Speakers: Rev. Meg Barnhouse, Rev. Pat Jobe
Prepared for UUA.org by Allan Stern, Reporter; Jone Johnson Lewis, Editor.
The Rev. Meg Barnhouse and Rev. Pat Jobe played to a packed house in the Ferrara Theater on Friday in the America Center.
Many people in the audience were obviously big fans as they clearly knew many of the songs already.
Meg talked about how it felt to be a liberal outsider in a Southern Baptist evangelical town. She entitled it "Mango Thoughts in a Meatloaf Town." The last line said it all: "In case of a rapture, pack a snack, as you will be left behind."
Pat Jobe read "The Code of the Yard Sale Religion" from More from Radio Free Bubba.
He then read a (serious) chapter entitled "The Wisdom Tree." At church camp there was a professor who would take his class out under a tree; he could impersonate Thomas Jefferson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Theodore Parker....many deep and serious discussions were held under that tree, so much so that it came to be known as "The Wisdom Tree."
One night a huge storm came up and took down the tree. When they heard about it the next day, people from the town came out and encircled what was left of the tree. They so revered the tree that they asked to take fragments of it home with them.
Just like with the tree, your wisdom needs to be part of a community's wisdom, so that if lightning strikes, you can "hold up your piece of the tree, and we'll find each other."
Pat then sang a song entitled "There You Go..." which was his all-purpose response to people telling him their troubles. It's a response which communicates "I'm listening" but doesn't give a solution. This phrase relieves him of trying to solve other peoples' problems. The audience enthusiastically joined on whenever the "There You Go" was called for in the song.
Meg's Bible Control Bill
When some people quote the Bible too much in the so-called Bible Belt, it can encourage violence and oppression. Therefore Meg proposes that, like gun-control legislation, we should have Bible-control legislation; there should be a three-day waiting period before you can purchase a Bible; you should have a certificate of sanity; and most important, you must prove you have used the phrase "I could be wrong" at least three times in the past year.
Meg then read from her chapter called "The Magic 8-Ball," from the Red Bubba book.
Questions asked of the 8-ball: "Is my brother a dork? Is my mother pretty? Is this 8-ball for real?" "But my UU traditions say to approach everything with respect, so I try to approach the 8-Ball with respect. I want to be the kind of woman who can find the word of God in a magic 8-Ball."
She then sang her song "The A.D.D. Blues" which was a big hit with the audience.
"I'm a Pentecostal Unitarian" (read each line one at a time slowly for the full effect and imagine an audience "in stitches"):
I believe in planetary transformation. One day we'll wake up and realize we can change the world. I don't know how long it will take......but a fight I had with my wife shows why it is taking so long....she wanted me to take a frog to the vet, at 5:22 in the morning. I had hit the frog with a lawnmower.....the receptionist at the Vet's had never done intake on a frog before. The frog's name was.... Jesus Abraham.
But I still believe this day is going to come.
Meg on Traditional Marriage
In Spartanburg there is a billboard says "I support traditional marriage"
Now what is traditional marriage? How far back do we want to go? If people would tell me what it means I might support it. How much more support does man-woman marriage need? It's in every part of our culture.
If the law changes, would a man say, "Gee, I WAS thinking of marrying a woman but now I'll marry my buddy Bill."
Meg concluded with two of her songs from her new CD: "Somebody Fall" and
All will be well,
All will be well
All manner of things
Will be well.
Biography of Meg Barnhouse
Meg Barnhouse grew up in North Carolina and Philadelphia, and she has lived in Spartanburg, SC since 1981. After graduating from Duke University and Princeton Theological Seminary, she worked as Chaplain to Converse College for six years, teaching Public Speaking, Human Sexuality, World Religions, and other courses. Meg has been active in the community, helping to found the SAFE Homes Network for battered women. She has a private pastoral counseling practice; she is credentialed as a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors. Meg also travels nationwide as a speaker, singer/songwriter and humorist. Meg is the mother of two wise, funny and handsome sons, ages 17 and 19. She has a second-degree black belt in karate, and is a commentator for NC Public Radio on a segment called "Radio Free Bubba." She has also been heard on National Public Radio's "Weekend All Things Considered." Her books, The Best of Radio Free Bubba, Rock of Ages at the Taj Mahal, Waking Up the Karma Fairy, and Return of Radio Free Bubba are available from Meg's website.