January 22, 2021

The IM Saturday Brunch: For Mom, Of Course!


”It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.”

Mother’s Day and brunch — they just belong together, don’t they? Well, our gastronomic and consumeristic observances of the holiday today may miss the point of the original Mother’s Day, according to an article at National Geographic from 2014, marking the 100th anniversary of the commemoration.

Anna Jarvis

As Mother’s Day turns 100 this year, it’s known mostly as a time for brunches, gifts, cards, and general outpourings of love and appreciation.

But the holiday has more somber roots: It was founded for mourning women to remember fallen soldiers and work for peace. And when the holiday went commercial, its greatest champion, Anna Jarvis, gave everything to fight it, dying penniless and broken in a sanitarium.

It all started in the 1850s, when West Virginia women’s organizer Ann Reeves Jarvis—Anna’s mother—held Mother’s Day work clubs to improve sanitary conditions and try to lower infant mortality by fighting disease and curbing milk contamination, according to historian Katharine Antolini of West Virginia Wesleyan College. The groups also tended wounded soldiers from both sides during the U.S. Civil War from 1861 to 1865.

In the postwar years Jarvis and other women organized Mother’s Friendship Day picnics and other events as pacifist strategies to unite former foes. Julia Ward Howe, for one—best known as the composer of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”—issued a widely read “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in 1870, calling for women to take an active political role in promoting peace.

…Largely through Jarvis’s efforts, Mother’s Day came to be observed in a growing number of cities and states until U.S. President Woodrow Wilson officially set aside the second Sunday in May in 1914 for the holiday.

“For Jarvis it was a day where you’d go home to spend time with your mother and thank her for all that she did,” West Virginia Wesleyan’s Antolini, who wrote “Memorializing Motherhood: Anna Jarvis and the Defense of Her Mother’s Day” as her Ph.D. dissertation, said in a previous interview.

“It wasn’t to celebrate all mothers. It was to celebrate the best mother you’ve ever known—your mother—as a son or a daughter.” That’s why Jarvis stressed the singular “Mother’s Day,” rather than the plural “Mothers’ Day,” Antolini explained.

…Anna Jarvis’s idea of an intimate Mother’s Day quickly became a commercial gold mine centering on the buying and giving of flowers, candies, and greeting cards—a development that deeply disturbed Jarvis. She set about dedicating herself and her sizable inheritance to returning Mother’s Day to its reverent roots.

To mark this Mother’s Day weekend, here’s a video tribute to ten of the top TV moms who showed us the way (or not) from the small screen:


May is also the month when schools have commencement ceremonies to recognize their graduates and launch them into the world.

NPR has put together a site with a hand-picked selection of over 350 commencement addresses, going back to 1774, which you can search by name, school, date or theme. You can also randomly scroll through some of the most memorable quotes from the speeches. Here are a few:


In the NY Times Tech section, Farhad Manjoo is fretting the power of the “frightful five” in his life — Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google (Alphabet), and Microsoft.

This is the most glaring and underappreciated fact of internet-age capitalism: We are, all of us, in inescapable thrall to one of the handful of American technology companies that now dominate much of the global economy. I speak, of course, of my old friends the Frightful Five: Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

So he engaged in a thought experiment: “If an evil, tech-phobic monarch forced you to abandon each of the Frightful Five, in which order would you do so, and how much would your life deteriorate as a result?”

If you’d like to participate and answer this, you can go to his column and take the companion quiz. And of course, we’d like to hear how you respond to this game of choices.


If your church closed its doors tomorrow, would the surrounding community notice?

Does scripture uphold the teaching of an “age of accountability”?

Is America’s real national pastime looking for ways to get offended?

Can liturgy simplify worship for those who are cognitively impaired?

Is the word “random” misleading when speaking of evolution?

Can a black Christian doctor in the southern U.S. be driven by his faith to be an abortion provider?

What is progressive Christian political theology, and is it coherent?

Who is the Benedict Option for, and should there be other options for different kinds of Christians?


From the Daily Mail:

The mayor of an Italian village who proposed paying people €2,000 to move there has begged people to stop ringing him after thousands tried to take him up on his offer.

Daniele Galliano floated the idea on Facebook in a bid to encourage more people to live in Bormida, a hamlet of 394 in the mountainous region of Liguria in north-west Italy.

