I have repeatedly asked Evangelicals to give me ONE instance where pastors or churches would be harmed if same-sex couples are allowed to marry. Just one…how hard can it be to come up with ONE instance where two people in love marrying would materially harm any Evangelical church or pastor? Evidently, quite hard and Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary agrees with me. Speaking in Columbus at the national gathering of Southern Baptists, Mohler stated:
“Look, I really don’t fear – it’s really important that you and the other presidents and every Southern Baptist pastor, every Gospel pastor, preacher needs to say ‘I’m not going to perform a same-sex wedding.’ But let’s be honest: There’s not really a danger that the sheriff’s gonna show up and say, ‘You have to do this.’ So far as I know, no pastor has been sued successfully for refusing to marry someone on other grounds; that’s not the real danger.”
“The real danger is we’re going to pay an enormous social, cultural price for not doing a same-sex ceremony….We’re going to be considered to be morally deficient. Let’s admit it: We’re much more accustomed to being accused of being morally superior. They’ve said we’ve been ‘stand-offish,’ meaning better than them. Now a large part of this culture thinks we are morally deficient. And we’re going to find that’s a very different way to do ministry.”
I sense resignation in Mohler’s words, realizing that all the Evangelical bigotry and hate towards homosexuals and same-sex couples has come to naught. According to Mohler, instead of being viewed as the standard bearers of Christian morality, Evangelicals are increasingly viewed as “morally deficient.” Morally deficient? Nope, just ignorant bigots who, like slave owners of a century ago, refuse to act justly. Now that Mohler has told the faithful that there is no homo boogeyman under the bed, can we all get on with love, peace, and happiness…and equal protection under the law?
“I resigned from my position at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church today due to ongoing marital issues. As many of you know, I returned from a trip a few months back and discovered that my wife was having an affair. Heartbroken and devastated, I informed our church leadership and requested a sabbatical to focus exclusively on my marriage and family. As her affair continued, we separated. Sadly and embarrassingly, I subsequently sought comfort in a friend and developed an inappropriate relationship myself. Last week I was approached by our church leaders and they asked me about my own affair. I admitted to it and it was decided that the best course of action would be for me to resign. Both my wife and I are heartbroken over our actions and we ask you to pray for us and our family that God would give us the grace we need to weather this heart wrenching storm. We are amazingly grateful for the team of men and women who are committed to walking this difficult path with us. Please pray for the healing of deep wounds and we kindly ask that you respect our privacy.”
After the release of her husband’s statement, Kim Tchividjian sent the following message to The Post:
“The statement reflected my husband’s opinions but not my own. Please respect the privacy of my family at this time, thank you. I do thank everyone for the outpouring of love for my family as well during this difficult time and we appreciate all the prayers and support we are receiving.”
In 2009, Tullian Tchividjian assumed the pastorate of Coral Ridge, a church pastored for decades by culture warrior D. James Kennedy. At the time, Christianity Today published a feature story about the strange appointment of Tchividjian to replace Kennedy:
…For decades, another Presbyterian church in South Florida pressed to win the culture for Christ. Coral Ridge, once led by D. James Kennedy, is 12 miles away from New City in Fort Lauderdale. Once visited by as many as 7,000 on Sunday mornings, Coral Ridge shrunk to 1,400–1,500 regular attendees as Kennedy’s attention turned to national politics. Kennedy last preached on Christmas Eve 2006, and suffered cardiac arrest four days later. He died September 5, 2007, and the church’s leaders searched far and wide for a new senior pastor.
No culture warrior himself, Tchividjian seemed like an unnatural replacement for Kennedy. Yet in January 2009, Coral Ridge and New City proposed a dramatic plan: If the two churches could agree to merge, Tchividjian would become the senior pastor. If not, he would happily remain the pastor of New City. As the churches completed their merger March 15, Tchividjian inherited a high-profile opportunity to work out his vision for an unfashionable church.
