Wednesday, April 30, 2014

My Favorite New Yorker Cartoon


It actually reminds me of theologians at work.

Your Honor, The Prosecution Is Leading The Witness

Dog testifies in court in French murder case

I Wish I Had Seen This A Couple Of Weeks Ago

Un-sandwiching Holy Saturday: Reclaiming the Discipline of Waiting

I'm So Glad Reporters Don't Call Me Anymore*

You know all of those news articles you see published every year at Ramadan that ask if Muhammad really heard from the archangel Gabriel? No? 

Well, how about all the stories each Divali that cast doubt on the goddess Lakshmi’s ability to bless her worshipers? No? 

Then how about those articles for Eastertime questioning whether Jesus really did rise from the dead? 
Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding! 

Yep, those come out every year.

[*The trick is to answer their questions in as complicated a manner as possible.  They hate that, especially as most of them know little of religion and get confounded by Christian terms.]

He May Have Been On To Something

A Fort Campbell woman leaving an Easter service with her family was arrested Sunday after allegedly trying to run over her husband in the church parking lot because he disapproved of her driving skills.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Looks Like A Bunch Of Politicians Have Painted Themselves Into A Corner. Again.

US troops arrive in Poland for exercises across Eastern Europe amid Ukraine crisis

Now some young men [and women] will pay the price.

WWE In The Third Century

Ancient papyrus describes 'fixed' wrestling match

Amen

Toss out abusive college administrators

Of Course

Associated Press: IRS AWARDS BONUSES TO 1,100 WHO OWE BACK TAXES

From The Stronghold Of Free-Thinking That Is The Contemporary University

UNC whistleblower...um...resigns 

and

An open letter to Asuza Pacific University: "Azusa Pacific’s administration wants to protect you from earnest and nerdy old guys who have opinions that some of your faculty do not share. Ask if this is why you’re getting a college education."

Unfortunately, my guess is that students would say that is exactly why they're getting a college education.  After a lifetime of "participation trophies", higher education's latest, and unfamiliar, role is protecting those students from any challenging ideas.

Well, We Still Have An Advantage Over Intoxicants

Weed in Denver, but Easter news on other front pages

For the time-being, anyway.  The political/corporate leaders would prefer us to be under the influence of anything that dulls our senses and keeps us voting and buying "correctly".  Christianity is too sensually elevating and insurrectionist to be comfortable to them.

Especially When It's Someone Else's Money

Michelle Obama: 'splurging is the key to life'

Not exactly consistent with Christian teaching, either.  Or, that which founded her university.

Garsh, Whatta Surprise

Mandatory standardized school tests are loaded with corporate advertising

Government, corporations, and unionized education have been in a perverse and ultimately harmful relationship for decades.  You know, it's for the good of the children.

Sorry, But Satire Is Funny

White Male Privilege Squandered On Job At Best Buy

Tales From The Free-Thinking University World

What would give anyone the idea that a woman who was the nation's first female African-American secretary of state, whose grandfather was the son of a sharecropper, who experienced Jim Crow firsthand during her childhood in Alabama, who was friends with one of the girls killed in the Birmingham Church bombing, whose parents instilled in her an ethic of striving despite the hatred around her would have anything relevant to say about civil rights? 

The Minnesota professors say that it is in a “spirit of free expression” that they ask for the reversal of Rice’s invitation. Because nothing says free expression like shutting down someone’s lecture.

Tales From The Secular Paradise

Military-style units from government agencies are wreaking havoc on non-violent citizens.

"The proliferation of paramilitary federal SWAT teams inevitably brings abuses that have nothing to do with either drugs or terrorism. Many of the raids they conduct are against harmless, often innocent, Americans who typically are accused of non-violent civil or administrative violations."

This will get out of control very quickly.

School Administration: The Playground Of The Passive-Agressive

Officials with the Arkport, New York, school system say they did not mean to penalize students whose parents took them out of a statewide English test for elementary school students. The school system gave all of the children who took the test ice cream. They gave none to those who didn't take the test. 

Frustrating, Isn't It?

The Middle East War on Christians

The latest statement from the Presiding Bishop's Office at this link.

If The Episcopal Church Really Wanted To Confront Injustice, This Would Be A Good Place To Start

Bans on Sharing Food With Homeless Persist

However, it would mean the Church would have to get out of its long-standing relationship with establishment politicians.

