7 things @ 9 o’clock (9.27)

1. Bud Selig is set to retire as commissioner of Major League Baseball after the 2014 season. Ari Kohen asks, “which old white guy is the odds-on favorite” to replace him? As much as I’d love to see a former player — such as Hank Aaron or Frank Robinson — replace Selig, the commissioner does tend to be a conservative, establishment figure. Mitt Romney is probably a likelier candidate than either of those hall-of-famers.

So here’s my proposal: John Roberts for commissioner of baseball. The chief justice of the Supreme Court would, of course, have to step down from that post in order to accept the promotion, but it shouldn’t be a problem for the president to quickly nominate a replacement.

2. Pasta magnate Guido Barilla has made a demographic calculation. The segment of the potential pasta-buying market made up of anti-gay social conservatives is much larger than the segment of the potential pasta-buying market made of of LGBT people. So he figured pandering to the former, larger group by insulting the latter, smaller group was a good business move. Whether or not he has miscalculated depends on how much of the remaining potential pasta-buying market regards this as a neutral bystander and how much of that population chooses to take sides with the small group being insulted.

At the Church of the Prophet Jonah, Greek Christians can gather every Sunday to denounce God’s mercy and moan that God’s steadfast love makes them wish they were dead.

3. “When you give a banquet,” Jesus said, “invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you.” One family in Atlanta is taking that literally.

4. Roman Catholic Archbishop Tim Broglio doesn’t think same-sex couples should be allowed to marry. This is Broglio’s religious conviction, and as the bishop who oversees Catholic chaplains in the U.S. military, you would expect him to say that the chaplains under his rule are not permitted to consecrate same-sex weddings. But Broglio isn’t satisfied with just that. He’s also forbidding his chaplains from ministering at the funerals of gay soldiers. That’s simply cruelty for the sake of cruelty. It has nothing to do with upholding Broglio’s ideas about “traditional marriage,” just with hurting people who are already hurting. Broglio’s rule isn’t due to his being a devout Catholic, it’s due to his being a sadistic jerk.

The only way to defend Broglio’s edict forbidding ministry at funerals is … No, wait, sorry. There is no way to defend Broglio’s edict. It’s just a dick move.

5. In Kisamos, Greece, there is now a Church of the Prophet Jonah — a bona fide Greek Orthodox church honoring Jonah. Jonah from the Bible, Jonah. As in the main character of the book of Jonah, the biblical book whose central, emphatic theme is “Jonah is horrible; don’t be anything like Jonah.” Apparently no one in Kisamos bothered to read the book of Jonah before starting their new church. (via AZspot)

Suggested liturgy for this church: “The Lord be with you.” “I am angry enough to die.”

6. BooMan makes a casual observation:

I’d like to live in a country that would ratify a treaty banning the sale of “tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, and small arms and light weapons” to governments that are engaged in genocide or crimes against humanity.

But, I don’t.

And here’s why he doesn’t:

“But you know what, Brian, the people that are behind this treaty want that world government,” Napolitano insisted. “And in their minds, this is a step toward it. … Eventually controlling all of us.”

7. “It reminds me of the Sermon on the Mountain: ‘Consider the lilies — they toil not, so f–k them, lazy lilies, with their stamens and their pistils.’”

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  • Andrew Marchant-Shapiro

    Jonah is such a fun story to tell; at the end, Jonah has a wonderful temper tantrum! The only problem I run into is that in my church (LDS), prophets are to be revered. When you come across a jerk like Jonah, it causes considerable cognitive dissonance. It’s also great because it’s kind of open-ended; you imagine the camera pulling away as god asks Jonah the final rhetorical question, and Jonah doesn’t get the last word; he just stares…

  • Jim Roberts

    Is Jonah really a prophet? I mean, sure, he’s shelved in with the other prophets, but that doesn’t make him one, does it?

  • Andrew Marchant-Shapiro

    Well, in the sense that he’s directly called by god to go and preach, I think he’d qualify…

  • Jim Roberts

    I’ve always considered that a prophet, a true prophet worthy of reverence, is completely obedient to that calling. While Jonah eventually gave in and preached, I can’t consider him completely obedient.

  • Andrew Marchant-Shapiro

    I can certainly see that. However, for the LDS Church, which has a big thing for continuing prophetic lineage and reveres prophets ancient and modern, Jonah *is* a prophet (as is Noah). And because he is a prophet, it’s ticklish to criticize anything he did. Trick is, if you look through the OT, there are examples of people who we’d probably call prophets who are disobedient, or at least argumentative. Mormons have decided on one bright-line test. You’ve decided on another. They don’t match up, but that’s OK. Me? As a fan of Jesus Christ Superstar (the musical), I’ve always found its version of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane to be illuminating:

    “Then I was inspired/
    Now I’m sad and tired/
    After all I’ve tried for three years/
    Seems like ninety/
    Why then am I scared/
    To finish what I started/
    What you started/
    I didn’t start it/
    God thy will is hard/
    But you hold every card/
    I will drink your cup of poison/
    Nail me to your cross and break me/
    Bleed me, beat me/
    Kill me, take me now/
    Before I change my mind”

    ISTRC that some disobedient prophets were destroyed instantly, while others lived. What makes the difference? Who knows? And does it matter?

