Archive for September 16, 2008

We know about the Hell’s Angels – raising cane, riding their bikes, pummeling tuirps in the local pool hall and selling dopeer, being capitalistic entrepreneurs.

Well, maybe there is a larger – and more reputable – gang syndicate out there that has a leader who has been rumored to do the unthinkable, the miraculous. You know the analogy, “It’s like he can walk on water.”

Let’s call this camorista, “The Heaven’s Devils” and its leader of the pack doubles as a humble carpenter when he’s not out transforming lives, raising the dead and creating a buffet out of a two-piece fish dinner. Evidently, he’s out recruiting gang members too.

Meet Tabitha Ruiz, a mild-mannered Seagoville (Texas) high school student.

Tabitha Ruiz says her silver and ruby beaded rosary is a gift from her mother that she’s worn ever since she was a child. She had it around her neck last week at Seagoville High School when a security guard stopped her at the door. “I went to school, walked through the metal detectors and they told me to take it off,” said the teenager. “I asked them why and they said because it’s gang-related.”

A ROSARY is now among the forbidden relics of theological lore because punks, hos and dimwitted folk in Hollywood use them as fashion accessories (among other things). Amazing. Is pop culture that powerful? Is the Vatican – or at least the local Diocese – that non-responsive and apathetic?

Poor thing.

When a girl can’t rock the pearls, it’s nice to be able to roll with the beads. That is, of course, she doesn’t want to be accused of packing a butterfly knife, zig zags and some heat – just in case some of the pesky, inked up ne’er-do-wells show up on her turf. Then its out with the KJV66 and “BANG BANG”, lead that fool to Church.

You pickin’ up what she’s throwin’ down? Feel me. Holla’.

Gay rights protests. Subliminal messaging in the movies. And now, the latest plague for the cutest mouse in U.S. History, DEATH THREATS – from the extremists Muslims no less. Man, those nuts on a roll lately.

Well, here is the true story from Great Britain, and here is a hilarious excerpt:

Sheikh Muhammad Munajid claimed Mickey Mouse is “one of Satan’s soldiers” and makes everything it touches impure. According to a translation prepared by the Middle East Media Research Institute, an American press monitoring service, he said: “The mouse is one of Satan’s soldiers and is steered by him. “If a mouse falls into a pot of food – if the food is solid, you should chuck out the mouse and the food touching it, and if it is liquid – you should chuck out the whole thing, because the mouse is impure.

That’s too bad. My little Wall Watchers are going to be upset the next time they watch Mickey Mouse on Playhouse Disney and the programming is interrupted by some smelly dude shouting in spittle, swinging a gun around and holding a bound-and-gagged Donald Duck at gunpoint for hostage bait.

But then again, the kids at home see dude’s towel, mistake his profuse sweat for water and assume he is naked under his cleric fatigues. Laughter ensues, chants of “I can see his booty” break out and wrapped up in a nice, child-like sandwich of “Daddy, I think he tooted” because the childlike thoughts are constantly interrupted by homeboy’s inescapable body odor.

The hostage takeover would be a laughing stock and the Muslim tool would be arrested without a fight. It truly is a Magical Kingdom, huh?

A recent story from Christian Today (no, the “-ity” is not missing) points something that is very telling about the megachurch these days, and proves the point to “The Writing on the Wall“.

Its headline: U.S. Megachurches growing – and fast. Well, yes and no. Here’s the summary of the story:

The continuous growth in the size of megachurches comes as no surprise as they have shown increasing numbers over the last eight years. But despite the bigger congregations, megachurches have not expanded their sanctuaries to accommodate the larger flocks.

Wall watchers, this is not due to a crippling fear of fire code restrictions, this is by design. Consider the newest home for the (COUGH… my beloved… COUGH) Dallas Cowboys. This is the NFL’s biggest brand in the sport’s oldest stadium. Just like a dirty old man on a mid-life crisis, it’s over time to get younger at that position. It has to go through this age-old custom because the demand is there for more people… who pay more money.

Churches don’t have this problem. Football teams don’t play doubleheaders, but choirs can sing in two services, or three, or four, or, well you get the idea. So while the NFL is advocating inferiority complexes across the league, megachurch pastors can play hard to get and love every minute of it.

For football games, it’s about more seats in one house and to see them filled. For churches, volunteers and the egos behind the curtain operating the thing, it’s about butts in seats as well, but just enough to turn folk away and fill another service.

They don’t all do this, mind you, but it’s nice to know that some of us are on to those who are – satellites (Seriously? Watching church on TV? Isn’t that TBN?), sister churches (I get to see my pastor live one out of every four to six weeks) and even splits (Oh, the youth pastor just got on my nerves).

Whatever the cause, big church these days seem to be about what looks good on TV, to the world and in the bank.

Trust me, if you see a church long enough on TV or hear all your friends talking about one, you too will wait for an 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m. service to go by before you decide to grace God with your presence at 12:30 p.m.

You know, unless of course there is a football game, then you will get to prove my point all over again.

(Bricklaying shout out to Nina Berman for the great and harrowing photo)