Points of Ponderation…..Episode 5.15

A semi-regular attempt to address some of life’s minutiae that might otherwise be overlooked…..

 

 

 

 

sleepless1993’s Sleepless in Seattle really holds up well after a couple of decades. Oh sure the technology is outdated a bit. If Annie (played by Meg Ryan) wanted to research Sam (played by Tom Hanks) nowadays all she’d need to do is check out his various social media profiles, and of course Sam could sift thru all those responses he got from lonely & desperate ladies by spending an evening on Facebook himself. But the heart of the story still resonates, with both Hanks & Ryan at the peak of their impressive careers. Hanks may have won awards or been nominated for other performances (Philadelphia, Big, Forrest Gump, Apollo 13), but Sleepless in Seattle is undoubtedly one of his best. I saw the film while I was spending that summer taking some college classes (I figured I may as well be productive) and I’m pretty sure I even had a date, although I can’t remember her name.

 

 

I’m not exactly sure what to think or say about the whole Kim Davis thing. Davis, of course, is the Kentucky county clerk who recently spent some time in the clink after refusing to issue same sex marriage licenses. I have to tip my cap to Davis for her strong faith. Christians in various parts of the world have been persecuted for their beliefs for many many many years, and we know that persecution will only become worse and more widespread as we reach the end times. We also know that The Bible tells us that homosexuality is an abomination. However, I am confident in saying that 95% of Christians in Davis’ shoes would have either bit their tongue & issued the licenses, or just resigned from the job. I include myself in that vast majority. I understand Davis supporters who say that she absolutely did not break any laws. The “legality” of gay marriage is based on a Supreme Court ruling and NOT on any actual law passed by a legislative body. But let’s be honest…whether or not we agree with the technicalities, the fact is the Supreme Court has been overstepping its boundaries and making laws for decades, and legislators kdhave allowed it to happen because they are too cowardly to take a stand on controversial issues and jeopardize their chance for re-election. That particular Pandora’s Box is open and we’re not going to get the animals back in the barn anytime soon…if ever. So the question then becomes did Kim Davis do the right thing given the fact that gay marriage is a reality whether one agrees with it or not?? Should she have issued the licenses anyway, thereby tacitly betraying her faith & denying Christ?? Should she have resigned due to the fact that, for personal reasons, she is unable to fulfill all of the duties of her position?? I don’t have the answers to those questions. I do know one thing…she should not have been put in jail. That was an extreme overreaction and only served to feed into the concerns that Christians have about mounting oppression in America. Whatever compromise was worked out allowing her to remain employed while not personally issuing same sex marriage licenses but permitting others in the clerk’s office to do so is what should have happened in the first place. This should have never been a story. I also think that folks on both sides of the issue have acted badly. Why did presidential candidate Mike Huckabee need to get involved?? Why did there have to be a press conference/pep rally upon Davis’ release from prison?? Conversely, the ugliness of non-Christians/haters has been abhorrent. Comments about Davis’ looks and her multiple marriages are out of line. No one knows what is in Kim Davis’ heart except God. She is a sinner just like the rest of us, but if she has given her heart to The Lord then her sin is washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ. Perhaps she came to Christ after the tumultuous path of life led her down some dark roads, including a few failed marriages?? I don’t know and neither do you, so name calling & insults only serve to betray the inherent malice of the Godless liberal mentality. No one in this debacle comes out looking particularly noble. It seems that this is a battle that will rage on, as the “LGBT community” clearly wants more than “fairness & equality” and Christians have finally awakened to the fact that they need to stand their ground against those who openly hate God and His teachings. We’re going to have to find some kind of common ground or everybody is just going to destroy each other.

 

 

electronic-devices-vectorSometimes I feel like all I get done is unplugging, plugging in, & recharging various electronic devices…laptop, phone, CPAP machine, tablet, digital camera, electric shaver. I embrace technology even if I keep it at an arm’s length, but it strikes me how spoiled we’ve become by all of these “conveniences”. My mother has been gone for 15 years and I often ponder what she might think of all this cool yet oddly absurd stuff we can’t seem to live without these days.

 

 

oldhostsIt is amazing how late night TV has nosedived into mediocrity practically overnight. I checked out the first few episodes of Stephen Colbert’s version of The Late Show on CBS. Ehhhh…it’s alright. That’s pretty much how I feel about Seth Myers, James Corden, Jimmy Kimmel, & even the much celebrated Jimmy Fallon. None are appointment television for me. I may channel surf thru each show occasionally, but I am just as likely to turn off the television and either read a book for a bit or simply go to sleep. Are all of these guys that much newhostsless talented or interesting than Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Jay Leno, Tom Snyder, or my man Craig Ferguson?? I don’t know. Probably not…they’re just different. I’m different. I am beginning to understand the aging process. I’m not the same person at 42 as I was at 22 or even 32. I think differently. I am entertained by different things. It’s nobody’s fault. It’s just life.

