Fatfcukitis sidelined Haynesworth in practice

August 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Add another problem to the long list of issues stirring conflict between Coach Mike Shanahan and defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth: Fatfcukitis.

The condition causes the rapid consumption of Krispy Kreme Donuts and is what sidelined Haynesworth in practice last week, three people familiar with the situation said Sunday.

Tony Wyllie, Redskins’ senior vice president, said Sunday afternoon the team would have no comment on Haynesworth until Coach Mike Shanahan addresses the media after practice Monday.

Shanahan has discussed Haynesworth’s symptoms but hasn’t revealed an exact diagnosis. Experts say that Haynesworth’s ability to play in Saturday’s game likely means he’s recovered from the condition. They also warn, though, that the fact that Haynesworth was suffering from fatfcukitis might also indicate that he would probably wear a t-shirt whenever he enters a swimming pool.

“Fatfcukitis is basically a condition in which you make a ton of money and find it unnecessary to do any athletic activity for a whole summer,” said Dr. Lynne P. Yao, chairman-elect of the National Fat Guys Foundation. “It doesn’t happen as often in well-conditioned athletes, but if there’s really extreme circumstances — like eating a ton of donuts and sleeping in the piles of cash your boss gives you freely — than that could happen.”

Experts say fatfcukitis can cause a breakdown of any desire to work hard.

Haynesworth lashed out after Saturday night’s 23-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, saying the team is underplaying the severity of his chafed thighs that prompted him to sit out practice at Redskins Park. Haynesworth also contends that team officials are still holding his absence during the offseason conditioning program against him, and he announced he plans to skip next season’s voluntary conditioning program, something that would probably help alleviate his condition.

In speaking with reporters after the game, Haynesworth never mentioned Shanahan by name, but multiple team sources said the two-time all-pro performer’s anger is directed at Shanahan because he has described Haynesworth’s condition as being “more of being a fat-ass than anything else.” Haynesworth declined to reveal specifics about maladies that prompted him to cut short his participation in practice Tuesday as well as miss the sessions Wednesday and Thursday, but team medical personnel last week noted he is now unable to see his own feet when he takes a shower and needs to reserve two seats on team flights.

The condition is caused by eating too much and not moving for long stretches of time. People who experience minor emotional trauma, such as a bad break-up, are more susceptible to eating a tub of ice cream while watching a bad Jennifer Aniston movie, experts say.

Another Redskins player suffered from fatfcukitis last season, one of the team sources said. Treatment includes the aggressive use of liposuction, but there is no medication available.

In an interview late Saturday after the game, Haynesworth expressed frustration about the way things have been characterized because he “just wants people to say the truth about what’s going on. That’s it. A fatass? That’s not what’s going on.” At the time, he was eating a stick of butter wedged between two chocolate-chip cookies.

Meanwhile, several of Haynesworth’s teammates simply shook their heads in disbelief when informed of the latest dust up between Shanahan and Haynesworth. One defensive veteran aware of Haynesworth’s condition said he understood why Haynesworth was upset that they did not make bras in his size, but also sided with Shanahan in saying that Shanahan would never reveal details about any player’s extensive stretch marks to the media.

Another defensive player tired of the conflict said he could not understand why Haynesworth seemed to be upset. It is common knowledge within the locker room that the Redskins plan to continue to allow Haynesworth to start dinnertime at the front of the line, his desired position in the team’s new cafeteria, and it just doesn’t make sense for Haynesworth to continue to poke Shanahan, a much slimmer and fit man.

“I know what type of player I am and what I can do” if the Redskins let him, he said in the interview late Saturday night. “I just want people to buy me food.”

(Albert and Redskins staff looking for the candy bar he dropped on the field)

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Winston

August 3, 2010 2 comments

My family has welcomed a new member to our home. He is my older brother’s dog. His name is Winston and he looks like this.

When my brother first got him, I was sure that my parents would dislike him. I was actually concerned they would chastise him for his investment and I made sure to let them know having a dog would be fun. Unfortunately, my parents have become insufferable in their love for this critter. My father carries around a picture of Winston on his phone and shows everyone: anyone  from his clients and employees to the guy at the post office or the cashier at McDonald’s. I don’t even remember a time when my dad carried around those cheesy wallet photos of his kids.

