Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Keeping a list

Barack Obama would have been better off if he had invited Rick Warren to do some stand up instead of the invocation at the inauguration. This guy is hilarious:

HH: You have stayed above scandal. Thank you for that, because so many Christian pastors, you know what happens when this happens, and we could name 30 of them, the damage they do.

RW: Yeah, I keep a list.

HH: You keep a list?

RW: Actually, I have what, Hugh, I’ve had it for almost 40 years. I call it a warnings file. And every time I watch somebody, and Satan has no temptations that are new. It’s either money, sex or power. It’s lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, the pride of life, and you have to know the antidotes, and you have to set up the parameters that keep you from even being tempted in those areas, which means for instance, I’m never alone, ever, ever alone with a woman, or even my myself when I’m traveling.

Warren is apparently in need of some serious help. And self control.

Does Warren really think every woman is some sort of wanton temptress? Why does he need that sort of rigorous monitoring? And is he really so sexually obsessed that he can't be alone by himself for fear that he'll immediately start masturbating? He doesn't even trust himself with himself, after all.

Then again, if he's not with a woman and not by himself, then he's with a man. And that creates an entirely different set of problems.


Jack T. said...

If he learns self control, then he'll have to blame himself when it all goes wrong and he motorboats the church organ player or whatever. If he falls back on Satan, well, that's a whole different tale, as Flip Wilson once showed us.

avery said...

nah, b.

think of it like this: i coach wrestling. one of the first rules i lay down is 'don't get pinned.' obviously, you can't get pinned if you ain't on your back. so i teach em to do whatever they need to do to stay off their backs. cuz really, you can give up points, even when you technically wouldn't get pinned. same thing here.

with preachers and teachers, the threshold for male-female contact is higher. (for males, at least. iono about females.) you can't just not-do, you hafta keep yourself out of a potential he-said/she-said situation altogether. if you're smart, that is. and that's looking at it from the Marion Barry "the b* set me up" perspective. any smart teacher is gonna have a similar standard in terms of being alone w/ a female student. not necessarily because he thinks he's gon get set up, or because he thinks some sort of relationship will develop, but to totally avoid the potential of something like that happening.

or to look at it another way, as a preacher, i gotta imagine that he's seen more good-hearted, well-meaning dudes get caught up in an affair than i have seen wrestlers gettin pinned. all those stories have a common genesis. it all starts with legitimate time spent alone w/ some woman. didn't necessarily start off some typea way, but over time, it can develop. i'm gonna give him the benefit of the doubt that he could maintain a professional relationship, just like i give myself the benefit of the doubt. but it's rule #1 for me, i don't tutor girls in isolation, and i don't tutor multiple girls with the door closed.

that's just good mat savvy.

Jack T. said...

I got a lot of teachers in my family, Avery. I understand not wanting to be alone with a student. But how does that carry over to every woman walking the earth? I didn't see him saying "I'm never alone with my female parishoners" which I would have left alone. He said "I'm never, ever, ever alone with a woman." Parishoners I understand, but, um, damn.

Taking your wrestling students as an example, I understand why you'd advise them to stay off their backs in a wrestling match. Would you give them the same advice with women (or men if that's how they roll)?

As a preacher, shouldn't he be interested in being a role model on how to conduct male-female relationships-which are a fact of life-without getting anyone into a bad situation? I see how avoiding women all together helps him, but what about those who come to him for advice on this sort of thing?

blackink said...

Obviously, I side with Jack on this one. But I hear what you're saying AT.

I can appreciate Warren being cautious so as to ensure there's never any chance of scandal being associated with his name. The same goes for teachers and doctors, and hell, husbands and wives.

Myself, I know that putting myself in certain situations - late night, alone, motel room, drunk off my ass, with an attractive woman - are probably not good on the whole for my relationship.

But ... anything can lead to sex, if you're so short in self control or so long on motivation. Warren (or anyone else, for that matter) wouldn't have to get to know them or spend much time with them.

Individual choices matter more than some false distance from someone of the opposite - or same sex - in this instance. Sure you might still meet people you like or have a crush on, but you’ve made a commitment, and whether you choose to honor that commitment is entirely in your hands.

Also, under this line of thinking, Warren seems to think of women as nothing more than lusty orifices, waiting to be filled. By him, whenever he comes to town. It's just another way of objectifying women rather than actually dealing with them and his own issues.

