There are those who are fairly new to this site, and thus may have some questions about this weekly iMonk abbey chapter we call Saturday Ramblings. So allow me to explain it in just a few words. First of all, the stories and comments shared here are all very serious. We don’t joke at the iMonastery; we don’t even allow ourselves to smile except on Opening Day for Major League baseball. Next, when I end a rambling with the word “discuss,” I expect you all to discuss what I just said. Drop everything else and discuss what you just read. It’s an order. And we are watching you. Finally, assembling Ramblings each week is back-breaking work. I spend at least 23 hours out of every day searching high and low for stories for you. I expect you to read every single one of them at least twice, watch the bonus video five times before midnight, and send handwritten birthday cards to everyone on our celebrity birthday list. Don’t disappoint me. Now, with that explanation out of the way, shall we ramble?
Tax day has come and gone for 2013, but that doesn’t mean the IRS isn’t still up to some hilarious mischief. It seems they might, just might, have spent a wee bit too much time scrutinizing certain conservative groups who sought non-profit status. Of course it had nothing to do with politics, did it? Franklin Graham says the IRS came with guns a-blazin’ for his Samaritan’s Purse charity. And of course he didn’t use that for personal gain or advantage, did he? (Do you ever get the idea Franklin would push aside little old ladies to get a few seconds in front of a TV camera?)
It is a bit disturbing to learn that the IRS asked at least one conservative group to detail the contents of their prayers. Am I the only one who thinks that is just a bit creepy?
Meanwhile, Pope Francis has decried our culture of money. I think he really does mean for the Catholic Church to take care of the poor. Did I mention I really, really like what this pope is saying? Good thing the IRS doesn’t have a branch office at the Vatican. When was the last time you heard a sermon about how the love of money is the root of all evil? Discuss. Right now.
Jonathan Merritt suggests that Mark Driscoll just might be the new Pat Robertson. Oh goodie. As if we really need another Pat Robertson. What is wrong with the one we have now? Well, other than the fact that he just okayed adultery for men. Sigh. Did I mention that I really, really, really like Pope Francis? No? Well, I do.
Finally, in celebration of George Lucas’s birthday this last week, I thought it might be interesting to look at this article comparing Star Trek with Star Wars. Which one are you? Or is it possible to be a Trekkie as well as a Wookie? Which is a greater power, The Force or Mr. Spock’s mind-melding abilities?
Others who celebrated the anniversary of their birth this last week include Irving Berlin; Salvador Dali; Foster Brooks; Phil Silvers; Eric Burden; Butch Trucks; Katherine Hepburn; Steve Winwood; Kix Brooks; George Karl; Joe Louis; Mary Wells; Stevie Wonder; Jack Bruce; David Byrne; Brian Eno; Henry Fonda; George Brett; Dennis Hopper; and Taj Mahal.
Remember David Bowie’s Space Oddity, the story of an astronaut named Major Tom? Here is a killer version sung by … a real live astronaut. While orbiting the earth in the International Space Station. Which is better, Bowie’s or Chris Hadfield’s? Enjoy. That’s an order.