Monday, November 20, 2006

Thanksgiving is Not Dead

Many people express their disgust regarding the commercialization of Thanksgiving. But is it really that bad? To me it seems that the commercialization of Thanksgiving is the very thing that has escalated the holiday into one of the four major holidays of the year where distant family members gather to commune and celebrate with one another (Independence Day, Christams, and New Year's being the other three). I mean, would we really feel compelled to drive countless hours with crying babies and frequent bathroom breaks using toilets that even God himself has forsaken with the primary purpose of spending time with our families? I would answer this by saying 'no.' I think that it is the commercialization of Thanksgiving that rends the couch potato off of his hotseat and sets those spuds on the road for what typically results in a much more enjoyable weekend. There are other national holidays which we celebrate as a nation that are unable to do what the commercialization of the four holidays has done to us: Veterans' Day, Memorial Day, MLK, St. Patrick's Day, and even Valentine's Day. Could it be that these holidays do not mean as much to our nation as the four primary holidays? Perhaps. All I am saying is that the commercialization of the four holidays has a track record of bringing family members together here in the US, and that should not be overlooked. Commercialization tends to be a negative thing whenever values are lost or overlooked. Such should not be the case with Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Media Cannot Do It Justice

Over the past week, I was working at the St. Benard Parish outside of New Orleans. I will spare the minute details because the entire experience could written about extensively. However, there are a few details that I would like to highlight.

Entering the parish, I realized that the images on the news were real. Yet, the camara is unable to depict the atmosphere accurately. Boats were on the shores, stores were destroyed, stoplights were out, and trash was everywhere. I even got the feeling that the police officers who were still working were not even concerned that I was speeding through the city. It was if the locals of the region had entered a state of somber acceptance; they had come to terms with the disaster while understanding that life continues.

There were 15 people with our group from NC State University, and we were volunteering with the Samaritan's Purse (the organization started by Franklin Graham). The work was HARD and INTENSE! But, it was so much fun and life changing. We had the opportunity to talk and pray with the homeowners, and we got to see the devastation first hand.

Our responsibility was to clean out the houses and prepare them for reconstruction. We labored through muck and mire, we tore down the walls, and then swept the floors. It sounds simple, but it was tough. In one week, we cleared 3 homes (the average for a group of 15).

There's so much to say, that I write another web log about it soon.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

American Abusers

More disturbing images have been released reflecting the cruel treatment of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers at Abu Ghraib. I would first like to say that I completely support our efforts in Iraq, and more importantly, I support the efforts of our US military. I do not support, however, the lawlessness of a few of this nation's military recruits as they go against everything that is humane as they abuse and demoralize the prisoners.

I believe that full legal action should be taken against these insubordinates while some form of appeasement be made to the prisoners for their dehumanization. We are not savages; therefore, we should not act in accordance to a nature that would deem us to be such.

Understanding that their actions would perhaps lead to the deaths of current American war prisoners, I would say that these insubordinates were acting in manner that is far from patriotic. I am both confused and disturbed. In order to demonstrate the validity of our military efforts in Iraq, such aforementioned abuses should not be tolerated nor should they be repeated, so now the powers that be should make an example of these American soliders.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Wal-Mart Woes

I am a bit confused about a recent article that I read regarding one of our nation's largest distributors. It appears that in Massachusetts Wal-Mart is being forced to make emergency birth control pills available to its consumers. State policy in Mass. indicates that failure to comply with this law is, well, illegal.

I find that difficult to believe. To me, it's absurd that state governments can force businesses (in particular the pharmaceutical branch of Wal-Mart) to sell a product that the owners of Wal-Mart obviously disagree with selling. Whatever happened to sole-proprietorship? Why cannot American business owners sell or refuse to sell whatever products they desire within reason? I find it very disturbing to think that our government has the ability to force the sell of items that often are not necessities.

Some one may argue that if a woman were raped, then she should have a right to such pills; therefore, Wal-Mart should be forced to sell them. I disagree because rapes only constitute about 1% of abortions in America meaning that such a case is minute. By no means am I belittling the seriousness of survivors of rape nor am I being insensitive. Nevertheless, I strongly believe that forcing a large corporation to sell such a product is a gross misuse of state governmental power.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Color of Christ

I find it disturbing that the goal for the new movie Color of Christ is to "introduce the black community to new ideas about Christ." Was I upset to see all of the pictures of a white Jesus while growing up? Yes, I was. But, to perpetuate another lie about Jesus' skin color is just as disturbing. We are just as sure that Jesus was not "Black" as we are sure that he was not "White." All we know about Jesus' skin color for certain is that he was dark.

What I am seeing and what I have seen is that whenever the Black Community attempts to combat Jesus' phenotype, we have done it in ways that are counter productive to the message of Jesus Christ: he died and rose from the dead so that we can believe in him in order to live. However, whenever the Christ's physical features are debated in an untruthful manner (i.e. arguing that Jesus was Black or more black than white instead of portraying him as a Hebrew), the message gets lost in the phenotypic jargon. It's quite unfortunate.

I don't think that we should allow ourselves to get caught in the net of vain ideologies. It's just not effective - at least not to me.