Book Review: The War on Christmas

The War on Christmas
John Gibson
ISBN#: 1595230165

There has been a series of books documenting the antichristian agenda of the secular progressives in the US, often using the cover of the so-called “separation of church and state” in order to enforce censorship and suppression. The intrinsic intolerance of atheism was a topic discussed by Alister McGrath in his stunning “The Twilight of Atheism,” and is nowhere better displayed than in the growing intolerance for religious expression in the public square. There is an open war, declared by the secularists, on the acceptibility of religious thought in public discourse. While they wrap themselves in the flags of “inclusiveness” and “tolerance,” they in fact demonstrate profound exclusiveness — by refusing to acknowledge *any* faith, they denigrate all faith; by refusing to allow religious expression, they exhibit intolerance greater than any they pretend to oppose.

The greatest battleground is, of course, the schools, where students are taught to be ashamed of their faith by aggressive secularists, supported by the ACLU. The examples are frighteningly common, but three come immediately to mind. The first two are from David Limbaugh’s “Persecution.”

Following the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, school officials gave students and their families an opportunity to paint tiles with images and words above student lockers. But the administrators were apparently surprised that some families chose to mourn the dead with Christian symbols and verses. They removed some ninety of the 2100 painted tiles because they contained “objectionable” phrases like “God is Love” and “4/20/99 Jesus Wept.” The parents of two slain students, Daniel Rohrbough and Kelly Fleming [were among those censored by secularists]…”

And again:

[A teacher at a Houston middle school shouted] “This is garbage,” as she threw two students’ Truth for Youth Bibles in a trash can. …[T]he two sisters were carrying Bibles when they walked into their classroom one morning, where their teacher met them at the classroom door. She noticed the Bibles and promptly escorted the students to the principal’s office. She then paged the girls’ mothers and threatened to call child protective services because Bibles were not allowed on school property. One of the girls became hysterical at the teacher’s bizarre behavior. When the mother arrived, the teacher waved the Bibles at her and exclaimed, “This is garbage,” then threw them into the trash can. She said the girls could not bring Bibles to school. In a separate but similar incident at the same school, officials confronted three students whose books had the Ten Commandments displayed on the covers. They threw the covers in the garbage, claiming the Ten Commandments were hate speech that might offend other students…

And, finally, from Gibson’s book, where Kelly Shackleford describes a case the Liberty Legal Institute got involved in:

These are young kids. They’re in the third grade or fourth grade or fifth grade. And the lesson they learn is that there are words you can’t say. You can’t say these curse words, and then you can’t say your religion. You can’t talk about your religion. And it’s a very powerful message.

We had a case where the kids could draw a tracing of their foot, then put a message on the drawing of their foot, and then put it up on the board in class. And all these kids had all these very innocuous messages, “Jenny loves Johnny” and “Peace” and such. A girl very innocently wrote “Jesus Loves Me.” And the teacher ripped it down, and said to her “Don’t you ever do this again.” The girl went home crying and wondering what she’d done wrong.

[After being confronted and threatened with legal action by a religious rights organization the school backed off and allowed the girl to make another drawing] She redrew her foot. And instead of writing “Jesus Loves Me” in the innocent and pure way she did before, she put up a tiny little cross up in the very top corner that you could just barely see.

And I thought, “There’s the picture of what happens inside to these little kids.” She’s learned the lesson. Don’t be open about your faith. Don’t be honest about your faith. Hide it. You can still be whoever you are as long as you hide it. They taught her self-oppression and self-censorship through this hysterical reaction to her. The robbed her of that innocence and of that purity of being open about her faith.

That is what the ACLU and the rest of the secular antichristians want to insitutionalize. And that is what Christians are beginning to react to.

Christmas, as one of the greatest holy days of Christianity is, of course, one of the greatest targets of this bigotry, hatred, and suppression. Gibson gives a number of the more egregious examples — where the very colors green and red were banned from one school, where all Christmas carols were banned (including instrumental pieces on the grounds that somone might be offended by the tune), where students were monitored to make sure that none of the presents they gave to each other contained anything remotely referring to the Christ, where literature such as Dickens’ Christmas Carol is banned. He provides examples where this assault is directed preferentially at Christians; cases where Jewish, Islamic, and Kwanzaa symbols and rituals are celebrated, but equivalent Christian expression is banned. He notes the amazing hypocrisy of the secularists who find any criticism of *other* expression horrible, but welcome any and all censorship of religious expression. The Cross is welcome only if it is dipped in urine or smeared with feces — any taking of offense to these is to be ignored — but never if viewed with reverence. If viewed in a positive light, then it is, by definition “offensive” and must be banned.

