Pearls & Vodka

What are you doing with what you have been given?

In Luke 12:48, it is recorded that Jesus said, “Unto whom much is given, of him shall much be required.”

Our newscasts are constantly filled with yet another powerful, famous person taking advantage of someone else. Many of these allegations that fill our news are sexual in nature. But the scenario is always the same, one person who has been given much, whether that is power, fame, wealth or notoriety, forcing themselves on another in word or action.

It’s a Judge running for Senate in Alabama, it’s a powerful movie executive in Hollywood, it’s a newscaster on CBS, and let’s be real, it’s even the President of the United States of America.

It is easy to place blame on the “big names” that are internationally known, but our problems lie much deeper.

It’s the high school football player, it’s the head cheerleader, it’s the kid who has the biggest house, it’s the child with the highest GPA.

The reality is we struggle in this country with equality, not just in pay, but in treatment.

Bullying has become commonplace in our schoolhouses. Our social media accounts are full of degrading, hateful rhetoric. The soundwaves in our locker rooms are inundated with sexual jokes. Our talk shows are consumed with judgment passing on those we feel “deserve” it, simply because they are in the public eye.

As a nation, we have declared those who have made a name for themselves open targets to our criticism, and we have placed them on the chopping block of our expectations.

As parents we tell our children that they should play with everyone, no matter their differences. Yet, when someone reads our Twitter feeds they are filled with messages of hate towards those who voted differently than us. We dismiss the behavior of teenage boys and girls by saying, “they are just being kids.” But when those “kids” become adults we declare they are sexual predators.

We condone extra marital affairs under the desk in the Oval Office by praising a man who held that office. But when a Judge runs for Senate in Alabama we declare he should drop out of the race. When a Senator from Minnesota gropes a woman, or makes sexual statements to a woman we sit by idly, because after all, he used to be a comedian, he was just “being funny.” And they are right, we approved of his behavior when he was an actor on Saturday Night Live. We give them a pass for everything. They can fat shame, slut shame, sexual harass and demean whoever they want and call it comedy.

We might be the land of the free, thanks to our valiant soldiers, but we are the land of double-standards thanks to all our hypocrisy.

These issues are ever present in our government, our entertainment industry, our sports industry, our schools and our homes.

No one is exempt.

My husband and I were just talking about how to raise our little boy in a world where you have to be vigilant to never do or say anything that could be misconstrued as harassment of any sort.

We worry about those things. Maybe more of us should.

The Democrats were quick to point out that Donald Trump was unfit, in their opinion, for his verbiage in a recording from years before. He used the word, “Pussy.” I get it. It’s offensive. I hate that word. I thought his rhetoric was uncalled for and inappropriate. I also think Al Franken’s actions were inappropriate. I also thought Bill Clinton’s actions were inappropriate. I also think Roy Moore’s actions are inappropriate.

Here’s the thing, all of their actions are inappropriate. Political affiliation does not determine what is appropriate and what is not. Wrong is wrong. Right is right. Regardless of where you sit on the political aisle. It’s absurd that we call for the resignation of some, and not others. It’s disgusting that we say some are fit and some are unfit.

Since when did we become judge and jury?

If sexual harassment is wrong for one, it is wrong for all. If we excuse and accept the behavior of one, we must excuse and accept the behavior of all.

It goes so much deeper than sexual harassment in our nation.

LiAngelo Ball and two of his UCLA teammates stole sunglasses from a high-end store in China. They were arrested. They were placed on house arrest in their hotel. In China, the punishment for crimes like shoplifting are not easily dismissed. These young men were facing 10 years in prison. Instead they were released to return to the United States. They returned to the safety of our nation. To their university. To their team. And their families. Many have not had the same result. Many sit in cells in China today for equal, sometimes lesser, crimes.

To whom much is given, must is expected.

I’m not sure the details of Ball’s release. I do know that President Trump spoke with the Chinese officials since he was there during this time period. I’m sure that played into their release. Now what was said, or promised, no one truly knows. But we know Trump spoke with officials and the UCLA players were released.

I should preface and say I’ve never been a fan of the Ball family. I think it’s ridiculous that Lavar Ball is capitalizing on the talents of his son’s before they even have time to develop as players. Removing his youngest son from high school to “train” him for basketball is just insane to me. I do not believe any of Lavar’s sons will enter the debates of who is the GOAT. Leave that to Lebron and Jordan.

Lavar Ball has refused to thank President Trump for any role he has played in the release of LiAngelo. And nothing about that surprises me. They have been in a Twitter feud for days now. The entire feud began with President Trump tweeting his curiosity on if the players would publicly thank him. And for what it is worth, they did, in their press conference after their return. Unfortunately, since then Lavar and Trump have been sparring in their Tweets. President Trump continued the saga this morning at 5:25 a.m. with his tweet about who he feels was responsible for the player’s release, “IT WAS ME” he declared on social media. Trump went on to call Ball an “ungrateful fool.”

I’m with Steve Kerr, please stop covering these two and their war of words.

Roughly an hour before President Trump reignited his Twitter feud with Lavar Ball this morning, a C2-A Greyhound carrying Naval personnel crashed in the Philippine Sea. A search and rescue was underway for three missing sailors. Thankfully 8 of 11 soldiers had already been rescued and transported to the USS Ronald Reagan for medical evaluation and treatment. Sometime before 7 a.m. President Trump took to his Twitter feed to extend prayers for all involved.

I try to remain nuanced in my commentary about President Trump. Regardless of who’s in office, I respect the position.

But the Twitter crap has got to quit. I know crap is not a pretty word to use. But the word I want to use is not suitable for all audiences.

It’s ridiculous as the leader of this nation to be caught up in a Twitter war with a show-boating, loud-mouth, fame-chasing, child-using, man in California.

For all the good President Trump does, and all the advancements he accomplishes for our nation, he Tweets something else to destroy the narrative. He can never get traction on the work he does that actually helps our nation because he spends too much time tweeting about some other useless, miniscule, petty situation.

I have no idea at what time President Trump was notified of the downed aircraft. I would bet it was fairly soon after the accident. Who knows if it was before he tweeted Ball this morning. But the point is not the timing, the point is the rhetoric. As the President of the United States you are the Commander in Chief, there is ALWAYS a potential issue with our soldiers in harm’s way. Stop using this social media platform to degrade citizens for your disagreements and stay focused on the tasks at hand.

My husband and I constantly talk about ways to teach our son to never put himself in a situation that could be taken wrong, where the intent of his actions and words could be mistaken from something wrong.

Perhaps President Trump could use the same lesson.

He’s been given the White House. The highest position in our government.

To whom much is given, much is required.

The principle applies to everyone from LiAngelo Ball, to Donald Trump, to Al Franken, to Charlie Rose, to Bill Clinton. And everyone in between.

Right is right and wrong is wrong.

So today, in this online space I have been given, I offer my prayers to the Navy personnel who are lost at sea, to those who are tasked with search and rescue, for those who have been rescued and to all the families involved. I chose today to use this space, what I have been given, to speak prayers of healing, of hope, of peace, of help and safety on those who are stationed around the world defending our freedom.

I refuse to misuse the platform I’ve been given to belittle anyone, to demean anyone, to mistreat anyone and to do anything but offer a commentary with respect and love for my fellow neighbor.

May God bless our troops, and may God bless America.

Photo by Jens Rademacher on Unsplash