I AM HERE FOR MY REWARD
God The Father: I understand that you have been hanging about our Pearly Gate again.
The Holy Spirit: Yes I have; I love to watch the long line of petitioners and how Saint Peter deals with each of them.
God The Father: And you found a case that struck your fancy?
The Holy Spirit: Indeed! I did.
Jesus: Well – tell us about it.
The Holy Spirit: Saint Peter was giving the book of this guy’s life a good going over. At first, he would page to the front, read a little bit, skip a few pages, read a little bit more. When he came to the end he repeated himself with quite a look of consternation on his face.
“What do you want?” Saint Peter inquired of the petitioner who stood before him. The petitioner said: “I have come to claim my reward. And then Saint Peter asked him, “What reward?” “The one mentioned in John 3:16 that says: ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’”
”I believe in Jesus, God, the cross. Man I believe it all.”
Jesus: Then what happened?
The Holy Spirit: Saint Peter kept paging through the fellow’s life until the guy cried out: “What are you doing?” Saint Peter answered: “I am looking through the book of your life and I am trying to find out something good that you did while back on earth." “You would think there would be something, the fellow remarked." "Perhaps you can help me,” said Saint Peter.
The fellow thought for quite a while and then said: “I remember something good that I did. It was during a very cold trip that I was taking across the country. It was Christmas eve and the bus pulled in for a rest stop near the city square in Indianapolis. It was a very cold night. I could hear the wind howling and shaking the bus. Before I got off, I buttoned my parka tight, slipped on my ear muffs, turned up my collar and slipped a pair of leather gloves over my knit ones. As I stepped off the bus, the snow storm came straight at me. But I was hungry and determined to get a bite to eat.
As I made the few short blocks to the square, I heard the sound of Christmas music, and when I arrived, I saw that the square was brightly lighted from all the shops selling their last minute Christmas gifts.
As I made my way around the square on that cold Christmas eve, several degrees below zero, careful not to slip on the mounds of ice covered by fresh snow, I spotted a beggar sitting on the curb. He didn't have warm clothes. His were tattered and torn. In fact he didn't have any arms or legs and he was bind. I spotted a tin cup near where his legs would have been. I reached deep into my pocket and extracted two bright shiny pennies and placed them into that poor beggar’s cup.”
God The Father: Then what happened?
The Holy Spirit: Then Saint Peter asked him if he could remember any other time that he had been good. The fellow thought for a long time, shook his head and said, “no.” Then, and you are not going to believe this.
Jesus: Go on.
The Holy Spirit: Well – Saint Peter, in a move reminiscent of Matthew’s New Testament story of the last days, turned to the Archangel on his left and said:
”Give this guy back his two cents and tell him to go to hell!”
The Holy Spirit: It says here in Paul that you are the image of the living God.
The Holy Spirit: Well, it also says here in Paul, and I quote: "Christ died for your sins."
Jesus: Well, that requires a bit of unpacking.
The Holy Spirit: Well, unpack!
Jesus: When the father sent me to earth, incarnate as one of the earthlings, I could have lived the life of luxury. But since my mission was one of salvation, I lived like humans should live. I loved my family, friends, neighbors and everyone as myself. When I became of age, I gathered a band of trusty comrades and assumed the role of what one would call an itinerant preacher. I brought healing to the sick and the mentally ill. I taught in parables. I taught the noblest in our common tradition: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself"
When called upon to summarize I explained that these two principles summarized the whole intent and goal of our religious law and prophets: "All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
In living out this law I made enemies. In cleansing the Temple of commercialism, I made enemies. My endeavors brought salvation. As you will find in John, I said: "I come that you may have life and have it more abundantly."
I awakened in humankind those values that you, father, wrote in their heart. I demonstrated the fulfillment one feels when they live life as it was made to be lived, as humans care for each other and worship the father who made it all possible.
My message, and yours father, survived my earthly death. The fact that I persisted with my message in the face of great personal peril and eventually to a very cruel execution, demonstrated for humankind that my values were an authentic way to live.
I not only saved these people from a futile way of living, I died for their sins. Literally, I died for their sins because I showed humankind that to the extent that they follow the law of love they will have put sin to death.
The Holy Spirit: You didn't say anything about forgiveness.
