Tag Archives: religion

FRC STAYING POWER & STRAW POLLS

27 Sep

Staying power, that is a reward for visions that stand the test of time well. The FRC Values Voter is a mainstay of the D.C. political tourism circuit. Like clockwork, every year, the Family Research Council’s annual convention of faith comes together in North West D.C. Next year will be different. No, not in Jerusalem as the prayer goes this time of year, the Jewish new year, but next year across the Potomac, at the Gaylord Hotel in Prince George county Maryland.

Tony Perkin’s F.R.C. annual Summit is a must stop at for presidential contenders in the years of campaigns racing up to the final vote in 2016. This year is no different. The ‘they’, the hopefuls came in crowded race- Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson, Governor Bobby Jindal. On their day, Friday, the presidential candidate day, they came, they talked and they hoped they conquered, before heading back out on their POTUS trail.

To the regular attendees, there is little that is different. That, the familiarity is what keeps these attendees coming back year after year. The F.R.C. is the faithfuls camp reunion where friends see old friends, meet new friends and catch up on shared friends that have left them.

The 2015 was elevated to an even higher level of patriotism with this years gala dinner honoring every day people who did extraordinary things, the real superstars who stood up for their convictions in faith, of faith- a clerk, a baker, a fireman along with others told their beliefs were no longer valid.

Kim Davis’ defenders were not the party she belonged to foreheads but men and women from across the aisle standing next to her as her moral fibers were being stripped. Kim Davis stood at the dinner, reborn, a republican. Davis was already a Christian. In a world that holds a different benchmark for Hollywood celebrity multiple marriages, Davis a hometown girl was vilified, publicly raked over the coals for her conviction to marry not live with the men outside of the sanctity of marriage.

Perkins provides a safe forum for people of faith to come together in. And leave from. The Duggars, past attendees at after F.R.C.s events were noticeably absent post the disclosures of son Josh. Not to worry. The unscripted reality that ruled television the past weeks was paralyzing as people witnessed employers flip on their employee, voted in by people who knew her faith.

Davis’ employers made her their sacrificial lamb.

The world watched newscast after newscast, streamed video after streamed video showing workplace violence Davis’ employer, the state did not protect her from- people verbally insulting her, verbally offending her. Davis watched as her employer became complicit in hate speech, against her, leaving her to fend for herself.

Until Conservatives crossed the political divide  and stood with Davis.

The voter Summit is showing its years, the A list of radio row were elsewhere. News competition being what it is, pope stalking was more attractive to mediathen men on mounts battling for their win at the White House. The stalwarts stay. Besides, times have changed. No one needs to be anywhere to be there anymore. Live streaming has become a death knoll to events. That said, the Grand Ballroom was packed.

Kudos.

Non profits were in the  exhibit area- faces of conservatism activism over the decades still present in the conversation of freedom and faith. The swag is candies and ‘pray pins drink sweat sleeves, an occasional books. The conversation is easy. The friends are there. Friends of all colors, ages, plus.

Don’t buy the news alleging the Conservative party is vanilla. Not at all. The FRC is proof positive the Conservative party is vanilla, chocolate, cherry, blueberry and cinnamon.

In the main hall, when the POTUS wannabes are gone, speeches are delivered by activists delivering messages of God, and politics. And dinners.

Attendees race to get speakers books signed. The big announcement of the day is, annually, the result of the Straw Poll, announcing its Presidential choice. And the winner live cast on Fox TV is, was, Ted Cruz, followed by Dr. Ben Carson and in 5th place, The Donald.

Interesting.

In a world driven by polls, interesting.

Authors Note: As long as I covered news in DC, a staple at protests and just plain driving up and down the street, have been the protesters with placards and truck sides  embellished with images of dismembered babies and fetal parts. And then, the videos were released. Those videos. Yup.

Point of sharing  is the annual presence of the sandwich truck outside of conservative events, that truck, with larger than man size life images of fetal baby parts, arranged so the head, hands and legs are where they should be almost. The body parts are separated. And across the street is a restaurant wondering what it did wrong to deserve this truck across from the restaurant’s lunchtime and dinner crowd, as people sat eating their salads and such. Just like in the videos that are bringing good people together across a political divide of horror asking, is this how far we have fallen as a culture, or, more correctly, lack of culture and couth, if baby parts can be sold from a menu……

THE PRESIDENT SIGNED THE PROCLAMATION FOR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DAY

16 Jan

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 16, 2013

Attached is a proclamation signed by the President today regarding Religious Freedom Day.

