November 26, 2020

Saturday Ramblings, May 21, 2016

Hello, friends, and welcome to the weekend. Ready to Ramble?

1962 Rambler 220

It’s graduation season, and you can tell something about a school by who it brings in for commencement speaker. Even small, non-distinguished schools can bring in important thinkers and speakers if they try. Carthage College nabbed Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. High Point University will host Condoleeza Rice. Scripps College went with Madeleine Albright. And North Virginia Community College even snagged Jill Biden, wife of our vice-president. And then there is Liberty University, who went with Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, and Rashad Jennings, a football player. Liberty also decided to give Jennings an honorary doctorate for some reason.

Speaking of Liberty, students in the fall will find at least one of the conservative school’s rules to be eliminated: they can now keep handguns in their dorm rooms. But not Lava Lamps.

Going to be flying soon? You might want to leave a little extra time. Like 8 hours or so.  It seems the security screening lines have dramatically increased all throughout the country. Airport chiefs have gone creative to try lighten the mood. The Atlanta airport is adding extra music performers in the areas before security, and handing out snacks and beverages to passengers in line. Cincinnati  International Airport has been trying to stabilize the situation with miniature horses (because who doesn’t like miniature horses?). And the San Diego International Airport decided clowns would be a good idea.

Not helping, TSA, not helping...

Not helping, TSA, not helping…

The TSA has pledged to add 800 new security staff by June to ease queues, but passengers this summer should still be prepared for long waits. And short horses.

By the way, you know TSA lines are too long when you read the headline, Corpse turns up at Atlanta International Airport security.

I don’t think I’m often on the same page with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. But I am on this one: They really, really dislike Kim Kardashian. In fact, they are accusing her of being a “secret agent” which may be giving her too much credit. A spokesman for the group’s Organized Cyberspace Crimes Unit accused Kardashian of working for Instagram as part of a complicated ploy to “target young people and women,” ostensibly corrupting them with aspirational photos depicting a lifestyle that’s at odds with Islam.

This might be a good place to plug my favorite twitters stream: KimKierkegaardashian (@KimKierkegaard), described as “The philosophy of Søren Kierkegaard mashed with the tweets & observations of Kim Kardashian.” Some recent faves:

The video below is for an IndieGoGo campaign called September 11th Redux with a goal of $1.5 million. The goal: to re-create 9/11. That’s right, they want to buy a old 747, fill it with fuel, and launch it into a tall building, to see if the “truthers” have a point. What could possible go wrong?

BTW,if you donate $125 you’ll get a T-Shirt that says “9-11: THE REDUX” which will be awesome for those of you who love explaining your clothing to the TSA and Federal officers.

Hillary and Bill Clinton raked in a combined $6.725 million in paid speeches in 2015, according to a personal financial disclosure form released late Tuesday night. Hillary gave six paid speeches for a total income of $1.475 million. Her biggest pay day was to Ebay ($315,000) but she slummed it with the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce ($150,000).  Bill gave 22 paid speeches last year for a total of $5.25 million. Of these speeches, 11 of them occurred after his wife became a presidential candidate. In 2014, the Clintons made roughly $18 million from roughly 100 paid speeches — many of which were to banks. Altogether, they have made more than $153 million in paid speeches since they left they White House, receiving an average payday of $210,795 for each address. Of course, these banks and companies only pay this kind of change because of Bill and Hillary’s eloquence, not for any quid pro quo. Just ask them.


Speaking of Hillary, she is not out of the primary woods just yet, after tying Bernie Sanders in Kentucky and losing in Oregon last week. Actually, I only mention this to set up this gif:

bernie sanders hillary clinton bernie mash up matrix

A new Pew Research Center study of the ways religion influences the daily lives of Americans finds that people who are highly religious are more engaged with their extended families, more likely to volunteer, more involved in their communities and generally happier with the way things are going in their lives. But they told “white lies” only slightly less often than non-highly religious people, and lost their tempers at the same rate. Pew also published this very interesting info:

Apparently, nearly one in seven Christians don’t think belief in God is essential to their Christianity. Okaaaaayyy…

How much was leBron James given in his latest deal to endorse Nike shoes? Apparently, somewhere north of 1 billion dollars.

