‘Tis the season for fundamentalists everywhere to remind the faithful why taking your kid to see Santa is tantamount to carving 666 on their forehead. Today’s bit of crazy which gives us the skinny on how Santa is actually helping to bring in the New World Order comes to us from cuttingedge.org and it’s a beautiful thing. I mean where else are you going to find a breakdown with such deep insights as “Jesus and Santa both have beards”?
(Click the image to see the original)
I don’t write funny stuff very much anymore. You may have noticed.
Part of this lack of humor is due to time and distance that have removed me from the halls of fundamentalism and worn smooth the hard places needed for creating cutting satire. These days I curate more than I create and that’s ok. I couldn’t possibly write parody that is crazier than the real life examples we see all around us.
There is another reason, however. It’s rather hard to write humor when you’ve been battling depression for years. And I have been in that fight for longer than I’ve been willing to admit for reasons that are many and deeply personal. I’ll tell you all about it the next time you buy me a cup of coffee or a glass of brew.
There are still flashes. There are moments when the old fire burns bright and the words flow. Those are the good days and they’re often few and far between.
I’m not fine.
But here’s the beautiful thing about not being fine — it puts you in some of the best company in the world. I’ve called and e-mailed and texted and PM’d dozens of people over the last few years who aren’t fine either. They’re people with lost identities. They’re families with financial issues and relationships that seem beyond repair. They have old cars that won’t always start and old anxieties that always seem to. They lose sleep. They lose their jobs. They lose their tempers. Sometimes they’ve all but lost hope.
I’ve learned a lesson in those conversations. Somewhere along in the darkness I found this thought and wrote it in lines:
Beyond the years of pain and bliss
The “Why?” of life is only this:
To love someone and be loved too.
The Why of life is me. It’s you.
Maybe you’re one of the fellowship of unfine souls. Maybe in the words of song you don’t have dream that remains unshattered or a friend who feels at ease. If that’s you then you’re in the right place.
Six years later this is what SFL is to me — it’s where nobody has to be fine. Whether ex-fundy, never-fundy, sort-of-fundy, or just plain confused you can feel free to set down the mask and gently fall to pieces.
Welcome. Grab a plate and find a seat. You’re home.
Here there is love. Let it always be so.
I suspect that Steve has just gotten a little lonely and needs some attention.
Let’s imagine that you’re a fundamentalist who got a couple of coupon books that you’d like to pass along. But egads, there’s the name of a pagan holiday splashed boldly across the cover!
What to do? How can we can sanctify this and made it fit for use by good Christian folks?
We’ll just grab a permanent marker and…voila! You can now go consume your fast food without the pall of a demonic cloud hanging over your head.
How do you inspire people to go out and spread the good news of the Gospel? If you’re these FBMI missionaries then the answer is “threaten them with this:”
Their prayer letter reads in part:
“We began our annual harvest campaign during October. It has been one of the most exciting programs we have ever had. Our people have really gotten involved and are bringing more visitors than ever. Our church is divided into three groups (the Ranchers, the Share Croppers and the Gleaners) and the completion has been neck and neck. Our theme is “Fruit that Remains”. We not only give points for bringing visitors but we also increase the points each time the visitor comes back during the program. Our goal is that folks will not only visit but come enough times to feel like part of the church. We have found that negative motivation works very well, and folks will put extra effort in to avoid the “punishment” that the group with least points receives. The punishment is something unpleasant being poured on them from the balcony, such as flour, ice water and gulaman (sticky, watery gelatin desert).“
The full prayer letter is available to read here(PDF).