Salient…July 30th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3750)

There are matters that are too important to ignore or leave to chance. These are salient moments.

Anita Bryant.

I would guess, to my average reader, the name neither rings a bell nor stimulates any particular memory.

But back in 1977 (when a few determined dinosaurs still roamed the Earth), Anita Bryant was voted “The Most Trusted Woman in America.”

She was a former Miss America contestant who had a singing career and was well-known as the pitch person for Florida orange juice.

She was vibrant.

She was youthful.

And she was, as we gradually discovered, quite political.

For you see, when the Fort Lauderdale City Council passed an ordinance removing all limitations on lodging and civil considerations for the homosexual community, Anita objected.

And we’re not talking about an op-ed letter to the newspaper. She hit the streets, held rallies, and turned a local situation into a national debate over the issue of whether people who pursued a homosexual lifestyle should be granted all of their civil liberties.

She was in demand. Her performances were packed. She did interviews on all the Christian talk shows, and even one for Playboy Magazine. She was America’s sweetheart.

For you see, at that time in our country, the jury was not only out on the gay community, but was leaning toward the “rejection penalty.”

It was popular to be anti-gay.

It was considered patriotic to be against them.

As we arrived in the 1980s, and the horrific AIDS epidemic spread across the land, those who believed homosexuality to be an abomination to God also whispered that perhaps this new virus was the Almighty’s punishment.

Things changed.

Suddenly a little boy in Indiana got AIDS from a blood transfusion–and it was no longer merely an infection of the flaming queens. Ryan White, with his generous spirit, refused to believe that his particular AIDS was any different from the AIDS contracted by those in San Francisco.

He was humble, he was non-judgmental, and he was strong until the day he died.

He made those who condemned their brothers and sisters look foolish–especially Anita Bryant.

She is still alive, but unfortunately, her name is equated with intolerance instead of righteousness–or orange juice, for that matter.

An interesting fact that you may want to tuck away in your memory: lepers are remembered more favorably than Pharisees.

So here is your salient moment:

You can’t defend God or morality by attacking behavior and hurting people.

 

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G-Poppers … June 15th, 2018

Colin Kaepernick.

Here’s a young fellow who chose to protest alleged use of irrational violence by the police department against young black men. His method of objection was very simple:

He was a football player, so when the National Anthem was performed, he refused to stand, but at first sat, and eventually, along with many others, took a knee during the Francis Scott Key.

It was harmless.

Unfortunately, it became quite a row when capitalism and democracy were unleashed from their cages to wrestle with one another.

G-Pop wants you to understand that the two don’t get along. Democracy contends that individual citizens have the freedom to express themselves without inhibition.

Capitalism places the entire significance of its purpose in its name–capital. Money is the reason, money is the means, money is the passion and money is the bottom line.

So G-Pop found himself in an interesting situation two nights ago while having dinner with friends. Having not given adequate thought on this battle between capitalism and democracy, G-Pop stated that he felt the decision to forbid the protest of these excellent athletes was a sham and would eventually be perceived as a national shame.

G-Pop spoke too soon.

As long as we continue to have a democracy that is acted out through capitalism, those who work for the corporation will need to honor the tenets, principles and concepts of the company–even if they feel it deters from their freedoms.

Every day, each one of us sacrifices a little choice so we can be part of a bigger unit.

We do so because of money.

We do so fearing that launching too much on our own, without financial prospects, will leave us broke and busted instead of a fine bloke who’s trusted.

It’s really quite simple.

As long as Mr. Kaepernick was “Colinizing” an idea with his friends, to project their disagreement, and the National Football League was NOT insisting they follow any particular code, it was beautiful, totally sane and within the bounds of reason.

But when President Trump challenged the owners of the NFL to make the “knee salute” a profile against the policy of the National Football League, capitalism won over freedom.

Pardon the pun, but Colin and his buddies had no leg to stand on.

It was nasty.

It was plotted.

And it turned what could have been a dynamic discussion into a wicked slap on the wrist in the principal’s office.

G-Pop was wrong.

Capitalism–the pursuit of capital–will always trim back democracy, the insistence on freedom.

So Colin and his “Colinizers” will have to find a different way to protest. G-Pop is completely confident they will.

But until they do, let us not make it an issue of patriotism, but rather, conclude correctly that it is merely patronizing the bottom line.

 

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3 Things… April 19th, 2018

Jonathots Daily Blog

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 That Make Freedom Work

1. I am responsible for my own life.

2. Unless you are crazy or hurtful, I will leave you alone.

3. Everything done is tempered with kindness.

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G-Poppers … September 29th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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G-Pop is encouraged.