Spotted on British Craigslist: 

download (1)

What do right-wing conspiracy nuts and the porn industry have in common (well, besides the whole “sell my soul for dollars” thing)? Answer: they have to keep upping the ante. Take infoWars broadcaster and Donald Trump ally Alex Jones.  He’s been claiming for a while now that First Lady Michelle Obama is secretly a transgender man. But this time he’s adding a new twist to his conspiracy theory: that Obama had comedienne Joan Rivers killed after she joked about the first lady being trans. “Don’t forget,” Jones said, “the famous comedienne Joan Rivers said, ‘Of course everyone knows she’s a tranny.’ She’s dead serious, ‘She’s a man.’ Deader than a doornail in a routine operation where basically she had fire poured down her throat and was a fire-breathing goblin. Dead on arrival. Shoot your mouth off, honey, you will die.”

But why stop there:  “I really think — her daughters don’t look like her — I really think this is some weird hoax they did again,” he said, “just like he didn’t get sworn in on the Bible, it was the Quran. All this weirdness, I mean, I used to laugh at this stuff, but man, it’s all about rubbing our noses in it. I think it’s all an arranged marriage, it’s all completely fake and it’s this big sick joke because he’s obsessed with transgender, just like some weird cult or something. I think Michelle Obama is a man. I really do. I really do. I believe it.”

And the proof of all this is . . . the number of hits online videos have. “The national media takes it when I talk about this and acts like I’m crazy [no way!!!]. Listen, there’s hundreds of millions views on YouTube.” Of course, there are also millions of views on videos claiming that Obama and other leaders are shapeshifting reptilian humanoids, another conspiracy promoted by Jones.

By the way, Alex also has an explanation for “why we have so many gay people today.” It’s juice boxes. Gay-tainted juice boxes. Who knew?

By the way, Trump appeared on Jones’ radio show in December, when he was already the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, and complimented Jones for his “amazing” reputation. And Trump’s top confidant, Roger Stone, has been on Jones’ show nearly every week during the campaign.

George Zimmerman’s auction for the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin has closed … and the winning bid topped $120,000. Zimmerman had to relist the auction, after the price on the initial offering was deliberately run up to 65 million dollars by a disgusted online vigilante. The name this man chose for his fake account: “Racist McShootface”.

The Church of Scotland will launch a two-year investigation into the possibility of introducing online baptisms, Communion and other Christian sacraments. The church, known as The Kirk, has seen its rolls fall by almost one-third between 2004 and 2015, to just under 364,000 members. The church’s Legal Questions Committee, which is responsible for advising the General Assembly, the church’s lawmaking body, is pushing for “a wide-ranging review of practice and procedure which is impacted by the use of new technology in church life.” It adds: “Now is the time to open up a wide range of discussion on these contemporary developments.”

After pushback, the Church issued the following clarification:

“Our report makes reference to the possibilities of online membership and even about people gaining access to the sacraments without being physically present in a congregation. This has led to some headlines about ‘online baptisms’, which would represent a very radical departure from current church practice. It is important to emphasise that the Legal Questions Committee isn’t putting forward any such proposals at this time.”

So, this happened in New York last week:

No-one has ever accused The Christian Post of having a sense of humor. Until now. Somehow they hired a satirist who is actually funny. Here are some of the top headlines from Ligonberry Fields:

Want some more Christian satire headlines? Here are some of the latest from Babylon Bee:

Well, that’s it for this week. I leave you with the musical stylings of one of Japan’s favorite pop artist, because we are very cosmopolitan and sophisticated here at the Ramblings. Besides, I am hoping Miguel will be able to turn this into a visual hymn for the modern church (just add some Lutheran lyrics, but keep the sweet dance moves and backgrounds). This is Kyary Pamyu Pamyu and one of her first big hits,  Tsukematsukeru,  from 2011. Enjoy!!


  1. Christiane says

    LOVE the Babylon Bee !

