August 14, 2018

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: July 21, 2018

Reaching High (2017)

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: July 21, 2018

Anyone need a little respite from all the noise of this week? Ho-o-oly cow!

Welcome to the table where no political talk is allowed today. If you’re like me you’ve had enough of that in the past several days to last a lifetime. Instead, we’re going to focus on the feast that awaits us as we enter the very best time of year here in the heartland. This is the time for fresh tomatoes, green beans, and other delicacies from the garden. And, of course, our mouths water for the most wonderful treat of all…

This weekend, the church where my wife serves as choir director will serve close to 2000 people at their annual corn roast supper. They have discovered that this, my friends, is the secret to church growth, indeed the secret to the abundant life Jesus promised us.

Sweet corn.

I love sweet corn. It truly is better than sex! I’m not lying! All across the Midwest tonight, a husband and wife will finish what husbands and wives do, and the wife will ask the husband: “How was that?” And, if the man is honest, he’ll say “Well, it wasn’t sweet corn, but it was nice.”

• Garrison Keillor

And pray what more can a reasonable man desire, in peaceful times, in ordinary noons, than a sufficient number of ears of green sweet corn boiled, with the addition of salt?

• Henry David Thoreau

…roasted in the husk in the hottest possible oven for forty minutes, shucked at the table, and buttered and salted, nothing else, it is ambrosia. No chef’s ingenuity and imagination have ever created a finer dish.

Rex Stout

The Corn
boiled or roasted is still a Corn.
one went through the hot waters the other through the Fire.
Still The blessed Word.

Marie Tornyenyor

Look, I made a commitment to corn 17 years ago. Sure, I’m a man. I like to go to a barbecue and see beans that I like: baked beans, red beans, black beans, big plump garbanzos. But in the end, I always come home to my sweet, sweet corn.

• George Lopez

Plough deep, while Sluggards sleep;
And you shall have Corn, to sell and to keep.

• Benjamin Franklin

From RNS:

Catherine Pepinster reports that the Church of England is planning to include more rigorous psychological testing of those wanting to become priests. In light of the sexual abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church, this is one measure the CoE is planning to incorporate, beginning later this year.

And what kinds of psychological pathologies are they especially on the lookout for? One of the leading issues they hope to address is narcissism among prospective ministers. Pepinster writes:

In the book “Let Us Prey: The Plague of Narcissist Pastors and What We Can Do about It,” researchers R. Glenn Ball and Darrell Puls estimate, based on their 2015 study, that about a third of ministers in one mainline Protestant denomination in Canada showed signs of a narcissistic personality. Narcissists often come to apprehend God as a rival, not a loving presence, and eventually may see themselves as God.

Francis said narcissism can give pastors “a confidence in their own ability to the disparagement of others,” and a tendency to see “the black side of others rather than the contribution people make to the church. There is a temptation to bully and demean.”

A few strange news stories over at NPR:

LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 18: Celebrating 25 years since Jurassic Park first premiered in the UK, streaming service NOW TV unveil a statue of Jeff Goldblum semi-naked torso at Potters Field on July 18, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by John Phillips/Getty Images)

And now, a musical moment of respite to help you recover from the chaos and noise of the past week…

A sad study reported at Christianity Today…

America’s religious communities are failing children with chronic health conditions such as autism, learning disabilities, depression, and conduct disorders.

And they have been doing it for a very long time, suggests a just-published national study following three waves of the National Survey of Children’s Health.

The odds of a child with autism never attending religious services were nearly twice as high as compared to children with no chronic health conditions. The odds of never attending also were significantly higher for children with developmental delays, ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, and behavior disorders. However, the study does not provide data for specific types of religious communities, such as evangelicals.

Sanctuaries were much more sympathetic to children with health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, or vision problems. Those children were as likely to be in the pews as children with no health conditions.

But children with conditions that limit social interaction, who are often excluded from other social settings and have the greater need for a community of social support, were most likely to feel unwelcome at religious services.

Some soothing pictures from The Atlantic to calm the stress from this past week…

Field of sunflowers. Rieumajou, near Toulouse, southern France

Umbrellas are reflected in glasses worn by Nicolle Zappala, of Weston, Florida, as she looks at an art installation called “Umbrella Sky” on July 16, 2018, in Coral Gables, Florida.

A Chinese tourist takes a picture in a lavender field in Valensole, France, on July 13, 2018.

Performers lie on transparent boats as they rehearse for a show on the Lijiang River on July 15, 2018, in Guilin, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China.

A child plays in the waterfall at Yards Park amid warm temperatures in Washington, D.C., on July 19, 2018.

Rice Terraces in Zhaoxing, a Dong minority village in Qiandongnan’s Liping County.

