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Posts Tagged ‘Church’

Dear Women* Who Date My Sons,

Ladies, I’ve tried my best to ensure they understand our anatomy. Once, I even pulled out a diagram of our bits at the dinner table.

(Look. Listen. Education has no boundaries.)

I never ever want them to be like these idiots:

I’ve told them porn isn’t realistic. I mean, I’ve never once gotten off by someone slapping my parts. I don’t know any woman who has an instant orgasm from penetration. There are no naked pizza delivery drivers in my neighborhood.

If you have and can, and there are, good for you! No shade.

I should share this with them and really make it weird:

It’s a good explanation.

Of course, there are plenty of other … uh … aspects of and tactics for gratification.

Just know that I have told them they need to make sure you get yours. And to listen to what you say about how to do that.

Also, we’ve discussed various methods of birth control and THEIR responsibility.

Not that I’m advocating for sex willy nilly, but I am realistic.

They are still teenagers, so they have plenty to learn. Just know I’ve done my best.

Looking forward to getting to know you!

Sincerely,
Your boyfriend’s mom

*Before anyone gets hot and bothered, let me say that I used to start off sentences with, “When you date someone, and he, she or they …” I just wanted to leave the door open. But every time I said that, they informed me they like girls. The door is still open; I don’t care.

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Dear Beauty (and those with similar viewpoints),

I read your blog, posts, etc., because your beliefs are so different from mine. I’m really trying to understand. To find some common ground. It’s really hard, though.

And you clearly aren’t seeking dissenting voices. (I’ve mentioned before how you won’t approve comments that disagree with you. That’s your prerogative, of course.)

In your latest post, “The War For Young Minds” (no hyperbole there 🙄), you lament a part of “Hocus Pocus 2.”

Unpopular opinion: Your mistake was watching “Hocus Pocus 2” and not because of any drag queens. The original “Hocus Pocus” is unbearable.

But I digress.

Here’s the thing (and what I wrote in a comment that you deleted):

This doesn’t affect you. Drag queens do not impact your quality of life. A trans person living his/her/their life does not harm you in any way.

Let’s talk about the pejorative “woke.” Why is it so wrong to show people who are different from ourselves on TV and in movies? Why is representation threatening to you? Why does it bother you that a person wants you to use preferred pronouns in reference to him/her/them?

I know you are super religious, so let’s talk about a quality of God you’ve mentioned: never making mistakes.

You know what does affect children? The fear of being killed in school. There was a shooting Monday at a school three miles away from my house. That’s 40 school shootings this year, in case you are keeping track.

For someone who is so devoutly pro life, I would think you would care about that.

I have never once worried that a drag queen was going to kill me or children. In fact, drag queens have improved my life with meat prizes.

You know what else affects children? Predatory behavior.

I would think that Christian Republicans like yourself would care about that too. But no, that concern is selective, political, engineered and manifested for personal gain.

I have never once worried that a drag queen was going to molest my children.

So spare me your outrage. All I see is hypocrisy.

If you profess to care about children, you need to care about the children going to school worried about their safety. And children being preyed upon by grown men. And the ones who are LBGTQIA.

Some children may even grow up to be drag queens. If they are lucky. 😉

How do you explain to a kid why men are dressed as women? You say, “Because they want to.”

It’s as easy as that.

I mean, who cares?

Right. You do. Too much.

“Woke agenda.” Sigh. Drag is “harmful.”

Look. Listen.

Raise your children the way you want. Have the experiences you want to have. Surround yourself with likeminded people. Believe in and celebrate God. That’s your privilege. But know that it is YOUR responsibility to watch over your children, not Disney’s.

Someday, I hope your view of what’s appropriate, acceptable, “normal” and worth attention will change.

In the meantime, I wish you all the best.

Sincerely,
Beth

*Thanks, Aerosmith!

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Dear High Road,

I really don’t want to take you. I don’t. But I knowI should.

For example, someone has angered me, and I want to tell off that person. Immediately and thoroughly.

I want to go FULL KAREN.

My journalism and PR background has helped me know you. And you’ve always served me well.

I’m not a bridge burner.

I believe in karma.

But.

Your antithesis, the low road, is looking mighty appealing. Calling to me, even.

Sigh.

But I will. Because I am better than the person I mentioned above. Karma can sort him out.

I’ll be seeing you. Loads.

Yours truly,
Beth

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Dear Folks Who Won’t Get the COVID Vaccine:

I’ve created a handy chart for you to help in your decision making.

Look. Listen. We all had to get vaccinated to start school. What is the sudden problem? And you don’t want to show proof? We’ve all had to show proof of vaccinations our whole lives for school. It’s a public safety issue.

We also have had to show proof of identity when flying. And driving. And returning to the country. And voting in many places. (Hey, Georgia!)

