Sunday 17 March 2013

Damnable doodlings

by Kim Fabricius

The resignation of Benedict XVI gives new meaning to the old joke that the best time to think about retirement is before the Boss does.

hans+V:X – the papal password of Benedict XVI.

Some say Benedict XVI was a disappointment to the women’s movement. I’m not so sure. I mean look at the swanky scarlet shoes – by Stefanelli. The man was a curial Carrie Bradshaw.

I understand the papal conclave sought permission to use the theme song of Two and a Half Men to jazz up the Ceremony of the White Smoke.

What is the difference between a president stacking the Supreme Court with ideological ringers and a pope packing the College of Cardinals with theological clones? Oh, I know – American exceptionalism – the Holy Spirit.

“That the Church dares – in a world nauseous with false egalitarianism – to declare things too holy to be dressed in anything but a finery I cannot afford, a secrecy I cannot know, and a reverence I can only hope to attain – all this convinces me that she alone is the throne of Eternity on earth.” Bad Catholic on the papal conclave. “There are three forces, the only three forces that are able to conquer and hold captive forever the consciences of these weak rebels for their own happiness – theses forces are: miracle, mystery, and authority.” —The Grand Inquisitor to Jesus.

How does one account for the election of an outsider Argentine pope? According to the message which the Lord gave Diego, son of “Chitoro”, in the sixth month of 1986, when Raúl Ricardo Alfonsín was on the throne: un poco con la mano de Dios.”

“Francis, go and repair my house which is falling into ruins.” The new pope begins to get up to speed on his reading:

Suggested film-title for the narrative of the November 2012 General Synod of the Church of England: Dead Church Kneeling. Without a Bishop Prejean.

Augustinianly speaking, the difference between a cathedral and a prison fellowship is the difference between a courtesan and a hooker: it is solely one of opulence and style. 

You know that faith-shaped hole that some say is in each of us? Judging from their input, amiable atheists like Alain de Botton evidently think it is located between what Forrest Gump calls the but-tocks.

I’ve been reading some of Al Mohler’s stuff online. Sorry about the pun, but the words “root canal” come to mind. And shouldn’t that be El Mohler?

Beatrice Marovich suggests, quite brilliantly, that we should judge a book by its cover. I would add another criterion of judgement: blurbists (NB: not blurbs but blurbists – the names alone suffice). For films too. So with testimonies by Joel Osteen and Rick Warren, and endorsements from Glenn Beck and the Dove Foundation, I can say, enthusiastically, that the History Channel’s The Bible is brilliant, awesome, a celluloid miracle. Which, coming from this blogger-blurbist, should be the kiss of death.

Paul “persecuted” Christians. We can be more specific. Paul was a bounty hunter (whose payment was treasure in heaven). More, he terrorised the church – which makes him a terrorist, doesn’t it?

Scholars have spilt a lot of ink puzzling over Paul’s “thorn in the flesh”. A modern translation might help us tease out an answer: Paul’s “pain in the ass”. Then – context, context, context: a letter to those faultless Corinthians – the answer becomes obvious: the church itself! Grace sufficient and power made perfect in weakness indeed. 

Berry, Wendell – 
E-reader, Kindle – 
They don’t go together somehow. 
Unless he can use it to plough.

Some recent studies suggest that Facebook and Twitter are as addictive as alcohol and cocaine. With, however, none of the benefits.

Piscine culinary proverb: to sear the cod is the beginning of wisdom.

Synecdoche: a figure of speech in which a part represents the whole – as in (the example I always use) “Get your ass over here!”

Sermons are like apples. They come in sharp and sweet, crisp and soft, dry and juicy, and they ripen at different times of the year. And no one likes the core.

Parents, don’t try to teach your kids right from wrong. Rather show them how to detect bullshit and recognise beauty – i.e., show them what is real; oh, and bums – how funny they are, especially the squishy ones.

Marx memorably wrote: “Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historical facts and personages occur, as it were, twice. He has forgotten to add: the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.” Events in the UK suggest that this observation now needs revision, as we experience a non-identical repetition of the neo-liberal policies of Margaret Thatcher. The “facts” remain tragic, perhaps more tragic than the original: (a) because in the aftermath of the greed-fuelled 2008 financial crisis, the contemporary Tory “there is no alternative” austerity mantra constitutes both an amnesty to the malefactors of the market as well as a punitive burden on its victims; (b) because there is no principled political alternative, as the coalition-partner Liberal Democrats are hopelessly compromised, while Labour remains ideologically contaminated and clueless; and (c) because I suspect that the Church of England under Justin Welby will not provide the kind of prophetic, not just letter-to-the-editor witness exercised under Robert Runcie and proclaimed in Faith in the City (1985). Marx, though, was right about the farce – which, however, you will find not in the “facts” but in the vaudevillian “personages” of the oligarchy.

The Bible remains a best-seller – despite the Sermon on the Mount. Or perhaps because of it – ear candy. 

Whatever the linguistic, grammatical, textual, and exegetical analyses, if in key Pauline passages pistis christou isn’t a subjective genitive, we’re all fucked. Karl Barth in Romans taught me that, and it’s been personally confirmed on every one of my nearly 13,000 days as an ever-falling follower of the Fast One.

Whenever shit happens, I think, “Where isn’t God in all this?”

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