Hi, I’m a heathen.

Last week my parents came to visit and I took them to a ranch that is filled with miles of Christmas lights and it was awesome except that a large part of it was electrified Bible stuff so my religious dad was very excited but the rest of us aren’t really religious so it mostly consisted of Hailey saying stuff like, “HEY!  FIRE TORNADO” and my dad stoically trying to explain the burning bush.

When Hailey saw Jonah standing in the mouth of the whale she was like, “LOOK!  MOBY DICK!”  And my dad visibly shuddered and I was like, “Holy crap, Hailey.  That’s not Moby Dick.” and my dad was like, “No, it’s not” and I said, “That’s Pinocchio’s dad.”  And then Hailey was like, “Oh.  Duh.  Of course it is.”  And my mom never stopped laughing and Hailey didn’t understand what was so funny and my dad lightly glared at us all and I thought that it was a real Christmas miracle that we could love each other so much in spite of being so very different and so very alike.


And on an entirely different subject, it’s time for the Sunday wrap-up!

Shit I made in my shop (Named “EIGHT POUNDS OF UNCUT COCAINE” so that your credit card bill will be more interesting.):


This week’s wrap-up is brought to you by Storyworth, who I lurv.  Still looking for a great gift for you parents or grandparents?  A StoryWorth Book is the perfect last minute gift for your loved ones. Each week, they’ll email them a question about their life – asking them to recount their favorite memory of their grandparents, or whether they’ve ever pulled any great pranks. All they have to do is reply with a story, which is forwarded to you and any other family members you invite. At the end of the year, their stories are bound in a beautiful keepsake book your family will cherish!  Click here to check them out.


70 thoughts on “Hi, I’m a heathen.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. I totally relate to Hayley even though I went to Catholic school! LOL!
    It’s truly a Christmas miracle when everyone can see the humor in life or burning bushes and whales.

  2. I’m about to head in to uber religious territory next week, but no one there has a sense of humor about it. I always need alcohol the most when I’m where I can’t get it.

  3. Sounds like us. My parents are of two divergent faiths, and my brother and I were raised as “none of the above.”

    So when my kids asked about things like the Easter story, I’d go balls out and say things like, “I think it’s when Jesus came out from a cave, and if he saw his shadow, they got 6 more weeks of winter.”

    It didn’t make any less sense to me (or to my kids) than the story in the Bible.

  4. I love this. I’m a former Catholic, currently a heathen. Your story is terrific. ❤️

  5. You two absolutely kill me. Fire Tornado is definitely the name of my next band. It doesn’t get much more metal than that! 🤣🤣🤣

  6. Fire. Tornando. Best explaination of The burning bush ever. This was the best thing to read this morning. Is t bad I’m debating passing this wisdom on to my elementary schooler who has a very evangelical tableware this year?

  7. If Geoff and I had done this with his super Catholic parents we would have been mansplained to the whole time. I think we’ll stick to different time zones and keeping our irreverence local.

    Though I may steal a couple of your lines and use them on nieces and nephews…

  8. I was at a niece’s wedding once with my then teenage daughter and there was this box on the altar that had curtains that were closed. My daughter asked me what it was and I said that was for the puppet show and we both cracked up so much I thought we were going to be thrown out of church. (On a side note, that marriage did not last so maybe we jinxed it.)

  9. (Raising my hand) cough Hi I’m the Huntress and I’m a heathen. This could very well be an entirely new type of rehab. Or accepting of our heatheness, I love how Hailey has you sense of humor. You guys crack me up. Btw, I think it’s creepy that there’s an entire ranch/farm with Christmas lights, but what can I say only in Texas right? Another type of club……lol

  10. I am truly a heathen (I mean…look at my screen name) and today my daughter is going to church. She goes occasionally with her boyfriend’s family, who are very religious but today it’s his birthday and then we’re all meeting at a restaurant for lunch.
    My daughter, who was raised nominally pagan (I said I was really a heathen, right?) has invited me to meet the boyfriend’s parents for lunch AFTER SHE ATTENDS CHURCH with them. And has done so periodically.

    OMG. In-laws. Church. I’m having the vapors
    I always said that I’d accept any religious path she chose (or didn’t choose) as long as she didn’t try to exorcise my demons. But I’m not sure I’m ready for where all this is leading. (I do like the boyfriend a lot though, so…my blog will likely have the aftermath.)

  11. You’re not a heathen, you’re a pagan,. A pagan originally ment a person from the countryside, one not associated with the original city-states of Greece. It was the Catholic Church that turned the word into meaning” idol worshipers”.

  12. I work with a lot of Catholics, so my own religious irreverence can get me into trouble sometimes. My favourite thing is still the billboard that said, “Take Jesus on vacation with you” and all I could do was picture him at the waterpark, going down the giant slide and making the water all holy.

