Tuesday, August 30, 2016



A political script is being written on the wall and the majority of Americans are reading it.

It wasn’t conservatives who fought the battle that brought down the Great Wall of Jericho.
It wasn’t a conservative who said, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”
It wasn’t a conservative who rebuked the church leaders and developed new inclusive policies for the Christian Church.
It wasn’t conservatives who fought for religious freedom within the original thirteen American colonies.
It wasn’t a conservative who wrote, “All men are created equal.”
It wasn’t conservatives who fought for women’s right to vote.
It wasn’t conservatives who fought to end slavery on American soil.
It wasn’t conservatives who passed the Social Security Act of 1935.
It wasn’t conservatives who enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
It wasn’t conservatives who passed the Fourteenth Amendment giving all citizens equal rights under the law.
It wasn’t conservatives who fought to give all children a quality education by integrating public schools.
It wasn’t conservatives who have fought for over two hundred years to gain equal rights for all minorities including LGBT citizens.
It was not conservatives on the Supreme Court that passed the Marriage Equality Act.
It has not been conservatives who have fought to provide free meals for hungry children.
It has not been conservatives who have fought for the rights of women to receive equal pay for equal work.
It has not been conservatives who have fought for increased pay raises for America workers.
It has not been conservatives who have fought to provide universal health care for all Americans.

   Everything that has made America a better place for humans has been accomplished through a progressive agenda.
  If you believe that conservative principles have brought progress to the United States, you need to do one thing. Forget about praying for others, forget about being down on your knees, but stand in front of a mirror and look yourself directly in the eyes and pray for yourself, because your mental capacity is in need of prayer.
   The agenda that is standing in the way of American progress is the political system. All other systems are on go.  Every recent public opinion poll proves that the majority of Americans are ready to move on. Americans have seen the harm caused by discrimination and are now ready for a better day. Americans realize that same-sex marriage has caused absolutely no harm to anyone and now is the time to move forward.  An overwhelming majority of Americans have learned that there are benefits to medical marijuana and Americans are ready for nationwide legalization.
   The conservative Southern Bible Belt will soon be a thing of the past.  Although there are still a few grandmas and grandpas who are trying to teach their grandchildren to hold on to the principals of the Confederate Southland, their grandchildren are rejecting the outdated policies. In a matter of a few years, institutions such as the Southern Baptist Church will disappear if they do not change. They must change leadership or change policies. Today, membership in conservative churches is on a rapid decline. The only Christian organizations gaining members are those taking progressive steps to meet the needs of a modern society.
   It was only a few years ago that the esteemed godfather of the Republican Party spoke the profound words, “Mr. Gorbachev, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL.” Now the leader of the Republican Party has developed a rallying cry, “BUILD THAT WALL.” History has not been kind to the building of walls, and it is difficult to believe that in November the majority of Americans will allow themselves to be confined behind an IRON CURTAIN. In all probability Americans will reject isolationist policies. The globalization process will demand that America continue to be a part of the global society. 
   The majority of Americans are demanding real change. President Obama, through a multitude of difficulties, laid the foundation for major change in America. Bernie Sanders listened to the voices of young Americans and has been instrumental in including many changes in the political party platform. If elected president, it is believed that Hillary Clinton will continue the progress. For every drop of blood that has been shed, for every body part that has been sacrificed, and for every emotion that has been shattered on the battlefield, the hope for a better America is just around the corner.  From the dark shadows of America’s busy streets, from the lowlands of the ghettos, or from the backside of nowhere, a leader will emerge. This leader will be able to use millions of one-dollar donations to lead Americans into the Promised Land.
    God is tired of discrimination being disguised as a righteous robe of dignity. God is tired of the love of his son being turned into hate. Rest assured—the handwriting is on the wall.      

