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Don’t Bless Me

Why do people say, “God bless you” when you sneeze? Yes, I know the story … this response to sneezing dates back to the days of the plague, when sneezing was a sign that you had caught it. People said, “God bless you” because in reality, you were going to need it. In other words, “God bless you because now you’re going to die.” But why today? I find it irritating, to be honest. I sneeze and someone inadvertently says, “God bless you,” and then, because I am a two-to-three-times-in-a-row sneezer, the person says, “God bless you” again, and then…

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Trump’s #FakeParade

This is my father in South Korea in 1968. He originally had received orders for Vietnam but two weeks before he was due to ship out, the North Koreans seized the SSUS Pueblo and his squadron was sent to Osan Air Force Base instead. He was gone for over a year. The risks of serving in South Korea were admittedly less than that of Vietnam and, to be honest, we were relieved although his absence cut a huge hole in our lives. Still, there were dangers and lives lost there even though the Korean War was long over, since there was…

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Florida School Shooting Brings Back Haunting Memories

The Valentine’s Day Massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida evoked a memory of when my own daughter attended Hunter B. Andrews School in Hampton, Virginia years ago and a kid brought a gun to school. My recollection was triggered by the haunting news clip of an anguished mother whose daughter was one of the 17 killed when a former student found his way in and mowed down more than two dozen people with his AR-15. In the sound bite, now all over the Internet and on every news station, the mother screams out to Trump, “What…

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American Christians Need to Ask Themselves, “Who is Our Neighbor?”

Republicans have been good at fanning the flames of fear, linking the entire religion of Islam to terrorism while promoting the idea that there is a war on Christianity in America. And in the now repeated slogan that claims we need to return to our “Christian roots” lays the irony that we are ignoring perhaps one of Jesus’ most famous parables, the story of the Good Samaritan. In Jesus’ time, Samaritans and Judean Jews despised each other. In light of this, Jesus told the story of a man who was attacked by robbers, stripped and beaten, and left for dead…

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