October 30, 2014

Saturday Ramblings 3.24.12

Welcome to the March Madness edition of Saturday Ramblings. I asked the Synonymous Rambler to take charge of the leftovers this week so I could focus on all of the Ohio teams still (as of this writing) in the tournament. But SR is also caught up in the madness of this third month of the year. So I will shoulder on best I can as I watch hoops on the TV. (Mother Superior Denise Spencer has given me permission to leave the abbey Friday night to attend a Man Party where basketball will be watched and man-food will be consumed. And everyone said, Amen!) So when you are reading this on Saturday morning, we will have one, two or three Ohio teams in the Elite Eight. My father graduated from UC. My mom from Ohio. I took graduate courses at The Ohio State University. And I’ve always loved Xavier! I can’t lose! And neither can you, for it is time to ramble.

First of all, thanks to each and every one who continue to donate to InternetMonk. We spend about $175 a month just to keep this site up and going. Your publisher does not have money in his pockets to fund this. Your donations are very welcome. You can use the PayPal button on the right side of this page. Thank you once again.

Martha O’Ireland shared a brilliant piece with us on Thursday in which she discusses atheists wanting to separate mind and matter, aiming to produce a perfect mind. In the comments that followed, Headless Unicorn Guy reminded us that this line of thinking, called Singularity, was featured on the cover of Time last year. All this to say, C.S. Lewis scooped all of us with the making of the supermind in his wonderful book, That Hideous Strength. Haven’t read it? You should, right now.

Oh dear. It appears that a story we related to you the last time we rambled together was not necessarily true. Well, the story was true—it was the facts in the story that were a bit off course. Seems there is no real service promising to care for your pets when the rapture occurs. Bart Centre now says he does not employ an army of atheists who will gather up Fido and Fluffy while you rise in the air. Now all of your nice Christian pets will be left behind in a culture of evil. What are we to do?

Former President Jimmy Carter has written a number of books since he left the White House, but he’s never had a study Bible with his name on it. Until now. Lessons From Life Study Bible: Personal Reflections From Jimmy Carter is now in a Christian bookstore near you. As far as I know, no, it does not come with a cardigan sweater.

And according to this report, Americans own plenty of Bibles, but rarely bother to read them. Hmmm…next they’ll be telling us that water is wet.

A Christian film genre has mushroomed with flicks like Fireproof, Facing the Giants and Courageous—all produced by the same church and the same pastor/executive producer. Now comes Blue Like Jazz, a Christian film that doesn’t want to be a Christian film. And because Steve Taylor set out to make a real movie rather than a Christian movie, and because BLJ has some language in it that may not be appropriate for children who go to Baptist Sunday schools, it seems that the Jazz actors and crew are being blacklisted. At least that’s the view of Steve Taylor. Are you following all of this? If so, why are you?

According to that great Old Testament scholar John Hagee, Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is comparable to Moses. And King David. And … and … the Messiah? Ok then. With Hagee not able to tell the difference between Jesus and Netanyahu, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that Hagee doesn’t know Netanyahu’s son’s name (it’s Avner, not Jonathan). Are you following this? Again, why?

Don’t expect to find donuts or pork rinds on the new members’ luncheon menu at Saddleback Church. Saddleback member and author Dr. Daniel Amen thinks many churches are “sending people to Heaven early” by feeding them food that is not the most healthy. We connect to God through our brain? Really?

Sigh…I’ve put this off as long as I could. I tried to keep any mention of Tim Tebow out of today’s rambles, but … when nationally-know sportswriter Pat Robertson weighed in with his comments on the Broncos trading Tebow to the Jets, well … it was too much to pass up. I love this job.

Happy birthday this week to Samuel Horwitz (aka Shemp Howard); Nat King Cole; Patti “Layla” Boyd; Kurt Russell; George Plimpton; George Scott; Glenn Close; Bruce Willis; Carl Reiner; Jerry Reed; Bobby Orr; Timothy Dalton; Gary Oldman; Leonard “Chico” Marx; William Shatner; Wolf Blitzer; Doc Watson; and Moses Malone.

Growing up I loved the Marx Brothers, and loved how in each movie Chico (pronounced “Chick-o,” not “Cheek-o”) would play the piano in his own unique way. Amazing. Enjoy.

[yframe url='http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Fx252AgYeM']

Comments

  1. 1000+ for the Chico Marx video; however, William Shatner’s rendition of “Rocket Man” might have made a good honorable mention.

