Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Merry Christmas Daily Press

My discourse to the Daily Press opinion's written on this joyous day of Christmas. May you learn something today, find joy in your hearts and give thanks for family.  


As I do every day, we make the coffee, hope the paper is on time and awaiting my barefoot scamper across an aggregate driveway. The scamper reminds me I should have put on shoes for the millionth time. In this moment of darkness, as I reach for my paper, I look up. The winter stars are shining, the sun nowhere to be found, all is quiet on the western front. It is here I stop every day and look up. I look up and I thank God for everything he has given me. 

Have you ever stopped and watched a crowd of people? Watched intently, selected individuals and then regress to the understanding of the crowd? For me, I do not see people, I see individual realities. Every person in the crowd lives their own reality. There are times to stop and offer assistance to realities and, understanding. There is also a time to stop and fight realities lived by those who mean to do us harm, change our realities or harm our nation. 

Today we remember Jesus the Christ. My church reality has become neutral over the years like Digby’s. I ponder the need for humans to have to believe in miracles to believe in Jesus the Christ. The Bible is riddled with stories of nonbelievers until Jesus performs a miracle. I think my faith has grown, has found a different reality, a lonely reality. I do not need Jesus to perform miracles for me to believe. I do not need Jesus to die on a cross and rise three days later for me to believe. I believe because I know, it is the right thing to do to help humanity.  I am reminded of a small book Thomas Jefferson wrote, I have a copy but for the sake of having to leave my coffee, I will not retrieve for the proper title. Google this and find “The morals of Jesus Christ.” This book is a book that every reality should own and read. It is this book if lived by, will bring you happiness. Or shall I say, brings my happiness to bear. 

I think about  Barabbas and another book I read “The Zealot.” While our bible leads us to believe he was a robber, factual history tells us he was a freedom fighter captured. This freedom fighter resisted the Roman rule in Jerusalem. This is why he was set free by the crowds and not this rabble-rouser Jesus the Christ. Jesus to was a fighter, prone to acts of demeaning others, and violence in the temple, throwing over the money changers tables in the temple (John 3:15). Luke 22:35-36 Jesus called for his follower to buy a sword. Luke 12:51 Not peace, but a sword. Because of him, a son will turn against father, the daughter against mother, and a daughter-in-law against mother-in-law. Even a person’s enemy will be a member of one’s own household (Matt. 10:34-36.) Like John the Baptist, Jesus the Christ was a freedom fighter, a rabble-rouser, a zealot, and a thorn in the side of the Jewish Priest he saw as collaborating with the Romans. He saw the taxing of the poor and requiring animal sacrifice in the temple as a means to find favor in the eyes of God. You see the money changers were there to sell animals to be sacrificed and we can all guess who kept the money or do I have to spell it out for you?

What amazes me most is the people's lack of understanding Jesus. There are two Jesus’s if you will, Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus the Christ. Each has a story to tell, a beautiful story of love, forgiveness, anger, violence, and war. Today’s Daily Press offers only one side, much like our Pastors found in everyday church USA. They are preaching a dogma that benefits them and justifies their own realities while trying to change my reality by using shame. 

I urge each person to read Thomas Jefferson's book. I would also urge each person who reads this to understand, there is a time to fight and a time for forgiveness and love. This is what Jesus teaches.  


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Medical science and morals, the Left will not tolerate

Abortion: Medical science and morals, the left will not tolerate.

I think Liberals will say the mother carrying the child owns the unborn child and therefore may do with this unborn child as they see fit. Kill her, bear him, give the child up for adoption.

Conservatives might say, The moment of conception is the birth of a child and therefore the child should be protected. 

Charles Krauthammer, a brilliant man, in my opinion, offers us this. “There is not the slightest recognition on either side that abortion might be at the limits of our empirical and moral knowledge. The problem starts with an awesome mystery: the transformation of two soulless cells into a living human being. That leads to an insoluble empirical question: How and exactly when does that occur? On that, in turn, hangs the moral issue: What are the claims of the entity undergoing that transformation?” How can we expect such a question to yield answers that are not tentative and indeterminate? So difficult a moral question should command humility or at least a little old-fashioned tolerance, I think." 

