Monday, July 13, 2015

The Sacrament of the Holy Hot Dog

Hey guys. Bryan here. It's no secret that my wife likes to volunteer. She has a huge heart and enjoys helping others in every way she can... which I think is just her way of canceling out the terrible things that I do on a regular basis.







But finding a good volunteer program is hard. Not because it's difficult to become a volunteer, but because many of the organizations here are run by churches. Which is fine, except many of them try to push their church and their beliefs onto their volunteers, going so far as to either reject or guilt trip their volunteers simply for not being diehard churchgoers.








Perhaps the worst of these so-called volunteer programs was an organization loosely called "Hot Dogs for the Homeless." The premise was simple: every weekend, the group met down at the Denver Rescue Mission* to feed the homeless.

*Fun fact: this is actually the location where our Slim Dyson novel was set, and Slim's rotating home away from home

Everyone's job was to hand out hot dogs and refreshments to the homeless people (there were hundreds), and to talk to them. Just make them feel cared about. Well... that's what the organizers said. What they really meant was "preach about Jesus until their ears fall off." Which my wife did not want to do.

So every weekend, each homeless person was given a hot dog and then preached to by morons that have no business spouting anything about life lessons, while the homeless relented and listened because hey, at least I get free food. Basically a captive audience in the most shitty, degrading way possible. "I'm feeding you, so now you HAVE to listen about Jesus." That might sound exaggerated, but that really was the way it was spun.




Everything about them was aggressive. The way they preached to the homeless: in not so many words insinuating that if they didn't turn to Jesus RIGHT NOW they'd be homeless forever and die. The way they preached on their Facebook pages: "Look at me, here's 106 pictures of last night's event! I'm being a good person! Do you see me being a good person? Aren't I good? VALIDATE ME!" And even the way they preached to my wife: "We're starting to get really concerned about you. You NEED to come to our church to get the 'full experience', otherwise you're just a half-assed heathen*".

*Incidentally, Half-assed Heathen is the name of my upcoming Indie electronica project

And it didn't help that they were every bit as stupid as they were stubborn. One night, while serving hot dogs, one of the homeless wobbled up to them, muttered weakly, "Please help," and then collapsed on the street and started seizing violently. This was how everyone responded.

My wife: Somebody call an ambulance!
The idiot woman running this thing: No, stand back! Nobody call anyone! I'm going to pray for him until he stops dying!
Some other moron: I know, let's ALL pray for him, loudly, like an obnoxious Indian war dance! Chanting nonsense certainly trumps calling trained medical professionals!


I wish I was kidding about that. That really happened, and if an ambulance hadn't arrived shortly afterwards, that poor guy probably would have been toast.

Needless to say, the wife stopped going. Ultimately, she chose staying home and doing nothing over going out to help people and spending 4 hours getting incessantly harped at by all of the organizers for not sharing their every exact opinion or going to their church. Which is not just sad but infuriating.

You can't just hold someone who's starving hostage with a cheap piece of food and scream at them about Jesus until they believe, anymore than I can point a gun to your head and force you to read one of our books until you tell me you love it. I wish I could. That'd be awesome for book sales. But I also know that's not how life works.


But, you know, if you want to eat The Sensationally Absurd Life and Times of Slim Dyson on your own free will, it's a pretty damn good novel that humanizes the homeless community, starring a positive, happy-go-lucky homeless writer whose only want is to write. Or you could read it. That's good too.

Regardless, if I'm ever sick or feeling down, please do pray for me. I appreciate it. But if I've just been shot in the abdomen by a double-barrel shotgun and my insides are oozing onto the outside, then for God's sake, don't pray for me. Call a fucking ambulance.

Cheers and stay classy, friends,
Bryan (and Brandon)

Music: Dustin Tebbutt
Beer: Big Choice Poblano Stout

(A big thanks to Riot Kitty for reminding me of these ridiculous people)

125 comments:

  1. Our church does things like that, but we don't ram it down anyone's throat. We wear our shirts so people know which church we belong to and if someone wants to engage us about our church or Jesus, we talk to them about it.
    And one does not have to belong to a church to be a Christian. It's a great place to go to be fed, but one can read the Bible and worship anywhere.

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    1. "Live by example." To me, that seems like the way it should be done. Good for your church. With these people, it was all appearances. Let everyone see how good we are, that we're the goodest of the good, and ain't nobody gooder than us. You only wish you was this good.

      Which, uh, is funny, considering I thought Jesus taught modesty, so...

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  2. "my upcoming Indie electronica project"
    This had better be an actual no-jokes thing. I approve of the name, so let me hear those beats and I'll lay down my verdict.

    Apparently you go to hell for not believing in God, if you've been given the chance. If you've never heard of God or Jesus before, and then some pushy churchgoer starts telling you all about how great they are, then they've basically sent you to hell (assuming they can't motivate you to become a believer).

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    1. Let's be honest, modern electronica isn't all that hard to create, so I guess I've already conquered the hardest part - make a killer band name. So Skrillex, watch out! There's a NEW legendary DJ* on the rise!

      *pressing play on my Macbook for a club full of drugged out teenagers

      I can use my music as a way of spreading the word of God to those who had never heard it before, thus condemning them to eternal fire. Gotta really live up to the band name, you know.

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  3. A friend of mine volunteered for the Salvation Army and she told me it was like this. But on a far less bad scale. They at least allowed her to volunteer despite being a trans heathen. She was always looked down on though and described it as a toxic environment. I try to focus on the actual good Christians and the nice people of any faith (or no faith) but every once in a while you find dicks like this. Not to mention you can't really complain too loudly because at least they're feeding the homeless. These people are at least getting a nice meal. When someone is dying and you don't call an ambulance would be where I have to draw the line. That's just not cool.

