January 23, 2021

Saturday Ramblings 9.29.12

Welcome to the state fair edition of Saturday Ramblings. Your rambler did his civic duty and attended the opening night of the Tulsa State Fair (I still haven’t figured that one out, as Tulsa has yet to become a state) on Thursday. I did not, however, indulge in any deep fried treats or eat anything on a stick. It was enough to just be breathing all that second-hand cholesterol. But I did bring some goodies for you, and will share them throughout our venture this morning. Now, if you are buckled in, our ride is about to begin. It’s a thrill-a-minute roller coaster ride we like to refer to as The Rambler.

First, the most important news item this week: There may be a shortage of bacon in the near future. Right, bacon. How could we have let this happen? Somehow I think the Republicans will find a way to blame this on President Obama. Me, I’m stocking up right now, just in case. Remember, bacon covers a multitude of sins. (2 Opinions 3:2) And I’m not too worried. This mama sow gave birth to all of this future bacon just a few hours before the fair opened on Thursday.

Seems the man responsible for the anti-Muslim film that has sparked violence across the globe may be headed back to the slammer for violating his parole. Here’s hoping he does not get a Muslim cellmate. Or even a film critic.

If you’re not going to a state fair this weekend, perhaps you will make time to wander over to the “America For Jesus 2012” rally in Philadelphia. Pat Robertson, David Barton, Steve Strang, Cindy Jacobs and a cast of thousands will be on hand to blame Obama and all Democrats for everything wrong in the world today, and tell us if we could just get back to our “Christian roots” (by buying these speakers’ materials and voting only for Republicans who, as we know, never sin) everything would be ok once more. I was just kidding when I said Republicans would blame the president for a bacon shortage, but with this gang, I’m not so sure they won’t do just that.

And if you don’t want to even leave your house this weekend, you can still learn how to do your part and vote the way God would vote. Ralph Reed (remember him? he’s back!) is sending out voting guides by the millions so that you won’t have to think for yourself as to how to vote.

With the release of the new documentary “Hellbound,” there is a renewed interest in whether or not hell exists. (For the record, I do believe in a hell. And I can say without any hesitation there will be no bacon in hell…) Here is a fun little debate on the topic with Frank Schaeffer on one side and Mark Driscoll on the other.

The Cult of Apple apparently has not decided what to do with Jerusalem. The City of David is not listed as the capital of Israel in Apple’s Maps app on its new iPhone 5. And in the world clock, Jerusalem is a city without a an affiliated country. Mistake or commentary? You decide.

Atheist jewelry? Atheist jewelry.

Deep fried Kool Aid? Deep fried Kool Aid. And deep fried watermelon, Oreos, Thin Mints, cheesecake, and bubblegum. All at the Tulsa State Fair.

A New Kind Of Christian author Brian McLaren officiated his son’s wedding this last week. There was no bride, but two grooms. Discuss.

Phoenix-based Grand Canyon University was named the recipient of a college campus in Massachusetts being given away by David Green, the founder of Hobby Lobby. Forbes magazine has a good profile of Green here.

Rick Warren was hospitalized briefly this week, but is now back at work at his Saddleback Church. According to Warren, tests confirm that he has both a brain and a heart.

Finally, as the baseball regular season winds down, a very cool story about a second chance. That this is happening to a former Cubs player should give Chaplain Mike reason to hope for what could come next year. I hope Greenberg singles sharply up the middle on the very first pitch he sees.

Happy birthdays this last week went out to Rocky Lane (the voice of Mr. Ed); John Houseman; Tommy Lasorda; Debby Boone; Mickey Rooney; John Coltrane; Bruce Springsteen; Jim Henson; Linda McCartney; William Faulkner; Shel Silverstein; Christopher Reeve; Mark Hamill; Jack LaLanne; Marty Robbins; Olivia Newton-John; Gwyneth Paltrow; Ed Sullivan; and Moon Unit Zappa.

Please. You have to ask? Watch this all the way to the end. Is this not a greater worship song than will be sung in many churches tomorrow? This train carries losers and winners indeed. Enjoy.

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


  1. Few countries recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Thus spake Wikipedia:


    It is more likely that Apple is trying to *avoid* making a political statement. They do, after all, want to avoid offending (for example) customers who are Muslims, or Christian Arabs.

  2. No bacon…it’s Bush’s fault.

    Gas prices have doubled since Bush left office…it’s Bush’s fault.

