Blog Archive

Monday, January 27, 2014

PUSHING MY JESUS BUTTONS: Long-Haired & Bearded is the 2014 New Direction in Men's Grooming

Bigger & Better Beards are Everywhere now... so mainstream that they are only newsworthy if they are worn by billionaires who think of themselves as Old Testament Prophets who spout outdated racist, homophobic and sexist comments and totally get by with it... because, I don't know... their ZZ Top beards?

I've never been a fan of the ZZ Top beards, or beards that have to be moved out of the way to find the mouth... but if I've learned anything about beards, it's that men really don't give a crap about what women think about their beards... or less so than women have been conditioned to care about what men think about their hair/grooming practices. 

I'd like to highlight a male grooming trend that deserves to be encouraged in 2014.  It directly relates to relevant things like the Bible, Jesus and Pushing My Lust Buttons.

Long-Haired Men (or Jesus Look-Alikes with beards of any length):
*Please send me additional information about the men in these pictures such as names or where they hang out. The original 2013 Mens Hairstyles site doesn't give out identifying info... just nameless pretty faces.

Specimen #1
No Caption Necessary Hipster Jesus
This guy.

Specimen #2

Skeptical Jesus
Also newsworthy, with slightly fewer clothes.

Specimen #3
Zippers Are A Girl's Best Friend Jesus
Okay. I guess so... but only because you insist! Yes. Please!

Specimen #4
Chest Hair Jesus
O Jesus.

Specimen #5
Leaning In to Make a Deep Point Jesus

 Holy. Holy. Holy!

Specimen #6
Life is SO HARD Jesus
Jesus wept.
Found on Pinterest... too many bearded long-haired men to post here!

Moral of Story? If your hair is long enough to pull back into a messy-knotted pony tail... you're ahead of the curve. If it isn't... RIGHT NOW is a good time to start growing your hair out, not just your beard.

Samson definitely did it. I like to think Jesus did it too.  And here's the song that accompanies all of these.

Specimen #7



(My favorite recording of this song...)

"She tied you to her kitchen chair
She broke your throne and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah."

Thank You, Leonard!

And Thank You, Jeff... who knew long hair on guys was cool way before we did.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

THIS ONE IS FOR MARY & ALL THOSE WHO LOVE HER: Rape Culture and the Christmas Story



Exhibit A. 1 in 200 American pregnancies are described by the pregnant girl/woman as virgin conceptions (no vaginal intercourse). Many of these who describe themselves as virgins, though pregnant, come from the chastity, save-yourself-for-marriage circles.

Exhibit B. 73% of Americans believe in the Virgin Birth, that "Jesus was born of a virgin" …that Mary was a virgin when she conceived Jesus, and gave birth… as a virgin. Source: Pew Research: Celebrating Christmas and the Holidays...

For the record, this is the year 2013.

Before you accuse me of ignorant, unempathetic atheism, please read the following HotForJesus posts about Christmas. I can lather on the sentimental poetic prose until you’re up to your neck in a frothy, lightly sweetened meringue of sloppy, soul-clutching Christmas Spirit-uality.

Let me get my torch...

SPEAKING WORDS OF WISDOM: There’s Something About Mary > The Original pre-HotForJesus blog essay… a piece that pushed me past the syrupy sticky mess of bittersweet Christianity to the point of absolute honesty.  Lots of former fundagelical women gravitate to catholicism and the gnostic gospels. My theory is Mary… my goddess before Jesus was forced on me. 

Here & Here: Christmas Music to End All Christmas Music. Part 1 & II: I give a small sample of how utterly immersed in the Christmas message and music I used to be.  I’ve sang in enough mind-blowing Christmas scenarios to make your Christmas music collection look and sound like … like… the noise a Christmas goose makes before you kill it.

Santa's Little Helper & Jesus' Lamb Duke It Out: I’ve been towing the Jesus is the Reason for the Season line, and making little girls cry about it, before the phrase “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” existed on coffee mugs.  Santa is not real.  Anyone who tells you otherwise is Lying.

Here I bemoan, with the help of Banksy, the commercialization of Christmas.

And here I celebrate the Real Reason for the Season… My Birthday: End of the World & Winter Solstice. 

Call me bitter, call me mean-spirited… but believe me, I have played the Christian Christmas schtick to The Hilt.


Please, Do Not come to me with anything resembling the following complaints and excuses:
  •  "Rape culture" should be left out of discussions about deeply held religious beliefs regarding Christmas. Everyone’s beliefs deserve respect.
  • “I’m sorry you feel this way, but Jesus was a feminist.”
  •  Keep these thoughts to yourself. No one wants to hear them. There’s nothing wrong with teaching young girls and boys that consent applies to all sexual situations except the "immaculate conception" Virgin Mary story.
  • Marriage and age meant different things 2046 years ago!
The year is 2013. Apparently the majority of the USA believes Mary, mother of Jesus, was a virgin… impregnated by God/HolySpirit/WhatHaveYou.

My 2013 No-Brainer Complaint: This impregnation was Not immaculate conception and it was NOT consensual.

I know nothing I say can/will change the mind of a person immersed in such deep patriarchal bull-meringue that they cannot see behind the Virgin birth is a story about the possible rape of a young girl… that Mary’s rape gives the GOP the right to tell "legitimately raped" young women, never mind the ones who are raped who explain their pregnancies as immaculate conceptions, that abortion is wrong in all cases of rape… because otherwise… would we have Jesus!?

The Gospel of Luke reads like a fairy tale. Every good Evangelical Fundamentalist Christian home reads this story before opening Christmas presents... or at least mine did. Sometimes we even worked in the resurrection story (which is more accurate. Christmas/birth and Easter/resurrection of light should be swapped.)

Luke tells a fantastic tale of an angel of the lord who scares the crap out of a young tweenager then mansplains to her that she is going to be impregnated by his Boss. (Luke 1: 26-38)

Mary’s “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord” is NOT consent.  12 year old girls do not, CANNOT, give consent to being forced into motherhood by All-Powerful Male Gods. Dirty old men and entitled dudebros know which women/girls won’t fight back, which ones will break more easily than others, which ones will bend over backwards to please the patriarch.