  • Jim Roberts

    I can get that as part of your church’s . . . culture? Liturgy? Not sure the word I’m looking for here.

  • Andrew Marchant-Shapiro

    Culture will do. We are so protective of the notion of PROPHET as leader of the Church (even though this does not appear to be the case for Jonah) that there’s an automatic CTPA (similar to CYA) response. And that’s why, even though I find Jonah to be the kind of story I do, I seldom get away with telling it that way without being mildly “corrected” by my brethren. No big deal. I’m too old to get into that kind of theological nipple-twisting anymore :-)

  • Jim Roberts

    “Theological nipple-twisting” is officially entering my vocabulary. Thanks for that, and for being willing to chat with an undereducated Protestant like myself.

  • Lorehead

    By the way, thanks for coming by and sharing that. If I personally agreed with every bit of LDS theology, of course, I’d be LDS, but I appreciate a different perspective on the story.

  • Andrew Marchant-Shapiro

    You’re most welcome. I like to think of myself as a faithful agnostic Mormon; my personal patron saint (had I one) would be the same as Erasmus: the thief on the cross, saved with the minimum of theology. While I know many disagree, I think Mormons are Christians–so this is where I hang out.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Jesus Christ wasn’t completely obedient. He asked for the burden to be taken off his shoulders.

  • Ben English

    Yet he immediately followed that with “Not my will but yours be done”… Rather different than setting sail on a boat and having to be sent back to shore by a giant magic fish.

  • Lori

    Asking to have the burden taken away doesn’t constitute disobedience though. Putting the burden down (i.e. refusing to do what God required) would have, but asking is just asking.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    The suggested prerequisite for a prophet was “complete obedience.” I don’t have to point out that Christ was disobedient, just not completely obedient.

  • Jim Roberts

    I don’t think you get the define my words for me, but I’d have to check the manual. ;)
    By “completely obedient,” I do not mean that someone has to adhere to the letter of the law without question, but rather than when given a specific request, they fulfill it to the best of their abilities.
    I understand, though, that “complete obedience” may be one of those terms that some people take to mean adherence without question.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I’m apparently one of those people. My interpretation of complete obedience does not include whining about not wanting to do something, even if that something is getting nailed to a piece of wood. :p

  • Lori

    That’s way harsh. I don’t think, “If it is your will please take this cup from me”, especially when “this cup” is being tortured to death, is whining.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Tongue-in-cheek! I fail at emotion tags, apparently.

    Still, though! If the paragon of human perfection (which he never actually claimed to be; quite the opposite actually) was capable of wanting his collar loosened, I think it’s quite possible to have a reluctant prophet (if not a reluctant messiah).

  • Lori

    Oh sure, reluctant prophets are totally a thing. The problem with Jonah isn’t that he was reluctant. Several of the messengers of God were reluctant. (Maybe most of them. My memory for the prophets, especially the minor ones, is spotty.) The problem with Jonah is that he never stops being reluctant. His success makes him so miserable he wants to die. That’s whining.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    He’s the Thomas Covenant of, well, the new covenant?

  • Andrew Marchant-Shapiro

    Excellent point–whining after success. But more important, whining that god showed mercy. What he wanted–if he had to go preach at all–was for god to scour Nineveh off the face of the earth (he was not fond of those people at all).

    I wonder if that puts a possible additional construction on things. Not that he didn’t want to go because he was afraid, but because he bore the Ninevites ill will in the first place. Could that be the point?

  • Lori

    One of the odd things about the story is that the only indication of Jonah’s motives comes at the end of the story, not at the beginning when the running away actually happens. He doesn’t say anything about being afraid. He says that he didn’t want to go because he knew the preaching would work and that God, being merciful, wouldn’t smite Nineveh. Jonah doesn’t say why he wanted the Ninevehites dead, but he clearly did.

  • Jim Roberts

    And more than that, he was a DEFIANT prophet. As is in, he actively avoided doing what he was told to do, only did it after extraordinary coercion and then afterward complained that it worked.

  • dpolicar

    FWIW, if I had a boss who believed that doing what she told me to do precluded letting her know that I’d really rather not do X (while doing X if she then insisted) I would consider her an unreasonable boss.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    *Bites xer tongue*

  • Lori

    He was completely obedient. He did every single thing God required. He expressed that there was that one thing he’d really rather not do, if that was OK with God. God declined to let him off the hook. He did it.

    The Bible contradicts itself on pretty much every substantive point, but I think that on-balance the text doesn’t support the idea that unquestioning acquiescence is required.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    At no point does he fail to do what’s been asked. That’s “completely obedient”. He never says “I’m not going to do this;” he never even tries to weasel out of it: the most he does is to ask “If there is another way”

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    Of course, by the RTC definition, obedience is the first time and with a cheerful heart. If you fail to do things the first time and with a cheerful heart, you might as well not have done it at all. So I guess that Jesus might as well not have been crucified.

