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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 20, 1993)
Waco incident results in waste
From the Book of Michelle, 12th
chapter, verses 1-75:
So King David the Koresh of
the Waconian Branchites didst call
upon the Lord in his despair:
“Lord! All praise and glory be to
you! Shall I gather my flock iqto my
fortress so we may commune in your
And the Lord didst answer: “Yes,
David, thou mayst commune."
So David, ruler of all the
Branchonian Wacos, didst call upon
the Lord again:
“Lord! Lord! All the beasts and
beauties on this Earth bow down be
fore your sight! May I marry 12-year
old girls, procure for myself beer,
nudie magazines and air condition
ing, and provide my followers with
machine guns and holy hand grenades
to thwartthose who would destroy us?
And the Lord didst sigh: “I sup
So King David, beingst persistent,
cried out to the Lord yet again:
“Lord! Lord! Yo, Lord! You are
the alpha, the omega, the kappa, the
lambda, the psi! In Your name, may I
rewrite the Seven Seals?”
And the Lord, having hadst enough,
didst look upon David and, being
naughty in His sight, sent plagues of
alcohol, tobacco and firearms agents,
CNN crews and T-shirt salesmen to
Yea, the plagues d idst converge on
the compound with their gas of tears
and armored tanks. And the 95 wackos
in Waco, who had asked of the Lord
many things except brains, didst burn
the friggin' place to the ground.
The Lord didst look upon all that
His creations had done and said, “What
So the compound of the Koresh
followers was left in a huge pile of
black, flaky, smoldering things.
Because a man with
education claimed to
be Jesus Christ, 95
people, 25 of them
children, set fire to
their own commune
rather than desert
their lord and leader.
And another plague didst descend
Upon the site, a plague of confusion
Why this day, oh Lord, for fire,
flood and pestilence? What has be
come of the 95 wackos in Waco?
Have they perished, Lord? Hey, Lord,
And the Lord did not respond, but
the media did.
Having consulted the Wire of As
sociated Press and the Broadcasting
System of Columbia, as read by the
Rather of Dan, I didst look upon the
barbecue pit that was the Davidian
compound and exclaimed, “What the
Because a man with a ninth-grade
education claimed to be Jesus Christ,
95 people, 25 of them children, set
fire to their own commune rather than
desert their lord and leader.
Yea, many moons ago a preacher
named Jim Jones fed his followers
magic Kool-Aid and caused them all
to perish, in the name of the Lord.
And yea, a church in the realm of
Lincoln calling itself Christian re
stricts its members’ activities, in the
name of the Lord.
And again yea, men and women
didst burn witches at the stake, in the
name of the Lord; and didst them
selves, claiming to be prophets, per
ish at the hands of others, in the name
of the Lord; and didst smite thine
enemies with clubs, swords and can
nons, in the name of the Lord.
From the Crusades to Koresh,
people have called out to the masses
to follow them, in the name of the
And the lambs have followed to
Religion is the opiate of the masses,
a drug that causes many to follow
blindly where liars would lead them.
But without this drug, Christian
ity, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Hin
duism or any other organized faith
would cease. Religion shall never end
so long as most people believe in
some kind of a higher power.
Does this higher power want fa
naticism? Does God want us to sacri
fice ourselves in fire, flood and pesti
lence? Are the liars really prophets?
Lord? Yoo-hoo, Lord?
But the Lord hadst gone fishing.
Lacking a firsthand opinion, die
prophet didstconclude that the people,
not the gods, must be crazy. Faith can
make fanatics, firebugs or firearms
agents of us all.
So the plagues didst descend upon
the ashes of the Davidians who had
valued their beliefs more than their
lives and said, “What a mess.”
And the prophet didst look upon
CNN and lamented, “What a waste.”
Here endelh the lesson.
Pullman is a senior news-editorial and
history major and a Dally Nebraskan colum
nist and photographer.
Students need to take time out
1 found out on Easter Sunday.
When my grandfather had
surgery to remove part of his
bowel, they found a lump in his stom
ach. The doctors weren’t sure what it
was. They would have to run tests.
But, of course, one word screamed
out at everyone: cancer. It was on our
minds if not on our lips.
Any form of cancer is serious, but
stomach cancer is particularly so. If
the lump they found in my
grandfather’s stomach was cancer,
his chances would not be good.
taster is supposed to oc a nappy
time, but I didn’t feel too much like
celebrating after I heard the diagno
sis. Hearing how worried my grand
mother—al ways so strong—sounded
on the phone didn’t help, cither.
I think regret instantly springs to
everyone’s mind when they think the
worst. The things you could have
done but didn’t. The time you didn’t
have because you had to work, to
study, to meet your responsibilities.
I spent the next week calling and
calling. What were the results of the
tests? Did we know anything else?
Was he going to be OK?
First we were supposed to know
Tuesday. Then Wednesday. Then Fri
day. Finally, after a long week of
waiting, I found out over the weekend
that my grandfather has single-cell
lymphoma, which they tell me is treat
able. He will have to have radiation or
chemotherapy to get better.
I certainly can’t call it good news,
but it’s better than hearing he had
cancer. The treatments he will have to
go through are tough, butas long as he
can make it through them, things will
be all right.
My grandfather and I used to play
chess. An accomplished player, he
taught mo to play when I was young.
I used to love to go and play on
holidays when we visited them in
Fremont. He explained all the com
plexities and even let me win a few
When my grand
father had surgery
to remove part of his
bowel, they found a
lump in his
doctors weren’t sure
what it was. They
would have to run
I think I will bring a chess set when
I visit my grandfather to sec how he is
doing. It’s lime we played again. Luck
ily, I got the chance to realize that
And as spring rolls around and
brings sunshine and new life, I won
der about priorities and what is impor
tant. How important is working all the
lime to become successful if it takes
up all your time?
How important is studying 72 hours
in a row for al 1 those finals if it is a nice
spring day and you could be out en
I guess the thing I always tell my
self is that I should study for 72 hours
in a row because in a week I’ll be off
and can do whatever I want. Or that I
can find lime logo home when school
is out, because I am just too busy now.
This week it occurred to me that
tomorrow can sometimes be too long.
Of course, I know studying and
doing well is important But we should
ask ourselves how important they are
when weighed against the things that
really matter in lire, such as the people
that we care about.
I learned an important lesson
through my tough week of waiting for
news about my grandfather. Nothing
lasts forever. Despite how it may seem,
all of our time is limited.
I knew this before intellectually,
but it became a lot clearer to me when
I had to face it in real life.
I have never asked him, but I won
der if my grandfather feels like he has
lived a long lime. Even at age 84,1
suspect he may feel like his life has
I don’t know how I’ll feel when
I’m 84 (that’sscary to think about) but
I hope I won’t wish I’d taken the time
to experience life more.
Our society measures us by what
wc do. We arc judged by what our job
is, how much money we make, what
we produce. To not produce is to not
But success can be measured in
other ways as well. Isn’t doing some
thing worthwhile thatcan’tbe graded,
paid or evaluated just as important or
more? If you take up all your lime
doing things to become successful by
the traditional definition, you may
neglect those people in your life that
make it important.
‘ 'The biggest mistake we could make
would be to assume that that is just
how life is. You follow the routine
everyone has always followed and
that’s just how it is. In tough eco
nomic times like these it can be espe
cially easy to think and believe that.
But life shouldn’t be that way.
My advice for the week? Play a
game of chess. Call home. See some
Take a day to smell the roses and
forget the responsibility. The earth
will keep turning.
Fitzpatrick is a Junior political science
major and the Daly Nebraskan opinion page
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