A Colleague Tilts At Windmills

CNN: If the Rev. John DeBonville could preach a sermon to lift the souls of churchgoers across America, his message would be simple: 

Stop dressing so tacky for church.

Yeah, good luck with that, John.

Fortunately, this is a problem I don't have with my congregation; they always look spiffy.

Many years ago, in West Hartford Center, with a popular coffee chain just around the corner from the church, I did used to have some folks who would bring cups in with them for services.  Asking people not to bring them in the church was a request that went unheeded.  I actually went so far as to have the ushers hand out those clip-on cup holders for cars rather than deal with spilled coffee on the pews, prayer books, hymnals, and other parishioners.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Vive La France

In France, you can now legally ignore boss's calls, email after 6pm

Yep

NYT:

But this respect is difficult to maintain when these institutions will not admit that this is what is going on. Instead, we have the pretense of universality — the insistence that the post-Eich Mozilla is open to all ideas, the invocations of the “spirit of free expression” from a school that’s kicking a controversial speaker off the stage.

And with the pretense, increasingly, comes a dismissive attitude toward those institutions — mostly religious — that do acknowledge their own dogmas and commitments, and ask for the freedom to embody them and live them out...I can live with the progressivism. It’s the lying that gets toxic.

Great Moments In Education

High school science teacher suspended for teaching science

From The Washington Post's Film Critic

My correspondent’s words stung — not only because something I had written had caused such obvious distress. In just a few short sentences, he summed up the tensions, contradictions and fleeting moments of grace I have experienced as a film critic who also happens to be a practicing Christian. 

The truth is, my angry e-mailer had good reason to assume I’m not religious. I don’t make a habit of professing my faith in my writing — a reticence I chalk up to denomination and profession. A cradle Episcopalian, I grew up within a tradition that’s notoriously chary of proselytizing; as practitioners of that most mainline of mainline Protestant denominations, we tend to prefer evangelizing through our lives and actions rather than showier protestations.

[P.S.  I did something in reaction to this essay that I haven't done for years:  I wrote to its author in appreciation.  Even more surprising, she wrote back with a very kind note.  Must be her Smith College education, or the fact that her college chaplain was once a headmaster for whom I worked.]

You'll Never Go Broke Predicting The Apocalypse

Bestselling author and televangelist Pastor John Hagee claims the four blood moons that will soon appear in the skies over America are evidence of a future “world-shaking event...Hagee, founder of Texas’ Cornerstone Church, thinks this is no coincidence. For him, it's a sign of the end times.

It's That Time Of Year Again, When The Media And The Atheists Get Interested In Christianity

Why Jesus is God

The return of God: atheism's crisis of faith

The problem that confronts them is as stark as it is simple: our morality has religious roots. Put another way: when God is rejected, the stakes are gulpingly high; the entire moral tradition of the West is put in question.

C'Mon, You Know That Rules Are For The Little People

The Atlantic: How Congress Stayed Wet in the Dry Years of Prohibition

To Learn To Ride, You First Learn To Fall

This Has A Sickening Familiarity

Jews ordered to register in east Ukraine

I'm Guessing It's For The Jam

Why We Need Monks

Ah, The Secularized Society

Special-Ed Student Who Recorded Bullies Accused of Felony Wiretapping

Archaeological News

Canoe thought to be 250 years is 1,000 years old

What Happens When Big Pharma Has Under-Performing Medication Sales?

Easy.  Just create a new "disease".

Yet now some powerful figures in mental health are claiming to have identified a new disorder that could vastly expand the ranks of young people treated for attention problems. Called sluggish cognitive tempo, the condition is said to be characterized by lethargy, daydreaming and slow mental processing.

Something tells me that the meds will mostly be given to boys.  Does no one think that "daydreaming" could be cured by hiring more involved and engaging teachers?  Nah, soak the kids' brains in psychotropics, that's much better.


UK's Prime Minister Figures It Out

This Easter, let’s focus on the persecution of Christians around the world

Another Obituary Of Note

A good guy with whom I was acquainted.  It's sad that the effects of Sept. 11th continue even after twelve years but, if you read the obit, you'll see another example of ordinary people responding in ways that are extraordinary.

A retired city firefighter who went on to become the head of a specialized team that assisted residents ravaged by disasters died Monday.  He was 59.  Luis (Pepe) Fragoso, formerly of Ladder 53 in Harlem and Engine 83 in the Bronx, died of a heart attack at his home, according to friend Lt. Rico Diaz.

