Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Closet Bigot

I suppose that if you read my last post, you might believe me to be highly bigoted, and for good reason. I have a set of standards to which subscribe as the absolute standards. Never will I say that I'm perfect, I admit that I fall short in many ways; and if you don't believe that, check with my wife, kids, and employers. Somebody will rat me out.
Though not perfect, I don't make any attempt to redefine right and wrong. Also, I don't hate those with whom I disagree---though disagree I must.
Over the years I've rubbed shoulders with many men and women who are homosexuals. Generally, they are great folks. I've taught classes with them, worked law enforcement cases with them, and they've taught my children in school. I've also had friends who have had (or their girlfriends have had) abortions. Once again, they're generally nice people and I have no fear of them. But they delude themselves.
I certainly don't hate any of them, but will never alter my statement of what is absolutely right or wrong, just because they don't happen to agree with me.

Rite an rong

OK, so the title is spelled wrong. I know that, but that's the point. In school I had teachers who corrected things--or made me correct them, and I learned. Imagine the nerve of history teachers making students correct spelling, punctuation and grammer! Admittedly, I still make errors--in fact probably a lot of them, but the glaring ones stand out like sore thumbs. When something has to be perfect, I have my wife read it to be sure it says what I think it does, and if questions of structure arise either consult a style manual, or send it to my son, a professional embarassing is that.
Somewhere along the line, bad English became accepted, not just in text messaging and emails, but in proper print. I've seen glaring errors in syndicated news articles, so the problem goes all the way to the top.
So, what's the point? The point is that there are abolute rights, and absolute wrongs; not just matters of custom, opinion and preference. I'm still offended by men and boys who don't take off their hats during the National Anthem, but that's custom. It also bothers me when men treat their wives or girlfriends like one of the guys all the time, but that's a matter of preference for them and the choice to accept it for their gals. However, just like reading a professionally written advertisement saying "try and find...," some things are still wrong.
Calling abortion "choice" comes to mind quickly; culling the elderly and infirm in the name of "death with dignity" probably is worse yet. Calling homosexuality an "alternative lifestyle" follows right along behind, along with such things as "trans-gender" or other soft-sell approaches to saying WRONG.
Why are these thing wrong? Because the Bible is an absolute standard; there is no wiggle room or renegotiation on some things. That's why. It's not my opinion, not my preference; it's God's own Word!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Simple pleasures, capturing ideas

We went out for a ride today. The sun was out, the sky was blue and it just seemed like a good idea. During the ride, I had lots of great thoughts that now are forgotten, but a few still remain.

We had a bite to eat at a country store that has just changed hands. It had been run by a woman who was an employee of the operator, and though she had some great ideas, the owner squelched her creativity. Another local guy picked it up and has taken off with a roar. I stop for coffee and a bite to eat there as often as convenient while I'm working and, though it's a bit out of the way for us, our ride started out more than anything else as a lunch date.

Maybe part of the reason I make a point of patronizing the place is that I have a soft spot in my heart for small, family owned businesses. My dad raised us while self-employed, and I admire anyone with the umption to follow his, or her, heart. Hopefully, this guy will make a go of it.
Another reason I'll likely go out of my way to patronize him is that only a year or so ago, my wife and I thought we'd be helping our son and daughter in law in a similar venture; so it's fun to watch this family and speculate what it would have been like.

Though I'm happy for this fellow and his family, it was somewhat sad to see the former operator close up shop. Not that the operator was a great loss, but the woman she had running the place was classy and had ideas that could have made the place take off. It's a shame that the operator didn't listen to the advice of the person who knew the business best.....probably a good lesson in there somewhere.

Our ride took us through four counties, not counting our own, and the scenery--complete with freshly fallen and blown snow--was pretty good. But we never think to have the camera ready! I had just stopped to shed my jacket and gotten moving again, when we saw a large hawk--or was it vulture--or even an eagle? I dug out the camera and Peggy Picture got a couple shots of it, but only after it had moved twice and was not giving us a very good view.
When we got home, we dug out the Peterson's Field Guide and powered up the computer. Though my first guess was a Golden Eagle, it turned out to be a rough legged hawk--but a big one. It was fun working through what we saw--and what we remembered--to figure out what it had been.

Now we're back home, making a pot of soup and wondering what the weather will bring us tomorrow.... Seems like the more hype the weather folks put into a forecast, the less unpleasant weather we get!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

More righteous than I

We sat and watched a movie last night, not something I have the patience for often. It was the story of Ruth, as done by Sight and Sound in Lancaster, PA. I can read the entire book of the Bible by that name in only minutes, but the movie took a bit over two hours, and was worth the time. In the dialogue, the phrase "more righteous than I" appeared once or twice and for some reason struck a chord in me.
This afternoon, that chord started strumming again, and I took some time to think through why, at least superficially. I guess that there have been some times I've had to say that, or should have said it, anyway, and was humbled by the thought that I was less righteous than someone else. Humility in such a case is not a bad thing, I guess, and I'll take my lumps and be humbled when appropriate--at least I hope so.
The other half of the thought was when I got to thinking of times I was more righteous than someone in a particular situation. Though I can think of times that I was right--an annoying habit of mine--I'm not so sure that I can say there have been that many times I've been more righteous than others. That, too, is humbling.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The New Big Brother

George Orwell wrote his book, 1984, and had people worried about weather or not some almighty government would someday be able to figure out exactly what each member of society would be doing each moment. Today, we hardly need any government to do that, we're tossing that information out for all to see.
How? you ask. It's called Face Book. It's called My Space. There are probably others. I have resisted the urge to get involved in it, though I enjoy being social, keeping up with friends, and making new ones. Something about them bothers me, and if not using one keeps me in the dark ages, so be it. I'll stay there. My cell phone and email keep me in touch enough.
In the last couple weeks I've investigated two incidents wherein the stalking of young women was assisted by one of the networking sites. Both the girls were totally unaware of how easy it was to be located and identified by involvement with the sites. Both put themselves in danger by using them.
Big Brother doesn't have to go looking, we're playing our lives out right in front of him.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Stimulus or anchor?

I'm still not sure if I like the whole idea of mortgaging our grandchildrens' future to bail out a troubled economy now. Just not sure it makes sense to double our deficit. Even if it's the right thing to do, the overload and government growth built into what has been working its way through Congress, and sure to be signed as soon as it's printed, is legend. There's more garbage built into it than I want believe, but it's public information and it's there.
There's also other things worked into it, things not even related to spending, but restricting religious activity on campuses which receive federal money...and how does that relate to stimulating the economy?

Cheers for a democrat??

My hat's off to NY's new senator, Kirsten Gilibrand. She stood up for what she thought was right when discussing gun violence. Apparently, some folks walked out. I hope she stands up to the current establishment in this continuing battle. Maybe conscience will prevail in this young lady and she'll realize that her beliefs and those of her party are at odds.
She won't be the first to have a change of heart as to political attachments. The "Great Communicator," Ronald Reagan was at one time a Democrat until he realized that their party line was no longer what he believed. He became the icon of the Republican party, bringing it to what is arguably the highest point of success in its recent history.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

irresponibile advertising

I don't like our state's lottery anyway; it being, as a friend puts it "a voluntary tax on people who are bad at math," but it has gone to new lows with some of its recent ads.

The ones I speak about have a young man in a business pointing out a woman in the company he's working for who lost all the company pension fund. But it's OK he says, because he's banking on one of the new instant games the state puts out, and he's going to win big and be set for the rest of his life.

It's bad enough on its face, but particularly troubling in these times. I just caught a news blurb the other day that desperation gambling will increase in this economy. Should the state be feeding the problems?