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The Stench From the National Decay

stench

The Stench From the National Decay

By Susan D. Harris

So we keep sitting here preaching to the choir while liberals have no clue what we’re talking about because they don’t even bother to listen. Many of them don’t listen because they are just plain ignorant or they have some deep-seated problem with authority or religion or suffered some other basic ethical or moral tragedy that forever altered their perception of life. It only takes a little scratching beneath the surface to reveal these problems with most of them, and that’s why I believe Ann Coulter and Michael Savage were right when they said that liberalism falls into the spectrum of mental disorders. A classic example is a former coworker of mine whose car was covered with bumper stickers like “COEXIST” and “The last time someone mixed politics and religion people were burned at the stake.” She was the same one who slunk around the workplace, eyes glowing like a schoolchild in “Village of the Damned,” saying Sarah Palin “scared” her and whispering about the Koch brothers to anyone who would listen. If you talked with her long enough, you found she had been raised Catholic – a supposedly devastating fact she blamed for recurring nightmares about the devil that continued to have a profound impact on her every waking moment. (It’s okay to pause now and roll your eyes.)

Other liberals are coming from a much darker place. They are controlled by Satan as he uses them as tools to destroy their own country. I’m not even going to try to justify that or soft peddle it because most of us know in our gut this is the case, it’s just not “nice” to publicly out evil when you live in an evil society. (Of course there are Republicans, Independents and all sorts of people controlled by Satan, but when you have one group whose ideology seems to fly in the face of everything good, you should name  it.) The truth is, like the Bible predicted, we are living in the end times and a great deception has fallen on the people. But the hardest part — for those of us who haven’t slept near the pods yet — is trying to pretend it isn’t happening; watching all the talking heads sit and try to talk or reason with these people. Watching Conservative Christians trying to talk to progressives is like watching someone trying to have a calm conversation with Linda Blair as her head spins around and shoots out green vomit. Every day I turn on the TV and watch some level headed, kind Conservative trying to talk rationally  to a liberal who inevitably opens their mouth to spew the equivalent of unintelligible guttural noises – or at least that’s what most of us hear.

I actually try to watch some liberal TV shows or read their websites to keep up on their ever-changing herd mentality – just to monitor in which direction the herd is stampeding. On one such website a headline read, “Problems in the Ukraine…and watch how they are going to try to blame this on Obama too.” Like their president, they have no concept of peace through strength, or any idea of the larger concept of the diplomacy and strategies that are needed to keep the world from falling into the grips of war at any given moment.

We watched Obama do his cute one-liner – you know the one – “The 80s called, they want their foreign policy back” – clearly written by some clever aid and planted in Obama’s ear to spout off as soon as that crusty old Romney mentioned Russia. Hardy har har – that was quite a knee slapper for the unbalanced liberals. The rest of us cringed as we watched Romney trying to hide exasperation and frustration as he tried to debate with someone who had a 5th grade understanding of domestic and foreign affairs.

They say a lot of liberals, or Obama voters, are “waking up.” Ask me if I care. The damage has been done, and even if the Democrats don’t fix the next election (People like Carol Davidson, the head of integration and media targeting for Obama’s 2012 campaign are already working on it I’m sure, even as Republicans continue to flounder like fish left behind by the tide) – if a Republican wins the 2016 presidential election, it would likely take decades to repair the damage Obama has done to this country. He has shredded the Constitution and institutionalized criminality in the federal government on such an unprecedented level that we can’t just walk in, sweep up the mess and move on.

And then there are millions of Americans like myself. Obama and his similarly deranged finks took control of the country just as my own personal crises were coming to a head. I always wondered what it was like for some poor Southern family as they struggled with their own problems: Grandma was sick and they couldn’t afford the operation to save her, crops failed, the well was dry, beloved Old Shep was failing and Mom was in bed with the fever – and then all of a sudden the Yankee troops are taking the city. Now I know. It means all your neighbors are out trying to save themselves and you are on your own. It means immeasurable suffering and eventually you are gone…100 years later there’s a parking lot sitting where you and your family struggled to survive and no one remembers your suffering, let alone that you even existed.

To those who continue to fight the good fight I say “Godspeed.” The offensive truth is that in a few years or a few months, we will no longer be the world’s leading super power. Our military will be drastically cut and those who remain will largely consist of a bunch of drunken drag queens.  White people will become the minority and everyone will believe the world will be a better place for it. Heterosexuality will be considered an aberration. The Jewish or Christian concept of God will be scoffed at by a greater portion of the population who will classify all believers in such fantasies as dangerous criminals – especially if they try to own a gun. Eventually the Muslims and the atheists will be left to fight it out on their own.

