October 20, 2017

Saturday Ramblings 4-30-11

England? Something happened in England, huh? Another soccer riot? The development of a car with a working electrical system? What’s that? Wedding? Who got married? Not Sir Mick again. Bill and Kate? Never heard of ’em. So, since it is not something that holds my interest more than the requisite four seconds, I suggest we ramble.

David Wilkerson, author of The Cross And The Switchblade, founder of Teen Challenge and of Times Square Church in New York, died this week in an auto accident near Tyler, Texas. We commented on his passing earlier. You can read what others are saying here and here and here.

This was a destructive and tragic week for those in the southeastern United States. Tornadoes swept through region, killing 300 and leaving billions of dollars in damage. I lived in Centerville, Ohio in 1974 when tornadoes destroyed the neighboring town of Xenia. Nearly 40 years later I still have vivid memories of the sky, the hail, the wind. Certainly we need to pray for those affected by these storms. If you would like to help in a material fashion, I recommend donating through the Salvation Army.

“Financial donations are needed to support disaster relief efforts.  The Salvation Army asks those who want to help to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and designate April 2011 Tornado Outbreak.  Donors may text “GIVE” to 80888.  Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 100339, Atlanta, GA 30384-0339.  Monetary donations will ensure The Salvation Army can meet the most immediate needs of those impacted by disaster.”

As St. Paul Harvey would say, it’s not one world. I will wager none of us reading this who worship in the United States have ever been arrested here for going to church. Yet that is the fate of many who attend Beijing’s largest house church. It is not one world.

“Welcome to Portland. Have you gotten high yet?” That is how Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz) greeted visitors to the Q Gathering to Portland, Oregon this week. Skye Jethani was there and gives us his impression of the first day of speakers. It is not one nation.

So, what do you do in Europe after attending the royal wedding? Why not pop on down to Vatican City for Sunday’s beatification of Pope John Paul II? Need a bit of a reminder why he is being so honored? Read about that here. Or you can read a more personal look at the late JPII here. Given my choice of the London wedding or the Vatican for this ceremony, you would find me on St. Peter’s Square. You?

The saying is you don’t want to be the person to follow a legend. You want to be the person who follows the person who followed a legend. So Franklin Graham is not in an enviable position. Still, he said some, er, interesting things this last week. Eagle-eyed Chaplain Mike spotted this. Christianity Today tried to clear it up, but I do believe “muddy waters” would be the right tune.

Well, if you are going to go on a Lenten beer-only fast, how else to break it but with a bacon smoothie? Look, I can’t make this stuff up. Really. I would guess many of you now know what you will be doing for Lent next year, right?

Birthday greetings this week go out to my dad, Richard Dunn, who is celebrating his birthday today (happy birthday, Dad!); William Shakespeare; Warren Spahn; Virgil “Gus” Grissom; Roy Orbison; Lee “$6,000,000” Majors; Sandra Dee; Shirley Boone; Edward R. Murrow; Albert King; “Meadowlark” Lemon;  Talia Shire; Carol Burnett; Jet Li; Walter “Woody Woodpecker” Lantz; Casey Kasem; Jay Leno; Duke Ellington; and Dale Earnhardt.

Our Writers’ Roundtable discussed the Coming Evangelical Collapse this week. If you want my opinion, this video is proof that it has already collapsed. Watch as long as you can. I cannot make it all the way through this. Yes I know is is labeled a “parody,” but it’s still very wrong. Did I mention how I would like to be in Vatican City right now? Enjoy…or something.

[yframe url=’http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=npgdw5Zb7TY’]

Comments

  1. As a severe weather researcher, I was awestruck and sickened in equal measure by the unfolding outbreak on Wednesday. The magnitude and overlap of the atmospheric ingredients that need to come together to produce such a historic outbreak are extremely rare, even by tornado alley standards. This one is on par with the Palm Sunday Outbreak of 1965, and is even giving the Super Outbreak of April 3rd, 1974 a run for its money (the largest outbreak in U.S. history). The radar signatures of the storms sweeping through Alabama were the most intense I have ever seen, even exceeding in some cases that of the Greensburg, KS tornadic supercell of May 4th, 2007. I was very impressed by the incredible job the local National Weather Service offices did in providing timely warnings, as well as the Storm Prediction Center for predicting this outbreak days in advance and providing the tornado watches. The local TV meteorologists, at least those I was watching live, also did an outstanding job. Without all their efforts, I fear the death toll could have easily been double or triple what it was.

