AMERICA ON TRIAL
In a Los Angeles Times article, entitled “In Ferguson, a race to be wrong”, Jonah Goldberg writes:
“The events in Ferguson, Mo., have launched a familiar spectacle: the race to be wrong first. … (L)egions of too-often interchangeable activists, commentators and reporters … have convinced themselves that we know exactly what happened, or at least all we need to know. Al Sharpton, with decades of racial ambulance chasing under his belt, insists that ‘America is on trial’ in Ferguson.”
Although I think Goldberg is dead right here, including his characterization of Sharpton, in a way, I agree with Sharpton’s statement. However, I think it’s more accurate to say “Americans are on trial in Ferguson”. No doubt, the implication of Sharpton’s statement is that America is on trial regarding how one ethnic group or members of that group, namely African-Americans, are treated by the rest of the nation. To the contrary, I see Ferguson as a trial; maybe even a final exam, to determine our willingness and thus our ability, to stand together as Americans, regardless of ethnic descent.
CLOSING OLD WOUNDS
AN EXCEPTIONAL LEADER
Over the past few days, as we’ve watched Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ronald S. Johnson step in to take over security operations in the midst of this past week’s civil unrest in Ferguson, MO, it’s become obvious that he is a truly exceptional person. The immediate good news in this, as reported in a related Washington Post article, is that Johnson’s first day on the job resulted in “Hugs, kisses and a night of peace (replacing) tear gas and unrest.” The more long-term and more challenging part of this is that Captain Johnson is, in fact, exceptional. If all of our nation’s leaders would emulate Johnson’s conduct, thus making him the rule rather than the exception, our country could be vastly improved.
AN EXEMPLARY LEADER
A great way to begin learning how to go about this emulation would be by looking at statements Captain Johnson made in Friday’s (August 14, 2014) press conference and most importantly, by looking at his responses to the questions he received. The comments that I found to be most meaningful in this regard are outlined as follows: Continue reading
THE MASCULINE HEART
On a recent vacation, while driving round trip from Southwest Washington to Northwest Wyoming, I finally managed to finish a book a friend had loaned me this past winter. It was The Way of the Wild Heart, by John Eldredge. It’s a follow-up to another of Eldredge’s best-sellers, Wild at Heart.
The subtitle of Wild at Heart is: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul. Its back cover expands on that by saying: “In Wild at Heart, John Eldredge invites men to recover their masculine heart, defined in the image of a passionate God.” In the book, Eldredge lays out three main longings of every male on their journey in life. Each man longs for: A battle to fight, An adventure to live and A beauty to rescue. In The Way of the Wild Heart, Eldredge expands on this theme by noting six major phases of a man’s life: Beloved Son, Cowboy (or Ranger), Warrior, Lover, King and Sage. This book’s main point is that God wants to come and father us through each of these stages. The key underlying theme, though, is the vital role earthly fathers and male mentors are meant to play in accomplishing this.
SHOWING THE WAY Continue reading
When I first heard that Dr. Ben Carson might run for President in 2016, I have to admit that my immediate reaction was one of skepticism. It’s not that I don’t have a high regard for Dr. Carson or that I don’t see him as a good choice for President. It’s just that far too many times in the past I’ve seen the sudden popularity of an admirable person lead to many placing their hope in that person, as a likely candidate for higher office and then seeing that lead to disappointment. In Dr. Carson’s case, my skepticism came from a sense that placing hope in him as a political candidate would result in disappointment due to his lack of experience in that role.
As I’ve come to know more about Dr. Carson, I’ve come to realize that my initial concerns about him, as a potential presidential candidate, were absurd. I recognized that I was really only worried about his ability to campaign. With that recognition, I thought, “Our current President is arguably the best campaigner I’ve ever seen and yet, to me, he is clearly the worst President in my lifetime.” From that, the absurdity of my initial concerns about Dr. Carson became evident and as I’ve learned more and more about him, I’ve come to believe that he has all of the talents that are necessary to be the successful leader that we’re lacking in our current President.
THE REAL BEN CARSON Continue reading
FROM RED TO BLUE
A little over nine years ago, we chose to leave the home we loved in Southern California to settle in an area we found to be even more desirable, Southwest Washington. Specifically, we moved to Vancouver, WA, just across the Columbia River, north of Portland, OR. Our home in SoCal was in Orange County, known politically as Red County. Since Portland is notoriously Blue, one of the biggest adjustments we found ourselves making in moving to this area was due to its very different political environment. An aspect of this that continues to elude my acclimation, however, is the prevailing attitude of intolerance by liberals towards conservatives.
TO BLACK AND BLUE
One of the most blatant examples of this prejudice has been hearing liberals call our selected home, Vancouver, Vantucky. Recently, I’ve also heard the county we live in, Clark County, referred to as Clarkabama. Of course, I have no way of knowing all the intended implications by users of these terms but it seems pretty clear the general aim is to disparage. That sense is reinforced by the fact that these terms are typically used in phrases like “… the morons in Clarkabama.” Some may view this as being amusing or, at least, as being relatively harmless. I don’t. In fact, I see this sort of sophomoric denigration as being quite harmful. Continue reading
THEIR ULTIMATE GOAL
Recently, in a Fox News Special Report All-Star panel discussion I heard a panelist use the phrase “First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People”. That discussion focused on the persecution Christians are experiencing in a part of Iraq now under the control of the jihadist group knows as ISIL (The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – a/k/a ISIS). Specifically, ISIL has given Christians (who have been living in that area for 2,000 years, pre-dating Muslims by 600 years) an ultimatum to convert to Islam or get out and/or be fined and/or face death. Since I wasn’t familiar with the Saturday people/Sunday people phrase, I researched it and I was embarrassed to learn that it’s been in use for quite awhile. In fact, it’s found in the title of a best-selling book, by Lela Gilbert, published in 2012. The following excerpt from Ms. Gilbert’s Weekly Standard blog helped me begin to understand this phrase and its background:
“‘First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People.’ Such graffiti can sometimes be found in Muslim neighborhoods in the Middle East. The ‘Saturday People’ are, of course, Jews, today nearly gone from Muslim lands. Now the ‘Sunday people’—Christians— are in the crosshairs, and they, too, are fleeing at an alarming rate. Both religions are unwelcome in many Muslim-majority lands for reasons of Islamist ideology—the declaration of jihad, or holy war, against infidels.” Continue reading
This article has been written, specifically, to address a most rare exception, a comment on a previous article that’s been Pending Approval for quite a while. The comment in question was made in response to an article entitled Lookin’ For Hate In All The Wrong Places. It said,
“remember… there is a brand new covenant, which basicly breaks down morality to: ‘he who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to HIM it is sin.’ are you foolishly going to argue that homosexuals in their heart of hearts feel that theyre sinning? if so, youre very disillusioned. and thus, by the very biblical passage ive quoted… they arent sinning in being homosexual.” Continue reading