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Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr. Glenn Reynolds:

OKAY, DAN O’BRIEN’S STOLEN HORSES MAY BE A GREAT BOOK, but listening to the summary in this NPR review I was struck by the litany of lefty/Oprah cliches: A town founded in an act of violence by white settlers (check! — they’re even cowboys!), a Native American (check!) who dies because he’s denied healthcare (check!) by a greedy hospital (check!) that’s defended by a Republican lawyer (check!) There’s even a plucky female journalist (check!) with a boyfriend who . . . . won’t commit! (check, and mate!) Really, can it get any better than this?

For all my green-eyed grumbling about the Insta-status, I have to admit that if I could write like this, I’d be blending puppies with impunity, too.

I’m rayther amazed to read an article like this at CNN:

If you’re the parent of a Christian teenager, Kenda Creasy Dean has this warning:

Your child is following a “mutant” form of Christianity, and you may be responsible.

Dean says more American teenagers are embracing what she calls “moralistic therapeutic deism.” Translation: It’s a watered-down faith that portrays God as a “divine therapist” whose chief goal is to boost people’s self-esteem.

Dean is a minister, a professor at Princeton Theological Seminary and the author of “Almost Christian,” a new book that argues that many parents and pastors are unwittingly passing on this self-serving strain of Christianity.

She says this “imposter” faith is one reason teenagers abandon churches.

“If this is the God they’re seeing in church, they are right to leave us in the dust,” Dean says. “Churches don’t give them enough to be passionate about.”

Read the rest.

I would probably argue that although many parents may “unwittingly” pass along this kind of Christianity-and-water, the mainline clergy know exactly what they’re doing.

Well, here we go again.  This week finds ol’ Robbo coaching at a softball camp for the younger players in the neighborhood, ahead of the “fall ball” season that starts some time in the near future (in which, thankfully, I have not been asked to manage although I’m sure I’ll wind up coaching).

We’ve got about 25 kids in the camp between the ages of 6 and 10, including my own 8 year old.  We split them into squads of four or five based on age and sex and send them through a circuit of drill stations.  Last evening found your host handling the grounder drill.  It was the first time I’ve tried coaching kids at any level other than that of my own gels, and it was a bit of a challenge to change wavelengths in such rapid order.  On the other hand, it also was amusing to flip from the “Ooooh, good job, sweetie!” line used on a bunch of near-infant girls to the “Let’s move it, gentlemen!” bark more appropriate to a gang of older boys.

I’m hoping that the coaching assignments get switched from day to day.  They were using a pitching machine to lob fly balls last evening and I couldn’t help glancing over in envy from time to time.  It looked like the coaches were having as much fun chucking the balls as the kids were catching them.

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