do a blurb on how the bible is full of porn and how mayor phil gorden should ban the bible from the library if he is going to ban porn

(bible sex stuff follows)

Library's computer porn shocking
Aug. 22, 2004 12:00 AM

I am shocked to read that an adult can choose to unfilter porn on a public library computer.

What happened to the library being a safe environment for families? I support Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon in his efforts to block this.

While it is legal for an adult to view pornography, they do not have a constitutional right to do so sitting next to my children.

Perhaps the library news needs to be in today's movie Preview section under "delivering evil!" - Anne Paulus, Phoenix

quiz is at answers follow

Answers To The "Bible Sex Quiz | Part III"

1. If you retain the services of a prostitute, but are careless and impregnate her, what should you do for her in return? Correct Answer: C (Kill the bitch (particularly if you find out shes a relative).) And [Judah] turned unto her by the way, and said, Go to, I pray thee, let me come in unto thee; (for he knew not that she was his daughter in law.) And she said, What wilt thou give me, that thou mayest come in unto me?And it came to pass about three months after, that it was told Judah, saying, Tamar thy daughter in law hath played the harlot; and also, behold, she is with child by whoredom. And Judah said, Bring her forth, and let her be burnt (Genesis 38:16, 40).

2. Were sex objects used in Biblical times?

Correct Answer: B (Yes. Women screwed themselves with dildos made out of gold and silver). Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them (Ezekiel 16:17).

3. Do Middle Eastern men have large external appendages and great sexual prowess?

Correct Answer: C (Yes. In fact, Egyptians have penises the size of a donkeys and ejaculations the volume of a horses.) Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses (Ezekiel 23:19-20).

4. How can sin (or anything else that irks God) affect your sex life?

Correct Answer: D (God may simply have your neighbor rape your wife.) Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun (2 Samuel 12:11).

5. Are there times when prostitution is acceptable?

CCorrect Answer: A (Yes. When the money raised is used to support needy Christians.) And it shall come to pass after the end of seventy years, that the Lord will visit Tyre, and she shall turn to her hire, and shall commit fornication with all the kingdoms of the world upon the face of the earth. And her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the Lord: it shall not be treasured nor laid up; for her merchandise shall be for them that dwell before the Lord, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing (Isaiah 23:17-18).

6. Whom does God order sinners to marry?

Correct Answer: D (Whores.) And the Lord said to Hosea, Go, take unto thee a wife of whoredoms and children of whoredoms: for the land hath committed great whoredom, departing from the Lord (Hosea 1:2).

7. How does God feel about polygamy?

Correct Answer: D (B and C only.) If he take him another wife; her food, her raiment, and her duty of marriage, shall he not diminish (Exodus 21:10). And [King Solomon] had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines (1 Kings 11:3). Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom (Matthew 25:1). But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery (Matthew 5:32).

8. What should you do for your married mistress who bears your child if an angry God decides to kill the baby?

Correct Answer: D (Just knock up your wife and quickly produce another offspring.) And the Lord struck the child that Uriahs wife bare unto David, and it was very sickAnd it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child diedAnd David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him (2 Samuel 12: 15, 17, 24).

9. How does God punish whores (i.e., sexually active women)?

Correct Answer: C (He pulls up their skirts and exposes their nakedness, thereby increasing their whoredom.) Therefore will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear. I have seen thine adulteries, and thy neighings, the lewdness of thy whoredom, and thine abominations on the hills in the fields (Jeremiah 13:26-27).

10. Before the days of notary publics, how did a man swear to a statement?

Correct Answer: D (They simply grabbed another mans genitals.) And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the Lord, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canannites, among whom I dwellAnd the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and sware to him concerning that matter (Genesis 24:2-3, 9). And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt (Genesis 47:29).

