This will be brief. When the creepiest marketing agency in the world posted a story about the creepiest Idol winner of the ten seasons, I found it impossible not to make fun of at least one of them. The feel good story is about Scotty "This Smile I'm Wearing Means I Just Fucked Your Mom" McReery (McCreepy) wearing an "I am Second" bracelet during American Idol. I think this statement to the media from the organization is supposed to explain why it's important:
“In a competition where it is easy to get caught up in the greatness of ‘me,’ it is refreshing to see a young man who can remember who really is first,” said Mike Jorgensen, I Am Second executive director. “Though we have never spoken with Scotty about I Am Second, it is inspiring to see him take part in the movement and confidently display his faith to millions each week.”
I could point out that he could have displayed his faith by sticking up for the sweet, fat kid who could actually sing, but he chose to ask forgiveness later, rather than do the right thing when it mattered. (Now there's a rare phenomenon.) Nonetheless, it is Inspiring. Yes it is. In an age of rubber bracelets doing double duty as sacred relics and indicators that people who don't volunteer or give money still give a shit, that black bracelet means you needn't worry that Scotty wooed the cute, dumb, exponentially more talented girl so he could win the competition. (I do realize this is at least partially the fault of vapid teenage girls, but it looked like she threw the competition so as to keep her creepy man's love.) Nope. Scotty is second, not first. Jesus is first. And we know this because he too wore a bracelet...wait...fuck. Never mind. He carried a cross, but a bracelet will do in a pinch.
Anyone else see what's wrong with this? You can read this from the I am Second organization, if you don't know where I'm headed. Doesn't matter, though. You can read the entire website, but you won't be able to figure out why their math sucks. There is no explanation for that deficiency. The campaign ostensibly teaches believers that they are not first; Jesus is. They manage to throw in "others" as well, but by my calculations, that would mean the bracelet should say "I am Third," assuming we count others as a collective noun and assign them the value of 1. If they are actually individuals, a category American believers fuckin' adore, then the bracelet would need to be custom made depending on the specific believer's peer group, church size, school size, and facebook friend count. (Google+ is not an issue at this point.)
For example, I don't have a church, but I have 747 fb friends, roughly 50 students (during this summer term), a family, a handful of friends, and a galaxy of acquaintances. My bracelet, if I was inclined to embrace the Christian ethic, would need to say, "I am 1843." This seems petty, but most commandments that are inconvenient seem petty to people of faith (turn the other cheek, don't resist an evil person, don't have sex with your pet...well, not that one). Mr. McCreery isn't second. Nor is anyone else who wears the bracelet. By their own theological math, their number should be far larger. It's yet another goofy example of how individualistic thinking has invaded the Church, and how practitioners of a faith can utter phrases that are completely contradictory to what they allegedly believe and be completely sure they are speaking some deep, spiritual truth.