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David A. Schwinghammer

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Member Since: Dec, 2007

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Books
· Soldier's Gap


Short Stories
· Mengele's Double, Chapter 9

· Seminary Boy, a memoir

· Fisher of Men, Chapter Nine

· Soldier's Gap, Chapter Three

· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer, Chapter Nine

· Fisher of Men, Chapter 8

· Honest Thief, Tender Murderer, Chapter Eight

· Mengele's Double, Chapter Eight

· Bereavement Blues

· Fisher of Men, Chapter 7


Articles
· The Wilderness of Ruin, book review

· A Beautiful Mind, book review

· Another Planet, book review

· The Three Stooges, book review

· The God Particle

· Empire of Sin, book review

· Science at the Edge, book review

· Obama, a Modern Caesar?

· Americans Need to Pull Together

· Voices of the French Revolution, book review


Poetry
· Fashion

· Widow's Peak

· Myth

· Alumni Game

· Stradivarius

· Snow-a-holic

· Girls Who Wear Glasses

· The Do Drop Inn

· Ode to Neve Campbell

· Jacks or Better 101

         More poetry...

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Books by
David A. Schwinghammer



Soldier's Gap

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Blogs by David A. Schwinghammer

National Prayer Day
5/18/2010 8:36:27 AM
Atheists and Agnostics opposed National Day of Prayer.




A Federal judge recently ruled that National Prayer Day was unconstitutional. Atheist and agnostic groups then suggested a National Day of Reason.

According to a recent Pew poll, 1.6 percent of Americans declare themselves atheists; another 2.4 call themselves agnostics, and 12.1 are “nothing in particular,” but may still believe in God.

There’s some confusion about the language involving the National Day of prayer. If the designation includes the word “meditation” I don’t see a problem with it.

What we need is more efforts to reach out to each other, not only in Congress but among the lay community. The United Methodist Church of northeast Minneapolis and the Minnesota Atheists have come together to promote a Bible study class, of all things. It’s called Secular Bible Study and they hope to attract people of all stripes: Buddhists, atheists, agnostics, Christians, Jews, and even Muslims. Chester O’Gorman, community outreach director for United Methodist, argues that “people have lost or lack the skills to engage in constructive and respectful dialogue in the context of profound disagreement.” There’s also a minister in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who preaches that hell is on earth, not in some subterranean region where the devil parades around like some Nazi SS officer with pitchfork and whip, torturing woebegone sinners. The minister's name is Carlton Pearson, and he used to be a big shot evangelical preacher with over 6,000 parishioners contributing wheelbarrows of cash. He was even an advisor to George W. Bush. Then one day he saw what was going on in Rawanda on the evening news and an insight came to him: Basically, we create our own hell here on earth. Pearson shut down his mega church and moved in with the Unitarians, where he now welcomes everyone, including atheists and agnostics.

One reason humanists are reluctant to go along with a National Prayer Day or anything else recommended by the Christian Right is their insistence on a literal interpretation of the Bible. There’s no room for discussion when everything is based on faith. The Bible was written, and rewritten, as late as the early 17th Century, by dozens of different hands. Some theologians maintain that none of it existed, other than maybe Deuteronomy (written by Jeremiah’s scribe) before the Babylonian Captivity, and that the Essenes brought back a lot of Zoroastrian and Mazdian mythology which was included in Genesis and other Biblical books. Then there’s the Book of Revelation. Was it written by John the Evangelist or John of Patmos? Was it intended to be symbolic? St. Augustine did not want Revelation included in the New Testament, until the other bishops agreed to teach it symbolically. It was meant as a pep talk for Christian converts in Greece and Anatolia who were being tortured by the Romans, and the “sinners” involved were the Romans. At the time Christians expected Jesus to return during their lifetimes and that’s the way Revelation should be read. If it had always been taught that way, a lot of lives would have been saved.

