Random Observations 17

One never knows from whence inspiration will come. Today, it came from Wells, England.

My very dearest friend, Alys, a wonderful cook and master baker, found a recipe for the American dish called Green Bean Casserole. I thought it was my responsibility as a true, patriotic American, to tell her – ugh! We don’t eat that stuff anymore. If you’ve had it once, you’ve had enough of it. If we are of ‘a certain age’, I’m certain we could all write books, the titles of which would be “Green Bean Casseroles I Have Known”. It is one of those ‘traditions’ about which passing I do not lament.

And then there’s this. I had a wonderful gentleman friend, Les – an Englishman and submariner – who used to make me laugh whenever he spoke about English food. It seems to this American that the English have a lot of ‘food rules’. I was rather forcefully informed that one never eats toast that is dark; one must always put the clotted cream on the toast first and then the ‘conserve’ or the lemon curd. Only someone ‘naff’ would reverse the order. With rules in mind, I share with you the video Alys shared with me this morning:

I don’t consider myself an ‘animal person’. I would never hurt one but aside from the (a little more than casual) desire for a French bulldog, I don’t have much interest. Now I’ve discovered Bondi (pronounced bond – eye) Vet out of Australia. There are several vets that the program features but more so Dr. Chris Brown – who is the poster child of “My word, what a hunk!” But he’s a nice guy, family man, quick to laugh and he loves animals. They have another Bondi Vet production called The Vet on the Hill – out of London in the UK. As I watch these videos, I’m struck by the great big hearts of those folks who treat animals big and small. I don’t know that I could do it. I thought the human body could produce some pretty disgusting things but we’ve got nothing on the animal kingdom. Please be advised, these programs show more than we’re apt to see on US vet programs – they show their animal operations and while I’m not squeamish, they can be a little – what is that phrase our cousins across the Pond use … ‘eyewatering’.

I’m still not talking about the you-know-what and now I’m not talking about the non-election, either. What will be, will be and all we can do is hope and pray. A lot of praying.

Lying Snakes, Kabuki Dancers and Useful Idiots, My additions.

This post is going to have problems with continuity, so bear with me. It’s going to start with a link, then a comment from one of my posts and then a reblog from another blog. It makes a coherent whole but is likely to be a bit jerky, like an anthology.

First, I’m going to send you off to Public Catholic, the blog home of Rebecca Hamilton, who is an Oklahoma state legislator, and I’m proud to say, my blogfriemd. She is currently doing a series on how politics really works these days, if you are interested in taking our country back, you should be reading it. The link I’m giving you is to the first in the series.

Your Vote = Their Power 

Politics is about power.

The two political parties are not political parties as we once knew them. They are consortiums of special interests. They operate on behalf of these interests for one purpose: to get and keep power.

Everything else they say is a lie.

The next time you feel like bowing down to your political party, remember this, and stand upright.

Don’t bend your knee to the R and the D. Register for whichever party, or as an independent, as you please. Vote according to your own understanding and conscience. I have no desire to influence you in that. But do not confuse your party’s trumpeting claims of moral superiority with actual moral superiority. Do not, ever, take the cross down off your mantelpiece and put the Republican elephant or the Democratic donkey in its place.

Here is the link, Stop Slogan-Voting. Stop Hate-Voting. Stop Being Manipulated. go now, read the article, this is the basis of this entire post. I’ll wait over here for you.


OK, got it? Makes sense doesn’t it? Yeah, it does to me too.

Last Sunday, I had a post (partially a reblog) on why the church needs to return to the public square. If you missed it, it’s here. It’s germane but, you won’t miss the whole story if you don’t read it right now. What I want to do is bring up a couple of comments from Citizen Tom, that I didn’t feel I answered very well.

If the people in the pews are unwilling to take a stand, there is little use in blaming the pastors. Here is how culpable we are. Does it take a Bible scholar to figure out that a great many of our leaders have violated their oath to support and defend the Constitution? Nonetheless, we keep voting for these oathbreakers.

Where do our pastors fail us? They would do well to remind us that by failing to choose and stand by virtuous leaders we punish our children and grandchildren.


In general, most pastors do not know any more than the people they serve. We should expect them to exhibit a greater degree of morality, but we have to demand it by choosing good people and holding them accountable. When we are not doing that with our political leaders, why should it be any different with our church leaders?

What a pastor does — if he is doing his job — is to instruct the people in the pews about the Bible. Where a pastor errs is when he fails teach the whole Word of God. Where the people in the pews err is when they either do not replace an erring pastor or they keep going to the same church.

Are there some issues where the churches need to take a stand? Yes, but the fault is ours. Just as we choose of political leaders, we also choose our church leaders. That is, we get the leaders we deserve.

I found my responses rather trite and lame.

Last night, Art Chartier, who writes The Peanut Gallery, wrote a post that was mostly a long comment on Rebecca’s post. Art is a frequent commenter at Rebecca’s, as am I, and he make a lot of sense. Art is also a retired Pastor (and Tea Party activist) so in some ways his is a view from a third side of the hill. As you know, I am a business planning, technical, type and a bit of a theorist, so I think the three of us complement each other. I also want to thank Art for the title of this post, which I shamelessly stole. I think, without meaning to, he answers many of Citizen Tom’s (and I’d bet others) concerns. So here is Art.

COMMENTS: Lying Snakes, Kabuki Dancers and Useful Idiots

I’m an old guy who is new to the public political arena (4 yrs) but well versed in the arena of church politics (35 yrs). I am not a newcomer to the “culture wars.”

My relatively recent foray into the public political arena began as a Tea Party activist after the election of Barack Obama; I had recently retired from active ordained ministry in a mainline protestant denomination. As a church pastor, I limited my public political activities to the Pro-Life movement, but was an intrepid culture warrior within the church – to little or no avail. (In retrospect, I was like the little Dutch boy trying to plug the holes in the dike with his fingers. Eventually I ran out of fingers.)

I’ve retired from both my local Tea Party and my denomination and now I’m free to express my opinion from the “cheap seats” in The Peanut Gallery – hence this blog.

That’s why I’ve found Rebecca Hamilton’s blog – Public Catholic – so refreshing. The parallels between our personal experiences, although worlds apart, are remarkable. The purpose of this brief introduction is simply to provide some context for my comments on Hamilton’s blog – Stop Slogan-Voting… Pt 1.

Continue reading Lying Snakes, Kabuki Dancers and Useful Idiots. You’ll find a third view which rounds out (and parallels) what Rebecca and I have said.

And you wonder why we are having trouble getting the government under control?

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