Uglier Than Sin


“Stop it!”

“What did I do?”

I had to know.

My wife was scowling and preparing to whack me again and she wasn’t the only one. We were in church and heads were pivoting in my direction.

What could be wrong?

I did a quick inventory. I wasn’t snoring. Nor was I even nodding off. In fact, I was on my feet singing. Granted, my singing voice is not the most harmonious. It has often been described as the sound of ten thousand goose farts on a murky day.

Again Whack!

I simply lowered my voice and ignored her.

From Bantry Bay up to Derry Quay
And from Galway to Dublin town
No maid I’ve seen like the sweet colleen
That I met in the County Down.”



Suddenly I realized I was singing the wrong lyrics.

The hymn was “Canticle of the Turning” written to the melody of the old Irish ballad, “Star of the County Down” and my musical memory sent me skipping down the wrong path.

But they do this to me all the time. “Be Still My Soul” is written to the tune of “Finlandia” ( Finland’s national anthem), so I bellow out.

Oi Suomi, katso, sinun päiväs koittaa
Yön uhka karkoitettu on jo pois
Ja aamun kiuru kirkkaudessa soittaa”

Alright, I might have fibbed a little. I don’t know Finnish, but why do they do this to us?

Christians have a long glorious tradition of gorgeous music. Why would anyone pen lyrics to pop tunes or for pity sake bring DRUMS into church?

And don’t get me started on uglier than sin modern church architecture.

We once went to a church in The Cities which I confused for a Wells Fargo. The only thing about the building that did not say “bank” was the swooping steeple, which one could easily mistake for a skate board ramp. But then maybe it was.

Okay, I admit it. I am a curmudgeon. A stuck in the mud traditionalist – but the world needs us.


Especially now with the advent of the new woke religion.

The simple truth is, most new ideas are bad ideas. That is not to say all new ideas are bad – just most.  By definition, most new ideas are untested, unrefined and untempered by reality. A good many are just plain goofy.

That is why nature in its infinite wisdom has created curmudgeons, bureaucrats, conservatives and the heavy weight of tradition to slow down the giddy onrush of impulsive notions.

Sadly, in our wokeness, we have tossed off these restraints and launched forward into the untethered territory of very bad new ideas.

We have been here before and as any student of history will tell you, it does not end well.

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