Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Red Green- The Flying Ghost

These people are not the same.

God bless my wife.

Playing the immortal Trivial Pursuit on Saturday night, my son was asked the question, "What football player was known as 'The Galloping Ghost'?" To which my son answered correctly, "Red Grange."

Before I had barely congratulated him on a job well done, his mother chimes in, "You mean that guy who has that show that comes on PBS on Saturday night?"

Granted, she is not a football fan. She knows a little baseball, thankfully.

After my son and I finished laughing, we tried to explain to her that, no, Red Grange was a running back who played for the University of Illinois and the Chicago Bears in the 1920s and basically put the NFL on the national scene. He is quite famous, actually, or so we thought.

She was, of course, thinking of Red Green, the dude with the PBS "comedy" show.

But I could see how she could get the two mixed up.

Until yesterday. The subject came up again and she referred to Mr. Grange as the "Flying Ghost". I don't know who she got him mixed up with this time.

I think I need her to go here and read up on Mr. Grange.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

The Latest Sklar Channel Offering I Saw

Randy and Jason (or is it Jason and Randy) Sklar.

Do you have the Sklar Channel? Actually, there isn't really a Sklar Channel. But that's what we call ESPN Classic at our house.

We love the Sklars at our house. Actually, the males love the Sklars. My wife cannot stand them, or, more accurately, their humor. It's a chick thing, I know. And the fact they are die-hard Cardinals fans makes my son and I like them even more.

Last night, before "Cheap Seats Without Ron Parker", starring the Mighty Sklars, was a program called "Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame...". "Top 5" is a show that takes the prevailing opinion regarding an historical sports moment and tries to debunk it. In the past they have had shows like "Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame Steve Bartman For The Cubs 2003 Playoff Collapse."

Last night's episode was called "Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame Umpire Don Denkinger For The Cardinals Losing The 1985 World Series". Well, the reasons were all pretty lame, because, as we all know, you actually can blame him.

I can't believe I actually wrote the name of former AL umpire Don Denkinger. He is anathema to Cardinals fans.

It was a little hard to relive those times. But I remember sitting down that Saturday evening with my soon to be wife on my parent's couch to watch the bottom of the ninth of game six. I was relaxed and feeling on top of the world. The Cards were about to win their second WS title in 4 years. But the man known as DD forever changed the course of Cardinal history when he called KC leadoff hitter Jorge Orta safe at first base on a ground ball play to the right side. Everyone in the world who was watching the play except the one guy who counts knew Orta was out and that it really wasn't even close.

I know it wasn't intentional. But darn. If you are not a Cardinals fan, just try to imagine the sense of injustice you'd feel if this happened to your beloved team when they were on the verge of a title.

1985 was about the funnest (?) baseball year I can remember outside of 2004. Just like 2004, the Cardinals weren't picked to go anywhere but last place, while the Cubs had just won the division the previous year. Whitey Herzog was supposed to be the first manager fired. The Cardinals ended up winning the pennant and Herzog won Manager Of The Year.

The Cardinals were the best team in baseball that year. Bob Costas has called that 1985 team the most exciting team he has ever watched play. Because of the speed of that team. The Cardinals fought, scratched, stole, ran the bases, and pitched their way to a pennant. It was electrifying when the Cardinals got on base, particularly Vince Coleman, Willie McGee, and Ozzie Smith. And Jack Clark and Tommy Herr drove them in. It was like a merry-go-round on the basepaths that year.

Facts are facts. If Denkinger gets that call right, the Cardinals need only two more outs and they win that game and the World Series. No doubt about it. They had not blown a single lead all year long that they had going in to the ninth.

None of the stuff that happened after that would have happened if it weren't for the bad call.

Here are the top 5 reasons given by ESPN Classic:

5. Vince Coleman got his leg "ate" by the tarp machine making him miss the World Series-
This definitely played a the Cardinals not sweeping the series. It has nothing to do with the fact the Cardinals were shafted.

4. Tommy Lasorda pitching to Jack Clark in the NLCS game six with first base open-
Clark's HR was undoubtedly one of the most exciting moments in Cardinals history. I guess the point this "reason" is trying to make is that the Cardinals made it to the World Series because of this decision. That's just flat out wrong. Even if Lasorda walks Clark, Van Slyke or Pendleton could have driven in the tying or winning runs. And even if they didn't, there was still a game seven to play if the Cards lost. So this reason is pointless.

3. The Cardinals poor offensive showing-
Sure the Cardinals offense was suffering due to the absence of Coleman. But again, this is pointless. Because the Cardinals still had a 3-2 Series lead, and were leading 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth of game 6, despite the bad offense.

2. The Cardinals defensive meltdown the rest of the 9th inning of Game 6-
Again, none of the things that happened the rest of that inning happen if Denkinger makes that call correctly. So this is not a good argument.

1. The Cardinals Game 7 nervous breakdown-
Again, there is no Game 7 if Game 6 ends the way it should have until Denkinger's interference.

But let's say for a moment that Denkinger gets the call right, but the Royals rally and win Game 6 anyway. It would have been upsetting, yes, but that's the kind of loss you can rebound from. You could have just given credit to the Royals for an excellent comeback, and then gotten yourself ready for Game 7. Instead, everyone felt they had been denied, not on the field, but on the basis of this one call. And so it ate away at everyone, including the manager. I think they did give up. I think there was a collective, what's the use? feeling on the club, because it just wasn't going to go their way in spite of how well they played.

Having you opponents outplay you on the field is something you can live with. Having a title ripped from you by something beyond your control isn't.

And the Cardinals did not show up for Game 7.

Just remember, those of you who disagree, if this happened to your team, you'd agree with me.

And with that I am forever putting this issue to rest. It's time to get over it. I shall not speak of it again, God willing.

I Think I'll Just Rename This Blog "Shannonus Maximus"

Yes, it's time for yet another Mike Shannon post.

Here is a commercial Mike did many years ago, probably in the early '80s. I don't think it is the '70s due to the style of dress. As will be obvious by viewing this, Mike is not the same when he has to follow a script. He is only the "real" Mike when he is spontaneous. Thanks to Tintopia for providing this. I'm sure it hasn't been seen in years. Just click on the link. You'll need Quicktime to view.

