December 2, 2020

The IM Saturday Brunch: 6/17/2017 — Grill Daddy Edition


”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.”


Good morning. I’m Steve Inskeep. Some men are searching for a dad. They’re in their 20s, live in Washington state not with their dads and advertised on Craigslist for an actual, experienced dad to grill burgers and hot dogs for them on Father’s Day weekend. They tell KHQ-TV they’re not ready to fill the B-B-Q dad role. They had best be careful because when they find a dad, he’s liable to just tell them to get on the grill, do the job themselves and when they’re done, call their dad.

Steve Inskeep at Morning Edition

Just a thought: these guys never went to Mark Driscoll’s church, right?

• • •


Not only did we get to hear Paul Simon last weekend, but on Tuesday night the boys treated mom and I to an outdoor feast of music by Wilco here in Indy. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, if they’re not the best rock band on the planet, they’re in the discussion. Especially live.

• • •


From NPR:

Here’s a story about music that makes my heart sing…

The Dallas Street Choir is a group composed of the city’s homeless. Though its lineup has varied over the years, over time it’s become a more concrete unit, and 25 of its most dedicated singers — including some with mental illness and addiction issues — have been picked to tour the East Coast.

Its stop Wednesday night in New York is historic: Never before in its 126-year history has Carnegie Hall hosted a musical ensemble solely comprising performers who are homeless. And what’s more: Tickets have been donated so hundreds of New York City’s homeless, from all five boroughs, can attend.

…the Street Choir will be joined at Carnegie Hall by some of the brightest stars from Broadway and the opera. These include composer Jake Heggie, who has has arranged music and will accompany the choir on piano. Mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade will join the singers again, after she performed with them in Dallas two years ago.

Heggie, whose opera Great Scott was next door at the Winspear Opera House, was in attendance that night in Dallas. “[My cast and I] were in the back row listening to this group of people who don’t have a voice or face and we were all weeping,” he remembers.

The Street Choir’s performance reminded the celebrated composer of something he’d started to lose track of in New York City: why he started doing this in the first place.

• • •


This one’s not funny. This woman was seriously injured. Please be careful.

• • •


NBC News reports that Amazon will buy the natural and organic grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.

Which sent Amazon’s stock price soaring (they basically bought Whole Foods for $0), which sent other grocery chains’ stock prices into the toilet, and which prompted tweeters everywhere to sound off.

• • •


Redacted Franklin Graham @redactedgraham


• • •


What would Father’s Day weekend be without a tip of the ol’ fedora to the father of us all and his smokin’ hot wife?

Thanks to Paul Wilkinson’s weekly link list, I found Matthew Pierce’s site, where we can indulge our Oedipal and Electra complexes by considering which pictures of Adam and Eve are the hottest.

As Pierce says:

Probably the biggest crisis in Christianity right now is that no one has put all the pictures of Adam & Eve together and ranked them according to how hot they are.  But wait, some will say.  Shouldn’t Christians resist judging people based on their physical appearance?  Yes, of course, if you think you might get caught.  But Adam and Eve are almost certainly dead by now, so I think it’s okay.  Besides, if you make adolescent jokes while you’re judging them, that’s two sins, and two sins always cancel each other out, Jim Bakker taught me that.

Visit the site and choose for yourself, but this was my favorite, not least because I can totally see Ken Ham getting turned on by it. Pierce’s comments and ranking follow.

This was the coolest photo on the floppy disk that came in the Answers in Genesis curriculum pack that your parents picked up at the homeschool convention in 2000.  Does Adam have big biceps?  Does Eve have nice legs?  It doesn’t matter; all that matters is that young earth life, trick.

  • (-500) Sexy Points for supremely weird-looking hair
  • (+200) Sexy Points for successful usage of the Kurt Warner Perpetual Five o’Clock Shadow
  • (-100) Sexy Points for inability to hold an apple correctly.  It’s not a dang Poké ball, Eve
  • (-100) Sexy Points for Adam dangling his sling and two smooth stones into thick foliage.  That’s how you pick up a rash, guy.

• • •


At least that is the headline I would have written about this story from the BDN Maine Midcoast website.

While jogging on a familiar, overgrown, wooded trail near her home on a recent warm afternoon, Rachel Borch thought to herself, “what a beautiful day.”

Little did she know she was about to be attacked by a rabid raccoon she would end up killing with her bare hands.

In the midst of appreciating the weather and scenery, she looked ahead and noticed a raccoon obstructing the narrow foot path, baring its tiny teeth.

Suddenly, it began “bounding” toward her, Borch recalled Wednesday afternoon during an interview at her home on Hatchet Mountain Road in Hope.

“I knew instantly it had to be rabid,” said Borch, who remembers ripping out her headphones and dropping her phone on the ground.

What felt like a split second later, the furry animal was at her feet. Borch said she was “dancing around it,” trying to figure out what to do.

“Imagine the Tasmanian devil,” she said. “It was terrifying.”

The path was too narrow for Borch to run past the raccoon, which had begun lunging at her. With adrenaline pumping, Borch suspended her disbelief.

“I knew it was going to bite me,” she said.

Figuring she would have the greatest ability to defend herself if she used her hands to hold it down, she decided that probably would be the best place for the aggressive animal to latch on.

The raccoon sank its teeth into Borch’s thumb and “wouldn’t let go.” Its paws were scratching her arms and legs wildly as Borch screamed and cried.

In a matter of seconds, Borch, who could not unhinge the raccoon’s jaw to shake it off her hand, noticed that when she had dropped her phone, it had fallen into a puddle in the path and was fully submerged.

“I didn’t think I could strangle [the raccoon] with my bare hands,” she remembers thinking, but holding it under the water might do the trick.

Connecting the dots quickly, Borch, then on her knees, dragged the still biting raccoon, which was scratching frantically at her hand and arms, into the puddle.

“With my thumb in its mouth, I just pushed its head down into the muck,” Borch said.

With the animal belly-up, she held its head under water. “It was still struggling and clawing at my arms. It wouldn’t let go of my thumb,” she said.