    • Robert F says

      Badges?! We don’t need no stinking badges!! We’re Federales!

      • Robert F says

        Sorry for this obscure reference to a now long-forgotten old, first generation Saturday Night Live skit, The Killer Bees, which itself alluded to a scene from an even older and more forgotten film, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

    • Lark News is another good Christian parody news site.

  2. So if Joan Rivers was killed for shooting her mouth off does that mean we shall soon see the end of Alex Jones?

    This election is like some weird bad drug trip we can’t wake up from.

    • Gonna be a terrible hangover come November, I fear.

      • Christiane says

        I think you may be right about this. Bad signs everywhere right now. Yikes!

        • Clay Crouch says

          I see a bad moon rising.
          I see trouble on the way.
          I see earthquakes and lightnin’.
          I see bad times today.

          Don’t go around tonight,
          Well it’s bound to take your life,
          There’s a bad moon on the rise.

          John C. Fogerty

    • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says

      I didn’t know Alex Jones existed before this morning. Thanks Daniel. (frowny face)

  3. Marcus Johnson says

    I can sympathize with the 14% who didn’t select “believing in God” as the primary part of being a Christian. It’s just too vague of a statement.

    Kind of wish that there were more folks who felt that taking care of the poor was an important part of Christianity. I don’t view the Bible as a book of rules, but there are hundreds of verses from both the Old and New Testament that dictate how we should treat the less privileged. Shouldn’t some of that rub off on us?

    • Yes, exactly, Marcus. That one struck me, as did the measly majority of people who think forgiveness is important. Not to mention that no one thinks supporting employers who pay a fair wage is a thing Christians should do — one more bit of evidence of Christian scorn/discomfort with the book of James.

      • The premise of the survey states what is an “essential part” of Christianity–I suppose the question itself is rather vague. So perhaps those people aren’t saying that it’s *not important* as you suggest, but rather *not essential* (although I’m assuming the intention of the survey is likely what is very important). Also, I would say that hardly any of the things (particularly works-related) on that list are really essential. What if for instance someone was handicapped or unable to serve the poor? What if you lived in the middle of nowhere? Doing things for people can’t be a prerequisite for being a Christian. While it is something we should all strive for, especially seeing as Jesus set the example himself, it can’t be inherently seen as *essential.”

        • One might consider the creation, the purposes of the Law in the OT, it’s fulfillment in the Sermon on the Mount and in the Miracles, demonstrated by Christ’s work on the Cross, and commended in the great commission and in the Letter of James, as a counter argument. Works are not a prerequisite, but are the only evidence that one understands that love is not just a noun, but is lived as a verb.

          • “Works are not a prerequisite, but…”

            That is my point, and so I think we agree. There is no “but.” Anything that follows is a discussion on a separate topic, which certainly is an interesting one as well.

        • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says

          Keep in mind that many adherents to convictions of an objective religion do consider belief in God to be largely irrelevant. Ask a Muslim if adherence to the pillars is important, or a sincere belief in Allah’s existence. Same goes for many Jewish sects, and more than a few Christians. In The Last Battle C.S. Lewis tells the story of a pagan who ends up in paradise. He didn’t believe in Aslan, but he did good works. This is not an uncommon understanding of how the world works among many Christians; just not maybe conservative evangelicals. That being said, I think it is impossible to be a Christian without believing in God. You might be a very good person, and you might end up in heaven (assuming heaven is for real…see what I did there?), but not Christian. On the other hand, I also don’t think faith is even possible without doubting. So I probably have to side with my orthodox friends on this one.

          • Doc, he did have true belief in a *good* god, though. I think both things (belief and his basic kindness) are the point. He was never serving Tash.

          • Yea…and mere intellectual acknowledgement that God exists I don’t think constitutes being a Christian (as pointed out below too, even Satan and the demons do that). Perhaps the answer is too complex for us to even understand at the moment. But one thing I do know, doing good works/being a good person does not distinguish one as a “Christian”–normal, everyday people (and those of other faiths) do so and would outright deny being Christian.

