Archive for July, 2012

The Henson Company posted the following statement on its Facebook page on July 20.
The Jim Henson Company has celebrated and embraced diversity and inclusiveness for over fifty years and we have notified Chick-Fil-A that we do not wish to partner with them on any future endeavors. Lisa Henson, our CEO is personally a strong supporter of gay marriage and has directed us to donate the payment we received from Chick-Fil-A to GLAAD. (Boston.com)
“Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” (mayor) Menino told the Boston Herald on Thursday. “You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against the population. We’re an open city, we’re a city that’s at the forefront of inclusion. That’s the Freedom Trail. That’s where it all started right here. And we’re not going to have a company, Chick-fil-A or whatever the hell the name is, on our Freedom Trail.” (newsfeed.time.com)

Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-fil-A stated in an interview that, yes he opposed gay marriage. What he actually said was that he was FOR straight marriage.

Cathy, however, never spoke publicly about the company’s policies on the matter. Cathy finally went on record with the Baptist Press on July 16. When asked about Chick-fil-A’s support of the “traditional family” (referring, presumably, to one led by a married husband and wife), Cathy responded, “Well, guilty as charged…We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”(newsfeed.time.com)

He went on to state that the company applies biblical based principles to the way they do business, but that they do not discriminate.

Now, if someone has evidence that a Chick-fil-A has refused to serve someone because they were gay, or refused to hire someone because they were gay, or, after hiring someone treated them unfairly or fired them because of their sexual orientation, then discrimination can be charged. Until then, Chick-fil-A can, and, indeed has the right to be against gay marriage.  And the Muppets and the mayor of Boston have the right not to be associated with Chick-fil-A. As to whether the mayor has the right to ban them from opening a restaurant in Boston, that’s one for the courts.

In March 2006, Mohammed Reza Taheri-azar, an Iranian-American, intentionally, as he confessed, hit people with a sport utility vehicle on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to “avenge the deaths of Muslims worldwide” and to “punish” the United States government. While no one was killed in the attack, nine people were injured (none seriously). (Wikipedia)
When the above happened, did we ban cars? Or, al least ban big SUV’s? Of course not, the car wasn’t the problem.
A teen accused of breaking into his family’s Farmington Hills’ home and killing his father with a baseball bat has a court date Wednesday afternoon. The hearing will determine whether 19-year-old Tucker Cipriano and his friend, 20-year-old Mitchell Young, will face trial for the murder of 52-year-old Robert Cipriano.(CBS) When this happened, was there an outcry to ban baseball bats? No, the bat wasn’t at fault.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) – Prosecutors in New Jersey have released the names of three children and a teenager killed along with an adult in a fast-moving apartment fire in Newark. (USA Today) Did we attempt to ban matches or lighters? No, not the problem.
And the guns, and even the availability of the guns are not the problem here, either. The problem is the perpetrator.

Whether he is mentally ill or just evil, he is the problem, not the guns. Does anybody really think that a potential criminal thinks

“I would get a gun and kill someone, but having the gun is against the law, so I’d better not”?

Anyone bent on doing evil as this guy was, is going to do so. When we ask, as we always do, “How can we prevent this from happening again?” we are whistling past the graveyard. We can’t prevent evil crazies from doing evil crazy things. All we can do is deal with it and try to move on.
Gun control, or increasing gun control and making it harder for law abiding citizens to own guns will not fix the perceived “problem”. Three of the worst examples of mass shootings in recent times were in England, Germany and in Norway where there are MUCH more strict gun control laws that we have in the US.
I hate that this tragedy happened and my prayers go out to the injured and the loved ones of the ones that were killed, but more stringent gun control laws are not the answer. In fact, I would even venture to say that had the theater not been a “gun free” zone, and had some patrons been concealed carry permit holders, the carnage may have been much less.

