Christian Right Weekly Round-Up: It TORTURES Pastor Pillow, It Really Does

Image credit: Fernando Botero

Image credit: Fernando Botero

Hi, I’m Pastor Pillow!

I know you can’t see me behind the interrogation window—heck, how could you see me at all with that burlap bag over your head? Ha-ha! Just a little Enhanced Interrogation Technique humor there, no offense.

Just nod your burlap bag if you can hear me. I never can tell if the intercom system is working.

Anyway, I thought I would take a moment to introduce myself while my friends Chet and Biff head on over to the Cubic Zirconium Cathedral Sacred Grounds Coffee House for a 15-minute latte break. Man, you really worked them over during that last four-hour session.

I don’t know if this helps, but I overheard them saying something about resorting to “rectal feeding.” We’ve still got some tuna noodle goulash from last week’s Family Night potluck, but to be honest, I didn’t even like that stuff entering my body the normal route.

At this point of any interrogation, I generally find it helpful to remind parishioners that the Ten Commandments do not prohibit Enhanced Interrogation Techniques. By the way, did you know that one of the first characters tortured in the Bible was Samson. And there isn’t a single one of us who doesn’t think he had it coming after reneging on his Nazirite vows. Listen, cut off your locks, there are consequences.

Speaking of which, there are consequences when you fail to make good on your CZC Parish Capital Campaign pledge commitments. No one forced you to sign on the dotted line.

Just keep in mind that I’m financially responsible for a scroll of deferred maintenance costs longer than Noah’s Ark, plus a couple of teenagers ready to go to Wheaton College. And just because we gerrymandered the entire region the past few years doesn’t mean that Republican seats are going to be served to us on a platter along with John the Baptist’s head.

So there’s a reason you find yourself in this predicament. But the Lord works in mysterious ways. Now that the CIA tort—I mean Extreme Interrogation Program—has been disbanded, it’s my ministerial duty to reintroduce noble sadists—I mean patriots—like Chet and Biff back into the capitalistic system.

We all play our part in the body of Christ. Chet and Biff are the lateral orbitofrontal cortex. I’m the smile. And you, my friend, are the wallet.

At any rate, I don’t see what all the hullaballoo is about. I read the entire Senate Torture Report, and it pales in comparison to the truth extraction methods of my pastor predecessors down through Church History. I hear folks complaining about that one guy who was shoved into solitary confinement for a month after the CIA realized he wasn’t the person they were looking for. But you ever heard of the Breast Ripper or the Rat Cage? Now that’s torture!

Anyway, you know what I think of Catholics, but you’ve got to admit that some of these Inquisition techniques worked pretty well. Number one, hello, do you see any Catharist heretics? Number two, it’s not like you see witches flying around on broomsticks everywhere these days, either. I’d watch out for that Elizabeth Warren lady, though.

What’s that? I can hardly hear you through your ball gag. Hold on, let me come into the room.

Oh, good Lord, the window in the other room was tinted, I couldn’t even tell you were shackled to the wall. Why, you’re not even wearing any pants! Avert my gaze, avert my gaze! What do you think we’re running here, some kind of House of Jezebel?

If you promise not to slobber all over me, I’ll remove the ball. Okay, now what is it? What? You’ll sign your retirement accounts over to the ministry? Oh, that’s just wonderful.

Why, here come Biff and Chet. Did you hear the good news, fellows? Another successful interrogation. Now take this parishioner away for some good old-fashioned waterboard—I mean baptism.

Please open your hymnals to No. 1984.

Tell me what’s your pain or pleasure
Every little thing you find here
Is simply for the thrill you’re after

Behold, the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up!

Torture and the Christian Right Media

Last week we conducted a survey of Christian Right media organizations to see how they’re covering police brutality and the national race protests. The news wasn’t good. Christian Media either (a) seemed to be ignoring the matter, (b) was upset that whites had to keep dealing with this “black thing,” or (c) was scrambling to find African-American spiritual leaders who would be willing to frame the entire problem as one not of “manifest racism.” (I still have a hard time swallowing the reality of that last one.)

This week, we’re checking on the Christian Media to see how it’s reporting Uncle Sam’s recent confession that the United States of America engages in state-sponsored torture—and I don’t just mean the occasional Rick Perry or Michele Bachmann press conference. I mean the real shebang: murder by hypothermia, waterboarding, shackling, sleep deprivation, intentional wrongful detaining, lying to oversight bodies, and more rectal play than you can shake a prolapse at.