    Recession not getting better after 4 years without Bush. It’s Bush’s fault.

    You don’t like these comments? Don’t blame me. You know who really is behind them.

    • According to the name at the top, Steve Martin is behind them.

    • Does this mean that the bacon-craving citizens of the U.S.A. will now be held to ransom by their neighbours to the North? Is this a sinister conspiracy by those mysterious Canadians to increase exports and broaden their sphere of influence in North America? 🙂

      This reminds me of the Great Norwegian Butter Crisis of 2011, when most of Northern Europe had a good laugh at our non-EU member fellow European nation’s expense, as detailed here and in this Danish webcomic.

      • The Canadians eat “Canadian bacon” and would first have to learn to produce, what you in Ireland might call, rashers. The Americans prefer the fat-laden strips. Too bad there is nothing for Americans to adjust their breakfast tastebuds for in the US like Irish bacon, fried bread, black pudding, and Heinz beans.

        • As a Canadian I will defend my nation against your smirking “Canadian Bacon” comments! We here in Canada joyously partake in Peameal Back Bacon & Delicious strips of bacony bacon… what you have dubbed “Canadian Bacon” is found on our tables but we serve it under it’s proper name “Pathetically Small Slices of Ham”. And now this discussion is making me hungry.

    • “Gas prices have doubled since Bush left office…it’s Bush’s fault.”

      I have seen a lot of conservatives throwing around the gas price statistic. Up until the fall of 2008, gas prices were threatening the $5.00/gallon. Yes, gas prices went briefly under $3.00/gallon when the economy crashed. It is a very propoganda-like use of statistics that both sides are using. I’m tired of it.

      • +1

      • They were consistently around 1.81 here before Obama. They did spike for a while but came back down pretty quick. For the last 3 years they have been anywhere from 3.50 to 3.98 . HIgh gas prices hurt the poor more than anything because it affect ALL prices from food to you name it.

        Of course, Solyndra was to be one of the answers which the Obama admin sunk money into and is bankrupt but not before the officers made out like bandits. No matter how much you guys want to spin it, Obama has been an economic disaster..

  3. I love voter guides. My local union sent one to me for each election season.

    I always voted the exact opposite from what or whom they TOLD us union members to vote for. It saved me a ton of time reading and researching and I knew I was making the right choices.

  4. Richard McNeeley says

    I got my voter guide this week, it went from the mailbox to the recycle bin.
    Jeff, how are the donut burgers? One of our local restaurants has them on the menu and I have been wanting to try one.
    The Greenberg story is just one of the reasons that I love baseball. I hope he makes the most of his official at bat.
    Happy Birthday to Mike Schmidt, Meat Loaf and me.

    • Happy birthday, Richard!!! Hope you get a full pitcher of Butterfield’s orange juice!

      I did not try a donut burger. Nor the deep fried Kool Aid. I wanted to have a pineapple whip, but after seeing chicken-fried bacon, my stomach shut down on me …

  5. Maybe you should have had a funnel cake at the Fair, Bro. Relax! It’s gonna be ok. 🙂

  6. “First, the most important news item this week: There may be a shortage of bacon in the near future.”

    I guess the Mayans were right after all.

  7. “There was no bride, but two grooms. Discuss.”

    McLaren chose standing with his son rather than concerning himself with what the cultural warriors think of him. Yeah, what a terrible guy. 😎

    • Cedric Klein says

      Terrible, no. In defiance of what the Synagogue and the Church have always held is taught in Scripture until this past sex-obsessed century, yes. And McLaren revels is becoming no less a culture warrior himself.

      • Cedric Klein says

        This bothers me- not so much that he did it, but that lately I’ve read articles where he’s patted himself on the back about how far he’s come, how God’s Love leads him in defiance of what he’s always believed Scripture taught. Could he have not said (and if he has, please correct me) “When you deal with loved ones coming out, you do a lot of reevaluation of what you think and feel”?

      • I’ve seen enough videos of Muslim men taking their wives or daughters, and, for whatever infraction of Koran rules, murder them in cold blood with their own hands. No doubt a loved one coming out would make one do some heavy re-evaluation. I think he made the right one. If Christianity is not strong enough to withstand McLaren making that personal decision for himself, then God help us all.

        He probably could have done it in a far less public, self-aggrandizing fashion (if it truly was a matter of love), but then again, aren’t we all like that: making sure everyone knows how much God has “teaching” us. I am not a fan of peitism, but it is true that many things of faith are in the context of “just me and Jesus” and not meant for public consumption. Mary gathered moments together and treasured them in her heart, rather than rushing out to find a publicist for her tell-all memoirs.

