September 25, 2020

Saturday Ramblings 11.17.12

Thanksgiving is right around the corner (or, to be more accurate, five days away), iMonks, and we have a lot of cooking and cleaning to do to get ready for the big day. Damaris decided she was going to go vegetarian on us and insisted we serve up a “tofurkey,” whatever that is. Adam thinks those “turkey legs” you get at the state fair are real, so we got one of those for him. Martha of Ireland and Craig are arguing over what is the best beer to serve with mashed potatoes. Chaplain Mike said he wants another month’s sabbatical if he has to do the dishes. And the Synonymous Rambler grabbed the remote control and won’t let us watch football. Sigh … it’s time for us to ramble.

Black Friday? No, we have not forgotten Black Friday. We tried, but somehow we can’t.

Franklin Graham says his father has always been political, preachers should preach about abortion and gay marriage but not economics, and he was shocked—shocked, mind you—to learn that the word “cult” was used on the BGEA web site. Anything else you want to know?

Seems Abraham Lincoln was not always the revered spiritual leader we have come to see him as. At one time he was the “village atheist.” No, Billy Graham never met for prayer with Lincoln.

Pat Robertson, meanwhile, says that he understands Gen. David Petraeus’s affair with Paula Broadwell. “After all,” said Robertson, “he’s a man.” Ok then. That settles that.

And who knew there is a psychology of giving? Well, except for those who ask us to give. Guess what? If you suggest to someone that they pray before deciding to give, they will give more. Does your pastor pray before the offering buckets are passed around? Maybe he read this.

Jesus is number 21. Or at least, Jesus as a password for your computer is the twenty-first most popular way to protect your files. He is ahead of “ninja” but behind “baseball.” Well, of course he is.

A teen convicted of manslaughter when he was driving under the influence of alcohol has been sentenced to ten years of church attendance. The teen’s attorney does not plan to appeal the sentence. Oh, where was this? In Oklahoma, of course. You had to ask?

Mary Kassian offers a review of Rachel Held Evans’ A Year Of Biblical Womanhood, and differs with Evans’ view of complementarianism. It is a well-written and well-thought-out review. Have you read the book yet? If so, what are your thoughts?

One woman many have had trouble categorizing over the years may now be up for sainthood. American Catholic bishops are pushing for Dorothy Day to be considered for the honor.

Did you hear the one about two retired Catholic priests who got into a fight in Australia? The one bit the ear off of the other. No, this is not a joke. Well, I mean it is funny, kind of. We’ll wait to hear more on this from JFDU …

And before we get to perhaps the best Ramblings story of the entire year, we want to encourage you to rush out to your local grocery store and stock up on Twinkies, Ho-Hos, and SnoBalls. Seems Hostess is soon to be no more. When they said, “Come back to work or we’ll close up shop,” I guess they meant it.

Several eagle-eyed iMonks sent in this story this week. Tell me that you are not now looking for ways to use the words “baptee” and  “boobalicious” in a sentence. Tell me you didn’t just spit orange juice all over your keyboard watching this. Only in Texas, iMonks. Only in Texas.

Happy birthdays this week went out to Claude Rains; Billy May; Roy Scheider; Greg Lake; George Patton; Jonathan Winters; Grace Kelly; Neil Young; Sammy Sosa; McLean Stevenson; Georgia O’Keefe; Ed Asner; Petula Clark; and Burgess Meredith.

Happy birthday, Shakey. No one is grungier than you. But what is with the monks? No matter. This is what music is all about. Enjoy.

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  1. Nice choice from Live Rust.

  2. Mary Kassian’s review – *sigh* here is another review (like Keller’s) that is completely off from the actual book, and I can’t fully explain it UNTIL one reads the book (I am mostly done – 1.5 chapters to go).

    Rachel doesn’t actually sit down and write against CBMW or the book they wrote with a similar title. Her original intentions, before she began the Year of BW project was to do that. Her publisher said “no”. So, like any journey, she may have started there, or have been leaning that way in the beginning, but it is a year’s journey and other avenues opened.

    First, try and remember Rachel was raised in the world she writes about. Mary K. and Nancy D. are rich, popular women who probably weren’t raised under their own teachings, Rachel was – she is 32 now, 30 when she wrote this, the CBMW was formed in 1988? so she was… what? 8 or 9 years old when Mary was penning these ideas.

    Now, Mary talks like every woman is given free reign to choose just how much submission she will or will not grant any authority over her, with no direct input from men – pastor, husband or church community telling her what to do. That may be how it works for Mary and Nancy. That wasn’t how it worked for Rachel, or her friends, or … the many, many younger women – some born after the CBMW statements (Danver’s statements) were drawn up. I was reading her blog before she even came up with this book title. She was gaining a following and relating to the young women stuck in the churches becoming increasingly complementarian as they grew older.