A mugshot of “Bean” a pug dog, taken at the Cape May Police Department in Cape May, New Jersey. Bean the pug is back home after police in the New Jersey shore town posted the dog’s mugshot on social media. Cape May Patrolman Michael LeSage found Bean in a yard on July 15, 2018. Police posted a photo of Bean on Facebook with the caption: “This is what happens when you run away from home.” It took a few hours before Bean’s owners tracked her down.

FROM THE BBC: The world’s loneliest man…

Extremely rare video footage has emerged of a tribe member who has been called the “loneliest man in the world”.

The 50-something man has been living alone in the Brazilian Amazon for 22 years, after the last members of his tribe were murdered.

The shaky video – filmed at a distance and released by the Brazilian government’s indigenous agency, Funai – shows a muscular man cutting a tree with an axe.

The footage has been shared around the world, but there is more to it than meets the eye.

Why was he filmed?

Funai has been monitoring the man from afar since 1996, and needs to show he is still alive to renew a restriction order on the area of land he roams, in the north-west state of Rondonia.

The area – spanning around 4,000 hectares – is surrounded by private farms and deforested clearings, but the order prevents anyone from entering and endangering him.

Some favorite recent Babylon Bee headlines…

Sweet, sweet corn on the cob — the end.

Comments

  1. Christiane says:

    Fresh corn!
    and Garrison Keilor !!!

    it doesn’t get any better than this 🙂

    Enjoyed the mug shot of the runaway pup . . . .
    saw a cartoon about ‘Puppy Court’ last month where a pup is in the dock and the Judge is listening to the jury give their verdict:
    “We find the puppy fluffy and adorable.
    We accuse the carpet of asking for it.”

    We can’t talk ‘politics’ . . . . .
    fine by me, ’cause what’s going on is way too bizarre to be called ‘politics’; but What The Hey IS it ????? ?

    and Bach played on a ukelele . . . . . gorgeous!

    Great stuff, Chaplain Mike!

    • Patriciamc says:

      Puppies and carpet – you must, must Google the Facebook post out of England where the puppy left a present on the floor in the middle of the night – right in the path of the Roomba. I had tears rolling down my face I was laughing so hard.

  2. Robert F says:

    Millions of years from now, neither Stonehenge nor the human race will any longer exist, but a giant statue of Jeff Goldblum will be discovered in what once was “Englands green & pleasant Land” by a race of visiting extraterrestrials, who will assume it to be an image of one of humanity’s most important deities, perhaps the giant Albion, and they will laugh.

  3. Robert F says:

    raucous katydids
    shape the sultry night
    with loud song

  4. Susan Dumbrell says:

    Thanks for the Bach.
    So peaceful.

    Busy tidying the leaves and dead stuff in the garden.
    We so need rain!

    smoke from burning leaves
    spirals upwards to the clouds
    no rain in return

    • Pellicano Solitudinis says:

      Plenty of rain this past week down in Tasmania, Susan. I wish I could send you some ?

      • Susan Dumbrell says:

        please do, very cold here. 4 degrees celcius yesterday. Snow forecast but passed us by.

      • John barry says:

        Pellico where the devil is Tasmania? The devil is in the details or Tasmania.

  5. Robert F says:

    It’s not just children with health conditions that limit social interaction that the church has been failing for a long time; it’s adults like them too. Churches are for the gregarious, unlike Jesus, who is for the lost and lonely.

    • It is not even quite that. Christianity talks so much about the need for a personal relationship with God. For many people who are on the autistic spectrum this is literally nonsense, something that simply doesn’t process.

      • Robert F says:

        Last Sunday my sister-in-law’s severely developmentally disabled adult son (he’s in his late twenties) was baptized at the evangelical church they are involved in out in Indiana. He is physically able in every way, but has very limited language skills, and is mostly unable to communicate or express himself, except in grunts and what seem to be disjointed non sequuntur. He has a habit of just wandering off and getting lost, so he must be monitored at all times by someone else. He is also given to occasional physical outbursts involving suddenly and violently throwing objects in his hands; my wife believes this happens at least partly because of his frustration at not being able to communicate well. Because of his condition, my evangelical mother-in-law, though happy about his baptism, considered it surprising and even miraculous that whoever at the church was responsible for making the decision to allow it found him capable of understanding and expressing his faith. I like to believe that the person involved proceeded on the very non-evangelical assumption that baptism, like God’s love, is for everyone, not just the capable — that in a way would be a kind of miracle.

        • Pellicano Solitudinis says:

          “Baptism, like God’s love, is for everyone, not just the capable.”

          Agree, and this is one of the reasons why I am OK with infant baptism.

