Archive for November 25, 2008

What’s it say about the nation’s capital and our untrustworthy government needing so much prayer that the church footprint is so multifarious, it requires a nickname for the street?

See “God’s Avenue”.

And even though there is no more real estate for Jesus’ excavation crew, there are many churches on the aptly dubbed boulevard doing a heckuva lot interior decorating for one particular family new to the area.

obamawrightwhiteyThe choices are abundant. Numerous, thriving congregations are an easy walk from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Just across Lafayette Square from the White House is St. John’s Church, an Episcopal parish known as the “Church of the Presidents,” where presidents as far back as James Madison have worshipped. St. John’s has a standing invitation: Pew 54 is the President’s Pew, reserved for the nation’s leader…

Whatever choice the Obamas make, it is sure to be analyzed through the prism of Obama’s relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who was Obama’s pastor for 20 years at Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago.

And there’s the rub. Choosing a church should be a prayerful consideration – not a political one. But since Obama and his nefarious former pastor entered the news cycle, the President-elect must consult his PR team before he talks to a pastor. Sad, but true.

Dude has to go to church. After all, he practically promised Christians everywhere that God would be on his short list for Vice President. However, where does he go? Let’s see if we can help by denomination:

  • Truer words were never spoken in this instance

    Truer words were never spoken in this instance

    Baptist – The word is sound, but if he goes to a Baptist church in “Chocolate City”, the Obamas will feel like a bastard child at a family reunion. Next?

  • Catholic – Tradition. Regalia. Pomp. Circumstance. And in this town, Latin. Yeah, not so much for the first daughters.
  • AME – This is where church shopping becomes unfair. This denomination is rooted deeply in the black community, but if that man… with that name… with that church past… goes to that church… all the moderate Obama lovers out there will go berserk.
  • UMC – It’s “church”. They have “women” pastors. But this church has split over foundational tenets more times than a big girl’s panty hose. Maybe not.
  • UCC – Seriously? Even though there are a few in the town that would love to have the first family rejoicing in their pews, the first country still hasn’t forgotten what your last UCC pastor did. Move on.
  • MCC – Uh-huh. You know those multi-colored unity flags are flying high in an attempt to attract the wandering eye of the BarackStar, but let’s get real. If they go here, that won’t be a pot o’gold at the end of the “rainbow,” that will a Pandora’s box of expletives hurled in their direction.

With a seemingly no-win situation, I would recommend having a Bible study at the White House, prep your communications team for the much-ado-about-nothing “Church and State” arguments and rotate the heavy air-quoted “spiritual counselors to the President.”

Ah, that sounds like a political church service to me. Lovely. Only one caveat to the BarackStar, when you are tithing at your backyard service, be sure to pay in cash. I’m just sayin’.

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So, you are walking up to your favorite store and hear the familiar “ching ching” of a bell. If you have half a heart – and a little bit of spare coin – you reach in your pocket past the lint and day-old gum to drop in the red bucket of the Salvation Army.

The ringing may get on your nerves, and walking penniless past those friendly volunteers may plague you with guilt, but they are there for a reason. Well, fret no more. The red kettle club has a solution to rid you the anguish for giving your nickles and dimes away – credit.

This season, five bell-ringers in El Paso County, Colo., will be the first to accept debit and credit cards along with spare change and bills. Salvation Army officials say the kettle tradition needs to be tweaked as consumers increasingly carry only plastic.

Yeah. About that? If some people are so self-entitled during the chaos known as “Xmas shopping” (because that part has nothing to do with Christ) and believe they can’t afford to lose a minute to dip into their pockets to you know… help the homeless, what in the world makes you think they are going to stand there and get the card approved?!

It’s an admirable try, but I just don’t see it working. And good thing because when the IRS shows up at a kettle near you, they may have an inkling to wonder just how much of that mysterious plastic money they get… to er, uh, you know, feed and clothe the homeless IRS agents across America. Poor babies.

The creed of the ORU Human Resources handbook?

The creed of the ORU Human Resources handbook?

Well, well. Looks like HiScrivener is flowing in the spirit of prophecy. Last we saw on the Wall about Oral Roberts University, namesakes were no longer in fashion as Richard Roberts got the peace sign.

And good thing too, because from what I can glean in this story from the Tulsa World, he took a piece of the payroll with him as at least 100 employees from the plagued school have become statistics and canned.

“These are tough economic times for us all,” Interim President Ralph Fagin said in a news release. “Like any business , a university cannot spend more revenue that in collects. We have a responsibility to the ORU family to be good stewards of our resources. You can’t spend more than you’re taking in,” continued Fagin. “This is the last choice you want to make because we have such great employees.”

Thanks, Ralph. The problem with that sentiment is these tough economic times aren’t about some endowment your sticky-fingered president swindled. This is about those 100 people kicked out on the street after the holidays.

Fortunate for your conscience, the dearly departed are probably T.A.s, janitors and other nameless faces around that campus, but to those that know them, they are people who deserve a heckuva lot better than the six-figure sendoff their former boss just received.

Now, for the record, ORU doesn’t blow. Just the son of the institution for which it is named. And now, so does this decision.