    • My understanding was that the actual wedding was held by a JP but then McLaren led a commitment ceremony. Not sure that matters to his denominational powers that be.

      I say good for him. Anyone who would stand against their own family isn’t much good in my opinion. You only get them for a short while on this Earth.

  8. Deep fried Koolaid? Sounds like an answer Karnak the Magnificent divined from a message stored in a mason jar under Funk and Wagnall’s porch. What indeed was the question?

    Hell indeed is probably full of deep-fried koolaid.

  9. Cedric Klein says

    Are we allowed to profess some skepticism when Rev. McLaren states that his change of mind on gay issues is the outgrowth of his Christian love for others above & beyond what the Bible seems to say?

    And a bit of skepticism also as to the lack of ANY political influence in the filmmaker’s parole violation arrest. Granted it’s wise to keep your head down when on parole, but this just smells of Big Brobama putting the smack down on anyone who upsets the nutters.

    • Ooogie boogie! Scary Obama is gonna get ya!

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        — KFI afternoon drive-time talk-show hosts in 2007, “Republican Campaign Commercial for 2008”

    • His parole conditions were that he keep away from the internet and not use aliases. Doesn’t really need any political motivation to suggest that he broke the conditions when posting videos on YouTube under the name Sam Bacile, supposedly a Jew. Nice move to blame it all on the Jews. Of course over here (ME) most people are happy to go along with his deceit and believe that it really is a Jewish video.

  10. Personally I love the blue and pink cotton candy (not). Those voter guides so we “don’t have to think for ourselves” – to me that has been the problem in general in the American Church for several decades now. We have wanted the “security” of being told how to live, 5 Steps to….How to….well, fill in the blank. It is so much easier than studying the Scripture and thinking. I have heard that sometimes when a prisoner gets released back into society they will deliberately commit a crime in order to be put back into prison. No decisions, no choices, BUT no freedom either. Well, you get my point.

    Hey, it’s Saturday and I am getting way to serious for our rambling day!

  11. I’m not sure the Mclarren story is really one for the public domain. We have no idea why he chose to conduct his son’s wedding, if he was asked to or if it was his idea. Granted he is a public figure whose actions in this regard will raise interest, but this is his private family business – not a further statement in the ongoing homosexual marriage debate.

  12. Yay, Bruce Springsteen! Happy Birthday to him. May he continue cranking out many more beautiful songs.

  13. The bacon shortage story is a hoax. http://www.slate.com/articles/business/moneybox/2012/09/unavoidable_bacon_shortage_u_k_s_national_pig_association_has_everyone_worried_about_the_price_of_pork_.html

    So I suppose everyone breath easier, or continue having trouble breathing after walking up the steps now.

    I saw the Hellbound? documentary last weekend, and I liked it very much. Some people seem to be upset because the filmmaker seems to have an agenda towards one side, and I’d say that’s probably true. However, I think he does a very job of presenting his side. I thought for the most part, the people he chose to interview were good choices. Some people were mad at him for interviewing the Wellsboro Baptist Church people, and I can understand that. However, I have to say listening to those people explain their theology, it doesn’t come off as much different than typical fundamentalist or neo-fundamentalist theology. They, Mark Driscoll, and Kevin DeYoung admit that they don’t believe that God loves everyone. So once you say that, it seems you’re down the road to creating an image of God that’s quite different than Jesus.

    • Can this be true?

      They, Mark Driscoll, and Kevin DeYoung admit that they don’t believe that God loves everyone.

      For God so loved the world… hmmm…

      But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…. hmmm…

      • He loves everyone, yet respects your free-will decision to burn in hell forever for not knowing…oh, never mind.

      • I unfortunately believe in a God who loves everyone – even me; even Driscoll.

        • Reminds me of what Jurgen Moltmann says regarding universalism:

          ” I myself am not a universalist, but God may be one.”

          • I’m not sure what else to say. If I believe that God hates jerks like Driscoll, then I am no better.

