You’re Holding a What? You’re Holding it When?!

Dear Victory Family Church in Belleville, Illinois,

I have some advice for you.

(Yes, I’m an atheist, and no, I don’t expect you to listen. But I’ll say it anyway.)

When you’re planning an event, don’t call it a “Crusade.” That word is steeped in negative religious connotations and you don’t want to be associated with that. Trust me on this one.

Oh. Alright, ignore that one.

When you’re planning a “Crusade,” don’t gear it toward children. Atheists already think churches brainwash kids and you’d just be adding fuel to the fire.

Hmm… I see how you’re playing this game…

(By the way, what’s with the apostrophe usage? It makes it sound like one child is going to grab a weapon and go apeshit on everyone in the building. Anyway, I’ll continue.)

When you’re planning an event that sounds as horrible as a “Kid’s Crusade,” don’t try to “hip it up” with unnecessary adjectives. Don’t call it “Ye Old Tyme Kid’s Crusade” or “Jesustastic Kid’s Crusade O’ Fun” or “Rootin’ Tootin’ Kid’s Crusade.”

Well, fine then…

Finally, don’t hold any event you’re calling a “Crusade” on September 11th. I shouldn’t have to tell you why this is a horrible idea.

Goddammit, seriously?!

I tried, Jesus. I tried.

Sincerely,

Hemant

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • Alantas

    How about a “Rootin’-Tootin’ Kids Jihad” on September 11.

    The way these people would view that is how everyone else views this.

    • CS42

      Rootin’ Tootin’ serial-killer party. Dress as Michele Bachmann’s favorite cowboy: John Wayne Gacy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/WonderfulPlague Matthew Beaty

    Ya know, right when I think I have seen the worst that the general public has to offer…

  • CS42

    Perhaps it’s a meeting for rabid Kurt Vonnegut fans?

    • dauntless

      Haha! Exactly what I thought!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mujica.alex Alejandro Mujica

    Crusade, Jihad. Potatoe, potatto. How out-of-sync are these people to think this is a good idea, let alone make it a public event? This is just masturbatory “community involvement.”

  • Frightened_peasant

    Calling your event a crusade is pretty standard for churches in this country.  I’m more frightened by their punctuation and spelling than their kid’s crusade.

  • Ellise Tucker

    My father who is a Pentecostal pastor held a “Kid’s Crusade” for a week. Of course, being an atheist I disagreed with that entirely. I guess they are not “thinking”, but I wouldn’t be surprised by that.

  • scipio1

    Truly impressive in their ignorance of history.

  • http://profiles.google.com/asecretagentwoman secret agent woman

    Thank you, this made me laugh our loud.

    • Annie

      Me too.  Hemant- your commentary pushed this one over the edge… loved it.

  • ArmadilloBoy

    How does one “drees” as a cowgirl/cowboy?  For that matter, how does one drees at all?

  • JimG

    So I guess on the fourth day they’re going to pillage the Greek Orthodox church next door?

    • Anonymous

      Please collect your shiny new Internet on the way out.

  • http://evolutionguide.blogspot.com/ William

    There was actually a kid’s crusade, they all died or were sold into slavery in between North France and Venice…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Anne-Redding/100001735671552 Anne Redding

    I am stealing this -“Jesustastic Kid’s Crusade O’ Fun”

  • http://carpescripturum.wordpress.com/ MrPopularSentiment

    This has already been done: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children’s_Crusade

    Although I can’t attest to how “Rootin’ Tootin’” it was…

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    cowgirls? blaspheme! Girls should be dressing like girls! A dress and a bonnet or damn you Chaz-Bono-inspired demon children to hell!

  • Sinfanti

    The Catholic elementary school I attended in Chicago used “Crusaders” for their sports teams’ name.  Oh, if I’d only known back then what I know now I certainly would have made some waves.

  • Sinfanti

    The Catholic elementary school I attended in Chicago used “Crusaders” for their sports teams’ name.  Oh, if I’d only known back then what I know now I certainly would have made some waves.

