Friday, November 30, 2012

A Christian and a Star of David


I don't own a crucifix.  I don't wear them either.  But as anyone who has read my posts can tell, I am an absolutely flaming Christian.  I do, however, own and occasionally wear a silver Star of David.  I intend to wear it throughout some of December as a reminder that my first priority should be God and as I teach my children about Hanukah and Christmas.  Has Michelle finally lost her mind?  Hardly.

No offense intended whatsoever to anyone who wears a cross.  That is totally your own worship before God and I honor you for it.  People learn differently and it is okay that we all learn and worship differently.  I learn very differently from most people.  You see, I have always been something of an extreme analytical scholar to a degree that often annoys the people around me.  The fact is that for all the arguments between the two religions, Christianity is a branch of the mother Jewish faith.  Every word in the Bible was written by a Jew.  Jesus Christ Himself was a Jew and in fact likely never wore a crucifix round His neck but as a rabbi probably sometimes wore the six pointed star.  It is not that I would dishonor Jesus or Christianity but that I would honor Him as He is and not as I would make Him.  I believe that we owe gratitude and friendship to those who hold to the religion that came before ours. 

I often hear people upset when others employ the term "Happy Holidays" insisting that we should all instead say "Merry Christmas."  I appreciate a Jewish personal trainer of mine some years ago who spent hours handmaking Christmas presents and wishing all her clients and friends a very hearty "Merry Christmas!"  I wasn't sure how to respond at the time but that example of friendship and kindness has stayed with me and it was that December that I purchased this Star of David necklace.  If we would really remember Jesus Christ, let us remember that contention and argument are not of Him, and that He leaves us free to be kind to and appreciate all people, for we are all children of God.   








 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Message from Saint Nicholas

  My dear friends in 2012,

How grateful I am that you celebrate in the month of December!  I myself was highly religious from my youth in Patara, Greece, even before the early death of my parents.  The left me with so many blessings, for though they were very wealthy in things of the world, which I inherited as their only child, but from my birth in 270 AD they set an amazing example of Christian service before God took them out of this world.  I wanted to give to others as God had given to me.  I secretly watched for those in need and yes, sometimes placed coins in people's shoes.  I'm not sure how the idea evolved into socks, but whatever you will. 

But though I find myself honored by the tradition and legacy you have made of me, I feel the need to straighten you out on a few points.  I myself wanted to give only out of good will to God and man, and I would direct you to the same source of inspiration.  I find myself horrified at the spectacle so many have made to place me on a pedestal and completely forget the purpose of my generosity.  I didn't do it to gain credit - that is why I did my good deeds in secret!  I wanted people to give thanks to God, and I am tempted to feel almost ashamed before my Maker that so many practically worship me, weak and fallible man that I am, and forget the Lord who has given them so much.

With all humility of spirit, I would ask for a gift from you this year.  Forget about me.  Forget me entirely.  I am more than content to have my name blotted out from the records of history if instead it would be replaced by the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  If you will give to others, do it because of the gift God has given you in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.  After my death on December 6, 343 AD my bones were taken apart and placed in two different cities - surely I am not the one deserving of worship.  I am only a man made from the dust and have no power even to keep my physical remains in a common country.  But Jesus Christ - where are His mighty bones?  I beg you to give credit where credit is due.  Remember Him this season.  I did, and I continue to think only of Him and forget myself in whatever service I can render to Him.

God bless you and Merry Christmas!

Nikolaos of Myra

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I Wish You a Calm and Serene December

Some people wish Merry Christmas.  Yes, that will come, I am sure.  But we face a common paradox this last month of the year.  It is supposed to be the happiest, sweetest, most loving time of the year in which we focus on religion in whichever form we see fit.  But here's the inevitable question: How often is December anything much more than a constant, hysterical headache?  I thought so.

When I was young I was often depressed during the family Christmas parties and spent a good amount of time alone in whatever manner I could find.  It was nothing against my family, but when we as a society are so bombarded with demands, invitations, lights and the stress of following traditions that I always felt there was something important missing.  As I matured I realized that what I felt was amiss was that it was difficult to commune with God through all the brash and bright festivities.  When we measure our religious devotion at this time by our zeal not for God but for engagements and singing carols in the streets we rob ourselves of the whole point of Christmas (or whatever celebration we decide to honor).  Truthfully, were it not for my kids who become highly excited for the presents et cetera I would be wholly content to spend the latter part of the month alone in my room on my knees in prayer, reading the four Gospels or quietly rendering anonymous service to others.  It seems more appropriate.

