Friday, February 26, 2010

February 26, 2010

Kopp Disclosure
(John 3:19-21)



I've done lots of mediations over the years (click on the "Mediation" box above to hire me); discovering most relational fractures are caused by hyper-sensitivities more than anything else.

For example, while mediating a severance package for a pastor in Illinois a few years ago, I interviewed an elder who confessed the genesis of her disaffections: "When I got back from my Caribbean cruise, he didn't even ask if I had a good time."

Just after that, a Missouri woman said her pastor had to "go" because he wasn't "concerned enough about the feelings" of a young married relative who was forced to step down from leadership in their youth ministries because she was involved in multiple affairs in the church and community.

A little over five years ago in a neighboring church, I did my best to make the peace between a female pastor who accused a male pastor of discriminating against her because of her ethnicity and gender and that male pastor who accused that female pastor of using her ethnicity and gender to get her own way with him, members, officers, other staff members, and even higher judicatories.

And so it goes in today's church "where the cross once made of silver now is caked with rust" (go back to the first video).

While it may come as a shock to hyper-Arminians and hyper-Calvinists, hyper-sensitivities more than theological debates/divergences make life miserable in today's churches.

Of course, today's church, so much more than less, is only mirroring what's happening in the world in a less than Romans 12:1-2 kinda way.

Whether it's the continuing aftershock of 9/11 or 24ish paranoia or the realities of a crumbling empire, people in and out of the church have an increasingly common denominator: hyper-sensitivities.

Everybody seems so touchy these days.

I'd say bitchy but that would upset the sensitivities of some folks.


Speaking of ___y (you fill in the blank to suit your sensitivities) people, Aurora, Illinois is really catching it (scroll down to KD's 2/22 edition) for their ordinance that limits outdoor "seasonal" displays to 60 days before and after holidays.

Editor of one of America's leading religious publications: "I'm really concerned about free speech, especially when it comes to light displays. My friends...have lights ringing their front porch year round. I don't think it has anything at all to do with Christmas and everything with the spirit of being the light of the world, a light in their neighborhood, a safe and happy home, a joyful people...They live in ___ and let's say it's not the #1 neighborhood for yuppies with kids relocating to the area. So, maybe it would never occur to anyone to attempt to regulate what could or couldn't be displayed on the porch, around the windows, over the doors, or shining via neon through the windows...On the other hand, ___ lives in a gated community in ___. They have pretty strict rules about what may or may not be parked in view of the street, barking dogs...She is a bit fanatical about holidays. She decorates for ALL of them - inside and out...The lights and ornaments change and its all very tasteful, but...She was notified...So, she took down the lights? No! She ran for president of her neighborhood association, changed the rules, and now runs neighborhood-wide contests for best decorations, hosts parades, closes streets for block parties...You get the picture. No sour lemons! The lemonade freely flows! The kids now offer to decorate for elderly neighbors...I think everyone is happier - or they just move - because Scrooges just don't live long in places where joy abounds."

U.S. Customs agent in Chicago: "I used to live not far from Aurora. They have more important things to worry about than making sure everyone's Christmas lights are down in an appropriate time frame. Let's slash the gang violence and drug trafficking; but perhaps the 'officials' in Aurora think that the drug pushers and gang members are actually boosting the economy. They are burning good tax dollars sending around people to issue tickets for something so...I wonder if it's the same person who goes around in the summer with a ruler to measure lawn length. Talk about wacky priorities!"

Two comments.

For the editor, you've made the point that the Christophers have been trying to make for years that seems to escape too many communities and churches: "It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness." Of course, as an old missionary said, "You can't give away what you ain't got for yourself!"

For the agent, "You go, girl!"



Staying with ___y people - reminding me of the comedian who said, "My mom did not see the irony in calling me a son of a ___" - Hannah Storm dresses like she should be on Fox instead of ESPN while sporting a documentable hyper-sensitivity about anyone who comments on, uh, just about anything about her that she doesn't like.

Of course, she's a child of privilege who was legacyed into the business by her daddy; but you can read all about that in other sources.

Anyway, she got Tony Kornheiser, co-host of the network's PTI, suspended for two weeks effective 2/22/10 for saying this about the 50ish (6/13/62) reporter who dresses like those moms at the malls who act/dress like their daughters because they're BFFs: "...horrifying go-go boots...[with a skirt]...way too short for somebody her age...[and a shirt] she has sausage casing wrapping around her upper body...She's what I would call a Holden Caulfield fantasy at this point."

While Kornheiser's apology (on-air as well as in private to the former Hannah Storen of Oak Park, Illinois) sounded about as sincere as Tiger's (scroll down to KD's 2/19 and 2/22 editions), an ESPN big shot said such "hurtful and personal comments...are not acceptable and have significant consequences."

O.K., uh, geez, sigh, but, "Stick and stones will break my bones but names..."

I've always liked Hannah.

She's almost as hot as Sarah.

But here's the difference.

Sarah reloads rather than retreats; and she doesn't go ___ and moaning about it to, uh, boys.

Come to think of it, now I know why Hannah's not on Fox or MSNBC.

They leave sensitivity to others like, uh, ESPN.


Times are tough.

People are on edge about almost everything almost always.

While I'd like all of us to try a little harder to respect everybody's sensitivities, it's hard to keep up with all of 'em.

So here's my suggestion.

When in doubt, don't.

But if you've got to throw stones, make sure the target is wearing a helmet and remember to wear one for the inevitable returns.



Blessings and Love!

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