Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Religion and baseball. Really.

Watching the Diamondbacks game tonight and I saw a really bad call, which is having some impact on the game.  I'm not sure why, but it suddenly struck me that the situation was distressingly similar to some issues with the church.  It really isn't even much of a stretch.

One of the things that bugs me most about baseball is its reluctance to just make changes that need to be made.  They knew about steroids for years before they addressed the problem.  They complain about the length of games but they won't enforce rules to speed up the game.  And, in the most glaring example, they won't address the issue of replay in a timely manner.  Umpires are not allowed to review anything outside a very narrow band of calls.  The review tonight would have taken ten seconds, but the powers that be are more interested in following some rule than they are in getting it right.

This is where the similarity to the church comes in.  Too many church leaders are interested in following some rule about who can get married, etc., and they are totally disinterested in doing what is right for actual human people.  This bothers me more daily in two of my favorite institutions: Major League Baseball and the church.

Thanks for reading.  I'll try to do better next time.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Pure Parental Happiness

Let me start by saying for the record that The Princess Bride is my favorite movie of all time.  I have seen it dozens of time and it is the only movie I can think of that I could finish watching and immediately restart to watch again.  Katie and I both quote from it on a daily basis, often leaving the children rolling their eyes.

Despite all of this, somehow my kids had never seen it before. Dermot had expressed some interest, but we just never got around to it.  So tonight, when we had an unclaimed block of time for a change, we decided to fill it with The Princess Bride.  It was the best decision of the year.  At every kissing scene, Kieran echoed the Fred Savage character: "Oh gross! They're kissing!" and other exclamations of mock horror.  Meanwhile, Dermot began quoting the movie as it continued, in the manner of 10-year-olds everywhere.  The best part is that it matched the famously quotable lines:

  • "Anybody want a peanut?"
  • "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."
  • "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father; prepare to die."
  • "Mawidge, the bwessed awangement..."
  • "You'd make a wonderful Dread Pirate Roberts."
He even did them with the appropriate accents.

I noticed as the movie progressed that whenever I looked over at him and he was laughing and loving the movie, I got a little choked up.  Let me be clear: I am extremely proud of my kids.  Kieran is a funny little spark plug.  I can't wait for Little League because he gets so into it.  Dermot is a budding scientist and writer. (I'm envisioning the next Malcolm Gladwell.)  In fact, tomorrow Dermot will be competing in the Coconino County Spelling Bee as the two-time reigning Knoles Elementary Spelling Bee champion.  Yet, somehow, I felt myself getting a lump in my throat over my kids' joy at a movie.

Maybe it's silly, but I can't help it.  Tonight, watching that movie with them, I was as happy as I've ever been as a parent.  I will apologize for being sappy, goofy, distractible, myopic, and overweight, but I won't apologize for what happened tonight.  For me, that's the good stuff.

Thanks for reading. I'll try to do better next time.