Zingers – Part 2

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Here’s a continuation of last week’s sharing of a few brief “Zingers” for your reading enjoyment:

  • Actress: “I enjoyed reading your book. Who wrote it for you?” Author Ilka Chase: “Darling I’m so glad that you liked it. Who read it to you?”
  • Dorothy Parker: “Mr. Coolidge, I’ve made a bet against a fellow who said it was impossible to get more than two words out of you.” President Calvin Coolidge: “You lose.”
  • New York Mayor Ed Koch versus Andrew Kirtzman: “I can explain this to you but I can’t comprehend it for you.”
  • Frank Sinatra on Robert Redford: “Well at least he has found his true love. What a pity he can’t marry himself.”
  • Senator Fritz Hollings when challenged by his Republican opponent Henry McMastor: “I’ll take a drug test if you’ll take an IQ test.”
  • Reporter: “What do you think of western civilization?” Mahatma Gandhi: “I think it would be a good idea.”
  • Member of British Parliament: “Mr. Churchill, must you fall asleep while I’m speaking?” Winston Churchill: “No. It’s purely voluntary.”
  • Lady Nancy Astor: “Winston, if you were my husband, I’d put poison in your coffee.” Winston Churchill: “Nancy, if you were my wife I would drink it.”

Zingers – Part 1

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Just for a little change of pace, this week and next I’ll share a few brief “Zingers” for your reading enjoyment. Feel free to make your own spiritual application, if any:

  • Abraham Lincoln after he had been called two faced: “If I had two faces, do you think I’d be wearing this one?”
  • Mark Twain: “I’ve never killed a man, but I’ve read many an obituary with a great deal of satisfaction.”
  • Reporter: “How many people work at the Vatican?” Pope John XXIII: “About half.”
  • Edward Everett Hale when asked if he prayed for the senators: “No. I look at the senators and pray for the country.”
  • Benchley: “My good man, would you please get me a taxi?” Uniformed man: “I’m not a doorman. I happen to be a Rear Admiral in the United States Navy.” Benchley: “All right then, get me a battleship.”
  • Opera audience member: “What do you think of the singer’s execution?” Calvin Coolidge: “I’m all for it.”
  • Playwright Noel Coward: “Edna, you almost look like a man.” Novelist Edna Ferber: “So do you.”
  • Henry Clay: “I would rather be right than be president.” Thomas Reed: “The gentleman need not trouble himself. He’ll never be either.”
  • Bessie Braddock: “Winston, you are drunk, and what’s more, you are disgustingly drunk.” Winston Churchill: “Betsy, my dear, you are ugly. And what’s more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly.”

The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth!

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At my mother’s memorial service last month I was invited to share a few reflections. One story I told described the time she washed my mouth out with soap. I can still taste that nasty soap! I was probably nine or ten years old and she had heard me say a bad word. I learned my lesson and never again said that word … at least not in her presence.

The last sentence in the paragraph above illustrates another life lesson I learned—always to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. In that sentence I could have said only “I learned my lesson and never again said that word.” But that would not have been totally truthful. The real truth is in the words “… at least not in her presence.”

It was through a stern warning of my dear father that I learned that lesson about telling the truth. Daddy was bigger and stronger than I. So I chose not to test the sincerity of his warning because I had no desire to taste the punishment I’d likely receive if I ignored it.

Accordingly, when it was time to fess up regarding matters of importance about which my father was inquiring, I told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It worked. He never had to make me taste his recipe for corporal punishment.

Perhaps that’s why I become so aggravated today with those who don’t adhere to that principle about truth. I see and hear partial truths or half-truths in the lives and words of public figures in the political, secular, and even ecclesiastical worlds.

All too often I’ll hear something said that I know is not completely truthful. It may contain a grain of truth. But if it leaves out critical parts of the story, it falls woefully short of actually being the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

To add insult to injury, when caught, some with that propensity will offer an apology to “anyone who was offended.” But when the apology itself also includes half-truths or omits salient portions of the real truth, disdain and disrespect are further fueled.

That’s particularly true when those who hear the apology don’t know the rest of the story and treat the culprit as a hero, thanking him for his apology, applauding him for his humble spirit. It’s frustrating to see uninformed people misled by someone in a position of trust and authority.

“The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in people who are trustworthy.” Prov. 12:22

I love the Old Irish Blessing: “May those who love us, love us; and those who don’t, may God turn their hearts; and if He doesn’t turn their hearts, may He turn their ankles so we’ll know them by their limping!” The same blessing applies to those who don’t tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth! Beware of twisted ankles! And Happy Valentine’s Day!

Donald J. Trump

Donald John Trump is the 45th President of the United States of America. As is true of most leaders, he is loved by some and hated by others. Frankly, there are times when my respect for the office enables me to live with some of his most unattractive personal and political attributes.

For example, I dislike the use of derogatory rhetoric to criticize opponents. Is it really necessary to use terms like “Crooked Hillary” (Clinton) or “Lyin’ Ted” (Cruz) or “Crazy Joe” (Biden)? Others like “Pocahontas” (Elizabeth Warren) or “Little Marco” (Rubio) or “Little Rocket Man” (Kim Jong Un) or “Low Energy Jeb” (Bush) are perhaps not quite as egregious. But necessary? Or helpful?

There are also certain narcissistic characteristics manifested in President Trump’s verbal and non-verbal actions that are unbecoming a man who occupies the highest office in the land. Narcissism is “the pursuit of gratification from vanity or egotistic admiration of one’s idealized self-image and attributes.” The term originated from Greek mythology, where the young Narcissus fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water. It describes someone who thinks of himself more highly than he ought. Egotistical is another descriptive term.

Other points of disagreement and dislike could be added, but these are sufficient for now.

On the other side of the coin, there have been many positive accomplishments during President Trump’s first two years in office. Surf the Internet and you’ll find long lists of such achievements. One such list identifies 289 accomplishments in 18 categories, including economic growth, jobs, business expansion, deregulation, tax cuts, health care, law and order, border security, international trade, energy, foreign policy, defense, veterans’ affairs, etc. Those achievements are obviously arguable.

In Tuesday night’s State of the Union address President Trump addressed a litany of issues, both foreign and domestic. For me and for many, one of the highlights of the one hour, 21 minute speech, interrupted by a reported tally of 102 standing ovations (mostly Republicans), was his emphasis on the sanctity of life. Here are his most pertinent and powerful statements on that topic:

  • “Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.”
  • “To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb.”
  • “Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life, and let us reaffirm a fundamental truth: All children, born and unborn, are made in the holy image of God.”

Whether you’re one who loves President Trump or has the opposite feeling, I hope you join me in thankfulness for the positive statements he made about life to a national and global audience.