Gather ‘Round: Remembering the Stories of God’s People

First Mennonite Church Bluffton OH Sept. 16, 2007 By Perry Bush

Scriptures: I Cor 1: 18-25
Psalm 78: 1-4
Matt 5: 38-45

Good morning! I am delighted to be here with you all, my own congregation, on this beautiful, cool fall morning. I am especially happy to be up here on Christian education Sunday, and have been asked by the education commission to say something in regards to the importance of Christian education. This is a theme I can address with confidence and even some expertise. Like so many of you, I’ve been intensively involved in Christian education for some time; again like many of you, I make my living at it. Moreover, after years and years of consistently saying no to the education commission when they’ve asked me to teach Sunday school, in this past year I’ve begun teaching Sunday school to the Jr high and Senior high classes. So I am pleased to report that I can now stand up in front of you to make the case that you should consider teaching Sunday school without quite the same level of personal hypocrisy.
I am also fortunate in that in his sermon last week, Neal Blough made my own job this morning so much easier. In fact, he delivered fully half – and the harder and more important half — of my message for me. I know that was a week ago, and a lot’s happened since then, so let me begin by trying to recap it for you. Neal so eloquently reminded us last Sunday that we are called to be an alien people and that the world is not our home. His central text was 1 Peter 2: 9-12, and it won’t hurt us to hear it again:
“9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
11Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your soul. 12Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”
Yet the problem with us Christians, Neal said, is that we find this world too alluring, too comfortable. We’re too apt to forget out true citizenship in God’s reign and settle into the world’s patterns too easily. The world has ways of assimilating us, seducing us and drawing us away from our true calling as God’s people. Neal held up the church’s seduction by the forces of nationalism as a recent and particularly dangerous illustration of the way that the world has wooed us away from our true calling as Christians. I was especially struck by his poignant example of the German Mennonite in the uniform of a Nazi army officer. “Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God,” writes St Peter. We have to be always on our guard to remain true to our ultimate obligation, even when the enticements of the world seem so innocuous and seem to beckon with such glittering intensity.
Part of the reason the ways of the world seem so inviting is because many of them are innocuous. We can participate in them without any violation of our Christian calling at all. While most of us would part company with our friends in the Reformed tradition on many key theological points, parts of the Reformed doctrine of creation are worth remembering. God created the world as good, they remind us, and we can enthusiastically participate in whole realms of God’s creation as beautiful and worthy of celebration. In my experience, the people who talk this way usually will quickly suggest as examples things like the music of Mozart, the writings of John Bunyan or Jonathan Edwards and the sculpture of Michelangelo as worldly matters which we Christians can celebrate. That’s not a bad list and I’d sign on to it, though my own list would also include the art of people like Jack Earl, the writing of John Steinbeck and Jack Kerouac, and the music of certain blues harmonica players. The point, however, is the same. In insisting that the world is not our home, I don’t think that Neal Blough or I would accept the corollary assumption that it is all a dark and evil place and that we Christians should have nothing to do with it.
But where we do part company with our Reformed friends, however, is that Anabaptist Christians would clearly find many more aspects of God’s creation than they would in which we cannot participate and which present profound challenges to our ultimate commitment to be God’s people. In particular, for my purposes here this morning and also in my career as a historian, I think the way that the world tells its own stories, the narratives it constructs, are profoundly threatening and dangerous to us as Christian people. There is, I think, a mainstream narrative, a set of assumptions, about present and past realities that runs counter to our identities and purposes as disciples of Jesus. Let me give you some examples.
For one, underlying the mainstream narrative is a kind of progressive outlook on the world, this foundational confidence that things are getting better, that our world in general and our country in particular are proceeding directly to a great big beautiful tomorrow. History in particular can be read as a great big morality play. Certainly, this mainstream progressive narrative admits to some dark spots, though usually in a general abstract way that doesn’t assign responsibility, i.e., “mistakes were made.” In this manner it can put matters like centuries of racism or sexism safely behind it and continue with the story of human progress into an ever brighter future. We know as Americans in our very bones that if we work hard, we will succeed. We also tend to accept the corollary assumption that anybody who is poor really didn’t try and is probably deserving of their poverty. By such easy assumptions we are rendered more insensitive to the needs of the poor. In politics the story portrays the actions of self-actualized men and women whose purposeful actions lead us confidently towards the good. A half century ago, some of the most sensitive tellers of this mainstream narrative like the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr partly shrouded this progressive vision with hues of irony, where sometimes human actions led to unintended consequences. Yet I don’t see much evidence that the current dominant storytellers of our day are reading Niebuhr much anymore, or for considering carefully the possibility that their actions may have different effects than those they currently intend
Secondly, the dominant master narrative proceeds from a set of understandings that many of us refer to in shorthand as the Myth of Redemptive Violence. That violence in general and war in particular has functioned to progressive and even redemptive effect throughout history is a truism that has largely proceeded without much questioning throughout the west. According to theologian Walter Wink, the “victory of order over chaos by means of violence” has been an integral part of the mythic structure of western culture for millennia; “it is,” argues Wink, “the spirituality of the modern world.” In our own country in particular, the linkage between violence and freedom has particularly deep roots. Assumptions that violence and war have made American freedom possible are so central to our culture that nearly all Americans repeat them reflexively. Terribly destructive bloody wars become neatly encapsulated by apologetic little formulaic phrasings, like the Civil War as “the war to free the slaves” or World War II as the “good war.” In this manner, wars can assume their own needed place in the progressive vision and people of peace easily transmuted into obstacles in the way to a better world, or else parasites on the good accomplished by others.

