Tag Archives: comedy

Tumblr Theology and Facebook Faith

I love the Internet. Practically the sum of human knowledge is available to me at any given time, delivered to my iPhone in seconds. 

…Which makes the general ignorance and indifference in our culture all the more inexcusable.

Whether it’s a ridiculous conspiracy “news” post from the Right or a ridiculous slam on a mistaken interpretation of Christianity from someone on the Left, I have no stomach for it.

Here’s a gem that crossed my feed:


Something is very wrong… the simplistic interpretation of Christianity. But whatevs, it sounds funny, right?

Off the top of my head, I think of the verses where Paul deals with predestination. “Jacob I have loved, and Esau I have hated” is an Old Testament quote Paul used to discuss people that God apparently created knowing their undesirable end. If we’re honest (and knowledgeable) about our Christian theology, this puts a little asterisk on the modern Evangelical “God loves everyone” sales pitch.
But we have to get on those homophobic Christians and make them realize what misguided sheeple they are. Plus it’s comedy gold. It doesn’t need to be true; it just needs to get laughs.

I am not saying God hates homosexuals. And I am saying we  (Christians) have NO right or freedom to do so. 

Or consider this one:


Sick burn! Clearly not what the verse is addressing in context, but hey–that burn’s so hot the Devil recoiled.

The latter portion of Galatians 3 is about belonging to the family of God based on faith. “You are all sons of God through Christ” is the verse that immediately precedes this. So Paul elaborates that in Christ we are all on equal footing, regardless of race, social status, or gender. 
If Paul really meant this verse to do away with gender and bring in some kind of enlightened spiritual gender identity, then this same Paul would not have written in several other places about the different roles of women and men in the church.

We could discuss what those passages mean, and plenty of varied interpretations exist. But it’s clear from multiple verses that Paul did not think once you become a Christian, you no longer belong to one of the two traditional concepts of gender.

Whatever. It’s making fun of transphobic Christians and their outdated, oppressive beliefs. So who cares if it’s accurate? 

Again, I’m not saying we (Christians) should hate on transgender people. In fact quite the opposite is clear. We’re not called to hate or harm, but to love and disciple others. 

Instead of defending Christians hating (which I believe is indefensible based on Scripture), the point I’m trying to make is that a theology that survived and grew over the past 1900+ years isn’t likely to be properly captured or lampooned in the few words you can put on an image on social media.

And my frustration is directed at Christians too. We love to post things about how President Obama is doing this, or some atheist is doing that. But people don’t always bother to fact check before posting. 

I saw a headline claiming President Obama said the Statue of Liberty is offensive to Muslims, so he wants to remove it. 

My rule of thumb is, “If it sounds exactly like what your political extremists want to hear, it’s probably not true.” So I looked closer.

The so-called news site didn’t have any facts or proof. And the two-line “story” was about an impending government shutdown. The President supposedly said that if the GOP doesn’t send him a funding budget that covers Obamacare, he’ll veto it. 

Which would likely lead to shutdown. 

Which would mean potentially closing national monuments like Lady Liberty temporarily, until the government is funded again.

Nothing to do with Muslims, nothing to do with removing the statue. And this is on the very website making the claims in the headline.

Why would anyone trust this? Why would anyone share it?

It’s what they want to hear. Who cares if it’s wrong?

For nonChristians and Christians alike, there’s a danger in heaping up voices that tell us exactly what we want to hear (2 Timothy 4:3).

Ignorance can be fixed with information. But moving past apathy depends on the individual. 

And I’m not convinced enough of us care to be bothered with all that effort. 

A Trace of Terror – a #BlogBattle entry

Blog Battle entry for Week 51 – Trace

Genre: Action

From the Adventures of Grant McSwain, Doer of Amazing Deeds, Dashing Explorer of Dangerous Locales, and Reclaimer of the Treasures of Antiquity…accompanied as always by his hapless assistant, Teagan O’Daire, the Ginger of Galway

A Trace of Terror 

Rickety stalls and wooden carts laden with produce or hand-craftedgoods blurred as Teagan raced past, and her heart pounded in her chest like a steam engine. Panting for breath, she kept her eyes on Grant and tried to ignore the burning sensation in her side.