The Dark Bible

Sex, Obscenities, Filth
Back To Table Of Contents

Biblical pornography
Cain's Wife?
David uncovers himself
Death to adulterers
Drugs and aphrodisiacs
Eat human feces!
Eating dung and drinking piss
Eating dung and son
Expose her breasts!
Fatal orgasm
Fecal disposal
God given hemorrhoids
God's bowel diseases
God's fecal fetish
Howl and strip naked
Incestuous relations
Passing wind
Piss crimes
Pisseth against walls
Prophesy in the nude
The sacred penis
Blue words represent Bible quotes

Biblical Pornography
"Yet she multiplied her whoredoms, in calling to remembrance the days of her youth, wherein she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt. For she doted upon their paramours, whose flesh is as the flesh of asses, and whose issue is like the issue of horses." (Ezekiel 23: 19-21)

"and lusted after her paramours there, whose members were like those of donkeys, and whose emission was like that of stallions." (Ezekiel 23: 21, NRSV)

Comment The story of the sister whores, Aholah and Aholibah gives a moral lesson against the sins of the flesh. But why does God have to describe their adventures in such pornographic detail? Does God love porn?

What parent would want their children reading verse 21 about comparing the size of men's penises to donkey genitals and the sperm flow to that of horse issues?

As any adult religious parent might believe, such lustful descriptions, if culled from secular sources, would corrupt children should they happen to read them. Should it not also corrupt children if read from the Bible?

Cain's Wife?
"And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch." (Genesis 4:17)

What wife? At that time only Adam & Eve, Cain and Abel existed on the Earth. The only possibility comes from, either a grave omission from the Bible, or his mother Eve served as his wife. The second possibility would mean incest.

After Cain killed his brother, God protected him by setting "a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him." (verse 14). Considering the earth supposedly had only Adam's family, who should kill him? And what kind of mark could have protected Cain? From the absurdity of this story, it should not surprise why anyone would read into it what they wanted. Certain inane beliefs resulted such as the common belief that the "mark of Cain" meant the dark skin of the "Negro" race.

David Uncovers Himself
"And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet. And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart." (II Samuel 6:14-16)

"Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel today, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!" (II Samuel 6:20)

Comment Imagine King David dancing and leaping with all his might while uncovering himself to the crowd.

David's wife, in effect, says, "Well, you certainly made an ass of yourself at the temple today leaping and dancing about like an idiot and exposing yourself."

Note: An "ephod" describes an embroidered robe that looks similar to a woman's dress.

Death To Adulterers "And the man that committeth adultery with another man's wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death. And the man that lieth with his father's wife hath uncovered his father's nakedness: both of them shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them." (Leviticus 20:10-11)

Comment Few Christians today consider death as a punishment for adultery; no doubt because so many Christians, themselves, practice sexual liaisons with other people's spouses.

Note, however, that a growing number of heterosexual fundamentalists have begun to call for the death penalty for homosexuals simply because Leviticus 20:13 calls for the death of a man who lies with mankind (homosexuality).

Drugs And Aphrodisiacs "Come, my beloved, let us go forth into the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves. The mandrakes give a smell, and at our gates are all manner of pleasant fruits, new and old, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved." (Song of Solomon 7:11-13)

Comment The poetry of the Songs of Solomon give Scriptural testimony for love, sex and the beauty of the female body, a rare and usually ignored portion of the Bible by many fundamentalist Christians.

The mandrakes mentioned here describe a Mediterranean herb of the nightshade family of plants. To this day in the Middle East, people believe it overcomes impotence in men and acts as a powerful aphrodisiac. Even the roots have a decidedly phallic appearance. Ancient physician, Galen, wrote that pomegranate possessed antifertility properties. Many women in ancient days used pomegranate, (as well as other plants) for birth control, with little interference from religious or political authorities. Studies in the 1930s showed that pomegranate reduced fertility in laboratory animals, much as modern contraceptive pills do. [Archaeology, March/April 1994]

(See also Genesis 30:14)

Eat Human Feces! "And thou shalt eat it as barley cakes, and thou shalt bake it with dung that cometh out of man, in their sight. And the LORD said, Even thus shall the children of Israel eat their defiled bread among the Gentiles, whither I will drive them." (Ezekiel 4:12-13)

Comment How many good Christians today realize that their God has coprophilic tendencies?

One wonders what value, nutritional or moral, it would serve the people to eat human feces with their bread, as God ordered. Note, God here has also ordered, the voyeuristic-like observation of the feces coming out man. How many Christians and Jews realize that they worship a Scat God?

