Saturday, July 30, 2011

Refuse to Compromise

In 1952, Armon M. Sweat, Jr., a member of the Texas House of Representatives, was asked about his position on whiskey. What follows is his exact answer (taken from the Political Archives of Texas):

"If you mean whiskey, the devil's brew, the poison scourge, the bloody monster that defiles innocence, dethrones reason, destroys the home, creates misery and poverty, yea, literally takes the bread from the mouths of little children; if you mean that evil drink that topples Christian men and women from the pinnacles of righteous and gracious living into the bottomless pit of degradation, shame, despair, helplessness, and hopelessness, then, my friend, I am opposed to it with every fiber of my being.

However, if by whiskey you mean the lubricant of conversation, the philosophic juice, the elixir of life, the liquid that is consumed when good fellows get together, that puts a song in their hearts and the warm glow of contentment in their eyes; if you mean Christmas cheer, the stimulating sip that puts a little spring in the step of an elderly gentleman on a frosty morning; if you mean that drink that enables man to magnify his joy, and to forget life's great tragedies and heartbreaks and sorrow; if you mean that drink the sale of which pours into Texas treasuries untold millions of dollars each year, that provides tender care for our little crippled children, our blind, our deaf, our dumb, our pitifully aged and infirm, to build the finest highways, hospitals, universities, and community colleges in this nation, then my friend, I am absolutely, unequivocally in favor of it.

This is my position, and as always, I refuse to compromise 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A pox on both parties in congress!

A pox on both parties in congress!

I have been fed up with both Democrats and Republicans for a long time. It is not really the liberal vs conservative issue for me. On some issues I am liberal and on some I am conservative. I am fed up with the corruption and narrowness of mind. Their goal has been to be reelected and to collect as much money as possible to do so.

Both parties try to tell me what the American people want and I don’t think they have a clue. They don’t seem to know what I want.

The conservative in me wants a logical approach to our federal budget. Neither the Republicans nor Democrats know what that is.

I believe that until our debt is paid off we need both spending cuts and revenue increases. Then we must have a balanced budge article in the constitution because clearly future congresses will put us back in the same condition. The article should provide a way to borrow incase of national emergency with a pay off date for the debt.

A cut in the Federal budget needs to start with the salary budget for congress and President and last until the debt is paid off.  

I know that the process will be difficult and we will need to spread the pain when we make the hard choices.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Restore the New Testament Church?

I belong to a church that started in the early 1800’s as a movement to unite all Christians by restoring the “New Testament” church. That was a lofty goal. If only we could restore the forms and governance of the first century Christian Church then everyone would join us. In 1832 it looked like it might be working as two like minded groups united at a meeting in Lexington Kentucky. The “Christians” and the Disciples of Christ formed the Christian Churches (Disciples of Christ).

It was a good beginning but there were developing differences of opinion concerning exactly what the New Testament forms were. How did the first century church do things? Some people saw no organization beyond the local congregation. Some believed that musical instruments were used in worship and some did not. Some believed in mutually supporting missionaries and some thought each congregation should support a missionary. A church group that formed to unite the whole church split twice over differences of opinions.

Today we know that in the first century of the church there was more than one way of doing things. While the Christian faith was illegal in the Roman Empire it was unable to organize but in 325 AD Emperor Constantine made it legal and forced an organization on the church. Those who disagreed – and there were many – left the empire to remain true to what they believed was the “true church.”

Is it any wonder that we can not agree on restoring the New Testament Church?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Equal ? Civil ? Rights ?

Equal Civil Rights is a phrase that sounds so right on the surface that one would think that everyone would be in favor of it. Experience indicates that this is not always the case.

In practice that lofty ideal gets really messy because it brings about change in our society. Public Radio has been reviewing the “Freedom Riders” of fifty years ago. Then Equal Civil Rights for black people was a big issue that a lot of white people were against.

Around the turn of the 1900’s Equal Civil Rights for women was a big issue that a lot of men were against. You can name almost any group and at some point there was a quest for Equal Civil Rights. Go back to the 1600’s and people were leaving Europe so that they could have their Equal Civil Rights for their religion.

Today people who prefer their own gender are agitating for their Equal Civil Rights to be married. There are a lot of people who are against that idea on religious grounds.

Equal Civil Rights at all levels of society is an issue that we really need to consider carefully and thoughtfully as an ideal apart from a particular form of the issue. How can we insure our own Equal Civil Rights if we strive to deny any other group their Equal Civil Rights?

What do you think?