January 16, 2021

Saturday Ramblings 6.29.13

RamblerIt has been a week, iMonks. We hit triple digits for the first time this summer here at the Tulsa wing of the iMonastery. People will say, “But it’s a dry heat.” Yes, and so is my oven, but I don’t like to hang out there. The older I get, the more thankful I am for conditioned air. There is also a special seat at the heavenly banquet table for the inventor of the ceiling fan. Just sayin’… Now, if you will give me a second to refill my glass of iced tea (Earl Grey iced tea), then we will ramble …

The courts were busy this week. SCOTUS (isn’t it just cute as can be how we are all referring to the Supreme Court of the United States as SCOTUS? Sounds like something out of a Tom Clancy novel.) made a ruling that has proponents of gay marriage shouting for joy. Even Bert and Ernie seem to be happy about it. Jonathan Merritt collected Christian leaders’ responses, and—surprisingly—they were fairly measured. And Cathleen Falsani has a one-word answer to the whole thing. Can you guess what that word is?

Meanwhile, a district court has ruled in favor of Hobby Lobby in a case that will have a very large impact on Obamacare. You can read the particulars here. And the NFL said it has no plans to promote Obamacare. Ok then …

Paul Hewson sat down with Jim Daly of Focus on the Family this week, and shared his thoughts on, among other things, how the Psalms of David mirror the blues. Why do we care what Paul Hewson has to say about anything? Well, he goes by the nickname Bono …

More fallout from Katharine Jefferts Schori’s sermon where she says St. Paul failed to value the “diversity” of the slave girl who followed Paul in the marketplace. Reading the thoughts of other Episcopalians, I think there might be hope for this denomination yet.

Rick Santorum can’t be president of our country, but he can be president of a movie studio. Isn’t this kind of like becoming captain of the Titanic after it had hit the iceberg? Theatrical-release movies are not exactly the place to make money these days.

Still, that’s not stopping studios from rushing to bring out movies based on stories in the Bible. Here is a quiz. These studios have chosen to make movies that will appeal to Christians because a) they feel a moral obligation to present stories that will inspire viewers to do good, or b) they see a way to reach an audience that will shell out ready greenbacks simply because a movie is based on a story from Scripture. Take your time. Put your pencil down when you have finished the quiz.

Seems a girl was kicked off of the middle school football team at Strong Rock Christian Academy because … she wasn’t any good? Her grades were too low? Her parents are registered Democrats? No. Amanda Baxter was told she couldn’t keep playing because some of the boys were beginning to think impure thoughts about her. Excuse me? What middle school boy doesn’t think impure thoughts?

Do you remember when church was a place to go to hear the Gospel? Me either. Now, of course, church is where we go to lose weight God’s way. Sigh …

Finally, two stories from the Pass-Me-The-Barf-Bag department. First, you can now buy bullets laced with pork. Why? So when you shoot a Muslim, it will send them straight to hell. Talk about an argument for gun control.

And Adam Palmer passed this on to me. Yes, this church is in Tulsa. Yes, it is the largest church here in Tulsa. No, that does not speak well for where I live. Please please please make these people go away.

Happy birthday balloons were blown up this last week for my son, Mark; my grandson, Jude; the Synonymous Rambler; my good friend Mike Davis; Kris Kristofferson; Todd Rungren; Mick Fleetwood; Jeff Beck; Carly Simon; Helen Keller; and Mel Brooks.

Here is the legendary singer-songwriter Kris Kristofferson telling the story of how he wrote Why Me Lord. Enjoy.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tA7E7pbUws’]


  1. Not sure I understand what the point is re: those stickers… And maybe those prizes aren’t what should be motivating folks. Actually, what IS the point of those stickers, Jeff?

    I’ve lost 16 pounds in a few weeks. It’s a lot easier when you hear what God says about it” Groan. Face, meet palm. I’m glad some people are having some successes with these programs. And I’m glad the article has a healthy skepticism for the entrepreneurial hucksters out there. But there seems something cheapening about dusting every facet of life with God marketing. Instead of making things theologically deeper, it seems to dilute God. (I’m probably not making sense here and should probably just go to bed instead of commenting….)

