83 Slices
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Slouching toward Zion

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Slouching toward Zion j

I

Thurston Morton was the kind of Baptist who when he said

“thirty-ought-six,” he expected everyone to understand what he meant. Elaine was raised in the Church of Christ and when she said Acts 2:38, she expected everyone to understand what she meant.

However, when Elaine reached puberty she became a Baptist because the Baptist Church had something every night.

Giving Elaine an excuse to go out every night. Best of all, her

Church of Christ parents wanted to hear nothing about Baptist meetings, which meant they would never know where she went or who she was with. When she and Thurston became engaged,

Thurston’s buddies warned him that Elaine had dated every male in Chillicothe. “Chillicothe’s not that big,” he said. Five others, including the halt and the married.

Elaine had proved to be a good wife—silent in church, faithful at work, obedient at home—the way the Good Book said. All she asked was that some day they take a trip and

Thurston promised some day they would.

Thurston worked at the grain elevator in the summer and the gin in the fall and listened to radio preachers who promised that God would prosper him if he would prosper them. And

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Questions Secular Humanists Never Ask

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Questions Secular Humanists

Never Ask j

Since there is no God, who is to blame for the bad things done in the name of religion?

If I get my credit card bill and need to express my surprise, whose name do I use? Kurt Vonnegut!

Since we don’t have God-words, how will I know if I speak in a religious way? Do humanists have glossalalia? Is John Kenneth Galbraith an example?

When humanists go to AA meetings, what higher power do they recognize?

Can a humanist be an alcoholic? Why would a humanist be an alcoholic?

If I have to take an oath, to whom do I swear? Ted Turner?

Betty Friedan?

If humanists believe that thinking for one’s self, using reason as a guide, is the best way to serve human interests, why haven’t we tarred and feathered the Supreme Court? The Department of Justice? Congress?

If we don’t have a creed, how do I know that what I believe is okay? What about my wife? She has some really freaky ideas.

If a “Voice of Reason” can save the world from destruction, why is it ignored as thoroughly as the Sermon on the Mount?

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If You're There God, Pick Up

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

If You’re There God, Pick Up j

Billy Mac Wilhite came home from the seminary to be ordained as a Baptist preacher. Tommy Foster, who was fourteen, remembered Billy Mac as a quarterback for the Chillicothe

High School Eagles. Billy Mac was Tommy’s hero. Tommy didn’t care that for his ordination Billy Mac wore a plaid coat with gray slacks and a bow tie, had tassels on his shoes, and paisley socks. The Holy Spirit does not always come with good taste.

Billy Mac had attended one of those Southern Baptist seminaries that teach “God is deaf” theology. When he was invited to preach, Billy Mac preached that God couldn’t hear the prayers of a whole bunch of folks. Including the Methodists.

Billy Mac said he had been to Jerusalem where prayers, calls for prayers, incense for prayers, bells for prayers, and prayers were heard day and night. Catholic prayers, Jewish prayers, Armenian prayers, Coptic prayers, Muslim prayers,

Orthodox prayers, Anglican prayers. Was Jerusalem a city known for peace and love? That proved that God didn’t hear the prayers of those folks.

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The Most Perfect Hotel in the World

Simon Winchester Lonely Planet ePub

Simon Winchester is the author, most recently, of A Crack in the Edge of the World, a centennial account of the great San Francisco earthquake. Among his other books are Krakatoa, The Map that Changed the World and The Surgeon of Crowthorne (also published under the title The Professor and the Madman). Simon lives in New York City and on a farm in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts.

This is a story not my own, but one that belongs to a literary figure of so towering a reputation among the belles lettristes of London that he feels it rather beneath him to relate it. He complains that the tale is, as they were once wont to say in Rome, infra dig, since it concerns such mundanities as the location of hotel rooms, the design of baths and the taps with which they are customarily equipped, the latest reported methods of making gin martinis and the rituals of American wedding nights. The fact that this confection, of what are to most readers really rather interesting items of ordinariness, was assembled for the making of the story in what was at the time one of the world’s finest hotels, to wit the Connaught, of Carlos Place, London W1, cuts neither ice nor mustard with the figure to whom the tale belongs – an attitude of such unrelieved stubbornness that it has compelled me to conclude, if somewhat irrelevantly, that the aforesaid literary figure is in fact, and in titanic proportions, a crashing snob.

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Redemption

Robert Flynn University of North Texas Press PDF

Redemption j

Kyle wasn’t ugly. He wasn’t dumb. He wasn’t disliked. He wasn’t anything. That was the problem; Kyle wanted to be someone. He yearned to be admired. What did he have to do to be noticed?

He perfected a dumb look to elicit laughter from classmates when asked a question but no one looked when he did it. The only time he acted up in class he said, “Take advantage of it.”

Cloyce was the only one who heard him and Cloyce repeated it real loud. Everyone looked at Cloyce and laughed, even Miss

Baine who had never smiled at Kyle. They talked about it for days.

Kyle was noticed sometimes but not the way he wanted. He was tall and thin as a shadow so others dubbed him “Slats.” His mother slipped grease into his food causing his nose to erupt in snow capped volcanoes inviting others to tag him “Kilimanjaro.”

He was the last in school to lose the pompadour because long stringy hair was not acceptable at home or school. When he cut his hair short and parted it on the side a tuft stuck up in the back challenging classmates to pull it and crow like a rooster.

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