16 June 2009
Traditionally a column starting with that sentence is discussing the two main political parties in the U.S.A. --- but this time it is the residents of the Land of Lincoln against the state legislature. And, to borrow a coined phrase, it ain't pretty.
In times of economic troubles, all parties are worried about money. Residents are praying they can keep their jobs or find new ones to replace the ones they have lost or are losing. Government officials are grinding their teeth as they crunch numbers, and legislators are clashing as often as ever over what money is coming in, what money can be spent, and where to spend the money which comes in from taxpayers and the U.S. government. And in the middle of it all is a man who is charged with leading all of those parties --- following two "leaders" who were riddled with scandal --- Governor Pat Quinn.
Governor Quinn doesn't want to be known as a governor who lost control before he really had it. It appears he's been doing as much as he can during his tenure in the Governor's office and has offered solutions to a difficult balancing act: the next fiscal budget. Yet as his budget proposals were discussed in General Assembly committees, they were combing it over, dissecting it, and then "enhancing" it to the point that it no longer looked like the proposal Governor Quinn had given the legislature. In fact, the cuts the state senators and representatives decided upon make Quinn's budget pages look like baby swiss cheese. The state government would lose about 10-thousand jobs alone. That's the state of Illinois' payroll going down at the same time that the rest of the state finds it more difficult to do business with some agencies --- especially those who look for "customer service" in social service agencies. The proposal which came out of the General Assembly and eventually the president of the Illinois senate will cause literally tens of thousands of job losses before August the governor is forced to sign the current version of the General Assembly's budget.
So, if you're the parents, the siblings, the actual state residents who stand to lose their jobs or training from the drastic funding cuts to social service agencies and programs, NOW is the time to stand up and call the legislators and the media.
Which will get you better results?
Call your local newspaper, radio station and especially TV stations --- and let them know how upset you are that they're cutting services to the weakest among us: those with disabilities and the elderly, as well as children.
Perhaps they'll give this some daily coverage until a new budget - with a temporary and slight tax increase is included to alleviate the problem - helps restore the funding to so many of the public and private concerns which HELP these citizens.
02 June 2009
I give you the death by gun of Dr. George Tiller, known by most as an abortion provider in Kansas. Dr. Tiller was killed at the doors to the church where he served as an usher this past Sunday, allegedly by someone who was a vehemently anti-government conservative.
So --- here are the coming rubs for me:
As it is my blog, my column, I am allowedto make the rules up as I go along. Thus, I will modify the names of the groups to which the world has been clinging for much of the past 35 years, since Roe V Wade, or, Roe vs Wade, depending upon how you've viewed the title of that ruling.
Dr. George Tiller was murdered. Both groups hate that fact, whether you want to believe it or not. I'm sure why the Abortion-Choosers are upset, and I know why the Anti-Deathers are upset --- because it will be painfully obvious that many of those who are on the side of the Abortion-Choosers will speak up and claim that, as a group and in whole, Anti-Deathers are the ones behind the murder of Dr. Tiller as well as the murders and maimings of those abortion providers who have suffered injuries, including deadly injuries, since the Supreme Court voted to allow abortions in the United States.
Let me not forget to show the two sides that I'm in the middle on this issue, lest more than one of the sides think I'm clearly siding with just one.
Effecting change is good.
President Obama campaigned on that premise. Having a profound effect upon society, he maintained, can be done by one person. The nation agreed and thus favored Barack Obama over the rest of the U.S. presidential candidates. I'd say President Obama has effected change since his coming into office. So did President George W. Bush in his eight years in the White House. And we all may have an opinion on what the changes were in the far past and recent past, but today I will fall upon my faith to do some of the talking for me.
I grew up in a Christian home. My Roman Catholic mother and grandparents helped to raise me and my siblings within the Holy Catholic Church. Now to push for a moment what I've learned over the past many years --- if you're going to discern between Christian and Catholic, you really don't know that both stand for the same thing: Jesus Christ was God the Son. Christian means Jesus the Christ was the son of God, and to be catholic means to be a Christian believer.
I'm in the middle here. I've been working with Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod pastors for more than four-and-a-half years, but have been friends with many Roman Catholic priests in my lifetime, too. All of a sudden the left-leaners are telling themselves that I'm a conservative, and that surely this person voted for McCain-Palin at the ballot box last November. Nope. I did not. I can effect change just the same as anyone by not voting for a ticket with which I disagree upon issues --- I won't tell you for whom I voted except to say it was not for McCain-Palin. Suddenly the conservatives are saying "oh, great...a wishy-washy conservative who won't see the big picture and vote for the pro-life candidate". Well, again, I know that the conservatives would like to be correct 100% of the time, just the same as the liberals would like to be correct 100% of the time. Thing is --- I am not going to judge who is correct and who is not. I'll be judged by some, and others will realize that it doesn't matter what my views are UNLESS I CAN EFFECT CHANGE.
Bear with me for a moment.
I cannot applaud the person who murdered Dr. George Tiller. No, that's not right, and I am not the only person who says this. Conservatives such as Marjorie Dannenfelser of the Susan B. Anthony List agree that murdering Dr. Tiller is not good for anyone.
On the other hand, I want to point to some people who like me are in the middle of the road --- moderates --- and don't believe that we can "effect change" in the world.
When someone asks whether ONE PERSON can "effect change", perhaps it's painfully obvious to some, but not so much to others. But I assure you that ONE PERSON can, in fact, have a dramatic effect upon the society in general. [did you read what I said about President Obama?]
Dr. George Tiller effected change...
...60-thousand fewer human beings came into the world.
As an Abortion-Chooser --- in Dr. Tiller's case he not only performed abortions but funded the very clinics where these tens of thousands of deathly acts were performed --- Dr. Tiller violated a fundamental dichotomy of his own doctoral creed in putting to death all of those humans.
Dr. George Tiller chose death as his calling card. I don't see him as compassionate toward women. I see him as an opportunist.
Sadly for Dr. Tiller, Scott Roeder was an opportunist as well. He took the opportunity to shoot to death Dr. Tiller. Mr. Roeder will be punished accordingly, I'm sure.
BUT WAIT! I, too, am an opportunist and looking forward to death.
Suddenly I am confounding all sides. Not for long, though.
Clarification:"I'm Anti-Death Until God Calls" --- is the title of this column because...when God calls me to my death, I'll be all for death. I'm a believer in Christ as the Savior of the world. I look forward to the day the Lord God calls me...so I can see heaven.
As Dr. Dale Meyer, president of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, says: "Thanks for thinking."