    • Provided you don’t listen to it or anything. Shatner’s “Rocket Man” has been proven to cause seizures in music lovers …

      • But it’s poetry, not music! Or maybe drama.

        However, Shatner’s recital of Sarah Palin’s, uh, poetry, has been known to cause seizures in Republicans.

        It’s all on youtube…

    • Ever seen the one where Chico plays piano with an APPLE?

    • Radagast says:

      …and Harpo always had a good solo on the harp…

  2. John Hagee, end-times prophet extraordinaire, can’t tell the difference between sabre-rattling Netanyahu and the Messiah? I’ve seen this coming for years now, but I think the point has arrived where the fanatical dispensationalists with all their countdowns to Armageddon are the ones who could easily be duped into following the anti-Christ. I’d find this humorous, if they also weren’t in favor of global thermal nuclear war in order to hasten the return of Christ. This is why atheists see religion as evil.

    • Dumb ox , just to add to your comment , Hagee also claimed that for every fetus that is aborted , god is going to kill another person to avenge the fetus on judgement day..

      on another note. I love Nat king cole!

    • Cedric Klein says:

      Of course, a reading of the ACTUAL ARTICLE shows no such confusion. Hagee made what is called a joke & the fundamentalist anti-fundamentalists here all get the vapors,

      • Even the article pointed out that he said it “half jokingly”. John Hagee is so deluded about Biblical eschatology, I wouldn’t put anything past him.

      • What is said after the “joke” is no less disturbing. Netenyahu can do no wrong. It is bad enough when evangelicals venerate Repuplican candidates, but doing so with foreign leaders has serious foreign policy implications. Netanyahu could drag the U.S. into yet another war. They made similar threats just before the U.S. concocted an excuse to invade Iraq. The secular Israeli govenment are playing Hagee just like they did the Bush administration. The U.S. knows that Israeli strike with destable the region far worse than a U.S. instigated war.

        • Curse you, spell-check.

        • Radagast says:

          but then again, liberals venerate Obama as the Messiah…

        • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

          What is said after the “joke” is no less disturbing. Netenyahu can do no wrong. It is bad enough when evangelicals venerate Repuplican candidates, but doing so with foreign leaders has serious foreign policy implications. Netanyahu could drag the U.S. into yet another war.

          Don’t forget hinting about Red Heifer Breeding Programs and Stockpiling the Materials for Rebuilding the Temple — some rumors to that effect and the Born-Again Bible-Believing Christian Zionists will be even more firmly in the pocket.

          Even though Christian Zionism is more properly called Anti-Semitic Zionism. They don’t care about the Israelis except as a Fulfillment of End Time Prophecy a la Darby & Lindsay. They don’t care about the Jews. They don’t care about you or me. Except as pieces to move about on the End Time Prophecy gameboard.

          • “Even though Christian Zionism is more properly called Anti-Semitic Zionism. They don’t care about the Israelis except as a Fulfillment of End Time Prophecy a la Darby & Lindsay. They don’t care about the Jews. They don’t care about you or me. Except as pieces to move about on the End Time Prophecy gameboard.”

            Wow. Paint with a broad brush, much?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Christians for Nuclear War (TM)) strikes again…

      “It’s Prophesied! It’s Prophesied!”

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      I’ve seen this coming for years now, but I think the point has arrived where the fanatical dispensationalists with all their countdowns to Armageddon are the ones who could easily be duped into following the anti-Christ.

      You’re not the only one to have that idea, Dumb Ox. I always figured Antichrist would be a Godly Televangelist or something similar, and whoever wrote the original RPG Rapture: the Second Coming over at Quintessimal Mercy Games also took that tack. Which actually fits a lot of Medieval theological speculations about the Antichrist.

      You see, there were two main archetypes of Antichrist through history, based on the two meanings of “Anti-” in Greek.

      The Fanatic Perscutor — “Anti” as “in opposition to”, an Antichrist who is implacably hostile to the People and Kingdom of God and tries to attack and destroy them at every opportunity.

      The Slick Deceiver — “Anti” as “imitation of”, an Antichrist who appears to be a second Christ — all-good, all-wise, all-perfect, bringing peace and safety as long as you bow down to him. Theologians often spun this archetype into a tragic figure, who begins out of a genuine desire to do good, but then the Ring of Power ensares him and turning his back on Christ (“MY Will Be Done!”) he ends up the Devil’s pawn against Christ. Some allegories on this has Antichrist not becoming Antichrist until at his peak he encounters Christ and rejects Him. (Like I said, a genuinely tragic figure.)

