Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

If PCUSA is a circus, what is the LayMAN?

Parker Williamson of the LayMAN displays Christian charity in his latest editorial. Using the metaphor of a circus to describe the upcoming General Assembly, he writes:
There will be clowns – men dressed like women, women dressed like men, and the undefined dressed like both – gyrating over and around a plethora of sexual standard proposals whose sum total will result in no standard at all.
Stay classy, Parker.


59 comments:

  1. The stuff that goes plop as the elephants pass by?

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  2. Clearly Parker has a spent a great deal of time thinking about people gyrating. It's always the homophobes who have the most graphic imaginations.

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  3. Clearly Parker has a spent a great deal of time thinking about people gyrating.

    Go to the LayMAN to get your clown porn.

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  4. This from a man who reminds me of a British dandy, like Cecil Vyse played so well by Daniel Day Lewis in Room with a View. Immaculately dressed, fussy, every hair in place.

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  5. "A kind word turneth away wrath." Meant for Parker.

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  6. Perhaps you should have meant it for this group as well, Bob. They seem to revel in harsh words and "being snarky" toward others, but seem to not be able to stand it when others are that way toward those of their belief. What is the saying.....take the beam out of your own eye.....? Who was it that said that? ; )

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  7. Like the LayMAN, we are just doing out part to raise the standard.

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  8. I think taking a stand against the likes of Parker Williamson is like Jesus taking a stand against the Pharisees.

    Not only is it right to do so, it is required. If indeed you are a disciple of Jesus.

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  9. I like this posse, but I think Joe does have a valid point. Who among us doesn't deserve mild reprimand for snarkiness? Certainly not me....

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  10. "They seem to revel in harsh words and "being snarky" toward others, but seem to not be able to stand it when others are that way toward those of their belief."

    Oh please. Get up off your fainting couch, Joe. No one here is losing their minds because some twit at the LayMAN said something mean about us. Perhaps you remember when his crony Carmen Fowler suggested that Mark Achtemeier should be drowned for daring to disagree with her? Perhaps you remember when Parker compared us all to pedophiles? And you're comparing our snark to that? Sorry, doesn't even come close. We're not the ones meddling in other people's lives for fun and profit. We're not the ones trying to get him fired. We're not the ones denying him full inclusion in the church. We're not the ones spending the church's time and money on ridiculous disciplinary silliness. So spare me your false equivalencies, won't you?

    Anyway, the LayMEN have been saying mean, stupid, petty, unloving, unScriptural, and unChristian things about all sorts of people for years and I think we're all pretty used to their paranoid and mindless bloviating by now. So to have a little fun at their expense is probably the best and most healthy outlet for our frustration. We're not charging him. We're not meddling in his life. We're not comparing him to a pedophile, or suggesting he be drowned for disagreeing with us.

    He's married, right? Yeah. So are you still going to try to argue that there's some equivalency between our actions and his? Feh.

    Parker's a big boy, and I'm sure he doesn't need someone riding to his defense. But if he can't stand the heat, he should get out of the kitchen. I for one have no interest in being a doormat for Jesus, and I doubt that's his plan for my life either.

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  11. I plead guilty! But what would you have us do? Cry and whip ourselves like the FBTS? Chew at our own ankles like Parker WIlliamson? Scream "persecution!" like Debbie Berkeley? Or perhaps we should commend these fine folks for standing up for themselves against our harsh criticism, with a commiserating pat on the shoulder and a "titch titch, we didn't mean to think for ourselves" apology?

    Oh! The poor dears! What have we DONE to them?!?

    It is important to remember that humor, even in it's uglier form of sarcasm, can be a healthy response to hate. Turning the other cheek is one thing, but smirking at the same time is even better, I say!

    Besides, if prose like "men dressed like women, women dressed like men, and the undefined dressed like both – gyrating over and around a plethora of sexual standard proposals" doesn't deserve ridicule, I don't know what does!

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  12. Heh. Indeed Snad.

    "gyrating over and around a plethora of sexual standard proposals" isn't even English as I understand the definition. Who writes like that? How does one gyrate around a proposal?

