Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Who Knew?

There is a website called "Jew or Not Jew."  Really.  You can find out how Jewish celebrities are.  http://www.jewornotjew.com/   Gwyneth Paltrow is half Jewish.  Who Knew?

Office Depot vs. Chick-Fil-A

Interesting situation.  The Office Depot and the Chick-Fil-A in the town near me are within a block of each other.  I planned tomorrow to go to Chick-Fil-A not so much to support Dan Cathy (he doesn't need my money) but to make a statement about free speech (although I think he may have overstated his case.  I also think it's funny that people are saying he was "bullied" when he will probably make a lot more money out of this deal!).

I was running errands today and had to go into Office Depot.  I immediately became aware that getting some ink refills and sending a fax (I spent about $10) was now a matter of conscience, or violating my conscience, or something in that area.  All over Office Depot were signs about "Born this Way" and "Be Brave" and something about Lady Gaga.

Now, I'm acting ignorant, because I know what this is about, but I imagine most people going into Office Depot to get their kids some school supplies will either be confused or taken in by this "campaign."  Their children might get a bracelet about being brave and the parent will have no idea that the underlying message is "Be brave in the face of homophobia" because you were "born this way."

There is a lot I could say about the whole Lady Gaga message thing, but that's not the point here.  The point is, if I don't want any portion of my purchase price for those ink refills to go to Lady Gaga (like SHE needs my money?), where am I supposed to go?  Why is buying an ink refill a political or philosophical act?  What is Office Depot thinking, anyway?  It was all I could do to keep from making a smart remark to the sales associates, hoping they would say something to their bosses and up the ladder, but I held my tongue, since they are just kids who work there and don't need my snarky attitude.

When the Black community in Montgomery engaged in a bus boycott in 1955 and '56, it was a sacrifice.  Those folks had to walk.  They paid the price for their boycott, and it made a difference, but it was hard won.  If I don't like Office Depot's flaunting of this Lady Gaga's nonsense, I am inconvenienced because I have to get my refills somewhere else.  No big deal.  Or, I can go eat a chicken sandwich fried in peanut oil with a pickle (they are good); again, hardly a sacrifice.

I watched a news conference today of some African American pastors who are standing against gay marriage; they were pretty vociferous.  It is so hard to talk about this topic rationally.  I'm not sure it's possible.

As for me, I say let gays have some kind of legal status so that they can leave each other money, give each other custody of children (if needed), enter into contracts, etc.  But don't call it marriage. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

The Big Issues

I see these as the four or five big issues that separate the church and the world.  They must continue to, I think.  We will only stand as the church if we stay distinct, whether it means persecution or not.  People are not attracted to a church that stands for nothing.  And as the old saying goes, those who stand for nothing will fall for anything (as in the occult and paranormal).

Creation vs. evolution.  Let me say here that I am not a young earth creationist (that view makes little sense to me).  I think we take some aspects of Gen. 1-11 literally when we are not supposed to.  But by no means does that mean that evolution--euphemistically called gradual creation by some--makes any sense to me either.  Why would God use so much death to do what he could have done quickly?  And how do you have a fall if there is evolution?  did the species evolve to a point where it was sentient enough to have the propensity for temptation and then turn from God?

I have another question that is related to this.  Why are fossil fuels bad for the environment if they are based on organic matter?  And if there is so much oil on the planet, how many fossils were there?

Second, suffering.  I don't have a quick one for that.  We suffer because of natural disasters, we suffer because people are evil to each other (the fall), and we suffer because of disease (the fall).

Third, the identity of Christ.

Fourth, the meaning of the cross.  This is more hotly debated than most nonscholars understand.  I do not quite get all of it but the doctrine is being attacked.

Fifth, the place of sexuality in our culture.

At least racism is not central.  We have gotten it into our thick skulls that skin color is irrelevant to spirituality.

Me and NPR

About a year ago I got really mad at NPR (National Palestinian Radio, Dr. Land called it) and said I wouldn't listen to it anymore or support it  Well, I fell off the wagon on both points.  I did give them some money last spring, well, I gave our local public station some money because I am an alum of the university and they are just pitiful.  And I listen to it just about everyday, to offset my listening to Fox News.

But they still annoy the hooey out of me sometimes, despite the great quality of most of their program. The other day Terri Gross was interviewing a Catholic Bishop in response to an interview from the previous week by a Sister Pat of a group of nuns who are protesting Catholic policies and dogma.

