Sorry, usually I would pump the palm of everyone who writes hefty membership checks for Cubic Zirconium Cathedral Ministries, but I don’t want to upset my portrait painter, Alphonse. I’m under strict orders not to move a single muscle—unless you count the 26 muscles it takes to smile and say, “Hallelujah!”
And I’m smiling especially today—joy is a Fruit of the Spirit, after all!
I am proud to announce that CZC Ministries has been awarded a $1.3 million Department of Defense grant to “Craft a New Biblical Psalm in Honor of American Glory and Freedom.” We’re working with a number of Bible publishing players, including the International Bible Society and ZonderKidz, to add an illustrated version of “A New Anthem for 21st-Century Evangelical Prosperity in Honor of American Economic and Militaristic Might, Psalm 151” in Evangelical Bibles everywhere.
And this, of course, is why I’m sitting to have my portrait painted while surrounded by members of the CZC Ministries bikini softball team adorned in Heavenly Throne Room regalia. I mean, it’s not every day one is invited to add an illustrated chapter to sacred writ. Hey, Kaylin, you might want to adjust that chodchod microkini. This isn’t a Garden of Eden painting!
Anyway, I’m so very excited to debut the brand-spanking-new, hot-off-the-Pentecost-press Psalm 151.
“A New Anthem for 21st-Century Evangelical Prosperity
in Honor of American Economic and Militaristic Might, Psalm 151”
a psalm of Pastor Pillow
for most stringed instruments and the soprano sax
1 Let the Lord’s chosen, the sanctified one percent, tell their story—
those he gathered from east and west, north and south,
but mainly from Western Europe
in order to uproot the indigenous pagans with plague and sword
and establish an everlasting Evangelical Kingdom—plus Wall Street.
2 There stood we by the beeping ATMs, having forgotten our PINs,
we cried out to the Lord, to Jehovah-jireh,
who reminded us that our secret number
was our brother’s birthday backwards.
3 The Lord delivered us so that we could return to Whole Foods
and pay for the anchovy and garlic pizza we needed to buy
because we were so busy slaving away for Mammon
4 that we didn’t have time to prepare a meal for our family of five,
most of whom were too busy diddling with electronic devices
to notice one another—gee, that bottle of Beefeater is looking good.
6 In our despair, God delivered us from African-American riots,
he created an extra buffer between the thuggish inner city and the outer burbs,
he gave us construction vehicles to convert defunct J.C. Pennys into megachurches,
he blessed our athletic teams with superior draft choices,
he showed us mercy in our fantasy sport endeavors,
7 he subjected our enemies to oil train spills and infernos,
and blessed us with high yield dividend stocks.
8 Our enemies sit in darkness,
Jehovah shuts off their water and essential utilities,
but he watches over for-profit prison CEOs who love Jesus.
9 Let us give thanks to the Lord our God
for his unfailing love and HDTV.
10 May a better version of Google Glasses be on the horizon.
11 Long live the United States of America,
the New Rome, a global Davidic Slingshot and Goliath broadsword,
a real humdinger Kingdom of God place to hang—plus we have Velveeta Cheese!
12 Let the one who is wise heed these things.
Please open your hymnals to No. 40.
He brought me up out of the pit
Out of the miry clay
I will sing, sing a new song
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/Bernie today or apply for political asylum at the nearest Finnish consulate, check out these five articles:
5. I’m Apostate, You’re Apostate, Wouldn’t You Like to Be Apostate Too?, via Christianity Today: “Theology Feud Pits Half of Town’s Protestant Churches Against Another”
What is Progressive Christianity?
If you ask the folks at ProgressiveChristianity.org, they’ll tell you it’s “an open, intelligent, and collaborative approach to the Christian tradition and the life and teachings of Jesus that creates a pathway into an authentic and relevant religious experience.”
