Sad Times

Published 12:00 am Sunday, July 3, 2005

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend by the name of Common Sense who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valued lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm and that life isn’t always fair.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults not kids are in charge). His health began to badly deteriorate when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place.

Reports of a six year-old boy charged for sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student only worsened his condition. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer aspirin but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

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Finally Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment that their victims. Common Sense finally gave up the ghost after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot, she spilled a bit in her lap, and was awarded a huge settlement.

His parents Truth and Trust; his wife Discretion; his daughter Responsibility and his son Reason predeceased Common Sense. His two stepbrothers; My Rights and Ima Whiner survive him. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still know him pass this on, if not join the majority and do nothing.


When Minister Joe Wright was asked to open the new session of the Kansas Senate, everyone was expecting the usual generalities, but this is what they heard: &uot;Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.

We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word and call it Pluralism.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare. We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have killed abortionists and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem. We have abused power and called it politics. We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition. We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh, God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us from every sin and set us free. Amen!&uot;

The response was immediate. A number of legislators walked out during the prayer in protest. In 6 short weeks, Central Christian Church, where the Rev. Wright is pastor, logged more than 5,000 phone calls with only 47 of those calls responding negatively. The church is now receiving international requests for copies of this prayer from India, Africa and Korea. Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, &uot; The Rest of the Story,&uot; and received a larger response to this program than any other he has ever aired.


The News Herald &uot;How To…&uot; issue was great and even at age 80 I poked around in it. At my age, of course, you know everything. If you haven’t learned by then you never will. It’s too late, for example, to think about retirement plans. At that point, if you get that far, you better plan on how to equitably spread what’s left among the kids. I don’t remember if there was a section on how to pick a funeral director, but that’s one thing you can leave for others to decide. They will just have to do something.

That newspaper section should serve as a school lesson plan and be part of the curriculum for middle and high school students, more important than some dates and places to be memorized. And college students should not be allowed to graduate without it being part of their SOL tests. Many of our current adult generation haven’t yet learned proper use of a checkbook or credit card. Every subject in that newspaper supplement should be part of a bachelor program as well as masters. As proof I suggest you call your brightest child aside, pick any of those subjects at random and quiz them on what they know about it. And while you are at it see how you do.

Robert Pocklington is a

regular columnist for the

News-Herald. E-mail him at