      • Christiane says:

        Hello James,
        Please don’t count developmentally challenged people out when it comes to a ‘relationship’ with God . . . my own feeling is that God never leaves their side, not even for a moment

        It is possible to learn from them if you care to spend some time with people who have Down Syndrome. I wonder some times if those gentle and humble people with Down Syndrome have souls that are more at peace with God than the rest of us. 🙂

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      A lot of the more intense and insular Fandoms (Gamer, Anime, Furry) are full of Aspies and similar low-end Autistics. There seems to be more of them in fandoms known to attract Creative types. (I know I’m not wrapped all that tight myself.) This may also be related to Evangelical churches tending to crowd out/drive off their Creatives.

      • Pellicano Solitudinis says:

        If there’s one thing Aspies are good at, it’s being intensely interested in something in spite of others’ opinion.

  6. Robert F says:

    The loneliest man in the world, east of Eden….

  7. john barry says:

    Love the picture of the rice terraces in the Dong minority village. I know they are powerful and when their neighbors the Ding and the Dong chime together the witch will be dead. Now I know why many people call me a Dong they must think I am from Zhaoxing, China.

    I am known for my interest and appreciation of international military leaders General Tso and Colonel Harlen Sanders. They are not afraid to be called chicken lovers so actually world peace is their goal. I think their goal is to get people together one piece at a time. Critics of General Tso do not have a leg to stand on. Together they are greasing the skids to world piece.

    I follow the teachings and heed the warnings of the much maligned Chicken Little. When my wife tells me I am gaining weight, I remind her an army travels on its stomach and I might be drafted and then for sure , the prophecy of Chicken Little will be fulfilled.

    I have no problem with people roasting corn as long as it is done is a good natured and good humored manner. Remember where they roast corn someday they will roast people. Every time I think of the importance of corn , I am a ———-mazed.

  8. Patriciamc says:

    This week, while praying desperately about The Topic That Must Not Be Discussed, I did so while cruising the net for recipes for cold pea salad featuring my two bags of freshly picked lady cream peas. Yum! Also, it’s silver queen corn time, although peaches and cream corn makes great creamed corn also. I inherited this thing from my mother, I’m not sure what it’s called, but it’s a long, narrow board with two spikes sticking up. It looks like an instrument of torture, but it’s the very best thing for slitting kernels of corn to make creamed corn. Speaking of which, other than salt and butter, my secret ingredient is a heaping tablespoon of sour cream.

    I wonder if some denominations attract narcissist ministers more than others. I’m going to bet that denominations or non-denom churches that have no oversight other than an elder board attract more than churches that answer to an hierarchy outside of the immediate church. But, I could be wrong.

    The photo of the beautiful sunflowers reminds me of Berke Breathed’s dandelion patch. If you’re not familiar with Berke Breathed, Bloom County, or the dandelion patch, then your life is deficient, and I will pray for you.

  9. senecagriggs says:

    SAMSON – clearly a narcissist; and yet noted in the Hebrews Hall of Fame.

    God does use all types.

  10. TO THE HELLFIRES WITH CHICAGO – THERE AIN’T *NOTHING* WRONG WITH PUTTING KETCHUP ON HOT DOGS.

    There. I said it. 🙂

    • Pellicano Solitudinis says:

      Australian-style tomato sauce, now that would be an abomination.

      • Susan Dumbrell says:

        Work with the US and their peculiarities.

        Foot ball, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars.
        Plus Tomato Sauce, our kind. Not ketchup.
        We know what works best.

        On Sunday on poached eggs, works a treat.
        Puts the voice in tune for the hymns of the day.

        May we all sing God’s praises together tomorrow.

        Susan

      • Or vegemite. :ill

        • Susan Dumbrell says:

          Careful, that could be overdoing it. Not the two at once I fear.
          Vegemite is for days I am feeling a little under the weather and need a pick-me-up.
          I like it but in small doses.

          • Robert F says:

            I’ve never tasted it, or even seen it at the market, but from what I’ve heard I always have had the impression that it was rather a put-me-down than a pick-me-up.

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

              The problem with Vegemite is that it is extremely strong and salty.

              Most people not used to it (like in the Angry Grandpa video) put on WAY too much and end up getting a mouthful of strong salt. I understand a proper amount of Vegemite is a spread-out layer so thin you can just see the color against the bread.

        • Patriciamc says:

          They have Vegemite; we have Poptarts (which are served in heaven, obviously).

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Exactly what is “Australian-style tomato sauce”?

        • Pellicano Solitudinis says:

          It’s similar to ketchup, but sweeter and less spicy. I grew up in Australia with a Canadian mother, so I am very familiar with both, and I consider the Australian version an abomination.

