Showing posts from September, 2014

On the Field of Battle - The Story of a Father and Three Sons

Helena Arkansas was a town on the Mississippi River, about 50 miles south of Memphis and 100 miles southeast of Little Rock (as the crow flies). Helena was a town of wealth, and a major port on the river. In 1862 the Union Army marched in Helena without opposition, and fortified the town for occupation. On July 4, 1863 the Confederate army executed an attack on Helena. Under the impression that most of the Union forces in Helena had been relocated to join General Grant in the Vicksburg campaign, they thought the recapture of Helena would be successful. They split forces into three, attacking at dawn from three different directions. But two things thwarted their plan. First, the Union army had not reduced troops in Helena as they had thought – at least not to the point of weakening it. And second, the Union soldiers had felled trees along all the passages into town. This prevented the Confederates from moving their wagons or artillery up the ridge. A father first loves

Black Mass Hysteria

The Devil as depicted in the Codex Gigas . As I write these words certain individuals in my fair city are preparing to worship the Son of Perdition. Satan, Lucifer, El Diablo; perhaps you call him Beelzebub or the Prince of Darkness.  Maybe you just refer to him as the Devil.  But (with apologies to the Bard) a devil, by any other name, still smells of sulfur.  A Black Mass is a ritual whereby those who would pay homage to Satan mock the traditions of the Catholic celebration of Mass, usually by stealing a consecrated “host” and desecrating it in ways best left unspoken in this venue.  For my unlearned protestant friends, the host is what we would refer to as the bread in Holy Communion (except for the consecration of said host, which gets into a whole other discussion on transubstantiation vs. consubstantiation, which discussion we shall save for another time). Of course, there are other individuals - Christian Leaders - who would see this worship service banned.  They have