It is not often noted that, even under ordinary working conditions and with modern safety equipment, firefighters still inhale an awful lot of toxins.  Between that and un-addressed issues related to post-traumatic stress reaction, their longevity is often compromised.

An Old Acquaintance Makes The News

For a rather unfortunate reason:

Church of Pakistan college Principal beaten, told to leave

An Obituary Of Note

I'm sorry I didn't notice this earlier, as he was a fine man and a true priest.

IN MEMORIAM: Patriarch Zakka Iwas ‘63

Well, This Is Both Unjust And Infuriating

Mother Jones: The White House Broke Its Promise to the Victims of the First Fort Hood Shooting. Will History Repeat Itself?

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dear Lake City,

Here's what became of the bench you donated.  Thanks.  Now we'll have a place to sit before/after the services, if it ever gets above 40 degrees, that is.


Stay Tuned. Over Fifty New Posts This Week.


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easter Saturday


We thank you, heavenly Father, that you have delivered us from the dominion of sin and death and brought us into the kingdom of your Son; and we pray that, as by his death he has recalled us to life, so by his love he may raise us to eternal joys; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

[Things for which I'm thankful:  Guys like this.  100% pure American attitude.]

Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter Friday


Almighty Father, who gave your only Son to die for our sins and to rise for our justification: Give us grace so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve you in pureness of living and truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

[Things for which I'm thankful:  Above is the first comic book I ever bought; Fantastic Four #55.  By reading comics I became interested in stories of the "heroic cycle", which lead to reading Greek and Roman myths, then more contemporary literature, then comparative literature, then appreciating opera, then realizing that the archetype of all human endeavor is contained in the life of Jesus and the apostles. 

The Marvel Comics Co. helped me generate two Master's theses and a doctoral dissertation; not to mention careers as an English and philosophy teacher, theology professor, and parish priest for over three decades. That is a pretty good return on a 12 cent investment.]

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Easter Thursday


Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn into the fellowship of Christ's Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

[Things for which I'm thankful:  Dad's 1963 Chevy Nova.  It contained the first carburetor I ever took apart, thus beginning my lifelong fascination with engines.  Unfortunately, it took a mechanic to put it back together.  My dad finally let me near one of his cars again when I was in my 40's.]

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter Wednesday


O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

[Things for which I'm thankful:  I actually grew up ten minutes away from an amusement park.  It was small and a little ratty, but they had the best popcorn balls and hosted many a memorable Sunday afternoon.]

Update:  Well, here's a pleasant surprise.  The popcorn balls are still made by the same people.  They can be ordered here.
Speaking with children and using the metaphor that building a Christian life requires a lot of ingredients, as when a chef prepares something special, one student volunteered the following:

"My Mom likes a chef on TV."
"Oh, which one?"
"Emerald the Gassy.  He says 'Bam!' a lot."


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Tuesday


O God, who by the glorious resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light: Grant that we, who have been raised with him, may abide in his presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be dominion and praise for ever and ever. Amen.

[Things for which I'm thankful:  Above is Rocky Colavito, the only Cleveland Indian from the 1960's worth talking about, arguing with the ref.  Cleveland boys of my generation held Rocky in a veneration usually assigned to Olympians.]

Monday, April 21, 2014

One Of The Darlings In My Lucky, Lucky Life


Easter Monday



Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that we who celebrate with awe the Paschal feast may be found worthy to attain to everlasting joys; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

[Just as a personal exercise in thankfulness, which is entirely appropriate for Easter Week, I thought I'd illustrate the collects with photos of things for which I'm thankful.  It's a rather eclectic collection.  Naturally, I'm thankful for family, friends, and the life I've been lucky to experience, but there are some things, innocuous and small, that have also made a difference.  For example, that which is captured in the photo above.  Anyone who knows me understands.]

We'll Be Back On The 28th


Well, we will have some re-runs of the Collects of Easter Week [as opposed to Holy Week] on offer over the next several days.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

King's College Choir - Jesus Christ is risen today

Easter Sunday Wave



Christ has no body now on earth but yours,
no hands but yours,
no feet but yours,
Yours are the eyes through which to look out
Christ’s compassion to the world;
Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good;
Yours are the hands with which He is to bless others now.
- Teresa of Avila


O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Small, Country Church Prepares For Easter





Holy Saturday Wave




New advent of the love of Christ,
Shall we again refuse You,
Till in the night of hate and war
We perish as we lose You?