Jesus: Forgiveness needs to come from two sources. Most offenses are committed against ones neighbor. And it is to ones neighbor that one needs to turn for forgiveness. Even my father cannot undo the harm done to ones neighbor by a sin directed against ones neighbor. Perhaps some sort of reparation is in order to help redress the inflicted evil.
The Father: Of course I am the other source of forgiveness. I do not loose any skin off my back because one of my autonomous creatures sins. I am, nevertheless, dismayed that a creature of mine has chosen to live in such an inauthentic manner. There are conditions built into the nature of the human condition that explain their propensity for self gratification at others expense. With age and experience it is hoped that wisdom would follow.
The Holy Spirit: So authentic forgiveness should have both a horizontal and vertical component. Humans should reach out horizontally to their fellows an vertically to us.
The Father: Exactly! In the end, no one of good will wants to fellowship and associate with those of ill disposed behavior. So from my point of view forgiveness means my recognition that the individual has turned himself/herself around and is willing to live in goodness and harmony with their neighbor. What other kind of individual would I enjoy at my heavenly banquet?
The Holy Spirit: The humans seem to persist in their belief in the idea of substitutive atonement.
The Father: Substitutive atonement seems to be tied in with the idea of retributive punishment. It was perhaps the chief theory, worked out over hundreds of years by the church, to explain why, as our Paul said, "Christ died for your sins."
It relies on the validity of the idea that retributive punishment is a legitimate form of justice.
Jesus: I tried to supplant the "eye for an eye" mentality with an ethic of love – one that encompasses forgiveness.
The Father: Corrective punishment can sometimes be an effective way of reshaping behavior when used judiciously, as when a child is asked to stand in the corner. It can be used to bring about a wholesome end. Punishment may also be used as deterrent. Putting someone in jail may serve as reminder to others of the consequences of crime. It achieves separation of individuals who are a danger to society. But in no case should it be vindictive.
What end does retributive punishment address? Only cruelty. Retributive punishment is always an evil – a vindictiveness that is far from the divine mind. I wish all humankind had that phrase on a little laminated card for their wallet: Retributive punishment is always an evil.
From my way of thinking the "eye for an eye" mentality, far from serving the ideal of justice, results in two evils. The first is the initial sin and the second is the response. Redress of an evil with an evil does not balance the scales of justice. One sin plus one sin does not sum to zero, it sums to two.
Holy Spirit: What does this have to do with substitutive atonement?
The Father: The classical theory of substitutive atonement suggests that I gave Jesus, my son, over to a cruel death on a cross to substitute for the sins of mankind.
Jesus: I might point out that this theory is mentioned nowhere in Scripture.
The Holy Spirit: The one redeeming feature of this preposterous theory is that it suggests that we would do anything to achieve reconciliation with these wayward creatures
The Father: Yes it does that. But it also assumes that a cruel death by Jesus would somehow balance out, in some perverted idea of justice, the evil performed by humans. In reality, the evil of mankind's sins would have been added to an unspeakable cruelty to my blameless son. That would add insult to injury. I resent the idea that I might purr like a cat with some sort of cosmic satisfaction as someone beats up on my son.
LOVE ME WITH YOUR WHOLE MIND:
God the Father: It says here in Luke 23:44-46 that your very last words before you expired on the cross were, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit."
The Holy Spirit: It says here in John 19:29-30 that your very last words were, "It is finished." Jesus, what really were your last words?
Jesus: Shall we try for two out of four? Both Mark and Matthew say my last words were: [Mark 15:33-37 and Matt 27:46-50] "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" What think you father?
God the father: I just wonder how the command to love God with your WHOLE mind can be obeyed by those who hold scripture inerrant and yet are aware of these inconsistencies.
Jesus: What do you say Holy Spirit?
The Holy Spirit: Rome wasn't built in a day. Give me some time and I will lead them into all truth.
REDACTING THE COMMANDMENTS:
Jesus: "I was just reading the following in Exodus: ‘Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.’"
God the father: "Yes?"
Jesus:"Pay attention to this part: ‘thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife’".
God the father: "What’s the matter with that? Do you think it is OK to covet one’s neighbor’s wife?"
Jesus: "Of course not but that’s not what I am getting at. Concentrate on the ‘neighbor’s wife’ bit."
God the father: "Yes! Well?"
Jesus: "What about a woman coveting her neighbor’s husband? Is that not just as wrong?"
