Thursday, February 25, 2010


ER is giving up blogging for the rest of Lent

See y'all on Easter Sunday.


Saturday, February 20, 2010


Save ER's blog -- or not

I'm wondering if this blog, after five years, has run its course. It seems to do more harm than good nowadays -- that is, the bullshit, garden-variety meanness and bile and vitriol spewed in the comments do harm, not good.

I'm tired of it.

So, tell me what you think. Keep it? Flush it?

If it survives, I'm almost positive I'm going to, for the first time ever, start moderating comments. The Erudite Redneck Roadhouse -- with curtains on the windows.

Because I am SICK of the bullshit, and I no longer want it on my Life Record that I provided a venue for it.

So, vote. Comment. Say your piece. Should ER stay or should he go?


Friday, February 19, 2010


'When God is Silent'

The whole reason for the "God is still speaking" post yesterday was because this is my daily Lenten devotional reading: "When God is Silent," by Barbara Brown Taylor.

I didn't mean -- and "God is still speaking" does not mean -- that God is running God's mouth constantly, blabbing away.

God is in Haiti, no doubt. And God may very well be silent there.


Thursday, February 18, 2010


'God is still speaking'


Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Do creeds have cred?

Coming from one supposedly non-credal tradition, Southern Baptist, and now active in another one, the United Church of Christ, I don't have much personal experience with creeds. I understand how some would draw comfort from them -- in the same surprising way I've come to draw comfort from the liturgy, which was unknown to me growing up.

However, my cynical take on creeds sees them as fences -- ways not only to define "what we believe" but to exclude those who do not believe as we do. That seems to be pretty historical: a creed was an expression of orthodoxy and used as a way to define heresy.

Now, as for myself, beyond the simple yet profound confession that "Jesus is (my, our) Lord," there is no creed, or statement, or summary that I would dare impose on anyone seeking God and the living Christ.

And here's my question: What other elements of Christianity, past and present, are used as measures of orthodoxy, as ways to define not only "what we believe" but to exclude others? Communion comes immediately to mind. What else?

And more importantly: Does it really matter that much?

(From an online discussion for my seminary class "History of Christianity: Reformation to Modern.")


Saturday, February 13, 2010


Jesus is a redneck



Wednesday, February 10, 2010


You say you want a Reformation 2.0 ...

We-e-ell, you know ...

My response to a question on a seminary discussion board: Could a widespread, sweeping Reformation happen again?

Could it happen again? Sure, but it would require the same kinds of political upheaval that were already under way, and then exacerbated, then. One well-laced nuke and the United States as we know it is changed forever, and with the political climate, and religious debate over such incredibly divisive issues as gays, abortion and what the fundamental responsbilities of the government are -- guns in the GWOT or butter for our own poor as well as other nations' -- sure, I can see it, especially during an information revolution even more democratizing than the printing press. However, as I said in a comment to someone's post, I'd look to the Southern hemisphere for a concentrated attempt to reform the all-but-faithless European church and all-but-apostate U.S. church. Not that I'm cynical or anything!


Monday, February 08, 2010


The Atomic Clock: 11:54 p.m.

It's 6 to midnight.

I think the fact that Sarah Palin has a microphone -- and a good set of gams -- automatically moves us up to 5 til.

What do y'all think?

The 1984 clock setting, BTW, more than anything, made me who I am today, politically:

"1984: U.S.-Soviet relations reach their iciest point in decades. Dialogue between the two superpowers virtually stops. "Every channel of communications has been constricted or shut down; every form of contact has been attenuated or cut off. And arms control negotiations have been reduced to a species of propaganda," a concerned Bulletin informs readers. The United States seems to flout the few arms control agreements in place by seeking an expansive, space-based anti-ballistic missile capability, raising worries that a new arms race will begin."


Saturday, February 06, 2010


Go watch 'Jesus of Montreal'

Srly, "Jesus of Montreal" is profound and clever and wonderful. Sign up for Netflix and watch it. It's online. You can be watching it within 5 minutes.


Friday, February 05, 2010


'Secession is for everybody'

John C. Calhoun is smilin' down on these guys.