    • No, you are making perfect sense. And the point of those stickers is to market a church using social media. It has nothing—zero—to do with the Gospel. They are slick with marketing and self-help messages and, of course, lots of games for the youth. Their youth building—bigger than most churches—is lined with Playstations and XBoxes. Again, nothing to do with the Gospel. But now I’ll shut up and go to bed …

      • Did you notice that the man in the video said that he”couldn’t think of any better way to show love for your church than to put a sticker on your car.” Really? My fourteen-year-old overheard the video and said, “How about leading a holy and charitable life? No? I guess I’m not very religious, then.” (Sarcasm intended)

        • If he can’t think of a better way to show love for his church, maybe it’s time for a new church.

          And, I’m back to the John Prine song, “Your Flag Decal Won’t Get You Into Heaven Anymore”.

      • The institutional church is now a brand, apparently. These guys have a slick marketing department. Their sales should really skyrocket after this latest push toward brand awareness.
        Remind me how this is not a business.. Blech!
        I know more now than ever that the Church is not an institution.

    • Well, from what I hear, whoever stickers up the mostest wins a crate of Jihawg Ammo…

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        At $1 a round retail, “a crate of Jihawg ammo” would actually have some value. Trade/barter goods and the like.

  2. How can you miss Jeff Beck as a birthday boy this week (the 24th)? MAJOR omission!

  3. MelissatheRagamuffin says

    Rez band said a significant number of the Psalms were “The Blues” back in the 1980’s.

  4. I liked that column by Cathleen Falsani . Good words.

  5. Pork-greased ammo — even the rumor of it in 1857 was enough to send much of India up in flames, with a death toll of perhaps hundreds of thousands. But the makers of this new ammo say they are just having a laugh at the expense of people who take things seriously — ha ha. I lament with Professor Digory Kirke, “What DO they teach in schools these days?” Not history, obviously.

    • Beat me to it, Damaris 🙂

      Yes, the first thing that went through my mind when I read about the pork-painted ammunition was the Indian Mutiny of 1857, where the last straw that provoked the outbreak (if you will excuse the mixed metaphor) was the introduction of ammunition for a new rifle/

      Wikipedia has a good basic summary: the new Pattern 1853 Enfield Rifle used paper cartridges that came pre-greased. The soldiers had to bite the cartridge open to release the powder and the grease used on these cartridges included tallow derived from beef; which would be offensive to Hindus, or lard derived from pork; which would be offensive to Muslims. Rumours spread about the Enfield cartridges being greased with animal fat, and what kicked it off seems to have been a row between a high-caste sepoy and a low-caste labourer where the labourer had taunted the sepoy that by biting the cartridge, he had himself lost caste. This, coupled with rumours that the British sought to destroy the religions of the Indian people, was the spark that started the conflagration.

      What’s that saying about not learning from history? Yes, let’s use a gimmick to sell our ammo and never mind if it sounds offensive or stupid! What about if I accidentally or on purpose shoot a Jew instead of a Muslim? Can I still be guaranteed to send them to hell?

      • Robert F says

        Learning from history? You have to know history first, and then take it seriously next, to learn from it. But if you knew your history, you would know that it only started with the advent of television, and that was ancient history.

        The people who manufacture this ammo couldn’t care less about what happened in 1853; they wouldn’t care if it happened in 2012. They’re rednecks catering to a redneck customer base. If they don’t care about joking(?) about Muslims going to hell, neither do they care if some Muslims might die in riots touched off by a reaction to their product.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Learning from history? You have to know history first, and then take it seriously next, to learn from it.

          Ancient History: What was on MTV last week.

          “Oh, that’s SOOOOOO Day-Before-Yesterday.”
          — Buffy the Vampire Slayer

          • Marcus Johnson says

            Well, in the defense of the gun makers, pork grease is already killing off a lot of Christians in America. No bullets required, though; just feed them your average Paula Deen recipe.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Never heard of Paula Deen, but I have seen photos of the spheroid results of Baptist Church Potluck culture.

          • Hey, take it easy on the pork product; imho, taken in moderation, bacon is to be received as a gift from God and a tonic for the soul.

          • @ Headless Unicorn Guy said,
            Never heard of Paula Deen

            How can you not know who Paula Deen is?? Dude. 😕

            Deen used to be on Food Network all the time. She is a chef from Georgia who sticks about ten tons of butter in everything she cooks, and she says “Y’all” a lot. (She was recently let go from FN for admitting to using racial epithets years ago.)

