Civil Rights

Just a quick note on civil rights.

Last week, the attorney general of the United States said that citizenship is a civil right.  He was speaking in the context of immigration reform, and his words renewed a curiosity within me.

So today I got out my copy of the Oxford English Dictionary and looked up the word civil.

According to the most definitive dictionary in the English language, civil refers to attributes belonging to citizens.  Unless there is a law on the books (or in the Constitution) guaranteeing that all people are to be considered citizens, then citizenship by very definition cannot be a civil right–civil rights are the result of citizenship, not the root cause.

What about the Civil Rights movement?  That was an attempt to see that all citizens received the rights guaranteed them by Constitutional amendment.  The term civil was used correctly.

One of the other definitions offers an alternative name for the Civil Rights movement–the Natural Rights Movement.   Civil rights, endowed by citizenship, can change; but Natural rights are endowed by God based on our very existence as beings made in His likeness and image.  All men are created equal and are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  I think I read that somewhere.

And, Mr. Holder, God never promised anyone citizenship in the US or any other nation–though He did offer citizenship in Heaven for all who will come to Him by grace through faith.


The Diary of a Little Too Frank

The Diary of Anne Frank has been a popular book for many years, especially for young teen girls.  Ms. Frank’s descriptions of her experiences with the horrors of war are an important historical account that resonates with young people.  Schools have been allowing or assigning its use in the classroom for years.

Occasionally there have been complaints about a “coming of age” passage in the book, but generally it has been considered worthwhile reading.  Until now.

Apparently, an unedited “definitive” edition has been published and specified as required reading for at least one Michigan school district.  Among the extra material included in this newer edition is a graphic description of Anne’s “…discovery of her genitals,” her emerging sexual desires, and her portrayal of her mother and other people living together.  According to a news article, one mom has called it “pornographic” after her uncomfortable seventh grader showed her the passages.  The mom is seeking to have the unedited version banned from the school.

In a telling comment on our society, almost none of the other students noticed or cared about the content.

My real problem is not with the merits of the case; but I don’t like how it has been reported.  The “news” article ended with a blatantly editorial opinion:

Meanwhile, parents in Virginia’s Fairfax County lobby to remove Toni Morrison’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Beloved” from high school curricula*. Add Horalek’s aversion to Anne Frank’s diary on top of that and it’s almost like parents don’t want their children confronting the more uncomfortable parts of history.

That’s right:  take a stand for morality, and you will be accused of being an ignorant bigot unwilling to face the reality of history.

Let me close with this analogy to draw the distinction that the reporter seems unwilling to recognize:  I have no objection to students learning about Henry VIII beheading some of his wives; but I don’t want them reading detailed accounts of his honeymoons.  Both are aspects of historical reality, but only one meets a standard of decency that needs to be revived in our schools and in our culture.


*Here is what one blogger wrote with regard to Beloved.  Notice the same disdain for morality displayed in the news article.  Warning! Even the summary here is more offensive than young people need to be exposed to.

Beloved contains incest, rape, pedophilia, graphic sex, extreme violence, sexual abuse, physical/emotional abuse, infanticide, and an extensive amount of profanity. The first two chapters contain five references to sex with cows in addition to other types of sex.
They cite violence and sex, but I suspect the real reason behind continuing challenges to Beloved is that it confronts us with our sins.

By the way, the same blogger whose writing was presented as news in the main article above, previously wrote about the controversy over Beloved.  The headline says it all:

Toni Morrison’s ‘Beloved’ is simplistic pornography, say two Michigan parents who don’t appear to be very smart  BY Alexander Nazaryan

Nuff said.



School Issues

Just a couple of random thoughts about the politicizing of our schools today:

Was anyone else angered by the President’s speech at the Teacher of the Year ceremony?  It wasn’t enough to recognize the outstanding achievements of this dedicated educator, or to thank faithful teachers everywhere–POTUS had to give special attention to the teacher at Newtown, CT.  They weren’t there, and the event was not about them, but it gave the politician-in-chief another chance to lobby for gun control.  Mr. President, there is a time and a place, and this wasn’t it.