With the nearest major city – Genoa – more than 50 miles away, the village’s population has dwindled. Under mayor’s scheme, tenants would be paying as little as €12.50 a week in rent as part of a scheme to boost numbers.

But in just four days 17,000 people from around the world called the local council eager to find out more about the mayor’s offer. His Facebook post has been deleted and Galliano has insisted: ‘It was only a suggestion.’

…’The news has been reported incorrectly and reached a worldwide audience. Italy is a wonderful country but, like others, it is in an economic crisis. Thanks anyway for your interest.’

Oh man, and I was looking for an affordable way out of Trumplandia.


Arizona hiker seeking free pizza ends up needing to be rescued.

Teenager achieves dream of a year’s supply of chicken nuggets.

Scotland’s one-woman Rubbish Party wins seat in local elections.

Danish brewer puts the “P” in pilsner.

Teen goes to prom in an open coffin, hearse.


Kudos to our friends at The Wartburg Watch, who are telling the story of First Baptist Church in Sapulpa, OK to a broader audience.

In response to a new pastor, who led a top-down implementation of change in this congregation from a traditional Baptist church to a neo-calvinist 9-Marks system, a group of folks in the church started a blog called The Sapulpa Messenger to warn others about these kinds of “takeovers” that threaten Baptist congregations.

Here is the video they produced to get people’s attention:


From RNS:

Most sons send their mom a card or maybe some flowers for Mother’s Day. Film composer Stephen Edwards, a Catholic, wrote his mom a requiem Mass, complete with 50-voice children’s choir, a 100-voice adult choir and 50 musicians.

Oh, and he got it performed at the Vatican and it aired on Italian television.

This weekend, “Requiem for My Mother,” an hourlong documentary about Edwards, his mom and the staging of the requiem, airs on most PBS stations. Edwards, who is 55 and has scored dozens of films and television shows, talked with RNS about his mother, Rosalie, who died somewhat suddenly of ovarian cancer in 2006. He talked about how writing a requiem — a musical Mass for the dead — helped him both honor her and move beyond his grief.

I encourage you to go to the RNS piece and read about how writing a requiem — a musical Mass for the dead — helped Stephen Edwards honor his mother and process his grief. HERE you can watch a trailer of the PBS presentation that will air on Mother’s Day.

For our musical selection today, we present the lovely “Pie Jesus” from Edward’s work. If you are remembering your mother today in the communion of God and all the saints, may the Spirit of comfort grant you and your family peace and hope.


  1. Last

    • When should you leave a church?

      All of us will, at times, be called to endure humbly a leader’s mistakes and sins. But if you find yourself in a church where the leadership is characteristically abusive, you should flee. Flee to protect your discipleship, to protect your family, to set a good example for the members left behind, and to serve non-Christian neighbors by not lending credibility to the church’s ministry.
      How do you recognize abusive leadership? Paul requires two witnesses for a charge to be leveled against an elder (1 Tim. 5:19), probably because he knows that leaders will be charged with infelicities more often than others, often unfairly.
      That said, abusive churches and Christian leaders characteristically:
      – Make dogmatic prescriptions in places where Scripture is silent.
      – Rely on intelligence, humor, charm, guilt, emotions, or threats rather than on God’s Word and prayer (see Acts 6:4).
      – Play favorites.
      – Punish those who disagree.
      – Employ extreme forms of communication (tempers, silent treatment).
      – Recommend courses of action which always, somehow, improves the leader’s own situation, even at the expense of others.
      – Seldom do good deeds in secret.
      – Seldom encourage.
      – Seldom give the benefit of the doubt.
      – Emphasize outward conformity, rather than repentance of heart.
      – Preach, counsel, disciple, and oversee the church with lips that fail to ground everything in what Christ has done in the gospel and to give glory to God.

      • That’s from IX Marks

        • Robert F says

          How would anyone know if good deeds are done in secret?

          • Adam Tauno Williams says

            They won’t. This is entirely, IMO, a way to hand wave away any need for positive moral action. Aside – doing most meaningful things requires some degree of collective action – and a congregation with this type of mode will never find anything Pure enough to rally around.

        • Seneca, my church went trough an attempted 9Marks takeover and a few individuals were promoting, not warning against, some of the very points in your list. The whole matter was poorly planned, as if by a playbook without real understanding. The chief goal seemed to be “complementarianism,” primarily to establish an elder-led (male-only, see I Timothy 3 and Titus 1) government while remaining congregational (as in the video). Again: the playbook.