          • +1

          • Christianity teaches forgiveness of sin, but it also teaches accountability, that we all, McLaren, Driscoll, and myself, must stand one day before Christ and give an account. That is actually a very good thing. The parable of the talents teaches us the balance between forgiveness and accountability: we can recklessly seek to multiply that which God will one hold us accountable, because He loves us and has forgiven us through His Son; if we risk nothing, spend our days abusing God’s servants, or worry what others think of us – having nothing in the last day to which we can give account, then forgiveness meant nothing to us. So, if McLaren thinks it best to marry his son to another man, well, he will answer to Christ for that decision – right or wrong. If Driscoll wants to threaten his flock with broken noses, he, too will have to give an account for that. I’ll have my own day, too. It give a whole new meaning to Paul’s admonition to mind ones own business; that should be plenty.

      • Driscoll actually said God not only hates sin, He hates the sinner…a friend of mine (and someone who should certainly know better) initially believed it and emailed the link to one of Driscoll’s sermons to me. In it he said, “Some of you, God hates you. Some of you, God is sick of you. God is frustrated with you. God is wearied by you. God has suffered long enough with you. He doesn’t think you’re cute. He doesn’t think it’s funny.But understanding that God hates you is the beginning of freedom.” Absolutely contrary to the cross.

        I seriously don’t understand why this man has thousands of followers. Scary. Deep fried Kool-aid anyone?

      • Jesus must have been mistaken. “God has no complacent love for the sinner at all. He has a perfect hatred of him”, the late reformed theologian John Gerstner once said. Thank goodness, Driscoll and Piper are still here to drive home this great spiritual truth.

      • “For God so loved the world…” Don’t forget to finish that sentence in the Calvinist translation: “…that he gave His Son to die for the elect.” 😛

    • Quite different than Jesus? Because Jesus just ran around giving free hugs, right? Oh, that’s right, he also got pretty nasty with some baddies. You could say he “loved” the Pharisees, but he certainly had a peculiar way of showing it. I’m ok with saying God loves everyone as long as you can fit his calling the hypocrites out and directly confronting sin (with one hand, while forgiving it with the other) in to the picture of what love looks like. Ultimately, I actually agree that God loves all people, because he died for all, but as Calvinists, Driscoll and DeYoung do not believe this. However, I would not go as far as to say that God loves everybody, because I’m not certain he loves the devil. He might, but my tiny little concept of “love” might not be able to stretch that far.

      • That’s all wrong, the Christ we proclaim as King has to be a Christ that fits our modern sensibilities. When Jesus comes back, he’ll spend his days performing gay marriages and lecturing on tolerance for muslims.

      • When I say it’s quite different than Jesus, I mean that Jesus actually forgave those who killed Him. The picture of God that the fundamentalists paint is one where He demands satisfaction for every little offense. In a way, they almost act as if the crucifixion and resurrection never happened.

        As far as what love looks like and is displayed, I’d say that’s kind of another discussion. I believe Jesus was being as loving as he could be with the Pharisees. He could see that if Israel didn’t quickly change its course, they were headed for a world of hurt. And indeed, in 70AD the unthinkable happened to them.

      • Miguel, the devil is not a human being. That’s outside the scope of this topic but valid for another time.

        As for whether he loves humans or not, the final word may be, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

        • And it looks like Phil M just beat me to it!

          • What are we to do with “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated”…??

          • Did God literally hate Esau personally? I believe you have to take some leaps to actually say that was true. In the Genesis account, God continued to be faithful to Esau even though Jacob had stolen Isaac’s blessing from him.

            Paul’s point in Romans 9 isn’t actually dealing with the individuals of Jacob and Esau, anyway. He’s speaking of Israel’s national identity, and he’s contrasting that against the Edomites (as is the verse in Malachi he’s alluding to). The question Paul is attempting to answer is whether God has abandoned his covenant with the Jews by choosing to include Gentiles in the family of God as well. The answer is, “no, He hasn’t”. God can bless whomever he wants. He can include those who were excluded before. The love and hate in this passage are really referring to God’s feelings toward individuals, it’s talking about God’s specific vocation calling of Israel compared to other nations. God chose Israel, and in contrast to that the other nations are “hated”, but that is a type of hyperbole.

            So the long and short of it is that Romans 9 almost makes the opposite point that people try to use it to make. Paul’s point isn’t that God has favorites. His point is that God through Christ is actually choosing to not just honor His covenant with Israel but open up His covenant promises for everyone.

          • Simple: It’s the exception that proves the rule. God loves everybody. Except Esau. 😛

          • To been there done that:

            I’m no authority at all, but this may have something to do with Hebraic hyperbole, or Hebrew grammar, or both (anyone? bail me out here).

