Religious wackaloonery in Chicago

July 15, 2012 • 4:25 am

On my way to the Cubs/Diamondback baseball game yesterday (Cubs win!), I came across several loud religious groups proselytizing in Grant Park east of downtown Chicago.  This collection of misfits was particularly humorous—well, not exactly “humorous” given that if they had any power, they’d begin a Taliban-esque refurbishment of morals in America.  I took a  30-second video.  It’s unbelievable that this mentality still exists in the U.S., but, O, foreign readers, watch and weep:

The whole sick crew (click to enlarge):

89 thoughts on “Religious wackaloonery in Chicago

    1. That’s the first thing I noticed in the second image … waste of time, waste of effort, and waste of skin

  1. That must be a new fashion – the women in long skirt, t-shirt, sneakers and baseball cap.

    So current and today, just like their ancient message.

    Unfortunately, these are the kind of people, like the Taliban, Orthodox Jews, fundagelicals, etc. who stay home and breed kids by the truckload to be brought up and similarly brainwashed.

  2. I’m glad the charming lady in the white t-shirt was kind enough to elaborate on what she meant by “Keepers at home”.
    I don’t think I would have been able to crack that code on my own.

  3. That’s James the Preacher. I’ve seen plenty of his YouTube videos, mostly clips in responses by the atheist YouTube community.

  4. Is it just me, or is the content of the posters making you laugh too?

    I mean, if someone wanted to create a gigantic Poe, that is exactly the wording they would use.

    (not that this is a Poe, but – you know what I mean)

    1. I blame Frankie goes to Hollywood for this plethora of witless t-shirt slogans, bespattering the west. Blimey, the Christians are even doing it now. How’s about “Our souls belong to God”?

    2. Naw. No one creating a Poe would think to put in the parenthetical about what being a Keeper of the Home meant. The sign writer appears to be afraid that people will think she’s advocating that women be home-owners (instead of their husbands) and feels the need to clarify.

      Someone making a Poe would probably not come up with that kind of twisted logic on their own – you need to at least be exposed to the specifically Christian anti-feminism culture to come up with that.

  5. Warning – The submissive creature in the white T-shirt beside the garbage bins has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. May taint image of Mary mother of Jesus (supposedly men choose women who remind them of their mothers).

    1. IIRC, James is from Florida. He travels to other cities. I put up a link to one of his escapades to Arlington TX outside a World Series game.

      Last Monday, I was in downtown Toronto and walked past a single guy with an amplifier preaching on the street.

        1. As long as I can remember, that corner frequently has some nutbag preaching with a megaphone

        2. Veronica,

          I think so. It was definitely on Dundas, right outside a mall and across the street from a paved park with water spouting up.

  6. I’m glad people like this exist. Think of the world without them. Don’t get me wrong, it’d be a better place, but a lot less interesting.

  7. How can these women NOT see the burning irony of their being out of their kitchens, immodestly ventilating their unasked-for opinions?

    And I hope that someone AT LEAST pointed out to these ladies that being dressed hideously is not the same as being dressed modestly.

      1. they are realy happy

        Good point. When’s the last time you saw one of these street preachers with a smile on their face? If they’ve got so much “good news” to share, why are they so pissed off?

        1. Why, it’s because of all the evil and sin in the world, they just can’t be happy knowing that gay people are allowed to live amongst us as if they’re real humans instead of soulless abominations and some women are choosing to educate themselves and get jobs instead of just getting married and depending on their husbands to support them their whole lives. How can anybody possible have something to smile about when such evil, wicked things are occurring every single day?

          1. At a pro-god/life conference and listened while standing in the back of the small room. (There were only about forty people.) There weren’t enough chairs, and I spend so much time sitting in front of a computer, I am happy to stand.

            But as the conference organizers started bringing in additional chairs, all chairs were offered to ME. Not once, repeatedly. Eight times in eight minutes. They even brought in three *extra* chairs, after everyone was comfortably seated.

            I was as just as gracious and polite and feminine as I could be in declining, but it became quite clear that *I* was the one was Behaving Badly.

            They can’t be happy if they sense a “disturbance in the force.”

