The Economics of Freedom and Happiness

I had the great privilege once to meet Harry Wu, a Chinese dissident who spent 19 years in a laogai, a “re-education camp.” Wu was eventually exiled to America. He worked nights in a doughnut shop until he could learn English and become the voice for freedom that he is today.
Something he said then still resonates with me. “A barefoot peasant can be happy if he is free.” Happiness and freedom go hand in hand. In “The Grand Inquisitor,” Fyodor Dostoevsky presents what at first seems like a different view. Continue reading “The Economics of Freedom and Happiness”

Freedom Nobody Can Take Away

“There you are, Ivan Denisovich, your soul is begging to pray. Why don’t you give it its freedom?” (161) 
In One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, author and Soviet dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn presents Ivan, a man yearning to be released from the Soviet gulag. Near the end of the one day the book depicts, Ivan has a conversation with Alyosha, a Christian whose joy defies the prison atmosphere.
In their exchange, Ivan acknowledges the existence of God but he’s seen corruption in the church. Alyosha replies, “It’s because their faith is unstable that they’re not in prison.” Only those with steadfast faith go to jail. Only the faithful pay a price. Continue reading “Freedom Nobody Can Take Away”

Forests, Valleys, Mountains, Rain, and Sunshine

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful, Colossians 3: 15.
Twenty years ago today, I married my best friend. Only then we weren’t quite best friends yet.
God had brought us both through nasty forests before we could be together. But once we married, life was not all sunshine. There were mountains to climb and valleys to endure. Sometimes life rained trials. Continue reading “Forests, Valleys, Mountains, Rain, and Sunshine”

Carrying Treasures into the Light

In 1894, a new play opened in on the London stage. Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest addressed social concerns, gender, wealth, and status issues.
The story centers around a character with a questionable beginning. Jack Worthing doesn’t know who his biological parents are. Until he does, he cannot marry the girl of his dreams. His shady secret?
He was found in a train station–having been abandoned. Jack Worthing finally finds his mother–and his worth. Today, social status and parentage aren’t as closely connected as they were for Jack or Oscar Wilde. But the world today is finding no shortage of abandoned children.
In 1993, a federal study said 22,000 US mothers abandoned their infants in hospitals every year. Today, the nation isn’t even keeping track of the numbers. Continue reading “Carrying Treasures into the Light”

"Be Fools for Christ."

“God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools … and he has not been disappointed. … If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.” Justice Antonin Scalia (Speech at Living the Catholic Faith conference, 2012.) via The Daily Signal
The death of Justice Antonin Scalia is an enormous loss for America. May his legacy be that we heed his words and let our wisdom be regarded as stupidity.

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the entities I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Doritos Affirms Unborn Humanity! NARAL Outraged!

“#NotBuyingIt – that @Doritos ad using #antichoice tactic of humanizing fetuses & sexist tropes of dads as clueless & moms as uptight. #SB50.”
NEWSFLASH! It was a child in the womb! An actual human child!
Oh the horror! And the injustice!
NARAL–the National Abortion Rights Action League (pre-1973, the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws) watched Sunday evening’s Super Bowl with a sharp eye. They were on the lookout for sexist messages. Unwitting Americans enjoying the game and some wings just might also ingest some damaging messages.
So the thought police at NARAL were trying to protect us. They were looking out for all of us. Well, not all. Continue reading “Doritos Affirms Unborn Humanity! NARAL Outraged!”

PepsiCo, Doritos, and Unborn Children

In preparation for my planned blog post today–commentary on the Doritos Super Bowl ad that I will now post later this week–I tweeted, “Buy Doritos. Buy lots and lots of Doritos.”
The response was swift from a fellow Tweeter: “No. Not as long as they consider children to be flavor enhancers.”
We went back and forth a few times exchanging links that allege or deny that PepsiCo produces Soylent Green, food made of humans. I decided that I needed to do more research. Continue reading “PepsiCo, Doritos, and Unborn Children”

Brave New World Born of Genetically Modified Babies

“I think you get into a situation of where some people are genetically enhanced and other people are the regular old variety of human being. And I don’t think that’s a world we want to live in,” Marcy Darnovsky (Rob Stein).
In the 1997 movie Gattaca, there are two classes of people. Those whose genes science has perfected and those who came into the world the old fashioned way. Of course, the genetically designed are the ruling upper class. The outdated, genetically flawed folks are fit only for sweeping up after the perfect.
But in sci-fi as in real life, there are no guarantees of perfection. That’s what Jerome Morrow, who has perfect genes, learns when he is paralyzed. Morrow had attempted suicide after failing, in his own perspective, to measure up. Continue reading “Brave New World Born of Genetically Modified Babies”

Flying on Splinted Wings

Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31. 
Flying was the “forgotten dream” of a bird with a broken wing.
As he was walking one day, my grandson saw a bird that couldn’t fly. He wrote the incident in verse. The wounded creature could see other birds aloft but could not join them in the “fields of blue and white.”
People are supposed to fly. I don’t mean in the theoretical sense of the old saying that if God had intended our flight, He would have given us wings.
He did give us wings–wings of heart and soul. Sometimes, life crushes those wings. Crushed spirits can only watch others fly. Pornography is a monster that crushes the spirits of men, women, and children.
But America is double minded about pornography. Here is an example: Continue reading “Flying on Splinted Wings”