Archive for January, 2008

Righteous anger…er, annoyance

Posted in Christianity, Humor, Ministry, religion with tags , , , , , on January 24, 2008 by Robaigh

I know.  It really is the height of laziness that I keep failing to post blogs of any substance, turning instead to the work of others.  Nevertheless, this sketch is hilarious.  I will pay one US dollar* to the first minister who can prove that (s)he used the phrase “whore’s drawers” in a sermon.  🙂

* No I won’t.

In honor of Dr. King

Posted in Counter-culture, Humor, Identity, music, religion on January 21, 2008 by Robaigh

I don’t want to downplay the tragedy of Dr. King’s assassination, especially on his holiday.  My decision to post this song keeps the gravity of the situation in mind.

At the same time, though, I think it’s important to be able to laugh at our own idiocy, fallen-ness, fallibility or whatever you want to call it.  Tom Lehrer wrote this song before we lost Rev. King (and the version presented here differs slightly from the one with which I’m most familiar), but the spirit in which he wrote it – a spirit that lampoons and laments our fear, mistrust and hatred of “the other” – shines through in every age.

Vatican Rag

Posted in Christianity, Humor, Identity, Ministry, music, religion with tags , , on January 21, 2008 by Robaigh

I can’t believe someone found these videos! In spite of all my joking about heroes, Tom Lehrer really is one of them. I grew up listening to this guy, sometimes waiting years before finally getting some of his jokes. Being raised Catholic, though, this one was always pretty clear. If you can get the album this came from, the intro really makes the song (and takes away some of the elements that might appear to “bash” – but maintaining all the necessary satire).

My *real* role model

Posted in Christianity, Humor, Ministry, religion on January 20, 2008 by Robaigh

In an earlier post I alluded to a pastoral role model.  I was horribly off base.  Father Jack is my *true* role model.

I hear you’re a racist now, Father Ted…

Posted in Christianity, Humor, Ministry, religion on January 20, 2008 by Robaigh

This is one of my favorite Fr. Ted episodes. Sophomoric humor rules!

A case of bad branding

Posted in Christianity, Identity, Ministry, religion with tags , , , on January 20, 2008 by Robaigh

In another display of my propensity to steal ideas draw inspiration from other blogs, I point you to this one from Lutheranchik, whom I do not know personally, but whose ideas I respect (and sometimes nab).

————————————————————————————————————–

How Good is Our Good News?

I’ve been moodling about my new involvement with our church’s Evangelism Committee as I’ve been following the lectionary, with its stirring Old Testament longings for restoration and messages of hope and assurance.

Juxtaposed against that, though, is something I read on the Journeys With Jesus lectionary website. (Hat tip to RevGalBlogPal Gord.) Here’s just an excerpt, quoting theologian Marcus Borg:

“‘When I ask [students] to write a short essay on their impression of Christianity,” says Borg, “they consistently use five adjectives: Christians are literalistic, anti-intellectual, self-righteous, judgmental, and bigoted.'”

And here’s more, citing the recent book UnChristian by Evangelical social researcher David Kinnaman:

“These broadly and deeply negative views of Christians aren’t just superficial stereotypes with no basis in reality, says Kinnaman. Nor are the critics people who’ve had no contact with churches or Christians. It would be a tragic mistake, he argues, for believers to protest that outsider outrage at Christians is a misperception. Rather, it’s based upon their real experiences with today’s Christians.

“According to Kinnaman’s Barna study, here are the percentages of people outside the church who think that the following words describe present-day Christianity:

* antihomosexual 91%
* judgmental 87%
* hypocritical 85%
* old-fashioned 78%
* too political 75%
* out of touch with reality 72%
* insensitive to others 70%
* boring 68%”

I have to say that I generally do not find Christians, or Christian worship in my tradition, old-fashioned or boring…but speaking as a Christian, I not only understand the rest of these statistics, I’ve lived them. And it’s a constant source of irritation to me, particularly as I travel in gay and lesbian circles, that I have to battle such generalized perceptions.

Bottom line: Among the unchurched, the “good news,” as folks outside the church door perceive it, is pretty damned bad news, or at very least irrelevant news.

Here’s the challenge: How does a mainstream/mainline faith community — a community whose words and actions in the greater community are the antithesis of the popular perception of Christians — overcome these stereotypes? Because I feel that, no matter how “out there” our congregation and others are in terms of being inclusive and welcoming to all, of helping people, of operating from a missional frame of mind as individuals and as a parish — we’re not being heard and seen by people outside our “family circle” and denomination. What’s up with that? What can we do about it?

—————————————————————————————————————–

Apropos of this topic, I happened to run across this book yesterday while wasting time at a local Borders. It was too expensive to purchase, but I took a few minutes to peruse it. It’s written from the perspective of an “apatheist.” (You’ll have to obtain the book to figure that one out.)

I’m Glib

Posted in music, Random, religion, Sexuality, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on January 16, 2008 by Robaigh

I guess the Scientologists yanked this from YouTube, but here’s a link to somebody else who managed to keep the video up and running.

In case you don’t want to sit through the incessant looping of the background music (a hypnotic riff on the Mission Impossible theme, apparently), here’s a transcript.

And in case you don’t feel like reading the transcript, here’s a paraphrase: “It’s like, you know, wow, man! I mean, you know [insert maniacal laughter here], you know?”

And in case you feel like chucking it all, give a listen to this Zappa song, “A Token of My Extreme.”  It contains several references to “L. Ron Hoover” of the “First Church of Appliantology.”  (This is not approved for young or sensitive audiences.)