Good Riddance to the Aughts
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This has been a hard decade, and good riddance to it. It began with the bursting of the dot.com stock bubble. Then came 9/11, a disaster not only because of the one-day destruction in New York and Washington, but because it ushered in the sickening realization that the West was more or less now in a permanent state of conflict with implacable radical Islam everywhere in the world. Our armed forces are mired in two expensive wars for which the... Read More
Oral
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The last three years have seen the passing of some of the most significant people involved in Christian mass media: D. James Kennedy, Rex Humbard, Jerry Falwell, Tammy Faye Bakker, Billy Joe Daugherty, Rev. Ike, and Bishop Earl Paulk. As this year draws to a weary close, one more giant joins the list: Granville Oral Roberts.      He has been called the second most influential Christian leader in American history after only Billy Graham. Though he never graduated from college, he... Read More
The Tiger
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Blogging about Tiger Woods may seem like piling on, since everybody and his uncle has a comment. Comedians are having a field day. (Did you know that Tiger’s nickname is being changed to “Cheetah”?—ba dup bam.) Even Letterman is milking it for all it’s worth, he of the multiple office affairs. Gillette and Accenture have bailed out on lucrative endorsement deals. I wonder if Buick will, too? They’re probably thinking it’s a good thing he was driving an Escalade when... Read More
Jesus and Allah
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Barack Obama’s first judicial nominee, David Hamilton, has had his nomination stalled for a while in the Senate because he ruled in a 2005 case that prayers in the Indiana House of Representatives “should refrain from using Christ’s name or title or any other denominational appeal” and that all prayers must be “non-sectarian.” That meant that prayers mentioning Jesus were out, but Hamilton appeared to allow the use of “Allah” in written clarifications. Newt Gingrich had a field day over... Read More
Messy
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By now you’ve probably heard of the amazing story of Brian Nichols and Ashley Smith. In 2005 Nichols was on trial in Atlanta for the rape and beating of his ex-girlfriend. While changing clothes into his courtroom suit he attacked and beat up the guard, stole her gun, and used it to kill four people as he escaped. He headed for Duluth, Ga. and, looking for a place to hole up,  invaded Smith’s home, tying her up and threatening her.... Read More
Dissent
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Everybody knows that in politics it is nothing unusual when a politician expresses views different from those in his party’s platform. President Clinton bucked his party on welfare reform, for instance. Maine senator Olympia Snowe is being courted to break ranks with fellow Republicans and support Democratic health care initiatives. But what happens when Christians disagree with the platform of the denominations to which they belong? Is it all or nothing? Must you conform 100% or get out? If you... Read More
2012
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When people feel stressed, end-of-the-world “doomsday” stories surge in appeal. During the cold war, “The Day the Earth Stood Still” scared moviegoers with the terror of monster robot Gort, who could sizzle any weapons turned on him with his laser visor. “Dr. Strangelove” exploited our fears of nuclear war. “Independence Day” massaged our fears of alien invasion.   The 21st century is underway with a very disturbing decade. It began with the collapse of the “dot.com” bubble in the stock market.... Read More
Creamy
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Mis·ceg·e·na·tion n. The interbreeding of what are presumed to be distinct human races, esp. marriage or cohabitation between white and non-white persons (Lat. miscere, to mix + genus, race.)   America has a long and troubled history with miscegenation. Novelist William Faulkner wrote of the terrible fears of white Southerners in the antebellum years which lay behind the slave codes. And yet a tremendous amount of “interbreeding” went on. Diarist Mary Chesnut lived in Charleston in the war years and wrote... Read More
Germs
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Are germs good or bad for you?   Laughable question to my mother in 1960. Once we entered the house from anywhere else, we heard the command barked, “Wash your store hands.” “Wash your playground hands.” Anything we might have touched outside the house must have contaminated us. “Wash your school hands.”   All that hand-washing by millions of children must have worked. The relatively sanitary world in which we live has made cholera and dysentery rare. But in a Newsweek article,... Read More
Why?
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As hard as we try, our lives just don’t stick to the scripts we’ve written. As the bumper stickers tell us, “Stuff Happens.” Bad things happen to bad people, and they happen to nice people (like you & me), too. So we ask, “Why?”   The prophet Habakkuk groaned his protests to the Lord. “How long?” “Why?”   One thing that sufferers should not do is look for someone to blame, including blaming oneself. Jesus’ disciples once asked him whose fault it... Read More