Though Tchividjian had never preached at Coral Ridge before March, he was no stranger to its congregation. He hosts a monthly radio program on its radio station, has spoken on numerous occasions at the Kennedy-founded Knox Theological Seminary, and attended Coral Ridge’s private school, Westminster Academy, when his family moved to South Florida in the late 1970s. For a time they even worshiped at Coral Ridge. Once the fastest growing Presbyterian church in the country, Coral Ridge welcomed Billy Graham to dedicate its gorgeous campus in 1974…
…But unlike many others who emphasize this universal dimension, Tchividjian cares little for political life. Millions of dollars dumped into Florida during the past three presidential campaigns have numbed him to politics. Like other young evangelicals, he’s reacting against the overemphasis of the Religious Right, which has precious little to show for extraordinary efforts. Yet Tchividjian does expect that his weekly scriptural expositions will help Christians understand their cultural, social, and political obligations, including how they will vote. And he does not shy away from speaking directly about social issues clearly addressed by Scripture, such as abortion, which he called the “Holocaust of our generation.” Nevertheless, he believes politics reflects, and does not direct, cultural trends.
“For a long time now, I’ve been convinced that what happens in New York (finance), Hollywood (entertainment), Silicon Valley (technology), and Miami (fashion) has a far greater impact on how our culture thinks about reality than what happens in Washington, D.C. (politics),” he writes in Unfashionable. “It’s super important for us to understand that politics are reflective, not directive. That is, the political arena is the place where policies are made which reflect the values of our culture—the habits of heart and mind—that are being shaped by these other, more strategic arenas.”
Unlike the Religious Right’s founders, Tchividjian preaches little about winning the culture wars. Like his grandfather, he believes that focusing on the gospel will reap the reward of faithful church practice, an appealing apologetic in a skeptical age. Now as senior minister of Coral Ridge, he takes this message into one of America’s most prestigious pulpits.
According to Washington Post, a significant number of Coral Ridge members did not like Tchividjian’s approach to the Evangelical culture war and tried to unseat him:
Before he became senior pastor of the Fort Lauderdale congregation, Tchividjian’s church plant, New City, merged with the larger Coral Ridge. Seven months in, a group of church members, headed by Kennedy’s daughter, circulated a petition calling for his removal. Church members voted 69 percent to 31 percent to keep him, but a group of congregants formed a new church in response.
I know, nothing new here.
You have a one time famous Evangelical church that is in serious numerical decline. They bring in a big name preacher to fix what ails them. When some members don’t like the cure they attempt to remove the pastor, and when this fails they abandon the church and start a new one. And all of this is done because God is leading and directing.
Behind closed doors, the famous grandson of Billy Graham is having marital problems. His wife seeks out the comfort and support of another man and he does the same. How many times have we seen this movie? Same plot, different actors. What remains to be seen is whether the Phoenix will rise again. My money is on Tchividjian surviving putting his penis in a non-approved receptacle. The same goes for Kim Tchividjian. The heart wants what the heart wants, and only in the alternate universe of Evangelicalism do people fail to understand this.
I pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years. Men of God seeking out the comfort of a woman not their wife is common. Less common is a pastor’s wife doing the same. Usually, the pastor’s wife is left to endure the indignities heaped upon her by her skirt-chasing husband. It’s somewhat refreshing to see a pastor’s wife doing what has long been the provenance of God’s chosen ones. Progress? Equal opportunity philandering?
Evangelical pastors, Tullian Tchividjian included, have spent the last five decades riding a high horse on the range of moral superiority. Before the internet, clergy sex scandals rarely made the news. Sure there were whispers, but most vow-breaking Evangelical clergymen survived the scandal and continued to pretend they met the ministerial qualifications found in 1 Timothy 3. Thanks to the internet and smartphones, this is no longer the case. It is not IF a pastor will be found out but WHEN. (and I know of NO pastor who meets the qualifications set forth by the Apostle Paul in 1 Timothy 3 and the book of Titus)
It’s time for Evangelical pastors to admit that there is no difference between them and any other man. Not that every man has an affair, but every man (and woman) can, in the right circumstance, break their marital vows. Why is it that Evangelical pastors refuse to admit this? Take Shane Idleman, pastor of WestSide Christian Fellowship in Lancaster, California. Idleman thinks Tullian Tchividjian’s run from grace is due to:
Within weeks, two of my heroes have fallen from grace, and some of my friends in pastoral ministry have taken detours in their destiny as well. Moral failings among leaders are becoming an epidemic. No one is beyond the reach of Satan’s grasp. Although I’m disappointed, my faith is not shaken because only Christ should be placed on a pedestal.
