Friday, December 21, 2007

Christmas Stories: McCain & Spears

Picture of downtown Pittsburgh, with the Monongahela River on the right and the Allegheny River on the left. The two come together at Point State Park to form the Ohio River.

My Christmas Story

As a POW, my captors would tie my arms behind my back and then loop the rope around my neck and ankles so that my head was pulled down between my knees. I was often left like that throughout the night.

One night a guard came into my cell. He put his finger to his lips signaling for me to be quiet, and then loosened my ropes to relieve my pain. The next morning, when his shift ended, the guard returned and retightened the ropes, never saying a word to me.

A month or so later, on Christmas Day, I was standing in the dirt courtyard when I saw that same guard approach me. He walked up and stood silently next to me, not looking or smiling at me.

After a few moments had passed, he rather nonchalantly used his sandaled foot to draw a cross in the dirt. We stood wordlessly looking at the cross, remembering the true light of Christmas, even in the darkness of a Vietnamese prison camp. After a minute or two, he rubbed it out and walked away.

That guard was my Good Samaritan. I will never forget that man and I will never forget that moment. And I will never forget that, no matter where you are, no matter how difficult the circumstances, there will always be someone who will pick you up and carry you.

May you and your family have a blessed Christmas and Happy Holidays,
John McCain.

As many of you know, I'm giving John McCain another look. I continue to believe that he and Rudy Giuliani would be outstanding presidential choices. I'm also hopeful that both of them would lean toward Gov. Sarah Palin when they're considering vice-presidential choices. Finally, on the basis of their past performance, both McCain and Giuliani would be willing to campaign for Melissa Hart and William Russell in their efforts to win congressional seats.

Mike Huckabee and Jamie Spears

I heard on CNN that candidate Mike Huckabee described the pregnancy of 16-year-old Jamie Spears (Britney's younger sister) as a "tragedy." Frankly, that's a misuse of the word "tragedy," which is not a synonym for every unfortunate event that occurs in the world. The sad thing is that there's no solid evidence that young Miss Spears is ready to have and care for this child. Huckabee did salute her -- and wisely so -- for apparently never considering an abortion.

I wonder if her responsible behavior in choosing to have the child doesn't over-ride the irresponsible part: getting pregnant at age 16. At this point, all we can do is wish her and child well -- and provide whatever support we can for this young-mother-to-be.

The untold story in this event is what steps, if any, Miss Spears and her family are willing to take to ensure the child is loved and well-cared-for. Is she, like her older sister, intends to continue "partying" and devoting her life to a series of pointless activities, then the child truly will need our prayers.

I hope Jamie decides from this point on to be a role-model for the 800,000 American teenagers who become pregnant annually. In avoiding the easy way out of having an abortion, she may in fact be off to a good start.

As for Mike Huckabee, he needs to read up on the concept of tragedy. I suggest he start with Aristotle's "Poetics." Also, as a Christian minister, he needs to emulate Jesus Christ in staying away from judgmentalism. "Nor do I condemn you . . . Go and sin no more."

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