Archive for November, 2017

Lourdes Vasquez (r) made the traditional mestizo dress that daughter Stephanie wore at St. Ignatius High School last week. Stephanie and three of her classmates won first place in the dance/costume competition at the annual Culture Day Extravaganza.

Greetings and cheers again from Texas Our Texas.

I continue to have a large time in spite of being busy and very busy, running here and yonder doing stuff I have to do while on U.S. soil in what is a more limited-time trip home this time.

I fly back to BZ Dec. 1 and hope to make another trip back in the summer to see loved ones up in North Texas.

For now, however, I have two(!) great pieces of news to report, especially for those who have donated to Stephanie Garcia’s Education Fund, about Stephanie’s progress in high school.

If you’re a newcomer to the blog, I’ll provide a link with more info about a GoFundMe campaign below. The gist of the matter is that Stephanie, who struggled mightily to pass most subjects in her grade-school years, finally blossomed into a good student last year. So much so that she’s in her first year of high school where I and her and the rest of my adoptive family live in San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Belize.

The great news is, first, that Stephanie passed the mid-term of the first semester with a 3.0 GPA–a solid B. The only bad mark was a 57 in English A, with a 76 in English B.

Stephanie and her high-school principal Miss Yvette pictured together at mass on a recent Sunday at St. Ignatius

Her mother and I conferred with her teachers on report card day last week, though, and Stef is already bringing up the one failing grade and the C grade in English B. I have no doubt she’ll pass English in this her first year, as she’s a very determined girl.

In even more exciting news, the St. Ignatius Catholic High School Stephanie attends recently had its annual Culture Day extravaganza. This event truly is an extravagant production that the kids and their educators spend weeks preparing for. It involves the making and wearing of cultural and ethnic costumes; dance and skit contests; cultural and educational exhibits of all kinds with emphasis on history and archeology; a lot of plain fun, good-time dance music; and cultural cooking and taste testing and free meals from the various cooking camps.

To really appreciate any cultural events and holiday sin this coountr you should know that Belize is one of the most diverse countries in the world, with something like distinct cultures and ethnicities. (*See note below for more.)

Mestizos, who are of mixed Spanish and indigenous descent, account for about half of the 320,000 people in Belize.

It so happens that Stephanie and her family are mestizos. So the bonus great news about Stephanie is that the beautiful costume her mother sewed–and the traditional mestizo dance-and-costume competition that Stef and three female classmates participated in–won first plac.

You read that right. Stephanie’s group got first place out of a lot of elaborate dances, extremely creative skits, and musical acts.

She and her classmates made her family, teachers, and yours truly proud on what was a beautiful, festive day in Old San Ignacio/Santa Elena.

So keep Stephanie in mind, if you will, as she advances in her eduction. For those who want to donate to the whole four-year education fund, which I will grow with interest in a local credit union account, go here:


Those who want to make direct donations to my bank account to avoid the GoFundMe fees that are deducted–and some folks do prefer that–contact me at my email: revpaulmckay@gmail.com and I will provide my check account info.

Many thanks for your generosity in helping Stephanie get ahead in life.

(Special thanks to Jered Cady.)

Stef and her classmate along with two other girls nailed it in the traditional mestizo dance-and-costume competition.

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I’ve been back home for a few days now in my beloved Texas Our Texas.

I can’t tell you how warm and good it feels to be home and embrace old friends and family (with, for the record, totally appropriate hugging and kissing).

As a multi-generation native Texan, I’m not just a proud American; I’m a proud Texan-American.

Mind you, I love the unconventional life I’ve carved out for myself in that odd little country that is Belize.

But there is no place like the home country, especially on a chilly but gorgeous day in the Brazos River Valley of Texas where I grew up and left deep footprints.

The great American writer, humorist and cartoonist James Thurber* had a thing about old clocks–he loved them and wrote a lot about them. So it’s not surprising that Thurber, the famous New Yorker who grew up in Columbus, Ohio, never outgrew his love for his hometown. Thurber once said “all the clocks in my heart tick for Columbus, Ohio.”