God the father: "Of course it is. What makes you think otherwise?"
God the father: "What do you mean Moses?"
Jesus: "Well it says right there in Exodus that a man should not covet his neighbor’s wife. But it says nothing about a woman coveting her neighbor’s husband. Didn't you make it clear to Moses that coveting thy neighbor’s spouse by either sex is wrong?"
God the father: "I think the operative words are ‘culture bound’. It was a long day and Moses was tired of chiseling on stone about the time we got way down to that commandment and his ears heard what he wanted to hear or what his cultural bound mind set permitted him to hear. In his day and culture woman were virtual property.
Females were considered property that would pass from her father to her husband in marriage It was the male that Moses was concerned about. I believe the words go: "Who gives this woman?" So he just heard the part about a male coveting."
"But not to worry! I see you have a copy of the Book of Common Prayer on that celestial table by your right hand. Turn to page 350 and read the last commandment."
Jesus: "It says: ‘You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor.’"
God the father: "Exactly! The Episcopalians of the late 20th century have removed all references to gender. The commandment is for everyone."
Jesus: "Just as you originally intended it."
God the father: "Yes as I intended it but not as Moses understood it. Most of the Christian denominations have done the same revision. They altered the original words and intent of Moses as written. These disciples of a more egalitarian age, inspired by the overarching themes of scripture reasoned that such a proscription should apply to all. They simply revised the commandment."
Jesus: "But isn't the word ‘revisionism’ a pejorative?
God the father: "Of course not. After your crucifixion one of the biblical authors revised the Old Testament opinion of the effectiveness of animal sacrifice. When bringing the gospel to the gentiles a New Testament writer said that to be a Jew it was only necessary to be circumcised in your heart.
How many Christian businessmen would their have been in the late 20th century if the church had not revised its proscription on the lending of money for interest? I could go on and on."
Jesus: "Was Paul culture bound in his attitudes concerning women and gays?"
God the father: "Yes!"
DO WE JUST LET ANYBODY IN?
Jesus: Adolph Hitler would you please pass the Roast Pheasant?
The Holy Ghost: Father would you please remind me of how he got in here.
God the Father: Because of the "Westminster Confession."
The Holy Ghost: What do you mean by that?
God the father: "..they can never fall from the state of justification.."
Jesus: Remember little Adolph was the model Roman Catholic when he was a kid - altar boy and all - he had faith - an evidence of his eternal justification.
The Holy Ghost: So a doctrine sent him up here?
Jesus: You got it.
The Holy Ghost: May I be excused from the table?
I AM NOT NASTY; I DO NOT PLAY DICE WITH HUMANS:
Jesus: Some people say agnostics insult you in the worst way by refusing to believe that you exist.
God the Father: What do they think I am, some vain cat that purrs when you stroke its fur. I gave man intellect and expect him to use it. Many of the best philosophers of all time did not think they had enough evidences or experiences to comfortably answer that question. I want people to behave with integrity - to make choices they find rational and logical. I respect their mind.
Jesus: But isn't it true that the agnostic will not have loved you with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength?
God the Father: Again I am not a cat that needs or wants petting. Did you not tell mankind that I did not have any separate mandates that love of neighbor was loving me?
Jesus: I tried to make that clear!
God the Father: I am sure that you did but in addition to your awakening this theme in mankind, I planted it deep in their hearts.
Jesus: Some also say: "Because God is perfect, just one transgression is enough to condemn a human. Those who do not accept the fact that Jesus Christ has atoned for all of their transgressions against God will not be forgiven."
God the Father: Let me see if I understand this. Their forgiveness depends on my vanity?
Jesus: : Some say that just one transgression is enough to condemn a human.
God the Father: When people say I will hold the humans accountable, do they mean that they think I will reward/punish because of their acts of commission/omission or because they did not have a politically correct belief about "evidences unseen"?
Jesus: I think they are from the salvation by grace crowd.
God the Father: If they think I am playing a game where some are admitted to the heavenly banquet and some are zapped, do they not he realize that I set the standards and could make any given criteria easy or hard. I am really then picking the percentage admitted to the banquet. Hence I am in some measure responsible for the outcome. Right?
Jesus: I think some believe that fear of hell should be a motivation.
