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Unlike other book clubs there are no contracts or other rules to follow. We hate forcing our set of membership preferences on anybody and don’t want to be dogmatic. Just make up your own book club rules and follow them, just as you do in real life.
Our book club selections are written by the finest faithful dissidents who challenge stodgy orthodox ideas with fresh new ideas, just as new as gnosticism!
Expert selections from our team of great dissidents as seen on TV, NPR, and the Discovery Channel.
We guarantee never to stock anything written by Pope Benedict XVI.
Sound too good to be true? Well check out just a few of the great books available:
This month’s Book of the Month primary selection
Theology of the Bawdy Christopher East
A magnificent commentary on Christian sexual ethics. Why have a negative morality when it comes to sex when people are just going to do it anyway?Thoroughly explains why God wants us to fornicate, commit adultery, engage in homosexual acts or whatever else trips your trigger. This inclusive sexual ethic shows that since God gave us pleasure that we should seek it out in whatever form we choose. Explains why all the negative imagery in the Bible are justmetaphorsfor faithfulness to God and since we can’t physically cheat on God that this doesn’t really apply to physical sex.
Customers who bought this book also bought Kama Sutra, PlayboyDr. Ruth’s Guide to Talking about Herpes
Highlight Review Wow! Finally a theological book that tells it like it is and fully agrees with my own theology. – Hans Küng
The Story of a Saul
Terry of Kalamazoo
You have often heard that God loves you where you are at, but have you really lived this truth? Terry as a young girl was spoiled and often given to emotional fits after her mother died. She struggled to change until she came to realize the simple truth that since God loved her where she was at she did not need to change. Terry in her spiritual biography tells us why Saul was just fine where he was at and that there was no need for him to change his life and his name to Paul. She theorizes that Saul falling off the horse probably gave him a good thump on the head causing him to become too hypersensitive in pleasing God. God loves us where we are at and if we are emotional selfish people then God is fine with that. Her approach is called the "Little way" in that we have to do little or nothing in changing ourselves.
The Limitation of Christ
Thomas à Unkempt
Classic set of meditations on the limitations of Christ. How we really can’t expect Jesus to transform our lives and why we need to conform to the world instead. Beautiful reflections on why the Church must change and not us. Chapters include such gems as "The Doctrine of Relativism", "Limiting Christ and Despising All Dogmas on Earth", "Dialoging as a Virtue", and "The Value of Diversity."
"Shun too great a desire for church teaching, for in it there is much fretting and delusion. Progressives like to appear learned and to be called wise. Yet there are many things the knowledge of which does little or no good to the soul, and he who concerns himself with following dogmatic Vatican decrees and about other things than those which lead to pleasure is very unwise."
The Interior Tepee
Aint Teresa of Vanilla
INTERIOR TEPEE is one of the most celebrated books on mystical Pagan theology in existence. Aint Teresa guides you through various Pagan and new age practices like labyrinths, enneagram, earth worship, praying to the Great Spirit of the East, West, North, and South. She describes the interior life using the metaphor of a tepee. Where this is no advancement or decline in the interior life because a tepee only has one room and everybody is at the same level as everybody else. Learn also the mysteries of comtemptlative prayer. Comtemptlative is praying with contempt for those narrow minded defenders of "traditional" Christianity. Learn how to go deeper in contemptlatation in pondering why the Holy Spirit has still not moved the Church into acceptance of all that is important for progressives. Comtemptlative prayer helps you to look suitably angry when protesting about still not having women’s ordination and other issues.
The celebrated bishop and Call To Action speaker writes a tour de force series of chapters celebrating the wonders of heterodoxy. It is the purpose of the writer to attempt an explanation, not of whether the Christian Faith can be believed in the traditional form, but of how he has personally come to recreate it for modern sensibilities. The author writes a rousing call for the return to heterodoxy. From the beginning of the Church unfortunately there has been a tendency to squash other’s opinions like the Judizers or Arians for example and why we should not be afraid to challenge traditional church teaching in favor of the New York Time’s editorial page.