Why do they fall? They fall for the same reason that all Christians fall. Each of us are drawn away by our own evil desires and enticed. When these desires are acted upon, they lead to sin (cf. James 1:14-15)…
Consider the following ways that sin gains entrance:
1. “It will never happen to me.” 1 Corinthians 10:12 reminds us that if we think that we are standing firm, we should be careful that we don’t fall. “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18). Pride says, “I’ve never committed adultery. It will never happen to me.”…
2. I’m “too busy.” We are all susceptible to putting God second and ministry first. If we’re too busy to cultivate a prayer life that places God first—we’re too busy. Men would live better if they prayed better…
3. Holiness is compromised. The enemy attempts to draw us away from God’s holy standard… Of all the attributes of God described in the Bible, holiness is seen most often. Holiness is a vital weapon of defense against the enemies attack (cf. Ephesians 6:14). But holiness must come from brokenness and humility not legalism. A low view of holiness always damages morality…we rationalize instead of repent. I’m convinced that today’s media plays a significant role in the decline of holiness. Sadly, hollywood, not the Holy Spirit, influences many. We cannot fill our mind with darkness all week and expect the light of Christ to shine in our lives.
4. Many build unhealthy relationships with the opposite sex. We must be on high alert in this area and have tremendous steps of accountability in place. The devil doesn’t show those involved in counseling appointments, inner office meetings, and private “fellowship” the pain and anguish and the years of regret that moral failure brings; he deceives them with a false sense of freedom in ministry…that we are simply “helping” the other person. If you are married and attracted to another person, or if the potential is there, take steps now and remove yourself from the environment. Adultery begins with small compromises. We’re often too smart to take deliberate plunges, but we’re easily enticed to take one step at a time, one compromise at a time, one bad choice at a time until we’re at the bottom. Don’t fight sexual desires; don’t entertain them…flee (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:18).
5. We fail to strengthen weak areas. The demands of life often tempt us to seek gratification in alcohol and other things. We must be on high alert. The enemy uses “opportune times” to draw us away from God. (cf. Luke 4:13.) The line is so thin that it is often hard to determine when we cross over. Weak areas such as drugs, alcohol, pain meds, sex, anger, marriage issues, and so on are “opportune times” for the enemy to strike. We must expose these areas through repentance, and install safeguards and accountability. To be forewarned is to be forearmed. (As a sidenote, depression and anxiety can work against us as well. Much can be done to safeguards these areas too…
6. Accountability is often breached or minimized. Accountability is a safeguard, but its not bullet-proof. Accountability, by itself, doesn’t work—it’s not realistic to ask others to hold you accountable. Your heart must be focused on honoring God’s Word. Accountability simply adds another level of security in the battle against sin…
I also have accountability software that sends all websites visited to my wife’s email every week. This is a major deterrent and it makes me very conscious of even seemingly innocent sites. To some, this may seem extreme, but we need to be armed for the enemy who steals, kills, and destroys. The greater our influence, the greater the need for accountability: spiritually, financially, and relationally.
7. Loneliness becomes an excuse. Ministry is hard and can easily take it’s toll. Feeling a sense of entitlement if often the beginning of justifying wrong choices. We can easily become jealous and judgmental of those who seem to have “all the fun.”…
In closing, if you are on the cliff or have already fallen, take time now and repent…
Seven points and poem from Idleman only confuse and obfuscate what the real issue is. Forty years ago, a crusty old preacher-professor told the preacher boys at Midwestern Baptist College, the college my wife and I attended in the 1970’s, that a “stiff prick has no conscience.” No need to slather Tullian Tchividjian’s affair with hyper-spiritual blather. The sexual want, need, and stirring that arose in Tchividjian’s body gave him sufficient warning. Danger Tullian Danger, you want this woman. He chose to act on his desire, as did his wife. While there are certainly contributing factors that led to the affairs, the base reason is the need for sexual fulfillment
Idleman’s article is little more than an attempt to justify the moral failure of his hero. It’s time for Evangelical pastors and churches to come clean about sexual infidelity in their ranks. ( please see my post Is Clergy Sexual Infidelity Rare?) It’s time to admit that there is no difference between the Evangelical Christian and the unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines of the world. The moral high ground is a fiction used to prop up House Evangelical. As the light of day continues to shine on the dark secrets of Holy Spirit filled men of God, we should expect to hear of more and more stories like this one.
I focused on just one aspect of Shane Idleman’s article. There was just too much bullshit to shovel in one post.