Actually, to those of us who have the misfortune of having the time to sit back and watch the wheels go round and round, we can see it’s already come to this. Most people are so busy trying to maintain their large screen, Hi-Def lifestyles they’ve only begun to notice something is wrong. Those that are hooking their wagons to the green/sustainability neo-hippie movement are still doing well too. Heck my liberal neighbor just a got a whole new set of furniture delivered even as many of us struggle to scrape together $15 for a small roasting chicken. That’s just as it should be because it was the plan from the beginning. Dumb, kind-hearted capitalist that I am, I thought we should all have roasting chickens and new furniture – powered by a healthy, competitive economy.  I didn’t think that whole “redistribution of wealth” thing would work. I was wrong; it’s working out great for believers dedicated to the regime.

Every day it’s some new trickery afoot. Today Republican Rep. Daryl Issa walked into a trap as Lois Lerner strutted in, claimed the fifth (again and again and again) concerning her testimony on the IRS targeting scandal, and Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings pulled a dramatic Sarah Bernhardt performance for the cameras and his loyal deranged finks. “”I am a member of the Congress of the United States. I am tired of this!” he blustered.

Now the talking heads come on and calmly talk about it. We can’t say what we are thinking. We can’t say that Lerner should have been taken out in handcuffs and placed in solitary until she talks. We can’t say we wish that Issa had slapped Cummings and told him to shutup. No, that would be lowering ourselves to their level. As an old friend of mine used to say when I would question conversations she’d relate to me, “I didn’t say it, but that’s what I was thinking.”

The fact remains that is exactly what many Americans are thinking, and the anger is simmering and boiling up to the top. As soon as someone makes the “wrong” move, liberals will yell “Aha! We told you they were all dangerous criminals!” We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Maybe at that point we will all be herded into concentration camps just as the conspiracy websites say. Frankly I don’t rule anything out anymore and neither should anyone else. So far we seem to have underestimated everything these people were capable of.

We’re watching that “fashion reminiscent of Jane Giss Khan” idiot John Kerry roaming the world like Lurch in the Adams Family, sputtering and spitting meaningless rhetoric.  Meanwhile Putin is using the same tactics to take the Ukraine as Hitler used on Czechoslovakia in 1938. And it’s supposed to be absolutely no coincidence there are endless civil wars around the world while our president has been playing golf, bicycling in his mom jeans and jogging around the White House with his VP like a weak, simpering fool.

And while our foreign affairs and diplomatic relations are falling apart, we have an endless supply of ethical assaults on the homefront. The effects of Obamacare on the disabled, terminally ill and elderly of this country will be as devastating as Roe vs. Wade was for the unborn. Surprisingly, our nation’s general attitude towards the “unproductive” of society is taking a nasty turn for the worse from all sides of the political spectrum. A good number of Conservatives are posting nasty comments across the internet against those they deem unworthy of their “hard earned tax dollars” (thus making their hard earned tax dollars more important to them than human life.) Frankly that’s just scary. There seems to be plenty of Conservatives to fight for the unborn but a straggling few to fight for the homeless, the poor, the widow…or people like little Jahi McMath who was declared brain dead and referred to as a “corpse” while her heart was still beating on life support. Indeed, under a recent article on Jahi’s situation on a well-known Conservative website, commenters posted again and again, “She’s dead” “She’s a corpse” “It’s a dead body” etc. When people feel so self-assured in declaring someone “dead” when they have no personal, first-hand knowledge of that persons condition…we are in deep, deep doo-doo. These people think it is their self-appointed job to proclaim the harsh “reality” – while in fact they are boldly playing God.

I don’t see any relief in sight. The only thing I can do, due to my own limited circumstances, is pray that those who are still good and decent and true can continue to see clearly enough to help friends, family and strangers get through this active national decay. The stench is getting worse day-by-day. If anyone doesn’t realize things are going to get worse quickly, they are kidding themselves.

~end~

Authors picks for accompanying videos/music:

Send Lawyer Guns and Money! 

(How was I to know she was with the Russians too?)

 

Hospital Spokesman Dictates Limits For Hope and Prayer (Audio Available)

Photo of Jahi, courtesy Jahi McMath fund: http://www.gofundme.com/Jahi-Mcmath

By Susan D. Harris

CLICK HERE to listen to the author read her article.

Sam Singer, spokesman for the Children’s Hospital Oakland, has taken it upon himself to dictate the limits of hope and prayer.

Singer is one of the players in the gut wrenching saga of Jahi McMath, the 13-year-old Northern California girl who went in for a tonsillectomy and ended up brain dead. The second girl in two years to suffer severe brain damage under similar conditions at Children’s Hospital Oakland, the case obviously has the hospital on the defensive.

