1. Michael X says

    Sounds alot like my childhood. Save that when talking in tongues, my branch didn’t sound like it was repeatedly yelling out a twisted version of “Yabba Dabba Do!” Maybe they just have a dialect of bat shit insane that they speak? The world may never know.

  2. says


    I thought this line was going to be the best: “the majority of the parishioners refrained from using birth control, so there were always tons of kids around for us to play with”

    until I reached this one: “Bugga bugga boo! Oh, I love you Jesus! Yada gabba doodle boo boo wak!”

    The madness of theism in two sentences, really.

  3. Todd says

    Pentacostals are indeed a hoot. The newer ones that aren’t quite so fuddy duddy as the United Pentacostals are the best. Go when they have some sappy Christian “rock” band playing and you can watch people get all weepy, waving their hands in the air, and whispering praise Jesus over and over. That’s the optimal time to start a mosh pit. Ah yes, fun times.

  4. RamblinDude says

    I can really relate to this.

    I was taken to a few Pentecostal, or somesuch whatever when I was young. I about freaked out when I saw a lady speaking in tongues. If you’ve never seen someone really getting into it–it is bizarre and fascinating.

    I do think it was then that I began to suspect religion was theatre.

  5. Canuck says

    I laughed out loud reading that. Hilarious. I couldn’t keep a straight face in one of those sessions.

  6. Brendan S says

    My friend in college was a linguistics major,a nd he went to speak-in-tongues church a few times, and everyone that knew he was an Liguistics major wouldn’t speak in tongues around him because they were afraid they would do it wrong. I’ve never seen a pastor look so embarassed.

  7. ancientTechie says

    When I was in elementary school, my cousin lived across the street from a “Holy Roller” church. On summer weekends, while our parents played canasta in the kitchen, we sat on her front stoop and watched the goings-on through the church’s open doors. The yelling, dancing and rolling about proved tremendously entertaining: better than TV.

  8. says

    I have been to many Pentecostal churches as well as churches of related denomination and non-denominational churches. I have never, ever heard of anyone being discouraged from wearing deodorant.

    Oh, I’m an atheist now, but I can still speak in tongues. But it’s not just making shit up. It’s a weird kind of meditative state and automatic speaking. You just don’t actually make up words, the sounds just flow out of your subconscious. It’s very weird.

    Anyway, from a kid’s perspective, the rest of this is pretty much exactly like what I remember when I was young.

  9. ltj says

    i think the funniest part was all the religious themed advertisements on the page…

  10. MAJeff, OM says

    Damn, now my youthful years in the Christian Reformed and Methodist church’s was even more boring. We never got to see farm animal panties.

  11. yoyo says

    Violent acres is a good writer particularly when she writes about her very abusive mother, however she’s to the right of attila the hun on most things and recently wrote a piece calling atheists stupid and smug.

  12. says

    I guess the thing I want to say
    Is frikkum glett bjoolicki smei–
    You’ll know that I am most sincere
    When Hapjia kseppi! hits your ear.
    I know that angels understand
    Mnezxixchi qladdo phthleckmo chand,
    Blichunixt prosschat! Zyp ghysmuk!
    Plizun Tressandit ouad’dephuk?
    Maieerz Kenteichma xmorra d’ys
    And all is right, and nowt amiss.

  13. Bride of Shrek says

    I used to nurse in an aged care facility and one of the nurses I was oftened paired with was a full on rabid, speaking in tongues, pentecostal. He was a pain in the arse to be paired with for a shift because he spent the whole 9 hours trying to give you leaflets, get you to attend church with him and basically do the whole conversion thing. Unfortunately he was also a damn good nurse and although the higher up knew nobody realy wanted to work with him and he was an annoying twat they wouldn’t sack him.

    Their solution? Well as I said we were an aged care facility and the ward I was in was high care phycial level ie most had fine mental awareness but were physically destroyed by strokes etc. However there was also a full ward of high level dementia patients who were physically fine and enjoyed chatting and interacting as much as anybody, they just had little awareness of what they were chatting about. Walla, they transferred him to that ward and it was win/win all around. The dementia patients had someone who had the patience to listen to them talk all day (quite often about sheer nonsense) and he had an audience for his godbpot speeches ( which of course they took no notice of). The nursing home got to retain a technically great nurse and we got him the hell out of our faces on our ward.

