The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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April 21, 2000 Issue
Renew 2000

Broadband Christianity found at large

Easter Christianity is found in many places, if we're open to receiving it

By Tom Rinkoski

When I get the renewed feeling, I want to get dressed up and do the town. This time, I want to dress up in a white tuxedo. I'm willing to forego the top hat, but I do want tails. But I don't have anywhere to go that dressed up! Maybe I should wear one when I pick up my son at the airport when he returns from his study time in Tanzania. Can you picture me strutting through the metal detectors at Austin Straubel airport in a white tux with tails? I thought about wearing it when I went to visit my daughter for her junior recital at the conservatory, but didn't.

My son, Brian, informs me that this urge is nothing new, that I've always wanted to get dressed up in a white tuxedo with tails. It was one reason he hesitated to take me with him to pick up his tux for the prom (which was not, by the way, a white tux with tails).

I just did another one of those crazy parenting things. But, it's Easter and the season for such madness. I drove 20 hours in a car to spend two hours listening to my daughter Marie's clarinet recital.

The calculations for justifying such a venture especially given the high cost of gas, is based solely on the mathematics of parenting. I would do it again, without thinking twice. This parental practice of virtue manifests itself in my wife's attending next to every scheduled performance of my son Brian who played the Scarecrow in the Southwest High School production of The Wizard of Oz. Believe you me, we were certainly not attending because the seats are so wonderfully comfortable. It's parenting math, it's practicing resurrection.

Can we talk? I have never been a Good Friday dad. But you best check out the accuracy by talking with the young adults of my household. While I do have my moments of pain and anguish, I am basically an Easter guy. Practicing Resurrection always seemed the truer task of Christianity, trumping any claims to the redemptive values of suffering. This belief leaks out into my parenting and spousing. Lest the linear among you mistake my Christianity, take heed! Although I do not hesitate to be a "fool for Christ" as St. Paul proffers, I am not just any garden variety fool. I am the one dressed in a white tuxedo with tails.

In closing down this column, I wish to verify what heretofore may have been "hidden" agendas. To invade the current electronic lexicon and unabashedly steal it for my own use, my agenda included the promotion and perpetuation of a broadband Easter Christianity. A broadband Easter Christianity is a belief in revelation that is characterized by simultaneous transmission over multiple channels.

God has more channels than Direct-TV, Time-Warner, and AOL combined. You are some of the channels for me! I hope I have been at least one of the channels for you. I am broadband because I have been well tossed in the sacramental tradition of the church. As a person with broadband characteristics, I am able to think, speak, gesture, persuade, broadcast and disseminate data in a wide variety of ways, while listening to cruising music on the radio at the same time. Lest you think this is some claim to fame, let me remind you that it describes the talent of your average mother of two or more kids.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote of "the broadband war, the struggle over who will control the ability to deliver seamless streams of data to consumers." There is no war. Some of us just wish there were because it would make life's messiness easier to deal with. As Bill Gates proposed, "All bits are agnostic." Tom Rinkoski leaves you with this thought, "All bits are sacramental. Grace is there for the taking. Don't let it pass you by."

If you meet me on the street, even if I am without my white tux and tails, please say "Hello!"

(Rinkoski is the Green Bay Diocese's Family Life director.)

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