And I've picked up a few more Mike Shannon quotes. The authenticity of these is not guaranteed, some may be apocryphal:
"I'd give my left arm to be ambidextrous"- although this may not be an original saying of Mike Shannon, it definitely fits as something he would say.

With thanks to the Cardinals Clubhouse:
"He tried to sneak that fastball by Rolen. That's like trying to sneak the sun past the rooster."
"Look at how still Albert holds the bat, its so still you could rest a quarter up on the top of it. Wait wait, you would only want to put a dime or a nickel up there, you wouldnt want to waste a quarter."
"Yeah back in the minors you would travel all over the place. you would get to sample all the different foods from each region of the country, but there was never anything better than the thin crust pizza that they served here in st. louis. And i tell you wayne, nothing washed that down better than a cold cool frosty budweiser."
"You couldn't play this game without tongue depressors and tape. It just couldn't happen."
"Everything's official except for the goodies like the Bud Light."
In reference to how high off the field level the PNC Park broadcast booths are: "Way, way, way down on the field, a bunch of little ants come runnng on."
On Randall Simon: "Even if he didn't have a bat in his hands, he'd take a swing."
When the Cards were losing big in the ninth inning and had a runner who reached second on defensive indifference: "Pitcher and catcher talk it over. He says, 'Look, we're up by six. If he wants to steal third, let him. If he wants to steal home, let him. If he wants to steal from the cookie jar, he can have that, too.'"
When a leadoff batter takes a big swing in the ninth when his team needs baserunners: "He's trying to hit a three-run homer with the bases empty. It's never happened, but it could one of these days. You never know in this world of baseball."

From Quotes - S (Baseball World):
"There's a full moon over Busch Stadium tonight. We hope there's a full moon where you are, too."
"There's a woman protecting herself from the sun with a carousel."
"Whenever I think of Milwaukee, I think of the American League. Hmm, Boston, Atlanta, weren't they the Browns, too?"
"Warming up for the Brewers is that lefthander they got from the Mets, Bill Pulitzer."

From Baseball Almanac:
"Don Drysdale would consider an intentional walk a waste of three pitches. If he wants to put you on base, he can hit you with one pitch."

Monday, August 29, 2005

Confessional Lutherans...Come Out, Come Out, Wherever You Are

This is the single longest post I've made. So far. I'm sorry. Indulge me.

The idea of the great, conservative Lutheran church organization, the LCMS, may exist in theory, but in practice it really doesn't. It's a bygone thing. It's over. You could continue to delude yourself that it does exist. But it doesn't. So, pack your bags baby. It's time to go.

At one time, you could travel the country, walk in to an LCMS church on Sunday and worship and receive God's means of grace, and hardly know you weren't at your home church, save for some bricks and some faces. We all know it ain't that way now.
Because that LCMS is dead.

So now the LCMS has a class-action lawsuit filed against it regarding some 2004 synodical convention election hanky-panky. This mess is going to take years and years to resolve. Many more conventions and elections are going to come and go before then. I shudder to think what is going to be left of this once great association of churches before the dust settles.

Why is the LCMS leadership continually talking with the ELCA about finding common ground? What fellowship does light have with darkness? Prediction: in my lifetime, should I live to an average age for an American male, the LCMS and ELCA will be in full fellowship. I am now 41 years old.

Some friends I have say the WELS is only about 10 years behind where the LCMS is now. I pray this is not so.

And, at least in Central Illinois, most LCMS congregations have no idea what is happening in their synod. Their pastors haven't informed them.

Our pastor told us something yesterday you may find shocking. I did. But my congregation has been getting a family visiting since the spring that is not from our city. Or even our state. They have traveled on more than one occasion to our church to worship and also to meet with the pastors about what they should do. Because they do not know where to turn to in their neck of the woods- MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN. Not exactly the boondocks, huh? I kid you not. That's about a six hour drive.

The cracks in the LCMS foundation are now large. The earthquake to topple it could be this lawsuit. Or possibly something else. Of course I cannot guarantee this. But I predict there will be a something else coming.

Many pastors aren't speaking up and letting their congregations know what's happening. Or they are part of the problem, embracing syncretism, unionism, and non-biblical feel good church-growth ideals. Or they're too scared to say anything because, afterall, they have pensions and insurance benefits that they don't want to jeopardize by calling the synod's leadership in to question. So they stay quiet.

Or worse, they speak out, but take no action.

Thank God Luther didn't have a pension or benefits to worry about. But Luther was a MAN'S MAN. I doubt such things would have deterred him from action.

Or perhaps they "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil."

And many of the conservative leaders in the synod are all talk and no action as well. Before the 2004 synodical convention, several of the conservatives went on record saying this (2004) was the most important election the synod had faced. In fact, they even produced a video, I think it was called "Crisis At The Crossroads", or something like that, in which they stated the LCMS was at a crossroads at the 2004 convention. I know, I saw the tape.

Well, the LCMS blew right through that 2004 crossroads, my good buddies. And they didn't get on the conservative track. And these conservatives couldn't have back-tracked from their statements quick enough. "Well, we'll hold on and see how the next convention plays out." In other words, "we didn't mean what we said this time, but I'm warning you, we really mean it for next time." Or, I think better stated, "we ain't got no 'nads."

Si, amigo. I just questioned some people's manhood. As should most of those who call themselves confessional Lutherans.

Well, all you conservative cats, here's another prediction: the next convention will turn out the same or worse than this past convention did. Because Kieschnick and his boys hold all the cards. You have none. Game over. And I predict after it's over, you'll go nowhere then, either. I can hear it now- "Well, we'll wait around and see what happens, but if things don't change this time, then we really, really mean it this time- we're leaving- errrrr... probably."

And, perhaps most importantly, a good portion of what calls itself LCMS Lutheran laity doesn't want to know about the turmoil in their church. They just don't care. As long as they are comfortable, happy, and entertained, they don't care. Turmoil and controversy are for trouble makers. Leave me alone.