On the face of it, it’s unclear to me why such myths have taken on the explanatory power that they have. They’re not even obedient to their own rules and logic. For instance, the myth of redemptive violence is fundamentally dismissive of history. Its central character is always a monster of the present moment — a Hitler, a Saddam Hussein, a bin Laden, – that is immediately conjured up as the ultimate, un-answerable sanction for warfare. Of course such monsters are products of particular historical contexts. Evildoers do not attack us merely because they “hate our freedom,” or because they have some kind of genetic predisposition to kill. That only happens in utter fantasies like bad science fiction novels, comic books or speeches by American presidents. Some of the myth is likewise built on claims that, on second glance, are really just asinine. For example, take the American Revolution, which is still largely presented in hushed tones as some kind of holy war for freedom. Sometimes I want to tell Americans to just please, would you just take two seconds and reflect on the existence of the nation of Canada? Canada had no violent revolution yet still – so far as we can tell, with the limited knowledge most Americans have of Canada – doesn’t seem today to be groaning under the heel of British tyranny. Many Americans will generally concede this point.

Yet other aspects of this large, sweeping master narrative, with all of its subsidiary assumptions, have been more seductive to us, haven’t they? And many of us squirm with embarrassment today when we recall these things: like, for instance, the recommendation by the Virginia Mennonite Conference in 1941 that African American Mennonites should drink from separate communion cups, or that, well within the living memories of some of you, minstrel shows were a common feature of campus life at Mennonite colleges. Or, for another example, we know how traditional patriarchal gender attitudes had so saturated the homes of our ancestors that generations of capable, talented Mennonite women were allowed only to explore their gifts within the strict, narrow confines of domesticity. Nor are these examples of our seduction to the ways of the world found only in the past. I only have to look around at the homes of many committed Mennonites today – including my own – to see that despite Jesus’ warnings of the dangers of riches and our own church’s call to simple living, the enticements of materialism have penetrated among most of us very deeply.
In sum, brothers and sisters, to a very great degree, we’ve been assimilated; we’ve been seduced. Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold, cautions St. Paul, but for us broken Christians, too often we’ve allowed that dominant narrative to capture us too completely. To a very large and uncomfortable degree, the mainstream narrative of the world has proved very compelling to us. So maybe one of our primary means of resistance, and to remaining the alien people, the foreigners and exiles, God calls us to be, lies just in remembering our different story, our different narratives. If we’re going to resist the world’s call and remain God’s people, in other words, we need to engage in Christian education.
All of us are aware, I think, of how centrally the process of remembering the stories of our own families can be in retaining an identity as members of a particular family. This is what family reunions partly are for. We Bushes had our own rich experience with that this summer. A month ago, along with my brother and his family, we Ohio Bushes rented a big cabin at a state park deep in the woods of Pennsylvania. My sister came down from Alaska with several of her kids, my father flew in from his home in LA; and we had a great week together, getting reacquainted with each other for the first time in some years. The high point for us all came one evening around a campfire outside, when I asked my dad if he would share with the grandkids some of the stories of all the Bush kin, now gone. He initially said no, he couldn’t think of any, but then the stories started to roll out, there by the firelight, and the kids forgot all about the mosquitoes and the marshmallows and listened intently to these stories of Canadian railroad detectives and seamstresses and other of their ancestors, going all the way back to the arrival of a set of English immigrants to British Columbia a century ago. This was especially functional for my kids. Some of you please forgive me, but given the dialogue common in my house, I just think it’s important for my kids to be able to assign some kind of positive connotation to their last name. Most of you, I think, have enjoyed similar experiences with your own families, and know well how important such times of story-telling are in your own family identities.
