The Recreational Christianity FAQ


Written by "Psycho" Dave Last Updated 12-1-97
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What is Recreational Christianity?

Recreational Christianity is a term coined by Brother Randall from Snake Oil Magazine. Essentially, the term is used to describe any one of a number of activities where a non-Christian (or person not involved with a particular sect of Christianity) indulges or imerses themselves in activities, literature, and media of a given sect of Christianity which they perceive as strange, bizarre, or off-beat, for the sole purpose of having fun at the expense of that sect of Christianity.

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What kinds of activities does Recreational Christianity Involve?

Here is a brief list and description of known forms of recreational Christianity:

Making fun of Street Preachers

This activity involves confronting street-preachers and religious prosthelitizers on the street, and heckling them publicly, playing strange head-games with them, or otherwise making them look stupid. Not an activity for everyone, it takes a special kind of person to be effective at this. It can get hairy, as some street preachers (or their supporters) often react violently to the heckler. You need to have a quick wit, and come up with an appropriate come-back for every possible line. For example, if a street preacher says something like "Jesus Rose from the dead...", you can snap back "What?! You mean Jesus was a ZOMBIE?" Another good comback line is when a preacher says "Accept Jesus and he will wash away your sins..."; you reply "yes, friends, itís new Jesus Laundry detergent -- it washes away those unsightly sins! Get your while supplies last!"

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Pledge-and-run

Often poor at handling the large sums of money they receive every week, many TV and Radio ministries literally GIVE AWAY thousands of dollars worth of merchandise to their supporters, for pledges of certain specified amounts of money. Most of the free gifts include books, videotapes, audio tapes, catalogs, jewelry, coffee mugs, autographed photos of famous TV and Radio ministers, records, CDs, and other high-quality CRAP. Unknown to most people, a PLEDGE for money is not binding. You can pledge thousands of dollars and never pay one penny of it, legally, because itís largely seen as a donation; they are not "selling" you merchandise, they are offering you FREE GIFTS for a DONATION. Many practitioners of Pledge-and-run use fake names and multiple addresses to avoid being singled out and written off of mailing lists.

Subsequently, many ministries have tried to keep stricter control over their free merchandise, using computers to track addresses, cities, and such. However, despite the high tech monitoring, you can still pull off a great deal if you have enough ministries targetted.

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Crank Calls

When listening to Christian talk shows on the Radio or TV, many practitioners of Recreational Christianity often find themselves calling up the show and playing a joke character on the air. On a live program, this can be especially amusing. A favorite talk show is "Talk Back" with Bob Larson (1-800-223-CLUB, usually on the air from 3PM to 6PM EST), a fanatical anti-rock crusader. People have called in pretending to be "Saved" on the air, sobbing, crying, and whining. Bob is a sucker for emotional basket-cases. Other callers have called up his show, pretending to be possessed by the devil, and Bob takes them absolutely seriously, attempting to Exorcise them live, on-the-air! Even Howard Sternís loyal crank-callers have gotten onto Christian TV talk shows, asking ministers what at first appear to be Biblical questions, then, once the minister gets going, they ask "How does that relate to the fact that Howard Stern is God?"

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Mailing List mania

You can get on the mailing lists of bizarre Christian organizations, such as the KKK, the Christian Identity Churches, or even the Aryan Nations - all of whom claim to be good olí boys who love Jesus, but like White people better. This is a fun way of "getting to know your enemy", so to speak, and you can expect some pretty wacky literature even from seemingly benign churches. Getting onto the mailing list of the ICR (Institute for Creation Research) can be especially fun, as their publications, "The Bible-Science Newsletter", and "Acts & Facts", let you inside their organizations, to see what they are all about.

You can send away for catalogs from places like Jack Chick Publications (the home of those horrid little Christian comic books!) or Baker Book House (theyíll publish anything thatís Christian), and get your name and address on about 15 or so mailing lists. Be warned -- USE A FAKE NAME and a PO Box. Not doing so can get you investigated by the FBI, especially if the places you send to are associated with any racist groups. I prefer to use the name "Rev. Dick Taiter", or "Rev. Richard Head" (Dick Head).