Or the laity that do know are not calling their pastors to account. "Pastor, what are we going to do in response to this disgraceful mess our synod is in? Lawsuits. Financial problems. Embracing those who practice unionism and syncretism. Disregarding those that care to be Lutheran. Trying to set the world Ablaze, whatever that means. How long are we going to be in fellowship with those who are ring leading the circus?"

Or, they're just "in love" with the label of being an "LCMS Lutheran." Whatever that means. It means nothing anymore. But there are a lot of those people out there.

"I'm an LCMS Lutheran. I don't care about anything else. Oh, did I mention I'm an LCMS Lutheran." Yes, you did. About a zillion times. And it doesn't mean anything anymore.

The "synod" that they are leaving for their children and grandchildren is a farce.

May I be proved wrong in my predictions.

I don't know how I feel about this lawsuit. On general principle, I think lawsuits are bad. Lawsuits are for the world. But I do commend those in the synod who actually do have brass cajones, and are actually doing something, not just sitting there and ignoring the elephant in the room. Or worse yet, acknowledging it's there, talking about how they hate it being there, and taking absolutely no action. They can talk a good game, but when push comes to shove, they conclude they're happy being an LCMS Lutheran, and they don't really want to lose that.

But ask yourself this question- if the "real" LCMS is not dead, why is there this mess?

Teddy Roosevelt is a hero of mine, and therefore I'm usually a man of few words. Sorry about the length of this. And if I generalized about the LCMS too much, I apologize. But make no mistake, the district I used to be part of is guilty.

When our congregation voted to leave the LCMS last fall, would you happen to want to guess the number of congregations that called ours, pointing out our error and requesting us not to leave? Or how many pastors pulled our pastors aside to show them, in private, and from scripture, where they have erred?

ZERO. So I conclude they did not do so because we weren't wrong to leave.

Here's the lawsuit's background, followed by a copy of the actual lawsuit filed with the St. Louis courts, with thanks to Reclaim News:

"August 27, 2005

"Class Action Lawsuit Filed In St. Louis against LCMS President"

A class action lawsuit was filed on August 12, 2005, in St. Louis County, MO against Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod President, Gerald Kieschnick.

This internal struggle in the LCMS will ultimately determine whether the LCMS Board of Directors (BOD) or the LCMS President's appointees on the Commission on Constitutional Matters (CCM) have authority over the Synod's five billion dollars in liquid assets.

This is the first class action lawsuit ever filed against the 158 year old LCMS, a not-for-profit corporation, registered in the State of Missouri.

The triennial LCMS Convention elects the Board of Directors. The suit claims that recent rulings by the President's appointees on the CCM have nullified portions of the LCMS Constitution, Convention resolutions, and resolutions adopted by the Board of Directors.

The class action lawsuit is signed by 101 pastors, teachers, and congregations of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod.

The suit accuses Kieschnick of voter fraud in the 2004 LCMS Convention; failure to follow the State of Missouri's laws governing not-for-profit corporations; and appointment of members to the CCM who refuse to interpret the LCMS Constitution correctly.

The 2004 LCMS Convention had been advised by the Synod's legal counsel that the Synod was in compliance with Missouri Law. However, the LCMS Board of Directors (BOD) purchased an opinion from the prestigious Bryan Cave Law Firm, which states that recent rulings of the CCM are opposed to Missouri corporate law.

The BOD changed the Synod's legal counsel after the 2004 Convention.

Kieschnick must hire separate legal counsel to defend himself. Five members of the 15 member Board of Directors have already voted to sue the LCMS in order to test the Bryan Cave opinion. This places a significant portion of the BOD in an adversarial relationship with the Synodical President in the current class action suit.

If the Bryan Cave opinion is upheld by the Missouri Courts, the plaintiffs will force the LCMS to be in compliance with Missouri law. If the LCMS is currently not a corporation under Missouri law, as the plaintiffs contend, all LCMS member congregations are legally responsible for the LCMS and all its entities.

At a recent meeting of the BOD, Kieschnick appeared surprised by the suit, even though he had just met with those filing the suit a week earlier, before the suit was filed. During that meeting Kieschnick, would not discuss the merits of the case.

Missouri law requires that a corporation, such as the LCMS, must be governed by a constitutionally elected Board of Directors. New authority assumed by the CCM has placed the CCM over the BOD. The plaintiffs claim, that in reality, the CCM is now the real BOD and Kieschnick has engineered a corporate coup' d'etat in the LCMS.

Attorney Robert Doggett of Cincinnati is planning extensive depositions of Synodical officials and District Presidents whom Doggett claims conspired with Kieschnick to commit voter fraud at the 2004 Convention.

During the 2004 Convention, Kieschnick kept review of all CCM rulings from the Convention floor. Any CCM ruling that is not reviewed by the Convention automatically becomes binding on all parties in the LCMS.

If Kieschnick wins the case, the LCMS will change from governance by congregations to direct governance by the LCMS President.

If the plaintiffs win their class action lawsuit, all actions of the 2004 Convention will be null and void, the CCM will once again become an advisory commission as was originally intended, and the LCMS Council of District Presidents may be dissolved.

Events culminating in this suit have developed in a predictable sequence for more than a year.

When Kieschnick signed the 176 exceptions for delegates at the 2004 convention, for a total of 14.2 percent of all the registered delegates, he assumed that there would be little if any objection.

When there were objections of voter fraud he assumed that nothing would come of it.

When there were threats of a class action lawsuit, he assumed that it would not be filed.

When the suit was filed he now assumes that the judge will decide that the suit has no merit.

If the suit does move forward to discovery and depositions, will President Kieschnick assume that the LCMS will not be concerned if he pleads the Fifth Amendment and refuses to answer questions?

Kieschnick's attorneys must now convince the court that the class action lawsuit involves the court in deciding matters of religion. However, the LC-MS has never claimed that it was church. Only the congregations are churches. In its own Constitution the LCMS claims that it is a not-for-profit corporation.

Actually the State of Missouri has already involved itself in matters of religion by granting the LCMS the status of a not-for-profit corporation. Does Kieschnick expect the State to recognize the LCMS as a not-for-profit corporation but exempt the LCMS from laws that govern not-for-profit corporations?

There is a strong possibility that the suit will never come to trial. Revelations from the depositions will be so damaging to the Synod that a number of District Presidents will not run for reelection in 2006 and Kieschnick will retire as will all the Vice-Presidents.

