Articles and Discussions

Thank you for visiting Waves of Gray.  Please see a selection of articles below to catch up on our discussions. Or return to the Waves of Gray home page.

Things We Need To Do

by Jamie Neben

With  the year barely underway, I began thinking about the state of the world in  2014, and things we need to do better if there’s to be any hope of  progress.  When I say “we”, I mean our whole society.  This article  may not specifically apply to you.  You may already might be out there  doing great and amazing work, and if that’s the case, I applaud you  tremendously.  However, I certainly have room for improvement, and  hopefully this list will inspire myself and others like me.

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Health Care: Jesus Didn’t Heal Everybody

by A.C. Smith

As the government shutdown and debt ceiling debates have brought our nation’s business to a halt, one of the major sticking points during the negotiations was the delay and/or defunding of Obamacare.  While true Conservatives have always stressed that we should have the freedom to decide whether we want to purchase health-care insurance (and deal with the consequences if we choose not to), I hear liberals trying to argue that Jesus himself would not approve of any system that would allow those in need to go untreated.  They say that he never turned his back on people that needed help.

That’s false!

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Lunchtime Gossip

by Jamie Neben

I recently joined a female friend for lunch, and during our conversation she casually observed how nice it was that we were both single.  Otherwise, getting together wouldn’t have been possible. Her statement confused me because I didn’t understand why an innocent meal between friends would suddenly be off limits if one of us was unavailable.  She informed me that, as Christians, we are not to put ourselves in situations that could lead to rumors and gossip. Essentially, that means any person in a committed relationship is not to be alone with someone of the opposite sex. No lunch dates, no business meetings, not even elevator rides, unless other people are present in each case.   She further noted that following this rule also prevents the onset of temptation and weakness.

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The George Zimmerman In All Of Us

by Jamie Neben

Only God and George Zimmerman know what actually happened that rainy night in Florida when 17 year old hoodie-wearing Trayvon Martin began walking through Zimmerman’s gated community.   Sure, we understand the basic sequence of events without all of the finer details. We’re aware of the 911 call, the confrontation and ensuing fight, and the bullet Zimmerman fired into Martin’s chest that ended the young man’s life.  However, we don’t know what Zimmerman thought in his mind and felt in his heart as he initially caught sight of the teenager and then got out of his car.  But one thing is crystal clear:  he made a value judgment.

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Outside His Word: Homosexuality and The Bible

by A.C. Smith

The following is a response to a CNN editorial piece written by Rachel Held Evans concerning religious convictions and LGBT issues.

To put it in a nutshell, ANYTHING GOES!

She quotes, “God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean”.

This is what I’m talking about!

This way of thinking suggests that if you really believe you are doing the right thing, then you are!   You are now God! You make the rules!

People are ridiculously taking the Word of God and trashing it!

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NAACP: Are We Advancing?

by A.C. Smith

Here is a message to the NAACP (formerly known as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People).

Are we advancing if we are killing our children or slowing our population to grow?

Are we advancing if we are not putting our education in the forefront of the goals we have for our children?

Are we advancing if we do not put our major efforts into snuffing out the drug culture in our communities?

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Connected

by Jamie Neben

In a world full of differences, the fact that we are so alike seems hard to believe.  We live in different places, have different faces, and speak different languages.  We pray to different gods and grow up with different life experiences.  Yet, the human condition binds us together and extends from the largest cities to the far corners of the earth.  Our emotions and feelings, although very personal, are not unique. We all know the pleasure of joy and the agony of pain.  We’ve all been brave in certain situations and afraid in others. We mourn our loved ones with equal grief in the wake of tragedy.  We have so much in common that it’s unexplainable why some people try their best to disrupt our lives rather than helping us to develop into a more connected state.

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Droning On

by Jamie Neben

Although unmanned aerial vehicles, more commonly referred to as drones, have been flying the friendly (and often not so friendly) skies for decades, they have suddenly found themselves as a hot topic of discussion.  The United States is hardly the only country that operates this type of aircraft, but our increasing use of drones to eliminate terrorists, which now apparently includes American citizens, and the rapidly growing presence of them here at home puts us in a political and ethical quagmire.

