Blech! Rain!

Today the weather here in D.C. is cold, rainy, and pretty miserable all around. I had a couple of comp days coming from my last business trip to NYC, so I took today off to write a story for FRETS. When Jenny gets home, we'll curl up with a video and some cocoa or something. ¡Qué romántico!



Last night Jenny and I watched the DVD of Saved!, the movie about a pious girl at a Christian school who gets pregnant by her gay boyfriend. Many hijinx ensue, of course. It started out pretty funny, in an independent film kind of way, but got progressively schlockier as the film wore on, until it morphed into just another feel-good, stupid teen Hollywood movie. Disappointing.

The premise of the movie, though was very true-to-life. If you've ever been exposed to these crazy, ultra-Christian youth groups and their insane brainwashing, you'll recognize that the film's directors did their homework. During middle and high school, I was sucked into this freaky world in a big way, even going so far as to be appointed to the WV state Baptist youth council (the committee of young people who plan all the year's events throughout the state).

The way these churches suck in impressionable youth is pretty insidious, really. They use peer-pressure, parties, and what seems to a 15-year old kid as compassion to lure you in, and before you know it, you're learning how to hate, instead of love. You're programmed to believe that Jesus is the only one who really loves you, that you should devote every waking second to Jesus and Jesus alone, and that he's always watching you. Then the real hate kicks in: The gays are going to Hell. The Catholics are going to Hell. The Rock and Rollers are going to Hell. The abortionists are going to Hell. African pygmies, the poor things, are going to Hell. One might ask, "who isn't going to Hell? The answer, of course, is "just us."

Thank god I had the miracle that is freedom-loving, open-minded parents as a counter-balance at home. Still, looking back, I have to cringe at my naivete. Some sore spots between the church and me: heavy metal music, abortion rights, my refusal to sign anti-porn petitions and join anti-porn boycotts, and the fact that they thought all my Catholic relatives were going to hell.

That's the ugly secret behind this brand of evangelical religion, they use hate and fear to motivate people instead of compassion and love. (Sound familiar since Nov. 2?) It's pretty sick when you think about it, and what's more, if they really believed in Jesus, they wouldn't do it. (Does "love thy neighbor as thyself" ring a bell?)


More Guitar Player and Frets articles on the way

I'm still getting work from GP and Frets, so I guess they like my writing. My Reverend Horton Heat article was held over until the January issue, and I'll be doing a BUZZ section article on this cool, instrumental band called Grails in the same issue. I've also been contracted to write a fairly long story on an expert guitar inlay artist for Frets. Let's hope the assignments keep on comin'!