Monday, December 31, 2007



Agnostic Christianity: Oxymoron or honesty?

I say honest. Thomas the Apostle is only the best known agnostic Christian. In the Bible, no less!

Some blogs:

The Christian Agnostic (I've just glanced at it, but she looks like somebody I could blog with peacefully!).

An Agnostic Christian (Ditto).

Couple of post from a guy whose blog is Relatively Faithful ... Agnostic Christians? and More on Agnostic Christianity.


Sunday, December 30, 2007


Peas unto you, and good goose for man

While my peas soak and my goose thaws, let's consider who Jesus is and what Christianity is all about. We can get it figured out before suppertime, surely.

First: I can do no better than hymn writers and songwriters. My own concept of Jesus can be summed up in one hymn and one song:

"What a Friend We Have in Jesus."

And I mean just that: "friend." That first. Not "fully God," "not "fully man," not a point of doctrinal contention, not an absolute spiritual Truth. All of that is fodder for discussion and argument. But Jesus is my friend -- and the friend of all man, first.

"There's Just Something About That Name," by Bill and Gloria Gaither.

And I mean just that: "something." I'm not sure what exactly, and I don't have to be sure.

Almost everything else is debatable, including this, but, this I believe:

Walking fully in the path of Jesus, without denying the legitimacy of other paths God may provide humanity;

Matthew 11:28-29; John 8:12; John 10:16; Mark 9:40

As Christians, we find spiritual awakening, challenge, growth, and fulfillment in Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection. While we have accepted the Path of Jesus as our Path, we do not deny the legitimacy of other paths God may provide humanity. Where possible, we seek lively dialog with those of other faiths for mutual benefit and fellowship.

We affirm that the Path of Jesus is found wherever love of God, neighbor, and self are practiced together. Whether or not the path bears the name of Jesus, such paths bear the identity of Christ.

We confess that we have stepped away from Christ’s Path whenever we have failed to practice love of God, neighbor, and self, or have claimed Christianity is the only way, even as we claim it to be our way.

Read all of the Phoenix Affirmations.

Recents thoughts on Christianity by Hapa Theology.

Recent thoughts on Jesus by Geoffrey.

The blog of an "undercover atheist at a Christian college, which is very interesting reading: Leaving Eden.


Friday, December 28, 2007



That's my plan for New Year's eatin' -- a goose broiled on my trusty Weber grill, baked sweet potatoes, something green, and cornbread. Oh, and hoppin' john if I get it made over the weekend.

My first goose was last New Year's. Mama ER wasn't eating hardly anything, but she tried some goose, and surprised herself, and me, by liking it.

Goose it is again this year, and a toast to my sweet, late Mama ER, who, of course, has been near to my heart throughout this holiday season.

What're y'alls' plans?


Thursday, December 27, 2007


The Locust Ladies

What with the herd of R's who stampeded through our house the other day -- a full dozen! -- the work of the Locust Ladies this afternoon will be especially appreciated.

The Locust Ladies is what I call the cleaning ladies we've had coming every two weeks or so for the past couple of months. So called because the first time they came, they descended on the house like a swarm of locusts! I was impressed.

They finally have met Dr. ER, so maybe they'll believe me now. One of them told Dr. ER that they call me "the bachelor."

Ha! I'll bet they called me "the bachelor with the imaginary wife and invisible cat."

For weeks I claimed to have a wife and a cat, but neither had ever appeared when the Locust Ladies were present. Last time they were at the house, one of them finally saw Ice-T before he could scram up under our bed.

Apologies to Dr. ER for years of not knowing what she was talking about when she talked about "getting the house ready" to be cleaned. I just didn't get it. I do now.

I spent 2 1/2 hours this morning getting the house ready for the Locust Ladies. They *do* have to be able to get to the floor to vacuum it.

And it's only being humane to scoot all our Christmas presents back up under the tree, put away the detritus from the R Christmas get-together and do other basic tidying.

The past few days went like like: Christmas Eve Eve Eve, R Christmas get-together; Christmas Eve Eve, our own Christmas with Bird and Beau; Christmas Eve, go to Texas for Christmas with Dr. ER's folks, Christmas Day, I came back home and Dr. ER spent another day in Texas, and is now on her way back.

This morning was the first chance I'd had to make way for the Locust Ladies!

Gift question: Not counting anything edible, what was the first gift that you incorporated into your life? Mine: a Buck Owens greatest hits CD from the Dr. ER Daddy, which I played in the truck on the way back to Oklahoma.


Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Tag, y'all are it!

I've been tagged by Trixie! She says:

It's time for a little post-Christmas game of tag! We haven't done a good meme or tag for a while and things are dull, dull, dull in much of blogdom right now. ...

So here, in an effort to liven things up a bit:

1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.
2. Share 5 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.
3. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are my Five Facts:

1. Odd jobs: I have been a watermelon hoer in Oklahoma, Gospel radio announcer in Arkansas, farm-and-ranch editor in Texas, and a dancehall bouncer in Texas.

2. I worked at the last place I worked for 10 and 1/2 years; I had five different jobs but had the same desk in the same place in the newsroom for all but the first five months; on that desk were a salt block, a decorative bull scrotum and other odd items.

3. I've worked where I work now for eight years, and have had the same job the whole time; I'm on my second desk; on my desk are a small ceramic fighting cock draped in a Confederate battle flag, a fake stuffed rooster, a voodoo doll complete with a note pinned to it labeled with a certain kind of "profession" that I deal with regularly, and other odd items.

4. I am thinking only of work stuff because I'm back at work for the first time in more than a week, and actually am glad to be here! The hardest part of my pending move to Colorado is detaching from my work -- not my job per se, not where I work per se, but the GROOVE I've been in since I graduated college 19 years ago. My career has made sense up to now.

5. I've lost 30-plus pounds in the past 15 months, with a little help from Mr. Phentermine, and by watching what I eat more often, doing the Subway diet for long stretches at a time, and by not avoiding exercise as much.

The Five Suspects:

Junk Thief
Hapa Theology

WHILE yer at it: Tell us why you named your blog what you did. Myself: A Yankee editor in Texas, now a friend in advocacy communications, called me an "erudite redneck" years ago, and it stuck because it fit!



Then there was Dec. 26

Almost anybody can be touched emotionally by the birth of a baby. But the church knows and remembers that the baby grew up and became a man who taught a revolutionary ethic of unconditional love and practical forgiveness and who overturned cultural convention by welcoming the marginalized and excluded. The church remembers that the baby grew up and got into trouble with the authorities for living out his notion of what God's kingdom looks like—a new social arrangement without all the old barriers and boundaries, an arrangement in which all are loved and welcomed at the banquet table. The church remembers that the baby grew up and challenged social convention by forgiving enemies, turning the other cheek, responding to violence not with violence but with love.

The church also remembers a part of the story in which the culture has no interest at all—that the shadow of a cross falls over the nativity scene.

Christmas has only just begun. Read all of "Christmastide," by John M. Buchanan, in The Christian Century.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Amaryllis by morning

Dr. ER and I have been sittin' around the hotel room watching "A Christmas Story." And I've been randomly surfin' the Net. Not a bad way to spend the morning, it turns out, after the past few days of frenetic activity.

The pic is of our hotel room Christmas tree (plastic amaryllis)! With the last-minute giftlets we got for each other late-late last night after I realized we'd done used up Christmas before it even got here! Which we opened in bed.

She got me a couple of drink holders for the truck, on request; a box of chocolate-covered cherries, which are required for Christmas to have occurred (and which no one else had got me); a couple of sunvisor eyeglass clips; and ...



My last-minute giftlet to Dr. ER was a coffee mug that you plug into the car cigarette lighter, to keep the coffee warm, which I imagine her using on her numerous trips between Boulder and the Denver airport.



Merry Christmas, y'all and all!

Live from a hotel in Wichita Falls, Texas.

Coming back from Dr. ER's parents' house, I realized that we had had all our Christmas before Christmas even got here! So we stopped at a Walgreens and skulked around avoiding each other to get lil giftlets to exchange today! Fun!

Christmas Day ER Reruns!

Christmas Day 2004.

Christmas Eve (didn't blog Christmas Day) 2005.

Christmas Day 2006.


Monday, December 24, 2007


I am blessed

Thanks to Kirsten!

How the Bloggin' Blessing works, by Ukok, who started it.

In short: It’s a game of tag with a difference, rather than looking inwardly, we look outside ourselves and bless, praise and pray for three blog friends. By participating in this endeavour we not only make the recipients of the blessings feel valued and appreciated, but we are having some fun too. We’re going to see how far the bloggin’ blessings can travel around the world and how many people can be blessed! Recipients of a bloggin’ blessing may upload the above image to their sidebar if they choose to. If you recieve a bloggin’ blessin’ please leave a comment on this thread here so that we can rejoice in just how many blessings have been sent around the world!