How much more important, then, are such times for those of us who want to strengthen our larger Christian family, and who want to remain faithful to God’s calling to be God’s people, here, now, in this place! We have a grand, seeping, multi-faceted narrative of our own to remember. We need desperately to gather round our own campfires and tell those stories again and again and again, so that we might be better able to resist when the world signals and tries to beckon us away. The story of our faith is a story that runs directly counter to the mainstream narrative at every possible point. We know the story, in our bones, but with my remaining time, I just want to sketch out some of its central points with you.
Let’s begin just with the Gospel stories: of how this peasant girl in an obscure corner in the far reaches of the Roman empire gets visited by an angel one night, who says to her, with amazing audacity, that she’s been a very good girl but now she’s going to become pregnant by the Holy Spirit and give birth to the Messiah. We’ve so enveloped this story in gingerbread and tinsel and sweet nativity plays that I think we sometimes forget about how utterly scandalous it was. Here’s a captive people who have been awaiting for centuries for the return of their Messiah. This would be a messiah, who, they were sure, would arrive in glory as a conquering military hero and proceed to physically scourge their oppressors. But this messiah comes in the dark of night to startled shepherds and enters the world in the muck and flies of a horse stable. And thus, the central heroine of the Christian faith became, in fact, an illiterate unwed mother living in the first century equivalent of the ghetto.
The whole rest of the story follows perfectly in line with this opening scene. The baby king has to flee with his family as a refugee, undocumented workers living in Egypt. As he comes of age he’s trained as a carpenter before he launches out on his own as an itinerant preacher, when he makes his home with outcasts, tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners. Repeatedly his followers ask him when do we get to put on the purple robe, make war on the Romans and take power, and he keeps telling them no, he’s going to be a different kind of messiah. At every step along the way he defies convention, acts in scandalous manner, and refuses to conform to any of the set expectations of his day. In his teaching he repeatedly declares “you have heard it said…but I say…” He rejects violence, treats women as equally important parts of the community, lifts up the lowly, denounces the rich, and then receives the kind of fate that the mainstream narrative reserves for rebels such as him. For the world in which the early church emerged, the cross, of course, was the biggest scandal of all. You don’t have to do a Mel Gibson to this to realize that this was a gruesome but also a very public and humiliating death. The cross would be the last symbol that the mainstream narrative would associate itself with. It would be like today identifying ourselves with a hangman’s noose or an executioner’s gurney. But what does Paul write to the Corinthians? “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing,” he says, “but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” And then he calls us as his followers to join him there. You don’t conquer through violence, he instructs his disciples; you conquer through suffering, redemptive love.
The whole story of the early church follows along the same lines of this intensely counter-cultural message. The early Christians lived together, shared goods in common, fed the poor, rejected the sword and lived as a pilgrim people, behavior which got them branded as dissidents, subversives, aliens. Then, of course, came that critical moment for the church that Neal outlined last week: Constantine’s embrace of the church, and the rapid transformation of this counter-cultural faith into the official; religion of the empire. Sometimes it was the cranks, the heretics, who remained truest to the original vision. Our own church was born, of course, in that critical moment in early 16th century Europe, when a group of disaffected young people began to insist that Christianity was a voluntary commitment that one entered into as an adult. Then these people baptized each other, rejected the sword, rescued their persecutors and went off to their deaths singing hymns of praise to God.
At that point as in others, our own narrative splits off into a thousand different directions. But we here in this community, remember at least one very small but important stream: the Mennonites who settled in the Jura region of Switzerland who decided in the early nineteenth century to migrate to the new rich farmlands of north central Ohio. We know the names of some of those people: Steiner, Moser, Luginbuhl. At the turn of the century some of them founded a college and others of them, in a period of great internal conflict and turmoil, erected a church building in the small town of Bluffton, with a beautiful blue domed roof designed to remind them of heaven. This emerged into a separate congregation, which is, of course, us. But the “we” has expanded too, to include a number of new Mennonite names: not just Moser and Sterner and Luginbuhl but also Intagliata and Estell and Collier, and Ordonez and even – as bizarre as it might seem — even Bush.

Brothers and sisters, this is why we need to gather round in portioned off little classrooms on Sunday mornings: to tell and retell these wonderful stories that mark us off as the people of God. This is why it’s important for all of us to head off to Sunday school and even for more of us to volunteer to teach it. We need to gather to reflect on scriptures again and again. We need to come together to hear and rehear the story of God’s people. These are the stories that help us resist the seductive ways of the world. This is how we remember who we are, who we belong to, and who our God is. This is why we do Christian education.

An Open Letter to Bill Dwyre

Mr. Dwyre,

I agree with you that Ms. Henin played better tennis last night. But I have an idea for you. How about a column on how Ms. Henin receives coaching during a match but receives no sanction and Ms. Williams is sanctioned for reading between games during an earlier match. Remember to include the fact that Henin’s actions are against the rules and Williams within the rules. Maybe you might expand on this to the relentless racism inherent in almost every comment made during matches featuring Ms. Williams or her sister. If I were an African American I would not be able to constrain myself to the comments she was able to constrain herself to.

Tags: LaTimes, Serena, Racism, USOpen, USA_Network, Dwyre, Henin

Sermon for Independence Day

“Whirlwinds, Water and Foxholes: Lessons in Following”

Preached at First Mennonite Church, Bluffton, Ohio, July 1st.
Psalm 77, 2 Kings 2, Luke 9

