Tuesday, December 31, 2013


I’m sorry that I made a big mess
It was a bad one, I do confess,
but thank you so much for cleaning it up,
the dirty shirt, the scattered cards, the spilled cup,
whatever else I left on the floor,
and even that brown smudge on the door,
I see that it is clean.
The whole house is clean.
You made everything clean.

Thanks for all the good things
you have done and you have said.
Thanks for sharing the blanket
when it’s time to go to bed.
Thank you for bringing warmth
into this small, cold house.
Thank you for being my friend, 
and thank you for being my spouse. 

Payson Roundup Tacitly Endorses Rabbit Abuse!

The editors of the Payson Roundup must be in cahoots with bunny peddlers! They refused to publish this letter to the editor my mother-in-law and I co-wrote a few weeks ago.


On the day after Thanksgiving I had an enjoyable evening with my husband, my children and my grandchildren walking around Swiss Village. We went into art and music shops, nibbled delicious cookies and sipped hot cocoa, listened to a country band play Christmas carols, and we even saw Santa. Thanks to all the people behind the scenes, merchants and city leaders, who make this wonderful annual event happen.

However, there was one attraction that night that did not attract me. In fact, it repulsed me. There was a small plastic pool filled with cold water. The water must have been very cold because the temperature that night was in the forties. In the water were glass bowls that floated. On the ground outside the pool, there were a bunch of rabbits huddled up together. The lady running the attraction handed out balls, for a small fee, to children, and the children tried to throw the balls into the bowls. If their ball landed in a bowl, guess what they got? A rabbit.

There are a few problems with this. First, the baby rabbits were cold. They got even colder when the frigid water splashed onto them. How do you think a grandmother like me feels when she sees cute animals being mistreated this way? How do you think the rabbits feel?

But perhaps worst of all is the very idea of “winning” a “free” rabbit and taking it home that night. Do you think these children were prepared to care for a rabbit? Do you think that the kids had the appropriate food, shelter, and equipment for owning a rabbit? Probably not.

So to whoever is in charge of organizing the Christmas activities, if you want to bring the rabbits back next year, that’s fine. But next time, put them in a warm display case or even in a humane petting zoo. Don’t keep them out in the cold, splash them with ice-cold water, and don’t dispense them as prizes to children who are unprepared to properly care for them.

On a Cereal Box for Children

An arc of bright marshmallows
set stark on a sparkling cover.
Extending from the open palms of the little man
dressed in green are the chunks of sugar:
heart, star, horseshoe, shamrock,
blue moon, golden pot, rainbow, balloon.
Eight marshmallows, expanding,
and the leprechaun’s upward-gazing eyes
lock upon the words “Giant Size.”

And indeed the size is giant.
The magnitude of this box,
the weight of this dry, cold cereal,
the expanding force of the sparkles,
have not yet been calculated,
no, cannot be calculated,
by the instruments contrived
by the minds of men.

This is no mere breakfast.

And the charm-eating children
who aren’t so lucky-
what are they getting?
More than a meal,
and more than 110 calories
per ¾ cup serving.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

There Ought To Be Words

There ought to be words
when the Eternal God causes
another baby to be born.

There ought to be words
when from innocence
these children are torn.

There ought to be words
when a bride is presented
to a groom to be married.

There ought to be words
when dead bodies are
dressed, lowered and buried.

And when the new priest
sits in the old priest’s seat,
and when the next chief
cuts into animal meat,
there ought to be words,
words of the ceremony
words of the Big Soul.

And after the words,
there ought to be silence.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

SOS 501: Introduction to the Study of Studies

Samples various studies across the collegiate curriculum,
finding presentation and expression in, um,
a myriad of modalities through the medium of modules
designed with/to/for/through/against telekinetic duels
occurring, ostensibly, through the doings of the Occult,
thus we’ll summon the real professor: a textual lightning bolt.

Examines and mines -hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to school we go- glue.
We’ll be sniffing it extensively, on Tuesdays, at dawn. If you
oppose, on moral or mental grounds, the sniffing of glue,
then taking this course is not recommended for you.
Instead you should go be a farmer and grow some yellow corn,
or you could be a tailor. You could mend that which is torn.

Spelunks the gamut of hierarchies, patriarchies, nubs,
tubs, bubs, stubs, subs (war machines and sandwiches), glubs,
reconsidering retirement home politics of exclusion, the forest of illusion,
cocoa collusion during Bingo, mango and pepper-jack fusion,
creating real-world slap-happy applications of radical Eco-feminism
which include the formation of wind-chimes from discarded forks.

Prerequisites: open heart, open mind, open wallet.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

To A Young Protestor

Why do you spend your spring afternoons
on the grounds of city hall
marching back and forth,
waving signs and yelling?

Here’s how you’ll make a real difference:
Go to church. Find a woman you’d like to love,
woo her, marry her, care for her.
Care for her more than you care for yourself.
Care for her more than you care
for whatever cause you’re yelling about.

Have a home full of children,
work an honorable job,
live an honorable life,
and teach your children to do the same.

If none of that works out,
at least take a break once in a while.
Find a few flowers and give
them away to strangers passing by.
Everybody likes flowers.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ron Paul

Ron Paul is a nice old man
with a lot of really neat ideas.
These days he rides a bicycle
around a tiny Texas town
exercising his liberty
by riding without a helmet
and laughing at armadillos
even though the armadillos
aren’t funny.

If he rides by your house,
go ahead and wave
and he’ll wave back
and go ahead and smile,
and he’ll smile back.
It’s good. Ron Paul likes smiling.

And then what does he do?
Well, he passes out of view,
pedals his bike for another mile or two,
then slows, stops, dismounts, dithers a bit, and secludes
himself among a wild patch of mushrooms.

He mumbles ‘til the sun goes down,
when his smile surrenders to a frown.
And his face darkens.
His arms rise and fall,
Rise and fall with fingers spread,
faster, faster, flapping, flapping,
flapping like the wings of an angry bat!

Flapping against the United Nations!
Flapping against foreign aid!
Flapping against the Patriot Act!
Flapping against the Federal Reserve!
Flapping against the military-industrial complex!
Flapping against the moneychangers in the temple of the Constitution!

And after a while he’ll go back to his bike
and cycle himself to some place that he likes,
such as the local John Birch Society tree-fort.

But to tell the truth he’s not a bad guy.
In fact, I’d welcome Ron Paul living nearby.
We need more men like Ron Paul
who are willing to fight and willing to die
for liberty.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Fight and Sprint

Hello everyone, my name is Riley,
and I have a disease called ADHD.
What does that acronym stand for?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

This condition means I can’t pay attention
I spend most of my school-time bound in detention
I have unsatisfactory abilities of knowledge retention
My teachers say I’m poor at comprehension
I want to scream and fight and sprint and explode
and I’m sorry.

It was never my intention
to do this to any of you.

I try to behave. I try to sit still.
I try to submit to you my will.
But the only times I ever do
are when I swallow a blasted pill.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Things That Wake Me Up in the Middle of the Night

The phone
Screaming cats
Cats attacking other cats
Bad dreams
My wife accidentally kicking me
My wife flopping over

My wife nudging me on purpose
Vivid dreams or visions
I don’t know which
A stranger crawling into my bed
OK that only happened once
In college
He was drunk 
He thought he was in his room
But really it was my room
Good ghosts

Bad ghosts
Car alarms
The train whistling
Loud rain
It’s too cold
Gotta go to the bathroom
It’s too hot

Gotta puke
Crazy cramp in my right calf
Pain pain pain
Cop cars
Fire trucks
OK not gunshots
I’m in a nice neighborhood
The baby crying

The other kid crying
My wife crying because the kids are crying
Alarm clocks that play music
Alarm clocks that just beep

A sudden feeling  
A sudden thought
People asking, “Are you awake?”