While other folks are sorely distressed over the fussy argument about the correct posture to take in honoring the National Anthem, G-Pop feels the discussion is not only warranted, but well overdue.

Somewhere along the line, we’ve defined peace as being a lack of conflict. Actually, peace is the creative resolution of conflict.

Therefore, it is misplaced idealism to contend that human beings will agree, or even follow a code of ethics or morals from a single source. It’s never going to happen–not in the United States, where we tout justice for all.

The reason G-Pop is encouraged is because the balance in patriotism has been askew for many years.

There was a time when those who disagreed with the war in Vietnam were considered traitors. Now they’re regaled as prophets.

In the early part of this century, we were convinced that supporting the troops meant rubber-stamping the campaign in the Middle East, which now lumbers along, tripping over its own red tape.

May I offer a definition for patriotism? Patriotism is loving my country so much that I will disagree with the stupidities that rise up to tempt her.

Candidly, there is much that the black athletes in the NFL can learn from those who take a rigid salute to the Star Spangled Banner. Equally, those who think they have cornered the market on nationalism should certainly stop off and take a look at the neighborhoods that these talented athletes grew up in, and the brothers and sisters who concern their hearts.

It’s a simple process. You can do it for the nation, you can do it for your marriage, and you can do it in your personal life:

1. What are we doing right?

There are many things that are honorable and even eternal about this country. Criticism can take a temporary back seat to celebration. Let’s find what rings all of our bells before we get too specific about our “favorite chime.”

2. What are we doing wrong?

Anyone who insists that a nation is incapable of error simply by its name or birthright needs to read the Good Book and comprehend that God doesn’t call only people to repentance, but also countries and ideologies. There is much wrong with this country. It won’t kill us to know this. It won’t destroy us to admit it. And we do not need to be at each other’s throats in order to generate dynamic plans.

Which leads to:

3. How can we do more right without doing wrong to each other?

I have absolutely no authority to make fun of someone who stands at attention and salutes the flag when Francis Scott Key’s song is played to honor our country. Likewise, I have no purpose for condemning those who sit or take a knee to express that they are not abandoning this nation in despair, but are demanding that certain ailments be treated.

When the flag becomes more important than the freedom and the integrity of people, we are too engrossed in the flag.

When our cause seems more relevant and valuable than respecting those who take a more traditional profile to loving this country, then we are equally as ignorant in our understanding of liberty.

So I honor my country as I tinker with her.

I stand with those who stand, and I kneel with those who kneel–as we pursue improving the true expanse of freedom.

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Dear Man/Dear Woman: A Noteworthy Conversation … January 9th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Dear Man Dear Woman

 

Dear Man: Why didn’t you tell me you were sick? I had to find it out from Mike. Would it have killed you to share?

 

Dear Woman: Mike should have kept his mouth shut. It’s not a big deal. I just didn’t want to tell you and have you fuss over me.

 

Dear Man: Fuss? What do you mean by fuss? Here’s something you have to understand. Being concerned for someone else is not fuss. It’s called love.

 

Dear Woman: Yes, but you overdo it. You start feeling my head for a temperature. I especially hate it when you conjecture on what the problem might be or how I need to take care of myself better. You’re just too emotional.

 

Dear Man: I’m too emotional? Are you kidding? You remember the last time you had a cold? Eight o’clock at night–you asked me if I would go down to Porky Bob’s Barbecue and get you some ribs because they would “make you feel better.” If I remember correctly, you did this with a tilted head, seeking pity, and a tear in your eye.

 

Dear Woman: The sauce is tangy. It burns my throat in a way that makes it heal up. Anyway, that’s not emotional. That’s just expressing my feelings.

 

Dear Man: Let me stop right here. Apparently I have a lot to learn. What is the difference between expressing your feelings and being emotional? Because last week when you were watching the football game, screaming at the TV set because the referees were cheating, and then, when the team lost, you cursed and broke down in tears… Well, I guess what I want to ask is, was that expressing your feelings or being emotional?

 

Dear Woman: Yes, I did all that. But not because I saw a little bird with a broken wing on television and I started to dribble tears because it was so hurt, but cute.

 

Dear Man: So what I’m picking up from you is that if you’re emotional, it’s just a natural expression of feelings. But if I’m expressing my feelings on an issue or situation, it’s because I’m naturally over-emotional.

 

Dear Woman: It’s a known fact that women are more emotional than men.

 

Dear Man: Known by whom? Let me ask you some questions. Can you tell me five women who have ever gotten so emotional and angry that they declared war, went off and killed people?