Frankly, I’ve had a horrible six months. There have been delightful moments, glimpses of glory when I’ve been filled with pride, or laughed until I’ve cried, and even the pain has its silver lining but mostly it’s been horrible.
It started when my boss, the academic dean the university where I teach, resigned suddenly just before Christmas. A sudden resignation is never good and in important ways there hasn’t been anything other than a festival of pain and confusion to come from this one. On March 2nd my school’s baseball team was involved in a tragic crash that killed seven people and made our town the centre of the country for a weekend or more. A month and half later the Virginia Tech massacre claimed the lives of 32 people, echoing and amplifying our loss. Lee Eshleman, one half of the acting duo, Ted & Lee, died on May 17, 2007. Lee took his own life after succumbing to a long battle with depression. I lost my favourite uncle, John Hess, a week later. This week I learned of the tragic death of Peg Brown. And this whole time my government wastes money and life on a war that leaves me spinning and spinning, dizzy and nauseous.
I know that some of these events have touched your lives and I know that you likely have others. I don’t want to comment further on these things, because so often there is nothing we can say, or too much we need to say. I don’t want to comment further except to say one thing. This kind of malaise, of bad feeling, makes me wonder about following.
It makes me wonder about following because I think that in our society the desire to follow someone is strong. On one hand, I think that this is why George W. Bush is so popular. It’s easy to follow him. Bush is clear about what he wants, and he is clear that not following him means you are against him. On the other hand, I think this explains the rise in popularity of Barack Obama. He reminds us of people we want to follow like Martin Luther King Jr. The desire to follow makes me wonder about the baseball team because on March 2nd all of a sudden they all seemed to know exactly who to follow and how to follow even though there wasn’t anyone for them to follow. It makes me wonder about Lee, who taught so many people how to follow. Following is not an easy answer to sadness and tragedy; instead, it’s all we can do.
Happily, the three lessons in following that I want to dwell on this morning are available to all of us. They are found in two great gifts that God has given us: the natural world and human creativity. We don’t tend to look to nature for lessons on how to live our lives, but in each of the scriptures read this morning, following happens in and in relation to nature. We need to look to nature for lessons on how to follow, but when we look we need to look with the creative eyes God has given us, eyes which allow us to shape, see and live in, through, above and below our world. Truly, earth is one holy gift; life is one holy breath.
Here then are three short lessons in following.
The lesson of the Whirlwind.
Elisha is nothing if not an insistent and aggressive follower. Again and again he choruses, “As Yahweh lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you!” Furthermore he demands of Elijah a double share of his spirit. This is the great prophet Elijah. For most of us a half a share would do quite nicely, but Elisha demands double. Elisha may not have been easy to have as a follower.
Elijah shows himself to be worthy of Elisha’s following when he doesn’t pretend to be able to guarantee such an audacious request. Elijah basically says, “Hunh, well if God wants that to happen fine, if not, tough.” Elijah may not have been easy to follow.
God shows, in the whirlwind, and in chariots of fire, that God indeed approves of both Elijah’s life and Elisha’s aggressive following. The whirlwind is a feature of the natural world but God doesn’t appear only in the whirlwind. God appears in a chariot of fire. God sees human creativity in the chariot: wheels, perhaps some red fiery racing stripes, and recognizes that a chariot is a good vehicle in which to allow Elijah to continue to follow God. The place for following is in the natural world, but a natural world that has been visited by human creativity. Truly, earth is one holy gift; life is one holy breath.
Elisha immediately takes up his staff and parts the waters of the Jordan. Now, it turns out that the brotherhood of prophets observed all of this for as the story continues they decide that they should look for Elijah in case he was thrown down by Yahweh. Elisha knows that the time for following Elijah is finished, and when the brotherhood returns from looking, unsuccessful, he simply says, “Did I not tell you not to go?”
God uses the whirlwind to honour Elisha’s aggressive following and show when the time to follow Elijah had ended.
The lesson of Water.
In the Psalm that we read today, the waters are their own character. The waters see, are afraid, and tremble. Water gives life and we need rain in all the ways mentioned in the pastoral prayer, but water, especially to someone in Banda Aceh or New Orleans can also mean death. Water, all at once or over millions of years is an incredibly powerful force, and the writer of Psalm 77 is aware of every ounce of water’s power. In fact for the psalmist there is likely nothing more powerful than water, which makes his psalm all the more incredible. For even water, the great power, trembles before God. Followers like water may be powerful; powerful followers respect the God who leads people like a flock of sheep.
The lesson of Foxholes.
Jesus is in a bad mood in the snippet of his journey to Jerusalem. It could be that his followers had started to get on his nerves. The disciples are a singularly thick-headed and wrong-headed bunch. For instance, what’s up with trying to call down fire on the Samaritan village. Who do they think they are? Elijah?
Anyways, Jesus makes it very difficult on the next three people who try to follow him by giving tricky answers when they seek to commit to him. Following is not easy, especially with answers like these.
One wants to say good-bye to his people, and Jesus says that once you start following you can’t look back. Another wants to bury his father and Jesus seems callous when he reminds him that his duty is to spread the good news. These people probably wished that they were Elisha being called by Elijah. When Elijah called Elisha, Elisha responded with a very similar request, “Let me go kiss my parents.” Elijah’s response was a bit more civil than Jesus’ but it got to the same point. Elijah basically said, “Sure, take care of whatever you need to, but remember it is God who is calling you, not me.” Jesus and Elijah both want to be careful to let people know that following requires a real commitment to search after God’s purposes and then to let them work their way out in your life, regardless of what that might mean.
This brings us to the man who said, “I will follow you wherever you go”
This is certainly the right thing to have said but Jesus’ answer is clever. Foxholes and birdnests provide natural places where foxes and birds can easily go. The natural world has an order and it’s easy to see. If you want to follow me the road is going to be more difficult. Because I live very much in the world of foxes and birds but in a way that I am always trying to see the creativity that courses in, through, above and below that world. Truly, earth is one holy gift; life is one holy breath.
We don’t hear exactly what happens to these three potential followers. Is it possible that one of them cleverly replied to Jesus, out of earshot of Luke or his source, “Like Elisha recognized Elijah, I recognize that your call comes from the God who has given us the earth to share with foxes, and life to follow you. I will go and bless my family, but know that in all I do I will be following you.”
This morning I’ve suggested the possibility of a following that is aggressive as a whirlwind, as powerful as water, and as clever as a fox. This is a difficult following, but it is natural both to our world and to the creativity that courses in, through, above and below our world. It is perhaps not a comfortable following or one which feels close to our home, to Bluffton. When we look to the sky we see neither rain and lightning nor chariots of fire. Still, if we looked to the sky last night, and celebrated first the community of good friends, and a family of brothers and sisters in Christ, instead of a national holiday, or freedom at a cost we cannot bear, we might have seen fireworks, and in that community a way to follow. Amen


