Thomas Jefferson is an enigma for many. A recent article by Bruce Tomoso in the Dallas Morning News noted that his enemies accused him of being an atheist and yet he started the statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom with the phrase, ”Almighty God hath created the mind free.” But he certainly would not have been invited to speak at an evangelical conference to share his beliefs that most clergymen are “soothsayers and necromancers.” You likely have a bigger brain than I do but I will confess that I had to look up necromancers. It literally means one who interrogates the dead. Okay. Not sure what church Jefferson was frequenting but clearly he had some issues with clergy and he believed that most of what they preached was a mockery of Jesus’ teachings.
Why would anyone ask a self-described “Bad Christian” a question? And yet, for some reason, readers of this daily rambling have recently posed a number of inquiries for me to consider. Some forced me to think, some made me laugh, some made me a little angry, and a few made my heart ache. I have decided to tackle a few of them so here is the first (and very possibly the last) edition of “Ask a Bad Christian.”
Dear Bad Christian,
Did Paul who preached at Ephesus have a wife?
My dear friend and e-mail pest Nelson deposited this story in my cyber mailbox this morning.
With more than 1 million copies in print, “Marley and Me — Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog” has struck a chord with dog lovers who are laughing and crying over author John Grogan’s account of his yellow Labrador retriever. The story is more than a recounting of Marley’s antics that include chewing through doors, expulsion from obedience school, clawing paint off concrete walls, devouring furniture, swallowing valuable jewelry and swooning over soiled diapers.
I try to sample various schools of thought and I attempt to understand how others think. Part of my assignment on a recent road trip was watching Real Time with Bill Maher on HBO. To say that Maher doesn’t like Christians is one of the great understatements of all time. He would have to double his respect for Christians to ratchet up to contempt. Whew…Maher is so cynical he makes me look like Mr.Rogers on Prozac. But he did have one segment that was kind of amusing. Maher does a segment that he calls “New Rules.” He outlines the old rule and then he comedically (at least in his mind) unveils the new rule. To be fair, some were funny.
I hit a nerve with a lot of people with the post about forgiveness. I lot of you thought my ideas fit into the philosophy of “nothing is impossible for the person who doesn’t have to do it.” My thoughts were addressed to a wounded lamb who identified himself as “doormat”. That post brought a return response from doormat who graciously thanked me for the effort to address his situation.
The informal meaning of post mortem is an analysis or review of a finished event. One previous post is ready for a “post” mortem examination and another should soon be there. Let’s take a look at a couple of prior stories and where they stand.
- Jesus wins round one in Italy
I have been outed. Some readers of my books and these daily ramblings have somehow discovered that I am, deep breath, a conservative Evangelical Christian. A blog called Disaster Area reviewed When Bad Christians Happen to Good People. A couple of things he said cracked me up. First of all, he says the book is by “a guy called Dave Burchett.” That also happens to be my name so that may well be the reason I am called Dave Burchett. Secondly, he oddly states that I am “apparently an Emmy winner in sports broadcasting.” Apparently? But the biggest revelation against a guy called Dave Burchett who has apparenlty written this book is this breaking news. (emphasis is his) ”However, it becomes clear about halfway through the book that by Christians he means North American Fundamentalist Evangelical Christians.” I guess they are on to me. Feedback to my post about Richard Dawkins noted the following with this quote which I have reproduced exactly as it appeared. ”The article also trys to make Dawkins look bad (I’d guess because the author is religious motivated).” Busted! I should have known they would figure out that a website called “Confessions of a Bad Christian” is, in fact, a Christian site. How did I think I would get away with this?
When I became aware that word of my Evangelical Christianity was out I went to the secret underground bunker where we all meet to plan how to advance our agenda.
“I have been Valerie Plumed!” I told the group.
“They know?”, they asked.
“I’m afraid so. Should I come clean?”
They looked horrified. “You mean tell them your agenda?”
“Yes,” I said boldly. “I am going to lay out my entire agenda so there will be no doubt.”