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March 25, 2007

Religious ethics

First Family pastor

As a former member of First Family Church, I have a few comments.

I have known of Pastor Jerry Johnson for many years. He has had a wonderful history of ministry with youth and others.

I began attending First Family six years ago and was fully engaged in the wonderful teaching, music and ministry opportunities.

As time went on, I began to notice that the family became more and more involved in most major ministries. I also observed very little said about the workings and the financial accountability system. As far as I could tell, it was extremely secretive.

As a member and faithful financial supporter, I had limited knowledge on budget and disbursement items. The church Web site gave a very limited picture. There were no consistent budget disclosure or member meetings.

I was concerned about the lack of disclosure and left that church, not disgruntled but troubled and saddened in my spirit. I sense a bit of nepotism in the system.

Steve Grant
Shawnee

Money and churches

Responding to the letter by Rev. R.L. Godden (3/21) about his bad experience with a church in Texas: Even Mother Teresa would succumb to avarice with money within grabbing distance. The problem is that money and power are too big of ingredients in our society.

Religious leaders are supposed to teach how to take in moderation. “…Godliness with contentment,” as Godden quotes from the Bible.

For the movie version of this, I recommend the Frank Capra movie “Lost Horizon.” It may be “way out there” but has the same message.

David Padget
Raytown

Hypocrisy

“Dr.” Jerry Johnston, Ted Haggard, Rush Limbaugh, Tom DeLay, Mark Foley, Bill Bennett, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Newt Gingrich, Randy “Duke” Cunningham, Spiro Agnew, Richard Nixon … and on … and on … and on.

Hey, kids, you too can be a conservative hero! Just wear your religion on both sleeves, wrap yourself in the flag and talk about how much you support the troops.

And if someone should be so indiscreet as to point out the Grand Canyon-sized gap between what you do and what you shout … no problem. Just attack their patriotism and morality. Works every time.

Randall W. Cain
Lee’s Summit

Comments

GCYL

“Armi, showing the lack of brain cells again. Poor guy.”
Posted by: CRD | Mar 26, 2007 5:01:37 PM

“Freedom of speech and expression is an issue I've long felt passionate about, and such freedom is one of the ideals that I believe America has bestowed upon the world. I find it disheartening that so many Americans would constrain that freedom.”
Posted by: CRD | Jun 13, 2006 7:52:08 AM

But in all fairness to CRD he should have a chance to respond to his June 13, 2006 post:

“Moron.”
Posted by: CRD | Feb 23, 2007 2:51:04 PM

“Wow, are you trying to set a record for asinine comments today?”
Posted by: CRD | Feb 25, 2007 11:39:03 PM

“[chuckle] You're so pretty.”
Posted by: CRD | Mar 22, 2007 9:18:40 PM

“Ah, the irony. Bigotry is ugly business.”
Posted by: CRD | Jan 22, 2006 10:35:21 PM

“As is, your posts too often seem to lack even tangential relationship to the thread topics, and seem designed more to throw folks off the discussion than to add anything substantive.”
Posted by: CRD | Aug 31, 2006 3:50:33 PM

Chris40

Of course the democrats have gotten angrier. Anger is the substance of liberal politics.

****

Anger Is All The Rage

By George F. Will
Sunday, March 25, 2007; B07

During the divisive War of 1812, a livid woman famous for her long hair rode to the White House, stood in her carriage, let down her tresses and proclaimed that she would gladly be shorn of them if they would be used to hang President James Madison. That anecdote, from Catherine Allgor's biography of Dolley Madison, shows that today's theatrical anger is not without precedent. But now there is a new style in anger -- fury as a fashion accessory, indignation as evidence of good character.

Under the headline "San Franciscans Hurl Their Rage at Parking Patrol," the New York Times recently described the verbal abuse and physical violence -- there were 28 attacks in 2006 -- inflicted on parking enforcement officers in a city that has a surplus of liberalism and a shortage of parking places. Parking is so difficult that George Anderson, a mental health expert, has stopped holding lectures there because his audiences arrive seething about their parking frustrations. Anderson represents the American Association of Anger Management Providers.

Of course. San Francisco, a showcase for expressive individualism, is full of people bristling with rights and eager to rebel against oppressive authority, but having a hard time finding any. The only rules concern parking.

No wonder Americans are infatuated with anger: It is democratic. Anyone can express it, and it is one of the seven deadly sins, which means it is a universal susceptibility. So in this age that is proud of having achieved "the repeal of reticence," anger exhibitionism is pandemic.

