Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Mad Libs

This year, I’ve been keeping up with the 2012 United Methodist Church General Conference online through blogposts, twitter, and the occasional live feed. There’s a daily journal of events, too, but I find it hard to follow. To be honest, I find the whole event hard to follow, as there is a lot going on, and at least one issue in which I am interested has been addressed in multiple committees.

So I mostly read the Twitter feed to get the gist, and that means that when popular items are re-tweeted, and re-tweeted, and re-tweeted, I get to read them a few dozen to a few hundred times.

In addition to position statements, prayers, and updates on what is going on, there are the short bits of wisdom usually seen on bumper stickers and church signs. One of the most popular last night and early this morning was “Holiness without love is not God’s kind of holiness. Love without holiness is not God’s kind of love.”

The whole genre of word play masquerading as the wisdom of the ages provokes me to roll my eyes, but it occurs to me that this one can be used as a sort of Mad Libs, with the category being “paired nouns”. So I have a few:

“Spaghetti without meatballs is not God’s kind of spaghetti. Meatballs without spaghetti are not God’s kind of meatballs.”

“Gin without tonic is not God’s kind of gin. Tonic without gin is not God’s kind of tonic.”

“Catfish without hushpuppies is not God’s kind of catfish. Hushpupies without catfish are not God’s kind of hushpuppies.”

“Eggs without bacon are not God’s kind of eggs. Bacon without eggs is not God’s kind of bacon.”

Alas, given the back and forth going on at the conference about full inclusion for LGBT church members, I am afraid the tweet was really some kind of Sooper Sekret Code for “Men without women are not God’s kind of men. Women without men are not God’s kind of women.” That is what a lot of the delegates (a majority, it appears so far) seem to believe.

So I have a lot of thinking to do, about church suppers and coleslaw.

(Since I wrote this post, almost 4 years ago, I have discovered there is a word for this kind of rhetorical device: Chiasmus.)

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