Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rick Santorum's Church...and Ultrarunning


Back in January 2010 I posted about a humorous or ironic road sign near my place:

Well, this morning I had the bride drop me off on her way to work (man, it's great being retired!) and I ran back home via Hades Church Road.

In view of the Rebublican primary shootout, I could not help but think that Rick Santorum's church must be along this road.  You know, the place where venom is passed off as piety, and hatred is justified by saying that he hates the sin but loves the sinner.

The bride says that if by some fluke this guy winds up being our next president, she's leaving the country.  I'd go as well.

Locally the road name is pronounced so as to rhyme with "blades" or "maids,"  I guess to distinguish it from, you know, the real Hades (courtesy of Wikipedia):

The Christian concept of hell is more akin to and communicated by the Greek concept of Tartarus, a deep, gloomy part of hades used as a dungeon of torment and suffering.

The New Testament uses the Greek word Hades to refer to the temporary abode of the dead (e.g. Acts 2:31; Revelation 20:13).  Only one passage describes hades as a place of torment, the story of Lazarus and Dives (Luke 16:19-31). Here, Jesus depicts a wicked man suffering fiery torment in hades.

Actually, the term Hades has a complex origin and meaning (i.e., both a place and a person).  It doesn't strictly equate to hell, and actually means a great deal more.  But in common vernacular, it's commonplace to say that Hades = Hell.

Oh, and the connection to Ultrarunning?  Once I got Mr. Santorum out of my head, I had a great run.  Slow, easy, alert to my surroundings.  And I did stop at a church--not Mr. Santorum's--and got a refreshing drink from an outdoor spigot.  I recalled then the parable from Matthew 25:37-40, and how it seems that the poor and needy don't factor into the Republicans' calculus, except as a source of program cuts to save money:

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

I am grateful for this church's's humbling in a way that they are ministering to strangers without even knowing it.


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