Sunday, August 30, 2009


Call me Isaiah, for I was plumb nekkid and barefoot

Last night, I dreamed I was nekkid!

I was drivin' a car nekkid! (A 1961 Chevrolet Impala; don't know why).

Then I was ridin' a bicycle nekkid! (Banana seat).

Then I was at work nekkid!

I knew I was nekkid in each circumstance, but was not overly freaked out about it. I just kept lookin' for somethin' to put on.

Finally, I was sitting on a couch facing a fireplace, with its back to a big room filled with people I know. I spied a pair of Hanes under the couch and slipped 'em on.

Then, somebody I knew called to me from a desk at the other end of the room. I walked over and he handed me a bric-a-brac type desk decoration that someone had made for me.

It was a clear piece of plastic on a stand, and inside the plastic was a white piece of paper about the size of a small sticky note, and on it was written something like "Cows are good," or "ER likes cows" or something like that.

It made me laugh. In the wakeful world, the cow motif has been one of my favorites almost my entire adult life. In the dream, I took it to mean the person who gave it to me, and the people in the room, wished me well.

Nekkid even.

Now, where's Doc, to interpret?


Saturday, August 29, 2009


'I am the Way ..." Jesus said ...

"No man comes to the Father but by me," he said.

Question for my seminary-educated buds:

John, the latest Gospel, is full of "I am" sayings echoing YHWH's declaration "I am" in Exodus, correct? The author of John presents the highest christology of the four Gospels, equating Jesus of Nazareth with God God's self(s) from 1:1, correct?

Mark, on the other hand, the earliest Gospel, depicts Jesus as more Son of Man than Son of God, correct? Mark has Jesus actually sort of distancing himself from God in one instance: "Why callest thou me good? No one is good but one, that is God," correct?

My own close reading of several versions of Mark, and Matthew, as I retell the Gospels in the chicken-fried vernacular, makes it clear to me that Jesus is depicted as talking about an ethic, a way of life, as being the first meaning of "the kingdom of God is at hand," not an intellectual agreement, or any kind of bargain, with God.

In other words: Change your ways, come with me, trust me I know what I'm doing because I am so close to the Father -- that was the gist of what Jesus had to say,

My question, finally: Might it be that Jesus was saying "I HAVE the way," or, "I'm ON the way," which evolved into "I AM the Way. No man comes to the Father but by me"? The difference is huge.


Friday, August 28, 2009


Who'll care for the critters Left Behind??

You've committed your life to Jesus. You know you're saved. But when the Rapture comes what's to become of your loving pets who are left behind? Eternal Earth-Bound Pets takes that burden off your mind.

We are a group of dedicated animal lovers, and atheists. ...

Read all about "The next best thing to pet salvation in a Post Rapture World"!



Thursday, August 27, 2009


Biblical literalism just escapes me

Ancient readers had more going for them than many modern readers!

"When people read the Bible, the works of Homer or any other ancient text, they link themselves to the people who read these words millennia ago.

" 'We have read the same text,' they may think, 'So we are alike.' This happens particularly within religions. Modern Christians who read the Bible, for instance, may imagine themselves to be like the ancient Christians who read the same Bible.

"But nothing could be further from the truth. ..."

Read all of
"Ancient Readers"
By Paul V.M. Flesher
via the University of Wyoming
Religious Studies Department


Wednesday, August 26, 2009


God save us from history as it strives to repeat itself



The biggest human reason I'm in seminary

And not just because of her writing. Because of her example, her encouragement, her self. I love her in the way that siblings of Brother Jesus are supposed to love one another!

These Dirty Knees.



God rest Sen. Edward Kennedy's tortured soul

The more our feelings diverge, the more deeply felt they are, the greater is our obligation to grant the sincerity and essential decency of our fellow citizens on the other side. ...

In short, I hope for an America where neither "fundamentalist" nor "humanist" will be a dirty word, but a fair description of the different ways in which people of good will look at life and into their own souls.

I hope for an America where no president, no public official, no individual will ever be deemed a greater or lesser American because of religious doubt -- or religious belief.

I hope for an America where the power of faith will always burn brightly, but where no modern inquisition of any kind will ever light the fires of fear, coercion, or angry division.

I hope for an America where we can all contend freely and vigorously, but where we will treasure and guard those standards of civility which alone make this nation safe for both democracy and diversity.

-- Speech on "Truth and Tolerance in America," Oct. 3, 1983, Lynchburg, Va., as reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Sen. Kennedy: Arrogant, privileged, rich, clearly imperfect, which makes his lifelong efforts on behalf of the poor, the sick and the despised even more remarkable.



Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Diploma for First Day of Seminary?