          • Sweeter than Ketchup?? I didn’t think that was possible.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            Sort of Oz Sauce out-Ketchuping Ketchup?

            (A few drops of Sciracha – just enough that you can barely taste the heat – ought to fix that.)

    • Susan Dumbrell says:

      Ketchup on poached eggs on toast on Sundays, Hmmmm.

      Or on meat pies any day or sausages any day or steak any day or anything else any day!!

      Add to the list……..

    • Just don’t put ketchup or tomato sauce in sardines. Mustard, sure, but ketchup? Are you crazy?

      • I’ll take the ketchup and mustard – you keep the sardines. :ill

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        Or pregnant?

        Anecdote from the Cal Poly Gang, circa mid-Eighties. “Nutsy Nancy” (the CPG’s understudy for Pinkie Pie) was pregnant with her first (Carrie, who takes after her Mom in personality). She had heard about “pickles and ice cream” during pregnancy and decided to try it. In her own words (from memory):

        “I took a dill pickle, put strawberry ice cream on it, and dug in. I THOUGHT I WAS GONNA DIE! IT WAS AWFUL!”

  11. Susan Dumbrell says:

    I am off to bed and pleasant dreams I hope.

    May God bless us all on His Holy Day.

    Play nice.

    Susan

  12. Ug, you said no political talk, but then you mention corn! I work with a conspiritist who blames corn for all modern woes and ALL health problems. I don’t go that far, but I am convinced corn subsidies and the American efficiency for growing corn cheap has led to cheap feed for cattle which has subsidized American’s appetite for red meat.

    • Clay Crouch says:

      Don’t you mean a cornspiritist?

    • Corn for ethanol is a criminal waste of farmland and taxpayer money.

      Sweet corn is manna from heaven, especially drenched in butter and salt. 🙂

    • Robert F says:

      Corn food products are an important part of the meager diet of the world’s poorest people.

      • My mother-in-law from deep Mississippi pronounced it as “co-en”, so we started calling it the Jewish vegetable.
        We Americans love some fresh corn, but we really are addicted to high fructose corn syrup!

      • Klasie Kraalogies says:

        Yip. Corn is extremely common in Southern Africa. You can be far off the beaten track, and come across a small “Kraal” (family compound) of a few huts, and you are pretty much guaranteed there will be a few rows of corn. High calorific value per acre, so-to-speak.

      • Yes, and why corn used for ethanol to be burned in our cars is immoral.

    • Rick Ro. says:

      And don’t get us started on high fructose corn syrup!!!

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        I use honey, I use molasses, I’ve found a source for Real Cane Sugar soft drinks. (I recommend the Mundet apple sodas from Mexico. Some really good soft drinks come out of Mexico.)

  13. Robert F says:

    I suppose many Christians would say that the “loneliest man in the world” should be evangelized. I couldn’t disagree more, and therein lay a great theological disagreement that divides the Christian community in two.

    • Robert, I read an article about the dying of languages, and a sad thing hit me. The author pointed out that a language does not die when the last speaker of it dies. The language dies when the NEXT to the last speaker dies.

      Hence the title “the loneliest man in the world.”

  14. The subject of Autism brings a flood of emotions for me. I have never been diagnosed, but in some ways I can identify. I pick up on every sound, fellowship halls with cinder block walls are a disaster for me, as well as most evangelical church sanctuaries. I can carry on a conversation one-on-one in a quiet room, but I can’t talk in a setting with lots of conversations or even a evangelical sanctuary with several audial inputs. I always said my theological differences with evangelism were secondary to my social struggles. I believe I could even ignore my theological differences if I could integrate socially.

    I have only been able to stay in the church by going to a mainline where the emphasis is on the word and sacrament. But, even there, I have little to no social interaction.

    • If you’re not a successful, married, extroverted white suburbanite, most evangelical churches don’t know what to do with you. :-/

      • Adam Tauno Williams says:

        They know exactly what to do with you!

        Blame you for everything they don’t like, blame you for their fiscal insolvency, blame you for corrupting their children, blame you for destroying their once great nation, blame you that they struggle to hire people at paltry wages to work in a hostile environment [so you clearly must be “lazy”], etc…

        They have many uses for the unmarried person, the colored person, and the urban person.

      • Patriciamc says:

        Amen!

    • senecagriggs says:

      Allen, thanks for the very informative/educational comment. If I may ask, how old are you?
      _________

      I used to work with children/teens and I developed this theory.

      The smart ones will learn to work around their disabilities; they’ll learn to adapt.

      You sound like one of the smart ones – more power to you.

