“Sunday Hijacker”

Squeegee Man is making a comeback, both in his traditional form – as documented by the New York Post – and in a new, mutant form: Sunday Hijacker. Sunday Hijacker is cleverer and more cynical than his predecessor, and his modus operandi is to make a scene inside a church during worship until somebody pays him to go away. Screaming, knocking over furnishings, and threatening violence are his shtick.”

It’s surprising that this is new. Then again, “make trouble until they pay me to go away” is a well established business model. Maybe bums doing it in church is new, but lawyers have been doing it in the court house for years.

Hans in Luck

“Once upon a time, a poor widow sends her young son Hans into the village to fetch a simple meal, and along the way into town he discovers a lump of gold. Thrilled, he heads back home to show his mother his amazing good luck. But no sooner has he started back than he meets a knight who persuades him to exchange the gold for the knight’s steed. “The better for plowing!” the knight assures the boy. Further down the way, a farmer explains that the widow can’t eat a horse, so why not exchange the horse for the farmer’s cow? After making this seemingly reasonable bargain, the boy continues home but then meets up with a neighbor carrying a goose under his arm. Of course the widow wants a meal today, says the neighbor, so why not exchange cow for goose? Done. Finally, nearly home, he meets up with a boy who tells him that if he exchanges the goose for a whetstone he can keep his knife sharpened for slaughtering any number of geese in the future. Done again. But when he gets home he notices the clumsy stone in his pocket and, puzzled at its presence, throws it away before crossing the threshold of his home, none the sadder and certainly none the wiser.” — Reconciling Judas: Evangelizing the Theologians, by Edward T. Oakes; seen here.

This seems to have been (very usefully) adapted from Hans in Luck, in Grimm’s Fairy Tales.

Underestimating the gravity

The CDC says

“We believe Ebola can remain in semen for up to 3 months. Important for men to use condoms during this period.” — CDC on Twitter

Really, that’s your conclusion, that it’s important to use a condom? Call me crazy, but if there’s a chance a man is carrying Ebola three months after recovery, he should abstain from sex for three months instead of relying on a condom. Because see, we’re not talking about mono here. If something goes wrong, he could infect and kill his partner and everyone he knows.

The business plan behind illegal immigration

Who says business innovation is dead in America?

For years now, it has seemed like there was no business legal in the US that required lots of illegal immigrants. But lookee, there has been just such a business – a whole industry – for years. Right now it’s dominated by DCCC, but NRCC is working hard to catch up.

Lex orandi, lex credendi

The idea of this motto is that as the way people worship changes, what they believe changes too. It seems like it also suggests that as people’s beliefs change, how they worship changes. Clearly how we worship and what we believe are connected, but how tightly connected?

People can worship in a beautiful and traditional Christian church, using a beautiful traditional Christian liturgy, and yet be crazy as snakes be no more Christian than Reformed Jews. Christians can worship in different ways and still be orthodox Christians. Bad men can put on a good show. Good men can be bad musicians.

So tentatively I think that lex orandi, lex credendi is true in the same sense that practice precedes theory. And maybe it’s just my disposition, but it seems to work more quickly in a negative way: bad practices easily disrupt worship; good practice fosters and sustains worship, but is not enough by itself.