Before taking his place of divine, intergalactic call at the acrylic lectern, Pastor Pillow paced the crimson carpet podium of the Cubic Zirconium Cathedral Ministries sanctuary. With a righteous furrow across his brow and well-worn New International Version Bible in hand, he turned on his heels and rendered the opening lines of his sermon to the throng gathered in purple-padded pews.
“This morning, brothers and sisters, God has something truly otherworldly to impart to this body of believers. His Church, His Body, His Bride. You. And you. And you. Even the teenagers, even the babes at their mother’s breasts. The Lord kept me up all night with incredible visions. I was taken up in the Spirit in a way I’ve never experienced—not since I experimented with mushrooms as an undergraduate back at Oral Roberts University.
“If I seem fatigued, brothers and sisters, just know that a few hours ago, Jehovah had me elsewhere. Also, I couldn’t resist a midnight VeggieTales Netflix marathon. It was a taste of things to come, of the new wineskin, of what it will be like to be in the eternal presence of the Son.” Pastor Pillow closed his eyes; a bead of sweat trickled down his temple. “To exist in the glory of the Almighty, in orbit around Saturn, knowing that we are forever safe from the desecrations of Candidate Rodham Clinton upon this damned terrestrial sphere.
“I see a few of you out there with quizzical expressions. Orbit? Saturn? No, folks, I’m not talking about an auto dealership. It’s time to take this hallelujah mission on the road! Well, brothers and sisters, not quite on the road—rather, more upwardly, toward the heavenly hosts! I am proud to announce a new Cubic Zirconium Cathedral Ministries collaboration with Virgin Galactic. At the end of today’s service, our sanctuary will be launching into the great beyond on a one-way trip to Saturn and its oil-rich moon, Titan. That’s right, I said oil rich!
“But it won’t be Titan for long. The moment our space ark lands at the end of its 38-month maiden voyage, we shall plant a Christian flag in the nearest hydrocarbon puddle and declare the satellite New Texas! (Either that or New Jerusalem—bit of a tough call there. Let’s compromise and call her the New Texasalem.) You see, the Spirit of the Lord finally revealed to me that we’ve been misinterpreting Scripture all these centuries: the New Heaven and the New Earth of Revelation is a place God’s Chosen People must find. Hence, put on your CZC-1 Jesusnaut spacesuit—which ushers right now are coming around to distribute—and strap yourselves in!
“Imagine the New Texasalem! Finally, a world Jesus would be pleased to call his own. A place where oil literally rains from heaven. Where there are no gays to serve, no pacifists to placate, no conservationists to run over with Humvees! Where the state has unlimited access to execution medicine—heck, we can reinstate the guillotine and burning at the stake if we want. And where no one blinks an eye at for-profit prisons and drug-testing the poor. But of course there will be neither crime nor poverty in New Texasalem, because we’ll be a society built on faith. And the only thing that causes crime and poverty is a lack of faith—that and a Democratic-controlled Congress and/or White House. But best of all, not one single citizen of New Texasalem will have governmental healthcare! Just imagine a healthcare system run purely on Mammon, as it should be!”
Pastor Pillow wiped the sweat from his brow with his bulletproof Miguel Caballero Kevlar handkerchief and asked the worship team to lead the congregation in several verses of “Soon and Very Soon.” The frothy minister stripped down to his skivvies and slipped into his special Z-1 spacesuit, then returned to his seat on the crimson-carpeted altar. He began speaking in tongues—convinced that every word was a godly execration against Senator Warren and Bill Nye.
Pastor Pillow awoke from his dream covered in sweat. Man, he thought to himself, gotta stop watching VeggieTales right before bed.
Please open your hymnals to No. 3…2…1…
We can’t trust you when you take a stand
With a gun and Bible in your hand
And the cold expression on your face
…going back to Saturn
Behold, the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up!
Think Fox News is a journalistic joke? Trust me, Roger Ailes can’t hold a light under a bushel compared to the Christian Right Media. According to Forbes, the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) rakes in nearly $300 million per year in revenue. And CBN is a mere bright star in a galactic empire of right-wing Christian media organizations, including members of the National Religious Broadcasters and the Evangelical Press Association and beyond.
In the name of Christ, these news outlets perpetuate racism, sexism, classism and militarism every day across the Fruited Plain. So if you’re looking for a good excuse to mail your write-in ballot for Hillary today or apply for political asylum at the nearest Finnish consulate, check out these five articles:
5. Monkey See, Monkey Do, over at Christian Broadcasting News: “‘Monkey Kingdom’ Film Shows Virtue of Intact Family”
Because even monkeys follow the precepts of the biblical family. Bonobos excepted. (And thank God Disney doesn’t drone on about Evolution in this one! #theologicalfacepalm)
4. Don’t Let your Right Hand Know What Your Macaque is Doing, over at Christianity Today: “One Last Thing: The Christian Porn Secret”
Finally, the minister-addicted-to-porn novel co-authored by a Grammy-winning Christian singer that we’ve all been waiting for. Although, I’ve got to give it to the reviewer for slipping in this apt line: “Still, there are no pat Christian answers here.” I don’t suppose we’re going to be able to talk book clubs that chose One Last Thing to select Lolita next, are we?
3. Religious Freedom Up in Flames, over at Wisconsin Christian News: “Court Targets Amish Families for Persecution”
WCN often provides superlative examples of fundie insanity, but this story is anything but your run-of-the-mill “we won’t serve gays pizza” religious freedom question. What do you do when an Amish family refuses to install smoke alarms and carbon-monoxide detectors against uniform building code—in the name of religious freedom? For now, the Borntregers get to stay in their Eau Claire County home.
2. God’s in Pacquiao’s Corner, over at The Gospel Herald: “Manny Pacquiao on Floyd Mayweather Fight: ‘The Lord Will Deliver Him Into My Hands’”
While there are many who would doubtless love to learn that God has had enough of Floyd Mayweather’s ego, it’s hard to believe that the Creator of the Universe cares one way or the other which pugilist will emerge victorious on May 2. (Both will, actually, given the multimillion-dollar payouts to both boxers.) Then again, if God does care about these things, what does that say about Muhammad Ali’s gold medal and 56-5 record. Apparently once in a while God puts on a ringside Allah mask. (p.s. Just be grateful we didn’t make you read the Duck Dynasty musical clip over at the Gospel Herald.)
1. Idiots Continue to Give Michele Bachmann a Microphone, over at The Christian Post: “Michele Bachmann Says Jesus’ Second Coming is ‘Imminent;’ Obama’s Nuclear Negotiations With Iran Are ‘Pro Islamic Jihad’”
I detest writing about Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin, or any other holder of U.S. political office who would be instantly tarred and feathered and locked in The Hague upon setting foot in Europe. But the thing I despise most about Michele Bachmann is when she opens her gob and spews goat droppings about the apocalypse. Just for that, I’m going 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.
Hey, Michele: You are an antichrist and an enemy of Civilization. No, really, you are.
That’s a wrap!
Please open your hymnals to No. 616.
Everybody having a good time
Except you, you were talking about the end of the world
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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