Hate

February 17, 2018

The Challenge of Being in a Service Business

Last month, on January 21, 2018, I celebrated the 35th anniversary of the opening my law practice. I graduated from law school in May 1982, and received my license to practice law in November 1982. Two months later, on January 21, 1983, I rented an office from an established Peoria attorney.

Nine years later (1992), I hired my first associate attorney. At that time, I was 35 years old. The attorney that I hired was 10 years younger than me, and had just graduated from law school.

At the time that I hired the attorney, I had an office manager, two full-time secretaries, a full-time receptionist, and a part-time secretary. Hiring an attorney was a big step for me, and I didn’t feel as though I knew enough about running a business to continue to move forward without some assistance.

The same year that I hired the attorney, I signed a contract with Gerber Business Development Corporation to provide me with coaching on how to properly run and grow my business. I had committed to paying the attorney a large salary and I didn’t want to make any catastrophic mistakes in managing and growing my law firm.

I found out about the Gerber company when I read a book that was written by its founder, Michael Gerber. The title of the book was, The E-Myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It. What Gerber said in his book about small businesses in America hit a raw nerve with me.

I had previously represented several business clients who had done well for a while and then, for one reason or another, had made mistakes that caused their businesses to fail. I had also handled several bankruptcies for individuals who had failed in their own businesses. Many of the businessmen that Gerber wrote about in his book reminded me of my own clients and their failure to succeed in their businesses.

February 10, 2018

The Death of a Special Christ-Like Priest

Georgette and I met on August 4, 1978, when we were both 21 years old. We were married in June 1980, while I was on break from law school. Ten months later, in March 1981, we had our first child, Harry. I graduated from law school in May of the following year.

We moved back to Peoria during the summer of 1982. At that time, Georgette was pregnant with our second child, Anna. I started my law practice in January 1983, and Anna was born the following month. We had our third child, Maria, 13 months later, in March 1984. When Maria was born, I was 26 years old.

It was during this period of time that my mom and my sister Colleen started commenting about how I had become too serious and I needed to lighten up. Colleen is a year and a half younger than me, and of my eight sisters, she was the one I was closest to while we were growing up.

When my mom and sister told me that I had become too serious, I hadn’t realized that my behavior had changed from the young, carefree guy who liked to have a good time and tease other people to an older guy who felt overwhelmed by the burdens of life.

But I wasn’t bothered by their comments about my being too serious. To me, that was what responsible adults did — they grew up and did their best to care for and support their families. In some respects, my mom and my sister were correct. My newfound responsibilities made me feel overwhelmed. At times, I felt as though I was doing well just to keep my head above water. Georgette and I had three babies in three years — Maria was born on Harry’s third birthday — and I was doing my best to support my family while managing my law practice.

Now, more than 30 years later, Georgette and I have 13 grandchildren, with three more on the way. I’m still serious, but I’m having more fun now than I’ve had in years. I’ve given myself permission to lighten up and revert to my childhood when I’m around my grandchildren. Their parents sometimes get irritated with me because they think I get their children riled up too much. But that’s OK with me, because I’m finally able to do what my mom and my sister wanted me to do all those years ago.

February 3, 2018

A Dream & The Greatest Showman

I recently joined my wife and some of our children at a local theater to see the movie, The Greatest Showman. The movie is a musical about the life of P.T. Barnum. It begins when Barnum is a boy. He is the son of a poor tailor who does work for a wealthy man. The man looks down on Barnum and his father, because of their lower-class status.

Barnum is a fun-loving boy who is infatuated with the wealthy man’s daughter. The man knows that Barnum likes his daughter and makes it clear to Barnum that he’ll never be good enough for her. After that, the daughter is sent to finishing school for several years. While she is away at school, she and Barnum continue to keep in contact by writing letters to each other.