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The First Time Charlie Cooked Bacon

Charlie, barely beginning to grow hair on his chin,
Is alone in the house, looking bored, once again.
He’s a typical latchkey kid you’d find these days,
A video-game addict who never works and never prays.
It’s six o’clock, and there’s no sign of his mother.
What makes this day different than any other?

The boy’s forefathers were ranchers, butchers, and mountain men.
Their ghosts are flying.  Into Charlie’s abode they enter in.
The boy does not see them, but his ancestors are there,
A few lean by the door, a bearded man floats in the air.

The invisible men stare intently at the young man
And something pulls him to the kitchen, to look for a pan.
He sets it on the stove and lights the little fire.
Bacon is on his mind. Bacon is his desire.

Monday, October 21, 2013

The thing that I like about poetry is

I can do whatever I want
and I can write about whatever I want
and now I wanna write about myself
and the way I feel about myself
and the way my feelings feel about myself
and I, myself, dedicate this poem to myself

and I can ; put semi-colons;
wherever I wanna put semi-colons;
and you can’t see me sitting at the
keyboard typing this poem about myself
but I’m dressed up like a tiger
and in fact I really am a tiger ;


people can’t make an entire stanza
out of one little conjunction
but tigers can ; and if you don’t
know what a stanza or a conjunction is then

and I don’t even have to finish my senten
or offer anybody a complete th-
and if I wanna change subjects
whenever I want, and if I wanna
use the word “winsome” even though
I don’t know what it means;

and another thing I like about poetry is
I can just introduce a new character
whenever I want, depending on how I feel,
and he’s a goblin and his name is Perry
and he’s winsome and he’s got an enchanted amulet
and Perry’s amulet is small but it’s really all a big
metaphor for post-modernism
and you’ll never see Perry again;

and another thing I like about poetry is
I don’t ever have to go to the library
or learn stuff about stuff; I mean; it’s so cool;
like I had this dream last night,
and I was a boa-constrictor;
munch-munch-munching on the marshmallow-flavored
bark of a Tummy-Tummy-Tum-Tum Tree

tubby bonk! tubby bonk! tubby tubby tubby bonk!

and all those old poets had to rhyme
and all those old poets had to go live
in the woods for a while and ponder
and sit on a boulder or stare at a stream

and sometimes people ask me,
“Why didn’t you pay your phone bill?”
and I just say, “I’m a poet,”
and sometimes people ask me,
“Why didn’t you put the laundry away?”
and I just say, “I’m a poet,”
and sometimes people ask me,
“Why’d you disguise yourself as your father,
withdraw all the money from his bank account,
and buy two-hundred and thirty-seven exotic rocks?”
and I just say, “You should have seen those rocks,”

and when somebody asks me
what I do for a living I just look
them right back in the eyes and say
“I make my living with this,”
and I point to my love-soul
and sometimes they say
“No, really, what is it that you… do?”
and I just say,
“I look at cactus, man… I look at cactus.”

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Vote No on the JO Combs Unified School District Budget Increase

Dear Readers,

Right now there is a mail-in only election going on in my neck of the woods.  There's only one question on the ballot.  Vote yes for a 5% school district budget increase or vote no to keep the budget the way it is.  I'm voting no. 

This is a tough vote for me.  I know some people that teach there and they say the class sizes are getting bigger.  Also, Arizona is not a very good state for teachers' salaries.  Teaching is one of the hardest jobs out there.  I think Arizona teachers should get paid more in Arizona.  Teachers often end up spending their own money on classroom supplies.  I sympathize with these teachers, and I sympathize with the students trapped in failing public schools. But throwing more money at the problem isn't the solution.  The solution is to cut administrative costs, or to abandon public schools altogether and educate our young in some other way. 

Well... honestly I think that the public school model is broken, or at least severely damaged, and that we ought to do what we can to switch kids over to private schools, parochial schools, charter schools, home schools and apprenticeships. 

I'm voting no.  That doesn't make me a bad person, does it?


Tuesday, October 15, 2013


My son, the time has come for you to learn
the proper way to act around our saguaro cactus.
Don’t touch it.  Don’t hit it with a stick
and don’t hit it with anything else.
Remember where the cactus is
so you don’t accidentally run into it
when you’re playing
hide-and-go-seek or capture the flag.
All you do is look at it.  Keep looking.

One of these days you’ll appreciate this saguaro.
One of these days you’ll be glad this cactus is here.
One of these days you’ll be lonely, and when you are,
come outside and sit next to this cactus.

Sit down in the dirt
or go get a folding chair from the shed.
Look at the cactus for a while and
look away for a while.
The important thing is that you’re near the cactus,
within five feet, for a long time.
Doesn’t it feel good to be
next to a giant, silent, living thing?

And one of these days the monsoons will come.
The sky will darken in the summer afternoon,
rain will pour from the clouds to the earth,
and the wind will blow and blow and blow,
and in the wind,
the branches of the mesquite trees will sway,
the paddles of the prickly pear will sway,
but the arms of the saguaro cactus will not sway.

When the storm passes, if you wait a while,
you’ll see a lizard climbing among the needles,
and a cardinal perched on the saguaro’s peak.
This saguaro cactus will stand upright,
sturdy as a stone, letting those animals visit.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Psyduck, Pokemon # 054

Psyduck’s a duck, but not precisely.
“Monster,” is fitting: a feathery creature
Whose dark and destructive cerebral powers
Give rise to his most frightful distinguishing feature.

(His most frightful distinguishing feature, by the way,
Is a BAM BAM ray that blasts out of his big yellow head.)

Psyduck gets headaches that hurt his duck head;
And Psyduck gets headaches that hurts everyone, too!
And one time Psyduck got an ache in his skull
Which led to the destruction of Pikachu!

Ouch! Did you feel that? It’s him, and his head!
Psyduck's head is in your head.
Soon you'll find his mind in your mind.
Yikes! Now I’m scared to recline in my bed!

Psyduck is all around us. Psyduck is expanding.

Lugia, Pokemon # 249

Oh most noble and airborne Lugia,
Pokemon classified as legendary,
Hast thou descended from the Land of the Giant
Or the Magical Tree-Tops of the Fairy?
Nay, for these places are merely fictitious.
The reality of your actual existence is much more delicious.
Your home, Oh majestic Lugia, lies in golden afternoon skies.
I’m perceiving a gigantic platter of actually-perceived blueberry pies,
Which are yummy, and really really really really real,
Pies which cause our mouths to water, our tongues to tasty-feel,
Because these now-perceived fourteen pies are sublime,
More than Snorlax Sublime, more than Charizard Sublime,
Yes, the sublimity of the pies is best digested, not by analogy,
But by a thrice-repeated pronouncement, pronouncing their actuality:
The pies are Lugia Sublime, Lugia Sublime, Lugia Sublime!
Also, a blueberry pie has blue in it,
and you, Lugia, have blue in you, too.

Were you formed in the Dank Dark Depths
Of the Very Cosmic Womb of the Cosmically
Dank and Dark Poke-Mother of the Poke-Force?
Are you the mystical power which gives rise
To Ash Ketchum’s imperialistic drive,
The power which enables all the Pokemon to remain alive,
And imbues all the Pokemon with the will to thrive?
Or are you the Son of this mystical power?
Or the Nephew? Or the Nephew’s Cousin’s Business Partner?