      • Well it doesn’t clarify “self-forgiveness” vs “forgiveness of others”…self-forgiveness is so important when you can’t bother taking care of others.

    • That struck me, too, as did the low percentage thinking it was important to support businesses that pay fair wages. More & more I think for the majority of self-professed Christians, it’s about power on earth & a free pass to heaven so you can feel superior to those poor saps who aren’t you.

    • Careful Marcus. If any of your friends are similar to mine, they’ll be calling you a socialist/communist next…

      • They are good libertarians after all and the government shouldn’t be involved one bit in forcing them to do anything.

        What About MY Rights?

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Anyone remember the Oath of Galt’s Gulch?

          You heard it all the time from John Galt Celebrity Impersonators after the 2008 elections.

  4. A great Ramble, Daniel !

    I can’t wait to see the clowns and min-horses at the TSA line…

    • When you have the TSA, why do you need more clowns?

      (Same holds true for Gatwick airport security)

  5. Robert F says

    Trump is completely irrational. He believes the National Enquirer is a reliable source of information, he believes conspiracy theorists are doing “amazing” work, he led the Birthers until he started down the campaign trail, he wants more nations to build nuclear weapons, he believes Mexico will pay for this wall. A section of the American people love him for his irrationality; sadly, it’s a section comprised of more than a few Christians, wearing their irrationality prominently on their sleeves during this election cycle.

    And if the Democratic Party doesn’t get its shit together (and yes, Bernie, you’re included here), this irrational incarnation of nihilism may become President of the most powerful nation that’s ever existed.

    • The Roman Empire had some real whackjobs for Emperor, so it’s not exactly unprecedented…

      • Robert F says

        A whackjob as leader is not unprecedented; but the degree of real power of the US is unprecedented, which would make this whackjob as leader unprecedented.

      • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says

        I didn’t think the emperors were elected.

        • Robert F says

          No, especially not by Christians…

        • Danielle says

          If they had elections, perhaps Caligula could have gotten his horse, Incitatus, elected to consul, rather than having to sign the decree himself.

          • Richard Hershberger says

            Sadly, the story is almost certainly apocryphal. It comes from Suetonius, who doesn’t actually attest to its being true, but merely that the story was out there. Even more to the point, the identities of Roman consuls in this period are well attested. Incitatus isn’t on the list. We can construct stories about his being struck from the record so thoroughly that only rumors survived, but the far more likely explanation is to observe that historical villains are almost never as bad as their reputations, nor historical heroes so good.

          • Danielle says

            I know its polemic and fiction. But the question remains: can the horse be elected?

          • Robert F says

            Well, it’s entirely possible that the jackass will be elected, and that, sadly, would not be fiction.

      • Danielle says

        We can’t rule out the possibility of deploying nukes in Europe. But don’t worry: there will be Tacos, beer, and ladies in the Trump towers! Fiddle-playing show and shrimp cocktails will be at 11:30.

        • Robert F says

          It’s almost like a parody of the Ugly American as President of the US, only it’s not a parody.

          But I can’t help laugh sometimes, God forgive me. You can’t make this stuff up.

          • That Other Jean says

            Laughing is surely better than huddling in a corner, rocking back and forth and sobbing. Save that for when (God forbid!) Trump is President, because too many Democrats–and sane Republicans–can’t be bothered to get out and vote.

          • Danielle says

            There is history: like fiction, but stranger.

          • In the interest of literary fairness, Robert, the ugly American of the book of the same name was actually a good guy, concerned with the different cultural perceptions of Asians versus Americans and willing to get out and see people as they were. The term’s commonly misused.

          • Robert F says

            Thanks, Damaris. I did not know.

    • I don’t know. I think Trump has been very rational in his ability to recognize there is a very large segment of society who are irrational. And he plays to that audience quite well.

      • Robert F says

        I remember hearing interviews with Trump from long ago, done by Howard Stern; the guys in the warehouse where I worked used to tune into Stern in the mornings. The kind of irrational nonsense he’s spewing now was easily matched by the irrational nonsense he spewed then. He’s not only an exploiter, but an unhinged exploiter. Does he “believe in” the irrational things he says? Part of his irrationality is that he believes anything he says, even if it is wildly different from one day to another, should be taken as gospel: “Believe me!” His ability to manipulate others prone to irrationality is the result of instinct, not insight, just like a shark’s skill in hunting and killing its prey.