            It may also be along the lines of Luke 14:26, where Jesus says, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”

            I think the dramatic use of “hate” is more like our “strongly prefer above all else” but again, I’m only getting this second-hand. It’s also poetry, and it’s a statement that grabs our attention far more than “prefer” could do.

            If God so loved the world, and if Jesus forgave those who murdered him, then we need to take a good look at what could be meant by “hate” in these contexts. There can’t be any conflict if the bible is true.

            Really not trying to incite a thread about inerrancy here…

      • Might I suggest that we are a bit off on our definition of love, even in our limited human sense (For who could begin to know the mind and heart of God Himself…)

        For example, as a parent, I gave my babies nothing BUT hugs and approval, as that is what they needed. One of these same “babies” was asked to leave out home for violating not only the law but also our family value system. To do otherwise, to offer hugs and approval, would have HARMED him in the long run, so I expressed my love in a way that did not look very loving from the outside.

        This “tough-love-with-consequences-and-disapproval” turned him around, and he now a strong Christian man and husband.

        Love in humans does not always look like hugs and approval…..I can assume that Love from the Lord God might also look like punishment and rejection, even if it is in fact deep love and concern for the future.


  14. Is anyone else concerned that:
    1. Even the White House has now admitted that they knew it was NOT the video that caused the murder of our Ambassador and 2 Navy Seals and the destruction of our Embassy in Benghazi? That it was pre-planned, a declaration of war, and the President lied about it and flew to Las Vegas instead of dealing with it (ie: gross dereliction of duty)? This is all OK with everyone?

    2. It’s okay that a man exercising his (albeit poorly executed and divisive) free speech is in JAIL for it? So next year, if you disagree with the POTUS on something, and say it on Youtube, YOU will be in jail. This is all OK?

    Where is everyone’s head? You can joke about fried Kool-Aid, etc- It’s the equivalent of fiddling while Rome burns. This is astonishing that no thinking person seems to be concerned with all this! God have mercy on us!

    • People who are saying that this man wouldn’t have been arrested for parole violations had he not made this film are probably correct. It seems, though, if you are on parole, you shouldn’t go doing things that broadcast the violation of your parole terms. The guy wasn’t arrested for the video, he was arrested on other related to his previous bank fraud conviction.

      • But WHY is he on parole in the first place, if he didn’t even commit a crime?!

        • Uh, bank fraud is a crime… He had already served some jail time for that crime, and I believe he was given parole as part of an early release from prison.

        • He did commit a crime. In 2010 he was convicted of bank fraud which resulted in a 21 month prison sentence and a five year ban on use of the internet without permission and a ban on the use of pseudonyms. This stuff is not hard to find out. I was able to track this information down in a matter of seconds, but you could not be bothered to even try because you already have your narrative of the big scary Obama who is putting people in prison for disagreeing with him.

      • And they’ve held him without bail for the stated reason of his being a flight risk, but possibly to protect his life as well.

    • When you are on parole, you have certain conditions you have to keep to, or else you will end up back in prison. When you are on parole for fraud based crimes which involved the internet and the use of a pseudonym, quote often those conditions will involve a ban on the use of the internet and a ban on the use of pseudonyms. So, no.. it is not really that concerning that man who broke his parole conditions is in jail for breaking his parole conditions.

    • Here is a DEMOTCRAT who is crying out to inform the American people about the enemy within our own country! Who is also wondering WHY nobody is upset about this!


      • More easy research that you could not be bothered to do:

        In 1988, Caddell left the Democratic Party

        • Donalbain,
          I indeed do my research, and your point is irrelevent to the point at hand. He’s wearing a suit you might not like, either, but what he says will affect your future, and your kids’ future. Let’s just hope we all have time to repent for inaction when the Iranian nuclear warhead is headed our way. You’ve got your head in the sand

          • OK.. so when you said he was a Democrat, you were LYING rather than simply ignorant? Fair enough.

          • All I’m asking is for people to listen to the truth in this man’s speech, and please pray for our country. Donalbain’s vitriol and bunny-trails are part of the problem. That’s the last I’ll say. God bless.

          • Donalbain’s vitriol? You said the guy was a Democrat, then admitted you knew he was not. How was Donalbain’s comment vitriolic?

          • I’ve got to say, too, I don’t see anything vitriolic or even necessarily tangential in anything Donalbain posted.

            As far as a nuclear warhead heading our way from Iran, I don’t believe any delivery system has that sort of range at the present time. Israel is the country that needs to be concerned about getting hit from Iran.

