Tag Archives: News

Is Martin Luther King, Jr. Rolling Over in His Grave?

The election has come and gone and Barack Obama is President-Elect of the great United States of America.  Many are cheering not only here but all over the world at the elevation of this man to the post of the most powerful and influential person in the world.  It is a great achievement, no doubt about it.  He ran a stunning campaign that dwarfed any we’ve seen at least in my lifetime of voting.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream that all people would be treated equally, not based on their color but on their character.  In fact, he said in his “I Have a Dream” speech, perhaps one of the greatest speeches ever, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

I know that Civil Rights leaders and defenders of freedom and equality all over the world are joyful today about Obama’s victory and the fact that Americans seemed to have progressed beyond racism to elect a black man to the Presidency.  But I wonder if Martin Luther King, Jr. would be turning over in his grave, if he could.  King dreamt of a time when his children would be seen, not for their color, but for their character. 

What’s been striking about this election is the perception among many that anytime character issues come up with Obama, they are pushed aside, not investigated, claimed as racist and relegated to the back burner.  For many, Obama received a vote based on the color of his skin and not the content of his character.  Surely, there are many who voted for Obama because of their ideological beliefs and that is what should be done and that is Democratic and should be respected.

But when 93% of African Americans (reported exit polling data from North Carolina) vote for Obama and many others vote for him (including high ranking politicians) on the basis of his skin color, doesn’t that fly in the face of that for which King stood for and gave his life?  Would King not be shouting from the grave, “You still haven’t gotten it!  It’s equality based on our rights as humans and the magnitude of our character that counts, not the tone of our skin!” 

When I voted for Alan Keyes in the Presidential primary several years ago, I did so not because he is black, but for the content of his character.  Sad, how there was never enthusiasm for him and there was never any major celebration of the achievement of a black man running for President just a few years ago.  But then again, it was not about color but character.

Congratulations to Barack Obama for his victory.  He inherits a big mess and a lot of problems.  He has given many people hope and that should be commended.  Our country continues to be divided and seems to have lost its moral compass.  Let’s hope from here on out, judgments, opinions and commentary will be made based on the character and man that one is and one becomes, not on the shade of skin color.

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America at a Crossroads

On Tuesday, November 4, 2008, we’ll go to the polls here in the great USA.  Perhaps more than anyime in the last 50 years, America is smack dab in the middle of an intersection.  Will we turn to the right or turn to the left?  I think America is at a crossroads and the outcome of this election will set the stage for life in America for possibly the next 20 years or more.  Not only do we face to stark constrasts for President, the stage is set for a possible Democratic super majority.

The Republicans have had an opportunity and wasted it.  They’ve wasted their opportunity, not to advance Republican ideals, but to make a real and lasting positive difference in America and the world.  Now, the Democrats are giddy about controlling all of the government.  Without taking political sides, what we face is the prospect of one ideological party effectively making the decisions for life in America for years to come.  The issues that the new Congress and President will govern include taxes, immigration, abortion, gay rights, international relations, terrorism, not to mention the probable Presidential appointment of at least one Judge to the Supreme Court.  These are big issues.

Is life about to change in America?  One way or another, it has to, for the good of our country and for the good of the world.  For too long we’ve basked in the sunlight of our riches, which has only been an illusion based on credit and debt.  We have to stop bowing to what’s within us that demands more, bigger and better.  We’ve selfishly taken advantage of the blessings of wealth, however contrived they’ve been.  We’ve taken advantage of our world and have been poor stewards of the world in general, whether it be our international relations or the abundant but strikingly decreasing natural resources. 

Somewhere down the line, we’ve seemed to piece-by-piece, throw out the window that which made us the greatest country in the world.  We are becoming mediocre in many ways.  We are not first in many things.  We are not first in the world in education, in safety, in financial stability and, in the world’s largest and possibly most advanced health care system, we are not first in the health of our citizens.

America, though, in my opinion, is still the greatest country in the world when all of its parts are added.  The sum of our parts is great.  But America has to be a respected leader again.  I think the world is looking to America as a leader and I hope that each of us has the intestinal fortitude and the wisdom to actually use our noggins, think hard, analyze the possibilities and pray diligently.  America is at a crossroads and her future depends as much on each of us as it does on whoever will lead us for the next few years to come.