God the Father: Sounds to me like that is quite self serving to an institutionalize church. It’s good for membership. There are men and women of good will who honestly do not see evidences that I have spoken to mankind. Are they not my children too?
Jesus: On the positive side others think that eternal punishment might consist of eternity without God.
God the Father: Well how is it that finite man can commit an offense worthy of infinite punishment? Does anyone really think I create humans to love them in the short hall only to be nasty them in the long hall?
Jesus: Humans understand how to be fruitful and multiply. Perhaps we should have stopped there with the grand expectations.
I'VE GOT AN IDEA:
God the Father: I've got an idea!
God the Father: You know those somewhat conflicting passages in Luke and Matthew attributed to you?
Jesus: The ones that state my misgivings about divorce in the culture of ancient Israel?
God the Father: Yes. And the ones in Romans and Corinthians where Paul beats up on the gays.
Jesus: So what’s your idea?
God the Father: Simple! Lets swap the verses.
Jesus: Why do that? I really don't want to badmouth gays. Nobody is going to call me a homophobe! I am excited about gay monogamous families. Some of them are even rearing castaway kids.
God The Father: You got me wrong. If we swap the verses and have you mouth the anti-gay conjectures then our churchmen will not take them seriously anymore either.
IN YOUR EASTER BONNET:
God the Father: Happy birthday son!
Jesus: Merry Christmas to yourself father.
God the Father: A penny for your thoughts.
Jesus: I was just thinking of a beautiful Easter morn in Bugtussle Texas in the middle 1950’s and I am looking at all the ladies emerging from Holy Trinity church with those exquisite Easter Bonnets.
God the Father: With all the frills upon them?
Jesus: People of either sex tend not to wear hats indoors. I just love beautiful hats and I am thankful that it was our Paul who mandated that ladies wear hats in church.
God the Father: Yes it was our Paul who instituted this for the Christians. But Paul was a bastion of his culture; he did this to reinforce male superiority not to emphasize feminine beauty. You will find that he used the phrase: ‘cover your hair’ not ‘display your golden locks.’
The Holy Ghost: I would say that Paul mandated this not only to reinforce male dominance but also to prevent the women from becoming a distraction in church. You know that the average male can't keep his eye off of the female form for longer than 20 seconds at a time. The lure of lusty females is not appropriate for man at prayer. The Roman Catholic girls can wear their hats to bingo.
Jesus: Well I suppose such distractions are not appropriate in church. As far as bingo goes, I thought for years that the Roman Catholics had eight sacraments.
The Holy Ghost: Well, that’s the way I read that scripture. I never had Paul figured for much of a ladies man. Stiff shirt if you get right down to it.
Jesus: You think that the Easter emphasis on attractive feminine head gear entirely breaks the spirit of Paul’s injunction while partially preserving its letter?
God the Father: Look at Flora over there leaving by the south portal; she rushed off to Holy Trinity today and forgot her hat.
Jesus: Yes, I am always amused by Roman Catholic and High Church Anglican women who feel a need for Kleenex or a dab of gauze when they suddenly find themselves in church without headgear. At first I couldn't figure out what they were doing. I thought maybe it was one of those mysteries of religion. The mystery of the holy gauze.
God the Father: Its not just a High Church phenomenon. I have seen Episcopal women of every sort go for the gauze.
The Holy Ghost: Well, you must admit that arrangement comes closer to satisfying both the letter and spirit of Paul’s law. It certainly makes women less attractive.
Jesus: But hardly less noticeable. I've yet to see a girl fully ‘cover’ her hair with a dab of gauze or piece of Kleenex.
God the Father: Be thankful enough that the custom didn't call for used Kleenex.
God the Father: Lets stay on this corner but fast forward to the late 1990s. Look at these girls. Not a one of them is wearing a hat!
The Holy Ghost: That raises an interesting theological question.
The Holy Ghost: Some of those women claim to be biblical literalists. I wonder how that is possible.
SHALL WE SMOTE THEM DOWN?
The Holy Ghost: Get your smoting cap on again.
God The Father: Happy New Year to you too. I see you have been reading The Times Again?
The Holy Ghost: Yes!
Jesus: And let me guess. ECUSA churches have been fragmenting again.
God The Father: And each of the newly formed continuing entities expects us to smote all their enemies?
The Holy Ghost: Exactly!
