Why Big Bird Matters

There is no question that the President’s performance in the debate was disappointing, mostly because it’s clear he’d actually been coached and prepared to come in looking professorial and focused on facts instead of values.   The lack of compassion and empathy Romney has shown throughout the campaign, perhaps best summarized by his recent 47% comments, are why Obama is still well ahead in the swing states, and Obama should have focused on the different values and vision of each campaign.  And it’s hard to win a debate on facts when the other side “isn’t going to be governed by the fact checkers” (to quote Romney’s pollster).   

The initial focus and coverage on the debate has thus far understandably focused mostly on style.  Romney has always been good when he is working from a script, and he won all the style points last night.  But it’s interesting looking at the instant polls and ones that have come out this morning that despite the better performance, numbers aren’t moving much.  Part of the reason is surely that most voters have made up their minds already.  But another factor, and one that I think will play out more in the coming week as the media and others reflect more on the debates and what this first one meant, is that Romney didn’t address his biggest flaws…and in fact, he actually reinforced them. 

Exhibit A:  The Big Bird issue.

           

I totally understood what Romney was trying to do with the PBS thing.  He wanted to show he was tough by saying he’d cut the debate moderator’s program.  But he also wanted to show he wasn’t heartless–that he was one of us and understood kids–by saying he loved Big Bird.  But the fact that he made that statement at the same time that he said he planned to cut all funding to PBS and the programs that allow Big Bird to exist communicated the complete opposite.  It showed that in fact he didn’t really love Big Bird.  And far from demonstrating his human side, it showed Americans he doesn’t understand us.

It’s like a dad that tells his kid he understands why he brought the injured puppy home and that the dad too had a loyal dog he loved when he was young…but then says the family can’t afford to care for it and takes the puppy out back and shoots it.  If you really do love something, you don’t destroy it.  If Romney really thinks Big Bird is great and if Big Bird really did touch his heart, how could he so callously talk about the need to destroy the institutions that created Big Bird? 

There is a reason that the internet is abuzz with Big Bird stuff.  There is a reason that in the 90 minutes of mindless numbers, that this is the point people remember and that has captured emotions.  And it matters because Romney’s biggest liability is that he can’t relate.  Voters don’t trust him or believe he will care about them.  Voters don’t want a heartless CEO who can fire a father with a kid in the hospital before Christmas because it adds slightly to the bottom line.  They want someone who understands their problems and will put them first. 

Romney’s already called millions of hard-working American parents “victims” who will never take personal responsibility for their lives.  Now in an effort to show he was human, he’s smiled as he’s said he’d end Big Bird.  This and his admitting he’d turn Medicare into a voucher program are going to get more attention with time.  And as the numbers fade and people remember Obama wasn’t a good debater but Romney wants to kill Big Bird and childrens’ programs, the emotions that drive political decisions will continue tipping against Romney. 

And if you’re not already, follow: @FiredBigBird Hillarious and insightful.

@SappEric

  • Kathy Schiffer

    I raised my children watching and loving Sesame Street– but that was before Katie Perry, Cookie Monster puffing a pipe, a muppet with AIDS, Bert and Ernie’s sexual ambiguity, and the segment mocking Fox News. I don’t know– ask the public to pay for indoctrination of our children? I’m not so sure.

    • Sonja Faith Lund

      Why is the HIV+ muppet objectionable? She’s in the version of the show in a country (can’t recall which one) where many children are HIV+ from their mothers, and she serves to break down stigma against HIV+ children. I think that’s a very important lesson.

  • Eric Sapp

    And this just in: the Obama campaign is picking up on this same point now. “Obama Mocks Romney For Getting Tough on Big Bird.” http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/obama-mocks-romney-getting-tough-big-bird-165202158–election.html

  • Frank

    Funny how Big Bird is all the Dems got. They certainly do not have a good candidate with a good record. DESPERATE!

    • Eric Sapp

      From the debate, Big Bird and Medicare are pretty much the only two things Dems can hold onto. When it comes to the actual election, there is obviously a ton more, which is why the debate was disappointing. But given the choice between a candidate who doesn’t debate well and one who said half of American voters won’t ever take personal responsibility for their lives, I’ll take the poor debater. And when we move from winning elections to actually governing and who I want calling the shots in the White House, it’s an even more obvious choice!!

      • Frank

        Don’t you get tired of presenting a misrepresentation as the truth? Apparently not. How embarrassing!

        I’ll take the person who can actually do something, not the failure that’s been in office for the last four years.

        Keep spinning!

