March 21, 2018

The Saturday Monks Brunch: March 10, 2018


Your intrepid chaplain is away at a conference today and can’t break bread with you at Brunch. Sorry about that, I’m going to miss it. But there’s no reason you iMonks shouldn’t get together and share your thoughts about what’s going on in your lives and in the world this week.

Internet Monk rules apply.

  • Be courteous.
  • Listen well.
  • Extend grace.
  • Disagree agreeably.

I’ll check now and again at breaks throughout the day. Please don’t fill my downtime with moderation work, ok?

Have a great weekend.


  1. I’ve been first and last…

    • Susan Dumbrell says:

      alpha and omega?

      Try your best, you always do so very well.
      Do you ever sleep?

      haiku coming?? maybe?

      Blessings. Susan

  2. another new day
    starts inauspiciously
    in the dark

  3. Susan Dumbrell says:

    Christiane, you may not see this as it is late. I posted it late yesterday.
    I so appreciate your youtube clip. Beautiful.
    Everyday is a further path on grief and despair for me, as I feel it must be for you. I hold you close.
    We can only hold in just so much of what lies deep in our hearts. The world must not see our grief.
    Only our Lord can hold us in the palm of His hand. Such a warm and tender place to be.
    May He bless you.

    • Christiane says:

      Hello Susan,
      I think this must be your ‘moderated’ comment. I’m glad you liked the ‘ocean’ clip . . . . it makes me both sad and comforted at the same time, which I’ll take as blessing, yes. Hope you have a good Lord’s Day.

  4. Susan Dumbrell says:

    Christiane, sometime when we are old and grey my moderated post to you will appear.
    Till then, stay warm in God’ s love.

    • That Other Jean says:

      Do you get stuck in moderation, too? I frequently find my posts are there, without discernible reason. But they always appear, eventually.

    • That Other Jean says:

      And the post I wrote to you. . .is in moderation.

  5. Susan Dumbrell says:

    It is warm and sunny today where I live in Australia, I hope you other IMonkers have a beautiful day, The Brass Bands are playing in our Park this weekend. Much joy and music.
    I wish all a relaxed and non confrontational weekend.
    May the Joy of Christ be with us all.

  6. Susan Dumbrell says:

    He doesn’t like me.

  7. Susan Dumbrell says:

    Robert, release the strain please.

    • Robert F says:

      Susan, are you okay? I’m having trouble understanding the meaning of some of your comments this morning….

      • Susan Dumbrell says:

        I’m fine, just being moderated!
        Yesterday and today.
        Frustrated. I am sorry.
        I will be quiet.

        • That Other Jean says:

          No need to be quiet. It is frustrating to be stuck in moderation, without having a clue as to why. It’s OK to say so.

        • Susan, the spam filter often grabs regulars for no seeming reason – CM has mentioned this before. If that happens, you can write and let him know, and he’ll let your comments out of “jail.”

          Btw, it’s happened to me often, and it has nothing to do with moderation. If the comments were being that closely monitored, then yours would have gone through without a hitch. Spam filters are unpredictable beasties, on the whole.

          • Robert F says:

            Yes. On occasion my comments have disappeared into cyberspace never to be seen again, and without any alert that they were being moderated. It usually happens in a cluster over a single day, and things return to normal by the next day, albeit without the disappeared comments ever showing up.

            Good to see you, numo.

          • Susan Dumbrell says:

            I have been moderated three times in this week. I do find this frustrating as the thread has moved on.
            Love you all.

  8. Well…

    Let’s start with one anniversary that’s probably more likely to be celebrated in the UK. Forty years ago Thursday the BBC broadcast the first edition of a radio program that spawned a book, computer game, TV series, film, and the books then spawned more radio series which spawned another book and another radio series. It also, unknowingly, prefigured the age of Google and smartphones, and introduced us to the importance of knowing where one’s towel was.

    This remarkable oeuvre was created by a man called Douglas Adams, and was called “The Hitch Hikers’ Guide to the Galaxy.”

    This haiku business
    is not “me”, but spares us from
    Vogon poetry.

    • Adam Tauno Williams says:

      Certainly a notable event in modern literature.

      HHG likely comes nearest to LOTR in the number of people who have tried to duplicate it’s ethos – and failed.

  9. seneca griggs says:

    The Big Lebowski is 20 year old, a profanely hysterical movie.

    • I’m into my 6th decade and have yet to watch The Big Lebowski. Should I?

      • Steve Newell says:

        If you do, you must have a Black Russian in your hand while wearing a bath robe, dude!

      • Clay Crouch says:

        Yes. You should just drop in to see what condition your was in.

        • john barry says:

          Clay, Just had a Kenny Rogers flashback before he met Lucille. Always get hooked into Ruby , don’t take your love to town lyrics. Who would have thought K. Rogers would have such a long, noted career when he gambled and left the First Edition who went out of print. I guess they were the first and last perhaps limited edition.

          What a gulf between Just Dropped In and Ruby song and from the same group, shows how FM and cassette music was more open to different formats than now.

      • I’ve seen most of the Coen Brothers movies and The Big Lebowski was one of my least favorites. Not a terrible movie, but I just got lost in the middle of the story and…just really didn’t connect with it. Maybe it’s me?

