September 21, 2020

Saturday Ramblings 8.11.12

Good Saturday morning, iMonks! It has been a relatively quiet week here at the iMonastery. Still, we make a mess throughout the week, not putting things away or washing the dishes or refilling the cookie jar. That’s what Saturdays are for. It’s the day we clean up and catch up. Part of that includes grabbing a broom and giving the place a good clean sweep. And we call the trash we end up with Saturday Ramblings. And now, if you’re ready, let’s ramble.

No matter how bad your week may have been, I doubt you can hold a black candle to this country music celebrity. Dude walks into a convenience store in Texas to buy a pack of smokes and leaves his wallet at home. In his pants. With the rest of his clothes. Then he is arrested for napping—still in his nothing buts—in the middle of the road. No, these are not the words to a country song. This really happened. Really. I cannot make this stuff up.

And I guess you don’t even have to be a country star to cruise around town sans clothing. But a priest? Oh yeah, this was a fun week gathering these scraps.

Then there is the teenager in Ohio who had to be taken to the hospital suffering from severe dehydration … after playing video games for four days straight. What game? MW3, if that matters. At least he didn’t sell a kidney. Oh, wait. That did happen. In China. Teen boy sells one of his kidneys to buy an iPad. Yet another thing that separates Apple fanatics and sane people. I doubt anyone has ever sold a vital organ to buy an Android tablet.

Back in the U.S., President Obama hosted a Ramandan dinner at the White House last night. Before you jump to the conclusion that he has finally shown his hand so we can all see that he really is a Muslim, you should know that this tradition was started by Bill Clinton and continued by George Bush (Muslims both, no doubt).

Missourians passed a measure this week making it legal to pray whenever they want, including in schools. The authors of this bill wanted to protect religious freedom, which they say is under attack in Missouri. Ok … if you say so. Oh, and students are now allowed to decline to do a school assignment if it conflicts with their religion. The worms are really out of the can now.

Book publishers do a lot of wacky things, but pulling a book from shelves after it has been released is a very, very rare occurrence indeed. Yet that’s just what Thomas Nelson did to David Barton’s The Jefferson Lies. Perhaps it should have been called the Barton Lies. Seems the author didn’t exactly do a bang-up job fact-checking his information. I’ll have more to say on this topic this week.

Hey Martha—what is up with this? Get busy over there!

Bored with superhero movies? Don’t worry, you won’t have much longer to wait. Hellbound the movie is on its way. One of those making an appearance in the documentary is Frank Schaeffer, who no longer wants to be a trouble maker. I’d like to believe him. Then again, I’d like to believe eating a half gallon of pistachio-almond ice cream won’t make me fat.

We know that Spain is going through a very rough spell economically, but one business there is booming: the making of hats for a certain sect of Orthodox Jews in Brooklyn. While in Israel, another product is all the rage for Ultra Orthodox Jews. Mr. Magoo would be proud.

Finally, a church in Ohio has started a professional wrestling association. Really. Who didn’t see this coming? Sigh … the evangelical circus rolls merrily along.

Had enough? Then let’s sing happy birthday to Louis Armstrong; Clara “Where’s the beef?” Peller; Helen Thomas; Billy Bob Thornton; Jeff Gordon; Neil Armstrong; Loni Anderson; Andy Warhol; Stan Freberg; Dustin Hoffman; Betty Boop; Herbert Hoover; and Ian Anderson.

No, Jethro Tull is not the name of the flute player in a certain rock band. The flute player and lead singer in the band Jethro Tull is Ian Anderson. Here he is just a few years ago, showing he still has what it takes to rock and roll—playing a classical piece on his silver flute. Enjoy.

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  1. That Other Jean says

    Hey, Jeff, that’s probably “cull” you intended way up there in the first paragraph

    Blurry glasses for Orthodox Jewish men? It would serve them right to break their ankles falling off the curbs, if a glimpse of naked elbow or the sight of a female collarbone sends them into paroxysms of lust. Think higher thoughts, gentlemen.

