Month: December 2012

Bart Gingerich: @MarkDTooley Shows ‘Objectivity’



With one last gasp in 2012, Bart Gingerich – of The Institute for Religion & Democracyshares the books he thinks top various types of lists for 2012.  The list of controversial books he names included books by Mike Slaughter and Rachael Held Evans.  The list of “books worth reading” included the book written by Mark Tooley – who just happens to be Gingerich’s boss.

If you follow this blog or the IRD at all, you will no doubt see the humor and irony in Gingerich’s quote about Tooley’s book:

Another example of perfect objectivity, we’ve nominated our own president’s historical analysis of Methodism’s intersection in the political sphere from McKinley to George W. Bush.

In case you missed it, Gingerich expects his readers to believe that Mark Tooley shows perfect objectivity.  This is the same Mark Tooley that has said that Christmas commercialization is a good thing, using capitalism as the supporting argument – conveniently leaving out the plight of the Chinese worker in the run-up to the holiday.  Bart Gingerich is a poor cultural analyst.  The proof is in equating anything that Tooley says with “perfect objectivity.”

Another hit to the credibility of this organization.

2012 In Review – Thanks For 2012…See You In 2013!

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: 600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 11,000 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 18 years to get

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“Win $600 In Ammo”

This isn't helping.

The National Association for Gun Rights – or NAGR (subtle, huh?) – is giving away $600 in free ammo. This is a promotion for their Facebook page. This is moronic…and dangerous. Not inherently, but it certainly isn't helping our massive gun violence problem.

Should gun companies or gun advocacy groups be able to give away ammo?

You can guess my answer, but why do you believe what it is you believe?


SERMON from 12-24-12: Away From The Manger

Luke 2.1-20 1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in

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The “Zombie Apocalypse” Is Not Helping

I write this on Friday, December 21st. I just finished watching the last few minutes of a show on The Discovery Channel. It was a documentary show about how to prepare for a zombie pandemic. It was a group mostly made up of grown men – obviously, it is men – who have spent time

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Nearly 10,000 Gun-Related Deaths Means There’s No Problem

I've seen many people – including clergy friends of mine – state the statistic that gun-related violence on the decline. I've seen the chart, as well. However, this does not change the fact that there are still around 10,000 gun-related deaths in this country – every year. I will not stop saying that there is

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Shane Claiborne on #SandyHook, the #NRA and #guncontrol

In an article published over the holiday, progressive theologian Shane Claiborne theorized what Jesus might say in the wake of the tragic events – such as happened in Newtown, CT.  They were strong words, which I felt needed to be shared:

After all, the Bible has a lot to say about loving enemies, and “Thou shalt not kill,” but doesn’t even mention the right to bear arms.

Many evangelicals and fundamentalist Christians like to point out that Mormonism – which considers itself a valid, Christian sect – is a cult.  I know far too many of the same people who default to the constitution in response to situations like Sandy Hook, rather than the Bible.  I call it the “cult of the Constitution.”  Listen to people like Glenn Beck and Kirk Cameron, and you will soon get the picture.  They take the Bible and historic Christianity – cram it all into an elementary understanding of the founding of this country – and default to the Constitution when they so choose.

It’s very convenient when you are attempting to hold on to a power structure, but wrong in the course of faithful Christianity.

The “cult of the Constitution” and the right to bear arms should always be understood in light of the life and example of Jesus Christ.

This is not an issue I intend on letting die another quiet death.  I may even say more on this beautifully and thoughtfully written article by Claiborne.


The Poor PR of @TheIRD

In the aftermath of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, The Institiute on Religion & Democracy was apparently silent. This was uncharacteristic, as they typically take any opportunity to use the news of the day to make a point. I was critical of them. Not because I typically agree with their

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This Is Damn Hard – #operationonestepatatime At Christmas

I just spent the day putting some of the finishing touches on the worship services that will take us right up to Christmas. I was folding bulletins, listening to Christmas music and locating the candles and holders for my favorite service of the year. I was singing, praying, preparing and thinking a lot about Carter.

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John Lomperis Gives Me A Lesson In Snark

This morning, I posted my thoughts and feelings about The Institute on Religion & Democracy and how they have yet to issue a response to the Sandy Hook massacre. A bit later, the IRD posted a story that recounted how the Washington National Cathedral responded to the shooting. Shortly after that, @theIRD tweeted me a

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