Jack and Jill on Conversion – by LoneWolf

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Kids hate going to church. Who knew?

Check out this seven year old as he swipes the family car and does a runner in order to avoid being dragged to church. We understand how you feel, kid!

Were you forced to attend religious services as a child? Did you ever get out of it by doing something equally drastic? Comments below…

Nexus Interview: Santa

Nexus is very pleased to be able to introduce to you the big red man from the North Pole, Santa! Welcome, Santa, and thank-you for taking time out of your busy schedule to be interviewed by us.

You’re welcome. I don’t usually do interviews, you know.

We do know. Why is that?

There’s only so many carols and religious readings I can sit through before I want to kill someone. And that’s just not very Christmassy. They’re nice enough if you believe in them I suppose. But I’ve got to much to do this time of year to be bothered with that.

You don’t believe in Christmas?

Fuck off. It’s an organised commercial holiday there to make money by commemorating the birth of some poor bastard who came to a sticky end. If he existed at all, that is. If you were me you’d want a bit less of it too.

Um. Well, I don’t quite know what to say.

If you had to haul around all the junk I do every year, you and your poor bloody back would know exactly what to say, I can tell you! It’s March before I can stand up straight again.

I suppose Christmas has become very commercialised…

santaYou’re not kidding. And most little darlings get more presents than they deserve. What poor kid actually needs Barbie’s Dream House with a lean-to dog kennel and spa for the homeless? You know what’s going to happen to little Sally when she gets that, don’t you? She’ll play with it for a week or two, break it, grow up to have ludicrously high expectations for her own life and, when she doesn’t turn out to be a seven foot tall peroxided freak with too much money and an angelic personality, adored by he-of-the-missing-genitals and the local destitute, she’ll top herself.

Okay…

That’s when her parents will say, “We should have gotten her a nice book.” I don’t mind delivering books.

Aren’t they heavy, though? What about your back?

Eh. If it’s for a good cause… And you know, if it’s just one small present each, I can send an elf down the chimney with that. I only have to go because their puny little bones generally collapse under the weight of all the crap in the sack.

You know this by experience, then?

Oh, yes. They’re annoyingly fragile. It’s so hard to get good help these days.

At least it would give you some exercise…

Are you calling me fat, missy? What’s your name again… where’s my list. Can I borrow your pen?

No! I suppose it’s not your fault. All those mince pies, cookies, sherry and milk-

Can I just interrupt you for a minute?

Public announcement please, folks: listen up. I have to cater to your greedy children over the longest night of the year. You’ve no idea what it does to the body to have to shift between time zones all night long, plus the dilation effect of squeezing it all in. And all of this on a freezing night, with icy blasts coming straight at me. Not to mention the endless hours of staring at reindeer arse. I DO NOT WANT FUCKING MILK!

After all I do for you lot every year, alcohol is the least you can give me. Okay? Carry on, then. What were you saying?

I was just going to suggest that maybe if the elves ate some of the goodies, then maybe, um, maybe you wouldn’t be liable to keel over from a heart attack next time you drag hefty little Timmy onto your knee at the local shop?

Don’t remind me. I remember him! Put in an order for more video games. He’s getting a ball, and he better bloody use it.

Does he want a ball?

Who the hell cares? It’s not like he’s been the perfect kid. Screams at his sister, pulls wings off flies, bullies kids who don’t believe in God… try to tell me you feel sorry for him now, ha!

Can you make it an exploding ball, Santa?

I don’t know… have you been good this year.

Yes!

Are you lying to me?

Yes. But honesty should be rewarded. Go on… it can be my present.

Go on, then. Don’t say I never gave you anything, though. I hate that.

Okay. Thanks, Santa. So, one could say that you’re not blind to the difficulties of the job? It must be tiring…

True. But it’s only once a year so I can cope. A lot of people don’t know this, but Mrs Claus does most of the work during the year. She’s a lawyer, see. Spends her time arguing with the elves about how good is good enough.

So if the kiddies don’t like what they get, and it’s because they weren’t good, don’t take it up with me. I think the missus has a form you can fill out somewhere, apply for a hearing to change their legal status.

Do many people do that?

Not that many, no. She bills those that lose for time wasted, you see. And they all lose.

So while she sorts out who gets what, you make the toys?

The elves make the toys. Do I like like a handyman to you?

So during the year, you do what, precisely?

Eat, mostly. What? It’s cold up there, you know! I need a good layer of blubber. And the reindeer stew doesn’t make itself.

reindeerI guess not. Hang on, what?! YOU EAT THE REINDEER?

We don’t have the climate for tropical fruits now, do we? Reindeer get old, you know. What d’you want me to do, chuck ’em out in the snow to starve after all their years of service? This way they get a good quick end and a nice long soak in wine sauce.

Wine… wine sauce?

All that running about, they can get pretty tough. And it’s not as though they don’t have an easy life the rest of the year. Build up a nice layer of fat, especially if you get them half-way through the year, before they go into training.

But, but… Dasher? Prancer? Vixen?

My dear. How long do you think reindeer live? They were lovely beasties, but they were born in the early 18th century. But don’t worry, their descendents live on, even if they are a little inbred. Let’s see, we’ve got a Bilbo, a Britney… and I think little Barack is having his first trot this Christmas.

Screw them. What about Rudolph…?

A little later than Dasher et al., but still dearly departed, I’m afraid. Had a lovely nose. Bright, shiny… always had a good run with him. That nose… it went down well sliced and grilled on toast, as I recall. With just a little onion.

I think I want to go home.

You do look a little green about the gills. Perhaps you’d better go lie down. It was a pleasure meeting you.

Be good, now.

Review: Eddie Izzard in “Stripped” – by Magdlyn

str3Eddie Izzard is a British actor/comedian who lives in West London but is based in Los Angeles, California, where he is working on his dramatic acting career. He’s been a popular standup comedian for over 10 years, working throughout Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand. He was born in Yemen (where his father worked for BP), raised in Ireland, Wales and Bexhill-on-Sea.