  13. And you didn’t video this?! Better entertainment than I’ve had in a while and certainly more uplifting and full of love than … (well, better shut my mouth at this point and put a filter on it).

  14. Um… (Looks embarrassed)… I don’t understand the Pinocchio reference… I have heard of Jonah in the whale, but I was a kid who didn’t believe it when they told us about Noah’s Ark when I was 4 (how do all those animals fit?), so there is probably something about the Jonah and the whale story I’m missing too. Yes, I haven’t been in a church in a zillion years, how did you guess? LOL 🙂

  15. There should be fire tornadoes in the Bible. The whole concept just fits in there so well!

  16. I am kind of puzzled at all the Old Testament at a Christmas event. I hope they threw in some Revelation. Nothing says Christmas like the Whore of Babylon.

  17. At least you’re in good company. And didn’t go southward re: the burning bush (that could be painful).

    One question, though: Where was Victor on this fateful night?

  18. Everything I know about religion I learned from movies and theater. I learned about Moses from Charlton Heston. I learned about the nativity from Linus and the Peanuts gang. I learned about the crucifixion from Jesus Christ Superstar. So if you’re a heathen…what’s lower than a heathen? I’m probably that. But drinks in hell are on me.

  19. According to my heathen husband, Jesus’ dad’s name was “Noah. Noah? No, wait…”

  20. My God, I love you guys so much! lol I’ve seen an actual fire tornado in person — growing up in the brush fire capital of the US allows you to see things others only see on TV — and I think that’s probably a very apt description of how The Burning Bush really looked.

    Also, as a Christian, if you can’t make jokes about some of the truly crazy things in the Bible, have you actually read it? We make fun of things ALL THE TIME. I also cuss like a sailor on shore-leave. I’m not great at following the rules. 🙃😬

  21. Hey my mom once almost got us thrown out of church for talking. It was like the one time we went because I’m not very religious even as a kid. The minister even stopped the service to stare at her and she’s like what’s he staring at isn’t he supposed to be talking and she just stared back at him. As soon as he started talking so did she. God she was a hoot

  22. I’m the only child of my parents that is not baptized. My mom has always called me a heathen( jokingly) I love that about myself. I’m a free agent. 😂😂

  23. Thanks for the book list. Of course I own Furiously Happy, both eBook and hardback, because. Also pulled titles of several others on the list. Happy winter holiday of your choice to all the family.

  24. My son called the nativity “the God set” as in “hey mom, can we put up the God set tonight?” !!

  25. When I was little, I thought people put up Christmas lights to help Santa find his way in the dark. I’m guessing that’s not what they are doing at the Christian Christmas Ranch Extravaganza. Really disappointed they didn’t throw in a display of the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse, just to give it the full Bible story.

  26. I went to Catholic school and I’d probably have trouble recognizing it all too. Oh well…I’ve got a lot of company in this handbasket we’re all in. LOL

  27. When we enrolled my oldest in kindergarten, we chose the one at a catholic school even though we are not religious because it was much closer to our home. Realized he may have trouble fitting in when he looked at a giant metal cross hanging in front of the school and exclaimed “Oh, Cool! A giant sword!!”

  28. I always get a kick out of listening to religious people trying to explain their versions of history to people who ask reasonable questions – the only way to get most people to buy into the weirdness is to start while they’re defenseless in terms of critical thinking.
    I knew a guy who was looking for some spiritual clarity, not finding it in any of the institutions he tried, and getting more and more anxious and frustrated. One night he came home to his apartment complex and saw that a hedge next to the parking lot was on fire – he looked around and spotted a hose connected to a faucet nearby, and grabbed it and put out the fire. He said that as soon as he was done with that he stopped and thought, “Shit! I got my burning bush, and I put it out!” But after he thought a bit more, he figured that It hadn’t been saying anything to him, so he hadn’t missed out..

  29. That’s great news!! The Viking is a total heathen and I’m a lazy, ‘can’t be bothered’ kind of heathen. So, in my opinion, you’re in good company. Just watch out for the bonfires, and those solstices that can be a little tricky if you aren’t in the mood for love. 😂

  30. Littlewolf,

    Maybe this joke will help:

    An Old Man Forgets His Name At The Pearly Gates
    November 02, 2016

    An old man has been standing in line at the pearly gates for so long, when he gets to the front, he can’t remember his name for St. Peter to look up in the Big Book.

    Peter doesn’t know what to do, so he gets Jesus to help him figure it out.

    Jesus says “Tell us about your life, maybe that will jog your memory.”

    The old man says “Well, I only had one child, a son.”

    Jesus smiles and says “Heh, I was an only child too. Go on.”

    The man says “I was a… some kind of wood-worker or carpenter… something like that.”

    Jesus is like “Huh, that’s another coincidence. Anything else you can remember?”

    The man shakes his head a bit and says “You may not believe this, but my son – he was brought to life through a miracle!”

