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I put myself on the naughty list, with pride

David and Patrick,

As you know, my ministry in the Universal Life Church is one of love and understanding for all people. And I go about it in a Whitman/Lenny Bruce sort of way. I love my species and try to call out those of us who don’t, who want to make things hard on others, who do not have understanding or love for their fellow men and women.

So, when the First Baptist Church of Dallas put up Web site, “Grinchalert”–where you can “Make known businesses and organizations acting against Christmas”–I put myself on it.

After all, I don’t care for Christmas as a coercive social practice. Nor do I think that saying Merry Christmas all over town is a big deal. Everyone says it, no one says it.

That must be acting against Christmas. Grinchalert makes a simple assumption that capitalists will suddenly grow morals and fly with the angels if they are told to. What they will do is respond to market forces, and if enough Christians make a market trend, they will find themselves catered to.

But it is akin to the sycophant bowing and scraping to get a better seat next to master at the movies. The morals are just marketing. Force the business to market to Christianity, they think, and capitalists and the unsaved masses will somehow find the way to salvation.

It’s just marketing. Much like the megachurch. Big business makes people behave in certain ways, mostly to shift people’s assets into business profits. But that, I think, is what the megachurch is all about. Shifting hard earned worker money into the moral bastion’s wealth and power.

Grinchaltert makes cynicism of and similarity between the meagachurch and capitalism nakedly apparent. Both are always deficient, not just when capitalists don’t say, “Merry Christmas” or when the megachurch makes them do it. Both are based on greed, exploitation of the human and nonhuman, and riddled with contradictions, hypocrisies, and falsehoods. Both are often demeaning and operate on fear. For instance, if you are old and without Life Alert, you will die. What, you’re not saved? Do you have Christ as your personal savior? What does your car say about you? What’s a woman without makeup? What’s a man who sweats? Christ wants you to prosper (Billy Graham style).

According to the Dallas megachurch, my small actions ambivalent to both Christianity and the alleged Savior’s birthdate–as if God needs cake and candles–puts the Almighty on the defensive. That makes me feel very powerful. For one, I am big enough to make the Jesus (think Tuturro in The Big Lebowski) trend to self-doubt and fear. Second, I make the Almighty’s followers defend it. Does it need defending? And how does one “act” against Christmas?

Their “almighty” seems a little less than omnipotent. If that god is so weak as to need the defense of its mortal followers, what good it it?

Too bad I have to get off to corrupt the young and up-and-coming minds of America. I’d love to write more, but I would write all day. See my Grinchalert below. Pure lies that reveal a certain kind of truth.


Rev. Dobson is a minister and home renovator in Kansas City. I did business with him in the past. Nice crew. I’d use him and his business again.

That’s what I thought anyway. I received his Christmas card, which was also soliciting business. It read, “Happy and safe holidays,” in English and Spanish. And Arabic! Moreover, when I was in his office last week, he said that Christmas was all about money, marketing, and capital expansion.

I don’t know what kind of minister he is, but his message is decidedly not Christian. I’ve decided to stop using his company. Now, with Gringchalert, I can tell the world, too.

Christmas is about Christ. I won’t have it any other way.

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