No Time for Sentiment

THAT DAY AND JFK
Re: Wlady Pleszczynski’s November 22, 1963:

Thanks for Wlady Pleszczynski’s iconic recollection. On the day President Kennedy was shot, I was 18 years old, on a two-year stint between high school and college, working as a quality control technician for a wire company in Redwood City, California. I remember the color and gauge of the insulation I was testing with a high-voltage charge when our supervisor ran into the QC lab and told us to turn on the radio. All of us who were over seven years of age at the time remember exactly what we were doing on the day Kennedy was murdered. It was at least another week, though, before I learned of another premature death which, even then, seemed to me more consequential. On the same day President Kennedy was assassinated — November 22, 1963 — C.S. Lewis died.
John R. Dunlap
San Jose, California

On That Day, 11-22-63, I was 10 years old, in Painesdale, Michigan (or rather, in the fifth grade classroom of Mr. Anderson, in the Adams Township Elementary School in South Range, Michigan), and in the late afternoon, he received a phone call, left the classroom, and returned shortly to tell us that the President had been shot.

The bus took me home, where my parents were speechless. But you must understand, my Father was a Lapsed Trotskyite. Some months before, I had first heard about the concept of “The Political Prisoner.” I asked Pa about what that meant, and he told me that if he were to stand on the street corner in America and say that Jack Kennedy was an idiot, all he would suffer was opprobrium. (And maybe unemployment: he was a college professor.) Were he to stand on the street corner in Peking and say that Mao Tse-tung was an idiot, he’d be shot.

We in the Upper Peninsula considered ourselves lucky: those missiles that Khrushchev installed in Cuba didn’t have the range to reach us. No thanks to JFK. But once he was gone, the Presidency devolved on LBJ, and God help us all.

JFK was elected with a bare majority; our household held the man in great contempt. Let us not join in his apotheosis, for such is greatly unjustified.
James R. Stevenson
San Diego, California

Wlady, Wlady, Wlady… Your missive of 22 November 2003 about JFK is sentimental drivel, useful not in the least, except, perhaps, to illustrate how an adolescent might have his immature world-view misshapen and distorted by some shocking event.

Based on your comments, I expect we agree JFK’s substantive contributions were minimal. In reality, I would say the best thing he did was NOT having blundered into a nuclear war, which he might just as easily have done, and which, I acknowledge, was a good thing. But, bestowing upon him a status as most princely and stylish of presidents ascribes more to ersatz legend than in any way deserved.

JFK was the son of a bootlegger. Joseph Kennedy purchased his family’s moneyed trappings, pseudo-respectability and political power using the proceeds from his days as a mobster. Yet, this appears of no import to a bedazzled and gullible public accepting of what sycophants in the media project.

Beyond this, the evidence is shockingly sparse that JFK took many things in his life very seriously (except drugs and sex). To the contrary, it appears he fecklessly used his inherited wealth and position to merely play at real life.

Stylish? I don’t think. False, pretentious, and gilded? Yep, that’s what I think.

So, Wlady, come on, please. You of all people should avoid aiding and abetting the undeservedly admired and, in truth, hollow charade that was JFK and his so-called Camelot. It was constructed on soft, shifting sands of emotionalism, and should, and I for one expect, will never stand properly exacting tests of history.
Al Reynolds

JUDGE NOT
Re: Shawn Macomber’s Make Way for Moore:

It has been many years since the Southern Poverty Law Center has undertaken any “task” for the downtrodden. The last I recall was its precedent-setting litigatory attack on the KKK, but it has since evolved into a money-grubbing machine, whose public pronouncements, and publicity-seeking activities are for the purpose of deceiving its gullible contributors. The SPLC bank account is reputed to be in excess of $100 million.

There was a many page exposé of the SPLC in the Montgomery Advertiser some years ago that you would find enlightening. Not that you have been fooled, I gather from the tenor of your remarks.
G.B. Hall
Montgomery, Alabama

If Mr. Macomber is so embarrassed by Judge Moore’s poetry and its reception by true patriots, maybe he’s writing for the wrong publication. The point is, Mr. Macomber, that maybe we are fed up with these God bashing SOB’s ourselves and also with people like you. Maybe the good citizens of this nation have finally had their fill of being made fun of due to their conservative religious beliefs while people like you take this arrogantly holier than thou attitude. So in the words of Mr. Henry…. Stupid Bastards. As for me, I like Judge Moore’s poetry.
Pete Chagnon

One only needs to look at the Middle East to realize that separation of church and state is the only way to go. Moore has no business in the judicial system — at least not in the USA.
unsigned

FRIENDS ABROAD
Re: Your contributor Lawrence Henry and “Stupid Bastards“:

Just to show that we have our idiots too.