Ah, but you speak no answer, because, like all
Pokemon, excepting Team Rocket’s Meowth,
You are forever bound by the Poke-Force to talk
Only in utterances of your own name.  What a shame.
For I ‘twould love to hear you speak,
In words replete with sense, in sentences complete.
But we, for now, ‘twill have to settle,
Since only your sounds “Loo,”  “Ge,” and “Uh,”
Are permitted to bespeak your mettle.

What Pokeball can contain your greatness?
What Pokedex can describe you in fullness?
What Poke-illustration can Poke-illustrate you?
Seriously, Lugia, you’re downright Poke-mysterious!

I’ve only seen you but once in my life,
When after a day of battling and strife,
I sat by a rock on a mountain’s peak.
‘Twas then that I caught a glimmer of your beak.
And then your wings were revealed to my view,
And then your belly, your back, your wing feathers too.
I stood and I stared.  I dared not say a word.
Lo! Perching before me was a legendary Pokemon bird!

All massive, all terrible, all very sublime,
And I knew this would be the first and last time
I would see you.  ‘Twas as if I was fixed in a haze.
Upon your midnight eyes I fixed my gaze.
I looked at you.  You looked at me.
Our eyes locked for an eternity.
I retrieved a Pokeball from my leathern knapsack
and dreamed of the day when for me you would attack.

I pressed a button, watched the ball enlarge;
I was going to show Lugia who was in charge.
But alas, before my Pokeball’s size fully increased,
My plans for domination were prematurely ceased,
For you were in majestic flight,
headed off into the starry night.
And you flew away, away, out of my sight.
I wanted to throw rocks.  I wanted to fight.

I was furious then, but now, everything’s all right.
Lugia belongs in his home in the sky.
Don’t tie him down.  Don’t even try.
Maybe we really don’t need to catch them all.
Prideful acquisition will lead to our fall.
At least one Pokemon should be allowed to get away,
Poke-fans, keep this in mind next time you play.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Bulbasaur, Pokemon # 001

Bulbasaur is the first in the Pokedex,
The first creature on the list.
If you say he’s number two or three,
He may punch you with his fist.
Yes, our sturdy Bulbasaur is a preeminent Japanese fighter.
Poke him and you’ll discover he’s also a first-class biter.

But pray pardon, gentle readers,
Your humble Poke-bard hath misspoken.
For ‘tis not a fist Bulbasaur doth possess,
but a noble elongated stump, unbroken.
It is green, and beneath the stump are three spike-toes.
Now let us all proceed to the nose.

His nose consists of two black dots,
Located above the mouth, in the center of his face.
‘Tis a wide-set lump of a snout, nigh invisible;
Gaze briefly and you’d miss the whole nose place.
Yet the utility of Bulbasaur’s nostrils cannot be understated
Many a time have they sniffed more than was anticipated.

They have smelt fear!
They have smelt flowers!
They have smelt Vulpix!
They have smelt so many crazy smells and what’s really crazy is that sometimes other Pokemon want him to stop smelling because he just smells all the time and so they give him dirty looks but Bulbasaur just keeps on smelling over and over despite their glowers!

Shall I compare Bulbasaur to a dinosaur?
Bulbasaur is like the T-Rex dinosaur- he roars.
He is like the pterodactyl: with wings he soars.
Metaphorically.  Bulbasaurs do not have wings,
If you want to get technical.
But metaphorically speaking Bulbasaurs are also meteorites
that bash crash bang bang bang into Planet Earth
And kill all the dinosaurs with a furious bashing.
No, Bulbasaurs cannot literally fly,
but with such words being written, I bid goodbye.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Magmar, Pokemon # 126

Instead of fingers he’s got spikes.
His flame-head torches anything it likes.
He’s got fire coming out of his tail.
If you battle him, you will fail.

He could beat up a Jigglypuff.
 He could beat up a Wigglytuff.
He could beat up a Snorlax.
He could beat up another Snorlax.

You wanna know if Magmar could beat up
A Jigglypuff and a Wigglytuff
And a Snorlax and another Snorlax combined?
Yes, he could.

Listen! He grunts out “mag…”
Listen! He grunts out “mar!”
And when you follow “Mag” with “Mar,”
You wanna know what you get?
You get his whole name, which is Magmar,
And that’s the name he says over and over, Magmar,
Really, all he ever says is Magmar, Magmar, Magmar!

Anyway, Magmar eats lava!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Is Pope Francis Waffling on Hot-Button Issues?

Dear Readers,

Did I say in the last post I would only write one more post about homosexuality?  What I really meant to say is... uh... no I'm not.

Recently a lot of liberals have been rejoicing over some comments Pope Francis has made about homosexuality.  I just want to give a bit of advice about determining what Pope Francis is really saying.

Read the context.  Instead of reading a few quotes or headlines, read entire articles.  Slate magazine's headline was, "Pope Francis is a Flaming Liberal."  The person who wrote that headline has little understanding of Pope Francis and frankly, little understanding of God.  Primary sources trump secondary sources.  Read the entire interview in question.  Don't read his words filtered through National Public Radio or Slate.com or the Huffington Post or other liberal sources.  And don't even read the Pope's words through the filters of Breitbart.com or World Net Daily or other conservative sources.  Read the primary source material for yourself and see what you think. 

Place more emphasis on the Pope's official sermons, not on his off-the-cuff remarks during interviews.  Remember, it's the media- and Telemoonfa Time, apparently- who are obsessed with the hot-button issues like abortion and gay marriage.  But what does the Pope choose to focus on?  He chooses to focus on Jesus Christ.  In that interview, perhaps the crucial line is, "the most important thing is the first proclamation: Jesus Christ has saved you."  And what do his public sermons focus on?  Read them and find out.  Here's one that I read and enjoyed, called "Truth is a Person."

Be wary of the media's bias and ignorance.  There have been a ka-zillion articles about the Pope's "changing tone" and his "progressive" ways.  When was the last time there was a flurry of articles written about the Pope visiting poor people and preaching the gospel to them?

And if you want to, read my spin on what the Pope was trying to say, which is as follows:

Pope Francis did not change doctrine.  In his extemporaneous responses during this relaxed interview, he did not overrule 2,000 years of Catholic teaching on homosexuality.  He explained that he chooses not to repeatedly condemn gay people because it isn't very helpful.  Pope Francis emphasizes that God loves gay people. 

(I hesitate to use the terms "gay Christians" or "gay people" because those terms reinforce the notion that homosexuality is an inseparable component of a person's identity.  I would rather use the terms, "those who struggle with same-sex attraction" or "those who identify as gay" but they are kind of long and cumbersome, much like this parenthetical interjection.)

In other words, Pope Francis said that God loves sinners.  Is this news?  One of the beautiful things about the gospel of Jesus Christ is the idea that Christ descended from his throne on high and humbled Himself so much that he was born as a baby to a lowly mortal family in the humblest of circumstances, in a stable in Bethlehem.  During his mortal ministry, Christ reached out to sinners.  He broke bread with them, he walked with them, he lived with them.  He dealt with people as individuals.  He knew best how to serve each individual and bring him or her closer to spiritual wellness, perfection, salvation and divinity.  I think the Pope in his remarks is acting very Christ-like.  When Christ encountered the woman caught in adultery, he said, "neither do I condemn thee.  Go thy way and sin no more."  I think the Pope's attitude is that instead of badgering the point that God forbids X, Y, and Z, let's do our best to heal people's wounds, let's tell them the good news of redemption and mercy.  Once a person is converted to Christ, the convert will gradually change his or her life to one that is more in harmony with Christ's teachings.  

The Pope's attitude reminds me so much of the wise words of Mother Theresa. 

