Sunday, November 14, 2004

"And God said unto his chosen people: TURN DOWN THAT INFERNAL RACKET!"

Lately I have been deeper contemplating the role of spirituality in my life*, and this is how I have come to find myself sitting in the back pew of St. Paul Street United Church this morning, pen in hand, laying witness to one of these new fangled “Alternative” worship services that I have been hearing about from my exasperated grandmother**.

This is the first time that I have even stepped foot in a church, let alone for an actual service, in almost 20 fucking years ***...and I still haven’t spontaneously combusted into flames or broken out into foreign tongues, so all must be forgiven between me and the Big Guy. What can I say? This seemed as good an opportuntiy as any to gobble up all the leftover hallucinogens that I recovered from behind the living room couch cushions, and head on downtown to watch the religious weirdo’s carry on like hobo’s dancing in the street for spare change: "Dance you hobo's, DANCE!"

What a change since those long ago days when I would read forbidden ‘Low Rider’ magazines in the darkened church cloisters during Communion. Now, instead of stained glass reenactments of crucifixion’s and other acts of rather unholy barbarism, there are bright paintings of rainbows, stereo speakers fixed to the ceilings and archways, huge Jumbotron-type viewing screens (Godvision?) behind the alter, a full Lighting and Camera crew complete with bored soundman leering over a lit up soundboard, and a full band gigging away in the choir pit making facial expressions fit for Porno Queens as they play…it’s like I've been warped into back into an 80’s MTV music video…either that, or its ‘Karaoke Night’ at the City Mission. All that is missing right now is Phil Collins in a headset drumming out solos to “Morning Has Broken’ and a Sideshow Diving Pony to complete the whole surreal atmosphere.

It is playing out before my eyes like a nightmarish Elton John funeral!

I’ve only been here 3 minutes, barely enough time to take off my jacket and let my bloodshot eyes adjust to the candlelight, and I am already being ‘Love Bombed’ back into the Stone Age by these eager "Alternative" church-goers. Sure they just all want to welcome me with hugs now because I’m new…but soon this same brotherly acceptance will be dependant by my willingness to participate in the greater church community by salting the communal wafers or stitching together Virgin Mary Beany Babies or something. Well, when it comes to bullshit...I have the nose of a Tuscan Truffle Hog!

Already I am suspicious about being enthusiastically greeted and tended to by these strange overzealous church zombies…all inviting me to stay afterwards for ‘Cheese & Broccoli’ soup. SOUP? No fucking thanks, Moses! I’m not about to eat or drink anything from these religious wackjobs that hasn’t first been tested on about a dozen strapped down and helpless bunny rabbits. I am aware what happened at Jonestown and I’m not about to accept any funky soup, or purple Koolaid for that matter either!

I also know that until I get a little bit more settled in my new surroundings, the next beaming moron who tries to hug me is likely going to end up having a beat down laid on them that would make 'The Passion of the Christ" seem like a sorority tickle fight!

If I’m not careful, my poor drug-addled mind may just allow itself to be successfully coerced and brainwashed, and before you know it I’m bald, dressed in a white sari, and singing songs about the ripples of water in a pond in some airport lobby somewhere. At the very least, I’d probably end up back in Texas wearing a brightly colored choir gown and singing about the Sun.

Luckily, as I am writing this in my journal, I am not spending too much time focused on those huge video screens flashing random majestic images of budding flowers, baskets of puppies, and giggling babies. My guess is that they also contain subliminal messages to snort pure chlorofluorocarbons and kill all penguins worldwide…or something just as disconcerting. It’d be like I was 18 again and loaded on LSD in the front row of a Skinny Puppy concert staring at vivisection videos set to the sound of a cuisinart filled with ball bearings and trying to get lucky with a black-clad Goth chick named ‘Scabie’.

