December 3, 2020

Saturday Ramblings 12.10.11

You may have noticed this week’s Ramblings was a bit delayed. It’s not my fault. One of my good friends tempted me with free tickets to a hockey game Friday night when I would normally be writing. How could I refuse? And while Tulsa won—in a shootout, no less—there were no fights. None. I mean, what is the point of going to a hockey game if all they are going to do is play hockey? Oh, there was some dancing, but no fisticuffs. I suppose I should be happy. After all, there was plenty of fighting after the essay I wrote earlier this week on love. This is a feisty bunch here at the iMonastery lately. But I am here now and am ready to skate—fight-free—through the leftovers we call Saturday Ramblings.

Albert Pujols took $254 million to become an Angel. Does this mean he is also now a devil? How does a Christian athlete rationalize receiving such a huge amount of money? Or should one even have to rationalize it? (Hey, I’m just glad he is out of the same division—and league—as my Cincinnati Reds.)

What if Southern Baptists were no longer Southern Baptists? The denomination is once again thinking of changing its name. They say the word “Baptist” would remain. What adjective can you think to go with Baptist? Keep it clean, iMonks. Keep it clean. Remember, Michael Spencer grew up Southern Baptist.

While I can see how Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council might possibly, at a stretch, come to the conclusion he does regarding the parable in Luke 19 he references, I still have problems thinking of Jesus as a capitalist. Does anyone else have this same problem?

Rick Warren, do we really need you to say this?

If you want real this Christmas, then look here for pictures of what the real St. Nick most likely looked like. Not exactly the same guy we see hawking Craftsman tools on the TV now, is it?

The Vatican hosted a seminar this week on the topic of tattooing. You know, body ink. No word yet on whether or not B16 sports any tatts, and if so, what they are.

Birthdays were celebrated this week by Ferlin Husky (I just like to say that: Ferlin Husky); Andy Williams; Ozzy Osbourne; Max Baer, Jr.; Dennis Wilson; Walt Disney; Calvin Trillin; J.J. Cale; Jim Messina; Dave Brubeck; Harry Chapin; Johnny Bench; Tom Waits; Sammy Davis, Jr.; and Kirk Douglas.

I hesitated to put up another Tom Waits video, fearing you might think “too much Tom Waits.” But then I thought, No one in their right mind would ever think there could ever be too much Tom Waits. So here is birthday boy Tom Waits singing about an “immaculate confection.” Enjoy.

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  1. I think Mr. Perkins is MOSTLY correct, but that what we often call free market capitalism is not really it. Subsidies and kickbacks are socialist means. They are taking by force (try not paying your taxes and see what happens) from one group and giving it to another. I see nothing in Jesus that allows us to use force to bring the kingdom.

    I think a better example of Jesus’ attitude towards wealth is Matthew 20:1-16. “Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?”.

    The first workers are ready to form a union (I am not anti-union, for the record) because they ‘deserve’ more money, but Jesus claims that they only have a right to what was freely agreed to by both parties. THAT is real free market economics at work.

    Jesus certainly commands us to help those less fortunate, but there simply is no place where we are given the authority to make sure someone other than ourselves obeying that command, by redistrubuting their wealth for them.

    Too much Tom Waits? That’s funny!

    • What lesson does Mr. Perkins draw from the fate of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts? That they got what they deserved for contributing to a proto-socialist early form of communist commune? (Acts 2:44-46: “All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.”)

      • My understanding is that they died not because they held back money, but because they lied and said they gave everything. Seperate issues.

        • No, no, no, Elizabeth. Since, as Mr. Perkins helpfully explains for us, Jesus was a small businessman, then obviously anything to do with money or even the mention of money in the Gospels has to be about money.

          It can’t be that the Parable of the Talents is about our cowardice in the face of God’s demands on our lives; it’s about how you should have an investement portfolio.

          So the fate of Ananias and Sapphira is an object-lesson to us to keep away from anything smacking of socialism because God does not approve of that kind of false economic system.

          • The LAZY slave was using fear of the Matser’s bad character as an excuse for doing nothing with what was entrusted to him, but the Master exposes his claim of fear as a cop out.

            The holding things in common in Acts was clearly voluntary giving. Peter tells Ananias and Sapphira that what they had was their and that it was the pretense of generousity that brought them trouble. Feewill GIVING of what you have to whom you wish is a free market principle. Socialism uses force to TAKE what people have and redistribute it where it sees fit.

            Capitalism is, by definition, investing in the expectation of getting a return, and while you may have issues with Mr. Perkins being too rigid with the metephor of money that Jesus uses, Jesus is certainly showing in that parable that on some level He is a capitalist and will judge those who do not give him a return on His investment.

            There may be genuine flaws with Mr. Perkin’s understanding of the passage, but my inital comment was also addressing the dificulty Jeff has with thinking of Jesus as a capitalist. Both the parable that Mr. Perkins and the one I mentioned in Matthew do clearly portray Jesus as such. That may not justify us as acting in the same way, but there is simply no reason to assume that Jesus has given us the right to decide who has more than enough and take it from them to give to others, which is, by definition, socialism. It seems pretty clear to me that Jesus is after generosity and that, by definition, must come from us giving from our own resourses, not someone elses.

          • It seems to me that the whole idea that Perkins is espousing is a contribution from the Word Faith movement. You hear a lot of that sort of thing in some evangelical churches. I could hear exactly the same statements from Creflo Dollar or Kenneth Copeland or the like in the pentecostal church I used to attend. Its often, thought not always, taught in conjunction with the weekly tithing sermon (after worship, before the main sermon).

          • George C, I’m sorry, but I think Perkins is resorting to circular reasoning there.

            Why does he characterise the third servant as lazy? Because he didn’t do anything with the money, not even invest it.

            Why didn’t he invest it? Because he was lazy!

            I do think the third servant was fearful, not idle. Come on, if you’re like me, the easiest thing to do with money (next to spending it) is just bung it in the bank. And do you really think a master like the one in the parable (who admits to what his servant says of him, remember: he doesn’t say “Hey, you’ve got me all wrong, I’m a nice guy!”) would keep a lazy servant?

            He entrusts his money to these three presumably because of all his servants, these are the most trustworthy or from whom he expects the most. A servant who did the minimum work and was pushing it off on others wouldn’t be one of that group.

            It suits Perkins to say the third servant was lazy because that allows us to lump all the misfortunate under the one umbrella: well, gee, you’re out of work, your car has been repossessed, and the bailiffs are coming round to kick you out of your house because you’re lazy. It’s all your own fault! If you’d prayed enough, did enough missionary work, had enough faith of the right kind, and volunteered for fifty ministries in your church, you’d be just as favoured of God as I am, and I’m not poor, so that proves God favours me!

    • I am not sure we should be drawing conclusions about the right of property holders from the characters in parables. They have certain attributes in the parables in order to play a role, to illustrate something about God and Kingdom. So when a landholder in a parable says something, he is not necessarily meant to represent the ideal behavior of landlords.

      Surely we’re not going to argue that the judge who tries at first to ignore the pleas of the persistent widow is a model for justices?

    • Martha

      It seems to me that it is Jesus, not Mr. Perkins, who assumes the servant is lazy.

      I cannot speak for Mr. Perkins as to why he come to this conclusion (Jesus beleiving the servant is lazy), but my reason for doing so is that apart from the inclusion of the specific word “lazy” Jesus claims, via the master’s voice, the same exact response to the wicked servant’s cop out as to why he did not do anything with what the master gave him. With that in mind it doesn’t make it too far of a leap to think He thought both servants were “lazy” as well as “wicked”.

      Maybe there was an element of fear in the “wicked” servant, but he certainly was idle. He did nothing. That is, by definition, being idle. Maybe he was scared AND lazy, but he was certainly idle/lazy.

      The master is not agreeing with the accusations of the “wicked” servant he is simply saying, “even IF what you say about me is true, what you claim should have motivated you to action.

      I think he copping out and may not have even thought what he did about the master. Otherwise he would have done at least what the master said. The master is claiming that the wicked servants alleged fear would have motivated him to act. It did not. Maybe because it didn’t exist and was just an excuse for his laziness.

      You also assume quite a bit by claiming that the master knew or thought the servants were faithful, therefore they couldn’t be lazy. At the very least one servant winds up being “wicked”. Why not also lazy.

      The parable simply says that the servants were hired. It seems to me, and works best in the context of a parable about God’s judgement, that this was their first job with this master and he did not find out whether they were good or wicked servants until he returned to check about the returns on his investments.

      “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed. Then you ought to have put my money in the bank, and on my arrival I would have received my money back with interest. – Mt.25: 26,27

      He *said to him, ‘By your own words I will judge you, you worthless slave. Did you know that I am an exacting man, taking up what I did not lay down and reaping what I did not sow? Then why did you not put my money in the bank, and having come, I would have collected it with interest?’ Luke 19: 22,23

      I am also lazy and so I won’t reread the article now, but if anyone says that all unemployed people are lazy they are simply morons.

  2. St. Nicholas punched Arius in the face? Coolest thing I’ll probably read all day. 🙂

    • I told that story about St. Nicholas and Arius over on SBCvoices, and it got discarded. I was left wondering why, but later I found out that anything ‘Santa Claus’ makes some people uncomfortable. I didn’t realize that until then.

  3. Jeff!!!! I missed your ramblings last night. I normally read them before bed. I’m on my way out the door but yeah for Tulsa!!! 😀 😀

    Given the debate that errupted in the neo-reform crowd (the Calvinistas) when John Piper invited Rick Warren, and Tim Challis and other members went spiritually postal (or came close to jihad…) against Warren. I wondered if Warren is stepping it up to be more accepted by this crowd. I don’t see the purpose of it. But when you have Mark Driscoll saying some of the crap he is saying, John Piper tweeting “Farewell Rob Bell!!” should we be surprised that Rikc Warren is getting into the act?

    The Tony Perkins bit really pisses me off. Why is Christinaity in the US so sick? Why do fundagelicals have to be like this? Maybe I’ll immigrate to Europe….it would be nice not to see this stuff in one’s backyard.

    • The Rick Warren tweet is, frankly, pretty mild compared to stuff I see on Facebook every day.

      And I’m trying to imagine what kind of tat BennyXVI might have. A heart with a scroll across it that says “MARY”? Maybe a Calvin peeing on Hitler’s head?

  4. What’s the interest rate on the blood of Jesus? Maybe I can get monthy installments!

  5. Dan Crawford says

    Wow, the parable of the talents is a story glorifying capitalism? Man, have I really misunderstood the Scriptures! Of course, Mr. Perkins is descended from a long line of “Christians” who taught as recently as 40 years ago that the Scriptures glorified slavery and were the moral underpinning of racism and racist violence. By your fruits . . .

    • I have heard this parable tied to capitalism so many times I can’t count. Capitalism, by it’s nature, has winners and losers; oh, yeah, those losers that Christ said would inherit the earth.

      I am astounded this time of year by all the Rick Warrens of the world who believe, like Mr. Perkins, that capitalism is the God directed way the economy should run and then whine and complain because that same capitalism sends businessmen scurrying after non-Christians in the marketplace to get bigger and bigger profits that God supposedly wants us to have! If you want your store to be filled with all those non-Christians with money, gee, you probably aren’t going to shove Christmas in their faces every time they walk in the door; you’re going to greet them with a pleasant “Happy Holiday” to encourage them to buy, buy, buy.

      I swear, I am once again thinking there has to be a better way.

  6. Maybe “Red State Baptists”. But I think they are looking for something like “Living Water Baptists”.

  7. “The reason for doing this is simply to say: `Do we have any unnecessary barriers in reaching people for Jesus Christ?” Wright said.

    Um, yeah, barrier #1, you think playing with your name will change any of them.

  8. Biblical Baptist Association (BBA)

  9. Regarding Warren’s post….maybe if Christians spent this time of year in prayer, reflection, and service and were ABSENT from the madding crowds and lines of consumers buying gifts that will be forgotten in months and not paid for until next Advent…..we might be able to tell who was celebrating Christ’s Mass and who was celebrating Santa Claus and the almighty dollar (or Visa, Discovery, MasterCard, and AmEx.)

  10. The appearance of a wicked king in a parable does not justify wickedness. The appearance of a servant in a parable does not justify slavery. Hermeneutics 101 just went out the window.

    • I think the answer to what Jesus would occupy (wwjo?) Can be found in the scene from Zepharelli’s “Jesus of Nazareth, where Levi (the oppressor) and Peter (the oppressed) embrace – both called by Jesus to an exchanged life. It’s understandable for us to ask how Jesus fits in our lives and agendas, but Christmas is us bowing at the manger. O come to us, abide with us, be born in us this day.

      • Funny that the only space given him to occupy the first time was a stable. What has really changed since then?

  11. What could be more appropriate at this time of year than this video? +1.

  12. Matt Purdum says

    The concern with how retailers handle Christmas is more than enough proof that consumerism is the real religion of evangelicals.

  13. The days of Advent are holy days. Within the time of beginning from the start of Advent to the feast of Epiphany, there are numerous feast days, including the martyrdom of Stephen and the killing of the holy innocents. Indeed, it is the Christ Mass which gives meaning, context, and consummation of these holy days, but we need to journey through them all, including the bitter ones. Pilgrimage is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. Perhaps this is another concept lost in Modernism’s ransacking of the Medieval age.

    • Christmas itself is not the final destination, because the church calendar urges us onward to Lent, to the cross, to the empty tomb, and to the Mount of Olives. But even there we are urged onward to Pentecost and from there to the world to proclaim the risen Christ.

  14. The Southern Baptists should rename the denomination “Community Church”. After all, most of their newer churches are called that, it seems to me.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Or “PORTAL” like the former Anaheim Baptist Church (on Broadway & Citron). All maroon-and-grey banners, no mention in any promo materials that they’re even a church.

  15. While it’s often fun, entertaining, and informative to read the round up of the week’s news in religion, I think that the rambling could be improved by some rambles through interesting blogs you’ve been reading. Whatcha think, Jeff?

  16. I’m so sick of both sides of the political spectrum trying to claim Christ supports their particular economic system. Whether you go with free market capitalism of distributive socialism, you still have the problem of greed/selfishness. In the first system the greed is most obvious in market place transactions and in the later it is most obvious in political transactions. Believers are instructed to submit to the authority of the government (pay taxes, obey the law) and be good stewards of that which is entrusted to our care. These instructions apply in whichever economic system we live under.

  17. David Cornwell says

    Since you mentioned Pujols and baseball: Yu Darvish, who is now available to bidders, is an interesting prospect. He’s the Japanese pitching sensation now. His bio is also interesting, with an Iranian father and Japanese mother.

    • Darvish has been tearing up the league in Japan, and everyone agrees that he’s MLB-ready. But then … that’s what we all thought about Daisuke Matsuzaka …

      As the Baseball Prospectus guys like to say, TINSTAAPP (“there is no such thing as a pitching prospect”). Ya just never know until they get up on the hill and bring it.

  18. I think something like the Fighting Baptists would be a suitable name for the SBC. They could have a mascot and everything!

    As far as Warren’s tweet and Jesus’ holiday, I have to say I don’t recall the passage in Scripture where Jesus tells us to shop a lot for each other on His birthday… The irony is that our Christmas celebration is an adaptation of a pagan holiday in the first place. Now I don’t have a problem with the trappings of Christmas, yuletide, and all that. But it’s silly to fight about “changing Jesus’ holiday”. Really, I thought Warren was above this stuff. I’m not a fan of his or anything, but he seemed to have a bit more common sense than this tweet shows. Evidently he doesn’t.

  19. SBCs’ new name – “The ten thousand sects formerly known as Baptist”

  20. How bout a little love for Ozzy on his birthday?

  21. New name for the baptists: Baptiste Solidaire, also know as BS.

  22. Holy Baptistas …

  23. I don’t think Jesus taught economics to his particular study group, but he did teach ethics. The servant who did nothing with what he was given simply did not understand the Master’s priorities, indicating he was not truly a “team player”. He chose to protect himself from possible wrath rather than risk loss for the Master. Perkins played loose and fast with his interpretation (though he was pretty good in that movie where that lady was murdered in the shower.) 🙂

    James (Jesus’ brother in charge of the church in Jerusalem) made much the same point when he wrote that faith without works is dead. By no means was he claiming that good works get you to heaven, but rather that good works are evidence of a living, viable, genuine faith …it’s how you tell the charlatans from the real McCoys. Or was it the Hatfields from the McCoys???

    Anyway, Jeff …and I say it again …we should put your “Ramblings” on the air with a live chat window.

  24. C.W.V,

    ‘Catholics without Vestments’.

    (it’s pretty much the same theology…a lot of God and a bit of me. Actually the reverse is usulayy more true)

  25. I’m betting St. Nicholas could beat Ed Stetzer’s tail any day of the week.

    It’s always refreshing to see new strategies for reaching the masses develop in the Evangelical world. Lord knows we can’t become “irrelevant” (heavy sigh…picking up my Glenstal Book of Prayer for my session of afternoon prayers, complete with Bulgarian Orthodox icon…).

  26. Rick Warren: “Stores refusing to acknowledge Jesus at Christmas are free to go start their own holiday.Just dont try to change His.”

    Frank Costanza (George’s father): “It’s Festivus for the rest of us!”

    Source: Seinfeld episode “The Strike” (NBC, 18 Dec 1997)

    Frank Costanza: Many Christmases ago, I went to buy a doll for my son. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man. As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way.
    Cosmo Kramer: What happened to the doll?
    Frank Costanza: It was destroyed. But out of that a new holiday was born … a Festivus for the rest of us!
    Cosmo Kramer: That must’ve been some kind of doll.
    Frank Costanza: She was.

    • Frank Constanza: “Festivus isn’t over till ya PIN ME!” (I think he lunges for George at this point.) Great episode.

  27. Randy Thompson says

    RE: Tony Perkins: We find what we look for.

    Of course, the early (Jerusalem) church seems to make a strong case for socialism or something similar.

    Or, then again, Exodus makes a pretty strong case for simply seizing the property of those with whom you disagree.

    If one looks hard enough in the Bible, one will find it—whatever “it” is.

    • “Or, then again, Exodus makes a pretty strong case for simply seizing the property of those with whom you disagree.”

      A surprisingly effective method tried successfully throughout history!

  28. Voluntary Association of Congregational Baptists. After all, the SBC isn’t really a denomination, but a voluntary association of churches, and just about all of them are congregationally governed (via democracy, typically not via elder or presbyter rule).

    • Love the name, you are correct it really isn’t a denomination.

      But on the congregationally governed, 20 years ago I would have agreed with you. Now most all the newer generic ‘community’ churches are senior pastor led with elder team appointed by him.

      • The Guy from Knoxville says

        Allen – spot on! Most sbc churches have allowed the power to be totally held by the office wing of the church facility. There is no congreational goverance anymore in most scb churches and especially in the megas. All this is what the church transitioners do…….. you have to destroy the old to institute the new and that means taking out congreational gpverance and give it over to the senior and his associates and woe to the ones who question them about anything they are doing. Will have more on this later.

  29. As to whether Jesus was or was not a Keyesnian…

    It is my opinion that in the US, the culture of a person determines what they’re religion will be. I think “American Grace” may have found that, too. Religion doesn’t particularly shape most folks cultures, not nearly as much as their parents and experiences do. When the individual’s culture differs from their religion, they’re far more likely to change religions.

    Mr. Warren preaches in a conservative area (San Diego) so he must appeal to conservatives and doesn’t hurt himself by turning off liberals since most liberals won’t be in his congregation anyway. It’s a simple religious marketing principle.

    • Rick Warren’s Saddleback church is in Orange County, just about an hour and 15 minutes North of San Diego.

      Your point is well taken, though, it is a mostly conservative congregation (as are most Baptist congregations).

  30. Re: Watt’s, the Parable, and Occupy Movement-

    This is a gross interpretation of this Parable. Finances isn’t the point (or at least, primary one) of that Parable. To apply it the Occupy movement is to hijack it from its context (and thus its teaching), and to impose a modern economic model onto it. Frankly, I find it horrendous.

    God does teach on money- to be a steward of it. If you want to “figure it out”, look at how historically the Church has dealt with money, in each of the various locales and cultures it has lived in. DON’T cherry-pick a teaching and twist in support of your political viewpoints and/or ambitions.

    Lord have mercy on us all!

  31. Jesus chose to ‘occupy’ the most pride-soaked, self-centered, strife-ridden place. The earth.

  32. Maybe they should rename the SBC the “We really don’t like gays Baptist Association.” Sorry, I just read about Richard Land’s (president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission) statement about the State Department now considering the treatment of LGBT people when it determines which countries get foreign aid.
    He stated

    “I certainly don’t believe homosexuals or anyone else should be flogged or put to death for their sexual sins. However, I don’t believe homosexuals should receive special treatment over and above anyone else either.”

    So not being flogged to death is a special right in his eyes. Sure, he wouldn’t “corrective rape” a lesbian women, but he doesn’t really want to make even the slightest change in trying to stop it.

    Sorry, I’m a bit upset by this. I was fine after Secretary Clinton made the speech that all the usual bigots, like Tony Perkins, would come out against it, but to hear Richard Land, an official in the SBC make a statement like that…well it just makes me sad and happy that I am an agnostic and don’t have to try and defend his statement or make apologies for it.

    • Don’t feel bad. I think that the ‘exclusiveness’ of the SBC does not just select one group to ‘disfellowship’.
      For myself, I am more concerned with how the SBC has treated and does view its women. They take the subordinate thing to the max, and some even advocate a doctrine called ESS to support that teaching. The ESS doctrine ? Some in the SBC claim that Christ is ETERNALLY subordinate to the Father within the Holy Trinity and then tie this in with why women are subordinate to husbands. (groan)

      Google ‘Paige Patterson and Dr. Sheri Klouda’ and you can begin to understand my grief over what happened to that good woman and her family. It is beyond me to understand it. Even after all their ‘explanations’.
      It makes me sad for her, and it makes me feel bad for the denomination’s spirit.

      So not just one group is singled out for special treatment, unfortunately,

      There is a lot to admire among many good Southern Baptist people, but they are a proud people who do point the finger at those whom they disrespect. The denomination is declining in numbers. I hope they know why.
      But I don’t think they do, exactly. There is tremendous arguing amongst them about many things. It is hard to read their blogs sometimes. And I often find myself an unwelcomed commentator, when I am honest and open with them.

      • “Some in the SBC claim that Christ is ETERNALLY subordinate to the Father within the Holy Trinity”

        That sounds to me to be skating perilously close to Arianism – or don’t they care?

        • Martha – they don’t care. Most of the people in the pews don’t know what Arianism is, but they are sure that women are supposed to submit to men.

          Roger Olsen currently has a 3-part series on his blog about ESS. It’s good.

          • Whoops. That’s Roger Olson.

          • “they are sure that women are supposed to submit to men”

            That is not necessarily problematic, as long as their understanding of how such submission works is along the lines of the following model:

            “My friends who are not ardent pro-feminists do not understand why I allowed her to learn how to read: women, after all, once they start reading with pick up bad habits like thinking and getting ideas and joining the Church. As an ardent pro-feminist, I find their ideas backward, even Neanderthal! There are many books, after all, we males can force our servile woman-beasts to read which will keep them confused, frightened, humble, and subservient.The secret is, not to let your wife call you by your first name, because this will make her feel above herself.

            But please don’t tell my wife I wrote this paragraph. Like all well-domesticated husbands, I tremble and obey. Last time I was uppity, she almost had me thrown to the snakes.

            You can see the scene from the film clip above, photographed by our home security system. You might wonder why I, ardent pro-feminist John C. Wright… am the one kneeling and fawning, if I am the absolute master of my house. The answer is simple. … I am fawning and bowing so as not to get thrown to the snakes. Ask any married man how this works.

            Being absolute master may seem advantageous at first, but newlyweds soon find that it is best to use that absolute authority only as she sees fit, when (or better yet before) she sees fit, and without question.”


    • “I certainly don’t believe homosexuals or anyone else should be flogged or put to death for their sexual sins. However, I don’t believe homosexuals should receive special treatment over and above anyone else either.”

      “So not being flogged to death is a special right in his eyes. Sure, he wouldn’t “corrective rape” a lesbian women, but he doesn’t really want to make even the slightest change in trying to stop it.”

      I would suggest that you have just totally misread the statement in question. Rather than stating that not being flogged to death is some kind of special right, the “however” divides the two into distinct and separate statements. So what he is saying is that while homosexuals should not be flogged to death, neither should they be given special priviledges. Again, these are two separate and distinct statements.

      And the whole “corrective rape” thing? Where in left field did that come from? Somehow I suspect you’re reading your own prejudices into Richard Land’s statements.

      • The corrective rape thing was something mentioned by Secretary Clinton in her speech. It is sometimes done by police or others in countries where homosexuality is illegal, like Jamaica. The BBC has mentioned it a few times in various reports.

        As to Land’s statement, at best what he is saying is a non-sequiter. I mean what special rights is he talking about? In the context of the announcement it just reads as him qualifying his support of not flogging or killing gay people. As if he doesn’t want to show too much support of the non-killing of gay people lest he be accused of being too nice to homosexuals. I’m just tired of this disingenuous nonsense. So that is my question, if I am reading my own prejudice’s into the statement what did Land mean by the ‘however’?

  33. Great article on “St. Nick”. I’ve been getting interested in his real history, and this was a great intro, fisticuffs included.

    As far as Christians getting territorial about how Christmas is treated in the “public square”, I heard something brand new today. A young man was ringing bells in front of Kroger, and I heard him saying “…Happy Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa…Ramadan…” I got the idea that he was trying to be helpful, although he wasn’t that well informed. I believe that well wishes for Ramadan are actually stated as well wishes for Eid, the breaking of the fast at the end. But anyway, I suppose that was better than some of the FB stuff I’ve read recently from the “other side”, which is really too tacky to get into.

    Thanks to the posters here, and everywhere, who point us back to love and gentleness in the celebration of our faith.

  34. Better not bother with the parable of the vineyard workers who all got paid the same wage for a different number of hours. What kind of economic lesson would THAT one teach!?

    • It would teach that I only have to pay what I agreed to pay at the begining of the freewill agreement. Socialism would argue that I am obligated to pay as much as I can or at least as much as everyone else who is likely contributing nothing to the welfare of my employees thinks I can.

  35. Is “Evangelical Baptist Convention” even on the table, or is that one already taken? It seems appropriate and generic enough. It get’s rid of “Southern”, keeps “Baptist”, and throws the flag down where they really stand. Should make most of ’em happy bout good as any other name, to the extent that it’s possible. Media would go for it too, since every time they hear “evangelical” they think “Bible Belt Baptist Revivalistic Fundamentalist.”

  36. Capitalism is fueled by greed. There is always plenty of greed to go around, so finding fuel for the capitalist engine is never a problem. Capitalism has the tendency to make us more greedy, so it’s a vicious cycle. This is why capitalism has been the most sustainable economic form since the industrial revolution began.

    Since greed is the fuel capitalism burns, it is also inherently evil. I do not picture Jesus as a capitalist. The first century church described in Acts seems pretty socialist in nature, but political leaders could never pull that off. Only the Holy Spirit can make “socialism” work out for everyone involved.

  37. Jeff D: You are much more current on new tunes, but 1) have you heard Ben Howard do “The Wolves” and have you seen the video that features the tune as background: Danny MacAskill “Industrial Revolution”.

    You need to check this out: clearly Danny doesn’t believe in boundaries either.

    If we are allowed “stuff” in heaven, a 29er and lots of props would be killer. Keep grabbing the rare air, dude.