He’s done his act successfully in Paris in French, as he is quatri-lingual, speaking English, French, German and Latin (product of a British boarding school). He’s a ball of energy and specializes in stream of consciousness blather, talking nonsense about history, mythology, animals, toasters and jam. His comedy is inspired by Monty Python and Richard Pryor, and he’s been called the “lost Python” and the “funniest man in England” by John Cleese. Famous lines from previous shows your Eddie loving friends might quote are:

I’m covered in bees!

Cake or death?

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people. And monkeys do too (if they have a gun).

He’s had roles in a dozen films and a starring role in 2 seasons of a US FX channel drama called The Riches (co-starring Minnie Driver). Right now he is in the middle of a sold out and critically acclaimed standup tour called Stripped, his first proper tour in 5 years.

Eddie is a straight transvestite (often previously decked out in Gaultier and stilettos), but he’s dressing blokey this tour in a swallowtail jacket, jeans and men’s boots. His long sideburns, goatee and eyeliner give him a dashing piratical look. I’ve had the privilege of seeing 2 shows on this tour, as well as a gig from his Work in Progress as he warmed up in NYC. I saw him on the first stop of Stripped in Boston in April, as well as in Tampa in June.

Here’s a review of the Tampa show which I attended with my sister and a friend, at the splendid Art Deco Tampa Theater. We sat in the 4th row, stage left. Eddie royally entertained us for 2 hours and 20 minutes, non-stop, not even drinking water.

It can be hard to remember his routine, as he talks so fast and has so many tangents. You’ve really got to pay attention. Eddie is a comedian for intellectuals and liberals. Fundies need not apply.

He did a lot of the material I’d seen in the previous 2 shows, but I was so happy he really mixed it up and added new twists and subtracted other stuff. I had plenty of new bits to laugh at. I was prepared just to gaze at his beauty (did I mention he’s gorgeous?), but he did not disappoint me or my newbie friends.

He did at least 10 minutes, if not 15, on Tampa alone. (He always tries to tailor each show to the city he’s in.) He looked Tampa up onhis iPhone on wiki (he’s been doing this as part of the act, using wiki onstage and extolling Macs as well). As he waited for it to load, he guessed the name meant something to do with a whale’s vagina (Tampax crossed with Anchorman?), but someone near me shouted out it meant sticks of fire. Finally his wiki came up and he read tampa meant huge lightning (Native American term). Eddie shows are so educational.

Next, he mimed playing spoons and tap dancing (Eddie is a brilliant mime), saying you didn’t really need spoons or taps on your shoes, just a halfway decent microphone. He danced all over the stage doing that bit. It was adorable and a good way to warm up the crowd. Later in the show he also mimed a lot of tennis, making the sounds of a ball being hit, or making the grunts that people make, and then adding nonsense syllables as well. Eddie calls himself an action transvestite, and like the Energizer Bunny, he never stops moving.

He said he had a hard time with the heat in Florida, but we all must be used to it. But people shouted out “No they weren’t”, which surprised him. Then they shouted out “AC!” and Eddie said if AC was a god he’d worship it. Then he modified it to say if it was a political candidate he’d back it. …After all this blather, and more, he said he hadn’t even really started the show yet.

He finally went into his prepared bit about how wiki is run by a family in a toilet, Mr and Mrs Wikipedia, and their kids Kev and Steve. He talked about no one ever used to know how anything was made… bread, jam. You just had no way of knowing before Wikipedia.

Then he mimed working in a jam factory and taking big licks of jam off his hands. Also testing the lids by tapping them with a spoon and making the noise and then chucking away the ones that sounded wrong.

He addressed how bathrooms in US restaurants do not have bathtubs, and so shouldn’t be called bathrooms, but toilets. Then he mimed bathing in a public restroom. He also scolded us and said how American football should be called throw ball, catch ball, run with ball. (He didnt say, “Throw ball, catch ball, hit man,” this time, like he had previously.)

Then he skipped into the meat of the show, religion and the Bible. This is a recurring theme in his act through the years. Now he is forthrightly addressing how there can’t be a god with a big beard who is creating and guiding the world. If so, how do you explain dinosaurs and all those millions of years with no religion? He spoke about about the beginning of the world and how he’d have to go with the science. Because in the Bible, it should’ve said right at the beginning, “It (the world) is round.” Dinosaurs didn’t go to church! He mimed a dinosaur in church, sidling down the pew to take a seat, singing a hymn, etc.

Eddie then addressed the Stone Age and hunter gatherers. The hunters were so sexy in their loin cloths, and ripped muscles, beating mammoths with their fists and finally chucking a stone at one, which ushered in the Stone Age. The gatherers — not so sexy (slowly picking berries, eating most of them). Farming, which came in later, was definitely not sexy. Farmers raise animals just to avoid the boredom of watching crops grow. (He did a whole mime thing about farmers chasing someone on a slow moving yak, and then they were in a speedboat and someone was filming from a parachute. This was all to make farming seem sexy, and it was very surreal and silly. …You had to be there.)

Then he segued into how religion wasn’t invented until language was. (You also can’t tell a kid a bedtime story without language [but he of course demonstrated trying]). Scrabble without language, just random grunts and consonants, you get a lot of points. 96, to be exact.

He then moved on to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, who were called ancient because they were all born old. The Egyptians got the idea of pyramids off the back of a dollar bill, except they left the top bit on and used the eye for their written language. This was followed by a news and weather report by hieroglypics. “Big hat, big hat, eye, squiggly line, cat, rain.”