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Visiting Churches

Yep, this is where the fun begins. You can play "Christian for a day", by going to the weirdest churches you can find. Snake-handlers, Boogie-woogie Gospel masses at some Southern Baptist churches, or just any church that has a screaming lunatic reputation. Just wear whatever they wear so nobody will ask too many questions (you donít want to be "discovered" -- you want to blend in...aw what the heck, maybe you *DO* want to be noticed. Wear a biker jacket and motorcycle boots, and act Satanic if questioned...whatever turns you on. JUST DONíT DRINK THE KOOL-AID!!!! If you want to be scared to death for fun, check out churches that involve people speaking in tongues. These churches have some of the scariest, most retarded people in them. Yes -- itís another episode of "Americaís Creepiest people"!

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Infiltrating Christian Activist Groups

This is really fun if you manage to pull it off for a long time. Many college campuses have a branch of "Campus Crusade For Christ" or a similar group, which actively presents talks on Creationism, ultra-right wing politics, anti-abortion demonstrations, and so on. Getting involved with the more fanatical groups is tougher, as you have to be a good, consistsnt actor to keep their suspicion away from you -- the anti-abortion groups tend to be a bit paranoid. You can get up-to-date info on their latest events -- find out when theyíre protesting so you can invite friends, or maybe even rat on them to the cops if theyíre doing something that would get them arrested.

In most cases, this is a harmless activity, involving a bit of acting, con-man schemes, and possibly a disguise -- but be careful. Infiltrating the KKK or Identity Churches can be hazardous to your life. Several FBI infiltrators have been maimed and even killed doing this kind of stuff for the government.

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Altering and redistributing Religious Tracts

You walk down the street in a big city, and a smiling zombie hands you a religious tract, which essentially tells you to "Worship Jesus or DIE!" Many recreational Christians like to collect these tracts, and alter the pictures on them to poke fun at them, and the people who hand them out. You can do a little desktop publishing (or if youíre not a computer-head, you can do the old "cut and paste"), change the pictures around, add a few cartoons of slam-dancers stage-diving at Jesusís crucifixion, putting a picture of J.R. "Bob" Dobbs over people, or just altering the text. A favorite series of tracts that you might find are the infamous spoofs of the Jack Chick comic book tracts. Masterfully done, theyíve duplicated the tracts exactly, and changed the text to say the opposite of what the original message was.

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Renting Christian Videos

Some of the worst documentaries, the most warped childrenís programming, and the most hideous propaganda comes from Christians. Go to your average Christian bookstore, and rent videos like "Superbook", a kidís version various Bible stories that is impeccably produced and animated, except that all of the "good guys" in each story are white, blue-eyed aryan archetypes, and every villain has very stereotypical, pronounced jewish features -- in other words, the villains are so stereotypical, that after watching the Superbook series, then looking at Nazi-era anti-jewish propaganda posters and cartoons, you can see incredible similarities to the style. Itís border-line antisemetic at the least.

Favorite videos of recreational Christians are the schlockumentaries that provide mindless propaganda against things like Rock music, cults, and evolution, or videos on apologetics. Check out "Hells Bells", a documentary that "proves" the evil satanic influences found in Rock music. No -- these guys donít point out the groups of obvious and admittedly satanic rock musicians, they point out how the Beatles were Satanic, how Pete Townsend and The Who are Satanic, and how there is a connection between rock music, Dungeons and Dragons, Comic books, Saturday morning cartoons, and Satan. They claim that getting into any one will eventually lead an individual on a one-way trip to hell.

Christian Drama and scifi? You bet! Check out the series of videos that include the titles "Image of the Beast" and "Theif in the Night". These are both Christian "Scifi" movies, based on the prophecies of Daniel and the book of Revelations. If you thought Ed Wood movies were bad, these are so bad that Ed Wood looks like Stephen Spielberg by comparison. You can occaisionally see TV ministries hocking these videos for donations, proclaiming their "excellent acting, brilliant special effects, gripping and compelling drama, and moving musical scores." The back of the boxes for both of these videos proclaims that they won film awards because of their excellence.

