Sunday, May 05, 2013

Not So Gentle Gentiles: My Evening with Mighty Men of God

What is Truth?
This was the question Evangelist Angus Buchan, a white farmer from South Africa, asked ten thousand Tennessee men, myself included, at the first US Mighty Man Conference held this past Friday evening in Murfreesboro.
Oh you might say I should have been in shul for Shabbos, but here I was praising God, singing warrior verses from the Hebrew Bible, standing up and sitting on cue, and roaring Ahmoon! (Angus’ pronunciation of Amen) until the stadium shook with devotion. Besides, the music was better, featuring Charlie Daniels and an amazing drum group called StikYard, and the entire event was being simulcast in Jerusalem on; how cool is that?
Anyway, back to the question: What is Truth? It turns out that the answer is Jesus. Having gotten that straight, we turned our attention to men. Men are like eagles. Women are like geese. This bit of insight came from a story Angus told about watching a lone eagle—eagles always soar alone—terrorize a gaggle of geese. Watch out, ladies!
Most of Angus’ talk was about how Jesus worked miracles in his life. Like the time he was in Ein Gedi, Israel, and the wind blew and it rained. Or the time when he turned himself into South African Customs and found out he hadn’t broken any laws. Ahmoon!
I was hoping for more. I was hoping for a religion that wasn’t only about chest thumping (Angus did a lot of that) and jingoism, but what I heard was that poor people are lazy, and God won’t bless America until we weed out all other religions.
That’s when I raised my hand and asked Angus if he really meant that we should get rid of all Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Baha’is, Pagans, Atheists, and differently–believing Christians, and if he did mean it how he thought we should do it, and if we did do it would we still be free and democratic, and if we weren’t free and democratic did that mean that God wasn’t about freedom and democracy, and—no wait! I didn’t do any of that. I just yelled Ahmoon! and slipped outside to text my travel agent about flights to Toronto and how one can apply for Canadian citizenship. Ahmoon! Eh?


Charles Kinnaird said...

Ar, man! For a minute there I thought you really did ask that guy that question that surely would have made him either squirm or just punt it back to an all powerful miracle working God.

As for Canadian citizenship, I have a friend who has actually gained dual citizenship after having worked in Toronto for about ten years. I told him I hope he has a nice basement that I could come running to.

Erick Reynolds said...

The real challenge for any religious group advocating that theirs is the one true “American” religion is that they are out-numbered by about 350 “American” groups to one. We can’t get consensus out of 100 Senators on how to fix the economy. Imagine getting national consensus on fixing America spiritually. Who will kick out whom? Apparently people no longer believing in the Constitution need to kick those that still do in order to “save America”. I think that is “irony.”

Tricia Datené said...

Hey Rabbi are welcome in Canada any time. The west coast is the best place in the world. We have a spare bedroom if you want to visit. Check out Vancouver Island.

Bluesman said...

I can't believe you attended this event! I couldn't sit through 5 minutes of this not-so-thinly-veiled hate-fest—even if I were reporting on it. You are a better man than I.

To me, it sounds like the typical country & western concert, minus the 'Merican beer and Rebel flags. The Rapture put to fiddle music. Yikes!

Rabbi Rami said...

Thanks for the invites to Canada. I got my MA from McMasters University in Hamilton, Ont, and loved my time in Canada.

I was talking with a friend and fan of Mighty Men yesterday, and she agreed that there should only be one religion in the US. She was somewhat generous and accepted all kinds of Christianity except Mormon, Jehovah's Witness, and Seventh Day Adventists. And she made special allowances for Jews since we are the Chosen the People. She said all other religions are made up. I suggested that all religions are made up. She pretended not to hear me. I pretended she nodded in agreement. That's why we are still friends.

Phil said...

A summer fantasy: living in peace and friendly accord with my fellow Tennesseans without having to sustain the pretense of not knowing what they really think.

Hellen Damnation said...

Forget Canada. Come to New Zealand; the weather's better :)

Maggid said...

I had to google it - i thought you might be making it up . . . I intend NOT to visit a gathering like this -
I'd be uncomfortable . . .

Thanks for the great post,

Lyn Baker said...

I've been to several Promise Keeper events and was even an event coordinator a couple of years for a local men's conference called Uncommon Man that me and some friends put together. In hindsight, what the hell was I thinking. I guess that's what you do when you are a Christian. Ain't one no more though, thanks be to Zemolagon, god of the geeks.