H U N G E R

This is a scary word when weight control comes up. At least it was for me.

I have never gone to bed hungry in my life.

I’m almost ashamed to admit that. But I think I’ll choose to feel richly and inexplicably blessed rather than ashamed. God is a wondrous and loving creator and he pitied me in this even though I didn’t deserve it.

What do you think of when you’re thinking hungry?

Is it a desire for a particular food? Does talk of lasagna, pizza, tacos, burgers inspire feelings of hunger?

ME: YES!!! Lasagna and pizza for lunch, tacos for Afternoon tea, burgers with bacon and cheese for dinner, and how about some ribs for Supper and let’s don’t forget deserts. Truly, I am at heart one of Tolkien’s Hobbits–least ways when it comes to food I am.

I grew up in a church family. Do you know what a church family is? Among other things, it’s a family where just about every activity is accompanied by a meal, a salad, a snack, a something-to-eat. And the folks who bring dishes are pleased and jovial to share, many folks priding themselves on their prowess at preparation. Oh we look forward to the next picnic, when Mrs. Smith is going to bring her lemon bars, and we just can’t wait to have a bit of Mr. Johnson’s famous chili! I don’t think I’ll ever forget or regret one bite of Elsie Fischer’s beloved, 14″ diameter wild apple pies, brought to potlucks several times each autumn, or Bob Keen’s apple butter, Mom’s chicken casserole (I could weep tears of joy and longing talking about that casserole), my sister’s quiche, my other sister’s zucchini bread or my precious husband’s Pink Lady “salad.” Food was not just something we ingested for sustenance it was something we shared in happiness, in sorrow, and just because we were pleased to be together. Saucy bars…. wait, give me a moment…..

Ok, I’m ok now.

I’m very pleased to report that I have not felt H U N G E R since my surgery.

The first three days following my surgery, smells of preparing or prepared foods caused me a lot of nausea. After one meal my husband prepared for everyone else as I lay in the recliner in the living room, I asked them to open all the windows and turn off the heat (yes, the heat was on in July–it was 48°F out because Upper Michigan), and please position a fan where it could blow in my face to clear the scents of this meal. I was aware of the ingredients, and I knew very well that in normal circumstances I would have enjoyed this delicious meal, but good heavens. On that day the very thought, the slightest smell of food was enough to make me plain sick. Fortunately, by day four, when I started to really perk up and feel more myself, the smells of food stopped working treachery on me.

I have not been hungry since my surgery.

But I have desired food.

Yesterday they ate grilled polish sausages, and crispy baked potato strips. While I sipped a grossly-sweet protein drink.

On Saturday night, there was something with chicken, broccoli, cheddar cheese and some crispy crumbly topping I couldn’t identify but it smelled amazing.

Right this minute, I have a suspicion that they may be eating at one of my favorite Chinese restaurants while out grocery shopping for the things needed to make my allergy friendly, not-gross protein drinks.

I think someone mentioned pizza.

Nope, not hungry. Not one pang of emptiness.

But desire for food?

OH MY GOODNESS, YES.

So how do I cope with this part? Food is family, food is social, food is a natural, necessary part of every day life! Who doesn’t NEED food? A lemon bar is food! And sour cream coffee cake…. oh wow… OK, I’ve regained my composure… that is also food. RIBS, smoked until they’re soft like butter, and then glazed in tangy, honey barbecue sauce and put to flame until the sauce is sticky like taffy, are most definitely food.

So how do I do this on my own?

The answer is: I don’t know yet.

I do know that:

  1. My stomach is only 5oz. or so big. That’s roughly the size of a medium banana. There simply is not volume enough there to eat everything I find tasty, yummy, desirable or satisfying. Not like I used to. Taste things? You bet. Eat like a farm hand? No. No way.
  2. My health and life are more important to me than 5 minutes of gratification that may have a negative impact on my overall health.
  3. I can always eat more later. The food is not going to evaporate, and there is no rule that says we can’t  have the same meal more than once in a week, or even in a day. Were yesterday’s ribs amazing? Then I can have an ounce or two for breakfast and even lunch if they were that tasty (when I get to solid food stage.) Do I still yearn for that quiche from breakfast? I can eat it for dinner or my final snack of the day.
  4. Discipline and self control are two skills I do not have in abundance. I am impetuous and a bit flighty. Some might say I am a “flibberty-gibbet.” If a “great” idea occurs to me (It’ll be great!) I often fly off into it with little or no thought. Maybe someday I’ll tell you about the ducks we raised in the dining room… Knowing I don’t have these skills as a rule, means I need to get a grip and start really applying myself to their practice.
  5. I need to pray. I need to pray and pray, and beg my loving Father’s help with reigning in my desire. Some people have trouble with desires for porn, sex, alcohol, drugs, power, authority–mine is food. The textures, the flavors… It’s the most regular type of gluttony known to humankind–eating–and probably the least often thought of.

Our God has promised to lend us His strength when we are weak and to make his strength perfectly manifested in our weakness. Wow, am I looking forward to His promised proof. And I am grateful that the proof of His strength is promised. That way, even though my answer to how do I do this myself is “I don’t know” the answer to “how do I do this with God” has already been answered and continues to be answered every single day.


 

2 Corinthians 12:8-10New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power[a] is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10 Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

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Little notes…

July 17, 2017

First day: April 6, 2017. Time in program: 14 weeks, 4 days

Lost before surgery: 38#   Lost since surgery: 22.9#  Total lost: 60.1#


  1. Splenda, although I find it the most agreeable of artificial sweeteners is off the table. As a sugar alcohol it can have very similar effects in the body–like the tummy and membranes of the intestinal tract–as sugar itself does. Candida growth doesn’t sound positive. Stevia is the new fake sweetener of choice.
  2. S H O W E R: Never take this for granted. Being able to wash almost alone is wonderful.
  3. The scale can be a messenger of good or ill. The news you receive is not the scale’s fault, however much we might sometimes want to shoot the messenger. Today’s news was stunning in a good way!
  4. I’m not and have not yet been hungry.
  5. Ask for help. I told my husband and daughter my fears. They jumped up and went to work to try and find solutions for my worries. They found some. I’m not worried. Asking for help is an amazing gift to one’s self and to others. Empower the people you love. Consider what you need. Ask for solutions. Allow them to help you.

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I never knew she was so vain… And other whispered wonders

First off I must say I know I don’t OWE anyone an explanation. Ok not anyone, but most folks. The people who were owed an explanation have gotten it, ad nauseum over the past 20+ years, they watched me live it, heard me complain about it, and observed as I failed at trying to make out like it was no big deal. So no, I don’t owe anyone else an explanation. I know I also don’t have any obligation to make a justification for what I’ve done as of 5 days ago. The whole reason I’m putting this down is not for the benefit of anyone else, but my own, and for those who care enough to feel curious, but maybe don’t feel they’re close enough to ask.

As a side note, it’s amusing to me that a lot of people act about weight loss surgery similarly to the way they once did about unwed mothers. “She’s having *whispered* stomach surgery.” Like I cheated at life, LOL.  Followed by horror stories or “it’s about time.” But then perhaps I’m easily amused. Mostly though, I’ve had a lot of support. The ones I have the hardest time with are those that are scared for me, because I’ve been scared too, and pressing forward with this was not going to be *not* scary.

When I was 18, I had my first baby. The labor was nothing like the idyllic event you often see on TV, nor was it the horror show lots of women talk about from the “old days” of hospital births. I’d hazard to say it was really pretty standard for birth in 1991. I went to the hospital too early, I was scared, short on good information, in pain that far exceeded the stupid phrase “discomfort” that the child birth educator insisted was all I’d feel, and angry like a wild cat. My baby’s heart rate dropped, and I went in for an emergency c-section.

In 1991 I get the impression that a c-section was still a pretty big deal medically. Like by-pass surgery is now. I realize that they’re pretty routine these days and that’s a sad thing that doesn’t need to be examined closely here. The fact that it was an “EMERGENCY” c-section was very unsettling to us all I suppose. I had never had surgery. Never had an anesthetic more than you’d have for stitches or dental work. And while I tried to ask questions,  and I tried to get a handle on things, I was told to stop it!—Didn’t I understand they were trying to save my baby’s life?? It wasn’t a positive experience. My doctor was an older gent, easily in his 60’s by this time, a doctor from main-land China that our tiny community was lucky to have here because of his skill and expertise. When I came round I was scared, in pain, and someone was telling me I had a baby boy—that inspired panic let me tell you, I didn’t know who I was much less that I had had a baby.

