Christian Right Weekly Round-Up: What Would Jesus Do with Purity Balls?

purityballGood morning! Hope you’re feeling that tingly, Selsun Blue Holy Ghost sensation this bright and smiley Sunday morning!

Here, have a “Jesus Loves You” pin.

Don’t mind me. Just finishing tying this double Windsor knot on my brand spankin’ new Hofmann & Co. 24-karat gold necktie. Did you know you can write off a $10,000 necktie as a critical instrument of sacred ministry?

Oh, how I love accountants—almost as much as I love the Sunday morning offering plate!

Say, that would make a great theme for a hymn. Maybe something along the lines of: “CPA, Pass the Platinum Plate, Here’s My IRA.”

Anyway, I haven’t seen you here before. How can I help?

Oh, you’re here for the memorial service? Really? Wow, that’s a first. Usually when we bury her, no one shows.

Well, as long as you’re here, why don’t you just ride along with me out to the Cubic Zirconia Cathedral Memorial Cemetery & Ossuary. In fact, here comes Coltrane in the limo now.

So how did you know Eleanor? I see, you met her at a wedding once. Hope it wasn’t a same sex wedding. Ha-ha! You know how Our Lord & Savior abhors a two-tuxedo wedding!

What’s an ossuary? Oh, an ossuary is sort of a giant tackle box for bones. You’ll often find them in desert monasteries, where the monks were afraid that jackals would dig up their fellow brothers and eat their corpses. Can’t get to Heaven if your bones are stuck in a carnivore’s gullet! We built an ossuary when our gravesites started to cut into the green on the 17th hole of the Serf & Turf Acres golf course.

Speaking of which, don’t know if you’re interested, but for our Palladium Plate Holy Roller members, we offer a special service. If you contribute more than $1 million over the course of your lifetime to Cubic Zirconia Cathedral Ministries, we’ll allow you to contribute several bones to the Skull Chandelier in the Purity Ball Dance Hall and Mortuary—just visible over the hill on your left.

Yep, it’s the building right next to the miniature Taj Mahal we built a few years back when our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Phallu, was run over by Franklin Graham’s Buick.

What’s all that smoke on our right? Oh, nothing, just the crematorium. Um, we’re a bit “Southern discreet” about that facility. However, you will notice a total dearth of widows, orphans, homeless folks and illegal immigrants on the grounds these days. My, how the streets teem with poor when you refuse to expand Medicaid!

Anyway, here we are. The open grave’s just over there. Coltrane, stop the limo, if you please.

Let’s walk to the gravesite together. Here’s a hymnal. Like I said, no one has ever joined me here before. I didn’t know Eleanor had a single friend in all the world.

Oh, you weren’t her friend? I see, you just regret not reaching out to her that day after the wedding when she bent down to scoop up a handful of tossed rice. Didn’t I notice how sad and lonely she appeared? Hmm, I don’t recall. My mind was preoccupied wrapping up my next Prosperity Gospel “How to Make Millions from Manipulating Habakkuk” CD series.

Oh, yes, right. Jesus & that whole Matthew 25 spiel. “Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for me”—and all that jazz. Couldn’t agree more.

Heck, what do you think our crematorium is for? No more suffering. No more heavy burden upon the social welfare system. Just push the button and—zap!—back to the Maker for a little Judgment Day Wah Watusi!

Anyway, I’ve got a Sunday sermon to deliver in a few minutes, so let’s get this over with. The Dow Jones was way up this week. With any luck, I’ll be able to afford a few new Alexander Price luxury suits for the pulpit wardrobe. Man, you just can’t go wrong with vicuña and qiviuk wool thread.

Please turn in your hymnal to No. 1966.

All the lonely people (Ah, look at all the lonely people)
Where do they all come from?
All the lonely people (Ah, look at all the lonely people)
Where do they all belong?

5. U.S. Miraculously Overlooked for Worst Religious Offenders’ List, over at Christian Post: “USCIRF Chair Robert George Urges Obama Admin to Add Syria, Pakistan to Worst Religious Offenders’ List”

There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that Robert P. George, chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, means well when he recommends to the Obama Administration that Syria and Pakistan be highlighted with Sharpies as “Countries of Particular Concern” (CPC) when it comes to religious freedom. And, indeed, it probably surprises next to no one that our world remains filled with CPC countries.

For whatever reason, human beings feel threatened when their fellow citizens exercise the God-given ability to decide cosmological and theological matters for themselves. (Yeah, irony, I know.)

What I find interesting is that George told the Christian Post just last year that “it is the job of USCIRF to be America’s conscience.”


Well, this is wonderful news! I can’t wait for the 2014 USCIRF Annual Report, in which surely the USCIRF will label the United States itself a CPC due to the fact that nearly half of its states refuse to expand Medicaid, that it houses 25% of the world’s prison population, that it somehow can sleep peacefully at night after illegally invading nations and devastating populations in order to keep its military industrial complex lean and mean. Not exactly the godly qualities one looks for in a Religious Freedom Blue Ribbon State Fair Judge.

Yeah, yeah, I know. Logical Fallacy Central. No place for religion in government. Etc., et al.

Still, I just can’t help slipping in the words from James about “pure and faultless” religion being taking care of the orphans and widows and about eliminating poverty. Then there’s that whole Golden Rule thing.

I just find it ironic that we point our fingers at the rest of the world, sad as it is sometimes, when we do such a shitty job of taking care of our own.

You know, they used to have a word for that. They still do. Take a guess what it is.

4. Thou Shalt Cover Thy Daughter’s Purity Area, according to Christianity Today: “Daddy Dearest: How Purity Culture Can Turn Fathers into Idols”

Purity ba—

No, let’s try that again.

Purity bal—

One more time.

Purity b—

Nope, there is no way I can type that term without falling backward out of my chair.

By the way, did you know there are fewer purity balls in blue states?

I often give Christianity Today writers a hard time, but Gina Dalfonzo really does a remarkably balanced job of dissecting purity balls. (Hmm, none of that came out quite right.)

Odds are you’ve seen some of the quasi-erotic purity ball portraits by Swedish photographer David Magnusson that have been springing up here and there on the Net.

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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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