On December 18, 2008 I wrote an article containing poignant quotes of wisdom and warning. I continue on that theme, but instead of small quotes, I’ll be posting what I call parables of thought or wisdom. Some are short articles written by others and some are fiction written by unknowns.
When reading about them, put the history of the time they were written into perspective with the present. Some you may find that their words apply even more to now than when they were written, which is called “prophetic wisdom.”
What’s Does California’s Proposition 8 Really Mean?
Location: City Hall, San Francisco, California
Time: Possibly now
Tim & Jim: Good morning. We want to apply for a marriage license.
Time & Jim: Tim and Jim Jones.
Clerk: Jones? Are you related? I see a resemblance.
Tim & Jim: Yes, we’re brothers.
Clerk: Brothers? You can’t get married.
Tim & Jim: Why not? Aren’t you giving marriage licenses to same gender couples?
Clerk: Yes, thousands. But we haven’t had any siblings. That’s incest!
Tim & Jim: Incest? No, we are not gay.
Clerk: Not gay? Then why do you want to get married?
Tim & Jim: For the financial benefits, of course. And we do love each other. Besides, we don’t have any other prospects.
Clerk: But we’re issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples who’ve been denied equal protection under the law. If you are not gay, you can get married to a woman.
Tim: Wait a minute. A gay man has the same right to marry a woman as I have. But just because I’m straight doesn’t mean I want to marry a woman. I want to marry Jim.
Jim: And I want to marry Tim, Are you going to discriminate against us just because we are not gay?
Clerk: All right, all right. I’ll give you your license. Next!
J, J, R & J: Hi. We are here to get married.
J, J, R & J: John Smith, Jane James, Robert Green, and June Johnson.
Clerk: Who wants to marry whom?
J, J, R & J: We all want to marry each other.
Clerk: But there are four of you!
J, J, R & J: That’s right. You see, we’re all bisexual. I love Jane and Robert, Jane loves me and June, June loves Robert and Jane, and Robert loves June and me. All of us getting married together is the only way that we can express our sexual preferences in a marital relationship.
Clerk: But we’ve only been granting licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
J, J, R & J: So you’re discriminating against bisexuals!
Clerk: No, it’s just that, well, the traditional idea of marriage is that it’s just for couples.
J, J, R & J: Since when are you standing on tradition?
Clerk: Well, I mean, you have to draw the line somewhere.
J, J, R & J: Who says? There’s no logical reason to limit marriage to couples. The more the better. Besides, we demand our rights! The Mayor says the constitution guarantees equal protection under the law. Give us a marriage license!
Clerk: All right, all right. Next!
David: Hello, I’d like a marriage license.
Clerk: In what names?
David: David Deets.
Clerk: And the other man?
David: That’s all. I want to marry myself.
Clerk: Marry yourself? What do you mean?
David: Well, my psychiatrist says I have a dual personality, so I want to marry the two together. Maybe I can file a joint income-tax return.
Clerk: That does it! I quit! You people are making a mockery of marriage!
What Is an American?
You probably missed it in the rush of news …, but there was
actually a report that someone in Pakistan had published in a newspaper
an offer of a reward to anyone who killed an American, any American. So
I just thought I would write to let them know what an American is, so
they would know when they found one.
An American is English, or French, or Italian, Irish, German,
Spanish, Polish, Russian or Greek. An American may also be Mexican,
African, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, Australian, Iranian, Asian, or
Arab, or Pakistani, or Afghan. An American may also be a Cherokee,
Osage, Blackfoot, Navaho, Apache, or one of the many other tribes known
as native Americans.
An American is Christian, or he could be Jewish, or Buddhist,
or Muslim. In fact, there are more Muslims in America than in
Afghanistan. The only difference is that in America they are free to
worship as each of them choose.
An American is also free to believe in no religion. For that
he will answer only to God, not to the government, or to armed thugs
claiming to speak for the government and for God.