          My comment about your 9Marks list: What they say and what they mean aren’t always the same (subtitled The left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing, or, Who’s really in charge here?)

          Calvinsim didn’t appear to be the chief goal at our church, although some videos were presented in adult Sunday classes about that theology.

          Snarky comment about the list above: The warning against “abusive churches and Christian leaders” should probably read “abusive churches and abusiveChristian leaders,”or we’re all in trouble.

          Incidentally, I’ve been watching The Handmaid’s Tale.

        • Short answer: when I feel like it, because I’m an adult, a priest, and not a slave to anybody.

          Next? lol

      • How about when its teachers make lists telling you what you should do?

      • Michael Z says

        What that list doesn’t get at is the underlying question of what pastoral leadership is supposed to look like, which is a major question American Christianity needs to answer.

        One school of thought says the pastor is supposed to be like a CEO, casting a vision for the church and inspiring people to get in line behind it. The other school of thought says that a pastor’s primary job is to care for, equip, and empower the members of the church to do God’s work and discern God’s will themselves.

        Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be great among you must become your servant.” People are drawn to authoritarian leaders and charismatic personalities, but that form of leadership becomes abusive far too easily.

      • Rick Ro. says

        “And sign this list if you wish to remain a member!”

        Has anyone noticed that of those nearly dozen items, only one – only ONE – mentions Christ? The warning in Revelation to the church at Ephesus talks about how spot-on they were regarding works and discernment, but how they’d forgotten their first love, Jesus. And it was a pretty dire “failing.”

        If you keep that list but in doing so lose Christ…you’ve failed.

      • Oh wow. I guess that explains why 9Marks is so anti-Christ. What a mindless, manipulative, and downright foolish list!

      • Lorraine says

        Don’t they normally just stand outside the church door and shake people’s hands as they leave?

        “Your Calvinist mind-tricks won’t work on me!”

        • Rick Ro. says

          Lol. Yeah, there’s something weird to me when “concern” for the spiritual discernment of church leaders leads to the development of a list. It’s a drift toward paranoia, me-thinks.

  2. Least.

  3. Susan Dumbrell says

    to all bloggers

    May we remember the mothers of Africa. Those who cannot feed their children or whose breasts are dry, their babies crying weakly in hunger, just skin and bone. Bulging, pleading eyes and swollen bellies, skin and bone.

    Make you uncomfortable?, you switched channels or turn the page?

    Children clinging to the skirt of a mother whose only offering is LOVE. Our Lord offered unconditional LOVE to all.
    May we look through Christ’s eyes to the plight of refugees.

    As I said at Easter, we are too introspective with the Easter Event and how it impacts us to look at the refugees of the World.
    Spare a few dollars occasionally and look outside our comfort zone.

    Oh, you have already switched off? Sorry I touched a nerve. We were not there. Our longevity proves that. Well fed and satisfied.

    They are there. God’s mothers and children.

    What would our Lord think of our indifference? Oh, you have switched off already!

    The Good Samaritan in our present world is needed, often, not occasionally.
    Look past our Presidents, Prime Ministers and Rulers .
    We personally can make a difference, or if in addition to our money, lobby our governments

    May our Lord be with us and with the suffering in God’s world.

    (I am not usually so political but this could be a new calling for me.)

    Christ is Risen, – for all men and women and children.

    May Christ bless us and them.

    • I read your entry Susan.

      I cannot solve all the problems, nor can I mourn for each and every indecency that is perpetrated by humans upon other humans. As Abraham Lincoln said, “If my sorrow were distributed among all the people of the world there would not be a dry eye.”

      However, I do trust our loving Father and I do what I can with what I’ve been given. Wife and I have sponsored a lovely girl who lives in Burkina Faso since the time she was 6 to the present. She has matured into a beautiful woman, an icon of God.

    • T'Challa son of T'Chaka says

      Africa isn’t all like that. You’re dealing in stereotypes.

      • Klasie Kraalogies says

        Agreed. I hate the simplistic stereotyping if Africa so common in Nortg America.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          But very useful for guilt manipulation of American Christians.

          Ever notice the concern for Third World peoples you will NEVER meet in your life? Usually coupled with utter indifference (if not smug hostility) to those in need in YOUR own life? It’s Kyle’s Mom with a Christian coat of paint.