Voter ID Cards

Posted: July 24, 2012 in Uncategorized

Try to rent a car or a motel room without an ID. Have you ever donated blood (I hope so, if not what’s your problem)? If so, you know you need an ID to do so. Buy more than one pack of certain cold medicine and you’ll have to show and ID and sign for the stuff.
Try to do anything in a bank that is not your usual local bank where everyone knows you and, of course, you will need an ID. Try to get on an airplane without an ID. Try to write a check anywhere without one. You need an ID to do either one. Do you know what else you need an ID for? To get into an event at which Eric Holder, the current attorney general, or Michelle Obama, the first lady are speaking. That’s right, these two who are inner circle Obama administration require ID to attend their events, but are against requiring ID to vote. They claim that it is discrimanatory, that it is oppressive and that it is only the “right wing”’s attempt to stop the poor and the minorities from voting.
I say BS! These so called poor, minorities that the “right wing” is trying to prevent from voting already have ID’s to be able to get signed up for the government assistance packages that they receive. Think about the people you come into contact with every day and which ones of these are “likely” voters. I will admit that there may be people out there who are so far off the grid that they don’t already have some type of ID card, but these people are NOT “likely” voters. This is a not too transparent attempt to get the illegals to vote because if they do vote they will vote overwhelmingly democratic. This is obvious to me and should be obvious to anyone who takes a minute to think about it.

Race

Posted: July 10, 2012 in political, sports

Race and politics

Neal Boortz said, before the election in 2008, that if Obama wins the election, any time anyone comes out in opposition to anything that he is trying to implement, they will be labeled a racist by the administration’s supporters, and even by the mainstream press. Boy was he ever right.
This is one of those things that really burn me up. My two grandsons are the same “race” as Obama, their mother is white, and their father is black. When I explain something to them, or correct them for behavior that is unacceptable, I am not being a racist, I am being a grandpa. And when I object to some of the policies of the current administration I am not being a racist, I am being an American.

Race, other than politics

A little over a week ago a friend posted the following to her facebook:

I never cease to be amazed at the abject crimes committed in the name of racism during the 1960s… and the decades preceding, but especially during the civil rights movements of the 60s. I’m glad we’ve moved beyond that. I’m glad that my daughter can date a black boy without worrying about having crosses burned in our front yard. I’m glad my son can hang out with his black friends without worrying about being beaten for his choices. Most importantly, though, I’m glad that today when a crime is committed, the majority of Americans of all races (excluding those rabble rousers Jackson and Sharpton and Limbaugh, of course) can go before a court of law and know that the wrongs done them will be redressed. Yes, there is still racism out there – but I think we’ve come a long, long way from the days when children were taught that it was not only acceptable but Christian to hate people for differences in appearance or opinion.

I agree with her observation that while,yes, there is still racism, we’ve come a long way. This reminded me of an article I had written a few years prior for a Bible study column that I did for a Christian motorcyclist newsletter that I edited, The Kickstart Chronicles. The column was called Keeping the Faith. Below you can find that column, I hope you enjoy it.

