Friday, October 8, 2010

From the Archives: The News from Buffetville

In honor of my lecture earlier this week on "God and Gays," I'm reprising the following tidbit from Easter 2009:

Just yesterday, a loyal (if fictitious) follower of my blog sent me the following fabricated clipping from the Buffetville Scallion-Picayune. I thought it worth sharing with other followers of my blog, and so I reproduce it here.

Kansas Church Protests at Easter Services

By J.J. Loganberry
Senior Staff Reporter

This past Sunday, Easter services at Buffetville Baptist Church were disrupted when the congregation of Kansas-based Eastburro Church, led by Pastor Phred Fleps, came to Buffetville.

Lining the easement surrounding the Buffetville church, Fleps and his congregation of relatives greeted approaching families with jeers, derisive laughter, and signs declaring “New car owners die, God laughs!” and “New car owners burn in hell!” As services began, the Eastburro group began chanting, “God hates new car owners!”

Lilly Thesbit, a retired school teacher who has been attending Buffetville Baptist Church all her life, was distressed by the group and its message. “I don’t understand it,” she told reporters. “They’re ruining my Easter. Nobody even noticed my new hat.”

Others were equally dismayed. “I don’t know why they have to come here on Easter Sunday of all days,” said 17-year-old Joey Dick. “I mean, if they’ve got a problem with our pastor’s new Acura, why not protest it on the third Sunday in Pentecost or something? Why Easter?”

The offending vehicle, which Pastor Bill McCune of Buffetville Baptist Church purchased less than a month ago, was parked throughout the protest in the designated pastor’s space behind the church. Police were on the scene to make sure that none of the protesters vandalized the car.

“It’s bad theology,” declared Pastor Bill. “They read a few scattered passages in the Bible that say we should care for the poor, and they interpret it to mean I can’t enjoy a new luxury car with my hard-earned money. I mean yes, technically I could make do with a used car, and technically the money I saved could be sent to Oxfam and would help save the lives of a few thousand malnourished children. But come on. I really liked the leather seats!”

Fleps has a different view. “Jesus tells us that it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. And you remember what he told the young rich man who asked about what he needed to do to earn eternal life? Jesus told him to sell all his possessions and give it all to the poor.”

“It’s not just about the pastor’s new car,” Fleps continues. “That’s a symbol of a bigger problem. Just look at all these people flouncing into church in their brand new outfits. Look at all those fancy cars in the parking lot! These people who claim to be Christians are spending money on luxuries while children are starving! It’s an abomination! The least he could've done is gotten himself a hybrid car.”

But Steve Lisp, one of the deacons at Buffetville Baptist, thinks that for Pastor Bill to keep driving that six-year-old Cadillac “would give the wrong message.”

“We’re not one of those poor churches that can’t afford to pay our pastor a nice salary,” insists Lisp. “Half our congregation belongs to the country club!”

“I don’t understand why they can’t be like those Wetsboro folks, and protest real problems like gay marriage,” says Pastor Bill. “I mean, the homosexuals are destroying this country, right? The Bible’s full of stuff that condemns those homos. Me, I’m just living the American dream. God wants his obedient followers to have nice things.”

“For a pastor,” says Fleps, “Bill doesn’t know his Bible very well, does he? Jesus never mentions homosexuality. And aside from a couple of verses in Leviticus, a book that no Christian today treats as authoritative, the only unambiguous mention of same-sex acts is a passing comment in Romans. But the Bible is obsessed with caring for the poor. Let’s face it, if you’re going to be biblical about things, the controversy shouldn’t be about gay pastors, but about pastors who enjoy luxuries while there are people in the world who go to bed hungry. That’s why we’re here.”

But little Jenny Fisher, who attends Buffetville Middle School, knows the truth of the matter. “They just want attention. I mean look at them. They’re dressed like the nerd contingent at my school. They weren’t popular in school, and now they’ve found a way to get people to pay attention to them.”

As this reporter’s mother used to say, “From the mouths of babes…”


  1. Thanks for this blog site and your entries. This post may be recycling to you, but it's new to me. is attempting to do a similar thing through book publishing. While I know, Eric, that you have plenty of options, perhaps one of your works will need a home--or perhaps one of your readers will be looking for a publisher. Timothy Staveteig, Publisher

  2. I'd like to second that. Eric, you have a flair with satire; perhaps you should put together a short book of short stories. After all even our Lord used parables, and see how well the NT sells.