Back to the silliness of the Old Testament, he addressed Creation (God making creme brulee for the hungry and complaining badgers) and Noah’s Ark (a recurring theme for him). You could not have gotten pairs of all the animals in the world onto an ark. How does he know this? “Well, try it.” Also, the tigers would’ve eaten all the other animals, and all the evil ducks would’ve gotten out on a loophole.

Next he mimed a squid in a cupboard complaining about no towels and no good telly reception, then writing up an Expedia type review, “Can’t find Gerald (the other squid) because he’s lashed to the roof, will have to stream The Riches on hulu.com, etc.” When he mentions The Riches, the crowd always cheers. He was doing this, a whole review of the ark, when someone from the audience loudly shouted out, “Squidblog.com!” Then we got to see Eddie deal with a heckler. He goofed on the guy, finally asked if he was a squid, and just when you thought that was all over, a young woman’s voice sang out, “Five goooold rings!” (a quote from a previous show). Finally his exquisite manners wore out, he got a bit annoyed and told those two hecklers to get together after the show and “Do some crack cocaine.”

“Sooo…yeah.” Back to the show. He bounced in place as he reminded himself where he was. So cute.

After a bit of stuff about (un)Intelligent Design and appendixes, and some giraffe Charades, ending with the Eiffel Tower (don’t ask), and a centurion describing Hannibal coming to attack Rome (all in Latin and involving toasters and squirrels and infinatum soldata), he did a bunch of God and Jesus stuff, said Galadriel was Jesus’ mother, said Jesus was really called Yoshua and if he came back today, no one would recognize Yoshua as Jesus.

Finally, he did a whole 10 commandments thing– Moses being gone up the mountain so long the people had time to, “Smelt metal!” then coming down several times with a bunch of crap rules… being told they were crap and going back for different ones. (One set was, “Eat your nuts quietly, keep your tail clean, if something bad comes, run up a tree, etc.” Admitted those were squirrel rules.) Did the ox coveting routine– why is it wrong to covet someone’s ox? Surely that’s the basis of trade and economics? Perhaps it was meant to be, “Thou shalt not ‘cover’ thy neighbor’s ox.” Finally he addressed the golden rule (as it is comprehensive and all the other rules are in there), as the last part before the encore. Left the stage.

Came back after less than a minute and said, when we got to the moon, God should’ve been there. (Earlier he’d talked about how Mercury was too hot as well as too cold, a crap planet, and how there was a tiny window of the day to go out on the veranda and enjoy the view, between too hot and too cold. People on Mercury pray to go the the blue one [Planet Earth]. Also he had God spray painting Mars red). In the encore, he had God saying the moon was only primed, not painted yet. He also said God had been on the dark side of the moon previously, with Pink Floyd and Darth Vadar (yay Darth Vadar! another recurring character). He said Vadar played the harmonica all the time for God (mimed this for quite a while, then admitted he couldn’t mime harmonica so switched to a trumpet), and should’ve done more swirly stuff with his cape.

Then he danced around, did a bit more tennis and I think that was about it. Bowed, audience in ecstasy. But then, as usual, Eddie also came out into the lobby to do at least 15 patient and thoughtful minutes of Q&A for the faithful who waited (myself among them). Eddie just wound up 3 days at Radio City in NY and will now take his tour to the West Coast, ending in LA in August. Check youtube for dozens of Eddie bits and go to cakeordeath.com or eddieizzard.com for updates, news, articles, blogs and photos.

Interview: The Brick Testament’s Reverend Brendan Powell Smith!

A big thank-you to Reverend Brendan from The Brick Testament, for agreeing to be interviewed by Nexus, and for kindly giving us permission to feature some of his LEGO pictures here. Thanks, Brendan!

If you’ve never visited the Brick Testament before, we can highly recommend it as being both fun and informative. You can even buy Brick Testament books and LEGO characters (the Holy Ghost will crack you up)!

We have to ask: what put the idea of the Brick Testament into your head?

I’ve been fascinated with religion ever since I became an atheist at about the age of 13. Prior to that I had been a regular churchgoer and my mother was even a Sunday School teacher at our local Episcopal church. But as my childhood was approaching its end, I had this idea (I’m not sure from where) that it would be a good idea to “prepare for adulthood” by consciously trying rid myself of what seemed like childish ways of thinking. I recognized superstitions for what they were, and tried to turn away from “magical thinking”. I didn’t intend for any of this to affect my religious beliefs, but in the end it did in a profound way, and soon enough I found myself the only atheist I knew amongst my family, friends, and community. And being in that situation really made me wonder just what it was about religion that kept so many others believing.

So I studied religion and philosophy at Boston University, and that’s when I first read the Bible through for myself. I found that experience so full of surprises that I have never really gotten over the shock. I guess I must have been expecting something very dry and boring, but found instead that it was chock full of lurid stories, high drama, and terribly obscene behavior. I was realized that there must be very, very few people who have ever actually read this book. And so from that point on I knew it would be a worthwhile project if I could think of a way to retell these stories in a way that could capture people’s attention and still stay true to the original.

It wasn’t until a few years out of college that I happened to get back into LEGO building as an adult. But then it was only a matter of time before it occurred to me to try building some scenes from the Bible out of LEGO. And while constructing the LEGO Garden of Eden and designing Adam, Eve, and God, I came to see that this could be just the novel sort of medium I’d been looking for to bring a wider knowledge of the Bible’s stories to people unready or unwilling to slog through “good book” itself.

Did you have a lot of LEGO as a kid, or did LEGO-deprivation drive you to desperate measures?

Even though I grew up fairly poor, I was lucky enough to have had a pretty good size LEGO collection. It was definitely my favorite toy, but I wouldn’t say I was a stand-out builder as a kid. Around the same time I went through the period of “preparing for adulthood” by questioning my beliefs, I also decided I better put away my childhood toys, so the LEGO got packed away in my parent’s basement for the next ten years. My girlfriend, on the other hand, was truly LEGO deprived in her childhood. She had three older brothers who were always given given LEGO as presents, but she was only ever given Barbie and was terribly jealous. So once we moved into our own place and had jobs, she and I started buying up a lot of LEGO on this new website called eBay. We bought many of the cool sets that I’d missed out on from the late 80s and 90s, as well as people’s old LEGO collections that they were no longer using.

