Theology Happens


I created a set of “Theology Happens” decals after a funny incident at the office. Students can earn several different certificates within the M.Div. degree plan: biblical studies and languages, spiritual formation and discipleship, music leadership in worship, etc. “Theology” is the default track. During one of our advising meals, students were told that if they do not opt to pursue a certificate, “theology happens.” Yes, yes it does. A colleague turned to me and said, “I think I’ve seen that on a bumper sticker.”

It isn’t a bumper sticker. But it is a sticker. I had some made. You can purchase one in my online store, which I set up just for this. That might be ridiculous. OK. You’re right, it is. But if you want one, it will be $5 + tax, shipped. Go to the store and place an order. I’ll have time to turn it around during the quarantine.

If you live local, I can hand it off personally from a socially acceptable distance for $3. I’ll also entertain interesting trade offers. I said entertain. Not necessarily accept.

Where’s the link to the store? Here. Thanks for asking.

Up to Their Old Tricks

I read in the local paper this week that the Russians are up to their old tricks, sowing disinformation and discord through fake accounts on social media in the lead up to the 2020 general election. Don’t be fooled.

It’s important to be discerning. Have you ever seen The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle? Things are not always as they seem, and people are not always who they make themselves out to be.

Back in 2016, in addition to the shenanigans perpetrated by their bot army on Twitter, the Russians managed a Facebook group advocating for Texas to secede. The Russians arranged for members of the secessionist group to come together for a demonstration in Houston on the same day and in the same place where an Islamic group was also holding a demonstration. Both groups were coordinated by the Russians.

Again, don’t be fooled. If something seems weird on social media, it could be real. But it might be Boris and Natasha.

Satan’s Work

You see, I believe the Internet is the work of Satan.

– Kinky Friedman, Texas Hold’em: How I Was Born in a Manger, Died in the Saddle, and Came Back as a Horny Toad, 115

Kinky published these words, in this book, in 2005. He added, “If you require information on a certain subject, go to one of those places, I forget what you call them, with a lot of books inside and two lions out front. Pick a title, sit on the steps, and read between the lions.”

Sound backwards? Kinky knew you’d think so. “This may seem a little like a rather Neanderthal method of education, but at least you won’t be tempted to pretend to be someone you’re not and you won’t get carpal tunnel syndrome. In fact, the only things you’re liable to get are a little bit of knowledge and some pigeon droppings on your coat–which most people will tell you, and most computers won’t–means good luck.”

Twitter was founded on March 21, 2006.

Kinky also argued that “computers contribute to the homogenization of everyone’s brain. The technological revolution is not bringing us closer together–it’s merely making us more the same.”

That was prescient.

And I fully embrace the ironic fact that I’m relaying these thoughts via a computer, on the internet.

Kinky’s Texas-Style Decalogue

  1. Thou shalt hold no other state or country above Texas.
  2. Thou shalt worship the shape of the Lone Star State and thou shalt make everything in its image, from Texas-shaped pasta to Texas-shaped swimming pools.
  3. Thou shalt have no other sport but football and no other professional team but the Cowboys.
  4. Thou shalt own as many guns as thou dog hast fleas.
  5. Honor thy styling gel, for it shall bring you great big hair.
  6. Thou shalt say the word “Texas” as much as thee can, even when it is redundant to do so. For example, Austin should be said, “Austin, Texas,” even if thee standeth on the Capital steps beneath a sign that says, “Austin, Texas.” Fear not overuse of the word “Texas” for such a thing is not possible.
  7. Thou shalt keep Friday night sacred for that is when thy high school football team playest. Schedule not births, weddings, funerals, or baptisms on this holy day, for Friday nights are reserved to paint thy face in team colors and feast on roasted turkey legs during halftime.
  8. Honor thy dog, for he will be loyal unto thee even when the oil wells dry up and the last beer is consumed.
  9. Thou shalt consume no other carbonated beverage but Dr Pepper.
  10. Thou shalt not covet they neighbor’s mud flaps.

– Kinky Friedman, “If the Ten Commandments were Written by a Texan…”, Texas Hold’em: How I Was Born in a Manger, Died in the Saddle, and Came Back as a Horny Toad, 119-120

I was doing fine until number ten. Then, I was toast.