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Tales of a Post-Grad Nothing

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hellfire and Brimstone

I was 7 years old the first time I ever began to question my church-one-Sunday-a-month Baptist upbringing. I was sitting in a Sunday school classroom and my teacher, whose name I cannot remember but whose high-waisted, elastic-banded, polyester-denim blend pants that started at the EXACT point where her breasts stopped still haunt my nightmares, told me the following:

"You can have many nice Jewish friends, but they will NOT! get into heaven."

What sticks out in my mind is how she said NOT! As if there was someone standing by the pearly gates whose sole job it was to give Jews the OH NO YOU DID-NT head bob and accompanying 'talk to the hand' gesture of rejection. I grew up in suburban Virginia. I didn't know many Jewish people or really many religious or ethnic minorities for that matter. The first boy I ever kissed was a Southern Baptist and I remember wondering if God would be against plain vanilla Baptists and new and improved Southern Baptists "shackin up" (as my grandmother calls it) because, you know, they're so different and all.

The one Jewish girl I knew growing up was pretty kickass since she would routinely lend me pencils and not rat me out for buying erasers from our school store, covering them in my mom's lipstick, and selling them back to children as "magical amulets." I liked that kid (apparently not enough to remember her name though) and when I heard word that she would NOT! be getting into the land of milk and honey (mmmm honey), I remember thinking "yeah, I don't buy it." Up to this day, the mention of hellfire and brimstone* sends me into a Mr. Hyde-like rage, mainly because I don't think that Christianity was ever intended to be a religion founded on threats. This past weekend, Hawkeye Leah found a comic book on the subway. The story is about three friends, pictured here along with a slight cameo from my thumb:

Without even reading the comic, you automatically know something bad is going to happen to the kid on the right for no reason other than he's wearing a sweater that makes him look like a tool. NO good has ever come to a man in a sweater his mom made. Ever. You can write that rule down. Something bad does happen - the kid gets killed in a car wreck - but the worst part is that he refused to repent his sins:

You can't see it because I'm an inept photographer, but the man on the right, you know, the one with a full beard who you just know has a stockpile of hash and listens to Slayer actually has a satan tattoo on his arm. I don't think you have to be religious or spiritual in any way to know that your high school kid probably shouldn't hang out with satan tattooed-people 10 years older than him who probably smell like Penzoil and make amateur porn in their basement. Anyway, in her mourning, Timmy's mom does take the time to explain, calmly I might add, that yes, her son actually is in hell [she's speaking from the right].

The story concludes with everyone merrily repenting and learning a little bit about life (and about themselves!)

And I'll never forget you, propaganda-laden New York subway comic. I think we've all learned something today.

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*Riddle me this - Why has no metal band used 'fire and brimstone' as their name or at least an album name? Asleep at the wheel people.

3 Comments:

At 5:30 PM, Anonymous Smoove D said...

Was his name Roger?

 
At 10:57 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

...but it would have to be heathenly misspelt into something like Fyre & Brimstöen to be truly Metal.

 
At 12:46 PM, Blogger i heart dorks said...

Reason to move to Fredericksburg: Matt and I ran into people setting up for FULL ARMOR a few weeks ago - this is a band that rocks hard whist keeping no glory for themselves.

 

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