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Opinion: Goodness, gracious, great balls of fire!

The dreaded triple digits have finally arrived in a heatwave that is set to be here until at least Tuesday. Then the thermometer is supposed to ease into the high 90s, according to The Weather Channel.

As Jerry Lee Lewis sang, “Goodness, gracious, Great Balls of Fire!” Yeehaw!

I know the high temperatures are necessary to develop the sugar content on the all-important grapevines. It is still almost unbearable for humans and animals, especially pets.

Outside dogs and cats need access to shade and lots of water. Outside cats are fairly good at fending for themselves. Staying hydrated is vital.

Every news story on the heatwave warns against leaving animals and children in cars. Automobiles turn into ovens in just minutes when the temperatures rise.

An Indiana woman is in jail after she left her toddler in a locked car with the windows rolled up for two hours. Ironically, she was meeting with people from child services in Salt Lake City, Utah at the time.

There should be a litmus test of some sort before people are allowed to have children. Licenses are required for hunting, fishing, driving and marriage. Why not parenting?

Some people have no business having children and yet they are allowed to breed at random. After they have a houseful of kids, they expect society to support them. While men play their role in this scenario in far too many cases, it is the women who bear the physical and financial burden of taking care of the children. The children are blameless but they end up paying the highest price of all.

They can escape these families by getting married young. In New Hampshire, with parental permission, girls may marry at age 13 and boys at age 14. In Kansas and Massachusetts, girls may marry at age 12 and boys at 14, according to Google. In Tennessee, if the bride-to-be is pregnant a judge can wave the age requirement. The Nashville Tennessean reports on 10-year-old girls who got married to men decades older than her.

My question is why these men, the fathers of these expectant children, weren’t charged with statutory rape for having relations with a 10-year-old? I hope girls don’t repeat the behavior of their parents. They are already sacrificing their childhood and teenage years by assuming the roles of marriage and parents.

Religions that forbid the use of birth control do so in an attempt to control the women of the congregation. They are so busy being pregnant and raising children, they have little time to be politically active and to question church dogma.

Churches have different rules. The church I grew up attending, the Church of Christ, forbids the use of musical instrument while singing hymns and other tributes to God. Women are also not allowed to preach to a gathering where men are in the audience.

While I object to these restrictions on how congregants are allowed to praise the Lord, remember this church once split into factions on whether or not to pad the pews.

Safe subjects to discuss during what I think of as cocktail party chatter are few and far between. Asking after one’s spouse and children can be safe unless unknown issues are plaguing either one. Sporting events, movies and television shows can provide a period of mindless conversation.

Some people are impossible to converse with as every subject leads to an argument. For these people, the disagreement is the delight. These folks aren’t seeking common ground; they are looking for a fight.

So to recap, it is fairly safe to talk about the weather as long as it is not an invitation to examine global warming. Discussing religion and politics in polite company has giant pitfalls and is better left alone.

Keep this in mind the next time someone tries to drag you into a conversation you’d rather not have.

Long days and pleasant nights, and have a great weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.

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