When I arrived at First about five years ago, I wrote a letter to former family of faith members who left the church over the years; expressing gratitude to God about those who'd found new church homes and inviting those who hadn't to come back.
A woman who I'd never met before or since who works for some lawyers in Rockford which probably means nothing wrote some of the nastiest things to me about me without the privilege/penance of having ever met me.
I mean it was really, really, really vile stuff.
Sharing the content with staff members and a few elders, I was assured she's notoriously irregular, irascible, and irreconcilable and became even more so after the interim who she adored served his time and left.
Being on the wrong side of idolatry can be...
Sarah Palin comes to mind.
Like BBPBHO who ain't no bridge-builder by any stretch of the re-imagination, she is a polarizing personality; though those who are most virulent in their damnings are usually people who've never had a conversation with her/him/them.
Parenthetically, I'm increasingly disgusted by the ideological litmus tests from the left and right that are just tools of speck-inspecting condemnation that Jesus warned about.
Anyway, I don't know either of 'em on a personal level.
BBPBHO hasn't invited me to the big house for a Bud Light; maybe because I prefer Miller Lite (metaphor).
While I think Sarah's the hottest female candidate even with the Secretary of State lookin' more and more like she's ready to make a Kennedy-move-on-Carter run for the rose garden, I don't really know her in any kinda Biblical or other way.
I have no clue about BBPBHO's principles which appear as impossible to perceive as the Steelers' chances of winning without Big Ben.
I read SP's Going Rogue back in November 2009; and she doesn't come off as divine as the incumbent (scroll down to the 11/18/09 edition).
While I was hoping for a few beauty shots, the pictures weren't nearly as appealing as the narrative; and the quote from Chuck Heath, Sr. at the end captures her caricature: "Sarah's not retreating; she's reloading."
God knows our country could use some of her horse sense: "The enlightened elites want to tell you to sit down and shut up. But the way forward is to stand and fight."
She reminds me of my ecclesiastical franchise's Confessing Church Movement: "Look up! Stand up! Speak up! Act up for Jesus!"
Of course, that movement went nowhere as the denomination continues to go way left.
So I'm thinking Sarah may be stirring up a lot of passion with about as much of a chance of her being the one to replace the current one-termer as me getting elected Moderator of the PCUSA.
While BBPBHO is looking more and more like the next candidate to receive a peanut farmer's butt-whipping from the Gipper, I just don't see SP as the one to spank him.
On the other hand, I never thought BBPBHO would win.
Staying with who's hot, a friend who's hot for her sent a copy of Michael Joseph Gross' Sarah Palin: The Sound and the Fury that's in the 10/10 edition of Vanity Fair to me.
Gross - Hmm - begins with a paragraph that could have been written about the incumbent: "Erratic behavior and a pattern of lying matter little: 'Such falsehoods never damage Palin's credibility with her admirers, because information and ideology are incidental to this relationship.'"
Kinda reminds me of mainline denominational jingoists.
Spewing more bile than one of those exorcism movies, he vents/virulents, "The Palin machine is supported by organizations that do much of their business under the cover of pseudonyms and shell companies...She keeps tight control of her pronouncements, speaking only in settings of her own choosing, with audiences of her own selection, and with reporters kept at bay...She injects herself into the news almost every day, but on a strictly one-way basis...The press plays along."
Yo! Gross! Are you writing about Sarah or BBPBHO?
O.K., back to the vents/virulents: "Palin owes her power to identity politics, pitched with moralistic topspin...Warm and effusive in public, indifferent or angry in private..."
He's, uh, grossed out by SP; even though so much of what he writes about her could be applied to...
From a review of Gross by, I think, Dr. Gina Loudon: "Remember Vanity Fair? You know - the stale, old magazine that no one buys unless they are on the cover or wishing they were, like Joy Behar? The recent hit piece on Sarah Palin by Michael Joseph Gross reveals that they must be as desperate as the rest of the MSM for sales/ratings, because they have lost all credibility, if they ever had any...Some 90% of the hard accusations are attributed to anonymous sources."
Well, it's like some church folks (see the first and next sections of this edition); upchucking personal smears without any personal relationships with the targets.
A woman on a search committee (scroll down to the last edition for more on this) who really wanted me to be her, uh, exclusive pastor/champion/BF/whatever met with me almost every other day for almost six months after I arrived to share bad things with me about other officers, members, and staff.
She had nothing good to say about anybody except herself.
Not being a rookie, I soon realized that if she talked so pejoratively about everybody else when she was talking to me, it wouldn't be long before she was talking so pejoratively about me when...
Gump: "It happens."
She just wanted to get real close to me by ingratiating herself with me at the expense of others with truth being incidental to her pathology.
Pastors do it too; like when predecessor/successors talk pejoratively about each other to ingratiate themselves with...
Well, I remember talking with a staff member about this particular, uh, commentator; saying, "There is no one - no officer, member, or employee of the church - who has escaped her criticism."
"But she's really not that close to anyone in the church," the staff member observed.
Now go back and read the preceding for persistent totally depraved patterns that cross political/ecclesiastical cultures.
Distinguishing fiction from fact is increasingly difficult in cultures that care more about ideology than veracity.
I'm convinced the connection between 'em and Jesus is coincidental; for He said, "The truth will set you free."
He is the truth.
Those who know Him tell it.
Blessings and Love!
I love your column and I love the way you write! And I really REALLY like this column. I'm upset when anyone paints another with a broad, black brush; particularly when there's no personal knowledge involved. Thanks for your Kopp Disclosure! I happen to like Sarah.
Santa Ana, CA
Thanks, Leslie! Your faith encourages mine! Blessings and Love!
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