In a jaw-dropping statement, made on behalf of the hospital, Mr. Singer, speaking with greater authority than anyone could have imagined, told the world: “There is, unfortunately, no amount of hope, no amount of prayer that can bring her back.”

If Mr. Singer wants to tell us she is brain dead, fine. If he wants to tell us that an independent physician also declared her brain dead and “there was no question of that,” – fine. She was indeed pronounced dead only three days after she underwent surgery to treat sleep apnea. The “complications” she suffered have not been detailed, but we do know she went into cardiac arrest. We also know that after an independent review of the case, a judge gave the go ahead to remove the life support that was keeping her alive. It was at this point that hospital spokesman Sam Singer threw down his theological gauntlet.

A hospital spokesperson should deal in facts. Hope and prayer are not facts. No one should dictate to another man what the limits of his hope should be. Greater than that, Mr. Singers’ revelation that he personally knows that prayer will not work is an insult to people of all faiths. Unless Mr. Singer is speaking on behalf of God himself and not the Children’s Hospital, he is going to have a lot of explaining to do to that divine entity which he so flippantly robbed of power.

Late Monday, less than an hour after the hospital was scheduled to disconnect Jahi, her family won a restraining order preventing the hospital from removing her ventilator for another week.

According to court filings, her family will be scrambling as they try to move Jahi to a center in Medford, NY that is willing to provide her 24-hour care.

It is not uncommon for medical miscalculations to be made, or for God to be underestimated. Just last year, a young man in the U.K. was declared brain dead by four specialists after he suffered devastating injuries in a car crash. His parents refused to give up hope, his father begged doctors to check again, and two weeks later faint signs of brain activity were detected. Seven weeks later, he was released from the hospital. If not for his parent’s perseverance, he would be dead.

We don’t know what will happen in the case of little Jahi McMath; but with every ounce of my being, and for the sake of everyone who dares to hope and pray for loved ones around the world, may God prove the doubters wrong once again and say “Talitha koum!” – “Little girl, I say to you, arise.”
Whatever the outcome, may we never lose hope, nor our faith in the power of prayer – and may we never be guilty of that greater sin…causing others to lose theirs.

Originally printed in:
[addlink postname=”Hospital Spokesman Dictates Limits For Hope and Prayer (Audio Available)” text=”http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/12/hospital_spokesman_dictates_limits_for_hope_and_prayer.html”]

Authors pick for accompanying video:

Angels and Ministers of Grace…

angels

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

By Susan D. Harris

I was living in a small town that had only two watering holes; one of which was a rundown VFW post.  It was a low point in my life.  I had recently broken up with my fiancé and was on my way to drown my sorrows at a bar at a nearby town; away from questioning friends and pitying faces.  This town sat on a main route across the state, and although its sidewalks were empty, the traffic was necessarily heavy.

As is the way when youth overdramatizes love, I felt as though my broken heart outweighed the problems of the world.  In a mental fog, I trudged down the sidewalk towards the bar.  Suddenly, a little boy who had just learned to use his legs darted out from a building to cross the sidewalk ahead of me.  He was headed for the busy street where cars were racing to outsmart the yellow light.  Without even thinking, I ran for the tot.  As his little foot stepped off the curb, I snatched him to safety.  I heard a scream and turned to see his mother, the owner of a nearby Chinese restaurant, scooping him up in her arms. She was yelling in Chinese, and the only thing I understood was, “Thank you! Thank you!” as she nodded toward me.  Clutching him almost tighter than he could bare, she and the little one disappeared back into the restaurant.

I couldn’t help wondering if I had just saved a life.  “Is this how miracles happen?” I wondered.  “In the blink of an eye?  No fanfare?  Just a split second reaction and on we go with our lives?  Are modern day miracles cloaked with mundanity?”  In the years that followed, I often thought of that little boy; how our lives intersected at that moment much like the roads met at that intersection.  I considered myself honored to have been given the chance to help just one person. If Clarence the angel could take me back in time, like he did George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” what would I see?  What if I hadn’t been in that town, on that sidewalk, at that moment?  What if I had never been born?

I knew that God often used regular people to work Guardian angel like miracles; but I also knew that Guardian Angels were real.  I knew because like George Bailey, I had personally encountered one — though I never saw him.