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    1. If anyone takes anything away from this post, I don't want it to be that I hate Christians or I think they're idiots. I just hate the assholes that give good Christians a bad name. Dear world: not every Christian thinks the world is 6,000 years old and believes that you can pray away the gay or pray away a massive seizure.

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  4. I'm surprised that living in a big city (you're in Denver, right?) that she's having trouble finding secular volunteer opportunities. Is this just a help-the-homeless-organization limitation? A lot of places that seem like arts organizations have children's education programs that desperately need volunteers.
    If there's a better use for gif technology than to animate a purple-faced homeless man's tongue, I haven't seen it. I really hope that wasn't a real situation. Don't they know to call an ambulance because God has His hands full manipulating all sporting events?!?

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    1. Ewww, children. Gross. Why would people help those? No, it's just seemingly bad luck on my wife's part. She already volunteers with children doing the dog reading thing, so this was mostly to do something different and help the homeless.

      And as I said in the post, that really happened. You can't make this shit up. These people genuinely thought that if they just stood around chanting Jesus's name over and over that a man who was dying would just stop dying and then stand up and say thank you for making me not die.

      And unfortunately, God's currently tied up with helping me win the lotto, which is why the Broncos haven't won the Super Bowl in a few years. My bad, guys.

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  5. I cannot believe the things people expect God to do for them. Such a pity that your wife cannot find a good place to help the homeless. I cannot stand people who push their religion at you. If I want to know anything I will ask, thank you very much.

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    1. Sadly, it seems like it's about pride. After all, if the man having a seizure got up and was okay, they could say that THEY saved him (through the power of Christ, which is secondary of course). And if he had died, then there was nothing they could have done, but at least they tried their hardest. See how they're always the hero in this tale? It's pretty sickening. They were even bragging after that their prayers must have worked because the ambulance got there so fast.

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  6. I have no time for such idiots. I've met a few and I simply told them to "f*** off" and then they started chanting I'm going to hell. The expression on their face when I first said it was priceless, like they shit their pants lol Never seen any so moronic that they would sit around and pray though when someone was dying. They give morons everywhere a bad name.

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    1. I find that smiling and saying, "I'm a registered sex offender" is a great way to get, well, pretty much anyone to leave you alone instantly. But especially a religious nut.

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  7. Bryan:
    What you described is EXACTLY the type of religious "fervor" that turned me off of similar things.
    And I'm a Christian...spent my time BEHIND the pulpit, too.
    I never found a reason to JAM anything down anyone's throat (unless it was an artificial airway designed to keep the person breathing...lol).

    And maybe that's why I'm ALWAYS "at odds" with all this PC-BS being drummed into our skulls.

    Besides...wasn't it always said that "God helps those who help themselves"?
    Sure, the poor (and homeless) will ALWAYS be with us, but if some churches want to mix preaching with free grub...fine.
    If you can contribute otherwise to aid the needy...fine.
    And if you choose to start ANY form of CHARITY...say, at home (because that is where it begins), that is ALSO fine.
    With people...one "size" does NOT always fit all.

    Very good post.

    Stay safe out here.

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    1. I don't suppose you could hook up one of those artificial airways to one of the goobers I mentioned above and pump raw sewage into their throats? Then instead of calling for help I'll just pray for them, and see how well that works out for them.

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  8. Proving, yet again, that there's no such thing as a free lunch.

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    1. I think most of these homeless would rather just pay the dollar for the hot dog and be done with it.

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  9. I'm involved in church and I volunteer a lot - everywhere. If someone who needs help in put in your path - help them! I've never asked what someone's beliefs might be and I never will. But everyone is a person deserving of love and having their needs met, one way or the other. There's a whole lot of ways to be broken: the homeless, the heartless, the Bible loving or Bible battering, the left or the right.

    I've just about given up on the message of loving and respecting everyone, however. I've given up on the concept of freedom for anyone or the absence of prejudice. The loudest voice will always turn into a bully towards another group of people. The participants change, but the vibe is the same.

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    1. The Bible says love thy neighbor... but it doesn't say anything about having to like them.

      There's no worse bully than a bully who thinks he's actually doing the right thing. I don't have patience for that either. My wife's far too kind. I would have hit them with vile, verbal filth until they had to bathe in holy water.

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    2. I always say that love and approval are not he same thing. Self-righteousness of all varieties won't help anyone on any level and it just about makes your message disappear like magic.

      I always tell my kids that when you are having a discussion with anyone, particularly when your views are opposing, make sure you both walk away feeling like you were heard and what you said mattered. Because it does! It matters to you. And if you don't care about what someone is saying - why are you talking to them? That's the ultimate hypocrisy.

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    3. That's a damn good lesson. But I bet they don't talk on the Internet much, do they?

      The Internet - the official home of screaming at someone you don't know because you're too stubborn and too self-righteous to listen to what they say

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  10. I saw on our local news that a preacher of a church that handled snakes got bit and died, Of course they didn't take him to the hospital, and of course the next week his son was the new preacher and was handling the same snake. I think they should have clearly won the Darwin Award

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    1. Oh yes, I read about that. That was you guys, too? I almost feel bad for you, with all of these terrible stories always coming from Kentucky. It can't be good for tourism.

      "Come see the place where stupid people do stupid things and die."

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    2. Today, my daughter is at the court house protesting the latest idiot. If I didn't live here I sure wouldn't want to visit. At least the snake dumbass was a few counties over. But the county clerk drama is right in our front yard. Almost literally because we can walk to the court house. At least we are not home to the guy who lit a firework off his head and promptly died because he blew his skull apart.