Eating Dung And Drinking Piss "But Rabshakeh said unto them, Hath my master sent me to thy master, and to thee, to speak these words? hath he not sent me to the men which sit on the wall, that they may eat their own dung, and drink their own piss with you?" (II Kings 18:27)

Comment Whatever moral lesson an adult might gain from such questionable verses, one can only wonder. How many parents realize that their children, who might come across such filthy passages, could get the wrong message?

Any mention of eating feces and drinking urine in any secular writing would get considered obscene and sick by any righteous minded Christian. Then why should it not receive the same consideration if found in a bible? Might we ask what artistic or social value this verse presents?

Note the word "piss" stands as one of the censored vulgar words of the public television industry. If Christians wish to censor such language from secular sources, then it behooves them to give themselves as an example and thus censor the obscene verses from their own Bible.

(See also Isaiah 36:12)

Boil and Eat Your Son "And the king said unto her, What aileth thee? And she answered, This woman said unto me, Give thy son, that we may eat him to day, and we will eat my son to morrow. So we boiled my son, and did eat him: and I said unto her on the next day, Give thy son, that we may eat him: and she hath hid her son...." (II Kings 6:28-29)

Comment According to the Bible, a horrible famine took place in Samaria where in desperation, the people ate whatever they could. The cannibalistic eating of a son may provide sufficient nutrition for a mother but disregards the puissant nature of humans to protect their young. Although the Bible does not explain if the son had already died or if the parent deliberately killed him for food, this dreadful example goes against human nature.

Long before bibles or written language, humans evolved as social animals that required the protection of their offspring. Only the dogmatic insistence of a belief-system could supersede the natural instincts of humans. Hopefully readers of the Bible who might one day experience a famine will not subvert their natural instinct for this kind of horrific example in Scripture. May I suggest that if you cannot control your belief to eat your children, sacrifice your priest and eat him instead; that way you gain far more protein for you and your children, and when you say grace, you'll have someone to really thank for your food.

Expose Her Breasts! "Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame. And I will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make the vile, and will set thee as gazingstock." (Nahum 3:5-6)

"Look, I am against you!- declares Yahweh Saboath- I shall lift your skirts as high as your face and show your nakedness to the nations, your shame to the kingdoms. I shall pelt you with filth." (Nahum 3:6, The New Jerusalem Bible)

Comment Some think these verses describe a genius of a poet. If judged as such, it can only come from its sharpness and vividness. But it also describes vulgarity and hatred, even if it aims against the harlotry of the city of Nineveh.

Few scholars today believe that these verses come as a direct quote from God. But a fundamentalist who believes every word of the Bible, must also accept these words as Godly. If so, then how can one not see God in a cruel vulgar light?

"Filth" here refers to dung. (See also Malachi 2:2-3 where God says "I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces...")

Fatal Orgasm "And Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD slew him. And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother's wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother's wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the LORD: wherefore he slew him also." (Genesis 38:7-10)

Comment The term "onanism," from the name Onan, has come to stand for masturbation which has suffered a fate similar to sodomy in the sense that it has evolved to have a meaning far different from its original usage.

Dictionaries define onanism as "male masturbation" or "Uncompleted coitus." According to interpretations of the Bible, Onan removed his penis from his partner's vagina before he ejaculated so that his seed fell onto the ground. This displeased God so much that he killed him! Onanism has also received a another definition of "self pollution" which has caused misery throughout the centuries. God killed Onan because, rather than to impregnate his brother's wife-- thus extending his line, Onan chose to interrupt his coitus before he could impregnate Tamar. Onan had a logical reason for doing so, one that involved Jewish law of those ancient days. During Biblical times, any child born to the wife of the eldest son died without heirs - and if his wife had no children sired by a relative of her dead spouse - then the dominance would pass to the second son. Onan stood to lose a great deal if he complied with his father's order. Had he been asked to marry his brother's wife, thus transferring her to his possession, he no doubt would have completed the act. Then the resultant child would have been his, legally as well as physically.