Gibson notes and documents the standard tactics of those who attempt such bans — the ACLU’s use of the offended individual to force censorship and ban expression, and actions of the ACLU, People for the American Way, etc. to enforce censorship that they know is unconstitutional. In particular, he documents examples of the ACLU threatening expensive lawsuits to force censorship in cases they know they would lose, but in which the school district is afraid of the cost of litigation. Outside of the realm of religious censorship, this is called a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) — though the term is not invoked by Gibson. It is a method used by large corporations to squash speech by threatening dissenters with expensive lawsuits. When used by corporations against speech, it is both unethical and illegal. When used by the ACLU to enforce religious censorship, it applauded by the secular left.

Finally, Gibson notes some of the legal resources of Christians who are faced with this kind of oppression. For many years, small governments and school districts were completely at the mercy of SLAPP tactics, and Christian families were unaware of their constitutional rights. A number of religious freedom organizations have risen to oppose SLAPP t.actics by the ACLU and similar organizations, and every Christian should be aware of these resources when attempts are made to censor them.

The basic question is whether or not people should be free to express their religious beliefs without shame, or whether we should be forced to hide and deny our beliefs in the face of atheistic repression. It’s not easy, as any of us who has faced such attempts at censorship can attest. Christians are now like smokers — it’s OK to hate them as far as the secular left is concerned. And any objection to the kinds of tactics mentioned at the beginning of this post is countered with denial and cries of “lunacy” and “whining.”

A good example is found in the post of one of the blogs on my blogroll, where Gibson’s book is ridiculed — but not read of course. Had the writer bothered to read this book or Limbaugh’s Persecution, she might not be so quick to dismiss it out of hand. But one of the greatest weapons of secularists is this kind of dissembling — it doesn’t matter what happens, it will be denied. The *last* thing that such people will do is read what they dismiss with such contempt. They do not argue the fact, but instead their stereotyped projections. Gibson doesn’t like the denial of Christmas? Then he is engaging in “paranoid lunacy.” Tell that to the children who have their Bibles thrown in the trash, who have their basic beliefs publicly ridiculed by teachers as “hate speech,” and who have monitors threatening to punish them for even silent prayer. Who could object to that? Not the “tolerant” secular left, of course. They are too busy telling Christians that Christmas really has nothing to do with Christ.

Gibson’s position is that inclusiveness means acknowledging the religious expression of all the faiths represented by the citizenry, not *supressing* all expression. There is nothing wrong with wishing a Happy Hannukah to a Jew and a Merry Christmas to a Christian and a Happy Kwanzaa to celebrants of it. When I lived in DC, I lived in a community containing a very large Jewish population. Most of my neighbors were Jewish. Did that mean that I didn’t celebrate Easter or Christmas for fear of “offending” them? Did it mean that they did not celebrate Passover for fear of “offending” me? Quite the opposite. My neighbors shared my joy, and I shared theirs — to the point of celebrating Passover Seder with them (though you could easily tell who was and who was not Christian by the decorations). *That* is inclusiveness. *That* is tolerance — not the secular atheistic view of suppressing expression and banning speech.

Gibson’s book is structured as a number of case studies, one per chapter, followed by a discussion of resources for those being censored and a final conclusion section tying the attack on Christmas with the more general attacks on religious expression. It is not as well documented as Limbaugh’s Persecution, and would benefit from an index, but is an easier read and more focused. Those who want to pretend that this isn’t happening would be well served by reading this book and Limbaugh’s Persecution before opining about it. Simple denial is no longer enough. Christians who are open about their faith have likely already faced this kind of thing, but may not be aware of how pervasive it is, or of the resources that are available when they are (inevitably) attacked.

Check it out!