            Check out this Tumblr blog about her:
            Paula Deen Riding Things
            (it’s a clean site, despite the somewhat kinky- sounding title. It’s photos of Deen photoshopped riding dinosaurs and stuff)

      • You said, which would be offensive to Muslims

        99% of everything on planet earth is offensive to fundamentalist Muslims. See my post at the bottom of this page. They are offended by Valentine’s Day cards, for pete’s sake.

        A shorter list could be made if one wrote down what most of them are not /b> offended by: Allah; Prophet Mohammed; Hadith; Koran… and I’m stumped.

        Does rice offend them? Rocks? Bellybutton lint?

        • I’m not sure that’s very accurate. I discussed this with some of my muslim friends at work, and while they were offended in the “people want to send people to hell” way, the porked ammo just made them laugh. I think they were a little more concerned with getting hit with the bullet than what type of grease it is lubed with.

  6. Why can’t people leave Ernie & Bert alone? They are only children

    • Marcus Johnson says

      Forty-something children, that live together, bathe together, have mutual friends…

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Before Rainbow Dash…
        Before Tinky Winky…
        Before Spongebob…

      • Forty-something children, that live together, bathe together, have mutual friends…

        Vampire Ed Cullen is supposed to be 17 years old but is actually about 100 and dating a 17 year old human. 😆 A fact which is mentioned in this:

        Twilight – Honest Trailers

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          It has been said of Sparkling Eddie that “He’s a virgin at 107, so you know he’s got issues.”

          Actually, there’s something much more ominous than being a virgin at 107. It’s the fact that SPARKING EDDIE HAS BEEN ATTENDING HIGH SCHOOL FOR NINETY YEARS. I don’t know about you, but American High Schools have one of the most savage and vicious pecking orders of any society. I spent four years in High School (did NOT score Three Touchdowns in One Game), and have spent 40 years trying to erase the memory of those 4. All I can conclude is that Stephanie Myers’ high school career was vastly different from mine. Otherwise, why would her idea of Immortality and Paradise BE Never-ending Perpetual High School.

          • Elizabeth says

            Nope. He attended medical school at least twice and college many times. Read the books first people!

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            So he was able to pass as a young adult instead of perpetual 17?
            Then why’d he go back to high school?
            (And “So he could meet & LURVE the Author Self-Insert” doesn’t cut it.)

          • Elizabeth says

            If they moved to a new area, they ‘started over’ so they could stay in one place longer. It was a cycle they had to let them live as ‘normally’ as possible. And he went to med school to keep up with the new trends,etc for Carlyle so would not stand out as ‘old fashioned”.

            As much as the books are frustratingly YA, there is a really interesting discussion of the nature of the soul that move the story along. Edward believes that his circumstance (being bitten) means he has lost his soul and is damned. This is the reason he doesn’t want to ‘change’ Bella. Bella on the other hand believes that his ability to choose right from wrong and abstain from following his new ‘nature’ is evidence of his soul. Carlyle continues to retain his Christian beliefs – he says at one point ‘I have never seen anything in my 360 years, including my own reflection, that convinces me that God has abandoned me’ (paraphrased from New Moon).

            Anyway, this is ‘mother of teen daughters’ rule x, always know what they are reading 🙂

        • Marcus Johnson says

          Thank you, Daisy, for tonight’s nightmares of being smothered in my sleep by Sesame Street characters.

  7. I’d be willing to bet that the pork-laced bullet makers are claiming christians… there’s something wrong with US…we/US are not the world’s city on a hill but the world’s gutter…

    • Actually, we are the world’s largest producer and exporter of arms. In fact, 87% of our “foreign aid” is earmarked to be spent on the military-industrial complex. Less a gutter, and more a well-oiled war factory.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      “Claiming Christians…” as in Christians getting shot by Jihawg rounds or “Claiming Christians…” as in Christians BUYING “Jihawg rounds for Jeesus”?

      The latter has a scary corollary in the “Don’t Give Them Ideas!” department. Stencil an appropriate Bible verse (OT or Revelation most likely) on each round and start marketing them specifically to Christians. Would it sell? And how big would it sell?

  8. Robert F says

    Schori is correct that prior generations had a limited view; but so does our generation. If they were ethically blind in certain areas, like slavery and, I would argue, homosexuality, there is no doubt that we are blind in others areas, like the reality of evil and the demonic. I believe Schori is blind in her eisegesis of the text from Acts.

  9. Hearing so many of my friends and religious leaders’ reaction to the SCOTUS ruling, I am reminded once again that if anything will make me leave the church, it will be the other Christians. The fear and loathing of anyone who isn’t a happy, middle class, mostly white, and heterosexual (and married) Christian is wearing me down.