Borch said she held it there for what felt like an eternity until finally it stopped struggling and “its arms sort of of fell to the side, its chest still heaving really slowly.”

…The dead raccoon was retrieved by Borch’s dad, who packed it into a Taste of the Wild dog food bag and handed it over to the Maine Warden Service.

Hope Animal Control Officer Heidi Blood confirmed Wednesday that the dead raccoon later tested positive for rabies by the Maine Center for Disease Control.

…Borch has received six shots so far, including the rabies vaccine, and immunoglobulin and tetanus injections. She is slated to receive her last injection this weekend.

“If there hadn’t been water on the ground, I don’t know what I would have done,” Borch said of drowning the animal. “It really was just dumb luck. I’ve never killed an animal with my bare hands. I’m a vegetarian. It was self-defense.”

• • •


The headline in the Oregonian describes what happened well: “Southern Baptists wring their hands before finally, awkwardly, condemning alt-right at annual convention.”

Pastor Dwight McKissic, author of SBC “alt-right” proposal

[T]he Southern Baptist Convention this week condemned the alt-right, declaring itself opposed to “every form of racism, including alt-right white supremacy, as antithetical to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

The denunciation did not come easily for the convention, which was founded in the 1840s after leading Baptist societies prevented southern slaveholders from becoming missionaries. The Southern Baptist Convention, CNN points out, did not officially apologize for its pro-slavery beginnings until 1995.

The Atlantic magazine reports that the denomination’s 2017 annual meeting, held this year in Phoenix, turned “chaotic” after the proposal was first pushed aside by the resolutions committee.

…The proposal was rewritten and presented to the resolutions committee, where it again failed to get enough support. But backers of the proposal refused to give up and pushed for yet another vote. Finally, it passed. Its proponents believe the final vote saved the convention from “disaster.”

“It was critically important to get this right,” said Russell Moore, president of the convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. “The alt-right isn’t just some sociological movement. The alt-right is contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ and Satanic to the core. We need to be very clear on that.”

• • •

FROM THE DAILY BONNET (satire for plain people)


According to tradition, the preferred cola of Mennonites has always been Pepsi (accompanied by a Ravel bar). In an effort to win over some of the Mennonite market share, Coca-Cola has recently introduced a series of Mennonite-named bottles including Abe, Nettie, Menno, and Taunte Lina.

“We think that if Mennonites try out our product, they’ll realize it’s not as cloyingly sweet as our competitors,” said Coca-Cola sales rep Patricia Carmichael. “We hope that these names will really appeal to the good folks of Gnadenfeld, Kleefeld, and Gruenfeld…all the felds really.”

Thanks to the new bottles, Mennonites are now able to ‘share a Coke with’ all of their frintschoft.

“There are only about a dozen Mennonite first names, so it wasn’t a difficult task,” said Carmichael. “Basically we just browsed a Grunthal phone book and, within minutes, we had our list of names.”

After nearly 7 decades of drinking Pepsi, Taunte Lina of Gnadenfeld was initially reluctant to try a Coke for the first time in her life, but the eponymous bottle convinced her.

“Oba, I naver thought I’d see my name on a Coke bottle yet,” said Taunte Lina. “I write my names on the margarine containers in the church kitchen, but naver a Coke bottle. It doesn’t give such.”

Representing over 70% of sales, all the Abe bottles in southern Manitoba sold out within 20 minutes.

(photo credit: Mike Mozart/CC/modified)


• • •




  1. Goatse McGoatface says

    Looks like Eve and co. are taking a selfie.

  2. First!

  3. What? Nothing this week about Bernie Sanders and hell?

    • The reality – Internet monk is a liberal website. Their focus is on the sins of the conservatives, not the liberals.

      • It’s not like there aren’t any conservative-friendly evangelical websites to choose from…

        • Adam Tauno Williams says


          Does one have to Pander to be considered Friendly these days?

          Aside: Sanders is an Atheist, what did anyone think his thoughts on ECT were? And a whole lot of Christians share his opinion on ECT. There is not a story there. His statement isn’t worth noting.

      • Brent, no. The reality: it was one of our questions of the week last Saturday.

      • Patriciamc says

        This site has never seemed liberal to me, more like just common sense.

    • What about Bernie Sanders and hell? Are you referring to Bernie Sanders violating the constitution and voting no on a Trump nominee because he didn’t like the guys religious beliefs, or about a Bernie Sanders supporter shooting at Republican congressmen practicing for a charity baseball game, or is this something else?

      • Bernie violated the Constitution by voting? The Constitution forbids voting?

        And there will be supporters of Bernie Sanders who are also Cubs fans. That is not Bernie’s fault.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says


        • Robert F says


        • No he didn’t violate the constitution by voting, he did it by declaring this man unfit for service because of his religious belief that people who reject Jesus stand condemned before God. That was his reason for voting no.

          • I have to agree that it is not in keeping with the spirit of the Constitution to vote no on the basis of this man’s personal religious beliefs, anymore than it would be to vote no on the basis of a Satanist’s personal religious beliefs.

            • Adam Tauno Williams says

              > with the spirit of the Constitution

              Which is what? I’m sorry; I completely don’t see it. This is reading into the Constitution some cultural values found neither in or near the Constitution,.

              Someone’s personal beliefs are entirely on the table in terms of if someone wants to vote for them or not.

              If someone believes the earth is flat – I am not going to vote for that person.

              Or – as has been a real issue in actual elections – if someone believes anyone traveling over 15mp/h is likely to suffocate and die – I would not vote for that person.

              Because personal beliefs are very clearly concerned with the mind of the person.

              It would be very difficult for me to vote for a YEC – as there can only be one reasonable reason to believe in Young-Earth-Creationism – and that indicates a sympathy for occultic thinking. Occultic people dangerous; I do not want to hand them power over anyone.

              • Article VI states: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.