    I must admit I was always curiously aboutr the talking in tongues thing though. Is it for real? Are they actually saying an ything? Is it just a stream of consciousness nonsense?

  14. anonymous says

    I was directed to your website from thepiratebay… it said you were invited to defend evolutionary thought on ‘Expelled’. Supposedly, I was supposed to find some real “science” here. But I can’t find any, is this just an old jaded man’s opinion on why he’s more intelligent than the rest of the world? Can you cite any papers that you’ve published? Do you have any reviewers who are willing to step up and defend the academic integrity of those papers? Thanks.

  15. Rebecca Harbison says

    Anonymous @ #17, I managed to pull up P. Z. Myers’s academic writings within 15 seconds on Google Scholar. Here, I’ll even paste you the link:

    Presumably the editors and co-authors of those papers would be willing to defend the academic integrity of those papers, as well as many scientists citing them. So, I’d say under an hour’s work would answer your question.

    In conclusion: Lurk More.

  16. RamblinDude says

    I was also brought up in mostly boring churches. Dancing about and foaming at the mouth was generally frowned on in the Church of the Brethren.

    The church of the Nazarene wasn’t much better. The most exciting it ever got was some guest pastor ranting about the horrors of eternal hell fire, and a lot of fevered praying afterward.

    I don’t remember the church we went to where they tried to cast out demons, but that got pretty trippy.

  17. says

    Supposedly, I was supposed to find some real “science” here. But I can’t find any

    Use the ‘search’ function at the top, just like any other aspect of the internet, you lying, dishonest, piece of shit, fucking coward.


    Are the True Pentacostals™ the ones who speak in tongues, or the ones who fake it?

  18. sailor says

    “Violent acres is a good writer particularly when she writes about her very abusive mother, however she’s to the right of attila the hun on most things and recently wrote a piece calling atheists stupid and smug.”

    Whatever her politics, that was one really funny and good article.

  19. Arnaud says


    She also wrote a post explaining that opinion in more details and I can only say “bingo!”.

    Violent Acres is probably not for everybody’s taste but she can be incredibly funny, harrowing, right and infuriating in the same post. You don’t have to agree with her to read her, you don’t even have to agree with her to have fun reading her but you would be a fool if, having read her for a while and enjoyed it, you suddenly stopped because she called atheists snobs.

    Hey! I am a bit of a snob too in any case! And often snug as well. I hope I am not stupid but I probably would not be able to tell…

  20. Jose says

    I was never part of a Pentecostal church, but as a child I was repeatedly suckered into attending pentacostalish (I actually have no clue what denomination they were) events. The funniest occurred when I was in tenth grade and a friend told me he had free tickets to go to a ZZ Top concert. Now, I was no ZZ Top fan, but free is a pretty good price. I should have realized something was up when my friend asked me to meet him in the parking lot of his church. We then piled into a van with other church members and hit the road. Shockingly, on the way, no one was talking about ZZ Top, but instead everyone was talking about this awesome Christian rap group named DC Talk. Now, this might not be totally accurate because I was busy punching my friend at the time, but when this rap juggernauted came on stage the first guy announced “I’m Vanilla, because I’m a white guy.” The second guy said “They call me Chocolate because I’m black guy!” And the third guy said “I’m a white guy, but I act like a black guy, so I’m known as Swirl!” That’s Hardcore.

    I’d like to add that on this occasion I wasn’t actually suckered into going. My friend was just an idiot.

  21. says

    I grew up Catholic, so my experience could not have been more different. There, the services are so staggeringly boring, it’s a wonder I didn’t and up drooling. And I think it’s a sign of what the Catholic Church wants in its followers: an even greater degree of unthinking obedience than what you find in most religions. Thank FSM I escaped.

    Dr. Myers, thanks for the laughs, though. Reading about those kids makes me hopeful for the future.

  22. QrazyQat says

    And I think it’s a sign of what the Catholic Church wants in its followers: an even greater degree of unthinking obedience than what you find in most religions.

    There are many different paths to unthinking, and for every one there is a religion.

