Friday, May 27, 2005
wow it's been a while
Destroying a book is a terrible thing, any book, for whatever reason. Trust me, as my husband says, if my eyes are open and I don't have to do anything else, I'm always reading. Granted mostly fiction, mysteries, chick lit and the like. But a book is a book, even a holy book. How many Torah scrolls were destroyed in the Holocaust? But what's the bigger tragedy of the HOlocaust? The millions of lives that were lost or destroyed.
Here's a hypothetical situation:
You are the inquisator. You are in a room with someone who has information that could save millions of lives, and they don't want to share that information. You know that they are totally obsessed w/Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind - they've named their children Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley and Beau. You manage to get a hold of their copy (or any copy) of GWTW and place it on the table. The person with the information you want starts to sweat and stammer. Coolly, you reach over, grab the book, and starting with the picnic scene at Twelve Oaks rip pages from the book. The person with the information is now willing to give you that information - amazing, right.
Here's another hypothetical situation:
You are the inquisator. You are in a room with someone who has information that could save millions of lives, and they don't want to share that information. You know that they are totally obsessed w/Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind - they've named their children Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley and Beau. You manage to get a hold of their copy (or any copy) of GWTW and place it on the table. The person with the information you want starts to sweat and stammer. Coolly, you reach over, grab the book, but your hand moves from the book to the other person's throat. You are willing to choke the air from this other person, to kill them, to take them from Scarlett, Rhett, Ashley and Beau and any other person who cares for this person with the information you want. The person with the information may now be willing to give you the information, or maybe not. So you kill the person instead. Amazing, right?
When did a book become more important than someone's life? When is a book more sacred than a living breathing human being? Have we reached that point thanks to "political correctness?"
Think about it.
Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Thank You Paul Harvey
Paul Harvey says:
>"I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to
>sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December.
>I don't agree with Darwin, but I didn't go out and hire
>a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his
>theory of evolution.
>Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be
>endangered because someone says a 30-second
>prayer before a football game.
>So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up
>there reading the entire book of Acts. They're just
>talking to a God they believe in and asking him to
>grant safety to the players on the field and the fans
>going home from the game.
>"But it's a Christian prayer," some will argue. Yes,
>and this is the United States of America, a country
>founded on Christian principles. According to our
>very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber
>all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you
>expect-somebody chanting Hare Krishna? If I went
>to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to
>hear a Jewish prayer. If I went to a soccer game in
>Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.
>If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would
>expect to hear someone pray to Buddha.
>And I wouldn't be offended. It wouldn't bother me
>one bit. When in Rome...
>"But what about the atheists?" is another argument.
>What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized.
>We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just
>humor us for 30 seconds.. If that's asking too much,
>bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the
>bathroom. Visit the concession stand. But call your
>lawyer? Unfortunately, one or two will make that call.
>One or two will tell thousands what they can and
>cannot do. I don't think a short prayer at a football
>game is going to shake the world's foundations.
>Christians are just sick and tired of turning the
>other cheek while our courts strip us of all our
>rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us
>to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep.
>Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing. Now a
>handful of people and their lawyers are telling us
>to cease praying. God, help us. And if that last
>sentence offends you, well..........just sue me.
>The silent majority has been silent too long. It's time
>we let that one or two who scream loud enough to
>be heard, that the vast majority don't care what they
>want... it is time the majority rules!
>It's time we tell them, you don't have to pray... you
>don't have to say the pledge of allegiance, you don't
>have to believe in God or attend services that honor
>Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right...
>but by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights
>away... we are fighting back... and we WILL WIN!
>God bless us one and all, especially those who
>denounce Him... God bless America, despite all her
>faults, she is still the greatest nation of all.....
>God bless our service men who are fighting to protect
>our right to pray and worship God...
>May 2005 be the year the silent majority is heard and
>we put God back as the foundation of our families
>Keep looking up...... In God WE Trust. If you agree
>with this, please pass it on. If not, delete.
Thank You Paul Harvey.
Monday, January 31, 2005
IRAQI INDEPENDENCE DAY
I have heard the Iraqi terrorists (insurgents, as they’ve also been called) compared to our Revolutionary freedom fighters. Matt Lauer did it on the Today show and I have heard other references as well. The terrorists (regardless of where they’re from) are only cowards. They are against freedom for anyone. They fight only for their own personal gain.