Saturday, August 20, 2016



   I was born on the backside to nowhere. My house was at the end of the road. The only thing that went past my house was the footpath used by the Indians who lived deeper in the Louisiana swamplands.  I was raised at the end of the trail, but with a little help from my friends, I turned limited opportunities into a series of smiley faces.   
   I knew the woods the same way a city boy knows the streets. For me to get lost in the woods was something never to happen.  I could say to my buddy, “Meet me after school over at Pine Cone Ridge, Cedar Tree Alley, or the old hollow cypress,” and he knew exactly where to go.  
   Deep in the woods behind my house was a swift flowing creek. I knew every log that crossed Indian Creek, and I knew on the other side was a vast territory of endless woods.  A venture to the other side required a gun because Louisiana had a large number of dangerous animals.
   What I experienced as a youngster would astonish the avid woodman of today. I survived the charge of the Louisiana wild boar. I saw a white wolf grab a pig and disappear with the speed of lightening. I watched the diamondback attempt to charm the red squirrel. I saw the old blue buck prance proudly through the forest with the grace of a thoroughbred stallion.  I heard the scream of the black panther and felt the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.         
    My closest neighbors lived about five miles away, but a mile meant nothing to a country boy. They all had large families but none had cars.  The only place we had to go was to school and church, so we created our own entertainment. In the back of the school bus coming home from the junior or senior plays, or returning from basketball games, we engaged in activities that would have surprised the church-goers of our community.  We were determined the city kids would have nothing on us when it came to living an exciting life.
    The woods provided a large playground for the younger generation. The adults had no idea of the wild social activities that went on in the woods. Boys experimented with girls and girls with boys, and occasionally the opposite occurred.
    All the girls knew the shortcut through the woods to take food to ailing Aunt Molly. And boys knew how to confiscate more than food from the girls who made a deliberate pathway through the woods.  Poor old Aunt Molly never realized how much pleasure her sickness brought to the young people of our community.
    A good place to meet friends on any summer day was on the way to the swimming hole. There was an ideal spot in the chilling waters of Indian Creek meant just for swimming. The swimming hole was deep and big enough to accommodate a large number of swimmers. Mixed with water moccasins and large catfish, it was a summer meeting place for teenagers, and if one word could describe it; it would be fun. 
    No one owned a swimsuit and if we did it was not allowed at the Indian Creek swimming hole. Male and female nude bodies were looked upon as the norm and norm was the usual in country living.
    We were a group of friends who probably knew too much about each other. But we were kids and we didn’t care. We were a tight-lipped group, and we kept secrets that have never been revealed not even until this day.
    On Sundays we knew how to put on the invisible robe of righteousness, give a quick wink to our friends, stare the preacher directly in the eyes, and sing the gospel hymns.  At a young age we had experienced hypocrisy, because we had seen the examples set by the adults.        
    We knew the best places to build the Saturday night camp fires, and even though no one had a telephone, we just knew to be there. We experienced the pleasures of a midnight dip in the cold waters of the old swimming hole. And even today, there is a lingering memory of the vision of the moonbeams that danced across the waters from the waves being made by nude, well-defined, suntanned bodies.
    Youthful days seemed to pass slowly but in the reality of time they passed quickly. We were eager to grow up and experience the bright lights of the big cities never realizing we were leaving behind the camp fires of paradise. But it happened. We quickly became adults but never dreamed that one day we would be the senior citizens. And as strange as it may seem, we now face the twilight of our lives. The days past quick and the nights are restless. We have a full understanding of the meaning, “Young men will see visions, and old men will dream dreams.” Retirement is made tolerable because we dream about being young, and in our dreams we relive those days of our youth. 
    Today, as I read the obituary of an old-time special friend, something strange happened. I started trembling and dropped the newspaper. Then I heard a roar. It came like a hurricane. It knocked me to the floor.  A vision appeared and suddenly turned into a flashback. I heard the voices and I saw the faces of my young friends.  We were on the school bus ride. We were laughing and talking with a joy so deep we did not recognize it as a source of pleasure.  Then the bus ride turned into a summer day at the swimming hole. The vision was clear. I was standing by the side of my obituary friend, and I reached out and put my arm around him. We were laughing, talking, and having a great time. Our youthful bodies were glistening in the sun. We were young, proud, and happy.  But the vision changed. Suddenly, I was seated on the third row of the Pleasant Hill Baptist Church.  And this time I was listening to golden voices.
   Cheer up my brother, live in the sunshine,
   We’ll understand it, all by and by. 
    The vision faded and I pulled myself into a standing position. Then in an uncontrolled voice I shouted, “I’m alive!” Still in a confused state, I used the words, “Master, what is it that you would have me do?”
   The answer came, “I command you to live each day with hope.”
  “Hope,” I answered, “Where is an old man’s hope?”
   “It is the hope for a tomorrow.”
   “But wisdom says there are more yesterdays than tomorrows.”
   “If given the opportunity would you return to the backside of nowhere and do it all over again?”
   “You bet ya!”
   “Then I’ll consider your request tomorrow.”
   “But what if tomorrow never comes?”
   The answer came with a paraphrase from the scriptures.

  “Even though a man liveth, without hope he is dead.”