  23. Michael X says

    Bride O’

    Is it just a stream of consciousness nonsense?


    There is slightly more to it than that though. Aside from Violent Acres wrote I’ve never heard (in person or on TV) any group use such rough sounding combinations as ‘wak’. It’s more of a rolling nonsense and not so much a hard final-consonant nonsense. Heavy on long vowels and big on repetition. Like: “Ah-shanda-raka-coto-bobo”

    I know it sounds strange to go into detail on such inanity, but there is a learned component to it. You try to make the same sound combinations as those around you. So it’s not just plain ol’ nonsense of the utterly random variety. In fact had someone like Violent Acres ever uttered a word like ‘nigger’ while attempting to speak in tongues in any of the churches I went to (or the popular ones on t.v.) she would have been met with a raised eyebrow. Not because anyone was paying attention to the heinous word itself mind you, but more the fact that she had used a hard-R.

  24. says

    It was never as exciting attending a Catholic mass service as a Pentecostal tongue-wagging fest, but we had our moments. When I was a kid, the pastor in our parish used to denounce us in stark terms as “California priest killers.” My parents secretly tape-recorded him once to entertain some Protestant friends with his sermon. It was rather wild. Of course, I can never be president because our pastor inspired us with terrorist sentiments. [Link]

  25. Jose says

    This might fall into the “You had to be there” category, but I can assure you that it was funnier than my experience at a ZZ Top concert. Anyway, both my brother and I were suckered into a different pentacostalish youth gathering. The preacher was the loud, aggressive type of crazy Christian, and seeing an unfamiliar face, paused in the middle of his rant, pointed at my brother and screamed “Have you been saved!” My stunned brother threw his hands in the air and simply said “Dude, I don’t know”. Somehow, that was the funniest thing I have ever heard. I could not stop laughing for at least fifteen minutes. I actually felt bad for my inability to take the proceedings seriously, and afterwards apologized to for my uncontrolled laughter. The universal reaction was something like “Oh no, you have nothing to apologize for. When the spirit takes hold, you have no control over what happens to you.”

  26. says

    I know someone who regularly attends Pentecostal services just for the laughs. I’d do it too, at least once or twice, if there were any such churches near me.

  27. freelunch says

    Violent acres is a good writer particularly when she writes about her very abusive mother, however she’s to the right of attila the hun on most things and recently wrote a piece calling atheists stupid and smug.

    Of course she basically said she was atheist:

    I, myself, have not been able to claim belief in a higher power for many, many years. However, I can still see the value in Religion. Perhaps growing up without a strong parental figure in my life made me recognize the possible value of a loving Father figure up in the sky watching out for me. And hey, I try my best not forget that sometimes we all need something to believe in.

    and followed it up with The Biggest Snob of All, about herself.

  28. speedwell says

    My mom used to go to a sort of Pentacostal-y church, years ago. One time I was visiting her for the weekend from music school, and that Friday night the preacher asked me if I’d stand in for the choir soloist, who was out sick that weekend. I was a Christian at the time and flattered by the request, so I said sure. That Sunday, as I was sitting up in the front of the church, behind the preacher in the choir seating, I had a great view of the congregation. The gal next to me, a friend of my mother’s, whispered to me not to be startled if I saw someone speak in tongues. “Wow,” I thought, “this is going to be a show.”

    I’m still not sure whether I should have been disappointed or not. Midway through the sermon, a tall, distinguished gentleman in his sixties stood up with his Bible held demurely in front of him in both hands, looked around for a second, squared his shoulders, and calmly poured forth a stream of random syllables, exactly as though he was addressing the Board of Directors of a major oil company. When he was finished, he paused, said “Thank you,” and sat down. I caught myself wondering whether he had really been speaking English and I had some sort of minor aphasic seizure. Talk about anticlimactic.

  29. Josh in California says

    V is indeed very funny, but I decided to stop reading her “atheists are snobs” post. You might say it’s a case of the pot calling the kettle black, but I try to be more specific than that when I’m criticizing something. Even ignoring that, her arguments were pretty weak in my opinion.

