Monday, January 08, 2007


Sorry I’m a little late posting today. I’ve been laser-focused on finishing an article about political celebrity Barack Obama. Please check it out on our website: I’m actually writing this post at about 20,000 feet on my way to Charlotte, North Carolina. The promised five-day a week 110th Congress is out of business today because of—yes— a football game (Ohio State v. University of Florida). So much for so much political rhetoric!

Actually, I don’t think much of newly minted Speaker Pelosi’s pledge of five-day congressional work week. Why? Because keeping people away from their families is anti-family. Remember that representatives, unlike senators, must remain close to their small districts back home. They’re elected every two years. This was the Founders’ way of keeping them close to the people. The House of Representatives is called, “The People’s House.” They’re not supposed to settle into a comfortably distanced, insulated and isolated Washington bubble. House members were to be the citizen politicians: full-time moms, homemakers, farmers, small businessmen, teachers, doctors. After their short duty to our country, they would return to the regular life of an average citizen.

It doesn’t quite work that way nowadays. Still, the best House members do live with their families in their communities and commute to Washington. (Far fewer senators do; the exception being family-oriented ones like our friend Sam Brownback!) To come to work, these home-grown, home-based public servants leave their spouses, kids, aging parents, fields and herds, shops, students and patients typically for three days a week. That’s enough of a separation, as far as I’m concerned. Now just in case you think that’s too cushy of a schedule, keep in mind that when they’re here in Washington, representatives are often working sun-up to sun-down. The Sabbath was made for man, Jesus said. And husbands, wives and kids need Mom or Dad home for at least three to four days a week.

Commuting on Sunday afternoon for a Monday work start and a Friday night return isn’t healthy for anyone—but most especially for marriages and families. For all your talk of the joys of parenting Speaker Pelosi, this is a bad idea for families!

While I’m on Speaker Pelosi, last week I attended an “interfaith prayer service” for the inauguration of the 110th, but at times it seemed more about Speaker Pelosi than about God or the rest of the Congress! We even had to wait to acknowledge the Lord until the Speaker made her late and grand entrance. She remained the centerpiece, reading the Gospel portion. She chose Mark 12:28-34 because it was the reading in her church on the Sunday that Hurricane Katrina hit. She said its reference to care of neighbor was a sign to her of what we should be doing. But I think its reference to love of God above all else was a sign to her and all of us of what should really matter to this new congress and to our country.

An FOB (if you don't remember, thats the acronym for Friend of Bill--Clinton, that is) and now congressman, Rahm Emmanuel, the man who engineered the Democrat come-back, read Deuteronomy 10:12-22. Another sign, to be sure.

Still, I can’t complain too much about the service's overall content. It was a little like the old Methodist services I remember from the church where I was saved. The only jarring interruption was the reading from the Koran by freshman congressman Keith Ellison. (He of the recent "swear-in-on-the-Koran" controversy.) The irony in it, though, was the passage’s pronounced reference to God’s creation of mankind from "a single pair,” “male and female.” So much for the liberal “gender construct” argument. This is that loopy fiction popular on so many college campuses. It goes something like, “There's no such thing as male or female. We’re all on a continuum. Some people are more male than female, or more female than male. But gender is a subjective perception, not an objective reality.” Obviously these social engineering profs haven’t taken any gross anatomy courses!

If there was any use in that Koran reading, I hope it was to remind the 110th that there is a difference and a complementarity between men and women that is recognized and made sacred in holy matrimony—between “male and female.”

Anyway, the one person in the “congregation” who seemed supremely uncomfortable singing Amazing Grace (keeping to the words, “a wretch like me”) was Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean, whom I met and attempted to engage in conversation. He wasn’t interested, withdrawing a cold, weak handshake after I told him who I was.

Still, ending the whole thing with How Great Thou Art, and fixing my eyes on the enormous gold-leafed words above the altar, “CHRIST HAS DIED, CHRIST HAS RISEN” actually left me edified. The Word of God was read, the name of Jesus was invoked and those whose hearts were pure did worship Him. “Wherever two or more are gathered” He is in the midst. I felt His presence, as Supreme Judge and Merciful Savior.

I pray the words, the prayers, the hymns and those emblazoned pronouncements above the altar come back to haunt Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Hoyer, Dr. Dean and the rest as they pursue defying the very One they pretended to do homage to last week!

Back later . . .

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