Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, February 15, 2014

MVNews this week:  Page 15

Mountain Views News Saturday, February 15, 2014 

A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


Susan Henderson 
Dean Lee 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 
Pat Birdsall 
Patricia Colonello 
John Aveny 
Chris Leclerc 
Bob Eklund 
Howard HaysPaul CarpenterStuart Tolchin 
Kim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Hail Hamilton 
Rich Johnson 
Merri Jill Finstrom 
Lori KoopRev. James SnyderTina Paul 
Mary CarneyKatie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanGreg WelbornRenee Quenell 
Ben Show 
Sean KaydenJasmine Kelsey Williams 
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STUART Tolchin........On LIFE 
As I began the 
day by walking my 
friend and dog, Milo, 
around our canyon 
circle I once again marveled at the 
acuity of his senses. He smells what 
I cannot smell, sees what I cannot see, 
and hears what I cannot hear. Really, 
it is quite astounding that our poor 
species, endowed only with minimal 
sensory perceptions, has managed to 
stay around for so long. After our walk 
I got home and turned on the television 
and marveled at the astounding feats of 
the Winter-Olympians. 
The thought came to me that Milo’s 
sensory exploits were really not so 
fantastic. He and all the other animals, 
with the exception of Man, have no choice 
but to develop their sensory ability to 
their maximum capability. Animals (but 
not us) must do this in order to survive. 
Look what the Olympians can do when 
they completely dedicated themselves 
to developing abilities like spinning in 
the air and sliding down hills or turning 
somersaults on hard ice. 
As I watched the ice-dancing and 
noticed the extraordinary sensitivity 
towards one another displayed by 
the dancing couples, I thought about 
something my cousin mentioned to me 
last year. He was having a difficult time 
holding his marriage together when he 
and his wife chanced upon tangoing as 
a potential hobby. As they developed 
their skills they became so sensitive to 
one another that they seemed to merge 
almost becoming one person. No 
longer were they trapped in their own 
individual boxes concerned only with 
their own behavior and how others 
viewed them. He claimed that as a result 
of the tango, each of them became able 
to extend their thoughts as well as their 
bodily processes to the other person. 
Frankly, at the time I heard this, it 
all seemed completely preposterous. I 
mention this because, when I finally 
turned away from the Olympics, I 
happened upon a documentary detailing 
the incredible exploits of a sightless man 
who practiced doing sleight of hand 
card tricks for 10-15 hours a day seven 
days a week. He had developed his 
sensitivity to such a degree that he had 
mastered feats that had never been done 
by anyone else. The United States Card 
Company had hired him to evaluate their 
decks of cards because he had incredibly 
developed the ability to identify each 
card simply by its unique feeling. I 
thought of his ability, comparing his 
developed senses to the senses of my dog 
and all the other animals of the world. 
Maybe the rest of the human population 
can develop their senses to be more like 
the animals and the blind magician or to 
resemble the ice-dancers or the tangoing 
Why is this important? Well today 
I also watched the CBS weather report 
being given by Professor Michio Kaku, 
the noted theoretical physicist. Are times 
that bad that the networks are finding it 
necessary to utilize noted researchers to 
present weather forecasts? Yes, times are 
that bad. The professor explained that 
the last decade was the hottest on record 
and the North Pole is presently melting, 
which causes blizzard conditions like 
the ones being experienced on the 
East Coast today. Even the causes of 
the drought in Southern California are 
related to warming of the arctic regions. 
The Professor explained that this coming 
century is going to be like nothing man 
has ever seen before and really, if our 
specie plans on surviving, it is necessary 
that much of mankind must learn to 
communicate and cooperate with one 
another towards a common end. To 
me this means that although magic 
tricks and quadruple spins on the ice are 
undoubtedly entertaining, our survival 
depends on developing our abilities to 
work together, communicate with one 
another and find solutions. 
Really, what’s stopping us? Perhaps 
the culprit is modern science. As I 
understand Darwin’s theory of evolution, 
it asserts that life is a random, predatory, 
purposeless and solitary experience 
wherein each individual struggles to fit 
best into his or her ecological niche for 
the purpose of populating the world with 
copies of themselves. Well, this is what I 
was taught in School but I, nevertheless, 
do not believe that this correlates with 
the actual experience of any actual 
culture or the members of that culture. 
I am a life-long atheist, but I continually 
experience the desire to make the world 
a better place for everyone and to be 
a member of a community that faces 
its problems rather than ignores the 
problems while it wastes precious time 
and energy celebrating trivial exploits. 
Few of us understand theoretical 
physics, and perhaps even fewer can 
execute acrobatic seemingly impossible 
maneuvers on skates; but all of us 
can focus on the abilities we do have 
and do a better job of living our life 
cooperating and communicating with 
others. Maybe there is some mystical 
energy connecting all of us that is yet to 
be revealed? Perhaps it is even worth the 
trouble to learn to tango?

