Oh, dear. Prepare to be offended, or pray for forgiveness, for the folks behind The Landover Baptist Church and Betty Bowers, the self-proclaimed “best Christian on Earth,” are back in action with an utterly roll-on-the-floor hilarious book that skewers, parodies and pokes fun at the insanity of religious fanatics, especially those of a right-wing Christian fundamentalist bent. You know, the ones who are against fighting global warming because they want the planet to blow to pieces so they can be raptured. Them.
Welcome to Jesusland! is chock full of praise and testimony to God’s Favorite Church, Landover Baptist, a place where Jesus carries an Uzi and the holy chosen people carry crosses, Bibles and guns and secretly hide their banned sex toys with their gay sex videos. But then why hide them, when the preachers of Landover Baptist are as pure as, well, yesterday’s trash? This wild and wacky book looks at their many sins and foibles, including their fetishes for money (Jesus said they could be rich, so there!), power (George Bush is their religious icon), suppressing others from having sex (they live for it, even as they solicit prostitutes and engage in chat room nastiness), and keeping women in their rightful place (think broom and lemon-scented Joy).
Mixing fake news stories, parody advertisements, essays on this wacky subculture, and loopy spoofs of everything from burning books to the Golden Rules of Gun Safety (taught, of course, at Vacation Bible Gun Camp) to speaking in tongues and even castrating yourself, this book has it all for anyone who longs to start their own Prayer Death Squad or win a new Playstation 3 by accepting Jesus as their savior.
The authors do a great job of lampooning their subject matter, combining scathing wit with on-the-mark observations, mixed in with plenty of hilarious photos, drawings and images sure to have you guffawing - unless of course you recognize yourself as one of the saved and superior. But for those of us who are the unwashed, Welcome to Jesusland! will provide hours and hours of laughs and even more hours of subversive giggles.
The idea here is not to offend Christians (the real ones, who really follow Jesus’ teachings of love and peace and forgiveness), or Jesus (he’d laugh at this book, too), or even religion, but to use humor to show how absolutely insane extremism is, whether it comes in the form of violent Islamic nut jobs or those who exist right here at home, waiting to shoot anyone who doesn’t believe or behave in the “right” way. Religious extremism is disturbing, but this book proves it can also be riotously funny.