Saturday, November 08, 2008

Kayaking NW Arkansas

I've enjoyed opportunities this summer to visit several launches on Beaver Lake. I've found most outboard motorists to be quite respectful of kayakers never getting too close with their high-speed rigs. My boats are highly stable and the waves don't affect me much. I like to get some wave action on occasion since I'd rather be whitewater kayaking. However, I'm sorely hooked on lake kayaking after this summer. NW Arkansas has too many opportunities to paddle year-round to be a couch potato. No excuse to miss days on the water in this great state.

Beaver Lake has kept me interested each weekend. I've visited the lake 1 day of practically every weekend and I've almost explored the entire lake. I lack three launches on the far side of the lake. I plan several more lake tours this winter and so far, the weather has been gorgeous this fall. I would love to return to Cane Creek S.P. and Lake Chicot S.P. in winter as well, but I may have to settle for a visit to the White River Refuge along the lower White River valley near its nexus with the Arkansas River. I love that area in winter as well. There is so much water in that vicinity including other lakes and sloughs and bogs I've enjoyed visiting in the past. Plus, SE Arkansas is no fun in mosquito season or cottonmouth season(I've had one in a boat with me once while frog-hunting nearby). NW Arkansas and NE Oklahoma have some really neat spots to paddle and I've enjoyed ,many on them last summer and I've begun expanding my area of interest and will update each trip worth mentioning in the future.

My interest will include more biking this winter. I really enjoyed my biking excursion at Lake Chicot S.P. with the levee road nearby. Fayetteville recently opened the new trail segment from Steele Crossing to just past North Street and I will be biking the trail quite a bit in the future. I've neglected my love of biking this summer and spent all my time paddling. I was collecting 100 plus miles per week. Too busy lately to do everything I love. Til next time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Summer report card: Arkansas state parks have many natural gems to offer

I've been busy with my self-assigned task of visiting all Arkansas state parks at least once. I have visited several parks in my relatively short lifetime, but I haven't been to all. In the past, I have visited Village Creek S.P., Crater of Diamonds S.P., Devil's Den (too many times to recount), Hobbs S.P.(a number of times), Withrow Srpings S.P., Mt. Magazine S.P., Lake Ft. Smith S.P., and Petit Jean S.P.

I visited Mt. Magazine, Devil's Den, Hobbs, and Lake Ft. Smith this summer. Lake Ft. Smith has been reborn since the raising of the height of the dam to combine Lake Ft. Smith with Lake Shepherd Springs. I had quite a time paddling the new 1,400 acre+ newer, larger lake. From the entry of Frog Bayou beneath Artist's Point to the rope barrier near the dam, it is quite a gem of the Ozarks. A gem of a park I visited in SE AR this fall was Cane Creek S.P., a rather new lake and state park in Star City, AR in Lincoln County between Pine Bluff and Monticello along Hwy 65. It is a timbered lake with scores of aninghas perching and flying in procession if you get too close. The trail cut through the lotuses into the cypress brake is a real treat and I'm sorry I didn't have another day to explore the 17 mile mountain bike trail that surrounds the lake. Unfortunately, if one dosn't own an rv or care to camp in a tent, the best for lodging is nearby Monticello or Pine Bluff. I opted for Monticello. Cane Creek needs cabins, if any Arkansas state parks employee is reading. I read on a reviewers site that it was built in 1997. It took about 4 hours to get around the lake at my pace. I would certainly visit agian next time with my own boats. Rental boats are horrible at the park. Lake Monticello is another lake we explored, though the city of Monticello has no kayak rental place. It is a gorgeous lake with a number of waterfowl hanging nearby.

