1. Bank of America’s business model involves gouging its customers with fees and surcharges for the rest of their lives. We already knew that. What we didn’t know was that Bank of America continues gouging its customers with fees and surcharges even after they’re dead.
Bottom line: If you have an account with Bank of America, write a clear will or you won’t be able to leave that money to your heirs. Bank of America will just keep it for themselves.
2. Tennessee Child Support Magistrate Lu Ann Ballew does not understand either the First Amendment or the meaning of the word Christ. The judge changed the first name of a 7-month-old boy from Messiah to Martin. “The word Messiah is a title and it’s a title that has only been earned by one person and that one person is Jesus Christ,” Ballew said.
Ballew seems to think “Christ” was Jesus’ last name rather than a Greek title meaning, basically, “Messiah.” She also seems to think she has the right to make her sectarian pronouncements legally binding. She doesn’t.
3. Thanks to aunursa for alerting me to the flurry of recent casting news for the Left Behind reboot. Still no word on who will be playing our favorite Antichrist, Nicolae Carpathia, but American Idol winner Jordin Sparks has joined the cast. Sparks will be playing “Shasta, one of the passengers on the plane during the drastic event.” Most of the casting, so far, has involved characters who aren’t from the book, and most of them seem to be passengers on that plane — further evidence that this looks like a more conventional disaster-movie plot than a didactic “Bible prophecy” seminar.
The cast also includes Han Soto — who says, regarding his name, “Imagine the conversation that I had to have with Harrison on set.”
4. If an atheist who was also a big Dallas Cowboys fan tried to volunteer with the Dallas Cowboys Fan Club, but got turned away because she’s an atheist, then you’d be right to suspect that this fan club is not really what it claims to be. You’d be right to suspect that — despite the name and the group’s claims about its purpose — it wasn’t really about the Cowboys or the team’s fans, but about some other, unspoken cultural agenda that it regards as far more important.
Well, that didn’t happen to an atheist Cowboys fan, but it did happen to an atheist who tried to volunteer with several “pro-life” organizations. It didn’t matter that she fully shared their ideas about what they said was the central purpose of their groups. She didn’t understand the larger, unspoken cultural agenda that they consider far more important than that. (I don’t know that the groups themselves fully understand that larger agenda either. It’s unspoken because they cannot articulate it, even to themselves.)
5. This Jesus juking around the recent British royal birth is more of a tribal pep-rally than an attempt to communicate or to persuade. But as James McGrath reminds us, the pronouncement of a royal birth is an important part of the context for what we Christians mean when we talk about evangel-ism or when we sing about the herald angels singing.
Posted by Fr. Patrick Dowling on Friday, Aug 9, 2013 8:20 PM (EDT):
I had Mass in Ewing MO as the regular priest was sick. As I was returning, I arrived at the scene. The authorities were redirecting traffic. I waited till it was possible to drive up closer. I parked behind a large vehicle about 150 yards from the scene. I asked the Sheriff’s permission and approached the scene of the accident. I absolved and anointed Katie, and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not hurt. Then I stepped aside to where some rescue personnel and the pilot were waiting, and prayed the rosary silently. I left when the helicopter was about to take off, and before I got to my car it was on its way to Quincy. I was amazed at the calmness of the two Highway patrol men. The sergeant was completely in control, amazingly calm. Everybody worked as harmoniously as a Swiss watch despite the critical nature of the scene. I gave my name to one of the authorities, perhaps to the sergeant of Highway Patrol, explaining that I was returning having celebrated Mass at Ewing. It was the sergeant who, at the Sheriff’s request, gave me Katie’s name as I was leaving, so I could visit her in hospital — I assumed she would be taken to Columbia. I think there may have been angels there too and, in this context, I congratulate the fire team from New London and Hannibal, the Sheriff/deputies of Ralls County, the Highway Patrol personnel, the helicopter team, the nurses and all who worked so professionally. God has blessed your work. I hope the credit goes where it is due.
7. Kit Whitfield’s series on first lines gets to the most infamous of them all: “It was a dark and stormy night …” and finds it’s better than its reputation.