Somewhere in one of the boxes of stuff from my office still in the garage is a little diploma I got in the fall of 1970 for "graduation" from the First Day of School.

All I can say at the moment is that I should get one for First Day of Seminary 120 Miles Away After Getting Up at 4:30 a.m. to be in Chapel by 8 and Class by 8:30 and Then Work at 3 p.m. for a Couldn't-Miss Meeting Then to Write a News Story that Could Not Be Ignored Then Come Home Finally at 6 p.m. to Chill Some with a Cigar and a Drink with the Weeinie Dog in the Back Yard.

Now to eat, and to sleep.


Monday, August 24, 2009


Deed, not Creed! Less talk, more walk!

God deliver us from the Christocrats!

It's not the new Jerusalem they're longing for -- it's a new Geneva.

To hell with that.

A free church in a free state -- it's the historically American way.


Sunday, August 23, 2009


'Our struggle is ... against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world'

PRAYER OF CONFESSION today at church, and I am diggin' it:

"Lord of Life, we gather to be the beloved community. We are not a political party at prayer. We are not a lobbying group in the pews. We are not a special interest group at worship. We are the church of Jesus Christ, and we have a story to tell and a vision to embrace. We have a tradition of non-violence and compassion to preserve. We are the children of a radical inclusiveness. And we will not be conformed to the world -- rather we will transform it through the renewal of our minds and spirits. Grant us wisdom; grant us courage for the living of these days. Amen."

... prayed within the context of our call as Christians to follow Jesus, whose example was to heal everyone who sought healing, and to make sure everyone around him had enough to eat.

... prayed within the specific time of our national discussion over health care, wherein people of good conscience can disagree over how best this country can ensure open access to health care, but as part of the church, where there should be no disagreement over our need to work to make that happen.

SCRIPTURE LESSON: Ephesians 6: 10-17. Amen.

What *would* Jesus have to say about our national discussion on health care? More importantly, what would he have his followers do?


Saturday, August 22, 2009


Calm before the seminary storm

Sort of subdued today. Reading assignments in hand. Half of my books in hand. Reading assignments in hand. It starts tomorrow, the reading anyway.

Wish me godspeed, y'all -- and mespeed, Dr. ERspeed, workspeed and whatnotspeed!

The last time I felt really on top of life -- and I do NOT mean in control of it, I mean ... surfing on a piece of driftwood being blown along by the forces of intellectual pursuit, and making a difference merely by daring to make a difference -- was the fall of 2004, when I started this blog in the very throes of the hardest seminar I had getting my M.A. in history. On the Reformation. It started with 24 peeps; it ended with four of us; one flunked; the other two survived; I got the only A. Ever. In that seminar by that fire-breathing prof.

I've got the tingles thinkin' that while I'm almost five years older than I was then, and, eight years older when I started (I'm 45 now), I am so ready to get back on that horse ...

LOL! I was tellin' Bird on the phone awhile ago that I have a new e-mail address, and it's the typical cumbersome student e-mail -- but she interrupted me and said, "" LOLOL. I love my bird. I think she mighta been a little concerned about this turn of events, but she knows it's a nonfundamentalist -- shoot, antifundamentalist -- school. :-)

Anyhoo. Layin' back tonight, hangin' with my beloved Dr. ER.

Saddlin' up in the manana.


Friday, August 21, 2009


In the beginning were the words -- words and words and words! (Woo hoo!)

On my way. Enrolled in seminary!

I've got one class in person in Tulsa at 8:30 a.m. Tuesdays, and one class online -- get this, taught by a prof who taught the intro to New Testament survey course I took at Oklahoma State TWENTY-FOUR YEARS AGO.

I don't think my online seminarian buddy Luke is even that old! :-)

The books:

Intro to Hebrew Bible (Tulsa)

Social World of Early Christianity (online)

Vurra cool.


Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Enough IS Enough on health care lies

Setting the record straight on healthcare reform.

Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and every other right-wing talking ass should be considered enemies of the state. And sorry, the airwaves ARE public, and they should be held accountable for their bullshit.

If they want to have free-PRESS rights, throw 'em off the PUBLIC airwaves and let 'em get PRESSES.

And BRAVO to U.S. Barney Frank, D-MA, for calling a moron a moron (OK, a dining room table) in a town hall meeting.

And shame on U.S. Dan Boren, "D"-OK, for not having any balls.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Yes, this is inside baseball, but PUDGE IS COMING HOME TO TEXAS!!! That kicks ass!

Texas Rangers trade for Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez.


Monday, August 17, 2009


Yellow lines, dead armadillos and seminary

So, not that I'm fretting over this -- seriously, since I haven't even started a class -- but I don't think the middle of the road is where I want to be, seminarywise.

