NomDebPlume's 2½ Cents

Because I have an opinion about everything…

Archive for the category “Truth in Media”

Does One Person’s Free Speech Trump Another’s?


Imus and Rosie      

It goes without saying that Don Imus’ comments about the Rutgers University Women’s basketball team were deplorable, unacceptable, and never should have been uttered.  My goal is not to excuse his behavior in any way, but to attempt to draw attention to the hypocrisy that is so thick in the media, and society as a whole, that publicly punishing him when others go unmentioned, tends to minimize the impact of those doing the punishing… and the offense itself.

While Imus stole a golden moment from this hard-working team of young women, insulting them, and frustrating their lives by the unwanted attention this situation has thrust upon their lives, he has also inadvertently given them more than their 15 minutes of fame.  After their press conference, we all now know they are much more than fine athletes, they are women of substance, worthy of our respect, who could never be defined by one man’s thoughtless comments.

But someone please explain the premise of ‘free speech’ to me again – it has gotten so muddled in the mire of this latest controversy.  With the usual players coming out of the woodwork for their airtime, taking up the cause du jour, how are any of us supposed to give the issue the consideration it deserves?  It has always been my understanding that free speech extends to everyone, not just those we agree with.  It’s easy to allow the airwaves to be filled with opinions and comments that don’t offend us, but why is it that only when certain subjects of offense arise, there are those who wish to draw a line?  And who says THEY get to decide where they line is drawn, anyway?

Why does Rosie O’Donnell get to spew her “view” every day, influencing the ignorant with her propaganda that ranges from irate rhetoric to something that can only be labeled “absurd”, but no one wants to take up that cause?  Why do we hear no one calling for her to be fired or fined or suspended?  And why no call for boycotts?  This woman badmouths the President of the United States on a regular basis, which apparently is “chic”, and therefore… “acceptable?  More acceptable than a racist remark, I guess.  And Rosie’s radical personal opinions about our country only serve to fuel the terrorists’ resolve and hatred toward us. Why is that an acceptable form of free speech? 

Why are Al and Jesse and the media ok with THAT?


A “Fall from Grace”?


A Fall from Grace is defined as “a loss of status, respect, or prestige”, but is actually an idiom originally based on scripture:

You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.  Galatians 5:4

Certainly Ted Haggard qualifies as one whose status, respect and prestige is now lost – I can’t even refer to him as Reverend Haggard anymore.  As to the question posed by the idiom’s Biblical source, ahh… that is another question altogether.

I have mentioned it before, and will mention it here again: My faith is a simple one, you could call it fundamental, even.  To complicate one’s faith would be to supply an excuse to disregard it.  There are those who insist on complicating the definition of Fundamental Christian, for example, somehow linking the term “Christian Fundamentalist” with “Islamic Fundamentalist”… and the Christians live with the negative consequences.  Truth be known, there is a very simple definition for Fundamental Christian, that being, they subscribe to the following 5 beliefs: the inerrancy of the Bible, the virgin birth of Christ, the doctrine of substitutionary atonement, the bodily resurrection of Jesus, and the imminent return of Jesus Christ.  Not all that complicated, really.

As an Evangelical, Ted Haggard also believes this.  What comes as the biggest surprise to most is that Ted Haggard is, in addition to these labels – and ones he has newly acquired – (dare I say it)… human.  In no way am I excusing his behavior, he was wrong.  On that, we can all agree.  But here is where it will get sticky – Where was he wrong, and why?

I have my thoughts, and they’re just my own opinions… so here goes…

To me, Haggard was most wrong for allowing the power of his position to blind him to God’s calling on his life.  In a nutshell, he became full of himself.  “Pride comes before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18)  This is something each of us is susceptible to, but perhaps not to the degree of someone who has risen to national prominence and occasionally has the ear of the President. If hundreds of thousands of people listened to and read my words, would I suddenly have an over-inflated opinion of myself?  Would I think I was “all that” if GW asked my opinion on spiritual matters and then, maybe, decide I didn’t need to consult with God anymore. Gee, I hope not.

