Friday, July 28, 2006

Reunion Time

I'm off to my30th High School Reunion. Thirty years ago I was a much different person. I really didn't know where I was going in life. Like many of my friends I thought I'd be a youth minister, so off to Bible College I went. I did some youth ministry, but that wasn't my thing.

Klamath Union High School was an interesting place. It was where I learned to write (2 years on the newspaper staff), sang some, and tried to live the "Christian life." I was a bit shy and not confident in myself. But I more than survived and I look back fondly at the friends I made and the things I learned. I'm not the person I was back then, but who would want to be the same person 30 years later?

And so I make the trek north to my home town. No family left there and very few friends in town. Most of us left town and made new lives. That's the way it is in a small city.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Middle East Crisis

I'm an eternal optimist and believe that in time the situation in the Middle East will be resolved. I believe that saner heads will prevail. But it will take people of imagination and will to overcome the violence and come up with a new way of living together.

This afternoon I went to say goodbye to the sons of my rabbi friend who are heading for Israel -- they will serve in the Israeli army. I pray for their safety and that this situation will calm down by the time they enter the army. So they will be my link and I will pray for them and their family.

But even if we don't know anyone personally we're all connected as human beings. It may seem far off, but the consequences are near.

I've written more on this in today's edition of the Lompoc Record. If you hit the title of this post you will find yourself at the article. Read it and then come back and post a comment.

Let's also pray that good things will happen in the coming weeks! To try nothing is to let the failure of the imagination win.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Yellow Journalism

I believe in the First Amendment and its protections of religion, speech and the press. At times in our history all three have suffered, though more recently speech and the press that have been the most circumscribed. Recently the New York Times has been charged with treason by some politicians for "revealing" something the present administration has been crowing about. Anyway, enough of that.

On a more local level, the Santa Barbara News Press is in an upheaval, in large part because of an owners attempt to "control" the news. She and her editorial page editor (now acting publisher) want the news to reflect their often strange views of the world -- which interestingly enough have a tint of anti-religion to them. Six editors, a long time columnist/reporter (of 46 years), and now a reporter have all resigned in protest of recent changes. Of course there are news outlets that reflect the odd ball views of their owners -- witness Fox News -- but this is our hometown paper upon which we're dependent for reliable and accurate news reporting. That the editorials are bizarre, well that's okay as long as it doesn't get mixed in elsewhere. Now we're not sure where to turn!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th


It's the 4th of July and I'm about to go to the annual parade (my son's band is marching in it). We'll BBQ some burgers and enjoy the day. We're not doing anything special, but in our own way we'll celebrate the freedoms that make this nation what it is. As I write this many of these freedoms are under attack -- not from outside, but from within. They are threatened by an imperial presidency who values secrecy and seeks to accumulate power. We have a congress and now possibly a judiciary beholden to this president. In the name of security we're giving away hard fought freedoms of speech and the press. We have security agencies keeping tabs on peaceful protests. Fear is driving much of this.

The Democratic party -- the loyal opposition -- has shown little ability to mount a defense of our freedoms. They've been muzzled and humiliated and now they've lost their voices. Those who speak out are called unpatriotic. I remember the phrase: "America -- love it or leave it." To critique our nation's actions is not to disparage the nation, it is to call it to its foundations.

Happy 4th of July