It seems to me that we punish our students more quickly for their t-shirts and their toys than we do real criminals with genuine weapons.  Today’s “no tolerance” policies get kids suspended (or even arrested) for harmless acts, without any consideration for their motives.  For criminals like the Boston bombers we agonize over their reasons for their deadly acts, as if the reasons made a difference.  Until scientific studies demonstrate that children who play innocently with toy guns grow up to be mass murderers, I say leave them alone.  It’s the intentional killers who should be suspended, if you get my drift….



I am saddened and express my heart-felt condolences to the Rick Warren family on the loss of their son this week. While suicide is generally considered an act of the will, for a person with mental illness it can be more of an accidental death; though well-meaning (but misinformed) friends, family, and church-goers may not understand it.

Imagine with me, if you will, a father who knows that his son’s car is acting up. Its acceleration is erratic and unpredictable, and it seems potentially unsafe. All that the son knows is that he needs the car to get to work. His father takes the car to his local mechanic, who can’t find the problem, but says he doesn’t think it’s serious. The car is then taken to the dealer, who says that the problem is familiar, and that certain fuel additives and intentional changes in driving habits can make the problem less noticeable. All the son knows is that he needs the car to get to work. Dad takes responsibility for seeing that the additives are used and reminds his son to drive carefully. Mom doesn’t know anything about cars, but she knows how important working and having money is to her son, and does her best to be supportive as he pursues his career goals. After all, the only way to slow him down would be to lock him in his room, which goes against her love for him and her desire to see him happy. When the car breaks down and the son dies, the blame game starts.

Dad blames himself, sensing that there must have been something more that he could have done to get the car fixed. Mom feels that somehow she should have raised her son differently, as if it’s her fault that he became obsessive about work, regardless of the risks. Friends and acquaintances are shocked, knowing that the car was faulty, but still never expecting it would lead to this outcome.

Depression is a faulty car; the need to drive it is mental illness; the unnecessary death that results is suicide–not necessarily a selfish act of the will, but the sad outcome of the mental illness.
(I understand that people kill themselves for many reasons; but this young man was not trying to make a statement or to strike back at a perceived insult or injury–this situation, as reported, was not in that category.)

Mental illness is real; its potential deadly consequences can become tragically real; and when all is said and done, all we can do is pray for the family and friends. Pray for comfort, and pray for understanding–and pray for the young man or woman that you know is driving that defective car down the rough road of life.

Prayer first is better than sympathy later.


Effort vs. Achievement

There’s a story in the news today about a 106-year-old Ohio woman who has been given her high school diploma, even though she did not fulfill the requirements for graduation.  Years back, she refused to do the final required assignment–to read a book–in order to pass English and have the credits she needed to graduate.  She claims to have said that she had read the book in the past, and no one was going to make her read it again if she didn’t want to.  The teacher, supported by the school, upheld state educational law and denied her credit for the class, meaning that she did not meet the standards to graduate.  Now they have had a change of heart and have reversed their decision because…well, I guess just because she’s old.  This is just another example of the disregard that our society has for achievement.

Several years ago I conducted a survey of students in our high school in order to determine how they viewed the importance of achievement versus other factors such as effort or fairness.  I proposed a theoretical situation where the PE teacher was testing students on their ability to do chin-ups (today called pull-ups in order to accommodate, I assume, people who have no chins).  The majority response was that a student who attempted a chin-up should not only pass the test, but get the same grade as a student who performed one or more of the exercises.  Furthermore, a smaller majority answered the survey by saying that even a person who would not attempt a chin-up (for any reason whatsoever) should pass the test, though with a lower grade than one who tried or accomplished the task.

Understanding that many non-athletic students do not believe that physical requirements should be tested or used to determine a student’s grade, I changed the questions, and targeted an English assignment.  Once again, the students said that anyone who attempted a term paper, even if they didn’t finish the assignment or meet the requirement should get a passing grade.  Only the student who did nothing and turned in nothing should get a failing grade–but even that grade should be high enough that it would not have a significant impact on the student’s overall grade for the term.

In essence, my students believed that anyone who attend school should pass every class, even if they do not actively participate; and anyone who tries the work should get grades equal to those who succeed in completing the work as required.  Effort, intent, fairness, and perhaps other factors were held to be as important as achievement.  In the case of this elderly woman, the teachers and administration today apparently felt that it was unfair to deny her a diploma any longer, out of deference to her longevity alone. 

