God watches over Moe.
A lot of religious claims and justifications that persist down through the generations do so because they’ve managed to escape empirical testing. So if you ask most religious people if they believe in the power of demonic possession in the straightforward literal sense embraced by the faithful in past centuries, most of them will probably say they don’t. We’ve found better explanations for floods and droughts and other things that used to be blamed on demons. The superstitions that haven’t been filtered out of religion with scientific rigor just becomes what we call religion today.
But even still, lots of superstitions remain intact despite them being proven demonstrably wrong. So for example we have this, from Luke 10:19
Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Some Christians reinforce this passage with one from the Book of Roadhouse, wherein Patrick Swayze sayeth unto us, “Pain don’t hurt.”
But anyway, some Pentecostal Christians take this passage literally and play with deadly snakes to demonstrate their faith. And because Yahweh loves faith for some unexplained reason, he rewards them by making sure the snakes don’t bite them.
But it’s not like he could have known this would have been dangerous since as the Book of Luke clearly tells us that nothing shall by any means hurt him. The only way he could have guessed that maybe playing with rattlesnakes is a bad idea would be from the fact that his father also died from rattlesnake bites. Also, he had been bitten four times previously. Also, the guy who started all this snake handling stuff died of a snake bite.
Some parents let their children do things that they know will hurt them to teach them a lesson. If you tell a kid not to touch a boiling pot of water, they might listen or they might not. If they don’t, they’ll know not to touch put their hands anywhere near a boiling pot of water soon enough just from hurting themselves. But these people have a block against this kind of learning. They’re the children who keep playing with fire over and over for a hundred years and manage to never learn that it’s hot.
Mormons, seen here, not fucking children for once.
The Mormons are big on revelations. They think God is still revealing things to people and it does this through the church leadership. God forgot a few things and changed its mind about a few other things, like polygamy and racism. It used to be God thought that stuff was awesome but recently had a change of heart. These changes of heart always seem to coincide with the times in which government and social pressures threatened the popularity of the church, but that’s probably just a coincidence.
It turns out the Mormon offshoots operate in pretty much the same way. In the case of the leader of the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints Warren Jeffs, these revelations came just a little bit too late. In yet another dick move from God, he forgot to tell Jeffs that abusing women is wrong until after he was sentenced to life in prison for raping young girls. Notice I didn’t necessarily say teenagers – that’s because one of the girls was 12.
It’s been amusing to see the Google alerts pop up for Jeffs every once in a while. He’s been entertaining us from within the system for a while now. First we had his bizarre legal defense where he threatened the court one minute and went comatose the next, then he started jacking off 15 times a day while in custody, then his hunger strike – because he’s the Gandhi of raping children, apparently. And now this: A half-assed desperate plea for acceptance back into society based on fake remorse and appeal to superstition. It’s entertaining enough to make me almost wish he wasn’t killed by his fellow inmates with the leg of a chair in the prison cafeteria for about five minutes once.
Hail Satan and go Longhorns!
There are lots of good reasons to hate Nike. They’ve been pushing the limits of the glorification of sports and the mindless consumption that goes along with it. They’ve helped expand the concept of corporate personhood to the point where corporations have rights regular people lack. And of course their child labor record has been well documented.
But that’s all too mundane for Charles Hubbard, founder of Christians Against Nike. To him, the main problem with Nike is that they named themselves after the Greek goddess of victory instead of Jesus. And naming themselves after Nike isn’t just a decision made after corporate brainstorming and focus group-testing sessions; it’s all a plot by Satan, who wants people to worship ancient Greek goddesses for some reason.
This is the kind of thing that makes me feel sorry for the pagan deities. They always get the short shift from fundies like Hubbard who just lazily lump them all together with Satan. But then again they’re not real either, so they don’t have any feelings.
It gets even better too because Hubbard then uses a McCarthyite smear by association tactic to condemn every athlete linked to Nike. That means Tim Tebow is a tool of Satan since he’s been “endorsed” by Nike, whatever that means.
It would be great if Charles Hubbard were trolling to try to get Christians to either distance themselves from him by making some arbitrary distinction between his weird beliefs and their’s or trick others into joining him on his crusade. That could very well be the case judging from the hokey website design with its huge walls of text in alternating colors and highlights. And the Christians Against Nike page labeled “Support” is still under construction. Leaving that undone doesn’t seem consistent with the wingnut persona Hubbard’s portraying here.
Or maybe he’s just really more concerned with lowering Nike’s stock and giving the finger to Satan and the Greek Pantheon than he is with begging for donations. Stranger things have happened. That’s part of what makes Poe’s law so frustrating at times. A really good parody will be indistinguishable from the real thing.