All weekend long, Iraqis in every nation voted for a provisional government of their own. If I was going to compare anyone to a Revolutionary hero, it would be the Iraqis who, despite threats of violence, reprisal and retaliation, chose to go vote. They walked to the polls, they carried the elderly to the polls. Although I heard a story that terrorists were rigging Down’s syndrome children with plastique and hurling them at the would-be voters, still they turned out to vote. I’m not sure it matters who they voted for - Sunni, Shia or any other party - they voted for freedom and democracy. Dancing in the street was reported as well. The last time I remember that being reported it was 9/11/01 in Palestinian sectors of Israel.
When did Americans last consider voting a life-affirming action? Our voter turn out percentage was comparable to that in Iraq this weekend. What do we have to fear when voting? Would we be so eager to “get out the vote” if people were shooting at us? But when is it more important than that? The strength and courage of the Iraqi people should never be forgotten. We should all pray that they are rewarded in their own nation with peace and freedom, as we are blessed to have here.
Today is a very happy day for the Iraqis and should be for the rest of the world as well.
Iraqis in America voted as well (as did those around the world.) The UN was in charge of setting up the polling places around the world for the ex-patriates. Interestingly, there was one polling place west of the Mississippi - it was in southern California. Only Hugh Hewitt and one other on air personality covered it. Iraqis are coming out to vote for the first time in 50 years and no one cares?
No one seems to care because this weekend proves the rightness of everything the President has done since 9/11/01. It is not only Western cultures who are able to understand and embrace democracy and freedom. As President Bush knows, all people on this earth were endowed with a right and a love for freedom. The Iraqis can embrace democracy as well as any other nation. Perhaps better since they have been denied it for so long.
So to Teddy K., John K., N. Petrosi, B. Boxer and all the rest of the looney left - admit it. YOU WERE WRONG! The proof is in the faces of the women holding up their ink stained fingers to express their joy and triumph at voting. G-d bless and good luck. The world will truly be a better place.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Under G-d at the Inauguration
Why is the only freedom of religion we have now a freedom to have none? Michael Newdow has just filed his second complaint trying to get the words “under G-d” removed from the pledge. He’s also filed his second complaint trying to stop the President from having prayers said or placing his hand on a Bible at his inauguration.
His first complaint regarding the 2001 inauguration of President Bush was denied because they court felt that he was not sufficiently injured by watching the proceedings on TV. This year he has a ticket to go to the celebration.
His first complaint regarding the pledge was denied because he was suing on behalf of his daughter and he was a non-custodial parent. This time he has added plaintiffs who are custodial Atheist parents of children.
The second complaint relative to the Pledge is posted at www.restorethepledge.com. I haven’t been able to find the one regarding the inauguration on line.
Why do his Atheist secular beliefs supercede our religion and expression thereof?
I must confess that I don’t understand Atheism. Religion has been the basis of societal rules. If one has no religion what compels him to follow any rules? He states that he uses his brain, his knowledge, to tell him right from wrong. I just don’t trust his knowledge of right and wrong. How does one get along in life with no spirituality? If people are indeed the highest power I’m a little afraid of our future.
There are appendices to his complaint that show the percentage of the population that is atheist. It’s a small minority (although according to him no smaller than the percentage of the population that is Jewish.) But he wants to change what the entire population does in public schools and in government. He claims that the prayers and invocations at the inauguration should not be allowed because the ceremony is funded with taxpayer money. He also claims that the teachers in public schools, who are also paid with taxpayer money, are therefore not allowed to use the words “under G-d” in the Pledge. That both are infringing on his right to freedom of religion and the separation of Church and State.
The problem I have is not so much with Mr. Newdow himself, although I do think he just gets off on the publicity. Its just that this country seems to want to go so far the other way. Everything should be secular. If it feels good, go ahead and do it. According to these people there are no consequences here or hereafter.
I find it extremely arrogant to not believe in any god. Its just saying that I have no reason to try to be a good person, to strive to help anyone and I am the be all/end all of the Universe. I think that we should humble ourselves before something. I think we should struggle with living our lives as our religion tells us to.