******

Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release January 16, 2013
RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DAY, 2013
– – – – – – –
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
A PROCLAMATION

Foremost among the rights Americans hold sacred is the freedom to worship as we choose. Today, we celebrate one of our Nation’s first laws to protect that right — the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. Written by Thomas Jefferson and guided through the Virginia legislature by James Madison, the Statute affirmed that “Almighty God hath created the mind free” and “all men shall be free to profess . . . their opinions in matters of religion.” Years later, our Founders looked to the Statute as a model when they enshrined the principle of religious liberty in the Bill of Rights.
Because of the protections guaranteed by our Constitution, each of us has the right to practice our faith openly and as we choose. As a free country, our story has been shaped by every language and enriched by every culture. We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, Sikhs and non-believers. Our patchwork heritage is a strength we owe to our religious freedom.

Americans of every faith have molded the character of our Nation. They were pilgrims who sought refuge from persecution; pioneers who pursued brighter horizons; protesters who fought for abolition, women’s suffrage, and civil rights. Each generation has seen people of different faiths join together to advance peace, justice, and dignity for all.

Today, we also remember that religious liberty is not just an American right; it is a universal human right to be protected here at home and across the globe. This freedom is an essential part of human dignity, and without it our world cannot know lasting peace.

As we observe Religious Freedom Day, let us remember the legacy of faith and independence we have inherited, and let us honor it by forever upholding our right to exercise our beliefs free from prejudice or persecution.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim January 16, 2013, as Religious Freedom Day. I call on all Americans to commemorate this day with events and activities that teach us about this critical foundation of our Nation’s liberty, and show us how we can protect it for future generations at home and around the world.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
sixteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord
two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the
United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA

I WISH THE WORLD A SANDPIPER:

4 Jan

Macy’s announced it is no longer politically correct for their employees to wish people a holiday specific greeting. Opponents of religion believe someone, somewhere will be offended. So the world is going vanilla with salutations like “holiday greetings” and “best of the season.” 

I’m not a vanilla type of woman. I think outside the box, seeing everyday things a little differently than most. So, I’ve decided to remain true to nature, this holiday and wish people “a sandpiper.”

The idea came to me long after reading a forwarded email. Author Robert Peterson described a twenty year old lesson in harmony, courage, and undemanding love from a child who taught him the value of living. Maybe Peterson’s tale is an urban legend, a circulating story without corroboration in fact. Even if it is, I consider Peterson’s lesson learned through the innocence of a child’s life lost, a jewel to share, with everyone, unseasonally. No partridge in a pear tree, just a sandpiper bequeathed from a little girl who benchmarked in 6 years, what many don’t achieve in lifetimes. 

Peterson says he framed the picture Wendy drew of a sandpiper. It hangs in his home. Peterson wants to be reminded, “the price of hating other human beings is loving oneself less.”

Wendy met Robert at the beach where he went to escape troubles. She was six. His mother was dying. Wendy wanted to talk about castles and sand. Robert didn’t want to talk at all. But when a sandpiper flew by, the blue eyed moppet called out, “Look, it’s a joy.” He listened. She explained, “My mama says sandpipers come to bring us joy.”

Peterson recalls muttering self pityingly, “Goodbye joy, hello pain.” Giggles can be contagious. Wendy’s were. Despite his sadness, Wendy’s smiles carried Robert as he continued down the beach, taking along with him her invitation to come back for another happy day.

Nearing winter, the next time, Wendy wanted Peterson to play. Robert wanted to ask, where she lived, why she didn’t go to school and more. Wendy answered his questions, simply. She lived “over there” in the summer homes, didn’t go to school and her mother said they were on vacation. Robert thought that strange for a six year old during the school season. He let it go at that. 

Weeks later at the beach, seeing Wendy, he was cross with the little girl’s questions. “This is a bad day. My mother died,” he shouted. When Wendy asked if dying hurt, he snapped “Of course!” then strode off.

A month later, back at the beach, feeling guilty not seeing Wendy there, he knocked on her house door, introducing himself to her mother. “I missed your little girl today and wondered where she was.” Wendy’s mother answered, “She died last week. She had leukaemia.” Robert was desperate to catch his breath.  “She loved this beach so when she asked to come, we couldn’t say no. But the last few weeks, she declined rapidly… ” Handing him an envelope, Wendy’s mother said, “She left something for you.” Inside was a crayon drawing– a beach, a sea, and a bird. And Wendy’s words, “A SANDPIPER TO BRING YOU JOY.”

Truth be told, the answer to life’s complications can be this simple.

We keep looking for serenity. It is within, available to each and every one of us. It is a jewel inside, a precious treasure we unwrap as we need a spiritual lift, even from a dying 6 year old’s sandpiper reminding us what is important. Peace, even on earth, is not seasonal. Serenity is not found trying to escape an experience. It is linked but not to “getting away from it all.”  

