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Blog Archive/October 2008

October 29, 2008

A Halloween Treat

I've always been intrigued by the paranormal, which, along with an interest in the Civil War, made me jump at the chance to author a book about haunted battlefields. What I discovered as I was writing it is that there's basically no way you can discount the existence of ghosts, on or off the battlefield. There are way too many documented accounts of phantom-sightings by unsuspecting tourists, battlefield park workers and others, not only all across the U.S. but everywhere in the world where people died either in, or as a result of, violence.

My research travels took me all the way from the French and Indian War to World War II, with stops at the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Civil War, Little Big Horn, the was quite a ride.

Read Mary Beth Crain's Ghost Writer.

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

October 26, 2008

When Church Campaigns Go Negative

It's easy to scapegoat in terms of faith, to think that congregations are dying because of preying missionaries and assaulting doctrines. But where does that leave you spiritually? In treating religion like a battlefield, petrified congregations become their own illusory enemies. And in combat, no army is without casualties.

History doesn't remember belligerent faiths fondly, and tables can turn much more quickly in the modern age. Who wants to go to the church of the Crusades, when the devastation it wreaks can be seen in a short period of time? If we're in a religious war, all the combatants may be losing.

Read Matthew Streib's The Poison Seeds Spread by Dying Congregations.

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

October 21, 2008

Pascal's Wager: Don't Bet on It

In Nothing to Be Frightened Of, his absorbing new memoir and meditation on death, Julian Barnes muses:

The Pascalian bet  sounds simple enough. If you believe, and God turns out to exist, you win. If you believe, and God turns out not to exist, you lose, but not half as badly as you would if you chose not to believe, only to find out after death that God does exist. It is, perhaps, not so much an argument as a piece of self-interested position-taking worth of the French diplomatic corps; though the primary wager, on God's existence, does depend on a second and simultaneous wager, on God's nature. What, for instance, if He disapproves of gamblers, especially those whose purported belief in Him is dependent on some acorn-beneath-the-cup mentality? And who decides who wins? Not us: God might prefer the honest doubter to the sycophantic chancer.

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

October 12, 2008

The Troopergate Effect?

How will "Troopergate" affect Palin's image? To the intelligent, thoughtful sector of the population, it will merely confirm what they knew already--that she's an egomaniacal opportunistic little demagogue who lies through her grinning teeth and mistakes might for right. To her adoring base, it will be just one more example of the Palin bashing in which the media and the Democrats, i.e. Satan, Inc., take such delight.

Read Mary Beth Crain's Palin Watch V.

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

October 4, 2008

Sarah Palin--Darn Tootin' Good Debater

Let's just call a spade a spade. Sarah Palin was, and will always be, woefully superficial and totally unqualified to run this country were that chilling eventuality ever to arise. All she proved during the debates was that in a highly structured, sterile environment where she was safe from the claws of Katie Couric and the sinister "gotcha" media, she could actually speak without drooling. As more than one commentator observed, all she did was manage to temporarily stop the hemorrhaging. And that could hardly be called a victory.

Read Mary Beth Crain's Palin Watch IV: Post-Debate Musings.

Posted By John D. Spalding | Email

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