During all of this, Kieschnick will actively seek reelection at the 2007 Convention. He will most likely use the suit as proof that the Synod needs to reelect him, because he is addressing the real issues in the LCMS.

Thousands of LCMS pastors are keeping any information about the suit away from their members. They justify the wall of silence as a means of protecting their members from Synodical trouble makers.

What kind of response can we expect from the Synodical President and the "Jesus First" machine to the class action lawsuit?

1. A letter writing campaign has already begun against the 101 congregations, pastors, and teachers, who signed the class action lawsuit. "Jesus First" supporters are sending threatening letters and trying to convince the 101 signers to remove their names from the suit.

2. Members of "Jesus First" are already claiming that the prohibition against suing a fellow church member stated in 1 Cor. 6 prevents LCMS members from using the courts to enforce the Seventh and Eighth Commandments.

3. Kieschnick will claim that those who could not elect their candidate at the 2004 Convention will now ask the courts to defeat him.

4. Kieschnick will also claim that the 101 signers refuse to follow proper channels in the LCMS to address their complaints about the 2004 election.

5. "Jesus First" will send a petition signed by hundreds of LCMS clergy asking the Judge to throw out the suit because it seeks the courts interference in the affairs of the church.

At this time, the class action suit seeks to show that Kieschnick refused to allow any challenges on the recent CCM rulings on the 2004 convention floor and that he did not follow his own published guidelines for signing exceptions for Convention delegates.

In May of 2004, the CCM ruled that District Presidents were exempt from following proper channels in LCMS Congregational Constitutions. In view of this ruling, Kieschnick can hardly claim the necessity to follow proper channels in the LCMS constitution.

If maintaining honest elections in the LCMS is a matter of religion, then the same claim can be made for all elections in the United States."

behalf of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod,
1333 S. Kirkwood Road
Kirkwood, Missouri 63122
1333 S. Kirkwood
Kirkwood, Missouri 63122
Nominal Defendant,
C/o CT Corporation System
120 S. Central Avenue
Clayton, Missouri 63105
Come now the above Plaintiffs, individually and derivatively, on behalf of
The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (herein called "LCMS"), and for their
cause of action state:
1. The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod ("LCMS") is a Missouri not-for-profit
corporation with its principal place of business at 1333 South Kirkwood
Road, St. Louis County, Missouri.  This action is brought on its behalf.
The LCMS is also named as a nominal Defendant in accordance with the
requirements of Missouri law.
2. Plaintiffs are now, and at the time of the wrongdoing alleged in this
action were, members of LCMS and have the right to bring this suit under
355.221 and 355.141.3 of the Missouri Statues.
3. Plaintiffs have requested the LCMS Board of Directors to bring this
action and to remedy the wrongs set forth herein, but the Board has refused.
Plaintiffs did not have to make a similar demand on all of the other members
of LCMS because the acts complained of herein are illegal and ultra vires.
4. Defendant Rev. Gerald Kieschnick ("Kieschnick") is a resident of St.
Louis County and is currently President of LCMS although he holds that
office illegally for the reasons hereinafter stated.
5. Defendant Rev. William Diekelman is a resident of St. Louis County,
Missouri and is currently First Vice-President of LCMS, although he holds
that office illegally for the reasons hereinafter stated.
6. Venue is proper in St. Louis County
7. Commencing in 2003 or 2004, or before, Defendants and each of them, for
their own personal gain, embarked upon a scheme to perpetuate themselves in
office by evading and avoiding the official Missouri By-Laws of LCMS.
8. Article 3.1.2 of the By-Laws states that one pastor and one layman shall
be voting delegates for each LCMS electoral circuit, that each such pair of
voting delegates shall represent from seven to twenty congregations, and
that the membership for each such circuit shall total at least 1,500
9. In 2004, Defendants Kieschnick and Diekleman and each of them violated
Article 3.1.2 by splitting existing electoral circuits with constituencies
favorable to them into smaller circuits, thereby increasing the number of
electoral circuits with favorable constituencies and increasing the number
of voting delegates favorable to Defendants.  One hundred and seventy-six
new delegates favorable to Defendants were present and voting at the 2004
LCMS convention held in St. Louis, and such new delegates voted for
Defendants and thereby enabled Defendants to be elected to their respective
10. The new split electoral circuits created by Defendants did not comply
with Article 3.1.2 of the By-Laws.  For example, 32 new electoral circuits
had fewer than the required minimum of seven congregations per circuit, and
65 of the new electoral circuits had total membership less than the required
minimum of 1,500 congregants per circuit.  Of the aforesaid 65 new electoral
circuits, twelve circuits had less than seven congregations, and, in
addition, each of those twelve circuits had a total membership of fewer than
1,500 congregants.
11. Defendants have tried to justify this wholesale violation of Article
3.1.2 of the By-Laws by contending that Article 3.1.2 allows the President,
on his own authority and in his absolute discretion, to make exceptions to
its requirements.  The authority of the President to make exceptions,
however, has always been interpreted narrowly and pursuant to reasonable and
accepted guidelines and has always required that an exception be used solely
for the benefit of LCMS and not, as it was here, for purposes of
self-dealing, breach of good faith, breach of fiduciary duty, gross abuse of
discretion and for personal, rather than for LCMS, benefit.  Furthermore, an
exception can be made only upon request of a District Board of Director4s, a
requirement which was either ignored by Defendants or was complied with by
soliciting sham requests.  Never before in the history of LCMS has there
been what here amounts to the equivalent of an old-fashioned, secular,
stuffing of the electoral ballot box.
12. Plaintiffs have no adequate remedy at law except by this action and the
severe damage to Plaintiffs and LCMS cannot be measured simply in money.
The only fair and adequate relief here is for the elections of Defendants at
the 2004 LCMS convention to be set aside and for naught held.  Demand has
been made on the LCMS Board of Directors to set aside such elections and
said demand has been rejected.
HWEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray that this Court declare that the 2004 3l3ctions
of Defendants are null and void; that the Court order new elections by
electoral voters who meet the requirements of Article 3.1.2, are not voters
by reason of illegal exceptions applied by Defendants; that Plaintiffs be
awarded their attorneys' fees and costs' and that the Court grant such other
and further relief as it deems meet, just and proper.
1. Plaintiffs incorporate by reference as if fully rewritten herein all of
the foregoing allegations of the Petition.
2. Section 355.316 of the Missouri Revised Statutes provides that all
corporate powers shall be exercised by or under the authority of the Board
of Directors and that the affairs of a corporation shall be managed under
the direction of the Board of Directors.
3. Defendants, and each of them, have repeatedly disregarded 355.316 by:
(a) Appointing a Commission on Constitutional  Matters and have caused such
Commission to render opinions which have illegally usurped and limited the
power of the Board of Director with respect to, inter alia.  (1) funding and
operation of radio station KFUO; (2) the allocation of unrestricted funds,
particularly with respect to LCMS seminaries and colleges; (3) the use of
funds allocated to particular programs; (4) restricting Defendant
President's use of funds; and (5) otherwise restricting the authority of the
Board to manage the corporation.  Defendants have also caused the Commission
to issue opinions which consolidated their power and immunized them and
colleagues friendly to them from punishment, penalties or disciple for
violating Missouri law, LCMS Articles and LCMS By-Laws.
(b) Appointing a "Convention Committee" and causing said Committee to
present to a Convention of the Synod resolutions which illegally restricted
the power of the Board granted by state law, and particularly 355.316.
Defendants knew that said resolutions violated Missouri law but they
misrepresented to their appointed Convention Committee the nature and effect
of such resolutions so that the Committee would entice convention delegates
to adopt such illegal resolutions.  The effect of such resolutions was to
attempt to give a commission appointed by Defendant President authority over
matters specifically given to the Board under Missouri law.
4. Plaintiffs have no adequate remedy at law except by this equitable action
because the severe damage to Plaintiffs and LCMS cannot be measured simply
in money.
WHEREFORE, Plaintiffs pray that this Court declare that the opinions of the
Commission on Constitutional Matters which limit the powers of the Board of
Directors given it by Missouri law and the LCMS Constitution and By-Laws be
declared illegal and void and of no effect; that the members of said
Commission be expelled from the Commission; that the Convention Committee's
illegal resolutions, and the amendments to the LCMS Articles and By-Laws
which are the product of such illegal resolutions and in violating of
Missouri law, be declared illegal and void and of no effect; that Plaintiffs
be awarded their attorneys' fees and costs; and that the court enter such
other and further relief as it deems meet, just and proper.
Comes now Robert I. Doggett, and being duly sworn on his oath, states that
the foregoing facts alleged in this Petition are true as he verily believes.
Signature of:  Robert Doggett
Subscribed and sworn to be me for this 12th day of August, 2005.
NOTARY SEAL:  Notary Public, State of Ohio
                               My Commission Expires,
                               May 2, 2010
SIGNATURE OF:  Samantha J. Meek
                                NOTARY PUBLIC
My Commission Expires;
May 2, 2010
Alan C. Kohn #16015
Jeremy D. Shook #50412
One Us Bank Plaza
Suite 2410
St. Louis, MO 63101
(314) 241-3963
(314) 241-2509 Fax
Attorneys for Plaintiffs

