Christ Weary, Part 4 (The Weary Speak):
Let's be clear here: "Christ" is shorthand for the fucked-up, backward ass, violent, hate-filled beliefs of Christian fundamentalism. It is not the Biblical "Christ" and his words of, you know, love, peace, and fellowship. The Biblical Christ never says, "Thou shalt exhort thine enemies to 'Bring it on.'" The Rude Pundit has said before that the Christ in the Bible is a liberal who invites us all to party on in a socialist heaven. That is a dude the Rude Pundit would like to break bread and fish with while suckin' down wine-from-water. That, however, is not the Christ who has been shoved in our faces by the evangelical right. They want Rambo Jesus, kickin' ass, a warring motherfucker who shows fags and secularists they better love the Lord or they're gettin' drop kicked into the fiery bowels of hell. Or voted out of office.
But the Rude Pundit asked, and, yea, the readership answered. You responded to the Rude Pundit's request to donate your stories of Christ weariness with an outcry of outrage over the outreach of out-of-their-minds born agains. From sea to shining sea, in states blue and red, you have poured your damaged souls out. The Rude Pundit hears your cries, and, yea, come to the Rude Pundit and he shall caress you in his loving arms into secular ecstasy, paying close attention to your nipples. Here's a sampler (with minor editing) of the nearly 100 stories you sent in (and, as usual, the Rude Pundit makes no guarantees about the "truthfulness" of these tales of woe):
From Sargasm: I had an awful first experience with those right wing nuts. When I was 10, my little brother started going to Sunday school with the neighborhood kids. A bus would pick them up and take them to church. I didn't want to go, even though these kids' parents would always encourage me to attend. Then one Sunday, I realized my brother was coming home with candy. He had received it for answering questions on the day's lessons on the bus ride back. Being a sweet tooth fanatic, and just an overall know-it-all kid, I thought it was a sweet deal. So that next Sunday I went to Sunday school with them. The biblical stories were alright but sort of boring. On the ride back I answered a few questions and got some candies. I
thought I had hit the jack pot. As we were all piling out of the bus, one kid turned to me and sneered, "You damn nigger." I was frozen by the hatred that I felt
and being that it was my first racist incident in my life I didn't know what to do. I felt like shit. I confided in a friend and asked her what I should do.
The next Sunday I went back on the yellow bus, and made sure to answer every question on the way back. And then on the way out of the bus, I went up to the kid and sneered at him, "You stupid honky."
I didn't know what a honky was. But my friend had reassured me it would do the trick. I don't think the kid got it either. But he did get the venom I put in the word. Needless to say that was the last time I attended Sunday school.
From Deborah in Georgia: Growing up Universalist/Unitarian in the Deep South, surrounded by batshit hysterical Baptists, I was repeatedly told that I was going to hell. Baptist Hell was an unambiguous realm of boiling cesspools staffed by pitchfork-carrying demons. Baptists seem to take a particular delight in scaring the shit out of small children, combining their lurid Hell monologues with gut-chilling, neurosis-inducing horror stories of the End Times, the Rapture, etc. One of my most traumatic childhood memories is of being forced to attend Baptist Vacation Bible School while visiting my cousins. Trapped in a tiny, hot room somewhere in the bowels of a church annex, nauseated by the tomb scent of pastel concrete block walls, I listened in abject terror as a smiling woman solemnly assured our class that the world was coming to an end at any moment. A lovely thing to tell kids growing up in the 1960's. If the Russians didn't nuke us first, Jesus would.
From Neil in Illinois: I was a doctoral student hanging out at the student union eating some food and this young guy comes up to me and asks if I could spare some time to answer some questions. He remarked that he was a graduate student collecting data for his master's thesis and he had a brief survey he wanted me to fill out. Although I thought it odd, I said yes and he sat down with me. He handed this very short, 10 item survey and asked me to respond honestly and all that stuff. Being a doctoral student, I knew a little about survey research and I noticed right away what this was about. The first question read, "Do you believe in God?". Second
question read, "Do you believe in a heaven and a hell?" THEN right after the second question was a Bible citation with the verse following it. It was John 3:16 or some shit like that. Before I even answered a question, I told him that this was bullshit
and what he was trying to do was witness to me by giving me the ridiculous survey. He admitted that he was from a local bible college and I told him that his deception was very similar to the way cults recruit on college campuses. He didn't like that too much and left.
From Emily: My brother has a Darwin fish on his car. Last month he noticed that some assdouche had keyed a word in the paint: "Jesus."
From Julie: I had a house fire two years ago. I lost all my possessions and one of my cats. I was talking to a woman I know who is a fundamentalist Christian, and she told me (trying to be helpful, I think): "The Bible tells us God punishes us like a father."
From Jo: It's been twenty years since I fled the God-soaked South, so I guess I can talk about it.
Shall I tell you about the shrieking of my Baptist-born mother, accusing me of spreading my legs like the whore of babylon when I'd never had so much as a date?
Shall I tell you about being packed off to evangelical high school, where our ninth-grade history teacher told us the only reason to educate women was so that they could raise good sons? Where "lying horizontally" on campus was against the rules for girls (as was whorish clothing like jeans)? Where the instructor of the compulsory New-Testament Bible class took us on field trips to his church so that we could watch him and our headmaster sway back and forth, arms raised and eyes shut, while another congregant babbled in tongues (oh, the satisfaction I later took losing my virginity behind that church).
Shall I recall Religious Emphasis Week, the annual evangelical indoctrination fiesta to which all students (including the roughly 25% who were Jewish) were subjected? The Christian oath that all teachers are required to take (effectively barring the unsaved from employment)? The school motto "And Jesus increased in wisdom and
stature and in favor with God and men"?
No, I wasn't raised by snake-handlers in Upper Shithole, Alabama. Appallingly, this was the most prestigious prep school in the southeast, where the moneyed sons and daughters of Atlanta's ruling class were sent. This is where you went if you were born in Georgia and actually wanted to learn how to read. In the South, this is what
passes for mainstream.
From what I hear, the place has gone even further 'round the Bible bend in recent years. Mailings from the current headmaster (god only knows how they find me after more than 20 address changes) consist mostly of ungrammatical ravings about the need to train pastors and send them forth into the world, or some such shit.
Okay, gang, let's cut this off here for today. Next Friday, we'll put up more of your stories of confrontation with Christians, including fun with Jews, workplace worship, and more. Or if enough continue to come in, the Rude Pundit has reserved the name "Christ Weary" for a new blog that would be devoted to these tales. Keep 'em comin': firstname.lastname@example.org.