The Press-Dispatch

May 16, 2018

The Press-Dispatch

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B-8 Wednesday, May 16, 2018 The Press-Dispatch OPINION Submit Letters to the Editor: Letters must be signed and received by noon on Mondays. Email: or bring in a hard copy: 820 E. Poplar Street, Petersburg There have been many watersheds in the evolution of Western Civiliza- tion, with its foundational event be- ing the embracement of Christianity. A library of books has been written on this pivotal event because it has shaped its values, morals, and gave mankind a futuristic outlook on life. At the center or the Western mind was the belief that the providence of God was guiding humanity to a bet- ter way of life. At the very center of life was the belief in God's Provi- dence; He [God] was working to bring about the material needed for life while providing protection and spiritual care. Two world wars, communism, and the progressive movement have eroded Western Civilization's belief and reliance upon God and has re- placed it with the secular "nanny state." Where will humanity find itself if it continues on the path of a Godless self-reliance? The answer can be found in a simple song of protest authored by a humanist philosopher and former Beatle John Lennon: Imagine. Author Bruce Davi- son provides insight in- to the progressive ideol- ogy of the song and how it speaks volumes about the agenda of the godless: "Imagine: John's and Yoko's Hymn to Progressive Utopia." John Lennon and Yoko Ono were leaders of the anti-war philosophical left of the Vietnam War era. Davison points out "The song's doubtful as- sumptions and internal contradic- tions make it an instructive instance of the sloppy, shallow thinking we of- ten find in the world of mass entertainment, which unfortunately then goes unfiltered in- to the minds of count- less consumers." Did you catch the analysis of the song? It is sloppy philoso- phy based upon "doubt- ful assumptions and in- ternal contradictions." In short, the listener fails to recog- nize this; the words enter the mind, stay there and act as a truism. But do not mistake the song utop- ic and progressive theme as a call to a better life; the song is hostile and anti-religious, which is the earmark Lucid Moments By Bart Stinson Pursuit of the Cure by Star Parker Regrets racked Mother's Day Founder Points to Ponder by Rev. Ford Bond The Weekly by Alden Heuring Minority View by Walter E. Williams Imagine Yo Momma Before and after welfare handouts First Amendment is distorted, misunderstood Heritage Viewpoint by Edwin J. Feulner "I may not agree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." Few quota- tions are more quintessentially American than this (attributed in various forms to Voltaire, Oscar Wilde and others). You may not persuade anyone, but at least you can count on being heard. That's the idea, anyway. Civil so- ciety may have frayed in other ar- eas, but right and left, surely we can agree that you have a right to speak up and not be silenced. Unfortunately, even this bed- rock principle has been weaken- ing in recent years, and nowhere more, ironically enough, than at our nation's universities. We may still refer to them as institutions of higher learning, but on far too ma- ny campuses, a dis- senting point of view has become an endan- gered species. By "dissenting," of course, I mean dis- senting from the lib- eral orthodoxy that prevails in much of academia. When a right-leaning speaker is coming to campus, one of two things often happens: 1) Angry students create such an uproar that college administra- tors cave in and force the speaker to withdraw. 2) The speaker has his or her speech disrupted by "protesters" who crash the event, interrupt loudly and repeatedly (at best) and even escalate to assault (at worst). I put the word "pro- testers" in quotation marks because al- though the media usu- ally calls them that, they're wrong. Pro- testing has a long and hallowed history in American so- ciety. If a controversial speaker comes to a campus, and people who disagree with his message Somebody's Place Continued on page 9 Continued on page 9 Continued on page 9 My Point of View by Dr. H. K. Fenol, Jr., M.D. If you had any regrets about Mother's Day, you weren't the first one. The woman most Americans consider the founder of Mother's Day, Anna Jarvis, eventually came to despise it, and called for its ab- olition. Jarvis's claim to singlehandedly inventing the national observance on the second Sunday in May is in dispute. Henderson, Kentucky educator Mary Towles Sasseen copyrighted a book in 1893 that guided teach- ers in how to conduct Mother's Day celebrations in school. Along with her sister, she helped orga- nize the first documented Moth- er's Day observance six years ear- lier in Springfield, Ohio schools. On Feb. 7, 1904, retired Notre Dame football coach Frank Her- ing spoke to a national convention of the Fraternal Order of Eagles in Indianapolis. His topic was "Our Mothers and Their Importance