List owner and Reclaim News editor, Rev. Jack Cascione can be reached at
Also participate in for discussion.
Also view for papers, articles, & previous

And Yet Another Thing I Don't Get

How can a visitor to a website get there without a referring link? I'm getting a lot of those hits lately.

Just wondering.

The Chicago Mets

I feel whiney today.

Before the baseball season started last year (2004), all that the media could talk about around here was that the Chicago Cubs were going to be dominant. I mean, never in the history of baseball had such a great team been assembled. It reminded me of what I would consider the "golden years" of baseball, the decade of the 1980s. The media fawned over the the Mets as the "greatest team" of that generation.

Any God-fearing Cardinals fan hated the Mets. With a passion. They were cocky and un-gentlemanly. They thought their s--- didn't stink, but we could smell it clear over in St. Louis.

Let's look at the facts:
1980s St. Louis Cardinals: 3 Eastern Division Titles, 3 National League Pennants, 1 World Series Championship.

1980s New York Mets: 2 Eastern Division Titles, 1 National League Pennant, 1 World Series Championship (and that number would be a big fat zero if it weren't for a gag-it-up Red Sox team coming from ahead in game 6).

And yet, in my opinion, most baseball fans, when asked about the 1980s, will remember the Mets as the best team of that era. Mostly based on one year, 1986. They are a media creation.

My point is this. This generation's Mets are the Cubs and their reputation- a complete media creation. And they're also cocky and un-gentlemanly. That's what made beating up on them last year so much fun.

Even if the Cardinals miraculously pull out a World Series win this year, most of the media will still fawn over the Chicago Cubs next spring training. How they have dominating talent on the pitching staff. How they have been the victims of injury and that the past two years of mediocrity have been flukes.

But maybe 2003 was the fluke. Maybe the Cubs played way over their heads that year. Maybe Kerry Wood isn't the second coming of Nolan Ryan or Roger Clemens. Maybe Mark Prior is a good pitcher but doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame yet. Maybe Dusty Baker isn't a managerial genius who wins wherever he goes.

The Cubs and their fans I believe are the victims of the media-hype-machine. They are just not that good. This is the same machine that inhabits Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, and covers the University there. Their sports teams are always on the cusp of greatness, yet never win championships, either.

Why do I care? I don't know. The Cubs are 20 games behind the Cardinals. I guess I should just let it go. But I obviously haven't let it go about the Mets inferior record after almost 2 decades, so I doubt I can let this go. I just pray the Cardinals win another championship before the Cubs. Otherwise I'll scream.

Okay, I feel better now.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

But I've Never Drunk One

You Are a Mai Tai

You aren't a big drinker, but you'll drink if the atmosphere is festive.
And when you're drunk, watch out! You're easily carried away.

This Is Sick- Unless You Enjoy Hurting The Things You Love

There is a raffle to be held to see who "gets" to push the button to implode Busch Stadium at the end of the baseball season.

I would think lots of Cub fans would love to blow up this stadium. But a true Cardinal fan couldn't do it.

