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Rolls Royce of T-shirts is won by an L.A. Bentley

The media went crazy when the Kansas Board of Education ruled recently that evolution was a risky proposition and should take second fiddle to creationism as an explanation for the way things are.

The following day, the Kansas Flat Earth Society announced the school board had gone over the edge. You read it here first.

* * *

Sic has burned great gobs of midnight oil poring over Jingles for Jesus requested by This Space when the cardinal of Milan, himself a papabile, suggested a little more liturgical pep might bring back those packed-to-the-rafters, sweaty Sunday congregations of yore. The standard was such, we felt buffeted as those judges must feel who decide the Nobel Prize.

Our method, though, will be more like the Miss America event -- the last contestant standing will be the winner. But enough about us. Here’s a jingle from Carol Joy McDermott of Redwood City:

Why bang your head
Against a rock
That will always be a peter,
When Sun and Moon
Reign shamrocks
Sweeter, completer!

(This falls somewhere between Nobel and Miss America.)

* * *

Susan Vignos of Anacortes has a rollicking effort:

Henniger, Fiedler and Unsworth Tim
Were watching the sea’s every whim.
They saw the priests leap
At the cardinal’s least peep,
And cried, “Can they swim?”…
Henninger, Fiedler and Unsworth Tim:
We all join you in hope, whether grim
Or loose as a goose;
We survive all abuse
As we cry, “Let everyone in!”

“Did this get too serious or what?” she asks. Not a bit. But seriously, no T-shirt.

* * *

As the whole world knows, the prize is a magnificent (though slightly used) T-shirt, relic of NCR’s John Allen, with an image of Pope John Paul II on it.

“Loved your idea of Jingles for Jesus and will submit something soon,” writes D. Joy of San Francisco. Sounds like writer’s block to Sic. No jingle materialized.

* * *

Rose Tillemans of Minneapolis submits this “Vatican Team Cheer”:

Muzzle, muzzle,
That’s our cry:
If you dare to rock the boat,
You just get your hat and coat.
Ortha, Ortha,
Dox, Dox, Dox,
Get thee from the Catholic flocks,
Or go to the confession box.
* * *

Not even the Kansas folks are arguing that earth is flat like a billiard table. Sure, there are hillocks and gentle inclines and undulations and occasional protrusions such as corn and oil wells and just plain folks. Like in Kansas. But theories about the Himalayas and Rockies are fabrications by media elites. You won’t find Himalayas in Kansas, and that clinches it.

* * *

When This Space endorsed George W. Bush for whatever, we took some heat. But we’re behind Bush on the issues. Especially the conservative compassion thing.

* * *

Dorothy Willey of Oak Park writes:

Like the famous one-liner of TV fame,
“You heard it here first” is an RC claim.
Plus, John Paul’s charisma should easily win,
Since Michael Jordan turned No 23 in.
And like promises made in a grocery ad,
“Open 24 hours” could become a fad.
* * *

One example of GW’s conservative compassion: Did you ever notice, in the grocery store, there’s coffee or cookies on one side of the aisle and pasta etc. on the other side of the same shelf? Have you ever asked what’s in the middle between the coffee and the pasta (they’re really wide shelves)? If you stoop down you will see homeless people lying head to toe on the shelves at night, not to mention helping themselves to cookies and stuff -- it’s a new trend in social justice.

* * *

Dan O’Rourke from Cassadaga claims this is worth a T-shirt:

Is the RC for me? The Holy See
With yet another dumb decree?
Or should I just be free?

O’Rourke then has second thoughts: “It’s not the only game in town/ The only way that God comes down.”

From Portland, meanwhile, Juana Morris writes: “In the lurch? Join the church.” And one begins to hanker for that ol’ Gregorian chant.
* * *

“Is that T-shirt still the only prize?” Mary Ann Herman asks disparagingly from El Paso. Not that it’s going to matter to her:

Jingle, jingle, jingle your coins.
Head for Mass; gird your loins.
Point your soles to Mass right away,
You’ll love the sermon of the day;
You’ll see Jesus in all you meet,
You’ll shun hell and all that heat.
* * *
A Boston reader is more tolerant of the “simply super T-shirt”:

(To be sung to the “Pepsi Song,” Boston says)

Christianity hits the spot,
Twelve apostles, that’s a lot,
Holy Ghost and a virgin too,
Absolution is the thing for you.

(A parting shot from Boston: “What in heck rhymes with Jesus anyway, or with virgin for that matter?”)

* * *

Drum roll! The winner -- Miss America of the lowly jingle -- is Ester F. Bentley of Los Angeles with not one but three tightly crafted, spiritually lush -- well, when we say they deserve the sartorially challenged John Allen’s T-shirt we’ve said it all:

Get your kicks with a Catholic fix.
Masses at 10, 2, 4 & 6.
Everyone welcome, for crying out loud,
Midnite Mass daily for the late-nite crowd.
Welcome women: Sink or swim --
We all know God is not a him.

Soon that legendary shirt will be winging its way to L.A. Wear it with pride, is Sic’s advice to Bentley. It should get you access to bishops’ golf tournaments and free beer in Catholic bars.

National Catholic Reporter, October 22, 1999