116 thoughts on “Christmas Cheer”

    1. Well she had to say SOMETHING positive. That church’s parade group looked more like a procession to a cemetery. NOBODY was smiling. I thought it was funny that she added that the “art work” was done by the pastor. Yup: black type on plain white placards. There’s artistry for you….

        1. Defining “artistry” like that sounds like Newspeak from 1984. Oftentimes, parade participants can send details about their parade entry to the media outlet who will broadcast the event. It seems that BBC did so here since it sounds like the reporter is getting her information from a furnished description. Why do people feel that they must call something “art” just because the creator of that thing defines it as “art”?

      1. The shirt and tie colors were different, but with the placards and the bad marching they looked like a bunch of Nazi brown-shirted thugs from the 1930s… Made me shudder.

    2. Local news anchors can be such bimbos. They should know this church is cult and ignore it as much as possible.

      Nice to see the graven image of their KJB idol on the float.

      1. It was a parade, not a debate. I’m sure the announcers’ brief was to try to say nice things about all the floats and groups in the parade. Besides which, the anchorwoman (or whatever she was) probably had no idea what Bible Baptist Church preaches or who Peter Ruckman is.

        1. Yup. I had never heard of Bob Jones, Ruckman, Hyles, Schaap, Phelps, or Gibbs before coming to SFL. I knew my own pastor in my little corner of fundyland, and the few speakers who came (Bull Gipp *blecch*) but that was it. And I was IN fundyland.

          Most people who have never been in fundyland themselves have no idea that there’s a cult just around the corner.

        2. The Ruckmanites are regular participants in the parade. The local press should show more interest in them. That a church with a racist leader can march in a parade without a counter protest shows the local press if not doing its job by not alerting the community to what Bible Baptist Church believes.
          What if the cult gets violent? One can image the local press saying β€œwe didn’t see that coming”

      2. Given what part of the country this is, I would wager that the reporters are of a conservative bent. Thus, their excitement over churches marching in a parade to “get out the true meaning of Christmas.” It’s all part of the “if they ain’t against us, then they’re for us” mentality that pervades American political thought today (on both sides), thus leading to an extremely uncritical view of the message that a group that is “on your side” is really promoting.

        As for the graven image, my observation is that the “KVJ 1611” stuff is quite small compared to the HOLY BIBLE. Could they be hiding their darkness under a bushel?? Could it be that they are ashamed of their highly divisive, idolatrous, and unbiblical message??

  1. Nothing like a little “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men.” Sigh. Happy Holidays, fundies, and Merry Christmas. In whatever inexplicable way you wish to celebrate.

  2. Notice how all the women are hidden in the “middle” — the only woman on the outside is the one flute player in the very beginning behind the HUGE Merry Christmas sign.

  3. Some of the guys in the very back look like they had black ties on instead of red.

    Does that mean they were rebellious and didn’t get their red ties from the church or does that mean they are VIPs and thus don’t have to wear red like the others?

  4. I was glad to see that the black and white signs they were holding were Bible verses not stuff like “Jesus is coming and He’s mad!” like the bumper sticker on the previous post.

    But I can’t tell what the small writing is on the top of every sign. Can anyone read that?

    1. PW. I’m not sure. Can’t tell from my phone but it looks like a few of God’s judgment type of signs, nothing says Merry Christmas like Gods impending judgement πŸ™

    2. Just drove from Chicago to Columbus and in sunny Northern Indiana, not far from FBC Hammond, was a uge sign with Hell is Real (facing Southbound traffic) and Jesus is Real, facing the Northbound lanes of I65.

      I immediately thought of FBC, but then there was another one in Ohio, so not sure now. Same signs, but 400 miles apart.

        1. I assume you’re talking about the Gestapo uniforms we’ve all seen used in movies & TV; they were indeed (frequently) black with a red armband, no other red. The true Nazi color, if there was one, would be brown, for both Hitlerjugend and Sturmabteilung, as well as most Party functionaries. Of course, there were numerous standard uniforms of military organizations, and black was not overrepresented. The Waffen SS as well as other orgs were primarily flat greys or sandy browns.

  5. I have to agree with Strangely Warmed. I immediately thought of Hitler youth rallies. I know it is so cliche to refer to fundies as Nazi like, but for heaven’s sake people, don’t look like it! I saw no smiles on any of the faces of the marchers. The music sounded happy, but no one playing it seemed happy. I would not want this to represent my faith.

    1. I agree. If pretty much any other group walked in a parade looking like this, it would give people the creeps!

      I have a different theory about the grim faces, however. These people are so isolated from reality that for many of them, doing something like marching in a parade is a terrifying experience. Think of all the rock music, immodest clothes, and sinners they will encounter. Fortunately, they have all the women safely enclosed by the men (and the magic Bible signs). They spend so much of their lives being screamed at about not getting too close to the world, not being unequally yoked with unbelievers (e.g., Southern Baptists), not giving the appearance of evil, and then their Dear Pastor orders them to march in A PARADE!?! 😯 (Incidentally, I think it was a stroke of genius on the part of whoever it was that put their float and the First Baptist float side by side. The juxtaposition speaks for itself.)

