Saying Grace

Saying Grace February 18, 2013

Thank you, Patrick, for introducing me to Sam Baker and the song above.

“In a spirit of wanting to help us all get along, let’•s look at some things that evangelicals actually do well.”

If Christ has no face, then perhaps it is time that we … give him a new face.”

“While some folks may say outrageous things because they think it’ll get them attention and sell books (Ann Coulter comes to mind), I think a lot of them are guilty of Joe E. Ross Disease.”

“‘If they can take away your right to own a snake,’ Joyce says, ‘they can take your Bible and your guns next.'”

“The key to this conversation is not to begin with the legal issue. …‰ You need to get there. You don’•t start there. You start with these immigrants as people.” (via)

We should have put that sign up when you son of a bitches came.”

“The police department’s policy is to arrest all children referred to the agency.”

“It’s people like Pastor Joe Davis who take all the fun out of both being Christian and drinking so much that you start imagining that Jesus is on your case of beer.”

Two different appeals to Christian beliefs – one that God has an eternal plan for sex which is confined to the bed of monogamously married heterosexuals and one to Jesus’s injunction to love one’s neighbor – to justify different stances on a contemporary political issue.”

“There is probably no quicker way to turn a morally sensitive believer into an atheist than by telling her that she has to set aside her deepest moral intuitions when thinking about God.”

“And then I remembered the one thing some Christians will never admit out loud, which is that sometimes Jesus isn’t all you need. Sometimes you need Zoloft.”

“The Torah is full of mythological sources of father and son, and so is Marvel Comics.”

I’d sure like to be saved from a tract.”

“Then a motorcycle gang showed up. Then a church procession. Then the police.”

Risin’ up to the challenge of our rival.”

Church Sign Epic Fails: ‘Mormons Rock'”


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  • flat

    You know when I was young we had sometimes accidents on the road before my parents house and then the whole neigborhood ended up watching and sharing the latest gossip.
    Those were the good old days (not for the drivers who got in the accident)

  • EllieMurasaki

    Cute puppy is cute, but will always be the definitive Eye of the Tiger video.

  • MikeJ

    Weird. The previous post says “this site has blocked you posting new comments. ” Not “comments are closed” or something generic, but singling me out.  Yet on this post there’s no such warning.

  • Teachers thirty years ago didn’t face the challenges we see in
    contemporary school systems.  Any teacher, white, black or indifferent
    will tell you that.

    I’m starting to this this is a serious oversimplification of the fact that adolescent acting-out and misbehavior has increasingly been subject to social control tools that are not appropriate to the task because of a widespread unspoken feeling that as people lose economic control of their lives, they need to feel there is some sense of control somewhere, and teenage misbehavior that in the past would have been blatantly overlooked or ignored has now been brought under the microscope.

  • Foreigner

    I read that as ‘Joe E Brown disease’. Nobody’s perfect. 

  • Making it worse, the restrictions placed on snake ownership cost his
    small business thousands of dollars in revenue. To him, snake ownership
    should be regulated, not banned. It is a right. “If they can take away
    your right to own a snake,” Joyce says, “they can take your Bible and
    your guns next.”

    This kind of slippery-slope-ism is all too commonly employed, particularly by those on the political right, who don’t seem to grasp that there are problems out there bigger than just one person’s capacity to deal with.

    But then it wouldn’t be political conservatism without the attendant selfishness, would it?

  • Worthless Beast

    Read the link on the Zoloft…

    I’ve been thinking lately about how people refusing medication isn’t just a problem for people who think they can just “pray it away” – it’s a problem for a lot of people.  It seems like I see comments online here and there all the time about creative people refusing or going off medication because “it dampens creatvity.”  I think I must have a particularly bizarre brain because the lithium I take for my bipolar disorder… since I’ve been on it, I’ve felt like my creative work has only gotten better because of an increased ability to friggin’ focus.  

    One does have to be very careful with pych meds… if you’re misdiagnosed and given the wrong thing, it can really mess you up (I know by experience), but once you’ve found what’s right – sticking with what works is no sin.

  • My sister, who as far as I know is not religious in any way shape or form, insists that we say grace before meals (this only comes up at birthdays and holidays) the preferred version in the family seems to have become one I learned at summer camp:
    Ruba dub dub
    Thanks for the grub
    Yay God!

  • Ian

    That’s actually a very smart password.  It’s easy to remember and due to its length it’s basically unbreakable.  It’s actually a much stronger password than (ahem) eight random characters and one capital.

