May 28, 2013


    Many of you know that I’ve been in the ministry (as a worship pastor) through the last five Popes.( I’m not Catholic but I like measuring things in papal time.) I was called to be the Music Director at Eastwood Baptist Church in Midwest City, OK. in 1976 during my freshman year in college and have continued in either full time or part time service for the past 37 years. About three months ago I decided it was time to put down my torn and dusty copy of “Music Leading for Dummies” and join the ranks of church civilians.

    That’s right: Brother Mark has left the building.

    The stated reason for my decision was that the demands of my secular job (the one that actually pays real money) was hindering my ability to adequately perform the duties of my ministry job (the one that cost me twice as much in taxes and gas money than I was being paid.) While that is true, several people asked if that was the only reason for my decision to vacate that position. My only answer to that is a phrase that has served me well during those 37 years in the ministry: “That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.”

    (For the record: If “lay” person means someone who can lay in bed on Sunday morning instead of being in the sanctuary before God wakes up, I now understand why folks want to be lay people.)

    I will admit that I have really missed being in the pulpit the last three months and there have been some withdrawal symptoms. I occasionally try to get our four dogs to sing a quartet, but they end up wandering off to randomly mark their territory; a problem I actually had with several choir members over the years. Also, on the Sundays that I’ve stayed home I completely lose track of what day it is and I forget that I need to try to beat the Methodists to Panera Bread.

    One of the main things I miss is that I started every service by introducing the “theme” for the day with a story. My reason for doing this is that I tried my best to preach the entirety of our pastor’s sermon in three minutes. I did this because:

    1. When I was successful, it annoyed him, and that made me happy.
    2. To prove that all sermons can be preached in three minutes or less and the rest is just fluff.

    The real question now is whether or not I’m going to make a good church member. To be honest, I don’t really have a good answer to that question yet. Whether or not I end up being in a pew every Sunday or being someone who goes to brunch at Piccadilly’s at 10:00 a.m. and then goes home to watch PGA golf remains to be seen, but I’m going to give it my best shot.

    There are some things about being a civilian I am looking forward too. For example, I can actually say what I think now. If you think that church staff people can actually say what they think, you are probably riding the short buss to Sunday school. To be somewhat free of the bonds of church politics excites me, and makes my pastor very, very nervous. I’m also looking forward to randomly sitting in pews that church members have had staked out for decades just to watch their heads explode because they can’t stand change.

    Yes, Brother Mark has left the building, and I miss him…

    …and I don’t.

August 24, 2012


    Several of you have commented about how my liberal views seem odd for someone in the ministry (some of those comments have been positive, some have been negative.) About six years ago I wrote a two-part post about how I grew up in a fundamentalist church and about my journey away from that world view. I thought I would post it again. Here are both parts: 

    My Journey Away From Fundamentalism. Part One: 

    I was listening to an interview on “All Things Considered” on NPR the other day with Christine Rosen the author of My Fundamentalist Education: A Memoir of a Divine Childhood.  In her book she discusses what it was like to grow up attending a very fundamentalist Christian school. Although she has abandoned the beliefs of her childhood and no longer considers herself a fundamentalist, she describes her elementary education with absolutely no rancor. In fact, she describes her childhood with a tremendous amount of affection and delight. 

    As I listened to her describe her journey, I thought about how closely it resembles mine. 

    When I was seven, my mother was diagnosed with schizophrenia. In retrospect, I think she knew how turbulent our lives would become. She wanted to provide me with some stability and so she decided to start taking me to church. Prior to that, I only remember being inside a church one other time. At the invitation of a friend, we began attending a Southern Baptist church in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.  My mother’s premonition about the need for stability proved correct. As her illness progressed my father became less and less able to cope with her erratic behavior. He began to travel extensively for his job and was generally only home two weekends a month. When he was home he was often abusive and he and my mother would fight loudly and violently. As an only child, it became my responsibility to be my mother’s protector and mediator to the world. Stability was defiantly in order, and the church quickly became my surrogate parent. 

    As the years rolled by and I went to High School and then to College, the church became the center of my life. It was the one place I flourished.  It was the one place I excelled and was accepted. It was the one place that kept me sane. Here are some of the things I loved about my life as a Southern Baptist: 

    I loved my Sunday school teacher that year I first started coming to church. I liked to collect rocks and it happened that he was a geologist for an oil company. Each week he would look for unusual rocks on the job and he would bring them to me on Sunday morning. I thought he was a god. He knew about my situation at home, but he never let on, he just made me feel special and important. 