Prophesy and charismatic gifts

John Schroeder at Blogotional (who I really enjoy reading) provides a middle-of-the-road approach for the question of prophesy. In it he states that:

Thus my middle ground proposal is this. The gift of prophecy and office of prophet continues today, it is seen in the pulpit. Special revelation does not exist today. I don’t rule it out it’s possibility, but nothing has yet to reach the sufficient proof level, and in fact, probably nothing can absent long historical perspective. Impressions may be validly guided by the Holy Spirit, but do not rise to the level of prophecy and can never be associated with the phrase (or it’s synonyms) “Thus sayeth the Lord.”

I can understand why he wants to be peacemaker here, but it seems to me that his position is simply self-contradictory.

First, where does this leave personal revelation? In fact, personal testimonies are rife with discussions of personal revelations that change individual lives. By the scriptural test of “by their fruits you shall know them,” these startling interactions with the Spirit show very good fruit.

Second, while Mr. Schroeder has not seen any special revelations that he accepts, in fact these very revelations are driving the profound revival that is going on in the third world, as described in “The Next Christendom.” Does he really claim that they are *all* false?

Third, there is a long tradition of mystical practice in Christianity that depends upon and validates direct revelation, and in which, again, the fruit are quite certain and quite good. The position described above would mean that the entire mystical tradition of Eastern Orthodoxy, for instance, is a lie.

As I stated in my previous post on the subject, I think that people are drwing an artificial line. At what point does Spirit-quided insight end and Spirit-guided “special revelation” begin? The hearing of voices? The seeing of visions? The changing of a perspective? The transformation of a life?

The problem is that I think we are mixing biochemistry and spirituality here. The seeing of visions and hearing of voices is a physiologic mainifestation of an altered state of consciousness. It means little by itself. What is important is how one interprets it and integrates it into daily life. It is simply another form of prayer, no greater or less than any other. When I was a young man, I trained myself to have visions. It’s easy to do if one has the discipline. The most sure-fire way is to train yourself to have a sleep disorder (parasomnia), in which one extends the period between sleeping and waking, resulting in so-called “lucid dreams,” or hallucinatory sleep paralysis. This is part of a number of parasomnias. As described in one site on “night terrors:”

Sleep paralysis is the experience of waking up (usually from a dream) and feeling paralyzed, except for being able to breathe and move the eyes. Hypnogogic hallucinations and sleep paralysis may occur together. These conditions are common in people with narcolepsy but can also effect others, particularly people who are sleep-deprived. Although a pretty terrifying event, these events are not physically harmful. There are two major types of sleep paralysis: common (typical) also known as CSP and hallucinatory (hypnagogic) sleep paralysis known as HSP…

Different cultures throughout time have interpreted HSPs as different spirits or events.

* Ancestral ghosts – Southeast Asians
* Hag – Irish and Scottish
* Cats – Chinese
* Spectral foxes – Japanese
* Djinn – Arabs
* Guilt – Romans and the Egyptians
* Witchcraft – Mexicans
* Vampires – Europeans
* Demons – Medieval Europe

HSPs are usually a vision of a small creature that sits on the victims chest. The creature then either compresses the chest or attempts to strangulate the victim. Almost all attacks have been reported by people sleeping on their backs.

For a more medical approach see this article.

What these articles do not point out is that the “terror” aspect has mostly to do with being vaguely aware of paralysis and lack of conscious control of breathing — which can lead to panic — and can be dealt with, resulting in more benign hallucinations. One discussion of this kind of discipline can be seen here. Straight Dope gives a slightly more cynical view.

In my personal experience, my lucid dreams were primarily illusional rather than hallucinatory — reinterpreting stimuli. For instance, I was able for awhile (though not now) to dream while my eyes were open. During that time, stimuli from the real world would be viewed by my inner world. A shadow would become a floating object, a fluttering curtain would become the wing of a great bird or dragon. As I would wake up completely, the illusion would fade. But there have been vivid full scale visions as well. All quite easily explained in terms of neurologic conditioning.

It’s very useful, frankly. I have used such things to help memorize things when in college (a variant on the bizarre imagery mnemonic technique). A classic example of such insight is given by F.A. Keule, the discoverer of the structure of benzene, who describes a related technique of using dreams to work on a problem:

“Again the atoms were juggling before my eyes…my mind’s eye, sharpened by repeated sights of a similar kind., could now distinguish larger structures of different forms and in long chains, many of them close together; everything was moving in a snake-like and twisting manner. Suddenly…one of the snakes got hold of its own tail and the whole structure was mockingly twisting in front of my eyes. As if struck by lightning, I awoke…Let us learn to dream, gentlemen, and then we may perhaps find the truth.”

