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© 2004 The Beast

THE WACKY MISADVENTURES OF JESUS AND KIRK

KINGDOM BOUND 2004 at Six Flags over Darien Lake


“Almost everyone thinks they are a good person… But the question you shouldbe asking is, ‘Am I good enough to go to heaven?’” Kirk Cameron, Kingdom Bound speaker, from www.wayofthemaster.com

I couldn’t decide which t-shirt to wear, “Abortions for Heathens” or one of Kirk Cameron crucified that read “Growing Pains.” I leaned toward “Abortions for Heathens;” it was subtle and somewhat clever, you know, like Jesus, which would be a nice contrast to the over-the-top gaudiness of evangelists on roller coasters. However, being a heathen myself, I awoke hung over and unshaved, and ended up throwing on a black t-shirt. I was late.

As I passed the Superman roller coaster, admiring its serpentine form, I thought, “I just can’t believe a holy man like Mike Seaver participates in a festival that would condone the worshipping of ‘false idols’…” Visions of Superman and Jesus fighting passed through my head. I looked at my events listing: “Christian Wrestling” at 1pm. I circled it.

I walked passed Hook’s Lagoon and into the Kingdom Bound Business Conference, where Jesus, from what I know of his short temper, might have flipped a table, most likely the one with the book on Christian selling practices in the marketplace entitled Selling among Wolves – Without Joining the Pack. There was a man behind the table sporting a pastel golf shirt and trimmed mustache who looked about ready to sell some promised land in Florida.

But I had gladiators to watch, and some of the worst acting outside of church to appreciate. That’s right, the CWF (Christian Wrestling Federation) was going to reenact the classic battle of good vs. evil, using the athletic prowess of large men in tights and, of course, inflammatory dialogue. “You know there’s some guys back there who worship Christ…” said a large man in flamed spandex shorts that read “The Fire,” “I’m looking forward to beating the crap out of them!” The crowd said Boo.

Much of the crowd was wearing slogans and psalms like “Heaven Yeah! Hell No!” or “Mathew 3:66,” as well as flags (US/Confederate) and sarcastic political messages like “War has never solved anything except…fascism, communism…” and other isms. However, I don’t think it said anything about racism, capitalism, or cronyism. Meanwhile, Manny Domingo, a short Hispanic male, was wrestling JT Star, a short black male, for the CWF cruiserweight belt, when, suddenly, “The Fire” attacked them from out of nowhere! They had refused to leave the Christian Wrestling Federation to join him and the Southern Dandy for all the gold you can imagine (or something like that). The ensuing melee left the minority wrestlers defeated by “The Fire.” The moral, as related by the MC, was that arrogance can ruin a perfectly good wrestling match.

Huh.

Being a parody of a parody, the colossal metaphor worked on two levels, but not cleanly. It wasn’t just a large Caucasoid beating up on a Hispanic and an African American in an ironic synopsis of the history of organized religion in this country and elsewhere. It could also be seen that these two were not “real” Christians, and were defeated by their own supposed arrogance. They ultimately rejected Christianity and succumbed to ‘The Fire.’ That is assuming of course, that you know, the match wasn’t “real.”

“It’s no joke; it looks like it, but it’s no joke at all,” said the MC.

The irony was getting thicker as two more wrestlers somehow ended up on the midway, fighting in a crowd that was seriously excited, not sure what to believe. I headed over to listen to Kirk Cameron (aka Michael Seaver of “Growing Pains”) deliver a sermon.

It was hard to believe that getting into heaven was this easy. $45 to ride a few roller coasters, buy some souvenirs, $3 hotdogs, drink some Pepsi, and listen to TV stars tell you about God. Hell, Kingdom Bound was like heaven on earth. I thought about what other people have to do to get to heaven: strap bombs to their chest, hijack planes, and crash them into structures. Some of them can’t even eat pork.

Christian radio station workers handed out freezy pops, while an advertisement attempted to rationalize why the US was in Iraq. A few hundred people filled a white tent, getting out of the heat, where Kirk Cameron worked up into a mild frenzy. “I want to be a blazing inferno for the lord.” He said, raising his voice. “Lukewarmness is an insult to God,” he continued, relating how he likes hot caramel frappacinnos when he goes to Starbucks, and if they’re lukewarm he spits them right out.

Huh?

There were other anecdotes, like the one about the barber who, razor in hand, asked his customer if he was ready to die. And there was another about a born again girlfriend who stopped sleeping with her ‘unsaved’ boyfriend, which put him in a very un-Christian rage, attacking her and other innocent Christians. And of course a little bit of science—Christian Science. According to Cameron, “Joy will produce an energy you cannot stop.”

Here are some other quotes from Mike Seaver’s sermon (some in and some out of context):

“Pray for me that I won’t be a chicken…”

“My palms get sweaty just thinking about my faith in God.”

“We’ll be in heaven, singing along with the angels, some of the best songs ever written.”

“God will be your provider, your protector, your everything, even though you DON’T deserve it.”

“His [Paul from the Bible’s] good works were like filthy menstrual rags in the eyes of the lord.”

That’s when I saw Jesus, for the first time all day, on the hood of a Chevy Lumina at a campsite next to the tent. His eyes were cast skyward, like ‘Get me the Hell out of here.” Mike Seaver was describing the apocalypse, judgment day, and the need to save the “unsaved,” or non-Christians.

Cameron asked the crowd the silliest question I’d heard yet: “If you saw some children playing with toys in a sandbox, in an elevator shaft, and the elevator was about to crush them, wouldn’t you ‘save’ them? Or would you say, ‘It looks like they’re having fun.’ Or ‘I hardly know them…?’”

Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay for any more riddles. I had to go back, far away, to a world where children don’t play in sandboxes in elevator shafts, but die of starvation and AIDS, or are blown to pieces by bombs falling from planes, planes piloted by “Christians.”

 




 

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