          “The little lanes and cottages
          Where I learned with little labor
          The way to Love My Fellow Man
          And hate my next door neighbor.”
          — G.K.Chesterton (from memory)

    • Heather Angus says

      This is a lovely entry, Susan, and I’m grateful for it.

  4. Who the hell would fall for that “9-marks” systematic mullah-ization of a Christian congregation?? How does someone like Dever and his minions get to re-institute a Genevian reign of fear??? That is a dangerous and perverse religion…

    • And, I betcha it’s “Complimentarian” down to its punky, stinkin’ core…

    • Reading at the sapulpamessenger.com leads me to think that 9-Marks is the SBC’s all-or-nothing effort to win the Battle of the Bulge. “We gotta stop the membership bleed-off so let’s get REAL tough and no more mister nice guy!”

      Yeah, right.

      • Susan Dumbrell says

        Tom, I have no idea what you are saying?
        Enlighten me,
        (and read my entry, the day is still young.)

        • Susan Dumbrell says

          or is it to parochial for the Antipodes?

          • Susan Dumbrell says

            your entries parochial? not mine. I have a need to be enlightened.

            A slow afternoon in Aust.
            Local football slow. Cold and bone chilling.

            Fill me in on my lack of ‘local knowledge’ as per US.

          • “Parochial” is correct, Susan. My comments are directed to the section titled “FIGHTING BACK AGAINST “WEAPONIZED” CHURCH DISCIPLINE”.

        • I read your entry Susan.

          I cannot solve all the problems, nor can I mourn for each and every indecency that is perpetrated by humans upon other humans. As Abraham Lincoln said, “If my sorrow were distributed among all the people of the world there would not be a dry eye.”

          However, I do trust our loving Father and I do what I can with what I’ve been given. Wife and I have sponsored a lovely girl who lives in Burkina Faso since the time she was 6 to the present. She has matured into a beautiful woman, an icon of God.

      • Again, from my experience at CHBC, they aren’t interested so much in staunching the bleedout as cutting the deadwood. Deve bragged about how many “non-sttendees” were cut from CHBC’s membership rolls after he became pastor…

        • Dever, that is – Mark Dever, the lead pastor.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          You mean the Purge of all but True Believers?
          Like the Killing Fields of Democratic Kampuchea?

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Deve bragged about how many “non-sttendees” were cut from CHBC’s membership rolls after he became pastor…

          Like that other Mark bragging about throwing people under the bus?

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        “We never had to build a wall to keep our people in!”
        — John Kennedy, “Berlin Wall Speech”

      • Tom,
        You get away from the seminaries, and I would venture to guess that 75% of SBC people have no clue what 9marks is. In fact, 75% may be too low a number. This might change as more and more graduates of the last ten years begin to pastor, but for most southern baptists I know, 9marks isn’t even on the radar.

        • But their theology and thought leaders certainly are.

        • I have been attending a SBC church regularly for 8 years and had not heard of 9Marks until today. I just spoke with my son who attends a Presbyterian Church in Virginia knows about it and has attended Dever’
          s church.

          • It’s bigger among the reformed crowd. Among traditional Southern Baptists you won’t hear much about it.

        • Lorraine says

          What we need is for somebody to write a book saying that 9Marks is a plot by the Antichrist. That should get everybody worked up.

        • Jon, you’re right that a lot of people have no clue, even though 9Marks may be affecting their church.

          Although our church (ABC, American Baptist Convention) went through an attempted takeover during a period of three years, 9Marks was barely mentioned. It was made known that the pastor and chairman of the deacons attended a “Weekender” conference at Dever’s Capitol Hill Baptist, and it was made painfully clear that they were promoting an all-male, elder-led church government (because that’s the correct biblical model, see I Tim 3 and Titus 1) but 9Marks was barely mentioned unless the head deacon blurted it out (he blurts, but now he’s gone) or unless I brought it up at an informational meeting (all of them poorly attended because people don’t really care about church gov’t or theology). The pastor, I think, didn’t want to call attention to 9Marks, although he didn’t avoid discussion when it came up.

          It was a long, slow, painful process that failed for lack of a 2/3 vote, largely because a few of us spoke against it and cast reasonable doubt on the wisdom of such a change. There were a lot of layers to the saga, some of which only I know because the head deacon, who succeeded me on the board, is an old friend of sorts and a former employee of mine from 25 years earlier. I learned through this that he hadn’t changed a damn bit. But now he’s gone, resigned from the board and quit the church a few weeks after the vote. I did not say “I told you so” (because I hadn’t said anything about the past) but I did ask the pastor afterward if he thought the deacon’s quitting was an answer to prayer. It did answer a lot of the division and confusion in the aftermath of the vote.

