January 23, 2021

Saturday Ramblings 9.1.12

Hut-Hut! It’s time for football, fellow iMonks. We are fielding a team from the iMonastery for the first time this year, captained by Chaplain “Red Grange” Mike as our quarterback. But we’re still looking for a nickname. Any suggestions? The Fighting Spencers? The Lucky Luthers? Why not the Mighty Ramblers? As you ponder this great question, strap on your helmet and shoulder pads and get ready to ramble.

Looking for something to do this weekend (when not watching football, of course)? Why not take in a corn maze honoring the (soon-to-be world champion) Cincinnati Reds? My cousins have an apple orchard and farm in Lebanon, Ohio, and each year Bill Irons cuts a maze into 12 acres of corn. You can then pay some money to go walk through it. It’s an Ohio thing. And they really are my cousins. And it really is cool.

This week a 100-year-old man injured 11 elementary school kids when he drove up on a sidewalk in Los Angeles. I have often voiced my opinion that after a certain age, driving privileges should be restricted or revoked. (And after riding with some older family members lately, I’m thinking that age should be younger still.) Perhaps the same rule should be applied to speaking. Franciscan priest and EWTN star Father Benedict Groeschel made some very thoughtless remarks this week, saying sometimes the children sexual abused by priests are the ones at fault. He and his order have since apologized for these remarks, but damage done.

Meanwhile, a 24-year-old driver, who really should know better, learned that flipping off pedestrians could bring about another kind of flip. And what did he have against Mormon missionaries? One may be our next president, if Clint Eastwood has anything to say about it.

Father James Martin suggests an even better convention speaker.

Are we facing a “war on religion” as the Romney campaign contends? According to this article, you have a better chance of being struck by lightning than facing religious persecution in America.

Shhhh. Don’t tell Dan Brown, but Jesus actually moved to Japan and started a family there. (I had never heard this legend before. Had you?)

Bill Nye The Science Guy says creationism should not be taught in public schools. Yeah, ok, but he’ll never make it into the Creation Hall of Fame.

And right here in your Rambler’s own backyard, an atheist opened a recent city council meeting in prayer. Or, well, not a prayer, but a … a … speech? A poem? A song? Not really sure what an atheist would do in that situation. I wanted the Synonymous Rambler to go and report on the situation, but there are some things even the SR won’t do, and that includes sitting through a city council meeting. You know about watching people make sausage, right?

As you’re conducting your NFL fantasy draft this weekend, perhaps it would help you to know who are the most outspoken about their faith in the league among both players and coaches. Me, I’d go for a quarterback who can fling the ol’ pigskin. But what do I know?

I do know that this is the best use of the internet. Ever. Really. Here’s a sample (pic to the right; click to see it larger).

Happy birthdays this last week were sung to Leonard Bernstein; Monty “Let’s Make A Deal” Hall; Sean Connery; Rollie Fingers; Tim Burton; Lyndon Johnson; Mother Teresa; Alex Lifeson; David Soul; Danny Seraphine; James Brady; Michael Jackson; Ted Williams; Angelo Dundee; Warren Buffett; Jack Swigert; Tug McGraw; Daniel Schorr; James Coburn; Frank Robinson; Van Morrison; and Itzhak Perlman.

You even have to ask? Yes, this is the same one I used last year to commemorate the greatest white blues singer ever. This just never gets old. And his manager had to physically shove him out on stage to sing because he thought he was no good. Sigh. Oh, to be that “not good.” Van the Man with The Band from the greatest concert movie ever. Enjoy.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44wDwMQVqCc’]




  1. Groeschel? Has everyone gone mad???

    • petrushka1611 says

      Or maybe he’s gone Baptist. They’re doing the same thing with Jack Schaap, former pastor of First Baptist in Hammond, Indiana (Jack Hyles’s old church). He messed around with a 16-year-old girl he was counseling, and there’s a line of people blaming the victim for seducing him.

