Thursday, January 30, 2014

#280-Jeff Arnold and His "Idiot" Friends.

So basically this happened last week at Because of the Times (no, not the Kings of Leon album, but the preacher's conference that was named after the album):

And by "this happened" I really mean a Jeff Arnold sermon-rant to formally announce his senility. Literally, the dude was Khrushchev slamming his shoe on a podium, a rambling Richard Sherman in a postgame interview, a conservative Michael "Shame on you Mr. Bush" Moore at the Oscars. In short, Jeff Arnold pulled a Kanye in front of anyone who matters in the UPC. And it's not like we didn't see it coming.

For those who haven't been paying attention to Twitter or simply got wise enough to not really care one iota about the ongoing Reality TV tragicomedy that is the UPC, let me tell ya, you're missing a whole lot of chuckle moments.

But to catch you up to speed.. here's the run-down of Mr. Arnold's sermon:

-Confesses aspirations to be lauded by God as one of the greatest preachers of all-time.

-Confirms this greatness by unleashing what is allegedly one of the most homophobic and "hate your enemy" rants of all time. "Fag" was thrown about freely and not just for shock value but because he's Jeff Arnold and he reads his Bible, man. (Proof of God's grace: God chose Arnold to be a preacher and not someone who can change much of anything. So thank God Arnold is all talk, because if this guy found himself in some real kind of political position, there'd be no telling what kind of hate laws he'd be throwing around right about now. And no telling what kind of quack-job excuses people would come up with to defend this hypothetical, hate-mongering Congressman Arnold. )

-A nice little oratory aside that bashed that there Barack Hussein Obama. Which included a little throw-in that called African-Americans "darkies." And since the audio/video has been so generously cast to the Sea of Forgetfulness, we'll have to rely on a paraphrase of how Arnold used the term "Darkie": "What's the world coming to when you have darkies in the White House and whities working the cotton fields?"

And then to top it off... how bout his knockout punch: Calling our president a faggot.

I wish I were joking. But i'm not.

-The most entertaining tirade was aimed indirectly at John Maxwell by way of a revered UPCI licensed minister... Specifically a Pastor Stan Gleason... and roll film:

 To give you  context: It was the unnamed Stan Gleason who purported to expound on John Maxwell's point earlier that evening. And it was this point that Arnold was alluding to when he decided to just go all guns a' blazin and call Gleason.... An Idiot

Now cue our unofficial Jeff Arnold theme song to fully enhance your reading pleasure:
 Because Of The Times 2014 somehow ended up being The Comedy Central Roast Of Rev. Stan Gleason, except instead of funny it was just sad. Not sad because a well-known and loved man was verbally accosted in front of a couple G’s worth of people. Not even sad because it was like watching someone advance two stages in Alzheimer’s before our very eyes. The saddest part is what followed.

-Those seeking to purchase the anointed and soul-winning word given that evening by Rev. Jeffrey “The Insult Comic” Arnold were told it wouldn’t be available because “it’s being edited.” Shortly thereafter videos posted or tweeted by attendees were requested to be taken down. A tweet went out (reportedly, its since been removed, if anyone has a screen shot please send it) which instructed people “not to tweet what Jeff Arnold is saying right now.” (*edit* an anonymous commenter sent us the picture. See below*)

Luckily for your trusty Apostolic version of TMZ, we gots two of the vids before the Christian NSA pulled them. Of course, one person commented, “Take this down,” and I was DM’d on Twitter “In the name of Jesus take this down.” Jesus on the mainline, tell him what you want! “Um yeah Jesus, can you get these guys to delete a youtube video? Kthxbai!”

The uploader of the video himself was sent a letter by one of the UPC big wigs asking him to like, you know, just like, in the name of all error passing under the blood, just you know, be a good sport and take it down because at the end of the day we are all brothers in Christ.

And I'm all like, I don't want to be a part of any system where me and that there Jeff Arnold are "brothers in Christ."

