This 1962 Rambler advertisement promised mothers that their two-year-olds would be in kindergarten before their car needed its first chassis lubrication. However, given the primitive understanding of “child safety” that this picture indicates, he would have been lucky if he made it to age three!
We’ve come a long way in that regard, haven’t we? I remember climbing all over the car when I was kid back in the sixties. My favorite spot, however, was down on the floor of the back seat, my head upon the hump in the center of the floor, warm air from the heater blowing around me from under the front seats, and other noises blocked out by the hum of the engine and tires. Guess your chaplain was an introvert even back then, finding comfort in solitude.
But this is not the time for that. It’s time to strap ourselves in to ye old Rambler for a trip through some recent happenings. We’ll try our best to keep things safe.
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That’s as fun and crazy as this play Jon Lester made the other day against the Pirates:
But the biggest sports story of the week happened when ultimate longshot Leicester City won the English Premiere League title in football (that’s soccer, for our American readers).
In fact, Sports Illustrated called their victory, “the unlikeliest success story in English history.” The odds of them winning the title were about the same as those of Elvis being found alive!
The bare facts have been recited often enough, but they bear repetition. Leicester was 5,000-to-1 to be champion at the beginning of the season. It was bottom of the table 13 months ago. Claudio Ranieri, its 64-year-old coach, had never won a league championship in his career in management. It’s the sort of story that would have seemed preposterous 30 years ago; amid the rigid financial stratification of modern football, it should have been impossible.
It’s the first top-tier title for Leicester in the club’s 132-year history. Congratulations!
Here are a few quotes we heard in the past year, made by smart people with real certainty.
I think I might have said a few of these myself.
- “There is no way voters in the country will nominate him.” (Senator Rand Paul)
- “The chance of his winning nomination and election is exactly zero.” (James Fallows, correspondent for The Atlantic)
- “Trump is absolutely a joke” (expressing his disbelief that strong early poll numbers favoring Trump were accurate). (Bob Garfield, writer and host of the WNYC radio program “On the Media”)
- “Trump’s campaign will fail by one means or another.” (Nate Silver, prediction expert and editor of FiveThirtyEight.com – who once put Trump’s chances at 2%)
- “There is no way on God’s green earth.” (Political scholars at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, saying that GOP leadership would never allow Trump to be nominated)
- “Donald Trump is not going to be the Republican presidential nominee in 2016.” (Chris Cilliza, The Washington Post)
- “We are past peak Trump. …“He’ll stay in the debates. He’ll be showman. He will get out before Iowa.” (Bill Kristol, The Weekly Standard)
- “His Support Will Erode.” (Nate Cohn, The New York Times)
Mr. Cohn wrote a different story this past week: “What I Got Wrong about Donald Trump.”
Q Conferences were started by Gabe Lyons to help Christians, especially Christian leaders, “recover a vision for their historic responsibility to renew and restore cultures.” At this year’s gathering in April, conference attendees were polled to see who they would vote for in the presidential election. Here were the results, according to an article in Christianity Today:
Among the more than 1,000 evangelical leaders at the event, [John] Kasich received 49 percent of their support. Ted Cruz came a distant second at 18 percent, and Hillary Clinton garnered 16 percent. Donald Trump had the support of only 2 percent of attendees.
Michael Wear at CT comments, regarding Kasich: “The vast majority of Americans chose not to vote for a politician precisely because of the very characteristics that many evangelicals, like those at Q, like about him.”
Here in Indiana, I voted for John Kasich in the Republican primary for a few reasons. First, I wanted to oppose what I consider the utterly crazy and absolutely unqualified Donald Trump. Second, as far as the other candidates — I see Ted Cruz as an obstructionist who has not proven he could govern or offer anything positive in leading our country. In my opinion, Hillary Clinton is an elitist and represents the interests of the upper classes in an era when the lower and middle classes need someone strong to represent them. And Bernie Sanders, though I love him for his idealism and plain spoken populism, would never get a single thing done in Washington.
Third, I see John Kasich as a sane and capable candidate. He is more conservative than I am, but I believe he could govern, as he has done as governor in Ohio.
I also like the way he practices and expresses his Christian faith as a public leader. However, the CT article reports that his faith may have been a drawback for him in this current election cycle:
His faith hurt him more than it helped. Laura Ortberg Turner described this dynamic in an article in Politico, “How Kasich’s Religion is Hurting Him with Conservatives.” Kasich is a member of the Anglican Church of North America, formed following a split with the Episcopal Church over divisions regarding biblical authority and the sacrament of marriage, among other issues. Kasich has belonged to a small group of men that have met every week for more than 20 years, which is the subject of his 2010 book, Every Other Monday. He also contributed a short chapter to a book celebrating the life and ideas of Dallas Willard.
For reasons of disposition or conviction, Kasich’s faith typically comes out as a sort of natural consequence of the circumstances. To my knowledge, he has not delivered a “faith” speech. He has not spoken at Liberty University like Cruz and Trump did. His campaign did not have a staffer dedicated to religious outreach, unlike the campaigns of Cruz, Rubio, Bush, and Carson. As Turner pointed out, Kasich explained to reporters that he thinks it “cheapens God…to go out and try to win a vote by using God.”