The interview was interesting because of the utter lack of communication between the two.  Terri Gross (whom I normally like to listen to quite a bit, at least in terms of her work with artists) just didn't get that the church's stand is based on an absolutist view of unchangeable truth (although we could probably argue about that).  She kept asking him why the church couldn't negotiate with the nuns' group and compromise.  The bishop seemed a little perplexed as to why she didn't understand that the Catholic church doesn't just compromise to make people happy.

I felt that Gross could have researched her subject more.  Of course, if she didn't try to embarrass the bishop, what's the point of interviewing him, right?  She'd already given him a hard time about the sexual abuse scandal.

Ironically, we have a cultural taboo about child sexual abuse because of the hundreds of years of Christianity's influence.  Prior to Christianity, nobody cared about sexual abusing little boys and girls.  It was perfectly acceptable.

Logical responses to illogical arguments

From a discussion board on Christianity Today.

it is rather simple you are against gay marriage well do not have one. Were all sinners and short of the glory. Jesus came live among us to die for our sins. I honestly can not see the logic of someone choosing to be gay. I think you are born this way and you can not fully fight your nature. Let us prayer and try to offer Jesus message to all. We live in a world that is not black and white, but gray all over in some cases. Let us offer Christ love in this hateful world.

How do we answer this type of logic?

I have written below on the first sentence; it's not an argument.  The second sentence is a two wrong make a right argument.  How does one define sin?  Is a main question here.  The next part "I honestly .... nature."  Well, there are a lot of things are born with that we fight our nature.  Alcoholism is genetic; we fight that, don't we?

Yes, let's offer Jesus' message to the world.  What is it?

How does the grayness of the world reflect the gospel, or give us a reason to accept gay marriage? (or anything else?)  And "it's gray all over in some cases."  What does that mean?

Let us offer Christ's love in this hateful world.  Amen.  But that has nothing to do with changing the rules and laws of our civilization.

I am glad for Dan Cathy's starting this brouhaha, even though I think his words were harsh.  I'll eat lots of Chick-Fil-A now just because.  The thought police and enemies of free speech cannot win.

All that said, there may be some "logical" arguments for gay marriage from a civil rights perspective.  Le's be honest; one of the main reasons we Christians "fear" gay marriage (not gay people) is that the not unfounded belief that it will lead to religious persection.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fifty Shades of Mommy Porn


If I see one more Facebook post on what an awesome book the aforementioned novel is, I'll scream.

Do people have no taste?

Do supposed Christians have no discernment? 

Do women have no pride?

OK, I'll admit, I haven't read it, but I've read lots of reviews and discussions over it, so I know to read it would be a total waste of my time.  What puzzles me the most is Christians who support it.  One, it's about an extramarital affair; two, it's about trying to be physically hurtful during sex.  All I can say is, God help us.

Dan Cathy has been pilloried because of his (much stronger than normal) words about same sex marriage.  I for one will be eating at Chick-Fil-A just because.  But a Christian who gets all hot and bothered about gay sex and gay marriage and get all gaga over mommy porn is a hypocrite.

But it all comes down to a lack of understanding about sex in the church.  It should be about mutual respect and pleasure, in heterosexual marriage.

Somewhere we got the idea that people cannot control themselves about sex.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

NCAA Ruling

I do not believe the NCAA ruling on Penn State is fair--at all.

The coach coaches, but the players go out there and risk their bodies to win the games.  These are young men who made sacrifices and were taken in by a system.  Yes, they benefited from it, but they are no more guilty than a player at UT or Georgia or LSU. 

The NCAA has been fascist in the past.  This is their typical overreaching.  Punish the persons who did wrong.  This is tantamount to the elementary school teacher punishing the whole class for one kid being a pain.

Word Play

Ever notice that parental, prenatal, and paternal are all made up of the same letters?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Toxic charity

I have recently been reading about the value of missions trips.  I am ambivalent about them.  I think every young person should probably go on one, but there's a limit to how many of these one-week evangelo-tourism trips we should countenance.

1.  Twenty teenagers sent to a foreign country at the cost of $2,000 each to go build a church.  That $40,000.  Why not hire local labor for much less and give persons meaningful work?