    • It have been wearing on a lot of us. I think that you would like http://www.lovinggrace.org he talks about bringing the church back to the basic. Jesus

    • Marcus Johnson says

      Suzanne, I wholeheartedly understand your frustration. Sometimes, I wish I could be as glib as Pelosi was, when she was asked to comment on Bachmann’s stupid, fear-laden rant, and say, “Who cares?”

      However, now we need to become part of the reformation within the church that eliminates ignorance and fear from our community. That fear and loathing is not going to go away easily, so we have some work to do.

      • As one who essentially left the church many years ago, mainly because of the ignorance on this issue, I can only echo the Speaker’s sentiment and agree “who cares”. These are grown-up folks we are talking about here, not children. It’s time for them to get over their fear and ignorance and embrace the command from Jesus Himself…”Love your neighbor as yourself….” That was His Above All Else statement in the whole of the New Testament. Let them begin there.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Bachmann’s rant?

        The same Bachmann who was God’s Anointed Choice for POTUS of the Week during the 2012 Republican Primaries?

        • Marcus Johnson says

          The same one. Apparently, God wanted some entertainment, and Bachmann is a pure caricature of herself.

    • Dan from Georgia says

      “The fear and loathing of anyone who isn’t a happy, middle class, mostly white, and heterosexual (and married) Christian is wearing me down”

      I love that line. So true!

  10. Robert F says

    Pork in the bullets? Brain death in the skull. How embarrassing American Red Neckism is.

  11. Saw this earlier this week.

    POTATOUS: Potato of the United States

    • That’s funny. I’m wondering if Damien Thorn and Robert F are the same person behind the curtain with a finely honed sense of humor..

      • Robert F says

        Though I am completely without a sense of humor, I’m very happy to be able to inadvertently tickle your funny bone, Charles; I cannot, however, speak for dear Damien.

  12. The primary aspect of the Christian fitness movement that bothers me is the money-making bit (“fastest growing faith-and-fitness brand on the market,” indeed). But it’s hard to argue with this quotation from the “Christianity Today” article:

    “At the heart of these beliefs and practices—stewarding our God-made bodies and glorifying him in everything—is a growing understanding of the unity and integrity of the human self. It’s an essential stake in the wellness revival tent: that body, mind, and spirit are inextricable, and that true health and true spirituality will address all three.”

    As a chronically overweight person who does not believe her own gluttony glorifies God, I definitely need me more of what’s in those two sentences. And while I would credit it to Him whether I improved my health via, say, Weight Watchers or a church-run program, the fact is that the secular (if you’ll pardon the term) weight-loss industry is first and foremost a money-making enterprise, and many people who could benefit from participating in a structured program (with weekly group meetings, weigh-ins, pep talks, cooking tips, or whatever) are priced out.. If a church developed an effective program of weight-loss support (the diets themselves, of course, should be relatively mainstream and definitely doctor-approved) and put it online to share with any other church or person who wanted to adopt it, most of my reservations would evaporate.

    I do think it’s cheesy to call the diet itself Biblical (unless one is going to base it on OT dietary restrictions); however, implementation of a group fitness program can definitely be *un*-Biblical (weight-loss competitions, for instance). And sure, I’d be worried if fitness becme a central-emphasis thing in any congregation I attended (the subject of sermon series, for instance). But as *part* of what a congregation offers its members, I’d rate a well-run fitness group way above the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfasts (featuring — yes — pancake-eating competitions) I recall from my younger days.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Don’t forget those Baptist Potlucks. On the “Stuff Fundies Like”-style blogs, I’ve seen so many photos of 300+ pound spheroid preachers.

      And as for “Biblical diets”, my writing partner told me about one by a Salem Kirban, whose main claim to fame was penning the WORST Christian Apocalyptic novel of all time. (At least he didn’t pad it out over 16 to 22 volumes…)

      Called “The Godly Diet”, it was nothing but whole-grain bread. And whole-grain bread. And whole-grain bread. And you had to weigh and measure everything you pooped out. And you could tell it was working because you could see the Holy Spirit shining in your eyes when you were on it. I am not making this up. My writing partner’s father got sucked into it for a while, that’s how he knew about it.

