Category: Faith
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Faith

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Grand Canyon Rafting – National Park Service Orientation Video

Excitement abounds.  After a hard year in my life I will wrap up 2012 with a very dear old friend on a 25  day rafting/camping trip down the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon National Park.  The trip has a degree of danger so the Park Rangers require an orientation – first by video (included […]

25Oct2012 | | Comments Off on Grand Canyon Rafting – National Park Service Orientation Video | Continued
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Who Am I? Searching for the Modern Identity

I am liberal, angry, Aries, impatient, intolerant, loving, forceful, kind, intense, educated, brother, son, father, grandfather, friend, forgiving, humble, proud.  Which defines me?  Any?  All?  Am I modern?  Post-modern?  And who are you?  To whom do I answer?  What philosophy?  Religion? Country? Club?  We live in a complex world, a fast world requiring quick judgement […]

13Oct2012 | | 2 comments | Continued
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The Crusades of the Religious Fundamentalists

The 21st Century is shaping up much like that of a thousand years past.  A few Muslims poked us in the eye and all of our kinfolk came out of the woods to defend our honor – something like that.  We do not intend in any way to suggest the the horrid attacks on our […]

2Oct2012 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Religious Tools of the Trade: The Church, The Bible, and The Doctrine

When we learn to use the tools and hone our craft, we can make something beautiful. When we leverage the Bible for our own purpose or to prove our own point, or use our doctrine to manipulate people into uniformity, or even use the church to grow the church rather than invest in the community, then we misuse the tools of the trade.

10Aug2012 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Boy Scouts – False Prophets – Eject Gay Eagle Scout

According to the St, Joseph, Missouri, News Press, “A 19 year old Boy Scout has lost his job at Camp Geiger after disclosing that he is gay”.  Words like ‘hypocrisy’ come to mind.  That boy was “trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent,” and what did that get him? […]

19Jul2012 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Can Hatred Counter Love?

Is hate more powerful than love?  Does hate match love dollar for dollar? Hate is proportionate to love – the more one loves, the more one can hate.  The comparison is not one for one. Have you ever been consumed with bitter hatred for many weeks, stretching into months, or years?  Hate does that.  Hatred […]

15Jul2012 | | 1 comment | Continued
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The Rule of Law and the United Methodist Mistake

The next generations will inherit this church, and I am afraid they will inherit a church that does not reflect the kind of inclusion and hope for humanity that they are seeking in order to understand their relationship with God.

4May2012 | | 2 comments | Continued
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The Homosexual Paradigm – Personal Experience

There is no universal homosexual paradigm – but there are strong paradigms that drive our society.   Previous generations of Americans often ignored the Gay community – you stay in your closet, I’ll stay in mine.  Today we find the Gay community pressing for equal rights under the law – rights of marriage, rights of adoption, […]

1May2012 | | 8 comments | Continued
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Bad Religion

Religion tends to be about the rules, about the law. Spirituality tends to deal in Grace and Mercy and personal progression. Religion, balanced with grace, mercy, and progress, can be a powerful catalyst for personal growth.

17Apr2012 | | 4 comments | Continued
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Faith, Fear, and Defibrulating the Right

The right is suffering from an arrest of reason, and much like cardiac arrest, when one is faced with possible demise, their thoughts are turning to the afterlife.

19Mar2012 | | Comments Off on Faith, Fear, and Defibrulating the Right | Continued
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Conservatives Blame Solar Flares on God’s Anger

Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Floods, Pestilence, all products of an Angry God – determined to punish the United States of America for loathsome behavior.  I can hear it now.  Pat Robertson and Rick Santorum must be going crazy with delight. The latest round of Solar Flares are caused by God.  God does not like the way we […]

8Mar2012 | | Comments Off on Conservatives Blame Solar Flares on God’s Anger | Continued
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Save Yourself – Then Pull Up the Ladder

It is not in the nature of man to escape danger and then abandon fellow humans who face the same danger. We see examples in every war of courageous self sacrifice to rescue fellow soldiers.  We often see firefighters or police officers risk their own safety to help others.  The idea works well at an […]

8Mar2012 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Three Wise Men and One Virgin

You can’t make this stuff up.  I have heard that before – but these guy made this stuff up:  Jay Leno said, “The Supreme Court has ruled that they cannot have a nativity scene in Washington, D.C. This wasn’t for any religious reasons. They couldn’t find three wise men and a virgin.”  Sometimes the comedians […]

24Dec2011 | | Comments Off on Three Wise Men and One Virgin | Continued
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Schizophrenia – A Family Affair