So what’s the big deal with vaccine passports? We’ve had vaccine records for years!

We already have government mandates for safety (OSHA, seat belts, helmets, speed limits, etc.).

But some of those things only protect the individual, while others protect, well, others.

Vaccines protect you and others. Many diseases are gone because of vaccines.

Please get yours so we can all get back to normal. And so, you know, you won’t DIE.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Beth

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Dear Evangelicals for Trump:

I infiltrated your ranks Thursday night, against my own best interests and Eddie’s wishes.

We were both afraid it would be shoulder to shoulder with no masks in sight.

We were wrong.

The hotel employed social distancing efforts, and nearly everyone was wearing a mask. At first.

I didn’t take any chances. I double masked — with a twist.

My mask says “But her emails.” Heh heh.

To be honest, I’m surprised I didn’t burst into flames upon arrival.

Let’s just say you’re not my usual crowd.

And I did find it very funny that I followed a car with the custom license plate “SAVED” into the parking garage.

So why did I go?

Because I genuinely wanted to know how people who follow the Bible can also follow Trump.

I was raised Presbyterian. I know scripture. And nowhere does it say:

And if thou wanteth the p—-, thou shalt grabbeth the p—-. And thy womenfolk will submit, for it is good.

Anyway, the crowd warmer was a gospel couple. Lovely, but not exactly sing-along style. Not for me, anyway, because, you know, HEATHEN.

The emcee for the night welcomed the crowd, then introduced Jonathan Cain.

The Jonathan Cain from Journey.

And my inner voice (in the voice of Daveed Diggs) said, “Whaaaaat?!”

Apparently, he’s got a new single to promote.

 

I don’t know what you thought of “More Like Jesus.” In my humble opinion, it’s no “Don’t Stop Believin’,” and he’s no Steve Perry, vocally.

(In other words, it’s not a banger.)

Next up was Jentezen Franklin, a “trusted voice for our president.”

And it was then, 30 minutes in, that someone finally explained why religious folks would support Trump:

It’s not about four more years. It’s about 37 more years. It’s about two more Supreme Court justices who are pro-life, pro-Israel, freedom of religion and freedom of speech.

Without that, according to him, “We won’t have the freedoms we grew up with.”

“What freedoms are those?” I was wondering when the dude brought out his saxophone.

I’m not kidding.

Jentezen Franklin plays “America the Beautiful.” He didn’t follow with “Baker Street,” sadly.

I guess he didn’t want Cain to upstage him.

This was getting a talent show kind of vibe, so I was excited to see what Bishop Harry Jackson would do.

But he just promoted his new book and explained racism to a room of mostly white people. Y’all were polite, but unenthusiastic.

Bishop Harry Jackson didn’t show off his musical talents.

Interestingly, he was the first person to mention the president by name: 45 minutes into the event.

Ralph Reed, the next speaker, alluded to why.

Donald Trump with his imperfect past and with his personality … God chooses to use whoever he chooses to use.

Ah. Gotcha.

God and Jesus are the headliners; Trump is support.

Y’all seemed to love Ralph, even though he didn’t do anything music-related either.

He emphasized that you need to support Trump because he is:

Pro-life
Pro-marriage
Pro-freedom
Pro-constitution

Reed claimed Trump is “the most pro-life president in American History.”

Imma let you finish but first, let me remind you of his response to the ongoing pandemic.

In fact, let’s back up. I can’t help it.

Pro-life: Just unborn babies, apparently
Pro-marriage: Only between a man and a woman
Pro-freedom: Religious freedom to discriminate
Pro-constitution: A Tea Party battle cry regarding the expansion of the federal government (maybe)

OK. I’m done for the moment. Go on.

Next up: Alveda King, niece of MLK Jr.

She talked about squash plants and chipmunks. I was a little confused. But then she said:

Some things never change. Some things do change. There was a change of the guard in 2016.

And then she said something about Planned Parenthood “ripping little babies up.”

I see. Abortion. That’s the main driver.

OK, then. Let me say this about that:

No one is hyped to get an abortion. It’s a last resort. Also, no one is “pro abortion.” So let’s agree on one thing: The goal is to reduce abortions. How do we do that?

As we’ve seen with prohibition and the “war on drugs,” making them illegal won’t work. People will find a way, but it makes it very dangerous for women. So to me, the solution is to put more money into sex education, healthcare and contraception.

If you are pro-life (and really, aren’t we all?) then you should be supporting organizations like Planned Parenthood that actively help women with the above needs.

Alright.

Moving on to the next speaker, Richard Lee, who is as orange as the evening’s celebrant: the Cheeto in Chief.

He didn’t address abortion like everyone else. His main beef seemed to be with what is being taught in school: “garbage.”

Oh, and the Antichrist in the form of Democrats.

The Democratic Party has been taken over by the Antichrist. It’s an evil party.

