Bob Ripley

War not best way to battle terrorism

Some people are desperate to live. Some are desperate to die. The former fight disease to see another day. I admire them.

When sultry summer night falls

Some days I’m anxious for night to fall. It brings the close of day and a chance to sleep, perchance to dream. Samuel Butler called nighttime “the Sabbath of mankind, to rest the body and the mind.”

Running through cathedral

Having stepped away from the pulpit, inquisitive saints want to know where I’m to be found on Sunday morning.

Feeling, thinking like a kid again

I’m retired. I’m watching movies and clouds.

Stoning is neither godly nor just

Only Monty Python could make stoning funny. In their cheeky yet brilliant movie Life of Brian, mistaken messiah Brian Cohen and his unholy mother stop to buy four rocks and packet of gravel for the stoning of a local man who dared to utter the name Jehovah.

When good mouths go bad

What makes a preacher swear? You’d be surprised. I must confess to some cussing, though thankfully very few have ever heard me.

To make something sacred, sacrifice it, give it away

As Alex Bilodeau stood on his skis, poised at the pinnacle about to come bumping and soaring down and become Canada’s first Olympic gold medalist on home snow, he inhaled and talked to himself.

Is God the shaker or the shaken?

They say God has moments of anger. Wayward children and evildoers make him quite irate.

Plea for unity — the prayer that’s never been answered

Jesus said his prayers. His longest recorded prayer was sent up the night he was betrayed, knowing that his execution would come with the sunrise.

To start over, you have to let go of past regrets

There’s a tale behind many a battered hockey puck. Recovered from the net after a milestone goal perhaps, or deflected into the outstretched hands of a delighted fan caught, hopefully, without injury.

Let’s cut the poor innkeeper some slack

As the annual pageant unfolds, a holy birth is copied not on canvas but on church carpet.

Fifty ways to love your pastor

To many, clergy are an anachronism. And with the recent charges against Nova Scotia’s Roman Catholic Bishop for Antigonish, some write off religious leaders as hypocritical at best and a menace at worst.

The mystery of the meal

Jesus said to do it and on any given Sunday, many do. They imagine that the person tearing the bread and raising the cup isn’t the one robed in black or white but Jesus.

Straining gnats, swallowing camels

It’s hard to imagine Jesus having a bad day but he sure was ticked with the religious leaders.

Don’t ask God to be your hit man

God gets petitions. Lots and lots of petitions. For cures and directions; hope and help. And once in a while comes the request to be a hit man.

Here’s to all the dads whose songs linger on

“You have to dig deep to bury your dad.” — Gypsy proverb Sometimes you have to dig deep to get through Father’s Day. Men are human. They fail. Moses was a murderer. Jonah ran from responsibility.

Right of sanctuary no threat to security

Mikhail Lennikov is a Russian who speaks Japanese.

The big eraser of forgiveness

A year and half after the traffic accident which claimed the life of my mother and three of her friends (known locally as Pie Ladies of their church), the man responsible for the crash goes on trial this week.

Who’s your Mama?

Green Eggs and Ham. Scuffy the Tugboat. Those are the books I grew up with. But there’s a book my mother used to read to my kids. P.D. Eastman’s Are You My Mother? published in 1960.

Cling to friends like life itself

Two men went for a walk, on the day they say Jesus rose from the dead.