        Remember, this is a man who in the 90s pretended to be his own representative when speaking with reporters over the phone, so that he could flatter his own attractiveness to women in the third person.

        • Daniel Jepsen says

          Yeah, the more I hear the more I wonder if the Donald can really distinguish fact from fantasy. I’m not just being snarky, it’s a legitimate question.

          • That Other Jean says

            So long is it brings him money, attention, or notoriety, I don’t think he cares what he says.

          • Klasie Kraalogies says

            More important, I fear that a dangerously large proportion of your voting public can’t do it, or, and maybe that’s worse, don’t think it is important.

    • Perhaps we need an iMonk review of Idiocracy? I’ll bring the popcorn and puke bags.

  6. Khazidhea says

    I don’t usually follow the twitters, but have found a new favourite:

  7. Oooh, what a give-away! Iran’s Revolutionary Guard talks about “young people and women.” I’m seeing a Venn diagram with two discrete circles: people, and women.

    • Women should be honored that the IRG deigned to mention them at all… :-/

    • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says

      Yeah, I know Daniel was trying to be funny, but Kim K jokes aside, there is absolutely nothing funny about IRG or their opinion on Kim or other women.

  8. Daniel, do you know the book “Voyage to Alpha Centauri,” by Catholic writer Michael O’Brien? I thought you must have . . .

  9. I see Ron and Harry have been out joyriding again. The Howler is already on its way…

  10. All I can say is “Oh no! My kids drank from juice boxes!!”

  11. Liberty apparently has forgotten that lava lamps don’t kill people; people do……

    • Yeah but hippies kill people I mean babies, and we hate them, so…

    • Robert F says

      Ah, but lava lamps induce states of mind that incline one to the ingestion of hallucinogens….and don’t pretend you didn’t know. And any good Christian knows it’s better for people to get killed by a gun than trip on Mescaline, or to have unmarried sex, or vote Democratic, etc.

      • Ah! But are you experienced?
        Have you ever been experienced?
        Not necessarily stoned, but beautiful…….

        • Robert F says

          When you’re strange,
          faces come out of the rain
          When you’re strange,
          no one remembers your name

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            When you’re strange,
            When you’re… Strange

            (Back around 1980, I was checking out a game store in Pasadena and went into the video arcade next door. Place was almost empty; all the video games were cycling their rest-mode screens and the Doors “People are Strange” was on the P.A. The game screens all seemed to be cycling in time to the music; I must have walked around looking at the rest-mode screens for the duration of the song. Remains one of the Strangest experiences I’ve had.)

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        I don’t need hallucinogens.
        Sleep deprivation does the same thing for me.

    • Christiane says

      Liberty finally gave in to demand. The students wanted protection. From shielded predators, of course. It’s like that story about St. George and the Dragon of Silene: the people of Silene appeased the dragon by feeding him two sheep a day, until they ran out of sheep. Then they feed him their children.

      These days, some of the more dangerous places to be are those where a good-ole-boyz club runs the place and a predator is kept safely ensconced feasting on the innocence of the young. What I’m getting over at Wartburg Watch is that religious institutions that foster patriarchy are among the more dangerous places for young people to be. Those guns? No one wants to be eaten by a dragon, least of all one with neo-Cal breath. Too terrible for words.

  12. Danielle says

    I’m afraid that KimKierkegaardashian, like the election, is driving me back to the comforting nihilism of Nein Quarterly:

    “Go home, public sphere. You’re drunk.”

    “But really: What good is democracy if you are not free to destroy it. Democratically.”

    “We regret to inform you that the death of theory is not the end of theory. But hey: it’s a start.”

    “I suggest you delete the tweets you love. Surely they go to a better place.”

    “For materialism, please press 1.
    For idealism, please think 2.
    For dialectical materialism, please think 2 while pressing one.”