    I loved Vacation Bible School. I especially loved crafts time. To this day, I can build almost anything out of popsicle sticks. I loved the pageantry of marching into the sanctuary with the American and Christian flags and the Bible. I loved “sword drills” (for the uninitiated, this is a contest on how quickly you can look up passages in the Bible).  I loved the Kool Aid and the stale cookies. I loved getting gold stars for memorizing scripture. 

    As a teenager I loved all of the activities the church provided. I sang in a youth choir that toured all over the United States. I went on interesting mission trips to exotic places. I have wonderful memories of church camp. I loved my youth director. And frankly, I loved being in a position of leadership. I was usually youth group president and I was usually the one who got to lead the music or preach on “youth Sunday.” It was certainly ego boosting at a time I needed some ego boosting. I loved the way I got a standing ovation from the congregation the Sunday I came forward and told the pastor I “felt called” into the ministry. 

    I loved going to Oklahoma Baptist University.  OBU has been listed by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top 10 universities in the west (in it’s category) for 14 of the past 16 years.  I got a fabulous education there. It has one of the most highly regarded schools of music in the Midwest, and I am honored to have a music degree from there. Even though it was a “Christian” college, I was encouraged to think outside the box. Many of the professors were “Baptist” in name only and brought a wealth of varied backgrounds and beliefs to my college experience. 

    Once I was in the ministry, I loved the things the Southern Baptist Convention stood for.  Rather than individual churches supporting individual missionaries, the 43,000 Southern Baptist Churches across the U.S. pool their resources and support over 5,300 missionaries world wide. No other single charitable group in the world does more food distribution to impoverished areas than the SBC does. I loved the fact that when they talked about being against abortion they put their money where their mouth was and funded homes for unwed pregnant teenagers across the country. I worked as a house father in one of those homes for three years and even though it was difficult, I look back at it as being one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. 

    I have no doubt that my fundamentalist upbringing saved my life. I have nothing but love and respect for the people in my church that loved and supported me through some very difficult years. 

    I imagine I sound like a cheerleader or public relations person for fundamentalism. So what happened to bring me to where I am now? Well…that’s in part 2.

    My Journey Away From Fundamentalism. Part Two:  

    I’ve been writing about growing up as a Southern Baptist fundamentalist, and how I’ve come to be an unabashed liberal with views and beliefs very different from those I grew up with. In part 1 I discussed what I loved about growing up in that environment. In part 2, I’m going to talk about why I will NEVER go back to it. 

    This is how the transformation took place: I was walking down the Damascus Road when, suddenly, I was blinded by a brilliant light. Al Franken appeared to me and asked me why I was persecuting Democrats.  Ok, maybe that didn’t happen, but for those of you who are thinking that it must have been a singular defining moment in my life, I’m afraid I’m going to disappoint you. It actually was a very slow process that started back in college (cue harp music and wavy image as I travel back in time). 

    I mentioned in part 1 that my church was the very center of my life as a pre-teen and teenager.  During this time I got quite an indoctrination into fundamentalist rhetoric  One of the basic tenants of fundamentalism is an “us-against-them” mentality. I was taught (subtly and not so subtly) that anyone who did not believe like we did was part of the “world” and was the enemy. This included, but was not limited too: Democrats, homosexuals, anyone who smoked, drank, or danced, anyone who was divorced, and anyone who was not of the Christian faith (and other protestant denominations were highly suspect). Jews were not the enemy but they were to be pitied because they failed to recognize Jesus as the Messiah, and we had to take their place as God’s chosen people. We were taught that if we prayed hard enough and sent money to “Jews for Jesus” maybe they still had some hope.  This rhetoric was masked in the teaching that “God hates sin, but loves the sinner and that we also should love the sinner but do everything in our power to convert them.”  It’s a nice thought, but unfortunately, once we got out from in front of the pulpit it wasn’t unusual to hear something more along the lines of “I hope one of them faggots makes a pass at me, ‘cause I’ll bust his head open with a ball bat.” 

