“It’s All About Bacon”?!?

A standup comedian asks the question to perhaps the most critical concern of our time.   Why do people who profess to believe in the biblical God trash the home he is alleged to have entrusted to their care?

 angry God

I was watching CK Louis’s standup routine “Live at the Beacon Theater” the other night on Netflix.  In it there was this 3 minute segment about two-thirds of the way through where he played out a scenario as God chastising some of those he entrusted to act as good stewards for his earth creation.  CK pretends to be God and comes back to earth to see how his creation has been taken care of and is simply blown away with what he sees.  Portraying both Jehovah and the earthling he grills, here’s the gist of that interaction in typical CK Louis fashion

God:  “What the fuck did you do?  I gave this to you mother fucker!  Are you crazy?  The polar bears are brown, what did you .. what did you do to the polar bears?  Did you shit all over every polar bear?  Who did this?   Who spilled this shit”?

Then he points at an imaginary earthling and tells him, “Come over here!   Did you spill this shit?  What is that”?

Earthling: (in a rather doofus voice) “It’s oil, its’ just some oil.  I didn’t mean to spill it.”

God:  “Well why did you even take it out of the fucking ground?”

Earthling:  “Because I wanted to go faster” as he gyrates his arms in a locomotive fashion.  “and I was cold” wrapping his arms around himself imitating being chilled.

God: “What the fuck do you mean cold?  I gave you everything you needed you piece of shit” 

And then the earthling dribbles out a few words that are meant to explain everything like most Republicans do when they talk about tax cuts for so-called “job creators” and the very wealthy.

Earthling: “Well, because of ‘jobs’”

God:  “Jobs?  For what?  Why do you need jobs?”

Earthling:  “To make money.  Money is needed to buy food”.

God:  “I gave you free food.   Just eat the stuff off of the floor I gave you”

Earthling:  “Yes, but … it doesn’t have like bacon around it.  I like when it has bacon on it.”

It’s laugh out loud funny to think fossil fuel extraction has been all about our cravings for bacon.  This skit does in its simplicity though unmasks where most of our values lie – in the self-interests of creature comforts that often wreak havoc on the only planet we’re ever going to be able to call home.

It struck me then how some Christians strain a gnat but will swallow a camel as they ignore the word of God, according to their own scriptures, failing to be good stewards of this planet but can milk a few words from the psalmist to rationalize the massive campaign to prevent a scared teenager from aborting an unwanted pregnancy.

In a christian apologetic written back in 1977 by assistant professor of political theory at the University of Michigan, J. Patrick Dobel, entitled “Stewards of the Earth’s Resources: A Christian Response to Ecology” the author drives home, through the use of multiple biblical references, where humans lie within in the scheme of earth and its resources and who in fact owns them.  Capitalists and free-marketers may want to close their eyes and block their hearing, chanting la-la-la-la-la-la-la as loud as they can.

The proper relation between humanity and the bountiful earth is … complex. One fact is of outstanding moral relevance: the earth does not belong to humanity; it belongs to God. Jeremiah summarizes it quite succinctly: “I by my great power and outstretched arm made the earth, land and animals that are on the earth. And I can give them to whom I please” (Jer. 27:5). For an ecological ethic this fact cannot be ignored. The resources and environment of the earth are not ours in any sovereign or unlimited sense; they belong to someone else.

Humanity’s relation to the earth is dominated by the next fact: God “bestows” the earth upon all of humanity (Ps. 115:16). This gift does not, however, grant sovereign control. The prophets constantly remind us that God is still the “king” and the ruler/owner, to whom the earth reverts. No one generation of people possesses the earth. The earth was made “to endure” and was given for all future generations. Consequently the texts constantly reaffirm that the gift comes under covenanted conditions, and that the covenant is “forever.” The Bible is permeated with a careful concern for preserving the “land” and the “earth” as an “allotted heritage” (Ps. 2:7-12).

This point is central to the Judeo-Christian response to the world. The world is given to all. Its heritage is something of enduring value designed to benefit all future generations. Those who receive such a gift and benefit from it are duty-bound to conserve the resources and pass them on for future generations to enjoy. An “earth of abundance” (Judg. 18:10) provides for humanity’s needs and survival (Gen. 1:26-28, 9:2-5). 