  30. Tulse says

    Off-topic: It looks like Expelled is circling the drain — it only brought in an estimated $302,000 this weekend, bringing its total to $7.2 million. It can only expect about another $120,000 or so next week, and given how quickly it is losing screens and it per-screen take is dropping, and given that the next Narnia film is opening next weekend, it may not even make $7.5 million by the time it exits the theatres.

  31. Rick T says

    I was raised Pentecostal and have heard it all. Tongues and interpretation of tongues and plain old vanilla, prophesy. It’s interesting to note that when someone gives a message in tongues then someone else may feel the spirit move him or her to interpret the message and did you know the Holy Spirit speaks in King James English? Yes, I’ve heard it many times. My mom gave messages in tongues all the time and she would always say “randa la shanda” over and over. Then Brother Smith would interpret the most elaborate old English message from God that never did repeat a single phrase. I often wondered why my Mom said only one thing repeatedly and the old English version ended up being something like “Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden and I will give thee rest. Thou art the sheep of my pasture and blah, blah, etc.”
    Anyway, I got filled with the spirit at about 12 years of age at an old fashioned camp meeting with saw dust on the dirt floor. I said it was old fashioned. My grandma was so proud of me that she gave me 5 dollars as a reward so I could treat myself to an ice-cream cone.
    Yah, that church had a lot of drama. You should have heard the testimonial part of the service. God answered all kinds of prayer and some of the youth would always be “backsliding” and then “getting right with God later”. Once, old lady Mount began one of her testimonies and it morphed into a pray request for some lady and her sick boyfriend. The preacher’s wife leaned over to my mom and said “that sounds just like what’s been happening on General Hospital. I think she’s getting that TV program confused with real life”. Well just to be on the safe side and also not to offend the old girl we prayed fervently for God to intervene anyway.
    One last story. My dad always led song service and after Sunday school the kids would run around like monkeys. One child always seemed to be sporting loose diapers and this fine day had let a little land mine roll out onto the stage. My dad came up to prepare to start the service with song and happened to step on this little turd. His face turned from solemn reverence to horrified disgust in an instant and not wanting to lead the song service with a stinky growler on his shoe had to walk off the stage and down the isle to the back of the church and try to maintain some form of dignity. He couldn’t quite keep the gross disgusted look off his face though and he had my Mom laughing so hard while watching him walk on the toe of his foot so as not to spread kid shit all over the church floor.
    I don’t know if the brothers and sisters thought she was laughing in the spirit or not but her laughter could have passed for such, it was of that caliber.
    Good times when you’re too young to reason.

  32. says

    That speaking in tongues thing is more sad than funny for me. A bunch of people were doing it at my Confirmation class. Funny stuff, but since I knew many of these people (not well though) it was kind of depressing.

  33. Bride of Shrek says

    Ok, this is off topic ( well its about mad christians so maybe not), but I just HAD to share. Champagne comedy gold ( albeit unintentional). I hadn’t realised the illuminati and the fundamentalist christians were mortal enemies apparently out to “fake rapture” each other- with frickin laser beams no less.

  34. Mirthstrike says

    V comes right out and self-identifies as an atheist in the first paragraph of her Ann Coulter post.

  35. says

    I feel like writing up my own account of this, but won’t because I can’t remember all that much about pentecostal churches.

    But I can say this much: what that guy said is completely true.

    We went to pentecostal services from the years 2001-2003 (eleven to thirteen) and it was crazy. It started out so damn nice, everyone being buddies and shit… then at the end people were screaming! I almost felt like joining in, let me tell you!

    PZ, if you ever need some fun during a time you’re bored, there’s nothing like pentecostal churches. Seriously. Go forth and laugh your ass off. You can bring a laptop and do some blogging while you’re there. Just sit in the back where no one gives a shit!

    Also, linked to the guy’s post on my FaceBook group;

  36. JamesR says

    Hitchicking in the 70’s. I was picked up by one of these types. He claimed to speak in tongues. I meanwhile translated. He had nothing to say, I assure you. Amma comma sonnoa kan. It’s all just gibbertish.



  37. arachnophilia says

    as a former member of a pentecostal church, i am not amused.

    maybe this person found it funny as a child, but that is a rare coping mechanism, and one only available to a child who has been raised reasonably rationally to a certain age prior to that point. forcing young children into pentecostal churches is child abuse, in my view. might as well be a cult for the damage it can do.