          • And if “Israeli Jews” like “Sam Bacile” post anti-Muslim videos on the web, that ups the chances…

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            As far as a nuclear warhead heading our way from Iran, I don’t believe any delivery system has that sort of range at the present time. Israel is the country that needs to be concerned about getting hit from Iran.

            As well as being the “LIttle Shaitan” within easy reach. As for the “Great Shaitan” (America), Iran could use suicide nuke truck bomb(s) instead of missiles. Either way, one or two nuke hits (under the rationale that this will trigger Armageddon and force Al’lah and the Twelfth Imam Mahdi to step in) will not destroy the country. Katrina showed we can effectively lose a major city and still keep going. However, after a Nuclear 9/11 I kind of doubt “Shut Up and Go Shopping” will become official policy.

        • Do you have a source for Caddell leaving the dem party? Perhaps his tenure with Carter did it. (wink)

    • Ann ~ Saturday’s are a day for fun – for satire – for pointing out the absurd or whatever. I think I can say that we are all thinking people on this site. And we discuss very heavy issues throughout the week. But we are united, not by issues and our thoughts on those, which are varied, but by our faith. Faith that God does know what He is doing. God has known about all of this from eternity. He is not shaken – in fact in Psalm 2 it says that God laughs!!! Check it out – “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh…”

      In the front of one of my Bibles I have written a quote from Martin Luther. It says, “We have as much laughter as we have faith.”

      • I enjoy these Saturday ramblings as much as anyone, and have been reading this site for 2 years. Your patronizing tone is out of line.
        The writer of this article brought up false information concerning a tragic event in the above article. I was correcting the information, and drawing the attention to the seriousness of the situation. Your comment is the equivalent of the Israelites urging everyone to party while the attackers are at the gates.
        At the very least, there should be a call to prayer for our country at this time, then a continuation of the more light-hearted fare. A good man and two Navy Seals were murdered, war was declared by our embassy being attacked, our leaders are lying and leaving their post, and we’re not even talking about it. Are we under a spell? Asleep?

        • Ann,
          I did not intend it as patronizing at all. Just entering in to the discussion. Please for give if I have offended.

        • The writer of this article did not “[bring] up false information concerning a tragic event”, he said “the anti-Muslim film… sparked violence across the globe” which is perfectly true. There were anti-movie protests all over the place. In my city, several embassies saw protests. The attack on the US embassy in Benghazi took advantage of this, but the fact remains that “the anti-Muslim film… sparked violence across the globe” as stated.

        • war? From whom? Only countries can declare war. Libya has apologized and given the outpouring I’ve seen from many ordinarly Libyans it seems that Ambassador Stevens was a good friend to the Libyans and recognized as such.

    • 1. It was said from the beginning that it was thought to be an AlQaeda hit in Benghazi, by an illegal militia. No cover up there. It was an act of revenge (blood feud), not sure how it’s a declaration of war, unless a small private militia can declare war? The country of Libya certainly did not.

      2.He’s not in jail for exercising freedom of speech, he’s in jail because he stole money from banks by setting up fake accounts using miltiple aliases. He was only released on parole on condition that he not use the intenet or use aliases, but he called himself Sam Bacile and posted videos on YouTube.

    • I think plenty of people are upset with Obama, but the most upsetting things, like the Drone attacks terrorizing innocent lives in Pakistan, don’t seem to get a head turn from conservatives, but plenty of liberals are deeply concerned. Warrant-less surveillance, detainment, and assassinations of U.S. citizens also have liberals concerned, but again, conservatives seem ho-hum. Conservatives in congress won’t pass any Obama legislation, but unanimously (except for Ron Paul) passed NDAA and related bills stripping citizens of Bill of Rights protections. In these matters, Obama has become the very thing he criticized Bush and Cheney of promoting. Conservatives don’t notice, because they have already crossed that bridge. Neither side seems to believe that the Constitution applies to everyone, but that some are more equal than others.

    • The IMonk community really tries to keep political fights out of here, as much as possible. We all have PLENTY of room for discussions and disagreements about how to live a Christian life, especially in the USA (although we love Martha and our other friends across borders and oceans).

      There are 12.7 gazillion sites to argue politics…..this is not one of them, or I would not be here everyday, as I have since 2007 or so……

  15. Does anyone besides me see an inherent contradiction in this statement from the atheist jewelry maker?
    “It’s nice to have a small amulet of sorts that one can carry with them that represents who they are and makes them feel part of a larger rational community.” “Amulet” and “rational” are the two words that stick out to me. . .