    I actually had the concept in High School that most of the rest of the world believed like I did. It was with this belief and the background described above that I went off to college. As I mentioned in part 1, I got an excellent liberal arts education at OBU and many of the professors were intent on showing us kids from the heartland of the Bible belt that there was a bigger world out there. I took Western Civilization and Literature and World Religions. I was shocked to find out that my religious beliefs actually put me in the minority when it came to the rest of the world. I began to have a very hard time getting my head around the concept that there were people all over the world who held beliefs that were very different from mine and they were just as committed to their religion and the belief that they were right as I was.  I had always been told that anyone who was not a “born again Christian” was going to hell. “God doesn’t send anyone to hell” I was told, “people choose hell by default because of their unbelief.”  I would protest by asking “So…you’re telling me that a child raised in China as a Buddhist, and for whom Buddhism is central to their culture and their lives, and who is unlikely to ever consider another possibility because of that culture, is going to hell because of that belief?”  The answer would be “If they ever had the opportunity to hear the gospel of Christ and refused to believe it, yes, they are going to hell.”  That made me really glad I was born in Oklahoma and not Beijing. 

    My little world was beginning to expand. As part of my college experience, I began to read authors like Dostoevsky, Franz Kafka, and Thomas Pynchon, who had VERY different world views from mine. I also moved in with someone who was supposed to be the enemy. That’s right…I ended up with a gay roommate. I had a whole list of stereotypes in my head about what he was supposed to be like, and DAMMIT he didn’t live up to a single one of them! He didn’t try to “bring me over to the dark side.” He was kind, and generous, and caring, and would do anything for anyone. In fact, he had the nerve to end up being one of the most decent and honorable people I’ve ever known. I knew it was ok to like him, but that I was supposed to hate his sin. I just had a hard time hating anything about him. 

    I left college with my fundamentalism shaky but still loosely in tact. Then I got into the actual ministry, and boy was I in for a surprise.  I won’t go into a great deal of explanation here other than to say, I had it in my head that all “Church People” were good, decent, loving folks. I quickly discovered that they could, in fact, be the most downright evil people I’d ever met.

    It didn’t happen overnight. As the years went by, the core beliefs I used to hold onto so tightly began to ravel away. I could go on for pages and pages talking about how specific incidents began to move my ideology toward the left, such as the incident of a 16 year old girl in one of my churches who got pregnant, and without access to abortion, and in fear of her parents, attempted to end her life by drinking Drano, and how that shook my stance on abortion rights.  I’ll save all those stories for a rainy day, but let’s just say as the days passed by I had a harder and harder time holding onto the beliefs of my childhood. 

    I tried too though. I tried really hard. My job in the ministry was to continue to teach those beliefs to each new generation and I began to do a very poor job of fulfilling that calling. I wanted out, but it was all I had ever known and I had no idea what else to do. As a child, if I were to confront a problem head on, like my father for example; that confrontation could get me the back of a hand. So I became very good at passive aggressive behavior. In fact, I’m still the national poster child, but at least I know this about myself. Again, I won’t go into details, but let’s just say I began to engage in some very self-destructive behaviors that took the decision for me to leave the ministry out of my hands and put it in the hands of others. 

    I did abandon those behaviors, and I’ve been out of full-time ministry in a fundamentalist denomination for 18 years. I joined a much more liberal denomination and have been serving in the ministry part time ever since. Over the years my views have moved more and more to the left everyday. Hey, if it’s good enough for Supreme Court Justices, It’s good enough for me. 

    The odd thing is that I’ve never abandoned my faith. How’s that you say? I think that what finally dawned on me is that there is a difference between faith and religion. I still wanted to be a person of faith, but I no longer wanted to be religious. Faith embraces tolerance. Religion abhors it. Faith can acknowledge theological differences. Religion labels people as heretics and infidels. Faith embraces life, while throughout history; more people have been killed in the name of religion than for any other reason. In response to part 1, my friend  misinterpreted1 left this comment: “The church has never saved my life, but my faith definitely has on more than one occasion.” I think she hit the nail on the head. It took me a long time to separate the rhetoric I grew up with and some of the people who espoused it, from my notion of a God who loves me, and wants me to treat people with love, respect, and dignity.  But I have, and my faith in God has never been stronger. 

    I simply no longer possess the arrogance to assume my particular brand of faith has all the answers.

    I’ve been told that it’s impossible to be a Christian and be a liberal. For me, it would be impossible to be a Christian and be anything else. 


August 10, 2012


    It’s true. Many of you know that I used to be a Republican, but like the Prodigal Son I went off and squandered my fortune on deeply shameful things like ObamaCare, Planned Parenthood, and National Public Radio. But as I sat there in a self-created pigsty of gay orgies and welfare vouchers, dressed only in a burned American Flag, I saw the light and have decided to return to the Grand Old Party. I can only pray that our Heavenly Father, Ronald Reagan, will have mercy on my reprobate soul and allow me back into the fold.  