            1. Of course not. That would mean they’d have to acknowledge that there are other viewpoints than their own.

            2. Interesting and amusing example of group-think, I think. People seem to have a natural tendency to think that the “outliers” are a challenge to the “conventional wisdom” – if someone is different then maybe I’m wrong so let’s coerce them into the proper mold.

              Personally, I think it bears some resemblance to the thesis – not proven apparently – that women living in close quarters will tend to synchronize their menstrual cycles. And, on a sounder engineering basis, for electrical generators to similarliy synchronize their phases.

    1. Not true – their lord and master told them to do it (that’s your wan with the megaphone), so in fact they are being good obedient wimminz.

    2. They are not modest. What’s modest about a short-sleeved t-shirt with a big in-your-face sign on the chest?

      They are definitely hideous, though. Thrift-shop denim skirts, ugh. Ladies, you’ll have more credibility if you sew your own clothes. I make most of mine – fortunately with no help from Jebus.

      1. I do hope you’re careful not to use fabrics or materials of two different types in the same garment. I’d hate to see you get zapped by a bolt from the blue ….

        1. Too late! Hemp/cotton, hemp/silk, linen with cotton embroidery…looks like I’m doomed! But at least I’m at home and modest. No children, though…I wonder if “keeper of cats” counts?

    1. You are on to something! Like those prisoners of war photos…

      But look at those blue sack clothes they made up to look like modest dress. Really nicely made modest long skirts and dresses have existed for quite some time now. I suspect they just wear these for show.

      They accuse feminists of being angry- so why aren’t THEY all happy and smiling?

  8. So the choice is, according to their beliefs, go to heaven and hang out with people like them for all eternity, or go to hell? Has anyone consulted them about how overcrowded they’re making hell?

  9. Bullet point #7 on that woman’s sign should have been:

    7. Women should not go out in public holding up signs that tell men what to do

  10. Women should

    Speak out

    Hire someone to look after their home

    Not take their husbands name but retain their own

    Avoid church and explain why

    Make an informed choice about whether to have children

    Wear an “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”

    Contact Veronica For Details

  11. The women certainly don’t look very happy to be there. I like that in the background of the top picture you can see what looks like a young couple about to join hands, backs turned to all this nonsense, just going about their lives on what looks like a lovely day outside.

  12. A while back there was a question about whether atheists should be kind to Christians, and not hassle them. Looking at this pack of loons I can only say “Turnabout is fair play!”

  13. Aren’t these people a bit old to still believe in faery tales like this?

    At least the Society for Creative Anachronisms and the comic book convention crowds know that it’s all make-believe — and have fun with their fantasies, to boot.

    But these people are filled with such angst at the thought that other people might be having fun that they’re incapable of having any fun, themselves…how sad.


    1. They ARE having fun.

      Hate is a Christian family value, so they’re getting to express it, feel smug, and prove their moral superiority. L

      1. Well, they don’t look like they’re very happy…I know there’re people who’re into masochism and they may well be prime examples, but that never did make much sense to me….


        1. Well, it doesn’t make any sense to me, either, but it makes plenty to them.

          Their emotional range runs to anger and hatred. If you actually face yourself, that’s pretty unpleasant. But consider Christianity; it tells you that all your anger and hatred are actually LOVE, that what you feel and what you’re doing are LOVING. Wow, what a deal!! You can be as nasty as you want and still believe you’re a good person.

          If you don’t believe me, consider all the people who listen to Rush Limbaugh, et. al. on the radio. They find the spewing of hatred entertaining. And who are most of those people? Fundamentalist Christians, a lot of them. L

          1. I must agree with Linda.

            “Happy” for these folks does not mean well-adjusted and content to live and let live (within reason).

            Linda hit the nail in the head: one of the major functions of conservative religion and right-wing politics is to legitimize nasty, sociopathic attitudes.

            1. Linda hit the nail in the head: one of the major functions of conservative religion and right-wing politics is to legitimize nasty, sociopathic attitudes.