This is a slippery slope if there ever was one.  I believe that drones can be very beneficial under certain conditions as long as there is sufficient oversight and accountability.  But before we delve into the more controversial aspects that have been dominating the Sunday morning talk shows and Senate confirmation hearings, let’s see if we can agree on some positive applications.

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Second Thoughts: My Thoughts on Gun Control and the Second Amendment

by Jamie Neben

“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution

It’s impossible to make sense of the recent massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut because something so horrific is absolutely senseless. But one thing we can do, and certainly need to do, is try to figure out where to go from here, and the sooner the better. The conversation is sure to include topics such as mental illness, family values, and living in a culture that glamorizes violence. But the very hostile elephant in the room is the topic of gun control.

The U.S. Constitution guarantees its citizens the right to bear arms, so any perceived or real threat to that freedom makes many people understandably upset. Occasionally, like as we’re witnessing now, we see a drastic spike in new weapon purchases based on the fear that guns will soon be severely restricted. The fear is usually unfounded since the majority of those who want reform have not suggested that we go door-to-door and round up all the artillery, or even that we outlaw all future firearm sales. On the other hand, a growing number of voices are calling for some kind of action. They believe we cannot just stand by and do nothing at all. Not anymore. So we need a solution that preserves the second amendment but helps prevent future tragedies.

I am now supporting the cause to ban semi-automatic assault rifles such as the AR-15. While I was previously on the fence about this issue, we’ve seen too much bloodshed happening far too often, with the assault rifle often being at the center of the carnage. This is a weapon that is designed to fire off several rounds a second, and outside of a military or law enforcement context, I don’t know what useful purpose it has to serve society. This change would not impact sales of other guns that are already legal. But the AR-15 and others like it need to go.

I’ll list a few of the arguments against such a ban that I’ve been hearing and my responses to them.

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Lose that Attitude (Be Positive)

by Jamie Neben

One of my primary desires in life, and the underlying reason why I co-founded Waves of Gray with A.C. Smith, is to make the world a better place. As an idealist who believes that change is possible, I strive to spread positive energy in any possible capacity, whether it’s by way of a private exchange, or through mass communication such as a website article or radio interview. Of course, I am hardly alone in that endeavor, and I’m sure we could all name several noteworthy individuals who have contributed untold resources to the cause of improving the lives of other people. But along with the recognition and gratitude, I have to wonder about the degree of resistance each person experiences while seeking to make a difference.

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Telling the Truth Does Not Make One a Bully

by A.C. Smith

This post is in response to the viral video about the news anchorwoman that was chastised by a viewer for being overweight (click here to see video).

Instead of addressing the problem, no matter how the message was delivered, we talk about the deliverer’s character and oftentimes change the subject to something that it really isn’t! It’s the same thing liberals do to most issues AND THE RESULT….things stay the same, at best, or most of the time it gets worse!

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A Letter to the Left

by A.C. Smith

This post is a letter to Jamie Neben and those who join him on the political left.

The left is founded in confusion. Just listen to the diversions when you all comment on facts presented by the right. Your side doesn’t offer proof when you consider them invalid.

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Compromising Situation

by AC Smith and Jamie Neben

In today’s political climate, our representatives on either side of the aisle are finding less common ground than ever before, and have an even less desire to move toward it. Compromise may as well be a dirty word. With further debt ceiling talks looming large, concessions must likely be made by all. Here is how each of us feels about compromise.

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Obamacare: What May Really Be Behind the Catholic Contraceptive Controversy?

by AC Smith

We need to ask ourselves, do we really trust this Obama administration or does this administration play us like a puppet on a string? What may really be behind the Catholic contraceptive controversy?

If we do not find out what makes up the brain drain train of the Obama administration, we may end up losing the upcoming election and push the United States of America, the free nation, into the new representation of Europe.