    Someone with a functioning knowledge of English should proofread his copy.

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  13. Indeed, he has said mean and petty things for years. And so do you all. You are peas in a pod. Mirror images. Bookends. Congrats! :)

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  14. "Mean" and "petty"? You think calling people pedophiles and suggesting others be drowned is "mean" and "petty"? And you think that making a few jokes here is the same as that?

    Wow.

    Yes, yes, we're all terrible horrible people because we make fun of buffoonery when we see it. LOL

    But, to take your comment seriously for a moment, I'll repeat what I said above. We're not suggesting he be drowned, or that he's a pedophile. Tell me, Joe, when has any of us meddled in other people's lives like he and his cronies have? Seriously, you clearly think we're all the same, so could you please provide evidence to back up your claim? Please convince me that my thinking the man's a twit and not a very good writer is the equivalent of refusing people the right to marry, trying to get ministers fired, and calling people pedophiles and suggesting that others be drowned as false teachers.

    Having a sense of humor isn't a sin last time I checked. Neither is disagreement. Neither is calling out buffoonery when it presents itself. Jesus was far harsher on the Pharisees of his time than we are on ours.

    I haven't, for example, ever to my knowledge called Parker a serpent or a viper. (Check out Matthew 23.) But perhaps such Biblical language would be more to your liking?

    Contrary to popular belief, Jesus wasn't a wimp either.

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  15. Of course you will never be able to see it. It is, after all, the beam in your own eye. It is much easier to see the speck in everyone else's eyes, isn't it. I don't expect you to see it or even to take ownership of it. That would be asking too much. I'm just pointing it out to you. Your verbose defensiveness does seem to speak for itself, though.

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  16. "I don't expect you to see it or even to take ownership of it. That would be asking too much. I'm just pointing it out to you. Your verbose defensiveness does seem to speak for itself, though."

    Meh. That's what I thought, just complaining to complain and unwilling to provide any basis for your opinion.

    That last bit is really the pot calling the kettle black, isn't it? Snarky, mean and petty all in just a couple sentences.

    Glass houses and stones, Joe.

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  17. Here's my mea culpa, Joe:

    I compared Williamson's blather to elephant dung in my original comment. The problem is, elephant dung is one of the best fertilizers around, so it is of much greater value.

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  18. LoL. Of course, you can never admit it. That would require critical introspection and possible change...admitting that you might actually be wrong. Change is hard. So, you defend yourself, imagining that you couldn't possibly be as bad as those you point fingers at. It is a human reaction. It makes you feel better to dismiss it out of hand. But, truth is, none-the-less truth, seen and acknowledged or not. As far as glass houses and stones...true. You see Parker's speck....I see yours....others see mine. It doesnt' dismiss the truth of it, however.

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  19. Perhaps some day we can be as introspective and philosophical as you, Joe. In the mean-time (she said with perhaps a wee bit of irony), I'll continue to enjoy myself at the expense of a FBTS without concern that my words may cause any real damage, seeing as I'm just a nobody, and not a commentator on an influential conservative Christian blog!

    Hi ho!

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  20. Anonymous trolls notwithstanding, it is good for the sake of other readers to acknowledge the power inequalities that Alan and Snad have highlighted.

    The LayMAN and Parker Williamson are powerful, wealthy bullies.

    They deserve a good verbal ass kicking whenever they print their homophobic nonsense.

    The attempt by the anonymous trolls of the world (like "Joe") to shame those of us who mock these bullies is an example of crocodile tears.

    Trolls may rant. But don't ever forget beloveds, that the oppressors (and that is the LayMAN) hate to be mocked. That is why you must never stop doing it.

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  21. As I said, you will never see it.....

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  22. And you will never see yours, obviously.

    So we're even, eh?

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  23. "gyrating over and around a plethora of sexual standard proposals"

    I missed the - well it isn't so much bad grammar as maybe mixed metaphors? Indeed how does one gyrate around sexual standard proposals? Proposals maybe. Like a bird mating dance? Or do the Covenant Network and various other groups have secret meetings in which they gyrate around copies of their proposals in a pagan ceremony at GA invoking false gods, seeking power to get their proposals approved by the GA ? And if so why hasn't the Layman reported on this activity?