Call me the jealous middle child. Objectively, this guy leaves a lot to be desired.

1) He will more than occasionally pee anywhere he wants to inside the house. (The last time I did this, I think I was beaten)

My parents get mad but then find this somewhat adorable. When he poos, he leaves about two large servings of chocolate soft serve that somebody else has to pick up. Occasionally, he wins a treat for pooing quickly and not stepping in it like a moron.  I get into law school, the treat I get is a long speech about how I need to work harder than I ever did before to make the family proud.

2) He smells like a dog.

Now I am pretty sure I don’t smell like roses either but this guy smells like like warm gym socks. Even when he’s washed he still has this musty smell to him. Everything in the house smells like Winston now. Even if the smell dissipates, he finds a way to get his hair on everything. Thus everything I wear gets covered in dog fuzz.

3) He has terrible manners.

I leave some watermelon cut on the middle of the table while I am watching some TV. This guy jumps on the table while I am gone and eats half of it. You drop something on the floor, he will immediately grab it off the ground and then refuse to give it to you. He’ll sit there gnawing at whatever it is (remote control, book etc.) and not let go. Some sort of “I still haven’t graduated kindergarten or learned how to share” attitude. This macho, territorial stuff extends to the game of “Fetch”. It’s not really fetch. It’s I throw something, he chases it and grabs it, and then I spend the next 10 minutes tackling this dog, grabbing its mouth, trying to get whatever object out of his mouth.

The ninja farting (silent but deadly) is killer. He farts without any warning or noise that forces anyone near him to gasp for dear life.

4) He is lazy.

(he does this for most of his day)

When we take him outside he sits out in the sun. The idiot is unaware that he is incapable of handling long stretches of hot weather but at the same time is too lazy to move. Thus every single time he goes outside, he sits in the sun and starts panting not knowing what to do. I have to grab him and carry him back inside where he finally realizes he needs water to sustain his life.

(unwilling to move his body out of the sun)

Last week, I saw my mother carry in a huge pillow and a few chew toys in a bag. She was concerned that Winston might be a little lonely or uncomfortable. Yes, her actual son comes back from Korea after being away for almost 3 months and is greeted with a stack of bills he has yet to pay. Winston comes to stay at our home for a week and he gets all these little toys and prizes. When my parents call home, the conversation is something like this,

Mom/Dad: Hello
Me: Hello
Mom/Dad: Is Winston OK? Did you feed him?
Me: He’s fine.
Mom/Dad: Why aren’t you playing with him?
Me: OK bye.

(his pillow is better than mine)

When I got back from Korea, I was stricken by a severe case of diarrhea, my parents were mostly nonplussed and  peeved at my inability to do anything for that week. Winston, like a moron eats a small piece of unlit charcoal when I was grilling this week. My dad ends up massaging his stomach for the next hour concerned he might be in major pain. Every time he lays down, my parents now think he’s sick. I tell them he’s just being a fat bum. When his nose was running my mom rushed into my room asking me if she should give him a Tylenol cold…..

(he’s not sick, he’s just a bum)

Last week in the morning, my mom came into my room looking for something when she said, “윈스턴, 일어나” (Winston, wake up). I ignored this thinking she was referring to the dog when she repeated the statement. I realized Winston didn’t sleep in my room and deduced she was talking to me! “Oh wait, your name is not Winston. Hehehe.” my mom said, as she left the room.

I guess this serves as a reminder to me that when I have kids I should probably not take them to the grandparents, lest they become reckless sociopaths like Winston. I am the only one who punishes him for wrongdoing. I yelled at him for sitting on our couch and seats.

(he’s not supposed to sit there)

Afterward, all he did was sulk and got really sad. My parents don’t really punish him. They sort of half-yell and nudge him and then give him a treat or rub his belly. Thus I become the bad guy! As a result he just sulks and doesn’t do anything and frowns like this:

(his sulking face)

Not even mini-Winston cheers him up after getting punished. Instead he just waits for the parents to come and tell him everything is OK.

