Gee, Good Thing God Tells Us What To Think…

My pastor tells me “God says this!
We dare not disagree!
His word, as seen in scripture, is
Enough for you and me.”

God’s views on marriage, taxes, war—
It’s quite a lengthy list—
We’d have to work it out ourselves
If God did not exist.

My pastor says he learned these things
Through study, prayer, and search;
He’s right, though his conclusions seem
Confined to just his church:

The other churches in our town
Say God says different stuff—
They disagree—are works required?
Or is belief enough?

One church says God wants “man and wife”;
One woman and one man
Another welcomes everyone
(God tells them that they can)

Each says they speak for God, of course,
In fact, they quite insist.
We’d have to work it out ourselves
If God did not exist.

The church downtown says one thing, but
The East Side church says no
The West Side church and South Side church
Say they’re the place to go

There’s this church, and there’s that church
And there’s seven more in town
And they disagree on what God thinks—
His will can’t be nailed down

My pastor tells me “God says this
My neighbors say he’s wrong
My relatives have different views
But mostly get along

For every view their God supports
A thousand are dismissed…
We’d have to work it our ourselves
If God did not exist.

Context, over at Good As You.

Shiny, Shiny Cuttlefishes!

So new that as of this writing, they are not yet listed on the EvolveFish site, but I assure you, they exist and they are beautiful! And the service is uncannily good–my order, for instance, was shipped and received before I even ordered it (indeed, before I knew it could be ordered!

(Click to embiggen)

Here they are, swimming with my original Lassiter cuttlefish. They can even pretend to change color like a real cuttlefish–all you have to do is give them a different color to reflect. Cheating, I know, but what ya gonna do?

As soon as they are on the website, I’ll link to it–for now, I suspect that if you order by phone or email, they will know exactly what you are talking about; the EvolveFish people have been utterly delightful and tremendously helpful in all my interactions with them.

Next step… lapel pins. Then, world domination!

And Jesus Saith “Take My Wife, Please!”

The fragment of papyrus read:
“And Jesus said, My Wife…”
Which shocked those unaware of this
Dimension of His life

The fragment, though, is incomplete;
It leaves the scholars vexed.
I’ll ask my learned readers, then…
What do you think comes next?

So, yeah… via National Geographic… A fourth-century fragment of papyrus is making some waves.

The papyrus made international headlines when it was cited in a new paper by Harvard historian Karen King. Smaller than a business card, the fragment includes several lines of handwritten text, composed in Coptic language, which uses Christian symbols.

The final line of text includes the words: “And Jesus said, My Wife…” while quoting Jesus.

My question, then, is simple: What’s the next line? What’s next, that the papyrus got cut off before it told us? For me, I see Jesus as a borscht belt comedian, stealing from Henny Youngman, Jack Benny, and Uncle Miltie…

And Jesus said, My Wife Simon Peter and I will be taking the weekend off..

And Jesus said, My Wife, when she sits around the house, she sits. around. the house.

And Jesus said, My Wife complains about dinner: loaves and fishes again?

And Jesus said, My Wife–Take her, please!

And Jesus Said, My Wife…


Do They Never Learn? Elmhurst, Meet Cranston.

We like to tell you “character counts”
In big displays, and small amounts,
With that in mind, I’m proud to announce
The speaker for this year
This speaker stood up for your rights
In one of many legal fights;
She’s one of freedom’s shining lights
Oh, yes—and she’s your peer.

A student, just like one of you
Who saw a task she had to do
And bravely, boldly, saw it through
Despite some daunting odds.
This student knew that what she saw—
That banner—was against the law.
The school board’s thinking had a flaw:
They thought their view was God’s

But Jessica’s an atheist—
A point the people haven’t missed—
And she was right; the laws insist
The town must heed the wall…
The wall the locals seem to hate
That separates the church and state
A bruised and battered wall, of late,
But one that serves us all

When church and state are intertwined
Best hope your faith’s the favored kind;
God help your faithful, should you find
You bet against the king.
But when your faith and his collides,
Or privileged status somehow slides,
Then thank your stars that on your side’s
An Evil Little Thing. [Read more…]

The Room Was Full Of Wealthy Men

The room was full of wealthy men
And one of them was Mitt
He felt he could speak freely there,
And lighten up a bit.

He thought his friends would have his back;
That wasn’t how it went.
And now we know how Romney feels
For the forty-seven percent.

The poor among us always thought
That Mitt was unaware—
It seems we’re wrong; he knows, all right
He simply doesn’t care

It’s not his job to care about
The folks who don’t have much;
Who don’t have yachts, or second homes,
Or Cadillacs and such

It’s not his job to give a damn
About the working poor
Which Mitt said, to the wealthy men
He’s really working for.

The wealthy play by different rules—
Why can’t we just admit?
The room was full of wealthy men…
And one of them was Mitt.

via every damn news source on the planet.

Boy Scouts Kept Molestation Records Confidential

He’s admitted to molesting boys, while working for the Scouts
Though the records aren’t available to search;
If the case had been made public, there are few if any doubts
It’d be difficult to face the folks at church.

The L.A.Times has a substantial story, well worth reading, on the paper’s review of two decades worth of confidential Boy Scouts files–the “perversion files” intended to internally police molestation cases.

Of 1,600 reports, over 2/3 were discovered not by the Scouts, but by police or other authorities. However, some 500 cases were first discovered by the Scouts.

In about 400 of those cases — 80% — there is no record of Scouting officials reporting the allegations to police. In more than 100 of the cases, officials actively sought to conceal the alleged abuse or allowed the suspects to hide it, The Times found.

The story reports case after case in which the primary concern of the BSA appears to have been their reputation. Like some other ostensible moral authorities we know, quietly doing the least possible was preferred to publicly doing the right thing.

As I say, the whole thing is worth reading, if you’ve got the stomach. Today’s verse comes from the last story, in which the coverup of a man’s actions allowed him to continue to work with kids for another 14 years. It has now been 25 years since his particular coverup began; he was interviewed for the story:

“The topic has not come up until your phone call today,” he said. “Had that been publicized, I would have been out of business, reputation destroyed, and I don’t know how I would have faced people at church.”