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5:10 a.m. - 2003-02-17

JESUS LOVES ME, THIS I GUESS. BUT THE KIDDIES LOVE ME BEST

Heeeee!!

Okay...a quick recap of the story so far...

My church is looking for a permanent minister. After five months of looking, the search committee has decided that they've found a female minister with a psychotic looking husband who's a traveling hypnotist/magician to lead our church.

I was not impressed with the woman one iota. She was very theatrical in her sermon and her hubby is just downright creepy. He looks like the devil to me.

So yesterday we have a board meeting to decide if we're going to extend the call to her to come be our minister.

And I've got a speech I'd like to make before we extend that call that could ruffle some feathers.

Ready for ... the rest of the story?

Good.


So the board meeting takes place after church.

The meeting starts and they ask for any questions from the congregation.

The first guy shoots his hand up and says "It's obvious we all love her, so let's just get this out of the way. I make a motion that we accept her."

Whoa, cowboy.

First (thank God), the meeting couldn't work that way. Only one person could make the motion.

Second...well ... I was second.

I stood up and thanked the search committee for all the hard work they had done over the last 5-8 months.

I said that our potential minister seemed to be a fine woman.

BUT...I had reservations about her. I said that we may allll love her inside this church. But as the head of evangelism, it was my job to get people in the pews. And the people that I had talked to said that they think having a female minister lead your church is a bit untraditional and downright strange. And I have yet to find anyone outside this church who would want to come hear a female minister preach, LET ALONE join a church with a female minister.

Dead silence.

I told them that her sermon didn't move me and an hour afterwards, I simply couldn't remember what she had preached.

Dead silence. The sweat started flowing from my brow. But I was already knee deep in this shit ... may as well bury myself.

I told them I had a gut feeling that if we hired this woman it would be a big mistake because the community that we live in is a very conservative and old-fashioned community. I added if we were already at our peak membership, this probably wouldn't be concerning us, but we need more members and bottom line ... hiring a female minister was going to hurt us more than help us.

I found out that currently there are over 200 churches in town and only 3 female ministers.

I sat back down and was told by the leader of the search committee that what I had just done was a brave thing and took a lot of courage to say.

Huh??

I just stood up and said I didn't like this woman and didn't think the community would accept her. What was so brave about that?

Well...apparently....that was the FIRST TIME anyone has ever stood up in a board meeting and so adamantly challenged a decision that had already been made.

Apparently, hiring this woman is a done deal and this was only a formality in the process. You have to have a "meeting" where the call is extended toward her. Apparently, they weren't expecting anyone to stand up and say that they were having reservations to hiring the woman.

Oh.

Well ... shit, people...nobody told me I was supposed to keep this whole thing positive and accept what others are doing to the future of this church without opening my mouth.

People were literally sitting there in stunned silence.

The leader of the search committee (one of my best buddies in church by the way) asked if there were any other comments.

One after another...hands slowly started creeping up.

The next guy applauded me for taking such a brave and bold stance and said that HE TOO had reservations on how the community would perceive her.

The next guy after him said I should be commended for stepping out and stating what I believed in and that HE TOO wasn't impressed with her sermon.

This meeting that was only supposed to be a formality in the process turned into a large number of people praising me for having the guts to say something and then expressing what they didn't like about her.

One guy didn't like her voice. It was too shrill for him.

Another guy didn't like the way she tried to incorporate drama into her sermon, flailing her arms around and at times...just rubbing him the wrong way.

One lady stood up and said that the minister was alright ... but her husband completely creeped her out. I only saw the guy for a short time, but I can describe him physically ... he's a beefy guy with a shaved head and a pointed goatee. He has these large wild eyes...the better to hypnotize people with ... and he plucks his eyebrows into points so that he has a constant angry look in his eyebrows.

After about an hour of hearing complaints, one guy stood up and said exactly what I should have said:

"Is she perfect? No. Could we eventually find someone better? Probably. Will she bring in new members for the church? I doubt it. Do I think the search committee has done the best possible job that they could and will I support them in their decision? Absolutely."

That's what told me that rather than cause a stink and vote against extending the call ... I needed to vote positive. The big vote...whether THE ENTIRE CONGREGATION wants her ... comes next week.

So when they asked for a show of hands to extend the call, I went ahead and raised mine.

I was sitting in the back row and told Susie "Get ready for every single head to whip around to see how I'm voting!"

