Monday, December 13, 2004

Can I Get An Amen?

My son and I were at Starbucks this Saturday morning when a man with a tattoo on his neck walked past us.

It said “Seek God.”

And what better method of proselytization is there than to evangelize in leaking permanent ink on top of one’s carotid?

Faith makes people do funny things:

• It makes them believe that faith-healers like Benny Hinn can genuinely cure old ladies of incontinence or leukemia or yeast infections just by touching them on the forehead and pushing them into the arms of a stagehand.
• It makes them tool around town on a 10-speed, wearing a short-sleeved white dress shirt and a black clip-on tie, asking folks if they’d like something to discuss The Word of Joseph Smith.
• It makes them strap explosives to their waists and blow themselves up in Jerusalem pizza parlors and on buses taking innocent people to work in Tel Aviv.
• It makes them send large sums of cash to televangelists who prance around on TV wearing fake eyelashes as long as Slurpee straws and enough AquaNet to punch a hole the size of Poughkeepsie in the ozone layer.
• It makes them invite family and friends to witness the ritual mutilation of their son’s penis, after which a buffet of lox and bagels and tuna fish is served.

What ever happened to the day when religious wackos just wore big crosses around their necks and those little God-inspired fish on their cars? Whatever happened to people walking through the supermarker singing “I don’t care if it rains or freezes as long as I’ve got my plastic Jesus riding on the dashboard of my car?”

Perhaps it’s my perception that has changed over the last decade. Maybe these weirdos have been in my midst all along and I have only recently become aware of the twisted shit that they do in the name of The Lord. Either way, I’m seeing an inordinate amount of religious fanaticism lately. And it scares me.

My son has entered a phase in his development where he wants to understand the reasons why people to things. Each new experience and observation begets an interrogation of Hot Wife and me. Why do people shoot guns? Why is bird poop white and black when people poop is just brown? Why do old people smell like fish? Why can’t he have a Snickers before bed? So when the inevitable question of why the man had a tattoo on his neck surfaced, I struggled mightily with an answer that was both accurate and consumable for a four-year-old.

“Well, bud,” I said, “you know how much you love ice cream? Well, some people love God as much as you love ice cream.”

“Yeah, daddy,” he said, “but does that mean I have to have ‘ice cream’ tattooed on my neck?”

“No. Definitely not. Your mother would kill me.”

“Well, then why does that man have God on his neck?”

“Because he’s crazy, son. He’s certifiably batshit. His elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top. He’s two fries short of a Happy Meal. See what I’m saying?”

“Yeah. Got it. Can I have some more chocolate milk?”

“No, bud.”

“Why not?”

“Because God says you’ve had enough.”


At 1:12 PM, Blogger Shiz said...

I went to a protestant youth group that encouraged fanatical behaviour, and now I am SO EMBARRASSED about the things I did, said, and believed. I didn't know any better. But still. I SO WISH I had.

I actually wore a t-shirt that said, in HUGE HUGE HUUUUGE READ-ME-NOW letters ...


I wore that shirt. TO SCHOOL.

HOLY CRAP. Thank God I've been converted. To NORMAL.

At 8:27 PM, Blogger Lola said...

God works in mysterious ways.

At 9:09 PM, Blogger drawdawn said...

great post. thanks for the laugh!

At 7:15 AM, Blogger Angry John Sellers said...

I have a tattoo on my right buttock that says "Yay!" Is that so wrong?

At 5:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it when some evangelizing yutz tries to quote Scripture to me. I'll nod and play along, then refer them to Deutoronomy, chapter 7. Specifically, the part that refers to stoning to death a person who tries to proselytize you.

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