The Port-a-Pulpit

I really have no idea. No, seriously. I just have no clue what inspired this or what it is supposed to me.

118 thoughts on “The Port-a-Pulpit”

  1. Fundy skits are the worst. I got really good at fake laughing. And seriously, are all fundy bus barns and church buildings based on the same blueprint? For a minute I thought I was looking at my old church.

  2. Nowhere – baseball bats to the tv was the best part, but it wasn’t a flatscreen :\

    1. Clearest possible scenario of using a “Stand Your Ground” law I’ve seen.

  3. Wow. I would wonder if they bothered to drain any standing charge on the CRT, but I think we all know they just got lucky no one killed themselves at that foolishness.

    Looks like Waco, TX has the BM’s being brought right to their living room.

  4. They’re dressed like characters from the “Men in Black” movies and they’re playing the “Get Smart” theme song. Maybe things become clearer if you watch the entire skit, but honestly, when I stopped watching, I was in the dark.

  5. Well, that was terrifying and disturbing. Best part was when the lady decided to witness to them and help test their faith (with a shotgun and a threat). The secret agent thing was so contrived (and poorly done), and where was God in their campaign?! Then there was the volume in a small room in a private home, breaking and entering, destruction of property… And the incredible not-safety of the traveling arrangements – even for the video, driving with a barely secured pulpit and a guy clinging to it on top of a van??? Just plain stupid at any speed, and over curbs?!

    And, after all that, what was the point of making the video? Showing how a “campaign” shouldn’t be done? Threatening what will happen if people don’t start showing up? Where’s the God that draws His people – when you don’t have God, you need gimmicks. (Not that gimmicks are bad or always inappropriate, but excess use of…)

    Urgh. Pass the brain bleach, please!

    1. Let’s see:
      Driving to endanger, illegal parking, breaking and entering, destruction of private property, terrorizing private citizens, Greg, you were a cop, help me out! there must be a half dozen other charges, fully documented by the video.

    1. I watched the whole thing and decided I didn’t even want to be a humanist.

    2. I watched the whole thing and decided to park my car in the garage with the motor running and windows open.

  6. I only lasted 90 seconds and my 13 years old said it was the dumbest thing he had seen. Glad I’m raising him right cause my 13 yr old self would have thought it was amazing back in my IFB days.

  7. They had me up until the literal B&E of those people’s quaint little home. Oh, and how did they ever manage to clean up bits of smashed 1960s TV from off of the *grass*? My guess–they didn’t.

    1. It was about a 1980s or 90s TV.
      A 60s TV that size would have been too heavy for them to lift.

      1. I noticed they didn’t destroy a flat screen television…possibly wanted an upgrade and the skit gave them the opportunity/ excuse?

        1. You can get the old-style TVs (with the big CR tubes) for free these days, especially if you don’t need one that works (as, for example, when you plan to smash it). Everybody wants the flat-screens– bigger picture, higher resolution, and the whole appliance is vastly lighter-weight, takes up less space, and uses less energy than the CRT models. And older TVs need an adapter to get digital signals.

          But these boys should have practiced first. It took them an embarrassingly large number of swings to smash up that one.

  8. The estate of Irving Szathmary deserves some royalties for the use /abuse of his music.

  9. That was one of the more well done videos I’ve seen from fundies. That said, it’s insane. I was laughing, but more because it was just so nuts. I kept expecting there to be a point or some kind of spiritual application. Nope. Just insanity.

    Also, as a few people have already pointed out, there were a lot of dangerous stunts: dropping out from under the bus, riding on top of the fan, and crashing a jet plane to name a few. Breaking the old CRT TV could have blow them all away since the tube holds a powerful charge even when unplugged.

    Was the TV smashing part supposed to be a parody of the printer scene in Office Space?

    1. Agree on the quality of the video as well as some of the content being funny. Definitely better than most stuff out there.

      That was my first thought about breaking that tube on the tv as well. To me, it demonstrates the lack of thinking through things that abounds in the IFB. If they actually thought about what they believe for more than a minute, they might see that, “hey, this ain’t logical that gid would allow millions of Native Americans to die before ‘the message’ got to them to save them from hell; also, smashing tvs ain’t like smashing pumpkins. Something might explode on us.” My take on it anyway… 🙂

  10. It would have been very amusing had it been performed by Jon Stewart. It’s more of a spoof on extreme fundystan at its worst.