Cane Creek Lake is next to Bayou Bartholomew, a common site along roadsides in SE Arkansas, since it is the longest bayou on earth (a bayou is described as a slow-moving river by one pamphlet I have on the area). The lilypad trail, aforementioned, is a real treat leading to the cypress brake where many cool beaver dams may be encountered. Lots of barely submerged logs and trees in the lake, but it reminded me of many fishing holes I enjoyed in my native county in eastern Arkansas and practically every frog-hunting trip through one of many Big Creeks in Arkansas. I have also frogged and fished the St. Francis River , which is part of a coming attraction to the state park system, Mississippi River S.P. encompassing developments at Bear Creek, the mouth of St. Francis (a downright scary swift current there has been encountered, including a wicked scary lightning and torrential rainstorm that brewed on a frog-hunting excursion), and Storm Creek Lake, according to the state park brochure. Bear Creek is getting a new campground opening tentativley in Fall 2008(dunno if its open as i'm wirting this in October. This could be one of the coolest parks in the state park system in our beloved state. In my book, Cane Creek S.P. is certainly a must-see for folks who want a sampling of eastern Arkansas' marshland habitat. It's one of the finest opportunities for those unaccustomed to the marshy lowlands to get a close-up view in a safe environment to explore without need of an outboard, though outboard fisherman were sharing the lake the day we visited. The only drawback to some will be the lack of services (grocery stores, restaurants) in the immediate area, and the near-pervasive whiff of the paper mills that produce in this timber paradise within Drew, Lincoln, Bradley, and Ashley Counties. Northern Louisiana has its share of paper mills also. The scent can be really putrid, but I've been exposed to such industrial scents having visited my family members in Jefferson and Desha Counties often during my youth, but my wife from a northern state didn't much care for the smell at first.

Another state park treat this fall was Lake Chicot S.P. in Lake Village near the new cool bridge over the Mississippi River, the so-called Greenville Bridge. Lake Chicot is a mammoth lake that once served as the main Mississippi River channel until approximately 1300 C.E. The rental boats at this park are scary, but my wife and I enjoyed the duplex-cabin overlooking the lake and next time I visit this wonder, I will have my own boats. I still managed to reach the opposite end of the lake section adjacent to the park, which is separate from the near 20 mile-long Lake Chicot, despite the scary unstable Perception kayak I paddled with a rudder permanently placed under the hull of the boat. Real scary for a huge lake with big waves that day because of wind and boaters and alligator gar bumping into the boat. Real cool experience and I love that park. Got some nice camera phone pics and a beautiful sunset. Lake Chicot is a quiet place and good folks from all over the Mississsippi River vally had gathered at the park the 4 days, three nights I stayed. My wife and I biked the nearly deserted road past the park entrance to the levee and the levee road seems to go all the way around the lake, though I couldn't follow the whole way. Our pet was not allowed in the lodging, so an RV is a must if you have pets. The other major criticism is the uncomfortable beds and unbearable sofa sleeper. The state park should spend some of the fund on upgrading those most important furnishings. Plus, the state park should get Mad River to make a deal on supplying all the state parks rental boats, as Lake Ft. Smith rents out to canoeists. Mad River makes kayaks and canoes and they are among the most stable for many novice paddlers who want a memorable experience for all the right reasons, not feeling like an upset is looming with any of the next few waves that might hit. I should be hired to advise the state parks on needed changes, but overall, our state park system is head and shoulders above neighboring states. Oklahoma should be embarassed. It is such a beautiful state unfortunately under the care of a negligent host. I love Tenkiller S.P., but it needs attention and infusion of resources to make it the gem it should be of the Oklahoma S.P. system. I enjoyed a Corps site better than the state parks in the vicinity of Lake Tenkiller and nearby mammoth lakes in eastern Oklahoma. Corps sites in Arkansas are usually woeful compared to the care and service provided at our state parks. The US Forest service sin't all that hot either.

I'll describe my other summer adventures later. I've visited many of Oklahoma's eastern lakes and many Forest service and Corps sites in Arkansas and Missouri this summer. The Corps has a dandy off Highway 100/82 on the east side of Tenkiller Lake. I want to explore that lake by kayak and the lower Illinois looks like a cool place to paddle also. I visisted several Corps spots along Beaver Lake, including some of the abandoned sites, where a boat laucnh is maintained and the Corps patrol those areas rather frequently. I love Beaver Lake and many of its feeder creeks and rivers. Lake Sequoyah, in Fayetteville is at the crossroads of the East, Middle, and West Forks of the White River, though West Fork joins below the dam, is a real birder's delight and the rivers are great smallmouth waters. Branson has some nices places along the water to enjoy boating of all sorts and certainly a grand new attraction, Branson Landing, is a neat addition to the touristy Mecca of the Ozarks. Paddling, motorboats, sailing craft, and more trails than one might imagine. I was surprised at how many nice trails are maintained in the area. I purchased a Branson tourist guide, though I'd visited many times and knew the city fairly well, I immediately gained a better knowledge than my parents, who visit at least twice yearly as my mother's parents had for 30+ years before her. The Henning forest lured my parnets into the hike and they loved it. My dad's hikes in his lifetime have always included a firearm of some sort. He was involved in military service for many years and he hunts squirrels, coons, deer, rabbits, doves, ducks, turkeys, and other wild game. Hiking always had a shooting purpose. So there's my recommendation for the city's Henning Forest hiking trails. It's a gem of Missouri's natural sanctuaries.