So ...

Bless Timothy and Mark and EL.

We've had major differences -- and rancor, anger and meanness. May we each strive harder to disagree without being disagreeable, especially over matters of faith and conscience, and may we give one another the benefit of the doubt.

Thank you, Kirsten.

The ER clan is now GTT.



P.S.: Track Santa!

Sunday, December 23, 2007


An atheist who knows Jesus

Really. Tip o' the Resistol to Geoffrey.



The Child waits. Hope waits. Peace waits.

Just in the (St.) Nick of time! I found our family stockings, which had gotten shuffled around to the point of apparently missing, what with all the garage cleaning and organizing awhile back.

Whew. Our ER household Christmas is tonight "after the Pats game," as Bird has informed me. Let it never be said that ER fails to meet people -- even Yankee people -- where they are. :-)

Tomorrow, we are GTT to be with Dr. ER's side of the family, and the next day, I hope to see my good friend who is headed to seminary, to be personally blessed by his Christmas presence.

Prayer of Confession today at church:

Lord of Life, we come to the edge of another Christmas, and we are weary of shopping. We visit the manger in the imagination of our hearts, and we wonder what gift we ought to bring. We look around at the world which is "too much with us" and we ask for a truce. Let us put down our weapons, look one another in the eye, and begin to live differently. The Child waits. Hope waits. Peace waits.

Merry Christmas Eve Eve, Y'all!


Saturday, December 22, 2007


WintER WondERland!

The ER house is 15 miles due north of downtown Oklahoma City The family peeps are coming from due south and from due east. Should have no problem gettin' here. Gettin' BACK, howevER ...

Hey, we got plenty of vittles to survive a minor wintER storm!


Friday, December 21, 2007


Pick your brand of crazier'n crap

Uno. Highway of Holiness! Interstate 35. JUST FOUR MILES EAST OF ME! You MUST go, scroll down and read the I-35 Prophecies!

Two-o. Second Annual Global Orgasm for Peace. Wow! Only hours away!

Y'all have fun. I gotta get a turkey on the grill a day early. Winds are supposed to be high tomorrow, so I'm moving up the bird cookin' for the company that's comin' -- the whole R side of the ER family, give or take one or two: Big Brudder, Little Big Sister, Big Big Sister, Mister Big Big Sister and the Dallas Ranch Branch.

With Bird and Beau and Dr. ER and all, the house will be fuller than it ever has been!


Thursday, December 20, 2007


I knew he was a Brite feller!

One of my best friends in the world just told me he starts seminary next month!

I am so proud, and so happy for him -- and so jealous!

Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University.

His life and mine have so many commonalities, his news gives me pause.

We're both farm kids, journalists, and recovering Southern Baptists (he turned Presby, and I turned Congregationalist-UCC). We even look a lot alike, and people actually have mistaken us for brothers.

I wonder ...


Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Huckabee scores on a draw play

Mike Huckabee's misleading statements about his education aside, his politics aside, the myth of the "war on Christmas" aside ...

There is now, I think, a rhetorical war over Christmas, started, like the war in Iraq, with distortion and lies and mock Christianity.

We now actually are saddled with: 1., a war in Iraq, and 2., a war over Christmas, what it means, how it should be expressed, etc. The righties started it, as far as I'm concerned; but we have it, for whatever reason.

And in the war over Christmas, the Huckabee ad was a classic feint, a draw play, if you will -- and his opponents rushed into nothing -- and will be left scratching their heads wondering how Huckabee made so much gain over what, really, is something that should be expected from a Southern Baptist PREACHER who is running for president.

Score one, a big one, for the religious right; middle America will react to the overreaction by the secular Left with warm feelings for Huckabee, all because the Left apparently doesn't know anything about tactics in war, and can't read a draw play.

That, or Mike Huckabee, whatever his shortcomings, meant what he said in the ad -- with which I, personally, concur.

That and $3.49 will get you a venti nonfat one-Splenda latte at the Starbucks.



Apologies to the world

To Dr. ER, who bore the brunt of my anger this morning. The reasons for it aren't important -- and I did have reasons, fleeting, ethereal, nothing reasons. But I unbridled my tongue.

To Bird and Beau, who had to endure my ranting.

