During my most recent hiatus, a group of surveys were released that I'd finally like to take the opportunity to focus on. Regular readers of Pharyngula may have already seen this:
It's a chart showing public acceptance of the Theory of Evolution among 34 "Western" countries. And yes, that's the good ol' US of A in next-to-last-place: just above Turkey.
Let the full implications of that chart sink in for a moment. Now I'd like to show you some more charts. You would've only seen these if you'd read this month's issue of Skeptic
You're all grown-ups. You're all capable of drawing your own conclusions. I don't need to add a single word. So I'll let Blair's August E-Letter do the talking:
Summer is winding down (will someone please tell "Mr. Thermometer" this!)
Right this very minute I am sitting in our church bookstore/coffee shop [For the love of fuck, Don't Eat The Brownies!] while my youngest daughter is attending the big student ministry "Crossover" event. This is when the freshman fish are initiated into the High School Youth Group. The day is filled with d[r]unk tanks, slip-n-slides, dodge ball, tons of fun, and a watermelon-eating contest. (I'm proud to announce that my sweet young thing, Clancy, beat [off] ten boys to win first place in this prestigious event.)
I have to admit, as much as I've enjoyed the summer, I'm actually looking forward to the school year beginning again. I prefer structure. I have so many new chore charts, meal calendars, and fresh, new, creative ways to attempt some semblance of order into an otherwise, chaotic fall schedule. How about you? Are you dreading the end of summer more or anticipating the beginning of fall? [How kind of you to ask. The company through which I contract insists that I work for a year before I can accumulate any vacation time, so autumn will be just like summer: a seemingly endless stream of workdays with no relief in site. And I'm one of the lucky ones: I get a decent salary and health care. So, to answer your question, unless there's going to be some sort of worker's revolution this October, I'm neither looking forward to fall, nor dreading the end of summer.]
A couple of weeks ago, when Tucker was on tour with "The Newsboys," I was praying for him and consecrating him to the Lord. Yet, my heart was still fretful. "Would Tucker make wise choices?" "Would he act with discernment?" "Would he be a diligent worker?" "Would he be safe, both physically and emotionally?" ["Would he return home 'intact'? You know; back there"]
While I was struggling to release him completely, the Lord reminded me of the fact that Tucker had only recently returned from a two week trip to California. I sent Tucker to spend that time working with his grandfather, Roy, and to hang out with my brother, Justice. While he was there, I never worried for a minute. I knew he was in good hands with Roy [Let it go.]. I was excited that he was learning a strong work ethic from him. I had confidence that he and Tucker were having good conversations in between jobs, talking about things that boys need to discuss with other men, and not their mom. ["And then, sometimes, when I'm showering with the other gym class..."]
When he wasn't working with Roy, he would be staying with Justice, who is now a [Hitler]youth leader. Just being around Justice was going to be good for Tucker. Listening to him teach, watching him interact with the junior high kids, praying with him and seeing that it was possible to be cool and a Christian.
God reminded me that when I hand Tucker over to the strong, loving, capable hands of my heavenly Father, he is certainly in even better hands that those of Roy and Justice. So why would I worry? God is more than capable of speaking into Tucker's heart, training him to exercise wisdom, encouraging him unto good works, and keeping him safe from all evil. If God is for him, who can be against him? [All six or sever readers of RATYHTL for starters]
What are you worried about today? You kids? Finances? Relationships? Work? Health?
Now, imagine who you would most trust in this area. What would it be like to have Dr. Phil or Oprah or Dave Ramsey or Billy Graham or the best surgeon in the world or Mother Theresa or anyone else you can think of, come alongside you and help you in this area of concern. You have someone [sic] even better and He's actually approachable, available and intimately interested. Use your imagination and "hand over" your anxieties to your heavenly Father. He is more than capable of taking good care of you and the people, things and situations you care about. [And while you're at it, why not ask the Easter Bunny to clean out your garage]
Moms, let me ask you a serious question. How many good girlfriends do you have today? [Is this some kinda Lesbo-MILF thing?] I'm talking about the kind you can call on to keep your toddler while you chaperone your elementary student's field trip. The kind of friend you can count on to organize meals when you have your next baby.["Oh, you mean a sucker that I can take advantage of?"] Friends you can laugh with, cry with, confess your shortcomings with, and invite over to your house with laundry on the couch and your kids fighting [Sounds charming. I'll be over right after I slit my wrists.]. If your answer is less than five then I highly recommend you do a little something for yourself by investing some time in making and growing some friendships. [Or weed]
I don't know what I'd do without my seven MomTime friends [Well Blair, judging from your description of friendship above, I'm going to guess that you'd be forced to watch and feed your own children]. We are all counting down the minutes until our weekly MomTime gatherings resume when school starts. Ask any one of us what the highlight of our week is and our answers would be the same -MomTime ["Fisting" came in second]. (Sorry, it wasn't something more spiritual, like church.) I want you to have something this fun to look forward to every week. If this sounds interesting, you can't sit around and wait for someone to invite you over to their house to play. You need to take the initiative. Even if that isn't your personality, you can do it. You will be so glad you did, when you have your first MomTime Christmas party in a few months and you wonder how you survived [your meaningless lives] before having the luxury of such great girlfriends.