          But you’re right, the man in the pew is largely unaware of any of this sort of thing. And most pastors don’t know (yet) much about 9Marks. But keep watching the news.

    • There are control freaks everywhere. We saw this with the Toronto Blessing – comply and fall down, or be pushed out.

      • I was just listening to an interview with Paul Tillich from the early 60’s, where he explained the end of the Protestant era as a time where people would grow weary of reasoning and making decisions for themselves and adopt conformism. This seems to fit our time. Control freaks can’t exist without a following of weary, insecure conformists. I fully understand why in a time of fear, anxiety, anger, uncertainty, information overload and fake news that conformism would become so popular.

        • In a way, this also explains why dialogue, moderation, and compromise have become unforgivable sins on both the radical left and right. Conformism is the new social ideal. It is chilling to consider this in light of the Nuremberg trials where the guilty justified their actions as merely following orders.

    • Tom,

      I am a regular reader at TWW, so let me share some thoughts about your question. Many of the churches that are discipline heavy started out as normal. They got a new pastor, who was not honest about his views and he gradually changed the church’s policies. So the church changes to abusive. Some members don’t want to see, others see and quietly leave and some are pushed out.

      Another factor is that not everybody has experienced church pickers. If they are hurting,or new Christians, they might not recognize the red flags that another would see.

      • Thank you Anna.

        Experience has taught me much in this area. I’m much more sensitive to the odor than I used to be.

      • Patriciamc says

        TWW has done some good work, but unfortunately the people on there were not kind to me or to others from my church when the blog reported that the minister of my church had been having an affair. A few of us responded that it was too bad since he was so good at preaching. People on the blog responded with great venom and said that we were worshipping a person. Liking someone’s preaching is not the same as worshipping them. Anyway, I think they were mad because we weren’t towing the party line that churches and organized religion are bad. I have’t been back.

    • “Who the hell would fall for that “9-marks” systematic mullah-ization of a Christian congregation??”

      I attended CHBC – Patient Zero for the 9M movement – for almost a year. Believe me, there is an audience for this. People who think American Christianity is either hopelessly liberal (the mainlines) or totally anonymous and undisciplined (the megachurches). These people want Christianity to be challenging, at least in a certain way, and they definitely want it to be “biblical”. I had my fill after less than a year – but I’m sure many of the people I knew there then are still there…

      • Eeyore, what is CHBC?

      • Yes, one if the streams of post-evangelicalism is the neo-reformed movement. Michael Spencer landed there for awhile, as did I to some extent. It is a common move for seminary students to make, because there is an intellectual component that is largely missing in popular church culture. I remember how refreshing and stimulating it was to think lofty thoughts, to delight in something that came together in a systematic fashion, to engage in robust debate. However, to put it bluntly, it spoils church for a lot of people who don’t like messiness and disorder.

        Unfortunately it also fails to grasp that Paul’s solution (their great hero) was not better doctrine or more strict discipline, but humility and love.

        • “Paul’s solution (their great hero) was not better doctrine or more strict discipline, but humility and love.”

          Yeah, my time there drove that point home rather sharply. My experience there wound up driving me right into the arms of liturgical mainline Christianity.

        • Thanks, Mike.

        • So true, Mike.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          I remember how refreshing and stimulating it was to think lofty thoughts, to delight in something that came together in a systematic fashion, to engage in robust debate.

          Isn’t that a recipe for Intellectual Snobbery?

          Until your Lofty Thoughts are Loftier than God?

        • There is more correct theology in the smallest act of selfless kindness than any systems humans can devise.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > Who the hell would fall for

      People who are frightened, lonely, and/or mentally ill. In modern America that is lots of people.

      • I would suggest that Fundegellicals are afflicted with a form of mental illness…

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          I do not disagree; I saw a lot of what I would now consider diagnosable behavior during my days in those circles. And pastors that did not hesitate to feed those daemons.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Who the hell would fall for that “9-marks” systematic mullah-ization of a Christian congregation??

      Eternal Hell can be quite a motivator.

