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Lewisburg, West Virginia
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February 23, 2008     Mountain Messenger
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February 23, 2008
 

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Mountain Messenqer - The Weekend Paper for the Greenbrier Walley www.mountainmessenqer.com ~, 4A Feb. 23, 2008 I By David Cottrill J-D On my 12th birthday, my dad gave me a book by Garrott Sheldon, who advocated that one should govem one's choices by pondering, "What Would Jesus Do?',!;~;: Keeping that in mind, it seems doubtful that Jesus would have snarled when he used the word "liberal" or sneered when he used the word "evangelical." Synonyms for "evangelical" in my thesaurus are "pious, fervent, spiritual." For "liberal," I found "tolerant, progressive, understand- ingereasonable, unbiased, reform- ist." Now. it seems to me that folk who hold to any of these attributes should not be snarling or sneer- lng at each other. That we do so derives from the current political culture, It was political strategist Karl Rove who made a fine art out of bashing liberals. His goal. of course, was to divide. He chose a couple issues of particular concern to, evangelicals, abortion and gay marriage, waved them about like blood-soaked banners, and led to- ward the Promised Land--or so it seemed. Actually, Karl didn't really care about these matters per se; it was all about winning, but multitudes were taken in. And now, look around at the wreckage: dead Americans; dead Iraqls; mind-numbing debt; eco- nomic meltdown; divided nation; torture; pariah status around the world; environmental degradation. etc. The litany is becoming all too familiar, The Gospels are fairly familiar to me. and I have not found where those closest to Jesus in time ever reported any concern on his part about abortion or gay marriage. Still, I can understand the con- temporary worry over abortion, and I fervently wish there were no such thing, that there existed no call for it. 131 come back to this subject. As f~r gay marriage, it is none of my business as to who marries whom. If two people want to corn- mat to each other, that's theirbusi- ness, however I might personally feel about it. If I lose sleep over the matter, I'd have to look in the mirror the next morning and urge myself to "get a life." I do recall Jesus' saying that we should concern ourselves with those who suffer: the sick, the poor, the lonely, the distressed, the oppressed, the helpless. I am encouraged to learn that some evangelical leaders have got- ten beyond Rovism and are call- ing attention to these larger is- sues. The Reverend Rick Warren vis- ited South Africa and saw the thousands of children orphaned by AIDS. Now, his church is fight- ing AIDS. malaria, and poverty in 68 countries. That's what Jesus would do, don't you think? Jimmy Carter thinks so. Nicholas Krlstof writes about a nun who runs a clinic in war- ravaged Congo. "Unlike the reli- gious right windbags (Pat Robertson?), she is passionately "pro-life' even for those already born and brave souls like her are increasingly representative of re- ligious conservatives." Kristof also notes that many evangelical leaders have been writ- ing about and advocating for ac- tion to arrest global warming, con- cerned to be good stewards of the earth entrusted to our care. If we survive this administra- tion, my fondest hope is that lib- erals and evangelicals will find mutual ground to deal with prob- lems that are so pressing they can no longer be ignored. If the par- ties can cross the great Rovian divide and find common ground, then we could perhaps turn our attention jointly to the abortion issue. We could begin by not calling each other baby killers or Neander- thals. There is much that can be done to slow the demand for ter- mination: encouraging abstinence, gentle persuasion, education, streamlining adoption services, parental guidance, assistance for young mothers, support for young fathers, contraceptive advances, and finding ways to avoid "post- birth" abortion {unwanted, ne- glected~ abused children who have no health insurance). What would Jesus do? I wouldn't presume to say, but criminalizing (as opposed to un- derstanding and helping) ~vould seem out of character. Pray that more leaders will emerge in both camps who -gill attempt to heal, and not continue to divide. Michael Showell, Editor & Publisher David C;0ttrill, Writer Kathy Hlunter, Business Office Tanya S~izemore. Front Office Jeanette Alba ~gh, Typesetter -Debbie McClung, Ad Design Julie Sweet, Ad Design Marti Marshall, Customer Service Mgr. / A'!