I am convinced that mental illness permeates my family.  There are no diagnosis – no testimonials of counselors or case workers.  There is fear.  Fear of venturing to ask any questions.  Fear of unknown possibilities.  Fear of helpless damnation. Families keep secrets because families are ashamed.  And that, my friends, is the problem. Ignorance abounds.  […]

13Dec2011 | | Comments Off on Schizophrenia – A Family Affair | Continued
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Cisco – A Tale of Addiction, Justice, and Redemption

People are dying.  Our Prisons are full. Families are being destroyed.  Government sponsored religion in the Criminal Justice System is not working. Federal, State, and Local funds are rewarding bad behavior.  We are talking about the Criminal Justice System sanctioned treatment programs for alcohol and drug addiction – substance abuse treatment. Cisco, A Tale of […]

1Dec2011 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Traditional Conservatives – An Oxymoron

There was a time when to say someone was conservative was to say that they were invested in healthy tradition.  Change for the sake of change was a foolish notion.  In the world of the twenty-first century the conservatives have changed the meaning to something more like:  Progress for the sake of Progress is a […]

5Nov2011 | | 2 comments | Continued
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Mormons – the beginning theology

Mitt Romney has refocused thought on the Mormon Church.  Some evangelicals have problems with the Mormons – and I think they should.  We have to consider the Mormons in a historical context to understand some of their faith positions.  I will attempt to address this topic from memory – we’ll see if I have to […]

8Oct2011 | | 4 comments | Continued
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2011 – Dawn of the 21st Century

On  September 11, 2001, the rooster crowed.  A new age was upon us but the world was slow to awaken.  Stumbling in the early morning darkness we knocked over two countries, alienated our friends, and disrupted world commerce.  The people of the United States have finally wiped the sleep from their eyes and the Dawn […]

11Sep2011 | | Comments Off on 2011 – Dawn of the 21st Century | Continued
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Everything Happens For A Reason

Have you ever heard anyone say, “Everything happens for a reason?”  I have.  And I just shake my head in wonder.  It seems that people need some assurance that someone or something is in control – if not themselves.  What do you suppose was the ‘reason’ for the shooting of Representative Giffords?  I surely do […]

9Jun2011 | | 6 comments | Continued
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The Romantic Ideal – Flawed Thinking or Good Old Optimism?

The good guy gets the good girl – and conversely the good girl gets the good guy.  Bad guys always loose.  High moral standards, good character, hard work, and unwavering principles always find victory.  Bad governments do not endure while noble governments prevail.  The era of romantic literature has revisited modernity – with predictable disastrous […]

28May2011 | | Comments Off on The Romantic Ideal – Flawed Thinking or Good Old Optimism? | Continued
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Let The Wild Man Out

I don’t mean to be chauvinistic – but this post is about men in particular.  More specifically, how do boys become men?  There are many ideas – participate in sports, become an Eagle Scout, join the military, go to college, get a job and get married and have children – these events will make men […]

28Feb2011 | | Comments Off on Let The Wild Man Out | Continued
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Investing Our Self In A Cause

When we completely invest ourselves in any cause we risk our sanity.  From religion to politics to civil rights to social justice – to being employed in a noble profession – any cause can be consuming.  Problems come when we identify ourselves in the context of the cause.  We risk losing touch with social norms.  […]

14Jan2011 | | Comments Off on Investing Our Self In A Cause | Continued
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Muslim Rednecks

I know a bunch of Rednecks.  They live in my neighborhood and gather at my family functions.  Their language is unique, something like Ebonics but with a twang.  There are not many Muslims around Northwest Missouri – or at least they don’t publicly admit to their faith.  About a hundred years ago regular Catholics did […]

25Aug2010 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Religious Tolerance Is An Oxy-Moron, Let The Spitting Begin

It seems the very definition of religion would deny tolerance.  What are some words that are synonymous with religion?  Superstition?  Superhuman?  Faith?  Grace?  Devotion?  Ritual?  Or phrases:  Fundamental set of beliefs?  A Particular set of beliefs?  Ritual observance of faith?  Strict faithfulness?  Deep conviction?  Which of these words or phrases represent tolerance?  None! The inherent […]

4Aug2010 | | Comments Off on Religious Tolerance Is An Oxy-Moron, Let The Spitting Begin | Continued
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Learning About Jesus in Chemistry Class

I am a slow learner.  I graduated from college when I was 46 years old.  Education was not a value of my family system; education was seen as job training.  This seems to be a predominant ideal in America.  And to reinforce the idea – it is nice to have a job that one enjoys.  […]

7May2010 | | 1 comment | Continued
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The Problem With Liberals 1965 – 2010

