Too good not to share

A tip of the hat to Rev Jack (www.revjack.com) for this one:

http://daily.stanford.edu/article/2007/4/24/ireAndViceDouchebagsForJesus

In case the link disappears at some point:

Ire and Vice: Douchebags for Jesus
(The Stanford Daily, April 24, 2007)
By Darren Franich

A couple of douchebags holding douchebag signs and wearing douchebag T-shirts were out in White Plaza last week talking about some incredible douche clown they referred to as god. This god, who bears no relation to the fellow/lady/thing named God (who, I learned in school, loves everybody and wants us all to get along), hates on everyone except for douchebags who preach his word. One of the signs even had a list of people he sends straight to hell. Drunkards and fornicators were right at the top; there goes my whole fraternity. Adulterers and god haters were further down, right next to liars and thieves. And at the bottom of the sign, written in bigger print than all the others, these horrible people who claimed to be in the business of soul saving reminded everyone that of all the world’s sinners, homosexuals were the worst.

This is offensive for all kinds of reasons, mainly because Jesus Himself was actually pretty gay. He was a lot closer to his mom than his dad. He threw aside the bounds of normal society to follow his dream, which involved kicking it with 12 other dudes. They were always walking and didn’t eat very well, thus creating gym culture and male eating disorders. The ladies all loved Jesus like a big sister because he was so in touch with his feelings.

Other religions have hyper-masculine badass bad dudes as their central figure: Mohammed, conquering Mecca; the Old Testament protagonists, Patriarchs and Judges and Kings, quick with their wits, their swords and their dicks (David was a stud); or even the Buddha, who’s quiet in that serene Jedi Master way, like he could probably turn the universe inside out through sheer force of transcendence. Jesus just went around telling people to treat other people the way you’d want to be treated. We can agree that the son of God and Man wasn’t exactly an alpha male. He also worked with lepers and taught poor people, the first-century version of the Peace Corps and Teach for America.

I kid ‘cause I love, and because I believe in a God who doesn’t mind a few playful jabs at his image, but does mind when his people think that they can say a bunch of stupid things in his name. In my personal vision of God (colored by a Catholic upbringing, a Presbyterian mother and several years of fashionable agnosticism) God is a middle-aged man who understands failure and stupidity because he invented them. He can be angry and jealous, prone to destructive rampages which psychiatrists would refer to as “acting out.” But he can also be kind and loving. Like us humans, he has the capacity for regret (He’s never forgiven himself for forgetting to put the dinosaurs on Noah’s Ark). He only wants to do right by his kids, but everything always seems to get worse. Even after the long span of his life, he still isn’t sure if he’s a good man who does bad things or a bad man who’s just kidding himself. He sees a psychiatrist, hates his psychiatrist, loves his psychiatrist. Actually, he’s a lot like Tony Soprano.

I don’t think that’s so weird. Frankly, I think some bombastic Huey Long-type preaching his awesomeness while throwing thunderbolts at gays, drug addicts and Muslims is pretty damned silly. I like my version of God because he’s not infallible, because he can change, because, dare I say it, he can evolve. Guys who hold up signs condemning people they don’t understand are throwing the first stone, and that’s plain bad manners.

It’s because of Douchebags for Jesus that I lost interest in church a long time ago. The last time I went to confession was eighth grade, back when I had to make up a few sins just so I didn’t waste the priest’s time. The last time I went to church when it wasn’t Christmas or Easter was under duress. When I came to college, I figured I was through with religion. Now I’m a senior. And when you’re a senior, you don’t just feel four years older. You feel four decades older.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about going to church again. Not because I think Catholicism is particularly stellar — women should be priests, homosexuals should get married, elderly virgins shouldn’t regulate my sex drive and John Paul II should rise from his grave just long enough to slap some sense into Benedict.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about going to church again. Not because I think Catholicism is particularly stellar — women should be priests, homosexuals should get married, elderly virgins shouldn’t regulate my sex drive and John Paul II should rise from his grave just long enough to slap some sense into Benedict.

And yet, two months from the real world, I find myself moving ever closer to paranoid existentialism. Not the fun existentialism, either: “Like, dude, have you ever thought about what would happen if colors could smell fear?” Real, crippling existentialism. How do I know I exist? That the world exists? Why live when you’ll just die? And why do all the hot girls I stalk on Facebook block their profiles?

The last time I can remember asking myself questions like this, I was in seventh grade and the only person I could ever talk to, the only guy who understood me even when I didn’t, was God. I would tell him stuff I would never tell anyone. I would beg him to protect the people I loved, and ask him to let them know how much I loved them, because I knew I’d never get around to telling them myself. He didn’t hate anybody.

I miss that guy, sometimes. Even if he doesn’t really exist, he was the best imaginary friend I ever had.

I went to the bookstore and bought a big poster board, some highlighters and some duct tape. I wrote, “God loves homosexuals and can’t stand douchebags like this” and taped it to a trash can right next to the douchebags in question. I think that made God chuckle a little bit.

Don’t worry: thanks to Catholicism, Darren Franich already feels guilty about this column. Email your prayers to dfranich@stanford.edu.

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