Internet Criminals Make Garrison Winner of March Indulgence Awards


By John Bloom

One way we can tell that a Door article is really really popular is that people steal it, filch it, grab it, download it, and post it all over the Internet, sometimes giving us credit, sometimes treating us like The Wittenburg Doormat, and that was the fate this past month of Becky Garrison’s fine interview with weirdbeard Irish theologian Peter Rollins, who parties in Belfast. Becky also psychoanalyzed St. Francis of Assisi using terminology normally not found outside of Freudian salons in Vienna, thereby becoming a double threat and the winner of the March Indulgence Award, the coveted document entitling the bearer to 7,777 days off her Purgatory sentence for the Best Freelance Article of the Month.

St. Francis

Becky is such a stalwart Door contributor that the word “regular” doesn’t really cover it. When she’s not blogging on God’s Politics or hanging with evangelical homeboys in Queens, she’s defending her book The New Atheist Crusaders and Their Unholy Grail against marauding heathen hordes, not to mention generating many of the gossipy news leaks that turn up in my own blog because she would get excommunicated by her old friends at Yale Divinity School if anyone found out the source, and I, on the other hand, would only get kicked out of Rhema Bible Institute in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Becky lives in New York and has a flourishing speaking career, giving seminars on “emergent church” stuff that’s so complicated it makes our collective heads hurt.

Hard as nails

Okay, that’s enough kissing up to Becky so that she’ll stop giving her best stuff to the weasels over at Sojourners, I should move on now to the Lesser Indulgences for March, which are:

First runner-up: Christopher Garrett receives an inflatable rubber slide that will take him directly from the 6th to the 3rd level of Purgatory (look it up in Dante) for his chronicle of the fate of a children’s book called Flopsy Bunny and the Easter Miracle that got a little too graphic for America’s Christian publishers.

Cat Stevens

Second runner-up: Joe Christian gets a voucher good for a chicken dinner at the Maricopa County Jail for his tour-de-force “You May Have Missed the Rapture if …” which continues the venerable Door tradition of making up “if lists” if we can’t think of anything else to write. Joe followed that up later in the month with his reporting on Kim Jong-il’s admission that John Hagee is correct and the North Korean strongman is indeed most probably the Anti-Christ.

Third runner-up: John Green, the man who discovered that the Archbishop of Canterbury is actually Cat Stevens in disguise, is awarded a Latex bodysuit that will diminish the pain of any intense flogging that occurs in the afterlife, for his discovery of James Dobson’s recent horrified discovery of green homosexuals as well as his expose on the evangelical Krispy Kreme heresy.


Fourth runner-up: C. Hinkel is excused from the portion of Purgatory where the Judd Family Reunion is played on an endless loop, for the sobering Good Friday spot news report, “Bunnyman Killed by Rednecks on Copeland Ranch.”

Fifth runner-up: Jeff Gustafson is entitled to three days in the Coed Beach Volleyball section of Purgatory for his authoritative guide to the identification and proper mocking of fundamentalists.

Sixth runner-up: Jane Lebak is released from making coffee for the executives at Bear Stearns in what would otherwise be the most humiliating part of her afterlife rehabilitation, for her memo from the Ashera Management Company, telling that Elohim guy how to be more efficient with the movement of so-called “chosen” people.

And finally, our seventh runner-up: Al Speegle Jr., who rivals Becky Garrison herself for freelance productivity, is blessed this month with two tickets to a Genesis concert (you’ll know why you need them later, Al) for “Reading Lolita at Liberty University,” his memoir of the liberation of the class of ‘97.

If you want to ensure your place in Freelance Heaven, send us those articles. Our freelance rates, by the way, have gone up because of the weakness of the dollar on international markets, so that whereas previously the sale of a Door article would result in a KFC meal for a family of four, it now includes Honeybuns for dessert.


A1 | 01:34 am on 4/10/2008

Thank you. Thank you. No, really thank you. Thank you. I want to thank a great staff at TWD, especially Mr. D for his patience with me and all the crud I wrote in my early days. (wipes eyes) I have the upmost respect for Becky, a mentor and excellent example of what writing is (wipes other eye). I ... er ...(wipes at both eyes) I want to quote something Mark Twain said, no it wasn't Twain, might have been EE Cummings, no not him either, Faulkner maybe ... No. You'd know him if you saw him, tall guy, 6'2" married twice, two kids, boy 12, girl 10. Lived in Mississippi until he moved to New Mexico ... what's his name, it's on the tip of my tounge ... I'll probably think of it after I hit the Post Comment button ... If you know, the music is playing, I need to make this fast, writemeandI'llsendyouaTeeshirtof--

A1 | 01:37 am on 4/10/2008

Nope, didn't work. I still don't remember his name ... Maybe it was my barber ... I'll have to ask him. I'm sure it wasn't the pizza delivery girl, could have been the Chinese food server at Woo Hoo's ... What was the question, again?

Confusedus | 11:33 am on 4/11/2008

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

SRebbe | 02:49 pm on 4/18/2008

Hey, I say congrats to them all.

james | 04:54 am on 6/01/2009

Twain is one of my favorite writers! When I was in college, I took a semester-long course just on Twain. Bliss. BTW, Mark Twain was supposedly the first author to submit a typewritten manuscript (Life on the Mississippi - ) to a publisher? Although he didn't type it himself--one of his hired lackeys typed it from his handwritten manuscript. But he was one of those enthusiastic "early adopters." Today, he would have been lining up for an iPhone.

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clement | 02:31 pm on 2/26/2011

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