Am I the only one who notices that most of these big name Evangelical preachers have hot wives?
Yes, this is what it has come to in rural Ohio. *sigh*
Recently, I attended a grandchild’s sporting event and someone asked my son how our last name was pronounced and if he was related to the Gerencser who wrote in the newspaper.
Yes, he’s my Dad.
He sure is opinionated…
All of my children know that they are free to disown me. So far, when put in situations that requires establishing paternity, they have been willing to say the DNA is a match.
The inquisitor in question proceeded to ask if I was at the ballgame and my son said, Yes, he’s over there with the red hat on.
I always wondered what he looked like…
I think local Christians are shocked when they see or meet me. They expect to see
Imagine their surprise when they see
Shocking, I know. A political liberal and an atheist that looks like Santa Claus and roots for the Cincinnati Bengals. Little do locals know that under my hat are small, growing horn buds. Just biding my time until Team Satan takes on Team Jesus at the Battle of Armageddon. Until then, what time is the baseball game on?
Depression Sea is roiling today, my mind is twisting, turning, and dying.
She knows, she always knows. My face and body language tell a story she’s read time and again.
She worries that this time the story might have a different ending.
I’m at the doctor’s office.
Wasn’t I here last month? I already know the answer, having made the trip eight times and the year isn’t even half over.
As we wait for the nurse to call my name, we play the Bruce and Polly Fantasy Game®.
Playing the game allows me to change the monotonous, deadly channel that keeps playing over and over in mind.
We look at one another, smile, and begin the game.
The game always has the same answers, but we like to play anyway.
In the Bruce and Polly Fantasy Game®, we take shared places and experiences and meld them into one. A fantasy, to be sure, but who knows, maybe we’ll strike it rich, rob a bank, or write a book detailing where Jimmy Hoffa is buried.
Spring in Ohio, with its promise of new life and flowers.
Fall in Ohio, with its crisp air and changing colors.
Winter in Arizona, no snow for us, we survived the Blizzard of 78.
Summer in the Upper Peninsula , nestled as close to our Canadian friends as possible.
Our rented house from White Birch, Michigan, with a 1970 green Nova SS sitting in the drive.
Package these things together and magically move them to the eastern seaboard, to a small, out-of-the-way fishing community on the shore of the Atlantic.
Turn the house so it fronts the Ocean, allowing us to sit on our deck and watch the sunrise and the fishing boats making their way to the secret spots known only to those whose hands and face bear the weathered look of a lifetime spent fishing.
Nearby live our children and grandchildren. Not too close, yet not so far as to be beyond an invite to a Saturday night BBQ.
This is Bruce and Polly’s fantasy.
She remains worried, wondering if the slough of despondency will bury the man she loves.
All I want is for the pain to stop.
Is that too much to ask?
I already knows the answer. I always knows the answer.
The nurse calls my name and I haltingly walk to the exam room.
No weight gain, medications the same, pulse 78, and blood pressure just a little high. Refills ordered, sure is hot, hate the humidity, how’s Bethany, he’ll be in to see you soon.
The doctor walks through the door and sits near me. Eighteen years we’ve danced to this tune, both of us now dance much slower than we once did.
The doctor thinks I am chipper today, better than last month. Little does he know what I’m really thinking. We talk about the Reds, Todd Frazier, Johnny Cueto, and the All Star game. I promised the nurse that we wouldn’t do our thing, our thing being shooting the breeze while other patients wait. I lied. He’s behind and I’m to blame.
We shake hands and afterward I put my hand gently on his shoulder. I tell him, see you in two months. This sounds like a lie, a hollow promise with no hope of fulfillment.
I want to live.
I want to die.
We stop at St. John’s produce tent and buy some local strawberries. $3.50 a quart. We buy some Georgia peaches too, which will turn into pies for Sunday. The strawberries will top the angel food cake she will make in the morning; just like every other June 19th for the past thirty-seven years.
June 19, 1957, in a building years ago torn down and replaced with a new one, at 9:01 AM I drew air into my lungs for the first time. A new life born into poverty in a nondescript rural Ohio community, delivered by a doctor who also worked as a veterinarian.
The path is now long and how much path remains is unknown.
Will the game be called today or will we get to play, for the nth time the Bruce and Polly Fantasy Game®?
I’m still betting on playing the game.
