It's Thursday and Elaine can't blog on Thursday (she runs a group on Thursdays) so I grab Thursdays for her and she grabs Wednesdays (church night) for me. If you've never checked out her site, Like Maria Said Paz, please do so. I got matched with her, Eli, Kara and Brad by C.I. early on when I became a member of The Common Ills. We'd exchange e-mails and it was obvious she should be doing her own site. (So should Eli, Kara and Brad.) When she was filling in for Rebecca this summer while Rebecca was on vacation, she started helping out with The Third Estate Sunday Review and she's really sharp so maybe you know her from there? But check out her site: Like Maria Said Paz.
"How dare they try to end this beauty."
So what's the plan for tonight? An e-mail I wanted to get to awhile back but didn't have time (that'll be on my tombstone: "Didn't have time"). Iwanna e-mailed about her church back then and was kind enough to e-mail again this week or I would've forgotten.
She's got a beef and I'll quote her: "So it's not just donate to the plate that's passed around, we also have a Praise Bucket and they just added another one. I keep waiting to see the Car Note Bucket."
She's got a few beefs actually. She says she goes to church for the message and doesn't know "why we have to cluck like hens for 20 minutes at the start of every service while we're 'getting our praise on.'" Another complaint is that her preacher is always requesting, at the end of the service, that everyone go up to someone and hug. Iwanna goes to church with her adult son and her father and she's fine with hugging them "if I have to hug" but she's getting "real tired" of people coming up to her asking for a hug.
She also told me I could share this story. A year ago, there was a disagreement between two women in the choir at her church during choir practice. The first one wanted the solo and the second one said, "You always get the solo!" When the first one didn't back down, the second one cursed her and said, "I'm going out to my car and getting my gun!" The choir had to hold her back (while she was screaming, "Let me go! Let me go!") and Iwanna told her son they were leaving because it was getting crazy.
She has a ton of stories like that and I'm only sharing the ones she gave me permission to. But she's tired of this church. It was her late mother's church so she's continued to going.
But here's my advice, if your church isn't nourishing you and you've given it time, it's time for a change. I think a church is a long term thing and I expect that there will be bumps and all like any long term relationship. But if it stops working and it gets so bad that, like Iwanna, "all I want to do is go in, hear the sermon, and get out to my car" then it's probably time to consider another church.
When it stops speaking to you, and it continues to not speak to you, you need to move on. I hope that doesn't ever happen with me because I love my church but it does happen and when it does you just need to find another house of the Lord to worship in. That's not saying you failed or the church failed, just that you started out together but ended up taking different paths.
Though I put off writing about this here because I didn't have time, I did tell Iwanna that in an e-mail when she first wrote. Maybe seeing it up here will convince her that I mean it?
If your church isn't working for you, find one that does. I think most preachers or pastors would tell you the same thing -- not in a "get out" kind of way but because the message is more important than one church. Like I said, I hope that day never comes for me because my church means a lot to me and, even if that stopped being the case, I would still have a lot of memories tied up with it. I think that's why Iwanna's reluctant to make the break. But when you're miserable and it goes on and on for years, it's time to find a new house of worship.
Might even mean it was time to take a break and spend some time with yourself. But with Iwanna, she seems to just need to hear that it's okay to switch churches. Her aunt's goes to one that Iwanna's really curious about and she should check it out. Same goes for anyone.
The alternative is to just go through the motions and hate it and that does no one a favor. Doesn't do the congregation a favor, doesn't do your preacher a favor and it doesn't do you a favor.
So we've taken care of old business. Now I want to note something from Democracy Now! because Elaine always does:
Rumsfeld Backtracks on Iraq News Planting Denial
In other news, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has reversed his claim that the Pentagon has stopped planting news stories in the Iraqi media. Rumsfeld had made the claim on two separate occasions Friday. But on Tuesday, Rumsfeld said: "I don't have knowledge as to whether it's been stopped. I do have knowledge it was put under review. I was correctly informed. And I just misstated the facts."
Did you hear about that? Because you should have. This is typical for the administration. They act like a child cornered when caught in a lie -- they just create a new lie to get them out of hot water. To get everyone to back off, they lie and say something's stopped. Then, when things aren't being followed as closely, they turn around and retract their lie while claiming they thought that then.
"I just misstated the facts"? Weasel words for "I lied."