    As a Christian, my heart breaks for the victims of this disaster. God has created this world a wild and wonderful place (and, for me, that includes the awesome power of tornadoes), but also one that is untamed, often to the point of unleashing terrible suffering. I often wonder if we can logically have one without the other, but I don’t want to turn this post into yet another attempt to answer the problem of suffering and evil. At times like this we are rather called to be the hands and feet of Christ, alleviating the suffering of, and providing comfort to the victims. Please, donate to relief agencies that are trained and equipped to do the most good in this regard, and pray for the victims and their families, that God would work through this tragedy and bring about goodness in its midst!

    • Excellent, Dan. You are right: We cannot have the one (wild and wonderful) without the other.

      Yes, pray and give at this time. And keep ourselves in the hand of the Wild and Wonderful One.

    • anonymous says:

      I just had power restored. I have no words to describe what I have seen the last several days. My home was spared, and I am grateful. The cleanup process will go on for a long time with smaller communites desperately in need. For those able to assist, the Red Cross can point you to an area. For financial donations, the Salvation Army is a great place.

  2. You’ve scarred me. Horribly. That song …. oh!! The problem is that even if it was meant as parody, it isn’t.

    • I’m with you, WebMonk, it’s not really a parody. And she did mention Jesus. Once, I think.

      • Parody? Who said it was a Parody? Better than ‘Gangsta’ rap about raping and robbing! St Paul said it well in 1 Corinthians 9:22 (Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition)
        22To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I became all things to all men, that I might save all.
        Shows the need to become all things to all people.

    • Since it’s a rip-off of one of the most popular and yet awful YouTube videos of all time, I guess you could call it a parody…..or out and out plagiarism.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD2LRROpph0

      How typical of the evangelical church: Copying the tackiest parts of pop culture.

      • Jeff: Just saw the bulletin board. Apologies for including a link, not just because it goes against your request, but doubly so for exposing others to the horrible experience that is “It’s Friday”.

      • Adrienne says:

        Ed I agree with you. It used to drive me crazy when I worked in the Christian bookstores that we would be running right on the heels of the secular instead of being genuinely creative. A new secular slogan would become popular and sure enough we would get an order of T-Shirts in with the slogan plus Jesus. “Things Go Better with Jesus”. We had peanut butter cup t-shirts, soft drink t-shirts, sports, music etc etc. Just tack on Jesus and it would sell like crazy. The only shirt that did not sell was the one that said, “I am the worm we sing about.” I warned my manager about that one 🙂

      • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

        How typical of the evangelical church: Copying the tackiest parts of pop culture.

        So what else is new? Search this blog for “Selling Jesus by the Pound” for other examples of Christian Consolation Prizes.

        And the “Just like fill-in-the-blank, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!” copy usually hits the Jesus Junk store shelves the day AFTER the fill-in-the-blank that “inspired” it jumped the shark. Day Late, Dollar Short.

  3. I wonder if Franklin caught The Donald’s interview on CBN News where he was thrown all sorts of puffballs as he explained his wonderful religion consists largely of putting Bibles he receives on a nice shelf somewhere. He didn’t say much about Trump in the CT interview as he dissected Obama’s profession while pretending to not to.

    Over Easter, Pat Robertson gave a more interesting interview, stating he wished he had spent less time on politics and more time on the ministry and his family. Jerry Falwell had the same lament in his later years, as has Franklin’s father. Maybe Franklin could benefit from listening more to the wisdom of those who made him possible.

  4. Jeff, Jeff, Jeff, Jeff, Jeff….I don’t believe I’ve ever replied to you before. Let me introduce myself properly, I am beakerj of England…

    Can I just say:
    A) You’re funny
    B) It’s FOOTBALL
    C) You should hear the way the British Christian Community is reacting to hearing the Bible beautifully read in public (go Kate’s brother), & hearing the depth of the wedding service when taken by an actual Christian, & the prayers & & & everything really. If you didn’t watch the actual marriage bit, you should. History & liturgy & truth, all rolled into one & wearing a fabulous hat.
    D) It’s FOOTBALL, proper football, original football which is about 1000000000 times better than what you have, which should in all truth be called Stop’n’Start Ball as far as I can tell. There’s a reason they don’t call that the beautiful game.

