Rod Dreher is on a month-plus-long wind-up to the launch of his book The Little Way Of Ruthie Leming. Ruthie was Rod’s sister, and to say that he loved her, that the way she faced death, that the way the community of St. Francesville, Louisiana responded to the terminal illness of one of their own, deeply affected him would be a pathetic, sniveling understatement. But if you want the whole story, you can buy it April 9.
Meanwhile, the wind-up includes Wednesday’s admonition, Actually, Do Go Gentle Into That Good Night, including this assessment of Dylan Thomas’ most famous poem:
I thought this was heroic when I was younger, but now I think it is profoundly wrong. Ever known an old man or old woman who raged against the dying of the light? I have. They’re in torment, unable to reconcile themselves to mortality, which is to say, to reality. The process of becoming wise must entail learning how to die.
Heresiarch and political albatross John Hagee (who by some accounts is philo-semitic, by others anti-semitic – toward those semites known as Palestinians he clearly is the latter) has added a $5 million animatronic ark to tickle the fancy of the kiddies whose parents come to have him tickle their ears:
Hagee’s chapel is gaudily commercial and theologically spare, powerless to move the soul to God. His church has nothing to say, and no idea how to say it. The larger story here is that the parents and retirees who paid for the building are raising children who are bored with church, and a pachyderm playground is their best idea to get the little ones’ attention.
Is this a great country or what!? When I visit San Antonio, the Riverwalk will be on my list. Cornerstone Church and its version of Chuck-E-Cheese won’t be. There is nothing real about its gospel or its playground.
Betcha Hagee hasn’t ridden a bus to work in 50 years.
Pope Francis I is Catholic, and Peter Montgomery at Religion Dispatches is just sick about it. So is Francis Kissling, who to her credit no longer fronts Catholics for Choice, as she is no longer credibly Catholic.
In due course, many be who are conventionally considered polar political opposites of Montgomery and Kissling will discover that Francisco Uno isn’t in the tank for rapacious capitalism, either, and will either hate him or misrepresent his views.
If John Hagee sounds like he’s ghost-writing for Fred Phelps and the Westboro wackos, his fellow Texan Joel Osteen serves up treacle-tinctured pablum:
Osteen parades himself around as a minister of the gospel. Let’s be frank: The guy should be writing copy for Hallmark (best case scenario), not preaching the gospel. Is feeling 10 percent better about your life the good news promised in the Bible? Is a marginal increase in your mood the best life God has to offer?
I was about to stop and schedule this for publication when an old favorite Orthodox blogger reminded me of a cringe-inducing call for syncronized outrage toward NBC we both received today (I from a blogger who seemingly doesn’t filter what he passes along):
Personally, I find OCN’s response to NBC more offensive and un-Christian than anything NBC could possibly do to make fun of or parody Jesus Christ, the Church or anything I believe. Fr. Christopher’s concern for millions of Christians’ “feelings” as they witnessed the mockery of Jesus Christ shows the depth of his lack of understanding of Christianity’s core. His lame self-promotion as a “spokesperson” and posturing of OCN as a voice of a “national Christian group” to garner publicity for OCN is a reckless, irresponsible and offensive representation of the Gospel and Christianity itself, far worse than anything NBC could produce. In my mind they are both flip sides of the same coin: outrageousness for the sake of publicity to get ratings. (Don’t even get me started on why “Christians” are watching SNL, much less TV at all… that’s another whole issue.)
I’m far from totally agreeing with S-P on all his rant, but that may reflect my own desensitization. What I do think is that I want no Orthodox counterpart of the Catholic League‘s or American Family Association‘s chronic grievance-mongering.
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“The remarks made in this essay do not represent scholarly research. They are intended as topical stimulations for conversation among intelligent and informed people.” (Gerhart Niemeyer)