Years later, when the daughter returns home from school, she is reunited with Barnum. They end up getting married and starting a family. After borrowing money from a local bank, Barnum buys an old museum building in downtown Manhattan. He then sets up Barnum’s American Museum, which showcases wax figures.

After struggling to make his new business work, Barnum’s children tell him that instead of featuring wax figures, he needs to have characters who are “alive.” Barnum likes the idea and begins searching for and hiring “freaks” to serve as performers. As he is rounding up his new cast of characters, Barnum sings the unique and mesmerizing song, Come Alive.

As Barnum’s new show gains popularity in New York, a reporter for the New York Herald is highly critical of Barnum and his “freak show.” The reporter’s columns about Barnum and his show stir up trouble among certain people in the community, including the upper-class members of the community.

To enhance his reputation with the upper-class, Barnum convinces Philip Carlisle, a local playwright from a wealthy family, to join him in his business. To raise Barnum’s status, Carlisle arranges a trip to Europe for Barnum and his cast of characters to meet Queen Victoria.

January 27, 2018

Why is That Church in a Music Video?

I’ve written before about how I was involved in music during my high school and college years. When I was a senior in high school, I formed a barbershop quartet with three of my friends. I did the same thing in college. While my high school quartet had a limited number of performances, my college quartet performed at several community functions and events.

I’ve always been a big fan of quartets and other a cappella groups. One of the groups that I currently pay attention to is Home Free, an American a cappella singing group that consists of five young men. Home Free got its big break in 2013, when it won a competition on the NBC television show, The Sing-Off. The grand prize that year was $100,000, plus a recording contract with Sony.

Last month, Home Free performed at the Peoria Civic Center. Georgette and I attended the show with some friends. My favorite Home Free song is How Great Thou Art. The music video of the song is posted on YouTube. The video has generated more than 13 million views.

In the video, the group is standing on a hill that is surrounded by several hundred acres of land. The scenery in the background includes cascading slopes and mountains. The beautiful harmony of the group is matched by the gorgeous land that surrounds them. The only building in the video is a small country church, which shows up in a field near the end of the video.

I have the video saved on an iPad that sits on a stand on my bathroom counter. Ordinarily, when I’m in the bathroom in the morning getting ready for work, I use the iPad to play educational, self-improvement, or religious recordings. In the evening while I’m getting ready for bed, I usually use the iPad to listen to music.

My son, Harry, and his wife Kathryn live about five minutes away from where my wife and I live. Because they live so close to us, they’re able to stop by our house to visit on a regular basis. Whenever they stop by for a visit, their two oldest sons, Harry and Liam, immediately start looking around the house for me. Harry is 5 years old and Liam is 3 years old.

January 20, 2018

Why Is It So Hard To Practice Patience?

It doesn’t happen very often, but every once in a while, I complain directly to God about something that’s bothering me. Last week, my frustration with an ongoing issue finally got to the point that one of my thoughts went up to God in the form of a question: Why can’t you just have an angel appear to me in a dream and tell me what to do? I’m tired of playing these cat and mouse games where I’m always struggling to try to figure out what I should do.

Of course, I immediately felt guilty about addressing God in this manner. Who did I think I was? A prophet? King Solomon? Saint Joseph?

But I get extremely frustrated at times, because while I want to do the right thing, I often feel as though I need specific direction from God. Although I’ve always been good at solving problems, I don’t like it when I have to wait on God to reveal pieces of the puzzle that are needed to solve the problem I’m struggling with.

I’m convinced that one of the primary reasons God operates this way is to teach me the virtues of humility and patience. If He sent an angel to tell me how to solve my problems, I wouldn’t need to learn and practice humility and patience. I would simply wait for instructions from the angel and then take credit for being a special child of God.

Most of us fail to realize that in order to really be humble, we must first suffer humiliations. And we must accept whatever humiliations that come our way with love and gratitude. While humility is the most important of all virtues, the virtue of patience has to be among the top five virtues. Why? Because it’s so difficult to put into practice.