      • Robert F says:

        It is the church that should be adapting to the ones that aren’t so smart, and the weakest. That it does not or cannot do so is indicative of its own witlessness, weakness, and/or lack of love. Church shouldn’t be a community operating on the principle of survival of the “fittest” (whatever that word means).

        • THIS.

        • senecagriggs says:

          Robert F., Eeyore – Are you criticizing my comment?

          If you are here’s a hint.

          I made two statement with which you could disagree

          1) I thanked Allen for sharing. You could disagree that Allen should be thanked for sharing.

          2) I said that smart kids learn to work around their disabilities.

          You could disagree and say smart kids DON’T learn to work around their disabilities.

          Other than that you’re criticizing me [ as usual – dryly ] for something I didn’t even say.

          [ I’m inclined to make a snarky comment about the tolerance of progressives on I-monk but I won’t.]

          • Robert F says:

            I’m responding to your comment/reply to Allen in the context of the Saturday Brunch item they both reference, and that has to do with the church. Isn’t that what Allen’s comment was about?

            It’s obvious that Allen is smart, and I certainly appreciate his sharing, but I’m not sure it’s obvious from his comment how well he’s adapted to the church’s deficiencies. In fact, he seems to be pointing to a deficiency in the church’s ability to adapt to him and others that share his issues, which, again, is what the Saturday Brunch item is specifically about, isn’t it, senecag.?

            • senecagriggs says:

              Robert F., I didn’t reference the church. I did reference kids with disabilities.

              • Robert F says:

                We are spinning comments off the Saturday Brunch item, which is about the church, and Allen’s comments were about his difficulties with and in churches.

          • Robert F says:

            You went political, but….

            The Episcopal Church Welcomes You.

        • Adam Tauno Williams says:

          Exactly this.

        • Christiane says:

          “Survival of the fittest”

          from Darwin’s theories, where the ‘strongest’ will survive and the weakest die out . . . . sort of like what happens in an extremely individualistic society where you pull yourself up by your boot straps or you perish; not unlike an economic system based on hyper capitalism

          in short, the opposite of socialism and the principle of ‘the common good’

          In our country, there is a strange wedding between fundamentalists-of-the-Ken-Ham stripe and the Darwinian ‘Survival of the Fittest’ . . . . an oxymoron of a combination, where the participants have no clue of the irony of their circumstances

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            EVERYBODY:

            Darwin coined the term “Survival of the Fittest” in the context of Reproductive Success over generations. Those more successful in mating will pass down their DNA to the next generation more than those that are not, and over generations it adds up.

            It was his fanboys the Social Darwinists (with axes to grind) who applied that to Life, the Universe, and Everything (reworking the definitions to their own benefit, of course).

            • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

              Incidentally, there are THREE main forms of Social Darwinism, each mapping to a one-word descriptor:
              1) Yuppieism — Survival of the Fittest where Individuals are competing for survival/domination, with wealth being the identifier/enabler.
              2) Communism — Where social classes are the competing species.
              3) Racism (which distills down into Naziism) — where Race and Nationality define the competing species.
              But in all three of the above, there is one commonality: Extinction for the losers. Kill or Be Killed, Eat or Be Eaten.

              And there are even differences between those (other than the obvious, where the Social Darwinist Fanboy counts Himselt/His Own Group as the Fittest of the Fittest). From Gould’s essay “Kropotkin was No Crackpot”:

              The British Isles are heavily-populated islands; there “Survival of the Fittest” was by the Individual or family lineage out-competing the others, with ruin and starvation for extinction events.
              “Man vs Man”.

              Russia is a vast, underpopulated, and hostile land. “Survival of the Fittest” involves individuals cooperating as united groups (collectives?) to survive a wild, hostile and unforgiving Nature.
              “Man vs Nature”.

      • Don’t be stupid, be a smarty,
        Come and join the Jesus party

      • That is, simply put, pure unadulterated evil. It dehumanizes and blames those who aren’t “smart” however you choose to define and it and relocates all the responsibility onto the person struggling away from those around them. If that’s representative of your sort of “positive” comments, I’m unsurprised you have comments deleted here. Or really anywhere. If you can’t see that, if you actually believe what you wrote was in any way complimentary, well … words fail me.

      • I am turning 50 this year, so I am a child of the 70s. In pre-school – k-2, they thought I was a “slow learner”, but somehow along the way I managed to figure out how to read. Reading has always been my way out, but I realize most people on the spectrum don’t have that way out. Even if I couldn’t understand auditory, I was mostly fine as long as I could have a textbook. I fear for kids being trained with multi-media these days, I couldn’t do it.

        Then, the internet came along at just the right time as I was entering my career. I could read massive amounts of information I could never have access to before!

