Pastor Pillow here!
Spring is in the air! Revolution too. If nothing else, all those U.S. drones finally have some sky-high company.
Missing jumbo planes. The Charge of the Putin Brigade. Olympians on trial. The U.S. House votes yet again to put the kibash on Obamacare. (Who knows, maybe 51 times is a charm.) The three-year anniversary of Syria’s Murder, Inc. (Someone send Assad a leather flagellant.) Bugs a’ surveillin’. Baptist guns a’ rafflin’. Taliban bombs a’ poppin’. Pet coke a’ blowin’ in the wind.
What’s a poor progressive to do?
For comfort from life’s insanity, please take a bubble bath and turn in your hymnals to No. 1933.
Hope you enjoyed that little ditty from last week’s CPAC extravaganza.
Oh, come now, Pastor Pillow. You said it yourself: none of this comparing political enemies to Adolf Hitler nonsense.
Indeed. Then again, you have no idea what kind of day I had this past Saturday. And, besides, it’s easy to mistake a Paul Ryan brownbag lunch speech for a Brown Shirt.
Seriously, while most of you spent your weekend exchanging mishload manot or raising glasses to St. Patty, I spent the day in a 1931 German courtroom with a grumpy megalomaniacal Austrian.
I’ve got nothing left in my DeLorean time-traveling tank other than a few weary keystrokes to recount a little conversation I had late Saturday afternoon at the local tavern after a long day of filming.
True, this Sunday morning’s homily is one or two notches below your standard passion play. But there’s a life lesson buried somewhere deep within. Enjoy!
Pastor Pillow Sips a Pimm’s: A One-Act Devotional
Pastor Pillow moseys up to the bar. He is pooped.
Bartender: What’ll you have?
Pastor Pillow: Anything but a Goldschläger.
Bartender: Had a rough Purim?
Pastor Pillow: No.
Bartender: Ditched by your girl at a St. Pat’s Day festival?
Pastor Pillow: No. I spent the day in a 1931 German courtroom with Adolf Hitler.
Bartender: Don’t get that very often. How about a Pimm’s on the house?
Pastor Pillow: Thanks.
Pastor Pillow is joined by a lovely lass bedecked in Leprechaun gear. She looks something like this.
Lovely Lass: I had 36 green Jell-O shots today! I think I just made out with a basset hound. It was wearing a shamrock sweater. Don’t you just love St. Patrick’s Day?
Pastor Pillow: Wonderful religious holiday. He wasn’t actually Irish, you know.
Lovely Lass: The basset hound?
Pastor Pillow: face palm No, St. Patrick. He was British. He was kidnapped by Irish pirates, then escaped back home to Britain before returning to Ireland to spread the Gospel.
Lovely Lass: Oh. I bet he liked Guinness!
Bartender presents Pastor Pillow with a Pimm’s cocktail.
Lovely Lass: So how many shots did you have today?
Pastor Pillow: sips his Pimm’s I spent the day with Adolf Hitler.
Lovely Lass: Wow. You should probably take a cab home.
Pastor Pillow: No, seriously. I filmed a teaser scene for a screenplay I wrote. The scene is from the 1931 courtroom interrogation of Adolf Hitler during the Tanzpalast Eden murder trial. The prosecutor exposed Hitler and the Nazi Party before all of the German people for their bloodthirstiness and message of political hate.
Lovely Lass: What happened?
Pastor Pillow: Nothing. No one stopped Hitler. Two years later, the Nazis burned down the Reichstag and took over Germany.
Lovely Lass: That’s depressing. I don’t even think I want a 37th Jell-O shot now.
Pastor Pillow: It’s an important part of the World War II story. And it’s more or less forgotten.
Lovely Lass: You said it’s a film.
Pastor Pillow: It will be. Here. Hands the Lovely Lass a link. http://www.vikingword.com/manuscripts-for-sale/
Lovely Lass: What’s this?
Pastor Pillow: It’s a link to a description of the screenplay.
Lovely Lass: Can I drink it?
Pastor Pillow: Um. No, you can’t drink a shameless plug. Take it home and read it. Share it with friends. You aren’t related to Steven Spielberg or Tom Hanks by any chance, are you?
Lovely Lass: So you’re saying that the German people had plenty of warning about what the Nazis were capable of.
Pastor Pillow: You’re sobering up.
Lovely Lass: Man, Germans are stupid.
Pastor Pillow: No more stupid than people everywhere. Have you been to Arizona lately? Or come to think of it, Kansas. Better stop there; it’s a long list once you get started. I don’t suppose you’ve heard of Uganda, by the way.
Lovely Lass: What do you mean?
Pastor Pillow: What are you doing November 4?
Lovely Lass: Probably recovering from a Halloween party hangover.
Pastor Pillow: You do realize the future of civilization will be on the line that day, don’ t you?
Lovely Lass: Is that when the new season of The Voice starts?
Pastor Pillow: sighs No, it’s Election Day.
Lovely Lass: Never heard of it. Is it a reality show?
Pastor Pillow: You could say.
Adolf Hitler joins the couple at the bar.
Hitler: Eine Schwarze Waldbeeren Eistee.
