Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Trust Me, This is Funny

Alright, Christmas is coming and I thought I'd kick December off with an appropriate, if not completely blasphemous, joke about none other than Your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Ready? (At this point, any practicing Christians should start genuflecting or tossing holy water on their ears and eyes). Here we go:

So Jesus is up on the cross.

He's sweating, bleeding, crying and in general, not having the best day of his life.

John (or James -- it's not so important, really) is in the crowd who had gathered to watch Jesus, uh, die.

Racked with pain, Jesus calls out to his disciple.

"John, please. Come to me. I have something important to tell you."

Dutifully, John pushes through the crowd and attempts to get past the Roman guards posted around the crucifix but is pushed back.

"I'm sorry my Lord," John cried, as he rejoined the crowd in defeat.

Again, Jesus, seemingly on his last legs, calls out to John, pleading "My lamb, come to me, I have something important to say before I leave this world."

John steeles himself and pushes back through the crowd, this time managing to distract one guard (who had been day dreaming about a better job than watching people attached to lumber slowly die) and make it to crucifix. However, before he could get a leg up, he is knocked down by the angry sentinels who curse him.

Limping this time, John returns back to the crowd, more than a little embarrassed and avoiding eye contact.

But Jesus cares not for social awkwardness and calls out a third time to John. Though feeble, his voice is strong like James Earl Jones or Vin Deisel if they were Jews.

"John! Hurry, my time is short and I have something that needs to heard."

"Son of a BITCH!" John says under his breath, being careful not to offend Mary.

Shoveling up the last of his grit, John moves back towards Jesus. This time the crowd barely protested as he climbed through, many of them snickering as he passed. Though it should be noted that this was the first utterance of the phrase "third time's a charm" -- in aramic.

John makes his way to crucifix and confronts the Roman soldiers, this time with a large stick in his hand. It was only after the first soldier fell, the side of his face gushing blood, that John remarked the irony of beating down a man to speak to someone who practiced non-violence. The second guard, who had left his spear at home, ran.

As John reached the crucifix, Jesus' cries became more desperate, weaker.

"John, hurry, I have something to tell you."

Like a rhesus monkey, John scaled the crucifix to the "oohs" and "aahs" of the assembled mob who had not expected any acrobatics along with their ritual torture/murder.

"Quick John, please." Jesus pleaded.

Pulling himself up, John was in tears as he got closer to his teacher.

And then he was at Jesus' side, muscles straining as he clung to the wood.

"I'm here my Lord." He whispered, like a prayer.

Dazed and bleary-eyed, Jesus calls to John.

"Come close, I have something important to tell you."

John leaned in, as close as he could, sensing Jesus would not be alive much longer.

"John, I . . I . . ."

"Yes my Lord.?"

"John, I can see your house from here."

Now, at this point you are either laughing hysterically or scared that just by reading these words that you are headed for hell.

If you're not laughing, I'm used to it cause my wife didn't laugh either when I told her this same joke last week. That's right, the same woman who declared, in church no less, that she was no longer a Christian, could not dare let a laugh slip her lips in the face of pure hilarity.

Now, before you give me credit for this comedy gold, I cannot take the credit. That belongs to my dad who told me this same joke countless times over the years. In truth it only came back because the punchline is in the movie "Up" which my kids watched perhaps 15 trillion times over Thanksgiving.

So there you go, share it  . . . if you dare.


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Fucking Chic-Fil-A.

Oh yeah, they have great sandwiches, incredible customer service and their peach shakes were good enough to consider selling your soul. But when it comes to religious tolerance, they have a long way to go.

So yesterday, during our weekly pilgramage to Target, my wife reminded me that we needed to stop by the dollar savings section to "pick up stuff for the Chic-Fil-A boxes."

She said this matter of factly, as if I had clue the first as to what she was talking about.

"Huh?" My face said.

"We picked up these charity boxes from Chic-Fil-A that you fill up with gifts for underpriviledged kids."

Great idea, right?

Now, like most folks, I think I fit under the category of "good people." I grew up with parents who were active in giving to charity. One of my strongest memories is driving through Philly with my father, delivering turkeys and gifts to people who didn't have enough money to get them for themselves. It was a defining moment in my life as it brought home how lucky I was. It's also something I've wanted to replicate with my kids, so I saw this as a nice opportunity.

Needless to say, I was excited -- an emotion my children never see on their dad's face while shopping. Their reciprocal excitement from being ENCOURAGED to buy as many toys as possible was only equalled by their stunning disappointment that these toys weren't actually for them. Welcome to charity girls, smells good don't it?

So after that spirit-crushing trip, we returned home with a couple bags of stuff and started filling the boxes like middle-aged Santas. It was really . . . nice. It was warming to think $35 could cause some kid to dust off a smile he hadn't used as much as he'd like -- even if it was just for one day and even if it was just over a coloring book and a toy dinosaur.

While I was filling one box, I happened upon the sheet that accompanied it; a blue worksheet intended for my chidren to fill out. it asked their names, what they like to do, their favorite this and favorite that. Then, about half way down the page, there was this bold question/assumption:

"I love Jesus because . . . "

And then there were three blank lines after it, like there's a bunch of 8-year-old religious scholars who can expound on the significance of a magic Jew who lived before Dora or even, gasp, the Electric Company. At most, I would think a kid would finish the sentence with "because he turned Christmas over to Santa Claus."

And what's with this "love Jesus" stuff? Maybe Jesus and I aren't that cool. Maybe we're like "work friends" or just neighborly. You know we wave when we see each other but we don't know each others last names (which isn't saying much because no one seems to know Jesus' last name). Either way, I don't know that I like Chic-Fil-A rushing Jesus and I into some serious thing. I mean back off, will ya?

I digress.

What really pissed me off was not the pint-size preaching, it was the assumption that my giving had something to do my supposed love with Jesus (again, we are NOT going out, OK?). If I knew I had to be "This Religious" to ride this ride, I would have gone to a different park. But, seriously, this isn't really about me, specifically. I don't practice any religion, so I know Chic-Fil-A doesn't even consider me, but what about the millions of Muslims or Hindus, or, uh, what do they call them, you know Jesus' mom and dad were . . . oh yeah, JEWS! What, they don't find happiness with a #1 combo with those fucking tasty waffle fries? Do THEY have to go steady with Jesus in order to fill a couple of boxes with middle-class regret in the shape Transformer pencil sharpners to gain Chic-Fil-A's affections?

I know you're thinking, "dude, just leave the question blank."

Sure, that would be the "rational" thing to do. Besides, Chic-Fil-A is an openly-Christian business (they're closed on Sundays). But this is about principle. There's principalities to be considered.

Soooooooo . . . . we left it blank, but I desperately WANTED to write something very snarky in there like
"I love Jesus because he doesn't care if I'm a Christian, and neither should you" or "I love Jesus because he knows all the winning lotto numbers."

Truth is, I'm not going to stop going to Chic-Fil-A, not unless I want my children to slit my neck in my sleep, but I just wanted to point out our society's bias towards the faithful. It may seem harmless or even cute, but to me it's bigotry. Deep, golden-fried bigotry that goes great with lemonade.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pray for Me

My youngest daughter, Avery, goes to church twice a week now.

Well, technically it's not church, it's a pre-school IN a church. You know, like those KFC/Taco Bell abominations that seem like both a good idea and a bad joke simultaneously.