              Yes, quite agree. When I first read The God Delusion some 3 or 4 years ago I had one of those jaw-dropping moments when I read Dawkins’ quote of Anne Coulter:

              I defy any of my coreligionists to tell me that they do not laugh at the idea of Dawkins burning in hell. [pg 360]

              Schadenfreude writ large, although it seems that Christians – and Muslims – have developed the concept to a fine art. For example Wikipedia has this on an English cleric, Frederic William Farrar [1831-1903):

              Farrar was a believer in universal reconciliation and thought that all people would eventually be saved, a view he promoted in a series of 1877 sermons. He originated the term “abominable fancy” for the longstanding Christian idea that the eternal punishment of the damned would entertain the saved.

              Nice people.

              1. @ Steersman “the longstanding Christian idea that the eternal punishment of the damned would entertain the saved.”

                Yeah, see Hitchens’ quoting of Tertullian re: gloating over those who burn in hell; and he’s right. The quote is there (second century, if memory serves).

    2. “But these people are filled with such angst at the thought that other people might be having fun . . . “

      In addition to that I think that many of them also have a feeling deep down inside, that they can’t get rid of, that their beliefs are ridiculous and that everybody else is justified in laughing at them. And they really resent that and it makes them feel like victims. Hence the grim faces and belligerent attitudes.

    1. It’s my uninformed opinion the liberal Christianity is mostly a stepping stone to agnosticism and atheism.

      1. In my not uninformed but admittedly anecdotal experience, not necessarily.

        Many folks are die-hard, life-long liberal theists.

        Which is frustrating because they make it a little more difficult to point at religion in general and say: “can’t you see how obviously poisonous it is?!”

    2. Also in the Sun NYT a long article on a U.S. marathoner bound for the Olympics and his religiously-oriented training regimen, and his religion (charismatic evangelical Christian).

      As with U.S. college football, does God have a favorite Olympic runner?

  14. Does anyone else think that “Silent in Church” is the most significant and telling of these commandments?
    Or that the sign would be quite acceptable titled “Women Used To Be:”

  15. The smallpox vaccine created in 1975 saved 300 million lives. Religion has saved… how many lives? How many diseases has religion cured?
    Why do we still do religion?

    1. Since the very first shaman looked into innocent, gullible, anxious eyes religion has caused more pain, war and death than anything else in the history of Homo Sapiens. Please understand that I am not an atheist. I mean religion, mankind’s invention, not God. If they truly believe what they spout to their followers and think there is a hell, what level will they spend eternity for their sins? If any of the Old Testament can be believed, I would think incredible hubris of any man claiming to say “God told me you should…I am interpreting these Sacred Texts because God did not give you a brain, but he gave one to me so can tell you what he really meant…We are fighting for God…We must bring God to these benighted people, or kill them if they won’t accept him, etc. This is what I see as “taking God’s name in vain” and making “graven images.”
      It has also created some incredibly beautiful art. Too bad we couldn’t have skipped the first part.

  16. It’s unbelievable that this mentality still exists in the U.S., but, O, foreign readers, watch and weep …

    … “this mentality still” which I read, initially, as “mentally ill”: what is tragic and more than a little problematic for both the U.S. and the World is that there are so many who are so mentally ill – not just in America but here in Canada and throughout the world.

      1. I’ve always found it rather amusing – in a bitter, sardonic way – that W.C. Fields said something to the effect that more people have been driven insane by religious hysteria than by alcohol. I’ve looked somewhat briefly into the statistics on that – not too successfully – but there certainly seems to be more than a little justification for the argument.

  17. I feel ill now.
    Will need brain bleach and to self-medicate by at least 1/2 an hour with a visit to cute boys with cats.
    Maybe longer

  18. It’s sad to see people (women in this case) support their own slavery but that’s religion in a nutshell.

  19. On another thread about devout Catholics worshipping a tree I expressed my sadness about the tragic waste of human potential that was caused by religious brain-washing. Looking at the bigger picture, are these people doing the human race a favour by making religion look ridiculous or really uncool?

  20. at first glance, I read this:

    Women should be …

    6. Mostly depressed

    following the list above that, they probably would be depressed…


  21. I think you and all of Chicago should be very grateful that this bunch puts such a high value on modesty. I would not wish for anyone to have to see them any more undressed!