    Before I make my plea before the golden throne of Bain Capital, I feel like I need to make certain that I fully understand the Republican Party Platform for 2012. I thought I would try and list the major points, and I invite any of my dear Republican friends to correct any misinterpretations, but only if you feel you will not become unclean by talking to me (I know those old-testament cleansing rituals can be a bitch!) So here goes:

    1. We think edukation is bad and makes pepul uppity. An ignernt Amerikun pepul is a controllable Amerikun pepul. 
    2. Every single person in America on Government assistance is there because they want to be and are too lazy to work. They could all go out and get jobs if they wanted to.
    3. There are no jobs in America and this is entirely Obama’s fault.
    4. At no time shall I attempt to reconcile points 2 and 3 because it will give me a headache. 
    5. All brown people either want to kill us, take our jobs, or steal our women. 
    6. There should be prayer in public schools but only if the prayer is offered by a decent, god fearing, anglo saxon, protestant (Catholic prayers may be acceptable after review.)
    7. Abstinence is the only acceptable type of sex education because everyone knows that teenagers will not have sex if you tell them not to. 
    8. The tax system should be structured to put more money in the pockets of rich people because if the last 20 years have taught us anything it’s that large corporations will always reinvest profits to create more jobs and would never think of pumping obscene amounts of money into management bonuses for people who already have seven figure incomes. 
    9. We’ve had so much fun in Iraq and Afghanistan that we should immediately invade Iran, because good things always come in threes. 
    10. We believe strongly in the sanctity of human life, and abortion, for any reason, should be outlawed.
    11. However, once the child is born, we are not interested in helping provide it with food, shelter, or an education because the child could go out and get a job if it only wanted too (see point #2.)
    12. We will become interested in this child again once it turns 18 and is eligible to go shoot brown people (see point #5.)
    13. The sanctity of human life does not apply to death row inmates with IQ’s of less than 70. 
    14. Every person in America should have their own rocket propelled grenade launcher, unless of course, that person is brown (see point #5 again.)
    15. We believe global warming is a hoax and our team of scientists currently sitting on the beach having a cold one on the North Pole can prove it. 
    16. Evolution is of the devil. People did not come from monkeys even if John Boehner does resemble a red faced baboon when he gets mad. 
    17. All gay people should be put in re-education camps and fed a diet consisting only of Chick-fil-a sandwiches until they go insane or repent 
    18. Finally, the concept of separation of church and state is a misunderstanding of the constitution. After all, control of the government by religious factions has worked so well for other countries like Iran and Iraq. 

    I think that about covers it unless I’ve forgotten something about how leash laws should apply to strapping your dog to the roof of your car.  

    I’m ready to go take my Republican test and get my voter card!

    Shit! I can’t find my ID! 


August 7, 2012

  • Xanga, what happened to you? And why am I letting you turn me into a homicidal maniac?


    I joined Xanga back in 2004 when dinosaurs roamed the earth and Dan the Theologian didn’t exist (well, technically, I’m sure he existed as a person, but he hadn’t yet become the Justin Beiber of the blogosphere.) It was a lovely time. There were flowers in the meadow, birds sang a happy tune, and everyone on Xanga held hands and sang “Kum-ba-yah.” I had many friends here; wonderful, snarky, smart, irreverent people who were pleasant and funny and a joy to converse with. Xanga made me happy. 

    I primarily posted silly stuff about topics as diverse as ass acne, midget strippers, and why “Kum-and-Go” is the worst name for a convenience store chain ever. I approached these subjects with all of the maturity and decorum one would expect from any group of 13 year old males in a locker room. I did post often about politics and religion but it was always in a humorous vein with just enough bite to make a point without being (overly) offensive. 

    I realize I’m a weird duck when it comes to politics and religion. I am a former Southern Baptist Pastor who graduated from Bible College and Seminary. I was the ultimate hard-core Republican. I made Rush Limbaugh look like a Marxist. I was in the ministry full time for many years, but as the years rolled by I slowly began to realize that many of the things I believed in simply didn’t hold water (at least for me.) One day, as I was walking down the Damascus Road, Al Franken appeared to me in a vision and ask me why I was persecuting Democrats. That was my conversion moment. I left full time ministry and made my way in the business world. I joined the Disciples of Christ denomination and took a part time job as the Pastor for Worship and Arts at a small church here in Tulsa. We are one very small step away from being Unitarians. I’m now a Universalist when it comes to my religious philosophy and I’ve gone from being a hard-core Republican to being a Democrat so liberal that I make Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid uncomfortable.  