Let’s take that experience and add prayer. Let’s say that, were I in a normal state of consciousness, I would pray and that prayer would provide insight that would guide my life, and let’s say that I interpreted that insight as coming from the voice of the Spirit. I doubt that even the most rigid cessationist would have a problem with that.

Now, let’s say that I am in a state of lucid dreaming. I pray and I see a vision of a celestial being floating above me *talking* and giving me the *same* insight that I would have gotten from “regular” prayer, and let’s say I interpret that insight as being the voice of the Spirit. A charismatic would have no problem with that, except perhaps he or she might believe that my method of achieving an altered state of consciousness was contrived (as opposed to ecstatic singing, swaying, dancing, etc. in a congregation – ahem). A cessationist, I assume, would state that this somehow doesn’t count or something — yet it has everything one needs for a special dispensation — the voice of the Spirit, a spiritual result from prayer, etc.

Sure, sometimes it’s God, and sometimes it’s gas. As far as I can see, we were given one rule for determining whether or not a “prophesy” is true. By the results of that prophesy. And, I think, we can add a little common sense and consistency with what we already know is true. It’s pretty easy, as far as I can see, to tell the difference, actually. Here’s a quick quiz. See if you can catch the false visions:

A preacher says God told him to tell you to give him all your money so he can bet it in Vegas to pay for a new church.

A preacher says God told him to tell you that there is too much strife in the church today and that we should all pray together for unity

A preacher says God told her that all the young women should go out and prostitute themselves with young men in order to lure them to the church.

A preacher says God told her that her congregation has a special calling from God to help the victims of Katrina, and she will be taking up a special offering to send to Mississippi.

A preacher says that he is the real Son of God, and that all of the women in the church should leave their husbands and have sex with him instead.

I have seen or read about all of the above.

I think the problem is not whether or not God provides direction — in however a dramatic fashion He chooses. I think the problem is that *we* as observers evaluating the claims of others simply can’t take it at face value. But God is a pretty smart diety, and He has provided some simple rules for figuring out what is what. A little prayer and a little common sense go a long way, in everyday life — and in distinguising the voice of the Spirit from the effects of bad Sushi.

Atheistic patterns continue

In reference to my previous discussion of the necessary intolerance inherent in atheistic society, this note of the abject fear that Chinese communists have of God and the violent reaction they have to it was demonstrationed in Drudge today. The only difference between the murderers in China and the petty antichristians who are trying to use the courts to eradicate religious expression in the US today is the degree of power they wield.

Book Review: The Twilight of Atheism


The Twilight of Atheism: The Rise and Fall of Disbelief in the Modern World

By: Alister McGrath
Type: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 306
Vendor: Random House, Inc
Publication Date: 2003
ISBN: 0385500610

Alister McGrath is a prolific author and professor of historical theology at Oxford. His writing style is engaging and entertaing. I first became a fan of his after reading his surveys of general and historical theology. Like me, he was originally trained in the hard sciences. Unlike me, he made his committment to God at a later age in life.

This book provides an historical study of the rise and fall of atheism as a potent social force. He defines an “Age of Atheism” bounded by the fall of the Bastille in 1798 to mark the beginning of the age, and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 to mark the end of it. While McGrath is an unabashed Christian and writes from a Christian perspective, this is not a defense of theism or an attack on atheism. Instead, McGrath attempts provide a history of atheism as a social movement.

His book starts with a description of atheism in the ancient and classical worlds, not as an exhaustive survey, but simply to note that there is is a long history of atheism as a formal philosophy.

But in the classical world, atheism was more or less a novelty. The thing that forged atheism as a successful doctrine was as a reaction to the oppression of the state church. The paradigm of this was the French Revolution, where God Himself ws seen as the enemy. McGrath contrasts the American and French Revolutions thusly:

[In contrast to French experience, the Americans did not see political republicanism as entailing atheism.] Was not Calvin’s Geneva, that city of God set upon a hill for all to see and imitate, itself a republic? And might not republicanism and the cause of true religion thus be united, where in England they were divided?