Eight days after the surgery, I saw myself in the full-length mirror. Sagging and disfigured where my once flat belly had been hung two pouches of skin, one on either side of the scar scar that until the day before had sported 42 staples from my navel down to my pubic bone. Suddenly, I had what looked like nothing so much as an extra pair of buttocks hanging from my waist line–full sized even! I felt repulsed and disgusted. Horrified. How would I ever look “normal” again? And waistline? Forget it! My once definable waist was gone and my torso seemed to be more in the shape of a log. Even months later, starting just a small space below my bra band, my belly started to pouch out at the center and I looked for all intents and purposes like I the starts of 6-month baby belly. I talked to the doctor, who told me I was fat, but I had a healthy baby so what was my complaint?  Of course, now I know that during the pregnancy I more than likely suffered some injury to the recti—the tissues that hold the two sides of the “six pack” together. I would guess the recti suffered additional insult during the c-section. A few years later, the recti got a bit more abuse when I carried baby number two. I looked nine months pregnant by month 6, and the forward sagging of the baby belly was causing me trouble with walking. I wasn’t nearly as active as I was first pregnancy because my legs would go numb when I was up, my center of balance was off and I kept falling. This time I ordered and wore a special girdle to hold my belly up off my pubic bone and to try and ease the pressure on my back and legs. It helped a little. I was determined to have a VBAC, but it didn’t work out. Emergency c-section two came and went, but I knew who I was at the end of this one. I used the girdle after this time and it helped me get more mobile. Sort of. But my back was not the same. And my legs were always between sort of numb and not-as-numb-as-sometimes. My gut sagged forward more than before, and I walked around looking like I still had a pregnant belly, even as late as two years later. I went to the doctor, but by now I was a non-compliant patient (because I had wanted a VBAC) and I was just looking for someone to blame for the fact that I was overweight and too lazy to fix myself. And now I was obviously using the oldest complaint in the book to get time off of work or stay on welfare—a mysterious back injury that no one could or wanted to attempt to diagnose. Then, two and almost three quarter years after that pregnancy/delivery, on Dec 23, 1996, I reached for something across the counter while standing in line at the gas station. I spent the rest of the evening in the ER. L4 and L5 along with their neighbors looked like a Jenga disaster created by some sort of masochistic toddler on the x-ray. Doc gave me two choices. Emergency back surgery the next morning or go to a chiropractor the next morning. I saw a chiropractor the next day, and the next, and each of the next seven. It’s possible I should have had the surgery but considering the massive advances in back surgery since then, I guess I’m not too disappointed that I passed. Although I’ve wondered any number of times in the past 20 years when I’ve had to pass on activities or suffered for not passing on activities, if it would have been best to just have the surgery back then.
Two years later when I had the last c-section. I still had the girdle, and I wore it from early on. I tried to ignore it, but walking and moving was getting harder every year.

Here I am 20 and some years later. I have never wanted to be a swimsuit model, or strut on a catwalk. I’ve always wanted to be active. I still love the outdoors. I don’t feel a need to prove I can conquer rugged earth—I’ve proved it. But I miss walking in the woods. I hate basing my every plan and activity on phrases like “let’s be realistic: How far can I really genuinely walk and still walk back to the car?” I hate that my family bases their activities on my limitations. I really dislike that going grocery shopping is a major physical drain. It’s not fair to them. And honestly, I don’t feel like it’s fair to me. Overall, 26 years of struggling against my gut sagging ever further forward no matter what efforts I’ve made at strength and weight control.

Quality of life? OK, let’s get this straight. My family gives me a gift of a life full to bursting with Quality every day. But we all have our own goals. Things we want to do and be. I want to be physically strong. I want to be able to work the property that my husband I just bought. I want to be able to swing the hammer or ply the drill alongside Richard when we get to work at building our house. I know we’ll be working with heavy lifters that’ll do the biggest parts of the job but I don’t want my work to be just a token—a ceremonial nail. Or picking bad paint colors that no one, not even I end up liking, and we have to paint over.  I want to be able to be an active and involved grandma and mom. I want to finish school. I want to be physically strong enough to become a midwife—a whole midwife. I want to be strong again. You don’t know what that means to me.

And then you start to hear… You’re pre-diabetic—take these pills. Your carotid arteries are closing—take these pills too. You’ve got elevated blood pressure around your brain, and there’s nothing we can do for that, except maybe if you could lose some weight, it might help a little—and take these pills for the migraines that come with it. Double vision? Passing out? Losing your hearing? Yep, all tied to the elevated cranial blood pressure, can’t fix any of it, but maybe taking these and these and these pills will give you some relief? And the numbness in my legs and hips? Worse. So much worse. And every new diagnosis feels like it subtracts 5-10 years from my life expectancy. And now, when I have all the kids, my born children, my marriage children, my “adopted” children and the best husband any woman could ever hope for and we share a dream and we’re watching it slowly start to come true—and I’m becoming more and more crippled and on a tail spin into a series of disease that is going to shorten my life? Who on this earth would not reach out and do whatever they possibly could that might help stop this life ending cycle? I don’t want to die the woman who had so much to offer, but was just taken too soon. My health had spiraled out of control, and the only hope for it is the possibility of losing weight. So, I worked at it. And the more effort I made, the heavier I got. And everything got worse. Last year August I sat in on a meeting at Portage Health about weight loss surgery. I went away, making every excuse in the world that I couldn’t, couldn’t have such a procedure. And I kept trying to watch intake, clean up my food choices, and whip this tired old mare of a body out to exercise even though just walking up the stairs into the house had become torment. Between August of 2016 and January 2017, I gained 24 more pounds. If that’s not a kick in the teeth enough—Richard lost the same amount in the same time. Everyone in our home was getting healthier except me. I chucked the prescriptions (which had made me sicker and weaker anyway,) went on a new regimen for my conditions that is being used in Europe, and started to think seriously that Gastric surgery might have to be my solution.

And I prayed. I begged God to spare my life, and restore my health so I could live with the family He had the love and kindness to give me.

It was finally in March 2017 that I made up my mind and made the call to the clinic in Marquette, MI. I had the initial consult and they asked me how soon I wanted to go ahead with a sleeve gastrectomy. I asked if they were busy the next day. That appointment was on April 7, 2017. I followed the program to a “T” and here I am 5 days post-op from the procedure done on July 11, 2017. From April 7 until July 11 I dropped 38 pounds. 8 pounds more than the 30 they told me they needed me to lose. And now, with a roughly 5-ounce stomach and no re-routed digestive plumbing, my biggest problem seems to be that my protein drinks are grotesquely sweet and a little tummy cramp if my drinks are as cold as I usually like them. I needed to lose in the neighborhood of 130-150 pounds to be in the “healthy” weight range when I started. I’ve already lost a good chunk. I think about what the future loss should mean for my knees, ankles, my hips and of course my back. I think about what that loss could mean for my head, my cranial blood pressure–my hearing, mostly now as the double vision, passing out and such cleared up as that first 38 pounds went away. More can only be an improvement! I don’t get worked up looking at bikinis or planning my 2018 beach body, but I get excited about hiking. I get excited about snowshoeing. I get excited about fishing and boating and camping and biking (safe trails) and climbing up to a first summit (on paved paths) when we get to visit the mountains again. I get excited about being able to stand long enough to cook a meal for my family. Doing my own laundry without help to carry the baskets. Gardening, I really want to do some serious gardening! You just can’t imagine what it would mean to me to be able to do everyday things like clean my house myself! And to be strong enough to kneel down as long as a mama needs me to, to be there for her, to help her as she brings her little child into the world. I want life back.

So, it’s not because of vanity or a desire to be next year’s 40+ top model.  Not a midlife crisis about sagging boobs or puffy eyes. And truly not about wearing the sexiest outfit to grub in the garden or feed the chickens or go to a little league game. It’s for life. Sure, it’ll be nice to be able to buy mostly normal sized clothes–I’d be lying if I said the idea of buying a bra that doesn’t need Rebar, reinforced girders or various flying buttresses to hold things up wasn’t appealing, especially if I don’t have to spend $50+ per bra! But not so I can knock anyone dead. I want life. And that’s why.

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CPM’s and OBs: Why can’t we all just get along?

“Women can’t easily turn to data to make an informed decision. Groups representing doctors and midwives are pushing statistics that advance their polar-opposite ideologies and confirm their own opinions.” (Zadrozny, 2014)

For those who do not know it, in May I began a four year degree, Bachelor or Science, Midwifery. The studies are taking up vast amounts of my time, which is just fine, because this is something I believe in and want to do. I have chosen to pursue the credential of Certified Professional Midwife, a credential conferred by the North American Registry of Midwives, and recognized by the federal government of the United States. A CPM is often called a direct entry midwife, as she is not a doctor or a nurse first, but educated and trained to be an expert in the fields of well woman care, pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postnatal care of mother and child. CPMs view the mother as a whole, the child as a whole, and the both of them as part of a family, as a whole. In this way, CPMs are holistic caregivers. Pregnant women are more than the sum of their reproductive organs and CPMs take an interest in more than the S&S that affect those reproductive organs. A prenatal check is more than a blood pressure, weight, pee in a cup, measure your fundus, check your vagina, and have a nice day. No, its more: How do you feel? OK, how to you really feel? What are you experiencing? How are things in your relationship with your partner? How are you eating? How does your family feel about the new comer? Do you need to ask any questions? Can I answer anything for you? Do you have everything you need? You have my cell number, right? You know you can call anytime? A CPM is a technical expert whose training and education is solely centered on the woman and her unborn or new born child. But she is also a source of information and support, an encourager and an assurer. Sometimes a CPM is a referrer—telling a mom-to-be that homebirth is not a safe option for her this time and sending her to see an OB who can complete her care. Sometimes a CPM is a transferrer, going with her client to the hospital during labor when things just aren’t going right, or the pain is too intense, and then the CPM usually stays on and helps the woman to complete her labor in the role of a friend or a doula, if the hospital staff don’t throw her out. A CPM is a lot of things.

One thing a CPM is not, is an untrained “lay midwife” as many doctors, and doctor’s associations would have the public believe. The phrase “lay midwife” is really degrading, like calling one a shade-tree mechanic, a Mickey Mouse plumber or a “weekend cowboy”. Images of Larry the Cable Guy declaring “Git-r-done!” come to mind. Images of the old hag with ridiculously long fingernails who smears squirrel pooh on a woman’s forehead, burns dried herbs and chants during labor creep into one’s mind as well. Or of hippies wearing puka beads and singing Kumbaya with guitar and tambourine giving birth in the back of a VW microbus. Unfortunately, in most states in the U.S., this is how midwives are viewed by the established medical community as a whole. There are exceptions to this rule, but not as many as one would hope.