How much LEGO do you have, anyway?

I’ve never stopped to count, but it’s a lot. It’s not as much as some other adult LEGO builders, and actually, a lot of people get the idea that my collection is bigger than it really is because they don’t realize that I am constantly dismantling things I just finished photographing so I can use the same bricks as the raw materials for the next set of stories. Best I can tell you, it’s about $15,000 worth of LEGO, and that it’s enough to cover the floor of my living room in bins of bricks.

How long does it take to make a chapter?

I’ve illustrated 363 Bible stories so far, and an average story is told using about 11 or 12 still photos. One story takes about a week to complete, start to finish, including reading and scripting, building characters and sets, photography, photo processing, and website building.

Who’s your favourite character, and why? Go on, we know you have one…

It may seem cliche, but I have to say my favorite Bible character is Yahweh himself. I don’t think I would have been nearly as inspired to create this project if it weren’t for the continuous outrageous and depraved actions of the Bible’s main character. Power-mad, belligerent, masochistic, petty, woefully insecure, extremely dangerous and unpredictable (and seemingly not too bright) Yahweh exhibits all the worst attributes of man. As such I can only really consider him a “favorite” character in the way a Star Wars fan might consider Darth Vader to be their favorite character. But if you were to stop and imagine if Darth or Yahweh were real and not just fictional, you might be more hesitant to think of them as “cool” for things like blowing up a planet of innocent civilians, or ordering genocides and torturing people to death.

trinity_new_large

Have you ever been contacted by the company that makes LEGO, and if so – what do they think of what you’re doing?

As it says on the website and my published books, the LEGO Company does not authorize, sponsor, or endorse The Brick Testament. You can probably understand why they want to keep a certain distance from themselves and an art project using their bricks that depicts so much violence and the occasional sex scene. So they’ve never given the Brick Testament any sort of official stamp of approval, but neither have they condemned it.

On a very unofficial level, I have heard from individuals who work for LEGO that they are fans of The Brick Testament, so that’s always nice to hear, but obviously they only speak for themselves.

We see you had to put up a page dealing with reproduction permissions. Do you know how many Sunday schools use your stuff? Does it make you giggle into your pillow at night?

Starting a couple of years ago I noticed I was getting more and more permission requests from churches to use material from The Brick Testament in their Sunday School lessons and sermons. Before long I was getting 1 or 2 requests per day from religious organizations around the world, but especially in the UK, Australia, and the United States. I had been responding to these requests personally until the point where I found it was taking up too much of my time, so then I set up a special page of the website to try to automate the permission process (which generally allows for free offline, non-commercial use so long as they tell me where their church is and give a brief description of their proposed use). Now I don’t have to deal directly with these requests, but I check in on them every so often, and for example, February 2008 saw 51 e-mail requests from churches around the world.

It was fairly surprising at first to have religious people and religious organizations react so positively to The Brick Testament, given that my own reaction to these Bible stories is almost always a strong reinforcing of my atheism, particularly concerning the God of the Bible. But then again, I do retell the stories very faithfully in the sense that this is exactly what you’ll find in the Bible itself if you read it yourself. I make no demand that other people come to the same conclusions I have about the Bible or religious beliefs in general, but I do think everyone is better off making those decisions from a standpoint of increased knowledge of the Bible’s contents, so the more this project reaches religious folks and finds a receptive audience, the better.

{Ed: an example of Moses enforcing the will of God}

moses

How are the book sales coming along? Do you plan to put out any more books?

It has been wonderful to have many stories from The Brick Testament website get published in the three hardcover Brick Testament books, and to see those books get published in seven different languages. The first book, Stories from the Book of Genesis, did very well and is, in fact, currently sold out with about 35,000 copies in print. My publisher just informed me today that they are likely to order another print run of that one. The second two books covering the Story of Christmas and the story of Moses and the Ten Commandments have not been selling quite as briskly, and so my publisher has been holding off on continuing the series for now. Personally, I tend to think that there’s a very large and receptive audience out there who simply have not been made aware of the books’ existence. But then, I’ve never been the best marketer, and I have generally relied on word-of-mouth for the website’s popularity.

We love your “thought balloons of God”. How tempting is it to put in stuff that is, shall we say, less than accurate? How do you resist that temptation, Reverend? We don’t know that we could…

I try to be very careful in how much I insert my own non-Biblical text into the illustrated Bible stories. I’ve worked very hard to maintain certain standards so that people can trust that what they see in The Brick Testament is the same as what they’d read in the Bible. So, for instance, you’ll never find anything other than direct Bible quotes (with chapter and verse always cited) below each illustration to show that it is exactly such-and-such a part of the Bible that the photo above is intended to illustrate.

That said, within the illustrations themselves, I’ve adopted the use of speech balloons like the ones found in comic books to show which character is speaking. And on occasion I will have a character speak (or think) a line that is not a direct bible quote. Often times this is done solely for the sake of clarification, such as when the Bible reads “And King David explained all this to his son.” Obviously King David is meant to be saying something, but his exact dialogue is left out, so I’ll do my best to add in what seems most appropriate for him to be saying in that circumstance. You are correct, though, that in addition to these entirely innocuous insertions, I will occasionally add a piece of dialogue or a thought balloon that functions more as an aside to the audience for a silly laugh, or to draw attention to a puzzling or often-overlooked aspect of the story, etc.