        • Integrity

          I know evidence is kryptonite to conservatives, but I’ll ask anyway: Can you cite any evidence or explain where Eric has misrepresented the truth? If you don’t cite any verifiable evidence from a news outlet that actually adheres to ethics and journalistic integrity, then how can you possibly claim with any shred of seriousness that Eric is misrepresenting truth? Without evidence, it just sounds like talking points you lifted from people who tell you what you want to hear. Sticking to a meme that has yet to be backed up, especially over multiple posts, just makes you sound like an unintelligent troll begging for attention. But hey, no one is stopping you from acting like an unintelligent and narcissistic douchebag. You seem to revel in your own idiocy, which you confuse with intelligence, almost as a form of self-worship. The Bible is filled with admonishments against arrogance and foolishness.

          • Frank

            Well at least you had an intelligent last sentence. Unfortunately you failed to look in the mirror first.

            The continued misrepresentation of the 47% comment destroys Erics credibility.

            Meanwhile Obama is still a failure and should not be given another four years or things will get much, much worse.

          • eric

            Yes, how can folks keep saying I and others are misrepresenting what Romney said? How else does one interpret a statement that he’ll never convince those people to take personal responsibility for their lives? What did he mean by that other than the very obvious understanding from those words. He doesn’t think half of America–many who have multiple jobs and are working their tails off to raise good kids–will never take personal responsibility for their lives. Instead of just asserting I’m not being truthful or fair to Romney, explain what he really meant by those words.

          • ToronadoBlue

            The bible also has stories of leaders who led their nation to ruin.

          • ToronadoBlue

            Integrity and Frank,

            Keep in mind that Eric is a propagandist for the Democrat party. Look at the blog name. As a propagandist, he will point out things that make the Democrat party look good and the Republicans bad. He will find fault in only one side and ignore it on the other.
            For instance, he will bring up the 47% comment by Romney, but ignore the ‘bitter clingers’ comment by Obama as well as the comments by his mentor, Wright.

            So, ‘Faithful Democrats’ is not a blog that will be fair and look at both sides of the issues.

            Integrity, you are correct, the bible is full of admonishments for arrogance and foolishness, just as much as it is for slander, false witnesses, following false doctrines. It also warns us that nations have been destroyed for turning away from God.

            With that said, I’m glad the Democrat party reinstated God into its platform against the wishes of its membership.

          • Frank

            Eric you are welcome to continue to parrot the false spin that the dems put out but it doesn’t make it true nor does it make you look fair and unbiased.

            I am sure you agree with Al Gore that Obama did poorly in the debate because of the altitude. It all reeks of desperation as the reality of the failed record of your candidate can no longer be obscured with the false narrative that Romney is evil, uncaring and should be punished for his success.

            Big bird and altitude . LOL!

          • Timothy Dalrymple
          • Ted Seeber

            One can misrepresent the 47% statement by failing to remember this is Romney, the etch-a-sketch candidate who will say anything to get elected, and that he was speaking to a room full of investment bankers.

            In other words, the 47% comment, like everything else out of Romney’s mouth, says more about his research into his intended audience than it does about him.

          • ToronadoBlue

            Obama sitting in the audience of Jeremiah Wright for several years says a lot about him.

          • Frank

            One only has to look at the history of Obamas statements to see that he says whatever it takes to get elected.

            Meanwhile I cannot wait to see him get destroyed again in the foreign policy debate. Filed domestically. Failed internationally. I am sure we will hear over and over again the misrepresentation that he is responsible for getting Bin Laden when we all know that it was a cumulative effort, mostly due to the Bushes administrations policy and strategy.

            It will be pitiful.

        • pagansister

          Detail, Man, we need details! Mitt is great at NOT giving any details of HOW he is going to do all that he says, and NOT raise taxes. Loop holes? Which loopholes?

          • Frank

            Those are never details that are expected to come out in a debate. Those are things you negotiate. It’s more honest to not give details then break your promises like Obama.

            Speaking of details: where is Obama’s budget? Four years and he has no budget. That alone should disqualify him.

  • Eric Sapp

    And AP just put out a nice summary of the Big Bird buzz, including how all the late night shows asked for Big Bird to appear tonight. http://news.yahoo.com/debate-thrusts-big-bird-presidential-campaign-182115239.html

    • J. Bob

      There are other sources of funding Big Bird. They range from evil cooperate sponsors to private individuals. Romney is right, the Federal government cannot continue to give out what it does not have.

