December 2004

17 Dec 2004 06:40 pm

This is an interesting press conference about armored vehicles. General Steve Speake’s wife is a very good friend of mine and Steve is a classmate of my husband’s. I know these people and so many others. Steve Speakes doesn’t lie.

11 Dec 2004 09:10 pm

Although it is under attack annually, I believe the Christmas story. I believed it as a child and I believe it even more as an adult. If it were not true the story would have been vastly different. It would have been prettier. There would have been no stable, no manger and plenty of room in an inn.

Recalling the discomfort and pain of labor, the thought of traveling to another town to pay my taxes would not have ever been in any of my plans. Even if I had been compelled to go with my husband to be there in person to be counted I would have resisted. But that’s just me. Mary carried the baby who would one day be the beginning and the end of the Roman empire and of all empires everywhere while riding on a donkey.

That fact in itself is remarkable. When I was a little girl we had a pet donkey named Tarzan. He was a good pet but stubborn. If he didn’t want to give us a ride he wouldn’t. When we were able to ride him it was a very bumpy trip. I know that the chief mode of travel for the average person during the days of Jesus Christ’s life here on earth would have been by foot or by donkey. Still, traveling anywhere when a woman was great with child would have not been desirable.

One of the attacks on the Christmas story this year is Time Magazine’s assertion that Jesus was probably born in Nazareth instead of Bethlehem. Of course taking the word of skeptical clergy willing to say anything to be published instead of the story that has been told for thousands of years is not something I am apt do. The appearance of the Star in the East and the account of the Wise Men were also disputed. The writer, David Van Biema gave a “fair” treatment to the Christmas story yet it left me cold.

Newsweek’s Jon Meacham’s article was even worse. His skeptism of the birth of Christ extended to His virgin birth and he went so far as to suggest that Jesus was illegitimate. Meacham used as his sources “scholars” who don’t believe in the historicity of Christ. I have yet to see a positive treatment of Christmas by any liberal magazine. The editors of Time and Newsweek must all be descendants of Ebenezer Scrooge.

Another hypocritical move by each magazine was to put beautiful paintings of the nativity of Christ on the cover or in the magazine’s articles to draw the readers in. To use great art painted by artists like Botticelli, to get people to buy the magazines in hopes of reading articles that might have interesting and new facts about Jesus is craven at the very least. It was just another “Lucy pulling the football away from Charlie Brown” trick.

I am amused and not surprised each year to see women’s magazines running articles about the stress that women feel this time of year. Well, duh! We may have much to do and sometimes our rushing seems pointless but I think that it may be the Mary in us to want to do for those we love to make their Christmas meaningful.

Women (for the most part) dress up the trees, do the shopping, wrap the presents, arrange the get-togethers, cook the food, clean the house, try to make it to the parties looking festive and dream of that perfect domestic scene when the tree is perfect, the children are nestled in their beds, the presents are wrapped and ready before midnight, and the brunch is warm and tasty on Christmas morn. For some reason we think that will all happen without our breaking a sweat.

Even as I blog there are so many things I ought to be doing. Sleeping is one thing. Wrapping presents is another. (Buying the presents should be a pre-requisite.) Packing up rooms in the house to be ready for the builders is another thing I should be doing.

What did Mary do? She traveled with her husband to Bethlehem to pay their taxes to Imperial Rome. She gave birth in a stable and played hostess to strangers coming to see her baby. Mary and Joseph had to flee to Egypt to keep their son safe from a raging Herod. She kept all these things in her heart and told the disciples in the days after her Son’s crucifixion and resurrection.

I believe Mary’s account more than Time and Newsweek magazines. It rings true. The magazines’ accounts are as sounding brass or clanging cymbals.

03 Dec 2004 05:09 pm

The Army-Navy game is tomorrow and I will be there in spirit. President Bush will be there sitting on the Navy side for one half and the Army side for the other half. I was last at the Army-Navy game in 1997 and Army won in a thrilling come-from-behind victory.

02 Dec 2004 07:08 pm

Dare I say Christmas? Yes, I will. Here is a wonderful photo of the First Lady, Laura Bush. The White House website has some great photos of the very festive home of President and Mrs. Bush. I hear the Italian creche that was banished from the White House during the Clinton years is back.

01 Dec 2004 04:52 pm

Hugh Hewitt links to this article which is so shocking that I couldn’t read it yesterday when I first heard of it. It was just too unbearable. According to this article….”A hospital in the Netherlands - the first nation to permit euthanasia - recently proposed guidelines for mercy killings of terminally ill newborns, and then made a startling revelation: It has already begun carrying out such procedures, which include administering a lethal dose of sedatives.”

The Groningen Protocol, as the hospital’s guidelines have come to be known, would create a legal framework for permitting doctors to actively end the life of newborns deemed to be in similar pain from incurable disease or extreme deformities.

I am a mother of three children who are all in their twenties and a grandmother of a year old boy. All of them mean the world to me. We are lucky that they were born healthy. We are blessed that we live in America and such a thing as the Groningen Protocol is not practiced here. But for how long?

Where is the “old media”? I haven’t seen the story on the networks or in the New York Times or its’ stepsisters. Why didn’t the German press do its job during Hitler’s time? I have my suspicions.

Could it be that the media fears the reaction of the abortion lobby? Why is this chilling news not being broadcast from every known media outlet? In Holland there is a protocol which allows physicians to kill babies and children up to the age of twelve and no one is reporting it! The hospital’s spokesman explained that the protocol is for only the most extreme of cases. But a condition that may be fatal today could one day be a merely routine issue.

My great-aunt is the first known case at Mayo Clinic to have survived uterine cancer while pregnant with her third child. She survived and lived to be ninety and her daughter was born and is now an adoptive mother of two. There was no allowance for aborting babies back then and my aunt told me that she would not have even considered sacrificing her child for her own life. This may not be parallel to the issues from which the Groningen Protocol emerged but it is similar in spirit.

I have read letters written during my late great aunt’s illness by my grandmother (she was her sister) to my great-grandmother and they informed me that my aunt’s cancer had progressed so quickly that they feared that she would not live. She was given an aggressive round of radiation while carrying her child and it saved her life. Her daughter was never able to have children but she and her husband adopted. My aunt lived to see them grow up.

So now in Holland it seems that the least of these is even of less importance than freeing up hospital beds. That is more than crass. It is evil.

There really are no words yet someone needs to say them.