Now, dear reader, you may think this post is all about the wickity wack nonsensical freestyle Jeff was spitting. But Jeff throws down with this veracity all the time. The troubling thing is what the followed after the message..

If there’s one thing the UPCI is proud of it’s “the Truth.” It’s on banners. It’s the subject of horribly written books. It’s the name. It’s an identity. But somewhere along this narrative of truthiness, my homies in the UPC ceased caring about being true. Being true to morals. Being true to ethics. Being true to society. Loving true, serving true, speaking true. For Gods sake, LIVING TRUE.

How does The Truth respond to a controversy? The same way every crooked politician, every plundering banker, every despot and delinquent does. They tried. To cover. It up. Like a cat burying it’s turd, they tried to hide this turd of a sermon.

They could have let it stand on it’s own. We live and die by our merit and given the opportunity, this festering piece of crap of a sermon could have been eye rolled into obscurity and passed off as “well that’s just Jeffy Pop, what do you expect?”

But what DO you expect POA? You know this guy. You know what he’s capable of. In an increasingly ADD society. What do you think someone’s going to do who thrives on being edgy? It’s 2014! He’s competing with Miley, Kanye and another Scorsese coke-fest. He’d have to put on a donkey show to get the same reactions he got twenty years ago and those reactions are like a drug to the guy! He’s the washed up actress from when we were teenagers who shows her naughty bits in Playboy just to keep the kids in private school!

Does this sound profane to you? Just following the lead of my favorite man of God, my bad.

But let's take a real big step back and realize the bigger problem: It's not about just how much of hell's fury is permissible three years after you started becoming pastor. It's not about whether or not Arnold is anointed at this. And it's not even over whether or not the Truth is to be censored, BLESS GOD. Because that's all opinion, and somehow we believe having an opinion actually matters. In a world of FOX NEWS, MSNBC's, and rambling maniacal news broadcasters, opinion and commentary is all we watch and it's the only way we know how to communicate when something scandalous happens. I'm no different. And it feels icky just being one more voice out here kinda upset/kinda laughing real hard over this Arnold mess.... When all Arnold was really doing was spewing out politically incorrect opinions of his own. Really, opinions are boring and they distract from the bigger point:

Jeff Arnold is a symptom of the UPC and not the cause of it's problems. More specifically, Mangun and the rest of the POA/BOTT leadership team were trying real hard to enact damage control to soften the blow of any resulting controversy over what Arnold said (sadly more people are pissed at Arnold's "Idiot" comment than really showing the slightest bit of concern that his hate speech  may be causing more and more segregation in the Pentecostal ranks and likewise alienating any potential homosexual from coming back to the UPC).....

But whichever old-man Arnold rant angers us the most, the point is the BOTT staff knew what they were getting into with Arnold and they facilitated it, because, "For a good sermon, Call Jeff at 555-QUACK." Arnold's entertaining. And Mangun gave BOTT what it really prizes: An entertainer. And sure the UPC may just like downplay the whole thing and say "Gleason and Arnold are friends and it's really just a bit of miscommunication is all." And that sounds all nice and cute and pretty, but don't fall for such rhetorical nonsense. Jeff Arnold's sermon is not the rare mishap. It's rather the bad apple that grew from a rotten tree. The UPC needs loud and obnoxious preachers to keep our attention and Arnold is just that. Otherwise we'd just quickly yawn and look at our watches and wonder when is this whole thing gonna end so I can go flirt with the girl of my dreams at Applebee's.

But for now, we'll get a tranquilized/muzzled Jeff Arnold and the Pentecostal of Alexandria leadership team will put on it's smiling face and be all polite and shake your hand and when you bring up the Arnold sermon, they'll chuckle and change the conversation real fast. And it's gonna be boring.  And we'll stop listening and look for the next Kanye/Arnold/Richard Shermon on youtube, and we'll laugh and get angry and really not care for the BOTT as much because they aren't producing that kind of reality tv show Jeff Arnold rant-a-thon anymore....

But everyone will be cozy and the UPC will be able to quietly and gradually fade away. And this time,  without comment.