Some time during the centuries, the character of the sinful act was changed. Instead of being recognized as a seldom performed interrupting of coitus, it became accepted as any form of self-stimulation that resulted in orgasm, and the entire character of the deed became altered. Onanism came to mean a sinful act of masturbation! This has resulted in a general bad impression of masturbation even in secular beliefs. For example many a parent has told his son not to masturbate for fear of going blind. [I masturbated only until I needed glasses, Ed.]

Fecal disposal "And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: For the LORD thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall they camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee." (Deuteronomy 23:13-14)

Comment These verses ask us to believe that God has concern for fecal waste disposal outside a military camp because God personally wishes to walk within the camp. Now really!

God Given Hemorrhoids "The LORD will smite thee with the botch of Egypt, and with the emerods, and with the scab, and with the itch, whereof thou canst not be healed." (Deuteronomy 28:27)

"But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, [even] Ashdod and the coasts thereof" (I Samuel 5:6)

"And it was [so], that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts." (I Samuel 5:9)

Comment When Israel felt rebellious against God's plan, He threatened them with type of plague: "emerods" or by today's terminology, "hemorrhoids."

No wonder why so many atheists consider God a pain in the ass. But then again, Christians and Jews develop hemorrhoids too. If you happen to develop hemorrhoids, then you can trust the Bible that God considers you an enemy.

God's Bowel Diseases "Behold with a great plague will the LORD smite thy people and thy children, and thy wives, and all thy goods: And thou shalt have great sickness by disease of thy bowels, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day." (II Chronicles 21:14-15)

"And after all this the LORD smote him in his bowels with an incurable disease. And it came to pass, that in process of time, after the end of two years, his bowels fell out by reason of sickness: so he died of sore diseases. And his people made no burning for him, like the burning of his fathers." (II Chronicles 12:18-19)

Comment Another among many instances in the Bible where the Lord smites, not only men, but all the people including women and children.

Why God would concern himself with giving an incurable cruel bowel disease where the person's guts spill out of the abdomen, goes beyond human decency and comprehension.

God's Fecal Fetish "If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart. Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces, even the dung of your solemn feasts; and one shall take you away with it." (Malachi 2:2-3)

Comment Amazingly God appears to have a fecal fetish.

This commandment to the priests told by the Lord gives example of the Satanic threats of curses He seems to enjoy. What should one think of a God that would smear feces upon the faces of his creations? Such vulgarity can hardly give good example to high morality.

Howl And Strip Naked "Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls." (Micah 1:8)

Comment The minor prophets felt influenced from Isaiah and these words of Micah indicate that he would imitate Isaiah's nudist actions as an adjunct to his prophesying.

Picture in your mind a religious man of today stripping and running around totally nude and prophesying in public, wailing and hooting at the top of his lungs. No doubt the police would snatch him up in a second while citizens stare in embarrassment. It just goes to show how far we have demeaned ourselves and our bodies as shameful.

(See also Isaiah 20:2-4)

Incestuous Relations "And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man." (Genesis 2:23)

"And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD. And she again bare his brother Abel. and Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground." (Genesis 4:1-2)

"And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch..." (Genesis 4:17)

Comment Since Eve came from Adam and due to God's edict to "be fruitful and multiply," this describes the first incestual relationship.

In 4:17 one must infer incest for Cain would have had to have sex with either his own mother, Eve, or an unnamed sister.

For other examples of Biblical incest see Gen. 20:12 where Abraham married his half-sister Sarah; Gen. 19:30-38 where Lot's daughters had intercourse with him; Gen. 38:16 where Tamar had sex with her father-in-law Judah.

People should become aware that many of today's incestuous abuses occur in Christian families and many use Biblical scripture for its justification.

Passing Wind Wherefore my bowels shall sound like a harp for Moab, and mine inward parts for Kirharesh. (Isaiah 16:11)

Comment This passage refers to the flatulent passing of gas in musical fashion from the bowels of a prophet. Could this represent a rare instance of humor in the Bible?