    In the business world I deal a lot with churches. One day a customer of mine found my Xanga blog. He laughed about my postings but it scared me to death. I don’t know why this hadn’t occured to me, but I realized that any of my customers could find out how much of a whack-job liberal I was and that it could seriously affect my business. I changed the name of my blog, went through and eliminated all references to my real name, and took a 3 1/2 year hiatus.  

    Almost no one (not even most of my church members) know my political and religious philosophies. In real life I keep those things entirely to myself. I live in Oklahoma, the land of Jim Inhofe, the “Personhood Amendment,” and open carry laws. It’s actually dangerous sometimes to admit you’re a Democrat in this state. If you’re not careful it can get you pulled into a back alley and gang raped by a bunch of red-neck good ole’ boys, who are denying their latent homosexuality.  

    I never mention politics or religion on Facebook and after 3 1/2 years I was dying for an outlet to voice my baby-killin, tree-huggin, homo-lovin views… 

    …so I came back to Xanga, and it is NOT the same place I left. 

    All but a very small handful of my former friends have left. Xanga now seems to be a place of unrelenting drama overrun with 20 somethings who are convinced they have the world completely figured out. I made the mistake of surfing by Revelife (which I didn’t know existed.) I thought, “I wonder if they would actually publish a post from someone with my views?” To their credit, they did, but holy-shit-Batman, the crazies come out. 

    I was dumfounded by the level of hostility I was the target of, and to be as honest as I know how to be, I did not respond well. The angrier my commenters became the angrier I became. I allowed myself to believe that their hostility justified my hostility and I found myself leaving comments on various sites that I was later mortified by. 

    There are people on Xanga who are nothing more than pot-stirrers like Prisonerxofxlove. Obviously they revel in driving people like me insane and they do a very good job of it. However, there are people like Dan the Theologian who have their viewpoints but are generally not acerbic about them.  

    I had a really bad day a couple of days ago. I signed on to Facebook and read through scores of posts about how all of us Democrats want to force everyone in the country to be gay, stand in line for toilet paper, and provide free crack to everyone on welfare. I can’t say anything on Facebook so I signed on to Xanga and the first post I clicked on was Dan’s post about re-distributing Michael Phelp’s gold medals to Canada. I went completely ape-shit and fired off a comment wishing death, destruction, and anal warts to him and everyone he has ever come in contact with. We went a few rounds on my site and then I slammed down the computer and stormed off to have a glass of wine or seven and calm down. I came back the next day and read what I written on his site and I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life. I deleted my comment and our exchange on my site and sat with my head in hands wondering how I had allowed myself to become exactly what I despise in others.  

    So…I’m taking a big chill pill. I’m going to avoid sites that I know will cause me anger management issues and I’m going to go back and start posting about relevant issues like ass acne. I may post something political or religious on occasion, but if you disagree with me please keep your comments civil and I promise to do the same. 

    If not, I’m coming after you with my group of ass-raping red neck buddies. They don’t know I’m a Democrat. 


July 20, 2012

  • Every person in America who receives Government assistance is a worthless freeloader.

    Every single person in America on government assistance of any type is a 400 lb. meth-smoking, child-abusing, alcoholic, freeloader who is too lazy to work and purposely sponges off the government while they ride around in those little carts at Wal Mart in their pajamas at 4:00 in the afternoon and run into you because they are texting on their new iPhones.  

    This seems to be the prevailing belief here in Oklahoma among every Republican. And since I’m the only Democrat in the entire state (except for Miss Order,) that means I have to deal with this cringe-worthy hyperbole constantly. Every time I sign on Facebook I find myself scrolling past memes like these: 


    I get it. You work hard for the money (so hard for it, honey) and you find the idea of giving part of that money to someone who doesn’t share your work ethic to be offensive. I’ll be the first to admit that there are many on assistance who are scamming the system. There are also those who have the ability and opportunity to work and simply don’t want too, or are using the assistance they receive on things other than baby formula and mac and cheese. I’ll also admit that assistance has the ability to breed dependency and complacency. But to perpetuate the stereotype that everyone on assistance is completely unworthy of it just makes you look stupid, insensitive, and often – racist. 

    I often hear the sentiment: “Everyone has the same opportunities in America. Everyone can attain the American dream through hard work and perseverance.” Really?!?!? Everyone in American has the same opportunities?!?!?! I don’t know what planet you’re living on, but it bears no resemblance to America.  

