Yes, you read that right. To be clear... I'm not into porn and I love the Fourth of July. Now... let me explain.
I had to return something to K-Mart. I saw something in the parking lot that made me wonder; What do I believe?
I love this time of year... when the school year ends and summer begins. Here in Oregon the firework stands start popping up around town at the end of June. They stay up until closing on the Fourth of July and you can't buy fireworks anywhere in the state until the next year rolls around.
Fireworks have changed a great deal over time. You can't get anything... legal that is... that flies in the air anymore. Pretty much all that's left are smoke bombs, sparklers, colorful cones and Piccolo Petes. I can't believe they still sell Ground Bloom Flowers. In 1979 I watched one one of those bounce into a neighbor girl's chest. It just sat there and spun. It was horrifying and she was badly burned. Even now I hate it when I see kids lighting those things off. Aside from that, everything has seemingly become more safe and sane.
I thought that until today. As I left the K-mart lot I noticed a fireworks stand... it's actually a big tent... like what you'd see at a wedding reception. My heart skipped a beat with excitement until I realized they were set up in the parking lot of a huge Adult Shop. Not cool. How will parents of kids old enough to read explain that?
I know the Fourth of July is about; freedom, liberty, human rights, patriotism and I am truly proud to be an American. I know that as a country we make mistakes... we're too big not to. I do believe in and stand by my own rights as an American and would stand up for the rights of others if I felt called to do so. That said, at the risk of sounding like a hypocrite... I just don't feel that way about pornography.
My heart tells me that at the basis of porn are men and women who sell themselves short. They give away what is precious and holy in the sight of God... sometimes over and over again. And that isn't the half of it. There are levels of porn that go far beyond what I have chosen to talk about in this little blog and it only gets worse from there. When I saw a symbol of our country's most celebrated holiday set up in front of an Adult Shop I felt disappointed. As families parked and children ran toward the tent I didn't feel like shouting Hurray! let freedom ring! I just felt sad and a little angry. I'm not a prude and if you know me you know that about me... but some things are just meant to be held sacred and the love between consenting adults falls into that category for me.
Congratulations Mr. Flint. You got what you wanted... but at what cost?
Father Tim Mockaitis talked at church today about standing up and speaking out for what we believe to be right. Wow... I think I just did. Check out Fr. Tim's Blog if you like at http://www.frommysideofthealtar.blogspot.com/
Sometimes I wonder how honest I should be. I feel like sharing... so forgive me ahead of time. Father's Day has got me thinking.
This is a picture of my Dad with his first child, Shawn Marie. He brought seven more children into the world after she was born. Heart disease, cigarette smoking, and a wicked temper took him out of our lives. I have several Father's Day cards in a box that I never sent because they didn't seem sincere. Sometimes greeting cards just don't say what you need them to. If I could give my Dad a greeting card this Father's Day here is what it would say:
Thank you for life. Thank you for the things you taught me that no one else could; like how to spit. Thank you for the traits you passed down... especially the good ones. Thank you for doing the best you could with what you had been given. You were smart and creative. You were musically and mechanically inclined. You could fix anything. You could catch fish anywhere. I wish things with family could have been better or different while you were on Earth. I hope heaven is everything you wanted it to be.
You told me once you dreamed of dying. You said it felt great flying over the land and water. You said you wanted God to carry you home. He did and you've been gone for years now. I hope you're flying or fishing or doing something you loved. I believe you can see everything now including all the things that might have been. I pray that you are with us, your children, closer than ever before.
I know you gave all you could give here. Please pray for us now, our father, who art in Heaven... fishing or flying or whatever.
I love you, Dad, Happy Father's Day.