With my morning cup of coffee just now I spotted a story in the Orange County Register entitled, “Saddleback Church Hosts Conference on ‘Radical Christianity.” So I was, like, “Hmm. This promises to be almost vaguely interesting.” Then, perusing the article, I read:
The conference covered techniques to build better church [sic], connect more with parishioners, inspire youth worship and innovative ways to incorporate praise music.
Then I remembered that the alternate definition of “radical” is “exactly the same.” How weird that I momentarily forgot that.
Anyway, I know that a lot of my writing tends to challenge some of the more traditional understandings of Christianity. And that’s cool; being honest about engaging in a real dialogue about anything as intense as religion generally, and Christianity in particular, is like playing hopscotch in a mine field: sooner or later, you’re bound to make a boom. (Ew. Sorry. That didn’t come out right. Oh, great. That also didn’t come out right. Oh, crap. Oh crap! Okay right here, kids, is why you should never become a writer.)
So about hardcore right-wing fundamentalist Christians.
First of all, who cares what I say about that crowd: it’s not like any of them are going to read it? Fundamentalists don’t read my blog. They can’t. I don’t use enough pictures. Plus I write in complete sentences.
Har! Of course, now I’m going to hell.
I knew I’d end up in hell! There’s such a dangblangit fine line between “Funny!” and “Meet Snikky and Snarky, the two fanged minions who throughout eternity will be jabbing at you with searing tridents. Have fun, funny boy!”
No, but the truth is that my readers — or my commenters, anyway — tend to be what you’d call the intelligent, sensitive, articulate, profoundly insightful types. Exhibit A: the recent advice and support proffered by my readers in last week’s post, “Help: I Want to Come Out to My Evangelical Father.” Reading the comments on that blog is like spending a week at Camp Feel Good (but without the creepy counselors that I know turned my sixth grade school-sponsored week in the woods into something between Porky’s After Dark and Lord of the Flies). The comments to that post make me as proud of this blog as anything ever has.
But about the fundyvangelists—the people who think the earth was created in 1822, and that Jesus had a pet stegosaurus, and all that.
So, one thing is, you know how I always know when I’m dealing with such a person? Because they always throw Bible quotes at me—and the quotes are always from the King James Bible. I love love love the King James Bible, for sureth. But it’s always so weird to get an email that says
“Yew are tthe amnti-Christ becuuz of yur faggy love for the durty homer-sexals what ar reckin evvyrything. For as the Lord doth sayeth, ‘Woe be unto you, thou wretched and disbelieving purveyor of all this is before the Lord unholy and wicked craven … .”
It’s like having Boo Radley suddenly transform into Shakespeare.
But the really important question about hardcore right-wing fundies is: Why aren’t they more fun? They’ve got fun right there in their name! You hear the word fundamentalist, and what do you think? Of course: telepathic comedian. But is that what you actually get with a fundamentalist? No. I never have, anyway. Every time I hang out with a fundamentalist, I’m forever saying to them, “Tell me what I’m thinking right now? Is it funny? Can you make it funny? Does it show up funny in your mind? Is that person over there thinking anything funny?”
And all I ever get in response is that stare that says, “Why are you talking to me? Stop it.”
I swear, it’s like they don’t know how to socialize at all.
Anyway, this morning I wanted to say something kind and edifying about our good brothers and sisters who believe in a Christ who, if, at, say, an art gallery opening, ever bumped into the Christ that a lot of others of us believe in, would say unto Him, “Say, ain’t there supposed to be some kind of food at this shindig? And free booze or sumpin? And what in Papa’s name is this crap hanging on these walls? Please tell me this ain’t supposed to be art!”
Um. Yeah, that wasn’t that edifying.
Okay, so tomorrow I’ll say something kind and edifying about the fundies—who, thank God, are increasingly being seen as the radical fringe.
Seriously. I’ll do that tomorrow. Or maybe the next day.