I have watched with bemusement as the NY Times scrambles to apologize to all of us simple folk who live in Flyover Country. The Grey Lady has had to remember her manners and ask for forgiveness over a recent review in the paper. The aptly named column “The Critical Shopper” recently reviewed the arrival of American icon J.C. Penney in upscale Midtown Manhattan. The author of the piece is not a fan of J.C. Penney. That is okay. She is not a fan of their merchandise. Again, that is okay. But her tone in dismissing those who might shop there was instructive of how those big city folks view us simple Midlanders just now learning how to walk upright and use utensils. Here is a part of the column.
I have been known to partake of the product of Jesus’ first miracle. If you slept through Sunday School the first miracle was changing water into wine. (Note to spiritual hall monitors: I understand that not all share my freedom to partake and I am cautious about where I consume the fruit of the vine). In fact I began my journey in a church where drinking wine (and nearly everything else) would doom you to eternal hellfire. H.L.Mencken’s quote about Puritanism summed up our miserable little assembly.
“Puritanism: The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may be happy”
I have written a great deal about civility in the public discourse. I have to confess that I am losing heart. Internet forums make cowards courageous. You can write things to me from the cave of anonymity that you would never say to my face. The rules at my site have been consistent. This is not an open forum. We have one basic rule at “Bad Christian” World Headquarters.
Verily, verily, all words that proceedeth out of thy posts and thy comments shall be civil…thus saith the one who payeth the server bills. Thy vile words shall be cast forever into the sea of delete and I will blocketh thee forever.
My ministry of making other Christians feel superior continues unabated. Last week I promised the conclusion to the hypocrite series and then I failed to deliver. So I was a hypocrite while writing about hypocrites. Thanks to faithful reader Wilma for pointing out my omission. This is bonus material that I did not have time to address with Pastor Jeff but I did post at the World Magazine site.
Good buddy Scott approached me recently at the activity I laughingly call “work”.
“Can I ask you a question?” He asked.
I always default to apprehensive when I get that query. I want to start defending myself before I even know the question. “No, in spite of this physique I am NOT using steroids!” Okay…maybe that is a defense that will never happen but I do tend to be wary.
“Sure,” I responded.
“Does Christianity get easier or harder as you get older?”
I laughed because I knew my answer right away.
Few movies have generated more mainstream quotes than the silly movie Airplane and that movie is, of course, one of my favorites. Having claimed the intellectual high ground I offer this dialogue with very anxious flyer Ted Striker and a fellow passenger.
Ted Striker: Yes.
Passenger: First time?
Ted Striker: No, I’ve been nervous lots of times.
I sometimes think of that line when I write these humble ramblings. I have certainly been nervous a number of times because I attempt to communicate truth with grace and represent Jesus humbly even as I tackle tough topics. Nothing makes me more nervous than writing about faith and politics. I wrote a piece with the tongue-in-cheek title “Will Democrats Go To Heaven?”.