    Anyway, greetings from a blossom laden small green island across the Atlantic.

    beakerj of England

    • Beakerj, I will tell you that I spend a week on your beautiful island last summer–mostly in Suffolk–and found the people I met to be genuine, sincere, giving, and loving. I loved every minute there, and would probably up and move there in a heartbeat if not for my obligations here.

      My adult daughters came to my house yesterday to watch the wedding. They both got dressed up just to sit in front of the TV! Oh those crazy girls. Anyway, I did catch Kate’s brother reading from Romans 12. It was awesome. I told my girls that his pacing made it sound more like Paul preaching a message than someone rushing through a passage of Scripture. Prince William looked like he was trying not to nod off, but other than that, it was a great service.

      As to football, you are right about our version. That’s why BASEBALL is God’s game. Come over and catch a baseball game sometime. It is a true work of art…

      Glad to have you aboard the S.S. iMonk!

      • I will admit that I love Baseball & am sorry we don’t have a proper version of it. Here it’s a game called ’rounders’, which is played by children. So strange.

    • JoanieD says:

      Kate’s brother DID read the Bible beautifully!

  5. So Franklin Graham—not Donald Trump—is the one who forced the birth certificate out of Obama?

  6. Forget the problem of evil. If God is all-powerful and loving, why would he allow that video?

    • For the same reason He made Arrakis~ to try the faithful.

    • Michael, you owe me a new keyboard. I just spewed coffee all over mine laughing so hard at your comment!

      • Well, I’m sorry about your keyboard, but I’m glad I was able to give you a laugh. 😀

        • If the music is too loud then you’re too old! Gotta reach KIDZ as ST Paul said – 1 Corinthians 9:22 (Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition)
          22To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I became all things to all men, that I might save all.
          1 Corinthians 9:22 (The Message)
          19-23Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it! Do you want to be in on it like St Paul or did you vote for no guitars at Mass

          • I’m 24, actually. I don’t really care how loud music is (although I take exception when I can hear every lyric in someone else’s car, when my windows are up) if it’s done well. However, artless crap should be called artless crap when it is artless crap. And imitating artless crap, nearly to the point of plagiarism, should be either mocked or pitied. And I don’t presume to know St. Paul’s views on the place of music in worship, but I would have voted no, if such things were voted on at my parish. And I say this as a guitarist who imitates the styles of Jimi Hendrix and Jack White (or tries to, anyways).

          • James, the song is a parody of a horrible song called Friday. The version I posted–Sunday–is, as Michael says, artless crap. But beyond that–the airwaves are filled with artless crap–this is a song that glorifies churchianity. There is nothing Jesus-shaped about this song. Nothing.

            If “churchianity” appeals to you, then this song is right up your alley. For most of us here, we are wanting to escape from the evangelical wilderness. We are looking to be shaped by Jesus, not Christian pop culture.

            I will take Jimi Hendrix or Jack White any day over this. I would stop listening to music all together if this kind of rubbish was my only choice. Offering this nonsense to our youth is worse than anything I can imagine. It teaches them that if they can only think of church as “fun” then they can be “good Christians.” But soon they will no longer see church as fun–and then where will they turn?

            We must lift up Jesus, not a fun experience. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. Without him, Sundays are best spent sleeping in, reading the paper and watching Nascar.

          • Headless Unicorn Guy says:

            I’m 24, actually. I don’t really care how loud music is (although I take exception when I can hear every lyric in someone else’s car, when my windows are up) if it’s done well.

            In SoCal, those are called “Thump Trucks”, and what vibrates the other cars around five on the Richter Scale coming out of those Thump Trucks is rarely “done well.” Usually it’s either Gangsta Rap or cheezy Mexican pop.

  7. you said “Given my choice of the London wedding or the Vatican for this ceremony, you would find me on St. Peter’s Square. You?”

    Not to start an argument so I’ll avoid the whole “Sainting process” as found in the RC church, but even if one accepted the practice I think there are some very legitimate reasons why JPII should not be sainted

    so you would find me at the wedding watching the Church of England remind us of the splendor that still lingers (for how long who knows) , the wonders of Prayer Book liturgy, and the great English Choral Tradition, the Bishop of London’s sermon was spot on

    • To answer one of your objections, Austin, George Wiegel has covered that point:

      “Has the Church been making too many saints since John Paul II changed the process?

