Sunday, December 10, 2017

Summit Hill Church Tour

Today four of Summit Hill’s churches along with the Summit Hill Heritage Center were open to the public.  Linda and I went on the tour.

It was kind of sad.  We only saw a few people taking advantage of the opportunity to see the interior of St. Joseph’s Panther Valley Catholic Church, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Hope of Christ Presbyterian Church, and Church on the Rock.  All four churches were impressive, and all four are suffering the loss of membership.  


I am an atheist, but I take no pleasure in seeing a decline in mainline churches.  These churches are community centers, the communal glue that helps to hold us together and gives meaning to people’s lives.  Their loss is our loss.  

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Same old Native American policy

I read that the U.S. has never honored any treaty ever made with American Indians.  I don’t whether that is true or not, but I do know that Indians have been shunted to land that the U.S. government thought was worthless.  If that land later turned out to be valuable, it was taken anyway.

We saw that with the Dakota Access pipeline.  We are seeing it again with Bears Ears, land sacred to a number of Indian tribes.  That part of Utah may have petroleum or valuable minerals.  White people want it.  Trump has shrunk Bears Ears from 1.35 million acres to 201,876 acres.  That is less than 1/5 what President Obama set aside.  


After all, they are only Indians.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Sexual predators stick together

Trump is traveling to Pensacola to campaign for Roy Moore.  Are you surprised?  They can get together and laugh about the woman they harassed, touched, pawed, grabbed, and worse. 

I can just see them in the White House, snickering and joking.

And just in case you forgot, here is a quote, on tape, from our President.  “Women, you haves to treat ‘em like shit.”  


Make America Great Again.  Really?

Thursday, December 7, 2017

WWJP

Quite a few Christians wear a wrist band with the initials WWJD, which stands for “What would Jesus do?  It is to remind the wearer that in difficult situations, he or she should act according to the teachings of Jesus.

Now Christians have another wristband to wear.  Liz Cheney, Republican Senator from Wyoming, said the right to carry a concealed weapon is “God given.”  


The new wrist band is WWJP.  That stands for “What would Jesus pack?”

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Republicans respond to mass shootings

Finally, Republican congressional members are responding to the mass murders in Las Vegas and at the Texas church.  A House committee recently approved a bill to expand gun owners’ rights.  Gun owners with a state-issued concealed carry permit (say Missouri) would be allowed to carry an handgun in any state (say New York).  This is called reciprocity.

The bill does not say that a resident of a state that allows marijuana use would be granted reciprocity to use marijuana in any other state.


The concealed carry permit bill is backed by the N.R.A.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Jerusalem

Israelis and Palestinians argue about which imaginary friend is the true God.  I get that.  I also get that both sides in this dispute have done stupid things, are locked in a struggle, and can’t seem to find a way out.  

Nonetheless, the U.S. has, until this point, tried to be a somewhat honest broker, tilting toward Israel, but within limits.

Tomorrow, if what we are hearing is correct, that will change when Trump recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  It will upset the Middle East and is one of the worst foreign policy moves this administration will have made in a year of stupid and harmful foreign policy moves.  


Some commentators say this is Trump trying to please his base.  I don’t think that the hoofties at the Palmerton Rod and Gun Club who voted for Trump last year really care about Jerusalem.  This is just a stupid move.  When you think it can’t get much worse, it gets worse.

Monday, December 4, 2017

111 out of 228

What would you call a political system that had a legislature with 228 seats up for election, but in 111 of those races, there was only one candidate on the ballot?  That is just short of half of the legislative seats in which voters had no choice.  You certainly wouldn’t call it a democracy.

You could, however, call it Pennsylvania.  Those were the statistics from the last election in 2016.  I learned that at a Fair Districts Pennsylvania presentation tonight at the Palmerton Library.  


Everybody knows how government no longer works, largely because of the results of a gerrymandered legislature.  Unfortunately, the bipartisan bill to set up an independent commission to draw fair districts can’t even get out of committee.  It’s Pennsylvania.