On a spiritual note, God does not judge us on our intentions, efforts, or our expectation of fairness toward us.  He will never say, “Welcome, sort-of-good, kind-of-faithful person; I’ll let you into my Heaven because you tried to keep my commandments.”  Christ does not reward us for the wood, hay, or stubble that we build into the house of our spiritual life–Christian behavior is judged by what remains of the story of our life after He burns away all the unworthy parts.  We will give account for what we have done (not just tried) for Him.

[If we were judged based on our efforts, that would mean that salvation is something that we could earn if we tried, and God would owe us credit for anything we try or intend to do to please Him.  On the contrary, salvation itself is based on Jesus Christ’s achievement by laying down His life a sacrificial offering for our sins.  Our part in His salvation–our ticket to eternal life and heavenly blessings is based on the completed adoption process achieved when we surrender to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives.  By the way, I don’t know of any place in the Bible where God assigned a believer to do a task for Him, and then He didn’t give them the power, wisdom, and direction to meet the goal.  When we stand before the judgment seat of Christ, our salvation is already a done deal; but we will lose reward when we have failed in the assignments He has given us.]

Which takes me back to a bumper sticker I used to have:  “God doesn’t grade on a curve.”  While He may choose to show us mercy and grace while we walk this earth, the day is coming when the grade He gives will be Pass or Fail–and I surely don’t want to fail.  A big red “F” on that final report card is a guaranteed ticket to a place that starts with a big red “H”, if you know what I mean.  That’s why I accepted as a teenager the eternal grace of Christ’s completed work which was accomplished when He died on the cross.  And that’s when He wrote my name in the Lamb’s Honor Roll of Life, never to be crossed out.


I Thought I Wrote a Poem

There is a local Christian writers’ group that meets monthly to critique work submitted by the various attendees.  As you might imagine, handing over your creative baby to the sharp eyes and red pens of other writers is an act that requires thick skin and a sense of humor.  To warm up that sense of humor, I offer this little verse, dedicated to my fellow critics and English teachers.

I thought I wrote a poem, once,

With lovely rhyme and meter.

I took it to a writers’ group

Who slapped it like a mosquiter.


One thought I should have added lines,

One thought it needed fewer;

One found it all self-evident,

One called it too obscure.


One said it has the rhythm wrong

And should rhyme where it doesn’t.

One thought it was a masterpiece,

But most agreed it wasn’t.


And so I end my tragic tale;

I’ll dwell on it no longer.

I thought I wrote a poem, once—

I couldn’t have been wronger.



Do the Math

Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano has acknowledged the release of 2,000+ illegal immigrants in recent days, and the plans to release about 3,000 more by the end of the month.  While she accepts no responsibility for the action, she explains it by citing the budgetary necessity, saying that it costs $164 per person per day to keep each prisoner locked up.

Obviously, each prisoner is not getting $164 worth of food per day; therefore, she must be dividing the total cost of the program–including the salaries of personnel, payments on one-time facility and furnishing purchases, and utilities–by the total inmate population.  DHS has not announced the closing of facilities, turning off of utilities, or layoffs of personnel.

They will realize little or no savings on food, since DHS reports that it will have to monitor these parolees at a cost of up to $14/per person/per day.  They have not announced additional hiring to monitor these people on the street, so apparently the present staff of parole officers have so little work that they can take on an extra 5,000 cases.   Additionally, the assumption is that state and local programs can absorb the necessity of caring for these jobless criminals at no additional cost (or at least no cost that matters to the feds).

And all that means that the total federal cost of running the program remains the same, while the prison population is reduced by roughly 11%.   By my calculations, that means that the daily cost of maintaining each of the remaining 30,000 after the end of the month will be $191 per day.

And that’s why we need to raise taxes again, so that we can pay for our savings.  Three cheers for Obamanomics!



I’m Sorry. No–Wait–I’m Not.

One common aspect of depression is that sufferers tend to adopt and accept the blame for things that they are not responsible for.  This manner of thinking can become ingrained to the point that it is called neurotic guilt.  It may have several causes, but ultimately is rooted in a sense of failure carried by the sufferer.

I am sorry that I have not blogged recently.  No, I’m not.  I have set a goal for myself to write at least two blogs per week, which is a reasonable goal.  No, it’s not a reasonable goal for me, because once I have set it, the goal becomes a law that I must obey or violate.  When I violate it, I feel guilty, regardless of the reason for the failure.  So my expectations are self-imposed and do not take into account various factors that may interfere.  And I am learning not to impose guilt on myself when it is a result of my own unreasonable expectations or outside interference, but I’m not doing very well in overcoming this wrong thinking.  Sorry.

