A Swift Friday Linkage

Started a new job that has required me to adjust my sleeping patterns, hence we roll out a Lilliputian Friday linkage:

Because Jerr-o just oozes credibility.

A relegated story about the fall of Saigon reaches a new generation, thanks NPR.

Stephen Hawking believes in something far more incredible than spontaneous generation. Takes some serious “wisdom” to make that leap… On a related note, the last sentence of this piece is as sad as it is erroneous.

Your Texas Longhorns kick off the season tomorrow, to quote Dietrich, “I’m as happy as a little girl”.

Et tu, Brute?

A very sensible take on Glenn Beck’s farcical gathering.  Albert Pujols, what were you thinking?

Man encourages 8-year-old to cuss and thus is charged for “impairing the morals of a child”. Not shocked that this happened but I am shocked that the authorities of the Connecticut town have such a charge available to them.

That’s right, he said it. lt had to be said. Somebody got to say it. The Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson took a swipe at Taylor Swift’s talent or lack thereof. Here’s a picture of her from the archives, Kanye is fark’d in, Toth’s son is not,

Conservatives Try to Stave Off Invaders

No, not because of a sudden rash of xenophobia but rather because of a sudden bout of sentiments to make Sen. McCarthy proud.

Who are these invaders? Take a look:

Chinese Tallow [photo credit: Aggie horticulture, what did you expect?]

That’s a Chinese tallow tree and for the life of me I can’t imagine why conservatives are campaigning door-to-door to eliminate these trees.

It’s not like the trees are communist are they? Better dead than red?

For the story behind this sordid affair, click here.

NOOMA Parody: Oil

WARNING: LEVITY FORTHCOMING

It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but I’m not sure the following NOOMA parody is flattering to Rob Bell, the progenitor of the NOOMA series.

Well I suppose it depends on who you ask: fans of SNL or haters of SNL.

If you have seen a NOOMA, you’ll appreciate the Rob Bellian-nuances the impersonator so aptly pulls off. Frank Caliendo would be proud, you know he’d do a killer Rob.

Here is the classic, classic intro,

Oil. What does that word mean? I mean, we know it’s a substance but what does the word mean?

You know, it makes me think: about hospitality. Now the word “hospitality” comes from the Latin word hospes.

And when you think about that word it all comes back to one thing: Oil.

It only gets better (or worse depending on your affinity for SNL) after that, check it out:

Christianity Brings out the Worst in People

“Christianity must be a most extraordinary thing. For not only (as I understood) had Christianity the most flaming vices, but it had apparently a mystical talent for combining vices which seemed inconsistent with each other. It was attacked on all sides and for all contradictory reasons. — GK Chesterton in Orthodoxy

I was recently privy to an elucidation of what Chesterton alludes to. A complaint was made that a certain charitable Christian woman was “too nice” to her fellow congregants. So much so, that the congregants, filthy quislings that they are, were portrayed as folks who took advantage of the woman’s charity.

Oh the outrage that this venerable woman would, at the drop of a hat, stop what she was doing and rush to the aid of her brothers and sisters of Christ. As a recipient of such actions, though not coming from this woman, I most appreciate this example of faithworks.

Ironically enough, the plaintiff above also showed displeasure when people did not lend her a helping hand in an hour of need.

The episode brought Lucian’s The Death of Peregrinus (to mind. I have not read this work but learned about it as it was referenced to in Fanning the Flames: Probing the issues in the Acts within a chapter having to do with the way the first Christians were perceived by their Greek and Roman critics.

Lucian’s mid-second century unflattering description of Christians is in part, as follows,

The activity of these people, in dealing with any matter that affects their community, is something extraordinary; they spare no trouble, no expense.

Peregrine, all this time, was making quite an income on the strength of his bondage; money came pouring in. You see, these misguided creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains the contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws.

All this they take quite on trust, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property. Now an adroit, unscrupulous fellow, who has seen the world, has only to get among these simple souls, and his fortune is pretty soon made; he plays with them.

What certain unbelievers see as “stupid” and “misguided” is actually service to the Lord. To the Lord because by serving His body, the Church, one serves Him.

That this requires denial of self (not as its own end of course) is paramount not to mention counter-intuitive to the deep-rooted selfishness natural to us after Adam’s sin.

That this is not, can not, be understood by those who willfully remain outside merely gives testimony to the truth in the Apostle’s words,

But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.

May we go forth and tell those still in darkness about this “crucified sage” and show the love He teaches us.