Imagine if we learn what Peterson did, serenity will become our way. Mr. Peterson wrote “The hustle and bustle of everyday traumas can make us lose focus about what is truly important or what is only a momentary setback or crisis.” We need to make peace our way.” A special someone answered my question why they were smiling when they looked at me, saying “I’m happy.” That is what a seasonal greeting is all about. Expressing happiness, joy, now and forever. So I wish you all a sandpiper….

  

A RECIPE FOR PROTECTING EVENT SPEAKERS FROM AGGRESSIVE AUDIENCE GUESTS:

4 Jan

DC has an industry of Think Tanks and Foundations where men and women are entertained for free with lunch and sodas following.  Themes include human rights, law, tort, reform, religion, airline security, terrorism, health care, poverty, peace, war, equity and justice for all depending on who’s interpreting the First Amendment. Forums include book signings, lectures, fireside chats without a fire. Guests include authors, scholars, radio show hosts, diplomats, newspaper columnists, the occasional celebrity of the traditional kind, current and retired government officials,  

Calendars of public affairs are available in print and online. Anyone can come. And they do. Audience attendees include media, policy makers, aides to legislators, students and general public. Some audience guests are wanted. Others aren’t.

At one recent event, an older woman ran in 2/3rds of the way through the discourse between two world renowned former senior ranking government officials. The harried woman sat silently until the Q&A. Rushing the stage, she approached one speaker. He did not recognize her. She knew exactly who he was, unhappy with his having responded to her correspondence, before this event, he could be of no assistance. The concern in the distinguished man’s face was apparent as he began edging away from the woman seguying her conversation to talks she had with police. In Boston. She said.

One event co-ordinator concerned with the need for heightened security wants to mitigate future situations on handling attendees he feels pose a potential threat to speakers, without inviting litigation or unwarranted negative media attention. He said, “If speakers don’t bring their own aides, they are pretty much on their own if there is a problem. Our people, focused on their event assignmen,t are untrained in security.” 

Here are Ten Preparedness Steps Of Action to be distributed to guest speakers and all employees prior to their arriving at the event:

1-     Assign one primary employee, an event “shadow” to each panel guest introducing them before the event.

2-     Create signals guests can summons emergency aid with. Signals must be obvious, distinct, even silly. No coughing three times or wiping eyeglasses which are easy to misinterpret as normal behaviors. Carol Burnett’s ear tugging at the end of each television show was an “I love you” signal for her grandmother.

3-     Script the “shadow” with a simple phrase to distract the problem audience member from their talk with the guest speaker. An example of what the “shadow” can say forcefully  to separate the speaker from the audience member can be “Thank you so much for being patient while speaker finishes their answer to me. Sir/madam speaker do you mind talking with me over here to the side, now, where I can hear you better without all the background distraction.”

4-     Move the official to the pre-arranged exit door isolating them from the audience guests.

5-     Escort the official to his/her transportation. In this case, the guest speaker stood unescorted on the sidewalk risking a second confrontation from the aggressive audience member.

6-     Recommend event photographers and videographers take crowd shots of event attendees for a pictorial record. At another event, a rude audience member kept placing her hat before her face whenever the camera panned audience her way. Days later, sans hat, she used paper handouts as blockers whenever the camera panned her way.

How does one photograph guests who mask their face? In the case of this audience member, her face was uncovered when she used both hands to fill her plate with free food.

7-      Provide photos of the confrontational event guest to management, a second photo to security and local PD, possibly a third photo to the official themselves to share with security at other events they speak at.  Some event  audience attendees “make the rounds.”

8-     Rehearse all employees on the Ten Steps of Action.

9-      Rehearse the guest on the order of the steps of actions: “If you feel threatened, you will pull your ear, Sally will come over, interrupt and you will begin to walk ahead with Sally to the door stage left.”

10- Provide employees with cell phones or walkie talkies connected to building security if assistance or rapid response is needed.

Therein lies the high cost of free events. 

DIGITAL TEN:

22 Dec

The oldest known copy of the TEN COMMANDMENTS the NASH PAPYRUS has gone naked online for all the public. Thanks to a $2.4 million grant from the POLONSKY FOUNDATION to CAMBRIDGE DIGITAL LIBRARY part of CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY the world can see the NASH BIBLE fragile pages that before only could be shown ONE page at a time. The NASH PAPYRUS is named for Egyptologist Walter Llewellyn Nash who bought the manuscript in 1902 before the 1947 discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Library digitized the oldest Scottish manuscript survived to this day. The 10th century BOOK OF DEER shows early Gaelic writing. Tens of millions have visited the online library