To Apollo and Fenway (granddogs), who were ascairt.

To my coworker and friend, whose feelings, I know, are always on his sleeve. I treated you harshly on the phone -- I believe I had reasons, again, but I unbridled my tongue. I know you well enough to not be surprised that we will clash, but I am always surprised.

To the guy behind the counter at the Chick-Fil-A: From the look on your face, you must have thought I was fixin' to jump over the counter and kick your ass on the spot, over a little confusion between Combo No. 1 and Combo No. 7. I was not. I've just been fighting the world today, and it happened to be your turn.


Theology schmeology. Doctine schmoctrine. It's ALL "wood, hay and stubble" -- every bit of it -- and it ALL will burn off.

What matters is treating people as I want to be treated, whether or not the world does me likewise, seeing Jesus in every face, from my wife's and kids', coworker-friend's, the Chick-Fil-A dude's -- even, and maybe especially, the granddogs, who had no idea why there ERpa suddenly was louder than usual, and upset.

I pretty much failed today, and I'm sorry. Not renting my clothing here. Not beating myself up. Just confessing it, and hoping for a better day manana.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Gold and diamonds and rubies, oh my!

Finally got to give Dr. ER her 10th wedding anniversary gift the other night! The item pictured is not it exactly, but it shows how good rubies and dimaonds and yellow gold look together -- especially on my Dr. ER!

What I did was I had her some earrings built. Very simple: ruby-diamond-ruby, on simple yellow-gold bars (8-point ruby, 6-point diamond, 8-point ruby).

They match her wedding set.

Engagement ring is diamond-ruby-diamond-ruby-diamond (10 points each, I think ... maybe 10-point rubies and 5-point diamonds ... not sure, it's been 10 years!) And the wedding ring is a 25-point diamond flanked by 10-point rubies.

And I had it all built! "Built" -- a running joke for 10 years now.

See, when I had Dr. ER lassoed but not yet mugged and tied, I toted a couple of gold nugget rings of mine in and sat down with a jeweler and told 'em what I wanted.

When I got 'em, I took 'em to work, at the paper in Texas, and at our afternoon budget meeting, I slid the box across the conference table and said, "Look what I had built!"

One of the gal editors said, "E! You don't have rings built! You have 'em made!"

Well. I had 'em built. And I had these earrings built, too.

And Dr. ER was well pleased. :-)


Monday, December 17, 2007


More Gospels! More!

Excellent post by my friend at Hapa Theology -- her own, more thoughtful, response to the sermon that prompted my own post on John-versus-Jesus.



White American personality disorder

This is great. And pretty dang close to the truth.


" ... whatever you do, don't make fun of their religious superstitions.

"Oddly enough, (white Americans) have associated a lot of their wretchedness with having sex.

"That seems to have happened when those Old World Middle Eastern mystics convinced them that their earliest ancestors committed an 'original sin' when they first tried to have sex, and, in doing that, damned all of their descendents to a perpetual condition of congenital incurable wretchedness. ...

"They believe that their congenital incurable conditions damns them to a life of endless toil and drudgery and that if they are not feverishly working at a backbreaking pace from daylight to dark they are committing some kind of blasphemy.

"To make sure that they must work nearly all the time, and to make sure they will have as little lesure time as possible, they developed an economic system that discourages them from sharing hardly anything they acquire with anyone else and that rewards them for hoarding wealth from one another, which forces them to compete with each other for everything, even for food.

"To compound all of their other problems, they developed a theory of private ownership of land, so that they can live in caregfully guarded seclusion, in the most wastefully large house they can finance, presumably so that, when they do have sex, no one will know about it. ...

"In short they are a severely socially flawed race of people who have entered the modern world with deeply imbedded, culturally instilled personality disorders that extend to some of the most basic things about being human, or even simply to being alive, and they have created both economic and social systems that are virtually guaranteed to result in nothing but perpetual misery.

"One thing that was almost calculated to drive (them) straight up the wall was to come to North America and encounter a nearly naked people who were entirely free of Old World Middle Eastern mysticism, who didn't feel bad about being human, or being alive, or about much of anything else, who had lots of leisure time because they shared with one another, and who had lots of sex and didn't feel bad about doing that, either, considering it merely a natural biological function."

-- from D.L. Birchfield, How Choctaws Invented Civilization and Why Choctaws Will Conquer the World (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2007): 146-147.

Sunday, December 16, 2007


Provocative prayer

The Scripture reading today at church was Matthew 3: 1-12.

