Oh, Look At The Tree! I Can’t Breathe!

It’s Christmas in the city; they’re about to light the tree
It’s a magical occasion, just as far as we can see;
All the networks have their angles—it’s as festive as can be—
New York City in December, oh, such pride!

Folks are marching, folks are chanting, folks are caught up in the day
But the tree is not the focus—no, as near as I can say,
It’s not ornaments, but prejudice, that’s clearly on display
Damn, I miss the war on Christmas—no one died. [Read more…]

“The funeral is one of the best opportunities that pastors have to preach on the central doctrines of the Christian faith”

There are funeral rites
Seen in different lights
As we vary by time and by culture
Though the details may change
It should never seem strange
That death is a feast for a vulture

The original bird
As you doubtless have heard
Is a beautiful, dignified creature
But today, you will find
A more sinister kind—
One who preys on the living… a preacher [Read more…]

Tornado Warnings, Now And Then

It was just the other morning
When we heard the weather warning
And we tried to drag the pets downstairs, for shelter from the storm
I remembered, with a chortle,
I was young once, and immortal,
And defied the nearing twisters, playing Frisbee by the dorm
Ah, but real life can be frightening—
I’ve since lost someone to lightning—
So I run inside from thunder, though of course I know the odds
And I’m thankful to the science
Where it’s safe to put reliance
How much better than to fear we’re at the mercy of the gods

TV Snake-Handler Dies (Spoiler: Not Old Age)

There once was a pastor
Who handled some snakes
For goodness’ sakes—
He handled snakes!
(He knew the stakes)

There once was a serpent
With venomous bite
Oh, what a plight!
A venomous bite!
(And deadly, quite)

The pastor, he handled;
The serpent, he bit
With a venomous spit
He bit and bit
(And wouldn’t quit)

The pastor’s behavior
Had faith as its source
With no remorse,
His faith was his source
(He died, of course)

Via Doubtful News, we hear the utterly predictable news of the death of a snake-handling pentecostal preacher, from (naturally) snakebite.

In an era of sophisticated theology, yes, snake-handlers still exist. Though, frankly, not a lot of them, despite how often the same group makes the news. Usually, for dying by snake bite.

I wonder, sometimes, what it would be like to be from a family where you pretty much all eventually died from completely preventable, proudly public, dangerous behavior. Do the extended relatives admit their connection? Are they proud? Ashamed? Anyway, my condolences to the family–may this be the last one to die in this manner.