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by OPOVV, ©2019

Photo credit: Pixabay

(Jul. 12, 2019) — “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another anticipated episode of ‘Pulse of the Nation.’ For you longtime viewers, you’ll notice that we’re ensconced in the balcony of Bishop Dunkin’s church down on Hawthorn Street, where we’ve been invited to hear his latest sermon, ‘We Can Leave; Why Can’t They?’ The Bishop has approached the pulpit so we’ll listen in.”

“May the righteous lord over the wicked, may the good outweigh the bad, and may we all live a life free of strife and turmoil and die peacefully in our sleep. Amen. Please turn to page 178 in your hymnal and sing along with our choir.”

Michael, Row the Boat Ashore” (2:43)

“Thank you, choir. Please be seated. It seems that the only way we can get Roving to attend our services is to invite him and his crew for burgers out back, so be it. As I’m sure you noticed, ‘Pulse’ is recording from the balcony so let’s show the folks out there what we’re made of.

“The sermon today is about choices, free or otherwise. In the military when they ask for volunteers and point the finger at you, that falls into the category of ‘otherwise.’ When the wife says you will go to Easter service, that’s another ‘otherwise.’ Life is made up of countless ‘otherwise’ choices that we can refuse, but, since the balking may be a worse punishment than the actual doing, we bite the bullet and do what’s expected.

“It’s a fine line between ‘going with the flow’ and doing what is right in your heart. It takes a certain amount of courage to start in a particular direction and then change course midstream, but sometimes it just has to be done. I remember as I was working my way through Seminary school, I had a job as a carpenter and I made a mistake in my estimate, which resulted in working on the project for an extra three days for which I didn’t get paid one red cent; at least I thought so at the time.

“It turned out I learned a valuable lesson: always leave a cushion: it’s good business to say to the customer that your estimate was $100 too much and knock off the money at the end, as you hand them the bill. Works every time for, if nothing else, a guarantee for a favorable referral.

“People change their minds, which is sometimes good and sometimes not so good, but the fact is people’s perspective can change because of new information leading to different opportunities or old information coming to light.

“The Golden Rule has been around for thousands of years, even though seldom followed by rulers. One has to wonder at the fate of Montezuma had he and the Aztecs’ Death Cult treated the surrounding tribes with honor and respect, rather than murder on a colossal scale that rivals the best that Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge infamously accomplished.

“Christianity has a lot going for it, but I suppose that its biggest draw is the lackadaisical way in which converts are accepted and those who wish to leave are waved goodbye with a smile, ‘You all come back, hear?’ Please stand while we sing the next hymn.”

Rock of Ages” (4:08)

“Excellent rendition, for sure. Please be seated. So getting back to what I was talking about, Jesus very well may have been walking down a dusty road and meets a stranger.

Jesus: “Hark unto thee, stranger.”

Stranger: “And a double harkee to yourself.”

Jesus: “Will you care to join me in good tidings, stranger?”

Stranger: “For sure. Great being with you.”

Jesus: “You are always welcome into my Kingdom.”

Stranger: “Hey, Jesus, I’m splitting for something else, see you around. Maybe see you later.”

Jesus: “Alligator. Go in peace.”

“Please stand and sing along.”

Shotgun” (3:27)

“And now we have reached the pinnacle of my speech: whenever you are denied the ability to make a choice, there very well may be consequences; whenever you are allowed to make a wrong choice, in most instances remedies are available; however, if a Muslim makes the choice to become a Christian — as the instructions are written in the Quran — that person must be murdered. And so the question is why, why must a Muslim die leaving Islam? Why can’t they just say, ‘Later, Alligator,’ and let it go at that? What are they so deathly afraid of that makes them want to kill whoever leaves them? It must truly be a sad way to live, tied by the noose of ignorance, always on guard to murder one of your own who would dare make a choice to follow in the footsteps of reason and enlightenment for all, and that includes women as well as men. Amen.

“Well, that does it for Bishop Dunkin, and that’ll also do it for us and so, on behalf of the crew, I’ll be wishing you all a goodnight: Goodnight.

“Good show. Burger time out back: Dunkin’s treat.”

Time in a Bottle” (2:21)


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