In European countries, in most of Asia, and in Africa, midwifery is a long established and well respected profession. Midwives are seen as separate, equally contributing members of the established medical community, and their input, knowledge and experience are sought after by others in that community. Obstetricians, who are after all primarily surgeons, only see the 10-15% of women who actually need the care of a specialist in a hospital setting to give birth and have a healthy baby medically. When I started out in midwifery study, I was surprised to learn that this relationship did not exist between American doctors and midwives.

As an example of over medicalized birth in the U.S.: I was shocked when I discovered that in the U.S., our cesarean rate is 31.8%. (CDC, 2013) In most countries that number is closer to 12-15%. (WHO, 2011) One might say, well, obviously, we’re taking better care of mothers and their babies, because we’re saving their lives by doing more cesareans. Sadly, this is not true. The U.S. is 41st in the world for mother/infant mortality in the time period just before, during and just after birth. (Wagner, 2008) One of the main reasons that our cesarean rate is so high? This should embarrass us, but the answer is “convenience.” Doctors do promote cesarean section as a perfectly safe alternative to the “horrors” of labor and delivery, which will, after all, have negative affects on a woman’s life long vaginal resiliency. Not to mention, you can pick your baby’s due date, and schedule time off from work, and arrange for your family to be here, and for child care, etc….

Contrary to the suggestions of many midwives and the illustration I’ve just shared, most OB’s are NOT bloodthirsty fiends just looking for a chance to carve women up, with dollar signs in their eyes and their next vacation on their mind. I do not believe that there is a doctor in this world who would willfully tell their patient that thus and such a surgical option is perfectly safe and a reasonable option, unless they really believed it to be true. I do not believe they do this just for the money, (a cesarean birth costs 33-50% more than a natural birth in the hospital) for the convenience, or because they are just plain misogynistic, as has been suggested by some. I believe, that they believe what their textbooks, journals and professional associations promote: that cesareans and all of the other interventions that technology has provided to us, are safe, reasonable means in delivery of a baby, any baby or every baby. This is simply what medicalized birth is.

So, here in my little Pollyanna world, there are no wicked-crone or voodoo midwives trying to use pregnant and laboring women for rituals involving guitars, rodent poop or smokey herbs, and no doctors gleefully planning to perpetrate their next bloody, rascally, hospital-pocket-book inflating unnecessary procedure on poor unsuspecting women for their own gruesome entertainment. My conclusion? Simply this: Both the CPM and the OB want what’s best for the pregnant woman and her unborn child. They just happen to disagree on what “best” is. As it happens, in the Netherlands for example, where midwifery care is an accepted norm, midwives and doctors consult together as lateral equals, recognizing that they both have different roles to play in maternity care.

My solution is this: Let women and their families decide. It is past time for doctors and midwives to stop demonizing one another, and to encourage honest, open research that can result in good, evidence based practices that are suited to the majority of the people both groups want to serve. There are more than enough pregnant gals to go ’round! Quit being jealous and territorial. Consider what is good for others, rather than what is good oneself. Let people make their own, thoroughly informed choice. Of course, this requires people to make the effort to educate themselves, and that is a challenge. But I think that it is one that we as a society could rise to, just as soon as the experts in the field can quit fighting over maternity care like children on a playground.

I should note that the reason I took to my seldom used blog to write about this, is that I am currently trying to write a research paper, and the opening quote of this post sums up the way I am feeling as I am trying to shuffle through the currently available research.

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Oxygen

“God is like oxygen; you can’t see Him, but you can’t live without him.”

I read this today and I wanted to share it with someone I know who claims to not believe in God. It dawned on me then how silly it would be to share this with that person, because not believing in God, this sentiment would have no meaning to him, beyond an annoyance rather like a mosquito, and perhaps an eye rolling because that silly woman was promoting God at him again.

In a flash of thought that took maybe 3 seconds—amazing how fast our brains work, isn’t it? Especially damaged ones like mine—I remembered what this person was like in younger years. Trusting God, believing in God, pursuing God. And then I sadly recalled when this person’s belief, trust and faith were challenged to the point that this person gave up their faith for a more worldly, academic view of life. Somewhere along the way this person had adopted the idea that his faith in God was a covenant that should have spared him from the challenges and heartaches of life. Upon being challenged, this supposed covenant was broken, and the faith evaporated, but with a malice toward the perceived breaker-of-covenant, God Himself. I admit, I can only guess that this is the case, because this person has never willingly discussed his loss of belief and faith with me, and so, as a subject quite hostile, we avoid it. His assertion that if I loved him, I would not question him or mention this. My assertion that because I love him, I should do no less than mention this, over and over. For peace-sake, I try to keep this to myself in his presence, but I never cease in praying for him. Wow, three seconds to think it, but all these words to express it….

I share this with you, in reference to the above quote, because in that three seconds, I thought of God being like oxygen, and a stanza from a favorite praise song ran through my mind alongside these reflections. “This is the air I breathe, this is the air I breath, your Holy Presence, living in me…” and I thought too that if oxygen up and failed to support a person in the way expected, would one then turn on oxygen, deny it’s existence, claim to never have believed in oxygen, and declare that they no longer needed that non-existent oxygen at all!

Personally, I have a problem with breathing. That is that I am allergic to just about everything that floats in the air. Dust, mold, pollen—it really doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, I am allergic to something, and as a result, my breathing is often inhibited as my sinuses swell and I experience congestion and discomfort, persistent asthma, and shortness of breath. I get it from breathing. Breathing what I need most: oxygen. If I don’t get that oxygen into my system, we all know what happens. My brain stops functioning properly, my organs begin to shut down and I die, physically. So, despite the existence in the air of dust, pollen, mold, dander, hair… I breathe. I don’t feel like oxygen has in any way let me down because of the junk mixed in with it that makes me uncomfortable. I take in the oxygen and the allergens, the good with the bad, and accept it as just a reality of breathing, of living.

One thing that seems to be a factor with disillusioned Christians, is the idea that being Christians makes us immune to “bad things” happening in our lives. When the reality is that nothing could be further from the truth. Lets face it, the 12 apostles died primarily as martyrs, murdered for their faith. One can’t get less physically protected than that, I’d say. Christians were persecuted in the early years, their deaths made sport in Rome’s arenas; later those that didn’t wish to conform the corrupt demands of an overreaching Roman empire were hung, drawn (having one’s internal organs dragged out while still living), literally quartered up like a side of beef, or burned at the stake; Christians in Asia were tortured an killed as well; today, Christians in middle eastern countries, and Asia frequently find themselves in prisons and work camps for the small act of owning a Bible. Blinded, beaten, stripped, starved, their faith in God does not waver, in spite of their wretched physical condition. Their families torn apart, their physical bodies torn apart, and yet they pray to God for deliverance—not on this physical plane, but deliverance to eternal glory. James 1:12 “Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.”

I’m not trying to play the “Children are starving in China” card here. (See how easy you’ve got it in comparison!! Nope, not in this essay) That is not my aim at all. What I’m trying to point out is that our declaration of faith is in no way a compact. “God, I will have faith in you, so long as my life is reasonably free of bumps and agitations. But if the going gets rough, then it’s YOUR fault, and I won’t believe in you any more.”

I don’t blame God for my troubles. Truthfully, I am the author of the majority of my problems. And usually when I decide I know better than God and take off and do my own thing without reference to His words and teaching. But others of my troubles I really have no culpability for. Just as I am honest enough to admit where I have messed up and caused my own trouble, I see clearly enough to know when I didn’t do anything to cause my own downfall. So who is to blame when I bear the consequences of actions not my own? Who is to blame when bad things happen and I am drowning in heartache and sadness, or physical pain? What about blind chance? Are those things God’s fault? Even if he didn’t cause them, why didn’t he prevent them? What’s the deal, God?

The fact is, that this world we live in is corrupt. People are corrupt, or at the very least corruptible. Surely, God could reach out and stop any one event from happening. Surely, He at times has reached out His hand and for His own reasons, stopped a bad thing from affecting particular people. But the fact is, that God gave every one of us the right, the ability, and certainly the personal will to make our own choices. This world was made perfect. God made it perfect. But it was humans, confronted by Satan, who chose to disobey God, and in their disobedience, they introduced the corruption we are drowning in today. Unless you are willing to give up your free will, don’t go asking God to take it away from others.

So when a cruel person acts out in a cruel manner and harms another person, it isn’t because God failed, it is because that person chose to act out in evil. When a person dies “unexpectedly,” it isn’t because God failed to keep them from dying, it is because we failed to remember to expect everyone to die—as natural as all people being born, is the natural reality that all people die. When life events seem to fly away from us and we feel as though it is all out of control and we can’t understand why, it isn’t because God failed to arrange things for us, it’s because life events usually really are outside of our control, and God never promised to smooth the road for us. It is at those times that our faith is refined from alloy to pure gold—or…Not refined, based upon our choices and expectations.

James 1:2-4Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

So, when I get a stuffed nose and start hacking and coughing and sneezing, I don’t blame oxygen. Oxygen is just as pure and good and necessary as ever it was. It’s the stuff inevitable in this world that gets added to the oxygen that causes those breathing difficulties. I don’t turn my back on oxygen, I don’t deny it’s existence. I breathe, and I take the good with the bad.

In the same way, when I am bogged down in trouble, pain and sorrow, I don’t blame God. He is as ever he was: perfect, incorruptible, loving, trustworthy. Just because this world is messed up and full of corruption, I don’t hold God responsible. Lets face it, we can thank humans and Satan for the corruption we live with today. God is Always pure, Holy and good. I breathe Him in, and take the greatness of God along with the corruption of evil. My job is to use my free will in a right way, to use it to pursue God’s purity, His “rightness”, His Holiness, His Good.