 

 

Republican-Debates-Live-Stream1The second Republican debate will be airing on CNN this week and I urge anyone who cares about our country and isn’t a hardcore Democrat/socialist to tune in. I know it’s early in the process. I realize that a lot of people think they “don’t care about politics”. However, do you understand what a privilege it is to live in a country where we can all participate in the discussion and cast an equal vote?? My father has a saying: you may not get your way but you can have your say. Your candidate may not win. My candidate may not win. We may be uninspired by any candidate. But we all have an opportunity to voice an opinion. And if you are going to have an opinion shouldn’t it be an educated one?? The first debate was really interesting…maybe one of the most fun things I’ve seen on TV in months. I suspect the second debate will be just as fascinating. This is the future of our nation folks. For pete’s sake Modern Family and America’s Next Top Model can wait. DVR them if you must. Learn. Participate. Be informed. It’s important.

America: A Eulogy

Okay…I tried. I have been holding back…resisting the urge to pontificate on a confluence of recent events that a decade ago I wouldn’t have imagined possible. But I just can’t do it. I cannot remain silent.

 

hugLet me first say that my purpose is not to insult, demean, or degrade anyone. I come in peace. I approach my task with love. I respect the opinions & feelings of others, although it seems like nowadays that peace, love, & respect is a one way street. My father has always taught me to disagree without being disagreeable, a lofty goal that I far too often fail to achieve. However, thru that failure I have learned that arguments, contempt, & vulgarity do nothing except intensify the chasm, and really…aren’t we divided enough??

 

Today is Independence Day. The 239th birthday of the United States of America. Millions of people will be celebrating flagwith cookouts, concerts, fireworks, & various other frivolities. Many may have already began the festivities a couple of days ago. I plan on participating in some of those activities and will undoubtedly have a nice time. However, from a big picture perspective I do not consider it to be a happy birthday. As a matter of fact I believe that our nation went on life support on November 4, 2008 and the plug was finally pulled sometime in the past few weeks. Now I am no medical expert, but I do know that a person in a vegetative state can sometimes hold on for awhile after the machines are turned off, and I think that is where America stands at the moment. We’re still breathing, but the end is imminent. Depressing?? Obviously. Honest?? In my opinion…yes. Your mileage may vary and that’s okay. I’ve tried being an optimist but it doesn’t seem to suit me.

 

What would a medical professional say is the cause of death for America?? Probably something like “complications resulting from sin, political correctness, & apathy”.

 

constFrom the time of its founding America was referred to by many as The Great Experiment. Democracy. Freedom. Liberty. These were radical concepts in the beginning. No monarchy for us. Freedom of Speech. Freedom of Religion. The right to participate in the process by voting and, atleast theoretically, pointing our elected leaders in the direction we wanted the country to go. Oh sure there were some pretty significant bumps along the way. I don’t think you’d find anyone these days that believes slavery was ever a good idea. The fact that women couldn’t vote for the first century & a half of the nation’s existence seems silly now. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s & 60’s is an undeniable blight on our history simply because black folks should have never had to fight for equality & fairness in the first place. But I believe that one can be patriotic without being intellectually dishonest about these scars, and we should be able to acknowledge past mistakes without painting America with the broad brush strokes of hatred & disdain.

 

Unfortunately it seems the experiment has ended. The United States has somehow transitioned into an oligarchy gavelwherein a chosen few with money & influence make the rules while condescendingly patting the rest of us on our collective head and treating The Constitution as if it is was written with erasable ink. Free speech is only free if this ruling class deems it appropriate. Freedom of the press is laughable since the media has become nothing but a tool willingly used by the powers-that-be to propagate their agenda. Religious freedom has been completely redefined and may very well be eradicated soon enough. The right to keep & bear arms…written by the Founding Fathers to provide an avenue for the citizenry to protect themselves against lawbreakers of all kinds, including an overzealous & tyrannical government…is constantly under attack and will likely be eliminated in my lifetime. American exceptionalism has been portrayed as arrogance, with too many of our leaders seeking to bring this once great nation down to an equal level with other countries so they don’t hate us. The Godly principles that were undeniably a bedrock of our discovery as “The New World” and our fight for independence are now seen by many as offensive & obsolete. I suppose there are those that would call this progress, but nothing could be further from the truth.

 

iwoThe United States used to fight for big ideas. Now we bow down to the lowest common denominator. We used to go to war in defense of freedom & liberty. Now we file lawsuits and ban things from public view because a few overly sensitive types whine & complain. We used to be the tough guys on the block that everyone else looked up to and expected to lead the way. Now we are a nation of sheep who are afraid of upsetting anybody and fret over whether or not people like us. Our media has sold us out. Our politicians have sold us out. Our culture has been decimated. Our history has been bastardized.