To be sure, while the school itself is not a CHRISTIAN school, they do touch on religion with the kiddies. In fact, Avery now insists that we pray before each meal. It's this adorable clappy-sing-song thing that she does with this huge grin. The words are something like "Give thanks" clap-clap "to the Lord" clap-clap. Of course, Avery has added her own lyrics which involve imaginary friends, her toys and the dog she and her sister are literally praying for. Speaking as the resident Almighty Father, I can tell you at this point THAT particular prayer probably won't be answered -- that is unless I'm miraculously cured of pet dander allergies.

Anyway, I bring all this up to say that I personally have very sucky prayer-etiquette.

I attribute that mostly to the fact that I do not actually pray -- a direct by-product of not believing in God. Or at least, a god that answers personal requests like a middle school DJ. "Hey can you play, 'Please Pay My Mortgage?' or 'Please Kill This Guy Driving Like an Ass hat in the Fast Lane.'

So, this brings me to lunch last week with a co-worker. On our way to Chic-Fil-A, he's telling me this very engrossing story about a woman he's seeing that he shouldn't be seeing. It's all illicit sex, failed relationships, doomed psyches -- like a theater version of "Maury" -- so naturally I'm fully committed to the story.

We order as he continues his story, toning it down so the other patrons don't assume we are complete perverts, get our food and take our seat.

Mind you, just as we are spreading out our deep fried meals on the table, we had enterted the part of the conversation where I offer my pearls of wisdom.

"Honestly dude, I think you're making a big mistake."

My co-worker, usually open to honest criticism, sat, saying nothing.

In fact, his head was down.

"Hey, are you . . . "

Still no reponse.

Aw shit, I thought. Is he crying? Did I say something wrong? Maybe I've drudged up some painful memory which is about to come spilling out all over his waffle fries.

"Hey!" I said a bit more forcefully.

This time a response, a raised hand -- palm facing me.

So I paused. The words I had prepared next stopped, amassed on the border and awaiting orders.

Seconds later, he raised his head, smiled and said "I'm sorry, you were saying . . . ?"

And then it me. Prayer. Dude was praying while I was talking.

It's moments like these that I think of three things:
1. I have no prayer ettiquette. I assume when you're talking about wanton sex, that you're not gonna stop mid-sentence to chat it up with Jesus. So naturally, I don't assume I'll have to hold my tongue either. Not to mention, I'm kinda hungry.
2. Just as a matter of convienance, and I'm just throwing this out there, why don't you pray WHILE you eat. I don't mean talking while you chew (that's gross and dangerous). I mean pray . .  . with your mind. What, you don't think Jesus can read minds?
3. What does the person praying think about me? Clearly I'm powering through my nuggets without even a nod to the J-man, so clearly I'm a dick right? 

From where I sit, praying over food is usually about appreciation which I totally dig. Appreciating that I can eat and have food are things I got from my parents. Not only did they make me aware of children who had less, but my parents repeated a verse from their own Good Book. Let me see if I can recall it. Ah, yes it goes  -- "You don't own shit so be happy for what we give you." And that pretty much did it. Every time I looked at shit -- be it toys, clothes, a slice of pizza -- I would remember that said shit was temporary and that I was lucky to have it. Lesson learned, done and done.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hey That's My Line!

If this post were a movie, it would start with a prologue, a provactive scene that makes you wonder what the hell happened before it.

How about this:

"Daddy, I don't want to be a Christian."

Nice huh?

It was Sunday, exactly five months after my father died, and I found myself in a church for the first time since . . . I wanna say two years ago. Ironically, it was the exact same church, a real coincidence for a heathen like me.

My mother-in-law, and a room full of others, became deacons on Sunday and we were there to support her. And by "we," I mean my brother-in-law AND my mom (and of course my daughters and wife).

We arrived late (shocker) and sat damn near the back (bonus!). When we came in the choir was just quieting down and the shouting was just about to start.

Now, while I am intellectually curious about religion and Christianity, I find church to be pretty fucking boring. I mean not at first, but c'mon after two hours, even sex gets tedious. And normally, I'm the only heathen in the place so I have to keep my smart-ass remarks to myself or risk embarassing my wife as she does her best to fit in. But Sunday was different.

First off, I was sitting next to my mother, who despite an entire childhood in church, is as Christian as a bag of nickels. She provided a constant streams of jokes as we looked at the church clothes (does Jesus WANT women to dress like shit?), the minister's insistence on sounding like a balloon losing air whenever he used a word ending in "s." ("rest" becomes "resssssssssss," "pass" becomes "passssss," "ass" becomes "assssssss" not that he said that but thinking about it just makes me laugh). So, all in all, a good time as we did very little to hide the fact that we were only there to pass judgment and laugh.

However, what was different was that my wife was seemingly . . . .with me. Normally, I percieve her to be a bit embarrassed. She's the big sister who has to bring her little brother to the party when she knows all he's going to do is make an ass of himself and probably piss on the couch. But Sunday was different, she seemed detached from church in a way I had never seen. Comforting to me, it was slightly sad that she had let go of any possibility of feeling at home in a church. Naturally, I blame myself as does my mother-in-law -- I assume. But in my personal narrative, SHE is the one who likes, if not tolerates, church, while I am the one who shuns it like the latest Soulja Boy song.

Here's how I know. My favorite/most feared part of every church visit is the call for new members. You know, when the minister asks if anyone wants to come to Jesus in front of a room of strangers. Even in my limited church going, I have never actually seen someone take up the offer. Anyway, I ALWAYS feel like the minister is talking directly to me. And I nurse this fantasy that I will somehow be singled out by the minister who will call me down to the pulpit where I deliver a heathen manifesto with the same heartfelt fervor as Linus' speech at the end of "A Charlie Brown Christmas."

So when the minister asked everyone to turn to someone and ask them if they could walk with them to the pulpit to accept Jesus, I just KNEW someone would turn to ask me. But such was not the case. The woman in front of us, stereotypically large, turned to my wife and asked "can I walk with you?" I froze. My wife graciously took her hand and gave her the foreigener smile, the one that says "I don't really know what you said, but I'm willing to play along." The woman repeated her question "can I walk with you?" To which my wife answered, "Oh, no that's OK," and pulled her hand away. The woman, not knowing how to take rejection, smiled politelty and turned back around.

Wow, right? Granted, my wife is not one for public displays of, well anything, but her refusal to accept Jesus as her savior was significant. Naturally, I was both jealous and relived that the woman had not turned to me. I don't have enough words for the scenario I had cooked up had the woman actually turned to me. Suffice to say, it would have been mortifyingf to all parties involved.

So, fast forward to this morning. I ask my oldest daughter what she thought of church to which she answered. "It was nice but . . . "

"But what?" I ask.

"But there was one thing I didn't like. They were too loud."

"I see." I restrained my glee.

"Daddy, I don't want to be a Christian."
Shock gave way to one question.

"Why not honey?"

"Mommy said that you said you don't want to be a Christian, so neither do I."

Warms the heart, no? And yet  . . .

"Honey, daddy's 35 years old and has had a lot of time to think about these things. You're only eight, so you may change your mind."

BOOM! Didn't think I'd say that did you? Well I did. And it's the truth. While I'm in no hurry to make my children card-carrying Christians, I'm not ready to snatch away any hope of it either. They are simply too young to know any better. Besides, so much of Christianity is a fairy tale, I don't see the harm in letting them believe, if only for a little while longer.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Guess What Tomorrow Is?

Tomorrow at this time, I'll still be in church.

Yes, you read that correctly, church. The big C. God's crib. Casa de Jesus.

See, my mother-in-law will be inducted as the first female deacon of her church and we've been invited to commemorate the occassion at her church.

So this is just a prelude, a trailer to what's coming. Rest assured, I'll fill you in on all the details tomorrow. Actually, probably more like Monday. Anway, stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Twitter is for Sinners

I'm not one for trending topics on Twitter. I mean I DO have my own mind.