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    3. No matter how shitty your hometown is, there's always a town that's slightly shittier. That's practically our motto!*

      *Having been born and raised in a very shitty town

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  11. I've heard so many horror stories about the Salvation Army that I will now punch those bell ringers at Christmas when I see them. Which sucks for them because I'm pretty sure they are not responsible for the horrible policies of the Salvation Army at all.

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    1. Oh, those punchable sumbitches know exactly what they did.

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    2. Okay...that made me laugh...bwahahaha

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  12. Religious crazies never have any sense

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    1. I would say "they sure put the crazy in religious crazy" but that seems a bit redundant.

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  13. On the flip side of the problem, why is it only church groups doing anything to feed the homeless? In our area, a lot of churches open their doors during the winter so the homeless can sleep out of the cold. I don't know how much preaching goes with that. A hot dog seems like a crappy meal to be forced fed religion with. Crazy is one of those things that is without borders or prejudices. Find it everywhere.
    Susan Says

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    1. I bet they mostly did it for that killer alliteration. "Sandwiches for the Homeless" just doesn't quite have the same ring to it.

      And that's the kicker - the wife wants to help the homeless, but the overwhelming majority of organizations that help the homeless are church based. Step up your game, secular folk.

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  14. Ick. I hate hypocrites like that, and they exist in every religion. Some are more subtle than others, but they are everywhere. And it's definitely infuriating. You can read pretty much any section of the New Testament, and you'll have a very good chance of finding a passage about humility and doing your charitable acts anonymously, because if you're doing it for no other reason than to gain the praise and attention of everyone around you, you are doing it for the wrong reasons!

    I could go on about this for a while, as it is one of my biggest pet peeves, but I think I will stop here before I start punting babies. (Nice distance on your punt, by the way. I hope you got doused in Gatorade for that one!)

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    1. PS: "Half-Assed Heathen" is the best band name I've heard in a while! Let me know when your first album comes out!

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    2. It's a pet peeve of mine as well, in case you couldn't tell. "All glory goes to God!... now give me all of your glory! I need it so badly!"

      It makes me want to rip a hole in their body, an orifice in which to shove nothing but glory. A glory hole, if you will.

      And not to tease, but coincidentally, the forthcoming album is called Glory Hole.

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    3. That is the perfect album title! I can see that Half-Assed Heathen has chosen a most excellent front man. I can't wait to hear one of those wicked kazoo solos!

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    4. There's a 10 minute beat-boxing armpit fart solo that brought my wife to tears.

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    5. As it would any sensitive soul.

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  15. Yup, I know exactly what you mean.

    Although that said, I'm often harped on for my willingness to go to many different churches and the fact that I believe that every church is basically just an opinion on certain things, most of which don't even determine where I'm going to end up after I die. (Prime example being baptism.)

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    1. That reminds me of a great Emo Philips joke.

      Once I saw this guy on a bridge about to jump. I said, "Don't do it!" He said, "Nobody loves me." I said, "God loves you. Do you believe in God?"

      He said, "Yes." I said, "Are you a Christian or a Jew?" He said, "A Christian." I said, "Me, too! Protestant or Catholic?" He said, "Protestant." I said, "Me, too! What franchise?" He said, "Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Baptist or Southern Baptist?" He said, "Northern Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist or Northern Liberal Baptist?"

      He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist." I said, "Me, too! Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region, or Northern Conservative Baptist Eastern Region?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region." I said, "Me, too!"

      Northern Conservative†Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1879, or Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912?" He said, "Northern Conservative Baptist Great Lakes Region Council of 1912." I said, "Die, heretic!" And I pushed him over.

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  16. Ah, the religious craziness. When I was in university, every organization I volunteered for seemed to have a political agenda, and now living in Indiana, it's the religious agendas. Hmm... I wonder if our local First Church of Cannabis has any programs that help people.

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    1. I don't know if that's a real thing, but if it is, you KNOW they have plenty of snacks. Now they just need to start "Edibles for the Homeless."

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  17. I wholeheartedly agree with how disgusting and infuriating this is. That's not charity. It's closer to enslavement. But the tongues bit is fabulous.

    You also did a great, sensitive and entertaining job with Slim Dyson.

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    1. You know, the crazy thing about Slim is that we both felt really positive after writing that book. I guess it's hard not to, after writing about the world's most positive guy. Other novels have been great but not left us feeling quite the same after. For example, I love writing Tuck, but he also just makes me sad for our country.

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    2. It's fascinating how we create our characters, but then they - in a way - create us. If I were writing about someone like Tuck, I think I'd be haphazardly falling all over the place, but with all good intentions. I hope the laughs outweigh the sadness, because he's hysterical.

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  18. I have heard of people refusing blood at hospitals due to their religious views and a thousand other stories. As for the volunteering, whatever happened to tolerance and love for our fellow human being, no matter their situation. In the Bible Jesus fed thousands of people, and I don't recall him forcing people to convert because of bread and fish.

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    1. Or posting 100 selfies on Facebook after. "Feeding the poor, y'all! #Swag #Humble4Life"

      Seems that lately we only love our fellow man if they agree with us. If they don't, then they are the enemy. Sad. Thanks for the great comment, sir.

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  19. Beliefs are personal, and I reject the idea that religion should be shoved down the throats of non-believers. That's probably why I like the spiritual Pacific Northwest where studies have shown we like to be more in touch with the spiritual nature of things, and yoga and communing with whomever we like in the stars beyond. Organized Religion is one of those things I was forced to consume growing up-all brands except the one centered in Italy. I have my own ideas about belief which I don't have to tell others about. What you do counts more that what you say you do, and bragging about it makes it less than, IMO.

