Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Onward, Christian Kickboxers

By now most of you have probably read about the trend among some Evangelical Christians to use mixed martial arts as a way to lure young men into the fold. The practice is the subject of a documentary in the works: Fight Church—not the most imaginative title, I'll admit, but it works. I won't even get into how theologically and ethically problematic it is to encourage young men to "Beat the Shit out of Each Other for Jesus" (as The Gawker put it), but it seems to be part of a trend for men who want a Christianity in their image (i.e., one with outlets for testosterone), whether it's founding a religion that allows men to have multiple wives, or something as comparatively harmless as artwork depicting a ripped, macho Jesus

That Jesus of "turn the other cheek" or "blessed are the meek?" Forget that loser.

On the off-chance you haven't seen it, here's the trailer for Fight Church. While there are a lot of unintentionally funny lines, my favorite occurs in the scene in which a pastor is praying over a battered guy hold an bag of ice to his crotch: "Dear God, thank you for the win. Thank you that he's okay. And thank you that he's walkin' and I pray that there's no damage and that nothin' swells up bad later, in Jesus' name, Amen."

The juxtaposition of words and the visual is priceless.

 But I also like it when a small boy gets a godly pep talk before going into a boxing ring, and he says to himself, "I'm gonna rip that kid's head off."

"And a child shall lead them." Isaiah 11:6

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