    First, she doesn’t make a straw man (or straw woman as Keller says) out of a particular character. She starts where every young bride is supposed to start – with homemaking endeavours. She struggles, and pours out her anguish. She takes us on her journey, but points out others excel at this stuff. The only “caricature” she makes is the Proverbs 31 woman – who she clearly explains IS a caricature – that she was presented with growing up in her local church – as the ideal wife for men and later by the young men on her campus who wanted to date the “P31” girl (Proverbs 31 girl). Hard to say she was misrepresenting evangelical complementarianism when that was how it was presented to her and so many others growing up. But, and her is where I think so many complementarian women misunderstand her – I followed her blog, so I got this more from that than the book – her book evolved during the year. She gets contacted by an Orthodox Jewish woman a few months in. That changes her trajectory a lot. She lets the year take her where it does. She is on a journey – learning and discovering new things about the Bible. She leaves the domestic side after the first few months (she practices a different womanly virtue each month) and takes on other areas.

    A note about Debi Pearl – who Rachel quotes as a complementarian and Mary says is fringe. Mary needs to read the comments on Rachel’s and other’s blogs some time. Debi Pearl is NOT fringe. She may not be part of the CBMW, but she is well known in certain Christian circles. Does the average church goer, who goes to a church ladies group, know that Mary K. belongs to CBMW and Debi Pearl does not? Often, in a church ladies group, one or two women choose what will be taught, order the materials and then do the study. In my limited exposure to ladies groups I have heard Pearl’s teachings – or someone almost identical to hers – when I read them in Rachel’s book (the ones on how a wife must cater to her husband and never complain). I knew the list of how to greet your husband at the door because someone had presented it (with no author mentioned) at a ladies group I had been at once. If even I was familiar with that sort of teaching from very limited exposure, and I avoid those types of weekday women’s groups, how is it fringe?

    I could go on, but saying Rachel makes a straw men and tears them down isn’t true. It just isn’t the road the book takes. Did she start out that way?, maybe, but it isn’t even evident in the beginning, by ch. 3 it is long-gone. She tackles the teachings on Valor (Jewish view of Proverbs 31), Beauty (looking at Driscoll vs. Bible), Modesty (visiting the Amish), Purity (Old Testament view of this), Fertility (as well as interviewing a Quiverfull daughter, she consults her blog readers, friends, etc. – funny chapter), Submission (Pearl), Justice (World Vision takes her to Bolivia), Silence – (not doing any speaking in churches for the month, then goes to a Monastery) and finally Grace – I still need to read what she does there.

    To say this review misses the point of the book would be an understatement. I agree Rachel doesn’t define complementarianism in it’s present CBMW form perfectly – in her defence she did read and comment on ‘Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood’ by W. Grudem and John Piper – as president and founding member of CBMW, I think Mary K should at least point out Rachel went to the actual head source of complementarinaism – Piper himself – in her book. But her book is about taking the Bible and trying to live it out literally – that isn’t a caricature, that is a journey. It moves beyond the Recovering Biblical Wo/manhood stuff early and on to what it really means to follow the Bible as a woman. We don’t, as an evangelical subculture, do a good job of justice, submission to all or what the Bible says about beauty. Did I also mention every woman is going to fall in love with her husband Dan after this book? His diary entries are included, and they are hilarious.

    It is on the NY Times bestseller list of a very good reason. For snippets – her latest blog post is all reader’s reactions to the book – it is beautiful – it is about women becoming stronger and standing against oppression, not about tearing other women down.

    • Richard Hershberger says

      Any critique of any idea lacking a single definitive statement can be itself criticized as a straw man argument. There is no escaping this. The honest approach is to point out the range of variation and why the critique doesn’t apply universally. I find myself in this situation all the time. A critique is offered of what “Christians” do, when in fact it is a critique of some subset of Christians. It would be silly of me to say “No, this is not what Christians do” but it is perfectly legitimate to say “This applies only to some Christians: not to all.”

      • Any critique of any idea lacking a single definitive statement can be itself criticized as a straw man argument.

        In my experience, the complementarians have a hard time defining their own views. It sees that whenever a non-comp goes to define their beliefs, the representative du jour will tell you that you don’t have it right. Tjis actually supports Evans’ view that the views are a matter of interpretation.

        • Yup. Consistency is not their strong point. Neither is their refusal to call out their radical fringe.

          • Sorry, this meme pushes my buttons.

            Calling out for every faction / group / sect to decry their own ‘radical fringe’ is a tired song. They have not obligation or responsibility to do so. Just as I have no obligation to denounce anyone who chooses to associate themselves with me; they are performing the association. It isn’t my problem; I am responsible for what I say, not what anyone associated with me says. They have no obligation to which they are refusing.

