Friday, June 4, 2010

Insomniac Theater: Ed Young Television

On E! from 5:00-6:00 AM, a DFW-area minister named Ed Young delivers a sermon to a filled auditorium. I've been awakened a couple of mornings at this unreasonable hour, and have had the opportunity to listen to his sermons. According to his website, this is his "Purpose":

"Our Purpose for Ed Young Ministries is simple: We exist to Reach Up, Reach Out and Reach In. These three are the biblical mandates of this ministry."

Based on the two sermons I've (partially) listened to, his purpose is also to reach into my marital bed and offer advice vis-a-vis our relations. This post will be heavy with euphemisms so as not to make this blog NSFW.

I have learned from his website that these sermons are part of a series called Leaving Lust Vegas. He used that phrase a lot today. He reminds me of Martin Donovan's character, Pastor Skip, in the 2004 indy flick Saved.

Disclaimer: I am groggy and sleep deprived when viewing this program, and this is my retelling to the best of my recollection...but I'm pretty accurate.

The first time I listened to Ed, he was dispensing advice to all the good Christian wives. He was talking about adultery, why men stray, etc. He was kind of rambling and making excuses that are lost on me now. But I do remember this: he said that when a wife rejects her husband's advances (wink, wink), she rejects the totality of her husband as a man. One could deduce that that kind of rejection is what makes him start plowing the nanny. So now it's our fault. As I'm hearing this, I'm half-hobbling and half-waddling to the bathroom for the fourth trip of the night. I'm hobbling because I suffer from leg cramps, and I'm waddling because I feel like I have an anvil strapped to my torso. His name is Robinson. I take issue with Ed's assertion that I would be rejecting the totality of Steve by declining his romantic offer for a quickie before work, as I suffer from leg cramps, I have a 33-week fetus sitting on my bladder, and I begin each day gently weeping as I shmear stinky-ass cocoa butter all over my brand new stretch marks. I am almost too vain to print that last sentence. I said almost. While glaring at the television screen, I couldn't help but feel that maybe this sermon was really intended for an audience of one Mrs. Ed Young. I'm just sayin'.

Today he was talking about smut and fornication. Ed incorporates a lot of the public speaking techniques we were taught in high school, but "repetition" is his favorite. Repetition is his favorite. Repetition is his fav-o-rite. He said that when a married man looks at a woman, whether she's a woman he knows, an image in a magazine, TV, internet, etc, and he has "lustful" thoughts about that woman, he is committing adultery. Then he asks the congregation for a show of hands from all the men who have had such lustful thoughts. Predictably, no hands are raised (I'm assuming, I'm not looking at the screen at this point). Ed dissolves into a puddle of LOL's and can barely compose himself. He basically acknowledges that it's a trick question, that the men can't answer that question honestly, because the wives sitting beside them would elbow them in the ribs, thus breaking them. The mental picture he has of these hundreds of men limping in pain because all their ribs were cracked by their bitch wives is more than he can handle. He has a moment. Yuck it up, Ed. So let me get this straight: our husbands cheat on us because we're frigid, and they're physically abused by us because we're shrews? I am not loving the portrait of the modern American woman he is painting with his sermon. I'm becoming increasingly more curious about his mother and his wife. What is wrong with these people?

Ok, back to the smut talk. He said that in the past, pictures of naked women were safely hidden behind brown paper wrappers concealing issues of Playboy at the gas station. He says that nowadays, our junior high-aged sons don't need Playboy, they need look no further than their own cell phones, because their girlfriends are sexting them naked photos of themselves. Then he starts talking about going to hotels and seeing people engaging in acts. I thought he was referring to pay-per-view, but it didn't really sound like that's what he was getting at. What kind of hotel is Ed staying in? Then he is talking about finding filth on the iPhone? He's losing me. I'm wondering, if he were to instead preach about the evils of drug use, would he then engage in a diatribe announcing the street corners and names of drug dealers who could provide the illicit substances? 

So, to recap: our daughters are all sluts and our sons hold the money. Porn is lurking around every corner. And announcing to Steve that Ryan Gosling is my "Get Out Of Jail Free Card" means I am an adulteress. I have learned more about the seedy underbelly of America and the depravity that exists from this sermon than from every episode of "To Catch a Predator" that Chris Hansen ever filmed. I don't think one shower was enough this morning.

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