Family


The liberal media and pro-abortion groups worked themselves up into quite a lather after CBS agreed to air a pro-life ad during the Super Bowl featuring 2007 Heisman trophy winner Tim Tebow and his mother.   Yet after the ad aired Sunday my initial feeling was what was all the fuss about?  When the ad aired at the beginning of the game I didn’t event realize it was the controversy laden ad until Tim Tebow appeared at the end.

For Focus on the Family which paid $2.5 million to air the ad I guess they got their money’s worth based on the press the ad generated.  As an effective pro-life message I’m not so sure.  It was a very soft sell and I was frankly underwhelmed.

In the end the media and the pro-abortion groups got worked up over nothing in my opinion but then again what else can we expect from people who thrive on rumor and innuendo and not the facts?

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After living my entire life in the Washington, D.C. area it has become easy for me to become a little jaded when it comes to believing that public servants will actually show some kindness and understanding to someone in need.

Yet that is exactly what happened just a few nights ago to one of my co-workers.

While he was working late into the night, he decided to leave the office to go check our company mailbox outside to see if we had received any magazines that day.  After he came up empty handed he headed back into our office building only to discover that they last remaining elevator that was functioning was no longer working.

Now he could have just called it a day, and since it was past 11 p.m. no one would have blamed him, but since he thought the trip to the mailbox would be a short one he left both his wallet and his coat in his office.  So now he had no money, identification and more importantly no coat to shield himself against the 20 degree weather.

He did have his cell phone so he started calling a few of his co-workers starting with me, but I missed that call.  After coming up empty handed he then called the fire department thinking that they would have some master key so he could use the stairwell which is normally locked.  No luck there as it was not an emergency and the only master key the fire department was likely to have would have been an ax which probably wouldn’t have pleased  the landlord if they had responded.

Not knowing what to do next he walked a block or so to the nearest Metrorail station where he spotted a police officer.  He explained his predicament and the officer asked where he lived and after a few minutes pulled out a $20 and handed it to my employee.  My employee was very grateful and asked for the officer’s phone number so he could call and pay him back the next day but he was waved off with the officer telling him to consider it a Christmas present.

Maybe my employee being foreign born cut a sympathetic figure, with his accent and the fact he had no winter coat on,but I am grateful for that kind police officer who late on a chilly night in the District reached out to help a fellow human being and spread some Christmas cheer in what can normally be a very callous city.

For as we read in Matthew chapter 25;

35 For I was an ahungred, and ye bgave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a cstranger, and ye took me in:

36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye avisited me: I was in bprison, and ye came unto me.

37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?

38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?

39 Or when saw we thee asick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have adone it unto one of the bleast of these my cbrethren, ye have done it unto me.
In one simple act that police officer not only spread a little cheer but magnified His Father’s will.
As we celebrate the birth of our Savior and Redeemer let us not forget His ultimate sacrifice so that affords us the opportunity to live on the earth today.
Merry Christmas!

Normally right after Thanksgiving the cards come flooding into our home.  Many are pictures of friends and their families, some are e the standard festive card with a small personal message scribbled inside and others are letters that often include scanned photos of friends and family far and wide.

But this year the flood has turned into a trickle.  To date we have received so few cards that my wife is looking for cards from last year to place in front of our relatively small fireplace mantle.

Our experience apparently is not out of the ordinary though.  An article in the Washington Post chronicles others in the D.C. area who are wondering what happened as well.

Is it juts our collective imagination or is this a real phenomenon that signals a new trend?  According to the Post it’s real alright.  Mail volume is down some 10% compared to a year ago and that can be largely attributed to the decline in Christmas cards being mailed.

Now I have to admit that I am as much a culprit as I am a victim if not more so.  To date I have sent zero Christmas cards.  Yep, I’m definitely a  Grinch and a Scrooge this year.  This is down from the 50-60 cards I used to send when I first got married nearly 25 years ago to 25-30 that I recall sending last year.  But I still have time to fix my miserable record and I plan to do so this week.

Yes our lives are busy and social media seems to have consumed many of us to the point that it now is becoming acceptable to send e-cards and use Twitter and Facebook to wish our friends and family a Merry Christmas.  It’s not very personal but it is efficient.  In one fell swoop I can send a Christmas greeting to over 2,400 people and all it would cost me is my time.  It’s very tempting to say the least.