Piss Crimes "therefore, behold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jerobo'am, and will cut off from Jerobo'am him that pisseth against the wall..." (I Kings 14:10)

Comment If God brings evil, then what makes Him different from Satan?

Although the unsanitary practice of urinating on walls might have caused serious erosion of the mud walls, bringing evil appears excessive punishment for such a minor offense.

(See also I Kings 16:8-11, I Kings 21:21, and II Kings 9:8-10.)

Pisseth Against Walls "And it came to pass, when he began to reign, as soon as he sat on his throne, that he slew all the house of Baasha: he left him not one that pisseth against a wall, neither of his kinsfolks, nor of his friends." ( I Kings 16:11)

Comment Consider that many Christians tell us to believe all of the Bible, must we also include this vulgar language as the inspiration of God?

(See also I Kings 14:10, 21:21; II Kings 9:8.)

Prophesy in the nude "At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy lions, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot. And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia; So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt." (Isaiah 20:2-4)

Comment Although Saul acted on his own, God gave Isaiah a direct injunction to prophesy in the nude, and that it should continue for three years.

God seems not the least offended by nudity when it comes to prophesying, yet he imbues his followers with shame over nudity associated with sex, especially when it involves pagan sex worship.

(See also Micah 1:8)

The Sacred Penis "He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD. A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD." (Deuteronomy 23:1-2)

Comment Consider the religious man who happens to accidentally receive an injury to his testicles (stones) or the loss of his penis (privy member). According to the Bible, and regardless of his righteousness or goodwill toward men, mind you, but just because he lacks a penis, he should never enter a Church or Temple.

Also pity a poor man born of a mother who, for whatever reason, including rape, may have born him out of wedlock. He too should, according to the Bible, never enter the Lord's congregation.

Note: The bastard Jesus broke God's word whenever he stepped into a Temple. Do you suppose God had him crucified for this reason?

[Back to Atrocities][Back to Contents][Next]


lott lets some angels rape his daughters


Why did Lot give his daughters to the crowd of men? Gen. 19:8

Now behold, I have two daughters who have not had relations with man; please let me bring them out to you, and do to them whatever you like; only do nothing to these men, inasmuch as they have come under the shelter of my roof, (Gen. 19:8). The context of this verse is that two angels had visited Lot in Sodom in an effort to get him to leave the city since it was about to be destroyed. Apparently these two angels appeared in the form of men. Meanwhile, many of the men of the city, who were homosexual, wanted to have relations with the two men, not knowing they were really angels. But, Lot offered his daughters to the crowd of people instead. The crowd refused the daughters and began to forcibly enter Lot's home in order to abduct the two men/angels so that they might molest them sexually. The angels then blinded the people in the crowd and the crowd dispersed. Why would Lot offer his daughters to the mob of men since it was a very bad thing to do? Quite simply, what Lot did was wrong. He was hypocritical and ungodly in his action. In that culture, it was extremely important to treat visitors very well since the host of a home in a city automatically represented that city to the visitors. It was a very big deal to make sure the visitors were well treated. This may have played a part in Lot's decision to honor his guests, but it makes no difference. Lot was very wrong to offer his own daughters to the mob. Some may think that Lot was a very godly man. But this is not the case in this instance. If he were, why was he living in Sodom in the first place? Why did he choose to go there? It is probably true that Lot was a God-fearing man to some extent, but he obviously was compromising his values and was probably being influenced by the sinfulness of the city. In his compromised position, he sinned by offering his daughters. Finally, we must look at 2 Pet. 2:6-7,

"and if He [God] condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter; 7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men..."

Even the righteous before God can do things that are wrong. Overall, Lott feared God and trusted in Him -- even though he did wrong by offering his daughters. God does not remember our sins (Isaiah 43:25), Therefore, Lot's sins were not remembered when Lot was described in Peter's account.

Lot's daughters got him drunk and had sex with him,

And they made their father drink wine that night: and the firstborn went in, and lay with her father; and he perceived not when she lay down, nor when she arose -- Genesis 19:33

Bible Porn

By Erik Hanson, Killing the Buddha. Posted August 19, 2004.