  • jim hayes

    it is not a serious response to the budget fiasco. just like the cut 3 government departments or waste fraud and abuse, it is a perennial talking point that is empty rhetoric.

    neither candidate is willing to speak the hard truth, that the people want more government entitlements than they are willing to pay for, because that would be a risky gaffe. easier to play prevent defense, pander to base.

    • ToronadoBlue

      Good point, I would add that a lot of money would be saved by cutting government employee and contractor salaries. Its no coincidence that some of America’s richest counties are next to the DC metro area. But mentioning that in the debate and you are sure to lose, but unfortunately i think it is needed.

      Caveat, I am contractor for the government and I make a boat load of money while sitting at home and surfing Patheos. I’d do this job for a third of what I am paid.

  • ToronadoBlue

    Democrats will defend Big Bird, but not the unborn who are slaughtered.

    You can’t be a Christian and vote for a Democrat, no matter what the propaganda Eric Sapp puts out.

    • Frank

      The only strategy they have is to distract people from reality by talking about Big Bird.

    • Sundown

      Do you think William Jennings Bryan wasn’t a real Christian?

  • eric

    Frank, It’s clear that you can’t explain how our interpretations of what Romney said are wrong since you’ve refused to even try after several requests by different commentors. It’s clear that the best you can do is call people names and try to raise questions about motivations. Unfortunately for your side, the truth of Romney’s statement is clear to everyone who hears it.

    I openly admit I’m a Democrat, but I am a Christian first. What is concerning to me about some of these comments is the way critics are trying to dismiss legitimate concerns and points with character attacks on those making them. I don’t hate you Frank or think you are a bad person or dismiss you because of a label. I’ll never hate or dismiss you period, but I’m at a point where I’m ready to dismiss your arguments b/c you’re not making any.

    We should be working to have a conversation and at least better understand each other even if we won’t agree. One of the most core values and aspects of Christianity is relationship, both with God and our neighbor. That requires engagment and is undone by name calling and seeking to devalue those who disagree rather than addressing the actual points you disagree with.

  • Frank

    I made my point in this thread and others and you just refuse to see the truth in them.

    I don’t hate you either but I do call into serious question where your priorities lie as a Christian. Supporting abortion on demand, supporting going into more and more debt, supporting SSM which is outside of God desire for marriage and sexuality, supporting misrepresentations as facts all call into question your integrity, faith and priorities.

    Where is your outrage over the reality of Obamas lies? Where is your outrage over the millions and millions of innocent human life snuffed out for convenience? Where is your outrage on the long list of promises Obama made but abandoned? This blog is all so disingenuous. You are a partisan wrapping it up in faith. You are exactly the same as the extreme religious right which I am sure you would be happy to openly criticize.

    The fact remains is Obama is a disaster and needs to be removed and Romney will make a good president.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithfuldemocrats/2012/09/if-you-are-truly-pro-life-youd-vote-democrat/ eric

    Frank, on abortion, I’ve addressed it. To me it’s a question of lip-service vs actually doing something to help the unborn.
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithfuldemocrats/2012/09/if-you-are-truly-pro-life-youd-vote-democrat/

    When it comes to my priorities as a Christian, there is only one time in the Bible where Jesus lays out the criteria he’ll use to judge the world: Matt 25, whatever you do unto the least of these. That is why the 47% comments matter. That is why the budgets that cut all these programs that stuggling families depend on matter. Is Obama perfect? No. Will Democratic priorities ever match completely with Christian ones? Of course not. But when we engage in a fallen world, we’re left with imperfect choices. And at faithfuldems, we’re explaining why we made the one we did. Again, if you disagree, it would be much more constructive to address specific arguments and explain why they are wrong from a Christian or political perspective.

    • Frank

      The unborn who have made no choices in life, who are at the mercy of person right now are THE “least of these.” So until we deal with this tragic injustice, it’s disingenuous to talk about other “least of these.”

      Keep trying to justify your partisanship you have yet to be successful.

      • Donalbain

        If abortion is such an important issue for you, would you support things like this: ttp://usatoday30.usatoday.com/NEWS/usaedition/2012-10-05-Free-birth-control-study-slashes-teen-births-abortions_ST_U.htm

  • eric

    And to return to the topic at hand, another good collection of some of the internet reaction to the Big Bird issue: http://www.webpronews.com/romney-vs-big-bird-why-the-internet-blew-up-2012-10

    • ToronadoBlue

      While Eric is talking about Big Bird, over 3000 children lost their lives in abortion clinics today.

      But Big Bird is more important, right Eric?