      The abovementioned RPG also noted these two archetypes worked GREAT as a Tag Team (the Fanatic Persecutor as the Beast and the Slick Deceiver as the False Prophet) — you flee the Fanatic Persecutor to the protection of the Slick Deceiver and end up taking the Mark of the latter.

      These days, the Slick Deceiver has been forgotten; the only archetype from Late Great Planet Earth to Left Behind is the Fanatic Persecutor. Maybe the Slick Deceiver hits a little too close to home in the Televangelical Establishment?

      • How about this for a story plot: a secret fundie organization knows who the anti-Christ is and is actively assisting him into power in order to hasten the real Christ’s return. The more likely scenario is that evangelical fears will be used and manipulated to usher in the ant-Christ’s reign, similar to what happened in Nazi Germany. Self-fulfilling prophecy.

      • The fact that the Book of Revelation states that even the elect may be deceived by the anti-Christ, this is a dangerous game being played by the likes of Hagee. The temptation of Jesus by the devil in the desert is even more chilling (“Here…let me HELP you”).

  3. “Because BLJ has some language in it that may not be appropriate for children who go to Baptist Sunday schools, it seems that the Jazz actors and crew are being blacklisted.”

    Haha.

  4. Tebow is a victim of the evangelical circus, which tried to put him on display in the center ring. It’s really sad when sports commentators are accusing Tebow of bringing a circus show to New York; he’s not the only one to blame. The Broncos management deserves a break; I think management wants to keep their players out of the headline news – no matter if for good or bad reasons; they don’t need the distraction. The apostle Paul was right in admonishing Christians to live quiet, productive lives.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      At least Tebow seems to have dodged the bullet of Celebrity Convert Burnout. You know that one: Christian Celebrity gets put on a pedestal, trotted out 24/7 as Christian Example, until he/she/it crashes & burns from the Celebrity treadmill. (Then they usually get discarded as “backslider” or “never really saved” — kind of like chickens in a barnyard pecking a defective to death.)

      It’s really sad when sports commentators are accusing Tebow of bringing a circus show to New York; he’s not the only one to blame.</i?

      When Rod Serling was having similar fanboy problems in the late Fifties (a TV thriller he wrote & produced spawned copycat bomb threats), his response was "I am responsible to my audience. I am not responsible FOR my audience."

    • It is more than evangelicals who contributed to the attention he is getting. How the season played out made it even more of an wild situation.

      Likewise, I have not heard any blame him. In fact most, including some on ESPN, have gone out of their way to say he is not to blame.

  5. Oh boy!! I better get to bed. I have The Reason Rally tomorrow!! :-D

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4UwRDzf2vBE

    • The Reason Rally kind of strikes me as the modernist ying to the Evangelical movement’s yang. Both are part of the last gasps of the modernist and Enlightenment movement, and really, if you get down to it, I think they are both operating out of some of the same fundamental assumptions. The big one is that if we put enough focus and effort onto a problem, we can overcome it through our sheer effort. The fact of the matter is that triumphalism always ends badly whether its based on religion or on a pure secular philosophy.

      • +1. anybody ever read ” the world as it is:dispatches on the myth of human progress” by Chris Hedges?

        • Yes, and it was a great read and ironically a faith inspiring one too… he leaves very little left to hope in…besides hoping in Jesus

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        And just like Communism and Objectivism, the two end up as funhouse-mirror reflections of each other.

        “DIE, HALF-WHITE!”
        “DIE, HALF-BLACK!”
        — “Old Testament” Star Trek episode, somewhere in the Third Season

      • +1
        Good insight. Definitely last-gasp of modernism, and the two are twin brothers of the same mother.

        • It’s still unclear what comes next. My guess is a new dawn of ignorance and superstition – both religious and secular-based. Even Hitchens admits in “The Portable Atheist” that atheists are not immune to such nonesense – Newton being one example.

          • Stanislav says:

            Newton was not an atheist, was he? I heard he wrote speculative (i.e. crazed) interpretations of biblical prophecy.

        • …”and the two are twin brothers of the same mother.”

          Wasn’t that a Dan Fogelberg/Tim Weisberg album?

          • That was “Twin Sons of Separate Mothers”, which included the single, “Power of Gold”. Hmmm, perhaps there is a connection there.

    • A FULL report is expected when you get back home and to your keyboard!

