Thank you, Sandy Harris, for yet another inspiring letter from the Bible thumping community, reminding us that the only thing really wrong with America is that we need to get right with God and get back to that ol' time religion.
As for how Chattanooga can do its part, might I suggest a weeklong festival of penance and Godly celebration? We could have tent revivals all along Broad and Market Streets from the riverfront to King Blvd. And we could have music stages set up all around (kind of like a God-centered Riverbend) with gospel quartets and Christian rock bands belting out their love songs to Jesus and God. And then we could have areas designated for self-flagellation. And let's not forget one of the most important things - public hangings and burnings, on the hour, every hour, of abortionists, gays, sodomites, socialists, and atheists, to really show God how sincere we are about cleaning up this great Christian city of ours and eradicating the heathen filth.
Surely, if other cities across the land joined in, God would once again look favorably upon this nation, smite our enemies, and we could all live happily ever after, knowing that he's got the whole world in his hands - except for those he's smiting, of course. Hallee-loo-ya and praise Jeezus!
The only thing that makes for a ho-hum column is when the writer is more worried about offending someone than by stating the truth as he/she sees it. It's always obvious when a writer is trying to make nice and not ruffle anyone's feathers. He only comes across as a wimpy fence straddler. The divide between right and left, theist and non-theist, is so vast today, with people so passionately attached to their opinions and beliefs, that somebody somewhere is always going to find something rude in what we say or how we say it.
Oops. I meant to say, at the beginning of my second paragraph above, "...about making the NFL a kinder, gentler league and football a kinder, gentler sport." My bad. But by the look of things this article is not attracting anyone's interest, at least not enough to respond to it, so I don't know why I'm even bothering to correct myself! Mr. Cook has raised some valid points and this topic is certainly timely and relevant. It seems that unless he writes about gays, guns, or God nobody is interested enough to enter the discussion.
David, it doesn't help matters that Janay Palmer is going the Tammy Wynette route and "standing by her man."
We can talk all day long about making the NFL a kinder, gentler sport, but the kind of violence we have come to expect in football is not the problem; it is the symptom. Let's face it, we just live in a culture that gets off on violence. We must not forget that there are just as many women in the stadiums cheering on those jarring hits between players. And many women seem to expect men to be "manly," oftentimes calling a man a wuss if he doesn't do the typical "manly" things.
In the South especially, the women in redneck culture extol the guy who drives the big truck, goes huntin' with his buddies, and drinks his whiskey and stands his ground in a barroom brawl. Just listen to any C/W song - they are all about men being "men" in a purely physical sense. And rap is even worse, with women not only not rising up in protest about being called bitches and hoes and being treated as objects, but joyously singing and dancing along with the rappers who demean them. And unfortunately many women, especially redneck women and black rap-condoning women, seem to think that being a man means mistreating his woman on occasion and showing her who is the "man" of the household. They would rather have a man who slaps them upside the head than one who demurs to her and comes across like a wuss. Of course, these women are not right in the head and they do not make up the majority, but there are enough of them who seem to sanction violence in men, even when it is directed against them personally, that it gives grounds for certain men to think that their violent and abusive behavior is the "manly" thing to do.
America is just a friggin' violent nation, comprised of people who like and condone war, love guns and things that go boom, football and the WWE. Hell, even the God that many Christians worship is violent, more intent on eternal retribution of non-believers (especially "unmanly" gays) than he is on love and compassion. And look at the movies that Americans prefer: we think it's perfectly okay for our kids to see the violence of heads being severed, limbs being torn apart, blood spattering out of bullet-riddled bodies, but we dare not let them see a naked human being, or two naked people engaged in love-making (unless it's via internet porn). In other words, the message we are conveying is that violence is acceptable - cool even! - but sex, even romantic, loving sex, is dirty and offensive.
A couple of posters (fairmon and SBrauer) seem to be defending "switching" as punishment. I too got my fair share of switchings and spankings when I was a kid but my parents never crossed the line. I was never left with long-lasting welts or bruising or open bleeding. I don't know what Adrian Peterson's son actually experienced at his hands but from everyone interviewed thus far who has seen the first-hand evidence, he was not just administered a good old-fashioned switching, he was left with massive welts and other scarring and was clearly abused.