            It is the responsibility of the *** reader / listener *** not to conflate what different persons and/or factions and/or sub-factions say.

            When this dictum is not observed civil discourse quickly becomes a murky mess and comprised primarily of they / them based on what ‘they’ / ‘them’ say [as a fictional collective]. One whack-job spoils the entire batch and ideas can no longer be honestly debated.

            My peace loving Muslim neighbor down the street has no reason what-so-ever to feel he needs to ‘denounce’ some war-lord half a world away. Just as my southern baptist friends are under no obligation what-so-ever to denounce a pastor in Florida burning books. They aren’t them. If my thinking is muddy enough to associate them – that is my problem.

          • Adam, I think you can maybe think through this a little more carefully. This is not a binary issue. For example, what happens when a Southern Baptist pastor comes out as gay? He is denounced by the denomination (historical examples are available). Now, his association with the convention is of his own initiation, but his actions contradict the core beliefs of the convention. If they don’t denounce him, they are signaling to all that it is ok for openly homosexual men to pastor Southern Baptist churches. In the case of CBMW and the gender police, their entire reason for existence is a “proper” understanding of gender roles. They have no trouble calling out the complementarians they disagree with; they would be well served to explain that they also don’t agree with the authoritarian patriarchalists (assuming that’s true). Both are equally wrong in their book.

          • If my thinking is muddy enough to associate them – that is my problem.

            It’s not about your thinking. It’s about caring how your message is perceived. If somebody is doing something heinous in the name of X, and you identify as a subscriber to X, how is the outside observer supposed to know that what you really mean is X minus the heinous act? Is every random observer responsible to know the doctrine of every ism in order to decipher who are the true keepers of the flame and who is the radical fringe/afraid to act on faith?

            When people do heinous things in the name of Jesus, I make an effort to articulate that I strongly disagree with them and they are dishonoring the name of Christ. It’s not that tough. If Christians on the other side of the globe were exploiting my faith for war-lord ideology, you better believe I’d have something to say about it. I’m not gonna sit on my hands and say, “Well of course my neighbor is morally obligated to assume that even though I’m technically part of the same religion, I understand it much differently.” Not in this world.

    • This was kind of my impression of that review, too. I haven’t read RHE’s book, but this author’s assertion that Rachel is simply reacting against a caricature is simply false. I have heard plenty of pastors say in one way or another that it a wife’s responsibility to create a stable home environment for her husband. And these weren’t fringe pastors, either. It is very much in the mainstream of evangelicalism still. Women are told that if they don’t do this, if they don’t take care of themselves physically “for their husband”, that their husbands will run off, and essentially it will be all their fault for not pleasing him.

      • I’ve heard that from a lot of non-Pastors and a lot of non-Christians too. The fact is then sinful men will always run after what is pleasing to the eye. But Christian morality teaches that adultery is wrong and never justifiable. ALL complementarians believe this. Even if they encourage women to keep trying to be attractive to their husbands, I have never heard them make the connection that if he runs off it’s their fault. That is being unfairly projected onto them by cynical egalitarians speaking from their insecurities. These same complementarian teachers then turn around and exhort the men to be faithful in pursuing and romancing their wives in marriage while beating up and pronouncing judgement on men who run around on their wives. Don’t forget, they’re very puritanical about their sexual ethics.

        Men want sex, women want romance: this is a fairly accepted stereotype, FWIW. The other cliche is that in marriage people get lazy and let themselves go. The idea is that in a faithful marriage, the husband and wife actively seek to please their partner, in a more or less egalitarian sense like in 1 Corinthians 7:4. Sex just happens to be a part of this that is very important to most men. Men are responsible for being faithful no matter what, and though a wife has some power to make it a bit easier, I’ve never heard heard complementarians use that route to justify an unfaithful husband. Except for, apparently, Pat Robertson.

        • I’ve never heard heard complementarians use that route to justify an unfaithful husband.

          That’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is that they put more and more pressure on women that they have to fit in this perfect mold, they run the risk of losing their man, and on top of that letting God down. I used to travel with a worship leader, and we happened to play many women’s conferences together. I can tell you, that there all sorts of pressure put on women to fulfill some “Biblical” role. And usually that means performing certain duties in the house a certain way, raising their kids a certain way, etc. And women who don’t fit these roles are pushed out.

          And I will admit that part of this is kind of personal to me. My wife has never fit into any of the stereotypical roles that churches try to force her into. And because of that I’ve seen again and again that she’s treated differently by women in churches. I find these type of theological arguments do matter, because there’s a lot of wounded people because of them.

          • Thank you, Phil.

          • Absolutely Phil,

            Miguel, what, specifically do you know about women’s ministries, marital classes/pre-marital classes at evangelical churches? It is pretty close to Rachel’s book, sadly.

