John Bloom's picture
07.09.2008 | Comments(25)

No Shocking Glimpses of Stocking in This Couture Line

The world’s most famous polygamists have started a new cottage industry–selling “modest” handmade children’s clothing, popularized during the epic battle between the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and baby-snatching agents of the state of Texas. Shortly after the seizure of the 440 children at the church’s ranch in El Dorado, Texas, their mothers spent night and day at their sewing machines, trying to provide clothing that Texas Child Protective Services needed for day-to-day use of the imprisoned children. This caused a lot of inquiries from parents across the country seeking dresses, overalls, shirts, pants, sleepwear and “ankle-to-wrist underwear” for their loved ones. The polygamist wives, many of whom are afraid to return to the ranch until the state investigation is complete, told all callers that they would be happy to sell their handiwork. There’s a bigger market for this stuff than you might think. Wholesome WearIt’s always been a major problem for Orthodox Jewish girls trying to socialize at swimming pools, but, believe it or not, neck-to-knee one-piece swimsuits can actually be cute and stylish. And we now have this late-breaking development: Marc Jacobs has announced that his spring 2009 collection, to be unveiled at September Fashion Week in New York, will be Prairie Style Unisex. (Incidentally, I was making the Marc Jacobs joke even before Tim Gunn debuted his YouTube interview on polygamist style, during which he gives the wives some advice on how to “redefine the Prairie Dress”–he would put “a big wide patent leather belt” on most of them, and switch their footwear to “a cute little ballet flat”–but he was actually impressed by some of the “innovations” the wives have already come up with, including intricate “piping detail” on their collars.)

Okay, Let’s Sing the Solstice Song

Muslim Protest

The Oprah View of Salvation–“There are many ways to God, and my way may not be your way, but kumbayah”–has now been verified by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (is it my imagination or is the Pew Forum becoming the pollster of choice for every media outlet in America?), which reports that 70 percent of religious Americans agree with the statement, “Many religions can lead to eternal life.” For evangelicals, the figure falls to 57 percent. Since everyone seems determined to talk about this–it’s one of those Won’t Go Away discussions–here’s the important theological distinction. For you, the believer, the injunction is One Way, and the way is narrow. The way is Christ. You don’t get to go to the salad bar. However, there’s a paradox: For you, the believing citizen of the greater world, the injunction is, Say not even in your heart who shall ascend into heaven. Two different things. You. Them. You = The Cross. Them = Love Them and Never Judge Them. The narrow way is for You, no one else. Don’t make me have to explain this again.

Shadrach Was Spared, But the Money Got Burned Up


The Three Hebrew Boys swept through small black churches and military bases in the Carolinas, signing up investors in “secret foreign currency exchanges” that earned anywhere from 200 to 500 percent daily interest. Since an investment like that could quickly become worth millions of dollars, it was a good way to erase your credit card debt, mortgage or car loan–or so the spiel went. You think you know where this is going, right? You only know part of it. Tony Pough, Timothy McQueen and Joseph Brunson, who called themselves the Three Hebrew Boys in homage to Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were cast into the fiery furnace of the federal grand jury system, which indicted them on 35 counts of mail fraud last week, alleging that they collected $80 million and invested only $40,000 of it, using the rest for the usual assortment of personal luxury items. But here’s the twist: more than a hundred of their investors, including ministers and retired generals, rallied outside the South Carolina Statehouse, calling on investigators to leave them alone, proclaiming their innocence. The feds have seized $17 million and frozen it until trial, which should be good news for the defense bar of South Carolina, not to mention any Old Testament scholars who might be called for expert testimony as to exactly how much Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were supposed to get paid.

Vile Filmmaker, You Are Free to Go

How upside down has the world become when it’s considered enlightened and tolerant for a government to decide not to prosecute someone for making a movie? That was the position of Geert Wilders last week when Dutch prosecutors said his short film I, which maintains that the Koran is full of incitements to violence, is merely “hurtful and painful,” but not egregious enough to be prosecuted as hate speech. The Muslims in the Netherlands were not mollified, by the way, and intend to ask a judge to prosecute Wilders anyway, and possibly extradite him to Jordan, where he’s wanted on hate-speech charges. Seize that man’s digital camcorder before it’s too late.


