Peace Love Joy Hope

by Bil Aulenbach

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“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 >

If Religious, Will One Live Longer?

The February 26, 2018, issue of Time magazine featured several articles on the theme of how to live longer better. One article entitled “You Asked: Do Religious People Live Longer?” insinuated that going to church might increase longevity.

My last book, Cramming for the Finals, was dedicated to a Roman Catholic priest, Father Tom Schutter, who died at sixty-eight.… Read more >

Hole or No Hole?

In a previous blog post entitled “Mother Teresa and Doubting Thomas,” my editor included a painting by Caravaggio of Doubting Thomas sticking his fingers deep into the chest wound of the “resurrected” Jesus (also shown here). When my editor first showed me the picture, I thought that it seemed a little morbid, but when I looked again, I saw an opportunity for a blog post.… 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 >

The Immaculate Conception Equals the Immaculate Deception

I read a fun story in the newspaper last week about a congressman who received a lecture from a radio commentator because he confused the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception with the doctrine of the Incarnation—an easy thing to do, since both are total foolishness.

One might call the Immaculate Conception and the Incarnation fake news from long ago, but the church insists on continuing to market this fake news to its own detriment.… 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 >

The Jesus Family Rift

Has your family ever had a rift that prevented members from loving each other? As a retired psychotherapist, I am always surprised at how many families have had or still have interfamily conflicts. Family rifts are more common than one might think. Fact is, it seems to be the rare family that doesn’t have conflict in its history.… Read more >

From Glad to Mad—in the Blink of an Eye

Our weekly Bible study group is currently reading the Gospel of Luke, written around the turn of the first century CE. Luke is religious history (accuracy isn’t important) about the pre-Jesus, told through the metaphor of resurrection. Our group has studied Jesus’s birth, his youth, and his baptism, and now we’re studying his early ministry.… Read more >