From old unfaith our souls release
To seek the kingdom of Your peace
By which alone we choose You.

O wounded hands of Jesus, build
In us Your new creation;
Our pride is dust, our vaunt is stilled,
We wait Your revelation.

O Love that triumphs over loss,
We bring our hearts before Your cross;
Come, finish Your salvation.

O God, Creator of heaven and earth: Grant that, as the crucified body of your dear Son was laid in the tomb and rested on this holy Sabbath, so we may await with him the coming of the third day, and rise with him to newness of life; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Chelsea Moon with the Franz Brothers - What Wondrous Love Is This?

Good Friday Wave


Almighty God, we pray you graciously to behold this your family, for whom our Lord Jesus Christ was willing to be betrayed, and given into the hands of sinners, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Maundy Thursday Wave



"You can't change the shape of a wave; you can only ride it.  Now, choose your wave and surf it.  Surf it until you fall or until the sand crunches under the board's nose."

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Holy Wednesday Wave



“If I am mistaken, that means that I exist.” —St. Augustine

Lord God, whose blessed Son our Savior gave his body to be whipped and his face to be spit upon: Give us grace to accept joyfully the sufferings of the present time, confident of the glory that shall be revealed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Holy Tuesday Wave



“Faith is to trust yourself in the water.  When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown.  Instead you relax and float.” – Alan Watts

O God, by the passion of your blessed Son you made an instrument of shameful death to be for us the means of life: Grant us so to glory in the cross of Christ, that we may gladly suffer shame and loss for the sake of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Holy Monday Wave



“It is not what you are nor what you have been that God sees with all-merciful eyes, but what you desire to be.” – The Cloud of Unknowing

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Palm Sunday Wave


“You can’t know your direction if you don’t know your origin.” – Alan Watts 

Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lenten Wave #39


“The orderly arrangement of the whole universe is a kind of musical harmony whose maker and artist is God.” —St. Gregory of Nyssa


Friday, April 11, 2014

Holy Week Schedule


Palm Sunday:  Holy Eucharist at 8am; Eucharist with the Great Procession at 10am. [Remember to meet in the parish house at 10am.]

Holy Wednesday: 7:00pm Silent Communion

Maundy Thursday: 7:30pm Proper Liturgy including the Stripping of the Altar.

Good Friday: Stations of the Cross at Noon; the Proper Liturgy at 7:00pm. 


Holy Saturday: 7:00 pm The Great Vigil of Easter.


Easter Sunday: Music and Celebration at both 8am and 10:00am.

Lenten Wave #38


"There is no one so uncivilized, and of such a crude disposition, that, raising his eyes to heaven, he does not understand from the very magnitude of the objects, from their motion, arrangement, constancy, usefulness, beauty, and temperament, that there is some providence — though he does not know by what god’s providence all the visible universe is governed." —Lactantius


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Because Of The Size Of The Old, Lamented Stadium, This Was Necessary. Now, A Sorely Missed Bit Of Trivia.


Cleveland's contribution to Major League Baseball: The Rise and Fall of the Bullpen Car

Archaeological News

Archaeologists find coffin related to Israelites’ exodus from Egypt

Lenten Wave #36



The Windhover
by Gerard Manley Hopkins

To Christ our Lord
I caught this morning morning’s minion, king-
dom of daylight’s dauphin, dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon, in his riding
Of the rolling level underneath him steady air, and striding
High there, how he rung upon the rein of a wimpling wing
In his ecstasy! then off, off forth on swing,
As a skate’s heel sweeps smooth on a bow-bend: the hurl and gliding
Rebuffed the big wind. My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird,—the achieve of; the mastery of the thing!
Brute beauty and valour and act, oh, air, pride, plume, here
Buckle! and the fire that breaks from thee then, a billion
Times told lovelier, more dangerous, O my chevalier!
No wonder of it: shéer plód makes plough down sillion
Shine, and blue-bleak embers, ah my dear,
Fall, gall themselves, and gash gold-vermillion.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I Think I Know This Guy

Headmaster accused of owning goblins, ordered to leave school

I've Been Telling Guitarists This For Years

In blind test, soloists like new violins over old

Millennials and the false 'gospel of nice'

Younger Christians are weary of pitched cultural battles and are longing for the “real Jesus” – a Jesus who talks more about washing feet and feeding the poor than flashpoint issues like same-sex marriage and the sanctity of life.