Whatís the reality? The acting is preachy and pathetic, more like people reading cue cards than acting. The special effects are non-existant. In "Image of the Beast", the only special effects you can see are a "shaky-cam" during an earthquake scene, and the shadow of a creature described in revelation, projected onto a wall. The stories lack basic continuity, and the dialog is mostly laughable. Thereís this funny scene in "Beast", where a Wilford Brimley look-alike takes a bunch of strangers into his barn, pulls a sheet off of a large wall mural depicting the timeline of revelations (the same one, in fact, that Jack Van Impe often explains on his shows -- very esoteric), and begins to lecture them for no apparent reason. The musical scores in both films is stock music, none of it is original, and itís badly chosen for the moods. Most of the music sounds like they ripped it off of an old medieval war epic, but there is hardly any action in the films for the music to fit to.

Christian video is generally pathetic at best, and they have to have their own special awards, because their stuff is so substandard, that it would never win any awards in the real world. Most of the drama sections of Christian bookstoresí video sections contain extremely sappy and childish stuff at best. The only high quality productions on Christian video appear to be their "MTV" style music videos. Unfortunately, they look just like regular MTV videos because they are from groups like Stryper, Twisted Sister, and other Christian rock groups that broke into the secular market.

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Watching Christian Television Shows

Brother Randall and the guys at Zontar Magazine are famous for their compilation videos of bizarre Christian television shows. The most bizarre stuff is right on the tube in your own home. Need we point out Robert Tilton's "Success "N" Life"? Robert Tilton is the single most slimey, silly, bizarre, retard on the air. He "heals" people on the air by asking the viewers who are afflicted to place their hands on the television, right over his hands. He speaks in tongues, glossilating the same phrases week after week. He asks for no less than $1000 donations, because "God doesnít want $10...God doesnít want $100...He wants $1000!"

Pat Robertson always seems to have some demented crap on his show. Before he ran for president, he used to do these little "word of knowledge" healing segments, where he, Ben Kinchlowe, Denuda Soderman, would sit, randomly select diseases and affictions, and speak in tongues. Once he decided to run for President, this practice came to an abrupt halt. He started a news broadcast by selecting stories from newspapers and having a professional newsreader read them on the air. This project later blossomed into CBN news, which is a CNN wannabe, only they focus on Patís bizarre spin on world events, and showcase Christian-oriented stories, especially ones involving legal suits. CBN news is no less than total propaganda. Pat occaisionally takes the time to explain the significance of certain events by talking about the bizarre conspiracy theories from the John Birch Society. Itís kind of like visiting a different planet, where everyone is paranoid.

The most hideously bizarre Christian thing on television is "Captain Hookís Christian Pirate Puppets", a trully demented cable program hosted by a real multiple-amputee; heís missing an arm and a leg. This show is obviously aimed at the 6 and under crowd, but they choose some of the most bizarre subject matter to be talking to little kids about. In one segment, "Mrs. Hook" (the Captainís wife) talks about how "God is not a child molester", with a big zombie-smile on her face. Another time, The captain performed an autopsy on a puppet, pulling out beer cans, cigarettes, and eventually realistic rubber prop-organs.

In one episode, they found a bunch of stowaways on the ship, and they started throwing them overboard, making them walk the plank. The captain commented "Those who donít walk with Jesus will have to walk the plank!" -- quite a good message to send to kids! The Creme de la Creme was when the captain broadcast a segment where he explained how he lost his arm and leg in a motorcycle accident. The segment was full of gorey, full-color drawings depicting the whole incident. Remember -- this show is for children under 6! It must have really warped quite a few young minds.

We cannot mention Christian television without talking about the infamous and irreverent Dr. Gene Scott. Gene Scott is a bizarre minister with wild hair, who wears 2 pair of glasses (sunglasses with little reading specs in front of them) when reading Bible passages. He has his own unique spin on the Bible (too much to explain here), and says things that are quite unique. One time he was talking about the Amalekites in the Old Testament, then started hocking T-shirts that said "Amalek Happens." on them, a spinoff of the old "Shit Happens" saying. Then one time, he broadcast scenes of his ranch, showing people partying, riding horses, and generally having a good time, while playing a song in the background called "Kill some piss-ant for Jesus". Itís difficult to figure out if Gene Scott is real, or if he is playing a great prank on his followers.

