Johnny, We Fondly Knew You

We know why we loved the public Johnny Cash. The private man was just as deserving of the adulation he abhorred.


09/22/2003 08:45:50 AM

It is a very nice article. I am not a Cal Thomas fan, and I do not know if it is true that he went to prison. If he did, it makes the article more meaningful. After all, is that not what Johnny Cash was all about? I think Jesus said something along the lines that when you visit the prisoner, you have visited Him. Dennis


09/21/2003 09:25:26 PM

Part 2 "Well, we're doin' mighty fine, I do suppose, In our streak of lightnin' cars and fancy clothes, But just so we're reminded of the ones who are held back, Up front there ought 'a be a Man In Black. I wear it for the sick and lonely old, For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold, I wear the black in mournin' for the lives that could have been, Each week we lose a hundred fine young men. And, I wear it for the thousands who have died, Believen' that the Lord was on their side, I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died, Believen' that we all were on their side. Well, there's things that never will be right I know, And things need changin' everywhere you go, But 'til we start to make a move to make a few things right, You'll never see me wear a suit of white. Ah, I'd love to wear a rainbow every day, And tell the world that everything's OK, But I'll try to carry off a little darkness on my back, 'Till things are brighter, I'm the Man In Black."


09/21/2003 09:24:59 PM

Part 1 Here are the words to Johnny Cash's "Man In Black." Seems completely opposed to what Cal Thomas spews in his column. Probably never listened to the words: "Well, you wonder why I always dress in black, Why you never see bright colors on my back, And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone. Well, there's a reason for the things that I have on. I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down, Livin' in the hopeless, hungry side of town, I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime, But is there because he's a victim of the times. I wear the black for those who never read, Or listened to the words that Jesus said, About the road to happiness through love and charity, Why, you'd think He's talking straight to you and me.


09/21/2003 06:02:05 PM

Given that he has No Soul, I hardly think that Cal Thomas is in a position to comment on one of the deepest and most profound souls of the Twentieth Century. It's like a kid with a 20 oz. aluminum bat going up against Curt Schilling. Forget it, Cal. You're way, WAY out of your league.


09/21/2003 02:46:01 PM

Kaveh500, If you haven't already checked it out, I invite you to check out one of your local Unitarian Universalist congregation. A lot of us who felt we didn't "fit in" in church have found a spiritual home there. I was raised in an evangelical Christain home and eventually realized I wasn't comfortable saying I believed al lthe things I knew deep down that I didn't. Here's a link to the Unitarian Universalist Association website if you'd like more info and a listing of your local congregations. UUA WEBSITE Peace to you and blessings on your journey. Paul


09/21/2003 01:04:40 AM

KAVEH, I saw on your profile that you felt like you didn't fit in church. I used to feel that way, but have since found churches that are so good for me (the kinds of places you don't think are there) that have really helped me and changed my life. The CHURCH just means the body of people on earth that are believers in Jesus Christ. Jesus said "Where two or more gather..." So I guess when I saw Church has helped me I mean more a place where people worship God together and support and teach each other...I'd love to hear why church wasn't a fit for you, and any other thoughts. Best,


09/19/2003 05:24:57 PM

When I was growing up, I was much smaller than the other kids. They would usually beat me or throw things at me--either in my neighborhood, my school or even at Sunday school. My parents and my minister noticed this and took great pains to tell me to "Just ignore them" or "Turn the other cheek". But that didn't work. So one day I punched out the biggest boy who was hitting me. He was unconcious for two hours. No one ever hit me again. So I think that about does it in for the value of "not judging" others.


09/19/2003 04:47:27 PM

I think this is the first piece of Cal Thomas' that I've liked unequivocally - and I read him religiously only because I believe in the 'forewarned is forearmed' axiom. It's nice to see that he can write eloquently and without polemic.


09/19/2003 04:34:49 PM

Johnny Cash sang to men in prison, about the poor, and about freedom (i.e. when he did a kick-ass cover of Soundgarden's "Rusty Cage"). By contrast, Cal Thomas mostly writes about how great it would be if God decided to slaughter the firstborn child of every Arab family in the Middle East, a la the Book of Exodus. He openly laments that Israel doesn't simply "transfer" the Arabs out (to where, he doesn't say). His every piece is about or at least contains a bit of unbridled, not to say murderous, contempt for SOMEONE. You don't see the disconnect?


