Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Hell in a Hand Basket

A section from our upcoming Podcast - "There Heretic Hour"

The section is called "Hell in a Hand basket":

(Music Bridge: “Start me up” by the Rolling Stones)

You can start me up
You can start me up
I'll never stop.
You can start me up
I've been running hot

You got me just about to blow my top.
You can start me up
you can start me up

I never stop
never stop
never stop
never stop.

(Music Bridge fades under)

Sister Julie: I can hear it now – my dear departed grandmother saying, “the world is going to hell in a hand basket” – and it is never true than it is today. This section is dedicated to those people who have lived in antithesis to all those individuals we feature in our “heretic of the week” section. This section is dedicated to those among us who have made much of the world what it is today – a miserable, wretched place filled with greedy, angry animals.

(cue sound bite – Tommy Lee Jones from “Men in Black”)
"A person is smart. People are dangerous, panicky, stupid animals and you know it."

Sister Julie: Yes, individually there are may people who have actually made the world a better place, even if it is only one life at a time. You know who you are, and God does too – the caretakers who change adult diapers for a living, the doctors who give up lucrative careers to work in third world countries destroyed by earthquakes. God, by whatever name sees all your deeds, and counts them great, even when you don’t.

But there are some people - that have distinguished themselves in the annuls of modern events. Who have, by their deeds, lifted themselves above the crowd, head and shoulders.

And today we have a tie –

Sister Frances: I opened the paper this morning at breakfast. There staring up at me from the Daily Herald for September 12, 2006 was the following:

“There are three kinds of people in this world: those who wouldn’t shoot you in the back for a million dollars, those who would, and those who would find someone to do it for them and split the money.”

What is sad, is not that this is true, for surely it is, but that it was listed under “Today’s Chuckle” While it may be true that there are people in the world today that would sell the grandmother for a nickel, the fact is hardly a “chuckle.”

President Bill Clinton left office in 2001 with a federal budget surplus of $127 billion. President George Bush ran a deficit of $319 billion in 2005.
Sister Julie: William Gale, who worked on the Council of Economic Advisers under President George H.W. Bush. has said, “Since taking office, Bush pushed through tax cuts totaling $1.85 trillion and raised government spending 23 percent in his first four years in office to $2.29 trillion.”

Sister Frances: We received this in the mail this week and I would like to read it to you:

A Japanese doctor says, "Medicine in my country is so
advanced that we can take a kidney out of one man, put
it in another, and have him looking for work in six weeks."

A German doctor says, "That is nothing, we can take a lung
out of one person, put it in another, and have him looking
for work in four weeks."

British doctor says, "In my country, medicine is so
advanced that we can take half of a heart out of one
person, put it in another, and have them
both looking for work in two weeks."

The Texas doctor, not to be outdone, interjected
"You guys are way behind. We took a man with no brains
out of Texas, put him in the White House and now
half the country is looking for work."

Sister Julie and Sister Frances: So to George Bush for all that you do this tip o’ the veil is for you.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Heretic of the week

Heretic of the week:

Sister Julie: First let me read a quote to you by the Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, winner of the Nobel Peace prize, founder of a religious order that cared for India’s poorest citizens:

"There is only one God, and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I've always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic. We believe our work should be our example to people. We have among us 475 souls - 30 families are Catholic and the rest are all Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs - all different religions. But they all come to our prayers."

Here is an e-mail I recently received by Dennis Momin who comments on the life and works of Mother Teresa. His letter starts, “Heretics you all are!!” and continues from there…

“If "Mother" Theresa has truly uttered those words that you
dorn on your front page sister (and which, I believe, greatly
reflects your ideals and organization) then the crucifix she
pinned on her shoulder was her greatest shame. All her life
long deeds of kindness and love was for the sake of humanty
than God and was not worth a child's day who died for
Christ.” – Dennis Momin

Yes, Dennis, in answer to your letter I am proud to say that our order is dedicated to the same hertical principles espoused by this most famous of heretics, a nun who devoted her life to God and who has been beatified by the Catholic Church. And so Dennis we have named this part of our podcast for your words and call it:

Sister Frances: [with emphasis] HERETIC OF THE WEEK!

Sister Julie: Each week we will be dedicating part of this podcast to people who dedicated their lives to the heretic principles of peace, harmony, unity and understanding. People who in some way, whether small or large, made the world a better place to live in. Keep in mind that God, by what ever name you may call Him, does not always call for deeds that stand out in the world’s eyes to be great…sometimes the smallest deeds of kindness can be great in God’s eyes.

Here with our first Heretic of the Week is Mother Frances:

Sister Frances: This weeks heretic was a rebel amongst rebel. You have seen Him over and over again in the news at every turn, with his long hair, scraggly beard and sandals – a real throwback to the hippies of the sixties.