Besides possible subliminal hypnosis, these same video screens play a very important part in the “alternative” worship service…they display easy-to-follow flow charts for the congregation of simpletons to help accentuate the positive points of the delivered sermon ****. It’s like ‘Closed Captioning for the Smart Impaired’. I could be completely deaf and stupid and still understand that today’s sermon had something to do with “the head, the heart, and the hand” based on the simple head, heart, and hand motifs on the overhead screen behind the minister’s lectern. I would probably have no idea where he was going with his sermon exactly, but I can tell you that I would be equally willing to show him the awesome power of the back of my hand if he continued to insult my intelligence.

Uh-oh, the children are being sent away! It seems that the inevitable culling of the weak and sick from the rest of the herd has begun and the kids have been led away to some Soylent Green processing plant in the basement, probably to become the chief ingredient in next Sunday’s ‘Ham & Lentil’ soup.

Why does this “alternative” worship thing disturb me so much? I guess it’s because I’m accustomed to the old fashioned belief that church shouldn’t be so fucking happy in the first fucking place! Who fucking goes to church to feel happy? It’s CHURCH for fuck sakes! There are no rainbows and baskets of puppies in church…only bloodied statues and instruments of primitive torture. You go to church to feel shame and as penitence for your past week of sins. God doesn’t want you singing and dancing, hugging strangers, and handing out cupcakes…he wants you shitting in your Sunday trousers and groveling for mercy, motherfucker! Each time these rubes are consumed by the Holy Spirit, they’re not really dancing in uncontrollable bouts of happy ecstacy…that’s God kicking the bejesus out of them from the inside! Get it? “You want to be saved? Then first you have to pay the piper, bitch!”

God is not a happy dude. Did you ever see him smiling in any of those Bible pictures? Of course not! If you were ever to greet God outside his Pearly Gates with a warm hug and the uncontrolable energetic enthusiasm of a star-struck teenaged girl, he’s likely to smite you right there on the fucking spot! Next thing you know, you’re bobbing for boiled stones in Hell’s caudron! God offers his warm favor to us in much the same manner that my father may have offered his affection on an anthill in our front yard with a riding lawn mower. It’s tough love in God’s house! God ad here’s more to the James Brown theory of doctrine: to bitch-slap each and every one of us until we finally get the fucking message...and then, it's usually only upon our death beds!

With all this exuded happiness, I am eager to find out how they also feel about the hot topic on banning Gay Marriages thats currently being waged by the hillbillies that live to the south of the 49th parallel. I mean, surely these people who are so happy and eager to welcome strangers would also feel compelled to bestow everyone else the same freedom and happiness that they themselves so richly experience, regardless of whom they may prefer to flaunt their naughty bits to…right? Who cares if someone likes to boff the knots in oak trees by moonlight just as long as they’re honest and open and happy? But somehow I’m sure their opinion would not be quite so simplistic and that might mean staying afterwards for soup and being further surrounded by these weirdo’s…and that will have to wait for another day, or at least until I can finish my suit of chain-linked armor.

I think i'll stick to being a non-practising Humanitarian. How's that for "Alternative"?

* I think it may be a residual side effect of last night’s midnight snack of bacon sandwiches and deep crust apple pie.

** Whom, it also interesting to note, is also fully willing and ready to haul out my late grandfather's ashes from their internment in the church's Collumbarium with a towtruck if they don't removed that burial plaque on the wall fast enough!

*** A time the United Church still fondly refers to as the ‘Dark Ages’. When I was twelve years old, it was unanimously decided among my parents and the church elders that I not continue my studies with the churches Confirmation Class and instead give way for an easy access route straight to Hell.

**** Which, it must be said, contained way too many “thrusts” to be either healthy or holy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the first time i've heard of alternative worship! Definately bull, but it must have been a Trip and a half...LOL

I love how you incorporated the "Love Bomb" description from some recent events.

Funny as hell~LOL the analogies...right on target

Remembering back, church was always so miserable!

You actually put the unexplainable misery into words...

To quote you=
“You want to be saved? Then first you have to pay the piper, bitch!”

lmao! Bravo!

10:17 PM  
Blogger David Tosslehoff said...

Nice post! I've been reading your blog for a few weeks now and am a big fan, keep up the good work.

7:00 AM  

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