Tonight, We’re Going to Party Like it’s 1499!

By David Glenn Cox

Ted Nugent has had his gigs canceled in Birmingham. Due to Ted running his big mouth again. I’m old enough to remember when Republicans criticized liberal actors for having political views and taking political stands. But then, Ronald Reagan got elected and that all went out the window. Everybody started voicing their opinions and run for office too.

Tastes change and we all get older. Unpopular opinions are still unpopular, so handle with care. Speak at your own peril. Maybe it will inflate a fading career and catch the end of the comet’s tail or maybe it will finish one. Ted’s schtick has always been this “Motor City Madman” persona.

Playing guitar really fast and real loud. That’s it, that what he does, don’t expect to hear the softer side of Ted. Don’t expect an acoustic cover of “Midnight at the Oasis” showcasing Ted’s thoughtfulness and virtuosity.

I saw Ted back in the 70s on the bill with several other bands. Ted’s deal was climbing all over the walls of Marshall amps and playing really long guitar solos from atop them. He played like a man possessed and I won’t say it wasn’t good. To my seventeen-year-old ears he was pretty good. But even at seventeen, I thought his climbing all over the amps was bit over the top and contrived.

“Now, I’m gonna climb on this amp over here and play some guitar solos real loud and really fast. Wait, you don’t want to miss the encore, do you?”

Ted is 74 years old now and is the same age as King Charles. I doubt he’s climbing on many Marshall amps these days. To be 74 years old and playing in bars is metaphorically dying and going to hell for a rock star.

 I’d wager there are probably some casino gigs on this tour. You know, that’s where the big money is at. I suspect someone didn’t save his money. Playing behind the Kiss tribute band for forty-five minutes at a whack every forty-five minutes, until midnight.

But while Ted has become unpopular the mainline Christian churches are also losing listeners and for the same reasons, unpopular opinions creating a religious schism. Moses had ten commandments and Jesus only had one commandment, “Love one another.” You wouldn’t think that would be so complicated, would you?

Three little words that would get Jesus thrown out of a lot of churches today. That doesn’t mean everybody, does it? Not everybody? The Christian church has been struggling having designed the model for Christian living set in the 14th Century.

Everybody will act exactly like this, and nobody is allowed to do any different. In the 1960s, the Mormon Church claimed African Americans were a lower order of humanity. But as the society changed the church had to change as unpopular positions are bad for the recruiting/fundraising business.

So then came the issue of Gay marriages and churches began to waffle. Was Jesus just running off at the mouth or did he mean it? Jesus famously had his conversation with the women at the well.

A conversation wrong on so many levels. Rabbis didn’t talk to unescorted women. Especially unescorted women of a different race and certainly not to women of ill repute. And Jesus told her, that he knew who she was and he never condemned her. I guess he means it.

But this is the bone caught in the throat of the modern Christianity. People can get pretty upset with the slightest little change because the whole gig was supposed to be the undisputed truth and already perfect.

So, any change at all means you’re screwing it up. My own mother dropped the Catholic church like a hot potato after Vatican One. “Say the Mass in English, no way!”

So, accepting the LBGTQ community is outright hearsay on the 14th Century model. So, churches are splitting up over that love everyone commandment. It clashes with their “we’re perfect in every way now, so we can never accept the slightest change.”

 But there is the middle ground of Christians disgusted with Christo/political warfare. And this generation is lost forever. They don’t stage protests they just walk away. Maybe they try another church or maybe not.

Civilians caught in between, between a 21st Century world of James Webb telescopes. And the church of an old man with a homemade boat full of animals. Defying the quarantine and at war with science.

 When the church advocates against science and vaccines. They discourage the people they hope to attract. Young mothers are profoundly pro-vaccines for their infants and small children. Where as a generation raised without vaccines are less likely to feel the same. “Don’t need no fancy medicine, just put poultice on it and it’ll be fine.”

Night games were great for baseball. Airing games in prime time but it’s not prime time for the kids. And that’s where the next generation of fans will come from.

The church congregations are growing older so when that young couple with kids in tow shows up at the door. It looks like dance night at the Senior Center. The churches have all tried youth groups, but we all know about those problems without getting graphic. But youth programs are also expensive. Renting a bus and taking the kiddies to the amusement park for the day isn’t cheap.

But without the kiddies there is no future. Come Sunday, the kiddies will grouse and use words like dull and boring. Everybody wants to go to heaven they just don’t want a taste of it on Sunday.

That’s what heaven will be like, you know. Endless hours of eternity, preaching his glory and singing hymns and playing the harp. This is your reward for that 14th Century cooperation. Endless singing and hosannaing up a storm, forever and ever.

No beer, no weed, no sex. Sex is for procreating only! And since you are already dead that means no more procreating. And since the Marriage vows only apply to the living, they are null and void in heaven. All those people having sex in heaven would be fornicating.

So, the Christian Church is big trouble. If they change, they run off a part of their audience. If they don’t change, they run off the future audience. If they accept LBGTQ, they run off the traditionalist and maybe get firebombed. If they don’t accept LBGTQ, they risk destroying their own future.

But the politicization only compounds the problem. You might agree with Jesus about loving one another but not about the preacher’s right-wing politics. And this is an all or nothing type of organization, conform like it’s 1499 or get out!

But above that question is another higher theological question. If the church modifies itself to fit the whims of a secular society. Just what the hell are they selling here? This is the undisputed truth straight from God’s lips to our ears. But if you don’t like it, we’ll change it for you. “Wait, don’t go!  If you want liquor, and a wet tee shirt contest on poker night! We’ll put it to a Deacon’s vote!”

“We must have a religion — it goes without saying — but my idea is, to have it cut up into forty free sects, so that they will police each other, as had been the case in the United States in my time. Concentration of power in a political machine is bad; and an Established Church is only a political machine; it was invented for that; it is nursed, cradled, preserved for that; it is an enemy to human liberty, and does no good which it could not better do in a split-up and scattered condition. That wasn’t law; it wasn’t gospel: it was only an opinion — my opinion, and I was only a man, one man: so it wasn’t worth any more than the pope’s — or any less, for that matter.”  – Mark Twain

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