Ex Tempore

Refugees, Religion and Peter Pan Advice

Angelika Rust

People have often told me that I’m too innocent, too naive. This post is probably going to prove them right, and more. The sad fact is that Billy Joel got it exactly right. People will tell you that you’re too naive the instant they figure out that you have not lost faith in the things you believe. (The link doesn’t work for Germany due to the usual GEMA issues. Hope you’ll have more luck in other countries.)

All over Europe and large parts of the rest of the world, people are talking about the refugee crisis. Recently, the topic swept into our household. I was talking to the kids about how they mistreat the way too many toys they have, and about appreciating what you’ve got. And as such discussions go, it led to talking about other kids in the world, who have absolutely nothing. My little boy asked…

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Don’t Waste Your Vote

Is Donald Trump a dangerous madman?  Is Hillary Clinton assassinating her political foes?  Is someone rigging the ballots and cheating us out of our elections?

I’m pretty sure Trump is far more clever and personable than he lets on, and I’m also quite certain that nobody who’s as much in the spotlight as Senator Clinton could sneak away from her Secret Service entourage long enough to commit murder.  But the answer to that third question is an emphatic “YES!” (more…)

It’s Snowing — And The Government Shuts Down

Yesterday, there was an inch of snow, and the President’s motorcade got stuck on the road.  Literally stuck.  Literally on the road.  One inch.

Tomorrow, there’s two feet of snow due.  Will the Federal government shut down?

It’s a serious concern.  During the winter of ’09-’10, not one but two (more…)

Stag Arms: Villain Or Victim?

For those of you who have been following the news, the recent announcement by Stag Arms about their plea deal with the ATF is unsurprising.  For those of you that haven’t been paying attention, here’s a basic rundown:

Stag is a true niche manufacturer.  They assemble the only version of the AR-15 presently on the market that’s designed for left-handers, specifically (more…)

Pledging My Allegiance

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

That was the text of the Pledge until the mid-1950s, after which some changes were made.  Most of these were (more…)

Apologetics And Apologies: A Sermon

I’m preaching religion here, folks.  I don’t usually do that; we get preached at quite enough in our lives — the TV blares at us, our bosses yell at us, our spouses yammer at us, and Facebook memes shout their simplistic half-truths and loaded messages all day long.  (Many seem to involve Starbucks cups.)

This time, though, I think it’s worth you being a little irritated.  It’s in a good cause.

You see, I’m afraid you may be suffering under a misapprehension, and if so I’d like to correct it.  I am sorry that I have to preach in order to do so.  I’ll try to make it as painless as possible. (more…)

Why Terrorism Is Stupid

Bombings in Egypt and Lebanon.  Shootings in Paris and California.  Terror attack after terror attack after terror attack.

Folks, we’re in the situation we’re in because people are ignorant and easily deluded.  I refer both to terrorists, exploited and manipulated into committing their ghastly acts, and to you the reader.  In order to oppose this, (more…)

Prayer vs. Gun Laws

The New York Daily News is renowned for attention-grabbing headlines.  “Anything to sell a paper” could be their motto (and some say it is).  Today, they’ll be printing “God Isn’t Fixing This” on the front page as a slap at the Republican presidential candidates. (more…)

Reinterpreting Einstein (And Joshua Feuerstein)

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
– Albert Einstein

A friend and I were discussing this tonight, and we saw it in different ways.

“Science is science, religion is religion.  They are NOT mutually dependent,” he said.  As he continued, I had to admit I saw the justice in what he was saying.  The two are quite distinct, two very different ways of seeing the world, for science applies logic to perception and measures the universe, seeking facts, finding and testing rules; whereas religion seems to apply its own rules to the universe, forcing everything that exists to fit into the laws and commandments and rituals of the faith. (more…)