  13. Burro [Mule] says

    I saw something like that Japanese video in a megachurch in Orlando about the time The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe came out, but Kyary-chan’s made more sense.

  14. Hmmmmm… Given the TSA’s response to the longer wait, maybe they should adopt a theme song:

  15. I took my daughter to San Diego international last week…no clowns…at least the painted ones.

  16. Senecagriggs yahoo says

    Bill and Hillary; no negative comments to this point. Why is that?

    POSSIBLE ANSWER: Very few conservatives among the commenters/readers of I-Monk.

    • Robert F says

      Oh, I’ve said plenty in criticism of H. Clinton; check last week’s Rambling if you don’t believe me.

      But I’m voting for H. Clinton, much as a I dislike and distrust her, because of the two likely nominees, she is rational, and the other is not; and from now on, I’m not saying anything that might inadvertently dissuade people from voting against the other candidate by voting for her. He’s far too dangerous.

      • But but but she allegedly killed people in the 70s!

        or something. IDK anymore.

        True story: my earliest memory of Hillary Clinton is listening to Rush Limbaugh playing some parody song of ‘and Hillary has stormy eyes/that flash when she’s criticized…”

        • Richard Hershberger says

          This is actually entirely on point. She has spent the past quarter century having monkeys flinging poo at her. An entire generation has grown up with that in the background. What I most admire about her is that she has come through this. I also think that a lot of the distrust people report about her is an inchoate response. Even people who don’t think that she killed Vince Foster as part of a multi-state murder spree have a vague sense that where there’s smoke there’s fire. The problem with that principle is that it can be gamed by anyone with a smoke machine.

      • Richard Hershberger says


    • Rick Ro. says

      I think your point is valid, but you knew that already. This site tends to lean liberal, because many of its contributors lean that way. I lean conservative and sometimes bristle at the leanings here, but I feel free to comment on things that are out of the norm here.

      So…instead of pointing out what you already know, make a comment about Bill and Hilary!

      • Rick Ro. says

        Having said all that, the money Bill and Hilary make via speeches is astounding. On the one hand, if someone is going to PAY them that amount, more power to them. On the other hand, the amount is ridiculous. (I can, and do, say the same about what American professional athletes “earn” via pay and endorsements. If someone isn’t willing to pay it, they don’t get it.)

        Is it wrong to make that much? Seems weird to me, yes, and a bit hypocritical given their party’s stance against people making gobs of money for no good reason.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          Their party is only against the OTHER Party (and its donors) “making gobs of money for no good reason.”

          But your own Party and big-bucks Donors?
          “Party First, Comrade.”

      • Klasie Kraalogies says

        Rick, we love having you around. It gives us a target to aim at… 🙂

      • Clay Crouch says

        That’s not the way Seneca rolls. He more comfortable throwing rocks from behind the bushes. It is sort of cute, in a passive-aggressive kind of way.

  17. Of the 16 listed essential beliefs or practices, I would say only five distinguish their adherents from the secular world in general, including atheists. Six if you insist that “congregation” means religious gathering instead of just gathering. None of them distinguish any adherent as Christian in particular out of the world of religion, unless you insist on a rigid definition of “Bible”, but even that could include non-believing students and academics. Conspicuously missing is the one belief that does distinguish Christians from all others, the belief that Jesus was and is Messiah, tho this in itself does not distinguish Christians from demons.

    • Good points. It seems like more of a “rank in order of importance in your personal life” survey rather than an absolute, yes or no, this-is-essential-to-Christianity survey. The real question should be, what is it that all Christians have in common? That is a question that should eliminate many things we might be inclined to categorize as essential. And you’re right, simply “believing in God” is something that even the demons do…so maybe the question of what’s essential is actually a tougher question to answer than we think.

    • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says

      But isn’t that the point? (See my comment upthread) I am pretty sure the New Testament – or at least the gospels – teach that the truly distinguishing marks of a Christ-follower are good works.

      • Yeah, that pesky passage about faith without works being dead comes to mind. ..