                Since there aren’t enough democrats in the senate to actually stop any of Trump’s nominations it didn’t really affect anything, but Bernie voiced his disapproval of this nominee simply based on a religious belief, one which wouldn’t in anyway affect his performance of the job. This wasn’t a general election where two or more candidates are presented and the people decided for whatever reasons to vote for one or the other. This was a man put before the senate simply to be approved as fit for the job. If his job was to be director of science (I don’t know that there is such a job) then belief in YEC would be a legitimate question. This guy was nominated for some sort of budget position. How does his belief in the necessity of faith in Christ for salvation affect that?

                • Adam Tauno Williams says

                  The clause you states: “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification”. This is not relevant; no religious test was required for **qualification**. That has no bearing on voting for – or not – a candidate for an office; the candidate was permitted to stand for the vote, no test prevent them standing.

              • What Adam said. It would be difficult for me to vote for someone who said that the Great Pyramids were Joseph’s granaries, or that African slaves came here cheerfully looking for better opportunities for their children and grandchildren.

          • It sounds like they were both exercising their First Amendment rights of speech and religion.

            Bernie is free to vote any way he likes, or it’s not really a vote. And we are free to vote him out of office if we don’t like his beliefs. No violation of the Constitution either way.

            • Recalling that Madeline Albright famously said at a Hillary Clinton rally that “there’s a special place in hell for women who won’t support other women” over Bernie for President, I can understand why Bernie might now be reluctant to to vote for a political appointee based on their views of who’s in and who’s out.

          • Patriciamc says

            Sanders did go way over the line there.

          • Just curious, have you guys actually seen the video of this questioning? I’m not going to argue with you about whether or not what Sanders did was against the constitution, there’s no point in it. But the reasoning behind Sanders decision should bother anyone who actually values religious freedom. The guy being questioned could have done a better job explaining what he wrote, but Sanders just basically stated that not only is he not fit for office, he is not what this country is supposed to be about. Sanders crossed a line, and it shouldn’t be that hard for you to see it.

            • No, I haven’t seen it, Jon. I was arguing only from a constitutional point of view. I’ll try to watch it .

              Having been a local elected official, I used to get annoyed when some well-meaning person (another elected official) would say “We HAVE to vote this way (on shoreland zoning, for example) or the State will come in and do it for us!” No, we don’t have to vote that way; that’s the whole point of a vote. It may be more advantageous, or maybe not.

              Declaring someone unfit for office doesn’t necessarily disqualify a person. Look at the numbers of elected officials who called Mr. Trump unfit in the days before the election—including Speaker Paul Ryan and my own senator Susan Collins.

              But I’ll try to look at the video. You probably have a good point about Sanders.

            • Adam Tauno Williams says

              > I’m not going to argue with you about whether or not what Sanders did was against the constitution

              Note – you did try exactly that argument.

              • I meant I wasn’t going to continue to argue with you about it. I still stand by what I said.

    • Robert F says

      I’m a liberal, and I lean socialist as well. But I recognize and readily acknowledge that the left is capable of extraordinary political violence in this country. Over the last four or so decades, the right has been the source of most political violence in the US, and you’d have to go back to the early seventies and the sixties to find more frequent acts of leftist violence, specifically revolutionary violence. But one of my fears about the rise of the fascist alt-right in this country, and the advent of the current POTUS and his fascistic/racist/xenophobic rhetoric, is that it would activate the latent violence of the left. I readily condemn the violence that occurred against the Republican senators and Party this week, and fear that it’s only the beginning of a terribly violent political time for our country. But let’s be clear: this violence is not only coming from the left.

      • But we wouldn’t have to care at all about the thinking of these folks, right or left, if everybody wasn’t armed to the teeth!!!

        • Robert F says

          Excellent point! And agreed.

          But I have little hope of America ending gun proliferation, and the violence that goes along with it. Guns, and the violence that goes along with them, are as American as cherry pie, to paraphrase that violent leftist revolutionary Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, previously known as H. Rap Brown. America loves the gun.

          • Heather Angus says

            Yes. The gun cancer has wormed its way into our national DNA, and we have to get used to the fact that every once in awhile, some whack-a-doodle or another is going to take an assault rifle and proceed to let us all know how he feels.

            • Yes. It’s like a regularly occurring natural disaster.

            • That Other Jean says

              Unfortunately, “once in a while” is actually “on a daily basis.” On the day that the Republicans practicing for a charity baseball game were shot, four more people were killed at a UPS facility in California. This kind of thing happens EVERY SINGLE DAY in this country. Why do we give the gun nuts such power?

              • Robert F says

                I agree, this is a horrible American tragedy. But how exactly are “we” (remember, not all agree with you and me) to take the power away from them?

      • Patriciamc says

        In this time of extremism we live in, there is no right or left; there is only the extreme right and the extreme left with each side automatically seeing the other as evil. It will take a while, but society will calm the hell down, but what will happen before then?

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Power Struggle To The Death between One True Ways of Utter Righteousness, of course.

        • And interestingly the extremes are shrinking. I get a hard right newsletter every month or so (no idea how we got on their list) and one thing it has is a county by county list of voter registrations. Independent has been totaling 1/2 or more for many years now.

          Which means the people registering D and R get more control due to how we run elections. Oh well.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Because of Party-specific primaries.
            In this, the candidates are selected by voters of that party. In primaries, you appeal to Party Faithful and True Believers to secure the nomination, and for that, More Extreme Than Thou is the way to go. Then once you secure the nomination, you should swing back to the center to appeal to as many general election voters as possible.

            And when your electoral districts are chosen entierly as Solid Party Districts (as is here in Cali), there’s no need to ever swing back to the center. Once nominated, you have less chance of being defeated in the general than Kim Jong Un. So you Stay EXTREME. NO, MORE EXTREME! PARTY FIRST, PARTY LAST, PARTY FOREVER!

            Since our 2000 redistricting resulted entirely in single-party districts, every Cali election has been the same: All Incumbents Re-Elected. No Exceptions. (And when some Congressman, Senator, or Assemblyman retires, the seat stays in the family, usually inheritied by his son.)

