What frigging year is it?

Q: Who needs Fatima?

A: America, apparently.

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept, some peasant kids saw a vision of Mary who told them they had to do certain things for god.  This includes some Medieval-style prayers about pleading with Jesus to forgive them for all the hurt the world puts on him with its blasphemy and nonbelievers.  They call themselves “America Needs Fatima” and they appear to be the unholy spawn of right wing Catholicism, Tea Partying, and Operation Rescue, but devoted to stopping “blasphemers”.

Your religious views must pretty far out there if the top of you list thing to worry about is not, say, doing good deeds, or helping the needy, or assuaging suffering, or any gay liberal crap like that…no the top priority is stopping people from saying or doing things that offend your mental image of you imaginary friend.

My step-sister-in-law is starring in a local production of “Corpus Christi,” a play that came out in the 1990s.

But this Fatima group is is still deeply offended by the suggestion that the “kingdom of Heaven” is not for straights only.  So this group which is fanatically devoted to their imaginary friend finds the play blasphemous and encourages people to protest it. I am not linking to them.  

So my wife & some of her friends went to see my step-sister-in-law in this play “Corpus Christi” at a church in Akron.  There were these “Fatima” protesters (20 or 30, they guessed) will printed vinyl signs and t-shirts and all of them had red scarves (?).  She said all of them were adult men (all of them?!?).  They could not tell if they were local or bussed in or a mix.

They were chanting and shouting and trying to disrupt the play.  The church ‘counter demonstrated’ by projecting a message that said something like “All are welcome in the house of god”.  The police had to escort play-goers around the demo, to the back door & basement of the church.

The protester group has a “petition” to send protest emails to the church hosting the play.  The default message is:

Subject: Blasphemy!

The First Grace United Church:

I vehemently protest against the production of the blasphemous play Corpus Christi, which includes a Christ-like figure who reportedly has sexual relations with his apostles.
The Person of Jesus Christ is Sacred and untouchable. To portray Him as a homosexual, or even to insinuate it, is an unspeakable blasphemy which I reject with all my soul.
I ask you to immediately cancel this production and to offer a public apology to Our Lord Jesus Christ and to all God fearing Americans.


Notice they are careful to say the Christ-like figure “reportedly” does this or that.  Because why would anyone there even bother to see the play or read the script or do anything but roll out of bed and type furiously and send money to support a bunch of thugs who who try to shut down a play.

But they let you edit everything in the email, so mine read:

Subject: Best . Friday. Ever.

The First Grace United Church:

I am so sorry to see groups like this Fatima organization making a fuss about a play.  A play with the temerity to adapt a story from the Bible.  What next?




Published in: on April 23, 2011 at 8:38 am  Comments (11)  

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  1. Every Christian denomination has members that take their faith to the extreme and the words of their faith very literally.

    Expressing their beliefs, even protesting at events and such, are their right as Americans.

    The only time we as individuals give an F’ is when their protests interfere with or offend us personally.

    Freedom of speech is a great thing until it gets in someone’s way.

  2. This play showed in Philly years ago, with this kind of response.

    One of the weirdos who led the protest lives in the vicinity of where I work. A little digging revealed that he is basically a professional protester receiving money from ‘conservative/family values’ organizations for being a ‘soldier’. Anytime he crosses the line and gets arrested, they bail him out, etc.

    Here’s the ironic part: one of the local parishes in the same town is actually closing due to low attendance and costs.

    Go figure.

  3. The hate being perpetrated in America in the name of Jesus agrieves me.

    I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend.

  4. Incidentally, I would view those protests as a form of psychological violence.

    Expressing one’s beliefs and protesting is permitted in lots of societies, not just America. But where does it cross the line into verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, bullying and other forms of mental harm?

    Aldeboran posted a video recently of some Tea Party “protesters” who had clearly crossed the line, shouting absolutely disgusting and obscene things at 6-year olds. Had I been one of the politicians scheduled to address that “protest” I would have spoken out against that kind of hate-mongering. Not a single attending politician did.

    I ask myself, who does that kind of thing? Who condones or excuses it, under “freedom of speech”?

    People need to be more Christ-like.

  5. Paladin, I agree that people need to police themselves. The issue with things like “Freedom of Speech” is that once you start putting restrictions on it, its a long, slippery slope.

    As an aside, Mike, you do realize that by referring to “The Miracle at Fatima” as many Catholics call it, as “people devoted to their imaginary friend” you’ve just lambasted Catholics in general? I’m sure that wasn’t your intent, but it is the result.

    • 1) I am not trying to restrict their freedom of speech. I am calling them on their obnoxiousness and indifference to the teachings of the man they say they adore. I am not standing outside protesting their passion plays or church services just because I think it is bunk.
      2) I think we should tolerate everyone except the intolerant. People who try to limit or deny the free speech of others should not be free to do so.
      3) I have nothing against Catholics in particular (I was raised as a Catholic and actually find the church mostly ok compared to other Christian denominations, although I’m not a fan of the pope per se). Pretty much every religion is, in my estimation, a variety of fraternizing with imaginary friends. Stuff like this (which I think amounts to an attempt to intimidate people I know, who have good intentions with the play) makes me forget my manners and say what I think.
      I have no ill will toward anyone simply because they have religious beliefs, and do regret giving that impression.
      I do not mean to lambaste them any more than I lambaste children who believe in the tooth fairy. It is actually kind of cute, except when they get all zealous like the Fatima Needers…

  6. Tenkar said…
    Paladin, I agree that people need to police themselves. The issue with things like “Freedom of Speech” is that once you start putting restrictions on it, its a long, slippery slope.

    Other countries have come up with ways to balance freedom of speech with freedom not to be subjected to psychological violence. American politicians would be well-served to strike up some “two-way” conversations with the rest of the free world, from time to time.

    Anyhow, peace out, and have a very happy Easter!

  7. It is hard for me to understand why I have to respect someone’s belief in Imaginary beings when it is ok to point out other such beings do not exist. No one gets upset when one points out there is no Easter bunny or Santa Claus. Why should someone’s belief in magic fairies or god(s) have to be respected?

    The jury is not out on evolution, gravity, or that earth or the sun is the center of the universe. It is provable fact. If you disagree with provable fact without a testable alternative you should be treated as delusional.

    Not all ideas are equal. Sell crazy somewhere else.

    • Yep.
      “I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours.”–Stephen Roberts
      But this kind of talk is distracting us from bugbears.
      Bugbears: Pumpkin heads or big furry goblin? I vote pumpkin heads.

      Big furry goblins = something else. They need a different name. But what? Hobgoblins is already taken. Maybe gnoles?

    • I agree with this so hard, I am frozen without the power of speech and can only go, ” — !”

  8. It often seems the people who claim to have the greatest, strongest faith actually act as if it is fragile and cannot weather the slightest challenge. I’ve seen it time and again.

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