Friday, March 13, 2009

Guns and Religion II: Waiting For The Bling?

Can you endure being a VIRGIN forever?

Abstinence may be o.k. when you KNOW you'll be married to someone and you've set the date. It's not so great when you don't know WHEN you'll be married. Because like everything else, traditional marriage, the kind "good girls" dream about, depends on MONEY. If either you or your future spouse are too young and have no money, chances are you'll be putting off the wedding but not putting off the deed.

NOTE: our economic downturn will spawn a LOT of unmarried parents. So how is "abstinence" going to be promoted?

In its infinite wisdom, Iowa's Abstinence Mission, posted billboards in 2005 that said "Wait for the Bling." To the best of my knowledge, life for teenage Iowans didn't change significantly and neither did the numbers for teen pregnancies. Abstinence is a hard enough sell without adding teenagers and poverty to the mix - then it becomes impossible. And the billboard sends another message: "...and if the guy doesn't give you a big one (diamond, that is), keep your virginity and dump him!"

Oh, the hypocrisy of Christofascists when it comes to morality: they'll teach it in any way they can and with whatever means at their disposal, but applying the teaching on themselves?! "Jesus Christ! What do you want from us?"

We're still smarting from the last big volley of "abstinence only" hypocrisy: Bristol Palin, the daughter of Mrs. Mooseburger and prime Christofascist, Sarah Palin. Not only did Bristol not believe in abstinence, she apparently didn't want Levi's baby either. The lowest cut of all, however, became common knowledge the other day:
But in a new interview with Star Magazine, Levi's sister Mercede Johnston says Bristol actually broke up with Levi more than a month ago, is not attending school and rarely lets her baby daddy see their young son. Mercede also says Bristol even told him that she hates him and, when she learned she was pregnant, wished the baby wasn't his.

Apparently, Levi is also far from being a hands-on dad. Said Mercede: "Levi tries to visit Tripp every single day, but Bristol makes it nearly impossible for him. She tells him he can't take the baby to our house because she doesn't want him around 'white trash.' She treats him so badly!"
O.K., let's step back and look at the sequence of events:
  1. "Trig" Palin is born with Downs Syndrome to (supposedly) Sarah Palin, Governor of Alaska. Sarah is Bristol Palin's mother.
  2. Mom is picked as a running mate by Republican presidential nominee, John McCain
  3. Mom garners a reputation as the darling of the Christian Right because she is staunchly pro-life and wants abstinence-only education in schools.
  4. It is announced that Bristol Palin is pregnant.
  5. It is also announced that Bristol Palin and boyfriend Levi Johnston, the child's father, are engaged and plan to be married. The elder Palins insist that it is not a shotgun wedding.
  6. Bristol Palin gives birth to Tripp Palin-Johnston (sic)
  7. Levi Johnston's sister, Mercede, tells the press that Bristol and Levi broke up last month and that Bristol hated Levi well before the birth of Tripp. Apparently, those public appearances during the campaign were just acting on the part of Bristol.
  8. Even though this extremely dysfunctional family is not what the Christian Right terms "ideal" let alone "traditional" Sarah Palin still courts the public for a V.P. run in 2012.
Wait for the bling? You gotta be kidding! With life like this, you don't need a TV or computer to be entertained. Let's keep an eye out for what the Christofascists have in store for us next in the abstinence department. They'll be tackling human nature AND the economy! It ought to be priceless!

Guns And Religion III: This Crucifix Is Solid Brass!

So The Church Won't Bless It!

O.K., the churches of today look nothing like those built in the "high baroque" period or earlier. Gilt - and lots of it - was supposed to inspire as well as give homage to God. Eventually, economics forced church builders into plainer, more austere decoration. But as plasterers, painters, stonemasons and woodworkers disappeared, goldsmiths were still around, transferring the "bling" from belfry to bosom.

24 carat gold crucifixes are sold by the millions each year and they've become a staple for in-your- face Christians. So will the economy change all that?

Hardly. The church you attend might have a leaky roof and walls of solid dry-rot, but it will never ask you to change your lifestyle so much as to give up your religious jewelry. After all, what screams "I'm a Christian" than a gold crucifix, head of Christ, fish symbol or (for Catholics) Virgin Mary? In fact, sometimes, wearing jewelry is the only portable way you can tell people you're a devout Christian. Never mind that you can't recite the Ten Commandments to save your soul; never mind that you've skipped Sunday service for golf, never mind that you can't name your parish priest, jewelry is the way to tell people that you are blessed and going to heaven.

And besides jewelry, there are blessed rosaries made from olive pits from the Garden at Gethsemane, relics touched to relics that touched a piece of the True Cross, chrome symbols for your car, family Bibles so huge and ornate no one in the family can lift them much less read them, likenesses of Jesus for every ethnic group, bumper stickers, video games, blessed candlesticks, a wide variety of porcelain Nativity scenes, and more and more and more. And none of it is cheap (o.k., maybe the bumper stickers).

Your church people will tell you that Christianity is again under attack. And while lions are too expensive to keep up, heathens and Atheists will think of other ways to destroy you and the one thing that is worth having: your faith. You must show them that you will not be intimidated and that your faith is strong! You must display everything Christian - flaunt your Christianity!

Yes, Christianity is just that commercial. Churches don't just sell personal beliefs and spirituality, they sell the proof as well.

Just a thought.