September 30, 2020

Saturday Ramblings 11.3.12

Well, iMonks, it’s that time once again. Time to head to the polls and cast your vote for our next pastor, er, president. If you are still having trouble making up your mind who you will vote for, we have a friendly squirrel who may help lead the way. But before we get to that, there are plenty of other table scraps that need to be cleared away. So, if you are ready, step into the ballot box, pull the lever, and let’s ramble.

Before going to bed tonight, don’t forget to set your clocks back one hour. Unless you live in Arizona or Hawaii or Puerto Rico or American Samoa or Guam. Or various counties in Indiana. I gave up trying to tell time in Indiana long ago. The rules there change at every stop sign. Oh, and no matter what state you live in, it’s a good time of year to check your smoke detector batteries, too.

We’re starting our iMonk Book Club tomorrow afternoon. You have been reading Tullian Tchividjian’s Glorious Ruin, haven’t you? Are you ready to join in the discussion?

Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy did incredible damage to lives and property up and down the east coast. We are certainly mindful of our readers who have been affected by Sandy. I wish we had a better way to help. If there are any with very specific needs, please email me and I will see what we can do. (iMonk does not have money to give, unfortunately. As a matter of fact, we are in need of donations ourselves. But that is a matter for another time.) Certainly all to prayer (as Arthur Pierson said, “We need to pray praying”), and we can all do that. One very good thing in the aftermath of this storm is the absence of big-name preachers declaring that this was God’s wrath for something our nation is doing wrong. Stephen Prothero, Fr. James Martin, and Mark Galli all have very good words to say about where God is in our storms. Well worth reading.

And then there is the great prophet Lindsay Lohan who wondered why everyone was so uptight about “Hurricane Sally.” How often was this girl dropped on her head?

I’m sure you saw some very startling pictures of the devastation left by the storm, some of them real. Many pics circulating now on the ‘net have been, shall we say, “enhanced.” The Atlantic takes a look at what is real and what is not.  (How many Christians are already sending some of the fake ones to try to show what God was doing?)

Another storm is on track for our nation this Tuesday: the presidential election. I know that all kinds of crap is being flung by both sides, but I really sigh when I read crap from supposedly Christian organizations. Like this from Focus on the Family. Or this from who knows what organization. If I hear one more time how our nation hangs in the balance and if Obama/Romney is not elected our nation will fall into the ocean, I think I’m going to move to Texas. They are not still part of the U.S., are they?

On the other hand, eagle-eyed Adam Palmer found this, and it is really good.

From The Day The Earth Stood Still department, is the Catholic Church really opening its arms to Lutherans?

The Vatican may be looking to enhance relations with Protestant denominations, but they may soon be limiting access to the Sistine Chapel. Who can blame them if there are drunken herds parading through there?

The Green family, founders of Hobby Lobby, are trying to give away a college campus in Northfield, Mass., but are having trouble finding someone to take it. Grand Canyon University of Phoenix, Arizona, was awarded the 217 acre campus last month, but now has backed out because of how much it would cost to renovate the facilities for their needs. Do you think iMonk should apply for it for our iMonestary location?

Get out of town. Really? You mean some people who say they go to church are actually lying? Who would have known?

Joy of all joys. There will be a Star Wars 7 after all. If Jar-Jar Binks is in this one, please count me out.

iMonk reader petrushka1611 found this obit of the real life “Speed Racer” to be very interesting. So did I.

Finally, there are a lot of polls trying to predict who will win the presidential election this Tuesday, but here are some of the more, er, imaginative ones. My favorite? Gnocchi the squirrel. He is just nuts over Mitt Romney.

Happy birthday greetings go out to Teddy Roosevelt; Dylan Thomas; Nanette Fabray; Charlie Daniels; Bruce Jenner; Bill Gates; Julia Roberts; Ben Harper; Peter Green; Grace Slick; Timothy B. Schmit; Henry Winkler; Dan Rather; Larry Mullen, Jr.; Keith Emerson; Lyle Lovett; and k.d. lang.