      “Fear always works!”
      — Acting Mayor Bellwether, Zootopia

  5. Robert F says

    I only use two of the Frightful Five. I have Windows on my home PC, and I Google a ridiculous number of times each day. These two it’s hard to imagine living without, barring utter poverty or cosmic cataclysm.

    • I made the decision years ago to not become a member of the Apple cult. Like you Robert, it would be hard to do without Microsoft and some kind of search engine.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        “Apple CULT” is right!

        Just like the history of Islam, Apple started out with the Curse of Immediate Success then rested on its laurels smugly chanting “Mac Is The Superior System” while its main rival (Microsoft) steadily overtook them and pulled ahead, going for market share. They finally woke up when Microsoft had an unstoppable lead and reacted with Fundamentalism — double down and SCREAM LOUDER! “MAC IS THE SUPERIOR SYSTEM! APPLE AKBAR! APPLE AKBAR! APPLE AKBAR! APPLE AKBAR! APPLE AKBAR!” And when that didn’t work, More Fundamentalism! “DIE, HERETICS!”

        I remember losing several “friends” when I switched my home system from Mac to PC. “APOSTATE! APOSTATE!” (Have you ever priced Macs vs PCs? And relative availability and maintenance? I couldn’t afford the drain on my bank account. Plus, I work at a Microsoft shop and using the same system at work & home is a lot less hassle.)

        One of these Mackinistas once bragged to me that “Apple will drive Microsoft into bankruptcy by the Year 2000”, said prophecy being given in the late Nineties. When pointed out that this did not seem realistic, his face literally turned red and purple, the cords in his neck popped out, and the Screaming Started. “DIE, HERETIC!!!!!!”

        In the mid-nineties, Harry Turtledove wrote an excellent time-travel SF novel titled Guns of the South. Near the end, it is mentioned that the time-travelers from 2016 used Apple Macs instead of Windows PCs. Mackinista cited above actually cited this as Evidence.

        • It’s beyond me that anyone would pay 3x + more for a Mac than a comparable PC.

          I suspect it can be explained in terms of Girardian Realism.

          • Klasie Kraalogies says

            I had to google Girardian Realism. In this case, yes.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            It’s beyond me that anyone would pay 3x + more for a Mac than a comparable PC.

            Faith Faith Faith in the Cult.

    • http://danny.oz.au/danny/humour/one-ring

      “At first I could not see anything, but on the inner edge of the central hole I saw an inscription, in lines finer than anything I have ever seen before. The inscription shone piercingly bright, and yet remote, as if out of a great depth:


      ‘I cannot read the fiery letters,’ I said.
      ‘No,’ he said, ‘but I can. The letters are Hex, of an ancient mode, but the language is that of Microsoft, which I shall not utter here. But in common English this is what it says:’

      One OS to rule them all, One OS to find them,
      One OS to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.”

  6. Robert F says

    I have to admit, that story about the black Christian doctor abortion provider makes me very uncomfortable. On the one hand, my position on abortion rights has altered dramatically in the last five years, in large part due to discussions I’ve had or read here in the comment section of iMonk. I’ve gone from being an anti-abortion-rights absolutist (due to the lasting legacy of my Catholic moral formation, though not a politically active one: this was largely a notional position), to being a supporter of conditional abortion rights (also not politically active). I now believe that a fetus starts out not as a human being, but then moves toward becoming one at somewhere between the twentieth and twenty-fifth week of pregnancy, when the nervous system is finally hooked up rather than being a collection of separate components.

    But the idea of being in close Christian fellowship and communion with a person, say a member of my own parish, who regularly performed elective abortions as part of his work triggers my sense of moral dread. I’d want to know something I would probably not have any right to ask: Does he perform abortions only in the first trimester, except in emergency situations where the health or life of the mother is in danger? Barring having an affirmative answer to that question, and perhaps even with it, I would feel queasy approaching the altar rail for Communion beside this man. It’s all rather complicated, and the kind of subject I would prefer to avoid. I have unsettled moral questions about this subject.

  7. Susan Dumbrell says

    Please Guys, what has this to do with Mothers Day?
    Pour me a coffee and explain real slow.

    Its late in the day, make it quick! Include chocolate.

    (I guess no one has taken time to read my early entry.
    Too many heads in the sand.)

    • Susan Dumbrell says

      Are you guys exclusive now? Why?

      I was told by Mike the Geologist to express my angst as necessary.
      Done. For today, until maybe later.


