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How Conveeeenient! The Church Lady Tactic
by Jason Wisdom
If you are older than 25, you probably remember Dana Carvey's "Church Lady" character from Saturday Night Live. For those who are not familiar, I will provide a brief (and totally unfunny) synopsis. The church lady interviews various celebrities for her "Church Chat" television program. Every interview begins in fairly mundane fashion. That is, until the church lady starts grilling her guests. She inevitably asks a question about some questionable behavior attributed to the guest. When the guest shows no sense of shame, the church lady smugly replies, "Well, isn't that special?" Then, the church lady rhetorically asks the audience, "Who do you think could be behind this bad behavior?" Without skipping a beat, she emphatically answers her own question, "Could it be; oh I don't know; Satan!?" At this point, the guest usually tries to offer some excuse for his behavior, but the church lady simply will not let him off the hook. She quickly rejects the excuse and employs another of her comical catchphrases; "How conveeeeenient!" she quips. The crowd erupts in laughter and applause. Sometimes, when the church lady is feeling especially triumphant, she does a little dance -- a magnificent sight.
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Never mind the obvious irony in the title, but I have recently noticed many critics of Christianity utilizing what I would like to call, "The Church Lady Tactic." Here is how it generally looks. First, the critic calls into question some perceived Christian doctrine that he finds inconsistent, illogical, or immoral. Next, the Christian responds by explaining how the critic has grossly misrepresented and/or misunderstood the doctrine. Then, the critic simply dismisses the explanation by saying, "How convenient!" Much like the church lady, the critic feels victorious. Often times, he will even gloat over the perceived absurdity of his opponent's response…
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