Daily Prompt: Stump


The word, “stump,” as a verb, means to me a politician’s campaign, or an evangelist’s itinerant crusade.  It may be a stretch, but I am going to shoehorn that word into some thoughts that are on my mind today about religious fanatics and non-believers.

A good novelist does not tell us anything; he does not preach to us: he shows us reality with characters, or caricatures that bring to life his views.  Thus, was the mental state of Sinclair Lewis when he wrote the novel, “Elmer Gantry.”  Some critics say that the Lewis character, Sister Sharon Falconer, was a caricature of Aimee Semple McPherson, though the influence of the latter, real-life evangelist  was more far-reaching—and her hypocrisy perhaps even more blatant—but critics imagine that she managed to conceal most of her sins.

Even a modern, Baptist seminar leader recognizes the danger of hypocrisy in clerics and politicians (equating the two), and offers an insightful view of hypocrisy–in both clerics and politicians.  This cleric’s sympathetic treatment of Sinclair Lewis contrasts sharply with the attitude of most clerics toward this novelist in the heyday of Aimee Semple McPherson.


Karl Marx, in his Communists Manifesto, said that religion is the opiate of the masses.  In the 19th century you could buy opium and other drug as easy as you could buy candy, anywhere in the world.  In the late 19th and early 20th century, Christian evangelism began to grow exponentially and Marx saw it as a competing, philosophical idea.  Drugs are once again outdoing religion as an opiate (in a figurative sense of the word), but both can be hazardous to your health. There is nothing more dangerous than a religious fanatic.   They can be as mentally deranged as someone tripping on crystal meth. If you are prosperous, but not religious, fanatics might try to convert you into becoming a member and tither.   If you spurn them, they might slander and try to financially ruin you. Police blotters show that they might even kill you. It might be deduced that a conflict between religious beliefs is at the root of most of the wars today–and have been throughout history.  Albert Camus’ in his novel, “The Stranger,” depicts a conflict between religion and non-believers in the last chapter.  A priest vists a condemned man in prison.   Incredulous at the prisoner’s (protagonist’s) lack of fear of death, and lack of faith, the outraged cleric  violently attacks the condemned man.  Camus met with clerics and denied he was an atheist.  Like Lewis, he uses the novel as a vehicle to convey some serious problems with society. Among other things, Camus’ novels reflect the social problem of the social intolerance of non-believers.




Borders: A Reading List

If you do not want to write about the controversial, you should stay away from this subject. There are many of us that strongly disagree with your ideas.

None of my books, perforce, could be on your reading list, because I do not say what you want to read–nor what those who influenced you want to read. Most writers about the border know only what they have read from writers that learned what they think they know from the writings of others–none of which have any connection with the real border.

I thought that I had posted a blog announcing my latest novel, “Undercover Hobo,” but something happened and it apparently didn’t fly.

Anyway, I am happy to be here to share some of my work.  As a writer, I consider myself a hobbyist, and as such, I think my writing is better than if I were writing for profit because it is all me, unedited and has no politically correct material.

More to follow, I promise.