The Menacing Scowl of Our Politics

It was a candidates’ night, and I was an observer. Not a completely unbiased one–but one willing to look objectively and offer–observations.
On one side sat two candidates vying for the nomination to a legislative seat. She brought a wealth of knowledge about farms and schools. He brought insight about business and law. They both had good ideas. She conveyed hers well. He delivered his in a Kennedyesque style with accompanying vigor.
I didn’t see them shake hands at the end–but I’d be surprised to hear they didn’t.
On the other side of the platform sat two others–vying for the nomination to a different legislative seat. He brought experience as a lawyer. She’d been a nurse before being elected to a lower legislative office a few years ago.
There was a tension between them not apparent on the other side of the room. Continue reading “The Menacing Scowl of Our Politics”

To Celebrate the Day, the Life, the Moms

It started with the ancients honoring mothers. Ancient cultures did not regard women as equal citizens. But lauding Mother has rung throughout the ages.
America’s celebration of mothers began on a dark note more than a century ago. It was a day for mothers to mourn sons lost in World War One and work toward peace. As wars came and went, the day became a time to honor all mothers. It became a happy day.
The day’s original crafters would want you to know that it’s not Mothers’ Day–in celebration of all mothers. It’s Mother’s Day–when you’re supposed to visit and thank your own.
Some still hold the babes, wipe the noses, and change the diapers. Others joust with school-borne illnesses, sibling rivalries, and picking up Legos after stepping on one in bare feet. It’s the little ones that hurt the most. Continue reading “To Celebrate the Day, the Life, the Moms”

Porn as a Drug to Conceal Truth

“This is your last chance. After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.
“Remember, all I’m offering is the truth, nothing more.” The Matrix, 1999
Morpheus offers Neo the truth. It’s a key scene in the movie, a crucial moment. Do we want to know the truth–or would we rather just go on believing “whatever you want to believe”?
Recent, secular recognition that pornography is bad for us is evidence that some Americans see the truth about the harm porn causes. But does that mean we will act on this truth–or will we choose to look away?
The Kansas City Royals are trying to discourage porn usage among the team members. A recent seminar for players featured speakers from a “non-religious” organization called “Fight the New Drug,” a group that invites participants to make an “informed decision regarding pornography by raising awareness of its harmful effects using only science, facts, and personal accounts.” Continue reading “Porn as a Drug to Conceal Truth”

Finding Community: Finding Ourselves

“[T]here were times, . . . mainly during the . . . harvest, when we would all be together. The men would go early to have the benefit of the cool of the morning. The women would finish their housework and then gather, sometimes bringing dishes already cooked, to lay on a big feed at dinnertime; and then after the dishes were done, they would go out to help in the field or the barn for the rest of the day. . . . This was our membership.” (Hannah Coulter 92)
Through most of America’s history, people grew up in small towns. They knew each other and helped each other. Most people were part of a community.
Modern people have accused these forebears of sexual division, relegating women to the kitchen. But women worked in the fields too. Men and women grew food and other crops. Often the division of labor meant he worked harder than she did growing the food. And she worked harder than he did to bring to put it on the table. Children grew up learning a good measure of hard work. Continue reading “Finding Community: Finding Ourselves”

A Long Awaited Day

As many wonderful things do, it started with a lemon meringue pie.
It was November 1, 2017. I was sitting in our local Perkins (where one finds great pies) with a few grandsons, our exchange student, and my husband. We were marking what would have been my father’s 101st birthday. His birthday “cake” was always a lemon pie.
My phone rang, and I saw that my son was calling. I expected him to tell me he was coming–or not coming and I should save him a piece of the pie. Instead, he said this: Continue reading “A Long Awaited Day”

HEADlines Update: Alfie Evans Dies

This year once again, I taught William Pitt the Younger’s speech urging the British Parliament to immediately end the horrific slave trade.
Having been the youngest British Prime Minister ever at age 23, Pitt delivered this speech as a seasoned statesman. He’d long been part of an effort–along with William Wilberforce to end slavery, child labor, animal abuse, and abortion.
Wilberforce is the one best remembered for his unflinching efforts to stop the slave trade. Little mention is made today of the other successes these Christian men made–particularly about abortion. Continue reading “HEADlines Update: Alfie Evans Dies”

What Makes a Worthy Life and Who Gets to Decide?

Alfie Evans is a 23-month-old child who has the misfortune of living in the United Kingdom where the government “provides” health care for its citizens.
But only for the citizens it deems worthy of life. And it does not deem Alfie Evans worthy of life.
He’s in a “semi-vegetative state,” they say. A vegetative state means a patient shows ” no evidence of awareness of self or environment and cannot interact with other people.” Therefore, a “semi-vegetative state” would indicate the child is sometimes aware or sometimes can interact.
Alfie suffers from “a degenerative neurological condition that has never been definitively diagnosed by medical specialists.” Continue reading “What Makes a Worthy Life and Who Gets to Decide?”

California Seeks a New Way to Burn Books

“There is more than one way to burn a book. And the world is full of people running about with lit matches.” Ray Bradbury
My book–Restoring the Shattered–may be banned in California before it hits bookstores in January. A situation, which–if the courts uphold it–may spread to other states.
The California General Assembly has passed a bill (it now goes to the Senate) that would ban the sale of texts that promote the idea that a valid marriage is one that includes one man and one woman only.
That would also mean the bill would ban the sale of the Bible.
Furthermore, under the provisions of the bill, there is no allowance for disagreement about a condition called gender dysphoria–confusion over one’s sexual identity–also known as transgenderism. There will only be one legal way to consider that issue–the way that insists people can choose their own gender and everyone else must agree. This law would mandate affirmation rather than assistance to alleviate the confusion. Continue reading “California Seeks a New Way to Burn Books”