in Our Lives." His supporters claim that this was the "first-ever public address on behalf of making Moth- er's Day a national holiday." Her- ing reportedly continued to speak on behalf of a national observance over the next decade." Sasseen, too, traveled extensive- ly to promote the idea, but died in 1906 before she could win its ap- proval. Enter the Jarvis women of Graf- ton, West Virginia. Ann Reeves Jar- vis organized mothers' work days in the 1850's to attend to commu- nity sanitation and public health is- sues, with special concern for in- fant mortality. In the 1860s, she summoned the Grafton mothers to tend to the wounds of Civil War soldiers from both armies. The men of West Virginia were badly divided before, during and after the Civil War. Reconciliation between the male victors and van- quished appeared unlikely. But Ann organized Mothers' Friend- ship Day picnics and other events after the war, to promote peace among the antagonistic neighbors. Ann raised a modern daughter, Anna, who left her small hometown to seek her fortune in a big city (Philadelphia). Think of the Mary Richards character in The Mary Tyler Moore Show, or Ann Marie in That Girl. She never married, nev- er bore children of her own. But when Ann died in 1905, daughter Anna became very nostalgic about the mom she had left behind. Two years later, her grief led her to campaign for the creation of a national Mother's Day. On May 10, 1908, Mother's Day cel- ebrations debuted at the Grafton church where Ann had taught Sun- day School, and at the Wanamak- er's department store auditorium in Philadelphia. Anna didn't make the trip back to her home town, but she sent 500 white carnations, her mother's fa- vorite flower, with instructions that Grafton sons and daughters were to wear them to honor their own mothers, and to represent the pu- rity of a mother's love. Anna was able to go full-time in her campaign, with the patronage of Pennsylvania tycoons H. J. Heinz and John Wanamaker. There was resistance in the U.S. Senate. But Anna won the endorsement of the World Sunday School Association. She spoke at florists' conventions, and accepted their donations. Eventually, Congress approved the national observance, and Pres- ident Woodrow Wilson signed it into law. The first national obser- vance came the second Sunday in May, 1914. The observance caught on, and it was a good time to be in the carnation business. Business was so good, in fact, that Anna began to have second thoughts. The commercialization of her high-minded gesture began to sicken her stomach. She turned against her erstwhile allies and pa- trons. She denounced candy makers, florists and greeting card manufac- turers as "charlatans, bandits, pi- rates, racketeers, kidnappers and termites that would undermine with their greed one of the finest, noblest and truest movements and celebrations." When she attempted to trade- The Supplemental Nutrition As- sistance Program is high on the Republican list of programs target- ed for reform — and justifiably so. The program has gone from 17 million enrollees in 2000 to about 43 million today, with outlays up from about $25 billion to more than $70 billion. The Trump administration's budget submitted last February in- cludes major reforms to the pro- gram, designed to save $216 bil- lion over the next decade. Now the House Agriculture committee has put forth its own reforms as part of the bill reautho- rizing the budget of the Depart- ment of Agriculture for the next five years. The problem with the food stamp program is similar to the problem of the other anti-pover- ty, welfare programs on which we spend almost 25 percent of the fed- eral budget. That is, what is directed in the spirit of compassion, to provide temporary assistance to those who have fallen on hard times, trans- forms into a way of life. As we might expect, food stamp enrollees skyrocketed as the re- cession set in heavily in 2008. The number of recipients went from ap- proximately 26 million in 2007 to a peak of 47.6 million in 2013. With the economic recovery, the num- ber has dropped off to about 43 million. The Labor Department now re- ports that unemployment has fall- en to 3.9 percent — the lowest since December 2000. Unemploy- ment peaked during the recession I was going through some old pictures and I came across a news item which was featured in The Press Dispatch. It was April 1999. That's 19 years ago. The picture I am referring to is the inauguration of Somebody's Place which was a mission established by the Pike County Christian Assistance. The idea was originally pro- posed by a pastor- Rev. Sally Dick- erson—who was then a pastor of The Winslow United Methodist in Winslow. She had this vision of setting up a food bank and a place where different items such as toi- letries, clothes, books, toys, winter outfits, cooking appliances, shoes, medical appliances and many oth- er useful materials could be given to those in need. The first location was the old Medical Clinic which for those who