Grownups

Fivepoints_1
I
seldom write editorials (and if anyone needs me to explain the difference between an editorial and a column, I will). They’re mostly written by Associate Editors Warren Bolton, Cindi Scoppe and Mike Fitts. But when a hole in our schedule emerged yesterday — and the hole was in today’s newspaper — and we talked about ideas that we might address, and I said "I’ll do that one," my friends and colleagues cried "Sold!" with an alacrity that suggested that some of them think I don’t do enough around here.

Well, I showed them.

Here’s the editorial, with links. Maybe it will provoke a little discussion in this venue:

The grownups
strike back
in Five Points

ONE OF THE greatest needs in America in the 21st century is something we used to take for granted — grownups. In a time when everything on TV, from “reality” shows to celebrity-and-sensation-soaked “news” to you-gotta-have-it-now commercials, screams immaturity, one wonders where the grownups have gone.
    The situation takes on infinitely greater urgency when our front pages tell of drunken children dying in car crashes, of a mother giving other children alcohol
and encouraging them to have sex, and of still others “accidentally” killed in the crossfire of warring gangs.
    And that’s just in the Midlands. The whole world seemed to catch its breath for days on end when a twisted head case insisted that everyone believe he raped and murdered a 6-year-old whose death is an object of obsession because her parents made her up to look like a full-grown woman for beauty pageants.
    Where, indeed, are the grownups? The adage “It takes a village to raise a child” assumes the presence of watchful grownups sharing a communal concern for the children of the society growing up safely and sanely into the kinds of responsible adults who will in turn work together to protect and teach the next generation.
    Obviously, the mere fact of chronological majority — turning 18 (an “adult” forSex voting purposes), 21 (for drinking), 25 (according to Cutline2car rental companies) or 35 (to be president of the United States) — doth not a grownup make. Chronological “adults” are a huge part of the problem. The woman accused of encouraging drunken bacchanalia at her house is 46.
    A grownup is someone who knows how and when to say “No” to a child who insists that “I can do whatever I want” — whether that child is 2, 16, 18 or 46.
    Well, fear not. There are still grownups in charge, at least in Five Points this past weekend.
    That’s where and when Columbia police — acting in behalf of the grownups of our community to protect both children and the rest of us from some of adolescents’ more dangerous behaviors — staged their “Welcome Back” operation.
    This crackdown on underage drinking led to 160 charges including DUI, having open containers and public drunkenness. Twenty-eight people were arrested and charged specifically with underage drinking.
    The place and the timing were perfect. Smart grownups set out boundaries ahead of time to avoid bad behavior before it really gets out of hand. This was the first weekend after classes had started at the University of South Carolina, and the best time ever to let students — especially freshmen overwhelmed with the freedom of being away from home for the first time — know that there are rules, they exist for excellent reasons, and they are to be obeyed.
    Those who run Five Points bars and restaurants seemed to welcome the police presence, and said they were doing their bit to prevent underage drinking as well. Good. Grownups should work together.
    Sometimes kids, particularly of the adolescent variety, feel like the whole grownup world is involved in a conspiracy to keep them from doing what they want. When “what they want” involves behavior that is a threat to their lives and those of others, it’s a good thing to know they’re not just being paranoid.
    Congratulations to the Columbia Police Department, and to grownups everywhere who are still willing to draw the line wherever it needs to be drawn.

47 thoughts on “Grownups

  1. Alex Rath

    First, kudos to the Police department for the work they did.
    Now if only we can get the “adults” who lead one of the youngest countries in the world to quit being the global Bully who says “Do what we say, not what we do”, we can really celebrate.

    Reply
  2. bud

    Brad, I’m not sure how or who but someone is going to find something to disagree with here. As for me, kudos, I couldn’t have said it better.

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  3. Doug Ross

    What we’re seeing is the result of the “Me” generation now becoming parents of the “Look At Me!” generation. Many adults feel the universe is comprised of their children at the center surrounded by the parent/buddy in an orbit of neverending attention and adoration.
    I think we’re going to see the children of this generation’s kids be generally ingnored or else raised by grandparents.

