Archive for April, 2010

It’s Just Another Zero

April 30, 2010

Not too long after I met my current boss I remember something he said that will stick with me forever.  We were reviewing our advertising strategy and the decision was made that we would spend considerably more money than we had in the past.  Fortunately for us it was because our sales had been climbing rather well.  After he told me the amount he then said, “it’s all relative, it’s just another zero at the end of the number.”

What might be one of the most politically incorrect stories in the Bible is the story Jesus tells of the rich man and the talents that he gives to his three servants.  To one he gives five talents, who then invests the money, doubles it and his master is pleased.  To the second man he gives two talents, who doubles it and again the master commends him for his success.  To the last servant he gives one talent, but this servant does not invest the money.  He buries it, out of fear of failure.  The master is so furious with this servant that he calls him lazy, takes the money away and gives it to the servant who now has the ten talents.

Not only does Jesus seem to be stomping on the concept of redistribution of wealth, taking from the rich and giving to the poor, He actually comes right out and says to the poor man that he was lazy and ignorant.  Imagine a politician that tried that today?  Here is Jesus doing reverse taxation, taking from the poor and redistributing it to the wealthiest.  Perhaps Jesus understands that only the wealthiest and most courageous of investors can possibly keep an economy moving.  The poor have their place, but it is not in the area of  job creation.

At least for the time being, in America, the principles leading up to profit and success are there for all to use and enjoy.  So the next time you hear someone, especially the president of the free world saying things like,  “I think this company has made enough money,”  just remember that zeroes at the end of the number are not the problem with society.  The lazy and those trying to reward them are the problem.

For With the Measure You Use….

April 29, 2010

Luke chapter 6 is an interesting series of instructions by Jesus pertaining to how we should treat others.  He even provides information on how we might approach our enemies.  Now in this discussion I do not believe that He is referring to mortal enemies or enemy combatants, otherwise he would not be mentioning things like, the lending of “tunics” etc..

I believe Jesus could very well be referring to our political adversaries.  Those whose philosophy about life differ from ours.  He goes on to say that we should turn the other cheek, that we should not expect anything good to come back from them and that we must not judge them even if they condemn us.  Jesus seems to understand liberals very well. 

How then do we get our message across regarding political injustice?  Since we must turn our cheek and not pass judgement it seems as though we do not have the upper hand.  Take Mother Teresa of Calcutta for example.  Many people think she was just a humble nun that scooped  up dying souls from the streets and gave them beds before they died.  That was definitely her mission, but to what end did she use her fame?  Mother Teresa was one of the most outspoken advocates against abortion on demand in modern history.

Her critics were few and far between and only on rare occasions did liberals attack her.  Now becoming Mother Teresa is  not exactly what I am suggesting.  However, the basic instructions that Jesus gives in Luke chapter 6 about our enemies is true.  We must love them to death.  We must never find ourselves in a position where our behavior gives them ammunition to dump on us.  And yes, we even have to give them the benefit of the doubt in certain arguments, and try to listen with kindness.

Mother Teresa never wavered in her stand against abortion on demand.  But she also never wavered in her works of charity.  What is our charity?  Are we known in our community for  civic contributions?  Much of what we do that does not have to do with politics can raise our status in our cities and towns, so that if we do write letters to the editor, readers that have witnessed our contributions, who may not necessarily be leaning right, might think a bit harder about our argument.  Especially if we, using our free will, have participated in a food drive, or a soup kitchen, or a fund-raiser for youth sports or any other corporal work of charity.

I will never forget the first time President Clinton met Pope John Paul II in America.  It was like watching a 12-year-old boy guilty of graffiti at his middle school meeting the principal.  He seemed so out of character and nervous, all I could imagine was, this guy is not used to being around Holy people and it is knocking him off his game.  Once again, we do not need to be like John Paul II, or Mother Teresa to accomplish our political goals, but a bit of public kindness may help us along the way.

Behind the Scenes

April 28, 2010

A few years ago I took my family to see the play Wicked on Broadway.  It was a surprise birthday present for my wife.  Not only was the play a surprise, after just the two of us arrived in New York, I had arranged to meet all three of our young adult children in the City.  One by one they knocked on the door of our hotel room as Natalie joyously welcomed them not having any idea that they were part of her birthday present.

