Disney Trip Reflections

Just a few things I noticed about taking a week long Disney vacation: 

Either stay at a place with a microwave or commit to spending big for every meal (big by Mississippi standards, at least). 

Disney table service restaurants that take reservations are worth it, especially for vegans. They’re more money, but the food is really good, many have characters for your kids to meet, and they’ll take care of any allergies or restrictions. 

The quick service places are less money,  but the vegan options are often quite meh., and small to boot. If I’m eating a shredded cabbage and edamame sandwich, which had very few calories, doesn’t it stand to reason that I’ll at least need a decent-sized sandwich?

Pack less.

Always bring a portable charger for your cell phones. We used this Moko charger, and it was great. It does passthrough charging and can charge two devices at once. 

Bring good shoes. It won’t be enough to keep the pain away, but it will make it manageable. 

Take a day off in the middle. Swim at the hotel’s pool.  Take in a movie. Sleep late. Heal. This is the one thing we should have file,  but didn’t. 

I’ll write more about this later, I’m sure,  but that’s enough for now. 

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Eating Vegan on the Road:  Moe’s Southwest 

Burrito joints like Qdoba or Izzo’s are usually a good bet for vegans seeking big, filling meals on the road. 

But Sunday, I  got to eat at the king of them all (so far): Moe’s.

Most of the places just have beans as a protein option.  Moe’s also has tofu. Also, both kinds of beans are vegan, and you can get tofu and beans on the same burrito! 

Moe’s offers several different kinds and heat levels of homemade salsa, and they were all great. 

And, to top it off,  they’re very generous with their chips, their guac is good, and they have a wonderful proprietary peach vanilla soda. 

Just what I needed for a long drive home from Florida. 

Meat-Free Monday: Will Somebody Please Make Size 16 Office/Formal “Vegan” Shoes?

Okay,  this could be a tweet,  because the title sums it up.  I’m still wearing leather shoes because the “vegan” shoes that look acceptable for professional office spaces don’t come in giant sizes. 

If any readers know a good option that I’ve missed for big and tall vegans,  please comment and let new know. 

I’d much prefer to move away from wearing animal products, but I can’t wear neon green sandals to work. 

Meat Free Lagniappe: Panera Bread

Three words: Autumn Squash Soup

It’s vegan.  It has pumpkin seeds on top.   It comes with a toasted baguette (also vegan). It’s AMAZING.

I also had the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich, Anne it was great.  The soup outshone it, but it was still really good. 

They always have several different seasonal iced tea flavors,  like ginger plum hibiscus, and lots of yummy bagels. 

Theory Thursday: Creeds and Beliefs

 https://youtu.be/H-61MaWETiU

 I’m talking about my beliefs, my creed, so to speak. In the “re-boot” post, I talked about how my theological beliefs had settled down a bit since the last period of blog activity (2012-2013), but I didn’t go into much detail, and may have been a bit a bit vague or confusing.

First, let me get the question of orthodoxy out of the way. I affirm the Apostle’s Creed every Sunday in church, and I mean every word.

I believe that Jesus was so much more than just an example for us … but that we cannot ignore his example. And in many ways, I spent most of my life ignoring his example.

Jesus taught peace, yet I found a way to justify every single war the U.S. had ever gotten into. 

Jesus crossed social boundaries and embraced the poor, the outcasts of society, and those believed to be sinners, yet I found a way to stay safe in my own middle-class moral superiority. I let myself believe that we’d somehow all started from the same place.

Jesus always spoke up to the powerful for the sake of those who were weaker, poorer, considered sinners, or socially ‘underneath.’

Yet time and again, I’d side with the powerful, the privileged,  because I’m one of them … white,  male,  heterosexual, cisgender, able-bodied Christian.

America wss quite literally made for my kind. 

And I know I won’t ever understand how it is to be black or gay or trans or  female … But at least I can be aware of that. At least I can listen. 

At least I can try to follow the Jesus of the Gospels.

The Value of the Eternal Student

Sometimes i worry that there are so many things i haven’t mastered,  so many things i can’t teach my daughter from a position of authoritative knowledge. 

