Sunday, January 30, 2011


There is a certain luxury to being a grandparent that one never has when the parenting duties are your main preoccupation in life.  That luxury is the ability to look upon your offspring, now adult, and reminisce in your own mind about their lives through the filter of their current life.  I had such an opportunity today and it left me thinking that this day was, indeed, profound in nature.

This morning, at Grace Presbyterian Church in Peoria, Illinois, my son Josh and my daughter-in-law Melissa presented the newest member of our family to be dedicated to God.  The ceremony, a rather simple affair, gives the parents the responsibility of seeing to it that the child is reared in the Word of God and that Word becomes the basis for their lives. 

For the ceremony itself, the entire family was called to the altar.  As the minister proceeded with the ceremony, I must admit that I did not take in many of the words he was pronouncing over the family.  Rather, my mind shot back through time to days in an era that was much simpler than the times in which we live.  There, I saw Josh as the little boy growing up with a sense of curiosity and wonder of the world that were so unique to him.  Then my glance led to Aliyah.  She is so like her father and I could not help but notice how similar the two are today.   Younger sisters Keirah and Noelliah, rested in the arms of each parent as the dedication unfolded.

As the family stood on that stage, my heart swelled with pride not in anything that I had done but in the kind of man my son has become.  He is first and foremost a man who places God at the center of his life.  He has made a commitment to guide his family using God as his compass.  He is a husband who is fully dedicated to his wife, loving and embracing her for all that she is and all that she brings to his life (which is considerable).  He is a father who embraces his children every day with a deep and abiding love founded upon his love for God.  His girls are his life and you can be sure that they will always be under his watchful eye.   And then he is the son who has given his father a love that is unearned but surely welcomed.  This love has given and energy to my life that is beyond words.

All five of them-Josh, Melissa, Aliyah, Keirah, and Noelliah-bring pride to this baby-boom father like nothing else in his life.  As I looked upon that family I realized just how much God loves me by favoring me with this vision of family.  Encapsulated in that moment was the message of just how much He loves us all and how much He has sacrificed us all so that we may share these profound moments in life.

I am profoundly grateful to Josh and Melissa for their bringing into the world three little lights that will grow into shinning beacons of God's love for man.  And I am profoundly moved that God would allow me to glimpse this remarkable manifestation of His love.  Profound, in reality, doesn't even begin to describe it!

Monday, January 24, 2011

On Being Civil

Since the tragic shooting in Tucson which left 6 dead and several more injured including the intended target, Cong. Gabrielle Giffords, nearly every politician in the land has proclaimed that we all must be more civil towards each other.  It must be reflected in our speech as well as our actions.  As an example, several congressmen and senators from both sides of the aisle with be sitting with each other in an attempt at showing their civility and willingness to cooperate with each other.  A noble gesture, perhaps, but a gesture that has very little, if any, meaning.  But that is fodder for another time.

It is all very well to speak of being more civil, more tolerant of each other but until we become more civil towards the weakest and most defenseless of our society, everything else seems rather inconsequential.

In the shadow of the 38th anniversary of the Supreme Court's ruling Roe v Wade which formally legalized abortion, I would like to point out that we have hardly been civil to the over 53,000,000 babies that have been aborted before having the chance to be born.  This slaughter of the most innocent among us sure must rank amongst the most inhospitable act any one society has shown toward a segment of its population in the history of mankind. 

Only recently, with the arrest of the abortion doctor and his staff in Philadelphia, has there been any real outcry about this continuing abomination and we certainly have not heard one story about this nightmare in the mainstream media (ABC, NBC, CBS).  The violence of abortion stuns those who first begin to understand how abortions are performed.  The mere thought of someone killing an unborn child is simply too much for most to fathom.  But the fact of the matter is is that abortion is pure and simple an act of butchery.

So Mr. and Ms. politician, until we can find a way to be more civil to those who have no voice and no choice, you can sit together all you want.  You can tiptoe through the tulips night and day.  You can hum "Everything Is Beautiful" at all hours.  However, no one in the world would ever believe you meant it as long as the abortion mills continue to produce the horrors that we witnessed in Philadelphia.

I am sure your actions will be praised by the President of the United States during his State of the Union Address this Tuesday night as an example of civility and cooperation.  Meantime, across town in some abortion clinic or "Women's Health Clinic" a child will be killed before having the chance of being born.  How civil are we really if this continues unchecked?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Priest of the Culture of Death

Take a look at the photo above and you will be looking into the face of unbelievable evil.  It is the likeness of the Philadelphia physician who now stands accused of killing seven live babies and one mother in his chamber of horrors that is called an abortion clinic.  Dr. Kermit Gosnell along his with wife and several staff members have been arrested and indicted on eight counts of murder including the death of a mother during a botched abortion. 

Inside the clinic, investigators found what they described as a "house of horrors."  Among other things, they found bags and bottles filled with aborted babies.  Seth Williams, the District Attorney for the region, said that several jars containing "severed feet that he (Dr. Gosnell) kept for no medical purpose."  There is speculation that the doctor has, over the years, killed hundreds of babies born live with a pair of scissors.

