May 2, 2002

What if?

by Chris Feeney

What if I forgot how to write? I hope I haven't but the last couple weeks have been difficult for me to generate this regular weekly editorial. I'm going to use a little help from my friends this week, borrowing from a pair of submissions that came from readers suggesting I use their material in an upcoming "What If?"

Remember years ago when the United States car industry went to war with the foreign imports encouraging U.S. citizens to buy American-made cars. That was when the Japanese car companies were taking big bites out of the motor industry. Since then things have calmed down. But if you needed a reason why you should buy a Ford, Chrysler or GM product, you don't have to look any further than September 11.

This small community of Scotland County dug deep and gave donation after donation. Well some of the auto companies did the same. According to a CNN report, Daimler-Chrysler donated $10 million to support children and victims of the attack. General Motors gave $1 million (matching employee donations) as well as a fleet of vans, SUV's and trucks. Ford gave a similar $1 million donation as well as 10 Excursions to the New York Fire Department. Even Harley Davidson got into the act with a $1 million donation along with 30 motorcycles for the New York Police Department.

We have to give Volkswagen credit as the company stepped up to fund a $2 million foundation to assist victims of the trade center disaster. Hyundai also helped out with a $300,000 gift to the Red Cross.

But that's where the giving stopped. Audi and BMW gave nothing. Toyota and Porsche offered condolences on the website but left the checkbook at home. Honda, DaeWoo, Fiat, Nissan, Isuzu, Mitsubishi, Subaru and Suzuki gave zip. Guess Santa never told them it was better to give than receive, as they take plenty of money out of this country through car sales but did not feel the need to help out a little in the time of need. Maybe we consumers should remember that the next time we are planning a trip to the car lot.

I'm not going to offer a lot of editorial input on this next piece. I'll simply pass it along to you. It speaks for itself.

This reportedly was a prayer offered before the opening session of the Kansas Senate by minister Joe Wright.

"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 called 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 shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.

We have abused our neighbor's possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of speech.

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. Guide and bless these men and women who have been sent to direct us to the center of Your will and to openly ask these things in the name of Your Son, the living Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen."

Reportedly the response from the legislators was immediate as many walked out of the room in the middle of the prayer in protest. Apparently the people of Nebraska were not nearly as offended as the preacher's church received more than 5,000 calls regarding the prayer with only 47 negative comments in the bunch.

There's a little food for thought.

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