    The sad thing is that if it was really fundies making this, it is a foolish mockery of things “divine.”

    One word…VANITY.

    I’m with you, Darrell, I have no clue.

    Good bye.


    1. I was literally just catching up on the Daily Show. I wish Jon Stewart would make fun of fundystan. I would watch that all day.

      1. Nothing like bringing the institutional “church” to the masses.


  11. A few thoughts:

    I’ve heard the pulpit referred to as the sacred desk. Of course, that was from a child abuser, so…

    We’re going to scream compassion at you.

    And people thought a Black Mass performed at Harvard would be sacrilegious.

  12. The great thing about that video is how they parody themselves perfectly. Yes, I watched the whole thing and yes I laughed during the house preaching scene. If only they could see the silliness of fundy-ism

  13. A couple salient points

    1) Overacting is unfunny.
    2) Riding on top a moving vehicle is criminally insane.
    3) Is this a fundy church that has seen the light?
    Think about it: They make fun of bribing people, of pestering people in their own homes, of screaming preacher tirades, of KJV-Onlyism.

    Have they seen it for what it is? Does this mean they’re about to stop doing all this stuff?

    One can only hope.

    1. That’s exactly where I was at with watching this. I mean, at the beginning they were (attempting) to “look cool”. But then when they had the idea to bring church to the community, they intentionally took on “dork mode”. So were they, as you said David, trying to show how foolish all of that stuff is? I went to their website and I can’t quite tell about them. Their “beliefs” do list the KJV as the most reliable, but it didn’t seem like many fundy churches “KJV or go to hell”. I’m on the fence on this skit. I think maybe they were attempting to show that screaming at people that they are going to burn in hell is not really spreading the gospel.

    2. After watching the entire video, it does seem that maybe these guys have realized that some of the misguided zeal is deserving of ridicule.

      I don’t agree the skit was entirely lacking in humor though. The look of growing anger on the woman’s that progressed during the course of the “sermon” was actually pretty funny.

      Seeing Fundies being able to laugh at themselves is also a welcome sight.

        1. Okay, even after the correction, that was still poorly worded. Still, I found it amusing to watch the woman’s facial expression progress from annoyance to rage during the course of the “message.”

  14. Change the long a in Waco to a short a and everything is explained–Whacko! If the video was against the evils of television, they certainly used a lot of TV/movie content to get their point across.

    1. I think they were trying to show how ridiculous that kind of preaching is, fundynomore. At least, that’s the only thing I can guess. Because if they were truly preaching against television, then yeah, that was hypocrisy to the MAX. But I was kind of impressed that they were allowed to even say, “I’ve tried the 5 o’clock free crack give-a-way”. I mean, most “true-fundies” would say that phrase, even in jest, will send you to hell.

    2. I think it was an intentional parody of some Fundy practices (bus ministries, “soul winning,” yelling preachers, overdressing, boasting about not watching TV).

      Whether or not it’s funny is a matter of opinion.

    3. By the way, the short-a pronunciation of “wacko” is common in Texas whenever we make fun of people in Waco (and gee, it’s hard not to, what with Baylor being there).

  15. At least there was no blackface or other minority insults. Only insulted intelligence.

      1. huh?? i don’t see…..oh, uh, yeah. an insult to them mensa peeples and other smart folkses.

        1. I mean, statistically speaking, if “intelligent” was normal (i.e., within three standard deviations of the mean), then it wouldn’t be called “intelligent”, it would be called “normal”. And yes, I do live in a very small, bell-curve shaped world of my own making.

        2. A few years back, (made on my dad’s brand new 486 with windows 3.1) I made a sign for my tool box that stated “FULLY ONE-HALF OF ALL AMERICANS ARE BELOW AVERAGE”.
          I caught a lot of flak from about half the people that read it……….

        3. That might not be true Uncle Wilver. Depends on how you define “average”. For example if 1 person has an IQ of 8 and 3 other people have an IQ of 100 then the average IQ is 77. But in that example less than half are below average and more than half are above average.

        4. That’s the difference between the average and the mean, and I can never remember which is which.

          How about this statement, then: 50% per cent of the people are in the bottom half of the population when ranked by intelligence.
          (That’s harder to fit on a bumper sticker, though.)