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Hosing on net-Christians

Well, anyone who has the ability to read this file most likely is already familiar with BBSís, the Internet, and the World Wide Web. But just in case this is a printout handed to some computer novice, Iíll explain. There are Bulletin board services for computers that have Christian message bases on them. The Internet, a world-wide computer network that you can tap into with a computer, has thousands of newsgroups where Christians and others meet all the time, to discuss prayer, bible study, but most of all, to plan the infiltration of non-Christian newsgroups and "get the word of God spread around the net". Groups for exclusively non-christian people get bombarded with Jesus-grams, Hell-o-grams, and what we, on the net, like to call "Spammers" and "Trollers".

A Spammer is a person who sends junk mail to every newsgroup they can find, even if the content of the junk-mail is inappropriate. A Troller is a person who deliberately goes into a newsgroup that is diametrically opposed to his views, and leaves "flames", or nastygrams -- to be more specific, a Christian will send a message to a gay activist newsgroup saying "You queers and faggots all are going to die of AIDS, and then you will rot in HELL!". There are certain trollers who actually PRETEND to be weenies, just for kicks, and they make up messages, or even play a character for a while. Hosing on net-Christians involves many such activities, as described above. However, there is a breed of atheists on the net known as "Bad Assed Atheists With Attitudes" (BAAWA), who are not trollers or spammers, but who keep to their newsgroup and wait for Christians to come in and start shooting off their mouths. Then the fun begins. Using a combination of rational logic, science, and a special mixture of sarcasm and cynnicism, The BAAWA will not only teach the Christian a lesson, but will do so in a rather cruel, unforgiving way -- which can be awfully fun!

Going into Christian newsgroups and having discussions on science and creationism can be pretty fun, especially for those well-read intellectuals who want to make their opponents look really dumb. Occaisionally, youíll meet up with some really hideous, drooling born-again sucker-for-JEE-ZUS, who will spew out a bunch of inane crapola at you. Such an idiot is the infamous Brice Wellington, whose advocacy of wife-beating...sorry...SPANKING, taking the rights of women away to vote, sending Jews and African Americans back to their home countries, and promotion of the notion that masturbation causes testicular cancer and mental retardation, caused a wave of flamewars, hosings, and good old fashioned fun that hovers over the net to this day.

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Hacking Religious Web Sites

A Recent development that I've only seen a few examples of, is the hacking of Televangelists' web pages, and the altering of the text and graphics. Back in 1996, The Final Call Online web page (Louis Farrakahn's paper) was altered by a web hacker. This is basically the electronic version of altering and redistributing religious tracts, but it's far more complicated, and usually can only be done once, because after a security leak is detected on a web site, all of the passwords change, along with added firewall protection. But it still gets done. On October 10th, 1997, Pat Robertson's 700 Club Online web site was successfully hacked. Pat's image was grafted onto a naked woman's body, lots of pornographic pictures were substituted, and "Pat, have you Sucked off Ben Today" was left in big bold letters. CBN Immediately shut their site down. Fortunately, Someone took a snapshot of their web page before they changed it. Here is what it looked like.

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Conclusions

That, in a nutshell, is what Recreational Christianity is all about. Just remember that the key to proper practice should be to ask yourself "Am I having fun yet?" Recreational Christianity is supposed to be fun -- a hoot, a laugh, shits-n-giggles. If you go beyond having fun, then it becomes more than recreational Christianity -- it becomes Counter Evangelism, which means you are trying to do serious damage to the effectiveness of Christians in spreading their word. People such as Madalyn Murray O'Haire or the Freedom From Religion Foundation, for instance, are examples of counter-evangelists. Essentially, the line is drawn at having fun. When it becomes serious, scholarly, boring, it is counter-evangelism. I may have missed some activities in this article. If you have any suggestions for adding to this list, please EMAIL me, and I'll add it to the FAQ. I hope this leads newcomers to a wonderful world of kookiness, whereby they, too, can drain the coffers of the evil Christian world Empires, both on TV, and otherwise, while having fun doing it! Christianity is an evil mindset to have, and it causes too many people to miss out on all of the fun they could be having!

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