Still, humanists need to take a lot of what organized religion does and incorporate it into a national secular church. People want ritual; people want to be with other people. The Seekers, who were extant during and after the British Civil War recommended that everyone find God in nature. Of course that didn’t last very long because most people were on their own. People want the church to be there when there’s a new baby in the family, when a family member gets married, when a family member dies. They also want consistent values to teach their children. Einstein said that the church that came the closest to a “cosmic” religion was Buddhism. When Buddha reached nirvana he saw a void. Buddhism was originally meant to be an agnostic religion. The only god Buddha’s disciples prayed to was the Buddha within, which gave humanity a great deal more respect than Christian churches are willing to give us. The emphasis was on kindness and compassion, meditation, and a scorn for material possessions.

What we can’t afford is a continued split. Organized religion in America is holding us back in respect to education, science and politics. It was totally irresponsible of the Republican party to make fundamentalist religion their political base. They did the same thing when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed. They moved right in and scooped up all those segregationist and racist votes.

If the Methodists and non-believers in Minneapolis can come together, why not the rest of us?

Dave Schwinghammer's published novel, SOLDIER'S GAP, is available on Amazon.com at a discount, both new and used.


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More Blogs by David A. Schwinghammer
• Our Bloodiest War - Tuesday, March 17, 2015
• Greedheads - Monday, September 29, 2014
• Worst President Since WWII? - Monday, July 07, 2014
• Tenure for Teachers - Thursday, June 26, 2014
• Koch Brothers Interfere in Local Election - Thursday, May 08, 2014
• The Wolly Mammoth - Wednesday, April 23, 2014
• Fran Tarkenton's political ad - Friday, March 14, 2014
• Propaganda vs. Legitimate Commentary - Sunday, February 23, 2014
• Porn as a Political Issue - Tuesday, February 18, 2014
• Drive a Stake Through the Vampires' Hearts! - Thursday, February 06, 2014
• State of the Union Stem-winder - Wednesday, January 29, 2014
• Ted Cruz - Tuesday, November 19, 2013
• Here We Go Again. - Thursday, September 19, 2013
• Reality TV - Friday, August 09, 2013
• Common Sense - Tuesday, July 30, 2013
• Skunks Believe Everybody Else Stinks - Thursday, May 16, 2013
• The Morning After Pill - Friday, April 12, 2013
• What Would Thomas Jefferson Say? - Saturday, April 06, 2013
• Boneheads - Tuesday, March 12, 2013
• Why Benedict XVI Resigned - Sunday, February 17, 2013
• Gabby Giffords Testifies - Wednesday, January 30, 2013
• Newspaper Caters to Gun Owners - Wednesday, January 23, 2013
• Piers Morgan Deserves a Medal - Monday, December 24, 2012
• The Red Devil and the Blue Devil? - Tuesday, October 30, 2012
• Is the new TV show, REVOLUTION, fantasy? - Wednesday, September 26, 2012
• Fanatical Moslems Aren't That Different From Our Fanatics - Wednesday, September 12, 2012
• We Need the United Nations - Wednesday, July 18, 2012
• Stop Catering to People's Basest Instincts - Monday, July 09, 2012
• Concerned Women for America political ad - Saturday, June 23, 2012
• Independent Voters Need to Pick a Side - Monday, June 11, 2012
• Romney's Solyndra Appearance - Friday, June 01, 2012
• Single Issue Voters - Sunday, May 20, 2012
• Bully or Sociopath? - Saturday, May 12, 2012
• Tan-orexic Woman Poor Role Model - Friday, May 04, 2012
• So Far Right They're Almost Left - Sunday, April 22, 2012
