Why Leadings?

Not to lead, but to be led            -- by the Holy Spirit.

See Leader, Servant, or Slave? in the section below, "Walking the Walk".

Jack in Denali National Park, 2012.

God's Wrath

Why was Sodom destroyed? Ezekiel tells us in chapter 16, verse 49: "This was the sin of your sister, Sodom: Pride, full-ness of bread, and abundance of idleness. Neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy."

That's also why Jerusalem was destroyed.

And now, with greed as our national virtue, what hope is there for the United States of America? We are afflicted by imperialistic pride, obesity, and entertainment addiction, and we are all called to do our part to "strengthen the hand of the poor and needy".

"Strengthen the hand" is the King James wording. Modern translations say "help the poor and needy." And there's a world of difference between the two. Helping the poor = as little as throwing some cash in the Salvation Army bucket at Christmas time. That's charity. It's doing for, not doing with.

My Grandmother was right about charity. On a below-zero day, she went out on the back porch with a skillet to throw hot grease on the back-yard snow. She shivered as she re-entered the kitchen and said, "Wooooh, colder than charity."

Strengthening the hand is much different. We get personally involved with another person who needs help, and we work with her or him to get the needed help. That's risky. You're vulnerable. It takes prayer, time and patience. You need knowledge and wisdom from the LORD. There are great rewards, however. You get a brother or sister.

Strengthening the hand is great work for our churches -- which we ignore far more often than we perform. Why? Because we're afflicted with the Ameri-can curse of individualism. Christians are to be a tribe -- a tribe that takes care of each other. In Galatians 6:16, Paul calls us "the Israel of God" -- the new 13th tribe.

Jesus said, "The poor you shall always have with you." He didn't mean that as a curse -- the notion that the poor are an inevi-table nuisance and expense, to be hidden in the slums. Rather, He was saying, "You shall always be among the poor."

When you strengthen hands, you fulfill Deuteronomy 15:4-5: "However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, if only you fully obey the LORD your God . . ." It's a glorious responsibility and promise.

And how do prosperous Americans fulfill that promise? Generally, by making sure they have no contact with people who are poor -- and we have been that way from our beginnings in the 17th century. Early villages in Massachusetts solved the problem by out-lawing poor people. Today, we deal with the same problem by confining the poor in urban reservations, our slums.

As the Supreme Court Bailiff says at the beginning of each session, "God save the United States of America..." 

Saturday
Nov082014

GEORGE CLOONEY: RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT?

Back on November 5, 1911, I wrote—referring to candidates like Sarah Palin, Donald Trump, and Herman Cain—“If you really want the U.S. Government not to function, why not go for show biz? Too bad George Clooney’s a Democrat.”

My younger daughter wrote a testy reply: “He's dated at least seventeen actress/models in the last fifteen years. In no way do I want a man like that representing me.”

My answer: “But of course. The last line of my blog wasn't even satire; it was sarcasm. But watch. It's a better than even bet that if George Clooney marries, he'll run for governor of California. If Clooney wins the governorship, then he'll run for president.”

George Clooney married Amal Alamanuddin on Saturday, September 27, 2014. What can we expect?

For a Hollywood star, the road to Washington is well paved. Song and dance man George Murphy started the progression by becoming a US senator. He was followed by Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger as governora. California is our most populous state, so the governor is in a strong position to run for president.

Governor Schwarzenegger was ineligible for the presidency, because Article II, Paragraph 5, states that, ”No Person except a natural born Citizen. . .shall be eligible to the office of President.” Arnold was born in Austria. (By the way, if you think that the provision should have disqualified Barack Obama, see my article “Birthing Obama” in the section on the right, “Politics and Government.”)

George and AmalIn contrast, George Clooney is from Augusta, Kentucky, forty-four miles up the Ohio River from Cincinnati. He’s a local boy. I’ve talked with both his father, Nick, and his aunt, Rosemary.

George has a lot going for him. He’s the reigning Cary Grant of Hollywood. Unlike many politicians, he has no problem with name recognition. He’s an intelligent man who has a long history of international public service.