For me I can’t help but feel a little conflicted.  As a child growing up in the ’60’s and ’70’s I watched my father very meticulously send out some 100 plus cards every year to people all over the world.  He had a very thick notebook that contained the name and address of every recipient.  At the bottom of the card he drew a line.  Above the line he wrote the year a card was sent.  Below the line he recorded if a card was received.  If a person didn’t reciprocate with a card he was thus unlikely to receive one the next year.  When you are sending out as many cards as he was the only way to remember to whom he sent and received cards from.

I can still remember logging in the cards received which since the notebook wasn’t completely alphabetized took quite a bit of time and while it may seemed fun while I was a child I certainly don’t miss those days.

But I never thought I’d see the day where Christmas cards would become irrelevant.  As I said earlier our busy lives and the onslaught of social media probably plays a part but I wonder just how much the recession affected the sharp drop in card mailings this year.  After all we still have sky high unemployment, foreclosures continue unabated and the outlook isn’t really that bright in the year ahead so I guess it’s hard to be too cheery.   The other part of this equation is the cost of the cards themselves.  A box of cards fully priced will normally run about $1 or more per card.  Factor in postage and if you are sending out a lot of cards it adds up fast.  Even at the peak of when my father was sending out 100 plus cards a year I bet he didn’t spend more than $100 for cards and postage including the ones he sent overseas.

In any event I hope that this is only a blip on the radar screen.  I know I have been lazier than usual but my close friends can expect a card in the next few days, while my Facebook friends will have to settle for a cheaper electronic greeting.

Whether or not you send a card this year don’t forget to let your friends and family know how grateful you are for them.

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

On April 19th at the Miss USA pageant a new hero of the family values movement was crowned in the form of Miss California Carrie Prejean.

During the crucial question and answer portion of the pageant Prejean had the misfortune of being quizzed by gay blogger Perez Hilton who asked her whether or not she thought that all states should mirror states like Vermont and California  and legalize these unions.

In response Prejean said , “I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other … same sex marriage or opposite marriage,” then added, “I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman … that’s how I was raised.”

Instead of finding her answer honest and refreshing Hilton and the other politically correct judges crowned Miss North Carolina Kristen Dalton the new Miss USA who to this day hasn’t commented on how she feels about same-sex marriage so she can remain a viable commodity in the eyes of pageant officials.

For Prejean the fallout has been mostly positive as she has become a media sensation and appearing at public events with groups opposed to gay marriage which sparked the state pageant officials to consider dethroning her for supposedly violating her contract.

Then yesterday came the fake drama when Donald Trump announced that Prejean would keep her title after all.

My first reaction to the controversy was that it was great to see someone stand up for their values even if they were politically incorrect.  But after photos surfaced of Prejean only partially clad for some underwear photos from several years ago and the revelation that she had breast implants I began to wonder why the conservatives, especially the family values groups would embrace her so readily.

Yes, she espoused their viewpoint on gay marriage, but she also claimed to be a Christian and that means living your values every day even if it means making professional sacrifices.  For me the photos were an example of a young woman more interested in her career than her faith and she only compounded that by getting the breast implants.  She obviously saw the pageant as nothing more than a women as sex objects contest and abandoned any pretense of Chritianity by seeking to augment her physical assets.

Prejean has capitalized on the controversy both pro and con and Donald Trump who owns the Miss USA pageant has been basking in all the attention on an event that is usually just a news footnote.  More publicity for the Donald will equal more money for the Donald.

It’s time that the media and the conservative movement move on and find something worthwhile to talk about and let Carrie Prejean fade to black as soon as possible.

Nebraska lawmakers thought they were protecting children when they passed a first in the nation safe haven law that allowed parents to drop their children off at a licensed hospital without explaining why.

What the legislators didn’t count on was a flood of parents dropping children of all ages off and leaving.  Their intent was to protect newborns and small infants but by not placing an age limit in the law hospitals have seen entire families being dropped off including teenagers forcing them to scramble to place them with suitable families.

Not only are these children abandoned by their parents but they are then left to wonder why this action is legal.

The courts will decide on whether or not the parents are liable for child support payments but unless it was specifically written into the law it may be hard to enforce.  Also there is the question of whether or not the parents are even in Nebraska.  I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that parents just dropped off their children then fled the state or moved without leaving a forwarding address in case the authorities decide to come looking for them.

We live in an era where parents often shirk their responsibilities to raise and  nurture their children but the state of Nebraska has only exacerbated this problem by legalizing the abandonment of children.  In their haste to protect children lawmakers have instead opened a can of worms and made it easier for parents to transfer their responsibility to the state.  In the long run everyone suffers.