Writings

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Monday Musings: Other writings

The inside of the Buddhist shrine at the Japanese Hall in Gering.

For most of my time working at the Scottsbluff Star-Herald newspaper, I didn’t have much of a fear about what would happen to my stories once I turned them in. The rule goes “the editor can, and sometimes will, change your story.”

It’s time to stand against religion before it’s too late

About three months ago, I had a conversation with someone about religion. I told this person about another conversation I had with a friend about the dark and dangerous turn America has taken. My friend remarked they were ready to leave the country permanently if the loud minority of conservative evangelical Christians get to have everything they want.

My friend worried these Christian Nationalists would come for people like me and him. I, too, have had these worries for quite some time. We’ve seen it time and again with authoritarian regimes. The intellectuals, the educated, the atheists, anyone who stands counter to what they demand are rounded up and executed.

I told the person I was having a conversation with there was still hope in the back of my mind that Americans would rise up against Christian Nationalism, but I’m not entirely sure this will happen. I also mentioned I do not like Christianity nor many of its adherents. It’s something I’ve struggled with for a long time. I wish I didn’t, but I do.

What I will be reading in 2022

Each January, I gather together suggestions for books and make a list of the things I want to read. I typically read 18-24 books a year, plus scientific studies and podcasts as they come along, but the past two years have been a bit difficult for me and my focus was not quite there. This year, I’ve gathered 10 books. If I can get back on track, I’ll be finished with them halfway through 2022, but I want to be realistic in my goals, so this list is a good way to achieve it.

How I’m filling my time

One of the things I enjoy in life is learning. Since deleting my social media accounts, I’ve had time to do more of what I love. Here’s a sampling of what I’ve read in the last couple of weeks. I hope you find something enjoyable.

A summer of blood and despair

Lorraine Schoeneberger

Gram at Uncle Dave’s fishing competition July, 15, 2007.

I grabbed the softball and turned it around in my glove until my first two fingers were set where I wanted them along the seams. I focused on the placement of the catcher’s mitt, ignoring where the batter would be. My task was to put the ball in the catcher’s mitt. That’s all I looked at. I stretched back and released the ball.

The women I know

Salma and Hendrik Kampen leave the mosque in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania after wedding festivities.

Throughout history, there have been billions of women who have lived and died, and were inspirational to other women. Their stories were never written and we will never know who they are.

Matilda McCrear

She was taken from Africa when she was two years old. She was freed by the Emancipation Proclamation. Despite continued racism in the United States, she remained rebellious and was, in many respects, a woman ahead of her time.

Catherine the Great

She was supposed to have been married off to provide an “heir and a spare.” She came to power in a coup d’état that she organized and carried out. She made her country stronger, expanded its borders, and made it one of the great powers of Europe.

The Akashinga

Akashinga – The International Anti-Poaching Foundation. Photo by Brent Stirton.

They are a group of women who have survived domestic violence and rape. They were unwanted. Some were cast aside by their communities, but these women are taking on poachers, and winning. Their work is changing the way at-risk animals are protected in Africa and giving them a new purpose in life.

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