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Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Gospel According to Hatemongers - the 'Reverend' Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church

You know, it's bad enough, the general sad state of 'the church' these days. I mean, the average, 'normal' church that preaches and teaches this watered-down, man-made mishmash of pseudo-so-called-'spirituality', wrapped up in a bundle of dogmatic do's and don'ts rules that focus on 'acceptable' behaviours rather than leading one into the presence of God and an intimate relationship with Christ ... wherein freedom reigns and rules become obsolete and moot. And I'll not even get into the darker, travesty-committing sins of the organized church over the millenniums and still happening today. Those are not the 'norm' ... far too many of them, yes, but those are still extreme examples of woefully misguides souls posturing ostensibly as 'Christians' whilst evil and egregious intent lurks in their true inner beings.

No, today I'd like to guide your attention to a small group of misguided zealots who are claiming to be the only true believers, the only veritable representatives of God and Jesus left here on this (they claim) godforsaken, hated by god, and all beings upon it damned by god to the eternal flames of hell, planet.

I had some issues with the religious church I grew up in. But it was a holy roller rockin' good easy time compared to having been raised in this church. Largely comprised of one big (inbred) family, can you imagine what the average Joe on the street ... and let's say he's a bit agnostic, but is toying with the idea of trying to find God if there is one, a bit of curiosity dwelling in his mind, perhaps considering trying out this "Christianity" thing ...

And he'd never actually met any Christians before. Get the picture? And one day he's walking down the street and comes across this-



Can you imagine? Forget Agnostic Joe, what does anyone (without any true experience) think about God and the Way of Christ after having this kind of despicable spectacle branded into their minds?

If you have just a couple more minutes, get a load of this guy. The spiritual father of this band of maniacs, the (and I use this term so loosely it pains me) 'Reverend' Fred Phelps ...



Hey! Let me get right over to Oklahoma and join that church! Anyone else coming?

Seriously, peeps, while this is not the norm, thank God, this kind of vicious, bigoted, hate-mongering in the name of God is what a lot of people nowadays think of when they consider 'religion'. And this is an extreme example of religion. Let those of us who know with intimacy the Love of Jesus let it shine forth, and be examples of that same nonjudgmental, all-encompassing, unconditional Love.



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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Ten to the 10th Power Demandments

So see, I was raised in, like, this really religious household, a PK (preacher's kid), and our house was the parsonage, okay? You know what a parsonage is, right? Where the pastor and his family lives. Our house was right next to the church. It's like, well, like living in a glass house with your underwear down. Microscopic scrutiny from the 'flock'. My mom was an obsessive compulsive house cleaner. You could literally eat your meals off the floor. Seriously. She had to be, actually, cuz the church women would stop in--unnanounced, like it was their house too, and our familial privacy was of no matter--and the pious snobs would run their fingers across any level surfaces, like an end table, top of the TV, etc., to see if there was so much as a speck of dust.

And talk about rules. We were Wesleyan Methodists. Strict. We had rules about rules. More rules than you could shake The Good Book at. And that brings me to the post title today. You know what 10 to the tenth power looks like, numerically? Here ya go ...

1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000

Am I exaggerating? Okay, maybe a little. But the point is, this religious upbringing--all the rules, the 'don't do these things' or you go to hell--it took all the life and love and fun out of the true freedom available through having a real, living relationship with God. It was not spiritual, it was ...

RELIGION!

So. Here's an abbreviated list of what you are not to ever--if you are trying to get to heaven through good works and perfection of behavior--EVER be caught doing!


The Ten Demandments!

1. Thou shalt not dance. Nor move thy body in rhythm to Devil (secular) music. Nay, not even to hymns! (Not that you could dance to any of those tired, mournful songs, they sounded like a slow Sousa March sung and played by nearly dead musicians on Quaaludes during a funeral dirge)

2. Thou shalt not ever, under any circumstances drink any alcohol! (I know, I know, Jesus drank wine, so did all the Apostles, it says so in the Bible, but ... Wesleyan Methodists considered that a typo - what they were really drinking was grape juice. Which they served for communion)

3. Thou shalt not smoke. Anything. Ever. Thou shalt not even be seen with a light colored pencil dangling from thine mouth, for fear that a brother or sister could witness this apparently despicable display of lack of self control and mistake if for a cigarette, thus possibly causing said brother or sister to be disheartened and take up the nasty, foul habit. And even if not persuaded to err in such hell-bent manner, it could'st inspire him or her to start gossip about your sorry, sinful ways.

