Madison County Opinion...

 May 30, 2001

By Frank Gillespie
The Madison County Journal
June 6, 2001

Frankly Speaking

Israeli gov't should rebuild Temple of Solomon
Were you as disturbed as I by the latest news from Israel? A suicide bomber walked into a dance hall full of teenagers and killed himself and 20 innocent kids. Then the father of the bomber appeared on TV to say how proud he is of his son!
The most disturbing part of this tragedy is the cause for the attack. The hatred the Arabs have for Israelis is about religion. The young man willingly took his own life as a way to gain immediate entry into heaven. That is what his father and other Moslem leaders taught him.
I see the real purpose for this battle to be control of the city of Jerusalem. The city is the heart of three great religions. All three consider sites in the city to be the among the most holy of their faith. Each claims the right to control the sites and they are killing each other for that purpose.
I see the greatest villain in this fight as the Moslems. They take the position that they alone have rights in the area and all others must leave. This in spite of the fact that they are the newest of the three faiths, and have far less time invested in the area than either Christianity or Judaism.
Consider this: The Jewish religion arose in the area over 3,000 years ago.
The Temple of Solomon was first constructed around 1200 B.C. After being destroyed by invaders, it was rebuilt around 500 B.C. Christianity became a major player in the area by the year 70 A.D. Mohammed introduced his belief system over 500 years later.
A hilltop in the center of Jerusalem was the site of Solomon's temple and its replacement. The area is today called "the Temple Mount." Moslems claim this same hill as the site of Mohammed's ascension into heaven. In the year 691, nearly 2000 years after the Temple of Solomon was built on the site, they constructed Dome of the Rock, a massive mosque that covers the center of the temple platform. Moslems consider the site the second most important site in the world.
It appears to me that the Israelis have an ideal way to force the Moslems to actively pursue peace. They should announce plans to rebuild the Temple of Solomon. Unfortunately, the Dome of the Rock would have to be moved so that the temple can occupy its original site. If the suggestion does not bring the radicals to the peace table, then the Israelis should occupy the Temple Mount, halt all traffic onto the site and send in engineers to start preliminary studies. They would announce plans to disassemble Dome of the Rock carefully so that it can be rebuilt at a suitable nearby site, to locate the exact foundation of the Temple and design a new temple as historically accurate as possible.
This would be a "put up or shut up" arrangement. The radical Moslems would face the loss of their oldest mosque, launch a final military attack that they would surely lose, or find a way to cooperate with Israel about sharing the holy sites of Jerusalem. One way or another, the situation would have a final solution.
Unless something dramatic is done, the killing in Israel will drag on for generations. The people of the Holy Land must come to some kind of agreement or accept the fact that hatred and killing will go on for another hundred generations.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His web page can be accessed at


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By Ben Munroe
The Madison County Journal
June 6, 2001

In Other Words

Graduation thoughts
From my mug shot, you might think I just turned by my tassel this past Friday night, but my actual high school days have long since been recorded in the history books. (Well, sort of.)
I remember those old cardboard lunch milk cartons, shoving my tattered texts into those brownish-colored, vintage 1970 hallway lockers and how that excessively loud fourth period bell would shake you from a perfectly good mid-spring afternoon day- dream.
Excuse me for sounding like "Kevin Arnold's" narrator on that coming-of-age TV show the "Wonder Years," but this is the nostalgia from my time at Madison County High School, the mid-90s, an era now long forgotten in a grand scheme of "high school years." You know, kind of like dog years.
Anyway, I turned my tassel back in 1997 and it could have easily been the graduation to end all graduations.
The scene at a packed Red Raider Stadium that June night closely mirrored a Metallica concert that spins out of control, or even the movie "Apocalypse Now."
While tassels were being turned, smoke bombs were being thrown, cigars were being passed and celebratory dances were being danced as some graduates made their way to the podium to receive their diploma.
You'd think that we were celebrating Madison County winning a football state championship rather than the completion of school.
Strangely, the crowd seemed to be loving this final statement of teenage rebellion while the administration gasped. I guess that's what you get sometimes with 200 kids who are about finally about to get let out of the house.
Flash forward to 2001. Another four-year cycle was completed this Friday night when this year's class said goodbye to the Danielsville school on the top of the hill on Madison Street. But from what I hear, the class of 2001 didn't follow the example set by their predecessors of four years ago. However, I'm sure everyone still had the same itching desire to get out like we did.
Now here comes this "wise" old man's sermon.
I know everybody's post-adolescent sights are set on the haven that are those big four (or five or six) years of higher learning in college, but the cheery brochure they hand you at orientation doesn't tell the whole story.
Heed this warning.
You'll learn about life and it isn't as carefree as your Raider days. There are no more lockers, cosy hallways, cheap milk cartons or school bells.
You'll be overcharged for books you used to get free. The home-cooked fried chicken meals your mom used to make will be replaced by ramen noodle dinners. And those beloved hometown teachers will now be professors with 24-hour-a-day ego trips who only know you by a Social Security number. In the meantime, you dig into empty pockets, trying to figure out how to pay for your water and cable.
Sounds like fun? Well, it's great at times.
But it does make you develop a fondness for where you came from if you didn't already have it because the postgraduation reality will finally hit you that you've grown up.
You see, you never know where the time goes when you're aimlessly drifting down those cozy high school halls. One day you're teetering between the line of childhood and maturity, trying to make sense of the new world ahead of you. And the next day you're just another face in a forgotten yearbook, collecting dust on a shelf.
It can be a hard thing to swallow and it happens faster than you think.
So if you're still in high school, don't sit around waiting for college. The reality of it will come fast enough, don't worry. And if you've graduated, don't gripe about the four years in Danielsville like they were a total waste of time.
Save that for those painful two-hour professor lectures you'll soon have to suffer through.
Ben Munro is a reporter for the Madison County Journal.
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