      • Eric Sapp

        Wow…is the answer to everything, ABORTION? The GOP put the issue in their platform 30 years ago, and we have the same number now as then. They controlled WH, Congress, and appointed 7-9 Spt Ct Judges, and Roe is still law of the land. The President who saw the greatest decrease in abortions was Clinton. I’ve already posted this in the comments, but if you want to talk abortion, read what I said about it and answer those points. Don’t just cry “ABORTION” and think you have somehow shut down all arguments for Democrats. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithfuldemocrats/2012/09/if-you-are-truly-pro-life-youd-vote-democrat/

        • Frank

          Keep trying to justify your lack of Christian love, mercy and justice or maybe you’re just blinded by partisanship. Either way you should be ashamed, but sadly you are not.

        • ToronadoBlue

          @Eric,
          Wow is your blog nothing more than propaganda for the Democrat party?!?!
          Your post on abortion contains errors, misconceptions, and illogical arguments.

          I can bring up how we are screaming into debt, not enough jobs are being created, global food prices are increasing, the hostile business climate, the attacks on free speech, the attacks on religious freedom, increased taxes on the middle class, declining incomes, increasing food stamp use, gas prices, pensions going broke, towns going broke, states going broke, the compliance of the liberal media to protect this administration, the stalled economic recovery, Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, Jeremiah Wright, etc. But nothing says evil like ‘abortion’.

          So keep talking about Big Bird, and just because I bring up something that you have no witty retort too,… doesn’t mean I’m shutting down debate.

  • Ted Seeber

    I’d say it’s more like the woman who claims to love children- then runs out to have an abortion once she’s pregnant.

    Ooops, didn’t mean to suggest that maybe democrats do this too.

    • jim hayes

      since you want to talk about abortion, how about the recent study that indicates that free family planning leads to fewer abortions? http://www.webmd.com/sex/birth-control/news/20121004/abortion-rates-fall-birth-control-free

      if we agree it is good to minimize abortions, then it is good to support family planning?
      is the cutting of funding of planned parenthood for family, not causing more abortion, making us complicit?

      • ToronadoBlue

        Making it illegal would result in fewer abortions.

        • Donalbain

          Just like making drugs illegal leads to fewer drug users.

          • ToronadoBlue

            Making murder illegal leads to fewer murders.
            Making rape illegal leads to fewer rapes.
            .. the list goes on, but you get the point.

          • Donalbain

            I look forward to your evidence about any of those claims. I doubt it will be coming, but still, one can always hope.

    • Eric Sapp

      Exactly. It’s a question of whether someone really wants to help the unborn or just talk about doing so. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithfuldemocrats/2012/09/if-you-are-truly-pro-life-youd-vote-democrat/

      • ToronadoBlue

        @ Eric,
        Your post on abortion contains errors, and illogical arguments.

        • ToronadoBlue

          FYI, my comment at the above blog post [http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithfuldemocrats/2012/09/if-you-are-truly-pro-life-youd-vote-democrat/] is awaiting moderation. Don’t know if that is because it is an old post or if my comment was too long.

  • Joan Dawson

    If the Patheos website doesn’t remind us to respect others’ viewpoints, where will we find civility?
    If we believe that there is a God and that our neighbors come from diverse backgrounds, how can we find a common point of view so that we all live in peace?
    Many people of our nation have become very intolerant…where will we find a common ground for our social, financial, and moral future?
    I have serious concerns that will not effect my life time…but I worry about all of you who will have to live out the life of your decisions.
    I wish you peace and love.
    I hope you take a deep breath and decide what is best for your children.

    • ToronadoBlue

      @ Joan,
      I wish life was more simpler and that disagreements could be resolved with respectful debate. However there are times where injustices continue, because of man’s propensity to sin. There are times to get angry and ‘punch back twice as hard’, and ‘throw the money changers from the temple’.
      I wish you peace and love…
      I’m taking a deep breath.

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  • Barry C

    The truth is that watching Sesame Street does, at best, nothing to help children learn (multiple recent studies on children and the media) and the licensing of Sesame Street products has generated more than enough revenue to support the show. The point is….do we need to borrow money from China to air all the other program which has no market?

