January 16, 2021

Saturday Ramblings, June 27, 2015

Hello, imonks, and welcome to the weekend. Shall we Ramble?


Really? The hood ornament is optional???

There is some annoyingly serious stuff we need to cover this week. So we will balance it with some weird, medieval paintings thrown in randomly. Not sure weird medieval paintings will lighten things up? They will if we give them some modern captions: NAosugC e1qJ68C

Churchix, a new company, is marketing a face-recognition attendance program for churches. Now churches can keep cultish control no matter how big they get! Yay, technology!

Churchix is a face recognition event attendance desktop application. Churchix identifies event attending members in videos and photos. All you need to do is enrol high quality photos of your members into the software data base, then connect a live video USB camera or upload recorded videos or photos – and Churchix will identify your members!

This doesn't seem creepy at all...

This doesn’t seem creepy at all…

You may have heard. It was mentioned on a few blogs or something, I think. But the Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right, and that states cannot ban such marriages. I won’t get into my opinion of the ruling, though you certainly may. But I did gather up some reaction from the more alarmist wing of the conservative camp. I call this collection, Outrage: who wore it better? Who do you think is the most outraged and outrageous?

  • Don Wildman: “We’re not surprised but extremely disappointed by the Supreme Court’s decision. I fear for our country, quite frankly, because this is a spiritual 9/11, I believe.”
  • Bill Muehlenberg of BarbWire: “This is just the beginning. This is a declaration of war by five judges who have spat in the face of their Creator, of marriage, of biology, and freedom. Now a major proper response for Christians and others is massive civil disobedience and defiance of this homo-fascist decision.”
  • Mike Huckabee: “This irrational, unconstitutional rejection of the expressed will of the people in over 30 states will prove to be one of the court’s most disastrous decisions, and they have had many.”
  • Concerned Women of America: “In one appalling decision, the Supreme Court has effectively opened the door to the criminalization of Christianity when it comes to the marriage issue … and not just Christianity, but every major religion that supports God’s model for marriage and family.”
  • Author Carl Gallups: “This is the most monumental ruling of any court, by any nation in the history of the world.The spiritual and world-reaching ramifications will be prolific and devastating.”
  • Alan West, in an article titled, “Why the Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage could lead to civil war”: “The SCOTUS decision on same-sex marriage is not about the issue itself — it is about individual religious freedom and the imposition of the State’s will against faith. After all, it is the original reason why the Pilgrims fled England. And since there is no place for men and women of faith to retreat — they will make a stand. This ain’t first century Rome.” jCWS28eulaqx3e

However, there were also voices of reason on the right:

  • Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family: “In the days to come, we must remember to season our words with salt. It’s time to be a light in these dark times. It is not time to be combative and caustic. Now, more than ever, we must emulate Jesus Christ. We must continue to show that loving kindness as we talk with our neighbors and friends who see this issue differently.”
  • National Association of Evangelicals: “As witnesses to the truth, evangelicals should be gracious and compassionate to those who do not share their views on marriage. Those who continue to embrace biblical teaching on marriage will increasingly appeal to the First Amendment protection not just for abstract belief, but for the practice of their faith. The National Association of Evangelicals calls on Congress to enact laws, on the president to implement policies, and on the courts to render judgments that uphold the freedom and human rights of all Americans.”
  • A statement signed by 100 evangelical luminaries: “Evangelical churches in America now find themselves in a new moral landscape that calls us to minister in a context growing more hostile to a biblical sexual ethic. This is not new in the history of the church…Outrage and panic are not the responses of those confident in the promises of a reigning Christ Jesus.”
  • Mark Galli of CT, as usual, gets it right. Read his full post here. 0HDvalE

One self-professed liberal at Politico is already waving the flag for the next fight: Polygamy.

Polyamory is a fact. People are living in group relationships today. The question is not whether they will continue on in those relationships. The question is whether we will grant to them the same basic recognition we grant to other adults: that love makes marriage, and that the right to marry is exactly that, a right.

Since the SCOTUS ruling, progressives can now be open about the issue:

To advocate for polygamy during the marriage equality fight may have seemed to confirm the socially conservative narrative, that gay marriage augured a wholesale collapse in traditional values. But times have changed; while work remains to be done, the immediate danger to marriage equality has passed. In 2005, a denial of the right to group marriage stemming from political pragmatism made at least some sense. In 2015, after this ruling, it no longer does. download (5)-Lenovo-PC

A Pennsylvania newspaper will now no longer publish letters that do not support same-sex marriage:

As a result of Friday’s ruling, PennLive/The Patriot-News will very strictly limit op-Eds and letters to the editor in opposition to same-sex marriage.

These unions are now the law of the land. And we will not publish such letters and op-Eds any more than we would publish those that are racist, sexist or anti-Semitic.

Hmmm…so let me get this straight….Your reasoning for banning these letters is because same-sex marriage is “now the law of the land.” So, does that mean you refrained from publishing pieces supporting same-sex marriage when it wasn’t the law of the land? download (8)-Lenovo-PC

Don Featherstone died this week. Don’t know Don? I bet you know his invention. They may have even covered your lawn:



A Florida couple arrived home this last April to find police waiting for them.  They were put in handcuffs, strip searched, fingerprinted, and held overnight in jail. Worse, their two children were taken away from them. It would be a month before their sons—the 11-year-old and his 4-year-old brother—were allowed home again.

