Saturday, June 27, 2015

That Muslim Sure Can Preach the Christian Gospel!

Ladies, you know the feeling when you have worn a girdle or tight fitting garment all day and when you remove it, you feel an over-whelming sense of release? You breathe a sigh of relief and feel like you are free.  That’s how I imagine the gay and lesbian couples out there felt when the Supreme Court ruled this week they could marry the person they love. 

I have been happily married to a man for forty-six years.  Therefore, I cannot fathom what life has been like for gay couples who possess the same love for their same-sex partner as I do for my male husband.  I cannot imagine the burden of having to constantly pretend the giving, taking, and sharing portion of their life does not exist.   Imagine always waiting for that raised eyebrow when they introduce their “friend” or “partner.”  Worst yet, imagine living with the fact that should something happen to the other parent of the child you love, you won’t have a legal right to continue parenting that child. 

So, I share in the joy of all those who are embarking on a new way of life.  It will take a while for people in this country to get used to this new normal.  It’s the older generation that has the most to learn.  This is a case where the older generation can learn from the younger generation.  Young people have long stopped caring who marries whom.

Also this week, the Supreme Court did not deliver the deathblow to the Affordable Care Act by disallowing subsidies to 6.4 million Americans.  I admit that it used to tick me off when the Republicans called it Obamacare.  They thought they were denigrating this important legislation by calling it by the name of the President whom they strongly disliked.  Now I am glad they coined the term “Obamacare” and I’m proud to call it that.

I don’t have to recount to you all the wailing and gnashing of teeth the Republicans have done about killing Obamacare.  The Republicans have consistently opposed and worked against President Obama in his efforts to create health care for all people in our country.
Their plan backfired!  The ruling by the Supreme Court actually strengthened Obamacare.  It made it illegal for a future President to single-handedly dismantle it.  Obamacare will forever be President Barack Obama’s legacy.  Thank you Republicans!

Our fight for Obamacare is not over here in Georgia.  Noting the Confederate flag issue, it became evident this week how fast Governors and Legislators can change their mind about an issue when we citizens speak up.  We have much work to do here in Georgia so that we can get the most out of Obamacare.  It is time Governor Deal and the Georgia Legislature get over their fear that accepting Medicaid Expansion may prove Obamacare a success. It is a success.  But it can be better. The legislators need to get busy doing whatever it takes to expand Medicaid and repeal that stupid, hateful law they passed making it a crime for anyone to facilitate the education and sign-up process of Obamacare. It’s time they get over their Obama hating and think about what health care means to their constituents.  This could make a difference on whether our hospital in Monroe County remains open.

Speaking of President Obama, I have never heard Grace explained in such an articulate manner as President Obama during his eulogy for State Senator Clementa Pinckney, the minister gunned down in Charleston.  This speech was the most amazing and riveting speech I’ve ever heard delivered by a President, bar none.  This was the real Obama.  This was the Obama we have needed for a long time.  Somebody has to tell the unvarnished truth.  This speech will become known as the Amazing Grace speech, and will be another part of Obama’s legacy.  This important speech won’t change the opinions of the die-hard Obama haters.  But the one thing they must admit….that Muslim sure can preach the Christian gospel!

As you make your plans for the July 4th weekend, High Falls State Park has some fun events planned for families, children, and even your pets.  Too many activities to list, but the glow in the dark putt-putt golf at 8:30 on the 4th of July sounds like a load of fun.  Call the park for details, 478-993-3053.

Happy Independence Day.  I hope you make a memory!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

How Quickly Things Can Change, Yet Stay the Same!

It’s amazing how everything can change in an instant.  All week long I was enjoying the spectacle of Donald Trump and Jeb Bush’s announcement for President, and of course, the fascinating story of Rachel Dolezal who grew up as a white girl and became a black woman.  These three events were running on a continuous loop on television.  I was so happy because all three of these events contained hilarious material for this Unfair and Unbalanced column.  If I were a dog, I would have been wagging my tail.