The Prayer of Confession:

Lord of Life, there are many different approaches to the life of faith, and we must be able to choose which one to follow. There are songs of war, sung in the name of God, and there are songs of peace, sung in the name of the same God. Or are they the same? What sort of God has been revealed to us by Jesus of Nazareth? Are all versions equally valid? Are we Baptizers, following John, or are we disciples of The Way, following Jesus? Make no mistake, they are not the same. Choose therefore, this day, whom you shall follow. Amen.

I'm not sure what this means. But if I didn't enjoy a good mystery, I would have gotten off this path a long time ago.

Most of the message of modern Christianity seems to be more like what John's turn-or-burn call to repentance than Jesus's example, and message, of love and self-emptying.

Jesus insisted that John baptize him. Why?

If not to signify His own repentance, then to signify a wholesale repentance from bargaining with God, whether by demonstrating piety or sacrificing animals -- or even by repenting, I think, because repentence itself can become a bargaining chip, can't it?

What do y'all think?


Saturday, December 15, 2007


Bird, B.S.; Beau, B.A.

They walked today. Very proud. :-) That makes six degrees among us now from Oklahoma State University.

Bird: B.S., sociology (minor in psychology).
Beau: B.A., history.
Dr. ER: M.A., psychology; Ph.D., psychology (minor in entomology).
ER: B.S., journalism; B.S., political science (minor in economics).

And they're going to try to make it eight: Bird and Beau (formerly known as YankeeBeau) both are going to work on master's degrees in educational psychology, online.

Then, we will ALL be educated beyond our intelligence. :-)


Friday, December 14, 2007


Timothy and ER: Peace at last

I've been torn as to whether to move this from the comments of the previous post to its own post -- but I finally decided to do so to be fair.

I have given prominent space to my lambasting of Pastor Timothy for what I considered his offenses against me. I must give prominent space to our peace, for the sake of the Prince of Peace.

This has been harder on me that I've let on. Timothy and I were friends and coworkers years ago in the RW.

I was happy to get reaquainted with him in the blog world, and happy to learn he had become a Christian. He was equally saddened to learn than I had forsaken my conservative ways, both political and doctrinal-theological. Somehow, all that sparked meanness and anger on both our parts.

Enough. Regulars here know how we've gone round and round, here and on other blogs.

Tim's apologies, with my own in the comments.

How it came about -- and this is a very interesting thread aside from the steps toward reconcilation between Timothy and I.



Thursday, December 13, 2007


The Dickens you say!

Finally, just now, today, I feel like Christmastime's a comin'! Last night and this morning, I had time to wrap some presents. Dr. ER is in Kansas, heading home until early January.

And I'm reading "A Christmas Carol" (searchable!), which has been an annual Christmassy thing for me for years now.

Here are my two favorite passages:

From Stave 1, Marley's Ghost:

The air was filled with phantoms, wandering hither and thither in restless haste, and moaning as they went. Every one of them wore chains like Marley's Ghost; some few (they might be guilty governments) were linked together; none were free. Many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives. He had been quite familiar with one old ghost, in a white waistcoat, with a monstrous iron safe attached to its ankle, who cried piteously at being unable to assist a wretched woman with an infant, whom it saw below, upon a door-step. The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power for ever.

From Stave 2, The First of the Spirits:

The curtains of his bed were drawn aside, I tell you, by a hand. Not the curtains at his feet, nor the curtains at his back, but those to which his face was addressed. The curtains of his bed were drawn aside; and Scrooge, starting up into a half-recumbent attitude, found himself face to face with the unearthly visitor who drew them: as close to it as I am now to you, and I am standing in the spirit at your elbow.

(That last one can give you chills if reading alone in the middle of the night!)

What about y'all? Is it Christmastime for you yet? Is there something you do every year as part of it? Do tell!


Wednesday, December 12, 2007


"Christian" Christmas Chickenshit

I knew it would happen. Once again, wingnuts (def. 1) -- i.e., Focus on the Family, in action -- gets stupid and mean.

To wit:

How the Democratic Grinches Stole Christmas

by Jennifer Mesko, managing editor

Nine U.S. lawmakers refuse to support resolution on the reason for the season.

Nine Democrats refused to support a U.S. House resolution Tuesday seeking the official recognition of Christmas — even though eight of them supported a similar resolution on Ramadan earlier this year.

