I am a parish minister currently serving the Eliot Church of Natick MA. Eliot Church is a Community Church affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. Any statements made and postions held in "Unity," however, are solely mine(of course, they may be used with appropriate atribution). Therefore if you disagree, please do not blame the church!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

My Three Sons, etc...

We spent most of last week at the hospital. Baby #3 came into this world weighing a remarkable 10lbs 4ozs. That is a lot of baby! My wife and I spent a few days getting used to our new arrival and getting him to be somewhat less jaundiced than how he entered the world. I, being the dad, had somewhat less to do and, since I was not an actual patient, had the freedom to explore and to…well…watch TV.

Actually, I had a lot of time to think and hit upon a variety of topics that are more or less interesting enough to be blogged-upon. Here are some of the issues that occupied my time.

NFLPA: The NFL Player’s Association is doing its darndest at the moment to stand up for the rights and interests of its members. I say “good job!” Even as I write, the owners are discussing whether or not to accept the Union’s offer. At first, you may wonder why you should care about how much money these players make. All I have to say is that you probably have a job, too and you probably would like to be (or enjoy being) paid what you deserve. There is not real difference in this case. The players work hard and are making the franchise owners very wealthy. They deserve a large piece of the pie over their remarkable short careers.

It is, as in many businesses, the rank and file that make the product. After all, I don’t tune in to watch a bunch of old white men play football do I? No, I do not and you don’t either. Not all of these guys are wealthy. For every Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, there are many, many more people who play for a few years at the league minimum and then find themselves unemployed and with little to fall back on. They may have a college degree, but even this may not be helpful, as college for many of these folks ends up being more like a minor league franchise than an educational institution. The owners owe it to the players to find a way to put aside their own differences and address the needs of the men who make them rich.

MFK Fisher: While I was in the hospital all I had to read was the food writer MFK Fisher. I have now read two of her books and I can safely say that I will read more. I enjoy them. However, I do not think I would have enjoyed Fisher, herself. She seems to be condescending toward her readers, rude toward the “help” and the “simple” folk who cannot cook or eat as well as she, and overly self-involved in a way that can be grating. However, she is a great writer who has given more than one gift to the English language and I enjoy reading what she has to say.

I remember a phone interview I once heard in which the host (Michael Feldman) told an author (Ann Lamott) that he liked her new book but didn’t like the characters. Lamott appeared to get upset and hung up. I, however, understand what Feldman meant. Fisher is an annoying character. It doesn’t mean she isn’t interesting...

Hospital Food: The care at our hospital was fine. The food was horrendous. One time, while collecting various items in the cafeteria, I overheard the cook telling a co-worker that he no longer ate what he made because it was killing him! I would like to say that this revelation caused me to get the salad. It did not.

What we eat is extremely important, not just for our bodies but for our souls. Please hospital establishment, please find a way to restore some sanity to your food services! Hospitals strip us of our humanity. We need you to help us find that humanity again. Paint you cafeterias with something other than discount colors. Hire actual chefs to develop a menu that is both nutritious and soul-affirming. Make us feel like something other than an afterthought. We will thank you for it and we will shop with you again.

Pat Tillman: Need I say more?

I also gave quite a bit of thought—as many parents do—to the state of society and the immense responsibility we have to make this a place that, when we die (and we will) there is something worth experiencing, living for, and loving in this world. That subject, however, requires a great deal of thought and prayer. After all, isn’t that what true religion is about?