    I could point to the cliched trust-fund baby as an example, but instead I’ll point to myself. My father was unemployed when I was born, and my mother was very sick. Obviously we were poor and we lived in a ram-shackled rent house in a terrible part of town. My father did finally get a job but remained under-employed until I was in my early teens. Things finally got better and we moved to a better house in the suburbs.Then, just before I was going to leave for college, my father became unemployed again and took on menial labor just to get us by. College seemed like an impossibility but I was not to be deterred. I worked three jobs simultaneously while attending college so that I could pay my way through school. 

    I sound like a typical Republican who prides himself in having pulled himself up by his boot-straps and made his way in the world despite difficult odds don’t I? After all, I never received a cent of assistance (not even a government backed student loan) so obviously I didn’t have any kind of advantage that others didn’t have, did I? 

    Duh…of course I did. I was born a white male. That automatically opened doors for me. Even though I was born poor, I got to go to a good school system that provided me with an education that made college academically attainable. I lived in a place that had clean food and water, so I stayed healthy. I had the support system of a family that cared about my success. I had advantages that MILLIONS of Americans don’t have.  

    There are people who have been seriously injured on the job that need assistance. There are single moms who are trying to raise children and work and do the best they can who need assistance. There are people who are born in a level of poverty that I’ll never be able to comprehend that need assistance. There are hard working folks who have lost their jobs who are working at McDonald’s for minimum wage while they try to find better jobs that need assistance. There are people with no access to a decent education that need assistance. There are people who have no access to health care who need assistance. And none of these people are 400 lb. meth- smoking, child-abusing, alcoholic, freeloaders who are too lazy to work. 

    Sure, there needs to be reform so that assistance is going to people who really need it and not to people who are abusing the system, but that is a long and very difficult process. 

    I’m now an upper-middle class person who works hard every day and who pays a shit-load of taxes, and I don’t bemoan a single penny of those taxes that go to entitlement programs, welfare, or Obamacare. For every person that abuses the system, there are probably five more who really need the help to have the advantages that I’ve had. I’m proud that a portion of my tax dollars go to help those people.  

    I always thought America was a country of compassion. I think it’s sad that it’s it becoming a place where it is considered patriotic (and even “Christian”) to tell others who are less fortunate than we are to go fuck themselves. 

    Edit: If you’d like to see yet another example of this typical mindset, go read Dan’s current post.


June 27, 2012

  • DR. OZ MUST DIE!!!

    DR. OZ MUST DIE!!!

    My wife is addicted to Dr. Oz. I’ve offered to pay for her to go to a rehab clinic in Tahiti but she’s not interested in getting better. We have 128 episodes of Dr. Oz on the DVR and if I wander out of the living room for even a second and forget to hide the remote, when I come back his perfect teeth and thick wavy hair are staring at me from the TV.  

    What is it about Dr. Oz that makes middle aged women act like 12 year old girls at a Justin Bieber concert? They giggle, they sweat, they absent-mindedly touch themselves in ways that are inappropriate on national television. Sure, he’s a multi-millionaire. Sure, he’s a cardiothoracic surgeon. Sure, he has a jaw line that makes him look like the bizzare love child of Brad Pitt and Jay Leno, but can he belch the alphabet? I THINK NOT! 

    Out of good taste I’ll refrain from mentioning that you could launch an aircraft carrier off of those ears.  

    My main problem with Dr. Oz is that he cares way too much about what I eat and how much I poop. I have survived for 53 years quite nicely on a Mt. Dew and Twinkie diet, thank you very much, and I don’t need anybody messing with something that is working perfectly well. Not only that but Dr. Oz wants me to walk. Dr. Oz wants me to eat lots of vegetables and lay off caffeine. Dr. Oz wants me to go get a colonoscopy. Dr. Oz wants me to be regular. In fact, he is simply WAY too concerned about what goes in and out of my rectum.  

    The main problem with Dr. Oz is that he gives my wife ideas; ideas that don’t gel with me vegging out on the couch with a gallon of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla ice cream and a guart of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. I can ignore Dr. Oz, but I can only ignore my wife for so long before I find myself sleeping on the porch.  

    Therefore, on behalf of all men everywhere, I’m announcing that Dr. Oz must die. 

    Unfortunately, he’s so friggin healthy he’ll probably live to be 120. 




June 16, 2012



    I’ve been in Vegas most of this week for a major trade show. I just got back to my hotel room after a “company dinner” and I feel that I should state for the record that there is a HIGH probability that I’m EXTREMELY intoxicated while typing this (1). 