    Jesus’ jaw drops, he smiles, and tears comes to his eyes, “Father??”

    The old man’s eyes open wide, “Pinocchio??”

      I’m more infidel (and more of humanist than infidel) than heathen, but when the Jehovah’s Witnesses come to our door, I choose alliteration and tell them, “No, thanks! We’re Happy Heathens Here!” Somehow “Happy Heathens” sounds better than “Insouciant Infidels.”

    Happy whatever, people!


  31. That was too good. Its ok. All us wierdos are probably heathens. 🤣😂 i have it tattooed on my arm so no denying. Infact we’re not doing Christmas we are having 2nd Halloween 🎃

  32. Very tempting to do this to my mom. I’m spending Christmas with her for the first time in over 20 years (she moved to Florida, it wasn’t by design); when we said we wanted to go spend it with her, she was like, “I thought you didn’t believe in God, so I figured Christmas wasn’t important to you.” Since when, Mom? It’s not like we didn’t always send her presents. Chrismachanakahfestivus has always been very important to us.

  33. Actually, I think you act a lot more “Christian” than a ton of supposed Christian folks I’ve seen. Not in the “Christ is your personal savior” kind of way — but in the “healing the sick, fighting injustice” kind of way.

  34. @theycallmetater, look up Wine Rack 200-008 on Amazon. I don’t own one, but am a true believer that all you need is the right equipment.

    Yeah, I too have people I love dearly who take the Bible far too literally. And if they said the earth was flat, I would have to agree with them, given where they live. Thank God for you.

  35. My best friend and I took the kids to Holiday World, an amusement park in southern Indiana, the entire park has different holiday themes throughout. I rounded the corner and came face to face with the manger scene. When I yelled, “I found Jesus!” the people around were not amused. We giggled for the rest of the day…

  36. Dude, your dad should be PROUD that Hailey yelled out the name of a whale from literature. Sheesh, some people are never satisfied.

  37. There’s nothing quite so funny as a child pointing out the blindingly obvious to the obviously blind 🙂 I’m still waiting for one of ours to counter “Santa doesn’t exist” with “so what, you believe in God, and he’s made up too” lol

  38. Flunked out the first day of catechism, I remember hanging on a chain-link fence watching my Mommy drive away; cried for the whole time there, thankfully, she never made me go again.

  39. My husband and I both grew up in uber religious, church-going families. Neither of us attend anymore, but years later I can still quote scripture and could probably win Bible Jeopardy. My husband, on the other hand, didn’t seem to retain anything he heard in church. The other day I said, “If you build it, they will come” and he responds, “Oh yeah, like in the Bible”. 🤣🤯🤷🏼‍♀️

  40. Heathen here. My kids may have been to church two or three times in their lives. I’m pretty sure my mother prays for all of us each night. Just to give you a heads up for later in the life, it seems to AP European History has a lot of religion in the beginning of the course, so I’ve found myself explaining the Bible to the 15 year old, lol. And my default answer to her strange looks is usually, “Look, I didn’t write the thing!”

  41. I grew up in a strict Catholic household. I basically left that world a long time ago. However, every year at Christmas we meet up at my parent’s place (endowed with dozens of nativity scene sand many, many Jesuses.) My mum insists we sing happy birthday to Jesus and she has a cake made just for his holiness. Last year, at the end of the singing had ended, my boyfriend and I stood up and added:
    For he’s a jolly good savior.
    For he’s a jolly good savior.
    For he’s a jolly good savior, that nobody can renounce!

    We lost our place at the table that night. And I was really looking forward to cake.

  42. @Mychael, curious is the plural of Jesuses isn’t actually Jesi? Or maybe two i’s for fun: Jesii? I’m from the southwest so I always read it as Hay-Suess so I’m not help at all.

  43. My heathen children were playing with a Little People nativity set from the in-laws. I say to them “This is baby Jesus… His mom Mary and his dad Joseph.” My 7 year olds replies “Wow mom! How do you know their names? Is it from a movie or something?”

  44. If it gives you joy and does no harm-I am sure laughter is music to Anyone’s Higher Power. I was laughing too. (I am a Regular church goer-life is too short to not have joy.)

  45. After my 7th grader’s school concert, I told her I now understood why she’d been saying she liked the 8th grade chorus’s songs better than her own — “They’re all so bouncy…and Battle of Jericho is one of my favorites.”
    She said “It’s a great song, it just doesn’t make any sense!” And I had to give her a one-liner Bible story in the driveway.
    Hard to believe I was a junior deacon once…

  46. I hope someone has mentioned that Moby Dick has a huge section explaining that it is a metaphor for Jonah and the whale.

  47. Oh my goodness! I have been to that place! The first year we lived in San Antonio we drove out there. We had heard about a gazillion lights, but not the bible theme. We are religious, but that didn’t stop us from laughing and making some fairly rude comments. It was a hoot!

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