Wednesday, April 05, 2006

a rant for jared

it's been a while since i've had a good rant, but i think i will just let this one speak for itself. an author, while researching different forms of bias in america, spent an afternoon in several christian bookstores. here is a sampling of the titles he found there:

Same-Sex Marriage: Putting Every Household at Risk

The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today

The Gay Agenda: It’s Dividing the Family, the Church and a Nation

Outrage: How Gay Activists and Liberal Judges Are Trashing Democracy to Redefine Marriage

The War on Christmas: How the Liberal Plot to Ban the Sacred Christian Holiday Is Worse Than You Thought

Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America’s Youth

Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity

Liberals Are Killing America: How Their Loss of Courage, Lack of Leadership, and Constant Deceit Are Destroying Americans

Hour of the Witch: Harry Potter, Wicca Witchcraft, and the Bible

Unholy Alliance: Radical Islam and the American Left

The Many Faces of John Kerry: Why This Massachusetts Liberal Is Wrong for America

Liberwocky: What Liberals Say and What They Really Mean

Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty Over Liberalism by Sean Hannity

The Second Amendment: Preserving the Inalienable Right of Individual Self-Protection

The Enemy Within: Saving America from the Liberal Assault on Our Churches, Schools, and Military by Michael Savage

Shut Up and Sing: How Elites from Hollywood, Politics, and the UN Are Subverting America

The Dark Side of Liberalism: Unchaining the Truth

The Myth of Separation Between Church and State

Moses Was a Right-Wing Conservative

Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton

The Death of Outrage: Bill Clinton and the Assault on American Ideals

How the Clinton Clergy Corrupted a President

The ACLU Vs. America: Exposing the Agenda to Redefine Moral Values

How to Survive the Lions’ Den of the Liberal Media

Painting the Map Red

Big Sister is Watching You: Hillary Clinton and the White House Feminists Who Now Control America And Tell the President What To Do

I'm not sure which one is my favorite, but, "If It’s Not Close, They Can’t Cheat: Crushing the Democrats in Every Election and Why Your Life Depends on It" is definitely up there. jared, i don't mean to hound you, but if you are ever going to make good on your promise to urinate on a display at a christian bookstore, i'm not sure how much more inspiration you need. read the whole article here.

why do we do this? do we really feel that strongly about these issues? do we really identify them as central to the cause of Christ? i sure hope not.

we were reading from Luke last night about the signs of the end of the age, and while much of it left us scratching our heads, my lovely wife stumbled upon the following nugget regarding how we are to ready ourselves for His next arrival:

"Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap."
Luke 21:34

we had never before taken the time to figure about what the heck "dissipation" meant. tells it can mean: wasteful expenditure or consumption; amusement; a diversion. we all found this to hit a little too close to home, in a personal and national sense. we are a people of distraction (see Huxley's Brave New World) on the lookout for something to help us avoid the sometimes harsh realities of life, and certainly to occupy our time in such a way that we need not feel the twinge, no, the sting, of our apathy toward our fellow human.

but now, i'm wondering if that dang ol' christian bookstore doesn't serve the same purpose? i mean, is it possible we are just distracting ourselves from real kingdom work with political soapbox (and cracker jack) writing or an endless parade of self-help titles we consume in the name of sanctification. i wonder if this is every man's battle, or just a condition of this present darkness. i mean, will i be left behind if i don't use the prayer of jabez to jumpstart my purpose driven life? all i want is to be so wild at heart that i am ready to make a case for christ, and a case for a creator for that matter. i just want a cure for the common life...


sara and matt said...

That was a brilliant entry, dude. I gotta say that I agree with you that "Christian" bookstores are more like crapstores. Most of the books sold there would be worthy for us to wipe ourselves with if the paper weren't so coarse. I've come to the conclusion that the whole "christian" merchandising industry exists for two reasons: 1) to separate the gullible from their money, and 2) to promote right-wing politics. Maybe some folks involved in it have good intentions, but overwhelmingly I think the case for the above statements to be very convincing.
- Matt

kara said...

Excellent post. Clever ending, I was laughing. It nails the issue. Dissipation is huge in our culture! I can't help feeling played. What's worse is that at least I'm slightly aware of this "distraction" so real in our culture. Other Christians blindly folllow this stuff without thinking. Will the end come like a trap on them?

Laura said...

There is a radio commercial on mainstream stations for Lemstone Christian Stores - I'm not sure if it's a chain or just one store in Mequon, but the gist of the commercial is about the travesty of so many Christians having never been in [gasp!] a Christian bookstore, and how Lemstone provides a place of respite in the world. I mean, it's so crazy when you listen to it, that these advertisers are trying to make this store out to be a church, rather than that it is, a store, a place for people to spend money.

Anonymous said...

Wow, poignant post. Sarah and I have a difficult time with "Christian" bookstores, too. Probably a lot of all of our friends, do, I guess. I also really enjoyed the ending to your post. Very creative and effective. I think the thing that upsets me about these places is the way that they seem to market the "Jesus and" idea maybe without even trying. (The idea that salvation involves more than what Jesus did on the cross--in their case like buying the right book, cd, or bible.) And I've been a participant in that culture before. It's sad.

Anonymous said...

Cory--this is Matt--this post is amazing and down right depressing. I sometimes begin to wonder if I and my 'liberal' Christian friends exaggerate the tie b/w the right and American evangelicals. I guess I've not been in a Christian bookstore lately. Ugh.

Jared said...

The Onion had a list of new religious fiction coming out in the wake of The Da Vinci Code. My favorites include:

"The 860 Billion People You Meet In Hell"

"How Estelle Got Her Piety Back"

"Little Women Who Sit Quietly And Cross Their Legs"

"Prejudice and Prejudice"

"A Farewell to Reason"

By the way Cory, I fully intend to honor my commitment, but I never have to go when I'm near a Christ Inc. store. You say stage fright, I say Providence.