The last crazy Jones was Jim Jones the religious leader of ‘‘Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple” in Guyana who lead 900 of his followers to commit mass suicide The new Crazy Jones is Rev Terry Jones. He is pastor of a very tiny church in Gainesville Florida. He is not affiliated with any Christian denomination. He is getting his 15 minutes of notoriety with his pledge to celebrate the anniversary of the 9/11Bombings by the burning the Koran, the holy book of our brother Muslims. We can wonder if he will also burn his Christian Bible. It contains the Old and New Testaments which are also holy to Muslims. His timing is interesting. We are in the midst of the Jewish High Holy Days leading to Yom Kippur the Day of Atonement on September 18. It is highly probable that in their worship service our Jewish brothers and sisters might recall “Crystal Night” and the Nazi book burnings and the ultimate consequence.

Craziness in an individual when it is inflamed by hatred and a passion for revenge is unfortunately very highly contagious. We see this in the great artificial New York City Ground Zero Mosque controversy. The highly respected ecumenical leader Iman Feisa wants to build a Muslim oriented spiritual center a few blocks from ground zero. The center is planned to be almost identical to our thousands of Christian Young Men’s (and Women’s) Christian Associations. I am firmly on his side. If I were still a pastor I would try to organize my congregation to bus to New York City to lend our hands and money to help the Iman build his dream.

Jones’s fire designed to foster Anti Muslim hatred can do immediate American political harm. The “Always Vote No” Republican Anti Obama campaign is based in part on hinting that the President is a foreign born, a dangerous socialist and secret Muslim. It is working. How else could a large percent of Americans see a copy of Present Obama’s birth certificate, read his immensely popular two books on his childhood, and hear him denounced by his long time Christian Pastor the Rev. Jeremiah Wright then announce that they believe he is not a native born American, is a Muslim and a mystery to the American public?

However the threat of burning of the Korans impact on the coming Congressional elections while unfortunate it is nothing compared to what can easily arouse the hated and fury of I, 500, 000, 000 Muslims world wide. We have been dealing very ineffectively with a tiny number of Muslim terrorist extremists in our endless bloody twin wars in Muslim Iraq and Afghanistan. It therefore seems prudent to pay attention to General David Petraeus our anti-terrorist Military Commander. He warns of the devastating military consequences of burning the Koran and making the entire Muslim world our sworn enemies.If this seems alarmists consider recent history. Bin Laden and a handful of Muslim extremist hiding in Afghan caves and with no military resources hijacked civilian planes and destroyed the Trade Center and part of the Pentagon. That was nine years ago tomorrow.


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Lisa Hillenbrand on Billie Jean King 

Lisa Hillenbrand Director of Global Marketing at Proctor and Gamble with her dog Biscuit.

The Cincinati Inquirer ran this story on May 9, 2010.We share it because she is our daughter and because it has a poweerful message. Here is the story.

We had standout figures in the community write letters on how Billie Jean King inspired them. This is Lisa Hillenbrand's story. Hillenbrand is director of global marketing at P&G.

Competing in sports I learned the life lessons that I've used to succeed in business. As a competitive swimmer and tennis player growing up, I learned success comes from focused effort, learning the components of each sport and moving forward even after losing. And I learned that women could be successful in formerly male worlds - whether they be tennis courts or corporate board rooms.
One of my role models was Billie Jean King. I grew up in Washington D.C. and watched her, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova play in local tournaments and on TV. It's hard to imagine today, but it was the early '70s and there were few avenues for women to compete. Tennis was one of the few professional women's sports and even there women earned far less than men. It wasn't until 1972 that the US Title IX law forced universities to fund women's athletics.
I saw King and Bobby Riggs' famous "Battle of the Sexes" tennis match, where King demolished vocally chauvinistic former Wimbledon champion Riggs on the court. I was happy she won, but embarrassed by the theatrical antics that went with the match. It had the quality of some of today's bad reality TV and deflected attention from the real drama - that women were coming into their own in domains previously considered men's.
What I remember about King was the strength of her game and her character - her aggressive serve and volley, her focus and her many come-from-behind victories which were fun to watch. She proved that women's tennis could be every bit as interesting and competitive as men's tennis.
And off the court she fought for bigger purses for female players, founded the Women's Tennis Association and coached the U.S. Olympic team. In all, she was the voice for women's sports and athleticism.
And I remember the strength of her character - powerful on the court and off, fearless in using her voice and influence to help other women succeed, dignified when her personal life became tabloid news and compassionate as she worked to help other players succeed.
Today, I'm Director of Global Marketing at Procter & Gamble and I use those lessons I learned from sports every day - figure out the goal, harness efforts of a diverse team, tackle projects as a series of matches - relishing small victories along the way, and keep sharpening skills working toward that goal. Billie Jean King showed us how to do it. And all that work paid off for generations of women who came after her and are now achieving success in sports and in professional life.

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The Washington Post on April 28 reported that Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry while jogging killed a coyote with single shot from his laser sighted pistol. He says he shot because the coyote was attacking his daughter’s dog.

The story goes on to report that in Texas you are allowed to have concealed weapons and that the governor has such a concealed weapon permit. He carries a .380 Ruger which is a very powerful revolver. He says he carries the pistol because he fears snakes. To add to its power the governor uses high powered hollow point ammunition. Unlike regular bullets that passed through the victim the soft point spreads open and tears away huge portions of flesh and bone. It is selected by some gun buffs because this ammunition is highly lethal. It is designed to kill.