    1. Boy howdy! These folks look like they’re in pain, and just chomping at the bit to inflict some on anyone else they can. Very annoying. DSM-IV no doubt has a diagnosis – most likely something about maniacal messianistic delusions. Holy Hubert used to live to ramble on and on and on about Jesus and the godawful things that were going to happen to you if you didn’t “believe in Him” at Sather Gate at UC/Berkeley in the late 60s and early 70s. HH was very entertaining, though, and usually had at least a few hecklers, sometimes more. He no doubt did more for the advancement of atheism than any atheist could’ve done because Hubert was such a pathetic looking soul, and looked anguished at best, and apoplectic at worst – a good teacher by negative example. He never looked anywhere close to “normal,” seemingly bordering on hysteria worrying about his mortality, and how meaningless he thought his existence would turn out to be if he didn’t have “a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.” Truly bizarre. For the last several years there has been a group in San Jose that bothers people going to and leaving events at H.P. Pavilion, but I have so far been able to avoid them. With these whack jobs that is usually hard to do, but there are so many people going into and coming out of H.P. Pavilion events that it’s easy to be out of sight and out of mind in the crowd. The San Jose Jesus Jazzer bunch is still annoying, even without the one-on-one contact, though, because they’re loud, belligerent, obnoxious, and way off topic. [Most people go to the Pavilion to watch hockey games, or listen to music, not to hear about fire and brimstone from a bunch of babbling religious fanatics]. The San Jose bunch seems like a small pack of animals that has been seperated from their herd, and their ramblings sound like the bleatings of cattle or goats. They get on my nerves big time!

    2. They look starving too dont they.
      Hope this is on youtube so the world can see how religion can mess peoples brains.

  22. I think the long button-down-the-front dresses identify them as Brethren, but the Brethren (or rather Sistren) I’m familiar with wear headscarves, not baseball caps, nor, so far as I remember, T-shirts.

    (I’ve always thought those buttoning dresses were provocative, because the buttons suggest unbuttoning.)

  23. Shouldn’t those women be at home washing dishes? Did their husbands give them permission to be out in public? Look, one of them is woven showing elbow! The horror!

  24. Interesting that all the books cited to back up women’s subservience are all forgeries. Peter never wrote a damn thing and was likely illiterate and Timothy and Titus are widely acknowledged to have been written in the second century and thus well after Paul was dead (and dead men tell no tales….though those who write in their name do).

    1. I doubt that Peter was illiterate. Paul certainly wasn’t and it appears in Galatians that Peter bested him in their argument as Barnabas was swayed by Peter. The gospels are pretty good fiction drawn from Old Testament verses and Homer.

  25. A couple years ago my wife and I were passing a bunch of these wackadoodles on the way out of a festival… and my wife recognized one of them as her cousin! That was, er, an awkward conversation…

    1. The “James Sweet” who took part in Ophelia Benson’s “Nuanced Discussion”? If so, and not wanting to derail this thread or take it very far off the beaten path, I had wanted to say that I generally agree with much of what you said, and that rather well said, notably that “what we have been calling sexist epithets are not inherently sexist, nor do they even carry the contingent sexism that Ophelia refers to.”

      Although that, regrettably, is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg: some serious anger, bitterness, animosity and deficiencies in the empathy department – misogynism and misandrism, in short – on both sides of the divide that is highly problematic and which has led to some intemperate and excessive “protests” of one sort or another. Attitudes and responses, one might argue, that bear some uncomfortable and unfortunate similarities with those of the Chicago “wackaloons”.

  26. This attitude about women isn’t really that isolated. The mega-church pastor and friend of Focus on the Family, TD Jakes has said that women should call their husbands Lord, as Sarah addressed Abraham.

    Its all pretty ugly.

    1. I remember seeing bumperstickers that said “WARNING: In case of rapture this car will be driverless.” Not long after I started seeing bumperstickers that said: “IN CASE OF RAPTURE, Can I Have Your Car?”

      People’s Temple was in San Francisco. No one likes to talk about how tight Jim Jones was with the city government, but he certainly was. After the Jonestown massacre about four hundred bodies were shipped to Oakland, where they were buried in a mass grave in an east Oakland cemetery. Many local people lost entire families. The stinking weed of lethal religion was in full bloom that year.

  27. Mad is a nice word for these morons,they dont look as though they are starving like many in America,living in tents ,not having medical insurance and having to die because of it.
    Bring back lunatic asylums these people are a danger to the future generations that follow them with such idiotic ideas.

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