        For a while, I could sort of manage in the fundamentalist world because I could read stacks of commentaries. But, then I discovered the early church Fathers and other acetic traditions, I didn’t believe evangelicals anymore. Since I didn’t have social connections, I had no reason to stay.

        • Robert F says:

          I think I may share some of the problems you mention. In kindergarten and first grade (which was at a Catholic parochial school), I was nearly catatonic in my inability to absorb information. The school was going to keep me back a grade, even though my grades were just barely passing, because of what they claimed was my social maladjustment. My mother fought hard to have me advanced to second grade, agreeing to have me tutored during the summer toward that end.

          Then we moved to a new home soon after the start of the school year, and I was enrolled in a good public school system where I was given special attention, and kindness, by the staff and teachers. I started to blossom in certainly classes, until by eighth grade I was an A student in most classes (though not “first track” in all of them). In high school things got complicated, and my academic record was a mixed bag, with some teachers expressing disbelief that the prize student in their class, me, was barely getting by in others. I went on to a good university on the basis of an excellent SAT score rather than consistently good grades and academic performance, but was derailed by the fact that my underlying dysfunction, whatever it is, had (and has) never been diagnosed nor adequately addressed. I graduated, and then sort of drifted through life, and people have sometimes expressed to me their surprise that someone with “your good brain” has ended up in a dead end line of work. “Can’t you do something else with that mind?”, they ask, and the answer is, “No.”

          But I am grateful for those who did take time to help me develop my love of reading, and thinking, and my ability to do both. Without them, my soul would have dwindled away, which would’ve made me a much poorer person in the ways that I suppose really count. Nor would I have struggled to remain with and engage Christian faith, which might even have resulted in me finding myself in a place of hopelessness that I wouldn’t have survived.

          • Christiane says:

            Some among us have a gift that is sometimes perceived early on as a ‘disability’, this:

            they must get a grasp on the ‘Whole’ before they can comprehend ‘the parts’ . . . . (there must be a professional name for this phenomenon)

            But once they have grasped the entirety (the whole) of a construct, they then have a superior insight into the ways in which the ‘parts’ relate to one another in meaningful ways

            so that ‘catatonic’ kid who ‘doesn’t learn fast (enough for some people) may be silently absorbing with far more intensity and breadth and depth than ‘the norm’ and ONE DAY, they surprised everyone

            like the little one who doesn’t develop ‘normal’ speech in the usually ways with the usual developmental stages;
            then one day the child surprises us by speaking . . . in complete sentences 🙂

            the human mind is, even today, largely unexplored in the ways that cannot be ‘measured’ and ‘graphed’, and that unexplored area contains some startling and wonderful gifts that are NEEDED in the world, so maybe we should not write off so many children as we do . . . it’s our loss, yes

      • Rick Ro. says:

        –> “The smart ones will learn to work around their disabilities; they’ll learn to adapt.”

        If you’d said, “The more highly functioning ones learn to work around their disabilities” you might’ve had less pushback.

        –> “You sound like one of the smart ones – more power to you.”

        Umm…that implies the “un-smart ones” deserve their life, which doesn’t leave much grace for the ones who are more low-functioning on the spectrum.

        • Not exactly. “Functioning” labels are mostly problematic. They lack formal denotations in most contexts. In research, “high-functioning autism” was coined as short-hand for research that focused on children or adults with IQs greater than 70 (not also intellectually disabled) and often those who could communicate to some degree verbally. (Not being able to communicate verbally is not the same as being unable to communicate. I recommend “The Reason I Jump” to those who hold such an idea. I was also completely nonverbal until I was 3, had speech issues until I was 5, and still sometimes have selective mutism. Or “lose my words”. So I’m cognizant of the distinction.)

          Outside that research context, the terms are mostly used to deny agency and sometimes almost humanity to those considered “low-functioning” while denying support to those deemed “high-functioning”. How well I “function” can be pretty context dependent. I’ve done a lot of theatre so I really appreciate this dramatic performance piece on ‘Mild Autism’.

          https://autistrhi.com/2017/12/28/autscriptic-mild-autism/

          A key line: “I’m lucky I affect you so mildly.” Also: “I do not let you see me scream.”

          Reciprocity and respect for our humanity that does not depend on our utility to others should be the baseline. It’s not.

          • Rick Ro. says:

            Thanks for the clarification, Scott!

          • Robert F says:

            Thank you so much for the insights, Scott. The more you and some others say about autism, the more I recognize some of my own experience. Almost sixty years old, and never have thought that I might be autistic, or somewhere along the spectrum toward the side of autism, but now I’m thinking maybe….