Here recently I was in the emergency room with distressed breathing, another bout of bronchitis and sure enough, one of the first things the staff did was get me breathing pure oxygen. I love the clear minded, giddy feeling I get when I get to breath pure oxygen. I just wish the tubing didn’t smell so odd.

Just like that breathing mask, when I am faced with trouble, rather than turning my back on God, it is then that I need a straight shot of God, His word, His will, His praises, like I needed that straight oxygen, being poured into the mask I wore, until my O2 saturation was back up at the right level. I need to keep God in my blood, in my airways, in my every organ, up at the right level.

Well, that’s what I got from a picture on Facebook and a 3 second flash of thought. I sure would value any feedback or thoughts on this.

God bless!

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Second Amendment Letter: Dear Elected Representative

January 9, 2012

 Dear [Elected Representative],

 In the days since the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary school, there has been an increasing outcry for greater government restriction on the sale and possession of firearms and firearms accessories. As one of your constituents, I feel it is my duty and privilege to directly address you on this issue.

 First and foremost, I would like to recall to you the oath of office you took when you entered office:

 I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

 From this, I should be able to trust you to:

  • support the letter and spirit of the Constitution
  • defend the letter and spirit of the Constitution
  • to both support and defend that letter and spirit against any enemy, especially if that enemy is one of your colleagues
  • to both support and defend that letter and spirit against a president who disregards the Constitution, or the powers of the three branches of our government or behaves in any way, like a Tyrant or dictator
  • to both support and defend that letter and spirit with true faith and allegiance, meaning that your first concern is not you, your special interest groups, or your pocketbook, but the keeping of the letter and spirit of the Constitution.
  • that you have stated that oath and so been entrusted with great and terrible responsibility with complete honesty and a determination to serve we, your employers faithfully, without any deceit
  • that you will carry out the will of your constituents, and not your pocketbook, your retirement, or your big dollar special interest backers or any lobbyist

 These are high expectations. I trust they are well placed in you.

I am writing to remind you that you have an obligation to uphold and defend the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which grants you, me, my family, my neighbors and all Americans the legal protection of our Innate Human Right to keep and bear arms, without any infringement or subjection to any power, least of all the power of the office that you hold at the pleasure of your fellow citizens. The Second Amendment does not allow for any limitation by any government body, upon the make, style, caliber, appearance or firing capacity of any firearm. If you will uphold your oath of office, you will uphold the Second Amendment and all it stands for.

That reminder in place, as one of the people you were hired to represent, I require that you vote “no” and actively oppose any efforts made in Washington D.C. to limit the Constitutional, legal protection of this Innate Human Right to defend ourselves, our families and our property from those who would deliberately, cruelly, and in hatred attempt to deprive any people of their right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As one of the people you were hired to represent, I require that you do not attempt to punish we, the law abiding, for the sins of the lawbreaker.

Sincerely,

Misty Williams

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Why do you have that thing on your head?

Why do you have that thing on your head?

I cover my head when I pray. I’ve been asked if I was trying to become an Amish woman, I’ve been accused of mocking women who wear Kapps and kerchiefs at all times. I’m not attempting to do either of those things, and for women who see me wearing a cover, whether I’ve pinned it to my hair for the day, or just quickly put it over my head when I pray, I am honestly not mocking, or imitating or trying to insult you. For those who see me cover and feel offended, or sense some sort of judgment in the action, I apologize, that is not my intent at all, and I mean no disrespect. I’ve been warned not to “bind” it on any other woman, or push it at others. I do not at all mean to. I’ve been met with curious stares, and believe it or not, even hostility over that little scrap of cloth. But, the cover that I wear, that is between me and God, and no offense, it has nothing at all to do with another individual. That wasn’t always so, and I’ll explain that in a bit. If I was worried what other Christian men and women thought, I probably wouldn’t have it on my head ever. I prefer to blend into the background usually, and nothing catches people’s eye like tossing a kerchief, a ball cap, or even a napkin in a bind, up over one’s head every time someone starts praying. Considering that family events are pretty much always church events for our family, that’s a lot of praying.

If I haven’t bored you to tears just in that little paragraph, read on, and I can promise you’ll at least have an academic understanding of why I do cover for prayer. It has become so special and important to me, and because of the curiosity it seems to generate, I feel like it’s about time I write it out. I think better when I’m writing than when I’m speaking, so this has to end up making more sense than if I tried to explain it to anyone face to face.

I have a pretty simple notion of Christian philosophy. To answer the question “why do you have that thing on your head?” I have to explain my very simple view on being a Christian.

There’s this amazing book. It’s called the Bible. Some people say that the Bible is a bunch of interesting myths and legends meant to teach us valuable moral lessons, but that they are not of course, really true or anything like that. Sort of an Aesop’s Fables on steroids. Others say it is just a lot of crackpot stories someone threw together to generate fear and gain mind control over people. For me, the Bible is the true, inspired word of God. That’s it. That’s all. Just the 100% true, divinely inspired word of God. Oh, I know there are books of history and poetry and prophecy and love stories and instruction and law. But it all boils down to the simple, absolutely true, divine word of God. Simple.

Now, because I believe that the Bible is the word of God, and because I make a conscious choice to serve God, (even though I fail sometimes) I believe that I should do what the Bible says to do. Because I take the Bible at it’s word, I understand that I don’t have to keep the three hundred odd prickly commandments that were given before Christ’s death on the cross, (although the principles in them are sound as guidance,) and that we as Christians who do not live under the law given to Moses, are required to keep the teachings and commands given us in the New Testament.

That’s the whole thing behind being a Christian for me. Want to serve God. Read Bible. Do what Bible says. So far pretty simple, right?

So what on earth does that have to do with putting a scrap of fabric, or a napkin, or a hat on my head when I pray?

Well, when the Bible, in particular the New Testament, declares that we must do or not do something, then I know I am to obey that. Some are pretty general. Love one another. Love your neighbor as yourself. Be a neighbor to those in need. Be honest. Don’t be a party animal. Live quietly, and circumspectly. Obey the law of your land. Then there are some more specific ones. If you’re a husband love and care for your wife like you love and care for your own body. If you’re a wife, respect and obey your husband. (That “obey” one is really rather tough for me, but I’m working on it.) If you’re a parent, teach and train your children in God’s will, don’t provoke and discourage them. If your a child in your parents’ home, obey them. If you’re a child out of your parents’ home, respect and honor them. Repent of your sins, and be baptized into Christ’s death for the remission of your sins. Make melody from your heartstrings, not guitar strings. If you “burn with passion,” get married. Be faithful. Worship God, not religion. Serve God, not man made entities. And then there is this one. Because it’s the main topic of this missive, I’m going to actually quote the Bible here, rather than write in generalities.

1 Corinthians 11:1-16

1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

2 I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the traditions just as I passed them on to you. 3 But I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man,[a] and the head of Christ is God. 4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover her head, she might as well have her hair cut off; but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, then she should cover her head.

7 A man ought not to cover his head,[b] since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man. 8 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; 9 neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own[c] head, because of the angels. 11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12 For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God.

13 Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.

This whole thing came about while my husband and I were visiting his parents in Washington State last summer. I was having some serious lower back troubles, as I’m prone to do when sleeping in any bed that is not my own. My husband’s family is very devoted to being Christian people, something I’m very grateful for, and my mother-in-law decided that they needed to anoint my head and pray over me, after watching me struggle and hurt for several days. Wait…. Anoint? You want to anoint my head with oil? I didn’t say anything, but apparently the look I directed at my husband spoke volumes. I was thinking something like “what next? Snake handling?” OK, not exactly, but near enough. In my experience in church, I had never heard of or seen anyone being anointed with oil and prayed over. Well, they directed me to a passage in James 5: 14&15. It says:

Is any among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer of faith shall save him that is sick, and the Lord shall raise him up

Well, lookie there! I had never noticed that before! Honestly I had always thought that anointing heads with oil had gone out with burnt offerings and blood sacrifices. ([Valley girl says:]That was so Old Testament, uhg!) But, here it was, a plain, simple directive in the New Testament. So, referring to my simple Christian philosophy, I said, OK, lets do it. Surely God can fix what ibuprofen has not! Would you believe, the next morning when I got up, I could move more easily, more comfortably? By the afternoon I was feeling limber again, and I was not in anything like pain. What a neat thing! Obey God, get relief! I was pretty pleased. And I made a point of thanking and praising God for the relief too. And no, I don’t think it was like a magic trick, or the whole God-is-a-vending-machine, “put in prayer, get results”, kind of thing, just so we’re clear.

Well, this sparked a whole discussion that ebbed and flowed over several days. Richard’s family and my family are from two different church groups, and agree on many things, but on others the two church groups do not. Richard said he agreed with the idea that we should “speak where the Bible speaks, and be silent where the Bible is silent.” But, he wondered, why do we in our church group, not then obey ALL the directives in the New Testament? Why hadn’t I known we were to anoint and pray over the sick? And why, he wanted to know, didn’t the women cover their heads to pray? I asked him what he meant, and he showed me 1 Corinthians 11:1-16. Of course I had read it before, but in all honesty I had never read it in the context of it being a directive, an instruction for correct behavior by Christians. It was, sadly, just something that I read. I felt mightily silly. My husband seemed quite pleased with his question to me. Richard does like to get zingers in on folks every now and again, and usually my Bible knowledge is a few paces ahead of his, so he was really relishing this. I’m not sure he expected the response he got, however. The question was something like “If you’re really going to speak when it speaks, and be silent when it’s silent, then why do you pick and choose what to obey and when?”

OUCH.

