The World; Yesterday and Today–The Bible Covers It All

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME
By Larry Peterson
As a cradle Catholic who went to twelve years of Catholic school "waaaaay" back in the '50s and '60s, I can say without hesitation that my education in the Bible and about the Bible and of the Bible was almost non-existent. The Catechism with its nays & yays and right & wrong dominated the conversation. However, over the past ten years or so I have come to honor and respect the Bible. It took me all those decades to realize how profound and so magnificently in our faces with truths this book, written so long ago, is. The seven Wisdom books alone are worth more than all the jewels on Pharaoh's crown.
Back to the 'truths' I mentioned. The other day, August 26, the gospel reading was from Matthew 23: 27-32. I believe this gospel actually references today's world and the egotistical and self-centered mindset that so many people have embraced. Countless people have stomped on the goodness within God's creation by choosing to grasp onto  the secular banner of "meism." The Bible has their number--literally. It had it then and it has it now.
For me, as a writer, the Bible also has the best writing prompts...especially if you are having trouble getting the words to flow from your brain to the screen or paper. The Gospel reading from August 26 is a prime example of how my brain can get 'jump-started'. This jolt came from  Matthew 23: 27-32. (I'm just using 27 -28.) Here it is:
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You are like whitewashed tombs, which appear beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing."
There are actually seven "Woe to you" paragraphs in Chapter 23. I quoted number six  because it was part of the Gospel reading for the day. Anyway, the first thing that came to mind was Planned Parenthood. Think about it: "beautiful on the outside but inside are full of dead men's bones and every kind of filth. Even so, on the outside you appear righteous, but inside you are filled with hypocrisy and evildoing." I immediately thought of the people destroying the lives of babies and joking about it. I thought of all those defending  this organization and insist that those who would  vilify it are taking away women's health protections. There are many in high places that certainly appear beautiful on the outside and, since I do not get to look inside, I can only imagine. I do know this: abortion is the Holocaust of the last four decades.
In America, marriage between a man and a woman is being denigrated by the beautiful, sophisticated, upscale and highly civilized secular community. Same-sex "marriage" is hailed as a right and the enhancement of freedom. Rejecting one's God-given sex and deciding to change to the opposite sex is hailed as heroic and courageous. Legalizing euthanasia has taken root in Europe and in America. In Belgium they now permit childhood euthanasia. I could go on and on but you all know what has and is happening. And many of those who proclaim Catholicism as their faith  approve of these practices.
I am amazed that it has taken me so long to realize the magnificence and page-to-page wisdom the Bible holds. So much of Scripture defines the present. It describes us and our world. It tells us how and where are journey began, where it has taken us, and where we are going. It is a great gift and I shall never ignore it again. It is also the one and only book I will reference when seeking out writing prompts. The Bible has it all. If you have not tried you should check it out. It is a GREAT READ.
©2015 Larry Peterson-All RightsReserved
     

‘Participation’ Trophies; No Different Than ‘Participation’ Letters

My son and his son: Little League Baseball

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

I coached/managed Little League Baseball for many years. At the end of every season every kid on the team received a trophy at our annual dinner or picnic or whatever else the league decided to sponsor that year. Giving a trophy to each  player, no matter how good or bad or clumsy or geeky they were,  was always the right thing to do.

It was for 'participation' and participation meant each young person was a part of something special, that being the team. Most importantly, it signified effort and commitment and sacrifice on each child's part to win a spot on a team. There were tryouts that  required coming to the field and 'showing what you got' to the coaches who were lined up holding clipboards and observing. Then the kids were drafted and placed on a team.

The new teammates would meet, be introduced to each other by the coaches and then begin practicing. Practices could be three or four nights a week (maybe more). Then followed the season and so forth. The kids invariably became friends, learned teamwork and camaraderie, and win or lose, at the end of the season they had all been part of something. The bottom line was---they had committed  and followed through.

Some players were outstanding young athletes. Others could not remember the correct way to hold a bat in their hands. It did not matter. The kids always knew who the prime players were and who were not. Those who were not, always got at least one AB (at bat) and played two innings per game. That is why they all received a 'participation' trophy. They earned it. They came to practices, sweated like everyone else, and then rode the bench for most of the season. The outstanding players received individual awards. One player was usually awarded the Most Valuable Player trophy and one was awarded a plaque for having the highest batting average or most home runs. The other kids were always fine with that because they knew it was the right thing to do.

Look, every high school and college athlete in the country gets a 'Letter' when he or she participates all season in a school activity. Participants in baseball, football, basketball, band, gymnastics, wrestling, track, and so on are awarded 'Letters'. Some players rarely get off the bench to play. But they earned a spot on the team and received a 'Letter' just like everyone else.Then they would get 'Letterman' jacket and have the letter sewn on it. When they wear their jacket they are representing their team and their school. They are proud of it. They were a part of something special. Many people actually keep their Letterman jackets their entire lives and they may never have gotten off the bench when they were players. But they had made the team and were part of it and nothing can ever change that fact.

There are extremes in this politically correct--'don't hurt anyone's feelings environment' that exists today. Recognition for earning straight A's and making Principles List or getting all A's and B's and making Honor Roll is a GOOD thing; yet some schools do not want to give that recognition. But they fail to realize that the other kids can use that as a goal to attain. This is extreme and a failure to teach young people that reward and consequence are a part of life. There are even some sports programs where they have decided not to keep score so as not to hurt anyone's feelings. Life is filled with 'ups and downs' and they are depriving the children of this valuable lesson.

What youth sports primarily teaches is teamwork and socialization skills. It helps develop lasting friendships. If some of the overbearing 'my kid is perfect' parents would stay home and leave their kid(s) alone we might all be better off.
                                     