2.  Missionaries like the visits of folks from home, but they also have to deal with them.  A friend of mine in Japan had groups in to build a new church building (in this case, it was cheaper than hiring Japanese labor).  But the Americans didn't want to eat Japanese food, which meant an expense and time for the missionary to feed them.  If you are going overseas for a week or so, buck up and eat what the people eat.

3.  There is no hard proof that the trips make people any more missions oriented in the long run.

4.  And as usual, the people on the field are basically being told, "You need Americans to come do this," so their agency is taken away.  I would imagine this leads to resentment.

4.  Exceptions:  Longer trips to perform needed functions or to prepare oneself for full-time or permanent service in the future.  If someone has a skill or credential that can be used that no one available does, that is a different matter (as in medical professionals).   And I think every young person should get a freebie--every young person should get one overseas trip just so they know reality.  But multiple trips are excessive.  Also, trips near by (driving distance) are useful.

I sound like cranky person, but I am reassessing stewardship for myself and thus for others. I have often wanted to go on these trips but recently realized that paying $3,000 for one week in another country would only be a way for me to feel good about myself, not really accomplish anything.  A whole summer teaching English or using my credentials, that would be different. 

Hymns 102

This morning we sang "Come Thou Fount."  This old hymn is very popular, but I do not sing the third verse.

"Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love."  I don't see how those words are appropriate in a worship service.  What are they saying?  What are we saying when we sing them?

Ironically, we later sang "In Christ Alone" which has the wonderful words, "No power of hell or scheme of man can ever pluck me from his hand."  One song confesses the temptation to apostasy; the other denies the possiblity.

I have long felt that we do not pay attention to the words of our songs very much.  Southern gospel songs, especially, focus on the conversion experience in all kinds of allegorical and narrative ways, as if we are reliving it over and over.  I prefer songs that deal with theological and historical fact, minimize "I" or "me" or "my," and praise the character of God.  No matter how moving the tune may be, many of the songs we sing don't do that.

Tax exemptions and churches

Should churches give up their tax exemption?

Is there an argument for doing so? Would we have more freedom, for example, of speech, if we did? Or would we be saying, we are just a private organization, a club?  That what we do is unimportant?  We would definitely be hindered in our ability to minister.  The government would definitely get a lot of money from the churches to squander on its bloated budget. 


This morning in Sunday School we watched a DVD of a popular Bible teacher, a female.

She was teaching from Gen 2 about how God formed the man and breathed in him the breathe of life.  She talked about God using his hands to form Adam.

God does not have hands, because that would mean he has a body.  God is a spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth, John 4.  References to God's hand, arms, feet, mouth are only for poetic purposes so that we can understand his actions in human terms.   God communicates to us in ways we can understand, and in a way it is like baby talk in comparison to how he could communicate and perhaps will one day. 

This is going to sound heretical to some, but the Bible is God's truth, but I don't believe it is all of it.  It is what he wants us to know about his revelation.  There is other truth we are allowed to learn through research and study and experience.

I also think there is an argument that the New Testament is written with a different kind of audience in mind.  There is less poetry, more direct statements.  We are expected to learn about God and his purposes and love with a more mature mind, with the past of the Old Testament as background.  I don't mean that we are evolved or anything like that, only that, as Hebrews 1:1-4 states, those in the past were spoken to in one way, and we were spoken to by the Son of God.  One cannot deny that revelational purposes and processes in the New Testament are different from in the Old. 

As for Bible study, I think all language exists in context, and context greatly determines meaning.  Therefore, instead of studying a verse or a word in isolation, everything in the Bible must be in context, in concentric circles, starting from the outside in:  The context of the whole Bible, the context of the pre-Christ writings and the post-Christ (on earth, of course) writings, the context of the literary genre (very important), the context of the book, and the context of the paragraph (chapters and verses are irrelevant).  I think we miss something when we start from the inside out.

A Thorn in the Flesh

I am finally understanding that verse.  We are given physical weakness to know that we are not capable of what we think we are, to keep us humble, to remind us of where real power comes from.  And it refocuses us to what really matters.

Someone I know, a very talented young man in the ministry whom I have prayed for that he not become proud, is going through physical weakness.  This person has been treated like a superhero, the savior, the one-who-is-to-come.   I believe the physical weakness is 1. to keep him from accomplishing what he would have otherwise simply in his physical body  2.  to remind him not to listen to all these adulators  and 3.  to focus his work where it should be.  I will not say more than that.

