Thursday, May 29, 2008

Anal Fissures?

Apologies to my more sensitive readers but this headline is all the fault of the US health care system. Stuck as I was in the doctor's waiting room (see here) my only recourse was to read old magazines. Not being interested in quilting, alpaca rearing or babies, I instead turned to Rolling Stone. (Quite how that crept in there wasn't clear. A patient who mistook this for a drug-rehab clinic perhaps?)

Inside, I found the following article: "Jesus Made Me Puke". An undercover reporter spent a weekend at a retreat run by John Hagee's church. Yes, the very same Pastor beloved by the ultra-right fanatics currently active inside the Bush administration. The same John Hagee, by the way, who claims Hitler was sent by God to persuade the Jews to move to Israel. But I digress.

As part of the process, one of the leaders of the church retreat performs a casting out of demons. Surely a good move if you are into this kind of rigamorole, but in this case things go a bit overboard.

It will come as no surprise that the demon of lust gets cast out, and indeed casting out the demon of incest is similarly a no-brainer, if a little creepy that this one came to the leader's mind so quickly. However, before long the important ones were all used up. Still, when you are on a roll ... how about casting out the demon of astrology? Hmm, I suppose that passes muster. Bit of a minor irritant, but OK.

"I cast out the demon of handwriting analysis". Say what? Did someone not get a job because their big loopy "y"s were scaring the interviewer?

"I cast out the demon of philosophy". Obviously got kicked out of college for not passing Kierkegaard 101 then.

"I cast out the demon of anal fissures". Errr .... WTF???

Now come on, you have got to be kidding me. That - whatever that actually means - sure as hell-is-hot ain't caused by demonic possession. Bad posture, rough gay sex, poor diet, all of the above, perhaps, but not Satan-sent demons inhabiting the poor, uncomfortable sinner. Unless of course it's all somehow down to the pointy toasting forks Beelzebub's minions are pictured carrying in Bugs Bunny cartoons.

Apart from the obvious conclusion - namely that the people running this thing are in it for their own gain and power-trip - this whole article points much more to the weaknesses and shortcomings of the leaders of this church than it says anything about those who go along to weekend retreats. If there are demons in all of this then it's the church's leaders who need cleansing, not the acolytes or audience members. And to do that job, toasting forks should be the mildest of the instruments employed ....

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