Nevertheless, I noted that the FIRST trending topic (that is the topic most people are tweeting about) was titled: "NO GOD."

So naturally I clicked to see what people were saying.

Before I reveal, I made the assumption that it would be filled with people raving against the poor atheist who started the trend. I guessed I would see several calls for Jesus and or God to strike them down, give him boils and impound his Saturn.

Um . . . no.

Here's a sampling of what was there:

beyonddieties wrote: "No god? Finally, a little respect for the athiests xD responsibility! rationality! logic! your own judgement!no sexism!no racism!"

Andrew_Vienne @infocyde wrote: "There is no god." is a null hypothesis, just like "There is no invisible dragon." Burden of proof is on those who say it exists.

and finally, gblas wrote: "Si dios vive en mi, espero que le gusten los tacos." Which roughly translates to "Yes, God lives in me, but then is released after a meal at Taco Bell."

After reading this, I've come to two conclusions:

1. Atheism is indeed coming out of the closet
2. Black folks were not aware of this trending topic otherwise my mother in law would have emailed it to my wife as further evidence why our children need to be in Church.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Where the Hell Have I Been?

My last post was in August, so where they hell have I been?

No good answer.

Well, actually, my boss got canned so I've been bustin' up the chifferobe at full speed at work, so I've been a bit distracted.

But that doesn't absolve my guilt.

Here I am punching buttons for the man and you're sitting there with nothing to read, nothing to share with your friends.

My poor, poor reader. (I assume there's at least one of you other than my wife).

So here's my pledge, my fucking scout's honor that I will drop at least one weekly load of my incredibly interesting life right here.

Ok, are we cool?

I mean, if this was a real conversation we'd hug it out and then segue to talking about what happened on Fringe.

But since it's not, I'm gonna say this conversation is over.


Monday, August 31, 2009

Several Thoughts . . .

Several thoughts:
1. What makes this classy is that it's written in cursive.
2. Is this considered a red light or green light for doggy-style sex?
3. "Grandma, what is that shit on your back?"
4. "I want something that says creepy/slutty without having to wear open-crotch panties and frog skulls around my neck."
5. Would her pastor be proud?
6. Who knew her pastor has such a steady hand?
7. When she's at the beach, does she get hit on by old church ladies?
8. Was a t-shirt too expensive?
9. Irony: a tattoo that says it is "not boastful, conceited or self-serving."
10. Wait till you see where she tattooed the verse about sodomy.

Since I have opened the comments to accept EVERYONE, I encourge, nay, demand that you put your own thoughts about this photo below.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Are You Ready to Rapture?!?!?!

So I'm watching "Left Behind II: Tribulation Force" -- the stunning sequel that the critics at call "quite good" -- and thought this would be the best time to talk about that other piece of gold I was sitting on last week (Look closely to see "Left Behind" star Kirk Cameron in the crowd above).

I was at work, which I often do Monday through Friday, and I happened past the desk of Vanessa, my 22-year-old co-worker who is also VERY devout (you may remember her from this post). How devout is she? Well, she's in a Christian sorority.

Stir that in your coffee.

As you may recall, Vanessa is not yet completely convinced that President Obama is NOT the antichrist. For her, the idea that he may be the Joker to Jesus' Batman is not off the table. It's one thing to question Obama's birthplace, it's another to think his mother was a jackal and that he's hiding three sixes under his afro.

Anyway, I happened past her desk and saw that she had recently been browsing on a site called There is no "about this site" page but if there was I think it would read a little something like this:
"Convinced the world is ending? Think Obama is just a little too charismatic to be human? Are you just looking for one more reason to shit your pants on a daily basis? This is the site for you."

WARNING: You will be tempted to think I'm making this shit up, but trust me, these are REAL excerpts from the site -- my comments are in parantheses.

First up, the Rapture Index page which is a sober, yet hilarious breakdown of the events leading to rapture -- each given a numeric rating between 1 and 5 (convenient no?). I'll start with some obvious ones:
False Christs -- 3
Satanism -- 2
Occultism -- 3

Here are some head-scratchers:
Oil supply/Price -- 4
Debt and Trade -- 5
Apostasy -- 4 (huh?)

And now for the comedy:
Liberalism -- 4 (Perhaps Bill Maher is the antichrist)
Israel -- 5 (I assume it's a five because it's still there?)
Beast government -- (Is that like Animal farm?)

Another great page is the Rapture Ready News which is really just a collection of news stories from other sources that eerily predict the coming armageddon:
"Artificial Trees to cut carbon"
"Wildfire Near Los Angeles Poses Danger to 10,000 homes"
"Toyota Pulls Plug on US Factory"

Seriously, these things just write themselves.

So, what's the point?
As a heathen I accept that people you love and respect may believe in things you find downright weird, but sometimes when you what they believe written out on a computer screen and rated like a beauty pageant you start to wonder if maybe your friends and co-workers may just be idiots.
You know what, if I was a Christian I would be scared out of my gourd. I mean the Anti-Christ is in the White House, artificial trees are monopolizing the carbon game and Israel insists on . . . existing? Actually, considering that satanism -- which my feeble mind would say is the number-fucking-one symptom of the end of the world, is only at a piddly 2, I would say things are good for apocalyptic Christians.
Here's my point people, much like "satanism," my respect for Vanessa is hovering around a 2. She's a very nice person and has a decent taste in music, but anyone who looks to as a credible source for anything other than blogger fodder is, well, insane.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

O' Heavenly Dog

When it comes to blogging some days are better than others.

And yesterday, my friends, was a good day.

I recieved TWO gifts -- one intentional, the second unintentional.

Let's start with the first one:

A good friend and regular Thirdsie Badasschick (a confirmed Catholic by the way) sent me an email pointing me toward what is either one of the best joke sites I've ever seen or one of the best business plans ever concieved.

Enough with the drumroll, it's

It's a kennel service for people who are saved but for pets that aren't (not only do they shit on the carpet but they don't believe in Jesus either). That's right, in the event that you get raptured, you can rest assured your precious parakeet will be well taken care of in your eternal absence (though I assume if you're given audience with the almighty creator of EVERYTHING I would assume the last thing you would think about is your fucking poodle and if she's ripping up the couch, but hey I'm a heathen so what do I know).

So just who will be taking care your filthy, graven-image worshipping pets? Filthy, graven-image worshipping Atheists, that's who. As the site says: "Each Eternal Earth-Bound Pet representative is a confirmed atheist, and as such will still be here on Earth after you've received your reward." I'm a sarcastic prick so it's hard for me to read that sentence without hearing the snark dripping off of it but the site swears it's legit.

Now, you must be asking your self, how much does this service cost?

$200? $100? $50?

Uh, actually it's $110 -- peanuts for those who don't need bank accounts or even movie theaters (which hardly seems like heaven). And since I doubt you get a lot of bars in heaven and can't call the service from cloud nine, potential customers have to pay up BEFORE they get raptured.

But don't worry, even though there are no phone numbers on the site (hey if I can't call Apple about my ipod, why would I need to call athiests about my chihuahua?), the site does have a gaurantee: "For $110.00 we will guarantee that should the Rapture occur within ten (10) years of receipt of payment, one pet per residence will be saved."

So not only do they babysit your pets, they babysit your money, too.

Ah man. It doesn't get any better than that.

Or does it?

Sorry, kids, I have to go to bed, but I'll be back tomorrow (maybe the day after tomorrow) with that other site I teased you with.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What a Difference Two Days Make

So my daughters spent two days with my mother-in-law and already they're showing symptoms of religious radiation.

