Homebodies In The Rust And Bible Belts
Posted on 03.09.15 by Danny Glover @ 6:48 pm

Last fall, The New York Times published some interesting data in an interactive map that shows how U.S. residents migrate by state. I just discovered it in my Facebook feed today and was most curious about the data from my home state of West Virginia.

According to the graphic, 70 percent of people who lived in the Mountain State in 2012 were born there, down from 81 percent in 1950 and 1900. I know that many more West Virginians, including myself, move away for work these days than used to be the case, but I was surprised to see that the state has an increasing percentage of people from other places.

Only a few states have a greater percentage of homebodies than West Virginia — Louisiana at 79 percent, Michigan at 77 percent, Ohio at 75 percent, Pennsylvania at 74 percent, Mississippi and Wisconsin at 72 percent each, and Iowa at 71 percent. Like West Virginia, Alabama is at 70 percent.

The takeaway is that people in the Rust Belt and Bible Belt love to stay close to home.

Filed under: Culture and Media and Religion and West Virginia
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Why We Home-School, Lesson #51
Posted on 03.02.15 by Danny Glover @ 8:45 pm

We believe the most important lessons in life are moral. Government-run schools long ago stopped feigning even the slightest interest in acknowledging God, let alone teaching biblically based values, and now most of them are even worse. They actively promote competing worldviews like moral relativism:

Our public schools teach students that all claims are either facts or opinions and that all value and moral claims fall into the latter camp. The punchline: There are no moral facts. And if there are no moral facts, then there are no moral truths. …

Facts are things that are true. Opinions are things we believe. Some of our beliefs are true. Others are not. Some of our beliefs are backed by evidence. Others are not. Value claims are like any other claims: either true or false, evidenced or not. The hard work lies not in recognizing that at least some moral claims are true but in carefully thinking through our evidence for which of the many competing moral claims is correct.

Justin McBrayer, the college professor who penned those words in The New York Times, isn’t down on public schools. He simply encourages educators to be morally responsible in the way they teach impressionable students. But no such sea change is likely to occur in U.S. public schools anytime soon, so homeschooling often is the wiser option.

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)

Filed under: Government and Religion and Why We Home-School
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5 Great Reasons NOT To Watch ‘Noah’
Posted on 03.29.14 by Danny Glover @ 12:04 pm

I’ll admit that I was excited about seeing the “Noah” epic that opened in theaters yesterday when I first saw this trailer:

But now that it’s out and I’ve read about both the movie and its atheist maker, I’ve decided not to waste my money. Here are five reasons why you should think twice about wasting yours, too:

  • Noah is portrayed as a psycho who butchers unicorns and tries to kill his kin.
  • The snakeskin shed by Satan as a serpent has magical powers.
  • Adam and Eve were space aliens who became human after they ate the wrong fruit.
  • A magic seed snagged from the Garden of Eden grows a forest of wood for the ark.
  • And rock monsters, the form taken by fallen angels, roam the Earth and build the ark.

The film’s director admits that Noah is “the least biblical biblical film ever made” and a disclaimer for the movie adds that “artistic license has been taken.” But that’s typical Hollywood. I would not have expected any less from an entertainment community that glorifies evil and maligns goodness, and I would have paid a few bucks to see a movie based even loosely on a Bible story.

Defenders of director Darren Aronofsky’s interpretation of the Great Flood also fairly point out that he had to take artistic license to make a two-hour movie from a few verses in the Bible. As a writer, I appreciate the enormity of the challenge of writing a script that wouldn’t alienate the people most likely to watch the movie — Christians who have heard the story of Noah from the Book of Genesis since childhood.

But this movie sounds like a real dud that not only makes a mockery of God’s word but also is plain laughable from a worldly view. “It’s tiresome, exhausting, bizarre and self-serious,” a secular writer at The Awl concluded in a piece headlined “Why Won’t Anybody Say That ‘Noah’ Is Terrible?

The best reason to blow your entertainment budget elsewhere is because, as one reviewer put it, “Noah” is the “stupidest movie in years.”

Filed under: Culture and Entertainment and News & Politics and Religion and Video
Comments: None

‘How’s Your Relationship With God?’
Posted on 01.10.14 by Danny Glover @ 10:16 pm

Twelve-year-old Taylor Smith of Tennessee began a letter to herself with those words back in April, and her mini-sermon to the future Taylor Smith got better from there.

Have you prayed, worshiped, read the Bible or gone to serve the Lord recently? If not, get up and go do so NOW! I don’t care what point in our life we’re in right now, do it! He was mocked, beaten, tortured and crucified FOR YOU! A sinless man who never did you or any other person wrong.

Smith wasn’t going to open the letter until 2023. She died Sunday from complications of pneumonia, and her parents found the letter. Now she is speaking to you and me instead. They are profound words worth remembering today, 10 years from now and always.