 

fathersI often wonder what men like George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, & Abraham Lincoln would think if they could visit America in the 21st century. No one knows for sure, but allow me to offer an opinion. On one hand I believe they’d be fascinated by technology…television, The Internet, automobiles, computers, smartphones. Those guys were sharp cookies. Brilliant minds. They’d dig having so much information & knowledge readily available. But on the flipside I sincerely believe they’d be horrified & disappointed in how we’ve taken their life’s work, the nation that they fought so hard to make a reality, and damaged it by twisting or outright dukesignoring their words, spitting on the beliefs & values that guided them, reducing God’s influence in society, & becoming a weakminded, narcissistic, covetous population that blithely murders 3000 innocent babies every day but thinks The Dukes of Hazzard is evil.

 

I want…I need…you to know that it is hard for me to express these things. I love my country. There is nowhere else obama-logoI’ve ever wanted to live. I truly believe that it is those that oppose our traditions, our values, our history, our culture, our freedom, & our God that hate America. During Barack Obama’s initial presidential campaign he talked about “fundamentally transforming” the country. Now I know that supporters of Obama try to shine that up real pretty and make it sound like something good. However, when you study Obama’s history, his influences, & his education it becomes clear that those words weren’t used accidentally. He never wanted to tweak things, make minor changes, slightly adjust policy, or do a course correction. His goal was always to alter the United States on such a deep level that it would essentially become unrecognizable in comparison to what it was before. To that end he has been frighteningly successful. The transformation is so profound that I don’t think the damage can easily be undone no matter who we elect in 2016. I suppose it is possible that I am being slightly unfair to Obama, that this makeover would have happened even without his guidance…but I don’t think so.

 

pray2I don’t have many answers. I wish I did. I would prefer to be more hopeful, especially on this holiday, but I’m being honest. Your opinion may be different. You may think everything is just dandy. That is certainly your right. Unlike the vitriolic, smallminded keyboard warriors that like to vomit their hatred in the direction of myself & others who see thru the stupidity and understand what’s really going on I don’t seek to censor anyone. If that’s how entities like WalMart, NASCAR, & Warner Brothers choose to approach things then all I can do is spend my time & money elsewhere. That may be the silver lining in all of this. As more & more individuals, companies, & entertainment outlets cave to sin & political correctness it provides more time for me to focus on God and His purpose for my life. I truly believe that He is at work separating the wheat from the chaff. Which will you be??

Random Thoughts 8

More and more I see people who are either atheists or are embracing wacked out nonsense like kabbalah and scientology. This is coupled with an alarmingly casual acceptance of things like abortion and same sex marriage. Not that long ago this idiocy seemed to be mostly confined to Hollywood and New York City, the domain of the wealthy and/or eccentric. But it’s slowly seeping into “real” America. I know it’s prophesied in The Bible, but it’s still disturbing to actually see happen.

 

I finally caught the Speed Racer movie on HBO. It was okay. I had no qualms about the story or the cast. But much like 1997’s Batman & Robin (with Clooney as The Caped Crusader) Speed Racer is visually obnoxious.

 

Let’s be honest. We all know that Miss California USA Carrie Prejean lost her crown not because of any contractual wrongdoing but obviously due to her stance against same sex marriage.

 

“Hyena attack on girl spurs manicurist to build school” – well there’s a headline you don’t see every day.

 

I’m kind of tired of hearing about The OctoMom. Who cares??

 

There are two issues that are interesting in relation to David Letterman’s jokes about Sarah Palin’s “slutty flight attendant look” and her daughter getting “knocked up” by Alex Rodriguez during a Yankee game. First, it confirms something I’ve felt about Letterman for awhile now. Always known for his acerbic wit, Letterman, much like late comedian George Carlin during the last few years of his life, now too often crosses into bitter and mean-spirited territory. There’s a reason why Jay Leno got the best of Letterman in the ratings for so long, and it’s got nothing to do with the infamous Hugh Grant appearance on The Tonight Show. After all, that was 14 years ago. Leno’s dominance had much more to do with his easygoing, breezy, and fun loving style of comedy in comparison to Letterman’s increasing leftist vitriol. People have grown weary of Letterman’s act. Secondly, I didn’t mind the jokes so much as the fact that it’s not a suspicion…it’s not an assumption…it’s an absolute 100% rock solid certainty that if a conservative (Rush, Hannity, Glenn Beck, etc.) would have aimed similar humor at a liberal kid…..Chelsea Clinton, the Obama girls, the Gore babes…..they’d be publicly lynched and likely lose their jobs. The double standard is so obvious Helen Keller could sense it.

 

Ok…I’ll admit it…..I like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies.

 

Congratulations to the 20o9 Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins. I doubt if my appreciation of hockey will ever be on the same level as my love of football, baseball, basketball, or even Nascar. But I feel like I finally did become somewhat of a fan this season.