Monday, July 10, 2006

Cotton candy... the new poisonous apple?

So I was walking through Chinatown with my family when my sister noticed a mini makeshift carnival at the courtyard of the Chinese Christian Union Church (“CCUC”). My brother-in-law asked what we thought was happening. To me, it was so obvious. Get them while they’re young.

I recall when Stephanie, Betty, Melody and I were 11 years old and bored from having no where to go and nothing to do. But we knew that every Friday night, CCUC hosted youth programs that included BBQs and gym nights. So we would attend the programs, play Steal the Bacon or volleyball, eat smores, and then sneak out when the Christian kids returned to the classrooms to pray or talk about God. Sometimes when we were unable to sneak out, we had to stay for the entire class of bible study, and I remember feeling bitter and defeated. Eventually, we stopped going because we couldn’t bear to be trapped in bible study anymore… also, we discovered boys and other party favors.

Being the awesome auntie that I am, I crossed the street to the courtyard to see if I could score any cotton candy for my nephews. I was immediately approached by a young, pregnant lady. I asked her if I could purchase any cotton candy. She said it’s not for sale, that it was part of the youth summer camp sponsored by the church. She said for $6, I could enroll my nephew into a two week program that included all sorts of games and food.

Dude, six dollars? For every day for two weeks? I gave her my “get out of here” look, but she was totally serious.

She graciously gave me two bags of blue cotton candy and a flyer. She said to consider it. I lied and said I would.

That night, Christopher and I ate cotton candy until are tongues and fingers turned blue. Mmm. Free cotton candy made by God is good!

Christian indoctrination is so simple. Provide the youth and families in low-income and marginalized communities, or third-world countries, with access to unattainable resources and ask them to be grateful (and loyal) to God. Soon, they depend on God and can’t live without him. This is what you call Brand Loyalty.

For example, CCUC provides free immunizations, low-cost daycare, adult education, youth camps, language classes, etc. The newly-immigrated, limited-English speaking residents of Chinatown would not have access to such resources otherwise.

Corporations and Republicans have figured it out years ago. So has technology. I wonder why the Left still hasn’t.

That night inspired me to write and suggest to Al Gore to make a kids version of An Inconvenient Truth for schools and churches. Preservation of the earth and conscientious consumption should begin at a young age, before folks get too dependent on their lavish and over-consumptive lifestyles. The Left needs to learn from our Christian brothers and sisters: Get them while they're young. Amen.


Grace Z. said...

Hey Becca! Found your blog through NYK. There's something to be said about reaching people when they're young cuz they're not so jaded by the world and have more open minds. It's a good thing that somebody provides services to people who couldn't otherwise get them right? No strings attached. No one's forced to believe anything. They're just introduced to the idea of a loving God and then can decide for themselves whether to believe or not.

Anyhow, it's so great to see how you're doing! :)

DYY said...

Grace, so good to hear from you!

Thanks for the comment. I really appreciate it and think it's cool that you commented on something that you might find offensive, and yet you responded in a totally non-offensive way. Grace, you are really cool.

I agree with you. I think that my limited judeo-christian education wasn't for me, but Christians and many other religions do proselytize, and I am actually commending them for their skills at doing so, by offering needed services to the community. In fact, I believe that most churches offer these services with sincerity and love, and desire to enrich people's lives... and far from just the pure act of proselytizing.

I guess I just wish that other diverse views are also promoted with just as much vigor and love and commitment, despite that they may interfere with current mainstream views. I wish the Left organized like the Christians. It's really something that I think is worthy, despite my personal views on institutional religion.

Believe me, I would rather have Christians inspire me to be a thoughtful person rather than have Nike inspire me to purchase their latest $200 shoes.

blu-tooth said...

But charitable work comes from Christian beliefs. If they gain believers that's one thing, but they're not going to behead you like the crusades if you don't believe in God. I think there's a lot of bad history and poor representation of christians out there. I for the most part have to defend what is the true christian work has been. If you ever look at Jesus and what he was about and what some christians have become are two completely different identities. Jesus would probably be a friend to you today. I mean, lets not forget that he like John Lenon, Ghandi, and other martyrs tried to go against the Roman Ceasar. He sought out the poor, the sick, prostitutes, and brought hope to these people. They believed in Him because of the GOD that was in Him. He didn't force them to believe his work by gun point. Same thing with a lot of christian places today. They provide sanctuary for those people who don't have much in the world. Is that so wrong? If you ever want to read about who Jesus was and is, I suggest the gospels. I would really stay away from books like the Revelation or Leviticus.

blu-tooth said...

When I said Roman Ceasar, I meant it as a representation of government. Many believe we have not left the Roman methodology of democracy and military.

DYY said...

I appreciate the charitable work done by churches. I even believe that the work comes from goodness, and not a mere means to convert, though we have to acknowledge that comes with the package too.

That said, all I wish for is a society and a government that provides those services because they too believe in feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless. Disenfranchised persons should have access to those services, and not necessarily submit to a theological perspective in order to get them.

I too have benefitted from services provided by a variety of religious institutions. I am forever grateful for such benefits. And I respect the churches for doing what the government and our people should be doing for each other. But as a person who disagrees with some of the beliefs and teachings of Christian institutions, it is difficult to accept such services on face value only without feeling a little indebted or even hypocritical. How does one resolve that?

Grace Z. said...

The fact is that Christians are still merely human, so therefore still mess up just as much as anyone else -- and therefore are unfortunately hypocritical and such. But as much as possible, Christians should strive to love God and love each other, even if the other person does not share the same viewpoint.

But yeah, wouldn't that be great though if no one was lacking anything? You get people on such extremes of the financial spectrum. In the Bible (Acts 2), there's a part about how everyone sold all their stuff and they all helped each other, no one was in need. That would be so awesome if we could do that today. heh...though I can't help but think that it sounds like the ideals behind Communism. But yeah, in a perfect world...

Grace Z. said...

btw, you're cool too! haha. :) I've always appreciated how you're so free about expressing your thoughts. You really put yourself out there.

J said...

it's just a love fest all around.

nice post. ditto.

i've always wanted to sit down with some folks to come up with a master plan for using the tactics of christianity for "the Left."

perhaps that's the next movie project? a video manifesto so-to-speak.

DYY said...

girl, i think you have a good idea here... are you a closet Christian?

DYY said...

blu-tooth, are you saying Jesus would be my friend because I'm a prostitute?

Anonymous said...

Yes Jesus would be your friend no matter how dark a heathen you may be.