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Sweatin’ to TBN

Let’s flip on through the channels. Channel surfing is a favorite pastime of mine, but lately it’s become a little dreary. But since I’ve occupied my morning by fixing my coffee maker, I’ll go ahead and get started. Although, television is getting boring. I think I’ll flip over to Youtube.com and see what’s on there. I’ll run a search on the first thing that comes to mind. Ooh, I know, what about “conversion”! Oh, look at that, the TBN YouTube channel is the first thing to come up. I’ll flip through and see what we have here.

Okay, snake handling, miracle baths, and an interview. I’ll check out the interview. Oh, it appears that Steve Borden is interviewing Vince Russo on TBN about his recent conversion to Christianity. If you don’t know, both of these guys were involved in professional wrestling in the late 90s, which was its biggest period for adult marketing. I’m talking an old lady giving birth to her much younger, blacker and bigger boyfriend’s young baby hand. I’m talking Viagra on a pole matches. Vince Russo wrote all of this edgy material and now suddenly he’s a Christian. Russo, a former pro-wrestling/porn writer turned Christian, turned pro-wrestling/porn writer. Steve Borden, known as Sting, obtained commercial success by ripping off the Crow and feeding from the success of a movie which was successful because of its star’s tragic death during its filming. Okay, I’m bored with this. He’s plugging a book. That’s why he converted. NEXT!

Oh, there’s Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachman going on in front of a horde of eager Christian spectators about how the war in Iraq was commanded by God. NEXT!

Oh, there’s Sarah Palin doing the same thing. Except she’s also talking about how man walked with dinosaurs. I thought she didn’t believe in the factual existence of dinosaurs. At least that’s what she said on television shortly after this, during the presidential primaries. Geez, and to think she’s plugging a book now too. NEXT!

As a side note, I’d like to point out how incredible the hair is on everyone at this station. I’d hoped the irony in the statement would be found even without punctuation.

Okay, now Kelly Copeland is telling women to do laundry in the name of God. Okay, now this is not only stupid but sexist too, if you ask me. But she really just asked, “Okay, ladies, if you’re doing laundry, if you’re grouchy about it, are you doing laundry in the love of God? Because when you do laundry in the love of God, you can get a harvest.” I don’t even know what that means in the first place. Harvest? Harvest of what? But how does, exactly, one do laundry in the name of God? Do you only wash your clothes on Sunday? Do you make sure to keep the clothing made by Jews, Hindus and Muslims out of the initial load, and just wash the “Christian” clothing? I’m sorry. Maybe I’m just naïve here, but I just don’t even get what’s going on anymore. NEXT!

I have no idea who this delightful man is, but let me quote what he just said, because my head is still spinning. And I’m sorry if this is poorly punctuated, because I only know how to punctuate English! “Words are things, or they’re word things, so when I say the words I just released a thing, but you don’t see the thing when I say it, you heard the thing before you saw it… because it’s heard before it’s said.” Wow, I’m sorry but I had to leave something out in the middle there, because I couldn’t hear it due to something crazy in my ear.

Mike Murdoch is now on talking about a woman who he met who was obviously just a desperate woman in need of help. What does the grand church of TBN do? Let me quote right from the man’s mouth, “A woman told me that her ex-husband has not paid child support in 15 years. I said, ‘Sow a seed for $58 just as a covenant between you and God. I’m not trying to buy a miracle – that’s absurd. Give God a seed of your faith – $58.’” Wow, so that’s what the church is all about, huh? A woman comes to you in desperation begging for some help because her ex-husband is a dead beat, and you hit her up for money? Yeah, because that’s Christ-like! I just hope her child’s school lunch money was well spent on a nice portion of that huge crystal palace at TBN. Oh, but it’s not done. In this same program he’s quoted in saying, “God talked to me and told me to tell them about the miracle of the $1,000 seed.” You know, for such an all knowing, all seeing and all powerful guy, God sure is pretty shitty when it comes to finances. Geez, the guy’s always broke. NEXT!