    • I do enjoy how you are able to make such big points with such short comments. 🙂

    • I like the pendant with the atheist acrostic: a thoughtful, honest, ethical, intelligent, skeptical thinker. Atheists can be all these things without a god, and Christians can’t, despite all their cultural saber-rattling. It doesn’t make the atheists right, but it sure points out something has gone terribly wrong with Christianity.

      • But it is hard not to smirk as the atheists head off down the roads of triviality and irrelevance toward commercialism, just like evangelicalism has. Now we all have stars upon thars!

        First a movement forms an identity, then it gains strength, then it becomes arrogant, then it persecutes, then it becomes narcissistic, then it becomes commercialized, then it become trite, then it dies.

    • I find it touching that Atheist want to share their faith. And I take it as such a high compliment that they are taking a page from the evangelical playbook too.

      Admittedly, it is a bit tougher to pull off. WWJD becomes WW_D. Not as catchy.

      But they should stick with it. After all, such witnessing tools have clearly been the spark of Christian revival that has swept the nation. There is no arguing with success. From the atheist POV, it’s a matter of reviewing the data and coming to a rational conclusion about effective methods.

      After all, why should Jesus have all the good jewelry?

    • Many are former Christians. In fact, the chief Rabbi called Richard Dawkins a Christian Atheist because of his Anglican culture. There are fundamentalist atheists and Catholic atheists around me and I can just about tell which is which from the culture they also espouse. They live it for 18 years typically, it’s bound to leave a mark.

  16. Here’s another great story about a Baseball player and his faith that fellow Imonk Lee (L Adams in the blogroll) posted this week: https://homiliesprayersbread.wordpress.com/2012/09/28/from-prospect-to-priest/

  17. “America For Jesus 2012”…Mustn’t forget the SoBap “40/40 Prayer Vigil for Spiritual Revival and National Renewal”, and definitely not leave out “40 Days to Save America”. I feel sure that the various promoters have no partisan political agenda, and their motives underscoring these events are most certainly altruistic. It is completely serendipitous that these events coincide with a massive campaign by Perkins and Reed to rally evangelicals to vote for their favorite Republican. Most evangelicals do not observe Passiontide as a sacrificial self-denial to follow Jesus into the Wilderness, and as an inner pilgrimage with Christ on his way of suffering to the Cross. If there is any irony here, it would be that evangelicals – who have never recognized the need for spiritual disciplines during Lent – are the same ones urgently clamoring for sackcloth and ashes, dropping to their knees in panic at the thought the election is theirs to lose. As for calls for national repentance, their prayers are offered on behalf of others, not themselves. God holds an entire people responsible, but this does not apply equally to American evangelicals. Mene, tekel…

  18. Wow, a lot of vitriol and politics! Just happy to listen to Bruce; he is of our generation. We are all getting old together; time for reflection and retrospection. Live the next 50 years serving others.

  19. Ok, somebody help me out here. How is it that this Hell documentary is showing in Omaha, NE, but I can’t even go see it here in New York?

  20. Isaac (or possibly Obed) says

    I found this quote in the Atheist Jewelry bit interesting:

    “I know that many atheists are afraid to come out of the closet and be counted for fear of being ostracized from their families or for fear of losing their jobs and social structure,” Roth said. “So I do my best to stand proud and show the world that it is OK not to believe and that there is a community here waiting for you if you do come out.”

    I hear the same kind of thing thing from Christians of all stripes. And Jews. And… well, everyone. I wonder whether it’s something about our society or something about human nature that tends to make give us all something of a persecution complex. Maybe we all want to belong to something and are all a little afraid that we don’t quite fit in.

  21. Headless Unicorn Guy says

    First, the most important news item this week: There may be a shortage of bacon in the near future. Right, bacon. How could we have let this happen?

    Sounds like the USSR — Shortage of this, Shortage of that, Shortage of everything except Shortages. Better start shopping on the “Soviet System” — if you see ANYTHING you might need or can use as barter, buy it NOW because you’ll never see one ever again.

    How could we have let this happen?

    (Jedi Mind Trick gestures and Scientology Tone 40 Voice): “It’s All The Republicans’ Fault. The Republicans Are To Blame. It’s All The Republicans’ Fault. The Republicans Are To Blame.” — South Park

    And if you don’t want to even leave your house this weekend, you can still learn how to do your part and vote the way God would vote.

