Archive for October, 2010

Why Do Chairs Sometimes Fly?

October 31, 2010

The chair is one of the most under appreciated things in the world.

Think about your day.

Soon after you wake up you are sitting on one eating breakfast.

If you are like many workers around the world, you are commuting to work on the chair of a bus, a train or your car.

Many of us need chairs to do our jobs at work.

If someone tried to add up all the different times they used chairs in their lives they would probably give up, once it dawned on them that even their bathroom holds a chair.

When I was a senior in high school I had a strange experience that involved my younger cousin Billy.

Billy was in the tenth grade and he happened to be in the cafeteria.

I had just finished my lunch and was socializing with a friend at a table.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw a cafeteria chair fly through the air.

My cousin Billy backed away as the chair just missed hitting him.

The look on his face was not good.

As I looked to the right I saw a young man, whose name I do not recall, grab a second chair, pick it up and hurl it as hard as he could toward Billy again.

Clearly he was trying to hurt him.

I do not remember my feet touching the floor as I ran toward the perpetrator.

I had a split second to decide; I punched him across the cheek but he did not go down.

He started fighting back and just a few seconds later two of my close friends, “Bass” and “Goose’ tackled the boy and we held him down until a teacher dragged him to Mr. Diamond’s office, the Vice Principal.

Although the kid knocked my glasses off when he hit me back, I really did not get hurt and I am pretty certain I got the best of him.

He was expelled and I ended up with a day or two of near rock-star status at school.

The best thing of all was the hug that Billy’s father gave me the next time I saw him.

My Uncle Joe was in tears as he thanked me for standing up for the family, just as his cousin, my dad would have done when they were kids.

Dad was always the big guy in the neighborhood in the 1930’s who would not tolerate bullies.

Thankfully we have a God who sits on a Throne in heaven who also assumes the same posture when it comes to protecting us.

From that Throne He administers justice and sends angels to help.

He does not need to rise from that chair, as the chair is a symbol of His power.

Those who try to abuse power by pushing their weight around against God’s chosen ones, as if their chairs have equal power, will soon find they are vastly outnumbered and underpowered.

Thank you Lord for your glorious Throne.

It is a chair that will never be moved.

The Air Travel We Breathe

October 30, 2010

I recently had to travel through Houston Airport on my way to a family wedding in Arizona.

As most Americans who have traveled by air can confirm, entering the world now run by two Federal acronyms, the FAA and the TSA, is a lot like entering the proverbial “twilight zone.”

So many of the things we take for granted, like undressing privately, are taken away.

On the last trip I was on, I was carrying a Monopoly game; the Law Enforcement version.

As I was putting it through the conveyor belt, along with the rest of my belongings, I was asked to step into the full-body-scan X-Ray machine.

The lady officer looking at the monitor outside the machine smiled and said; “You’re OK sir.”

One of my relatives in line just ahead of me said “that lady officer likes your game.”

Oh my, what does that mean?

“Your Monopoly game Jim.”

Whew…that was awkward, I thought she meant something else.

Before long we were at the proper gate in concourse B, (just a mere 1/2 mile walk, shuttle-train and moving walkway away.)

Before long we were told to go to another gate. 

Plane trouble.

You guessed it, concourse A.

Enter the twilight zone; mechanical trouble at the first gate, aircraft without broken parts waiting just another short 1/2 mile multi-modal distance away at the second gate.

I do not hold animosity toward the Airlines or the Feds for these issues we travelers endure.

It is their job and safety is of prime importance.

Thank you.

But the fact is, these inconveniences take their toll on travelers.

It wasn’t long before the jumbled world we were in started to warm up a bit.

At concourse A, gate 85, a gate attendant for Continental named Victoria had a lot more going for her than just her gorgeous hair.

She was conscientious.

The first thing I noticed was that once we all arrived she came out from behind the podium and spoke directly to everyone in a normal mic-free, but loud enough voice.

I have a tendency to tune out voices over the intercom system, as I can never tell who it is that’s speaking.