        • And there are those pesky verses like: “Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

          Or: “And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness”

          Two can play the pick-a-verse game…

          • Robert F says

            Oh, no! Dueling proof-texts! Will this lead to Deliverance!

          • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says

            No proof-texting required, David. I don’t think anyone here would argue that the New Testament is not complex. This is one reason why theology exists – there are some big questions here. I do think a centered versus bounded paradigm works better with the complementary passages on faith and works and propitiation in the Bible, though.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says

            Oh, no! Dueling proof-texts! Will this lead to Deliverance!

            To the tune of Dueling Banjos:

            (Guitar/Banjo riff; both Fundagelicals stop quoting and go at each others’ throats with fingernails & teeth.)

      • Are doing good works what you do in order to *become* a Christian, or are they what will happen (necessarily) *once* you become a Christian? And good works are subjective–does helping someone once a day make one Christian? Once a week?

        • Robert F says

          These are very Lutheranly questions…

          • Robert – not really, though perhaps it depends on the synod.

          • Robert F says

            numo, Just a few years ago, I heard a visiting ELCA Bishop’s assistant ask one of these very questions, as he preached from a NT text that exhorts believers to good works and seems to link those works with salvation (I can’t remember the specific text, though I’m sure you can fill in the blank), How many good works must I do, and how frequently would I have to perform them, to qualify for salvation, if salvation is not by grace through faith alone?, and he consciously linked that question in his sermon to his Lutheran theological heritage. This was a Bishop’s assistant from the Lower Susquehanna Synod, in PA, not too far from where you are, I believe.

        • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says

          Is helping friends move what a vehicle does to become a pickup truck, or is it something that will happen (necessarily) once you help your friends move?

  18. That chart seems to be the exact reverse of what Christianity should be.

    I’d be interested in knowing the difference between people who say something vs people who do something. Lots say they give to charity or volunteer…how many actually do? In my experience…the latter are irreligious, the former are religious.

    • Danielle says

      Although there does tend to be a documented relationship between religious adherence and philanthropy, I’m not sure I would lean to heavily on numbers off a survey. Self-reporting is inherently flawed, especially if you are measuring anything that makes people feel guilty.

      Ask people about sex, exercise routine, volunteer work, you’re going to get a lot of lies. This is because people lie about these things even to themselves. “Well, I did work out three times a week that one time. And tomorrow. Yes, starting tomorrow. I’m a good person.”

      • Robert F says

        This unreliability of self-reporting is the Achilles tendon of sociology, and it must be remembered when adducing evidence in support of both liberal and conservative social preferences when discussing what is or is not happening in society at large, and whether is is good or bad.

  19. I’m sure PornHub can tell us what type of content Alex Jones is into. I wonder if it’s related to Michelle Obama.

  20. Ok…after that, how about some awesome Japanese music? Lindberg is an older band from the 90’s.

  21. Robert F says

    The Tappan Zee has a pretty pronounced, long curve in the expanse leading from it on one of its sides; if the truck took that curve just a little too fast, with an empty trailer, I can easily understand how it would tip over.

    • When I was driving the oldest licensed log truck in the state of Oregon, a ’54 Jimmy with a Detroit four-banger, I had to go up the mountain in the break-down lane with a load of logs, but coming down I could keep up with the big guys. I didn’t use the speedometer or the tach to maintain top speed, I could feel the inside wheels start to get a little light on curves when I was on the edge. I had an eight mile stretch on the way to the mill down hill all the way. Yahoo! Most fun job in my life.

  22. Yesterday’s post about Jesus and Adam got 6 comments all day and as of 11am this morning this current post already has 54. I guess that poll is accurate huh?

    I cannot vote for Trump who I think is actively dangerous but I detest the Clintons who are everything I hate about American politics. What am I going to do? Please tell me this song is just a cynical lie-

    • Robert F says

      Speaking for myself, I would have been happy to contribute to the discussion yesterday and the day before, but I was busy at work and in the evening both days. Today is Saturday, you know, and some of us only have leisure time today, and tomorrow, hence we comment less during the week.

    • petrushka1611 says

      Stephen, there are more than two candidates.

