Results tagged ‘ Religion ’

As American as A–holes

american_as_apple_pie.jpgAt RSBS, we’re critical of the things that go on around us.  We’re critical of the things going on in baseball (especially Bud Selig’s machinations and the continued but completely baffling employment of Kyle Farnsworth), we’re critical of events in the world at large and we’re critical of the turn our country has taken in the past couple years.  But make no mistake, just because we’re critical doesn’t mean we love our country any less.

I spend a lot of my time outside the US and each time I come back, I’m reminded of how great it is.  In fact, I don’t think you can truly appreciate the US until you’ve spent some time outside.  One of the things that strikes me each time I return is how accepting we are.  I have never visited another country where people of all different religions, ethnicity, socio-economic class and so on and so forth live next to each other, work with each other and generally get along with each other. 

But recently I’ve begun to wonder what’s going on.  For a country that accepts so many different people and allows these people to express themselves in so many different ways (even when it’s tasteless and abominable), why have we all of a sudden decided to focus so much hatred on one group?  Take a look:

And it would be easy to say that this is just one isolated incident but it isn’t.  As I’ve said before, the people who blow themselves up or go on some ridiculous rampage represent Islam about as much as Timothy McVeigh represents Christianity.  Which is to say that they don’t.  I’m not a religious person myself but the Constitution, the document many of these people claim as their justification, codifies the right of any person to worship as they will.  You don’t have to like that but you can be civil about it.  Civil doesn’t mean picketing and ruining their events, for instance.  Do they show up and drink all your wine during mass or or run around naked during your Knights of Columbus dinner?

Anyway, I just wanted to make sure I put that out there.  The USA is a great country.  In my opinion, it’s the greatest country in the history of the world.  It would be nice if these douchenozzles could stop attempting to prove otherwise.

-A

Note:  Apparently the video has been taken down due to a copyright claim by George Collins.  We’ll keep looking for a new version so you can see it.  In the meantime, here’s a brief background on what happens in the video.

God is Screwing With Us

The events of this past holiday weekend finally confirmed a suspicion I had harbored for a while.  God is screwing with us.

Oh yes, I know this is blasphemy.  And to make a statement like this during the advent just adds fuel to the bonfires already being stoked for heretics like myself.  But it doesn’t make it any less true.  Look at the facts.

Fact #1:
On Saturday Michigan lost to The Ohio State University for the seventh time in a row.  And it wasn’t even close.  Consecutive defeats would be bad.  Four in a row is unimaginable.  But seven straight times?  That’s ludicrous.  Terrelle Pryor will graduate (or at least leave OSU) never having known the stinging scorn of the Ohio State fans because of his performance in a loss to the Maize and Blue.  Sure, the Tigers may have picked up Victor Martinez and stolen a little bit of Ohio’s soul in the process.  But seven straight losses?  By comparison, that almost makes this palatable:

Fact #2:
No god that actually liked us would let Leslie Nielsen die on Thanksgiving weekend.  That’s not funny.  That’s just mean.  Sure, Nielsen may not have done anything recently but his work with OJ in the Naked Gun movies made him a legend.  To die at this point instead of at the very capable hand of Mr. Simpson just seems cruel.

Fact #3:
This all leads us to the final and indisputable fact which proves without question that god is screwing with us.  He purposely messed up an NFL game yesterday.  Yeah, really.  It would be easy to believe that Johnson just plain and simple dropped the ball.  Just like it would be easy to believe that a 14-year old virgin gave birth to a kid a couple millennium ago.  But the truth is, it’s just god screwing with us.

Anyway, get out there and live it up this week.  Have fun, go crazy, don’t stop.  And if something does go wrong, just remember that it’s probably god screwing with you.

-A

The Attention They Don’t Deserve

carl_paladino.jpg

In all the furor that erupted over certain remarks the editors of RSBS made concerning the Evil Empire in the past couple weeks, other remarks made by public figures missed getting the attention they deserve.