Anonymous | 11:12 pm on 7/09/2008

"The way is Christ. You don’t get to go to the salad bar. However, there’s a paradox: For you, the believing citizen of the greater world, the injunction is, Say not even in your heart who shall ascend into heaven. Two different things. You. Them. You = The Cross. Them = Love Them and Never Judge Them. The narrow way is for You, no one else." VERY interesting, Mr Bloom.

I don't believe that you have to be a "christian" to please God and be with Him for eternity (I can explain later how this doesn't contradict Jesus words), however, I almost like this line of thinking. In fact, I can follow it, if this is true for every living soul. If everyone has a "narrow way" even if they never heard of Jesus. It has to be consistent I think. (Of course God can do what he likes, for me it has to be consistent.)

Not Anonymous | 02:57 am on 7/10/2008

Not all religions can be "true." The reality might be that none of them are true. Nor do all religions preach or lead to "eternal life" (whatever that means), let alone all "Christianities." So maybe being a Christian - not merely believing in Christian or any other doctrine and/or dogma - is just one possible way to live a "real life" in the here and now. Leave the decision as to who gets in and who's left out to God. On the other hand, Jesus was no Christian, so maybe we should all be Jews.

that calvinist doug | 07:43 am on 7/10/2008

"I am THE way, THE truth, THE life. NO ONE comes to the father except through ME."
Jesus Christ, Palestine, 28AD

The fact that 57% of professing evangelicals agree with Oprah signals the end. I'm going down to the basement now to wait.

Charity | 08:48 am on 7/10/2008

There's got to be some kind of reasonable middle ground for kids' clothes between neck-to-knee swimsuits and thong underwear for 7-year-olds.

Reason #437 I'm glad I don't have children...

budda | 09:38 am on 7/10/2008

Really nice blog, charity, very fun and light structure makes it easier to read more content.

Kids are good, if their your kids. I just hate other people's kids.

that calvinist doug | 03:22 pm on 7/10/2008

There is middle ground, Charity. It's where most of us parents dress our kids like respectable kids; only you don't read about us 'cause, well, that's boring...when mine turn into teenagers, I'm just afraid they'll pull their version of my Judas Priest t-shirts from the 80's that so tortured my mother. God help me.

JoshH | 06:19 pm on 7/10/2008

Well, you can be like I was when I turned 15. I was basically a dress-up doll for my mom and younger sister. This was at the beginning of Abercrombie & Fitch being "in." I fell in love with flannel and other such stuff along with JNCO jeans, even as they faded. They also twisted my arm into getting my left ear pierced. In those days, kids...guys got their left ears pierced to assert that they were straight (as opposed to getting their right ears pierced).

I pretty much stayed in that fashion motif (although I made my look less "corporate" by abstaining from t-shirts with designs) until I was about 21 with a painful breakup. Then I went through a fashion identity crisis for a few years. Then I turned the corner and created my own fusion of style.

pigseye | 08:33 am on 7/11/2008

Welcome to the new age seminar, there are tea and flowers in the Fourier. Todays topic is the cohesiveness of all faiths. Lyrics from "You dont want it " at my website
Also see "world peace" for information on the latest "harmonic convergence". It ain't your normal bootsy christian stuff.

ian mabbitt | 03:43 am on 7/12/2008

If 'All Religions Lead To Rome'( Heaven) then why would God send His only Son into the world to live, die on the cross & be resurected for our sin? Surely it would have been simpler to just take all those who were sincere & lived 'good' lives ! The Grace of God was not Free to Him, it cost Him dearly. If you are an evangelical & believe Eternal Life can be reached by some'Back Door' you don't know what Jesus Christ did.Read your Gospels again & find out!

budda | 03:46 pm on 7/12/2008

Forget the cliches and sound bites for a moment. Take one large step back from the theological table. Allow me to humbly submit to you an idea. Don't dismiss it out of hand but consider it for a moment, then do with it what you will.

Perhaps Jesus when He died for the world's sins actually did just that, that he is in fact our path to God, regardless of our imperfect knowledge. That those who love God, love righteousness, and desired to be in His presence, are saved by Jesus death and resurrection weather they have ever heard of Jesus or not. That our salvation does not depend on us getting it right, but rather on Him getting it right. That God not only desires to be with those that love Him and want to be with Him, but will for eternity be with them, even and especially if they are ignorant of Gift of Jesus.