What was their crime? Well, they were supposed to meet the 11 year old at home and let him in after school. They got caught in rain and traffic, and arrived 90 minutes late. The boy didn’t have a key, so he played basketball in his own yard. A neighbor called the cops, and when the parents arrived they were arrested for negligence. live

Our good friends at World News Daily are again showing themselves unafraid to publish the real news, the news the other sites ignore: “JUMPIN’ BEELZEBUB! OBAMA BUZZED BY FLY … AGAIN.” Yes, the whole article is about how several times now bees or flies have landed on our commander in chief in an … unnatural… way. “He has had flies land on his face numerous times, with the president sometimes not even swatting them off his face.”   Even Glen Beck gets quoted: “How many times have rodents crossed your path, flies landed on your face, or bees strangely swarmed in your presence? But our president, at one of the most meticulously maintained houses, it seems to be happening all the time. Why? I don’t know, but someone does…” WND then related the following haunting incident:

In a June 2009 CNBC interview, Obama killed a fly on camera.

“Get out of here,” the president said with his eyes on the fly before the interview began.

When the fly persisted, he killed it with a single blow.

“That was pretty impressive, wasn’t it?” said Obama of his feat. “I got the sucker.”

Did you get that? He looked at his fly minion right in the face and commanded it to leave. When the fly did not obey, he was immediately killed. What kind of monster is this???? download (7)-Lenovo-PC

Joel Osteen is popular with Muslims. At least that’s what he claims:

“I have Muslims that attend our church and my books sell a lot in Muslim countries as well. You know, I don’t know, I don’t get too deep in those kinds of things, but our ministry is about reaching out to everybody, and so I do and I do have those conversations. I had a whole group of probably about 50 Muslims here at the service about two weeks ago, sitting right on the front row. They came, and we have good, good relations.

Osteen has also told Larry King that  many atheists like his message:

“I think what they like, Larry, the principles that we teach is from the Scripture but they can help anybody you know, to reach dreams or to forgive or to have a good self-image,” Osteen said. “I know that I’m not a traditional pastor in terms of I’m just going down teaching scripture by scripture, because a lot of what I would teach is just how to live a great life.” rxcIRlr

Odd headline of the week: ‘Testicle Eating Fish’ With Human-Like Teeth Caught In New Jersey.

As if I needed another reason to stay out of New Jersey...

As if I needed another reason to stay out of New Jersey…

Finally, for our music selection of the week, how about some Bohemian Rhapsody? But let’s listen to it on a 111 year-old fairground organ. It starts a little weak, but wait for it, cuz it builds.


  1. I may sound like a middle schooler, but: Nyah Nyah, neener neener, I’M FIRST!

    • Internet Monk taking cheap shots at those who are “outraged?”

      The Missouri Synod weighs in:


      • The Mo Synod response sounds more like a screaming toddler who didn’t get his way than the well reasoned, civil discourse I would expect from someone in his position.

        • Patrick Kyle says


          I read no such tone into Pastor Harrison’s message. Your dismissal of our response has far more in common with a pouting toddler than anything from Pastor Harrison ‘s pen. In fact your comment doesn’t even make sense.

          I suspect that you would say that about anyone who does not give a hearty ‘Yea and Amen!’ to behavior condemned and prohibited by both Old and New Testaments.

      • I am not impressed with the Missouri Synod’s official response to yesterday’s ruling. Since when do Lutherans believe that a law from the Kingdom of the Left Hand in any way diminishes the Kingdom of the Right Hand? And isn’t it a teensy bit of works righteousness to believe that we can somehow “save” the USA by making sure the right laws are in place? That’s not giving ourselves a little too much credit?

        And even more presumptuous is the idea that this nation was once blessed by God to begin with because we followed His laws, and we’ve somehow lost it.

        When did America as a nation EVER follow God? During the Revolution, when we violently overthrew rulers contrary to Scripture? When we enslaved members of another race? When we lied to the American Indians and stole all their land?

        Christians in this country have been on the wrong track for a while, believing that we are somehow a moral majority who can bring Heaven to Earth by putting the right laws in place, thus ensuring that God will bless this country and keep us safe and prosperous. That’s not Biblical in the slightest. We aren’t a chosen people. We’re Gentiles blessed to enter God’s kingdom through his grace and the death and resurrection of his only Son.

        Why would we presume that America as a nation can achieve some sort of special status in God’s eyes?

        I rejoice in yesterday’s ruling, if for no other reason than maybe it will be the wake up call that American Christians need to stop relying on salvation by the federal government’s moral leadership.

        • Agree. Ignoring tone, etc., the piece came across as theologically bankrupt…or at least not Lutheran.

          • And to think, just yesterday the Missouri Synod was highly praised on IMonk. Now having spoken ” truth to power”, not so much.