Even with the noise and bustle of the Caracas market, she heard his angry voice clear as day. “I can’t believe you gave him the actual map!”

“He had a gun!”

Grant’s wide shoulders slammed into a rack of jewelry, sending beaded necklaces flying. He spun off the impact and regained his pace.

An old woman yelled a string of curses that made Teagan’s freckled cheeks burn. “Lo siento,” Teagan said as she dashed by.

“Why didn’t you do some of that sleight-of-hand, thief-y stuff?” Grant asked, seemingly unfazed by the exertion of their frenetic chase.

“He checked the map,” Teagan said, breathless. “And he knew… what he… was looking for…”

The small clusters of people moved for Grant as he barreled down the street. Teagan had to weave and elbow her way between bodies.

Grant paused at an alley, and Teagan caught up to him again.

“Dead end,” he said, and pointed at a distant warehouse between the wooden stalls and back doors of stores. He started down the alley, checking for any sign of the German thief and muttering to himself. “After all that work pulling the Corazon de Oro out of the water, discovering the topographical map etched into the ridges on the side…”

He left out the part where Teagan nearly drowned, and she wasn’t sure whether the omission was out of kindness or simply because it hadn’t crossed his mind.

He wiped his brow and stared down the alley. “Now that damn Kraut has the only lead to the source of Vallarte’s treasure.”

Teagan caught her breath and shot Grant a glare. “If only someone had a photographic memory!”

Grant’s eyes narrowed. “Just because I can remember the map you traced doesn’t mean I can find the hidden mines. They could be anywhere in the Carribbean.” He lowered his voice and his cheeks flushed. “And you saw that I can’t produce even a remote facsimile.”

Teagan stifled a snicker. She’d seen toddlers with better control of charcoals. The ‘map’ Grant drew only led to a headache if one stared at it too long.

They checked the shops as they moved down the alley, but saw no sign of disturbance. Then they reached the warehouse and found the doorframe busted where the lock had been forced. A heavy chain and lock held the wide shipping dock doors closed.

“I don’t see any other exits,” Grant said. He slipped inside and held the door for Teagan.

Dust motes floated in sunbeams shining on stacked crates of furniture marked for shipment to Europe. The room smelled like sawdust and wood polish. A nearby ladder provided access to a grid of walkways ten feet above the floor. Grant grabbed the rungs and ascended. “I’ll take the top, you take the bottom.”

Teagan opened her mouth to protest, but Grant had already disappeared. The floorboards above her creaked at first, and Teagan winced. Then Grant moved with unexpected stealth for his large frame.

Suddenly, the silence felt oppressive, and every noise sent a jolt of fear down Teagan’s spine. This is a terrible plan. She looked around for a makeshift weapon, and eventually found a crowbar.

White-knuckling the bar over her shoulder like a baseball player waiting for a pitch, she crept through the maze of boxes. With each squeak of a floorboard, with every scrape, she spun toward the sound and her heart skipped a beat.

“Grant,” she whispered. No response.

She hissed out his name a little louder. Still nothing.

By force of habit, she almost put her hand in her pocket, reaching for the Saint Nicholas medallion she always carried. But the crowbar provided an immediate and tangible sense of security, one she wasn’t willing to give up even for a moment.

The hammer of a revolver clicked into place behind her, loud as a gunshot in the silence. Teagan froze.

“Set ze crowbar down,” a soft-spoken man said, “on ze crate next to you.”

Teagan did as commanded and raised her empty hands level with her head.

The man behind her chuckled. “You couldn’t just let ze map go? Vas ziss treasure vorth your life?”

Panicked, Teagan’s gaze flickered around the crates in search of an escape route or at least some cover. But the German couldn’t possibly miss at such close range.

“A shame,” he said, “to kill a rather competent and intelligent voman. You showed promise. But my employer desires no vitnesses…”

He raised the gun toward Teagan.

Grant’s bulky form crashed into the thief from above, knocking his arm down and to the right. A gunshot echoed and the board of a wooden crate snapped. The men fell into a heap.