When I was a kid, spankings and switchings were typical and most parents didn't think twice about it. But all parents should know better today than to think that any kind of physical punishment is acceptable. Of course kids need to be taught right from wrong but we know much better and more humane ways to teach and discipline them. The old Biblical adage "Spare the rod and spoil the child" needs to be laid to rest once and for all. Besides, many parents, when they beat, slap, or hit their kids, are not really disciplining or teaching them but merely lashing out in anger and frustration.
IM, you raise some interesting questions about some of the finer points of bethanygray's comment but aren't you nitpicking just a little? As individuals deciding what course of action to take at any given moment and in response to any given person or thing, we go through a sometimes swift and subconscious process in which we don't really enumerate the questions and other times a more deliberative and painstaking process in which we might literally ask ourselves how our actions will affect another person, ourselves, and those around us. Of course, it all depends on the gravity of the situation. I didn't focus so much on the specifics of what bethanygray might ask herself at any given moment and about any given situation but the overall message she was conveying - that our moral choices and actions are indeed relative to the situation at hand and not always written in black and white. And as thinking, mature adults taking responsibility for our own actions it is up to us to arrive at what we deem to be the best course of action for all concerned.
Good points, bethanygray. Christians who base their morality on the Ten Commandments or edicts from God have not really done any soul searching or deep thinking about the why's and the wherefores of morality. Rather they live in a state of suspended childhood, fearing their invisible sky daddy who COMMANDS them to love and obey him and who will punish them if they disobey.
I believe that J.B. is the husband of June. Two fundie peas in a pod.
Connie, if you had a brain you could maybe say something useful and intelligent once in a while, instead of that ridiculous Bible babble you always regurgitate. Go crawl back under your rock.
Regarding your 3:39 post of yesterday:
Karl Max supported himself and his family very well for practically his entire life, experiencing a brief period of financial difficulties in his later years. He was no moocher. And as for your claim that he was “envious of those who earned and inherited wealth,” that is rubbish - mere speculation on your part, more of the same BS that you conservatives like to spread about all libs being envious of the wealthy. It is really sad that you are incapable of realizing that one can lead a happy and meaningful life based on factors other than monetary wealth.
As for the suicide of his two daughters....what point are you trying to make in mentioning that? You honestly think that that should reinforce the notion that Karl Marx was some kind of failure? Actually, all of his daughters loved him very much and supported him completely in his ideas and ideals. What about the suicide of someone like, say, Robin Williams? Does the fact the he killed himself detract in any way from the success and the meaningfulness of his life up to that point?
If you don't know this already... one of his daughters, Laura, killed herself in a suicide pact with her husband because they both felt that, in their 60s,, they had outlived their usefulness and they did not want to be a burden to anyone. I would think that you conservatives, who look upon the elderly and the infirm as drains on society anyway (moochers and takers and all that), would actually praise someone for having the good grace to willingly take their exits from life in such a way.
Karl Marx was not perfect and his idea of a smooth running, utopian society based on a Communist model has never come to fruition and probably never will. Because, like libertarianism, another utopian ideal, it would have to be predicated on the notion that everyone in that society is pretty much on the same wave length philosophically, politically, and socially. That will never happen. Nevertheless, Marx was a brilliant thinker and many of his socialistic ideas about labor were adopted, at a time when corruption, greed, and abuse were rampant in the nascent industrial age.
It's too bad that you capitalist worshiping Marx haters cannot put him in his proper perspective, based on the era he lived in, and see how significant were his contributions. You seem to be entirely unaware of the fact that, without the government restraints and the socialistic policies that were placed upon unrestrained capitalism in its earlier years, it would have been impossible for it to have lasted much longer. It would have not been sustainable. If there had been no labor riots, with an awareness of specific socialistic labor demands being made, there surely would have been a much larger and even more anarchistic revolution that would have taken place, given the inhumane and atrocious labor practices that were taking place at the time.