CROSSROADS TO SOMEWHERE: Tough Questions Asked

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By W.T. WIMPY HIROTO
(First published in The Rafu Shimpo on April 20, 2011.)

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There are certain topics I personally consider out of reach, whether written about, discussed or studied. The limitation is accepted without debate or embarrassment when it involves mechanics, the Internet, opera or religion. (If a quintet is needed, add Kobe Bryant.)

Although admittedly intrigued by piety and its ramifications, CR2S has never pursued the subject with the fervor necessary for a reason — lack of background. Of course there is the unwritten bane of writers: Never discuss religion, politics or the Dodgers. For the most part CR2S has abided. Although admittedly swayed by certain inalienable convictions, there is never a hidden agenda or insidious campaign to sway or influence.  (If you conveniently forget my never-ending campaign on behalf of Issei/Nisei as the Greatest.)

But a couple of news items this past week have brought theology to the public’s (and my) attention, pushing the Middle East and national debt to the sidelines.

An Evangelical Michigan pastor has authored a controversial new best-seller, “Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived.” It has achieved mainstream attention thanks to last week’s Time Magazine cover, which asks: “What If There’s No Hell? A popular pastor’s best-selling book has stirred fierce debate about sin, salvation and judgment.” The inside cover story, written by Jon Meacham, asks the provocative question: “Is Hell Dead? Rogue pastor Rob Bell’s argument about salvation and judgment has Evangelicals in a fury—and a young generation rethinking Jesus.”

Coincidentally, in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times, there was a story about Vincent Bugliosi, the prosecutor who put Charles Manson behind bars. The author of “Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders” has now written a book taking on God, “Divinity of Doubt: The God Question.” The question the former L.A. County deputy district attorney poses: If there is a God, why does He allow evil? Of course he is not the first, just the latest, to raise the question. But timely in tandem with the book questioning hell. And when it comes to caustic commentary on prayer, you need look no further than expositor Andy Rooney of “60 Minutes” fame, who is oft quoted on the subject on the Internet.

All of which will certainly not lead to any lame CR2S footnotes or commentary at this point in column. Maybe I should check with Rev. Mark. But I imagine it will be safe to say future sermons from various pulpits are going to be quite interesting for awhile.

Just about the only subject befitting a segue from the seriousness above would be to remind CR2S readers that the umpteenth and final Poston Unit One Reunion will be held on the weekend of Oct. 7-9 at Aquarius Hotel in Laughlin, Nev. I admit to the limited provincial interest of this item but a pox on all who complain. You celebrate Thanksgiving, right? So when’s the last time you shared turkey with a Native American? Or a pilgrim, for that matter?

The official registration form and information sheet have been mailed out to about 500 former Postonites. If you’re a reader who was overlooked, send me an email and I’ll make sure you get app details or answer any specific questions you may have.

Remember, deadline for registration is Sept. 1, but you’d be doing the committee a huge favor by signing up earlier. If the prospect of more San-Yonsei is in vogue the committee will be in a position to better fulfill the special program interests of the youngsters. Highlight of the weekend will be a trip to the hallowed (sic) grounds of what was once the second-largest city in Arizona. In the interest of transparency and honesty, I must admit it won’t be like visiting a Pyramid or Fujiyama. Or purple mountains majesty above the fruited plain. If there are questions to be asked (“Where was the crematorium?”) there will be knowledgeable ex-residents on hand to give direction and commentary. I am assured there will be Porta-Potties as well as bento.

Anyway, folks, this is it for sure. The final hurrah for those of you who resided in the desert for three long years (or less) when anyplace else was much preferred: Boyle Heights, San Pedro, Terminal Island, Delano, Bakersfield. And yet the memory of Poston has never left you. And never will. We let others debate and get all bent out-of-shape over incarceration at Stalag, Ariz., but our memories are not of rights denied. Like it took awhile but Camp One eventually introduced a certain backward juvenile junior to the ecstasy of sex. (Okay, so it was just holding hands and dancing cheek-to-cheek. An example of blissful ignorance.)

Personally want to thank the many newbies who partook of Tabemono’s food for the first time as a result of our suggestion two weeks ago. But continuity is the key. And remember to sign up for its email service to keep you apprised of daily specials.

And allow me to pick out one special message to conclude this week: “Stay strong and please stick around for a hell of a long time … Tho I don’t personally know you I feel you through your words. Domo, gracias and all that jazz.

—G I K (ELA Sansei).

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W.T. Wimpy Hiroto can be reached by email. Opinions expressed in this column are not necessarily those of The Rafu Shimpo.

 

 

 

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