Betraying his wife and family is a biggie for me.  It matters little to me that it was with a man, except for the added shame it brings on his family.  It is the broken trust.  He has also betrayed his church family, but they should be discerning enough to know how important it is never to “follow” a man in place of God.  By taking drugs, engaging in homosexual sex, and then lying to cover up his transgressions, he has provided a duplicitous message to all eyes watching, but especially to his children. 

And this brings us to hypocrisy.  Anyone who knows me knows I have a big problem with THAT one.  Oddly, though, in this case, I find I’m not looking for a stone to pick up and cast first.  This is partly due to the fact that there are so few stones to be found after the media got their hands on the story.  Granted, this story is noxious with hypocrisy, but for me, it illuminated a finer point about our society.

The problem with being a Christian, but especially a publicly, well-known Christian, is to announce to the world, “I have set a bar of morality by which I’ve chosen to try to live”.  From that point on, there are people watching and waiting for you to fall short of that bar; they will trip over each other to point out when you have failed to meet that bar.   In my case, when this happens, I can only respond with, “Why are you so surprised?” :-)  Man, if I could always reach that bar, MY name would be Jesus!  But I strive toward the example He set, the “bar”, if you will.

In the case of publicly known Christians, those who are tripping over themselves include the media.  Camera crews and scurrying people with pads and pens chase down the sad person who has missed that bar.  (I’m so glad a camera crew does not show up every time *I* mess up!)  And, with Haggard, they hit the jackpot.

What has occurred to me through the Haggard situation is how each person has their own “bar” set for themselves, but it seems as though only those who set their bar as high as the Bible asks are the ones who get tormented this way when they fail.  It’s easy to be successful when the bar is low – heck, it’s even easier when you allow yourself to keep moving the bar to suit your life!  But let someone dare to take a stand, and fail… and we’ve got 24-hour news to keep us abreast of that failure.

For me, I am grateful that the grace this idiom is based on is not as fragile as that available in society… or as mutable as the morals found there, either.

“Mideast Terror Leaders Want U.S. to Vote Democrat”

 “Withdrawal from Iraq would embolden jihadists”  – WorldNetDaily


Senior terrorist leaders were interviewed by WorldNetDaily for an article posted on November 2nd, which stated their hope for a Democratic win in Tuesday’s election.  They see this shift in power as beneficial to their objectives because it will ensure victory for the worldwide Islamic resistance.   Not only would a Democratic win prove to the terrorists that Americans are tired, but Abu Abdullah, a leader of Hamas’ military wing in the Gaza Strip, said the policy of withdrawal “proves the strategy of the resistance is the right strategy against the occupation.” 

Muhammad Saadi, a senior leader of Islamic Jihad in the northern West Bank town of Jenin, was quoted as saying the Democrats’ talk of withdrawal from Iraq makes him feel proud: “As Arabs and Muslims we feel proud of this talk, very proud from the great successes of the Iraqi resistance.  This success that brought the big superpower of the world to discuss a possible withdrawal.”   And then there’s Abu Ayman, another Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin, who said he is “emboldened” by those in America who compare the war in Iraq to Vietnam.

Responding to the claim that the insurgents will stay in Iraq for as long as the U.S. is in Iraq, when terrorists became aware of Nancy Pelosi’s recent remarks on CBS’s “60 Minutes,” they dismissed her assertion completely:

Nancy Pelosi’s remarks: “The jihadists are in Iraq. But that doesn’t mean we stay there. They’ll stay there as long as we’re there.”
Muhammad Saadi, addressing those remarks in the WND interview: “Islamic Jihad’s Saadi, laughing, stated, ‘There is no chance that the resistance will stop’.”

And Jihad Jaara agrees.  A senior member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group and the leader of the 2002 siege of Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, he told WND: an American withdrawal from Iraq would “prove the resistance is the most important tool and that this tool works. The victory of the Iraqi revolution will mark an important step in the history of the region and in the attitude regarding the United States.” Jaara said an American withdrawal would “mark the beginning of the collapse of this tyrant empire (America).”

