The Bad Touch Sermon

I can’t point to any moment in my life as shattering my once-devout faith. I can, however, tell you about the time my dad quoted the Bloodhound Gang in a sermon.

Back in the 90s, Jesus was my main pastime. Other kids got put to bed with Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle. Not me: I got the Good Word every single night, from a shiny (seriously) Bible 4 Kidz chock-full of illustrations of Israelites gleefully murdering the shit out of people with Bart Simpson-esque slingshots. A frequent knock against Christians is that they don’t tell their kids about the nasty parts of the bible, mostly picking out New Testament stories about Jesus kissing people’s booboos and having a sick baby shower.

More like mevilmorphosis

“If butterflies come from caterpillars, then why do we still have caterpillars? Metamorphosis is a lie.”

My dad thinks those people are sissies. If you’re gonna leave out all the parts where the bible gets totally metal, why even bother? I got it all: David killing 200 Philistines and buying the hand of Saul’s daughter with their foreskins, Jael hammering a stake through Sisera’s head while he slept, Absalom killing his brother for raping their sister. All old favies!

"One more chapter!"

“Blood flowed out of the pit, spreading over the land for 180 miles, rising as high as the horses’ heads. Nighty night snookums.”

Considering this, it isn’t hard to understand why I was as religious as I was. I didn’t think of God as a swell guy who’d carry me on his broad sexy shoulders across a beach. God was a three-headed super-rich family member with Mafia ties who I owed my life to, who only accepted love and obedience as repayment. If ever I doubted anything he told me to do, I’d be hatefucking his immortal heart with a spiny cock of sin. After the nightly bible reading, I’d pray myself to sleep, trying not to think anything sinful in case I died that night an unclean soul.

By the summer of 2000, I’d developed some guilty pleasures. I had been sneaking over to a friend’s place to giggle at heavily censored Blink-182 and Eminem videos on MTV, and, to my parents’ dismay, I was starting to laugh at the raunchier stuff on The Simpsons. None of their sheltering, though, could save me from the Bloodhound Gang’s breakthrough smash, “The Bad Touch.”

LOOK OUT ORNETTE COLEMAN

“One for the money. Then they will take our jazz seriously.”

The thing about the song is that it’s impossible to censor– there are no swears, but any nine year-old could grasp its double entendres. It got played so much on Q101, Chicago’s Korn-‘n’-Limp Bizkit station, that even my clueless ol’ pa picked up on it. I found out about this in the worst possible venue.

See, I was so zealous that I had insisted on being taken out of Sunday school and placed in grown-up church years ago. I missed a lot of what was going on, since my dad’s sermons are mostly about precisely translating dead languages in order to avoid any mistakes while assembling God’s furniture or something, I don’t know. One Sunday, he took the pulpit and declared, grave-faced, that today’s sermon would be on the blasphemy of modern sexuality.

cruisin' for a bruisin'

Gaaaaay. Skip to the punishments.

He turned on his god-is-very-disappointed-with-you preacher voice. “There’s a song on the radio,” he said, “with the most evil chorus I have ever heard. It goes like this.” He cleared his throat and slowly articulated every syllable: “You and me, baby, ain’t nothing but mammals. So let’s ‘do it’ like they do on the Discovery Channel.”

Here we go.

My brother and I dove face-first into our hands. Probably the reddest I’ve ever been, due to a. withheld laughter so intense that my lungs felt like an inside-out submarine, b. embarrassment, c. sheer terror. The wrath of dad (oh, and God) was no laughing matter. I stole a glance at my mom, who looked like a kid in a war movie speechlessly watching an atrocity before someone pulls her out of the frame. At least I wasn’t alone on this one.

He was actually kinda right

The insidious influence of the devil on our culture.

Somehow, it got worse. The crux of his argument was that god intends sex to be a glorious, sacred part of his blessed institution of marriage, not an expression of animalistic lust. “Sex is a gift from god,” he said, “and it brings us closer to him. I have known the joy of conjugal embrace (I swear those were his exact fucking words), and fear that the young people of this generation, including my sons, will have this experience tainted by the values our culture is giving them.”

Where to begin. Okay. The closest thing I had to “the talk” with my dad went like this:

Him: “So, uh, you’re about the age for the talk, huh.”
Me: “Yeah.”
Him: “You already know everything, right? From school?”
Me: “I think so.”
Him: “Okay. Well, just wait until you’re married.”

In other words, this little salvo was the most I’d heard him say about sex, ever. Imagine you’re nine and your “talk” is just dad saying he nailed your mom. Now add him talking about your sex life. Now add references to doggystyle and prison. Now have him say all of it in front of a congregation composed mostly of little old ladies.

Yeah.

Fact: trying to include a naked man in every post

Now imagine your dad’s this guy. You’re welcome.