  38. Mobius says

    When I was 5, my uber-religious mother took me to a Pentecostal tent meeting. At least, I assume it was Pentecostal because all the activities match the description in the article. There were people writhing around, speaking in tongues and all that.

    Even at 5, I thought this was the craziest thing I had ever seen. Still do.

    I think this was too much even for uber-religious Mom. We went back to a more conventional Baptist church without all of the exceptional weirdness.

  39. says

    Pentecostalism is nothing more than an intentional confusion of religion and emotional overload, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a Pentecostal church made for a perfect petri dish for studying crowd psychology.

    I mean, look at Benny Hinn. He wouldn’t know doctrine if it rapped him on the knuckles with a ruler, and yet he all but hypnotizes whole audiences into forking over the cash. It’s all about getting people to ride the wave, so much more so if you can start a feedback loop and let them keep it going on their own.

  40. SEF says

    Not only are the religious people faking talking-in-tongues (as I expect most readers here already know) but they’re doing it wrong even from the biblical point of view. The original idea of T-i-T is that anyone could understand what the speaker was saying, despite having a different native language, not that no-one could understand what the speaker was saying, even if they allegedly spoke the same language; nor that self-appointed special people were required to “translate” or “interpret” the nonsense for everyone else.

  41. says

    Supposedly, I was supposed to find some real “science” here. But I can’t find any . . .

    Seriously? It just flew up and bit you on the butt. You didn’t notice?

  42. Flamethorn says

    Oh, now I want to get a bunch of people together and memorize every single chant and strange word out of Lovecraft and then all visit a Pentecostal church. Who’s with me?


  43. One Eyed Jack says

    I’ve seen people speak in tongues and I always wondered… how do they tell the difference between being filled with the “Holy Ghost” and your average demonic possession? if you’re not told which is which, they really look the same.

    Perhaps a portion of those religious moments are just some of Satan’s boys having a little fun.


  44. Andreas Johansson says

    Maybe I was too old by the time I first ran into charismatics, but I found them scary rather than funny.

  45. Holydust says

    When I was a teenager and still identifying as Christian (raised Baptist), I stayed the night with a friend in the next town over and the next morning I was dragged to her church. I didn’t know it was a Pentacostal church (nor did I know what that meant).

    When people started shaking tambourines, falling on the floor and shouting in tongues, I pretty much froze to my seat in pure, unadulterated fear. The experience terrified me.

    When I finally got home and told my father, who was also Baptist, he was furious. He asked me in an incredulous tone if it was “a charismatic church” and I was like, “I guess”. My dad wasn’t having any of that and told me it would be best to stay away from those folks.

    So I guess it was a question of the lesser of two evils, really. :) At least I had some perspective after that.

  46. JohnnyJohnJohn says

    Some relatives of mine go to a church where “speaking in tongues” occasionally happens to some people, and others (with that “special gift”) translate for everyone else.
    All was well, until a visitor came and prayed, and one of the “tongue translators” (led naturally by the holy spirit, one of the big three) translated his words for the rest of the gathered faithful.

    It transpired pretty quickly that the visitor was Spanish and had been praying in spanish, and the translation accuracy .. can you guess? .. zero points :o)

    Strangely, although this led my relatives to consider how this particular translator might be “deceiving himself” (trans: batshit crazy), it hasn’t encouraged them to reflect on the central overwhelming craziness of the rest of their beliefs.
    (a small OT example
    – they accept that in the bible god DOES order genocide ..
    (which I thought was a step in the right direction)
    – BUT if god orders it and HE is good then
    – the genocide ordered by him must be good too ….
    – Simple eh? and all logical!
    … Pause for brain melting out of ears …)

    “The Bible. Bringing you moral genocide, reasonable rape and good slavery since whenever”

  47. says

    @ Flamethorn, in # 51:

    The church does indeed sound like a place where a Cthulhu cultist would feel at home:

    Only poetry or madness could do justice to the noises heard by Legrasse’s men as they ploughed on through the black morass towards the red glare and the muffled tom-toms. There are vocal qualities peculiar to men, and vocal qualities peculiar to beasts; and it is terrible to hear the one when the source should yield the other. Animal fury and orgiastic licence here whipped themselves to demoniac heights by howls and squawking ecstasies that tore and reverberated through those nighted woods like pestilential tempests from the gulfs of hell. Now and then the less organized ululations would cease, and from what seemed a well-drilled chorus of hoarse voices would rise in singsong chant that hideous phrase or ritual:

    “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn.”