We are not social workers but contemplatives in the world….I cannot analyze systems, economic patterns and ideologies… There are in the world those who struggle for justice and human rights and who try to change structures. We are not inattentive to this but our daily contact is with men who do not even have a piece of bread to eat. Our mission is to look at the problem more individually and not collectively. We care for a person and not a multitude.

Those who argue for or against gay marriage are interested in analyzing structures and ideologies.  Don't get me wrong.  Arguing for or against laws, structures and ideologies have their place.  Government leaders have to do it.  But for most of us common people, the best thing to do is to pray for the guidance of the Holy Ghost and then interact with people as Jesus did, as individuals on a case by case basis, meeting them where they are, and doing your best to sympathize, to help, and to point them to God. 

Peace be with you.


Scripture, Tradition, Church Leaders, the Holy Spirit: What Do They Say about Homosexuality?

Dear Readers,

OK, one more post about homosexuality and then I can move on to other subjects that we'd all enjoy a little more.

Historically, Christians have decried homosexual acts as sinful.  They draw on at least four sources to justify their position: 1) scriptures 2) tradition 3) Ecclesiastical authority 4) the mystical guidance of the Holy Spirit.  And really, these are the only four sources that Christians have to look to when determining whether anything is sinful.

1) The scriptures that are frequently used to defend heterosexuality and traditional marriage include the following:

Genesis 2: 18 - 25, the creation of Adam and Eve, God's endorsement of their marriage.

Genesis 19: 24 + 25, God's destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, which were cities rife with homosexuality.

Leviticus 18:22, the law of God revealed to Moses, which specifically forbids homosexual acts.

Romans 1: 24 - 27, Paul's condemnation.

There is also the general heteronormativity that prevails throughout the Bible.  All throughout the Bible, God's people have been heterosexual, and they have been commanded to not commit adultery.  

2) Tradition.  Modern Christians who honor the customs of their Christian forbearers have got to recognize that Christendom has always been overwhelmingly heterosexual.  This is the way Christians have organized their societies since time out of mind.  There have been experiments with polygamy, as with the Mormons, and experiments with celibacy, as with the Shakers.  But these are aberrations from the norm, and they also fit within traditional understandings of sexuality.  There has never been a widespread, long-lasting Christian experiment with homosexuality.  It just hasn't been done. 

3) Ecclesiastical authority.  To list all the condemnations of homosexual acts by Christian leaders would fill volumes.  A few church leaders who have spoken clearly on this subject come to mind: Joel Osteen, Elder Boyd K. Packer, Cardinal George, Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham, and the guys from Chick-Filet.  Also, gay couples have not been married in Christian churches.  Oh, there may be a few Christian groups who perform commitment ceremonies for gay couples, but these groups are very new and very small.  The men and women at the top of church hierarchies have overwhelmingly condemned homosexual acts as sinful.

4) The mystical guidance of the Holy Spirit.  OK, this source of authority is pretty squishy.  It's very difficult to distinguish the Holy Spirit from emotions.  There are plenty of gay people who claim that they are totally at peace with God, even while continuing their gay lifestyle.  But I'll just go ahead and assert that the Holy Spirit has confirmed to me that homosexual acts are sinful.

Despite these four sources of authority for Christians, some of the faithful have wavered on their stance on homosexuality.  Some have been timid to speak up about the subject, while some have gone so far as to reverse their positions and advocate acceptance of homosexual acts.  Steve Chalke, for example, an evangelical pastor in England who heads a church of 20,000, now openly supports gay marriage.  And then there is a new American group called NALT (Not All Like That).  They're a group of self-described Christians who support gay marriage.  Pastors like Chalke and groups like NALT have developed methods to topple the aforementioned four sources of authority.

As for scripture, they reduce its authoritative power.  They point to errors and contradictions in the Bible, and they claim much of the Biblical text is figurative.  But the chief tool of the "gay Christian," though, might be giving Scripture the cold shoulder.  They ignore it.  Instead of delivering sermons based on a close reading of the Bible, they babble about God's universal love, tolerance and acceptance of nearly everyone and everything.  They preach that everything is hunky-dory.  They tacitly introduce the ideas that maybe there is no Devil and you really don't need to go to church very often and you really don't need to be extreme in your religious devotion.  Just take things easy, they say, go with the flow, and love everyone.  And "gay Christians" love to remind people that Jesus was all about love and mercy and that Jesus was harshest to the hypocritical hyper-religious Scribes and Pharisees, and they love to remind people to "judge not." 

(Personally, I don't understand those Christians who are constantly telling others not to judge anyone.  Are Christians to understand that we aren't supposed to distinguish between good and evil?  Or, are we to understand that when we do distinguish between good and evil, we shouldn't talk very much about the distinction?  Are we not supposed to encourage others to forsake their idol gods and follow the teachings of Christ?) 

2) Christians who support gay marriage tear down the authority of tradition mostly by ignoring it.  They claim a new day has dawned, or that God has created a lot of gay people now, or that Christians in the past were homophobic and intolerant.

3) Christians who support gay marriage diminish the authority of church leaders by disagreeing with them, arguing with them, and disassociating with them.

4) As for the Holy Spirit's authority, it's pretty easy for Christians to claim that the Holy Spirit is telling them that homosexuals are born that way and that they should have the right to marry whoever they love and so on.

Of course, I side with the traditional sources of authority in Christendom.  I think that the Scriptures, tradition, church leaders, and the Holy Spirit are clear.  I think they all point to homosexual acts being sinful.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Homosexual Behavior is Sinful.

Dear Readers,

I wrote this post a year or two ago, and I deleted it.  But now I'm upset that the Matthew Shepard story turned out to be false, so I'll put this back up.  I feel the same way now about homosexuality as I did when I originally wrote this.  I believe that acting out on homosexual desires is a choice.  I don't think people are born gay.  Let me say, though, that I'm a sinner too. Feel free to point out my sins to me.


Dear Readers,

George Orwell wrote that "Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four."

Well, 2 + 2 = 4, and homosexual behavior is sinful.

I know this offends some people. I'm not trying to be offensive; I'm just trying to proclaim the beautiful truth that there is right and wrong in the world. I want to add my voice to the many others who assert that God has spoken to us, his children, through scriptures, through prophets, through nature, and through his spiritual influence and He has declared homosexual behavior to be sinful. That's what the Jews believe, that's what most Christians believe, that's certainly what the Muslims believe, and that's what I believe.

We're living in a world that is increasingly accepting of homosexuality. It seems like the voices in favor of homosexuality are growing louder and that the voices opposed to homosexuality are growing quieter.

I've been kind of shocked at the way conservative radio talk shows in my neck of the woods have handled the Sheriff Paul Babeu story. If you haven't heard, Arizona Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is gay. He took a racy picture of himself and texted it to his now ex-lover. The scandal has been all over the news. My beef is, almost all of the "conservative" talk radio shows, mostly the great Mike Broomhead show, have said, "Hey, we don't care that Sheriff Babeu is gay. He's a good Sheriff. Who cares what he does in his bedroom? Maybe he shouldn't have sent the pictures, but I have no problem with supporting him."

Well, I do have a problem with supporting Sheriff Babeu, especially for his bid for U.S. Representative in the new CD 4. I've decided to vote for the other Paul, the dentist from Flagstaff, Paul Gosar. I like state senator Ron Gould, but I don't think he has much of a chance. I think the CD 4 Republican primary is turning into a two man race between Gosar and Babeu. And yes, the gay issue has helped me make up my mind. I'm not alone. I know there are a lot of conservative, religious folks in the rural parts of Arizona- people who Babeu seeks to represent- who won't vote for him because he's gay.

