Thursday, 19 February 2015

Dozy doodlings

What is theology? Theology is talk about God, often slanderous.

Perhaps the most hilarious of self-deceptions is thinking that you know what you’re doing. Human beings really do run on stupid, and we never run out of gas.

Some people say “Jesus saved me!” like they won the lottery. And you know what happens to a lot of lottery-winners…

On the preacher: “He shall from time to time give to the Congress [congregation] information of the state of the union [Romans 6:5ff.], and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.” [From the Constitution of the United States, Article II, Section 3] 

Sermons are like basketball games: everything is won or lost in the last five minutes.

All you need to know about an Aaron Sorkin script:
[Allegro and staccato] Character A says: “Hi.” Character B says: “Hi.” Character A says: “Blah.” Character B says: “Sure.” Character A says: “Yeah?” Character B says: “Yeah.” Character A says: “Okay.” Character B says: “Okay.” Characters A says: “I gotta go.” Character B says: “Sure.” Character A says: “Right.” Character B says: “Okay.” Character A says: “Okay.” [Cut]

Anti-Clinton media moguls are already planning to produce a TV series on Hilary if she becomes the 44th President. The working title is The West Witch; the central set will be called the Ova Office.

You might say that in Jesus God learned to speak the language of humans. Fluency, however, failed him: he never did get the grammar of violence.

Consider American Sniper:
a point that’s been lost in the hyper –
tackled neither by Clint
nor by those of his bent –
is “Who, friend or foe, is the viper?”

If movie marketers had imagination …
American Sniper – Now showing in a coliseum near you!
Fifty Shades of Grey – Now showing in a dungeon near you!

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” Then Jesus paused, consulted his Father, and added, “With one exceptionalism.”
—Matthew 28:18-19 (Original Autograph)

Mario Cuomo famously said, “You campaign in poetry. You govern in prose.” I think he meant “doggerel” and “drivel”. 

In the Church of the Good Coffee, Starbucks is the equivalent of Arianism.

Did you hear about the Seattle Seahawk fan who declared that the Boston blizzard was God’s judgment on the Deflategate scandal, and then at the Super Bowl stood behind the Patriots’ bench holding a placard reading “Ephesians 2:2 (KJ)”?

Pilate went back into the palace and called Jesus (aka Lamb Mode). “Are you the King of the Jews?” he asked him. Jesus answered, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” Pilate asked him, “Do you think I am a Jew?” Jesus answered, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined.” Pilate asked him, “Are you a king, then?” Jesus answered, “I’m just here so I don’t get fined.” Then Pilate went back outside to the people and said to them, “I cannot find any reason to fine him.” Then he handed Jesus over to them. Jesus said to them “What are y’all here for?” They shouted, “Lynch him!”
—John 18:33ff. (Original Autograph)

In the wake of Wolf Hall (the BBC adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Booker Prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies), critically acclaimed as “close to perfect television”, the BBC website has run a little iWonder called How could you survive in Tudor England? In section 2, “Stay out of trouble”, it describes the draconian treatment of law-breakers during the reign of Henry VIII, when “estimates of the number of executions range from 54,000 to 72,000.” “A good start,” declares a spokesman for D-PE (Death-Penalty Evangelicals), “but this is America; surely we can get that number up to six figures. Meanwhile, in consultation with the steel and pharmaceutical industries, we will be considering the advantages of the axe over lethal injection.”

Satan in the wilderness – what a mug. Stones into bread, a death-defying leap from the Temple, all the kingdoms of the world – big deal. If he were really serious, the devil would have taken Jesus to the Bronx and offered the lad a Major League baseball contract. How could the Messiah resist playing in The Show, even wearing pinstripes?

What Jesus learned in the wilderness is that nothing fails like success.

According to creationists, there are three kinds of falsehoods: lies, damned lies, and cladistics.

How would I define “contemporary worship”? As a form of liturgical hazing.

Creatio ex nihilo or ordo ab chao? The former. The latter is too tough an ask. I think of my 2 ½-year-old granddaughter moving from room to room leaving a trail of ground zeros, and then multiply it by a universe – yep, too tough an ask, even for God.

“The Archbishop of Canterbury has come to the defence of Stephen Fry who infuriated Christians by denouncing God as ‘utterly evil’, ‘capricious, mean-minded, stupid’ and ‘monstrous’” (Telegraph 5 February). Absolutely (apart, maybe, from the “stupid”: it seems to me that there’s a genius to this deity’s creative malevolence). I look forward to the MPA of the C of E distributing Je suis Ivan badges to every parish.

So the pope told a gathering at the Vatican, “One time I heard a father say, ‘At times I have to hit my children a bit, but never in the face lest someone report me to social services so as not to humiliate them.’ That’s great,” continued His Holiness. “He had a sense of dignity. He should punish, do the right thing, and then move on to his wife.”

At the 1973 National Prayer Breakfast, which occurred two weeks after President Nixon had ordered a ceasefire in Vietnam, Senator Mark Hatfield said, “Today our prayers must begin with repentance…. We must turn in repentance from the sin that scarred our national soul.” That was truth speaking to power. This year, judging from conservative reaction to Obama’s speech, power spoke truth to stupid.

Conversation at the Last Supper: Peter said, jokingly, “Hey Jesus, I got one for you: what do you call a leader with no followers?” Jesus replied, sombrely, “A guy taking a walk.”


Jeff Carter said...

My love she speaks softly
She knows there’s no success like failure
And that failure’s no success at all

-bob dylan - Love Minus Zero, No Limits

Anonymous said...

Starbucks is heretical for being inadequately Christological? Please let us know what coffees are in good standing so that we may drink faithfully.

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