I know I am doing the right thing. I can’t be an enabler.

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할머니

July 30, 2010 3 comments

This was the eulogy (edited for coherence) I delivered at my grandmother’s funeral two years ago.  Death is a terrible thing to face and witness, but my heart convinces me more and more each day that this is not the way things are supposed to be. If you like this, try also reading my other post.


I want to thank you all for coming to witness my grandmother’s passing. She was truly a great and loving woman and she was a tremendous blessing to her children, grand-children and great-grandchildren. It is amazing but all of the grandchildren were by her side for this time, something that I would not have been able to have imagined in thousands of years. I have just have a few things to describe about my grandmother.

My grandmother made sure everyone ate a ridiculous amount of food. My Korean is horrible, but I know Korean food well because of all of the things my grandmother made, 무말랭이 (spicy dried radish), 열무국수 (yulmoo kimchi noodles), 식혜 (a sweet rice drink), 동치미국수 (a water-based kimchi), 부추김치 (a chive-like kimchi) , 천국장 (stinky soybean soup). We all knew she made 천국장 “Chungook Jang” because the home smelled like feet that haven’t been washed for weeks. When I would protest the smell because I wanted friends to come over, she would say “너가 냄새 싫으면, 다른 집에서 살어”  (If you dislike the smell so much, go live in a different house.)  If you don’t believe my grandmother fed us well, I suggest you look at the waistlines of some my male cousins and you will have your answer. I always thought growing up in this family that being chubby was normal.

My grandmother also provided a point of refuge for my brother and I when my father punished us. For instance, when my father took us downstairs for punishment be it because we lied to him, burned our report cards and flushed it down the toilet he made us stand in the garage with our hands held above our heads and hold that position while he brooded over the appropriate amount of spanking. There was nobody we could appeal to it seemed, and as we were bracing for the worst, when we suddenly heard slow steady footsteps creaking down the stairs. My halmoni came down and said, “에비야 고만”  (No more). My father replied “Umma!”, as it was obvious he was trying to say “Mom, leave me alone, they need to be punished!”  Again she said the same thing, and we knew my father had to obey. I still smile like a little punk over that incident knowing full well we didn’t get what we really deserved. Living with halmoni was awesome knowing my father was ultimately not king of the household when my brother and I did stupid things. Perhaps some can even call that grace.

The grandmother we knew was an extremely strong woman, so it was difficult for all of us to see her fade in such a way. This was a woman who picked acorns outside with Amy and Allen to make food, cooked with Anna, Kathleen and Shauna, poked needles into Brian’s fingers and toes as a cure for whatever stomach ailment he had and even cut up pieces of cheese into bite size pieces for Edlin to put in his cereal (Who knows why this was considered tasty? to each their own).

As we approached this time, we all became increasingly frustrated to see her body falling apart. She could no longer walk, she ate less and less and she was even refusing water. Our comfort that we provided was our best but still lacking, her knees still ached, she became more and more dizzy, she became more and more saddened. Our halmoni fed us when we were hungry, comforted us when we were sick and got angry with us when somebody wronged our family. This disparity pointed to a biting irony in our own lives.

Death is awful, there is no way around it. Regardless of whether you believe God is Jesus Christ or whether you think God is a figment of the imaginations of many poor and lost idiots, the pain and sting of death is a problem faced by a person regardless of his faith or worldview. I don’t know why; but my grandmother’s body failed. We are defined by this fact, our very existence, even my halmoni’s is a fallen one; we are all destined for death. Yet, if we dwell on this point and ask why too much, we fall into the trap of seeing life as an incomplete story, as Macbeth says “full of sound and a fury, signifying nothing”  But I want to point us into a different direction; I know we might have our own views and faiths, but I want to direct us to the Christian view that speaks to me and I hope can help us all during this time.

One of the greatest things about my faith is that it does not merely say God has created us and loved us; but it says “Emmanuel” God is with us. When the scriptures say this we are not talking about a foggy spirit that lurks among us. But this is a God who is with us, beside us and IDENTIFIES with us.  Jesus felt pity for the poor leper that he restored his health, He was alongside Mary and Martha when their brother Lazarus died. As the Rev. Tim Keller has said, God binds with the suffering to the extent that he feels any move against them is a move against him.

