"Take away their guns."

"It's time to put the mentally ill back in the institutions."

"Just what's wrong with this country that all this shooting is going on?"

More and more we hear these things. Everyone seems to think these ideas are what we need to "fix things."

Politics and religion are two of the topics most likely to cause disagreement - and when you combine the two, watch out!

I have a granddaughter who was in Baghdad when the war was going on there. Not military, she was employed by a private security company. In an email one day, she complained bitterly that "religion is the cause of all the trouble in the world." I hated that she had come to feel that way, but I knew that what she was being exposed to in Iraq could certainly have given her that impression.

As a senior citizen, I have watched for many years as things have changed, and I can come to only one conclusion: The further we distance ourselves from God as a country, the worse things have become.

How can we expect our kids to act honorably if we fail to be good role models?

Perhaps it's time that we all put more stock in our faith - start going back to church, and living more by those principles that bring out love rather than hate.

Crescent City is rich in houses of worship, both Christian and Jewish. Churches of nearly every denomination, and fellowship with some really great people. Give it a try - on this page is a directory. If you don't "fit" in one church, try another. Whatever your choice of style, charismatic, traditional, contemporary, it's here, as is Temple Beth Shalom if you are Jewish. Some churches provide both traditional and contemporary services, and some both English and Spanish.

For special activities coming up, we have these:

andbull; Sunday at 5 p.m., the movie "October Baby" will be shown at the First Baptist Church at Pacific and G. It's an inspirational story - sometimes abortions don't turn out as planned.

andbull; Today at Temple Beth Shalom at 11 a.m. will be the first of the Kaballah classes led by Rabbi Les Scharnberg. Reading material needed is the book "Tanya," the masterpiece of Hasidic Wisdom. If you have not confirmed your reservation, call 464-5337 and do so.

andbull; Friday will be Game Night at New Life Community Church at 2nd and D. Bring your favorite game and a snack to share. The fun starts at 6 p.m.

Board games, card games, dominoes - a number of fun games are available, but if you have a new one, or one you particularly enjoy, bring it! The group will welcome you, and you'll have fun and fellowship. Find out how much fun something at church can be!

Time surely does fly. I was just thinking about the disappointment I felt awhile back when Inez Castor retired" Gopher Gulch - I did so enjoy that column! And then it dawned on me - I have been doing this one for something like 10 years! I'll have to keep at it for another 10 to keep up with her. I'd still love to see a book made up of a selection of her columns!

What is your church planning over the next few weeks? I'd like to make sure we get it in. Call me at 460-3000, or email