Surely we do not need, as some do, letters of recommendation to you or from you, do we? You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all; and you show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

The language of this exhortation, which we know because it is a text, an unnecessary letter, names the Corinthians as the body by which people can come to know Christ. The Corinthians are simultaneously embodied in three ways: individually, socially and virtually. The individual Corinthians shape the relationships of both division and unity which together form the social body which Paul here addresses as a virtual body, “a letter of Christ.” Christ’s body is extended virtually by the Corinthians in body and by Paul in letter. Most importantly, Paul asserts that these amount to the same thing. The body of the Corinthians becomes a virtual letter of Christ, just as Paul’s letter to the Corinthians becomes a virtual body. The exchange of encouragement occurs in the passing of letters from Paul to his congregations, but the logic of these interstices is a bodily one.

Gervais vs. Bush

I’ve decided upon watching this that what I most want to see, and I don’t care how it happens, is an conversation between Ricky Gervais [in character as David Brent} and George Bush. I think that it would give us a real insight into Bushian/Gervaisian thought processes. Preferably, they would both be hooked up to some kind of brain monitoring system so that we could measure the peaks when they decided what would direct their next comment.

Gervais/Brent: What is your view of intelligence and of design and their connection and of creation?

Bush: I feel like both sides ought to be properly taught.

Gervais/Brent: And this is what’s important, isn’t it, that we have sides. Like on dice, which are good for gambling.

Bush: Yes, what is important is that we pursue the good, and protect our ability to be good. We need to protect ouserlves.

Gervais/Brent: I’ve always been an advocate of protection. But you just don’t know what kind of disease are out there do you? Protection is crucial.

Bush: Yes, it’s like my father use to say, that we need to more kind and also more gentle; A sort of decisive gentleness. I decide that there should be gentle things. I’m for the gentle.

Gervais/Brent: Don’t get me started on fathers ….

Waste and Desire

I’m realizing that one of my next projects is going to be to probe the questions around the creation, maintenance and disposal of computers. I love computers. I love using them and I think that the technology, blogging and all the other new communication tools we have are really good not just for society in North Atlantic countries but for the well-being of people throughout the world. I can learn much more about Haiti by paying attention to Global Voices than by listening to NPR. But I’m really ignorant about what it take to make my technology [3,000 gallons of water to make an ounce of silicon?] the sources of the raw products [coltan, which is basically controlled by a paramilitary group in its country of origin] and the disposal of old computers [to china in big toxic heaps?] If I want to own this many computers and use them this much I’m going to need to know more in order to be a more responsible citizen. Part of this comes from reading Adam Greenfield’s note on his book Everyware.

Stargate SG-1

It’s rare that really awful movies can spawn popular, good television series, especially without a ton of tweaking to the story. The Stargate franchise is an example of this. The movie was a great sci-fi flick for 45 minutes and then intolerable sci-fi horror [that’s how it seemed to me when I watched it] for an hour. The show had some difficult to watch moments in the first couple of seasons, but with the exception of the 200th episode it was a great 10 year run; I can even enjoy watching the movie now. Too bad it’s over.

Tennis: The sport of those who hate the poor

Don’t get me wrong. I like tennis. It’s a beautiful game. But I think it was Courier tonight, who upon hearing McEnroe remember that Roger Federer thought that money could be better spent on having more kids be given access to the game, said, in a brilliant combination of absolutely specious logic, American close-mindedness, entitlment, and rabidhypercapitalism, said:

If you don’t invest in yourself, you don’t grow, it’s about time we invested in ourselves, Roger just doesn’t want change, if I won as much as he did I wouldn’t want change either, Don’t even change the balls. Just keep playing.

That’s right Jim, just keep playing.