Meaning, on one extreme is the 18-hour Certificate of Theological Studies.

On the other extreme is the 87-hour Master of Divinity.

And in the middle, where I am, is the 48-hour Master of Theological Studies.

And I think I'd rather go to either of the extremes: a certificate, then on for a Ph.D. in history. Or for the M.Div. and ordination.

Not in hurry. Just got my ears on.


Sunday, August 16, 2009


Everybody cross yer fingers, hold hands -- and pray for the fish!

God, I love good country Gospel. Below is a great song! Never heard it before today.

Lord, may I never forget the imagery, the folklore, the music of my upbringin'. God meets people where they are! I've been where this song is, and -- in fact, I ain't ever really left. And I don't plan to.

Preacher this morning at church was Dr. Charles Kimball, author of "When Religion Becomes Evil: Five Warning Signs" (ER recommended). His text was Acts: 10: 23-35.

Amen and Amen! Simon Peter finally got it! I finally got it! May we all get it!

"I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right."

"Pray for the Fish" (it's only about three minutes long; the second half is interview).

Saturday, August 15, 2009


1,000 words worth of supper (X2)

For me and Dr. ER. Charcoal grills are God's gift to men! :-)


Friday, August 14, 2009


A countryfied miscommunicatin' of a Bible story

Little ER really wadn't really that little anymore when he finally figgered out that when Lot's wife got turned into a piller of salt fer lookin' back over her shoulder as they's fleein' Sodom, it wadn't somethin' like this.


Thursday, August 13, 2009


Somebody put me out of my bibliophilic misery

I've got boxes of books in my "to-read" "stack," right?

Fixin' to have grad-school-level required reading, right?

I read and write and read for a living, right?

Ha ha, I just volunteered, ho ho, to review another book, hee hee, for a state journal!

Ha ha ho ho hee hee -- to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time, they're coming to take me awaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy!!!!!!


What it is is I was afraid if I didn't volunteer to do one before I got started with school, then my volunteerin' days would be over as long as I *was* in school. I've trapped myselfm, in other words.



Focus on Lies to Protect the Patriarchy

These shameless cretins don't even pretend anymore, so I won't either.

Focus on the Family is a cult incubator masquerading as American and Christian when it is neither.

" ... as pro-life groups have pointed out, the House bill, H.R. 3200, establishes a federal health plan that does not exclude abortions. Douglas Johnson, legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, said abortionists would send their bills for services to the federal government for payment."

More bullshit from lying, scaremongering, Jesus-using-and-misusing Focus on the Family.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Creationism display 'is first,' she said to cries of 'hallelujah'

Republican mayoral candidate Anna Falling said Tuesday that putting a Christian creationism display in the Tulsa Zoo is No. 1 in importance among city issues that include violent crime, budget woes and bumpy streets.

Read a story about the whole godawful mess from the Tulsa World.

Can Oklahoma get a break from the wackjobs?


Tuesday, August 11, 2009


God damn the goddamn devil

I'm just damn near hard up enough to pick a fight with the son-of-a-bitch devil himself. That son-of-a-bitch is unloadin' on me here two weeks before I dare to take a real step toward seminary.

And yeah, when shit gets really hard, I go right back to where I started with him: He's a son-of-a-bitch, and I don't care whether "smart" people or "educated" people or "modern" people dismiss the son-of-a-bitch as outmoded or a fantasy of the past or whatever:

St. Paul talked about "principalities and powers" and whether he's a prince or an imp, or a figment of my yet-unregenerated, desperate imagination, the son-of-a-bitch has it in for me and my beloved right now and I ain't takin' it no more.

Fuck him.

Covered by the Blood of Christ, I stand up and say to him: Fuck you. You pissant.

I don't give a damn if I'm personifying evil.

I don't give a damn if I'm makin' shit up -- it's based on the very real troubles besetting me right now.

I don't give a damn if anybody laughs.

It's either slink off whimpering or stand as best I can on a bum leg, leaning on the Very Cross of Christ, daring God to be God -- and I stand.

Jesus Christ -- avatar, manifestation of Holy Logos, Son of Man, Son of God or bad joke -- I stand!

If I'm wrong, I'm wrong and I throw myself into the Cosmos and I cling to the Gospel gun with one hand and my own balls in the other -- and I stand!

It's money, it's illness, it's fear, it's age, it's garden-variety fretting and it's unholy fear -- but they ALL are bullshit manifestations of Not-God, and I scream my YAWP into space and INSIST that GOD help me!

God help me! God help my beloved!

