by Bil Aulenbach

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Today’s issues

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 >

“The Faith of Donald J. Trump: A Spiritual Biography”

I kid ye not! The Faith of Donald J. Trump: A Spiritual Biography is a brand-new book cowritten by David Brody, a reporter for the Christian Broadcasting Network, and Scott Lamb, a Southern Baptist pastor.

I’m being a little facetious, but I thought that maybe the book would be ten pages long with a big preface, a very full foreword by Mike Pence, and an extensive epilogue by Franklin Graham (Billy Graham’s son) with many pages of endorsements by the likes of Sean Hannity, Dennis Prager, and Jerry Falwell Jr., all of whom have suggested that Trump “walks on water.”

I was wrong!… Read more >

Bound Consciences

While visiting Jerusalem in November 2017, I attended an interfaith book launch for a book written by a Palestinian Arab Christian. At the reception, I spoke with an Evangelical Lutheran pastor about her church in Jerusalem and asked how Jews, Christians and Muslims treated the LGBTQUI community in the Holy Lands.… Read more >

And the Children Shall Lead Us

In the Marine Corps, I was an expert marksman with both the .45 pistol and the M1 rifle. But I left the Corps in 1958 because I was much more interested in loving people than shooting them.

I have no problem with people owning rifles and pistols, but I have a real hard time when I hear them talk about their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, which could theoretically include tanks, artillery, machine guns, and bazookas.… Read more >

“The Earth Is Flat”

The Los Angeles Times ran an article on January 15, 2018, entitled “The Earth Is Round, and Other Myths, Debunked by the Flat Earth Movement (You Read That Right),” and here are a few quotes:

“Earth is less a big blue marble than a big blue pancake.”

“Earth is surrounded by a wall of ice holding back the seas.”

“The sun is about 3,419.5 miles away.” (Three thousand, four hundred and nineteen point five is “about?”)

“It’s [the sun] not a burning ball of hydrogen gas, it is electrostatic energy.… Read more >

Take a Knee

I’m a take-a-knee guy because of Jesus and because I am a veteran.

I am proud of those athletes who have taken a knee during the national anthem. The gesture is nonviolent, delivers a very strong message—and no one gets hurt. I believe that protesting is one of the foundation stones of a democracy and what being a Follower of the Way is all about.… Read more >

The Holocaust in Israel

I suspect almost everyone on earth has heard the word holocaust. The immediate association is what the German Nazis did to the Jews, gays, Gypsies, and disabled during World War II. I recently witnessed what I would call a holocaust in Israel and the Palestinian territories, of all places.

Two of the definitions for holocaust on Dictionary.com are “a great or complete devastation or destruction, especially by fire,” and “any mass slaughter or reckless destruction of life.” Both of these definitions work for me and this blog.… Read more >