    Or “gabba gabba gooo, ba ba booga booo”?

    That old atheist H.P. Lovecraft did know his stuff.

  48. Dancaban says

    Anyone fancy opening a book on Sister Ruth for the next sighting of “Fauna of the Farm” panties series?

    Best laugh since Brain Blessed on HIGNFY.

  49. Nick Gotts says

    Re Bride of Shrek @ 41 – Thanks! I LOL, and forwarded the URL to my sister-in-law, who’s a connoisseur of religious nuttery.

  50. AC says

    I have been to many Pentecostal churches as well as churches of related denomination and non-denominational churches. I have never, ever heard of anyone being discouraged from wearing deodorant.

    I work with one of these guys. From the smell, it appears he doesn’t even wash his armpits.

    Beats the hell out of proselytizing though.

  51. JJR says

    Slightly O.T., Although I never took Church seriously (raised Presbyterian, but had a science teacher dad) I have to admit a little envy towards the Baptists and their full immersion baptisms. As a kid I thought that was way cooler than getting sprinkled on the head with a few drops in our church, which I thought was lame by comparison.

    I never attended a Pentecostal service–I knew about them, wanted nothing to do with that level of crazy.

    In later life, I attended a Catholic service once. A Catholic friend with me told me non-Catholics didn’t have to join in in all the kneeling bit, so I just sat in the pew for those parts, just standing up when everyone else did, but ignoring the kneeling bits.

    I remember a few events in High School that were kind of funny, related to religion. I was once shanghaied into attending a Christian stand-up comic’s act, held in the Field House of our school district…I remember laughing at all the non-religious material (he was actually pretty good with the jokes and comedic timing), but the religious pitch and sermon I remember nothing of; I either tuned out or was still inwardly chuckling at the jokes or both.

    Later, I attended a charismatic Baptist service in a brand spanking new church (I seemed to recall they had their own gift shop), and the headline event were a trio of evangelical Pro-wrestling muscle-men types, performing feats of strength and calling on the audience to pray for them to ensure their success…like lying on a bed of nails, etc, which I knew was fakery, again thanks to my science teacher dad, knew the scientific principles as to why it worked and that audience prayer had shit all to do with it. I found the pitch so repellent it just disgusted me. It was not long after that, while still in High School, that I became more up front and open about my atheism.

  52. afallingbomb says

    I made the most unfortunate mistake of dating a Pentecostal and attending one service with her. I was trying to be supportive. Now I’ve done my best to stay neutral and politically correct in accepting people believing such nonsense for many years but this really did it for me. It follows…

    On the day I attended her church, a “famous prophet” showed up to give the sermon. There were no speaking in tongues that day (darn) but what happened turned to out to be the worst child abuse I’ve witnessed in person. Halfway through he asked for all the youth in the room to come to the front and line up in size order. He went to the shortest (and the youngest, he was about 7) asked for his name and made some small talk about his favorite toys or TV shows for a minute and then eagerly placed his hand to the little boys head. He repeated a few, what seemed to me, standard prayers and pushed the boy back by his head into the arms of an assistant waiting behind him. He then turned to the crowd (and the boys parents) and told them what his son will become in the future… guess what it was… a pastor. Now if that scene wasn’t enough… his parents, sitting a few seats from me, turned to each other and said “we’ll call the school Monday and get him into the program”. This continued through the rest of the kids (about 15)… 7 of them were told that they would become pastors. Children’s lives were being molded by the whim of a fraud a few feet from me. I grabbed my things and walked out. The last words I heard from this prophet were “come next Sunday and I’ll have classes for people who want to learn to be a prophet… pricing is on the flyer. It is only materialistically expensive but think of the benefits and how happy the Lord will be.”

    FSM help us all. We need you more than ever.