Bartender: Sorry, we don’t serve your kind here.
Pastor Pillow: Tell her, Adolf.
Hitler: The American electorate is the proverbial frog boiling slowly. I should know. The only way to stop the Koch Brothers and the megalomaniacal Radical Right is to yank their leaders right out of their fundamentalist, Wall Street Whore of Babylon lederhosen. Otherwise, the United States will become a theocratic oligarchy. (Hello, Russia. At least that bastard Stalin is rolling in his grave.) I hope the conservatives succeed, though. I hate diversity. I’ll tell you one thing: we sure knew how to handle gypsies and Jews and homosexuals and every other kind of non-Aryan mongrel in the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei back in the day. That Jan Brewer is a coward, by the way; kowtowing to Apple. Harrumph!
Pastor Pillow: Hey, Fuhrer.
Pastor Pillow: Go jump in a vat of boiling hasenpfeffer.
Lovely Lass: What happened to the attorney?
Pastor Pillow: What attorney?
Lovely Lass: The one who questioned Hitler in court.
Pastor Pillow: Hitler arrested him the day he solidified his dictatorship, the night the Reichstag was set on fire. Hitler told the attorney, “You were the first to be arrested, but you will be the last to leave.” The attorney was tortured for years then eventually was murdered in a concentration camp.
Lovely Lass: Oh. Not a very happy ending.
Pastor Pillow: History doesn’t consult focus groups.
Lovely Lass: Where do we go from here?
Pastor Pillow: Stand up to those who espouse hate. Even if you’re the only voice willing to do so. Even if the consequence is risking your comfortable existence. Care for the widows and orphans. Lend a helping hand. Embrace communities outside your comfort zone. Be kind. When in doubt, follow the Golden Rule. Also, in your case, it might not be a bad idea to cut back on the Jell-O shots and start expanding your political awareness. I highly recommend Forward Progressives. Big fan of The Christian Left, too. Also, that guy over at Whiskey and the Morning After Blog, he’s not bad, either. And when you vote—and please vote—vote for progress.
Hitler: Basically do the opposite of what I do.
Pastor Pillow: No shit, Herr Sturmabteilung. Now get the hell out of here.
Hitler makes like a tree and leaves.
Lovely Lass: Who are all those people?
Pastor Pillow: They’re my reader friends. They come by every Sunday morning to be reminded that fundamentalists aren’t a myth. Fundamentalists are real. They even have their own news websites. And they want to take over the country. In fact, they’re halfway there already. And they’re counting on November 4, 2014, too.
Lovely Lass: I bet they wouldn’t approve of all those Jell-O shots I had.
Pastor Pillow: No, no they wouldn’t. Behold, the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up!
5. Mr. Pope Comes to Washington, according to Christian Broadcasting Network: “Speaker Invites Pope Francis to Address Congress”
It must be all that Pimm’s. Is the room spinning, or did I just see John Boehner and Nancy Pelosi agree on something? Pope Francis is indeed “a moral force”!
And it looks like the Real Slim Franky is headed to Washington, folks.
Of course, it’s kind of ironic to hear the Speaker of the House heaping props on Pope Francis for his “protection of the most vulnerable,” including “the ailing and the impoverished…”
Becaaaaaaause: the august body which the Speaker leads just voted for a 51st time to “unravel Obamacare.” Listen, it’s been a long day. I don’t have the energy to expose the inherent hypocrisy here.
All the same, Francis is coming. T-minus how many days until the biggest moral spanking our nation has had since MLK Jr., and before that, the Civil War?
I wonder if Paul Ryan will be brown-bagging it to the Beltway that day.
4. “I Confess My Undone Zipper Undid Me,” over at Gospel Herald: “Bishop Dies of Apparent Heart Attack After Wife Allegedly Pushed Him to Confess Infidelity to Church”
We celebrate the death of no human being here at the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up. That said, we would like to direct all parishioners to the wisdom of King Solomon (husband to several hundred wives) as found in Ecclesiastes: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
Which is to say: we highly recommend that one never confess an act of adultery to one’s wife immediately before assuming the pulpit to preach to one’s congregation—unless you want your last Sunday on our Little Blue Planet to turn into The Jerry Springer Show, a la Bishop Bobby Davis of the Miracle Faith World Outreach Church. (No, I did not make up the name of that church.)
From the article:
“‘I’m told that when he walked through the door she basically told him, “Tell them what you just told me,” which is what induced the heart attack, because it’s not like he was walking into it knowing’ the source explained.
“‘She said it and he said, “Yes, that’s right.” She asked him to say who exactly it was. And he said, “Well, it doesn’t matter [because] that person has passed. God forgive, let’s get past it.” Apparently it was his family members who reacted out in anger, from what I understand. It was not the congregation,’ the source noted.
“‘It got physical. One of the sons attacked him. I was told one of the daughters poured water on him. It was like something out of, not even like the Old Testament, but a bad reality TV show,’ said the source. ‘My heart is so devastated because it could have been handled in a private manner.’”