Finally, stretch it out to twenty-five minutes, and choke yourself with a clip-on tie to keep from laughing, and you’ll get a sense of what that day did to me. As awkward as it was, it couldn’t disillusion me all at once. I didn’t see that the emperor had no clothes, but I did catch a flash of his dick.

Bonus: the sermon’s most memorable grievance with the Bloodhound Gang? “And another thing, the Discovery Channel is a wholesome source of education! This song tries to ruin it by associating it with fornication.”

At least this might be true

We lost one of the good ones.

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15 thoughts on “The Bad Touch Sermon

  1. […] a pastor. Peter grew up with a lot of religion. In fact, Peter once sat through a sermon in which his dad quoted that song by The Bloodhound Gang…One Sunday, he took the pulpit and declared, grave-faced, that today’s sermon would be on the […]

  2. The Skeptical Magician says:

    Hilarious!!! Oh the books that could be filled with the crazy sermons that have been preached.

  3. Salim Fadhley says:

    This is awesome and hilarious. WOuld you ever consider recording an audio version of this story for The Pod Delusion.

    Sal

  4. April says:

    I grew up in a religious family (not as cool as yours, since we just went to church. No one in my family did even readings), and I got the same sex talk from my mom!

    Mom: So, you had sex ed in school?
    Me: Yes.
    Mom: OK. You know how babies are mad. Don’t do it until you’re married.

    I think the big difference is that my dad chimed in over his newspaper: “And you shouldn’t start dating until you’re at least 40!”

  5. Crys says:

    Hilarious, I love it! Alas I was only raised by a spiritual/ever more mystical mother, so my God-related stories from childhood wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining 🙂

  6. OMFSM I think I’m in love. Found you through Friendly Atheist. Assemblies of God preacher’s kid here and I can already see my life in yours.

    But thank science Dad never listened to the radio.

  7. SaraS says:

    Also came here via Friendly Atheist. This is hilarious! This also makes me very grateful that I grew up in a non-religious household, although I didn’t really fully appreciate how great that was at the time.

  8. Jeanette says:

    I loved this! So funny and so true! I grew up in Georgia with a very southern Baptist back ground. Yes that’s what I said…Southern Baptist!!! As bad as any of them! I was afraid to go to sleep for fear that I may have accidentally strayed of course and would burn in Eternal Hell & Damnation forever!! Nice going family~

  9. Here via Friendly Atheist, as well. I hadn’t realized there was quite so much entertainment value in sermons – might have made my kids go to a few if I’d known. However, they did have to go to Abstinence Class in 10th grade – taught by a local minister. At a PUBLIC, tax-funded school.

  10. Steve A says:

    Much love from a fellow preacher’s kid. My dad is the most liberal pastor I’ve ever met but even so, I’ve sat through my fair share of profoundly awkward sermons. But the worst were never half as bad as this. Loved the reference to “seeing the emperor’s dick”, as well.

  11. //Finally, stretch it out to twenty-five minutes, and choke yourself with a clip-on tie to keep from laughing. As awkward as it was, it couldn’t disillusion me all at once. I didn’t see that the emperor had no clothes, but I did catch a flash of his dick.//

    Astonishing writing, brother. 🙂
    All in the timing!

    Thank you.

  12. Wonderfully written and absolutely hilarious!

  13. Rebecca says:

    My dad is an Elder at a very conservative Church of Christ (and does a fair amount of preaching), so I grew up with some similar stuff. I would always get embarrassed when he talked about anything to do with sex, because he would say the word “nekkid” (like, I don’t know why; he normally says “naked,” but I guess he thought saying it in a weird way made it.. easier on the ears?). No, Dad, it’s not working.

    You hit the nail right on the head with the feeling about God having mafia ties and being terrified of his retribution. That’s exactly how I felt growing up. It explains why I was so religious and yet not at all a “spiritual” person. I didn’t WANT to do churchy things, but I HAD to or I would burn in hell for eternity. I was raised on immense amounts of guilt and fear. I spent a lot of time doing things I thought were wrong, and a lot more time praying for forgiveness and hoping I wouldn’t die at an inopportune moment and go to hell..

    Keep up the good work here! Your posts are hilarious. 🙂

  14. Rachel says:

    This is both hilarious and amazing to me. Your life sounds so much like my own, and it’s so very rarely that I find people who have had similar experiences. I was also a PK, and my dad also read the entire bible with me when I was little, with extra emphasis on the gory parts. I was uncomfortable with the violence described even as a small child, but of course it wasn’t safe to express that.

    My closest story to this was the time that my dad decided to preach at my Christian high school, and described how fortunate we each are to be alive and be ourselves, because there were so many other competing sperm that could have won the race. It’s a valid thought, but not one that should be expressed to horny, immature high schoolers. I got a lot of looks and snickers and jokes towards me after that one. Humiliating.

    Great story, I will be sure to check out the rest of your blog.

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