  • ReverendRef

    Jonah was most certainly a prophet — and a very successful one at that.

    God told Jonah to go preach repentance to Ninevah.

    He did.

    Ninevah — all of it, the whole city, from the king to the peasants — actually repented.
    Jonah got pissed.
    God said, “You just don’t get it, do you?”

  • Jim Roberts

    I guess I can see him being a prophet who’s very high on the Effect end of the Prophecy Rating Scale, but with a very low Obedience score or something.
    I’ll be honest, ever since I first read it in my youth, I assumed that Job was just an extended parable.

  • Michael Pullmann

    Well, guess I need to switch pasta brands. Recommendations?

  • Jim Roberts

    We go with our supermarket’s brand – Market Basket, here in the Northeast. From what I’ve read about dried pastas, and from talking with culinary students and the like, most sotre brands are the equivalent of anything you’ll find on a supermarket shelf.
    There are some more frou frou brands.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Unfortunately, Barilla is somewhat uncommon among the most stocked brands in that they make a whole grain variety. I’ve never seen a whole grain store brand

  • Cathy W

    Meijer, in my area, makes a whole-wheat line of pasta in limited shapes. Kroger might? Ronzoni definitely does, if they stock it in your area.

  • mattmcirvin

    There is Market Basket wholegrain pasta. We just bought some today.

  • GuestPoster

    Go by the price, honestly. Of dry pasta, the only real difference between the brands isn’t taste, but rather how resistant the noodles tend to be to overboiling. If you’re a good cook, the 3 for a buck store brand will be just as good as the fancy barilla. Ronzoni I find to be pretty much interchangeable with Barilla, and it’s a domestic brand so you’re even buying American, if you go that route.

    But in general, all you get for paying more is an extra 30 seconds to a minute of boiling before the noodles get soggy, rather than ‘al dente’.

  • train_star

    I like Kroger’s Simple Truth Organic Spaghetti.

  • wendy
  • OriginalExtraCrispy

    I like Ronzoni’s Smart Taste macaroni.

  • christopher_y

    Bertolli. (Link to entertaining pro-LBTG advert.)

  • GuestPoster

    On Jonah: since it’s been mentioned some months ago that the middle name of Spiderman’s most famous news owner is Jonah, it’s interesting to note two things about that character. One: upon occasion we see that he actually has a rational reason for his dislike of Spiderman, or more particularly his dislike of masks. He distrusts the shadows, and thinks that if you’re doing something worth doing, you should do it in the light. And, indeed, masked heroes are vigilantes at best. Several plotlines from various books have discussed this, the most famous perhaps being Watchmen, or The Dark Knight Returns. But really – we generally don’t approve of the Zimmermans of the world in real life. We’d SUPPORT the J. Jonah Jameson approach of unmasking vigilantes in real life.

    Second: during the amalgam storyline with DC, JJ turns to Spidey and simply says ‘for what it’s worth, I’m sorry’. Which lets us know that he KNOWS he’s being a jerk, and while he might have a fine rationale for his actions, he also knows that in this particular case, they’re not necessary.

    How does this relate to the Church of Jonah? I don’t know. But maybe, to give THEM the benefit of the doubt, they’re trying to give HIM the benefit of the doubt? Or maybe they know they’re doing something awful, but have some conviction (like, say, worshipping anybody who gets a whole book of bible to themselves) that in general principle would make them right (at least, they suspect that). Who knows, really?

  • Jim Roberts

    According to most sources, Stan Lee screwed up. He got Jonah and Captain Ahab mixed up. Spiderman is JJJ’s Great White Whale.

  • phantomreader42

    Lee’s affinity for alarming abuse of alliterative appelations is also relevant. Reed Richards, Susan Storm, Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, Pepper Potts, you know he couldn’t resist J. Jonah Jameson (Junior).

  • commonlaw504

    He allegedly did that because it helped him keep the names straight, since he was plotting every comic Marvel was publishing at the time. It wasn’t foolproof, of course.

  • Jon Maki

    Yep – that’s how we got Robert Bruce Banner, as he inadvertently referred to him as Bob Banner in an early issue.

    It’s also how Cyclops got the (inaccurate, based on how he’s usually presented) nickname of “Slim.” His name was originally Slim Summers, then Stan started referring to him as “Scott.” Things like that are, I think, what led to the creation of the No-Prize, at least in part.

  • Ross Thompson

    And in the Bill Bixby TV show, he was David Bruce Banner, because the network didn’t think audiences would accept “Bruce” as a name.

    Wonder why Batman’s never had that problem…

  • Jon Maki

    And I believe they actually tried to add David to his litany of names in the comics, though I forget where they placed it. So it was (possibly) David Robert Bruce Banner for a while, then I think they decided to just drop that at some point (most likely after the show was cancelled).

  • http://www.oliviareviews.com/ PepperjackCandy

    Perhaps they wouldn’t accept Bruce *because* of Batman. Maybe the name “Bruce Banner” caused confusion in the marketplace . . .

