Saturday, May 21, 2011

Overheard at the Swedish Church – or more reasons for God to hate Sweden

So it's about an hour until the Rapture, but I'm pretty sure there aren't going to be too many floaters here in Sweden. (if you haven't heard – look here).

As I wrote earlier, I don't spend a lot of time in church, or to be more honest I don't spend any time in church, unless it is a special occasion. But recently, I attended a family member's confirmation – and it was quite the experience.

Part of this church confirmation's program was to write and put on a skit demonstrating an important tenet of Christianity. The group chose The Ten Commandments and acted out each commandment to illustrate what we shouldn't be doing.

But at one point the reverend stopped and said 'This next part is a little controversial, but we agreed that children should have the freedom to express themselves.'

The Commandment? Don't take the Lord's name in vain.

The sketch? Two teenage boys who said something along the lines of 'Goddamn it, what the hell is this shit? This is some screwed up shit, God I've never seen anything this Goddamn shitty.'

And then, God steps onto the stage and says 'I really don't like it when you use my name like that.'

'Oh Sorry.” Say the boys. God hugs them.

Now, as a non-believer, I was embarrassed to hear this kind of language used in a church. I may use language like that a lot in my daily life, but I guess it just made me feel a bit sad. Like the Swedish church is trying so hard to be hip, they are willing to sacrifice their own beliefs.

But maybe it's just because, having grown up with the Religious Right in the US – I always have a hard time knowing where I stand with the Swedish church. See I know the RR just wants to save my soul, and they will do anything in their power to rescue me. OK – that's sweet of them, but I'm not interested.

The Swedish church? They just want me to hang out, have some coffee, maybe a cinnamon roll – but really, if it's not my community, I don't really get it.

Anyways, I hope everyone has a great apocalypse.


  1. Oh my goodness, really, they said that? How tasteless!

  2. I dunno theologically it seems pretty okay. I think it is protected by the use/mention distinction. If they'd actually been using blasphemous curses that would have been one thing but just saying them in the mode of an actor, more mentioning the terms than using them, seems like it should be allowable. They weren't committing blasphemy, they were merely making reference to it through their speech. I'm not a religious person but when discussing the general morality of swearing I'll mention (by making the exact same noise) quite vile swear words, even racist ones, that I would never dream of using as swear words.

  3. @antropologa - yes, they really said that, I think my jaw hit the floor

    @Jonathan - I'm not sure about the theology of it, but I just think if you cannot make the same argument for the other commandments (I was just coveting your wife to prove a point) you probably shouldn't do it :) But then again, I have the mouth of a truck driver, so I'm not a good example of this - but I'm pretty good with the other commandments

  4. "Like the Swedish church is trying so hard to be hip, they are willing to sacrifice their own beliefs."

    Who's beliefs, the adults' or the children's? When exactly does your point of view start to matter in America, 25? 40?