How can there be a true separation of Church and State? I voted for George W. Bush because of religion. Not his religion but mine (Judaism). I honestly felt that President Bush was the only friend Israel has in the international community and being a Jew and having a homeland in Israel was as important to me as any domestic issue or other foreign policy. So many of us live by our religious morals and laws that it bleeds over into many other aspects of our lives.
I also find it sad that so much of America (the liberal progressive part) thinks its wrong that the President prays. Not only does he pray, he talks about it and about G-d. He uses words that are loaded with judgment - words like good and evil. And talks about G-d being on our side. Why should that threaten anyone? What is wrong with a man being humble enough to ask for guidance? I don’t care if he asking G-d, Jesus, Adonai, or Buddha. I might have a problem with him asking Allah, but that’s just me and it would still be his right.
I think that the liberal progressive left wants to deny our religious leanings because they want to deny the consequences I mentioned earlier.
UPDATE FROM CNN.COM 1/14/05:
WASHINGTON (AP) -- An atheist who tried to remove "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance lost a bid Friday to bar the saying of a Christian prayer at President Bush's inauguration.
U.S. District Judge John Bates said Michael Newdow had no legal basis to pursue his claim because he could not show he would suffer any injury from hearing the prayer.
Bates also ruled that Newdow's claim should be denied because he already had filed and lost a similar lawsuit at a federal appeals court in California last year.
Newdow argued that saying a Christian prayer at the January 20 ceremony would violate the Constitution by forcing him to accept unwanted religious beliefs.
Attorneys representing Bush and his inaugural committee argued that prayers have been widely accepted at inaugurals for more than 200 years and that Bush's decision to have a minister recite the invocation was a personal choice the court had no power to prevent.
During the two-hour hearing on Thursday, Bates questioned both sides vigorously but expressed doubt that a court could order the president not to include a prayer when he takes the oath of office.
"Is it really in the public interest for the federal courts to step in and enjoin prayer at the president's inauguration?" Bates asked.
Much of the hearing did not focus on the merits of Newdow's legal claims, but instead centered on whether the lawsuit should be thrown out because Newdow lost a similar case in California last year.
The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 2003 that Newdow did not suffer "a sufficiently concrete and specific injury" when he opposed prayers from being recited at Bush's first inauguration.
Newdow -- arguing his case via telephone conference hookup from California -- said his case is different this time because he actually has a ticket to attend the inauguration. That atmosphere, he said, is more coercive than four years ago, when he planned to watch the ceremony on television.
Justice Department lawyer Edward White scoffed at that claim, saying the issues in the two cases are the same and that Newdow still has not shown how he would be injured by hearing the prayer.
George Terwilliger, appearing for the inaugural committee, said the details of the ceremony are not officially sanctioned government action but merely the personal choice of the president.
Newdow won widespread publicity two years ago when he persuaded the 9th Circuit to rule that the separation of church and state was violated when public school students pledged to God.
But the Supreme Court later threw out the ruling, saying Newdow could not lawfully sue because he did not have custody of his elementary school-age daughter, on whose behalf he sued.
Newdow refiled the pledge suit in Sacramento federal court this month, naming eight other plaintiffs who are custodial parents or the children themselves.
I don't believe he was injured, or will be injured, by hearing a prayer at the inauguration or by school children saying "One Nation Under G-d" when the pledge allegiance to our flag. I'm sure there will be more to post on this as the suit goes on - but for now we can rest easily knowing that the President can say his prayer/invocation or have it said at his inauguration. Thank G-d!
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Establish justice and ensure tranquility . . .
I attended Stevens Creek Elementary School in Cupertino for fifth and sixth grades in 1978 and 1979. I don’t remember much - they were pretty uneventful years. The California missions were part of the fourth grade curriculum at the time - I remember my sister doing a diorama. Since I skipped fourth grade I don’t know how they brought the missions and the spreading of Christianity to the Native Americans into their studies. I do recall that we were required to memorize the Preamble to the Constitution, “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union.”
On Wednesday, as we were driving to my mother’s to celebrate Thanksgiving, I heard on the Sean Hannity show that a teacher at Stevens Creek Elementary School had been singled out for teaching the religious aspects of several documents penned by our founding fathers, such as the Declaration of Independence. It so happens that the teacher is a Christian and has been singled out for teaching these documents, forced to run his teaching plan through the principal and has now sued the principal and the school district. My step-father says that the “wacko liberals” are doing us a favor by being so wacko. That may be true, but are they doing our children any favors?