Last week, I wrote about the three grades of patience, which are, to bear difficulties without interior complaint, to use hardships to make progress in virtue, and to desire the cross and afflictions out of love for God and accept them with spiritual joy. It would be impossible to put the three grades of patience into practice if we were to try to do it without God’s assistance.

January 13, 2018

The Difficulties That Arise After Years of Marriage

Last week, I wrote about a couple who was having financial problems because of the husband’s inability to work. Here’s what I wrote at the end of the article:
I’ve been a lawyer for more than 35 years. I’ve dealt with hundreds of couples who, after years of marriage, are facing an unexpected crisis. You would think that after being married for 20 or more years, married couples would be more patient and forgiving of each other than they were when they were newly married. But that’s usually not the case. The fact that they’ve spent years together seems to somehow inhibit their ability to practice real patience and forgiveness toward each other.

Instead of being patient and forgiving, they’re extremely frustrated and angry with each other. Why?

When couples get married, there’s always great hope for the future. With that hope comes the expectation that they will be able to work out all their problems. There is also an expectation that they will someday be able to overcome whatever bad habits or deficiencies they have.

Unfortunately, as each year passes, nothing really changes. Husbands and wives stop making the effort that is required to please each other. It’s almost as if they’ve been through too much together. They’re worn out and exhausted. They’ve run out of patience.

I’ve written before about a saying that is common in the business world: “Familiarity breeds contempt.” This saying stands for the proposition that the more familiar you are with a person, the more contemptible that person becomes.

Over time, as people in the business world become more familiar with each other, their defects and weaknesses become more evident. They are exposed to and become tired of each other’s excuses, bad habits, broken promises, lack of respect, mood swings, angry outbursts, and lack of appreciation. Before long, their patience wears thin, and the slightest infraction causes them to treat each other with contempt.

January 6, 2018

Something Married Couples Face After Years of Marriage

Last week, I had an appointment with a man — I’ll call him Jim — who hired me eight months ago to represent him on a personal injury case. As usual, Jim brought his wife with him to the appointment. I’ve met with Jim and his wife on four occasions over the past eight months. Jim was injured when a large truck disregarded a stop sign and collided with his vehicle in the middle of an intersection. Because of his injuries, Jim has not been able to return to work. He’s been without an income for eight months.

Jim and his wife are in their late 30s. He’s a skilled tradesman who has been a member of a trade union for more than 20 years. Jim has never had any problem finding work, primarily because he is willing to travel to other states to work, when necessary. Since the accident, Jim’s financial situation has become progressively worse. He has had to borrow money to support his wife and children, and he also recently cashed in part of his retirement, so he could keep up with his bills.

Prior to the accident, Jim’s wife did not work outside the home. A few months after the accident, she felt that she had no other choice but to get a job, so she applied for and secured a job at a local business.

Each of the times I’ve met with Jim, he’s been upbeat and happy. He’s an intelligent, good-natured person who likes to talk and tell stories. His wife has come to all his appointments and has always been courteous and friendly — until last week.

Last week, when I entered the conference room to meet with them, Jim was the same as he’s always been, but his wife was quiet and had an angry look on her face. Her demeanor indicated to me that she and Jim either argued on the way to my office, or she was fed up with his situation.

I talked to Jim about his condition and he indicated to me that he was still receiving physical therapy three times a week. He said that he probably wasn’t going to be able to return to work for at least another 10 to 12 months. He told me that before the accident, he worked at the same trade for 20 years.

December 30, 2017

What Did Mary Really Know?

Every year during the Christmas Season, there are articles published that are critical of the song, Mary Did You Know. As expected, in early December, Fr. Robert McTeigue, SJ, published an article with the title, “The Problem With ‘Mary Did You Know.’” In the article, Fr. McTeigue criticized the following lyrics: “Did you know that your Baby Boy has come to make you new? This Child that you delivered will soon deliver you.”

