Three terms that need to go

ome random December thoughts:

Here are three terms I am OK with never hearing anyone utter again: Black Fri?day, Obamacare and any scandal that ends in ?gate.?

I thought maybe the term ?Black Friday? had outlived its usefulness. So much holiday shopping is done online these days, the idea of rising early on the day after Thanksgiving and battling crowds to save a few bucks shouldn?t be as appealing.

But, while the swarms of shoppers were likely smaller this year, the term was used to the point of nausea on TV commercials. Black Friday was extended to the entire month of November. By the end of the month, products from Buicks to banjos were featured deals.

The term ?Obamacare? is nearly always said with at least a hint of derision and sometimes spat out with downright disgust. Republicans have been trying to rescind the legislation since it was first passed. So, the word carries negative connotations.

I find, however, the person I meet who is sneering at the Affordable Care Act likely has no idea why he or she doesn?t like it other than the man who came up with the plan is both a Democrat and Black.

Recently, ?deflategate? was in the news as the New England Patriots football team was accused of lowering the pressure in game balls during last year?s NFL playoffs. The reporter who first used that term should be ashamed, and those who picked up on it and passed it on should be prosecuted.

Yes, there once was a scandal involving the Watergate Hotel back in the early 1970s. As a result, the president of the United States was forced to resign. It was a pretty big deal. Someone?s lowering the air pressure in a few footballs is hardly on the same level.

Moving on, our own Gov. Sam Brownback, has achieved a distinction that few state leaders would envy. His approval rating is at 26 percent, the lowest of the 50 states and just ?ahead? of Louisiana?s Bobby Jindal, who is wrapping up his reign as governor there.

Here?s what a retired public school administrator had to say about Jindal. Remem?ber, he fared better than Brownback.

?Looking back on Jindal?s reign, he seemed to possess the ?Midas Touch? in reverse; everything he touched turned to manure. His poisonous hand touched almost every entity in our state from life-sustaining institutions all the way down to state museums and the offices of motor vehicles.

?In eight years, he never produced a balanced budget. In the process, he raided several voter-dedicated state trust funds, including one appropriated for the blind, and damaged the delivery of health care and educational services in our state.?

Would our Kansas leader still be able to con more than 50 percent of the voters in the Sunflower State into voting for him as he did a year ago?

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump continues to lead in polls. Many pundits have been waiting for him to stumble, though rumors of his political demise have been greatly exaggerated, to misquote Mark Twain, who I have to believe would be tickled by Americans? utter distrust of national leaders.

If Trump ends up being his party?s eventual nominee, Democrats will be laughing and dancing all the way to victory next Novem?ber. He is the best thing to happen to them in years.

As a Mennonite myself, and having been a delegate to the MCUSA convention last summer in Kansas City, I have been watching with interest the denomination?s disarray, dismay and disorder as members struggle with the issue of its LGBTQ constituency.

The Mennonite World Review, the periodical voice of the church, reported recently that the largest subgroup within the denomination, the Lancaster Conference, has voted to withdraw by the end of 2017, presumably as a reaction to the leadership?s perceived inability to take a strong stand against homosexuality.

At the convention last summer, delegates sent a mixed message, approving a resolution of forbearance in dealing with the issue and at the same time passing a resolution to adhere to the confession of faith that prohibits same-sex marriage.

Additionally, the Latino contingency of MCUSA has included some of the strongest LGBTQ condemnation. Ricky Martin aside, homosexuality apparently doesn?t exist among His?panics.

I have much I could write about this issue, but I will simply say this: I believe the Mennonite Church, and all denominations, for that matter, should be less focused on sex and more focused on love.

Bob Woelk teaches English and journalism at Hillsboro Middle/High School. He can be reached at

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