KNOCKED UN-Conscience: Pastors Who Turn Funerals Into Recruitment Rallies

"Even doe it's a sad occasion-NAH, we must celebrate life-AH, by droppin' it like it's HAWT in the name of the LAWDD!"

About a month ago I went to a wake on a gloomy Friday night. I did not know the beautiful grandmother in the casket, but from all I heard she was an amazing woman, and to see how her loss affected those around her definitely verified that for me. As church hymns were sung, and families embraced and close friends shared their personal stories with her, I was amazed at how strong and simultaneously vulnerable everyone was and it was humbling to witness – until the gotdamn pastor came up and turned a loving memorial into a hate-filled, cunty, rhetoric-laced recruitment speech.

This woman got on the mic LOUD as all hell, and started to get everyone up on their feet to proclaim the greatness of Jesus. Now THIS I had no problem with, since the lady who passed was a devout Christian and whether or not the rest of us were was of no consequence. This is how SHE would want her religious beliefs to be infused into her funeral, and I’m completely cool with that. But sh*t started to take a WILD turn when the pastor began stating, and re-stating and re-re-stating that “THE ONLY WAY TO GET TO HEAVEN IS THROUGH JESUS CHRIST! RIGHT?! AMEN!!” with an overtly strong emphasis  on “ONLY.” It was at that point when I started to feel a little attacked, BUT I was like cool, that’s their beliefs and I have my own, and this is not about me so I need to show respect and let them do their thing.

But LAWD, it got even worse.

So as she keeps professing the extreme extent of her religious views she FINALLY got to the point I was WAITING for: “YOU CAN’T BE SAVED BY ALLAH!! OR BUDDHA!! OR JUDAH!! OR ANY OTHER CRAZY THING – JUST JESUS CHRIST RIGHT?! AMEN!!” And at that point I was officially done with this b*tch. All I could think in my head was “go F*CK yourself you smug, self-righteous trick.”

What pissed me off about her actions was the fact that the person in the casket became NOTHING but a sideshow for HER Christian recruitment song and dance. The stories that encompassed the amazing life this woman had led were now of ZERO importance. The inconsolable mourning of her family and friends were wholly UNIMPORTANT in the grand scheme of promoting HER congregation and elevating HER religious beliefs. Basically, I wasn’t at a wake anymore – I was officially at a REVIVAL – and the body in the casket was dehumanized to nothing more than a promotional piece for her rant.

This is what I hope ALL fake Pastors get:

What continued to piss me off is the fact that this woman had touched so many people in her life that people of all races, nationalities and RELIGIONS came out to support her, and while they have NO right to take umbrage with the Christians celebrating their religion, they had MORE than enough right to be PISSED off at having their religion SH*T on by some frowsy DOUCHE with a mic.

And what continues to piss me off even to today is the fact that this is NOT the first time [and probably WON’T be the last] that I encounter this BS. It seems like 2 out of every 3 funerals I go to [of people of ALL religions – not just Christians alone] has a strong anti-everyone message in it, which frankly DISGUSTS me. If there’s one thing that should unite ALL human beings in common relativity it’s DEATH – because we all go through it and we are ALL gonna succumb to it. We all have had to deal with it and we ALL know the pain of losing someone close to us. Funerals should be a time of us uniting under that common bond to assist each other in overcoming the grief – not further separating each other because we pray differently [if at all].

So let this blog act as one piece of my last will and testament if I die before I get the chance to formally do one: Do NOT – and I repeat – DO NOT make my funeral OVERLY-RELIGIOUS and full of separatist-bullsh*t rhetoric. Seeing as I have friends from all religions, races , colours and creeds – just focus on how much we LOVED each other despite our differences.

This Is Your Conscience

When Lincoln Anthony Blades is not writing for his controversial and critically acclaimed blog ThisIsYourConscience.com, he can be found contributing articles for Uptown Magazine. Lincoln wrote the hilarious and insightful book "You're Not A Victim, You're A Volunteer: How To Stop Letting Love Kick Your Ass". He is also a public speaker who has sat on panels all over North America and the Caribbean.

22 Comments

  1. lincolnanthonyblades

    04/30/2012 at 5:01 AM

    Ladies & Gentlemen, How Do YOU Feel About Overtly Religious Funerals? Perfectly Fine Or Too Much?!

    • Piscean

      04/30/2012 at 9:11 AM

      TOO MUCH!

      Great post! I feel the same way. I recall one christmas attending my boyfriend's church as he played for the choir and one of the ladies from the congregation decided to take the mic and blast everyone there. Telling us how we should feel ashamed of ourselves if we only come to church on holidays. She was soooo angry. She started mocking the people there saying how we all are joyful and singing b/c of christmas but we should be there EVERY sunday and if we don't, we are pretty much doomed when it comes to God. It was completely ridiculous and the Christmas celebration was now downed by faces of shame and sadness. The pastor tried to cheer up the mood but it was a hard job after 20 solid minutes of ranting and lecturing. *smh

      • HerCommonSense

        04/30/2012 at 1:54 PM

        Those women tend to "play" being holy the hardest though.

    • Vicky

      04/30/2012 at 12:46 PM

      I was raised Roman Catholic (let's not even get started about that alone) and attended my grandfather's funeral in church. Instead of a mass being held (as I would have expected), I sat through a whole hour of the priest preaching that "unless you are a practicing Roman Catholic, you will go to hell", which of course pissed me off considering that first general rule of Christianity is "only God can judge". I am indifferent about attending church on a weekly basis, mainly cause I cannot participate in the Roman Catholic way of life (once again, my own opinions about it which I'm not going to spark a debate about them here).

      As for people who recruit others – depends on how it's being done. For the most part the families and friends of the decease are not really there mentally and are not absorbing what the priest/pastor is saying….they are swallowed in their sorrows.

