After a much needed vacation, I came back to an incongruous pile of topics, that, on the surface appeared to have little substance in common. But oh contraire! There is a boatload of fodder to sift through, the goal being how to keep this piece from drifting into novella territory. I’ll be the judge of that.
The week started out with a horrendous hurricane, Maria, making the island U.S. territory of Puerto Rico a bullseye. Within 24 hours, over 3 million people were without power or running water. For me, it was too close to home. I know people who live there. I have been there three times.
Thankfully, Senator Marco Rubio flew down via a small aircraft to view the destruction and make an assessment of what could be done as soon as possible. He returned and pleaded in the Senate for funding and emergency supplies and he got it. Except that the supplies couldn’t get there because of a little known thing called “The Jones Act”. This act prevented shipping supplies to the island territory.
President Trump, under pressure, finally lifted The Jones Act over 10 days after the senate request, allowing ships and supplies to reach the people in desperate need. Why it took so long for him to do so is a mystery. Supplies though, are now stuck on the ground in San Juan and not getting to the people, contrary to a recent Trump tweet. Another mystery.
Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello just stated: "The Administration and the President, every time we've spoken, they've delivered……
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 29, 2017
What is not a mystery is that Trump tweeted 16 times about the NFL players protesting the National Anthem by taking a knee. These tweets began last Saturday and continued for 24 hours. During that time, not a single tweet mentioned Puerto Rico. No tweet did before then either. Several weak ones have popped up in the days since. He must have remembered there was more at stake than a song at a sporting event.
Let’s examine that debacle for a moment. Before Trump decided to answer a question regarding his opinion of a handful of NFL players who protested the National Anthem played prior to games, we were, frankly, a little tired of hearing about it and had tucked it away. Football fans just wanted to watch football.
Most televised games didn’t show the anthem; it was played during a commercial break. A few times, we would be treated to a featured replay of a player taking a knee, because media always believes that controversy generates viewers. Well, this is not always true. For the most part though, we saw a game and nothing more. The kneeling was like a mosquito; annoying but not enough to chase fans away.
Then the president had to call the kneelers, sons of female dogs. Well, for people who don’t care for the president, which is over 60 percent of America based on the latest polling data, this mostly didn’t sit well. But some people agreed with him. Others who like him disagreed. And it turned the proverbial molehill into a mountain in the NFL and split the viewing audience into numerous new fractionalized groups.
But what was the bottom line?
For the last week, we judged. We judged the players who kneeled, the players who didn’t, the NFL, the president, the military, the flag, the anthem, the Constitution, each other, etcetera. We judged. And we had no qualms about how we felt or where we stood. We spoke out boldly and with conviction.
That battle rages on in social media. We’ve seen people unite in odd ways once again. The world is wobbling on its axis as people shift to new territory, uniting with people they thought they had little in common with and putting up a “wall” against old friends.
Not to be outdone by this drama of “patriotism in sports“, we were subjected to the death of the infamous infidelity icon on Wednesday, Hugh Hefner. But something happened that caught me personally off guard, when in fact, I shouldn’t have been the least bit surprised.
Let me preface it by saying that Hefner was a liberal Democrat, supportive of Democrat candidates and a strong proponent of Roe V. Wade. He not only launched the first porn magazine, Playboy, (now viewed as soft porn because like all things involving the selling of sex, porn has become more and more deviant and depraved), he had a mansion devoted to a life of debauchery. And Donald Trump was not only a frequent guest at the mansion, but he graced the cover of Playboy himself. The cover is in the background while he poses with evangelical Christian “higher-ups” and most people have seen it.
Called, The Playboy Mansion, Hefner kept his harem of 30 “girlfriends” of the moment there. In order to be allowed to stay there, the women had to be referred to as “playmates“. They were very agreeable, but a few became uncomfortable with the sex arrangements. Yes, they had to have sex with their boss, and also with each other, in front of their boss. They had to take Quaaludes in order to be more relaxed. Life was not the fantasy they imagined, according to former playmate, Holly Madison.
Hefner, king of porn, was a vile and disgusting piece of work, and he is actually being defended all over social media since his death. And not just by liberals. I’m seeing him being defended by conservatives. Men who call themselves, “Christians“. Women too though. And both men and women who screamed about the anthem being disrespected at NFL games, but told me how DARE I judge Hugh Hefner. (Insert eyeroll here).
I can judge. I can judge sin and I can judge Hefner. I can judge his lifestyle as darkness and evil and those who glorify it as people who are on the broad road to destruction. Surely, the LORD is not accepting of any of that.
The “At Least He’s Not Hillary” Analogy
Let’s step back in time to the year, 1975. You are a dad of a 20-year-old daughter, Lydia. You are sitting on your sofa, enjoying a couple reruns of Gomer Pyle and The Andy Griffith Show. The front door pops open and in struts your daughter, a Cheshire Cat grin gracing her beautiful face. You are wary. She is your most rebellious and belligerent child.
Lydia: “Hi Daddy! Guess what?”
You: “What, honey?”
Lydia: “I landed the coolest job today! Big bucks!”
Your interest is piqued. Your daughter hasn’t had a job since high school when she quit KFC because she hated the greasy kitchen counters.
You: “What job?”
Lydia: “Well, let me give you a big HINT!”
Lydia pulls her arms in, tucked forward in front of her, and starts hopping around the living room, giggling.
You: “Oh! A kangaroo! You got a job at the zoo!”
Lydia collapses on the floor in a fit of laughter.
Lydia: “No, no, Daddy! I’m talking BIG bucks! THOUSANDS of dollars!”
You squint your eyes. Your stomach starts to knot up.
You: “Okay… just tell me then.”
Lydia, unable to contain herself, leaps to her feet: “I got a job as a Playboy model!”
You leap to your feet. “Oh no you don’t! No daughter of mine is going to pose naked anywhere!”
Lydia: “Daddy! I’m an adult. I already signed a contract. I want to go live in that mansion too. I’m gonna do great!”
You, putting your hands over your ears, “This can’t be happening. We need to talk about this.”
Lydia: “Daddy! AT LEAST IT’S NOT PENTHOUSE!”
And THAT is the argument I am seeing from conservative men. “Playboy is art”. “The female body is supposed to be looked at nude.”
And, “At least it’s not Penthouse”….the age old, lesser of two evils reformatted for you. Are these closet porn viewers? Are they your next door neighbors, your friends’ husbands? Are you friends with them on social media? I posed the question, “If Playboy isn’t porn, then why does a person have to be an “adult” to buy it?”
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them – Ephesians 5:11
Yes, we can judge it all.
Janice Barlow is a true crime author who also wrote a fictitious account of her 14-year-old greyhound’s life. She is currently working on a book about the effects of agent orange on Vietnam Veterans and their children. https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00SUAE9Z4