www.thelivingstones.com - I recently attended a women's conference here in Texas.
In between sessions the church offered some great shopping opportunities. One of the vendors displayed these gorgeous stone signs with scriptures engraved [Perfect for stoning unbelievers to death with]. I immediately picked out two that I just had to have. The first one was 3 John 4, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth." The second stone had Proverbs 3:5,6 (my life verse) engraved on it. To make a long story short, in between choosing two and fetching my wallet, I realized that two stones really weren't in our new budget. When I went back to the booth, I explained [sic] that I better only buy one stone. Guess what happened. This sweet lady who owns this business just gave me the other one out of the kindness of her heart! I decided then and there that I must recommend her beautiful work to all of my friends. [Blair, I'm sure that the fact that she knew that you'd recommend these shitty little piles of rocks to your army of zombies had nothing to do with her decision to comp you a free crapburger]
Beth Moore's "Daniel" Bible Study - I'm two days away from completing Beth's latest
Bible study and I'm already having serious withdrawal pains. I couldn't wait to recommend this wonderful study. One of the things I appreciate most about Beth's
Bible studies, is the fact that she doesn't give us tiny sips of chocolate milk - she serves up Filet Mignon. Continuing that analogy I will have to say that this study on the book of Daniel is a thick cut of Chateaubriand Roast. I'm so glad she gives us women credit for being able to cut into some prophecy and eschatology. Granted, I had to chew on the Word a bit longer on some mornings but it was worth it! I think you'll agree.[Just keep reading. DO NOT re-read that paragraph hoping that it'll make sense. It won't; trust me.]
Disney/Pixar's movie, "Cars" - On the way to our family vacation last month, we had some time to kill before our hotel room was clean so we decided to go see a movie.
The only one clean enough and that nobody had already seen was the new Walt Disney/Pixar movie, "Cars." What a delightful surprise. It was family-friendly, with an engaging plot, winsome voice actors, and a good message. It may not even be in theaters anymore but, if not, then be sure and rent the video, pop some popcorn, [or cop some cop porn] and enjoy a great family night.
MomTime GetAway - If you've ever wanted to join me at a MomTime Getaway then this would be the time. We only have three more Getaways scheduled and, after that, it is up in the air [MomTime will become part of NASA]. I really hope you live somewhere near Texas, Michigan, or Kentucky ["and own some white sheets and rope"]. Let me tell you a little bit about the event. First of all, my favorite thing is the fact that my whole family comes and joins in the fun. With Tucker on guitar, Haven on drums, Clancy on the bass, Steve on the keyboard and me, singing, we have a great time praising the Lord [Clancy got Rubin to sell our song; but it really came together when Blair sucked his schlong.]. Between Friday night and Saturday afternoon, I also speak on six different topics revolving around the joys and [Nuremberg]trials of motherhood. Throw in some chocolate, spa fun, scrapbooking, games, prizes and a pajama party and, well you get the idea. You really need to be there! [Oh yes; yes I do]
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Dear Lord[make the pounding in my head stop], thank You for creating seasons. Not only summer, winter, fall and spring, but also times of mayhem and times of agendas. Busy moments of "milk" in the Word and 4-star dining experiences with Jesus [Hands up: who just burst a blood vessel?]. Mommy stages for giving and girlfriend interludes for receiving[AKA "pitching" and "catching"]. Missions' trips and family vacations. God, you are anything but boring [Wrathful, maybe. But never boring]. Bless my friends with peaceful balance in their lives. Help them to appreciate each moment, season, and stage of life, mindful that You set change in motion. And it is good. In Jesus name[sic]. Amen.
Lisa Whelchel - E-Letter
© 2006 Lisa Whelchel (dick jokes added by Rodney Anonymous)
The Latin word of the day is:
pono -ere - to place, put
The ancient Greek word of the day:
dwron - gift, bribe