Sunday, February 01, 2009

Things to do

...if you're going be attending an in-laws' family reunion for three days, but the only mandatory event is Saturday night:

1. Bring a fishing rod that fits in your suitcase.

2. At dawn on Sunday, while everyone else is sleeping one off, dunk a line in the water traps at the closest golf course.

3. Hook a few small bass and even reel one in.

4. Wonder whether the really big one that bit off the head of your popping bug was a bass or a turtle or a gator. Decide it must have been a gator, because it makes the best story.

5. Leave around 9 when the golfers start to show up.

6. Wish you had driven just a little farther to another golf course.

7. Drive two exits down the interstate to the nearest UU church.

8. Discover that they threw a fundraising dinner the night before, and that the salad dressing came from Costco.

9. Hear an invocation adapted from a prayer written by a past minister of your own church.

10. Hear the witness of a member that he cannot believe in supernaturalism, that believing in reason and observation rather than Jesus and the Bible is the only reliable way to discern truth, that he believes in this life and not the afterlife, and that the other nine months of the year he belongs to a Methodist church in Indiana. Remember bemusedly that your own Humanist grandfather, who was Corliss Lamont's Ph.D. thesis advisor at Columbia, grew up in a Methodist church in Indiana.

11. Sing the same hymn that you used to introduce a sermon you delivered not long ago.

12. Hear the self-described "non-theist humanist" minister deliver a sermon on righteousness and self-righteousness, arguing that there is no real difference between the extreme religious right and the extreme religious left in the sureness of their self-righteousness. Hear her describe both self-righteous positions, right and left, as "fundamentalist". Hear her describe self-righteousness, in her estimation, as the most grievous of all sins. Hear her close with the admonition that, "(are you ready for this?) without confessing our own sins, there can be no salvation," or words to that effect.

13. Greet the minister on the way out of the sanctuary: "So you're Katy-the-Wise! Finally, we meet. I'm Fausto." Hear the minister, not missing a beat, respond: "Oh, you must know Suzyn."

14. Congratulate her on her effective integration of traditional religious language with a non-supernatural theological orientation. Hear her respond: "It's just too powerful, too meaningful to leave out. We really can't do without it. The thing about fundamentalists -- on both ends of the spectrum -- is, they just don't get metaphor. But that's their problem; it shouldn't be ours," or words to that effect.

15. Trade stories about ChaliceChick.

16. Go back to the in-laws' and get ready to watch the Super Bowl.

[Update: Fixed a few typos and links, and added the grandfather/Lamont reference.]


At February 1, 2009 at 4:07:00 PM EST, Blogger Chalicechick said...

This made me WAY too happy for a Sunday that I spent desperately trying to catch up on my billable hours.


At February 1, 2009 at 7:31:00 PM EST, Blogger LinguistFriend said...

OMG, there you are in the town in SW FL to which my older brother retired (censored). I haven't said that he is the Antichrist, although he is an Anglican; he does not deserve the likes of Katharine Jefferts Schori, whom I would trade for Bill Sinkford any day.
CC is right. Your post is delightful. By the way, I have been thinking about the significance (rather than the text)of Luke 2:14. Now I just have to write it down.

At February 2, 2009 at 8:19:00 AM EST, Blogger Chalicechick said...

I, for one, think it's completely hilarious when LinguistFriend uses OMG.

That's all I've got.


At February 2, 2009 at 10:54:00 AM EST, Blogger fausto said...

He's a linguist. He likes language.

BTW, as befits someone who has just delivered a sermon deploring self-righteousness, Katy-the-Wise also expressed some serious reservations about being known by that moniker.

At February 2, 2009 at 4:45:00 PM EST, Blogger Chalicechick said...

Well, it's not like she applied it to herself...

I calls 'em as I sees 'em.



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