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    If Stan had got it right, he’d just have been Abraham Ahab Alderman, AP

  • BaseDeltaZero

    He could have had an alliterative ‘a’ name, though.

  • fraser

    Jonah’s primary motives have consistently been presented as a)selling papers; b)resenting Spider-Man for being a greater man than he is; c)Spidey consistently showing him up. Anything else is a rationalization.
    That’s not to say Jonah’s motives make sense–his early treatment of Spider-Man related stories was libelous, literally (there was a great story some years back in which Spidey sues him for libel). But they’re what we got.

  • dpolicar

    Marvel’s presentation of Jameson is many things, but I would not include “consistent” on that list.

  • commonlaw504

    However, there is a monologue from JJJ very early in the Amazing Spider-Man comics (like issue #10 I want to say) wherein Jameson basically acknowledges he’s jealous that Spidey acts like a hero without any sort of compensation or overt desire for reward.

    EDIT: and I should probably kept scrolling and read fraser’s post. Sorry.

  • GuestPoster

    I’ll admit, I haven’t read the earliest comics, but the personalities get rebooted so often, I’m willing to go with some of the latter ones I’m more familiar with, where yes, he cares about sales, and yes, he’s not a fan… but he also has a past with masked thugs, and honestly believes that the mask needs to come off, and is evidence of menace.

    And again, really… if there was a guy swinging from rooftop to rooftop in NYC, beating up people who might or might not have actually done anything wrong, leaving them hanging from light poles… the cops would shut him down ASAP, and we’d probably cheer.

  • dpolicar

    Probably.

    Of course, if the rooftop-swinging guy were also routinely saving lives and etc., some of us might feel differently… e.g., if all I know is that he beat up some guys he claims were muggers, I’d be skeptical, but if I were actually saved from a mugging, I’d be less so.

    Given enough reports like that, I might start giving rooftop-swinging guy the benefit of the doubt, just like I do with cops. E.g., the alleged criminals still get the full protection of due process, and they should, but I don’t insist the cops get arrested for assault and battery.

    This is even more true if the rooftop-swinging guy is using non-lethal weapons (unlike the cops).

    Also, if there were also other masked guys flying around, blowing up buildings, having firefights with the cops and blowing them to pieces, and generally terrorizing the neighborhood in more straightforwardly recognizable ways, and the rooftop-swinging guy was routinely capable of taking out those other masked guys, I’d probably start to feel differently.

    Admittedly, I would also strongly suspect it was all scripted, a la WWF.

  • Lorehead

    Marvel played that one straight years ago, in a storyline where Spider-Man sued Jameson for libel with the She-Hulk as his lawyer. She called witnesses to go over Jameson’s actions from the first few years of the book, including Jameson’s own son, who testified that Spider-Man saved his life and then his father maliciously lied about it. (Also, in the Marvel Universe, comic books approved by the Comics Code Authority are admissible as evidence in courts of law.)

    Things got a little farcical when she discovered that the freelancer who had helped Jameson by knowingly staging photos was one Peter Parker. What happened from that point on doesn’t make a lot of sense but was pretty funny.

  • aunursa

    So here’s my proposal:

    Obama is more into baseball than Romney or Roberts. Let Obama become baseball commissioner, and Uncle Joe can take over his role as Campaigner-in-Chief.

  • Nathaniel

    Allow me to respond with equal substance and wit: go fuck yourself.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Still can’t get over the fact that Obama won, eh?

    The election’s over, dude. There’s nothing left for him to campaign for. Time to find another baseless insult.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    The latest rhetoric from aunursa’s thought leaders in the Koch wing is that Obama needs to campaign vigorously for the Affordable Care Act (and, of course, is failing at it) because they must convince their base that it’s completely up in the air, rather than settled policy.

  • Baby_Raptor

    He’s not being very vigorous then. I mean, he’s given a couple speeches and tweeted some, but nothing like a campaign.

    That’s a fail, I guess?

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Exactly. I guess someone forgot to tell the President that’s he’s supposed to be out on the road stumping for a law that he signed more than 3 years ago (y’know, back before he was resoundingly reelected) and which can only be repealed before it goes into effect if both he and the Democrat-controlled Senate allow it.

  • http://flickr.com/photos/sedary_raymaker/ Naked Bunny with a Whip

    Obama is a well-known old, conservative white guy.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    That wasn’t even close to funny.

    Incidentally, the kind of people you keep company with? Include military-fetishizers who happily throw them under the bus if it means scoring off Obama.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    I’ve got no problem with President Biden, but what difference would it make to you? Their positions and what bills they would or wouldn’t sign are basically interchangable.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Biden isn’t black.

  • Lectorel

    And to the conservatives, that’s the most important thing. They can’t stand that the most important person in the country is a black man. It gives their shriveled, vestigial souls fits.

  • wendy

    They can’t stand that the most important person in the country on the planet is a black man

    FTFY

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    That being said the Secretary-General of the UN has lately generally been a person of color, beginning with U Thant in the 1960s.

  • P J Evans

    And the US has been trying to force the UN to do what it wants pretty much since then.

