Stodghill Says So

An opinionated posting on a variety of subjects by a former newspaper reporter and columnist whose daily column was named best in Indiana by UPI. The Blog title is that used in his high school sports predictions for the Muncie Evening Press.

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Location: Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, United States

At the age of 18 I was a 4th Infantry Division rifleman in the invasion of Normandy, then later was called back for the Korean War. Put in a couple of years as a Pinkerton detective. Much of my life was spent as a newspaper reporter, sports writer and daily columnist. Published three books on high school sports in Ohio and Indiana. I write mystery fiction for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine and others. Three books, Normandy 1944 - A Young Rifleman's War, The Hoosier Hot Shots, and From Devout Catholic to Communist Agitator are now available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other booksellers. So are four collections of short mysteries: Jack Eddy Stories Volumes 1 and 2, Midland Murders, and The Rough Old Stuff From Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine.

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Friday, July 28, 2006

Hell - All day in Wal-Mart, all meals at McDonald's

This morning I was looking over a message board and found a posting headed: What is your concept of Hell? The fellow who wrote the post wanted to know what other people may think because he is writing a book about what Hell is really like. That's so the rest of us will try to avoid going there. As he's writing the definitive book on the subject, apparently he is sure he knows all there is to know on the subject. This struck me as a bit jumped-up and pretentious because the last time I checked they weren't running round-trip excursions to a place that no one can be certain even exists.
Being me, I had to reply with a wise-ass personal concept of hell. It was easy, didn't require more than two seconds of thought: Spend all day, every day in a Wal-Mart and eat every meal at a McDonald's. Talk about a fate worse than death!
But posting a question like that does provide food for thought. What is it that makes some people claim to know more about life after death than anyone else? Whatever the reason, and I'm in the dark about it along with many Americans, there sure are a lot of others like that fellow around today. It seems that you can't pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV news without being confronted by religious zealotry. Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel, Lebanon, Bosnia - the turmoil and bloodshed in all those places has been the result of religion carried to the extreme.
So far it hasn't reached the point of open warfare here in the United States, but it's not too far from it. Picketeers from Kansas staging demonstrations at military funerals, fanatics protesting outside abortion clinics, TV preachers blaming hurricanes and floods on the evil ways of the rest of us, people more concerned about gay marriage than the state of the schools or the government or any other important issue facing the country. So much hatred by those claiming to be guided by the love of God, whatever one it is they happen to worship.
How does anyone reach the point of devoting all or most of their time to a cause that in the overall scheme of things isn't too important? That's one more question I can't answer. But I do know this, the time when America was a "live and let live" nation is past. Long past, and that's too bad. We have gained in material possessions, lost something far more valuable.

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