Christian Right Weekly Round-Up: Pastor Pillow Parts the Sea of Protesters

unnamed-57Dontae, can you roll down my window? I still can’t figure out all these darn buttons back here. And did you Armor All the seats again? Makes the leather too slick; I’m flopping around like a fish in St. Peter’s net.

Hey you with the cardboard sign. Nice to meet you, I’m Pastor Pillow. I’m sure you recognize me from my syndicated—listen, there’s no need to shout, I can hear you perfectly fine.

What’s that? Hands up? But the worship service hasn’t even started yet.

Don’t shoot?! Amen! Heroin is horrible! Should I get the youth group team out here to minister?

Goodness, I haven’t seen a line this long to get into the Cubic Zirconium Cathedral since last year’s Tax Deduction Deadline Potluck. If I had known there would be so many of you, I might have gotten the baptismal waterslide theme park cranked up—even though it’s winter.

Say, would you mind helping clear the crowd a bit so Dontae can get my Superstretch Escalade by? The service starts in a few minutes, and I still have to do my Holy Ghost calisthenics.

Yessir, right before every sermon I just pop in that old VHS of Kirk Cameron’s “Sweatin’ to the Oldies Testament.” Just me and Mike Seaver and a couple of John 3:16 headbands going toe-to-toe with Jericho jumping jacks and Babylon burpees. Man, by the time I’m done, I’m Prosperity Gospel-pumped, baby!

What’s your sign say, anyway? “I can’t breathe.” Gee, maybe you should see a doctor. Say, we have an on-duty sanctuary physician—you know, just in case someone throws out a shoulder during a faith healing or exorcism. Should I call him?

By the way, I don’t know how to put this, but I see quite a few, um, people of color scattered upon the grounds. Not that they’re not welcome, I’m sure we have plenty of space in the overflow rooms. They’ll feel most comfortable worshiping with their own kind, don’t you think? You know, dreadlocks, baggy pants, big hats, all in one place. Why do you think God created AME churches, after all?

Wow. Dontae, look out ahead for that MRAP. Gee, when did we get a second and third Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle around here? Looks like one of the junior pastors must have called in the S.W.A.T. team. Salvation With A Trigger. Came up with that myself!

Man, those security deacons mean business. Those are Super Soakers, right? And seems to me that our Paraclete Drones are flying a little too low for comfort.

Oh my! What was that sound? Why is everybody running? Dontae, might be a good time to gun it a bit. Body in the way? What body? Are you sure he isn’t one of the sleeping shepherds from the human nativity scene?

Good Lord, is that Welch’s grape juice from communion? It’s going to take forever to clean that stain. Blood?! Are you sure? Why, he can’t be more than a teenager!

Shot by the S.W.A.T. team?! They were threatened that he was armed with the Helmet of Salvation and the Sword of the Spirit?! Oh goodness, we’re going to have to retrain some of these former police officers. Can you drain testosterone?

Well, someone at least get me the phone number for the family. Who cares if black lives matter? The question is how much do they cost these days?

That much?! Ding-dang, we might need that sixth offering now, after all.

Hi, is this the Brown Family? I’m sorry, but there’s been a wee accident involving your son on our property. But don’t worry, today is your lucky day: Pastor Pillow is going to eat the clean-up costs.

Please open your hymnals to No. 615.

Yeah the revolution starts now
In your own backyard
In your own hometown
So what you doin’ standin’ around?
Just follow your heart
The revolution starts now

Behold, the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up!

Race and the Christian Right Media

Today, let’s conduct a survey of a few Christian Right media organizations to see how they’re covering the recent government-endorsed, race-related, Blue Shirt manslaughters/murders and the resultant national protests.

To begin, let’s go as far right as the horizon leads and head over to Wisconsin Christian News. When it comes to crazy-cray, this is the Evangelical website that has provided the world with such articles as (1) “Speaking Against Islam Will Now Be ‘Hate Speech,’” (2) “Hollywood High Students Receive Movie Debunking Evolution,” (3) “Who is the Beast of Revelation?”, and (4) “A Syria Scenario.” And of course there’s the current dandy, “Churches ORDERED to Perform Sodomy-Based Wedding Ceremonies.” [Please, if you care about your sanity, DO NOT read any of those articles. The titles should suffice.]

Here’s what the Wisconsin Christian News has to say about Ferguson, Eric Garner, etc., et al: … Did you catch that? Yes, that sound of crickets chirping would be nada, nilch, nicht. Because WCN has gone definitively Sergeant Schultz when it comes to opining on the breaking news of the century.