The babies included in the indictment were killed after the doctor and his staff had induced labor in the patient and then given birth to a perfectly live and viable newborn.  The babies included in the grand jury's findings were six, seven, and eight months old.  Once they were born, perfectly capable of living outside the womb at this point. the doctor took a pair of scissors, jabbed them into the back of their necks, and the sliced through the spinal chord, killing the infants instantly.

This barbaric crime is more revolting and heinous than most people have heard of up to this point.  These babies could very well have lived and been adopted out had they not had the misfortune of being born into this "house of horrors."  Instead of being given to the care of parents who would love them and nurture them to adulthood, they were cruelly and coldly dispatched by a doctor and willing staff with a simple, every day instrument, namely a scissors.

What amazes me (and I don't know why) is that nowhere in the mainstream media has this story been given any air time.  This monstrous crime deserves the attention of the American people.  It deserves to be exposed because it is an icon of the Culture of Death.  This is what abortion is and there is no disguising it with words or phrases that have some sort of soothing sound.  It is a barbaric act and outrage needs to be expressed.  Our lawmakers need to be bombarded with demands that something needs to be done regarding abortion in this country.  Human treasure has been destroyed in this instance but the sad thing is that human treasure is freely and openly destroyed in abortion mills throughout this country every day.

What does it say about a society when something like this abhorrent crime committed in Philadelphia, the city that gave birth to the Declaration of Independence in which all men were declared to have been created equal by their creator, gets no attention from the major media outlets in this country?  Have we grown so callous to such obscene violence that it just doesn't effect us any longer?  Does it reflect on our lessening dependency on God and greater dependency on ourselves?

This kind of story deserves the kind of attention that American Idol generates.  More than that, really!  This slaughter of innocent human beings has to be stopped in some way.  A society can be judged by the way it treats its least significant members.  If that is the case, then we are in big trouble.  The Culture of Death, a culture that promotes the ego and the self must be reversed so as to head off this kind of unthinkable crime.  We need to once again adopt the Culture of Life, an atmosphere that celebrates life in all of its forms.  Only then shall we be able to rescue what we have lost, although those innocent citizens who have been killed before even having the chance to be born are beyond mortal rescue.  May they all rest in the peace of Christ.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tragic Absurdity

The absurdity that we have witnessed since the brutal and senseless violence in Arizona last Saturday provides a sad commentary to where we are as a society.  Nearly forgotten in the verbal sparring has been those who died and were wounded by the obviously deranged gunman.

Those on the left have accused the right of causing the shootings through their continual criticism of the liberal point of view in the American body politic.  Those on the right have risen up against these accusations, pointing out the hypocrisy of the left in that the left has a long history of vitriolic language itself.

The liberal argument holds no water whatsoever.  The actions of the would-be assassin had nothing to do with the political tenor in this country.  Here was an obviously mentally disturbed individual whose mental illness went unchecked for years only to bubble up in violence last weekend.  The chances that he was inspired somehow to go on a killing spree through right wing media types like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are nothing.  He acted in such a violent way because of the mental illness that undoubtedly has plagued him for years.

We need to slow down and take a deep breath and understand what we are doing to ourselves.  We have already cheapened life through the legalization of abortion.  Stem cells extracted from human embryos after those embryos have been destroyed has placed one group of human beings (those born) over those who have yet to be born.  We need to see that we have chosen a route where human life is concerned that degrades and devalues human life.

What caused last Saturday's savage attack on those gathered in the parking lot of a Safeway supermarket?  I am not qualified to answer that but I can say that our callous disregard for the marginalized in society, those who are homeless, mentally ill, and those who have been lost, contributed far more to the violence than did the tone of the political debate in this country.

We have turned our backs on God for any number of reasons.  When we do this as a society, we lose our compass.  We drift.  There is no truth.  There is no anchor.  Right and wrong become relative and each person lives out their own version of right and wrong whether or not it agrees with other versions.  We are not connected to each other as we once were.  Oh, we do have the Internet with facebook and twitter and the like.  But is this really being connected.  No!  We cannot be connected merely through a computer keyboard!  To be connected we must have personal relationships based upon reality.

The gunman in Arizona was clearly marginalized.  He was detached from the rest of society as a result of his mental illness.  His writings reveal a mind that is incapable of putting together coherent thoughts.  He became anti-social and apparently fixated with the congresswoman he tried to kill.  In his savage outrage, he revealed his complete disregard by indiscriminately shooting so many others, killing six including a nine year old little girl.

It is time for the right and the left to just shut up about which side caused this horrible tragedy.  Rather than putting all this energy into these arguments, they need to focus their talents and abilities in solving the problems that led to an ugly scene such as was played out in Tucson.  If we fail to address these problems in a mature and honest way, another Tucson waits in the wings.  How many more people will have to die in senseless violence before our leaders disengage the childish finger pointing that we have seen this week.  I for one am disgusted with both sides and pray that the adults among our leaders (if there are any!) come to the surface and lead us to a healing that we are so desperately in need of. 

Look into the eyes of little Christina Greene at the top of this piece and see the future ended by this horrible act of violence.  When this picture was taken this little girl was filled with life, with hope, with the sheer joy of being alive.  Now she is dead, living forever in the arms of the Creator.  As you look into her eyes, ask yourself: is the dialogue that we are witnessing in the public arena worthy of this young and innocent victim?  We must honor her memory and those of the other five who died that day with dialogue that honors them and brings back this country and society from the brink of self-destruction.