Chapel Alert

Some days I don’t want to write. Today I do have something I want to write about, but first, some Random Thoughts:

I keep a stuffed monkey on my desk. It has a Santa Claus hat. An aunt gave it to me. I put all my smart, scholarly, and impressive looking books on my desk, like Shakespeare and Plato, and then I take a little toy monkey and rest it on top of them. I didn’t plan it out, but I think that describes me fairly well, a celebratory monkey enthroned on good ideas.

Okay, there is something about which I actually want to write beyond these random observations. I regularly have to go to Chapels. They are terrible. I do not understand why they are so bad. There is a bevy of seminary students on my college. Any one of them, I think, could give a more meaningful presentation than what I sat through today. Before I denigrate the speaker any further, I should add that there were technical difficulties for him. Toward the end, his PowerPoint gave up the ghost, and so I feel some leniency should be given. However, the whole thing was rotten to the core, that is to say, and I find this a highly suspect proposition, if it had any core of which to speak.

Like the example above of my random thoughts, his presentation was littered with disconnected observations vaguely hinting at some point, a point he was seemingly unwilling to say out loud. He was vague, masterfully vague. I do not think this an accident. If he had said what I suppose he meant, there would be something with which to disagree, a position to which he could be pinned down. Instead he hemmed and hawed, making obtuse implications.

And listening to him, I realized how powerful his vagueness was. In saying little, he said everything, that is, everyone knew what he meant without him saying it, but he said it in such a way that it could not be analyzed. I myself am being vague—I do not want to discuss his unspoken assertion. Whether you would agree with him or disagree, I do not care at this moment. The points are these: He obviously was arguing for a certain political action instead of providing the religious service he was ostensibly there to give, but he was too much a coward or too muddled minded to speak plainly.

To all this, I say bah humbug. It is important for Christians to look at politics and discuss the situation under that somewhat cliched phrase: What would Jesus do? This cannot happen when politics are snuck in and diffused like a miasma. It undoes the service as being a service, and divides the church. Those who disagree walk away feeling shat upon. Not only did they listen to a religious authority imply horrible things about them, but they either sat there politely and took it, a rather unchristian act, or they made a scene, another unchristian act. Furthermore, I suspect those in agreement with today’s speaker have suffered a disservice. Instead of strengthening them by providing arguments and a deeper consideration of their position, the speaker has only given them the impression that all right thinking people believe as they do. It weakens those who agree or do not have an opinion, insults those who do not agree, and it robs everyone of an actual sermon.

Related: Evil Thoughts

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