fragments of an attempted writing.

a decade.

1.  St.Thomas Aquinas in his hometown of Roccasecca, Italy.  He's lost some weight in pomo.  Damn The Biggest Loser, there are no limits to its god awful reach.

2.  Reason #1 I like a low Latin - for about half of the Mass I can't hear anything but the kids who aren't sitting quietly, the crazy old dude in the back who loans used tissues to snot nosed kids, and the birds outside.  The older I get the more my interest in birds grows.  My dad is a birdwatcher.  Reason #2 I like a low Latin -- the priesthood of believers song and dance is complete bunk.  I'd rather do business; the kind wherein I know I don't have shit to say, so I let my agent do the talking.  I then just nod in agreement a few times when I'm supposed to and sign something at the end.  Works for me.  But I can mumble/sing On Eagles Wings if you need me to.  I'm versatile that way.  No complaints anymore unless the homily is longer than 7 minutes or there are parking issues.  

3.  Josef Pieper

One time I tagged along with Henry to a book deal he did with this old German couple who had been close friends with Pieper.  Their house is magical in my memory.  One of those old St. Paul family homes that a postman used to be able to afford, with nooks and crannies all in spectacular woodwork that surprises you in a home of modest size.  I only spent a few minutes with these folks but they were special, and their souls radiated through the building they had spent many years in.  Decent architecture can work that way with a human life.  No wonder my life is so screwed up with my junkfest leaking molding creaking dismally crafted ranch with original plastic siding.  

Pieper has been a constant friend through any number of twists and turns.  Some of them regrettable but hell I'm still trying to figure out this tricky one shot I have at a human life.  Long time readers will know that I am especially indebted to Pieper for his take on flattery in modern language, but upon picking up his other works again I am reminded that he reads like butter.  Not that factory made crap that is sold in sticks, but big asymmetrical chunks of farm butter that creams the soul.  I've noticed that not everyone has my reaction to Pieper.  And some people who know me well can't understand why I of all people like him so much.  Tough call.  He is like my literary comfort food.  I have hope that there is meaning and order in the universe again when I read him.  Then I put him down and everything goes to slop and muck.  Perhaps the answer is to never have a Pieper work away from my person.

4.  Jacques Maritain and the question of taking him seriously.  Very difficult, for several reasons, but chief among them is my perplexity concerning the whole Josephite marriage to Raïssa thing.  She was cute:

and she remained a good looking woman as she aged:

To make things worse, she even did sensual looks well into middle age just to tease old Jacques:

"In order to dedicate ourselves to philosophy" my ass.  These are the sorts of horrors that must have taken place before theology of the body came around to fix everything.  If only the Maritains had lived in the era of Christopher West.  

I will say this in due respect of the man.  I read once that really old Jacques, in the last 7 or 8 years of his life, had a diet which consisted only of a little coffee, scotch, water, a little bread, cigarettes/pipe, and very occasionally a small piece of sausage.  This makes me very happy because if by some very strange sequence of events I manage to outlive my wife, it is good to know that there is a religious order out there I can go to which will see to my own culinary priorities.  Maritain joined the Little Brothers of Jesus in his evening years.  

5.  Disturbing as the above may be, even more disturbing are religious bloggers who give every indication that there is no possible way they could get laid gleefully becoming Roissystas.   I'm something of a cataloger of the pathetic and banal, but this phenomenon folks, is indisputably the all time cake taker.

6.  My favorite religious blog posts are the ones where some guy waxes on and on (drowning in the affect of a strained world weariness, even though he seems like the sort who would struggle to get through two beers and probably still feels all ex-Evangelical guilty when he swears) about the dangers of internet religious blogging - noting the irony that he himself is doing it, while admonishing presumably less wise readers as to what sort of things should be avoided.  It reminds me of that time when I was a kid and Mac Davis sang Lord It's Hard to Be Humble on the Muppets:

Of course this analogy isn't exactly right - because the sort of blogger who does one of the posts in question always predicates his thought on the fact that he fails, and he is a hypocrite, and yada yada.  Shouldn't we all know that game by now? -- I mean, uh, yeah, to be the perfect, meet, and right religious blogger you have to point at your faults in the very predictable and obligatory fashion.  To be perfectly humble you have to claim your sins, while inferring that they aren't anywhere near the same category of bad as the media sins of the guy or type of guy who you can't stand and are about to criticize (you can't assert this much, but only infer it, as an assertion here would break the rules).  It's all part of the program.

