"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25

"Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad." -Proverbs 12:25
Midnight Blue (1963): Jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell featuring Stanley Turrentine on tenor saxophone, Major Holley on double bass, Bill English on drums and Ray Barretto on conga. Midnight Blue is one of Burrell’s best-known works for Blue Note Records. In 2005, NPR included the album in its "Basic Jazz Library", describing it as "one of the great jazzy blues records".

He said, She said...

"You are not designed for everyone to like you - Wise Man Phil

FRAGILE: Sting, Yo Yo Ma, Dominic Miller & Chris Botti

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Common Sense lost (re-post 4.7.10)

Battle: a hostile encounter or engagement between opposing military forces: the battle of Waterloo.

A year ago on April 7th I wrote a piece on Lance Cpl Matthew Snyder, a fallen solider, and the misguided folks from the Westboro Baptist Church and their leader Fred Phelps. Last year Lance Cpl Snyder gave his life in combat and when he was buried in the states the sick people from Westboro Baptist Church protested at his funeral.

 A grief stricken solider in the Korean War.
By Sfc. Al Chang, August 28, 1950
(National Archives and Records Administration)

War is horrific. It always has and it will always be one of the single most difficult things for human beings to endure and take part in.

Since President George W. Bush declared war eight years ago today on Iraq on March 19, 2003 the United States military has lost 4439 soldiers and the number of wounded soldiers in Iraq is over 32,992 (as of 2.25.11). 

The causalities of war in the US military Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan which began on October 7, 2001 is 1505.

In honor of those men and women that have lost their life in the line of duty, to the families that have lost loved ones in these difficult wars and to those that are still deployed I re-post this piece to say thank you and that you are not forgotten.

Thank you for the freedom that you provide and I so desperately appreciate.

Thank you for your service. (sbb.250)

Common: belonging equally to, or shared alike by, two or more or all in question: common property; common interests.

The 17th century English poet John Milton is best known for his epic poem "Paradise Lost". Milton's greatest work was over ten thousand individual verses in length and was published in 1667 in ten books.

The majority of "Paradise Lost" was written by Milton when he was blind.

Milton's poem dealt with the Christian story of the Fall of Man: the temptation of Adam & Eve by Satan and their inevitable fall from grace and their eventual expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Milton incorporates Paganism, classical Greek references, and Christianity within the poem, with the main purpose of shedding light on the conflict between God's forethought and man's free will.

One of the greatest gifts God bestowed upon us is the ability to make our own decisions...the gift of "Free Will".

Today each individual has the opportunity to obtain as much knowledge as he or she wants. The capability that our phones (and their apps), the internet, podcasts, and the 24 hour news cycle (not to mention libraries and bookstores) provides for us really eliminates the excuse for being uninformed. As I tell my older children all the time: "You don't have an excuse for being dumb anymore". In some cases a small amount of knowledge can be just as bad as no knowledge at all, just ask a Doctor after he or she has prescribed a medication for a patient and said patient decides to become familiar with the medication's full product disclosure. 

One word: nightmare.

Speaking of nightmares and the danger of obtaining a small amount of knowledge, one doesn't have to look any farther than the freighting and evil behavior of the Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas and their abhorrent actions at Lance Cpl. Matthew Snyder's funeral in Maryland last month.

These misguided fools and their Pastor, Fred Phelps, used Snyder's funeral to spread their belief that U.S. deaths in the Iraq war are punishment for the nation's tolerance of homosexuality. One sign read, "God Hates the USA/Thank God for 911"...another stated, "America is Doomed". To me these statements are as dangerous and damaging as any "IED" our soldiers might have the misfortune to come in contact with while fighting in the Middle East.

To be honest, I feel emotionally drained from writing this piece. As a father of five boys and one girl I can't even begin to understand and comprehend the pain of a parent that has to bury their child. Equally, I do not have the ability to adequately share with you the anger that I feel towards these very sick individuals from Westboro, Kansas.

Coming Home...

Like the individual that falsely claims racism or the women who wrongfully claims being raped,  and in doing so, marginalizing and insulting the true victims, the "believers" from Westboro give all Christians a bad name and insult the authentic "faith" of many believers in this country, and around the world. 

A 110 years after Milton wrote "Paradise Lost" Thomas Paine wrote "Common Sense". Paine's pamphlet is widely recognized as the greatest and first work to campaign for America's independence from England.

The American Revolution found it's beginning with Paine's writing of Common Sense.  

My wish, after doing research for this piece, is for another revolution to begin, a revolution that would reclaim the common sense that this country was built on. A revolution that wouldn't let groups like the ACLU hijack our constitution and hide behind the First Amendment. The despicable actions of the people of Westboro are wrong and just because our constitution affords them the right to protest doesn't make it right.

It is examples like this that reminds us that common sense has become increasingly uncommon, and that basic logic and reason has given way to unapologetic poor behavior.

May you rest in peace Matthew Snyder, and from the bottom of my heart, I want to "Thank You" for protecting this "Paradise" that is called home.

sbb 7.4.10   

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