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Posts Tagged ‘religious absurdity’

Feed Me, Bike King

April 3rd, 2009 No comments

I am not the first nor will I be the last to blog about the trailer for the film The Bike King & the Ten Commandments. Still, I can’t resist taking a couple of pokes at it.

Take a look at it yourself, and be sure to stay to the end.

First off, I am totally digging the python and his modulated, ’70s-exorcism-film Voice of Evil. Not every snake would be willing to laugh directly into the camera. And, while one infirmity would clearly have been enough to prove God’s love, he made Johnny both blind and lame! Now that’s what I call a Prince of Darkness!

On the other hand, I’m a little uncomfortable with the trailer’s portrayal of God in the form of Charlie Brown’s Kite-Eating Tree. For one, it depicts God as being too cheap to spring for a slim case for His Almighty Mix CD. He also comes off really needy and insecure, with all His “I Love You, Love You, Love You…” And His voice sounds suspiciously like that of Audrey II. Don’t feed the plants, Johnny!

Unfortunately for us, in the worldly battle between the Laughing Python and the CD Burning Tree, the snakes seem to be winning, as seen in this recent Daily Show segment.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart M – Th 11p / 10c
Florida Pythons on the Loose
Daily Show Full Episodes Economic Crisis Political Humor

Me Of Little Faith: Expert Witness

March 20th, 2009 No comments

Back in 2007, I made an abortive attempt at a mini-series of navel-gazing blog posts regarding religion. I managed to log only one entry before becoming terminally distracted by a Metroid invasion. It’s something I’d long intended to revisit, but I’d been looking for something to spark my interest in the topic.

This past week, I’ve been reading I’m Perfect, You’re Doomed: Tales from a Jehovah’s Witness Upbringing by Kyria Abrahams. Yes, I’m as amazed as you are; I’m reading a real book, not a TV tie-in or collection of ’60s comics. It may be far from my usual bathroom fare, but I was intrigued by the cover featuring a happy, little girl standing beneath an umbrella in an idyllic circle while the rest of civilization around her perishes in a rain of hellfire.

What’s it like to grow up knowing that the world will end within your lifetime, and that everyone who fails to share your one true faith is doomed, doomed, doomed? It turns out that you wind up boggled by normal social interactions and completely incurious about the world, because what’s the point of getting an education and making something of yourself if an earthly paradise is right around the corner? Granted that Kyria’s problems seem to spring as much from a panoply of mental disorders and a stunning self-centeredness as they do from her sheltered, cultish upbringing.

The book starts out hilarious, dealing with such earthly perils as Smurfs and demon-infested yard sale items, but becomes rather sad as Kyria grows up and flails about in a series of bad choices and loveless relationships. Judging by her blog, she seems to have turned herself around in the end, and I’m glad to know that.¬†

My interest in the Jehovah’s Witnesses goes back to my own childhood. My Great Aunt Vera was one, and while I don’t recall her attempting to send me home with a stack of Watchtower¬†magazines, I do remember that even back then I could tell that something about her world view didn’t quite add up. Great Aunt Vera gave me my first exposure to apocalyptic end-time prophecy over a casual dinner at a local eatery on the west side of Hobart. It didn’t make much sense to me: something about having sixes tattooed on my head and the evils of a one-world government. I’m not sure quite when this conversation occurred, but as someone who grew up under the shadow of the Vietnam War, having a single government sounded like a pretty good idea at the time.

What really got me about the Jehovah’s Witness faith, as explained by Great Aunt Vera, was that it only allowed for 144,000 of its own followers to ascend to Heaven. Okay, sure, the rest got to live in an earthly paradise. Still, it seemed like a bum deal. According to my own vague, generic notions of Christianity, Heaven was for everyone, including pets. But here was an orthodoxy that preached that even if you did everything right there was still a much-better-than-even chance you wouldn’t get to hobnob with the Big G. (Er…Big J.) I mean, even then I realized that 144,000 was a pretty small number, especially if it was drawn not only from current-as-of-Armageddon Witnesses, but those who’d died prior to The End. What, was Heaven running out of room? Couldn’t an omnipotent God whip up a few more clouds for his chosen people to sit upon?

Right then, I thought, “Wow, that religion blows.” And that was before I found out about the not-celebrating-birthdays thing.

The Not-So-Great Pumpkin

October 29th, 2008 No comments

Halloween for me is like Christmas for a lot of other people, in that I have an idealized version of the holiday and usually wind up finding that it doesn’t live up to my hopes. I’ve always wanted to be the cool house where all the kids come for trick-or-treat, but that’s not going to happen in our current neighborhood. As there are no street lights, the few kids we have in the immediate area typically go elsewhere. In our old neighborhood we were getting upwards of 90 trick-or-treaters on a good Halloween, but here we’re lucky to get 25.

Still, I want to make at least a token effort. I made me a new iPod playlist that I’ve been running here in the office all week, and I put out some of my yard decorations.

I only put out a handful of my old foam tombstones, as the tree in our front yard is so full that it would be hard to see more than a few. I used a couple of my favorites, as well as the “Beelzebub for President” one that only comes out in an election year. However, I did spiff up the display a little with a couple of nifty 3D grave markers that Target offered this year.

Amusingly, as I was setting up the skeleton in the front porch rocker, a pair of door-to-door religious types came up to witness at me. I politely said, “Sorry, not for me,” and fortunately they took the hint. What I really wanted to say was, “Did you miss the Beelzebub for President tombstone? ‘Cause I’m thinking that I’m not the target audience.”

You can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but only a giant spider can pick your friend’s nose.