Every gate attendant within view always seems to have a phone or other device in their hand.

Victoria used the time-tested and proven method to talk to a small group; a stump speech. 

Very good first impression Victoria.

She clearly explained what had happened, how we needed to be sure not to go down the wrong tramway and end up in Birmingham, and most importantly, how thankful she was for our business, all the while looking directly into the eyes of 60 or so passengers.

It got better.

Any other time I have flown, when handing over the boarding pass, I am lucky if I get a glance from the attendant.

Usually there is nothing more than a mumbled eyes-down “thank you.”

Victoria took the extra half-second, looked over at her computer, then looked back and said to every passenger, without exception, things like, “Thank you Mr. Opa…zinski?”

“Yes, very good,” Mr. Opazinski responded, with a huge smile.

Mr. Kascur, who was with me at the end of the line, turned to me and said.

“She must be exhausted by the end of the day, and she probably won’t get my name right.”

I responded; “She’s probably exhausted, yes, but happily so.”

She got Mr. Kascur’s name right.

He loved it.

As the last person in line, (deliberately), I told Victoria that she had inspired me and would soon see her name in this reflection.

When Jesus began calling together his disciples, in John 1, something interesting happened when he met Nathanael, one of the 12.

 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here is a true Israelite, in whom there is no guile (nothing false).”

 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. 
  Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”

 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.”

Every one of us, like Jesus, has the power to speak directly to those around us, even by name, if we make the extra effort.

When we speak to someone by name, like Victoria did, we are speaking truth.

Even if it seems like benign truth, it is a start.

Jesus, being God, knew the name and the nature of Nathanael and complimented him for his lack of guile.

Nathanael was won over.

The fig tree, in this analogy anyway, is  a symbol of our difficulties that hang over us.

God sees us there.

Just like we have to endure the rigors of air travel to reach our destination, so to do people have to climb their fig trees to harvest fruit in their lives.

Along the way we can be like Jesus or Victoria and acknowledge and encourage people right where they are.

You or I may not be able to fly them home, but someone else in this story can.

And He doesn’t care about screening our baggage either.

He only sees forgiven souls.

Music Not “Created” by God

October 29, 2010

I am really not qualified to write on this subject.

My oldest son, who is wrapping up his Master’s Degree in three music related concentrations, could do a much better job.

All I will attempt to do is speak about what I feel “might” be true.

I have no historical/theological training or basis to today’s reflection.

Here we go.

Is it possible that God did not “create” music?

I don’t say this to diminish God’s role in the development of all things good, I say it to lift music higher.

Is it possible that music always was, just like the other attributes of God such as love, holiness, truth and power?

When looking at Genesis and how God created the world and mankind and everything in it, at no point does he “create” music.

Does that mean it was always there?

I have never been able to explain this, but there are certain pieces of music, (not rap music) that pull on my heart-strings every time I hear them.

Pieces by Beethoven come to mind, like the 9th Symphony. 

As I sat and pondered this conclusion, I wondered, do great composers simply find or uncover sounds that were already there within God?

Is the fact that once a classic piece that appeals to millions is performed and so many are touched prove my point?

Is great music simply Truth in melodic form that has been discovered?

Yesterday on TV, the entire cast who played the Von Trapp family from the Sound of Music did an interview.

As they replayed the old scenes, I found myself right back in 1965 sitting in the Palace Theater on North Street, with my mother and three thousand or more other local families soaking up the adventure.

Each time I watch the tale, as the story unfolds, I realize how tightly woven the music is to the revelation of God’s redeeming intervention in their lives.

I get choked up every time I hear Edelweiss.

The first time I brought home the VHS of the movie, to share with my kids back in the early 90’s, I distinctly remember them saying  something like, “that’s stupid dad nobody wants to see  that.”

I ignored them.

I made them watch it and they made me play it back five times.

When I had to return the tape to the store, my youngest son ran up to me as I was heading out the door and kissed the video.

He was about four years old.

Was it just the music, or the way the music tied itself to the story?

I cannot say for sure, but I think it was the latter.