The Hague Convention in 1899 outlawed the use of soft pointed bullets called dum-dum. In World War I some soldiers filed the tip of their ammunition which gave the same soft point capacity. These altered cartridges s were also called dum-dum. . They were considered inhuman. For this reason soldiers on either side who were caught with this tampered ammunition were often shot on the spot.

It is clear that Texans and other hand gun worshipers are different. The rest of us are
interested in self protection devices that do not kill attackers or innocent bystanders.
More and more people and most police departments now use a high volt eclectic charged
pistols called Tasers . They discharge a high voltage shot of electricity that instantly
subdues dangerous people. They do not kill or seriously injure but very definitely will
quickly and temporarily control any attacker

I wonder what would be the consequence if in this case on that morning a jogger came from the opposite direction from Governor Perry and who could not see that the governor had legal a concealed lethal weapon under his jacket. They both might at the same time spot the coyote approach the dog. Assuming that the other jogger was an animal lover he jumps to save both the dog and the coyote. The Governor fires and misses the coyote but hits and instantly kills the other jogger.

Most people in the civilized world prohibit or very seriously control handguns. Even in the gun happy Wild West no one was allowed to carry a concealed weapon. This American hand gun loving hysteria also extends to the preposterous idea that we should not prohibit or regulate AK-47s and other machine gun type weapons.

The rationale is that we should be able to both protect our homes and have the right to hunt animals. Anyone can have a hunting rifle. In 50 years of ownership of our farm we have allowed responsible hunting and never saw a hunter hunt with a hand pistol or an AK-47.

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Slavery particularly as it was practiced in the United States was brutal and humiliating for the slaves and we now know it was degrading for the enslavers. Our nation paid a terrible price in blood and treasure in our Civil War. The consequences persist to this day. It has been suggested that there be compensation for the ancestors of the slaves. The question is who was responsible for slavery and who should provide the reparations? The usual conclusion is that whites were solely responsible and therefore the ancestors of the white slave master should compensate the ancestors of the black slaves. The idea encourages racial animosities.

Henry Louis Gates Jr. the Harvard University authority on African American Studies in a New York Times piece (op ad Friday, April 23, 2010) makes a compelling case that it was both whites and blacks who are responsible for the carnage of slavery. He points out that the European colonizers were established along the coasts of western Africa and it was black man who penetrated the interior and enslaves their fellow blacks. It has been estimated that 90% of the slaves shipped to the New World were enslaved by Africans and then sold to European traders. He says that,”it is a sad truth that without complex business partnerships between African elites and European traders and commercial agents the slave trade to the New World would have been impossible or at least on the scale it occurred”.

Dr. Gates cites the transatlantic slave trade database directed by Davis Etis of Emory University which reports that more than 450,000 of African ancestors were shipped to the United States from 1514 to 1866. It adds that 16% of the United States slaves came from eastern Nigeria while 24% came from the Congo. The conquest and capture of Africans and their sale to Europeans was one of the main sources of foreign exchange for several African kingdoms for a very long time.

Gates concludes “Fortunately, in Pres. Obama, the child of an African and an American, we finally have a leader who is uniquely positioned to bridge the great reparations divide. He is uniquely placed to publicly attribute responsibility and culpability where they truly belong, to white people and black people, on both sides of the Atlantic complicit alike in one of the greatest evils in the history of civilization.”

Spiritual Implications: faith groups proclaim that the sins of the fathers should not be visited on their children. They affirm the necessity to “love thy neighbor”. They also caution of the destructiveness of individual and group resentments. It is little noted but of great importance that nation of South Africa is a pioneer in its forgiveness effort. When those whites who were responsible for the past injustices to blacks appear in court and admit their guilt and express genuine remorse they are formally forgiven and returned as potentially productive members of a now racially an integrated society. We should also find encouragement is that fact that the two bitterest U.S. enemies in WWII the Germans and the Japanese are now our closest friends. These developments mark the move from “man’s inhumanity to man” to a new era of “the brotherhood of man”.

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Leaders of the Faith Community passionately support the constitutional right to peacefully assemble as they often have in causes such as support of civil rights and ending wars. They assembled again on April 15 on the steps of the National Church ON Thomas Circle to support the right of the Tea Party Express to assemble but to denounce the hatreds that have been generated by these gatherings throughout the country.

In a strong and unified voice the leaders of the various faiths communities expressed great concern about the hate language and a terrible character attacks. associated with these gatherings There have been incidents of overt racial incidences and bitter attacks against our first African-American president calling him a secret Muslim , a procommunist and even denying that he is a native born American.

The major promoters and media supporter of this hatred is the Fox News Network and full-time hate mongers talk show hosts s like Rush Limbaugh. These hatreds have in the past prompted people like Timothy McVeigh to bomb the Oklahoma City Federal building killing 168 innocent adults and children. Prior to his execution he told interviewers that he was justified and is a martyr in his fight against an expanding Federal Government. There have been numerous and sometimes deadly bombings of abortion clinics. Hate talk does matter.

Our faith communities are committed to responsible behavior of the individual and the bedrock responsibility to minister to all our people who are in need. At this moment we are in a very severe economic downturn with millions of our fellow citizens in deep financial trouble through no fault of their own. We are engaged in two wars and profound changes in the world economy. It is a particularly critical time for us to come together as Americans and to avoid hatemongering.

Members.of the Faith Community meet on the steps of National City Christian Church to voice their concerns.

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