The other surprise was the play itself and if you know anything about Wicked it is a rewrite of the Wizard of Oz story.  In this version we are able to look behind the scenes and we learn that the Good Witch was actually bad and the Wicked Witch was actually good.  Like most Broadway musicals the unexpected was the norm.

Most of us know the story of the Good Samaritan that Jesus told.  How there was a man traveling on the road to Jericho who was robbed, stripped, beaten and then left for dead on the side of the road.  First a Priest and then a Levite passed by.  When they saw the man suffering they moved to the other side of the road and did nothing to help him.  But then a Samaritan passing by took pity on the man.  Picked him up, put him on his donkey and then brought him to an Inn, paying the Innkeeper to nurse him back to health.  Finally he said, any other fees he incurs please save for me to pay.

Jesus used this story to describe to the crowds who exactly is “one’s neighbor.”  Clearly Jesus meant, “anyone” who is suffering.  As I thought about this story I wondered what it would be like if we could have seen the Priest and the Levite behind the scenes.  What might they have done later on in this story, after they passed by the beaten man in the road?  At this time in history the Priest and Levites represented the Government of Jerusalem.  They were the ruling class, having arrived to their positions of power most likely through political means. 

I imagine that they might have met up later on down the road to discuss what they had seen.  Perhaps they decided that they would create a new law that would impose on the working population a tax that would raise enough money to provide for such wretched individuals, those of course not as fortunate or well off as they were.  Even though they were not willing to do anything about the poor man themselves at least they were politically correct enough to be sure that someone else did.

Jesus never mentions that the Priest or Levite saw what the Good Samaritan had done.  Nor does He see the need to bring them back into the story so that they can share in the lesson.  Even if they did see what happened would it even matter to them?  Most likely good examples would not change them.  They showed how unwilling they were to get themselves sullied by the bloodied man on the side of the road.  Jesus focuses more on what the Good Samaritan did with his free choice.

Today we see the same trend around the world.  Politicians see less fortunate people, but as they always do, they ignore the problem individually, but redistribute the problem universally.  What is even worse is they try to portray themselves as the Good Samaritans of the story.  In reality they did nothing but force others to pay for those less fortunate, while at the same time exempting themselves from hard work.  Charitable works that people do freely, are also totally ignored, disregarded and discounted.

Today we are allowed to hear about the tax returns of high-ranking politicians.  The amount of dollars some of them have donated to charities is so low that it makes one wonder if they care about the poor at all.  The reason we do not need to have a system that focuses on redistribution of wealth is because our country is filled with Good Samaritans, just like the one in the Gospel of Luke.  But, in spite of that fact, our politicians, behind the scenes, ignore the people’s free will kindness, and make provisions for the suffering that only does one thing; cause more suffering.

Jesus closes the story by saying, “which of the three do you think was a neighbor…?”

God Restores It All

April 27, 2010

I was a huge rock fan growing up.  Back in the 70’s we did not call it classic rock, but appropriately enough that is how it is described now.  I had a fairly solid collection of albums, including the Classic Jethro Tull album Aqua Lung.  A few years after we were married I had to change jobs and take a job that did not pay all that well.  I remember Natalie and I decided to have a tag sale, for the obvious reasons, to get rid of junk and also to raise some cash.

I will never forget something that happened that day.  A former junior high school fellow band member of my older brother’s garage band, named Jeff, stopped by and bought up all of my classic rock albums for 25 cents apiece.  Including Aqua Lung.  Thinking back now I can hardly believe I let them go, especially for such a low price.  We must have been quite in need of money.

Fast forward 20 years.  Two of my children now have their own independent record albums.  Thanks in part to the gift of music Natalie gave to them and also in part to Muddy Angel studios, run by a thoughtful and not overly priced person in our community.  When one submits private label records to the web site called CDBaby.com, specially designed for “indie” artists, there needs to be a record label name.  So, what else would we choose but Massery Records.

This past weekend, I was preparing a Lebanese meal for the very first ever Lebanese Maronite mass that would be celebrated at my Roman Catholic Rite Church, St. Mark’s in Pittsfield.  Our priest asked if I would contribute a few of my famous dishes, and he would take care of inviting the new Maronite Priest from Springfield’s St. Anthony’s Church.  All week long I kept thinking about my late mother and father, and how much they would have loved what was happening.  They were so proud of their culture and their food and they were also so proud of their faith and the history of Christ’s presence in Lebanon.