      • The worst apocalyptic novel, really? Worse that Ernest Angley’s “Raptured” (a sample of which can be read on Amazon)? That must be one bad book (or two — Amazon credits Kirban with a pair of Revelation-themed novels, “666” and “1000”).

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          The “WORST Christian Apocalyptic Novel of All Time (WCANAT)” I’m referring to is “666”. I read it during my time in-country in the Evangelical Circus and it is truly AWFUL. Probably worse than “Raptured”. It is literally the worst writing and storytelling I have EVER read (and I’ve read some truly awful fanfic). And it always sold big in the Jesus Junk Stores — “End Time Prophecy — History Written In Advance!”

          I got introduced to SF lit back in 1966, when I was 11. I had read through most of the classic SF authors by the time I was 18. Can you imagine coming down from the likes of Poul Anderson, H Beam Piper, Gordon Dickson, even Cordwainer Smith to the likes of Salem Kirban? Christian SF was crap! The only reason Kirban’s crap sold was because it was CHRISTIAN(TM)!

          • Cedric Klein says

            Even when I was a Rapturist, I read Angley’s RAPTURED for laughs at the ridiculous ultra-violence. Alas, I liked Kirban’s 666 & 1000 (there was actually a graphic novel of the former also!) although I saw very severe flaws in the narrative- such as switching character perspectives without warning and, worse, misremembering what happened in the story & contradicting it outright.

            I do have some affection for these Rapture works-

            The Sydney Watson novels of the 1910’s In the Twinkling of an Eye and The Mark of the Beast. I’d like to see them filmed from a steampunk perspective.

            Clarence Larkin’s Dispensational charts.

            Chick Tracts before he met John Todd, Alberto Rivera, and Rebecca Brown- when he was just a fundy but not an anti-Catholic conspiracy nut.

            The 1970s A Thief in the Night Tetrology of films.

            Hal Lindsey’s 1970s books. I cut my teen Christian teeth on them & used The Liberation of Planet Earth practically as a devotional. I disagree with much of his writings now but they helped me deepen my faith & dig into Scripture then.

            Cloud Ten’s Apocalypse films II-IV (Nick Mancuso is a rockin’ AntiChrist!)

            James BeauSeigneur’s Christ Clone Trilogy novels

            Mark Rogers’ The Dead novel

            Brian Caldwell’s We All Fall Down (imagine Left Behind filmed by Quentin Tarantino),

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Hal Lindsey’s 1970s books. I cut my teen Christian teeth on them & used The Liberation of Planet Earth practically as a devotional. I disagree with much of his writings now but they helped me deepen my faith & dig into Scripture then.

            All it did was mess my head up BAD. Ever heard of “Bible Studies” where the only book cracked open was Late Great Planet Earth? Ever heard of Christians For Nuclear War? To this day I cannot speak the word S***pture. To me, S***pture will forever mean “THE PARTY LINE, COMRADE!”

  13. The Biblical way to lose weight? The Matthew 5:30 Diet is tested and proven to shed those pounds!

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      So is Stage IV cancer.

    • Losing weight God’s way…

      Did God used to be fat?

      • Did God used to be fat?

        God used to be a little on the chunky side. Until he started doing aerobics and drinking Slim Fast.

        His favorite culinary vices are Nutty Butty ice cream cones, Cheetos, and Mountain Dew. Not all at the same time, of course. (Cheetos with the ice cream might be a little gross.)

    • Proverbs 23:2 is also a good verse to apply as a scriptural diet rule!

  14. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Seems a girl was kicked off of the middle school football team at Strong Rock Christian Academy because … she wasn’t any good? Her grades were too low? Her parents are registered Democrats? No. Amanda Baxter was told she couldn’t keep playing because some of the boys were beginning to think impure thoughts about her. Excuse me? What middle school boy doesn’t think impure thoughts?

    That’s what burqas are for. And stonings of Jezebels. And Religious Police with whips.

    More seriously, I’ve seen more and more spiritual abuse blogs talking about “The Christianese Purity Cult”. Maybe iMonk could do a series on it, like they’ve done with “Creation Wars”. In a 2005 article on Salvation by Marriage Alone, the original iMonk commented that “much of what I’ve seen in the Christian Courtship movement would not be out of place in Medieval Islam.”

    • Thank you. Fundamentalism is fundamentalism no matter what noun is tacked onto the end.

    • Islam by any other name…

      But hey, let’s get back to fearing and loathing sharia law.