Sure enough, a few did. Finally, I blurted out while they were counting "Yes people, there's no need to turn around...my hand is UP".

Mucho giggles.

After the meeting was adjourned, I wanted to haul ass out of there. As much as people said they respected what I had said, I figured I'd pissed a few people off and wanted to get out before I was cornered and beaten up in church by a gang of angry senior citizens.

...I had more people come up to shake my hand to tell me how much they appreciated what I had said than I would have ever expected.

One guy said that he had never heard anyone stand up so strongly for their beliefs in something inside that church and that it was people like me that made our church great.

One of the popular couples in church extended their own call ... to me and Susie to be part of their popular clique and come have dinner at their house soon.

Wow.

I open my mouth to say a bunch of assholey things and now I'm one of the most well respected and popular members of the church.

Was God asleep yesterday as this went on?

We get home and the phone is ringing off the hook with people congratulating me on what I had said. Six calls total came in ...which...in my household is technically "ringing off the hook".

One old man called to say that he had been a member of the church since 1958 and that he had always been viewed as the crazy guy in the church who ruffled feathers.

And he was now passing the torch to me. He said he was too old to be rocking the boat anymore and saw that I could do a fine job of it.

So next Sunday, the congregation votes. That's the important vote...to see if there's more people thinking like I have.

I feel sure that she'll be hired. I'd be shocked if she wasn't.

And I think rather than switching churches, we might just stick around to see how well she does.

I'm the first person to admit when he's wrong and I told the board that yesterday. So in a year, I may be changing my tune.

We'll see.

Oh ... and to those of you who think I'm just being a misogynist and hate women and want to chastise me over it ... save your breath.

You don't know how my city operates and its feelings toward religion as a whole. It's a very traditional and conservative city. We're the capital city of our state and STILL don't have rock concerts here except once a year. We have no professional sports teams, no lottery (lotteries are for sinners), and you can't buy alcohol on Sundays. When teenagers say that there's nothing to do in this town, our Mayor tells them to go to a museum.

We're backward and aren't willing to accept change.

My concerns are more for the public perception of the church and not about individual feelings of the church members.

That's my job.

I'm an evangelist.


Called Mom yesterday to check on her progress.

God forbid...I called during the Daytona 500 otherwise known as "The Redneck World Series".

ME: "How ya doin', Mom?"

MOM: "What? You're not watching the race?"

ME: "Is it still a bunch of cars going around in a circle for several hours before one car finally wins?"

MOM:"Yes."

ME: "I'll pass. How're you doing?"

MOM: "Here...talk to your Dad." (Hands phone to Dad)

DAD: "Hello?"

ME: "How are you guys doing?"

DAD: "We're fine. We can't talk right now, Uncle Bob...the race is on. Call back later."

(Click)

Okay...

First ... it's so weird for my parents to call me "Uncle Bob".

Second ... since I've probably already pissed off a bunch of militant females who think I hate women and won't give them the same opportunities in the world that I do to men, I may as well step on a few more toes and say NASCAR is a pseudo-sport.

I've heard from NASCAR fans who say "But you pick a driver to cheer for and then you cheer for him! That's the fun of NASCAR!"

Huh?

Isn't that how it goes in every sport? Isn't that like ... the basic reason for watching any sport? There's nothing more to it than that?

Apparently not.

So you NASCAR fans can keep being hypnotized by your little cars spin, spin, spinning around.

Me?

I've got a dog's ass to clean.


Oh.

Before I forget...

I told you guys I had a new show to recap for Television Without Pity but tried to draw it out so that it came off like a cliffhanger of sorts and have everyone salivating to find out what show I was doing...remember?

Well ... to the best of my knowledge...very few of you are salivating over this and most of you could probably not give a shit. So I'll just tell you before I forget about it.

Okay.

I'll be recapping "Fraternity Life" on MTV.

It starts NEXT Wednesday, Feb. 26th at 10:30 est/9:30 cst and is the "sister" show to "Sorority Life", an already established reality show on MTV.

Basically, this is a reality show following around a buncha wild and crazy college guys in a frat house at the University of Buffalo.

Something tells me that it should be a fun show to recap.

There's nothing better than making fun of a drunken frat boy puking in his roommate's bed while his "buddies" are cramming hamsters in his booty hole.

So yeah, I'm looking forward to it.


That's it from here. Sorry I was soooo boring today. But I literally had very little to write about that I didn't write about yesterday.

Peace.

...Oooooout!

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