He is a Jew and not only that He is a Rabbi.

Sister Julie: [shocked gasp of amazement] NO!

Sister Frances: Yes! Time magazine for June 21, 1971 describes Him as a:

- Notorious leader of an underground liberation movement
- Practicing medicine, winemaking and food distribution without a license.
- Interfering with businessmen in the temple.
- Associating with known criminals, radicals, subversives, prostitutes and street people.

In one of His famous public quotes He has said, “Do not think I have come to bring peace to the world, No, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.”

He was sentenced to death by the civil authorities but remains at large. Yes my friends, He is the only man that women don’t mind sharing – you know Him, we love Him, Sister Julie and I want to be like Him – this week’s Heretic of the Week is none other than Jesus Christ Himself.

Sister Julie: In a future segment of Heretic of the Week we will feature one of His close followers – a man who dared to be both Christian and Jew, author of much of the New Testament – none other than the Apostle Paul Himself.

Sister Frances: Our pod-cast is about spirituality, yet with a tongue-in-cheek sort of humor. The basic idea is to call ourselves and all these various past "saints" and holy people "heretics", because most of them, if not all of them were thought of as heretics by one group or another during their lives. We are laughing AT the people who even make the call of "heretics" about other people. We are laughing at those who think themselves in some way better than the general population, better either because of social status, religious rank, or ego.

Sister Julie: My dear departed grandmother put it best when she said, “If you didn’t laugh, You’d cry.”

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Heretic Hour

Good morning, afternoon or evening friends (depending on when you are reading this). For those of you who aren't friends and seem to hate us, well God bless you anyway. While I finish the next part of "The Relentless Pessimist" I thought I would update you on one of our most recent projects. We have decided to enter the world of Podcasting. For those of you who may not know what a podcast is, it is simply a small audio (and sometimes video) show that is downloaded to computers and IPODs. Sort of like an internet radio show.

While I get many letters thanking us for our mission, I also get a few zingers. Some of the letters would wilt a steel rose. What put the idea for the title into my head was one of the zingers I received recently. So - as it is oft' said - without further ado, is a short script (a draft) of the opening of the first podcast, still in the works.

The Heretic Hour with Sister Julie and Sister Frances

(Show starts with an audio clip of the following)

Announcer: In the early years of the 16th century, to combat the rising tide of religious unorthodoxy, the Pope gave Cardinal Ximinez of Spain leave to move without let or hindrance throughout the land, in a reign of violence, terror and torture that makes a smashing film. This was the Spanish Inquisition...

Chapman: Trouble at mill.

Cleveland: Oh no - what kind of trouble?

Chapman: One on't cross beams gone owt askew on treadle.

Cleveland: Pardon?

Chapman: One on't cross beams gone owt askew on treadle.

Cleveland: I don't understand what you're saying.

Chapman: [slightly irritatedly and with exaggeratedly clear accent] One of the cross beams has gone out askew on the treadle.

Cleveland: Well what on earth does that mean?

Chapman: *I* don't know - Mr Wentworth just told me to come in here and say that there was trouble at the mill, that's all - I didn't expect a kind of Spanish Inquisition.


[The door flies open and Cardinal Ximinez of Spain [Palin] enters, flanked by two junior cardinals. Cardinal Biggles [Jones] has goggles pushed over his forehead. Cardinal Fang [Gilliam] is just Cardinal Fang]

Ximinez: NOBODY expects the Spanish Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and ruthless efficiency.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...(Audio clip fades out)

Mother Frances: "It is important that everyone is seen as equal before God.” Harsh words? Radical? Heretical?

You would think not. Nations have been founded on that principle – including this one. Yet that is the very belief in harmony and equality for which we have been called heretics. The quote is from a particularly radical and heretical person – Mother Teresa of Calcutta - a nun who won the Nobel peace prize for her work helping some of the poorest people in the world.

(Bridge: From “smooth” by Carlos Santana)

And if you said
This life ain't good enough
I would give My world to lift you up
I could change my life
To better suit your mood…

Sister Julie: People expect us to change to suit their moods. When people hear the word nun they usually see a see a mental image of one or two things. Either a woman in a penguin suit wielding a ruler as if it were a machete – some belligerent biddy whose face would crack if it ever smiled or…

Mother Frances: …a woman who is serenity incarnate, who usually wears a halo for a hat.

Sister Julie: I am sister Julie

Mother Frances: and I am Mother Frances.

Sister Julie: - and reality, is often much different. Instead of a halo I wear an IPOD. My world extends beyond the walls of the convent, even when that world is a virtual one – the global community, that makes its second home on the internet.