Quite a few, if not 

most put a whole 

lot of credence into 

a kiss. Much can be 

argued in favor of 

this philosophy, but 
not from me. 

 I grew up in a generation that never 
kissed on the first date. Sad to say, that 
idea went out with Noah and his ark and 
you can kiss that idea goodbye.

Nothing wrong with a kiss, if it is with 
the right person. It seems we are living 
in a culture where all anybody thinks 
about is kiss, kiss, kiss. So much so, that 
the average kiss is just that, average. 
Whatever happened to the romance 
factor behind the kiss?

 I am one that is not given to hugging 
people, let alone kissing them. I have 
friends in a certain church that believes 
in what they call, “A Holy Kiss.” They take 
it from the Bible where it says that we are 
to greet one another with a holy kiss. As 
soon as I find out and understand what a 
holy kiss is, I might start doing it. But not 
until then and don’t count on it. 

I am one of those people that likes 
a warm friendly handshake. Such a 
handshake conveys all I really want to 
say at the moment. It is not that I am 
unfriendly and it is not that I do not have 
warm feelings about people. I just like to 
preserve “my space.”

 A kiss could mean a lot of things to 
different people. I see an advertisement 
on television all the time that says, “Every 
kiss begins with Kay.” What does that 
really mean? Does everybody have to 
go to the Kay’s jewelry store in order to 
kiss someone? Is that where kissing really 
begins? If so, please count me out. 

 A kiss should be something special 
and not thrown around like some dirty 
old rag. It should mean something to the 
people involved.

 Some believe romance begins with a 
kiss. If that is so, I am out of the game.

 So many people “kiss and tell” that I 
think there should be some kind of law 
enacted to prohibit this sort of activity. 
A kiss should be a private activity not to 
be shared with the whole world. When 
sharing such an activity with the whole 
world, it ceases to be romance and enters 
into the area of performance. And boy, 
do I hate performance. Not just because 
I am a bad actor... Well, maybe it is just 
because I’m a bad actor.

 Today kissing is so cavalier that it 
hardly means anything to anybody. 
I still remember my first kiss.

 I was in Bible school studying for 
the ministry where I met this girl. We 
had been dating two months before I 
realized we were dating. On many things, 

especially in the romantic arena, I am 
rather slow. At the end of our first “date,” 
she surprised me by hugging me. I had 
never been hugged before. I did not know 
what to do with my arms. I did not know 
if I should stand there or if I should say 
something. At the time nothing really 
came to mind so I just stood there saying 

 The frightening thing about this first 
hug was I could not sleep all night long. 
I had no idea what it meant and I did not 
know what I was supposed to do. What 
would I say to this young lady when I met 
her the next day? How could I look her 
in the eyes?

 I am not sure if I have ever gotten over 
that first hug after all these years. The 
thing I did not realize at the time was, 
every kiss begins with a hug. Forget Kay, 
whoever she is.

 Then, the inevitable happened.

 We had concluded our “date,” and I took 
her over to the doorway of the dormitory 
where she lived. All of a sudden, at least 
from my perspective, she rose up on her 
tippy toes and kissed me right on the lips. 
Then she turned around and went away 
into the dorm, leaving me standing on 
the porch not knowing what happened or 
what to do next.

 It was February and just a week away 
from Valentine’s Day. I had my Valentine’s 
Day present and my dilemma was, what 
do I now give her in return? What in the 
world could ever top a kiss?

 Being a naïve young gentleman, I 
did not possess the resources to process 
this sort of problem. I had never bought 
anybody a Valentine’s Day present in my 
life. What did they really look like?

After some soul-searching and wallet 
rumbling, I bought her a heart-shaped 
box of candy. When I presented it to her, 
she was thrilled and kissed me again. 
What do I have to do now? Do I buy her 
another box of candy?

 The next few hours were rather foggy to 
me and even the next couple of days. By 
the end of Valentine’s Day, I discovered 
I was engaged to be married and it all 
started with a hug.

 The apostle Paul put it best when he 
wrote, “And now abideth faith, hope, 
charity, these three; but the greatest of 
these is charity” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

 A kiss is an expression of love. It is not 
so much the kiss as what comes after that 
kiss; a relationship that gets better and 
better every year. 