      • Actually, you got to feel sorry for the kids. Liberal society still thinks you can force the sexes together in close quarters – be it on a sports field or a foxhole – and pretend no one will have any issues. Let’s not even discuss the skyrocketing rate of sexual harassment and misconduct in the military.

  15. Indeed.

    My Dr. told me that in about a week after I’m dead I’ll be at just about the right weight for my height.

    So…I’ve got that going for me.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      My mother dropped 50 lbs in two months back in Spring of ’75. Unfortunately she died of the Stage IV lung cancer at the end of that Metastasized Small-Cell Plus Puke 24/7 Chemo Weight Loss program. Double unfortunately, there are those so obsessed with losing weight that they’d eagerly go the same route.

    • Robert F says

      And a week after that you’ll be on the way to becoming nothing but a collection of bones with a lot of hair and leather where your skin was; terminally skinny, terminally chic, thinner and hairier than a rock star.

  16. Thank you for the Kris Kristofferson video, Jeff. It seems he persists gently in the faith at age 77 …witness his latest album entitled “Feeling Mortal” (you’d love this one). Also neat to see him, Willie Nelson and Bobby Bare on the same stage together.

    Other artists turning spiritual with their music in their dotage …Willie Nelson, Glen Campbell, Bobby McFerrin, Mary Chapin Carpenter (OK, she’s not so old). 🙂

  17. “Peace through pork.”


  18. The interview for the last supper movie sounds creepy, the director claims to be Catholic but this talk about the disciples each experiencing “the Christ consciousness” worries me.

    • Robert F says

      After reading the article I’m not sure of the intent of this film director, but the term “Christ consciousness” is usually New Age code for the idea that all human beings have the potential to realize the same level of divinity that Jesus did by focusing on the divine within themselves; in addition, New Age prophet David Spangler predicted a few decades ago that the advent of a planetary wide “Christ consciousness” would be by way of what he called the “Luciferic Initiation,” which would bring balance to the experience of the divine by restoring Lucifer as a symbol to its rightful place as the fourth element of Divine Truth, which had been truncated to a Trinity by historic Christianity.

      Creepy, yes.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        Was Spangler reading from a script by Hal Lindsay?

        I live in the granola bowl of SoCal, today’s Weird Religion Capital of America. “New Age” is considered a play religion for yuppies, CELEBRITIES, and those with more money than brains. A play religion for Aristocrats. Some of it has trickled down into emerging folk beliefs, but the Pure New Age Consciousness has all the marks of a con job. Just like Anton LaVey’s Church of Satan in retrospect.

        • Robert F says

          I was reading Spangler back in the day when you were wrapped up with Hal Lindsay; these movements are opposites that dovetail each other. But there definitely is a belief among what used to be considered alternative religious perspectives that what has traditionally been thought of as evil must be embraced to bring balance and wholeness. This belief arises out of earlier understanding rooted in various kinds of antinomianism, like the Buddhist Left Handed Tantra, that required adherents to embrace in religious rituals what is normally thought of as repellent and disgusting and even evil.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            I was reading Spangler back in the day when you were wrapped up with Hal Lindsay; these movements are opposites that dovetail each other.

            Funhouse mirror reflections of each other, locked in eternal enmity.
            Like Communism and Objectivism.
            Or the half-white and half-black aliens in that one “Old Testament” Star Trek episode.

        • Actually, though Spangler may have been and still may be deluded, he was not a con artist, far as I can tell. Along with William Irwin Thompson, and as a founding member of the Findhorn community, he was out to, as he and Thompson put, re-imagine the sacred and re-enchant the world denuded by the spiritual poverty of modernity. William Irwin Thompson, his colleague, is without question a genius and phenomenal scholar, and his book “The Time Falling Bodies Take to Light” was what started me on the road back into spirituality after the disillusionment of my secular education.

  19. In regards to the pork bullets. I do not like Islam at all.

    I’m not one for altogether defending going out of one’s way to offend people on their religious beliefs. But.

    Many Muslims are prone to using any affront to their religion, no matter how trivial, to protest in streets, set buildings on fire, riot, and/or kill people – so I usually have little sympathy on occasions when someone does something like, well, make pork bullets.

    Then you had the guy a couple of years ago, some red neck preacher, who was going to throw a Quran on a BBQ grill and burn it.