Now I no longer consider myself a religious person.  I’ve seen too much within the institution of the church to know that self-preservation tends to crowd out the general welfare principles that have been espoused thoughout human history.  Lip service is given to much of what passes as “God’s law” but people are clever in their ways to circumvent it when it serves their needs.

So Dobel’s biblical assertions carry no weight with me other than the point he makes about the earth belonging to “no one generation”.  I would paraphrase the last line in the first paragraph to read instead that “the resources and environment of the earth are not [the private property of select individuals] in any sovereign or unlimited sense; they belong to [everyone].  But I am in sync with the lines in the last paragraph that asserts that “The world [and it’s resources are] given to all. Its heritage is something of enduring value designed to benefit all future generations. Those who receive such a gift and benefit from it are duty-bound to conserve the resources and pass them on for future generations to enjoy.

The Christian capitalist mentality in this country is often silent on those scripture that points out mankind’s responsibility for being good stewards of the earth.  Dobel enumerates quite a few.  But he also notes there are those verses that some Christians are ready to use to justify their right to own private property and do with it what they will, even if it deprives others of the necessary resources they need for survival.  Dobel feels however that the convenant spelled out in 1 Chron. 16:14-18 negates any self-serving use of what is supposed to be their “inheritance”.

capitalist christian

The Christian capitalist will exploit the earth to fulfill their need for wealth and power yet prevent unwanted pregnancies based on a single metaphor from the psalmist that suggests God knew David personally while he was still in his mother’s womb. (Psalm 139:13)  They will also cherry-pick the handful of scriptures that refer to using violence in order to invade countries and claim their resources while overlooking all that is written about the compassion of Jesus.  Unlike “christian soldiers”, Onward Christian Earth Stewards is nowhere to be found in contemporary christian lexicon.

Today’s representatives for God here on earth are willing to usurp and drain the resources of one region as if it was their “manifest destiny” ordained by a God who is supposed to have commanded that “Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor.” (1Cor:10-24)

When special interests pollute the air and water we all own and food sources dry up because man-made conditions have contributed to drought, floods and famines for many, it will be the righteous Christian who will assert that such bounty comes not from our exploitation of others but as manna bacon from heaven.

It may be crude and offend the sensitivities of many but CK Louis’ version of God’s response to those responsible for the stewardship planet Earth seems appropriate.

“What the fuck did you do”?

10 responses to ““It’s All About Bacon”?!?

  1. CK is a genius.

    Saw a similar skit done years ago where god is a landlord coming back for a house inspection. He throws a fit, and the line that stuck with me was, “And just who the fuck kicked a hole in the Ozone!?”

    • “CK is a genius’

      He definitely is. He’s like George Carlin with humor rough on the edges but so full of substance that get’s you thinking.

  2. I am starting to believe it is all about bacon. Who knew that a pig could be the most important animal to man. And since they are known to be so smart, maybe they can tell us how to get out of the messes we get into in destroying our planet.

    • Point well taken taken Donna, however, pigs like many capitalist also have their snouts buried in the trough too much and as a result little gets done that needs to be. 😦

  3. Boy you guys don’t get it. Talk to any fundie and they will explain. God promised he would never destroy the earth again, (after the flood), ipso facto. we can trash it, cuz God won’t let it be destroyed. Doncha just love self-serving logic?

    • “Talk to any fundie and they will explain. God promised he would never destroy the earth again,”

      Not with floods anyway but knowing full well that they would self-destruct on their own. If I were to believe in such a spirit-being I would say he or she gave up on this planet long ago and moved onto another galaxy.

  4. Yeh – as Sherry says, for a lot of Christians it’s all about the interpretation. Most of the capitalist Christians think they’ve done a dandy job with their planet. As long as they can drive a gigantic car and own large properties, they believe they’re fulfilling some mission. It’s all so twisted. They’ve lost sight of what sin is.

    • My theory is that Jesus wasn’t crucified by the Romans in cahoots with jewish leaders because he professed to be the son of God but because he was asking them to exercise something that went contrary to their developed nature of greed – compassion. 😦

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