Thursday, June 24, 2010

Vacation Brainwashing School

It's that time of year again.  The time of year when our church takes the children of the community and feeds them a dinner of totally white or brown carb-laden food and then sends them off to learn about JE-sus.  Kids float through various stations being fed a type of crack music that stays in their heads for the rest of their lives, making plastic crafts that fuel the petroleum industry and pollute the environment, play slightly dangerous games that are supposed to represent the bible story of the day, and they even have a bible point for which they have a Pavlov dog-esque response.  I despise VBS.

Our vacation bible school also always has a skit each day.  4 of the 5 days they are silly and make the kids laugh, but for some reason the 4th day always involves some "dramatic" encounter with Jesus and the kids are encouraged to accept JE-sus as their personal savior and Christ.  I have nothing against someone being "saved" I just hate the breathless anticipation with which the adults wait for this special night and the glazed over eyes of the people in the room.

Last night was the 4th night and the directors of the VBS were beside themselves with excitement.  Tonight was going to be even more exciting than last year when Jesus washed the children's feet.  (I should probably stop here to state that the pastor traditionally plays Jesus in these scripts and it really creeps me out to see my husband playing him)  I tried to keep an open mind and turn off the mental screaming the professional director side of me was doing at seeing the haphazardly thrown together staging area.)  All of the lights were turned out and creepy music started playing.  One of my 4 year-old girls rushed in fear to climb up on my lap when my husband, aka Jesus, appeared from behind a nailed up sheet.  The VBS director started reading her script and when she got to the point where she said, "When Jesus died on that cross, he took away all your sins" the little girl whispered in my ear, "How?"  My question exactly.  I can not comprehend how dying on a cross meant taking away our sins (and please don't try to explain it to me, if my Master's in Theology husband can't convince me, no one can).

The VBS director is the woman in our church who controls everything.  If something doesn't get her approval first, she can make my Hubby's life hell.  She picks and picks and picks at everyone until they agree with her just because she has worn them down.  Her husband is the one who accused me of lying about the gang leader living in our neighborhood and the other stuff that was happening.  He also said I was spreading gossip.  So you can imagine my glee when she was reading her script and came to the altar call part (when children are asked to invite JE-sus into their hearts).  The room was dark except for the light from behind the sheet making my Hubby's shadow look like an angel.  Everyone was silent and the kids' heads were bowed.  I could feel the rapture emanating from the adults until my little girl, who had just asked "How?" farted...loudly.

Have you ever been in a roomful of silent children when someone cuts the cheese?  The laughter that starts to swell takes over the room until everyone is in uncontrollable giggles.  All of the kids were daring to laugh and ruining the director's big moment.  I heard her voice starting to screech just a little as she tried to control the kids, she just kept repeating "!"  Her big moment was ruined.  I know I shouldn't have enjoyed it so much, but I was in heaven.  Kharma is a bitch.


Anonymous said...

That's frigging AWESOME!

Amysue in Texas

Anonymous said...

God works in mysterious ways.


CC said...


Children have the most amazing logic skills, until religious dogma beats it out of them.

I've never understood exactly how that's supposed to happen, either. I get that it's God's alleged son and his death would have been something very significant for God, but exactly how does that affect me? What kind of magical power is there in death that I am washed from my sin? Why?

Religious university and all, and I still don't think it makes any sense.

RV Vagabonds said...

Right at this moment after reading your post I have the biggest shit-eatin' grin on my face. Yay for bringing down the sanctimonious holier-than-thou through the simple act of a child.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like divine intervention! :D

Paige said...

Now that is funny--but I bet they find a way to blame it on you

Anonymous said...

Now THAT is funny!
When I did VBS at our parish, it wasn't like what you describe at all. There was no alter calls or "saving." Just a good time as there was always a theme for the children like "Caribbean Days." Good snacks and crafts- that was about it. I couldn't have stomached the other ---

Anonymous said...

So you're saying she felt the joy, but it didn't exactly make her want to jump, jump, jump?
(sorry all, that's from one of the crack songs--it's all true. Although we did do the dramatic skit without an actual altar-call--but we did have Jesus, and people with sins taped to them nailing him to the cross. True.)

Erica said...

Oh man I'm having flashbacks....

The worst was when I went to a sleep away camp with some Baptist friends of mine when I was 15...the pastor's wife sat me down with my little Lutheran study bible and pretty much said "Tell me why the Lutherans are right and I'm wrong" and tried to tell me that I needed to study Revelations more thoroughly. She literally pulled me out to a picnic table by myself and told me to find quotes from the Bible to prove that I was not going to hell because I wasn't "saved." 15, folks.

We also had a foot washing thing, and some creepy kid with a foot fetish went around washing all the girls' feet.

Brainwashing, indeed. *endrant* This story kind of totally made my day, until I read Assassin's post and now I've got the joy joy joy stuck in my head! Nooo!

Wide Lawns said...

That was great! Proof that there is a God after all.

I have one odd memory of VBS. I tried and tried to remember more about it, because I know I went at least once and all I can come up with is the image of this red kool-aid that was more sour than when you make it at home and some dry, hard sugar cookies. Obviously, I didn't have any life altering JE-sus experience there if all I can do is complain about the kool-aid and cookies 30 years later.

Bubblewench said...

I love that kid. I'm laughing!