Archive for the ‘ Controversy ’ Category

There was much ado this week on the Facebook around the issue of preachers’ kids and why they go bad.

Seems, fount of wisdom, Katy Perry who is a preacher’s kid opined as to why preachers’ kids lose their faith, leave the church they were brought UP in, and even sometimes abandon their teachings and beliefs in God altogether.

The way I see it, Katy Perry seems to wear her rejection of her childhood teachings like a badge of honor.

Although I think Ms Perry is misguided and foolish and her interview in Vogue is a train wreck, the article or post about it contains some good, viable information.

It talks about Katy Perry’s preacher’s kids story, and implies that her story is every PK’s story.

But, it’s not the story every preacher’s kid would tell, and it’s for darn sure not mine.

Oh, yes, I’m a preacher’s kid, or PK as some would call it.

Frankly, I prefer TO:  Theological Offspring.  It sounds classier, and as you can tell from the name of my site and the many and varied topics on which I post…

Well, I’m just a classy guy.

So, no to the PK and yes to the TO, ok?

The post written for For Every Mom by Megan Briggs, a child of a PK herself, is well written, well thought out, and  hits the mark, or close to it.

But, to be sure, I think Katy is wrong.

I think she chose to reject what she was taught, not because there was too much of it, or because there were no choices, but because it is just easier and often more advantageous to be the rebel.

Which she is.

I’ll make some comparisons – and as you know – this will get rambley – hey, it’s the way I roll.

Ms Perry is the daughter of evangelical pastors Keith and Mary Hudson.

Difference # 1, I am the son of a Baptist Preacher, teacher, and expositor and his wife. Mom was Dad’s wife and our mom.  She was a member of the church, an active one, but she didn’t belong to the church, and T-RUST me, the church knew it.

There are similarities too.  Katy grew UP singing in church, as did I, she hit it big, and I, well, I did not.  Perry states her attendance at church was required.  Mine was as well.

But, then I was a kid, Mom and Dad were going to church, I’m six years old, they are not going to let me stay home by my lonesome – who needs all that DFACS trouble anyway?

Her family “steered clear of cultural traditions like Santa Claus and anything having to do with Halloween…”

Difference #2, Daddy told us the real reason for Christmas, sang “Here Comes Santy Claus,” and schooled us on where Red and Green came from and how Christmas had moved from a celebration of Christ’s birth to a pagan ritual to a combined event.

Daddy was pretty smart, knew his history and more than that, knew the Bible.  Halloween was a time for kids to dress UP, get candy, and have fun.  We never had the witchy scary stuff.  I went as a hobo, Popeye The Sailor Man, stuff like that.

We even had a Halloween Party at church.

Perry implied in her interview that there was a “…political line of thinking she was expected to adhere to…”

Her dad watched Fox News.

And though my dad watched all the talking heads on TV, and was a very spiritual/religious man, I don’t think religious affiliation is a requirement for Fox News fans.

Perry’s folks were protesters.  They protested Marilyn Manson.

Dad wasn’t a protester.  He wrote the editor of the local paper – often.

Perry, like me, was taught the doctrine of separation.

The Bible says ‘…Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing…” in 2nd Corinthians.

The Apostle Paul wasn’t just referring to her relationship with Russell Brand… In other words, there’s a path of salvation and a path of destruction. The Apostle Paul suggests pulling away from the pleasures of the world and trusting Jesus is the right route to take.

Katy of course, has become a major influence in modern day media culture.

She refers to a “…higher power bigger than me because that keeps me accountable…” but she doesn’t believe in an “…old man sitting on a throne…”

I was taught there is a God, the Almighty God, and He is on his throne in Heaven overseeing the world.

Old Man?  who knows, He might be an old man, and He’s assuredly a higher power.

But He’s not only a higher power, He is THE Higher Power.

Why is it so difficult to call him God?

Katy has substituted her political activism for her religion while declaring she has to “…stand for something…”

What’s wrong with standing for what you were taught, and what’s wrong with standing for God?