      First of all, the Church doesn’t “make saints” – God makes saints, and the Church recognizes the saints that God has made.”

      There are actually three main steps in the process, and it was developed over time because of local cults arising over obscure personages and the general messiness you get with popular and folk religion, exactly to address these kinds of queries.

      A person being considered for the declaration of sainthood can be declared “Venerable” (as in Bede the Venerable, or the Venerable Matt Talbot of my own country) – this is a declaration that the man or woman demonstrated “heroic virtue” in his or her life (“that is, that the servant exhibited the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, and the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance, to a heroic degree”, as Wikipedia neatly defines it). It’s the kind of base-level Christian life we should all be living (even if, alas!, most of us slack off) and it need not go any further than that: ‘yes, we consider this person to be an excellent example of Christian life but we see nothing more that warrants proceeding’.

      Next stage is “Beatification” – as in the Blessed John Henry Newman recently. Again, Wikipedia sums it up nicely: “Beatification is a statement by the church that it is “worthy of belief” that the person is in heaven, having come to salvation. This step depends on whether the Venerable is a martyr or a “confessor”. This is the stage where extraordinary evidence – evidence of miraculous intercession – is required. Again, many investigations stop here for good or for a while (“a while” in Vatican time being anywhere from five to three hundred years).

      And finally, “Canonisation” – where the person is raised to the altars of the Church and declared worthy of honour and veneration by the Universal Church. This does not, by the way, mean that the person is declared to have been without all fault or flaw. St Jerome, to take one example, was notorious for his bad temper and it appears to have stuck with him all his life.

      But that is not the Pope ‘making’ X, Y or Z a saint; it is a declaration of recognition that this person is already a saint. If we get it wrong, and X, Y or Z is burning in Hell for secret sins no-one knew about, God is not fooled.

      And all those who are saints, but who will never have a formal declaration of such? The hidden saints, alive today, next door or a continent away? As Headless said elsewhere, that is why we have the feastday of November 1st – the day after Hallowe’en – All Hallows Day, the day of all the saints known only to God.

      Now, certainly I recognise the long-standing Protestant suspicion of Popery and all its works, and the idea that this is all a racket for the Church to exploit superstition, keep the credulous laity under its thumb, and make money. But as you mentioned Anglicanism, let me remind you that it also recognises saints. And, in the case of The Episcopal Church and its Standing Committee on Liturgy and Music, with its “Holy Women, Holy Men” (its revision of the lectionary for saints’ days), it has declared as saints certain persons whom the Catholic Church has not done so; for example, Archbishop Oscar Romero. For American Episcopalians, he’s already a saint with a feast day (March 24th) and prayers for the day, while we Roman Catholics (of whom Archbishop Romero was one, remember?) have only gotten around to declaring him a “Servant of God” (that’s the preliminary to setting up a cause for sainthood, and is the step below the first step in the process – Venerable – that I outlined above).

      You are perfectly free to disagree with the Catholic process, but at least we have one that’s a bit more considered than a committee deciding on PC grounds who’s a saint (and they’ve deliberately acted to redress ‘gender’ and ‘racial’ balance by overhauling the “Lesser Feasts and Fasts”, as it used to be – and on a personal level, I think it’s a bit cheeky to appropriate Roman Catholics for their own use:)

      http://covenant-communion.net/index.php/forums/viewthread/623/

      “During the ‘80s and ‘90s, many complained that the inhabitants of the 1979 calendar were disproportionately male and disporportionately clerical. Subsequent additions have sought systematically to redress this perceived imbalance. Hence, we now observe (or are permitted to observe, at local option) days for the likes of Sojourner Truth, Florence Nightingale (both not male) and C. S. Lewis (not ordained), among many others. “

      • David Cornwell says:

        “so you would find me at the wedding watching the Church of England remind us of the splendor that still lingers (for how long who knows) , the wonders of Prayer Book liturgy, and the great English Choral Tradition, the Bishop of London’s sermon was spot on”…

        I didn’t watch the ceremony, but I have watched other services from the Church of England. They do know how to read and sing. They could give American Protestants lessons that we need to see and hear. Scripture reading in most of our churches is dismal. Music at its present state is even more dismal. I’ll admit I do like some pomp and ceremony, but I need to understand it, not just see it.

