Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Crooked Lines

I work as a Bible study curriculum editor in my day job. One of my responsibilities is to write an every-other-week blog post (my Assistant Editor writes the ones for the intervening weeks, thankfully) offering additional commentary on the lesson for the upcoming Sunday. In one of those coincidences that sometimes happen, last Sunday’s Scripture seemed to offer an opportunity to apply the text’s message to a current event the discussion of which has been using up a lot of newsprint, airtime, and megabytes.

The Scripture is found in Acts 5, where Jesus’ apostles, having been called on the carpet a second time for teaching in the name of Jesus, respond, “We must obey God rather than human authority” (Acts 5:29). The current event is the jailing and subsequent release of Rowan County, Kentucky clerk Kim Davis after she refused to obey a court order that she resume issuing marriage licenses, which she had stopped doing due to her objections to same-sex marriage. Davis said that she refused to issue the licenses “under God’s authority.”

The parallel between the Scripture text and that event seems, at first glance, to be strong. Appearances can be deceiving, however. Since I thought that some cautionary words were in order for the users of our curriculum, I shared them in my blog post. Now I want to share them with you. In so doing, perhaps I can offer some helpful thoughts on the danger of trying to draw a straight line between events in the Bible and events in our time. And it can indeed be dangerous.

Put simply, we should take great care in drawing direct parallels between the apostles’ predicament and Davis’s situation because many differences exist between the two scenarios. I’ll mention three.

For one thing, the apostles were not in violation of a court order, while Davis is.

Most, if not all, of us would likely agree that the apostles did the right thing in speaking in the name of Jesus, even though they had been told by the authorities not to. The difference between their situation and that of Davis is that they were not disobeying the legal authority, while she was. It was the Jewish council (the Sanhedrin), not the Roman authorities, that ordered the apostles not to preach. At that point in history, Christians were not in direct conflict with Roman law, which was the true legal authority in first century Israel. Such conflict would come, but that is not the situation in Acts 5. So the apostles were not in violation of the law of the land. They were basically being told by one religious group not to speak of their religious convictions.

Davis, on the other hand, is in violation of federal Judge David Bunning’s order that, in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide, she issue marriage licenses to gay couples. As Alan Blinder and Tamar Lewin said in the New York Times, “The legal issue — that no one, whether a government or an individual engaged in civil disobedience has standing to flout a court order — is well established” (“Clerk in Kentucky Chooses Jail Over Deal on Same-Sex Marriage,” nytimes.com, September 3, 2015).

Now, that is not to say that Davis should not “obey God rather than human authority” if that is what she really believes she is doing. It is just to say that the kind of authority to which she refuses to submit is a different kind of authority than that to which the apostles would not give in. The situation in twenty-first century Kentucky is far different than the one in first century Jerusalem. Still, I suspect that most of us would agree that, if a person sees her or his religious convictions as being in conflict with secular law, religious convictions should be given first place by that person.

But—and this is the second difference I want to point out—the apostles, unlike Davis, were not elected officials who had sworn to uphold the law. The fact that Davis is an elected government official in the constitutional republic of the United States of America is important. Here is the oath of office that she took: “I do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of this Commonwealth, and be faithful and true to the Commonwealth of Kentucky so long as I continue a citizen thereof, and that I will faithfully execute, to the best of my ability, the office of County Clerk according to law . . .” Davis’s oath of office requires her to uphold the Constitution of both the state and the nation, not to uphold her particular religious or social convictions. Because she refuses to follow the law and to obey the court’s order, she is in violation of her oath of office. Davis asserts that, because the oath ends with “so help me God,” her obligation to uphold God’s law or moral law takes precedence over her responsibility to uphold civil law. But as constitutional law scholar Noah Feldman observes,

Whom you swear the oath by is different from what you swear to do. Officials in the U.S. definitively don’t swear to uphold God’s law. They swear to uphold the Constitution, which never mentions God at all. And they swear to uphold laws enacted under the Constitution -- which means laws that are in compliance with the establishment clause that prohibits any established or official religion (“What the Oath of Office Means to a Kentucky Clerk,” bloombergview.com, September 3, 2015).

