December 27, 2008

5 minutes of fame (?)

In the middle of the day on Christmas Eve I had my 5 minutes of fame as I was interviewed by the BBC about how the economic crisis is affecting people. If you care to listen, select the December 24, 2008 podcast at their site. I think they were looking for more controversy than I managed to provide, but after having been wildly misrepresented (in how I felt concerning the war in Iraq) in the Wall Street Journal some years ago, I've been very careful to speak my mind rather than be led into seeming agreement with something I don't agree with, or fomenting controversy where none exists. So if you want to hear me speaking my mind on the economic crisis, via cell phone (which I hate using due to the disembodied feeling I find it induces), complete with the ums and ahs and other artifacts of brain / mouth / cell phone coordination, click away! I'm right at the top of the hour.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

December 23, 2008

Some thoughts on Benedict’s Natural Lawsuit

The Pope is closing out Advent and bringing us into Christmastide with yet one more rendition of his favorite theme: natural law and its place in scholastic theology, in particular as it speaks to the divinely ordered status of men and women qua men and women. (I like to use qua in contexts such as this, as it gives the appearance of seriousness to an otherwise trivial concept: that men and women are men and women.) It's what the Scholastic Theologians got from this that is the problem; and the pope is hammering away on his one-note marimba once again. As the officers will say at a roadside accident, "Nothing to see here; move along."

I can't help but take note, however, about the insistent persistence of this outmoded metaphysic, and the natural law to which it gives rise. Of course, as reported in the Australian, the pope told his audience, "It is not 'outmoded metaphysics'" to urge respect for the "nature of the human being as man and woman."

Oh, but it is, when you get beyond the respect due to individual men and women, and try to draw conclusions for the whole, in an essentialist mode. "Scholastic theology" is at the root of the problem. For all of his Scriptural references, when it comes to anthropology Aquinas relies as much on "the Philosopher" (i.e, Aristotle) as on Scripture. This is precisely where the outmoded metaphysics comes in. Not only outmoded (lots of old fashioned things are just fine!) but wrong. Just factually wrong, erroneous, mistaken. I mean, read Aquinas on where babies come from and how sperm is made, and what the fundamental difference between man and woman is. Any theology based on falsehoods cannot claim to be in keeping with the one who is the Perfect Truth.

Of course, back in the days when he went by Ratzinger, the present pontiff had defended the church's actions in re Galileo; continuing to affirm the authority of the magisterium over against the insufficiencies of mere secular science.

Infallible? Sed contra.

And while I'm at it, let me make an observation about the pope's "ecological" concern about human nature and the damage any legitimizing of same-sex relationships or other gender-bending might cause to society as we know it, perhaps leading, as he suggests, to its "destruction." As quoted by John Allen in NCR:

[The Church] must also defend the human person against its own destruction. What's needed is something like a 'human ecology,' understood in the right sense. It's not simply an outdated metaphysics if the church speaks of the nature of the human person as man and woman, and asks that this order of creation be respected... Here it's a question of faith in creation, in listening to the language of creation, disregard of which would mean self-destruction of the human person and hence destruction of the very work of God...

Yes, let's listen to creation, and take heed that if celibacy were given approval, then too many people might become celibate, and the human race would die out.

Oh, wait.

Blessed Feast of the Incarnation -- when perfect Truth dared enter this world in a completely unnatural way, and without making use of what Benedict sees as the God-ordained pairing of male and female. Odd that God chose not to use what Benedict thinks all folk should choose.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG
with a tip of the hat to Episcopal Café

December 22, 2008

from a serious scribbler

A.S. Haley of the Anglican Curmudgeon has honored me with the "Superior Scribbler" award. Here are the rules of this particular blogition.

  • Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
  • Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
  • Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

In keeping with the above, I am happy to award the next round of Superior Scribbler citations to:

  • Christopher of Betwixt and Between, who in addition to wise observations is filling some gaps in the liturgical hymnody.
  • Grandm√®re Mimi of The Wounded Bird, who is among the most restrained and concise of bloggers; a characteristic devoutly to be wished upon many of us. She manages to make her mind known in simple, straightforward language. And she's been having troll problems lately, so she deserves a prize.
  • Greg Jones of Anglican Centrist, who often helps folks keep centered and lucid. As these are in short supply, we value their continued dispersal abroad.
  • Clumber, of Barkings of an Old Dog, for his humor and knowledge of atomic physics, among other things. One does not always associate science and humor, (any more than either with religion) so I want to encourage this development. And finally,
  • The increasingly anachronistically named Postulant of Ember Days, again for examples of wit and scholarship, but also for those tantalizing visions of being tough on students. Ah, those were the days...