1. They were singing Mary, Mary's "God In Me" -- not a bad tune actually, but still . . . really?

2. Worst offensive, my eldest, out of the blue said -- "What was that thing that Madea said?"

Uh, what the fuck? (I didn't say that out loud). "How do you know about Madea?" I asked.

She said "We saw Madea's Family Reunion at nana's house."

Of course you did.

But you know what, Tyler Perry movies are made for 8-year-olds, so I can't blame her for liking it. It's the grown folks who dig it that I can't understand.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hello Blogger!

So I'm walking back from lunch yesterday, and guess who I bump into? Leon, of fame. His blog, "Yeah, I Said It," is part of my daily web routine and he NEVER lets me down.

True story: Leon and I used to work together some years back when he was an intern. He was always a nice guy, but I had no idea the level of funny he was keeping to himself. Glad he let it out.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tyler Durden Hates Jesus

As much as I like Brad Pitt's movies -- "Seven," "12 Monkeys" and "Fight Club" are in my top 20 -- I don't really think about Brad Pitt. Though I must admit, as someone closing in on 40, I am in awe/hate with the fact that he's still built like he's a 20-year-old gay porn star.

POINT OF DISCLOSURE: While I have indeed witnessed gay porn (once by accident, another by a dare) I'm making an assumption that 20 year old gay pornstars are at the peak of physical condition.

Yes, it's nice that he's adopted half of Africa, and it's mildly interesting that he's married to Angelina Jolie but honestly, I never really pay him that much attention. So imagine my surprise that after five minutes of watching him on Bill Maher's "Real Time" I was ready to uproot my family and move to New Orleans (America's personal Afghanistan) and vote him into the mayor's house.

Why? Well here are the three cornerstones of his platform:
1. Legalization of pot.
2. Legalize gay marriage
3. No religion

Gee, I wonder why he appeals to my heathenistic world view.

While he did not out and out claim that he is an athiest, (in fact he says he was raised in a religious household), anyone who wants to outlaw religion can't be a big fan. It's like if someone says they're not a racist but just doesn't think niggers should have the right to vote. Sometimes words speak louder than labels.

But, believe it or not, I'm not for abolishing all religion. Ok, maybe some of the crazy ones like the cults that involve drinking poisonous Kool Aid or the ones that make you do this. But at the end of the day I think that for all the shit that organized religion has wrought on the world -- war, touchy-feely priests, self-esteem issues, Tyler Perry -- I fear a world without it.

I mean, all religions pretty much say preach the same things: Don't kill anyone, don't sleep with your boy's wife, don't steal and don't get caught up in material goods. All of which I agree with. It's when we have to pay fealty to invisible father figures where I get off the train, but hey, if believing that you'll catch a celestial backhand will keep you from cheating on your wife or taking out the Home Depot with a semi-automatic -- fine with me. I will even take your condescending tone and holier-than-thou side-eyes when you realize I don't pray over my food or know the difference between ministers and preachers.

So as much as I'd like for everyone to be as "enlightened" as me, I accept that people need religion. That they need to feel their dead aunts are floating in heaven or that their lives won't end when they kick the bucket. And, I guess I get it. I just wish people didn't need religion so they could feel better than other folks -- especially those without religion. No need to pull down your pants to show us how big your faith is, as a matter of fact, Jesus would probably prefer that you keep your faith in your jockeys.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Death Sucks

I lost my father two months ago.

Well, he's not lost. He's actually in a very classy, muted black urn sitting in my closet at the bottom of a white Macy's shopping bag.

Not exactly the beautific afterworld one might imagine, but for a man who never expressed (at least not to me) any clear location of where he thought his soul would end up, I suppose taking residence next my shoes and a half-full bag of guinea pig bedding is just as fitting as any ending.

Truth is, my father isn't in that urn. He is not dust, collecting dust. I know that as sure as I know my father wasn't in the stilled body that lay on the gurney on that horrible day in May.

So where, pray tell, is he?

That depends on what you believe. Or more precisely, what I believe. Not an easy task when tagged a non-believer. Not that I believe in nothing, a common misnomer for us heathens. Truth is I believe in many things, even things I can't see -- love, gravity, black holes, radio waves, the goodness of humanity -- I just don't buy many (OK, all) of the world's religion's viewpoints and thus, I am a "non-believer."

As I said in my last entry, death is one of the biggest tests of one's committment to non-committment. And on May 25, 2009 my test came in the form of a brutal pop quiz entitled: "Where's Your Dad Now?"

Well, were I a christian, I suppose I would believe he was in heaven. Indeed, many at my father's service (hold on, I'll get to that), spoke of my dad being in heaven, or at least "looking down." I admit, heaven is a great idea. An endless sky cruise for the great people of the world. Assuming you're not Hitler or R. Kelly, admission is pretty much gauranteed by most folks' reckonings. And honestly, not even Hitler's cousins think he's in hell. No one goes to a funeral where the minister/pastor/guy at the podium says "too bad he was a galatic asshole who's now hotfooting it in hell." I mean, no one looks down and says "I wonder if mom is looking up at us now."

Still, my father was not a hypocrite and he read the bible, so he knew there was only one real way to get to Christian heaven which is ACCEPTING JESUS CHRIST AS HIS LORD AND SAVIOR (that sentence just begs for all caps, right?), an act I'm sure my father never did. Now, I can't be sure that he NEVER did this, much in the way that I can't be sure he NEVER stuck a cat in the microwave, but it just feels wrong.

(Honestly, my plan was examine each of the world's religious views of the afterlife, but the closest any of my family got to one was Christianity and since we all know how that turned out, I'll save you some reading time.)

So, back to the question at hand -- where is my dear old dad if heaven is only for Christians? And what kind of service do you have for a non-believer?

First question first: I don't know where my father is or even if he still "is." I know physics dictates we are all energy and energy cannot be destroyed which is only reassuring had my father been a light bulb. Alas.

The worst part is, I know he isn't here anymore. I cannot call him, email him or laugh with him again. But I do hear him, like a song in my head that is both with and without sound. So perhaps that is something. But I hold no illusions that we will reunite on cloud nine for glasses of Coke Zero and Snyder pretzels. I mean, it's possible but at this point it feels more like self-deluding fantasy than a real occurence, but hey, I never thought we'd have a Black president either.

As to the question of what kind of funeral do you throw for an athiest (actually he claimed Agnostic)? Simple, you throw a kick-ass party. So that's what we did. We invited his closest friends, co-workers, family -- everyone who loved him -- and we ate, drank, laughed and shared stories at a restaurant. Yes, there were tears but they were outweighed by the smiles and hugs. Gone were the dour processions, the ghoulish open caskets and too-long renditions of "His Eye is On the Sparrow." We replaced them with a digital slide show, the "Star Wars" theme song on replay and an open bar.

Even if he went nowhere, I like to believe we sent my father off in a way that made sense of the man he was. Fun, a little crazy and very loving.

Monday, May 4, 2009

What Kind of Father Are You?

Sorry I've been away for a while.

Truth is, I'm sitting on gold. GOLD JERRY! In the time since my last post, I've gathered enough material for like . . . 50 great posts that I will bless you with in due time.

But it's probably best that I start with the one that happened today. I call it: "What Kind of Father Are You?"

Today, one of my co-workers was talking about her date for the weekend and the conversation soon moved to sex, or the lack thereof. Ultimately, the issue of gender politics became the main course and the big question was pitched to me: "how will you react when your daughters start having sex?"

Now, if you are a heathen like myself, there are a couple of tests to gauge your committment to non-committment. Death is one. Your daughter's virginity is the other.

