Explicit Gospel – Reason #667 to be scared of Sundays in Orange, CA

So what kind of church is this? I know there are some pretty kooky religions in the USA. I first realised this when I was charged with taking care of a couple’s dildo and porn collection.

UPDATE Sunday 4th August 2012: As promised, I attended Church this morning in order to see what really went down: Blogged it here. There was none of the homophobia that the Bible guaranteed. Something much worse happened in Wisconsin though. A weird day in every way so far.

They’d left it with my housemate, and I held on to un-opened, until I left for the USA two years later. As I threw out or gave away or sold everything I owned, I came upon it. And I finally looked inside the box. They had nothing too crazy in the toys department. Dildos and vibes. A couple of anal plugs – I think. Porn DVDS… and this bizarre little book which I still have somewhere, and which was linked to some grouping in the USA. It’s a gospel of nudism of some sort, with all these pretty unsavory photos of a bearded man with his winky out. It wasn’t erect, which made it grosser somehow. I don’t know if it’s just me, but penises seem quite pretty when they’re up and about. When they’re not, well, I don’t really see the point in them. Selfish but true. When floppy, they just remind me of awkward times in bed with drunk guys, and bad art movies with too much voice over.

Anyhow, back to the topic: Church! Calvary Temple in particular.

I am thinking of going tomorrow at 10am, to check out this crazy stuff.

And here’s what I was able to find out about this church, which seems to have picked an interesting time to talk about “explicit gospel“. By this they mean that what is says in the Bible is all true, and all the word of God, the almighty.

They believe all this crazy stuff:

Kill blasphemers – Half the world must go. To make space for the crazy people.
One who blasphemes the name of the LORD shall be put to death; the whole congregation shall stone the blasphemer. Aliens as well as citizens, when they blaspheme the Name, shall be put to death. (NRSV)
Leviticus 24:16

Kill adulterers – You know how everybody’s so outraged – and rightly so – when this happens in Iraq/Afganistan/Nigeria? Well, sounds like the same deal to me.
If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death. (NIV)
Leviticus 20:10

Kill female sorcerers Male sorcerers are okay – dates from Christianity’s crushing of female-driven religions during the bloody, cruel Crucades and colonization wars.
You shall not allow a woman to live who practices sorcery. (AMP)
Exodus 22:18

Kill naughty kids – But only after they’re born
Anyone who dishonors father or mother must be put to death. Such a person is guilty of a capital offense. (NLT)
Leviticus 20:9

Kill people that work on Saturday Christians are all going to die for breaking this rule.
You have six days each week for your ordinary work, but the seventh day must be a Sabbath day of complete rest, a holy day dedicated to the LORD. Anyone who works on that day must be put to death. (NLT)
Exodus 35:2

Kill women who have sex before marriage – they’re no good to you if it doesn’t hurt the first time you do them.
“If any man takes a wife, and goes in to her, and detests her, and charges her with shameful conduct, and brings a bad name on her, and says, ‘I took this woman, and when I came to her I found she was not a virgin,’ … and evidences of virginity are not found for the young woman, then they shall bring out the young woman to the door of her father’s house, and the men of her city shall stone her to death with stones … (NKJV)
Deuteronomy 22:13-14,20-21

Every sperm is sacred – with apologies to Monty Python
Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her; raise up offspring for your brother.” But since Onan knew that the offspring would not be his, he spilled his semen on the ground whenever he went in to his brother’s wife, so that he would not give offspring to his brother. What he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD, and he put him to death also. (NRSV)
Genesis 38:6-10

Slavery is OK as long as they’re a different race – how convenient
Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. (NIV)
Leviticus 25:44

Women should shut up and do as they’re told – no comment
A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent. (NIV)
1 Timothy 2:11-12

Homosexuals must die I have a feeling this one will come up tomorrow morning! And that they’ll act like they’re being nice by just preventing them from getting married… A quick note though. In this bit, it does sound like God is fine with lesbian sex. Like, duh, most men.
If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them. (NRSV)
Leviticus 20:13

Thanks to http://www.christianitydisproved.com for this source material on cray-cray bible stuff… although I should probably thank whatever self-serving zealot originally wrote the Bible to suit their personal needs and profit margins.

No, It is not my goal to disprove Christianity. It is, however, my goal to combat hate. Christianity has survived by adapting – all religions that survive do. There are good things in the Bible, but a lot of it is garbage too. The version of Islam practised in South Africa by people I know is an enlightened version – a version for this century. There’s a lot of outdated hatred masquerading as “tradition” in any old text. It’s important to see the difference between right and wrong, no matter what you’re told by nutcases promising absolution and eternal life in heaven.

My point: Any version of Christianity that says everything in the bible is true is no different in its rules to what the Taliban advocate. Nobody should be required to take it seriously, and it’s hard to see how belonging to this particular religion is any different to belonging to the Klu Klux Klan.

