Archive for April, 2011
Thursday, April 28th, 2011
Imagine you’re on a trip and you need to purchase a ticket or check in a bag. You hand the attendant your credit card, she runs it through the reader, and a frown crosses her face. She hands the card back to you and says in a solemn voice, “I’m sorry, but your card has been declined.”
How do you feel? Embarrassed? Helpless? Let’s take the story a step further. You call the credit card company, irate that your card has been declined. They look up your records and say, “You’ve reached your credit limit. I’m sorry but there’s nothing more I can do.”
You’ve gotten so used to using the card that you haven’t bothered to monitor its use or keep enough cash on hand for emergencies. You’re out of options.
How do you feel now?
Saturday, April 23rd, 2011
It has been an active Easter weekend thus far for me and my family. I spent Good Friday with some of the members of my church home group, watching The Passion of the Christ and being reminded once again of the tremendous sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us. Reading the passion story in the gospels tells us all we need to know about Jesus’ willing journey to the cross, but the visual horror of it as depicted in this film causes the tears to flow and the heart to ache. This is only the second time I’ve watched it in its entirety, and it is an inspired piece of art that touches the soul deeply.
Today was spent running errands in anticipation of Easter Sunday. I stepped up a bit more this year than last because my wife has been struggling all week with severe pain in her lower back, probably a recurrence of sciatica after a couple of years without it. I hate to see her so uncomfortable and miserable, so I wanted to do as much as I could to make it easier on her.
As I was shopping and cleaning, I had a spring in my step and joy in my heart because I knew what the next day held. I will be in my usual place, singing with the choir for the three services at our church, and then I’ll come home with the rest of the family and get the table set for us and those in our church home group who will be joining us for an Easter meal of leg of lamb and ham with all the accoutrements. It will be a great and wonderful feast with family and friends in fellowship with one another, celebrating the resurrection of our Lord and Savior.
As I sit here, however, in the quiet of the evening, the day’s work behind me and the celebration of Easter before me, I’m thinking back to the time of Christ’s crucifixion and the utter despair and brokenness that his disciples must have felt on the day after their master and teacher was murdered for all of Jerusalem to see.
Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
Every now and again, when debating the federal budget, I hear or read a statement similar to this:
“How can conservatives claim to be Christian when they want to cut government benefits to the poor? What would Jesus do?”
Such comments demonstrate their ignorance of the generosity of conservatives vice the stinginess of liberals when it comes to private charity, a gap that is well-documented and empirically defensible.
It also highlights a fallacy that is increasingly prevalent in modern American society, that charity is a primary function of government. In this excerpt from my book, SELLOUT: Musings from Uncle Tom’s Porch, I address this fallacy head on.
Friday, April 15th, 2011
Note: This article appeared in the April 2011 edition of Tea Party Review magazine. Click on the link to the right to order your annual subscription to the nation’s first and only magazine for the Tea Party movement.
If I had to choose one word that defines the foundation, motivation and objective of the Tea Party movement, it would be this: liberty. It is the one word that stands out in speeches, book titles and public pronouncements related to this grass-roots movement of everyday Americans.
Ask any number of Tea Party participants what liberty means to them, however, and you’re likely to get more than one answer. Liberty to a self-described libertarian may not be liberty as defined by a social conservative.
Outside of the conservative/libertarian ideological spectrum, even so-called “progressives” believe they have the answer to the question of liberty, viewing it as they do mankind in general, namely from a material perspective.
It is critical going forward that we arrive at some common understanding of what liberty means to us. Ultimately, it will not be specific policies or programs that benefit America, but our consistent adherence to the principle of liberty as the wellspring from which our ideas come.
How we perceive liberty will shape and guide every decision we make in our exercise of self-governance, to include holding our elected officials accountable. So this is one thing we’ve got to get right.
Wednesday, April 13th, 2011
My wife handed me a newspaper clipping about the recent disaster in Japan and its aftermath, and I was struck by the reports of greatly diminished charitable donations by Americans to that beleaguered nation compared to Haiti last year, or to the victims of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Charity Navigator, an organization that ranks the financial performance of charities, noted that its survey of a dozen large U.S. charitable organizations revealed they had raised $64 million for Japan in the first six days, compared to $210 million for Haiti six days after the earthquake that devastated that Caribbean nation, and $457 million for the victims of Hurricane Katrina six days after that disaster had struck.
What is the reason for the discrepancy? Americans typically respond immediately and generously to scenes of disaster in other lands, and the sheer poverty of many of the victims of Hurricane Katrina certainly stirred the conscience of the nation.
Saturday, April 9th, 2011
As I sit here taking in the news that the Congress and the President have reached a budget deal to avert a shutdown of the federal goverment, I’m not sure in which direction to vent my frustration. I am profoundly disappointed in my Republican Party, and fed up with the sob stories and vacuous slogans coming from the Democrats any time their pet projects, especially the ones involving the murder of unborn children, are threatened.
I am annoyed with the press, long ago exposed as the propaganda arm of the Democratic Party, that has the nerve to call conservatives “purveyors of fear” even as they write about all the eldery and children who will die in the streets if the government is shut down for even one day.
America, we’ve got to stop acting like a bunch of teenagers, or we’re done. It’s that simple. If that’s purveying fear, then I’m guilty as charged. This is a rant, so forgive me if it’s not coherent.
Sunday, April 3rd, 2011
I saw the news reports about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s appearance on Face the Nation, and I regret that he wasn’t really facing the nation, especially me. Had he been in front of me at that time, I would have shut him down within minutes of his uttering the following comment about the GOP’s proposed FY 2012 budget:
Friday, April 1st, 2011
Annapolis (April 1) – Ron Miller, author of SELLOUT: Musings from Uncle Tom’s Porch, black conservative writer and commentator, and president of Regular Folks United, issued the following statement on the National Urban League’s report, “The State of Black America 2011:”