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NOVELS


Autumn 1943

Lucifer's Hope...the Guv

EDDIE et alia

CAIN

The Biggest Con

POETRY


HOURGLASS and Other Poems

POTHOLES & Other Poems

Time Alone? & other Poems

Twilight & Other Poems

GONE SECULAR & Other Poems

SHORT STORIES


"The Stem-cell Quarterback" & Other Stories


December in May & Other Stories

SPIRITUAL


A Layman's THEOLOGY


HYMN THOUGHTS

SATIRE


DEMOCRATS & Other Suspects 2004-2008


DEMOCRAT WORLD 2008-10

All material on this Web site copyright James L. Clark 2004-14 unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.

THOUGHTS Archives

HYMNS

MUCKRAKER (blog)

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Updated 19 November 2014

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Just Some Thoughts...

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From A Layman's THEOLOGY:It may be that many Christians cannot get the priorities of prayer straight. For too many, prayer may be the exercise of "final resort" rather than the exercise of "first resort." In terms of the day, the time for prayer is at dawn, not at midnight. Praying at the outset is much better than praying only at the onset. A locomotive engineer friend once had about eleven seconds to "do something" when he realized his train was heading down a steep grade at high speed head-on into derailed cars of another train. After placing the brakes in "emergency," he quickly jumped from his seat on the first engine and, pushing the brakeman before him, raced over the running boards of two engines to the second of his three diesel engines, then pushed the brakeman inside where they and the flagman waited out the crash, which they survived. When asked how he could have reacted so quickly he explained that he had long-since formulated that exact plan in his mind in case he ever faced such a situation. So it is with the Christian. Living in the attitude of "unceasing prayer" provides the formula that will prescribe and inculcate the proper outcome relative to any situation, whether, death, grief, pain, illness, timidity or even great pleasure involving the good things that can sometimes "turn a Christian's head."

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Clark's Corner -

Governmental Repression Sanctioned/Thwarted?

Predictably, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Human Rights Commission voted on 17 November that Hands On Originals discriminated when it refused to print T-shirts for a Lexington, Ky., LGBT outfit planning for its “Lexington Pride Festival” in June 2012. Hands On Originals, a local establishment, claimed that to do the printing would violate its religious beliefs regarding homosexuality or homosexual practices. It took only 2.5 years for the Commission to make this grave decision final and official.

The Commission insisted that the application of the Lexington Fairness Ordinance did not violate Hands On Originals' right to free speech and its right to the free exercise of religion. HOO presented the Gay and Lesbians Service Organization with information in 2012 leading to the printing by another establishment at no extra cost and the T-shirts were printed, no harm done. The undamaged GLSO, however, determined that HOO must be punished and brought charges to the Commission.

An editorial of 30 March 2012 in the Lexington Herald-Leader demonized the small business for its refusal to produce T-shirts for the local homosexual group. In its “news” accounts front section, the paper also publicized a protest meeting, entitled “staff report” and shaded for effect, thus affording GLSO free publicity, giving time and place for a “protest” against HOO. A boycott effort was also engendered, largely through Face-book or some such thing, the objective being to bankrupt HOO.

The Herald-Leader advertized a “grand protest” in a downtown park, conveniently located 2.5 miles from the HOO headquarters, which might have been hard for some folks to find in order to “march.” Sixty people showed up out of a population of 297,000 or so, an indication of a gigantic HO-HUM. The local school system shut down its business with the company and the university was not likely to renew a contract with HOO that was expiring ($200,000 in the nine months preceding the dust-up, according to the local newspaper).

Enter the Supreme Court in June of this year ruling 5-4 in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby that for-profit employers with religious objections can opt out of providing contraception coverage under Obamacare. “We doubt that the Congress that enacted the Religious Freedom Restoration Act — or, for that matter, ACA – would have believed it a tolerable result to put family-run businesses to the choice of violating their sincerely held religious beliefs or making all of their employees lose their existing healthcare plans,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the opinion, joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy. This precise wording applies to the Hands On Originals case.