    Not something I would do, a little on the obnoxious side perhaps, but again, given the breathtaking amount of hate-filled, violent intolerance of some Muslims, and the “moderate” ones who do not speak out against the extremist kooks, violence the world over against Non Muslims (infidels – whom they also call pigs), I can’t get too worked up over something like pork bullets.

    In some Muslim nations, they have banned jeans for women, Valentine’s Day cards, watching soccer on TV (they either jailed or killed one Muslim guy for watching the banned soccer on TV), and a Burger King ice cream logo which some of them swore looked like the Arabic word for Allah.

    These people are looking for stuff to get offended over. They enjoy being offended. It’s their hobby or life goal or excuse to burn cars and attack people on city streets.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Then you had the guy a couple of years ago, some red neck preacher, who was going to throw a Quran on a BBQ grill and burn it.

      According to the news at the time, here’s what happened when he tried it:
      1) Near-riot situation with local Muslims AND Christians.
      2) Somebody swiped his lighter as he was setting up the grill.
      3) Kid swoops in on skateboard in daring rescue attempt, snatches Koran out of the guys hands, scoots out and delivers Koran to the local Imam in the protest crowd.
      4) Guy packed it in.

      These people are looking for stuff to get offended over. They enjoy being offended. It’s their hobby or life goal or excuse to burn cars and attack people on city streets.

      And it gets results. Look how media tiptoes on eggs around Islam while ripping into Christianity. Fear breeds Respect.

    • Robert F says

      The type of people you complain about, who “enjoy being offended,” are the same kind of people who would buy pork laced bullets and burn Korans; religious affiliation has nothing to do with it. I agree with you that the fragile collective ego of large segments (not all) of the Muslim world reflects an immature worldview too easily inflamed by symbolic gestures against it, and too easily manipulated by corrupt Muslim leaders to deflect attention away from themselves and the actual sources of their grievances, but the kind of people who enjoy throwing fuel on the fire are no different in kind, Muslim or not.

      • you said,
        religious affiliation has nothing to do with it.

        I disagree.

        There are some very sensitive Christians in America who complain about hair length on men and so forth, but they are not known to set fires to buildings, over turn cars, and rape women in the streets when a man with long hair walks by, or some stand up comic on TV makes a snarky quip about Christians or Jesus.

        Trey Parker and his pal on South Park made a cartoon about this very topic, and I agree with them on it. You can’t joke about Mohammed on TV or in papers, but you sure as heck can poke fun at Christians and Mormons, and Hollywood and the American PC culture doesn’t mind.

        • Robert F says

          Trey Parker and his pal on South Park have spoken? Well, that settles the matter, doesn’t it? The Oracle has spoken, desist from debate henceforth!!!!

          I concur that there is a problem with a strict interpretation of the hadith and the Koran, because such an interpretation allows no real space to exist between mosque and state, and so the state is believed to rightly be a servant of Islam. Muslim rulers and clerics use this understanding of the Muslim state, along with a heavy dose of coercion, to manipulate their subjects into obedience to themselves and wrath against the foreign scapegoats (particularly the US and Israel) that they’ve loaded with the responsibility for their subjects grievances.

          But the mentality of fundamentalist Christianity would lead to a very similar state of affairs here if it weren’t for the fact that our liberal democratic polity prevents that from happening. I will grant that Christianity today concedes more of space to exist between state and religion, but it wasn’t so in the past. Remember that people rioted in the streets over matters of Christian doctrine in the centuries during which the Creeds were being formed, and Western Europe of the Middle Ages and later was under the strong influence of churches that wielded state authority in ways very similar to the state of affairs in parts of the Islamic world today.

          Some would like to return to those days.

  20. Robert F says

    Dude, the only person I dislike more than my dentist is the guy who lives next door.

  21. Hold. The. Phone. Are you telling me that Bert and Ernie are NOT EVEN RELATED? This changes EVERYTHING! The whole time I simply assumed that they were, like, brothers or something. Viewing their lives through that assumption allowed everything to make perfect sense, especially the way that Ernie was always grinding Bert’s gears. But now what? “Muppets don’t have a sexual orientation?” Are you kidding me? Heaven forbid even fictitious characters in children’s TV programming have family. Then we’d have to argue about what a family is. But instead, now we have two weirdos living together for ambiguous reasons and Sesame Street pleading the fifth. This is truly the halmark of the decline of western civilization.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Miguel, I can’t tell whether you’re joking or Dead Serious.

      I’ve been around this racket too long.
      Seen too many Dead Serious True Beleivers.

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