I don’t want to say too much here that might embarrass my dear husband, so I will leave it at saying that my husband was at that time, a recent re-convert to Christianity. He had taken a bit of a sojourn on some other paths, and he had been back “in the fold” for only a little more than a year. He was still sort of feeling things out as he reconfirmed what he believed and rejected what he knew was not Biblical.

Given that history, and my earnest desire to help him on that path, as well as my own commitment to be a Godly, Biblically submissive wife (which my very independent nature bucks against all the time,) I immediately went to the car, and tied a kerchief to my head. I was driving with the windows open in the heat, so I had some on hand to try and keep my hair a little neat. I tied it on my head, put a couple of bobby pins in it to hold it in place, and have worn a head covering of some kind since, whenever we pray. For a while I wore one from the time I woke up, until after we prayed at bedtime. Now, more often than not, I just quick pull a cover from my purse, and cover my head while we pray, and take it back off afterward.

Richard was the other individual I mentioned being involved. At first I did it to obey him, and to live up to my declarations about speaking and being silent. Since then, it has become an important expression, a very special expression of my submission to God. You see, now, when I pray, I don’t just follow along in the service, or habitually bow my head and go through the motions of praying while my head is elsewhere, making a shopping list, or planning tomorrow’s lunch. I think before I pray, I remember who is my head, my boss. God. I start off every time I pray in an act of submission to HIM, in obedience to a simple directive that is very often over looked. I start off remembering to whom I am speaking. Who HE is, and who I am in the big picture. That has made a huge difference to me, as I pray.

Over time, as I have really thought about it, and prayed about it, and lived it, I have learned a great deal about being submissive to God, and my husband both. Richard is my head, my boss, because GOD made it that way. So, if I want to be obedient to God, I need to be obedient to Richard. I have learned that in my submission to Richard, I am serving God. And I have learned that being a submissive wife, and a submissive daughter of God is beautifully rewarding. Of course, as I said above, I do better some days than others with the whole submissive gig. I have a fiercely, perhaps even confrontational type of independent nature, and submission to anyone or anything is very, very hard for me. But among other lessons I have learned this past year, I have learned that to be submissive does not mean giving up who I am, or what I am. It means putting myself in my rightful place in the earthly chain of command. I am not some flunky or hanger on. I am my husband’s wife. His partner. His right hand. And my husband honors me as those things. He doesn’t always give in to me, and I really have to admire him for that. (See confrontationally independent above.) But he does care for me, and put my needs and wants up there with his own.

I mentioned rewarding. When I am managing submitting my nature to God’s will, I am always at my happiest. There is a tremendous peace and calm that comes from submitting my will to God. Another phrase for submitting, in my opinion, is to trust someone completely to have your best interest at their very heart, and to know that that individual will do everything, anything, to be very, very caring; to look after both physical and emotional needs. Peace is an amazing reward. I am not claiming that I have don’t have days that are stressful, and that I am skipping around fields of poppies, dancing and singing all the merry day through. (Yeah… No.) But I am saying my best days are when I take time to remember where I am in the grand scheme of things, and remember to submit my will to my husband and to God.

I could pick those verses apart as some in my particular faith group have done. (Really? Because I thought we were to speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where it is silent.) In particular, verse six is pretty clear “If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off; and if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut or shaved off, she should cover her head.” I don’t see a lot of wiggle room around that. I have been told that because Paul uses the word “teachings” or “practice” in the passage that it means Paul is speaking about a passing local custom. Well, wanting to be sure I wasn’t being silly, I did look it up. I’m not a Greek scholar, but I do look things up sometimes to clarify them for my own purposes. My source is the Blue Letter Bible. The word for “teachings” or “tradition” in the Greek root is:

παράδοσις paradosis

1) giving up, giving over

a) the act of giving up

b) the surrender of cities

2) a giving over which is done by word of mouth or in writing, i.e. tradition by instruction, narrative, precept, etc.

a) objectively, that which is delivered, the substance of a teaching

b) of the body of precepts, esp. ritual, which in the opinion of the later Jews were orally delivered by Moses and orally transmitted in unbroken succession to subsequent generations, which precepts, both illustrating and expanding the written law, as they did were to be obeyed with equal reverence

It is found in many other instances, but one other place in particular that may be pertinent to this discussion. It was in Matthew 15:2 when the Pharisees asked Jesus, “’Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!’ Jesus replied, ‘And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, “Honor your father and mother” and “Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.” But you say that if a man says to his father or mother, “Whatever help you might otherwise have received from me is a gift devoted to God,” he is not to “honor his father” with it. Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition.” Jesus goes on to call them out on telling people to put more stock in their traditions (paradosis) than in the word of God. He shoots from the hip, and tells them they are the worst kind of hypocrites.

So, I asked myself: Am I looking at this as a tradition that was made up by men, and making out that it is more important than the word of God? Well now wait a minute. The Pharisees had created a traditions that varied vastly in both spirit and practice from the Word of God. I am reading the inspired word of God, from the Bible. The words in 1 Corinthians 11 are very clear. So just because it’s the same Greek word, does that mean that all the events where paradosis shows up in scripture means that all the things connected with it are bad? Applying the test of divine inspiration, I must say no. If the words of Paul are inspired, then I must trust that they are ALL inspired, or God, who is after all, all powerful, would have arranged to not have them in the Bible. Either the words of the Bible are inspired or they are not. God who created heaven and earth could surely manipulate some words on a page. If I can trust Him with my life, afterlife and salvation, I can surely trust Him to put the right words in the Bible. OK, so my answer is, no, I am making the head covering a tradition more important than the word of God.

Also from ch.11, v.6,  Paul mentions the cover on a woman’s head and the hair of her head as two separate items. I have been told that the covering Paul is referring to in these verses is the hair on a woman’s head. But his use of if-then statements would suggest this view is not entirely logical. He says “If a woman does not cover her head, she should have her hair cut off;…” Some have said that what he means is that if a woman has her hair cut like a man’s, she might as well shave it off. Ok, hold on here. If you look at the style of Paul’s time, men generally wore their hair about to their shoulders, not in the short cuts we generally think of as men’s hair cuts today. Very short, close cropped or even shaved hair on men was something done, in general, by soldiers or military leaders. It was aimed at preventing lice outbreaks among the troops, and encouraging camp sanitation, not to mention, it was easier to fight in hand to hand combat without hair in your face.  Look at this:

4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head.

“With his head covered…” So if the covering in this passage is simply a person’s hair, then a man needs to take his hair off while he prays? Now that’s just silly! Still… How often do you see men take off their hat, ball cap, whatever when they are involved in praying?

But, since I’m looking at words here, I took a look at what the concordance and Greek/Hebrew Lexicon showed in this verse pertaining to a man not covering his head. The phrase, according to the Blue Letter Bible goes like this:

11:4 Every man praying or prophesying, having [his] head covered, dishonoureth his head.

11:4  πᾶς ἀνὴρ προσευχόμενος ἢ προφητεύων κατὰ κεφαλῆς ἔχων καταισχύνει τὴν κεφαλὴν αὐτοῦ

The word I wanted to really look at here is covered, or κατὰ

This one is a little confusing if you’re just looking at the definition of this preposition which is:

1) down from, through out

2) according to, toward, along

According to Thayer’s Lexicon it is: a preposition denoting motion of diffusion or direction from the higher to the lower; as in class. Grk,. join with the gen. and acc. (What are gen. and acc.?)

Like I said, I find this particular word is a bit confusing to me. What I do understand is that this word indicates the motion of one thing being put above another. So I looked for other examples of it in the scriptures. Here are a few I came across:

Mat 8:24 And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the boat was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.
Mat 10:26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.

It is very clear here that “Cover” means that there is something on top of something else.

Why all this parsing on two such simple words? I mean really, covered and uncovered are pretty simple, plain, easy words to understand, right? Well, in normal circumstances, yes, they are. But it seems that in relation to these 16 verses in 1 Corinthians 11, those two words seem to cause some really complicated problems.

Now, I wanted to look at the word in verse 5, the word that is the opposite of the one used in relation to men in verse 4.

5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved.

In 1 Corinthians 11:5, the word uncovered is: akatakalyptos which has a very specific meaning. It is:

1) not covered, unveiled

Wow. That is pretty straight forward.

Then, in verse 6, the word cover is katakalyptō, which means:

1) to cover up

2) to veil or cover one’s self

So, now I wanted to read these verses again, having a little more understanding of what the words in them mean.

4 Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered (κατὰ-the action of having something over his head) dishonors his head. 5 But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered (akatakalyptos: not covered, unveiled) dishonors her head—it is the same as having her head shaved. 6 For if a woman does not cover (katakalyptō: her head, she might as well have her hair cut off (keirō: verb; 1) to sheer: a sheep 2) to get or let be shorn 3) of shearing or cutting short the hair of the head) but if it is a disgrace for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved ), then she should cover (katakalyptō) her head.7 A man ought not to cover (katakalyptō) his head,[b] since he is the image and glory of God; but woman is the glory of man.

As I mentioned above, I have been told that the covering here in these verses refers to a woman having long hair rather than the short hair of a man. Interestingly, verse 14 makes a very clear distinction between the long hair of a woman and the short hair of a man.

14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him,

Here, “has long hair” is a phrase, which in Greek is the word komaō :

1) to let the hair grow, have long hair

This same greek word is used for our English phrase in verse 15:

15 but that if a woman has long hair (komaō), it is her glory? For long hair ( is given to her as a covering.