      One thing I must admit that I cannot stand from dedicated church goers is that because you attend church on a weekly basis, sit in church praising the Lord (which by all means go for it),and yet they are the most wickedest people out there – judge everyone else or talk a whole bunch of s**t about people…..there is no automatic passes for being a "Good Christian" just because you only attend church. You want to be all Lord this, Jesus that, God this and yet you are the most malicious person out there.

      • krystllyght

        04/30/2012 at 1:16 PM

        "One thing I must admit that I cannot stand from dedicated church goers is that because you attend church on a weekly basis, sit in church praising the Lord (which by all means go for it),and yet they are the most wickedest people out there – judge everyone else or talk a whole bunch of s**t about people…..there is no automatic passes for being a "Good Christian" just because you only attend church. You want to be all Lord this, Jesus that, God this and yet you are the most malicious person out there."

        I don't like that either. Regualr church attendance doesn't mean you're Christian, it only means you go to church every week.

        • HerCommonSense

          04/30/2012 at 1:57 PM

          This.

        • Vicky

          04/30/2012 at 2:27 PM

          As the joke goes "Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than standing in a garage makes you a car."

          • krystllyght

            04/30/2012 at 2:39 PM

            lol I hadn't heard that one! lol

          • HerCommonSense

            04/30/2012 at 7:56 PM

            Truth.

    • sara1

      05/10/2012 at 3:12 PM

      did you not see Whitenys? insane! the preacher turned it into a commercial smh

  2. imakesense

    04/30/2012 at 7:35 AM

    People like her really erk my nerves.

    Christianity aside you just have to have no fucking compassion to pull a stunt like that.

  3. NurseJilly

    04/30/2012 at 9:33 AM

    I completely agree with you and I’m a Christian. I don’t like the idea of making people feel more uncomfortable than necessary during an already difficult time. I have been to all types of funerals and unfortunately the only ones that have had the self-righteous vibe have been Christian services. I was at the funeral for a friend who was a Jehovah's Witness and I left that service pissed because I, along with the rest of the congregation was inundated with flyers and reading material during and after the service which is just tacky. So not the time or place for that nonsense. As a Christian I would definitely like a service that reflects my beliefs when I pass but that doesn’t mean it has to belittle anyone else’s in the process.

    • Piscean

      04/30/2012 at 11:56 AM

      I'm a Christian as well. Last week I was walking to the movies with my friend and this lady cut us off with her baby carriage and said " Do you believe in Jesus Christ?" Me and my friend side stepped her carriage and said "YES!" and she shoved her carriage blocking us once more "Do You go to Church?" To which I replied "YES!" and just kept on moving. #1) I get offended when random people come up to me in the mall and ask me this stuff b/c I feel like they are hinting b/c I'm a young women that I may not know God nor Jesus and need to be "saved". #2) She almost ran over my foot cutting me off with her baby carriage. And to be honest, I don't think there was even a baby in there b/c the blanket covered whatever was in there. What a ridiculous way to spread the word of God.

      • HerCommonSense

        04/30/2012 at 1:53 PM

        You sure she was alright?

  4. krystllyght

    04/30/2012 at 12:22 PM

    I think a funeral is the perfect time to bring up salvation. It's a time when people might be thinking about their own deaths and mortality so it's natural to me to come to them when they're already in the mindframe of death and what happens after it. I understand why she said what she said “YOU CAN’T BE SAVED BY ALLAH!! OR BUDDHA!! OR JUDAH!! OR ANY OTHER CRAZY THING – JUST JESUS CHRIST RIGHT?! AMEN!!” because she felt that that congregation was the appropriate audience for such a message since it was so mixed in there. However, this would never be my approach and though I understand why she said it that way, I don't think it's the best approach for anybody. I don't think making people feel bad for what they already believe and what their current lifestyle is like is the way to encourage people to follow Jesus. That's not the way you convince anybody to do anything.

    • HerCommonSense

      04/30/2012 at 1:51 PM

      I disagree in the sense that I believe it's a pastors job to support the faith of their congregation, not knock the faith of others. If she wanted to introduce or restate the benefits of christianity to others that it perfectly fine, but making people feel objectified is a terrible thing to do while they are grieving.

      • krystllyght

        04/30/2012 at 2:15 PM

        Looks like we agree then.

  5. HerCommonSense

    04/30/2012 at 1:57 PM

    I went to a funeral where the pastor actually called people up who wanted to be saved. I shook my head through that whole mess.

  6. Abu Husain

    04/30/2012 at 3:02 PM

    I don't think it's fine, but it makes sense to me. Abrahamic religions are divisive in nature, so I think the best time to remind folks what they may face in the hereafter… I wouldn't do it becayse I'm an atheist, but I guess that would be the p#rfect time for the believer.

    My uncle committed suicide several years ago and the pastor presiding over the services said just what you did in your post Linc. She made sure to look directly at me (I had a huge beard and flooding pants) and say that Allah would not get me into heaven. My grandfather passed in January and the preacher there tried to direct his sermon towards me (he knew me for about 10 years) at one point.

    So, I think it is in bad taste to do that, but if you have the belief that infidels are doomed to an eternity of torment and agony, you'll try to find any opportunity you can to save them!

    • HerCommonSense

      04/30/2012 at 7:56 PM

      As an atheist how do you deal with overly religious ceremonies like funerals and weddings?!

      • Abu Husain

        04/30/2012 at 10:39 PM

        I'm rather indifferent towards religious rhetoric because it carries no weight with me whatsoever. I go to those events to support my friends and family, console them, or wish them the best. Hearing certain things over and over that I consider dated Semitic folktales may get annoying at times, but it's THEIR event, so as a guest, I have to respect that. I would expect the same from them…

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