ISLAMIC TURMOIL IN SENEGAL?
Senegal, though not without its many problems, has been one of the more politically and religiously stable countries in Africa (it's where my stepdaughter and her husband spent time in the Peace Corps just a few years ago). But now the country is in mourning over the death of an important Muslim leader. For a Reuters fact sheet about the situation there, click here. Our hope should be that international Islamic radicals don't try to use this situation as a wedge to spread their destructive messages.
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GO OUT LAUGHING
Let's end this goofball year on a silly note with some semi-decent religious humor. Well, I says semi-decent but, of course, as usual, you will be the judge of that.
So let's send 2007 off with a laugh:
1. How do we know that Adam was a Mennonite? Who else would be alone in a garden with a naked woman and be tempted by a piece of fruit?
2. A priest walked into a barber shop in Washington, D.C. After he got his haircut he asked the price. The barber said, "No charge. I consider it a service to the Lord."
The next morning the barber came to work and there were 12 prayer books and a thank you note from the priest in front of the door.
Later that day a copy came in a got his hair cut. When he asked how much, the barber said, "No charge. I consider it a service to the community."
The next morning there were a dozen donuts and a thank you not from the police officer.
Then a senator came in a got a haircut. He asked how much and was told, "No charge. I consider it a service to the country.
The next morning when the barber came to work there were 12 senators in front of the door.
3. After a long, dry sermon one Sunday the minister announced that he wished to meet with the church board. But the first person to show up was a stranger.
"You must have misunderstood my announcement," the pastor said, "This is to be a meeting of the board."
"I know," said the man. "And if there is anyone here more bored than I am I'd like to meet him.
4. A rabbincal student is about to leave for America. So he asks his mentor for advice. The man told him something he said would get him through the rest of life: "Always remember that life is like a fountain."
Deeply impressed, the man headed off for a successful career in America.
Thirty years later, he learned that the old rabbi was dying, so he returned to him for a final visit.
"Rabbi," he said, "for 30 years whenever I've needed wisdom to live by I've returned to what you told me. But, to be honest, I'm not sure I've ever fully understood what you meant when you said that life is like a fountain. Now that you're near the end, I wonder if you could tell me why life is like a fountain."
The old man replied, wearily, "Oh, all right, so life isn't like a fountain."
To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here.