Monday, April 26, 2004
has an article on Pat Tillman up at NRO
. Given that news of Tillman's death came just twenty-four hours before the NFL draft, it was a given that the sacrfice of Tillman be compared to the saga of Maurcie Clarett or the Eli Manning story.
Concerning Manning, however, I think Norman is just wrong. I'm not one to defend athletic primadonas, but Eli Manning isn't one. As ESPN's Chris Berman pointed out over the weekend, the sort of behavior that took place between Manning's camp (his agent and his father) and the San Diego Chargers is nothing new. More importantly, it is highly uncharacteristic for the Manning family, who are known as a class act through and through. Eli Manning wasn't shuffingling around trying to get the most money. He wanted to play for a team that might give him a chance. His father Archie might know a thing or two about that. Archie Manning was a phenom at Ole Miss during the early 1970s, and he ended up spending eleven years with the Saints, and never saw a playoff game. I can't blame Eli for wanting to avoid a lackluster team like the Chargers.
I say all that to say this: If one is going to juxtapose Pat Tillman's heroic sacrifce against the crybaby Maurice Clarett, don't lump Eli Manning in the same category. Negotiations are a part of professional football. Manning was playing by the rules, not trying to recreate them.
Saturday, April 24, 2004
(scroll down) has a John F. Kennedy quote up, derailing the "theocons." It's a nice thought, but somewhat out of context. When Kennedy made that statement in the early 1960s, there were no culture wars. There was no Roe v. Wade
, no Lawrence v. Texas
, no gay marriage initiatives. You can disagree with what conservative Catholics and Protestants have to say on those matters, but it's naive to say that scripture has no comment. Christianity does have something to say about abortion, homosexuality, pornography, etc. You can take it or leave it, but I don't understand why anyone would be surprised that a pastor or priest might make a remark about it.
I've been a churchgoer all my life, and I've never heard a pastor tell me how to vote. I've heard many pastors suggest that a candidate or party's support of a certain issue might lead me in one way or another, but I've never been instructed on how to cast my ballot.
Friday, April 23, 2004
I had hoped to find an impetus to get this blog going again. I've felt apathetic as of late, not wanting to say a whole lot. The news of Pat Tillman's death gave me the tragic push I needed.
I don't know what I could say that I has not already been said. Tillman was a fine athlete, a walk-on at Arizona State and an outstanding defensive player for the Arizona Cardinals. His teammates have had nothing but positive words for him in remembrance.
I think what stands out to me most is how strong a person he was. I realize that strength is portrayed in different forms, but Tillman's decision to leave behind a million dollar contract to join the Army Rangers for love of country and freedom is simply amazing. It is amazing that someone who had it all would leave it behind to sacrifice his own well being for the defense of liberty. It is sad irony that only days ago New York Congressman Charlie Rangel was making noise about a draft, implying that those dying are only poor minorities. Today's news is evidence to the contrary.
There was a letter from a reader at the Dallas Morning News blog
stating that perhaps the death of a more famous soldier might demonstrate the ugly aspect of war. No one is denying the tragedy of this, but I sit here, in my nice air-conditioned office, thankful and proud that we live in a nation capable of producing men like Pat Tillman. I can only hope that I will show the same valor if my time comes, and that, God willing, I can raise my own children in the same manner.
As a nation, we face a choice. We can produce a generation of overly-sensitive men without chests, or we can realize that some battles must be fought, and they must risk life and limb. Tolkien understood this. C.S. Lewis understood this. So did Mill, Orwell, Kennedy, and Lincoln. George W. Bush understands this. I can only pray that the rest of us do, as well.