by Bil Aulenbach

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Today’s issues

Spoiled Brats

Usually when we refer to spoiled brats, we’re talking about children. Not in this blog post—I’m referring to the now-infamous parents who decided to “help” their children attend the college of the parents’ choice.

The journalistic name given to this travesty is the college admissions scandal, which currently involves thirty-three parents who allegedly bribed a man named William “Rick” Singer to perform all sorts of illegal and immoral actions to help their children gain admission to prestigious colleges.… Read more >

My Aversion to Conversion

I recently read a magazine article about an acclaimed Jamaican author, Marlon James, and his award-winning book, A Brief History of Seven Killings.

My interest was piqued when he shared his “deep secret.” Before his writing career took off, Marlon became a fundamentalist Christian to deal with the fact that he was gay in a country plagued with homophobia.… Read more >

Don’t Gag Gaga

About a dozen years ago, a young woman with outlandish attire appeared on the entertainment scene. At first, I thought Lady Gaga was a Madonna copycat, but as I watched her over the years, I found her to be a bright, articulate woman who has a social conscience as well as outstanding singing, acting, and songwriting skills.… Read more >

This Stinketh, and Jesus Must Be Weeping

John 11 tells the story of Lazarus’s death and resurrection. In the King James Version (KJV), John 11:39 says that Lazarus had been dead for four days when Jesus visited his tomb and that “he stinketh.” John 11:35, the shortest verse in the King James translation, reads, “Jesus wept.”

Annie and I usually eat dinner in front of the television and watch the PBS NewsHour.… Read more >

I Hate This Country!

Sorry. My parents taught me to never say the word hate—it’s mean and a cry for attention. I can almost hear my mom shouting from her urn, “Bil, I told you to never use ‘hate’ again!” Sorry, Mom! But the direction this country is going pains me. I constantly feel hopeless.… Read more >

The Scrooge of July 4

I was an amphibious tank officer in the Marine Corps. The turrets of the tanks we used had 105mm howitzer cannons with huge firepower that made an ear-piercing noise. Ever since my days in the Marine Corps, I have not appreciated loud noises, and this includes fireworks. A few have called me the Scrooge of July 4.… Read more >

“It’s Really Hard to Be a Catholic”

“‘It’s Really Hard to Be a Catholic’: The Pain of Reading the Sex Abuse Report” is an eye-catching headline in the August 16, 2018, issue of the New York Times. The world has grappled with the issue of Roman Catholic clergy abusing children for decades. The problem never seems to be resolved, and maybe it even worsens as more skeletons come out of the closet.… Read more >

Our Country’s Behavior Bar Is at a New Low

Every day after I finish my morning meditation, I read the newspapers. At times, this feels counterproductive, especially in today’s world. Maybe I should read the paper first, get all worked up, and then do my devotions and calm down again. As my favorite prayer says: Whatever!

I always save the best section of the newspapers for last—the comics.… Read more >

What’s Wrong with This Picture?

Orange County’s latest project cost $35 million and is located on a ten-acre campus with state-of-the-art housing for up to four hundred homeless occupants. Each separate area is entirely soundproof and temperature-controlled. The five-star facility is two stories and over thirty thousand square feet. It features a large reception area with friendly greeters, large outdoor recreational areas, well-marked drop-off locations, outstanding medical facilities, and classrooms for educational activities.… Read more >