The story continues though because in this world of pain and suffering God does not just give us rules to follow and leave us be. He is a God who gets his hands dirty for us. He cried out for his children so much that he demonstrated his love for us by sending His son to die on the cross. It becomes easier for me to accept God when he is willing to become drawn in this suffering we fear. When Jesus was on the cross, he cried not for himself but for all of us. The Cross is the reason why I believe God is not somebody who doesn’t care for me. God doesn’t merely tell me He loves me, but He shows me. But I don’t think this is the final story either.

In Revelation it says:

See the home of God is among mortals, He will dwell with them; they will be his people ad God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.

It continues:

See, I am making all things new.

This is the ultimate promise my grandmother and we all have. We know our limits, we saw how helpless we were to stop our grandmother’s eventual demise.  Yet we have a new hope, that we will be completely restored and made new, that sickness and despair are gone, and we will not know pain. Our story is not incomplete knowing we will see each other perfected, ultimately with our Creator.

I know my grandmother took care of us in so many ways and for that we feel forever indebted. We all felt at home going into her arms, dwelling in her room and feeling her love. In the same way we need to rejoice, because she is being cared for infinitely better than she ever cared for us. The day before she died, she cried out to go back home. She was able to pass away in her bedroom among her entire family in a place we thought of as her home.

But, we must know that, that was not her home. In the same way we joyfully came to her, she can be relieved and see the arms God open wide and His voice tell her, “Come to me all, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Halmoni, rest in peace, you have made it home.