Why is it that religious Americans (in most camps) keep going for those practiced token phrases of self-deprecation-as-humility as if they mean anything anymore?  Certain religious milieus, such as one where an astounding number of people close emails with "the chief of sinners" or "a sinner" and similar phrases, seem to buy into this game a lot more than others.  Perhaps it is that Americans who get into religion are the most gullible people on earth.  It seems they sometimes actually believe that a person who publicly calls himself a sinner or a spiritual failure in a direct fashion actually intends to convey something about himself that is honest.  And what is worse, they assume the integrity of the intent here on the part of said blogger, but don't think him hopelessly lost in deluded megalomania in the event that really is his intent.  This phenomenon is truly remarkable.  I've got some swamp land in Syosset to sell you people.  We religious Americans may be the stupidist people in human history.

Maybe the song above would be more analogous if the lyrics were - "O Lord, it's hard to be humble, when you're as close to perfect repentance as one can be but still shy enough of the mark to have the desired street cred and also have people identify with your stated deviations enough to view you as having insight into their lives all the while expressing a gentle warmheartedness you not so subtly contrast with the type of people whose anti-humility you describe so as to, ahem, help others less wise than you."  Not as catchy as the original lyric though, come to think of it.

7.  Memphis finally made it on to the greatest religion blog of all time:

I personally don't see what the big deal is.  There are plenty of places in Memphis other than the ECUSA cathedral where women both wear boas like that one and collect money from an audience.  OK, yeah, that's the best I could do.  Sorry.

I agree with the organist/choirmaster who comments on the thread in defense of his Canon Pastor; Memphis is a funky city.  That is what most concerns me here - because this pictured example seems pretty tame by both Memphis and Bad Vestments standards.  My longstanding fear is that the wanna-be bourgeoisie in this city would succeed in gentrifying it and make it boring.  If this is the best bad vestment Memphians can come up with my fears are all the more confirmed.

8.  I'm not sure that you can be three things at once - an American, a person who is "serious" about God, and someone who really isn't all that interested in baseball.  I like college football, I really like 6-man and 8-man high school football, I like high school and college wrestling (as in Dan Gable, not Jesse Ventura), I like boxing (straight up good old fashioned boxing and not this brazilian do whatever you want in the fight crap or anything like that), I like soccer if my nephew is playing or if it's the Welsh national team.  I like many winter olympics sports, particularly the biathlon.  I even like softball, not to play it, but to watch it -- this came about after the time my friend Tommy and I were making fun of softball in front of his sister who went on to a scholarship in softball at Miami of Ohio.  She was a pitcher.  She forced us out to the ball field near the water reservoir and threatened to beat us up if we didn't swing.  My hands still hurt from when I finally made contact with a ball.  She could pitch.  Hard.

But I've never been able to get into baseball.  My family all knows that this is due to the fact that my mother (she claims accidentally) ran over my t-ball stand when I was 5, which ended my enthusiasm for the sport.  Anyway, I've resigned myself to the idea that because I am not a real baseball fan I am thus obviously incapable of being "serious" about God.  I do hate the Cubs though, but only for class warfare reasons.  My boss dragged me to some Cubs games on a trip to Chicago once, and the el driver quite enthusiastically espoused his White Sox loyalties over the PA as a large group of folks who looked like they might otherwise be going to a Southern Baptist youth camp got off the el.  Solidarity brother!

I do like to go to Redbirds games here in Memphis, but pretty much entirely for relatively cheap drink, friends, and food.  Maybe I glance out to the field for a total of 20 minutes during a 2 1/2 hour trip to the park.  Memphis style BBQ nachos don't grow on trees folks, sometimes you have to go to a crowded place to get them.

9.  Mary, this consecrated virgin I used to work with at the bookstore, makes rosaries out of seeds that come from a Kentucky coffeetree in her yard in South St. Paul.  This is one she made for me years ago:

Each seed is maybe 2/3" of an inch wide or so.  This one went to some old dodger whose fingers didn't work well enough for a small rosary.  So Mary is making me a Franciscan Crown rosary out of the same bead material as the above one.  I've always wanted a Franciscan Crown rosary because I believe it is the one kind of rosary that need not be blessed to work and blessings are a huge hassle.