In my life, music sometimes speaks to me on a different level than other mediums.

When we finally meet God I am sure it will all become more clear.

In the meantime, thank you Lord for all of the songs in our lives that have touched us and how you have allowed Christ-centered composers this wonderful gift.

May they know that they have a ministry as important as any other.

 1 Chronicles 6: 31 These are the men David put in charge of the music in the house of the LORD after the ark came to rest there. 32 They ministered with music before the tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting, until Solomon built the temple of the LORD in Jerusalem. They performed their duties according to the regulations laid down for them.

Why Lawnmower Repairmen are Like God

October 28, 2010

When I was around 11 years old, I had a friend in the neighborhood we called Giz.

Giz tragically lost his father in a plane crash.

Giz had a go-cart frame, which I believe his father was going to help him equip with an engine, but was never able to do.

I remember Giz walking into my parents living room and closing the deal with my dad to sell it to us for $40.

I was incredibly excited about it and my mom helped me the best she could with getting the appropriate parts to put it on the road.

I do not remember where the engine came from, but we had one, probably from an old lawn mower.

The most difficult part was all of the people, who really were not experts, trying to tell my mom and I how to integrate everything to make it work…to no avail.

I even remember spending hours going back and forth to a store in town called Bearing Distributors and still not being able to find the right “sprocket” to tie everything together.

My mother and I were about ready to give up.

Dad was fairly busy, but he must have seen our frustration.

He knew what to do.

The station wagon came in handy, as I remember him throwing open the tailgate and cleaning out all of his samples to make room for the haul.

He brought the whole pile of go-cart frame with engine, chain and various parts we thought we needed down to Joe’s Lawnmower on Tyler Street.

Duh.

All Joe’s Lawnmower did was work on engines and mowers and back then self-propelled units were the rage.

Why didn’t mom and I think of that?

A week later it was done; sprocket, centrifugal clutch and all.

We had hours of fun motoring around Loumar and Leroi Drive back in the early ’70’s and I even remember dad jumping in it one time for a quick spin.

He was so big that he had to put his legs outside the frame that held the steering wheel in place and then wrap them back around to the foot rests.

Many times in life we try to fix things ourselves.

We get frustrated and sometimes give up when things don’t go well.

What we should never forget is that we have a Father in heaven who always knows what to do.

Lord I thank you for the times in my life that my earthly father revealed Your character to me.

Thank you even more for the times You have helped steer me in the right direction when no one else could.

When Two Wrongs Make NPR Attack The Right

October 27, 2010

Within minutes of the public announcement of NPR firing commentator Juan Williams, criticism of the decision began pouring into both public radio and televisions stations across the country.

Now it is being reported that CEO Vivian Schiller has sent an apology letter.

Try to guess to whom she sent it?

If you guessed Juan Williams, you would be incorrect.

If you theorized the American people, you would also be incorrect.

The apology letter went to staff members and managers of NPR stations.

Of course, they lost money because of her.

Here is the problem with that apology Ms. Schiller.

The overwhelming majority of the donations on which NPR stations rely does not come from your staff members or your station managers.

The reason the American people are so ticked off at you is not because you did this during a fund-raising campaign.

That is completely irrelevant to us, the American People.

As my Irish Uncle Bill would say, “the folks” are annoyed because you disrespected a popular analyst Juan Williams and an even more popular right we call “free speech” which we enjoy in the First Amendment.

Here’s an idea for you Ms. Schiller.

You should hire a publicist and a psychiatrist.

You need the publicist to speak for you, because every thing you have said lately seems to make matters worse.

You need the psychiatrist to hear about your phobias, because they are what drives you.

You should also note that conservatives have nothing to do with this.

Please stop trying to point fingers at us for your actions.

We already know that NPR’s idea of free speech only pertains to those promoting a liberal agenda.

Now the world knows.

Good job.

As my dad often said, “don’t fight for something that’s coming your way.”

A liberal-bias/politically correct meltdown is what I mean.

Just a few more days….