So congratulations, and keep scribbling.

Tobias Haller BSG

December 20, 2008

Augusta muses on Rick Warren

I think she was hoping for Tuna.

Thought for 12.20.08

The voice of the people is not lightly to be ignored; but neither is it to be heeded when it urges the abrogation of fundamental rights. The old saying, “The voice of the people is the voice of God,” may be true; but sometimes it is a false god. Beware of idols.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

December 15, 2008

Why the Courts?

Over at the House of Bishops / Deputies list there's some discussion going on about why we can't have more mediation or reconciliation instead of litigation, in addressing some of the painful controversies with dissident members or parishes and even large chunks of dioceses. Much of the litigation, of course, focuses on the property issues -- mostly real property issues.

I sympathize with those who wish we didn't have to resort to the courts. One often hears Paul's advice not to go before a civil court cited; but then when he got into a spot with his Jewish countrymen, he appealed to Caesar.

However, I think it is fair to note that in many cases the petitioners who, following Paul in his "appeal to Caesar" modality, are those who wish to remove church property from the control of the larger diocese or church. There have also been a few failed efforts at reconciliation which cast a larger shadow over the successful efforts; this is exacerbated, no doubt, by the press both "sacred" and secular.

There seems to me to be another reality at work: some people just can't be negotiated with; they don't want to negotiate even when negotiation is offered. That -- coupled with the fact that, if I'm not mistaken, about 80 - 90 percent of all such property cases end up favoring the "hierarchical church" -- presents the dissidents with three possibilities:

1) Negotiate and likely and up having to pay a fair price for the property, or

2) Litigate, spending perhaps less than the property would cost, but on the chance you might win and get it for nothing beyond the money spent to press the suit; or

3) Abdicate, walking away and starting anew, but then having to spend a pretty penny to do so.

Given that there is bound to be a cost involved, even the "logical" choice would appear to be (2), unless the legal costs become prohibitive.

This choice is, at least in some cases, also fueled by a high level of a "God is on our side and will deliver us" mentality. A perusal of some of the dissident side's reflection on their court cases, and indeed the whole course of the crisis in the Anglican Communion and environs, reveals that the Deuteronomic Historian's philosophy is alive and well ("If we do what God wants God will reward and protect us..." ) So that emotional pressure adds to the "logical" choice to risk litigation on the 10-20% chance of winning. Beats the lottery, hands down; and inclines the heart away from reconciliation or negotiation.

Tobias Haller BSG


Update 12/20/08

This post has engendered a number of comments, some of which seem to derive from portions of it having been quoted out of context -- and with an added gloss -- at SFiF. Fr Matt commented below as well, and I responded to his very courteous note. I want to summarize what I said and add it here as an update, to help clarify what I intended in this brief reflection. I invite you to read the string of comments for further insight.

This reflection was written in answer to the question, "Why can't we all get along" and was an effort to understand why a parish would choose litigation -- from the get-go -- rather than negotiation or abdication. I think my original statement is true in many (not "most" -- as the gloss to my comments asserted at SFiF) cases. It appears to be true in relation to Don Armstrong's parish, and in the California parishes; the story in Virginia seems to be mixed, but as "the witnesses do not agree" I'm content to set that aside. What I'm left with is evidence from past reading in the Clergy Law and Tax Report, not just from TEC cases, but other churches. Good-faith negotiation seems to be rare, and litigation common. I've also spelled out [in the comments] the pressure to litigation from the "hierarchical church" side -- I don't mean to put all of the "blame" on dissident parishes, by any means.

In part I was trying to lay out the reasons for choosing litigation over negotiation (which takes both sides' agreement, and which often fails early on) or abdication (the third option I describe) from the dissident side; which Phil dismisses as "trivial" or so obvious it doesn't require saying. To my mind, the effort to alienate property rather than walking away and starting fresh, especially in places where the track record on court decisions is against the congregation and in favor of the hierarchy, requires some explanation as to what drives the movement in that direction. And I think it is the small but real hope of winning the case, and a very firm belief in the rightness of the cause. That does not seem to me to be unreasonable.

