Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In Which I Piss Off the South

So I go to this wedding the other day. It was held in a nice older and established Baptist Church in Tulsa. Everything is going fine until the preacher starts talking. And I have this huge urge to get up and walk out in disgust!
Whoa, don't get me wrong here, I can usually work with anybody, put up with most things and tolerate differences in opinion. And, I need to add, this guy never said anything to offend me. It was all about his method.
OK, see the way I understand it, a preacher, minister, whatever-the-hell you call him (no she preachers for Baptists) should be a teacher. But Baptists don't teach so much as... and I am really struggling to understand this myself... as force judgements upon others. You know, if you don't think abortion is murder, you can't be Christian. If you don't think Clinton was the most vile human ever, you can't be Christian. If you don't think all gay people should be treated as sex offenders and placed on a list and not allowed to work in public, you are not Christian. No matter what you do, if you are not just like me, you are not Christian. And I will ALWAYS be more Christian than you, so nana-boo-boo!!
There is hardly a Baptist wedding or funeral I have attended that I did not suspect would result in an alter call during the ceremony. Why? Because the fundamental drive behind the Baptist church is growth. SO they preach, not teach, they have a single single message... get thee unto a Baptismal font. Then they tell you if you don't believe as they do, you are a Unitarian, some kind of liberal free thinker that says sin is a judgment call and the bible is just a book and not a set of concrete rules to guide your life.
And I have spent the majority of my life buying into that philosophy. I hated it! All my friends around here are Baptists, and I mean good close friends I have know for decades if not all my life! People I love and respect and yet as soon as I hear a Baptist message, my skin begins to crawl and my mind screams "This just aint right!"
So, as I have probably mentioned a few times, this past Easter my family and I changed churches. It was not a spur of the moment thing. I had been pushing for a change for years, but it's difficult to leave. Mrs. Y2K and I were married in the church, both kids were baptized there, it was a fixture in our lives. But fuck it, we decided to change.
So we go to the Presbyterian Church and this chick comes out in a robe and starts the Easter service and the jaws in our pew were dropping. A woman minister?!! Cool! And there was not a single alter call seeking to reaffirm your already affirmed faith to show you were more Christian this week than you were last week because that is all that is important... that and bragging about you past life of sin. NO WAY! In fact, there was this service about crap that was actually in the Bible and ways it can be interpreted, both literally and figuratively. Figuratively....? What the f....?!! Holy Shit Batman, this church is about learning, and reading and interpreting and... and... and... it was cool.
So now I am all cool and actually enjoying church for now. Something I never would have thought possible. NOBODY KNOWS I BLOG!! shhhh! It'll be our little secrete, ok? Although I do wonder if, at some point, there will ever be a sermon on the great level of satisfaction one can reach by screaming the "F" word? This place just fits me and I can't imagine why it doesn't fit everybody.
But the other week we were in a service and there was a new family in the back. Like us they had walked in, looking for a better fit. Things were going great right up until the Minister said something about the Bible is not literal, Gays are humans, or abortion is a choice everybody has to make... it might not have been any of those... and in fact probably wasn't, but I can remember what I fuckin like, so fuck you! Anyway, it was a more tolerant view towards life that was mentioned, and this family in the back snorted disgust and the mother got up, grabbed her kid by the arm and stomped out dragging a bewildered kid behind her. I hope she made it to the church she meant to go to before the end of the alter call so she can share how she was such a better Christian than everybody else because she got to pass her some judgement.

1 comment:

LexSentry said...

This is not the south-it's something else entirely. I was raised Baptist in the deep south and while they preached up a storm and loved to raise the spirit, slam dunk you to cleanse your soul and all of that monkey-butter-I never got the "gay agenda sermon, the vote for GW sermon or any of those "spirit killing" diatribes so popular in this state. Southerners had some perspective on what religion was for and what it was not. Are sins we equal in the eyes of God and we were joyful in trying to get right every Sunday and left feeling blessed. My recent attention to OK politics has invariably led me straight to OK religion. Politics are hard enough but when you add a hefty dose of fanatiscim to the mix it becomes downright unbearable for a reasoning human to bear. You might enjoy my having a look at my repository where I stowe my dark thoughts about the matter along with other collections of discoveries that are taboo in this state's polite society. I DID vote for Ron Paul-so take that as a warning to you.


Lex Sentry