One of my next vacation trips will be to return to Crater of Diamonds for maybe the 5th or 6th time in my life and nearby Daisy S.P., Hisoric Washington and White Oak Lake S.P. I really want to see Lake Greeson and 2,700 acre White Oak Lake should be a fun paddling experience. Too bad they don't have cabins, so an RV or tent is a necessity. I'll speak more about Arkansas' natural wonders no matter who administers them. The state of Arkansas is to be commended for its dedication to preserve natural places and allowing an escape from everyday life. I love this state and cannot ever imagine living in any other state. We have so many outdoor opportunities that can keep a person busy for the rest of this lfe and still believe one has missed out on a golden experience. I feel as if I'm destined to enjoy many more of these blessed outdoor experiences in my home state and I hope the good Lord decides to allow me more time to see all that I can. Anyone reading this should give the Arkansas outdoors a shot beyond hunting sports, though hunting is a real pleasure in this state of abundance for most hunted species. It's a life changing experience each time out. I have enjoyed paddling and fishing Arkansas waters this spring and summer. Fall and winter will surely hold some delights in late '08 and early '09 and I want to be in the water or on the trail. I will, hopefully, be involved with building a mountain bike trail on an acquaintances property in Logan County. I love to visit Logan County. I visited a handful of times this year and I love that little town Paris. Clean, well-kept quaint little town that should be visited at least once by everyone. It's near Mt. Magazine, Cove Lake, and Blue Mountain Lake, as well as Lake Dardanelle and Mt. Nebo state parks.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Could've guessed: TN church murders hate crimes

I hate to say this, but I strongly suspected the Unitarian church murders was a hate crime when first reported. The redneck asshole attacked the church reportedly because of their "liberal" views on social issues. Another piece of redneck trash who can't mind his own business. It's funny how folks across the heartland of America claim they want to live their lives without some witless asshole telling them how to live their lives. You know, that heritage of freedom celebrated by rightwingers not because they actually want to extend freedom to others, but only to those who agree with their extreme views. In other words, they revere their freedom to oppress others just like the puritans of American history. I grew up southern baptist and the baptists have completely ignored their own history in America. Massachusetts colony was a puritan theocracy that kicked Roger Brown off the premises because he was not free to practice his beliefs on their soil. He founded Rhode Island, but that's actual American history. Right-wing theocrats choose to ignore most American history, particularly concerning the founding of this country. Unfortunately, when I now hear heritage and freedom in an ad or in a statement, my sensors become alarmed that I'm about to be propagandized and I'm saddened that rednecks and jackasses have usurped "patriotism" and turned it into something ugly. Maybe that's what Michelle Obama was describing when she had her "moment" when she hurt her husband's campaign with her "proud" comment.

Jim D. Adkisson, Tennessee white trash, has fired his salvo in this "culture war" that has attacked the foundations of our democracy and our true heritage in the Constitution we once held dear. Adkisson's cynicism led to the deaths of folks who are good citizens who love their children and love their lives and love humanity. People like O'Reilly, Wildmon, Dobson, and Hagee are secretly delighted at the unitarian church murders I'll be willing to bet. They got their wish. They have their war, obviously. Not to forget the cartel that includes the Bushes have been waging war on rank-and-file Americans throughout the disastrous Dubya administration and certainly since the GOP took over Congress in 1994. At a time when our western culture is under attack by hateful Islamic believers (American right-wingers' fellow Islamic fundamentalists--that's right, there's no difference between Adkisson and Mohammed Atta, except Atta was probably much brighter than Adkisson, but just as evil), American fundamentalists have been on the attack on fellow countrymen. Adkisson declared war on our way of life and guiltless Americans just like Atta and his band of Arabian rednecks and assholes who have been granted a special favor by God to judge and murder those who disagree with their hateful wahhabi beliefs have been attacking westerners.

