September 30, 2020

Saturday Ramblings 11.24.12

It’s been a slow news week here at the InternetMonk World Headquarters. Chaplain Mike is still on sabbatical. Our other writers were dishing up tasty treats for Thanksgiving. (By the way, just what is a “giblet” anyway? And why did I get a set of rubber gloves to pull it out of the turkey?) I couldn’t find the Synonymous Rambler with a search warrant. Still can’t. (Ask a question or two, and the SR disappears like Houdini.) So I have pulled together some leftovers for our Saturday morning. I won’t keep you long. I know you have more shopping to do just before you settle in to watch Football! Football! Football! Now, are you ready to Ramble? Ramble? Ramble?

I really hoped to get to this story this last week, but ran out of time. Somehow, seeing these two megachurch pastors in their “humanness” helps me appreciate what they have done and are doing all the more. Neither are perfect. If I lived in Atlanta, I doubt I would go to either of their churches. But I do appreciate their willingness to pull back the curtains even a little to show us who they are when the light is not shining on them. They are who they are.

Franklin Graham says Christians only have themselves to blame for the outcome of the presidential election. If only more of us had voted, he says, things would have been so much better. Because, of course, Christians only vote for Republicans. And Republicans, we all know, can do no wrong. How many would vote to not hear any more from Franklin for at least four years?

Meanwhile, Cardinal Timothy Dolan has a much different take on the election. First of all, he says, the election was not a referendum on the Church, as the Church was not on the ballot. How many would vote to hear more from Cardinal Dolan?

Dolan’s boss, Pope Benedict XVI, just released the third book in his Jesus trilogy. This one looks at Jesus’ infancy. The Pope debunks some Christmas myths along the way. Sounds like a perfect book for Advent. I love to see Jesus in the light of reality. Or, perhaps it is better to say, I love to see reality in the light of Jesus.

Steven Spielberg tries to show Abraham Lincoln in the light of reality in the new movie, Lincoln. He broaches the subject of Lincoln’s religion in a way that leaves it up to each person’s interpretation as to whether Lincoln was a Christian, an atheist, or somewhere in between. Sounds like a great flick. If you have seen in, let us know if it is worth our popcorn money.

The best news from entertainment world this week is this. Oh come now. Yes you are excited.

Happy birthday was sung this week to Gordon Lightfoot; Martin Scorsese; Danny DeVito; Tom Seaver; Jeff Buckley; Alan Shepard, Jr.; Mickey Mouse; Warren Moon; Alan Young; Larry King; Dick Cavett; Ted Turner; Jodie Foster; Dick Smothers; Duane Allman; Joe Walsh; Harpo Marx; Goldie Hawn; and Jamie Lee Curtis.

My Maserati does 185 … I lost my license, now I don’t drive. Doesn’t get much better than that, does it? Enjoy.

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  1. “Franklin Graham says Christians only have themselves to blame for the outcome of the presidential election.”

    Certainly don’t blame the Republican leadership for announcing the election was won before anyone had a chance to vote. Don’t blame Republicans for the most embarrassing and confusing primaries ever. Don’t blame Romney for alienating 47% of the electorate. Don’t blame Paul Ryan, who made anti-Christian/anti-altruistic Ayn Rand required reading for his staff. There are already enough Randians trying to scapegoat this fiasco on religious voters. Thanks, Franklin, for selling us out.

    There is a great Christianity Today article discussing the redefining the evangelical brand in a post-election world. Look for Jon Trott’s post in the comments section, where he describes the reductionism that Christianity undergone due to politics.

    • I think the GOP sealed their fate during the primary, when it changed two rules in order to lock out Ron Paul and his fanboys. This showed the world what the party is really all about – powerful, big government.

  2. I read two of Pope Benedict’s books and he is a very good writer. He seems to be able to anticipate what the next question will be from his readers and he promptly answers that question. He also is able to say that there are some things we really don’t know and perhaps cannot know.

  3. Scott Fisher says

    I saw “Lincoln” on its opening night. It is a great film, and really captures the personality of Abraham Lincoln as I would have imagined him. I’m a huge Abraham Lincoln fan and have read a lot of books about him; as I watched the film I felt like Lincoln had “come alive” on the screen. Well worth watching!

  4. Thanks for the link to the Dolan article. Yes, I’d vote to hear more from him! The views he expresses have more consistency than many I hear from either the liberal or the conservative perspective.

    • Isaac / Obed says

      On the SiriusXM station “The Catholic Channel” he makes regular appearances and is always delightful. Very winsome and friendly. The kind of guy I could go to the pub with. I’m a bit fan of Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

  5. Franklin Graham says Christians only have themselves to blame for the outcome of the presidential election.

    This reminds me so much of what we were taught when I was an Independent Baptist. If you’d only prayed more, read the Bible more, gave more, had more faith. Then you would have gotten the better job, the better house, wouldn’t have become sick, wouldn’t have had a friend/spouse/relative die. It’s always having your faith performance graded based on an outcome that was really out of your hands. What ever happened to having a mustard seed faith?

    • If you want a bigger return, you need have a bigger mustard seed. 🙄

    • The big tree from the mustard seed sized faith is your salvation. If you want blessings in the temporal realm, you gotta pull yourselves up by your own bootstraps. Luckily, God gave us a big book full of instructions on how do to that!