For instance, the Republican candidate for governor of New York, Carl Paladino, ignited a not-so-small firestorm when he told a gathering that “I just think my children and your children would be much better off and
much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t
want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally
valid and successful option — it isn’t.”  Granted, this wasn’t quite as incendiary as what was omitted from the speech but it didn’t do much to help his popularity.  It also didn’t help that the only people who came to his defense were a whacky rabbi and Ann Coulter.  Not exactly expanding his base with those two.

Meanwhile in Belgium, he head of the country’s Catholic church described AIDS as “a sort of inherent justice.”  Really guy?  That line of argument didn’t play well for Falwell after 9/11 and it’s not like it has gotten any better since then:

You know what?  I think I’d rather just go back to talking about the Yankees.  At least there you can chalk up the crazy to fandom and blame any absence of logic on the eight dollar beers.  This is just sad.

-A

Real Men Read the Constitution

constitution.jpgWhether you like him or not, whether you agree with him or not, one thing can definitely be said about our President.  He has some cojones.  I don’t mean this in the pejorative sense, as in, “Where he does he get off saying that?”  No, I mean nothing but respect.  His stances may not always be popular but at least they reflect a sense of integrity and a fundamental understanding of the law.

Let’s start with sports.  The President is a White Sox fan and even though I don’t like the White Sox, I respect him for sticking by his guns.  When he showed up at Nationals Park to see the Sox during interleague play, he didn’t throw on the home team cap.  He wore a Sox cap, same as opening day.  In fact, one of my many issues with Bill Richardson during the primary campaign was his claim that he liked both the Red Sox and Yankees.  We all know that’s not possible.  Baseball law says so.  There’s none of that tomfoolery with Obama.

And when you get into what are often referred to as more “substantive” issues, Obama also rejects tomfoolery.  Like health care or “Don’t ask, Don’t tell.”  People may not like his stands but what he does is based on a firm understanding of the Constitution.

Which is why I’m also proud of the President’s stand on this ridiculous Ground Zero mosque kerfuffle.  Yes, I understand that the men who crashed those planes into the WTC claimed to be Muslim.  Timothy McVeigh claimed to be Christian.  Does that mean no churches should be built near where the Oklahoma City Federal Building stood?

You can argue that the President may not have chosen the best time to weigh in on the controversy.  But what you can’t argue is that the United States is a country built on the rule of law, the foundation of that law being the Constitution.  When the Constitution grants the freedom of religion, that’s not just the freedom to be Christian.  It’s the freedom to follow any religion or even no religion at all. 

Sometimes this freedom isn’t pretty, like when you’re dealing with Hare Krishnas at the airport or Moonies milling about in Central Park.  But it’s also the reason your mom and sisters don’t have to shave their heads and why we men don’t get in trouble for trimming our beards.  It’s sad that a public figure being willing to say this requires cojones.

-A

The Filibuster

You guys seem to have an opinion on most everything.  So tell me, what
do you think about the Reds, the Rays and the oil spill in the Gulf of
Mexico?  Any chance they’re related?

Evan
Sandusky, OH
____________________________________


Us?  Have an opinion?  Ya don’t say!  Shall we?

dusty baker reds.jpgSubject: The Cincinnati Reds
Like oil spills, Republican victories and the birth of Mr. Krause, accidents do happen, people.  Does a team led by a professional arm-killer who says “dude” way too often despite his old age have what it takes to stay in contention all year long?  Probably.  I mean, Dusty Baker has done it before.  But just like before, this team too will eventually find a way to sink back down towards expectations.  Let’s face it: the only reason the Reds are atop the Central Division right now is because the Cardinals are faltering… but they won’t for long.
Opinion: Overrated, destined to fail, not worth your time