I'm so goddamned tired of blithely saying, "Yes, God loves the sparrow as it falls -- but it falls."

God help this sparrow from falling!

And God will -- or not.

But I will.

Weak and bloodied, scared shitless, and so wanting to tuck tail and run:

I. Will. Not.


God. Will.

Amen and oh my. And oh, shit!

Pray with me! Or be silent! No bullshit here. This is a call to spiritual arms, friends.


Monday, August 10, 2009


ER and Dr. ER recommend: 'The Big Bang Theory'

The TV show, I mean, in CBS.

FUNNY and erudite. And Penny (Kaley Cuoco) is HOT.

At 8:30 p.m. Mondays, Central.

The only show I won't miss besides "Saving Grace."


Sunday, August 09, 2009


In the names of Abraham, Isaac, Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael, Muhammad and Jesus, (peace be upon them)

Dr. Imad Enchassi, imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City, preached this morning at church.

Sermon title: "More in Common Than You Think," with Scriptures from Genesis and the Qur'an.

Would that every Christian pulpit in Oklahoma could have him, especially our Baptist and other fundamentalist brethren. Some would be revived -- or maybe vived for the first time -- and some would never go to church again.

The churches would be improved on both accounts.


"Lord of Life, help us to remember that nothing is more difficult to believe than that God really does love everybody. We have our favorites; we show partiality; and so we assume that divine love is not that different from human love. Push us beyond the horizon of all we think we know, and take us to that place where only grace can lead. In Christ's name we pray, Amen."

(PBUY'all, too.)


Saturday, August 08, 2009


ER man room still life

Lookin' into the livin' room, from the man room, through rustic metal folk art calf cutout on the glass divider between said livin' room and said man room, Texas Rangers baseball, I b'lieve, on the TV.


Friday, August 07, 2009


The Valley of the Shadow of Death


Thursday, August 06, 2009


Mark 1: 1-8, wherein John the Baptist comes across like R.W. Schambach

This here is how the good news of Jesus Christ, whose Paw is God, got started and all. Just like that ol’ know-it-all Isaiah wrote back in the old days, “Looky here, I’m sendin’ out an ol’ boy ahead of you with a tale to get people to thinkin’ – he’ll be out in the country preachin’ and hollerin’, hoein’ out a nice, straight path for the Lord.

John the baptizer came out of nowhere from out in the sticks, tellin’ everybody they needed to let him throw ‘em down in some river water and waller ‘em around and agitate ‘em some to soften up their sin and badness so they could turn to God for help and forgiveness. Country folks from the whole territory around Judea and city slickers from Jerusalem were all comin’ out and listenin’ to him and getting’ dunked in the Jordan River.

Now John was a sight, with an outfit made out of camel hair and a strap of leather around his middle, and danged if he wasn’t livin’ on locusts and honey he’d swiped from bees’ hives. He declared:

“There’s an Ol’ Boy a-comin’, ha, who’s so intense-aha, he’ll make me look like a pantywaist-aha! Amen! Praise God! I wouldn’t deserve-aha, to get the honor of loosenin’ his bootlaces-ah. All I’ve done is throw y’all in the river water, hallelujah, and bring you up rinsed off some! Glory! He’ll throw y’all smack-dab into the whirlin’ vortex of the Holy Ghost-aha, and the undertow’ll shoot you all through and out the other siiide-aha! You’ll get all hosed out on the inside-ah and hosed off on the outside-ah! Can I get an Amen?”


Wednesday, August 05, 2009


What the fly on the Oval Office wall mighta heard before President Obama whacked it

Bill Clinton, galumphing into the Oval Office: "Brock!

President Obama: "Mr. President."

Clinton: "You got yersef backed inta a corner ov'ere in North Krea. That's sumthin' I know about, gettin' backed inta a corner."

Obama: "Well, ah, the vision my administration has for, ah, pan-Asian peace--"

Clinton: "Hey. Hill's on'er way to Africa. Lemme run ov'ere and rescue them girls."

Obama: "I'm not sure--"

Clinton: While'm there, I'll try'n talk ol' Kim Young Ill down a little on'em nukes."

Obama: " ..."

Clinton: "N'eat some'em Chinese ribs. I'll bring y'all some!"

Clinton puts one bearpaw-sized hand on Obama's shoulder, grabs his hand with the other and gives him the reverse neoLBJ treament, and galumphs out.

The End


Tuesday, August 04, 2009


All hail Bubba, y'all!

Journalists freed during Clinton's visit to North Korea.

This rocks on many levels.

Two asshattish remarks, and remember, we LUV Bubba in the ER household:

Uno. Them girls *are* pretty cute.