Jesus: Paul speaks of unseen evidences. It is kinda hard to get all of your cards stacked up right when you can't see everything. I guess each of these guys thinks he has a perfect set of glasses - a sort of direct audience with you father.
God The Father: There is no way every individual is going to have a monopoly on truth. Paul also speaks of separate and different gifts for members of the community. The whole of the Christian community is greater than each of it's parts. Trust me; I know these humans.
Broad and diverse input is needed when dealing with matters of ultimate concern. Genuine diverse input builds sustainable, rich, and deep community.
Jesus: Sorta like committee work providing more answers than individual effort.
God The Father: Exactly! And they have really missed the point. I am afraid that their knowledge is inbred. They act with the mindset of one - they reinforce each other. And their self exclusion will continue that mentality.
The Holy Ghost: Getting down to basics they have really missed the point - love being the point. I wish they would concentrate on the specifics of their baptismal covenants and leave off their concern for an ever increasingly elusive purity of orthodoxy.
Jesus: You mean let Episcopalians recognize that human councils are by their very nature imperfect. Let each have his day in court at general convention where the best and brightest gather and then all quietly go about feeding my lambs and sheep?
I asked them to love one another. Now, I ask you, "Is this infighting an expression of anyone's love?"
The Holy Ghost: Look! There is a liberal and conservative at the communion rail. They both are aware of their differences. They have both just received. The stars have not fallen from the heavens. The veil of the temple has not split. And I am still happy in my heaven!
God The father: They will be good for each other and the church. They have reached our heart; we will dwell in them and they in us.
The Holy Ghost: You mean that today we are not going to smote anybody?
WHICH IS THE GREATER EVIL?
God the father: You say that you had sexual relations without benefit of holy matrimony?
Jesus: Go stand in that corner young lady and wipe that smile off your face.
God the father: You say as an uneducated, unmarried teenager, with no visible means of support that you brought an infant into the world?
Jesus: Go directly to hell [for a good long while], do not pass go do not collect $200.
The Holy Spirit: Jesus, as I recall, Matthew quotes you saying your followers will be judged according to how they cared for the poor and the needy. His last judgment story says nothing about sex illicit or otherwise.
The Holy SpiritDidn't I just hear a Traditionalist priest say something about "the faith once received" and he is going to bolt because Liberals in the Episcopal church are being unfaithful to Scripture?
The Father: Yes. He's hot and bothered because the General Convention is likely to approve a rite of blessing for same-sex unions.
The Holy Spirit: Those poor gays are damned if they do and damned if they don't. That same prelate was ranting and raving about how promiscuous homosexual males are and now he wants to close off every avenue that would support values of monogamy.
The Holy Spirit: But it is really the hypocrisy that bothers me.
The Father: What do you mean by hypocrisy?
The Holy Spirit: Well, take the question of divorce. You railed against it didn't you, Jesus?
The Son: Mark and Luke portray me as adamantly opposed. Matthew says much the same. Matthew adds on a statement about adultery being an exception to the general principle. I think I can safely say that I am on record in Scripture. Of course when the scriptures floated around independently, the readers of Mark were left with a different admonition than the Matthews readers.
The Father: And your point about divorce was?
The Holy Spirit: When the church decided to accept divorce, the traditionalists didn't become unglued and threaten to leave the church and cry for alternate jurisdictions and instigate Africa to send missionaries to reform the Episcopal Church in America or rally an emotional Lambeth Conference. Things settled down amicably - there was no mass exodus - no attempt to "reform" ECUSA - no one tried to gum up the works or badmouth their bishop over this departure from the words of Holy Scripture. And what they did was certainly a departure. Agreed?
The Father: Agreed!
The Son: Agreed!
The Holy Spirit: No one got upset when the church revised the original Biblical meaning of usury. No priest complained when his bishop approved the lending of money for interest. No priest requested his bishop to reiterate the doctrines of his faith or bolted the church or wanted alternate oversight from a bishop who believed in the Biblical meaning of Usury.
The Father: Well, it does bother me a little when members of the cloth upstage Jesus with Paul. As I recall you had nothing to say on homosexuality did you Jesus.
The Son: Well if I did, nobody quoted me in Scripture.