Tampa Bay Rays.jpgSubject: The Tampa Bay Rays
Gee whiz!  If ever there were a case for the evangelical loonies to get involved with Major League Baseball (not counting Josh “I love Jesus when he lets me do body shots” Hamilton) then this rise to the top for the Tampa Bay Rays is certainly it.  Who knew that the only key to success for this once hapless franchise was to remove the word “devil” from their name?  Any guesses for when the Yankees will try to follow suit by removing “New York” from theirs? 
Opinion: Playoff Bound

chase utley oily hair.jpgSubject: BP Oil Spill
Like the Cincinnati Reds, Republican victories and the birth of Mr. Krause, accidents do happen, people.  Oh… wait, did I already use that line?  That must’ve been Johnnie Walker talking.  Unfortunately, no amount of whisky will make this terrible accident and its disastrous effects go away anytime soon.  Not since Chase Utley last removed his cap has the planet been exposed to such oil laden horrors; I expect clean-up efforts will require immense patience, determination and confidence… which, coincidentally, is also the recipe for surviving a summer in Philadelphia.  Not everyone makes it out alive.
Opinion: This really sucks

Now… are they related you ask?

In as much as these events and situations are all taking place on the planet earth, in the month of May, two years before our imminent destruction predicted by the Mayans… yes, they are related.

Otherwise, I wouldn’t worry too much. 

So don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

***SEND US YOUR FILIBUSTERS****

Something on your mind?  Want to see Jeff and Al sweat (separately, not
together, eww)?  Think you got a real stumper?  Send us your Filibuster
question(s) by commenting or emailing them to us at
kraulung@gmail.com. 

***A lock from Jayson Werth’s now shaven beard also welcome… Al is weird like that.


Playing Favorites

jesus_runs.jpgI grew up in a very Christian house and I remember being tickled pink whenever one of my sports heroes would thank god after a big win.  Every Lions fan knew that Barry Sanders and JC were tight.  One of my earliest baseball memories is Frank Tanana on TV thanking the big guy for helping him win the game that clinched the division and got the Tigers into the 1987 ALCS with the Twins. 

But I started to wonder a few years ago: How come god plays favorites like that?  I mean, why did he help out Tanana that afternoon but then totally leave the Tigers hanging out to dry in the actual playoffs?  Were the Twins fans just praying harder?

Finally I realized that it has nothing to do with god at all.  If Dave Dravecky and Orel Hershiser, two incredibly (some might say fanatically) devout Christians, pitched against each other, god didn’t magically flip a coin and decide which one of his children would win and which would lose.  Either they made their pitches and got run support or they lost.

davidwells.JPGI guess my point is that I’d like to see us get beyond all of this.  Tim Tebow didn’t win a national championship for Florida because Jesus came down and guided his passes.  He won because he spent hours on the field and in the weight room preparing for those games.  I’m guessing Tanana did the same thing.  In fact, if there’s anything that should make you wonder about the possibility of divine intervention, consider David Wells.  How that man can launch that girth out of bed every morning, much less throw a perfect game, is the only evidence of miracles that I’ve ever seen.

-A

“No Man Knows the Day or the Hour” Except Maybe Tupac

sky god.jpgWhy anyone gifted enough to become a Major League Baseball player would ever give it all up to pursue a priesthood that follows an entity as tangible as the tooth fairy is certainly a question I cannot answer.

Perhaps Grant Desme can.

Because after a promising minor league career in the Oakland A’s organization, Desme got a call from God (I hope it wasn’t a collect call ‘cuz gee whiz the sky is way high up and way far away!) and now he’s leaving baseball all together… to become a priest.

Yeah.  Okay.  Have fun with that, dude.

If you can, Mr. Desme, please hurry up and learn all there is to learn about the church so you can answer the questions this guy can’t:

First of all, Tupac did know he was gonna die.  He also knew he was gonna die young.  He said it many times.  And it’s on the internet.

Secondly, being a black man does not automatically make you an authority on Tupac.  I am white; but I know more about Tupac than I do about myself.  So eat it, pal.

And finally, if you have watched “all the videos on Tupac” you would know that Tupac prophesied  his own, early, tragic death… that he and Jesus are in the same category (both saviors to many, both prolific speakers, both attained mythic status), only we have more proof that Tupac rose from the dead than we do Jesus.

Grant Desme, you have a lot of work ahead of you in setting the story straight.  Good luck, and hopefully we will all meet up at that great “gangsta party” in the sky.