    • Margaret Catherine says

      “If your eye causes you to sin…buy our glasses!”

      • Ha Ha Margaret ~ I love it. A “proof text” for sure.

        Jeff ~ I thank God that you are crazy! What we would do without you to keep us from getting to full of ourselves?

      • That was my thought to. Beats heck out of “if your eye causes you to sin, make everybody else choke down their lives so that you don’t ever get tempted.” I applaud it. Way to take responsibility for yourself.

        (The alternative, of course, would be to quit hypersexualizing everything including body parts that men and women share, like arms and legs, but I guess that would be asking too much.)

    • petrushka1611 says

      If they make glasses that turn pants into culottes…or better yet, NIVs into KJVs, I know a lot of people that would buy them in droves.

  2. Thick as a Brick 2 received a lot of good reviews. Anderson is still getting it done. Now someone needs to convince the RRHOF to finally give due honor to prog rock bands by inducting the likes of Jethro Tull, King Crimson, Yes, and Rush.

  3. Just think: the church with the pro wrestling association can follow the fake injuries with a fake healing service.

    • Yes! It’s the charismatic parody of Law and Gospel!

    • I recently attended a pro wrestling event at a small town main street festival. The actors…er, I mean wrestlers, were part of a local traveling pro-wrestling company that can be hired to put on a show…there I go again, a tournament, for social events and fund raisers. It was pure drama. I actually sat there wondering how long before pro-wrestling would become an evangelistic tool. Easter passion plays will never be the same. It’s pure good vs. evil, good overcoming imminent defeat and triumphing over evil (self-redemption). It’s easily the new morality play for the moralistic-therapeutic deism generation.

    • HUG must be sleeping in late: it’s better than pro-wrestling, because it is…wait for it…

    • A local Church of God had a Christian wrestling event a couple years ago. I was going to put on my cultural anthropology hat and check it out, but all I had was my Indiana Jones lid. Since I thought that would just confuse people, I let the date slip by.

      As it happens, Daniel Radosh’s “Rapture Ready” took a brief look at this Christian wrestling phenomenon several years ago. The book also has a fascinating interview with Frank Peretti in which he all but disavows his early spiritual warfare novels.

  4. Thanks for the Ian Anderson video, Jeff. He is good, isn’t he! I always liked Jethro Tull.

    • He is, Joanie! Always one of my favorites as well.

      • Saw an acoustic video of him doing Wondering Aloud (Aqualung) or was it Wondering Again (Living in the Past) with a couple of string players.. it was wonderful. Aside from his flute playing I also liked his accoustic work – especially when he was hammering those strings….

  5. I always find your Saturday Ramblings, quite entertaining each week and disturbing. I could not but think the reference to the Ohio church and wrestling, could this be a new emerging worship model, since there is not nearing enough entertainment in worship these days.

    • If so, smashing your opponents face to the glory of God is already behind the trend. By the time it catches on, there will be a new worship trend: Battle-cat twirling:

      • This is why I am not a Lutheran anymore. I saw just too much of this…not battle-cat twirling, per se. I think some Lutherans have an over-confidence in their doctrines as to believe they can adopt much of the stupidity of general evangelicalism without getting hurt – sort of a theological snake handling. The difference between adaiaphora and just plane garbage is often missed.

        • I feel your pain. The circus tendencies have polluted the air we breathe in American Protestantism. It pains me to see LCMS churches that are functionally Calvary Chapels who happen to baptize infants. But the CEC will have its pruning effect on us, too, and for the better, imo. “Adiaphora!” is the fig leaf of the old Adam. “Theological snake handling” indeed! I shall most certainly steal that phrase. But there is a movement afoot in this tribe to recover our heritage. We have not surrendered completely to the spirit of this age.

        • Clay Crouch says

          The same can also be said for some of the parishes that have left TEC. They might as well start a new offshoot of the SBC: SPBC.

