The Thirty Minute Blogger

Exploring Books and the Writer's Life, Faith and Works, Culture and Pop Culture, Space Science and Science Fiction, Technology and Nostalgia, Parenting and Childhood, Health: Physical and Emotional ... All Under the Iron Hands of the Clock and That 30 Minute Deadline

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Powerful Pastoral Letter from the American Baptist Churches USA General Secretary

In light of the recent violence in the US and the UK, Rev. Dr. Lee Spitzer, the General Secretary of the denomination provides a powerful letter stating what American Baptists have always stood for. A sample of this important letter reads: 

In 2017, American Baptists gladly and forthrightly reassert our fundamental Baptist convictions regarding individual liberty, dignity and respect for all people, regardless of their racial or ethnic heritage, political or religious beliefs, or any other factor. In 1976, the General Board affirmed a policy statement on human rights, which said:
“Baptist history is rooted in concern for conscience and for freedom of individual beliefs, for choice, and for unregimented living whether by religious dogma and institution or by social and political structures. John Bunyan in prison and Roger Williams driven from Massachusetts, reflect commitment to these ideas, as did Martin Luther King, in his witness to human dignity and the rights of minority groups. Resolutions by the American Baptist Churches over the years have particularly sought to reflect the denomination’s basic principles of freedom of thought and belief, the right of dissent, the responsibility to speak prophetically to church and society and support for human dignity and social justice.”
For the full letter, see: http://www.abc-usa.org/2017/06/16/a-pastoral-letter-from-abcusa-general-secretary-rev-dr-lee-b-spitzer/

Friday, June 9, 2017

Philadelphia Holds Powerful Conversation on Racism in 2017

Read up on the event that attracted 175 people on evening in Philadelphia and listen to it on the site where the event is discussed. People of all different races and ages provide their experiences. Lansdowne Baptist Church discusses the event at: https://lansdownebaptistchurch.blogspot.com/2017/05/courageous-conversations-in.html

In this day and age, when the US is plagued with increasingly violent racist actions and words, encouraged by our current divisive and angry politics, we need to address this issue head on.

Here is the link to both several written stories and the recording of the event to listen to: http://www.newsworks.org/index.php/education/item/104158-courageous-conversations-sharing-stories-about-race-and-pledging-to-practice-more

Christian author and founder of Sojourners, Jim Wallis, calls Christians out to stand against, speak out against, and act against racism and bigotry in a powerful article. See: https://sojo.net/articles/be-strong-and-courageous-face-hate

Watched a Driver's Near Death Decision

I was out driving yesterday on one of the small, two lane side roads in our area. I came to a railroad crossing. The gates were down and lights lit. There was no evidence of a train in sight, although the view was limited by buildings along either side of the tracks. The rails of the gates only covered one lane, the lane beside which the machinery was installed.

On the other side of the road, one driver decided not to wait. It didn't appear any train was coming anytime soon. So, he quickly pulled out into my lane on the other side of the tracks, moving with that hasty speed that says, "I know what I'm doing is illegal, probably dangerous, and I don't want to get caught." In the instant, the heart beat before he could enter the clear side of the track, the side without the gate on his side of the tracks, the train arrived. It was a local express apparently. It was moving at speed. One second it was not there; the next heartbeat, it was filling the intersection ... and then it was gone.

I don't remember if the trains sounded its horn. I don't know if it was required to do so or if the local express trains have horns to sound. All I can tell you is there was virtually no warning in sound or sight that the train was arriving. The warning came strictly from the gates and the flashing lights.

It was a near death experience for that impatient driver. Had he hurried a little more, his car and the train would have met. Who knows how many of us would have been collateral damage.

Don't gamble with your life and the life of others on the road. Don't try to guess when the train is coming. You can lose that bet in less than an eye blink. Stay safe. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Life Post 11/9: Trump Backs Out of Paris Climate Agreement to Detriment of All

45 may prove more dangerous to life
than an asteroid to dinosaurs
Stepping onto my soapbox to rant.

That's my disclaimer. If you think the 45th President of the US is the best thing since sliced bread, this post is not for you. God bless you and go on your way please.

Rarely have I been so thoroughly disgusted ... but I've said that a few times since 11/9/16 and the electoral college travesty. Listening to this ignorant, climate change denying, twittering businessman spew his isolationist rant was painful. It was hard to hear the US being diminished word by word, and the future growing grimmer word by word. We are now one of an "illustrious" three nations that do not support this long negotiated agreement. I did not vote for this, not for any of it, and I don't agree with it. It's a real pile of "covfefe" to quote 45 directly.

We are supposed to be good stewards of this earth we have inherited. We are supposed to maintain life here, as a moral act and not just because we have nowhere else to go, no matter how many planets around distant suns are found to be in "Goldilocks" zones. We can't reach them, and if we destroy the climate that allows us to live here, we don't deserve to reach them, ever.

This stance of 45 is a direct threat to life at home and abroad. This is not "good for America." Pittsburgh's mayor has already complained about being singled out for mention, stating he's with Paris and not Trump. This position is not good for our families; it is not good for life as we know it.

We will have to see how this all plays out. Right now it looks very bad indeed. It will be four years before we can completely withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement. That's time enough to get this individual impeached for other disastrous moves made or to make sure that he doesn't get a second term, and return to the agreement when sanity returns.

So ends the rant, for now.

If you want to check out the veracity of the statements Trump made, see NPR's annotation of his speech: http://www.npr.org/2017/06/01/531090243/trumps-speech-on-paris-climate-agreement-withdrawal-annotated

If you wish to complain to your  US Senator in DC, check: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

If you wish to complain to your US Congressperson, go to: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/