    • Eric Sapp

      Yes, when it comes to the fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the US budget going to PBS, it’s “borrowing money from China,” but when it comes to increasing Defense budgets, suddenly there is no concern about building Defense budgets to defend against China that are totally dependent on China continuing to fund us. And obviously, it’s worth borrowing from China to pay for the huge tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. Sesame St absolutely would not have existed without years of public funding, and it still depends on PBS. The fact it is a success isn’t reason to cut funding but to keep funding such programming. The thought of Sesame St no longer being brought to you by the letter “F” but instead by Bratz dolls or some breafast cereal is also pretty scary. What makes PBS programs work and safer for kids is that they don’t have to worry about corporate sponsorships and ads targeting young ones. Just look at what has happened to Discovery and Animal Planet. They’ve stopped teaching and now just do mostly silly entertaining b/c they have to compete for ad revenue.

      • Sam Hamilton

        Our kids see ads between every episode on PBS Kids – ads for Chuck E. Cheese’s, Boeing, Chik-fil-A, Kiddie Academy Learning Centers, MetLife, Stride Right, Dannon, Pottery Barn Kids, and many more. Yes, rather than breaking up the episodes, they’re showed at the end, but the ads are there.

        But in my mind, the solution to kids being deluged with advertising is 1) turn off the TV, 2) watch videos rather than TV, 3) explain to your kids the deceptive nature of ads, and 4) support your local public television station financially.

  • Sam Hamilton

    There is no reason Big Bird and Sesame Street can’t survive absent government funding for PBS. If it’s beloved, there’s plenty of non-government revenue to pay for Sesame Street. Why is Sesame Street always invoked when PBS cuts are threatened? Is it the first thing PBS would cut if their budget was reduced? There are plenty of less-beloved kids shows on PBS. Perhaps they should be cut instead of Sesame Street.

    No American child will be worse off educationally even if Sesame Street went away. Kids learned their ABCs and numbers long before Sesame Street existed. And they will when it’s gone. It’s mostly entertainment.

    • Eric Sapp

      Sam, you raise legitimate points. Sesame St might survive if all public funding was pulled. But in this case, the reason it is invoked is b/c Romney made Sesame St and Big Bird in particular the focus. And he clearly implied that Big Bird and the debate moderator would both be harmed from the cuts he planned. That’s the only reason to say it as he did. He didn’t say, I love you guys and think you’d be stronger if you weren’t dependent on govt. It was a I love you guys BUT. I love you, but I’m sorry to say I’m going to have to cut your program. He was trying to look tough and able to make hard calls to cut things people liked when it was “right.” His decision to do so was entirely calculated and planned. My point in this piece was that his strategic decision back-fired and exposed a big weakness of his with understanding people and connecting. I also think it demonstrated some skewed priorities to pick out Sesame St as an example of where saving could be made. But there is a legit debate that could happen about the relative value of Sesame St and how much public funding being pulled from PBS would hurt PBS and help the federal bottom line. The way Romney presented the issue though set this up as a question of whether Big Bird is worth funding or not though, and that is why over a week out, Big Bird is really the only quote people are still talking about from a debate that Romney won hands-down. Both sides are doing so too, and that is the wrong frame for the GOP right now, regardless of the outcome.

      • ToronadoBlue

        Point1: With as much debt we are in, the budget crisis we are facing, and the rising costs of energy, food, and just about everything, Big Bird is just a small blip on the radar. I hope and pray our country can come together to make wise and tough decisions. I have a feeling that if a politician stood up and said exactly what it would take to solve the issues, he wouldn’t be elected. We may be our own worst enemies.

        Point2: Big Bird may be talked about because the liberal media doesn’t have much else from the debate to bring up that is ‘interesting’ and ‘info-taining’. Just a guess, I don’t know.

        Eric: I have a ‘rebuttal’ post that is waiting for approval on your post about Abortion. When you get a chance I’d appreciate it if you took care of that. If it is too long, pop me an email at toronadoblue@hotmail.com and I’ll shorten it up or break it into sections. Thanks in advance.

        • Eric Sapp

          It should be up now. FYI, the issue was the external links, which apparently are all checked manually to ensure they are appropriate and not spam or porn or something.

          • ToronadoBlue

            That makes sense, Thanks!

  • Tommy R

    Big Bird blowup: another example of Obama’s “shinny object strategy”. Looky at this over here. It’s so amusing isn’t it. Never mind about that failed economy stuff. Keep you mind occupied with the shinny object.

  • Tiffany W

    @tornadoblue, Frank, integrity, and Kathy. I am no longer of the Christian faith. I began to explore different paths many years ago due to Christians just like you. I know that you will completely demonize me or dismiss my words, and that is ok in the end your vitriol means nothing to me. I was going to say that I find it sad that my opinions, actions and demeanor are more in line with the teachings of Christ than your own. I have a strong moral background. I believe in helping those less fortunate than myself. I believe that educating our masses is a way to create a better life for all, and I endeavour not to judge others, opting to instead walk among them to gain an understanding. I have walked amongst your kind and found it a soul sucking experience.