Then on late Wednesday night, I heard the alarming Breaking News alert.  “Massacre at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC.” In a blink of an eye, this nation went from laughing to weeping.  Suddenly, what we thought was important to hear and know, became insignificant.  In fact, I was actually ashamed that I had spent so much time trying to understand the Dolezal story.  I was ashamed I had given my valuable time to listen to Donald Trump’s “How Great I Art” speech. 

Nine God-fearing, law-abiding citizens were gunned down while studying the Bible.  Nine people who were deeply loved by their family.  Nine people who were pillars of the community.   Nine people who exuded love, not hate.  Nine Black people! 

Who can continue to deny that racism still exists?  The right-wing fanatics and Fox News, that’s who!   All day on Thursday, the pundits of Fox News made the case that the killing of the nine Black people was an attack on Christianity.  Really?  The killer himself said after shooting the nine Black people, “I came here to kill Black people.”  How does that translate to an attack on Christianity?  Fox News could not admit that the massacre  was the result of racism because that is not in the right-wing propaganda script.

Republicans, you have a large field of presidential candidates to choose from this year.  To make your decision easier, any candidate that calls this horrific event in Charleston anything other than a racist hate crime, should be immediately disqualified for shameful pandering.  Jeb Bush and Rick Santorum should be the first crossed off your list.  Also, cross off those not willing to campaign for the end of racism and discrimination.  Since no candidate will be left on your list, thank you for voting for Hillary.

I had no intention of mentioning the gun control issue because that debate only brings out the worst in people. However, I have to.  I just read a statement made by a board member of the National Rifle Association, Charles Cotton.  He said that Pastor Clementa Pinckney was the cause of the mass killings in his church because he opposed open carry in churches.  That is a disrespectful, outrageous statement.  This man and this organization should be repudiated. 

Charleston, South Carolina, has the most amazing people I’ve ever seen.  Throughout this entire ordeal, they have presented themselves with unique grace and dignity.  I do not feel that I am worthy to worship at the Mother Emanuel AME Church.  The congregates of this Church practice what they preach, “Love, not Hate.”  As family members confronted the killer at the bond hearing, they all forgave him and asked God for mercy on him.  I don’t think I could have been so kind under the same circumstances. 

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Gene Pool Weakens

Sunday is Father’s Day and hopefully you’ll be celebrating with your father. Whether you call him father, Dad, or Daddy, if he is still living and you can’t be with him, just CALL him. If your father has died, honor him on that day by remembering the good times that you shared and the contribution he made in making you the successful person/father/mother you are today. 

In today’s society, it’s hard to be a good parent, especially a father.  In the days of Henry Mitchell, it was much easier.  Remember, Henry Mitchell was the father of Dennis “The Menace” Mitchell.  Today we would describe Dennis as a “wild child.”  Henry would work in his office job all day and come home to hear about Dennis’ latest antics.  Then he would smile and give Dennis a little pep talk.  Today, Dennis would be labeled ADD/HD and be placed on medication.  Mr. Wilson, the next-door-neighbor, would press charges against Dennis or obtain a restraining Order against him.  Dennis would have a juvenile record and probably be ejected from school.  Today we don’t have time to be patient with children who aren’t cut with the same cookie cutter. 

It’s interesting to look at famous fathers and sons and try to determine who is the better man of the two (or three in some cases).  We could compare, Hank Williams, Hank Williams, Jr. and Hank Williams, III.  I vote for the father.  We could compare Tim Russert and Luke Russert.  Too soon to tell.   

The three Bushes are a good study.  Daddy Bush, George H. W., was born in wealth but cut his own path by joining the Navy when Pearl Harbor was bombed, instead of going to Harvard at age 18.  He earned his flight wings a year later.  His plane was shot down and he was the lone survivor; eventually being rescued by an American Submarine.  Upon his return, instead of joining his father’s Wall Street firm, he set out on his own to find oil in West Texas.  He succeeded, and after his family’s financial future was secure, he began following in his father’s political footsteps.  You know the rest of the story.  He was elected the 41st President of the United States.  He afforded this country good, solid, moderate leadership.  He has been a humanitarian since his retirement. 