It was a dark night, and I was driving alone down a long, bleak country road.  It ended at a “T” with a left turn only.  To turn right you had to veer down a separate, one-way, heavily wooded blind curve.  As I came upon the curve, a voice said, “Pull to the right.”  My face contorted with confusion, and I ignored the disembodied directive.  The next time it was louder and more urgent: “Pull to the right!”  Now my heart was pounding.  I gently turned my steering wheel to the right.  “This is crazy,” I said out loud as I pulled my car toward the shoulder.  No sooner had I done this than I heard, “Farther!”  With eyes as big as saucers, I immediately yanked the wheel to the right.  At that very instant, a car came at me head-on like a bullet.  It was driving the wrong way and barely swerved within a hairs’ breadth to avoid me.  Though it happened in a split second blur, the image of our side mirrors barely grazing each other is forever frozen in my mind.  I sat there motionless wondering what had just happened.  I was overcome with emotion as I realized something supernatural had just happened to me — little insignificant me.  I thanked God.  As I pondered the situation later, I realized I had not heard the voice with my ears; I’d heard it in my head.  It was, however, no less real or articulated than an audible voice.

While that was the only time I actually heard a clearly spoken directive, it would prove to be one of many unexplained and often miraculous events in my life.

Was I more blessed than others to have these things happen, or did I simply recognize them for what they were; while others passed off their miracles as nothing more than luck or intuition?

I am constantly amazed that the good and evil that surrounds us every day isn’t enough for many Americans.  Instead, they are increasingly infatuated with vampires, witches, or mediums with spirit guides named after Indian Chiefs.  They are willing to shell out money to have a spiritualist puff up their pride by telling them about their “previous lives.”  This usually includes something grand and romantic…like a brave medieval knight.  (Notice there is always a brave knight instead of a pauper who died of the plague.)  Meanwhile, they seem oblivious to the fact that they are swirling in the midst of an epic battle between angels and demons that are not of Ron Howards making.

I believe angels are everywhere. The Bible tells us we may stumble across them without even knowing it:

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2)

We see a suggestion of “personal angels” in the verse:

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 18:10)

The book of Hebrews says of angels, “Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?”

Whether ministering spirits, messengers, or soldiers of God, accounts of them have been documented for thousands of years.  Who hasn’t envisioned the angels appearing to the shepherds as they announced the birth of Christ?  While we can only imagine the scene, we do know that it was so shocking that the angels immediately told the shepherds: “Don’t be afraid!”

Whether it be angels, Jesus, the Holy Spirit or God himself who whispers in our ears, one thing is certain: If people truly recognized the extent of spiritual activity that is interwoven through their everyday lives — fictionalized beings like gothic gargoyles and valiant vampires would pale in comparison.

As Christians embrace this holy season, and exchange Christmas cards embossed with what Rev. Peter Marshall called “angels in evening dress with peroxide permanents” – let us also see the angels and miracles in our everyday lives.  We may find we’re giving “luck” too much credit.

Original article appearing in American Thinker:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/12/on_angels_and_ministers_of_grace.html

NOTE: Please see the Comments section on American Thinker to read other’s personal miracles and encounters with the divine:

http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/12/on_angels_and_ministers_of_grace_comments.html#disqus_thread

 Authors pick for accompanying music:

Are We Losing The Christian Heart of Conservativism?

Published Title: Senator Ted Cruz Calls For Spiritual Revival & He’s Correct, We Need It

This will put a lot of people on the defensive, but it needs to be said. It’s time for (many) Conservatives to take a step back, take a deep breath, and think about what they are saying – at the water cooler, on the internet, and in their living rooms.

Recently, Senator Ted Cruz said a spiritual revival was needed in this country:

Without a doubt. I think we’re at the edge of a precipice. If we keep going down this path we’re risking losing our nation. We’re risking losing the incredible oasis of liberty.” (The Brody File).

While Cruz’s remarks pertained to all Americans, it reminds me that Conservatives (most of whom profess to be Christians), need to bring something back to their ideology that they dropped somewhere back along the political road. In our chaotic rush to save the country from Progressives, we began forfeiting our souls and cracking the foundation of what it truly means to be a Conservative. Conservatives need revival to remind them what it means to be a Christian within our society.

The case for Conservatism cannot be won on legislative grounds or on a secular playing field. There are atheists who are Conservatives; but most of those so inclined are necessarily Libertarians – being fiscally conservative but liberal on social issues.

Most Libertarians I know idolize Ayn Rand, who was herself a staunch atheist.

In 1972, Rand wrote:

Above all, do not join the wrong ideological groups or movements… (E.g., the Conservative Party, that subordinates reason to faith, and substitutes theocracy for capitalism; or the “libertarian” hippies, who subordinate reason to whims, and substitute anarchism for capitalism.)

So while Rand herself did not support the “libertarian” movement of her time, she also separated reason from faith, believing that practicing ones faith in conjunction with their politics was replacing capitalism with theocracy.

This should go against what every Christian believes. What will we gain if we secure democracy and capitalism while leaving behind a Christian heart?