Who is Peter Green? you ask. No, Peter Green is not part of the Hobby Lobby Greens. He is the founder of a group you know better by the last names of their drummer (Mick Fleetwood) and their bassist (John McVie). This is early Fleetwood Mac at their best, one of my all-time favorite instrumentals, Albatross. Peter Green is the bearded gent in the middle.

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And then, just to show you I don’t always live in the dark ages, here is Peter Green playing another one of his songs with the person who made it famous, Carlos Santana. Enjoy.

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  1. “You have been reading Tullian Tchividjian’s Glorious Ruin, haven’t you? Are you ready to join in the discussion?”

    Yes. Let’s rock.

    Speaking of Rock, Peter Green’s Les Paul sounds amazing. Can’t believe I’ve never heard this song before.

  2. The little guy in the back on the first clip is Jeremy Spenser with whom I spent a few months in the summer of ’71 while both of us were in the Children of God cult. He was manifestly unhappy being away from his wife and kid at that time but ended up staying in the cult for well over 20 years. Me? I was out in three, thank God! I DID learn a couple of licks on the guitar from Jeremy, though.

  3. So you don’t want Star Wars 7? I couldn’t tell if you were being sarcastic or not. I think it could be cool.

    • I didn’t particularly want Star Wars 5 or 6 either, after I saw 4 🙂

      Okay, if it goes ahead, it will be under Disney. They may not bring back Jar-Jar, but they are going to want some kind of cuddly character they can tie-in with the Happy Meals and all the rest of the marketing.

      Way back in the Dark Ages, when George Lucas was first speaking of a ‘trilogy of trilogies’, the idea was three films dealing with the run-up to the Empire, three films about the Empire and the Rebellion (the original trilogy) and then three films with the New Republic.

      That would mean that they’d have to drop Darth Vader (because he’s dead) and bring back Luke and Leia and Han – and the new generation of their kids. Would Disney go for a whole new re-casting and re-imagining? I don’t know.

    • Not sure what to think, Seth. The first three movies are classics. The second three were barely tolerable. Simply exercises in CGI usage. It is yet to be seen what Disney will bring to this franchise.

  4. Jim Daly seems genuinely working to move FoTF away from being the Republican Party at prayer, but the partisan stuff that comes out of CitizenLink makes one wonder if James Dobson is still in charge there. But these sorts of mailers aimed at arousing suspicions are what pays the bills. Perpetual fear is remarkably successful in keeping the flock dependent on its designated shepherd for protection. A critic once complimented Billy Graham on his consistent ability for over forty years to continue the dramatic tension of an imminent apocalypse. It was said that if Billy couldn’t find a crisis somewhere in the newspapers, “he’s not going to be able to preach tonight”. Yawn, its always the same schtick, sort of like the furniture store perpetual going-out-of-business sale.

  5. Jar-Jar Binks…I did not like that character either. I could barely understand what he said. It always bugs me when that happens. At least if I rent videos I can put on the captions and read the stuff.

    I looked all over the country to borrow Glorious Ruin from a library, but no luck. It was too new and was only being loaned out to the local people.

  6. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    And then there is the great prophet Lindsay Lohan who wondered why everyone was so uptight about “Hurricane Sally.” How often was this girl dropped on her head?

    No need. Between the booze and drugs and “I’M A CELEBRITY!!!!”, who needs blunt-force trauma?

    Have Charlie Sheen, Paris Hilton, or Kardashian du Jour also weighed in with their CELEBRITY words of Great Prophetic Wisdom?

  7. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    I know that all kinds of crap is being flung by both sides, but I really sigh when I read crap from supposedly Christian organizations. Like this from Focus on the Family. Or this from who knows what organization. If I hear one more time how our nation hangs in the balance and if Obama/Romney is not elected our nation will fall into the ocean, I think I’m going to move to Texas. They are not still part of the U.S., are they?


    Texas ain’t far enough, Jeff. I’m trying to find that portal/gate to Equestria.

  8. For the curious (I know I am curious myself) as to what the Crystal Cathedral will look like now that it’s been sold to the Diocese of Orange – it will be re-named Christ Cathedral, and for a peep inside to see how it is being transformed, this link courtesy of Heather King.