After the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964 the liberals of both parties felt emboldened.  They were ready to challenge the fertile ground of poverty, aging, war, college education, and woman’s rights.  These were and are noble issues.  By some definitions the liberal movement of that era was quite successful.  But there were some […]

26Apr2010 | | Comments Off on The Problem With Liberals 1965 – 2010 | Continued
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Good Children Vs Insurrectionists

My husband and I were discussing our children the other day and how they behave or not during church.  Our 18-month-old prefers to wander the pews rather than sit quietly on my lap, and when the nursery is closed, it can be quite difficult to “make her behave.”  First of all, let me comment on […]

26Apr2010 | | Comments Off on Good Children Vs Insurrectionists | Continued
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Intellectual VS Emotional Struggle With Death Penalty

I am not a great intellectual liberal – just an average intellect liberal.  I try to understand issues at practical and ethical perspectives.  For instance, it is unethical to bomb cities – but I agree that Harry Truman was right to use the A-Bomb for extremely practical reasons – he avoided the imminent invasion of […]

23Apr2010 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Sense Of Inadequacy Follows Us All The Days Of Our Lives

Any self concept, any value, any perspective, learned in youth – through osmosis – follows us all the days of our lives. We often have a sense of right and wrong, which we sometimes call this our conscience, based on prejudiced childhood learning.

21Apr2010 | | Comments Off on Sense Of Inadequacy Follows Us All The Days Of Our Lives | Continued
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The Federal Government is BIG Because Locals Are Not Responsible

The big toot in the news today (and for the past forty year) has been anti-Big Government.  Ronald Reagan swept the electorate on his charge that ‘Government is the problem.’  We have to ask why.  Why has our Federal Government grown to such a behemoth?  The answer is really quite simple – it is because […]

19Apr2010 | | Comments Off on The Federal Government is BIG Because Locals Are Not Responsible | Continued
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Catholic Priest Jokes

By covering the horrendous crimes against children by Priests – the Roman Catholic Church has invited a legitimate comparison to slimy lawyers. If you are stranded on a desert island with Adolph Hitler, Atilla the Hun, and a Catholic Priest, and you have a gun with only two bullets, what do you do? Shoot the […]

17Apr2010 | | 6 comments | Continued
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Can Texting be Addictive?

We have only to look at some recent celebrity headlines to imagine Texting Addiction.  With denial protecting the psyche celebrities are falling victim to the addiction of texting.  Tiger Woods has done the public a service by admitting his addiction and receiving specific treatment for his malady.  Evidence now shows that texting addiction leads to […]

5Apr2010 | | Comments Off on Can Texting be Addictive? | Continued
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The Church, Social Justice, And Hiding A Scandal

Does the Christian faith promote ‘social justice?’  The Pope of the Roman Catholic Church (is there another Pope?) verbally promotes social justice.  Liberation Theology found it’s roots in the Catholic Church.  Glen Beck made an issue out of the term ‘social justice’ when he suggested that it means socialism, communism, Nazism, Obamaism, and Liberalism.  Beck […]

3Apr2010 | | Comments Off on The Church, Social Justice, And Hiding A Scandal | Continued
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Racists and Birthers Are Not Just Dim-Witted Rednecks

In 1776 immigration was unchecked in the American colonies.  The people living here decided to form their own government and bypass the King’s tax man.  Those folks wrote some rules that defined our form of Government and who was eligible to hold office.  The President had to be a natural born citizen – meaning that […]

1Apr2010 | | Comments Off on Racists and Birthers Are Not Just Dim-Witted Rednecks | Continued
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U. S. Government Has Higher Ethical Standards Than Catholic Church

One time in the history of our country a President had to resign.  He was caught covering up for some dim-witted burglars working on his election team.  Just imagine that the President had been covering for hundreds of staffers who were molesting young boys.  The United States Government has higher ethical standards than the Catholic […]

29Mar2010 | | Comments Off on U. S. Government Has Higher Ethical Standards Than Catholic Church | Continued
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Forgiving The Priest

Is it possible?  When a Priest is charged with being the father of his parish, of being the spiritual leader of the congregation, when the Priest has charge over our children, and then violates every tenant of his charge – that Priest must suffer some consequences.  But does that mean eternal damnation?  Does that mean […]

26Mar2010 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Children of War – The 20th Century Bleeds into the 21st.

The sins punished for generations are War, Poverty, Hunger, Ignorance, Physical Illness, and a general disregard of others by society. These sins compound daily – the accruing interest to be paid by succeeding generations.

12Mar2010 | | Comments Off on Children of War – The 20th Century Bleeds into the 21st. | Continued
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Brainwashing Tiger Woods – Failures of Addiction Therapy

Future psychologists will look back on this era of addiction treatment in much the same manner that they presently look back on 19th century mental asylums. The real sadness is that progressives in the present mental health community already recognize the deplorably foolish tactics of many addiction treatment centers.