    Which raises another question: does this mean all gays and lesbians can dance like all African Americans can dance? Well there was disco but my friends of many orientations hated and continue to hate it with a passion. Then again I'm straight so I can't dance by definition according to this paragraph.

    A bit of free associating.

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  24. The astounding number of fetishes in the "straight" world make liking sex with someone who has the same plumbing as you do seem ridiculously tame.

    I would certainly hate for some of my quirks to become taboo in the eyes of the unwashed masses. Just giving up my subscription to "Big Ole Boobs" magazine alone, would cause irreparable harm to my fragile psyche.

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  25. "Or do the Covenant Network and various other groups have secret meetings in which they gyrate around copies of their proposals in a pagan ceremony at GA invoking false gods, seeking power to get their proposals approved by the GA ?"

    Yes. That's also where we draft the "Gay Agenda."

    It's a formal affair, black tie for women, evening gowns for men (but high heels do make it more difficult to gyrate.) The "undefined" are on their own, as Miss Manners does not have a chapter on formal attire for the "undefined." Clown noses optional.

    Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres to be served after. RSVP to "GyratingHomos@layman.org"

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  26. John,

    "The LayMAN and Parker Williamson are powerful, wealthy bullies."

    Indeed. The Layman's declared budget is well over 2 million dollars a year, and Parker's salary before he retired was larger than the largest pastor's salary in the denomination.

    That's not including the matchmaking the Layman does in connecting donations to particular projects.

    Like destabilizing congregations like Hollywood Presbyterian Church, or finding financing for lawsuits to bring down presbyteries like the Presbytery of the South Louisiana, or steeling property from the PCUSA and giving it to small groups of people who claim to own what they neither paid for nor use for the intended purposes of those who did.

    Forty years he dedicated to breaking up the PCUSA.

    And now that he has formally left the denomination and all the folks running the Layman are operating under the umbrella of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, they STILL make a living attacking the PCUSA.

    I am repulsed by every person who writes for their tabloid, nauseated by every self righteous right wing bigot who posts a "letter to the editor" supporting their diatribes (as if it was the moral high ground to do so), and dismayed every time somebody listens to them.

    It just blows me away.

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  27. Curiously there is info in the Layman that is difficult to find elsewhere. If only they would print the news straight and not with the slant and the nasty stuff.

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  28. BTW Alan, re you comment about women in Tuxes and Men in formal dresses:

    New Hope PA has a large population of gays and lesbians. So one day I was walking down the street there (with my wife) in my kilt of course with all the accoutrements (minus the claymore which seems to threaten people for some reason), and I saw a sign for a high heeled drag race. I turned to my wife and asked how anyone was going to keep his/her foot on the gas in high heels. She just looked at me. Suddenly the light dawned.

    And I wondered if a kilt counted as being in drag. Not in Scottish tradition of course. Besides I don't have any high heels.

    Sometimes I can be a real babe in the woods.

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  29. I'm thinking a claymore might be less intimidating than seeing a guy in a kilt AND high heels. LOL

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  30. @ Snad

    Don't have any high heels. But back in the day (late 70s and early 80s) platform shows were in style for men. That was long before I had a kilt. I don't know what happened to the platform shoes. Maybe my wife threw them out?

    BTW during WW1 the Germans called the Black Watch regiment the "Ladies from Hell."

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  31. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres to be served after. RSVP to "GyratingHomos@layman.org"

    What, no single malt scotch? And you people call yourselves Presbyterians. Macallans 12 year or cask strength (if you want to forget the whole day with one shot) 10 year.There must be a blog post in this: "How moving to Scotland and drinking Scotch changed the Reformed Reformation" Or maybe a doctoral thesis? Can I get the school to send me on the distillery tour? :)

    It must have been a tough week because I'm getting more than a bit weird.

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  32. I prefer Dalmore, Bob, but frankly, I'll drink any single malt Scotch you offer me - but beware! The kilt and high heels scenario may start to look better to everyone.

