Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Church of the ’86 Ford Crew Cab 350 One Ton

Phil Burpee, Letter to the Editor

I am greatly heartened by Prime Minister Harper’s decision to create an Office of Religious Freedoms within the federal bureaucracy. It will now be the business of the Government of Canada to ensure that apocryphal quackery, millenialist soothsaying, gay-vilifying evangelical pulpit-pounding, papist intrigue, woman-loathing misogyny, heathen-castigating bible-thumping, our God is the Top God-pronouncing preachery, and various other forms of self-aggrandizing delirium, are given due focus and appropriate protections. Clearly, this is a much loftier aspiration than, say, an Office of Scientific or Political or Civil Freedoms, because clutches of predominantly male humans who claim to have the exclusive ear of the Lord of the Universe, to the exclusion of all other errant- or non-believers, clearly require a robust coddling. The Prime Minister himself attends a house of worship whose liturgy rather inclines towards End of Times scriptural interpretation, so I imagine he thoughtfully includes himself and his co-congregationists within the expansive purview of the above-mentioned Office.

Now, the Concise Oxford Dictionary defines religion as a noun meaning 1. particular system of faith and worship, and/or 2. human recognition of superhuman controlling power and especially of a personal God or gods entitled to obedience and worship; effect of such recognition on conduct and mental attitude.  I am therefore inspired. What with the newfound sense of zeal being embodied by the Government of Canada, I find myself moved and ignited by the prospect of creating my very own religion – it’s a slam-dunk – Stephen Harper will have my back!  Praise be!  I will call it ‘The Church of the ’86 Ford Crew Cab 350 One Ton’ – for that will be my humble ass, and I will ride it all the way to Glory. My church will have many gods – one for every adherent, in fact – choose your colour and your favourite app. Entitlement to obedience and worship will be streamlined for even they of little faith – just a monthly tithe cheque (15% of your pogey will do) and an occasional mickey of Wisers will assure salvation – if not exactly eternal, then at least till somewhere past next Tuesday. I will, of course, be looking for tax exemption and access to public funding for the establishment of a school board – I think it’s only fair. And I can hardly wait for the first run of the ‘Book of the One Ton’ – it’ll only be available in Instagram  format – unfolding sequentially even as its gospel is revealed amidst the ultra-cute antics of kittens wearing glasses and shots of beery, tank-top Krazy Kart mash-ups.

Onward then, Sisters and Brothers! We are free to believe! – Mr. Harper says so! So believe me - Heaven is a full tank of gas – and Johnny Cash on the AM radio, singin’ about that Ring of Fire.

Phil Burpee
Pincher Creek


  1. Anonymous24/2/13

    Amen, Bro!

  2. Anonymous28/2/13

    Hmm, I don't think this will benefit Stephen Harpers Church much. The C&MA is already one of the fastest growing churches in Canada, along with the many other evangelical churches. So that rules out a conflict of self interest.

    Canada now depends on immigration to meet labour demands. Hence there is a large increase in religious diversity. This office will help to peacefully integrate the many new religions into Canadian society while ensuring that we maintain freedom of religion.

    Freedom of religion is important as in your case it would prevent someone from driving up with a one ton chevy and pulling away your 'Church of the ’86 Ford Crew Cab 350 One Ton’


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