The World is a "Dirty Gas Station Restroom.."

In October, I was banished (their word) from one of  the fundamentalist Christian,  Rapture-obsessed forums. This particular one is billed as “your prophecy resource for the end times.”

It was the end of October, 2008. I was banished for daring to ask in one of the forums, the following question: “Can we assume that the president we elect on November 4 is God’s answer to our prayers?” It seems an innocuous sort of question, doesn’t it? Actually, I knew these folks would have a hard time with it, which is why I asked. They overwhelmingly, of course, wanted McCain/Palin to win- they’re the Republicans and they used kind of language that would appeal to these fundamentalist, literalist “Christians.” There were many, many written prayers in the forums there pleading with God to make their victory happen. But the polls showed Obama/Biden ahead; thus, their dilemma. To answer my question affirmatively, and in the face of a possible Obama win, it would be evident that God was different than this Rapture-obsessed crowd had understood God to be. They knew, after all, that God (He) was conservative, Republican, against Muslims, for war, for capitalism, against gays, against illegal immigration, for McCain, and against everything that Obama stood for, including his middle name. So if Obama would win, it would mean their fundamentalist and oh-so-narrow view of everything, would be in the spiritual toilet.

Thus, my banishment, and this segue..

In 2005, I lifted this particular quote from one of their forums. I lifted and kept it because it captures so well the attitude of so many fundamentalists regarding our world, our planet, this great and shared part of Creation upon which we are all utterly dependent:

I think we Christians should look at this world as being a filthy restroom at a roadside gas station. Fate has brought us here, we try to touch as little of it as possible while doing our business, we hope to leave quickly, and we don’t ever plan on coming here again until it’s under better management.”

bathroom

Welcome to their world!

That’s not an isolated attitude; in fact, it’s pretty common. They feel separate from the world, not a part of it, not responsible for it:  in it, but not of it. The world, they will tell you, and most persons in it, belong to Satan, the bad guy to whom they ascribe almost-God-like powers. “This world is not my home,” is one of those phrases heard every Sunday in most of their churches, and the focus of their lives becomes the end of their lives. They will only live when they die. Only when they die will they be able to leave the filthy gas station restroom they are trapped inside of; only in death will they be able to walk out the door, across the street, and down the hill to the river where, if they look closely, they will see tiny little wild violets in the spring, hundreds of tadpoles in early summer, the gold/red/orange/burgundy blanket of fallen leaves in the autumn, and the diamond sun-reflections in the whiteness of a wintertime snowfall.

I mean, I guess that’s their back-asswards, crypto-eschatological, FUBAR-brained thinking. No wonder they pray every day for the Rapture to happen! They’re getting tired of the stink!

I am, too.

12 thoughts on “The World is a "Dirty Gas Station Restroom.."

  1. I’ve never been on [that particular] forum nor did I vote for McCain, however I have a difficult time believing you were banished from their forum for asking that question. I don’t see the offense of the question from my fundamentalist point of view. Most of the fundamentalists I know believe that it was God’s will that Obama got elected, His purpose still unknown. Do you have evidence in writing that you were banished for specifically asking that question? Would you please submit it on this blog so that you can be considered “credible”. Thank you!

  2. if you send me an email, I’ll send you the url where they tell I am eternally banished..hhahah!

    there are fundamentalists and there are rapture-obsessed fundamentalists. In my opinion, both are wrong, but the latter have such a short and misguided view of history and themselves that they can be dangerous.

  3. You’ve never needed to convince that you were banished. There is no reason to believe otherwise. However, in your commentary you claim the reason for your banishment is for asking a specific question. I’ve simply asked you to prove it in order to see if your honest. I suspect that you were banished for a very different reason.

  4. Quibbling over the exact language and reason for banishment is unnecessary. In fact, the banishment itself in not even what the blog is about. It is merely an anecdote to begin the blog. I don’t know if the anecdote is literally true, verbatim, exactly as reported. And neither do I know if the personal sort of anecdotes that begins any Sunday Sermon would stand up in a court of law. This is not to imply that the reason for banishment is a lie, or an exaggeration, but only to say that if you reread the blog, it’s not about the banishment at all. (Having been to the site Rapture Ready many times, I suspect it is close to the truth, though knowing the author of this blog, the tone might’ve been a tad more sarcastic than admitted.) My point is that the blog makes a point much more important than the anecdote, and that to argue over verbiage is to obscure that point. But then, I don’t believe that Noah literally put pairs of each animal species on a big boat either, and yet, I can still find value in the story. So I obviously have a different relationship with the concept of “truth”. (There are truths greater than facts, if that makes any sense.) But I also believe that all good writers/preachers/storytellers share my more lenient definition.

  5. Well I can vouch for this man and tell you that he is very honest. All you have to do is read further into his blog for that to be glaringly apparent.

    I do not doubt that the reason you were banished was because of the question you asked. See the one thing I see about you Mr. Weber is that you have the intellegence and progressive insight that most fundamentalist “Christians” I have ever had the pleasure to meet do not. Your views and ideas about God amaze and inspire me and I love the fact that there is an HONEST man teaching about God’s love from his pulpit every Sunday, rather than preaching hell, fire and brimstone. Keep fighting this intellectual and, dare I say it spritual battle, sir…I have a hunch you might come out the victor in the end!!

  6. Joshua..Ha! Here’s an exact quote from last Sunday’s message which was, of course, about one of the birth scriptures:

    “I am tired, as I think we all are or should be, of arguing over biblical ‘facts,’ when it is Truth we should be seeking there. My standard for knowing when I’ve arrived at Truth is this: there are whole new sets of questions waiting there!

    “When there is nothing more to be said; when opportunities to learn, to wonder, and to question are cut off- that’s when I know I am dealing with something that is false. What’s false will not stand up to examination- it is afraid of questions…”

    Well, that’s a whole other tangent.

    What?? You don’t believe Noah had 2 Tyranosauri AND two of each of the 20,000+ species of ants on board the Ark?

    And what’s this accusation of sarcasm all about? Prone to Hyperbole? Guilty. But Sarcastic????…*I’m aghast!*

  7. Kirstin.. :)
    I’m a bumbler and a fumbler like the best of them, but I do react mightily at those who castigate, separate, and relegate themselves to places of superiority ordained by God. That’s what has caused 10,000 years of unceasing war and heartbreak on the planet and unless more of us start using whatever means we have to show the absolute and ungodly wrongness of fundamentalist interpretations of the world, we will be condemning ourselves as a species, to fry- in the heat of nuclear holocaust or the heat of a carbon-saturated atmosphere.

    It is possible to love someone and laugh at their goofy views at the same time. I just hate for others to be missing the joy and beauty of ‘right now’ while they are waiting to die or to be whisked away because some human interpreter bent the Truth into obscene shapes..

  8. LOL, I know how you feel brother, I have spent the first part of my life locked into this kind of thinking. I see your banishment as a badge of honor and confirmation that you like many others have just grown and waken up.

    Good For you…

  9. Elise..hahahahah!!

    Which- for whatever reason- brings to mind that old favorite “Drop kick me, Jesus, through the goal posts of life:”

    Drop kick me Jesus through the goal posts of life
    End over end neither left nor to right
    Straight through the heart of them righteous uprights
    Drop kick me Jesus through the goal posts of life.

  10. I never liked the idea of rejecting life in order to wait for death and thus deliverence. Surely we are here to live and get involved. We are here for reason, hopefully not just to sit on the sidelines till we die.

    I think Winston Churchill said ‘If your God hates all the same people you do, you can be sure you’ve remade him in your image.’ The Fundamentalist wing of American society makes me despair.

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