      • senecagriggs says:

        Tom, answer to your question: No Lol

    • I watched the Big Lebowski part of the way through and became bored with it. But I’m not much of a movie fan anymore.

  10. There was an interesting article by Sarah Pulliam Bailey in the Washington Post 2 days ago about the faith of Madeleine L’Engle and the rejection she faced from the Christian community with the book, A Wrinkle in Time, which just released in theaters. I couldn’t help but notice more than a few similarities to what she faced, and what Paul Young faced with The Shack. Christians and art often don’t get along.

    If you click my name above there’s a link to the article. I posted a different newspaper’s link for it to avoid the paywall.

    • Dana Ames says:

      I’m sure it’s a wonderful film. My concern is that Disney ALWAYS monkeys with the story line, to the detriment of the movie, and leaving the moviegoers thinking that now they know what the book is about… (changing the skin color of the protagonist and her family does not fall into this category for me). I am hesitant to see the movie because of that.


      • Adam Tauno Williams says:

        They did remove references to the J-man from the movie, which exist in book in quotes taken from the book with just that edit. Which is a bit sleazy, IMO. But most of the reviews of the movie are mixed, so, meh.

    • Dana Ames says:

      Well, looks like my previous comment got stuck in mod. Maybe this will come through, despite the link to a fine review.

      The reviewer outlines the reasons I don’t like most film adaptations of books, especially when Disney gets hold of one.


      • john barry says:

        Dana, thanks for the link, As I will only see the movie , if ever , it will be on dvd. Read the book long ago, I think the reviewer caught the essence of what the movie is about to me and coupled with the review link below I think it is a good overview. Thanks

      • john barry says:

        Dana and Susan, do not fret , here is a quote from my memory so it may or may not be exactly right

        Moderation in defense of liberty is no virtue
        Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice

        AuH2O back in the day, think we had talkies then.

        I have found this site to be fair in their moderation but I am of course a beta male moderate.

        • John Barry, the quotation you mangled is from Barry Goldwater’s acceptace speech at the Republican convention in 1964 after having been chosen as his party’s presidential candidate to run against Lyndon Johnson. LBJ won, as I recall.

          The correct quotation is: “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me also remind you that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

          You’re welcome.

          • jhn barry says:

            rhymeswithplague, thanks, I knew going by memory is risky, He also said something like, the IRS has created more criminals than any thing else in history. Too bad he was not born in the United States. AuH2O lost in a landslide like McGovern. Actually my favorite quote is “I Have Not Yet Begun to Protest” by John Paul Jones

            • Robert F says:

              The war on drugs has created more criminals than anything else in history; at this point, it’s more than a million-and-a-half in the U.S. convicted of drug crimes, and counting.

            • John, Barry Goldwater was born in the United Stated, in Phoenix in 1909, in Arizona Territory, three years before Arizona became a state. I bet you’re thinking of George Romney, Mitt’s father, who also wanted to be president. He was born in Mexico in 1907.

              Facts R Us.

              • john barry says:

                rhymeswithplague, So in 1909 when AuH2O was born he was born in a territory of the United States that become a state in 1912 when he was three. Mitt Romney great grandfather wanted to have more than one wife so he moved to Mexico as it was illegal to have multiple wives in new state of Utah unless you have a TV series.

        • Susan Dumbrell says:

          a little less h20 and a bit more breathable air would suit me more.
          (and less moderation)
          (I hate swimming by the way)
          Thanks John Barry

    • Rick Ro. says:

      I’m going to be curious to see how my Christian friends react to my sci-fi book when I publish it later this year. It has a spiritual slant, but there will be parts that’ll make some bristle and probably say, “How can you call yourself a Chrisitan and write this stuff?”

      Oh, well. We’ll see.

      • john barry says:

        Rick Ro. If I write a book I am sure the comment will be how can you call yourself an author. If I write a book I am going to title it the Good Book hoping I get some crossover. Good luck with your book.
        Some people cannot separate fact from fiction but I can as the force is with me.

      • Let us know how to get a copy.

        • jhn barry says:

          ChrisS I have not decided to write the book yet or if I will make it hard to stay with in the lines as you color. I am looking for a ghost writer to help me. Thanks and you might want to check out Rick Ro. book too if you want to read. Thanks

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        In local Eighties SF fandom, we had a saying:
        “It’s Gotta be Good! All the Christians are Denouncing it!”

        Because Professional Christians are so hostile to creative arts (except for their own propaganda) and have been so wrong so often, that Christians hating/denouncing a work has become a recommendation of quality.

        Internet Monk has covered this subject many times before, but I do not have the links in front of me. Two titles to search on in the IMonk archives are “Surprise! God Does Art!” and “Selling Jesus by the Pound”.

  11. A Wrinkle In Time is great Christian parable, but it IS liberal/catholic/universalist. Christians have been fighting the Culture Wars among themselves long before it spread into the wider culture.