Yet, his faith is evident for those paying attention. At the outset of his campaign, Kasich told The Atlantic’s Molly Ball that he had been contemplating “some things that are extremely personal—what is my purpose in life?” In a visit to an Orthodox Jewish bookstore, he engaged Jewish students in a conversation on Scripture and his views on Abraham, Moses, and the Passover. These expressions seem devoid of any discernable political benefit, and exchanges like the one at the bookstore seem politically counter-productive with his target audience at the time. In an era of micro-managed, micro-targeted campaigns, such excursions are offensive.
Kasich claims his faith leads him to positions that fall outside of party doctrine. In a room full of donors convened by the Koch brothers, Kasich was asked by one woman why he agreed to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, extending health insurance to more low-income people. Many conservatives disapproved of the decision because they believe it undermined congressional efforts to repeal Obamacare. Kasich responded, in front of an audience of wealthy, libertarian-leaning donors: “I don’t know about you, lady, but when I get to the pearly gates, I’m going to have an answer for what I’ve done for the poor.” According to Politico, about 20 donors left the room and his fellow panelists, Gov. Nikki Haley and Gov. Bobby Jindal, spoke up to disagree. Kasich has not been invited back to a Koch gathering since.
Here are a few of the best recent Babylon Bee headlines:
Seven-year-old Anaya Ellick, a first-grader at Greenbrier Christian Academy in Chesapeake, Virginia, was born with no hands and does not use prostheses. And yet, she recently won a national penmanship contest.
Holding the pencil between her wrists, the student formed neat, careful letters, earning her the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Manuscript Penmanship. The award is one of several that the educational company Zaner-Bloser gives out every year. The contest is for students who have a cognitive delay, or an intellectual, physical or developmental disability. Out of fifty such students this year, Ellick’s contribution stood out.
Contest director Kathleen Wright said the judges were “just stunned” by the quality of Anaya’s printing. “Her writing sample was comparable to someone who had hands.”
Blessed are those who embrace life!
Our consumeristic observances of the holiday today may miss the point of the original Mother’s Day, according to an article at National Geographic from 2014, when the holiday turned 100 years old.
As Mother’s Day turns 100 this year, it’s known mostly as a time for brunches, gifts, cards, and general outpourings of love and appreciation.
But the holiday has more somber roots: It was founded for mourning women to remember fallen soldiers and work for peace. And when the holiday went commercial, its greatest champion, Anna Jarvis, gave everything to fight it, dying penniless and broken in a sanitarium.
It all started in the 1850s, when West Virginia women’s organizer Ann Reeves Jarvis—Anna’s mother—held Mother’s Day work clubs to improve sanitary conditions and try to lower infant mortality by fighting disease and curbing milk contamination, according to historian Katharine Antolini of West Virginia Wesleyan College. The groups also tended wounded soldiers from both sides during the U.S. Civil War from 1861 to 1865.
In the postwar years Jarvis and other women organized Mother’s Friendship Day picnics and other events as pacifist strategies to unite former foes. Julia Ward Howe, for one—best known as the composer of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”—issued a widely read “Mother’s Day Proclamation” in 1870, calling for women to take an active political role in promoting peace.
…Largely through Jarvis’s efforts, Mother’s Day came to be observed in a growing number of cities and states until U.S. President Woodrow Wilson officially set aside the second Sunday in May in 1914 for the holiday.
“For Jarvis it was a day where you’d go home to spend time with your mother and thank her for all that she did,” West Virginia Wesleyan’s Antolini, who wrote “Memorializing Motherhood: Anna Jarvis and the Defense of Her Mother’s Day” as her Ph.D. dissertation, said in a previous interview.
“It wasn’t to celebrate all mothers. It was to celebrate the best mother you’ve ever known—your mother—as a son or a daughter.” That’s why Jarvis stressed the singular “Mother’s Day,” rather than the plural “Mothers’ Day,” Antolini explained.
…Anna Jarvis’s idea of an intimate Mother’s Day quickly became a commercial gold mine centering on the buying and giving of flowers, candies, and greeting cards—a development that deeply disturbed Jarvis. She set about dedicating herself and her sizable inheritance to returning Mother’s Day to its reverent roots.
Well, if the purpose is for us to specifically honor our own mothers, I’ll do that first by posting my favorite picture of my mom and me. Then I’m going to call her and say “thanks.”
In all your ramblings this weekend, take some time to say “thank you” to your mom.
On this day in 1972, one of Jeff Dunn’s favorite albums of all time went public. That’s when the Rolling Stones released the second album on their own label, Exile On Main Street, featuring two hit singles, ‘Tumbling Dice’ and ‘Happy.’ In 2003, the album was ranked No. 7 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, the highest of any Stones album on the list.
This is the last true rock and roll album ever recorded. Everything else has either been a poor imitation or not true rock. This is raw and flawed and dirty. There are no masks worn by anyone on this album. This is as real as it gets. It starts with the lustful Rocks Off, and ends with the gospel-tinged Shine A Light. Not a fan of the Stones but still like rock and roll? You need to listen to this album. There are only two chart hits on this double album, so you may not recognize a lot of the songs at first. But give it a fair listen. Yes, that’s Mick Jagger singing about Jesus in I Only Want To See His Face, an impromptu gospel jam that may be the best number on the album. This is not for the faint of heart. This is not perfect music made by great musicians. No, this is something much bigger. This is art.
Here’s the boys from 1972, in all their raw, flawed, and dirty glory, rocking “Tumbling Dice” from Exile on Main Street.