Todd Starnes: My Hero

 

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Who’s your hero?

In the days of my youth, it was not just Superman, but also Flash Gordon  and even Mighty Mouse. Mmm, okay. Maybe not Mighty Mouse, but I did like the Mighty Mouse cartoons. Oh, and of course there was Zorro, played on TV by Guy Williams. I only missed seeing one episode, and that was while we were traveling. I was SO upset…

But even as a kid I knew those characters weren’t real, although they often performed heroic deeds.

I suddenly grew up. Forgot those childish heroes. But whose courage inspired me then? Who did I want to be like?

Politicians? Oh, like Richard Nixon? I don’t think so. Business leaders? I couldn’t name one that impressed me as being true hero material. Same for sports figures. Not that I knew anything about any of them, as disinterested as I was in sports. Movie stars? Mighty Mouse was more worthy of admiration than many of them.

That was the Vietnam era of American history, and I have no doubt that many heroic Americans fought in that struggle to protect South Vietnam from communist North Vietnam. But because the war was unpopular and far too many Americans vilified the military who gave up everything to do what their country called on them to do, I didn’t know of specific heroes. (I wasn’t fond of the Vietnam war, but at least I didn’t hold our military responsible or treat them badly.)

As a Christian, it would make sense that I would have viewed someone like Dr. Billy Graham as a hero of sorts. I admired (and still admire) him greatly, but I’m not sure I would describe his accomplishments as heroic. And he would be the first to insist that they were God’s accomplishments.

I’m in the same dilemma today. It seems like too many people are just going their own way, doing their own thing, with too few being willing to go the extra mile to do something dangerously worthwhile. Everything that was true of the Vietnam era is even more true today. It’s no wonder American is, as the cliche goes, “going to hell in a hand-basket.”

Yet perhaps I do have a few heroes. People who stand up for what’s right without counting the cost. People who still believe in the Bible or at least in biblical principles. People who believe in the Constitution. People who hold toes to the fire of those who have strayed so far from everything that makes–or used to make–America the melting pot of the world rather than a society that is fragmented culturally, ethnically, religiously, politically, and philosophically. Even linguistically. That list could go on and on and on.

I could probably name a number of conservatives who stand up for what’s right without fear of retribution, but Todd Starnes is the person I most think of as my hero. And the fact that he would probably be very surprised to know that and begin listing dozens of other people he thinks worthier of my admiration is part of what makes me feel that way.

I’ve known Todd ever so slightly through writers conferences we’ve both attended–see the pictures above–and his table in the dining hall has always been full of admirers. After all, it’s not every conference that sports a popular Fox News commentator as one of it keynote speakers, especially one who recorded one of his commentaries with us as his live audience.

But that doesn’t make Todd heroic. What does is the fact that he doesn’t mince words in reporting incidents that the other networks wouldn’t even touch. Especially concerning people whose rights have been trampled on in the name of political correctness.

Todd has received death threats, but he continues to share the truth. People turn to him because he’s proven trustworthy under all circumstances. He’s articulate, and he gets to the heart of the matter.

If I define a hero as someone I want to be like because of those characteristics, then I have no choice but to put Todd Starnes at the top of my list .

What about you? Who’s your hero these days? And why? How about sharing a comment?

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I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

Best regards,
Roger

Growing More Conservative (Final Part)

I believe more strongly than ever in the morality of the Bible. Any society that ignores biblical teachings about right and wrong will slip further and further into decay. How much further can we slide before God decides to wipe His hands of us?

I don’t hate homosexuals. Although I don’t understand them, I am not the least afraid of them. My wife and I attended a large gay expo in New York City a few years ago to visit a gay friend and see his dance group perform. He’s someone I enjoyed talking with and I didn’t feel the least uncomfortable being around. Does that sound like fear or hate?

But the Bible says that the practice of homosexuality is a sin. It lists a number of other sins, too. Anything that can be described as “my way” rather than “God’s way” is a sin.

What too many people ignore is the fact that God didn’t create a chart giving sins an acceptability rating. He doesn’t view one sin as more acceptable or less acceptable than another. Anything that separates us from Him is sinful–equally sinful.

Addictions like smoking, drugs, and alcohol abuse that “sinners” have a difficult time breaking their dependence on is bad enough. But how many sins do people not even want to resist and sometimes stubbornly insist on holding on to?

Any number of sexual sins fall into that category, including the practice of homosexuality.  And adultery. But so does overeating, something God has helped me to overcome. But not until I’d already developed diabetes.

The Bible refers to the one and only unforgivable sin–and the practice of homosexuality isn’t it. Neither is overeating.

Jesus commands Christians to love one another–and to love their enemies as well–with God’s kind of love. Sacrificial love. So they ought to love gay people just as they would anyone else.

Condemning homosexuals is–in my understanding–unbiblical. At the same time, Christians shouldn’t go against the Bible by accepting the practice of homosexuality as biblically acceptable.

I’d like to say more, but I’ll leave it at that. I’ve tried to make my points without being insensitive or offensive. But I can’t deny my conservative faith in the Bible any more than people who’re different from me will deny who they are.

Please don’t expect me to.

If you want to comment about this post, please do so respectfully–of both sides. God loves us equally.

~*~

I’ll be back again on Sunday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Go HERE for links to those places.
Tentative-Front-Cover
Best regards,
Roger

Growing More Conservative (Part Two)

Politics and religion are two other areas in which I’ve grown more conservative over the years.

I once wanted to be a high school civics teacher. I gave that idea up after attending my first political rally.

I’ve never lost my belief in or my appreciation for the Constitution, though. The older I get, the more I see its values being trampled at every level of government–from the Presidency down. The founders of this nation knew what they were doing, and they abided by the laws they’d established. They knew what would happen if the Constitution was ignored. I can only picture their tears of outrage if they were alive today to see how far we’ve fallen.

I used to be more moderate in my Christian beliefs. Although I’ve always believed that a true Christian should accept certain basic doctrines–the virgin birth, Jesus’ miracles, His death and resurrection, and His ascension back into Heaven–other things seemed less important

Like whether God created the world in seven earthly days or seven periods of time. And whether He created Adam outright or used evolution to build up to the first “real” man. And whether some biblical teachings related only to the culture of the day and not to today.

I’ve been sliding slowly but surely further into the conservative camp on those issues, too. If the Bible is true–and I believe it is–it must be accepted as true from cover to cover. No one has the ability to say that we should obey this, but ignore that.

So when Christ said that He was the Way, the Truth, and the Life–the only door to God–He was saying that Christianity is the only true religion. I believe Jesus’ claim, and that makes me uber-conservative. So I have no choice but to reject the claim that all religions are equal.

If you want to comment about this post, please do so respectfully. God loves us even when we disagree with Him.

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I’ll be back again on Wednesday. If you’d like to receive my posts by email, go to “Follow Blog via Email” at the upper right.

“On Aging Gracelessly” is only one of my two blogs. I post lyrics of the Christian songs I’ve written over the last fifty years on  “As I Come Singing.” Check it out HERE if you’re interested.  Free lead sheets (tune, words, and chords) are available for many of them. View the list HERE.

If you enjoy my writing, you’ll find a number of things to read on my website.  Also music to listen to and music-related videos to watch.

My newest novel, The Devil and Pastor Gus, is available online at Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Go HERE for links to those places.
Tentative-Front-Cover
Best regards,
Roger