Yet the French Revolution was fundamentally different in character. Instead of throwing off the yoke of a colonial power, the Revolutionaries saw themselves as deposing oppressive institutions within their own nation. For American republicans, Christianity — in various forms — motivated and guided their struggle. It was their ally. The French Revolutionaries saw it as their enemy, a power that gave legitimation and support to those who opposed the will of the people and that claimed divine support for the status quo. It was institution that had to be neutralized…

The driving point here is that atheism, or at least anti-religious activity, was seen as a liberating force against oppression. McGrath points out that most of the so-called “atheists” of the time were in fact anticlerics, not really atheists. For instance, Voltaire, who the French Revolutionaries made into a demigod of atheism, was in fact not an atheist. He was an anticleric theist. Atheists like to quote Voltaire’s statement that “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him.” They do not tend to provide the entire quote:

If the heavens, stripped of their noble imprint,
Could ever cease to reveal Him,
If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent Him,
Whom the sage proclaims, an whom kings adore.

In fact, Voltaire “defended the notion of a supreme being, known through intelligent reflection on the natural world, who was hijacked and distorted by the world religions in general and warring Christian sects in particular.”

The intellectual rise of atheism awaited the giants of Feuerbach, Freud, Darwin, and Marx, and the social, scientific, and political constructs they provided. McGrath goes into great length about the effects of these men on the intellectual debate, and the failure of liberal orthodoxy in response. McGrath is very critical, for instance that the orthodox Protestants of this period essentially allowed the atheists to frame the debate. For instance, as the Catholic church has officially noted, there is no necessary conflict between evolution and faith. It was the athiests who asserted that if evolution were true, then God must not exist. People of faith who accepted that assertion were put in the position of arguing the existence of God at an inappropriate level, which lead to such things as so-called “Creationist science.”

McGrath then notes that, just at the time when the atheistic ideals of modernity seemed to be at their zenith, they collapsed. Freud has been generally discredited, as has Marx. The promise of atheism — to form the basis of a new society free of arbitrary taboos and an intellectual life freed from the bounds of superstition — proved hollow.

Atheistic societies proved to be the most oppressive in history. Atheism proved itself to be more intolerant than religious society. It is possible for a theist to believe that other faiths, while wrong, have some part of the truth, but an atheist cannot believe that a theist is correct at all. Atheist societies by themselves, found it impossible to form community, or deal with the spiritual needs of its citizens without formint secular religions — primarily personality cults — that made the auto de fe pale by comparison. The promise of atheism returned dismal failure, from the Nazi holocaust to the Stalinist genocides to the Killing Fields of Cambodia to the cannibalism of North Korea. The hope that enlightened atheism would result in the natural withering of vestigial faith was replaced by pogroms and violent persecution. In fact, atheism formed a poor substitute and even today atheistic societies must keep religion down by jailing and killing people who proclaim their faith.

Thus it has come full circle. In 1789, the spark of atheism brought down a corrupt church and its symbiotic State. In 1989, it was the forces of religious faith such as Polish Catholicism and theistic societies who provided liberation from oppressive atheistic states. Nietcshe’s argument against the existence of God — one of the lack of cultural necessity — has been turned on its head.

And society at large has changed. Postmodernism, with its emphasis on individual truth, is a minor threat to orthodox Christianity but one that Christians can easily adapt to. It is inimical to atheism, which can admit not merely that there is but one truth, but that there is but one way to interpret that truth. It is no surprise, according to McGrath, that Christianity has become the fastest growing religion once again, and that its explosive growth is among those denominations most at home in a postmodern milieu — the evangelical Charismatics and Pentacostals, as described in some detail in Jenkin’s “The Next Christendom.”

As McGrath notes:

The essential difficulty here is that the classic atheist criticisms of the church do not quite ring true any longer, even in the homelands of the much-derided state churches of Western Europe. The repetition of stale cliches from the golden age of atheism sounds increasingly out of touch with postmodern reality. The rise of atheism in the West was undoubtedly a protest against a corrupted and complacent church; yet paradoxically, it has energized Christianity to reform itself, in ways that seriously erode the credibility of those earlier criticisms. Where atheism criticizes, wise Christians move to reform their ways.

The atheist dilemma is that Christianity is a moving target whose trajectory is capable of being redirected without losing its anchor point in the New Testament. And as the theologian John Henry Newman pointed out, Christianity must listen to such criticisms from outside its bounds precisely because listening may be a way of recapturing its vision of the gospel. A static atheism finds a moving Christianity highly inconvenient.

