Holidays In Hell - Christian Bookstores

P J O'Rourke "Holidays In Hell" (Morgan Entrekin; New York:1988) - a description of Jim and Tammy Bakker's Heritage USA ! pp. 91 - 95

.... Dorothy and I came to scoff - but went away converted. Unfortunately we were converted to Satanism. Now we're up half he night going to witch's sabbaths and have to spend our free time reciting the Lord's Prayer backward and scouring the neighbourhood for black dogs to sacrifice. Frankly, it's a nuisance, but if it keeps us from going to the Heritage USA part of heaven, it will be worth it.

...We walked into the hotel lobby, carollers were singing: "You'd better not frown, You'd better not cry, You'd better not pout, I'm telling you why, Jesus Christ is coming real soon."

And I thought Heritage USA was going to be dumb. But I'd only been there 15 minutes and I was already confronted by enough serious theological questions to send St Thomas Aquinas back to Bible College. Did Santa die on the cross? Will he be resurrected at Macy's? Were the disciples really elves? When the second coming happens, will Jesus bring toy trains? While I puzzled over these mysteries Dorothy went shopping.

... there on the shelves ...a born-again diet plan, a transcription of the horrible (though rather unimaginative) things you can hear if you play rock records backward, and a weighty tome arguing that every time the New Testament says "wine" it really means "grape juice." But I couldn't find anything you'd actually call a book. ....

Then we went into the music store. ...No album was actually entitled 'I Found God And Lost My Talent', but I'm quite sure that was an oversight.

...The toy store was weirder yet. The stuffed toys had names like "Born Again Bunny" and "Devotion Duck". A child-size panoply of biblical weapons was for sale, including a "shield of righteousness," a "helmet of faith," and a sword of truth" that looked ideal for a "clobber of little sister." And there were Biblical action figures - Goliath with a bashed skull, Samson and Delilah as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver. "Comes seductively dressed" read the sell copy on Delilah's bubble pack. Here was a shopper's hell indeed.
...I didn't have the heart to make fun of these folks. Making fun of born-again christians is like hunting dairy cows with a high powered rifle and scope.


Look at most of the Christian Bookstores. The spitting image of Heritage USA!

P J O'Rourke adds "I've always figured that if God wanted us to go to church a lot He'd have given us bigger behinds to sit on and smaller heads to think with."