I have half a mind to enter the raffle just so on the "big day", I can walk away and leave it standing. That'd blow some minds, I'm sure.

[Scene: A cool autumn morning with a big crowd gathered 'round.]
Smarmy media: "Okay, fans. Now the moment we've been waiting for- here is Cardinal fan, Scottius Maximus, to push the button and blow up the stadium."
Me: "Thanks. But I'd just as soon leave it standing. As if any of you all cared anyway. We all know why you wanted to build this new stadium. You're all a bunch of greedy bastards aren't you? Well, I could never live with myself if I blew it up. No REAL FAN could ever do this dirty deed. I'm outta here."

Look, just because I'm posting pictures of the new stadium on my blog doesn't mean I was in favor of the new ballpark to begin with. I wasn't. It's the whole Mike and Ike thing, or "Blue Diamond Syndrome", all over again. Let's fix something that ain't broke so we can call it "new". Ugh.

I'm posting the new ballpark pictures because I am sad the old one is being torn down. I know I can't save it, so it makes it hurt a little less to try to learn to love this new one going up. I mean, this will be the Cardinals new home, and it is the Cardinals, after all, whom I am loyal to ultimately.

But I still won't blow up my stadium. That's sick.

More Astute Obervations From "Bible Believing Liberals"

Bill Hybels and John Shelby Spong.

I know this article, "Bible Believing Liberals", by Todd Wilken, has made the rounds, but for the past two weeks we have delved through it in depth at our church. The quote about the bible believing liberals that I put in the side bar of this blog is brilliant enough, but at the end of this article from Issues, Etc., one will see the following, and I dare say equally profound, paragraphs (most of the bold emphasis that follows is mine).

(As regards the "God is love", Willow Creek/Bill Hybels gospel):

"'God satisfies. He does something for us and in us that we can’t do for ourselves. God meets inner needs. He quiets restlessness and turmoil. He ministers to longings. He soothes wounds. He calms fears. He satisfies our souls.' (Bill Hybels, Seven Wonders of the Spiritual World, Dallas: Word, 1988, p. 137).

All of this is true, of course, but it’s not the whole truth. What’s missing? In this gospel, we are presented as unsatisfied, unable, needy, restless, longing, wounded and fearful,
but not sinful. This is a gospel without sin.

A gospel without sin satisfies sinners, but doesn’t save them. A gospel without sin requires a God Who is merely good, not gracious and forgiving. A gospel without sin requires a Jesus who is merely sympathetic, not our substitute at the Cross. A gospel without sin is a gospel wherein Christ crucified is unnecessary. John Shelby Spong realizes this; he has done away with the Cross. Maybe this is why Bible-believing liberals are doing away with it too.
The 'God loves you' gospel is a gospel that any liberal could love.

By contrast, here is what St. Paul says,

'God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in [Christ], and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.' (Colossians 1:19-22)

One thing is for sure; Paul was no liberal, Bible-believing or otherwise..."

In regards to those who want "The Church" to remain culturally relevant, Wilken goes on:

"We’ve heard liberals say it for years: 'The Church must change or die. The culture calls the shots. We must re-read the Bible to fit the culture. When it comes to doctrine, don't sweat the details. Our differences don't matter anyway. After all, doctrine divides; it's the mission that really unites us. And when it comes to that mission, we’re justified in using whatever means we deem necessary. Remember, people just need to know that God loves them.' Now we’re hearing Bible-believing Christians saying the very same things.

The old-line liberals considered the Gospel irrational; Bible-believing liberals consider it irrelevant. The old-line liberals criticized the Gospel; Bible-believing liberals are trying to give it a makeover. The old-line liberals tried to deconstruct the Gospel; Bible-believing liberals are trying to reinvent it. Old-line liberals did their best to discredit the Gospel; Bible-believing liberals are doing their best to shift the focus away from the Cross.

Do Bible-believing liberals realize how liberal they really are? No. Are they well intentioned? Certainly! But the some of the old-line liberals were well intentioned too. St. Bernard of Clairvaux said, 'Hell is full of good intentions.'

When the Church follows the advice of liberals—Bible-believing or otherwise— the Gospel message suffers. When liberals —Bible-believing or otherwise— have their say and have their way, the Cross ends up obscured. When the Cross is obscured sinners go unsaved. This alone is reason enough to turn a deaf ear to the advice of these well-intentioned liberals —Bible-believing or otherwise.

Change or Die?

Bible-believing liberals say, 'The Church must change or die.' But they cannot tell you what the Church will be preaching 5, 10 or 20 years in the future. No one really knows, it all depends on how things change.
In fact, Bible-believing liberals cannot even say that the Church will be preaching in at all in the future; maybe it will be doing poetry slams, kabuki theater or walking the labyrinth. No one really knows, it all depends on how things change. Do you really want to entrust your children and grandchildren to this kind of a Church?"...

Whoa, that hits a parent right in the gut. Or it should. Unfortunately, I am afraid for a good part of what calls itself "the church" in America, it gives no pause.

"Bible believing liberals say, 'The Church must change or die.' But change can’t insure the survival of the Church. The survival of the Church depends entirely on the One Who lived and died and lives again forever, the One Who does not change —'Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today and forever.' (Hebrews 13:8)."

Saturday, August 27, 2005

The Scottius Maximus Celebrity Of The Month (A Thank You To Sports Illustrated)

I never used to like this guy, Mr. Thornton. But you got to admit, he knows his baseball. After reading this, he is now my favorite celebrity!! Here is an excerpt from an interview from the great Sports Illustrated from this month.

SI Associate Editor Richard Deitsch recently interviewed actor Billy Bob Thornton:

SI: Baseball is a big part of your fabric. How did you become a Cardinals fan?
:The farm club for the Cardinals, the Arkansas Travelers, played in Little Rock, where I grew up. I saw a lot of people coming through there. Keith Hernandez. Jose Cruz. We were just all Cardinals fans because we didn't have a our own major league team, so St. Louis was the closest one to us and our farm club was there. Everybody in Arkansas is a Cardinals fan.