I have two daughters, which means, in due time there will be two sets of boys coming through my doors looking to sleep with them. No, I don't love the idea but on the other hand, I don't want my girls to be 40-year old virgins either.

Actually, I don't want them to be 25-year old virgins.

Granted, I'd prefer they wait till they're out of my house, but "doing it" is one of life's greatest pleasures. There's taking a shit, taking a nap, love, eating and boning. My only request is that they hold onto their "precious flowers" till they leave my house, at least that way I won't have to SEE it. But I have no illusions of my daughters remaining chaste until marriage. Nor would I really want them to.

I have my reasons. Three actually.

1. They may never get married. As lovely as they are, the stats for Black women are dismal.
2. I actually WANT them to enjoy sex. I'm firmly convinced that anyone who remains a virgin past 25 is not really interested in sex. Imagine going half a century with a Cinnabon. Crazytown, right?

3. I'm not going to burden them with the idea that pre-marital sex is sinful.

When I explained my reasons, my co-worker (let's call her Michelle), asked:

"Well, what about your religious convictions?"

Now, the only reason I didn't laugh out loud is because I had not prepared to come out of the heathen closet at work. From what I can tell, Michelle was raised in a very religious home and I wasn't quite ready to go down that path with her.

So I waffled as best as I could:

"Those aren't really a problem for me." Better to appear as a lapsed Christian than not one at all, right?

"What do you mean?" She parried.

Ah shit.

And then . . . I came out. Right there at work. In front of TWO of my co-workers.

"I wasn't raised with any religion so I never really get into the whole sin thing." It was out and no bells rang. No sirens. Just quiet acceptance and perhaps silent judging. But no one stopped me.

Michelle paused and looked up from her desk and said, "You're life must be so peaceful."


"You don't know what it's like to think that what you're doing is wrong and always being like 'please forgive me God.'"

I didn't say anything but I was thinking -- "No, I don't -- Thank God."

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Easter-Geddon IV: This Time It's Personal!

It was all going to plan.

The plan was afoot. The trap was set. The bait was taken.

And then . . . BAM! Fucking Orthodox Easter.

Turns out, tonight is Orthodox Easter. A holiday I was hardly aware of has suddenly reared its ugly head right into my Saturday night.

Let's rewind a few hours shall we.

Earlier today, my wife and I hatched a devious plot to spend a night without kids by way of inviting the neighbors' kids for a sleepover. "Huh?" You say. "How will inviting MORE children over increase the chance of being alone?"

Come walk through our labrythine logic.

Our neighbors have four kids -- one of which is my eldest daughter's OMG BFF. So we invite her over for a sleepover KNOWING that the children's father thinks she's too young to have sleepovers. Plus, we anticipated that the rest of the children will be jealous and want to come over -- something that we know just won't happen. And that's where the genius of the plan kicks in.

Alright, so we threw out the first pitch and invited the eldest daughter over. Her mother said "yes," a little too quickly. I would be lying if I said we weren't a little scared.

Forty minutes later, the mother called stating that it's her daughter's birthday tomorrow (did I mention that they're Jehovah Witnesses -- at least the mother is -- so her child's birthday wasn't going to be a big deal) and she wanted to invite our two daughters over instead.


Not ten minutes later, I'm rushing around the house -- literally throwing my childrens' pajamas on, gathering toothbrushes and shoes. It's what's known as "Married Man Nesting." It's eliminating all distractions and deterrents from your wife's surroundings so that she can concentrate on . . . making brownies (look my parents read this blog so give me a break).

Anyway, the children are dressed and ready to go. So I called the mom -- "The girls are ready to come over." Yes I love my children but to say I wasn't hopping around like a puppy would be a lie.

"Well, actually we're going to a midnight Easter service. I didn't know earlier. I'm sorry."



Fucking Orthodox Easter has ruined my Saturday night. On a night when I had planned some decidedly un-Christianlike behavior, Jesus has resurrected and achieved a masterful cock-block. Well done Son of God.

For you curious few, Orthodox Easter is the neighbor's father's idea -- it's not a JW thing. He's fighting an uphill battle against his wife's new found faith with Jehovah's Witnesses and is doing his best to keep his kids out of Kingdom Hall. I don't blame him, but couldn't he have found a different day to fight this war?

Don't miss the Easter-Geddon series here:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 2.5

Part 3

Sunday, April 12, 2009


It is 10:39am on Easter Sunday.

I am in my pajamas.

Prophecy fulfilled bitches!!!! That's right, my two-year church famine remains intact as I predicted!

If you've been following along, you'll know that my in-laws have been quietly (and not-so quietly) angling to get me and my family to church today. They've sent my daughters Easter Dresses, emails about putting our children on "the right path," and constant quieries about our activities for the holiday.

Meanwhile, I have been quietly hoping that we would NOT be in church. Not just because I'm a a heathen, but because church on Easter seems just a bit EXTRA, know what I mean? It doesn't so much bother me that everyone is there to show off their new duds and freshly-scrubbed devotion, it's the minister I'm worried about. They seem contractually obligated to go that extra mile on Easter, marathon preaching.

At least, so I'm told.

I don't know that I've ever been in a church on Easter. So, this is just a guess. But let me share with you two comments I heard this morning that further illustrate WHY I've never been.

Comment #1:"You know, Easter really sucks."

This is my mother as she dutifully picks up plastic green "grass" and consolidates the children's chocolate treats into plastic ziplock bags.

"It's messy and the only people who get anything out of it are the fucking candy companies."

Starting to get the picture yet?

Comment number 2: "Oh yeah," she exclaims, "I forgot it was Easter today."

That's my eldest daughter waking up and responding to the news that if the Easter Bunny left anything for her and her sister.


To be truly honest, we haven't fully escaped Easter's orbit as we are currently getting dressed to meet my mother-in-law for brunch at Houlihans -- which, I guess for her, is the next best thing to getting us in church. I'm sure we'll hear wonderful things about the service and be offered an invitation to attend something very soon.

The funny thing is, as much as I am opposed to church, my wife is the one who truly dug her heels in. She KNEW we would be under pressure to go to some sort of church service so she made sure NONE of us had anything "proper" to wear. All four of us are wearing jeans, sealing our heathenistic fate not to step foot in a church.

So there, take that Christian holiday. You've just been defeated by denim.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


So, I'm at home today on "sick leave" -- cough, cough. For real, my wife really was at the hospital (nothing serious), so I had to pitch hit for her home day care (which includes my daughters, a five year old boy and a four-month old infant). In other words, fun, fun, fun!

Anyway, around 10:30 there's a knock at my door. Lo and behold it's the Jehovah's Witnesses!

Flanked by three old women, they quietly ask me if my wife is home. I tell them "no" and they smile and hand me a little booklet. No muss, no fuss.

Not an hour later, the doorbell rings again.


But this time . . . a familiar face.

Oh shit, it's the JW who had been "studying" with my wife for three years until she tried the hard sell and got the boot (you can read about that confrontation right here). It was like seeing some chick you dissed over the phone suddenly show up at your door with flowers.

I'll give the woman her props, she is persistant. When you take into account that my wife pretty much told her to buzz off AND that she read my blog account of visiting her church, excuse me, Hall -- you figure this woman REALLY is convinced that she knows Jesus. Bless her heart.

"Hi David," -- she never remembers my name.

"Hi, how are you?" -- I don't care to remind her.

"Is your wife home?"

"No, she's not."

"Oh well, can you give this to her?" She said handing me the exact booklet the other crew gave me.

"No problem." I'm not lying, I really will give it to her -- so we can laugh together.