Murder, sex, and general mayhem. A camp counselor shares the other side of the Bible. Story Tools EMAIL PRINT BUY ALSO IN RIGHTS AND LIBERTIES

States of Denial Abby Christopher

There's Nothing Wrong With My Eyes Sandy Kobrin

Go Directly to Jail Silja J.A. Talvi

A New Kind of English Franz Schurmann

The Ex Factor Dan Frosch

More stories by Erik Hanson

Once, when I was eight, I knelt down at my bed alongside my mother, admitted I was a sinner, and asked Jesus Christ into my heart. Once, when I was eleven, I stood up at a Bible campfire and promised my peers and elders that I would earnestly strive to bring my unsaved friend to church. And once when I was 22, among ten high school boys whose souls had been entrusted to me for a week, I sat down on the carpet and read them, for their edification, Bible porn.

"Judges 19:29-30: When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel. Everyone who saw it said, Such a thing has never been seen or done, not since the day the Israelites came up out of Egypt. Think about it! Consider it! Tell us what to do! "

These high school boys were members of what I have in the past called My People, a term that referred sometimes to those who accepted that a salad was to consist of, and only of, iceberg lettuce, tomato wedges, thousand island dressing, and Bacos. Sometimes the term referred to Midwesterners, sometimes to Swedish American-immigrants, sometimes to evangelicals. But mostly "My People" meant the Evangelical Covenant Church of America.

Created by a pietistic break-off of the Swedish State Lutheran church in the 19th century, the Evangelical Covenant Church is a denomination of about 100,000 members. Although they are now found in almost every state of the nation, My People cluster predominantly around Chicago and Minneapolis. Leaving the dry, empty formalism of state churches in Sweden for something more real, My People are Scandinavians with a heart for Jesus. Born again Swedes. They are evangelical enough to think that a heartfelt conversion experience is necessary to ensure your spot in the Kingdom of Heaven, but Swedish enough to not make a big fuss over it.

Migrating to the US, Covenanteers found greater religious freedom, but greater competition as well. Unable to simply baptize their infants into the state church before the kids even knew what was happening, My People now had to wait until some age of accountability and then let their kids make their own decisions. From every side from charismatics, to archaeologists, to MTV forces threatened to take Covenant kids from the faith of their fathers.

Hence the creation of CHIC. Once standing for Covenant HIgh Congress, now like KFC or FedEx,CHIC stands for nothing but itself. Every three or four summers, CHIC calls every 13-17 year-old Covenant Kid from across the country to a big college campus where for a week they are bombarded with so much high-power Christian fun and high-volume Christian rock, and so many high-impact Christian speakers, that they have no choice but to dedicate their lives to Jesus Christ.

I attended CHIC in 1984, but because my mom had gone and gotten me saved seven years before, all I could do was get recommitted. And I had already been recommitted 19 times. So during the altar calls, while gospel music played softly and the speaker asked people to cast off their sins, come on down and accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, I sat and felt guilty for feeling nothing at all.

On the one hand it made perfect sense for me to sign up as a counselor for the 1991 CHIC held at Indiana University. Family connections plus regular Covenant camp attendance plus having just graduated from the denomination's college, North Park, plus coordinating Covenant volunteer groups through my job with Habitat for Humanity, meant that I probably already knew 300 of the 3000 kids and counselors in attendance, and the others were probably only separated by single degree. These were My People, after all. Not to go would have been like ditching a big family reunion. But on another hand, signing up made as much sense as shaving my head and passing out the Bhagavad Gita at airports. Because I didn't really want anybody to have a conversion experience, I went to be a counselor at CHIC to save the children from being saved.

The CHIC counselor application asked for a statement of belief. I knew that the right answer was something like "Once I felt tempted to go to a party where alcohol was being served" or "Once my friends' parents got divorced and I was feeling really down and I didn't know where God was in all of this." Then I would relate how I turned to a favorite passage of scripture and how it made me realize that Christ indeed was alive and relevant for my life today.