While Jesus said, ‘Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God that which is Gods,” the fact remains that every Christian should have one authority that is higher than any law of the land. That is the dreaded idea that Ayn Rand degraded as a “theocracy” while simultaneously spitting on the Christian men and women who established this historically unprecedented country by basing it on Judeo-Christian principles.

Conservatives around the internet, like the antithetic Progressives, seem quick to point out that everyone should be living their lives in a manner which will not economically impact their neighbor. For all the mainstream secularists and religious zealots who love to proclaim, “Judge not lest ye be judged,” we’ve turned into a nation where everyone feels it is their high calling and civic duty to judge everyone else.

Awhile back, an arsonist set fire to a church on a Native America reservation. It was before the Sunday morning service, and a handful of women were inside. Fire companies from around the area responded, and everyone escaped unharmed. Comments posted below the news story were not joyous but disturbing: “They don’t pay taxes! Why should we have to pay for our fire companies to come to their rescue? They don’t pay their fair share!” The stalwart capitalists were making their stand; and it was ugly and embarrassing.

Who can forget the gut-wrenching example of Conservatism with its heart torn out, when radio host Glenn Beck came out on the side of letting a family’s house burn down?  Tennessean Bob Cranick and his family had failed to pay the $75 fee required by their local fire department to respond when their services were needed. With his house engulfed in flames, he begged to pay the fire department the $75 he had overlooked paying. They refused and watched the Cranicks house, along with their dogs and cats, burn to the ground. Beck added insult to injury by saying Cranick failed to pay and was theoretically “sponging” off his neighbors. While Beck has held much-needed and inspirational rallies, like Restoring Love, one wonders why he occasionally has these temporary lapses of Christian decency.

While those of the Conservative bent hit their keyboards decrying the “entitlement crowd” looking for hand-outs, and condemning everyone who accepts government assistance, they seem to forget that an increasing number of their fellow Conservatives are on unemployment and food stamps. I received unemployment myself, and was even forced to go to my local food bank (which is partially federally funded).  There I was humiliated and degraded in front of everyone as I was tongue lashed by the ‘food pantry Nazi’ for asking if Bar-S hotdogs were the only meat available: “If you have to ask, you don’t need it. If you ask again, you will be barred from all food pantries.” (I resisted the urge to fall to my knees and yell: “Soylent Green is people!”)

Trying to make the point that some of us were hit so hard financially we accepted government help only nets me a litany of nasty retorts and lectures on “personal responsibility” – mostly from Conservatives who don’t know or care about my emotional pain, family circumstances or financial hardship. Empathy seems to have been replaced with hard phrases like, “Been there done that.” People with no boot straps are urged to pull them up and quit whining.

While Libertarians and Conservatives rightly talk about letting the community or churches take care of their poor, those days may be gone. The truth is most churches are so busy funding overseas missionaries or assisting new immigrants, they only make token gestures to their own neighbors, and usually only at the holidays. Apart from the dwindling number of churches, increasingly secular communities are filled with the unsympathetic and self-absorbed who are more concerned with saving the earth than the guy next door.

Somewhere along the way, with the apparent exception of abortion, the Christian God has fallen through the cracks of Conservatism. We are allowing Progressives to harden our hearts and Libertarians to squelch our Christian values.

Recently, Breitbart.com ran the story of a Canadian mother whose 22 year old son ran a stop sign and was killed as he drove into the path of an oncoming train. Six people on the train suffered minor injuries as four cars were derailed. Two years later, the rail company decided to sue the son’s estate, of which his mother was executor. Regular conservative visitors to the website posted heartless comments, the mildest being: “I agree. People need to be held responsible for their actions.” I envisioned a mob with torches, digging up the young man’s mangled body and putting him on trial. None of the commenters said, “There but for the grace of God go I.”

Roy Acuff said it best in an old song, “I heard the wreck on the highway…but I didn’t hear nobody pray.”

It would seem the question “What would Jesus do?” has been tossed into the bonfire along with a little word called “mercy.”

We need to remember that God will not be judging us based on our beliefs in Milton Friedman or Keynesian theory. Each one will have to give account as to whether he stood by when his neighbor’s house burned, or if he supported tormenting a grieving mother whose son accidentally ran a stop sign. He will judge our actions, our words, our hearts, and yes – even our internet comments. He is also judging us collectively as a nation. In the greatest reality show ever conceived, He is watching to see if His flock really understands that they are truly charged to be “ambassador’s for Christ” on earth. Conservatives obsession with personal responsibility and their idea of “proper” living often sounds as judgmental as those that think we will have to answer to God for our carbon footprints. Won’t everyone be surprised to find that God won’t give a lick who mankind considered a “tax burden to society,” or who accepted government assistance, or smoked a cigarette, or ate a Big Mac? He won’t even be giving extra credit for going to the gym or eating tofu instead of beef.

