Christian Right Weekly Round-Up: Pastor Pillow Rigs the Vote, Plus No More Cracker Jesus

palin-votingGood morning, I’m Pastor Pillow!

Thank you for joining us on this blessed Cubic Zirconium Cathedral Ministries Midterm Election Pulpit Freedom Sunday Service! Here, have a “Jesus Votes Republican” button!

I don’t have to remind you that candidates from that “other” political party craft their policies after consulting Baphomet, all the principalities of darkness, plus even a few large-fanged Hindu deities. Have you ever seen a picture of Kali? Those Indians are just a step up from Mohammadeans, I say.

Anyway, welcome! I don’t recall meeting you before. These must be your lovely children. Two girls, two boys. All different races. Quite the family you have! The Rainbows? Oh, how apt—and what a truly postdiluvian surname!

Is your spouse joining us this morning? Oh yes, parking at the CZ Cathedral can be a pain. But just remember that if you sign up for the Palladium Plan, you get one-third off valet parking. And today, the Lady Election Pollcats are in charge of valet. Vroom-vroom! If you know what I mean.

As soon as you purchase general admission tickets for today’s service—we only have seats left in Balaam’s Balcony, I’m afraid—head on over to our Absentee Voting Pavilion.

Just follow the red, white and blue streamers until you find the Kate Perry look-alike in the “More Bush!” stretch pants. She has your absentee voting packet. Then take your packet to a table with one of our Lady Pollcats, tell her your name and address, then a lick of a stamp, and you’re good to go!

Oh, and don’t forget to pick up a packet for both you and your spouse.

What’s that? Vote? Oh, ha-ha! Don’t worry, we’ve already made all the selections for you, from Governor to Sewer Commissioner. And, of course, for Mayor—not to brag or anything, but this will be my fourth consecutive term. I am a candidate after God’s own heart if I do say so myself. As for my track record, not a single member of this parish has had late garbage pick-up in my 12-year tenure.

(Don’t tell anyone, but I haven’t let the city empty the dumpster over at Glory Holy Ministries for months. And I won’t restore service until they shut down The Golden Rule.)

Hmm? 501c3 requirement? Can you repeat that? “…absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly…participating in…any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.”

Wow, you have quite the memory. Well, non-profit regulations be damned—this is Pulpit Freedom Sunday!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get ready to deliver my sermon. “If Your Candidate Wouldn’t Take a Punch for Sarah Palin, Cast Him into the Pit of Hell.”

Oh, your spouse! Hello, I’m—whoa! You’re. Um. You’re. You’re both. The same. You have the same. Bodies. Types. Parts. Anatomy.

You can’t be married, you’re gay. We’ve worked long and hard to buy off the politicians in this state for years—the Supreme Court did what?!?!

Look, I have to go. Ms. Peppermute, get me Antonin on the line in my office! He better not think we’re still on for quail hunting in December.

What’s that? No, you most certainly may not cast an absentee ballot! In fact, I think you and your little Starburst herd should consider attending some other place of worship—before a force majeure strikes this sacred sanctuary.

Homosexual families in our humble town! Oh, the constituent humanity! I might just need a foot washing from that Kate Perry look-alike after the service.

Please open your hymnals to No. 1996. Hup!

For some reason I can’t explain
I know Saint Peter won’t call my name
Never an honest word
But that was when I ruled the world

Behold, the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up.

5. No More Cracker Christ, over at Christian Post: “National Geographic’s Killing Jesus Miniseries Features Lebanese Actor Haaz Sleiman as Christ; Kelsey Grammer and Stephen Moyer as Herod and Pilate”

The days of Aryan Jesus standing at the door to sell us Avon appear to be over. Yes, it’s going to be hard for millions of swooning fundies to trade in the familiar, Warner-Sallman-“Christ-at-Heart’s-Door”-Ryan-Gosling Jesus for the real Middle Easter McCoy. But there you have it:

Lebanese actor Haaz Sleiman is slated to play Jesus in the forthcoming global television extravaganza Killing Jesus, which unites National Geographic and Bill O’Reilly, who wrote the book upon which the series is based.

Um, yes, that Bill O’Reilly. But with Nat Geo and Ridley Scott sharing the production helm, I doubt we’ll see a Tea Party Messiah in a tunic and tricorne hat. Hopefully we’ll get an accurate portrait of Jesus as the revolutionary of the heart—and perhaps at long last a Gospel film worth its weight in drachma.

Of course, to me, the best cinematic Messiah will always be Willem Dafoe in Martin Scorsese’s The Last Temptation of Christ. I wish the Temple scene was mandatory viewing in every seminary. (Also, I don’t really think of Dafoe as a Caucasian; he’ll always be Nosferatu to me.)

