Nothing will remind a redneck of his roots quicker than street “art” in the nation’s capital. These sculptures greeted me on New York Avenue in Washington as I started a new job in the city after more than a year of working primarily from home in the blessedly distant suburbs.
I’d ask someone to explain what it all means, but I’ll forgo that bit of enlightenment.
You call that art. This is art!
Filed under: Culture and Photography and Rednecks
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Christians often use phrase “What would Jesus do?” (and the modern shorthand “WWJD”) as a reminder that the Son of God, who took on the form of man and lived without sinning, is the perfect example of how we should behave.
After reading this tweet by a young woman this morning, I know at least one person who needs to adopt a slightly altered motto — “What would Jesus say?”:
Her idea of getting ready to worship God is cursing on Twitter about how good it feels to be a Christian? Clearly there is a disconnect between her spirit and her flesh.
James, the brother of Jesus, warned that no man can tame the tongue and that “from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing” (James 3:8-12). But it’s rare to hear such a stark contrast in the same sentence — and in eight words no less.
We live in an era when political leaders are “caught” using vile language on a regular basis and when worldly people embrace those vulgar moments as mottoes rather than being embarrassed by them. People young and old also think it’s cool to curse and take the Lord’s name in vain in abbreviated form. It’s tough to walk in this filthy-mouthed world and not be of it.
But that is exactly what God demands. Being “like Christ,” which is the definition of “Christian,” means behaving and speaking as He does. While His speech was seasoned with salt always, He never spoke with a salty tongue — and definitely not as part of His preparation to worship His Father.
So before you speak, it’s a good idea to ask yourself: “What would Jesus say?”
Filed under: Culture and Religion
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Like most of America’s official recognitions of God, the National Day of Prayer now at the center of a legal dispute is rooted in the spiritual heyday of the post-World War II era. The day was first celebrated in 1952.
I revisited the history of such “ceremonial deism” (the Supreme Court’s term) in my 1999 “Congress Back Then” column for IntellectualCapital.com, and I am reprinting it here to offer some context for the current debate about the National Day of Prayer.
Congress Back Then: America’s Spiritual Heyday
Earlier this year, policymakers, pundits and people on the street reopened a uniquely American (and seemingly infinite) debate. In the wake of another incident of school violence, this time a mass murder at a high school in Littleton, Colo., they pondered a familiar question: Just how far should our nation go in trying to maintain a clear separation between church and state?
Congress debated the question in mid-June and decided that perhaps we had gone too far. More specifically, House lawmakers saw a need for a greater religious presence in the public schools, so they cast a series of votes designed to give new spiritual direction to the nation’s youth. The most-publicized decision: They sanctioned the posting of the Bible’s Ten Commandments on school walls.
The primarily symbolic votes topped the news of the week, not at all surprising in an era when Americans are sharply divided on the relationship between religion and government. But four decades back, the votes might have gone unnoticed, an unremarkable act at a time when Congress added the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance, and made the phrase “In God We Trust” the national motto and a mandatory slogan on all U.S. coins and currency.
All of that religious posturing, and more, happened during the presidency of Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower and in the early days of a Cold War that most patriotic Americans apparently saw as a battle between Christian America and the godless, communist Soviet Union.
Filed under: Books and Culture and Entertainment and History and News & Politics and People and Religion
Every couple of years, some court interjects itself into America’s infinite debate about “separation of church and state,” and more often than not, the judges take the side of atheists and agnostics who wrongly believe the Constitution demands irreligious purity.
So it was yesterday in Wisconsin, when U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb ruled that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional. An American tradition practiced for a half-century is now in jeopardy because she said “the nature of prayer is so personal and can have such a powerful effect on a community that the government may not use its authority to try to influence an individual’s decision whether and when to pray.”
My reaction to this new judicial attack on spirituality is similar to the one I had back in 2002 when the phrase “under God” in the “Pledge of Allegiance” was ruled unconstitutional. (The same court ultimately reversed itself on that issue.)
On the one hand, the history of this nation makes clear that there is a difference between freedom of religion and freedom from it, which is what too many courts are demanding these days. But on the other hand, the faith of Christians does not depend upon the superficial endorsement of the government or any other secular institution.
Our allegiance is to God, and it demands a deep commitment to righteousness, not just a symbolic declaration that we are “under God.” Faith also demands a life of prayer, not a superficial and arguably politically motivated day of it. When government takes the side of those who reject God, it should strengthen the resolve of His children to serve the Lord, come what may.
