My humble thoughts as one guy with opinions about life, love, religion, society, politics, parenting... yada, yada, yada.

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  • Has Fatherhood Become the New Mercedes-Benz?

    It used to be that a tailor-made suit and a Mercedes-Benz were context clues signaling a man’s ability to “provide” and consequently, those were things made a man "sexy". But could it be that for today’s professional women, fatherhood is the modern-day equivalent of a Benz? ...

  • What Does This Election Tell Us About What A "Real American" Is?

    “What on earth is he talking about?”... to put it simply..what does a Real American look like, sound like, act like, eat, wear and drive? Where do Real Americans live? What religion do they belong to? The questions are endless, but as we put answers to the questions will you fit the mold of a “Real American”?

  • “Rope-a-Dope” or Political “SHAKE and BAKE?

    Here’s the deal… President Obama was eaten alive in the 1st debate... BUT could this have been a good thing? Regardless of whether he was off his game or engaging in the most daring “rope-a-dope” in the history of politics, that awful debate performance sets the Obama campaign up for a little "shake and bake." Here’s why.

  • Look Ma! I'm On Web TV!

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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments

Written for Carol's Daughter's www.transitioningmovement.com-

So I accidentally bought a pair of skinny jeans... I've always HATED the idea of skinny jeans for dudes,  but I wore them today and I'm wondering what that says about me on so many levels...

First of all, let me answer the obvious question. How did I "accidentally" purchase a pair skinny jeans? Well, basically what had happened was, I started a new job that required me to "enhance" my wardrobe - because my office is on 59th and Lexington in NYC, and all... Anyway, I run to Burlington Coat Factory (because I refuse to pay department store prices for name brand crap) and start grabbing slim fit button up dress shirts and jeans.

The problem was that I had my three kids with me.  So with a 5 month old strapped to my chest, a 2 year old strapped in a  double stroller and a 5 year old doing Power Ranger kung-fu moves on the clothing racks,  I didn't have time to try on anything - including the jeans.   Hey, I saw the waste size was 34 and the length was 32 and I was like "that's what's up" and rushed the register...

Long story short, it was time to put on my jeans for work and I'm noticing that it's taking a bit more effort to get them on, and when I finally get them on, I'm wondering why I can see the muscle tone in my calf... Wondering if I'd bought an irregular pair of jeans, I take a look a the tag I ripped off and facepalm!  My face dropped as I turned to my wife "Yo! Babe! I accidentally bought skinny jeans!"  "Oh, they look cute," she said, but no, it wasn't cute at all... Something felt wrong with the world, and I had a dilemma, because I accidentally bought a pair of skinny jeans and there was no way in hell that I was gonna spend another 40 minutes on the long layaway/returns line at Burlington Coat Factory to return them. 

So after putting it off for as long as I could, I wore them to work and I was plagued with self-conscious anxiety.  My mind started playing tricks on me, making me think the jeans were tighter than they actually are... I mean, in my mind I might as well have been wearing the pants Prince wore in the movie Purple Rain.  So why all the anxiety and what's my beef with skinny jeans?  Well, in a word, conformity.  Part of me felt like I was surrendering my identity as a counter-cultural being, and that, in a manner of speaking, is a fate worse than death.

You see, just one year ago , I was a rebel.  I had locs that extended down to my back.  I drove a sedan and worked on a hit NBC television show where I wore cargo pants and construction boots because no one cares what you wear in film/television production.  Now, a year later, I have a short caesar haircut, I drive a minivan and on top of all that I'm wearing skinny jeans because I work in corporate America where everyone cares what you look like.  Now in fairness, I work in the media department, so we're given some liberty in our wardrobe choices, but the feeling is still the same... The feeling that I'm slowly but surely spiraling into mundanity.

You see, it's not that I think skinny jeans is some kind of fashion faux pas, in fact the problem is quite the opposite.  Skinny jeans, for me is the quintessential sign that I've joined the rat race; that population of people who (to varying degrees) find validation in their ability to look like the manaquin in the Banana Republic store front display because those outfits connects us to socially acceptable standards  of success.   It's the reason we all have suddenly become wine connoisseurs and the reason we pay for overpriced Starbucks coffee, when we know damn well Dunkin Donuts coffee tastes better.  It's our attempt at living an American dream that has become so accessible that we no longer have to dream about it.  In fact you no longer have to be hungry for it because it's practically being force fed to you by the media, fashion and entertainment.

So I guess, maybe my issue with skinny jeans isn't really the skinny jeans, but fear.   Fear that I've grown so tired of my big dreams that I've accepted society's small dreams as a substitute.  Fear that I've so failed at reaching my own version of success that I've resorted to wearing skinny jeans like a costume of a successful character...  Fear that I've been successfully seduced by the pop-culture matrix.






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Posted by Lawrence "LAW" Watford - - 0 comments


On Friday, December 14th a heavily armed gunman, in body armor entered Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown Connecticut and murders 26 people - 20 of them children.  Take a moment to contemplate that, a moment to contemplate how you feel as a mother or father, as an American - as a human being.  My wife was at home with my two youngest children when she turned on the television and saw the news. She said "I have to turn it off. It's messing with my spirit".  My father (a man who believes in God, but isn't' particularly religious) said "it's enough to test your faith."

