Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, December 24, 2022

MVNews this week:  Page 13

Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 24, 2022 OPINIONOPINION 13 
Mountain Views-News Saturday, December 24, 2022 OPINIONOPINION 13 




Susan Henderson 


Dean Lee 



Patricia Colonello 


John Aveny 


Peter Lamendola 


Stuart Tolchin 
Audrey SwansonMeghan MalooleyMary Lou CaldwellKevin McGuire 
Chris Leclerc 
Dinah Chong WatkinsHoward HaysPaul CarpenterKim Clymer-KelleyChristopher NyergesPeter Dills 
Rich Johnson 
Lori Ann Harris 
Rev. James SnyderKatie HopkinsDeanne Davis 
Despina ArouzmanJeff Brown 
Marc Garlett 
Keely TotenDan Golden 
Rebecca WrightHail Hamilton 
Joan Schmidt 
LaQuetta Shamblee 

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I really hope you all had a chance to stop being busy 
and were able to focus on Ukranian President Volodmyr 
Zelensky’s speech on Wednesday night. I know you are 
busy wrapping Christmas packages and sending Christmas 
cards and some of you have been glued to the TV wanting to 
hear more about the misdeeds of our former, forever former, 
ex-President. Perhaps you have saved up enough dollars to 
purchase one of the unbelievably disgusting Trump superhero 
cards. Really if you want to see what a Super-hero 
looks like and what a super-does watch Zelensky. All 5 feet 
7 inches 137 pounds of him, married for twenty years, with 
two children. His wife is not a trophy wife but is the daughter of an academic who 
became a comedy writer to assist in her husband’s previous career as a comedian.
Maybe none of the above facts about Zelensky’s personal characteristics and 
life are relevant to anything but they emphasize for me how exciting it was to see 
this regular looking Jewish man, like my own family from the Ukraine, bravely risk 
his life to come to America to speak and try to influence the American People. Yes, 
I identify with Zelensky in a way that I could never identify with the larger than life,
but smaller in mind and values, Donald Trump.
This week, like so many others, the news has been full of Trump and his tax 
frauds and conspiracies and lies and then, out of the Blue (not red) President Zelensky 
arrived. Here he came wearing his symbolic green t-shirt reminding us that his 
nation is at war. He spoke to the Joint Houses of Congress in English although he 
is not completely fluent. Words like bicameral and such were difficult. Why did he 
make this effort? To me it seemed clear that he wanted to speak to “the American 
people”, not just the feuding elected officials probably angry about the interference 
with their Christmas Holidays. For me it worked. He pulled me in as he spoke. He 
mentioned the Children of the Diaspora (if you don’t what that means, look it up). 
He mentioned the Battle of the Bulge, the German Battle in which my uncle was 
wounded and carried shrapnel in his leg but never asked for benefits, according to 
my mother, because he just thought he was just doing his duty.
Zelensky’s speech had the effect of causing me to realize that there are things 
more important than my immediate self-interest. Much as I have come to doubt it, 
the maintenance of Democracy is important and tyrants all over the world, not just 
Putin, are threatening our personal freedom and liberty. These are not just words but 
realities which affect all of our lives. Presently many of my friends talk of moving 
elsewhere. Yes, they have comfortable existences here but that is not enough. Theyimagine moving to places not threatened by violence and corruption and inflationary 
prices and high taxes. One house is not enough; they want a vacation house. I 
really believe that most of us do not appreciate our freedoms and will not until we 
begin to lose them. 
Will Zelensky’s 
speech make anydifference as far as 
potential legislation; 
probably not, 
especially since 
the Republicansare taking over the 
House coming next 
year. Don’t the 
Republicans care 
about anythingbesides lower taxes 
and keeping wages 
low and protecting 
gun rights or 
wrongs? Nevertheless, 
the Ukrainian 
President’s speech made me more aware of my own values and I find myself caring 
more about those things which have always been most important to me. What a 
wonderful Christmas present and it doesn’t even have to be wrapped.
Have a happy aware holiday! 


I’m filled with a renewed 
sense of hope 
all of the sudden. 

Truthfully, I don’t 
know why I feel 
such hopefulness. 

Last Friday I went 
to the hospital to 
have a hernia surgically 
repaired. They 
stuffed a hose down 
my mouth and 
pumped me with 
air, then sliced and sewed and got my torn 
parts back in order. 

My throat is still throbbing. My torso feels 
like someone drove a locomotive into it. I slept 
much of the dark, cold weekend, recovering. 

And yet I just woke from a Monday afternoon 
nap filled with a sense of wellbeing and hope. 

Don’t misunderstand me. There’s plenty of despair 
in our world. 

In our personal worlds we mourn, as we head 
into the holidays, the loss of our loved ones. 
My family has had its share of such pain this 

It doesn’t matter who you are, loss and suffering 
are a part of life, and both are felt at their 
keenest this time of year. 

We also worry about our politics and the anger, 
division and nastiness among so many 
people. We are being torn apart and we know 
that a nation divided cannot long stand. 

