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How not to vote

Dear editor:

A suggestion for how to vote for this November. More accurately, how not to vote. Retire every candidate in that rancid cesspool of bribery and money laundering and tax evasion that is our Arkansas Legislature. Retire every tainted congressional candidate who ever marinated in that primordial, toxic stew before slithering out to collect the bountiful rewards of "public service" at the national level

We are not the Natural State. We're an American embarrassment. In record numbers, our state representatives from both parties are being investigated, indicted, convicted and forced to resign or sent to prison. Cloaking corruption in pious-sounding names like "The Lord's Ranch" and "Ecclesia College" only spotlights their amoral hypocrisy. Millions of dollars vanished in the name of "consulting" and "legal fees." And with the first destroyed by a serial Commandments crasher, Jason Rapert keeps right on fundraising for his second, now-complete, monumental erection copped from Hollywood's version of Moses, who probably copped it from a Babylonian dude named Hammurabi.

Vote them out. Vote them all out.

Pretentious piety is hardly limited to Little Rock politicians. It's thick right here in Hot Springs, too. Week after wearisome week, the same few letter writers wield their Holy Bibles like truncheons to bludgeon salvation into unsuspecting sinners. Their message is simple. Earnestly mumble the proper incantations, as per their exacting instructions, or you are damned for eternity. By the God of love.

They're mired in the same black-and-white fundamentalism that spawned the Scopes Monkey Trial more than 90 years ago, when science was Satan and ignorance was bliss. Please. If you must keep writing, how about a letter that shows us how Trump and the GOP are the antithesis of everything Jesus of Nazareth ever said and did and was and is? We'll wait.

Meanwhile, following that well-worn tradition of padding your letters by endlessly quoting others, here's a pastoral quote from John Pavlovitz, about your Corinthian leather-bound weapon of choice.

"The Bible is a sprawling 66-book library, written over thousands of years by dozens of authors in multiple languages -- professing to speak of the deepest truths about the creation of all matter, the beginning and end of life on the planet as well as beyond it, and about the Maker of everything and everyone. We'd better have some ambiguity about it all -- or we've discovered a God who is small enough to fit entirely inside our three-pound brains or our current belief system."

Pavlovitz is not one of your hate-Muslims, love-wars, greed-is-good evangelical grifters just itching for Armageddon. He's a pastor who reads a Bible written by "flawed, imperfect, emotional, very human beings who never claim to have been fully possessed by God or robbed of their faculties as they wrote."

Like Pavlovitz, many of us have moved on from your brittle, literalist, old-time religion. Unless we missed something, nobody anointed you Hot Springs' newspaper theologians. So just stop. Please?

John Ragland

Hot Springs

Editorial on 10/08/2018

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