  • Renshia

    Do they make everything super big like that so people read it slower, I wonder???

  • Karen

    This is from my hometown.
    I’m not proud, just happy to have moved OUT!

  • http://religionsetspolitics.blogspot.com/ Joshua Zelinsky

    Next week: Young Adult Inquisition. 

  • Beth

    Unfortunately, I’ve known worse. In 2001, I was a Christian and was involved in See You at the Pole at my school. SYATP was always at a certain time every September, a time that happened to fall just a week or two after the towers fell. A bunch of teenagers speaking and praying around the flagpole before school, I guess it went ok. It was the event that night to go along with it that got weird. The adult speaker seemed to think he was waxing eloquent in describing how very devoted the terrorists were: how strongly they believed in their god, so much that they’d give their lives… and on and on. I would’ve left but my jaw had dropped in shock and I wasn’t sure I’d have any greater control of my knees. As he urged us to “Be Taliban for Christ! Jihad for Jesus!”, I felt as if I would vomit and began to cry. Even now, I shake in retelling, but then — O, such horrible, stupid, vile things to say and to say them so very close to the event! I have no words sufficient to describe how reprehensible.
    I hope the event in question won’t have so bad a message as that one. Probably just a stupid name from thoughtless people. I hope it’s only that.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

      *hugs (if you want one)*

      • Beth

        Thanks. Some people, ya know?

    • Annie

      Wow Beth.  What a chilling story.  It’s so bizarre how so many people can take the “prince of peace” idea and get it so incredibly wrong.  My favorite bumper sticker is still, “Who Would Jesus Bomb?”, as I think it says so much in four little words.

  • Paul D.

    You just have to make it cuter. Start with “Christian Kids’ Crusade”, then change the C’s to K’s to look more playful. Kristian Kids’ Krusade… you could even make a nice abbreviation out of that.

    • http://twitter.com/TortugaSkeptic A secret red slider

      Damn it Paul, I almost spit coffee onto my computer.  Funny.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ Anonymous

    ::banghead::

    Just when I think they can’t get any less self-aware…

  • Rieux

    Fun post, Hemant. Nice job.

  • Anonymous

    I am not surprised that this is located in the southern part of the state. It is near the 19th congressional district which is represented by Mr. John “God promised Noah that the earth will not be destroyed by the flood and the Iraq War is like a game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs” Shimkus. Being from Chicago, I like to ignore the embarrassing southern part of this state. 

    • Taco_king

      Not all of us from the southern part of the state are as ignorant as this. Not all of us are as rude and condesending as our neighbours to the North. I like to ignore the embarrassing northern part of this state.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=553145445 Gordon Duffy

    I had a conversation the other day with a friend about the word “crusade”. I couldn’t see why anyone would use it given the awful implications… I mean even christians see the crusades as a bad thing right? a product of another time?

    My friend said there were other usages, like moral crusade or… caped crusader.

    • GeeH

      Yeah, those usages exist. Words can be used in different ways, sure. The problem with the word comes when a church uses it to name an event where they’re trying to convert people to their religion. Like, you know, The Crusades. You *can’t* escape the bloody obvious implications there.

  • Kimpatsu

    You don’t like the word “Crusade”, Hemant? You must hate the Caped Crusader…

  • Kevin S.

    The word “crusade” isn’t necessarily an automatic no-no, but for a church to completely ignore it’s history with children and Christianity is completely mind-boggling.

  • Timothy Alexander

    Who came up with the title, Yosamite Sam?

  • Czehner

    I’d like to say I’m appalled, but  I just expect this stuff now.

    Of course, I’ve also always thought of the Kampus Krusade for Khrist as the KKK.

    (And I’m still laughing over “drees.”)

  • Reasongal

    Here’s another, “I can’t believe they are doing that.  Period”  The Arizona GOP is raffling off a Glock, like the one used to maim Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and kill 6.       
    Controversy over GOP Glock raffle

    Posted: Sep 2, 2011 5:30 PM
    Updated: Sep 2, 2011 6:57 PM

     

    Ammo included.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        


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