  6. Typical US-fundie-Republican remark from Hagee

    ‘He strengthened the private sector and cut down the public sector.” (can I have an ‘amen’??)

    So maybe Netanyahu is just Moses, and Milton Friedman is Jesus-Christ?

    • Who was he referring to when he said this?

      • He was referring to the current Israeli Prime Minister…

        • ‘He strengthened the private sector and cut down the public sector.” (can I have an ‘amen’??)

          This makes no sense. Any observant Jew living out a life as describe in the Torah will live in a fairly socialist society. From very Reformed to ultra Orthodox and all flavors in between.

          But then again why should I expect Hagee to make any sense?

    • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

      Well,, the Obamanation of Desolation (TM) is the Antichrist, so somebody has to step in as the new Messiah figure. I hate Messiah Politics…

  7. 192 points. And they were not playing bad defense. Brings back memories.

  8. Are there any left? Ohio teams?

    I haven’t seen the news (sports) lately.

  9. David Cornwell says:

    The Indiana vs Kentucky game last night left me profoundly conflicted. I’ve lived in Indiana now for over 30 years, but before that went to college and seminary near UK, worked in Lexington, met Marge who was born and raised a few miles from there, and my two girls were born nearby.

    So– last night I found my self silently rooting for the wrong team.

  10. I’m a Denverite, smack dab in the middle of Tebow-mania turned Manning-mania. When my local news’ facebook update had the words Robertson and Tebow in it, I cringed. Dear media, please quit quoting Pat Robertson, whether it’s on Alzheimer’s, tornadoes or Tim. And yet, I couldn’t help thinking of Chaplain Mike’s beautiful words a few weeks back on how when we’re speaking of God’s interaction (not the word, I’m coming up blank. It’s okay, it happens to me alot) with His creation or mankind, we must always start with Jesus. So, thanks IM for bringing me back to center when I wanted to go off on a facebook tangent regarding Pat. Happy beautiful Saturday all!

  11. Blacklisted from the Christian film makers industry? You mean that Sherwood is considered the Christian Film makers industry? HA! Haha! Hahahahahaha!!! “Fireproof was just “OK”, “Facing the Giants” was entertaining, except for the part where the guy in the wheel chair stood up (TOTAL cornball!), and if you haven’t seen “Flywheel” then DON’T! I’m tired of bad Christian films and won’t see “October Baby” either. I’m fed up with facile message movies made by amateurs.

    • As I read the CT article two things were frustrating – first why are “Christian” filmmakers (Steve and Provident) publicly squabbling in the first place? (Great testimony guys!) and secondly – the parents going to “secular” theaters and then whining and moaning (via letters and who knows what else) about the trailers that preceded their “christian” movie? Is it just me, or do some american evangelicals appear to be rather childish, obnoxious and petty? (Great witness guys!)
      sigh….

  12. Funny, not one mention of the claims made by Jimmy Carter on what he believes the bible says on certain issues. I won’t say the word here, but you know the one I mean. If I drop it now, the comments will rise to triple digits by end of day. Well, after the basketball games are over…..priorities.

    • What Jimmy believes is moot to most conservatives and evangelicals. Giving away the Panama Canal already got him black-listed, and destined to where the goblins go.

      And for not being Reagan, but that’s not really his fault.

    • Carter and Mohler in a cage match battle royale?

    • I like Carter. There. I said it.

      • I like Carter very much too, dumb ox. He has done so many good things in the world, not the least of which was helping to rid the world of Dracunculiasis (guinea worm disease) which is a horrible parasite that Africans in four countries suffered from. I heard a radio show about it and had not heard about it before then. I read two of his books. I believe him to be both intelligent and humble.

      • Don’t be bashful about saying it, dumb ox. I’m with Joanie.

  13. Randy Thompson says:

    More Marx Brothers.

    Less John Hagee.

    (Unless someone makes a giant, roadside statue of John Hagee.)

  14. I know some of the people involved in the making of the Blue Like Jazz movie. I have no interest in seeing it myself(read the book and didn’t care much for it). But both sides of this current “controversy” need to hash out their issues behind the scenes instead of blogging every thought before a watching world.

  15. Steve Taylor. Oh, how I have missed you and your music!

  16. What? No mention of Paul Petry and Mars Hill?

  17. On the subject of Tebow (I really should make sure to visit on Saturdays), I ran into this from a fan here (I live in Brooklyn and work in Manhattan): Jets to be brought down by religious fanatic in New York.

    When the Jets start loosing in the fall, I’ll probably post something along this again.