But we live in this loud and boisterous world.  We can't very well spend the whole month in that manner but I would encourage each of us to simplify this year as much as is humanly possible.  Forget the million traditions and do what will bring you and yours closer to God.  If that means forgetting the cookies you usually bake for everyone in the neighborhood or contenting yourself with one string of lights instead of decorating every inch of your home inside and out, then have the courage to defy the status quo.  This year I started making Christmas presents in January and though I am not finished, and some of those around me will have to settle for something store bought it has taken a great deal of stress and strain from the season.  While we may not be able to do that this year, we might think of starting early next year and thus truly keep Christmas in our lives all year round. 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Praying for Strength During Weight Training

I love to work out!  I love to eat healthy food!  I once read in an Oxygen magazine that everyone works out primarily in order to be sexy.  It proclaimed "Well, maybe there are some nuns out there who don't want to be sexy, but..."  Okay.  Consider me a nun.  That isn't why I work out. 

It is very easy to look around the gym and judge others and oneself.  One can say "Well at least I'm lifting more than her!" or "I can bench press far  more than he can!"  But seriously, it doesn't get anyone anywhere.  It's easy to think "I have to meet my fitness goal" or "I need to look better than I do."  Fitness goals are commendable but that really isn't the point. 

I pray when I go to the gym.  I pray that God will direct me to do what He knows I can do and that He will make of my physique what He needs it to be.  I focus on functionality.  I want to be able to have the physical strength to help others in times of need, be able to help in rescue or reconstruction after natural disasters, or anything else the Lord would want me to do.  After all, He gave me this body in the first place, free and clear from deformity and capable of service to others.  Isn't it fitting that I ought to form and chisel it with His service in mind?

And the result?  I am stronger than I probably appear.  I find it relaxing to twist my form into a pretzel and have become all but oblivious to the cries of the world, which say "You have to look this way or be able to run marathons."  (I cannot run marathons to save my life.  I am a devastatingly talented sprinter, though.)  When you recognize that you are doing the best you can with what God gave you and you are doing it for a deeper purpose than competition or appearance, it frees you from the need of worry, self doubt, pride, competitiveness and the like.  You are your own person and have your own role to play in this world, and no one can make you feel either inferior or proud.   

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Out of the Mouths of Babes

I usually never hide my age.  The only time I skirt the issue is when I am talking to people older than myself and want them to take me seriously.  Then I avoid it like the plague.  I'd rather be taken for what I know and can do than find myself judged by my comparatively few years.  I have had the experience of judging others in this same way twice.  Both people proved wise far beyond their years, and their work remains some of my absolutely lasting favorites. 

The first was in college when I walked into a lecture hall and could only tell the identity of the professor apart from his students by the tell tale dress shirt and tie.  I confess I raised an eyebrow and in my overwhelming pity concluded that the university must have had extreme budget cuts to place this infant, still sucking proverbial Gerber, in front of a class of two hundred.  I determined to defend this poor kid from the attacks that would undoubtedly fall upon him.

And then he opened his mouth.  A lightening bolt could not have shocked me harder than this professor, suddenly a man and a formidable one, who instantly both intimidated his students into oblivion and impressed them with his intellectual prowess.  Within fifteen minutes I knew that the two hundred of us were no match for this literary passion in the human form of Dr. Greg Jackson.  He later wrote a book entitled The Word and Its Witness: The Spiritualization of American Realism, which proved as groundbreaking as it was breathtaking.  You can catch it on amazon.com but unless you speak fluent professor, don't attempt it without a dictionary at your side.

The second was when the Mormon church appointed a new apostle in the person of David A. Bednar.  A young fellow in his fifties or so took the apostolic position and I sat rather uninspired and swallowed the decision with a grain of salt.  The other apostles were much older.  I tried to stifle yawns and refrain from eye rolling at his appearance. 

God decided I ought to meet him.  I attended a speaking engagement and as I waited for him to make his appearance the thought kept returning "Do not judge this man by his age."  I didn't see him enter the room but when he did the entire congregation immediately and involuntarily hushed.  I have met apostles and prophets before and since but this was altogether different.  Every word he spoke was like pure, unadulterated fire.  He mentioned that he liked to look into people's eyes and see what was in their souls.  When I shook his hand, I took him up on this offer and locked my gaze into his.  I felt my whole being almost melt with fervent heat and literally nearly fell over.  His hand still grasping mine steadied me and I could see in the twinkle of his eyes that he knew exactly what had just hit me with so much power. 

