additional thoughts inspired by and spun off from Wednesday's "Millstones."
The coverage last week in the New York Times of tapes of conversations
with George W. Bush before his first Presidential campaign, secretly recorded
by his then-confidante Doug Wead, struck me as sensationalizing. Nothing revealed
in the tape transcripts surprised me, but the Times' handling of the "revelations"
seemed calculated to stir excitement; much ado about nothing or, at most, little.
However, it is possible that I have a more realistic assessment of "W"
than the Times editors, so things that strike me as normal (such as his
saying he would not fire people in his administration for being homosexuals
if that came out) may strike liberals as uncharacteristically tolerant, broadminded,
for a man they consider a right-wing bigot.
Besides the President's
"surprising" tolerance, another "revelation" that the Times and
other liberal media sensationalized was the now-President's seeming to admit to
the hidden microphone that he dabbled in recreational drug use before his conversion,
but that he resolved not to answer questions about it in interviews or debates
because he wanted to avoid giving the children hearing about that use an occasion
to do a little dabbling of their own. "Do you want your little kid to say, 'Hey
Daddy, President Bush tried marijuana; I think I will'?" the transcript of the
tapes shows Bush saying. "That's the message we've been sending out. I wouldn't
answer the marijuana question." That strikes me as an essentially Christian position
to take, so it doesn't surprise me that Mr. Bush would take it as a relatively
recent convert. He was asserting a "no millstone for me, thank you," stance. To
reiterate the "no millstone stance," it is summarized in Jesus' words:
"It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied
around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin."
a follower of Jesus requires, absolutely, being a role model for children, being
a good example. We used to say, coming up, that being a Christian means having
"a good testimony." We (at least in my particular youth fellowship)
didn't mean by that primarily that we had eloquent words to share with anyone
who wanted to know more about us (no one ever asked about that anyway), but rather
that we have behavior that models Christ-like character, a spirit that is being
fashioned into the likeness of the Creator of the universe.
who are the children the Lord includes when he says we dare not "cause them
to sin"? As the quotation atop this article teaches, it's not just the pre-school-through-elementary
set. "Anyone who will not receive the
kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." In other words,
"innocence" is not just for the young and naive. It's a quality every
disciple must put on as part of his or her "armor" and incorporate into
his or her character. Innocence is akin to holiness, and the way to holiness begins
with regaining innocence. "There is none righteous," under the curse
that our first parents bequeathed, but "let him who sinned, sin no more,"
the Apostle puts it. If we all have to become like children, we must also avoid
causing any "adult child" from sinning, just as we must protect and
preserve the innocence of those still ignorant of the facts of life and the weight
of the crosses life brings.
complete index of Jon Kennedy's Jonals for 2001 - 2005
passerby watched two Irishmen in a park. One was digging holes and the other was
immediately filling them in again. "Tell me," said the passerby, "What on earth
are you doing?" "Well," said the digger,"Usually there are three of us. I dig,
Paddy plants the tree, and Mick fills in the hole. Today Paddy is off ill, but
that doesn't mean Mick and I get the day off, does it?"
by Trudy Myers