Five weeks ago I woke up with a pinched nerve in my back, which prevented me from moving freely or even standing for more that a minute or two.  Despite 3 series of oral steroids and a nerve-block shot (epidural), the pain is still only slightly less and is only controlled by vicodin around the clock.  In the meantime, I have not been able to spend time at the library (my primary writing spot) and even find it counterproductive to try to sit at my desk and work.  Darlene had signed us up for a cruise and I refused to let her down, so we rented a wheelchair, bought a walking stick, and had a very nice time.

Needless to say, I have not been able to blog for a while, and it might be a while before I can do it again regularly.  To those of you who have come to expect something from me, I’m sorry.  But my inability to write without pain is not my fault, so I’m not sorry.  I’m not going to set a goal for when I can return to this forum, but with your prayers and my doctor’s help I trust that it will be soon.  Until then, I will miss you, Gentle Readers, but I refuse to feel guilty about it.  (At least I will try not to feel guilty.)  

Yours in Christ,

RD Bowker


Three Cheers for Humility!

My church awarded me their annual “Humility Trophy,” but when I displayed it in my living room they made me give it back.

That’s an old joke; but the topic is newer and truer every day.  I could go on a rant here about the cult of celebrity; toddler pageants; reality shows; end zone celebrations; public immodesty; or any number of other attention-grabbing behaviors, but who am I to throw stones at others?  I post here on a semi-regular basis as if my thoughts and opinions are so important that they should be known outside of my own head and home.

So I will just say this and move on:  the President is already the President.  He has already been sworn in.  There have already been 2 days of partying (including a “Children’s Inaugural” event).  So everything you see and hear today is fake–phony–artificial “news”, designed to remind us how wonderful a particular public servant, his party, and his family and friends are.  I understand that in today’s culture, tremendous ambition is required of any candidate seeking to win elected office; but it seems to me that the desire for man’s approval has to end at some time if we truly desire God’s approval.

After all, my Bible still says, “If My people…shall HUMBLE themselves [the first of several requirements]…then will I hear from Heaven and heal their land.”  –2 Chronicles 7:14


At the Corner of Body and Soul

At the risk of sounding self-centered, I’m going to let you, My Gentle Readers, into another corner of my personal life.  There’s a commercial on television that says, “Depression hurts.”  I can testify just as sincerely that “Hurts depress.”

There is a definite (though not completely understood) relationship between the workings of emotion and intellect with the physical body.  In my case, I have a hormone imbalance that predisposed my mind to depressive and even suicidal thoughts.  In searching for the root of that imbalance, doctors have discovered that I have Graves Disease, which in itself disposes my mind to depressive thoughts, even while it acts on the thyroid to cause anxiety (or, in some cases, mania).  Now I have a herniated disk in my lower back, pinching a nerve and interfering with virtually all physical activity.  It also interferes with my sleeping and contributes to a depressive predisposition.

I cannot meet my home or church obligations, and my inability to work leaves me with ethical considerations regarding my unemployment benefits.  My wife had signed us up for a cruise to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary, which could be less than optimal if I have to attend on crutches or in a wheelchair (and we didn’t purchase the insurance, so we can’t cancel or reschedule without losing beaucoup bucks).

When Darlene gets home from work, I have little or nothing to talk about, because my day has centered around my pain and little else.  This leaves the burden of conversation (as well as my chores) on her, at a time when her work situation is hectic and almost oppressive, and she could benefit from being able to put her own aches and pains aside.  Tomorrow is a “respite day” for us, but we have relatively few options for getting away for some “us” time.  The church has graciously stepped in to provide some meals because she is so busy and I am unable to stand long enough to prepare dinner.

I am not looking for pity.  Many people in my support group have far more serious problems than I have.  There are medications to take the edge off the pain and to reduce the swelling while I await the next step.  I have a loving and understanding wife, and 3 children and grandchildren who are all involved and concerned.  My church family is helping to carry the burden.  I am truly blessed.

But next time you hear that mental illness is all in somebody’s head, don’t you believe it.  It pollutes the soul and contaminates the body.  It dominates the mind as well as the physical aspects of life.  My intellect may tell me that happiness is a choice, but my body laughs at that assertion.