Grant scrambled atop the thief and smashed a fist into the German’s face before pinning the man’s arms beneath his thick legs. Teagan snatched the gun.

“Where’s the map?” Grant screamed, fist raised to deliver another blow.

The German laughed, coughing up blood that speckled his blonde hair. “Fools! I don’t haff it.”

Teagan waved the gun at the man, hoping it seemed threatening. “But you accosted me in the hotel and demanded my tracing of the corazon.”

“Did you know,” he said with a grin, “that I haff a twin brother?”

Grant chuckled. “Really?” Then he punched the man in the face again, knocking him unconscious.

Teagan gasped. “What was that for?”

“When we find his brother, we’ll be able to tell them apart.”

To be continued in Teagan Oh-Hair versus the Barbaric Barbers

Lolly-Pops of Peril

Genre: Action, 998 words (including the header and teaser)

The Adventures of Grant McSwain–Doer of Daring Feats, Explorer of Forgotten Lands, and Acquirer of Exquisite Treasures, accompanied as always by his hapless assistant, Teagan O’Daire, the Ginger of Galway–continue!

Ragtime piano flooded the air from devices like phonographs atop poles. Contraptions of metal and electricity thrilled spectators outside the bar, which smelled like spilled beer and cigar smoke despite being empty. Teagan’s fruity seltzer—an appropriate beverage for the fairer sex, the barman said—quenched her spirits more than her thirst.
The fairground belonged to crime-lord Pops Kimble’s syndicate, with whom Grant had occasional business. Or scraps. Mostly scraps. And Grant loves dashing headlong into danger.

‘Hear the sound of the future,’ signs proclaimed, ‘at the Springfield World’s Fair.’

The present sounded most displeasing to Teagan’s ears, much like the frilly dress she’d been compelled to wear.

Her partner recounted his harrowing tale to their patron, the rotund Master Hamwich Roquefort. “With care for the priceless contents,” Grant said, “I quickly placed the last pack in the boat’s hold and signaled to cast off.” The satchel near Grant’s feet contained the Ixthacan treasures, including that cursed sun plate Teagan nearly died to retrieve.

“A powerful ruckus befell my ears,” Grant continued. He sprang into a rifleman’s pose and shook the table, jostling the shot glasses. “I steadied my Remington and steeled my nerves. The Amazon tribes are known for their unkind nature and bone-craft jewelry. I had no desire to wind up in some cannibal’s pot, my skull strung about a savage’s neck!

“Then what to my cool, collected gaze did appear but Miss O’Daire, stumbling through the bramble like an oliphaunt on the African plains!”

Roquefort gave the expected guffaw and an altogether unnecessary slap on the knee.

Teagan’s eyes narrowed. “Cool and collected? You shot my hat off.”

Grant brushed aside her concern. “Ah, the fragility of womenfolk. So easily spooked. Merely a warning shot to dissuade the heathen cannibals I saw behind you, Teag.”

“No one followed me. And you said you always aim for the chest.”

Grant raised a finger and smiled. “What fortune yours is minuscule, lest you suffer a mortal wound.”

Roquefort coughed and swallowed his entire glass of whiskey, which stoked Teagan’s jealousy and frustration more than Grant’s insult. What I wouldn’t trade for a shot or two, and a reliable pair of trousers instead of this frippery.

“Say,” Grant said, “how did you escape the depths, Teag?”

Roquefort turned to her with genuine interest, and her hopes of being taken seriously swelled. “Well,” she said with a wide grin, “the pit led to a flooded chamber, where an underground river had carved through the—“

“That reminds me of another remarkable expedition,” Grant said. He began another account of a distant land full of dangers he’d overcome, treasures he’d brought back to civilization, and of course exaggerations about both.

Teagan’s eyes wandered and settled on a pair of children—twins, a boy and girl. They sat on shipping crates across the walkway from the bar, wearing matching sky blue and white stripes, the boy in a vest and trousers, the girl in a knee-high pleated skirt. The girl’s blonde locks burst from her floral bonnet in an explosion of curls. The boy’s straight hair swept back beneath a newsie cap. Both held rainbow-colored lolly pops up to smiling lips.

But their joyless eyes stared at the boisterous Grant.