Liberals either do not agree with the medical interpretation of Charles Krauthammer or will not use science in determining when two soulless cells become a child. In other words, it is here that liberals (some liberals) cast aside science. It is here where the hypocrisy of the left begins. It is here where liberals will simply tout only the science they agree with. Example: Liberals tout climate change science as factual. Yet when it comes to the unborn child, in the 10–12 week period of pregnancy, the liberal will disregard the functioning brain of a child and the rights of a child, afforded to the child life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. 

My interpretation: Abortion: At 10–12 weeks the unborn child has by medical standards, a functioning brain. If a child, a person, has a functioning brain then the questions become who owns this person? If the mother has made the mistake of not keeping her legs crossed, do I blame the child? I do not have a problem with abortion before the functioning brain has developed and in cases of severe defects or harm to the mother. My best research finds the 10– 12-week window to be the time if, we have to establish time, as a reason to make a decision. I think Walter Williams said it best. I am paraphrasing here but, will use quotation marks to make sure my social hero is documented. Take a moment to ponder the following and please stop and answer the next question before you read on. Do you believe you own yourself? 

“If you believe you own yourself, then what others try to take from you, without your permission, is a form of slavery” Is the unborn child a slave to the mother? If abortion is ok then yes, a child with a functioning brain is a slave to the mother. Here we see Liberals, in this case, promoting slavery. A child, a slave to the mother, the mother with every right to kill the unborn child. I am reminded of the rights of the southern slave owner. They had the right to kill slaves with functioning brains 230 years ago. 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Follower

The Follower: Chapter one

From time to time, I tire of politics and current events. I have tired of puppets and have begun to ignore them. As dangerous as they are, I have to let go for now and try something new. I plan to write about my life. Throughout this year, I plan to write a few chapters and continue this story.  

1961-Morristown Tennessee is home. Born and raised until we left for Thomasville NC. I don't remember a lot and I suppose that is normal. I grew up in Thomasville NC. My father on his 4 or 5th job now, has gone to work for Thomasville Furniture. We rented a small home on Elliott Street.  Doak Park was nearby, Doak Park was a city park with basketball, swings, tennis, and baseball. How I loved baseball growing up and, with other children in the neighborhood who became friends made growing up a little easier. A great time to be a kid I think but, also a hard time to be a kid. I want to save those stories for the next chapter. My father had finally found a job he could hold on to. It's 1966 and after 2-3 years of renting my parents bought their first house, 400 Spring Street. This home was in really bad shape and needed tons of work. My Mom and Dad did a lot of the work that they could and, created a beautiful home for the next 10 years. 

 Three gentlemen came to our front door. Dressed in business suits I remember, my father greets them at the door and calls for me. " These men are here to see you, Reed, my father said." We sat down in the living room and oblivious as to why they were there, they start to ask me questions. I don't rightly remember the questions except for one, " do you believe in Jesus Christ, do you take Jesus as your savior?" Not knowing what else to do, I simple remembering nodding in agreement, and told them what they wanted to hear. A few weeks later, I was baptized at The First Baptist Church. I have fond memories of this church, many friends, fun, RA's. Today, I think back to that day the three men came to see me and wondered why at such a young age would someone be asked to make such a profound statement of belief?

    Fond memories of our church in Thomasville NC, but to look back on my memories of Church in Morristown TN was another story. When I was 4-5 years of age the memories of church are still with me. One has to ask how can memories of such a young age stick with us all these years? Does something horrible or wonderful have to happen to impregnate these memories into our brain? I remember being beaten in church, yes that's right, for whatever reason, my father thought I should be able to sit still for one hour. Sit still and listen to the pastor preach unknown and at that time uncaring words of wisdom, after all, I was just four, On more Sundays than I can count or remember, after the sermons, I would be taken to the deacons room and beat with a belt for not sitting still. In my later years, I would wonder why God would allow such a thing to exist in his church? This was long before the Catholic Church was forced to admit to the assaults of children. 

