All Creatures of Our God And King XXXIII

BudLiteGood morning, y’all. Well the big news is that former President Clinton, or Clinton the first, was seen visiting Attorney General Loretta Lynch on her plane. Of course the Repubs are crying foul and acting like the fix is in if Hillary is no billed for espionage. I guess my first thought is, if you wanted to do something in secret, would you do it in public in front of a bunch of reporters? Seems like that would be against the first rule of secrets, “keep it private”. Meantime, Hillary gave another four hours of her life explaining to the FBI something that doesn’t need explaining. When will it end, o’ Lord, when will it end?

Speaking of explaining things brings us back to our retelling of The Full Gospel Original Church of God. The Elders have just been informed that the wife of their minister had sabotaged her husband due to his infidelity with the choir director.

“Alva”, began Elder Wiley, “does Dale know you did it?”

“Of course,” she replied, “I told him I was sorry he got hurt so bad, but I’m not sorry he’s been cut down a peg or two.” “Now there’s a woman doing his job, and doing it better than he does it, in my opinion.” “I’m happy that I’ve disrupted his life.”

The Elders look at one another telepathically sending the message, “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.”

Elder Cheatum was first to speak. “Alva, does Dale know you’re here confessing?” “What does he think is going to be the resolution of all of this?”

“He told me not to come”, Alva replied, “he thinks you all are going to fire him.” “But I told him you wouldn’t fire him, he’s been disabled on the job.” “He’s due Worker’s Compensation, or something like that.”

“Well, Alva”, said Elder Wiley, “that’s not exactly true.” “First off, you all have been getting paid since the ‘accident’, and we’ve handled all of the medical bills.” “If it turns out that Dale is unable to perform the functions of his job as outlined in his job description, then we have every right to replace Dale.” “If there is a disability claim, it would be between you and the state of Georgia, not us.”

Alva’s face went into an immediate pout that looked like she was about to start crying again.

Elder Wily heads off the waterworks by saying, “But we’re not there, yet. ” “We’re hoping Dale will get well right away and continue to be our minister forever.” “You’ve given us a lot to think about, Alva.” Elder Wiley rose to indicate that the meeting was over.

“I just needed you all to know the truth, about me and Dale”, Alva said as she rose to leave, “You all have been so good to us, I didn’t feel right hiding lies.”

“You did the right thing”, Elder Wiley said as he placed an arm around the shoulder of the minister’s wife. “Now you head on back home and tell Dale everything is ok.”

“Thank you, Elder”, Ava said and she left.

Elder Wiley sat back down and looked at the group around him. “Mulva, I can’t think of anything to say that doesn’t involve some blasphemy, so I guess I’ll let the others talk.” The rest of the group stared back mutely.

“Ok, why don’t we take this up again after prayer meeting tomorrow night?” Elder Wiley said. “That’ll give me time to draw up Dale’s job description.”

The board of The Full Gospel Original Church of God adjourned to the quiet and comfort of their own homes. Exhausted board members returned to their families unable to unburden themselves from the goings on of the church. It was like “C.S.I” had mashed with “Days of Our Lives” and “Cheaters”. The best show in town was going on behind the doors of the little church, and the board members were honor bound to not discuss it outside of the four walls of the church.

After prayer meeting on Monday night, the board met briefly to add the job description of Minister to their corporate minutes. Having the job description previously determined by whatever Hawker happened to be minister at the time, had taken a lot of the administrative burden off of the board. Things were different now, and the board needed to do things by the book. There was no telling what legal landmines waited out there.

Elder Diggum was nearly lost during Wednesday morning’s breakfast. While trying to talk, and swallow half of an egg, cheese and ham biscuit, the gristle in the ham got caught mid-swallow. Elder Diggum had turned a fine shade of purplish red before the manager of Denny’s dislodged the biscuit using the Heimlich maneuver. Apparently the manager was well-versed in the maneuver, and how to spot potential choking victims. Elder Diggum had just finished reading that week’s North Georgia Gazette’s religion column by Howard Doohan. Elder Diggum was about to give a comment about the last line of the article when the gristle got caught. The article was as follows: 

Today I’d like to talk about prophets. Every religion has them. Some prophets are benign enough, they prophesize things that won’t hurt if they don’t come true. Prophecies of impending stock market crashes are benign if the prophet tells you to sell your stocks and put the money in your bank account. If the prophecy ends with you putting the money in the prophet’s bank account, or church bank account, well, that’s a different thing.

Prophets sometimes don’t agree about who the prophets are. The big schism between factions of Islam is about whether prophet X is the true prophet, or whether prophet Y is. Like any good religious disagreement, it can only be resolved by one side purging the other side from the face of the earth. It’s the old, “the only good heretic is a dead heretic” rule. I always wonder if prophet X should have foreseen being wiped out by prophet Y, or vice-versa.

Prophets are fairly adept at ignoring all of the basic rules that the rest of us live by. Whether the rules are called the Ten Commandments or “Herschel’s Big Three”, prophets will subvert the rules of their religion for their own aggrandisement. If you follow the advancement of most religions; at some point, the leaders, the prophets, will call a time out on morality to advance their cause. Supposedly, the prophets see something that we mere mortals don’t see. This unseen condition allows for the suspension of all the rules of civilization.

Big time false prophets brings us to the Jimmy and Tammy Faye Bakker scandal area. For those of you too young to remember, Jimmy and Tammy Faye Bakker were the “nuts” back in the ’80’s in the televangelism business. Their Praise The Lord club, or PTL as they called it, raised more money than Croesus. At one point, they were raking in a million dollars a week in donations. Besides the cash flow from donations, they also had the third largest theme park in the U.S.; also built by donated money. The prophet Jimmy Bakker’s downfall was a lady known as Jessica Hahn. Their respective stories vary as to who raped who, but in the end, Bakker’s reign was over. The “Praise The Loot” club was done.

Bakker was convicted of twenty four cases of fraud and fined $500,000 and sentenced to forty-five years in prison. Tammy Faye was given a life sentence of wearing clown makeup and ultra-long false eyelashes. I guess it goes without saying that a true prophet would have seen that coming.

After Wednesday night prayer meeting the Elders informed Reverend Bread that he was on “suspension” until further notice. The Reverend’s pay would be docked an equal amount to the amount paid the Reverend Helena Handbasket. All of the family’s other privileges would remain in place. The Elders dreaded the day they would have to displace the family, if it ever came to it. Hopefully, that day would never come.