"The foundation of this nation and this culture is Christian. … I think there's an assault on Christianity in America," sponsor Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said in a statement.

"It's time we stood up and said so and said to the rest of America, 'Be who you are, and be confident, and let's worship Christ and celebrate Christmas for the right reasons,' " he told Fox News.

King missed the vote after an ice storm stranded him in Iowa.

Those in King's crosshairs are: Reps. Gary Ackerman and Yvette Clarke of New York; Diana DeGette of Colorado; Alcee Hastings of Florida; Jim McDermott of Washington; Bobby Scott of Virginia; and Barbara Lee, Pete Stark and Lynn Woolsey of California.

Ashley Horne, federal policy analyst for Focus on the Family Action, said: "These nine lawmakers were the only members of Congress to oppose a resolution honoring America’s history and tradition of the Christian faith, the same faith for which four young Coloradoans were killed less than a week ago."

Nine other Democrats and one Republican voted "present" on the resolution, which means they did not take a position. Forty lawmakers did not vote.


Do they have reasons? Real ones? Maybe they're not only not Christians -- but maybe they are active God Fearers -- but believers in a non-Christian religion?



No. No, they can't. Because they're baby taliban!

No wonder people are shooting Christians because they're Christians. No wonder some Christ followers refuse to call themselves "Christians." They've made a mockery of it!



Who would Jesus shoot?

The church-related shootings in Colorado Springs and Arvada, Colo., outside Denver, have more of my attention than they might have, for obvious reasons. (I was looking at houses in Arvada not long ago.)

Something one of the church or mission leaders said on TV struck me as improbable when I first heard it. And now I think it's just flat wrong, although I'll cut anybody slack for slack thinking in the midst of tragedy.

The man said something about Jesus being glad to see the gunman go down because so many other lives were saved.

That didn't sound quite right when I heard it the other day. Last night it hit me:

Ethics, human morality, dark-glassed views of right and wrong aside, does that sound like a savior known for being willing to take chances with the many for the sake of one lost sheep?

I don't think so.

No. It doesn't make sense. But, really, nothing about the teachings and example of Jesus makes sense.

And now that the coroner says the gunman -- and not God, acting through an ex-cop -- died at his own hand, what the church leader-pastor-person said seems even more repugnant.

Whatever spirit it was guiding that ex-cop, it wasn't the Holy Spirit. Wouldn't the Holy Spirit have guided her to throw herself in front of a bullet to save potential victims, and maybe even to save the gunman? What would Jesus do?

I would probably cower, although I hope I would try to do something.

Really, I think that what the ex-cop was trying to say probably was misunderstood by reporters. Maybe not. Maybe she really did say that God helped her aim.

Maybe I misheard what I thought I heard the pastor-leader-person say about Jesus being glad to see the gunman go down.

Truth is the first casualty not only in war -- but in all violence, I think.

What do you think?

Who would Jesus shoot?



Congress votes down Christmas

Just kidding. }:->


Tuesday, December 11, 2007


Just for Dan! And others. But mostly Dan!

"An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a definite proposition. ... A contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says."

"No, it's not ... "

-- "Monty Python"

For Dan, who has the exchange above posted in the header over at his place. And for all my bloggy buddies who live for arguing as others live for air! And for the gainsayers: Learn to argue! :-)



Bumble is lost!

The Abominable Snow Monster of the North is loose on the South Plains!

Actually, it's not that bad today. Just cold rain. It'll refreeze tonight, of course. Meanwhile some 600,000 homes and businesses are still without power. And every other person is reporting roof leaks.

Heavy sigh.


P.S. Do NOT do a Google image search for "Bumble" at work or with young'uns present!!

Monday, December 10, 2007


Oklahoma City on ice

This is a decent glimpse of what happened here today.



Baby tax?

OK. This is from Focus on the Family Action. It's just a brief, but it speaks volumes about the difference in values between the secular left and the religious right. (Duh.)

Of course, I do not think that a tax on babies, as outlined below, is as horrendous as I'm sure my righty friends would think.

Here's the short news item:

An Australian obstetrician wants families to pay a $5,000 levy on the birth of a baby and up to $800 annually to offset the child’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Associate Professor Barry Walters wrote in the Medical Journal of Australia that every couple with more than two children should be taxed to pay for enough trees to offset the carbon emissions generated over a child’s lifetime. He said that use of contraceptives and sterilization procedures could help earn “carbon credits” to offset the baby taxes.