The Fat Lady is Singing

She’s on the stage and she’s on the last chorus.  The fat lady is singing and we’re heading down the Obama crevasse.  I admit I’m voting for McCain though I’m not real fond of him.  But if he could just halfway be charismatic and put a few sentences together without mumbling or stumbling so much, he’d have a great shot at winning this election.  If he were Ronald Reagan, this election would be over.  Shoot, I think Ross Perot, Mitt Romney or even Mike Huckabee could have torn Obama apart.  But McCain?  He’s pushing the fat lady out on stage, giving her a mike and turning up the volume.  Here’s five areas of discussion that McCain could have targeted this summer and hammered away at for the last two months, showing point by point how he’s different and how he would change thing.  The result?  Well, I’m sure his poll numbers would be better for one.  He is losing by at least five percentage points and as high as fifteen in nearly every poll.  The electoral college is painted blue and it’s looking like it’s all over except the victory speech.  Those five areas?  Here they are:

1.  Socialist tendencies

2.  Governmental control and programs

3.  Increased taxes on businesses

4.  Lack of respect for the unborn

5.  Potential abandonment of Israel

And one to grow on … his link and support of specific Democrats who are co-guilty with Republicans in the whole economic crisis we’re experiencing.

Fireproof – The Movie

This weekend my wife and I had the opportunity to go see Fireproof, the latest movie from the makers of Facing the Giants.  Facing the Giants did well when it came out but Fireproof has already beaten it.  In fact, Fireproof made an estimated $4 million this weekend and over $12 million since its release two weeks ago, despite showing on only 852 screens, roughly 1/3 to 1/4 of other big Hollywood movies.

Set in Albany, Georgia, Fireproof tells the story of a young married couple whose marriage is more than on the rocks and the struggle of Caleb, at the encouragment of his father, to win back the heart of his wife Catherine who wants out.  The writers manage to faithfully paint the picture of what’s surely happening in homes all across America since half of all marriages end in divorce.  Who can watch the film and not find something that reminds them of themselves, their friends or their family?  The intensity is there, the sadness is there, the hope is there, the fighting is there and the love and romance are there. 

While Facing the Giants is a great movie with a great message, the acting was notably mediocre.  But Fireproof blows past mediocrity this time with very good acting by most of the characters, especially the two leading actors, Kirk Cameron and Erin Bethea.  Both played their parts well and, like any good movie, brought to the big screen what many live in the common life out here in real America.  There aren’t any lotteries won (well, not million-dollar lotteries though you’d might say both won in the lottery of relationships). There are no prince and princess fairytales and everyone is just like us.  I see all of these people everyday, right here in Mississippi.  And that’s part of what makes this film special.  There’s no “Pretty Woman” storyline though I’d say Erin Bethea is much prettier than Julia Roberts.  There’s no elitism.  These are regular people.  It’s the story of real people, struggling in life and relationships.  And it’s the story of facing head-on all the faults that make us so human, but working hard to overcome them.

While some would argue that this film is made by an Evangelical Church in Georgia and that it talks about Christianity, I’d say it’s worth it, even to the atheist, to see this film and there’d be few Christians that would argue that you don’t need God in your marriage.  Despite the religious arguments and complaints that are out there, the film can still be enjoyed and appreciated as well as challenging to any person from any worldview.  I’d especially encourage giving it a shot for any of you out there whose marriages are on the rocks.

Fireproof is proof that a low-budget movie ($500,000) can be made that is satisfying to watch and challenging at the same time, all the while avoiding the sex and promiscuity and foul language that pervades most films out of Hollywood.

Watch the trailer below.

This Week’s Hall of Shame Award Goes To:

Congress, the President, Wall Street and the American People

For the last two weeks and really several months, the economy has dominated the discussion in America and around the world.  Specifically, the last two weeks, all eyes have been on Washington, D.C. about the $700 billion proposed bailout which has lots of people screaming and casting blame.  Republicans are blaming Democrats and Democrats are blaming Republicans.  Everyone’s blaming Wall Street and some are blaming Main Street.

The more I think about it, I say all of us are to blame. 

Republicans and Democrats on the Hill are to blame.  Both have enacted partison legislation at different times that has enabled this mess and the opposing party did not  intervene to do what was right, morally, ethically or just plain common-sense-right. The President is to blame for not saying, warning or doing anything, much less not keeping his eye on the situation.  Wall Street is to blame for participating in and allowing corporate greed, all in the name of increased profits. 

All those people “buying” what they couldn’t afford should also know better, despite what a money grubbing bank might otherwise indicate.  And the rest of us who pay all their bills and don’t live beyond our means are to blame.  I’ve been saying for 10 years, “How in the world do people afford bigger homes, nicer clothes and designer clothes when I know they make half of what I do?”  Yet I, and I suspect the vast majority, did not do anything about, did not speak up, did not write our congressmen, did not vote out no-good politicians though we suspected something was up.

I’d say nearly all of us have been sucked in one way or the other.  Now I know that there are many people who live on practically nothing and they would hold the least amount of blame, though I’d question who they voted for.  But unless they’ve lived within their means, living by the “I deserve just a little bit more, a little bit better” attitude has been a big part of the problem.  Upsizing, supersizing, going bigger because those materialistic things continued to shine like fool’s gold has only made us poorer. 

So  I say, shame on all of us.  (For any of you who don’t fit any of the categories above and have done things right, I’ll hold you innocent.)  But, now let’s get together and do what American’s have always done well and tackle this problem and be better for it.