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  4. Dave

    I wonder if the police tipped off the Gamecock football coaches before the crackdown. Naaaaahhhhhhhhh, never happen.

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  5. bill

    Good editorial,Brad.It was better than I thought it was at 5:30AM.I wasn’t going to comment until I saw this headline online in the NYT.This sort of sums it all up for me-
    Big House Didn’t Break Lil’ Kim, Rap Diva

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  6. Brad Warthen

    Yeah, I saw that, too. Another illustration of my point. Here’s the link, if you can get to it.

    Looks like they could have used some grownups running that prison. And I know they could use some at the MTV Video Music Awards. They’ll probably just muddle through without, though.

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  7. Capital A

    What…y’all don’t think that Lil Kim, the postmodern poetess and author of such lyrics as “I’m the Queen Bee/Suck on my t–ty/Lick on my cl–ty” is a positive influence on our posterity?
    Emily Dickinson got nothin’ on that sista.

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  8. Dave

    Capital A – If she sings those lyrics in public, another 366 days in the big house might wise her up. No wonder the teens are so messed up mentally. The fact that people buy that kind of disgusting obscenity says it all about how low this society has gone. Given time, even this “depravity” as Herb calls it can be eliminated.

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  9. Randy Ewart

    A radio station sponsored a Smackfest in which women took turns slapping the crap out of each other. The winner wins up to 5K in prizes. Article link:
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2005/08/10/slaps_wins_prizes/
    WARQ 93.5 here in Cola has this on the front page of their website:
    “Columbia’s first Sunday School Party! Get schooled in adult novelty items with Tasteful Treasures by Michelle. Come dressed in your Catholic school girl outfit for your chance to win free stuff…”
    They also have the “S&M” morning show and the following validation page to enter the photo page:
    “Hey! We might have some racy stuff on these pages, you gotta be over 18 to be here. ” followed by “under 18” or “18 or older” links.
    A top song 2 years ago by Usher had the lyrics “we want a lady in the street but a FREAK in the bed” playing on WNOK on a regular basis.
    Where’s the outrage on this?

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  10. LexWolf

    I hate to break it to ya, Randy, but it’s our generation (the baby boomers) that’s responsible for all this. When did all the “free love” stuff start? When did porn really start getting big? When did music start getting away from the cleancut stuff? Your examples are just variations on stuff that started many years ago. Nothing new at all.

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  11. Capital A

    Randy, the lyric is “a lady in the streets/a freak in the sheets”. Who doesn’t want that? Sometimes when we touch, the honesty is too much?
    How white are y’all? Sheesh :)
    Dave, no “cool” youth, of any color, is purchasing Lil Kimmy’s albums. She is soooooo 2002 by now. Know thine enemy, ok?
    Also, don’t let me catch you ridin’ dirtay!

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  12. Capital A

    When did porn really start getting big? When did music start getting away from the cleancut stuff? Your examples are just variations on stuff that started many years ago. Nothing new at all.
    Posted by: LexWolf | Aug 31, 2006 7:45:50 PM
    Porn has always been big. See: bathroom stalls of the Roman Empire or pyramid walls of the Egyptians. Ancient Sumeria is rife with it.
    It’s called the longview of history. A library card can be your friend.

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  13. Andrew Jackson

    Cap A – The point is that in Rome and Egypt that “stuff” was relegated to the bathroom stalls and tomb walls, not glorified as commerce and art.
    Brad – USC’s in house disciplinary system, “Student Judiciary Council” has a record of tolerating underage drinking and public drunkeness as long as no property damage or physical confrontations are involved. Many local apartment complexes (complexi?) pressure police not to hassle their residents on these issues. If your news editor reads your blog, this may be an interesting story line to pursue.