"Children are a blessing, not a threat to the environment,” said Carrie Gordon Earll, senior director of issue analysis for Focus on the Family Action. “Ironically, this idea flies in the face of European countries that are offering incentives for couples to have children to counter a dropping replacement birth rate. For example, couples in one Russian city were encouraged earlier this year to procreate with incentives such as televisions and refrigerators for those who give birth nine months later. Now that's a life- and planet-affirming plan."


"Children are a blessing."


"This idea (for a tax on babies) flies in the face of European countries that are offering incentives for couples to have children ... "

My question: Do people who work for FOTF Action read history and current events?

European countries *are* in fact dying faster than they are procreating. The world population does, however, continue to increase.

Could it be that both issues are bigger than the nose in front of the American face? I mean, it's bigger than us.

I'm just sayin'.



Not *quite* caught with my longhandles down

The Winter Warlock is pissed.

Power went off at the house at about 9:30 a.m. today Front trees are going to collapse under the ice. Multiple trees are down in the neighborhood. I came on in to the office, but had to go a dufferent route because trees were down in the road.

Most recent e-mail from my boss lady:

Trees are snapping around me like crazy. I'm working from my kitchen table and the weeping willows in my yard are down to the ground. But because of their nature, they went down gradually. But the neighbors' are having quite a mess, with trees breaking down their fence; one across the street fell and broke their daughter's bedroom window, and ... Shit. I've got to go. I think something just hit our house.

It's our turn. Southern Oklahoma got this mess a few years ago. There was about one-third inch of ice on my truck.

Sand tubes in the garage at home. Check. Tarp, too, for the windshield. Batteries and flashlights on hand. Plenty of dog and cat food, and ER food.

Jones High School (Jones, Okla.) burned to the ground overnight: downed power lines.

Triage work today: Just what must be done. Will head to the house at 4 p.m.


Sunday, December 09, 2007


Menudo: Mexican medicine

I may live now.


Saturday, December 08, 2007


The 'war on ... the cross' in Iraq, courtesy of the Red-White-and-Blue

What the war in Iraq -- the allegedly "Christian" American nation's invasion and occupation of Iraq -- has wrought for Iraqi Christians.

I think I'll write George W. Bush and every psuedo-messianic warmongering imperialist Congressman a nice Christmas letter and thank them.


(CBS) From the time of Jesus, there have been Christians in what is now Iraq. The Christian community took root there after the Apostle Thomas headed east.

But now, after nearly 2,000 years, Iraqi Christians are being hunted, murdered and forced to flee -- persecuted on a biblical scale in Iraq's religious civil war.

You'd have to be mad to hold a Christian service in Iraq today, but if you must, then the vicar of Baghdad is your man. He's the Reverend Canon Andrew White, an Anglican chaplain who suffers from multiple sclerosis and from a fanatical determination to save the last Iraqi Christians from the purge.

White invited 60 Minutes cameras and correspondent Scott Pelley to an underground Baghdad church service for what's left of his congregation. White's parishioners are risking their lives to celebrate their faith.


"The room is full of children, it’s full of women, but I don’t see the men. Where are they?" Pelley remarked.

"They are mainly killed. Some are kidnapped. Some are killed. In the last six months things have got particularly bad for the Christians. Here in this church, all of my leadership were originally taken and killed," White explained. "All dead. But we never got their bodies back. This is one of the problems. I regularly do funerals here but it's not easy to get the bodies."

Many Iraqi Christians' churches are destroyed or abandoned. The congregation is smuggled in and out of this secret sanctuary. Even letting 60 Minutes come to the service was a terrible risk. White is among the last Christian ministers here, a savior with crosses to bear. Larger than life, stricken with MS, and by his own reckoning, driven a little bit mad.

He was first sent to Baghdad by the Archbishop of Canterbury nine years ago, well before the Christian persecution.

"You were here during Saddam’s reign. And now after. Which was better? Which was worse?" Pelley asked.

"The situation now is clearly worse” than under Saddam, White replied.

"There’s no comparison between Iraq now and then," he told Pelley. "Things are the most difficult they have ever been for Christians. Probably ever in history. They’ve never known it like now."

"Wait a minute, Christians have been here for 2,000 years," Pelley remarked.

"Yes," White said.


Read it, view it and weep.

Thursday, December 06, 2007






Wednesday, December 05, 2007


Fundies pretend to give a damn about Earth

This makes me want to throw up: Study: Marriage is Good for the Planet.