I know their number will only grow greater as she gets older and learns more. 

But I think,  perhaps, that Matty not be all bad.  There are skilled teachers in all manner of subjects all around. 

Maybe if her day can’t teach her, he (I) can go learn it alongside her. 

If nothing else, I’ll teach her that it’s never too late to learn. 

Wayne Grudem Is NOT a “Good Man Giving Bad Advice” 

[I wrote this in early August, but shelved it until I’d cooled off some. Sometimes being timely isn’t worth it] 

Conservative evangelical theologian Wayne Grudem wrote a terrible article called “why voting for Donald Trump is a morally good choice.”

In it, he whitewashed Trump’s misogyny and racism, including his refusal to denounce the KKK.

Grudem minimized the dangers of having such an egotistical, unstable bully at the command of the world’s most powerful military.

He raised the spectre of widespread persecution of Christians under a Clinton presidency,  with no real evidence that this would happen,  while ignoring the persecution of Muslims that Trump has promised.

Obviously, I disagree with Grudem. So do conservative theologians like the Southern Baptist Convention’s Al Mohler and Russel Moore, though perhaps for different reasons. 

In fact, there had been a lot of pushback against Grudem from the Christian Right, which is encouraging.

This article sums up the general approach these articles have taken, assuming that Grudem is a generally good and wise man who has been misled by fears of who Clinton might appoint to the Supreme Court.

I want to take a more critical approach. Wayne Grudem and Donald Trump are a near-perfect match.

Torture: Donald Trump has advocated not only torturing trout suspects (without trial) just as his Republican predecessor,  evangelical darling George W. Bush did, but even torturing their families if it helps get useful information.

Wayne Grudem called waterboarding and other Bush-  era “enhanced interrogation” techniques a “moral responsibility” of government. Not only did he give his sanction to torture, so long as it was the kind that didn’t leave permanent scars, but he actually said “not to have used them would have been morally wrong…” (Politics According to the Bible, p 432, quoted in Christianity Today).

Christian supremacy: Donald Trump has shown open hostity toward Muslims, even the Muslim parents of a soldier killed in action.

And while few people actually believe Trump’s conveniently timed religious awakening (an awakening that has not led him to change any of his positions, apologize to anyone he has wronged or insulted, or divest himself of his strip clubs and casinos), it’s pretty clear which religious group he’s currying favor with.

Wayne Grudem’s examples of religious liberty in his endorsement all centered around Christians being allowed to deny God’s and services to people the disagree with (mostly gay people) Or limiting medical coverage for their female employees, Hobby Lobby style.

Grudem’s book on politics us called Politics According to the Bible, a title that is certainly ambitious, if not hubristic. Much of what he advocates is standard Christian Right “get this country back to God” soft theocracy.

It is safe to say that Trump’s hostility toward religious minorities is of no real concern to Grudem.

Misogyny, or at least male dominance. Trump has proven his misogyny over and again on the trail. And that’s leaving aside a history of adultery, objectification, rpe allegations, abd sexualizing his daughters on talk radio.

Grudem is one of the leading proponents of complementarianism, a theory in which the men lead and the women submit and support thrm. Men are spiritual and worldly leaders, protectors, and providers. Women are caretakers. They raise the children, support their husbands’ ministries and activities, and follow.

This aligns him with Trump, who proudly claimed to have taken little role in raising his children, other than bringing home a lot of money, and whose three wives have all set their careers aside for him.

Sure,  Grudem is a moralistic man who’d never be involved with something as crass or sleazy as a strip club, who’d never say “grab ’em by the pussy“, but fundamentally, he and Trump are the same: authoritarians who believe in male dominance, force, torture, and the suppression of civil rights for unpopular minorities.

If you call that “good,” you know how to vote in November.

If not, you can be like Al Mohler and Russel Moore and vote third party, or you can be like Rachel Held Evans and Shannon Dingle and vote for Hillary Clinton.

But let’s not pretend that Wayne Grudem’s endorsement of Donald Trump was some weird, outlier mistake. The two are much more alike than they seem.