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 OPINION PAGE - JANUARY. 19, 2000 - DANIELSVILLE, GA

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Column
By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
January 19, 2000

Frankly Speaking

Fonda's conversion deserves attention
It is amazing the lengths big media will go to avoid publishing any story favorable to the Christian religion. You would think that the conversion of a major American personality that one writer described as "right up there with Saul of Tarsus" would be reported in all the leading newspapers, television programs and news magazines.
Believe it or not, Jane Fonda, the "Hanoi Jane" so hated by many Vietnam Veterans and other patriotic Americans, is now a born-again Christian. She has apparently decided that Bible study is more important than her marriage to Christian-hating Ted Turner.
According to an article in the Washington Times, the only major news outlet to report the story, Fonda was led to her new faith by her chauffeur, a member of the Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta. Fonda is reported to be a regular worshiper at the mostly black church.
For a person with her history, the sudden discovery that the first 60 years of her life were a mistake can be very traumatic. For that reason, it is important that she have time to resolve these conflicts, learn more about her new faith, and solidify her beliefs before being pressed to explain herself. After all, the above-mentioned Saul of Tarsus spent three years in the wilderness getting to know the new "Paul" before beginning his ministry.
Conversions of this type are often real. I have known alcoholics who instantly abandoned the bottle following their born-again experience. Others have given up "sinful" lifestyles to become devoted parents, partners and church workers. It can happen.
While it is rare for someone of Fonda's background to undergo this experience, it is not unknown. Rock pioneer Little Richard is now an ordained minister. So are a number of pro football players and at least one Watergate figure.
I think her recent separation from Ted Turner is a part of Fonda's efforts to grow and strengthen herself in her new faith. She is not talking about a divorce. She probably feels his hostility to her new life and needs time to become confident in her salvation before attempting to restore her marriage. The sanctity of marriage is a major part of the Christian religion. At the same time, the Bible warns that people should not be "unequally yoked together." If Turner is determined to resist this new force in Fonda's life, she has no choice but to sever the relationship. Turner will need to move in her direction for any chance of reconciliation.
The Christian community should close ranks behind their latest convert. She will need their support, their prayers and their patience as she develops in her new faith. Numerous faith-based groups in the Atlanta area are appealing for time and prayers for Fonda. A member of the Family Research Council, Robert H. Knight, said that she needs time to grow in the faith before undergoing trials on His (Jesus) behalf
If her conversion is genuine, and I have no reason to believe that it is not, Jane Fonda will need a lot of support as she works to adopt this new reality into her life. She comes with a long list of questionable actions that will have to be reconciled with her new faith. The process will be lengthy, with many starts and stops. However, with the assistance of her new church family, she can overcome any trials the future holds for her.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal.




Letter
The Madison County Journal
January 19, 2000

Thanks fire fighters for quick response
Dear editor:
We would like to thank the Neese-Sanford Fire Department and all other area fire departments who responded to our poultry house fire on Jan. 7, 2000. Because of your quick response we only lost one poultry house in the fire.
We would also like to thank our family, neighbors and friends who were so helpful during this difficult time. May God bless you all.
Sincerely,
The Timothy Phillips family

Column
By Ben Munro
The Madison County Journal
January 19, 2000

Can't beat that home cookin'
When you live paycheck to paycheck you learn to take your meals seriously.
And before you know it, you start missing what was cooking on your stove all those years while you were at home.
Being a college student, my budget doesn't allow for free spending on hearty, five-course dinners with all the fixin's you could possibly want.
My meals have been reduced to late night Papa John's calls, the value meals at McDonald's, five-minute microwaveable dinners, suppers in a can, i.e., Chef Boyardee and so forth.
All this kind of makes you want to be back home in your mom's kitchen where the smells of the night's feast resonated through the house - when you took for granted that you had a nice home-cooked meal.
Now, 335 Stouffer's frozen dinners later, you finally realize how good you had it.
I now understand why people who are on the road all the time crave the chance to sample some cooking from the kitchen, not the drive-through window.
Coming up, I used to love going out to eat for my meals. At one time, before fast food came to Madison County and you had to go to Athens for that sort of thing (and that was only four or five years ago), it was even like a delicacy of sorts to go to, say, Taco Bell.
But these days, I believe I've "run for the border" on one too many occasions and it's getting old. But if you've barely got enough change to scrape together to afford the Chalupa dinner, you can't be expecting to have filet mignon or prime rib steak on your dinner plate each night.
And indulging in the Athens drive-through dinners surely can't be too good for your health when all those fried dinner plates start piling up. Soon all those chicken strip and fish dinners can start weighing you down and make you lose a step or two.
So instead of digging through the apartment, trying in vain to find a half off coupon for an extra large pizza or trying to remember what the phone number to Papa John's is, I would every once in a while like to indulge in some good ole southern delights when it comes dinner time.
In my opinion, you can go the world over and not find dishes that can top what is cooked up in kitchens in the South.
What can be better than good ole-fashion southern barbecue? What could be more mouth-watering than fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, cole slaw, biscuits, and sweet iced tea? You can have your clam chowder and crab cakes and stuff of that sort.
I'll be happy to be eating green beans, creamed corn and home-grown tomatoes.
It may not be the food of kings or be served at any ritzy Manhattan restaurant, but southern-style food is five-star enough for me.
Just writing this makes me miss all those family reunions where "down home" food is served up in abundance.
However, since I have no chef skills at my disposal, I guess preparing a country feast at my apartment in the city is out of the question.
So that means a continuation of corn in a can, Campbell's soup, frozen pizzas, the number 8 value meals at McDonald's and more 99-cent heart attacks.
Maybe I should take "Cooking 1001" here at UGA. Either that or find a girl that is handy at frying a chicken.
Ben Munro is a reporter for The Madison County Journal.




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