For an administration that can't stop invoking Jesus' name, they don't seem very familiar with the basics of the Bible, do they?
But that's often how it is. The people who make a spectacle of their faith are usually the least likely to actually practice it.
If you think about it, the very fact that they have to make a show of it usually means that they're trying to prove something. Now why does anyone have to prove anything? It's not a competition.
I really wish that politicians would invoke the Constitution more than they do the Lord. I don't look at politicians as the spiritual cheerleaders of the nation. When I hear Bully Boy go on and on about how God stopped his drinking and how God did this or did that, I think, "Well why didn't you go into preaching?" Really, if it's true, why didn't he go into preaching?
I don't think God wants us to kill each other. I don't think God wants to see a people lied into war. So when he speaks about God, it sounds phoney to me. I know some eat it up. I think he's dangerous to the country and think he needs to stop casting his opinions as being based in a faith because there's nothing spiritual about lying a nation into war. There's nothing spiritual about carpet bombing a country. Or bearing false witness.
Wally had a funny thing today that some people may miss. (Maybe not.) He gave me permission to post the whole thing so here it is.
THIS JUST IN! BULLY BOY ADDRESSES THE ISSUE OF THE PORTS
BULLY BOY PRESS - DC.
TODAY BULLY BOY HELD A PRESS CONFERENCE TO ADDRESS A CONCERN RAGING THE NATION.
"EVERYONE IS FOCUSED ON THE PORTS. EVERY WHERE I GO IT IS 'THE PORTS' THIS OR 'THE PORTS' THAT. PEOPLE THE PORTS IS ALWAYS WITH US. WHENEVER YOU WANT, YOU CAN DO THEM GOOD. BUT, PAY ATTENTION BILL FRIST, YOU DO NOT ALWAYS HAVE ME."
"LOSING A JOB IS TRAUMATIC," BULLY BOY SAID. "ASK MY FATHER. IT'S DIFFICULT. IT PUTS A STRAIN ON OUR FAMILIES. BUT YOUNGER INDIANS ARE AQUIRING A TASTE FOR PIZZA FROM DOMINO'S. THANK YOU."
"WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS HE TALKING ABOUT?" HELEN THOMAS, DEAN OF THE DC PRESS CORPS, WONDERED.
"SHUT IT, HELEN!" SNAPPED A SOBBING ELIZABETH BUMILLER OF THE NEW YORK TIMES, "HE IS INSPIRATIONAL! SIMPLY INSPIRATIONAL!"
Related: "Other Items"
the new york times
the common ills
Wally's put Jesus' words in Bully Boy's mouth and intentionally screwed them us (the way Bully Boy does in real life). The whole section about "the ports" (the poor) always being with us. I always laugh at Wally's stuff but this one made me laugh a little harder because it really did capture the way Bully Boy trots out scripture and screws it up.
For more laughs see Betty's "Thomas Friedman's one moment of public truth."
And that's almost it for me tonight. Almost. Three Cool Old Guys can't stop laughing when they read Ava and C.I.'s "TV Review: Close To Home (and floating in the toilet)." Sunday, when I visited, they were laughing about it. That was day one. They're still laughing about it and keep saying, "You've got to re-read it, it gets funnier each time." I agree it's up there with their best ones and that's a big compliment. So make a point to read it.
By the way, here's the new content from last Sunday's The Third Estate Sunday Review:
A Note to Our Readers
Editorial: No spine on no spying
TV Review: Close To Home (and floating in the toilet)
1 Book, 10 Minutes (Danny Schechter, The Death of Media)
Psst, here come the gatekeepers
Musings on the service economy
Ava and C.I. do the TV reviews themselves. But on the other features the credits are:
The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim;
Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude;
Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man;
C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review;
Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills);
Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix;
Mike of Mikey Likes It!;
Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz;
and Wally of The Daily Jot.
I point that out because Betty, Kat and me sometimes hear, "You don't blog enough." We probably don't. But we are doing stuff besides what goes up at our own sites. Let me note one more thing because I haven't given Trina enough shout outs. Saturdays, Trina blogs at Trina's Kitchen. I hope you're checking her out. Iwanna, I guess I've added the Shout Out Bucket to this entry.
the daily jot
thomas friedman is a great man
the third estate sunday review
sex and politics and screeds and attitude
mikey likes it
like maria said paz
cedrics big mix
thomas friedman is a great man