 

Dear Woman: That’s called patriotism. That’s passion. A devotion to your country.

 

Dear Man: Well, I can see that you have an answer for everything. Are you trying to maintain that whatever I feel is emotional and silly, and whatever you feel is human and good? Because let me clue you in–we’re both human. As human beings, if we don’t have emotion, they classify it as mental illness. We both express those feelings at different times, in what some folks watching might call extreme ways. But if it’s real to us, it’s real.

 

Dear Woman: So you don’t think women are more emotional than men?

 

Dear Man: No, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with you being emotional, whereas you portray that when I have concerns and feel happy or sad, it’s because I’m going through some “time of the month” or tirade against the male of the species.

 

Dear Woman: You realize, nobody agrees with you.

 

Dear Man: No, I realize that everybody agrees with me, but they’ve bought into the idea that women are more emotional and men are more controlled. Yet it’s difficult to find a female serial killer, a woman who commits genocide, or a chick who has started her own Ku Klux Klan.

 

Dear Woman: So what are you saying? Are you saying that men and women are equally emotional?

 

Dear Man: I am saying that without emotion we’re not human. Maybe men and women have different interests which ignite their emotions. But in the long run, every person emotes, or they die inside.

 

Dear Woman: I’m a little sick. I should have told you, but honestly, when I tell you, because I’m kind of a baby about it, and you’re willing to mother me, it makes me feel real stupid later on, though I enjoy the sympathy in the moment.

 

Dear Man: That was beautifully stated and I totally understand. Do you think we could do it that way the next time?

 

Dear Woman: If I remember.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant… October 14th, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Is Not

Is Not

Screaming is not talking

Believing is not living

Quoting is not accepting

Hoping is not doing

Laughing is not joy

Praying is not hugging

Learning is not applying

Thinking is not feeling

Liberty is not freedom

Apathy is not consent

Working is not creating

Money is not wealth

Failings, not mistaken

Looking is not seeing

Having is not listening

As a kiss is not a caress

Following is not loyalty

Humility is not timidity

Patriotism is not nationalism

Knowledge is not wisdom

Yet God is love.

 

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Confessing… August 1st, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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XIII.

I confess so I can heal.

If I deny, I remain sick.

In the summer of my sixteenth year, my human sexuality cornered me like a ravenous jackal.

I discovered that my penis also had a “wonderful plan for my life.”

I was in the midst of my first serious relationship with a girl and my curiosity was out to see the cat. I had lived as a good church boy, vacant of any understanding of my body parts beyond my hands and knees for prayer. No one had ever told me what I was supposed to do with what.

Only when.

At the same time, I struck up a friendship with Ben, who was one year younger than me. He, too, was on the quest for fire.

So even though we spent sufficient time working on our church coffee-house together, whenever we were out driving around and talking, we were speculating on the anatomy of the various females we encountered, possessing the knowledge of a new-born baby pontificating on eating steak.

Now, there was a drive-in theater about fifteen miles from our home called the Queensland. On Saturday nights, this establishment showed X-rated movies. I had never seen such a flick, and was beginning to feel the absence.

So I talked to Ben and we decided to make a trip down to this theater and bring paper and pencil to become great students. A couple of other guys got wind of it and begged to go with us. Our first instinct was to say no, but when they continued to plead, we acquiesced.

It was only when we got a mile from the theater that we discovered the other two guys hadn’t brought any money along for admission. So I opened up the big trunk of my Impala and they crawled in to hide, so we could get into the drive-in without paying for them.

It worked beautifully.

Upon arriving and finding our speaker-box of choice, we slyly let them out of the trunk and they came into the car. For the next three-and-a-half hours, the four of us drooled like teething babies.

We saw things we had never seen before. Some of it we liked, and some of it was grotesque and scary.

But we watched it all.

I was the oldest one in the car, and therefore should have had better sense–especially in assessing who I took to see the “skin and sin.”

The following Wednesday, I was called to the preacher’s office. One of the young boys who had been in the back seat had a fit of conscience and confessed his evil deed to his parents. I was confronted, disciplined and told what a “terrible witness I was.”

I didn’t care.

I guess none of these young men ended up being rapists or sex offenders, but I’m very sorry for what I did. I had no right to tie their confusion in with my confusion to create chaos.

What should I have done?

I probably should have complained to the adults around me about how ignorant and devoid of knowledge they had left me, in a world of lions, tigers and bears–oh, my.

So when I became a father, I told my children very early about the sexual aspect of their lives.

I don’t know if it affected their purity… but it certainly eliminated their guilt.

 

confessing car trunk

 

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