Archive for October 31st, 2008


Get Those Wallets Out – by Mrs. Blue

I’ve noticed a really bad trend lately. Even before the recent economic meltdown, our economy had been going into some unhealthy directions, and clearly, people have felt it in their wallets and purses. I’ve read stories about how churches are having a hard time right now because collections are down (tithes, offerings, pledges, etc.) and have been for a while now. And the church that the hubby and I attend right now is having to consider laying off an associate pastor and possibly cutting back on office hours to conserve its funds.

I admit that the Deacon and I are a bit remiss in our tithing right now. I would love to be giving 10% of our income, but that’s just not feasible right now. But I do make sure to give something every time I go to church. What amazes me are how many people I see these days who don’t even bother to put a few bucks in. They just pass along the collection plate and don’t look back.

I know people, both personally and in my many online venues, who complain about how churches ask for money. They complain that they shouldn’t have to support the church and that it’s just moneygrubbing. They say that God will provide for the church even though they and everyone else around them aren’t giving anything to the coffers. And yet these are the same people that use church services and who advise people in need to go to the church for help.

Just how do they think a church pays for a pastor’s salary, much less all the services it provides? How do those mortgage payments (or rent) and utilities get paid?

Do they think that God just funnels money directly into the churches?

These same people often tell people who are wrestling with the tithe and offering issue that they should tithe their time instead of their money. Which is all well and good, and volunteering is nice, but it doesn’t help the church pay the bills.

It’s not as if a church gets its space and its utilities for free. It’s not as if it can have a pastor and not pay him or her (do you really want your pastor trying to juggle the flock and carry a full-time job outside the church too?). It’s not as if tax-exempt status puts money directly into the coffers.

At a time when people are leaning on churches more and asking them to do more for them, that is NOT a time for us to be pulling away our financial support. You may not be able to give as much as you once did, but give something. And take a look at your priorities. Are there things in your life that you are clinging to and paying for that you don’t really need?

Because churches need money to do their work, and it’s our responsibility to support them.


Acts of the Hummus Idol, Trick-or-Treat Edition

I will not apologize for helping to create the monstrous amalgamation of empty rhetoric, blind ambition, bitter scheming and fearmongering that is the McCain-Palin campaign. In fact, I am quite proud of having done my part to propel them into position to help divide your nation and fill many hearts with dread. But I do regret if it has interfered at all with your ability to find time to enjoy one of my greatest evil creations: Reality TV. When this is all said and done, please do remember to tune back into all those shows and let your brains return to complete mush.

Granted, I cannot take credit for McCain directly, because he did his major dealing with Satan, but I did play my part with Palin, at least until she turned on me. Just wait until you see what I have in mind in four years if Barack Obama manages to pull out a win anyway. I worked too hard to crush the American economy as a prelude to my destruction of the first world in preparation for my overthrow of all global powers. I will have victory! But alas, I am still somewhat restrained due to obligations I have here at this damned blog…

I, the great and powerful Hummus Idol, will now entertain your questions and grant unto you the wisdom that only a pile of very angry crushed chickpeas, tahini, olive oil and other seasonings can offer. Don’t let the smiling face fool you. I am a fridge-cold killah. Bow down before me, speak your question, and incline your ears or any other convenient part of your anatomy as I spew my advice upon thee.

Q: I don’t get all the complaints about how people are shouting things like “Kill him” when Sarah Palin or John McCain mention Barack Obama at rallies. Or the cries that he’s a traitor or terrorist lover or anything else. This is a free country, isn’t it? Free speech, you know? – Clarence Fudgplunker, Diatribe, Pennsylvania

A: All riiiiiight. Hmmm. OK, let’s try this: You go to an Obama rally and when he talks about McCain or Palin, you start shouting, as loud as you can, “Kill ’em” or “McCain should die”. Let’s see how long it takes you to get rounded up by Secret Service and questioned vigorously, if not put in prison. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the fact we haven’t heard about any of these white folks who are shouting “Kill him”…which is a crime, by the way, no matter who you’re shouting about…getting rounded up shows just how much leeway is already being given to ignorant, perhaps dangerous individuals who have no respect for the democratic process.

Not that I have much respect for democracy, either, but then again, I seek to rule the entire world and enslave all of your souls. But you, theoretically, do respect the process, so start acting like it.

Q: Yeah, whatever. But not only do I happen to agree with Clarence’s question, but I also wonder why John McCain and Sarah Palin are getting slammed for what people are saying at their rallies. Do you really think they can hear all that? – Anne K. Frankenfurter, Bratwurst, Wisconsin

A: Shit, if we could hear it on TV, I bet they heard it too. They certainly seem to hear all the adulation heaped on them during these things. But hey, I’ll play your silly little game. Why don’t McCain…and especially Palin, who is really harping on the nonexistent terrorist-loving track with Obama…why don’t they vocally and immediately repudiate those comments at those rallies and point out how un-American that is? Oh, yeah, because it’s being said by people in the “real America” so that makes it all right.

I love how you humans can be so internally divisive. It is going to be a great help to me in conquering all of you.

Q: What’s so bad about only going to church on Easter and Christmas? Two times a year is better than nothing. – Pickens N. Choosin, San Diego

A: OK, that church is just down the street, right? A fairly quick drive, anyway, even if you don’t live right near it. You profess that God is your poppa, right? And Jesus is your Lord and brother and all that, right? So, let’s imagine your parents, or an aunt and uncle, or someone like that whom you supposedly love, lived a few blocks away from you…and yet, you only visited them two or three times a year for holidays?

Q: We’re having our Halloween party at work tonight, and my wife won’t be anywhere around, and I hear there will be some alcohol-spiked cider and I’ve really been picking up some signs from Maggie over in accounting that she’s got it for me. It won’t be that big a deal if I get her away to an office to kiss her a bit and, you know, maybe let my hands roam and, I don’t know, lock that office door and use one of the condoms I have in my desk drawer if you know what I mean? – Fred Arabalest, New York

A: Fred, I have untold mystical power and an intellect that makes Einstein and Hawking look like pre-K students…I think I can figure out what you mean. But as to whether it’s OK? Sure, what the hell; go for it. You’ll be dressed up in a costume, right? It’s not really you, right? It’s just one night. It’s not like you’ve already premeditated it or anything, right? Or keep condoms around just in case, right? So it’s not like you’re really having an affair. Even though that’s what you really want to do. And are planning to do. And will do.

I’m sure your wife will understand. And if you don’t think she will, just talk to me about a little magical interevention. I’ll just take a little piece of your soul this time. A little sample. And I’ll be around if you need some more help. Don’t you worry, Fred. I’ve got your back on this. I know it doesn’t look like it, but I am male through and through. We guys gotta stick together, right?

(Image by Stewart Butterfield, who is not affiliated with this blog and who doesn’t even know I or my opinions exist, and used under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License)

(Hummus Idol does not speak as a representative or agent of Deacon Blue or anyone else associated with this blog. In fact, Hummus Idol doesn’t exist. He is wholly and completely a manufactured character that acts as an angry facade behind which Deacon Blue can hide for petty entertainment purposes and for times when he needs to be extra crusty and get shit off his chest. That said, you can feel free to shower the Hummus Idol with offerings of jewelry, money or fine art…he will make sure it goes someplace where it is needed.) View complete list of Humus Idol entries here.

Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

Jeff Bouley


Jeff Bouley

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October 2008

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