I do try to restrain myself from such additions because I don’t want The Brick Testament to function primarily (or even significantly) as a venue for my own commentary on these Bible stories. I wouldn’t want these asides to give readers the sense that I am changing the story from how it appears in The Bible. For the sake of transparency, any and all such non-Biblical lines are put in medium gray text instead of the usual black.

One of our readers would like to know how you get the non-standard faces on your LEGO figures. What do you use to draw so small?

One of the things that drew me back into LEGO building as an adult when I discovered that the LEGO figures were now being made with distinctive faces instead of the one single “smiley face” I had known throughout my youth. There were maybe 75 different faces when I got back into LEGO, but each year the number expanded, and there’s probably more than 300 unique face designs today.

Even with all that variety, many of the LEGO figures’ faces are useless to a Bible illustrator because they’ll have things like printed-on sunglasses, microphone headsets, or more bizarre sci-fi stuff. So I will occasionally modify an official LEGO face to make it better suited for my purposes, but this is almost always done by taking something away from the face rather than adding something to it. I’m just not a good enough artist to draw my own faces. But I am just handy enough with a hobby knife to carefully scrape off things like the giant white sideburns that adorn the official version of the LEGO face I chose to use for Yahweh.

But most of the character faces you see in The Brick Testament are unaltered official LEGO faces that were from some LEGO set that came out between 1995 and today. When new LEGO sets are released, the first thing I always look for is whether or not there are new faces that I might use for The Brick Testament. It’s expensive and time consuming to try to attain one of every new face that comes out, but I very much want to have the maximum amount of choice available when I create the characters for The Brick Testament, so I do what I can.

Do you ever feel any sympathy with God when their little LEGO faces just won’t go right? Have those uncooperative figures ever been smote, or flung across the room in a healthy, cleansing rage? We ask because we think they should be used to it by now.

legosurpriseAs mentioned above, I don’t do much in the way of drawing on the faces myself–about the only example I can think of is this: Back in 2001 when I was first starting, there really wasn’t any official LEGO face that expressed shock. So when Adam and Eve realized they were naked, and I wanted them to go from smiley-faced to shocked, I had to resort to drawing a Mr. Bill style round open mouth. It’s only been in the last year that LEGO has finally made a shocked face I might have chosen to use instead:

What are the responses to the Brick Testament like? Have you gotten any hate-mail?

I’ve received thousands of e-mail responses to The Brick Testament, and I’d say about 99% are positive, but once every month or two I’ll get a negative response. I’m not sure any would truly qualify as hate mail. The thing that 1% of responders tend to complain about most is that I depict the sex in the Bible.

It always comes as a bit of a shock to me that someone could browse through The Brick Testament and it’s endless string of depictions of the Bible’s most horrific and grotesque violence (including stabbings, stonings, immolations, flailings, decapitations, massacres, mutilations, drownings, and public torture) and not bat an eye or worry that such things might be harmful for children to view, but at their very first sight of “naked” LEGO figures in a sex pose they feel great moral outrage.

I suppose I should have gotten used to that by now, but I’m not, and I don’t know if I’ll ever understand that worldview regardless of how widespread it is.

Finally, we’ve heard a disgusting and scurrilous rumour that you’re not really a reverend, Reverend. If in some ungodly parallel universe this was actually true, what faith would you choose to bestow your capacity for reverend-ness upon?

I take the term “Reverend” in its literal sense, as denoting someone who is revered. As long as there are a few people out there who feel a smidgen of reverence toward me, I feel justified using the title. In my mind it’s as silly and self-aggrandizing a term as “His Majesty”. I certainly don’t think ministers and priests are any more justified in their use of the term than I am.

Nutwatch – by Queen of Swords

Hi everyone, and welcome to another issue of the Nutwatch! Spring is in the air, so today’s subject is an appropriately flowery website. One problem with trying to frighten people into Christianity is that the scare tactics can easily slop over into melodrama, and this website shoots itself in the foot when it tries to tackle drug use, alcohol, sex and the inevitable consequence of all these. Grab yourself a drink or a joint – or just grab yourself – because this week’s Nutwatch unravels

Believers’ Web

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive
When we claim atheists soon will grieve, when we trot out “Adam and Steve”,
Or we say women must conceive, ‘cause that’s the Queen’s personal peeve.

Welcome to the Believersweb.org. Our goal is to be a blessing to you by sharing Bible based articles, sermons and sermon outlines, book reviews and other helps for your Christian walk.

We just added a tool

His name is David Wilkerson.

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Last Update April 28, 2006

I think you’d have a lot more fun watching actual space, if you want to see anything happen. But what makes Believers’ Web so entertaining are the over-the-top articles that do a good job of Nutwatching themselves. One of them is in the Testimony section, though it’s actually a tall tale of drug addiction causing evolutionary regression.

George had been missing for three days.

He’d been picked up by a gang of Romans and their leader, Pontius “P-Dog” Pilate.

It was at a dance that one of his friends put a “joint” of marijuana in his hand and told him to drag on it… The smoke swirled through his head. In five minutes he was dancing like a demon

On a more serious note, the author has confused marijuana with speed. Perhaps he was afraid that if he read about them, he would run out and beg the nearest drug dealer for a fix, just like how teenagers never even dream about fornication until they take sex ed classes.

he forgot his problems – he even forgot about God.

Dancing -> drug use -> atheism -> crime -> Darwinism (that’s coming up, folks)

The next day he wanted to try it again. Big thrill “great kick – really packed a wallop. This time it chased away the blues. That night he was deathly sick – head throbbing, vomiting – he had to have another joint of “grass.”

What, he had a headache and nausea after one joint? Did he use actual grass that was soaked in pesticides? Or did he make a mistake and roll up some Astroturf instead?

This was the first step toward a life of addiction.

He became addicted to headaches and nausea.

[The pusher] pulled out a small cellophane bag containing a fraction of an ounce of pure, white heroin. “Just sniff it up your nose,” he was told.