The last rosary I had blessed the kids destroyed.  The bishop who blessed that rosary was the bishop of the best town in which to drink beer in the whole state of WI at the time, but now he is Cardinal Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura.  Hope that doesn't turn out to be an omen.  My kids thought it would make a cool necklace but once the fight over it ensued it turned out to be more of a leash and just as I was about to restore order and end sacrilege it turned into beads flying all over the living room some of which we still find on our once a year vacuum trips into the nether regions.  Perhaps the Cardinal casts a forgiving eye towards incompetence though.

10.  I got this whilst on a mission trip to Mexico in 1994:

During this trip a group of us were walking up a mountain and just to the right of us on the path there was this large concrete aqueduct or irrigation tube of some sort that seemed to take water from somewhere above us on the mountain downward, with smaller pipes coming off the big concrete tube at a field every so often.

The aqueduct was 4 or 5 feet in diameter and above ground and every so often there were holes in the top.  Anyway, someone in our group decided that the tube would make the ultimate waterslide, so, long story short, the group of 7 or 8 of us went in.

Jeremy was the first one to go in, thank God.  I was second.  It turned out that the inside was extremely slimy and the part above water (the water came up to fill the tube about half way) was thick with daddy long leggers.  Really thick.  It was also pitch black once you moved a few yards from one of the openings in the top.  We slid quite quickly and via yelling at each other finally figured out and instructed each other in the proper technique needed to slow our speed to the point of maintaining some control.  It was disgusting and and freezing and scary in the tube and as soon as we could moderately control our speed the next focus was on getting out.

We were at this point in a line where each of us was right behind the person in front of us.  We could maintain this position because Jeremy had been a star linebacker in high school and could squat over 500 lbs. His strength meant he could use his legs to maintain a slow speed even with the rest of us bumping into the person(s) in front of us which resulted in a hell of a lot of pressure on Jeremy.

So Jeremy had to do two very difficult things - he had to control the speed of the group with his legs by pressing with a great deal of force at an awkward angle against the slimy concrete walls of the tube and he had to reach up and grab as we passed under an opening, which amounted to maybe a 2 foot diameter hole in the ceiling of the concrete tube.  The first time Jeremy tried to reach up and grab the edge of the hole the train of people behind him collectively slammed into him, he lost his grip, and we kept moving down the mountain.  This happened again and again.  I remember yelling to him at one point "what the hell happens to us if you can't hold on!!"  I'm not always up to speed on the best motivational techniques.  Anyway, at one point after 4 or 5 failed attempts Jeremy lunged toward the opening with a peculiar fierceness, timing his grab perfectly.    We all slammed into him again.  He roared and then cried out in pain as one arm bore God knows how much weight against it, but we all stopped.  I then climbed up Jeremy to get a grip at the top, and Jeremy then basically pinned me to the top of the concrete, thus holding everybody else in place, and positioned himself so the his legs were hanging into the hole far enough down that no one would slip past him.  He reached down one by one and pulled as out.  Flung might be a better verb there - he flung us out with his adrenaline in full gear.

We all laid on the side of the mountain next to that hole after we were all out.  We were silent for perhaps a minute, and then the hysterical laughter that comes with a narrow escape.

A farmer had seen us come out and came running up the mountain yelling at us.  It turns out that there were usually grates in the tubes but in order to clean out debris every once in a while they pull the grates out to clean out the junk that gets in there.  The grates were not located where the holes were, but in a few locations where they extended the seam between two sections of tubing.  Had those grates been in that day, we would have had to go uphill backwards in the slime to get out - almost certainly an impossible prospect.  The farmer impressed upon us that we were the epitome of stupid.

Jeremy was an epileptic.  He had been offered a full ride to play football at a real college but turned it down to go to missions school.  He was an epileptic and it was a big deal that an epileptic was such a standout high school football player in a serious football state like PA where he was from - he showed me some of the newspaper articles that had been written about him once.

He later got engaged to a beautiful Arab girl he met in the Evangelical missions world, but while they were engaged one night Jeremy died in his sleep of some sort of undiagnosed heart condition.  Once, in the summer of 1996, when his parents and siblings were at the cabin they rented at a lake in interior Maine each year I spent a day with all of them fishing (I was living in Maine that year).  Jeremy had a brother and two sisters.  Within a few years of that day both Jeremy and his brother were dead - they both died within a year of each other, his brother in a car accident.  As I recall I think his father died not too long after that.  I hope the women in that family have somehow managed.

When I think of Jeremy I usually think of dorm room antics or that day fishing in Maine.  For some reason I don't usually think of him saving my life in Mexico unless I am thinking about Mexico.  But digging this old cross out I thought of him pulling me out of darkness in Mexico.