This morning we were appalled to receive a phone call from our son who had been arrested and taken to Bishopsgate police station in London. Did he try to attack President Bush or the Prime Minister? Is he a member of a terrorist organisation? Did he climb the gates of Buckingham palace, attack a policeman, tear down and trample on an effigy of a visiting president or stop the traffic in London? Did he take over a public park, bang drums, light fires, create a terrible nuisance and thrust his ideas down the throats of the nation at large on every news programme available?

No, of course not — it had to be something really offensive to public order that he did, something which would stand out as being utterly deplorable.

May God forgive him for his enormous crime against the sensibilities of the people of London. He had arranged, in accordance with the rules and regulations, to present a two-hour religious service and demonstration against abortion.

It was a small thing. Only five could make it before going to work. It had a beautiful religious painting of the Madonna and quotes from Wilfred Owen’s war poetry. So as not to inconvenience people on their way to work, the group made sure they stood off the pavement as they prayed for the unborn, the perpetrators of abortion and for forgiveness of their own sins.

Their crime, however, was to show the public the truth of abortion in pictures.

It is perfectly acceptable to show pictures of Holocaust victims to arouse the conscience of the world. Pictures of starvation, massacre, mutilation — these are all shown freely .

Abortion — now that is different. We don’t see ourselves as being guilty of any of these others; but abortion — well, we might just need to avail ourselves of that particular form of barbarity in order to maintain our civilised society.

Within minutes of starting this protest, which you must remember had been cleared with the police, our son was arrested. The most law abiding, upright, conscientious member of our society that you could ever find.

In the midst of a massive security operation when our country is on the second highest state of security alert. When there have been screams from the lefties about the cost of the police operations, our fearless guardians of the law found resources to crack down on this danger to the state and threat to public order.

Will the BBC now want to interview him on their news programmes to allow him uninterrupted time to give his point of view?

Will they investigate this abuse of power?

Will they hell.

President Bush commended Britain as a country in which people could freely speak their minds. We’re so sorry to disillusion him. They are only free to speak anti-Bush, not anti-abortion sentiments. Perhaps our son should move to Baghdad. He might find more freedom there.

To update the story the police have released him while they try to discover just what crime he committed, apart it seems from upsetting the sensitive soul who arrested him. No doubt they will “find” one in time.
Linda & John O’Neill
Overtown, Lanarkshire
Scotland

WHAT?? Are you trying to convince me at least one family living in Massachusetts is NORMAL??? God bless Lawrence Henry and his family and my condolences regarding Cody!! But, it is nice to know someone in that state has the emotions and intellect of a true HUMAN BEING!!
Darci Beaupeurt

Chesterton said it best: “It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged.” – The Cleveland Press, 3/1/21
Dennis Demuzio

I offer my deepest, heartfelt condolences to the Henry family on the loss of their beloved family member. Stupid bastards, indeed.
Diamon Sforza
San Diego, California

NOT BUYING
Re: James Bovard’s Thousands Standing Around:

Mr. Bovard, the entire nation is standing around, waiting in hapless impotence until the Islamists strike the USA again and much more murderously.

SOME FACTS AND SOLUTIONS

Iran and North Korea are building nuclear weapons and our government is doing nothing but talking about them.

The Euro Peons whine and complain and gripe about America even though they will be hit first by the Medieval Mullahs of Plutonium.

Illiterate and caustic teens are learning nothing in our government schools. yet there is no restoration of conscription to force them to work for the equivalents of the WPA and CCC in jobs which only illegal aliens are willing to do. Americans who send their children to government schools must be relieved of funding these socialist cesspools and no longer have to fund them out of their property taxes.

The restoration of the draft would bring the military up to sufficient strength to preemptively invade, conquer and destroy the Axis of Evil States even if so doing would cost GWB four more years of maladroit usage of power or he could get on with conscription and the destruction of North Korea, Iran, Syria, Libya after he’s reelected and gives up the asinine insistence that the denizens of these Dark Age Despotisms are capable of implementing functional Constitutional Democratic Republics

Effete Europe is far too decadent and self-defeating to stand up to the Islamist Hordes as are South Korea and Japan against them and the Red Chinese, therefore our military must needs leave those fools and ingrates to defend themselves against Islamo-Communism. Those all but defunct States are too weak to do anything for themselves and hate American so may as well give them something to hate us about and cease trading with the “PRC” and bringing ever greater trade deficits upon ourselves.

The U.N. has long outlived its febrile dysfunctions. America must get out of it and it out of America and cease to fund it and no longer have anything to do with those African tribal pseudo nations. Ditto Bosnia, Indonesia and the dozens of other medieval dumps we waste men, money and materiel upon.