20Feb2010 | | 6 comments | Continued
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Spiritual Responsibility

To think that any particular faith, such as Christian or Muslim, is more favorable to God than another is an astoundingly arrogant notion – and it is irresponsible.

10Feb2010 | | Comments Off on Spiritual Responsibility | Continued
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The Army of God, Scott Roeder, and the Right Side of History

Scott Roeder shot and killed late term abortion Doctor George Tiller May, 31, 2009.  No one disputes this fact.  Roeder proudly admitted to the shooting while on trial for murder in Kansas.    Roeder was convicted of murder by a jury of his peers.  Peers, in this case, means twelve people who lived in the county […]

4Feb2010 | | 2 comments | Continued
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2012 Mayan Prediction – Respecting Logic

Marilyn vos Savant is some sort of genius who sells her logic to Parade Magazine.  People write with questions, Marilyn answers.  The question on January 31, 2010, concerned the Mayan prediction of the end of the world in the year 2012.  The question:  Can you add some logic to calm the hysteria?  The flaw in […]

3Feb2010 | | 1 comment | Continued
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The Sick, Pathetic, Right Wing Leadership and the disaster in Haiti

Pat Robertson has been a leader of the right wing ‘conservatives’ for many many years.   He has even run for President.  I live in Punkin Center, Missouri – so I know a few right wing nut cases.  When Robertson ran for President one of the local wackos said, “Wait till they find out he went […]

14Jan2010 | | 1 comment | Continued
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“the shifting sands of charity… the firm bedrock of law”

Winston Churchill was a young man of twenty two when he gave his first political speech.   He referenced the Government’s Workmen’s Compensation Bill before the Parliament in England.  “He said the bill, ‘removed the question from the shifting sands of charity and placed it on the firm bedrock of law‘.”  (Churchill: A Life, by Gilbert, […]

10Dec2009 | | Comments Off on “the shifting sands of charity… the firm bedrock of law” | Continued
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Comments on a Life of Chaos

Did you ever know anyone who just seemed to live their life in constant chaos?  Most likely.  Chaos can become a part of our cultural understanding of the world around us.  People raised in chaos often live chaotic lives.  Some attempt a life of moderation – but under duress often resort to extreme chaos or […]

28Aug2009 | | Comments Off on Comments on a Life of Chaos | Continued
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12 Steps – A Program of Recovery

To continue this dialogue on 12 step programs – it seems only natural to describe the 12 steps. Distortions abound. Some clarity about this process might be useful to students of health care, people in the Ministry, medical professionals, and especially to those suffering from a hopeless state of mind and body. From page 59 […]

27Aug2009 | | 5 comments | Continued
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The Zodiac Predicts Modern Holidays

Astrology – the predictor of the Christ.  The three wise men followed their star charts to find the young King of men in his manger.  Who, we ask, can argue with the validity of astrology.  Even today, some 2,000 years later – the Zodiac accounts for, and often predicts, the activities of American holidays. I […]

9Jun2009 | | Comments Off on The Zodiac Predicts Modern Holidays | Continued
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Of Fear, Faith, and Foreign Affairs

Fear and faith do not live in the same home.  The word ‘faith’ conjures images of peace of mind, hope for the future, for the fellowship of man.  Faith speaks to the lion lying with the lamb – and the lamb can sleep with both eyes closed.  Fear exists in a troubled mind, a troubled […]

5Jun2009 | | 1 comment | Continued
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Christian Sponsored Terrorism

The Associated Press has composed a list of recent abortion-related violence.  As an aside, we find their headline rather ironic – because it suggests the violence is a result of abortion.  But more important than the headline are the facts of fundamentalist Christian violence (we prefer to call this behavior Christian Terrorism). We have written […]

1Jun2009 | | 3 comments | Continued
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Mormon Scientologists for Jehovah on the 7th Day

Help me out here. In literature we distinguish fantasy from Science Fiction. The distinguishing variable – is it plausible. Do the premises set forth in the story violate basic principles of physics? Like a two ton dragon flying with a ten foot wing span – probably fantasy. A space ship flying across the galaxies in […]

29May2009 | | 21 comments | Continued
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Top Ten Positive Emotions

Dr. Barbara Fredrickson has done some extraordinary work on positive emotions. Having a positive attitude has so may anecdotal arguments that we are frankly sad when we hear another. If I hear one more person tell me to ‘have an attitude of gratitude’ I think I will just spit. Thank God for Dr. Fredrickson – […]

19May2009 | | Comments Off on Top Ten Positive Emotions | Continued