T

Getting Political

I am usually very careful not to get into overtly political issues in my preaching — I think the Gospel is usually clear enough on its own not to require me to dot any I's or cross any T's. However, the readings yesterday seemed to call for a more direct response. My sermon was called, "A Man Like John" -- including some reminiscences of JFK, but also the nature of the ministry of John the Baptist. You can read the whole thing, and even listen to an MP3 if you are of a mind, over at my sermon blog. Here is an excerpt:

I don’t need to tell you that I heard a similar voice speak out in the campaign leading up to the election, and I’ve heard that same voice since. It is the voice of the man our nation chose, by a significant margin, to be our next President. He too could have offered the easy promises of wealth to the rich trickling down to us below; of health care provided universally but without cost. But he has taken a page from John’s book — John the Baptist and John Kennedy — to be straight with us, to challenge us, and call us to stand up to the challenge. It isn’t about him. It is not he upon whom we’ve pinned our hopes — except the hope that he will inspire us to do our best, not to ask what he can do for us, but what we can do for each other, working together, helping to turn our hopes into action to make this land, this world, a better place.

He is challenging us to “make straight the paths” of this land so that the poor and weak do not stumble. He is calling us to sacrifice and contribute to the good of all so that a fair and equitable health care system can be instituted, so that, God willing, no more shall there be an infant that lives but a few days, or an old person who does not live a lifetime. He is calling us to a world in which one does not plant while another harvests the crops, to a world in which the worker is compensated fairly, without regard to age or gender or race, and in which the laborers receive the fair return of their labor. He is calling us to a world in which those with much will indeed be challenged to share what they have — as John the Baptist did when he said that the one with two coats should share with the one who has none, and the one with plenty of food should do the same: and that’s not socialism; that’s the Gospel!

Barack Obama is no more the Messiah than was John the Baptist — but both of them call us to our better selves, to responsibility and willingness to bear each others’ burdens, so that all might benefit. We live in difficult times no less than did John the Baptist, times of war and want, of poverty and need, and of greed and selfishness. We cannot by our own efforts bring about the kingdom of God — but we can make straight his paths. We can prepare the way. We can all be men and women like John.

Read or listen to it all, if you are so moved.

Tobias Stanislas Haller BSG

December 13, 2008

Advent Fanfare

a little something for "Stir Up" Sunday. Based on the Advent Responsory:

I look from afar, and behold I see the power of God coming, like a cloud covering the whole earth.

Go ye out to meet him and say, Tell us! Art thou he who is to come to reign over thy people Israel?

High and low, rich and poor, one with another: Go ye out to meet him and say, Hear O thou Shepherd of Israel, thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep: Tell us! Art thou he that should come?

Stir up thy strength, O Lord, and come to reign over thy people Israel!

Glory be to the Father and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

I look from afar, and behold I see the power of God coming, like a cloud covering the whole earth.

Go ye out to meet him and say, Tell us! Art thou he who is to come to reign over thy people Israel?

—Tobias Haller BSG

MP3 File

December 12, 2008

Avery Dulles SJ RIP

I just saw an announcement that Cardinal Avery Dulles, a hard-minded but generous-hearted Jesuit, has died, at the age of 90, in the infirmary at Fordham University, where he was in residence in recent years, just a few blocks down the hill from my parish church. When he was created Cardinal in 2001, I was tempted to send a note saying how happy it always makes me to hear that one of my parishioners has been honored. I'm sorry I didn't, as I think he would have smiled. Perhaps he is smiling now. God rest him, in eternal light.

Tobias Haller BSG

The Archbishop as Cognitive Therapist

One of the issues that arose in the discussion on the previous post regards the extent to which Archbishop Rowan Williams is responsible for the Network's having worked itself into its present schismatic position.

When I did my clinical pastoral experience, I served as a chaplain in the psychiatric ward, and was given some instruction in the basics of cognitive therapy, which is a gentle way of guiding delusional people back to greater engagement with reality. Part of this therapeutic technique involves being very clear about reality, as opposed to the unfounded beliefs that a delusional person may hold.

Archbishop Williams, bless his heart, has apparently not learned this valuable skill. He does not seem to grasp that if he gives people who are behaving badly a single thread from which to hang they will weave it into whole cloth.