And there was some blather in there about sexism and misogyny, trauma from her past about a controlling guy, blah, blah, blah.

Katy like me, was taught there’s a Heaven and a Hell.

She has decided that’s not the case.

Time will tell.

Fortunately, the article isn’t all about Katy Perry. The writer offers some suggestions :

  • Give your preacher’s kid a choice whenever possible
  • Make your parent-child relationship a priority
  • Be honest with your preacher’s kid
  • Don’t force doctrine on your preacher’s kid

The writer says, “The thing that stands out to me the most in Perry’s story is the lack of choice in her upbringing.”

Of course there was little choice when it came to religion.  Most families are that way – at least families with parents who have a religion.

Teaching kids right from wrong is called parenting allowing them to make ill-advised choices is called neglect.

But, Katy says she had no choice.

Again, I disagree.  We all have choices.

This is where my story starts…

Looking back, there were few choices in my childhood, and almost none when it came to church, the Bible, and God’s son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…but in reality,  I like Katy, had a choice.

One either chooses God or rejects God.

It’s pretty simple looking back, but at the time it was tough.

I don’t remember thinking as a child, “…the minute I get out of this house I’m never going to church again…” but for a while, I had little time for God, the church, or religion.

I know we were there every time the doors were open, Sunday School, Worship Service, Wednesday Night Bible Study, Revivals, Bible School.

Heck, I’ve been to more funerals and weddings than most people.

We went, and though the choice wasn’t ours, it didn’t turn me off on God.

But I strayed.

I went a while without opening my Bible.

I went a while without praying.

I made some bad choices.  I won’t call them mistakes, because they were decisions.  My decisions.

And for a while, I like Katy, saw things differently.  But I, unlike Katy, came back.

Thank God for that.

The Bible says “…Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it…”

That’s pretty much a promise if you ask me.

Teach the children well.

Tell them what you believe is true and sure.

As parents, do all you can.

But in the end, it is still the option of the child.

There were five of us.

The older two never strayed…I mean never strayed…it was annoying, and a standard I decided early on I’d never make.

The last three of us – well, we strayed.

And for a while we stayed.

But, always in the back of my mind there was that “Train UP the child” thing.

As a kid, it was fitting in.

Germantown wasn’t easy for a Baptist preacher’s kid.

There were temptations, there was acceptance, and there were entertainment options so to speak.

Dancing was forbidden.

I loved to dance.

I danced.

I still dance.

But, always in the back of my mind, I knew some things, some of the choices, weren’t right.

I wonder, if Katy feels that way.

What Katy doesn’t say and where we differ is I believe that if the Devil can’t get to the preacher, he will try to get to his kids, and if the preacher isn’t watching, he can lose them to Satan.

It happens, and it was happening to me.

But, always in the back of my mind, it was a choice.

I chose for a season to reject what I’d been taught.

I chose for a season to ignore what I’d been taught.

And I chose for a season to do what I wanted.

When it all comes down to it, it’s all about choices. One can be taught one way all their life, but their own free will determines the path they will take.

Katy’s folks gave her choices, she just rejected them.

For me, in the end, it was my choice to choose their choice.

Looking back, I see now how fortunate I was.  I heard things growing UP that most people never got to hear.  Not everyone had a dad who knew the Bible like mine did.  Not every kid heard the Bible stories told by someone who really knew them, really studied them, and really loved them.

Not everyone was fortunate enough to be a Preacher’s Kid.

 

If you’d like to read the article please go to For Every Mom – here’s the link…

Katy Perry and Why You Need to Give Your Christian Kid Choices

It’s a great blog every day.

Just a note…

  • “If there’s one thing I’ve heard from disgruntled preacher’s kids, it’s that they couldn’t stand the hypocrisy they witnessed.”
    • Let me be clear; I can’t not conjure UP one example of hypocrisy in either of my parents.
  • Don’t force doctrine on your preacher’s kid
    • I disagree – entirely. Parents, preachers or not, are supposed to teach their children what they believe is right and give them enough space to opt in or out.

La Monte-à-regret

On April 25, 1792, Nicolas Jaques Pelletier was the first person to be executed by guillotine.

