Friday, October 30, 2009


'All Fundamentalists are conservatives, but not all conservatives are Fundamentalists. The best conservatives can...give lessons to the liberals... '

Have a fun but unfundy Friday, y'all!

Fosdick, blast from the past: "Shall the Fundamentalists Win?"


Thursday, October 29, 2009


'One nation under God' (but not at Home Depot)

Har! Classic American clash!

Home Depot: Totally within its rights to tell this dude he can't wear his "One nation under God, indivisible" button.

Me: Totally within my rights as an American to avoid Home Depot and its ignurnce and inability to distinguish between a political statement that references God, and a religious statement that references the nation.

Idjits. He's right. It's on our money, for cryin' out loud.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Not nearly ready for throwing and firing

I'm still full of air ...

"The preparation of the clay is a critical matter for the potter. First the potter must search for the proper clay sources and then collect the clay. Afterward, the clay is wedged (de-aired) to expel air bubbles. This is accomplished by kneading or treading. Potters ordinarily tread their own clay to be certain it is prepared properly for throwing or firing. Then the clay is placed in a pit, water is added and it is allowed to settle."

-- Philip J. King and Lawrence E. Stager, Life in Biblical Israel (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2001), 135.

This is a great example of how knowing a little background about a common expression in Scripture gives us a better idea of what was meant when writings were penned in ancient times! It meant more than moving some clay around on a pottery wheel.

"But the vessel that he was making of clay was spoiled in the hand of the potter; so he remade it into another vessel, as it pleased the potter to make. Then the word of the LORD came to me saying, 'Can I not, O house of Israel, deal with you as this potter does?' declares the LORD. 'Behold, like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in My hand, O house of Israel.' "

-- Jeremiah 18:4-6 NASB

"But indeed, O man, who are you to reply against God? Will the thing formed say to him who formed it, 'Why have you made me like this?' Does not the potter have power over the clay, from the same lump to make one vessel for honor and another for dishonor?"

--Romans 9:20-21 NKJV

"But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O LORD, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see, we beseech thee, we are all thy people."

--Isaiah 64:8-9 KJV


Sunday, October 25, 2009


'Believe in the Great Sound!'

"The Time Before Death," by Kabir, preached this morning at church.

Let the Reformation continue!

(Happy Reformation Day!)



My cat, Eames: Christian



Saturday, October 24, 2009


Little Dixie dilemma

So, a family from Eufaula has been missing for a couple of weeks in rough country somewhere around Red Oak, in Latimer County, in southeastern Oklahoma.

The past few days, they brought out the horsemen and everybody else and their dogs in a final push to scour the mountainous woods before black-powder season started today, cause then they wouldn't stand a chance.

What a Southern-country-rural-outside-the-urban-suburban-mainstream situation.

Hope they find 'em OK, and blessings on the ones tryin' so hard to.


Friday, October 23, 2009


Beatific MagnifiCat

And a happy, furry Friday to y'all and all!


Thursday, October 22, 2009


'Dad Thinks Baby Might Be Gay'

So, I read this and laughed, then was sort of saddened, then wondered whether it was "OK" to think it was funny -- that is, I wondered whether my gay friends would think it was funny.



Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Bring it on, Bubba

Bubba says he wants to tangle. Bring it on, Bubba.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009


A brick falls from the R.C. Church's 'Berlin Wall'

So it seems to me.




Neil: Still a Christless Faker of a Joke


Comments closed here. Leave 'em over there if you give a shit.


Sunday, October 18, 2009


Ark of the Bird Covenant

There didn't have to be anything spooky going on inside or around the Ark of the Covenant for its loss to the Philistines to devastate the Israelites. It was where they had embodied the presence of God in their collective lives.

My God, I get that now in a way I didn't before -- and I also have a different kind of inkling as to why some Christians feel so threatened by critical examination of the Scriptures and the sometimes deliberate downplaying of the Bible by other Christians:

If that's where you've embodied the presence of God in your life, then, of course, any threat to the Bible is a threat to God and a threat to you.