      • Please Susan I’m from down under too and I love the discussions on this blog, you just have to go with the flow. Sometimes they get stuck on American sport, I just ignore that and comeback later. You are welcome to be honest but please don’t get cranky if the discussion doesn’t suit your time or mood.

  8. Robert F says

    When I hear it said that evolution is random, I understand that to mean that it is not guided by an intelligent agent. If it were guided by one, it would no longer be evolution, but genetic bio-engineering. The development of the theory of evolution is predicated on the methodological atheism of all scientific investigation, wherein science forms hypotheses about natural phenomena and investigates them with a goal of explaining their origin and function without any reference to intelligent agency being their cause or causes. In other words, in science, God is not necessary to explain where things come from, or how they work; if he is, then it’s not science but something else explaining, theology or philosophy.

    • Susan Dumbrell says

      And what is your cat’s opinion on this?
      I am fired up today.
      Bad things around today with which I am in conflict.
      Go quietly please.

      • Robert F says

        I appreciate your contributions, Susan. I’m glad that you’ve found good things at iMonk, and are here participating. Especially love your haiku. But my comments are in response to articles posted today at this sight, articles we’ve been invited to comment on. Now you may disagree with my opinion, or think it poorly expressed or written, etc., and I would willingly hear you out and possibly modify my positions or approach to talking about them. You could even say, “Robert, you’re long-winded and boorish; please shut up”, and although my feelings might be hurt, I could still hear you and entertain the possibility that you were right. But when you tell me (or us) that I’m (or we’re) doing something wrong merely by responding to things that we’ve all been invited to respond to (as you have on more than one occasion), then I think you’re out of line. This is what is done at iMonk.

        • Susan Dumbrell says

          Thank you Robert for you considered response. I stand a bit humilated, such is life. Please accept my apology.

          However has anyone responded to my posting of today? No. It was posted in response to the opening article about the reason for the first Mothers Day..
          That was the theme of the topic of the day.

          I am going to retire for the night and be ready to drive half an hour to Church in the morning. I have a lot to talk with God about. I hope He is listening. (Give Him warning!)

          Peace to all, Susan

          • Robert F says

            To all children out there alienated from your mothers, for good or bad reasons: Can a woman forget her suckling child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee…, sayeth the Lord.

            To all mothers out there alienated from your children, for good or bad reasons: Neither has the Lord forgotten you.

          • Susan, I have responded to your pleading post. Twice. Both are in “moderation” — for what reason I know not.

      • Susan , you sound very needt

      • Klasie Kraalogies says

        Susan, Saturday Brunch is an eclectic affair. We takethr stories as jumping-off points for all sorts of conversations, from the hilarious and amusing to passionate debate. It is one of the best things about this blog. On Saturdays it becomes like a bunch of weird and wonderful friends that hang out in a pub and knowbody knows where the conversation will take us.

        We are a very mixed crowd – from orthodox to catholic to lutheran to evangelical and everything in between, to barely Christian to atheist. Most of us find one thing in common though, and that is a common experience in the “post-evangelical wilderness”. We come from many parts of the world too, though mostly American. And we represent a few different cultures.

        This is a great place to hang out, but it has its own rhythm and pace.

    • Wussypillow says

      Evolution isn’t random; it’s pretty focused on preservation of those characteristics that permit an organism to survive and/or reproduce.

  9. Robert F says

    the soft rain falling
    birds sing loudly at dawn’s edge
    a dance of voices

  10. Those who object to Google might give Dogpile a try, which at least removes you one level. I had to search on Alexis Ohanian, who is Armenian, not Irish. I did not do a further search to figure out what Reddit was, but I was rather intrigued to learn that Alexis, who appears to be the ultimate nerd, is hooked up with Serena Williams to the extent of having a child. Would be interesting to follow that child’s course thru life.

    As an aside to Susan, Saturdays here are generally intended for taking a break and having some fun in order to better deal with the rest of the week, both past and future. We don’t always succeed and not everyone agrees with the plan, but I always look forward to the possibility. Occasionally it goes well, but then there is always that lurking fear of the Puritans that someone somewhere is having fun.

  11. See you guys later. I’m on the way to one of those graduations. This one with Mike Dukakis the commencement speaker. Ciao.