    My company’s corporate offices are in Las Vegas so I come here several times a year. However, I live in Oklahoma and I am so naive that bringing me to Vegas is like taking Barney the Dinosaur to the Chicken Ranch (2). Therefore, I tend to make comments that reveal to my Vegas coworkers that every stereotype they have heard about about how stupid midwesterners are is completely accurate.   

    For example, I made a comment earlier today about how many fat, bald, middle aged men I had seen strolling through the casinos with stunningly beautiful young women on their arms. I said something like; “all the bright lighting must impair these women’s vision.” My coworkers patted me sympathetically on the head and then, speaking to me the way you would while trying to explain calculus to a dog, explained to me the monetary arrangement behind these “less-than-conventional” couples. Although they claimed no personal experience, they went on to explain (in vivid detail) the pricing structure involved in this monetary arrangement. All I can say is that after as many rum and cokes as I’ve had tonight, I can pee on myself for a lot less than $2,000.00, thank you very much (not that I’m into that sort of thing.)

    My naivete has also left me baffled by a couple of things. First; a couple of nights ago a manufacturer took four of us from my company to dinner at the “Tao” restaurant at the Venetian. This is an absurdly overpriced restaurant that serves Wagyu beef at $85.00 an ounce. I don’t know what the final tab was but I’m pretty sure we could all have had a “less-than-conventional date” for a lot less money. While we were waiting to be seated, a young woman walked in wearing a white mini dress that came just a fraction of an inch below the point at which we all would have know whether she dyed her hair or not (if you catch my drift). After standing around for a few minutes she went over to sit down directly across from us. For no other reason than wishing to observe the gymnastics that she was going to have to perform to sit down in that dress, we watched the young woman take a seat. In case you’re wondering, the mystery was solved…she was not a natural blond. 


    Based on the group she was with, this girl did not appear to be for rent. I guess I should look no farther than the infamous photos of Britney Spears getting out of that car a couple of years ago. Apparently, you simply reach a point that you’ve spent so much money on the dress that you simply can’t afford underwear. So you’ll be happy to know that being the altruistic group of guys that we were, we took up a collection for her. I still don’t understand why she slapped us when we were told her what the money was for.  

    The second thing I don’t understand is breast implants that are large enough to have a label on the side of them that says “in the event of a water landing, these babies can be used as a flotation device.” They are EVERYWHERE out here. I realize that I’m in the male minority when I say this, but if you are 5’ 2” tall and weigh 90 lbs, 36” triple-D boobs look a tad out of place. This does not occur in nature unless, perhaps, you were exposed to high radiation levels at Chernobyl. Mutant cyborg breasts look stupid ladies…stop it (4). 

    I called it a night pretty early this evening so I could get back to the hotel and try and sleep this off before I get on a plane in the morning. I just hope that in my current condition I don’t do something stupid like try and blog. I wouldn’t want to embarrass myself (5). 

    1. Friends don’t let friends drink and blog
    2. “I love you, you love me, damn this hooker’s butt ugly.”
    3. Please note this is a hypothetical question. I don’t really want to know. 
    4. 36” double-D’s are plenty big enough. 
    5. Yes, I know. That ship sailed a LONG time ago. 

June 12, 2012

  • I’m ashamed to admit that I’m addicted to the Bachelor/Bachelorette

    It’s true. I watch The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. I realize that there is no excuse for this behavior. I also understand what it is doing to me cognitively.  

    I took the tests and became a Mensa member in my 30’s but after two seasons of watching the Bachelor and Bachelorette I had to turn my membership card back in. After an additional two seasons I was unable to form thoughts more complex than “when will the hot tub scene be on?” After only two more seasons I was unable to wipe the drool off my chin or change my own diaper. By the time that Emily gives out the final rose at the end of this season I may actually be voting Republican.  

    I am transfixed by the sheer stupidity of these shows. I love the ridiculously contrived contestants; “Hi, I’m Derrick, I’m a nuclear physicist during the week but my real love is quiet walks on the beach and rescuing baby seals. Now, for no apparent reason, I’m going to remove my shirt so you can ogle my chiseled abs.”  

    I love the over-the-top dates. I know that when my wife and I were dating I routinely drove her in my Maserati to the airport so that we could hop on my private jet and take a quick flight over to Greenland to have a picnic on a glacier (Ok, that’s not entirely true. When I was I was dating my wife, and I really wanted to splurge on a date, I let her have her own order of fries at McDonalds.)  