Is it bigoted to vote against Babeu because he's gay? I don't think so. Well, I don't know. Maybe it is. But is being bigoted such a bad thing? And what does that word "bigot" mean, anyway? I think the word gets thrown around too much. It's a way of labeling people, dismissing them, and ending thoughtful conversations. Someone once said that taxonomy is the death of science. Along that same vein, I'm saying that label-lobbing is the end of meaningful political discourse.

See, I don't think it's bigoted to vote against Romney because he's Mormon, either. If I sincerely thought that Mormonism was a Satanic cult, I couldn't in good conscience vote for a Mormon. Romney has to understand that he's going to lose some votes, if only a small fraction, because of his religion. Likewise, Babeu has to understand that his sexual orientation is going to lose him some votes. And I think he lost my vote.

Now, will I support him for Sheriff, if he runs for re-election? I haven't made up my mind yet. There's a big difference between enforcing the laws and making the laws. I don't feel comfortable with a homosexual making laws regarding the family. A homosexual at his or her core can't share my pro-traditional-family, Christian values.

Look, Democrats were tickled pink in 2008 when they had the choice between nominating the first black President or the first female President. Why? Shouldn't Democrats have been more concerned about policies and records, not gender and race? Well, identity politics these days preaches that our elected representatives ought to not only represent our political beliefs, but also our ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and whatever other category the liberals can make up. Today liberals are complaining that there aren't enough Asian-Americans in Congress. Tomorrow they'll be complaining that there aren't enough bronies in Congress.

Well, if the Left can use identity politics when it suits their purposes, why can't the Right? Sheriff Paul Babeu is a gay man. That's his identity. I'd rather not have someone with that identity representing me, or executing law and order. His "alternative lifestyle" goes against God's laws, and God's order. And his homosexual actions may be against man's laws, too. Are there still anti-fornication laws or some vaguely-worded indecency statute on the books?

To be fair, I want to say that Paul Babeu is a great man. He's a hero, in many respects. He has more guts than I do when it comes to defending the country. He was a Marine for 20 years. He keeps me and my family safe from Mexican drug cartels and from local ragamuffins, and for that I thank him. I wish more people shared his zeal for public service and his sense of fiscal restraint and national defense. But when it comes to social conservatism, Babeu's dead wrong.

But I even hesitate to vote for him for Sheriff. Would Jesus vote for him? Sometimes I wonder if Jesus would even be a registered voter. Wouldn't it kind of taint the Messiah's divine reputation if he belonged to a political party? I feel comfortable picturing Christ as a Republican, though. Ha ha ha. No, just kidding... sort of.

Having more gay people in power is bad for the moral fabric of the country. It teaches children that it's OK to be gay. But it's not OK to be gay! It's actually very very bad! Or maybe I should say that it's okay if you struggle with same-gender attraction, as long as you don't act on your carnal impulses. My advice to gay people would be, either go celibate, or get in a heterosexual, chaste relationship, and then fake it 'til you make it!

(This isn't hate speech. This is love speech. I love homosexuals. Christians strive to love the sinner, but hate the sin.)


We Were Lied To About Matthew Shepard

Dear Readers,

Remember how in our high school history classes we learned that the greedy and heartless nineteenth-century white invaders massacred the buffalo as an act of war against the Indians?  We were lied to. The native Americans were killing buffalo in massive numbers before the white men ever did.

And remember how driving a car and using a plastic grocery bag is responsible for the death of countless polar bears?  Well, the truth is, human-caused global warming is a hoax.  IT'S A HOAX!!!  Sadly, millions of people are still being lied to about this.  When is Al Gore going to come clean?

And today I find out that Matthew Shepard was not the victim of a hate crime. It turns out that Matthew Shepard was killed by a bi-sexual guy high on meth.  Shepard's horrendous torture and murder had nothing to do with homophopia, and so Shepard should no longer be held up as a martyr in the cause for gay rights.

Man, the Matthew Shepard thing was such a huge deal when I was a youngster.  MTV broadcasted candlelight vigils and memorial services for the guy for weeks on MTV.  And in college I read The Laramie Project, a popular play based on the murder of Matthew Shepard.  It was all about homophobia and intolerance and how we need to be more accepting of alternative lifestyles.

And we were lied to about Benghazi.  It wasn't a You-Tube video that inspired a riot that got out of control.  It was a premeditated terrorist attack by Muslim extremists on the anniversary of 9/11. 

And we were lied to about Mitt Romney.  He's a good man.  And he was right about just about everything!  I guess there's no use fighting battles that have already been lost.  Gosh, how I wish he were the President today.

So, the government lies to us, and the media lies to us, and schoolteachers lie to us.  Sometimes the liars know they are lying.  Sometimes they don't.  Sometimes they think their lies serve a good purpose, and so are justified.  Maybe that's true. There are cases in which lying is moral.  But lying about Matthew Shepard to advance a political agenda is not moral.

I just hope that after I die I find out the truth about everything.


Friday, September 13, 2013

His Grace is Sufficient by Brad Wilcox

Dear Readers, I recently came across this wonderful talk by Brad Wilcox on the subject of grace. This message needs to get out to the world. I really enjoyed it. I thought you might enjoy it too. Sincerely, Telemoonfa

Monday, September 9, 2013

Persecution of Christians

Dear Readers,

Here's a paragraph from Book 8 in The History of the Church by Eusebius, a historian who lived from 260 - 339 AD:

It was the nineteenth year of Diocletian's reign and the month Dystrus, called March by the Romans, and the festival of the Savir's Passion was approaching, when an imperial decree was published everywhere, ordering the churches to be razed to the ground and the Scriptures destroyed by fire, and giving notice that those in places of honour would lose their places, and domestic staff, if they continued to profess Christianity, would be deprived of their liberty.  Such was the first edict against us.  Soon afterwards other decrees arrived in rapid succession, ordering that the presidents of the churches in every place should all be first committed to prison and then coerced by every possible means into offering sacrifice [to the pagan Roman gods].

Eusebius goes on in the next several pages to describe all the persecution of Christians he witnessed firsthand.  He saw men, women, and children tortured and killed by the Romans for calling themselves Christians. Some were fed to lions.  Some were crucified upside down.  If they renounced Christ, they were given freedom, and if they clung to their religion, they were killed.

I have no idea what that level of persecution is like.  I hope I never find out.  I'm glad I live in America. 

Oh, I've been made to feel uncomfortable because of my religion.  I've been given dirty looks on the rare occasions when I've publicly stood up for Christian morality.  But I can withstand feeling awkward and being given the cold shoulder. And being a Christian is a lot easier now that I live in the suburbs.  It was harder when I was an English and theater major at a public University, where most of the professors and students were pretty secular.

But would I really stand up for Jesus Christ if my life depended on it?  I hope so.  I hope I would be motivated by the scripture, in Matthew 10:28, "Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell."

So, here in America I think most of the soft persecution of Christians comes from atheists and agnostics.  I think the persecution will get worse over the course of my life. 

But over in the Middle East, in Syria more specifically, the persecution of Christians is insane.  Just like in the ancient Roman Empire, they kill you if you don't bow to their gods.  The radical Muslims will kill you if you don't convert.  See, radical Muslims are going into Christian villages in Syria, and telling the residents, "Either you convert to Islam, or you will be beheaded."

What a crazy world we're living in.  


Friday, August 16, 2013

My Desire for Pork

Whenever a red cow enters intensely
Into the gloomy gloom-ridden inner town
Of my gloomiest, yes, gloomiest indeed, inward heart-
And, yes, the town inside my inward heart is real and it’s
called the Blood-Heart-Town-Inside-My-Heart Town-
I think thoughts that are so very… very… thoughtful…

Would you like to hear my thoughts?
Ah!  With such thoughtfulness they are fraught!