~ll~ IATION MEMBER The Mountain Messenger is a weekly publication. Periodicals postage paid at Lewisburg, West Virginia. The known office of publication is Box 429 Lewisburg, WV 24901 USPS 013784 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE MOUNTAIN MESSENGER Box 429, Lewisburg, WV 24901 Subscribe to the Mountain Messenger SUBSCRIPTION RATES: Carrier Delivery, where available, $15.00 IMailed, Greenbrier, Monroe, Pocahontas Counties $20.00 Mailed, All Other Counties in WV, $25.00 All Other States, $29.00 Telephone (304) 647-5724 Name Address Telephome No. Total Armount Enclosed WE ACCEPT VISA OR MASTERCARD Account No. Expiratiom Date Signaturee The Mountain Messenger Box 429, Lewisburg, WV 24901 Visit us at http:l/www.mountainmessenger.com The Right Perspective By Tom Holbrook Time for Hillary to hang it up. According to the pollsters. Barack Obama now has an 80%+ chance of clinching the nomination of the Democratic Party for the Presidency of these United States. Now I realize that the, polls and early newspaper headlines also proudly and boldly pre- dicted that "Dewey Defeats Truman" in a race that many of you weren't even around for back in the '40s. That headline was very embaiTassing for the newspaper in question. Polls can be wrongl However. Obama is real and Hillary can't hide. He has won. as of this writing the last i0 primaries and caucuses in- cluding Hawaii and Wisconsin and leads by 150 in the all-im- portant delegate count be- tween the two. I know this is old news and you've read it, heard about it and re-read it, but have you actually thought about it? You Hillary fans out there, and, I know there are quite a few of you--you've got to under- stand that the lady you're sup- porting has really nothing go- ing for her other than she oc- cupied the White House with her philandering husband for eight years and is claiming that as her "qualification" for being ready "day one" to bring this country back from the brink of--well, I'm not sure what "while. Washington is still laughing and wincing at that mess up. She also made several sug- gestions and/or recommenda- tions to her husband for judi- cial appointments and they : were too radical for the Senate even to consider and finally, .4 when she recommended Janet :-, Reno for Attorney General, she was approved. It is purported that Bill Clinton later said of Reno that she was his biggest mistake while he was Presi- dent. (Other than Monica, of.- course,) So now Hillary wants to , bring all that '~ ealth of knowl- ~. edge and experience" to the r White House and you want to ,~, help put her there. Admit it ~,; foils, you don't like her anymore than I do, but you're thinking , that Billy Boy will be in the ,~ White House with her and, of,- course, giving her all his help ,~ to make things right again. :, Don't believe it for a minute--. everyone who knows her per- , sonaUy, including former mem-- bers of her Secret Service de tail, says she is a witch--liter- ally, she's a witch to work for, A woman who rants, raves. screams, curses, and does ev-:~ erything in her power to make- those around her miserable. ~. She will listen to no one but. herself. You don't have to believe me - though--just buy the books, brink she's talking about, but written by her associates from no-way, no-how, no-where, isthe past and read it for your- she ready to bring this coun- self. Of course you probably o try anywhere, wouldn't believe it if you read (~ Look at her and listen real it because it would part of that~ [ closely--she's now asking her"huge right wing conspiracy"!~ followers to identify anything that also "falsely" accused her~ that Obama has accomplished husband of messing around~ in his "short career." What you, with interns and other femi-~ The Rev. James M. Lawson, Jr, - Militant as her followers should be ask- nine fancies he came across. Nonviolent Preacher ing her is, "Hillary, name one We all knew he would never do ~ thing you have accomplishedanything like that. Stop fooling ~ for all overthrows injustice. The in the last 20 years." Can you yourself, folks. % redemptive community super- name one thing that she made You know my feelings about .