Archive by Author

Finding God- 1

When I was in the ministry, I attended a dinner party given by a Jamaican couple who belonged to the church.  They were sophisticated people, with a wide variety of friends, and that night one of the guests had a problem with the idea of God.  I was holding a bacon-wrapped chestnut in one hand […]

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The Death Problem

Death has a PR problem in our culture.  Americans tend to view death in a negative light, as something to escape.  We picture a dark, hooded figure, pointing its crooked finger toward another victim, gathering souls for judgment.  We isolate the dead behind fences, in holding pens for the dearly departed, and turn their disposal […]

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God Is Nothing

The Buddha was a very practical man.  He disliked questions for which there were no answers, calling them a waste of time.  In one of his teachings, the Buddha described a man who had been shot with a poisoned arrow.  His family retrieved a doctor, but the man wouldn’t accept any help until learning the […]

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The Man With A Radio In His Big Toe

When I was in seminary, I interned as a chaplain in a VA mental hospital.  I worked in a locked ward for Vietnam vets.  Many were schizophrenics with psychotic features, meaning they heard voices and saw things the rest of us don’t.  I’d arrive in the morning as the unit lined up for orange juice […]

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Surah 13: 25

Those who break the covenant of Allah, after having given their word, and cut apart those things that Allah has commanded to be joined, and work mischief in the land—on them is the Curse, and for them is Hell.  –The Qur’an, Surah 13:25 Four Americans were killed this week by renegade Muslims, ostensibly because of […]

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Coconut Island

Once upon a time there was an island.  On this island there was a group of people known as the Vespuccians.  They lived at relative peace with each other.  Like people everywhere, they had squabbles, but they were united in their love for one thing- coconuts.  They ate coconuts and wore coconuts.  They drank coconut […]

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Murderers

The string of homicides gaining national attention over the last few weeks have caused me to reminisce about the murderers I’ve known.  Working in an urban outpatient clinic for substance abusers caused me to meet more than a few.  A majority of the people who walked in our doors were in trouble with the law, […]

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And In This Corner. . .

Over the course of the next two weeks, we will be treated to the Republican and Democratic national conventions.  Political bloviation and professional hypocrisy will reach excruciating heights, and then we’ll elect a president nine weeks later.  Or maybe I should say the Electoral College will select one in December. Whoever chooses the guy, all […]

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Truth Is Always Painful

When I counseled drug addicts, I frequently dealt with people who had lost all sense of direction.  They couldn’t tell up from down, or good from bad, and lied so often that the truth was no longer clear even to them.  Did Bill really see that movie or was it simply an excuse he gave […]

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This Essay Is Not For Sale, Unless You’re Paying With Money

One of the less recognized aspects of the American Revolution was its usefulness as a business venture.  The French, Russian, and Chinese revolutions were all revolts empowered by peasants, but that’s not true for the revolt that created the United States.  The American colonists were more affluent, on average, than the populace back in England, […]

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