Filed under: News & Politics and People and Religion
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This is a political ad for one candidate in Iowa’s June primary, Republican Ben Lange, but change the date and drop the state reference and the message is fitting for the entire country:
We elected a Congress that is intent on helping President Obama “fundamentally transform” America in ways that will undermine her founding, and now it’s our responsibility to throw the bums out before it’s too late to stall their “revolution” and undo the damage.
Filed under: News & Politics and Video
People in the big city sometimes wonder why I’m so proud to be a West Virginia hillbilly. Anyone who doesn’t understand should read this account from an AP reporter who was humbled by the hospitality of a community living through the deadliest mining tragedy in decades:
The article’s author, Peter Prengaman, closed by quoting the principal of the school that housed him and other journalists:
It’s a shame that it took a tragedy to show the world what it really means to be a redneck.
Filed under: Culture and News & Politics and Rednecks and West Virginia
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Gold and silver have been hot commodities for months. You can’t watch cable television for more than an hour without seeing at least one commercial inviting you to BUY GOLD NOW, and other companies are setting up shop in hotels around the country to buy people’s precious metals.
Beware both the sellers and the buyers.
The companies pushing gold and silver as sound investments know the metals market is in a bubble, just like real estate was a few years ago and dot-com stocks before that. Wait for the gold and silver bubble to burst, and then start buying, which is what those companies did years ago.
As for the firms that buy gold and silver in bulk, avoid them altogether. You will not get anywhere close to the true value for your coins, jewelry or bullion.
One newspaper in Texas has done its community a great service by attending the gold- and silver-buying bonanzas where out-of-town companies try to part residents from their valuables. The newspaper sends a reporter to the events with a collection of gold and silver whose fair-market value already has been determined. Then it compares that price with the offers from buyers.
The gap between the two numbers is huge, as is evident in this report:
The company representative went ballistic when the reporter confronted him about the discrepancy. “It is business. It is as simple as that,” he said. “When you go to buy a used car, is it worth what they are charging you. Your newspaper is not worth a dime, I can tell you that right now. You are as low as low gets.” Methinks he did protest too much.
I have a small stash of worn and common silver coins that I may sell once it’s worth enough to buy a digital camera, but if I do, I won’t be dealing with a shyster in a hotel. I’ll find a reputable, local coin or bullion dealer. Everyone should do the same.
Filed under: Business and Coin Collecting
Gov. Bob McDonnell made a foolish political calculation this week in resurrecting Confederate History Month from the ash heap of Virginia history, and rednecks everywhere are being tarnished as a result.
Every time Southerners get nostalgic about the way things were before the Civil War, people who rightly want to condemn the bigotry of the past against blacks engage in bigotry of their own. Yesterday it happened at The Huffington Post, where commentator Charles Ellison accused McDonnell of “Keeping It Redneck” by proclaiming April as Confederate History Month without also condemning the slavery of the Confederacy.
Ellison was right to criticize McDonnell. Virginia hasn’t recognized Confederate History Month in eight years, and by reviving it to score political points, he reopened a debate that should be closed by now. But his decision was not an “attempt to keep it redneck,” a phrase that Ellison subtly equated with racism, because “redneck” is not a synonym for “racist,” and celebrating Southern history is not necessarily racist.
McDonnell could have charted the better course Ed Morrissey described at Hot Air:
Unfortunately, McDonnell gave Ellison an opening to perpetuate an intellectually lazy redneck stereotype before eventually backpedaling on the proclamation.
Hopefully he and future leaders of Virginia have learned this valuable lesson:
We think like Jim Geraghty of The Campaign Spot, a former colleague of mine: “When it comes to the problems facing Virginia, I’d rank insufficient commemoration of Confederate History Month somewhere between 1861st and 1865th on the list.”
And we don’t align ourselves with misguided people who think Southerners should call themselves “Confederate Southern Americans.”
Filed under: Culture and Government and Hatin' On Rednecks and History and News & Politics and People and Rednecks
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Michael Steele ruffled Republican feathers with his recent politically correct suggestion on “Good Morning America” that he has a “slimmer margin” for error as chairman of the GOP because he is a black man.
John King of CNN asked Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who once held the post Steele now does at the Republican National Committee, whether Steele is held to a “different standard” because of the color of his skin. Barbour answered by reminding King of his own political handicap:
Ain’t that the truth! Oops, I forgot I ain’t s’posed to say “ain’t.” They taught us that in the Redneck School of Higher Standards.
Filed under: Entertainment and News & Politics and People and Rednecks
You might be an enlightened redneck … if you appreciate a parody song that meshes the music of country legend Kenny Rogers with the political messaging of the tea party movement.
Filed under: Entertainment and News & Politics and Redneck Music and Video
Comments: 4 Comments
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