        • senecagriggs says:

          Rick, a critic too? It’s only good if I say it the way you think I should? Hmm

          • Pellicano Solitudinis says:

            As someone with autism, and the parent of at least two autistic children, I think your remarks were poorly phrased and showed a lack of understanding of how people with autism function.

          • Clay Crouch says:

            I have a hard time determining if you just like to poke sticks in people’s eyes or if you are simply tone deaf. I’d like to be generous and consider that you’re the later, but the more you comment, the more it appears you are the former.

            • He definitely has a rep for going onto non/post-evangelical blogs and picking fights. Wartburg Watch has banned him several times in the past five years.

              • senecagriggs says:

                Wartburg has not banned me – sorry

                • Clay Crouch says:

                  Funny, Dee (one of the owners of TWW) says you were banned. Maybe you could explain this.

                  dee on Mon Dec 15, 2014 at 08:56 AM said:

                  @ senecagriggs yahoo:
                  In case you didn’t see this-let me repeat.
                  Seneca
                  I wish you could learn to care about the abused. However, you seem unwilling to do so. We have let you comment, time and time again, with hope that you would learn to communicate better. You have been commenting here for years with no notable improvement. I leave that up to you to figure out why.
                  You have added some horrible personal attacks about individuals on this blog. You are wrong about them and those comments, which have not been approved, demonstrate your lack of love.
                  Please do not comment here for the foreseeable future. You can show those you admire how you got banned (for a long time) from TWW, one of the few in the history of this blog. Maybe it will make you feel important.
                  I would ask that our readers pray that Seneca, aka Jimmy, would develop a broken heart for those who are hurting. Jesus loves you, Jimmy. May His love for you be reflected in the life that you live.

          • Rick Ro. says:

            –> “Rick, a critic too? It’s only good if I say it the way you think I should? Hmm”

            I’d like to think of my comment as more of a critique than a criticism. I was trying hard to get you to see how and why your words might offend (in fact, I offered a different way of saying it), because it was (and continues to be) clear that you don’t understand how the phrasing of something like praise might come across as condescending.

          • Seneca, a low me to pass on one of my father’s favorite sayings…

            If one person calls you a horse’s ###, ignore them.
            If two people call you a horse’s ###, take a good hard look in the mirror.
            If there people call you a horse’s ###, get yourself fitted for a saddle.

        • Pellicano Solitudinis says:

          This. Intelligence and ability to function are two quite separate things.

          In addition, the “smart ones who learn to adapt” often pay a heavy price, as the amount of mental energy required to do this is enormous, while at the same time people around them may not realise or refuse to believe they have a disability.

          • Robert F says:

            I think the second part of your comment hits the nail on the head when it comes to me, from the time I was a child until the present. Thank you for the illuminating insight into my own condition.

            Btw, because you’ve mentioned in your comments that you live in Tasmania, I’ve looked it up on line. Fascinating. I’ve looked at images as well as read text, and it seems quite exotic to me. Have you lived there all your life? Are you in Hobart?

            • Pellicano Solitudinis says:

              It is certainly a beautiful place, where European and Australian landscapes exist side-by-side. It’s geographically and economically isolated from the rest of Australia, and this on the one hand has helped preserve its historical and environmental assets (which is what makes it so beautiful) but on the other, has led to entrenched intergenerational disadvantage for many of its people (similar to Appalachia). I’m a blow-in, having lived here for nearly twenty years. I have lived in Hobart, and I’d happily live there again, but right now we’re in the north of the state.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            This. Intelligence and ability to function are two quite separate things.

            As a former Cold War Kid Genius (diagnosed two years after Sputnik and fast-tracked for the subsequent 12), I can attest to that. Very often high intelligence isolates you from others, plus an additional side effect of emotional/personality retardation, made worse as all the adults around you play to your strength. You end up an IQ score floating in mid-air or a giant Brain in a jar, all but your Intellect in a bad state of arrested development.

      • Clay Crouch says:

        Just what do you mean by the smart ones? How did you determine that they were smart? How do you define smart? See how easy it is to call into question your conclusions?

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          How do you define smart?

          All to often, “Just Like MEEEEEEEEEE!”

  15. petrushka1611 says:

    https://youtu.be/WAgMqbsKhgw

    One John King has recorded Bach on ukulele as well. His album is a delight, well worth seeking out.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      One John King has recorded Bach on ukulele as well.

      Johann Sebastian or P.D.Q.?