09/19/2003 04:29:51 PM

I think it matters a lot, Tonjohwy. I'd find it pretty inappropriate if, say, Osama bin Laden wrote a tribute piece to Ghandi. In order to truly honor someone, the author of the tribute should have SOMETHING in common with them. Otherwise it strikes me as being akin to crocodile tears.


09/19/2003 03:28:41 PM

Odd that a column on Johnny Cash gets turned into a debate on the background of the author, not his subject. Johnny Cash never claimed to be an angel, but it is rather revealing that he would rather be a man of compassion towards his fellow man as they went past him on his "porch" than the pettiness displayed here over who wrote the article rather than what was said about the subject. No one cares who wrote what as long as the story is honest and reveals something that some may not have known. Get a grip, life does not revolve around who you like or dislike when the subject is someone you should want to know about!


09/19/2003 02:04:19 PM

I'd forgive past mistakes without batting an eye, ksangel1. It's past CRIMES that I get hung up on. Don't tell me you wouldn't adjudge me or anyone else differently if we had a criminal record, at least until you were sure all of that was behind us. And anyway; I've already admitted I had the wrong person in mind when I said Cal Thomas was in with the Watergate crowd. My distate for Mr. Thomas is limited to his present, current views and not to any past misdeeds of him.


09/19/2003 01:26:44 PM

I thought the article was very good. I hope that all that read this article will be as blessed as I have been. Just knowing that he had temptations to overcome & faith in God to help him through it all encourages me to keep the faith. I agree, that people can change. I wonder if those that pass judgement on Cal Thomas would like the same judgement passed on them for their past mistakes.


09/19/2003 12:38:08 PM

No, HuckFinn, I'm unequivocal on what I believe is right and wrong: Cal Thomas is an idiot with very few good or correct ideas. "Tolerance" is not something I cleave to.


09/19/2003 12:26:45 PM

I wish Mr. Thomas would spend more of his time focusing on what unites us, not what divides us.


09/19/2003 11:54:29 AM

kaveh, You undoubtedly consider yourself a champion of "tolerance," right?


09/19/2003 11:12:29 AM

Hmm, maybe you were right about it being Chuck Colson rather than Cal Thomas who went to Danbury prison for Watergate. I have a hard time telling right-wingnuts apart. All the same; this strikes me as a weird piece. Cal Thomas is a laughable scold who would have us all adhere to an unliveable standard of puritan morality and here he is praising Johnny Cash--a man who was, in a word, COOL.


09/18/2003 05:04:21 PM

First and fore most a wonderful country star, who's honesty, loyality to the common people has stepped over to heaven. I can only hope that June was there to greet him along with St Peter. It rained here all day the day Johnny died .. I beleive the angles were weeping for all of us. As far as what Mr. Thomas has done in the past, forgivness is devine last I heard. Go With God Johnny Cash ..


09/18/2003 05:03:50 PM

I'm pretty sure it was Chuck Colson who went to the Pen over watergate, not Thomas.


09/18/2003 03:10:49 PM

I find the Hitler:Thomas::Moses:Cash analogy insulting. I don't even know how to begin to refute something so stupid.


09/18/2003 02:27:51 PM

Cal Thomas' involvement in Watergate was 30 years ago and people do change.I think it was an interesting piece and enjoyed reading it. Johnny Cash showed that one can be a Christian and human all at the same time. He had his struggles, but now he's with the Lord and with his beloved June.


09/18/2003 12:52:08 PM

Why is Cal Thomas--who, for those who have forgotten, did about 6 months in Danbury Minimum Security Prison for his role in Watergate--writing an homage to Johnny Cash? That's like Hitler writing an homage to Moses; the worst praising the best.


09/17/2003 10:21:19 PM

Thank you, Cal Thomas, for your sweet and touching memory of Johnny Cash. Having read your columns before, I can't say we'd agree on much, but we can at least agree that we lost a great man last week.


09/17/2003 08:54:59 PM

Love you Johnny.. I will miss you.. But, your with the Lord you loved so much now..