For those who struggle with chronic pain and illness, a birthday can often lead to deep depression, a reminder of all that has been lost. While the healthy focus on all they have, those in pain and who suffer from years of chronic debility can, and often do, focus on how much they have lost. Yes, it is wonderful to have a sliver of life to hold on to, to have a spouse, children, and grandchildren who love you, but nothing can ameliorate the sense of loss.
This is not a cry for help. I am just talking out loud with friends.
Rarely a week goes by when there is not a letter to the Editor from a fundamentalist Christian demanding their moral code and peculiar interpretation of the Bible be accepted by all. Even when they aren’t quoting the Bible or reminding local unwashed, uncircumcised Philistines of their impending doom, their letters reflect an addled worldview, one shaped by an ancient book they think offers them unchanging truth. If their beliefs were kept in the church house, non-Christians would care little and hope that one day they would see the light. However, their beliefs are not kept in the church house, and because of this people of science, reason, and common sense must continue to push back as Christian fundamentalists try by legal and political means to force people to live by a worldview that is better suited for the dustbin of human history.
Take a recent letter writer who vehemently opposes legalizing the use of medical marijuana in Ohio. Even though they didn’t mention one Bible verse, their letter dripped with the fundamentalist presupposition that suffering and pain are in some way noble and good for us. Numerous Bible verses would certainly lead one to conclude that suffering and pain have probative value and makes us closer to God and keeps us from clinging too closely to this life. If we buy into this kind of thinking and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, a life after death that is free of suffering and pain awaits us.
Sounds sublime, right? But, what if there is no life after death, no divine payoff for trudging through life suffering for Jesus and enduring pain because it will make us stronger? What if the only life we have is this one? Well, that changes everything. If this life is it, and I think it is, then we should try to relieve not only our own pain and suffering, but that of others. As a committed humanist, I would never want to withhold from anyone that which would relieve or end their suffering and pain. Whether it is narcotic pain medications, medical marijuana, or physician assisted suicide, I want every human to have at their disposal the means to lessen their suffering and pain.
Any religion that values suffering and pain is one that should be roundly criticized and rejected. And if Jesus were alive today, I suspect he’d agree with me.
How many times do I need to read a book until I know its contents?
I know the Bible from cover to cover
Fifty years in the Christian church
Twenty-five years as a pastor
20,000 hours spent reading and studying the Bible
What are you going to tell me that I do not already know?
I am not an atheist because of ignorance, I am an atheist because of knowledge
You have faith
Call me a fool
A false prophet
But don’t insult me by suggesting that there is something I don’t know about Christianity, God, Jesus, or the Bible, and if I just had THIS knowledge or read THIS book I would then see the light, repent, and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Will you “hear” what I have written here?
Of course not
I wish I could test out of this class you think I need to take
Then maybe you will stop . . .
You will never stop
Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.
We live in a small, rural, NW Ohio community, population 345. The village of Ney has one traffic light, two bars, one gas station, and two people who seriously doubt God exists. Both of the local bars serve food, one is a mom and pop style restaurant and the other is a pizza joint.
The closest town is Bryan, five miles away. Bryan has a few fast food restaurants,a Chief Supermarket, and a Walmart. Defiance, ten miles away, is the biggest community in Defiance County with a population just south of 17,000. Defiance has a plethora of fast food restaurants,a small mall, a few full service restaurants, and a small collection of free-standing big-box/small-box stores. There are five grocery stores in Defiance: Walmart, Aldi, Chief, Meijer, and Kroger.
Serious shopping requires a fifty mile drive to Toledo or a forty mile drive to Fort Wayne. For this reason and others, my favorite store is Amazon.com. I don’t have to get in the car and I don’t have to holler at Polly except when UPS or FedEx is at the door. When we want to eat a nice meal that’s more upscale than Applebee’s or McDonald’s we go to Toledo or Fort Wayne. Most of the time we go to Fort Wayne.
Our favorite grocery store is Meijer. Meijer is a regional grocery chain based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We also like shopping at Chief Supermarket, a local grocery company. Due to the loathsome politics of the Walton family, we hate shopping at Walmart. But, thanks to having more budget than money, we are forced, from time to time, to give Satan some of our money. We eat a lot of fish and Walmart is the best place for buying frozen fish and Zero candy bars. Brisket too. Walmart is the only store in town that sells brisket, a must have cut of meat during BBQ season. We also infrequently shop at Aldi and we try to shop at Chief as often as we can. Our youngest daughter and son work part-time for Chief, so we view our grocery purchases as job security for them. We do not shop at Kroger. High prices and those damn cards they make customers use make Kroger our least favorite store. We also regularly buy meat from Jacob’s Meats, located just north of Defiance.