          • Robert F says

            Highly praised? Not by everybody; did you read the comments? Nobody is given a blank check on this site.

          • Speaking truth to power is great, but the LCMS has moved past that into political activism and actively encouraging its members to take specific political actions.

            The Synod’s “Free to be Faithful” campaign has been pushing a specific political agenda for a couple of years, and now they’re establishing a Lutheran Center for Religious Liberty in Washington, DC. The website for this campaign includes an “advocacy” section, containing documents such as a template for a letter to representatives. This template includes a specific request to repeal the HHS “birth control mandate.”

            The push for political action seems to be built on the assumption that religious freedom is a right we should fight for, which is an American political truth, not a theological truth. My concern is that we’ve altered our theology to correspond with the American political truth, or at least pushed theology out of the discussion on how to respond to the government when it starts going in a direction we can’t support. I don’t know that there’s anything inherently wrong with political action, but then again, I haven’t heard thoughtful discussion on the topic from a theological perspective within the LCMS.

            But if anyone knows of such discussion, I’d love to see it!

          • Seneca- God forbid this blog be anything but a uniform, monolithic Guide To How You Should Think on every little thing. Different people with a range of opinions? I don’t understand…

          • Seneca/jimmy, you’re just being your usual self.

            Evetybody who is unfamiliar… this guy likes to troll xtian blogs. He is known to many of us from other sites.

            Please, do.not.feed.

          • Seneca, the point of my comment was that Pr. Harrison was not speaking the truth. Unfortunately this seems to be a common habit for you, a sort of “Rhetoric 101” strategy of just dropping non-sequitars that are designed to paint the opposing view in a poor light. It isn’t cute when freshman do it in their term papers, because it indicates that they haven’t got any substance to engage with. And it isn’t cute when you do it, because it isn’t designed to be constructive. I’m more than happy to interact with you, if you have got something to say – but I would ask that you please be respectful and put some thought into what you are trying to argue.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Seneca/jimmy, you’re just being your usual self.

            Evetybody who is unfamiliar… this guy likes to troll xtian blogs. He is known to many of us from other sites.

            Including becoming one of the few guys to get banned from Wartburg Watch.

            He apparently is always going To and Fro among the Bible Blogs, walking Up and Down looking to start a fight.

          • Patrick Kyle says

            ” the point of my comment was that Pr. Harrison was not speaking the truth”

            How so? What did he lie about, or is merely misinformed?

          • Patrick Kyle says

            You have neither defended your statement nor retracted it. You accused the president of our shared denomination of being untruthful. If you can’t back it up you are guilty of bearing false witness. What say you?

        • Yeah, I’m ELCA, and not impressed, eithet. But i bet a lot in the LCMS disagree with that screed, too.

          • Patrick Kyle says



            Why? Because our church does not buy off on the standard cultural line?

          • No, it’s the Culture Wars political-ness of it. Survived those already. People in the LCMS are foolish to get into this kind of battle.

            Ask any evangelical culture wars survivors…

          • I’m LCMS, and was extremely disappointed. The LCMS believes that homo-sex is a sin, and I don’t have a problem with that. But the culture war rhetoric and the confusion of the kingdoms was very disappointing to me. To sacrifice core pieces of theology just because SCOTUS found that the constitution allowed same-sex marriage is baffling to me. If I wanted to be in a culture-war church that put political action ahead of doctrine, I would join a Baptist congregation – they are much better at it, anyway.

        • Patrick Kyle says


          What you are seeing in the LCMS are the seeds of a grass roots, conscience driven, movement of civil disobedience. You are pissed off because you lack understanding of the doctrine of the two kingdoms with it’s attendant dual citizenship for Christians, and conflate the LCMS stance with that of the Christian triumphalists.

          Do the reading.

      • i was bothered as well by the LCMS’s embracing politics in order to promote a certain agenda. I’m not alone in this. There was an announcement of some sort on Facebook about the new Lutheran political action center in Washington, DC and the comments (of course I read them) were about half for (“got get ’em!) and half very much upset (“churches are closing for lack of funds and this is where the leadership spends its money??”) Power is a strong aphrodisiac, isn’t it?

    • On, no. The fad has crept over here now.


    • More “outrage” seemingly frowned upon by the post evangelicals, dryly.
      Catholic Bishops have weighed in.


      • Robert F says

        Yes, the Catholic Church and the evangelicals will be in the same small boat on the same hot water with this one, in particular with regard to their secondary institutions, like schools and hospitals. Expect to hear a lot of the same language coming from both camps, and for them to make common cause, and for what is on this blog called the “Culture War” to become more emphasized in the Catholic camp.

      • Robert F says

        The bishops are upset with the decision, but I’d wager that most laity are okay with it; this might be the major difference between the Catholic and evangelical camps on this issue: the attitude of the laity.

  2. Disappointing Ramblings this week. Not much to laugh about. Guess I’ll just have to watch my San Diego Padres for a chuckle…

    • Ronald Avra says

      Since your up and about, you could probably put out some pink flamingos on your lawn and surprise the neighbors tomorrow morning 🙂

    • Jazziscoolithink says

      When it comes to laughing, a sense of humor helps. 😉

    • chipmybrothersnameisdale says

      or worse you could be a phillies fan

      • Haha! In San Diego we have a more consistent record of futility, but we’re not as critical as Phillies fans because we have the beach and they have,,,WHAT?

