GIMME THAT OLD TIME RELIGION

May 7, 2008


Lottery officials across the country are hoping the numbers 666 don’t come up today because so many people have played them. If that happens, expect eBay to be clogged up tomorrow with lottery officials trying to sell their souls. And we loved this story! Police in Baltimore arrested a man who figured out how to override service station pumps and sold gasoline to drivers for $10 a tank while pocketing the money. A real-life ROBIN (under the) HOOD!

Nothing makes for great controversy like religion and politics. PLEASE SEPARATE CHURCH AND STATE!
Let’s start with this story: The Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball Club was having a better season this year than they have had in a long time. General manager Dan O’Dowd and many of the players claim it is because they are Christians, and have applied Christian attitudes toward the clubhouse and their game. According to a front-page USA Today story, the team feels their success is directly related to their faith, and living a spiritual lifestyle.
Frankly, that’s fine. If that works for them? Great! But why make such a point of it? Why not let their actions speak for them? Why publicize it? Rockies Chairman and CEO Charlie Monfort says, “I believe God sends signs, and we’re seeing those.” Okay but… the team just lost five games in a row. I’m sure that, as Christians, the guys who are devout feel that the losing streak is a test God is giving them. A cynic would say that God has switched allegiances, and wants the Dodgers to win the National League West Division.
As usual, we at Taylor Mason Headquarters have the 4-1-1. God could care less about baseball.

The real deal is that sports are the true religion in this country. Computers and hi-tech toys are the new pastime. And the internet is the new media.

Cleveland Indians pitcher Scott Sauerbeck apologized to his family and teammates following his early morning arrest for drunk driving which ended with the police finding him and his female companion hiding behind some bushes. Sauerbeck wasn’t driving, so in his case the DWI charge stands for
“Disgruntled Wife Insists.”
Future Hall of Famer Roger Clemens has agreed to a $22 million contract to pitch for the Houston Astros for the rest of 2006. Since the season will be almost half over by the time he’s ready, Roger only gets around $12 million but should be able to make up the difference selling scoops of pitchers
mound dirt where he spits, on eBay, beginning in August. As part of his superstar status, Roger will
get to stay home when he’s not pitching, have his baseballs warmed up by a designated ball girl, and be allowed one do-over per inning.
The National Hockey League Stanley Cup Finals begin this week… yeah, we feel the same way.

The next big religious news that came out last week? Pat Robertson, at age 73, leg-pressed 2000 pounds. Robertson is 76 now, so this story is three years old, except that recently CBN.com released the footage of Mr. Robertson “pressing” 2000 pounds on the website. Along with an ad for a supplement that will make you strong and healthy.
I am absolutely certain this is a joke. And there are lots of people that don’t get it. But I can enlighten you, because I work out. I leg press.
First, you would need 22 45-pound plates on each side of the machine Mr. Robertson was using. As if the machine he was using could even HOLD 1500 pounds, much less 2000! Second, the world record for the leg press is 1100 pounds. Pro football players, in the peak of their careers, can leg press
650-700 pounds if they’re incredibly strong. Third, Robertson is clearly fit – at least physically – and I am guessing that he is really enjoying the press and notoriety he’s getting for his little… uh… exaggeration. More on Pat later. For now? Way to go, Mr. Robertson! You caused quite a stir! (Uh… you WERE just joking, right?)

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is visiting Vietnam in an attempt to build up security ties with our former enemy, who now shares American concern about China’s rising military might. Rummy is hoping to convince the Vietnamese government to ally with us by offering them military training,
financial support and millions of free copies of Jane Fonda’s workout videos.
US commanders in Iraq plan to give ethics classes to soldiers in Iraq as soon as the commanding officers take them first, they figure out a way to prevent cheating, and the Pentagon develops some that Mr. Rumsfeld can pass.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered 1,000 National Guardsmen to help guard the Mexican border. He wants to make sure that his gardener, cook and housekeeper don’t try to sneak back home.

The much-talked-about film The Da Vince Code opened a couple of weeks ago. It has already begun slipping at the box office, finishing this past weekend ranked number four. There are many reasons for the quick descent, but these are the notable ones: it is not a very good flick; the acting is perfunctory; the script follows the book and then goes off on some universalist, world-would-be-better-if tangent that doesn’t make sense; and, of course, people of faith find the movie to be spiteful and mean, if not just plain wrong.
The entire production is just bad, a colossal waste of time and money for all parties concerned, including the audience. Tom Hanks kneels to pray at the end of the movie, and I couldn’t help laughing out loud in the theater, because I got the feeling he was praying for forgiveness after taking this insipid role. There were lots of opportunities to make an interesting, fun, exciting thriller of international intrigue and action. Instead we get a slap in the face to anyone who goes to church.
Which reminds me. I have all these questions about faith in the movies. Ever notice how Catholics are ALWAYS represented as psychotic and psychopathic? I know lots of Catholic people. They’re all really cool. If I believed what I saw in the movies, I’d turn and run whenever I saw them.
And forget “Passion Of The Christ.” If you go by 90% of the movies made in Hollywood, Jesus doesn’t exist in the USA, except as a curse word. How outta touch is that? 60% of the country claims itself as “Christian.”
I have a lot more, but here is the one I will finish with. It’s fine, with freedom of speech and so on, to poke fun, or desecrate God and Christ and people who go to church. Or temple. I accept that. But why doesn’t Hollywood make a movie that tells the story of Muhammad?
You know… how this Bedouin trader living outside the ancient city of Mecca picked up gossip and third-person accounts of Judaism and Christianity, then started having miraculous revelations of his own? Coincidentally, much of what Muhammad was told in these… prophecies… was very similar to what he had heard about the older, established faiths he had heard so much about. Some of Muhammads variations made this new religion, called Islam, very appealing to the common man. AND I DO MEAN MAN. As well as quite attractive to fierce desert tribes who were prepared to appreciate Muhammads policy of victory-thru-decapitation. That movie would take courage and honesty. Plus it might start another war…
Which leads us to one more point about The Da Vinci Code. The over-used and abused quote: “God and religion are responsible for the worst wars,” gets another play. But it is not true. The worst wars – WWI, WWII and even the cold war of the 50s and 60s – were about the eradication of religion. The Nazi regime and Communism feared religious beliefs, and tried to wipe them off the face of the earth. I know this. The Pope knows this (I’m paraphrasing his latest speech – which nobody knows about because no media outlet covered it, except for me and a buried story in The New York Times). So please, all you media-types: don’t say God and religion are the cause of most wars.