These murders were just as evil as the attack on the Dallas area fundamentalist church-goers, mostly children, a few years back. AMERICA SEEMS TO BE IN LOVE WITH MURDER AND MAYHEM, NOT GOD. Our fundamentalist Islamic attackers' views and acts gained tacit approval from Adkisson. As Camus described in his writing: "Every revolutionary ends by becoming either an oppressor or a heretic; every revolution ends either in police rule or insanity." People who wish to become judge, jury, executioner are all the same whether in Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, or Judaism. Granted, most fundamentalist Americans don't wish to endure or propagate murder and mayhem like the Adkissons and Attas of the world, but they need to tone down the hateful rhetoric and take a stand against plowing other folks values into dust like the good folks at the Tennessee Valley Unitarian fellowship suffered at the hands of a TN redneck asshole.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Arkansas State Parks magnificent

This summer I have decided to visit as many AR state parks as possible on daytrips. So far, I have visited Mt. Magazine, Lake Ft. Smith, Hobbs, Pinnacle, and Devil's Den. Most of these places I have visited in the past, but the tax increase levied specifically for state parks has made a dramatic difference. The new lodge at Mt. Magazine is amazing and the view from below the lodge is as beautiful a view as there is in Arkansas. I'm very happy to see the AR state park system has added St. Francis National Forest to its offerings building additional campsites at Bear Creek near Marianna. The St. Francis project the federal government never cared to improve will be a boon for east Arkansas. I practically grew up in the St. Francis National Forest and all the trails I walked were not maintained or improved (most were logging roads) and I did my fair share of trailblazing. That could be one of the gems of Arkansas and luckily the state stepped in where the federal government failed for decades. In my lifetime, I have visited, in addition to the aformentioned parks, Crater of Diamonds, DeGray, Petit Jean, Withrow Springs, Village Creek, and the Delta Heritage Trail (though at the time, fewer than the advertised 14 miles had been prepared).

Our state parks are becoming treasures that more dollars will dramatically improve. Lake Ft. Smith and Mt. Magazine are the most improved parks I've visited by far. Later this year, I hope to visit several more state parks if the fools in the White House don't exacerbate our nation's failing economy's tragic state. I've spent most of my time in the outdoors along federally protected rivers, Corps of Engineer parks, and WMAs and federal lands. The Corps really do a poor job of maintaining their sites practically everywhere I've encountered them. I haven't been as active with river trips the past two years as I was for over a decade, unfortunately. I've traveled practically every navigable river in NW Arkansas including Frog Bayou, nearly every stretch of the Buffalo beginning near Fallsville(Hailstone Creek) all the way to the the White Bufalo resort area, Mulberry River, Little Mulberry River, Little Buffalo, Big Piney, King's River, Upper (Middle, East, and West forks) and Lower White River, War Eagle Creek, Arkansas River(various stretches), Mississippi River(various stretches), St. Francis(near the mouth of the mighty Mississippi with ancient archaeological sites and a nasty swirl where it meets the great river), Spring, Illinois, Lee Creek, and a number of little swift creeks that I didn't catch the name of all of them. The prettiest river I've ever kayaked was without a doubt, Hailstone or the upper Buffalo beginning at Red Star, especially with all the water converging from the two massive creeks that empty into the main channel of the Buffalo. No prettier site, except for a novice paddler, than the beginning of the Buffalo.

Get out and visit the wonderful hiking trails, biking trails, rivers, and state parks in this beautiful state. Have a great rest of the summer!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hillary must take VP nomination if offered

Hillary put her foot square in her mouth with the Bobby Kennedy remark engendering the famous Olbermann rage. Before the remark, I thought Hillary should continue her work in the Senate. Now, she has to take the post if offered to rehabilitate her character. Not to forget the dimensions of race she included in her campaign. The Democratic party MUST WIN THIS ELECTION!!!!!!!!!!! Obama can't win working-class white voters. He can't win a southern state (maybe---the recent Mississippi election results might prove otherwise);Hillary can and would if she'd captured the nomination. I am annoyed the 20-somethings seem to have done in Hillary's hope to succeed the worst presdient in American history. Not annoyed because they voted(which is a miracle for most of their peers) for Obama. I'm annoyed because their track record porves they'll likely stay away from the polls this November. If that happens and another GOP failure-in-waiting takes the presidency, these youngsters will have possibly caused further irreparable harm. 20 somethings: Get your asses to the polls this November!

For the good of America, if Obama decides, Hillary MUST accept his plea to accompany him this election as his VP candidate.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Thankfully, we live in this great nation

A word from Zimbabwe, where an aging, embittered despot has absolutely stripped the former "breadbasket of Africa" to the bone. Earlier this week , Mugabe's rival in the upcoming runoff election opted to remain in exile because of the prospects of his assassination had he returned, after a month away. To date, since March, 43 opposition leaders have been murdered by Mugabe's henchmen according to BBC. The latest body found was that of Tonderai Ndira. Mugabe'e war against opposition over the years has claimed thousands of lives and his fury was directed against white farmers as they were chased away and Mugabe's cronies allowed the spoils. Zimbabwe was fairly conciliatory with white business and farm owners because Zimbabwe would have been doomed after the war to unseat the white leadership of the former Rhodesia. Their opposition to his bloody regime changed all that and now Mugabe seems content to destroy the nation outright.