Gentle Reader, if you have gotten this far, please stay with me for one more minute, for there IS a positive side to all this.  For there is more to me than body and soul; there is also spirit.  And while happiness may or may not be a choice, the fact is that faith is a gift from God.  I have the spiritual foundation of Jesus Christ, Who never changes.  I have the guarantee of full recovery in a land where the body will be glorified and my soul will know all things.  God’s love for me and caring for me never waver, even when I crash at the corner of Body and Soul.

I have a request for you today.  If your time and energy are limited, please don’t pray for me; I have lots of brothers and sisters praying for me.  Rather, think of someone else in your family, your church, your circle of acquaintances, who suffers from mental illness; and ask God to guide them through their mental morass and their physical minefield.  Ask that they may find a listening ear, and an appropriate medical treatment.

And pray that the Lord will protect you and the rest of your family from this accident of life that could be waiting just around the corner.


Mental Illness and Gun Confiscation

At this point, I have not been able to find the actual wording of New York’s new law or the federal government’s proposals; but I have some questions based on the information that I have found.

In general, the concept is that if a person is mentally ill, and a health care professional believes that he poses a threat to himself or others, the doctor must refer the matter to a supervisor, who will determine whether or not the threat is serious.  If he determines that it is a real threat, he is obligated to notify the appropriate police authorities, who will confiscate the patient’s guns.

  • Apparently, the NY law specifies only threats that mention using a gun illegally.  Will this be expanded to include all terroristic threats, which can be verbal, nonverbal, written, or even implied by body language?  If my doctor thinks I’m pointing a finger at him like a gun, can that result in my guns being taken?  (Or maybe they should amputate the finger?)
  • How are the doctor or supervisor supposed to investigate the threat to know whether it is serious?  Once they report to the police, do the police have to conduct their own investigation?
  • Will police need a search warrant to enter my house and take my guns?  Will the doctor’s word be enough evidence to obtain one?
  • Will there be a trial or other hearing to which I could appeal and potentially get my guns back?
  • How long will the report–even a false one–remain on file?
  • What if the guns in the home belong to someone else, like my wife or mother?  Are the police justified in confiscating them?
  • What if I make a threat to use a friend’s gun that is not stored in my home?  Can officials take it away from my friend?
  • What if I say I intend to buy a gun legally and then use it illegally?  Can it be confiscated from the seller?  (Remember, I don’t need a background check to buy from a family member.)
  • From what I can tell, doctor-patient privileges or HIPAA requirements do not apply in cases like this, even though they apply if my underaged daughter gets an abortion.  So what happens if my daughter has an abortion, and then suffers such guilt and remorse that she threatens to shoot herself with my gun?  Does that mean that the police can take my gun away, but they can’t tell me why?

When I was at my lowest, my thoughts of suicide never involved any of my guns–they always involved my car.  I wonder if the police will pay off the loan after they take that away from me.


Somebody Owes Me Some Money

We live in a “victim society” that believes that all harm can be atoned for by large infusions of cash.  A bull accidentally got away from its experienced handlers; now both the Fair and the owners are in danger of losing everything because the victims (who suffered minor injuries) “deserve compensation” in the form of bankruptcy-inducing lawsuits.  Is this the American way?

A story out of Colorado is more honest than most:  lawyers already have gathered a group of victims from the recent theater shooting, and are shopping around for someone to sue.  Now, I understand that these people suffered physical and emotional harm at the hands of a wicked, deranged murderer, and that’s a terrible thing.  They deserve our prayers; they deserve proper medical care; they deserve counseling to help deal with the grief and the nightmares.  The question is, who should pay?  The thug who committed the crime is an underfunded grad student whose remaining funds (if any) will be tied up in his own legal defense, supplemented by our tax dollars.  The victims cannot expect to get a dime from the one who caused their harm.  So they start looking for someone else to sue.

Perhaps the theater is really responsible for their pain, and needs to be taught a lesson.  Besides, it’s a large chain and has lots of money; a few million out of their corporate pockets wouldn’t hurt them a bit; after all corporations are not people, so no one is losing out when a corporation loses money, right?

Perhaps the counselors who noticed irregularities in the killer’s behavior should pony up the dough for damages.  After all, even though he had neither threatened nor committed any crime to their knowledge, they should have known what he would do and had him locked away as a precaution. 

