Archive - Sep 2009

September 22nd

A Counterproposal: Church Is For Weenies

« September 2009 »


As I've mentioned, through circumstance or malice, I'm on a few mailing lists. Which is how I managed to get a link to Gary Smith's article on One News Now entitled "A plea to the president to attend church". Upon clicking the link, I was presented with an overlay ad telling me I could request a free copy of "TORTURED FOR CHRIST" for me and my friends, but I decided to pass, so that I would still have friends when "TORTURED FOR CHRIST II: THIS TIME IT'S PERSONAL" came out.

Anyway, since Gary Smith saw fit to plead with you to attend church, I thought it was only fair that someone equally as visible to you provide the counterproposal to his plea. Don't go to church. Church is for weenies. Weenies like Gary Smith.

Smith opens his plea by reminding us all of the journalistic interest in where the Obama family would be attending church in Washington, D.C. I submit this was a mistake on his part, because few things in the early days of the Obama administration were more fucking insufferable than ChurchWatch. Obama's choice of church got almost as much attention as his choice of a Supreme Court justice, which is seriously out of whack. Unlike Gary Smith, I'd like to forget that whole sorry mess, and I bet Obama would too.

Smith then goes on to cite the demands on a President's time, the desire for other hobbies like golf, and other reasons a president might skip Sunday services, but claims that Obama's recent predecessors have benefited greatly from church attendance, and so therefore, Obama would too. I think this is bullshit. Yes, we all benefited from George W. Bush attending weekly church services, because we could be sure, for two to three hours a week, that he was not screwing the national pooch. Which is reassuring, until you try to remember the last time you heard a news story about Dick Cheney going to church, and then your blood chills and you shiver involuntarily.

And what benefits are these? Well, he starts out OK, you know, if you're into that sort of thing. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"As you know, attending Sunday morning worship enables you to worship God, which for Christians is both a responsibility and privilege. These services help supply you with moral inspiration and spiritual strength, which are vital to your work as president. Attending habitually will also enable your wife and children to receive biblical instruction and Christian nurture." I mean yeah, there's something the tiniest bit creepy about him lumping the wife in with the children as equally in need of instruction and nurture, and the whole thing has that vaguely Stepford tone to it, but still, so far it's mainly just a fundie wondering why the President doesn't see church the way he does. And then it starts to turn funny.

"Moreover, attending church faithfully would testify to your professed values and help you gain greater credibility with religious Americans." What's that I hear? Why, it sounds like a certain Gary Smith got a new Sekrit Muslim Dog Whistle for his birthday, and can't wait to try it out! Ignore him, Obama. You know as well as I do that there's not a single goddamned religious American out there who is ambivalent enough about your presidency that weekly service attendance would sway them.

Next he goes into the role model bullshit, because you can't be a good person if you don't go to church, yada yada set an example yada yada man that dog whistle sure was fun let's do it again "Thus, it is especially important to support your profession of Christian faith by fellowshipping and worshipping with other believers." You know, it's possible that "profession" is one of those words the godly use differently than the rest of us, like how they use "witness" for things they can't see. But it seems to me every time Gary Smith says "support your profession of Christian faith", what he means is "PROVE IT, SOCIALIST COMMUNIST MUSLIM ATHEIST!" Again, this might just be me. But it might not. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME REDUX!

"In an ABC interview in January, you said, "I've got a wonderful community of people who are praying for me every day...but it's not the same as going to church" and hearing a choral anthem and "a good sermon." One excellent way to demonstrate your Christian commitment, which some Americans question, and provide spiritual nurture for yourself and for your family, is to attend church consistently."

And here we see the extortionist nature of Christianity in full flower. A religion that, to people like Smith, boils down to "engage in certain nonsensical rituals or suffer eternity in a fiery pit". Smith has extended this sentiment to an astonishingly petty degree, essentially giving Obama an ultimatum. Show up at the club meetings, or all the people in the club who hate you will tell everyone you're not in the club. Clearly, it's a bad idea to negotiate with terrorists, especially ones prone to sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting LA LA LA JESUS LOVES ME I CAN'T HEAR YOU.

If you do go to church, the Gary Smiths of the world will still find fault with you, and you lose three hours a week you could be spending putting your boot up Max Baucus' ass. Sleep in on Sundays, and not only will you be well-rested, you'll keep the Gary Smiths of the world's attention on monitoring your church attendance (or lack thereof), and thus they will remain harmlessly occupied until you leave office. I think the choice is clear.