The phrase "freedom isn't free" certainly come to mind when considering the hell into which Zimbabwe has been dragged by Mugabe. No leader in Africa seems to give a damn about the old man's death grip on his own people. Mbeki of South Africa has practically aided and abetted the murder and mayhem of Mugabe. What could a presidency of Obama do to change the hearts of African leaders toward Mugabe? I'm not sure it would mean anything more than business as usual. More brave folks like Ndira will die before the deadly Mugabe regime is toppled or he dies, finally. Hopefully, Mugabe's face will be shattered before they end his life like Ndira's. Sad times in southern Africa.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Mother Jones:" Myth of Moral Majority" repercussions

I'm going to sound like a honest-to-goodness rightwinger at this point. Mother Jones had an online article about the myth of the moral majority in America reporting the claim by Pew of 40% weekly church attendance in America. Actually, it seems 20% is the absolute cap on regular church attendance. An excerpt about writer Christine Wicker, a prodigal Southern Baptist who returned to her childhood denomination, but questioned the realities thereof:

"Take that 40 percent church attendance stat. Looking around her half-empty Southern Baptist church outside Dallas, Christine Wicker had her doubts. Wicker, a veteran Texas newspaper reporter, was born again when she was nine but drifted away from her evangelical roots in adulthood. A few years ago, she returned to the Southern Baptist Church to both renew her faith and write The Fall of the Evangelical Nation, an insider's look at evangelicals' power, wading in where secular journalists feared to tread. When she started looking into the numbers on church attendance, she found that researchers could vouch for only 18 percent of Americans being regular churchgoers—less than half the accepted figure. That led her to wonder about the already widely reported claim that 25 percent of Americans are evangelicals; could the real number also be less than half that?
In size, only the Catholic Church dwarfs the Southern Baptist Church, the biggest evangelical denomination and by far the most organized and fastidious of the Protestant record keepers. But Wicker discovered that the numbers the Southern Baptist Convention (sbc) releases for public consumption tell a much different story than the ones it uses internally. The organization claims 16 million members, but as one reverend cracks, "the fbi couldn't find half of [them] if they had to." A 2006 sbc report states that only 11 million of its members live in the same area as their home church anymore; that number includes those who've been double- or even triple-counted elsewhere. It also includes perennial no-shows and those who attend services at "bedside Baptist" (they sleep in on Sunday but show up for Easter and Christmas). And that's not to mention those who've lost their religion or converted to another faith. If their names were ever on "the roll" at a Baptist church, they're probably inscribed there for life."

I grew up a Southern Baptist "evangelical" who has certainly opted not to follow that hateful religious path. Many of those with whom I grew up in the same denomination have joined some of these "megachurches" that spring up with more dangerous ideology because they don't answer to a broad organization that keeps an eye on orthodoxy. James Dobson occasionally says things that may be objectional to SBC leadership, particularly the predominance of "charismatic" believers in the evangelical movement. SBC will never advocate charismatic tongue talking, at least not in my lifetime.

I know that the SBC still counts me as an SBC believer as well as those friends I mentioned who haven't darkened an SBC door except when they visit parents(not me, I never go to church with my parents when I visit) or attend funerals. The SBC have always counted practically anyone who has ever joined an SBC congregation. I know of some who have become UMC or Presbyterian faithful as well as SBC members who converted to the Catholic church, the " Great Whore" mentioned in the Revelation according to every SBC pastor I've ever known or heard preach personally just like John Hagee, the Hitler and anti-Catholic enthusiast. Hagee and the evangelicals political coalition relied heavily on Catholics to vote down Dems and voting their "values" at the polls and selling out America to the devils Bush and Cheney(along with Kristol, Krauthammer, Wolfowitz, et al---I suppose I'l be accused of anti-Semitism--nah, just anti neo-conism).

