Month: November 2012

“Black Friday Resistance”

2004-vacation-0951.jpgI didn’t want to cloud up and storm on such a wonderful day as Thanksgiving.  Ok, so Thanksgiving has been over for almost two hours now so I can vent like the combined winds of Sandy and Katrina.  Black Friday has achieved a hue of darkness the likes of which one might not have thought possible.  For 71 years the fourth Thursday in November has been set aside for peaceful reflection and Thanksgiving.  It was intended as a day appointed for friends and family to gather and reflect on our many God-given blessings and to enjoy the pleasure of one another’s company.  Since Halloween has supplanted Thanksgiving as the harbinger of the Christmas season I can now enjoy the peace of Thanksgiving as a long weekend of rest, reflection and, in short, Sabbath.  Right?

Nooooo!  Black Friday reared its evil head over the course of several years, instigating our insane practice of waking up before the earth begins her daily spin followed by a mad dash to the Church of Retail propagating the gospel of consumerism and joining countless proselytes worshipping at the altar of the golden calf.  Once upon a time I understood this and even attended one or two of these pre-dawn catechisms.  But now, the sanctity of giving thanks has given way to the tyranny of retail mania beginning as early as 8:00 pm on Thanksgiving Day.  THANKSGIVING DAY ITSELF!  However, lest one be unaware these holy institutions don’t open their doors on Thanksgiving, no, no, no.  According to the advertisements they open on “Thursday”.  “Thursday” has been introduced as an innocuous term referring to the day before Black Friday as if it were any other shopping day and not the Holy holiday that we enjoy and celebrate with our loved ones.  It appears that the blackness of Friday has now invaded the light of Thanksgiving Day and crazed consumers every where can now begin their electronics department fistfights while the enlightened give thanks for the bargain basement prices they encountered in Thursday’s newspaper ads.  Prayers of Thanksgiving are now offered with one eye open lest “Cousin Annie” gain the advantage of a head start to Wal-Mart.

Stop the madness!  The thought briefly crossed my mind of running for office on the platform of regulating this sacrilegious and family-destructive ritual.  Fortunately, sanity ultimately ruled the day as the ridiculous notion of me running for, much less assuming, public office would inspire even the Almighty to double over in raucous laughter.  But what recourse do we have?  Can anyone thwart this absurdity?  Not likely.  As I write this, I have loved ones attending a midnight store opening; saving them from the need to rise at 4:00 am for the pre-dawn craziness.

I urge everyone within shouting distance; please don’t let crass consumerism dilute the power of quiet family communion.  Resist the sirens’ call to compromise family devotion for a paltry thirty pieces of silver.  Eat turkey and sleep!

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“The Scarlet Letter is Fading: Adultery vs. Prostitution”

2004-vacation-0951.jpgWith the recent resignation of CIA director and retired army general David Petreaus the moral confusion of our society has once again been laid bare.  On his part, General Petraeus’ resignation indicates a modicum of moral fiber and a sense of responsibility.  I cannot say that I am shocked or stunned by the public response to his action but my brow does furrow.  Those who have voiced their disagreement with General Petraeus’ resignation represent our collective minimization of adultery and its effect on our society.

This incident raises a question that has been simmering in my spirit for quite some time.  Why is prostitution a crime and adultery legal?  Permit me to state unequivocally that I am not advocating the legalization of prostitution.  I embrace traditional, Judeo-Christian views on marriage, faithfulness and monogamy.  I maintain that any abuse of the gift of physical intimacy violates God’s perfect plan for mankind.  With that moral perspective in place I can now elucidate the twisted notion that as a society we value money over the human soul.  How did I arrive at this conclusion?  Simple.  We criminalize and vilify the exchange of money for sex and yet respond with a wink and a nod at the destruction of a marriage and family when they are torn asunder by an ill-advised, lust-induced tryst.  For some reason it is interpreted as pure when “love” draws two people together even if it destroys a marriage.  When this occurs, it effectively demolishes the trust of a jilted spouse and crushes the trust of hope-filled children as the foundation upon which they develop their basic sense of security, safety and trust; namely the family, has been dashed.  However, if someone sullies our precious golden idol with a sexual contract we collectively deem it worthy of incarceration or monetary penalty even though two consenting single adults are the only participants.

Granted, adultery is often, though not exclusively, the result of a failing or struggling marriage and is therefore viewed as an acceptable alternative but when we, as a society, permit such activity it precludes any genuine endeavor to save the marriage.  A contract between consulting adults for a temporary sexual encounter may be despicable but it does not (when both parties are legally or morally unattached) result in the devastation of a disregarded spouse who is desperately hoping and praying for the salvation of his or her marriage and family.  And please, don’t get me started on the notion that children are not adversely affected by the demise of their parents’ marriage no matter how amicable.  When a “client” and a sexual “provider” consummate a contract there is no emotional collateral damage.