      • I tend to blame religious media. EWTN. TBN. CBN. In the end, they look and sound the same. Not everyone is as charismatic in front of a camera as the Bl. Bishop Sheen. It is especially sad for Catholics. There is a reason predecessors to monks like Groeschel retreated to the desert. Now, we think Peity is found in the spotlight’s eye or (guilty as charged) on the blog roll. There is a lot of wisdom in CM’s article introducing the concept of John the Baptist societies.

        • “iLving on a lighted stage
          Approaches the unreal
          For those who think and feel
          In touch with some reality
          Beyond the gilded cage. ”
          – Neil Peart

          • Love Rush!

          • The band, that is…not Limbaugh…lol.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says


          • I do miss Rush Limbaugh’s Updates….

            1. Star Wars Emperor’s March for the Gorbasm on Mikhail Gorbachev.

            2. Persian Gulf War Update to “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iraq”

            3. Pee Wee Herman Update to Michale Jackson’s “Beat It”

            Yeah I would disagree with the politics, but he pushed things, just like the Fox Network.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Eagle, those come from the early days of Rush Limbaugh, back in the late Eighties/early Nineties. Back then the guy had a sense of humor — a pretty raw one, but he had one. This is probably something you wouldn’t notice if you listened on a regular basis, but I figure Rush lost his sense of humor somewhere along the line, leaving only the Total Important Message Seriousness of a True Believer who’s completely Full of Himself. My guess is he listened to his own PR for too long and now believes himself completely.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        They’re doing the same thing with Jack Schaap, former pastor of First Baptist in Hammond, Indiana (Jack Hyles’s old church). He messed around with a 16-year-old girl he was counseling, and there’s a line of people blaming the victim for seducing him.

        Both Wartburg Watch and Stuff Fundies Like have been covering it. (Check archives for one-two weeks ago.) Lotsa really dark & twisted stuff going on — control-freak autocratic pastor with probable sexual obsession (“How to Polish a Shaft”) and a lot of male-supremacist Complementarian dogma. Guy got busted when he lost his smartphone — guy recovered the phone for the pastor/boss just as hawt sexting pics came through from the 16-year-old. Talk about busted…

        Reading between the lines on the other blogs makes it look like a lot of the church wanted to get rid of him for some time, but were afraid of him (known to be very vengeful) and were waiting for a good reason to surface.

        • petrushka1611 says

          Yeah, I’ve been following it on SFL since they broke the store, and there’s a Do Right Hyles-Anderson page on Facebook where a lot of victims have been posting. The “How to Polish a Shaft” video was very disturbing, and I’m not easily disturbed…at all.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            I’ve been in-country in Furry Fandom for over 20 years. I’m no stranger to disturbing sexual obsessions being shouted from the rooftops. And here’s some Furry wisdom:

            Christians are just as screwed-up sexually as everybody else. They just show it differently.

    • I have been a Groeschel fan. He does sometimes go into the weeds of Catholic institutional thinking.
      This quote was probably a case of “old man wandering thoughts” but still, it shows the problems of institutional thinking. If it is PSU or Catholic priests, they don’t want to see their friends or heros get hurt, even if they are hurting others. & because they are friends & heros, & the ‘others’ are strangers to the institution they tend to blame, ignore, or throw out the strangers hoping the damage will go away. It seemed that Groeschel was thinking of some of his friends that may have been hurt by their own actions.

      • I’m a big fan, too. I have at least one of his books.

        It would really sad if you are right on the institutional thinking theory. I guess we are all vulnerable to group think. When one accuses everyone else of it (hello, Tea Party?) but can’t see it in oneself, then we are in for trouble.

        • I met a group of tea partiers at a restuarant a few months back. They were meeting for dinner and had a very large table of about 18 people. They were all African American. Not sure you will find a lot of what is really termed “group think” in the tea party. I think that is just another ad hominem the liberals use to try and marginalize their concerns about the economic direction our country is taking. What really scares liberals it that it really is grass roots which means it is more chaos but also more dangerous for liberals who love big government..

