Coffee and doughnuts are great. But he needs to stop aiding and abetting illegal immigrants. That would be the kindest thing he could do.
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Coffee and doughnuts are great. But he needs to stop aiding and abetting illegal immigrants. That would be the kindest thing he could do.

-Rosanna Pulido

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First I need to do something.’ He pulled me closer towards him until our lips were almost touching.‘What might that be?’ I managed to stutter, closing my eyes, anticipating the warmth of his lips against mine. But the kiss didn’t come. I opened my eyes. Alex had jumped to his feet.‘Swim,’ he said, grinning at me. ‘Come on.’‘Swim?’ I pouted, unable to hide my disappointment that he wanted to swim rather than make out with me.Alex pulled his T-shirt off in one swift move. My eyes fell straightaway to his chest – which was tanned, smooth and ripped with muscle, and which, when you studied it as I had done, in detail, you discovered wasn’t a six-pack but actually a twelve-pack.My eyes flitted to the shadowed hollows where his hips disappeared into his shorts, causing a flutter in parts of my body that up until three weeks ago had been flutter-dormant. Alex’s hands dropped to his shorts and he started undoing his belt.I reassessed the swimming option. I could definitely do swimming.He shrugged off his shorts, but before I could catch an eyeful of anything, he was off, jogging towards the water. I paused for a nanosecond, weighing up my embarrassment at stripping naked over my desire to follow him. With a deep breath, I tore off my dress then kicked off my underwear and started running towards the sea, praying Nate wasn’t doing a fly-by.The water was warm and flat as a bath. I could see Alex in the distance, his skin gleaming in the now inky moonlight. When I got close to him, his hand snaked under the water, wrapped round my waist and pulled me towards him. I didn’t resist because I’d forgotten in that instant how to swim. And then he kissed me and I prayed silently and fervently that he took my shudder to be the effect of the water.I tried sticking myself onto him like a barnacle, but eventually Alex managed to pull himself free, holding my wrists in his hand so I couldn’t reattach. His resolve was as solid as a nuclear bunker’s walls. Alex had said there were always chinks. But I couldn’t seem to find the one in his armour. He swam two long strokes away from me. I trod water and stayed where I was, feeling confused, glad that the night was dark enough to hide my expression.‘I’m just trying to protect your honour,’ he said, guessing it anyway.I groaned and rolled my eyes. When was he going to understand that I was happy for him to protect every other part of me, just not my honour?

-Sarah Alderson

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...What I have denied and what my reason compels me to deny, is the existence of a Being throned above us as a god, directing our mundane affairs in detail, regarding us as individuals, punishing us, rewarding us as human judges might.When the churches learn to take this rational view of things, when they become true schools of ethics and stop teaching fables, they will be more effective than they are to-day... If they would turn all that ability to teaching this one thing – the fact that honesty is best, that selfishness and lies of any sort must surely fail to produce happiness – they would accomplish actual things. Religious faiths and creeds have greatly hampered our development. They have absorbed and wasted some fine intellects. That creeds are getting to be less and less important to the average mind with every passing year is a good sign, I think, although I do not wish to talk about what is commonly called theology.The criticisms which have been hurled at me have not worried me. A man cannot control his beliefs. If he is honest in his frank expression of them, that is all that can in justice be required of him. Professor Thomson and a thousand others do not in the least agree with me. His criticism of me, as I read it, charged that because I doubted the soul’s immortality, or ‘personality,’ as he called it, my mind must be abnormal, ‘pathological,’ in other, words, diseased... I try to say exactly what I honestly believe to be the truth, and more than that no man can do. I honestly believe that creedists have built up a mighty structure of inaccuracy, based, curiously, on those fundamental truths which I, with every honest man, must not alone admit but earnestly acclaim.I have been working on the same lines for many years. I have tried to go as far as possible toward the bottom of each subject I have studied. I have not reached my conclusions through study of traditions; I have reached them through the study of hard fact. I cannot see that unproved theories or sentiment should be permitted to have influence in the building of conviction upon matters so important. Science proves its theories or it rejects them. I have never seen the slightest scientific proof of the religious theories of heaven and hell, of future life for individuals, or of a personal God. I earnestly believe that I am right; I cannot help believing as I do... I cannot accept as final any theory which is not provable. The theories of the theologians cannot be proved. Proof, proof! That is what I always have been after; that is what my mind requires before it can accept a theory as fact. Some things are provable, some things disprovable, some things are doubtful. All the problems which perplex us, now, will, soon or late, be solved, and solved beyond a question through scientific investigation. The thing which most impresses me about theology is that it does not seem to be investigating. It seems to be asserting, merely, without actual study....Moral teaching is the thing we need most in this world, and many of these men could be great moral teachers if they would but give their whole time to it, and to scientific search for the rock-bottom truth, instead of wasting it upon expounding theories of theology which are not in the first place firmly based. What we need is search for fundamentals, not reiteration of traditions born in days when men knew even less than we do now.[Columbian Magazine interview]

-Thomas A. Edison

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The human world was very young and the disobedient children of God had just fallen, creating the underworld. Your God because of their desire to be like God forsook them. They craved and desired, the one thing that they should have never wanted, and that was to be as great as their creator. During this time of peace, the supernaturals traveled freely between the realms. We all knew of the fallen, the angels that had become demons, and knew that they were never to be released from the hell in which they had been cast. Their evil was beyond anything that was ever known. The leader of them, Lucifer, had declared war on the human children of God and desired more than anything to take their souls, to drag them to the hell he and his were stuck in for all eternity. All of the supernatural races were warned by an angel of God to never allow the demons from the underworld to escape their own realm. The veil was sealed by the angel and hidden from all.Unfortunately, evil always seems to find more evil. All evil things are drawn to each other, seeking out those who would help them in their cause. Though the veil to the underworld was hidden, the evil beyond it was great and as more and more lost souls were cast there after their deaths, and so the evil grew. It began to permeate the air around the veil such that other beings could detect it. There was no one who knew how to open it, but that didn’t stop them from trying.As the sons of men began to allow evil into their hearts, and as they began to stray farther from their God, they began seeking out other ways to fill the void inside them. They began to worship other beings, or objects. They sought out meanings for their lives in ways that caused darkness to creep into their hearts. God desired men to have free will and he would not force their loyalty to him. Sin was corrupting the world and Lucifer was allowed some control in the human realm. That sin gave Lucifer just the opening he needed to whisper lies into the ears of those who would listen. He pointed them in the direction divinity and sorcery where they learned how to contact the dead. They thought they were contacting loved ones who had passed on, but in reality they were drawing the demon spirits to them and giving them power, so much power that the demons began to be able to manipulate the actions of men and women still living.

-Quinn Loftis

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