Now, this came as a surprise to me as I thought the device had been thought UP much earlier.

Think about it.  The blade de jour had only been used as a means of execution in France for 16 months when it’s most notable victim, Louis XVI was executed.

This, with as much as I’ve read about the Bourbons of France, had never dawned on me.

So, of course, I needed to investigate!

Pelletier was a known criminal, as were all his friends, but on the night of October 14, 1791 he, along with others attacked a passerby on the Rue Bourbon-Villlenueve in Paris and relieved said passerby of his wallet and several securities.

During the robbery the victim was killed.  Pelletier was accused and arrested that same evening when the cries of the victim were heard by nearby gendarmes.

Pelletier’s solicitor called for a fair court hearing, but Judge Moreau, France’s equivalent of a hanging judge, sentenced him to death and a few days later his appeal to the second criminal court was lost;  his sentence was confirmed.

The execution was delayed while the National Assembly debated whether or not decapitation should be the only means of capital punishment.  Other options included breaking at the wheel which King Louis VXI had banned and  fire, as well as other swell methods.

The Assembly decided that decapitation was the only humane way and at the urging of Joseph Ignace Guillotin, a new invention by surgeon Antoine Louis was adopted as France’s device de jour for execution.

Yes, kids, Guillotin didn’t invent the Guillotine as we’ve been taught all along, Antoine Louis did.

On March 23, 1972, the guillotine was decreed the only method of legal execution.

The Guillotine was placed on scaffolding just outside the Hotel de Ville where public executions had taken place for the last seventy years or so.

Thinking a large number of people might show UP for the first ever guillotine execution, the prison warden asked General Lafayette for a contingent of National Guardsmen to ensure order.

About 3:30 that afternoon, Pellleter was lead to the scaffold wearing a red shirt which matched the color of the guillotine.  As predicted by the officials, a large crowd was there eager to see the new invention at work!

The execution moved swiftly, and within seconds Pelletier was dispatched.

The crowd was disappointed, feeling it was too quick and clinically effective, thus not providing the entertainment value of previous executions.

They began changing “bring back our wheel” and “bring back our wooden gallows!”  “Not my guillotine.”

Someone started selling knitted red hats.

Okay, that’s not true…but

…did I mention that public executions in France were a form of family entertainment?

Sorry, should have included that.

Mom would pack a lunch and dad would load UP the kiddos in the cart and off to the Hotel de Ville they’d go for an afternoon of hangings, breakings, and burnings at the stake!

But then, they gave us perfume and dry cleaning, so I suppose we can forgive them, right?

And the metric system…ugh!

In 16 months, the Reign of Terror would take the life of the French King and his Queen, Marie Antoinette and thousands of others.

By this time, public executions were carried out at the Place de la Revolution, a former palace of the king now known as the Palace de la Concorde.

The executions drew great crowds as the heads of the French nobility rolled.  Vendors sold programs listing the names of those condemned to die as well as sweets, sandwiches, and other foods.

Aside from popular entertainment, the guillotine symbolized the ideals of the revolution; Equality, liberty, fraternity.

Prior to the revolution, there were separate forms of execution for the nobility and the common folk.

The guillotine evened things out, so to speak.

The device remained the official method of execution in France until the death penalty was abolished in 1981.

The last guillotining took place in 1977 when child murderers Christian Ranucci and Jerome Carrein were executed in Marseille just prior to the execution of Hamida Djandoubi’s , a torturer-murderer in September.

The device has had many names over time.  La Monte-à-regret, or the regretful climb being one.

You see, regardless of the method, executions back in the day included a climb UP 13 steps.

Dr. Guillotin’s family was so embarrassed by his association with the device they petitioned the French government to rename it.

When their request was refused, they changed their family name.

Dr. Guillotin, contrary to what many believe died in his sleep at the age of 75; he was not a victim of the device he encouraged as a more humane method.

There was a Dr. JMV Guillotin of Lyons who was, indeed, led to the scaffold and executed by the device.