An American is from the most prosperous land in the history of
the world. The root of that prosperity can be found in the Declaration
of Independence, which recognizes the God given right of each man and
woman to the pursuit of happiness.
An American is generous. Americans have helped out just about
every other nation in the world in their time of need. When Afghanistan
was overrun by the Soviet army 20 years ago, Americans came with arms and supplies to enable the people to win back their country. As of the morning of September 11,
Americans had given more than any other nation to the poor in
Afghanistan. The best products, the best books, the best music, the
best food, the best athletes.
Americans welcome the best, but they also welcome the least. The
national symbol of America welcomes your tired and your poor, the
wretched refuse of your teeming shores, the homeless, tempest tossed.
These in fact are the people who built America. Some of them were working in the Twin Towers in the morning of September 11,
earning a better life for their families. [I’ve been told that the
people in the Towers were from at least 30, and maybe many more, other
countries, cultures, and first languages, including those that aided
and abetted the terrorists.]
So you can try to kill an American if you must. Hitler did. So
did General Tojo, and Stalin, and Mao Tse-Tung, and every bloodthirsty
tyrant in the history of the world. But, in doing so you would just be
killing yourself. Because Americans are not a particular people from a
particular place. They are the embodiment of the human spirit of
freedom. Everyone who holds to that spirit, everywhere, is an American.
So look around you. You may find more Americans in your land
than you thought were there. One day they will rise up and overthrow
the old, ignorant, tired tyrants that trouble too many lands. Then
those lands, too, will join the community of free and prosperous
And America will welcome them.
— Peter Ferrara, an associate professor of law at the George Mason University School of Law in Northern Virginia. National Review September 25, 2001.
In our home we have what is now called the parable of the bicycle. It dates back to when my daughter Sarah, who was seven years old at the time, came in and said, “Dad, can I have a bike? I’m the only kid on the block who doesn’t have one.”
Well, I didn’t have the money then for a bike, so I stalled her. I said, “Sure, Sarah.”
She said, “How? When?”
I said, “You save all your pennies, and soon you’ll have enough for a bike.” And she went away.
A couple of weeks later I heard a “clink, clink” in Sarah’s bedroom. I asked, “Sarah, what are you doing?”
She came to me with a little jar, a slit cut in the lid, and a bunch of pennies in the bottom. She said, “You promised me that if I saved all my pennies, pretty soon I’d have enough for a bike. And, Daddy, I’ve saved every single one of them.”
My heart melted. My daughter was doing everything in her power to follow my instructions. I hadn’t actually lied to her. If she saved all of her pennies, she would eventually have enough for a bike, but by then she would want a car. I said, “Let’s go look at bikes.”
We went to every store in town. Finally we found it—the perfect bicycle. She was thrilled. Then she saw the price tag, and her face fell. She started to cry. “Oh, Dad, I’ll never have enough for a bicycle!”
So I said, “Sarah, how much do you have?”
She answered, “Sixty-one cents.”
“I’ll tell you what. You give me everything you’ve got and a hug and a kiss, and the bike is yours.” Then I drove home very slowly because she insisted on riding the bike home.
As I drove beside her, I thought of the atonement of Christ. We all desperately want … to be with our Father in Heaven. But no matter how hard we try, we come up short. At some point all of us must realize, “I can’t do this by myself. I need help.” Then it is that the Savior says, in effect, All right, you’re not perfect. But what can you do? Give me all you have, and I’ll do the rest.
— Steven E. Robinson, New Era, April 1994. [ed: An excellent example of how works (James 2:18,20,26) and grace (Eph 2:8) are in harmony.]
The Copper Clapper Caper
Officer: I’m a Cop. I was working the day-watch out of robbery when I got a call from the ACME School Bell Company. There had been a robbery.
ACME: There’s been a robbery
Officer: Yes sir, what was it?
ACME: My Clappers!
Officer: Your clappers?
ACME: You know, those things inside a bell that makes them clang.
Officer: The clangers.
ACME: That’s right. We call them “clappers” in the business.
Officer: A clapper caper.
ACME: What’s that?