4. The Rainbow Handwriting is on the Wall for Evangelical Colleges, via Christianity Today: “Gordon College Studies Same-Sex Behavior Ban Amid Accreditation Questions”

Here’s how this works—and it’s related to our next two stories. If your organization wants something from the federal government, say, millions in student loans or tax-exempt status, then Uncle Sam is going to lay some heavy expectations at your feet. Number one, curb your pulpit politics. Number two, no enforced bigotry.

Pretty simple, right?

Well, not so apparently for the dozens of Evangelical Christian institutions of higher education across the country that prohibit homosexuality—as in, if you engage in a homosexual act, “Adios! But we still expect you to repay your student debt!”

Here is the Behavioral Standard at Gordon College:

Those words and actions which are expressly forbidden in Scripture, including but not limited to blasphemy, profanity, dishonesty, theft, drunkenness, sexual relations outside marriage, and homosexual practice, will not be tolerated in the lives of Gordon community members, either on or off campus.

Is it just me, or is it odd that a Massachusetts-based college, in a state where same-sex marriage is legal, prohibits “homosexual practice”? It must be nice for all those faithfully-married couples in Wenham, MA, to know that the college just down the street equates their legally-recognized marriage and family of four to grand theft auto.

Anyway, it’s nice to see an accreditation body, the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), get involved. Of course, in the event that the NEASC sticks it to Gordon, a national anti-LGBTQ accreditation board will likely arise to cover the asses of schools like Gordon, Wheaton College (my alma mater) and Westmont College.

But the rainbow writing appears to be on the wall. From the federal government down to municipal levels, fundie schools are getting the squeeze to join civilization. Good!

3. Political Party in Your Pastor’s Pants, thus sayeth Christian Post: Over 1,800 Pastors Take Part in Pulpit Freedom Sunday”

I don’t care if your church is left-wing-commie-pinko or right-wing-pro-drone-Fox, if it has tax exempt status, according to the Internal Revenue Service, it is:

absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. … voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.

Period. End of story.

This is not about free speech. These are the equitable rules of tax exemption.

Hey, if you don’t like the rules of tax exemption, then turn your church into a private company—which, by the way, is PERFECTLY LEGAL! Then you can hand out “Vote for the Holy Spirit-Slain Candidate” buttons all you want—just so long as you pay taxes on those weekly offerings (I mean membership dues).

If your church minister endorses campaigns or candidates from the pulpit this “Pulpit Freedom Sunday,” feel free to report him or her to the IRS.

2. Lay Off the Duggars, over at Gospel Herald: 19 Kids and Counting’s Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar Shares Christian Faith at University, White House in New Film”

I’ve wanted to say this for a while. You might hate the theology of the Duggar Family, famous for its fecundity and stars of the TLC show 19 Kids and Counting. But if you’re a progressive and make fun of a couple because they’ve chosen to rear a large family, um, as Lewis Black might put it, you’re an idiot.

Criticize their theology all you want, but until we learn that Michelle Duggar is the victim of forced breeding, leave the family alone.

Otherwise, maybe you should rip into the families of these familiar faces: Stephen Colbert (one of 11 kids), Madonna (one of 7 kids), Mel Gibson (one of 11 kids), Bill Murray (one of 9 kids), Dolly Parton (one of 12 kids), Michael Jackson (one of 9 kids), Celine Dion (one of 14 kids), Jack White (one of 10 kids).

There there’s always that minor American figure, President John F. Kennedy: one of 9 children.

Seriously, listen to the Willis Clan and get over it. Michelle Duggar’s uterus is none of your business.

1. Hail, Barbie, Full of Lace, over at Associated Press: “Provocative ‘Holy Barbie’ Exhibit Pulled Amid Outrage”

“Barbie dolls dressed as the Virgin of Guadalupe.” Buenos Aires. Death threats. Argentinians with divine tattoos. Crucifix Ken.

We’re all going to have bad dreams tonight.

That’s a wrap!

Please open your hymnals to No. 5.

No one man should have all that power
The clocks tickin’ I just count the hours
Stop trippin’ I’m tripping off the power

Progressives, the November Elections are just around the corner. Seriously, less than one month away!

And one-third of your fellow countrymen heading to the polls will be told this weekend who to vote for from the pulpit! (As if blonde Barbie Fox anchors haven’t already told them.)

You and they will be voting for the following political offices:

—All 435 seats of the U.S. House of Representatives
—33 seats in the U.S. Senate
—46 State Legislatures
—And 38 State and Territorial Governorships.

Remember: A Progressive Vote is a vote for Civilization.

p.s.  Pastor Pillow wrote an e-book.  Buy it here!

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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