If Mary had said, “Cool. Let me think about this and I’ll get back to you.” 
Or if Mary had used the chastity line, “Sorry. I’m saving myself for marriage.” 
Or said “Fuck off”… there would be No Greatest Story Ever Told.

But Mary “behaved” just as God knew she would.  She did as she was told.  There was no discussion. This is not Free Will. This is not Immaculate Conception. It's abusive male power using young women to meet their "needs" and not thinking twice about it. Do you think twice about it?

I don't know about you, but I want NO Part in a belief system that expressly celebrates a 12-13 year old female body being used as a vessel, given as a "gift" to an All-Powerful Male God so he can give the world a human sacrifice.

Stop! and Look!

Look at the story at the root of Christmas and Christianity. It teaches little girls to be complacent, compliant, to feel honored by inappropriate attentions of older, more powerful men… to give their body as vessels for something greater than themselves and allow themselves to become invisible beyond their roles as mothers and wombs for little male gods.

It teaches boys that the bodies of women and girls are for their bidding for the creation of little Mini-Mes, with which they will conquer the world, … and all for the Glory of God.

Nope. Sorry. I’ve crossed that line.  

I understand the need to celebrate light in the darkness.  I understand the strong, strong pull of bittersweet sentiment and tradition. 

I no longer understand how in any shape or form, in the year 2013 and beyond, we can celebrate the coerced impregnation of a young girl.  

And this coming from a person who used to make people cry when singing "Ave Maria" and Handel's "Messiah".

So... remind me Why are we celebrating the forced pregnancy of a child... the rape of a barely teenage girl? Why?

I've run out of reasons why this a good idea... and I'm pretty sure I've heard them all.

These kind of posts is how I make friends :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

MODESTY IS THE BEST POLICY: What to Wear for Jesus, Part 2

Partially full disclosure: This week I attended a panel discussion which covered the beliefs of four spiritual practices: Coptic Christianity; Mormonism; Sikhism (woman speaker); Judaism (Reform rabbi). When the moderator asked them to talk about the topic of “Modesty” (Yes, Modesty. Not traditions of dress, philosophies toward violence or use of money… but “modesty”) a very valuable and fascinating presentation suddenly turned into a free-for-all* of dissing female sensuality/sexuality.  For good reason, been-there done-that, my body went haywire and I experienced an extremely visceral, physical reaction to the panel's responses.  I’ve decided to channel my righteous and totally reasonable anger at the responses into a long-time-coming Part 2 to the RIGHTEOUS BLING: What to Wear for Jesus : Part One (2009)… which I was working on anyway.  I guess I needed to be pushed over the edge… though being pushed over the edge by institutionalized misogyny and bullshit patriarchal smugness and shaming is never fun.  But the following post was fun to write. Enjoy!

It is so important that Christian women know how to dress in a way that is feminine but doesn’t distract from the work of God in the hearts of men.  This is easier said than done in today’s world where we are inundated by inappropriate attire that sends confusing messages about our walk with Christ.

What kind of wear is appropriate for church, homeschool* and potlucks?

Behold… a dress appropriate for all of the above… and you can make it yourself!

I did.*

In Junior High.

The Dress that all my secular friends coveted... for real.
What we have here is cool calico cotton attire with a nice yoked lace collar, a puffed sleeve, a flattering fitted bodice, a curved princess waist with a delicate gathering of calf-length skirt that hides within its folds deep pockets for both hands. 

Think Little House on the Prairie meets Modern Amish... inspired by the wife of noble character, Proverbs 31:10-31.

For this fashion shoot*, I left my hair down just as I would back in the day. The uncombed bit is an attempt to recreate an old perm.
Arm and Eye placement is Everything!
The front view demonstrates a woman deep in the throes of spiritual renewal. Observe how she is careful to not raise her hands higher than the hips.  Church is not to be a place of competitive worship!

View from those on your Right.
 The side view is representative of the blessing and the curse of gathered skirts on hips created by the Lord for the bearing of children.  Gathers give us freedom of movement and keep wandering eyes from thinking about what lies beneath.  However, we can only go so far in discouraging men of God from not noticing that we are indeed made to be help-meets and mothers.

Time to Talk Pockets!
This fancy pose highlights the Deep Pockets
When dressed to kill… Satan… lol… we women never underestimate the value of Pockets on a sleek skirt, an adorable dress.  Pockets allow our shoulders and hands to be free to burp crying babies, pass out church bulletins, wipe runny noses and whatever else the Lord has called us to do in sensible heels and cute duds.

(Yes! It’s possible to be modest, resourceful AND cute! Check out Modest Apparel USA!)

The pockets on this dress are Deep and Wide… which should be symbolic of our love for Christ.  Nevertheless, we still make choices that will determine whether or not we are living in the Light or living a Lie.

Please observe the scenarios I’ve created in the still lifes below. Remember… though our outward appearance may exude modesty, are we stuffing our pockets with worldly trappings or resources for God’s work?

Are we living Right-eously or holding the Left-Hand of Darkness?

Contents of Left-Hand Pocket of Darkness
Don't Judge...
  • “Personal” Lubrication (Never use this in your eyes.)
  • Condoms (“individually wrapped” will not protect you from heartbreak… or the gutter.)
  • Dice (Sometimes substituted with a pack of cards, dependent upon size of flask.)
  • Matches (Sometimes takes the form of a “lighter”.)
  • Cigarette (Sometimes this is an entire pack, also contingent upon size of flask.)
  • Eye drops (For when the “cigarette” is actually a onie/onesie/onesy/one-hitter*)
  • Dark Lipstick (So unnecessary. Draws attention away from what you’re not saying.)
  • Alcohol (“Twenty Grand” combines Vodka with Cognac. This bottle may look classy, make you feel classy and smells like perfume… but this is not a scent you want to wear… outside of the gutter.)

