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My interests are somewhat eclectic and that is reflected in my posts. I have provided a drop-down lists of categories so you can zero in on things that might be interesting to you. In particular, you might enjoy my fiction pieces in the category Short Stories.

ON PRAYING FOR POLITICIANS

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The word of God to a nation’s uncaring leaders:

“Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe ourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.

“Therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock.”

— The prophet Ezekiel (Ez 34:2-4, 9-10)

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SAINT PAUL’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH

stpaulschurchMy wife and I have been church exiles (self-imposed) for several years. Recently we started attending an Episcopal church here in Bellingham. The Episcopal Church is a branch of the Anglican communion world-wide, having split off from Anglicanism as a result of the American revolution, but remaining very much Anglican in theology and practice.

I had never attended an Episcopal Church, nor did I know much about them. Nonetheless I came with some expectations. In particular, I expected to encounter a liturgical church service relatively devoid of life and energy, and something theologically liberal. These expectations, of course, reflected my lack of knowledge and experience. The Sunday morning services we have attended so far are indeed highly structured and liturgical, most everything coming out of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer. There was also a certain lack of spontaneity; predictability being the operative word.

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LEFT, RIGHT & CENTER

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Being retired allows me the luxury of time. Some of that time I devote to reading the news, especially the political news, from a variety of news sources. This has allowed me to form some impressions of where various news sources fall in terms of reliability and ideological bias. If you are interested, here’s my (not entirely unbiased) take on left-right-center news organizations. BTW, I don’t do television; these are all online media.

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ON SANCTUARY CITIES

sanctuarycitiesWhat is a Sanctuary City? The name conjures of images of safe places where the city will protect illegal immigrants from federal immigration officers. But that’s not it at all. A Sanctuary City is a city that chooses not to utilize its government employees as agents of the federal immigration services. It’s a very passive thing. Sanctuary Cities typically give four reasons for taking this stance.

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THE FLAT EARTH

Is the earth flat? flatearthKyrie Irving, of the Cleveland Cavaliers, says it is, and that those who say otherwise are lying to us. It’s not clear who “they” are; presumably scientists and politicians. “This is not even a conspiracy theory,” he says. “The earth is flat.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/kyrie-irving-cavaliers-nba-earth-flat_us_58a7d1a3e4b07602ad54f2c9?dwh0r4a8jsx4huayvi&)

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A CIVICS LESSON

threebranchesIn spite of multiple court rulings demanding a halt to Trump’s Executive Order banning already-vetted muslim refugees from entering our country, the order is still in place and is still being enforced around the country, albeit unevenly. The Trump Administration, along with the Department of Homeland Security, has chosen to ignore the courts.

This provides an opportunity to reacquaint ourselves with the Constitution and the way its authors set up a balance of power between the three branches of our government: Executive, Legislative and Judicial.

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THE BERKELEY INCIDENT

berkeley-protestA couple days ago, conservative students at the University of California at Berkeley invited Milo Yiannopoulos to speak on campus. Not-so-conservative students launched a large and noisy protest, calling for the University to cancel his appearance. A few anarchists later joined the protest to add some violence to the mix. The University cancelled Yiannopoulos’ visit. President Trump threatened to withdraw federal funding from Berkeley.

Let’s get one thing straight to begin with: Milo Yiannopoulos is a nasty piece of work. He is an editor at Breitbart News, a major outlet for the so-called alt-right (the White Supremacist movement). He has made a name for himself by viciously attacking women, trans-gender people, African Americans, and pretty much anyone else who isn’t lily-white like him.

Having said that, there are a few points to sort out here:

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The Story Of Max

Caveat: I am an evangelical Christian. This essay is addressed mainly to my fellow evangelical Christians, especially those struggling to find ways to love and accept people whose gender identities sit outside the norm they are used to (e.g., homosexual, bisexual, transsexual). For this reason, I am using language that evangelical Christians will relate to.

The Story of Max

gender_neutral_bathroom_signMax walked into the women’s shower room at the city’s recreation center. When he started taking his clothes off, the several women there quickly dressed and fled.

A few minutes later, just as he was stepping into the shower, two male police officers entered and asked him to get dressed and come with them. When he asked them why, they grabbed him, handcuffed him, and took him out to a squad car stark naked. They booked him for indecent exposure and resisting arrest.

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