Saturday afternoon, right in the middle of all of my preparation for this Lebanese dinner, my phone rang.  “Hello, is this the record store?” the voice said on the other end.  “No dear, I think you have the wrong number.” I said.  “Oh, isn’t this Massery Records?”  I was absolutely floored.  “Yes, this is Massery Records, how did you get my name?”  She answered “I found it on the Internet, I have hundreds of old records that I want to sell, my husband once owned a record store and I want to get rid of them; are you interested? ” she said.

I still have not been able to figure out how my name, phone number and address appeared on the internet for this woman to find but who cares really.  As you can probably figure out by now, within an hour this lady, named Penny, was in my driveway with a trunk full of records.  The same driveway by the way in which I had my tag sale 20 years ago.  And right on cue, there was the Aqua Lung record again, along with about 20 other classics that I had not seen in years.  I was so happy and immediately sensed that God was using this weekend to restore so many things that I had lost.

In Isaiah 63:11 God’s people recall the days of Moses and how He brought them through the sea.  Old memories we have, especially happy ones, are actually victories that God gifted to us to help us through tough times.  He wants to restore all of those victories to us and all that we think we have lost is really just being stored away for a time, until God sees that we need them. 

The amazing memories I had of all the Lebanese parties we had at our home came rushing back, I even found the old record “An Evening in Beirut” that my dad played at every party he had in our home. and played it at the church hall as the crowd lined  up for my Hummoos and Baba Ganoush.  Fortunately no one bought that record at my tag sale 20 years ago.

Calming the Storm 101

April 26, 2010

Those of us concerned about the future of our great country, like me, are probably losing sleep more often than we would like.  It seems as though the troubles facing America are almost endless; ballooning debt, unemployment, pending runaway inflation and the list goes on and on.

In Matthew 8:23  we read, “Jesus gets into a boat and is followed by His disciples. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat.  But Jesus was sleeping.  The disciples went and woke him saying, “Lord, save us!  We’re going to drown!”  He replied, “You of little faith, why are  you so afraid?”  Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.”

The miracle Jesus performs in this seemingly small little incident in His earthly ministry is actually “plan B.”  The disciples were being put to the test by this storm.  Jesus sleeping on the boat, did so to see if they would have the courage to face this adversity on their own.  Jesus did not  want to be woken so that He could demonstrate how totally reliant the disciples were on His help.  He slept because He wanted to give them every opportunity to calm the storm with their own faith.  That is why He says to them “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?”

As we learned in an earlier reflection, miracles of Jesus are often initiated by the faith of the tiniest of souls, like the child who offered his little portion of bread and fish, which ultimately fed the 5,000.  Today we should be very proud of the thousands of tiny souls who are standing up and rebuking the wind and the waves of our radically changing government.  By stating publicly that I am proud of the Tea Party movement, I too am, with the rest of them, calming the storm that is rocking the boat of our great country.

The criticism that citizens, just like you and I, are enduring for our willingness to protest is much like the criticism of a former upstairs tenant/neighbor I once had.  This young man claimed to be a Christian.  But there was something about him I did not like.  One day I saw him through my bedroom window out in our shared driveway playing around with a Cox model airplane.  A few days later I received a call from the UPS driver, asking me if I had the Cox plane.  It seems my tenant told the UPS driver he never received it, but that maybe the landlord had taken it.

You can imagine my reaction.  Today the main stream media, the front men for our radical administration, is like that lousy tenant I had.  They are pointing fingers at the Tea Party saying we are rocking the boat, when in reality it is Congress and the President that are rocking the boat.  They are the ones guilty of causing the economic storm that could sink the boat, not the little people riding in it.

So take faith in the fact that God is there for us in the end, but He wants us to stand up to the storm on our own, as we are doing.  There are so many heros among us they are hard to count.  Many of  them are organizing rallies or on talk radio, and on certain television commentary programs.  They need our prayers and support but most of all they need us to do what we are expected to do.  Demand peace over turmoil, and our words, spoken in faith, with conviction, have the same power as if it were Jesus’ words Himself.

Even Jesus Decries Redistribution

April 25, 2010

If I never have the chance to write another reflection concerning the theme of the Christian foundation for conservative philosophy then at least I have memorialized this one point.  Jesus saw through the corruption of His notorious left-wing critics.  In the Gospel of John, Judas tried to shame Him for not allowing wealth to be redistributed amongst the poor.  If this sounds like a stretch of my imagination, please read on.