    I see abortion has been a big topic in this for you. My question to you is this: what happens to the children that are born of unready, or underaged, or poverty stricken, or abusive, or abused, or unmarried, or neglectful, or disabled, or infected, or raped parent(s)? If you are really pro-life, you care.

    • ToronadoBlue

      TiffanyW,
      I’m not going to demonize your words because you express the same frustration that I feel at times with people who claim to be Christians. I feel too that I have a strong moral belief and believe in helping the less fortunate. I grew up dirt poor and lived in a shack that used to house goats during the 70s. My mother and two brothers and I had to share a bed and walk barefoot on a floor made of plywood. Sometimes my dinner was nothing more than bread. And I remember the happiness when we moved out of that shack into a rickety trailer house. My mother reminds me that I was happiest that the goats didn’t chase me around any more. So I know what being poor is like, and I know that many people would have forgiven my mother for aborting me and my two brothers.

      Throughout my young life, I was nothing but poor, living in trailer after trailer and sometimes jail after jail. My mother wasn’t a bad mother, just wasn’t very good at taking care of us. Plus we were 3 boys with no discipline and self control. That poor lady. I think a turning point in my life was being placed in a Christian group home while I was in high school.

      Fast forward to today. I have my degree after a stint in the army in which I was disabled (nothing major) and now have a job that I love. You see, I work for the government as a contractor. I am paid WAY too much for doing WAY too little. Won’t tell you my salary other than it is well into the 6 figures, but the government pays the company I work for $250 an hour for me to sit at home in my pajamas to do a few little things on the computer every now and then. I’d do this job a lot less – a WHOLE lot less. And there are a lot of other workers like me in the federal government making way too much for doing way to little. It is not a coincidence that the counties surrounding the Washington DC metro area are some of the richest in the country.

      This explains my belief that the government is part of the problem and those advocating higher taxes for this and that do not realize that government is going to waste a big chunk of that. And no-one can be serious about cutting the deficit without first taking an axe to our overbloated salaries and pensions at the federal level. But then again, any politician who honestly explains the cuts that are needed would never be elected in the first place because we may be our own worst enemies.

      Your point about ‘walking among them’ is a VERY good point. Christians everywhere need to do this. For me personally, to this day I send money to the Christian group home that took me in, but I’m not patting myself on the back because they deserve a lot more.

      Since I am a pro-life advocate, my wife and I will be adopting instead of having children on our own. We decided to adopt an older child because there are numerous older children in the foster system today, some will reach their 18th birthday never getting an adoptive family. I strongly encourage Christians everywhere to consider adoption of an older child, infants are adopted nearly 100% of the time, but that number drops as a child gets older. As a matter of fact, most if not all states will pay for the child’s college education if you adopt one older than 14. Our new son hopefully will be here just in time for Christmas and he and we cannot wait. He is already begging for a red mountain bike.

      Besides adopting and donating to children’s homes, I also do volunteer work with the poor through several organizations. For several years I’ve learned that too many times, people stay poor because of their own actions.

      I remember this one family, always something happening. The father gets fired, the car got wrecked, the minivan was repo’d, the trailer house is leaking, always something happening. I decided to work with this family. I gave them money to help them fix the trailer, got their minivan out of repo. The husband couldn’t get a job because they only had one car and lived out in the boonies. I bought him a small truck and we agreed to a repayment plan.
      Well, he made two small payments, then took his girlfriend, left his wife and kids, left the state and moved away. Then he traded the truck for a condemned house in the middle of nowhere, the girlfriend is arrested for drugs, his 17 year old daughter gave birth and dropped out of high school. I even had adoptive parents lined up for her, but she said no, she wanted to keep it. The money for the trailer house went instead to a new leather sofa which they said was a ‘smart’ buy. So I washed my hands of the situation. I still encourage them, but money is just a waste on these people until they change their decision making strategies. I received a phone call from the mother a few weeks ago, tearily telling me how the electricity was turned off. I told her to sell the couch. What else was I supposed to do.

      This other family (mother with two teens) that I work with live in a 3 story town home worth $300K and for two years lived off food-stamps, unemployment, child support and other generous benefits. The mother didn’t have a job and she held out because she only wanted a management job. Anything else was beneath her (compare that to this other poor chap i work with who got off a plane from Liberia, walked into a Walmart and got a job). Although she told me that she was poor, every week they went to Outback Steakhouse and the kids are enjoying every movie channel available and iPhones. They considered themselves poor, but they aren’t living in a goat shack. As a matter of fact they live quite well and she is happily driving around in her SUV with Obama 2012 bumper sticker.

