News items I heard about today while I worked out on the dreaded exercise machine we affectionately call the dreadmill, and what I think about it. Not what I thought about the dreadmill, but what I thought about the news items.
1. Apparently no one wants to bury the body of the dead terrorist who blew up the finish line in Boston. His body is still in the keeping of the funeral home where it was taken. Different people have volunteered plots, but civic leaders such as the Boston Mayor keep grandstanding and refusing to allow it to be buried “here.” This is NIMBY to the Nth degree. It is not disrespectful to victims to bury a criminal. What is the alternative? Should we not have buried John Wilkes Booth or Lee Harvey Oswald? I don’t think so. criminals should be buried as a testimony to what happens to those who attack the public good in such violent ways.
2. The new Pope, Pope Francis said the following:
“Men and women of the Church who are careerists, social climbers, who use the people, the Church, brothers and sisters – those they should serve – as a springboard for their own ambitions and personal interests do great damage to the Church,”
I am starting to really like the new guy. He might as well have been talking to a room full of evangelical preachers and pastors. When “fame” and “notoriety” and “how many Twitter followers” you have define success in ministry, something terrible has happened to our perspective and priorities. It came together in a moment of clarity this morning for me. I’ve been hearing over and over again the slogan from pastors and leaders that their goal in ministry was to ‘make Jesus famous” or something about spreading Jesus’ fame. Only a culture seduced by celebrity would ever consider that as a viable ministry goal. Jesus doesn’t have a fame problem. We have a follow problem.
3. Disgraced politician Mark Sanford won his runoff election in South Carolina. What? How did that happen? How does a confessed liar and cheat who destroyed his marriage end up winning an election anywhere? Who would vote for someone like that?
Here is my problem with Sanford. I believe he should be open to forgiveness, reconciliation, and healing just like anyone else. Maybe someday, a decade or two, he might be able to lead again, but not right now. Right now he is disqualified because a person who can’t lead his or her own family can’t lead anything else. On the flip side, though, as a liar and cheat he will fit right in with Congress.