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  14. Mike Cakora

    Drawing boundaries early, and one hopes often, sets a tone, establishes standards that will benefit all in reduced misbehaving later. This is the broken windows theory put into practice. If you fix the broken windows early, or pick up the litter early and often, you’ll have fewer broken windows, and less litter. Folks not only get the notion that someone cares and not break windows or litter, they’ll also suspect that more outrageous behavior won’t be tolerated. Here’s hoping that Five Points becomes a little less rowdy and more popular.
    (This “broken windows” theory is behavioral and differs from economic theory of the same name dismissed quite conclusively by French economist Frederic Bastiat.)
    As for incarceration, Sheriff Joe seems to have a popular, if not right idea, about making it unpleasant enough to motivate folks to stay out of his lockup.

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  15. Doug Ross

    My first day of high school in 1976, my science lab partner showed me his baggie full of pot… my varsity basketball teammates typically got drunk every Friday and Saturday night in 1978… two kids in my class died in a drunk driving accident in 1979…
    This stuff isn’t new. There’s just more media available to make a big deal out of it.
    The Gov’t Accounting Office just this week published a report saying all the millions of dollars spent on anti-drug commercials has had no measurable effect on drug use by teens. There will always be a segment of society (10-20%) who will use drugs and alcohol as a crutch.

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  16. Randy Ewart

    Lex, it’s not content that has changed, times are most certainly different in terms of availability.
    In the 60s, TV censored “Satisfaction” by the Stones and wouldn’t show the gyrating hips of Elvis. Peyton’s Place was scandolous because a male suggested that a female “spend the night”.
    “Free love” and drugs became an issue in the 60s, but this was a movement. We are now talking about our social fabric. It is simply common place in media to hear and see a whole lot more than gyrating hips of a fully clothed man.
    I do appreciate your willingness to determine for us what’s important and what should be brushed aside as well as offering your own definition of civility.

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  17. LexWolf

    Mike C,
    I love Sheriff Joe and I suspect that we wouldn’t hear “Big House Didn’t Break Lil’ Kim” if she’d been in his jail!
    If only we had sheriffs like that all over the country.

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  18. Dave

    Liberals who have conducted a war against God since the 1960’s are to blame for the pervasive filth and obscenity in our society. Removing any acknowledgement of God from our public life has been the agenda all along. Their vehicle has been an accomodating USSC, with the likes of Douglas, Marshall, Ginzberg, Souter and others who never believed in any standards of decency. How ironic that all of the porno filth has been accepted as free speech but the same court sees a problem with a prayer to God before a high school football game. Some free speech.

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  19. bud

    Dave writes:
    “Liberals who have conducted a war against God since the 1960’s are to blame for the pervasive filth and obscenity in our society.”
    It there ever was a war against God, from the looks of things God has won. Churches are everywhere. Many of the new ones look as large as the Colonial Center. Republicans, the party of the looney right-wing evangalicals, are in charge of everything. 7 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices have been appointed by Republicans.
    So exactly how can liberals, with very little power, accomplish anything? Of course this claim is nothing new. It’s part of the neo-con mantra that’s spewed out over the right-wing controlled airwaves as part of their fear-based approach to governing. But no matter how many times a lie is told, it’s still a lie.
    The solution, according to the neo-con blatherers is to continue moving ever farther to right. If we move far enough to the right all will be well. Or so the story goes.
    The truth is Republican hypocrits at all levels of government are the problem, not the solution. By continually lying to the American people about matters large and small they foster most of the immorality in this country. The real obsenity in this country is with the mendacious republican leaders in the white house and in congress.

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  20. Capital A

    A war against God, huh? That worked out decently well for the Titans, but not so well for Lucifer. His strategy was too direct, methinks.
    Lee, I’m not sure why it surprises me that we can add religious zealotry to your “sins”. I guess the hypocrisy you evidence on most of your posts should have been the tip-off.
    While we’re discussing it, whose side were the ruling body of the Puritans, the Catholic Church during the Spanish Inquisition, Joseph McCarthy and Mad King George during the American Revolution on? They claimed it was God’s team, but I want to make sure they weren’t posturing free agents. Maybe they were unknowingly traded?
    Also, you may pray all you want before a football game; you just can’t force others to do it against their will. No court in this land will stop you.
    Sylvester Croom makes it an important point for his team to pray before and during games. Last night, his prayers went unanswered.
    I guess God is a Gamecock fan. Is that right, Lee? I’ll leave it up to you to give me the box score on that account.