        • Ha! In middle school I was a hardcore Padres fan (I lived in West Virginia, so my options were limited – the Orioles were the closest team, but at the time there was this joke going around: What do the Baltimore Orioles have in common with Michael Jackson? They both wear a glove for no good reason.) – Bip Roberts, anyone? I still love baseball, but despite being a total nerd I still feel like saber-metrics have taken much of the fun out of the game.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        AKA a Philly Phanatic?

    • Brianthedad says

      I wouldn’t say that. The medieval painting captions were hilarious. Except the white Michael one. Didn’t understand that.

      • Michael Jackson’s medical race change attempts, I think.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Since Bruce-to-Caitlin Jenner hit the media, we’ve heard about gender dysphoria.

          Did Wacko Jacko (and this Rachel Dolezal who got in the news recently) have some sort of “ethnic dysphoria”? If so, why is Jenner’s gender dysphoria celebrated and Dolezal’s ethnic dysphoria denounced? Is it because Jenner’s dysphoria was Sexual(TM) and sex makes everyone stupid?

  3. You know… what with the mass murder in Charleston, and the eloquent eulogy by the pres. at Rev. Clementa Pinckney’s funeral yesterday, i wondered if Ramblings would drop the jokes. CM has done that before, when he was the interim writer for Saturdays.

    I suppose some of you will thjnk I’m harshing the vibe here, but y’know, i might as well be the one to point out the sombreness of many recent events.

  4. Danile – i *do* like the fish pic (scary teeth!), but all those gory martyrdoms, not so much…

  5. MARK GALLI – It’s our fault [ in a nutshell ]

    • Clay Crouch says

      Don’t worry. One of his recommendations is to double down and to start rooting out all the other sins besetting us. You’ll have plenty to keep you busy. :o).

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        After yesterday, make that “double down and SCREAM LOUDER!”

        “And stop screaming. Nobody likes a religion with people screaming.”
        — the original Intenet Monk

        • Clay Crouch says

          Unless you can scream winsomely®.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          After action report from this Sunday at my church:

          Today St Boniface was a place of refuge from the SCOTUS decision uproar. The Gospel today was about the Raising of Jairus’ Daughter and the homily/sermon built on it with Christ as Victor over Death and the grave.

          It was Fr Nyugen’s last Mass as one of our Assistant Pastors; he was being transferred to a Vietnamese ethnic parish in central OC and there was a farewell reception in the parish hall after Mass. Announcements from our Pastor (a Mexican immigrant and former blue-collar construction worker) were that the Diocese had agreed to pay the lion’s share of needed repairs and refurbishing of our 60-year-old church building and work would commence next month.

  6. Regarding Churchix: NPR had a recent discussion on the recognition software issue, Apparently industries (businesses, and now maybe churches) want individuals to have to “opt-out” of allowing that, while privacy advocates are pushing for an “opt-in” policy. At this point industries are not wanting to give individuals that starting point, so talks have broken down.

    As you stated, it is creepy, and concerning.

    I can’t but help think the calling card of those liking the software is: Hail Hydra!

    • I’ve clicked on every page of the Churchix Software site and I still keep thinking this must be April 1st.

      • Brianthedad says

        I thought the same thing when I first saw that earlier this week. An aside: do you think you can pinpoint their target demographic church just by looking at the sample pictures on their website?

    • Thank you RDAVID! Hail Hydra, indeed! There’s my laugh for a Saturday morning!

      But I do have to defend Churchix. How else does a media maven, mega church pastor keep in touch with “the little people”?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      Churchix first showed up in a Wartburg Watch comment thread two days ago.

      One of the comments stated that the security/surveillance software was originally developed for corporate security use, but they started getting so many inquires from (mega?)churches that they modified it to produce Churchix.

  7. So the concerned neighbors called the police rather than letting the eleven-year-old boy into their house and have some cookies while he waited for his parents. I’m so glad they cared.

    • Hmm. No indication of race. I just wonder…

    • Cincygirl says

      Or, I don’t know, maybe just take a cup of coffee out on your front step and keep a watchful eye on him until his parents arrive?

      My kids are grown and out of the house ( we don’t ‘live in the street’ like we used to) so I must admit there are a couple newer neighbor kids who might not be comfortable coming into my house without their parents’ permission…good reminder that we need to up our “neighboring” game!

      • Josh in FW says


      • Michael Z says

        Once when I was in elementary school, it was an “early release” day (school letting out early) and my parents didn’t know it. My brother and I came home to an empty house, then just knocked on a neighbor’s door and she fed us lunch and let us stay there until our parents got home. Because that’s what neighbors do. Crisis averted.

