Friday, November 30, 2012


Romney went to the White House for lunch.
What was said there I haven’t a hunch.
Did Mitt say, “Thanks! I’m free
now to be the real me!
I am through with that Tea Party bunch!”

Did the President say in reply,
“I have always thought you’re a good guy,
but I hear in my head
all the mean things you said;
can I now on that promise rely?”?


Some church members have the notion
that their level of emotion
is the mark of their devotion
and on that their kingdom standing must depend.

Some are much too braggadocian,
and their cocky self-promotion
may just get them a demotion,
when the roll is called up yonder in the end!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Rachel Maddow posted this composite photo of the nineteen newly appointed persons who will be serving as committee chairs in the House of Representatives, when the new term begins in January.

Note that there is not one woman or minority person among them!

Will the Republicans ever get the message?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


To be a good loser is challenge enough.
        To be a good winner is equally tough!                                          
Few things ever gall me more under the sun
        than hearing some braggarts shout "We're Number One!"
I have to declare that it sure gets my goat,
        when even the teams that I'm rooting for gloat.
For boxers or merchants or teams and their fans,
        for leaders of nations and vain "also-rans,"
For armies and navies and their personnel,
        for whoever wins and their boosters as well,
it ill behooves any to flaunt their success.
        Sincere gratitude is what they should express.

Monday, November 26, 2012


"Let me live in a house by the side of the road                                                  
and be a friend to man."
With all due respect to old Sam Walter Foss,
I don't know how anyone can!
It's not just his language to which I object.
Inclusive or not, it's the thought.
I have a suspicion the poet elect,
if it had been my house that he bought,
would find himself surely agreeing with me,
before a few days had gone by.
For all of the trash that is dumped on our lawn
would make any home owner cry.
From beer cans and bottles to Styrofoam cups,
old clothing and cigarette butts,
scrap metal and garbage and furniture, too,
and even dead cats and dead mutts.
How can I befriend all those mean litterbugs
whizzing by in their cars and their trucks?
Their thoughtless pollution deserves only wrath
---and a fine of a few hundred bucks!
So take my advice and ignore Mr. Foss,
though he was a remarkable man.
If he moved to a house by the side of the road,
he would need a much bigger trash can!

Friday, November 23, 2012


We can say we love Christ with a smile on our face.  
We can tell everybody we know.
We can share our faith stories all over the place,
but the question remains, Does it show?

We can put it on badges and bumpers of cars
and even on billboards for dough;
We can sing it in churches and shout it in bars,
but the question remains, Does it show?

For actions speak louder than words, as they say,
and faith without works will not grow.
Salvation by grace through faith is the way,
but the question remains, Does it show?

(from Enough, Already! 

Thursday, November 22, 2012


                                                                                      CONFIDENT THANKS

“And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said 'Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me'" (John 11:41, RSV).
         The place is Bethany, a tiny village less than two miles from Jerusalem on the road to Jericho. Mary and Martha are at the tomb of Lazarus, crying over the brother they have lost. Some of their friends have followed them to the tomb, and they, too, are weeping.
         At this moment an anxious silence grips the mourners. The sobbing has momentarily ceased, the weeping and wailing have halted like a suspended sigh, and even the air seems suddenly still. They are staring intently at the quiet figure standing beside the open cave from which the stone has been rolled away. Jesus also has been weeping, but his expression and manner are calm and confident. As the master is about to speak, they wait with bated breath and pounding hearts, sensing the excitement, the expectancy, the anxiety of this moment.
         Lifting his eyes to heaven Jesus utters a prayer of thanksgiving, and then with a loud voice cries: "Lazarus, come out!" From the murky, musty darkness of the tomb, before their wondering eyes, the man they had buried four days ago emerges, still wrapped in his grave clothes, but alive! As they stand there gaping, entranced by the miracle, the sharp command of Jesus snaps them back to the reality of what must have seemed a dream: "Unbind him and let him go."