"Well, just so you know, we're having a celebration tonight just around the corner so if you want to come by."

So what celebration warrants TWO visits from the JW's within an hour? What's all the hub bub?

Why, the death of Jesus.

Um, Yay?

The booklet read: "Each year, Jehovah's Witnesses mark the anniversary of Jesus' death with a simple ceremony. . . This year, the anniversary falls on Thursday, April 9."

Awww, how inconvenient. Thursday night is the night for "The Office" and "30 Rock" so . . . maybe Jesus should have picked another day to kick the bucket (yes, I have a DVR but I like those shows LIVE). Not to mention, I've seen the JW version of a "rousing day at church" so I can only imagine that a JW's version of a "simple ceremony" would be a lot like playing solitaire in front of a mirror -- only slightly more boring.

Being an optimist, I understand hoping against hope. So, I totally get that look in her eye when she offered the invitation. Sadly, I think she understood the look in my eye that said something like "ain't no way in hell we're showing up."

Not to be mean, but if I'm not going to regular church for Easter (God willing), why would I show up for a second-hand religion's simple ceremony? Yes, the blogging fodder would be AMAZING, but I'm simply not up to it tonight -- need I remind you what's coming on?

With only three days to go, my plans for a sacrilious Easter are looking pretty, pretty, good.

What could possibly go wrong?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Did I tell you that I almost joined a church?

Yeah, it was last Sunday.

Actually, it started Saturday when I saw a really attractive flyer in my door. It was someone changing a tire except the tire was colored like the planet earth. Corny? Maybe, but it got to me (That's part of the image above with the best part inexplicably cut off -- damn technology).

So I read on.

"Why does Easter matter? Because through the life of Jesus Christ, God's love has been unleashed in the world."

Perhaps I should have seen that coming since the url emblazoned on the flyer was but I soldiered on mainly because I saw stuff like this:

"his followers here in your neighborhood are sheltering the homeless, caring for the elderly, providing volunteers in our public schools - and reaching out around the world to combat global poverty and HIV/AIDS, and doing many other things that really matter."

Despite my lack of religion, I do like to help people, even if it means hanging out with church folks or even, gulp, going into a church to do so.

So, last Sunday, I called the number on the flyer for the church nearest me.

Here's a somewhat fabricated transcript:

"Hello, I got a flyer in the mail and I'm interested in helping out in our community."

"Great, will you be coming to church on Sunday?"

"Uh, no but . . . ."


Actually, the call was longer than that and the guy ended up giving me some very useful, non-church related contacts, but the it did end that way.

Indeed, they weren't looking for people to help out necessarily as much as they were looking for butts to fill their seats during Easter, which is like the Superbowl of Christian holidays. No, that would Christmas. Easter is like the Final Four of Christian Holidays, you know, only for the die-hard (pun intended) fans who are REALLY into the game. Whereas pretty much ANYBODY who gets off the boat or crosses the border "gets" Christmas. It's flashy, fun and gives everyone an excuse to spend more time in Best Buy and Target.

So, it looks like I fell for the the old-bait-and-switch. It's the way Time Share companies get you to sit through 90-mins of pressure sales and slideshows on the promise of a free Disney vacation. Actually, that's a lot like church -- mandatory torture with the promise of prefabricated bliss (and, usually, another 90-minute lecture on why you should opt-in).

It's kind of like how I started this blog with saying I almost joined a church when in actuality, that's no where near the truth. But it got you to waste 90-some seconds on reading what some (mostly I) would call bliss.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Oh, it's on baby!

With Easter only a week away, the subtle battle to get my children into church has just gone digital. My in-laws are getting desperate. Remember the day before election night, the Republicans dragged Rev. Wright out again in those scary commercials? Yeah, it's getting that desperate.

QUICK RECAP: A few weeks ago, my wife's aunt sent our daughters some very pretty, very useless Easter dresses. Earlier this week, my mother-in-law, the first female deacon of her church, began asking about our Easter day plans of which we have none. If I'm not mistaken we'll be at Hershey Park the day BEFORE Easter but somehow I don't think those dresses will fly there.

Just yesterday, however, my mother-in-law fired off the following email to my wife and brother-in-law:

Direct Your Children in the Right Path
Proverbs 22:6 (NLT)

I was really blessed when I heard my 3-year-old grandson tell the story of Jonah and the whale from a toddler’s perspective. I was blessed by the fact that my son and daughter were teaching him the Word of God at an early age. . .nothing is as important as bringing up your child in the fear and admonition of the Lord. In Proverbs 22:6 we find these words that encourage us to impart to our children the ways of the Lord: "Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it." The writer is clear that the training must start at an early age, so that when they become mature they will not depart from the ways of the Lord. He also recognizes the importance of the parents themselves walking in the ways of the Lord.

In other words: PLEASE, please, PLEASE take my grandchildren to church this Easter.

Trouble is, my wife is stubborn and will keep our children out of church JUST because she's being pushed to do it. Me, I honestly don't think I've ever been in church on Easter -- historically I spend that day gorging on chocolate rabbits and picking that plastic grass out of my sheets -- so I don't know what I'm missing. Besides, celebrating the death and supposed resurrection of a thousand-year-old Jewish guy by listening to another guy hoot and holler for three hours sounds EXACTLY like the last thing I'd like to do with my Sunday.

But back to the email.
Here's what I find ironic about it. Both my wife and her brother were raised in church. They sang the songs, went to Sunday school, performed in plays -- the whole kit and caboodle. In other words, they were on the "right path" so says the email, and yet . . . neither of them attend church now unless its for a funeral, wedding or a guilty trip while visting their mom. I'm not sure either would pass the Christian litmus test.

On top of that, both married people outside their "faith" and none of our kids can tell you the difference between Noah and Nebakanezer. You know my story, but you don't about my brother-in-law's wife. Raised as a Jehovah's Witness, she has since defected and become a super non-JW Christian. Well, not really, but she celebrates Christmas like nobody's business which is a cardinal sin for JWs. That and being taken seriously. In short, she's as much a Jehovah's Witness as I am a giraffe.

Ok, so here's the point. The email says if you raise your children to be Christians then they will remain that way. But as I see it, if you don't teach them to value it or really understand it and just regurgitate the myths and fear (which are fun) then odds are they WON'T stay "on the path."

So what if you're NOT raised with a religion? Does that mean you'll . . . stray off the . . . oh shit . . . I never considered that. I may have just made my blog obsolete.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

All Dressed Up . . .

These are my daughter's Easter dresses.

They were given to us by my aunt-in-law Cheryl (is that right?) for the great African-American tradition of getting gussied up for Easter service.

But wait, you ask, does that mean I'm going to church this year?

Fret not, Thirdsies, I will not be at church for Easter -- I'm actually looking to make 2009 a completely church-free year -- so keep your fingers crossed. You know it, I know it and so does Aunt Cheryl. But this is the latest passive-aggressive missive in the largely silent, but deadly war between myself and my wife's devout relatives.

Want another example?

Every year, we get Christmas cards from her Aunt Sharon who never forgets to add, in her own hand-writing, "Never forget, Christmas is about the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ -- so get to Church before your soul is reduced to a bubbling strip of hell-bacon."

She doesn't actually write that last part, but it is implied.

About two years ago, my wife's theological entertaining of Jehovah's Witnesses, threw her whole family into a tizzy. They all volunteered two hands and both shoulders in the tug-of-war to save her soul -- all doing their part to wrestle her back to Baptism and back to church.