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No Room for Doubt…Or Is There?

by Jamie Neben and AC Smith\

Jamie says:

During our recent guest appearance on the Jesse Peterson radio program, a question arose as to whether having doubt in matters of faith is considered to be a sin. I replied in the negative because we are all certain to be tested at various times, and periods of doubt are not only quite normal, but they are healthy too since we ultimately become stronger believers once we overcome that doubt. AC Smith quickly found the following biblical passage in an effort to set me straight:

“And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith; for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.”(Romans 14:23)

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Marriage Counseling

by Jamie Neben

KISS guitarist Gene Simmons recently tied the knot with his long-time girlfriend Shannon Tweed after being “happily unmarried” for 28 years. Anyone who has heard Simmons express his views on marriage over the years, whether in interviews or on his reality-television show, should know why this event comes as such a surprise. In his book Sex Money Kiss, in which he dispenses business advice, he even saw fit to write a whole chapter arguing why men should not get married. Some of his more colorful statements include:

“The worst thing a man can do, financially and biologically speaking, is to get married.”

“Dumb men will always get married. So will smart women.”

“The only thing wrong with marriage is that one of the two people getting married is a man.”

Simmons may portray a demon onstage, but the ones inside of him were causing him to lead a selfish, dishonest life. Although it’s likely that he would still be maintaining his misbehaving ways had he not been caught, Simmons should be applauded for ultimately confronting his issues and making the commitment to his family once and for all.

But does the act of getting married hold that much value anymore?

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How Hard Are the Unemployed Working?

by AC Smith

A number of unemployed workers are claiming that they cannot get hired because they have been out of work for too long. I believe that this is not common, and there must be other reasons why they are unemployed.

I used to hire people and consider what they did while they are out of work as well as what they did when they were working.

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My 9/11 Experience: Then and Now

by Jamie Neben

Instead of a day that would never be forgotten, the beginning of 9/11 seemed like just another Tuesday. Living in Columbus, Ohio, I arrived at work bright and early, ready for another fun-filled day of taking customer service calls for a large corporation. Since my start time was 7:00 AM., there was usually enough time between calls, at least during the first hour, to allow an opportunity to peruse the day’s early news on the computer. Although, my internet access was restricted in the office, an internal site listed the major headlines. The top stories of that day centered on Congressman Gary Condit’s possible connection to the disappearance of Chandra Levy. I read the updates of that story and a few others. By the time more calls trickled in, I felt like I had a comfortable grasp on world events. That is, until a co-worker came in just before nine and asked if anyone had heard the news from New York.

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Happiness Begins at Home

By AC Smith

Arnold Schwarzenegger is just another public figure in a long list of them who found to be unfaithful to his wife. Like John Edwards, Bill Cosby, and countless others, his indiscretion has gone so far as to produce a “love child.”

Let’s be clear—cheating is wrong. But it’s important to look into why it happens.

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Dosey-Doe Your Partner

by AC Smith

Find a good partner and Dosey-Doe!

Love and giving is ordained by God. In other words, love is encouraged, commanded by God, and even includes loving your enemies.

The highest form of love for humans is the love God ordained between a man and a woman. This is a spiritual law that the world cannot and has not realized.

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One Nation Rally

by AC Smith

I’d like to share some of my thoughts about the “One Nation Rally” that took place on October 2nd.

Some of the biggest problems in America is dealing with entitlements and spending. Listening to the comments of the crowd and speakers, they seem to be fighting for just that! Entitlements and spending.

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Because Jamie Asked Me To

by Cady Stanton – Contributor

When this site first launched, I looked forward to contributing to it. That was only natural, given that I like to write and I enjoy political discourse. And I liked what the site promised: a place where reasonable disagreement could take place and, more importantly, where ordinary people of different political stripes could find common ground.

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Jamie’s Do’s and Don’ts

by Jamie Neben

Usually, when we see a list of “Do’s and Don’ts,” it’s a list of instructions to establish some set of boundaries. Well, I have no place or desire to tell you what you can and can’t do. Instead, I’d like to share my thoughts on a range of subjects that I hope will generate some discussion.

I do believe the United States needs to maintain its presence as a world leader, operating on the basis of strength and compassion.

I don’t believe that trying to resolve our differences before flexing our muscles is a sign of weakness. As recent history has shown, it’s much easier to avoid a fight than to end one. When military action is unavoidable, we must set clear objectives and act in a way that is consistent with our values.