        5. Nathan, that is why the larger the stat pool, the smaller the deviation (the +/-). A polling of four people would hardly be an sampling unless the group only has a small number in it, in which case a statistics are rather useless. That is why many statistics are considered suspect. Once you get a group as large as a countries population, you can pretty much figure an even spread with a middle.
          Depending on the group, the middle may be lower or highr in the gene pool, but there will be a median. technically, with a odd number, one person would be the median, making the statement inaccurate. Then it should read “FULLY 49.99999etc %……”

          I don’t mean to sound contrary, I just like to argue. Statistics are (is?) something fun to argue, because usually everyone and no one is correct.

        6. Obviously I should have proof-read this again before I hit submit. I now realize the presence I felt was just George.

  16. It was Bellmead until sometime last year. They changed the name, and I heard it was to be more inclusive for the whole community, as opposed to just Bellmead, which I think is a smaller town.
    Like I said above, one of these guys is my brother. While I no longer identify as IFB, and I have laughed at my share of these things as well, he’s still my brother and I love him. When my marriage fell apart (or exploded), he was one of the ones who really did extend grace to me and let me know that he still loved me and cared for me (as opposed to some in my family who told me that God would never forgive me).
    So in case someone who knows him sees this, I want him to know that I may not believe all the same things he does anymore, but I’m very grateful that he’s still in my life and I love him.
    The thing about this that got to me is that maybe sometimes we forget that these videos that we make fun of do feature actual people with feelings and families and yes, they may be crazy or ridiculous, but still… I’m sure if this was anyone else, I’d be making the same comments, but I have to say, it stings a bit when it’s someone you know. Because sometimes these people are really good people, and even if they are still “in”, they are just as sincere as most of us were at one time.

    1. We didn’t sneak around and use a camera with a zoom lens to spy on anyone through their window. They put this video up. They put it up there because they had a message that they wanted to communicate.

      If they’re going to choose to engage publicly we have every right to discuss what they are communicating to the world.

      I do agree with you that it doesn’t change the fact that some of these people are perfectly decent people. But if this skit is foolish, and they chose to put it online, then they chose to accept criticism.

  17. I’m almost certain that is an illegal use of a motor vehicle.

    anyone though of sending that to the local police deparament?

    1. Oh, it gets better. They even have a “law enforcement appreciation day” thing on their facebook.

      So they would encourage us to report this to the police. sweet.

      1. Yes, I saw that and thought it quite ironic (noting how many of the scenes broke the law – or seemed to)

    2. A number of laws were broken in the making of this video, particularly the guy standing atop the moving church van.

      If, God forbid, I was pastor of a church like this, I would absolutely forbid the use of the church van for use in this video. There are liability and insurance issues here.

      1. Liability and insurance is for liberal big-government loving socialists. Amen?


      2. My dad worked at a department in our state that regulated school/non-profit buses and vans. The churches gave him kitten fits because of all their rule violations for “the sake of the ministry.”

        1. “Kitten fits”? Not sure what that is, but it’s funny. I’m going to use that phrase now.

        2. In British English, “to have kittens” is roughly equivalent to “having a conniption” in Southern U.S. English.

        3. As in, “Your Mom will have kittens when she sees you standing on top of a moving van.”

        4. BG, I needed subtitles when I first started watching Britcoms. For people who speak the same language we do they certainly have a strange vocabulary.

        5. “England and America are two countries divided by a common language.”

          (Attributed to various writers, most often George Bernard Shaw)

        1. Apparently George doesn’t know his fighters. That was an F-18 Hornet predominately flown by the Navy of this here US of A. Dummy.

          Unless you count the Royal Australian Air Force, which I don’t.

          50 million is probably off a bit as well. Anyway, what a shame and a waste of taxpayer dollars, not to mention a poor testimony.

  18. Just watched the video…..happy to not be a part of that anymore.


  19. That was nearly 9 minutes of life I missed…. thanks.

    So were they spoofing fundamentalism’s arrogant, obnoxious preaching/door to door ministries or are they ignorant that most people see them as this obnoxious?

  20. They are obviously way more plugged in to the popular culture than me. I have no idea why this is funny.

        1. Not funny ha-ha.
          Funny peculiar.
          When God said in the Old Testament He wanted a “peculiar people” He didn’t have Fundamentalism in mind.

        2. “Peculiar” in that instance actually means “purchased”. That’s what I was told in Fundystan, anyway. Though if the KJV is perfect why do you need preachers telling us what the words mean today?

    1. Me too. This was clearly a parody and as parodies go, they managed to hit every single stereotype. I enjoyed it and the production value was not terrible either.

