The girlfriend and I were going to Vancouver, Washington a few weeks ago…well, perhaps going is the wrong word. Hmm. Forced, maybe. No, that’s not right. Coerced? Harrassed? Raped? Yes. Yes, that’s good. Let’s do that one.
The girlfriend and I were raped into Vancouver, Washington a few weeks ago where we purchased six gallons of crack at the local Costco (For those of you not in the know, Crack In The Gallon is just another narcotic in an inappropriate container – a lot like Wine In A Box) when we noticed something from the parking lot. We both literally stopped in our tracks and stared dumbfounded across the street. We saw what appeared to be an enormous multi-story beige warehouse (which is not, in and of itself, unusual for Vancouver – beige warehouses constituting roughly 97% of Vancouver’s usable landspace, the other 3% being mostly shit and tears) with a twenty-foot tall mural of this across the front:
Now for those of you who, like dogs, are unable to see shit beyond a certain threshold of crazy, that was a picture of Jesus. A picture of Jesus ripped like the Hulk. A picture of Jesus, ripped like the Hulk, and benchpressing the cross in a puddle of his own blood…on a mountaintop. Okay, I know what you’re saying. You’re saying, “big deal, the internet does shit like this all the time.” And yeah, I know dude, because mostly it’s me doing it. But I swear to god, this is the logo for a real, legitimate business. It is called – as the logo informed you earlier if you were still able to process words while looking at that picture – The Lord’s Gym.
It’s not just one fucking fluke of psychosis! It’s a national chain!
In their logo, the cross is no longer a symbol of spiritual pain or suffering, it’s more like a really kickin’ workout routine. Jesus is no longer a sacrificial lamb, but just like, a dude who felt the ultimate burn, bro! He’s no longer half-starved, stick-thin and poverty stricken. No, this Jesus eats eight steaks a day and only drinks protein shakes. The meek shall inherit the earth? The meek shall inherit my fuckin’ boot up their ass, amirite bro? FUCK YEAH!
Fundamental Christians have always had a kind of seizure grip on redneck America, and this is just the logical progression of that. They sold the poorly-educated, overtly macho, rural male the idea that the only real American is a Christian American, but then expected them to worship the biblical Jesus. The guy who dresses like it’s Yoga O’Clock. The guy who preaches that you should always forgive and never fight back. They put this kind of hippie guy on some bumper stickers with the Star Spangled Banner, and now he rides around on the back of pick-up trucks with gun-racks and confederate flags. And now to the rural male, Jesus was just a dude who hates faggots and loves America and y’know, the bible didn’t mention it specifically, but it’s pretty common knowledge he also banged bitches and downed brews with the best of ’em.
Of course rednecks are going to masculinize Jesus!
This whole concept – this ripped-like-Spartacus savior tearing around town on his Harley and getting into bar fights – this is terrifying. Where’s the humility in being built like a brick shithouse made out of beef and bullets? Where’s the meekness in bench-pressing the cross? That’s not like suffering for the world, it’s like taking all of the world’s suffering and ripping it in half like a phone book. Basically the Fundamentalist Christians, in courting the rural male so strongly, have only succeeded in starting an entirely new sect of Christianity. A sect that then made up their own savior. A more appropriate savior. A savior that is basically just Christ’s head superimposed on Hulk Hogan’s body. They’ve imbued the hillbilly with a furious religious zealotry for a shit-kicking warrior king who hates queers and college types and votes Republican.
It’s only a matter of time, really, before this new Pumped Up Jesus sees the Fundamentalists as no longer a part of their religion. And then, considering their love of fightin’ and fuckin’ and their hatred of big words, what do you say to placate them? A conflict between conventional Christianity and redneck Christianity is almost inevitable at this point; this whole Lord’s Gym thing is just another symptom of that schism. And when that time comes, do you know where I’ll be?
I’ll be inside this shirt:
Because I’m not much of a fighter, but I still remember some Metallica lyrics from when I was 15 and I’m pretty sure I can fake it. Because the other Christians made their bed, and now they can lie in it while it’s clean-and-jerked above a roaring Hulkamaniac’s head and hurled into an idling wheat thresher.
But mostly because when you stop and think about it, that’s a pretty fuckin’ sweet shirt, isn’t it?