  Hating someone, anyone, who is different and feeling superior in doing; so is bigotry.   Regardless of the social euphemisms and philanthropic terms in which we try to package our hateful pride, it is still bigotry.  The three terms we've chosen to exalt our own thinking, cast judgment, or claim progress is nothing more than another way of saying, everyone who disagrees with me is wrong, and really needs their lifestyle, speech, and thought; monitored.

Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate . . . New Testament

Friday, December 20, 2013

In the Public Eye

A journalist once told me, "when it comes to politics, there is no bad publicity."  I think that's true beyond just politics.  In this article, I'm going to weigh in with an opinion on a topic in which I'm basing everything on "hearsay" and internet social media.  We'll see how it goes.

I've never seen Duck Dynasty and I've not read the interview of Phil Robertson in GQ.  I don't have a television and I don't buy magazines.  Like most Americans, I have developed an opinion just based upon what's been reported, since.  I did see a brief interview of his wife through a social media link.  An eight to ten minute interview hardly qualifies me to judge their life, but she was very strong in her statement that she believed G-d was blessing them for staying together through the early rough years.  She stated, "one man, one woman, for life."  I haven't done that, but those are her beliefs and I applaud and support her right to speak what she believes.  As for her entrepreneur husband and business major son, I think they have proven their G-d given gifts in this situation.

This image was found at

I firmly believe Phil Robertson is a smart enough man to know everyone is not a fan of his show.  I think he also has the right to speak what he believes and he knows the fans are going to love him all the more and the ones who are not fans will still double the exposure of his business by their negative comments.  I'm sure their business marketing son knows this!  Since I don't believe in coincidence, I have to say, this timing is amazing and an entrepreneur knows to strike while the iron is hot.  A wealthy entrepreneur knows the best time to introduce a new product line is when your name and photo are headlines!

Duck Commander has expanded their product line to now include wine and the family has made a Christmas album.  This GQ uproar could not have come at a better time.  Considering the fan base, there are probably a fair percentage that would frown a bit on the wine line, but that disapproval pales in comparison to the amazing appreciation of his statement against homosexuality.  As the press has a hayday, the fan base is rallying to boycott A&E and see what they can purchase to show their support for the Robertsons . . .

For those who won't buy wine, there is the "Duck the Halls" family Christmas album.  These guys are genius.  I don't for a minute, think, Phil Robertson truly cares what anyone thinks of him, except G-d and his family.  He appears to be, and this is only a superficial observation, a rugged outdoors kind of man who will live and die by the beliefs he professes.  Whether I agree or disagree, I have to admire that.  The man gives glory to G-d for the life he's living and his testimony of meeting Messiah for being delivered from alcohol is his testimony!  How can anyone judge it differently, as his life bears witness to that testimony?

His marriage has lasted and their family is together.  He's provided for his sons and grandchildren, and given G-d the glory.  What's to judge?  He and his wife have done more than most of us and they have the evidence that stands.  While the media does what it does best, which is to divide the people, the Robertsons are walking through the media storm with grace.  I don't have to be a fan of his show, or agree with all the details of his beliefs to defend his right to speak what he believes and applaud his business savvy in all this free publicity!

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of G-d.  New Testament

Sunday, December 15, 2013

One Year Later

One year ago, I determined to post a personal obituary for every victim of the "Sandy Hook massacre," but every obit led me to more questions, rather than resolution.

I tried very hard to push away the first doubt, as I watched the President's speech that afternoon.   Something just seemed disingenuine.   As I watched him put his finger to his eye, as if wiping away a tear, I thought, "his tear ducts must be in backward."  There was no moisture under his eyes, yet he wiped the outside corner.  Maybe this is just a small obsessive observation, but as more questionable interviews occurred, my mind continued to review his speech.

The next evening was the first interview with Robbie Parker.  I watched in literal amazement and horror as he gave his speech with what seemed to be an imbalance of stoicism and emotion.

 As I continued to systematically list the obits, individually, the photos and reports seemed more like a horrible Lifetime Movie than reality.  The interviews became murky, and the news moved on so quickly, as the aim for guns and more psychiatric labels ensued.  The single still photo of the school children leaving looked completely disconnected to the reported events of that day.

Robbie Parker continues to be an enigma.  I can't tell if he's an actor or someone self-consumed in search of his 15 minutes of fame . . . I know when I became a bereaved parent, I couldn't even mention or hear my child's name without feeling as though the world was falling in on me again and again.  My child did not die in violence, but it was many weeks before that heaviness in my chest began to ease.

I went to  and did a search for a Robbie Parker / Robert Parker in Newtown Connecticut.  I found two listings.  One was 70 years old and the other 84 years of age . . .  I did find a James Parker with a relative named Natalie in nearby Danbury, but Robbie Parker wasn't listed as a relative . . . One year later, still more questions than answers, and not about the shooter, but the lingering question of reported news.  What is true?

