ABC News reported that First Baptist Church of Fort Lauderdale, FL, will be spending 1.3 million dollars on their Christmas pageant. When asked why the church was spending so much on such a lavish production, the pastor explained that his church had to compete with other entertainment options in Florida. Of course. Again, we have churches competing with the entertainment industry not understanding that accepting that premise leads to a host of decisions that fundamentally changes what the church is. When asked why the money wasn't being used for a charitable cause, especially around Christmas, the pastor replied that the $35 entrance fee was being waived for financially challenged families. Jesus must be crying with joy at that bit of magnanimity.
Someone please tell me why churches must do these dog and pony shows every year. It's one of those assumptions that always goes unchallenged. Dear pastors: you don't have to have a pageant. You just don't. Take the money and give it to a homeless shelter. How many months of budget do you suppose 1.3 million would cover for a homeless shelter? Are church folk so daft that they don't see the bitter irony of spending that sort of money to entertain their own people while others are starving outside their doors? Merry fucking Christmas.
On an equally bizarre note, Mike Huckabee told a church group that his recent surge in poll numbers in Iowa was a result of a supernatural power. "The same power that enabled a little boy to feed multitudes with five loaves and two fish." Of course. Jesus wants Mike to win, and you know Jesus is crazy about polls. There are those on the Right who wonder why people like me toss the word theocratic around when people like Huckabee show up. The idea that Jesus wants him to win is laughably absurd. Only in evangelical America would anyone take a candidate who says that seriously.