***UPDATE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST*** There's a guy on Twitter that I had to follow simply because of his handle:
Jesus Needs New PR
Oh man, does he. After driving through some of the southern states and seeing all the billboards that proclaim that you will burn in hell for chewing gum wrong, I can see why so many people are learning to hate God.
Matthew Paul Turner grew up in a fundamentalist church thinking the outside world was evil. His stories crack me up, but I'm sure mine could go toe-to-toe. Like Matthew, I'm one of those Christians that loves God despite all the things that everyone around me did to eff things up through religion.
I grew up Catholic. The Mexican kind. You know... lots of candles with pictures of Jesus and the exposed Sacred Heart with thorns all over it, or Our Lady of Guadalupe, the snake stomper with the tan that was more Amazon-ish than the docile, fair skinned, blue eyed one my white friends knew of. We had these candles lit all over the house at all times. Kept the spirits away. My mom also sprinkled "Agua Florida" all over the house and kept bottles of holy water stashed in the medicine cabinet next to the Milk of Magnesia. And before we left the house every morning, my mom would throw a big bucket of water on the back steps to clean away any other bad juju from the spirits that couldn't get in because of all the candles. Mexican Catholics are highly superstitious, as I suspect some other ethnicities within the Catholic church might be, as well.
But we have the chicken bones, so...
Anyway, my journey back to Jesus took a while. I had to peel away all the crap to get down to the one-on-one thing he came for. I'm still trying to do my best, but what can I say... I'm human and all kinds of fallable. When I find other people that have had messy journeys with the Big Guy, I feel like I've found an old friend.
I finally took a listen to Chapter 1 of Matthew's book, Churched. He talks about his mom's addiction to ball point pens, his "narcolepers", and his dad's inability to remember important things, like how old his son is. His smart and snarky style reminds me a little of Sedaris. It's a bit of a listen, but I think, if you grew up hating church and all the crazy practices that religious folks throw in, you might get a kick out of it.
You can follow Matthew at @JesusNeedsNewPR
Peace, Love, and Sugar
UPDATE: You can now download Churched free!