123Valerie Strikes Again

Unprecedented Self-Indulgence.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Jesus Christ's Superstars

Have you ever started jamming to a song on the radio, only to find that you've been listening to a Christian station?

Oh, man, I hate that. I don't know why. I'm a Christian (BTW: Happy Yom Kippur to all my Jewish cats). It just seems there's something inherently nerdy about Christian music, so I always feel a little duped when I find myself enjoying it.

I know Christian metal and rap and ska and punk exist, but it's like, "C'mon kids. You're not fooling me. If Jesus really wanted you to be playing that crap, you'd be in a secular band, on the road, drinking, drugging and sexin' the way He intended rock stars to do. Instead, you're playing the Walnut Hill Fellowship Hall."

A similar thing happened today on the way to work. I usually listen to the news or talk radio, so I stopped at a station where a man was saying brilliant things like, "Stress comes from knowing the right thing to do and then doing the opposite." I thought it might be Dr. Phil's brother or something.

I wanted to say, "Yeah! YEAH! That is so flipping true. Hallelujah, dude. Preach on."

And then he did. And I got upset because I thought this guy was so smart and it turns out he's a stupid preacher.

And I then I had to stop and re-examine my own prejudices. I don't like re-examining myself because it's like snooping in your parent's bedroom: you always find something that you never wanted to know about.

I don't like to think of myself as a closed-minded person, but just because I don't like to think of myself that way doesn't mean I'm not. At least sometimes, anyway. I'm very progressive about women's rights, and gay rights, and civil rights and copyrights and even right hand turns on red. But, for some reason, I have a block when it comes to admitting that some evangelical preachers are progressive and smart, too.

I guess I've just seen too many Jerry Falwell speeches and spent an ugly summer attending the Mill Creek Baptist Church, during which I saw heinous behavior and judgment, all in the name of Christ's love.

When I moved in with my Mom at the end of my junior year of high school, her best friend Judy suggested I join her son's youth group to meet people. I was loosely raised Catholic, so the idea of being close with God was sort of foreign to me. I went, and it was nice to feel the passion, the energy in that group. Kids my age so sure of something.

I later realized that same passion could be turned around and, instead of being used to include someone, it was wielded to ostracize, to judge and to guilt. That's no good. Calling young women whores is no good. Allowing young men to behave in cruel, aggressive ways in the name of "soldiering for Jesus" is no good. Bible studies turned into secret sex romps is no good. Actually, that one is kind of good. I just got an idea for a porno screenplay.

But, you get the picture. I got out before they turned on me, but it soiled my view of hardcore Christians forever. I'm kind of a Christian-lite: All of the belief with 40% less judgment. Except when it comes to other Christians. Go figure.

Well, hell. How did I get started on this? I meant to write further about my sucky weekend and how my life is lackluster right now. I suppose this was a better read. Being a sad sack is getting old, but at least Jesus loves me.

In the Comments section, tell me something good you heard on the radio. The winner gets a hug from me. Actually, this prize is more for my benefit. I could use a good hug.

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