6.20.2006

Magically Blas-Phem-Ous

Last night, when Nate came in from walking the flatulent dog, he was chuckling at the direct mail piece (no, not one with another nickel) he pinched between his fingers.

"It has my name on it but I think it's for you," he said passing it to me, before cursing the Yankees and storming off to bed.

On the front of the folded card there were four small, square portraits: A smarmy 40-ish guy in a tie who looked like he just slept with your teenage sister; a bearded guy with salt and pepper hair wearing the practiced but forced smile of a self-help guru; a thirty-ish woman with hair by Flowbee; and a hippie chick with a chestnut, middle-parted Marsha Brady 'do, despite being thirty years too old (and it being thirty years too late) for such a display.

Then I read the headline:
Who is for these Jewish people?
I thought, not me. They're creepy.

Then I thought, wait--what does that mean, who is for these Jewish people? Is everyone against them? Are they all serial killers? Did they pay retail? What was the problem exactly?

So I opened the pamphlet to find that apparently, their mothers are for them, their spouses, their friends...and Jesus too!

Oy.

The Jews for Jesus guys used to drive around my heavily Jewish college campus in these scary black vans, shouting into megaphones at women in AEPhi sweatshirts. I had to scamper away from a few myself from time to time. Once in a blue moon I catch them around the city, but mostly they've been off my radar. And yet now, they're targeting Nate, of all people. Nate, my lapsed-Mormon, institutional religion-hating sigoth. Genius.

I'm not particularly scholarly when it comes to religions, including my own. But to me, the whole thing is counterintuitive. Jews for Jesus is like Devout Muslims for Wanton Nudity. Or Pasty Irish for SPF-Free Sunbathing. If Jesus is your homeboy, your copilot, your rock, your beacon--awesome. More power to you. But don't be walking around in a yarmulke humming the Sh'ma. That's all I'm sayin'.

Along these lines, there's something I've been meaning to get off my chest for quite some time now.

I'm not sure that I've ever told anyone this, but it's haunted me for many years. I just feel safe with you all, that I think this might be a good time to finally put it into words, release it into the universe, and move on.

When I was young and I used to picture God? It was this guy:


56 Comments:

Blogger Robin said...

I think "magic" and "delicious" are two great ways to picture God. Very appealing. *Way* better than the whole "white robe, long white beard" image I had as a kid.

6/19/06, 11:57 PM  
Blogger Karen said...

I don't know what to do with that. But I have a feeling that this confused lapsed Catholic is going to have Lucky the Leprachaun popping into her head more often these days.

And hey! My sister's babysitter is a Jew for Jesus, no kidding.

6/20/06, 12:40 AM  
Anonymous dorf said...

Funny isn't it: one of the most endearing teachings of Judiasm is thou shalt not proselytize. We've blurred the definitions among all so-called religions so that we'll soon be on our way toward the United States of Theocracy. Wait! We already are. Wonder what Zeus would think about this?

6/20/06, 5:49 AM  
Anonymous krista said...

Robin, you are funny.

Mom 101- When I was little and I would picture heaven, it was a room filled with just as many ken dolls as there were barbies.

Now I don't know how to picture it...

Things were more simple with a leprachaun god and a barbie and ken heaven.

6/20/06, 6:48 AM  
Blogger toyfoto said...

Wow. I had no idea there was direct marketing for Jesus. Poor guy, must be very lonely. Perhaps a bowl of Lucky Charms would make him feel less homesick.

6/20/06, 6:54 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

My husband always says he pictured god as a little boy and Jesus was his red cat.

6/20/06, 7:35 AM  
Blogger Mother Bumper said...

Being a card-carrying member of Pasty Irish for SPF-Free Sunbathing I must say that your vision of God is spot on! Thank you for releasing this tidbit into the universe for it's ripple effect will be deep and far reaching.

I must stop blogging and commenting on an empty stomach. Low blood sugar is making me a fool. A fool I say!

6/20/06, 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Kvetch said...

Ok, yarmulkes and humming the Sh'ma. I'm plotzing over here. Gee thanks, now I'll be humming the Sh'ma all day long. My children thank you.

