New Cromrades may not know that I am also a contributing author at the Canadian Atheist blog. I like shooting my anti-theist mouth off there in a much more unrestrained ‘happy warrior’ way than I do here, particularly when there’s a silly or particularly horrible religious news story to sink my teeth into:
I absolutely loved the first Austin Powers movie. I thought it was a brilliant piece of parody – the fact that it spawned not only the two godawful sequels and inspired a generation of people to start describing things as “shagadelic” are lamentable, but all in all I loved the movie. It’s hard to pick an absolute favourite moment from that movie, but a recent news item kind of reminded me of one particular scene. The story:
In increasingly secular Canada, how do you bring people to God? “Through parking and bathrooms,” says Scott Weatherford, lead pastor of Calgary’s First Alliance Church. He’s only half joking. On Sundays, the evangelical church’s 1,350-spot parking lot is overflowing. The $25.7-million, six-year-old campus feels more like a convention centre than a cathedral. Weekend services are high-tech, multimedia spectacles. The church provides free fair-trade coffee, with cup holders in every one of the 1,704 seats in the sanctuary. Whether it’s the caffeine, the big-screen monitors or the rock band, no one appeared to be drifting off when Mr. Weatherford, equipped with a wireless microphone and an iPad, took the stage at a recent weekend service.
If there was a church here in Austin, Texas that offered free (presumably free; part of the church services, no?) auto work I’d be there every Sunday… that I needed some auto work done. That’s awesome. I’m in.
Churches have been pulling this crap for ages. Eventually, they all recognize that they’re on the wrong side of history with whatever issue it is and then they abruptly switch while they can still point the finger at those “fuddy duddies” churches that still follow outdated principles so that they can appear to be the “hip” church that allows… women?
Really? This is still an issue?
I defer to Neil.