I continued my annual tradition of not watching the State of the Union last night. I really didn’t care to see Ted Kennedy endorse Barack Obama (a knock against Obama if you ask me). After the weeks of political nonsense here in SC (with both the Republican and Democratic primaries), I’m sick of it all. So here is an almost political free collection of links. Even the “almost” part is done with a touch of humor and a “reach-across-the-aisle” tone. If you, like me, are tired of the never-ending election (or even the obsession with Tom Brady’s ankle), you may enjoy this post.

If you live in a country with socialized health care don’t get old…or sick. They might not treat you.

The good thing about having Bill Clinton back in the news – he always good for some awkward humor. This time courtesy of a five-year-old asking him (of all people) what you do when you get married.

This is one time I actually agree with the former president.

How do you know the press does not understand religion, especially Christianity? When they ask Sen. Clinton whether a cross she was wearing had any “religious significance.” Clinton responded appropriately enough: “Talk about the secular press!”

“Libertarian-minded conservative” Joshua Claybourn on Obama’s draw:

I agree with almost nothing of Barack Obama’s actual policy positions. Whether it is with education, health care, or fiscal matters, Obama is a liberal in the truest sense of the word. He fails to respect federalism and his policies can often border on socialism. Indeed, I have trouble identifying any policy positions of Obama’s that appeal to me. In short, I think Barack Obama would make a terrible Head of Government.

….

But, for me, I think it’s that he ultimately speaks to the America we all love. The America we all want to believe in again.

I agree. Can I vote for Obama for American representative that goes around the world and tells others about the greatness of our country? I don’t want him leading our nation (because of his policies), but I’d love him representing our country (because of his ideals).

US Sen. Jim DeMint (SC) and Clemson Political Science professor J. David Woodard discuss their new book: Why We Whisper. I don’t know how often I have said it, but I’ll say it again – I am proud to have Jim DeMint as my senator. I will miss having him represent me when I move to NC.

Ben Barnes, the actor who plays Prince Caspian, (apparently) is to Narnia what Justin Timberlake says he is to music.

Speaking of Caspian, here’s a wish list for the movie with which I completely agree. It’s basically a call to keep the film faithful to the novels on themes that were of paramount importance to C.S. Lewis.

Catholic News has a (more than) top ten list of movies for 2007, including Amazing Grace, Bella, Juno and The Kite Runner.

Denzel Washington: Theologian?

One of my favorite authors, Phillip Yancey, on God and His writing:

“I found a mere handful of scenes portraying God as a writer. Taken together, they provide a progression toward grace, and, significantly, they involve each member of the Trinity. Three of the media—stone tablets, a plaster wall, and sand in the temple courts—did not survive the ravages of history. Instead, God’s literature gets passed down generation by generation in transformed lives. “For we are God’s [work of art],” Paul told the Ephesians (2:10), using the Greek word poiema, from which we get “poem.”

After surveying scenes of God writing, I no longer felt so burdened. Composing words on paper is one thing; creating sacred works of art out of human beings is quite another.”

One of my heroes, Ed Stetzer on the unchurched:

“Jesus they like. Us…well…not so much.”

Ever wonder what Jesus would look like with blonde highlights? Wonder no longer. I almost think there is race to see who can come up with the “whitest” Jesus.

I’m curious to see how well this church marketing campaign works.

Have you ever poked a pitt bull with a stick just to find out what it would do? I know one guy who’s about to find out.

A group of missionaries walk into a porn convention. No that’s not the beginning of a joke. It’s a real movement of Christians trying to work with (but not in) the adult film industry, helping to rescue actresses from that lifestyle and showing them that they have real worth and value in Christ.

How bad is the New York Knicks franchise? The Los Angeles Clippers are ripping them as a horrible franchise. That’s bad. Clippers head coach Mike Dunleavy defended his decisions by saying:

“I would only make deals to help our future — anything else is suicide. Anything else and you become the New York Knicks.”

Bright note for the Knicks, there’s no where to go but up and eventually the Clippers will suck again and sooner or later Isaiah Thomas has to make one good decision, even if that one good decision is to quit.

After all the flak he took for wearing a Yankees hat to the Cleveland Indians playoff series with New York, I thought Lebron James would have learned better. I guess not.

Tiger Woods, playing the part of the Roman Emperor, chose to spare the golf commentator that stupidly used the word “lynch” when discussing how younger golf players could beat Tiger in golf. Jim Brown gave both the thumbs down.

I’m not going to mention Tom Brady or his oft-discussed ankle, but I was thinking as I drove in to work this morning listening to sports talk: in a normal sports situation where I am forced to root for either Boston or New York, I’m going Boston all the way. In this Super Bowl though, I heart New York.

By now, most every one has heard about ESPN’s Dana Jacobson and her drunken comments. They were uncalled for, well maybe not the part about Notre Dame, but dropping the f-bomb on Touchdown Jesus (what has he ever done, but celebrate an Irish score) and Jesus Himself – that was beyond the pale.

Many Christians jumped on the “Victim Bandwagon” and were calling for Jacobson to be fired. A post at Christianity Today pointed out that Christians are called to “bless and do not curse.” Shouldn’t we be the first to extend grace and forgiveness? The post went on to say:

“I can’t see that firing Jacobson accomplishes much, besides showing that Christians can flex their muscles and get people fired just as well as any other group.”

GetReligion, covering as always the convergence of faith and media, brought up several questions of double standards in the reporting of the issue. None of the mainstream reporting mentions any specifics as to what Jacobson said, merely stating that her tirade included “obscenities aimed at Notre Dame,” which is only partly true. Are they watering down her words because she is “one of them” or because she lambasted an acceptable target?

“However, the question that is more interesting, for journalists, is whether the story would have received greater play in the mainstream news media if she had aimed at some other group. And would more journalists have quoted the remarks more clearly, to help people realize just how far she went at that podium?”

It’s clear she was not treated as harshly as Don Imus or Isaiah Washington. Her punishment was similar to that of the “lynch” golf commentator, but those are two different situations. For those who think that the media doesn’t usually pay attention to drunken rants against a people group, ask Mel Gibson.

I’m not sure what the answer is, but it is an interesting story nonetheless. I guess the main lesson we have learned is that “Touchdown Jesus” will not be mocked (so said with all the intended irony and sarcasm possible).