John 12:2-8 “…Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil. Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot…who would betray Him, said, “Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denari and given to the poor?” This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. But Jesus said, “Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. “For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always.

This bares repeating; “Not that he cared for the poor, but that he was a thief.”  The direction in which government is headed today is not much different from the direction Judas Iscariot proposed in John 12.  He used lofty ideals to try to make successful people of his day, i.e. those who could afford to buy “oil of spikenard”, feel ashamed for using it as they wish to use it.  Sounds like a critique of freedom to me.  Not only does Jesus rebuke Judas for his absurd suggestion, He goes on to say one of the most politically incorrect statements in all of the New Testament….”the poor you will have with you always.”

How dare He say that?  Doesn’t He realize that a Marxist utopia is attainable through such means?  Doesn’t He understand that politicians, (like Judas) are supposed to take money, mostly for themselves, and then pretend they care for the poor, mostly through redistribution programs, so that those with wealth will not have as much and those without will have just enough?

Another analogy I like to use, which is especially effective against liberal college students, is what I call the redistribution of grades.  Ask any college student, in particular a liberal with a high cumulative average, how they would feel about sharing their 4.0 with students that have a 2.0.  If this were possible then the 4.0 crowd and the 2.0 crowd could all have a 3.0 and everyone would be so much better off.

This same concept works with liberals who like to go fishing, especially if they have caught their limit and others on the lake have caught nothing.  Just cut their catch in half and give it to those less lucky that day.  Who cares if they used hooks without bait.  Or what about liberal golfers; maybe we could take a few of the double & triple bogies that less successful golfers commonly score and push a couple strokes their way?  That would make things better at the end of 18 now wouldn’t it?  Especially for me, I am the king of the triple bogie.

The Fear of God or The FEAR of God?

April 24, 2010

In Exodus 19 Moses was given instructions by God on how he and the children of Israel should prepare to meet God on Mount Sinai.  God gave specific instructions to Moses and He also warned the people to stay at the bottom of the mountain, wash their clothes and abstain from sexual relations for three days.

By today’s standards that seems a bit out of the norm.  But by the standards of the Mosaic era the practice was well understood and the symbolism profound.  Today the term “the fear of God” is commonly used as an expression to describe a believer.  That description is accurate.  However all linguistically popular cliché’s have origins, and in this case, the origin is quite different.

Symbolically the three days of preparation that God wanted the people of Exodus to endure points to Christ’s three days in the tomb.  God’s warning to Moses that the people cannot even touch the mountain (only Moses could ascend to see God) also points to Moses as a type or foreshadowing character of Jesus the redeemer/advocate. 

Just prior to Moses receiving the 10 Commandments a trumpet blew and Mount Sinai shook, causing the people to tremble.  In Jesus final hours, the earth became dark and upon His last breath the temple was rent in two.  God’s anger, causing the people to fear, in these two instances, was exactly the message He wanted to send.  We too often forget that we are made in the image of God, every emotion we experience, love, anger, compassion, are reflections of His nature.   If God is angry, we’d better be afraid.  If not, we lose.  God does not lose arguments.

Too often today, in our politically correct culture, we are forced to tolerate the concept that God is made in the image of man.  It is no wonder our culture has become morally decayed.  The intense miracles that God performed at the foot of Sinai were not just a show of His ability to create thunder.  It was a clear message that immoral behavior, i.e. rejection of the soon to be revealed 10 Commandments, would lead to disastrous consequences for the children of Israel.  With those laws also came judgement.  And with judgement also came death.

Harsh words, the politically correct world would say.  Where is the compassion?  Where the forgiveness?  God help us for what has happened to our society.  Currently we do not fear God.  We fear man.  We do not worry about hurting God’s feelings, yet we create programs and build societal norms around the “fear” of hurting the feelings of the tiniest of groups, mostly at the expense of God’s Holiness.

Laws are now being created to allow cross-dressing people to enter the public restroom of their choice, depending on their mood that day.  Student lead Pro Life clubs seeking recognition on College  campuses are being refused funding, as they may hurt the feelings of the abortion mother.  Father Daughter Dances are being cancelled by PTA’s because there may be girls in the school who do not have a father figure available, so cancelling it saves their feelings.