Ultimately it is evident that we should either legalize prostitution OR criminalize adultery.  From the depths of my soul I support the latter option because the wreckage resulting from adultery is incalculable and extremely slow to heal if ever.

The Demise of PCC – An Obituary

2004-vacation-0951.jpgAt 8:00 pm PST on Tuesday, November 6, 2012 following a lengthy and annoying malady, 2012 Political Campaign Commercials (PCC) passed into eternal oblivion. To this point there have been no flowers or sentiments of condolence shared but there are rumored to be a number of lively wakes in the offing at various locations around the United States.

PCC was born in late 2011 and was known for his screeching voice and mindless rhetoric breeding controversy at every appearance. Quoted an acquaintance who requested anonymity, “Few individuals have ever managed to polarize a community much less a nation more than PCC was able to”. For some, the assumption is that PCC had no ambition in life other than to tally as many notches as possible with his trademark Glock 12 Mudslinger.

PCC has no surviving relatives but it has been rumored that he has cryogenically frozen samples of his DNA to be released at varying intervals over the coming years. “We are more concerned than ever about what may result from this individual’s offspring” said, Dr. U. Will Paymee, a recently retired chemist at the little known Bubonic Cryogenic Laboratory secretly located somewhere in northern Virginia. “The only solace we can take from this knowledge is an understanding that PCC’s constitution (I use that word lightly) is such that his species tend to live fast and hard and die in like manner; they tend to expire immediately following the exercise of blind democracy.

PCC understood that anyone aware of the condition of his community is immune to his attacks save for the sheer annoyance of the stupidity of those attacks however, he fulfilled his mission by relying on the simple-minded to make important life decisions based on unfounded gossip and misleading innuendos.

While none are expected, should you decide to make a donation, please send it to the author of this obituary. In lieu of flowers you can also send donations to the Dictatorship 2014 Campaign Headquarters at their exile office: 666 Bend Over Blvd. Pyongyang, DPRK (North Korea).

“Jesus on Marriage”

2004-vacation-0951.jpgWith the upcoming election before us and some highly controversial issues being brought before the voters of Washington State (I’m certain that there are controversial issues in other states as well but I live in Washington); I am compelled at this last minute to address an issue of biblical concern. Many have declared that Jesus remains silent on marriage, particularly the issue of defining who the participants in a marital covenant might be. The following is a bit more detailed in its Bible Study and theology than that which I am accustomed to presenting in this blog but, for me when I was personally wrestling with this very issue; I found clarity in this understanding.

To begin with, we must recognize as Anglophones that the English language is far more ambiguous regarding gender than most other languages spoken throughout our world. Most languages contain masculine and feminine forms of given words and are intentional in their gender designation.

The ancient biblical languages of Greek and Hebrew are no different and with that I lay this foundation.

Jesus said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh?” (Matthew 19:5)

‘For this reason a man (Greek “anthropos” – masculine noun) will leave his father (Greek “pater” – masculine noun) and mother (Greek “meter” – feminine noun) and be united to his wife (Greek “gyne” – feminine noun), and the two will become one flesh?

In this verse, Jesus is quoting and therefore affirming, Genesis 2:24 from the account of creation regarding a man and a woman which reads as follows…

“For this reason a man (Hebrew – “yish” – masculine noun) will leave his father (Hebrew – “ab” – masculine noun) and mother (Hebrew – “em” – feminine noun) and be united to his wife (Hebrew – “ishshah” – feminine noun), and they will become one flesh.”  (Genesis 2:24)

In the case of the Greek word for man, the use of the form “anthropos” specifically employs the masculine form of the generic term, “aner”. If Jesus was indifferent about gender, he would have been better suited to have used the root word, “aner” which is less definitive of gender and more descriptive of mankind as a race or species.

I realize that publishing this position does not endear me to those whom I consider friends but hold to a different position on this subject and for some this is an issue of supreme importance, however, I also need to posit that as followers of Christ and His Word we would be unfaithful to the values and standards that we hold precious and inviolable to assume a contrary position regarding the validity of the Bible. For many of us, if God’s Word has error at all than none of it is valid which also discounts the cornerstone verse of John 3:16 without which there would appear to be no Gospel or “Good News” at all.

I do not write this position as a salvo in an adversarial struggle, rather as an explanation of the position that many evangelical Christians, myself included, hold to the truth and validity of God’s Word, the Bible. I encourage discussion over coffee rather than a fight to the death.

For further insight into the wholeness of this subject I recommend…

“Moral Revolution: The Naked Truth About Sexual Purity”
by Kris Vallotton, Jason Vallotton