I imagine that if the author ever tried to sniff anything up his nose, he would need to suspend the Baggie from the end of a ten-foot pole.

“You’ll stay high for two days.”

The pusher could not compete with other pushers selling drugs that had shorter highs. He was soon out of business. He became a televangelist.

When [George] first saw them “drilling” with the needle he was upset. It was his turn – but he chickened out. A friend drilled him. It knocked him out. When he awoke – he sat “goofing” for two hours.

I so don’t want to know what “goofing” is. But I’m guessing that the friend injected him with a sedative, stole the pure heroine, cut it and made a profit on it (since the pusher was out of business).

It was soon costing a lot each day to keep him high. He could no longer borrow as he owed everyone in the neighborhood. He began to work “angles.” He sold all his clothes at the pawn shop.

He had to join a nudist colony, but hey, anything for drugs.

After his first mainline injection, he knew he was hooked for life.

Wow, you the man, George. Most addicts tell themselves that they can stop at any time. This guy faced the facts.

He began to mug, break into apartments, steal, hold up taxi cabs – all for money to get drugs. He lost 30 pounds and was nothing but skin and bones.

Good thing he sold all his clothes then – they would never have fitted him.

At this very moment the police were investigating complaints of a terrible odor coming from the roof top of a tenement house on Prospect Avenue, Bronx, New York. Three officers nearly fainted at the sight.

For years, the tenants had been dumping Chick tracts, copies of The Watchtower and little green bibles in that spot. The pile had grown… and festered… and become sentient.

George was lying on the roof top just left of the stairwell, dead.

That explains the fainting. Cops in New York never see dead people.

He had been dead for three days, he was naked and his body had turned as black as a burnt cork. Most horrifying of all, were the gruesome features of his face. The once handsome face took on the perfect image of an ape.

Man, if only he had taken more drugs. He might have had the face of a small shrew-like creature, or even a primitive fish. The Missing Stink would have been the missing link, all by himself.

It was late that same night when his mother was called to the morgue to identify him. The funeral will long be remembered.

Because the minister referred to him as Koko?

His body was wrapped in asbestos

The drugs turned him into the Human Torch.

with only his face showing. The sealed casket had a glass covered oval cut in the top to enable narcotics agents to view the remains.

Why did they need to view the remains? If he had sold his body for drugs, would they parade the Vice Squad past his coffin?

Young drug addicts were fled past the casket and told, “This is how it ends.” Ladies fainted

They were probably in the NYPD.

– strong men were shaken –

– weak men were stirred –

but the drug addicts were unmoved. Their minds were long since hardened to the truth.

This is a true story. I know the minister who buried him. Teenager – hear this – NOW! At the end of every sensual pleasure is a casket.

Dracula’s coming for you, teenagers! And just like in any good slasher movie, he’ll rise from his casket to kill off the ones who are having sex!

Editor’s Note: This tract was written in the early 1960’s, but the events are as true today as they were back then. Drugs are still shattering homes and lives. Trusting in Jesus is the only way to overcome them.

I was wondering why anyone would assume that what people believed in the 1960’s (pot turns you into a maniac!) is still accurate today. Then I realized that to fundamentalists, what people believed six thousand years ago is still accurate today, as long as those people got their beliefs into the bible. Another testimony is the story of a nameless alcoholic, which is told here.

He didn’t want to be a wallflower. He wanted to sow his wild oats. He got too big for Sunday School.

You are never too big for Sunday School. Even when you’re in your forties or fifties, you’re welcome to squeeze behind a kiddie-sized desk and share some special moments with the little ones.

He listened to an atheistic, evolutionist, college professor educated beyond his intellegence.

Um, editor? Major missed opportunity there. If you had said “educated beyond her intelligence”, you could have killed four unclean birds with one stone, rather than three.

“The Bible? Full of fairy tales. Read Tom Paine instead. Or Robert Ingersoll. Or Eleanor Roosevelt. Or Harry Emerson Fosdick. Or sex books.”

Or all of them. One of the benefits of being non-fundamentalist – you never feel that you can only read the bible and books supporting the bible. You can treat a library as a literary buffet, rather than as an a la carte menu where you only ever get to order one type of dish. And you don’t have to worry that reading the wrong kind of book is the first step on the slippery slope to

Hell

The wicked angels and wicked men are both locked up today in Hell…

This explains why Satan supposedly roams around the world causing trouble.

When the Sinner(One who has not accepted Jesus Christ as Savior & Lord) dies today, he, in his spiritial form, Goes to Hell to remain there until the Second Resurrection when his old body will be raised full of Sin, Disease, and Corruption.

What does the “Disease” part mean? If you die healthy, does God give you an STD to punish you after death?

He will enter that body again and stand in it before the Great White Throne of God. God is the Judge.

Actually, he’s the Prosecutor, the Judge, the Jury and the Executioner. He’s an entire John Grisham collection in one pretty package. But he’s still more active in this article than he is in the next one, where it’s clear that his hands are tied until Christians speak out on his behalf against

X-rated movies

Talk to your pastor, those in your Church, your friends, city officials . . . anyone who will listen . . . and try to arouse them to become concerned about this terrible X-rated movie racket…

I’m sorry. You lost me at “arouse”, when I imagined concerned Christians doing the Dance of the Seven Veils for city officials – all in the name of stopping porn, of course.

Picket the theaters showing these X-rated movies . . . . MAKE YOUR STAND. Let your Church know . . . let your city . . . your community know that YOU are on God’s side

God sounds like Theoden in The Lord of the Rings; he seems to be waiting passively for some mighty Christian warriors to save him and his people. Only when your community knows that YOU are on God’s side will the purveyors of smut tremble. Uncle Sam God needs YOU!

. . and that you want the showing of these filthy, obscene, X-rated sex movies . . . to be STOPPED.