Filed under: News & Politics and People and Religion and Technology
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Phil Robertson’s Faith, Rick Warren’s Words
Posted on 12.28.13 by Danny Glover @ 3:37 pm

If you say something profound and people online repeat it often enough, there’s a good chance someone more famous than you will get credit for those words some day.

It happened to Lewis Napper when he authored “The Bill of No Rights” back in the 1990s. Now, thanks to ongoing online chatter about the “Duck Dynasty” controversy over what the Bible says about homosexuality, it has happened to mega-church evangelist Rick Warren.

Warren is a celebrity in his own right, but Robertson is the man of faith in the news these days. And thanks to the popularity of an article about Robertson that included a famous Warren quote, a whole bunch of people think Robertson actually spoke these words of Warren’s:

Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.

Warren shared that view not when talking about homosexuality but when defending himself against a newspaper’s claim that he thinks Christians and Muslims worship the same God.

The Christian Post asked Warren, “Why do you think people who call themselves Christians sometimes say the most hateful things about Muslims?” His insight into how Americans have perverted the meaning of the word “hate” was part of this answer to the Post’s question:

Well, some of those folks probably aren’t really Christians. 1 John 4:20 says, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” And 1 John 2:9 says “Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness.” I am not allowed by Jesus to hate anyone. Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.

So how did Robertson end up being credited with the latter part of that quote? The path toward confusion began when the Christian-to-Muslim context in Warren’s answer faded amid the culture war over gay marriage.

Filed under: Culture and Entertainment and Hatin' On Rednecks and Media and News & Politics and People and Rednecks and Religion
Comments: 2 Comments

Cracker Barrel Answers The ‘Duck Dynasty’ Call
Posted on 12.22.13 by Danny Glover @ 3:40 pm

Well, that didn’t take long. The quick and intense outcry against Cracker Barrel that I blogged about last night prompted the Southern restaurant chain to reverse course today. “Duck Dynasty” items are going back on the store shelves, according to a status update on the company’s Facebook page:

When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain ‘Duck Dynasty’ items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done.

You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong.

We listened. Today, we are putting all our ‘Duck Dynasty’ products back in our stores. And, we apologize for offending you.

The change of heart earned Cracker Barrel more than 27,000 “likes,” more than 16,000 shares and more than 8,000 comments in two hours.

But for some people, the online protest against Cracker Barrel may have been more symbolic than substantive. They didn’t like Cracker Barrel taking a stand against “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson but also don’t intend to buy any products related to the A&E Networks show for fear of fattening the wallets of the cable fat cats who decided to oust Robertson from his family’s show.

“I choose to come back [to Cracker Barrel], and I choose to not buy ‘Duck Dynasty’ products,” one woman wrote. “I would, however, buy Duck Commander products. The family needs to just cut ties with A & E and move on.

Filed under: Business and Culture and Entertainment and Food and Hatin' On Rednecks and News & Politics and People and Rednecks and Religion
Comments: 1 Comment

Cracker Barrel vs. ‘Duck Dynasty’
Posted on 12.21.13 by Danny Glover @ 11:59 pm

If you think the A&E Network’s decision to indefinitely suspend the star of its cash cow “Duck Dynasty” made bad business sense, wait until you hear what Cracker Barrel did. Yesterday the restaurant chain that made its name and fortune on the appetites of Southern folk like Phil Robertson and the rest of his duck-calling entrepreneurial family decided to pull some “Duck Dynasty” merchandise from its stores.

In a statement on its Facebook page, Cracker Barrel cited its “pleasing people” motto and its commitment to “the ideals of fairness, mutual respect and equal treatment of all people.” The company then explained why “Duck Dynasty” no longer may reflect those ideals:

We continue to offer Duck Commander products in our stores. We removed selected products which we were concerned might offend some of our guests while we evaluate the situation. We continually evaluate the products we offer and will continue to do so.

It didn’t take long for “Duck Dynasty” fans to voice their outrage to Cracker Barrel, which has more than 67,000 employees at its 600-plus stores. At last check, the Facebook statement had sparked more than 27,000 comments, most of them from regular diners who said they won’t be any longer. The post also has been shared more than 4,900 times, presumably by those same former customers telling their friends to boycott Cracker Barrel in the future.

All of which made me wonder: Why would Cracker Barrel take this stand? The executives and corporate board members who run the chain surely know that most of the people who shop and eat at an “old country store and restaurant” are the enlightened rednecks who sided with the Robertsons. Yet Cracker Barrel decided to cast its lot with A&E, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, and the Human Rights Campaign.

I found the answer in Cracker Barrel’s corporate history — not the filtered, flattering version the company tells but the version you can find via Google. The key finding: Cracker Barrel has been in trouble with homosexual rights activists before.