        That said, I’m surprised the family didn’t have a key hidden somewhere for this sort of occasion…

      • Maybe just go outside and stay with the kids for a reasonable amount of time until the parents get home, to avoid the dangers that bringing a less than friendly neighbor’s (or even a friendly neighbor’s) kid into your house can invite nowadays.
        At some point, if the time is too long, then you have to call the police. Once that happens, all bets are off, because the authorities have become loathe to overlook even the smallest possibility of child neglect or abuse in the current climate and reality of increasing consciousness about these issues. That means that a sledgehammer is often automatically brought into play by the authorities in situations where a little gentle pressure would have been adequate, because everyone can remember when not doing so resulted in cases where children were left in situations that were horrific.

    • That would be 1960.
      Today we sound every alarm possible.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        And if you take the kid in, you could be accused of Pedophilia.
        CYA all the way.

      • Indeed, today, unfortunately, one must be very careful how to help a child. Out in the open, with eyewitnesses, would be best.

        Crappy world we live in.

  8. I don’t understand why, but Saturday Ramblings comments have developed a Britain’s Got Talent vibe, as if we were all Simon Cowell and could give a thumbs up or a razzie to the column each week. When did we become critics and not readers? When did Daniel become our hireling and not an independent thinker?

  9. chipmybrothersnameisdale says

    dittio damaris

  10. flatrocker says

    So clearly Daniel’s at risk for not getting voted on to next round.
    I wonder if he can juggle while riding a unicycle singing an aria in his best falsetto as he compiles the Ramblings? Maybe a wearing a meat suit would help as well.

    When is he going to realize this is a serious competition?

  11. i saw on Facebook that one church leader (LCMS I think, but can’t remember for sure) called the Supreme Court decision an extreme catastrophe or disaster or something like that. I thought, no, a catastrophe is the sinking of a boat full of people desperate to flee their war ravaged homes, as is the war ravaging their homeland, or a plane flying into a building on a sunny Sept morning, or faithful Christians be shot to death in cold blood while studying God’s word.
    I’m ambivalent on gay marriage but I don’t think it will bring about the collapse of civilization. I’m glad to read the more measured responses by some of the evangelical leadership.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      You might want to skip church this Sunday and lay low.

      Guess what’s going to be SCREAMED from so many pulpits on that day?

      I’ve even heard the first rumblings of Thermonuclear Annihalation = God’s JUDGMENT!!!!!
      Just like during the Cold War, when “God’s JUDGMENT for America’s Sins Sits Ready and Waiting in the Nuclear Missile Silos of the Soviet Union!!!!!”

      Makes you wonder how the early Church ever survived its initial expansion into the Hellenistic culture of the Eastern Med of the time, when Normal and Manly Male Sexual Customs were “Women for breeding stock, Men for love, Boys for pleasuer” and anything else was Crazy Talk.

      • Christiane says

        I would not want to be an evangelical fundamentalist THIS Sunday, no. Their blogs are absolutely livid and preachers are raring to go on Sunday morn.

        I heard references to ‘mounting the sacred steps’ to a pulpit; and teaching ‘what Christ really meant’ as though His words weren’t enough to deliver in their own right . . . talk about getting wound up.

        Church. This Sunday.
        . . . and the forecast is storm and thunder . . .

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Church. This Sunday.
          . . . and the forecast is storm and thunder . . .

          Better to stay home, sleep in, and stream MLP:FIM from YouTube.

      • Clay Crouch says

        I won’t be skipping church. I’ll be skipping to church. Our bishop (Dioceses of NC), Michael Curry was elected Presiding Bishop of TEC on the first ballot.

        • I just read a NY Times article about Bishop Curry. Briefly, he’s African-American, married to a woman, and in favor of gay rights (well, in light of the recent Supreme Court decision, that may be moot).

          Do you see any reconciliation from the split of the last decade between TEC and the North American Anglicans?

          (Incidentally, the bishop of SC, who has been in the center of some of that, is an old friend of mine. Interesting church history in the making.)

    • Canada has had same sex marriage for 10 years now… Dennmark since 1989. In all these years, yet to see Canada go up in brimstone. The sky has not fallen yet. Pigs haven’t started to fly…

    • Or go to a liberal church and see a bunch of rainbow flags being unfurled. In the mighty words of the great prophet David Grohl “I’m done, done, and I’m onto the next one”. Whatever I might be looking for, I’m not going to find it in any church this week. Liberals and conservatives alike have their own definition of what is ultimate, none of which is “God”.

      • Come to my parish. We’re celebrating the Resurrection of Christ and the holy unmercenaries St. Cyrus and John.

  12. Vega Magnus says

    I think the most logical solution to the creepy facial recognition software is to wear luchador masks to church.

  13. Ever since the web site Medieval Memes ceased to function, I have been at a loss to sate my hunger for classic art rendered as a modern cheap laugh. Well done on recaptioning the paintings. Best thing about today’s Ramblings.

    And as inspiring as the organ version was, I’m still partial to Joe Penna’s take on the classic: https://youtu.be/z2J2a3UMubM

  14. Freddie Mercury would be proud. That was the instrument that Bohemian Rhapsody was written for. Magnificent.

  15. Vega Magnus says

    One of my A Beka homeschool video Bible classes justified the polygamy of David and Solomon by saying that while it did not please God, it was culturally accepted at the time and therefore he didn’t smite them for it. I find it interesting that they used cultural relativity to justify something that a Biblical figure did, but something similar happening today would be considered capitulating to culture and a bad thing. I for one fully expect polygamy to eventually become legal at some point, although it won’t get nearly the cultural push that gay marriage got because there are likely vastly fewer people wanting group marriage than there are gay people.