Done, as long as you rip the Song of Solomon out of every bible. The phobia of sex leads to more Freudian slips in the article on prayer, where David Wilkerson writes,

If you have ignored the Holy Spirit’s wooings to draw you to the secret closet for intimacy, then you have taken the first step toward hardness of heart.

Where to start? David Wilkerson supposedly converted hardened (oh good grief, now I’m doing it too) gang members to Christianity. Everything I’ve read from him, though, sounds like preaching to a particularly humorless choir, one which isn’t likely to giggle or even crack a smile when the pastor talks about tender moments in the closet with a woo-fixated Holy Spirit. Just as Believers’ Web hasn’t been updated in two years, the tone of the articles hints at a mindset firmly fixed in the 1960s and uninterested in moving beyond that. Lead us not into education, and protect us from reality, for thine is the bible, the website and the closet, for ever and ever, amen.

Till next time, everyone!

Queen of Swords

Nutwatch – by Queen of Swords

Hi everyone, and welcome to the most ephebophilic website you’re ever going to see. The man responsible for it preys on what’s literally a captive audience – incarcerated teenagers, and I’m sure that after meeting him, they’d be begging for solitary. Best of all, he writes in a style so hyper and juvenile that I thought he would lapse into textspeak at any moment. Chris Hanson of Dateline NBC deals with sleazy men who want sex out of teenagers, and I’m focusing on an equally sleazy man who wants teenagers out of sex, because this month’s Nutwatch pwns

Truth 4 Teens

The whole purpose of this website is to convert as many teenagers as possible – quality isn’t half as important as quantity. That’s why Steven Blankenship writes happily of how

FOURTEEN YOUTHS TRUSTED CHRIST FOR SALVATION TONIGHT!!

Maybe he has a good friend who’s also a pastor, a Gimli to his Legolas, and they compete to see who can score the higher count each time they wade into battle.

Blankenship : Twelve! Thirteen!
Other pastor : Hey, I just got a guy who did drugs and had sex and believed in evolution.
Blankenship : Still only counts as one! Fourteen!

Some were weeping on the altar!

But since they were face-down, the tablecloth muffled their cries dried their tears, and they soon grew used to the sensation of being filled by the Holy Spirit. Repeatedly.

We had a very good spirit in the service tonight. The Holy Ghost began moving early in the service!

Did the Holy Ghost usually show up late, unshaven and reeking of spirits?

With tattoos covering his arms, 16 year old Michael kneeled at the old fashion altar and trusted Christ to save him tonight! So sad to see how the Devil gets young men to dedicate their spirit, soul and body to him.

So the tattoo artist’s needle = the bloodstained claw of the Prince of Darkness. Still, maybe Michael will get some tips on tasteful dressing at the old fashion altar.

After the service we ate at Cracker Barrel. The Lord opened the door to speak to the Cashier about her eternal soul.

“Excuse me, but is that your eternal soul outside, the one with the ‘$5000 OBO’ sign on it? Would fifty cents be okay?”

Here is a dear lady who said she was “scared” to get saved! Her reasoning? With Muslims and other wicked people in America, “I would be afraid to say I’m a Christian. You don’t know who you would set off.”

I imagine that each time someone wearing a headscarf or a yarmulke or an ankh gives this nitwit a tip, she washes the poison off the coins before she bites them.

You know, even lost people realize the coming persecution! Be ye ready.

Be ye steady. Be ye go!

While the boys were looking at me, I asked does any one wish to be saved today? James SHOT HIS HAND UP QUICK!

The veins in his arms were too scarred from overuse.

Calvin said, “I can’t pray!” His face was so much in pain. It was obvious that the devils of Hell are tormenting him. A young man who wants to be saved but unable to pray!

“Here I sit, broken-hearted, tried to pray but couldn’t get started.
All the devils had their fun, gave me wedgies one by one.
The pastor stood there doing jack, guess he didn’t have the sack
To make the devils go away, so that I could kneel and pray.”

But don’t worry, folks. The young man’s predicament didn’t last long.

CALVIN WAS SAVED TONIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!

HE BURNED HOBBES! GLORY! Sorry, even in a satire I can’t bring myself to abuse the exclamation mark. When he isn’t collecting the spiritual scalps of teenagers, Brother Blankenship writes articles on interesting and controversial topics, and the first of those is about

Evolution

Let’s take a little time and examine this “theory” of Evolution; basically, it is the belief that the human species evolved from a line of various creatures over millions of years until finally, the modern state of man occurred.

Yep. That was the entire purpose of evolution, to produce a biped which could drive a car, talk on a cell phone and eat a donut at the same time. Its grand design finally fulfilled, evolution looked at its work, saw that it was good and rested on the seventh day, though modern man had to mow the lawn.

And one day those scientists, teachers and everyone else will have to stand before their Creator and be judged for putting their faith in the great lie of evolution.

For there is no god but Young Earth Creationism, and Hovind is its prophet. And even with a ten-year sentence in federal prison, he’s still going to come back before Jesus does, unless he actually learns some science in there and commits honorable seppuku in shame at what he’s done with his life. But speaking of messed-up lives, one aim of this website is to instill a Victorian horror of sex into teenagers. That’s what happens when abstinence-only folks live in mortal fear of scientists and teachers; they never realize that they’re working against millions of years of evolution and losing. They do put up an entertaining effort, though, and here’s Brother Blankenship’s take on

Sex

What a wonderful God we serve! A God who will not leave anything to human reasoning.

God must get pretty tired of telling this man what clothes to wear each morning.

God has instituted the wonderful pleasure of sex to populate the earth.

Poor God, he never realized that people could obtain this wonderful pleasure whether they were a-populatin’ or just a-copulatin’.

THE FIRST MARRIAGE WAS CONDUCTED BY GOD HIMSELF!