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    1. We're both with you on that. We all have our own paths to the ultimate truth, and I firmly believe that it's a personal journey. Each person's is different. And as such, I can't tell you to follow my truth any more than you can tell me to follow yours.

      For what it's worth, the most meaningful spiritual experience I've ever had was in an ancient temple in Ayutthaya, Thailand, surrounded by monks that didn't speak a word of English. Or speak a word, period.

      Don't tell my diehard Catholic grandma. She'd probably have an aneurysm.

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  20. This is one of the things that makes it easy to ridicule people who believe in God. Christian is now a dirty word and making fun of them is actually the politically correct thing to do. And it's easy given the high profile stupidity one sees coming out of churches these days. You've got the rich churches on tv lying to people, taking their money and then engaging in the most heinous of behaviours. You have the snake charmers (from comment above) and you have those Christians who want all gays to burn in hell. These people are vocal and they bring it on themselves. What bothers me is that you never hear about the good, simple, kind, honest people who believe in God. We're all painted with the same brush and that's just not right. I'm not saying these kind of people should be spared public ridicule, they shouldn't. And I wish they'd stop making the rest of us look bad.

    I'm going to say something that sounds really awful, that makes me sound like a racist pig, but I don't care. If it's okay to make fun of the obviously horrible, stupid things Christians do, why can't we make fun of the horrible, stupid things African Americans do? These people are killing each other on their own streets every day. They kill their own children in drive by shootings. They enslave their own neighborhoods using drugs, guns and fear. They kill cops, write songs and brag about it. The gangs prey on young girls in their neighborhoods and pimp them out when they're as young as 13 years old. These guys are pedophiles, pimping to other pedophiles. Now because they have black skin, we can't call them out on it. We can call out the Catholic Church for pedophilia. When one of their own people are killed they burn and loot their own neighborhoods. Yet, we can't say anything about it. We can't make meme's that ridicule this obviously stupid behaviour. And now we have these idiot white people bending over backwards to prove they're not racists, whilst ignoring this reality. I'd like to see a meme of a gang banger shooting a five year old, driving a car full of guns and money with his hand out for his welfare check, screaming "why can't I get a job at a bank?"

    So let's direct all our hate and outrage at the one group that can handle it. People who believe in God. It's got to go somewhere and everyone else is off limits right now.

    Hey, I bought the book, read it and reviewed it. It was most excellent!

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    1. Anne, you're a saint among women. Not just for your support of our writing, but for your unapologetic fuck you to political correctness.

      And it's not just that good people who believe in God are getting lumped in with the idiots like Westboro. What annoys me is that now that science has decided it officially has the answers for everything in the universe, anyone who believes in any kind of higher power is now a mouth-breathing moron who's stuck in the stone age. You believe in God? Okay, so that means you believe the earth is 6,000 years old, a magic man in the sky waved his magic wand to create the world, and you clearly have the intelligence of a toddler. I fucking hate it.

      As a comedy writer, my rule has always been the same - if you're going to make fun of someone, make fun of everyone. Always have, always will. It just sucks that some groups get wildly offended when you poke fun at them. You want to talk about some real scorn? Try making fun of a transgender. Try joking in any way about Bruce/Kaitlyn Jenner. Anything even remotely resembling a joke is now practically a hate crime in the eyes of the social justice warriors.

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    2. As a scientist I can say in all honesty that data is faked all the time. When I was a grad student one of my studies showed that that the amygdala was shrinking in response to stress. Now that ran contrary to the findings of my adviser when she did her grant proposal. She wanted me to change the results of my study. I wouldn't do it. What I did do is go back over all of her original data. I pulled every single stained amygdala slide she used to support her hypothesis. And then I repeated all of the stereology on those slides. Took me all summer. What I found out was that she lied, faked every one of those cell counts. What did she do? Well she hired a Ph.D. from Poland, who had a family and wanted to immigrate. Then she pressured him into writing a paper based on another batch of faked data. Also, one of my fellow grad students faked every experiment of her entire dissertation. It was common knowledge that she did it, it was acceptable, it was business as usual. Don't automatically believe everything science says. It lies, it has to in order to receive grant monies. It's also subject to social pressures and has to conform to stay in business.

      I hadn't heard of social justice warriors. That's a great term. The internet is full of those turds and it's time to flush those bastards down the proverbial toilet. No, you don't dare touch the holy Bruce/Kaitlyn with a joke. Ya, he/she has a right to be herself and that's cool. But, let face it, there's comedy gold to be mined from that story. Bruce/Kaitlyn's face is as fake as Kim K's big, fat, overly large, deformed looking arse. But you can't make that joke or they'll lynch you.

      As WASP males, you guys are fecked. Everyone can call you names and try to guilt trip you for every social injustice committed since time memorial. And you're supposed to shut up and take it. I've at least got the whole being a woman thing going for me. And if push comes to shove, I can lie and say I'm a lesbian. That would almost make me untouchable. However, I'm still held back by my extreme whiteness. But in a world where what's real is no longer real, that's no impediment to me as I can always say "Inside I've always felt Asian." Bingo-bango-I'm a minority and now have a trifecta of protection. The only downside to being Asian woman is that I'd be an even worse driver than I already am :0)

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    3. So am I to understand that Bill Nye the Science Guy might have lied to me? Because he has "Science" in his very name. That's, like, the entertainment equivalent of a PHD.