~ By gomn C. Browning Dr. Clharlotte Giles, retired West Virginia State University music professor, invited me to dinner. WVSU's president and first lady, Dr. Haze W. Carter and Mrs. Phyllis Carter, knew that I had met the Rev. James sedes immoral social systems." "By appealing to conscience and standing on the moral na- ture of human existence, non- violence nurtures the atmo- sphere in which reconciliation happen as an attorney in At- Barack Obama--I think he's a ~}' skillful orator, a very energetic y, young man with a lot of ideas ~ to cure the cancerous political: world in which we live and' bring world peace in our life-* kansas, a First Lady in the White House, or a Senator from New York? Absolutely nothingl She's promised everything and produces nothingl M. Lawson, Jr when I first and justice become actual pos- Her job with the Law Firm in time. I admire his "hope" and~ joined the civil rights move- sibilities." Arkansas was achieved throughwish it were possible that his* ment. Jim taught me the InApril 1961, Jim taught thatcronyism. By the way I'm not ideas could be achieved with-~ theory, theology, and practiceStatement at the Paine College against cronyism, it's just that out the super cost to our coun- of nonviolent civil disobedience. Christian Student Conference she wants everyone to think try and its culture. If I were a" He came to deliver State's in Augusta, Georgia. she acquired her position be-left leaning, liberally minded Black History Convocation ad- My roommate and I were cause of her high intellect and voter looking for someone to "" dress. Dr. Carter would award under intense pressure to judicial knowledge and litiga- whom I could hook mypoliticalT) him a WVSU honorary Doctor leave Georgia State College for tlon skills. Not truel She also wagon it would be him--for t to the Point of DIv tty degree. . Women because we had at- botched a couple of things sure, not Hillary. I do hope he Jim Lawson and I had last tended Wesley Chapel African while there, Illegally by thewins the Democrat Nomination ,i By Jonathan Wright been to/gether eight years ago at Methodist Episcopal Church. way, which she conveniently for President and loses to John~! the 40tlh anniversary celebra-Our Wesley Foundation direc- "couldn't recollect" while under McCain in the General Elec- oath. Her first assignment as a First Lady was to put together a National Health Care Pack- age for the country and it turned out to be the greatest debacle we have seen in a long tion. Maybe by the time he gets~ a little older that energy can be channeled in a more positive~ direction and he would be~i ready to be President. :, . < % lence in American families% Doctor of Divinity degree. Now, against women and children : Each year, violence kills 30,000,~ babies before their second~ birthday. The American Medi-~ cal Association reported that~ spousal abuse hospitalizes 2 to ~ 4 million women a year. Domes- * tic violence and war share com- mon roots, he said. ~' And yet we can have a bet-'" ter world if we want. it. the ever hopeful preacher told us.~. Choose community and non-~ violence. Stand on the side of~. justice and healing. Have the ~ courage to face issues and cor- ~, rect them. Lawson's call for nonviolent~' spiritualism certainly revived!i! my hope. May we find the cour-. age to cast racism, sexism, vio-~'~ . ~ lence, and greed for material-** ism out of our souls and out oET- our society, Good customer service is alive and well, and we all ben- efit from it especially busi- nesses fortunate enough to have employees who practice it regularly. Nearly every day most of us are recipients of good customer service, at stores, restaurants, schools, and offices. In almost every case the employee is ben- efiting from the customer's pa- tronage either directly or indi- rectly-therefore, it's to his or her advantage to provide the best and most courteous ser- vice possible. But some do it so consistently and naturally that they've apparently risen above the mere perfunctory level. My favorite businesses are those in which the employees treat me with careful attention and genuine friendliness. They take a personal interest in me and make me glad I stopped in. When serving me, they tune out most everything else that's going on around them and fo- cus on taking care of me. Even if the telephone rings, they po- litely ask the caller to hold while they finish their business with me. These are the true jewels of ,the business world. These valuable folks have obviously been well trained in the fine art of public service, or at the very least they have a natural pen- chant for it. Either way, the positive public relations they provide on a daily basis are worth far more than those of the finest public relations ,firms s America has to offer. On the other end of the scale--and I don't want to dwell too much on the nega- tive~is the employee who is constantly allowing his or her attention to be diverted else- where while serving you. You know the