            There is no caricature Rachel tears down, but she does rip Driscoll’s ideal women to pieces using the Bible.

            It was Driscoll who made the NY times bestseller list. Now Rachel has.

            If people want to put some of Rachel’s take in a fair light – why not address how Rachel takes on Driscoll’s teachings. He is also a very, very popular complementarian for the 20s crowd. Far more popular than Kassian, Grudem are. She undoes his attitudes towards beauty and sex brilliantly. Women need to hear this!

          • Phil, I think there’s something about conservative religious culture that pushes for strong demographic homogeny. Add to that the Bible as the instruction manual for life, and there’s no end to the hoop jumping we’ll come up with. I’m not saying we shouldn’t think critically or resist these efforts to ostracize the different, I’m just taking issue with that one line. I’ve seen egalitarians use it to make it seem like complementarians are misogynists who put all the blame on the woman even when it’s clearly the man’s fault. That is not necessarily true, I’ve seen many of them be quite tough on the men as well.

            Loo, I didn’t say anything about RHE’s book. I have no doubt she pins the women’s ministry scene right on the mark.

        • <> Sadly, I have.

          • Not sure what happened there, so I’ll try again. Sadly, I have heard complementarians justify an unfaithful husband because of a wife’s lack of ‘sufficient’ submission. Not someone on TV, in real life.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            As in “IT’S ALL YOUR FAULT that I’m wetting my wick in other women!!!”?

      • “I have heard plenty of pastors say in one way or another that it a wife’s responsibility to create a stable home environment for her husband.”

        Sounds like complementarianism turns men into helpless boys and wives into their wet nurses.

        • Astute observation, d.o., thanks.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Sounds like complementarianism turns men into helpless boys and wives into their wet nurses.

          “Wet nurses” or Mommy figures?

          Both the above get real DISTURBING real fast.

    • I can’t/won’t speak to the main subject, but I will say that Debi Pearl is not fringe so much as she represents the full and uncomfortable extent to which complementarian ideas can be played out if women do not impose their own ‘this is as far as this goes’. Unfortunately in this dynamic, they must first confront the idea that there are no ‘safety nets’ for abuse in a truely complementarian interpretation of scripture.

      For those not familiar with the Pearls work, it’s pretty dark.

      • I will second what Elizabeth says about the Pearls. This stuff is sneaking into the mainstream, and it’s not pretty. If RHE’s book is making some people uncomfortable…good. I’m glad.

        I’m three chapters into it, and although I don’t agree with everything Rachel says, I have to applaud her for the creative and gentle way she’s tackling some tough subjects. In my opinion, her tongue-in-cheek approach doesn’t mock the Bible. I wish all her critics would take time to read the book for themselves before they pronounce judgment on it.

    • Loo, Excellent points.

      Nancy and Mary had choices the later generation brought up on the natural progression of the comp doctrine did not have or they were in sin.

      They cannot define “Biblical Womanhood”. You can drive mac trucks through the Danvers statement and the subsequent book when it comes to scripture. Now we are seeing that come home to roost not only with RHE but all over the blogosphere over the last 10 years. Young women have been exposed to some great scholars like Fee, Kroegers and others who have a different interpretation that actually makes more sense overall.

      I had a youth pastor mention “Biblical Womanhood” in front of me not too long ago and I asked him if Jael was an example of Biblical Womanhood? What about Abigail? The women traveling around with Christ in Luke 8. Some where married! He is about 30 and totally immersed in the movement and said, you know what it means. As if I was in sin for not going along with a vague title.

      The comp designers are not even on the same page anymore. Does Kassian agree with Piper that women cannot read scripture in church service? So what does one do when those they made common cause with move on to patriarchy? Kassian cannot deny that Russ Moore over at SBTS says comp is for wimps and we need more patriarchy.

      The movement is in trouble big time.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        He is about 30 and totally immersed in the movement and said, you know what it means.

        Ees Party Line, Comrades?

  3. I lol’d at the Jesus as a password thing. Honestly, it had never occurred to me before!

    Based on everything I’ve seen, Evans’ book seems to be a caricature of what complementarians actually believe. I know she’s the darling of the Monkosphere but I’ve never been too impressed; JP Holding’s review (while rather harsh despite being an egalitarian) points out similar stuff:

    “She admits at the end of chapters that she doesn’t believe that fundamentalists are interpreting the text correctly, and comes up with a different reading (most of which, if far too simplified, are at least closer to correct). If Evans were being honest, why not either a) live the actual Biblical standard she finds in the text, or b) admit that the whole project was just a way to mock fundamentalists in the typical passive-aggressive emergent style?”

    I’ve only read her blog and while I don’t disagree with everything she says (like when she rightly criticized loony Mark Driscoll for calling Esther a whore) I feel her writing is overrated around these parts. But since I lean complementarian (of the manosphere variety, not the CBMW vein), maybe not so surprising.

