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Columns

  • State final creates a memory of a lifetime

    What Browning Becherer and the Collins Titans accomplished on a very cold Saturday afternoon is so heartwarming that surely it could have been an episode of Friday Night Lights, a sequence from Varsity Blues and, of course, an ultimate curtain call for Remember the Titans.

    These Titans surely won’t be forgotten for a few generations, and Becherer, the walk-on hero of the production, won’t forget his day as long as he can remember.

  • CHARLTON: You never should question God’s presence

    “Torture numbers,” someone has said, “and they’ll confess to anything.” Sounds like a pretty good description of how we come up with statistics.

    I find statistics interesting, but I don’t put a lot of stock in them. Consider the following statistic about religious belief – according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center, the number of Americans younger than 30 who say they never doubt God’s existence has dropped 15 points since 2007.

  • Slow down and enjoy the holiday season

    I’ve always been the type who likes to let the Christmas season unwrap, slowly and beautifully, like the perfectly conceived and packaged gift, whose undressing leaves us rapt in anticipation. Or maybe it’s like savoring a 7-course gourmet meal, with its full aromatic elegance to be absorbed slowly.

  • SOUDER: A Thanksgiving proclamation: Giving thanks to God, by George

    A Thanksgiving proclamation: Giving thanks to God, by George

    Asked to write a composition entitled "What I'm thankful for on Thanksgiving," 7-year-old Timmy wrote, "I’m thankful that I’m not a turkey!"

  • Thanksgiving requires a big serving of decisions

    Anyone older than about 3 can recite the history of Thanksgiving. Newcomers to America got together with the natives in 1621 and celebrated a harvest. About 240 years later, Abraham Lincoln established it as a holiday on the last Thursday of November. About a hundred years ago a guy named Gimbel suggested that a parade that day would be the opening of the Christmas season. About 100 months ago, somebody named Walton decided that you didn’t need Santa’s arrival in that parade to get the merchandising ball rolling and keep it going all day and all night and all weekend.

  • CHARLTON: ‘Tis the season to battle over the holidays

    In addition to the usual battles over how stores greet customers (merry Christmas or happy holidays) and how much we do or don’t keep Christ in Christmas, the past few years have added a new battlefront – the encroachment of Black Friday sales into Thanksgiving Day. Last year, a number of retailers began Black Friday sales very late on the evening of Thanksgiving. This year some are opening their doors even earlier on the day, raising the hackles of many.

  • The day the world stopped

    In the middle of a Friday afternoon in November a sixth-grade student came bursting through the gymnasium doors at Simpsonville Elementary and moved quickly to speak to our teacher, who was standing in front of the stage and watching us play basketball or generally run That someone came into the gym distracted us to a point of pause, because it was so out of the ordinary, but what happened after that let us know why the extraordinary was in order, even if for a while we didn’t understand truly.

  • SOUDER: Nobody’s perfect
  • A writer’s truest benchmark

    More than 20 years ago, a friend handed me a paperback and told me that it would be the most amazing thing I ever had encountered.

  • CHARLTON: Be careful about bowing to prayer issue

    Once again, prayer has found its way to the U. S. Supreme Court.

    On Wednesday of this week the Supreme Court heard arguments in the case Town of Greece, New York v. Susan Galloway, Et. Al. The case began when two citizens of Greece, N.Y., objected to the practice of clergy – primarily Christian clergy – offering prayers at the beginning of monthly city council meetings. They filed suit against the city, seeking to stop the practice of prayers before the meetings, and the case is now in the hands of the Supreme Court.