July 30, 2008

I want to thank you all for coming to witness my grandmother’s passing. She was truly
a great and loving woman and she was a tremendous blessing to her children, grand-
children and great-grandchildren. It is amazing but all of the grandchildren were by
her side for this time, something that I would not have been able to have imagined in
thousands of years. I have just have a few things to describe about my grandmother.
My grandmother made sure everyone ate a ridiculous amount of food. My Korean is
horrible, but I know Korean food well because of all of the things my grandmother
made. Moo-mallaengee, Yul moo gooksoo, Shikhae, Deul kkae pal ee, dong chee mee
gook soo, boochoo kimchee and our favorite chung gook jang. We all knew she made
chungook jang because the home smelled like feet that haven’t been washed for weeks.
When I would protest the smell because I wanted friends to come over, she would
say “nee gah namesae shilluh hae mun, dahleun jip aesuh sahluh.” (If you dislike the
smell so much, go live in a different house.) If you don’t believe my grandmother fed
us well, I suggest you look at the waistlines of some my male cousins and you will have
your answer. I always thought growing up in this family that being chubby was normal.
My grandmother also provided a point of refuge for my brother and I when my father
punished us. For instance, when my father took us downstairs for punishment be it
because we lied to him, burned our report cards and flushed it down the toilet he made
us stand in the garage with our hands held above our heads and hold that position while
he brooded over the appropriate amount of spanking. There was nobody we could appeal
to it seemed, and as we were bracing for the worst, when we suddenly heard slow steady
footsteps creaking down the stairs. My halmoni came down and said, “Aebi ya, goh
mahn.” (Kevin’s father stop). My father replied “Umma!”, as it was obvious he was
trying to say “Mom, leave me alone, they need to be punished!” Again she said Aebi ya,
goh mahn”, and we knew my father had to obey. I still smile like a little rascal over that
incident knowing full well we didn’t get what we really deserved. Living with halmoni
was awesome knowing my father was ultimately not king of the household when my
brother and I did stupid things.
The grandmother we knew was an extremely strong woman, so it was difficult for all of
us to see her fade in such a way. This was a woman who picked acorns outside with Amy
and Allen to make mook, cooked with Anna, Kathleen and Shauna, poked needles into
Brian’s fingers and toes, chim majuh gae, whenever his stomach hurt and even cut up
pieces of cheese into bite size pieces for Edlin to put in his cereal.
As we approached this time, we all became increasingly frustrated to see her body falling
apart. She could no longer walk, she ate less and less and she was even refusing water.
Our comfort that we provided was our best but still lacking, her knees still ached, she
became more and more dizzy, she became more and more saddened. Our halmoni fed
us when we were hungry, comforted us when we were sick and got angry with us when
somebody wronged our family. This disparity pointed to a biting irony in our own lives.
I don’t know why; but my grandmother’s body failed. We are defined by this fact, our
very existence, even my halmoni’s is a fallen one; we are all destined for death. Yet, if
we dwell on this point and ask why too much, we fall into the trap of seeing life as an
incomplete story, as Macbeth says “full of sound and a fury, signifying nothing” But
I want to point us into a different direction; I know we might have our own views and
faiths, but I want to direct us to the Christian view that speaks to me and I hope can help
us all during this time.
One of the greatest things about my faith is that it does not merely say God has created
us and loved us; but it says “Emmanuel” God is with us. When the scriptures say this we
are not talking about a foggy spirit that lurks among us. But this is a God who is with us,
beside us and IDENTIFIES with us. Jesus felt pity for the poor leper that he restored his
health, He was alongside Mary and Martha when their brother Lazarus died. As the Rev.
Tim Keller has said, God binds with the suffering to the extent that he feels any move
against them is a move against him.
The story continues though because in this world of pain and suffering God does not just
give us rules to follow and leave us be. He is a God who gets his hands dirty for us. He
cried out for his children so much that he demonstrated his love for us by sending His son
to die on the cross. It becomes easier for me to accept God when he is willing to become
drawn in this suffering we fear. When Jesus was on the cross, he cried not for himself but
for all of us.
In Revelation it says:
See the home of God is among mortals, He will dwell with them; they will be his
people ad God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the
first things have passed away.
It continues:
See, I am making all things new.
This is the ultimate promise my grandmother and we all have. We know our limits, we
saw how helpless we were to stop our grandmother’s eventual demise. Yet we have a
new hope, that we will be completely restored and made new, that sickness and despair
are gone, and we will not know pain. Our story is not incomplete knowing we will see
each other perfected, ultimately with our Creator.
I know my grandmother took care of us in so many ways and for that we feel forever
indebted. We all felt at home going into her arms, dwelling in her room and feeling her
love. In the same way we need to rejoice, because she is being cared for infinitely better
than she ever cared for us. The day before she died, she cried out to come home. She was
able to die in room among her entire family in a place we thought of as her home. We
must know that, that was not her home. In the same way we joyfully came to her, she can
be relieved and see the arms God open wide and His voice tell her, “Come to me all, all
you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” Halmoni,
rest in peace, you have made it home.

Interracial dating….what about Asian dudes?

July 28, 2010 5 comments

Mr. Mcdoof back in action here…..

You should check out the comments here. Ta-Nehisi Coates’s readers have some interesting things to say about interracial dating. He wrote:

One rather consistent complain in comments in the interracial dating thread is lack of talk about how Asian-Americans fit into this.

Hrmm, take a walk through Central Park and inevitably you’ll see a beautiful HAPA (Half-Asian Person American?, not sure about what it means) baby, except the Dude is always white and the girl is always Asian.  Not that I have a problem, but the reverse is not nearly as prevalant so much so, you see Facebook groups like this. (Thanks Fert)

A few factors I might posit as to why (along with their actual significance):

1) Prevailing stereotypes about Asian (I suppose specifically, Korean) guys beating their wives and treating them like garbage. Apparently, every Asian person who isn’t a weak-kneed pansy is a misogynistic and sexist jerk.

Not that significant; though for example, Jin-Soo Kwon in LOST spoke terrible Korean, but apparently inherited the K-gene that inclined him to berate and beat his wife for the first few seasons I still love you LOST, no I don’t, that ending was a huge Lebron James cop-out.

2) Terrible Asian male film roles: Apparently Asian guys are only useful when we need to find ourselves a Karate instructor after we get beaten up by bullies or if its about well, Asian people.

Somewhat significant, if not a cause, at least a reflection of society’s views on the masculine Asian dude.

