Ms. Dominique

Ms. Dominique
Ms. Dominique

Sunday, April 27, 2008


Last week I attended a performance of a Beethoven symphony. I arrived at the auditorium and sat in a seat near the front. Just as the performance began, two old trolls walked in and sat in the seats directly in front of me. In a few minutes the scent of hairspray wafted over me and I could feel an allergic reaction in my nose and throat. As soon as I could, I moved further down the row.

Not good enough. The smell was still overwhelming. How much hairspray do you have to put on for crying out loud!

I then moved to the far side of the room.

Why do people feel they have the right to douse themselves with perfume, cologne, hairspray and other loud scents and then go into a public place? Don't they know that many people have strong reactions to that crap?

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Christian Bookstores-- a contradiction

The current issue of Christianity Today (April 2008) has an article "How to Save the Christian Bookstore" which suggests that Christians make bookstores more friendly and less obviously religious. Some bookstores (mainly the independently-owned stores, which are in decline) might be able to pull this off. If the focus is truly on using the bookstore as a forum forum for recruiting and indoctrination, this might happen.

But in reality Christian bookstores are primarily in it to make a buck.

I often visit the mall in Joplin, Missouri, which includes a religious bookstore. I've often beem surprised by the staff of the bookstore. Invariably they are very tightly-wound creepy characters, exactly the kind of people you see on The X-Files as running cults in rural towns and practicing cannibalism, child molesting, and other such rituals.

From the expressions on their faces and the twisted body-language it is clear that they are very, very unhappy people who have been trapped in dead-end jobs. Since the owners of the Christian bookstore are probably Christians, we can also be fairly sure that these people are working for minimum wage with no benefits ("they can always rely on God for help") and no hope to escape their taskmasters.

How could you make this place "friendly" when the workers are so miserable and unhappy?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pandering to the Religious

When you work at a university in the Bible Belt, this is the kind of stuff you have to deal with. The university plays the host for this show:

“AFTERdark,” an evening of music, motivation, and evangelism geared toward college students, will begin at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 1, in the Weede Physical Education Building. The event will include music from country group Blue County, and will feature national guest speaker and author Joe White.

"White, who lives in Branson, Mo., tours the country with “AFTERdark,” speaking to millions of people about Christianity. He has founded 19 schools and an orphanage in Haiti, and is the founder of Kanakuk Kamps, which has hosted more than 20,000 campers from all over the world.

"The free event is open to the public and is being sponsored by PSU’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Cross Quest, and Campus Christians."

A bulk email was sent out to all faculty, and it suggested that faculty could give out "extra credit" to students for attending this religious service. Several days later, and probably because of complaints, the university sent out another email. This email stated that faculty at a state university should probably not be giving extra credit for attending an evagelical Christian religious service.


Of course, by the time the second email went out, all the Religious faculty had probably already promised to give extra credit. So the contrary email sent out several days later probably had litte effect. The damage was already done.

After the event, the local newspaper reported that over 1,000 people attended. These 1,000 attendees were, no doubt, students and local ministers and their congregations who had supported and promoted the event. This kind of event, held on a university campus, gives local ministers a chance to prey on young people, usually when they are away from home and at their most vulnerable. This is why religious cults always hang around colleges and universities. It's a good place to find new cult members. One of the very earliest groups to be labelled a "cult" was based on a college campus in Boston.