The cow symbolizes all of us, all of our lives,
Everyday, forever, and all of the things we do,
and do not do, with everyone, or without them,
And the color red evokes passion,
And the color green represents the green color of green
shamrocks that are, in essence, pink,
And the color pink means you stink,
And the color purple symbolizes all the other colors combined,
And when the cow stomps that just means he’s hungry.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

NAU's 2013 -2014 Theatre Season

Dear Readers,

Well folks, it’s that time of year again when your friendly neighborhood busybody complains about the debauchery going on at the Northern Arizona University Theatre Department in Flagstaff, Arizona, as evidenced by this year's selection of plays. 

I complained about the 2010 -2011 season here.

I complained more about the 2011-2012 season here.

In the years 2012-2013, I kept complaining, here.

(Also, way back in 2009, I complained about one play in particular that I saw, Catholic School Girls, here. The play is an assault on Catholicism, God, and religion.  And yet, at the end of the play, when the lights faded, I was among those in the audience clapping. Everybody else around me was clapping, so I did it, too.  I like to think that my applause, though, was my small way of acknowledging the talents of my classmates, and not an endorsement of the play's immoral teachings. I instinctively knew at the time that I didn't like the play, but it's taken me a long time to articulate why.  And by "bad play", I don't mean that the writing or the story was bad.  In fact, I was spellbound by it.  Catholic School Girls was very well written and very well performed.  By "bad play", I mean that the overall theme and message of the play was bad.  It advances the work of Satan.)

And now we've arrived at the year of our Lord 2013, and the latest NAU theater season has been publicized.  Let's get to my most recent complaints.

On New Beginnings A comedy by Dr. Mac Groves

Well, this play in un-google-able, so I can't tell you anything about it.  All we have to go by is the one-sentence description of the play, which is as follows: "A discovery of the true nature of how friendship can overcome problems which, taken on individually, might prove insurmountable."  It could be about two rival dinosaurs who begrudgingly join forces to find a magic crystal that will stop a volcano from erupting, thus prolonging the day of their inevitable extinction.  If that's what it's about, then I would say the only reason it's about dinosaurs (instead of more Christian-themed animals, such as sheep or lions) is because dinosaurs are atheists favorite animal.  Why?  Because, "Don't you see," says the angry atheist, "dinosaurs bones prove evolution, and evolution disproves the existence of God."  Thus, with his nefarious selection of beast-characters, Dr. Groves is sucking the faith out of all who participate in and witness this play.

Ha ha ha.  Just kidding.  On New Beginnings will probably be uplifting, heartwarming, and smile-dispensing.

Spring Awakening book and lyrics by Steven Sater, music by Duncan Sheik, based on the play by Frank Wedekind

Trash trash trash trash trash trash!  It's about a bunch of teenagers who have a bunch of sex. In between sex romps, the teenagers wax philosophical and rebel against what they view as a sexually repressive and generally corrupt society.  And we're supposed to applaud that.  Copied and pasted from Wikipedia:

Amateur performances of Spring Awakening are now being licensed. Depending on the locale, there is often a higher age limit to participants to avoid infringement of child protection laws, as performances involving the underage could be considered child pornography.

So... you know it's gotta be bad.

But perhaps the most demented part of this production is its timing.  You'll notice that the play is about Spring, and yet it will be performed in the Fall.  How backwards can NAU drama get?  God made the seasons the way they are for a reason!  Let's honor God and his marvelous creations by doing plays about Spring in the Spring and plays about Fall in the Fall!   

Seriously, though, when NAU, or any state University, puts on a play like this, they cause unnecessary friction.  I imagine a young committed Christian student who wants to be an actor.  Her conscience precludes her participation in a play like this.  And yet, she wants to act.  She wants to go to college and be on stage and have people applaud.  That's a beautiful desire to have.  So, she has a difficult choice to make.  Does she go along with the other students, perform in the play, and otherwise keep herself as innocent as possible?  Or does she sit this one out?  Or does she transfer to a religious school?  I don't know. 

I wish the the professors would be more considerate to the conservative Christian students they are being paid to teach.  I wish they would pick plays that more people could be comfortable with.

A lot of parents come to these plays, too.  The parents are more likely to have conservative values than their college student children, majoring in drama.  A play like this pushes the parents away.  Well, some parents might like it.  But I, for one, am not going to send my children to NAU to study theater, not when the department insists on producing plays like this.

The Shape of Things by Neil LaBute

Instead of reviewing this play, I'm just going to assassinate the character of the author.  Neil LaBute is an angry ex-Mormon who has a dislike for humanity.  Granted, he is a talented artist and a smart guy and a passionate, hard worker, but... I think he's unhappy.  I don't see how a guy who writes such depressing plays about how everybody is so rotten could be happy.  Critics have rightly called LaBute a misanthrope. 

Probably one of the worst things LaBute did was his play The Mercy Seat, a play written in response to the 9/11 terrorist attack by Muslim extremists.  Instead of writing a play that shows us who the real enemies are, (Osama Bin Laden and other violent, radical Muslims) and who the real heroes are (President George W. Bush, the New York Fire Department, the U.S. military) LaBute writes a play about a guy who worked at the World Trade Center and who missed work on the day of the attacks to be with his mistress.  The guy thinks that his wife thinks he's dead, and thus the 9/11 attacks might be his opportunity to run away with his lady-friend. 

What?  This play misses the whole point of 9/11!  There is so much tragedy to write about, there is such a clash of cultures to deal with, and yet LaBute writes about his play about the guy who missed work that day to cheat on his wife?  This reminds me of a book I had to read in one of my college English classes, The Eyes of the Emperor by Graham Salisbury. It's a young adult novel about WW2 that makes Americans out to be the bad guys.  It focuses on the Japanese interment camps and such.  Really, I think kids ought to be reading books that show the truth about World War 2, which is that Americans stopped the Holocaust and saved the world from Nazi terror.  

Warning!  Spoiler Alert! The Shape of Things is about how a guy gets dumped by his girlfriend who was actually never really his girlfriend and really their relationship was all part of her twisted thesis for her MFA.  The play ends with the guy crying and alone.

I think I'll sum up The Shape of Things in two words: total bummer. 

Though, I might actually want to see the play.  It sounds kind of good.  I don't know why, but I like total bummer plays sometimes.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the novella by Robert Louis Stevenson

Well this one sounds like a good, tasteful play. Like Neil LaBute's works, though, it focuses on the darkness that lurks in the hearts of men.  But... uh... well... I would complain about the season's lack of... I don't know Christian morality or something... but I need to go to bed.  See you later.

Oh, one other thing.  I kind of miss theater, but I also like being a suburban, church-attending blue-collar worker with a wife and kids.  I really do have a peace and a rhythm in my life that I don't think I would have if I were still involved in theater.  I'm not saying that theater is bad.  On the contrary, I think theater is beautiful and wonderful.  But like all beautiful and wonderful things, it must be constrained by the bonds of pure religion.  Without the forces of revealed religion keeping theater in check, theater becomes our whimsical taskmaster; it becomes our idol.  It has the potential to distort one's priorities and sense of eternity.  And that is what theater has done to many of the good people at Northern Arizona University.

I'm not saying that you can't have a peaceful, spiritual life while at the same time being an actor or a Broadway producer.  I suppose that's possible.  But if it's Heaven you're after, considering becoming a fisherman or a shepherd.    



Monday, August 12, 2013

Love Abounds at American Discount Foods

Dear Readers,

I love American Discount Foods in Mesa, Arizona.  Today I went there and I bought a big hunk of cheese, a big jug of oil, a big bag of white flour, (and it’s the magic baker’s flour that rises really really high) and I bought five bags of sunflower seeds that are normally a dollar fifty or so at a gas station, but at American Discount Foods they were only fifty cents each!  Talk about savings! 