        My problem with the Roman Church is that it learns too little, too late. So much of its recent history (100 years) has been driven by belated reaction which too often addresses only the surface issue. I’m not a RC basher by any sense of the imagination, and try to keep the history of my ancestors (250-300 years ago) pushed back into a proper perspective.

        Locally I’ve worked with Catholic churches in the parishes where I’ve served and the priests I’ve know are among the finest people I’ve ever worked with. A young priest from Ireland preached for me on Sunday morning. He was very intelligent, refreshing, and moving.

        I wouldn’t make a special trip for the Wedding, but neither would a I make a special trip to St. Peter’s.

        • David Cornwell says:

          Martha, this was meant to be a reply to Austin. I really appreciate your (Martha’s) explanation of the saintly process. When we know the history and meaning of what we do it makes a huge difference. So, thanks.

      • Martha,

        Thanks for the reply. I’m fully aware of the Anglican tradition in regards to Saints day’s and Lesser feasts etc. My point wasn’t really to take issue with the RC practice, even though when Anglicans and RC start talking about things like this they are often using the same words with very very different meanings and understandings.

        My main issue was with some points I have seen raised about JPII not doing enough to work to stop and punish those accused of molestation in the church and how it is thought by some that he allowed himself to be swayed by those beneath him to delay or take no action.

        Thanks,
        Austin

  8. “ultra-traditionalists who lament the fact that he didn’t restore the French monarchy, impose the Tridentine Mass in Latin on the entire Church, and burn dozens of German theologians in the Campo dei Fiori”

    *looks away shiftily*

    Well, I’m not too concerned over the French monarchy – unless a descendant of the Merovingians with good evidence to back up his claim appeared and none of that Divine Blood nonsense – and it wouldn’t necessarily be only German theologians I’d burn in the Campo dei Fiori, buuuut…..and that’s why God in His wisdom has spared the Church by making me female and thus ineligible to be Pope. The Holy Spirit knows what He’s doing!

    🙂

  9. Say what you will about the evangelicals and their tasteless videos –at least they aren’t out digging up dead guys and parading them around. The Catholic focus on bones and bodies creeps me out. I’ll take Billy or Franklin anytime.

    • Booooonessss….

      *cue creepy, maniacal laughter*

      Yes, we do. It’s a matter of what you’re reared up to, I suppose. Ordinarily, I would find things like the bone crypt exceedingly creepy, but within a religious context – no.

      Nice picture of the coffin draped in a golden pall before the crypt of St. Peter here, from “Whispers in the Loggia”:

      http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-q5V3g_mtCoY/TbwGOCiC1-I/AAAAAAAAH7I/eUD-bWPeR9U/s1600/jpcofcon.jpg

    • Yeah bones! There’s a little sliver of St. Francis of Assisi in the altar at my parish church.

      Hey, at least the people we venerate are being venerated for their Christianity. I’ve known people who bash the Catholics for it, then reverently visit the grave of George Washington and look at the blood-soaked deathbed pillow of Abraham Lincoln without the least bit of irony.

      • You say well, Michael. All altars are supposed to have the relics of a saint in them before consecration; this used to be in an alat-stone which was embedded in the ‘table’ of the altar itself or in its base.

        Vatican II reforms (yes, back to those, unfortunately) meant that the canons were revised so that this was no longer compulsory and so there were a plethora of modern altars built of wood or stone without any relics – or where the old altars were kept and moved out from the wall, the relics were even removed by the over-zealous. However, as we can see from this 2005 reply to a query, the older form is being encouraged:

        “The General Instruction of the Roman Missal, No. 302, contains the following statement: “The practice of placing relics of Saints, even those not Martyrs, under the altar to be dedicated is fittingly retained. Care should be taken, however, to ensure the authenticity of such relics.”

        This statement summarizes the more detailed treatment of this question found in other documents such as the Roman Pontifical, Dedication of a Church and an Altar, and in the Ceremonial of Bishops.

        No. 866 of this latter book indicates the basic norms for relics:

        “The tradition in the Roman liturgy of placing relics of martyrs or other saints beneath the altar should be preserved, if possible. But the following should be noted:

        “a. such relics should be of a size sufficient for them to be recognized as parts of human bodies; hence excessively small relics of one or more saints must not be placed beneath the altar;

        “b. the greatest care must be taken to determine whether the relics in question are authentic; it is better for an altar to be dedicated without relics than to have relics of doubtful authenticity placed beneath it;

        “c. a reliquary must not be placed upon the altar or set into the table of the altar; it must be placed beneath the table of the altar, as the design of the altar permits.”

