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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 ...


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 ...


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. 


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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  1. I was talking to my daughter yesterday about a local "Christian" school who gave one of their softball players an ultimatum: she could either be friends with an openly gay girl from another school, or she could play softball. She quit the team. My daughter was outraged about their "Christian" treatment of her. I told her not to blame real Christians for what those Hypochristians did!

  2. Good one, Belle. Well, good in that it is another example of, as you so aptly coined, "Hypochristianity" - lol. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. Stop back often, and pat that young lady on the back for standing up for nonjudgmental love, ok? Our is NOT to judge! Only God has that right, hmm?

  3. LOLWROG! Yeah, my remembrances of childhood 'forced' church attendance included being bored stiff and dismayed at how sad everyone was. Fat, sad people, who cried a lot. That's what I remember about church.

    Glad to see your survived and have joy now, Marv - not to mention a sharp sense of humour, lol!

  4. I went to a Methodist church as a youngster. Not often but mom went once in a while. Dad had farm work to do. I watched my uncle be all pious during church then start his damn swearing again right after. I knew then that I didn't need to be in a building showing off the latest fashion, to be a believer.

    BTW, if you've ever seen the movie Footloose, you will see that there is dancing in the bible.

  5. Stan - thanks for the comment. I too, remember thinking, "why is everyone so sad and - fat!" lol. But don't get me wrong, I loved my parents and family life for the love they had for and showed us kids. It was just the religion part that turned me off.

    Ron - Absolutely the Bible is laden with scenes where people danced, sang, and made "joyous noises unto the Lord!"

  6. My Wesleyan father/pastor was a bit different than some. He actually loved people just the way they were! He had the "gift" of compassion and acceptance, constantly striving to reach out to "undesirable" folks and actually attempt to offer them a look at "salvation." He did not care what you wore or how much money you had. He did not notice if you were the "town drunk." The main thing to him was "THE MAIN THING!" That salvation's plan is for anyone who may come to believe!

    Because of this, he was placed into churches that were on the brink of collapse. He was a stabilizer and a reconciler. He seemed to be able to build up a congregation using "stones that other builders would reject."

    Because of this, he took a lot of flack from the constituent "nucleus flock." I mean: he even encouraged "stinky, dirty, nasty" folks to attend church. I recall several "members" saying: "we simply cannot allow that family in here. What would people think if they saw THEM coming in and out our doors?"

  7. Verne - kudos to youd dad! My parents where wonderful people, doing the best they knew how, and one thing I do know and am grateful for is they loved each other and us kids. We had a solid loving family upbrining, albeit to me waaaaay to strict and religious. And I believe Dad wanted nothing more than real revival and true spiritual realization in his churches. Sadly, he was always stuck in situations where religion to the nth degree ruled. I can't imagine town drunks or "dirty" people allowed to sit in the pews of the churches I remember.