might remember , the building was originally owned by Dr. Milton Omstead where he had practiced for many years. A fter about seven years of oper- ating the clinic under the owner- ship of Nes and Rose Fenol, a new Medical clinic was built on Main Street. Then the old building was donated to the organization. Ma- ny interesting things transpired in that building which housed Some- body's Place. There were many vol- unteers who served on the board and who staffed the operations. Since the building was about 100 years old, there were of course problems with heating, cooling, and structural breakdowns which made it unsafe to stay in. There was a joke circulating around that the building was held together by prayers only. Every Continued on page 9 Continued on page 9 Continued on page 9 Draining the food stamp swamp Before the massive growth of our welfare state, private charity was the sole option for an individ- ual or family facing insurmount- able financial difficulties or other challenges. How do we know that? There is no history of Americans dying on the streets because they could not find food or basic medi- cal assistance. Respecting the bib- lical commandment to honor thy father and mother, children took care of their elderly or infirm par- ents. Family members and the lo- cal church also helped those who had fallen on hard times. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, charities started playing a major role. In 1887, re- ligious leaders founded the Chari- ty Organization Society, which be- came the first United Way organi- zation. In 1904, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America started help- ing at-risk youths reach their full potential. In 1913, the American Cancer So- ciety, dedicated to cur- ing and eliminating cancer, was formed. With their millions of dollars, industrial gi- ants such as Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller created our nation's first phil- anthropic organiza- tions. Generosity has always been a part of the American genome. Alexis de Tocqueville, a French civ- il servant, made a nine-month vis- it to our country in 1831 and 1832, ostensibly to study our prisons. In- stead, his visit resulted in his writ- ing "Democracy in America," one of the most influential books about our nation. Tocqueville didn't use the term "philanthro- py," but he wrote ex- tensively about how Americans love to form all kinds of non- governmental associ- ations to help one an- other. These associa- tions include profes- sional, social, civic and other volunteer or- ganizations seeking to serve the public good and improve the quality of human lives. The bot- tom line is that we Americans are the most generous people in the world, according to the new Alma- nac of American Philanthropy — something we should be proud of. Before the welfare state, charity CHAPTER 1 It's 11 p.m. and your firstborn just fell asleep. You roll off the toddler bed—bruised, ears ring- ing—and land butt-first on a DU- PLO brick. "Sugar sausages! " you spit through clenched teeth. This is how you curse now. You flick on your cellphone for some light. A board creaks underfoot, and you freeze as your newborn stirs. One breath... Two breaths... Count to 10... Finally, the coast is clear. You shuffle about in the kitchen, pour- ing a glass of water, toasting a slice of bread, and you leave the loaf un- wrapped. You will not notice this until you are making breakfast three days from now, and when you discover it, you will eat anoth- er slice anyway. Life is short. Your spouse is in bed already, but still awake. "Go to sleep," you whisper to each other, and you both stifle a laugh. You roll into bed. CHAPTER 2 You wake up covered in toast crumbs and cold sweat. The baby is crying. Your phone is pressed between the pillow and your cheek, and you check the time. It's 3 a.m.?! The baby is supposed to eat every three hours! You're going to stunt her growth and affect her grades at univer- sity! You frantically roll towards the edge of the bed, but your en- tire bottom half is still asleep and you only manage to pull the cov- ers off your spouse. Which wakes him up. He yanks the covers back over himself and is instantly asleep again. You stand up—ack, too fast! Everything spins and you smack off the bedroom wall on your way to feed the baby. What's one more bruise on the pile? CHAPTER 3 You wake up slow- ly and plod into the kitchen. Your spouse has been at work for a couple hours, but he left some coffee in the pot for you. It's cold now, but that's the way you like it. Just holding the mug makes you feel more awake. The kids are still asleep, so you tiptoe between the toys on the floor to check on them. Both are snoring softly. Your toddler's hair is sweaty and tangled. You sigh, smile, and sit down on the couch. You've got a big day ahead of you, but just for a moment, you simply enjoy a mug of cold coffee. You are exhausted. You haven't showered in days. You are beautiful.

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