I plan on making a bunch of bread tomorrow so it’s a good thing I bought all that flour and oil.

And the people there are so nice.  And they wear bright red shirts that say, “Praise the Lord!” on them, and their website shows you how to get saved.  And they play Christian music throughout the store.  It’s just so refreshing to see a place of business be so outspoken about their beautiful faith.

The workers at American Discount Foods not only preach their faith through their music selection and T-Shirts; they live their faith.  They’re closed on Sundays!  I wish more stores were closed on Sundays.

Today, after I finished checking out, the cashier said, “God bless you.”  Ordinarily a cashier would say, “Thanks, come again.” Or “Thanks and have a nice day.” But instead this nice young woman said, “God bless you.” I could just feel that she was a wonderful young woman, and I felt blessed!



Sunday, August 4, 2013


I got my paper
I got my pen
I'm wearing a crooked sparkle hat
Now let the poems begin

Some Lady's Cosmic Dashboard

Dear Readers,

Remember how last time I wrote about secular drift?  Well, I just ran across this perfect example of multicultural feel-good spirituality and couldn't resist copying and pasting it.  Here is where I got it.  It's written by... I don't know what to call her... some lady who thinks really deep thoughts.

I am one of those mystical creatures. My true life, which is invisible to most, is my guide, my own little road to heaven. My rebel views on our experience on earth are the stepping stones to a deeply penetrating and wise world that brings me great joy and the freedom of inner flight. Inside my soul is a sort of cosmic dashboard that only I can access or operate.

Maybe she's happy.  How could she not be happy, if she's flying... on the inside... whatever that means... I don't know. 

Happy or not, it wasn't people like her that put a man on the moon, you know what I mean?  Of course, I'm not putting a man on the moon either.  I'm just sitting here complaining about all the other people out there who are staring at lava lamps rather than tinkering with spacecrafts.  

I think this mystical creature would fit in great with the Unitarian Universalists.  They let anybody in, except those who still cling to the antiquated idea of objective morality.

I don't want to make fun of her too much, though. I suppose that her cosmic dashboard is similar to my gift of the Holy Ghost.


Thursday, August 1, 2013

What do we do about secular drift?

Dear Readers,

Here are some frightening statistics about religious affiliation in America, taken from this great article written by some official person from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

[In America, the] number of those who claim no religious affiliation nearly doubled from 8.2 percent in 1990 to 15 percent in 2008.  Now that number has crept to nearly 20 percent. And among those under 30 years old, disaffiliation jumps to 32 percent.
I've seen this secular drift firsthand, among my family and friends.  Now, I don't want to be the old guy who sits on the porch and complains about everything, but... it does seem like movies and TV shows are getting more crass, vulgar and violent. 

Then there's marijuana and gay marriage.  Legalizing these things would have been unthinkable a few decades ago, but this past election showed that some states are much more "compassionate" and "open-minded" than they used to be.  I'm sure it was many of the growing number of religiously non-affiliated who voted to legalize these vices.

Another sign of secular drift is Arizona's election of Representative Krysten Sinema.  Sinema is an outspoken atheist and bi-sexual.  She spends most of her time in Congress persecuting religious groups. 

Then there's Ultimate Fighting and Mixed Martial Arts.  These violent sports remind me of the ancient Gladiators who would kill each other to entertain Roman citizens.  I guess boxing is okay.  I don't care for it myself, but at least they put on gloves.  But if you get a thrill out of seeing two guys fighting to the near death, choking each other and such, then you have a terrible taste in entertainment. You need the moral refinement that comes from Christianity.

So... is secular drift bad?  Yes, it's bad.  Very bad. 

Why?  Well, because it leads to Hell, that's why.  Hell in the afterlife, and Communism in this life.

What do we do about it?  We keep on praying and preaching and going to church and telling other people to go to church.  And we have a bunch of kids and raise them in the fear of God.  Christians might be losing the culture war in America for the moment, but we should keep fighting, even if we're losing, because it's the right thing to do.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

En Garde!

How many flame-fruit trees live in your neighbor's yard?
Hark! Hither cometh Sir Lancey-loop, ye olden tyme bard!
The Suicidal King is kind of a creepy card.
Hey I just thought up a new word! Nard!
On birthdays my Grammy-grams always sends a card.
Card does rhyme with card; it's a different kind of card.
See these black and white boxers?  In the picture?  They sparred.
I like frying tortilla chips in lard.  They're really yummy.

Anyway what I really wanted to get to in this poem
is the part where I say that you should all repent
because the end is nigh
and you're all gonna die
so it's time to say good-bye
to your precious mortality
and your sinful sense of sensuality
and tonight you won't have anymore senses 
because it's gonna be like that part in Mortal Kombat 
when the guy with the deep voice says, "Fatality,"
so tonight ready yourself for the bodily removal of your body
from planet Earth and the spiritual removal of your spirit
from planet Earth and now listen here my friend Bernard,
your rotten spirit is one the Eternal Judge of All Creation will discard!

Legality does not equal Morality

Dear Readers,

I was upset to learn yesterday that the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, and that it dismissed the Proposition 8 case.  It looks gay marriages will resume in California. 

The rulings lead to a few questions.  If California residents can't amend their Constitution to define marriage, then what about all the other states?  What about Arizona's amendment to their Constitution, passed in 2008, which defines marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman?  Would the courts essentially nullify that amendment too, given the chance?  I don't know.

So, proponents and opponents of gay marriage are going to be fighting this in the courts for the next several years.  And legislators are going to be voting on a bunch of gay rights bills.  It seems to be that the momentum is on the side of gay marriage, and it will be legal in all 50 states in the next decade or so.

Although I suppose public sentiment could change.  Maybe there's an American revival of traditional morality just around the corner.  Who knows?

But perhaps the more important battle for or against gay marriage is happening outside the courtroom.  It's happening in our classrooms and churches and homes.  And it's happening on this blog.

Before you dismiss me as a bigot, please consider the following reasons why I'm opposed to gay marriage:

Traditional marriage has proven to be the best way to raise children.  Children do best when they are nurtured by the influence of both a mother and a father. 

Men and women are inherently different.  God designed us this way.  Maintaining traditional gender roles in our society celebrates the differences between the genders.  Maintaining traditional marriage is one of the best ways to maintain traditional gender roles.

We should enact laws that most closely resemble God's laws.  All the major world religions define marriage as between a man and a woman.  Shouldn't we give more credence to the ideas and traditions of all the religious leaders and thinkers throughout the ages?

If gay marriage is legalized, many will think that it's normal and moral. Unfortunately, many people equate legality with morality.  The legalization of gay marriage will probably cause more people to think that they themselves are gay.  Why is this a bad thing?  Well, homosexuality prevents the formation of traditional families.  And frankly, homosexual behavior is perverse and sinful.  Homosexual activity darkens the mind and wounds the soul.

God designed men and women to complement each other.  The hard truth is that people aren't born gay.  People are tempted to be gay, but they aren't born that way. 

Well, if you consider yourself to be homosexual, I love you.  I tolerate you, and care for you.  And if you disagree with me, I respect your opinion.  I'm not trying to sound judgmental, but I do have strong opinions and I do think I'm right, and I do think that you should adopt my opinions.  I hope I never come across as hateful.  I only wish to limit your freedom to marry for the good of society and, in fact, for your own good. 