    Or “the way God would vote if God only knew the REAL situation.”

    Atheist jewelry? Atheist jewelry.

    Why not? I can see it as a parody of all the Cheezy Christianese Jewelry out ther.

  22. BTW, what is the deal about this “2016” movie? Am I missing anything?

    • Probably not. The thing is as relevant as Dobson’s “America in 2012” letter that basically declared that society as we know it would be totally destroyed if we don’t elect the Republican nominee in the race for POTUS. If you know the tired old refrain of Republican=good, Democrat=bad then you have the picture.

    • It’s a remake of “2012,” except with Obama in place of the Ice Age, and Dinesh D’Souza as the geeky guy who tries to warn everybody.

  23. Fellow Imonk Lee (see L Adams on the blogroll) shared a great story about a baseball player’s journey to the priesthood on his blog yesterday. It was very inspiring and worth checking out.

    My first comment is stuck in moderation so I’m trying again without the direct link.

  24. conanthepunctual says

    Obama is a Muslim, Muslims don’t eat bacon, therefore Obama is secretly directing the bacon shortage so that all Americans will become Muslims.

  25. First off, looks like Jeff and I actually agree on music for once! LOL. (Sorry, guys, I’m a twenty-something who likes hard rock, metal and 80’s music. Stop laughing!)

    For those that might want a studio version of this, go check out wrecking ball, which I have to say is a fantastic album. Really, really good stuff!

    Right. I should probably stay out of the election topic and go back to my video games. But, well, here we go. I’m an independent so, whenever those guys actually want to put an independent in the white house, come talk to me. Not that this would actually solve anything as, well, there’s this little thing called separation of powers. Granted, it’s not working perfectly, but it works well enough. I’d probably say we’d actually have to fire a few congress people and senators before we’ll actually see any real change in this country. So, again, until Americans are actually willing to put someone without a D or a R in their name… we aren’t going to see any real change. That’s just the way I see it, and other people are certainly welcome to disagree.

    That aside, i can’t get behind Obama. Felt he had his chance and I am actually hardpressed to think of anything this guy has done. Romney? Frankly, I don’t know enough about his policies. He might be able to get the economic stuff under control, but that’s only if congress actually bothers to change their mind on actual, meaningful cuts. And they aren’t going to. So, yeah, no… this election is not really going to change anything until we can get everyone to agree to stop spending money we don’t have. This will probably mean cut spending, raise taxes. And no one wants to hear that, no one has the intestinal fortitude to say that because it might hurt their re-election chances.. And therefore, it’s not going to happen. The real question in my mind is just how much we’re going to stomp on the gas pedal. Forgive my lack of faith in politics, but the wakeup call was when Bush decided to spend more money than we actually had, and then Obama said, “Oh, so this is a competition now! Watch this!”

    Don’t even get me started on Obamacare.

    *sigh* I expect someone’s going to interpret this as “fighting words.” I’m not looking for a fight. Again, this is my opinion and you’re welcome to disagree. But I’m looking at the math and saying, “There’s no way we can afford this.” Math is a science, not an artform. Of course, convincing the politicians of this takes more patience than I have. And no, I don’t have the skill of an economist. They’re (hopefully) much smarter than I. (Though I wonder sometimes about the Fed. Buying out mortgage backed securities? What the heck? That doesn’t resolve the issue, it exacerbates it.)

    So where do Christians fit in and what do we do? About the only thing we can. Pray. And if you feel you must do your civic duty and vote, then do so. I find Ecclesiastes most helpful here. We want a new king and it’s not long before we say how deeply dissatisfied we are. It matters very little who that is. There really is nothing new under the sun.

    And on that not, I think I’ll go play something where I can actually save the world.

    • “I expect someone’s going to interpret this as “fighting words.” I’m not looking for a fight. Again, this is my opinion and you’re welcome to disagree. But”
      The dangling “but” there negates anything you said prior.

  26. Dear Jeff~

    Please bring the dog back.

    Used to be the Ramble was sort of like a Sabbath rest from politics and religion, a place for the restorative communion of fun. Lately it leaves me more tired and dispirited than when I walk thru the door. Please bring the dog back. Dogs understand these matters better than we do and know there is nothing like a good Ramble. Dogs know there is nothing like argument and finger pointing and veiled twisting of the knife to spoil an otherwise glorious day filled with fascinating new things to smell and roll in.

    Please bring the dog back.

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