Keeping the Faith
by Michael Leffew

I am a “child of the 60’s”, the “peace and love” generation. We were going to be the generation to change the world and change it for the better. One of the things we were going to fix was racism. Racism and prejudice would have no place in our brave, new world.
I remember segregation. I remember “Whites Only” signs at public places. Even though the Supreme Court ruled in 1954 that segregation in schools was unconstitutional, it was 1964 before I had a class that was not all white. Anyone who remembers these things must admit that we have, indeed, come a long way from those times, but we’ve still got a way to go, and anyone who looks at it truthfully will have to admit that, also. Maybe my grandchildren’s generation will finally be the ones to put this behind them and go forth to that time when, as Dr. King put it, they can “live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” Let’s hope so.
OK, this is a Bible study column, so let’s see what the Bible has to say about this subject.
To start with, we are ALL (according to the Bible) descended from Adam and Eve (Gen 3:20), descended from Noah (He and his family were all that survived the flood Gen 8:23) and of “one blood” (Acts 17:26) so it follows that we are all related, hence all of the same “race”, the human race. What “race” was Adam? The Bible doesn’t say, but the Hebrew root word that is translated “Adam” is the same word that later is translated “Edom” and means “red”. Doesn’t sound like a “white” man does it? I hate to shake your beliefs but Jesus was probably not “white” either. Whatever color someone is, the Bible says there is only one race, so “racism” itself is a ridiculous idea.
Genesis 6:9 says that Noah was “perfect in his generations”. Some have used this to say he was “racially pure”. According to the story of the ark, Noah’s father Lamech and grandfather, Methuselah, were alive at the time Noah entered the ark. If “perfect in his generations” meant that he was racially pure, and this was the reason that he was spared when the rest of the “racially mixed” people were destroyed, please explain how his grandfather and father could be racially mixed and he be pure. Yet, they were destroyed in the flood along with the rest of creation. Methuselah died the day of the flood, but the point is this: if he (Noah) was “racially pure” and this “purity” was the reason for his being spared, why was Lamech not spared? And if he (Lamech) was not “pure” how could his offspring, Noah, be “pure”? So much for the “racial purity” bit, it doesn’t hold water, no pun intended.
What does the Word say about how we are to treat one another in regards to “race”? 1 Samuel 16:7 says God looks at the heart while man looks at the outward appearance. We should try to be more like God. There are many verses that have been used over the years to justify a position against “mixing races” that when examined will prove to be not about racial mixing at all, but about mixing believers and nonbelievers. Exodus 34:10-16 and Deuteronomy 7:1-6 both prohibit the Israelite’s mixing with the peoples that were in the land before them, but they are clearly for religious, not racial reasons. In the New Testament, 2 Corinthians 6:14 commands us not to be unequally yoked, but it refers to being yoked with unbelievers. Moses was one of the greatest heroes of the Bible, so important that at the transfiguration he appeared with Elijah and Jesus. Moses, according to the Bible, married a black woman. That’s right, she was an Ethiopian, an African. Another Ethiopian, this time the Ethiopian eunuch, was one of the first converts to Christianity when Phillip (Acts 8:26-40) baptized him on the road. Jesus’ parable about the good Samaritan is a study in how we are to act toward others (Luke 10:30-37). Jesus’ conversation with the woman at the well is his example of how to treat others, his disciples would not have even talked with this woman, she was, one, a woman and, two, a Samaritan, both of which, they felt, put her “below” them (John 4:9-42). They considered the Samaritans another “race”, they were “unclean”.
There are many more examples in the Bible concerning this topic, but the bottom line is we are all created in God’s image and to put someone down for how God created them is to insult God!
And, finally this, Galatians 3:28 says “There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

Vaya con Dios
Michael Leffew

Sports

Before I close, it’s the All-Star break in major league baseball, so let’s look at how my picks from the beginning of the season are holding out.

1. AL East, I picked the Yankees, and they are on top. I’ll admit I got a bit worried when they lost Mariano Rivera, but they are holding on to first.

2. AL Central, I picked Detroit. They are third, the ChiSox are on top, but Detroit is only 3 1/2 back and are coming together. Don’t count them out.

3. AL West, I picked the Angels. They are 2nd and are 4 games behind Cleveland. Four games is not that much and Albert Pujols, one of the reasons I picked them, had a bad start. They are not out of it by any means.

4. NL East. I picked the Phillies and boy did I miss that one. They are below .500 and are dead last in their division. They have had some injuries, true, but I never expected this. On the other hand, I did pick the Nationals to be “most improved” and they are in first. To be truthful, though, I did expect them to be better, but not to go to the top.

5. NL Central. I picked the Cards to hang on, even without Pujols. They are in 3rd, but are only 2 1/2 back. They still have plenty of time to move up.

6. NL West. I picked the SF Giants. They are currently in 2nd, only 1/2 game behind the leading Dodgers. I hope I miss this one and the Dodgers hold on, for Don Mattingly’s sake, he was one of my favorite players when he played and I can’t help but hope he is successful as a manager.

All in all, I would venture a guess that my picks, while some room for improvement exists, are probably better than a lot of professional sports writers.

Well that’s my two cents for today.

Vaya Con Dios