His books, Increase in Learning and Act in Doctrine,  prove profound in the highest degree.  I learned more about teaching in one chapter of the former than in the College of Education and all my teaching experience combined.  Feel free to pick them up at deseretbook.com but be aware that these reads may very well turn your life upside down.  He intended that they should. 

Never judge a book by its cover and never judge abilities by age.  Never assume you can do better or know better than someone simply because you have greater years.  Especially never assume that by virtue of age and pride alone, you know better than young children.  They just might surprise you.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Triple Chocolate Decadence

Happy birthday to me!  Actually, it was this weekend, but life has been a whirlwind so I am celebrating it tonight.  And when my children return from school we will be making a triple chocolate decadent cake.  I know a few eyebrows just shot straight up because I never eat anything unhealthy.  But this morning I worked like a slave at the gym and I choose to knowlingly allow something unhealthy past my lips.  And since I am going to do it, I will put my full knowledge of junk food to good use and eat only the best.  Nothing less would prove worthy, since I take such intense care of my health.

It's the same concept with life and particularly in finding a significant other.  Media tells us that we are somehow weird or substandard if we hold to traditionally moral principles.  It tells us that we are wrong if we don't sleep around or engage in other wholly cheapening behavior.  They supplement this by crushing into oblivion the physical self image by proclaiming that in order to be attractive, we have to look a certain way.  But they fail to take one little thing into account.

You are amazing just the way you are.  You are worthy of only the best.  I would encourage my friends out there (and you are all my friends) to be just a little more arrogant.  Just a little more narcissistic.  Just have a bit more self love.  Recognize that you will have the best in a relationship or nothing.  And nothing is okay.  "Nothing" means you have more time to focus on you, what you want out of life, becoming a better person, and doing all those things you want to do without having anyone to hold you back.  Take your time; be wise with your relationships.  And when you engage in a relationship, do it with both eyes open, knowing the consequences beforehand and being prepared to accept them.  You are worth more than to settle for something that ultimately will not satisfy. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Real Woman's Rights

"You are the womanliest woman I know!" I told my older sister, Crystal, over an apple gorgonzola salad earlier this week.  We had been discussing a book she was reading and she had expressed her disgust at the idea that the protagonist had very flippantly decided on having an abortion.  The very idea of abortion disgusts her to the point of being unable to even discuss the subject.  She is, in my mind, the very picture of femininity. 

I am not as beautifully feminine by nature.  Perhaps it is because my nearest sibling and cousins are all boys, or perhaps because I didn't automatically feel the desire for motherhood in my elementary years as she did, but I found it much easier to feed into the bizarre gender confusion of our present society.  I have never believed it right, but like many women I know, I didn't initially believe that I could measure up to the daunting task of motherhood and gentle humanity.

But my friends, I know for a fact that the highest measure of a woman's nature is motherhood.  I have learned to love it.  The most glorious thing a woman can do is create not only children but a loving and uplifting home.  We should not be expected to compete with men in the marketplace.  We should have the right to be respected as the creative, passionate, beautiful goddesses we are without feeling like we have to apologize for reaching the height and glory of our creation.  We should have the right to be treated like women, real women, rather than have society and lawmakers assume that we want the right to murder our own children in cold blood.  Real women cannot bear the thought of abortion.  Real women recognize that they should be able to turn to a man for protection, love, admiration and as a familial breadwinner.  And real men ought to be willing, if possible, to fulfill those primarily masculine roles.  I recognize that some would like to pass off these roles as something traditional that the evil western world created.  When I see men regularly carry babies in their bodies for nine months and suffer through labor I will gladly concede the point. 

Ladies, don't be ashamed of the woman God made you.  And men, don't try to downplay women's abilities, assume that women should be the providers, or belittle the most important and vital work they do in their homes.  Instead, I would encourage you to take the mantle of patriarch on your shoulders, behave like real men and let us be real, glorious, women. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hopelessly Romantic

As I look over the social constituents of the day I find a strange and unfortunate prevalent pattern.  While we are a highly sexualized society, we haven't the first clue regarding romance.  And I find that the more sexualized a person or group become they less they understand the concept of love and romance.  Let's take a look at this in two scenarios, shall we?