During a conversation with her Aunt Sharon, my wife mentioned that she was still keeping her options open in terms of religion -- you know just dating and not committing to one supreme diety just yet. And, being the understanding and loving aunt that she is, Sharon said kindly: "You don't want to go to hell do you? What about your kids, don't you want them to go to heaven?"

Sweet, no?

And, really, at the middle of this war is our lovely daughters, who, for all my in-laws know, are graven-image-worshipping heathens in desperate need of saving. Hence, these Easter dresses which were either washed in Holy Water or equipped with a tractor beam that pulls the wearer to the nearest Easter Service. If not, the next time these dresses find themselves in church will be when they're picked up as donations.

So far as Easter is concerned, I have no idea what we're doing. We'll be at my parents so, you know, no chance of church there. But the month is still early so anything could change.
Trust me, if I end up at church, you'll be the first to read about it.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Shake Your Ass for Jesus

Question: What's the difference between a Sunday Church service and an ecstacy-fueled, UK rave party?

Answer: Not very much.

If you do a search on youtube for "baptazia" you'll find a collection of videos featuring footage of church-goers "catching the holy ghost" dubbed over with frenetic, drum and bass music. The result . . . well, take a look for yourself.

Ok, there are simply too many gems in this to pull out the best, but my favorite moment comes at roughly 2:33 when a woman calmly pulls her unsuspecting toddler out the way from the guy's flying feet of fury.

Jesus is My N*gga

So, I'm bouncing around the interwebs Sunday afternoon and I bump into none other than Black Jesus (no, not Leon from Madonna's video).

Turns out, not only did this dude die for all our sins (allegedly) but he is funny as shit!

Watch a couple of these skits (courtesy of Aaron MacGruder) and if you don't laugh, know that Black Jesus will come for you like a thief in the night and break your pinkie toes.

What I love most, these videos are 100% biblically accurate.

Here's another one:

Yes, I'm a Twit

Just like everybody else online, this blog is now on Twitter.
So now, instead of waiting for my updates you will see what I'm doing ALL THE TIME!

Drink the kool-aid here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

WWJD -- Who Would Jesus Do?

Even a heathen like me thinks there is some truth in the bible, namely the verse about not judging others for fear of being judged.

Having said that, I was on the website the other day and I thought this would be a perfect time to discuss it.

Don't worry why I was there, I was just there, OK?

Here's a brief trip through the chapters of the site.


I actually doubt it, but anyway:

"Threesomes Within a Christian Marriage"

"Anal Sex and God's Will"

"A Proposal for a Christian Pornography"

Curious? Still willing to press on? Good, here are few excerpts

"for a young woman who has never engaged in sexual intercourse, having anal sex allows her to preserve her virginity (i.e., maintain an intact hymen) until marriage. There is no greater gift that a bride can give than to offer her pure, unsullied maidenhead to her husband on their wedding night."

You hear that ladies? God wants you to give your man anal. If only to perserve your precious, precious virginity.

Ready for another?

"Aside from swallowing semen as a measure to prevent the waste and spillage of seed, ingesting ejaculate can have spiritual benefits."

I mean, I've heard Christianity used to prove a LOT of things -- slavery, homophobia, Obama as the antichrist -- but even I was taken a back by this site. There's agenda and then there's agenda.

Dude, if you want to validate your sexual kinks, look to Hindu and the Kama Sutra. Not the fucking Bible.

Naturally, you'd think I'd be all in for a sexual misreading of the bible, but even I have a limit on bullshit and this site, my friends, is bullshit.

I've read the bible (well, most of it) and there's not a lot of justification for anal sex in there, nor gangbangs. Methinks the authors of are trying to prove something to themselves -- that their kinky ways are somehow supported by their Puritanical upbringings.

Look, if you want to justify your proclivity for threesomes via the New Testament, I say more power to you. But just don't expect the rest of us to buy it.

Oh, and to answer the question the title of this blog asks (Who Would Jesus Do?) -- according to, it would be a woman who's into porn, threesomes, anal and/or oral sex.

Soooo, I'm gonna guess Jada Fire. Yes, Jesus would totally do porn star Jada Fire. Here's her not-safe-for-work profile.

Don't think she's HIS type? Check out this shocking video:


Sunday, March 8, 2009

Some Conjurer of Cheap Tricks

I am a wizard.

I know I've never mentioned it before, but really it just came up yesterday.

It was a beautiful day in suburban Maryland so the whole fam was outside chilling and inevitably, we ended up across the street with my daughters' best friends -- the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Now, my children know that I am a wizard and ask me to do tricks all the time -- namely pushing a crayon (or something else small enough to conceal in my hand) into my ear and pulling it out of one of their ears.

So yesterday, my youngest (who has no idea that Jehovah Witnesses abhor magic almost as much as birthday parties) asked me to conjure up my famous trick right in front of the four kids across the street -- the same four kids who go to Kingdom Hall every week and occasionally ask me if I "know Jesus."

Needless to say, they were enthralled! After they saw me push a purple Crayola into my ear and pull it out of my youngest's nose, they all became fans/heretics. Suddenly, they were all lining up to be my next partner in blasphemy. Soon I was pulling crayons out of ears, noses and underarms, seranded by a chorus of "oohs" and "aahhs" from the children.

Their mother, a lovely woman who I genuinely like, sat quietly observing and piping up only to nervously say "Oh, kids. They believe anything at this age."

Which is true. Very true. Namely, that a virgin could give birth or a man could live in the stomach of a whale for three days and three nights (sounds like a time share pitch doesn't it?). I mean, if a cheap parlor trick makes you worry about your children's theological future or makes you question your faith, I would consider getting a maintenance plan the next time you go to chur . . .er Kingdom Hall.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

"The Shack" Attack

Ok, ok, it's on.

Perhaps she didn't know it, but yesterday, in my kitchen, my mother-in-law threw down the theological gauntlet.

"You know you should read 'The Shack,'" she offered, putting on the best imitation of nonchalance I've seen in a while.

This all started because I was asking questions about becoming a deacon, something my mother-in-law is studying for at the moment. This segued into a general conversation about religion, of which she knows I have none.

And that's when she fired off her literary suggestion. But suggesting I read "The Shack" is like telling your fat friend to read something by Richard Simmons. It's less of a recommendation and more of a threat, it's a taunt to change your ways. I realize you don't know me, but I don't cotton to threats too kindly --- so I reckon I'ma read that book (sorry, intellectual challenges make me talk like Old West prospecters). Today I am going to the library to go get "The Shack" and you lovely readers should expect regular updates as I read it and share my excellent thoughts.

But before I start with my weeks long review, you should get a little background.

Here's what I know about "The Shack."

1. I almost picked it up last summer because I thought it was a Dean R. Koontz book (if you see the cover, you'd understand).

2. My main man Hank Hannegraf (radio's Bible Answer Man) does NOT dig the book, saying it made him "more than just a little queasy." Now, considering that I only like Hank in an ironic way (see my earlier post about him), I'm not sure how to take his criticism but there you go.

Honestly, I'm not expecting much from "The Shack," mostly because all the Christian fiction I've read or seen is just really bad (remind me to tell you about the failed "Left Behind" experiment of 1999 -- I got six pages in before hitting eject). I understand that Christian fiction are morality plays, but do they have to FEEL like morality plays, much less plays for fifth graders?

I point to Kirk Cameron to make my point:

Take this scene from "Fireproof," Kirk's latest God-happy flick about a fireman trying to save his marriage. If only I could figure out what I'm supposed to learn from this scene.