The last time I looked, it was the Democrats that were trying to remove God from their platform. At least they did it publicly; not pretending to be something they’re not. Conservatives on the other hand, have been lobbing judgmental stones while hiding behind a wall of Bibles containing a creed they claim to follow, but don’t display in their everyday lives.  Indeed, every harsh Conservative comment I’ve read or heard seems driven by man’s faith in his own concept of Capitalism or politics on earth — instead of his faith in Christ in heaven. Perhaps we should heed the words of Michelle Knight, a woman tortured, raped, and held in captivity for 11 years:

There is more good than evil. I know that there are a lot of people going through hard times, but we need to reach out a hand and hold them, and let them know that they are being heard.

 “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)

This article originally ran on: http://freedomoutpost.com/2013/08/senator-ted-cruz-calls-for-spiritual-revival-hes-correct-we-need-it/

A Nation Transfixed: High Wires and Prayers (audio available)

Nik Wallenda waves to the crowd as he prepares to cross Niagara Falls June 15, 2012 (uploaded to Wikimedia Commons using Flickr upload bot on 03:14, 17 June 2012 (UTC) by ThaddeusB)

Nik Wallenda waves to the crowd as he prepares to cross Niagara Falls June 15, 2012 (uploaded to Wikimedia Commons using Flickr upload bot on 03:14, 17 June 2012 (UTC) by ThaddeusB)

CLICK HERE to listen to the author read her article.

In  1938, in the midst of the Great Depression and suffering from an ominous  foreboding of world war, America suspended the harsh realities of life to tune  into a horse race.  A small horse named Seabiscuit, whom the media called  “the cast off son of a cheaply held father,” challenged Triple Crown winner War  Admiral in the “Match of the Century.”  Millions of people around the world  listened to the race on their radio sets, and more than 40,000 jammed the  Pimlico racetrack in Baltimore to view it firsthand.  It is now widely  accepted that Seabiscuit’s victory inspired a nation in the throes of poverty, hunger, international turmoil and personal depression.

Perhaps  it was a country in a similar situation that caused Twitter to explode when  high-wire artist and daredevil Nik Wallenda appeared on Discovery Channel’s Skywire on Sunday night.  Fifteen hundred feet above  the Little Colorado River in Navajo Tribal Park just east of the Grand  Canyon, Wallenda took a life or death walk across a two inch steel cable with no  safety harness.  Discovery Channel announced that #Skywire tweets reached  over 700,000.  One tweet claimed there were one million streams of the  event on Discovery.com and 40,000 tweets per minute.

People frantically tweeted how nervous they were  during the event.  Many of them said they couldn’t watch anymore, but  recorded it for later viewing – to ensure they didn’t watch a tragedy.   Others remarked that they didn’t remember breathing for 22 minutes and 54  seconds — the amount of time it took Wallenda to walk the  wire.

To say that Skywire was a welcomed  distraction is an understatement.  So enthralled were people with the  event, they found it hard to switch their focus back to real life when it was  over.  In what would become a running gag on Twitter, one person tweeted  she was attempting to walk to her refrigerator, and asked for prayers.  She  continued to update followers on her progress, complete with pictures of her feet straddling the crack on her tiled  floors, eventually announcing when she had successfully reached “the fridge.”   A video in what appeared to be a dorm room showed young men walking a  makeshift high wire from one bed to another, erupting in cheers when they  bounced safely to the other side.  Another man wished everyone “Good luck  with those ‘falling’ nightmares tonight!”

Ben Shapiro of Breitbart.com had his own observation,  “Difference between #Skywire and  NSA: One dude on wire, everyone watching. Entire gov on wire, nobody  watching.”

Even  President Obama didn’t escape being dragged into the event as someone posted a picture of him smugly thinking, “Skywire  walk? I could do that.”

The  only controversy that arose came when discussing Wallenda’s frequent prayers to  God and Jesus during his jeopardous jaunt.  One Twitter user joked that  he’d like to think Wallenda was an atheist 15 minutes before he began the walk.   (Apparently he’s never heard: “There are no atheists in foxholes.”)

The  presence of Joel Osteen made some uncomfortable, as did the family prayer  beforehand.  In a manner that exposed how far society has degraded, many  online commenters thanked Discovery Channel for not censoring Wallenda’s  personal prayers.  While it was a good message to send the network, it was more disturbing that  people thought it needed to be said.