    The “Magnificat” magazine is holding a Day of Faith there; it’s around quarter past nine in the morning California time/quarter past four in the evening Irish time as I type, so you can follow the schedule for yourselves (just scroll down the page).

    Just in case you want to see what it looks like now – I am dying to know where they are going to put the altar and what it will look like when it’s all done!

    • I’m seeing more Links from the Magnificat Facebook page for what seems to be a new Catholic TV network Based from the Crystal Cathedral. I watched a mass online, which was well done. What followed was more “all cultural war all the time”, much like EWTN.

  9. I’m not surprised about limiting the number of people who go in to see the Sistine Chapel. I was there in May and was corralled in to the room like a bunch of cattle. After standing in there, shoulder to shoulder with people and trying not to hyperventilate, my first thought was that that many people in that room could not be good for paintings. Fewer people in the room would certainly allow a better viewing experience. It was my least favorite experience in Italy.

    • Kathi, I’ve heard that about the Mona LIsa too. Long lines for a very small painting and they rush you through. My daughter and son-in-law got a peek over the heads of others, gave up and went to look at other masters where they could spend some time.

      If you got to Siena, no doubt you saw the cathedral there, which is absolutely, over-the-top spectacular, inside and out, from floor to ceiling with marble inlays, mosaics, sculptures, stripey columns, etc. But, since that was so overwhelming I ended up in the little library attached to the side, sort of a mini-Sistine chapel. I couldn’t stop taking photos in there, and there were hardly any people in it. Google “siena cathedral piccolomini library” and click “images” for photos.

      Loved Italy. We never got to Rome, but Siena was great, better than Florence overall. In Florence there’s the cathedral with Brunelleschi’s dome (my wife’s destination), and there’s the Uffizi Gallery, but Siena was cooler.

      • I had a similar experience at The Hermitage in St. Petersburg where Leonardo da Vinci’s “Madonna and Child” is located. Crowds gathered around and we got a quick glance.

        As far as Italy, we did not make it to Siena, but we did hit Florence. David was amazing! We stayed for a good hour+ just looking at it from so many different angles. I think one of our main problems in Rome was that we were here during May Day, and the Vatican was closed for two of the three days we were there. So, we were limited in time and we were there with a huge crowd.

        Lesson learned: Never go to Rome on May Day!

    • I didn’t make it to the Sistene Chapel in Rome this year, but we did see the Last Supper in Milan. It sounds like Rome could learn some things: 15-minute viewing periods by reservation only; no more than 30 or so people at a time (in a large enough room); guards ready to usher you out if you talk too loudly, much less if you take pictures illegally. It was an excellent experience.

  10. That cartoon girl on the Romney Mega Prayer is kind of hot. For a cartoon, I mean.

    • My husband said, “At least they cartoon drew her cute. Maybe if you look at her enough you won’t think about what ‘she’s’ saying.”

  11. Being a former Hoosier, and just having returned for a vacation there, I checked on the status of Daylight Saving Time in the state, since Jeff brought it up. It seems that although several counties in the northwest and southwest are on Central Time instead of Eastern Time like most everyone else, the entire state is on Daylight Saving Time. Therefore, ALL Hoosiers get an extra hour of sleep tonight.

  12. I found the Lutheran link fascinating, but I am not that surprised. As a former Baptist, I saw the RC as a homogeneous monstrosity ruled by the Pope, but I am discovering the amazing diversity which is allowed in the RC church. Occasionally we see groups disciplined over taking a very public stand on an issue such as abortion, but for the most part there is a great deal of tolerance from Rome.

    For Lutherans, my guess is that we will split into three directions. One group will essentially merge with fundamentalist evangelicals, a smaller group will get closer to Rome and/or the Eastern church, and the remainder will try to hold onto the middle.

    For me, I am holding onto the middle, but I am open to idea of closer ties to Rome and/or Eastern church.

    • I would say there is no significant demand for this, whatsoever. You are right, there is a large group of Lutherans that is moving closer towards mainstream evangelicalism, but they has no desire for this. The second group is liberal mainline Lutherans, and they have no desire for this, as they hate Rome’s positions on homosexuality, abortion, and female pastors.