What is a Husband to do?

October 26, 2010

Today’s first reading from Ephesians is the Scripture some women seem to hate the most.

Read the following and you can probably figure out why. 

Brothers and sisters:
Be subordinate to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord.
For the husband is head of his wife
just as Christ is head of the Church,
he himself the savior of the Body.
As the Church is subordinate to Christ,
so wives should be subordinate to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives,
even as Christ loved the Church
and handed himself over for her to sanctify her,
cleansing her by the bath of water with the word,
that he might present to himself the Church in splendor,
without spot or wrinkle or any such thing,
that she might be holy and without blemish.
So also husbands should love their wives as their own bodies.
He who loves his wife loves himself.
For no one hates his own flesh
but rather nourishes and cherishes it,
even as Christ does the Church,
because we are members of his Body.

As we look more closely at marriage, we realize from the beginning of humanity, that each partner had a specific role to play.

Men are the hunters and protectors, women are the child bearers and gatherers.

Their bodies and biological makeup cannot deny these facts.

The word in Ephesians that both women and men are hung up on, of course, is “subordinate.”

Its definition means to be a lower rank or order.

Further examination of Ephesians defines the use of the word to mean much more.

It makes a comparison to Christ and the Church.

Once that analogy is made by Paul, the work of Christ on Calvary takes on a whole new meaning and revolutionizes the word “subordinate.”

Everyone knows that on the battlefield, the highest ranking officers stay back and direct the lower ranking soldiers, many of whom are killed on the battlefield.

Traditionally the Generals survive and then decide what plan of action needs to be taken, even to the point of retreat or surrender if necessary.

Since we all know that the Church was created as a subordinate to Christ, why then is Jesus the first to die?

Calvary was like the great battlefield against Satan.

The point that the Apostle Paul is making in Ephesians is that, yes, husbands are built to be the leaders of the family, but, they only fulfill that role if they take it seriously enough to die for the wife and the marriage.

How many husbands today are unwilling to be that for sold out for their wives?

How many wives today do not see their husband’s daily sacrifices as an act of redemptive love?

Any society, without healthy families, means that the role models, both men and women, are not what they could be.

If we go back in time just one or two generations, this was not a problem.

In a family without the right role models, many children, (as an example) inner-city boys, lack discipline and are easy prey for gangs that offer them the male role models their hearts crave.

Lord, I thank you for all parents who have loved each other sacrificially, as described in Ephesians.

Help us husbands now and those seeking to be someday, to approach our potential for marriage with the same understanding that You had when you took your Bride, the Church.

Your selfless death for her was just the beginning of a great eternal marriage feast in heaven.

When is it OK Not to Tip, Lord?

October 25, 2010

I am traveling this week and had to work until 5pm yesterday.

Since it was a Sunday, I was committed to trying to make it to Mass after work and fortunately found a Catholic Church through the front desk at the hotel with a 6pm service.

According to the hotel operator, it was only an 8-10 minute cab ride.

Perfect.

I arrived at the front of the hotel where I was escorted by a valet to the next waiting cab.

He was kind enough to lean into the passenger window to double-check with the cab driver to be sure he knew where it was I wanted to go.

The cab driver looked confused.

“Do you know where we are going?”

I said to the cab driver as I climbed in the back.

I realized then I was already starting to be a bit rude and here I am on my way to church.

“It’s down by the outlets,” said the valet to the driver.

“Yeah, I got it,” the driver replied to me.

We headed down toward the outlets; then we passed them.

Several miles past them he said.

“Hmm.”

No church.

We turned around.

No church.

It was now 6:05 pm.

He finally decided to call for help.

He called his dispatcher.

Even the cab driver had to push buttons through prompts to get to a live person.

The recorded message, when he finally got to the right desk, was typical, “we are sorry for the delay, someone will be with you in a moment.”

We waited.

All the while he was driving and I was watching my cab fare go up and up.

I thought and prayed.

Lord, what is the right protocol here?

Should I demand a discount?