These are the natural and reasonable responses to something like this.  It makes no earthly sense, beyond the fact that mass shootings of this kind are becoming par for the course here in America, so the mind rightfully turns to God for answers and a sense of security.  This is a time for those who know God to be God's representatives on earth.  It's a time for people who know God to act as God would direct them in the wake of such tragedy.  To my sadness, too many people who know God (hear them tell it) felt that God's response to those seeking answers and comfort is:

"We ask why there is violence in our schools, but we have systematically removed God from our schools... Should we be so surprised that schools would become a place of carnage?" - Mike Huckabee
My response to this was "FACEPALM!!"... Popular conservative rhetoric accuses liberals (and they assume all liberals) of campaigning to remove God from society, so what could've provided a better opportunity for them to raise the issues of school prayer, public Nativity scenes and the Ten Commandments being removed from a federal courthouse than a mass shooting at and elementary school?

I am at least bothered, if not angered by this rhetoric for a number of reasons, but each reason at the boils down to the fact that there are people who love a God that they don't truly know and are misrepresenting his character.  Either that or they know him in a very limited capacity, one that definitely makes them woefully incapable and unqualified to speak on God's behalf.   

I speak fairly regularly about hyper-politicized Christianity wherein "God and Country" are inextricably bound together in an unholy alliance that makes the state/government the barometer by which we measure our standing with God as a nation.  To that end, the "removal" school prayer (i.e. the kicking God out of our schools) has become a consistent marker of a liberal war on religion and mocking of God, so in the view of Mike Huckabee, the murder of 20 grade school kids is what we should logically expect.   But who is this god that Huckabee and others are referring to?   Who is this god that would remove his hand of protection from innocent children (a number of which believe in and pray to him) because politicians disagree about the scope of the separation of church and state?  Well, if you didn't notice I used lower case "g" to refer to that god and a lower case "h"when talking about him because that isn't the god that most of the people who are seeking answers about this tragedy are referring to.

Perhaps they are referring to the old testament God, which I guess would make sense as they tend to  border on being Sadducees than U.S. Congressmen/women.  But if that's the case then they really need to take stock of who they think God is and who they think Jesus Christ is to the world.  As much as there have been attempts to walk back or "explain" that Huckabee wasn't saying that that God allowed this to happen because of school prayer, or public Nativity displays, in reality that is what he is essentially saying.  So from Huckabee's statements, any reasonable person would extract that God would've actually stepped and prevented this massacre if only we had organized prayer in schools and no war on Christmas.  I can't help but imagine what God would've done to glorify His name in such a case. Would he have had the shooter  get into a car accident on his way to the school, or more dramatically, would he have caused the rifle to jam and explode in his face with his blood splattering in the form of a cross?  

I get it... God is one that none of us will ever fully understand, no matter how much we read the Bible or go to church or pray or pontificate.  But as much as He will remain a mystery to us, He also affords us enough knowledge of his character that we can thoughtfully communicate who He is accurately.  For example, God is not some haunting spirit that you can prevent from coming into your home like voodoo priests do with the enchanted powder you see in the movies.  Likewise, you can't bar him from a school by law or decree. For one, there is no law that prevents a person or group of people from gathering and praying inside of a school.  The laws state that the school itself cannot organize and/or compel students to pray under the umbrella of any particular religion.   

Secondly,  the idea that an omnipresent God could be removed from anywhere is nonsensical for literal reasons.  Of course when this is pointed out, those who shared Huckabee's belief about the tragedy say that what they meant was,
"God would say to us, 'Hey, I'll be glad to protect your children, but you've got to invite me back into your world first. I'm not going to go where I'm not wanted. I am a gentlemen"  - Bryan Fisher
And to that I'd say that the idea that an omnipotent, loving God would refuse to intervene in a massacre to protect innocent children until the government passed a law inviting him back into the public squares shows that these people are spending way too much time talking about God and not enough time listening and seeking him and getting to know him.   God is not a vampire that can only enter your home if you invite him in.  God is always going place He's not wanted to find the lost sheep and doing things we don't want Him to do so that He may reconcile his children unto Himself.

But if you learn one thing from this discussion, please know that those who love God need to stop confusing  Him god. The difference between god and God is that the latter cannot be removed from public schools or pubic squares. And also know that God lives through each and everyone of us who is willing to submit and allow themselves to be used for his purpose, so God can never be removed from any place on His green Earth that His people tread.  So if we aren't seeing enough of God in our schools, it isn't because government expelled God. It's because we as Christian parents are doing an exceptionally poor job of raising Godly children that display little of His character at school. 

So what, that schools can't have an organized prayer meeting?  That doesn't stop any student from gathering with his classmates and praying in and on behalf of that school.  It doesn't stop teachers or principals from praying for their students and it doesn't prevent any Christian from worshiping God by way of their character and their actions because...  To put if differently, while prayer is powerful, talk is cheap and God knows the difference, so in the end God in the hearts of students and teachers and faculty is far greater than prayer in schools.

  

In other words, the proper response to this:
isn't this:















It's this...



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