The film “Wedding Crashers” dominated the MTV Movie Awards on Saturday, and took three awards, including best movie. However, two men who crashed the MTV Movie Awards were thrown out of the event, and beaten unmercifully.
Jessica Alba, who hosted, won the award for Sexiest Performance for her performance in “Sin City.” Actually, there are no restrictions on who can get that award, except you’re disqualified if your performance gets you pregnant.
People magazine’s “sexiest man alive” is available again now that Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz have decided to split up. Congratulations to Paco, here at TMH, who had this month for the break-up in our office pool!
Last Saturday, Venezuela’s controversial President Hugo Chavez inaugurated a film studio on the outskirts of Caracas. He said its mission was to counter the Hollywood movie industry, which he referred to as a “cultural dictatorship.” Actually, we at TMH prefer “cultural vacuum,” but you get the idea.

The last time we wrote about President Chavez, we reported that Pat Robertson, the strong-legged TV minister, had called for his assassination.
Which brings religion and politics together in a juxtaposition that really should never happen.
How can a man of God call for assassination of anyone? Isn’t one of the Ten Commandments “Thou Shalt Not Kill?” All we can think is that, again, perhaps Mr. Robertson was kidding! Next he’ll call for us to go into Caracas and steal things! Covet Mrs. Chavez! Curse!
Maybe what Mr. Robertson should do, with his incredible strength, is go have a fight with Chavez mano-a-mano, and use those legs to kick some… you know…

According to surveys at Cornell and Princeton, nearly 1 in 5 students at the Ivy League schools say they have purposely injured themselves by cutting, burning or other methods. The other 80 percent have never tried to cook on a hot plate in their dorm rooms. It’s even worse at Yale, but that’s
because so many students want to look like they’re members of the Skull and Bones society.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump announced that next building named after him will be a luxury hotel-condominium tower on Waikiki Beach in Hawaii. The Donald has already warned his staff that he’ll fire the first person who compares his hair to a grass skirt.
Katharine Close, the 13-year-old from right here in New Jersey won the Scripps National Spelling Bee, and is still celebrating her victory. Yesterday she showed other spelling bee finalists how we do it here, by roaming the streets of her hometown torching billboards and signs with misspelled words.

It is difficult to separate church and state, because The United States is a nation based on Christianity. That is a fact. “In God We Trust.” “… one nation under God…” The founders were very specific about it. We cannot escape that. It is a fact.
I think it speaks for itself.

Anna Nicole Smith announced she’s pregnant. Following the trend of other celebrity parents, she plans to give the baby an unusual name. Like “Goldie Igger”
Hmmm. Seems to us she must have gotten pregnant about the time that the Supreme Court ruled in her favor regarding that inheritance case. We don’t want to make any accusations, but what do you bet that the kid is going to be really, really smart?
ABC’s broadcast of the finals of the National Spelling Bee didn’t do as well as expected in the ratings because none of the finalists had gray hair.
Katie Couric’s reign as the host of the Today show is officially over and she will spend the next few weeks in therapy with a perky-removal guru.
The automotively challenged rap star, DMX, racked up even more traffic violations last week. In 2004, he plowed his SUV through a security gate at JFK Airport. In 2005, he plowed his SUV into another car and shoved it into a police cruiser. In the latest incident, he was apprehended for speeding, driving without a license, and not wearing a seatbelt by police in White Plains, New York.
You know, there’s probably nothing more humiliating for be a rap star than to be arrested in White Plains.
Sylvester Stallone celebrated his 60th birthday at the soon-to-open Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, along with his fellow Planet Hollywood founders, Bruce Willis and Arnold Schwarzenegger. The guests all sang “Happy Birthday to YO!”

thank you Marsia, Paul, William and Sheri! Thank you for reading!

OH!
We just saw this: researchers at the University of Southern Maine have identified the hormone that enables caterpillars to transform to moths. A caterpillar hormone? Now that creeps us out!

taylor

Dear Taylor:
Yes. In the garden, growth has its seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.
Being there,
Chance the Gardener

Dear Taylor:
I am free! Free to come and go! Free to be open and supportive, and compassionate and loving! Free to accept the way things are, and free to choose my own lifestyle!
Free to be weird, wearing hemp clothing and living on food stamps in a tiny apartment in Wichita, Kansas.
Far out…
The Last of The Hippie Generation

Dear Taylor:
Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman!
All the world is waiting for you!
And the power you possess
In your satin tights.
Fighting for your rights.
And the old red, white and blue!
Wonder Woman! Wonder Woman!
Now the world is ready for you!
And the wonders you can do.
Make a hawk a dove,
Stop a war with love,
Make a liar tell the truth!
All our hopes are pinned on you
And the magic that you do!
Whenever I reach a point where I am confused, or lost, or even depressed, I sing my theme song. And everything is right again.
I thought your readers might find the same solace in it!
And as a bonus, it negates Katie Couric!
Livin’ in the 70s,
Lynda Carter