4. Thou shalt not enjoy your sexuality. Sex is nasty. It's messy and disgusting. I mean, for heaven's sake, you have to take at least some of your clothes off to do it! It is a necessary means of procreation, yes, sadly, but even so much as a lingering gaze upon an attractive member of the opposite sex--who is not your lawfully betrothed spouse--is sin. Even looking too long with lust in your eyes at your spouse in public is sin. What would others think? And no making noises when in the act, either, or the children might overhear and know you two are being nasty. And women? Just lay there. No moving too much. You should go in the bedroom first, put on a full-length nightgown, get under the covers and turn the lights out before allowing your husband to come in. Don't allow him to see you naked, it might give him cause to commit the sin of enjoying seeing a naked woman. And again, while he's doing the nasty on you, just grit your teeth and bare it. Do not squirm, moan, and move around. Such sinful activity could entice him to move with you, and ... ultimately it could lead to you two winding up enjoying dancing!

5. Thou shalt not wear jewelry anywhere on thy body or apply makeup to thine countenance. If God wanted you to be adorned in such frivolous, vain manner, He would have created you that way. And don't even whisper the word, 'tattoo'! You'll go directly and irrevocable to HELL!

6. Thou shalt not play games with playing cards. They are the playthings of the devil, and a gateway to other base, abhorrent addictions, like drinking, smoking, dancing, and smiling and winking at girls (or boys).

7. Thou shalt not smile or laugh, or clap during church. Church is serious, serious, serious time. It's not funny. At all. Okay, if Pastor tells a joke, however lame, certainly a discreet chuckle is permissible, even mandatory. But don't overdo it. And no matter how wondrous the special music is, thou shalt not show thy appreciation by clapping for the deliverer of said musical offering. Silence. Clapping of the hands can lead to clapping in rhythm, which can lead to moving thy body in an inappropriate manner, which can lead to dancing! Therefore, applause is appalling unto God. We, as good Christians, should be motionless, silent, long-faced, sourpusses.

8. Thou shalt not sing songs of the world. They are of the Devil, and humming along with them, giving lip service to their lyrics, can lead to tapping of the feet, which is again, rhythmic, and leads one down the unrighteous path of being tempted to dance.



9. Thou shalt not ever enter into a movie theater. Those are gathering places of heathens, where shameless, vile stories are smeared across large screens, searing virgin minds, ears and eyes with wicked images. Scornful images, of lust, violence, savagery, nudity and wanton gluttonry and debauchery. Even if a so-called "Christian" movie is showing, enter not this den of iniquity, nor ever give any money over to such a foul industry.



10. Thou shalt place thine Bible in a prominent place in thine household, so that all who enter in may see it proudly displayed. This is evidence and witness of, and a testament to, your true faith as a believer. And never, ever, under any circumstances, place anything atop the Bible! Doing so places undo pressure on the Word, suffocating the life out of it! Might as well throw it away after such despicable debasing. And then go straight to hell too.


Oh, and one more thing. The Wesleyan Methodist Way is the only true way. All other religions, and all other sects within the Christian religion, are deadly, dead wrong. They are, all of those misguided, lost souls, going to hell. And we are the only ones who are going to heaven. As such and thus, we have the authority--and we are the only ones with this divine authority--to judge and condemn others. 

Amen? 

And all the people said, "Amen!"


~~~~~

Now do you see why The Old Silly couldn't wait to get off to college and go absolutely crazy with worldliness for the majority of his young adulthood?

How about any of you? Any favorite "don't's" that you grew up with in the name of religion?

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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I Like Your Christ, But ...

Hey thanks for blogging by. One of my old childhood buds, another PK with the same (former) dubious PS distinction ... oh, for the uninitiated, PK=Preacher's Kid, and PS=Prodigal Son ... well, we were having this long talk, rambling on and on, discussing extraordinarily long, run-on sentences, and ...

LOL, no, just kidding. We were Facebook chatting and talking about having been raised in stiflingly strict, stodgy, very religious homes, going (forced to go) several days every week to very religious churches, both of us living in parsonages under intense scrutiny by the 'religious flock' and, well, here we go again with the run-on sentences, but ...

Vern, my ol' buddy from back in the day, figured if there wasn't one already, it'd be great to have a blog for PK's. And also for anyone else who loves Jesus and His true teachings of unconditional, nonjudgmental, all encompassing Love, but can't stand organized religion. So here it is, folks. This blog is where you can come, read and comment, you can rave and rant all you want, share war stories of how the church crippled you with its falacious misrepresentations of what Jesus was and is all about, you can share with others how finding the True Way happened in your life, you may feel free to suggest topics for The Old Silly to post about, and as you can see, you are more than welcome to write lengthy, run-on sentences. My editor's cap is on the shelf, ok?

So. Gonna let you go, no rants, upliftings, or sermons to deliver, just a good kick-off post. Leave a comment, if'n yeruva mindta, ahd shorely 'preciater, yasser.

Before you leave, here's the rest of the quote for today:


"I like your Christ very much. But I don't much care for your Christians."



Somehow, I think that Jesus would agree with the Mahatma, hmm?



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