Turn that Religious Zeal into a Profit!

While not as bad as many may think, staying at a mission is surely no picnic.  It is not just less than ideal, but it has dissuaded me from pursuing any social work or homeless-oriented charitable endeavors in the future.  I could see myself going to some disaster area to provide relief, but if/when I get back on my feet, I want minimal encounters with this type of people, e. g., me. 

At the mission where I stay, we have an approximately hour-long chapel service virtually every night.  I am not a Christian, but I obviously respect people of faith and seek dialogue with them.  As a good Unitarian Universalist, I focus on our common ground.  But it still takes me out of my comfort zone to hear, night after night, that I’m going to hell for believing the wrong thing.  “Thanks for the reminder, Preacher.  I’ll tell Gandhi and the Dali Lamas you said “Hey” when I get there.”

If you can get past the annoyance factor, some of the guys’ enthusiastic responses to the message can be quite entertaining.  A number of the guys that clap, yell “Amen” and “Yeah,” and evince enthusiasm in general are doing so for show.  How else to explain their behavior and words apart from that 1/24th of the day? 

“Anyone wanna’ buy a loose [cigarette]/pair of socks/soda…?”  (Some try to sell stuff they were charitably given.)  “Yo faggot, call me a bitch one more time and I’ll knock you the fuck out! Fucking nigger! I don’t give a fuck!” 

“Soon as I get my check I’m gettin’ me a whore and a room.”

If I get along with the people making these utterances, I may try to point out their inconsistency and hypocrisy.  But, in most cases, what’s the point?

In the highly unlikely event that I don’t become rich from writing and stand-up comedy, I also see money-making potential in these zealous mission denizens. I can envision creating an employment agency that would harness their ebullience. They would become, not life coaches, but life cheerleaders.

Imagine a businessman having to give a sales pitch. In the background, one of these excitable boys could be yelling, “Yeah! You ‘da man! Sell, brother man, sell!”

Constipated? Would it help if one of these guys were exhorting you to “Show that shit who’s boss, main man! In the name of Jesus, I command thine turd to depart from this man’s sphincter!”?

This might overstep some boundaries, but I could see this customer being exhorted as he makes love to a woman. “Go, man, go! Yeah! Tear it up! God is good! All the time!”

The client wouldn’t need to worry if he fronts the employee some pay or ends up in a fight. They will always get his back. “I gotch you” could be our company’s slogan.

Depending on what you’re doing, God may not necessarily be on your side. Our life cheerleaders would be.

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