I could hear the Lord’s voice in my head, “yes, of course you deserve a discount, that way you can save five dollars and guarantee that this driver learns to despise church going Catholics for the rest of his life.”

You win Lord.

We did finally make it to Mass, and I only missed half of the first reading.

I read it myself each morning any ways.

It felt good to see the look on the face of the driver when I handed him the fare on his meter, plus a corresponding tip.

In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 13, Jesus is given the opportunity to heal a woman on the Sabbath. 

His reaction to the opportunity and to those criticizing Him is one reason why we love Him so much.

Jesus was teaching in a synagogue on the sabbath.
And a woman was there who for eighteen years
had been crippled by a spirit;
she was bent over, completely incapable of standing erect.
When Jesus saw her, he called to her and said,
“Woman, you are set free of your infirmity.”
He laid his hands on her,
and she at once stood up straight and glorified God.
But the leader of the synagogue,
indignant that Jesus had cured on the sabbath,
said to the crowd in reply,
“There are six days when work should be done.
Come on those days to be cured, not on the sabbath day.”
The Lord said to him in reply, “Hypocrites!
Does not each one of you on the sabbath
untie his ox or his ass from the manger
and lead it out for watering?
This daughter of Abraham,
whom Satan has bound for eighteen years now,
ought she not to have been set free on the sabbath day
from this bondage?”
When he said this, all his adversaries were humiliated;
and the whole crowd rejoiced at all the splendid deeds done by him.

I have no idea why my cab driver did not know where this Catholic Church was that I went to last night.

Who knows, maybe Satan has bound him for his entire life, or at least his career as a cabbie, from meeting people who needed a ride there?

That is really not his fault.

If we let down our guard and act rudely to strangers, then maybe we need to be reminded that every person we come in contact with is like a cab driver bringing us to Church.

Just like Jesus, who sets people free with His power, our kindness and mercy have the potential to do the same, or at least start them on the right path.

Well Done Grasshopper

October 24, 2010

I was in the third grade; St. Mark’s Parochial School.

I can’t remember the name of the Nun, but I do recall that she was not too impressed.

She’d given a science assignment; go home and draw a grasshopper onto a sheet of paper.

To make matters easier, we were sent home with a full size drawing of the insect to duplicate.

Part of the assignment was to label the different parts of the creature, such as the legs, the antenna, the wings etc…

I went home, looked at the assignment and blew it off.

Too lame.

I’ll think of an excuse.

It got worse.

“Take out your drawings,” Sister said to the class.

I wasn’t feeling so confident all of a sudden.

Cringing, I needed to think of a way out.

I don’t remember which girl it was, but there was a classmate sitting next to me, who had used see-through tracing paper to create her grasshopper.

Sister slowly began walking up and down the aisles looking at all of the drawings that the rest of the class had done.

I decided this was my last chance to divert attention away from me.

“She traced it!….She traced it!”

As if the young lady had broken some type of “originality rule.”

The poor girl just sat there and never said a word.

Sister looked crossly at me and said, “let me see your.”

Busted.

“I didn’t do mine Sister,” I mumbled.

I’ll never forget the look on her face.

Nuns back then had a way of using smart mouthed kids like me as teachable moments.

Suddenly the lesson switched from grasshoppers to donkeys and I was the one whose parts were being labeled.

I can’t go on with this story, it’s far too painful.

Some of you reading this may have been there.

I doubt you remember, unless you’re that innocent little girl.

Let’s just say, I learned my lesson.

I’m grateful Sister came to the rescue of that young lady.

In today’s Gospel reading from Luke 18, Jesus tells a parable about a smart-mouthed Pharisee.

Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

First point; anyone can be justified through the mercy of God.

The tax collector Jesus refers to symbolizes the lost.

They don’t have the tools the religious crowd has to commune with God, like the Pharisees.

All they have is a broken spirit.

Second point; Jesus doesn’t criticize the works of the Pharisee, just the self-righteous attitude.

The things the Pharisee speaks about as his accomplishments are still necessary.