But I'm ultimately willing to allow that he should do what he needs to do to keep himself out of trouble.

avery said...

iono, fellas. i guess b/c my background is similar to warren's, i give him the benefit of the doubt on this one. one of the lines is, "abstain from the appearance of evil."

and again, i'm sure we all can count high-profile (and people - ministers especially - who got caught up. not every preacher was like bernie mac on friday. some of em were legitimately lookin to have prayer, but wound up hollerin 'oh god' for the wrong reason. i look at is a just a function of ish happens. you start spendin enough time w/ a woman and you develop a rapport, which can beget little inside jokes and a certain level of attraction. next thing you know, you're three steps from where you started, even when you're bound and determined not to do anything. some folks have can step back and keep everything cool. some folks can't. again, i bet he knows more stories of otherwise good dudes who slipped up than most people. i'd say that his stance is about right, given his position.

w/ my boys i generally encourage them to put it away until they need to use it. yahmeen, i make sure they understand i want them to enjoy the social aspects of high school, but that don't mean they need to catch the social diseases of high school -- especially in the dc area. (the stats here? sheesh!) i'm always like, 'IFF (and i do literally spell out i-f-f) you gon go out, wear a rain coat, but you probably need to stay in the house.

maria said...

have you considered the reverse? that he thinks no woman could resist HIM?

if he really practices this rule, he does stay above scandal. he can't even be accused of any wrong-doing. it's actually not a bad idea, regardless of why he does it.

i'm pretty sick of all the crap i read about these so-called religious leaders and their gay or/and extramarital funk romps.

and, i'd have to say, there are some guys i'd NEVER fuck, no matter how drunk i was.

Jack T. said...

You know what, Maria? No. I didn't consider that he found himself to be irresistable to teh ladiez. I hate admitting that, too, because considering the size of Rush Limbaugh's ego, I should have considered that. Good on you, though. Tell Rick that the Overweight Lover thing worked for Heavy, Biggie (RIP), and Barry White (RIP) due in part to their talent and not just their charm. I'm just sayin.

"and, i'd have to say, there are some guys i'd NEVER fuck, no matter how drunk i was."

Great, Maria. Now beer sales will NEVER recover. j/k

AT, good advice to the young guys. I employed that example purely for conversation, and totally endorse the young guys keeping it in their pants. And as a fellow resident of the District, it's nice to see people trying to keep the STD infection rate down.

I also agree with you and Maria that Warren's strategy will accomplish his goal of staying away from scandal if he sticks to it. I'm just wondering what kind of guy needs to do that. I just rode the elevator up alone with a woman, and didn't feel the need to wonder about her hidden motives or anything. This thing just kinda screams paranoia to me.

maria said...

hi, jack
are you a public figure? a religious figure? someone whose every move is watched, catalogued and scrutinized the way rick's are?

if not, methinks elevators are a safe place for you to ride with the womens.

as a fellow district resident, i say we live in an area where your biz isn't gonna end up on CNN.

and i did not say there were DRUGS that might cause me to slip. as in quaaludes, if you are old enough to remember them.

Jack T. said...

"as a fellow district resident, i say we live in an area where your biz isn't gonna end up on CNN."

Sen. Vitter and Elliot Spitzer might beg to differ with that. Granted they're public figures, but DC isn't immune to the gossip mill.

And like I said, I think Rick's strategy is one that will yield the desired result. It's the "never, ever, ever" part that strikes me odd. I'm not famous, but I've been lucky enough to know a couple famous people and public figures in my lifetime, and while they have to develop a certain amount of trust with people for the reasons you stated, I don't think they'd endorse the whole "never, ever, ever" alone with a woman thing. It just seems drastic. Methinks the elevator is a safe place for a lot of people, even famous people.

Unfortunately, the ludes are before my time. Even more unfortunately, crack is not.

blackink said...

I love that back-and-forth. And I think that:

1. Maria got at something I didn't flesh out well enough - that the Rick seems to assume it's always going to go down when the ladies are around. He's imagined himself as quite the heartthrob.

2. As I said earlier, if Rick Warren has to make it so that he's never, ever, ever alone with a woman so as to avoid scandal, then he should obviously do what's best for him. (so, I see ya, AT) I just don't think that's a foolproof method. He doesn't have to get close to a woman, or even bother to get to know her, for something sexy to happen. Just saying.

3. I actually had a third thought but forgot it ... just like that. If I remember, I'll share it later.

Jack T. said...

Interesting Warren development:

I could make a sex joke here, but I just ate and I don't want that image crawling around my mind.