Do I require my son to get everything correct and in order before I show him love? If he jumps in my arms and tries to hug me, kiss me, and tell me he loves me, do I push him away because he believes he can be Iron Man or The Hulk when he grows up? No, his ignorance does not affect my acceptance of him. The only way my son can not have my love is if he rejects it. If he is indifferent to it. If he chooses not to receive it. I suspect that God will accept the love of anyone, and everyone ,their ignorance notwithstanding. Because of Jesus, not because of correct information.

One question. If one has to acknowledge and repent to Jesus, (some sort of sinners prayer) what happened to all the people who died seconds, minutes, hours, years after the moment of Jesus resurrection? At what point did the old covenant pass away and faith in Jesus alone become the only path? Are all of those who have not heard, or heard correctly, rejected?

Process Deist | 07:42 pm on 7/12/2008

Great post, Budda.
You should put it in the Discussion Topics on the Doork site.

that calvinist doug | 02:19 pm on 7/14/2008

Budda, just my little two mites worth: if you're right, then why did Jesus instruct us to go into "all the world" and tell people about himself and his teachings? And, how do you "love" someone you do not know? If I have fabricated some picture of who I think God is, based on my own works-righteousness view of him (and I think all people always do that to a more or lesser degree, left to their own devices) and yet I say I love him, how is he going to be pleased with that? That'd be like me imagining what Angelina Jolie is like (beyond the obvious...boy howdy!) and then seeing her on the street one day, expressing my undying love for her, and expecting her to take me home. While that makes for a good fantasy, it's not something I'd want to stake my future love life on. What makes Christ's teachings so radically different than any other religion, past or present, is the idea that we cannot, any of us, be good enough to require his love.

If Christ came to save everyone, then what is the point of evangelism since everyone will be saved? And lest we forget, it was Christ himself who instructed that we should evangelize. Moreover, what's the point of caring how I live? I should be the biggest epicurean hedonist to have ever lived. I should be a mass murderer, a rapist, a drug addict, a war monger, a pornographer, I should get all the enjoyment I can out of life, because in the end, I will be rewarded just like you, Mother Teresa, and Stalin. If you say that he only will accept those who "loved" him in this life (i.e., lived by his standards, even unconciously) then you're preaching works-righteousness, intentionally or not. It seems to me that your proposition must fall into one camp or the other (cheap grace or self-righteousness), both of which are repudiated by the bible as I read it.

Anyway, your posts are almost always thought-provoking and earnest, so I hope my response comes across as I meant...a genuine attempt at spirited conversation and not snarky.

budda | 04:14 pm on 7/14/2008

Glad to talk with you Doug, not dodging it, I just have family in town till Tuesday and this one takes a little more than an 'off the cuff response.

budda | 07:08 pm on 7/15/2008

Ok, Doug, I'll try. 1st - Jesus life and teachings show a better way. They are worth telling people about for what they do for you, your neighbor and the world in this life. They show us a clearer picture of who God is and who we are in relationship to Him. The more we know and love, the better.

2nd- Jesus made it clear that the people who loved him were the ones doing what he said, those that love Him obey Him/follow His teachings. He said that about people who didn't actually know Him in person, differentiating them from religious leaders who "knew" Him but did not follow His teachings. Some would say the old covenant was still in effect, refer to my question in my first comment. In the "depart from me, I never knew you" verse, notice- the accent on God knowing us and not us knowing God. People can love God without knowing Him very well. They can believe in/have faith in God, doing what is right out of that imperfect faith. We all see through a glass darkly.

3rd- Cheap grace/self righteousness. Obedience out of love is faith, not works. If someone loves God and what is right-justice, mercy etc, they will be following the "love God, Love yer neighbor" thing naturally. If they do that out of love and respect for God, even badly and mistake ridden,-sheesh, what more are you asking of people. Do we really think we are Gods children 'cause we said the right words in the right order.

Nothing I said equates Stalin with salvation. He had belief but his works proved he had no faith, no love. The works are the evidence of faith, not the thing itself. But even good works can be misleading. God knows the difference. I just believe He cares and discerns the diff. Your theology condemns them all to hell, There is no way others salvation depends on us ("how can they believe unless they are told, blessed are the feet...), no matter what Paul's letter to the Romans may or may not have said. I worked in missions for 6 years, I know that shit cold. I just don't believe it anymore. I have travelled a bit, seen some of the untold BILLIONS who have no shot of hearing about the Jesus in your sunday school and don't believe they are ALL going to hell cause they weren't born in the right place at the right time.