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


        What ever happened to the “loyal opposition” concept? It has been replaced by what I call “the loser syndrome.”
        You encounter this syndrome in every organization, including in the church. A new pastor comes and those who used to be on the “in” with the former pastor start making odious comparisons and finding fault with the changes that usually occur. Those who have lost power seem to feel they have to exercise their influence in negative ways. They aren’t running things any more, so they oppose, and criticize, and second guess everything the new “regime” is doing. I’m sure you have encountered this attitude somewhere along the way. It’s the loser syndrome.
Illustration by Stephen Kroninger for TIme
       It is especially evident in the current political arena, and the prime example is Senator John McCain, who has never got over his loss to Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential campaign. His and Senator Lindsey Graham’s unwarranted attack on U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice drew a stern rebuke from President Obama, who called the attack “outrageous.” The Senators are accusing the Ambassador of either deliberately lying about the cause of the Benghazi attacks or of being incompetent for not knowing what she should have known. They have vowed to oppose her nomination as Secretary of State, should President Obama choose her to replace Hillary Clinton, who will be leaving the post in January.

Monday, November 19, 2012


        In our nation's concern about our dependency on foreign oil and the laudable desire to find safe alternative sources of energy, such as wind and solar power, "clean" coal, and natural gas, many knowledgeable Americans are deeply concerned about the dangers of the use of hydrofracking to extract natural gas.
        Having written about this issue before (see How One Church Has Addressed the Issue, and ALEC Is At It Again), I now urge those who are not familiar with what looms as a controversy of growing national and even international significance to read the following article, entitled Frack Fight.
        Given the conflict between the general public's concern about gas prices and the environmentalists' concerns about the harmful effects of fracking, between the conflicting economic interests of the oil companies and the health and safety concerns of communities impacted by the process, and given the enormous political implications of the issue, President Obama will face some difficult decisions in the months ahead.
        It will be one of the most challenging tests of his presidential leadership.


A take-off on I Corinthians 15:10 - "But by the grace of
God I am what I am."

God created me.  I don't understand ---
        is what I am now the "me" that God planned?
If by the Lord's grace I am what I am,
        can I be to blame, whatever I am?

Is claiming that just a pretext to say
        whatever I am is really okay?
As if what I am is not up to me?
        So blame it on God, and I go Scot free!

Or does God alone observe the real me,
        not just what I am, but what I can be?
God knows my desires as well as my needs.
        God knows the intent behind all my deeds.

The "me" others know is not the real me;
        nor is it the "me" I want them to see.
I'm not what I seem.  Yet is it not true,
        that masquerade "me" is part of me, too?

Beneath the facades the world need not see;
        the masks that I choose reveal the real me!
Indeed, I confess that it may well be
        those phoney facades are closest to me.

To know who I am may be but a sham.
        Salvation is this:  to know whose I am.
To know I am Christ's by grace and that he
        can free me through faith to be the real me.

(from Now, That's a Miracle!)

Saturday, November 17, 2012


How long will this awful pain last?
I am reaching my breaking point fast!
No one ever could know
that it's hurting me so.
I just pray that the worst part has passed.

But have I any right to complain,
when so many are suffering pain
which is far worse than mine?
Therefore, why should I whine?
There are things that can deaden my pain.

Furthermore, I need not be up tight,
for they tell me that I'll be all right,
while for some on this Ball
there is no hope at all
that the end of their pain is in sight.

While I suffer, therefore, I shall try
to remember those worse off than I.
As I pray for them now,
I feel better somehow
---though it still hurts, I would not deny!