I thank God that he sent Donald J. Trump to us. He is a gift to the church of Jesus Christ.

As much as you seemed to like this statement, I could tell you were restless. He willfully went over his allotted time and joked about it.

You were ready for the final act: Pastor Paula White. I found out later she is married to Jonathan Cain. Ah. He’s her third husband. With overlaps in relationships. So she’s truly taking those commandments seriously.

(🙄)

I mean, good for her for breaking into a man’s world in all respects.

In 2017, she became the first woman to deliver the invocation at a presidential inauguration.

She spent her time this night trying to convince everyone that Trump really is “godly” and “knows his scripture.”

Sure.

All I know is that I was hot in my two masks (and perhaps because of the fire and brimstone), so I slunk out a side door.

Y’all weren’t hot because all but about 12 of you shed your masks mere moments into the event.

(And that made me feel like I was marinating in the ‘Rona.)

Anyway, thanks for letting me bear witness. And now I’m on the Trump Train mailing list! This should be fun.

Your obedient servant friend,
Beth

Yeah. You know how I feel about bashing the news media.

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Warning: This post contains use of extreme sarcasm.

Dear Certain White People:

Hi. Me again. You seem very defensive lately. Dare I say easily offended? Even fragile?

You say you feel attacked because of the color of your skin? Something you can’t change!

The nerve! How dare people judge you based on your appearance?

Let me assure you: You are a very special snowflake. Of course NOT ALL WHITE PEOPLE are racist.

Surely no one can ever accuse you of racism when you are “just stating facts.” Like this:

And I FULLY understand that Aunt Jemima shouldn’t offend anyone as even her great grandson doesn’t want her image removed.

 

OF COURSE her image isn’t perpetuating the “mammy” stereotype and imagery of black servitude to whites. She was a REAL WOMAN, for crying out loud. It’s just pancake syrup!

And I HEAR YOU when you say your history is being destroyed when these LIBTARDS take down Confederate statues and remove the Confederate BATTLE flag. It’s HERITAGE NOT HATE. Yes, of course it is.

There, there.

I understand that equal rights must be like pie: More for others MUST mean less for you. That’s why you are so upset. All these things affect you personally. OF COURSE they do.

Shush now. It will be OK.

I’ll talk to that mean blogger friend of mine who tried to refute clear statements of fact such as, “If we had WET (White Entertainment Television), we’d be racists.”

I mean, can you IMAGINE if white people wanted that? I’m not sure how it could be whiter than it is has been, but you should be able to find a way. You’re WHITE!

I UNDERSTAND that All Lives Matter. We are all EQUAL. OF COURSE we are. Systemic racism and COVID-19 are things dreamed up by those aforementioned LIBTARDS to whip people into a frenzy and distract from the REAL issue: That damn Hillary’s emails!

Here’s a white man talking about racism. Because OF COURSE.

I know, I know: It’s not FOX News or InfoWars. But he’s a good Christian!

No, I promise you ARE NOT embarrassing yourself. I know you’ve read important research like this.

You are in the right here, as you ALWAYS are. I DON’T UNDERSTAND why ANYONE would disagree with you. How DARE those SJWs! They’re just virtue signaling.

I’m SO SORRY you have to go through this. Things should just STAY THE SAME, amirite?

That unwillingness to evolve DOES NOT mean that you are racist. OF COURSE you aren’t. Some of your BEST FRIENDS are black.

Best wishes and warmest regards,
Beth

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STOP: If you haven’t read “Sentenced to Church, Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V and Part VI,” do that now.

The final church visit was made to a Lutheran church on Palm Sunday. I chose this church for a specific reason: I thought it might actually be one I could attend regularly.

After going to five churches and reaffirming the things I don’t believe and don’t like about church, I thought it might be good to do some research. Thanks to religion.net, I was able to research a variety of world religions. I looked at the site’s chart listing all the various categories for belief (the Bible, communion, heaven, hell, etc.) and followed across to see where my personal convictions matched up with an organized religion.

The top contender appeared to be the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. Voila! I had my sixth and final entry of my study.

When I walked up that Sunday, the congregation was preparing for the special Palm Sunday processional. The greeter asked me to sign the guest book, which I did. As in the other church visits, I did not fill out the address because I didn’t really want to be stalked by various church representatives. The greeter, a kind-looking elderly lady was persistent.

“Where are you from?,” she asked. “Bloomingdale,” I replied, naming the nearest city. “Which part?” she probed. “Just up the road,” I said evasively. “Yes, but which part?” she demanded. Luckily, I was saved by another neighbor, Robert, from four doors down, who steered me away to meet his wife Phyllis. Phyllis was sitting alone during the service because Robert had a part as Judas in the Palm Sunday presentation.

