I took a bit of morning time to watch President Ford's funeral service as it was televised from the National Cathedral. There was music (Christian hymns which have buoyed the heart for many generations) sung and played with a beauty, a grandeur, and an artistic excellence that made the soul soar. There were scriptures-so appropriately selected-read with great dignity. There were eulogies (marked with affection, historical reminiscence and humor) that reminded one that Gerald Ford was a very good man. Words like decent, nice, and principled were used more than once to describe his character. All in all, it was a cleansing experience to watch that funeral.

Then later in the day, my wife, Gail, called me down from my study to watch a few minutes of Oprah Winfrey who has brought into being a school in South Africa which will train hundreds of girls who come from the deepest poverty, from abuse and molestation and AIDS-dominated circumstances. The gleaming smiles on the girls' faces, their alertness in responding to questions, and their simple girlish beauty was stirring, arousing tears. All in all it was an inspirational experience to see what Ms Winfrey has accomplished through her compassion and determination to help others avoid the kind of background out of which she came.

Then in the evening on the national news came the report that Pat Robertson was informing our nation of a word he has received from God to wit that several million Americans (who knows where or how) would perish in some unspeakable disaster in 2007.

I must be frank here - what kind of a god tells someone, "there's going to be a big disaster in the next 12 months, but I'm not going to tell you when, or where, or who." When God told Abraham about an impending ...

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