    • Haven’t heard of JP Holding’s review, but what does he/she mean “if RHE were being honest why, why doesn’t she live the actual Biblical standard she finds in the text”? That was exactly what Rachel was doing – living the way the Bible said to. Her conclusions on Justice, Fertility (OK, really, having a kid for some book project would be pretty misguided), Submission, etc. are written after she lived the text out a face value for that month or (for some the whole year).

      She tries to live the way Christians have lived the Bible – one “womanly” virtue each month. If she is mocking it, then are the Amish also mocking the Bible? The Quiverfull’s? The “Biblical” polygamists? Why is living the Bible a certain way restricted to one particular group? Do I need to go ask my church before I read the Bible and apply it the way I think it tells me to? Many Christians read and decide for themselves what to apply and what to discard. There is no consensus because the Bible actually doesn’t tell women how to live a certain way, it treats everyone as a Kingdom member who needs to shed the worldly ways and done the cloaks of compassion on justice.

      The point she makes so clearly, is that many (definitely the CBMW, of which Kassian is a member) select some texts yet ignore others with little clarity to anyone but themselves. Her work shows how all three main texts the CBMW use to promote complementarian teachings also tell slaves to submit to their masters (in Ephesians, Colossians and Peter), yet the slave/master rules have become “cultural” like head coverings, while the wives to husbands have become essential. Why on earth would anyone be accused of mocking the Bible if they actually tried to apply the idea that a man is head and makes all the decisions, finds it doesn’t work as well as mutual submission (also in that Ephesians chapter), and concludes those rules were also cultural? She’s just being honest, her marriage worked much better as a team then as a hierarchy. That is something the Complementarian camp can’t handle. If it seemed ridiculous, then they need to look within themselves. Frankly, she is on to something and absolutely everyone knows it.

  4. Let’s hear it for the union!

    Destroying another business and taking away the incomes of hundreds of people. And at this time of year. Ho-ho-ho.

    • Marcus Johnson says

      1. Are we really supposed to feel that bad that a company that only makes and sells unhealthy food has finally gone down the crapper? I understand that there are going to be a lot of people unemployed this year, but let’s face it, if the maker of Jagermeister filed for bankruptcy and shut its doors, how many of us would actually rage against the union that caused its collapse? What if a strip club unionized? Or a Planned Parenthood clinic?

      2. I just had a Facebook buddy post several tributes to the imminent fall of Hostess. He railed against the unions and lamented the downfall of Hostess. He also listed his top 5 favorite Hostess snacks (by the way–first sign that you have given up on controlling your weight: you have a top 5 list of Hostess snacks…and you post it on Facebook).

      • Well, I haven’t eaten a Hostess product in decades, but the sweets do have a fond place in my memories of childhhod (which mercifully do NOT include Jagermeister!)

      • Marcus Johnson says

        Sadly, I do not have such nostalgia. My mom kept stuffing apples and oranges and trail mix in my lunch box, under this crazy assumption that that stuff was healthier for me.

    • Richard Hershberger says

      Would your analysis of what happened at Hostess be altered in the least by the information that as the company was wringing concessions from the union, the CEO’s salary was tripled and other executives’ salaries by as much as 80%?

      • Yes, it was all a conspiracy. I don’t know how shutting down a company benefits a CEO and the other executives in the long run. I imagine they were raising these people’s salaries in a last ditch effort to keep their top talent from jumping ship.

        I don’t know that I entirely blame the union (although, even the Teamsters union blames the bakers union). Hostess seemed to have given up on innovation in its product line a long time ago. Some of their products were iconic, but they weren’t things people buy all the time. The last time I had a Twinkie was a deep-fried one at the state fair last year.

        • Richard McNeeley says

          “I don’t know how shutting down a company benefits a CEO and the other executives in the long run.”

          The same way it benefited Polaroid. The name has value and will be licensed or franchised, Hostess will cease to produce products, but will continue on as a company name.

        • Phil, You have an excellent point. I have cousin who was in management with Hostess years ago and left for the reasons you cite. Their business model was outdated on several fronts not the least their market niche and he saw the handwriting on the wall early on. He was recruited by another fast growing baker who markets lots of whole grain and low carb items and they are doing great.

      • Marcus Johnson says

        I would have been happier if the downfall of Hostess was entirely due to the realization of parents that you can stick an apple or an orange inside of a lunchbox the same as a Twinkie or Sno-Ball.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Would your analysis of what happened at Hostess be altered in the least by the information that as the company was wringing concessions from the union, the CEO’s salary was tripled and other executives’ salaries by as much as 80%?