Jeremy's family owned a small family business which supplied flowers to florists.  Maybe I'll have the kids "accidentally" pull some of the neighbor's flowers and I'll set a few near this cross.  Requiescat in pace old friend.  

...lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy...


  1. OK, this is the most fascinating blog out there, LOL. Along with Ius Honorarium, but he doesn't post enough.

  2. I confess occasional twinges of ex-evangelical guilt over coarse language. Any advice on what to do with Ephesians 5:4?

  3. MikeO,

    What you and scripture do together in the privacy of your own home is nobody else's business.

    OK, on a slightly more serious note, I think that an ex-evangelical (if the evangelical in question was a true believer evangelical) who returns to the scriptures is akin to the recovering meth addict who returns to a meth lab. It would seem the only solution is for such an ex-evangelical to avoid the scriptures for the rest of his life. This may or may not facilitate a restoration of discernible indications of humanity in the subject.

    On yet an even slightly more serious a note, I have hung out with ex-cultists in American Eastern Orthodoxy (the HOOMie/CSBers) who during their "noncanonical" years were admonished to adopt patterns of humor which were formed by the intuitions of humor found in Jane Austen and Dickens. Their cracker-jack-box bishop eventually got arrested for having sex with young men, and, come to think of it, there are some scholars who suggest such subtle undertones in Austen so I guess it all makes sense.

    In any event, I have spent time with those who came out of that world, especially the folks who grew up in it, and I have also spent time with plenty of folks who grew up in fundamentalism or the more fervent sides of Evangelicalism or Pentecostalism. The character of their taking grab of whatever they can of the world now that it is open to them follows similar patterns - different people react in different ways but they seem to consolidate into predictable types - the girl who two years ago was wearing skirts to her feet with head covered and praying all the time now has a tramp stamp she shows off, smokes weed all the time, sleeps with two boyfriends, etc. The guy who went along ho hum with the program before now has no firm moral footing and struggles with whether he should watch rated R movies, thinks himself wistfully provocative and just a little dirty in ordering a beer at Apple-bees, and has trouble making friends because he is a stilted nerd. I can go on. The most important thing to consider, perhaps, is the extent to which former text-literal based rules deformed the humanity of a given person or group of persons, and what is best done to reverse the specific effects. I am a firm believer in shock therapy under controlled conditions as a cure for ex-cultists and ex-evangelicals.

    Second to lastly, on the most serious note - that verse is said to have been written by the same guy who told a slave to return to his master - and not in order to slit the master's throat. So he is not one of my "go to" saints, for obvious reasons.

    Lastly, Greeks are addicted to contradiction and making rules which they then find a kazillion exceptions for. They also love overstatement. Keep that in mind. Maybe St. Paul meant that it is perfectly normal to cuss when you stub your toe or are describing something you don't care for or that you care for very much. Maybe he just meant you shouldn't act like that misogynistic dipshit Roissy. Or ever cuss at your mother. That is seriously bad, I think, unless your mom burnt you with car cigarette lighters or somesuch.

    That's the best I could do. Oh well....

  4. Just listened to a free audiobook by an ex-fundamentalist. Churched by Matthew P. Turner. Listened to it because it was free, and I was doing some excruciatingly boring proofreading. It was an eye-opener. Not as funny or well-written as Portofino, but not as mean, either. Today Turner belongs to a rather bland megachurch. I don't blame him. If I'd been raised as he was, I don't think I'd even be Christian anymore.

  5. Diane, the subcultures these groups create have their quirks and even charms at times, and looking back on some experiences I try to keep that in mind, but it was also really, really sick at times.

    The year I went to a fundamentalist school we went on a college tour visiting TN Temple, Bob Jones, and Pensacola Christian College, three colleges that fundy high school tried to steer students towards.

    At Pensacola Christian College they had male and female elevators. They explained to us that in the event of a power outage they did not want anyone to have occasion to fall into sin. They also had a 50 or so foot high concrete wall around their outdoor swimming pool area so that when a girl was on the high dive no male passing by the facility would see her and lust in his heart. They also owned two stretches of beach -- you guessed it, one mens and one womens. My high school group spent two nights there in the dorms with Pensacola Christian College students and they were some of the most screwed up repressed persons I have ever met.