  4. Christiane says

    The Homeless choir !

    thank you for this 🙂

  5. I slept in …

  6. “Hand wringing” before condemning the Alt-Right?? You gotta be kiddin’…

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      Sad. But if you’ve spent much time listening to the tortured moral contortions, propped up by careful splicing of history [*1], of those insisting “I am not a racist” it isn’t much of a surprise.

      [*1] There have been rabid racists who also did something nice at some point in their lives, so they are still candidates to be personal heroes (note automatic minimization of the racist part; but why are you so hung-up on racism?).


    • Andrew Zook says

      Disturbing yes. Not surprising though. There’s soft/hard versions of the nationalist/alt-right faction in many if not most denominations. The SBC happens to have a particularly strong and embedded one. There’s shades of it in my own little mostly Protestant evangelical (with a shift of Mennonite) church. They’re certainly not Richard Spencer clones, but I’m pretty sure they’d easily follow a softer version who could prattle some religious platitudes… This deep sickness in the Church needs to be confronted, exhorted to repent or some how ushered out the door, because they’re actively opposed to the Way as revealed by Jesus Christ. And they’re emboldened in this heresy as never before because they recently found their figurehead, you-know-who, dear leader…
      I have little to offer as a solution or what churches or denominations should do; other than pastors/teachers getting some backbone and speaking against nationalism and alt-right tendencies with a little more specificity than they have in the past in order to expose it and call it to repentance. I’m glad the SBC was finally able to pass a resolution, but that’s a flimsy band-aid for a big big problem.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        > exhorted to repent or some how ushered out the door,


        > they’re emboldened in this heresy as never before


        > other than pastors/teachers getting some backbone

        sigh, I really wish I had more hope in that expectation.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        They’re certainly not Richard Spencer clones, but I’m pretty sure they’d easily follow a softer version who could prattle some religious platitudes…

        Many years ago as a kid or teen (which would put it sometime in the early- to mid-Seventies), I watched a short titled “Perfect Leader” on my local PBS station, part of a program of short art films. I have not been able to find it online at all, so it is probably lost. Here’s what I remember of it:

        1) Voice over goes “OK, let’s begin. Basic template.” The head and upper torso of a man appears on the screen.
        2) Voice-over goes “Clothing. Somewhat conservative.” The bust shot jump-cuts to wearing a blue business suit.
        3) Chorus begins, repeating a mantra of “We want the Perfect Leader; We have to have the Perfect Leader…” in the audio background for the remainder of the short.
        4) Some shtick with the bust shot jump-cutting from outfit to outfit, hairstyle to hairstyle, on the commands and/or remarks of the voice-over. Then the part I remember best:
        5) Voice-over asks for “more forceful”; the man in the bust shot jump-cuts to frenzied but familiar carpet-chewing speech gestures — dark hair with a forelock low over one eye, brown shirt, black tie & sam browne belt, hands clawing air for emphasis. Straight out of the climax scene in Triumph of the Will except no little mustache or Hakenkreuz armband.
        6) Voice over goes “No; not after what happened last time. More moral, more wholesome, more Family Values.” Jump cut from Nuremberg Rally to behind a pulpit, different hair, light-colored suit with cross lapel pin, big Bible in one hand, other hand thumping King Jimmy for emphasis, just as emotionally frenzied.
        7) Voice over goes, “Blend them; try something in-between.” At this point the chorus grows in volume and the Voice-over goes silent — “We want the Perfect Leader; We have to have the Perfect Leader; We want the Perfect Leader; We have to have The Perfect Leader…” — while the video jump-cuts quickly between all the previous clips, with emphasis on Adolf(5) & Elmer Gantry(6), all going on at the same time, superimposed over each other.
        8) Chorus cuts out; video freeze-frames with stills from the montage in (7) superimposed.
        9) Voice-over goes, “Cut! and Wrap! We have our Leader.”

    • Robert F says

      If there was so much “hand-wringing”, there’s still a big problem in the SBC, even though the resolution was passed. The resolution is a good thing, but it won’t adequately address the apparently widespread problem. What are the chances that the widespread problem will actually be addressed? Not great. It’s more likely that the resolution will be treated as the conclusive word of the SBC, and the widespread problem will continue to grow in the shade provided by the resolution.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        > the widespread problem will continue to grow in the shade provided by the resolution.

        This. As I’ve gotten older makes me even doubt “The resolution is a good thing”. If there aren’t Specific Verbs attached to a resolution/proclamation such things as often as not bookend a necessary conversation – as those seeking the shade can declare “No, look, we stated a position on that, so your argument is no longer relevant”. See, we are not racist – we passed a proclamation saying we aren’t.

        • Robert F says

          >See, we are not racist – we passed a proclamation saying we aren’t.

          Belongs in the same category as, I’m not bigoted! I have friends who are black!!

          • “We have a black President…!”

            “Why do you have to keep bringing race up? Stop rubbing it in our faces…”

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Another high-sounding Doubleplusfeelgood Symbolic Gesture(TM), nothing else.

          My state’s politics is full of them.

      • The fact that the SBC had to hand wring at all to pass a resolution denouncing white supremacy means they have not really dealt with the problem. Or so it seems to me.

        • The root of “the problem” being in the very reasons the SBC was formed in the 1st place – because there was so much support for slavery. If/when (I’m not holding my breath) they *truly* confront the evils embedded in their origin, repent and make reparations, *then* they’ll be on a good road.

          But they are definitely *not* there at this time.

      • Patriciamc says

        I’m sure some condemned the resolution as “liberal” (gasp, shock horror!)! Can anyone else see the rascism as becoming engrained in the theology?

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Remember how the SOUTHERN Baptists began.

        • Christiane says

          yes, the racism converted into misogyny . . . . . ‘contempt for others’ needed a new shell

          the old sin just wears new clothes, but no one wins this one

          how it is that all the ‘phobias’ interchange so easily among the folks that carry them as a part of their ‘religion’ and how it is that they cannot see in that darkness to sort it out without help

          God have mercy.

    • Patriciamc says

      I know! On one hand, it blows my mind, but on the other hand I’m not surprised.

