I was bitten by a zombie while I was sleeping a few nights ago and now I’m dying. Either that or a team of aliens raped me and blinded me with the light of their orgasm and now their botulism infected sperm is all awash in my sinuses, lungs and pituitary gland. I can’t even guess at the ways they must have violated me to impregnate so much of my body. They either have tiny, piercing penises or a really powerful sperm propulsion device. Or maybe alien sperm all swim like Michael Phelps after he’s had a bowl of Chronic and a bowl of Cheerios. How am I supposed to know? That’s why they are called aliens for Christ sakes, because everything they do is Greek to us. See? I’m also on a ton of cold medicine, as this ceiling fan will happily tell you. (He never shuts up. Or stops his incessant, maddening spinning.) I’ve noticed that cold medicine is a lot like 3 hits of LSD. Or maybe I have defective cold medicine.
Due to my slow, agonizing death, I’ve been unable to motivate myself to write my book, to get ready to move thousands of miles, to work on my blog, to do much of anything but read. Many of you know of my unhealthy obsession with people who are unhealthily obsessed with the rapture. My wife knows of this obsession as well and was enabling enough to buy me Rapture Ready by Daniel Radosh. The book is even more fascinating than the website by the same name but with a totally different worldview. And by that I mean they want the world to end. While the website is made up of paranoid delusional fucknuts who need a shoulder to cry on and a black president to wish eternal hellfire upon, the book is written by an outsider looking in at the alternate reality universe of Christian pop culture.
If you you’re like I am and have an insatiable need to understand the pathology that causes so many Christians to be less pleasant that a salt water enema delivered by a juiced up New York City Jail guard having a bad day, then you must read this book. Radosh, who now writes for The Daily Show, devotes an entire chapter to Left Behind, which, as it turns out, goes a long way to explaining the sociopathic nature of modern fundamental and/or evangelical Christianity.
Left Behind is a series of novels that focus on the post rapture world and are, at their core, a way for the righteous to get their holy rocks off by mentally masturbating to the suffering and deaths of ‘the rest of us’ while proverbially doing the Eddie Murphy ice cream dance to the tune of “I told you so.” What astonished me was the unheralded success of this babbling bullshit. The franchise, of more cultural harm than if Hitler had opened a hot dog chain in the diamond district, has sold over 65 Million copies and 100 million products. The seventh book in the series was the first Christian novel to reach number one on the NY Times bestseller list.
Radosh then goes on to introduce Fred Clark of Slacktivist, who, as far as I’ve read, is one of the biggest, baddest bloggers around. Clark has painstakingly, over 5 years, dissected and destroyed nearly every page of the worst series of novels that has ever been published.
Maybe it’s my own asshole-ish personality that always wants to shout “fight fight,” but I delight in the mean girl-ness of the whole thing. The fact that I’ve never read the books doesn’t make the resultant carnage any less entertaining. Also, since I never went to journalism school (I didn’t know who to ask, what to study, when to enroll, where to go, or how to begin), I’m using this literary autopsy as a way to learn what mistakes to avoid in my own writing/research.
Clark is brilliant, compassionate (towards everyone but the authors), informed, insightful and, shockingly to me, an evangelical Christian, but I won’t hold that against him, especially since he is so adept at eviscerating that particular sect of Christianity that I despise so much.
If you have a few extra weeks of your life, and wish to be ceaselessly entertained, follow this link and work your way back as Clark works his way forward (you have to go through the blog backwards, unfortunately) through this hilariously horrible book with an unbelievably evil message: if you aren’t ‘one of us’ then you can fuck off and die while we point and laugh.
Rapture Ready (the book) helped me to understand these peoples’ ignorance probably better than they do themselves. But that’s the bitch about willful ignorance; the people who perpetuate it have no desire to understand it.
My first brush with the absurdity of fundamentalist Christianity came when my mom took me to a born again church when I was little. I only had to go a couple times but I knew even then that something was very significantly wrong with these people. Don’t get me wrong, I do consider myself a Christian. However, I knew right away that the babbling, chanting, sparkly eyed zealots did scare the living shit out of me. They all looked like Paula Abdul after licking her phetanyl patch, and acted like Andy Dick after snorting an 8-ball. The phrase ‘I love Jesus; it’s his fan club I have a problem with’ comes to mind.
Since then I’ve had a weird obsession with these people. Like the elusive Meer cat, they are fascinating to observe in their natural, undisturbed environment. So in my never ending quest for blog material, I happened upon a particularly outlandish website called Rapture Ready.
I couldn’t really say what I expected, but what I found completly blew my doors off. This is an exclusive website for window lickers with like minded beliefs. These like minded beliefs include some of the following, and I am not making any of this up;
~Any minute now, a giant trumpet is going to sound, and they are going to be whisked away to paradise, leaving everyone else on earth to suffer terribly for 7 years followed by the end of the world. AND they are ecstatic about this certainty!
~ Anyone who doesn’t believe that the earth is 6 thousand years old is an agent of Satan.
~Even other types of religious people like Catholics and Rick Warren are agents of the beast and hell bound.
~Any form of yoga or meditation is opening your soul up to demonic possession.
~That anyone who cares about the environment is an earth worshipping pagan. The earth is to be raped and destroyed according to God’s will.
~That Obama is probably the Antichrist incarnate.
~That Reagan was God, and Bush was Jesus. Well ok, I did exaggerate that one, but the feelings among these people are close enough for horseshoes.
~That Buddha and Gandhi are roasting in hell, but Hitler may be in heaven if he was saved.
~That a magic 8-ball may possibly be possessed by Satan.
~Book burning should be a national pastime. Especially the Harry Potter series, the Twilight series, and anything by Richard Dawkins.
~That mental illness is in fact demonic possession.
~That too much thought or compassion is actually an evil trick pulled by…..wait for it,…………………….Satan!
~That all god fearing Christians should have a multitude of pistols, assault rifles, and other misc. NRA approved weapons readily available in the den, bedroom, and refrigerator.
Sorry I could go on and on, but then I would have a freaky, scary website dedicated to white supremacists, guns, and hate. This may be the first time I’ve actually realized what a dangerous thing the internet can be. 20 years ago you would have had to been born in the bible belt, took the short bus to a school that taught that Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs in the ‘Eden derby’, and then stayed in your home town to work the gun counter at Wal-Mart, to have held these beliefs. Maybe AOL, Verizon, Comcast, and the rest of the ISP’s should start requiring an IQ test, and if you qualify you receive a ‘surfing license’ for internet use.
Really, I had expected to probably be mildly entertained, and to definitely find some material for a blog. I did not expect to be so profoundly disturbed. I can not stay on that site for longer than 5 minutes without almost getting sick. If you spend more than 10 minutes around these people, even in cyberspace, your brain will literally melt, leak out of your ears, and pool on your lap.
These people are vile, hateful, ignorant, racist inbreds, feeding on fear and sustaining themselves on the certainty that Jesus is going to ride down on a cloud and take them to the promised land on a magic elevator.
I personally can’t fathom how a God that created all of this beauty, all of this perfection, could possibly be petty, jealous, and vengeful. Those seem like fairly unenlightened human emotions to me, but I guess I’m lacking faith.
It seems to me that the people who scream his name the loudest are the ones most in need of learning tolerance, peace, love, and acceptance. Then again I was under the impression that someone tried to teach those virtues a couple thousand years ago.
I lost a great many brain cells researching this blog. I hope you appreciate it!