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sonnet for Amber

How comforting it is to stay seated at home,
How sweet the sound of an un-ringing phone
With microwave, couch, spice rack, clock, all nearby,
And in the refrigerator, one lonely slice of pumpkin pie.
In these fall afternoons I recline by the window, 
Drapes drawn back, glass ajar. In the breeze blows.
People walk by, hand in hand, and almost I say "Hi,"
But fix my gaze upon the welcoming, ever-present sky.
How warm are this evening's clouds; how pressing their weight.
They drift, they sag, they fade, they leave. It's getting late.
But ah my dear love Amber, the one who I have lost,
I would have you here beside me, no matter what the cost.
Thoughts of your touch and smile brighten my clouded mind,
Yet such love as you offered I'll never again find.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Lunch Break, Eating Bread with Butter

I wish I had a whole day to sit and read a book.  
I wish I had a Rembrandt picture.  I’d get it out and look.  
I wish I had the money to dress up and watch ballet,  
And how I wish somebody would take me to a play.  
A play I’ve never heard about, and one that’s really long.
There'd be a beautiful woman and she’d sing a beautiful song.

I wish I had million things I know I’ll never get.  
But that’s ok.  I’m not sad, not even a little bit.  
I’ll just work and work and stay right here until I end up dead,  
And my ghost will get no smiles from plays or buttered bread.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Maybe they really were witches

Dear Readers,

You know how in high school, in history class or in English class, when you learned about the pilgrims and the Puritans, you always learned about the Salem Witch Trials?  And remember you learned about how those crazy ultra-Christian Puritans were always looking for witches?  And remember how you learned that the "witches" were really just misunderstood girls who didn't quite fit in?  And that today in our enlightened age, we understand that witches are the stuff of fiction, like Bigfoot and elves and fairies?

Well... you were lied to.  Your teachers lied to you and your textbooks lied to you.  Or rather, at least, the facts were exaggerated.  The witch trials are given more prominence in history than they are due.  The witch trials are not put in their proper context. 

And not that many witches were executed, really.  Seven people died in Chicago this weekend.  And what did they die for?  Drug stuff and gang stuff, probably. The number of people killed in Chicago in the last decade is greater than the number of people killed for witchcraft in the entire history of colonial America.  I'd argue that it's better to die as part of an attempt to cast Satan out of your society than it is to be killed in gang-related violence, where unchristian tough guys are fighting over money and status and territory.

Why is it that when our American youth learn about colonial America, they always get a picture of the Puritans that is superstitious and bigoted?  And why is it that if they only read one Puritan sermon, they read the one that gives the worst impression of Christianity, "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God?"  Why can't our nation's youth get an idea of the Puritans that is closer to what is actually the case? 

And what is actually the case?  I'll tell you.  The Puritans were a godly people who took Christianity seriously, and we owe our current freedom and prosperity to the cultural heritage they left us. Did they burn (and hang and press) a few witches?  Sure.  But what else did they do?  They worked really hard.  They went to church.  They built universities.  They built homes.  They cared for their children and their poor and their widowed.  They had high rates of literacy, relatively speaking.  By and large, they were upright, moral people.  They built a legal system which administered justice probably more fairly than most other countries at the time.  Yes, they executed a few people convicted of witchcraft.  But you can't build a God-fearing nation without burning a few witches.  

And, this is one of the most important points of all- maybe they really were witches!  Maybe some of those killed for witchcraft really were in cahoots with Satan!  Maybe they really were practicing the dark arts and casting spells on people, in which case, they ought to have been punished!  Who knows?  Maybe instead of poo-pooing the pilgrims, we should be patting them on the back!  They went after Satan!  They were following a scriptural injunction (Exodus 22:18) and ridding their society of people who wouldn't give up their witchcraft and their strange gods. 

Now, I think the Puritans could have been a little nicer about exterminating witchcraft from their towns. For example, if someone was convicted of being a witch, they could have put her or him in jail for a while.  (Although they could probably still cast spells in jail, so that might not work.) Or they could have put the witches on a boat bound for Australia, or maybe sentenced them to a few years of Bible study.  I don't know.

But public execution does the trick, too.  It certainly scares other people away from getting close to anything resembling the dark arts, and that's a good thing.

The main point here is that Satan is real, and demons are real, and unless we team up with God and angels (who are also real) to fight them, the darkness of the Spirit World will overtake us! 


P.S.  Happy Father's Day!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Walking Around in Arizona, Looking at Cactus

This cactus is beautiful, slumped over,drooping, gigantic, full of sorrow, yet content,
passing on its wisdom of the earth and sun
to children and grandchildren
scattered around this southwestern landscape
before it falls, sleeps, and rots.  
The desert really is lovely.

Cactus only poke us if provoked.
They are the ethical ninjas of the desert.
We, the humans, do the poking.

And look at the new ones, too,
these thorny sprouts, these blobs of green 
emerging from the hot brown desert ground
that fight for the right to grow another inch.
They struggle to increase their mass,
they yearn for signifigance, for the view
afforded by a slighty higher altitude.
"Taller!" is their cry,
"Let me grow taller!"  
 (Of course really the new ones say
nothing, but when I imagine them talking
all they talk about is growing.)
And the medium-sized cactus.
Gradually they assert themselves
with a new arm, a thirsty root burrowing deeper,
and when finally the chosen day dawns, 
behold, a flower.  Yellow, and perfect.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

The Scandal-Ridden Obama Administration... alas

Dear Readers,

Fast and Furious.  The Benghazi attacks.  The Benghazi cover-up.  IRS targeting conservative groups.  Seizure of Associated Press journalists' phone records.

These are just some of the recent examples of corruption in Obama's administration.  They're terrible.  Nixon resigned over Watergate.  Watergate was terrible, but nobody died.  Under Obama's administration, Border Patrol agent Bryan Terry is dead, and U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens is dead.  Obama is not directly responsible for these two deaths, but people in his administration are.

This is an outrage.  The media should be covering it more, but they are too loyal to Obama.  They don't want to make him look bad, because they are liberal and he is liberal, and most liberals care more about loyalty than truth and morality.

And the really depressing part about all these scandals is I get the sense that people don't really care.  Or, not enough people care.  If the Presidential election were held again today, Obama would probably win again.  And you know why?  Because he's cool.  And Mitt Romney just wasn't cool.  That's about all there is to it.

It's cooler to be young than it is to be old. 

It's cooler to be black than it is to be white. 

It's cooler to have used pot and cocaine than it is to have abstained from all harmful drugs.

It's cooler to have been raised by a single mother in Indonesia than it is to be raised by a Mom and Dad in Michigan.

It's cooler to have two Peace-sign T-shirt-wearing-daughters who have their father's clearance to get abortions than it is to have three Eagle Scout sons.

It's cooler to be a politician than it is to be a buissnessman.

It's cooler to be a community organizer than it is to be a Mormon missionary.

Alas.  Obama is cooler than Romney.  And Democrats are cooler than Republicans.

The Democratic Party has successfully convinced the majority of voters that the Democratic party is the party of compassion. Democrats have successfully presented themselves as the voice of the common people, the voice of the underpriveleged, the voice of women, gays, and ethnic minorities.   And the Republicans are seen as a bunch of greedy rich white out-of-touch old men.  I don't know what to do to change that narrative.

Well, the education needs to start at home.  I'm doing my best to ensure that my two daughters turn out to be politically conservative.  But I've got to fight against the pervasive influence of the media and the school system.

Generally I feel pretty pessimistic about the political direction of the country.  I think Hillary Clinton has a great shot at the White House in 2016.  Never mind her abject failure in the Benghazi attacks and cover-up.  Never mind that she's lied to, or at least misled, the American people.  People don't care.  She's a woman, she's a Clinton, and she's cool.