        Over 30 years ago, I worked at the HQ of a restaurant chain that was circling the drain. Top management voted themselves all sorts of bonuses & bennies & goodies while our front-door receptionist was getting on a first-name basis with all the process servers in the county. It’s the natural response to put your hands deeper and deeper into a shrinking till. Golden Parachute preparations meet Zero-Sum Game.

        “I Got Mine,
        I Got Mine,
        NOW THAT I GOT MINE!!!!”
        — Glenn Frye

      • Milking the assets before the banks move in. Workers get pink slips and blame. Film at eleven.

        • +1

        • Everybody must get “Bained”.

        • As a 20 year union member, I remember some conversations I had with my union leaders. In one I said that I thought that the high taxes and regulations placed on business in California would drive those businesses to other states. This union leader said, “let ’em go…who needs ’em”.

          They will cut of everyone’s noses out of spite and stupidity.

          Just one of the reasons California has gone from being an economic powerhouse, to near the bottom in most economic categories.

          GO UNIONS!

          I mean…go away.

          • I’m a “retired” pork producer. I was building my business in the late 70’s and early 80’s. Something like this happened at that time. In the early 80’s the meat packing industry was unionized in the mid-west. Wages were around $20/hr. The slaughter plants were profitable, though margins were narrow. Slaughter house owners decided to “reorganize” by going out of business and then selling to new “owners”. Wages dropped to $7-10/hr. Perfect solution to widen margins.

            In NW Arkansas, which produces and processes the vast majority of the nation’s poultry, unions have been kept out and Mexicans have been brought in to do arduous work for not much more than minimum wage. Makes perfect business sense. You gotta love it.


          • My dad spent his career negotiating with the Teamsters. When a negotitation was going on we always had to move to a hotel for safety. It only takes a few bricks through windows and death threats to make you see what you are dealing with.

            Sorry but I have seen the corrupt side of unions for a long time starting in childhood. As my dad used to say, if the members saw the luxury their dues paid for but they never get to partake in, they would revolt.

            The union big wigs are no different than the greedy CEO’s. That is the irony of it all.

    • Twinkies are like bowling alone. Used to be, you baked a cake and everybody took a slice and enjoyed it communally. Now, we receive our fulfillment from an individual experience. It’s just me and my cake. Remind you of something?

      • I think you may be over-analyzing a bit there… I enjoyed Twinkies whether eating them alone or with others! 🙂

  5. Jeff, too bad we Catholics don’t believe in being rebaptized. As a baptee, I could have a “stylish” baptism like this woman describes and no one would have to worry about me being boobalicious! (I did it…both of the words in one sentence!)

    • Good one Joanie!

      Is it a joke? Surely, that baptism video has to be a parody?

      • I don’t think it is a parody, Gail. I think it is real.

      • Never misunderestimate the great state of Texas.

      • I hope it is and fear it is not.

      • Gail, I don’t think it’s a parody. It has Martha Stewart written all over it, right down to the doves. She released a basket of them at the launch (baptism?) of her Hinckley jet-drive picnic boat (color of hull: tastefully chosen to match the pastel eggshells of her pedigreed hens). Yeah, we rub shoulders once in a while. But she doesn’t know I exist.

        • No report on whether the doves survived the climate here on the coast of Maine.

          • Ugh. Ok All, so it isn’t a parody. Who acts like that? And I must be really out of the loop because I don’t know what GCB is either, and pretty sure that might be a good thing.

          • It is, Gail, it is.

          • Gail, I don’t know what the GCB is, either.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            GCB is short for “Good Christian Bitches”. I think it started out as a book, but it’s best-known today as a TV series set in the upper-crust Megachurch milieu of Dallas-Fort Worth. Think of it as “Saved” except with upper-class adults instead of high schoolers (though there’s a lot of High School behavior involved — with a Christianese coat of paint, of course). On the blogs, it’s gotten a LOT of denunciations from Christians — and comments from Christians involved in the Dallas Megachurch culture about how accurate it is (though hyped up for dramatic humor).

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says


      As a baptee, I could have a “stylish” baptism like this woman describes and no one would have to worry about me being boobalicious!

      Besides “Boobalicious” (what a word, gotta remember it), there’s a couple “Licious” memes floating around Bronydom as well:

      The most famous is Twilight-licious!, which has spawned a LOT of knockoffs using every other character from the show.

      But the first (from last year) was the full-length filk Derpalicious!

      As for the “Boobalicious Stylish Baptism” video that started this all, there’s a Pony for that, too!

      Doesn’t this musical number describe that video a lot better than “baptism”?

  6. Jeff, there is no “i” in complementarian.

  7. Marcus Johnson says

    Franklin Graham says his father has always been political, preachers should preach about abortion and gay marriage but not economics, and he was shocked—shocked, mind you—to learn that the word “cult” was used on the BGEA web site. Anything else you want to know?

