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Monday, August 29, 2011

Partying with Jesus and Christian Gamers at PAX

Posted by on Mon, Aug 29, 2011 at 9:50 AM

I took this whole cross.
  • This whole cross fit in my purse.
"You don't have to take a bath to understand how much he loves you," explains the man whose name tag reads DOUG.*** It is Friday night and I'm freshly showered but apparently DOUG. does not have much experience with clean women.


"No bathing!" I say. "That's a plus. How does he feel about shut-ins?"
"He'd be the guy at your window every night, checking to make sure you're okay."
"How does he feel about restraining orders?"
"That's funny," DOUG. says, looking anything but amused.

We're standing on the balcony at Capitol Hill's Sole Repair. The bar is decorated with tables of Bibles arranged like crosses and illuminated by white candles. DOUG. cornered me as I was slipping a pile of tiny Bibles into my purse. These are not ordinary Bibles; they are gamer Bibles, "A little book about a guy named Jesus, his Guild, and his ultimate quest to save a land known as Earth."

Game Church—an online Christian website for video game enthusiasts—is in town for the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX—you can find thrillingly exhaustive coverage of it here, here, and here). DOUG. says they're not at PAX to convert, just, you know, talk about how awesome Jesus is and hand out free Bibles. He fist-bumps a bald man in sunglasses with "Hold Fast" tattooed on his knuckles, as well as "Jesus" in cyrillic.

Three-drinks worth of fun.
  • Three drinks worth of fun.
But aside from church staff, there don't appear to be many Christians present. The gamers I meet are all heathens looking for free drinks before hitting the better PAX after parties. And I don't play video games; I'm just a girl who can be suckered into any situation with the promise of a free drink (or three) and novelty Bibles. As are my coworkers.


Paul Constant and Bethany Jean Clement stand below us, ordering another free round at the bar from their plastic "JESUS LOVES YOU!" drink wristbands. I envy them. DOUG. is straight edge, married, and really, really into Jesus, which basically makes him the trifecta of uselessness to me.

"So you've rewritten the Bible to include Matrix references," I say to DOUG. "Can I rewrite it to have more of a nautical theme?"

***Not to be confused with DOUG., the slog commenter.

But DOUG. is no longer paying attention to me—he's staring at another man at the bar. It's Jesus Christ.
I point and say, "Holy shit, it's Jesus Christ!"

DOUG. is annoyed—at me, and apparently, at Jesus. "Do you know him?" he asks. (I do not.) "I need to make sure he was invited." I follow him downstairs because watching Jesus get thrown out of this party would be a rare and special gift, like celebrating Christmas in August.

After answering a few discreet questions, he's allowed to stay. It turns out Jesus is from Ellensburg. He has purple streaks in his hair, his feet are perfectly clean, he drinks whiskey-cokes, and it looks like he stole his sash from a rodeo queen (he denies this). Paul, Bethany, Jesus, and I toast to his health. The party takes off. We fly through our wristband drinks. While the Christians in the room ignore him, nerds flock to the purple-haired Jesus to get his take on the best video games ever made. We dance. A man hits on me by reciting Old Spice commercials; the church leader—the tattooed, fist-bumping dude from before—flirts with Bethany because she is tall. "What are you, 5'11"?" he asks. "I like people like you."

Alas, he would not sign my chest.
  • Before the party went sour.
Another man wearing a Game Church lanyard offers to take my picture with Jesus. He's from California, like the rest of the Game Church squad. As he snaps away, Bethany asks the inevitable: "How do you feel about the gays?"
"Jesus loves and accepts them," the photographer says.
Jesus nods.
"So, then, do you support gay rights, like gay marriage?" asks Bethany.
"I really love it," Jesus volunteers.
The man hedges, saying something to the effect of, "I've never really given it any thought."
We all agree this is bullshit. Gay marriage is the number three thing all Christians think about, right after straight marriage and masturbation. It is a political platform, for christsakes. There are coffee table books devoted to the subject.