Anyone who knows me at all knows I place a lot of importance on things -- not necessarily consumer goods or collectibles, signs of wealth (ha), and such, but meaningful things -- things that have deep meaning for me.

A few things that belonged to Daddy, a few things that belonged to Mama, especially things that either one of them gave to me, or I gave to them. Things that, to me, represent the covenant between and among us.

Last night, I lost one of those things that, to me, represented the covenant between and among my Bird and Dr. ER (Bird being my stepgal, Dr. ER being my wife). It's a simple thing, and a silly thing: a folding seat back, the kind you use on bleachers, in Oklahoma State orange-and-black with Pistol Pete on it.

Walking into the OSU-Missouri game last night at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Dr. ER got in ahead of me, and the guy scanning tickets told me I couldn't come in with that seat back.

To get in, right then, I just had to toss it on the ground, and I did because at that instant, with the car at least a mile away, people crowding behind me and the game fixing to start, I didn't know what else to do.

A minute later, I was inside, furious. Then, we were in our seats. And I alternated between fury and sick-to-my-stomach before fury won out. I left my seat, didn't watch the game and generally just had a miserable, hellish night.

This morning, my fury had collapsed into grief, and I'm still sick to my stomach.

I'm a fool. Embodied in that stupid seat back were so many times and experiences with my baby Bird, who I love so dearly and miss so much, who was here in my life at age 9 and then gone so fast, more or less, at 18 that my heart is still spinning now, five years later. Times with her mama, too. Times when we were our own little family, the only one I ever will have had of my own.

And it's gone. I have so few things like that in which to embody periods of my life with her, and with us all together. I am such a sap.

So, friends and brothers, there are two hard life lessons for me:

1. I have a taste for what it meant to the Israelites to lose the ark, the thing in which they had embodied God in their lives. Some things are more than things.

2. The treasures we store up on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal -- that has to do with more than money and wealth.


Friday, October 16, 2009


Send Union Reconstruction troops back to Louisiana

At least to the jurisdiction responsible for electing, and re-electing, Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell.

That's the answer if he doesn't step down -- and what an incredible action, if taken by the Union, as led by a black commander-in-chief!

Send in troops and re-occupy the jurisdiction until the people who elected him decide how, under the law, to get rid of him.

I'm dead serious.

And, while I've made my peace with certain personal decisions of mine regarding certain historic symbols of the Confederacy, I'll not take another word about it here. Ever.

It takes a repentant son of the South to see things certain ways. Jimmy Carter is one. Bill Clinton is one. And I'm one.

No more touchy-feely horse shit. It's BECAUSE I know and revere certain people behind those symbols that I, as their conscientious Rebel son, can say what I say now.



'Unfathomable God, about whom we speak more than we know ...'

Mid-Term Prayer for Students at Jesus School.

Very cool.


Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Cornel West on Obama's Peace Prize

"Thank God for the Hebrew Scriptures. Amos is no joke."


Cornel West.



The God Signal: AM, FM or PM?

Faith is not a constant. It varies like everything else about life. It has rhythm.

So, assuming faith itself is a gift of God, do our receivers work by amplitude modulation (AM), frequency modulation (FM), or phase modulation (PM)?

Or some other?


But I say it's FM. My amplitude seems to be more or less constant, but the frequency of modulation varies.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Screw the God questions

Screw the God questions. If you "believe," you believe; if not, not; what you do with that is what matters.

Thought spawned by this, from my UK-now-Aussie friend, Lee.



Church history in 4 minutes

This. Is. Great.


Saturday, October 10, 2009


Midlife still life: Seminary books on kitchen table


A note from Michael Moore ... via Bro. Neil!

... for you on yer way to church tomorrow. (HT to Brother Neil, without whom I wouldn't know about a lot of good, interesting lefty things! Yay for Brother Neil!)

Would Jesus be a capitalist?

Well, no, obviously -- at least not as capitalism is playing out in this country.