But I had no such simple heartfelt story of Christ's presence in my life. I stayed away from all the traditional Christian events at my Christian college and instead hid away in the library and struggled through deep thoughts and hard texts trying to make God and Jesus and the world as a whole make some sort of sense to me. From Kierkegaard I knew that "Truth is Subjectivity," from Nietzsche that Christians were pop-Platonists, and from Rene Girard that the New Testament revealed the scapegoat mechanism secretly present in all other myths. I knew Christianity, like life, was something far more complex and messy and hard and weird than you could explain to teens in a week. And I knew that it was condescending and wrong to make teens feel dysfunctional if they did not have a Jesus experience in just the way CHIC had pre-ordained for them.

I still considered myself a Christian, but I had no statement of belief. I wasn't even sure if belief itself was very Christlike. So, I wrote down on the application the Apostles' Creed: "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth, and in Jesus Christ, His Only Son..." Look, I said, I just believe what everybody else believes; please don't make me personalize my belief the way that everybody else personalizes their belief. I knew it wasn't at all what they were looking for, but I figured if I quoted a central Christian creed they couldn't keep me out.

So it was that on a warm August afternoon, 1991, I was sitting in a circle on the carpet with the ten high school CHIC boys whom I would "counsel." The first activity we were to undertake together was a scripture lesson. The official CHIC scripture lesson was from Matthew 14, in which Peter starts to walk toward Jesus on the water, but then the disciple starts to sink. CHIC had provided brightly colored Xeroxed papers with "hip" clip art and with questions for me to give to each of my charges: "Have you ever felt like you were sinking and called out to Jesus?" "What risks might Jesus like you to take this week?"

I put away the sheets and asked my kids to turn to Judges 19. Judges 19 tells a tale less popular in evangelical circles. It tells the story of a Levite man who goes off to Bethlehem to track down his unfaithful concubine. On the way back, the Levite and his retrieved concubine stop to sleep in the town square at Gibeah. A Gibeahan offers to let the two travelers stay at his house instead. But then the men of the town come and ask to have sex with the Levite. So then the Gibeahan host goes out and says, "No, my friends, don't be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don't do this disgraceful thing. Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish." They rape and abuse the two women who then come crawling back to the house at dawn. What happens to the concubine next I mentioned at the start of this story.

After reading the passage to the kids that I was supposed to be turning on to the love of Jesus, I asked them what they thought. One kid from Alaska just got up and walked away. (He got himself assigned to another group and I didn't talk to him again.) I don't know what kind of reaction I was hoping for from the kids. Maybe, "Oh my God! This Bible-Christianity thing isn't as straightforward as I thought! I'm going to run away from my namby-pamby Covenant home, smoke unfiltered cigarettes and read about Kierkegaard and despair in a poorly-lit coffee house!" But instead, they just lounged there in their brightly-colored beach shorts and played with their sunglasses. One said something like, "So that's in the Bible. Huh." Then another one asked if they could go to the mall.

Everything was going okay until one of the CHIC authorities, Dale, came up to quiet us down. For most of the year Dale was the Youth Pastor for the Johnson County Covenant Church, and I had worked with him the previous summer when he brought his church youth group to Habitat for Humanity. But this week Dale was the Head of CHIC Security, The Covenant's Top Cop. It was his job not only to keep the kids away from unsafe and illegal activities, but from sinful ones as well. He came up and asked me to keep my young ones in line. I explained to Dale that everything was okay because these youth were part of an experimental ministry project called "ARMMFART". ARMMFART stood for "Alternative Role Model Ministry For Apathetic and Reluctant Teens". My logic, as I explained it to Dale, was that not every kid at CHIC was going to connect with the rah-rah, happy shiny form of evangelicalism. I felt that it was my role to reach out to these kids. And if it took a few shenanigans to win them for Jesus, I thought it was worth it. I don't really know if I believed any of this. But I had good Covenant credentials and it sounded good, so Dale let it ride.

Bible porn continued. In place of the official CHIC lesson every night, I read to my campers about how Lot's daughters got him drunk and had sex with him, the sexual purity laws from Leviticus, how Noah got drunk and naked and his sons had to cover him up, and the place in Song of Songs where it talks about breasts. Again, the kids were amused, but mostly felt like they were getting to skip homework. The fact that the book the Covenant Church holds up as God's "only perfect rule for faith, doctrine and conduct" was full of smut made no apparent impression upon them. But, slowly, I believed, my message, whatever that message might be, was sinking in.

