SCOTUS and the Gospel 

SCOTUS and the Gospel

Most of us know by now. SCOTUS has struck again. This time the Supremes are letting gay folks get married in every state. Of course, religious folks in Arkansas are upset, but why get so bent out of shape when we can take comfort in the perspective of Jesus of Nazareth? Let us review Jesus' attitude toward marriage and family.

It all started some time after Jesus' baptism. Mother Mary was with Jesus and a few disciples at a wedding celebration and Mary complained there was no wine, so Jesus made wine. That is about the extent of the story.

Later when Jesus was traveling, Jesus told a disciple, "Let the dead bury the dead," so the disciple would not return home to bury his father and lose the nerve to follow Jesus. Since the disciple's family was not followers of Jesus, they would all eventually perish. Disciples do not spend time on spouse and house.

Just think, according to "The Revelation of Saint John the Divine," Jesus is probably on his way back here right now with an armada of angels to destroy our world so the Father may create a new world. The time to marry is finished. Besides, Jesus is the only groom, and Jesus' church is the only bride.

The Supremes have read the Gospel. They know what marriage is. Let the dead marry the dead.

Gene Mason


Funny things

This is a letter about funny things. Seemingly random funny things, yet a fountain of flummery, deep and wide, flows through them all.

Funny thing about that young bigot who slaughtered Charleston, S.C., churchgoers a few weeks ago: Suddenly there's a surge of patriotism right here in Hot Springs. Grown men and women are waving flags and honking horns as they circle an 80-year-old statue dedicated to the memory of a 150-year-old war. Funny thing about that "civil" war: Lots of Americans were butchered on the altar of states' rights. Seems like the most important state right was to keep right on allowing human beings to be bought and sold like cattle and farm implements.

Funny thing about that statue, too: It's across the street from where the Como Hotel used to be, on a patch of land called Como Triangle. In 1922, a dozen years before the statue was erected, 28-year-old "negro" Gilbert Harris was politely taken from the city jail and hanged on this spot by a mob of 500 "very orderly" men. You can still read all about it in the Hot Springs New Era's archives. Funny thing about that newspaper: "Negro" got mentioned a lot that day. Once upon a time, having the word "negro" anywhere in your human pedigree could get you sent back to your Southern slave masters. In 1922 it got a man lynched. And for the last century and a half, it has kept people from voting, and relegated them to second-class schools and second-class jobs and second-class justice.

Funny thing about human pedigrees: They're mostly just made up. There's a fascist impulse that still rages in too many of us. It whispers that my race, my ethnicity, my religion, my skin color, my civilization, my heritage — they're all superior to yours. Surrender to that impulse has invented pedigrees that justified centuries of slavery and cleansed the American landscape of its first peoples. The Germans used theirs as an excuse to exterminate millions of Jews. Funny thing is, now even Israel peddles imaginary pedigrees to perpetuate its occupation of Palestine. I've seen Glenn Beck weep crocodile tears as Israel's frothy prime minister, always itching for Armageddon, revealed an ancient artifact inscribed with "Netanyahu." Clear evidence of an anointed pedigree reaching all the way back to the bloody Old Testament's glory days.

Funny thing about facts, though. Bibi's daddy was one Benzion Mileikowsky. From Warsaw. His "chosen people" pedigree points to Poland, not the Promised Land. Awkward, and yet our obeisant Congress still fawns over Netanyahu so much it's just plain embarrassing. For them, "Bomb Iran" Bibi is our latter-day Joshua, reborn in the nick of time to smite today's philistines. Huzzah, huzzah! Facts be damned, preach our hyperbolic, gilded evangelists, we must stand with Israel no matter what.

So stand with Israel if you must, and wave your flags if you must. These, too, are funny things. Deep and wide, deep and wide, there's a fountain flowing deep and wide.

John Ragland

Hot Springs

From the web

On the Arkansas Times' July 16 cover story about gang wars in the 1990s:

I've never understood the fascination that the AR Times has with the glorification of gang violence in Little Rock. It was ugly, it's still ugly, and they love it when you give them air time. This is a story that doesn't need to be told over and over again.

Arkansas panic fan

On Wesley Clark's call for interning "disloyal" and "radicalized" Americans:

Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.

Yes, Wackadoo Clark, FDR interned the American Japanese when WWII started and since the war has ended, everyone of the correct brain wiring has condemned that move, and only those of the wrong brain wiring still think it's a great idea. We used to own black people too, but now at least 50 percent of living Americans think that was a horrible idea. ...

There is a way to chill the radical Muslims. The way has nothing to do with war or interning them. Only through negotiation and concessions can we make peace with them. Mostly they want us OFF THEIR LAND. We could start with that point first. America is involved in the business of the Middle East for ONE THING ... OIL. They can pretend we're there for humanitarian purposes but that is 100 percent bullshit. Peace through war has only worked for us two times ... the Revolutionary War and WWII. After WWII we waged a cold war with the U.S.S.R. and China for nearly 50 years. Yes, we did win in Grenada, though does anyone remember what we won? But we've lost all other wars since the end of WWII. Lost to countries a fraction of our size, with very little wealth or weapons ... better write that down. ...

We'd be far better off building internment camps for Fox News watchers ... but, but, but ... thanks to FDR we're supposed to quit doing that crap! Oh, but clearly America would be a better place if we locked up every single Trump supporter by supper time tonight. But ...



In last week's cover story, "Bangin'," an entry in an accompanying timeline said that Nicole Chunn was permanently paralyzed in a drive by shooting in 1992. Contemporary news accounts said she was disabled after the shooting, but she was not, in fact, paralyzed.


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