I do have to express my disappointment with Christians, though.  They can be so gullible, so suggestible to power and charisma and public speaking prowess.  This is nothing new; Paul complained of it in I and II Corinthians.

I can see the value of a thorn in the flesh myself as well.  I do not have the physical strength I used to, nor the desire to conquer the world.  My back hurts a lot.  It is hard to get up in the morning.   I am in a position to truly focus my activities and commitments.

My mother will start chemotherapy this week.  This is not about me, but it feels like it, because I am the child who is here and who will take care of things.  I need strength for that.

The Exceeding Sinfulness of Sin

Just got back from the Dark Knight Rises with my son, who was seeing it for the second time.  We paid $7.00 for the ticket, and I have to say it was worth it--which I rarely do.  Lots of action and plot and human enough that I overlooked that it was based on a comic book.  OK, OK, I know comic books are not what they were fifty years ago.  I was enthralled by it and unable to detect any CGI--it was very seamless.

I have written before about my take on the batman movies of Nolan. The idea behind them, it seems to me, is that the savior must be willing to take on the evil to protect the "innocents" (who aren't really innocent in this world of Batman, at least in the villains' eyes).  Taking on the evil moves the savior/hero very close to evil himself; he has to be willing to do things that the supposed good guys (in this case, the police) won't or can't do.  Yet in this Batman/Nolan world I think we are challenged to understand what good and evil are, where they reside.  That is an age-old question.  Are innocents really innocent, or just passively accepting of evil when they get a moral choice?  Does evil reside in a system, in action, in the heart, in only certain people?  Is evil even real as a disembodied force, or is it just a characteristic of action?  (I learn toward the second.)  Is evil the taking of life, the denying of rights of one person by another?  Is evil codified more specifically?  do we have the right to call anyone evil

I have heard many sermons in my life and one phrase I remember is "the exceeding sinfulness of sin."  Now, that seems like a redundancy, or just a play on words, but I've been thinking about it.  It is a phrase designed to make us think about the depths of sin to which we can go, of which we are capable.  Nice middle-class people will accept that they are sinners as long as everybody else gets classes into that category.  That ways we don't have to look really close at our sin.

On the other hand, some Christians try to rise above their sin and somehow transcend it, so that they get to the point where they can separate themselves from others. 

We can respond to the exceedingly sinfulness of sin within ourselves in three ways.  Denial, resisting the reality that we can become addicts and hurt people, or we can cheat on our spouses, or turn our backs on the truly hurting, or steal when no one is looking--that those are possibilities, that we are not above those things.  Depression is another; shame, not accepting forgiveness, beating ourselves up.  Dependence, or throwing ourselves upon the mercy of God is the best.  The beauty of Reformed theology is that we don't worry about how sinful we are.  We know it and embrace it because that is the way to grace, and we don't waste time beating ourselves up over it and wishing we weren't sinners. 

There is of course, the option of embracing and going with our sin, but that is not viable.  What is viable is to not wallow in it, not keep going back to it like a dog to vomit, and not bringing up the sin of others indefinitely either.

I am thinking about all this in light of the shootings in Colorado and having seen the Batman movie.  It was violent, of course, and I had the uneasy feeling that what was being depicted on the scenes--thousands of people get killed by gunfire in crowded public places--was exactly what happened in Aurora on Thursday night.  I have been reading all kinds of things on the Internet about the mass murders, from conspiracy theories (he got the money for the weapons from the FBI as part of a plot to turn the American people against guns in order to support a UN Arms Treaty) to spiritual insights (especially from a woman that was there).  The family member of a women I work with was among the dead.  I've read criticisms of people who ran out "over dead bodies" trying to save themselves or their children.  And everyone wonders how this person could do this, plan this, by himself, for months.

Is this evil or madness?  I do not think it gets to be called madness because the rest of us can't fathom such behavior.  It is a reminder of the exceedingly sinfulness of sin, that sin is not funny, that it is not eating a brownie that is tempting you, but it is destructive and willful and intentional.