      1. You’ve got to give them credit for thinking of even the small things, like the white socks to go with the black shoes and pants. Or is that still part of the Class A uniform for the Preacher?

  21. Another thing. There was a LOT of time and effort put into this. a lot of script writing, rehearsing, filming, props. It reminds me how barren life was when we had to be at church every time the doors were open. It is hard work to try to be funny while trying to comply with all the church-issued rules and regulations. I shudder when I remember what passed for teen-age fun. No self respecting teenager who was not already on the Koolaid would come anywhere near.

  22. I often enjoy things that to many people don’t make sense. Heck, I enjoyed Citizen Kane as well as some of the more obscure Akira Kurosawa movies. I even get most British humour. (No offense intended to our Brit brothers and sisters)

    Vacuous is the best word I can come up with for this bit of, of, uh……….. visual gibberish.

      1. The Seven Samurai is also excellent.
        I found it amusing when I first watched Yojimbo that they even stole the jokes for A Fistful of Dollars.
        My Family did not appreciate Kagemusha. We watched it eight years ago this month (according to my Netflix history), and my wife still cringes if I mention a Japanese movie. They did admit they liked Yojimbo and The Seven Samurai a little better.
        They tried to ban me from picking movies a few times, but the reminder of who was paying usually won out.

        I think I’ll rewatch some Kurosawa. I need to go online and purchase them.

        1. I meant that Leone stole the jokes from Kurosawa. It’s hard to tell from that convoluted wording.

        2. “A Fistful of Dollars” was, of course, a remake of “Yojimbo,” and “The Magnificent Seven” was a remake of “The Seven Samurai.” Parts of “Star Wars” (the original 1977 movie) were taken from “The Hidden Fortress.”

          For Kurosawa’s part, “Throne of Blood” was based on “MacBeth,” and “Ran” was based (a bit loosely) on “King Lear.”

        3. He was copied and borrowed from quite a lot. Sometimes even credited!

          To paraphrase something ol’ Solomon once said, there truly is nothing new under the sun.

  23. I thought from the part heading out with the pulpit on to preach was hilarious…. especially loved the part where the dude rushes in and in all the ruckus points to the TV and shouts “I’m gonna preach against the television today!!! And the old guy sleeping most of the time…

    1. When I read “Port-a-Pulpit” I needed to check that I hadn’t read “port-a-potty”. But yeah, some parallels are too obvious to ignore

  24. Did anyone else notice that the “worldly woman” was still wearing an approved dress, as opposed to britches?

    1. Yes. I noticed, but even to portray a sinner is a step onto the slippery slope if one isn’t cautious. To wear worldly garments would cause numerous altar visits.

  25. That was hilarious. Very good video. Lots of “digs” at fundies. I like when they mock the fundy tradition of giveaways to bribe people to church (“Free Crack before the Evening Service Sunday”).
    The proof texts used in the “service” were some of fundy’s favorites (Jude 22, Psalm 9:17, etc). And of course the rant against other versions and destroying a TV are fundy staples. (bonus points for having a bible verse tie and using it to compare versions). Very funny stuff!

    1. Yes, the “Free Crack before the Evening Service” was pretty funny — knowing several people who told horror tales of Junior Church, the “Pour Hot Lead on the Kid Who Misbehaved the Most in Junior Church Sunday” was also pretty funny.

      1. And did they actually manage to free poor Crack? What was he in prison for? Indecent exposure? (ducks to avoid tomatoes)

  26. Maybe I’m just parody-deficient. I didn’t find it funny, and was appalled at some of the things in the video.

    The video did look pretty good, and I have to say that the guy jumping through the van window was impressive; I don’t know many people who could do that; I didn’t notice any edit, yet he jumped in all the way to his ankles.

    When they were in their “secret” meeting (presumably at the site of an F-18 crash!?!?!? – how secret is that going to be?), and they were moaning about how no one was interested in coming to church, I was thinking that maybe they were going to get serious and note: “Maybe it’s OUR fault for rushing them through a 1-2-3-pray-after-me routine. They have no interest in spiritual things because they have never really encountered the Son of God and been changed by His Spirit. Let us abandon the bribes and purpose to exalt Jesus Christ, so that He will draw men to Himself.”

    THAT would have been a great ending to the meeting, and they could have left out that entire embarrassing 2nd half about breaking into the home and screaming at people.

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