We cannot have a successful society when God’s feelings are so ignored.  The fact is, God NEVER changes.  His desire for His people to follow the 10 Commandments still applies today.  Corruption in government, idolatry of celebrities who have done NOTHING but find themselves attractive and bratty enough to become a reality TV show, must be driving God to the brink.

It makes one wonder if the rash of earthquakes, volcanos and natural disasters around the world are a sign of another pending revelation.  The fear of God may not be enough, we really may need to start FEARING God, before our world is swallowed up by the consequences of indifference to Him.

Your Loss Is My Dishonest Gain….

April 23, 2010

This week we have explored the story of Moses and his escape from Egyptian rule.  However, crossing the Red Sea, the miracles in the desert and all the other primarily celebrated feats of Moses are not nearly as important as something else of which he was a signficant part. 

In Exodus Chapter 18, Moses father-in-law Jethro learns that Moses is daily judging the disputes of the children of Israel.  Wise Jethro sees how this responsibility, all falling on Moses, especially considering that there are over 1 million Israelites now, was too much of a strain for Moses to handle alone.  So Jethro advises Moses to “select capable men from all the people, men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain and appoint them as officials…”

Exodus went on to say that the difficult cases they brought to Moses but the simple ones they decided themselves.  As Moses did do what Jethro advised this judicial structure is the historic outline and foundation for district and Supreme courts all over the world. 

I could not help but be drawn to one very important thing that Jethro said.  In today’s corrupt political environment, it haunts me more than anything else in this narrative.  Jethro said “select men who hate dishonest gain.”  I find it so encouraging that the Judicial system that history points to as its foundation talks about “hating dishonest gain.”  To analyze this a bit more, if one is to gravitate to those people then it is safe to say that they can also be defined as those who love honest gain.

So here we have 2 important principles.  Capitalism, which, defined by the word gain, seems to be acceptable, provided it is honest.  However politicians, must be avoided, if they have a reputation for “loving dishonest gain.”  What exactly is “dishonest gain” in this case?  I think it is safe to say, accepting bribes, or in today’s world, elected officials, accepting giant campaign contributions, which cannot help but cloud future votes, or in the case of the Judges of Exodus, future judicial decisions.

Since the election of the current adminstration in Washington, they have been attacking business, or as I described earlier, those who love honest gain.  Their excuse has been, of course, that they are using dishonest gain to achieve their goals.  The question I have is this, how does business bribe its customers?  In a free market, in which we love, if a business becomes too arrogant, I, the consumer simply take my business elsewhere. 

Shakespeare’s famous line, “me thinks thou dost protest too much” is a reminder of how Washington may actually be the one taking the bribe, seeking dishonest gain, and refusing to return campaign contributions from those they so demonstratively accuse of being dishonest.

Thank you Jethro for that great line, “appoint  men who hate dishonest gain.”  Not even Shakespeare said anything more profound.

Our Enemies…No Matter How Powerful…Will Be Defeated

April 22, 2010

Most of us know the story of Moses and how he lead the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt and into the promise land.  The famous movie, the Ten Commandments, starring the skilled actor Charlton Heston as Moses, is actually a somewhat accurate retelling of the Book of Exodus.  Pharoah, played by Yul Brynner, was equally masterful as the evil villain of the story.

I remember the special feeling I had when I first saw the movie as a child on television.  Back then the networks had a sense of reverence for Easter and Passover and they would regularly show the movie on Easter Sunday Night.  It was a great way to end the Easter Holiday and to be reminded that God’s plan for us includes the destruction of our enemies.

The politically correct culture in which we live is much like Pharaoh of Exodus.  It is powerful, money hungry, famous and most importantly, possessed by a spirit of superiority to anything Holy and that which is of God.  In today’s culture it is no longer acceptable for the newspapers to say the words “Islamic Terrorists”, in the same sentence.  Yet they have no problem accusing Christians opposed to current administration agenda of being potential domestic terrorists, simply because we wish to debate an issue.

It is almost comical how predictable liberal reaction is to acts of Christian expression.  My youngest son, who is away at a Catholic College, that has been infiltrated by a liberal majority of students and professors, recently experienced politically correct hypocrisy at its highest form.  He and several of his conservative friends went to the Student Association committee to request that their group, a Pro-Life Club, receive official recognition as a Club on Campus.  Predictably what ensued was a 2 hour debate about how that group would be offensive to people who have had an abortion. 