Friday, October 09, 2009


Obama Hope Rebel Flag, and ER's epiphany

This image made my brain seize plumb up, especially in light of my recent epiphany-decision regarding my own casual display of that Damned Red Flag of the Rebellion

In a nutshell: I no longer casually display it, although I do still intend to have all the flags of the CSA displayed in my home office, along with other controversial artifacts of history, if and when I ever get my home office set back up from the flood of over a year ago.

The epiphany:

I was at a Little Caesar's Pizza place awhile back and the guy behind the counter, about as big a fella as me, and I just hit it off right off the bat, BS'ing and carrying on like we were brothers or close cousins or something. It was one of those unexpected human encounters that just leaves you filled and uplifted.

I left with a pizza. At my car, I took out my keys -- and there was the Rebel flag key fob I've carried for years. My heart fell and I wept, realizing that had I pulled those keys out in the store that wonderful human encounter would never have happened.

That black man behind the counter is my brother. And because I am *his* brother, and for the sake of the brotherhood of man, I took the flag fob off my keys when I got home.

It was not easy. That image has been a part of who I am -- or who I like to think I am, anyway -- just about my whole life. But it was not only the right thing to do, I'm glad I did it -- I had to do it, for myself as much as anyone else.


Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Carter on race: Elephant or phantom?

"President Obama is wise to stick to the issues and to invite vigorous, civil debate on his proposals. But others have the responsibility to challenge racism when it surfaces. That means challenging Rush Limbaugh when he blames Obama for an incident in which black kids beat up a white kid on a school bus in Illinois—saying that this is what happens 'in Obama's America.' It means speaking out against those who fly the Confederate flag at antigovernment 'tea party' rallies."

Read all of "Race Still Matters," editorial in The Christian Century.


P.S. If you don't subscribe to The Christian Century, please consider it. We need it.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009




The Conservative Bible Project.

I may actually throw up.


Monday, October 05, 2009


Dang -- the American Indians were kind

And my father-in-law was eeeaaassssy to please, comparisonwise. :-)

Saul replied, "Say to David, 'The king wants no other price for the bride than a hundred Philistine foreskins, to take revenge on his enemies.' " Saul's plan was to have David fall by the hands of the Philistines. ... David and his men went out and killed two hundred Philistines. He brought their foreskins and presented the full number to the king so that he might become the king's son-in-law. Then Saul gave him his daughter Michal in marriage.

I Samuel 18: 25-27.


Sunday, October 04, 2009


'We shall be saying, finally ... Lead us'

Be helpless, dumbfounded,
Unable to say yes or no.
Then a stretcher will come from grace
to gather us up.

We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty.
If we say we can, we're lying.
If we say No, we don't see it,
That No will behead us
And shut tight our window onto spirit.

So let us rather not be sure of anything,
Beside ourselves, and only that, so
Miraculous beings come running to help.
Crazed, lying in a zero circle, mute,
We shall be saying finally,
With tremendous eloquence, Lead us.
When we have totally surrendered to that beauty,
We shall be a mighty kindness.

-- Rumi, who was a Sunni Muslim, interpreted by Coleman Barks.

Preached on this day by a Christian, at this church.



Friday, October 02, 2009


Messiaen: 'Quartet for the End of Time'

I always think of this when my thoughts are churning regularly and deeply. I love it. It's been awhile. Good Friday, and thank God for it, to y'all and all!


Thursday, October 01, 2009


Praxis, not doctrine; faith, not beliefs

This is where I'm coming from:

"There is a national movement to bring biblical scholarship directly to laypersons, in no small part because so many clergy are afraid to tell their congregations what they learned in seminary. Intellectual dishonesty in the pulpit is a disgraceful epidemic in our time. The findings of biblical scholars do not diminish the radical nature of the gospel. To the contrary, they make it clear that if Jesus were to return, he would almost certainly be crucified again.

"People are just no longer satisfied with ancient creeds and doctrinal arguments that obscure the way of life to which Jesus called us. The church of the future will be shaped by Christian practice, and the gospel will be about praxis, not doctrine --about faith, not about beliefs."

Read more about the recent success of, and reasons for, the Jesus Seminar on the Road in Oklahoma City.


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