10/05/2009

das Opium des Volkes

I saw an add in a newsletter the other day for a "Gravity Ministry." The all-text ad includes the words "Come Closer to Our Lord Jesus Christ Through the Sport of Skydiving."

What the Fuck?


I've never understood the idea of an activity ministry and I've seen many. Basketball ministries, rafting ministries, music ministries, martial arts ministries, motorcycle ministries, English as a second language ministries. It's unending. A church near my apartment has a knitting ministry.

I long wondered, does playing basketball, rafting, playing guitar, learning Kung Fu, riding a motorcycle or knitting somehow enhance one's understanding of faith? Is there some religious epiphany to be had from doing mundane activities?

Then I realized that I had it entirely backwards. These people aren't coming to Jesus through these activities. They're making these activities more personally relevant by adding religion to them. I liken them to John Stewart's character from the movie Half Baked, the one who insists on trying everything he ever does while stoned.

I can hear the internal dialog now. "Have you ever been rafting?"

"Yeah, it's a lot of fun."

"Have you ever been rafting on JESUS?"

Further proof of Marx's assertion about the nature of religion.


submit to reddit

4 comments:

waldo said...

It's a scam, of course, roping the gullible out of community events. Isn't true though that many parachutists scream 'Jesus Christ!' as they hurtle towards the earth?

Ricardo said...

It's marketing. All marketing. the more activities hey can get into, the more reach they have. Silly but thin McDonalds.

RawkStahr said...

I think the point is to not only partake in an activity with your fellow peers, but to also enjoy them with those who share the same beliefs. I mean, if there were a Skydiving Pagans team/club, would you join?
...I also kept screaming "Oh My God! Oh My God!" as I hurtled toward Earth.

...all that being said, Jesus is a brand now. His name goes on EVERYTHING b/c it sells. I'm sure there's a Chia Jesus out there somewhere...

nursemyra said...

Rafting on Jesus sounds vaguely kinky to me