Our culture is running amuck. So many of our 
young people are depressed and disoriented 
and not even sure what they are or want to be. 

So many of our kids are being harmed by the 
decisions they make now — when the true 
blessing of a young life is to flourish and grow 
and become what God intends you to be. 

I will soon experience my 60th Christmas on 
Earth and my childhood was immersed in so 
much more clarity and simplicity. 

We didn’t have an abundance of material 
things, but we had a lot of laughter and joy 
and, thanks to the nuns at St. Germaine Catholic 
School, tremendous clarity. 

The good nuns taught us that there is order in 
our conflicted universe — that there is good 
and bad, and that they’re at battle everywhere, 
every day, in every heart. 

They taught us we have the free will to choose 
our direction, good or ill. 

We were taught to pray to align ourselves with 
good and order and to root out dishonesty and 
nastiness from our beings. 

The virtues were pounded into our developing 
minds and we had better learn to embrace and 
master them: prudence, temperance, courage 
and justice. 

We were taught that as we strive for good, we 
must fend off bad behavior: excessive pride, 
envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed and sloth. 

These are known as the seven deadly sins — 
activities I like to save for the weekend! 
It is very simple, really. You are either moving 
toward the light and goodness or away from it. 
It’s the eternal struggle of humankind. 

But sadly, our modern world is moving awayfrom light and goodness in so many ways. 

We are straying from the most simple, basic 
truths of human nature — as we embrace and 
encourage as truth the kind of wrongheadedness 
that can only lead to failure and human 

It’s easy to get down in these noisy, confusing 

But still, I am filled with hope that we can 
right our course. 

It’ll take prayer, charity, love — and hope. 

That is what I am focusing on as we celebrate 
the Christmas season. I am praying for those 
I love, my neighbors, my country, my world. 

I don’t know what impact I will make, but 
hope is all I have. And I’ll give it everythingI’ve got. 

Merry Christmas to you and your families. 


He was born in an obscure village. 
The child of a peasant woman. 

He grew up in another obscure village 
where he worked in a carpenter 
shop until he was thirty. 

He never wrote a book. He never held an office. 

He never went to college. He never visited a big city. 

He never travelled more than two hundred miles rom the place where 
he was born. 

He did none of the things usually associated with greatness. 

He had no credentials but himself. 

He was only thirty-three. His friends ran away. 

One of them denied him. He was turned over to his enemies. 

And went through the mockery of a trial. 

He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. 

While dying, his executioners gambled for his clothing, the only 
property he had on earth. 

When he was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity 
of a friend. 

Nineteen centuries have come and gone. 

And today Jesus is the central figure of the human race. 

And the leader of mankind's progress. 

All the armies that have ever marched. All the navies that have ever 

All the parliaments that have ever sat. All the kings that ever reigned 
put together have not affected the life of mankind on earth as powerfully 
as that one solitary life.” 

Dr James Allan © 1926. 

The impact of Jesus Christ on human history cannot be overstated. 
For most of the world, history has been separated in half by the existence 
of Jesus. “B.C.” literally means “Before Christ”. “A.D.” does not 
mean “After Death”. A.D. stands for “anno domini” (Latin for “in the 
year of the lord”), essentially acknowledging Jesus’ birth.

 Speaking of His birth, on Christmas Eve 1914, 5 months into World 
War I, an extraordinary phenomenon took place. Modern day miracles 
occurred in several locations along the dank, muddy trenches 
of the Western Front in Belgium. In one location. British infantrymen 
of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment were 
crouched in 3-foot deep trenches facing the enemy…the Germans. 
At about 10pm the British heard the Germans singing Christmas 
Carols. The British started to sing along. The British then heard confused 
shouting from the other side. They heard the voice of an enemy 
soldier, speaking in English saying, “Come over here.” 

One of the British Sergeants answered “You come half way…I come 
half way”. And what happened next was nothing short of miraculous. 

Enemy soldiers, on both sides climbed nervously out of the trenches 
and met with handshakes and words of kindness. The soldiers traded 
songs, smokes, and wine. It wasn’t just on one battlefield. Cease-fires 
across the Western Front involved British, French, German, and Belgian 
troops laying down their guns and meeting the enemy halfway 
across the battlefield. One German soldier’s diary described a British 
soldier setting up a makeshift barbershop and giving German soldiers 
haircuts for a few cigarettes. Even reports of makeshift soccer 
games breaking out on the same battlefield they were fighting on 
hours earlier. 

So, whether you believe Jesus is the Son of God, or just an itinerant 
preacher, His impact on human history is dramatic, extraordinary, 
and irrefutable. 

Well, one Richard (last name Dawkins), noted evolutionary biologist 
and well-known atheist wrote: “the 19th century is the last time 
when it was possible for an educated person to admit to believing in 
miracles like the virgin birth without embarrassment.” Methinks he 
has been proven wrong! 

Well, one other Richard (last name Johnson), noted for not much of 
anything, is about to write right now: “Happy Birthday Jesus. I believe 
in you!” 

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