INTERNET MONK RAMBLER OF THE WEEK
This week we’re inaugurating a new way to open Saturday Ramblings. Each Saturday we will give honor to a Rambler of the Week, someone who shows us what it means to live the journey of life fully.
The only qualifications will be that the person honored will exhibit interesting and praiseworthy characteristics, revealed in the context of some kind of actual journey. I’ll be scouring the internet to find such individuals (or groups) and you are welcome to submit nominations to me during the week via email (just click the link on the right top of the page).
Today, our Rambler of the week award goes posthumously to Norma Bauerschmidt, a 91-year old with endometrial cancer who decided she’d rather head out on the open road than spend the final season of her life in doctor’s offices and suffering the side effects of surgery and treatments.
When she was 90, two days after her husband of 67 years died Norma was diagnosed and the doctor recommended a hysterectomy and chemotherapy. She said no way.
Her son Tim and wife Ramie offered to have Norma come live with them and their dog Ringo. But there was a catch — they live in an RV and travel full time. “I’m 90-years-old,” Norma said. “I’m hitting the road. Let’s go have some fun. I don’t want to spend another minute in the doctor’s office.”
And so began a year-long ramble across the U.S.
Over the course of the year, they traveled nearly 13,000 miles and slept in over 75 locations in 32 states. They visited dozens of national parks, monuments and recreation areas, and Norma got to experience some smaller joys as well, like going up in a hot air balloon, riding a horse and getting a pedicure.
They made it from Michigan to the state of Washington, where Norma died last week at the age of 91.
Now she’s rambling in a better land.
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IM PRESIDENTIAL ENDORSEMENTS
The presidential election is a little more than a month away here in the U.S. We here at Internet Monk don’t like either of the major party candidates, and the “third-party” candidates appear to us to be a few cards short of a full deck. What to do in the face of this dilemma?
We want to help you find alternative candidates in whom you can put your trust to lead our country with vision, wisdom, and skill. So, for the next few weeks we’ll be recommending worthy people for your consideration. We know it’s late, but with a groundswell of support, perhaps one of these outstanding candidates can make their mark this year.
We begin with a man who is as eloquent and well-spoken as he is handsome. Internet Monk proudly recommends you consider casting your vote for Boomhauer in 2016. In the first video, Boomhauer explains his overall philosophy of life, and the second contains a compilation of his wisdom, expressed in a variety of contexts.
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INTERVARSITY ASKS STAFFERS TO CHOOSE
The campus ministry InterVarsity has been conducting an 18-month study on sexuality, and now in light of their conclusions, staffers are being asked to come forward and make their opposition known if they disagree with the theological conclusions detailed in the official document that summarizes their findings. They are asking staffers to do this voluntarily, rather than asking people to assign or affirm any kind of morality clause or statement.
“We’re trusting their integrity that they’ll resign rather than continue to work with an organization that disagrees with them,” said [Greg] Jao [vice president and director of campus engagement]. “We framed it as an involuntary termination even though staff are self-disclosing. We are trying to acknowledge that they would not have chosen this except for the fact we have clarified and reiterated our position.”
The story was covered by Time magazine this week, prompting a lot of discussion. In their article, they summarized the ministry’s perspectives and position:
…“Scripture is very clear that God’s intention for sexual expression is to be between a husband and wife in marriage. Every other sexual practice is outside of God’s plan and therefore is a distortion of God’s loving design for humanity.”
The position paper also outlined theological positions against divorce, sex before marriage, pornography, cohabitation and sexual abuse, but the practical application of the study focused on implications for the LGBTQ community. The July letter [sent to staff explaining the policy] states, “We expect that all staff will ‘believe and behave in a manner consonant with our “Theological Summary of Human Sexuality” paper,’ as described by the Code of Conduct. (To ‘believe and behave’ means we  agree with the substance and conclusions of the ‘Theological Summary of Human Sexuality,’  will not engage in sexual immorality as defined in the paper, and  will not promote positions inconsistent with the ‘Theological Summary of Human Sexuality.’)”
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DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET?
Want to have more fun than you can stand? Try The Conspiracy Blog, your one-stop for keeping up with the wildest and wackiest stories of the treachery and intrigue that only the truly initiated can grasp.
Some of my favorite headlines:
- Elvis Presley was Adolf Hitler
- Dinosaurs a Myth Designed to Undermine the Bible
- Did Obama Have a Nose Job to Hide Davis Resemblance?
Oh, and the crackpot theory of the week:
- Obama is Trying to Impeach Himself
You’ll find a dozen categories in which conspiracies abound, including Bible & Religion, World Governments, Historical Conspiracies, Secret Societies, and Media, Television, & News.
- Did you know that the YMCA is a CIA front?
- That Justin Bieber And Miley Cyrus are actually the same person?
- That Catholics may be in conspiracy with pagan Muslims who worship the crescent moon? That Islam itself is a Vatican conspiracy?
- That the AIDS virus came from aliens?
- That the earthquake in Haiti was caused by a U.S. “earthquake weapon”?
I can’t get enough of this stuff!
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REFORMATION MONTH: LUTHER INSULT OF THE WEEK
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POINTING OUT LITURGICAL ABUSE
Apparently, a growing trend on the internet, “liturgy shaming” finds furious believers using social media to denounce pastors or parishes that in the critics’ eyes are promoting something outrageous in the sanctuary.
Someone in a Catholic parish in Seattle, for example, posted pictures of liturgical dance from their church, clearly intending that they be ridiculed as self-indulgent and in bad taste.
William Bornhoft has written about this trend at Aleteia, ultimately concluding that it is not the best way to promote liturgical reform. Commenting on the Seattle church, he writes:
This instance of online liturgy shaming wasn’t unique in its viciousness. I followed a handful of groups on Facebook that frequently engage in this practice, including the amusingly named “SLAP” or “Survivors of Liturgical Abuse in Parishes.” The group exists in part to curate the names of renegade parishes and liturgical horror stories. The posts are often accompanied with photographic evidence, usually something shocking or cringe-worthy.
…if we step back, reflect and pray, it should become obvious that Catholics must avoid using the brute force of the Internet to “expose” liturgical problems and shame the offending parishes. It is both uncharitable and impractical — uncharitable because we often wrongly assume the worst rather than the best intentions of the parish (“they’re heretics”; “this isn’t allowed in the Church”; “they must not care for God or the Eucharist”) without knowing anything about it. It is impractical because viral shaming campaigns are not a realistic method of reform or correction in the Catholic Church. Shaming people does not encourage them to listen; it usually urges them to hide, as this parish did by closing down its Facebook page.
…As Catholics we’re still learning how to navigate the tides of the Internet effectively without falling into worldly and often sinful habits. We will all make mistakes, I’m sure, but we must continue to examine our behavior, promote what is working and throw out what is not.
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QUESTIONS OF THE WEEK