    • And not only polygamy, but polyamory and contract marriages with an expiration date, as well. How else to solve the divorce dilemma but by making the marriage contract valid for a certain term, renewable by consent of both parties for another fixed term. SInce the definition of marriage has been made changeable, why not make it perfectly elastic?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      In the Hellenistic culture of 2000 years ago, homosexuality was “culturally accepted at the time”.

      In the Roman culture of the same time, a Paterfamilias (family patriarch) having unlimited power (including sexual access) to any of his household or property whether same- or opposite-sex was also “culturally accepted at the time”.

      • Roman men also looked on women as breeders while they took their pleasure elsewhere. In other words, it was a total patriarchy.

        Also, the Greeks never equated homosexuality as the equivalent of male/female relations. They were treated as an aberration, albeit one that was just a fact of life.

        What we have today has no equal or equivalent in all of history.

        • Robert F says

          Yeah, and the absence of slavery is also unique to our civilization, without equal in ancient civilizations. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.

          • Christiane says

            ‘absence of slavery’ in our civilization ?

            two people work . . . same work, same hours . . . one gets paid only in part, having been asked to work the whole time anyway in spite of the inequality of reward . . . ‘or else’

            is that not a modern form of slavery, when the ‘or else’ means a single mother can’t support her child and will lose their medical benefits . . .

            oh, it’s not ‘the same’, some say . . . . she can always find another job . . . and she does: two people work . . . same work, same hours . . . one gets paid only in part . . . guess which one

            modern slavery: it’s victims are still the powerless and the war against them is still going strong

            thanks for the opportunity to rant 🙂

          • Meh. I think comparing wage discrimination, the abuse of salaried positions, and credit cards to chattel slavery is absurd and degrading. Those aspects of modern economics may not be right, but let’s not use absurd rhetoric to make our point.

          • Robert F says

            Yes, I don’t think you can really establish a moral equivalence to legal, chattel slavery for these other serious economic social ills.

            You can, however, talk about under-the-radar forms of illegal slavery that continue in poor nations, and even here in the US, whereby the Owe-My-Soul-to-the-Company-Store is taken to its most dehumanizing and systematic extent. But that’s not a legal form of slavery, which makes it very different.

          • Christiane says

            thank you, gentlemen, for your input

            now, where are the ladies who get no child-support and hold two jobs down to pay rent and crimp to get from pay-day to pay-day . . .

            maybe it’s perspective . . . you have to walk in someone else’s shoes to ‘get it’ . . . so in good will, I can give the benefit of the doubt to male critics

          • Robert F says

            Well, Christiane, none of us have been chattel slaves. Does that mean that we can’t discuss the subject in an intelligent, informed, truthful and sympathetic way, since none of us have walked in a chattel slave’s shoes (or lack thereof)?

            Don’t you think that women were even more oppressed under chattel slavery than they are now, suffering injustices analogous to the ones you innumerate, inflicted by the patriarchal slave subculture, as well as the injustice of the institution of slavery inflicted on both male and female slaves? Or do you think things were no worse for women then?

            Beside, you were the critic…

          • Robert F says

            Christiane, I also have a question for you.

            How do you know the situation of anonymous commenters on this blog? For instance, how do you know that I don’t work a menial, oppressive and physically draining job for low pay, and for hostile managers who keep trying to get more work out of me by keeping me under constant threat of losing my job and benefits, including the health insurance that my wife depends on to buy the medical services and medications that keep her alive? How do you know that I don’t just barely manage to cobble out a living from one paycheck to another? How do you know that my experience is not far more like that of the person you describe in your comment than your own experience is, which, according to your logic, would make my opinion more weighty than yours, since I’ve walked in shoes more like theirs than you have? How do you know?

            I think you don’t know.

          • Christiane – gotta agree with evetyone who’s saying that this does not = chattel slavery. Not saying you don’t hsve some good points, but i think the comparison is flawed.

          • Christiane says

            I suppose it was over-the-top flawed. But it sure was fun ranting. Employers have gotten a lot of free work from women who were in vulnerable situations is all I’m saying . . . and having to work for less is like having to pay a kick-back to the employer . . . unfairness, major

            sorry for provoking firestorm, Robert F. . . . my comment/rant was working off of what I had seen the mothers of my students go through, the stuff they shared with me was grim . . . and I didn’t even touch on the sexual harassment of one who was desperate for someone to talk to . . . it all gets worse, I’m afraid

          • Vchristiane, we agree on the topics in question (I’m a woman, btw),just not on the analogy you used.

          • Oh, I totally get it – ranting is fun. It’s just that I have a friend whose uncle was lynched in the South, and I suppose I tend to be a bit touchy on the subject. I agree with the injustices you pointed out, though.