At the other end of the Christian Right sanity spectrum—and I say this because at least this publication knows the difference between “complimentary” and “complementary”—Christianity Today has tons to say about racial tension in the U.S. In his article, “What One Racially Divided Family Can Do,” Mark Galii unwittingly admits what many have suspected for a long time: that CT attempts only to speak for Caucasian Christians:

“…we whites are confronted with a reality that we find hard to admit, that we have no idea what it’s like to be a black person in America.”

Even if the sentiment is honorable, I cannot believe that Galli—who happens to be the CT News Editor, for Pete’s sake!—fails to see the emic disaster in such a statement. So you admit that you write for an exclusively white audience? Sigh.

At least Christianity Today had the foresight to invite as a guest writer Rich Villodas, pastor of the very diverse New Life Fellowship Church in Queens, who in his article, “Ferguson, Church, and Continuing the Conversation,” smacks the nail with the Gospel hammer:

“It’s one thing to be in close proximity to someone who looks different than you. It’s another to be in relationship with one different than you.”

Bingo! Saying you’re not a racist isn’t enough. The Kingdom of God is about practicing ethnic diversity!

Uh, oh. Here comes Pat Robertson’s rag Christian Broadcasting News galumphing down the street like Mr. Stay Puft. This week, CBN featured an interview with Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Maryland, “Garner Aftermath: 4 Steps to Tackling Race Issues.” Bishop Jackson, an African-American man of the cloth, tried to calm all the blue-haired white grandmas under Pat’s thumb with the following convolution:

“I want to warn your audience today that I don’t think blacks are saying ‘all whites are racist and this is a sign of manifest racism in New York or St. Louis or the Ferguson area.’ What they are basically saying is, ‘It’s time for us to address this problem.’”

Actually, Bishop Jackson, I think the protestors are precisely saying that this IS a sign of manifest racism. And although Bishop Jackson admits that Eric Garner cried out 11 times that he COULD NOT BREATHE, the good minister remains unsure as to whether the matter of his killing should be brought to court.

Ready for it? POPE FRANCIS FACEPALM. (I tried very hard but could not find a Cornel West facepalm image.)

I’m almost afraid now to head over to Christian Post. Oh dear Lord, how can one possibly pass on an article that summarizes George W. Bush’s opinions of race in America: “George W Bush Says NY Jury’s Eric Garner Decision ‘Hard to Understand’”? First of all, of course he’d find it hard to understand—this is the man who declared the unabashed murder of tens of thousands of Iraqis a victory. Second, what the hell does this article have to do with Christian-perspective news? Please don’t tell me W. has already achieved Evangelical sainthood!

Here’s W. on race relations:

[Condoleezza Rice] just said, you gotta understand that there are a lot of black folks that are incredibly, more and more, distrusting of law enforcement, which is a shame, because law enforcement’s job is to protect everybody.

You know, that might actually be the first cogent statement of W.’s entire adulthood.

That in fact is the job of law enforcement. “To protect everybody.”

In the end, the Christian Right isn’t quite sure what to do about race. It seems pretty sure that in a “What Would Jesus Do?” vacuum, Jesus would share a water fountain with a non-Caucasian (given especially that he was Middle Eastern). But it doesn’t seem quite sure about whether or not a police officer should be allowed to gun down a black man or choke him to death without due process. And because it feels awkward about that, it invites “guest” ethnic writers who are willing to support both positions. (Actually, the mainstream media does that too.)

It truly makes you wonder what God must think of this whole mess—seeing as the Great Tetragrammaton knows that every single one of us shares 50% DNA in common with bananas.

Jehovah doesn’t give a rat’s ass about race. As I said in my article “Today, the Revolution Did Not Happen (but it may have started)”:

The basic rights of every one of our 7 billion-plus human being neighbors is not a negotiating point. The preservation of the planet isn’t something to be taken up in committee. It’s Civilization: either you’re in or you’re out.

And, sadly, the Christian Right Media can’t quite tell if it wants in. If it did, I guarantee you quite a few of them would start abandoning ship and heading over to progressivism.

That’s a wrap!

Please open your hymnals to No. 113.

Brother, brother, brother
There’s far too many of you dying
You know we’ve got to find a way…

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.

Arik Bjorn

Arik Bjorn lives in Columbia, South Carolina. He was the Democratic Party / Green Party fusion candidate for U.S. Congress in the 2nd Congressional District of South Carolina. Visit the archive for Arik’s campaign website, and check out his latest book, So I Ran for Congress. You can also follow his political activities on Twitter @Bjorn2RunSC and on Facebook. And be sure to check out more from Arik in his archives!


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