This is evident in the reports of the recent meeting between the GAFCON primates and the Archbishop. Apparently he told them that he would neither support nor oppose the development of a new province of the Anglican Communion in North America. This carefully neutral statement is being taken not for what it actually says, but as a kind of tacit support; along the lines of "if he is not explicitly against us then he is really for us."

I do not, of course, know what actually transpired in the course of the meeting. It may be that the Archbishop said more than has been reported; for example, that the creation of a new province along these lines would be a novelty in the history of the Anglican Communion. He might have gone further and said, "I will not recognize such a new province." Whether he accepts the authority that comes with being Archbishop of Canterbury or not, it is in his power to recognize a new province — or not. And perhaps this is exactly what he meant when he said he would neither support it nor oppose it -- that is, contrary to the optimistic reading read into his statements by the GAFCON primates, his statement constitutes an essential veto — since his approval is required and he has said he "will not support" the venture. Thus, "he who is not for us is against us" may be the factual implication, since his consent is required for recognition as being in communion with the Church of England; as I've noted, a presumed necessity for being part of the Anglican Communion.

I once said to a bishop friend (now serving in the celestial choir) that I thought every bishop, prior to consecration, should do an additional unit of clinical pastoral experience. He shuddered at the thought. I am now inclined to think that not only should bishops undertake such an experience, but that they should do it on the psych ward.

Tobias Haller BSG

December 10, 2008

How they got here

I see from a news report that the Anglican Communion Network (h/t Thinking Anglicans) is prepared to pass a sputtering torch to the new, emerging “Anglican” “Province” in North America. (I may run out of scare quotes before this is all over.) The Network confesses that it has failed in its purpose to recall the Episcopal Church to its standards of orthodoxy, and even goes so far as to suggest that this purpose is beyond achievement. Thus the torch they are passing to ACNA is not only sputtering but extinguished.

This reminder of the Network’s failed purpose helps to bring into focus one of the major problems with the present mess into which the Anglican Communion has descended. Though I acknowledge the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada played their part in providing grist for a particular mill, still, the decision to drive that mill at a pace which has caused the whole mechanism to fall apart seems to lie with the Network and its allies — and their almost complete misunderstanding of what they had been advised to do or not to do by Archbishop Rowan Williams.

At this point they already said that Rowan Williams counts for little — he has not backed them up in what they have wanted to do. But it is worse than that. It may be that he did not understand them, but surely they did not understand him, nor did they follow through on doing what he asked them to do. I have not been alone in noting the nuanced and sometimes impenetrable language Rowan Williams uses, but the more I listen to him and the more carefully I listen the more consistent and thoughtful he appears to be. Perhaps, like Mark Twain, we are all learning that while our father in God seemed, in our youth, to be incredibly dense, we have discovered that the older we grew the wiser he has become.

The main thing people misunderstand about Rowan Williams — on both sides of the aisle — is that he is resolutely committed to working things out through the existing mechanisms of the organization. He is what some might call an institutionalist. Hence his initial displeasure with the Episcopal Church — holding as he does to the notion that Lambeth 1.10 represents the mind of the Communion, even if his own opinions tend another way (and I think they still do, by the way, contrary to what I think are other misreadings of some of his statements — but this just goes to show the depth of his commitment to proper process.) We might note as well his continued pressing for some kind of covenant, some rules in a book instead of facts on the ground. Everything Rowan Williams says has to be understood with this hermeneutical key: people should follow the rules. Perhaps he is a Benedictine at heart?

It is by failing to grasp this fundamental Rowanite principle that the Global South and its North American supporters/ambassadors have come to their present situation, on the verge of walking apart from the Canterbury-centered Anglican Communion.

This has been going on for a long time. When Bishop Duncan and his friends approached the Archbishop with the proposal to form a ‘network of confessing parishes and dioceses,’ the archbishop gave the nod. What, after all, is wrong with that? Anglicans have been forming networks or parties from the very beginning — in England the great mission societies emerged through that very process, as evangelicals and high church Anglo-Catholics worked within their own circles to build up the church in the way they thought it ought to be built.

