Earlier today, I saw on the computerweb (here, in fact) a photo of a placard with “Hell’s Most Wanted” written at the top, followed by quite a comprehensive two-column list of serious trangressions that would have you sent to hell (many of which I’m repeatedly guilty of, as would just about human being in history). It had the usual suspects on it: liars, thieves, lesbians, homosexuals (apparently lesbians are different to homosexuals, somehow), gamblers, drunkards, pagans, witches, hypocrites, psychics, pot-smokers, child molesters and, um…sports fans. Yes, apparently god disapproves of organised competitive activities (so the Crusades would have been somewhat out of bounds, one would think, wouldn’t one? Eh? God?). But more on sport later in the bulletin.
So, anyway, there I was, naively thinking that being a non-murdering, non-thieving, non-raping, generally honest employee of a respected humanitarian organisation as well as a faithful husband, caring beagle & tree-frog keeper and loving son, brother, friend, bandmate and tax payer with a good credit rating, paid-up private health insurance and spotless driving record was going to be enough to keep me from being double-teamed by well-hung (and most likely barbed) Hitler & Stalin robots, in a furnace, for all eternity. Silly me. Shows how much I know, with me fancy book-smarts and such-like.
But wait…isn’t wrath a deadly sin? That sign (complete with a flame job at the bottom) looked to have been marinated in rich, spicy wrath for at least a week – but I guess it’s okay because it’s god’s wrath, faithfully interpreted by the faithful and imposed on unsuspecting viewer’s eyeballs in a place prominent enough to be snapped by a passer-by. As Chief Wiggum might say: “That’s some good wrath, boys. Wah.”
Interesting list there, though. I’ll take it as given that noone likes child-molesters (except the Nu-Roman Empire – they seem happy to let paedophiles colonise an area & deplete its resources before re-deploying them to continue their work elsewhere) and that most people would happily see the bastards roast, at least for a little bit anyway – but (small “l” liberal alert) even regarding unconscionable acts like child rape, I’m still opposed to the idea of infinite punishment for a finite crime. But child molestation aside, the rest of that list is pretty innocuous – for a reasonable person anyway & so long as the transgressions aren’t purposely intended to hurt people. Lying (illegal under oath) and thieving (illegal pretty much all the time), certainly aren’t admirable but can be excused in desperate circumstances. Shit, even if you are lying to a lawyer (oh the humanity!) or nicking someone’s car, I’m not quite sure you deserve eternal prison-love…
A lot of those other supposedly hell-worthy crimes are understandable, if only from a Christian fundie nutjob point of view (because they generally seem to involve adults doing what they want with their own time and not harming anyone else – and non-biblical enjoyment of any kind is clear-cut blasphemy in the eyes of your average bible-bashing wowser), but there’s one bunch of heinous sinners that struck me as a little out of place: sports fans.
Yup, sports fans! I presume this means any & all people who enjoy particular sports and like watching them. People who go to (or watch broadcasts of) games or races or events and cheer their favourite performer or boo their opponents. People who wrap their whole lives up in their home team and name their kids after their favourite full-forward, or just people like me who like to watch a particular thing whenever it’s on and they have the time (MotoGP & Red Bull Air Race for the ultimate in winningness!). People who play for a living or just weekend warriors who like to have a kick with mates on a lazy afternoon. For some reason, enjoying a healthy outdoor activity, either by doing it or just watching it is going to get you sent to hell for an eternity of lordy knows what, but it’s possibly hot and probably invasive, at the hands of Satan’s little minions. But seriously, what the holy stinking fuck are these people thinking? Sport is evil now? The same vigorous physical activity fundies recommend to their kids to stop them masturbating?
What is it about sport that’s so damn nasty anyway? At first I thought it would have something to do with gambling, but gamblers have their own line on that placard. It occurred to me that the signwriters are probably going to alienate a lot of their key demographic with that sports fan line: imagine how many white southern Christian fundies roll up to NASCAR events each season! A lot of those people may well agree with most of that sign: consigning to hell all homosexuals, pagans, evolutionists, psychics and all those other unforgivable criminals seems almost second nature to southern US citizens (to me anyway, but I don’t live there and please correct me if there are some people south of the Mason-Dixon who would prefer to read & comprehend books instead of burning them or using them to prop up the short leg on their moonshine stills), but tarring every single NASCAR fan – not to mention the gazillions of hunters, anglers and devotees of other sports that involve killing god’s unarmed creatures (don’t get me wrong, bring on the surf n’ turf, but “sporting shooter” is a the biggest oxymoron ever – it’s only sporting if the duck you’re aiming at has cluster bombs) – with the hell-bound brush would be counter-productive, one would think. I mean, sure, go string up a faggot or burn a witch or beat Jake Gyllenhall to death with a tyre iron if that’s what gets you off, but try and stop me shootin’ some food with my M-60 and you can kiss my well-fed ass and suck lead! But hey, when did a fundie actually stop to think with his brain before parrotting whatever evil garbage his pastor told him about atheists, scientists or just everyday relatively moderate Christians?
By the way, don’t think my irony alarm didn’t almost bust when I saw “money-lovers” and “hypocrites” on that board. If you can line up sanctimonious, shit-eating grinners like Haggard, Hinn, Hagee, Huckabee and any other holy-high huckster starting with H (or not) who runs a tithe-funded mega-church and/or has their own TV show and doesn’t pay a got-durned cent to the revenooers, and somehow convince me they’re not just cynical, money-grubbing snake-oil selling bastards, fleecing their feeble-minded flock to fund their multi-million dollar mansions, limo fleets and Lear jets, I’ll eat not only my hat, but your hat and the hat of the man next to you.