    • Really. I hope he doesn’t become the Pat Robertson of the Catholic world.

  2. Richard McNeeley says

    There comes a time in life when everyone should give up his/her keys. I have already given my children permission to take my keys away when they feel that I am no longer capable of driving.
    Happy Birthday Captain Daryl Dragon.

    • Brakes failed? Suuuure, I believe THAT one! In the shopping center in which I work there have been three incidents where “brake failure” caused elderly men to run up over the sidewalk and through the store front of a business. In one case the car ran down the store owner and his young son, both spending time in the hospital with serious injuries. I was the one of the first ones on the scene on the scene and was shocked that the police let the driver walk away without a citation.

      Why can’t they all just say the truth, “I got confused and thought the accelerator was thew brake pedal.”?

  3. Bearded Gospel Men & Van the Man? Truly a grand holiday weekend gift… I doff my cap to you sir!

  4. petrushka1611 says

    Really, you could keep posting videos from The Last Waltz, and I wouldn’t mind a bit.

    Besides the over-present Brown Eyed Girl, which I’m sure I heard before, my introduction to Van came when they played “Tupelo Honey” during the credits for Ulee’s Gold, which is still one of my favorite movies. The song fit perfectly. And if you haven’t seen the movie, it’s worth watching. It kind of put Peter Fonda back on the map, and it’s a good story of people being overtaken by grace.

  5. In looking at the news and accident statistics, I am only in favor of ALL drivers being retested every so many years.

  6. That was a cute post by Father Martin.

    Tom and I were just discussing beards yesterday. In the time of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, beards did not seem to be “in” (at least for the political leaders). Then we get to the Civil War era and you see beards all over the place. I like Lee’s beard and of course Abe Lincoln had a famous beard.

  7. Speaking of American football, today in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin at 2:00 p.m. our time, there will be a game between Notre Dame and the Navy. An American naval vessel is currently docked in Dublin port, so one team will have travelling support!

  8. I can be a bit of a contrarian at times. When all the world is advocating A, I often consider the merits of B. So this will probably be considered blasphemy in certain circles, but the clip of Van Morrison sounds like glossolalia to me. I mean, hey, I couldn’t understand anything he was saying (except the “La, la, la, la” part.. But maybe that’s just me. I am quite old (71) and my driver’s license doesn’t expire until 2017.

  9. I don’t have a problem with an Atheist offering an invocation. I’m actually quite interested in reading Christopher Hitchen’s “Hitch-22” which describes his battle with cancer. Snarky to the end: “If I convert it’s because it’s better that a believer dies than that an atheist does.”

  10. I read about Groeschel this morning and then read a Facebook rant by someone about how the non-religious hate Christians, and on, and on, and on. Are these religious persecution ranters completely unaware that people like Groeschel exist and say things like this? I can’t understand it.

    Kids that are molested probably asked for it?? Are you kidding me? So now do we have to have a discussion about legitimate molestation? I guess it’s blame the victim unless the victim is a Christian being called to task for some egregious behavior. Then, it’s religious persecution.

    • David Cornwell says

      Listen closely to a lot of private conversations, and “blame the victim” is alive and well. This is true not only in cases of sexual assault and molestation, but in many other spheres as well. We should listen carefully to our own thoughts and words also.

      • Joseph (the original) says

        blaming the victim is similar to declaring, “the devil made me do it!”

        somehow personal responsibility is thrown under the bus if the argument is overwhelming compulsion to do evil. the victim is somehow guilty of causing all moral fortitude to evaporate at in an instant regardless of the situation.

        when it is children that are being accused, i do think it is a way to deflect some of the guilt. it is the same for other situations as well when the justification is, “well, they deserved it (or wanted it)!”

        children can be disrespectful. they can be cliquish. they can be mean. and i think for adults that deal with such things in schools, or churches, have the hardest time managing proper guidelines keeping order in the classroom. but sexually seductive? or taking advantage of an adult’s weakened emotional/mental state? that is quite the accusation.

