“Homosexuality is a sin!” And Other Words of Crazy Bible Thumpers

When the sun comes out in full display, the crazies come out and want to play.

The university I go to is smack dab in the center of the largest city in the state. This city has a reputation of being eccentric, liberal, and full of hippies and hipsters alike. About 29,000 people attend this school and thousands of students pass through the heart of campus, the Park Blocks, everyday.

Bring on the Bible thumpers.

“Homosexuality is a sin!”

All right, pretty tame by Jesus freak standards. Heard this before. Next.

“All sinners are going to Hell.”

Yawn. Yeah, yeah, we know. Anything else?

“Depression is the accumulation of your sins.”

Which inspired this reply from a student: “No, f#ckhead, it’s biological.”

Now we’re getting somewhere. Time to grab some lunch and watch the rest of the show.

Proselytizers love standing on the benches in the Park Blocks to spout the mighty word of God – or their superior interpretation of it at least. It never fails to draw a crowd – and oh what a crowd we have today. Let the monkey show begin.

Most times, these people are harmless and easy to ignore. They just stand around shouting to the air and whomever is bored or mildly interested enough to listen. Sometimes, there are multiple people, however and they carry large signs with bold letters that read: “God hates fags.” The leader will hold up a microphone to his religiously fouled mouth and preach what amounts to nothing more than bigoted hate speech.

Bible Thumper hate speech

Where’s the love? Whatever happened to God loving everyone? [Insert Carlin rant here]

These people in all their ignorance and spite are actually quite fascinating. I would love to catch a specimen and do some prodding tests to get to the bottom of what the hell they are and why the hell they do what they do.

Fortunately, those crazies with the signs haven’t been around recently. This day, it was just two guys, who traded shifts every couple of hours or so. I didn’t get to hear the rest of the first guy’s preaching as I was on my way to meet up with a friend, but I got to pass back by a little while later. The young guy had turned into a post-middle aged man.

The day was winding down, so there weren’t nearly as many people on campus and hanging out in the Park Blocks. The man still had a small audience in a semicircle in front of him, though. After buying a Coke, I joined the audience, picking a spot off to the side. From where I was positioned, I could only hear his louder proclamations. His mellower responses to the people directly in front of him were out of ear shot.

From what I could make out, he was talking about sex (ooo, scandalous). And based on the reactions of the people around him, it was the sexist, “religious purity” crap. Something to do with girls staying virgins until marriage. Dude, it’s a bit late to spread that message to a crowd of youngish liberal college students.

His speechifying then gravitated toward the reproductive organs.

“There is a flap of skin between the legs of a man called the scrotum.”

Man in crowd: “TESTICLES!”

Laughter.

“What is the female equivalent of the testicles?”

Woman in crowd: “Ovaries!”

No bother masking the sardonicism. “I’m a health major. Thank God for fifth grade sex ed!”

And so this went on for some time longer. I don’t really know why he was giving us an anatomy lesson.  Something more about virginal girls, unclean sinful sex, his wife blah blah blah. And something to do with heterosexual coitus being the only God-ordained type of coitus. He made the cliched “the only purpose of sex is to reproduce” and that is why homosexual sex is bad bad bad. Another sexist comment.

Man in crowd: “And what about women who can’t have children? And women going through menopause?”

Your rational reasoning is wasted, sir. What’s the point? Preacher Man ain’t going to have his mind changed. I wonder how many minds Preacher Man has changed? I doubt he changed anyone’s perspective on our campus that day (but who knows, maybe he did. Probably not.)

As I was reaching the end of my bottle of Coke and attention span, I heard music a few dozen yards down the Park Blocks. It was the university acapella group. How refreshing. Some attention diverted from the hate and ignorance being squawked by the religious nut. Something positive and less tiresome to counteract the sex organ-obsessed Bible thumper.

I debated whether to stay with the Jesus freak or go to listen to the acapella group. The debate was a short one.

Just as I joined the small group of people enjoying the musical entertainment, the acapella group started whooping and cheering and setting off poppers. Back at the Bible thumper crowd, people started cheering and clapping, too.

It took me a moment to see why. A woman had her arms wrapped tightly around a man in a suit and they both looked ecstatic. They kiss. And hug. And kiss again. I’m not much a romantic sentimentalist *cough*yeahright*cough*, but the scene just tugged at my heart strings. The man gave the acapella group a Chesire cat grin and two big thumbs up. The newly engaged woman turns to see familiar faces, “omg, you’re here, and you’re here, too” etc, etc. She shows off the ring with a Chesire cat grin of her own.

Not bad. Finally, a message of love.

Now here’s George Carlin with a special message:

Thoughts on these type of folks? Have you had any run-ins with Bible thumpers?

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It’s the End of the World As We Know It (Oh, Shut Up)

The sky is falling! It’s a plane! The British are coming!

Oh the Interwebs just love their daily dose of hysteria. To be honest, I rather dislike the news. To clarify, I dislike the news media culture. Learning about what goes on in the world outside of my little bubble is great. I love to learn and I enjoy, to a degree, hearing about how messed up humanity is. As George Carlin would say “It’s entertainment! Live a little!”