(That reminds me: I own, but have not read, a first edition of Charles M. Wiltse's 1944 three-volume John C. Calhoun: Nationalist, 1782-1828; Nullifier, 1829-1839; and Sectionalist, 1840-1850. )

Notice there is a Vermont Yankee involved. Note that my fellow progressive Christian friends are getting louder with their cries of "Empire"!

My close, personal friend DrLoboJo has said he can't see balkanization in our future. But I can, especially with China startin' to treat the USA the way the credit card companies are treating me and others in debt.

China is fixin' to have Uncle Sam by the balls. Then what? Is Samuel Huntington lookin' down and noddin' his head?

And holy Redneck nocturnal immissions, y'all, they're remaking "Red Dawn"!

Everybody's pissed.

Hurrah! Hurrah! For American rights! Hurrah!

Hallelujah! Holy sh-t! Where's the Tylenol?

What do y'all think?


Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Poverty sucks -- but why?

Another snippet from an online seminary class....

St. Francis's "strict view of the vow of poverty" was the most controversial item on the Franciscan agenda. (Pelikan, 140).

Why is it that anytime the church, or some prominent preacher or someone else in the church, says anything firm or definitive about poverty, it is controversial? Is it because self-preservation requires the consumption of things -- and even squirrels store away a little extra for lean times -- and so any vow of poverty is seen as not just ascetic, but over-the-top and weird? Is it because self-preservation is just a half-click away from selfishness? But aren't they the same thing? Are our natural inclinations to defend and preserve ourselves actually then expressions of sin? Is that what a "sinful nature" is? (I think so, that that is the very nut of sin: self.)

But why are actions the church and church people take to alleviate poverty also so controversial? Is it just because in this country giving to the poor flies in the face of one of the tenets of our civic religion -- self-reliance, use of "our own bootstraps" and all that? Is it because we really are in denial that the poor we will have with us always, and so we expect at some point to have everybody's belly filled?

On the other side of it, then why is the so-called prosperity gospel so uncontroversial outside progressive Christian circles? "Prosperity" flies in the face of the simple life Jesus's followers seem to have been admonished to live out, and would absolutely boggle Francis's mind.



After Gaithering my thoughts ...

(A snippet of my thoughts, from an online discussion for History of Christianity II):

Andrew F. Walls' phrasing on p. 7 of "The Missionary Movement in Christian History," when discussing what continuities the time-traveling observer would see in various historical expressions of Christianity, "continuity of thought about the final significance of Jesus," almost made me want to shout -- in fact, I'm sure I probably did holler, "Yes!" since I talk out loud to my readings sometimes.

It made me think of Bill and Gloria Gaither's hymn/worship song, "There's Just Something About That Name." There have been times, and surely will be again, when the sum total of my personal theology and notions of christology have boiled down to simply this: "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, there's just something about that name." And that's enough, I think.

But the handful of other continuities are real, too, I think: "consciousness of history ... in use of the Scriptures, of bread and wine, and water." I'd add music, to some degree, especially where the Western church has left its tracks.

A nephew was in the Air Force in Korea, and one lonesome night heard a familiar tune; he followed the sound; it was a church; he couldn't speak Korean and they couldn't speak English, but he found himself in fellowship, just when he needed it, amid the continuity of "use of Scriptures, of bread and wine, and water."


Monday, February 01, 2010


Oklahoma lawmaker attacks marriage and clergy's role in 'solemnizing' it

House Bill 3408, by Jason Nelson:


2nd Session of the 52nd Legislature (2010)

HOUSE BILL 3408 By: Nelson... See More


An Act relating to marriage; amending 43 O.S. 2001, Section 14, which relates to penalties for solemnizing unlawful marriages; clarifying language; and providing an effective date.

SECTION 1. AMENDATORY 43 O.S. 2001, Section 14, is amended to read as follows:
Section 14. Any minister of the Gospel, or other person authorized to solemnize the rites of matrimony within this state, who shall knowingly solemnize the rites of matrimony between persons prohibited by this chapter, from intermarrying shall be deemed guilty of a felony, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined in any sum not exceeding Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) and imprisonment in the State Penitentiary custody of the Department of Corrections for not less than one (1) year nor more than five (5) years.

SECTION 2. This act shall become effective November 1, 2010.


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