I have a feeling when I go there tomorrow to investigate the Calvary Temple, I’ll discover that they’re anti-gay, and that they want my money.

Note to my readers: I went to church, and I was proved wrong – they’re really sweet people: Read that blog. But I stand by everything I said about taking the Bible at its word. It’s dangerous.

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5 Responses to “Explicit Gospel – Reason #667 to be scared of Sundays in Orange, CA”

  1. Shannon Wright Says:

    If it’s the Calvary Temple I’m thinking of (in Modesto), they’re an intentionally interracial church with a pretty cool ministry to recovering addicts. I hope the one you’re talking about is a different one (Calvary, for obvious reasons, being a pretty common name for churches); otherwise you’re painting with a pretty broad brush.

    I always wonder why people find it so offensive that churches ask for money. Are you offended when a nonprofit wants your money? Do you rage at the American Cancer Association? Someone’s gotta pay the light bill and buy the coffee for the AA meeting. And there’s nothing to prohibit you from just letting the plate pass, I do it all the time when I’m visiting a church other than my own. I certainly don’t let it upset me.

  2. jeanbarker Says:

    I’m on my way there now. I just want to see what they say about gay rights – and though I may be painting with a broad brush, if they believe everything in the bible, I don’t care about the color of those they minister to. Also I happen to believe in 12 step for addiction recovery, and not the opium of the masses as a substitute. I’m not Christian and am tired of people pushing it on me (funded by church contributions). I’m sure you can understand that.

  3. Shannon Wright Says:

    Of course I do, although I wonder what you mean by “pushing it on you” (talking freely about one’s religious practices is not different than the eager political proselytization we accept as part of free speech; I’m not Republican but I don’t resent their attempts to win me over). Most churches use the AA model and most AA meetings take place at churches, which lend their space freely. I’ve been in every denomination for AA meetings, but Calvary (as I recall from years ago) speaks openly about it and not as something to hide.

    Also don’t be so quick to call religion the opium of the masses: Gandhi, Wilberforce, Francis of Assisi, MLK (indeed all the leadership of the civil rights movement), Tutu and the SACC, Dorothy Day, the Berrigan brothers, Howard Thurman, and a host of others who had their consciences quickened by religion would call bullshit. It’s a tired trope trotted out by those who remain blissfully unaware that a lot of the people holding together the fraying social fabric by running AA meetings, intervening with at-risk kids, running soup kitchens and clothes closets, providing health care in poor communities, ad infinitum ad nauseum, are religious folk of one stripe or another.

    You’re tired of feeling like organized religion is pushed on you; I get that. I’m equally tired of people who think religion is the source of all the evil in the world and are intellectually and morally lazy by lumping thousands of years of human history, with its cultural exchanges and porous beliefs and thousands of different ways of understanding what it is to be faithful, into one category which they then dismiss. In other words, come live in my neighborhood, teach at my school, raise any one of the three teenagers currently crashing in my house–one of whom is pregnant–and witness a community that works to get addicts and ex-cons jobs because redemption is at the core of their identity, and see if you speak so glibly.

  4. jeanbarker Says:

    I don’t disagree with what you say about good work. I know churches do good work, but they also teach ridiculous nonsense 9in my opinion) that makes most sci-fi look plausible and trains people to ignore what their brains are telling them. Christianity is the majority force in the USA and entrenched in the government, education, the military and so on – there is no separation of church and state or church and anything. And whenever you dare to make fun of the church, someone jumps in and defends them. The president has to make a big deal of being Christian or can’t be elected. The same can’t be said for atheists or other religions than Christianity. They’re all maligned and othered here.

    I think it’s lucky and great that the church helps those others won’t. But the help comes with a price tag – you have to believe, or at least pretend to. If it was unconditional, I’d think more of it.

    The church may do more good than bad. I just don’t see why it should come from the church. I want people to do the right thing becuase it’s the right thing, not because God told them to or because they’re trying to convert people to their grouping.

    I am proud to provide a different point of view. I am happy to have you comment, but let’s stick to the topic?

    I made it very clear that I was taking the mickey out of people who believe exactly what’s written in the Bible (a point you completely ignored, although it was the main thrust of the piece). I would appreciate it if you stuck to the topic of what I’m writing about when replying rather than picking on one particular point that’s not really what the article / story / blog post / tweet is about.

    In any case, I didn’t make assumptions. I went to the church today. I’ll be blogging about that now. Spoiler: Gays weren’t mentioned.

  5. A Sunday of unexpected strangeness « Jean Barker's Sign Language Says:

    […] Jean Barker's Sign Language pictures with words, worth a few words, worse than words can say « Explicit Gospel – Reason #667 to be scared of Sundays in Orange, CA […]

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