    A girl I dated in high school had a brother who went to Pensecola Christian College. Like most students there he got a job working for the school - his job was as a night security guard. He was caught french kissing his girlfriend while on the job. They fired him of course, and also expelled him. On his permanent record he was kicked out for what they described as him having been caught "committing an oral sex act in a public area." Sure enough, when I got there I looked up in the school handbook and open mouth kissing was therein described as oral sex, an act only appropriate for marriage and in the bedroom. They really messed up my then girlfriend's brother's life, as he had trouble getting into another school. Some places inquired if he was a registered sex offender after reading his records from PCC. He eventually did get back into school but it was many years later after slaving away in the restaurant industry doing crap work for a lot of years. He is now apparently a militant libertarian, and given his experience that seems understandable. His sister told me that when he got caught that was just the second time he had ever kissed the girl. They were both clothed, nothing else going on. What bad luck.

  6. It would be interesting to know on what blogs congregate most of those people that attach their minor clerical title (reader, subdeacon) to their name.
    I for one, can't stand readers and subdeacons.

  7. #6 yes this is why we need to hear more of your commentary/blogging. Seriously. I'd fill the void but don't have the gift/time/experience (balls?).

  8. Owen, I used to hang out a lot at (when older son and I were researching colleges -- before I realized that the only viable options were state schools that give out tons of merit $$, since everything else is completely unrealistic financially). Anyway,'s #1-most-reviewed school is Pensacola Christian. The horror stories are fascinating---oy!!

  9. Robert,

    I'm out of that business, aside from the very occasional chide which is all it takes to keep certain people in their humble persecuted martyr complex. It seems that they would not have their religious identity without the likes of me, and out of the deep charity in my heart I provide them their stabilizing edifice.

  10. Besides Robert,

    Sure, I've been saying for awhile that the cure in the AOANA was worse than the disease, but given my previous devotion to the subject were I to go back into religion blogging now I would have to go further than that token statement, I would have to admit I got some things totally wrong and make some apologies. For instance, it turns out that Bishop Mark formerly of the AOANA and now of the OCA DOS is a complete control freak megalomaniac asshole with a stilted, "off" personality. I've seen the emails and heard horror stories from too many divergent folks in the DOS to think otherwise at this point. My handlers were wrong in the image they painted of him, and I passed that image along to others. Ugh. The first person I would need to apologize to is Walid Khalife. His email rants directed at Mark now seem a lot more appropriate, or at least deserving of some sympathy. But better to leave such things alone, and not use up the one time per year I admit a poverty of analysis.

  11. It is hard to make sense of or to get to the bottom line of the various accounts about Bp. Mark, OCA, DOS, AOANA, etc. etc. But although that may make for interesting reading, I find the hard hitting religious and social commentary of more value. If we can't take a hard and honest look at ourselves, what makes us think we can remain standing before God? Much offense will be taken on that day, so may as well take it now. On that Day it will be too late.

    And no, you are not always right, but at least once a year.

  12. Pieper rocks.

    OK, this is the most fascinating blog out there, LOL.

    Hell yeah

  13. What you and scripture do together in the privacy of your own home is nobody else's business.

    That line rules balls. (Or "ruleth stones" in the KJV.) I'm going to link to this post.

  14. Pauli, I love your blog, too. I usually don't comment much unless you're posting about dreherrhea, but I read your other posts and view your videos, honest I do! (Well, YouTube is blocked here at Dilbert-World, but I do view videos at home sometimes.)

    Diane (having a hard time posting this--blogger is being a beeyotch today)

  15. BTW, the Bad Vestments blog is run by the same guy who runs, which chronicles the increasingly irrelevant inanities of TEC. You probably already know this, but anyway....


  16. Owen,

    Thanks for the response. Overstatement is probably the key thing to keep in mind when reading that Ephesians verse (Paul was fond of overstatement elsewhere).

    I agree that a bit of shock treatment can lead to healthfulness in such matters. The simple experience of conversation with cussin' Christians can be like a Pentecostal discovering "real" Christians who don't speak in tongues.

  17. Chris Johnson needs to get over his ex-church and move on.

  18. Hey, that's what I keep saying about Rod Dreher. LOL!

  19. Diane,

    I think C. Wingate meant that the Episcopal, er, "body" is an "ex-church," not that Johnson is a former member of said ex-church. (Last I knew, Johnson hadn't left anyway.)

    Different situation with Dreher.