That could have been where that little mix UP came from!

Don’t lose your head today! Okay?

Marjorie’s Place…

There has been much in the news lately about a little place in Palm Beach called Mar A Lago.

We’ll talk about all the news, but first some background on the “cottage” by the sea in South Florida.

Marjorie Merriweather Post built the place starting in 1924, three years later, it was completed and she and her husband de jour moved in.

Well, not so much as moved in as came and went.

It was a second third fourth who knows home to the couple and their tribe.

Marjorie was born the daughter of C. W. Post and his wife Ella Merriweather and at the age of 27 became the owner of Postum Cereal Company, and was at the time the wealthiest woman in America. Her net worth was roughly $250 million – then.

She built Mar A Lago with her second husband – she would eventually have four – EF Hutton.  You know, the one every one listens to.

She had three children, the most famous being actress Dina Merrill, who married money as well, as in the Colgate Palmolive money.

Honestly, the family that banks together, stays together.

Well, maybe not.

D I V O R C E.

Back to Marge.

Upon her death following a long illness in 1973, Post willed Mar A Lago to the US Government as a “resort for Presidents and foreign dignitaries.”

The US Government didn’t want it, Nixon had his Florida White House in Key Biscayne, Carter could have cared less about Florida, and eventually, after much wrangling, drama, and subterfuge, the place was sold to private citizen Donald Trump.

Funny how that all worked out!

The place was designed by Marion Sims Wyeth and the interior was created by Joseph Urban. It sits on 17 acres between the Atlantic Ocean and the Florida Inter-coastal Waterway, and Lake Worth,  hence the name Mar A Lago, or Sea to Lake.

In the early 1990s, Trump faced financial troubles, and while making a “believe me, it’s gonna be the best deal ever” deal with bankers mentioned he was going to cut the place with a 128 room mansion sitting on it UP into smaller properties.

Palm Beachians nearly rent their sweater sets in angst!

The city council rejected his plan, so he turned the place into a private club and opened it UP to Blacks and Jews, further freaking out Palm Beach.

Seems the Bath and Tennis Club and Everglades Club didn’t cotton to the likes of Blacks, Jews, and “people who call attention to themselves…”

Oh vey!

The Donald hosted concerts with Celine Dion, Billy Joel, welcomed – gasp – beauty pageant contestants as guests, and violated local noise ordinances.

And to top it off, Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley spent their honeymoon at Mar A Lago.

Trust me – that union is a whole ‘nother Ricky Lake show!

Now, and I’m sure Marjorie would be thrilled; Mar A Logo is “The Winter White House.”

Many are not.

Many are upset with the cost of the President’s trips to the estate.

FDR – Hyde Park

JFK – Hyannis Port

RMN – San Clemente and Key Biscayne

…but I’ll stop.

While it’s the WWH, it’s also the Mar A Lago Club.  Membership initiation fee is $200,000.  It was $200,000 until 2012 when many Palm Beachians lost serious cash in the Bernie Madoff scandal.  It was dropped to $100,000, but the price went UP when The Donald became The POTUS.

Annual dues are $14,000, and an overnight stay is $2,000 if you’re interested.

There are 500 members and about 40 new ones are admitted each year.

I’m not on the list.

Hey, I’m sure you were curious.

Marjorie Merriweather Post spent over 40 winters in Palm Beach.  Mar A Lago was one of her favorite places – it was her Neverland and she was proud of it.

The place was one of the most elegant and ornate palaces in America and just for kicks, she’d hide behind a screen in the dining room just to hear people gasp aloud at the opulent beauty as they entered.

Hey, a girl’s gotta have a hobby!

Right

Today is the 240th anniversary of the birth of Henry Clay of Kentucky.

He’s dead, so don’t get the birthday card box out so fast!

Known as “The Great Compromiser”, Clay was credited with some of the grandest bargains of the day.

He left us with a few compelling quotes…

“Government is a trust and the officers of the government are trustees. And both the trust and the trustees are created for the benefit of the people.”

When encouraged to run for the White House, he said this, “I’d rather be right than President.”