The far-reaching implications of a withdrawal are expressed this way by Jaara: Vacating Iraq would also “reinforce Palestinian resistance organizations, especially from the moral point of view.  But we also learn from these (insurgency) movements militarily. We look and learn from them.”  This viewpoint is shared by Hamas’ Abu Abdullah, who believes leaving Iraq would “convince those among the Palestinians who still have doubts in the efficiency of the resistance.”   “The victory of the resistance in Iraq would prove once more that when the will and the faith are applied victory is not only a slogan.”

The terrorists have given us much to think about in this article posted by Aaron Klein for WorldNetDaily. Woven between all the quotes and all the malice are claims that they’ve found “the right strategy”, that they feel “proud” and “emboldened”, that they are “laughing” at us and our “tyrant empire”.  They are learning “what works” and what is “efficient”, but perhaps the best advice from the terrorist’s for this Election Day can be summed up by a quote from Jihad Jaara.  Although he is currently in exile in Ireland as part of an internationally brokered deal that ended the previously mentioned church siege, he gave the following quote to WorldNetDaily:

Of course Americans should vote Democrat“.


Read the WorldNetDaily Post

*Some of this post taken verbatim from WND article due to the amount of quotes.

“You Betray Me with a Kiss”

The majority of the media has been preoccupied with Rush Limbaugh’s comments about Michael J. Fox’s condition in his recent advertisements for the Missouri and Maryland Senate races, and I, too, agree Limbaugh could have chosen his words better (and eliminated the gestures completely).  Though not popular, I do believe it is entirely possible that Fox may have adjusted his medication for effect, as he freely admits in his book, “Lucky Man”.  Perhaps I would do the same thing and for the same reason: because “the occasion demanded my testimony about the effects of the disease, and the urgency we as a community were feeling, be seen as well as heard”.  But my occasion would not be promoting embryonic stem cell research.

Perusing the blogs, I have found such an emotional response to the Fox ad – and to any comment that even remotely hints that he may have tinkered with his medication.  People are so willing to side with their sentiment and lay their sensibilities aside… and that’s just what the ad is meant to do.  Make you think?  Oh, no!  Make you investigate the claims of a victim of Parkinson’s Disease?  Heavens, no!  Make the citizens of Missouri look up the wording of an amendment to be voted into their constitution?  Gee, I sure hope they don’t… :-/

Whether Michael J. Fox took the correct dose of his medication or not is only relevant when you realize his appearance separated viewers from their judgment by playing on their emotions.  While my heart goes out to this man and his struggle, we need to vote with our heads, not our hearts.  My head tells me that some of the claims he made in the ad are not accurate, but may have been lost on the audience when the appeal was made to their sentimentality.  This is why a counter-ad was created soon after the Fox ad was aired:

For those who can’t hear the first line, or can’t understand it: It’s Jim Caviezel, the actor from The Passion of the Christ speaking Aramaic.  He says, “Le-bar nash be-neshak,” which translates to mean, “You betray the Son of Man with a kiss,” or “You betray me with a kiss”.  The message he is conveying is that Amendment 2 promises one thing, but delivers another.

Aside from the facts Fox left out, in the Maryland ad, he plainly states, “Stem cell research offers hope to millions of Americans with diseases like Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  But George Bush and Michael Steele would put limits on the most promising stem cell research.”  There is no evidence that embryonic stem cell research is the most promising.  In fact, adult stem cells have proven more promising, with 72 therapies showing human benefits as opposed to embryonic stem cells showing zero.  Recent research also suggests brain tumors may result.  Of course, adult stem cells do not require the cloning or killing of human embryos, but only 50% or so of the country cares deeply about that issue.

Politics is increasingly about betrayal and the sting always painful.  We factor it in as part of the process and become a little more cynical, I suppose.  But I, for one, do not welcome this level of cynicism… I find it hurts even more when betrayed with a kiss.

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