Contents of Right-Hand Pocket On God's Good Side
Again... Don't Judge...
  • Hand Lotion (unscented!)
  • Smiley-Face Button (We women need all the reminders we can get to smile :) We look so much prettier when we smile! Let your Sunny Disposition shine!)
  • Loose Change for Offering (If author had not spent her last $5 on “Twenty Grand” there would be more money for this still life and more for Jesus’ work.)
  • Safety Pins- Assorted Sizes (For when you need to help a Sister in Christ make their V-Neck a little more respectable.)
  • Wet-wipes (Individually wrapped. For when you need to clean a child’s sticky fingers.  Men of God love to see you demonstrate your child-caring skills!)
  • American Flag Pin (One Nation Under GOD!)
  • Tissues (For wiping a child’s runny nose or the tears of child who just got saved from hell. Some godly man is going to see your natural kindness toward children, snatch you up and make you his bride! Flaunt it!)
  • Clear lip-balm (Non-distracting: won’t draw attention to your already fat lips.)
  • Cough Drop (For when your throat tickles during sermons… non-addictive!)
  • Pocket-Sized New Testament (This of course is in addition to your regular Bible, but always good to have a slightly different translation of the Gospels on hand! Includes Psalms and Proverbs!)
There is so much emphasis on a woman’s “right” to choose these days.  Free Will is a gift bestowed on both men AND women.  (#JesusFeminist).

In the Left-Hand Pocket of Darkness, we have items that show a young woman on the verge of hardening her heart and possibly losing her salvation. 

In the Right-Hand Pocket of Righteousness we have items that demonstrate a strong faith, and a desire to serve others while keeping fresh-faced, reflecting the purity within.

I trust that you will not only order a carbon copy of this dress for $200, but will also choose to fill your new deep pockets with Righteousness!
_______________________________________
Sloppy Footnotes:
*(with exceptions… Sikh woman panelist and Reform Jewish rabbi gave fairly reasonable, historical context responses)
*(I attended public schools, though some of my siblings chose a homeschool-style of private Baptist schooling. I NEVER wore a dress to public school after a boy lifted my skirt on the first day of kindergarten.)
*(Home-made with the guidance and abundant help of my mother)
*(Pardon the American Apparel-esque lighting filter on some of these photos.)

*(Second one hitter I’ve received as a gift.  What are my friends trying to tell me??!!)

Monday, October 14, 2013

Born-Again Baby Boomers: THIS Generation, The LAST Generation, or just yet another Anti-Semitic Generation?

There is no nice way to put this:  Many Baby Boomers are so full of themselves that they believe AND want the world to end before they do.

The world revolves around them and must end as they leave the planet.

The End Times cults and believers found in Michele Bachmann, the Tea Party, Born-Again Evangelical Fundamentalists, the Value Voters Summit, and God’s Ordained Politicians are finally getting some scrutiny on their beliefs. 

However, every story covering the "bizarre" behavior of these End Times Enthusiasts have missed out on a key point… a Key Point I’ve been nursing, dancing around, and even afraid to mention since the beginning of the blog… a Key Point I grew up with Every Single Day of My Life until I walked away from Fundagelicalism at the age of 27:

  • The Baby Boomers WANT/NEED the world to end before they die based on scripture, their self-involved obsession with their greatness, and in order for all of Evangelical Fundamentalist Christianity and their politicians to save face over how they have approached Life and National and International policy for at least the last 40 years… or to be exact… the last 65 years… or to be uncomfortably precise… since


World War II was yet another war that exposed humans as brutal, base, prone to herd-mentality, petty, mean, horrific Animals.  America didn’t go to war to stop the atrocities of genocide happening in Europe… we went to war for… who knows what… but the Greatest Generation came back heroes.

And rightly so, in many situations.  But the Greatest Generation also came back extremely broken… and stoically silent about the horrors they witnessed and participated in. Many of the Greatest Generation imploded.  Many of the Greatest Generation wreaked havoc on their children’s lives in part because of what they had witnessed and participated in.  Those children were the Baby Boomers.  Both Generations turned to Billy Graham, Jesus and Hal Lindsey.

“Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender, and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; even so you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at your door. >>> Truly I say to you, THIS GENERATION will not pass away until all these things take place… <<<<< Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you be ready too; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”

Matthew 24: 32-34;42-44 (New American Standard translation).

Many Born-Again Baby Boomers believe… KNOW… that they are This Generation. 

Why?

Because of the formation of the state of Israel in 1948. 

This is really embarrassing and awkward and difficult for me to say. I’ve avoided saying it in writing for ages, but here goes:

  • Many Evangelical Fundamentalist Born-Againers, especially the Baby Boomer generation, have a very unhealthy symbiotic relationship and fetish towards Jews.  We were taught, for all intents and purposes, that Jewish people, and the state of Israel, could do no wrong. 

Fundagelicals go this route for a number of reasons:

1. It’s Self-Serving. All nations and people will be blessed and/or cursed based on how they treat Jews:

And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Genesis 12:3

For thus says the Lord of hosts, “After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.” Zechariah 2:8.

2. The Holocaust.  Nothing like it before (though plenty of attempts) and nothing like it since (though plenty of copy cats).  The Baby Boomers started learning of the Holocaust in the 1960s… while they were being forced into their own Good-Old-Boys War.  The Holocaust was part of their parents’ legacy they inherited, for better or worse. 

The Holocaust was, and is, nearly impossible to wrap your head around.  The Six-Day War in June of 1967 renewed the awareness of how important it was to attempt to help make amends for previous atrocities against an entire people (atrocities is too tame a word). The 1967 Six-Day War also brought to the forefront the fact that the State of Israel had been created in 1948: This Generation… the Last Generation.

Biblically speaking, sometimes 40 years is a generation.  As a result, some End Times cults had their heart set on 1988.  Other End Times cults started counting 40 years from 1967.  Many others are open to a more squishy interpretation of “generation”… but always insisting that This Generation (the Baby Boomers) is The Last Generation.

These ones who embrace the squishy definition and timeline of "a 1948 generation" can have their cake and eat it too: aren't being sacrilegious by stating exact date; aren't going to be crept up on by a Thief in the Night.

This prophetic “knowledge” informed national and international policy… and continues to do so.  Jews are being treated as pawns by the Christian Religious Right in so many ways: funding of Jewish and Christian Zionism; Jews For Jesus; favoring and/or manipulating anything and almost everything Israel does; turning all conflicts into Us (Christians with Jews/God on our side) versus Them (Everyone Else).  Anyone who questions this relationship with Israel, including Jews, are labeled as evil, anti-semitic, haters of God and all that is good… and a Sign of the Times. 

