Archive for December, 2012

Where do YOU stand?

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

By Hetty Gray

December 22, 2012

“Where do YOU stand?”

My husband and I have a regular discussion about a subject widely ignored by our church and many others. I once rose and asked the question, but the response was tepid and not at all germane in substance.

Let me ask you. “Where do YOU stand? There is a war on Christianity and nobody steps into the pulpit to address it — at least not in my denomination. I took heart when the Catholic Bishop in New York City railed against the government. They very idea that our nation could force Catholic hospitals to offer health care that went against their core beliefs is ridiculous.

As Christians, we pose a threat. We stress the work ethic, respect for authority, and the traditional family. What’s more, we live our lives by ten rules that scare the pants off these people.

We know sin and we call it out as such. We refuse to accept the fracture of the American family. We espouse the role of a mother and father in a household. Remember, it was Adam and Eve in the garden, not Adam and Jeeve. Had that arrangement held, humanity would met an early end.

The very fact that we honor a higher power puts — for the want of a term they would appreciate — the “fear of God” into these folks, despite the fact that none of them would own up to THAT description.

Demeaning Christians and diminishing belief in God must give these folks some sort of comfort, but I think there is more to it than that.

Fear is quite the motivator. We don’t follow God’s laws because we fear God. We follow Him because we love and respect him. Most of the spokespeople who rant and rave against Christianity focus on self. Everything is self-centered and nothing else holds sway over their destiny.

Why don’t pastors of major denominations stand up and fight for their faith? As my grandfather would have quipped, “Makes no sense to me.” We pause to remember Jesus’ birth at Christmas and his resurrection at Easter, but do we live as it we witnessed either or both events? Most of us do not.

Jesus died for us. Why can’t we stand up for Him? As you take time out from Christmas parties and festive gatherings, remember that you have a bigger job than wrapping gifts or hosting dinners. You owe God more than an hour a week. Beyond living a good life and setting a good example, you need to take time to stand up against the forces that seek to crush the Christian faith.

The fact that few of us hear this from the pulpit is discouraging, but that can change — if we move for it! I am unfamiliar with non-denominational churches, but national denominations ignore this war against Christianity.

Those who wish to silence us are not only loud, but they also don’t mind making fools of themselves. It is hard to be steadfast and polite, but we CAN do it. Make this Christmas the one that begins a new chapter in your life. Deny atheists, secularists and nonbelievers any success. Ask your church leaders to speak out when they see local or state decisions moving to diminish personal faith.

When you greet people, wish each and every one of them a Merry Christmas. If I hear “Happy Holidays” one more time…. Well, you know how I feel, because you probably feel the same way.

When we allow Christmas to be watered down, we only fuel those hateful elements within our culture that work against us. If your faith is important to you, stand up for it!

Merry Christmas. Happy Birthday, Jesus. As Tiny Tim said, “God bless us every one.”

Decision Time

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

By Hetty Gray

“Decision Time”

December 21, 2012

Long ago I emulated my mother in her love of history and far away places. Among the cultures of concentration was the Mexico’s Mayan. Their calendar far outstrips anything of its time and was the forerunner of today’s accurate time-keeping. Also of interest is the Mayan artwork, some of which shows images that closely resemble modern depictions of astronauts — including helmets, air packs and vehicles.

Their announcement of today as the beginning of a new age may well be true. Time will tell, as they say. Yet, the prospect of the end of the world or a definitive change in the world as we know it has mesmerized folks for over two decades. Who knows how much money was spent on videos, books and magazines touting the Mayan Prophecy and possible ominous meaning of the year 2012?

However intriguing the whole subject may be, we need to come back down to earth as we know it and figure out how best to manage the environment in which we find ourselves.

My husband and I are supporters of gun rights. The stigma assigned to both us and also to millions of others is unwarranted. Mr. LaPierre’s speech in Washington, D.C. this morning proved spellbinding. For the first time, I heard a major player in a nationwide news conference go after the entrenched media bias against gun owners. Never before have I heard someone of his stature label Hollywood and video game makers for what they are: purveyors of violence.

He also put forth a plea for a national registry of persons with mental illness. However, not every disturbed person has been treated, so that initiative is far more complicated. One ingredient is the societal shame associated with mental illness. It encourages secrecy at the peril of others.

One thought that came to my mind was that it makes no sense for a parent with an obviously disturbed child to have guns available in the home. Sadly, Mrs. Lanza paid for that mistake with her life.

Back to the Hollywood set, here is no way to know how many attacks, rapes, robberies and shootings result from “action” movies and grisly video games, one of which (online for a decade) is “Kindergarten Killers.” Great, huh?

Please note, however, that those who earn millions of dollars from this so- called “entertainment” and scream loudest on gun control also travel with armed security.

Remember, both Columbine and Aurora fell victim to shooters who honed their skills via video games. Moreover the Aurora shooter by-passed several theaters that allowed patrons to carry weapons and chose a “no gun zone” where he knew he would not encounter any resistance. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that the most dangerous places are those that ban all guns, because they offer safe haven to criminals.

It’s time that the lobbyists employed by Hollywood and video game makers
— people that dole out millions of dollars are identified for what they are: merchants of death that inspire action so disgusting that it defies any degree of common sense.

American children see more murders by age eighteen than children in war-torn regions of the world considered “high risk”.

Five years ago, NRA’s recommendation that every school have armed security resulted in no action. When you consider how many retired armed service members, National Guard personnel, retired police and fire personnel and responsible, patriotic gun owners would gladly step forward to protect each and every school nationwide, that protection should be put in place by the time our kids go back to school after the Christmas break.

This is not exactly the column I planned for today, but the silence observed since last Friday was accompanied by a seething anger that the school lacked the video camera seen at major big box stores. Had there been such a device, when Adam Lanza climbed out of his vehicle with a rifle and approached the door, he would have been met with armed resistance. This is not to say that someone would not have been killed, but his carnage would never have been what the first responders to Sandy Hook Elementary found upon going into that school.

Bottom line? Responsible gun owners need better press and respect. Unfortunately, we will never be able to guarantee that every parent is a responsible adult and does not knowingly expose children to violence.

For now, we must take heart that communities come together in crisis and the tragedy in Connecticut may ignite a national movement to protect our children so that every school day will be safe and holiday will be peaceful.