by Bil Aulenbach

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Daily living

Don’t Split—Educate

When I grew up during the 1930s and 1940s, I had no understanding of the terms lesbian, nonbinary, transgender, gay (back then, it meant “happy”), bisexual, or undecided (pertaining to sexuality). I did know the words homo, fag, and queer.

I don’t think I knew anyone who was any of the above, and I only used those words in a pejorative way.… Read more >

My Pal, Pastor Paul

In 2008, Annie and I decided to leave the Episcopal church in southern California, which was most unwelcoming. We returned to the more welcoming St. Mattress.

One day, I was talking with a United Congregational pastor friend, and he asked what church I served. I answered, “St. Mattress.” He smiled but suggested that when Annie and I got too many bedsores, we might try Irvine United Congregational Church.… Read more >

Come See John’s Heart

I was reading the Los Angeles Times on Sunday, April 7, 2019, and this article caught my eye: “150-Year-Old Priestly Heart Tours the U.S.” I had to read the title again. Yes, that’s what it said.

Unbelievable!

It seems the real heart of a Roman Catholic priest, John Vianney, has been set in a little glass box with a cross on top and is touring the United States.… Read more >

My Ski Retreats

Annie and I recently went to Big Bear Lake, California, for three days of skiing. The conditions were idyllic: sunny blue sky, forty degrees, six feet of snow pack, well-groomed trails, and not many people.

In 1975, after living in Hawai’i for twenty years, Annie and I moved to southern California.… Read more >

To Vaccinate or Not?

I am an authority on vaccinations, not by education but by on-the-job training. My wife and I are the parents of a rubella (German measles) baby, born fifty-four years ago. We still feel the effects, and life hasn’t been easy.

I also come at this issue from a Christian ethical point of view.… Read more >

My Obit

I have a friend who reads the obituaries every morning, and if his name isn’t in there, he gets dressed.

I also read the obits every day out of curiosity.

With tongue in cheek, I present my future obituary.

William Hamilton Aulenbach, Jr.: October 28, 1932–February 29, 2042

Bil died surrounded by no one while skiing alone.… Read more >

Evolving

This is the story of my life—and yours too, I hope. We are constantly evolving, if we allow ourselves to. Many don’t.

In my lifetime, I suspect civilization has evolved more than in any other era of history. Most folks don’t think they are evolving, it just happens—but we have come a long way from the Neanderthal.… Read more >

No More “Thoughts and Prayers”

I have a friend in the Bay Area who emails me cartoons that are political as well as funny. Last week, he sent me a cartoon showing a machine gun going “blam blam blam” under the caption “Semiautomatic.” Then, under the caption “Fully Automatic,” a man labeled “Congress” continuously says “Thoughtsandprayersthoughtsandprayersthoughtsandprayersthoughtsandprayers.”

I thought this cartoon was extremely clever, and I immediately associated it with the words so many of our politicians say after another tragic shooting of students, or other innocent people, by a crazy gunman with a semiautomatic weapon.… Read more >

On the Road for 6,750 Miles

In May 2018, my wife, Annie, and I drove 6,750 miles from Irvine to Arkansas to the East Coast to New Hampshire to Chicago and then back home to California. I was on tour talking about my newest book, Cramming for the Finals, and the power of Progressive Christianity. Along the way, we visited family and friends and slept in fifteen different beds at eight different stops.… Read more >