Don’t hate me ‘cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

P.S. I really appreciate the idea of you all helping me find a woman to take out on a date. That is very kind of you; maybe I should help Allen find a boyfriend on the internet. It’s been a while since he’s dated a real nice guy, you know, so maybe I should help him out. I mean, that’s what friends are for.

A Triumvirate of Candidates to Succeed King Bud

lenin mickey mouse jesus.jpgBy now everyone knows that the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball will get a fresh face in 2012 (conveniently, that is the year we’re all gonna die anyway).  But just in case those thousand year old destruction theories are not accurate, let us start to think about who might be able to save baseball from another passive, tyrannical reign after King Bud Selig has gone fishing.  Because as my oft cantankerous colleague, Mr. Krause, points out, King Bud dropped the ball.

To me, there are only three viable candidates.  They are presented here (above right).  In bronze.  I think.

Two of them are dead and one of them is forever young (albeit in 2-D).

Verily, they would all be adequate replacements at the top of the grandest game on earth.

- – -

Candidate #1:
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
Bolshevik Leader, Marxist, Revolutionary, Head of State

What’s wrong, Matt Holliday?  Five years guaranteed at $16 million ain’t enough?  Fine then.  Mr. Holliday, you’ll be making the same salary as Wilson Betemit… if Wilson even has a job.  Luxury tax?  There ain’t no luxury tax.  Proposed salary cap?  Yeah, propose this: everybody makes the same amount of money.  No matter what.  You don’t like it?  Then die.  Die.  Just die!

- – -

Candidate #2:
Mickey Mouse
Talking Rodent, Steamboat Captain, World Icon, Clubhouse Leader

Woo-hoo!  Baseball!  Woo-hoo!  Baseball!  Woo-hoo!  Pine tar!

- – -

Candidate #3:
thumbs up jesus.jpgJesus of Nazareth
Son of “God”, Hipster, Smooth-Talker, a.k.a. The Christ

What shall it profit a man if he gains the homerun record but loses his soul to ‘roids?  For everyone who refrains from untucking his shirt after winning a game (talkin’ to you, Brewers) himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.  I say, I’ve fed his sheep. Now I’ll tend to them, … tend to my sheep.

- – -

Tend… these… sheep.  Somebody.  King Bud didn’t do a great job at tending his sheep.  Somebody.  Somebody just tend these goddamn sheep!

Please.

And while you’re at it, don’t hate me.

‘Cuz I’m right.

Peace,

Jeff

(Top image courtesy of Transgressor)

Holy Mother of God!!!

Do you think there’s some 30 year-old alien living 100 million light years away writing on a series of tubes that his fellow aliens can read and do read because the alien planet’s first passion is their planetarian pastime, a game of rounders perhaps?

Happy BIG BANG Friday, Y’all!

Jeff

(vid link from BuzzFeed)

Sympatico

Rabbi_Baseball.jpgWell, it seems that once again my erudite co-blogger and myself have found something on which we can agree. As right as the Tigers were to hold the line on the start of their Good Friday game, the Yankees and MLB are wrong in caving to the Yom Kippur lobby.

Now, I understand the concern. As I’ve mentioned before, I lived in NYC and that place is a ghost town on Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah. But moving up the start time so a few people can get their fast on? Sorry, no. Even in Saudi Arabia World Cup qualifiers are still taking place despite the fact that it’s smack dab in the middle of the fasting month of Ramadan. If the Saudis aren’t changing that up, maybe MLB should take note.

However, it’s nice that Mr. Lung and myself can agree on something. After all the hyperbolic excesses of the past couple weeks, I find it reassuring that there are still areas where we are sympatico.

But, since it is Labor Day and on this day of rest it is only natural that we should turn to questions of labor, I wonder what his thoughts are on the place of labor and collective bargaining in baseball today. I ask this because there is a law in the Federal government that even though employees may unionize, they do not have the right to strike. Should baseball consider setting up some sort of similar agreement? Since it is America’s past time, shouldn’t it be considered just as essential?

-A

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