      Thanks to the Bruce/Kaitlyn Jenner thing and the Rachel Dolezal thing, you're not the only one who can claim that. I feel that deep down I'm an Asian woman on the inside, and you can't tell me otherwise! If you do, you're a racist transphobe and the wrath of the Internet will strike you down.

      Oh, and don't forget that we're both part Mexican, but we're white as paper and don't speak Spanish, so... we might as well just be a bunch of overprivileged white crackers.

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    4. I know you're part Mexican, but the white part of you is guilty of oppressing the Mexican part of you and that's why you don't speak Spanish. That's also what has caused you to suppress the urge to lay tile for skinny, rich white women for nearly no pay at all :0)

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  21. Sadly. I do not retain what I read anymore, or I'd be able to tell you where the Bible speaks about giving anonymously.

    I loathe the "look at me" breed of Christians, although they are simply reflecting our "look at me" society.

    Church stickers and Jesus fish on the bumber, personalized "WWJD" bumper stickers...but see if they'll let you merge!

    A former co-worker one told me it did not matter what he did, that since he believed he was in the club and saved!

    I believe that if someone truly embraced Christianity, I would see it in their actions long before they had a chance to spew about it.

    Now excuse me, I have to go get caught up with the Kardashians...WWKD?

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    1. Church stickers and Jesus fish on the bumber, personalized "WWJD" bumper stickers...but see if they'll let you merge!

      L.C., that's a great quote. That could practically be its own bumper sticker.

      "And Jesus said, thou shalt let in the car ahead of them, unless they're going too slow or thou art in a huge hurry, in which case thou can lay on thine horn and flip them off for they have undoubtedly scorned thee."

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    2. "For the car that tryeth to mergeth in the front of you is driven by Satan, and must be denied...get thee behind me, Satan-car!"

      The Book of Detroit, Chapter 5, Verse 3

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  22. Slim Dyson seems almost to upbeat and happy for my tastes. I bought THE GRAVEYARD SHIFT cuz I like scary. The book better live up to the hype. I expect a lobster dinner with expensive German wine to give you a decent review though. No hot dogs, no preaching, certainly no beer. Of course, I'm a sucker for a good axe murder story, so you could send me an axe that is appropriately bloodied and I'd be bribed, heheheh.

    As a social worker I've run into my share of charitable events that require church affiliation. I hate that people have to go to the church of the charity to get assistance. One of the things that turns me off about substance abuse counseling is you have to consistently pray and all is forgiven, not your fault. Turn your life over to God and its ok that you beat your kids and left them alone on the street without food for days while you spent hundreds on a drug run.

    Perhaps when the aliens come down and enslave us all the good people who go to church will make it easier on them by gathering in one place so the rest of us can run and find a really good hiding place :)

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    1. Brandon crafts axes, so if you want a bloodied axe, you'd be hard pressed to find a better one. Bet it could cleave through a buttered lobster like... well, butter.

      Graveyard Shift is near and dear to our hearts for how dark it is, so if Slim is sunshine and rainbows, then consider Graveyard Shift the dark pit of despair... in the best way possible, of course.

      And yes, people abuse that whole God forgives thing a little too much. The idea is not to do it again and learn from it, not to keep doing it but totally get forgiven each time.

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  23. I was raised mormon, my grandparents were Baptist and my mom's grandfather was a baptist minister. My dad's family was mormon and so we had to go to primary school each day after school and we had bible study at home. One day when I was 10 years old, it was raining really hard out and it was cold so instead of wearing a dress or skirt to primary school I wore pants. When the bus dropped us off, I was told I had to sit outside on the steps in the cold rain because I had worn pants. An hour later when everyone came out and we got back on the bus and was driven home I told my parents what happened and that I was never going back. They never made me go back. For a while as an adult I was Wiccan but now I'm Agnostic. I think it's so ridiculous to be preaching like that to homeless people who just want something to eat. A few years ago the minister from the church was going door to door inviting people to his church down the street and when he and his kids knocked on my door and asked if they could come in and talk about jesus, I said, " I'm busy right now sacrificing a chicken. Can you come back later?" He mumbled something and I haven't seen him again. lol

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    1. We get a lot of door to door preaching around my neighborhood. Go figure, answer the door in your underwear and people won't be so quick to want to come in. Hey, God made me this way, jackass! What are you running from?

      What a crazy story. I'm just impressed your parents listened to you and didn't force you to go back. A lot of times, parents side with the church/primary school pretty blindly.

      Delete
  24. Why can't people just help people and leave religion out of it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because ultimately, it's more about making themselves feel good than making those who truly need it feel good.

      Delete
  25. Unfortunately, I have known quite a number of those people. Well, probably not the ones you have in Colorado, but they're pretty much the same everywhere.

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    1. One time they sent my wife a Facebook message inviting her to come over to one of their houses that afternoon to "sing worship songs." Not wanting to be mean, my wife waited until 11:30 at night and finally responded with, "Oh, sorry, didn't see this until now."

      Their response? "Oh, that's okay. We're still here."

      Delete
  26. Was this charity, by any chance, run by the Westboro Baptist Church?

    (Who are so awful that no real churches will claim them as legit.)

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    1. No, otherwise the story would have ended with them bashing one of the gay homeless men's faces in with a wooden plank. And my wife, in turn, getting out "the shiv."

      Delete
  27. Isn't it nice that religious people can self-reinforce their own delusion that they're the only ones who can be good people rigging the system like this? Isn't that wonderful?

