Last week, Americans were glued to their televisions each night watching the Republican convention. This week, we all tuned in to watch the Democrats. Here at Lent Madness HQ, we're equal opportunity humorists, because just as America is made up of red states and blue states, so too purple is made up of red and blue.
We shared our insights about Lent after watching the Republicans ("Make Lent Great Again!"), so now it's time to share what we've learned from the Democrats about Lent. While The Donald is about making things great, Hillary's people are always saying, "I'm with her." So let's see how we can all say, "I'm with Lent."
TOP TEN WAYS TO SAY, "I'M WITH LENT!"
1. Balloon drop. Let's face it, the balloon drop at the end of conventions is a cliché, but it's an awesome cliché. So how about a balloon drop at the end of Lent? That's just what the Easter Vigil needs, some more drama.
2. Star power. Lots of people hate Lent. We don't, but we know people who do. It's understandable, with all the fasting and discipline. So how about a star-studded preaching series? People would love Lent if the sermon was delivered by Episcopalian Sam Waterston or if Morgan Freeman was a lector.
3. Video montage. Why do we spend so much time working on carefully crafted intellectually engaging sermons? In the age of video, we should just go ahead and switch over to heart-warming video montages.
4. Better music. Let's face it, not everyone loves Lenten hymns. So maybe a number by Katy Perry would fetch a few more people to church. At least one of her hits doesn't even require a new chorus. We roar our sins to God, right? Katy can lead us, in her own words, "Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh / Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh / Oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh /You're gonna hear me roar!"
5. Make shortcomings cool. Bloomberg got applause for saying that no one party has all the answers. Obama admitted that we all make mistakes. So next time you mess up, just go to a podium in front of thousands of screaming people and coolly admit your error.
6. Unity. The next time people seek to shout down the preacher on, say, the Third Sunday in Lent, encourage your fellow pew-mates to drown them out with cheers of "Lent is Great! Lent is Great!"
7. Grape Juice. Yes, Hillary is a Methodist. If you've given up alcohol for Lent, you'll be in good company when you're invited to a state dinner and have to suck down Welch's. At least Charles Wesley is a past Golden Halo Winner.
8. Delete your sins. Forget confession and absolution. Time to modernize. Just write your sins in an email and immediately delete it. You just have to hope Trump doesn't get the Russians to reveal your sins.
9. Historic first! Lots of people are understandably excited about the first-ever woman to be nominated by a major party. But Lent Madness as already broken the stained glass ceiling with the crowning of Mary Magdalene as the Golden Halo winner in 2012. So in addition to Hillary Clinton as a role model for girls who might aspire to be president, we can look at Mary Magdalene as the role model of changing the world by proclaiming the Resurrection first. Sure, "nominee for president" is impressive, but so is "apostle to the apostles."
10. #Hashtags. Everyone needs a Lenten discipline, and it's high time for some new ones. Democrats love their hashtags. Every self-respecting Democrat knows that you can take a stand from the comfort of your own couch with the use of a simple hashtag. So let's all learn from them and agree to use hashtags more. #ImWithLent
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Surely we can all agree that this election cycle is going to be grueling. So when you are filled with despair, we're here for you. Laughter is always a balm for the soul, so maybe you'll want to binge-watch past episodes of Monday Madness. Or maybe you'll want to practice the All-American custom of retail therapy as you visit the Lentorium. And remember, along with Election Day in November, you can look forward to All Brackets' Day on November 3, when the 2017 bracket will be revealed to the world.
Lastly, if you don't like the humor of Lent Madness, remember the first and great rule of Lent Madness, "Lent Madness is OPTIONAL."
Please don't have a balloon drop. I just wrote the EPA about this-seriously. Balloons are an environmental hazard and kill turtles.
Forget "Make Lent Great Again" as a slogan. Bad association for me. I'm with the Methodist.
You mean you don't already have a balloon drop with your vigil? Think I'll call my pastor when I'm finished typing this and suggest it to him. Hope you see my tongue in my cheek.
Add Judy Collins to the music for Lent. She's Artist in Residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, so she should be game. And she's looked at everything from both sides now.
I admit my mistake right now-I didn't read "Make Lent Great Again" because I thought that I d as much as I could at just the title
"I'm with Lent" is okay but did you consider "Together with Lent"? Still, your suggestions are the best--especialy deleting my sins! Now I just have to see how you would Make Lent Great since it already is--especially with Lent Madness as my running mate.
Thank you, LM team-I need the laughs and the reminder that you are still there!
As liturgical officer for my diocese I would discourage a balloon drop at The Great Vigil of Easter. However, I will take it under consideration for the consecration service of our next bishop in 2017 along with a heartwarming montage of his/her life.
But when thw balloons hit the altar candles, it could get ugly.
Was going to suggest a "balloon rise" for Easter to complement the balloon drop at Vigil. But your point about candles well-taken. #Hindenchurch.
Confession: I have just committed bad science. Helium actually safe and non-flammable. Accept no substitutes.
A perfect example of the via media.
In the words of a young man from Portland Oregon, and Opus the Penguin of Bloom County - "I like Turtles!"
Oh, that's really good! (Although I AM with her!
What about a "Fat Tuesday" hack of the SEC email account. After all, Fr. Tim and Fr. Scott are arch nemeses so there has to be some good stuff. That will make #6 "Unity" a lot more interesting.
I was on the road to Holden Beach, NC, and thence to Traverse City, MI, so missed the entire shows. No regrets. Hope the rest of you enjoyed the drama of two political conventions. I enjoyed the beach with my family and the Traverse City Film Festival with the multitudes. I win!
To be in this congregation of spiritual and comedy greats is a little overwhelming (and confusing), but I do "feel the burn" of joy and do plan to work harder to make Lent "great again "
I hope you were kidding about doing away with well-thought-out intellectually engaging sermons. As my art teacher was fond of saying if you don't want to notice or feel anything, try a horse tranquilizer. Christians who don't use their intellectual powers are vulnerable to manipulation and being mush-heads.
Never fear, Rebecca... these guys are definitely not mush-heads, and their tongues are generally firmly planted in cheeks. Besides, I'm sure they preach really great sermons when they're serious.
Or even when they are not. 🙂
Need a "like" button!
What a good idea!
The video montage is a great idea and the SEC has plenty of time to get one ready for us. Please make sure it is a four part series, with appropriate titles, music and endings so we can use them in conjunction with our Lenten study series. #gettowork!
Please consider a balloon drop at the beginning of Lent rather than at the end of Lent. A good start is always helpful..
Love it! but we cant do anything balloons, too many latex allergies in Sunday school 🙂
Better together or stronger together would make sense for Christians and Muslims and Jews and Sikhs and humanists and atheists as well.
I love your thoughts! You both are beyond awesome!!!!
I too, would love to make Lent great again!
Black helium balloons on Ash Wednesday tied around the wrist while you stand on the corner offering Ashes to Go #FeeltheMortality
Heather, this idea is great. Starts Lent off but won't hurt turtles!
Nothing really satirical here about Hillary. And a crack at Trump! Are ALL Episcopalians but me Democrats?
You make me laugh!! Humor is in short supply these days... Thank you LM!!
There were three Episcoperfect moments at the DNC 2016: Barack Obama speech quote" those bonds of affection. Our common creed." Chelsea Clinton fave book from school, A Wrinkle in Time, written by Madeleine L'Engle, Episcopalian. Great speech by Madeleine Albright, Episcopalian.
There may have been others, but those were the three I noticed