It’s open. Some random closing notes:

* The new Kroger in Hillcrest finally ripped it for me last weekend. The remodel has produced an overgrown deli with limited groceries. I couldn’t find 10 items last Sunday on my weekly shopping run that I routinely bought over the 33 years I’ve shopped there. No more. I went up to the new Food Giant on Cantrell this morning. A real grocery store. Big inventory. Every single thing I wanted was in stock, with a single exception, a brand of dog food. Friendly service. The drive is a little longer, but I think it’s going to become a habit.

* Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen, who also pastors the New Millennium Baptist Church, sent along his sermon today, which has some things to say about HB 1292, the legislation to prevent state services for immigrants except in life-threatening civilizations situations. A pre-natal care program could be among the casualties. He considered the legislation in a Biblical context:

The leading proponents of HB1292 include Jeannie Burlsworth of SecureArkansas and Debbie Pelley, another SecureArkansas activist who’s also affiliated with a group that calls itself “Women of Prayer and Action.” Burlsworth, Pelley, and others associated with them profess to be people of faith. Is their faith that of God and Jesus? Does it square with the call to holiness found in the Holiness Code and Sermon on the Mount?

The plain answer is that a religious or social ethic which seeks to justify denying help to immigrants is anti-holy. It does not come from the heart of God. It is not consistent with the life and teachings of Jesus. It may be politically popular to withhold help from others based on where they come from, but that isn’t true to the heart of God. It may be politically popular to fear people who speak another language, come from other homelands, and are vulnerable in our communities on account of those realities and their economic and other hardships, but that isn’t holy. The God of migrating Hebrews who were told to provide for poor people and aliens and the Jesus whose earthly parents were forced to migrate to Egypt can’t be the same source of efforts to withhold food, shelter, and other necessities of life from people on account of their nationality.

* The Clinton School of Public Service announced that Brady Hogg of Poyen High School had won the annual Daniel Cayce Award for public service by a high school student. He started a program, “Mending a Broken Heart,” that gathered food, cash and Christmas presents for families of transplant patients, an effort he undertook to honor his brother, who died after a heart transplant.


* Tipster says that John Casteel, forced out as Republican chairman in Jackson County after he refused to sever ties with a racist group, was chosen Saturday for a party position in the 1st Congressional District. He and party officials haven’t returned my messages on it. Anyone else heard anything? The tip was that he’ll be the district’s appointee representative, to work with the governor and secretary of state on appointment to state positions.