  20. But as usual, I could be wrong.

  21. I could have sworn that Johnson had gone over to some continuing church, but I certainly could be wrong about that.

  22. Having met Bishop Mark on a couple of occasions and supped with him at a urbane seafood restaurant in Denver a few years ago and also having met, albeit for a very brief moment, Mr. Walid Khalif, might I weigh into a few remarks you made. First I need to say that I liked Bishop Mark, but I would agree some might find him odd or “off-putting” (I didn’t but I am one of those odd birds who tend to like most everyone) and while such traits might engender frustration for some it should not have led to the crash and burn of his stint under Metropolitan Philip. Walid Khalif, in my brief encounter, presented like a cartoon Mafioso trying to make a good impression but always on the edge of losing it and there was nothing in what he said for himself later that would change the initial impression.

    Bishop Mark took over for a failed Bishop who didn’t give a crap and seemed to have a lot more interest in wine, women and strong drink that was good for him. Probably his biggest failing was that he did not keep this under wraps and his tenure came to an abrupt end. I gather that most people liked him and a few wealthy women in the diocese as well. He respected the “old boy’s network” and while I don’t think anyone got rich, money flowed freely and without any accountability to whatever cause the mover’s and shakers thought fitting. I gather that Walid is the sort of guy who liked his religion simple, pay your bucks in hope of salvation and let the priest work things out so God does not get too pissed off. I will give it to Walid… I have seen worse from people who played a slicker hand at the church biz. The piece about him blowing his cork and then laying down a few thousand dollars in instant reparation is a hard act to follow and frankly I can relate to a guy that does this. At least this fellow Walid did not have the mask that most righteous handwringers put on.

    Bishop Mark was put in charge of attempting to put some order to this mess and I suspect he gave it his textbook best. Here was a slightly obsessive fellow attempting to tame a bunch of clerics who ran their parishes like a fiefdom for years and habitually courted the Walid’s of the world on one hand and the “respectable” rug merchants (or the like) on the other. Bishop Mark was on the outside looking in and looking back at this he was the stunned bunny being led to the slaughter. Where prudence and economia should have been the watchwords there was a crusade against “abuse” real and imaginary. I say imaginary in that some of the issues while not fully in accord with Orthodox ecclesiology, were fundamentally cultural. Do I think it a good thing that some famous actor be allowed to sign a “guest book” at the altar, well… no; but I would not make that one of my points of departure in renewing and repairing a diocese. Part of what was right in the diocese was that a guy like Walid could understand that he had committed an offence and immediately make reparation. In a strange way that should have been a beginning but I don’t think anyone grasped where the Walid’s of the world are coming from. The diocese needed a Bishop that could walk in to a brothel and preach the Gospel. Bishop Mark was a definite mismatch and the sad thing is that he was left out to hang. I don’t think that makes Bishop Mark a bad guy, and I suspect after both get a spanking, Mark and Walid will in the end meet in the Heavenly Jerusalem.

    I find it just as easy to drink beer with Walid as to sip wine with Bishop Mark. I don’t know who these two sorts could be reconciled on this life but I guess God being a lot smarter than the rest of us (I am told at least 5 times so) will work it out in the next.

  23. RS,

    The reference above is to what has gone on in Texas. I have heard uniform reports from people all over the ideological spectrum within the DOS. Dude has gone apeshit crazy - a very weird psycho-spiritual babble martyr complex novel length email writing control freaky sort of apeshit. Perhaps he did not leave Michigan psychologically sound. Mark did not have to do anything to have that situation go well. Everyone there was predisposed to like him. But some times a man just has to shoot himself in the foot to have a hole in his foot like Christ I guess.

  24. All I know is what I saw. Perhaps I should not be surprised by what you report. I think one kick at the can being a Bishop should be enough. I have always held that it is better to be a whore than a Bishop. I am not suggesting that being a Bishop is a bad calling but only rarely have I heard of a Bishop becoming a better person after his elevation. Perhaps only a limited number of occupations should be available to a man after being a Bishop. A gardener comes to mind. Perhaps he snapped… if so I feel sorry for him.

  25. Why is it that religious Americans (in most camps) keep going for those practiced token phrases of self-deprecation-as-humility as if they mean anything anymore? Certain religious milieus, such as one where an astounding number of people close emails with "the chief of sinners" or "a sinner" and similar phrases, seem to buy into this game a lot more than others. Perhaps it is that Americans who get into religion are the most gullible people on earth. It seems they sometimes actually believe that a person who publicly calls himself a sinner or a spiritual failure in a direct fashion actually intends to convey something about himself that is honest

    You mean like this guy over here?...

  26. I just love the shout out to Dan Gable.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.