  • Lori

    The US expected the UN to do what it wants, basically from the beginning. Same goes for the other members of the Security Council. That is not some new, POC-related development.

  • P J Evans

    It seems to have gotten a lot louder since the UN decided it was going to have people who weren’t European-ancestry in important positions.

  • Lori

    Louder, or just more noticed and commented on?

    Beyond the issue of changes in standards and expectations, it’s more accurate to say that US issues with the UN and the elevation of POC to Secretary General are both results of the same set of changes in the global order than to say that Secretaries General who aren’t white caused the changes in US approach to the UN.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    My feeling is that the US really started trying to coerce the UN after the USSR collapsed and the UN lost an important dues-paying member.

    I remember in the 1990s esp with the Republican-held Congress they used to regularly screw around with back dues owing just to fuck with the UN’s capabilities.

  • Lori

    I think that’s a big part of it. The US didn’t feel that it needed the UN so much any more. It went from a good Cold War tool to being a PITA that got in the way, especially of the Right Wing agenda.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Why do you think the GOP suddenly became pro Vladimir Putin?

  • Lori

    In fairness, it’s not because he’s white, it’s because he really hates gay people. Obama had been black in the White House for quite a while before the wingers started kissing their pillows while fantasizing about shirtless Putin.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Yeah. but I don’t see them lining up behind the president of Gambia

  • Lori

    Well, some of them certainly have. There is a swooning “savior of the Western world” aspect to their crush on Vlad that doesn’t apply to anti-gay African governments.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Maybe even they recognize the absurdity of someone claiming that AIDS can be cured with an herbal body rub and bananas.

  • chgo_liz

    Shriveled, vestigial souls….excellent phrase.

  • wendy

    Obama’s more of a basketball kind of guy… but Scalia has the temperament for baseball. And his is the vacancy I’d rather see on the court before Roberts.

  • Lori

    Scalia actually doesn’t have the temperament for baseball. He decides who he wants to win and then manipulates to get that outcome. That’s not how baseball works. Baseball has rules. So. Many. Rules.

  • Lee B.

    So it’s perfect for Thomas, then. He loves regulatory minutiae.

  • Lori

    That would be a better fit.

  • Michael Pullmann

    Quite frankly, if a plane carrying Scalia crashed into a car carrying Roberts, my first question would be “Was Thomas hit by any of the wreckage?”

  • walden

    Jonah, the biblical book whose central, emphatic theme is “Jonah is horrible; don’t be anything like Jonah.”
    I thought the theme was God loves furriners too (and also many animals).
    Or, the message is greater than the messenger.

  • Kirala

    I’m sorry, I see “God loves furriners too (and also many animals),” and all I can think of is God loving “and mani interesting furry animals”. Would that be “including the majestic møøse”?

  • Baby_Raptor

    RE #5: Maybe they just think Jonah might feel left out.

  • AnonaMiss

    Fundies and children’s books always seem to twist the Jonah story into “Do what God says the first time, even if you don’t like it, or he’ll chase you to the ends of the earth until you do. But he won’t hold a grudge against you afterwards, so don’t worry.”

    The whale really ruined the story of Jonah. I think the logic behind the usual retelling is that since it has an animal it’ll appeal to kids, and since you’re telling the story to kids you need to bowdlerize it so that you aren’t rooting against the main character. As a culture we seem to have this idea that anti-protagonists are a bit above their reading level. (That hasn’t been my experience, but what do I know).

  • Jim Roberts

    These are the same people who make Sampson out to be the world’s first superhero, rather than a mulleted fool.

  • Lorehead

    Suicide bomber.

  • Kenneth Raymond

    I think the logic behind the usual retelling is that since it has an animal it’ll appeal to kids, and since you’re telling the story to kids you need to bowdlerize it so that you aren’t rooting against the main character.

    I went to a Bible day camp when a little kid that used the story of Jonah as the focus of the day’s lessons… or, rather, as an excuse to teach about whales. Which I don’t really mind, because hey, science is cool and whales are also cool, but they did kind of turn Jonah into a story of “something something here’s a repetitive song with two lines you’ll remember at random for the next 25 years HEY LOOK WHALES!” and for a long, long time after whenever I thought of Jonah all that would come up is that bit from Disney’s Pinocchio.

    I can’t remember if I just completely didn’t get the point of the story because later came the whale activities that distracted me, or they didn’t even really bother teaching it.

  • dpolicar

    This is now spawning amusing thoughts of how a subversive group of science students might cover their education in a hypothetical massively repressive Christianist tyranny… “Today we will read the story of Noah. We are supplementing that story with some additional information about meteorology and ship-building, so as to better understand the glory of God. As a consequence we expect completing the story of Noah to take about 2 years.”

  • Vaughn Lowe

    The bible doesn’t even use the word “whale;” it just says “a great fish.” I always like to picture him getting swallowed by a shark.

  • Kenneth Raymond

    Sharks probably would’ve been even cooler to my young mind, really. Though they probably wouldn’t have wanted us asking awkward questions like why Jonah wasn’t reduced to a pile of shredded meat in the shark’s stomach. Enough whales are sufficiently large and not-predatory that it’s easier to accept, especially to an overly-literal young child’s mind.

