Monocle Man On Volunteering and Lutherans
WARNING: First off, anyone wearing a monocle today should be viewed with suspicion. This gentleman, who wishes to remain anonymous as is a blogger's wont, is not the kind of guy you'd invite to a party. If his 1,000 yard stare doesn't quickly put your shindig into an irreversible slide toward downersville, his jaded, dyspeptic personality soon will. So, dear reader, read his words with caution and a mojito, MVB's drink of choice, in hand.
- Besides being number one in America for rudeness and road rage, it also turns out according to a story in the Miami Herald that we are also at the very bottom of a list of cities with the lowest volunteer rates. This news comes to us following an earlier report that Americans are the most giving people on the earth. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, the highest rates of volunteerism is found in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area where four in 10 adults volunteer.
- This got me to thinking about Lutherans. I use to be one. The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is a hotbed for this faith. Garrison Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion" has been using them for comic fodder on NPR for years. Lutherans mean well but the church has been on a long slow decline for decades. I did my best to hold on for years, but I finally gave up when I realized that, although rock 'n roll has been around half-a-century, the Lutheran church continues to reach out to people with music from a hymnal more appropriate for people long dead and gone oh say, by at least 300 years. I think of it as the "Church of the Unsingable Hymn." It's ironic that the most powerful and singable hymns in the Lutheran church were written by its founder, Martin Luther, a rebel with a cause who's been dead for over 450 years. He was astute enough to lift the music of some German beer hall songs and re-write the lyrics in his effort to reach the common man. His "Mighty Fortress Is Our God," is still worthy after all these years. Unfortunately, when I use to attend church, I felt someone had always died-- I know, "someone" did but it seemed the church had forgotten the Resurrection part and was instead using the bombastic church organ-- an instrument of torture used during the Inquisition-- to remind us every Sunday morning of the solemn, sober side of the faith to the extant that I only heard dirges. God help them though. The church ladies* were a trip and man could they cook.
*Dana Carvey's Church Lady from the Golden Era of Saturday Night Live was inspired by growing up Lutheran.