Praying Loudly in Restaurants

February 5, 2009

rockwell_saying_gracePraying to bless the food at restaurants is a badge of honor among fundamentalists for to not bless the food would be tantamount to a rejection of Christianity itself. Also, it presents an opportunity for outreach to all the other tables around you and (if your voice is loud enough) the kitchen staff as well.

As with most things fundamentalist, there are rules that must be followed for the restaurant prayer:

– The prayer must be loud. Prayers who mumble into their fried chicken will be assumed to be ashamed of the gospel. Bellow it out or run the risk of being called a compromiser.

– The prayer must be long. A simple “bless this food” will never do. Running out of things to say? Pray for the hands that prepared it. Pray for the digestion of the people eating it. Pray for the missionaries from who’s country it originally came. If the food is still hot by the time the prayer is done, he has failed.

– The prayer must use biblical words and phrases. Phrases like “Jehovah-Jireh” and “countenance” are a must for the restaurant prayer. This is no prayer of a neophyte. This is the only chance some folks will ever have to hear someone actually using 17th Century English and that isn’t a thing to be taken lightly.

– There must be hand-holding. Grab the sweaty palm of the person next to you and hang on for dear life. Try not to think about where their hand has been and the fact that you’re getting ready to eat. The one exception to the hand-holding rule of restaurant prayer may be if there are two people in the circle who are dating and seated next to each other. Perhaps grabbing the edges of the same napkin or holding the ends of a knife will suffice to let the circle be unbroken without the need for gratuitous hand-holding.



February 4, 2009

On the campus of a fundamentalist college…


February 4, 2009

greekHave you ever heard a sermon based on the differences between eros, phileo, and agape? Can you never remember not knowing what Koine Greek was? I’d dare to bet that at some point you have been a fundamentalist.

Fundamentalists believe that the King James Version of the Bible is the only accurate translation that has been preserved for English speakers. They believe this so firmly that they are willing to separate from other churches and groups who don’t use the King James. Then through some strange cognitive dissonance, they also spend years in church basements learning the original languages to enable them to explain what the Greek really means in English.

“In the original languages,” the pastor will intone “This verb “to sit” is really a pluperfect subjunctive. This means that the original author really meant “he will have sat at some point in the future perhaps but has not actually sat yet nor will he sit until the present time is over.” One is left to wonder how those incredibly bright King James translators missed out on all of this detailed material that is so vital to the second point of the pastor’s sermon.

Ask any fundamentalist and they’ll tell you that the King James is as absolutely perfect as gold purified seven times — as long as you’ve got a fundamentalist pastor there to tell you what the original Greek says, that is.


February 2, 2009

marytrsincolosseumatromeFundamentalists love persecution — or more accurately they love to call things persecution which people in real persecuted countries wouldn’t even notice.

For example, if there are ten miles of street that fundamentalists are allowed to preach on and ten square feet that is off-limits for safety reasons, you can bet your life on where the fundy street-preacher will end up standing. And don’t even think about asking him to get a permit…

The list of new persecutions is never ending.

Taxes? Persecution!

Building Safety Codes? Persecution!

Not to mention health inspectors, noise ordinances, gun laws, emissions tests…

Jesus would never have put up with all of this! It’s not like ever told his followers to follow the government’s rules or pay taxes, after all. Those early Christians just didn’t know how good they had it.

Slippery Slope Arguments

February 1, 2009

cliff-edgeThe Slippery Slope argument is a popular one among fundamentalists. It goes something like this…

If a woman wears culottes that are only to the knee instead of to the ankle then she will inevitably begin wearing pants. This will in turn lead to wearing shorts which will lead to mixed bathing which will lead to dancing in night clubs and then on to drug addiction. This will drive her straight into prostitution which will lead to to armed robbery, prison time, terrorism, mass suicide, and and finally becoming a Southern Baptist.

So keep those culottes to your ankles, or else!!


January 30, 2009

turntableIf you’ve ever heard an entire point of a sermon based on playing six seconds of a rock and roll records backwards, you have probably been a fundamentalist. Fundies are convinced that demonic messages are being secretly coded into…just about everything.

In the 1980’s various fundamentalists became convinced that subliminal messages were being hidden in rock music songs via “backmasking.” This inevitably led to a rush on pastors and youth leaders buying up record players that could play backwards, for use as sermon illustrations.

Of course, other than a few publicity stunts nobody has actually ever proved that there is backmasking in songs, nor that recording messages backwards into music has any effect on the listeners. Fundamentalists, however, are so convinced of the truth that they don’t allow themselves to be confused by the facts.

They also bear the dubious distinction of being the only people who have ever spent more time listening to rock music in played in reverse than played forward.

Pastors Wives Who Play the Piano

January 27, 2009

pianoThere are a few rules for those women who would be the wife of a fundamentalist pastor. They must look good in jean jumpers; they must have an aptitude for teaching children’s Sunday School; and they must play the piano.

One cannot over-emphasize how important that last requirement is. Not only does it give a church the chance to grab a two-for-one deal on church staff, but the church can also press the pastor’s wife into service as the music teacher at the ubiquitous Fundamentalist Christian School. Not to mention the many command performances at weddings, funerals, and church picnics as well. Free ministry labor is priceless.

On the other side of things, a pastor with a piano-playing wife can always be assured that his personal music standards will always be upheld in the services. “Honey, you need to tone down that left hand in Honey in the Rock. It’s getting a little carried away.”

Until fundamentalists break down and start using pre-recorded music or (horrors!) a band, there will always be a need for pianists. Until then, pastors wives will indubitably be asked to stand in the gap — or at least sit in it on a piano bench.