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        You mean all those Third Party Movements that only put up One Candidate (the Third Party Founder) for One Office (President) and often have only One Member?

      • Really?

    • That Other Jean says

      Vote for the lesser of two evils? At least that way, you are helping to insure that the greater isn’t elected.

      • Robert F says

        I’m vote for voting for the lesser of two evils, also, and that’s what I suggest, at least in this important case.

      • Rick Ro. says

        I can’t vote for (aka “support”) the lesser of two evils. To me, that’s still supporting evil.

        I CAN (potentially) vote for the person least likely to lead the world toward WW III. We’ll see.

        • Klasie Kraalogies says

          Interesting answer there. Of course, in a way, one is always voting for some measure of evil, since no-one is 100% good. But your second argument is the one I would hope penetrates. Do you want an average, predictable crook around, or an unpredictable explosive nihilist? Your neighborhood pickpocket is always going to be better than Marshall Goering….

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says

          I CAN (potentially) vote for the person least likely to lead the world toward WW III.

          But Christians are Supposed to Vote for Starting World War Three and Fulfilling End Time Prophecy!
          After all, You’ll be Raptured before anything bad can personally happen to YOU!

          (Yes, I was a survivor of the Gospel According to Hal Lindsay. How ever could you tell?)

          • Dan from Geogia says

            And as we all know, every 4 years at Presidential Election time, Jesus packs his bags and sits by the TV waiting to see who wins so he can know whether or not to come back….Democrat=coming back…Republican=happy days are here again and Jesus sits back and breathes a sigh of relief.

            And because we all know that the end times prophecy timeline all starts and ends with who is in the White House!

            (goes without saying, that is pretty much how cultural-war Christians view the second coming)

        • “Sitting on a sofa on a Sunday afternoon.
          Going to the candidates’ debate.
          Laugh about it, shout about it
          When you’ve got to choose
          Every way you look at this you lose.”

          (This has been on the radio quite a bit lately – Both the orignal Simon and Garfunkel version and the Lemonheads cover. Hmmm. Meet the new boss…)

      • The lesser of two evils? But isn’t that precisely how they soothe our objections so that we acquiesce to their venality? Aren’t those the words we use to assuage our guilt over such ready collaboration? When is it time to say. NO? Can one not say NO without being accused of responsibility for the consequences? What about the responsibility of those who are prepared to choose between two evils and then pretend they took some kind of ethical stance?

        just asking –

        • That Other Jean says

          I am willing enough to take a practical stance, believing that it will turn out to be the more ethical option. Neither candidate is as good and wise and honest as I would like, but one of them is less likely to blow up the planet. Knowing that the political system is set up so that one of the candidates will be elected, I find refusing to choose is shirking a primary responsibility to the country.

    • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says

      I’m sorry, Stephen; I’m having a very difficult time figuring out how your first and second sentences are related. Can you elaborate?

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says

        You’re not supposed to.
        It’s Art.

      • Just a little Saturday morning snark for you based on the stat that only 42% of Christians believe that Bible study is essential. The careful observer will note that I didn’t post anything yesterday either.

        • Dr. Fundystan, Proctologist says

          Oh, I see. So yesterday was about Bible study, so 42% didn’t comment. I get it now.

    • Rick Ro. says

      Some posts, like yesterday’s Jesus/Adam post, don’t resonate with many people, or at least not enough to compel many people to comment, or maybe they resonate so much that no one feels the need to comment. Saturday Ramblings almost always generates comments.

      • SottoVoce says

        There are only so many ways one can say, “Yes, I agree” before it gets redundant and no one else feels the need to say the same thing over again. There are an infinite number of ways to disagree with something.

    • write in Internet Monk

  23. Rick Ro. says

    Daniel, you truly have a knack for Saturday Ramblings. I always enjoy the mix of stuff you find. I know it’s not easy, so just know that your effort is appreciated and enjoyed!

  24. Your wish is my command, Mr. Jepsen. That was, however, one heck of a challenge. Here’s a rough demo for now, all I could come up with on short notice. TBH, did have a little help from my Japanese wife.