I've been saying this for years and the Episcopal Church still is stubbornly locked in conversations about social justice issues that were fresh in the 1980's.

Speaking of foot washing, we will be doing so on Maundy Thursday.

Richard Dawkins is so wrong it hurts: What the science-vs.-religion debate ignores

From Salon: In my own religious tradition, Islam, there is a vibrant history of religion and science not just co-existing but informing one another intimately. Astrophysicists, chemists, biologists, alchemists, surgeons, psychologists, geographers, logicians, mathematicians– amongst so many others – would often function as theologians, saints, spiritual masters, jurists and poets as much as they would as scientists. Indeed, a quick survey of some of the most well known Muslim intellectuals of the past 1,400 years illustrates their masterful polymathy, their ability to reach across fields of expertise without blinking at any supposed “dissonance.” And, of course, this is not something exclusive to Islam; across the religious terrain we can find countless polymaths who delved into the worlds of God and science.

More Great Moments In American Education

In New Jersey, Glen Meadow Middle School has added its own bizarre entry in the ever-lengthening list of zero tolerance insanity. According to Ethan Chaplin, he was suspended for twirling a pencil in math class. He says that a student (who had been allegedly bullying him) yelled to the teacher that “He’s making gun motions, send him to juvie.” The school responded by suspending Chaplin and the Vernon Schools Superintendent Charles Maranzano insists that it is the only appropriate response because he must investigate any time that a student claims to be uncomfortable or threatened by another student.

Why is it always boys who are punished in this manner?

Great Moments In Higher Education

STORRS, Conn. (CBS Connecticut/AP) – Jubilant fans celebrating UConn’s Monday night national basketball championship win smashed a window in an engineering building, broke street lights and overturned furniture inside the school’s student union.

And these people weren't even on the team.  Imagine if they had lost.

Lenten Wave #35


"Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime." - Martin Luther

The Feast Of Muhlenberg [Redux]

My wife and I, when she was incarcerated in a post-surgical rehab clinic, were joking about my springing her out of the place.  I told her, when she decided it was time to leave, to simply work the code word "Steve McQueen" into a sentence, then I would liberate her from their tender mercies.  Perhaps by using a motorized wheelchair instead of McQueen's iconic motorcycle from The Great Escape.


While I wasn't surprised to discover that the 20-something physical therapist didn't get the reference, neither did a 40-something nurse or an 80-something relative.  So much for Hollywood's "King of Cool".

At any rate, the Episcopal Church's King of Cool, as far as I'm concerned, is a 19th century priest named William Augustus Muhlenberg [1796-1877].  Among other achievements, he founded what's now St. Luke's/Roosevelt Hospital, the Fresh Air Fund, one of the first pension funds, a couple of religious orders, pioneered new ways to use flowers and colors to enhance liturgical presentation, allowed people to sit in any pew they wished [as opposed to those that families had purchased for their exclusive usage], and generally made more sense than any other cleric of his time. Naturally, he was never a bishop.

Oh, and he founded the Church of the Holy Communion in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. The congregation could no longer support the parish as of the 1980's, so it was sold by the Diocese of New York.  It then became the rather notorious Limelight nightclub and is now, I'm told, a mini-mall.  God help us.  So, in a way, Muhlenberg may also be credited with helping to create the now-infamous nightclub scene of thirty years ago.  Not a bad legacy, really.

Here's a photo of the Episcopal Church's King of Cool and, by extension, nightclub progenitor:


Do not let your Church close its eyes, O Lord, to the plight of the poor and neglected, the homeless and destitute, the old and the sick, the lonely and those who have none to care for them. Give us the vision and compassion with which you so richly endowed your servant William Augustus Muhlenberg, that we may labor tirelessly to heal those who are broken in body or spirit, and to turn their sorrow into joy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Monday, April 7, 2014

This Is True For Two Reasons

Country has long been a mainstay of American music. But as the music industry continues to struggle financially and once-dominant types of music like hip-hop recede on the charts, country’s audience has grown stronger, wider and younger....

1.  The instruments are played by humans, rather than sounds that are artificially re-created by computers.

2.  The voices are natural, rather than corrected by computers.  Additionally, if one attends a country music concert, there is no lip-syncing.