          • Robert F says

            Ditto what numo said (except that I’m not a woman).

  16. Ahh. I feel better now that I could make some sarcastic comments on a Saturday morning! As a west coast resident I get to read Ramblings around nine or ten PM when I am tired, then again when I rise at 5:30 AM when I am more clear headed. What wasn’t funny at nigh then becomes hilarious in the morning. Thanks , all, and especially Daniel for his contributions!

  17. Well, it’s old news, but the US hasn’t had a “biblical definition of marriage” for decades now.

    Most often, marriage was regarded as a property transfer that was used to forge a political relationship, usually at the family level rather than the state level, although there are plenty of examples of the latter. There are romantic trysts in the Bible – Jacob and Rachel, David and Bath-sheba, Ruth and Boaz, etc. – but they are never far from political considerations.

    Jacob and his FIL had to draw a line in the sand, so to speak, at Mizpeh (which makes me crack up at the “Mizpeh Coins” sold in bookstores which are interpreted to mean just the opposite of what that Bible verse teaches) where Jacob took his property, which included wives, concubines, and children, and went his way.

    David’s accumulation of wives reflected political expedience and were a testimony to his growing power. Look at the story of Absalom, the 10 wives left behind when David fled, and what happened to them and ask why. Or the political necessity of a loveless marriage with Michal, Saul’s daughter, as a means of maintaining a unified kingdom.

    In other words, modern Evangelicals would NEVER assent to accepting political alliances, arranged marriages, and chattel wives as “biblical marriage.” So, in the absence of a hermeneutically sound definition of marriage, they lost the culture war back in the 1980’s when stigma-free no-fault divorce became the rule in church. Basically, we have bought into the idea that marriage is a free association of consenting adults that can be terminated at will. I’ve not heard of a viable alternative gaining any serious traction.

    • From a secular standpoint, once marriage as property law goes away, all the rules change. The state is probably interested in making sure children get taken care of and that property is equitably distributed between codependent partners, but that is about the extent of its “marriage” concerns. It will be interesting to see how far this goes.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says

      In other words, modern Evangelicals would NEVER assent to accepting political alliances, arranged marriages, and chattel wives as “biblical marriage.”

      Think again. Some of the stuff coming out of the Chrisitanese Homeschool Movement, “Biblical gender roles”, and Quiverfull/Complementarism sounds right out of Game of Thrones without the shagging scenes. Like 200-year plans for Your Dynasty including “estates and house servants” (like Tywin Lannister’s), Biblical Courtship Marriages (like joining House Baratheon to House Lannister or securing the ownership of Winterfell and the North by joining House Bolton to House Stark), and a connected Reconstructionist goal of Political Power.

      Get past the GoT shag scenes and you can see how well all that turns out…

      • They may be vocal, but they are such a fringe minority and detached from mainstream Evangelicalism to such a degree as to be culturally and ecclesiastically irrelevant.

        • That Other Jean says

          I’m not so sure about that. They may be a fringe minority, but people like the Duggars (Quiverfull, Gothard) get them into the public spotlight far more than their numbers warrant. Too many people think they’re quaint and harmless, when their actual aims are anything but..

          • Christiane says

            they would point the finger at others, and shield their own . . . but not get help for their own wounded daughters . . .

            I don’t think they will ever have the same ‘image’ again, so maybe their power to harm has now been minimized . . . one can hope so, at least

          • Christiane – you are, sadly, too right about the daughters not getting help. It is just horrendous. It is also the reason that sites like No Longer Quivering and Free Jinger exist.

            The “stay at home daughters” movement within the QF crowd and related homeschooling circles is also a gigantically awful, abusive thing. But that hasn’t gotten any media exposure, outside of the sites I mentioned (plus related) and blogs like The Wartburg Watch.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            As was overheard on the 480 bus a couple weeks ago:

            “The Duggars… They’re CHRISTIAN… Guess it’s OK to shag your eight-year-old sister as long as you’re not Gay…”

        • They are far more mainstream than you’d think. Unfortunately.

  18. Daniel your writing, subject matter and humor is much appreciated. It’s a breath of fresh air and a good chuckle. Thank you.

  19. “As if I needed another reason to stay out of New Jersey.”
    In defense of New Jersey, the state is about 8723 sq miles. About 8500 of that is rolling hills, pine forests, farms and beaches. It is The Garden State after all. Just sayin’.

  20. Dana Ames says

    If you’re a Metal fan (or even if not – I go there often just to listen to her fantastic piano skills) check the web site vikagoeswild dot com. It is the site of Viktoria Yermolyeva, Ukrainian pianist extroardinaire, who was classically trained but made a change… There are YouTube videos of her playing her arrangements of quite a few Metal and other Prog Rock pieces, including Bohemian Rhapsody – outstanding. She has also written out many of her arrangements, and you can obtain the sheet music for a donation – if you think you can play it 🙂


  21. This just in, at least I just read it on Scot McKnight’s blog. Pope Francis has publicly apologized and asked forgiveness for what he called the Church’s persecution of the Waldensians. I might have called it genocide, but I regard his acknowledgement as a huge step forward. What a monstrous black eye that has been for the name of Jesus all these years. Hats off, Francis! Maybe Martin Luther can get off the anathema list next.