Fr. McTeigue’s complaint was that the lyrics imply that Mary was a sinner who needed to be delivered from her sins. This is contrary to Catholic doctrine which states that Mary was preserved free from all stain of original sin from the moment of her immaculate conception, which allowed her to be a pure vessel in which the Son of God could be conceived and born without ever having come into contact with sin.

Another article that was published before Christmas stated that the song implies that Mary was not fully aware that she was the mother of God. The article went on to say that anyone who is familiar with the Bible knows that Mary possessed knowledge that she was the Mother of God, not only because of the Angel Gabriel’s announcement (Luke 1:26-56), but also because of her “song of praise” — known as “The Magnificat” — which indicated that she was aware of her role in the salvation of mankind. Here are the first two sentences of the Magnificat:

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his handmaid. For behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed; for he who is mighty, has done great things for me and holy is his name. (Luke 1:46-49)

Whenever I read anything about the life of Mary, I think about a book that I read in the early 1980s, while I was in law school. The title of the book was, The Life of The Blessed Virgin Mary. The content for the book was taken from the recorded visions of the well-known 19th-century Catholic mystic, Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich (1774 – 1824).

November 4, 2017

Killers, Terrorists, and Criminally Abusive Men

If you pay any attention to the national news, you know about the mass murder of 59 people last month by a lone gunman in Las Vegas. You also know about the terrorist in New York who killed eight people by driving a rented truck into a crowded bike path. In addition to the killings, within the past month, there has been a wave of news stories about several well-known Hollywood male executives and celebrities who have been accused of routinely abusing women and getting away with it.

There’s something that the killers and the abusive men have in common. Do you know what it is?

Prior to their criminal acts, these men’s hearts turned cold and black. Over time, the evil values that they embraced became embedded within their hearts.

With each of the incidents that were referenced above, the mainstream media followed the same path that they always follow. They spent an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out what was going on in the minds of the men who had committed the crimes. As usual, they couldn’t figure out why the men had behaved the way they did.

While the media always consults with so-called experts to figure out what’s going on in the minds of the criminals, they should instead be focusing on what’s going on in the hearts of the criminals.

Behavioral experts have been trying to explain and understand human behavior for centuries. The oldest model for understanding human behavior dates back to at least the time of the Greeks and maybe even to the time of the Egyptians.

Back then, experts focused on three elements of human behavior. The first element of behavior was known as “cognitive,” which is related to the conscious, intellectual activity of the brain (thinking, reasoning, and remembering).

The second element of behavior was known as “affective,” which is related to the emotional and feeling attributes that each of us have.

July 22, 2017

Is Facebook A Trojan Horse?

I subscribe to a handful of monthly marketing newsletters. One of the newsletters is written by Dan Kennedy, a business consultant and marketing expert who has more than 40 years of experience helping business owners grow their businesses.

Ever since the advent of Facebook, Kennedy has repeatedly warned his subscribers not to trust Facebook. He insists that businesses that advertise on Facebook must have a process in place that immediately transfers all new customer data from the Facebook platform to a website or database that is owned by the business.

Kennedy has never wavered in his warnings about Facebook. His argument is that Facebook can, at any time, decide that a business is not complying with its guidelines, in which case it can, without notice, immediately shut down the page of any person or business.

I thought about Kennedy’s warnings last week when I read a Catholic News Agency (CNA) article that reported that within a 24-hour period, Facebook had removed more than two dozen “conservative” Catholic pages from its website.

One of the pages belonged to an American Catholic priest, Fr. Francis J. Hoffman, who is commonly known as “Fr. Rocky.” Hoffman is the Executive Director of Relevant Radio. At the time that his Facebook page was removed, he had more than 3.5 million followers.

Another popular page that was removed was known as “Catholic and Proud.” The page had more than six million followers, and belonged to Kenneth Alimba of Nigeria. Alimba told CNA that his page had been taken down by Facebook without any warning or explanation.