  6. I enjoyed the article on the Stanleys.

    I’m not a Baptist, nor do I agree with “free-will” Baptist theology, BUT, when I was down and out and living in my car 30 years ago, I would listen to Charles Stanley, late at night in my tearful despair, and the Lord used that preaching to give me hope and keep me going.

    • Hey Steve, “free-will” theology isn’t particularly Baptist. Baptists are just as likely to be Calvinist, as they are to be Free-will. In fact the two streams on theology are very much under significant debate in the Southern Baptists right now.

  7. So Franklin Graham believes that the will of God can’t be accomplished if Christians don’t vote? It must be sad to worship such a small God…. he should talk to is dad.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      A god so small that if it weren’t for all the Franklin Grahams (and other Culture Warriors and Spiritual Warriors) fighting for him, he would be utterly defeated. Makes you wish someone had turned ol’ Frank on to D&D instead of the Bible.

      • No way, I don’t want to be dungeon master with him as a player. He should go play an MMORPG. Maybe he could evangelivze in Second Life?

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          In which case, he would have been kicked out of gaming group after gaming group (probably by “either he goes or we go” player mutinies) until he migrated into the local Knights of the Dinner Table or Black Hands.

          And with him as DM any you as player, that just makes for an earlier player mutiny.

  8. I can’t put my finger on it, but there something about Franklin. He’s very defensive, seems to be uncomfortable in his own skin.

  9. I read the story on Charles and Andy Stanley. I loved the fact that they never gave up on each other, despite the hurts and misunderstandings. There was forgiveness and a willingness to walk out the teachings of Jesus. God bless them.

  10. “Lincoln” was great, worth every penny, & I’m ready to go see it again.

  11. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    My Maserati does 185 … I lost my license, now I don’t drive. Doesn’t get much better than that, does it? Enjoy.

    When that song first came out, I heard it was autobiographical — everything in it actually happened to Joe Walsh.

  12. Though I have not read his book, Benedict’s stated purpose of revealing Jesus to be a real, historical person and, therefore, comprehensible to each of us is right, noble and necessary. I would hope he employs the cultural context of the time in telling the Christmas story, which, in truth, is much more compelling than our traditional telling and greeting card renditions make it out to be:

    • Joseph and Mary, as an unmarried couple, would have been compelled to travel in separate caravans (for reasons of security) on the 70-mile uphill journey to Bethlehem. Camels, perhaps, but no donkeys.

    • There were no inns in Bethlehem, only “katalumas” …guest rooms in the homes of Joseph’s Davidic relatives.

    • The couple could find no quarters in homes because no persons with scruples would have admitted an unmarried and pregnant young lady into their homes, despite the overriding custom of hospitality to travelers and, particularly, to pregnant women.

    • No large animals in the manger, which was likely a lower room cut into rock and used for food stores and small household animals like chickens and goats.

    • Sorry …no three kings, either. They most likely arrived a year or two after Jesus birth.

    I think I will hang on to the notion that the angels sang, though … 🙂 Oh, and don’t throw away those manger scenes, either, as they may be fine examples of the woodcarver’s art and the Western church’s imagination.

    Blessing, all! ….

  13. Joe Walsh forever has a place in the pantheon of guitar gods. Simply a brilliant musician. Spent a lot of time as a teenager partying to his music.

  14. “If only more of us had voted, he [Franklin] says, things would have been so much better. Because, of course, Christians only vote for Republicans. And Republicans, we all know, can do no wrong.”

    Sad. What a painful myth to keep bang’n your head against…
    When will some come to grips with reality? (and therefore be better able to follow Jesus and realize His kingdom)

  15. Franklin gets it exactly backwards and amazingly he offers a secular solution for a spiritual problem. America’s problems are beyond the ballot box, and it has been our cowardice in embracing the Gospel that has led to the moral decay of our society, not politics.

  16. What are the odds that there is a single person out there who listened to Franklin G’s latest rebuke and thought to himself, “I knew I should have voted! Why didn’t I listen to him?” Those who care for his voice voted, period. Those who didn’t vote probably don’t care to listen to him either.

    • Sad to see the sheep scolded for another four years of Barack Hussein Obama; holding them accountable, and keeping them on edge until 2016. Also sad to see the spiritual capital built up over years by his father being squandered in fear-peddling manipulation. Stoking fear is a resort to bondage; an unfree freedom in obeisance to the powers of distrust and anxiety. It is not the gospel, but it is effective in keeping the flock huddled together, dependent on its trusted shepherds for protection and guidance. And it keeps the coffers of many evangelical ministries full. The junior Graham received the keys to the empire following the nepotistic tradition common to evangelical ministries. But he is not Billy. He has to keep the family business going somehow, so why not another fear-mongering appeal for an intensification of the culture wars.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Because whipping up a war against an outside enemy keeps a lid on dissent at home. If you can pull it off — just ask Galtieri of Argentina about Las Malvinas in ’81.

    • I think an awful lot of Christians couldn’t bite the Romney bullet and voted for Obama or for neither one.

      I hear people say “I wish there were a ‘none of the above’ choice.” Well, there is. Leave it blank. It’s a vote.

  17. May I recommend Cardinal Dolan’s book, “To Whom Shall We Go? Lessons from the Apostle Peter. I used it as a personal devotional book, but it could also be used for a short book study. (9 chapters)