It’s just that they should be a manifestation of a redeemed heart, not a score card kept upon which we grade ourselves.

As the tax collector finds God through brokeness, he too can begin to put a lid on greed, adultery or whatever is his vice.

We sometimes miss that point.

The Pharisee’s lifestyle wasn’t bad. 

He just missed one important requirement; his need to be humble about it.

Lord thank you for teachable moments.

Even for those events where we’re the bad guy in the story.

Once we repent, we learn the lesson best.

I did.

Professional Development, Just The Facts

October 23, 2010

I have to travel every now and then on my job as a sales representative to Police related trade shows, where we have our products on display.

In order for these trade shows to be successful, there is almost always a training or professional development component to it, so that attending officers can learn more about their areas of expertise.

Often times there are eye witnesses to tragic events who come in and will provide “debriefs” to their audience, explaining in minute detail how the tragedy unfolded  and what police methods and techniques worked and which did not. 

These are usually the most popular lectures of all, primarily because the person has the most credibility for having lived through a tragic event.

His comments are not based on theory, but a retelling of actual events and their results.

There is no room there for “spin.”

If you remember the old TV show Dragnet, the star character of the show, Joe Friday, could be counted on to say, “Just the facts ma’am.”

In today’s readings from Ephesians Chapter 4, the Apostle Paul speaks very plainly about the roles of individuals and the fact that we need to grow up and learn as much as we can.

And he gave some as Apostles, others as prophets,
others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers,
to equip the holy ones for the work of ministry,
for building up the Body of Christ,
until we all attain to the unity of faith
and knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood
to the extent of the full stature of Christ,
so that we may no longer be infants,
tossed by waves and swept along by every wind of teaching
arising from human trickery,
from their cunning in the interests of deceitful scheming.
Rather, living the truth in love,
we should grow in every way into him who is the head, Christ,
from whom the whole Body,
joined and held together by every supporting ligament,
with the proper functioning of each part,
brings about the Body’s growth and builds itself up in love.

There really are just two kinds of people in the world.  Those who are on a path toward God and those who are not.

Forgive me if this sounds cruel or judgemental, but I am simply expounding upon Paul’s comments. 

Sadly, there are many who believe they are on the path toward God, yet there is no evidence that they are “equipping” themselves.

Attending church services and bible reading are a good start, but doing them mechanically and without trying to attain the “unity of faith” that we are called to do through the mystical and corporate body of Christ, may mean we are still spiritual babies.

Some may be saying right now; “Lord, I am that ‘couch potato’ Christian infant, please help me!”

Check out today’s Gospel reading from Luke 13 and watch how the Lord takes an interest in the “cp” crowd.

And he told them this parable:
“There once was a person who had a fig tree planted in his orchard,
and when he came in search of fruit on it but found none,
he said to the gardener,
‘For three years now I have come in search of fruit on this fig tree
but have found none.
So cut it down.
Why should it exhaust the soil?’
He said to him in reply,
‘Sir, leave it for this year also,
and I shall cultivate the ground around it and fertilize it;
it may bear fruit in the future.
If not you can cut it down.’” 

The “person” with the fig tree is God the Father.

The gardener is Jesus.

Jesus always wants to advocate for us, so that we can bear fruit. 

He is willing to cultivate and fertilize us with Truth, even when we are not bearing fruit.

If you have just cried out to God seeking help, this “debrief” that Luke gives came straight from the throne of God.

Even though it is a parable, the source of the one telling it means it is as good as a true event, as it pertains to helping us grow as Christians.

Lord, I confess to You right now, I need to grow more.

I am a couch potato in need of fertilization and cultivation.

Through faith, I accept Your loving hand as the gardener preparing me to bear fruit for the Master who owns the orchard.

And those are all “just the facts.”

Familiarity Breeds Contemptable CEO’s of NPR

October 22, 2010

For those of you who may not have heard the story of the demise of Juan Williams on National Public Radio, allow me to explain what happened.

Juan Williams is a well-respected, polite speaking liberal commentator for both National Public Radio and for Fox News Television.