If you ask me: “Progressive Christians follow one of many Christian traditions and place especial emphasis on Jesus’ ethical teachings without lobbing Bible verse grenades at their neighbors.”
If you ask Pastor Don Lawrence and his fellow Evangelical pastors in Fountain Hills, Arizona, who are ganging up on the local Progressive Christian United Methodist Church, the Progressive Christian movement is spearheaded by none other than Beelzebub:
‘The progressives are at it again, and for a small fee you can join the primary proponent of this apostate religious movement to get answers,’ he wrote in a letter to the editor.
Actually, such theological witch hunts are a good sign that Progressive Christianity is taking hold and hacking away at fundamentalist Christianity from within the religion.
4. Twinkies and Moon Pies Are Not Fruits of the Spirit, so says Charisma News: “The Silent Goliath in the Church”
“The devil wants you fat!” warns Christian fundie dietician Joyce Tilney.
Achtung! Satan prowleth to and fro across the cheeseball-shaped Earth, cloaked in a Little Debbie disguise! Be ye warned! Demonic minions lie in wait within every packet of Devil Cremes and Devil Squares! Every can of Pringles contains a Principality of Darkness. Beelzebub’s behind the Bloomin’ Onion! There’s an Azazel in every apple pie!
While obesity is indeed a chronic health problem in the United States—impacting more than two-thirds of the adult population according to the National Institutes of Health!—I really can’t wrap my head around the religious claim that only the Holy Spirit can help folks maintain healthy weight.
Also, it cracks me up to think that the greatest theological mind of the Middle Ages, St. Thomas Aquinas, was so fat that upon his death his body was placed in a coffin as large as a grand piano. Or so the legend goes. So maybe fat doesn’t send one straight to Hickory Farms Hell.
3. All of Christendom Screws Up with Duggar-Gate, via Christian Post: “Mike Huckabee Supports Josh Duggar, Family Amid Molestation Scandal; Russell Moore Asks Churches to Address Abuse in ‘Churched’ Contexts”
The media bloodbath surrounding the sex abuse scandal of “19 Kids and Counting” personality and fundamentalist talking head Josh Duggar is many things. Disgusting. Wretched. Also blown out of proportion—the off-mainstream media criticism that right-wing politicians took pictures with Duggar is an unimaginably idiotic play by left-leaning media.
But the thing that is the most upsetting is how damned lucrative this scandal has become for Christian Right media in particular.
Any time the topic of an article or blog or opinion piece is “sexual abuse,” all parties should make a concerted effort to guarantee that the victims, even if they remain unnamed, receive priority concern. And everywhere I turn, I see the victims being treated as afterthoughts.
Shame on us all.
2. Franklin Graham: I Fart in Your General Direction, over at The Gospel Herald: “Franklin Graham Urges Parents to Withdraw Support From Boy Scouts of America Following Call for End to Ban on Gay Leaders”
I seriously don’t know what there’s left to say to Franklin Graham other than, “I fart in your general direction.”
1. Liberation Theology Lives!, via BBC News: “Oscar Romero Beatification Draws Huge El Salvador Crowds”
Oscar Romero was a Roman Catholic archbishop in El Salvador who was murdered while offering Mass on March 24, 1980. Though no one was convicted for Romero’s murder, it is believed that the military junta that ruled El Salvador at the time was behind the crime.
Romero is now strongly associated with the Liberation Theology movement. Just before his death in 1980, Archbishop Romero criticized the United States for its military aid to the dictatorial military government, which, in a letter to President Carter, Romero wrote would “undoubtedly sharpen the injustice and the political repression inflicted on the organized people.”
A powerful biopic film with Raul Julia as Oscar Romero was made in 1989. If you’re looking for something truly worth “memorializing” this weekend, you can watch the film Romero here.
That’s a wrap!
Please open your hymnals to No. 1138.
So be strong
Keep right on
To the end of your song
Do not fail
Find your grail
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 (subliminal hyperlink to Bernie 2016) 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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