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PresBO affirmation of Michael Vick “redemption” December 28, 2010

Posted by vsap in Blogroll, Uncategorized, US Politics.
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The Washington Post reported it this way on December 27, 2010:

“[President] Obama phoned the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles to praise the team for giving a second chance to the quarterback, who is again a National Football League star 19 months after leaving prison for his role in a horrific dogfighting ring that killed pit bulls by electrocution, hanging and drowning.

The president has not spoken publicly about the call, though aides acknowledged that it took place. But Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie told Peter King of Sports Illustrated and NBC Sports that during their conversation Obama was passionate about Vick’s comeback.

“He said, ‘So many people who serve time never get a fair second chance,’ ” said Lurie, who did not indicate when the call occurred. “He said, ‘It’s never a level playing field for prisoners when they get out of jail.’ And he was happy that we did something on such a national stage that showed our faith in giving someone a second chance after such a major downfall.”

Bill Burton, a White House spokesman, said Obama “of course condemns the crimes that Michael Vick was convicted of, but, as he’s said previously, he does think that individuals who have paid for their crimes should have an opportunity to contribute to society again.” (Bold in the quote is mine)

Let me open with the words of St. Paul in 1 Timothy 1:15:

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.

That said,  I believe in redemption and second chances beyond any reasonable doubt. However, I truly don’t understand the focus on Michael Vick’s “comeback season”.

Full disclosure: a) I live in the Atlanta area, and, although not an Atlanta Falcons fan, I had to endure the coverage of Vick’s (aka Ron Mexico) missteps and “mini-redemptions” just like all sports fans in this region. To be sure, Atlanta Falcons’ football has been a much better thing without Vick. b) I did not vote for this president so I am pre-disposed to despise most of what he says and believes in. So far, I can still do that. c) I am not a huge football fan so I place no great significance on the success or failure of football players on the field. Thus, if Vick is an NFL quarterback, he is simply doing his job, so what? d) I have seen presidents pardon criminals just prior to leaving office but I don’t recall a president gushing over the success (or failure) of a felon once released from prison. And, e) I think a sitting president, fighting wars on two fronts, had better have other things on his mind than the likes of Michael Vick. I sincerely don’t care if this president is a sports fan. I don’t care who he picks for “March Madness” and I really think it is insipid for him to blow time, thought and words on the subject of Michael Vick. Finally, f) I don’t believe Vick should have received his chance at redemption in the NFL. Play in Canada, Europe, the arena league or other under-league in professional football, then, maybe, after a few years, the NFL could be open to a return.

This all displays my ignorance about how things really work in pro football since I know that other felons have found their way back into the league without serving a day in prison. But this isn’t about pro football per se. It is about a sitting presidents’ fawning silliness directed toward an entertainment celebrity in the face of serious issues he is ill-prepared to deal with.

The article continues with this gem:

“He’s (Obama) not only leader of the government but also a role model and a moral voice for the country,” said Neera Tanden, a former Obama adviser who is now chief operating officer for the Center for American Progress, a liberal Washington think tank.”

Boy, too much sugar in that Kool-Aid!

There is no way on God’s green earth I would want my children to emulate Barack Hussein Obama in ANYTHING. Ergo, when Obama speaks in glowing terms about Vick, you can begin to understand how absurd it is to me and how I believe this president continues to gut the meaning out of being “leader of the free world”. This man couldn’t lead the Bud Billiken Parade in the right direction.

Now let’s entertain “a fair second chance”. “Fairness” is part of the “liberal lexicon”. To wit:

Because the Constitution insists that people are created equal, it becomes the duty of the Sociologist Activist Government to make certain that their lives are equal, that they achieve equally. If people achieve unequal results in their pursuits of life, it’s because social crimes are being committed, crimes which have to be corrected through the pursuit of Fairness.  Underachievers and Overachievers must be equalized, the Poor must be made Rich, we must pretend that the stupid are smart.  It’s not enough to be created equal, we must obtain equal results from life.  “It’s only fair.”

– From “The Liberal Lexicon”, http://www.freerepublic.com

This is also called “liberish” for good reason. Let’s pose a few questions:

Would it be unfair if Michael Vick never played a down in the NFL after his release from prison?

Would it be unfair if he was denied ownership of dogs for the balance of his days on earth?

Is it fair that Vick is playing in the NFL and other felons cannot return to their chosen fields of work due to their conviction?

Is it fair that they must find other work in order to contribute to society?

Fairness has nothing to do with it. In the case of Michael Vick, if the Philadelphia Eagles’ owners did not believe they could somehow profit from bringing him to the team, would they have even contemplated the possibility for a moment? The old saw is: “Show me your checkbook, and I’ll show you your priorities”. We can talk about fairness and doing a “risky thing” by bringing Vick into the clubhouse, but sans profit motive, he’s a greeter at Wal-Mart in Virginia Beach…if Wal-Mart believes in second chances.

Mr. Lurie was not being “fair” – not in the least. He took a business risk which, so far, has panned out alright for him. Ask Donovan McNabb what happens when the fan-base in Philly turns against you. Mr. Lurie will be shipping Vick out on the first transaction available when his risk stops paying dividends.

I could be so bold to say that the president was really not sincere in his comments about Vick and he only wanted to reach Mr. Lurie to discuss installing energy-saving lighting and devices in Philly’s new stadium to further his “green” agenda. Why not? The president is a politicians and not immune to that sort of “transparency” (read: shallowness) in his conversation.

So, did Vick receive “fairness”? No. He received a business deal.

Did the dogs Vick killed and injured receive “fairness”? No. They had the misfortune of being put into the hands of an unjust master.

Can Vick be forgiven and given a chance to make things right? Moot point, of course, the answer is yes by virtue of the evidence.

Is it fair not to trust Vick to make good on redemption in the long run? Yes. For me, at least, he has not totally escaped the chains of his imprisonment. That is a value judgment that I am not qualified to make. I understand that this fallen world does not allow some of us to grant instant reinstatement and cancel restitution the moment the prisoner is released.

This is why I must continue to remind myself of Paul’s words. I am haunted by them since I cannot believe in Michael Vick or Mr. Lurie or the president in this situation. It may pain me to believe myself an unforgiving old sinner, but if I’m honest, I have to admit, in this situation, I stand convicted.

Nevertheless, I wish the president would stick to running the nation, demonstrating strength as leader of the free world, instead of reducing his talk to circus sideshow acts and policies of apologies.



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