 After moving again, to Appomattox VA our family settled down in a small rural town at the age of 13. Another town and another Baptist Church. You see my father could not hold a job but somehow had managed to hold down a job with Thomasville furniture for the last 15 years. The move to Appomattox was a promotion, a move up. In the first 16 years of my life, my Dad had been fired from 6 jobs. An angry man, a man who abused my Mom and my sister. I was lucky for the most part, he left me alone, most of the time. Church in these years was not of anything particularly worth remembering. My friend Bill and I spent our time playing ping pong in the student center, our parents thinking we are sitting in the balcony. One day my Mom and Dad brought us all together and we talk about moving from the Baptist Church to the Episcopal Church. Evidently, a group of women had come to the house one day and, asked my Mom why we were not in church, Something happened and I am not sure why but, we left the Baptist Church and began a life in a new Church. Good or Bad my parents have made sure we attended. 

Saint Ann's Episcopal Church was a great Church with fond memories. Our pastor worked on VW's and I use to go over to his house and work on cars with him. This is where I learned to work on VW's and established a love for the Karmann Ghia. I was an altar boy, I read in Church at least one time and, attended youth group. I was still not particularly religious it seems but, still a part of the Church. 

    At the age of 18, I am off to college and failed miserably. This high school life of just being passed along, parents more concerned with fighting each other than raising children took its toll. The moving from Morristown to Thomasville to Appomattox was detrimental to my sister and I. Constantly having to fit in, to this day I believe if we had just stayed in NC until we graduated from high school, life for my sister and I would have turned out much differently. Age 20 my parents divorcing, my father fired yet again and the Church became a thing of the past. Living on my own in a trailer, in a campground, the day came, it was time to leave. I left Appomattox with a pick-up truck, a bag of clothes and, a tent. A new life before me, a poor life, an uneducated life, but God, thank-you for giving me the tools to use my hands. I was fortunate to have the ability to work with my hands. Living in a one-room boarding house in VA Beach on Pacific Avenue, my first job was rebuilding starters and alternators, on a night shift for a small business. Later on building shipping crates for equipment headed to Saudi Arabia. Moving in and moving out with housemates, and for some time living in a tent again. I would only see family once a year, Christmas time was nice. My Mom had gone on to remarry a good man, my Mom went on to build a successful real estate business but never knew how I lived or struggled, never asked. My father living the life of a bachelor, a ski instructor, fired yet again from another job in sales but, he did manage to continue with ski instructing and living off his parent's money until of course that was all gone. I did not see my Father much and for many years. 

When people ask me why I am, who I am, I generally don't have an answer. Reflection has been the key to resolving my inner demons I think. The whole "an unexamined life, is life is not worth living." Don't get me wrong, I still have demons but unless you can identify them, you cannot be rid of them. Some demons, I don't want to be rid of and some I have yet to identify in a meaningful way.

I had presented forgiveness to my father and I never told him how disappointed I was with him. I just let it go and did the best I could to make sure he had a roof over his head.  Somewhere along the way I think, God has guided. Somewhere along the line, I chose not to be my father. I chose to apply what I had learned from the bible in my everyday dealings with people, but mostly I had become fiercely independent. I had, through life's experiences learned, I could only depend on myself. This independence I think created a part of me where it was hard to make friends and trust others. This life also created the idea that if I can make it anyone can. The fact is, this is not true. Some will not make it in life, some will fail, some will simply not have the brain power to succeed I think. It is this population we need to care for. Some, like my father, possessed the ability to succeed (college educated mind you) but chose to abuse the system, take and not give, me first, cheat welfare, cheat insurance companies, cheat on others, cheat himself of a blessed life. If there was one thing Dad was good at, it was scheming for the easy money. In hindsight even this, he was not good at I think. Dad was often caught in lies and deceit. I wonder, why do people behave in such a destructive way? I had every opportunity to turn out like my Dad and God had other plans. 











The civil rights movement and letting go of the past.

I wrote this after ready Mr. Filco's commentary in the Williamsburg Gazette on letting go of the past. Septemeber 2022.  "Why Isn&#...