Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Goldarn doodlings

What’s the difference between optimism and hope? Hope is for pessimists.

The Farmers Unions of California and Kansas are thinking of uniting, but they’re having a problem with the acronym.

After Thatcher, Reagan, and a generation of deregulated free market capitalism, what has become of Adam Smith’s “invisible hand”? All that’s left is the middle finger.

On a bus in Montgomery, at a lunch counter in Greensboro, and on a football field in Santa Clara, a genealogy in the civil rights movement unfolds: Sit Down and Be Counted. A butt on a seat can unsettle the complacent as much as a march in the street, and a war anthem unsung by one can be as loud and liberating as a peace song sung by thousands.

Of course Donald Trump isn’t racist. Just ask all his African American buddies: he’ll tell you. As for his plans for deporting immigrants, Trump’s decided he doesn’t need any: if he just keeps talking, who would want to stay, including Canadians, Europeans, Australians …?

Some say that they will vote for Trump as the lesser of two evils. Yeah, like Hiroshima. I commend an easier moral calculus to negotiate: don’t pick the asshole. Then it becomes a no-brainer. The sociopathic self-exceptionalism, EDD (Empathy Deficit Disorder), and utter shamelessness and incorrigibility – Trump is an asshole singularity.

What’s the “alt-right”? I live in the UK, so I looked up “ALT” in Wikipedia, which says that it is an enzyme found mainly in the liver. Elevated levels of ALT suggest diseases such as hepatitis C, cirrhosis, diabetes, congestive heart failure, mononucleosis, and myopathy. Does that sound about, er, right?

Sign in a gender-neutral Bible-believing restroom in Texas: “MANAGEMENT KINDLY REQUESTS THAT YOU DO NOT PUT SANITARY NAPKINS, DISPOSABLE DIAPERS, OR THE HEADS OF TRANSGENDERS IN THE TOILET. THANK YOU FOR YOUR COOPERATION.”

Picture a beach party on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus is running the barbie, Peter thinks he’s the lifeguard, the rest of the lads are playing footie, Mary Magdalene is catching the rays and reading Valley of the Dolls, and the mother of Jesus, under an umbrella, is wearing a burkini, right?

What should we conclude from the fact that we see Jesus sitting in boats and walking on water? That he can’t swim.

Can the risen Christ be in two places at once? Sure. But then so can Schrödinger’s dead cat.

The good news is that if you think you’re evil, you’re not. The bad news is that the same goes if you think you’re good – you’re not.

Let’s be honest. Conservative evangelicals don’t homeschool their kids for religious reasons. It’s because it’s the only way they’ll get a valedictorian in the family.

That you can’t love God and hate your neighbour is a truism, though that’s never stopped Christians from continually attempting its falsification.

What does it mean to say that Jesus is my “personal Lord and Saviour”? It means that he owns my ass.

Truth is not the first casualty of war. That would be imagination.

Supersessionism? Of course not. To paraphrase Paul: You can take the boy out of Israel, but you can’t take Israel out of the boy.

At a wedding when we say that we will “love and cherish till death us do part” – that’s a promise, not a feeling; and “… for worse, in sickness …” – that’s a certainty, not a possibility.

Conversation at Sunday lunch. “Grandpa, this morning you said that the church is our Mother.” “I did.” “And you also called her the bride of Christ.” “Yes.” “So then Jesus must be our Father, right?” “Um …” “Or maybe, Grandpa, if the church is the bride of Christ, and God is the Father of Jesus, then the church is the daughter-in-law of God?” “Er, could you pass the broccoli, sweetheart?”

How long do I spend with morning prayers? At least an hour. I peruse the BBC News website, then check out a few choice blogs, following links along the way, peppering my reading with such devotional responses as “Lord, have mercy!”, “Woe to us!”, Comfort them!”, and, very occasionally, “Alleluia!” or “Thank you, Lord!” Then I say “Amen!” and log off. Hey, I’m just taking Hegel – who drolly observed that newspapers had become a substitute for morning prayers – to a new level.

What is the vocation of a minister today? To teach the faith as a foreign language, to enable her congregation to become fluent in it, to ensure that they are bilingual.

A pastoral sensitivity acquired only from experience is knowing when pain can be eased and when it can only be endured, borne by the love of God.

We all put the past in the washer-dryer, but some add bleach, for others the stains never come out, while for the elderly it inevitably shrinks.

Of course I don’t want to be younger (I’m not insane), but nor do I now want to be older. To paraphrase Augustine, time’s a bitch.

Faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is gratitude.

2 Comments:

Alan K said...

Thanks.

RDM said...

Pure class...

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