A woman dresses in a tight, low cut, short skirtted outfit and heads to a bar to find some "fun."  She runs into a man who reeks like week old Budweiser and the next thing she remembers is waking up in the morning.  Oh yeah.  Romantic.  (Claps dripping with sarcasm)  Can't we do better than that?

Here's another one.  A guy walks into a library to pursue his soul wrenching passion of...whatever.  Politics, history, literature, music theory, auto mechanics, sports...whatever.  As he meanders toward his intellectual passion he notices a gorgeous lady in the biography section holding a volume on Ralph Waldo Emerson.  He tries not to stare but keeping her in sight suddenly stands a little taller and struts past her.  He momentarily forgot what brought him to the stacks in the first place.  A minute later, the woman happens to glance up over the top of her book and notices a handsome, intelligent looking guy reading a book on basket weaving.  She notes confusedly that he's holding the book upside down.  He doesn't seem to realize this pertinent fact.  Their eyes meet.  She blushes and tries to look back down at her book but passion has her in its grip and...

...months later they get engaged, then married, devote themselves to each other in body and mind, and live happily ever after. 

My friends, moral decency is hardly outdated.  It's the highest notch in the ladder of romance.  It creates the happily ever after we all want.  So let's all have a little self control and live happily ever after!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Choice to Truly Live

There lies within each one of us
The choice to truly live,
To learn and grow tremendously,
To strengthen and forgive.

Our world calls to us angrily
"Give up the wasted fight!"
But deep within there shines the truth
That evil's never right.

And though the crowd proves maddening
Insisting we desist
Our course is straight, our aim is sure
And vices we'll resist.

For love proves greater than revenge
And kindness more than hate
Inspires floods of human strength
Unto a better fate.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Obeying God and a Sexy Red Dress

As most people who know me realize, I spend much of my time engaged in prayer.  My mind, for as far back as I can recall, has been engaged in the serious matters of life and in striving for a better world.  I have generally forgotten about clothes, fashion and the like, thinking that it wasn't worth my concern.  Today God turned that around on me.

This morning began in chaos and continued in that vein until my morning was hopelessly unraveled.  Upon much prayer I felt impressed to head to the mall.  A slight  grin threatened at my lips as I thought of a particularly stunning red dress that had beckoned to me earlier.  I had cast the idea aside as something trivial, but as I neared the familiar building of frivolity the idea persisted that I needed to buy it.  I argued.  I reasoned that I could use that money to rescue those in need.  God hit me with a very surprising answer.  It went something like this.

"If I asked you to spend that money on a program to promote moral decency, would you do it?"

My answer was, "of course!"

"There is a greater need right in front of you.  There is a war going on in this world that destroys lives, homes, spirits and turns people from Me.  It is the plague of immodesty and the belief that moral decency is outdated.  I need warriors to fight this.  You have the ability to help prove that modesty can be attractive and exciting.  Go buy that dress and wear it with pride."

I own a new drop dead gorgeous red dress now.  Men are that they might have joy.  Women are that they might have clothes. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Duarte Stories: Dreaming of Smooth Walls

My late grandmother, Catalina Vasquez, moved from her home in Tiunadepa, Mexico to a much poorer village, Turicachi when she was eight years old.  Those of my family who have traveled there know that the homes are rough with floors of dirt or cracked concrete.  The adobe walls have holes in them and even if you spend the night in the finest (and only) hotel in the larger neighboring town, you very much risk freezing in the wintertime.  Here my grandmother grew and learned, and was taught by arrogant inhabitants of that town that she would never have anything better than the home woven straw mat she called her bed. 

But Catalina was a fighter.  She had a dream that one day, she would live in a fine, beautiful house.  It would even have the unthinkable luxury of smooth walls.  No one believed she could do it.  No one supported her hopes and dreams.  When her sister died at 42 leaving her with five extra children to add to her own large brood she found herself in considerable financial distress.  Her older brother kept her from starving and she labored without ceasing until she was able to move her family to a filthy, fly ridden town that bordered the great United States of America.  There she continued to work, cleaning people's homes and coming home sometimes in the dead of night half frozen.  She endured abuse from her clients and sometimes they stiffed her in their payment.  But still she pressed onward.