Just what the hell is it with pastors and their wayward flies? Every time I see that a pastor has let his dachshund “wag the parish,” I just wish that parish had invested in a blow-up doll for its horny minister. Or maybe the best solution is to let women become pastors exclusively for the next 2,000 years.
3. The Bahamas Court Fundies, via National Religious Broadcasters Today: “The Bahamas is the Place Where God Lives”
No, this isn’t earth-shattering news. Actually, it made me laugh aloud—which is therapeutic, as I spent almost the whole day stuck in a courtroom staring at swastika armbands.
Here is the full text of an advertisement apparently placed by the Bahamian government on the National Religious Broadcasters website. Actually, the entire ad sounds like the Zillow listing for Joel Osteen’s summer getaway home:
We in The Islands Of The Bahamas are convinced—and many others with us—that The Bahamas is the place where God lives! Our Bahamas has been blessed with a land of beautiful sunshine weather, powdery sand beaches, and translucent waters that defy description. We have also been blessed with a rich heritage of Christianity that is mirrored in the preamble of the Constitution of The Bahamas. We invite you to visit with us and find among the latest developments in our capital Nassau, the Baha Mar Resort, a multi-billion mega development, featuring a multiplicity of hotel rooms in signature properties, including the Melia and the Grand Hyatt. We have also recently completed a $409 million redevelopment of The Bahamas’ largest airport, Lynden Pindling International (LPIA). To find out if your group qualifies for a booking incentive of up to $40,000, contact our Religious Market Director, [NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION REMOVED TO PROTECT ANGRY MIDWESTERNERS WHO ARE SICK OF WINTER].
If the Republicans ever take full control of the government, I imagine Michele Bachmann will probably be appointed as U.S. Religious Market Director and Comptroller of Floridian and Myrtle Beach Timeshares.
Actually, there are several million shivering Midwesterners right now who probably do agree that God lives in The Bahamas, and that He has abandoned them to a Polar Vortex Wasteland. But don’t worry, the vernal equinox is nearly upon us.
Also, don’t forget: Easter is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox. Even in the richly Christian Bahamas.
For those suffering from pigskin deficiency, you’ll be eager to learn that Sports Spectrum has provided pages and pages of insipid metaphysics quotations by football players.
Look, I can’t blame athletes for talking about their faith. They show up for work; they’re standing naked in the shower, and Erin Andrews sticks a microphone in their face. They answer honestly as best they can. (Although you’ll notice that no professional athlete has ever answered, “Um, I’m agnostic, actually. Gay too!”)
But can someone please tell me why a magazine is being devoted to the religious opinions of the Seattle Seahawks defensive passing game coordinator? Or the quarterback coach for the Indianapolis Colts.
Well, actually, maybe we should listen to Clyde Christensen’s thoughts on Christianity. Pretty much everything that dude touches turns to Hail Mary gold.
In the end, athletes delve into the spiritual depths about as much as Bill Belichick offers lengthy tomes on the New England Patriots daily injury report. Frankly, I would be much more interested to know the religious opinions of my local mail carriers.
And, still, until I hear one single athlete anywhere thank God for his or her team losing, I’m just not interested in the religious media sub-industry of athletes discussing their faith.
1. Prosperous Thieves Loot Prosperity Megachurch, from Christianity Today: “$600,000 Stolen from Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church Offering”
Some “food for thought” to end the day.
This story made the rounds this week: Joel Osteen’s Luxury Sedan Church—I mean Lakewood Church—of Houston, Texas, had more than a half-million dollars stolen from its safe.
But here’s something I hadn’t heard. From Lakewood’s statement: “This includes cash, checks and envelopes containing written credit card information, and it is limited only to those funds contributed in the church services on Saturday, March 8 and Sunday, March 9, 2014.”
Credit cards?! Lakewood Church takes credit card donations during the offering?
There is a Christian church in the United States that essentially asks its parishioners to consider going into debt in order for it to perpetuate its Prosperity Gospel.
Let that sink in for a minute or two.
Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin Face Palm.
That’s a wrap!
Election Day approacheth nigh! November 4 will be upon you before you know it. Reserve your seats now for the Fate of Civilization! Jesus would approve—but only if you vote for the meek, which might require a lot of write-in nominations.
Please turn in your hymnals to one last German ditty, found at No. 314.
And just why do we present the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up each week?
According to Forbes, the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) alone brings in nearly $300 million per year in revenue. CBN isn’t alone in the 9-figure Radical Right Revenue Game. According to the website Ministry Watch, CBN is dwarfed in comparison to the nearly $900 million raked in annually by the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN).
But TBN and CBN are mere bright stars in a galactic empire of hundreds of Christian news and media organizations. If you have a few minutes to spare, review the membership lists of the National Religious Broadcasters and the Evangelical Press Association.
Each and every one of these Christian media organizations have one thing in common: they report news to members of the Christian Right across the Fruited Plain. And the Christian Right account for nearly one-third of America’s voters.
Not only that, but here’s a list of what’s on the line in November 2014:
—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.
Sorry to preach politics from the pulpit, but if that doesn’t scare the shit out of you enough to submit an early 2014 ballot, I don’t know what will.
See you next week.
And a final message for people everywhere, don’t forget: the November 2014 election is this many days away.
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