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pray pride parade
a faith-based initiative
by mike julianelle
1.7.09
humor

Over the holidays, and not for the first time, I broke the rules of etiquette. Thanks to both a steady flow of beer and a head full of loony ideas, I crossed the line while discussing the phenomenon of cults - admittedly a favorite subject. I got lost to my own passion for the topic and alienated a guest or two by lumping their legitimate Christian beliefs with the cockamamie dogma of Mormonism and Scientology and the like. Oops.

But despite the ensuing, momentary awkwardness, I was proud of my inebriated self. I didn't hide behind political correctness or common courtesy or the fact that I was below the Mason-Dixon line where common sense goes to die. I let my beliefs be known and I'd do it again! Your god is a fraud and I'm not afraid to say it, Christmas tree be damned!

The rules of etiquette say that discussing politics and religion at a dinner party is a bad idea. But my parents told me that lying is a bad idea all the time, so it's a hell of a conundrum. I say let 'er rip and let God or Allah or Xenu or the maggots or whomever sort it out.

Luckily, I'm not alone. There are still some heroes out there who aren't afraid to stand up for what they believe.

You probably ran across this remarkable story in December. It was everywhere, and rightly so. It's not every day we witness bravery of the sort evidenced by this New Jersey family. They have the courage of their convictions and they're not about to back down just because their beliefs aren't popular.

It's amazing, there is absolutely no spin there: They like Hitler, they like their kid and presto! His name is Hitler. I wish more people were so courageous. Instead, most of us hide our true colors, especially when it comes to our religious beliefs.

During last year's interminable election season, we heard countless candidates cow-towing to their bases, making sure to mention how often they go to church or and pray to God, regardless of whether they actually do, all for fear of alienating the mostly God-fearing public by saying something unpopular. It was impossible to know where anyone truly stood, so consumed were they with playing to the voters. We all saw McCain shy away from his previous, actually-somewhat-maverick positions in order to satisfy the conservative base he needed to pull to have a fighting chance at the presidency. So,in order to satisfy the evangelicals that propelled Bush to office, he needed to change, or more realistically, hide his true opinion on certain issues.

Even normal, everyday people like Tom Cruise, long a hero to those of us who appreciate forthrightness and honesty, has lost his nerve. Gone are the days of battling glib morning television hosts; no longer does Mr. Cruise stand up for his much-maligned beliefs in the face of ridicule from the likes of Brooke Shields and Jerry O'Connell. Like the best politicians, the Hollywood megastar has chosen to retreat under a fraudulent canopy of privacy, suddenly preferring to dodge questions about his faith in aliens and natural pregnancy and a lousy science fiction writer rather than use the question as a pulpit for them. All in order to save face at the box office and protect his image with the public. Understandable, sure, but despicable just the same.

So yeah, I admire the Hitler-namers. We're all too afraid to be ourselves and let our true opinions out in the open. And why? We have enough friends, none of us is running for office, and hey, even if we were, wouldn't the rest of us appreciate some no-spin sincerity?

Religion seems to be the new gay; admitting in whose temple you kneel is suddenly social suicide and I don't like it.

I'm ready to be the new Harvey Milk and I want to recruit you! Christians, Hindis, Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Scientologists, Athiests, and the rest, don't be afraid anymore! Come out to your parents and your coworkers and your friends! Let everyone know what you believe. Man up! Wear a yellow star and let people know where you stand.

Go ahead, call me Hitler. The man had some good ideas.


ABOUT MIKE JULIANELLE

Let's get real here. You don't want to know about me. You want to know about "me".

more about mike julianelle

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COMMENTS

adam kraemer
1.7.09 @ 9:45a

On behalf of the Chinese readership that I don't claim to represent, it's "kowtow."

mike julianelle
1.7.09 @ 9:47a

Ah, good to know. Thanks.

And to think I thought you'd mention the yellow star thing, on behalf of the Jewish readership you DO claim to represent...

sandra thompson
1.9.09 @ 8:34a

I disagree with you on one thing: Hitler did not have any good ideas. Not one. He never did. He was even a bad painter before he decided to rule the world. At least Il Duce had the trains running on time in Italy, but in Germany the only trains that ran on time were the cattle cars to Auswitz. The Volkswagen and the autobahn might have been good ideas, but it's against my "religion" to say so, so I have not said so. I will defend to the death that guy's right to name his son Hitler, but I will also support the prosecutor who says that it's child abuse to do so. Just imagine what that kid's gonna go through in school!

heather millen
1.14.09 @ 2:25p

Well, this is an interesting development. Parents lose custody of nazi-named children.

robert melos
1.19.09 @ 8:33p

A child by any other name will still steal money from your wallet and stuff you in a nursing home the first chance they get. Sure, I didn't do that, but my mother told me I was named after actor Robert Taylor. Had she named me after a world domination crazed politician maybe I would've turned out different.

As for Hitler's ideas, I'm sure he had one at some point. Everyone has at least one good idea. I know that goofy mustache wasn't a good idea. Or the haircut.



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