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  21. Capital A

    HAHA! Replace “Lee” with “Dave” in that last paragraph. I thought that post seemed a bit out of character for Lee.
    I apologize to Lee for the confusion until he comes on and agrees with all that Dave posted, that is.

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  22. Lee

    Your animosity towards all religion, and especially Christianity, is obvious, and does a good job of reinforcing Dave’s point.
    So many libertine liberals claim to know that their amoral behavior is fine, but can’t tolerate anyone else setting examples of moral behavior for comparison.
    Real liberty is not about freedom to practice vices.

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  23. Alex Rath

    Comparing porn in someone’s home to prayer before a sporting event is ridiculous. If you were to compare praying before a sporting event to watching porn on the stadium’s viewscreen before an event, THEN you have a comparison. I’m against both of those ideas.
    I suppose all the bad things that happen in the world happen because of music, movies, and, of course, video games. They are the root of all evil and must be vanquished!!! Anyone who doesn’t beleive in the right God should be punished!!! Inquisition anyone?
    So which video game was it that Hitler was playing when he attempted genocide?
    Which rapper was it that drove Japan to attack Pearl Harbor?
    You can love your religion all you want, but you have to face the fact that more deaths have occurred “in the name of God” than I care to count. Frankly, it’s just not a good historical guide to how to live a life.
    Cencorship is not the answer… when the government makes something illegal, it doesn’t make it impossible to get. Just ask anyone from the Prohibition years. It comes down to parenting. If kids have a solid foundation, then they will understand that music, movies, and games, are entertainment, pure and simple, not a guidebook to life.
    Also, I pretty much automatically discount any argument that uses blankets like “liberal” or “republican” or any other label. Frankly I think the party system died years ago, they’re just keeping it up so they have something to whine about and a way to divide people. Funny how it’s all about division and labels, instead of bringing everyone together as Americans.

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  24. Capital A

    Your animosity towards all religion, and especially Christianity, is obvious, and does a good job of reinforcing Dave’s point.
    Posted by: Lee | Sep 1, 2006 6:28:22 AM
    Spirituality can be an enormous boon to personal improvement. When it is forced on others, however, that benefit dissolves due to the very nature of what religion should be.
    The very people you so-support wiping off the map are trying to do what you are advocating. Why are you blind to your own hypocrisy? Bedeviled by your own burkah?

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  25. Alex Rath

    I’ve always said:
    Faith is good. Faith gives people internal strength, and helps guide them on a path that suits them, and hopefully humanity.
    Religion is not so good. Religion is for the sheep who cannot make a decision on their own, so they rely on a book written ages ago to tell them how to live their lives, rather than understanding that being different from one person to another is not bad.
    These are blanket statements that I try to stay away from, but I think on the whole, they are accurate, at least from my point of view having experienced both of them.
    I think the bible thumpers need to revise some of the commandments too. Probably just use George Carlin’s 2 Commandments:
    Thou shalt always be honest and faithful to the provider of thy nookie.
    &
    Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone, unless of course they pray to a different invisible man than you.

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  26. Brad Warthen

    Ahem — to go back to something bud said about "neo-cons." Seeing as how I am uncomfortably close to being one — at least in the realm of foreign policy — let’s try to be more specific with our labels.

    One reason I dodge these labels is that they are slippery. "Conservative" and "liberal" have changed so much in their meanings that it’s sort of hard to keep score. But "neo-cons," being a movement that’s only a generation or so old, can still be defined, if we try (maybe). My understanding is that they are liberals who became disillusioned with the left when it started moving toward isolationism and pacifism.