There are the tantrums -- sometimes both theatrical and perfunctory -- of talking heads on television or commentators writing in vitriol (Paul Krugman's incessant contempt, Ann Coulter's equally constant loathing). There is road rage (and parking lot rage when the Whole Foods Market parking lot is congested with expressive individualists driving Volvos and Priuses). The blogosphere often is, as one blogger joyfully says, "an electronic primal scream." And everywhere there is the histrionic fury of ordinary people venting in everyday conversations.

Many people who loathe George W. Bush have adopted what Peter Wood describes as "ecstatic anger as a mode of political action." Anger often is, Wood says, "a spectacle to be witnessed by an appreciative audience, not an attempt to win over the uncommitted."

Wood, an anthropologist and author of "A Bee in the Mouth: Anger in America Now," says the new anger "often has the look-at-me character of performance art." His book is a convincing, hence depressing, explanation of "anger chic" -- of why anger has become an all-purpose emotional stance. It has achieved prestige and become "a credential for group membership." As a result, "Americans have been flattening their emotional range into an angry monotone."

Wood notes that there is a "vagueness and elasticity of the grievances" that supposedly justify today's almost exuberant anger. And anger is more pervasive than merely political grievances would explain. Today's anger is a coping device for everyday life. It also is the defining attribute of an increasingly common personality type: the person who "unless he is angry, feels he is nothing at all."

That type, infatuated with anger, uses it to express identity. Anger as an expression of selfhood is its own vindication. Wood argues, however, that as anger becomes a gas polluting the social atmosphere, it becomes not a sign of personal uniqueness but of a herd impulse.

Once upon a time, Americans admired models of self-control, people such as George Washington and Jackie Robinson, who mastered their anger rather than relishing being mastered by it. America's fictional heroes could be angry, but theirs was a reluctant anger -- Alan Ladd as the gunfighter in "Shane," Gary Cooper as the marshal in "High Noon." Today, however, proclaimed anger -- the more vituperative the better -- is regarded as a sign of good character and emotional vitality.

Perhaps this should not be surprising, now that Americans are inclined to elect presidents who advertise their emotions -- "I feel your pain." As the late Mary McGrory wrote, Bill Clinton "is a child of his age; he believes more in the thrust-out lower lip than the stiff upper one."

The politics of disdain -- e.g., Howard Dean's judgment that Republicans are "brain dead" and "a lot of them never made an honest living in their lives" -- derails politics by defining opponents as beyond the reach of reason. The anger directed at Bush today, like that directed at Clinton during his presidency, luxuriates in its own vehemence.

Today, many people preen about their anger as a badge of authenticity: I snarl, therefore I am. Such people make one's blood boil.

Arminius

Am I the only who believes the liberals have gotten angrier AFTER Democrats took control of Congress? Is this what Boxer meant when she said elections have consequences?

Arminius

jack:

"Matter of fact, ALL Democrats are hypocrits (sic)!"

Not all. Joe Lieberman is not.

Arminius

CRD:

"Armi, showing the lack of brain cells again. Poor guy."

How about you demonstrate your superior intelligence and tell us where Limbaugh has worn his religion on his sleeve.

Engineer

CRD
Up to your old tricks. When you can't refute, make an insulting crack.
jack
Would you point out where Arminus made any comparison of hypocrites? He just pointed out a large number of Democratic ones, essentially a very easy job.

jack

Republican hypocrits are patriots! And Republican hypocrits are so much better than Democratic hypocrits that there is just no comparison. Matter of fact, ALL Democrats are hypocrits!

That about sums up your stated beliefs arminius.

CRD

Armi, showing the lack of brain cells again. Poor guy.

JUNGLEJACK

"“Dr.” Jerry Johnston, Ted Haggard, Rush Limbaugh, Tom DeLay, Mark Foley, Bill Bennett, Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Newt Gingrich, Randy “Duke” Cunningham, Spiro Agnew, Richard Nixon … and on … and on … and on."

...other than Rush - who on this list could be called a "conservative hero" as the writer labels them?

locomotivebreath1901

Hear! Hear! Well said, Steve Grant. This is the furthest extent this subject should have gone as opposed to the brown shirt hit piece put on by the kc (red) star.

Mr. Grant detailed how, as a (former) member of that organization, he was distrurbed by the financial workings or 'in-bred' management, and he left. That is what responsible adults do.

As for Randall Cain's comments - that what irresponsible adults do.

Arminius

Rush limbaugh wears his religion on his sleeve? Since when?

My list of liberal hypocrites is much, much larger. I can get to over 200 just by listing the Democrats in Congress and the Clinton administration who were adamant about Saddam having WMD in 1997-2000 who now say Bush misled the country about Saddam's WMD.

 
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