Madison County Opinion...

DECEMBER 15, 2004

By Frank Gillispie
The Madison County Journal
December 15, 2004

Elitists are wrong;
God will prevail
There are a small number of elitists in American and elsewhere who are convinced that they have the right, even the responsibility, to control every aspect of our lives. The tool they plan to use to control us is the federal government. You see, these people are so sure that the average American is stupid and can only be happy if someone else tells him how to live, where to work and what to believe. Only they have the ability to wisely conduct our lives for us.
In order to gain that kind of control, they are on a campaign to destroy anything that interferes in their plans. Any authority other than government that we turn to as the basis for our decisions must be, in their minds, attacked and destroyed. That includes our individual rights, family responsibilities and any community organization not controlled by government. That even includes God!
The reality is that social and political power belongs to each of us. Every individual is a free agent with the right to personal liberty and individual responsibility granted to us by “the laws of Nature and Nature’s God”. The only power government properly has is what we as individuals give up to it, and government is to exercise those powers for the common good. Such things as defense from invasion, epidemic disease, and large-scale criminal activity and problems between the sovereign states are the responsibility of the federal government.
We are free, sovereign individuals, responsible for ourselves. We grant to other powers as much of our sovereignty as necessary to gain the protections we cannot provide for ourselves. The agencies to which we grant elements of our freedom include our God, our family, the community and as a last resort, the government.
The elitists cannot accept our demand for individual liberty. They attack everything that supports our liberty. That includes the traditional family structure, the lines of authority between parents and children and especially the church.
Why can’t we have prayer in the public schools? First, we should have no say in the education of our children, according to the elitists. They believe that the sole authority in the public schools should be government, not parents, not the community and especially not God. Neither should God have any voice in the social or political life of the community. When we recognize God’s authority, we diminish the authority of the elitists.
Because we are predominately a Judeo-Christian nation, Christmas - Hanukah, and Easter – Passover are the key seasons when we celebrate our relationship with God. The most powerful of these is the Christian celebration of Christmas. The elitists are smart. They know if they can take out the strongest expression of our dependence on God, the others will fall more easily.
We are given the liberty to be responsible for ourselves by “the laws of Nature and Nature’s God.” But a small group of people who think they are superior to the rest of us and should be allowed to manage every detail of our lives are trying to drive God out of our society. They are wrong. God will prevail.
Frank Gillispie is founder of The Madison County Journal. His e-mail address is His website can be accessed at

By Margie Richards
The Madison County Journal
December 15, 2004

A Moment with Margie

Five people you meet — on earth
Last week my family and I watched the movie, “Five People You Meet in Heaven,” based on a novel written by Mitch Albom, who also wrote “Tuesdays with Morrie” (which was also made into a movie, starring Jack Lemmon).
The former movie is the story of an old man who lives an uneventful, unimportant life (or so he thinks) dying in an accident at an amusement park where he has spent most of his life as a maintenance worker, while trying to save the life of a little girl.
I won’t go into the whole story (not enough room here) besides you might want to see the movie and read the book yourself, but the story follows the old man as he awakens in heaven and begins to learn the purpose of his life and how he affected, and was affected by, five people he met along the way. Some he knew well, such as his wife; others he knew only briefly or never knew personally at all, but still his life and theirs were connected in ways he never understood. Each had a lesson to teach him, a new perspective to give him that would prepare him for his new life in heaven.
It was a good movie that made you think about how each life, no matter how ordinary, sends out ripples in a current that affects others in ways we may never know, at least in this life.
Which brings me to my pastor’s sermon at church last Sunday. Preacher Wayne Douglas began his sermon by saying he’d been to many funerals where those attending mentioned how the life of the deceased had blessed or touched their lives in some perhaps simple, yet profound, way. In most cases, the deceased person had never been told how they felt.
Then he proceeded to go around the church, speaking as God led him, thanking different individuals and letting them know about things they had done that had blessed his life. Needless to say, it was an emotional service, and not just for the preacher or those he mentioned in these “verbal blessings.”
It’s not something most of us do very often; preacher Douglas was the first to admit there were many in his own life who had passed on, never knowing how they had touched him.
And he encouraged each of us in the congregation to give a verbal (or written) blessing as Christmas gifts to those who have touched us.
And now I’m passing it on to you.
What do you really want for Christmas? Is it a new shirt, or a gift certificate, or would you be more pleased, more blessed if you will, with a note or phone call from someone who lets you know that something you did made a difference in their lives?
Why don’t we all take take the time this Christmas to stop, just for a little while, and write some notes, make some phone calls, or even stop by to visit some of those who’ve been a blessing to us, while we still can.
Who knows, the ones who get the greatest gift may be you and me.
Merry Christmas, and may God bless each of you.
Margie Richards is a reporter and office manager for the Madison County Journal.

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