    Well, I’m kind of wondering if preachers should talk about how the church can combat poverty and racial/gender equality. Granted, it’s not a sexy topic for the fundagelical movement, but it does have the benefit of having been discussed in the New Testament as serious issues.

    Another quote from Franklin in the article: “When the president accepted same sex marriage I felt that became kind of a moral crisis for our country,” Graham told us, referring to President Barack Obama’s endorsement of legalized same-sex marriage in May. “And that Christians should be reminded as to what we’re voting for. I presented this to my father, and he agreed that we ought to remind people to vote for biblical issues.”

    What is a “biblical issue,” and how does one vote for one of them? I’ve voted for social issues, and economic issues, but I had this weird belief that biblical issues were supposed to be affirmed by the church, not the government. Did I miss something here?

    • Marcus Johnson says

      Whoops, that was supposed to read racial/gender IN-equality.

    • Matt Purdum says

      Heard Franklin interviewed on LPR. Billy never ducked a question from an interviewer, or stonewalled. That’s all Franklin does.

    • Billy had a long political relationship with Nixon and he advised other Presidents. Supposedly he led Dubya to the Lord. He may have been “America’s pastor” but Billy tried hard not to compete with the churches. Now we have his son, who has photo ops and media shoots (Palin-Haiti) with big wig Republicans and seems to think “biblical issues” are whatever the GOP is mad at. He seems also to want to be America’s pastor – just think of all the offering plates by expanding his range. I wouldn’t be so cynical, except for the double-dipping he did – taking full salaries from both BGEA and SP – and being paid over $1 Million per year.

    • Funny how poverty and lack of any possibility of economic advancement for so many is rarely considered Biblical.

  8. petrushka1611 says

    In honor of Pet Clark’s birthday, I slept in the subway.

  9. I can’t stand Neil Young with his whiney voice. It sounds so manufactured. Also, he was the weakest link in CSN&y, I saw them with, and without, Neil and they were much better without him.

  10. As D. Elton Trueblood noted in his classic spiritual biography of Lincoln, Abe GREW over the years. He did not stay where he once was.

  11. Well, ladies and gents, I LAUGHED through reading the blog today at EVERYTHING! And thank goodness I am only sipping coffee, not drinking OJ! Rachel Held-Evans’ book is great; I am reading through it.

    The submission stuff/complementarian, etc. is preached throughout the South; I have heard it at different churches, dressed in different garb., by different preachers. Just remember that it is a background tune in the main music of life. Everything is published for an almighty buck, $$$$$$, albeit many of them!

    As for Hostess, sad for those of us who grew up with those yummies. And unfortunately, the union has won out again. Merry Christmas —– as the Union goes on, jobs disappear, more people unemployed, with no health care.
    Sigh. First and foremost, we need to pray to God.

    Also, for those of us who remember Neil Young as we were in college, rock on! Music GREAT choice, and brought back memories. Oh, the age of Clapton and guitar!!!!!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    • The Hostess debacle is not totally the union’s fault. Hostess has been in and out of bankruptcy for a number or years. Unions did give concessions, however, the company was poorly managed. It’s easy to blame one group or another, however, in the case of Hostess (and most poorly managed companies), there’s enough blame to go around. Could it be that the company never created new products that went more with the dietary and social concerns of today?

      I have a friend who used to run a bread route. He said years ago that Hostess had trouble paying its bills (and therefore) keeping shelf space in stores. Other companies came out with a more diversified bread line, Hostess under the Wonder brand did not. It’s easy to find a quick scapegoat, I suggest that the problems are much deeper.

      • I’m sad people lost their jobs, but glad to see Hostess products go. Preservatives with a corn syrup glaze. My God made body deserves better.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Our local morning drive-time radio has been following the whole Hostess mess since the strike was announced and bankruptcy was filed last Friday. Their conclusion:


        Hostess management with voting themselves fat raises and bonuses when the company was in trouble.

        The baker’s union with continuing with the strike (against the advice of the Teamsters, who even crossed the bakers’ picket lines) in a game of “Chicken” with the company. Which ended like any game of “Chicken” when neither side backs down.

        Result: Hostess is no more. Over 18000 out of work (the union bosses not included). And the assets and brand names up for grabs in the liquidation. Insider info is the Mexican baked-goods congolomerate Grupo Bimbo is the favored bidder for Hostess’s assets. Much lower prices for real cane sugar and labor in Mexico. Which means that Hostess brands — including Twinkies, Cupcakes, Snoballs, and maybe Wonder Bread — will reappear. Made in Mexico.

        After laying this out on morning drive-time, they invited the bakers’ union to cross the border into Mexico and continue their picket lines there. Or apply for jobs at the Mexican plants.