Alimba had another page, “Holy Mary Mother of God,” that had more than 200,000 followers, that was also removed by Facebook. He told CNA that he had spent more than five years working on his Facebook pages and that the loss of the pages was “extremely heartbreaking” and “horrible.”

August 6, 2016

Perfect Hate

Hate YouDuring the late 1970s, while I was in college, I met a young man — I’ll call him John — who was born in the Middle East. John immigrated to the United States when he was a teenager. He was a few years older than me and it seemed as though every time I saw him, we ended up talking about religion, politics, and the volatility in the Middle East.

John grew up in a Christian environment and had great love and affection for his wife, parents, and extended family. On one occasion, John made it clear to me that he hated Palestinians. He said that they had no right to live and that they all deserved to die. I was shocked by the level of hatred John had toward people he had never met.

We ended up getting into an argument, with me expressing shock and outrage that he claimed to be a Christian while at the same time expressing extreme hatred toward individuals whose only crime was to be born into a particular ethnic group.

John’s in his 60s now and his health has been declining for the past several years. He no longer goes to church or pays attention to what’s going on in the Middle East. He’s more passive now and is content to just get through each day.

I thought about John last week when I read about what Pope Francis said during a recent press conference. The pope was asked about Fr. Jacques Hamel, an 86-year-old Catholic priest in northern France who was beheaded by two individuals who had acted in the name of ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). In response to the question, Pope Francis replied, “If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence. And no, not all Muslims are violent, not all Catholics are violent. It is like a fruit salad; there is everything.”

With regard to the terrorism that is occurring throughout the world, Pope Francis commented:

May 7, 2016

Responding to a Raging Critic

criticLast week I received a letter from a man who felt compelled to put me in my place. One of his comments pertained to my recent article, A Gunfighter Rides Into Peoria. In that article, I described what happened during a recent trial that I was involved in. Here’s what the man said about my article:

[Y]ou disparaged the character of a fellow attorney by stating that he didn’t care about his client and only cared about money … only the wonderful lawyer Mr. Williams cares about his clients. And then you go on to write about humility! Again, what would Jesus say? “Woe to you lawyers also! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.” (Luke 11:46)

The man obviously misread what I had written. It was not a fellow attorney that I said did not care about his client. It was a neurosurgeon from Rockford, Illinois, who was hired as an “expert witness” to testify against my client. The neurosurgeon was the person who I claimed did not care about my client and only cared about the money he was being paid to testify.

Later in his letter, the man wrote about some “unscrupulous lawyers” who mistreated him and his family members. He then implied that I needed to work on my “narcissism” and closed his letter by stating, “Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.”

I’m not sure why he’s looking forward to hearing from me, considering the fact that he sent a letter that was dripping with sarcasm and contempt toward me.

I periodically receive letters from people who are upset about something I’ve written. The people who write the letters usually fall into one of the following three categories:

  1. Irritation. There are occasions when a person is irritated about something I’ve written and wants to either correct me or give me an opinion as to why I was wrong about what I wrote. Usually the person is courteous and respectful in the way he or she communicates with me.
  2. Anger. When a person is angry with me about something I’ve written, the person is usually more aggressive in the way he or she criticizes me. The person usually expresses an opinion as to why I’m wrong and then proceeds to tell me what I should have written.
  3. Rage. When a person is outraged by something I’ve written, in addition to aggressively stating why I was wrong about what I wrote, the person launches into a personal attack against me by questioning my motives and attacking my character.

The definition of “rage” is “a strong feeling of anger that is difficult to control” or “a sudden expression of violent anger.” In my opinion, the man who sent the letter to me that I quoted from above was in a state of rage when he wrote the letter.