Never mind that there is the school of thought, um, actually historical fact, that the creation of Israel was in part to keep Jewish refugees of the Holocaust OUT of the United States.   

3. The Late, Great Planet Earth. By Hal Lindsey (1970)
This book is one of the main reasons I grew up in an End-Times Wet-Dreams environment.  Every bullet, bomb that flew in the Middle East was one bullet, bomb that could take down The Dome on the Rock… and free up The Temple Mount… the place where the Third Temple will be rebuilt and where the Messiah will land when coming to earth. 

For many Jews, the Messiah has not yet arrived.  For many Christians, Jesus is coming Again… and he needs to land where there is currently an Islamic presence.

THUS… (are you still following?)
… ALL Middle East Conflicts gets many Evangelical Fundamentalist Born-Again Christians HYPER-EXCITED!!! because maybe this time a bomb will take out The Dome on the Rock, and the Temple can be rebuilt, and Jesus can come again!!!!

Long-Story Short: Many Born-Again Baby Boomers WANT conflict, war, bloodshed, and shady arms deals in the Middle East. They WANT it.  They NEED it.  

They have brought up an entire generation of children who think they want the same thing… blood shed between Palestinians and Israelis, Christians and Muslims, Jews and Muslims, Christians and atheists…. Whatever it takes to prove their generation is This Generation, The Last Generation, The Best Generation?

  • I grew up believing that I would be lucky to experience life on earth much past my 20th birthday. Heaven was better anyway, right? 
  • I grew up believing that we Born-Again Christians would be tested, persecuted, have real and figurative guns put to our heads daring us to Deny Christ or Die. 
  • I grew up believing that women who were with child, or mothers, during the End Times, would be placed in extremely compromising situations where they would have to choose between seeing their children murdered in front of them or Deny Christ and go to Hell (dependent upon to which End-Time Timeline you subscribe). 
  • I grew up believing people like the person I’ve become, a believer who left the faith and satirizes it, are Signs of the Times.  If you question, you are living proof of what you question.

While in elementary, my Born-Again father taught a months-long, almost year-long, Bible Study on the Book of Revelation for a small Southern Baptist Church/Mission in Northern Minnesota.  Each week we would study 1-5 verses at a time. Meticulous. Profound. In-depth. While secular classmates were being scared out their wits over Friday the 13th, Jason, and Stephen King, I was being taught to be a revolutionary, To-The-Death Christian… and scared out of my wits to want anything else from my life.

In college I took a month-long course in January (J-term) on the Holocaust.  It was the only class we took for the month; we met 4-5 days a week, 2-4 hours at a time. The class was taught by a Twin Cities Rabbi.  Also Meticulous. Also Profound. Also In-depth. 

And More Disturbing. Reality IS more disturbing than Fiction.

(Go ahead, in unison please: 'Oooohhhh…. She thinks she’s an expert… she “took a class” on something…')

It was then that I first started hearing discomforting rumbles that the Christian Right was using and abusing the unspeakable terror of the Holocaust for their own benefit.  It was then that I started to realize that the Christian fetishism of Jewish people went far beyond seeing their women and men as too sensual for their own good… or to be used to marry/convert as a way of blessing their own offspring.  It was then that I first realized many Born-Again Evangelical Fundamentalist Christians were willing to fetishize Jews into the grave so their Token Jew, Jesus Christ, could return to earth before the Baby Boomers died off.

As an empathetic atheist, it is Extremely Hard for me to share these things… because anti-semitism, racism, Holocaust denials and hatred towards Jews is far from a thing of the past. 

I do not condone lumping any group of people into one homogenous clump… Jews, Christians, atheists, Muslims, vegetarians, Republicans, etc… because once you do, it makes it too easy to base decisions on a stereotype. 

Oversimplification of causes and effects also creates an environment of Us versus Them.  

I'm not naive enough to think I myself am free from saying some pretty stupid, archaic and dangerous assumptions regarding race and religion. 

However, I Do NOT condone personal behavior, or public policies, that encourages using people as pawns to gain favor with God, fulfill prophecy, or to gain favor in Washington, DC. 

I have absolutely no right to judge the motives of Israel. 

I do have a right to Shout From The Mountain Top the horrendous ways in which many Born-Again Evangelical Fundamentalist Christians raise their children in psychologically abusive environments and how they cry for joy when people in the Middle East die… or for that matter… when anyone suffers or dies in an event that qualifies as a Sign of the Times.

Is not this approach to Judaism and Israel by the Christian Religious Right a form of anti-Semitism?

Bottom Line? People must die, The World Must End, to prove that the Baby Boomers are The Best and Last Generation.

And they call their children and grandchildren “self-involved”.

Those who have ears, let them hear.

Foot Note: I say some pretty awkward things around here… but this post takes the cake.  I can comment and footnote ad nauseam… but this is a start.  Please… understand that I share this as someone who doesn’t even know how/if to share what I’ve shared.  Understand that I am conditioned to be Afraid For My Life now that I've said what I've said above, or on this blog in general.  Please understand every taboo discussion often comes blurting out in very awkward ways, especially in the beginning stages. Help me evolve.

Please visit Jewish Voice for Peace as one alternative to the Christian Right’s approach to Israel. 



Sunday, August 25, 2013

ARE YOU NOT MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE BIRDS OF THE AIR??! : Katherine Kersten Interprets Sermon on the Mount as Originally Intended

Today Katherine Kersten, columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune, addressed something that weighs heavily on my heart: animal worship in America. 

(See Put people before dogs: 8/25/13 Star Tribune Opinion ; all Fat Cat in Famous Paintings can be found at Great Artist Mews.)

Kersten has been a champion for Jesus and the Constitution, a voice of reason in a country determined to plummet toward caring more about animals than it does about humans.  She points out a study that shows over 40% of respondents would choose to save a dog over the life of a foreigner.  Admittedly, Kersten sometimes forgets that a native-born dog probably deserves more rights than a foreigner, but we’ll let that oversight slip for now. The important thing is that she courageously exposes a country that creates graven images in the likeness of animals, which we then worship instead of our Lord or the Constitution.

Before I discuss the Biblical references I’d like to address the modern implications of “moral relativism” that point to a dangerous proclivity towards animal rights over human life.

