From ancient byways to modern highways, glimpses of faith are everywhere...

Friday, March 31, 2017

Billy Graham rule: Goose and gander

Graham in 1966   (Public Domain)
What’s being called the “Billy Graham rule” stems from this:  Back in 1948, Graham realized that sexual immorality had brought down many a well-intentioned evangelist, and therefore decided to never “travel, meet or eat alone” with a woman other than his wife.

This rule is now making headlines because Mike Pence adheres to it.  Twitter users have accused Pence of being misogynist, dehumanizing, patriarchal, and even anti-gospel (because Jesus had maintained close friendships with women).

Now there’s something to be said for guarding against weakness.  And there’s something to be said for acknowledging the power of temptation.  If you’re tempted by, say, ice cream – why make it easy to snack on when no one’s around?

Granted that women are different from ice cream, but the concept of avoiding temptation is somewhat similar.  So the concept itself may be valid, but its one-   way application may not.  In other words, why isn’t there also a “Ruth Graham” rule?  Aren’t monogamous females subject to temptation?  Why single out men as the bad guys in the marital scenario?

Sin (or, as some prefer, “missing the mark”) does not discriminate.  It is an equal-opportunity oppressor.  If you’re breathing, chances are (100 percent?) that you’re subject to its wiles.  So why not include both genders within this important conversation…


Copyright March 31, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Sticks, Stones and Nukes

Pyongyang 'Diplomacy'     (Public Domain)
Schoolyard politics never grow old, even though schoolboys themselves do.

In a display of bullfight diplomacy, Senator John McCain recently called dictator Kim Jong Un a “crazy fat kid.”  McCain's statement is being considered “tantamount to declaration of war” by the North Korean regime.

Although the North Koreans do not seem well- versed in “sticks and stones” philosophy, Albert Einstein was.  He famously predicted that World War IV (that’s FOUR) “will be fought with sticks and stones.”

The Korean Central News Agency published this response to McCain’s taunt: They [Senators McCain and Ted Cruz were specifically named] will have to bitterly experience the disastrous consequences to be entailed by their reckless tongue-lashing and then any regret for it will come too late.

To which McCain replied:  What, did they want me to call him a crazy skinny kid?  Funny for now?  Maybe.  But let’s see if anyone's left laughing.


Copyright March 30, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Sweets for the Smart

Foraging made easy!       (Photo by Steve Hopson)
Have you heard that salads are good for you?  If we’re anything like primates, perhaps they’re not.

According to a study by lead author Alex DeCasien, there is a significant relationship between foraging and brain size.  Primates that forage primarily on leaves may find themselves “lying around for hours with their energy focused on digestion.”  Those who instead favor fruit “get a jolt of calories and denser amounts of nutrients, which benefit the brain more than any other body part.”

So grab an extra banana on your way out the door.  Who knows?  That might help to fire up some brain cells.  And candy?  It might provide the jolt, but not the nutrients.  Better to stick with fruit.     


Copyright March 29, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved