December 2, 2020

Saturday Ramblings 2.25.12

Welcome to the holiest of all holy days edition of Saturday Ramblings. What is this holy day, you ask? Daytona 500 Eve? No. Land Run Day? No. The birthday of Will Rogers, the patron saint of Oklahoma? No. Today is the annual Holland Hall Book Fair. By the time most of you are reading this, I will be plowing through tables of used books at Holland Hall, a pricey private school in Tulsa. For less than twenty bucks you can come out with a pretty good haul of books. Doors open at 8. I will be there at 6. If you come, be sure to stand behind me in line. And no matter how good of a friend you are, once we are inside, I don’t know you. So, are you ready to ramble?

How was your Ash Wednesday? Was it inconvenient to get in and out of your church for the service? Too bad you didn’t have a drive-thru Ash Wednesday service. The Synonymous Rambler came up with this story about a church near my old stomping grounds of Cincinnati that held just that—a drive-thru Ash Wednesday service.

And who did not see this coming? A ski-thru Starbucks. Sigh …

Do you need someone to explain Lent to you? Perhaps this video will help you. Actually, I think I would rather just read what Mark Galli has to say about giving up self-discipline for Lent.

After months of debate, the Southern Baptist Convention decided to remain the Southern Baptist Convention, with a nickname: Great Commission Baptists. Really. No, I am not making this up. David Gibson says that rebranding is not always a good thing. Not that Baptists didn’t give it a good try. Here are some of the names that almost made it. (And don’t think I won’t be referring to them as BUBBA in the future…)

Here is a change that did catch me off-guard. Richard Dawkins is now an … no, you’re just going to have to read it for yourself.

Copies of the Koran were burned, accidentally or purposefully is not known, at a NATO military base in Afganistan, sparking deadly riots. President Obama apologized for the incident, which sparked presidential candidate Newt Gingrich to say some crazy things. Meanwhile, Franklin Graham took his left foot out of his mouth in order to insert the right one when asked about what candidates are Christians. He “assumes” Obama is because Obama says he is, but he’s sure about Rick Santorum. Politics is more fun than watching the June Taylor Dancers, huh? (As long as you don’t take any of it seriously.)

From the “They Are Lacing Up Ice Skates In Hell” department comes word that Fidel Castro may rejoin the Catholic Church when Pope Benedict XVI comes to Cuba later this year. Wonder what Franklin Graham has to say about that one.

Oh those whacky gun-toting Christian TV executives. What will they do next? And you thought organized crime was confined to the Garden State.

I really liked the idea of a C.S. Lewis college. Apparently I was the only one. The college based on the greatest writer of the 20th century (yes, he was—don’t argue that one) flopped. But the Green family (owners of Hobby Lobby and Mardel Christian Stores; I have no idea if any of them tote guns or not) have put in more than $5 million to spruce the joint up, and are now looking for someone to give it to. Anyone? Anyone?

With the Oscars being presented tomorrow night, I thought it might be interesting to hear what Ralph Winter has to say about movies and faith. And yes, I would sit in on this Sunday school class at least once. (My favorite movie from 2011? The Way, followed by Moneyball.)

Finally, our Synonymous Rambler also suggested I check out what Google intends to bring to market before the end of this year. These are wrong on so many levels, yet I will probably be first in line to get them. What does that say about me?

Happy birthday songs were sung this last week to Mr. Potato Head; Enzo Ferrari; Johnny Hart; Yoko Ono; Andre “Dr. Dre” Young; Smokey Robinson; Amy Tan; Jeff Daniels; Prince Andrew; the Mir space station; Bobby Unser; Roger Penske; Davey Allison; Jerome “J” Geils; Walter Becker; Charles Barkley; Sam Peckinpah; Kelsey Grammer; George “Sparky” Anderson; and Steve Jobs.

Frazier is the last TV show I watched on a regular basis. Well, ok, other than ESPN’s Baseball Tonight. Relive some of the fun with me as we wish Kelsey Grammer a happy birthday.

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  1. Robin Cranford says

    Although I don’t know that I entirely disagree with Franklin Graham, I find it humorous that suddenly the evangelical community is including Catholics as brothers and sisters. Growing up I remember reading a pamphlet about them being a cult. Hmmmm… I always thought that was strange that they would say that someone who is Catholic couldn’t be a Christian although that Catholic confessed Christ crucified for forgiveness of sins.

    • To be fair, one of the preeminent evangelicals responsible for the better relationships between Catholics and Protestants is …. Franklin’s own father. That family’s pretty ecumenical, much to the consternation of many of its critics.

      The bigger story is that Franklin had some pretty half-committal answers on all of the candidates (Gingrinch: “From What he’s told me.” Santorum: “I think so.” Romney: “Most Christians wouldn’t accept Mormons…”), it’s just that Santorum’s came off as less half-hearted. Even on Obama he said he believe Obama’s word — pretty much the same answer as he gave about Gingrich. That just doesn’t get the headlines.

      And yes, I wish he’d stay out of political interviews and just present the Gospel like his father. I heard him in Ecuador a few years back, and that’s exactly what he did.

      • Well that is not entirely true. Billy Grahm feared JFK’s election in 1960. When I was a fundy I was told that Catholics are not Christians.

        • BG is not the same person he was in 1960. He was not even the same person by the 80s.

        • BG has been attacked by many Fundamentalists over the years for his inclusion of Roman Catholics in his crusades.

    • Robin, i am glad I am not the only person who noticed the Catholic alignment. In only one generation, fundamentalists have gone from hating Catholics to aligning with them.

      • Cultural war makes strange bed fellows.

        One thing which really turned me sour to Catholicism was the non-stop cultural war rhetoric on EWTN radio. Corapi sounded no different to me than many evangelical leaders.

        • To cheer you up, dumb ox, a joke (shamelessly stolen from Julie over at Happy Catholic):

          A drunk man, who smelled of liquor, sat down on a subway next to a priest. The man’s tie was stained, his face was plastered with red lipstick,and a half-empty bottle of gin was sticking out of his coat pocket.

          He opened his newspaper and began reading.

          After a few minutes the man turned to the priest and asked, “Say Father, do you know what causes arthritis?

          The priest replies, “My son, it’s caused by loose living, being with cheap, wicked women, too much alcohol, contempt for your fellow man, sleeping around with prostitutes and lack of a bath.”

          The drunk muttered in response, “Well, I’ll be damned.”

          He returned to his paper.

          The priest, thinking about what he had said, nudged the man and apologized. “I’m very sorry. I didn’t mean to come on so strong. How long have you had arthritis?”

          The drunk answered, “I don’t have it, Father. I was just reading here that the Pope does.”

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        In only one generation, fundamentalists have gone from hating Catholics to aligning with them.

        Cultural war makes strange bed fellows.

        “Enemy of my Enemy…”

        “Me against my brother.
        Me and my brother, united against our cousin.
        Me, my brother, and my cousin, united against The Other.”
        — Arab proverb regarding alliances and blood feuds

    • Randy Thompson says

      Peter Berger, the noted sociologist of religion, has a good take on this evangelical-catholic alignment. See his blog at The American Interest, “Religion and Other Curiosities,” specifically his “Contraception and the Culture Wars”:

  2. I guess Dawkins hasn’t conceded anything. Science can’t prove or disprove the existence of God. However, to quote Einstein once again, theists had better not hide in the dark corners where science doesn’t reach…yet. The inability to disprove is not a proof. To think otherwise is crazy talk. But Dawkins may have a point: why mess up the cosmos with theism – at least the theism of pop-fundagelicalism? Dawkin’s atheism or Piper’s theism that punishes with earth quakes and tsunamis? None of the above?

  3. Just warning you, Google IS creating Skynet. Those Terminator glasses are secretly embedded with malevolent sentience!

  4. Dawkins has been saying that he’s not 100% sure for years. Indeed, a lot of his book ‘The God Delusion’ is about agnosticism and why he thinks you have to adopt a working hypothesis even when not entirely sure. On a related note, he also publishes a yearly article in one place or another talking about all the times he’s changed his mind that year. We can learn even from our opponents…

    • “…he thinks you have to adopt a working hypothesis even when not entirely sure.”

      Does that mean Dawkins is a presuppositionalist?

  5. Matt Purdum says

    Franklin Graham is becoming a big disappointment. He should be a peacemaker. Instead he’s a trouble-stirrer.

    • I know someone else who was accused of that. He said he didn’t come to bring peace but a sword……..know whom I’m talking about?

      • That verse is mentioned a lot by atheists because many people have positive thoughts of Jesus, I suppose hearkening back to those pictures of him holding the sheep (proof that Christian schlock existed prior to Precious Moments). If you actually read some of the things he wrote such as that one, he’s not quite so cuddly.

  6. I liked that article by Mark Galli, especially when he says about Lent: “Instead, it becomes an occasion to celebrate the fact that my self-respect does not hinge on my self-discipline, and that my very lack of discipline is the paradoxical sign of the gospel. Indeed, while we were gluttons and prayerless, while we didn’t give a rip about the poor, Christ died for us. It’s not for the spiritually fit and healthy that he came, but for the unfit and unhealthy. We may be faithless in areas small and large, but he remains faithful through and through.”

    And wow, on that family giving away a “217-acre site and its 43 buildings.” Amazing that they originally bought it for $100,000. I hope it works out well.

  7. Some of the greatest slap-stick comedy ever. Frasier I mean not Graham or Dawkins 🙂

  8. Franklin Graham is a complete clown & lap dog to the far right! I’ve heard him many time & he never gives a message beyond vague “accept Jesus in your heart”, “make a personal commitment to Christ”, “we are sinners” all true points but you can’t answer all of life’s questions with easy catch phrases. especially if he is trying to speak to those who are outside Christianity.
    After watching him numerous times & seeing his eyes glaze over as he start spouting catch phrases. I always thought, “does he think this makes any sense to a non-Christian?”, then I realized this is all POLITICAL SPEACH.
    Franklin Graham using his “gospel catch-phrases” as a dog whistle for the far-right. When his Evangelical-Circus check writers see his interviews, they can all say “look at Frank giving the gospel to those God-less liberals”, “Look at him tell the truth about our Muslim-seed Pres.”.
    It has been reported that he has been fighting with the family to use his father’s legacy for his own gain (he already has). He pushed to have his elderly father meet the Palin family against others wishes. He has gone to middle-east dictators dropping Bush’s White house cards on their desks as a threat to let him evangelize or they will end up like Iraq. He has shown himself again & again as a conspiracy theorist who is living the Evangelical-Circus bubble & Profitting from it! Lord have mercy!

  9. I’ve been waiting for “Google Goggles 2.0” for about 5 years or more…it’s just a matter of someone connecting the available technology so we can isolate ourselves even more from each other and the world around us. Didn’t CS Lewis have something to say about that in The Great Divorce?

    When most people can’t figure out how to set their phone to “vibrate” for class, church or a meeting, do we really need them trying to navigate a heads-up display? Makes we want to get that college and turn it into a ludite refuge.

    • When most people can’t figure out how to set their phone to “vibrate” for class, church or a meeting, do we really need them trying to navigate a heads-up display?

      I keep thinking of a lady in the lane next to me on a stretch of nearby roads were the lanes are much less than 12′. Glanced over and she we flipping through her day runner while holding in against the steering wheel. I can just see folks driving with these things on as they run into the pole, tree, other car, or person on a sidewalk.

      As to the lady, I figured the safest spot was in front of her and sped up till it was so.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        I spend five days a week on the OC freeways and surface streets playing Dodgem with cars driven by cellphones and txtng.

  10. Mt. 10:34. If Jesus was packing, then His disciples should do likewise. No? And your vain attempts to block our posts with your “check if you are human” box will only work for so long with we aliens. We are slowly mastering your technology.

  11. I fear that this election cycle will have me curled up in the corner in a fetal position before it’s all over. Indiana has the state Rep who won’t wish the Girl Scouts happy 100th anniversary because his quick search of the internet shows him that it’s simply a front for Planned Parenthood and leads girls into homosexuality and other egregious behavior. Franklin Graham needs to shut up before he ruins his dad’s reputation completely, but I doubt that will happen. These types of people simply love to hear themselves.

    I, a lifelong Christian,increasingly find myself wanting to distance myself from the church. What I see around me, I do not want to be associated with.

    • Atheist Gladiator says

      Fortunately the U.S. Boy Scouts are still a right-wing Christian militia.

      • I’m an Eagle Scout and I have deep misgivings about the Boy Scouts. From how they treat atheists and agnositcs to gays. I was reflecting on this issue last year and as an agnostic is taught me how how I could have been discriminated against if I had my faith crisis in the BSA in high school, etc… Hard to believe here it is United States, 2012, and there is still so muhc bigotry in the world.

        • You can argue against God, but original sin is a little tougher to dismiss; it will always prove itself true. I’m pretty sure there will always be bigotry on earth, we don’t have what it takes to purge it. At least not universally.

        • Really Eagle, did you find the Scouts to really be so blatant? I wonder how it would go over if a 22 year old guy wanted to lead a girl scout troop. Do you think common sense would prevail, or political correctness?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      I fear that this election cycle will have me curled up in the corner in a fetal position before it’s all over.

      Last week, morning radio drive-time had some reports re interviews by Sanctus Santorum, GOP flavor-of-the month. The last one (as of Wednesday) was a claim that “Obama wants your children to go to college so he can Indoctrinate them. Two-thirds of those who enter college with Faith (TM) LOSE THEIR FAITH (TM) BY THE TIME THEY GRADUATE!”

      (I believe this blog has written extensively on the low retention rate of GUBAs (Grew Up Born-Agains) once they turn 18 and encounter the real world outside the Christianese Bubble. And how the Christianese response is to seal them tighter into the bubble until Rapture/Homegoing (i.e. for life), never letting them associate with Those Heathens.

      A further radio comment was Santorum’s wife being interviewed by Glenn Beck on his internet radio program; according to the commentary, Santorum’s wife invoked “God’s Will” several times re her husband’s run for the POTUS nomination and either the implication or outright statement that Santorum was God’s Choice/God’s Anointed.

      (I am waiting for the commercials “I Am Jesus Christ, and I Endorse…”)

      We’ve either got a Christianese Great White Hope situation, or God’s Mantle for POTUS has been removed from Godly Gingrich and placed on Sanctus Santorum (just as it has been placed on and transferred from Pat Robertson, Sarah Palin, that Tea Party woman whose name I can’t remember, and Gingrich — who’s Next?), or Santorum has dived headlong into the Christianese vote and is running for Witchfinder-General instead of President.

      P.S. How is it that Mormon Mitt Romney is an Eeeevil CULT CULT CULTist yet Mormon/Objectivist Glenn Beck is God’s Anointed Spokesman?

      P.P.S. Anyone still wondering why I’m hiding out in Ponyville for the duration?

  12. Politics and the gospel do NOT mix.

    There’s no life (authentic life) in politics.

    • Randy Thompson says


      Politics and truth don’t mix too well either.

    • Which is why I’m not a big fan of Dobson and the religious right or Campolo and his red letter Christians. That probably gives you an idea for whom I will be voting on Super Tuesday.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Write-in for Princess Celestia?

        • lol…….no, the Dr. No from Texas, oddly enough of the 5 running for President (Obama plus the 4 GOP candidates) he is the only one who could be described as an Evangelical.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            OK. “RON PAUL! RON PAUL! RON PAUL! (TM)”

            You know 20 years ago you’d be a Perotista (“HAVE YOU ACCEPTED ROSS PEROT AS YOUR PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOR?!?!?!”) instead of a Paulista (“HAVE YOU ACCEPTED RON PAUL AS YOUR PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOR?!?!?!?!”)? Same Messiah Politics/Man on The White Horse either way.

          • I voted in 1992, but not for the little general from Texarkana. I’m not a “Paulista” either. They are the one thing that makes me nervous about supporting Paul. But 1) I’m voting for him and not them. 2) I realize that there’s a greater chance of the Reds winning the WS than of him winning the GOP nomination anyway. and 3) A good number of his supporters will be disappointed should he actually be elected because they aren’t really libertarians just disgruntled Obama voters from ’08.

  13. Happy Birthday to Mr. Potato Head! And to Dr. Dre as well, and all the others born this week 🙂

    Speaking of the Oscars and religion, I have a religion-themed link! Reverend Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B., is the subject of a documentary entitled “God is the Bigger Elvis” which is entered for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short.

    Not only that, but as an actress before she entered the convent, she is still a a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and so is pretty certainly the only nun and Prioress of a Benedictine abbey to have a vote for the Oscars.


    • Another Mary says

      Too cool! Being the only nun and Prioress of a Benedictine abbey with the ability to vote for the Oscars is just flat amazing. And who said we Christians are narrow minded! ( also, loved the joke)

  14. The criticism over Obama’s apology was more election year double-speak: Obama apologized in confidence to Karzi, who blabbed it to the press. Then, according to Gingrich, Obama should make Karzi apologize for the murder of two American soldiers by terrorists, as if it was his fault. It’s apples and oranges, but in an election year full of fruits and nuts, what else should I expect? Is this the diplomacy that Gingrich would bring to foreign policy?

    Obama should have expressed his regret without an apology. An apology can sometimes be like handing a lethal weapon to your enemy. An apology doesn’t mean all is forgiven; it means I take responsibility for what happened, which can legitimize any claim of reparation demanded by your enemy. Afghanistan is not our enemy, but they certainly are not a friend. It is funny that the terrorist suspects first desecrated the Koran texts by writing on them. At that point the U.S. military should have handed the Koran-desecrating terrorists over to the clerics and let sharia run its course.

    • When Islamists kill innocents in a cowardly way no one apologizes to the victims, but when Korans are burned then our president apologizes for the nation. Wait just one minute! I did not burn those books, YOU did not burn those books, NO ONE I know burned those books! So why is he apologizing for US? The one who should apologize is the commanding officers(s) under whose watch this happened. When our president apologizes for what WE did not do it makes him look weak and feckless to those who hate us anyway. The criticisms of Mr. Obama were well placed. If he thinks that it makes him look more reasonable and approachable and moral to his enemies then he is sadly mistaken.

      • I don’t agree, Oscar. The men that burned the Korans, whether intentionally or accidentally, are in Afghanistan as representatives of the US. Obama is the president of the US and therefore the one who should issue the apology as he is the commanding officer of the commanding officers who you say should apologize (now there is a sentence!). You say that when Islamists kill innocents, nobody apologizes. I guess by that logic, Hitler, had he lived and seen the error of his ways, would not have needed to apologize for any of the havoc he wrought because he didn’t actually drop a bomb or gas anyone. Stalin, the same. Why was Saddam Hussein executed? He didn’t physically kill most of the people who died under his regime.

        • No one who claims to serve Christ can respect the Koran. We should be burning ALL their Korans. In fact we could wipe out Islam in a single generation. Just hold a gun up to each Arab’s head and tell him to renounce Mohamed, otherwise he dies. Make them defile a Koran to prove it, and so they can’t go back on their word later. That way Christianity would be saved for future generations. Instead they’re the ones persecuting us. We need to start treating Islam the same way we treated Nazi-ism, and show them no mercy and zero tolerance.

          • Doug, I certainly hope this comment was made in jest. Please tell me you don’t seriously see us saving Christianity for future generations by killing all Muslims. (By the way, not all Arabs are Muslims.)

            I seem to recall something our Master and Shepherd once said, something like, “Love your enemies.” Makes one ponder, doesn’t it?

          • Sort of how the Spanish and Portuguese converted the Central and South Americans for the first 100 years or so after Columbus. That worked out real well.

          • Of course not all Arabs are Moslems. That just proves it can be done, that de-Islamization is possible. And say what you like about the conquistidors, but they got the job done, otherwise South America would still be Aztec.

            Sure we should “love” our enemies, but that doesn’t mean that America as a nation should let them walk all over us, or that we shouldn’t come to the defense of other Christians. Wouldn’t it be kinder to kill them now, so that future generations won’t have to fight an even bigger war? Or would you rather just lie down and commit cultural suicide–condemning your children’s children to slavery under the Moslem yoke? Really, the most loving thing we could do is to ensure salvation for as many as possible, by nipping Islam in the bud.

          • All I can say is thank God not one of the hundreds of missionaries I know who have spent most of their lives bringing the love and peace and grace of Jesus Christ to Muslims would agree with you. Nor would I. What you are hoping for is certainly not the way of Jesus Christ.

          • Doug, we shouldn’t ‘love our enemies’, we should LOVE them, not in some random, distant hyphenated way, but as genuine humans who are made in the image of God.

            And as for the idea that the Conquistadors got the job done…yup, there are no Aztecs, but they’re not all christians either.

            I’m hoping these comments were just a wind up, because if not, you need a serious rethink & possibly a heart transplant.

          • I hope you realize Doug, that in order to carry out your wish, one needs to act like a…Nazi, and that the only entity capable of every fulfilling your wish would be a merciless, world-wide totalitarian regime that would make the Nazi’s look like kindergartners… Is that what you really want?

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            …a merciless, world-wide totalitarian regime that would make the Nazi’s look like kindergartners…

            Andy, that’s exactly how a lot of radio preachers described The Millenium after The Second Coming in the Age of Hal Lindsay. “HE (Christ) SHALL RULE WITH A ROD OF IRON!!!!! NO DISSENT SHALL BE TOLERATED!!!!!”

            Is that what you really want?

            “We should all be preparing ourselves for the jobs God will give us in the Millenium/Eternity.”
            — attributed to James Dobson or one of his associates

            Put the two together (as is done at the end of Left Behind Volume 12) and the answer is “Yes”. That sort of Christian expects to be God’s Enforcers and/or Thought Police.

        • Yes. He is the commander in chief. Had he expected his generals to apologize, then the Republicans would have criticized him for not stopping the buck at his desk. It still could have been handled better.

          • It still could have been handled better.

            With Karzi there appears to be no “good” way to handle much of anything.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        When Islamists kill innocents in a cowardly way no one apologizes to the victims, but when Korans are burned then our president apologizes for the nation.

        Because Christians don’t go on a foaming-at-the-mouth kill-crazy rampage anytime anyone anywhere might possibly be dissing them. If we did, everyone would be tiptoeing on eggs around us and sucking up to us, too.

        Phobos Kedros Doxa —

      • We apologize, first, precisely because we do not want to be like those who harm and disrespect others without a thought or care. It’s a sign that we’re striving for something better. Second, we do it because one simply cannot make inroads or hope to influence a Muslim culture without first earning their respect and trust. This is true for anyone who works in and hopes to gain a voice in these nations, be they a government entity or Christian missionaries.
        I grew up in a Muslim country.

        • Still pretty fed up with the concept of “never-ever-EVER” offending a Muslin in any way, shape, or form, but Christians, especially Catholic Christians, being totally fair game for the most vile and vulgar words and parodies and that is just free speech!

          One can dress like a hooker nun and that is funny, one dresses like a zombie Mohammed and get beaten up…and the attacker freed because he was only “defending his faith”…..GRRRRRRRRRRRR

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            As I said above, if Christians went kill-crazy every time we were offended in any way, everyone would be “never-ever-EVER offending us” in any way, either. Just like the USSR among the Third World and First World Intellectuals during the Cold War — the more brutal, vicious, and bloodthirsty the USSR became, the more everyone sucked up to them and sang their praises. Fear Breeds Respect.

          • Agreed….

  15. The SBC could rename itself “the Community Baptist Convention” since so many of their churches are named that. So many Southern Baptist churches have dropped “Southern” from their names, and many drop “Baptist,” too, does it really matter whether the convention is called “Southern Baptist”? Most of the unsaved on the ground wouldn’t know that Street Corner Community Church over there is Baptist, much less Southern Baptist.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Or that PORTAL! with all the Trendoid cards & brochures is Anaheim Baptist Church re-branded.

  16. Here is a thoughtful response to Galli’s article from an Orthodox perspective:

  17. I was astounded today to learn that Rick Santorum is Roman Catholic. I mean, who knew? This blows all my stereotypes. And from the man himself I learn that theology is not words about God as I had always believed but about the environment. Trying very hard to catch up here.

    • Listen to EWTN. You would be surprised how similar their cultural war drums sound to those of evangelicals.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Christ got thrown under the Christian Culture War bus some time ago.

        And you know what Our Christian Duty to the Culture War keeps bringing to mind?

        In my high-school days, I read a non-fiction book by James Michener titled The Bridge at Andau about the 1956 Hungarian Rebellion and its brutal crushing by the Russian Army and KGB. (Or NKVD or MVD or whatever the KGB was called back then — churches and businesses ain’t the only ones to re-brand themselves.) One section near the end was composed of interviews with Hungarian refugees about what life was like in the Stalin-era Warsaw Pact.

        “We marched. We marched for the Rosenbergs. We marched for The Revolution. We marched for the Soviet Union and the Workers of the World. We marched against the Capitalist Bourqeoisie.”

        i.e. We Marched for the Communist Culture War. All Culture War, All The Time.

  18. I’d give Graham somewhat of a break. Asking him if a candidate is a Christian is a bit like being asked the age-old entrapment question, “Do you still beat your wife?”. How would he know? Other evangelical leaders have made it difficult for him, because they seemed convinced that they know. I recently discovered that the death of the “birther” conspiracy gave rise to the “dunker” conspiracy, i.e. where is Obama’s baptism certificate? I believe the oath of office requires a president to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”, not the Bible. Find someone who will meet that job requirement before you worry what club they belong to.