1.  This week the Minnesota State Fair will hold the 2nd annual Internet Cat Video Film Festival. Last year I attended the 1st Festival… which was Free. Over 10,000 people attended. They expect even more for this year’s screening… which is NOT free. Cat worshipers are going to not only shell out $10 to get in the Internet Cat Video Film Festival gates but an additional $12 to get in the gates to the Minnesota State Fair… plus parking… plus $$ for pig on a stick, cow on a stick, fish on a stick, goat on a stick, chicken on stick and maybe deer on a stick.
Worship of the Golden Calf (er Cat) by Filippino Lippi
These people who gather for the cat festival and throw their gold at a fattened cat will eat everything but cat or dog on a stick. If people would heed Kersten’s concerns, maybe we wouldn’t be so biased about which animals are worthy of eating. God put ALL non-human life on the planet for our human consumption. And yet… 40+% of people out there would save a DOG instead of a foreigner. If Kersten and I get our way, Pug Pops will be on the State Fair menu next year. 

2.  The Sunday Funny Pages. Go ahead. Take a look! The most colorful and enticing part of a newspaper, though a pinko liberal rag, are the comics, more often than not featuring and glorifying ANIMALS! Hold on while I take a quick count of today's STrib commie comics:
  • 21.5 comic strips feature humans portrayed as doofuses; 
  • 8.5 comic strips feature talking, intelligent Animals. 
That’s a 28% portrayal of intelligent, witty animals who out-smart and out-funny 72% of humans portrayed! This figure shows that we are indeed free-falling toward caring more about what animals think about us than the lives of foreigners.
American Gothic by Grant Wood
(Aside: I still don’t understand why Kersten has a problem with this. As rabid Kersten fans, we Minnesotans all know that foreigners are tax-sucking terrorists hell-bent on ripping our Apple Pie Golden Retrievers out of our cold dead hands… not to mention what they plan to do with our hunting dogs.)

3.  Disney. Disney is filled to the gills with animal worshipers. Mickey Mouse seemed innocent enough back in the day of black and white… no relativism there. But then full-colored, Relativism-Bambi came along… and I have watched, slack-jawed, the blatant use of animals to push the liberal media agenda down the throats of children. Take a minute to watch PBS … the Muppets went from bad to worse, promoting the liberal schtick of amoral entertainers… and now we have dogs going to heaven and even bugs having a life. Good Grief!

4.  Gay marriage. Here’s the real problem scratching at our door. Kersten doesn’t quite have the guts to go there, so I will for her. As of August 1st, 2013, men can marry men and women can marry women in Minnesota. Need I spell it out for you?
The Unequal Marriage by Vasili Pukirev
This animal worship, this willingness to shower dogs with affection is one small drool-covered step away from People marrying Animals! I understand that Katherine has to be careful… she can only go so far in the STrib, but I can say whatever the Spirit leads me to say on this blog. Here goes: Gay marriage today. Bestiality tomorrow. Just you wait and see! (Even so, come Lord Jesus!)

Now for scriptural references. 

The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder
A.  God had Adam/Man name the animals. Naming something is one way of signifying ownership. Sure, the Garden of Eden was a non-carnivorous environment, but Sin came along thanks to Eve/Women and a Snake… so according to God’s commands, we now have to kill animals to clothe and feed ourselves. We women royally messed things up, and now we have the gall to treat our pets as companions instead of food and clothing sources. We may even go so far as to serenade our animals with ballads such as “Heaven Is a Place On Earth.” Sick!

B.  In ancient Egypt cats were treated with more kindness than foreigners! Egyptians worshiped cats and made God’s chosen people and other foreign slaves sweat in the sun and even die so cats could hang out in the shade. This mirrors the study referenced in Kersten’s article… so maybe this is a sign… a sign that it’s time we follow Kersten into the wilderness. This time we’ll be smart enough to NOT worship a golden calf... or cat.

C.  Bestiality. People who sleep with animals need to be stoned. Sure… you think it’s okay to let your dog or cat to sleep at your feet or on your lap but we should nip this bestiality thing in the bud and just execute all those who take cat naps. (Leviticus 20:15-16)

D.  I’m going to jump way ahead to the New Testament. Remember when in Acts 10, Peter had the vision of all animals being fit for human consumption, including pigs and other cloven hooved animals? It’s likely that these animals lived lives of leisure before this… but now we know that pork is the other white meat. Keep an eye out for someone like Kersten offering their vision of cat and dog consumption being part of God’s plan… a departure that will set us apart from those non-believers and Constitution-haters among us.
Still Life by Adriaen van Utrecht
Serious FootNote: My family, though the opposite of vegetarian, were just hippy enough to strongly believe in the ethical (and ultimately biblical) treatment of animals… and cruelty toward animals as a sign of potential psychopathic behavior. As Good Stewards of the Earth, we often raised our own grass-fed meat of all varieties, hunted ethically, and were taught to never pet a cat the wrong way. Animals were indeed worshiped in our household… and lifesavers. Some of the animals we raised outside of domesticated cats, dogs, sheep, pigs, goats, ducks, geese, and cows included wood ducks, squirrels, starlings, robins, etc., etc., and the love of my life: a raccoon. To this day I have to stop myself from wandering through the park after a storm and adopting fallen baby birds.

All satire aside… as both an ex-ethical-treatment-of-animals Christian and as a back-slidden vegetarian heathen… I’d tell Kersten to go to hell if I didn’t think she is already living in a self-inflicted hell. Since Kersten has been one of the most vocal people against foreigners in Minnesota… or non “Judeo-Christian” foreigners… I’m convinced the 40+% of people who responded that they would rather save the life of a dog over the life of a foreigner are people who heed the foaming-at-the-mouth words of Katherine Kersten.
Declaration of Independence by John Trumbull

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

That's NOT Jesus on the cover of Rolling Stone. It's Jim Morrison.


As close to Jesus as Rolling Stone gets. 1971.
I’m not a life-long fan of Rolling Stone magazine.  I’m not here to defend a Rock&Roll magazine that dabbles in politics and analysis of mainstream culture.  I’m here to defend any magazine that is kicked off store shelves because Corporate Headquarters is offended. 

In this case, Corporate Headquarters (CVS, Walgreens, 7-Eleven) is worried that the August 2013 Rolling Stone cover romanticizes unexpected Islamic terrorism on American soil.  Corporate Headquarters believes that we Americans shouldn’t have to wade through densely printed articles that describe the complicated national and personal milieu that pushed yet another young male into a convoluted justification of mass murder.

We may rightly ask: Why feature this young male mass murderer and not all the other Caucasian/Non-Muslim young male mass murderers we can choose from disturbingly recent history, who have killed far more American citizens in one fell swoop than this team of brothers?

?Maybe because Rolling Stone is less concerned about the backlash from bomb right supporters than gun right supporters in the US?  In that case… the August 2013 cover is evidence of a lack of backbone.

1970 Charles Manson
?Maybe because Rolling Stone figured that it’s time they acknowledge the scourge of young men who snap and kill, or attempt to kill, multitudes of innocent American citizens for the heck of it?  But in this case, the brothers don’t quite meet the pattern of diagnosable mental illness as a precursor to the murders.

?Maybe because Rolling Stone hasn’t found a good reason yet to point out all the home-grown terrorists, like we have here in Minnesota among the Somali community… who after being frustrated with the difficulties of assimilating into pasty white Lutheranism, are suckered into a cultish version of Islam that encourages them to go back to their home countries and blow up themselves and others?  I had a hard time writing that question… so I can only imagine Rolling Stone would have a hard time writing that article.
1975 Patty Hearst with submachine gun in artist riffing on Wyeth's "Christina's World"
?Maybe because Rolling Stone discovered that putting an SLA brain-washed terrorist heiress on the cover in 1975 did NOT create an epidemic of brain-washed terrorist heiresses? Paris Hilton and the Kardashians don’t count.
1978 The Economy
?Maybe… because Rolling Stone doesn’t give a shit what Corporate Headquarters thinks about who they choose to write about or place on their cover?  Dear Jesus… please let this be the right answer?!!!!

And it is… because we all know… or used to know… that Corporate Headquarters is exactly who good journalism shouldn’t give a shit about.  For that matter, should good journalism give a shit about stepping on the toes of a nation in shock, in mourning, or just selectively numb?

Does the outcry against the August 2013 Rolling Stone cover suggest that America is no longer numb to violence… or does it suggest that while we are okay with all sorts of stupidity taking place among our citizens we can’t get past the shallow perception that being on a cover of a magazine suggests absolution from all sin?

In that case, the Catholic Church should be in good shape.

My beef: That certain Corporate Headquarters have decided that we Americans, when faced with an in-depth article regarding a home-grown killer, all we can handle is the initial, perhaps confusing, reaction to a semi-handsome face on the cover of a sex, drugs and rock&roll magazine.  We can’t process anything beyond that initial reaction… which might be confusion for some, anger for others, curiosity for many, or ironic, bitter laughter from others. 

So Many Emotions!!!!

Here’s where my Hot4Jesus expertise comes in handy.  I grew up in a household inundated by conservative Christian radio and magazines which constantly told its listeners and readers what kind of pop culture it should or shouldn’t consume (my family consumed NO pop culture, which was an anomaly in the 1980s). 

These conservative Christian media outlets had no qualms about suggesting where not to buy things based on how corporate headquarters stood on things like abortion, women’s lib, divorce, pre-marital sex, rock&roll, Reagan, etc.  They provided easy to consume lists of who to send your complaints to, where not to shop, what not to buy.

(Yes... the hipppies did this too.)

So I’ve been itching for an old-fashioned reason to boycott someone about something and here it is: For the month of August (starting as soon as I read about it last week in mid-July), I am boycotting the stores that are boycotting the Rolling Stones cover.

Why?  Because two can play this pathetic and demeaning and nearly pointless game.  I normally shop at CVS, because it is most convenient, not because I want to.  I’ve already spent $30 dollars of my paycheck I normally would have spent at the nearest CVS ($30 is a lot to me) elsewhere this week.  And I thought you and CVS and Rolling Stone might want to know. 

And no… I’m not Muslim.  To me Islam is as much about the gospel of peace as Christianity is about the gospel of love… all depends on what pew you’re sitting in.

It’s a silly little personal boycott, but one thing you learn from being versed in boycotts at a young age is not only do you boycott a place of business, but you let the entity you are boycotting KNOW you are boycotting them.

CVS: consider yourself and your sad little BigBrother Insulting Bullshit NOTIFIED.

Back when the Apocalypse almost happened: 1969
In one of the libraries I work at, Rolling Stone is shelved right next to Runner’s World Magazine.  Coincidence at its best.  

It is obvious to me that no one on the staff at corporate headquarters for CVS, Walgreens, etc., is a librarian or well-versed in librarian philosophy which boils down to the following: When one group of human brains decide what other groups of human brains can handle and process and thus start censoring what people can look at or read… well… it’s what is called a "Slippery Slope"… and Damned Hypocritical. (Check out CVS’ collection of steamy romance novels or the cover of the Sports Illustrated Issue… which yes… some libraries have to hide behind the desk for fear of confiscation).


The Fine Arts of Sensual Massage. 1972
So, because I’m well-versed in library philosophy, and because this blog is here because of freedom of speech, and because we all love to hate on corporations now and then, and because I like to share when my upbringing backfires, I will continue to NOT spend my hard-earned money at the places that belittle the emotions and brains of the people who shop there.

You’re free to join me, but like any killer/ rock star… I don’t give a shit what you think about all of this :)

(For those still waiting for it: The Terrorists Win if Corporate America is afraid of the selfie of a impressionable young man, regardless of how many lives he ruined.)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Coffee-Talk on Jay Bakker and George Beverly Shea: Round-up of Today's Good News & Christian Gossip

Jay Bakker: Today Jay Bakker announced via Twitter the new location for his new Minneapolis Revolution church-bar: Bryant Lake Bowl.

Bryant Lake Bowl: Jay Bakker moved to Minnesota for this... to be where all the cool kids hang out.
I know I swore I'd not set foot in his Minneapolis church, but he picked a place I won't be able to avoid.  BLB and I go way back, like it does with every other 1st-wave hipster around these parts.  I've pulled a groin muscle bowling there, read countless newspapers over coffee before the interwebs hit the phone, scribbled piles and piles of crap in notebooks there, made it a pit-stop from my bike-ride home from the library, morning-after brunched with at least one hot bearded man there, attended numerous shows supporting friends in the back room/theatre (where the church will most likely meet) and witnessed the old-school Minneapolis hipster movement turn into boring couples with their kids while we all rolled our eyes at the subsequent waves of hipsters who cram into the door.  I love that place, though I'm also well-versed in a number of reasons to hate that place... mainly... the fucking hipsters.

Bryant Lake Bowl will forever be that place where I met an old friend from childhood back in 1999, before I moved to The Cities, and I witnessed her order a Bloody Mary... for lunch... in the middle of the week!!?!  Shocking for the little teetotaler me at the time. All downhill from there.

Bryant Lake Bowl was also the place that I attended the show that I reviewed here in 2010: Get Mad At Sin! in which one man performed verbatim an entire vintage sermon by Jimmy Swaggart.  It was awesome.

So, ironically, Jay will be preaching/meeting in the same theatre space where a Jimmy Swaggart impersonator kicked Sin's ass.  Also, likely in an apropos tribute to his mother, Tammy Faye, the first service will be on Mother's Day.

I wish Jay Bakker luck.  No doubt he'll have more than this back-slidden Baptist to answer to around that part of Uptown.  I also wish myself luck in not having a boozy brunch turn into a, "OhMyGod! I've been harassing you online like, FOREVER! Can you sign the screen of my smartphone with this sharpie?! OMG! You're shorter in person than on Twitter.  I bet you get that ALL the time. Can I buy you and your lady friend/sister wife a derinck?" fiasco.

Seriously.  Nipping that shit in the bud before it happens.

George Beverly Shea: George Beverly kicked the bucket yesterday.  I grew up on his music and testimonies.  He was in Billy Graham's travelling sideshow... aptly dubbed the Billy Graham Crusades.

It should have been called The Billy and George Beverly Show.

Music sticks in your psyche the way sermons never will.  Or at least for me, the daughter of musicians who loved George Beverly Shea's music... the music stays long after the rest fades.  The songs of his that I remember best: I'd Rather Have Jesus and How Great Thou Art.

Despite my half-assed hipster facade, you're looking at a woman who used to spend hours and hours and hours standing at the piano and/or Hammond organ (we had 2 of each in our home at one point) turning the pages for my mother and then my sister and singing hymns and gospel songs while other kids my age watched Transformers and Rainbow Bright and Friends.

The music of George Beverly Shea and his ilk shaped the first 26 years of my life.  You don't forget that shit.  I've said it before, and will say it again... MUSIC is one of the most effective indoctrination tools out there.  Be Selective.  That shit can make or break your entire philosophy on life.  The emotions people attach to music, regardless of the situation, are nearly impossible to break free from. Like scents that bring back floods and waves of memories, good and bad, Music does the same thing.  George Beverly Shea singing "The Old Rugged Cross" is in my brain for life.  Thanks a lot, mom and dad!


In other news: Billy Graham is not yet dead. Pretty sure the world will end when that happens.  Baby Boomer Born-Againers will Not be able to carry on without him.  True story. You heard it here first. Sign of the fucking times.


Monday, April 8, 2013

"The Rest of Us" : A description of heaven and god found in part of a poem by Jude Nutter

Happy Poetry Month, America!

The following excerpts are from Minnesota/International poet Jude Nutter.  In this poem The Rest of Us dedicated "for Roger" she describes a friend coming out of a long coma.  As he regains his speech he tells her about "heaven." I'm including only the portions that are relevant to that description.

William Blake
 ...And so heaven is built, one
thick mouthful at a time: god,
you tell me, is a casual flame burning
around the trunk of every tree and under

the shelf of every leaf, and how can I
not think about Blake, who saw angels
bleating with fire in the trees and then lived his life
with the lord's bright body caught in his throat

like a hymn.  There is no heaven;
only birds and wind.  And your mind
flirting with its own absence. And the late-
blooming flowers sending out dark fleets of blossom.
......

.....
There is no god, just the limned

and tooled body of the wind at play 
among the plumes of the lilac; and trust me,
there's a warmth down in the grasses, right
where they enter the soil, and it will coat

your throat like a hymn.  Come, let me wheel
you out through the streets of the world,
where the rest of us live, where there are no angels;
only girls on every corner baring their beautiful limbs.

-From The Rest of Us found in Jude Nutter's poetry collection The Curator of Silence.

Pegasus by William Blake
I'm on a creative writing kick.  It means I'll continue to spew Hot4Jesus observations as they come, but it also means I'm rededicating myself to....

writing...
seriously...
again.
Serious writing. Very serious.  Very.

So yes, I've started ANOTHER blog that you are welcome to read if you're into reading about the writing process and seeing my purely secular side.  There are original book-porn pics too.  (pics of books, you freaks)  It is a deliberate step toward rediscovering the pieces worth sending somewhere to be published on this old-fashioned thing called "paper."   Please stop by!: Archiving The Labyrinth. 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Jay Bakker... the Prodigal Son returns to the home of his mother: Minneapolis & Minnesota

Jay Bakker has moved to Minneapolis… and is starting a “church” here.   


Part of me doesn’t give a shit and the other part of me is a touch sentimental. 

Sentimental?

#1. Jay Bakker was the inspiration behind one my first Hot-For-Jesus Former Fundie posts back in 2007 (on tattoos) and 2008 (Poem by Philip Larkin dedicated to the likes of Jay ... who once upon a time I Hot4Jesus crushed on).  You never forget one of your firsts.

#2. There is vague family lore about his mother.  I won’t go into it, but one of the reasons my extended family never supported the Bakker ministry industry was because of these vague family lore reasons that came up during family reunions. (Sentimental in part because I don’t do family reunions anymore… at all.)

#3.  If I hadn’t fallen off the Jesus bandwagon entirely I would be in the Jay Bakker fan club, hard-core… and probably stalk him after every service.  In a parallel universe/reality thingy, right about now I would be leaving the Solomon’s Porch music scene behind to head the original worship music and JohnnyCash-esque cover songs for his new bar church here in Minneapolis.  Or whatever they don’t do for music… I would be his go-to for not doing it.  In a parallel universe, I would be a female deacon in Jay Bakker’s church, which wouldn’t have deacon but special helpers with special gifts.  My special gift would be performing original Jesus music and encouraging others to do the same. Or maybe I finally would be sticking my neck out and… horrorspreaching!