    They hardly seem like people who would push us farther to the right, as bud alleges. Seems like they would try to push us back to pre-1968 liberalism.

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  27. Randy Ewart

    “Religion is not so good. Religion is for the sheep who cannot make a decision on their own, so they rely on a book written ages ago to tell them how to live their lives” – Alex
    That is quite an oversimplification. I have no doubt suicide bombers have faith (as misguided as it may be), and Catholic Charities does amazing work out of the structure of religion.
    I am one of the sheep you mention, Alex. I believe in absolute truth, not on truth massaged by contemporary standards. At some point slavery was condoned in this country. Women could not vote. We had a law which provided for black and white water fountains – all from a secular establishment with the “understanding that being different from one person to another” IS “bad.”
    Without such Truth, where are the lines drawn? Each person sets his owns standards for morality?

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  28. Alex Rath

    Randy,
    Yes, it was an oversimplification. I tried to make clear that I was aware of that by saying that I was using a blanket statement that I try not to use. I still believe that on the whole, the statements are true.
    I should also point out that for the purposes of my statements:
    Religion = Organized Religion
    I’m not a Christian…. I’m not a Jew… I’m not a member of ANY established mainstream religion. I don’t follow the “rules” established by any book.
    But a friend of mine (a non-practicing Catholic) told me that I was the best “Christian” he knew, because I treat others the way I would want to be treated. That idea was around a LONG time before organized religion was.
    Contrary to what the fundies want people to believe, one does not need organized religion to know right from wrong.
    Organized religion, in many cases, teaches that only THEIR way is right, and everyone else is going to hell. Is that really the “Truth” that you think people should learn? Religion in many cases claims to teach peace and tolerance, but actually teaches discrimination and hate. Hate against homosexuals, hate against other religions… is that the “Truth” that people should learn their moral standards from?
    Maybe you think so… and if so, then you have every right to believe it. Just don’t try to force it down my throat. 😉 And when such thoughts start trying to be forced into legislation, then I’m going to stand up and shout out against it and anyone carrying the message, because I feel that it is MY responsibility to do so.
    The problem for me is that the hypocrisy that permeates established organized religions makes me sick. I hear a pastor say “god loves all his children” but then support legislation that would prevent homosexuals from bonding legally. I guess his god doesn’t love them as much as he claimed before.
    I’m sure I’ve offended someone here.. and I’m sorry about that, truly I am. I actually feel sorry for people that sit in church every Sunday, or Saturday, or whatever day, and believe everything that pours out of the mouth of the person that stands up front as if it were pure proven fact. I feel sorry for people who cannot question organized religion, and find their own path, but, that’s what works for some folks.
    Closing.. whatever someone feels comfort in is what is right for them, and I truly hope everyone finds the thing that is right for them. My opinion is only one, and it is only mine. I don’t claim to always be right, and I don’t claim that everyone else is wrong. I only express my opinions.

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  29. Randy Ewart

    Great post Alex, thanks.
    God loving us and God setting boundaries for us are not contradictions. My parents loved me as a child, but didn’t let me do whatever I wanted.
    If we are left to our own reason and rationale to determine morality and truth, then there is no truth or right and wrong. Given this, who is to say that flying jets into the WTT is wrong? They were convinced that were in the right. It’s what they felt comfortable with.
    There are many problems and you address many of them. But this really is a baby and bath water situation, I believe.

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  30. Capital A

    They believed they were “right” because they bought into the ancient fairy tales proffered by a religious text. Somehow, you gloss over that point.
    Human rationalization truly knows no bounds.

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  31. Randy Ewart

    You contradict me and support me in the same post. Human rationalization is exactly my point.
    It’s not glossing over the point. If morality is simply a function of human reasoning, then morality becomes mere opinion.