Not that I doubt the assertion. I just doubt that Focus on Everything But the Family (Action) gives a damn.

How could they, when most of them and their ilk believe that the Lord God will destroy the planet in order to save it?

Shut. Up.

More spin. More shamelessness. More desperation to remain relevant.

More bullshit.

From Focus on the Family (Action).

Focus on the Family (Action) just keeps getting more and more "worldly" in its futile effort to claim a moral, "Christian" mandate for this country.

Pa. Thet. Ic.

What Focus on the Family REALLY thinks about the planet: Not much.


Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Reformation redux

My RW friend, HapaThealogy -- "non-theist hapa Christian-other" (I love it! ) -- stopped by my Sunday post.

Later, in conversation, she again let me live vicariously, as it were, through her ongoing seminary experience by updating me on her studies.

In the spirit of things, so to speak, I offer her, and y'all, a rerun from fall '04, when I was in the throes of Reformation studies. I think I could've tightened up the thinking in my first paragraph (hey, I was in throes), so I'll start here with the fourth:

"(Alister) McGrath’s thesis is that while the Reformation built upon certain strains of thinking from scholasticism and humanism, there is no way to reduce its intellectual origins to anything approaching a precise point, either in time or on any of the spectra of philosophy and theology under way when Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and other reformers appeared. There is no single idea or tidy convergence of meaning that one can point to in explaining why the events and beliefs of the Reformation occurred exactly how and when they did."

Can't sleep? Read all of my review of McGrath, Alister E. The Intellectual Origins of the European Reformation. 2d ed. Malden, Mass.: Blackwell Publishing, 2004. (289 pages).


Monday, December 03, 2007


(Baby) Bird set for take-off -- again!

Sniff-sniff. I can't believe my Baby Bird is fixing to graduate college! And is engaged to a hairy-legged boy! And is moving to Houston!


Time a for a couple of Baby Bird reruns:

The first Baby Bird post.

ER doggerel on driving Baby Bird and her stuff to college.



Sunday, December 02, 2007


Baa-baa humbug!

Probably going to regret this -- I almost always do -- but I'm skippin' church today to get some work done. (It's 20-25 minutes away. Counting getting ready, it's three hours total I just don't think I can spare this morning.)

1. Work-work: Yesterday, the book review took more time than I'd budgeted for it. So I never got to my work-work. So, I'm behind on Friday's work, and, since I'm off most of this week I need to work ahead -- plus I plan (but am now not sure that I will be able) to go to a Christimassy party in Texas next weekend.

2. I forgot that on Thanksgiving Day the gooseneck under the kitchen sink stated coming apart, and that I ER-rigged it with duct tape, until it started leaking again yesterday. Got to fix that for real today.

3. The blustery, blowy wind knocked some loose pickets out of the back fence, and dang near blew down a whole section. I ER-rigged it at dusk yesterday with some balin' wire, but I need to get that more secure today, too, in an effort to stop Riker & Bailey's Excellent Adventure before it gets started.

Hey, I even scotched plans to drive to Stillwater this afternoon to see OSU-OU wrestling with Bird and YB. :-(

If you went to church today, share a verse or a congregational prayer or a hymn in the comments! If you didn't go to church, a little dab of any kind of goodness and graceness will do me. :-)


Saturday, December 01, 2007


Writin' weather

Ooooh, it's dark and blustery and blowy out there. Could be about 20 degrees cooler, to suit me -- but this is close enough, so I'll take it.

Reminds me of late fall semesters in college, surrounded by books, studyin' in the stately piano room at Bennett Hall at Oklahoma State (pictured).

Today, it's the kitchen table, not the piano room, and just a few books, one I'm reviewing and a few others on related topics for reference; this laptop, not a typewriter (thank God); and a string of 1940s crime-detective flicks on in the other room for background noise.

The Western Channel is in a rut or something; the same few movies are on all the time. It's a shame because that kind of background would be more appropriate for the review I'm writing, which is of a book based on the journal of a cowboy on an early-early (1868) cattle drive from Texas, through Indian Territory to Missouri.

Goal: Get it done by noon, or at least in hand; then undestroy the kitchen and finish laundry (ongoing); then do some work-work; and if time make a dash to do a little "FBI work," which is we the ERs call "Christmas shopping."

Then, settle in to watch Missouri kick Sooner football butt.


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