  16. My Hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
    All other ground is sinking sand.

    Thanks for the cease-fire today, CM

  17. It’s true I wasn’t diagnosed until 2016, but I’ve been autistic my whole life. In fact, little awareness and no useful diagnosis existed in the late 60s and 70s when I was a child. And given the way the few autistic children who were identified were treated then, I’m glad I slipped under the radar. Not that autistic children are treated all that much better today, as hopefully the stories about the recent Judge Rotenberg Educational Center court case brought to some light. Yes, the things they were doing are still part of the “standard of care”. Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose. The black and white photo of the autistic girl in the 70s being tortured on an electrified floor when she failed to conform to instructions and demands is burned in my memory. The interview Ivar Lovaas gave to Psychology Today in the 70s can be found online. Most people also aren’t aware of the ways ‘gay conversion therapy’ has threads through Lovaas with his version of ‘therapy’ for autistic children. (He also has papers published on his work treating “effeminate” boys.)

    There’s nothing particularly shocking about the study in the article. I most definitely remember how the world responded to me as an autistic child. Not a lot has changed. In this particular instance, churches probably don’t look much different from the rest of the world. A few places are getting better, but not a whole lot has really changed since I was a child.

    Some acceptance is growing and breaking down ridiculous stereotypes. This is a good example of such a story.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/13/opinion/autism-social-life-new-research.html

    And there’s not a lot of work being done yet on the science of actual reciprocity applied to the settings a child inhabits, but there is some.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4296736/

    I guess one could argue that churches should be better than the society in which they exist. But that’s rarely been true in practice and it isn’t true today.

    • Christiane says:

      “Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose.”
      (Alphonse Karr)

      world-weariness . . . . we see today also the abuses that were done to children in the past, yes . . . and it breaks our hearts as some are cowed into silence about it and some are screaming perpetually ‘this cannot be happening again’
      But ignorance of the past promises that history will be repeat as IN SECRECY, and IN SILENCE, transport of the ‘unwelcomed’ to cages raises echoes from the past:

      ” The secrecy surrounding the T-4 program broke down quickly. . . . .
      The town of Hadamar school pupils called the gray transport buses “killing crates” and threatened each other with the taunt, “You’ll end up in the Hadamar ovens!” . . .
      A handful of church leaders, notably the Bishop of Münster, Clemens August Count von Galen, local judges, and parents of victims protested the killings. One judge, Lothar Kreyssig, instituted criminal proceedings against Bouhler for murder; Kreyssig was prematurely retired. A few physicians protested. Karl Bonhöffer, a leading psychiatrist, and his son Dietrich, a Protestant minister who actively opposed the regime, urged church groups to pressure church-run institutions not to release their patients to T-4 authorities.
      In response to such pressures, Hitler ordered a halt to Operation T-4 on August 24, 1941.”

      • Yes, I’m very much aware of the Nazi T-4 program. In fact, some time back I wrote on my blog about discovering I’m autistic during the rise of American fascism. However it did not end in 1941. It simply shifted gears. The full description at the Holocaust Museum website.

        https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005200

        It’s worth noting that the Nazis modeled their original sterilization eugenics laws after laws that were then widespread in the United States. In fact, they got a lot of their ideas from us. They simply carried them to their logical conclusion. The things happening here today are not new and did not arise out of nothing.

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          EVERYBODY:

          If it weren’t for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party “carrying things to their logical conclusion”, Eugenics and Master Race Theory would still be Respectable Mainstream Science.

          Examples? Leaf through paperback collections of Stephen Jay Gould essays; he covers the subject a LOT in the essays on the History of Science. How bad science (especially convenient corollaries of Darwin) were used to prop up White Supremacy (and define “White” so narrowly that 99% of “whites” today wouldn’t REALLY be White).

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            Before Darwin, Race Supremacists used equally-convenient interpretations of the Bible.

            All that changed was parsing new SCRIPTURES(TM) to give Cosmic-level Justification to what “Men of Sin” wanted to do anyway.

        • Christiane says:

          ” In fact, some time back I wrote on my blog about discovering I’m autistic during the rise of American fascism. However it did not end in 1941. It simply shifted gears.”

          The ‘fascist’ model of power and control was much admired among the founders of ‘The National Prayer Breakfast’, Abraham Vereide and Doug Coe. A little research into the philosophy of those two will turn your hair white . . . talk about ‘fascism coming to America wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross’.

  18. Rick Ro. says:

    The Babylon Bee headlines/articles… Excellent choices!!

  19. Raleigh, NC

    Sunflowers
    https://www.wral.com/in-bloom-what-to-know-before-you-go-to-raleigh-s-dix-park-sunflower-field/17672991/

    And hot dogs. Best hole in the wall restaurant in the US.
    https://roastgrill.com/

    Notice the list to the right.

  20. senecagriggs says:

    Defining “smart enough.”

    Anybody who can write an articulate comment = smart enough