Hey, Pastor Pillow here! Yeah, I know it’s a little loud with all these construction compressors! Here, put on this intercessory prayer hard hat!
The crew is still putting some of the final stones into place, but I couldn’t help noticing all of those greenbacks sticking out of your billfold—thought you might like to be one of the inaugural customers—I mean, supplicants.
What are all these giant embossed stones? Oh my. A little behind on our biblical archaeology, are we? Then again, it probably is a little difficult to recognize without that annoying, blinding Dome of the Rock in the background.
This, my friend, is the Western Wall! Sometimes also known as the Wailing Wall.
You know, the famed perimeter wall from the Temple Complex in Jerusalem, rebuilt by King Herod during the days of our Lord and Savior. Sadly, due to the Romans and all those pesky Mohamaddeans, it’s all that’s left of King Solomon’s Temple—rather, the Temple that was rebuilt in 516 BC after the Jewish exiles returned from Babylon. I know, history-schmistory.
By the way, none of that secular CE/BCE garbage for us here at Cubic Zirconium Cathedral Ministries—it’s B.C.-Before Christ all the way, baby!
Any-who, you’ve probably seen images of people inserting prayers inside the cracks of the Western Wall stones. Well, there aren’t many “sole remnants” of history that Jews and Christians of all backgrounds agree upon. So I got to thinking—we are, after all, in the middle of a major capital campaign.
A couple of behind-closed-doors meetings with the Israel Ministry of Tourism, slip a couple of shekels into the right hand—and voila!
I think the Western Wall makes a nice buffer between the Noah’s Arik Petting Zoo and the Baptismal Font & Log Flume Splash Park. Can’t even hear the elephants from this side now.
What do you do? Oh my, where’s a Prayer Wench when you need one? They have the Prayer Menus. Oh, there’s a Wench. Deedee, let us have a Prayer Menu, darling. Thank you kindly.
Take a few minutes to look the menu over, and Deedee will be back in a few minutes to take your order.
What do I recommend? Let’s see, we’ve got starter prayers, like Prayers of Worship, Prayers of Faith, etc. They’re pretty cheap, as you’re not really asking for anything.
What’s the cheapest prayer? That would be the Silent Meditation. Just five bucks a pop. We put a blank slip in one of the cracks on your behalf. But I’d be careful. If you’re standing around not saying anything, a Prayer Wench might confuse that for an order.
As for main entrée prayers, we’ve got Prayers of Consecration, Prayers of Expiation. There’s a Loosing Prayer and a Binding Prayer, too, but I never can tell the difference—I think one is for demons and the other is for curses.
For big spenders, I recommend the Prayer Request. Comes in $100-level stages. If you’re in the market for a new career or a country club membership, think in the 4-digit donation range.
Our most expensive petition—which is off-menu—is the Prayer of Execration. If you really feel the need to curse someone, it’ll cost you. But your Prayer Wench puts on a Carnival costume, and there’s this whole flambé thing she does with a shot of Grand Marnier. Very impressive.
Well, gotta go. I see a few other parishioners over there with bulges in their billfolds—I mean, brothers and sisters who need warm brotherly embraces! Ta-ta! And Bonne Année!
Please open your hymnals to No. 2014.
Mama always said you’d be
The Chosen One…
She said: “You’re one in a million
You’ve got to burn to shine”
Behold, the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up!
2014 Christian Right Year-in-Review
BEHOLD, 2014 ANNO DOMINI!
THE YEAR OF THE DIVINE FACEPALM!
Sadly, one must go back seven centuries, to 1309 C.E., to find a more disastrously hypocritical year for Christianity. This was the year that the “Popes Gone Wild” of the 14th century up and moved the papacy from Rome to Avignon, France, then engaged in such fiduciary and concupiscent irresponsibility that even Mark Driscoll would blush himself silly.
Let us recap the old calendrical wineskin in order to drink anew from 2015:
If Tea Party fundamentalists ever establish their coveted Christian theocracy within our Purple Mountains Majesty, rest assured they will rewrite the history books to say they singlehandedly prevented Baphomet from establishing his throne in the Fruited Plain Principality of Oklahoma.
Then again, perhaps even more dangerous than Baphomet are atheists in the throes of fundamentalist estrus—case in point Richard Dawkins’ castigation of Bill Nye for spreading the Gospel of Reason to the homeschool masses. (Put a sock in it, Dickie.) But not even Dawkins displayed the fireworks ignorance of Dave Muscato, public relations director for American Atheists, who publicly tweeted that Christians cannot be LGBTQ allies. Guess what, Danielle (formerly Dave), we can be allies. Just ask the good folks over at OneWheaton.
Moving on. Oh my, who can forget all those claims from Sea to Shining Sea of “Obama the Antichrist”? Or the claim that there are Old Testament prophecies predicting the U.S. bombing in Syria (which never happened) will bring about Obamaclypse!
Ah, 2014—yet another year in which I find it necessary to quote myself:
In the past millennium, not one generation has gone by without Christians insisting that the Book of Revelation points to Christ’s imminent return, and that all of the text’s cryptic references can easily be mapped to the current political world. And every single generation has been spectacularly wrong.
Dang, we still haven’t even made it out of January! Hey, let’s not forget the indictment and ultimate guilty plea of Christian Right talking head Dinesh D’Souza for illegal campaign activity. But, you know, Jesus told us to dis Caesar whenever there’s a chance to build political capital in the Kingdom of Heaven, right?