I am the primary shopper in our family. I know, a little Susie homemaker I am, a discredit to the male species. Polly and I shop together, but I am the one who checks prices and quantities and decides what to buy. We have a white board in the kitchen and shopping needs are supposed to be written on the board. Did you notice the word supposed? (Polly is glaring at me, giving me the finger without ever raising her hand) We use coupons, shop with a list, use mPerks, and always pay with a debit/credit card.
Going to the grocery is often the only time I get out of the house. Most often, I haltingly enter the store, already in pain. About fifteen minutes into our low price safari, my thighs and face begin to burn and turn numb. Not long after, I need to lean on the cart just to partially stand up. By the time we are finished shopping, I am in tremendous pain and ready for a four Vicodin with vodka drink. I dream of this, but the reality is I am very careful with the medications I take, so it’s two Vicodin with a glass of water and a Tramadol chaser.
There are a lot of things that irritate me when I go to the grocery store, If you have some illusion that I am a Zen-like person who has perfect peace and calm as he painfully shuffles down the aisles of the grocery, I am sorry that your illusion is about to be destroyed.
I love shopping at Meijer. I am a Meijer fan-boy. Anything I can do to stick it to Walmart, I am all for it. But, as much as I like shopping at Meijer, there are some things that irritate me. I mean really, really, really irritate me.
Bruce’s, Top 21 Things I Hate About Shopping at Meijer:
My number one irritation is the greeters, well really just one greeter. This one greeter is an automaton. I kid you not, she says the exact same thing, with the exact same cadence, every damn time. When we come in the store she says in her best robot voice, Welcome to Meijer. When we leave the store she says Have a nice day, thank you for shopping at Meijer. Have you ever seen the comedy Good Burger? If so, this greeter is just like the one Good Burger worker who says, Welcome to Good Burger, home of the Good Burger! Can I take your order?
Shopping carts that have squeaky wheels or wheels that go thump, thump.
The way the meat department stacks meat above the cooling line in the meat coolers. I have complained to the manager and I have called the health department. Evidently, no one seems to care that some meat products are not kept at a proper temperature.
Advertised items not stocked. Every week we have to go ask someone for a sale item or we have to go to the service desk to request a rain check.
Fish that is on sale, but the meat department never seems to have in stock. This happens EVERY week.
Deli clerks who stand fifteen feet away and say, can I help you? No, of course not. I’ve been standing here for five minutes waiting for you to finish washing dishes. No hurry, I know Meijer doesn’t want to sell me any food from the deli.
Produce clerks who refuse to restock the counters until that last smashed tomato is purchased or the last three ears of corn are dutifully placed in a yellow bag ten times bigger than the measly sized ears of corn.
Deli clerks who ask me three times how much ham I want. Did I stutter? One pound and not one hundredth of an ounce over. Can’t you see that I am on a diet?
People who are too lazy to put items they don’t want back where they belong. Polly found a thawed out frozen cake that some lazy ass had dumped. The only worse thing? The Meijer clerk probably put it back in the freezer.
Not necessarily only a Meijer problem, but I hate the size game that food producers play, A quart is no longer a quart. An 18 ounce jar of peanut butter is now 15 ounces. I am very good at spotting packaging that has been reworked to hide a reduction in the amount of product. I think I would make a good spy for Consumer Reports.
Shopping for toilet paper. Am I the only person who thinks we are getting ripped off one sheet at time? It is becoming harder and harder to figure out exactly how much toilet paper you are getting in your single, double, triple, mega toilet paper roll. Is it single ply or double ply? Is it twice as strong or just every day get your fingers poopy strong?
People who stand in the middle of the aisle during busy times. No matter how long I stand there and give them the Gerencser glare, they seemingly are oblivious to anything but their middle of the aisle bull session.
Ditto that for people who seem to only use the motorized carts on the busiest days of the week. I am all for handicapped people being able to shop, but a little common sense about it would be very helpful.
