(Repost — Earl Lee): Dogspell

Posted: February 24, 2015 in Christianity, Humor, Livin' in the USA, Religion
Tags: ,

My good friend Earl Lee died on February 19. He was smart, funny, kind, and generous.  The world is a much poorer place for his loss. I’m re-posting pieces by him this week; this is the third in the series, and shows a light but biting side of Earl’s writing.

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A new book recently came across my desk, called Dogspell: The Gospel According to Dog.  At first I thought maybe Dogspell was a new version of the musical Godspell, but using barking dogs — kind of like the Christmas music CDs put out by “Jingle Dogs” or the even more annoying “Jingle Cats” music CDs, where a group of cats meow out Christmas classics like “Here Comes Santa Claws” or “Meowy Christmas.”

As it turns out Dogspell is a book that wants to guide Christians to a better understanding of their relationship with God. According to the publisher, the author “uses [the] metaphor of [a] dog’s unconditional devotion to its human and the joy it finds in [this] relationship….”

This idea is disturbing in so many ways:

Can this be the spiritual goal of most Christians — to view the universe on all fours while sniffing the crotch of God?  And think of all the theological questions it raises.  Is it appropriate to hump God’s leg only on Sundays? Or Saturdays? Or should this be a daily ritual?

And then there is the question of Evil. How can we address the fact that I have fleas? Why doesn’t God do something about this? Get me a flea-collar!  Buy some flea powder!  Please, God, do something to clean up all these horrible problems in the world.

I love my neighbor. So can I ask God to send the city’s Mobile Spaying Unit to my neighbor’s house and “fix” them all? (Just my idea for cleaning up the local gene pool.)

What if it turns out that my God is violent and brutal, and he beats the hell out of me with a 2×4 and sells me out to dogfights, like Michael Vick? Am I still expected to lick his hand?

Why is it that people look up to the sky, searching for some invisible master, and abase themselves like dumb animals?

What is it about this idea that makes me want to lie down and lick my own ass, just to get the taste of this out of my mouth? Oops, I can’t reach. A little help here!

The religious never cease to amaze. Sometimes their weird ideas are pretty funny. Other times their violence and senseless bigotry are downright shocking. From female circumcision to abortion clinic bombings, these people are seriously disturbed. Maybe they’re trying to work out overwhelming feelings of worthlessness? At least that would explain the self-identification with dogs.

And their ideas and practices are truly crazy. Ritual cannibalism on Sundays. Confessing one’s “sins” to a pedophile in a dress. Not using birth control. Praying in front of candles and statues. Wishing for miracles. Denying dying children medical care. Then they accept whatever crazy shit the preacher tells them, and reject the evidence of their own eyes.

I know of a Baptist preacher in our town (pop. 18,000) who has a congregation of only 25 people.  Every Sunday (and Wednesday and Friday) he subjects them to 2 hours of yelling and personal abuse (I am not exaggerating).  Why do they put up with this jerk!  And worse yet, a few months ago he emptied the church bank account and left town. And some church members still want him to come back!  How sick is that?

I guess it does all comes back to the self-identification with dogs: Here boy! Good boy! Kill that unbeliever! Roll over for your heavenly daddy!

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This post originally appeared in Earl’s blog Libraries in the Age of Mediocrity.


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