3) Maintenance of Asian culture is easier with a White Dad/Asian Mom combo than vice-versa. I know a lot of Korean parents who express concerns that they want their grandchildren to be raised “Korean”

I think this is pretty significant as well and actually a solid reason. Many guys make the same judgment call here.

4) Rampantly one-sided yellow fever. White girls aren’t into Asian guys the way white guys are into Asian girls. Seems to be a fact of life. Ask any Asian guy what he would do to date a white girl, he would probably give up a kidney or finger. Yes see this.

Yo have you seen Min’s girlfriend?”
“What is she pretty?”
“No, she’s white!!!”
“What? No way!!!!”

One guy commented on Coates’s blog:

That said, there’s an empirical reality out there. Using most surveys, or census tabulations of interracial households, interracial relationships involving Asian-Americans exhibit greater gender disparities than any other set of relationships. There’s an enormous amount of scholarship out there intending to explain this, much of it revolving around the gendering of race – the notion, in this case, that Asians have been constructed as effeminate and submissive, rendering women exotically desirable but not men. I’ve also seen the idea floated that given the relatively rigid and traditionally patriarchal construction of some Asian communities, it may be that women are more likely to seek escape from such strictures through an interracial liaison, while men are likely to shun such relationships inasmuch as they require the abandonment of privileged status. Or, in a third theory that offers a twist on the second, that women who acquire education, careers, and a measure of independence are sometimes considered too modern or independent, and so seek relationships outside their community because they cannot build them within it. And then there’s the notion that, in cultures that place enormous emphasis on patrilineality, dutiful sons may feel tremendous pressure to preserve the continuity of family and tradition via endogamous marriage, whereas daughters may not.

China’s one-child policy created incentives for families to raise boys and many Asian girls flock to fawning white guys.  This increases the amount of single Asian males to Asian females (last time i checked i think the ratio stands roughly at 15:1). At this rate, we should see thousands of Asian male zombies rioting on the streets or attacking each other like horny and rabid chimpanzees.  Nope they’ve found a different outlet. Maybe this is why all my single, Asian guy friends are so damn excited instead about this:

Just sayin’. Why care about the real world when you could be a master of the universe!

Yes, this is an awards show for “pro-gamers” who kick butt at games like Starcraft. Ahhhh yes, you roll your eyes and laugh at how stupid it is a country can put so much stock in people playing a game that has zero consequence on real world matters, like for instance putting a ball in a hoop, into the back of a net or kicked through yellow uprights. Oh yea….never mind we’re all douchebags.

As for me, I will try my best not play it. Whenever I find a vice, I tend to do too much of it. I figure Starcraft might be one of those things.

Flustered Mcdoof

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We Really Aren’t that Special

July 18, 2010 Leave a comment

My latest post got some interesting discussion, and the latest article by David Brooks is spot on about our own inflated sense of self.

Per David Brooks:

The narcissistic person is marked by a grandiose self-image, a constant need for admiration, and a general lack of empathy for others. He is the keeper of a sacred flame, which is the flame he holds to celebrate himself………His self-love is his most precious possession. It is the holy center of all that is sacred and right. He is hypersensitive about anybody who might splatter or disregard his greatness. If someone treats him slightingly, he perceives that as a deliberate and heinous attack. If someone threatens his reputation, he regards this as an act of blasphemy. He feels justified in punishing the attacker for this moral outrage.

Hrmm, I wonder who that narcissist is? The title says Mel Gibson, but wait a second, he continues….

In their book, “The Narcissism Epidemic,” Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell cite data to suggest that at least since the 1970s, we have suffered from national self-esteem inflation. They cite my favorite piece of sociological data: In 1950, thousands of teenagers were asked if they considered themselves an “important person.” Twelve percent said yes. In the late 1980s, another few thousand were asked. This time, 80 percent of girls and 77 percent of boys said yes.

But, Carl Trueman decides to lay the hammer down. He does an amazing job, discussing the human infatuation with self. This is a great little essay on how many Christians, have this very issue.

The problem today is that too many have the idea that God’s primary plan is for them, and the church is secondary, the instrument to the realization of their individual significance.    They may not even realize they think that way but, like those involuntary `tells’ at a poker game, so certain unconscious spiritual behaviours give the game away.