The Holy Spirit: Paul was the one in the New Testament who talked about homosexuality - he actually coined a word that left biblical translators perplexed. And that's my point. The words of Jesus in scripture on marriage can be revised with hardly a peep from traditionalists, but change gender such as to make it more inclusive than Paul would want, and all damnation breaks loose. Traditionalists become unglued and threaten to leave the church and cry for alternate jurisdictions and instigate Africa to send missionaries to reform the Episcopal Church in America.
The Father: Why do you suppose this is? Why would Paul be taken more seriously than Jesus?
The Son: Well, I have a theory.
The Holy Spirit: And what would that be?
The Son: Heterosexuals are in the vast majority. There was pressure from parishioners who felt a need for divorce; there was pressure from priests and bishops who felt a need for divorce. The leaders wanted the rules changed. It was not theology but practicality that motivated them. The population of the United States is not so much "monogamous" as "serial monogamous."
When it came to homosexuality it was primarily a visceral issue - the yuck factor. There is a lot of revulsion associated with sexuality. Even within marriage the female is frequently revolted with the idea of oral sex. Prostitutes would likely be out of business if this were not so. People are often revolted with sexual practices not their own. The problem starts when some try to raise their revulsions to general moral principles and seek to proof text Holy Scripture to support their positions. It is an easy issue to demagogue - gays are very much in the minority.
The Holy Spirit: I am not saying that the church did not act wisely on divorce. After all, marriage was a good deal different in ancient times; it was more of a contract for passing on property and very uneven in its power allocation.
What I am remarking on is the great hypocrisy of those in the
21st century who say that Holy Scripture should not be revised when it comes
to gays and lesbians but were silent [and still acquiesce] when divorce was
Commerce in the 21st century would be greatly hampered if money could not be
lent for interest as compared with the exigencies in ancient Biblical times.
But there again it is the hypocrisy which bothers me. If the intent of
Scripture could be changed for Usury then why not for other verses. What's
good for the Goose should be good for the Gander.
VISIT TO A SMALL PLANET
The Holy Spirit: One of us has been visiting earth again.
The Son: I'll be the first to admit it; it was I.
The Father: You're getting nostalgic because of the season.
The Son: And I have every right too; it is my birthday.
The Holy Spirit: You have been attending the Divine Liturgy on planet earth?
The Son: I slipped into the back of an Episcopal Church for Christmas Eve Worship.
The Father: How did you find it?
The Son: Divine! I loved the signing, the pagentry, the Liturgical Colors, the parade.
The Holy Spirit: You mean the Procession!
The Son: Yes, and the the incense.
The Father: I hope they didn't use that gosh awful anti allergic stuff - the stuff we can't even smell up here. I thought for years that they were walking around with an empty censer.
The Son: Real incense dad. I saw love in the hearts of our faithful people.
The Holy Spirit: So you had a pleasant evening?
The Son: One thing did bother me. It was as if these Episcopalians - well into flu season -had never read the germ theory of disease.
The Father: We are talking about 21st century earth not 1st century Palestine aren't we?
The Son: Yes.
The Father: Well, what happened?
The Son: Right in the middle of the service they performed a ritual called, "passing the peace" - everyone shook hands.
The Holy Spirit: You mean the passing of the germs!
The Son: Ah, er, Yes! I was astonished.
The Father: You cannot expect these humans to put knowledge over custom.
The Son: They weren't just ordinary humans dad. They were Episcopalians.
The Holy Spirit: All else went fine, I trust.
The Son: It was wonderful till after the service.
The Holy Spirit: What happened then.
The Son: They went into the parish hall.
The Father: And...
The Son: They proceeded to eat! And You will never guess what! After a service of life they ate death. A mixture of saturated fat, trans fat, partially hydrogenated oil, white flower and sugar.
The Holy Spirit: The scientists say the trans fats are worse than saturated fat. Apparently one should never use any amount of it. But it finds its dastardly self in all too many "prepared" foods. Even bread isn't safe.
The Father: It reminds me of how the physicians used to be. A pathologist could hold a pink photo of a nonsmoker's lung in one hand and a black photo of a smoker's lung in another and say: "Gee - smoking must be good for you."
The Son: They called it Donuts! Mind you, not a single apple bran muffin could be found on the counter.
The Holy Spirit: Well that just goes to show you.
The Son: Show us what.
The Holy Spirit: That after such a lovely service those Episcopalians want to see us as soon as they can.