December 5, 2015

A Lovely Night With Cinderella

Last month, Peoria Players Theater put on the musical production of Cinderella.  While the music in the play was from the original musical version of Cinderella, the script was adapted from the 1997 teleplay that featured pop stars Brandy and Whitney Houston.  My daughter Mary Rose played the part of Cinderella in the Peoria Players production.  My initial plan was to attend two of the eight performances that were put on, but I couldn’t stay away.  I ended up seeing four of the performances.

If you’re older than 50, you probably remember the 1965 television version of Cinderella that featured 18-year-old Lesley Ann Warren as Cinderella and Stuart Damon as the prince.  Some of the songs in that movie included, The Prince is Giving a Ball, In My Own Little Corner, 10 Minutes Ago, and Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?  The Peoria Players production included all of the songs from that movie.

My favorite scene in the Peoria Players production was when Cinderella’s stepmother and stepsisters reminisced about the ball, after they had returned home.  The stepsisters acted as though they had a wonderful time that included spending quality time with the prince.

In the scene, after hearing her stepsisters brag about their experience at the ball, Cinderella sings:

Then at last you see the towers to the palace
Silhouetted on the sky above the park
And below there is a row of lighted windows
Like a lovely diamond necklace in the dark.

The first stepsister then responds by singing, “It looks that way,” and the second stepsister sings, “The way you say.”  The stepmother then responds by singing in a questionable tone of voice, “She talks as if she knows.”

Cinderella then responds by singing:

I do not know these things are so
I only just suppose…
I suppose that when you come into the ballroom
And the room itself is floating in the air
If you’re suddenly confronted by his highness
You are frozen like a statue on the stair
You’re afraid he’ll hear the way your heart is beating
And you know you mustn’t make the first advance
You are seriously thinking of retreating
When you seem to hear him asking you to dance…
And when you waltz with him
You whirl around so that your feet never touch the floor…

April 25, 2015

Dumb Behavior

DumbI recently filed a chapter 7 bankruptcy case for a client who owed a significant amount of money to some local loan shark companies. (I call payday and title loan companies “loan shark companies” because they routinely charge up to 300% interest per year on money that is loaned to customers.) My client also had several thousand dollars in accumulated debt that he owed to credit card companies and medical providers. For the purpose of this article, I’m going to call my client “Jim.”

In a chapter 7 bankruptcy, the person filing the bankruptcy is allowed to keep up to $15,000 equity in a home (homestead exemption), up to $2,400 equity in a vehicle (vehicle exemption), and up to $4,000 of other personal property, which includes cash on hand, money in the bank, and household goods and furnishings (wildcard exemption).

Jim’s bankruptcy petition included a breakdown of his household income and expenses. The breakdown showed that Jim and his wife have expenses that currently exceed their income by more than $350 per month.

After I filed Jim’s bankruptcy, a hearing was scheduled to allow the bankruptcy trustee to ask him questions. The bankruptcy trustee is an attorney who is paid by the government to review all bankruptcy-related documents and to determine whether there are any assets that can be recovered to pay to creditors.

At the hearing, the trustee asked Jim what he and his wife did with their recent federal tax refund of more than $5,000. Jim testified that some of the money was used to repair a vehicle and to pay current bills. He then testified that he and his wife used $1,700 of the refund to play the slot machines on the riverboat casino.

I have a question for you.

What was the first thought that came to your mind after you found out that Jim and his wife wasted $1,700 on gambling? I’ll tell you what my initial thought was. One word jumped into my mind: “Dummies!”

April 4, 2015

Flushing Poison Out of Your Heart, Mind and Soul

Forgiveness - PoisonDo you know what the Blessed Mother, the apostles, the disciples, and all the followers of Jesus had in common, other than believing that Jesus was the Son of God? They all forgave everyone who was involved in the torture and murder of their Savior. Think about how difficult that had to be. I know how hard it is for me to forgive certain people for what they have done to me, but I can’t imagine how difficult it would have been to forgive those murderers.