    I think people run into that same problem with things like AA as well.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. "Well, I don't see anyone else out here feeding the homeless on a Friday night." <- something I could imagine them saying

      Maybe if I get rich enough I could troll these people by introducing my own ridiculous religion themed help program. "And this is calamari by Cthulhu. All of the homeless will be dining on exquisite seafood tonight, thanks to the tender, loving tentacles of Cthulhu. Why? Because I don't see anyone else out here feeding the homeless calamari on a Friday night."

      Delete
  28. I'm really sorry your wife had that kind of experience with volunteering, but tell her not to give up. It isn't all like that. I have to admit that most of the volunteer work I did was through the church, but we never made an issue of religion. We helped people because they needed help. Period. But I'm sure there are some secular opportunities in your area, too.

    Oh, and I hope you are satisfied. I just bought your book, and this cheap old lady hardly EVER pays that much for an e-version. I'm looking forward to reading it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, she won't give up. She's since moved on to other volunteer work. This particular one just left a bitter taste in her mouth.

      And you won't regret the price of admission, which we don't think is that bad. Traditional publishers often charge $9.99, up to $14.99 for an e-book. No way.

      Thanks! Let us know what you think, yeah?

      Delete
  29. Damn that is just awful. What is wrong with people? Why can't people do good for others without having to be associated with a church or organization. Just do good, be kind, reach out. I am so tired of seeing FaceBook posts of "mission" trips etc with everybody wearing the same t-shirt promoting their group. It's like some promotional gig. I have the most respect for the folks who just go do good without posting or bragging about it.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. If I see anyone posting 25 pictures of the "good deed" they did last night, they get insta-blocked. One of my former Facebook friends was a girl who raised a small amount of money to shave her head for cancer. She then posted well over 100 pictures of her shaved head, with "inspiring captions" about how she was doing such a great job. Funny, I would have paid her $1,000 just to shut the fuck up and never post again.

      Delete
    2. I am laughing so damn hard at this because I SO get it! Look at my beautifully, bald, shaved head. Isn't it gorgeous? I shaved off my long, luscious locks of hair that I used to wrap around my boyfriend's face and neck all for charity. It was a sacrifice but others needed it more than me. My boyfriend now rubs my shaved head the same way I rub his shaved balls. All to raise money for charity. Hey, maybe you would not have been so quick to instablock had this type of story continued.......

      Delete
    3. Holy shit, do you know this girl? Are you my dickish spirit animal? That's her to a T, boyfriend most definitely included. At least 50 of those 100 captions were "bald is beautiful" and her boyfriend rubbing her gigantic head like a crystal ball. Who knew fighting diseases was so sexy? Wait, what were we raising money for again? Eh, fuck it, whatever. Selfie!

      Delete
  30. Ugh. And the crazy thing is, the fact that they're offering any kind of services to the poor at all means they're acting more christ like than a lot of other churches who spend all their time reminding you not to be gay or support gay people or gay gay gay (with a little bit of abortion abortion abortion thrown in).

    I'm not saying these guys are winners or anything. I guess I'm just saying the standards are so incredibly low for "christians" in my book.

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    1. Yeah, as I was saying to another commenter, it's just pathetic that they can claim, "Well, I don't see anyone else out here on a Friday night helping the homeless." Which is sad as fuck but unfortunately true.

      Delete
  31. Sounds like a charity run by my family members... which offends me greatly. The idea of them running a charity; loved the post.

    Perhaps someone should start a Triple H charity: 'Helpful Heathen Hotdogs'

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I just want to see help from other religions. And they can still use quirky alliteration to make for a catchy title if they want. Let's mix up the diversity in food as well.
      "Ramen from da Rastafarians."
      "Juice from the Jews."
      "Hummus from Hamas."

      ...Well, maybe not them.

      Delete
  32. A year or two ago a local soup kitchen turned away a large group of volunteers because they were atheists.

    Sometimes you just have to ask yourself. What would Republican Jesus Do?

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    1. We should ask George Dubya. I hear they're on good speaking terms.

      Delete
  33. Preach Jesus and you will be saved!
    Free beer for earthers supremely crazed.
    God invites all humans to repent,
    Say your prayers, surrender your wealth,
    Remember to trek out before the main event,
    Enjoy the grog until ur spent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you're implying we should start our own church, and simultaneously a program called "Beer for the Bums" then we are waaaaay ahead of you, my friend.

      Delete
  34. There is a fine line between leading people to Christ and doing conquistador, sword to the throat conversions. And unfortunately, some choose to cross that line, and then all Christians get bad mouthed for any little attempt to share the Gospel. I always remember Mike Warnke saying, "When the rapture hits, I'm going to grab a sinner by the hair in each hand on the way up." A noble thought, but the judgment would be the same- in other words, a worthless effort.

    Not having been there, I wouldn't want to judge. However, a lot of groups forget Paul saying, "I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase," and try to be plow, planter, and combine in one machine. Hopefully they haven't lost more than they've gained.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. These guys wanted to be plow, planter, combine, farmer, and grocery store.

      And can I just say that Mike Warnke has the sweetest mustache/mullet combo I've ever seen.

      Delete
  35. I have not laughed out loud in quite a while so I thank you! This is spot on!! I have met people who are truly decent people and have said to me "Bless you" and all that and they truly mean it and are not pushy and are not judgemental but they are the rare ones. Most are just like you describe. I grew up Catholic and I recall this one family waiting always until the last minute to walk in, right up the middle and sit in the front pew that was reserved for them. They were the biggest a-holes. I went to Catholic school and would often argue with the teachers-never won points that way. If your wife would like to volunteer and, if she likes older people, she should try long-term care. There are many that do not get any family or friends to visit and are all alone.

