Priorities, Priorities (Football vs Cancer)

We’ve got ISIS and Ebola, we’ve got protests in Hong Kong
We’ve got Ferguson Missouri, where the cops say, “move along”
ICU’s have children with enterovirus 68
And there’s virulence as metaphor—they call it #gamergate
There are wars across the planet; people dying every day
And the climate, half-forgotten, set to blow us all away
With so many needy causes, all so worthy of your prayers…
Could I focus your attention on a pair of millionaires?

She’s a model; he’s a quarterback (he’s really very good,
But last week, he didn’t have the game the critics thought he should)
As a pastor in Los Angeles, I know the couple well
So let’s pray for Tom’s successes! (as for ISIS, who can tell?
If Ebola is God’s judgment, who am I to disagree?)
But New England over Cincy? Won’t you pray along with me?
Oh… and tell the Bengal lineman—whose little girl has cancer—
There are times when you can pray and pray… but, sadly, God won’t answer.

I am ready to remove my eyes with a grapefruit spoon. As you might guess, I just watched the news. Light-hearted, human interest stuff, about a Los Angeles priest asking parishioners to join him in praying for someone who needs their help. Tom Brady, quarterback of the New England Patriots. Multimillionaire, married to millionaire supermodel, incredibly talented, well-practiced athlete, part of a veritable machine of a team that simply does not lose two in a row. Clearly, someone in need of God’s help.

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The Patriots did win (yay, God!). Which means, of course, the team with the guy whose daughter is battling cancer lost (boo, God!). Which means God works in mysterious ways, or some shit.

But holy fuck, ABC News, your headline: Did Divine Intervention lead Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady to Victory?

Clearly, the Christian religion is under attack in America, in danger of disappearing from the public arena. Well, with the minor exception of EVERYWHERE.

(note…. today’s verse originally was planned to have active links for each topic, pointing you to stories on ISIS, on Ebola, on Ferguson, etc. But frankly, it got far too depressing. So I took them out. You wanna be depressed? Search for yourself.)

Atheism As A Religion: A Phenomenally Ignorant Book

Y’know what? Fuckit. I was going to write a verse for this one, but it honestly doesn’t deserve one. Not even one of mine (which, I guarantee you, take less time and effort than most). See, my aggregator tells me there is a new book out: Athesim As A Religion: An introduction to the world’s least understood faith. By Mike Dobbins. If you follow the link, you can read an excerpt. If you do not follow the link, you can read the same excerpt here, along with my reaction to that excerpt. Honestly, I would rather you not give them the clicks, but if you have doubts, by all means click through and verify. [Read more...]

“Spiritual Home” Repairs

“Mormonism is my spiritual home,” she says.

“And if I see that my home needs renovations I invest in making it a better place.”

My windows need reglazing
And my plaster has a crack
The attic’s full of hornets—
There’s a big nest in the back—
The bathroom plumbing’s leaky
And I broke a couple stairs
But my home is still my home, and so
I’m making some repairs. [Read more...]

Demon-Spotting In The 21st Century

In the depths of my skull there’s a demon that’s schemin’,
Controlling my thinking—or that’s what I’m told
It’s why I have such a reliance on science,
And gave up on demons at seven years old
At least, that’s the story I’ll tell you—but well you
Might wonder if demons are crafting my lies
And each silly thing that I’m saying, they’re playing
A practical joke in their demon disguise

Psychologists look to the brain, to explain, you
Are acting because of some structural flaw;
They laugh at demonic possession—a session
Of therapy, rather than prayer, as a law.
But really, it’s demons! I’m haunted! I’ve taunted
Religion too often; I’m paying the price!
I’ll trust my online diagnosis; “neurosis”
Is anti-religious—a demon’s device! [Read more...]

Florida Church Cancels Funeral Of Married Gay Man

“I’m not trying to condemn anyone’s lifestyle…” –T. W. Jenkins, pastor at the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Tampa, FL
Translation: “I don’t have to try, after so many decades of practice.”

Julion’s death was expected
He’d been dying a number of years
Still, the end will leave none unaffected
And his husband shed plenty of tears

But the church where he was to be buried
Then found out that the dead man was gay
Worse than that, was the fact he was married
So they turned the man’s husband away

In this church, by this cross, ‘neath this steeple?
It could never be done, can’t you see?
Lest parishioners learn—gays are people
And the church is as wrong as can be [Read more...]