Then there was February’s Ham on Nye Cosmological Debate for the Ages. Despite Richard Dawkins’ objections, more than 4 million people have tuned in to the debate—including many homeschooled fundamentalist children, who, thanks to Mr. Nye the Science Guy, have now been exposed to the bullet points of reasonable cosmology and evolution. Also, Ken Ham, are you ever going to get around to responding to my Open Letter?
Any-who, pastors a’ plenty couldn’t keep their pants zipped up in 2014. After the great Battle for Causality & Reality, we all tuned in to the Bob Jones University sex scandal—which was itself outdone by the sexual harassment fall from grace of Fundie Kingpin Bill Gothard. Gee, any other sex scandals? Plenty. I said PLENTY. Wait, did I say PLENTY? I meant PLEEEEENTYYYYY!! For God’s sake—and here’s a church in Kentucky that hired a registered sex offender as its minister!
Seriously, I could spend the rest of the day posting links about minister sex scandals. Psst! Maybe it’s time for Christendom to consider only females behind the pulpit.
Transitioning from the Seventh Commandment to the Sixth Commandment: then there was the murderous neglect of Philadelphia Pentecostals Herbert and Catherine Schaible, who opted to pray for their children to death rather than provide them with necessary medical care. Or how about Heart of Worship Community Church in Corona, California, where the Reverend Lonny Lee Remmers pled guilty to orchestrating a Bible Study Gone Wild, during which two adults in his church apparently followed his instructions and drove a 13-year-old boy into the desert and forced him to dig his own grave. Later the minor was zip-tied to a chair and had mace sprayed in his face, then had salt rubbed into open cuts on his back.
Let us wash away these iniquitous memories with Russell Crowe’s watery vehicle, Noah, which inspired a deluge of cinematic controversy, including banning by the nation of Indonesia. The First Amendment of course precludes our Congress from banning aesthetically offensive religious films. Yet almost all of us wished an exception could have been made for Ghost Ridin’ Nicolas Cage as the face of the Evangelical Rapture flick, Left Behind.
Then Franky met Barry in April, and the Christian Right took a short hiatus until the end of the school year, when suddenly conservative Christian daughters everywhere couldn’t get their hands off their daddy’s purity balls. Also, fundie financial guru Dave Ramsey bloviated about bullion while yet “silencing staff” at Financial Peace University.
Same-sex marriage advocates achieved numerous national victories throughout the year—including the Presbyterian Church USA’s vote to allow its pastors to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. While there was spiritual grieving by some within PCUSA’s ranks, this was nothing compared to Franklin Graham patting Vladimir Putin on the back for “taking a stand to protect his nation’s children from the damaging effects of any gay and lesbian agenda.” Way to go, Franklin, I’m sure your papa Billy is proud of your vocal support of a pernicious dictator.
Well, just in case that’s as much fundamentalist crap as you can take, I’m happy to point you in the direction of a Finnish company that prints Bible verses on toilet paper.
Seriously, hand me a roll, because I just remembered that megachurch maniac John Hagee published a book insisting the blood moons of 2014 were a sign of the End Times Obamaclypse. Well, we’re still waiting for the world to end (except for Chicago Bears fans). Or is Obama supposed to bomb Syria first? Maybe that’s after Henry Kissinger is slain with an obsidian blade beside a pile of goat innards on the steps of the U.S. Capitol? Dang, apocalypticism is so confusing.
Anyway, with the world aflame in social injustice, thankfully the Evangelical community is engaged in critical debate as to whether or not Jesus would hang out in strip clubs. Never mind that we’re surrounded by End Times blood moons! Not to mention that Catholics are wrestling pigs!
Finally, in October, Mark Driscoll stepped down from the Mars Hill megachurch following his controversial, sexually-inappropriate remarks about woman being mere homes for male wieners, amidst other scandals and controversies. And just several months later, Mars Hill itself was no more.
Sigh. Too bad rattlesnake-bit Pentecostal minister Jamie Coots never lived to see that the world did not end in 2014. Neither did that font of hate Fred Phelps, founder of the Westboro Baptist Church. Also leaving us in 2014 was The Cross and the Switchblade author David Wilkerson.
Well, now, there you have it: the 2014 Christian Right Media Cloud of Witnesses. Feel free to send this little Year-in-Review to your hermeneutically-challenged friends and family next time they start misinterpreting the Gospel in front of your face. When you put the muck all together, it really starts to add up.
As for me, I’m going to go pet puppies for several hours to cleanse myself of the fundamentalist hypocrisy that was 2014. Or perhaps minister to strippers. You know, because Jesus.
That’s a wrap!
Please open your hymnals to No. 2015.
There is light on the other side
And you’ll see all the raindrops falling behind
It’s a revolution
Progressives, the November Elections are—damn, you missed it. It’s too late. While we Progressives sat around drinking craft beer, more than one-third of our fellow fundamentalist countrymen rushed to the polls and elected the most idiotic group of human beings ever yet to rule a superpower.
But don’t worry. We’ll get another shot to right the Good Ship Civilization on Tuesday, November 8, 2016. Hopefully our Little Blue Planet will still be alive and kicking by then. And hopefully we can all get off our Balaam’s asses this time and find a voting booth.
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