Earlier this week, I wrote about a disturbing situation where a United Methodist Church official, Pastor Frank Schaefer was tried, by the church for performing a marriage ceremony. A same-sex marriage ceremony. And one of the two participants was Schaefer's own son. You can find it here.
The fabric of families is a fragile one. There are so many issues that can strain relationships, children, parents, grandparents. So when you think of the challenges the Schaefer family had to endure coming to terms of acceptance over gay sexuality for three of Pastor Shaefer's four sons, they all deserve kudos. That's a hurdle of love and understanding if I've ever heard one.
Then, as a sign of his admiration for his father and the church, Tim Schaefer wanted his father to have the honor of performing the service and administering the sacred vows. He wanted to celebrate with his family, his church and his God. The marriage of two Methodists who wanted to live within the law, not in sin. They were guilty of nothing more than wanting to show their devotion of love to one another, sanctified under the eyes of their God.
What was disturbing is that Rev. Frank has been tried, found guilty and now faces some very stringent punishment. Defrocking is still within the future. An ultimatum has been given. Is it just? You be the judge. Hear it for yourself from Rev. Frank Schaefer on yesterday's News Nation on MSNBC.
The United Methodist Church says it welcomes LGBT members. Isn't it time that they put their faith where their mouth is? Stop punishing men and women of belief who wish to give sanctity to marriage and keep it faith-filled. Though LGBT sexuality isn't a choice, religion is. The Methodist Church should truly mean what they profess by acceptance, and make that both on and off the pulpit. Let those pastors who believe in ordaining same-sex marriage have their wish. Those who don't needn't be forced into performing those services. But don't leave the flock to wander unwanted. They'll just find a pasture somewhere else. True believers have faith and acceptance in their hearts. That's what Jesus would say, or so I'm told.
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I'm a parent of two -- a father of a boy and a girl. So I'm blessed with two perspectives on life for every situation. Actually three if you figure in what my wife tells me is the right way to handle things. But that's another story.
There isn't a day that my kids, while growing up -- I guess they're always going up -- but until they leave for college or move out, there isn't something that you're called upon to offer some guidance. Oh, they may not ask you directly, or even want your input indirectly, but they do hear you. And you know what, they do appreciated it. They won't want to tell you to your face, more likely the opposite is true, but they really do love us.
Recently my wife was lamenting that with our kids both gone, out working and living their own productive lives, there's a void. And as a dutiful husband, I assured her that she's thought of all the time by myself and our kids. But just like most empty-nesters, I couldn't shake her fears of being left behind. And to what legacy?
Then I saw this video. Though it's intention was not specifically to deal with empty nest syndrome it really touches on what's important. It's what you're kids really do think of you. And no matter whether they're three or thirty-three, they're yours and the bi-product of your love.
So in that spirit, the reinforcement that we as parents of kids any age have meaning, purpose and really generally do right despite occasional over-protectiveness or laxity of oversight, I invite you to a few minutes of positive reinforcement. It may stir up some really wonderful memories or tease you with what's upcoming for you newer parents. Enjoy and feel good. It's time to accept being loved.
DeLand, Florida. It's DeLand, alright -- DeLand of De wreckless, de lawless and de not-so-innocent cops.
Why am I railing again against the police -- and especially the Florida police? It's not my choosing. It's the outrageous interpretations of law enforcement. Once again, in Florida.
Here's the latest, in case you haven't seen it. All of the news channels and papers have been covering this tragedy.
I'll do a David boil-down for you.
Around midnight on May 8th, Police attempted to pull over 38 year old Marlon Brown. Now he was no angel -- Brown had been arrested more than two dozen times over the past 20 years and served jail time for drug possession, according to ABC News. But at the time of the chase, the police didn't know that.
His supposed offense? A seatbelt violation. (Now in the dark of that hour, I'm not sure how the police knew of this offense, but let's just assume, it's Florida PD. They know what they're doing.)