SI: Which means 1982 was a good year for you and '68 was hell, right?
Thornton: Well, '67 was good and '68 was awful. I was talking to Willie Horton in Detroit at the All-Star Game and I told him I get a little bit of a chill being in Detroit because my Cardinals got beat by his guys that year. It was an awful year for me.

SI: How bad was watching last year?
Thornton: What was funny about it is that you can't help but pull for a team that had not won a World Series in that many years, so I always feel bad for the Cubs and the Red Sox, but I felt worse for the Sox because they are not in our division. The way I had to look at, it once they swept us, I thought it was just destiny. They were going to win that thing. When I saw the Cardinals in the dugout during the first game, they didn't have the fire in their eyes the way the Sox did. I know this will sound corny, but I think the Sox's spirit was just stronger. The Cardinals were the better team, I think. But I just think the Sox were meant to win last year.

SI: What has been the best sporting event you've attended because of your celebrity?
Thornton: This year's All-Star Game ranks right up there. I'd also have to say the day I went to Busch Stadium and threw out the ball. It was Jack Buck Day and I got to go up in the booth and sit with him and Mike Shannon for awhile.

SI: Your sons play youth hockey. What kind of sports parent are you? Thornton: I think everybody ought to play Little League. I know it meant a lot to me. I'm not one of those real intense sports dad. I want the kids to have fun. Of course, I want them to win because then they are happy. But I have taught them the "it's not whether you win or lose" thing.

SI: Your list of phobias is odd and famous: antiques, germs, Komodo dragons. Is there anything in baseball you are allergic too?
Thornton: The Yankees (laughs)."

And if you want to read the whole interview, click here.

Look Away...I'm...Hideous

Remember this classic exchange from Seinfeld between Jackie Chiles and Kramer?

Jackie: Did that cigarette warning label mention anything about damage to your appearance?

Kramer: No, it didn't say anything.

Jackie: So you're a victim. Now your face is shallow, unattractive, disgusting.

Kramer: So Jackie, do you think we gotta case?

Jackie: Your face is my case.

That's the feeling I get from comparing the top songs of 1978, posted at the great Kiihnworld, to the top songs of 1981, the year I graduated high school. It's hideous. Not even close. I can't even bring myself to copy and paste the top songs of 1981 to this post. Granted, it's not as bad as the crap being put out now. But I had to go through the top thirty songs just to find one I would consider burning on a CD. So maybe I'll sue the record companies for making music so shallow, unattractive, and disgusting in the year of my graduation. Get me Jackie!

If you must, click here to view the top songs of 1981.

But please, I beg you, turn away.

Friday, August 26, 2005

The Sorry State Of The World

The new Mike and Ike is a perfect example of what's wrong with us.

There was nothing wrong with Mike and Ike. It was perfect the way it was. Original fruits- orange, cherry, lemon, and lime. You could count on it. It was delicious.

But someone got all happy with the idea of "improving" it by adding strawberry. Now the whole thing is not the same. Mike and Ike is not as good as it once was. Because they've messed up the milieu.

And they are calling it "Original Fruits With New Strawberry". Hey, I may be a moron, but how could it be the original fruits if there is something new added?

I find myself having to pick out the strawberry. It detracts from the lemon, lime, orange, and cherry. Now the totality of the whole has been diminished. Thanks a lot, whoever you are.

They've pulled this stuff before with Froot Loops, Trix, and Lucky Charms. Adding new flavors, I mean. I think Lucky Charms was the first product to pull this stunt of trying to change something that was perfect. Years ago, they added blue diamonds to Lucky Charms. So now I call the act of messing with something that isn't broken "Blue Diamond Syndrome".

Listen world, if it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.

And don't even get me started about the disappearance of Cherry and Bub from the face of the earth.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Wild Behavior

I put up a hummingbird feeder this year. I have never had one before. And I must say I did not fully appreciate these little dudes until this year. A more marvelous and fascinating creature one will not find on the face of the earth. I love to watch them. They come in at breakneck speed, hover, feed, and dart off almost as quickly as they fly in. The acceleration is awesome to behold.

God seems to have created them to be fearless. I can be standing five feet away and they'll come diving in for some food. If you don't have a feeder, it's a great investment, because I guarantee they will entertain you.

I have the feeder about five feet off the ground, and one of the first encounters I had with them is a little embarrassing to admit, but here goes. I was squatted down on the ground below the feeder pulling weeds, when all of a sudden I hear a quite loud buzzing noise come swooping down overhead. Thinking it to be a wasp or giant bumble bee, I quickly swatted blindly (I know, stupid idea) over my head and took off running like a scared little girl. When I turned back around, I saw the bird, suspended in midair, feeding out of one of the holes on the feeder. And I'm not sure, but I think hummingbirds can laugh, because he sure seemed to be enjoying himself at my expense.

At any rate, last night, as I am watering the lawn, I look out over the spray coming out of the top of the sprinkler and see a hummingbird (no doubt one of my regulars) float in to check it out. So he floats above the spray for a moment, and then dives down in to the water, where he continues to hover while being wet down. Like he's taking a shower or something. He hangs there for about 10 or 15 seconds, and then darts up and on to a tree limb. Of course he looks like a speck to me sitting on the limb, but I can definitely make him out. And it's like he is relaxing after his little shower. If I had some opera glasses, I would have probably seen him in a smoking jacket enjoying a cigar or something.

So, I ask, is this normal behavior for a hummingbird? Or am I just in the presence of a show-off?

(By the way, to tie in to a post from last week, Hummingbirds would be a cool team nickname.)

I Think I'll Keep My Own Name

Your French Name Is

Lionel Jacquet

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Shut Him Down, Please

All of us survivors of the 2004 World Series are begging the Cardinals to shut this guy down.

That is not Scott Rolen, it is his arch-enemy, Ttocs Nelor, of the Bizarro World Cardinals, The Slanidracs. In Bizarro World Baseball, a hitter's success is measured in strike outs, GIDPs, and off-base percentage, while a pitcher's success is measured in home runs given up and runs allowed. By the way, on a related note, I think Matt Morris and his beard may have suffered the same fate, as it appears Ttam Sirrom has returned to pitch the last month.