      I’m still working with the older son in that family. He was born with some issues due to the mother’s drug abuse. He suffers from paranoia, low self esteem, episodes of violence, and learning disabilities. The mother gets a check each month from the state to take care of him.
      Now this kid, many would forgive the mother for aborting him because of the issues he was going to be born with. But as frustrating as he is to me at times, this kid has value, this kid has worth. He deserves life no matter what issues he was to born with. Every disabled person, born and unborn, deserves our compassion for they too have worth and are the ‘least of these’ that Christ commanded us to care for. With my volunteer work with this kid, I may not turn him into an ‘Einstein’ or he may never cure cancer, but I’ll tell you what he can do.

      He can mow grass. This kid grew up never believing that he could do anything without someone doing it for him. His own mother bathed him until he was 14. But one day I had the bright idea of helping him get money in the summer by mowing grass. We used my mower (which eventually I just gave to him) and we walked the neighborhood knocking on doors. Pretty soon he had 4 regular customers. The first time he got a twenty dollar bill from mowing, he asked me if it was real money? I said, ‘Of course!’ Then he asked me with wide eyes, ‘Can I spend it?’ I said ‘Yes, or you could save it!’ What he did was to save it. And over the summer he kept saving, until after a few months, he had $730. He kept the running figure in his head and he’d blurt out to everyone he met how much money he saved. He then walked into a ‘Best Buy’ and bought himself a laptop. And every week when I go see him, he won’t shut up about that laptop. I still have to watch him and help him mow (he has difficulty mowing in straight lines) and he can be frustrating, but this kid has worth, and because of a lawn mower, he walks a little taller.

      Therefore I believe, that every child, no matter the circumstances of their conception, no matter the deformities, no matter the financial situation, has God-Given worth.
      When it comes to the subject of abortion, I believe that children are the least of these and those who want to keep abortion legal are like the guards at Nazi death camps. I don’t consciously make that connection, it’s just there and I can’t shake it. Abortion is the absence of God’s mercy and is a train to Auschwitz that I refuse to throw children on.
      I have a long comment on abortion that I made as a rebuttal here at this link:
      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/faithfuldemocrats/2012/09/if-you-are-truly-pro-life-youd-vote-democrat/
      You’ll notice that nobody has successfully rebutted my rebuttal on that thread, but I’m still waiting.

      With that said, I am a believer and follower of Christ. I can be very enthusiastic about it and zealous in my beliefs about protecting innocent life. If I do or say something that leads you away from Christ, then I beg your forgiveness. However if it is my zeal for Christ that turns you off, then that isn’t my problem to resolve. I am though willing to discuss it with you further. (toronadoblue@hotmail.com)

      No matter what you think of me, I beg you to seek Christ. I am nothing, he is everything.

      • ToronadoBlue

        FYI, more information and pictures of children waiting for adoption here: http://adoptuskids.org/

      • ToronadoBlue

        One other comment, Notice in my story above, because of my Mom’s situation, She could have aborted me. Because of the disabilities that the kid I work with was born with, he could have been aborted. Because of the situation that my new adoptive son was born with, he could have been aborted.
        Praise God for bringing us all together in some weird way to bring love and joy to one another. I seriously mean that, Praise GOD!

  • Tiffany W

    As far as my thoughts on Romney.

    It is hilarious that the religious right is in such rabid support of him. Y’all DO KNOW he’s a Mormon, right? Apparently, if you do know he’s a Mormon (and he has a rank within the hierarchy), you don’t really know much about the actual religion, do you? I challenge you to look it up.

    Romney has done too many 180′s to be reliable (religion aside) and he doesn’t care for anyone other than those who are like him. He will say ANYTHING to get into the Whitehouse. He always has a new face. I thought it especially funny when he fake and baked for his speech on the Latino station. He doesn’t possess an ounce of compassion. He’s proven this repeatedly (taking the chance to go for political gain before the bodies of our deceased had cooled in Libya, the 47% remark… Which would have been fine for him to say that there were some that he would not campaign towards because they are decided and it wouldn’t be an effective use of money, it was the character assessments he made that were truly offensive, and btw I do not fall in the 47%). The conservatives are getting more and more antihuman and just way over the top. A reasonable and sane conservative of 20 years ago would now be considered a centrist or a leftist. Centrists or moderates of 20 yrs ago are now considered Socialist or pinko commie leftists, and leftists are considered … What ? Stupid for not being more selfish I guess.