But almost from the very beginning, the Network functioned, not as an underground body continuing to work within the structures of the larger church, out of step with which it felt itself to be — which is, after all the model for a confessing church in the manner of Bonhoeffer. No, the Network came to see itself not even as leaven in the loaf, but more like the dedicated portion of the challah loaf, though in this case a portion which would come to replace the rest of the body since it could not transform it. The rhetoric of “two churches” instead of a movement within one church began very early on in this particular turn of the Episcopal carousel.

And so it continued. In spite of Archbishop Rowan’s repeated declarations of the “un-helpfulness” of such things as AMiA and CANA, and his refusal to recognize as Anglican bishops those who staff these adventures and incursions; in spite of his explicit comments about those who chose to absent themselves from Lambeth, and his references to the language of “walking apart” from the Windsor Report — in spite of all this, the “Anglican Church in North America” still seems to hold out that sputtering hope that they will become the official Anglican presence in North America.

They shall become something; what they will become is too soon to tell. But I surmise that they will not, like the Episcopal Church, be a member of the Anglican Communion, a fellowship of autonomous churches in communion with the See of Canterbury.

Tobias Haller BSG

December 5, 2008

A new verse

Build up your mount above the hills;
to nations joined with Godly wills
send forth your truth from Zion.

Recast our swords to plow the fields
that they may bear the fruit peace yields
and we depart from warring.

Jesus, Savior,
Lord, we wait your soon arrival;
Maranatha!
On you hangs our sole survival.

Tobias Haller BSG, after Isaiah 2:1-4

To the tune Wie schön leuchtet, suggested as an additional verse to the hymn, “How brightly shines the morning star.


December 3, 2008

More on tolerance

Harking back to a conversation I had with Richard Helmer last summer, I am moved by the announcement that the Roman Catholic Church has come out in opposition to a proposed UN declaration that would call for the repeal of criminal statutes and punishments aimed at homosexual persons. (H/T Episcopal Café.) While intended to address the harsh punishments inflicted upon such persons in certain parts of the world, the rationale offered by the Vatican is based on the concern that states that did not provide for same-sex marriage might somehow come under threat of punishment on that account.

This reveals one of the dynamics about which Richard and I spoke last summer. People and organizations who are intolerant tend to imagine that they will also not be tolerated. A dynamic of projection is at work. They know what they would do if they were in charge — indeed, we saw what the Roman Catholic Church did when it was in charge, in those uncouth times when the secular arm could be employed to torture and to kill. One gives thanks for the decline in that capacity.

As a result of this projection one often sees a rhetoric of fear; calls for a “safe place” or for “security” — as if they are going to be made to do something they would not choose to do, and be punished if they did not do it. The idea that churches are going to be forced to perform same-sex marriages, or punished if they do not, is ludicrous: in much of Europe the state does not even recognize church marriages as having any standing whatsoever. As we have already seen in California and now on the global stage, however, the Roman Catholic Church does not simply wish to protect its own rights not to perform same-sex marriages, but to see to it that no one else does it either — as if that were in any case the purport of the proposed declaration!

Closer to home, canonical regulations concerning the ordination of women are a case in point in our own church. As it now stands, bishops are not required to ordain anyone against their will; while at the same time the process leading to ordination must remain open in all dioceses, without regard to sex or sexual orientation. The individual bishop with a conscientious objection to the ordination of women is only required to provide a way for women to explore the possibility of being ordained; and the actual ordination can be performed by another bishop. Nor is any bishop forced to ordain a gay or lesbian person, celibate or not. It is true there may be some social pressure, but there is no legal penalty for not ordaining someone.

Nor is there any persecution — unless it is the “persecution” of being disagreed with; which is where we come back to the basic nature of intolerance: the desire that all should do as one does oneself. And it strikes me the root of intolerance may simply derive from a lack of empathy — the lack of ability to imagine that there might be people who do not in fact insist that all do as they do. This seems to be the chasm fixed between tolerance and intolerance.

Another dynamic that I’ve observed: One finds language of the most appalling sort on some of the conservative blog comments, aimed at Episcopal Church leadership, and accompanied by moans of protest should a sharp-tongued liberal reply in kind (one thinks of my friend the Mad Priest, and of course, I too have been known to make the odd sharp remark). And indeed my first posting on tolerance was a result of someone styling this blog as “vicious” — I think a rather wild exaggeration, especially compared to some of what passes for dialogue in the blogosphere.

