mul·li·gan. Noun. Golf. A shot not counted against the score, permitted in unofficial play to a player whose previous shot was poor.
Whitney Houston was a daughter of New Jersey, so her passing was big news out here. Her funeral became a cause célèbre. Who got to go? Did you hear who performed? Jessie Jackson made sure he got some face time in front of a camera. The governor got into hot water for ordering the state flag to be flown at half mast. Traditionally, that’s an honor reserved for men and women in uniform who gave their lives for God and country, not drug addled celebrities who were blessed with angelic voices. People are heaping damnation on Bobby Brown but I’ve read that he and Whitney were two of a kind and that she is not blameless.
Speaking of God, angelic voices and damnation.
Whitney was a woman of the church and to me, it looks like Jesus bailed out on the poor thing when she needed Him most. I’m sure she prayed for strength but her prayers fell on deaf ears. Of course, nobody in their right mind would say such a thing in public. Whitney exercised her free will and was taken by satanic forces. God had nothing to do with that part of her life. But I’ve read over and over that her beautiful singing voice was a gift from God. He gave that to her. As is usually the case, God gets all of the credit, but none of the blame. You’ll never get as sweet a deal.
During Houston’s service at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, it was reported in the paper that choir sang, “God is working a miracle!“ A women in the rear of the church shouted, “Jesus!” What miracle?! The only miracle I see is that people are still giving money to the church.
I occasionally walk past the Seventh Day Adventist Church on 45th Street.
That’s their primary message for me? Fear God? Is that what He wants? You could write this off as hyperbolic Seventh Day Adventist rhetoric but, to me, the message is universal. All organized religions of all sects, all beliefs, preach fear and obedience. The Catholics just added this pleasantry to the Confiteor portion of the mass:
…through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault (striking your chest three times)…
Its intention is to convey a more humble, sorrowful attitude toward God. This is the oldest trick in the book. In the military they do it in boot camp. In fraternities it’s called hazing. It’s at the core of most theologies. You are torn down and made to feel lowly and unworthy, and then rebuilt. You feel gratitude towards your tormentors—the very people who damned you—for making you feel whole again.
The Italian government is going after the Vatican. The church is going to have to start paying taxes on its properties that are used for commercial purposes. Spain and Greece are also looking at this proposal in order to collect badly needed revenue. It’s about time. Godspeed to them.