Officer: Nothing sir. Now can I have the facts? What kind of clappers were stolen on this caper?
ACME: They were copper clappers.
Officer: And where were they kept?
ACME: In the closet.
Officer: Uh huh… Do you have any ideas who might have taken the copper clappers from the closet?
ACME: Well… Just one, I fired a man. He had swore he’d get even.
Officer: What was his name?
ACME: Claude Cooper.
Officer: You think he….
ACME: Yeah! That’s right! I think Claude Cooper copped my copper clappers I kept in the closet.
Officer: Do you know where this Claude Cooper is from?
ACME: Yeah, Cleveland.
Officer: That figures.
ACME: What makes it worse, they were clean.
Officer: Clean copper clappers?
ACME: That’s right.
Officer: Why do you think Cleveland’s Claude Cooper would cop your clean copper clappers kept in your closet?
ACME: Only one reason.
Officer: What’s that?
ACME: He’s a Kleptomaniac.
Officer: Who first discovered the copper clappers were copped?
ACME: My cleaning woman, Clara Clifford.
Officer: That figures. Now let me see if I’ve got the facts straight here. Cleaning woman Clara Clifford discovered your clean copper clappers, kept in a closet, were copped by Claude Cooper, the kleptomaniac from Cleveland. Now is that about it?
ACME: One other thing.
Officer: What’s that?
ACME: If I ever catch kleptomaniac Claude Cooper from Cleveland who copped my clean copper clappers I kept in the closet …
ACME: I’ll clobber him!
— Jack Webb & Johnny Carson 1968
The Constitution and Religion
“I am the greatest advocate of the Constitution of the United States there is on the earth. In my feelings I am always ready to die for the protection of the weak and oppressed in their just rights. The only fault I find with the Constitution is, it is not broad enough to cover the whole ground.
“Although it provides that all men shall enjoy religious freedom, yet it does not provide the manner by which that freedom can be preserved, nor for the punishment of Government officers who refuse to protect the people in their religious rights. … Its sentiments are good, but it provides no means of enforcing them. It had but this one fault. Under its provision, a man or a people who are able to protect themselves can get along well enough; but those who have the misfortune to be weak or unpopular are left to the merciless rage of popular fury.”
— Joseph Smith Jr., October 5, 1843, Founder and first President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. U.S. Presidential Candidate 1844. Brutally murdered by a mob June 1844.
Why Do Men Die First?
Why do men die first? This is a question that has gone unanswered for centuries, but, now we know. It requires a bit of explanation, first:
If you put a woman on a pedestal and try to protect her from the rat race … you’re a male chauvinist. If you stay home and do the housework … you’re a pansy. If you work too hard … there’s never any time for her. If you don’t work enough … you’re a good-for-nothing bum. If she has a boring repetitive job with low pay … this is exploitation. If you have a boring repetitive job with low pay … you should get off your lazy behind and find something better. If you get a promotion ahead of her … that is favoritism. If she gets a job ahead of you … it’s equal opportunity.
If you mention how nice she looks … its sexual harassment. If you keep quiet … its male indifference. If you cry … you’re a wimp. If you don’t … you’re an insensitive bastard. If you make a decision without consulting her … you’re a chauvinist. If she makes a decision without consulting you, she’s a liberated woman.
If you ask her to do something she doesn’t enjoy … that’s domination. If SHE asks you … it’s a favor. If you appreciate the female form and frilly underwear … you’re a pervert. If you don’t … you’re gay. If you like a woman to shave her legs and keep in shape … you’re sexist. If you don’t … you’re unromantic. If you try to keep yourself in shape … you’re vain. If you don’t … you’re a slob.
If you buy her flowers … you’re after something. If you don’t … you’re not thoughtful. If you’re proud of your achievements … you’re full of yourself. If you don’t … you’re not ambitious. If she has a headache … she’s tired. If you have a headache … you don’t love her anymore. If you want it too often … you’re oversexed. If you don’t … there must be someone else.
Why do men die first? Because they want to.