#4.  I HAVE entirely fallen off the Jesus band wagon.  I will never be able to say that I’m 100% over the whole she-bang… as in… I still have hymns run through my head, get angry about spiritual abuse and American state-sanctioned religion, experience flashbacks, will still write about it as the spirit moves me, etc, etc, … but I have no intention of setting foot in Jay's church. 

Hell, I’ll encourage other ex-fundies to go to his church until the cows come home and the chickens come home to roost, or whatever, but I’m done with that scene… yes, even the uber-liberal and liberated Jesus-IS-Love beer-drinking hipster Christian scene.  I don’t disagree with their approach and I truly believe Jay is on the cutting edge and has wisely chosen Minnesota (it will be a challenge and affirming) but the sentimental aspect to this is… you can never go home again. 

Trust me… I’ve tried… literally and figuratively (church-wise). 

On the subject of prodigal son's attempting to go home again... By coming “home” to Minnesota, Jay may discover something different.  I hope he finds Minnesota to be less of a bitch than I am… but to be honest, though my process of letting go of my spiritual past has been sometimes messy, sometimes funny, sometimes sexy and sometimes hard work… I know he has gone through a similar process and come to a very different conclusion than I have.   

Where I’m coming from now is that one does not need to be a Believer/believer or have Faith/faith or even seek Forgiveness/forgiveness or Love/love or Grace/grace from God/god.  We all have to live with ourSelves, and I understand a lot of people are conditioned to not love or forgive that self.  They will seek the words and encouragement of Jay Bakker.  He will not disappoint the people who won’t/can’t/don’t need to let go the way I did.  

#5. For those who do let go, and even for Jay, there is this wonderful Former Fundamentalist group in Minneapolis/St.Paul that is still going strong, even after I walked away as organizer a year ago (another reason for sentimentality… an anniversary of letting-go…one year ago this week) and I encourage anyone/everyone who needs Jay Bakker and/or the grace and love of Jay Bakker’s Jesus in their life to realize there are people out there who will encourage you regardless of whether or not you listen and pray at the feet of Jay with a beer in hand.  The Former Fundies drink beer sometimes, too.  If you go… tell the Former Fundies, Evangelicals, catholics, Lutherans, pentacostals, et.al., that I say “Hey.”

So… yes, it is sentimental time here at Hot4Jesus… but that is in part what this blog is founded on… Sentimentality.  It is also founded on Anger and Love and even finding the understanding to “forgive” (no, I don’t believe in “forgivness”… but I do believe in a deeper, kinder understanding…)  those who impose their unrealistic beliefs on others, especially children.

Jay, like I’ve said before… gets it. He has seen the worst of the worst when it comes to religion.   

We survivors are on your side.  Keep your chin up, Minneapolis, and tell Jay I said, “Hey.”

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Diogo Morgado as Jesus: Meh.

I’m contractually obligated to say something about the new History Channel/A&E/Disney show The Bible.

Honestly? I’m watching the Netflix Shakespearean drama House of Cards and find it far more titillating than the so-called #HotJesus trend that the actor, What'sHisButt... Diogo Morgado, is creating on Twitter.

The Bible viewers who think Diogo Morgado represents Jesus Hotness are wrong.  

Plain and Simple. He is not hot.  

I know.   


This latest Jesus specimen is mediocre at best. No need to argue.  This is my field of expertise.  They/Disney/History Channel really dropped the ball, imo, when they cast So and So as Jesus.  

Don't believe me?  Does This Look Like A Hot Jesus???



No. I thought so.  This actor is Brendan Fraser waiting to happen.  End of story.

You want to fight?!  Okay... so there are pics to be found where Diogo pulls off the Emotionally Tortured Bearded Man look quite well.  But then there are pics of him, once again, looking like this.

  
 
Go ahead.  Tell me I'm shallow.  I'm well aware that not everyone can pull off the gaunt, tortured soul look.  Point being, Diogo is just way too.... cheeky ?  for this role.

His nose... sure.  Okay.  Maybe.

I'll even give you the upper lids of his eyes and parts of his brow...  But as a whole package, I'm not buying it.  I'd rather watch nothing but a Pack of Cards... I mean a House of Cards.

My fight-picking skills are a bit underdeveloped.  If you'd care to argue about it, we can pretend to give a shit in the comments below.

I do have some deeper rumination about this #HotJesus Bible bit.  Mainly… sometimes we forget that Hollywood actors are mere thespians, and thespians are people who weigh the pros and cons of taking a part, and of when/what/how to audition.  I often wonder what goes through the head of actors auditioning for Jesus.  Of course, not only do all of them have a special relationship with God and the Character, in this case Jesus fucking Christ, but it probably involves a multitude of additional head games where they find themselves asking God to bless the audition.  

 Let’s listen in, shall we?

Dear Heavenly Father, You have blessed me with marvelous talents and You have called me to be a Light unto the world, particularly among the often unholy studios of Hollywood.  You have blessed me, and I desire to use my talents for Your Glory.  Please, may the Holy Spirit speak through me, and may your Son’s face shine upon me during today’s audition for the part of Jesus Christ.  I desire not only to be a witness for you, Lord, helping light the path to the foot of The Cross, but I also desire to most accurately represent the Word of God Made Flesh in the artistic choices I need to make; artistic choices regarding the best way to depart to your followers how Jesus moved his long flowing locks from his face when confronted with gusts of wind from the desert, how he managed his robes when squatting to heal the sick, and how to look intently upon the face of attractive actresses playing whores, and the like, without showing the desire, the human desire, within my facial expressions (for I am only human, a man blessed with manly desires, ThankYouJesus).  May my face be a face that does not show lust, or incite lust, in the hearts of the viewers, and may you bless this screen test and audition.  Not my will, but Thine be done.

What kind of prayers and head games do you think thespians need to pray/play when auditioning for the Ultimate Role of #HotJesus?????? Share with the class, please.

Btw: to those English/Latin majors out there. Is it just me, or does Morgado suggest.... Death???!!!