Whether you thought he was tempting God or protected by him, internet  comments seem to indicate that more people were praying as he walked that wire  than there would have normally been on any given Sunday night.  How can  that be bad?  And wasn’t it refreshing to hear someone acknowledge the  Grand Canyon as the handiwork of God, as Wallenda did, instead of a United  Nations World Heritage site?

For  those that had the fortitude to watch, the event was visually spectacular,  featuring breathtaking camera shots.  Perhaps the most impressive view came  from a camera attached to his shirt, where we could watch his feet as they  carefully traversed the reverberating cable far above the canyon floor.

It  felt as if, for 22 minutes, much of the country sat desperately transfixed;  perhaps like they did for that “Match of the Century” seventy-five years ago.  They hoped this great feat would provide escape or inspiration.  Judging by  its reception, it succeeded in providing both.

Whether you care for their daredevil ways or not, the Wallenda’s are  an American institution that has been a mainstay of family entertainment for decades.   In our corner of the  world, we’ve watched them perform at theme parks in the Adirondack Mountains of  New York State since the 1950’s.  After one performance, my parents had  occasion to converse with both Karl (family patriarch and Nik’s deceased  great-grandfather), and Karl’s brother, Herman.  So familiar were they that  my parents could easily identify every Wallenda from that era, most of whom are  gone now.

Still, we don’t understand why they do what they do.   There is something in a performer’s blood that we on the other side of the  stage curtain will never understand.  One thing we do know is that while  there may be something macabre in tempting death, there will always be something  wonderfully grand in cheating it.

Original article appeared here: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/06/a_nation_transfixed_high_wires_and_prayers.html#ixzz2XJOAQbBK

THE LAST VOICE YOU HEAR

Something always rubs me the wrong way when people tell us that hard times draw us closer together and teach us what is really important in our lives. “We’ve lost the country, at least we’ve got each other.” There is something inherently defeatist and depressing about that; accepting defeat, especially unfair defeat, is a hard pill to swallow.

Do You Remember Sweet Betsy From Pike? (audio available)

wagon

CLICK HERE to listen to the author read her article.

Since our founding, American society has shared a common belief system, morals, societal norms and language. It no longer does. 

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Growing Up American: From Church School to Scouting

State StreetAbove: The church where my parents were married.

So maybe life in the old days wasn’t all Ozzy and Harriet, or Wally and Beaver. In their day, however, we do know that one in ten school-age children were not being diagnosed with ADHD. That also means two-thirds of those children were not being treated with stimulants like Ritalin and Adderall. Neither were 5% of 12-19 year olds taking anti-depressants. This raises the question: besides the egregious influence of pill-pushing pharmaceutical companies, what was different in American life previous to the prescription drug culture in which our children now live?

Television stereotypes aside, let’s take a look back at how children used to spend their time:

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The Church of ‘What’s Happenin’ Now’

flip wilson

The Church of What’s Happening Now

We were told Protestantism is nearly dead.  It seems everyone, including the mainstream media, has all but sealed its coffin.

Watching recent news coverage of Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, and the election of Pope Francis, one would assume the Pope is indeed the leader of Christians everywhere.  The fact that not all Christians are Catholics is a small detail everyone seems lax to distinguish.

As soon as the new pope was announced, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly told her viewers that Jesus had appointed Peter the first Pope.  While the MSM carefully seeks to preface much of their news with politically correct caveats like “According to Muslim faith,” and “According to the Jewish faith,” it seems “According to the Catholic faith,” is suddenly unnecessary.  With Kelly’s statement, viewers who lack any religious knowledge would have envisioned Jesus placing a miter on Peter’s head right after the first white smoke drifted heavenward from  a chimney in Rome.

Time and again, we hear Catholic theology inserted into what has become ecumenical Protestantism.  The Via Doloroso for instance, with its 14 stations of the cross determined by the Catholic Church, is increasingly embraced by Protestant churches.  Some of these stations are strictly Catholic in origin, like #6, where Veronica Wipes Jesus Face.  There is nothing in the Bible about Veronica, but the Veil of Veronica, the cloth she supposedly used to wipe Jesus face, is a major Catholic relic kept at St. Peter’s Basilica.  The oral tradition is Catholic in origin and she is venerated as a Catholic saint.

One has to hand it to Catholics; their showmanship trumps anything in the Protestant church.   Even a Protestant like me, with documented ancestral ties to the first pious pilgrims, was drawn into the “Pope frenzy.”   Initially watching coverage of the papal conclave for historical purposes, I found myself being emotionally drawn to this man who, by most news accounts, was God’s representative on earth and the final authority on my faith.  I almost forgot the price that was paid by Martin Luther, who emancipated Christians with the knowledge that God is the final authority on their faith, both on earth and in heaven.   Still, I found myself almost wishing I were Catholic to join in the fun.