Two. Reports are that the release came after "exhaustive" talks, which I figger means Bubba started yakkin' and didn't slow down, miss a beat or take a good breath until the ailing Kim Jong Il just couldn't take it anymore.


Monday, August 03, 2009


We naturally 'know' how to sing in perfect harmony -- so why don't we???

Bobby McFerrin demonstrates the power of the pentatonic scale.

Very, very cool.



Memo to Focus on the Family: Even when it's your pet issue, SPIN IS SIN, you two-faced liars! Lying in the name of 'family' -- and the name of Christ!

This is the main reason I will dance on Focus on the Patriarchy's grave! They're liars! Just baldfaced, shameless, spin meisters. And they're going to burn for it in the public arena if not in political hell.

Pro-Life Amendment to Health Care Reform Rejected

The misleading lede:

"A key U.S. House committee voted down an amendment late Friday that would have prohibited taxpayer dollars from paying for abortions under health-care reform."

The sleazy, slimy money quote:

"(Ashley) Horne, (mispokeswoman for Focus on the Patriarchy) said the language in the health-care reform plan may be confusing, because it does not specifically mention 'abortion' coverage. But the rejection of pro-life amendments reveals what the bill truly means. 'The reality is, if this proposal passes, there will be unlimited funding of abortions,' she said."

It's bullshit.



Human beans get stuck in my craw

So, Dr. ER and I were waitin' for the new Harry Potter movie to come on, with maybe 20 to 25 other peeps, at the Saturday matinee. It was at our neighborhood theater, dating to the '80s at least, not one of those high-falutin' theaters at a mall.

The movie started and right off the bat, I noticed most of the seats were squeaking. A boy across the aisle and down a couple of rows was pelting his parents with questions.

A young couple behind us whispered a few times, which is all it takes to set me to fuming, usually, 'cause I am a stickler for bein' quiet once the movie starts -- and I am uncomfortable with talkin' and carryin' on during the previews even.

But ...

It was a little different, because I am positive that everyone in the theater had read the book, or at least knew the general story line, so there was nothing to give away by whispering about it, so I relaxed a little.

Then, I realized that squeaky seats comes with the things we like about this theater, which is mainly the fact that it's not in a mall and is large by current standards, and it doesn't look like it's changed since it was built. It makes Dr. ER's and my inner-teenager feel right at home.

And I got to thinking about how it was the first time in a long time that I felt pretty relaxed in a movie theater -- this with Mr. Phentermine ridin' shotgun even --probably the first time since the third time I went to see "Twister."

And it dawned on me -- and this ain't nothin' too profound, y'all; it was just a lil ol' epiphany -- that people in general tend to annoy me a great deal.

I love people in the abstract, I can talk to people from a lectern, I can write to the masses in my work, and I can sometimes "be there" for individuals who need a shoulder or an ear.

But in general, people just get on my dang nerves, which idn't the epiphany, though, this is:

I need to get over that. If my call is to love all others -- every single other (leavin' room, of course, for the usual flare-ups that just come with bein' a human bean and the occasional dealings with real assholes -- it's the least I can do.

People are messy, noisy, often thoughtless and occasionally smelly. That's the fact, Jack, and I need to quit lettin' it get stuck in my craw. ("Crop" for any of y'all sticklers.)

And I started right then tryin' to repent of it. Good luck to me! I got purt' near a liftime of doin' to undo on this one.


Sunday, August 02, 2009


'God is not your bitch'

Ran out of time to think of anything original. But I love this, which Geoffrey brought to my attention:

God is not your bitch.


Saturday, August 01, 2009


Reality check: 'Glad to See You've Got Religion'

Loudon Wainwright III

I'm glad to see you've got religion
I'm glad to see you've gone to god
I'm glad to see you've straightened all your lines
And you've evened out your odds

I'm glad to hear you say you're happy
I'm glad to hear you say it's good
I'm glad to hear you say you're finally undoing
All the things they know we should

Me I'm still in trouble
sorry sick and sad
Me I'm still in trouble
But that's all right 'cause I'm

Glad to see you've gotten careful
About the things you eat and drink
I'm glad to see you;ve gotten choosy
About the things you do and think

I'm glad to see you're getting so adept
At all your mystic magic tricks
I'm glad to see you're standing on your head
and you're chopping with your sticks

I'm glad to know your psychic power
is being put to proper use
I'm glad to know you don't discharge a drop
Of your procreative juice

Me I'm still in trouble
Sorry sick and sad
Me i'm still in trouble
But that's alright cuz I'm

Glad to know you don't get raunchy
I'm glad to know things are at hand
I'm glad to know you have decided
This will be your last life's stand


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