• Dog Eat Dog - Sunday, April 15, 2012
• The Tea Party is Back! - Sunday, March 25, 2012
• Gas Prices - Tuesday, March 13, 2012
• "Doofus" - Tuesday, March 06, 2012
• Bon Iver Front Man Makes Important Statement - Thursday, February 16, 2012
• Contraception Blowback - Friday, February 10, 2012
• 800 vetoes! - Saturday, February 04, 2012
• Issa Hounding Holder over GOP program - Thursday, February 02, 2012
• Rick Santelli's Rant - Wednesday, January 18, 2012
• Corporate Raider President? - Thursday, December 01, 2011
• Is This the Best They Can Do? - Thursday, November 17, 2011
• Tea Party a non-violent Movement? - Sunday, October 30, 2011
• Wall Street Protests - Wednesday, October 05, 2011
• Three new stooges - Thursday, August 25, 2011
• Hypocrite enters the race - Friday, August 19, 2011
• Business Leaders Need to Speak Out - Saturday, July 30, 2011
• Rupert Murdoch and GOP Credibility - Monday, July 25, 2011
• Playing on the railroad tracks - Sunday, July 17, 2011
• Scapegoating - Sunday, June 19, 2011
• The Biggest Swindle in US history - Friday, June 03, 2011
• We're Still Here! - Saturday, May 21, 2011
• Improve education by improving teacher morale - Wednesday, May 04, 2011
• Tea Partiers Don't Know What They're Talking About - Thursday, April 28, 2011
• General Electric paid no corporate taxes - Tuesday, April 05, 2011
• The Flat Earth Society is at it again! - Thursday, March 17, 2011
• Crap fest - Thursday, March 03, 2011
• Egyptian Revolution - Tuesday, February 08, 2011
• Tucson - Wednesday, January 12, 2011
• Would you want a right-winger for a neighbor? - Friday, January 07, 2011
• Noah's Ark Museum - Monday, December 06, 2010
• Frick and Frack Shoot Off Their Mouths - Friday, November 05, 2010
• Enthusiam Gap - Wednesday, October 27, 2010
• Super Computer - Tuesday, October 19, 2010
• US Chamber of Commerce, conservative front group. - Wednesday, October 13, 2010
• 13 Reasons to vote the straight democratic ticket - Wednesday, September 01, 2010
• Breitbart Makes Segretti look like a choirboy - Wednesday, July 28, 2010
• House on Fire? - Thursday, June 17, 2010
• The Blame Game - Friday, May 28, 2010
•  National Prayer Day - Tuesday, May 18, 2010  
• Conservative psyche (continued) - Friday, May 14, 2010
• Conservative psyche - Wednesday, May 12, 2010
• Are you smarter than a half-term governor? - Wednesday, April 14, 2010
• Rewriting History - Monday, April 05, 2010
• Fred Phelps - Friday, April 02, 2010
• Combing the Daily Newspaper - Wednesday, March 17, 2010
• Noir - Friday, November 06, 2009
• Interview with SOLDIER'S GAP author continued - Tuesday, November 03, 2009
• More from SOLDIER'S GAP author - Thursday, October 29, 2009
• SOLDIER'S GAP author answers questions. - Thursday, October 22, 2009
• Everything you always wanted to know about writing a novel - Tuesday, October 20, 2009
• Manuscript conventions - Thursday, September 10, 2009
• Revision - Monday, September 07, 2009
• Dialogue - Thursday, September 03, 2009
• Scene cards - Tuesday, September 01, 2009
• Point of view - Thursday, August 27, 2009
• Plot - Tuesday, August 25, 2009
• Arnie's dream - Friday, August 21, 2009
• Rituals - Thursday, August 20, 2009
• Dressing Arnie Vogel - Tuesday, August 18, 2009
• Character sketch continued - Friday, August 14, 2009
• Character sketch - Thursday, August 13, 2009
• Characterization - Wednesday, August 12, 2009
• Scene outline - Tuesday, August 11, 2009
• Warm-up activity - Freewriting - Monday, August 10, 2009
• Warm-up activity - brainstorming - Sunday, August 09, 2009
• Warm-up techniques (clustering) - Saturday, August 08, 2009


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