  • There is way too much variation involved to really make blanket statements.  Different meds do different things, obviously, but it’s also the case that the exact same meds do different things to different people.  (Which is part of why it took a decade or so to go from, “You’re right, what you’re dealing with is depression,” to finding something that worked for me.)

    It’s entirely possible that there are people for whom it is the case that a med might help with whatever their problem is and screw over their creativity.  (I’m glad I wasn’t faced with that choice.)  But it seems to me that the better option would be to try different meds.  Med X helped with A but made B bad is a solid starting point from which a doctor could make more informed prescriptions.

    On the subject of helps with A but makes B bad, what I’m on for depression right now makes it so I cannot sleep without a sleep aid.  It simply will not happen.  It is also the only thing that’s so much as made a dent in my depression, and appears to have done much more than that, it seems to have fixed it entirely.  So I’m on that medication plus an over the counter sleep aid.

    As far as I know there’s no such thing as a creativity aid, so if someone had a medication that helped them with [whatever] but screwed over their creativity I can see why they might not want to take it.

  • hidden_urchin

    if you’re misdiagnosed and given the wrong thing, it can really mess you up…

    I think this is the primary reason people are wary of meds. I, for one, have had four different diagnoses now for what’s wrong with me and three of those require radically different classes of drugs with the fourth having no treatment protocol whatsoever. Now which one do I gamble my time, emotional and physical health, and money on?

  • stardreamer42

    The password joke was funny until they turned it into a “dumb blonde” joke. Aren’t we past that shit by now? 

  • My schizophrenic uncle goes off his meds from time to time because, as a paranoid schizophrenic, it’s very easy for him to suddenly think they’re poisoned, they’re mind control drugs, etc. When he goes off his meds, he is not only miserable himself, but he makes everyone around him miserable (and frightened for good reason) as well. So that’s one side of it.

    I have to take pain meds. For a while, I used to rebel and decide not to take them sometimes, because they mess with my language center. Not being able to think of words is a severe and crippling problem when one is a writer. But the pain is a more severe and crippling problem. Now I want to try different medications, but there is exactly one that looks both strong enough for my pain and not likely to cause me harm: marijuana. I have considered trying to obtain it, because I have no moral qualms against it, but I don’t live in a state that allows medical marijuana and I really really really don’t want to risk jail. This state allows Percocet, to which I was physically addicted after taking it for one week, and Tramadol, which has mental effects comparable to marijuana but often worse and physical effects that are entirely worse, and to which I am now physically addicted after taking it for two years, but no pot, which is not physically addictive. 

    Which is all a long and involved way of saying that strong, mentally-affecting drugs are often necessary, but with the way the drug industry works, and the logically and morally bankrupt war on drugs, anyone who needs drugs is pretty much s.o.l right now in one way or another. We take what we can get and try to find better, usually with fewer resources than people who do not need drugs. It’s a good example of how our society loves to kick people when they’re already down.

  • Seriously. It’s exactly the sort of password that xkcd and my security-conscious co-worker would approve of.

    (Personally I use an Enigma simulator to transform an easily-remembered phrase into random-looking letters that are unique to each site; so long as I avoid the classic German blunders it’s very effective. It saved me from accidentally giving LinkedIn access to my email account when I thought I was logging in to them. Seriously, LinkedIn, wtf? You used to be legit and useful, now you want to be Facebook and spam everyone I know?)

  • LL

    You know, if you’ve got the free time, you can always counter-tract: come up with tracts of your own refuting the misinformation in the RTC versions (even better if you call them out specifically). Have fun with it. If I was to see tracts in my area (Dallas, TX) regularly, I’d make the time to create some anti-tracts. Just saying. Fight fire with fire. 

  • LL

    And the pitbull puppy video: adorable. 

  • AnonymousSam

    That… actually sounds like a lot of fun. I’d love to see some inclusive, humanist clobber verse tracts bashing down social injustice and whatnot. I’d love a bunch of those to put inside one of those little cardboard container with a slot for quarters and a few rolls of mints — subject? Usury. I could take it to the Bank of America and ask if they’d mind me setting it up on the counter to help get the Christian word out. :D

  • Tricksterson

    Obviously you angered the internet fairies.  Fortunately they have short attention spans.