The last night of CHIC was the big altar call. Everything that was told to them so far in the week was just softening them up for the final night. The softer meaningful songs went on longer than other nights, and the speaker didn't make as many wisecracks. No fire, no brimstone, but in a sweet sincere voice, he made it clear that tonight was the night to give yourself to Jesus. Jesus loves you no matter what you've done and he wants you to start living for him today. Soft music played, whole rows of people put their arms around each other and swayed.

As emotionally-wrought CHIC kids came up to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior, tears began to stream down the eyes of everyone in the arena. Except for ARMMFART. I was nervous about desanctifying this, the most sacred point of CHIC and of many young people's lives. But ARMMFARTers were mock-sobbing, loudly blowing their noses, hardly able to keep from busting out laughing.

Youth Pastor Cop Dale shot a glance back that let me know in no uncertain terms that this behavior was not okay. But I only shrugged, helplessly, to tell him know that this was now out of my control. He came up and whisperingly (so as not to disturb the mood) told the kids that they should be ashamed of themselves and to keep it down. Apparently he had given up any hope of their souls being reached.

The kids quieted down eventually, but I was distraught. I was distraught by the emotional manipulation being perpetuated by the CHIC leaders. I was distraught by my kids' not knowing where to draw the line. I was distraught by my inability to make sense of what I was doing there. The soft music played on, the preacher again asked the kids to make a decision for Jesus tonight. Should I be listening to him? What had my arrogant ways done but created a bunch of teenage hooligans?

That night, back at the dorm, in place of our usual Bible porn lesson, I asked my kids what they thought of the altar call. No one had been paying enough attention to even know what was being said. Disgusted, I went to explain the whole program: just how and why CHIC had been trying to save them, and how I had been trying to save them from that. What I had been trying to teach them that week was that salvation isn't enough. You aren't altogether without merit before you accept Jesus and you certainly aren't altogether good once you do accept him. You can't judge others based on whether or not they call themselves Christian or if they've had some special experience where Jesus entered their life. I don't know what happens after you die, I told them, but if Jesus is up there separating the sheep from the goats based on whether or not they get all weepy when Amy Grant songs are played soft, I don't want anything to do with it. There's a lot of other stuff going on in the world. People get drunk. People have sex. There's brutality, there's rape and mayhem, and that's just in the goddamned Bible. There's a whole filthy, messy, complicated world out there and nothing you learn at CHIC or Bible camp or at church tells you the first damn thing about how to deal with it. Do you understand?

Josh turned over on his bunk where he had been lying listening and scratched himself. Seth flipped through his motorcycle magazine. Some of the other kids started talking about which CHIC girls they thought were the best looking. I was ready to beat them all senseless for being so oblivious, for paying no attention at all to my theological message or to anyone else's. Then for a brief flashing moment, I saw them. I saw my kids. I saw the kids I counseled not as saved or unsaved, brainwashed or reflective, good or bad. I saw them as just boys in high school, each having their own lives and thoughts, even if such thoughts were only about how to blow things up, how to get girls, how to drive cars. For a brief and shining moment, I saw them like me, fellow Covenanteers, fellow children of the earth, yet entirely unlike me and entirely unfathomable. It was like watching a pornographic movie and all of a sudden instead of feeling desire or disgust or even humor seeing the real people behind the porn actor bodies and wondering who their mothers were, how their houses were decorated, what they had for lunch. I saw my kids, My People, for the first time in my life.

All week at CHIC, like my fellow counselors, I had been trying to convert my children to a program I did not really understand myself. Because it was too much, too much, to just let them lie there without categorization, without direction, without ultimate meaning. But the full reality of nine separate kids with all their own lives, their own thoughts, their own experiences, their own being, lasted only for that moment. The godlike perspective was too overwhelming to bear. So we all packed into my car and Seth drove us to the Steak & Shake and we popped straws and ate fries and talked about girls and cars and exploding Barbies.

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