I'm sure most Cardinals fans realize the real Scott Rolen must have been hit in the head and kidnapped sometime after Game 7 of the NLCS and before Game 1 of the World Series, being replaced by Nelor. There is no way else to explain the transformation of our 3rd baseman.

And this fellow has continued his imposterization this year. The numbers don't lie:

2005 Ttocs Nelor

G-56, AB- 196, R- 28, H- 46, 2B- 12, 3B- 1, HR- 5, RBI- 28, TB- 75, BB- 25, SO- 28, SB- 1, CS- 2, OBP- .323, SLG- .383, BA- .235

2004 Scott Rolen

G-142, AB- 500, R- 109, H- 157, 2B- 32, 3B- 4, HR- 34, RBI- 124, TB- 299, BB- 72, SO- 92, SB- 4, CS- 3, OBP- .409, SLG- .598, BA- .314

So whoever this fella is who needs shoulder surgery, don't let him come back. Make him have the surgery so we don't have to witness him in the post-season.

Nunez is now the man. Go, Abey Baby.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Obesity Solved!

We live in a fast paced society. To skim some more time out of the day, we usually cut corners with things like lunch or breakfast. In fact, I bet a good number of you all eat in your cars. Or trucks.

Several truck drivers and others who travel on their jobs and eat on the run tell me they often get fast food so that they can continue on down the road and eat. I mean, who can eat a salad while navigating around curves and through lane changes? And so they eat high calorie fast food which compounds their weight problem when done in the setting of their inactivity. So, what to do?

Well, I put my mind to work, and I've figured it out. No thanks necessary, folks.

The answer?

Liquid salad.

That's right. Salad you can drink as you ease on down the road. I am putting my idea out there so that some chemist somewhere can begin to work on the project of the century. I only ask that I get a cut of the profits, a "finder's fee", if you will.

But that's not all. You see, when you go through the drive through and order your liquid salad, it won't come in a lightweight piece of plastic. No, that's counter-productive.

Liquid salad containers will be made of concrete. That way, you'll have to do a hefty biceps curl just to get it up to your mouth. So more calories will be burned just by "eating" the liquid salad.

Sometimes I amaze myself. Life can be so simple, folks. You're welcome.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

If You're Going To Try Polygamy...

don't have open heart surgery. In fact, you'd better plan not to get sick at all. Or get in any accidents.

According to Paul Harvey, this schlub in Anglesland had open heart surgery. Like any good wife would, each of his three wives wanted to visit him.

But it seems there was a little problem. None of his wives knew about the other two. So at his hospital bedside, the world's most dysfunctional family reunion was inevitable.

Evidently this man tried his best to keep them apart. Through the tubes and morphine and sedatives, this man was tap-dancing his way through a world-class lattice of deception in his desparate attempts to have the wives visit at differing times. I know it's sick, but I can't help but admire the guy's work ethic while desparately ill.

But it didn't work. They all came and "met up". My mind will not allow me to imagine the scene that went down at dude's bedside. UGLY.

Although the Bible doesn't mention it specifically, I'm quite certain that Solomon didn't have this problem come up.

And to all you kids out there- don't try this at home. And stay in school.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

More New Busch Photos

From the official Cardinals Website:

Looking northeast on a hazy morning, the out of town scoreboard is squaring into shape. You can see how close the work is now to the present stadium, on the left of the picture to the north of the scoreboard. The Gateway Arch is in the far background. This will be the view from the infield 1st base side seats. And no, that round structure in the background is not the leaning tower of Pisa. But it is scary looking.

Lights are up. No Wrigley-itis at this park.

From the 3rd baseline looking at the progress along the first baseline. Thousands of seats are already in.
A closeup is below.

Time relentlessly marches on.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Fighting Marvins? I Can Do Better Than This

The emblems of the Florida State Seminoles and Illinois Fighting Illini.

So, the Indian activists are at it again. Trying to get rid of sports nicknames with any Indian derivation.

Does anyone really think this is about disrespecting Indians? Isn't it an honorable thing that someone would want to name something beloved after you? Of course. But that's not what this is really about. We all know it's really about what a lot of things are: POWER.

People wanting to exert their power and influence over others. And from the looks of things, they are going to get away with it...if not now, then probably within a generation.

Look, I have no problem getting rid of Redskins. That's a bit out there. And as for the town in my state whose high school was for years nicknamed the "Chinks", I can get with banning that name too. But these people act like they are the only ethnic groups that have sports teams named after them. Granted, there are probably more Indian or Indian-sounding names than any other ethnic group. But why do they care? It should be an honorable thing.

No one goes around complaining about the Fighting Irish. And please don't tell me the Irish have not endured their share of hardship. No one bats an eye at the Vikings being a team name. No one objects to Cowboys. No one dislikes calling someone a Trojan, Spartan, Nimrod, Yankee, Rebel, Senator, Ranger, Padre, Celtic, Pirate, Buccaneer, Cornhusker, Sooner, Volunteer, Hoosier, Cavalier, or any other such team name. (I almost put Crusader and Minuteman, but, of course these are not politically correct).

You see, these people are all part of our history. As are Indians. That's all there is to it. This is not some vast racist-wing conspiracy.

You just know if it were the other way around, the Indian activists would complain because teams would only be named after white people. And it's because this is not about nicknames. It's about one little group trying to exert whatever influence and power it has over another group.

If it weren't for the fact a lot of Native Americans have no problem with being bestowed the honor of a university or professional sports team's naming their beloved organization after them, then I'd say, let them do it. I'd say let's pull away every last vestige of Indian speak from our universities and professional leagues.

Because I'm ready for it. Bring it on. I have dozens of team names ready (The Fighting Marvins not included- or the Berserkers).

Try these non-politically correct nicknames on for size, Florida State University and University of Illinois:

Kilted Highlanders

Hammerin' Lutherans

Golden Dwarves

The Adrenal Tide

Fighting Pizza Delivery Guys

Red Gonads

Demon Diabetics

Blue Calvinists

Orange Jockeys

Raging Right Wingers

Bearded WASPs

Bronze Eunuchs

Crazed Bigamists

Silver Gluttons

Splashin' Baptists

Purple Pilgrims

Repentant Polish

Flying Ozzys

And, of course, my favorite, the Scottish Maximi!