Time To Re-Write The History Books

Everything you know about the Black Death is wrong

The Episcopal Church Seems To Be Sending Me A Lot Of Gender Studies These Days

They're all pretty much the same [women are perpetually disadvantaged], but seem to exclude some information in formulating their theses.  This woman seems to address this in her law review article:

There are many statistical disparities between the sexes in our world, but only some become the subject of widespread concern. Ones that are perceived as favoring men are labeled “gaps,” while those that favor women are simply facts. Outside the workplace, men are arguably disadvantaged in a variety of arenas, whether in terms of health and longevity, crime and violence, domestic relations, or education. In the workplace, men are far more likely than women to be killed and to work long hours. None of these disparities is generally viewed as a “gap” deserving of intervention, however. Men earn a disproportionate number of Ph.Ds in some fields, while women earn a disproportionate number in others. Only the former set of disparities, however, is typically viewed as a “gap.”

Lenten Wave #34



"Not only in faith, but also in works, God has given man freedom of the will." —St. Irenaeus

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Dogs Get A Human Show

Lenten Wave #33


"Take almost any path you please, and ten to one it carries you down in a dale, and leaves you there by a pool in the stream. There is magic in it. Let the most absent-minded of men be plunged in his deepest reveries--stand that man on his legs, set his feet a-going, and he will infallibly lead you to water, if water there be in all that region. Should you ever be athirst in the great American desert, try this experiment, if your caravan happen to be supplied with a metaphysical professor. Yes, as every one knows, meditation and water are wedded forever."  -Herman Melville

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Lenten Wave #32



"See how the Father attracts. He delights in teaching, and not in imposing necessity on men." —St. Augustine

Friday, April 4, 2014

Ah, Opening Day. And They Won, Too.


This Is Getting Monotonous

Trinity College in Dublin removes the Bible from its crest

"Former Church of Ireland Dean of Belfast, the Rev Dr Houston McKelvey, who spent two years at Trinity, said: “The irony of a college dedicated to the Holy and Undivided Trinity being reluctant to have a Bible on its crest is beyond even the celebrated Dean Jonathan Swift’s satirical capability.” Other Church of Ireland clergy, including Cork bishop Paul Colton, criticised the Trinity board for failure to consult and its disregard for the foundation of a college as a place to train Anglican clergy, and also the contribution of Anglican scholarship to the college."

I remember being on a tour at another Trinity College, the one in Hartford, and listening to the very sincere student tour guide telling me with great seriousness about how the college was never really a religious institution, all while standing below the college shield and crest which features a miter and crosier.  Their motto, in English, reads "For Church and Country".  All of that student loan debt accrued just to create another ill-informed non-believer.


Cenote


5 Great Reasons to Walk

Why a walk is so good for both mind and body

It's Come To This, Has It?

Ours is an age in which a pastor, in Sweden, can be sentenced to a month in jail for preaching to his own flock in his own church that homosexuality is a sin. In which British football fans can be arrested for referring to themselves as Yids. In which those who too stingingly criticise the Islamic ritual slaughter of animals can be convicted of committing a hate crime. In which Britain’s leading liberal writers and arts people can, sans shame, put their names to a letter calling for state regulation of the press, the very scourge their cultural forebears risked their heads fighting against. In which students in both Britain and America have become bizarrely ban-happy, censoring songs, newspapers and speakers that rile their minds. In which offence-taking has become the central organising principle of much of the political sphere, nurturing virtual gangs of the ostentatiously outraged who have successfully purged from public life articles, adverts and arguments that upset them - a modern-day version of what Spinoza called ‘quarrelsome mobs’, the ‘real disturbers of the peace’. 

Freedom of speech is in a bad way.

I think we should begin to re-learn the word "Gleichschaltung".  I have a feeling it will be a societal theme for awhile.

What's For Dinner?

Spam sushi, anyone? Canned wartime staple makes a comeback at New York restaurants - and diners 'can't get enough'

Jeez, All I Ever Built With These Were Rocket Ships


The best surfing Lego creations

Good For Them

Christians form human shield around church in 'China's Jerusalem' after demolition threat

A Moment Of Nostalgia: Every Friday At 6pm, WMMS-FM In Cleveland Would Play This To Usher In The Weekend



I miss those days, as I was working at another radio station in a neighboring market.  While I had the Friday midnight to 6am shift, and was rarely on the air during the afternoon drive time, on the few occasions when I subbed for the regular DJ, I would play this as my weekend starter, albeit at 5pm instead of 6pm:


The Feast Of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Almighty God, by the hand of Moses your servant you led your people out of slavery, and made them free at last; Grant that your Church, following the example of your prophet Martin Luther King, may resist oppression in the name of your love, and may secure for all your children the blessed liberty of the Gospel of Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Lenten Wave #31




“All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their mind wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” —T. E. Lawrence

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Bishop Of Rome Meets The Defender Of The Faith


Queen Elizabeth meets Pope Francis

Two people surrounded by opulence and the weight of historical responsibility, yet ever humble.