  • SkyknightXi

    I’m thinking more “giant gulper eel”. Although there’s the question of whether Hebrew idiom of the time would have collapsed whales into the category of “great fish”. q.v. bats being classed with birds in the tamei rules. By our lights, that’s strange, but it probably served the needs of Hebrew communication at the time. And it’s not as though closer-to-now people always had the categorizations straight, like looking at dinosaurs as ancient lizards, rather than ancient birds.

  • tatortotcassie

    For that matter, how many people in today’s times look at a wasp or yellow jacket and call it a bee?

  • Jamoche

    Yesterday’s Final Jeopardy referred to a software program whose name means “red panda”.

    I sat here looking at the Firefox icon – a flame-colored fox – and thinking, “no, it can’t be that, but it’s the only piece of software that’s common and named after an animal…”

    Yep, it’s Firefox. And now that I’ve looked it up, red pandas are cuter than firey foxes.

  • Alix

    Way back when one of my science classes was covering taxonomy, the teacher started by making us all trek up a mountain, gather pine needles, and classify them.

    We each came up with entirely different classification systems, and none of us came up with one that fit with the standard taxonomy for pines. Classifications are always somewhat artificial and arbitrary; we may classify things based on one set of criteria, but that doesn’t mean it’s obviously the best way to do so, or that other ways are less good.

    Lumping all big sea creatures or all flying animals into one category – those really aren’t stupid ideas.

  • Alix

    …Actually, given that Jonah flees to Jaffa to board the ship from whence he gets ejected into the whale’s belly, several people have suggested a connection with the Andromeda myth (she was a princess of Jaffa, in most versions); either way the motif of giant whale-monster* swallowing a person was circulating around the area. The concept of a giant sea monster shows up a lot in Mediterranean mythologies – Leviathan being another good example.

    *”Cetus” means any large sea life (whale, shark, fish) or sea monster, and the monster called Cetus (the one that tried to eat Andromeda) was usually depicted as some kind of giant snake-whale hybrid. FWIW.

  • Nick Gotts
  • Alix

    Oh, wow, I’d never heard of that guy before. :D

  • fraser

    If Broglio is so worried about chaplains looking like they condone evil, the obvious solution is for them to stay the fuck away from him, excuse my language.

  • Eric Boersma

    You don’t need to excuse that language. It’s totally appropriate.

  • RDM

    Jerk he may be, but Jonah was one of the most successful prophets… I mean seriously, guy walks a third of the way into a city, starts preaching at a random spot and by that very afternoon the king’s in sackcloth and ashes asking for repentance.

  • Lorehead

    No wonder his boss put up with him.

  • Shay Guy

    Really, how many prophets had that kind of success at all? Approximately none, that’s how many.

    “Repent or you’ll die!” “Oh, wow, guess we’d better repent then.” “…Wait, you listened?”

    I’d call him the most successful prophet.

  • LL

    Aw, the couple in Atlanta story is sweet. Imagine, people taking advantage of an opportunity to feed people who need it, instead of looking for ways to take food away from them.

  • Jim Roberts

    It’s a lovely story, all around.

  • Bruce Gottesman

    All George W Bush wanted in life as an adult was to become Baseball Commissioner. No, I’m not suggesting him…

  • Green Eggs and Ham

    He would probably invade another professional sport, on manufactured evidence, if he were to become Commissioner.

    And, no I did not pick my moniker in response to Sen. Troll from Texas. I chose it a long time ago from my respect for the good Dr.

  • Lori

    Honestly, I think he’d do OK as Commissioner. At the very least I don’t think he’d be worse for the game than Selig. One of my “go back and change history” fantasies involves Shrub being promised the job after Selig retires and therefore deciding not to get into politics, or at least not to aim above Texas politics. The world would be a better place.

  • Green Eggs and Ham

    A breathtakingly better place.

  • Oswald Carnes

    Fuck the Catholic Church and the disgusting perverts who fund it.

  • tatortotcassie

    No. Fuck the idiots trying to run the Catholic Church.

  • That Other Jean

    I guess I can see why a church would be named for Jonah. He threw a giant temper tantrum and ran away rather than obey God; but in the end, he did what God wanted, and turned out to be quite good at it. Possibly because he was the most imperfect, reluctant, and cantankerous, he strikes me as the most human of the prophets.

  • Lori

    I can see Jonah being good at delivering a hellfire & brimstone sermon because he’s a horrible person who thoroughly relishes the thought of the Ninevehites being punished. I’m not sure that he really did what God wanted though. Clearly he did part of it. He went to Nineveh (under extreme duress) and preached and the city was saved. However, he never learned anything and the story ends with God displeased with him.

    Humanity can be quite shitty, no doubt about it, but I don’t know that being a mean, petty, vengeful, epically self-absorbed whiner constitutes being most human.