        How did this custom arise? Because in the early days of the Church, particularly during the persecutions, when Mass was celebrated in the catacombs, the tombs of the martyrs were used as the altars, and so the custom grew up (when altars were being built in churches) to put relics in or under the altar so that the continuity was retained.

    • big Mike,

      I’m a person who takes serious issue with some RC positions but trust me as one who was a baptist for years. We have plenty of creepy stuff.

      Let’s keep it above the waist here in our punches.

  10. I believe Donald Miller was being facetious

    • I certainly hope so…

      • Have you read any of Miller’s work? “Blue Like Jazz” and “Searching For God Knows What” are fine books.

        • I actually like his first one the best. Prayer And The Art Of Volkswagon Maintenance.

          • wow, never heard of that book- my first reaction was that you must have made up that title, but i googled it and by golly there really is such a book. hope it’s better than the zen/motorcycle one. new maxim: if it can be googled, it is. Or I google, therefore I am.

  11. My heart breaks for those affected by these tornados. We had a tornado watch in metro D.C. Frightening!
    I am also relieved no one has tied these storms to the repeal of ‘Don’t ask, Don’t tell, the recent federal budget impasse, etc… but I will be thinking about those who are suffering.

    What did Graham do? He didn’t ask for Obama’s birth certificate, did he? BTW did anyone else find the story of John Paul II story about the Catholic church saving some of his blood morbid?

    • Morbid – a matter of definition, Eagle. I admit, it did give me pause for a moment, but then I went “Ah, to heck with it, this is the 21st century. We routinely take samples of blood for testing. In past times they would have dipped cloths in the blood of the martyrs or cut bits off the clothing (and even the corpses) of the blessed. So they kept vials of his blood from hospital tests? So?”

      From the story I read, I understood it to be that there were four vials of blood remaining from blood they took for tests in the hospital, and his secretary Stanislaw Dziwisz (now Archbishop of Krakow) kept two – for whatever reason; as a personal momento and relic of a friend and pastor, or with an eye to the future as relics – and that’s where the blood came from. Not so much that “the Church” kept it, but that his private secretary did.

      And now I’m going to wallow in the glorious Catholic ‘morbid taste for bones’: here’s a link with video footage of parts of the beatification ceremony. If any are brave enough to click on the second one on the page and play it, they will see the reliquary with the blood being brought up for veneration by two nuns. The one in the white habit is Sr. Marie Simon-Pierre, the French nun who was cured of Parkinson’s Disease through the intercession of Blessed John Paul II (the miracle necessary for the cause of beatification):

      http://www.patheos.com/community/theanchoress/

  12. From the Out of Ur article: “But a common theme emerged–God’s people are engaged in meaningful work in every channel of the culture. Vocation matters.”

    I know I just read an article about vocation somewhere. Now, where could that have been…

  13. The royal wedding was a nice interlude to all the crummy things happening in the world, so go Will and Kate!! And may their marriage honor God in wonderful ways.

    Separately, my husband and I are moving back to the US after 9 years abroad. We are moving to a country where The Donald and The Palin are serious names for presidential candidates. As I thumb through Revelation, which plague does this represent?

  14. dumb ox says:

    I just received the following status update from the Catholic Church Facebook page: “Blessed John Paul II on Twitter”. I’m not sure what this meant:
    1. A Twitter account is a perk of beatification.
    2. Social networking has been expanded to a whole new, extra-terrestrial level.
    3. Instead of petitioning the Blessed John Paul II for his prayers, we now ask for his tweets.
    4. The Catholic church feels like it is falling behind evangelicals in absurdity.

    • I see two possibilities:

      1. They will use it to remind followers of significant points of his life (birth, death, significant points in his papacy), and quotes from his homilies, speeches, or writings that are tweetable, or
      2. He has Twitter from heaven! It’s the second miracle! Santo subito!!

      You’re right, it is a little silly.

      • dumb ox says:

        I was thinking the next parody video should be the blessed Pope sitting in the back of the pope mobile singing, “It’s Feast Day”.

        But seriously, I am another protestant who believes the Pope is worthy of this honor. Considering the ecumenical respect, the silliness should be kept to a minimum. Then again, no one likes silliness quite like evangelicals.