Sunday, August 31, 2003

It seems that, at current, Blogger's "Would you like to save this post?" function does about as much good as Gary Coleman's run for Governor...the good people at Blogger have vowed, however, to correct this problem, and I trust them implicitly, as you should always believe everything you read on the internet-- I can make a fortune working part time in these three easy steps, I will have a bigger penis, the American dream has been realized. Despite all the little hiccups the system has had to wipe out my writing-- the most frustrating thing for a writer, I can tell you-- my patience for blogger endures, and for one good reason: They were recently purchased by Google, and Google gives it's employees free ice cream. If that's not the American dream, I'll be damned if I can tell you what is.

And so it is that I apologize for the relative lateness of this post: as I mentioned before, the original text was lost to that distant internet heaven, a happy hunting grounds for the blocked pop-ups, missing images, and about a third of everything I've ever written.


The Greenwood Acres Full Baptist Church, of Shreveport Louisiana, is church dominated by black paritioners. Pastor Fred Caldwell, who heads up the church of about 4,000, finds himself tired of seeing the same black faces every Sunday and Thursday-- it's not a unique situation, reportedly. While we make strides to beat back racism in school, government, and the workplace, religion seems to be the one area that remains in a stagnant state of segregation. Churches all over the South are marked by one set of patrons or another. No, it's not a unique problem at all, but Fred Caldwell has come up with a unique solution (sic). Fred Caldwell's answer is simple: Pay 'em.

Five dollars an hour to attend mass on Sundays and Ten on Thursdays, specifically, for white people to attend the black church. Pastor Caldwell calls thinks of his idea as radical, and says "This isn't just a good idea. This is a God idea." The Pastor claims he is working to fulfill God's vision: A vision not of hatred, not of segregation, but of bribery.

So it seems Pastor Caldwell skipped the "Money is the root of all evil" part of the bible and skipped right to the part where Moses did the Egyptian's homework so they'd like him better. The craziest thing about the cock-eyed plan: Nobody seems to have a fucking problem with it. (At this point, I'd like to link to the article from USA Today that quoted supportive parishioners and even a religious official who agreed with the plan, but as the article was a few days old, it's either been moved or deleted. I can, however, point you in the direction of one article from the Los Angeles Times, currently featured or, which says it's "Not a bad idea" without a discernable hint of sarcasm-- which worries me. I can understand, almost forgive, the blind, ignorant approval of a bunch of backwoods sister-kissing Louisiana locals, but when a presumedly educated journalist from LA agrees with something like this, I have to take a step back and seriously assess the situation. The nation is going downhill, state by state, and when the whole state of California starts sinking into the Pacific, 30 million glossy-eyed, fake-breasted people are going to die with the words still coming off their lips: "Help us, Governor Coleman." But I digress.) Indeed, the officials think it's revolutionary, the black parishioners are offering their monetary support, and the white are suppressing their laughter. One new white member of the church, Forrest Hohman, is part of an anonymous cultural organization whose entire local chapter will be attending the Church. Hohman, too, is supportive, saying, "Well, if dem...want to pay us to go to their lil' black church, we'll take dat money, all right., you know, we's got costs. We need funds to buy some things we've been needing-- sheets, lighter fluid, crosses, y'know. Plus, we been meaning to scout out Got ourselves a new project, ya know?"

One cannot help but marvel at the progress we've made as a society. We've made it through slavery, the Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Civil Rights Movement, numerous race riots, and the reintroduction of Oprah's Book Club. Hundreds of years ago, white people forced Africans onto ships, taking them from their homes and forced them to work without payment and to worship the white God. Now, blacks are bringing white people from their homes via Volkswagens and paying them to worship...the god the white people gave them in the first place. It seems, after hundreds of years, we can finally begin to imagine a society where people are judged not by the color of their skin, but by their willingness to pay for our approval. Amen!

It seems the pastor, who, surprise surprise, has the dark shadow of a suicidal junkie lurking in his past, has missed the point: If you are going to be a leader of men, you must first learn how to instill the right motives. You cannot inspire people with threats, of false promises, or with money. If you're going to lead people to brotherhood and compassion, if you're going to accomplish a greater good, you must do it the way god intended: With ice cream.

All the races of Breyers, together in peace.

May Google be with you. On with it.