Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Bold, Fresh Piece of Christianity That is Jeremiah: the Poetry Edition

Time once again to un-spin the whirling dervish (oh-oh, now that sounded “foreign”!) that is our old friend Jeremiah. In our current installment, he chooses to wax poetic…sort of. Commentary occurs, Gentle Reader, between the stanzas.

- - - - - - - -
Twas the month before Christmas
When all through our land,

Not a Christian was praying

Nor taking a stand.
WOW. Who knew that prayer and freedom of speech were suspended every November! Is that all in honor of it being the official month of elections?

 And that poor, cowardly Christian Right, bullied into not saying a thing! Who would have thunk it?
See the PC Police had taken away,

The reason for Christmas - no one could say.

The children were told by their schools not to sing,

About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
How many hours are kids in school per day? Can they only sing in school? Not, perhaps, in places like churches? At home? In the shower? So sad, this pervasive restriction on vocalization.

And, additionally, this is a pile of crap. My very PUBLIC HS choir performed Pater Nosters and Te Deums and any number of songs with what you might call sacred content. For that matter, we did the same in middle- and in grade-school. And, yes, we even had Jewish singers participating in choir! Nobody raised a freaking EYEBROW! This is a phantom issue.

It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say

December 25th is just a “Holiday”.

Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit

Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!

CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod

Something was changing, something quite odd!

Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa

In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda.
OK, here’s a big time stretch to connect recognition of diversity in schools, to commercialization of the season, to those oh-so-scary “fringe” holidays like Ramadan (which moves by about ten days every year, Jer, depending on moon phases: it was August 22 this year, so in your quest to equate it with Christmas, you lose big time) and Kwanzaa, and then to political activists whose influence Jeremiah fears.

Understand the basics, Jeremiah. Many worldwide faiths have celebrations on or near the Winter Solstice, so the generic “Holiday” is most appropriate for most people in most public settings. You want to have Christmas up the wazoo…well, presumably, YOU have a church to go to that caters to that. But you sound like you’re advocating Nativity scenes in synagogues, for crying out loud! Believe what you like as fervently as you like – it’s still just good manners and common decency (qualities which you seem to lack) to show some basic respect for the faiths of others, especially when so many diverse celebrations cluster around a certain time of year. Get it? Jesus wouldn’t want you to be RUDE, and that is what you are doing. CHILL, yes?

As Targets were hanging their trees upside down

At Lowe's the word Christmas - could nowhere be found.

At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears

You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.
The upside-down trees thing, yeah, is a stupid and funky trend. But why should it offend you? You DO know that the whole concept of the Yuletide evergreen is essentially Pagan in origin, and certainly has nothing to do with events in ancient Judea? And as for your disdain for corporations that refuse to pander to your preferred wordage? Easy solution. Don’t shop there. Or get yourself elected to the Board of Directors of Lowe’s, K-Mart, Staples, J.C. Penney and Sears, and change the policy by fiat. I won’t hold my breath on that last.

Funny how the fundie right is always up in arms about their own free speech, but just as eager to dictate to other individuals and companies what they can/should say and how they should say it.

On the other hand, Jer, I guess we can all send you gift cards for Wal-Mart in your stocking, since they seem to have escaped your Christian Correctness shit list. I’ll throw in $1.29. You could do with some Tic-Tacs.

Inclusive, tolerance and Di-ver-si-ty

Are words that were used to intimidate me.

Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzen

On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!
Ah, the good old days. I remember when Christianity presented itself as inclusive, tolerant and diverse. Now those are words from which today’s “Christians” cower. Very sad. And as to the list of “reindeer,” I think the selections reveal something about the rather dated provenance of this poetic effort. Old news, Jer. Old news.

At the top of the Congress, there arose such a clatter

To eliminate Jesus, in all public matter.