After their marriage, which was conducted by God Himself, Adam and Eve got evicted and one of their kids killed the other. They and/or their descendants also resorted to incest in order to populate the earth.

God is not known to have conducted any further marriages.

When unmarried couples begin to touch, IT WILL LEAD TO FORNICATION!

When married couples begin to touch, it leads to either domestic violence or CPR. Both of which are preferable to sex, of course.

Holding hands; putting your arm around each other; hugging; etc. All touching should be avoided… When God loving Teens begin to touch, the flesh begins to ignite its lustful flames.

Man, these teenagers must be pretty scared from all their “God loving”, because when I was that age, I could reach the “lustful flames” stage from just thinking – no touch necessary.

Wait, I said “thinking”, didn’t I?

When you fornicate, you are creating a freak of nature (spiritual freak of nature)…

What is a spiritual freak of nature? Is it the same as a natural freak of spirit?

Spiritually, you are adding members to your body. In other words, you are creating a spiritual freak of nature that has many added on members to the body.

Ohhh, I think I get it now. Each act of sex, for Brother Blankenship, gets an invisible intangible member attached to you like a spiritual dog tag. Without this handy-dandy means of identification, God might find it difficult to tell the difference between those who fornicated and those who didn’t, and he might end up destroying everyone in a fit of frustration.

When you fornicate, you will never forget about it. You live with the memory of it till the day you die!

I agree. That’s why I made sure it was with someone I liked and found very attractive, and it was warm and sweet and sensual and… excuse me, I’ll be in my bunk.

Who wants to marry a girl who has had spiritual members added unto her? Or a girl marry a boy who has many members added unto him that was never intended?

Now I have a mental image of a teenager with spiritual members sticking out all over him like a Hindu god’s arms.

This world says, “If two people love each other, it doesn’t matter what gender you are, what race you happen to be, or anything else. Love is the deciding factor.”

I was really hoping Brother Blankenship would expand on his or God’s views on interracial marriage. For instance, what would he consider suitable marriages for “mixed” people – should they only be permitted to marry others like themselves, or since they’re evidently sterile mules, is marriage a moot point? But Brother Blankenship doesn’t elaborate on this point, so alas, he got me interested and failed to deliver. The former is probably a rare occurrence for him with a woman, but the latter must happen only too often.

Two men may be legally married in some States, but God Almighty never recognizes it! God has ordained marriage to be One male and One Female. Period.

So when Jacob married Rachel, God punished him. Oh, wait. Still, I suppose one guy with four women after him, all trying desperately to get pregnant, was punished enough without God having to take a hand.

God destroyed entire populations for the sickening sin of sodomy.

Don’t you mean the thickening thin of thodomy, girlfriend?

God’s Word clearly speaks volumes to the ears of His children. When we obey His words, He dumps over the “honey buckets” into our soul.

God’s version of golden showers? I have no idea what Brother Blankenship actually means by this bizarre statement, and the bible clearly contradicts him on this point – Job obeyed God, after all, and what God dumped on him was more of a divine chamberpot than a honey bucket. But that’s a common theme in this website. For all the author’s protests and pretensions of religion, he seems to be curiously ignorant of his own holy book, and no section of his website highlights this better than the one about

Harry Potter

CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY… HARRY POTTER OR THE HOLY POTTER?

Why can’t I have both?

Pontius Pilate : Crucio!
Jesus : …
Jesus’s friends : Mobilicorpus!
God : Wingardium Leviosa! Accio Jesus!

J.K. Rowling has a degree in Mythology from Exeter and was a treacher.

She traught evolution! Also, she’s a single mother, which means she must have had S-E-X. Truly, this is a sign of the End Times.

The Potter books promote a disturbing view of death. An animal is sacrificed in order to drink its blood.

“And he brought the second ram, the ram of consecration. Then Aaron and his sons laid their hands on the head of the ram, and Moses killed it. And he took some of its blood and put it on the tip of Aaron’s right ear, on the thumb of his right hand and on the big toe of his right foot.” (Leviticus 8:22-23)

However, here the blood was clearly for cosmetic purposes rather than gustatory ones, so that makes all the difference.

Voldemort exhorts his followers to kill.

“Thus says Voldemort the Lord of hosts : ‘I will punish what Amalek did to Israel, how he laid wait for him on the way when he came up from Egypt. Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” (1 Samuel 15: 2-3)

Since diatribes against Harry Potter are fairly common among the more deluded fundamentalists, Brother Blankenship needed some way to distinguish his corner of the Web from the rest, and he found it in this cute little picture.

nutwatch1

This is a picture of a real brain scan.

I wish they had scanned the little guy’s brain too. He might have an even tinier head inside his own, like the cranial version of those Russian dolls.

This is an Emergency Room in NC, where a man came in complaining of Voices in His Head!

Because every emergency room is equipped with an MRI that is immediately used on anyone who hears voices. Too bad it isn’t used on anyone who capitalizes Nouns as if doing a Translation from the German.

After viewing his brain scan… The Doctor on Duty said that this was common with people who had “voices in their heads” He had seen this several times.

What, the man with the homunculus in his head was discharged, just like that? No head transplant? No demotherapy? What a letdown. Plus, if the man heard voices (as in, the plural) in his head, why did only one little demon head show up in the scan? Was that demon a ventriloquist?

In conclusion, this is one of the sillier websites I’ve had the pleasure to browse, though I’m less delighted at the idea of teenagers being forced to listen to diatribes against books, science, sex and everything else that makes life worth living. On the plus side, no one who actually reads this site is likely to do anything but laugh heartily. Fundamentalist literature isn’t usually produced for or by people with any in-depth knowledge of the bible, but anyone writing seriously about spiritual members or the Holy Potter is also unfamiliar with the concept of unintentional self-parody… and probably goes to a proctologist for a brain scan.

Till next time, everyone!

Queen of Swords