  6. Like I said on the previous entry, it seemed to me even the β€œMerry Christmas” banner was not to mean have a merry Christmas but β€œI’m gonna say Merry Christmas whether you like it or not”.

    Sigh. It would’ve been nice if the had Christmas verses instead if they felt they had to hold up signs at all.

    1. You’re right about the banner! It’s getting to a point where “Merry Christmas” is becoming so politicized and polarized and commercialized that it’s almost not worth saying it anymore. My wife and I switched to “Happy Holidays” on our Christmas cards a few years ago after a family member made this HUGE deal of how MUCH they appreciated that we STILL said “Merry Christmas.” (Item: so did basically everyone else in the family, so I don’t know what the big deal was except that we are perceived as the family liberals so I guess they assumed we would be sending out “May you have good vibrations and energy from Gaia on this sacred solstice” cards or some such nonsense.)

  7. Meh…

    Decent band. Signs a tad out of place, but not offensive. Maybe they could have put Luke’s nativity account on those signs. That would have been cool.

    Peace,

    1. What would actually be cool would be a single verse, proclaiming the Christmas message. Think one word per sign, big enough to be seen from far away, all the way down each side of the line:

      TODAY
      IN
      THE
      TOWN
      OF
      DAVID
      A
      SAVIOR
      HAS
      BEEN
      BORN
      TO
      YOU

      etc.

      Even with a stoic marching band, that might be something.

        1. My beard grows down to my toes,
          I never wears no clothes,
          I wraps my hair
          Around my bare,
          And down the road I goes.

    1. As the great unsaved of the outer darkness (or whatever), we’re supposed to know perfectly well what the whole thing is about, because we spends our whole liveses hating them, hating them, precioussss. We’re all just antagonists and extras in the drama that is spun from the pulpit at every service.

      The whole thing reminds me of the white supremacist who had some nasty racist insult tattooed clear across both arms in “Chinese” so he could flash it at “Chinese” people in order to intimidate them, but he spent all that money and pain on a gibberish decorative font that assigns one random chunk of Chinese character to the letter A, another to the letter B, etc.

      1. I’ve read that that jibberish font is used by a great many tattoo parlors in the non-Chinese world. It seems most of the people with tattoos in “Chinese” are sporting ink that means nothing.

    1. They’re persecuted all right, where are the people swooning with joy? Where are the happy mobs yelling and screaming? Where are the girls going before them strewing the street with rose petals? Where is the pastor’s laurel crown being held over his head? πŸ˜›
      Oh those poor sad brave souls, with their signs! Yeah, right. πŸ™„

      1. I bet most of our brothers and sisters on SFL are too young to remember the right reverend sun myung moon (or however he spelled it). Am I senile (maybe) or didn’t Rev Moon help keep Falwell’s Liberty Baptist College financially afloat when the college fell on hard times? Off topic, sorry.

        1. I just did a cursory Google search and found a few seemingly respectable sources that say he funneled about 3.5 million to LU.

          So weird…I never knew this about him.

        2. @Bald-You aren’t the only old guy here. I do remember Rev. Moon and his group. I did not know about LU, though. Maybe we should ask Barbara or David at Snopes to look into it.

        3. The Moonies (of the Unification Church) are still around, although Sun Myung Moon himself (who claimed to be a reincarnation of Jesus) died last year.

        4. The Unification Church still owns the Washington
          Times (which Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently named as his main news source), some other media outlets, and some large business enterprises.

          A few years ago, my parents stayed in a Moon-owned hotel in New York City, without knowing that was what it was. When they found out, they said it was a pretty normal hotel, a little run down, except that the staff seemed underfed.

        5. @ Big G: not a big fan of mentioning our chubbiest Supreme Court justice and anything to do with the “moon” in the same sentence πŸ˜‰

  8. Terrifying. How can they hate on Mormons when they wear the exact same thing and sound the same. Seriously, they sounded brainwashed as they walked by the camera singing.

    1. Clarification: by sound the same, I mean the message they give sounds the same to my lips, not the dreariness. In my opinion, Mormons usually sound happier than that.

  9. I’ve marched in dozens of parades in real marching bands back in my day (or Paleozoic era, if you will). Nice try, BBC; I’ll put you in the same category as the Shriners. If you really want to get attention, though, ditch the horns and get out the bagpipes!

    1. Wait a minute – let’s not compare them to the Shriners. They’re not about to win any marching band competitions, but at least they know how to have fun!

    2. The Shriners actually do wonderful work through their network of children’s hospitals which provide medical care regardless of the family’s ability to pay.

      The IFBs, by contrast, normally have one hand on their KJB and the other in the back pocket of the unsuspecting.

      1. β™« at the 43rd annual convention of the Grandistic Royal Order of the Nobels of the Ali-Baba Temple of the Shrine…β™«

        sorry, saw “Shriner’s” and couldn’t stop my fingers in time. πŸ˜‰

  10. This isn’t a Christmas parade, this is pathology on parade. It’s like those fanfics where the author tries to “fix” Harry Potter to make him a “better” character and turns him into a violent sadist or something, or about three chapters in you realize that sooner or later every attractive female character is going to accidentally pee in public and the author thinks that’s G-rated cuteness. Whoever orchestrated this thing is giving us all a bit more of a peek underneath his beak than he perhaps intended, is what I’m saying.