scene, and this is only one example: You're at the checkout line, and the clerk barely acknowledges your presence while carrying on a non-stop conversation with an- other employee, No eye contact is ever made except perhaps when money and receipt are exchanged, and you're fortu- nate if you get as much as a parting "thank you" from the clerk, much less a smile. But let's stay positive. These are the exceptions. The Green- brier Valley has a wealth of employees who do all they can to exude friendliness, helpful- ness, and appreciation to their customers. Way too often these terrific people are woefully un- derpaid for the incredibly valu- able service they provide for their employers, but neverthe- less they keep itup day after day, week after week. month after month. These folks go the distance in helping keep their employ- ers' businesses alive and well, those who meet and greet the public regularly and make them glad they've chosen to do business with them. They de- serve the very best we have to offer them. tion of IWIs. Ella J. Baker and the Studenit Nonviolent Coordinat- ing Cormmittee's ~ounding. My duties Os one of the reunion organiz ers kept me from say- ing mumh more than "hello" to him. Last week, we joined WVSU luminaries and guests for dimner in Charleston. We all reminisced about the '60s freedom movement. Jim is the same unfailingly gracious but still militantly nonviolent preacher that I knew back then. Undler Ms. Ella J. Baker's guidanice, leaders of the 1960 studemt' sit-in movement formed] a Temporary Coordinat- ing Committee. Although he was barely a decade older that we we:re, Jim Lawson was our spiritual godfather. He was also our Thomas Jefferson. His draft of SNCC's Founding Statement of Purpose was our Declaration Of Independence. It begins: "We affirm the philosophical or religious ideal of nonviolence as the foundation of our pur- pose, the presupposition of our belief, and the manner of our actiom." Th(e statement describes Jim Laws(on's core beliefs. "Nmnviolence, as it grows from the Judeo-Christian tra- ditiom, seeks a social order of justicce permeated with love." qlhrough nonviolence, cour- age dlisplaces fear. Love tran- scen(ds hate, Acceptance dis- sipattes prejudice; hope ends despair. Faith reconciles doubt. Peac e dominates war. Mutual regar:ds cancel enmity. Justice tor thought that the Paine Con- ference might help us under- stand why. My notes from that weekend are in the Emery University's Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Books Library. They in- clude: "Rev. Lawson: Four things behind Christian life: I. Dare to be alone - stand your ground before God is the only significant way to live. 2. Constant discipline of reading and studying outside the classroom - much curricu- lum is irrelevant to living in our time. 3. Experimentation, need to rediscover things such as fast- ing. 4. Be involved in finding the church outside the Church. Be more totally engaged with the world although not of it." "Be prepared to accept con- sequences, including jailing," he taught us. "Christians are saved from despair by God who says ultimate is Love." And then a dozen students, including four of us who were white, and Jim Lawson put his lessons into practice. We pick- eted in downtown Augusta. Last week was Lawson's first visit to West Virginia State. he told us. He had made many trips in the 1950s and 1960s to troubled Bluefield State Col- lege. Rev Lawson was State's Black History Convocation speaker. He did not know that the University planned to honor him with an honorary we both have WVSU degrees. Once again, I took notes as Jim Lawson spoke. He apologized to State's stu- dents. He said that his genera- tion, including Martin Luther King, Jr Septima Clark. Fannie Lou Hamer, and Joan Browning, wanted to give them a much better United States. Instead, we bequeath to stu- dents the challenge to bring truth and liberty to "this won- derful, beautiful land of 300 million souls." He said that the Declaration of Independence was a beauti- ful vision but it's ALL did not include women, slaves, free Negroes, Native Americans and others. The miracle of the free- dom movement is that it was a special affirmation that ALL have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The soul of our nation is still poisoned by racism, sexism, violence, and greed for materi- alism, he said. These four are connected in the belief that some people do not matter. Racism and sexism assume that the Creator created people of color and women as inferior. Four women are murdered each day by the rampant vie- r, II II II II II il