Heard this one before? So, Vladimir Putin, Cliven Bundy & Godzilla walk into a bar. Bartender says, “Sorry, we don’t serve your kind here. Period. Screw off, it’s the Revolution, baby!”
Anyway, it’s been quite some time since Terra Firma was the hot topic du jour in theology. I sure do miss the glory days, don’t you, when men like Bernal Díaz del Castillo chronicled the raising of the Spanish flag by Hernán Cortés to declare murderous land grabs in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?
Ah, memories. Yes, ever since Yahweh declared “let dry ground appear!” in Genesis, men have been insisting that one god or another has given them a right to every grain of crushed rock and sediment on Ken Ham’s Great Flat Earth. Forget Ukraine; been to the Holy Land lately?
By the way, have you seen the new Russian Orthodox party game: Manifest Destiny Putin. It’s more or less a version of Naked Twister on a map of Eastern Europe. And it comes with a bottle of Hrenovuha vodka and an icon of Vladimir I. I hear that the Bundy Ranch is set to release its own version soon, but instead of vodka it comes with buttermilk—and you have to play it in the presence of an estrus cow. Sorry, militiamen, I don’t really know what guys who walk around with bazookas on each shoulder are in to these days, but that doesn’t sound like my kind of party.
Anyway, as land seems to be on everybody’s mind of late, I thought I’d take you on a tour of the newly landscaped Cubic Zirconia Cathedral grounds. Hop in the Gospel Golf Cart; the back 40,000 aren’t something one can manage in a mere Kantean peripatetic afternoon stroll. And, here, have a White Russian—compliments of the House of God!
If you’ll look off to your right, you’ll see the brand spankin’ new golf course, Serf & Turf Acres. Every hole is based on a chapter of St. John’s Apocalypse. True, that makes for 22 holes. What’s another few holes? Better watch out for the 20th flag, though—takes some folks 1,000 years to play through.
Over on your left, you’ll see the entirety of Central America. We’re still not certain what to do with it yet. Some of our church elders are considering turning it into an online university: Short-Term Mission U. With all these Middle Eastern wars winding down, we just might be able to arrange some hefty federal contracts for Haliburton to build a bunch of mountain jungle cinder block churches.
Dang, we just passed it. Turn around, and you’ll see the Holy Hectares, the wheat fields and non-alcoholic vineyards we use for producing communion. Good eye! Indeed, those are homeless folks working the land. And the good thing is, we don’t even feed them—that way, no governmental entity can fine us. Still, though, a few have been nibbling at the grapes and grain heads lately—and on the Sabbath no less! Who do they think they are, Christ and the disciples?
Holy Cliven Bundy Cow! Look at the time. Need to hightail it back to the cathedral. Gotta give my weekly homily!
Hope you enjoyed the tour! Just remember: every fleck of dirt belongs to Republican Christians, and Republican Christians alone! Let those Socialist Progressives swim with the peaceable manatees. We’ll take care of them later with our outboard motors.
Please turn in your hymnals to No. 714.
This land is God’s land, this land is God’s land
From the City of David to Parris Island;
From the Tigris oil fields to the Arctic bottom
This land was made for Wall Street Greed.
As I was walking that Keystone Pipeline,
I saw above me the drones a’ blazing:
I saw below me Dick Cheney cackling:
This land was made for Cliven Bundy.
If you’re looking to inculcate children in the ways of the Early Church Fathers—that is, communalism (socialism), I highly recommend Bonnie Christensen’s Woody Guthrie, Poet of the People.
Also, ever read the full lyrics of Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land”? Gee, I wonder why this verse rarely makes it into Madison Avenue ads:
In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?
5. Even Godzilla Bows Before Bryan Cranston and Juliette Binoche, over at Christianity Today: “Godzilla”
“Godzilla is the weirdest Christ figure I’ve ever seen.”
Please, no. Really? Reviewer Timothy Wainwright did not type that. I’m going to refresh my browser. Still there:
“Godzilla is the weirdest Christ figure I’ve ever seen.”
Man, I would do anything to climb in the T.A.R.D.I.S., find my way to the First Century C.E. and interrupt a Messianic fish fry to ask Jesus his opinion about an online magazine in the future—say, 2,000 years from now—named after him and publishing reviews of invented celluloid stories about giant, atomic-breathing lizards that it suggests are “Jesus figures.”
That said, I can’t be a total prick on this one. While entirely offending my Christian sensibilities, Wainwright also happened to write one of the most dazzling film review paragraphs I have ever read:
Edwards isn’t just riffing, though. The airdrop scene has, rightly, been all over the posters and featured prominently in the trailers. It is hauntingly beautiful. The director described his vision for the scene as “angels descending into hell,” and said he was channeling Dante’s Inferno. The wide shot of a squad of paratroopers freefalling into a wasteland, leaving contours of red tracking smoke in the sky behind them, could have gone on for twice as long and the effect would only have been better. With a choir singing in the background and an army chaplain reading a prayer from a camouflage covered Bible before the drop, the scene is a hodgepodge of Gustave Dore and glorious Technicolor brought to you by cyberpunks.
You may now return to regularly scheduled Planet Earth, where mere religious genocide and theological land grabs pervade.
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