  • Alix

    “It may be that your only purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others.” – fortune cookie my brother got once. Seems fitting.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Two of my colleagues got “It is worse than you think. What have you done?” in the same week.

  • Alix

    …Okay, that’s hilarious. And I now really really want my brother to get that one, just to watch in sadistic amusement as he freaks out.

    …It may be time to make my own fortune cookies. XD

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I’ve recently seen more than one animation of the Jonah story, which I
    presume were done by “literalists”, which explicitly claim that Jonah
    totes did want Nineveh to be saved, and only ran away because he was afraid that he wasn’t up to the task and didn’t want to fail God. And of course he was overjoyed when God didn’t make with the smiting, he was just too humble to believe that he’d saved them.

    Yeah.

  • Alix

    Jonah also used to be a stand-in/allegory for Christ in early Christian iconography, and I wouldn’t be surprised if some of that association still lingers.

  • ReverendRef

    Suggested liturgy for this church: “The Lord be with you.” “I am angry enough to die.”

    Coming from a place where we use, “The Lord be with you,” for everything from opening prayers to getting a crowded room to shut up, that made me laugh.

    I’m sure people will wonder why I laughed a little during that part of the service.

  • dpolicar

    Perhaps Roman Catholic Archbishop Tim Broglio also doesn’t think that same-sex couples should be allowed to die?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Be nice if immortality worked like that.

  • dpolicar

    I suppose.

    On the other hand, I’m glad that Broglio’s opinion that my husband and I can’t be a family didn’t stop us from being one, so I suppose consistency requires me to be at least OK with the fact that his alleged opinion that we can’t die won’t stop us from dying.

  • Lorehead

    I tell you, if Pope Francis wants to lead every headline in the world and be a national hero, here’s what he should do. First, pick a slow news day. Second, call up the family of the first gay or lesbian soldier to be denied a funeral by a chaplain, and offer to officiate himself, without, as he has said before, passing judgment. Just as an act of pastoral kindness for some fellow Catholics.

    Note that this would require him to say the word “husband” or “wife.” He is no supporter of marriage equality, but he doesn’t need to be in order to conduct a respectful funeral.

  • christopher_y

    It’s a lovely idea, but it would split the church quicker than you could look up how to spell “schism”. Which is why it’ll never happen.

  • Lorehead

    Even child-molesting priests got funerals in church, with other priests officiating. In fact, Cardinal Law was one of the priests who presided over the funeral of John Paul II.

    Or for a less incendiary example, any man who divorces and remarries without an annulment is violating Catholic teaching on marriage just as surely as one who marries another man, but find me the Catholic priest today who refuses on principle to participate at any funeral that would give the impression he endorses such a putative “marriage.”

    Just point out he’s applying the same degree of compassion and basic human decency in this case as in the latter one, and his critics have absolutely no leg to stand on. Since they call other people who marry in violation of canon law husband and wife and attend their funerals, and believe that even murderers deserve respectful funerals, they’re obvious hypocrites.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I’m looking for a Slacktivist post from awhile back, but can’t find it. Does anyone recall a thread that pulls apart the “you must tolerate my intolerance” argument other than this one? I seem to remember one that points out that the terms are antonyms and thus cannot coexist by design.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    This is the one I rememeber best, but there’s also this one and this one.

    This (from the last link) still makes me laugh:

    The sad thing about the “I demand you tolerate my intolerance!” harrumphing is that those folks don’t seem to realize that what they’re saying is just a semantic game. They’ve gotten stuck inside their own linguistic pretzel and imagine it still communicates some idea or corresponds to some reality rather than just demonstrating the pliability and liabilities of language.

    Which makes me wish that an omnipotent God would make a rock so heavy that even he couldn’t lift it, then drop it on them.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    The latter-most is the closest one, but still not the one I remember. I think it was featured in one of those “X years ago” posts semi-recently, but… sigh.

  • Vermic

    Maybe Jonah became a decent guy after the book ended? Maybe that’s why the book ended where it did, because it was the moment when God’s point finally sank home.

    EDIT: Because otherwise, there’s a lost Chapter 5 where Jonah is like, “Nope, still not getting it,” and God really lets him have it.

  • Lori

    That’s obviously possible, but it’s odd to build a church as a monument to that. As we’ve discussed, Christians often worship their own Bible fanfic more than they worship the Bible, but they’re not usually so blatant about it.

    Besides, if I was forced to bet I’d put money down that the church celebrates Jonah giving those nasty Ninevehites what for, not Jonah eventually learning not to be a total ass.

  • Vermic

    It’s a good question, so I did a little Google-fu and found this article containing some words spoken at the temple last week, which seems to provide some insight as to what they were going for:

    Our Bishop Mr. Amphilochios, after greeting and welcoming the presiding Metropolitan of Kydonia and Apokoronas Mr. Damaskinos, referred briefly to the person and figure of the celebrated prophet Jonah. “This great prophet, he noted, decided in free will to disobey the will of God when he was called to preach in the city of Nineveh the message of repentance and went to another town. But God wanted, through the large fish, to give Jonah another chance to obey His will.