Making a very long and weary story short, she brought her eight children and her late sister's five children to the United States and settled in a very modest home in southwest Tucson, Arizona.  I am told that the first night she spent there, as she laid beside her husband, she began to weep.  He asked what the matter was and she responded "I am living in a house with smooth walls!" 

My friends, when life gets us down and we feel that things can't get any worse, let's have some perspective.  Reach your hand to your bedroom wall and exclaim with gratitude in your heart, "I am living in a house with smooth walls!"

The Duarte Stories: Full of Blessings

This Sunday as I was directing music for church I found myself overpowered by a certain verse and had to turn my face away for an instant as tears pricked at my eyes and my voice threated to shake.  It was the third verse of the hymn "Count Your Blessings." 

My grandfather, Manuel Isidro Lara Duarte, loved that verse of eternal hope for those poor as to things of this world.  He was an orphan in poverty stricken Turicachi, Mexico and from his earliest years he learned to work hard and do without luxury.  He is remembered for his hardworking nature, honesty, and resourceful attitude.  He provided as best he could for his wife and eight children, and left a legacy that can never die.  Near the end of his life, as he lay languishing in the slow agonizing death of pancreatic cancer, my mother sat by his side as he tried to speak.  He began talking weakly, trying to convey an idea to her.  He said "I am full..." My mother thought he meant he felt full of sickness and tumors.  He continued, "I am full of blessings."  The last time he saw his children together at his bedside he told them with his characteristic fearlessness, "I am not afraid of closing my eyes.  I am afraid of opening them (on Resurrection Day) and finding that one or two of my children didn't make it (to heaven)."  His last act as the exquisite patriarch he was, was to lead his children in singing the aforementioned hymn.  Though his body was failing his voice was strong in passionate leadership as he sang the following hymn in Spanish:

When you look at others with their lands and gold
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold.
Count your many blessings, money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
Count your many blessings, name them one by one.
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done. 
Count your blessings, name them one by one. 
Count your many blessings, see what God hath done.

 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Obama Won, But it Isn't Over Yet

I know that many of my more faithful readers will be downcast today, but this is no time for sadness.  It is a time for optimism and resolve.  I have never believed that this was a competition between two men.  It has been for me one small part of the greater fight for moral decency and spiritually uplifting the American people.  Now the real fight begins.  We live in a land that has chosen a party that is ashamed of the name of God, that supports the murder of unborn children and believes in moral anarchy.  Now is the time to arise, be grateful to God that He placed you in a place where you can be of real use, and get to work.

Allow me the use of a concept taught in the Book of Mormon.  It states that the word of God has a greater effect on the hearts of the children of men than even the sword.  Physical brutality will not be powerful enough to turn this nation around, but the power of the word of God can.  So here's the game plan, my friends.  So we live in a nation that allows divorce for absolutely no reason.  Change the minds of the people and no one will use that right without very good reason.  Abortion is allowed.  Soften the hearts of the women and its clinics will fall into disuse.  Granted there are some problems like foreign policy that will be harder for us as private citizens to fix but if we are doing what we can there is a more powerful force with us than the whole of the United States military. 

You may consider that what I outline seems a daunting task.  I never said it would be easy.  But I have seen murderers, rapists, and the like turn their lives around, turn their hearts to God and repent their crimes, and I know it can be done.  So wherever you are, I encourage you to preach in love, with prayer and holding fast to personal revelation from God.  Preach without ceasing from sunrise to sundown.  Preach in the lines in the supermarket, at your children's schools, and in your homes.  And when necessary, use words. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

A Prayer for America

As many of my readers know, I have often prayed for Mitt Romney's success in this unthinkably difficult campaign.  But looking across our great nation as a whole I recognize there is another prayer we need more desperately.  We need to pray for the American people.  Let us pray for them to be wise.  Let us pray for our own people to remember the innocent unborn children whose lives are wrenched away from them in the name of women's rights.  Let us remember how sacred our bodies are and reverence them, treat them sacredly, and bring virtue back to the mainstream social stage of American life.
 
We do not need a candidate or a president nearly as much as we need to remember the value of work not only for our adults but also our children.  Let us teach our children to work and to find joy in labor.  Let us remember the precious trust we have to protect our allies and defend the country of Israel.  We pray for our enemies who would terrorize us, that they may be softened and realize we have no animosity for them if they will leave us alone.  But if not, we pray for the strength to fight like lions to unravel their plans and bring them to justice, even to the eternal justice of our mighty Creator. 
 