"Did you vote for Prop 8?" I ask.
"I honestly don't remember," the man says, adding. "I don't think much about voting. I just do it."
"Maybe you should give it some motherfucking thought," Bethany politely says. We're all bristling at his feigned ignorance.
"Now that you've brought it up, I definitely will," the man says.
"Swear it on this pack of tiny Bibles," I say, reaching into my purse and pulling out a handful of Bibles.
The man refuses.
"We're not accusing you of spearheading the National Burn a Faggot Association," says Paul. "If you don't like gay people, just admit it. Don't pretend you've never given the topic any thought."
Trying to be an agreeable weasel, the man insists he, personally, has no problem with the idea of gay people.
"Fucking fuck you guys," adds Bethany. Things get tense. Another church member, DOUG. maybe, jokes that religion and politics are never topics of polite conversation for a party—which is, of course, absurd. We're at a Christian conversion party in the gayest neighborhood in Rainbow City. I'm out of drinks. What else is there to talk about?
Then Jesus interrupts our argument to announce he's leaving.
"It's not you," Jesus says. "It's just really late and I'm kind of tired and there are other places I have to be."
Everyone feels bad but Jesus cannot be convinced to stay. Shortly after he leaves, so do we.

 

Comments (15) RSS

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Baconcat 15
I'm offended that nobody invited me to this party. Fuck you guys, I'm a walking cesspool of sin, I SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE.

Sobbing IRL, thanks.
Posted by Baconcat on August 29, 2011 at 1:58 PM · Report this
14
I approve of this quick shitting-upon of these fucks and Jesusman's classy Jesusness throughout.
Posted by The CHZA on August 29, 2011 at 12:37 PM · Report this
rodolfo 13
"Swear it on this pack of tiny Bibles," I say, reaching into my purse and pulling out a handful of Bibles.

Oh how I wish I'd have been there to witness that.
Posted by rodolfo on August 29, 2011 at 12:34 PM · Report this
JF 12
@11 Fair enough. That improves my feelings.

@10 I was reading this: "Gay marriage is the number three thing all Christians think about, right after straight marriage and masturbation." You may not consider it stereotyping, but I do.
Posted by JF on August 29, 2011 at 12:02 PM · Report this
Cienna Madrid 11
@9, It was a fun party. They were doing their job; we were doing ours.

@10, WAFFLES.
Posted by Cienna Madrid on August 29, 2011 at 11:58 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 10
@9 - Stereotyping? What the hell were you reading? They asked an individual directly about his beliefs and the individual gave an answer that lacked credibility, so they called him on his waffling.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on August 29, 2011 at 11:47 AM · Report this
JF 9
What a depressing combination of stereo-typing from the Stranger and bigotry from the Christians. We are no closer to solving any of our problems.
Posted by JF on August 29, 2011 at 11:39 AM · Report this
TheMisanthrope 8
I frequently walked through their booth to get to the free samples of NOS. Never once was harassed, but frequently glared at. The NOS was totally worth it.
Posted by TheMisanthrope on August 29, 2011 at 11:22 AM · Report this
7
I wish I'd been there with you three - sounds like quite a great party! Fuck those fucks and good on ya for calling bullshit on them.
Posted by DevoutAtheist on August 29, 2011 at 11:17 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 6
Jesus like to play MMORPG. He fishes, does crafting profs, and has lots of Titles but never uses them.
Posted by Will in Seattle http://www.facebook.com/WillSeattle on August 29, 2011 at 10:27 AM · Report this
5
@3: More the latter.

I would like to add for the record that I am rarely so combative, and even more rarely so foul-mouthed. I was just incensed. Haven't been so angry in years. STILL MAD.
Posted by Bethany Jean Clement on August 29, 2011 at 10:18 AM · Report this
4
Er...more context and usage than grammar, actually (though some punctuation may have helped shed some light on the intent).

Posted by j.lee on August 29, 2011 at 10:11 AM · Report this
3
A question of grammar:

"Fucking fuck you guys." Was that a statement of disbelief, like "Jesus Christ, you guys, get with it," or the traditional argument ender, like "you know what? Fuck You guys."
Posted by j.lee on August 29, 2011 at 10:10 AM · Report this
Lurleen 2
"Hold Fast" is the clan MacLeod motto.

"This originates from Malcolm the third chief (1296-1370) who while returning from a clandestine visit to the wife of Fraser of Glenelg, was confronted by a mad bull in Glenelg"

More scallywaggery here: http://www.dunvegancastle.com/content/de…
Posted by Lurleen on August 29, 2011 at 10:08 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 1
I love this post. Cienna, I take back all the horrible things I say about you behind your back, and a few of the things I've probably said to your face.
Posted by MacCrocodile http://maccrocodile.com/ on August 29, 2011 at 10:02 AM · Report this

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