There is another response, though, I have to the Batman movie.  The underlying theme is that the city needs a hero.  No, we do not need A hero.  This is the greatest human fallacy, that someone political or charismatic will ride in on a white horse to save the day and fix everything.    It might be the pastor or the president.    We want this world, just fixed--no parking tickets, no rain, no bad guys.  It's a childish dream.  Yes, I know, the second coming of Christ is the ultimate hero story, but it will usher in a different reality than this one.We don't get that in eternity.  We get a new heaven and a new earth.

 Until then, we must all be heroes.  There is no Batman or Superman. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Thoughts on Galatians 3

In Galatians 3 we get into the heart of Paul’s argument and his passion.  It is quite a dilemma why so often in the history of the Christian church people who convert totally by faith and grace begin to be convinced that they must add on things.  I have lived long enough to be exposed to all kinds of these things that will supposedly make one closer to God, more spiritual, “special.” 

Dietary laws.  I’d be the first to say we should reframe our eating habits, but let’s not fool ourselves that it has anything to do with the gospel. 

Living like the Old Testament in some practice or another.

Using a particular  time management product or any other kind of product.

Listening to a particular Bible teacher.  Last night I dreamed of seeing the former pastor at our church.  I wanted to thank him for his ministry and his faithfulness to the Word.  He was not as flashy as some; but he was faithful and expository and had a dear servant’s heart.  I have written elsewhere about Christian gurus.

Clothing.  Again, I’d be the first to say people should rethink how they dress, especially in church.  Girls simply show too much leg and too much chest nowadays.  It may or may not be a spiritual matter.  I cringe when I see someone in flipflops in church.  But why?  It’s no different than my sandals.  My inherent legalism jumps up and wants to judge.

Voting for a particular candidate.  Again, this gets personal, and I could “preach” here, but voting for a republican or democrat doesn’t make one closer or farther from God or any more or less Holy Spirit-led, which, by the way, is the core of Paul’s argument here.  I do think there is a matter or prudence and wisdom here, though.  See below.

I could go on.  We do not judge another man’s servant.  There is a place for a Spirit-led person to confront another person in love about certain matters, but that’s not judging.

In Galatians 3:3, Paul writes:  Are you so foolish?  Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?”  In verse 2 he writes, “Did you receive the Spirit by the words of the law?”  In verse 4:  “Have you suffered so much in vain?”  These are pointed questions.  They point to a matter or change, something I am reading a lot about in my research.  Why do people change?  Paul reminds them of what they already have invested—which thought is one reason why people don’t change even when they should.  But he also reminds them of the illogic of trying to do anything spiritual in the flesh or by man-made practices.  “Receiving the Spirit” is to Paul synonymous with conversion, beginning the Christian walk (I won’t use “getting saved” or “asking Jesus into your heart” because I don’t like that clich├ęs many don’t understand.)  And “receiving the Spirit” is core to Paul’s teaching.  Verse 5:  “Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you, and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” 

This faith is misunderstood, of course.  It is a tossing of oneself upon the mercies of God, in my thinking.  It is repentance because one accepts that one’s own way is devoid of righteousness and meaning and only God’s way is right.  It is not just agreeing with some church practices.  An exposition of Abraham’s faith (which is the model, in a sense), shows a person who 1.  Rejected idols and culture of his family, a very, very difficult (nonexistent) thing to do in ancient middle Eastern culture  2.  Traveled something like 900 miles to a new home.   3.  Waited a long time for a legitimate heir (when he could have had scores of children with concubines and just ignored God about that) even though he did fall off the wagon.  Abraham was the model not because he was perfect, and this is key.  And most of all, he believed that the Messiah would come through him and that he would have numberless descendants. 

Notice that Joseph, who is often called Mr. Perfect (I agree with Beth Moore—he was a bit of a brat, especially when young) is not used as an example of anything in the New Testament.  It is Abraham, who lies, gets weak, lets his wife boss him around, doesn’t stand up to Lot, who is the model of faith.  I am glad of that. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thoughts on Galatians 1

Galatians is not one of the more accessible books.  It has a lot of verses that are taken out of context because they sound good and promising, and they are, but being out of context hurts our understanding of the fullness of their meaning.  I am reading it now, after having taken a long hiatus in devotional literature and deciding its time to get back into the actual scriptures.

In Galatians 1, I would say the core truth is that we can choose to please God or men. 