I pray that we as a people will turn our focus back to the family and forget the shallow, empty constituents of the world that will never render lasting joy.  Let us remember that freedom of religion and freedom of speech, even in front of the president himself, is what has in profound measure made this country the greatest nation on earth.  And let us remember our God, by whatever name we may call Him, and call upon His power to forgive and strengthen the nation that has threatened to forget Him.
 
Lastly, I sincerely ask your prayers to combine with mine for the devastated state of New Jersey and its surrounding areas.  This poor state has been pounded by a merciless Mother Nature and every day I turn a pained, grief stricken heart toward the east coast and wait on pinpricks to hear the number and if possible, the names of the dead.  I find myself involuntarily holding my breath as I read through the reports of this devastation and continually pray for the safety of those I know in that area and also those I don't.  They are never far from my thoughts.  We love you, our east coast American family!  God bless our nation and let us give Him a viable reason to do so.

Amen.

Friday, November 2, 2012

I Love Someone with Autism

I often see this slogan on bumper stickers, particularly around my children's school.  Another sticker bears the injunction "Cure Autism Now!"  Truthfully, as a parent of an autistic daughter, the well meaning demand to cure autism immediately saddens me.  Why?  Shouldn't I want my daughter to be a neuro typical?  With all the therapy she undergoes in speech and occupation shouldn't I want her cured?  Not as badly as one might think.

Autism is a gift from God.  It is a mighty gift that we are only now beginning to appreciate.  I find in my daughter a precious kind of innocence in a very dark, immoral world.  She is detached from this world in a powerful way and because she is, she continually reminds people that there is something far greater than the status quo.  No one who gets to know her walks away without coming under her all consuming spell of excitement.  She is excited to be alive, to experience things, to learn and to grow.  And though at six years old she still speaks somewhat like a baby, her intelligence proves beyond impressive.  She will rattle off names and dates in ways that continually twist my mind into knots.  She refers to songs in books of sheet music by their page numbers off the top of her head.  She writes chapter books and is a profoundly expressive reader.  I have never had any doubt that one day she may, if she likes, take over the world. 

So before we shun what makes people different, and sometimes we might be tempted to say, less or impaired, let us remember that their gifts are what make them incredible.  Sometimes rather than trying to "fix" the "problem" we might sit down and consider what amazing truths we can find in this so called "handicapped" person.  Rather than trying to destroy what makes them so special, let us learn from their very different perspective.  Granted, we work very hard on her language, grammar, fine motor skills and the like, but those are mere details compared to the vast amount of passionate intelligence autistic people almost always hold.  And yes, ensuring she can function in a classroom is important and the like, but that is only a surface feature.  Regarding the deeper level of autistic power in my daughter, I would not change a hair on her magnificent head. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Urgent! A New Threat Greater Than Hurricane Sandy

We have all turned pained eyes to New Jersey shores this week and I have been no less concerned about the havoc wreaked in New England.  I know that many have friends, family, associates and the like in that region and my prayers have been constantly bent in that direction.  I myself have an interest in someone in Washington D.C., another in Baltimore and another in New Brunswick.  And I know we have been grateful for the labors of everyone involved, not least of all Governor Chris Christie and President Obama.  It has been a necessary break from the maddening election hysteria.

While I am grateful that President Obama was present, I am also reminded that we have a greater threat to our nation than hurricane Sandy.  We have a danger lurking that threatens our existence as a nation and as a people.  We cannot deny the fact that there are groups of living, breathing humans who seek to destroy America as evidenced in our latest attack in Benghazi.  It was an attack that could have been avoided and was managed horrendously by the White House.  And after this devastating attack of hatred, we have heard nothing but excuses and most recently, a deafening silence.   My friends, this is a more terrifying warning than the weather reports that preceded the storm.  Our failure to action and even to openly discuss this situation lends its support to those who murdered our people in cold blood and got away without even the American people knowing the truth behind it, much less bringing the murderers to justice.

We look weak and frightened as a nation in the eyes of this world and terrorists will not hesitate to strike again, and much harder.  They will not fear that we will even slap them on the wrist or so much as take notice.  And while we turn a blind eye, all of us are in potential danger.  It may not be a small attack on a specific person next time.  Next time it could truly be a full ranged brutality on thousands.  President Obama has called on us to push "forward."  But after this protection of terrorists and his own attacks on religious freedom, freedom of speech, financial progression, and moral uprightness where is he leading us?