But to go back to news media culture and why it sucks – it’s ratings-driven. HBO’s The Newsroom offers a really neat – if overly dramaticized – view of the politics and backstage workings of newscasting. Jeff Daniels plays the highest paid news anchor on TV, who seeks the good old days of hard-hitting journalism. It’s reality. The powers that be of the news media culture know what we want to see because they have skillfully manufactured it. They spoon feed us stories of terrorism, poverty, political scandals, showing us how dark and miserable the rest of the world is (and how lucky the first world is). And then they give us pieces of hope, where they shower us with stories of found puppies, revitalized children, and stupid renditions of that awful, awful “Harlem Shake” trend.

It’s the end of the world, folks! Have you heard? North Korea’s gonna’ nuke us! Duck and cover, kids – they gonna’ go Gangnam style on our asses. Haven’t you seen that Olympus Has Fallen movie? Did you see how easily those Koreans took over the White House? It’s totally plausible. Secret service agents are obviously inept. They’re trained to mindlessly run out into the front lawn to get mowed down by superior Korean weaponry. Gerard Butler, save us!

Olympus Has Fallen - secret service agents mowed down by North Koreans

Shown: Convenient stupidity of unimportant characters for purposes of plot progression.

And to hell with international politics – have you heard that Roger Ebert passed away? A moment’s silence please for the king of film criticism.

Silenced yet? Give yourself and Mr. Ebert a thumbs up.

All right, moving on.

In happier news, the Craigslist Killer has been sentenced to death! Yippee…? Yeah. You see?  The news is depressing. Death, death, death. Well, death sells. If modern executions were broadcast on television, you could bet that that would get some of the highest ratings of anything in the history of “entertainment.” However, that’s actually a topic of discussion for another time.

Now that I’ve raised your spirits, here’s R.E.M.’s music video of “It’s the End of the World.”

What do you think of the news? Informational? Entertaining? Trash *cough*FOX*cough*? What’s your favorite recent news story?

Catapulting Plates At A Wall (Relax, It’s Doctor’s Orders)

Fantasies make the world go ’round. And they keep me from murdering everyone.

I have a recurring fantasy where I’m in a pristine room with walls and floor of a blindingly white lack of color. (No, that’s not the whole fantasy. I don’t have a cleaning fetish. Just stay with me for a bit.) However, while untouched, the room is not empty. I look around, sedate. There are plates, vases, bowls, pots, large panes of intricate stained glass, flower mosaic lampshades, even a low-hanging chandelier. The light doesn’t glint and dance. Nothing moves. On the far side is a pyramid of crystal wine glasses surrounded by a village of painted porcelain figurines -all on top of a Windex-scented table top. Again, it’s made of glass. This ain’t the Antique Road Show.

It’s therapy time. Get out the Louisville Slugger.

Angry Stress Man

“Stress? What stress? I’m just constipated.”

This is what the intellectuals with aspirations of super villainy call “Destructotherapy,”  or by those who dream up names for their Indie rock band, it is know as “Smash Therapy.”  Clearly, it’s therapy that involves smashing things. The rationale behind it is that the exercise of breaking stuff provides an outlet for pent up energy, primarily anger. You’re allowed to vent all the malaise that you’ve been civilly keeping locked up. Pop that lid and let it all out. But you can’t do this just anywhere. We don’t live in a delicate, dainty world. You can even argue that our world is already broken in itself, but that’s another topic entirely. However, have you noticed how anal we are as a society about breaking our belongings? All this… stuff? Comedic genius George Carlin quips about our material obsession:

“That’s the whole meaning of life, isn’t it? Trying to find a place for your stuff… If you didn’t have so much Goddamned stuff, you wouldn’t need a house. You could just walk around all the time. That’s all a house is – it’s a pile of stuff with a cover on it.”

You want to break stuff, but you don’t want to break your stuff. And you don’t want to break your friend’s or neighbor’s stuff (unless, of course, you actually do want to.) This is America, folks, the land of the almighty dollar. You can look up a place like the Anger Room, where you can reserve smashing rooms for 5 minutes (“I need a Break!”), 15 minutes (“Lash Out”), or 25 minutes (“Total Demolition”).

Letting loose, embracing your power, unleashing your inner animal. The surge of adrenaline can make you feel alive.

However, while I agree that uncorking that bursting bottle of frustration bubbly can be relieving and emotionally healthy – destruction therapy should be done with caution. I’m not just talking about wearing safety goggles and being careful about not bashing your own head in. The main point is this: everything in moderation. The mental dangers of this kind of “therapy” is that the exercise, the sudden popping of all that anger, might trigger a waterfall. The little Dutch boy’s finger is no longer enough. Now, instead of the hate eating you from the inside, you are being flooded by it, crushed by it. And in your sudden chaotic “freedom,” you thrash and splash and fight for air.

You don’t have to resign to your anger, but learn to accept it and realize that the stress isn’t all that bad. Life is rife with emotional outlets. And while the white room filled with fragile oh-so-breakable items is still a fantasy of mine, I know not to go too crazy. Or else I’ll end up in another white room with nothing but meds to keep me company.

Read on about smash therapy and anger with these links:

Bonus: And since we mentioned Carlin earlier, let’s blow off a little steam with a bit of laugh therapy with the comedic legend. (Warning: Some Foul Carlin Language)