How much trouble? Enough that The New York Times emphasized the controversy in its 2012 obituary for Cracker Barrel founder Dan Evins. The paper mentioned the issue in the headline and lead, and expounded on it at length in its coverage:

Filed under: Business and Culture and Food and Hatin' On Rednecks and News & Politics and People and Rednecks and Religion
Comments: 12 Comments

The Dark Days Of ‘Duck Dynasty’
Posted on 11.23.13 by Danny Glover @ 3:32 am

A deadbeat dad, a prodigal son and a suicidal grandson — meet the Robertsons of “Duck Dynasty” fame who you don’t get to see on the popular A&E television series every week.

In a video produced for the “I Am Second” movement, family patriarch Phil Robertson, his youngest son Jep and his grandson Reed share stories from their darkest days and how faith and family pulled them through the spiritual turbulence. The half-hour film features several powerful anecdotes that illustrate the crushing weight of sin and the great relief that Jesus Christ freely offers to all men who seek forgiveness and then obey Him.

At one point, Phil Robertson explains the difference between rednecks and “river rats” — and why he gave the fish that fed his family to one group of thieving river rats in particular. He recounted the story while recalling the Bible’s teachings about being good to your enemies, praying for those who persecute you, not returning evil for evil and feeding those who are hungry.

“These river rats would steal my fish; I’d caught several of them before,” he said, adding that he always threatened them with death by shotgun. God’s commands didn’t make any “earthly sense” to him, but Phil Robertson decided to try it God’s way.

Filed under: Family and Parenting and People and Rednecks and Religion and Video
Comments: None

Petty Photographic Politics
Posted on 09.11.12 by Danny Glover @ 12:47 pm

For the record, Vice President Joe Biden did not invite a biker lady to sit on his lap. He did the gentlemanly thing and pulled up a chair so she could get her picture taken with him. A smart photographer captured the candid moments after the posed picture, and people on Twitter started a rumor about something that didn’t happen the way they saw it.

Sadly, I fell for the Twitter hype about the photo. I’m glad to have heard the rest of the story.

Also for the record, pizza entrepreneur Scott Van Duzer did hug President Obama during a campaign trip to Van Duzer’s Florida restaurant — and people are protesting the pizza shop over the hug. Obama haters flocked to the website Yelp to give Big Apple Pizza negative reviews for political rather than culinary reasons.

As an American, I support people’s right to register any political protest they desire, but I also reserve my right to expose some such antics for what they are — petty politics. Van Duzer, a Republican who voted for Obama in 2008 and plans to do so again, is right: “There’s no middle line anymore, and that’s exactly what’s wrong with our country right now.”

Scott Van Duzer appears to be a good man, and he is doing good work through his own foundation. He shouldn’t be catching business grief for hugging, or even voting for, President Obama. Disagree with his political views if you want — I do — but leave his business out of it.

If I lived in Fort Pierce, Fla., I would be heading to Big Apple Pizza to buy a pie and show my support for the right of small businessmen to freedom of political speech and action. As a conservative, I cannot expect the same — remember the Chick-fil-A uproar — but this is a clear opportunity to “treat others the same way you want them to treat you” (Luke 6:31).

Filed under: Business and Food and Human Interest and News & Politics and People and Photography and Religion
Comments: 1 Comment

No Rednecks Allowed In Democrats’ Tent
Posted on 09.07.12 by Danny Glover @ 12:10 pm

There may be a few rednecks rooting for President Obama, but the president’s Democratic Party certainly isn’t a welcoming place for rednecks. Behold the “party of inclusion” and “tolerance” when its members are asked just how big their tent really is:

Let’s recap that dialogue for posterity:

  • “This is so inclusive. You know, we even invite the redneck freaks in.”
  • “I would never call a redneck a name.”
  • “I don’t know, I’m thinkin’, like, a couple of teeth, you know, hair outta place, maybe a nice gut.”
  • “You’re welcome to be a Democrat unless “you’re a hunter or a gun owner, white male. … They’re a bunch of gun-totin’, hillbilly tea partiers. That’s all I have to say.”
  • “A bunch of Yosemite Sam hillbillies.”
  • “We are the big-tent party, and we will let most anybody in, unless of course they’re carrying guns. … These Christian evangelicals don’t get it because I don’t believe they ever actually read the Bible.”
  • “Wack-job, evangelical gun nuts. … I’ve always called them Nazis — and evil, even before it was appropriate.”
  • “Don’t have a clue about science, very questionable on any kind of thought that involves more than two or three sentences.”
  • “Pot-bellied … church-going … small-minded … anti-science.”
  • “The teabaggers generalize because they’re very narrow-minded people. The teabaggers are the least tolerant group I have ever seen.”

Where could all of these Democrats possibly get the inspiration for such elitist, bigoted ideas? Oh, I don’t know, maybe from the current standard-bearer of the Democratic Party?

Filed under: Hatin' On Rednecks and Hunting & Guns and Just For Laughs and News & Politics and People and Rednecks and Religion and Video
Comments: None

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