THE TONE OF THE CONVERSATION
by David Sisler
One of the parts of the paper I always read is the comics section. Being a creature of habit, I start with Non Sequitur (I miss the reruns of Peanuts) and read down the column until I reach The Boondocks. Understanding that my flagship newspaper, The Augusta Chronicle, is editorially committed to Boondocks, I make my own daily editorial comment, and skip down to B.C. Across the column I read up, jumping Overboard and finish with one of the best comic strips in syndication, Baby Blues.
Recently five-year-old Zoe asked her mother, Wanda, "Mommy, would it be okay if we went outside and drew on the patio with your new lipstick?"
Wanda responded, "No, it would not be okay."
Zoe continued, "Really-not-okay, or sorta-not okay."
"Really not okay."
Zoe looked at her 18-month-old brother, Hammie, and continued, "Go-to-your-room-not-okay, or no-dessert-or-tv-for-a-week-not-okay?"
A view of the patio in the last panel featured a variety of lipstick-produced art work and every parent's reply: "I don't think I like the direction of this conversation."
Something like that occurred to me last week as I read the headlines.
A story from Darwin, Australia, recently released, reported the human race evolving into a lower form of life. In 1998, an aborted baby lived for 80 minutes. According to testimony from the coroner's inquest, when the midwife contacted a doctor and told him the baby was alive, he said, "So?" and gave no instructions for caring for the infant. Nurses covered the baby (gestation 21-22 weeks) with a blanket and watched it die.
Paul Harvey would say, "There is no known connection between that story and this next one." I am not so certain. Researchers at Stockholm University, according to a story in the Los Angeles Times, reported, "Traditional family values are not important to us [Scandinavians] anymore. They are something we do research on, like a fossil." Is it any wonder? What would you expect from a culture where "legal prostitutes sell themselves in public, drugs are sold out of boutiques, and the sick and the elderly are actively and legally euthanized?"
You also read recently that the New Jersey Supreme Court's thought processes went into recess. It was the day they issued their ruling against the Boy Scouts of America. They decreed that BSA is not the kind of "intimate association" that is protected by the First Amendment and therefore must allow James Dale, an avowed homosexual, to lead boys who promise, on their honor, to be "morally straight." The court ruled that the Scout pledge does not mean to abstain from homosexual behavior. Now the Scouts must prove that they meant what they said. Does this remind you of the man who, under oath said, "That depends what you mean by ‘is'?"
Writing in the Wall Street Journal, Melanie Kirkpatrick properly said that the New Jersey ruling is an attack on "a core value of American society: the right to associate, and not associate, with whomever we please."
Ms. Kirkpatrick writes, "The 1999 edition of the Encyclopedia of Associations lists 22,049 national organizations, including hundreds whose membership is limited to a single sex, ethnicity, race or religion." If New Jersey's ruling stands, logic dictates that the next installment of the Black Miss America pageant must have white contestants, Aryan racial supremists must admit Jews, and the Ladies Garden Club must have male members.
Further north, Vermont's elected officials have passed and signed into law a measure granting legal status to homosexual partnerships. Never mind that the Bible on which they placed their hands when they took the oath of office says that the habitual practice of homosexuality will separate men and women from God for eternity. It is politically expedient, so let's do it.
Meanwhile, at Boston's Tufts University, Tufts Christian Fellowship, was stripped of funding and official status when it refused to give a position of leadership to a lesbian. The group which must now meet off campus can no longer call itself Tufts Christian Fellowship, and cannot advertise its meetings or events on campus.
And in Ohio, God's Word is unconstitutional, at least when it became the state's motto 40 years ago. Jesus said, "With God all things are possible," but according to the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, that just is not true. Dancing to the tune of the American Civil Liberties Union who represented Matthew Peterson, a Cleveland-area minister, the six words from Matthew's Gospel were struck down. We have been ignoring God, snubbing him, even denying he lives or exists for a long time, but Ohio finally made it official.
I wonder if God looks at these developments and says, "I don't think I like the direction of this conversation."
Published in The Augusta Chronicle 5/6/2000
Copyright 2000 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.
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