    • It’s about time! My daughter was in Turin a couple years ago and heard of Waldenses for the first time when she visited one of the churches. She was pretty shocked to hear their history when she got home. I think she was surprised that mom and dad knew a bunch of stuff she had never heard of before.

    • That is good news!

    • Robert F says

      That is very good news!

      While their persecution and suppression was an embarrassment to the name of Jesus, their courageous witness was a credit to him.

  22. “This is the most monumental ruling of any court, by any nation in the history of the world.”

    “…that love makes marriage…”

    Two of the dumbest things I’ve heard in a long time.

    • Marcus Johnson says

      That whole Marbury v. Madison deal was pretty big. For the next two hundred years, though, I kinda feel like the Supreme Court has just been sitting on their hands throughout history. Really, can anyone point to any other landmark civil rights cases decided by the…wait a minute…

  23. That Other Jean says

    Thanks, Daniel! Loved the medieval manuscripts, especially St. George and the Iguana With Wings. Is the guy with the cleaver in his head Thomas Becket?

    • I can’t recall any mention of a butcher’s cleaver re. Becket, but then, maybe there were stories of it at the time, or maybe it’s meant to represent the fact that he was so brutally murdered. The tonsure makes me think you’re correct, but I need to go look it up.

      On the whole, all of those paintings and ms. illuminations of awful martyrdoms are not my cuppa. I used to have to look at lots of them back when I was in grad school, but now… my ability to shut out the awful suffering depicted is much less than it was at that time.

  24. Lester Bangs says

    “Mark Galli of CT, as usual, gets it right.”

    He gets it quite wrong.

    This place needs more diversity of views on homosexuality in the front page posters.

  25. Rick Ro. says

    Daniel, your captioned art has a Monty Python vibe to it. Nicely done.

  26. This from Richard Rohr’s meditation today. He says the poem is a paraphrase by Daniel Ladinsky of an experience of Francis of Assisi. Thought it was a good ramble.

    The Sacraments

    I once spoke to my friend, an old squirrel, about the Sacraments–
    he got so excited

    and ran into a hollow in his tree and came
    back holding some acorns, an owl feather,
    and a ribbon he had found.

    And I just smiled and said, “Yes, dear,
    you understand:

    everything imparts
    His grace.”

  27. I guess I’m a little slow: I just noticed in the iMonk website banner pictures the long-haired guy knocking on the church door. Hmmm. I wonder who that could be…

  28. “Churchix is designed for Church administrators and event managers who want to save
    the pain of manually tracking their members attendance to their events.”

    Save the pain of manually tracking their members??? You mean, like the painful process of getting to KNOW their sheep??? Yes, yes…anything to avoid personal contact with people in their congregation!

    I can already hear how this will be abused:
    1) (via phone call) “We haven’t seen you in church lately. You ARE still tithing, right?”

    2) (via phone call) “We’ve noticed you haven’t been coming to church. Are you sure you’re saved?”

    3) (OVER THE CHURCH PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM) “Rick Ro. is not in attendance today. Attention, Rick Ro. is not in attendance today. If you are a friend of Rick Ro., please call him and give him a hard time.”

    • Rick, Churchix is designed to be interfaced with robocall, to save the pain of manually dialing your number.

    • Heaven forbid the shepherd actually interact with the lowly sheep. Who’s ever heard of such a thing? Absurd!

      I love my pastor. He sits at the back of the altar taking “roll” while the worship leader is up. He knows his entire flock and each missing “sheep” gets a bulletin in the mail that week. Now, the congregation is “only” about 160, but still. No one else takes that much care, because the rare Sunday’s he is on vacation, no one replaces him.

  29. This touches on the Joel Osteen piece in a round-about way. News came out this week that the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame dismissed as many as 16 of its nomination board who advocated for the entrance of bands foundational to Rock and Roll to be replaced by members who will endorse newer acts in an effort to attract a younger audience and boost ratings of its HBO special.


    This sounds much like American evangelicalism, which jettisons its heritage in order to hitch it wagon to the latest shooting star. In the process, it loses that truly cat-holic (of the whole) connection with the past and wrings its hands when old heresies resurface. As the article states about the RRHOF, there’s no problem with the new, but without The Who and Sonny Boy Williamson before them, there would be no Green Day. In the case of the church, if it would read Augustine, Chrysostom, the Creeds, Luther, Calvin, etc, perhaps there would be no Osteen.

  30. Chaplain Mike, last year when you and Gail came through Southwest Harbor to get on the boat, you probably drove past a lot of pink flamingos. Don Featherstone summered there for a lot of years, and every July there’s a “Flamingo Festival.” Things get weird over there in July, and very pink.

  31. What IS funny is all the social media about people saying that they are giving up on the good old U.S. of A. and moving up to Canada.

    I think they will be surprised to learn that same sex marriage has been legal throughout the country here for 10 years (as of Monday.)

  32. Thanks for including the voices of reason on the right and not just holding up for scorn the usual characters/caricatures of the extremes.

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