Kiss Your Church Goodbye.


Save yourself, serve yourself
World serves its own needs,
Listen to your heart bleed
Dummy with the rapture
And the revered and the right, right
You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright light,
Feeling pretty psyched
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it
It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine

The discovery of truth— personally discovered truth— is the supreme delight of the human soul. People are discovering in ever greater numbers that you don’t need a second-hand, dogmatized and “infallible” doctrine— evolutionary religion— to personally discover spiritual truth, or to experience religious insight in your soul, derived from the world of things and beings.

“True religion” and “organized, evolutionary religions” are vastly different things, and the latter does not satisfy our search for individual meaning and purpose in an increasingly complex existence. People are leaving the churches in droves, not because they are abandoning religion, but to find real meaning through their own intellect, in their own soul, through their own experience.  It is the best thing to happen to organized religions in two thousand years, and it will continue until the churches which embrace new truth are eventually rehabilitated, while the ones which refuse to change are destroyed.

Thus the adage, “All things work together for good” remains truer than ever.

Be sure to catch Donald J. Chump’s cameo appearance.


  1. Propagandee Propagandee

    Ah, does this REM masterpiece bring back memories.

    About 15 years ago I was vacationing in the Greek Isles. Spent a couple of nights on Thera (Santorini) and took the obligatory day trip to a geologically active island a few miles off-shore. The boat was a canvas topped, open air affair like the ones you find at Disney’s Adventureland; you know, the ones from which that they shoot blanks at animatronic hippos.

    Anywhooozle, it was raining and the seas were rough. After visiting the little island’s hot springs and clambering over its lava rocks, we dozen or so tourists were loaded back aboard our (t)rusty craft as the weather turned decidedly nasty. The skipper told us we might be there a while because a Force Four or Five storm was currently chewing up the Aegean Sea. I looked about and realized we didn’t have any food, water, or toilet facilities, let alone life preservers.

    Fortunately, we were anchored in a natural cleft in the rocks and weren’t taking any direct hits. I ventured out to get a better look at the open sea, the wind driven rain stinging my face. As I looked across to Thera I saw one of those smaller, Mediterranean cruise liners fighting its way out to sea. But the winds were just too much and it had to abandon the effort. Which made me appreciate all the more our skipper’s decision to stay put.

    Returning to the boat, my fellow passengers, a varied, international group, were trying to make light of the situation. But there was definitely tension in the air as the storm worsened. That’s when I played the REM card, and began singing “It’s The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” Didn’t take long for others to join in, and so we passed some time…unified in adversity.

    Epilogue: After a while, the worried looking skipper radioed for help. Somehow another skipper arrived to take us out of there. Now, I was raised around boats. Me daddy was a decorated WW2 LST Commander and we always had a couple of craft around. I spent a fair amount of time learning the ins and outs of climbing and descending choppy waves (once breaking the steering cable in Long Beach’s outer harbor, where a whale had happened to wander). So I watched this guy with a keen eye, wondering how the fuck he was going to get us out of there.

    Well, he must have been descended from Odysseus or some other ancient mariner because he succeeded, leaving me to contemplate how a skill like that might be passed down through a hundred generations. DNA and tradition make for powerful bedfellows.

    1. Can’t let the mention of an LST go without comment, so another seafarin’ yarn furyaz. When I was 21 I was a Boatswain’s mate on a LST in Viet Nam; we hauled stuff out of Danang down the coast and up the rivers. I piloted the small landing craft boats that hauled people and supplies, the mail, and movies. We moved stuff out of Danang, down the coast, and up the rivers. When other ships were nearby, we would always swap movies. And when any officer wanted to go somewhere by boat, that meant no matter what I was doing I got to go, too.

      You have probably seen one of these little LCVPs in WWII footage of troops making an amphibious landing, (see Saving Private Ryan ) where a flat front ramp is lowered at the beach, and the hapless troops disembark into a hail of bullets. That’s what these little boats were designed for, going into the beach with the surf; their flat bottoms were notably unseaworthy for anything else.

      One evening, we had just completed anchoring out a few miles off the coast of Vung Tau, (which, oddly enough, means “anchorage.”) The sea was gray and growing stormy, and getting worse by the minute. We secured from anchoring, cold and tired, and headed for the chow line; but I never made it. Our Executive officer insisted that a movie run be made to a nearby LST, despite the worsening seas. In a few minutes my boat was lowered into the water and I was hauling half a dozen people on a movie run.

      The ship we were swapping movies with was barely two miles away. The light drizzle that started as we were lowered to the water now pelted my backside, as the coxswain stands at the wheel in an open cockpit. Nobody aboard, least of all the peach-fuzzy new officer, paid any attention to the growing swells, since we were moving along with them.

      So our trip over was fast and wet and uneventful. But the young officer who was swapping flicks took his sweet time— as officers did— if it was only enlisted men who had to wait for them. And he probably didn’t know or care that I had to stay in the boat with the engine running, as the sea was already too rough to tie up fore and aft to the rolling ship. A half hour later the precious movies, five sailors, and the officer scrambled back aboard the tossing LCVP to be greeted by my cold, wet, consternation.

      The bow line was cast off. We swung out of the protective lee of the ship and immediately got broadsided by enormous waves. As we swung about, struggling to gain our heading, the first, second, and third ten foot swell broke over the gunwale and repeatedly drenched my passengers who stood huddled together in the minimal shelter the bow ramp provided. A few seconds before, I had been too pissed to care, but my annoyance had been quickly transformed to apprehension as I was forced to focus on the massive waves that were tossing us around like a fishing cork; oh, and the panic bells that were going off in my head.

      I had never been in any dangerous seas before, with this boat or any other. And now as I looked down at the men who were cowering in the bow, I saw that their suddenly ashen faces and wide-open eyes— were all riveted on me.

      I doubt anyone saw any fear on my face, because the growing dark and my grimace at the stinging salt spray hid it. But that look on their faces made me realize they were all wondering if this might be their last little boat ride; and for what— a crappy B movie they might not even see.

      I don’t really remember how long we were hammered and tossed in those waves before making it back to the ship, but it was more than long enough to realize that my whole world had shrunken to one task— preserving the lives of these men and myself; and despite being an “atheist” at the time, I had automatically asked God to help me get us all back safe. Darkness had come by the time this entire ordeal was in our past, and as we each made our way along the tossing deck of the LST to resume our routine existence, I began to think about what had occurred.

      As I lay in my bunk, the ship rolling crazy with the continuing storm, I found myself thanking the God I thought I didn’t believe in for sparing our lives. I reflected on the fact that only one man had given me a grateful hug, because he realized I had been instrumental in saving our mutual bacon. I also wondered if the young officer’s mind had wandered away from a bad movie to revisit his little brush with mortality; and if the other four men, who had scrambled out of my boat without so much as a look in my direction, had bothered to thank anyone for the gift of their continuing life.

      We never know what the next hour may bring us. Seriously. Live every minute in Divine expectation, and never cease to give thanks for the continuing gift of life.

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