The Unbearable Banishment: Jesus takes a mulligan

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Jesus takes a mulligan

mul·li·gan. Noun. Golf. A shot not counted against the score, permitted in unofficial play to a player whose previous shot was poor.

* * *

Whitney Houston was a daughter of New Jersey, so her passing was big news out here. Her funeral became a cause célèbre. Who got to go? Did you hear who performed? Jessie Jackson made sure he got some face time in front of a camera. The governor got into hot water for ordering the state flag to be flown at half mast. Traditionally, that’s an honor reserved for men and women in uniform who gave their lives for God and country, not drug addled celebrities who were blessed with angelic voices. People are heaping damnation on Bobby Brown but I’ve read that he and Whitney were two of a kind and that she is not blameless.

Speaking of God, angelic voices and damnation.

Whitney was a woman of the church and to me, it looks like Jesus bailed out on the poor thing when she needed Him most. I'm sure she prayed for strength but her prayers fell on deaf ears. Of course, nobody in their right mind would say such a thing in public. Whitney exercised her free will and was taken by satanic forces. God had nothing to do with that part of her life. But I’ve read over and over that her beautiful singing voice was a gift from God. He gave that to her. As is usually the case, God gets all of the credit, but none of the blame. You’ll never get as sweet a deal.

During Houston’s service at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark, it was reported in the paper that choir sang, “God is working a miracle!“ A women in the rear of the church shouted, “Jesus!” What miracle?! The only miracle I see is that people are still giving money to the church.

I occasionally walk past the Seventh Day Adventist Church on 45th Street.

That's their primary message for me? Fear God? Is that what He wants? You could write this off as hyperbolic Seventh Day Adventist rhetoric but, to me, the message is universal. All organized religions of all sects, all beliefs, preach fear and obedience. The Catholics just added this pleasantry to the Confiteor portion of the mass:
...through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault (striking your chest three times)...
Its intention is to convey a more humble, sorrowful attitude toward God. This is the oldest trick in the book. In the military they do it in boot camp. In fraternities it's called hazing. It's at the core of most theologies. You are torn down and made to feel lowly and unworthy, and then rebuilt. You feel gratitude towards your tormentorsthe very people who damned youfor making you feel whole again.

* * *

The Italian government is going after the Vatican. The church is going to have to start paying taxes on its properties that are used for commercial purposes. Spain and Greece are also looking at this proposal in order to collect badly needed revenue. It's about time. Godspeed to them.


Blogger mapstew said...

Amen Brother! :¬)

February 22, 2012 at 8:41 AM  
Blogger Sausage said...

Fear tactics - tax free - nice hats.
Remind you of anything else?
paging Mr. Soprano.

February 22, 2012 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

map: HA! See what you did there?! So clever.

SF: The tax thing really get my blood up. Why don't churches have to pay taxes? Don't they enjoy city services? The best deal on the planet.

February 22, 2012 at 9:09 AM  
Blogger Val said...

Brilliant! You expressed what I have been saying for years.
From a long time lurker. :)
Val from Cape Town

February 22, 2012 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Sausage said...

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition

February 22, 2012 at 11:41 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Hi, Val from Cape Town! Are you Sid's friend? It's nice that you agree but I fear that venting about such a sensitive subject will cost me readers.

SF: I'll bet the Spanish didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition. Huzzah.

February 22, 2012 at 12:22 PM  
Blogger savannah said...

well, not too much more i can add, sugar, BUT did you know the office of the inquisition still exists within the vatican? just has a new name:The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) i KNOW, right? *sigh* i KNOW i am doomed and probably damned, too! xoxoxoxo

February 22, 2012 at 4:34 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

the "God gets credit/Devil or Weak Human gets blame" thing frosts my ass. Even as a kid.

and those people who say "God must have been keeping me alive for something special" after nearly dying in a car accident, or while battling a serious illness? They're basically saying that everyone who dies isn't useful to God, so see ya, bye, time to go!

February 22, 2012 at 7:14 PM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

You'll not lose me as a reader when you vent like this. Because I wholeheartedly agree!!

If I believed in God/a god, I'd be damned and doomed. But since I don't... I'm doin' just fine!!! :-)

The church AND big business need to be paying up their fair share of taxes. The church has gotten off scott free forever, and big business pays less than really poor people pay. Where's the logic in any of that???

And this idolizing of drug addled entertainers? It's just sick. Our society is seriously out of whack.

February 22, 2012 at 8:49 PM  
Anonymous dinahmow said...

You might lose readers? Your loyal readers have been clicking right on through despite your gravatar!
We like you just fine as you are.And we want to see pictures of your Easter Bonnet, OK? OK.

February 23, 2012 at 2:34 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

sav: The Vatican also still employs full time exorcists. Isn't that crazy?! It seems so medieval.

daisy: I love your frosty ass = anger metaphor. That was divinely inspired.

Ponita: I am, for all intents and purposes, attaching religion and that's such a touchy subject. Lots of folks would take offense and I would understand. But this is my sandbox.

dinah: Ironically, my favorite time of year is Christmas! Everyone is so happy and the town is all dressed up. I almost forget it's a theologically-centric holiday.

February 23, 2012 at 7:12 AM  
Blogger Gnu Kid said...

wait, what? somebody famous (-ish) died? how come i didn't hear about this? there should have at least been some television coverage about this. harumph!

February 23, 2012 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Kono said...

I've often thought of starting my own church for those very reasons, tax free, stand up and spout shit about how to live and people give you money, and i'm all for taxing the Jesus set, each and every denomantion, of course here in H'america do you think the American Taliban would ever stand for that? of course not.

February 23, 2012 at 10:45 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Gnu: You haven't missed a damn thing. Take it from me. I'm sure that what you were doing is far more interesting.

Kono: You laugh but do you know that I have actually wondered what it would take to start-up my own tax-free house of worship? Is it complicated?

February 23, 2012 at 11:06 AM  
Anonymous carlae said...

I think our national debt problem could be solved almost instantly if all churches were taxed. It's time to call bullshit on that one.

February 23, 2012 at 12:27 PM  
Blogger Kono said...

All you need is a store front or a basement, some folding chairs and something that looks like a bible, sure there's a form or two to fill out for the IRS but nothing to taxing, haha.

February 24, 2012 at 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Had a fab moment many years ago at Uni, when some God botherer was saying "God has a plan for each of us" and her friend said "What, for all those children who starve to death in Africa?" "But that's man's doing."


You can't argue with them, but you can certainly send them a tax bill.

February 24, 2012 at 10:13 AM  
Anonymous Dolce said...

The Church is the greatest scam of all time. Those guys make the mafia look tame. Honestly, no one that Luther oke started a little reformation back in the day. Maybe this time, they'll take a hint.

February 26, 2012 at 9:16 AM  

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