Sorry, this response kinda sucked, I didn't get it out right. You commented so well Doug, I should have given you a better response. I have been up to the wee hours for 4 days/nights visiting with out-of-town family so I'm not on top of my game. Actually, Penguin's bible verse (all of Rom 9&10) kicked my ass. It is tough to reconcile with what I said. Sorta like if we take Jesus words and instructions on lust literally, a new law of biology would emerge. Every christian with a dick would have no eyes. Yet we seem to all have our sight. We write that one off with some trick theology, but we condemn for "interpretation" on other stuff. Drives me crazy.

I don't know it all. Which is why I have so much faith in His mercy and grace.

that calvinist doug | 03:22 pm on 7/16/2008

I was reading along, seeing your point if not always agreeing with it, until you made the comment regarding having to say the right prayer, etc. and especially the comment that my theology "condemns them all to hell."

Actually, that's not what I believe. I DO believe that Jesus is the only way, but I also will not be so presumptuous as to believe that God can't find some way to save those HE chooses to save, even if they've never heard the gospel. Admittedly, that is mysterious to me and hard to always reconcile out loud with my general theology, but that doesn't really bother me. My God is big enough to handle my doubts and confusion.

Suffice it to say, my main point was simply that I believe that it does matter what we know and teach about Jesus for a much bigger reason than he then serves as a role model for better behavior. I believe it is information that, if God wills it, leads to salvation AND better behavior. But the former is ultimately more important than the latter.

Sorry, but it's me in a hurry this time...

budda | 11:58 pm on 7/16/2008

I agree with you Doug, I do believe Jesus is more than a role model. I have seen lives changed dramatically because of a new found faith in Jesus. I have witnessed people go from death to life because of Jesus. But that was still in this life.

As for the next life, it actually sounds like you and I almost agree Doug. - " I also will not be so presumptuous as to believe that God can't find some way to save those HE chooses to save, even if they've never heard the gospel." - It seems to me that is kinda what I said, I just said it louder and longer and I have been thinking about the why and the how of it for a while now.

It is hard to say it. That is one of the reasons I have taken so long to comment. It flys in the face of what our church leaders taught us. I understand that most christians can't get here. I do want to be careful and not offend. Also, once a person starts with this kind of heresy, they are pushed to the outside and denounced.

Like Molie says a little ways on down. " calling or whatever to Christians and it's no big deal, but say one word about a "world" religion, i.e. the devil's own, and watch out...." If I say my spiel in the wrong room, I become an evangelist for "the devil's own". And who wants to be on Satan's side?

budda | 01:16 am on 7/17/2008

Forgot to mention, romans 9, 10 are more difficult, romans 2 makes it easier.

Anonymouse (Bobby B) | 07:30 am on 7/24/2008

True dat!

Questioner | 03:44 am on 7/13/2008

Definitely well said budda. As the Good News of Matthew preaches, in chapter 25, verses 31-46, (to paraphrase):
Treatment of our fellow men will be how we are received into God's Grace, because the Christ is represented in all humanity. This is whether we recognize His presence or not. Truly, as we do (or do not do) to the least among us we do to Him.

penguinflying | 06:45 pm on 7/13/2008

"Say not even in your heart who shall ascend into heaven."

Is this a quote from somewhere? What is it? I googled it and this was the only hit.

Anonymous | 11:53 pm on 7/13/2008

Romans 10:6, to save anyone the trouble of answering me or help anyone else out who didn't know.

TheDonQuixotic | 01:26 am on 7/16/2008

ehhhh. Well it certainly I don't agree. You say that we aren't supposed to judge. We certainly can not know what is in others hearts, but what do you mean judge? I mean if someone says that Jesus is a lie, and Christ is the one way, then how does that kosher together? It seems to be a contradiction to me.

Molie | 08:07 pm on 7/16/2008

On the Dutch filmmaker, what if all the words were "Christians" instead of "Muslims", it wouldn't even hit the news, not even the lowest element, not even a slow news day. To me it just validates more that we are on the right track when the world can get away with persecuting, name calling or whatever to Christians and it's no big deal, but say one word about a "world" religion, i.e. the devil's own, and watch out....

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