                            ©Larry Peterson 2015 All Rights Reserved

     

The Eighth Amendment—SCOTUS says: It Allows for Adaptation Based on “Evolving Standards of Decency”

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

The Associated Press has reported that the Connecticut Supreme Court has decided the death penalty "no longer meets society's evolving standards of decency. My brain locked up as I found myself stuck on the word "decency". Decency, decency, decency---a smack in the head from my own hand jumped the needle to 'evolving standards'. Sorry, all the words together were "evolving standards of decency".

Smarty pants that I am I googled "evolving standards of decency". I expected a 'nothing available' response. Ta-da--not so.  A bunch of stuff popped up. It seems that the "evolving standards of decency" is part of the Eighth Amendment .  I had no idea. It seems that the Supreme Court had declared our Constitution  a "living" document in 1958.  That is when the Constitution became  subject to change as society developed further from whence it came. Oh me, oh my--egg was on my face.

If I was still back in 1965 I would not have paused for a moment giving those words a second thought. Back then, there existed an accepted 'mode of decency'. Lucy and Ricky Ricardo and Jim and Margaret Anderson did not even share a TV bed. They slept in twin beds. I'm not sure if Ozzie and Harriet ever allowed us into their bedroom. Men gave up their seats to women and held doors open for them. The words; "excuse me", "thank you", "may I", and "please" were used commonly. But that was 1965 and now it is 2015. What has fifty years of  "evolving standards of decency" in our civilized, sophisticated world, a world that includes such TV shows as "Naked & Afraid", brought us? Just think about it.

One thing I have never been able to wrap my head around is the right to "Freedom of Expression". If you want to burn and stomp on the American Flag go ahead, burn and stomp away. According to the SCOTUS,  that is a "right" under the Constitution. But show me where 'Freedom of Expression' is written into the U.S. Constiution? It is not in the Constitution. Freedom of Speech is. That means we are free to speak (you know, use words that come from our mouths as we so choose.) Back in the day, when "decency" was the norm, we did not use every conceivable expletive known to mankind in public, over the airwaves, and especially on the 'big screen' at will. We had this strange notion that we needed to set a good example for our children. We had a modicum of civility and respect toward each other, even when we were 'offended'.

Since the SCOTUS approved this concept of 'evolving standards of decency' it holds true that (IMHO), based on personal opinion and outside political pressure, The Constitution, a document written and designed to give rights to the people before any government, has been forever weakened and can never be the protective document it was meant to be. And  We, the People, did it to ourselves. How? We are the ones who vote and it all starts there.

                                              ©Larry Peterson 2015 All Rights Reserved

     

The Little Heart Kept Beating—Beating, Beating, Beating: Then it Stopped

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

(As the parent of a daughter who was stillborn on September 6, 1978, I am fully cognizant of the LIFE that was lost to us and her siblings. My wife (who passed away from cancer in 2003) almost died that day in a valiant attempt to get to a Catholic hospital so the baby might be baptized. That is a story for another time but, as a man, I understand the insanity of treating tiny people in-utero as nothing more than "products of conception". Trust me--they are not. They are people, just like us--only a lot smaller.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The reports about Planned Parenthood's calculating, impersonal and clinically callous disposal and sale of aborted baby parts is so hard for me to fathom. Many folks feel as I do, that these actions are simply heinous. Now, with the latest revelations of Planned Parenthood's actually selling the complete cadavers of aborted babies for profit, we may have equaled the Nazis in an unparalleled cold-hardheartedness. In fact, since these tiny people have no-one to save them once they enter the sanitized and legalized death camps spread all across America, maybe we have become the most heartless and ruthless generation of all time.

What is so astonishing is that so many folks do not see anything wrong with participating in a holocaust that has claimed more than fifty million lives. Many of these people seem to be no different than me. They work,  pay their bills, mow their lawns, and celebrate Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July. Yes, and they go to church and pray too.

There are many notables among them including a sitting president, the leading Democratic presidential contender and many more "upstanding"  people such as the former Speaker of the House, and the former Senate Majority leader. There are  academicians, professional people, doctors, lawyers, even clergy and many others. The proof and fact of LIFE in-utero is all around them yet they deny it. I do not understand.

They may look like me and walk like me and laugh like me and like pizza like me but none of them are like me. For I am sickened by the actions that they condone. Yet they consider these same actions as a "constitutional right".  Maybe they need to listen to a non-American, Stojan Adasevic, a Serbian  abortionist responsible for over 48,000 abortions and  the 'regular' work day that changed his life forever. These are a few of his words (the rest are in the video trailer, The First Hour, and the following link .)

"As I pull out the mess, thinking it will be bone fragments I lay it on the cloth, I
look, and I see a human heart, contracting and expanding and beating, beating, beating.
I thought I would go mad. I can see the heartbeat is slowing, ever more slowly, and 
more slowly still, until it finally stops completely. Nobody could have seen what I
had seen with my very own eyes, and be more convinced than I was---
I had killed a human being.

Stojan Adasevic became the first abortionist in communist Yugoslavia to refuse to do abortions. His salary was cut, his daughter fired from her job and his son refused admission to the university. Most of us never had to destroy a child, no less 48,000 or more, before realizing we were murdering children. But in the war being waged by Satan, the master of lies and deception, sometimes his influence is so great and the deception so pronounced it takes many years of flowing graces from God before that door is cracked open and the light begins to enter. In Stojan's case the  light was brought to him personally by St. Thomas Aquinas. Click on Stojan's name and read his story. 
Some information for this story was from LifeSiteNews (Abortion; August 5,2015 by Sarah Terzo)and I thank them for giving me permission to reference it. 

                                    ©2015 Larry Peterson All Rights Reserved