You Can’t Make This Shit Up9 April, 2009
In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy 120 proof Spirit . . . .
It must be really hard to start a new church. There are a good number of goats out there (and goats are impossible to lead (kind of like cats)). A new church needs sheep. And let’s face it: in any community, the number of sheep stays pretty steady. In many, it is dropping. Few, if any, non-believers (goats) are going to join the fold. You might get some interdenominational transfers or converts from other religions, but your pool of sheep is limited.
So you have to have a hook to convince potential transferees. I’ve seen gas cards offered up as a bribe for attending a church. Many churches just use the old standby: come to my church or be damned in hell forever by the one loving god yadda yadda yadda, blah, blah, blah. In a field this saturated, you need a really strong advertising concept. How about liquor?
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A fledging [sic] Arkansas church will see if distilled spirits can mix with the Holy Spirit this Easter weekend. A new Little Rock church called The River will hold both of its Easter services at The Rev Room, a bar and nightclub in the city’s River Market.
Pastor Shane Montgomery told KLRT-TV that it’s an effort to attract a new audience to his nondenominational ministry.
However, bar employees say it’s not yet clear if their liquor license will allow them to serve beer and booze during a Sunday morning service.
The church said it would also like to hold Mother’s Day and Father’s Day services at a bar.
Drinking on a Sunday morning. Almost makes me want to go to Easter Sunday services (not really even close, but I’m going for effect, here). And down South, there have always been those willing to imbibe in the early hours (I once got shot by a drunk around noon on a Sunday), so this might be a winning idea.
The Catholics serve wine, but wine is rather effete. Down in Little Rock, I suspect that beer and Jack Daniels are (within a certain subset of the population) the drink of choice. Maybe they will gather some Catholics into the Bar Church. Maybe on Father’s Day, they can round out the service with a NASCAR race? And Mother’s Day? Give her salted nuts as opposed to flowers. Sure. It’ll work. Maybe have an absinthe day to mix a little wormwood with the gall. Or hold a service in a stripper bar and let the church keep 10% of the stocking stuffers.
I spend part of my time here mocking religion. I do not hate religion. I detest some of what is done in the name of religion, but I don’t hate it. I mock religion partly because it is so damn easy. I mean really. This one is like shooting fish in a barrel.