When I hit the links with my dad, he always asks on the first green between jingling change and whistling in some gamesmanship, "Son, why do you putt left-handed when you play right-handed?"
I reply, "Dad, you know I've been putting left-handed for over twenty years because I used to hit heavy topspin when I played competitive tennis and it gave me the yips so I can't putt left-handed and putt right-handed."
After the redundant dramatic pause which lasts until I'm in the backswing of my first putt of the day, he mutters, "Well, I've got news for you. You can't putt left-handed either."
Recently, I asked, "How does it feel to be an octogenarian?"
He replied, "Don't worry. You're catching up."
He can be so sarcastic.
Seriously, my dad is sarcastic; and I guess it's a generational gift in our family.
He's also a true patriot, faithful husband and father, and walks the talk of Christianity better than most.
I got some of my iconoclastic spirit from him as well as Him (read Exodus 20).
He is very discouraged/frustrated/ticked by the current state of ecclesiastical and uncivil politics.
He says, "A liberal is somebody with both feet planted firmly in the air; and when you look into their eyes carefully, you don't know if they're having a vision of God or just pooped in their pants. A conservative is somebody who hates to see anything happen for the first time."
Speaking of labels, have you noticed how liberals are now progressives and conservatives are now traditionalists?
What's up with that?
You say tomato, I say...
Where is GWB's daddy's VP when we need him?
It reminds me of pro-choicers who are really pro-abortionists which is kinda like pro-lifers who are really crackers who don't want to spread any of their wealth around which might help encourage bringing more lives into the world.
I guess progressives aren't regressives like traditionalists who really don't like anything new and traditionalists aren't hedonists like progressives who are progressing beyond old-fashioned morality.
I don't know.
I feel like Gramps in Moonstruck, "I'ma so confused."
Staying on labels for a few more moments, I met (yesterday) with a Ph.D. candidate from Loyola University of Chicago who is working on an ecclesiastically-related dissertation and asked me to be a part of the primary research sample: "Exploring the Relationship between Work, Family and Religion among Clergy Families."
The candidate is bright, articulate, winsome, and not so academic to create distance from God by degrees.
After being queried, I asked, "Don't you think all of the ideological labels are imprecise?"
After a precise survey of the prevailing ideologies with allowances for imprecisions which confirmed the second sentence of this section, we talked of Christian ethics not fitting very well into any of the prevailing ideologies even while allowing for imprecisions.
For a quick review of the preceding sentence's conclusion, read Matthew 5-7, 25.
Making a leap to the afterglow of Election 2008, PBHO continues to confuse me.
God knows America needs some "changes" in how we're, uh, doing business and conducting foreign policy; but recruiting Podesta, HRC, Kerry, Richardson, and the old gang doesn't seem very, uh, creative, ground-breaking, ceiling-shattering, novel...
On the other hand, spending more time with Bishop Robinson than the Grahams is a really, really, really big change.
Speaking of changes, same-sex marriage will be SOP in America long before the parousia.
While I'm Pauline and Freudian when it comes to stuff like that, America isn't as obsessed with sex as, uh, traditionalists assume.
Progressives are, uh, way ahead on this.
Progressives/mainliners (synonyms) are right on this one: the Bible ain't what it used to be in American religiosociopolitical culture.
As long as folks buy into revising history apart from history, reimaging faith apart from Biblical revelation, and finding/inventing "more light" to rationalize lusts apart from previously esteemed standards of belief and behavior, the prevailing power label can enable whatever the hell they want to enable.
Just ask the evangelical remnant in those mainline denominations.
Proposition 8 has "outed" proponents/opponents.
Some proponents: all Mormons, most African-Americans, lots of sidelined Christians, orthodox Jews, Prince, Rick Warren, PBHO (according to JB in his debate with SP), JM, Newt, GWB, Knights of Columbus, Focus on the Family, Genesis, Exodus, and Jesus.
Some opponents: Barbara Streisand, George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, Bridget Fonda, Tiny Tim, Melissa Etheridge, Mary J Blige, Brad Pitt, Ellen DeGeneres, Whoopi Goldberg, MoveOn.org, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Gavin Newsom, all ten of California's largest newspapers, all six Episcopal bishops in California, and just about all mainline denominational bureaucrats.
If that ain't a hint...
Of course, it failed.
But not for long.
I expect the PCUSA to file the first amicus curaie to support challenges to its constitutionality.
Just like what's happening in the PCUSA, same-sex marriage advocates will win because they will gut victories of the voting majority by defying them even though they are upheld by the overwhelming majority of ecclesiastical/civil constitutions through judicial legislation and ecclesiastical/civil defiance/disobedience.
This section is not for mainline clergy and progressives.
If you're interested in a clear, concise, surprisingly comprehensive, and, if you're still into the Bible, compelling argument for traditional sexual/marriage values, go to http://www.vimeo.com/2126309.
Again, don't click that on unless you're still into Biblical models of belief and behavior.
Getting back to parochial issues, here are a few lines from a Chicago Presbyterian about presbyteries insisting on particular churches "exhibiting" ideologies considered anathema to their understanding of Biblical Christianity as upheld by the PCUSA constitution when hosting presbytery meetings: "I cannot believe anyone would say everyone would feel welcomed in the various churches of our presbytery. Of course, I remember the guy who said that looked so stunned when I said the PCUSA is irrelevant to our culture."
Continuing, "Guys like him are living in their own little world, the world of Ecclesiastica, where truth no longer matters and the appearance of peace, unity, and having a voice is the ultimate value."
Truth is not everybody wants to board the peace train.
Look what happened to Cat Stevens.
A line from the youth guy in our family of faith: "You've got to go back and straighten out spiritual things first. When you see an economically depreciating community, you know something is wrong spiritually because God promises to meet the needs of His people."
Jesus is Lord and Savior.
Connect the dots.
Just the facts.
Blessings and Love!