  7. Sorry to be contrary, CM, but I find Wilco terribly boring.

    • Robert F says

      Same here, except for the song “Impossible Germany”.

    • No problem, Tom. We all have our tastes. Seeing them live might give you a different perspective. Maybe.

      And regardless, Nels Cline is a wonder.

      • Yep, I’m a huge Nels Cline fan. Even if folks aren’t Wilco fans check out his solo work. One of the few current guitarists who could go toe to toe with all those classic guitar pickers of the past.

        • Nels Cline is also a wonderful jazz guitarist, too, and works with some terrific sidemen/women on the releases under his own name and also The Nels Cline Singers.

  8. Have to say that the history of pews is a little off-beam. True, there was no seating as such in very early churches (hence the phrase about the weak going to the wall), but there were most certainly seats of a kind known as misericords in cathedral and monastery churches in England no later than 1300, and they were common long before the Reformation.

    • I have to hand it to the Presbyterians. The most terrifying pews I’ve ever encountered were in a 200 year old Presbyterian church in Philadelphia at a concert I attended many years ago. But we can’t say we weren’t warned. They told us to bring cushions and I didn’t listen. My posterior (and back) was sore for days afterward. Lemme tell ya if it was a choice between that and standing up for four hours at an Orthodox service I know which one I would pick!

  9. Adam Tauno Williams says

    > Is a “celebration of life” service adequate when someone dies?

    Absolutely not.
    Celebration of Live ceremonies are tacky, silly, childish, and morally repellant.
    This “tradition” needs a FUNERAL!

  10. Andrew Zook says

    On Matthew Pierce site: Hilarious! I’m reading beyond today’s link and so far I’m quite tickled. I suggest adding the site to your blogroll.

  11. Some thoughts on the SBC Resolution:

    1. From what I have seen in comments at SBCVoices, there were a lot of Southern Baptists who weren’t really sure what the alt-right is. Now some have found this hard to believe, but if you don’t watch a lot of news, or you get your news primarily from Fox and conservative radio, you honestly may not have known much about the white nationalism of the alt-right. Some seemed to have thought that “alt-right” was just a term for people who took a hard line against illegal immigration or who supported President Trump.
    2. I wasn’t there, but from reading other accounts I’m not sure the Oregonian account is entirely accurate. It says that the proposal was rewritten and represented to the resolutions committee and again failed to gain enough support. I don’t think it was rewritten until the resolutions committee rewrote it, and it was their revised version that was presented to the messengers.
    3. Everybody wants to focus on the negative, “Why wasn’t it passed right away?” But consider that a denomination that was founded in order to allow slave owners to continue to be missionaries, that failed to support civil rights for black people in the 60’s, and that is based primarily in the south, just overwhelmingly passed a resolution condemning alt-right white supremacy. And it happened because there were enough Southern Baptists at the meeting determined to not let it go and make it happen. That’s progress.

    • Robert F says

      I think you make good points, Jon. Compared with the slowness of the SBC to redress and repent past sins, this was pretty quick. And I personally know that some Trump supporters I know have had no idea what the Alt-Right was until I started having discussions with them recently. In addition, that a resolution was thought to be necessary in the SBC means that there is a large faction that both recognizes that the SBC has special vulnerability to Alt-right rhetoric, and has enough clout to get a resolution going and passed. Good things. But if it’s left at that, it’s not enough. It’s the overlap between Alt-right ideology and the social views of many in the SBC that needs to be addressed; otherwise the only thing that’s been rejected is a recently coined political name.

      • Ron Avra says

        Robert, I think your observations are woefully accurate.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        But if it’s left at that, it’s not enough.

        All you have are Symbolic Gestures(TM), like those Thin Grey Ponytails in Sacramento.

      • +1 Robert.

      • Which political views do you have in mind?

        • Sorry, meant to say social

          • The ones that conflate God and country, the ones that place the flag next to the cross, the ones that are okay with, that even encourage, guns in sanctuaries, the ones that assert that this is historically a Christian “nation”, and it needs to return to its past.

            • I actually agree that a lot of those things are problems, but they are not the alt- right.

              • These views are central to the Alt-right. I don’t know what you mean when you say that they are not Alt-right. If you go over to twitter and listen to Alt-righters speaking to each other, you will hear discussions touching on all of them, with the possible exception of cross next to flag, though I’m not certain that’s excluded either.

                • With the exception of guns in the church, these things are older than the alt-right and are practiced by many people who are not alt-right. Two groups of people can share a few beliefs or practices without being equated together. I think the things you listed are bad theology, but if I was attending a church that had a big patriotic service, I wouldn’t automatically think “These people are alt-right

                  • Robert F says

                    Well, I’m not suggesting that they Alt-right created themselves ex nihilo, Jon! Of course they have many social and political antecedents. That’s exactly the point! And I don’t think anyone here, including me, has said that the SBC is an arm of the Alt-right movement.

                    But the overlap of these shared views, which you acknowledge are problems, should set off alarm bells for any person of good conscience in the SBC, which it obviously did among those who supported this resolution. The Alt-right is adept at exploiting these views in ways that radicalize those who accept their narrative; apparently, a big faction in the SBC sees this threat.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              The ones that conflate God and country, the ones that place the flag next to the cross…

              A little tidbit from Revelation, filtered through some non-Dispy symbolism:

              You remember The Beast (corrupt political system/secular rulers) and The False Prophet (corrupt religious system)?

              Which was the Boss and which was the Sidekick?

      • About the only other things the SBC can do is encourage pastors to preach against racism and kick out churches that are openly racist, and that would require someone to report them. The SBC has no control over individual churches, it can only control who is or is not a voting member.

        • Which might explain some of the delays and hand-wringing. If the SBC comes out too strongly against what a lot of congregations seem to believe, perhaps those congregations (and their money) might just up and quit?

    • Patriciamc says

      Totally agree except with one point: as a southerner, I can say that being based in the south doesn’t automatically make the denomination more prone to racism. We’re the part of the country that has had to openly confront our rascism more so than other areas.

