­­ Bumper sticker of the week: So many freaks, not enough circuses.

­­ Quote of the week: ''One of the hardest peacemaker vows is the vow not to blame others. It is very human to deny responsibility for our lives. And since our lives involve other people from the minute we are born, it is very human to lay the responsibility for our lives on their doorsteps.'' Bearing Witness, Bernie Glassman

­­ It is a hopeless paradox attempting to make peace while waging war.

­­ Cowboy laws:

-- Don't bother anyone that ain't bothering you.--

Never jump on another man's horse until you're invited. Then be careful.--

Never kick a turd on a hot day.--

If you can play a guitar or a harmonica, you'll never go thirsty.--

Telling a man to go to hell and getting him there are two different things.

­­ When puppets are outlawed, only outlaws will have puppets.

­­ The U.S. military budget is 22 times the combined military budgets of the seven countries the Pentagon identifies as our prime enemies. That level of spending was before Sept. 11th. In addition, the U.S. holds 50 percent market share in supplying arms around the world. Most of our customers end up using our own weapons against us. They want us to believe this all makes sense. It don't.

­­ Every religion has its fundamentalists. Christianity is no exception. Even in Galesburg, we have our fair share of ministers who operate out of a fear of secular society and the evil they believe it represents. Many persons are afraid to face what is lurking around the corner. The unknown. Instead of welcoming the opportunity, they cower behind rules that were established for a people 2,500 years ago, before Christ made his appearance and upset the rule makers. Oddly enough, fundamentalism had its advent in America at the beginning of the twentieth century. Fundamentalists are fearful of the future, of the possibility that the secular culture will wipe out religion. Fundamentalism is a reaction, often a paranoid one, to a changing world. It always walks hand in hand with a discontent for participatory democracy, technology, and secularism. Fundamentalism is the shadow-side of change and evolution. The more pressure technology and change places on fundamentalists, the more reactionary and excessively literal they become.

Fundamentalism is attractive to people who are scared. While progress does not always bring comfort, it is far better to struggle with the discomfort than it is to accept complacency, apathy, and a mournful cry to bring back the past.

­­ The cry to help the Boy Scouts discriminate against people because of their sexual preference is no more than some of the same fundamentalism floating around the world, lifting its head up in many different places in an attempt to dictate what is right, or what should be. These ministers play on our fears of the unknown and the diverse. They adopt scriptures to play into their own fears and insecurities. They take rules made 2,500 years ago and wrap them in sermons designed to judge others, to make us believe they are unfit, unworthy, incapable of receiving God's loving kindness. Hopefully their churches will become as empty as their hearts. My Christmas wish is that their words fall on deaf ears.

­­ ''The abortionists have got to bear some burden for this because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America, I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.''' Rev. Jerry FaIwell, Sept. 13, 2001, 700 Club.

­­ The only terror that one should be feeling now is that of war. The leaders of the world cower behind bunkers and concertina wire, unable to clearly articulate a message of peace and justice for all the world's citizens. As our vision clears from the tears shed on Sept. 11th, let it be understood that we are the world's fortunate citizens. It is we who must not fulfill the prophecy of hatred and death and destruction that is called for by the terrorists of the world. It is our duty to be reasoned, and gentle and compromising with those struggling to be heard and understood. Terror demands extremism, fanaticism and war. A call has gone out to the peacemakers, raise your voices against violence, demand patient justice. God blesses all persons.

Uploaded to The Zephyr Online December 11, 2001

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