Take a look at the date today. What number is missing? Eleven? Ah, but it’s college football Saturday. And how many men are there per side in football? That’s right—eleven. So can we say today is 10 (11) 12 13? Sure we can. Because we know just how important numbers are to being a Christian, right? Let’s see, seven is the perfect number, or is it three? Twelve means something, and 24 means something twice. And as Three (perfect number) Dog Night tells us, one is the loneliest number. Two can be as bad as one—it’s the loneliest number since the number one. Yeah. So get out your calculators, set your slide rules for “stun,” and let’s get ready to ramble.
Now here is a really big number: 1700. It has been 1700 years since the Edict of Milan, and many are still complaining about it. How did you celebrate this anniversary?
Here’s something that may interest only me. We are a host family for students attending University Language Institute here in Tulsa, a school where students from around the world can come and learn English. Or at least Oklahoma English, which often passes as the real thing. One student living with us right now is Mohammad, a young Muslim man from Saudi Arabia. As I drove him to school one day this week I told him I had an interview for another job. “I hope you do well,” he said. “And I’ll pray for you.” I have never had a Muslim offer to pray for me before. I thought it was really cool.
Bill O’Reilly has another book in his “Killing” series out: Killing Jesus. But Candida Moss thinks he has gotten some of his facts mixed up. I think I’ll stick to the gospel accounts, thank you.
And then there is the ninny from Fox News who—wrongly—reported that President Obama was going to pay out of his own pocket to keep the International Museum of Muslim Cultures open during the government shutdown. I know I am old-fashioned (or maybe just old), but I used to teach my broadcast journalism students to get their facts straight before opening their mouths.
Of course we all know that President Obama couldn’t be paying out of his own pocket just to keep some museum open. He’s too busy funding terrorists, which Michele Bachmann, that stalwart theologian, says proves we are in the end times.
Salon Magazine lays the blame for the government shutdown on those they say are running the Tea Party: Fundamentalist Christians. Your thoughts?
The Vatican commissioned a medal to celebrate Pope Francis’ first year in office. Oops. There was a word misspelled on the medal. The word is someone’s name. Or rather, Someone’s name. The Big Someone. And no, I don’t mean Pope Francis.
New York magazine has a great interview with Antonin Scalia. Read all the way through to get his thoughts on heaven, hell and the devil.
Seems not everyone wants to see the Holy Land. Well, Holy Land, Connecticut, that is. The former Christian “theme park” is more of a Holy Ghost town now. I know what you’re thinking. If only President Obama had paid out of his own pocket to keep this open instead of paying for Muslim museums and funding terrorists, right? Then all would be right in our country.
And on the left coast we have a new “reality” television show. (Reality TV is my second favorite oxymoron, right after United Methodists.) Preachers of L.A. is set to show off the lifestyles of the rich, famous and saved. Or some such thing. Sorry, I won’t be watching. I’m saving my couch time up for the next season of Downton Abbey. But if you want to watch Preachers of L.A. and report on it, feel free to do so.
Speaking of United Methodists, they are trying out a new idea. Online communion. Seriously. Look, I don’t make these things up. Discuss among yourselves the appropriateness of online communion. Start with the word “communion” and work from there.
Finally, let’s end with some space news. I took my son to see Gravity this week. One word: Wow. Two words: See it. Seventeen words: If you go see it, pay the extra amount and see it in 3D at the IMAX. The Washington Post carried this “spiritual review” of the flick. All in all, I think it represents the film well. Also this week, astronomers announced the discovery of a new planet, one that is floating in space without a “host” star. We orbit our sun; this planet has no sun to orbit. I’m sure there is a theological connection to be made, but I’ll leave it up to you to make it. And we are sad to pass along the death of Scott Carpenter, one of the original Mercury Seven astronauts. Carpenter was 88.
Those, alive or dead, who celebrated birthdays this last week include Ray Kroc; Bil Keane; Barry Switzer; Steve Miller; Tony Dungy; Yo-Yo Ma; John Lennon; Jackson Browne; and Eleanor Roosevelt.
Yes, I love rock and roll. And yes, I could have chosen Steve Miller or John Lennon or Jackson Browne. But I want to show I have some culture. Enjoy.