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  33. Bob,

    "Curiously there is info in the Layman that is difficult to find elsewhere."

    That's because its not info and not relevant. Nobody in their right mind would give the facts a second look. The Layman takes non events and spins them into hurricanes, literally tempests in tea cups, only for the purpose of sowing dissent and scoring propaganda points. And then, if they can't find anything, they rehash old stuff over and over again, until you are sure whatever it is, it is the devils doing happening in your very own congregation Sunday after Sunday.

    "If only they would print the news straight and not with the slant and the nasty stuff."

    They would have nothing to print.

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  34. The most helpful thing I find in the Layman is articles on the GA budget. This can be difficult to find elsewhere and then difficult to understand. I served on the Budge and Finance Committee at the 98 GA and found the budget almost impossible to understand. Asking questions made it more difficult.

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  35. You all talk more about the Layman than people who agree with what it says.

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  36. Joe

    I agree with some of what the Layman says but wish they would say it in a more Christian way.

    An example: the Layman has criticized Ghost Ranch's programs in the past for moving away from Christianity to a kind of New Age religion. I think they are correct. But I don't think they will get heard in the denomination for the way they talk about the situation.

    For that matter when the Carmen Fowler used the passage about tying a millstone around someone's neck to refer to Dr. Achtimeyer's change of mind about homosexuality I wrote a blog saying that while I disagreed with Dr. Achtimeyers's change and Biblical conclusions I thought he was brave for saying what he said in public, knowing what would happen to him in Evangelical circles.

    There are loving ways to disagree with fellow Christians. The Layman, alas, does not use them.

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  37. Yeah. I've noticed a lot of good ol' Christian love in here, too ("the stuff that goes plop as elephants pass by") With all this "love" going around, how come the world is still vastly unsaved? :)

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  38. "Salvation" being a relative term to liberals and conservatives. Conservatives meaning some sort of spiritual salvation for the next world and liberals meaning some sort of salvation politically, socially, or economically in the present world.

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  39. Joe,

    So you see Christianity as a save-your-ass religion.

    Maybe. I guess that's why the Lord's prayer says "our Father who art in heaven,...take us to thy kingdom where thy will be done".

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  40. Jodie

    I'm a both and Christian. Christ calls us into the household of faith. This includes faith in Christ and salvation through Christ alone. But our response to the love of Christ is or must be the battle against evil in this world. Maybe I should say the battle against evil in the Church and the world. The Brief Statement of faith puts it this way:

    We trust in God the Holy Spirit,
    everywhere the giver and renewer of life. The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith, sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor, and binds us together with all believers
    in the one body of Christ, the Church. The same Spirit who inspired the prophets and apostles
    Christ through Scripture, engages us through the Word proclaimed,
    claims us in the waters of baptism,
    feeds us with the bread of life and the cup of salvation, and calls women and men to all ministries of the Church.

    In a broken and fearful world the Spirit gives us courage
    to pray without ceasing, to witness among all peoples to Christ as Lord and Savior,to unmask idolatries in Church and culture, to hear the voices of peoples long silenced, and to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.

    Thus the Church is called to Evangelism AND work for Social Justice. The Church cannot be the Church without both.

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  41. Hey, thanks, Joe! I'm rather proud of that line.

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  42. Bob,

    "But our response to the love of Christ is or must be the battle against evil in this world."

    I don't think so.

    That hook, when swallowed, leads to the very evil you wish you were battling against. Jesus showed what it really takes to battle against evil. The way of the non-violent activist.

    I think there is a calling to not be a part of evil. To practice an ethic of honesty, non-violence, fairness, and compassion. It has the effect of overcoming evil yes, but to think of it as a battle puts it in the terms of this world, and the "battle" is lost even before it begins.

    The only effective response to the love of Christ is to love it forward.

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  43. Jodie

    Maybe I've been singing the old hymns too long or am just a pollyanna but when I say fight against I always mean in a non violent way. It can be as simple as saying, "No I won't." I can be the smile and the kind word over against the fist and the curse. And it can be saying clearly in the halls of power that they may think they are strong but one day they will die and what good will or the power they had on this earth do for them then? Whether one believes in the resurrection or not the reality of physical death ought to bring us all up short and ask why am I doing this?