I suppose my tell is quite obvious, I write a blog. Not so sure how much more self-important I think I could get. =) I discussed this before regarding relationships and marriage in a wider context, Trueman makes a similar point about church commitment. The narrative is similar though, “Why should I continue my commitment to X church, Y person, when they aren’t meeting my standards?” Roughly translated, “I think I am more special than X or Y and thus am deserving of something better/more significant.”

Christians themselves seem to have similar issues in this regard.

The West worships the individual; from the cradle to the grave it tells us all how special and unique each of us is, how vital we are to everything, how there is a prize out there just for us.  Well, the world turned for thousands of years before any of us showed up; it will continue turning long after we’ve gone, short of the parousia; and even if you, me, or the Christian next door are tonight hit by an asteroid, kidnapped by aliens, or sucked down the bathroom plughole, very little will actually change; even our loved ones will somehow find a way to carry on without us.  We really are not that important.  So let’s drop the pious prayers which translate roughly as `Lord, how can a special guy/gal like myself help you out some?’ and pray rather that the Lord will grow his kingdom despite our continual screw ups, that he will keep us from knocking over the furniture, and that, when all is said and done, somehow, by God’s grace, we will finish well despite our best efforts to the contrary.

Perhaps this is a huge reason why authors like Joel Osteen and the prosperity gospel succeed. What gospel is better than a gospel that tells you “Your best life is now!” or God’s purpose is grand for you here on earth.  It’s funny because this sort of thinking is not just pervasive in the West, but has found a niche in Korean Christian communities as well. Take the parable about the talents. In my youth I have heard this sermon countless times about why I should become an Ivy League graduate/doctor/rich etc. Yet, the issue isn’t necessarily now that we’ve been misusing our talents. I think its everyone thinks they have 10 talents that God needs us to share. The weight of these expectations can be humbling to all and ultimately unsatisfying. The emphasis on our own work is the antithesis of the gospel.

I think this can be a major turn-0ff to non-believers as well. Some of the modern, evangelical identity has been rooted on the American sense of manifest destiny. While Christians and finance guys have often found themselves is a convenient relationship, its a perilous one as well. Listening to the talk radio or watching Fox News can lead one to think that a Christian’s main responsibility is to have a “Protestant work ethic” and defend an unalienable right against taxation.  While I certainly do support the basis behind these ideas, I wonder why they have become the crux of even some purportedly Christian commentators.

Take this article on the housing crisis:

In 2004, Walton was researching a book about black televangelists. “I would hear consistent testimonies about how ‘once I was renting and now God let me own my own home,’ or ‘I was afraid of the loan officer, but God directed him to ignore my bad credit and blessed me with my first home,’” he says. “This trope was so common in these churches that I just became immune to it. Only later did I connect it to this disaster.”

It continues:

Lin finds the message at prosperity churches to be quintessentially American. “They are taught they can do absolutely anything, and it’s God’s will. They become part of the elect, the chosen. They get swept up in the manifest destiny, this idea that God has lifted Americans above everyone else.”

It all really boils down to one thing: idolatry. OK sure, we aren’t making golden calves and worshiping anytime soon. Its a bit more dangerous actually. G.K. Chesterton once said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried.”  In fact, its been changed and found convenient. Take God and fit Him in a box that matches perfectly with our worldview. I read the Bible and think maybe God wants me to be like Daniel, an impressive leader in a secular world, or perhaps Joseph of Arimathea, a slightly more esoteric figure, but nonetheless a rich one. Cha-Ching!  Perhaps, a sexy story of redemption like Peter, but only if I get to be one of the greatest leaders in church history!

Or I could acknowledge why God called for children to come to Him, because of an inherent recognition of helplessness that each of them had in a world much greater than they could ever imagine. It should be clear if I believe in an all-powerful God, whatever significance I think I hold with my status/money/education etc. is probably not at all that significant.

Who knows what my “destiny” holds? But the first thing I need to realize is often when I put God in a box and worship it, all I am really looking at is a glorified mirror.

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