Can someone please explain to me how that approach is any different from the media’s approach to the words “Islamic Terrorists?”  They don’t want to offend them?  Wait a minute, if they did kill 3,000 people on 9/11 and we want to talk about it, how is that offensive?  If millions of unborn innocent children have been killed, simply for the sake of convenience, why is that discussion off-limits?  I am sure you have probably already guessed this correctly; the Student Association, voted down the club’s request.  And not so surprisingly, they chose to have a secret ballot, so no one would know for sure which students voted to oppose to this club.  Now there’s courage.

Things like this are normal now in our culture.  Just like back in the 1960’s, when airing the Ten Commandments was normal, now airing our disdain for holiness in public places has become the norm.

In many cases conservative ideals, and Christian virtue seem hopelessly lost.  But, and this is a big “but” we still have and always will have the upper hand.  In Exodus we read that God heard the grumbling of the Israelites and was moved to compassion.  He raised up Moses to confront Pharoah and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt.  But remember now, that was not enough for God.  Exodus actually says that God allowed Pharoah’s heart to be hardened.  When Pharoah decided to chase after Moses, God’s power swept Pharoah and the Egyptian Army away into the depths of the Red Sea.

We must always remember that God loves us enough to give us freedom from tyranny.  If we remain faithful to Him, by His miracles, activated by our faith, Tyranny will be swallowed up by their own sense of superiority, as they foolishly attempt to fight with God.  We saw the movie, we know who wins that battle.

Gran Torino Movie Review–Loved It To Death

April 21, 2010

I’m an American citizen. 

My parents are American born.

My grand parents, both sides, became American citizens, but were all born in Lebanon. 

Lebanon is a beautiful country on the Mediterranean Sea, just north of Israel. 

Jesus actually walked the land and the people there, most of whom were Christians for thousands of years, are very proud of their Phoenician heritage. 

Lebanese look more like Greeks and Italians than Arabs and our heritage is uniquely our own.

This summer I’ll be celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary with my wife Natalie. 

About 26 years ago, I walked into her parents house for the first time. 

Her dad, Joe Wicker, who I’d never met, greeted me in a special way. 

He said to Natalie; “so this is the Camel Jockey yer going out with?”

By today’s standards Joe  needed sensitivity training. 

Didn’t he know his actions demonstrated intolerance and hate? 

Doesn’t rhetoric like that incite violence and cause folks to become suicidal due to the bullying nature of the taunts?

Whah…whah….whah…

Sorry folks…I laughed my head off when he said that. 

The fact is, there are no Camels in Lebanon, but that name has been regularly used by Americans when describing our culture. 

It never bothered me before and Joe Wicker couldn’t stop me from loving his daughter.

In fact he was a wonderful father-in-law and grandfather to our children.

I recently saw the movie Gran Torino, starring Clint Eastwood. 

I had no idea what to expect, but soon after the movie began I realized that the main character, Walt Kowalski, had no problem at all with color. 

Whatever name he first learned to describe a race or ethnicity, he continued to use it his whole life…like Joe.

The Academy awards people, not surprisingly, shunned the movie. 

Probably because they felt it had hurtful racial overtones and that it was anti-everything. 

Their politically correct reputation was far too important for them to nominate what most of America thought was a great movie.

I won’t say too much more.  

The fact is, the descriptions and words that Walt Kowalski used, like Joe Wicker, had no impact on the kindness he showed those who came into his life. 

Even Jesus, when he met the woman at the well, pointed out the differences between her people, the Samaritans, and His people the Jews. 

That had no impact on the love He had for her.  It simply showed He was aware of their differences.

Today the media is obsessed with hunting down anyone guilty (or even not guilty) of racial slurs, especially when it comes to those opposed to the liberal agenda. 

They’re going so far as to say that anyone opposed to the current Administration is racially motivated. 

We as Americans have a right to free speech.  It may sound ignorant from time to time, like Joe Biden, but it still is a right we have. 

Debate is not hate.

I’d never want to change the first memory I have of Joe Wicker when I entered 336 Onota St. back in 1984. 

As children we’d often sing the “Sticks and Stones” song. 

It was ingrained in us from the very beginning, not to let names or words hurt us, but to let them bounce off and then rise above.

If you haven’t seen Gran Torino….I recommend it, unless of course you’re from the Academy Awards Committee, or the liberal press; you might end up getting one of your crayons bent, and that would be tragic.