Our founding fathers came to this “new world” to attempt to live in religious freedom. Why then is the only religious freedom we have, according to the liberals, the freedom to not believe in any religion? I am a Jewish mother married to a non-practicing Southern Baptist trying to raise a Jewish daughter (who’s father is ½ Muslim and ½ French Catholic and practices neither) who goes to a non-denominational Christian school. I want her to understand that our freedom, prosperity and patriotism are G-d given, that “in G-d we trust” and that we are “one nation under G-d.” I want her to believe that tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (healing the world) are our responsibilities as Jews, Americans and people of values. I want her to learn that our nation is great because of the values of our founding fathers, their willingness to put their livelihood, their families and even their lives on the line for their beliefs and their desire to pursue life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
I’ve already talked about how history was re-written when I was in college. Revolutionary literature which included nothing from our founding fathers (maybe there would have been some from our founding mothers.) The history of women in America, a course on McCarthyism. I regret that I learned nothing of Thomas Jefferson, John Hancock, Patrick Henry or any others. We only studied Che Guevara, Malcolm X and others in that same vein, but nothing from the “enemy” - middle class, white men.
I work for a law firm that was involved in the Michael Newdow case in Elk Grove. Newdow, an atheist and non-custodial father sued the school district on behalf of his daughter (who lives with her mother, a practicing Christian) to have the phrase “Under G-d” taken out of the Pledge of Allegiance. The case had been heard in the Supreme Court and won on behalf of the school district but the time I came to work here. However, I had been following the case in the news. The original pledge did not contain the phrase, it was added in the 1950's, the height of the cold war, to reaffirm our values over the godless communists. But it doesn’t refer to any particular god. It only refers to the fact that we are one nation under G-d. It’s not “one nation under Jesus” or “one nation under Adonai” or even “one nation under Allah.” The only thing it refers to is the presence of a higher being and the fact that through its will and the strength and bravery of many men, we are a nation. The separation of church and state is one thing but reducing us to the godlessness of Communist Russia is another. What percentage of the population is actually Atheist? Why do I have to give up my religious freedom and expression for the noisy few?
My daughter goes to private school so the educational issues should not come up for her. But believe me, I’ll be watching to make sure that she learns the real history of this nation and how to think for herself.
How is it possible to teach American history without including the beliefs of our founding fathers? How is it possible to teach values without teaching real history or even religion? Can anyone tell me?
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
In my frame of reference, Yasser Arafat is the man who invented terrorism. If nothing else, he invented these so called homicide bombers who terrorize the Israeli people constantly.
And yet, in many instances, the United States government, under presidents like Bill Clinton, has embraced him. Officials like Madeline Albright, Hillary Clinton vied for his favor, maybe he has a way with women. Under democratic presidents, a terrorist, similar to the ones who crashed into the WTC, has dined in the White House. I find that disgusting.
I don’t think any president has had a clear view of the issues between Palestine and Israel, including Bush 43. I don’t think he realizes the level of hatred involved. The Palestinians (not that I think I can speak for all Palestinians) don’t want a separate, independent state. They want the Jews forced into the sea. Fortunately the Israeli Defense has something to say about that.
[To go off on a separate tangent, next time you hear someone whining about a possible draft, that is not going to happen, remind them that in Israel, upon graduating high school, all Israelis (men and women) go directly into armed services for, I believe, two years. Could this be a reason that the Israelis have managed to ward off Arab/Muslim foes for the last 56 years? They know what they stand to lose if they don’t fight, I wonder if we will ever understand that.]
As I wind through this topic of Arafat’s death, I end up somewhere completely different. The idea of life and when it begins. I have one child, I have been pregnant more than one time - come to your own conclusions. As I find myself moving to the right, I struggle with the issue of choice and life. When did Charlotte begin to be Charlotte? Was it in the fourth month, when her brain started developing faster? (In CA an abortion can be had easily up to the end of the first 12 weeks.) Or was it as soon as the two cells that would eventually become Charlotte met?
