Christianity; My Mom; a Famous Shrink; “Penthouse” Magazine. The 70’s. Whatever.

jesusshrinkYesterday I wrote A Psychotherapist’s (Imagined) Field Notes on Why Church is So Boring, which is awesome even though I wrote it—but whatever.

But that piece did make me remember that I know from psychotherapy. For one, the man who for some ten years was my stepfather (that’s the guy who marries your mom, right?) was (and I promise I’m not even almost exaggerating) a world-renowned psychologist. So much so, in fact, that there’s no question but that your life has been directly if not dramatically impacted by his work.

And the good, hyper-charismatic doctor was/is ridiculously intelligent; as a kid, even I knew it. Sure, I had to lie awake at night listening to Dr. Feelgood have sex with my mother. But it was the 70’s, a truly unique period in the history of conventional sexual mores. On their coffee table, my mom and he kept a copy of The Joy of Sex, along with the latest issue of Penthouse.

You youngins may not know that there was a time when keeping a copy of Penthouse and/or (for the slightly more conventional) Playboy on your coffee table signified that you were part of the cutting-edge intelligentsia: you were (or at the very least were pretending to be) part of the feminist/intellectual/disestablishmentarianism set.

You were a radical. An artist. A freethinker.

You smoked pot. You did sculpture.

You totally traumatized your 13-year-old son in the middle of the night with sounds that there should be laws against anyone under the age of thirty ever having to hear.

But I digest. The point is, I was just now thinking how great it would be to turn the tables on the bit I wrote yesterday, and write from the point of view of a Christian analyzing why psychotherapy (as opposed to church, see) is so boringly lame.

Wouldn’t that have been great? But, alas, you see how much time I’ve already spent writing just this.

Time and space. Whaddaya gonna do?


If you like this piece, please pass it on, or post its link on your blog, or your Facebook page—or e-mail it to your friends, or join my FB page (see below), or whatever you might. For verily am I loathe to write in anything resembling a vacuum, if you see why. Thanks.



Be Fan:

"You have the floor Pastor he said it as we all faced that product of ..."

The fundamentally toxic Christianity
"Save souls, nourish them as the devil roars for opportunity to steal, kill and destroy. ..."

My mom died late last night; ..."
"Sorry for your loss."

My mom died late last night; ..."
"We will see our loved ones but only those who had a relationship with jesus ..."

My mom died late last night; ..."

Browse Our Archives

What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Wow! At one time I would have been thinking, "how come my parents can't be cool like John's"!

  • Leonardo

    I almost can't wait to read that post (a Christian analyzing why psychotherapy is so boringly lame).

    Is it too personal to ask if that kind of parenting did affect you in some way in particular? (I almost see the sarcasm) but seriously.

  • David Barach

    What with all of the sex, compromised mores and psychobabble in this post, I wonder if it's just me or does that photo of an awning jutting out under the phrase "Keep on Pushin'" subliminally suggest that the son of man engaged in forced sexual conduct? I mean it's just one well placed space away from saying it outright! I know that's crazy. Nothing so blasphemous would ever appear on John's blog. In fact, I would be very surprised if this comment weren't redacted for religious security purposes.

  • Kory: Yes, many of my kid peers felt that way. For a while, anyway. No, but my parent were … kinda … glamorous, really.

    Leo: Yes, I was parented in a way that affected me particularly. As were you. As was virtually every human that ever lived. I actually think that one day that's the fact that will bring all people together.

    David: I'm sure I have no idea what you're talking about.

  • Ric: Didn't quite follow your comment? (Wait. You're asking me how … my childhood made me feel? No, that's probably not what you're asking. Well … it's good to hear from you, as always!)

  • Time and space. Whaddaya gonna do?

    Perhaps you wrote this in another time-space continuum.


    Yeah, but ‘ow doz zis make you feel?

  • Tim

    From a subliminal psycho-bubble my super sicko mind sees “JESUS THE RAPIST”. But certainly not my Savior Jesus. Obviously I mean the Hispanic barber, Jesus (Hey-soos), who offers barber chair psychotherapy. As a 13 year-old, my own occasional barber, a Hispanic barber at Bulcao’s Barbershop on the lower level of College Grove Shopping Cente (circa 1967) gave me coiffure suggestions that would guarantee me unlimited access to the hindquarters of many young females. Boy, what a load. I looked like Javier Bardem in No Country for Old Men.

  • Ah. See, as ever: you're too complex and sensitive for simple, brutish me.

  • Actually, you ended with a question. Rhetorical, I think… lamenting the out of time and space to write that which you longed to write. My first attempt is to console you with “maybe you did write it” and my 2nd line was in the spirit of the psychoanalysis flavor here. both comments in (cryptic) jest.

  • Okay, I feel like I just read Greek…Huh?

  • Huh?