The pair noticed Teagan’s attention and fixed their shared gaze on her. Then something out of Teagan’s view distracted them. They jumped from the boxes and scuttled off.

A couple of burly dockhands followed close behind—chasing them away from the bar, perhaps? Even at midday, the establishment was no place for impressionable youth.

Grant crouched, reenacting their stealthy observation of an illegal dig in the Peruvian foothills. “The fiends,” he said, gesturing toward imaginary Spaniards. “Clearly they meant to claim Vallarte’s lost hoard. ‘Teag,’ said I, ‘we cannot permit such louts to despoil this sacred site!’ After all,” he explained to Roquefort, “one Vallarte chalice fetched a thousand pounds at Sothesby’s. Imagine a full set!

“So, using their powder kegs and my keen understanding of trajectories, we—”

“Master McSwain,” Roquefort interrupted, eyes darting toward the windows, “I am awed by your exploits. But I must know. The Ixthacan lunar phases and sun plate from the ziggurat—you have these in your possession?” 

Teagan’s head spun toward the sweating man. “Neither Grant nor I mentioned the sun plate… only that I fell through a trapdoor.”

The barroom doors slammed open, revealing the two children, each with a lolly in one hand and a shiny Colt revolver in the other. The dockhands flanked Grant, their muscles rolling with malicious intent.

Master Roquefort crumbled into a blubbering heap. “So sorry,” he wailed. “They assaulted my home a fortnight ago, when your telegram first arrived. My precious Ginny, I couldn’t let them hurt her.”

“Shut up, fatty,” the girl hissed, “or I’ll plug you full of lead faster’n a racehorse’s hoofbeats.”

Up close, Teagan could make out the weight of years in those youthful faces.

“Pops Kimble, I presume,” Teagan blurted out. “People expect one boss, and a full grown man at that. But both of you run the show.”

The boy shrugged. “Growth disorder. What can ya do but play the hand you’re dealt?”

His sister gestured with her Colt. “Back away from the goods.”

Teagan did as instructed and locked eyes with Grant. The bait worked.

He gave her his most charming wink. Then he laid out one of the toughs with a right hook to the jaw.

Teagan darted for the pack. Gunfire erupted from several directions, spraying wood chips and glass shards across the polished floor…

[To be continued, in A Heart of Pure Gold…]

Lightsaber Hugs

Today when I left home for work, my three year old shouted, “Bye Daddy, I love you!” And of course that melts my heart. I offered him a hug, and he paused, then said, “No.”

He bent over, grabbed his toy lightsaber, and held it out. “Lightsaber hugs,” he demanded.

“What? You want me to hug your lightsaber?”

“Yeah.” Yes, of course. Why wouldn’t you hug a lightsaber?

So I did, and as I drove away, I thought about those strange, unexpected moments I’ve experienced with my kids.

My daughter, at about that age, playing with a telephone toy and declaring, “Mommy, I have to make a cone fall!”

My eldest son, leading the effort to dogpile on Daddy, laying straight across my back with his arms at his sides, then going limp, declaring, “Dead fish!” (This was followed by a stack of dead fish when the other kids joined in.)

My middle boy, who would charge into me and then rub his head back and forth while gently punching my stomach… “What are you doing?” I asked. His answer? “I’m bestroying you!”

Nose biting… my infant daughter would smile wide and nom the tip of my nose. For whatever reason, she’d always look off to her right when she did it. This was a habit that somehow carried over to my other children, each of which have bitten my nose.

Punches in the fat… the middle boy loves to push a fist into my stomach every now and then, perhaps as a reminder to work out and eat smarter than I normally do.

Our three year old loves to yell at everyone, proclaiming a rule against flatulence by declaring, “No Peeping!”

The eldest boy discovered he could climb the walls in doorways and hallways like a ninja… fitting since he’s the one who decided that when he grows up he wants to be “a rock scientist… Ooh! Or maybe a ninja!” And now our middle boy has learned the same trick.

So what’s the point of this post?

Basically kids are awesome, but sometimes we have to take a minute to remember it.

What experiences do you have with the ridiculous antics of children? Let me know in a comment, please. I’d love to share in the joy.