Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Leave the Gun...Take the Cannoli

Fourth of July Message:

In this infamous line from the Godfather, lovable wise-guy Pete Clemenza had just whacked Paulie Gatto, the despicable traitor and wife-beater.  While I am no fan of the Mafia, nor do I condone gangster murders—this classic line deserves its beloved and enshrined place in American film history.  It is rife with symbolism, not just for this movie, but for American attitudes about life.

Today is the 4th of July.  Is this just another day off for you?  Do you gripe about America and all of her “faults”?  In the United States today, we are born expecting to enjoy all the liberties and freedoms that come along with being a citizen of this great nation.  Whether you are a rabid right-winger or a card carrying member of the “blame America first crowd”, take a moment to read how we regularly take for granted the many liberties we enjoy in the United States.  Let this be a WAKE UP call for all of us today on a day aptly named “Independence Day”.    

Envision this scenario:  You open your eyes in the morning after a good night’s slumber on a soft, dry bed.  As you stumble sleepy-eyed to the coffee machine, your particular, special brand of coffee flavor awaits you.  The vast array of coffee selection in your local grocer is made possible by our competitive, free enterprise society.  I mean, seriously—life is too short to drink lousy coffee, right?

Once happily ensconced in front of your home computer, you begin to peruse the news.  This news is put out by independent news agencies all across our FREE PRESS society.  None of them are functioning as a direct branch or arm of our government (despite what some may hotly claim!).  Yes—there is a plethora of free thought and speech right in front of you as you continue to sip your Starbucks. 

You decide that you will grudgingly go along with the wife and the kids to Church, Mass or Temple today, depending on your persuasion.  The thought of being bombed, arrested or killed while you are there doesn’t even enter into your consciousness.  It’s ludicrous—yet that is the norm in many societies throughout the world.  Nevertheless, you’d really prefer to just stay in your pajamas all day.  God will understand.  For crying out loud—aren’t we supposed to get a day of rest?  Thank goodness there is no forced labor in America.  Hmmm…wondering what millions of people in North Korea are doing today. 

Next, you get up and open your refrigerator.  Let’s see…what shall you have for breakfast?  There is an array of choices.  Pancakes?  Nah.  Cereal, bacon, eggs?  Never mind…let’s go get some breakfast at the local restaurant.  You feel like being waited on today.  It doesn’t cross your mind that 800 million people per day go to bed hungry.  Just a small portion of the global population enjoys the option either financially, geographically or otherwise to simply get up in the morning and get something to eat.  You are one of the lucky ones—but that never crosses your mind.  Run a comb through your hair, throw on some jeans and a T-shirt and hop into your late model car.  The kids are in the back with their IPods, IPads, IPhones and who knows what gadgetry—as long as they are quiet.  You need another cup of coffee before you can stand their incessant quarreling.  Your children are safe, secure…some may even say coddled.  The children in the Sudan are starving, orphaned, enslaved and enlisted against their will to commit bloody war crimes.  U.S. kids have the dilemma in the morning of whether they should check their texts or Facebook first.  The restaurant is crowded and the service was not that great so you leave the waitress a stingy tip.  Besides, she wasn’t very attentive to your needs.  You wanted a third cup of coffee but she seemed too distracted.  Maybe next time she’ll move a little faster if she wants to get a nice gratuity.     

Back at home.  Before you hop in the sanitary, hot shower with unlimited clean water—you stop and blast that idiot on Twitter who wants to wage a “War on Women” by tightening abortion policies.  Then you proceed to write some nasty comments about your Congressman or Senator with impunity and utter assurance that the Secret Police will not be stopping at your door anytime soon with handcuffs.  Nice stuff...this Freedom of Speech concept.  Unfortunately, the majority of the global population does not have this right.  Oh yes, nor does it have indoor plumbing and unlimited flowing clean water.  Well, that’s their problem.  They should just throw the bums out of office on their next election.  Oh…wait.  That’s right.  They don’t have free elections.  Their lives are not run by the concept:  Of the People, By the People, For the People.  They are at the capricious whim and discretion of their corrupt and evil leaders.  Mostly they are living with disastrous violations of the most basic human rights. 

Well…you get the picture…This “make-believe” sample American day could go on and on.

Today, there is a movement to go off of our foundational Judeo-Christian ethic.  We’d also like to keep all the rights, liberties, freedoms and financial blessings.  However, this is the very same ethic that has been the wellspring of all of our rights, liberties, freedoms and blessings.  We are quick to “leave the gun”—God’s enforcement through Biblical boundaries and “take the cannoli”—all the goodies that go with abiding by our Judeo-Christian principles.

Today let’s celebrate what is special and different about America.  No…it’s not perfect.  Yes…we should always strive to correct inequalities and improve upon this great country.  But if we move off of our foundational values—the loss of our much beloved freedoms and blessings will not be far behind. 

So…do we leave the “gun”?  No more God-inspired guidelines.  No more Judeo-Christian foundation.  No more 10 Commandments.
And just take the “cannoli”?  The liberties, freedoms, and blessings?

Today on the 4th of July, is America poised to “declare independence” from God? 

Unfortunately, if we do that….

We’re going to get whacked. 

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord ~Psalm 33:12

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