Monday, April 21, 2008

Monday Morning Rant 34

I shall always be indebted to Senator Obama for helping me realize just how miserable I really am. I may be officially counted as one of those “hicks” who has retreated to my guns and My God. In reverse order, they are definitely two of the most important things in my life. God, of course, comes first. Without Him, I have nothing. There is absolutely no feature of government which could possibly replace the gifts which He has provided. Since all of my rights under the constitution are God given, I can’t imagine turning to anyone else in times of either peril or ease. I’m sorry (not!) but you cannot possibly offer any change which will alter that.

I pondered this as I sat with the congregation in Miami (OK) Sunday morning and rejoiced at our worship experience. As I looked about at the beaming faces, loudly voicing their praise in ancient hymns, I felt sorry for those with the elitist attitude who were missing this moment. As the speaker, Cloyce Coffman, recounted the impatience of the Jews to get the sacred buildings and their trials in the process, I made latter day comparisons and hopefully gained insight into our present travails. I marveled at how prescient the quoted scriptures were and strove to take the appropriate message. I also promised myself to subject the books of Samuel to a closer examination this coming week.

Sometimes it’s good to have the air cleared. At least now, I know exactly what the Senator sees when he looks at me and my neighbors. He see pathetic, lost ,ignorant people where I rejoice in seeing brothers and sisters in Christ with love, charity and good will in their hearts. I shall pray for him.
Speaking of pathetic, I read a very heartening article in the Topeka Capitol Journal about the second worst bigot in the nation. It appears that Fred Phelps of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka was successfully sued by the family of an Iraq War military casualty for disrupting the funeral and causing pain and suffering to the family. He and the church now have a $5,000,000 liability as a result. Phelps stands to lose his law office building, the church, and all else except his home. It took a while but it appears the Maryland court will finally put an end to his shenanigans.

I personally doubt it will curtail his activities and anxiously await the next phase. I am amazed that some aggrieved relative has not dispatched him by now. Most people have difficulty matching his complaints with the level of grief of losing a loved one in battle.
I didn’t cover this earlier because I didn’t want to disrupt your Easter Holiday. I also knew that most (?) of you were in Independence to attend the various conferences. But, speaking of criminals of vile intent, The Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago was the scene of an intrusion by war protesters who were throwing fake blood about and disrupting the services. The intruders had dual membership in the International Solidarity Movement as well as Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War. The latter is a performance art group with apparent leftist ties. The assault came during the sermon and was witnessed by the most upscale parish in the diocese. Since many of the parishioners have near celebrity status, the event is also widely covered by the media.

The perpetrators were taken from the building by security guards and ushers and turned over to Chicago police and each was booked with felony criminal damage to property and simple battery. Whenever I see something like this, I often wonder how one of our congregations would react. Often as I look to the dais of a Restoration Branch I see 3 to 5 good men with an average age of 72 to 75. Have the younger men in the pews been briefed on how to respond to a disruption in the services? Could we protect our wives, children, and oldsters from this sort of indignity? Have we ever even discussed it?

It strikes me that a small amount of preparation could certainly ameliorate any potential damage or injury, if we had the will to take action and anticipate problems before the fact. We don’t really anticipate a fire or a cyclone but we carry insurance just the same. The difference is that this type of thing requires some hands on involvement. It is my prayer that this is a foolish entry and really doesn’t ever require any response.
Speaking of Catholics; I found it courageous and timely for the visiting pope to firmly address the problem of pedophile priests both historically and with regard to the future. I came away with the impression that he would deal firmly and honestly with the issue and pursue a solution which would strengthen the faith. It would be wonderful if this problem were the exclusive property of the Church of Rome; it is not.

Before we breathe a sigh of relief and point fingers, we must honestly admit that there is no body of believers which are entirely free of those who openly flaunt the laws of God and man as well. Only the most dedicated “ostrich” could ignore our own problems and those of our neighbors. The adversary is in a constant effort to undermine the works of God. His most fertile ground is those who propagate the faith and earn the trust of the vulnerable. Even though we are not here to judge that does not mean that we have to be blind as well.

Every item in this mornings rant points in the same direction. We as Saints must be ever alert. We must be able to detect insincerity, un-Christian behavior, criminal action, and violation of trust. To allow any of these things to slide is to insult our Savior.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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