“How long will I be allowed to remain a fictional faculty member?” Professor Plum asked as he entered the mail room.

He read the mail…. (More)

He then left with Ms. Scarlet to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor pondered how long he would be allowed to retain his chips. He had built a healthy stack with a combination of good hands that held up, second-best hands that hit draws, and the occasional bluff. He thought he might be pushing his luck when he re-raised with the Seven and Six of Hearts after Chef had opened with a raise, and he was pretty sure he’d pushed his luck when the Squirrel and then Chef called.

Yet the flop brought the Ace and Three of Hearts, along with the King of Clubs, giving the Professor of Astrology Janitor a Heart flush draw. So he put in a pot-sized bet. The Squirrel called without hesitation, and Chef quickly said: “I’m all-in.”

Would the Squirrel have called with anything but a pair of Kings, as Chef surely needed a pair of Aces to justify her all-in bet? And should the Professor of Astrology Janitor risk all of his chips with only a flush draw? He decided he had pushed too far, and folded.

The Squirrel squirrel called Chef’s bet and, as the Professor of Astrology Janitor guessed, Chef held Aces to the Squirrel’s Kings. Moreover, the Squirrel had the King of Hearts, so the Professor of Astrology Janitor would have had only eight Hearts left in the deck. He let out a sigh of relief …

… until the Ten of Hearts fell on the turn. The Eight of Clubs on the river changed nothing, and Chef raked in the pot. The Squirrel sighed and began scrolling through his Blewberry and the Professor of Astrology Janitor began his plaintive mewling. Chef went to the kitchen to reheat leftover pizza, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

“How long will I be allowed to remain a Christian?”

That was the deeply dismaying question posed to me by a friend with four young children as we discussed the plight of the Christian faith in America and around the world.

With each passing month, that shocking question becomes more relevant and even more disturbing.
As more and more of the mainstream media, entertainment, academia and the hi-tech world continue to purge or discriminate against Christians, what future job fields will be open to young Christians?

Will those Christian children eventually be forced to renounce or deny their faith in order to get a job and provide for their families?

As a Christian, I truly do have the deepest respect for every faith. The vast majority of people of every faith are beyond good and do seek to follow the golden rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Why do so many on the left, in the media, entertainment and academia not practice that most simple, loving and humane of rules when it comes to the Christian faith?

Douglas in FL

Dear Douglas,

We hope you had some cheese with that whine. We found not a single source to document any of the ‘oppression’ you cited, unless you believe it’s ‘oppression’ that government employees are not allowed to proselytize at work or erect exclusively Christian displays on government property. And apparently you do. You also see ‘oppression’ if anyone criticizes your religious beliefs, never mind that the same First Amendment that guarantees your religious freedom also guarantees their freedom of speech. As Mahablog’s Barbara O’Brein put it so succinctly:

There is indeed real oppression of Christians going on in the Middle East. And in various parts of the world there is real oppression of Muslims, of Jews, of Buddhists, of people of many religions. It’s not just Christians. But Christians never notice what’s going on with the other religions.

However, there is no oppression of Christians in the United States. Not even close. Pushing back against oppression by people who self-identify as Christians is not oppression of Christians.

The Friendly Athiest’s Hemant Mehta elaborates:

That’s an incredible thing to say when Christians dominate the government at every level, have churches on practically every city block, and hold beliefs that are known to everyone (even if we don’t accept them).

Asking public schools to remain neutral about religion isn’t Christian persecution.

Asking public businesses to treat gay and straight customers the same way isn’t Christian persecution.

Asking college Christian clubs to play by the same rules as every other registered group isn’t Christian persecution.

Neither is saying “Happy Holidays,” or rejecting a stand-alone Ten Commandments monument on public property, or recognizing the existence and rights of people of other faiths and no faith.

Christianity isn’t going away. Faith-based bigotry, stemming from the Bible, is just becoming increasingly unpopular.

Finally, we note that the biography at your publisher’s website hardly bespeaks oppression:

He is a regular contributor to several major newspapers. To date, he has published more than 600 columns in every major paper in the country – including Investor’s Business Daily, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA TODAY, Chicago Tribune, The Houston Chronicle, The Baltimore Sun, and The Washington Examiner – and makes frequent appearances on Fox News, CNN, and MSNBC.

We wonder: how many newspapers and cable news stations carrying your drivel would qualify as not being ‘oppressed?’

We conclude that – like the Puritans who banished Roger Williams for dissent, while proclaiming their own “religious freedom” – you see ‘oppression’ whenever anyone, anywhere, refuses to submit to your dogma.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I know that reheated or even cold pizza leftovers are a breakfast tradition on many campuses, but does Chef have a secret to reheat pizza so it’s just like when it first came out of the oven at the pizzeria?

Slicing for Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Squirrel,

Sadly, Chef says it’s impossible to restore that just-out-of-the-oven texture. So she uses the microwave, pushing the “Reheat Pizza” button once for each slice of pizza.


Photo Credit: Marshall Cohen (Simon & Schuster)

Douglas in FL; Barbara O’Brien; Hemant Mehta; banishment of Roger Williams.


Happy Sunday!