Because I am the type of person who holds grudges, there have been several occasions during my life when it was extremely difficult for me to forgive individuals who betrayed me or treated me unjustly. When I was younger, there were a few occasions where it took several years for me to forgive different people. It no longer takes me years to forgive, but it can still take several weeks or months before I finally give in.

Each time I have had to confront the issue of forgiving someone, I have argued with myself. Some of the arguments that have gone through my mind to try to convince myself that I need to forgive are:

●  You know that you’re going to have to eventually forgive him if you ever want to get into Heaven. That was one rule that was laid down by our Lord. He was very specific when He said that God is only willing to forgive us to the same degree as we have forgiven others.

●  It’s not good for your mental, emotional, and spiritual health to refuse to forgive him. In fact, he probably isn’t thinking about you anyway. While he’s going on with his life, you’re continuing to let what he did negatively affect you.

●  Your anger and resentment toward him are robbing you of your inner peace. It eats away at your spiritual, mental, and emotional well-being.

Some arguments that I’ve used to convince myself that I’m not ready to forgive a person are:

February 20, 2014

A Legacy Worth Talking About

Veronica VeilImagine you are driving on University Street in Peoria and in the distance you see a large crowd of people gathered in a parking lot.  As you drive closer to the crowd, you see a man who you have met before tied to a telephone pole.  To your horror, you see two young, well-built men taking turns at beating the man with leather whips that have sharp pieces of metal attached to the ends of each whip.

You pull over and park your car and rush over to the area where the crowd has gathered.  The man who is tied to the telephone pole is on his knees, with his head down.  His back is covered with blood.  Several of the people in the crowd are cheering and encouraging the two men to swing harder when they beat him.

As you move closer, you see some law enforcement officers who are in charge of controlling the crowd.  You realize that what is occurring is a government-sanctioned beating.

You notice that there’s a woman who is standing about ten feet away from the man who is being beaten.  You know from having met the man that the woman is his mother.  The woman is visibly shaken and flinches every time one of the whips tears into the flesh of her son.  As you push through the crowd to get closer to the woman, you notice that there are tears in her eyes.

You try to move closer to her but one of the government officers steps in front of you and orders you to leave the area or you will be arrested.  You turn around and see that you have an opportunity to approach the man who is being beaten.  You notice that he has blood streaming down his face from thorns that have been pounded into his head.  You rush over to the man and wipe the blood from his face with your shirt.

You feel someone grab your arm and throw you to the ground.  You look up and there are two officers standing over you.  They both start kicking you in your stomach and back.  You quickly get up and stumble over to your car.  Your mind is racing, wondering if there is anything else you can do to help the man.

December 28, 2013

A Duck Hunter Wins One for the Christians

Phil RobertsonOn Christmas morning, my wife sent a text message to me and our children with a link to a YouTube video.  The beginning of the video showed images from the first Christmas.  The audio that played in the background was from the segment of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” where Linus recited the famous passage from the Gospel of Luke: “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them….”

While I was watching the video, I thought about the recent controversy over the suspension (on December 19) of Phil Robertson from the A&E Network television show, “Duck Dynasty.”

Most people don’t know this, but in 1965, when Charles Schultz wrote “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” network executives at CBS objected to the scene where Linus walked onto the stage and recited the story of the birth of Christ.

The reason the CBS executives resisted the Christian message was because they didn’t think their viewers would want to sit through the reading of a passage from the bible.  Shultz insisted that the scene be included.  At one point, he told the executives, “If we don’t tell the true meaning of Christmas, who will?”

It turned out that the executives were wrong about their viewers.  Schultz told his story for the first time on December 9, 1965, when the show aired on network television.  During the show, over 50 percent of the televisions in America were tuned into the program.  “A Charlie Brown Christmas” later went on to win both an Emmy and a Peabody award.

So why was Phil Robertson suspended by the A&E Network?  Because he had the audacity to state in an interview that homosexual behavior is a sin.

Contact