Okay, now Benny Hinn is talking to a “fella” who claims to have visited Heaven seven times. That’s pretty astonishing, I certainly must say! Being a person who’s only left this planet twice in my lifetime, I must say that seven visits to another invisible dimension is awfully incredible. Oh, you might be wondering what I’m talking about. In my younger years, I was taken up into a spaceship where I was taught by Martian tribal elders how to forge the Guardian Sword. Then, the second time was less pleasant, as I was, let’s just say, “experimented on”. But before I mention anymore about this, I should let you all know that what I’m talking about are the same exact experiences this man has probably had, should he not be lying. Those experiences are called, in the secular world, DREAMS!!! That’s right, it’s the same brain function that happens during a near death experience, and it happens every night. Your brain is programmed to hallucinate whenever things happen to it – things as normal as shutting down to go to sleep. These hallucinations cause people to see, hear and sometimes even feel things that aren’t really there – things that are just in their head. I talked to Vincent LaGuardia one night for what seemed like three hours, and all he was rambling on about was how the bread in hell was so dry and flakey. But it turned out that this whole experience only lasted about a minute and was part of the Rapid Eye Movement stage of sleeping. It’s the exact same thing and it’s nothing more than hallucinations. But Benny Hinn seems to have triggered some talking points, so I’ll stay with him for a while, okay? NEXT!

Okay, now it’s Benny Hill…I mean, Hinn, refusing to allow doctors into his ministry to inspect people after they’ve been “healed” by his “miracles”. There’s a shocker. NEXT!

Now Benny Hinn is walking around his enormous church shoving people. Oh wait, he’s healing them – my bad. He’s walking up and down the isle ways at the TBN mega-church and pushing over his audience members, calling it faith healing. Geez, talk about a bunch of pushovers. I apologize for that joke, but damn it, I’m leaving it in. NEXT!

Now he’s got a woman up on stage who claims to have been in a wheelchair when arriving at the program that night, from her crippling arthritis she’d had since 1966. He tells her to walk around on stage, lifting her legs high in the air, which to me looks a little bit like the old Nazi march. Then after she comes back around to him, he pushes her over. Her husband, only seconds later, joins Benny onstage to inform him that he watches his “program” every day. The wife shortly joins again, before Benny pushes both of them over by palming their faces. She gets back up and he pushes her over again. Seriously, what the hell is this guy’s problem. I knew a kid in second grade named Cody who used to push people all the time. I ran into him in my teens and kicked his ass. I think someone ought to do that to old Benny, here. But wait, I’m the Smiling Atheist – I can’t say things like that, now can I? But seriously, this guy is the Snake Oil Salesman from Hell.

But we’re talking about a guy who’s been brought up on more charges than that criminal Kent Hovind, or the self-hating homosexual to the left of this paragraph. But that brings up a point: why is it that all of these televangelists are brought up on so many charges? Oh, it’s because they’re frauds. And I don’t know who’s worse. I don’t know if it’s the greedy morons up on the stage, or if it’s their Christian protesters who call them frauds, and then proceed to call them the Anti-Christs spoken about in scripture. Do you not see what is bass-ackward about that? You’re both one in the same. You’re capitalizing on the fear of others to make your own gain.

I just want to put another side note in here that this is the reason that I compare the church with Big Tobacco. Seriously, if you don’t hook them young, you won’t hook them at all. If you tell a child something, he’ll believe it, because that’s what children are conditioned to do. But if you try telling those same stories to a 15 year old, he’ll look at you like you’re crazy. You see, every child is born an atheist, meaning that no child is born with knowledge of religion, therefore, no child believes in God. This is something that is taught to them, and it must be done at an early age. Apparently, the age of seven was too late for me, because that’s when my grandfather started telling biblical stories. And to me, it just sounded like the ramblings of an old man.

You see, I didn’t choose to be an atheist – it came as naturally as my desire to eat. Someone tells me that there’s something there that I can’t see, feel, smell, taste or hear, my response will be, “Okay, do you have any proof of that?” And quite frankly, that should come naturally to everyone, as every child should be taught to question authority. When you’re not taught to question authority and to believe whatever you’re told, things that all Abrahamic religions are adamant about, bad things happen. Do you know that there was a lobby group in Germany in the 30s called Jews for Hitler? There was, and that was a group of people believing what they were told instead of getting the facts themselves and formulating their own opinions. But that’s just something that revolves around good parenting, and good parenting, my diverse, reading friends, is something that’s almost as extinct as the dinosaurs. Just remember, you can’t spell believe without the word LIE. If you have to believe in something, then that something probably isn’t true.

I apologize for this rather somber version of The Smiling Atheist. I hope some of it was funny, but even a smiling atheist can get a little fed up watching stuff like this for an hour straight. And there were so many things that I purposely left out just because I couldn’t find anything funny about them – they were far too absurd, ridiculous, sad and demeaning to the intelligence of everyone watching them.

But since this was a somber blog most of the time, I’m going to end on a high note. I found this comic on a site called http://www.turnbacktogod.com,and I don’t know if they completely missed the point of it, but I don’t think it’s really to the point of “turning back to God”. In fact, I love it.

But anyway, this is The Smiling Atheist signing off, and I hope you smile a lot for me today, because I won’t be doing much of it now. Thanks for reading.


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