Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sunday Stockholm Syndrome

Drive by any church on Sunday and you're likely to see plenty of cars outside, as throngs of Americans who spend much of their work weeks divided by cubicle walls like rats in a maze, come together to be led like sheep for the lamb of God; much to the financial benefits of their respective shepherds, of course.

Apparently, sitting in state of the art buildings once a week - buildings equipped with heating and air conditioning, marble bathrooms, wifi access, digital sound systems, marble floors, and all of the trappings befitting the house of God (some of which are as big as football stadiums) - has the curious effect of making Christians feel better about all the poor and destitute in the world. Some even enjoy watching preachers bemoan the sufferings of this world from the comfort of their own homes, and can donate to those who do the bemoaning (but not necessarily those they bemoan) by clicking a PayPal button from their iPad.

Parents across this great land readily force their children to attend such weekly fundraisers, and listen to the rantings of someone who has dedicated their life to offering their own interpretation of a book of stories that any one in their audience could pick up and read for themselves. And sometimes, those in the audience do just that, but given the demands and distractions of a first would country, it usually only happens at weddings and funerals. Yet regardless of whether such believers read this book for themselves or not, they flock to hear the interpretations of this famed story book from someone who they clearly come to trust more than they trust themselves, at least when it comes to interpreting such stories.

Most of the interpretations people then indoctrinate their children with revolve around hope for a better world, and how we are forced always to hope for such a thing because of our own sinfully miserable nature - praise be to God! If we weren't all responsible for murdering Christ, which we only did because we were all responsible for eating that now famous apple in the Garden of Eden, people would not be starving in Africa, and ISIS wouldn't be running around cutting off people's heads for the glory of God and Armageddon. (By crucifying Jesus, we are forgiven for the original sin of eating apples, even though we are still held guilty for obtaining our salvation by murdering the son of God. Yeah - there's no point in trying to figure this one out.)

The best way to combat such evils, so the Christians will tell you, is to watch Joel Olsteen (a guy who managed to turn the teachings of Anthony Robbins into a religion for Christian money lenders), contemplate how fortunate we are to be forgiven by God for being the miserable sinners he created us to be, and dropping a tithing in the collection plate every Sunday so our megachurch can continue the Christian work of keeping the lights on, installing the latest Dolby surround sound system and HD Plasma TVs, and if you're Creflo Dollar, even buying you your own private jet.

And even though many of those leaving the pews will be cussing at each other as they leave the parking lot, they are confident that their willingness to miss watching whatever sporting event they will undoubtedly be checking the score of from their phone anyway, will someone help to reduce the overall amount of suffering in the world; and more importantly, it will help them avoid a one way ticket to hell, and win that all expenses paid trip to eternal salvation in that divine Disney Land they call heaven.

Such a plan would all make for a perfect day, spiritually speaking, if only the "a---hole" in front of them would "learn how to "f---ing drive!"

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