6/20/06, 7:52 AM  
Anonymous Joel said...

Religions are one of life's greatest mysteries to me...love thy neighbor but do everything within your power to try and force, cajole, guilt, pressure, whatever, to get them to believe just as you do...if they refuse their ignorance will result in being sentenced to burn in a lake of fire forever and ever, amen...but remember...Jesus loves you! I'm not sure I'm ready to worship the Lucky Charms dude as God but I do like the stereotype busting imagery!!

6/20/06, 8:53 AM  
Blogger sunshine scribe said...

I was reading your post shaking my head and agreeing with you. I had something terribly important to say about religion and then I saw the lucky charms picture. I used to think he looked like my uncle roy. And he thought he was god's gift to women so he'd like this. Alot. I am calling him right now. You may have just inadvertently made an old man's year.

6/20/06, 9:11 AM  
Blogger Marie said...

So God was a pasty Irish guy??!! This pasty Irish lass thinks that's waay cool.

Though I wonder what Tony the Tiger would think of that!

6/20/06, 9:15 AM  
Anonymous motherhooduncensored said...

My mom was a member of Jews for Jesus.

No shit.

And when she dated an old Jew after my dad died I used to harrass her - I think she was perusing the membership listing for dates.

6/20/06, 10:00 AM  
Blogger macboudica said...

A friend of my daughter's dad is a member of Jews for Jesus. And he is, well, creepy. When my daughter tried to explain to me that he ws Jewish and believed in Jesus, I thought she was pulling my leg. I still don't get it.

6/20/06, 10:32 AM  
Blogger tania (urban_mommy) said...

Funny post. The Lucky Charms guy used to scare me when I was little. I thought the marshmellow bits were poisonous - that whole 'magically delicious' thing, I saw through it you see.

6/20/06, 10:52 AM  
Blogger T. said...

Laughing my ass off right now.

I prefer your vision of God to mine. Yours is much cuter...

6/20/06, 11:45 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

My Jesus? He looked like he had just caught an awesome surf, and perhaps a bong hit.

Then I got a load of my Grandmother's Jesus and thought "That gentleman has some major problems"

Can I start Buddhists for Mohammed?

PS , Thanks for allowing me to re-discover the word "clusterfuck", which I used in yesterdays comment. I have renewed friendship.

6/20/06, 11:55 AM  
Blogger Blog-o-licious said...

I still do!

6/20/06, 12:25 PM  
Blogger Dana said...

So....I love lucky charms. And when my little cousin was asked to draw God or Jesus...he drew a picture of "Jesus" and underneath it he wrote: "Jeasue plays air guitar" and sure enough the picture looked like he was playing air guitar!

6/20/06, 12:46 PM  
Blogger Christina said...

Heh. My husband is Jewish and gets stuff from Jews for Jesus all the time. His response: "Isn't a Jew for Jesus a Christian?"

Had to laugh at your mention of AEPhi girls - I'm an AEPhi. I'm not Jewish, but practically none of the AEPhis at our school were Jewish. Most were Irish Catholic.

God is Lucky? Hot damn, I knew it was true that the Irish would inherit the earth!

6/20/06, 1:10 PM  
Blogger Binky said...

I am surprised so many of your commenters are personally acquainted with Jews for Jesus. I didn't even know such a thing existed till I was walking around Manhattan one day about 5 years ago and was handed a JfJ pamphlet. It's definitely got a quirky ring to it. If they ever give away free shirts, send one my way and I will be sure to throw it on my Lawn Jesus. He loves to make a statement. But it has to be free. Pay retail, my ass!

6/20/06, 1:56 PM  
Blogger Ruth Dynamite said...

I think you're onto something here. Don't most conversion-minded religious fanatics try to sell their form of God as magically delicious???

6/20/06, 2:22 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

lololololololo that's hysterical. The leprechan? That's funny....confusing, but funny. And yea, I never got the jews for jesus thing. ummm doesn't that kinda just make you catholic? *shrug*

6/20/06, 2:25 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

I got the same postcard and read, "Who is for these Jewish people?"

"Not me," I said and promptly threw it in the trash.

Agreed- creepy looking bunch.