As Feldman also notes, if Davis believes that her religious convictions prevent her from upholding the duties of her office, she has the option of resigning. He says, “Given Davis’s statement of faith that it would violate her interpretation of God’s will to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, she should quit her position as county clerk. Indeed, she must -- or she’d be living in a position of hypocritical sin.”

So that’s another difference between the two situations: Davis took an oath to uphold the law while the apostles didn’t.

For a third and final thing, the Sanhedrin tried to bar the apostles from bearing witness to their faith, but no one has prohibited Davis from bearing witness to hers outside her role as an elected government official. As a matter of fact, she very publicly proclaimed her faith and preached her message immediately following her release from jail. No authority tried to stop her and no one tried to put her back in her cell for speaking out.

Those are the three differences between the situation in our text and the situation in Rowan County, Kentucky of which I think we need to be aware. There are others of which I have not thought. My point in raising those three is to caution us about drawing a straight line between the apostles in first century Israel and a county clerk in 2015 America. There is a lot of time, a lot of change, and a lot of difference between the apostles’ “We must obey God rather than human authority” and Kim Davis’ “On God’s authority.”

The scenario offers us an excellent opportunity to think about the ways in which we read, understand, and apply the Bible to contemporary situations. The two are connected, but the lines between them are not always straight and easy to follow . . .

[An earlier and longer version of this post appeared at Coracle, the blog of NextSunday Resources, on September 15, 2015.]

Friday, September 18, 2015

Brothers and Sisters

I’m writing these words on September 8, the date on which, in 1973, just a few days before my fifteenth birthday, the Allman Brothers Band’s Brothers and Sisters claimed the #1 spot on the Billboard album chart. It was the first and only time in their long history that the Brothers had a #1 album. It was also the first Allman Brothers album I owned, so I was a little late to the party. They had already released their eponymous debut (1969), their second album Idlewild South (1970), the now legendary live album At Fillmore East (1971), and the tragic (Duane Allman was killed in a motorcycle accident in Macon before the album was completed) Eat a Peach (1972).

I played Brothers and Sisters so much I’m surprised I didn’t wear the grooves out. (Perhaps I should explain for my younger readers that albums once were round, had a hole in the middle, were made of vinyl, and were played on these things called “record players” that somehow extracted the sound from the record by having a needle run through the grooves.) The hit single was Dicky Betts’s song “Ramblin’ Man.” I loved it. How could a boy from Barnesville not love a song that included the line “I was born in the backseat of a Greyhound bus, rollin’ down Highway 41”? I mean, the geography of my life was defined by Highway 41, which took me north and south, and by Highway 36, which took me east and west. From “Wasted Words” to “Pony Boy,” the entire album was outstanding.

The Allman Brothers Band played what they said would be their last show on October 28, 2014 at the Beacon Theatre in New York, bringing to an end a forty-five year run of their unique style of Southern blues rock. Three founding members remained: Gregg Allman and drummers Butch Trucks and Jaimoe. Over the years, other band members have gone and come. One of the reasons that the band was able to endure was their willingness and ability to bring in new musicians who kept the old traditions alive while putting their own spin on them. Notable in that regard are guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, who, while they did not and could not replace the late Duane or the dismissed Betts, gave of their own remarkable talents to help keep the Allman Brothers Band vital and dynamic. The Brothers were never relegated to the oldies circuit because they always kept the music fresh, alive, and evolving.

Strange as it may seem, our churches could learn something important from the Allman Brothers Band: we need to develop the ability and to embrace the opportunity to grow and to change. As with the band, so with the church: some members will die and some members will leave to pursue other projects. And new members will come in who have much to contribute to our ministry. They may put a different spin on our established ways of doing things, but that can be a good thing. The Allman Brothers matured, changed, and adapted. Our churches need to do so as well.

That’s not to say that we won’t still do and say what we’ve always done and said. You would never go to an Allman Brothers’ concert and not hear “Whippin’ Post,” “Melissa,” and “Midnight Rider.” And we’ll (hopefully) never go to church without worshiping God, reading the Bible, and learning more about following Jesus. The old, old story is the old, old story. But, if we’re willing to open our minds and our hearts, we just might hear some of the old words presented in different ways. And we just might hear a very important part of the truth that we’ve never heard before.