  53. gir says

    V is at her best when she’s telling stories from her past. This is one of my favorite posts.

  54. AAB says

    When growing up in a mostly orthodox christian environment Pentecostalism was starting to creep in the society. Of course the orthodox christians hated them (they still do where I am from). I remember we the kids were warned that if you get close to the pentecostals they will possess you with their bad spirits etc… I thought it was BS back then and I find it hilarious now that these two groups hate each other. I also had pentecostal friends in high school that were always asking me to go to church with them. I ended up arguing with them about religion etc.. that over time I ended up an atheist. I guess for someone who can see the rediculessness of religion it is all funny ..

  55. RT says

    “Damn, now my youthful years in the Christian Reformed and Methodist church’s was even more boring.”

    Ha, tell me about it.

    We went to the Pentecostal church down the road once as a change. It was just like this. Normally sane people I knew from school and shops would do the craziest gibberish.

    By this time I’d kind of got disenchanted with Methodism, and religion in general, and the whole thing scared the shit out of me. I was in the front row, where they’d put me, with no means of escape, thinking “If they find out I’m an atheist, they’ll rip me to pieces”. It was THAT sort of atmosphere.

  56. arachnophilia says

    @SEF (#49):

    Not only are the religious people faking talking-in-tongues (as I expect most readers here already know) but they’re doing it wrong even from the biblical point of view. The original idea of T-i-T is that anyone could understand what the speaker was saying, despite having a different native language, not that no-one could understand what the speaker was saying, even if they allegedly spoke the same language; nor that self-appointed special people were required to “translate” or “interpret” the nonsense for everyone else.

    “tongues” is kind of designed to obscure the meaning. in the book of acts, the apostles are given the gift of “speaking in tongues” specifically so they can evangelize to a multi-lingual crowd that did not speak their language(s). “tongue” means “language” and they are speaking in languages they did not know themselves. the idea was that they could then communicate the gospel to an accepting crowd and overcome a language barrier.

    babbling within the confines of a church is clearly not the same thing. at all. what i’ve always wanted to do, from my days in such churches, is come back to “babble” in a real language. say, for example, hebrew. see if they could tell the difference. i’m willing to bet that not only could they not, but they wouldn’t recognize the language the majority of the bible was written in.

    in any case, i don’t think “faking” is the right word exactly. i think they’re convinced it’s real, for the most part, and do it out of social pressure and group-think. same story with the falling down business.

  57. says

    To One Eyed Jack (#52):

    I often wondered the same thing when I was a kid. My mom made me go to Pentacostal services every so often because my stepdad-at-the-time’s family went there. This is from a short response I wrote on my blog:

    When the people got up and started shouting and running around the room, it really frightened me. I remember wondering if the people were, you know, conscious of their actions. When my stepdad explained that they’d been filled with the Holy Ghost, it made me think of those horror movies where young girls are possessed by evil demons. I didn’t want to be filled with a Holy Ghost, or any ghost, and I would fight with my mom about not wanting to go to church, although I don’t think I was old enough to tell her why.

  58. Arnaud says

    A little extract from Violent Acres:

    A few days later, we’re on our way to the wedding, gift in hand, praying that there is an open bar. The family is very religious, so the ceremony will be held in a church. Apparently, there is a lot of kneeling involved, but I feel like if I can get away without actually eating any Christ (I will absolutely not mind drinking the blood, however), then I’ll be fine. I make my husband promise me that if Christ is passed around for our consumption, he will jump on the grenade and eat my Christ for me.

    What’s not to like?

  59. says

    Gee … and I spent Sundays on the golf course with my dad. Yikes … what was I thinking??


  60. Ichthyic says

    Who’s with me?

    count me out (too busy working for Dagon), but I’m sure Cthulhu appreciates the sentiment.

    May you and yours be eaten first!

  61. Ego Christophe says

    Man! I was reading it at the office (during a very small break, Boss forgive me) and I had to restrain myself hard not to laugh out loud! Funniest story I read in months!

  62. Chili Pepper says

    My wife has told me that it was pretty rough being the only teenager in her church youth group who didn’t speak in tongues.

    gabba gabba we accept you we accept you one of us!