And while we’re at it, why not sue his parents?  They produced his rotten genes.  What about his schoolteachers, who molded him into what he is?  And maybe they should go after the movies for teaching him about violence.  Or perhaps they should go against churches for not preventing the movies from teaching him about violence, or the Jews who financed Hollywood, or Edison for inventing the movie projector.

The greed that would demand payment from innocent parties sickens me almost as much as the wickedness that caused the suffering in the first place.

Old Testament law, upon determining the guilt of a murderer, would have executed him swiftly.  In the case of a criminal who caused injury but not death, he would have been forced to make restitution, even if it took years as a bond slave to effect it.  Unfortunately, neither of those options are available under our current legal system.  And there is one other major difference between the Old Testament law and today’s system:  back then, there were no lawyers promoting civil cases for profit.

Maybe all Americans should join a class action suit against the lawyers who have spawned and cultivated our ravenous litigious society.  But who would represent us?


Close Your Eyes, Full Speed Ahead

I get so sick of political correctness.  The Bible teaches us to be kind, and to treat others as they would like to be treated; but when people demand to be treated in an unreasonable way, that’s a problem.  When so-called authorities who aren’t even in the game demand that we treat others in an unreasonable way, that’s idiocy.

My daughter sent me this link to an article involving the US State Department, and its latest directive from its “Chief Diversity Officer”.  He claims that phrases like “hold down the fort,” “rule of thumb,” “handicap,” and “going Dutch” are offensive racial or ethnic slurs that must be avoided.  He identifies their victims as Native Americans, abused women, people with abilities impaired, and people from Holland.  There are two problems here:  since when did the State Department become the language police?; and where on earth did this guy get his information?

As an English teacher, I have a library of books on the origins of words, phrases, and expressions.  There is no doubt in any of my sources that the term “going Dutch” was a British insult based upon the stereotypical reputation of the stinginess of the Dutch people.  It hasn’t meant that in America for decades, but okay–I can avoid that expression on principle.  But there is also unanimous agreement that “holding the fort” [its original form] dates to 1864, when Gen. Sherman commanded his troops to watch out for the Confederate army.  It has nothing at all to do with frontiersmen or Native Americans.

(On a related note:  if Native Americans were to attack a fort in a savage attempt to slaughter its inhabitants, would it be ethnically insensitive to consider them bad guys, and to make up and repeat a historically accurate expression reflecting their evil intent?  The Creek Indians were known for their attacks on settlers; must we whitewash or ignore history and eliminate from our language the expression, “I’ll be there, Good Lord willing, and the Creek don’t rise”?  For that saying has nothing to do with a babbling brook and everything to do with murderous tribesmen.  Do we have to apologize to the Creeks every time we refer to their bloody past?  If so, then I guess I deserve an apology every time anyone refers to my ancestors as “William the Bastard” or “wicked King John”.  I won’t even mention King Louis the Fat.)

“Rule of thumb” has nothing to do with some obscure antique law from some unnamed land (that apparently spoke some form of English), and instead dates back 8 centuries to when builders would use the distance between the knuckle and the end of the thumb as a rough approximation of an inch–using the thumb as a ruler.  “Handicap” has nothing to do with crippled people begging; it refers to a gambling game that lent its name to gambling on horses and the practice of weighing down or impeding a fast horse in order to make a race fair.

I guess it’s wishful thinking to expect our State Department to focus on things like Iraq, Syria, and Israel instead of fabricated word origins.  But as long as I’m on a rant, let me share three examples of my own “political correctness” that I think everyone needs to rally around:

  • The genius of our Founders in the writing of the US Constitution.  Every American ought to be insulted and say so when some politician, academic, or reporter denigrates the wisdom of their original intent;
  • The status of the Jews as God’s chosen people.  For centuries, society and history have criticized the Jews (primarily because of their successes and blessings); and today’s one-world emphasis considers them an impediment to justice for Arab Palestinians.  Remember:  it was God Himself Who said of the Jews, “I will bless him that blesses them, and curse him that curses them…”;
  • The name of God Himself.  We should not be shy about reminding people that the King of all Kings and Lord of all Lords deserves to be addressed with respect, reverence, and obedience.

And my sources are unimpeachable.  I guess I’ll never be qualified to work for the State Department.