Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


December 17, 2013

We the People: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem

CROSSVILLE — “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

One of the times Jesus wept was when he looked out over Jerusalem, the city that had rejected him, and foresaw its suffering and destruction. “How I wish today that you of all people would understand the way of peace. But now it is too late, and peace is hidden from your eyes.” (Luke 19:42, New Living Translation)

When Jesus was born two thousand years ago, angels appeared singing “Glory to God in the highest and peace on earth!” Peace and compassion was Jesus’ message. But two thousand years later, like Jerusalem, we still reject the Christmas gift of peace. Instead we have chosen perpetual war, poverty, injustice and environmental destruction.

Jesus set the standard of love for us when he told us to love each other as he has loved us. He said that the greatest commandment was to love God; the second was to love our neighbor. He didn’t say that it would be a nice gesture if you loved your neighbor as yourself; he said it was the second commandment. Jesus could hardly have made things clearer: don’t spend your life accumulating wealth for your own selfish purposes while ignoring other people’s poverty and suffering.

In this land of unbelievable wealth, in this country some insist is a “Christian nation,” at least a third of the people live in poverty. Are we as a nation going to extend a helping hand to those in need, or will we abandon America’s most vulnerable people? “If you don’t want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying that you want a country based on Christian values, because you don’t.” — Unknown.

Somewhere along the way, the loving, compassionate Jesus heralded by the angels two thousand years ago has been hijacked. The Jesus who was a friend of the sick and poor has been turned into a guardian of the privileged. This is amazing, since this is the same Jesus who warned the wealthy that they were in grave danger of blowing their chance of getting through the pearly gates.

To put it bluntly, there are people telling lies about the Bible who should know better, and probably do. Some of the super-rich and their foot-soldiers are now using their own version of the old-time religion to restore feudalism. There are a number of translations of the Bible in my house, plus copies of the New Testament in the original Greek. The minister I was married to for almost 70 years never found the capitalist Jesus in any of them. Neither have I.

When our lawmakers tell you they have to cut social spending so that our children’s future won’t be burdened with debt, make it clear to them that millions of children won’t even have a future unless we help them right now. If we take care of all our children now, they will take care of the future. And be sure to remind our lawmakers that millions of our children don’t have enough to eat, but that the Pentagon already has enough weapons to kill everyone on earth.

Text Only
  • Tidbits: Taking a low-tech break

    Feeling increasingly strangled by my electronic leash, with phone, text messages, email, social media and a variety of other forms of communication always at my side, I took the weekend off.

    July 28, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Governing before and after mass corruption

    Laws in America were originally written simply. Every citizen could read them quickly and understand their meaning. The founders wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation, the Northwest Ordinance and the Constitution of the United States, none of which was longer than 4,500 words.

    July 28, 2014

  • We the People: The last dance

    Charlie Hayden’s last recording session with his early partner, Keith Jarrett, was in 2007.  The songs they played were mostly melancholy.  The second album coming from that session includes Weil’s “My Ship” and Porter’s “Every Time We Say Goodbye.” The dark ballad “Goodbye,” by Gordon Jenkins, was the final track.

    July 22, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Living in a pressure cooker

    The Gaza Strip, a small Palestinian territory about the size of Washington, D.C., has been in the news almost every day.  Its key location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean Sea has attracted a number of occupying powers over the years, and it has  been at the center of much Middle East history.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tidbits: The excitement of election day

    On March 12, 1996, there were 427,183 votes cast in the presidential primary election. Among those votes was mine, the first vote I cast in an election, just two days after my 18th birthday.

    July 21, 2014

  • Raising the minimum wage

    My first job from which FICA was withheld was a minimum wage job, seventy-five cents an hour. And yes, even then no one could live on that little money. However, I was a high schooler living at home where my father provided room and board. The job gave me pocket money to buy gasoline, to take my girlfriend out for movies and burgers, and to buy tickets for baseball games.

    July 21, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Children on the move

    The news this past week has focused on the humanitarian crisis developing on our southern border. Thousands of unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras seeking to escape from the violence, human trafficking and extreme poverty in their countries have been entering the United States.

    July 15, 2014

  • We the People: Memo to gun rights groups

    The recent incident in California helps us understand why we cannot rely on mental health services alone to solve the problem of gun violence.

    July 15, 2014

  • Tidbits: Make the best of your road trip

    I didn’t care for road trips when I was young. It was so confining to have to sit in the back seat, staring out the window for hour after hour, hayfield after hayfield. And when you’re a kid, time doesn’t pass like it does when you get a little older. Just the trip from Jamestown, TN, to Crossville, roughly 30 miles, felt like an eternity!

    July 14, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Biased climate agenda will cost trillions

    For anyone who has been educated in the history of science and scientific method, this whole issue of “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” is an embarrassing and painful exercise.

    July 14, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice
Graduation 2014