How did our ancestors do it? There they stood on the Steppes, Byzantine civilization behind them and barbarian hordes before them. They were the thin line between order verses chaos, culture verses vulgarity, sophistication and refinement verses ignorance and coarseness. And they did it all without daily briefings on Jennifer Lopez, Paris Hilton, and Charlie Sheen.
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May 22, 2011
This weekend was the weekend of the un-moment, the weekend of the non-event event, the weekend in which television hosts and writers frazzled themselves over a looming non-incident everyone knew would not occur – and, when it did not happen, bloggers blogged about how a predominantly silent clique should think twice before it fanned the flames of panic again. Never have so many talk-headed so much for so long about something they all knew was nothing.
I speak, of course, of Harold Camping’s prediction that the so-called “rapture” would sweep born-again Christians off the Earth and into the sky on May 21. I write this on May 22 – and I’m totally non-surprised to be here a day after my un-disappointment. What’s more, I preached at my church of mostly born-again Christians this morning. Almost all were there (a few had the sniffles; a couple temporary heathens played hooky; no one was in the clouds). We all knew Brother Camping was the equivalent of the bearded doom-and-gloom guy with the sandwich board in LA’s Griffith Park – or the poor soul who bundled up in winter clothing in August and marched the city streets where I once lived, screaming, “REEEEEPENT! THE LAWD IS COM-ING!” We’re aware of Acts 1:7: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority,” and, like many evangelical Christians, we doubt all this talk of the “pre-tribulation rapture.” We think Left Behind should be left behind.
February 22, 2011
Breaking news: Don’t believe those Wisconsin workers when they claim they’re only battling for their collective bargaining rights – and do not be lulled by all their concessions. They’ve got hidden motives, and Glenn Beck heaved up his charts and graphs to “prove” it.
January 29, 2011
Verily I confess unto thee, O Lord, my manifold sins and wickedness, for I fear I’m the center of thine wrath and, in drawing such anger, hath visited Connecticut with collateral damage of biblical proportions – for yea, I was the one who scorned and trash-talked your servants in and near our nation’s capital last winter whilst they were smitten – even as they closed their schools with the mere whiff of the threat of foul weather.
I was walkin’ down the street when this gorgeous, saliva-dripping reptile says to me, she says, “Honey, help me help you …”
January 4, 2011
I could have been doing something constructive – like finally writing the sermon that’ll grip the hearts of millions, catalyze spiritual renewal, bring peace and harmony, and solve all the world’s problems in one fell swoop. But hey, it was Saturday evening – and Saturday evening is Saturday evening and this particular Saturday evening was New Year’s Day. Nuts to the world-saving sermon. I wanted some tube time, so I flipped on the idiot box and watched “V,” which stands for “Visitors.”
December 27, 2010
Here’s a sure-fire recipe for curling lips and snarky quips: Say “original sin.” Listen to the pins drop. Watch the smiles fall. Feel the psychological freeze as minds meet and hum with cold harmony: “Don’t tell me you believe our prehistoric ancestors opted to play God and, thus, soured and shriveled humanity!”
November 4, 2010
NEW YORK: Panic-stricken, screaming crowds are fleeing knots of giant, merciless, bus-flinging pundits in the wake of Tuesday’s Republican Congressional landslide. Bonneted Mothers wearing pleated dresses madly push strollers filled with wailing babies. Some women, also adhering to an unspoken dress code mandating impractical attire, have tripped over sidewalk cracks and sit there, shrieking, apparently unable to walk in the face of the on-coming monsters.
October 26, 2010
The clock ticks for every patriotic American. “Decision time” approaches amid the churning philosophical, sociological, and even theological schmaltz – and we don’t know which enigma from which category will tilt the balance. We’re confused. We’re muddled. We’re baffled. We wonder if the days of blind faith were not so bad after all.
October 10, 2010
Thanks a heap for bringing us into the 21st century by redefining the term, “Christian.” Fogies such as Augustine, Chrysostom, Francis, Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Moody, Spurgeon, J.I. Packer and Billy Graham described the faithful as “those who follow Jesus Christ,” quoting withered parchments like the Bible and the Apostles and Nicene Creeds: wonderful marketing ploys for their times, to be sure, but hardly au courant in our I-Phone era. Besides, they’re lousy screen savers.