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  32. Randy Ewart

    God. For example, the morals of the US founding fathers was a function of their faith.
    “I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus. I have little doubt that our whole country will soon be rallied to the unity of our Creator and, I hope, to the pure doctrine of Jesus also.” Thomas Jefferson
    “The highest glory of the American Revolution was this: it connected in one indissoluble bond the principles of civil government with the principles of Christianity.” John Quincy Adams
    “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religious, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.” Patrick Henry
    “The right of the colonist as Christians…may be best understood by reading and carefully studying the institutes of the great Lawgiver and Head of the Christian Church, which are to be found clearly written and promulgated in the New Testament.” Samuel Adams

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  33. Randy Ewart

    “Christian” God is Allah is Yahweh.
    Zeus? don’t think so
    Odin, Sun God? don’t think so…
    Lex, it was your country’s forefathers who helped instill morality based on God into our American society. Take it up with them.

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  34. Alex Rath

    Oh, it’s time for fun with quotes?
    Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear. – Thomas Jefferson
    Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and State. – Thomas Jefferson
    This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it. – John Adams
    The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries. – James Madison
    My point, mainly, being that one can find quotes to support most any position. These are indeed real quotes, and not fabricated or edited.

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  35. Randy Ewart

    Alex, most of those do NOT indicate they were Godless.
    Madison – separation of church and state may be the most misused quote of all. This concept is not mutually disjoint with faith. Jesus said “Give onto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s”.
    Jefferson’s – He was a strong believer of education and thinking. This rams this point home. BUT, this quote hardly shows he doesn’t believe in God.
    Adams – I’d have to see the context. His son certainly found faith.
    Alex, good stuff. I appreciate your insight and your challenge. Bring It On. :)

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  36. Paul DeMarco

    Lexwolf,
    Doesn’t matter what you call Him, but you should acknowledge Him and seek to know Him. I call Him God and worship Him as a United Methodist. I believe He created the world and His ways are perfect, his commands are Universal Truth against which all human actions should be measured
    I believe the most important question we answer in life is whether God exists. Dostoevsky summed it up nicely in The Brothers Karamazov, writing, “If there is no God, everything is permitted.”
    Without God, there is no Universal Truth against which to judge actions as right or wrong. So there is no way to discriminate between the actions of terrorists and the actions of soldiers helping to establish a democracy. It becomes a debate with no Moderator or a boxing match with no Referee.
    Unfortunately, all of us want to finesse the Big Question. We are unwilling to fathom a world without God and the horror and depravity that would ensue. But nor are we willing to completely give ourselves over to Him, to live our lives to His glory.
    So we all live in the uneasy middle ground (because none of us are perfect). True faith is an honest attempt to understand our Creator and fulfill His purpose for us. And that is the aim of organized religion. The pursuit of faith is best practiced as a body of believers which provdies oppoprtunities for fellowship and love.
    It, of course, also allows opportunities for jealuosy and hatred and conflict and extremism, but in my experience, religious people do much more good than harm.
    Your question, I’m sure, is where to find the true God, how to know Him? Well, join all the rest of us myopic believers, struggling to find Him amidst our weakness and our prejudice.
    There are, however, many clues to where He can be found. Sacred writings (which are for me, maily in the Bible. However, one of the most life-changing books I ever read was Alan Paton’s Cry,the Beloved County. It, for me, also a sacred writing)
    If I had to give you two texts that summarize the basic tenets that all God’s believers share, they would be the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:1-17) and Jesus describing the Greatest Commandment (Matt 22:36-40). Beyond that the 4 Gospels are fascinating. Jesus was truly amazing, provacative, disturbing and inspiring. His life is a testimony to the difference a single life can make in human history.
    But even if you discount all “sacred” texts, most religios truths seem to be self-evident. We seem to be born with a sense that stealing is bad and jealousy is corrrosive and that there is something bigger than us all. We’ve all felt it as we are stuck by the gleam of the moon as we walk out in the backyard or stare briefly into the eyes of a surprised deer before it scampers away.
    I know religion has given itself a black eye (in particularly of late by the pandering and money-grubbing of TV preachers-what they do and say has almost nothing to offer).
    But seeking God in our own lives, understanding the parameters He has set for us-day and night, work and sabbath, the cycle of the seasons, sowing and reaping, life and death-and joining regularly with a group of fellow belivers to try to establish His kingdom on this earth seem to be what are lives should truly be about.

