Stupid Vs. Wrong

We here in the south love our college football. In fact, it would be easy to say that many worship college football. If a pittance of the devotion some give to their team were directed toward more worthy causes, there could be a substantial positive change in this world.

Don’t get me wrong, I love football. I love tailgating, fatty foods, friendly arguments, and the whole game day experience. But I don’t live or die with it. If my team loses, I am pretty much okay twenty minutes afterwards unlike some who can’t recover until a potential perfect season starts again the next year. Maybe that’s the benefit of your team never being very good, I don’t know.

I’ve noticed a disheartening trend among some fans. It happens when one of the players messes up and gets disciplined by the coach or school. All of the sudden, that kid is labelled “bad”… a ne’re-do-well. I have to say that upsets me more than the many losses my team racked up last year.

What many forget is that these are just kids put in a crazy situation that contains spotlights and cameras all pointed at them. When they do something stupid, everyone acts surprised and offended as if they have soiled the hallowed reputation of the university. Of course they are going to do something stupid! They are eighteen year-old boys. If all of my stupidity at that age was laid out on ESPN, I would have had a ton of labels thrown on me also. And my guess is that these superfans have skeletons, as well. Come on, if you are willing to paint your fat, nearly-naked body as an adult, what stupidity did you enter into as an adolescent?


Here is what we need to remember. There is Stupid and there is Wrong  – and they are two totally separate things. By stupid, I don’t mean unintelligent.

Portsong’s definition of Stupid – impulsive actions a young man undertakes with no forethought or consideration of consequence. Stupid.

“Hey, stop the car. You see those cows, let’s go cow-tipping?” – Stupid

“You bring your gun, let’s shoot that cow.” – Wrong

Need I list more examples?  They are boys! Don’t confuse stupid behavior with bad intent. Stupid and Wrong are totally separate things. You get your belt out for wrong. You take away a privilege for stupid.

There are plenty of gray areas. “You wanna smoke some of this,” blurs the line between stupid experimentation and wrong. But I think you get my point. Just because a kid does something that gets him disciplined by his team or coach, he isn’t a bad kid. He’s just exercising his prerogative to be his age – lights, cameras, and microphones or not. Fans have created this surreal college sports environment where they expect young men to live up to a ten-thousand page code of conduct that they themselves would have torn up and eaten on a dare at their frat party just a few years ago.

Putting expectations like that on an 18 year-old kid is both stupid and wrong.


Church For Rent

I saw an odd sign today and had to investigate. It simply said:

Church for Rent

Because I have been told all my life that The Church isn’t a building, it is the body of believers, I found the rental concept intriguing. Remember the little folded hand thing little old ladies taught you in Vacation Bible School when you were six?

Here is the church

Here is the steeple

Open it up

And see all the people


How do you rent that? Are you renting people? Because that is clearly illegal and otherwise immoral. Hopefully, no kind of church (collection of believers) would do that.

Are you renting beliefs? Seems plausible, but slightly ridiculous since one church down the road is giving them away and on the other side on town there is one forcing them on any poor soul wandering past.

Maybe you are renting the building. Interesting…what do you do with a church building? This led to a whole other set of questions that forced me to survey the property. My initial investigation told me that this had been a Pentecostal church, most likely a Primitive Baptist church. I narrowed it down because of the booths that I found on the side, I think they are for potluck dinners and that is certainly a Baptist thing. I wiped a window and peeked inside to find a strange box next to the pulpit that I can only believe housed snakes in its day – thus the primitive. One other note, I live in the Deep South where you can’t swing a cat without hitting a Baptist church, so that is always the go-to denomination. (Yes, in this day and age, cat-swinging is discouraged, but only on Sundays with the blue laws and all.)

So if you are a Primitive Baptist Church and someone comes to rent your building (We will take the rental of members off the table because no one is going to pay for a bunch of staunchy guys yelling hellfire & brimstone at you, anyway), do you have a list of belief clauses the perspective renter has to adhere to before they can take over? I mean, you can’t let the building become a pool hall, bingo parlor, or a YMCA – which is just two towels short of a brothel. And what if a gaggle of Presbyterians comes along with their slick predestination/sovereignty of God talk and fermented drink? Do you even let them into the building? How about a flock of Methodists who debate the stickiness of salvation? Or God forbid, a cloister of Catholics? They would be crossing themselves, kneeling, and serving real wine in the very aisles that you used to charge up and down under the influence of the Spirit (not the alcoholic kind, the Holy kind). It flutters the mind to think of the radical change these denominations could bring to this sacred place.

The real question is, why does the church need to rent the space anyway? Tough times, I assume. But who holds the deed? The preacher, chairman of the deacons, or the head of the finance committee? If the church is caput, where does the rent money go? To the three guys probably responsible for its caputness?

You see the dilemma I’d fallen upon. You also know what all of these questions meant!  I simply had to call the number. It rang four times and then to my disappointment, a nasally clerk named Eunice answered the phone with a boring explanation. It seems the church has been vacant for years and the city owns the property.

What seemed like a huge let-down led to one more question – where do they keep the charred remains of the poor slob who foreclosed on God?