The above are but several things to do and undo for starters.
— Former LT/USN Allen Ross Warmington
Olmsted Township, Ohio

NO ESCAPES
Re: Lawrence Henry’s Taking Back a Church:

The intent/spirit of your article concerning the Episcopal Church was interesting and informative. But, I found two matters of your article to be noteworthy.

First, your comment “We Episcopalians cannot just scarper, like Baptists” is harsh. Perhaps no offense was intended but when you use a term like “scarper”, which is a harsh term (one who flees their debts), one is left with the impression that you think Baptists are fickle. I doubt that was your intent. Whatever yours or others thoughts about Baptists are, we should note that the Baptists are under constant attack from the media and American culture because they refuse to trade Biblical principals for current cultural fads, something the ECUSA can not claim and for which you are taking a stand. Thank God, literally, for the Baptist Church and its struggle to keep the focus on God’s Word, not cultural morals. It is worth noting that the Southern Baptist Church membership is growing, as are all orthodox-reformed denominations.

My second point, has to do with “What to do instead? We faithful could seek to reclaim the body of the ECUSA for true doctrine, not false.” You should reclaim the ECUSA for this reason but you go onto discuss how or why this will not happen not what that true doctrine is. I am not critical for making those points, but the bigger point that is never made, but the Spectator is a comfortable venue for it, has to do with what does it actually mean to have a homosexual priest (not in terms of donations, on the one hand, to the “close minded Christian bigots” who “don’t like homos” on the other). The analysis never given is what does God think of homosexuals, especially those in the priesthood. Simple: homosexuality is offensive to God. A sin can be defined as anything offensive to God, such as our impure thoughts, but some sins are not a part of the fabric of our fallen nature, they are much deeper and offensive and they have been specifically set forth in the Bible, of which homosexuality and adultery figure prominently. All sin is offensive and if it was not for Jesus Christ’s atoning for our sins on the cross, we would all be lost in sin. Thus, one could make the argument that no one is capable of church leadership because all of us are sinners, but we know that is not Biblical. A church leader is a sinner but as a believer always in a struggle to defeat sin. An openly practicing homosexual, or adulterer, is not in a struggle against sin but in open acceptance of it and unfit to lead a flock of believers.

As Christians we do not hate gays, as the media would portray us, but we love them, pray for them and share the Gospel. And, gays should be encouraged to seek church membership so that they can be in fellowship with Christians, who will pray for them, but they are not candidates for church leadership. Just as an adulterer can not be a leader, a homosexual can not be a leader. To me the biggest crime of allowing a gay priest is that the ECUSA is no longer a place where a gay can go to church with a legitimate chance of turning from his sin of homosexuality, instead it will be reinforced and celebrated, which makes me sick. Church governance can always be debated, even some doctrine is open for debate (infant baptism for one), but the Protestant denominations are, or at least at one time, united in the Gospel according to Jesus Christ, which is the only essential we actually need. We are all sinners, as such we are all condemned to death because we have offended a Holy God, but God’s love has provided a way, only one, to redeem His elect, and that is through faith, not by works so that no man can boast, in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. In all things, the glory is God’s.
Steve Shaver

I’ve been an Episcopalian for 16 years (born and raised Lutheran) when my husband (a fallen away Unitarian — if that isn’t oxymoronic) and I took our 2-year-old to the church a mile away on Easter Sunday. We figured he needed a dose of institutional morality in his young life. We were greeted by a friendly, Bible believing Christian Rector who stole our hearts and changed our lives — especially my “I don’t believe in three Gods” husband. He now rivals anyone in his Christian apology.

That Church has been part of our lives since then. And aside from one brief interlude (calling an ultra-liberal Rector who fooled us and who spent too much time with on-line porn to remain in place) it has been a haven. Our current priest is a Godly Anglo-Catholic man who is deeply troubled by what is transpiring. His pension and his medical insurance are tied to the National Church. His wife who suffered an aneurysm last year is, if he leaves, uninsurable, which adds to his distress. But he went to Plano and he is determined to stand on his principles.

I am also employed at the Church. The week after General Convention we laid out the weekly bulletin and included “The Church’s one foundation” as the post-communion hymn. There were many tears that morning… Many of those who have written to you advise you to go somewhere else. Yes, we could, but you and I both know it’s just not that easy. I am so angry at those selfish men and women who are playing Church and playing with our lives so they can consider themselves progressive and superior. If this was a serious theological schism it would be worth the fight, but those who have done this are so unserious and so vapid that it makes the tragedy all the more extreme. Their “cause” is so ridiculous. We don’t know what will happen to the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church for that matter. But we do know what will happen to His Church. We do know the end of the story. He wins. We can all rest in that knowledge. Thank you for your article. And bless you and your family.
Pam Lange
Chagrin Falls, Ohio

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