    The God-given priceless gift of human freedom, expressed through free will, is after all a matter of eternal life. The challenge is how the man manages this freedom,” concluded His Eminence our Bishop Mr. Amphilochios, followed by the guest Metropolitan Damaskinos, who thanked our Bishop for the kind invitation and also noted: “In these difficult times we have need of the prophets, like today’s honored prophet Jonah, to show us the path we need to follow in order to be able to overcome the difficulties of the times.” He also referred to the three-day stay of prophet Jonah in the belly of the fish, a foreshadowing (as he said) of the three-day burial and resurrection of our Lord.

  • Lori

    That first bit, OK. That second bit sounds like what I figured they were going for.

  • Alix

    He also referred to the three-day stay of prophet Jonah in the belly of the fish, a foreshadowing (as he said) of the three-day burial and resurrection of our Lord.

    That’s a pretty old tradition, actually. I always wondered if Jesus would be flattered by the comparison.

  • Lori

    I’m going to say, no.

  • Hawker40

    Didn’t Jesus hisself mention the comparison? (Matt. 12:40)

  • Alix

    True. I forgot that reference.

  • Ryan

    According to this Stars and Stripes article, Archbishop Broglio is saying that Catholic priests can’t be forced to do these things rather than banning them from doing them.

  • Lori

    A couple things

    -Who is trying to force priests to perform same sex weddings or funerals for gay & lesbian soldiers? Not the DOD.

    -Military chaplains are employees of the DOD, not of their respective churches. They are paid to provide spiritual guidance to soldiers. Gay soldiers should not be left without effective access to the chaplaincy services that the DOD provides. IOW, it could be argued that a chaplain who doesn’t want to provide services to whichever soldiers need it is not fit for the job and should probably find another ministry, one paid for and controlled by their church. There is no right to be a military chaplain.

  • Ryan

    I have no idea who is trying to force priests to do anything. You’d have to ask Archbishop Broglio what prompted him to say this. My concern was making sure that what he said was accurately reported. What he said was bad (“Russ and Matt signed up for the engagement retreat, so Fr. Pharisee cancelled it”), but not as bad as the post said (“Fr. Dominic wanted to hold a funeral for Aaron, but Archbishop Broglio forbade it”).

  • Lori

    That’s fair enough, as far as it goes. But if no one is actually trying to force priests to do these things then the Archbishop’s statement smacks of martyrbating.

    ETA: The Archbishop is also trying to assert control over something that he doesn’t actually control—the job requirements of DOD employees.

  • Emcee, cubed

    The statement is actually worded rather oddly.

    He talks about how no Catholic priest or deacon can be forced to do a bunch of things (funerals are not among them). But the way it reads seems to say that they could do those things of their own volition. (The words “forced” and “obliged to” implying outside forces)

    Two paragraphs later he talks about the funeral thing, and the wording is “may not be placed in a situation”. Unlike being forced to do something, one may place oneself in a situation.

    So it reads like he is saying follow your conscience on actually performing weddings, couples retreats, etc. But on funerals, they aren’t allowed to perform them unless they are sure their participation wouldn’t appear as if they approve of same-sex marital relations. (Which would likely be anything that includes the spouse at all.)

  • Lorehead

    I don’t see how you could even obtain the surviving spouse’s permission as next-of-kin without acknowledging him or her as next-of-kin, not that it’s likely that anyone would invite a priest to preside at a funeral who insists on being rude to the family.

  • Susan Paxton

    I don’t think Broglio can do that.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I would like to reference the sheer amazement this video inspires in me. Seeing all those planes managing to keep exactly the same distance from one another as they zoom along at better than 300 miles per hour – nothing quite like it.

    And those jet streams! :)

    The Memphis Belle Flying Fortress.

  • Ben English

    I’d sooner send Alito than John Roberts. There’s only a five year age gap and Roberts, while no liberal, isn’t the cloud cuckoolander that Alito and Scalia are.

  • Ivkra

    “In the interview I only wanted to underline the central role of the woman in the family,” Barilla also said in the statement.

    …well, that’s alright then.

  • Baby_Raptor

    Yeah. Our “central role” of making babies and cooking his pasta.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    On #6: “That is guaranteed in the Second Amendment, and a treaty cannot trump an expressed guarantee in the Constitution,” Napolitano explained.

    What. That’s not how it works. That’s not how it works at all…

  • commonlaw504

    Actually, yes it is. Treaties must comply with the US Constitution.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    True, in the sense that treaties are ‘overruled’ by the constitution. That’s not the problem. The problem is that it has nothing to with the Second Amendment, which says nothing about the international arms trade. The treaty concerns international import and export of weapons, specifically regarding ‘human rights offenders’, it has nothing to say about domestic weapons sale, manufacture, or ownership.

  • commonlaw504

    This is all true. Your original post seemed to take issue with the notion that a treaty cannot trump the Constitution, not with Napolitano’s understanding of what the arms treaty says and does.

  • BaseDeltaZero

    Yeah, I can see how it could be interpreted that way… ‘it’ was supposed to be the Second Amendment, but I sorta… failed.