        but there should be no blaming the victim if the teacher/church authority is abusive, whether disciplining a student or involved in any type of sexual behavior. i think this is only common sense.

        however, there will be exceptions of accusations by the ‘supposed’ younger victim when using such a claim is to cause scrutiny/injury, for whatever reason, to the adult singled out. i do not know personally anyone that has had to weather such a thing, but i would imagine it to a real nightmare…

        Lord, help us…

        • Blame the victim in Christian circles comes from “cheap grace” and also thinking in the New Calvinism movement that Christ’s “righteousness” is imputed to us so we sin. It is normal to sin. So the victim should forgive and forget it. The perp is only human and a sinner.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            “The perp is only human and a sinner”, but the young victim is a Jezebel and a Whore. (DIg out the stones for the Honor Killing…)

            Of course, this only holds if the perp & victim are opposite sex.

    • “So now do we have to have a discussion about legitimate molestation?”

      When conservatives use qualifiers like “legitimate” when talking about egregious acts of violence, how can they then turn around and denounce liberals for moral relativism?

      • They are not conservatives, Dumb Ox. They are either Nicolatians or dumb sheep who follow man instead of Christ. Stop painting “conservative” with the same brush. I am very conservative economically and politically but think they fundamentalists are cults. And that includes, Driscoll, Mahaney, Piper, IFB, etc. They exist to control people and elevate themselves. We should really be focused on why people follow such men and seek to help them know the REAL Jesus Christ.

  11. Listening to Van Morrison is the height of my spiritual experience for the week. I don’t know if that says more about me or about him. I really hope Van and The Band is in heaven – or why go? Don’t matter what color he is, he’s the best!

  12. So …how’s about the “Graplin’ Chaplains” ? 🙂

  13. Go for the corn maze.

    Stay for the apple fritters.

    Trust me 🙂

  14. I wish those complaining of religious persecution (against christians) in this country could be transported back in time or into some other places around the world… I’m not a historian but the little bit I’ve read about american, european history or elsewhere pretty clearly shows that we’ve been blessed with more religious freedoms than most of humanity, past or present…
    In my opinion, those who express this ungrateful attitude aren’t upset about real harassment and persecution, but are angry that their ‘freedom’ to impose on others (maybe even persecute others) is being taken away or ignored…they’re upset about the loss of cultural/civic power; a power that true followers of Christ shouldn’t expect or seek after in the first place…! (and the sad lack of irony amongst cultural warrior evangelicals/etc concerning this point rises to the point of monty python absurdity) – read the comments at places that feed this notion…one after another complaining and wailing hysterically, “we Are living in an atheistic, islamic Totalitarian gulag! The guillotine is just around the block! They’re coming for our children! Fight! Outrage!”
    Frankly, that kind of attitude makes a mockery of those who suffer and have suffered under real persecution (including those from non-christian religions). I wish more pastors, teachers and parishioners in this country would lovingly confront their brethren with the truth, setting their fearful and paranoid brother/sister’s heart free to be joyful and grateful and more able to reach out in love to everyone around them…

    Jesus came to set us free, free to love and bring abundant life, a taste of God’s ideal. I would think Jesus’ vision for the church is severely diminished when one lives in a haze of imagined and cynically stoked fear and fantasy.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      1) I believe long ago the original IMonk did a posting on American Evangelicals’ Persecution Complex/Phobia. Maybe it’s time to take up the subject again and/or repost as an IMonk Classic.

      2) Claiming Persecution by the Unrighteous gives the people a common enemy and forces them together (and preferably under you).

      3) Ever heard of the one-liner “Christians claim ‘PERSECUTION!’ when they’re not being allowed to persecute everyone else”? Because that happens IRL. And just like real Evil, none of them would probably recognize the real thing if it popped them one in the face.

    • I generally like your comments, Andy Zook — this one especially. Thanks for the challenging thoughts.

  15. I read the story about the Mormon missionaries. The Book of Mormon Musical comes to mind…”Hasa Diga Ebowei”

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