Now take George W. Bush.  PLEASE!  He was totally the benefactor of the respect earned by his Daddy.  But that’s okay.  That’s what being a good parent is all about; providing opportunities for our children that we had or that we never had.  In this case, it was about a parent getting a son into Yale, getting a son into the Texas National Guard to avoid the Viet Nam War, and paving the political pathway to the Presidency.  George W. was not ready for “prime-time” as they say, and took us into a war based on a lie.  We  will be fighting this war forever, while he sits on his porch and paints.  He left us with one timeless quote from 2001.  “Teach a child to read and he or her will pass a literacy test.” 

I think I have made the case that the gene pool weakens, so don’t even think of voting for the other brother, Jeb.  He already has more baggage than a passenger train can haul and he hasn’t even formally announced yet.

Reverend Billy Graham has preached to more people than anyone in history. I daresay he has led more people to Christ than anyone in history.  He has been on the cover of all the biggest magazines and subject of innumerable feature magazine and newspaper articles.  He has been in the Top Ten Most Admired Men in the World for over fifty years.   He has served as counsel to Presidents.  He has won most any award you can name.  He has accomplished all this while never uttering hate speech or pitting one group of people against the other.

This week, Franklin Graham, heir to his father’s ministry, foundation, and gazillion dollars called for a boycott of gay friendly businesses.  He announced he was moving the gazillion dollars from Wells Fargo Bank because he saw a television ad for Wells Fargo portraying two females learning sign language so they could adopt a deaf child.  He then moved the gazillion dollars to BB&T.  Turns out, BB&T not only hosted a same-sex wedding in one of their banks, but also sponsors the annual Miami Gay Pride Parade.  You, Franklin Graham, “ain’t your Daddy!” 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

The Positive Side of the Duggars, Jenner, and Hastert

 The Positive Side of the Duggars, Jenner and Hastert

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about my television and news overload due to being prescribed “inactivity” by my doctor.  I’ve tried to cut back on news channels but found myself binging for hours on Law and Order, Special Victims Unit and Criminal Minds.  I found those shows to be even more damaging to my psyche than actual news . 

In an effort to rid negativity from my mind, I have decided I will only write “positive” things this week. That’s a heck of a challenge since my computer only types in one language—sarcasm. 

You have to be living under a rock if you haven’t heard about the Duggar Family molestation scandal.  They deserve much credit for being the hardest working family in America to keep their job as reality show stars.  They are trying by any means necessary to sway public opinion so that the TLC Network will reinstate their show. Their perseverance is admirable.  How will they feed all those children, maintain those buses, and all those washer and dryers?  It would be a shame to see the females in the Duggar family have to get a job which would interfere with their “baby making” time.  The old Marilyn would point out their hypocrisy for railing against gays.  I won’t do that now because that would be negative.  Therefore I say, “Good Luck Duggars!”

Continuing with my positive news, the jobs report this week was great! Over 280,000 jobs were created.  However, the percentage of unemployed ticked up from 5.4 to 5.5.  That’s surely a direct result of all those Duggars becoming unemployed.  Oops!  Darn computer again. 

And what about former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert?  In keeping with my new positive attitude, I applaud him for not continuing his political career that surely would have resulted in an embarrassment to this country had he aspired to even higher office. I can see the headlines now, “President Hastert is a Pedophile!”  Dennis Hastert is a Patriot and proved it when he saved this country from what could have been a devastating blow.  The old Marilyn would point out the hypocrisy of Hastert speaking on the House floor to impeach President Clinton due to inappropriate conduct and gaining his Speakership due to then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich being identified as a serial adulterer.  

Did you see the picture of Caitlyn Jenner, formerly known to us as Bruce Jenner?  What a beautiful 65 year-old woman!  Caitlyn Jenner, a professed Republican conservative, would be a fine leader and spokesperson for the Republican Party.  See how positive I am!

Be honest with me.  You don’t like to hear the positive, do you?  The truth is people don’t really want to hear what’s right with the world.  If they did, newspapers would not sell, Rush Limbaugh would not be a household name, and people would not be getting rich by telling us what to fear.  Also, negative campaign advertising would not be effective.  This strictly positive stuff isn’t working for me.

I will now go back to writing just the truth and call it like I see it.  And if someone doesn’t like it, since I am a southern lady, I say to them, “Well, bless your heart.” 

Marilyn Langford