That’s not to say it will always be easy. Some of the changes that the Allmans went through were challenging and even traumatic. But they persevered because they were committed to being the Allman Brothers Band, because they believed that the message of their music was important, and, even though only Duane and Gregg were literally siblings, the entire band was made up of, in a very real sense, brothers.

We in the church are, to use the words of that old album title, brothers and sisters. We are in this thing together. The world needs us to be faithful together to our mission of sharing the love, grace, and mercy of Christ in every way we can.

The Allman Brothers Band’s music was based in a commitment to doing Southern blues rock and doing it right. The church’s ministry is based in a commitment to loving the Lord our God with all we are and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves.

However we do it and however we say it, let’s offer the Lord’s love and grace to the people around us who need it so desperately. That’s the heart of our message; that’s the heart of our music; that’s the heart of our ministry.

If we’ll remember that, we can finish up with the closing line from the first track on Brothers and Sisters, “Wasted Words”: “By the way this song’s for you. Sincerely, me.”

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Chance

Bobby Ross Phillips died in Adel, Georgia on August 31st. I had the privilege of speaking at his memorial service on September 3rd. Chances are pretty good that neither Bobby nor Adel mean anything to you, but they both mean a lot to me. Chances are also pretty good that you’ve had someone like Bobby and someplace like Adel in your life, by which I mean that you’ve probably had somebody and somewhere that gave you a chance and, in giving you a chance, made a huge difference in your life.

It was the summer of 1986. I had just finished my Ph.D. in Old Testament at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky; I had three degrees and no job. Well, I was working for a ministry organization in Louisville, doing some painting and yard work for elderly folks who weren’t able to do it or pay to have it done—it was actually very rewarding work—but I wasn’t working “in my field.”

One evening our telephone rang. The fellow calling identified himself as Bobby Phillips; he said he was the Chairman of the Pastor Search Committee for the First Baptist Church of Adel, Georgia. He went on to say that they had my resume and wondered if I might be interested in talking with them about possibly becoming their pastor. After we chatted a while, I said, “May I ask a question?” He said I could. “Where is Adel?” I asked.

It turns out that Adel is the county seat of Cook County, way down below the gnat line on I-75 about midway between Tifton and Valdosta. That committee, led by Bobby Phillips, took a chance on me and gave me my start in full-time ministry. I will forever be grateful.

There were others before Bobby and Adel, though.

There was Preacher Bill Coleman and the good folks of my home church, the Midway Baptist Church. Preacher Bill let me preach on several Wednesday nights, the first time when I was thirteen years old. Now, Preacher Bill would let anybody speak on Wednesday night who wanted to do so –he liked to brag that he once went three years without preaching on a Wednesday night—but still, how many pastors would let a young kid speak regularly from his pulpit?

There was Mr. Ralph Pharr, who gave me my first job as a sack boy at Burnette’s Thriftown grocery store, which was in the building that now houses the Dollar General Store out on Highway 341. In my three years there, I demonstrated such responsibility that I was eventually put in charge of stocking the dog food aisle. It was the shortest aisle in the store, but it was mine.

There was Rev. William L. Key who, just before I entered Mercer University in 1975, asked me to come see him. As we sat in lawn chairs in his backyard in Milner sipping iced tea, he offered me my first church job. He wanted me to be his Associate Pastor at the Pritchett Memorial Baptist Church, located somewhere out between Barnesville, Thomaston, and Meansville in the Jugtown community. Preacher Key, who had retired from the full-time ministry, had been their Interim Pastor for about five years. He talked them into letting me preach once each Sunday—he and I alternated Sunday mornings and Sunday evenings. How many seventeen year olds got to preach every Sunday? I cringe when I think about what they had to listen to me say. Bless their hearts.

They’re all gone now—Preacher Key, Mr. Ralph, Preacher Bill, and Bobby. I’m still here. And they and the organizations they represented all played a huge role in my being who I am and doing what I do.

I thank God for them all. I thank God that they gave me a chance.

