Wednesday 29 October 2014

Desperado doodlings

by Kim Fabricius

Imagine a book of theology in which, among your marginal notes, LOL outnumbers NB. Pray for the conversion of Terry Eagleton.

What do you call a novel with a clear moral message? Propaganda.

Good tragedy will cast you down, but it won’t make you despair; good comedy will make you laugh, but it won’t cheer you up.

Four words of Jesus that many Christians don’t seem to get: “εγω δε λεγω υμιν …” (in the Antitheses, Matthew 5:21ff.).

—“What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?”
—Peter answered, “Is this another one of your trick questions?”
—Jesus said, “No, straight up.”
—Peter said, risked, “Hmm… Don’t you mean ‘Who is my neighbour?’”
—Godsmacked, Jesus said, “Er, yes, I guess I do.” (Mark 8:29ff., Original Autograph)

Some Pharisees and Herodians said to Jesus, “Tell us: is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus knew it was a trick question and replied, “Why are you playing mind games with me? Bring me a coin, and let me look at it.” They handed him one. He flipped it, and said, “Heads I win, tails you lose.” (Mark 12:15f., Original Autograph)

“One Christian is no Christian” (Tertullian). Just the one? (Cf. Matthew 26:22.)

Pastors, be careful – and be prepared – if you comfort the bereaved with the assurance that God himself has felt the grief of losing a loved one. “Yes,” you might hear in reply, “for a couple of days. I’ve lost my keys for longer.”

You could sum-up the theopathology of the Religious Right by saying that it has a beattitude problem.

If the US is a great country, it’s because it produces so many un-American Americans.

Rachel Held Evans – what? – close and kissed him? upright when drunk? by the scruff of his neck? on a charge of identity theft? at gunpoint? Possibilities abound.

Sign outside The Church of the Extra Virgin in the parish of Erewhon: “We Now Extend a Warm Welcome to / a Tepid Provision for / a Not-Quite-So Cold Shoulder to the Intrinsically Disordered.”

What is the difference between the atheisms of Richard Dawkins and Alain de Botton? I would say that while the former writes horseshit, the latter indulges in bullshit: the theological ignorance and vieux jeu rationalism of the one, the mauvaise foi and quiche spirituality of the other.

If absence makes the heart grow fonder, that’s because it’s easier to love people when they’re not here in all their unsettling density and awkward detail. So too with Jesus. Were the Messiah hanging around my house rather than sitting at the right hand of God, I’m quite sure I’d think him a pain in the ass. Or rather even more a pain in the ass.

As the science of climate change grows ever more conclusive and monitory, the politics of climate change grows ever more posturing and dilatory. Let’s face it: the planet is screwed. Fine, I can die with that, but let’s at least cut the sanctimonious crap of leaving the world a better place than we found it, and safer for our children and grandchildren.

For too many people, getting to the top is a damn shame: the gifts they bring are liable to rust, while the skills they acquire are likely to ruin; the best they can expect is frustration, the worst corruption.

Why do people have affairs? To feel again. For the excitement, including the tactical challenges of tryst and evasion. The irresistible attraction of transgression (the theft of pears). The atavistic irresponsibility of it (childhood regained). And the fucking, of course the fucking, audacious and feral. A perfect storm for disordered desire with its wreckage of deceit and betrayal.

There are Christians who will not condone
using swearwords like “damn”, let alone
filth like “asshole” or “prick”,
yet who don’t give a shit
at the killing of thousands by drones.

So “Norway has been named as the best country in the world to grow cold” (MSN News, 3 October). Oops, that should be “old”.

Whenever there is a hue and cry that “Something must be done!”, you can be sure that the ensuing something mustn’t.

A politician says: “X is the lesser of two evils [X and Y].” A politician means: “X is good, Y is evil.” Politicians are inveterate Manicheans.

A politician lauded for “strong leadership”, for “knowing his own mind”, rarely has a mind worth knowing, except as a case study in sociopathy.

I was excited to read recently that there has been a huge surge in requests for “The Kim” – only to have my vanity quickly deflated. It turns out that the article was referring to a “bottom enhancement procedure” (a “bacial”) modelled on the butt of “Rear of the Year” Kim Kardashian. Not exactly what I had in mind.

66 on 6 October: I’m a beast.

I’ve begun to play hide-and-seek again, but now my playmates are memories.

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