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    1. My wife currently volunteers at the hospital and does the reading thing with my marbles-for-brains dog, so she's still forging ahead. Surprisingly, dogs are so much less judgmental...

      For what it's worth, we both disagreed with our Catholic school teachers. Namely, that writing comedy wasn't a sin. Or drawing. Or laughing. Or having fun. Apparently God's a big fan of mind numbing boredom.

      "Enjoy life, just don't *enjoy* life." Uh... What?

      Delete
  36. But... but... but... the blonde-haired, blue-eyed surfer dude Jesus is the only Jesus I know.

    This blog bit reminded me of a very revealing quote about another group of "do-gooders":

    "Food is power. We use it to change behavior. Some may call that bribery. We do not apologize."
    ~ Catherine Bertini
    Executive director, UN World Food Program
    at the UN 4th Word Conference on Women, Beijing, China
    September, 1995


    Oh, yes, all those people who really love people.

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. And Jesus said "Whoa, on the Sabbath thou shalt ride the big wave, and it shall be boss." Then he rode his lamb off into the sunset.

      Hey, that Catherine Bertini would make a great fit for Hot Dogs for the Homeless. While hot dogs are barely passable as food, they certainly can pass for power.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, and the bigger your hot dog, the more power you wield.

      Thair He goes,
      (Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)
      Look at that Jesus go
      (Alley-Oop, oop, oop, oop-oop)
      He shor is boss, ain't He?


      ~ D-FensDogG

      Delete
  37. This is sadly true. And its really unfair to impose your beliefs on other people. One state in India banned beef on religious grounds. You could get jailed for eating beef. Sheesh. I'm a vegetarian, but its still ridiculous. People need to stop thrusting their beliefs on other people. At least your wife has that reading with the dog thing going for her. At least animals aren't judgemental douche bags.

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    1. Well don't ever come over for a barbecue here, because we're pro-plants in this household. Plants are people too. Which is why we eat nothing but beef here. NOTHING but beef. My heart hurts.

      But really, though, this is why my wife enjoys her volunteering with the dog and the small kids that read to him. Dogs don't judge like this. Little kids don't judge like this. Not once has the wife come back and been like, "God, those kids were such ASSHOLES."

      Delete
  38. "And thus God said, 'Grind the pig and compact and mold thine innards into a phallic-shaped, foul-smelling meat log.'"

    Imagine Jesus healing the ailing:
    Jesus: "Leprosy will plague thee no more, but before I perform this miracle, have you been to church this morning?"
    Leper: "Uh-Why, yes. Of course I have."
    Jesus: "Mhmm. Well if you did in fact go to church, then of course you should know what passage Pastor Bob read from scripture twenty minutes into the sermon."
    Leper: "Uh, yeah. Fuck, no. Shit!"
    Jesus: "That's what I thought.I guess I should be off then. Healing people deserving of my miracles. People that go to church."

    ReplyDelete
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    1. My favorite part in the Bible is the part where Jesus encounters a prostitute, who weeps at his feet and kisses them, and then Jesus tells her to GTFO of his face right now because she's a nasty ass ho and he ain't got time for that in his life. Skank.

      Delete
  39. Pray for him rather than call an ambulance? Mon dieu! You know how I feel about this (we should email more often, who knows how many posts could come from that?) It particularly pisses me off, as theological offspring, that most of these people have clearly never read the Bible or about Jesus, who actually *did* shit for poor people.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. When I told my wife about our e-mail conversation, she actually reminded me about the seizing homeless guy that they all prayed for instead of helping, which I had completely forgotten about. I'm so glad I had asked her for more details, otherwise I would have left that out.

      And maybe these hardcore, uninformed Christians just interpreted it all wrong. When they heard "Jesus did shit for poor people", maybe they misread it as "shit on poor people."

      Delete
  40. This is so sad to me! Why do people have to act like this? Instead of just helping people. In their heads, they probably think they are but it's just so messed up.
    The praying to heal someone thing REALLY pisses me off. Kids have died from easily cured things because of that crap.
    I'm sorry your wife was made to feel unwelcomed. She should just keep looking. There are secular volunteer groups (at least where I live) that wouldn't force the religious aspect.
    For example, there's this local volunteer group that helps the homeless (I haven't helped yet transportation issues), but I've talked to people involved and the lady who owns it I had a college class with. Great people, super nice. Atheists. They try to donate their time to various soup kitchens and such around the city and have done a lot of great work, but even with that religion is proving again they want all the glory: they've been forced outta places they were trying to volunteer at just because they're an atheist organization. :(

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    1. She's moved on to other volunteer avenues, like the reading to children with my marbles-for-brains little dog. Go figure, kids and dogs are much less judgy than adult humans.

      Oh, and I'm kinda sad that you didn't make that joke about the atheist volunteer group being a non-prophet organization.

      Delete
    2. Sorry I ranted a little, haha .. Yeah, I read that post about the reading to kids with your dog. Still think it's a great idea :) And yeah, animals and kids way better than adults like... 90% of the time.

      Oh damn! I did not think about that! haha

      Delete
  41. I think they're using the hot dogs to kill them faster. ;) Unfortunately, charities being religious in this state is a rampant problem. Heaven forbid they do something good without trying to win people over to their religion. Just do something good. Pretty sure that's what that Jesus guy was about. Not converting the heathens (we won't even go into the awful things that have been done in the name of converting heathens to Christianity.) :x

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    1. This state is horrible for that, isn't it? I mean, I would complain about Denver, but you live in the official city of Focus on the Family. I'm surprised you can even buy groceries without getting evangelized (in the name of a-Jeeeezuuuuusssuh).