Even with the service modified to celebrate Palm Sunday, it felt comfortable – like slipping on an old bathrobe. I was raised Presbyterian, and many aspects of this service were similar to what I remember from services at Highlands Presbyterian Church. I could recite the Nicene Creed without assistance, for example.

One hour later, I was back in my car and ready to go home, mission fulfilled.

One week later, I headed to the courthouse to turn in my bulletins. The clerk shuffled through a basket of papers (what, no computer files?) and pulled out my citation. She stapled the bulletins to it and said I was finished. “That’s it?” I asked. “No receipt?” “That’s it,” she said, looking a little disturbed that I had questioned the system.

Though my husband still gets a kick out of calling me a criminal, I’m pleased with my sentence, and how much I learned. My theory of life is that if something wonderful happens, then that is great in itself. But if something not-so-wonderful happens, then that is OK because it makes a great story.

In other words, bad decisions make good stories.

I guess sometimes crime does pay.

THE END

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STOP: If you haven’t read “Sentenced to Church, Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV and Part V,” do that now.

Next up was a visit I had been both anticipating and dreading. One block away from my house is a Revivalist church. I ambled over there at 7:30 p.m. on a Friday night and was met with what sounded like the worst “American Idol” audition ever. A guy was playing the keyboard and warbling hymns with all of his heart and energy. Too bad he was completely tone deaf.

According to the literature foisted upon me when I walked in the door, the church was founded by a married couple when “God began to use them to change the spiritual atmosphere of Savannah and the surrounding areas.” The brochure also said that “speaking with tongues” was not only to be expected but encouraged. Yikes.

I was “sister” here too, and greeted by everyone who came in the sanctuary (I use that term loosely as the building is a one-story concrete structure that looks like it may have been a storage unit at one time). Each person explained that I really should come on a Sunday when there are more people (70 as opposed to 17). After the fourth person made that comment, I finally said, “Well, the important thing is the message, not the number of people, right?” The lady blanched and fled to the other side of the room.

Like most standard services, this one began with a few hymns. Instead of hymnbooks, the church employs technology: an overhead projector and screen. The words were there but, because of the accompanist’s limitations, it was kind of hard to get the melody.

The sermon was not so much a sermon as a collection of anecdotes. One was about a science class and a jar of rocks filled with sand and water. The teacher apparently put in the various items in that order, asking each time if the jar was full. The jar was not full until he poured in the water, which is akin to how God’s love is able to fill in all the cracks in our nasty little human hearts. The pastor was not much of a storyteller, though. He was interrupted about three times by the person who first told him the story (the student) to correct parts he was butchering. And the poor pastor also had an odd habit of adding “Amen” in unexpected places. As in, “The teacher poured in the water, Amen” and “You may be seated, Amen.”

The pastor also offered his thoughts on mental health. According to him, “Depression is not a disease; it is a spiritual problem. It results from turmoil.” Maybe he and Tom Cruise should compare notes and join together to save all of us from unnecessary medication and doctor visits.

After the service, I ran home as fast as I could go. I avoided the road and any lights that could illuminate me and my path. I didn’t want any of the revivalists to see where I live.

Up next: “Yes, but what part?”

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STOP: If you haven’t read “Sentenced to Church, Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV,” do that now.

In the Lowcountry, churches are plentiful. There are four within a one-mile radius from my house. One of those is a historic church that keeps a strange schedule: Services are only held on the first Sunday of each month.

Folks at this Baptist church were very welcoming, without being overbearing. As it turns out (and this is how far removed I am from the church culture in my area), the pastor is my next-door neighbor.

We sang a few well-known hymns and then neighbor man delivered a sermon, which also was about the path to heaven. According to him, all you have to do is say out loud:

“I accept Jesus Christ as my personal lord and savior.”

I guess saying it in your head or to the dog won’t work.

Up next: “You may be seated, Amen.”

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STOP: If you haven’t read “Sentenced to Church, Part I, Part II and Part III,” do that now.

/\ Me

My coworker invited me to her Christian church where I felt like produce at the grocery store. Each “Welcome, sister” was accompanied by a handshake, hug, shoulder rub, full-body squeeze or some such contact. I needed to be hosed down with antibacterial gel after the two-hour service, during which the minister asked me to stand and say something to the congregation. “Uh … thanks for welcoming me” was my impromptu speech.

The day’s sermon concerned the way to heaven. According to the minister, the only way is to be baptized and join this particular church. That’s it. No other way. I wondered if you could still go one living a wicked life, but yet belong to the church and be OK.

This kind of information is important, because I think I’m pretty wicked in general. Plus, one of the tenets adhered to by the good folks at this church is that “Women are to learn in silence” and “They are not to teach in any capacity over a man.” I’m serious. It was in their bulletin. As I am rather a chatty sort, and I am employed as a college professor teaching both women and men, I think this church is not for me.

Up next: “What a friend we have in Jesus”

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