And there it is! The verse that starts the whole argument about whether or not long hair is what is meant by covering her head when she prays. Well, this is what I learned when I looked at the words used in Greek. The word used for “covering her head when she prays” is katakalyptō:verb; cover up; to veil or cover one’s self; katakalyptō is the action of putting on, so logically, can be taken off. The word here for covering in verse 15 is, peribolaion: neuter noun; 1) a covering thrown around, a wrapper a) a mantle b) a veil. The katakalyptō is an action, something that is done. Peribolaionis a noun, a thing that is. Peribolaion is static which can be thrown around, but the peribolaion itself is not an action, it is not removed, except by an action, which for example could be seen in the preceding verses as the word keirō: 1) to sheer: a sheep 2) to get or let be shorn 3) of shearing or cutting short the hair of the head.

In my opinion, Paul is addressing two separate but related rules of propriety and Godly conduct here, using the one (length of hair which denoted gender) to clearly explain and demonstrate the other. In his time, no man would grow his hair as long as a woman’s, it would be a shame to him. Neither would he veil himself or dress himself like a woman, that would be a shame to him. Just the same, a woman would not shorten her hair like a man’s nor would she dress like him; it would have been a shame to her.

Then, I looked at verse 16.

“If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice–nor do the churches of God.”

Here I looked at the word “practice”, which in some English versions of the Bible is printed as “custom”. In the Greek, it is:

συνήθεια synētheia. From a compound of σύν (with) and ἦθος ēthos

1) intercourse (with one), intimacy

2) custom

3) a being used to, accustomed

OK, so here Paul says “we have no other…” intimacy, custom. Intimacy? So what Paul describes in these verses is like a form of intimacy, or closeness with God? But then, I’ve heard some people state that because the word can mean “custom” it is clearly talking about that transient, local custom, and so women wearing a head cover is not what is meant for us here today. I pondered that, and as I did so, I decided to look at the root words for this synētheia

I’m not going to get into the word “with”. That’s pretty darn plain, and I don’t think it requires a lot of explanation. (Unless of course, you also do not know how to define “is”) So, I looked at the word:

ēthos.

1) a customary abode, dwelling place, haunt, customary state

2) custom, usage, morals, character

So doing what is described in these verses is or should be as familiar to me as my own home, or should be my customary state of being? That sort of seems like what the meaning is there. However, the words that really jumped out at me in this one were “morals” and “character”. To me, these words have come to define the “why”. Insert either of these alternate meanings into that sentence of Paul’s:

“If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other” morals “–nor do the churches of God.”

“If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other” character “–nor do the churches of God.”

Very interesting.

You know, even without all this parsing words (and splitting hairs) the sentence is plain. “If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice–nor do the churches of God.” In modern language, it would seem that Paul is saying, “If folks want to argue about this, that’s their problem, but this is what we believe and do, and so do all the churches of God.” Also, Paul doesn’t put a limit on what churches of God he’s talking about here. He doesn’t say “until head covering goes out of style,” or “But that’s only until 1700 AD or so.” or “Until the women’s lib movement makes submission passé.”

Interestingly, no one ever argues with the notion that men ought to remove their hats when praying. I wonder why that is? No Men’s Liberation movement? Something to think about…

To me, if I am going to be obedient to the inspired word of God, I don’t get to parse it out, and decide which parts I am going to be obedient to. Either it is inspired or it isn’t. Which do I believe? Do I trust God to make His word clear and plain for me? Yes. So I obey. There is no other way for me.

Here is another verse that is often called out as being a matter of transient local custom.

1 Tim 2:11-12 A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.

Knowing my independent nature, you have to know this one was TOUGH for me to accept! All through my growing up, I was sure that I was meant to be a minister of the Gospel. And then BLAM! Here came this verse, and spoiled all my plans. I was livid! How dare God put this in the Bible! Didn’t He know that women were just as good as, just as valuable as men? (Of course he does, but that is another discussion.) And then I was told by some that this was nothing but a custom of the time, or that Paul was just hopeless misogynist, and this verse was proof of it, so this verse had no meaning for today. I swallowed that for a while. But then, about ten years ago, I began really examining what I believe about God and about the Bible. And I concluded what I’ve shared with you already. I trust God to make His word say what He needs it to say. I trust that God can rearrange the typesetter or word processor to correct mistakes made by man. I trust GOD. So I accept this also, as truth, even though it rubs me the wrong way. And I submit my flawed, selfish will to His perfect will.

It amuses me that often the same people who talk about how true and right this verse that addresses a woman’s submissive role is, look at the 6th and 16th verses of 1 Corinthians 11 and refuse to apply the same truth-o-meter to it.

The same could be said of the musical instrument argument (Well they didn’t have instruments of music, that’s the only reason New Testament time Christians didn’t use them), the baptism argument (They immersed people then, but it’s been tradition in our Church for centuries to just sprinkle, so…) the Lord’s Supper (Why do it every week? Our council says once a month is fine…)

Look, what it really comes down to is this. I do not wish to “bind” the wearing of a head covering on any other woman. Ladies, if you read the scripture that pertains to head covering, and you do not feel moved to cover your head when you pray, that is between you and the Lord. He will move your heart where He wants it, and you will answer His prodding. I did not write this to tell any other person why they should cover their head while praying. I wrote it to explain why I do. Maybe head covering isn’t for you. I am not setting myself up as your judge or any other person’s judge. My job is to measure myself, and make sure I don’t come up lacking. Because I want to be sure I’m being obedient, I will cover my head, even though it sometimes makes me feel silly, even though sometimes people stare. I will obey.

So, all these many words later, I have explained why I cover. Now, if you see me doing so, you’ll know why.

Posted in Faith | Leave a comment

I Am Resisting

I’m one of those wacky people who doesn’t go to the doctor unless I’m sick, or need an update on my prescriptions. And by sick, I mean that every effort I’ve made at home remedies has come up short, gotten no where, and failed hard. I have to be just about ready to tuck into my death bed before I go to the doctor for help. I’m a weirdo, because I figure most illnesses will run their course within a week or so, and I’ll be back on my feet and doing my usual “stuff.” The other exception to this, as I said, is when I need refills. I do take a few meds on a regular basis to manage some chronic problems. But, that is no big deal.

I haven’t had insurance since 2008. I don’t really much miss it. There have been two incidents where I wished I had some medical cost back up. One was a suspected broken elbow, the other some chest pain. But I’m on a payment plan with the hospital to cover the costs of my ER visits. No big deal really.

In truth, my medical costs are pretty modest. If I need to go to the doctor, I pay $90 per visit, and I go maybe four times a year. Thanks to big retailers with their inexpensive generic prescription pricing, my monthly medication costs are about $15.00. I do purchase various over the counter medications, ibuprofen, allergy relief, cough/cold relief, something along the lines of maybe $5.00 per month, if I’m really using a lot of it. Throw in my payments to the hospital, and all of that adds up to about $1,200.00 per year in medical costs.

Office visits: 4@$90

$360.00

Prescriptions ~ $15/mo(12mo)

$180.00

OTC medications ~$5/mo(12mo)

$60.00

Payments for ER visits $50/mo(12mo)

$600.00

Approximate Yearly Medical Costs

$1,200.00

Keep in mind, that because I am a private pay patient, I ask the price of any tests I might need to have, comparing the pricing from one medical center to another. I don’t have superfluous tests—I only pay for what I truly need. I save up for them, on the rare occasion I need them, and then get them done. (I haven’t had any for three years.) The hospital accountants are routinely baffled as I price shop, and tell them the difference in pricing from one hospital or medical center to another. It’s almost a “how dare you put a price on your health care!” and they don’t like to answer the questions up front. Well, too bad. The truth is, I don’t have many tests even recommended to me by my doctor, because she knows that I pay for my medical costs up front, and we work out other ways to get a handle on my health situation.

So, as of now, my medical costs average somewhere in the neighborhood of $100.00 a month, out of pocket, no insurance whatsoever, no co-pays, no intrusive examinations, no deductibles, and I seem to be in reasonably good health overall. I do have some chronic things, but they’re not curable, so it isn’t as though having insurance and more doctor visits, tests and outpatient care would improve that at all. I am overweight, but its a sad fact that many folks in the U.S. are. I know how to cure it, and I work at it, but it’s a slow process, and perhaps one I’ll never fully succeed in. Again, going to the doctor more frequently wouldn’t really help that. That one is all on me.

Enter the Affordable Care Act. Obamacare.

I was floored, as were many other folks, that Chief Justice Roberts signed on, and helped Obamacare stand. What a nightmare. I could rant at the Constitutional aspect of that for days, and not even scratch the surface, but there seem to be plenty of other folks doing just that. I sat back this morning and thought: O.K. its here, we’re stuck with it unless it is repealed, (not likely in our divided congress, I’m afraid) so what effect will this have on me personally? There is a large part of my very independent nature that wants to say “blow it out your ear, Obamacare, I’ll pay the stinking fine before I’ll pay for stinking insurance I don’t want!” But, being practical and frugal (I’ll pinch a penny until Lincoln squeals for mercy) I decided to check out the numbers.

The first thing I wondered was this: What is the “tax penalty” for not carrying health insurance? From what I could learn, it will be 2.5% of my family’s adjusted income1. I could get into all kinds of discussions about my family’s income here, but I will refrain as that is a bit personal. As a rough estimate, for folks in our income bracket, it would be about $950.00 per year. I was a little surprised to learn we could go to jail for attempting to get out of paying the penalty. Really? Not only a penalty, but jail time, too? Talk about being coerced into commerce! Anyway, that’s $950.00 that I would have to attribute to one position or another in my yearly budget. Lets see, would that be the Medical expenses column, or the My-government-is-corrupt-and-out-of-control column? Which one to use? I guess it would have to go into Medical expenses. (Wonder if I could write that off with the doctors visits and prescriptions?)