Cashiers who don’t know their veggies. How many times have I heard “what are these?” Sometimes, when we buy a lot of veggies I tell the cashier that I work for Meijer Corporate office and I am testing their veggie knowledge. The younger the cashier the fewer number of veggies they can name.
Scanners that don’t work at the self-checkout. When I have to get help three times, that is three times too many. What makes it worse is when the clerk says “Yeah, we have had a problem with that one all day.” Argh…cuss in mind, but smile with my fake I love Jesus smile.
Stockers who think that their shelf stocking takes precedence over my ability to get down the aisle. Sometimes I will, without saying a word, move their cart. Oh the dirty looks , but I think they get the point.
Dirty bathrooms. Never clean enough for me. I expect clean floors to splatter urine on. I hate electric hand dryers. Give me paper towels or give me death by unwashed hands.
People who glare at me when I park in a handicapped space. I DO have a placard, but evidently I don’t look disabled enough. I look too young or I don’t “look” disabled, even though I walk with a cane. Never mind that going to the store, to that one store, often takes every bit of my energy, not only for that day, but for two days later. Sometimes, but I never do, I want to wave at them with my middle finger raised high.
Not stocking hats and shirts for fans of the Cincinnati Reds and Cincinnati Bengals. Browns, Lions, Indians, and Tigers? What, isn’t Cincinnati in Ohio? Not that I would buy hats and shirts from Meijer if they stocked them. The last time I checked, Meijer’s price for a cheap snap back hat was more than what I paid for a fitted, game day hat. I know my hats.
Not stocking candy bars I like to eat. Come on, Meijer, how about Clark, Zero, and Zagnut bars?
Not stocking Paczki’s all year. I know you stock them for Catholics loading up on calories before Lent, but some of us like to pig out 365 days a year. Same goes for chocolate frosted long john donuts. When I want a donut, I want a donut and it better be 6:00 AM fresh no matter what time of day it is.
I love shopping at Meijer. Now if they would just take my list of irritations and fix them I would be extremely happy. After all, the customer is always right.
In response to a letter I wrote to the editor of the Defiance Crescent-News, an elderly local Christian sent me the following letter:
Please reconsider. Even if we choose to believe there is no hell, doesn’t make it so. I saw the pictures of flowers you posted and it showed how you enjoyed them. In Hell, you will never be able to enjoy anything. There will only be torment forever and ever. I don’t want anyone to go to that place and certainly God does not want that for you either. When you truly come to know Jesus, you will gladly and willingly surrender your all to Him and following His commands will not be burdensome to you. It will just flow out of your heart of love for Him.
Perhaps you were a religious person who never truly had a relationship with Him. I beg you – please reconsider before it is too late for you. He loves you so much. The precious blood of Jesus was shed for you, don’t let it be in vain. What about your wife, children, and grandchildren? If you die and go to hell, you will regret that you had a part in taking them there with you, and you will want someone to go and tell them the truth.
Please reconsider. Count the cost. This life is so short, but eternity is forever. Wouldn’t it be better to endure this life and all it’s problems with Jesus, than to be in hell for eternity and have to bow down to the authority of God anyway? I pray God give revelation to you and your family regarding heaven and hell. I say all this in the love of Jesus. I know this will be considered as evangelism, but please read it. I pray you make the right decision.
Let me summarize. Why should I become a Christian?
I love flowers and there are no flowers in hell.
Because I was a religious person who never really knew Jesus.
So I don’t have to be accountable for my wife, children, and grandchildren going to hell.
Is this the best that Christianity offers theses days? As the writer said:
Wouldn’t it be better to endure this life and all it’s problems with Jesus, than to be in hell for eternity and have to bow down to the authority of God anyway?
My answer is no. I would rather endure this life and all its problems without a deity, knowing that when I draw my last breath I have lived my life well and that I can, with peaceful assurance say, this is enough.
I have no doubt that the person who sent me this is sincerely concerned for my spiritual welfare. Been there, done that. Christians need to understand that I am an intractable atheist. Arguments like those found in this letter are shallow, contradictory, and easily refuted. Better for this man to seek after those who have some interest in the Christian message . There is nothing a Christian can say to me that is going to make me suddenly see the error of my way and cause me to repent. Experts have tried, but here I am, wallowing in my depravity, enjoying my last few moments on earth before I step out into eternity and join Hitch in hell.