Who gave you a chance? Have you thanked God for them lately? If they’re still around, maybe you should thank them, too …

(This article first appeared in "Ruffin's Renderings" in the Barnesville (GA) Herald Gazette on September 8, 2015)

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

No Brag—Just Fact

The year was 1974. George Roy Hill had just won the Academy Award for Best Director for his work on the wonderful film The Sting when he received the following letter:

Dear Mr. Hill,

Seeing that ... I have seen your fantastically entertaining and award-winning film "The Sting," starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, and enjoyed it very much, it is all together fitting and proper that you should "discover" me.
Now, right away I know what you are thinking ("who is this kid?"), and I can understand your apprehensions. I am a nobody. No one outside of Skyline High School has heard of me. ... My looks are not stunning. I am not built like a Greek God, and I can't even grow a mustache, but I figure if people will pay to see certain films ... they will pay to see me.
Let's work out the details of my discovery. We can do it the way Lana Turner was discovered, me sitting on a soda shop stool, you walk in and notice me and — BANGO — I am a star.
Or maybe we can do it this way. I stumble into your office one day and beg for a job. To get rid of me, you give me a stand-in part in your next film. While shooting the film, the star breaks his leg in the dressing room, and, because you are behind schedule already, you arbitrarily place me in his part and — BANGO — I am a star.
All of these plans are fine with me, or we could do it any way you would like, it makes no difference to me! But let's get one thing straight. Mr. Hill, I do not want to be some bigtime, Hollywood superstar with girls crawling all over me, just a hometown American boy who has hit the big-time, owns a Porsche, and calls Robert Redford "Bob".

Respectfully submitted,

Your Pal Forever,
Thomas J. Hanks
Alameda, California

Yep, the writer of the letter was Tom Hanks—that Tom Hanks—who was at the time an eighteen-year old high school senior. I don’t know how he actually was discovered, but he was, and the rest, as they say, is history; he has starred in Forrest Gump, Castaway, Captain Phillips, Big, Philadelphia, Saving Private Ryan, Sleepless in Seattle, Apollo 13, The Da Vinci Code, and, in the television role that made him a star, Bosom Buddies. The kid had chutzpah, a Yiddish word that, translated into Southern, means “That’s who I am, and y’all can like it or lump it!”

As my father, the late great Champ Ruffin, never tired of saying, “He that tooteth not his own horn, the same shall not be tooteth for him!” Clearly, Hanks had something to toot about. As Walter Brennan’s character in the 1960s Western series The Guns of Will Sonnett, would say after describing his skill with a gun, it was “No brag—just fact!”

Strength of character and self-esteem are desirable traits in a person. It’s good to be self-aware enough to know who you are and self-confident enough to put yourself out there.

But it’s also good to be self-critical enough to understand your limitations and self-effacing enough to be willing to be in the background and not in the spotlight. Tom Hanks is a star, but I think he would tell you that he couldn’t do what he does without all the people who work behind the scenes to make a film.

To be a Christian requires a great deal of humility. After all, to put your trust in God is to confess that you can’t make it on your own and that you must have the help of someone who is better and stronger than you’ll ever be. Paradoxically, to grow as a Christian is to become simultaneously more confident and more humble. As we come to know Christ better and as we grow to know ourselves better, we become stronger and stronger. But that strength leads us to become weaker and weaker; that is, our strength in Christ becomes a basis from which we choose to give ourselves away, to serve, and to love. We know that God loves us and that our calling is to give that love away.

It may be that too many of us are afflicted by Ken-L Ration Syndrome. Do you remember those commercials? “My dog’s better than your dog, my dog’s better than yours. My dog’s better ‘cause he eats Ken-L Ration; my dog’s better than yours!” Maybe too many of us sing that song but substitute “my church” or “my faith” for “my dog” and “’cause we/I follow Jesus better …”

It’s natural for us to want to be discovered. It’s human for us to want to be successful.

But we’ve already been discovered by God. We’ve already been found by Jesus. We’ve already been blessed by God’s love and grace.

We become who we’re supposed to be when we discover how much God loves everybody else and when we discover how much we have to give.

If we would humble ourselves before God and before each other, we could do a lot more good than we’re doing.

That’s no brag. It’s just fact.

(First appeared in "Ruffin's Renderings" in the Barnesville (GA) Herald Gazette on August 25, 2015)

Saturday, August 15, 2015

You Never Know

Two men who were very important to me during my growing up years died on Monday, July 20, 2015.

