Ramblings of Charles Prier – Writer-Insomniac-General Know-it-All

Archive for March, 2010

Injustice and Tragedy

Sometimes it seems it would be better to be apathetic about or ignorant of injustice and tragedy in our society, our country, and indeed, those institutions we are closest to. What a relief it would be to simply say “oh well, whatever” to those situations and just hum along. I suppose the phenomenon is the basis of the saying “Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.”

I find myself being burdened over things that are simply unnoticed by others; not everyone but many others. Why do they remain unaffected even after the injustice is pointed out? In some cases they come to the defense of the offenders or at the very least shout “Get over it” in body language.  Ignorance seems to be the only way to avoid the turmoil because knowing and not acting is as tumultuous as suffering the wrath incited by attempts to rectify or mitigate the injustice.  

So are we to tell our sons “do not seek injustice and should you, without intent, stumble upon it, search silently within for its justification”? No we should teach the lesson in the Serenity Prayer: change the things you can, accept the things you cannot change, and pray for the wisdom to know the difference.–CP


Preacher Crosses the Line

At our revival last night we did not hear the Gospel preached. Instead we were treated to a zealous expression of Steve Hale’s political philosophy. In all fairness, during the initial part of the presentation (that he referred to as an introduction) some valuable, interesting, and biblical concepts were discussed. Unfortunately, Jesus was not mentioned throughout the entire sermon. The last part of his presentation included passionately delivered and hateful rhetoric denouncing healthcare reform.

In his closing remarks he asked for actions by the church in a form similar to the Tea Party movement, Glen Beck’s revival, billboards, letter writing, and other items that escape my memory. Although he claimed it was not a commercial, he pitched his book saying that there was no need to take notes since the sermon was essentially documented in its first chapter.

Dr. Hale is very good at preaching the Gospel; he should continue to do that. He crossed the line last night by inappropriately evangelizing his political views from the pulpit. He is certainly entitled to his views; however, not in this forum.

Healthcare Reform

As the vote on healthcare reform nears, the Republicans opposition becomes more intense. False claims of Death Panels, government takeover, combined with obstruction using every kind of scheme known to man have not been enough.

The latest statements include a false claim that the healthcare bill will hurt Medicare; the irony here is that Republicans fought hard to defeat Medicare in the first place. Only 13 Republican Senators (16%) voted for Medicare and only 70 Republicans Representatives (22%) voted for it in the House.

The Republicans have a long history of opposing much needed reform and anything that contains benefits for everyday citizens. For example Social Security was adamantly opposed by the Republican leadership. Only 16 Republican Senators (22%) voted for it. In the House only 81 Republicans (21%) voted for Social Security.

The Republican Party is determined to torpedo new Democratic presidents at all costs. These are the same people who supported an administration that has done nothing for the everyday citizens; the administration the granted a big tax cut for the rich, gave us a costly war over non-existent weapons of mass destruction, ruined our national reputation in the world community and exercised policies that brought or country to the brink of bankruptcy.

How can any informed, reasonably intelligent citizen support such conduct?

Thunderstorms of Old

The storms Wednesday night reminded me of a time in my childhood when we lived in the Allen’s Chapel community near Batesville. One summer Uncle Joe, a self-proclaimed mason, came to live with us while he built a storm cellar. Uncle Joe was also an expert at making home-brew, the drinking of which often delayed the building schedule.

The cellar was constructed with native stone and concrete adjacent to the path between our backyard vegetable garden and the strawberry patch. It was a great cellar. There were stone shelves to store the vegetables mom canned from the garden and a handy corner where the ice box stood.  There were two wooden benches facing each other for sitting.

I loved the cellar in the summer time. It was a cool place to sit and daydream during the hottest parts of the day and I could chip a piece of ice from the fifty pound block the ice man replenished each week. I always left the cellar door open because otherwise it was dark and a little scary.

We never used the cellar during a storm. It is not because we didn’t want to; it’s that there was no room for us. The Richardson’s, a big family that lived up the road, would, at the slightest hint of a thunderstorm, beat us to it. I often heard the hollering, crying, and praying as the crowd raced to our backyard before I could even hear the thunder.

Evidently their faith was strong since we were never hurt or blown away in a storm. And as far as I know they never took a jar of beans or a chip of ice when the storm ended. -CP

Straight Arrow

When I was a kid about seven years old we didn’t have TV. But in those days radio was fine; the elaborate sound effects combined with a vivid imagination and the mind’s eye provided a remarkably realistic dramatic experience. One of my favorite radio programs was Straight Arrow.

The story of Straight Arrow involved a rancher, Steve Adams, the owner of the Broken Bow cattle spread who would fight crime as a Comanche Indian. On normal days he was just a rancher, but in times of trouble he would scurry to a cave in Sun Down Valley where he kept his golden palomino, war paint, and Indian garb; in a matter of minutes he would emerge as Straight Arrow to save the day. 

The mind and imagination of seven-year-olds do not turn off with the radio. I sometimes rigged up Indian grab, painted my face with lamp black, and pretended to be Straight Arrow, fighter of crime and injustice.

One day I was disguised as Straight Arrow playing in the lane that ran along the edge of our yard. I sighted the figure of a man walking with a cane up the lane toward me. Although I was only seven, I was slightly embarrassed because of my homemade garb and war paint. I hid in the ditch under a bush hoping the stranger would pass on by without seeing me. I was very still and quiet. When the stranger came along side of my hiding place he paused, turned toward me, and said, “Young man I hope you don’t think you are hiding from me. My leg is all crippled up but my eyes are fine.”

“Oh no, I’m not hiding. I’m just resting here.” I lied.

“Well then, you should come out here and help this old man with his bag.” He said.

The bag was heavy. After I carried it only a few feet, it occurred to me that he had a cane and was crippled, I could out run him. I set the bag down and cut out down the lane, then turned into the woods. I never looked back. And I never played Straight Arrow again.–CP

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