While most Protestants today willingly acknowledge Catholics are indeed Christians, there is still a movement within the Catholic church to quietly brand Protestants as heretics, in the pre-Vatican II belief that those who do not accept the Chair of Peter, the Seven Sacraments, or acknowledge the Church for Mother (Pope Pius IX, Singulari quidem of March 17, 1856) are not truly Christians:

There is only one true, holy, Catholic Church, which is the Apostolic Roman Church.  There is only one See founded in Peter by the word of the Lord, outside of which we cannot find either true faith or eternal salvation.  He who does not have the Church for a mother cannot have God for a father, and whoever abandons the See of Peter on which the Church is established trusts falsely that he is in the Church.

Protestants believe the Catholic Church worships false deities with statues of saints.  We do not have ‘relics,’ which is to say we don’t make pilgrimages to human bones in hopes they will heal us, we don’t worship Mary nor pray to her (though we acknowledge her as blessed among women), we don’t carry medallions in hope they will protect us or bring answers to our prayers.  Protestant doctrine holds that  anyone who accepts Jesus Christ as their personal savior; accepts the Holy Trinity; asks God directly for forgiveness of their sins and follows the Ten Commandments — can be saved.  Additionally, through God’s grace, anyone can be saved.  That judgment call is up to Him.

Nevertheless, the papal frenzy that has gripped the world has left many Protestants wondering if they’re just not ‘cool’ anymore.  Are there no fist-bumps for us? The much talked about idea of a one world religion doesn’t seem too far-fetched when you look at the public relations success of a Catholic Church who, despite devastating scandals, is making Protestants who were formerly in the majority look like the Studebaker of the day.   Pope Francis seems to be leading a hugely successful public relations campaign to bring straying sheep back into the fold.   The Drudge report had daily coverage of Pope Francis non-traditional exploits in the days following his ascension to the throne. News reports filled with supernatural excitement as soon as lightning struck the Vatican, and a seagull descended from heaven to sit atop the Sistine Chapel chimney, hours before history announced a new Roman Catholic leader.  Can Protestantism survive without such pomp and circumstance and a central webcam broadcasting video worldwide?

We are faced with the dilemma of needing Christians of all faiths to unite in defense of a historically Christian country, and against an administration unfriendly to their beliefs. We live amongst a secular population that sees Christianity as antiquated.  How do we do this and still keep our Christian identities separate?  Or, in our high-minded pursuit of world peace, will we throw in the towel as we kneel to wash the Muslims feet in a grand display of religious tolerance?

Only time will tell if evangelical, traditional Protestants will survive in a culture that has succeeded in branding them as bible-thumping, ignorant Neanderthals.  Sadly, when all is said and done, it might just be easier for them to crash the party and join what comedienne Flip Wilson called, The Church of What’s Happening Now.  If they do, those great souls like John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Wycliffe and John Wesley, among others, will be shedding some tears in heaven…wondering what it was all for. We must not let that happen. We cannot be afraid to stand by the moral principles and Christian faith this country was founded on.

FURTHER READING:

http://www.traditioninaction.org/religious/m013rpProtestantsChristians.html

THE GREAT SYNAGOGUE OF ALEPPO: A SIGN OF THE TIMES?

photo capture: YouTube

photo capture: YouTube

By Susan D. Harris – November 2012

Please see “Update” and “Related Reading” at the end of this post.

See what you have to ask yourself is what kind of person are you? Are you the kind that sees signs, sees miracles? . . . Or, look at the question this way: Is it possible that there are no coincidences? Reverend Graham Hess, Signs, the movie, 2002.

 

For Christians around the world who believe they are watching Biblical prophecies fulfilled daily, in a multitude of ways and places, the events in Syria should be worthy of a wide-eyed glance and give them pause for a reason they may not be aware of.

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GROWING UP AMERICAN: CHRISTMAS 1941

mom war years

CLICK TO ENLARGE

Above: Arlene, the littlest, with her family on her birthday in 1939. Arlene (the author’s mother) wishes to thank all the people who responded with such sincere appreciation of this article…from all around the country – and internationally as well.

NOTE: I am honored to have this article being used in the regular cirruculum at the London Metropolitan Museum class: Writing Your Family History. 

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IT’S TIME TO BE MEN AGAIN

Karl Marx was right. Religion is the opiate of the people. In America right now, more so than ever, that religion is sports. Criticizing sports is unspokenly labeled as hate speech – especially by men and, sadly, by women who have become more masculinized in their quest to be given a deservedly equal place in society. For the man, though, the American ideal of manhood is defined by his interest in sports.

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