(Reblog) 5 Priests Who Turned Badass When Things Got Critical


Loved this.  Can’t believe it’s actually from Cracked…

Naturally, Dietrich Bonhoeffer comes in at #1…

The downside of being a man of God in a military setting is that there really is a cap on how much ass-kicking you can do. Sure, a priest can give last rights and counsel the troubled while the battle rages in the background, but it’s not the sort of thing they make video games about.

But maybe they should, damn it. Especially when history is full of stories like …

My Favorite Pastors in TV & Film

Too often, clergy in fictional media are portrayed as either demonic, judgmental hypocrites or sincere, mostly nice, but still basically useless.  Hardly ever are we played as real, full human beings in our own right, complete with hopes and flaws.  Here are a few that shatter such misconceptions:

Shepherd-Book-WP-firefly-3087444-1152-864Shepherd BookFirefly, Serenity

Book: River, you don’t fix the Bible.
River: It’s broken. It doesn’t make sense.
Book: It’s not about making sense. It’s about believing in something, and letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It’s about faith. You don’t fix faith, River. It fixes you.

Dr. ChenFrank Lee Bukowski (a.k.a. Dr. Chen) – Eli Stone

Not technically a member of the clergy, but I included him anyway because Eli’s acupuncturist doubles as his spiritual advisor.

Eli Stone: But I don’t believe in God.
Dr. Frank Chen: Sure you do. You believe in right and wrong! You believe in justice and fairness! You believe in love! All those things are God!  And that… [points to sunset] that’s God too.”

stiller nortonFr. Brian Finn & Rabbi Jake SchramKeeping the Faith

The truth is, I don’t really learn that much about your faith by asking questions like that… because those aren’t really questions about faith, those are questions about religion. And it’s very important to understand the difference between religion and faith. Because faith is not about having the right answers. Faith is a feeling. Faith is a hunch, really. It’s a hunch that there is something bigger connecting it all… connecting us all together. And that feeling, that hunch, is God. And coming here tonight, on your Sunday evening… to connect with that feeling, that is an act of faith.

sewellRev. Marilyn SewellRaw Faith

This one almost didn’t make the list since she’s a real person, but the documentary on her was so amazing, I just had to include it!

“There’s a lot of beauty in this world… and I expect that you’ll be a big part of it.”

The_Godparent_Trap_19Father MikeThe New Normal

I should confess that I don’t really follow this show, but my wife does and she made me sit through this episode just to see this scene.  It was worth it.

“I never bought that Jesus-is-a-blissed-out-hippie crap. The man was pissed off.” He was “the Chuck Norris of his day,” and to turn the other cheek was “an act of defiance. It meant: I will see your insult and raise you a ‘suck it!'” Jesus “saw hypocrisy and injustice and said ‘Seriously? You guys are idiots. This has got to change!'”

vedek-bareil_786_posterVedek Bareil AntosStar Trek: Deep Space Nine

Major Kira: I’m useless here.
Vedek Bareil: So?
Major Kira: So? I… I need to feel useful.
Vedek Bareil: It might be interesting to explore ‘useless’ for a while – see how it feels.

vicar_of_dibley_geraldine_grangerRev. Geraldine Granger The Vicar of Dibley

Anyone who has ever had to sit through a parish council, session, or church board meeting will laugh at this show.

Geraldine: You were expecting a bloke; beard, Bible, bad breath.
David Horton: Yes, that sort of thing.
Geraldine: Yeah. And instead you got a babe with a bob-cut and a magnificent bosom.


I have never plugged another blog so vehemently as I am now plugging this one.

My wife and I were up until 1:30 in morning, rolling in laughter at this blog because IT’S ALL TRUE!!!

The author is not forthcoming with personal identity details, but that’s the blogger’s prerogative.  The experiences chronicled and parodied here are almost universal among mainline clergy.  I’m actually a little scared that if my parishioners found this blog, they would be able to read my mind.

Please check this out, especially if you happen to be the clergy type.

Thank me later.


The Garden of Your Mind

Fred Rogers can hardly be called an “unsung” hero, but there are few who appreciate how deep were the roots of his wisdom and spirit.  He was one of my predecessors in the Presbyterian ministry.  He, more publicly than any other Presbyterian in recent memory, embodied the Reformed tradition’s commitments to worldly spirituality and the sacredness of all life.  Shortly after his ordination, Mr. Rogers realized that he hated preaching, so he pursued his ministry in the TV studio rather than the church.  His message was never explicitly religious, but he communicated the kind of universal spiritual values that continue to shape multiple generations of children.  I’m proud to be his posthumous colleague in the Presbyterian Church.

Here’s a wonderfully autotuned video produced by PBS:

How to Get Rid of Your Minister

Photo by Petr Kratochvil

This was adapted from Rev. John Roberts of First Baptist Church in Sterling, CO.

You can read the original version by clicking here.

Idea No. 1: During the Sunday morning message, listen closely and take notes. Look your minister straight in the eye, and occasionally nod your head and say, “Amen!” Begin to make serious efforts to apply the life lessons you learn from the sermons. In six months, she’ll preach herself to death.

Idea No. 2: Pat your minister on the back and brag on her good points two or three times a month. Make a bunch of phone calls to your friends and neighbors and tell them all the good things about your minister. In a little while, so many more people will start coming to your church, you’ll have to hire an associate minister, and your senior minister will be free to leave.

Idea No. 3: Next Sunday, in response to the sermon, dedicate yourself to something you believe in. Then make an appointment with your minister sometime next week. Ask her to give you some job you could do for the church. She’ll likely die of heart failure on the spot.

Idea No. 4: Get a whole bunch of the church members to unite in earnest prayer for your minister, her ministry and her family. Organize prayer meetings in which you pray for the growth of the church and the blessing of the community. Your minister may become so effective in ministry that some larger church will gladly take her off your hands.

One note of caution, however: if you try one of these methods, you may find that you don’t want to get rid of your minister after all.