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Is California Going to Pot?

by Jamie Neben and AC Smith

Jamie:

Although a new AP/CNBC poll reveals most Americans are against the complete legalization of marijuana, the issue has gained enough support in California to become a state ballot initiative this November. The Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010, is already raising questions about how this might sit with the Obama administration if voted into law, in addition to whether using and/or growing would be in violation of federal law. Advocates are optimistic that everything will be just fine, and I hope they are right.

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Can You See the Real Me?

by Jamie Neben

For those of you who have heard us promote Waves of Gray during our appearances on the Rev. Jesse Peterson radio show, you’ll know that the program’s host identifies AC Smith as “the conservative,” while I am called the “far left liberal.” Reverend Peterson frequently refers to the political landscape in America as a battle between good and evil. Since he puts the conservative platform on the side of good, you can guess the category to which he figures I belong. Just so there’s no confusion, he’ll often remind us during each broadcast that democrats are of their father, the devil.

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Word Up (and out)

by Jamie Neben and AC Smith

Jamie:

It seems like I’m in a constant struggle when it comes to using proper language these days.    The trouble isn’t due to having a limited vocabulary.  Instead, many words have changed over time, or they take on certain meanings that were not originally intended.   And every so often, words are used in such a negative context that to even be associated with them becomes hurtful and/or offensive to somebody.  We can add another entry to that category:  retarded.

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A Point of Clarification

by Cady Stanton – Guest Contributor

Apparently, my prior post, “Republicans are NOT ‘Conservative,’” got some knickers in a knot.  I don’t fully understand why the post was perceived as a slam against people who call themselves “conservative” and the things that they believe in (although my hunch is that the perception is of the knee-jerk variety that is all too common in our modern politics among lefties and righties alike).  But Rule #1 of writing is to make your point clearly and if I failed in that, it’s my job to lend clarification.

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Not So Free Speech

by Jamie Neben

I hope you marked January 21, 2010 on your calendar.  That’s the day the U.S. Supreme Court effectively put our future elections in the hands of corporations in the name of “free speech.”  Free speech, my behind!

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Why Republicans Are Conservative: A True View from a Non-Liberal!

by AC Smith

It’s funny how conservatives are always being told who they are and what they believe by liberals.  For example, Cady Stanton wrote an article about why republicans are not conservative that was previously posted here on Waves of Gray.

We recently received an email that contained Ten Conservative Principles by Russell Kirk.  I would like to provide my own views and definitions in response.  You can consider what follows to be the truth from a real conservative.

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On Messengers and Messages

by Cady Stanton – Guest Contributor

We’re living in a time when the messenger is more valued than the message.  Nothing symbolizes this better than the moniker “Dittoheads” that Rush Limbaugh’s fans embraced a few years back.  When we embrace the messenger, we too often uncritically embrace the message.

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Study Smarter, Not Longer

by A.C. Smith

We’ve already seen our country moving closer to socialism with the government takeover of the banks, the auto industry, and the proposed health care plan.  Now it’s happening with the schools.

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Thoughts on Atlas Shrugged

by Virgie Thibault – Guest Contributor

Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is a masterpiece of economic fiction.  I expected to read it for the sake of the scholarship offered by the Ayn Rand institute and walk away with my own ideas tweaked at most and intact at least.  What I found instead was my views being drastically changed through the fictional case-study she presented.

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When Will We Ever Learn?

by A.C. Smith

Something has to change.  Our schools keep teaching children in the same ways.  Too many kids are dropping out instead of getting a full education.  We need teachers who really care about the students and who are doing things the right way.  We need to further develop criteria and expect certain standards to be met.

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Republicans Are Not “Conservative”

by Cady Stanton – Guest Contributor

When I read John Dean’s “Conservatives without Conscience,” the point that really stood out was that we fundamentally misunderstand and misuse the word “conservative” in describing today’s GOP.

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A Mother’s Account of Autism

An exclusive series offering a firsthand account of raising an autistic child as told to Waves of Gray by Melissa Lake.

Part one

Part two

Part three

Part four

Part five

Part six

Part seven

Summer Safety