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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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Will a Dixie Chick Eat Crow?

Steve Higginbotham wrote in a church bulletin: "I read an article that told about a rather small man who was in a barbershop making more than his share of unnecessary talk. He stated, 'Show me a Scothman and I will show you a fool!' A big man, about 6 feet, 5 inches tall, stood up and said, 'I'm a Scothman.' The little man replied, 'Well, I'm a fool!' " The tongue is in a slippery place. Who among us has not allowed words to slip out that should have been left unsaid? Someone said, "Make your words sweet because chances are you'll have to eat some of them." Proverbs 20: 29 is one of my  places in the Bible that teaches us to think before we speak: "Do you see a man who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for him." As Jim Scancarelli observed, "A sharp tongue sometimes cuts its own throat."

A current controversy vividly illustrates these truths.. The all-female Dixie Chicks make some of the most beautiful music any bird ever sang. This talented group of women have sung their way into the hearts of millions of country music fans with their powerful voices and creative songs. But recently the Chicks have hit a sour note with millions of Americans. Natalie Maines, the lead singer of the group, created a firestorm of criticism and controversy at a concert in England. In criticizing George W. Bush's efforts to oust Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein by means of military force, Ms. Maines told the concert crowd she wanted them to know Texans were ashamed that President Bush was from their state. Now newspapers are filled with letters to editors criticizing Ms. Maines and her criticism of the President. Her comments were perceived by many as not only inappropriate but also unpatriotic since U. S. troops are now engaged in war with Iraq. Some radio stations are pulling the Chicks' music off their play list, and some fans are promising to bum Chick CD's and boycott Chick concerts. Which raises the question, "Will a Dixie Chick eat crow?" Apparently so. Natalie Maines has made a public statement apologizing for her comments about being ashamed President Bush is from Texas.

The intent of this article is not to criticize the Dixie Chicks. Nor is it to take a position on the current war with Iraq. The aim is to remind all of us that while as Americans we are free to speak our minds, we are also responsible as Christians to mind our speech. A French proverb says, "A closed mouth gathers no flies." And, we might add, no crow either.

"Set a guard, 0 LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips." (Psalm 141:3)

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