    I love the carefully scripted drama, the cat fights, the bunny-boiling psycho chicks, and the one phrase that is uttered at least 100 times every season; “I don’t think that guy is here for the right reasons.” Dude, who the fuck cares? Every man in America that watches this show is here for one, and one reason only… 

    …25 beautiful twenty-something women in dental floss bikinis (and you can watch it with your wife’s permission!!!) 

    I’ve heard people say that they should have a reality dating show about people my age but I’m not sure that would make for very good television. All of the dates would be at Piccadilly Cafeteria and would be over by 7:00 p.m. The deep discussions between potential romantic matches would revolve around pictures of the grandchildren and comparing medications. And no one wants to see 40 extra pounds of wrinkled pasty cottage-cheese-flesh, oiled and squeezed into a one piece bathing suit (and I’m talking about the male contestants here.) 

    I do try and redeem myself. Last night I did watch two episodes of the PBS documentary “Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work.” It was very informative. I’m excited about tonight’s installment. 

    The teaser shows the queen in a hot tub. 


June 11, 2012


    For many years of my life I was staunchly pro-life. As a young youth minister I taught the teenagers in my church that abortion was a black and white issue…always wrong…end of story. Then two sets of events slowly changed my perspective.  

    For two years in the early 80’s I was on staff at a church in a small town in the very southwest corner of Oklahoma. It was an ultra-conservative farming community and it was hours away from any big city. There were two 16 year old girls in my youth group who both became pregnant about the same time. In this community, an unplanned pregnancy would have been the ultimate family humiliation. There was no avenue in that town at that point in time for an abortion. Before either family knew their daughters were pregnant the girls took desperate measures. One girl attempted to abort herself with a coat hanger and almost bled to death. The other girl attempted suicide by drinking Drano and had to wear a colostomy bag for years. Suddenly my black and white world didn’t seem so black and white anymore.  

    Even though my beliefs were shaken I clung to them to them tightly and later decided to do something that might have provided a way out for those two girls. Years later I took a job as a house-father at a home for unwed pregnant teenagers. I wanted to be part of a ministry that provided a positive alternative to abortion and a nurturing atmosphere for girls who were going through a difficult situation. 

    I was a house-father at that home for just over 3 years. During that period 76 girls came through our home. The youngest was 11 and the oldest was a mentally impaired girl who was 22. Many of their stories would rip the heart right out of your chest. 

    The number of girls that chose to keep their child and the number of girls who chose to give their child up for adoption was almost evenly split. Over the course of that three years I noticed something about that decision process that really began to bother me. In almost all of the cases in which the girl understood that her maturity level and lack of support made it a wiser decision for her to give up her baby were the ones that I would have chosen to have had the best chance of being a good parent. Conversely, the girls who had no clue about what lay ahead of them and chose to keep their babies are the ones I desperately hoped would give their child up for adoption. 

    I knew the situations that the girls who chose to keep their babies were walking back into. Not all of them were bad, but many were. I had met their drug addicted friends and their abusive boyfriends, and I had seen the poverty that many of them came from. Having grown up in an abusive environment myself, I new full well what lay ahead for many of those babies and it made me physically ill when I saw them walk out of the door.  

    Is it my place to say that it would have been best if those babies had never been born? Of course not. Am I glad my mother chose not to abort me? Of course I am. I understand the biblical principles behind being opposed to abortion but as those years went by, my world became grayer and grayer.  

    I’m proud of the three years that I worked there. I think the Christian organizations that provide this kind of service are on the right track and I applaud them. I certainly would rather see a child being given up for adoption than being aborted. 

    But I also understand that the bible is not the basis for everyone’s beliefs and it’s not my place to try and legislate the morality of others. It may be a black and white issue for many, but it’s not a black and white issue for everyone.  

    While I believe that the Government needs to stay the hell out of our bedrooms and that a woman has a right to choose, for me it’s about more than just those political talking points. It’s about real people, dealing with real issues, and seeing the bigger picture rather than just a tiny slice of it. (For a great take on this issue you really need to read my friend Miss Order’s “Greater Considerations.”)

    We can debate abortion forever and no one is going to convince anyone else of their position. So instead of doing that I want to extend a challenge to Christians. If you’re a Christian and you believe that abortion is murder under any circumstance then I understand that you need to fight against it. But rather than trying to force your beliefs on others why don’t you do something substantial to provide an alternative. I’m not talking about about giving 10 dollars a year to some pro-life counseling service that advertises on a billboard. I’m talking about really giving a big chunk of your life. I gave three and a half years, what are you going to give? 

    So there’s my challenge: Put up or shut up.