  12. Not fair, I don’t get to watch the Texas baptism video 🙁

    “The uploader has not made this video available in your country.

    Sorry about that.”

  13. “Stylish Adult Baptism”… another symptom of american evangelical effort to sanctify and incorporate the values of Baal and Babylon. How long Lord? How long before you chastise your promiscuous wanna-be bride…

  14. I had two responses to the review by Mary Kassian. The first was that, like your other commenter, I’m pretty sure that Rachel Evans book grew out of her own personal experiences of the misapplication of complementarian ideas, most often by men in powerful positions, such as pastors. One of my friends married a violent man, was regularly beaten and was terrified of him. Yet when they sought counseling from their pastor, she was told that she was not submissive enough! It is unfortunately the logical extreme of the viewpoint.

    My other thought though, was that no one seems to mention how or why the complementarian viewpoint was brought forth in the first place. From personal experience of growing up in the turbulent 60s, I have some ideas there. My mother’s generation pretty much accepted that once they got married, they would quit work and go home to keep house and raise their children. Single women worked, of course, but married women did only out of financial necessity and then only once their children were well into school, in most cases.

    By the time I was in school though, there had been a paradigm shift in expectations. We were told we could do whatever we wanted. In fact, because I was in a GATE class, we were told we should become leaders of society. It seemed like a lot of pressure to me at the time, because I wanted to be just like my mom, who was a homemaker with a little side job playing the church organ. By the time I was in my 20s, I thought I was ready for some wonderful career, suited to my talents and abilities. But all I found was a dead end retail position, that seemed like a booby prize for someone who had worked her way through college and graduated with honors. I finally did some soul searching in my 30s and decided I would actually like to be a homemaker. It seemed so much more rewarding than a job so stressful that it contributed to 2 years of chronic fatigue.

    i don’t recall reading anything specific about complementarianism at the time, though I had encountered the idea. In my position then, it was a relief to think that maybe it was okay to not become some famous scientist, or architect, or political leader. Maybe it was okay to live a simple and quiet life of faith, following Jesus in wherever He led me. I think that is something of the position of Mary Kassian. But I think she misjudges Rachel Evans, because Kassian imagines that her idea of complementarianism is the real deal, but in practice, that is not what the younger generation have encountered. If she could set aside her reaction that Evans has it all wrong, I think the two of them are really on the same side. Women are complex and neither homemaking nor working should be denigrated.

    • In my position then, it was a relief to think that maybe it was okay to not become some famous scientist, or architect, or political leader. Maybe it was okay to live a simple and quiet life of faith, following Jesus in wherever He led me.

      Well, sure, I’d hope that everyone thinks it’s OK to live their life in a way that they want to without the pressure of having to satisfy another person’s plan for them. I think women in churches still grow up hearing that their greatest desire in life should be to get married, have a family, raise the kids, and so on. A lot of women really do desire that even outside of the Church. I think one thing, though, is that even for women that do, it’s getting harder and harder to make that sort of life a reality. It’s very hard for most people to make it as a one-income family.

      What bugs me is that we bring the word “Biblical” into this discussion at all. People in churches use that word as a hammer to beat down things they don’t like. I think it’s fine to have differing opinions on how family life should be organized, but let’s not pretend that the way one Christian wants to do things in their family is any more biblical than another one does.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        “Biblical” is just the latest buzzword meaning “Ultimate Righteousness.”

        Just like “Political” in the old USSR.

    • The irony is that many of the comp celeb women are NOT homemakers in the sense they teach it. Nancy Leigh Demoss is an heiress and single. Kassian, Dorothy Patterson and many others have advanced degrees, travel and teach. They write books and speak at conferences. That is a career, folks.

  15. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Pat Robertson, meanwhile, says that he understands Gen. David Petraeus’s affair with Paula Broadwell. “After all,” said Robertson, “he’s a man.” Ok then. That settles that.

    i.e. “HE SCORED!!!!!! HEH-HUH! HEH-HUH! HEH-HUH!” — Beavis & Butthead

  16. I know it may have been published after Jeff put together today’s list, but the article on about Charles and Andy Stanley is fascinating! Hopefully we can talk about it soon.

  17. The Hostess debacle is a double whammy. Apparently, Hostess bought out Dolly Madison at some point, meaning Zingers are gone as well. Anyone remember the original Peanuts specials being sponsored by Dolly Madison?

    In our city, there are several Hostess/Dolly Madison bread stores which sell day-old bread at significantly reduced prices. These stores sold more than Wonder Bread; they also sold whole wheat, multi-grain breads. Our family has shopped there on occasions, but I think a lot of families on tight budgets rely on these stores. This is a lot bigger than unhealthy sugary snacks and white bread. A lot of families will be affected, including local jobs lost.

  18. Hey! Is everyone moderated, or is it just me???