The Court simply vindicated HOO's decision that it had the right to conduct its business as it saw fit, i.e., refusing to participate in an effort it deemed contrary to its religious beliefs, thereby cutting its own profits in favor of not undercutting the tenets of its faith. This is about the same as a restaurant owner refusing to sell whiskey, whether accruing to religious belief or not, even though he catered to public business. Has anyone ever heard of a distillery suing a McDonalds?

HOO exercised its rights under both the religion and free-speech elements of the First Amendment and the RFRA and the GLSO could have done the same, preaching that homosexuality is normal. That’s even-up and fair enough, you say? Well…no. The Commission said that the GLSO could propagate its “gospel” concerning lifestyle but punish those who disagreed with it. Both HOO and the GLSO were public entities, one inviting acceptable business and the other inviting acceptable members as well as business. That is s-o-o-o simple.

The GLSO can approach the ACLU now and get out the big guns for free to go after HOO as a civil matter to be settled by the courts. The objective, of course, would be to force HOO out of business account forestalling bankruptcy brought about by the huge fees the lawyers would demand for representing it. This may not be too easy, though, since in September 2009 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District ruled that a Baptist Children's Home, Sunrise Children's Services, did not violate state or federal laws when it dismissed an employee who was engaged in homosexual conduct.

The court ruled that the home did not violate Title VII, the federal employment discrimination law, or the Kentucky Civil Rights Act.

And so it goes.
Jim Clark

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A Hymn of Justice:

O God of Right (pdf).

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A Thought for the Day:

Frog & French
[United Nations Justice!]

The pond ruled by Fearless the Frog
—Though he preferred King of the Bog—
Was always in water and wee,
With Bog dry and huge as the sea;
But Snarky the Snake ruled the Bog,
Which often was covered by fog
Through which Snarky slithered apace
To gulp frogs...his hunger erase.

So...Fearless declared all-out war
And hopped to U-N to implore
Security Council to bless
His answer to such grim duress;
The Council at first seemed impressed,
Felt frog-fright should thus be addressed
But could not agree on the course
Or when, how and what to resource.

Meanwhile, Snarky heard of the plot,
Sent three viper-gangs there to spot
The limousines always ill-parked
To warn members they could be sharked
For helping the Frog in his scheme
To grab all the Bog – be supreme –
Security Council then met,
Quite shaken, to parley this threat.

The Russian approved of the war,
The Chinese said, “Ah...too much gore.”
That veto was all that it took...
The Council old Fearless forsook;
The French hated frogs anyway
And hastened to...trembling...respond,
“Too bellicose, Fearless should pay,”
They all agreed then – drain the pond.

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GONE SECULAR & Other Poems is a fifth book of poetry, a genre not observed since the first volume, published eleven years ago, until 2012, this being the fourth since then and including a handful of verses from other volumes. The intervening years were devoted to prose of one kind or another…novels, short stories, satire, philosophy and, of course, Internet-driven blogs. Another poetic endeavor during that time was the writing of church hymns, both texts and music, and a book of commentaries concerning them. Though not by design, all the books in verse have had the element of time as a sort of anchor, perhaps because the writer is long-in-the-tooth. This volume has to do with a time-frame that might be called “secular.” All sorts of subjects are treated though this volume may be more politically prolific than the others; however, all have expressed concerns about governance, particularly in the United States. In the writer’s view, the nation, besides suffering under poor governance currently, is also suffering a moral emergency, with the government aiding and abetting – if not causing – a moral decline. While sin is defined by God, morals are determined by the individual and each is entitled to his own soapbox…or pulpit. Religion (including religious practices…or malpractices) is also an important subject handled in this offering, not surprising since the writer’s faith is of utmost importance. Also included are short vignette-like pictures in verse that tell a story, some of them from other eras of the nation's history. A number have to do with the threat of militant Islam, which is terrorizing huge populations of the world, particularly in the Middle East and much of sub-Sahara Africa. The writer hopes to at least provoke thought and prefers poems marked by rhyme and rhythm (discipline) rather than free verse, much if not most of which is in the form of short essays broken into segments, with or without punctuation.

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VETERANS DAY

11 NOVEMBER

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