      • Your right it doesn’t, but many people equate the south with racism.

        • Which is nuts. I keep thinking of South Boston busing, the Chicago south side, Baltimore, Harlem, etc…

  12. Robert F says

    Along with Pepsi, Amish/Mennonite also love playing baseball, aggressively.

    • Do you think there’s a connection? All that sugar, I mean.

      • The Plain do like their sugar! Just bite into one of their Whoopie Pies, and feel your teeth start to rattle…

        • Well, both Plain and Fancy PA Dutch people are the best bakers, and yes, my teeth rattle. (Fancy, or “English” PA German speaking here.)

          • Waving at you. Our high school senior play was the musical “Plain and Fancy.” Native Berks Countian here, just a bit north of Lancaster Co. I’m half ninth-generation Pa. German and half third-generation Slovakian–they came over to work in the textile mills. A true Pennsylvania mongrel.

  13. Robert F says

    Memorial service vs. funeral? As far as I’m concerned, these observances are for the survivors, not the deceased. Whatever they want, of course in deference to the expressed wishes of the deceased, is fine with me. Mine will probably be more like a funeral, as will my wife’s, because that’s important to her. As long as the remains are treated with respect, and the mourners are able to express and find a little consolation for their grief, I don’t see any problem with whatever path is taken. But please: no salvation harangues from the pulpit!

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > But please: no salvation harangues from the pulpit!


      But… put a preacher in front of a room… start the stop-watch. #ugh

      • Robert F says

        Fortunately, in the mainline denomination that will preside over my remains, the preachers don’t do salvation harangues. But I’ve attended memorial/burial services at other churches where they do, and such homilies are horrific and exploitative. Disgusting.

        • Just went to celebration of life /funeral for a 29 year old man who lost the war with drugs (suicide? Accidental? Who knows)
          Still not sure how he managed it, but he preacher talked about himself the whole ‘service’, which is one among many reasons why we no longer attend that church. The salvation harangues are pretty trite and contrived.
          Finding a respite/home in the Lutheran church is breathing again, freedom from being ‘right ‘ and living, as M Spencer would say, a Christ centered faith.

          Pictures of Adam and Eve….isn’t that why they say that art is in the eye of beholder ??…if it’s ‘art,….

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Internet Monk has touched on that exact subject before:

    • My wife wants a Dixieland band at her funeral.

  14. Robert F says

    Noted: Vegetarians are not necessarily pacifists.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      I thought the same thing – that is an odd correlation.

      But mostly I was surprised by an actually rabid raccoon. In Michigan nearly all rabid animal reports turn out of the false; it exists almost entirely in bats, and occasionally shows up in a skunk [very unlikely to be able to surprise anyone]. The rabid dog or racoons is in the category of Urban Legend.

      Maybe Maine is different.

      It is probably the proximity to those Canadians! In Michigan rabies cases [almost entirely bats] cluster at the border… hmmm. How tall of a wall would we need to keep Canadian Bats from trespassing the border? Can we get Canada to pay for that?

      We have succeeded in getting Canada to pay for a new bridge!!!

      • Was it a correlation, or simply a juxtaposition?

      • Robert F says

        >We have succeeded in getting Canada to pay for a new bridge!!

        Build a Wall!! And make the Canadians pay!!!

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          Hey, them Socialists are loaded!

          I’ve seen their infrastructure plans – pretty soon it is going to be like living next door to France.

          The effect of people crossing from Detroit to Windsor and back… it will be interesting to watch the impact of that.

          It is just brilliant – they are going to import [literally] – train loads of US tourist and convention dollars. #happyForThem #sadForMyState #canadiansAreSmart

          Mexico is on the verge of pulling the trigger on a very similar plan. 🙁
          Americans never think about Monterrey, a little Mexican metro, just south of the border, with a GDP of $78.5 *BILLION USD* [that is THE CITY, not the country]. Yeah… not the Mexico of popular imagination, which seems to be all dusty desert, tortillas, and drug lords.
          Build a wall, with a tunnel under it, to move money south. #slamHeadOnDesk #mexicansAreSmart

      • Here in Maine we do like to blame the Canadians for stuff.

        About Rachel Borch being vegetarian: well, she warn’t gonna eat the raccoon!

        • Adam Tauno Williams says

          > she warn’t gonna eat the raccoon!

          Has anyone here eaten raccoon? We had some fat ones around where I grew up [they seem to integrate very successfully with human populations]. I would imagine the marbling on the meat would be excellent.

          • The closest I’ve come to eating ‘coon and ‘possum is listening to my grandmother’s growing up tales.

          • Brianthegrandad says

            My brother sneaked a coon they had obtained during an earlier hunt into a Home Ec class with his group of running buddies after the teacher asked the students to bring roasts from home to cook with a family recipe. They came in early, as most groups did, to get the roast started so it would be ready for lunchtime. She didn’t inspect the roasts. She should have, as my brother and his buddies were well known for shenanigans. They carved it up and shared with the class, including Mrs Ferguson. I won’t say it was a Stand By Me level barforama, but it did cause quite a stir once it was discovered. This was the early 90s. In case you’re curious, it’s a little gamy, depending on what they’ve been foraging, and can be a little greasy.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              Most wild/game meat (as opposed to domesticated stock) is “a little gamy”. And carnivore flesh tends to concentrate a lot of substances (pre-concentrated by being passed through prey), so a carnivore like a raccoon would probably be even more gamy than, say, a deer.

              • Adam Tauno Williams says

                I was always worried that it would concentrate substance they consumed while rooting around in the trash and ash heaps… that their flesh would be like eating a metabolized toxic waste dump.

                Back in the day we rural folk were pretty reckless about what we put in trash heap or burned. #hangsHeadInShame

                • Headless Unicorn Guy says

                  That, too.
                  The food chain also concentrates pollutants at the apex.

      • Heather Angus says

        “The rabid dog or raccoon is in the category of Urban Legend.”