Hang On. Didn't We Just Dramatically Reform Healthcare In The United States?

Doctor Deficit Will Devastate US Health Care

Looks like we forgot a sorta important part.

University: A Forum For The Free Exchange Of Ideas And The Open Debate Of Perspectives

College suspends student for asking questions about gun control

At least such a thing would never happen in Connecticut.  Er, oops.

Also this, from University of Tennessee law professor, Glenn Reynolds:
"I love the way they always try to turn the expression of ideas they don’t like into some sort of security threat."

I have been amused for some time at how the "free-thinking" and "open-mindedness" of the university has begun to resemble more and more a totalitarian regime, with "free-speech zones" and students referred to psychological treatment when they ask difficult questions.  Actually, my amusement is beginning to dissipate as I see what the graduates of such institutions are doing to our societal fabric.

This From A Guy Who Lived In A Palace

The former Archbishop of Canterbury argues that Western lifestyles bear the responsibility for causing climate change in world's poorest regions

By the way, he now lives here and is known as Baron Williams of Oystermouth. [Well, la-de-da.]



As With "Diversity", The Word "Inclusive" Seems To Have A Slippery Definition

Air Force removes Bible from POW-MIA display

But, rest assured, all is well.  Right, general?

“The single biggest frustration I've had in this job is the perception that somehow there is religious persecution inside the United States Air Force,” the general told lawmakers. “It is not true.”


I Know It's Easier For Clergy And Politicians To Blame Guns And Gun Owners, But....

Thirteen of the last fourteen spree shooters were taking psychotropic medication.

The one who wasn't had abruptly quit taking them after a near-lifetime of usage.

All I have heard from colleagues and general know-it-alls is that no guns means no problems.  Yet, they continue willfully to ignore what is the obvious cause of this type of violent behavior.  Such deliberation is even more remarkable to me as we live in a state that has cut its mental health treatment budget by 75% over the last twenty years.  Meds are cheaper than health care professionals, I guess.

Instead of organizing a 5K run to shovel money to yet another vague, Newtown-related charity, perhaps we could boost awareness of the issue of mental illness; or at least raise money for its address.  I would rather that no one ever again have to live the life, and know the death, of Adam Lanza's mother.

Still interested?  Have a peek at this: Psychiatric Drugs & Violence—The Facts

Lenten Wave #30


...The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks:
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.  - from Ulysses, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

This World Has Sure Gone Crazy [Or, What My Grandfather Said Of The Introduction Of Astroturf]

Yoga pants isn't a civil right

So Long, Gin And Tonic. Hello, Bourbon.

NYT: Is the Lime an Endangered Species?

Probably. Have You Read An Official Statement From The Episcopal Church, Lately?

Speak plainly: are we losing the war against jargon?

Besides Provide A Haven For Pseudo-Intellectualism, Not Much

What Has Atheism Done for You Lately?

"The late Christopher Hitchens famously declared that religion poisons everything, but for someone of surpassing intelligence, the statement is an embarrassment. It conflates all religions and it’s an overly broad generalization. To refute it you need but show that religion is good for something. You might even demonstrate that the irreligious among us are handing out their own mental poison.

If we ask what religion has done for anyone lately, Byron Johnson and Maria Pagano respond that, in the world of drug and alcohol abuse, it offers distinct and measurable benefits."

Hitchens was a drunk and, like many drunks, saw that removing himself from a worshiping community and putting on the chasuble of "atheist" not only permitted him to indulge in the god of inebriation, but gave him a nice market niche for his well-compensated writings, public speeches and television appearances.

I Don't Know. Does NPR?

NPR: Do Girl Scout Cookies Still Make The World A Better Place?

I'm living in 5th century Rome.

I'm Glad I'm Not Standing Above Thomas Jefferson's Grave Right Now

Student Talking About Jesus Told To Shut Up

Oh, look:  The campus has a "free speech zone".  How progressive of them:

"Yet school officials told Parks his actions violated the Student Code of Conduct and a Virginia Community College System policy that requires students to be part of a student organization before he or she can speak in open areas of a campus. In addition, students can only speak in campus areas college officials approve ahead of time, and they must register with officials four days in advance, according to the policy."