    • There’s the problem in a nutshell. Christianity wants the world to respond to it on its own terms. Art wants exactly the same. So when Art produces something that calls the tenets of Christianity into question, expect to see fireworks (and there is a linear correlation between the volume of the bang and the doctrinal orthodoxy of the Christian leader expressing it)

    • The Last Battle, the final volume of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia Chronicles, raises some of those eyebrows too, being a tad inclusive, though probably not universalist. It’s still on the shelves of Christian bookstores because Lewis is so popular. If readers had to take sides between Lewis and the bookstores there’s no question who would win.

      • Robert F says:

        Do Christian bookstores still exist? I thought they had gone extinct by now; many of them have certainly disappeared from the landscape since the 1990s. They must be an endangered species, no?

        • I haven’t seen one in years, but I’m pretty rural. There were a few around here back in the 70 and 80s.

          They’re still fighting the good fight, though. Banning books that toss a bone, any bone, to same-sex marriage. Apparently we should not attend such a wedding, let alone officiate.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            Ever wonder if Fred Phelps’ REAL sin was he was too direct about it?
            “GAWD H8S FAGS!” instead of the Proper Code Words?

        • Adam Tauno Williams says:

          Barely. I live in the home city of Zondervan; and the number of stores has dwindled from dozens to maybe 2, and they may be gone now.

        • Clay Crouch says:

          Do Christian bookstores still exist? In name only.

      • Clay Crouch says:

        Ted, Lewis’ The Great Divorce certainly doesn’t dance around the edges of second and third chances after you die.

    • Mule, it’s my understanding that among the E.O. Apocatastasis is not rejected but seen as a hopeful way in which Father deals with good and evil.

    • …but it IS liberal/catholic/universalist.

      I’m not sure if those terms are meant to be pejoratives, but I take them as positives.

      “Liberal”; in an early sense of the word– ‘generous’.

      “Catholic/universalist”; a tautology. To be catholic is to be open to the all-encompassing, universal nature and endowment from our Creator and his/her love.

      “[…] we’re saved because everybody has not only been given a free ticket by the presence of the Incarnate Word to everybody by the Mystery of Christ but has also, by that same Mystery, actually been put into the stadium and been given free beer, banners, and hot dogs.”

      (Capon, The Mystery of Christ… & Why We Don’t Get It)

      “There is no point at which the Shepherd who followed the lost sheep will ever stop following all of the damned. He will always seek the lost. He will always raise the dead. Even if the elder brother refused forever to go in and kiss his other brother, the Father would still be there pleading with him. Christ never gives up on anybody. Christ is not the enemy of the damned. He is the finder of the damned.”

      — Robert Farrar Capon

      • Burro (Mule) says:

        Wasn’t meant as perjorative, just descriptive. The “Christians” who complained about L’Engle’s work in th4e ‘sixties and ‘seventies were a subset of Christians, mostly evangelical Protestants who distinctly are not liberal, cathoilic, or universalist, and who get dumped on a lot on this board.

        When I read A Wrinkle In Time, as an adult, alas, I got the impression that Ms. L’Engle saw sinners mostly as people badly in need of a cosmic hug, It is a noble sentiment, and true as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go to the nerve in the toothache.

  12. John Barry says:

    Paul W. thanks for the link about the movie. Strange as it may seem I think if the book had been widely accepted and hailed by the Christian community it would not have done as well as you stated the “arts” and Christianity do not get along especially in 21 century America. Seems like the book did well enough to warrant a 100 million dollar movie.
    To show the chasm between “art” and Christianity , the faith of Louis Zamperni , Ubroken, was the main “story” of his life as he himself proclaimed. It was given scant credit in the movie and his after POW efforts not explored. Why? I think the arts did not want a movie that could be classified or supported as a Christian or faith based movie. Guess you could do a movie about about Mother Teresa but not dwell on her faith but just what she did because she was a good, strong and loving person. Martin Luther did not act on faith alone but as the Beach Boys knew Good Vibrations.
    Thanks for the info and I now know more about the Wrinkle than I did. Oprah is great and a force of nature. Who else could be spokesperson for Weight Watchers on TV and be at least 40 pounds overweight , only Oprah.
    She is a genius of PR and communication. I will now look under my seat to see if there is a gift there

  13. Rick Ro. says:

    Anyone here watch “This is Us,” or as I now call it, “Too Much Us”? My wife and I are catching up on season 2–we just reached the “Number Three” episode–and while I noticed it toward the end of season 1, I’m getting a bit tired of EVERY SCENE turning into A BIG MOMENT OF DRAMA. I just want someone to butter their toast without: self-loathing, massive enouragment, grandiose speeches and/or displays of affection and/or displays of non-affection and/or place your conflict or conflict resolution here.

  14. I agree, I think the show has gone overboard with the drama and it has consequently become less watchable for me.

    • Rick Ro. says:

      I hate to say it, but I watch it as a comedy now.

      • We’ve been watching The Path on hulu. Amusing to watch the power struggles and angst of a fictional cult with its own Inerrant Scriptures and Infallible Prophet…

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          Which is facing a succession crisis.

          Few Joseph Smiths are followed by a Brigham Young who can make the transition to a self-sustaining religious system. More common is total collapse after the death of the founder. (With occasional Heaven’s Gates where the founder tries to take the cult with him.)