Friday, March 22, 2024

In Which We Go to Church

First let me emphasize, I WAS NOT EAVESDROPPING.  I was at Peet's, the best cafe in the world, and a couple of elderly queers sitting behind me were discussing how to get more kids to come to church in very clarion tones. What was I supposed to do, stick my fingres in my ears?  I was immediately not on their side.  If the youth of today are not interested in what you're selling, maybe, I don't know, stop harassing them?

They had a number of plans, or maybe just concepts, the most effective sounding of which was to utilize peer pressure.  I'm not editorializing, they used that specific phrase.  Did they think these kids are unaware of religion?  That they could explain "Jesus died for your sins blah blah blah" and the kids would fall in line?  "Sure count me in.  And tell Father Rafferty the next time he puts his hand down my pants I'm going to charge him 20 bucks."

There were numerous details hashed out so they were still sitting there when I got up and left and I got a good look at them.  For one thing, one of the elderly queers was an old lady with a deep voice, so oops.  Her fellow conspirator was a plump elf with one of those beards that doesn't go down far enough past his jawbone to be convincing.  He was the one who pronounced the word "teenager" a little too enthusiastically.

My relation with church going is not nearly as traumatic as that of some gay men (or what these kids they were plotting against are probably in for.) My family was vaguely southern Baptists; one of my aunts told me when my father's mother decided the family needed to have a religion, she just looked around to see what flavor to pick and landed on the Baptists.

Southern Baptist is one of the most conservative of American Protestant sects.  They take the prohibition against false idols very seriously to the point where they have no stained glass, no statues, no icons, nothing to look at when you're a board little kid and the guy at the front is droning on and on.  I had no idea what was going on, my entire religious education consisted of "Shut up and sit down." Unlike other religions, Baptist do not have communion every week, but occasionally, for no reason I understood, the church would break out stale crackers and grape juice, because Baptist forbid drinking alcohol. I thought we were just having snacks.

Eventually, when I was about 11, I got baptized.  Everybody else my age was doing it, even Blake Lively, so I figured whathehell and signed up for it. Baptists do not baptize babies, you have to go through some indoctrination before they let you into their pyramid scheme.  There was a big tub behind the altar, big enough for the preacher and me both to stand in.  He asked if I took the lord for my savior and I answered somewhere between "yeah sure" and "I guess so" which seemed good enough for him so he grabbed me and shoved me under the water.

Growing up on the Gulf Coast I had spent plenty of time in swimming pools with hooligans who dunked me and this was just as pleasant.  My mother said I came up spluttering with my eyes huge.  Well duh.  Didn't you see that guy try to drown me?  That preacher went on to become the mayor of the nasty little town I grew up in and I vaguely remember later some scandal involving him like all good Southern Baptists eventually indulge in.

The only other thing I really remember from my churchly days was my grandmother taking me to a revival.  Revivals are when some traveling preacher would set up a big tent and preach and carry on.  The church I was familiar with was blandly suburban, pretty much no different from all the other Protestants in town, but these guys were the real deal.  They were one small step away from snake handlers and speaking in tongues.  I was astonished by it all.  It was at night and there were bright bare bulbs strung overhead and seating was just boards on top of milk crates.  I have never been to a carny side show, but whenever I read about them the image of that evening comes vividly to mind.

Anyway, my little brother died and my grandmother attempted to console my mother by telling her Jesus loved him so much, he took him "home" which sounds like pedophilia to me, but whatever.  The whole thing went over with my mother about as well as you would expect and that was pretty much the end of mrpeenee and the Baptists.  It was okay with me, they didn't have those snacks nearly often enough and they weren't really that good anyway.

Guys worth worshiping:

Hallelujah.


The blonde hotness of David Cihacek.


Jesus wannabe.


Kurt Beckman, and proud of it.


Liam Jolley, for whom I would get on my knees to worship in a heartbeat.


I like your hat, but those socks and sandals have got to go.


I have decided to start my own church, Our Lady of Perpetual Big Wieners.


17 comments:

  1. How is this all news to me?

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    Replies
    1. Maybe you weren't paying attention when I was whining about it all.

      Delete
  2. I'm very grateful that religion isn't particularly pushed in the UK. And that Church fetes are actually rather yummy occasions with proper tea, cakes, and bunting.
    We did have dodgy nuns in the place where I grew up, and I was warned to avoid them.
    Sx

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  3. I would be keen as mustard to join Our Lady of Perpetual Big Wieners, hang the house maid's knee! I was christened a Methodist (whatever that is) simply because the building looked like a bingo hall than a church and it was located on a busy shopping street.

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    Replies
    1. I envision people randomly dropping in and being disappointed that there was no bingo.

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  4. Consider me a congregant at Our Lady of Perpetual Big Wieners! If I am going to be anointed with any kind of fluids, I know which I'd prefer... Jx

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  5. Lord, save us from those old-time religions!

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  6. I got catholic to death. What a mind fuck.

    It’s the Infomaniac blog 18th anniversary today. Last year’s post about it being the 17th is still up.

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    Replies
    1. I just left a comment to that effect over at MJ's but it's obviously "awaiting moderation". The old dear's probably having a "Nanna nap" - and has been for the past twelve months! Jx

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    2. She’s replied. Mission accomplished.

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    3. I've been waiting all year to comment snarkily about her anniversary.

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  7. Hey girl, Nice to see you again. Bitch.

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  8. That last stud seems to be checking the firmness oh his sausage : )

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