Saturday, December 31, 2005
The New York Times often gives the impression that seriously religious folks, especially evangelical Christians, are three-horned creatures that just dropped in from outer space. I initially wondered why the paper was giving such prominent coverage yesterday to a new study's fairly ho-hum findings that four percent of American teenagers attend youth group at a church different than the one their families attend. The significance of the study, I soon learned, is that it gave the Times a chance to talk about just how creepy those youth group activities are. The thesis is evident in the article's conclusion:
The band played a simple rock song, and everybody shouted the lyrics over and over: "Bless the Lord with all that's in me. Bless the Lord. May kingdoms fall and rulers crawl before your throne."
Emily threw her head back and sang and sang. Then she fell to her knees. Bent forward at the waist, rocking, she sang into her curled body what others shouted to the rafters: "I want to give you all of me. I'm giving you all of me."
The conclusion has nothing to do with the study or its findings, of course. But readers are now on notice that the three-horned creatures are targeting our teenagers.