And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith

Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace
Yet again, with mingled déjà vu and weariness and impending dread…what about the doctrine of separation of church and state, and that government shall establish no religious test, do you so persistently fail to understand, Jeremiah? Talk about Jesus in public as much as you want! Do you see anyone shutting down your all-but-readerless blog? Nooooo. If you “spoke not a word,” then that’s your own fault and your own responsibility. (And, actually, you haven’t. You’ve been quite vocal. Not that anyone has noticed, but free speech doesn’t equate to a guaranteed audience, even when your topics are “salvation and grace.”) But don’t whine and moan if the Presidential podium and the Speaker’s chair in the House of Representatives aren’t turned into an evangelical pulpit for your own personal views. You might as well come right out and admit it, Jer. You have no interest in or understanding of democracy per se. What you want is theocracy, a dictatorial wolf dressed up in the lamb’s clothing of representative government. What you want is your way or the highway, disagreement with or challenge of your viewpoint squashed. You want a Christian facsism that would far outstrip the “fascism” of which you accuse your adversaries.

The true Gift of Christmas was given then discarded

The reason for the season stopped before it had started.

So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Holiday Tree'

Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Oh, those latte-sipping liberal elites, too special to sling back a common cup of Maxwell House with the likes of your Joe The Plumber(s). I wondered when they would make an appearance. True to form, Jer does not disappoint.

Choose your words carefully, choose what you say

Shout MERRY CHRISTMAS, not Happy Holidays!
Yes. Because the season of peace on earth and good will towards humankind is all about the SHOUTING.

Please, all Christians join together and

wish everyone you meet MERRY CHRISTMAS.
Fine. You gonna stone anyone who responds with “Happy Holidays”? Because you seem awfully hung up over a minor issue of wording as opposed to overflowing with the joy and warmth and common cause with your fellow man that is supposed to imbue your spirit at this time of year. But, hey. Anger and bile are far easier than are compassion and empathy. I recommend the latter, Jer, but I’m not at all sure you would recognize them if you saw them, even out of the most minute corner of your eye.

Christ is The Reason for the Christ-mas Season!
And, for the timing and reason for the “season” – aka, WINTER – I take great pleasure in referring you to the old Germanic festival known as Yule, the Pagan origins of which were appropriated by Christianity as a way to placidly convert old believers to the new faith without too much upset. And I trust you also DO know that the Biblical references to the shepherds out looking over their lambs at the time of this miraculous birth would have been, you know, in the SPRING? Not exactly a time for "deep and crisp and even" snowfalls and such?

I notice that one of the etymological descendants of “Yule” is our present-day word “jolly.” I doubt that, or its adjunct, “joy,” is much in play around your house at this festive and reflective season, though, Jeremiah.

You try to talk a good game for your particular flavor of Christianity. But I find it, and you, singularly lacking in genuine joy.

Good luck with that in 2010.


ouspensky said...

You should post a copy of your critique on his website. I was so outraged by his comments about the Ft. Hood tragedy that I posted some comments about the similarites between Christianist and Muslum religious fanatacisim to which he immediately took offense (imagine that!) and promptly banned me. Sob! You should also find a way to torment the cretins over at BFV. They captured my IP address long ago so now all I can to is read the postings and then I go and torture my cats.

Anonymous said...

He's such a great poet.

ouspensky said...

Yeah. And didn't know it!

RalphyFan said...

Oh, I'm sure it wouldn't last for the length of a sneeze at Jeremiah's self-sermonizing site. I'm quite sure he sees it here, though. As for BFV, well, they're pretty well covered by our own indefatigable Jonathan. Jer's kind of a personal project of mine. He reminds me of too many people who used to be my know, the sort who would put a basket full of religious tracts on their porch for Halloween.

ouspensky said...

Jeremiah is psychotic. Trying to reason with him is like expecting Helen Keller to be able to appreciate art and music. If you were to ask him how much 1+1=, his answer would be Jesus!
What I would really like is to take on all the cretins over at BFV, especially the world renowned intellectual and soon to be senate campaign nominee failure, Mark Noonan but I can't figure out how to get around the lock they have on my ISP address. Any suggestions?

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