Anyway, you get the picture. My expectations are low, but I'm willing to read -- especially because it's free. Honestly, at this point, the only thing I'm dreading more than reading the book is going to the library to get it. It's like going to the porn store where you are firmly judged as one of THOSE kinds of people. I realize I don't owe everyone an explanation but I feel like I need to tell the librarian "I'm only reading this book to snark all over it, not because I need enlightenment."

Hmm, maybe I'll just print it on my t-shirt -- "I Read Christian Literature For My Blog." Consider it done.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Day the Church Stood Still

Tomorrow is the BIG day.

Can you feel it? It's like, it's like . . . electricity.

No, it's not Arbor Day (that's in May - I think).

It's . . . .it's . . . Take a Black Male to Worship Day.

That's right on Sunday, March 1, 2009, every man, woman and child is morally obligated to take a black man -- any black man -- to church.

Doesn't sound familiar?

Well, according to the email from my mother-in-law Take a Black Male to Worship Day is "sweeping the nation."

And you know me (actually maybe you don't), I have my Sunday best already -- HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHH! Ok, I couldn't even finish writing that without laughing.

Truth is, the email did not come to me, it came to my wife. To be honest, my mother-in-law forwards her EVERYTHING that comes into her inbox, so perhaps this was just another email, but somehow I think her sending this message to my wife had more purpose.

If you're new to my blog, you don't know that my mother-in-law is an ardent Baptist, the first female deacon at her church and overall fan of the J-man and all his greatest hits. While she is well aware of my rampant heathenism, I've never been fully convinced that she's as cool with it as she seems. From the moment my wife and I started to date seriously, I've been waiting for the big "we know you're a god-less heathen and we love you but . . . " conversation. And yet, it's never come.

Nevertheless, I suspect the email was not just a regular forward but a not-so veiled attempt to get me, and most importantly, her religiously-ambiguous daughter, into church.

It's not going to work. The closest participating church is in Wilmington, Delaware -- a good hour and 45 minutes from here. Considering that there are four churches less than a mile from my home that I already ignore, what do think the chances are of me visiting one in another state? Here's a hint: it rhymes with "Nero." If you want me to go to church, you'd have to promise that it would be 30 minutes or less, I could wear what I wanted and could openly challenge the pastor at any moment by yelling "THAT'S BULLSHIT!" Oh yeah, and there would need to be a weekly screening of "Star Wars: Episode III" for good measure. Or maybe I would just have to read this book.

Seriously though, the idea behind the day is very nice -- showing that men are role models in the Black community. I get it and appreciate it, but somehow I doubt we'll see the same turn out as we did for the Million Man March, or even the first midnight showing of the "Dark Knight." Still, I think it's a great idea for those already going to church.

Me? I suspect that tomorrow at 10am I will be in my basement robbing a bank or some other criminal endeavor on Grand Theft Auto IV. But rest assured, right after that I will spend some precious time with my kids and wife. Actually, she'll be at the gym. but RIGHT after that, we will spend some quality, family time. And by "family time" I mean watching TV.

Make that "lovingly watching TV."

Oh, you get the point.

PS: That image at the top of the blog, yeah, it took me 10 minutes to find it. So maybe this day is beyond my snarky reproach.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

If There is a God, He Looks Like . . .

Danny Glover.

Yes, Morgan Freeman is a good choice but I have to believe God has a really kick-ass dental plan and wouldn't let his teeth look like his dentist is employed at Shawshank.

Apparently my oldest daughter agrees, or at least, THINKS God should look like Danny Glover.

How do I know, you ask?

I blame Black History Month. Or at least the Black History Month posters in her school that cause her to ask questions about Martin Luther King and Whites Only water fountains.

Well, it all starts with racism. Or at least, my definition of it. Even in this age of Obama, and the fact that we live in a predominately Black area, my wife and I still feel it necessary to tell our daughters about good ole' USA-Prime racism.

So last night, as I was reading "The Story of Ruby Bridges" to my two girls, the question of racism came up.

My eldest asked why the little girl wasn't allowed to go to school with the other children.

"Because back then White people didn't think Black people should go to school with them."

"But she's not Black, she's brown."

"Well, that's what we call ourselves."

I won't bother you with the back and forth about the actual color of people but you might imagine it took some time.

And then, from left field, she asked "what color was God when he was a man?"


First off, that's a clear Christian concept. Not angels, not the la-di-da big poppa in the sky idea. No, that was a question born of a Christian agenda. One I suspect she got from hanging out with her friends across the street -- you know the Jehovah's witnesses.

Instead of tying her to a chair and interrogating her about this new wrinkle in her growing theology, I asked simply:

"Do you mean Jesus?"


"Well, he was brown like you and me." Now, I don't know that he looked like Mekhi Phifer or Kanye West, but he probably looked more like Barack than Barry Manilow.

She chewed it over a minute and then replied:


Well, I can't argue there.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Barack Obama is the Antichrist

First off, happy new year. I haven't posted since Thanksgiving, which is really sad. Needless to say my resolution in 09 is to blog more often. And since this is my first post of the year, I figured I'd start with a doozy -- namely that I have discovered a horrible truth likely to shake the world.

Barack Obama is the antichrist.

Or at least, he very well could be.


Well, I have proof.

Ok, I don't have the proof but the God-fearing people at do.

Witness the following IRREFUTABLE facts taken directly from the site:

"Revelation 13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.

Obama has spoken great things about "Change" and new prosperity for the world, written a book called "The Audacity of Hope." Many would say his argument that he is the best pro-life candidate is a blasphemy. 42 months is about the length of a presidential term."

Eerily accurate, no? I mean this couldn't possibly be any other presidential candidate, right? Truth is, as a child of the 80's Ronald Regan was considered the best antichrist candidate because all three of his names all have six letters. Not to mention that if you play his first state of the union address backwards it says "Satan is the cat's pajamas. If there was one person I would play boggle with it would be the horned-devil himself."

Want to know what's scarier? When I shared the website with my co-workers no one laughed. Instead they looked scared, saying, more or less, "Yeah I heard about that. I hope its not true."

Note the ironic use of HOPE here. I did.

Granted, I don't believe in the antichrist, or even the prochrist (if such a person exists), but I really didn't think anyone took this shit seriously. Not even the truly devout or recently converted (who I have found believe in EVERYTHING).

One of my co-workers, a young woman named Vanessa (not her real name) who is very devout to be so young -- at least in my book -- was leading the "maybe" charge.

She said "Well, I don't think it's true but it's possible. I mean, the bible has predicted hundreds of events that have come true."

Before I could stop myself, I proclaimed -- "I really need to see that list."

She went on to say that we would really know if Obama was the anti-christ if we have seven years of peace and Obama would make Palestine and Israel sign a peace treaty that would last seven years.

I asked if Israel and Palestine were aware that Obama was the antichrist (allegedly) because those motherfuckers have never stopped fighting. But that plain fact did not disturb their fear, I mean, faith.

Later that evening, Vanessa emailed her sources for proving the bible had proved its worth through accurate predictions. She prefaced the email by saying that while she was not able to find a site that listed all the proven prophesies, she found one that listed at least eight. The site is, which I presume is for those preparing to vanish from earth like blinking christmas lights.

Anyway, the site proves that the bible is the word of God because it accurately predicts that:
A. Jesus would be born of a virgin
B. He would be born in Bethlehem
C. He would like animal crackers

If you ask me, this is about as valid as saying that Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace is true because it accurately predicted the coming of Darth Vader. Look, I'm not here to change anyone's mind or tear down their faith, but you have to understand that to a non-believer, all this talk of anti-christ and Obama is fuckin' bananas. Not just because Obama is a proven good (can you tell I voted for him) but because the tell-tale signs of being the anti-christ is about as specific as the astrology readings in the daily paper.