Divine flu: reading the symptoms

by Richard on September 17, 2009

Kim Fabricius examines the two forms of divine ‘flu and considers which is worse.

His conclusion might surprise you.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }


Bene D 09.20.09 at 2:54 pm

Hmmm. Kim’s conclusion didn’t surprise me, what surprised me was the comments.

Lampooning seems rather lost on some.

Kim, I may be incorrectly assuming some of the commenters weren’t regular readers…


Kim 09.20.09 at 3:58 pm

Yeah, thanks for that, BD. Not everyone is on my wave length. Which is why come the next (October) issue of Reform, I expect to get a lot of flak on the letters page.

As a matter of fact, in the same issue of Reform from which “Divine Flu” was taken, one correspondent took issue with my suggestion (in a letter I wrote in a previous issue on the importance of reading fiction) that ministers who don’t or won’t read Marilynne Robinson’s wonderful novel Gilead “should be shot”. He/She (the sex was indeterminate) wrote that “possibly he could be charged with threatening behaviour. I find his language offensive … If his threat were to be carried out then we would suffer an even greater loss of ministry than we are experiencing at present.”

I read this letter several times, trying to convince my self that it’s a wind-up, but I am assured it isn’t. Different wave length? Different universe!


PamBG 09.21.09 at 12:13 pm

I’m not about to try to start a conversation with someone after they have told me that I should be shot for holding the views I do. That even applies when I agree with the person.

I’ve also learned that trying to jump to everyone else’s agenda just leaves one up in the air.


Richard 09.21.09 at 1:26 pm

I wouldn’t be interested in talking to someone who I believe wants others shot for their views. Sometimes, though, it’s just a turn of phrase. In the mining village I grew up, “you’ll get shot” was an almost daily threat. But us kids didn’t expect an assault with firearms. Its all a question of who says it, where, and when. When it’s a URC minister, in a church magazine, I think it is probably safe to conclude that what I’m reading is at worst a bit of inappropriate rhetoric.

Mind you, I appreciate that now you’re back in the States you have to take matters of shooting a tad more seriously than we do over here…


Tony Buglass 09.21.09 at 3:52 pm

I wouldn’t even call it ‘inappropriate rhetoric’, just exaggerated metaphor - a joke, even. I’d suggest that whoever wrote the reply had undergone a sense-of-humour transplant at some stage, and hadn’t noticed.

Sadly, that is typical of a certain type of religious person. They should be buried, as soon as possible and as deep as possible. (Or is that also inappropriate?)


Kim 09.21.09 at 4:05 pm

Thanks, Tony. I mean, if you think “should be shot” in this context is way unacceptable - “Harrumph” - you should be, er shot - and then buried.

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