My working assumption is that journalism websites with Christian Statements of Faith surely will go out of their way to universally condemn the Bush Administration’s satanic interrogation program. Um…

Let’s start with Christian Post, a Global Top 5,000 Website according to Alexa. Hmm. Here’s the homepage. Scrolling, scrolling. Lead article is about North Korea’s inhumane castration policy. Definitely open to a torture article when they spy it. Another article on pastor salaries, plus a review of Exodus: God and Kings. That’s cinematic torture, but doesn’t count. Hmm, an article about Boko Haram killing as many people in Iraq as ISIS. Oh, here we go: “After Viral Video, Tarrant Police Officer Delivers 2 Truckloads of Groceries to Grandmother He Caught Stealing Eggs.” Well, I mean, the Golden Rule on-duty activities of Office William Stacey of Tarrant, Alabama, are wonderful and all, but here’s kind of what I have to say about that:

When you observe an unethical act, it is unreasonable to justify the observation based on a wholly distinct observation.

In other words, good cops do not negate bad cops. Just ask someone who’s been killed by a dirty cop.

Well, damn, where’s the HOMEPAGE BANNER CONDEMNING U.S. HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES, TORTURE AND MURDER?

Surely we can find such an anathema over at Christianity Today. Let’s see. Another review of the latest Christian “Moses” Bale vehicle. Ebola Medical Missionaries. BJU rape. Either I need my vision checked, or I am not seeing a single damned article about the Senate Torture Report. But by all means, read the latest insipid book review, “Evangelical Sex Talk is About Much More than Sex.” As if the editor threw up his arms and shouted, “Give me purity balls over broomstick-raped Muslims any day!”

Okay, some major Christian news rag has got to be aware of the fact that the United States government has been threatening to rape innocent Muslim mothers, right?

At the time this article was being written, nothing at The Gospel Herald. Nor Wisconsin Christian News. Surely Pat Roberton’s rag CBN News—nope. Neither jot nor tittle. But CBN has another review of Exodus: Gods and Kings as well as a hype article about the third and final Hobbit film. Because, you know, Tolkien matters, but Torture is a myth.

WTF, Mainstream Christian America! I’ve been critiquing you weekly for the past two years, but this really takes the marzipan-covered manna. Are you seriously going to OUTRIGHT IGNORE the undeniable evidence that your government has stomped on every turn-the-other-cheek teaching of Jesus? THIS IS SPANISH INQUISITION-LEVEL TORTURE! Or is this where you finally hypocritically insert a throwaway line about the separation of Church and State?

The purpose of a religious clarion is not to promote the career of the man who once starred in American Psycho. It is to serve as the goddamned conscience of society.

An open message to every single U.S. editor of a Christian publication who failed to make the Senate Torture Report a prominent part of his or her publication this week:

MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.

You have failed. You have failed your God. You have failed your neighbor. You have failed your society. You have capitulated to what your sacred text identifies as evil. And your publication has become a leaky old-wineskin.

That’s a wrap!

Please open your hymnals to No. 128.

Tight hip huggers (low for sure)
Shake a little somethin’ (on the floor)
I need that, uh, to get me off
Sweat until my clothes come off

That song above too much for you? Well, the CIA agrees. It’s one of their preferred tunes of sonic torture.

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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  • Pipercat

    I recall some time back (back when the fan blades became soiled), there was a right leaning radio shock jock who proudly proclaimed he’d go through a waterboarding session just to show, it ain’t no thing! To his credit, he actually went through with it; he didn’t last 3 seconds. To his further credit, he changed his tune and became a detractor of the practice…

    • Arik Bjorn

      Christopher Hitchens? I think you’ll find it in the August 2008 Vanity Fair.

      • Pipercat

        Hitchens was bombastic, not stupid….

    • Arik Bjorn

      Also, where do I sign up to be a detractor of the Global Military Industrial Complex?

      • Pipercat

        Military Industrial Complex is so twentieth century. This century, it’s the Banking Energy Cabal!

      • Arik Bjorn

        Snort!

        [as in, the sound often heard at their behind-the-scenes meetings]