Named for the Roman god of fire and metalworking (and a symbol of Birmingham, Ala.), the Vulcans are a loose-knit, eight-member team whose leader trained as a concert pianist and now works out with Stanford's football coach. What is the Vulcans' mission?
Send your answer by 9 p.m. ET Sunday to email@example.com.
Wednesday's Question (No. 442)—"Swayed in the Water":
"We're sucked in a world of wickedness and vice, and we need to speak clearly without stutter or stammer," declared the Rev. Adrian Rogers, whose committee drafted the Southern Baptist Convention's revised Faith and Message statement. This morning, Wednesday, in Orlando, the group approved his one-sentence statement on women. What does it say?
"Why can't you all be more like Dr. Laura? No, wait, she's a Jew. Oh, forget it."—Anne Schupack
"Women should have women's names and men should ... oh, fuck!"—Daniel Radosh
"While being a woman is sinful, it isn't quite as sinful as being homosexual"—Steve Kiefer
"I'm telling you, cunnilingus and psychiatry will have been the death of this religion!"—Greg Diamond
"I don't know, but I'm hoping that right after ratifying this thing, the Kool-Aid was served."—Jon Zerolnick
Click for more answers.
"He did not say 'we're sucked,' he said 'we're stuck.' But, admittedly, you will get a better class of submissions this way," complains a cynical Greg Diamond. Well perhaps instead of waking me at 4 in the morning with his rambling boozy phone calls—which he did not do—he ought to take this up with Julia Lieblich of the Associated Press; that's who reported the Rev. Adrian Rogers' remark. Consider this slightly fuller version from her original story: " 'This is what God says,' he told the radio show For Faith and Family yesterday. 'We're sucked in a world of wickedness and vice, and we need to speak clearly without stutter or stammer. I'm gay!' " Lieblich's error? Rogers' Freudian slip? My utter contrivance? Whose to say? (I mean who besides Rogers' lawyers?) True, "We're stuck in a world of wickedness" makes more sense than "We're sucked in a world of wickedness," but people often say things they don't mean, or I'd have to buy my daughter a pony. And the pony would have to be able to talk. Latin. Surely no one wants that. Incidentally, as of Friday morning the AP has not corrected Lieblich's story, so presumably—Diamond to the contrary—it is indeed sucked not stuck. Which would make a great slogan for Al Gore. Maybe the new guys running the campaign this week will consider it.
From God's Mouth to Your Answer
"While both men and women are gifted for service in the church, the office of pastor is limited to men as qualified by Scripture."
The statement does not address the 1,600 or so Southern Baptist clergywomen, about 100 of whom lead congregations. (The denomination has 15.9 million members.) And while it is now official doctrine, it is not binding on individual Baptists; the denomination's 41,000 local congregations remain free to hire women pastors. It could happen.
Other changes in the church statement stress that the Bible is "totally true" and that God is "all-powerful and all-knowing and all-cool," except for the part about cool, and that "there is no salvation apart from personal faith in Jesus Christ as Lord," so see you in hell, Johnny Jew and Mary Muslim—not in so many words, but we get the idea. The statement also contains new wording condemning abortion and homosexuality in case the old wording wasn't cruel enough.
In 1998, the Southern Baptists declared that a wife should "submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband." How's that working out?
Movie Trivia Extra
(Brought to you by the crisp clean taste of Coca-Cola. Coke—it's the real thing!)
Question: Who's the black private dick who's a sex machine to the chicks?
Answer: Shaft! Can you dig it?
Andy Aaron's Overly Specific Extra
Is it called the "John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation" to distinguish it from the plain old "John and Catherine MacArthur Foundation"?
Movie Trivia Extra
(Brought to you by the crisp clean taste of Coca-Cola. Coke is it!)
Jumble: Can you untangle this movie title? "Tshaf!"
Answer: "Shaft!" Right on! Right on!
Paradise Lost Ongoing Extra
Participants were invited to suggest a replacement for Fiji's official tourist slogan, "Fiji—the way the world should be," that more accurately reflects current conditions.
"Fiji—only a little more dangerous than the Puerto Rican Day parade."—
"Fiji—Tikka Masala temporarily unavailable whilst we clean house."—Brooke Saucier
"Fiji—still less violent than the Solomon Islands."—Mark Romoser (John Tyrrell had a similar answer. Francis Heaney also had a similar answer, but Egypt.)
"Don't worry, investors: We'll still suppress workers rights."—Jon Zerolnick
"Fiji—oh, you like eating our coconuts, you just don't want to know how we lop off the shells, is that it?"—Gary Drevitch
"Oh, and by the way, we peed in the poi."—John Leary
"Fiji—Uganda, but better weather."—Norman Oder
"Climb Mount Fiji—ATTACK! ATTACK! ATTACK! ??? Oops, Sorry. We mean Mount Fuji."—John Foster
"As we say in Fiji, it's really awesome and good here."—Peter M. O'Donnell
"Fiji—because it would cost too much to change your plane and hotel reservations now that you know how bad we are."—Francis Heaney
Click for more fun with Fiji.
Sucking and stammering but mostly stammering.