I don't know why it is so difficult, again, for college and university people to get this, but the entire United States is a free speech zone, even when that speech is about Jesus, who is anathema on most campuses.  When did higher education become the new Sanhedrin?

Pass Me The Porterhouse, Mort

Vegetarians may have a lower BMI and drink alcohol sparingly, but vegetarian diets are tied to generally poorer health, poorer quality of life and a higher need for health care than their meat-eating counterparts.

Ah, The Secular World: Standing Up For The Poor And Downtrodden

Margolies doubled her own salary as head of a small, largely taxpayer-funded charity into the six figures, attempted to have the charity renovate and lease a mansion in which she would live, billed the charity for her automobile lease and other expenses, and required charity staff to assist with her other responsibilities as a faculty member at a local university.
"We all are worms, but I do believe I am a glow-worm." - Winston Churchill

William Blake's "Jerusalem"

To the Christians 

 I GIVE you the end of a golden string;
 Only wind it into a ball,
 It will lead you in at Heaven’s gate,
 Built in Jerusalem’s wall.…

 England! awake! awake! awake!
 Jerusalem thy sister calls!
 Why wilt thou sleep the sleep of death,
 And close her from thy ancient walls?

 Thy hills and valleys felt her feet
 Gently upon their bosoms move:
Thy gates beheld sweet Zion’s ways;
 Then was a time of joy and love.

 And now the time returns again:
 Our souls exult, and London’s towers
 Receive the Lamb of God to dwell
 In England’s green and pleasant bowers.

Lenten Wave #29


"It is one thing for the living water to descend from Christ into the heart, and another thing how--when it has descended--it moves the heart to worship. All power of worship in the soul is the result of the waters flowing into it, and their flowing back again to God."
                                                                                                                                            - G.V. Wigram

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

"Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings."

Road and Track: The government knew about GM ignition problems and did nothing

Government can never be God.  Or even god.

‘Vikings’: Christians and Crucifixion

Really, another "entertainment" venture gets our religion and its theology all wrong?  What a surprise.

Crucifixion? Certainly other cultures – most notably, of course, the ancient Romans – have carried out this monstrous punishment on Christians (and others). But, student of the Middle Ages that I once was, I never heard of Christians perpetrating it themselves, even in the heart of the aptly-named Dark Ages, a particularly savage time in European history (not that human savagery has abated that much). Considering that Christ’s torturous death on the cross is at the very heart of the religion, it doesn’t even make theological sense that believers would turn around and inflict it themselves. That’s not to say that the Church throughout history hasn’t been guilty of other cruelties. But crucifixion?

From the same article:

"This is disappointing but predictable treatment of Christians onscreen. In a recent article (written prior to the crucifixion episode) entitled 'Vikings: A TV Series – and World? – Without Real Christians,' my friend Steve Pauwels urged the filmmakers to move beyond anti-Christian clichés. If they 'really wanted to take the innovative route,' Pauwels wrote, 'they’d feature an occasional Christian character who modeled strength of spirit and integrity.'"

Nah, that would be original.  And accurate.  That's no longer permitted in Hollywood.

Many Atheists Like To Provoke A Response. Voila!

Saudi Arabia declares all atheists are terrorists

As Coach Berry Used To Tell Us, "You Don't Lose By Getting Knocked Down. You Lose When You Don't Get Up."

Why Parents Need to Let Their Children Fail

Coach Berry would then bust a chair with his hand and tell us to get back out there.  He was great.

Relax, The Professionals Will Take Of Us

A code enforcement officer with an interesting hobby:

A clerk in Boston’s Inspectional Services Department is accused of moonlighting as a bank robber — allegedly twice hitting up the same Quincy branch with notes pleading: “I am desperate” — and yet was promoted to code enforcer after being charged, the Herald has learned.

I Usually Limit Myself To The Items By The Checkout Line At Lowe's

Swedish man buys army tank 'on impulse'

Still, you have to admire his style.
The Enkindled Spring by D. H. Lawrence

This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
 Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring?
My spirit is tossed About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that's gone astray, and is lost.

Lenten Wave #28


“The wise man in the storm prays to God, not for safety from danger, but deliverance from fear” - Ralph Waldo Emerson