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 >
Jesus must have loved picnics. The Gospels recount two humongous picnics hosted by Rabbi Jesus.
The Gospels call them feedings instead of picnics, but that’s just semantics. Both picnics and feedings happen outside on the ground despite challenging weather and insects.
Mark’s descriptions of the two picnics are long winded (6:30–44 and 8:1–10).… Read more >
I recently read Damascus Gate, a novel by Robert Stone that talks about Israel’s four-thousand-years-long quest for a Messiah. At one point, a character says, “I am my own Messiah.” Interesting!
For as long as I can remember, the church has told me that I can’t save myself. Is that because I’m not smart enough or because the church wants to control me and every facet of my life?… Read more >
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 >
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 >
There are six church seasons: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, and Pentecost.
Christmas is probably most people’s favorite. I like it as a secular holiday but not as a religious one—I see no reason to celebrate fairy tales. We have no idea where, when, or how Jesus was born, but we sure spend a lot of energy and money celebrating the unknown.… Read more >
I was in a Sunday morning adult education class about the book of Revelation (I call it the book of Revolting) when someone suggested that this book was a study of good versus evil. I asked the class who gets to decide who or what is good or evil.
Dictionary.com defines evil as “morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked.”
Most of the world says that Hitler and the Nazis were evil.… Read more >
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 >
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 >
The contrast between the church I grew up in and the church of today is like black and white. The church of my youth was alive and vital. Today’s church has rigor mortis.
I think I know. Change happened.
The church was strong and growing when I was ordained in 1960.… Read more >