    • I actually watched the interview on Morning Joe.

      “Are you still beating your wife?” was indeed how some of the questions were phrased. But to be honest neither FG or the questioners were listening to each other. They kept turning the last thing said by the other into an answer to another question or a question that tried to twist his words into something else.

      FG gave a somewhat reasonable answer to the “O is a Christian” question. But he kept expanding on it to where you could barely follow him even if listening closely. And a lot of it had to do with the Protestant deffinition of accepting Jesus into your heart when he IMPLIED that O has never said he did. But then with Santorum, the Catholic, he accepted he was a Christian but didn’t get into the personal rebirth issue. And he did a real dance when asked about Mitt. But then the questioner, especially Mike Barnicle and the lady I can’t remember (Andria Mitchel?), wanted him to say that anyone who claims to be a Christian MUST be taken at their word, not matter what their positions on anything. Which he would not do.

      Over all it was lousy journalism and a bad showing by FG. And with Mike Barnicles making comments about FG not reading some parts of his bible but not mentioning which ones, it became obvious to me this is a subject that just shouldn’t be a part of the debate.

      In the end, especially after his answers about Santorum and Mitt all I could think of was:

      • When asked about Obama, Franklin said he can’t tell if anyone’s a Christian because he can’t see another man’s heart. Then when he was asked about Santorum he said, Yes, I believe he is. That is when the cat was out of the bag & everyone kept asking him questions to clear up his obvious double standard. It was not lousy journalism, it was Franklin missing the pitch on his right-wing dog whistle.

        • I was speaking of the entire interview. Both sides blew it several times. On that issue FG blew it totally.

  19. Pastor Jeremiah says

    Slim pickings this week… apparently Hinn, Young, Driscoll, et al, have given up their antics for Lent? …. Let’s hope that Galli is right and this won’t last too long.

    (Curse you human box – my initial attempt was foiled again!)

  20. Hold the phone! Dawkins vs. the Archbishop of Cantebury? That is NOT remotely a fair fight. Williams is a brilliant guy (and a DRUID, believe it or not). Dawkins has never argued against that God before; he’s used to the God of militant fundamentalists. It doesn’t shock me that Williams might get him to question doubt, because he’s not out to convert him to fundagelicalism. Anglicans generally seem to be good at having delightfully civil conversations over controversial issues. I bet it was the nicest treatment Dawkins ever got from a Christian debate opponent.

    • Pedantically, he’s only a druid within the Gorsedd of Bards, which is more of an honorary title for people considered to be important figures in Welsh culture (the Queen is as well, incidentally). He doesn’t count as a druid in the religious sense of neopagan Druidry (New tourist slogan: ‘Britain! Where we have many different kinds of druid!’).

      The CoE is indeed great at having good discussions. Back when I was at university, the secular and agnostic society had better relations with the local Anglican organisations than either did with the Evangelicals (those were the two main religious groupings there), which was seemingly founded on the fact that both listened to the other instead of waiting for their turn to shout. A lot of fruitful stuff was founded on that relationship, including my conversion to Christianity.

  21. …and I’m not gonna stop saying this. Why is nobody suggesting “Evangelical Baptist Convention?” Isn’t that the most logical choice to represent their demographics? Does somebody else already have that?

    • Welsh Willie says

      How about “Family Baptist Church”? That has a nice, homey ring to it, don’t you think?

      • With all the Acts29 dudes geting NAMB funding, it’s only a matter of time before they become the RBCUSA: Reformed Baptist Church in the US.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          And then comes the split-off of the Truly Reformed Baptist Church in the US, with anathemas and denunciations.

          Then comes the split-off of the Truly Truly Reformed Baptist Church in the US…

          Then the Truly Truly Truly Reformed…

  22. I just listened to “The One on the Right is on the Left” written by Jack Clement and performed by Johny Cash. It’s ballad about a folk music group that breaks up over political differences. There might be a moral there we could all take to heart. Happy Birthday Johnny.

  23. I’m lost?? Whats wrong with the Baptist or Catholic church??
    Sorry if it seems like a dumb question, I’m new to this site.