Suspect Brown, who had recently been released from jail time for drug possession was afraid these cops may use this against him, so he flees. At a dead end, he darts from his car across a wooded field.
DeLand cops pursue, driving helter-skelter, off road, through a wooded area, ripping through a backyard fence as they recklessly continue their death race pursuit.
Brown, on foot, turns to see how close the cops are behind him, slips and the cops drive over him.
Deputy gets out of car, looks at Brown pinned, still alive under it, and calls in for an ambulance.
Police don't back car off of him, allowing him at least a possibility of surviving his other injuries. Instead they try to lift the car off of him, and give up.
Brown dies, not from his injuries, but from asphyxiation from the weight of the car.
Now if you want to hear the ABC Network version, here you go:
If the suspect is a perp of a crime that puts innocent people at risk, then I get it. But this is over a seat belt violation.
Would it have been so hard for the cops to get out of their cars (there were two squad cars in this pursuit) and foot chase Brown after he abandoned his car and fled on foot? What was the need for them to use deadly force to apprehend a seat belt violator?
The medical examiner, the same one from the Travon Martin case, performed the autopsy and declared Brown, despite what the video shows, was not hit by the police car, he was run over by it after he fell on his own.
FPD did an internal investigation which concluded that the officer driving the death car violated no laws. He was within his authority. And if that's not enough, they too blame Brown for slipping as the reason for his death.
A grand jury for the state attorney's office determined last week that there was not enough evidence to criminally prosecute Harris, the cop who was driving the police car.
Really? It's not often that you get the POV of a murder. If you think you can stomach it, here's the full, unedited dashcam video released by the family, including Brown being killed.
If this squad car wasn't so close, the officer driving might have avoided running over Mr. Brown. What if Brown had stopped, put his hands up and surrendered instead of falling? The cop car was too close. He was driving too fast. He'd have run him over anyway.
Accountability is all the family asked. And instead, they got to attend their loved one's funeral. Brown left behind a wife and two children.
I'm sure we were waiting with baited breath (a little pun there, you'll see) what the final dispensation would be in the Liz Cheney Fish-gate scandal. (see, bait, fish -- okay, bad pun). Well, wait no longer. It seems that scam artist Liz Cheney, daughter of former number two, aka commander-in-abstentia, the grand George Bush puppeteer, Dick Cheney, pleaded guilty to lying on her fish and game application. She knowingly gave false information to qualify for a state license as a resident vs. non-resident.
So how much money is senate candidate Liz Cheney willing to lie for? Well, I'll do the math for you: A resident license costs $24, a nonresident one is a bit more pricey, $92. That's a difference of 68 bucks.
Oh, if you throw in the $220 fine (actually $180 fine and $40 court costs) plus the $24 she paid upon application when lying that she met residency requirements, this whole hullabaloo cost her a grand total of $312 (for a $92 license).
That's chicken feed compared to what her father lied for -- his Haliburton millions were in the 100's. Not to mention all of the human lives, men and women who died so he could stage a war to profiteer both personally and for his friends and business acquaintances.
Jackson Hole News & Guide reports:
She has said that she did not know one was required to live in Wyoming for the immediately previous 365 days to qualify as a resident.
Violation constitutes a high misdemeanor.
When asked about her signing a false statement, Ms. Cheney immediately took to her instinctive defensive posture and blamed the clerk.
She said she never told the clerk who sold the license she lived in the state for 10 years, although the clerk marked her application “10” under the category of years of residency.
The old, blame it on someone else defense. I guess we're to believe that the clerk just made up the number of years, picking 10 as it was a round number.
Time will tell how well today's Liz and Dick do in the Wyoming senate race. Look for Halliburton to promise to put in some huge paramilitary complex should Cheney win the election. Nothing like a good incentive should those fine folks in Wyoming be seriously considering between her and incumbent Senator Mike Enzi.
It might actually be worth it to vote for her just to get her out of the state.
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Kuwaiti Citizen Detained at Guantanamo since 2002
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