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  37. Paul DeMarco

    Sorry for all the misspellings/poor grammar in that last post, I obviously didn’t read it well until after it was posted. Maybe next time I’ll try speaking (writing?)in tongues….

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  38. Capital A

    My beef (and those of a few others around here) is not with God. As Thomas Jefferson (our American demi-god ) did, I consider myself a Deist. Organized religion has traditionally been a means for contol and taxation. Baaa! Raam! Ewwwe!
    This country was founded on the Almighty Dollar, not religion. To suggest otherwise is pure propaganda.
    I have no problem with that truth, either. I’m just saying that we shouldn’t be meatheads about it and butcher our past with lovely ideas that seem more kosher.

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  39. Randy Ewart

    Cap A, I read the Hornet’s Nest by Jimmy Carter. It gives a great account of how it was in the South during the colonial days.
    From this reading, you get a real sense of the industriousness and adventureness of our ancestors. Supplementing this was the sense of justice and morality which arose from being poorly treated by King George and company – which is partly why we have separation of church and state.
    The loyalists were the commerce and trade people living at the seaports making a good living with England. The backwoods hardworking farmers and hunters were the ones who were unhappy.
    This of course is a Cliff’s Notes version.

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  40. Capital A

    I’ll try that recommendation, Randy. Thanks.
    I have one for you — God’s Secretaries. It does an excellent job elucidating the goals and considerations behind the creation of the KJV.
    My skullcap goes off to those men who lovingly compiled and, ironically, corruptibly edited The Greatest Stories Ever Told.
    I wonder if today’s conservative clergies would be so eager to unswervingly defend the tome, however, if they had a more intimate understanding of King James, freakazoid that he was?
    Especially the moralists out there who think that a creator corrupts his works through his unrelated actions…
    If that line of thought holds true, I guess we can flush The Passion of the Christ after all.

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  41. Ready to Hurl

    On my reading list is “The End of Faith” by Sam Harris.
    Should be interesting for at least a brief scan.
    Amazon says:
    Sam Harris cranks out blunt, hard-hitting chapters to make his case for why faith itself is the most dangerous element of modern life. And if the devil’s in the details, then you’ll find Satan waiting at the back of the book in the very substantial notes section where Harris saves his more esoteric discussions to avoid sidetracking the urgency of his message.
    Publishers Weekly says:
    In this sometimes simplistic and misguided book, Harris calls for the end of religious faith in the modern world. Not only does such faith lack a rational base, he argues, but even the urge for religious toleration allows a too-easy acceptance of the motives of religious fundamentalists. Religious faith, according to Harris, requires its adherents to cling irrationally to mythic stories of ideal paradisiacal worlds (heaven and hell) that provide alternatives to their own everyday worlds. Moreover, innumerable acts of violence, he argues, can be attributed to a religious faith that clings uncritically to one set of dogmas or another. Very simply, religion is a form of terrorism for Harris.

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  42. Randy Ewart

    Appreciate the suggestions RTH and Cap A.
    I’m reading The World is Flat by Friedman, which I’m sure many on here have read.
    I know about technology (by no means an expert) but when I take time to mull over what’s happened in the last 10 years and what we can do technologically, I am blown away.
    The most striking part I’ve read (I’m through a couple chapters) is the digital assistant (my terminology is off). The business executive who has a presentation to make in a couple days digitally sends the parameters and topic to India before leaving work at the end of the day. When the exec returns the next morning, the assistant has created a power point, based on research on the topic, and has sent it back for use.
    Of course, the McDonald’s drive through with the orders being taken by someone at a call center 1,000 miles away is the coolest part.

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