In case you don’t know, he worked for two mortal enemies.

This week, on a Fox News TV show, Mr. Williams spoke his mind about how he feels “uncomfortable” when he sees people in Muslim clothing getting onto an airplane.

Me too.

(Sorry Mr. Soros, I work for free, you can’t get me fired.)

(That’s another story.)

As far as NPR was concerned, that comment cost him his job and they fired him.

Even though Mr. Williams made this statement while working for a different employer, Fox TV, the management of NPR, in my opinion, acted childishly, threw a temper tantrum and made Mr. Williams the victim of their wrath.

But what is it that really happened here?

First of all, a man hired to make comments and analyze things, simply did what he is supposed to do, and that is, reflect on what is happening around him.

Mr. Williams did that.

What he may not have realized, is that NPR was looking for an excuse to fire him for a long time.

When the CEO of NPR, Virginia Schiller, was interviewed after the firing, one of the comments she made was that there was a series of things he did that lead up to this.

If you are a regular reader of this reflection you will notice that one of my bylines is “Debate is Not Hate.”

And, if you are a liberal leaning anti-conservative “machine” like NPR, you believe that debate against any liberal pet-cause IS hate.

My byline is designed to help empower those who fear speaking their mind.

Jesus, who feared no one, experienced a similar problem in Luke Chapter 4, where at first, the childlike audience he has likes Him; then, He strikes a nerve and they turn on Him.

 22All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.

24“I tell you the truth,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 25I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 26Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 27And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.” 

28All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. 29They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff. 30But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

Just like today, as there is a strong hatred toward any conservative thought coming from liberal camps, there was a strong divide between the children of Israel and anything from Sidon, a city in Lebanon, or Syria.

The people in the synagogue were not mature enough to accept the fact that gentile people, a group other than them, could be blessed by God.

As all of us have been children at one time in our lives, we know exactly what a temper tantrum is.

All rationale goes out the window and as a tantrum is being thrown, reason and logic give way to insults, curses and other mean-spirited behavior.

Ms. Schiller goes on to say “Mr. Williams comments should have been between him and his….(she paused) …psychiatrist.”

If you saw her make those comments, you will notice that she pauses just before saying the word “psychiatrist.”

Again, my other byline comes in to play.

I believe she first intended to say “his comments should have been between him and his God.”

But, since furthering atheism is part of the liberal agenda, no NPR CEO could accidentally let slip that people can actually communicate with a living God.

She caught herself.

By the way, my other byline is; “Atheists Are Faking.”

My youngest son, who is attending St. Michael’s College in Vermont, recently told me that in his study of St. Ambrose, an early doctor of the church, he believed the same thing about atheists.  So I am not alone in this theory.

Please forgive me and my father, if this sounds sexist or inappropriate in any way, but what I am about to say truly happened.

One piece of advice my father gave me as a young man, and I am sure my two brothers as well, was a tip on how to judge the maturity of a young woman I may be dating.

He used to say:

You do not want to marry an immature or childish woman, she will make your life miserable.

When you are on a date with her, if you see another woman walk by, wearing an attractive dress, tell your date that you think the dress on the other woman looks nice.

If your date makes a snide remark, she is immature.  Stay away.

If your date agrees, then she is mature.  Give her a second look.

Ms. Schiller, you have made a snide remark about a fair comment that Mr. Williams made.

Your position as CEO of NPR reveals to us that you are the head cry-baby of a childish organization.

Truth that crowds your agenda from the streets is your mortal enemy.

As for those wearing Muslim garb in the US, dear Ms. Schiller, they are very aware of the stereotypes they are accused of, give them some credit.

They are not idiots.

Obviously they are mature enough to dress according to their convictions.

Neither you or NPR are mature enough to handle Mr. Williams, or for that matter, anyone’s comments or viewpoints that conflict with yours.

Liberals have a reputation for that.

And by the way, great timing leading into an election, where liberals are already on the run.

You just gave conservatives nation wide a another bump in the polls.

I love you for that.