During my growing up years, though, I didn’t know that either of them even existed. I first learned the name of one of them a couple of years ago. I never heard of the other one until his death was announced.

Despite their anonymity to me, they helped to form and shape my life.

Allow me to explain.

The first episode of American Bandstand that I remember watching was either at the end of 1967 or the beginning of 1968. Whichever it was, I was nine years old. The Top Ten countdown was a regular feature of the show. On this particular Saturday, Dick Clark was counting down the Top Ten songs of 1967. When he pulled that piece of cardboard away to reveal the #1 song of 1967, the one he uncovered was “The Letter” by the Box Tops. They played it, and the kids danced.

“Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane; ain’t got time to catch a fast train. Lonely days are gone; I’m a-goin’ home. My baby just-a wrote me a letter.”

I was mesmerized. One day many, many years later I heard somewhere that the lead singer for the Box Tops was only sixteen when they recorded the song. Curious, I Googled the band and found out that the singer’s name was Alex Chilton, who later was a founding member of Big Star, one of the most influential rock bands of which you’ve probably never heard.

Chilton died a few years ago. It was the man who wrote the song who died on July 20 of this year. His name was Wayne Carson. Carson not only wrote “The Letter,” which was one of the first rock and roll songs to grab my attention; he also wrote two other hits for the Box Tops, “Neon Rainbow” and “Soul Deep,” the latter of which has in my later years become my favorite Box Tops song.

Country music fans will know one of his other songs, a little number called “Always on My Mind” that’s been recorded by singers ranging from Brenda Lee to Elvis to Pet Shop Boys. The best known version, though, is Willie Nelson’s 1982 rendition, a beautiful record that won Carson Grammys for Song of the Year and Best Country Song.

I discovered comic books before I found rock music. My favorite was Spider-Man, but when I wanted to fantasize about what it would be like to be a teenager, I read the Archie comics. Archie Andrews was a cool teenager who hung out with his cool teenage friends Jughead, Veronica, Betty, and Reggie. As I followed the adventures of Archie and his pals, I imagined myself having the same kind of fun that they had. “Who knows,” I thought, “I might even be in a band as good as The Archies.”

Well, it didn’t work out exactly that way, but Archie and his friends gave me hope, which is something a boy entering puberty really needs.
One of the main artists responsible for the Archie comics was Tom Moore, who also died on July 20 of this year. Moore worked on them off and on from the 1950s until he retired in the 1980s. I didn’t know who he was until I heard a news report about him after he died.

Wayne Carson and Tom Moore didn’t know me and I didn’t know them. They never knew I existed and I barely knew they did. And yet they were instrumental in helping me navigate my late childhood and early adolescence. I knew the Box Tops and Archie spoke to me. I didn’t know that Wayne Carson and Tom Moore were speaking through them.

I’m glad I know their names now so I can give thanks to God for them, because I believe that God worked through them to help me and lots of other kids survive the trials of growing up.

You never know how someone you don’t even know is helping you.

You never know how you might be helping someone you don’t even know.

People of faith should assume that God is working through us to help others, whether we are aware of it or not. It stands to reason, then, that we should do the best we can do at what we do. Something we do or say or make just might stay with someone for the rest of her or his life.
As for me, after all these years, my love is still a river running soul deep.

And everything’s still Archie …

(This article first appeared in "Ruffin's Renderings" in the Thomaston (GA) Times on August 14, 2015)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Top Ten Slogans for a Pecan National Advertising Campaign

I heard a Georgia Public Broadcasting story on August 12 about pecan growers wanting a national advertising campaign. They said they needed a slogan. So I'd like to offer the following suggestions.

Top Ten Slogans for a Pecan National Advertising Campaign

10. Pecans—neither a pea nor a can.

9. Pecans—their taste is piquant!

8. Pecans—the only nut with three pronunciations.

7. Pecans—because who ever heard of a peanut pie?

6. Pecans—it’s the other other white meat.

5. Pecans—because almonds come from California.

4. Pecans—squirrels eat ‘em; why don’t you?

3. Pecans—Donald Trump loves ‘em!

2. Pecans—they taste great, unless some of that stuff that separates the two pieces of meat inside the shell gets mixed in with them, which tastes real bitter and ruins the experience. So don’t do that. And don't blame us if you do.

