The Skywriter and the Prophet

23 July, 2008

(((Wife))) went down to Florida for a week to visit her family.  Ahhh.  Florida in July.  Sounds refreshing, eh?  The revolting part is, it was cooler in Florida than it was up here in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Knowing that I am constantly on the lookout for inspiration for my blog, she kept her eyes open.  She saw an American Swallow Tail Kite :




She also saw a sign outside of a church (by the time she allowed her stunned mind to accept what she was reading, she had passed the church without noting the denomination) with the usual message board:  Sunday School at thus-and-such time, service at thus-and-such time, etc.  Down at the bottom, it read, “Steve [somethingorother], Prophet.”  Prophet? 

Now I know that I don’t know everything about all the hundreds of different versions of the one true religion, but Prophet?  Do they mean someone like Warren Jeffs?   I was under the illusion that the early church (say about 300 or so) had declared the age of the prophet over.  After all, if each generation had their own prophet who could invent  (sorry, have revealed to them) new prophecies, new teachings, new rules, then the Christian unity would be fractured.  What kind of church has its own prophet?  Or (vice Chappie) did they just mispell profit?  Maybe Steve is just profitting from the church, not propheting for the church.

She also got to see a skywriter.  The message writ across the beautiful blue skies of central Florida?  “Jesus Loves You.”  She was offended.  Not by the message, that was just the normal fundogelical nonsense which frequently slides, like diarrhea from a sick toddler, from the Chrisian right into the rest of reality.  No.  She was offended by the amount of money being wasted.  Renting an airplane, with the proper equipment to burn oil and leave the proper smudges in the sky, and the pilot, ain’t cheap.  The environmental impact, the amount of fuel used, just drives up prices for the rest of us.  Maybe it was payed for by the same asshat who buys the paint for the people who write religious drivel on the highway overpasses.  Or maybe it was an Hispanic gentleman named Jesus expressing his love for his girlfriend?  That would, to (((Wife)), be a little more palatable.

Does the person paying for the skywriting really believe that they will actually convince a non-believer?  Do they expect the atheist to look up, see the skywriting, and say, “Oh.  Letters in the sky.  A miracle.  Now I believe.  Now I am saved?”  Or is this just an easy way to earn points with God — I witnessed Jesus’ love to hundred’s of thousands of people in one day.   Either way, you gotta wonder at the vaccuousness of the Christian mind.



  1. (((Billy))):

    I’m shocked that, in addition to ignoring the words of the prophet written on (or near) the church wall (apologies to Simon & Garfunkel), she was offended by the message written by the hand of God himself (or his pilot) across the sky! She must be every bit as godless as you are.

  2. The sight of a swallow-tailed kite is so much more impressive than god-writing in the sky.

    I’ve seen both of those things hundreds of time. Kites always take my breath away. Sometimes, the sight of a soaring kite makes me lose any woes I may have accumulated that day.

    On the other hand, god-writing makes me lose my lunch.

  3. I don’t think I’ve seen a sky writer since my teen years.

    In our area a couple of new churches have sprouted up pronouncing that they are “…Full Gospel With Signs…”

    In my younger days down south this used to mean they had an apocalyptic bent and were poison drinkers and snake handlers. Now, maybe even here?

  4. Sarge: Does that not just mean they cater for the deaf?

    I’m all for the poison and the snakes – natural selection in action!

  5. I don’t usually notice church signs, but there is a church right at the corner where I work, and I’m usually at a stop light right in front of it. This time it actually had a pretty outrageous saying (as opposed to the usual vacuous and insipid cliches).

    God does not want a share of your life,
    he wants controlling interest.

    I thought that one was pretty telling.

  6. We had a swallow-tailed kite in our neighborhood before Katrina. It came back this year – with a friend! I don’t see them often, but when I do I just have to stop and gaze at them.

    I only get offended by waste unless it’s caused by someone else (Government) wasting my money, resources, etc. I doubt the skywriter is contributing to the price of oil (or impacting the environment) nearly as much as the Indians and the Chinese.

  7. grrr… when it’s caused…

  8. I’ve seen people “take up serpents”, but I think there are wild life laws in this county which may have a bit of a damper on their festivities.

    And, a church with signs Is a good idea. One can’t go blundering about the halls winding up in the wrong rest room, or who knows? Stumble into a baptistry that someone had carelessly left full.

    There’s a church that’s a sort of wannabe mega church, St. So-andAo’s Reformed Church. They sent people to canvas the neighborhood and stir up interest.
    I was coaching a young lady on a musical piece when they came, and asked if I was interested. I asked what this church was reformed FROM… had it been fragmented and was now reconstituted, or what bad behavior had it indulged in that it now spurned?
    Well…it was just, uh…REFORMED!
    I told them thanks, but I preferred an INCORREGIBLE church, though a recidevist church might do in a pinch.
    The young lady I was assisting gave me one of “Those Looks” and said, “Incorregible would soit you really well.”

    When my sons were still at home we went to the beach in Florida and I pointed out some very exotic birds to them. I foolishly, well knowing that the alternate name for these creatures was ‘Man o’ war birds’ refered tot hem as Frigate birds, also acceptable.

    My oldest said, “They just don’t care about things, huh, Dad”? This avian nomenclature gave them just hours of fun. Grrr.

  9. Chappie: Was that the poem composed of one word, four letters?

    Ex: So check out the god-writing BEFORE lunch.

    Sarge and Yunshui: Why don’t we see more Pentacostals and other snake-handlers in the annual Darwin Awards?

    Sabrina: Not just a controlling interest, all of it, every moment of every day, for eternity. Bleah.

    Bullet: I agree with being against waste. But I have noticed that, under Republicans, waste tends to increase. It seems that one of the unspoken rules of conservatism is that government waste is okay, as long as it goes to big campaign contributors. Much (not all) of what appears to be waste at first glance has some use, often in the long term. The space race could be considered an absolute waste, but it also jump-started many technologies we take for granted today.

    Sarge: The First Incorregible and Recidivist Church of Gettysburg. How many would join?

    And as for your son? Bad Sargelette. No donut!

  10. I never had trouble keeping my temper when my sons were small, most of the time it was a struggle to keep a straight face and refrain from laughing when I really wanted to.

  11. I wonder how many hungry people could have been fed with the money they spent on sky graffiti?

  12. I remember seeing entire formations of surplus WWII aircraft flying in formation releasing smoke in ground directed bursts for in effect, flying billboards. I remember one specificly was for Chesterfields. That had to have cost a pretty good chunk of change even prior to 1955.

    Phunny thing about money, Philly, there seems to be a lot around, it’s just who has it in their pockets and where it’s allowed to go. When, even.

    A few months ago at least ten members of a large family burned to death in their home. A kerosene heater seems ot have been the cause.

    This family was in reduced circumstances although they were working at what was availabe. No assistance, less food than needed, dibs and dabs of help, but they were pretty much losing ground and most everything else. Hardly any help at hand.

    Came the fire and deaths. Funeral costs were $100K give or take. It seems that money that wasn’t available to help them live could be found to bury them.

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