Further Tales of the Christ Weary:
It just seems appropriate that as we edge closer and closer to the false date of the birth of Jesus that we spend more time with the weary among us. And, Lord, sweet, sweet Lord, how the people are sick of having whacked-out interpretations of the Christ myth shoved down their throats and up their asses. A few weeks ago the Rude Pundit asked you to send your own tales of the creedal and the damage done, and you have continued to respond, crying out (or sighing out) in agony to evangelicals, "We get it, we get it - you love you some Jesus - now step the fuck back." Of course, they won't. While next week the Rude Pundit will deal with the whole victimization of Christmas nonsense, it's worth mentioning that in Oklahoma, the citizens of one country voted down a bond issue that would have built a new elementary school because the goodly, godly people were pissed that the Superintendent of schools took a nativity scene out of a grade school Christmas pageant. Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord at the ballot box, even if it fucketh things up for the children. Here's more of your stories, sea to shining sea (and, as ever, there's some minor editing and no vouching for the truth of the letters):

From Paul in Washington: I grew up in a Jewish household in New Jersey. At the age of 10, my parents split and my mother had to get a live-in babysitter named Sandy G. to watch us, a rather nasty bitch who claimed to be a born again Christian. One day after Hebrew school, I mentioned to Sandy that we had learned about Hitler, the Holocaust and the Nazis, and she went ape shit. She started screaming at me that the Nazis were not that bad, that she was German and that the Jews killed hundreds of Christians. It was such an incredible statement that it took me a few moments to realize that she was dead serious. Shook the hell out of me, I was only 12 years old and came across my first real case of anti-Semitism from a fanatic who regularly attend church every Sunday and professed to be a born again Christian.

From Sean: I was hitchhiking across the state of Alaska in March a number of years ago trying to get back to Oregon from the Kenai peninsula. It was about 20 below zero and I was on the side of a dirt highway in the absolute middle of nowhere late one night. I had been dropped off there by a guy in a pickup truck who was turning off the highway at some fork or other. I started to get really cold and started to wonder how long it would take me to die out there. There was some light a mile or so off, so I started to walk towards it. Turned out it was a gas station and it was still open. I made it there and the guy said that I could sleep in the garage of the station till the following morning under an oil smeared ruck sack, but only IF I would accept Jesus Christ as my personal savior.

From Loretta: Born and raised Southern Baptist. True story. Dad was a lifer in the Navy, so we moved every year or two while I was growing up. Spent a lot of time with my maternal grandparents in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. At church with my grandmother one Sunday when I was 8 (I was 8, remember? And completely bought this bullshit at the time), the preacher began to speak about the recent "passing" of one congregant's husband. According to the preacher, and everyone in the congregation, "John" was one of the most stand-up guys to ever live. Salt-of-the-earth. The preacher talked for 15 minutes, extolling the virtues of John, give you the shirt off his back, first to help out someone in trouble, etc. The kicker? He was doomed to spend eternity in hell because he wasn't "saved." His wife, HIS WIFE, and the entire congregation just sat there nodding along, like this was obvious. I was only 8 and I knew there was something fucked about this line of belief.

From an anonymous red stater: I grew up in an Italian, Catholic family. My great-grandparents were immigrants from Sicily. My family is pretty much made up of Louisiana,uneducated, white-trash. Because the Southern Baptist religion is so prevalent there, when many of my relatives grew up, they switched to that church. I must admit that they weren't so obnoxious as Catholics. It's the switch to Southern Baptist that has changed them, made them cruel, even. For example, one of my young cousins was raped, and two other relatives said she deserved it because she dressed like a whore, and that's an affront to God. "Nigger" and "Faggot" are common epithets heard at family gatherings. . .

Because we were Catholic, my parents had more children than they could afford, but still sent us to Catholic school, and struggled to pay the outrageous tuition. We went without many essentials, just so they could pay for that damn school. Of course at Catholic school we had the predatory, molesting priest to deal with. He liked boys, so I was "safe," except when it came to the corporal punishment. I swear to god, some of those nuns got off on paddling. And the verbal abuse was as bad as the physical.

The priest who molested young boys was finally sent away when parents began complaining, but the Church allowed him to return to give the baccalaureate address for the graduating seniors. I don't know why. I was mortified to see him, to learn that he was still able to even BE a priest. I thought of the children I'd known that he'd harmed. I wonder how they're doing now . . .

I attended Catholic school until the 10th grade, and finally convinced my parents to let me go to public school. When the principal learned of this, she called me into the office and told me many horror stories about the drugs, violence, and sexual
harrassment that take place in public schools. I thought of unwed mothers forced to leave St. Vincent's. Of the child-molesting Priests. Of the alcohol poisoning of the Priest at Christ the King. Of the bruising of my backside at Sacred Heart. But I couldn't laugh because of the seething hatred.

From Merl: Upon the death of my 10 year old brother, a Baptist preacher told me I needed to get saved right away so I wouldn't join him in hell. He was not born again. Fuck, he was 10 years old. Barely born for the first time.

From Frank: My brother, sister and I were introduced to born-again Christianity in our youth. My brother embraced more than just faith in Christ, however, and structured his entire life (and later, that of his family) to suit the evangelical Christian worldview. From birth his three sons, my nephews, were indocrinated in many of the more absurd (though purportedly harmless) aspects of that worldview: the boys were largely home-schooled, taught that evolution was baloney, prohibited from watching The Wizard of Oz or Fantasia (witchcraft, see?). Tragicomically, while spending time with my sister on vacation, the boys asked her to remove a box of Count Chocula cereal from the home to protect them from demons.

Where did it all lead? This year, thirty-five years down the road from its roots in Bible studies and prayer meetings and seemingly innocuous Young Life sing-a-longs, their twisted, repressed, demented and hypocritical "faith" has left my brother and his family shattered:

The eldest boy is avoiding his family and living "in sin" with his girlfriend. (My sister in-law, still brain-deep in cult denial, refuses to believe he's sexually active.) His story is a relief, because...

His youngest brother is in jail in Virginia, awaiting trial for armed robbery. It turns out he's been dealing drugs from their home since the age of 10. His circumstance would strain most families; but the real tradgedy is the price paid by the middle child, my favorite nephew, one of the kindest, gentlest souls I have known. He's dead.

A brilliant thinker, but depressed and completely socially withdrawn, torn by the failure of his parent's marriage grown bitter, unable to reconcile the parent-sponsored dogma that without God life is meaningless from his growing certainty that he'd been lied to, that there WAS no such god, and unable to live with the contradiction, obliterated himself this earlier this year.

He ran--literally, on foot, ran--headlong into a freight train. He was weary of the life his parents had given him.

I am not weary of Christ. I am weary of so-called Christianity. It is insanity.

Send your stories: rudepundit@yahoo.com.