July 27, 2007
variation of gun-totin chaplain cover
Great newspaper article of the book, Gun Totin Chaplain and interview with author.

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   In Memorium: Albert Ellis Dies at 93
albert ellis
Dr. Albert Ellis died Tuesday at the age of 93. He is thought to be one of the most influential psychologists of our time and considered by many to be one of the grandfathers of cognitive behavorial therapy(as the New York times states "straight talk therapy")

Ellis founded and was President of the Albert Ellis Institute in Manhattan. When I lived in New York, and was still in the army, I attend one of Dr. Ellis's workshops with a buddy of mine. Ellis was obnoxious, an atheist, and cursed like a sailor, but very kind to me. I got interested in his approach to therapy called RET (Rational Emotive Therapy) which now is called REBT (Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy) although I refuse to embrace the new term.

Dr. Ellis was fascinated that two Army chaplains (the other guy was a super chaplain named, Don Davis) would attend his institute knowing that one of the very principles of RET is that of an irrational belief. For instance, some people refuse to handle and deal with their own problems because they belief in some kind of Higher Power.

During the workshop, Dr. Ellis mildly hassled us for our beliefs which we couldn't defend mainly because they were about faith. You can't defend faith in objective scientific and mathmatical ways, because faith in essence is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

I will never forget one session that was especially heated as some of the other participants piled on us. Dr. Ellis stopped them in their tracks when he said, "It is true that no one has ever proven there is a God. By the same token, no one has ever proven there isn't."

RET (rational emotive therapy) as espoused by Ellis and propagated by me and other disciples over the years is built around one fundamental principle: It is not what happens to you that's the problem, but how you look at it. jda

   The Eyes OF Tammy Faye

AFP/Ali Yussef
Tammy Faye has gone on to her just rewards. I'm a little sad. I saw the documentary, The Eyes of Tammy Faye, done by two gay guys. Very interesting and I think I might watch it again. The highlight of the movie for me was the mutual respect shown between the filmmakers and their subject.

Mrs. Tammy has lived quite a life. Most of us got to know her when she and her former husband, Jim Baker, were ripping off the faithful seeking funds for the PTL Club and Heritage USA. All of us know that story and the downfall. When it happened, I had mixed feeling.

Although I was never a fan, I was constantly asking questions like: How could people be so stupid as to be taken in by these two? But, to be fair, I was constantly asking that of all the televangelists, whether they promised riches or keys to the kingdom.

I always thought that Jim and Tammy Faye were kind of naive with a simple message that made people want to believe. And, then there was Jim's near tryst with a not so quite innocent believer, Jessica Hahn. He didn't quite seem to know how to pull that off and there was always a question of whether they got it on or not. Maybe there was a little disillusionment in Jessica's story, but it didn't keep her from having breast augmentation. And, let's face it, Jessica made out financially OK.

Remarkably, Tammy Faye and even Jim, after a little prison time, went on to rebuild their lives somewhat. So, as often happens in our culture, the famous become infamous.

Larry King announced Tammy's departure on his show. She had promised him "dibs" on her passing. The last time she was on his show, she said she was going straight to heaven once it was time. Tammy, I don't doubt that, but since nobody knows quite how heaven works, I can't believe that you're not going to have to wait a bit-straight I would think refers to those like Mother Teresa and others who probably never concerned themselves with the Larry King show. KT

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