Thursday, October 18, 2007

Texas Roundup

Texas is a weird place. Weird, but never boring. This is one of those weeks when much of what I read in the papers strikes me as funny or ironic. So please excuse a little snarkiness on my part with the following Texas-flavored news items.

  • Texas Governor Rick Perry has endorsed Rudy Giuliani for President. If you are starting a list of reasons not to vote for Rudy, this should go on page 1. Governor Rick says that he decided to support Giuliani after he had "looked him in the eye" and determined that he would appoint the right kind of Supreme Court judges. I wonder if Rick was able to "get a sense of his soul" as his former boss did with Vladimir Putin?
    Anyway, Governor Rick goes on to say that he is not interested in the Vice Presidential nomination. And neither am I, though I would consider an ambassadorship to the Bahamas. Maybe I'm looking at this wrong, but it seems to me that choosing a Vice-President from Texas-particularly in the current discrediting of all things Texan-to balance out the Republican ticket makes about as much sense as choosing a Vice-President from, say...Wyoming.

  • Baptists are big in Texas, and the biggest, baddest Baptist church of all is First Baptist Church of Dallas. Dr. Robert Jeffress, author of the best-selling "Hell? Yes!," made news recently when he urged his flock not to support Mitt Romney. Jeffress reminded First Baptist that Mormonism was a "false religion" and that Romney could in no way be considered a Christian. In his sermon, he concluded that "Mitt Romney is a Mormon, and don't let anybody tell you otherwise." Thank you, Dr. Jeffress. I'm afraid Mitt was trying to sneak that one past us. Geez. I have my own ideas about Mormonism, but that is not the issue here at all.>
    I was appalled that this would be the sermon for the largest Baptist church in Texas--and apparently it didn't cause even a ripple of concern in FBD. Does it strike anyone else as wildly inappropriate for Dr. Jeffress to be making these attacks during a worship service? Does this tell us anything at all about warped views of the church's nature and worship? But that's just me. Baptists have always got into trouble with this sort of thing. I suspect they will this time, as well--and deservedly so. Joel Osteen of Houston's Lakewood mega-mega-church assured Larry King that Romney wouldn't be a problem for him. That makes it all better.

  • And much closer to home, its time for our annual Rose Festival here in the crown jewel of East Texas. Rose Festival events go on all year in these parts, but October is when it all comes to the fore--when the social elite and wannabees pull out all the stops--parties, teas, ceremonies, more parties, parades, parties and coronations (yes, we do it twice). Diabetics are advised to avoid local newscasts and the newspaper during Rose Festival Week. Right-minded folks either flee the county or hole-up inside their homes until it all passes. I had thought my recent conference in Toronto would cover me, but I missed it by a week.
    This morning, though, I made the mistake of reading an account of last night's Festival Vespers Service. There were readings from the Psalms--in English, Spanish, French and Igbo (a language, apparently, of some 35 million Nigerians). The Queen's pastor comforted the crowd with the assurance that "God has an endless bucket of Grace." And the Queen's father (would he be the Queen Father?) observed that ours was "a city blessed by God....a wonderful place, with a unique identity that He has given to us that other cities wish they had. Its a God thing." And as the newspaper reported, "gold wisps of clouds framed the blue sky as the sun went down on the evening and service." (I'm not providing a link for this one--that's all anyone needs to know!)


Kirk said...

"Its a God thing."


John said...


I know, I know.

David Bryan said...


My mother and her sister--both Osteen fans--say that all the time.

George said...

Be careful what you say about Osteen, after seeing this guy's conclusion -