  12. Robert F says

    Re: Is America’s real national pastime looking for ways to get offended?: The linked article’s writer has a point. That waitress shouldn’t have gotten offended when he referred to her as “Gal”. She should’ve just said, “You’re a funny little old man,” laughed corrosively at him to his face, and moved on.

    • Asking people to just “suck it up and dish it back out” is eminently unhelpful. They may have been suffering from slights like that their whole lives. Or they may not have an aggressive personality. Sometimes, we jerks just need to be called out on our jerkiness, even if it pisses us off.

      • Robert F says

        I was being sarcastic. Sorry it didn’t come across.

        I hear many people, proud Christians among them, complain that people are being too sensitive about things like this. But just watch it when someone gives them a little of their own medicine; then complaints of rudeness can’t be staunched.

      • Robert F says

        And of course, even if it did cross her mind to respond in a way like the one I describe, she would know that the customer in question would likely complain about her “rude behavior” to the boss, and she might lose her job. So she was stuck.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      I don’t think this is America’s pastime; America’s pastime is nit’ing; it is being negative and postulating ideas both small and grand why nothing will ever work, every idea is stupid, and everyone trying to do something has an ulterior motive.

      • Why are you saying that, hmmm? Are you trying to derail the conversation? 😉 😉 😉

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          > Why are you saying that, hmmm?

          Experience with community organizing and advocacy. And talking for them foreigners who are often baffled by what happens in meetings in America.

          Often there seem to be people who are eager to postulate about America by looking at what happens online – but out in the real-world it is painfully evident where much of this comes from.

          It goes all the way down. We have a large, quite derelict park in my neighborhood. A guy wants to build a disc golf course around the perimeter… and there are people who are insistent that it won’t work. People playing disc golf will chuck discs at people walking their dogs, it will prevent soccer games, etc… Like, nothing can work, nobody can be trusted. In America ****everything**** and everyone needs their own lane to shelter everyone else from their incompetence.

          Then if you move up to regional issues like transportation…. you get the most contrived obtuse head-banging-on-table kinds of objections, even concerning repairs to things which have existed for a 100+ years before anyone who is there moved there … buying property right there next to it.

          Have a European in the room with you, for perspective. Something is wrong with America; the level of distrust and anxiety is epic. The notion that: actually, this change won’t have any effect on you at all… yea, no way.

          • …the level of distrust and anxiety is epic.

            Precisely. And so says my Green-card carrying wife.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Have a European in the room with you, for perspective. Something is wrong with America; the level of distrust and anxiety is epic.

            Which is what The Trump rode into the White House.
            No Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory needed.

            • Trump’s Razor. Whenever he does something, rest assured it’s probably for the stupidest reason.

    • Rick Ro. says

      –> “Re: Is America’s real national pastime looking for ways to get offended?”

      There are certainly people here at iMonk who fall in that category, including today!

  13. Taking a break from all the levity here, a random search of Pearls Before Swine brings up this: Two men dressed in white shirt and tie are before Rat’s front door and say to him, “Good morning, sir. Mind if we come in and tell you a little bit about our religion?” “Sure,” says Rat, “I’m currently searching for one.” “Wonderful,” says one of the men, “what are you looking for?” Rat replies, ” One where I can drink a lot of beer and punch the people I don’t like.” Cut to Rat’s living room where Pig is sitting on a pillow watching television. Rat comes in and remarks, “My spiritual search continues.”

  14. “Scotland’s One-Woman Rubbish Party Wins Seat In Local Elections”

    I look forward to seeing more parties like this – especially the Adder Party, the Keep Royalty White, Rat Catching And Safe Sewage Residents’ Party, ans the Standing at the Back Dressed Stupidly and Looking Stupid Party.

  15. Thank you for the Requiem clip. The Pie Jesu made me cry, and I needed that. I don’t know if I can watch the special about it or not — at least not right now. My mother died in July of last year, from ovarian cancer.

    • Rick Ro. says

      Sorry for your loss, emr. May God grant you peace and comfort, and may Jesus minister to you in ways that are both human and divine.

  16. Robert F says

    a disheveled man
    squats under a store’s awning
    and curses the rain

  17. Ron Avra says

    Took a wrong turn in the swamp, fell into a hole, and lost my Wifi connection; just making it back to civilization. You all appear to be in vigorous health and doing well. Going to have a couple of beers and heal. Back in a couple of days.

  18. Lorraine says

    That music sounds like something you’d hear in a Stephen Spielberg movie.

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