Another day, another faux outrage by Monica Cole and the sexually frustrated, batteries in the vibrator are dead, women of One Million Moms. Later this year, FOX plans on debuting a TV show titled Lucifer. FOX describes the show this way:
The Devil has come to Los Angeles…
Based upon the characters created by Neil Gaiman, Sam Kieth and Mike Dringenberg for DC Entertainment’s Vertigo imprint, LUCIFER is the story of the original fallen angel. Bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell, LUCIFER MORNINGSTAR (Tom Ellis, “Merlin”) has abandoned his throne and retired to L.A., where he owns Lux, an upscale nightclub.
Charming, charismatic and devilishly handsome, Lucifer is enjoying his retirement, indulging in a few of his favorite things – wine, women and song – when a beautiful pop star is brutally murdered outside of Lux. For the first time in roughly 10 billion years, he feels something awaken deep within him as a result of this murder. Compassion? Sympathy? The very thought disturbs him – as well as his best friend and confidante, MAZIKEEN aka MAZE (Lesley-Ann Brandt, “The Librarians”), a fierce demon in the form of a beautiful young woman.
The murder attracts the attention of LAPD homicide detective CHLOE DANCER (Lauren German, “Chicago Fire”), who initially is dismissive of Lucifer. But she becomes intrigued by his talent for drawing out people’s secrets and his desire to dispense justice, doling out punishment to those who deserve it. As they work together to solve the pop star’s murder, Lucifer is struck by Chloe’s inherent goodness. Accustomed to dealing with the absolute worst of humanity, Lucifer is intrigued by Chloe’s apparent purity and begins to wonder if there’s hope for his own soul yet.
At the same time, God’s emissary, the angel AMENADIEL (DB Woodside, “Suits,” “24”), has been sent to Los Angeles to convince Lucifer to return to the underworld…can the Devil incarnate be tempted toward the side of Good, or will his original calling pull him back toward Evil?
One Million Moms is outraged over FOX’s unbiblical, humanizing presentation of Lucifer. In a May 2015 post urging Mommies to sign a petition demanding FOX drop the program, Cole wrote:
FOX has plans in 2016 to air “Lucifer,” a new series which will glorify Satan as a caring, likable person in human flesh.
The series will focus on Lucifer portrayed as a good guy, “who is bored and unhappy as the Lord of Hell.” He resigns his throne, abandons his kingdom and retires to Los Angeles, where he gets his kicks helping the LAPD punish criminals.
At the same time, God’s emissary, the angel Amenadiel, has been sent to Los Angeles to convince Lucifer to return to the underworld.
Previews of the pilot episode depict graphic acts of violence, a nightclub featuring scantily-clad women and a demon…
Today, I got an email from Monica Cole and One Million Moms with the subject line “We are missing your name on the ‘Lucifer’ petition.” I thought, I bet you are. Here’s what Cole had to say in her email:
Very soon, One Million Moms will deliver a petition to FOX television network, urging them to cancel plans to air a new series which will glorify Satan as a caring, likable person in human flesh.
We want to include your name, letting FOX know that Christians are standing together!
The previews for “Lucifer” misrepresent Satan, depart from true biblical teachings about him, and inaccurately portray the beliefs of the Christian faith. In airing this show, FOX will be disrespecting Christianity and mocking the Bible.
Add your signature today! 1MM and our children are counting on you!
It’s a pretty slow news day when the biggest thing on your outrage radar is a TV program that “misrepresents Satan.”
Cole whines that FOX’s show disrespects Christianity and mocks the Bible. Aww…so sorry.
Here’s my take. Tom Ellis is an attractive actor and we can’t have fundamentalist Christian women getting all hot and bothered over an attractive Lucifer. If this happened, fundamentalist women would be forced be dig deep into their underwear drawer and find their vibrator so they can satisfy their “need.” But, Bruce, they have a husband who will dutifully perform the missionary service. What self-respecting fundamentalist Christian woman would want to have sex with Billy Bob when they can fantasize about having sex with Lucifer and turn their Passion Rabbit or Ladygasm vibrator on H-I-G-H.
Proving my point, as of today, the Lucifer petition has 19,048 signatures. If you want to add your name, or better yet a fake name, please go here.
Here’s my petition submission. I encourage you to be creative and let Monica Cole know you support her attempt to defend Lucifer.