Monday, July 29, 2013

    1. Let’s play “Ask the Internet!”
    2. Legal technicalities
    3. An icon of another age
    4. God do too got a body

1

48 years ago, I had a little motorcycle dust-up with an automobile at 18th & Franklin Streets.  The car won. Silver lining: I got my revenge by losing 15 pounds while that broken jaw was wired shut and sorta kinda got motorcycles out of my system.

The incident came back to mind not just because of the date, but because of the weather. I was riding the motorcycle home to get a jacket because I was getting cold watching a baseball game at Loeb Stadium on July 29 in Indiana.

That part of the story always seemed implausible. Did I have a really bad metabolism? Was I catching the flu? Or was the temperature maybe unseasonably low, as last week? Oh, wait: let’s ask the internet! 54 degrees. Cha-ching!

2

A sorta famous religious freedom case in Texas has been dismissed on a technicality.

One of the useful things I learned from my affiliation with ADF was that these cases are uncommonly fraught with technicalities (though the certified mail thing is new to me). If you have, for instance, a beef with a school district with a flagrantly unconstitutional policy, you’d best find a Freshman to contest it, because the Plaintiff student probably isn’t going to get money, but a permanent injunction against the policy, and if Plaintiff graduates, the case, after being dragged out for years, gets dismissed for mootness.

Sometimes, you’ve even got to add new young Plaintiffs along the way to keep it alive, as the school district drags things out.

You’re welome.

3

Lindy Bog­gs, who suc­ceed­ed her hus­band in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives af­ter his plane crashed in Alas­ka and who went on to serve nine terms on Cap­i­tol Hill, no­ta­bly as a cham­pi­on of women’s rights, died on Sat­ur­day at her home in Chevy Chase, Md. She was 97.

In 1984 she was often mentioned as a possible vice-presidential candidate, but she was ultimately passed over by the presidential nominee, former Vice President Walter F. Mondale, in favor of Representative Geraldine A. Ferraro. Mrs. Boggs believed that her strong stand against abortion had hurt her chances.

(New York Times, Italics added)

By its apparent stylesheet, the NYT really should have labeled Boggs “anti-choice,” but it relented and for once tacitly concedes, if ever so briefly, that one can be a champion of women’s rights and strongly opposed to abortion.

4

“God ain’t no white-haired, white-bearded old man up there somewhere. He’s a spirit. He ain’t got no body. The only body he’s got is us. And when we’re borned again, we’re borned into the body of God.” That’s a sophisticated theology from a guy with a seventh-grade education.

(Author Dennis Covington in Image No. 77, approvingly quoting Brother Carl, a snake-handling Pentecostal preacher.)

It may be “sophisticated,” but it would be heresy of the grossest sort if Brother Carl had ever known Orthodoxy.

It’s desperately wrong. God do too got a body, Brother Carl. Unless you think Jesus wasn’t God. Or you think He shed His human flesh before His glorious ascension. And you think that His return will not be in a human body. Unless, in other words, you’re merely a Pentecostal, and in no historic sense a Christian.

I don’t know how the line runs from that to the “spiritual” practice on handling snakes, but I suspect the two are related. It may get you on Jerry Springer (as it did Brother Carl), but getting on Jerry Springer is aiming way too low.

* * * * *

“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)

Some succinct standing advice on recurring themes.