1. Pecans—don't say "Pecan't." Say "Pecan!"

Come Together

Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the graduation of my class at Lamar County High School in Barnesville, Georgia, the Class of 1976. 1975-76 was the first year classes were held at the “new” high school, so we were the first class to graduate from there.

I wasn’t there, though. Well, I was there for our graduation, but I wasn’t there for our senior year.

To explain why I skipped my senior year would take way too many words. The short version is that I only needed three classes to graduate, LCHS agreed to give me credit for my first three college courses (am I the only person ever to graduate from there with credit for Greek and Introduction to the Old Testament?), and Mercer University welcomed me with open arms. So off I went.

But I came back to graduate with my class. I was the Valedictorian. It was kind of awkward.

So far as I know, our class has never held a reunion. I think that’s sad. Or maybe we’ve had reunions but I’ve never been invited. That would be sadder.

It’s not hard to understand why we’ve never had a reunion. We never really meshed.

The integration and consolidation of the Lamar County Schools happened in 1970. I had spent my first six years of formal education attending Gordon Grammar School. When our schools were integrated racially, they were segregated by gender. So we seventh grade boys were sent to what had been the Booker T. Washington School while the seventh grade girls were sent to Milner. Several of my Gordon Grammar classmates, most of whom I had gone to school with for all of those first six years, went to private schools. I never saw some of them again.

So there we were, a bunch of boys thrown together in one place and a bunch of girls thrown together in another place. And it wasn’t just that the black kids and white kids didn’t know each other; it was also that we white kids from Gordon (there had been a few African-American kids at Gordon; I remember Faye Barrett and Mike Wimbish from my class with much fondness) and the white kids who had attended the schools at Aldora and Milner didn’t know each other.

Well, things were like that through my class’s tenth grade year. Meanwhile, a bond issue had been approved and a new high school—one that would house boys and girls, hallelujah—was scheduled to open in 1975. So they decided to put the boys and girls back together in 1974. I guess they wanted us to deal with the hormonal and social trauma before we moved to the new school. So for one year we were all together at the Forsyth Road School (how nostalgic does that sound? I wish they had kept the Booker name) and then for one year they—like I said, I was gone—spent a year together out at 1 Trojan Way.

So you can see why we didn’t mesh too well.

I’d like to see us have a forty year reunion. I’d go. Maybe we’d mesh now. Better late than never, you know.

Had we known then what we know now, maybe we’d have done better together. We could have learned so much from each other. We could have celebrated our common humanity while still appreciating our cultural and personal differences. We could have been interested in each other rather than suspicious of each other. We could have been friends rather than acquaintances. We could have celebrated that we were now all Trojans while appreciating that we were once Bulldogs and Falcons and Tigers.

Church folks could learn from all of this. I guess denominations are necessary; I know that there are historical, theological, and social reasons that so many of them exist. It’s still troublesome, though, that our churches are pretty much segregated by race (we have “black churches” and “white churches”), by economic status (“blue collar” and “white collar”), and by mindset (“conservative,” “liberal,” “moderate,” and “fundamentalist”).

“Has Christ been divided?” the Apostle Paul once asked (1 Corinthians 1:13). His answer was “No”; evidently ours is “Yes,” given that the Church, which is the body of Christ in the world, has so many divisions.

There’s an old joke about a man dying and going to heaven. St. Peter is giving him the tour. They walk by one room from which loud singing and praising is coming. When the man asks Peter who’s in there, he replies, “That’s the Pentecostals.” They walk by another room from which they hear much reading in unison. “That’s the Catholics,” Peter explains. Then he says, “Now, let’s be very quiet walking by this next room. The Baptists are in there, and they think they’re the only ones here.”

I appreciate my Baptist heritage. But I appreciate even more the unity that all Christians have in Christ. I consider myself a Christian minister operating in the Baptist tradition. I am grateful that I was baptized at the Midway Baptist Church, but I am even more grateful that there is “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Ephesians 4:5).

When we all get to heaven, we’ll all be in heaven. We might as well come together down here. We need the practice.

(This article first appeared in "Ruffin's Renderings" in the Barnesville (GA) Herald Gazette on August 11, 2015)