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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
     Friday, October 24 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Misunderstandings

The flap over Lt. General William Boykin's use of the war on terrorism and some of his observations as a miliatry leader as metaphors for the spiritual warfare Christians can count on undergoing if they want to grow toward spiritual maturity brings to front-center the subject of misunderstanding. We've probably all been in meetings where someone says something and another member of the group completely misses the point of what is said, then strenuously begins to counter a point that hasn't even been brought up for discussion. When we see it happen we cringe, we want to straighen everyone up, but usually such misunderstandings have so much momentum that by the time we get our two cents in, the whole group has been run off on more than one "rabbit trail," or off on discourses that go nowhere. By the time we do get our turn to speak, we can usually depend on being misunderstood as much as the original speaker.

On the Boykin controversy, many news media on Wednesday ran headlines like this: President Bush distances himself from General's anti-Islam statements. I've read all the quotations I could find on the General's alleged anti-Islamic sentiments and saw nothing that was aimed at Islam in general. The quotations I saw were focused on terrorists, extremists, people using a cover of Islamic religion without resembling examples of a religion of peace, which Americans of good will agree characterizes the true Islam. Therefore, so far as I've been able to discern, the General has not even uttered any anti-Islam statements. But even more aggravating, read the story under the headline just cited, and see if you find anything that proves that the President distanced himself from Boykin or Boykin's statements, though he may have disavowed sentiments wrongly attributed to Boykin which the general himself has repudiated. As I read the reports, he told reporters accompanying him on Air Force One that he assured Muslim moderates in the Pacific Island nation of Bali that the claim that the war on terrorism is a war between Christianity and Islam is not his position or the position of the American government.

Well, duh. This has been reiterated so many times since 9/11 that you'd think the reporters would have gotten the point. But it has also been reiterated by General Boykin himself repeatedly since the media have started misquoting ("misunderstanding") him, yet even as they slip that fact into their coverage, the reporters and editors panting for hot news manage to ignore it. Either they ignore it or they don't believe General Boykin's own testimony. Or, perhaps most reprehensibly, they intentionally are using falsehoods to embarass our government and discredit a general who is an evangelical Christian. I don't doubt that many from the New York Times on down the media ladder do this, at the expense of the truth, every chance they get.

On Thursday there appeared another less inflammatory, less political, example of a seemingly misunderstood "fact" being widely reported under the headline: "Boy on set of 'Christ' hit by lightning," a story attributed to the Associated Press, appearing in the Orlando Sentinel, the Miami Herald, and other media. As you read the story, you find there was no "boy" involved at all, but that a man who had been hit by lightning on several movie sets was being referred to by his coworkers as "lightning boy" in a playful nickname. (To their credit, several of these publications later discovered the discrepancy and changed their online headlines to say "Man.")

Most upsetting to me and on the same point this week has been much of the reporting about the partial-birth abortion bill passed by Congress and sent to President Bush. Many media stumbled all over themselves to describe the procedure as anything but a partial-birth abortion. But the procedure always involves the following steps:

  • Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the [live] baby's leg with forceps.
  • The baby's leg is pulled out into the birth canal.
  • The abortionist delivers the baby's entire body, except for the head.
  • The abortionist jams scissors into the baby's skull. The scissors are then opened to enlarge the hole.
  • The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted.
  • The child's brains are sucked out, causing the skull to collapse.
  • The [now-]dead baby is then removed.

To me, characterizing this procedure with any euphemism less graphic than "partial- birth abortion" surpasses "unethical."

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Fun facts (or "facts," so it says, but take with a grain)

If you keep a goldfish in a dark room, it will eventually turn white.

—Sent by Trudy Myers 

Thought for today

I AM THANKFUL

FOR WEARINESS AND ACHING MUSCLES AT THE END OF THE DAY
BECAUSE IT MEANS I HAVE BEEN CAPABLE OF WORKING HARD.

— Sent by Alice Prewett 

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