      And then there is Confessional Lutheranism, which I think is growing quickly, and it has no desire whatsoever to move towards Rome until Rome changes its opinion on justification and pulls back from Trent.

      There are a few hyper liturgical Lutherans who care more for smells and bells than doctrine, and they might find this attractive, though most of those tend to go towards Orthodoxy. But that’s about it.

    • You are right Rome is far from unified. The only unifying belief is in the church as an institution, which makes no sense to me. The church is not a corporation, it’s all those that believe Christ’s teachings.

      • Adam Tauno Williams says

        >You are right Rome is far from unified. The only unifying
        > belief is in the church as an institution,

        This is simply, factually, false. There is a significant communion between the traditions under the umbrella of the church.

        > The church is not a corporation, it’s all those that believe Christ’s teachings.

        Except that it is a corporation, as is the Lutheran synods. That is how people form and excersise power in groups.

    • His Grace is making it so simple for us Lutherans to return home to the fold… I’ve followed the links and checked out his invitation, and apparently all we need to do is abandon LUTHER’S CATECHISM and the AUGSBURG CONFESSION, stop electing our bishops, leave behind all of our fellow clergy who happen to be female, embrace ultimate celibacy, and become obedient to the Vatican… But other than that, we can keep using the E.L.W. and keep calling ourselves “Lutheran”. Such a deal.

  13. Ok, I’m supposed to vote for the best candidate based upon his defense of the constitution, not religion. But who’s more constitutionally right: the candidate who acknowledges that freedom of religion extends to all religions, or the one who is being promoted as the defender of the “Christian Nation”, despite the fact that he’s a Mormon?

    • Dumb Ox, there are many layers to the confusion this election year. I went to my town office a week and a half ago and got a ballot and voted already because I wanted it to be OVERRRRR. No regrets.

  14. I had a crush on Grace Slick ~1970. I got over it the last time I saw a picture of her….


  15. I think ministries are being pressured by the vast Republican complex to earn representation for their issues by how much they can organize voters. If they don’t produce for Karl Rove, they get nothing. If history is any proof, they’ll get nothing either way.

  16. I just heard that a new ad featuring Huckabee threatens those who vote for Obama with damnation, i.e. the vote will be “recorded in eternity”. This is Tetzel in reverse! For every vote for Obama cast, another soul falls into hell’s firie blast. Apparently the person who told me that this election was about values and not religion was wrong.

    • Huckabee’s a Southern Baptist. He doesn’t even get the Gospel right re: women’s equality and standing in Christ, so I doubt he has the right handle on damnation and the future state, either. “If I have told you about earthly things and you do not get it right, how can you get it right if I tell you about heavenly things?”

      • I didn’t realize the Gospel was about gender issues.

        • Not solely. But it’s ultimately about the New Creation, the New Human, who is Christ, who is all and in all, and in whom the former and fallen divisions and hierarchies have been nullified.

  17. I’m a bit annoyed – didn’t FotF promise 4 years ago (the “letter from a chrisian in 2012”) that our country would go down the drain if Obama was elected? This moving of the goal posts is just a bit disappointing…

    On a (slightly more) serious note, is there a generally accepted definition of what a “Christian nation” is?
    If not, I propose this:
    – Such a definition must be specific (if not easily measurable) such as “51% of the citizens are Christian”
    — (With a definition of exactly what is meant by Christian)
    – Such a measurement must be of the citizenry today (not what people did 200 years ago)

  18. For those of you who loved the original three Star Wars movies and were disappointed in the recent three, here’s a great article on the “best way” to watch the movies:

    I will be excited for episodes 7, 8 and 9 IF Lucas doesn’t write them. Hopefully he turns his script ideas and story lines over to a real scriptwriter.

    • That was a great article…next chance I get I’ll be taking his advice. Maybe Disney should line up a bunch of 40 something Star Wars nerds to ‘help’ them not destroy the next 3 movies…

  19. I didn’t read through the comments, so I apologize if someone already pointed this out. All of the great state of Indiana has observed DST since April 2, 2006.

  20. I think I’m going to move to Texas. They are not still part of the U.S., are they?

    Yes. But a very different part. 🙂

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