      Delete
  42. I tend to justify the actions of people like that by reminding myself that they believe they're trying to save our lives. To them, we're like teenagers who argue against their parents because they think they know better.

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    1. My wife was willing to put up with it until their negligence almost killed a guy. Plus, they're just crazy.

      I mentioned this above to someone else, but one time they sent my wife a Facebook message inviting her to come over to one of their houses that afternoon so they could all play the guitar and "sing worship songs." Not wanting to be mean, my wife waited until 11:30 at night and finally responded with, "Oh, sorry, didn't see this until now."

      Their response? "Oh, that's okay. We're still here."

      No person that can sing worship songs for longer than most people work in a day can be classified as sane.

      Delete
    2. Oh geez. Somebody get the holy water...

      Delete
  43. I volunteered the shit out of things for years. If you volunteer in a public school, no one wants you to mention religion. Most nursing homes don't require that you babble about anything. It's better to let the residents babble. They love dogs. The Hurricane used to take her dog to the nursing home where I worked. That dog was so loved. It was great to see her run from one person to the next.

    Love,
    Janie

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    Replies
    1. I hope my wife puts that on her future resume: "Volunteered the shit out of things."

      She gets that same satisfaction at the hospital. The patients love interacting with our dumb little dog. It's amazing how much of an effect it can have. One woman was on her deathbed and just asked that she get to play with a dog one last time before she passed. Seeing her at peace with our dog brought the wife to tears, and she said that was something she will certainly never forget.

      Delete
  44. What the hell kind of churches do you have in Colorado? That's insane. I'm a huge believer in God and prayer, but I don't think I've ever been in a situation where prayer trumped medical attention. It's too bad you're wife has had such a difficult time.

    I know hospitals have volunteer work. An old neighbor of ours used to volunteer at a hospital by holding babies. The babies had HIV, and the parents already died from AIDS. As much as I admired her for it, I couldn't do that without being depressed for weeks.

    Your wife could start her own volunteer work. Maybe she could do something on Meetup.com. That way, she has control of the group and what to do.

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    1. My wife does volunteer at the hospital, actually. That's where our stupid little service dog works his magic. He brings comfort to sick/dying people. And frankly, I think my wife prefers that strongly to holding AIDS babies... which sounds awful in every way. Kudos to those who can do it. We never could.

      Delete
  45. Man! You know, I prefer choosing organizations like retirement homes, hospitals, and schools for volunteering. Reading to people is epic. Singing to them, even better. I also think that finding someone in your community who is in need is one of the best ways to go, but there are so many avenues. I've never ventured outside my own church for service, other than independently. You make me scared to try.

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    1. The wife currently volunteers at the hospital. She also does this program where children read to our service dog. He really enjoys it. I think he'd like being sung to, but I haven't run the idea by him yet.

      Other churches are scary. I got dragged to a church once that has a 4 hour service. The first 2 hours alone is singing. The other 2 hours is screaming. Also, I got slain in the name of Jeeeezus, but I didn't feel anything, so I just sat there while everyone else was seizing on the ground.

      That one's a post in itself.

      Delete
  46. Oh wow! I'm sorry your wife had such a bad experience! I go to church every Sunday and I often volunteer because I love helping whenever I can :) But that doesn't mean I'm going to push anyone to believe in the same things I believe in, I'm simply there because I like being helpful.

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    1. You're one of the few good ones. The world could use a little more selflessness. Also, more tacos, because you can never have enough tacos.

      Delete
  47. That's terrible. Organizations like that have a front-line to fighting some of these problems - they should take the help from anyone they can. And not make good people feel bad. Well, at least she tried!! :)

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    1. Apparently only those who go to their exact church are worthy of helping others. The other 8 billion people on the planet, meanwhile, are just useless pieces of shit. Who'd have known, right?

      Delete
  48. Oh, don't get me started. These churches I hold in the same category as politicians! They talk a good game but they're screwing everyone, every chance they get! Great post Bryan. And your wife sounds like an amazing lady.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. In my completely biased opinion, she is pretty amazing. Smells nice, too.

      Delete
  49. They try to push their church and their beliefs onto their volunteers... Those people make me sick. Some kids are dying and there is proper medication but all their parents do is pray. That's what I call being active and pasive the wrong way.

    P.S. Great tongue wiggling.

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  50. My mother is Methodist, my one sister is Wiccan, the other sister is CoG-PKG, my dad stays at home while my mom does churchy things, and I am just over here like "whatever floats your boat".
    Being a good person does not mean you have to believe in God. Maybe those people will go to Hell for feeding poor people hotdogs.

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    1. That's awesome! I love the idea of that.

      Morons: God, we've all just died, having happily served you! Can we enter heaven now?
      God: Actually, I'm sending you to hell.
      Morons: But why?
      God: You spent 50 years feeding my people cheap, processed pig anus.

      Delete
  51. Sigh, I wish this story were shocking to me, but with all the over-volunteering I do, I get a bunch of the same guff, just some different language. (My favorite part of the story btw was My homeboy hay sooz) The less educated people are, the louder they pass off their opinion as fact. Just look at Donald Trump.
    And, I'll totally call 911 on your ass. Wait, I mean I'll call an ambulance for you.
    Staying classy.

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    1. According to the news, Donald Trump leads all GOP candidates. Idiots come in large numbers. If he becomes president, you'll probably have to call 911 on my ass for jumping off a bridge. I won't want to live on this planet anymore.

      Delete
  52. Um, yeah, I'll be too busy hanging myself if that happens to call 911, so you'd better find a back up.

    ReplyDelete