Wednesday, March 29, 2006
My God's Better Than Your God
Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Don't judge us by the headline on this post, because it's the exact opposite of what we believe.
News from the mega-church front.
For those of you just joining us, Anne's sister belongs to a mini-church with mega-aspirations. The church is run by a young, handsome, dynamic pastor and his earnest young wife.
This pastor used Anne's dad's funeral as an opportunity to deliver a sermon on the consequences of rejecting Christianity. He likened Heaven to a theme park, where you don't get in unless you have the cash to buy a ticket.
And since everyone in Sis's church knows about Anne and her faeries, Anne felt the sermon was aimed straight at her. Especially the part about Anne's father standing right behind God, weeping because all non-believers get assigned to Mr. Applegate's satellite office where there's no roller coasters or cotton candy.
(I just added the part about the roller coasters and the cotton candy. The rest is the straight scoop. And I should add that this pastor only met my dad four times, all of them after Dad's considerable skills as a debater had eroded.)
Yesterday Sis sent me an email informing me that her beloved pastor and his wife have decided to become missionaries.
This is bad news for the bored gods. Unless, of course, the beloved pastor and his wife have decided to go to Afghanistan.
You know what I'd love to see? I'd love to see some pastor like this trek deep into the Congo, interact with the citizens there, and come back to America transformed by the experience.
And by transformed, I mean converted to Chonganda's praise and worship team.
We at "The Gods Are Bored" stand in opposition to missionary work. I know it's inspired by the best intentions, but implicit in its goal is the idea that one deity is better than another and that people of another culture are ignorant and in need of enlightenment.
How can Chonganda compete with some motivated Methodist who has a light plane and can fly a pregnant woman with complications to a good hospital? It's an unfair playing field.
On the other hand, if that Methodist didn't tie any strings to the bargain, and let the woman continue in her native faith, we wouldn't object to that.
There's one consolation we can offer here at "The Gods Are Bored." Truly motivated cultural groups will either accept the plane rides and quietly continuing worshipping Conganda, graft their own worship onto Christianity (see the United Kingdom and its faeries, South America and its Saints parades), or just get a good pot of water boiling and cook those well-meaning missionaries for dinner.
We here at "The Gods Are Bored" would not endorse any deity who encourages serving puree of Christian missionary at a chic soiree. But some people get pretty miffed when their One True Religion is challenged, and the results can be ugly.
Do we have to offer examples of that, readers? We think not.
Postscript: This just in! Just off the phone with Sis. Watch out, Appalachian Greens! The earnest pastor is headed to Appalachia! Better hide that Budweiser, all you infidel heathens down there!
THE MERLIN OF BERKELEY SPRINGS
Artwork by an edgy young urban artist named Cy.