Sunday, February 24, 2008

"A Wild-Pack of Baptists" ™

Yes, I've discovered the accursed "trademark" symbol. Have I registered this phrase? Hell no! But it's mine, I found it under a pile of leaves one Autumn, long ago. A tiny elemental whispered in my ear and told to follow. Follow I did! It's mine. Consider this a statement of intellectual ownership, courtesy of our linguistic ability to infinitely generate different combinations-of-words.

What does it mean? Everyone's going to bring their luggage along, but I'd wager that most Americans know where this is coming from. If you've ever witnessed a Baptist or congregationalist sermon in the South, Michigan, or even just Southern Indiana or Ohio, you should know exactly what it means. It's a protestant thing, the source of the most extreme Christians since the Crusades. This peaked in the hysterical-fits of religious hysteria that the president was once stricken by at-the-height of his popularity during those first-days of the war in Iraq. We appeared very close to be taken-over by a theocratic threat to our most cherished liberties when the president began his "faith-based initiatives" and his bizarre claims that God was speaking to him. We no longer hear the latter claim.

I have watched Baptist sermons where the preacher did nothing but yell and berate these people, the self-loathing was palpable. It was a very depressing spectacle to have to watch, but what made it worse was knowing the sweating, shaking asshole was yelling at me too. I know there are "good" Christians out there, hiding somewhere from all the other Christians, no doubts here. It only takes a few bad-apples, as they say, to ruin the barrel. Looking at orthodox Christianity today, it isn't hard to come to the conclusion that the barrel needs to go, and that we've been using the wrong one for almost 2,000 years. Again, what if the barrel itself is rotten?

It's well-known in biblical scholarship that there are thousands of copying mistakes throughout the Bible, specifically in the New Testament. We know books were kept-out of the canon, namely the Gnostic Gospels and of other early sects of Christianity. What if a vital wisdom was left-out, even purposefully removed? Look, there are a lot of great things in the New Testament--so why the protestant fixation on the Old Testament? There is no point to a new one when you focus on the old one, it makes no sense. And frankly, Jesus was a revolutionary. Liberation theology is the real Christianity, not the lying timid barbarian versions held by Europeans.

The truth in the phrase I've concocted is that it's about specific religious extremists, namely extreme Baptists and your neck-of-the-woods protestant congregationalists. I stand by my firsthand-impressions of contact with many of these folks, and could tell you many other stories of the whack-jobs that I've borne witness to. If you've ever watched someone speaking-in-tongues, you know how truly bizarre, twisted, and terrifying it is. There is a real force behind it too, and it isn't benign, and it isn't "God." What's creepy is that you can feel it coming,
rising like a bony blackened demon from the infinite heart of a bloody-pentagram...