Thursday, November 15, 2012


        On and on it goes. Mitt Romney tells his big donors he lost because of President Obama’s “gifts” to
the African American community, the Hispanic community, and young people. His comments were in keeping with his infamous remarks about the 47% of Americans whom he accused of  paying no income taxes, expecting  handouts, and not wanting to take responsibility for their own lives. When will he ever learn?
        That on top of Karl Rove’s karlrovean assertion that Barack Obama won the election by "suppressing the vote"! When will he ever learn?
Senator Mitch McConnell
        In responding to an editorial in the Louisville Courier Journal celebrating President Obama’s victory, Senator Mitch McConnell wrote “Kentuckians did not, as the editorial board would lead you to believe, suggest that those of us representing their interests capitulate to the wishes of President Obama and his liberal allies in Washington. The fact is, America voted to maintain divided government.” What Senator McConnell failed to note is that the Democratic candidates actually received over half a million votes more than their Republican opponents, who though they lost some seats, managed to maintain the control of the House because of the gerrymandering that took place in Republican States following the 2010 mid-term election. This month’s election was hardly a mandate for divided government! When will they ever learn?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


        Who are the truly loyal Americans?
        They are not the flag-waving red necks whose bigotry oozes out of every pore. Decent folks who care about the truth need to speak up and speak out against the absurd but dangerous rhetoric coming from the radical right. I feel duty bound not to let the racist charges against President Obama which we hear or receive from our friends and others go unchallenged.
        A college classmate of mine keeps sending me anti-Obama propaganda he receives from his far right sources. Usually I read it, because I want to know what the opposition is saying. Then I delete it. But sometimes his material is so blatantly racist and false that I feel compelled to respond.
        His most recent post-election offerings have been so outrageous that I had to reply. Here’s what my former friend (I feel it is appropriate that I change his name), sent me from his friend Sam Holliday, whose name I have not changed:

Monday, November 12, 2012


        God of grace and God of Glory, once again we honor the Veterans, living and dead, of the many wars in which our nation has been involved. We thank you for their service, their sense of duty, their sacrifice, their patriotism, their bravery, their esprit de corps. We pray for those who bear the physical, emotional, and psychological scars of war, and for their families and all who have shared their pain.
        We also lift up to you those for whom this day is a sad reminder of the terrible cost of war, and we pray that every living veteran may feel the gratitude and respect of all their fellow citizens, even of those who may have questioned the justification of our preemptive invasion of Iraq or the wisdom of our prolonged stay in Afghanistan.
        What a privilege, O God, to live in a land where people of good character and conscience can differ in their assessments of our nation’s foreign policy, with equal loyalty to their flag and equal love for the republic for which it stands. What a testimony to the allegiance of our service men and women that they are ready to lay down their lives for their country, even when some of them may not fully understand the reasons for the war they are fighting.
        God of all nations, having just reelected our President and Vice President to a second term in office, we ask your special blessing upon them and upon all who will be serving with them in the Administration and in the Congress, as they face the enormous challenges ahead. In your great mercy, heal the divisions in our land, and dispel the bitterness of the recent campaign that we may unite as a nation in our prayers for all who bear the weight of public office, regardless of their party affiliation.
        Give to our new president and to every office holder, at whatever level of government, the humility to acknowledge their limitations, the wisdom to discern the best solutions to the world’s problems, the good will to work in a spirit of non-partisanship to solve those problems, the integrity to put principle above expediency, and the commitment to live up to their campaign promises.   In so doing, may they learn the fine art of compromise for the sake of progress.
        We acknowledge, O God, that we honor our veterans best by doing our best for them on the home front and giving them the support they need during and after their time in the service.
         “We are living, we are dwelling in a grand an d awful time.”. . . “Let there be light, Lord God of hosts!  Let there be wisdom on the earth!  Let broad humanity have birth!  Let there be deeds instead of boasts!”
         And if it be your will, O God, let there be peace on earth, for your kingdom’s sake.  Amen.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Karl Rove
        It has been interesting to watch the Republicans play the blame game. Karl Rove wins the prize for charging that President Obama won “by suppressing the vote”! There we have the most blatant example of the karlrovean tactic by the man who personifies it: accuse your opponent of that of which your side is guilty! Imagine a Republican accusing the Democrats of voter suppression!
        Other Republicans are blaming Hurricane Sandy for disrupting Mitt Romney’s momentum; or Governor Christie for his generous praise of President Obama’s leadership in responding to the storm; or the liberal bias of the main stream media; or the remarks of extremists like Todd Akin, whose candidacy for the Senate Romney endorsed; or the choice of Paul Ryan as Romney’s running mate instead of someone like Senator Marco Rubio, who they think would have narrowed the gap among Latino voters; or the Democrats’  negative attacks on Romney that succeeded in defining him early on as a “vulture capitalist” who couldn’t relate to and didn’t care about middle class Americans; or the fact that the Democrats had a much more sophisticated ground game than the Republicans; etc., etc.

