All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Losing My Religion part 3 Testing God

Part 1 and Part 2 for those who want to read them in order.

Does anybody know why religious people fast?  I don't mean the ones who do it because they were taught that on certain days of the year you do it because it imparts God's favor.  I'm talking about people who fast just because.  A few years back, I started wondering about that. 

Then I started wondering why Jesus said that his disciples would fast.  Why does the fat pastor not teach his congregation that Jesus said they should fast?  I've heard all about not smoking, drinking, dancing, mixed bathing, no MTV, and no Halloween.  Pastor Ardy Parlin told us when I was in high school that hand holding led to pregnancy. 

True story.  It happened during Spiritual Emphases Week at Jackson Baptist back in the 80's.  Me and some of the guys took our plastic sandwich bags out of our lunches.  We stuck our hands in them and tried to get the girls to hold hands with us.  Laugh if you want.  Some of them were down with it.

So I decided to test God on this fasting business.  What I did was fast for a 24 hour period, every Wednesday for a year.  The year ran from my birthday in 2015 until my birthday in 2016.  I did it.  With the possible exception of a small Wendy's Frosty that a co-worker slipped me on a very hot day in August and that I ate before I remembered it was Wednesday.  I say possible exception, because I swore off food, not beverages.  A frosty seems like a sort of gray area.  It's not really a beverage and its not really solid food.  It was very hot that day.  I was thankful, even if I felt guilty afterwards.  Other than that little slip I stuck with the program.

I had been doing one of those, read the bible in a year things, too while I was fasting.  So I was going to church regular, like always, reading my bible pretty much every day, and fasting once a week.  Prayer is often mentioned in the Bible along with fasting.  As part of a days worth of fasting, I planed for a "special" prayer before I broke my fast.

For some reason I started praying crazy prayers.  A crazy prayer is one that only God can hear and make happen. It's asking God for outrageous stuff.  Crazy, ain't no way its gonna happen, stuff.  The lottery went to a billion bucks when I was doing this.  I bought a ticket.  I prayed.  I didn't win.  Crazy Stuff, right?  Everybody prays to win the lottery.  Not exactly a let down when it doesn't happen. 

I noticed something about these crazy prayers.  When and what I asked for other people happened.  Yes, every time.  What I asked for myself, didn't.  I asked God to give a friend a job.  Next day he had one, $28/hr plus tons of overtime.  They didn't lose their house.  I asked God for a slightly better job for me.  That's it, just a slightly better job.  Did I get it?  Nope, still pulled $9 hour doing the same old thing on the night shift.  My friend had a drug habit.  I had an MBA.

I remember feeling let down and a little mad at God over giving Dan a job.  God did exactly what I asked, but I was mad a God for doing what I wanted Him to do.  So much for being logical.


  1. black9:51 PM

    How does this tie into the moose story? :-)

    Still praying for you and your family, Res.

  2. Good stuff on prayer. Eastern Orthodox fast to learn to control the passions, btw. It is not about garnering favor, but about learning to subdue sinful desire (not that eating is sinful, of course).

  3. Clint, That's a good comment. Different Christian groups do fast and for different reasons. I didn't grow up with fasting and so I had no experience with it. I did have some friends growing up that learned about fasting from their church. They did it, they said, to gain favor. Which makes a kind of sense. It's funny how we hear something as a kid and assume that what we were told is the way things are.

  4. Oh, I am sure many do so, even in Orthodoxy. People are people, no matter where they are. I was just pointing out the actual reasons the Orthodox Church incorporates fasting as part of its regular life.