Clooney’s record is summarized in his Wikipedia entry: “Clooney is noted for his political activism. [He was among the first to endorse Barack Obama for the presidency.] Also, he has served as one of the United Nations Messengers of Peace since January 31, 2008. His humanitarian work includes his advocacy of finding a resolution for the Darfur conflict, raising funds for the 2004 tsunami, 2010 Haiti earthquake, and 9/11 victims. He has created documentaries, such as Sand and Sorrow to raise awareness about international crises. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

That’s an unusual resume for a movie actor.

As my daughter pointed out, Clooney has a major drawback—his reputation for promiscuity. But if promiscuity disqualifies a person for the presidency, we'd have to fire about half of our 20th century presidents. Face facts: Both parties periodically nominate a moral sleazebag for president. Why? Because the purpose of a party is to win.

And now Clooney also has another major plus: He’s married to a superstar wife. Amal Ramzi Alamuddin, born in Lebanon on February 3, 1978, is a London-based-lawyer, activist, and author, specializing in international law, criminal law, human rights, and extradition.

Will Amal be a political plus for him? Definitely, if she’s willing to play the role of political wife--and that role is difficult. She has to listen with awe to all her husband's speeches. She has to put a damper on her brilliance. She has to eat regional foods as if they are her favorite cuisine. She has to attend major sports events and cheer for her husband's teams. And she has to be able to converse with senior politicos, good 'ol boys, militants, pacifists, and soccer moms as if they were best friends. Amal also has a special restriction: She cannot speak nostalgically of anything British or Lebonese. Such remarks will be interpreted as anti-American.

However, Amal does have many pluses in her résumé:  

— Her law degree is from Oxford.

— She has a masters in law from New York University.

— For one semester while at NYU, she clerked for the Second Circuit Federal Court of Appeals Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, who is now on the US Supreme Court.

— In 2004, she clerked at the International Court of Justice.

— She worked at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York City for three years as part of the Criminal Defense and Investigations Group, which included the criminal probe of Enron and Arthur Anderson. (To understand the significance, think baseball: It’s as if for three years she played for the Yankees.)

— She returned to London in 2010, and has since been appointed to several United Nations commissions.

— She won’t be able to run for president because she’s foreign born.

— Also in her twenties, Amal could have made a luxurious living as a swimsuit model. She’s gorgeous. If George does become President, they’ll be our handsomest first couple.

— There is another consideration. We can now expect George Clooney to be the Nation’s most enthusiastic and faithful monogamist. If he resumes his catting ways, Amal has the legal skills to flay him alive and destroy his political career.

Negatives (from the viewpoint of the U.S. electorate:)

— She was born in Lebanon, but she’s now an English citizen. However, there is precedent: Winston Churchill’s mother, Jennie Jerome, was an American.

-- She is highly intelligent.

— It’s unthinkable that Amal could tolerate spending four to eight years in Sacramento, California, as the governor’s wife.  Sacramento, like many state capitals, is a large county seat town. However, there is a useful precedent from Kentucky: When John Y. Brown, Jr, president of KFC, was governor, he and his wife, Miss America Phyllis George, lived in Lexington, and John Y. commuted daily to Frankfort by helicopter. The Clooneys could live in San Francisco, with Gov. George coptering daily to Sacramento.

— Her religious heritage is Druze, and her mother is a Sunni Muslim. Druze—what’s that? The Druze are members of a political and religious sect of Islamic origin, living chiefly in Lebanon and Syria. The Druze broke away from the Ismaili Muslims in the eleventh century. They are regarded as heretical by the Muslim community at large. However, the Clooneys can easily overcome this Druze and Muslim background by lots of magazine photos of Mr. and Mrs. George Clooney attending Sunday services at their neighborhood church. When you see the photos, count on it, George is running for governor and then president.

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Purpose of this blog is to compile several books for my grandchildren to read in 25 years.

Copyright  ©  2014 by Jack Towe

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