Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Happy 81st birthday, Bob Dylan!

      My wife and I saw him in concert this March at the Township in Columbia, SC. It was a good venue. He only did one old song, opening with "Watching the River Flow." That was a little disappointing, but we did not want to miss an opportunity to see a living legend. "Rough and Rowdy Ways", the most recent album, dominated.

     In high school, some of us tried to convince our teachers that Dylan was a poet. We had no success, but neither did they convince us that Dylan was not a poet. What has come out since is that Dylan has a vast knowledge of music and literature. The Sirius XM show of his, "Theme Time Radio" is the perfect forum for him. 

    He is enigmatic and confuses at times even his friends.  wish he had actually given a speech at his Nobel Laureate award ceremony. 

    This song channels Walt Whitman. It is not that much of a stretch to call Dylan a modern Whitman.

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Weaponizing the Eucharist- Shameful- Now it's Speaker Pelosi Who is Banned

       This is going to be a longer piece than a tweet could be. For the benefit of readers not from or familiar with the US political scene, the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade which legalized abortion will likely be overturned by an increasingly fractious Supreme Court. Several states, including South Carolina, which is where I live, will ban abortion in ALL cases.

       This means that if a woman is raped and impregnated, she will have to give birth. Same for a teenager. 

       And the same politicians tend not to support things like WIC, AFDC, and other programs that help children born into poverty.

        While I do not believe that abortion should be used as birth control, I believe that a woman should be able to make these decisions. Her partner should be involved, ideally her family, friends, and other professionals including clergy. Full disclosure; I am a pastor in good standing (retired) in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. ELCA members can be pro-choice or pro-life. We remain in fellowship, sacramental, and in other ways.

         If you have not read the above link, please do so now.  Candidate Biden encountered the same thing here in South Carolina early in 2020. That a Roman Catholic archbishop elevates one point of doctrine above all others and makes that the one indispensable criterion for faith is to me theologically, pastorally, and completely wrong. 

        As St. John Chrysostom said long ago, the Church is a hospital for sinners. We do not control the Sacraments. I do not quiz people on their theology, politics, interests, or anything when I invite them to receive the Eucharist. Rather, I leave that up to God's mercy. 

        I wish the archbishop in San Francisco did the same.


Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Poetry Inspires Ukrainians! 

     I am so glad to see this get a wider audience. A few weeks ago this was in the Literary Hub, but now CNN shares it as well. Long live Ukraine! Long live freedom and democracy!

Monday, May 9, 2022

Muddy River Poetry Review Published a Poem About my Mother 

     I became a teacher in large part because of my mother (although I had a few other carers). She taught for two 10-year periods, qualifying her for retirement from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania back when teacher salaries were low. The profession was not as embattled as it is today, though.

     Whatever else was going on in her life or the world n general, Mom found comfort and joy in the classroom. The last decade was spent in what became a Middle School in Norristown, PA in an integrated school. It was not unusual for current or former students to greet her at the supermarket or the Mall even when they had gone on to high school or graduated.

     There is a poem about my father, but that is out on submission. I doubt if I can post it on Father's Day this year.

More poetry and my novel:

Happy 81st birthday, Bob Dylan!

      My wife and I saw him in concert this March at the Township in Columbia, SC. It was a good venue. He only did one old song, opening wi...