        I met a rabid raccoon once, but I guess he was in the last stages of rabies; he didn’t charge at me. He was in the hedge of my yard, and I stamped my foot to make him leave. He waddled toward me. I stamped and yelled and he kept coming. I fled, called the police, and a poor cop showed up with no more idea than I what to do with him.

        Oddly, I forget what happened, but I think it involved a long pole and a noose. Poor critter.

    • Wasn’t Hitler a vegetarian?

      • Yeah. He liked to invite guests to dinners at which meat was served for them (not him), and then, while they ate, he would regal them with tales of the horrors of slaughterhouses. Always the charmer.

        • Robert F says

          Make that regale, not regal…

          • His slaughter house tales would not interfere with my meal. The fact that he’d be so uncouth would make me avoid him–if for no other reason ;o)

            • Adam Tauno Williams says

              Yeah, I’ve butcher animals and eaten them. Wouldn’t have been a problem.

              • My grandfather and uncle ran a small slaughter house. Maybe 5 or 6 people total including them worked there. I always ran into the back to watch. Much to the consternation of my mom. When with my dad he just went back to the freezers and cut up what we were going to buy.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says

              According to the 1943 OSS psych profile, Der Fuehrer DID have a sense of humor — crude and cruel, but not as cruel as you’d think considering the source. Primarily humor at someone else’s expense. The example given was a joke he’d tell to his aides and secretaries:

              “You know what a volt and an ampere are, but have you ever heard of a goering and a goebbels? A goering is the amount of metal that can be pinned to one man’s chest and a goebbels is the amount of nonsense a man can spout in one minute.”

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        There was actually a novelty song that touched on the subject:
        (Though this seems to be a cover of the version I remember from Dr Demento; that one had a spoken intro that went “There are good reasons to become a vegetarian. Parading My Moral Superiority is not one of them.”)

    • Michael Bell says

      Why are so many vegetarians pacifist? Because they believe you should give “peas” a chance!

  15. Brianthegrandad says

    Apparently God created Eve without hairy armpits, further proof that American beauty ideals are scriptural. Said ideals being found, as we all know, in the KJV 1611 bible starting in 2nd Opinions 5:12.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Remember the Creation Museum’s Adam & Eve diorama?

      At least they gave their (lily-white) Adam facial hair.

  16. Josh in FW says

    Thanks for the links to Mr Rogers and the funeral posts. Both were good reads.

  17. OK nobody has responded to the “age of accountability” link yet so I’ll bite. The problem here is not the “science”. The problem is the pernicious and even actively evil doctrine of original sin. To be told like I was that you are so evil that you deserve to be tortured forever simply for being born has caused so much psychological and yes spiritual damage as to beggar belief. you want to know why unbelief and atheism are on the rise? Consider the moral revulsion at these doctrines. Those of you who were raised in traditions that do not share this doctrine have no idea how lucky you are.

    • I was raised in a Roman Catholic Church that retained these teachings (I don’t know how things stand now), catechized into them, and it’s done great damage to me spiritually and psychologically. I never am able to be done with the whole idea of hell, no matter how much I struggle against it. It is the core of all Christian fundamentalism, and wherever you find it in Christianity you will find the same damage. It’s also why I, a former Catholic, find myself at iMonk among so many former, or current but alienated, evangelicals.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      > actively evil doctrine of original sin

      Is it the doctrine of “original sin” that is the root of this, or it’s mean spirited twin sister “total depravity”. She seems to follow the former around, even into places where she is not officially invited.

      Original Sin, Universal Sin, Fallen Creation… I don’t see how any rational person doesn’t have some edition of something under this umbrella.

      Total Depravity is a different animal with a similar stripe; TD is a fundamentally depraved world view – and utterly disgusting.

      • It’s when the idea of Universal Sin or Fallen Creation is coupled with the idea of someone ending up in an eternal, everlasting state of conscious torment (Hell) that the damage becomes deep and soul-deforming.

        • Actually, I think “original sin” is just Karma on steroids minus the possibility of improvement through reincarnation.

          It’s a shame that Pelagius was deemed heretical when Augustine was essentially arguing from his earlier Manichean-ism with a little Jesus syrup over it.

    • Burro [Mule] says

      Even after ten years of being Orthodox, I still have trouble with the Same Old Bogeymen – Original Sin, Corrupt Nature, Indwelling Sin, Total Depravity, Imputed Righteousness, Eternal Hellfire. They run in a crowd and assault in a crowd. My problem is that Orthodox anthropology is either too dense for me to understand (St Maximos the Confessor) or it sets off all my detectors for Pelagianism.

      I’m certain that all the answers are in St. Maximos, In the meantime, I have found by actually reading St. Augustine that he is far less “Augustinian” than I was lead to believe. My anthropological touchstone I take from Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn:

      Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. And even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains … an unuprooted small corner of evil.

      I don’t care how you read Romans 1-3. If it doesn’t align with that, you’re reading it wrongly.

      Re: the pictures of Adam and Eve. I got overwhelmed by their unbearable whiteness, so I felt the need to include this from an illuminated Ethiopian manuscript to add some much needed genetic diversity.

      I’ll pass on trying to salvage anything from the bonfire of the alt-right here. The events of the past few days have convinced me that there is no ideology that the War Monkey can profess which cannot be used as justification for violence, except maybe that of some of the more consistent Mennonite/Quaker groups. More power to them. So I’ll continue to keep my gender essentialism, blood-and-soil nationalism, and anti-egalitarian sympathies to myself for the time being.

      • I gotta say, Mule, I admire and appreciate you for continuing to participate here at IM. For someone who holds fast to “gender essentialism, blood-and-soil nationalism, and anti-egalitarian sympathies,” you evidence grace by hanging around and making your thoughts known with care to a lot of us who don’t.

        Horrors! It sounds like I’m promoting actual diversity!

        • Burro [Mule] says

          As Robert F correctly pointed out, there are plenty of places I can go to indulge myself. I still think of this place as Mike Spencer’s place, and I try to keep his memory in the forefront when I post.

          • Robert F says

            Did I say that? I don’t remember ever saying to anyone commenting at iMonk that they should go elsewhere, but if I did so in an intemperate and now forgotten moment, please accept my apology and retraction of the suggestion.