Paul has to defend his apostolic authority in this book, as in others.  Here his defense is

1.       The significant, radical turnaround in his life, to which everyone is a witness;

2.      The seclusion of three years in Arabia before he tried to contact the apostles in Jerusalem; in other words, he spent that time learning and studying and didn’t try to pass himself off as something before the time;

3.      His own record of rejection and persecution, not elaborated on her but alluded to;

4.      His deferral to Peter and James early on;

5.      His statement, “If I change from what I preached before—a gospel of total grace—I should be accursed.”  False teachers say, “I am evolving. . . . so what I believed before is no longer valid . . . “  When speaking as an apostle, you don’t get that privilege.

6.      That he did not look for a position of prominence in the “megachurch center” at Jerusalem, but went into the hinterlands, to the Gentiles, and let his critics be his critics. 

7.      At the same time, when it came to a confrontation, he did not back down for the the gospel of total grace. 

Paul also starts, and stays, theological and Christological.  He is not so much angry as aggrieved by the Galatians defection to Judaistic practices; it is understandable in a way that, even as Gentiles, or especially as Gentiles, they would be taken in by ceremonialism and ritual. This is a continual fight.  We humans love ritual, as long as it doesn’t extract anything from our self-will, from our love of money, sex, self, and power.

Thoughts on Galatians 2

Peter apparently succumbed to Jewish peer pressure in Antioch.  This is a pattern in his life.  Perhaps he felt, as a nonmember of the elite, inferior to the learned Jewish intelligentsia.  I can relate.  I always feel inferior to the people with doctorates with whom I work, although I am not sure why and am often amazed by their lack of perspective, background, self-knowledge, and curiosity.

The end of the Galatians 2 is not written to the Galatians directly is the record of a conversation with Peter.  The conundrum, the paradox:  “For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God.”  The law crucified Christ; we were crucified with him, to the purpose of living go God.  This is deep.  The gospel is a system, and open one, in a way, in that we enter into it, but closed in the sense that one piece cannot be taken out. 

I don’t think we can fully understand the drama, the consequences, here.  Paul states there were spies from the Jewish leadership trying to subvert the gospel.  These were not scholastic debates.  It was the core of the Christian faith.

People who come from legalistic backgrounds often do not realize that legalism is not just “out there.”  It is within us.  We love it; it is something we must repent of, not just leave, as if it were a place.  It is a condition, a sinful one. 

Adult Learning: Never stop!

This week I learned about myself from two unlikely sources.

One was Elton John.  Not someone I have much respect for, but he did say something on NPR that, although I had heard it before, hit me in a new way.  He was talking about funding for AIDS research and cures, and how we can’t let people be “less than.”

How many times have I seen people as “less than”?  All the time.  I must truly repent of it.  Less than me, less than acceptable, less than smart, less than deserving, less than human, less than . . . .. ..

The second was a student who was giving her speech on hunting.  The student is African American.  She starts her speech talking about her southern upbringing and how she was taught to hunt by her “redneck, confederate-flag waving, tobacco-chewing white grandpa.”  OK, this was a major paradigm shift.  I couldn’t help but ask her about it; one, that she was truly ¼ white (didn’t look like it at all) and two, that she hunts (I assumed she was from Atlanta).  She’s actually quite a hunter.  So when she gave the speech for the grade, she explained her background, how her grandfather gave up his racist Alabama ways and married her grandmother who is Black, and then her mixed-raced father married a Black woman.  I applauded.  She’s a beautiful symbol that people can get over themselves. 

No more assumptions!  You don’t know people until you know them.  I, of all people, should have realized this, should have it in my core.

I don’t like to think of myself as a racist or bigot.  But every so often I am confronted with how racist and bigoted I actually am.  There is a line in a hilarious movie, Bowfinger, where Eddie Murphy’s character is ranting about how many Ks are in a script.  He says that makes it 365 KKKs.  “The sickness is deep.”  Of course, this is played for laughs, but it’s true.  The sickness of racism is deep.  I think I have an inchoate UTI that flares up on a regular basis.  I also have an inchoate racism infection that flares up and scares me quite a bit.  Where did that come from?  And what’s the answer?  Well, not so much Elton John.  More like the Word of God and a good dose f reality from all the people I am privileged to know, like my wonderful students. 

I am in a doctoral program in adult learning.  Every day I learn.  That is the only way to stay alive.

Public Speaking Online, Part IV

During the Web Speech             One of the helpful suggestions from the business writers used for this appendix ...