Current approximate medical expenses:

$1,200.00

Obamacare Fine:

$950.00

New medical:expenses

$2,150.00

 So, with accepting the fine, my yearly medical expenses jump from about $1,200.00 per year to $2,150.00 per year. Wow! That’s awful! Maybe I should look into an inexpensive medical insurance plan after all.

A little Google, a little search and I’m now at http://www.ehealthinsurance.com. I’m looking for medical insurance for a 38 y-o woman who does not smoke or drink and does not participate in any risky behaviors. Here is the least expensive plan I found:

Keep Fit
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan AM Best Rating: A- Plan Type Deductible Coinsurance Office Visit
PPO $10,000 30% $40 copay per visit with no deductible, 2 visits per calendar year.
$70.97/mo*
Select Plan
Prescription Included No Dental Included No Vision Included No Maternity Included Not HSA Eligible No Deductible Credit
Find Doctor
Plan Details
Not Yet Rated

So, lets get a run down on my new medical costs if I purchase this insurance.

Let’s start with the most obvious cost change. I’m going to be paying $70.97 per month for insurance coverage. That is $851.64 per year. That doesn’t include any taxes or hidden fees, but we’ll take them at their word for these purposes.  Well, that is less than the $950.00 per year fine. That doesn’t sound too bad. I think I’ll examine this more closely.

For the first two visits, instead of $90, I’ll pay $40. But, after that, for the other two visits, I’ll pay the full price. How does that add up? (2@$40=$80, 2@90=180; total is $260.00.) OK, so I’ll save $100.00. I can’t much object to that.

Next, lets examine that deductible. $10,000.00. WOW! So before the insurance begins to cover any hospital bills, ER visits, surgeries, what have you, I have to have paid $10,000.00 per calendar year! Hold on now! My two ER visits last years totaled about $5,000.00. So, having this insurance wouldn’t help me any in that regard, and I would still be on a payment plan with the hospital to pay that off. Someone please explain to me what possible benefit there is to me, to having this insurance at this point?

OK, now I’m going to look at the plan in more detail. It doesn’t get better. As I stated above, I currently pay about $15.00 per month on prescription medication. Thank you again, generics! What is the prescription medication portion of this insurance?

Separate Prescription Drugs Deductible: $1000 Individual
$2000 Family Prescription Drugs: Tier 1: $10 copay, no deductible Specialty: 50% copay, no deductible $100 min per RX no dollar max. Tier 2: 50% copay, after deductible. $25 min per RX, no dollar max. Specialty: 50% copay after deductible. $250 min per RX no dollar max. Tier 3: Member pays 100%. Member may purchase their prescriptions at the BCBSM-negotiated rate. 30 day supply limits on all

There is a minimum $10.00 copay per prescription. When you consider they each run about $5.00, I’m already doing pretty good on my prescriptions. Again, I have to ask, in what way is it a benefit to me to purchase this insurance plan?

There is no dental with this plan, no eye care. I could add those for extra though!

Dental Value (UnitedHealthOne) [ Add $61.28/mo* ] View Benefits

VSP Choice Plan for IndividualsSM (VSP) [ Add $23.58/mo* ] View Benefits

So now my inexpensive insurance plan has more than doubled in cost. And I’m still paying co-pays and deductibles so that I’m not saving anything at all on my medical, dental or vision care costs, and I’m paying someone to have my name in their files, to send me mail about services I don’t want and do not pursue, and some government hack looking over my medical shoulder. So far, it seems to me that the primary thing I’m gaining in this equation is a business with no interest in my best interest telling me where and when I may go to the doctor, dentist, or optometrist. We should all line up for that benefit!

Alright, all the frustrated feelings aside, I’m going to break this down in a practical manner, and only including medical insurance coverage, because that is all that is required now by the government, so that I can try to make an objective decision.

Without Insurance

With Insurance

Office visits: 4@$90

$360.00

Office Visits: (2@$50)+(2@$90)=

$280.00

Prescriptions ~ $15/mo(12mo)

$180.00

Prescriptions ~ $15/mo(12mo)

$180.00

OTC medications ~$5/mo(12mo)

$60.00

OTC medications ~$5/mo(12mo)

$60.00

Payments for ER visits $50/mo(12mo)

$600.00

Payments for ER visits $50/mo(12mo)

$600.00

Fine for having no medical insurance

$950.00

Yearly cost of medical insurance

$851.64

Approximate Yearly Medical Costs

$2,150.00

Approximate Yearly Medical Costs

$1,971.64

Well, completely practically speaking, complying with the regulations of Obamacare would cost me $178.36 less per year than paying the fine. Something to think about, right?

For about two minutes.

Why am I considering complying with this? I have every reason in the world to refuse to comply with this. The fact of the matter is that this mandate, this penalty, this fine, whatever garment you dress it in, is the government coercing the people, forcing them to either purchase a service (even if the service does them no good) or be fined as a lawbreaker. Even if you call it a tax, it is not a reasonable tax—for you are taxing someone because they refuse to engage in commerce. What next? Will the government pass a law forcing us to either purchase a more fuel efficient car, or pay a yearly penalty? If the congress had passed a law stating that we all must purchase a boat of some kind, any kind, even if it was full of holes, and wouldn’t really help us, or pay a stiff yearly fine, would that be acceptable to the SCOTUS? Of course not! They’d laugh it out of the building, if they’d even let such a suit in.

States absolutely have the right to say they will not license or register your vehicle if you will not carry insurance on your car. The roads are the property of the state, and the state has a certain responsibility to all drivers on their roads. Who owns my body and who is responsible for my medical needs? Is my physical body and my health my responsibility or that of the state? Whose property am I? If I go to the beach without sunblock, are they going to fine me for that, too? Or what if I decide to take up smoking or drinking or cliff climbing? Am I then being irresponsible with and destructive of government property?

What this really comes down to is an issue of personal responsibility and privacy. I’m not even getting into the questions raised by the free coverage Obamacare provides for illegal aliens, the bureaucrats that will determine who gets what kind of medical care, and who is worthy of life prolonging medical care. I’m talking about my basic right to decide whether or not to buy tea, coffee, a candy bar, a car, a dress, a house, a ball of twine, and yes, even my right to buy or not buy health insurance.

Here is my final decision on the matter. I will not buy health the insurance. I would save $178.36 a year on the difference between the fine and the insurance, if I bought the insurance. But I simply will not buy it. I didn’t have it before, I can’t really afford it because with all the deductibles and all the co-pays, it doesn’t make sense for me to buy it. It’s an extra $850 a year, that I wouldn’t normally spend, if it weren’t being forced on me by Obamacare. So I will not. I would rather pay $950 a year in fines and maintain my personal privacy and my right to NOT engage in commerce, than pay $850 a year to avoid a fine. Frankly, as small a form of resistance as it is, at least I am resisting. Hear that, Obamacrats? I am resisting! And I’ll gladly pay $950 in fines to break a law that shouldn’t even be allowed in this constitutional republic. Now I need a bumper sticker that says “Law Breaker” because I am going to be one, for as long as Obamacare stands.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another Herman Cain Scandal

Here we are again. After all the reports of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct, I am very sad to report yet another illicit relationship that Herman Cain has notched in his bedpost. Yes, Americans, Herman Cain has had an ongoing affair with a fickle, hard-hearted, vindictive, selfish, spoiled lover, and the sad fact is, he is still pursuing her today, shamelessly, tirelessly, even publicly, and his efforts are starting to really have their toll on his long suffering family. How could he do this? Who is this paramour? Her name is “Conservative America.”

Conservatives, I must ask you a question. On forums, in blogs, on news websites, we conservative types rant and rave about how we know, we can see, smell, taste, we can even feel it from every root of every hair on top of our heads, down to the individual fibers that make up our toe nails, that the mainstream media is playing us. That the MSM is full of lefties who report the so-called “news” in such a way as to promote a very obvious leftist agenda, that they demagogue and demonize the righties, that they twist facts, and butcher sound bites, and — being totally frank here — lie through their bonded, bleached teeth, smiling like some sort of evil, eco-friendly plastic faced Barbie or Ken. We know it! For that matter, they don’t even really try to hide it anymore! They are utterly shameless!

So here’s my question, conservatives. Knowing this, why on God’s Earth, when reports start coming out about a conservative engaging in morally reprehensible behavior, why do so many of these anti-leftist-propaganda-newsers turn, en masse, against the target of the blatant, obviously-politically driven attacks — which just happen to come without any kind of proof or evidence? In truth it reminds me of one of the 12 Apostles. Not Judas, the betrayer — Judas was pretty clear, and in a way, more honest than this one I’m thinking of. No, it reminds me of Peter. You remember Peter, right? The guy who said “Oh no, Jesus, not me, I’ll stand by you no matter what!” who then turned around and denied Jesus, and pretended he didn’t even know him, tried to sort of get out of the way before the ugly mob could scoop him up, too. “I’ll stand by you Herman Cain!–unless your political enemies start in with accusations of sexual misconduct. Then I won’t be able to wash my hands of you fast enough.”

How many of us have ever been accused of something we didn’t do? You were accused of cheating on a test, taking little Sally’s candy bar, broke the cookie jar, put a new dent in Dad’s car, flirted with so-and-so while dating such-and-such. And how do you prove you didn’t do it? How? How do you prove you had the proposal first, and Bob-in-the-next-cubicle stole the idea when you asked what he thought of it? How?