            • Burro [Mule] says

              No Robert, you said there were places where alt-right views are common. No offense was intended or taken.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says


          I appreciate your comments here Burro. And I miss that you don’t BLOG so much anymore; whatever our differences may be I enjoy your writing. I hope you stick around.

          * gender essentialism – I am sympathetic to your position here, although there is the question of what to do about such a thing, down to an individual level. Sweeping generalizations can most certainly be true; and individuals can stand in stark contrast them; it is untidy.
          * blood-and-soil nationalism – Something I admit I will never understand. I do not have a Patriotic particle in my being; governments, like corporations, are necessary fictions. Emotional investment in them, or identity with them [either of them] always seems misguided to me. Shrug. Obviously some people feel differently.
          * anti-egalitarian sympathies – I have never been clear on what this means.

          • Adam – just curious as to why you are “sympathetic to gender essentialism,” and in what way(s). Not meant to be confrontational; truly just asking.

            I do realize that there are several other women who post here regularly, but often it’s just guys, and I personally feel a bit lonely in the crowd. Again, no blame, just sayin’…

            • Adam Tauno Williams says

              I mean that I have skepticism of Gender as a [wholly][ self-defined identity concept; as some propose. There are certainly socially defined aspects to Gender [as with just about anything] but I’m not willing to go as far as many.

              On the other hand . . . shrug. Whatever Gender means doesn’t seem like a hill-to-die-on to me [nor, honestly, all that interesting a question].

              If someone is a good neighbor, good citizen, trustworthy friend.- – – I do not see why I would be motivated to care about this issue. Hence my statement: “the question of what to do about such a thing” – my general answer is, I believe, is a deeply Conservative one – I won’t do anything about it. I will love my neighbor, stand with my fellow citizen, and trust my friend. Given that the issue is not clear, nor all that morally pressing, I would prefer to provide ample margin.

              More interesting to me is the question of the priority of this issue – it has yet to be clearly articulated to me why this issue gets a trump card, and so many others do not. As in: I am much more uncomfortable intellectually and morally with a person who would prefer poor people be denied even basic health care than I am with a man who feels that he is a women [or whatever]. The consequentiality of the former belief seems of a higher moral gravity, while the later is minor [or it seems that way to me].

              I don’t know if that answers your question.

              • Yes, thanks – a good and thorough answer. I agree with pretty much everything you’ve said.

              • And trust me, you aren’t even close to being a gender essentialist. 😉

      • Robert F says

        I have valued that quote from Solzhenitsyn for many years. It’s additional proof that those far from being saintly themselves yet may sometimes articulate saintly wisdom.

      • Mule, I’m not EO, but I do a lot of EO reading and know enough that with the EO “original sin” is NOT understood anything like as the Roman Church understands it.

        As an ex-5pt Calvinist I understand that out of the idea of Original Sin flows TULIP. Total Depravity does NOT mean that everything we do is evil, rather that because of OS evil has its claws into every aspect of our being.

        At this point in my life I reject OS and its sisters TULIP and PSA as antithetical to the God revealed by the Son.

      • ” in the best of all hearts, there remains … an unuprooted small corner of evil.

        I don’t care how you read Romans 1-3. If it doesn’t align with that, you’re reading it wrongly.”

        I also like the G K Chesterton quote about original sin being the only theological assertion that is empirically provable by history and human behavior in general.

      • Mule I don’t believe in any kind of essentialism at all. Blood and soil nationalism seems absurd against the commonality of the human race. And we all stand equally naked before infinity.

        But leave that aside. My question is just this: People who think like you would be safe in the world I would create. Would people who think like me be safe in the world you would create?

        • Burro [Mule] says

          Mule I don’t believe in any kind of essentialism at all.

          Another self-creator, then.
          You’d be perfectly safe in Asinolandia, but I doubt you’d be happy.

          You’re right about the commonality of the human race, but there is no human nation, no ethné katholiké . I’ve thought about this a lot.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Re: the pictures of Adam and Eve. I got overwhelmed by their unbearable whiteness, so I felt the need to include this from an illuminated Ethiopian manuscript to add some much needed genetic diversity.

        Adam & Eve as Ethiopians (Nilotic East Africans) — probably closer to the truth when you factor in genetic drift evidence for “Out of Africa”. Though cultures tend to ethnically recast such mythic figures into their own ethnic type — I’ve seen Japanese and Zulu versions of the Madonna & Child.

  18. Thank you for the link about the Adam and Eve pictures. After seeing them, I did a Google image search for similar pictures and really found some interesting ones. I especially enjoyed the images from non-European cultures.

    But, I have to say that my favorite was just two hands, the upper one getting ready to drop an apple into the lower one. I did not see an artist name connected with that on

  19. from an orchard
    peach trees whisper a promise —
    soon, our fruit

  20. Am I alone in wishing that Franklin Graham would just go away?

  21. Robert F says

    Whole Foods, unwholesome prices. Never have shopped there, never will, on or off-line.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says

      I would, if they were very close. But they aren’t, so I don’t.

      Isn’t it just another hipster grocery store?

      There is one here, but I have never been to it; all the way on the other side of town.

      • The first Whole Foods I went into was in Austin TX. Our car (94 Dodge Caravan) was the oldest and most impoverished in the parking lot full of BMW’s, Volvos, Benzes, Jags, and Range Rovers.

    • Or, as one of my roommates once called it, Whole Paycheck.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people.”
        — paraphrase of H.L.Mencken

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        AKA “Those with more money than sense.”

        • Or: “Those with more dollars than ‘cents'”

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            “Look at that, Flim!”
            “Look at what, Flam?”
            “Ponies with too much money! Let us relieve them of their burden!”

  22. Robert F says

    Just today heard this haunting new song by Jason Isbell on my car radio. It choked me up as I was driving. Our lives are so short, and the time we have to love in this life so short; I wish I knew how to love better than I do.

  23. Robert F says

    I water the plants
    They express no gratitude
    But my heart gives thanks