    Jesus was a Liberal. Either you understand that he advocated loving your neighbour And feeding the poor and caring for others more than yourself and that greed is one of the seven deadly sins, and you choose to ignore it, or you are reading a quite different version of the bible. Did you write it yourself?

    • Frank

      So I assume since you value Jesus and the bible that you could not possibly vote for anyone who supports abortion?

    • ToronadoBlue

      @TiffanyW,
      I’ll respond if I may. The fact that Romney is a Mormon doesn’t really bother me. As a matter of fact, I’ve know quite a few Mormons in my lifetime and I’ve liked them all. They each exhibited an attitude and an ethic that I found admirable. Granted I disagree with the religion, just like I disagree with Baptists, Catholics, Episcopalians, Jews, Muslims, etc. So really, no big deal for me.

      As far as flip flopping, etc. Well, it’s pretty much down to him and Obama. As much as I’d like to reshuffle the deck, it ain’t gonna happen. I don’t know much about Romney’s personal life and I didn’t watch the debates and conventions, but from what I hear, there are a lot of people who stood up to say that privately he has done a lot for people. And it sounds like he was charitable with donations as far as his tax returns reveal, but I don’t know more than that.

      Tiffany W said: “He’s proven this repeatedly (taking the chance to go for political gain before the bodies of our deceased had cooled in Libya, ”
      -Remember how the liberal media and Democrat politicians exploited every bad news during the Iraq War? I bet you don’t. Right or wrong, exploiting opportunities for political gain is a bipartisan effort. Wouldn’t you agree?

      Regarding the 47% remark, I heard that Romney admitted that he worded his response to a question badly. Whether that is true or not I don’t know, but judging on his charitable donations and people standing up for his personal efforts to help people, he seems like a decent guy. But if you want to hold things against him, then you also have to hold Obama accountable for comments he made about ‘Bitter clingers’, 57 states, or bowling like he belonged in the special olympics, calling his grandma a ‘typical white person’, sitting in the audience of Jeremiah Wright for many years, and so on. The Jeremiah Wright thing is what bothers me the most, anyone can say something stupid from time to time and Presidents are not exempt. But listening to Wright’s racebaiting sermons for years is inexcusable.

      Tiffany W said: ” The conservatives are getting more and more antihuman and just way over the top.”
      -I hope my posts on saving lives from the jaws of abortion changes your mind.

      Tiffany W said: ” A reasonable and sane conservative of 20 years ago would now be considered a centrist or a leftist. Centrists or moderates of 20 yrs ago are now considered Socialist or pinko commie leftists, ”
      -Proof?

      Tiffany W said: “Jesus was a Liberal. Either you understand that he advocated loving your neighbour And feeding the poor and caring for others more than yourself and that greed is one of the seven deadly sins, ”
      -Of course loving your neighbor and treating others better than yourself is something Jesus taught. I’m all for feeding the poor and helping the helpless. But I’m not for helping those who are idle. As Jesus explained in the parable of the talents that those who sit idly were wicked and lazy. I’ll go a little further, I don’t think Jesus wants me to confiscate my neighbor’s gold to give to a government to squander. He wants me to use what I have to help others. I am accountable for what I do, not for how much wealth I can expropriate through the government. As for greed, as a government worker I can tell you how wasteful the government is. It can’t get enough money and it can spend enough money. 16,000,000,000,000 of debt does not show good stewardship.

      I do have a question for you. What do you think Jesus would say regarding partial-birth abortion?
      1. Guided by ultrasound, the abortionist grabs the baby’s leg with forceps.
      2. The baby’s leg is pulled out into the birth canal.
      3. The abortionist delivers the baby’s entire body, except for the head.
      4. The abortionist jams scissors into the baby’s skull. The scissors are then opened to enlarge the hole.
      5. The scissors are removed and a suction catheter is inserted. The baby’s brains are then sucked out and the head is removed from the womb, completing the procedure.

      “And he [Jesus] took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.’ ” (Mark 9:36)

      • ToronadoBlue

        FYI,
        If anyone responds, I may not get to it for a couple of days. I’m have surgery tomorrow.

        • Eric Sapp

          Hope it goes well. You’re in my prayers.

          • ToronadoBlue

            Thank you, I appreciate that. Hopefully won’t have to have another one for a while. I hate it when I come out of anesthesia because of the nausea it causes me. Gratefully, I’m in one of the best hospitals in Georgia.


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