6/20/06, 2:36 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

ROFL!!! Really? Lucky, from Lucky Charms?
BWAH-ha-ha-hahahahaha!!!!

(I always pictured the Big Guy as perpetually pissed off and ready to punish me for anything from picking my nose to not eating all my beans. Kind of like mean old Uncle Bob, my Aunt Joyce's husband.)
Maybe that's why I'm not big on religion these days...

6/20/06, 2:46 PM  
Blogger Melissa said...

The lucky charms guy? I love it. As a kid I thought of a guy like Dumbledore in Harry Potter. Long beard and what have you.

Now I can't help but think of Alannis Morriset in the movie Dogma.

6/20/06, 2:54 PM  
Anonymous Binkytown said...

I don't think that's odd at all! I find it strangely comforting. If anyone is magically delicious it should be "God".

6/20/06, 2:56 PM  
Blogger Stacy said...

Wait, that guy was your God? He's pretty scary don't you think? So what do you picture now?

6/20/06, 2:59 PM  
Blogger carrie said...

Wow, if that guy is "God" than I AM doing a good job bringing up my kids in a religious household!!! LOL. They worship him almost daily! How's that for devotion?

Carrie

6/20/06, 3:05 PM  
Blogger Rock the Cradle said...

This seems a perfect time to share this link:

http://jesusiswaycool.tribe.net/

ya know, if Jesus could bake the most delicious cake in the world, why wouldn't God be the Lucky Charms dude?

That's so cool.

6/20/06, 3:34 PM  
Blogger Rock the Cradle said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/20/06, 3:35 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

I didn't know that Nate was an ex mormon! I am too.
We need to start a club. We'll call it MGB. Mormons Gone Bad. Do you think he would join? lol!

6/20/06, 3:58 PM  
Anonymous neva said...

No. I'm sorry, but you planted an image of Shirley McLaine chomping down on a bowl of Quaker Toasted Oatmeal, and, goddamn it, *that's* what God looks like. Shirley McLaine. Eating cereal. Laughing so hard at those "Jews for Jesus" that a little bit of milk comes out of her nose.

But, maybe that's just me.

6/20/06, 6:32 PM  
Blogger Belinda said...

If I get to Heaven and God looks like the Lucky Charms dude, who, frankly, has always frightened me, I'll...well, I'll plotz.

6/20/06, 8:15 PM  
Anonymous JGS said...

I'm one of those people who has always been pretty comfortable with my religion and thus pretty comfortable with everyone else's as well. I by no means believe that Judiasm is THE way to be. I think religion is a tool, a resource to communicate and build a relationship with God. Whatever religion someone chooses to do that is fine with me.

But there has always been something about Jews for Jesus that I have found offensive and it is nice to know I am not the only Jew to do so. I think it is because they call themselves Jews but go against so many of the principles I hold dear about Judaism. Grrr. If they weren't called Jews for Jesus I wouldn't care...

6/20/06, 9:06 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Chicky said...

I always thought that God looked like Charlton Heston. Without the rifle.

6/20/06, 9:10 PM  
Blogger MrsFortune said...

THe lucky charms leprechaun? You're something else.

I had the biggest argument with a Jews for Jesus guy at the Taste of CHicago festival last year. It was hilarious.

Jews for Jesus is like vegetarians for white castle.

6/20/06, 10:34 PM  
Blogger ninepounddictator said...

Ok, I just got the biggest craving for lucky charms.

I'm going to do it...I'm going to buy some tomorrow...

6/20/06, 11:36 PM  
Blogger Mocha said...

What worries me the most is that if God were the Lucky Charms dude would He ever shaft us on the marshmallow pieces? That would be hell.

You must have had a twisted childhood to have believed that. How did the tooth fairy look to you?

6/21/06, 12:05 AM  
Blogger soleclaw said...

Sometimes my brain hurts when I think too hard about religion and the silly yet seemingly necessary negativity that comes with it.

You managed to say so much by using so few words in this post, and sparked quite a huge conversation within your comments! I love it!

And the image of Lucky at the end is genius and made me smile. Point taken, and appreciated.

6/21/06, 12:15 AM  
Blogger Chag said...

I just love the fact that you thought the Lucky Charms dude was God.

6/21/06, 12:30 AM  
Blogger Mommy off the Record said...

I have to say that some people might actually be relieved to find out that God is the lucky charms guy. In fact, I'd take Lucky Charms dude over the angry God of the Old Testament!

6/21/06, 2:40 AM  
Anonymous Nila said...

So, God is um...magically delicious.

Call me ignorant and unenlightened, but isn't a Jew for Jesus a Christian. How are they still Jews when you throw Jesus in the mix. I am not religious, so don't hold my ignorant comments against me.

My brain hurts, too much thinking. Thanks for another thought provoking post.

6/21/06, 4:07 AM  
Blogger Susan said...

Anyone who put marshmallows in my cereal is a god.

6/21/06, 5:55 AM  
Anonymous marti (standing still for once) said...

Jews for Jesus =
Chaney for gun control
Bush for education
Big oil for bicycles

You make me laugh, sister. Me and my big ole' Lutheran practicing self. Lutherans for Allah?

6/21/06, 9:29 AM  
Blogger zeldafitz said...

Of course God is Irish, silly rabbit!!!!!!!!

Hey, I just posted new info on my site about the short story collection. The post is called, coincedentally, "Self Aggrandizing Slut," so forgive me in advance for being a Self Aggrandizing Slut.

Rock on funny mama...

6/21/06, 12:02 PM  
Blogger gingajoy said...

we never had lucky charms, but i do remember having a terrible crush on JAYSUS during the early 80s when Robert Powell was m'main man in Jesus of Nazareth. My relationship with that man is the stuff Judy Blume but dreams of. Of course, I mistook my crush on the actor as surefire sign of deep and fundamental faith.

6/21/06, 2:09 PM  
Blogger tdotmoms said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/21/06, 2:12 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

6/21/06, 2:14 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

You are the most Irish Catholic Jew that I have ever come across. God as leprechaun. Did you also know that clovers represent the Holy Trinity. (Which makes four-leaf clovers pagan. Which is what leprechauns are, actually. Which complicates things for all those Irish Catholic children who are clinging to their Lucky Charms boxes as iconography.)

Anyhoo.

What I really wanted to say was this: did you check that Flowbee site? Did you see this? -

Have you been tricked into buying a Robocut with the promise it is better than Flowbee ? If so, we would like to hear your story.

Robocut, dudes. I want to hear those stories. So badly.

(Am total tard today)

6/21/06, 2:18 PM  
Blogger Pendullum said...

Could not stop laughing...

Do Captain Crunch, Tony The Tiger, Count Chocula,Trix the Rabbit,Snap Crackle and Pop figure in anywhere in heaven???
Or do you just have an identification with the wee Irish Leprechuan that offered tasty coloured marshmallows as a nutricious beakfast cereal????

6/21/06, 2:25 PM  
Anonymous mamatulip said...

Wait. God isn't a leprechaun?

6/21/06, 2:28 PM  
Blogger mrsmogul said...

Oh he wasn't GOD...just the stand-in. GOD is TOny The Tiger...He's greeeeeat!

6/21/06, 3:08 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

We know someone who was a Jew for Jesus. Over a nice piece of fish, she sat my hubby down and told him he was going to hell because he wouldn't accept Jesus into his heart. blah, blah. He then said to her, "If I'm going to hell, can I at least finish my fish first?"

6/21/06, 4:52 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

And, since this is SO apropos to this topic [/sarcasm], I thought I'd let you know that I tagged you for the "Ten Things I Hate" meme.
:)

6/21/06, 5:53 PM  
Blogger wordgirl said...

Agree about the Jews for Jesus thing, though I also am not sure how it goes along with my feelings about Christians who believe that Jesus WASN'T a Jew. "Well, didn't he call himself Christ?", is the question I always get. "Therefore...he must be a CHRIST-ian!!"

I'm still now sure how to answer.

6/21/06, 7:31 PM  
Anonymous Nancy said...

If a leprechaun with marshmallows isn't godlike, then I don't know what is.

6/21/06, 9:36 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home