The news about accusations of a sexual harassment suit that first surfaced, stated that the suit was eventually settled, within the confines of the National Restaurant Association, and not as a sexual harassment settlement, but a severance settlement. There was no proof that he had done anything, but he was accused, and so years later, is presumed to be guilty. Now, we all know that most corporations prefer to settle these sorts of things quickly and quietly, no matter the guilt or innocence of the accused, because trying to prove that it didn’t happen is incredibly costly. A settlement is less expensive, and the problem, for the corporation at least, goes away. There was one other case mentioned where a settlement was paid, and a third woman saying she “felt” she had been harassed, but had never brought charges. More accusations, more presumption of guilt.

Then came forward Sharon Bialek with her rather lurid description of an encounter with Mr. Cain. Once again, there was no proof, only an accusation. Once again, Mr. Cain was presumed guilty. Ms. Bialek stated that she wasn’t going to say anything about her encounter with Mr. Cain, which if it happened in exactly the way she described rises beyond mere harassment to assault, but she was upset that Mr. Cain was denying allegations of sexual harassment, and that she just wanted him to admit it, to come clean.

Of course, it’s important to note, that by now, every woman who has ever met, worked with or been in the same county as Herman Cain, is reassessing whatever encounter she may have had with him, even if it was “good morning” at a water cooler, and trying to determine if she has been in some way sexually harassed, even though she didn’t notice at the time.

The woman who most recently came out claiming a 13 year consensual affair with Mr. Cain stated in her interview with her local news station that

“…she was not surprised by the allegations, but was bothered by the way Cain fought back, attacking the woman, including during an appearance on Late Show with David Letterman.  ‘It bothered me that they were being demonized, sort of, they were treated as if they were automatically lying, and the burden of proof was on them,’ White said. ‘I felt bad for them.’”

First of all, I would like to point out a major failing in her statement. She complains that “…the burden of proof was on them [the accusers].” Well, in pretty much all legal systems in the world, the burden of proof is upon the accuser. That is why when a civil or criminal infarction occurs people are not just scooped up and jailed indefinitely or receive a bill for fines or settlements for things someone just says they did. There is a hearing, often with a jury, where the judge or jury hears evidence, and see exhibits which the state or a plaintiff’s attorney has gathered to attempt to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused. So, the notion that the burden of proof was on the accusers—yes that’s sort of how those things work. Or at least they should. Instead, in each of these cases, Mr. Cain was presumed guilty based solely upon accusations. He denied wrongdoing, and his denial was accounted as proof of his guilt. Mr. Cain was not extended the courtesy that even the most base criminal receives: being presumed innocent, until factually proven otherwise.

Secondly, the accusers were not “treated as if they were automatically lying.” If you think back to those earliest reports, it was immediately assumed that the accusers were telling the absolute truth, and to suggest that their coming forward was anything like politically motivated was tantamount to tattooing “Misogynist” across your forehead and demanding that some woman kick of her shoes, get in the kitchen, and make you a “samich.” Mr. Cain was tried and executed in the court of leftist media with an expediency that puts our state and federal court systems to shame. (Perhaps because those systems require solid evidence.) The first editorial words uttered after the reports were published was that Mr. Cain’s campaign was over — thus reported by the plastic media with gleeful smiles, and glittering predator’s eyes, all but rubbing their hands together in anticipation of the rapid implosion they expected to ensue. “Fresh fish!” was the clarion call among the lefties.

But, they were dead wrong, weren’t they? The conservatives of the United States all declared to know that leftist media machine for what it is, thumbed their collective nose at that whirling, clunking, politically funded mechanical behemoth, and stood their collective ground behind one of our own!

 Or not.

In the blink of an eye, faster than flipping a switch, people who had claimed wholehearted support for Mr. Cain started commenting and blogging — Obviously they had been wrong to even consider Herman Cain for the nomination! See what a vile man he is! He’s a liar! I’m all disillusioned with politics! I knew he was too good to be true!

It has been startling and frankly disgusting to watch as Mr. Cain has been repeatedly stripped, and lynched by people on the Conservative side of politics. We expect it from the leftist machine, that Judas whose actions are predictable and familiar. But we conservatives have turned on one of our own! And for what? What PROOF has there been?

It seems to me that this whole thing does nothing but help the leftists and progressives. These accusations are 100% perfect for them. In the current media climate, if a person is a conservative, and they are accused of any sort of sexual misconduct, the media, and it’s now proven, even conservatives will latch on to that accusation like a piglet on a sow’s teat and will not let go. The accuser is cosseted, assumed to be absolutely honest, and as purely motivated as fresh falling snow. To question the veracity of their statements is to prove one’s own woman-hating tendencies. To require proof is equivalent to supporting female castration or saying a woman deserves to be raped if her skirt is short. Sexual misconduct is the sacred cow of all allegations. It is absolutely inviolate. If those allegations are leveled at a conservative at least. Worse yet, at a black conservative.

About a week before all this sexual misconduct HYPE (yes, I said it, I said HYPE) broke in the media, we heard Touré, a 40-ish black man, a true-left talking head, on “The Last Word” with host Lawrence O’Donnell stating essentially that Mr. Cain isn’t a real politician (thank goodness) or a serious candidate, that he’s more of an entertainer for the Republican white folk. He used a word that blew my mind at the time, and I still feel a mild sense of surprise when I think about it. He said that Mr. Cain has ongoing “’moments of minstrelsy’ to appease white conservatives.” It’s that word “minstrelsy” that totally flabbergasted me. That word goes back to a time from about the late 1880’s through the 1940’s perhaps even into the 1950’s when a lot of people, very racist people, tried to enforce the notion that the only career path a black person could or should be allowed to pursue would be in entertainment, for the enjoyment of white folks. That keeping a black person in entertainment, rather than allowing them to pursue other, perhaps more academic professions, was a means of keeping them “in their place.” This notion was recently spoofed in the film “Ella Enchanted.” While it was humorous there, it was nothing like humorous in practice, and it should be a source of embarrassment for anyone who promoted or supported it.

So you have this Touré person praising Mr. Obama for being a serious, important law professor (which he is not, he was a law professor’s teacher’s aid,) and then referring to Mr. Cain as nothing more than a white-made minstrel act, set up to appease the Republican conscience. Then the sexual misconduct scandal breaks all over the place, and Touré opens his mouth again, declaring that Mr. Cain is surely going to loose all his white, conservative support. His reasoning?

We’re going to see how open the GOP is to this black — their ‘new black friend’ when they find out he is harassing blonde women as opposed to black women. That sort of thing of black sexuality — predatory black sexuality. Very frightening in this country, still. Very threatening. So we’ll see how that plays out. “

And how has it played out?

Another talking head, Karen Finney said just a day or so later:

Look, I think it will be interesting to see if these guys rally around Herman Cain with as much voracity [ferocity?] as they have these last couple of weeks now that it’s clear that a whole other layer of black sexuality has been infused into this,”

So did we Rally? Or did we sell him south?

Let me be very clear here. I do NOT think that this has anything to do with Herman Cain being black and his accusers being white. Not at all. Maybe I’m being Pollyanna here, but I don’t think it’s a racism issue. I think this has to do with Peter’s problem. Remember him, from early on in this missive?

Mr. Cain, as his popularity grew in the polls, and his campaign began to have a real resonating success among people all over the nation, also grew in another way. He grew a great big target smack dab in the middle of his back. We righties should have known there was going to be some sort of scandal that would erupt around him. We should have been braced for it. Instead, too many conservatives threw their support behind him, believing in him like Peter did Jesus. We now understand that Peter and the other Apostles had the then-current Jewish notion that the Messiah was going to come along and militantly assert the superiority of the Jewish people. When Jesus was betrayed and allowed himself to be taken prisoner, Peter (and the other Apostles) scurried away like a rat from a sinking ship, or a conservative from a beset Herman Cain. Seems the conservative talkers, the conservative bloggers, the conservatives themselves can’t shake off the dust of Herman Cain fast enough, and claim “Too bad about that Cain guy, but you know I really supported [Paul, Bachman, Romney, Perry…] all along. Never took Cain seriously, nope, not me”

What I’m saying is, conservatives, having thrown their support behind Mr. Cain, believing a non-politician might have a shot at the presidency, seeing him as “just one of us”, who had really lived out the American Dream in a rags-to-riches sort of way, these conservatives have now, as one other article put it “thrown Cain under his own Train,” and now, all disappointed and disillusioned, many of those conservatives are opting out of the fierce attention they had paid to the race for the nomination and the White House. And who wins? In a scenario where conservatives and independents are disillusioned, disgusted, disappointed, and now, disinterested, who wins? Let me give you a hint: It isn’t America.

Understand, I’m not comparing Mr. Cain to Jesus. I know the difference between a candidate and the Savior of mankind. I’m comparing the actions of a collective conservative mindset to the actions of another fallible human being. I’m sure Mr. Cain expected Judas, the leftist media machine, to attack him, and I’m sure he was ready for that. I wonder, was he ready for the conservatives to turn out to be Peter? Frankly, whether he was or not, the conservatives should be ashamed for our part in tearing this good man down. And, whether we support him for the nomination or not, we need to thumb our nose at that rattling leftist media machine, turn our backs on the gossip and scandal, and get down to the business of vetting the candidates based on real issues, rather than focusing on the soap opera the leftist media is promoting like an episode of “90210.”

Conservatives, individuals, pundits, and talking heads alike, have played right into the hands of the leftist media we all so distrust. They “report” as though it were real news, instead of Enquirer-worthy gossip, and we swallow it whole. We have collectively done exactly what they wanted us to do. Pardon my sarcasm but… “GREAT JOB!” We’ve been played like a well tuned instrument. Not something we should be proud of. The leftist media machine and their socialist-plotting bottomless pockets couldn’t have been more successful in disrupting the entire conservative movement if they had, lets say… produced a cigar and a stained blue dress.

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