We are at the end of another busy week here at the iMonastery. Wrapping paper, ribbons and bows have been flying freely. For a while we couldn’t find Martha until someone looked under the tree and saw a package wiggling just a little too much. No fear—we set her free and fortified her with a large glass of eggnog, so all is well. As a matter of fact, we have all settled down and are enjoying our eggnog—fat-free, as prescribed by Mother Superior Denise. Adam Palmer and Mike Bell baked some gingerbread men cookies, which are full of fat as prescribed by Betty Crocker. Christmastime is upon us. Now all we need is to watch Elf for the 26th time this month and the season will be complete. Well, all except for our Saturday morning ritual. Shall we ramble together?
Pope Francis continues to be rockstar popular. Time named the pope their Man of the Year. I’m sure there are conservative Catholics who are upset with the Bishop of Rome being pictured on the cover of Time. After all, they don’t want a pope who connects with so many people in so many ways, or so it seems. There is no pleasing some people.
But even Pope Francis is not the biggest name in all of history. That crown belongs to … oh come on, you have to ask? But Napoleon at number two? Really?
So there is a news babe on Fox by the name of Megyn Kelly. I say “news babe” because she can’t possibly be a journalist. Ms. Kelly “reported” this week that Jesus and Santa are both white men. “Just because it makes you feel uncomfortable doesn’t mean it has to change,” Kelly said. “Jesus was a white man, too. It’s like we have, he’s a historical figure that’s a verifiable fact, as is Santa, I just want kids to know that. How do you revise it in the middle of the legacy in the story and change Santa from white to black?” And she gets paid to say things like this? Really? Would someone please introduce her to the Middle East, where men and women are neither black nor white …
And continuing with that bastion of journalism, Fox News has a map showing where the “war on Christmas” is taking place across our God-forsaken land. So I click on the icon over the state of Oklahoma and it tells me of a happening in Frisco, Texas. Perhaps Fox should concentrate on the war on geography first.
Meanwhile, over at First Thoughts, Matthew Schmitz writes in praise of Xmas. And on HuffPo, Fr. Peter-Michael Preble says he used to be a War on Christmas crusader until he got some perspective. I used to get peeved when one town after another would outlaw their Christmas display, then I started to see news reports of how Christians are being treated in other parts of the world and suddenly it all seemed so stupid. Your thoughts?
Ok, raise your hand if you didn’t see this coming. A Ten Commandments monument was erected outside of the Oklahoma courthouse last year. Now a group of self-proclaimed Satanists wants to erect their own statue next to it. And then a Hindu group petitioned to put up a statue to Hanuman, the monkey king. As Adam Palmer said, We deserved this.
And then there is Florida. In protest of a Nativity scene at the Florida Capitol, Chaz Stevens has put up a Festivus pole with beer cans around it. Can we please just stop it all already? The Ten Commandments are no less Scripture if we don’t put up statues of them in front of courthouses and capitols, and Jesus is still Immanuel if we don’t put a manger scene in every city park. And if we do, then let’s not complain when Satanists and Hindus and Seinfeldites want their say as well.
Pat Robertson got an apology—and a donation—this week from a newspaper that reported, wrongly as it turns out, that Robertson raised money using a shell of a missions organization. Seems there is some good in this world after all.
And in a story first sent to us by First Lady (and Mother Superior) Denise Spencer, it seems that chimpanzees are not the same as people. The Nonhuman Rights Project filed three separate suits on behalf of four chimpanzees in New York state last week in a bid to secure for Tommy, Kiko, Hercules and Leo — all male chimps held in various parts of the state — the “right to bodily liberty.” Neither Denise or I made this up. But I will say that The Nonhuman Rights Project would make a great name for a rock and roll band.
Happy birthday greetings went out last week to Louis Prima; Ted Knight; Harry Chapin; John Bench; Tom Waits; Larry Bird; Flip Wilson; Gregg Allman; Dame Judi Dench; Donny Osmond; Michael Dorn; Deacon Jones; Dick Butkus; Jakob Dylan; Chet Huntley; David Gates; Booker T. Jones; Frank Sinatra; Dickey Betts; Neil Peart; Skunk Baxter; Ted Nugent; and Dick Van Dyke.
Wow. Look at all the great names who had birthdays this week. Ok, the people with the great names had the birthdays, and the great names just came along for the ride. You think I could only choose one for our bonus video this week? I narrowed it down to two. The great Dickey Betts (here with Chuck Leavell on piano) playing Jessica, and Tom Waits singing (I guess you can call it singing) about a Chocolate Jesus. Enjoy them both.