I guess I believe that women should have the right to choose and control what happens to their body. The issue that I take with our current situation is that there is virtually no responsibility placed on the parties that created the life that they now intend to end. I know how easy it is to get pregnant and I know how hard it is to be a parent. When it first happens, there’s just this little cellular mass in your tummy and it’s easy to discount its future. It’s not hard to put out of your mind that this little cellular mass will end up being a person, with feelings, thoughts and a smile that will melt your heart. So you just make an appointment with PP or through your ob/gyn and “get it taken care of.”
But as I look at the possibilities for Charlotte’s life, I wonder about the possibilities for the unborn, literally and hypothetically. I truly believe that in some way, my daughter will have an impact on this world. For her the possibilities are limitless. What of that life (those millions of lives) that was (were) “taken care of” [how backwards is that - you’re not taking care of anything but yourself?] could they have done any of the wonderful things that we dream of, if only they had lived.
So for me the answer is, the choice should be there, but so should the consequences. People need to be made to understood what they are doing. They should not be able to put it out of their mind. There should be more opportunities for adoption [something I could never have done, carrying a baby for 9 mos and giving it up] and there should certainly be more education on how not to get pregnant, because its just as easy to not get pregnant as it is to get pregnant.
Friday, November 05, 2004
Out of the Mouths of Babes
Eric replayed his last call on Hewitt’s show this morning. An 8 year old girl, Jessica, called in and told Eric that she was a Democrat and she thought that Republicans only cared about themselves, money and the war. She did not think this President was a good man, if he saw someone “in need” (how many 8 year old’s use that terminology?), he would not help. Eric had many e-mails this morning comparing this child’s environment to the Madrassas in Israel, where Palestinian children are indoctrinated in to that society’s culture of hatred. I agree.
But I had to wonder, had I not recovered from my knee jerk leftist ways on 9/11/01, would my daughter (also 8) be spouting the same doctrine?
Charlotte came home last Monday commenting that a lot of kids in her school were “voting” for either Bush or Kerry. She knows I am pro-Bush. We spoke at length that night. I asked if they were talking about the election or the President in the classroom - they were not. I explained to her that at her age most kids were just repeating what they heard at home, that there may come a day when she does not agree with what she hears at home and that one day she too would be able to vote based upon her beliefs. The only thing I asked of her is that, when that time comes, she should be informed. She should know everything she can about the person and the party that she votes for. That was the mistake I made when I was a liberal. I did not bother to actually learn what I was standing up for. Now I try to take a long look at what each party and each candidate and each initiative stands for and see where it fits with my values and my world view.
What I found was that the Democrat party no longer fits in with my views or my life. The Democrats are the party of “give a man a fish” - the Republicans will “teach him how to fish.” The Democrats are the party of big government, enmeshed in every aspect of our life - the Republicans might let me run my own. Democrats = unemployment, feel-good education and welfare. Republicans = accountability, education and employment. The “unfeeling” Republicans have turned into compassionate conservatives. The “touchy-feely” Democrats have become if it feels good do it, no consequences. They are elitist, depending on movie stars, rock stars and academia to perpetuate their views. There are both Democrats and Republicans in my family.
My mother (R) and I (R) were over at my sister’s (D) this summer. I mentioned to my mom that my sister had a Kerry/Edwards sticker on her car, while my sister was out of the room. My mom and I were talking quietly, probably about politics unrelated to my sister, when my sister came back into the room. Her first words when she saw us with our heads together were “Don’t mention that man’s name in my house.” Obviously she was referring to the President. That is the Democrat party - we won’t talk about it, we won’t even consider it. I will continue to try to show my sister the way, but it won't be easy.
Interestingly, one of little Jessica’s first comments when she got on the air, was that no one was telling her what to say. I don’t believe that at all. When Eric asked little Jessica why she felt the way she did, she had no answer. He asked if she had ever met a Republican who did not care about anyone but himself. She said she thought she had. He challenged her to “do some homework” before she painted at least half the country with her judgment. He told her to go meet some actual Republicans and find out if they ever did anything for anyone else. I hope she tries to do that but I doubt she will. I wish more Democrats would do some homework and take an honest look at the people who they want to run our country. I know my sister has morals and values and I don’t believe John Kerry represented them; but, like may liberals, she is unable to admit it to herself or anyone else.
I hope she never reads this.