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  44. "And I wondered if a kilt counted as being in drag. Not in Scottish tradition of course. Besides I don't have any high heels."

    No, because a kilt is not a dress. The difference is in ... um... the foundation, shall we say. :)

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  45. "Curiously there is info in the Layman that is difficult to find elsewhere."

    Well, I'd say that if you want to get information out there, they're a good place to send press releases. :)

    When our church passed the first New-B overture for the upcoming GA last May for example, the Layman was the first place I sent a press release. Since then they've advertised it in at least 8 different stories, directly linking to both the full text of the overture and to our church's website in each one.

    You can't pay for that sort of advertising.

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  46. "Yeah. I've noticed a lot of good ol' Christian love in here, too ("the stuff that goes plop as elephants pass by") "

    Ah...now I see the problem. Joe, you've confused "love" with "like". It's possible to love someone you don't like very much, but pretending you like them isn't the way to do it.

    Read CS Lewis.

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  47. "Curiously there is info in the Layman that is difficult to find elsewhere."

    Yessir. Including 44 pages about the very important topic, John Shuck

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  48. @ John

    See, you wouldn't be famous if it wasn't for the Layman!

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  49. But you get all upset when Carmen Fowler "loves but doesn't like" someone...yet is ok for you all? Hmmm......me thinks there is a bit of two-facedness going on here.

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  50. Joe, if you're suggesting that someone being drowned is a sign of love, then I guess that tells me exactly all I need to know about your comments. Thanks for making it so crystal clear. LOL

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  51. Snad

    I'm thinking a claymore might be less intimidating than seeing a guy in a kilt AND high heels. LOL

    Clearly you haven't been in New Hope PA.

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  52. I prefer Dalmore, Bob, but frankly, I'll drink any single malt Scotch you offer me - but beware! The kilt and high heels scenario may start to look better to everyone.

    Well don't expect the kind that is so smokey that you can smell the smoke when you pour it. That's a bit much for me.

    As for the kilt and high heels I'll remember to keep my knees together.

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  53. Bob - you said Clearly you haven't been in New Hope PA.

    No, but we have a Celtic festival here in the land of the Scots-Irish. A claymore is only intimidating when it is worn my a redneck in a kilt. It happens.

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  54. It amazes me how people can be so blind to the fact that they are doing the exact same things that they play the martyr about people doing to them! But...people delude themselves all the time. Your straw man argument trying to smear me by linking me to the hateful speech of others that you disagree with is, at best, a childish ploy. Perhaps I shouldn't be suprised, but, nevertheless, I am. I suppose I expect better from people who claim to be the loving and tolerant ones.

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  55. Joe - you just don't seem to get it. One more time (sigh) here's the cliff notes for you:

    Us: very little influence over others
    Them: people of power in an influential "information clearinghouse" for the conservative Presbyterian Church.

    Us: poking at people of power because we disagree with them.
    Them: recommending the intentional drowning of an individual. Recommending the complete loss of livelihood of many others because they disagree with them.

    Us: Understanding that those people will go on doing as they are doing, and that we will go on doing as we are doing, and allowing people to line up on whichever side they want (or lay down in the middle, for all we care).
    Them: throwing a hissy fit like they are being tortured because someone else gets to play in the same really big sandbox with them, even though that sandbox is so big that they never have to actually see each other, much less share the same toys.

    Now, honestly, Joe. Enough with the passive aggressive crap. It's getting dreadfully dull.

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  56. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  57. Stay classy, y'all....just like your pals at the Layman! B-bye.

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  58. No, but we have a Celtic festival here in the land of the Scots-Irish. A claymore is only intimidating when it is worn my a redneck in a kilt. It happens.

    Claymore is more acceptable at renaisance fair

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  59. "I suppose I expect better from people who claim to be the loving and tolerant ones."

    Sorry we're too "uppity" for ya, Joe. We'll make sure to bow and scrape for you and your buddy Parker next time. xxxooo

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