Updated: February 25, 2013 12:32PM
Witnessing hope for the future in the faces of 300 youths
I want you to know something. I want you to know that not all young men walk around with their pants around their knees with hats skewed and scowls on their faces. I want you to know that not all young ladies dress and act like floozies.
I want you to know what I witnessed Monday. I volunteered to help at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. I arrived at Elgin’s Centre around 9 a.m. The Grand Ballroom looked like a movie star without her makeup. The transformation began: balloons, brightly colored tablecloths. Mr. Sam setting up for the multimedia presentations, while Ms. Dianha directed the volunteers.
In an hour or so, the place was really looking festive. The food arrived and was readied for the ravenous teenagers, table assignments were made, and we volunteers nervously chatted during the calm before the storm. Then 300 youth started to arrive — 300 heroes. There were Girl Scouts, kids from the Salvation Army, local churches and the Youth Leadership Academy to name a few. Such an impressive group of young people and adult leaders — the future of our city, state and country.
Now, I’ll tell you the honest truth: When I was in high school and had a Monday off, I would have slept in and just bummed around all day. Not so with these kids. They all got up early and attended morning service projects in single-digit temperatures, from visiting nursing homes to sorting tons of food for the Northern Illinois Food Bank. They didn’t have to — it wasn’t court-ordered community service. These kids know that they are the ones who will change the world for the better. Not three kids, not 30 kids, but 300 kids!
They arrived hungry, thirsty, happy, excited and fulfilled. These kids are leaders and doers. They are our future, not our enemies. Scholars, not hoodlums. After lunch and a talent show, students attended their choice of two workshops. The workshops ranged from culture and diversity to having positive interactions between police and youth.
I knew they would come for food (after all, they are teens!) and was impressed that all stayed and attended the workshops.
It’s easy to fret over the next generation. It should be natural to volunteer to help them. Please consider volunteering to help these kids continue down the path to becoming contributing members of society. It’s the best investment you’ll ever make.
Republicans now will have to get specific about what cuts they want
The Republicans’ brand is spending cuts.
Cutting spending has appeal in the abstract but has no appeal in the detail. All spending items benefit somebody, and therefore all spending items have a constituency somewhere among the electorate.
That is why there is no Republican agenda in the public domain that specifies what spending Republicans want to cut. Republicans don’t want to make anyone mad, and so they say that it is the president who has to develop and take to the public an agenda of specific spending cuts sufficient to meet Republican goals.
Unfortunately for the Republicans, the last time the president did such a thing, the Republicans dishonestly demagogued the issue, suggesting that the president was in favor of “gutting Medicare” when in fact he was speaking favorably about savings achievable in that program that were included in Paul Ryan’s Republican budget.
There is no question that the president and his supporters recognize the need for spending cuts and that the president is ready willing and able to support significant spending cuts. But it is the Republicans who, in light of their past behavior, will have the burden of bringing to the floor of public debate the program of specific cuts that Republicans sponsor as proper and sufficient to achieve their budgetary goals.
Alfred Y. Kirkland Jr.
Gay ‘marriage’ campaign is bullying Christians into silence
Homosexual “marriage” should continue to be prohibited, and civil unions also must be repealed!
You see, it’s not a matter of them being different. It is that the very definition of moral behavior is being changed by those who have no authority to do so.
When the state gives its approval to perverse and sinful behavior, then the result is: This behavior is taught in government schools, promoted in government programs, funded, and Christian programs and charities are defunded and persecuted.
Civil unions were just their first step to gaining full approval, but it will not stop until all forms of perverse sexuality, twisted ideas of gender and abominable unions are celebrated. Our very freedom to believe and share the truths in God’s word is being bullied into silence.
Homosexual activists will not stop until every Christian influence upon culture, and freedom to operate business according to our faith and speak out publicly, is criminalized.