My Life as a Religious Parable

Rick Brown, a preacher for ChristBridge Fellowship in Tomball, Texas, used me as the subject of a sermon printed in the local newspaper this week:

When Pope John Paul died Rogers Cadenhead quickly registered thinking this might be the name chosen by the new pope. When Cardinal Ratzinger was elected Pope he did choose the name Pope Benedict XVI, causing many to question what the Vatican would do to get the rights to that domain name.

Cadenhead didn't ask the Vatican for money. Instead, in a humorous manner on his blog he suggested a few things he would trade for:

1. Three days, two nights at the Vatican hotel.

2. One of those hats (referring to the bishop's hat).

3. Complete absolution, no questions asked, for the third week of March 1987.

Wonder what Rogers did the third week of March in 1987? Me too. Most of us have at least a week we'd like total forgiveness for.

Since my 15 minutes of fame as the popesquatter in 2005, I've become a religious parable. A couple times a year I'm mentioned in sermons. I've turned up in churches, a syndicated radio broadcast and the book Facing Your Giants: A David and Goliath Story for Everyday People. In English, German and Spanish.

Rogers Cadenhead on Today ShowA few years ago, my sister-in-law Trish and her family were looking for a new church to join near Purdue in Indiana, so they went to a house of worship they'd never been to before. As they listened to the sermon, the pastor mentioned my name.

Like the Tomball preacher, the pastor told the story of and my request for absolution, inviting the congregation to ponder what I did that week which required papal indulgence.

Afterwards, Trish met the pastor and she sheepishly told him exactly what I'd done:

Her younger sister.


I was surprised to be redirected from an active political blog, and to the Workbench which otherwise disallows any effort to cross reference comments here, with political talk, elsewhere.

Anyway, Rogers seemingly makes himself into the subject of religious commentary by substituting faith in party for faith in God, and actively mocking religion and, or supporting such efforts to discriminate against Christianity by conflating that faith with their individual member's opinions about politics.

The real conundrum, though, is that 'faith' in either is held by one as obviously intelligent as is Rogers ...

... faith in religion, politics or used car salesmen's promises ...

Geez Tadowe, lighten up.

Cool, he did his sister-in-law's little sister. Why should he be skinned for that? He should be celebrating. Good job, dude. Klink! Klink!

If you were his roommate - as I was - the story isn't the first time he did was the next 746 times ....those aprtments built in the 70s must have used chinese drywall

Hey Tadowe. Do you know any other song? Or at least a different verse?

if you were his roommate - as I was - the story isn't the first time he did was the next 746 times ....those aprtments built in the 70s must have used chinese drywall

Funny (for me; perhaps not for you). Those were the best 1,492 minutes of my life.

Actually, the whole story is probably completely made up. Try as I might, I can't find any "Purdue, Indiana" on any map that I'm aware of.

@Mark Taber, #7: Purdue University is in West Lafayette, Indiana; I've been there many times and have heard the town just referred to as "Purdue".

I fixed the Purdue error. I should've known it wasn't the name of the town since my brother-in-law is an associate dean at the university.

I can't believe I'm the first one to write:


The truth is finally revealed.

Lonestar says, "Hey Tadowe. Do you know any other song? Or at least a different verse?"

I'm not quite sure what you mean? Are you concerned about my opinion that Rogers is seemingly too intelligent to be swayed by religion, politics ... or are you a used car sales engineer ...?

Say, you're not one of his "Yellow Dogs" after his "Red Meat", are you?

If you "did" your sister-in-law's little sister, isn't that your wife? What's the sin, then?

At first, I understood you had fathered your sister-in-laws (and your wifes) little sister.

That is something to be very sternly frowned upon.

I am enjoying how this story is spiraling out of control. I have not fathered any children with my sister-in-law. She hasn't asked; I haven't offered.

The third week of March 1987 was the week that my future wife and I began dating. We married eight years later.

Add a Comment

All comments are moderated before publication. These HTML tags are permitted: <p>, <b>, <i>, <a>, and <blockquote>. This site is protected by reCAPTCHA (for which the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply).