Monday, December 19, 2005

All I Want For Christmas – Part 3

It is less than one week before Christmas is upon us. If you are thoughtful, you have spent hours contemplating the perfect gifts for everyone in your life. If you are like me, you just realized that personally autographed headshots of yourself do not make good gifts. They apparently come across as pompous, or so my wife tells me.

This sudden realization has left me scrambling for gift ideas. Music is always popular and a great last minute gift purchase. There are so many choices. If you’re going for kitsch value, you could give a CD by either Big Daddy Weave or Barlow Girl, the two bands currently battling for the title of “Dumbest Name For A Christian Band Since 2nd Chapter of Acts.”

David Phelps
has a new CD, Life Is A Church.

Do you think this album cover is trying to send the subtle message that David Phelps is the foundation of the church? I mean, he is holding the church in his hands. Isn’t that the job of the Holy Spirit, not David Phelps? Talk about pretension. (Note to David Phelps fans that randomly find this site: don’t be like the moron Chris Rice fans. Learn to take a joke.)

Of course, if you want real music to give to friends and family, there is always the new EP from Astronaut Pushers. This is the new project from Sam Ashworth, John Davis of Superdrag, Lindsay Jamieson (played with Ben Folds among others), and Matt Slocum. Many of you will remember Slocum from his first band, Sixpence None the Richer, one of my all-time favorites. If you only know Sixpence from their song “Kiss Me,” I feel very sad for you. (All you Sixpence fans who are still morning the band’s breakup can follow the professional lives of the various members over at Sad But True.)

If none of these musical milestones seem to right, you can always go with Left Behind Gym Shorts.

Monday, December 5, 2005

All I Want For Christmas – Part 2

For many people, the holiday season is a time to reflect on how lonely they are. This is especially true for Christians. While it is never stated explicitly in any of the church creeds, it is generally understood among Christians that being unmarried makes you less human.

“What about Jesus, or the Apostle Paul, they were never married?” you counter. “Does that make them less human?" Why, yes it does. Being a single Christian is like being a retarded kitten. You’re cute, and people generally dote on you out of pity. But for your own good, they eventually tie you in a burlap sack and throw you in a river. It’s better to be dead than to be a retarded kitten (or 30 and single).

I’m being facetious, or course, but that is how the church treats single people. We convince them that being 26 and single means you will never find someone. We convince them that any pathetic loser who attends church is better than nothing. And we wonder why Christian divorce rates are not that different than divorce rates for those outside the church.

Never fear, a new book has arrived to help you cure your singleness disease.

Marriable: Taking the Desperate Out of Dating is an attempt to help single people get out of their own way and land that perfect mate. I doubt this book will help you find “Mr./Miss Right”, but it might help you find “Mr./Miss Good Enough So That You Can Get Married And Have Your Mom Stop Insinuating That You’re Gay.”

Friday, December 2, 2005

All I Want For Christmas

Christmas shopping is always difficult for me. I obsess about getting the perfect gift for the people in my life. This year is no different, so I was relieved when I opened the mail the other day and found the Christmas catalogue from my old employer, the Christian bookstore.

This brochure was filled with gift ideas. Not wanting to keep these treasures to myself, I have decided to highlight different items in the days leading up to Christmas.

We will begin where all good Protestants begin – with the Bible. Christians have spent millions of dollars trying to figure out the best way to package the Bible so people will want to study it. (Apparently, that whole “personal God, death on a cross, rising from the dead, eternal life” story just wasn’t flashy enough).

One of the more popular attempts at this is the One Year Bible. A take off of this concept are The One Year Mini For Women and The One Year Mini For Men. Here are some pictures:

I find these covers fascinating. The woman looks like she is overcome with joy while the man looks like he is being crushed by guilt. Maybe the man has realized that for generations men have misinterpreted the Bible in an effort to marginalize everyone from ethnic minorities to women, and he is dealing with this new awareness. And maybe the woman has also realized this, and she is rejoicing in her newfound freedom.

It’s just a thought.