I happened to be reading the Gospel of Mark last night.
Now, I've read it before, of course. Recently, as part of my confirmation class homework, I read it straight through in a single sitting. Still, I had never quite noticed this hilarious passage.
Jesus is coming back down the mountain after the Transfiguration. He sees the disciples arguing with the locals. A father says, "Jesus, my son has been afflicted by a terrible demon. I asked your disciples to cast it out, but they could not. If you are able to do anything, have pity on us, and help us."
"If you are able!" exclaims an exasperated Jesus. "All things can be done for the one who believes." So Jesus says to the demon, "Yo, scram." The boy convulses violently, cries out in anguish, and lies still, as if dead. Then Jesus helps him to his feet, and he's fine.
Afterwards the disciples come to Jesus and say, "Hey...umm, we don't get it. How come you got the demon to come out, and we could not?"
"Oh, well, this kind of demon," says Jesus with a wink and a sympathetic tone of voice, "can only come out through prayer."
Ouch. (Mark 9:14-29, New Revised Andy Translation)
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At my parish I am stirring up some trouble by forming a discrete, fledgling LGBT + Allies group. I was thinking of calling it The 7:20 Club, a jab at the Pat Robertson show and referring to Matthew 7:20. That verse is, in the KJV, "By their fruits shall ye know them."
Too awful? Be honest.
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It hasn't anything to do with religion, really, but I wanted to chime in on North Carolina Governor Mike Easley's endorsement of Hillary Clinton, where he said, "This lady right here makes Rocky Balboa look like a pansy."
Senator Clinton just let that fly right by, smiling and chuckling. I'm sorry, that's not acceptable. "Pansy" may not have been the most vulgar word he could have chosen, but the sentiment is ugly all the same. Senator Clinton, endorsed by the purportedly pro-gay Human Rights Campaign, has called on Barack Obama to "denounce and reject" all kinds of ridiculous, offensive statements made by people unaffiliated with his campaign at times when Senator Obama was not present. Now she's going to accept -- with a smile and a laugh -- an endorsement that comes with a homophobic slur meant as a compliment to her?
The silence -- from both HRC's -- is pretty deafening right now.
Governor Easley, I can think of many gay people who could kick Rocky Balboa's ass. And those are just the lesbians. As for me, I think I could take you. Want to step outside and settle this, governor to pansy?