This is, I think, an important observation. I have noted in my discussions with aggressive atheists that the thing they attempt first and foremost is to define theism and Christianity in a particular way that is convenient for them. They find it profoundly difficult to accept the diversity within Christianity. Instead they must instead pretend that all Christianity is the same — a bizarre pastiche of religious caricatures that has little or nothing to do with real practicing faith.

McGrath continues:

Some atheists have argued that the phenomenon of globalization can only advance a secularist agenda, eliminating religion from the public arena. If the world is to have a shared future, it can only be by eliminating what divides its nations and peoples — such as religious beliefs. Yet many have pointed out in response that globalization has resulted in a quite different outcome. Far from being secularized, the West is experiencing a new interest in religion. Patterns of immigration mean that Islam and Hinduism are not major living presences in the cities of Western Europe and North America. Pentacostalism is a rapidly growing force, strengthened by the arrival of many Asian and African Christians in the West. The future looks nothing like the godless and religionless world so confidently predicted forty years ago…

In my opinion, the new stridency of anti-religionists and their increasing intolerance in the US towards the expression of religion, their attempts to remove religion from public discourse, and their increasing evangelism in the form of agressively taking “offense” at everything is not, as many believe, a sign of the increasing secularization of the US. Instead, I believe that these people who hate faith so much are noting that their core beliefs are being proven hollow. They cannot point to the real benefits of their atheistic faith, so they must instead rely on the other tenet of athiesm — an agressive and intrusive intolerance.

McGrath notes that athiesm may be in its twilight, but as a reactive and critical force it is here to stay. How successful atheism continues to be depends on whether or not it can overcome its historical failures and whether or not people of faith can respond in constructive ways to the valid criticisms that atheists make.

Check it out!

Our Democratic Georgia Rep strikes again

From an intelligence newsletter I get:

A bill modeled on the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act would require the U.S. National Archives to establish a “Tupac Amaru Shakur Records Collection.”

The bill, introduced by Rep. Cynthia McKinney, is based on the premise that “all Government records related to the life and death of Tupac Amaru Shakur should be preserved for historical
and governmental purposes.”

Yeah, JFK and Tupac. Two sides of the same coin, eh?

Good to know the Democrats are focused on what’s best for the government.

Hat tip to fas.org

Interesting UFO stuff

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I ran across an interesting affidavit by the director of the NSA regarding the release of UFO data. In this, he opposes a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request by some UFO conspiracy people. What he says, basically, is that the documents the NSA has that have not been released are from intercepts of certain transmissions from other governments and it can’t be released without the other governments knowing they have been intercepted and their codes broken. Here’s a PDF of the statement.

I’ve run into this kind of thing myself. Conspiracy theorists assert that anybody who doesn’t give them whatever they want are hiding things that prove the conspiracy theory is true (and, of course, if it is released, then the government is just lying). They can’t seem to understand that if the government releases a report saying that the NSA overheard Jacques Chirac talking about UFOs on his phone at home, then Jacques Chirac might be able to figure out that his phone is bugged.

That’s the beauty of conspiracy theory. Only their delusions are real, and all other proffered explanations are asserted to be lies because they are proffered.

Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is more common than one would think. There’s little difference, for instance, between the thinking of the conspiracy theorists about JFK’s murcer, the wacky anti-Clinton right about the Vince Foster suicide, and the mainstream Democrats about Bush.

I’ve heard of the appliances conveying, but a wife?

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I’ve been involved in a number of ongoing real estate deals in the past couple of years, with changing jobs, the death of my father, etc. When we first moved to our present home in southern Appalacia, we looked at a few homes up in the mountains. One of the more bizarre houses had, as one of its selling points, that a sizeable herd of goats conveyed with the house. Frankly, it scared me to death. We went up to look at the house and the moment I walked into the back yard, a zillion of the critters came running up, thinking that I was going to feed them. I’ve been around cattle, horses, sheep, have been a hunter and angler, and am not frightened of animals. But at that moment, I had one of those skin crawling experience — anybody who has ever had the “evil clown” feeling when looking at a clown knows what I mean. Needless to say, we didn’t buy the house.

But even more wacky is this. Here’s a woman selling her house in Denver — and herself with it. I’ve never heard of a wife conveying with a sale. Somehow, I don’t think Mrs. Billoblog would approve.