My point of emphasis concerning the article, which is questioning the actual impact of outright evangelicals. I haven't read the book, I just read this article about The Fall of the Evangelical Nation, so I won't critique in-depth (I'm wrapped uo in AR history reading now). My problem is going to sound xenophobic. The cultural identity of the nation can be in the balance if we don't wake up and find a way to embrace a church-going mentality and try to save the old denominations that tend to moderate with time such as most Methodists, Presbyterians, and others of the old faithfuls that aren't tied particularly to the disastrous nexus of intolerant evangelicalism and politics these days. I don't want to be in Europe's position with declining population and declined church attendance--almost zero in some places--and an alarming growth of the numbers of Muslims and the possibility of their ideology finding more believers and actual mosque-attenders. I don't mind other believers finding America's virtually tolerant society(as opposed to what our nation was not too many years ago--invidiously racist)to their liking and moving here. Let's face it;Islam could never create this kind of tolerant nation. Islam's Golden Age, dating back to our Dark Ages and ending at the advent of the historical modern age(circa. 1500). Wahhabists began to dominate in the Islamic heartland Saudi Arabia about 1700s, but Islamic tolerance of the scholarship during the Euro middle ages blessed the folks who started the Renaissance in Christendom with the works of the ancient Greeks, who engendered classical republican democracy we enjoy today(or a more liberalized version evolving through the years). Islam has been more progressive centuries ago and threatens to descend the depths over the current crises in the world and the Islamic populist martyrdom movement hatched by Carter's arming and training of Islamic reactionaries and the GOP orthodoxy of supporting ideological nutjobs to fight the Soviets. Presdient Zia of Pakistan was a fundamentalist Islamic servant and he supported like minds fighting in Afghanistan, including bin-Laden. Blowback is hell and we have felt it since 9-11.

We shouldn't rejoice in the demise of Christian religious belief; we should be mortified. Christianity gave us an undeniable cultural center for our democratic government, though I disagree with the evangelical assertion that the founders of this democratic republic blindly followed their narrow view of God. That assertion is simply untrue and church attendance and membership have been much lower percentage-wise than today. We noticed so-called great awakenings over the years of evangelical moments over the years in the late 18th century, 1840-1860s and the 1950s because church attendance and active belief was so low from the start, particularly in rural areas including the South, where Southern Baptists began their great baptismal push in the mid 19th century and the 1950s with Billy Graham's ubiquitous crusades for Christ. The greatest humanists who ever lived in the english-speaking world or any world or age founded this nation and hammered out this constitution we all hold dear. I have heard enough of the "secular-humanist" bashing. Bash Jefferson or Franklin if you must, but I believe their ideological stubborness was good for America. Yes, Franklin describes moments he would pray or Americans should pray, hardly a deist's mentality, but Franklin has more evidence in the historical record of his secularist leanings.

I'm sorry to sound like a xenophobe, but I suppose since I supported Hillary that many left-leaning Dems would accuse me of unspeakable evils(monstrous), but I know I'm right on this one. We must moderate our Christian beliefs away from the most hateful possible worldviews. America is a marketplace of commerce, ideas, and certainly religion. As talk radio has become dominated by hateful right-wing talk shows because of their relative popularity; American Christianity has suffered an equivalent bastardization. The most vocally hateful, malcontented who need to hate the other, yet harboring a gregarious need to find at least a few like-minded toxic fellow faithful so they can hate the other together and carve out a heaven for themselves they don't mind sharing with a few select folks. Commercial religious belief has pushed aside the more social beliefs that want to promote at least a hint of utopian endeavor and improve the earth on which they'll live all their natural lives. I'm not saying SBC faithful don't try to ease the suffering of the less fortunate; my parents have worked their tails off in disaster areas to help with cleanup and helping those with immediate daily needs like food, clothing, and shelter on behalf of their denomination. On the whole, though, supporting right wing ideology in America paints them with a hateful brush denying healthcare to Americans unfortunate enough to work for employers with deficient if any affordable health care access. Their stubborness over healthcare reform is sickening to me. It's part of why I rejected my youthful fundamentalism and SBC membership. On social issues, SBC ideologues have missed the mark entirely in my view. Social issues MUST not be reduced to anti-gay lobbying, anti-immigrant hell-raising, and assorted other objectionable planks these past few years. The SBC was the major problem with the continuation of Jim Crow legislation into the 1960s and some components lasting as actual law until the present day(e.g. legislation banning interracial marriage or sodomy, not exactly Jim Crow, but it fits nevertheless). Their blindly following a war profiteer electing him not once, but twice, Dubya, is one memory I'll never let go. I would never return to the SBC on that demerit alone. Supporting an obviously toxic ideologue like Bush is a fault I can never forgive(I know, that's not very Christ-like)

Again, I have rambled, not gonna proofread, so enjoy.