Thursday, November 8, 2012


        I stayed up until 3:00 a.m. last night, watching the election returns. President Obama’s reelection was a victory for all Americans, even those who voted against him! For all Americans stand to benefit from the President’s policies.
        Barack Obama’s impressive victory, though not a “mandate,” is certainly a confirmation of the direction in which the nation is heading under his leadership and the progress that he has made so far. While there is much to be done, as the President is the first to admit, his reelection is a most gratifying vindication of his many first-term accomplishments, which have been so meanly misrepresented by his opponents throughout the presidential campaign.
        It is also a well-deserved repudiation of right-wing extremism, of the attack ads of the superPACs, billionaires like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers and their efforts to buy the election,  of “birthers” like Donald Trump, of the fear mongering conspiracy hunters, fueled by the Citizens United backed producers of the “documentary” film 2016: Obama’s America, which paints the President as conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood to turn America into a Muslim state, and of the Republican state officials who tried to steal the election with their restrictive voter I.D. laws and other measures designed to prevent or discourage primarily Democratic voters from exercising their fundamental right to vote.  
        On a brighter note, Mitt Romney’s concession speech was commendably gracious and apolitical. It was also relatively brief, maybe because, according to rumor, he had not prepared one in advance. Maybe his delay in conceding the election was not due to his campaign’s unwillingness to concede Ohio to the Democrats, but to his need to work on a speech he never thought he would have to give.
        One of the things that pleased and impressed me most about what was obviously a very sad and difficult moment for Governor Romney and his disappointed followers, who had been hoping for a very different kind of message from their leader, was the crowd’s response to his announcement that he had just called to congratulate President Obama on his victory and to wish him and his family well. Instead of the usual outburst of booing that we are accustomed to hearing from the losing side at the mention of their opponent’s name, there was spontaneous, polite applause!
        Shortly after that, at the Democratic headquarters in Chicago, there was also a round of applause when the President reported on his opponent’s call and complimented him on his hard-fought campaign. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the similar reactions of both camps were a sign of a new desire for bipartisan cooperation in the days ahead?  
        We’ll soon find out!

Friday, November 2, 2012


Pres. Obama and Gov.Christie on Marine One
        To those who have been following my posts I apologize for my recent inactivity, but I was without Internet access for a few days because of hurricane Sandy and unable to access my blog.
        That was frustrating for me, as I’ve had so many thoughts I wanted to share. I was so impressed by President Obama’s immediate and forceful response to Sandy, and especially by his and New Jersey Governor Christie’s commendable cooperation in dealing with the disastrous effects of the storm. The President’s actions drew high praise from the man who gave the keynote address at the Republican Convention and who has until now been a blistering critic of Barack Obama. His praise of the President’s leadership and the help of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) completely contradicts Mitt Romney’s campaign rhetoric!
        Meanwhile the Republican candidate is desperately trying to lie his way into the White House. He keeps on trying to scare Ohioans by charging that the Chrysler Corporation is planning to ship the manufacturing of Jeeps to China, despite the angry contradiction of Chrysler’s CEO.  Romney’s ads continue to level a similar charge against the General Motors Corporation, drawing an unprecedented blast from GM.