Thursday, November 22, 2018

Golden Calves, Dolly Parton, and Manufactured Outrage Mississippi Style

Golden Calves-Vert:
I recollect hearing as far as back when I was a kid about the Israelites making a golden calf in order to worship it. The message was always that God had commanded that we should not worship any graven image. And then having the
idea reinforced by the Charlton Heston movie "Ten Commandments" which, back in the day was a yearly TV event usually played around Easter.

No big deal, on my part, as I always thought I would not ever see any logical reason to worship anything made out of any kind of metal. However, now in retrospect, I realize I have worshipped the "golden image" many times in my life. I was enlightened recently through a 1956 book I have in my personal library called "Bible Fires - Messages on Bible Characters" written by Robert G. Lee (Zondervan Press). At a closer look it does seem pretty odd that these people who had seen such great signs and miracles by God would suddenly dump Him in exchange for a golden calf. But...that was not the message. As Lee writes "Looking upon this golden calf the people said (shouting, I think): "These be thy gods, O Israel!" Rather, thy god....the golden calf gave them false and belittling ideas of God...and thus decreased their faith and hope in Him. .....God was still to be worshipped but in the form of a calf."
  Ouch. I have many times experienced the miracles and touch of God in my life...but when things got tough or God seemed far away....I have been very guilty of trading in the real God for an image that made more sense at the time. "So," continues Lee, "the sin of the people was not in a breach of the First but of the Second commandment." They did not wish to repudiate God but simply to worship Him under the similitude of a calf." It was through this initial effort that their morals began to crumble and they began a festival of celebration marked by adultery, drunkenness, and fornication (to name a few things) all while believing they were worshipping God when, in truth, they were worshipping an image of God they had created. It was only through the intervention and pleading of Moses to God on their behalf that He did not destroy them. Shortly after that Aaron's sons were killed for offering a strange fire to the Lord.  Aaron was complicit with the creation of the golden calf...and this was something his sons were likely to have been observing. The father is a powerful force and energy in any child's life.
   We all need to seek the God of creation, the God who's son is Jesus Christ, and the God who is really there, as opposed to the image many of us and many church people settle for.

Dolly Parton once said "The Bible doesn't say 'Some things are possible. It says All things are possible.' I know in my heart that if I've got enough faith, grit and determination, that if there is anything in this business or world that I truly want to do, I can give it as good a shot as anybody else. I'll get it done." Let me add, however....and this is not a judgment of the spiritual life of Dolly Parton as that is a judgment best made by God alone.....but the preceding verse to "All things are Possible" had to do with the salvation of men and Jesus said very clearly that with men that is impossible but with God all thing are possible." Man, on his own, or even with just his modified version of who he thinks God CANNOT do all things. God can. If you are "with God" you can do everything He does if it is the course God created you to take. If it isn't...God is not going to be there to help you.

Things I Heard Downwind:
A great actor can bring tears to your eyes, but so can a car mechanic.

How many politicians does it take to change a light bulb?
Two. One to assure us that everything possible is being done while the other screws the bulb into a water faucet.

Dear Lord, fill my mouth with meaningful stuff, and nudge me when I've said enough.

Lost. black retriever dog, answers to "Dinner's Ready!"

A generation ago most people who finished work needed they need exercise

A modern society that outlaws the death penalty does not send a message of reverence for life, but a message of moral confusion. When we outlaw the death penalty, we tell the murderer that, no matter what he may do to innocent people in our custody and care, women, children, old people, his most treasured possession, his life, is secure. --Pat J Buchanan

Mississippi's Senate Candidate Cindy Hyde-Smith has been asked by Walmart to return a $2000 donation to her campaign in light of her recent comments about surfacing about her being "on the front row of" a "public hanging" if she were invited. I was not a supporter of Hyde-Smith in the election Nov 6 but I don't see the comments she the context of which she used being racist. And not intentionally insensitive to the audience to whom she was speaking since it took a Louisiana blogger to dig up the soundbytes long after the event was a almost forgotten memory to those who were attending.  Walmarts request happened just a few hours before the Hyde-Smith vs Espy it appears Walmart wanted a front seat with the media to berate Hyde-Smith publicly.

But, then, in the age of Internet manufactured outrage it's the latest fad that will continue until a whole lot of people grow up. Her challenger in the run off is Mike Espy and, of course, anyone supporting Espy is sure that Hyde-Smith was racist when she said it and the comment, of course, is "highly offensive**" (** as stated by Bishop Ronnie Crudup, a senior pastor at a predominantly black church in Jackson.....and BTW is supporting Mike Espy). I know there are some Sen Chris McDaniel supporters (who lost the GOP race against Hyde-Smith) are pushing the "racist" idea also and I think that is sad, as well. As an Independent I do not intend to run out and campaign for Hyde-Smith even though I did support and vote for McDaniel over Hyde-Smith. Whether I vote for her remains to be seen as here in Mississippi Republican candidates are chosen by the Republican Party of Mississippi and NOT by citizens who might be registered as Republican.

Picayune Item Downwind:
According to wikipedia: Outbrain is an advertising company. It uses behavioral targeting to recommend articles, slide shows, blog posts, photos or videos to a reader, rather than relying on a more basic "related items" widget. The sites with the recommended articles pay Outbrain for this service, and Outbrain pays the site on which the links appear.
There is also a Hijacker called the which if your anti-virus program does not stop then you will have to remove.
The Picayune Item has this Outbrain advertising on its website. It can also manifest some rather embarrassing photos which will show up right on the front page of the website newspaper. Not a good smell downwind.