  • banancat

    I’m surprised that I’m the first to criticize that article about Evangelicals getting things right.  Most of them are points about being better Christians than non-Evangelicals but I’m an atheist so I don’t really care about those.  However, I am personally offended by their back-patting about being so generous.  Missions work in itself is highly problematic, from the condescending nature of it to all the strings that come attached to the alleged charity.  But I also wonder if it’s even true.  Do Evangelicals really donate more money than other people, Christian or otherwise?  Tithing doesn’t count even though Mitt Romney wants it to, because it’s more dues to your club and less giving money to help the needy.  Paying dues to keep a club running is fine and necessary, but it still doesn’t count as charity.

    From my own experience in volunteering and doing charity work, I am highly suspicious of any type of religious charity.  It’s not really charity if you’re only using it as a chance to Evangelize or even to coerce people into converting.  So, no gold star for Evangelism on that point.

    The entire article came off as extremely selve-serving without explicitly saying so, in a way that only Evangelicals are really good at doing.

    ETA: For the love of god, don’t read the comments on that article! I nearly suffocated from all the smug.

  • spinetingler

    Geez, just pick up the tiny Italian car! That coffin can’t be much lighter.

  • I don’t read stuff Fred links any more, after he linked to something that was supposed to be happy and was instead a smug, sex-hating, close-minded, domestic abuse minimizing disaster. An article about how much better Evangelicals are than non-Evangelicals? And that’s supposed to be in the spirit of getting along? Blech.

    Evangelical smugness is a toxic substance. It’s proven to increase my blood pressure, at any rate. And Evangelicals seem to be entirely blind to it. 

  • Hexep

    For a very brief period of time, back in college, I was taking some kind of antidepressant; don’t remember what it was. Due to poor planning or whatever, once I finished my first… run? Dosage? what’s it called? Once I got to the end of the bottle, I was in a place where I couldn’t refill it, and anyway my pa put a lid on me taking any kind of brain-meds. The likely story is that I wasn’t on it for long enough to have it do its thing, but once off them, I didn’t notice a difference.

    This is a total delusion, but I can’t shake the feeling that there is such a thing in this universe as ‘medicine,’ an inclusive set, and that taking medicine does what it does but it also builds up this thing called ‘tolerance,’ which means that any future ‘medicine’ I take is going to be less effective.  It’s like… every time you take a pill, you pay for it in some kind of internal spiritual accounting, and maybe later on down the road, you’ll have some kind of serious need for medicine, but you’ve taken too much and now you’re compromised and there will be problems. Like, maybe one day I’ll have to go in for a lung transplant, or something, but whoops! This dude’s been taking a regular course of something, that’ll interfere with this, and now we have trouble.

    Also, I just don’t like the idea of being tied to something I have to refill. In a perfect world, I’d just have a lifetime supply of any kind of thing I needed, but I move around too much.

  • My preferred one is “Food Hallelujah, Amen!”, to the tune of “A shave and a haircut”

  • Dear Jewish Daily Forward: It is Spider-Man, not Spiderman. He’s been around for FIFTY YEARS, you could at least get the spelling right.

  • If I find a ‘dumb blonde’ joke funny I usually revise to point at myself as the subject. I’m actually fairly intelligent and people often seem to think I’m smarter than I really am, so that makes the joke funnier IMO. 

  • I usually call folks out on that but given how similar Spiderman looks to your typical Jewish surname (Irving Spiderman?) I’d give them a pass.

  • “Why do Christians shoot their wounded?”  There is an easy answer to that.  Many of us get into the “sales” model of evangelism… can’t show any personality flaws or others might get the impression that Jesus doesn’t fix everything that’s wrong with us.  So our prayer requests stay in the safe zone of prayers for healing, because illness is something that’s obviously out of our control.  But just once, I’d like to be in a prayer group where it was safe enough to say “I was about two minutes away from cutting my wrists last night.  Please pray for me.”

  • Carstonio

    While I condemn the sexist language in the Native American’s rant, I like the overall message. Probably no one seriously expects all the European-Americans to leave for the continent of their ancestors. But those of us of European descent can and should end the hypocrisy when it comes to immigration.

    Church is like spinach? While I love baby spinach now, the only spinach I knew about growing up was the kind in cans, which I wouldn’t touch even now. Similarly, I avoided sweet potatoes for many years because I had tried yams slathered in sweet sauce with marshmallows. I might have liked the former if I were introduced to them as baked, or french fried, or made into pies.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     I’d make the time to create some anti-tracts. Just saying. Fight fire with fire.

    Like Who Will be Eaten First?

  • I think I stole the joke from Jon Stewart.