    • Sharon Mazer points out in her book Professional Wrestling: Sport and Spectacle, “More than a vulgar parody of “real” sport, then, professional wrestling is also a sophisticated theatricalized representation of the transgressive, violent urges generally repressed in everyday life. More than a staged fight between representatives of good and evil, at its heart is a Rabelaisian carnival, an invitation to every participant to share in expressions of excess and to celebrate the desire for, if not the acting upon, transgression against whatever cultural values are perceived as dominant and/or oppressive in everyday life. More than an elaborate con game in which spectators are seduced into accepting the illusion of “real” violence, wrestling activates and authorizes its audiences through a series of specific strategies. Instead of leaving passive onlookers in the dark, wrestlers, through their physical and theatrical play, make their spectators complicit in the performance”.

      Gee, let’s think hard. See if we can imagine something else that sounds just like that. No wonder pro wrestling makes for such a perfect worship experience.

  6. Jeff, my inner editor compels me to tell you the word is Ramadan, not Ramandan. And no, I am not Muslim.

  7. RE: Missouri under siege. I drove with my dad to El Paso, TX from Cleveland, OH last summer. We got to talking about religion early on (because what else are you going to do on a car trip that long?) and he expressed how persecuted he felt as a Christian in today’s America. All it took was a drive through Missouri and seeing all the billboards, hearing all the radio stations, seeing all the signs in the towns we passed through for him to say “You know…”

    I really wonder sometimes who is persecuting all these Christians.

  8. Saturday Ramblings . . .like the good ol’ days of going to the circus . . . stumblin’ through the sawdust (whatever) taking in the weird (sp), unexplainable, too good to be true . . . the sideshow before the main event . . .

  9. Jeff, we’re doing our bit – our first gold medal winner of this Olympics is a born-again Christian who attends St. Mark’s Pentecostal Church in Dublin.


    • As a former boxer this was partucularly exciting to me –the first women’s boxing in the olympics.

    • Is it wrong to wonder how Mark Driscoll would manage this ass-kicking female Christian? To be a fly on the wall…

  10. David Cornwell says

    This is off the subject, but I need to share this:

    Fifty years ago today Marge and I were married in a Methodist Church in Versailles, Kentucky. For half a century now we have been best friends, companions, conspirators, parents, pals, and lovers. We have shed tears, laughed till our sides split, had fights, made up, raised kids, had heartbreaks, and survived.

    A few times we almost died, yet pulled through. Sometimes God has seemed far far away, yet He wasn’t. Now when we talk to others instead of dreaming about the future, we talk about those “good ole days.” Well, actually I try not to do that because when I pray “thy Kingdom come on earth” I believe that God will answer that prayer in a way that will sift through and cast aside the wreckage we’ve made of things and He will be King.

    We have both become more liberal in some of our political and theological understandings. But– don’t read too much into that, because you’d most likely be wrong. The ground under us has shifted further than we have moved.

    If the road ahead looks hard, you are correct. So, just grit your teeth, pray, believe, and love. And find someone like Marge.

    Monday evening we will gather with family and friends to celebrate.

  11. I found myself intrigued with the wrestling article …never thought I’d see the day when portraits of George Whitefield, John Wesley, Haystack Calhoun, Dick the Brute and Bobo Brazil would all hang in the same fellowship hall. Does this constitute “going to the mat” for Jesus?

    And thanks for the Jethro Tull video, Jeff. Seems (rock band) + (symphony orchestra) = jazz. I’ve always loved math!

  12. One of my daughters (she was ~16 at the time) saw Tull about 4 years ago at the Starlight Theater in K.C. Great show. She actually enjoyed it. amazing.


  13. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    Finally, a church in Ohio has started a professional wrestling association. Really. Who didn’t see this coming?

    I heard of a Christian(TM) pro wrestling franchise a couple years ago. Supposedly their major selling points were “No cursing and no scantily-clad women”.

    AKA “Just like WrestleCrap, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”

  14. MelissatheRagamuffin says

    Wow! I’m sure Muslim parents in Missouri (are there any?) are really glad that their kids right to drop to the floor and face Mecca whenever they need/want to has now beeb guaranteed by the legislature.

    Isn’t that covered by the 1st ammendment anyway?