    Just look at them. People dressed identically, not in parade costumes or ceremonial wear, but in clothes that are just far enough off from ordinary street clothes to evoke–what, a funeral, a commercial for computers, the Men In Black? Ranks and ranks of people with stark black and white signs that the preacher apparently thinks of as works of art. Sign after sign, a torrent of SHOUTING CAPITALS with tiny scripture references, marching by without pause for comprehension, rendering them meaningless, almost as though reaching the outsiders wasn’t the point. When the camera panned across the faces of the crew-cut boys, I thought they were watching from the sidelines in somber dismay at the utter bizarrity of what was passing in front of them, but then I realized that those poor kids were on the float looking at the utterly ordinary, well-behaved crowd (did you see the adorable tot gumming the gimme beads?). At least they got to throw things that were small enough to perhaps be things the kids on the sidewalks would like. The adult marchers were the grimmest band I have ever seen, and I’ve seen middle schoolers trudging through sleet. And to cap it all off, at the end of a Christmas parade entry, a banner facing the crowd showing a bigger-than-life-sized blood-dripping Christ with “SIN–SIN & SINNERS” blazoned over His head. And something identical or similar on the other side, just to drive the point home.

    Who would ever look at that display and think, “That’s a place that has something I am missing in my life! I should go there?”

      1. PR, at first glance I thought your phrase was “Pantheism on Parade,” which could actually make a really cool parade, when you think about it. They could have it at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro.

    1. The bearded guy was obviously someone preparing to rehearse his role as Adam, Nebuchadnezzar or Isaiah in BBC’s next drama ministry production. 😯

  11. I’m really torn, here.

    On one hand, the band didn’t suck too badly – especially considering we’re not talking high school or college marching bands who have practice times hardwired into their schedules.

    I appreciate the poor man’s uniform of white shirt + black pants. It’s a way to look cohesive without costing participants a lot of money. (I, personally, do not own a white, button-down shirt or black pants, but I’m aware I’m an exception.)

    Hark! the Herald Angels Sing is a joyous Wesleyan hymn that speaks to God reconciling mankind to Himself: a fantastic choice for sharing the Gospel during the holiday season.

    The sign in front of the band was completely inoffensive.

    On the other hand, the “singers” sucked.

    The signs were appalling.

    The cognitive dissonance between the lyrics of the carol being sung and the message of the signs carried made my head spin.

    The white shirt + black pants combined with the signage screamed, “Cult! Basically, RUN!”

    The banner following the group was horrid. I realize Fundies focus on the idea Christ was born to die as atonement for the sins of the world, but Christmas is not about the crucifixion.

    1. I was amusing myself imagining a comparable parade put together by, say, an ELCA or ECUSA congregation intent on reminding people that if there is any “war on Christmas,” it’s the persistent failure to remember that it’s actually Advent right now.

      Parade dress code: Please wear as much Sarum blue, purple, and rose as possible, because those are the Advent colors. We have coordinated watch caps for all marchers, which will be donated to the local homeless shelter after the parade.

      First truck: Mary and Jesus in the stable, with real or paper mache farm animals and a manger, but no Baby Jesus. An Angel rides at the front of the float or even on top of the truck pulling it, holding a flag that reads “JOY” in golden letters on white (anticipating the liturgical colors of Christmas).

      Second float: Kids dressed as boy and girl angels tossing Ziploc bags containing handfuls of wrapped candies (for the weight) along with miniature Advent calendars and little fold-out coin boxes with the four candles of the Advent wreath and some explanatory text printed on the sides, with a note that says “Please fill and give to the charity of your choice–remember the poor at Advent time.”

      Marching band and choir: Cycle through “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus” (to “Hyfrydol”), “Fling Wide the Door, Unbar the Gate,” and “Prepare the Royal Highway,” all relatively easy to sing/play while walking. You don’t have to smile, but don’t look like you’re accompanying a coffin!

      Marching sign squad: Dates and times of next services.

      Final banner: “FOR HE SHALL COME IN GLORY.”

  12. I counted five snare drums, but only one guy playing. Was he the only one who knew how to do single-stroke rolls, or was he the only one who had received a special dispensation to play syncopated rhythms?

  13. At first I thought the marching band was really huge and impressive. That is until the camera moved in and I realized that it was actually only the first two lines of people and the rest of the line was filled with creepiness.

  14. 2 things that I observed right away that were wrong, just wrong—-there were drums involved, and right at the first of the clip, there was a gal or two handing out candy (or something) that were wearing the devil’s apparel-JEANS! I was so overwhelmed w/ lust that I could hardly focus on the rest of the parade….

    1. No need to be overwhelmed with lust. Just just go buy some jeans, they’re available nearly everywhere. Oh, wait – that’s covetousness, isn’t it? It’s such a disadvantage not growing up Catholic.

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