Monthly Archives: July 2012

How Cool is the Bible?

tfo book o fjobThe short answer? Pretty darn cool. My kids ask me, “Mom, why are you re-writing Bible stories? If you had chosen to write a book like Fifty Shades of Gray, we’d be rich!” My soon to be 16-year-old daughter, who’s very smart and outspoken, in particular doesn’t get it.  She thinks the Bible is just a bunch of made up stories. She doesn’t believe that it’s the word of God. As for me, I think the Bible is both. It’s a collection by a variety of authors of poems, songs, lessons, legends and very cool stories. And, like all of creation – all of our dreams, ideas, and even our experiences in life – they all come from God. I never chose to re-write stories out of the Bible. The stories chose me.

Take Job, the subject of my first novel, The Faithful One, for example. Here’s a man who’s as rich and successful as Donald Trump, as handsome and healthy as George Clooney and has a wife and family like the dad on the Brady Bunch. Pretty interesting stuff. I couldn’t resist writing next about David and Abigail when a friend suggested it. It’s the story of a poor shepherd who becomes a king and the lady who takes a risk and saves him from doing something so low that it could ruin everything. It’s a story full of hardship, battles, abuse, romance and doing the right thing – called The Peace Maker. Before my first novel was even published and my second novel was even finished, I thought about the story of Jonah. You know, the guy who gets swallowed by the whale? Hokey, you say. I thought so too. But then I read it – and I’m so excited to write it for modern day readers.

Job, The Faithful One. Abigail, The Peace Maker. Jonah, The Righteous Rebel. The best part of writing stories based on the Bible? I’ll never run out of material!

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True Freedom

This is an excerpt from my upcoming speech at Toastmasters International:  Happy  4thof July! As you all know, the Fourth of July in America represents a celebration of independence: the freedom our forefathers chose from taxation without representation from England; the declaration that all people “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” And as I’m sure you are all aware, the US Supreme Court last week reached a historic decision to uphold the healthcare reform law known as “Obamacare” which requires that everyone in this country must have health insurance. But some of you might not be aware that within “Obamacare” there is a section known as the Health and Human Services, or HSS Mandate, which requires that every insurance plan cover morally objectionable services such as contraceptives, abortifacients (or drugs that cause abortions), and sterilizations. I believe, as do millions of Americans, that the HSS Mandate in Obamacare constitutes religious persecution and takes away our God given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness and therefore we need to vote against this religious persecution by voting against President Obama in November.

How is this new law religious persecution? The HSS Mandate forces those who believe in the “right to life” – and that contraceptives, abortions and sterilizations are against their conscience –  to act against their faith by paying for these services. And how is it taking away our freedom? Just like our forefathers, the government will unjustly be “taxing” those same citizens by making them pay a fine, “without representation” or against their beliefs, not giving them a choice.

So why vote against Obama in November?

1)      First, all other means have failed. Over the past year the Catholic Church  has spoken out against the HSS Mandate. They have prayed, held rallies, and filed lawsuits. I’ve prayed,  attended a rally, and wrote to my legislators. But this is all apparently not good enough according to the Supreme court ruling.  I’m not a big Mitt Romney fan – but he has promised that his first act in office will be to repeal Obamacare.  So I believe that we are left with no other course but to vote for Mitt Romney in November and persuade others to do the same.

2)      Second, many of us believe that the President’s actions represent a “slippery slope” – and that all religions, all Americans will eventually be targeted by this government oppression. It’s not just the Catholic Church that’s behind the opposition. Religious leaders from a variety of faiths – Baptist, Lutheran, Evangelical, Non-Denominational, Jewish and more – have banded together to oppose the law. These religious leaders realize that if the government can persecute Catholics, they will be next – we will all be next.

3)     Third, the President had his chance to do the right thing and failed. He has heard from millions of Americans who are against the HSS Mandate; 43 plaintiffs have filed suit including my alma mater, the University of Notre Dame, hospitals, businesses, even state governments.  And the President has ignored the people. And speaking of Notre Dame, the President furthermore outright lied when he delivered the commencement address at Notre Dame in 2009 when he said: “let’s honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion.”  So he has in effect, become a dictator and a liar.

The HSS mandate violates our freedom of conscience; Catholic hospitals make up over 12 percent of hospitals in America – and they, along with countless others,  will now be forced to choose between violating the law or violating their conscience. When our forefathers said “give us liberty” I don’t think they meant to give us some liberty.  The HSS Mandate flies in the face of our Declaration – obviously against the God given right to life, liberty – and by forcing people to act against their conscience or possibly lose their jobs – the pursuit of happiness.

Vote for liberty and justice for all. Vote against Obamacare by voting against Obama. If you don’t, your freedom might be the next thing to go.

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