This kind of asymmetrical behavior is essentially adolescent. The intolerant believe in the world of “No fair hitting back.” It is a mind-set of testing boundaries, full of insecurities masked with bluster, resentful of limitations but creating rigid systems of rules and hierarchies to stabilize their world. And worst of all, they project all of their fears upon “the parent” — who was portrayed as forcing their response.

Later today, at a conference in the Windy City, it is said that a safe haven for fearful Anglicans and former Anglicans will be unveiled. Only time will tell what becomes of it; but I think its foundations are built on the sand of fearful imaginings.

Tobias Haller BSG


December 1, 2008

as u have done 4 the least of these

Surely he has borne our griefs and known our sorrows.

World AIDS Day 2008, Tobias Haller BSG

Thought for 12.01.08

When one is heading in the wrong direction, more and more difficulties arise, which are harder and harder to explain. When one is heading in the right direction, points which once created difficulty now fall into place and guide ones progress. If one is headed the wrong way on a trail, a tree becomes an obstacle: from the other side one sees that there is a sign hanging on it. When seen in the wrong way, even the goal itself can appear to be an obstruction. When one is headed in the wrong direction, the backside of a signpost appears to be an obstacle.

How did the anthem go? “Turn back, O Man, forswear thy foolish ways...”

An Advent thought from Tobias Haller BSG

Inventory

From Ann:

Things done are bold, things left undone, or not yet done (and some of them likely never to be done!), are plain.

  • 1. Started my own blog
  • 2. Slept under the stars
  • 3. Played in a band
  • 4. Visited Hawaii
  • 5. Watched a meteor shower
  • 6. Given more than I can afford to charity
  • 7. Been to Disneyland/world
  • 8. Climbed a mountain
  • 9. Held a praying mantis
  • 10. Sung a solo
  • 11. Bungee jumped
  • 12. Visited Paris
  • 13. Watched lightning at sea
  • 14. Taught myself an art from scratch
  • 15. Adopted a child
  • 16. Had food poisoning
  • 17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
  • 18. Grown my own vegetables
  • 19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
  • 20. Slept on an overnight train
  • 21. Had a pillow fight
  • 22. Hitchhiked
  • 23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
  • 24. Built a snow fort
  • 25. Held a lamb
  • 26. Gone skinny dipping
  • 27. Run a Marathon
  • 28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
  • 29. Seen a total eclipse
  • 30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
  • 31. Hit a home run
  • 32. Been on a cruise
  • 33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
  • 34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
  • 35. Seen an Amish community
  • 36. Taught myself a new language
  • 37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
  • 38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
  • 39. Gone rock climbing
  • 40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
  • 41. Sung karaoke
  • 42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
  • 43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
  • 44. Visited Africa
  • 45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
  • 46. Been transported in an ambulance
  • 47. Had my portrait painted
  • 48. Gone deep sea fishing
  • 49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
  • 50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
  • 51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
  • 52. Kissed in the rain
  • 53. Played in the mud
  • 54. Gone to a drive-in theater
  • 55. Been in a movie
  • 56. Visited the Great Wall of China
  • 57. Started a business
  • 58. Taken a martial arts class
  • 59. Visited Russia
  • 60. Served at a soup kitchen
  • 61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
  • 62. Gone whale watching
  • 63. Got flowers for no reason
  • 64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
  • 65. Gone sky diving
  • 66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
  • 67. Bounced a check
  • 68. Flown in a helicopter
  • 69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
  • 70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
  • 71. Eaten Caviar
  • 72. Pieced a quilt
  • 73. Stood in Times Square
  • 74. Toured the Everglades
  • 75. Been fired from a job
  • 76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
  • 77. Broken a bone
  • 78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
  • 79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
  • 80. Published a book
  • 81. Visited the Vatican
  • 82. Bought a brand new car
  • 83. Walked in Jerusalem
  • 84. Had my picture in the newspaper
  • 85. Read the entire Bible
  • 86. Visited the White House
  • 87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
  • 88. Had chickenpox
  • 89. Saved someone’s life
  • 90. Sat on a jury
  • 91. Met someone famous
  • 92. Joined a book club
  • 93. Lost a loved one
  • 94. Had a baby
  • 95. Seen the Alamo in person
  • 96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
  • 97. Been involved in a law suit
  • 98. Owned a cell phone
  • 99. Been stung by a bee
  • 100. Ridden an elephant
An interesting collection of things, no?

Tobias Haller BSG