Liberalism means a lot of different things, 
depending on who you’re talking to. It 
has a pleasant enough sounding name, 
and certainly most Democrats and media 
commentators would have us believe it 
is as American an ideal as motherhood 
and apple pie. Conservatives have been 
fighting a herculean battle to show just 
how un-American liberalism, as it is 
actually contemplated and practiced 
today, truly is. Well, the debate is over; 
the other side has conceded our points; 
and the announcement came, shockingly 
enough, directly from the Whitehouse.

 The stage for all this was set by the 
Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) 
final scoring of Obamacare’s effect on 
employment. Their projection of the 
drop in the workforce attributable to 
Obamacare tripled from a meager 800 
thousand to more than 2.1 million 
workers by 2017, 2.3 million by 2021 and 

2.5 million by 2025. God knows what the 
real numbers will be when the policy is 
actually implemented. When was the last 
time one of these government estimates 
of “costs” understated the actual result? 
The surrender took the form of Democrats 
giving up on their previous strategy of 
simply denying the law’s employment 
affects and this time embracing the 
results. You read that correctly, and it 
should cause all Americans concern. In 
the past, Democrats have simply denied 
that there would be net job losses. At 
times, they even tried to argue the law 
would increase employment. Those 
aren’t the talking points anymore. The 
emperor is so naked now that they’ve 
decided to argue that nudity is good. 
Whitehouse spokesman, Jay Carney 
reacted to the CBO report by telling 
Americans Obamacare would create an 
“opportunity” which “allows families in 
America to make a decision about how 
they will work, and if they will work”. 
Nancy Pelosi apparently didn’t think 
President Obama’s spokesman was being 
specific enough. She shared her vision of 
this: “think of an economy where people 
could be an artist or a photographer or 
a writer without worrying about keeping 
their day job in order to have health 

 The unvarnished truth of liberalism’s 
vision is that people should be free to 
work or not work as they see fit without 
paying any consequence for that decision. 
The further truth behind this is that there 
must be some number of people who 
continue to work AND who will now 
support, not just their own families, 
but the families of the freeloaders who 
want to photograph butterflies mating 
and float crucifixes in urine. This is not 
healthy for the individual who gives up 
working, it is not healthy for society, it 
is not moral, and it certainly is not the 
American way.

 When humans have 
purpose, they have a 
strong sense of value. 
Their self-esteem 
is wrapped in their 
ability to provide for 
themselves and for 
their families. When 

we take that away, 
when we say the state will provide for 
them and for their families, we infantilize 
them and rob them of a large part of their 
purpose and self-esteem. 

When we reward unemployment – 
and that’s what we’re doing by telling 
people they don’t need to work, they 
can collect benefits without working 

– we shouldn’t be surprised when we 
get more unemployment. The CBO 
was very clear in acknowledging that 
because Obamacare benefits are phased 
out as income rises, workers will choose 
to work less. Unemployment will rise, 
and it inevitably will hit the poor most 
When people work, they are creating 
wealth. That is the definition of work-
for-pay. The worker makes or provides 
something that a buyer or employer finds 
valuable (wealth) and is willing to pay 
for. This process of voluntary exchange 
keeps everyone at every level focused on 
providing something of value, or nobody 
will buy it. The factory worker, the 
supervisor, the manager, the executive 
and the president all must satisfy a buyer 
of their product or service and justify the 
price or wage they want. This process has 
created the greatest economy the world 
has ever seen and lifted more people out 
of poverty than any other system known 
to mankind.

 So now, Obamacare will reduce the 
incentive to work, less wealth will be 
created, more people will experience 
unemployment, and the poor – those 
whom liberals love to claim they’re 
helping – will see their ladder for upward 
mobility ripped from under them. 
Meanwhile, the working stiff – also a 
supposed key constituency of liberals – 
is expected to shut up, show up, work at 
what jobs remain and pay for everyone 
else who decides to paint, frolic or 

 This isn’t the America any of us 
imagined or know. This isn’t the America 
of opportunity, upward mobility, and 
freedom. This will become the America 
where wealth is given to those who best 
learn to game the system and/or who are 
politically connected. It won’t be enough 
to have a good idea, a strong work ethic 
and a willingness to take a risk. Increased 
regulations and increased taxes – all 
beautifully symbolized and incorporated 
into Obamacare – will kill that. America 
is disappearing, and finally liberals are 
admitting it’s what they wanted all along.