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Where Wine Is Concerned

I’m not a big wine drinker. It tends to wake me up at night, somewhere around 3 in the morning.
I have this habit where wine is concerned, or maybe it’s an idiosyncrasy.
Whenever I pour wine for myself or another, and I’m not much of a drinker, I pour it in a glass,
and not a paper or a plastic cup, and the glass has to be somewhat shapely.
I’m not a great connoisseur of wines, and I know nothing about the appropriate glass to use, or the best way to hold the glass, but I do know that the wine is really somewhat precious. It took time to develop and mature. It went through quite a process before it was bottled, even if it’s not an expensive wine. I might pour my coffee in a styrofoam cup, though even that is something I don’t care to do, and I might pitch the coffee out if it’s gotten cold, though I usually finish my coffee, but I will never treat wine in that manner. I pour the wine from a glass bottle into a glass. I re-cork the bottle. I sip the wine from the glass and I notice that almost all of my friends do pretty much the same: they finish their wine. It’s rare for them to pour it down the drain.
I think it goes a little bit beyond the time and painstaking process involved in the development of wine. Truly, I found that after a gathering of friends I may occasionally, while cleaning up, notice an unfinished Bourbon and Coke that I must pitch down the drain, and the Lord knows that bourbon and Tennessee whiskies have to go through quite a process to be prepared, distilled and fermented in charred oak barrels. Still, there is something almost sacred about wine. Most of my friends belong to some religion that in some way associates wine with the Creator. Both the wine and the container it is in are significant. In all of the religions that I know of wine is associated with sacred events. The other night I watched a movie by the great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa and near the conclusion of the movie numerous mourners sat at the wake or honoring of a friend who had just died and they sat sipping warm wine, whilst remembering him (and joking and remonstrating).

In the very near future the State of Illinois will consider passage of the insidious FOCA bill. This is the state counterpart to that equally insidious Federal FOCA bill. It seems that I can’t turn on the T.V anymore without learning that a young woman somewhere in the country was dragged off into the woods and raped and murdered. My own sister was murdered and then raped. There has been a noticeable, almost incurable rise in the disrespect for women, their bodies and their lives, over the past forty years, and I have lived to watch and see it. So, what does this have to do with the FOCA bill?
Since Roe versus Wade was passed, respect for life in the womb plummeted. We were told it wasn’t life at all. The conviction that it wasn’t life led to the belief that it wasn’t precious and the belief thenceforth stained every thread of society. It was preached from pulpits. I heard Jeremiah Wright recently lamenting that certain political factions wanted to take away a woman’s right to chose. Death is preached from the pulpits. The wine is poured down the drain, and it’s no surprise that the woman has become, in the minds of many just a paper cup, disposable. I believe that the subtle psychology that has stained the mind and thoughts of our society is this, “If the wine isn’t precious, then neither is the container it is in.” Both have somehow become disassociated from the precious and time-consuming creative process. Not only is the unborn looked upon as disposable, even by our current President who voted against the Born Alive Amendment when he held office in the State of Illinois, but I see that, over time, the preciousness and value of women hasn’t increased. Freedom to choose, pro-choice policies, a new progressive age hasn’t brought value to the state of womanhood. For some sad reason, women have become more imperiled, their worth sullied, the image of their naked flesh sold in magazines unrepentantly (since the 1950’s, and the dawn of various disparaging publications) more than ever before, and crimes against women abound; in the minds of many despicable people they have all become like a disposable paper cup.
I will be watching to see how our Illinois representatives and senators treat this issue. I will be closely watching to see how my own Representative DeLuca votes with regard to the FOCA bill. With regard to sanctity and preservation of decency for women I am happy that my own state, Illinois, voted to pass the Sex Crimes Act. The result was that women’s privacy and decency in the case of sex crimes would be shielded from exploitation by so-called news sources. Yet our own president Obama did not vote for it when he was an Illinois Congressman. He was the sole hold-out amongst all of the representatives. He did not vote for this act. Thank God, for the sake of women, that the other reps didn’t feel that way.
We must speak out against the FOCA act, the freedom of choice act. This act not only bodes destruction for the unborn, but it is destructive for the collective psychology of the sanctity of womanhood, and indeed, motherhood.
I am not the best husband, but I look at my wife and I know that she possesses a sacred beauty that is linked to my Maker and I see it whenever I smile at, laugh with, argue with my children, clasp the hands of my sons, bless my daughter, or hug my wife.
It’s not a paper cup.
The wine is sacred; the vessel is sacred. I can remember holding a crying child who had awakened me at three or four in the morning, and I remember passing my wife in the hallway as she held one of our other children who had awakened her at three or four in the morning.
Sometimes there’s just a tiny amount moving in the glass, fragile, precious, wrought from time, we must never throw it away.

-copyright March 2010 by John P. Schumake



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