Friday, July 21, 2006

Christianity just got punk'd?

Fat Mike from NOFX hates Christianity. Christianity just got punk'd.

That's it! I'm burning all my NOFX records. Oh yeah, I don't have any. I was into Black Flag, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, etc., and I remember seeing the name NOFX, but I don't believe I've ever heard any of their stuff. No matter. Suffice to say that they were a band of some renown when I was listening to hardcore back in the late 80s and it seems they are still going strong. Their singer has some strong opinions about the Christian faith.

In full, with Fat Chilli's humble retorts ...

Fat Mike hates George Bush. The front man of NOFX has made speeches, given interviews, and even released 2003's The War On Errorism to condemn the cowboy in the whitehouse, just in case anyone had trouble picking up on it. Having vigorously campaigned for the punk rock lifestyle since 1983 and against the Bush administration since 22003, Fat Mike has now aimed the vitriol torpedoes at Christianity. Don't mistake the change in topic for fickleness, though. His anger towards the government has not abated; he just blames the Christians for Bush.

Up until the release of The War On Errorism, NOFX had remained politically neutral, seldom speaking up in public on partisan issues. Fat Mike claims he had nothing important to say. Then George Bush was elected.

"My anger has definitely switched from conservative Republicans to the religious right," Fat Mike explains. "I've talked to a lot of Republicans that don't like the Bush administration who are educated, clear-thinking people. Christians on the other hand are just fucking clueless. A big reason that Bush won is because Christians tell their people to vote for Bush."

First of all, is 22003 a year? Did he propel himself into the future?

"... Christians tell their people to vote for Bush." You mean like Al Sharpton?

If even Republicans are expressing discontent with the Bush administration, then where are the votes coming from? According to the venerable Fat Mike, Christians are unable to think for themselves, and when instructed to cast a ballot, they follow orders--no matter who's name is next to the check-box. This is a prominent driving-force on NOFX's latest album, Wolves In Wolves' Clothing--Christians are sheep that have no capacity to question their faith or think clearly.

Christians are absolutely sheep. And you (with all due respect), at present, are a goat. The future for goats isn't so hot (actually it's really hot). You should look into becoming a sheep.

"I think that the Jewish religion is a thinking religion, a questioning religion," says Fat Mike. "Christians just follow, and that's what pisses me off about it so much. There is no room for discussion or debate."

No room for discussion or debate? I guess you missed that whole Protestant Reformation thing, huh? And the 50 million denominations? The Jesus Seminar? Any of this ring a bell? If there is one thing Christians do -- with mind-numbing regularity -- it's debate. You should join me and my Christian brothers for coffee sometime, we debate everything. We are all conservative, Bible-believing Christians and we can argue (I mean, debate) almost anything.

If you mean that Christians take their ultimate authority from God and that we are bound to follow His will, then you're right about that. But then again, so are Jews.

Fat Mike, being Jewish, is a man of debate by his own logic. There have even been accounts of him arguing with audience members at NOFX shows in the middle of a set. Typically these arguments end with fans licking their tongue-lash wounds, having given up in the face of Mike's verbal onslaught. Taking Sun-Tsu's advice, Mike keeps his enemies closer, even going so far as to attend a Christian Bible study as a break from rocking out on the Warped Tour.

It wasn't Sun-Tsu, it was Machiavelli.

"I was talking so much shit about these Christian bands that are playing on the stage next to me," admits Fat Mike. "I figured I should meet them and see what they are all about. Mostly, what I saw was people feeling guilty about themselves. They feel guilty because they can't be as good as Jesus Christ. You can't feel bad about yourself for trying to be a good person. It's so backwards."

Very admirable to seek out your opponents on their own turf. I wonder about what was said at these Bible studies if that's the impression you got of Christianity. Christianity is all about freedom from guilt. If you felt guilty during your study of the Bible, maybe you should think harder about why that is.

It's opinions like this that have drawn the ire of NOFX fans, even causing some to leave shows early. Well aware that he's ostracising the people who pay his bills, Mike still shows no sign of changing his attitude. Some things are more important.

"On the contrary, it makes me happy," says Fat Mike. "Our t-shirt guy says that a couple of minutes after I say something really bad about Christians, people leave. They just want to see a show and have a good time, not to be offended."

While it could be criticised as being offensive for the sake of being offensive, Fat Mike still holds fast by his ideology. Unhappy with both church and state, joined or seperated, in no particular order, Fat Mike just wants them all to fry. Whether it's burning down Bush, the church, or both, Fat Mike continues on with his punk-rock jihad, microphone held high at the front of the army.

Pissed at church AND state? Dude, what are you happy with? Seriously. Is your life so rosy that you don't need peace?

All sarcasm aside, my prayer for you is that you find peace, joy and love in your life through the Lord Jesus Christ. Much of what you are saying sounds eerily familier to me. You might not believe it, but I was once just like you (only fatter ... much fatter). May Almighty God bless you.