I’m back where my internal clocks tick and grateful to be here.

Hope you have a great day, too.

Thanksgiving Square in downtown Dallas.

*More on his greatness James Thurber here.

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“Grab em by the pussy!”

For a man who’s getting way up in the years, the pucker-face Mitch McConnell can still dodge hard questions with amazing agility.

Go to this link to see what I mean.

He and other Republicans desperate to keep Alabama’s notorious knuckle-dragger Roy Moore out of the Senate are saying–with completely straight faces–“I believe the women.”

Moore is like some really twisted little character out of some dark version of Loony Toons.

But then, Trump’s gag-o-ramas with women are a thousand percent better documented than anything we’ve seen from the Alabama Space Cowboy’s gag-o-rama.

Me, I’ve always believed all those women who came forward after the infamous “grab em by the pussy” tape and accused Donald Trump of brazen sexual assault, harassment, and sundry and sordid other acts.

Apparently McConnell, and his wife who is Trump’s loyal Secretary of Transportation, and most of the conservatives in Congress believe Donald Trump, not the women he clearly sexually abused (and many he tried to destroy).

You’ll recall, of course, that candidate Trump was going to sue at least seven of his female accusers for defamation as soon as he took office.

Which of course he never did for a good reason: he doesn’t want to go to court because he’s a guilty dog.

No offense to good dogs.

The Republican belief system is consistently inconsistent.

That I can tell you.
Several more women have come forward to accuse Roy Moore of aggressive sexual behavior while Trump remains to boxed in with his history of nasty sexual aggression to say a word.

Daughter Ivanka, however, has pronounced that there is “a special place in hell” for people like Moore who prey on children.

She said she believes the victims because they are credible and his stories are not.

Ivanka Trump–daughter of famous sexual predator Donald Trump–had the audacity to say that.

Let that sink it.

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Arm our congregations?

In God and Guns We Trust?

Our Christian political and church leaders in Texas, like so many around the country, have this awful habit of separating Jesus from the overarching message of nonviolence that Jesus the Prince of Peace embodied and taught.

I’m thinking of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who said in the wake of the sickening mass murder of people slaughtered while they were in church praying, “Arm your congregations.”

I don’t think Jesus approved that message.

As for me, I’m plenty willing to be killed in a church with an unarmed congregation than attend one where worshipers are armed to the teeth.

“How long, O Lord?”

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Don’t. Lie.

Longtime followers of the blog here are plenty aware that I’ve been distressed out of my bucket at times by the low moral standards so many Americans, especially Christians, have come to accept from the leader of the free world.

I’m especially distressed when it comes to lying and deception being perfectly acceptable because that wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing Donald J. Trump is so awesome that candidate Trump promised to “protect God for you.”

As if God needs protection from anybody, much less a man with the morals of a rabid wolf.

The retired United Methodist Bishop Will Willimon and his spiritual soul mate, the moral theologian Stanley Hauerwas, have been universally respected forever because of their uncompromising commitment to speaking the truth till the truth hurts.

Like Jesus, their commitment speaking the truth at all costs has won them  enemies and fierce pushback from critics. They’ve always been up to the challenge of answering their critics with bluntness that the famously blunt Martin Luther would envy.

These two old-timers will carry the torch for the truth, and for The Truth, until their dying days.

So I’m reblogging Brother Will’s latest blog post about Hauerwas’s speech if only to remind myself that as an ordained minister called by God to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted, I have to call out the lies and deceptions of the big man who was supposed to be so much better and more honest that woman “Lyin’ Hillary.”

So with no further ado, this is from Brother Willimon…

Peculiar Prophet

When he received an honorary degree at the University of Aberdeen this past summer, my friend Stanley Hauerwas gave what may be the shortest commencement address on record.  He said, in about five minutes, “Do not lie.”

Jesus said that he was not only the way and the life but also the truth.  Christians don’t lie.  We don’t lie because lying is the death of human community, or it’s impossible to be with one another in relationship when there is a pattern of lying. We don’t lie because it’s our job to show that Jesus Christ makes possible lives of truth in a world of lies. 

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