The Literary Corner: Renegade Writer’s Guild

Published 10:02 am Thursday, August 19, 2021

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Politics of Words

By N. R. Tucker

There are words thrown around every day by reporters and politicians in the states. After a little research, I discovered the origin of a few.

We can thank Andrew Jackson for the phrase kitchen cabinet. To avoid notice, three of his close friends would enter via the kitchen back door (who knew the White House had a back door). These friends, who were not elected to official positions, were Jackson’s unofficial consultants.

Filibuster owes its conception to the Spanish word filibustero, the name given to the pirates of the West Indies. The obstructionist tactics of the minority in 1851 were likened to these pirates. The name stuck and is used whenever a politician drones on just to prevent actual work from being done.

In the 1880s, a senator considering a bid for the presidential nomination left Washington D.C. for his farm in Ohio. A reporter found the senator, standing near a fence, talking with a political official. When the reporter asked what they were doing, Senator John Sherman said, “We’re mending fences.” The reporter used those words as the headline of his story, and it became a catchphrase for healing relationships of all types.

Boondoggle indicates government money spent on meaningless or unimportant projects. It was first used during the Great Depression to describe projects created just to give men work.

Spill the beans means precisely what it says. In Ancient Greek, voters dropped a bean into a pottery jar to vote. A white bean was an affirmative vote, while a brown bean was a vote against. If the jar tipped over and the beans fell out, the status of the vote could be seen prior to the votes being counted.

Charles Dickens created the phrase red tape when describing government and legal bungling as cutting through the red tape. English rulers used red silk ribbons to bind legal decrees on parchment. Government bureaucrats and lawyers copied the practice, leaving citizens with a lot of red ribbons to cut to access the documents.

Turing Point

By Linda H. Barnette

Although I was brought up by a father who was actively involved in politics and public service, we were not as immersed in news programs day and night as we are now. My parents always went to church and were generous people, always willing to help anyone in need. Daddy was a charter member of the Mocksville Lions Club and worked hard for the cause of the blind and those with vision problems. Mother stayed in the background but always supported my dad’s efforts and was herself very generous.  She spent a lot of time sewing for several family members, including me.

When I went off to college, I spent the majority of my time studying in the library at Catawba, so I had very little involvement in current events. Graduate school was pretty much the same although I did have a television set in my room. I remember my total shock at the assassination of President Kennedy and watched his funeral over and over. Shortly after that event, President Johnson’s motorcade came down Cumberland Avenue, and all the buildings were vacated for safety purposes.  All the students stood on the sidewalk as he came through standing up in a black limousine surrounded by the Secret Service.  I recall being uncomfortable seeing men with guns on top of the Hodges Library but understood.

Right after grad school, I got married, moved to Charlotte, and began my teaching career. After a couple of years in an apartment, we bought a nice house in a middle-class neighborhood near Park Road. There were lots of other young couples there, and we made some good friends.

However, a pivotal point in my life happened in April of 1968 right after the assassination of Dr. King.  We were out in our yard talking to some neighbors when my husband mentioned how terrible this event was, and the neighbors said it did not matter to them.  We left them standing at the fence and never spoke to them again because of their callous attitude about the murder of someone who had worked so hard for justice for people of color and who was the leader of the Civil Rights Movement.

At that moment we felt that we had nothing in common with our neighbors.  That was the exact moment in time when I realized how important current events were to me, and I formed my interest in public service and politics.  My philosophy of service to others has remained steadfast through many years.

The Distinction of the Spirit

By Stephanie Williams Dean

Deeper study of the Holy Spirit has revealed the He is both a person and a divine person. In addition, the Holy Spirit is a person distinct and separate from God, the Father, and the Son. Passages in the Bible clearly define the distinction of the Spirit from Jesus Christ who was here on earth, and the Father who speaks to Jesus from Heaven.

The book of Luke reveals even more. In Luke 3:21, we read, “Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.”

So we see the Father spoke to his Son from heaven, and the Holy Spirit descended in the body form of a dove, which came from the Father. The dove rested upon the Son – the Spirit – a divine person separate and distinct from the Father and the Son. There are many scriptures that support this distinction.

But to go further – emphasis should be placed on the fact that it is our Father who has given us the Holy Spirit. John 14:16 says, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.”

Further, in John 16:7, made more clear is that Jesus goes away to the Father, and the Father sends the Holy Spirit to take the Son’s place. “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”

As we progress in our understanding, we see that the Son leaves to go to the Father and the Holy Spirit comes from the Father to take the Son’s place. So there’s the Son, who is now exalted to the right hand of the Father, the Father, to whose right hand the Son is exalted. And then there’s the Holy Spirit, whom the Son receives from the Father and then gives forth to us.

The main point to understand here is the distinction of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son and how it was received.  In our understanding, the Holy Spirit, being a 3rd divine person, should be referred to as “He” and not “it.”


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