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  arrow pointing to the right   Home arrow My Thoughts arrow Pop Culture arrow I went to church and petted a camel

I went to church and petted a camel PDF Print E-mail

Proud to be a Christian AmericanI went to church and got to pet a camel

My family and I went to an area church because they had a Walk Through Bethlehem re-enactment.  It was actually super cool with a camel and goats and seriously – one of those goats had to be the most handsome goat I had ever seen.  Oh yeah, and baby Jesus was adorable.  I felt sorry for the parents. Basically, they have the newest baby, so they had to sit there while strangers ooh and ah over their baby all night. For 4 straight nights.

Anyway, my son did us proud. He knew the Jesus story and was totally into the whole thing.  Of course, his favorite part – the goats.  And while we are talking about animals – who knew that camels were so soft. It’s like petting a sheep – except it’s a brown really super soft sheep.

So, the weird bit.  While we were waiting to get in, which was quite a long time, we waited about 1 ½ hours to get in. Anyway, they provided entertainment, which was three young girls singing and doing gymnastics for us and occasionally their dad would come out and sing.  And he could sing. His version of Silent Night was really beautiful. 

Anyway, disturbing.  Yeah.  He let his youngest daughter of 7 do a tumbling routine to Time Warp from Rocky Horror Picture Show. Sure, the song was song by Alvin and the Chipmunks, but they didn’t change any of the lyrics.  When they announced it, I turned to the older women next to me and asked her – is that an appropriate song for a 7 yr old?  She just looked at me and shook her head no.  Thankfully the little girl didn’t sing it and she didn’t do the pelvic thrust part either, which was nice, because that would have been REALLY inappropriate. Of course, I was also thinking what I prude I was being for being bothered by that, but then I kept thinking, it’s a song about sex.  It’s not even metaphorical about it.  And not nice lovey dovey sex. It’s about raw, whoever happens to be convenient sex.  Again, not really appropriate for a 7 yr old girl doing splits for us. But maybe I’ve become an old prude and didn’t notice.  At least the old lady next to me thought it was inappropriate too so I wasn’t alone in my prudiness.

The other thing that disturbed me was the display of religious nationalism. Turns out this church is an inerrant church, which means they take the Bible literally.  That’s fine. Everyone seemed nice. But then the man who let his 7 yr old tumble to the Time Warp came out to sing “Proud to be an American” by Lee Greenwood.  He said we probably all know the lyrics.  I thought. I don’t.  He starts singing it, and people start standing.  And they do that – hand in the air prayer thing.  And they’re singing together about how proud they are to be an American.  And I’m thinking, this is kind of creepy.  I have nothing against being proud to be an America. I am after all proud to be an American.  It’s just that the lyrics are rather, militaristic in a way. And with all the people reverently and prayerfully performing what looks for all the world like a Nazi salute, well, it was a bit too much for me.

My husband was creeped out by the religiously nationalistic Nazi display thing too.  We both agreed.  These folks that are religiously nationalistic who pray in a way that looks like they are making a Nazi salute are the same people who complain about socialism, like that was the problem with the Nazi’s.  Yes, they were a democratic nationalist socialist party.  But the socialism wasn’t what made them evil.  The democracy part of the agenda was jettisoned as well so that wasn’t the problem despite all the recent rhetoric about how evil democracy is. No, what made the Nazis so bad was that they were religiously nationalistic.  In pretty much the same way that the good folks in this church seem to be.  And that’s why what I witnessed tonight didn’t just creep me out. It actually scared me quite a bit.

I realize it’s just a nationalistic song sung with religious ferver. But that’s exactly why it’s so scary.  On the plus side, I did get to pet a camel.

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