Then shalt thou inquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth . . . Torah of Holy Scripture

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Is America Really So Far From Our Foundation?

The holiday wars have begun and basically now, the war on traditional holidays is coming from the more religious rather than the secular, which is an interesting turn of events.  Just like reformed smokers, the very people who once insisted we realize "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" are now informing the world that Christmas is pagan!  Personally, I like the difference in people this time of year.  With the exception and exclusion of Black Friday, regardless of what someone is celebrating, there is a more charitable spirit in general.  I don't have a Christmas tree, I didn't bake a turkey, and Hanukkah is nearly over, but to see the food pantry at the store filled to overflowing, even with sacks from other stores, it's nice . . . If remembering to feed the hungry this time of year from our own heart, rather than state taxes, it does seem Scriptural.

I'm not into the materialistic consumerism that abounds, but in this economy should anyone be?  Now, back to the discussion of the founding of America.  The Thanksgiving revision has been awesome this year!  So, I'll simply share from what I learned in school, nearly a half century ago, and whether or not that was accurate, I'm not inclined to embrace brand new history with digital data sources, as that is open to change at a whim or be no longer available tomorrow.

We learned that the first Thanksgiving involved the Native Americans [back when we were called Indians] having a feast that lasted several days and sharing that feast with weary Pilgrims who had barely survived the trip across the sea.  We learned they all got along great and one of the main dishes of the feast was popcorn!  We also learned that Indians taught the white men to plant corn using fish guts for fertilizer and pole beans near by to be supported by the corn stalks.  Okay, maybe the one about pole beans by the corn, I learned at home and shared for "Share and Tell."  At any rate, by the time I was in fourth grade and learned that General Washington referred to the Indians as savages, the American culture had certainly taken on a new complexion.

Thanksgiving became a national holiday, the people who had assisted the early settlers were now savages, and the land grab was on!   So, something for nothing without gratitude, is not exactly a 20th century welfare concept at all.

Let's discuss the history of Big Ag.  The men of renown with large land holdings, did not work their land, they owned slaves.  As a matter of fact, the end of slavery really brought us into the industrial revolution, as many land owners realized they didn't want to pick their own cotton!  Basically, the people who settled this nation, a.k.a. took it, didn't work it, then brought in more people to work it . . . Seems job outsourcing is not a new concept either.

As for the building of the rail road, we learned Chinese immigrants did that.  We also learned that the Irish immigrants were not considered in the same social status as immigrants and descendants of other European countries, so they got the less desirable jobs.  As I listen to the immigration debates, I can't help be ponder the fact that immigrants only take the jobs the citizens don't want to do anyway.

So I ask, is America really so far from the foundation, after all?
. . . every man did that which was right in his own eyes.  history in Holy Scripture

Sunday, December 01, 2013


The American tradition of Thanksgiving is really expanding, but it doesn't seem to be so much in the area of thankfulness or giving, unless you count "giving a piece of one's mind . . ."  I don't celebrate the tradition of Thanksgiving.  Seems between all the revision and obvious historical disparity, Thanksgiving and Black Friday are probably pretty low on my list of things for which I'm thankful.  I've made a point of truly seeking to be thankful every day.

After seeing some of the ridiculous comments on social media from the religiously astute, I simply chose to not participate in social media for the "holiday" weekend, either.  I don't choose to celebrate a day that commemorates the change for the original inhabitants of this country that immigration has made.  I also do not choose to spend a day of gluttony while telling myself it's about setting the day aside to give thanks.   If I focus on the traditions of Thanksgiving, I actually find myself in a very non-thankful place, so I don't.

I do not believe anyone should march to my drumbeat, but by the same token, I don't choose to embrace some things, either.  Even though freedom has been dramatically and drastically redefined since that supposed first "Thanksgiving," we are all still free to observe or opt out of whatever we choose, except of course, dying and paying taxes . . . and now Obama care!

There are so many things in my life, for which I am thankful.  I'm very thankful for the nice visit with my daughter and great phone conversations with my granddaughter.  I am truly thankful for the long week-end without a huge mess in the kitchen.  I am also thankful for the life in which I've been blessed, knowing there was nothing to buy on Black Friday that would bring greater contentment to my life.  Even though I am not terribly progressive in the area of technology, I am thankful to be able to see photographs of loved ones and keep up with their lives by way of internet communication.

As I contemplate "tradition," it's rather mind-boggling to realize my Grandchildren will have no concept of life before internet and no idea that stores used to actually be closed on national holidays.  

O give thanks unto YHWH; call upon His Name: make known His deeds among the people.  from a Psalm of Holy Scripture

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