"A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can protest against the Church’s unhearing hierarchy."
Fundamentals of Catholic Suggestions
Dr. Ludwig Ought
Don’t be intimidated by this thick volume with 544 pages. All the pages are blank with college rule so that you are free to write down what you consider to be the fundamentals of what it means to be Catholic. Don’t be afraid to start your own apostolic traditions and start writing them down now.
Sister JoanChittister, OSB
Are your chants outside of cathedrals getting stale. Do you need to revive your protest rallies with great new chants. If you answered yes then this book is perfect for you! Here is just a sample of just some of the great chants included.
Hey, Hey – Ho, Ho
All male priesthood has got to go and Humanae Vitae ain’t no fun.
Three cheers for contraception.
The book comes with a chapter dedicated to describing Chittisterian Chant notation so that anyone will be able to read the notation and properly chant it.
Not only do we have these great books but we also have books on apologetics. No not those judgmental apologetic books that deny that their are many paths up to the mountain and that all religions are equally good. Our apologetics books helps you to defend your progressive faith.
Catholicism and Fundamentalism: The attack on "Progressives" by "mean people following Church teaching" Karl Marx Keating
Have you ever been annoyed by those more traditional and fundamentalist Catholics that annoy you by actually quoting the text from Vatican II documents? Do you know how to defend progressive teaching when others bring up the fact that it is not supported by scripture or apostolic tradition. When someone brings up something said by the Church Fathers tell them that the Church Mothers defended your position but that their writings were destroyed by a male Church afraid of strong women. This and many other strong apologetic arguments in favor of contraception, abortion, and pulling feeding tubes. Other important topics are also included.
So why wait? Get these great books and others and start a collection that will make the staff of the National Catholic Reporter look with envy. To be faithful in dissent you need to be properly informed.
Boy am I glad I put down my drink before reading this. . . . would have had to get a new keyboard. =)
And just when I was thinking of rejoining Quality Paperback Book CLub, too! Thanks for setting me on the path to . . . umm, Progress?
Oh, this is too great . . . among your best work ever . . . of course you forgot “Deconstruction of Christianity” by Joseph Cardinal NAZInger
HIGH-larious, and well done!
And after reading that story below about the Scottish Parliament, I definitely needed the laugh.
Theology of the Bawdy
I’m dying here. Dying.
Poor Christopher West. That’s a hoot! Bravo!
LOL, you always supply a good laugh. I am particularly pleased that you included a title from my beloved Auxillary Bishop, Gumbleton. kudos! 😉
that was brilliant 🙂
You are a genius! Very funny!
Thanks for a good laugh!
I hope you put all of these, and your other creations in a book …. oh, the story it will illustrate will fall into a number of writing categories�� Adventure, Horror, Comedy, Religion, Social History, Mystery, New Age, Romance, Politics, Murder …..
This is one of your best! Now are you selling in books on “new & improve” Catholic Healthcare practices????
Another classic Jeff; quite simply this is one of your best.
Be ashamed of yourselves for mocking those you are called to love. I am.
Lighten up, dear! Exposing folly is becoming the best comedy around, and Curt J is great at it!
Way too funny. Particularly how maintaining those silly old club regulations doesn’t apply here.
I was wrong – this isn’t something to be ashamed about, if it is something we learn from.
“I don’t intend to post a daily blog of links to other sites, news, etc. Rather, I intend to post short essays dealing with the daily struggle of being a Christian. But after reading “The Dissident Book Club”, I feel ‘compelled’ to address a very real and very dangerous tendency of American Catholicism: self-righteousness and hardness of heart.
The Dissident Book Club mocks those who disagree with Church teachings. Obviously, heresy is bad. Clearly, apostasy is bad. I agree completely – the battle against unorthodox doctrine must be waged with ceaseless determination. The enemies of the Church must be defeated.
But for the Love of God, do not forget that we are Christians! We must not simply defeat our enemies. We must Love our enemies. And that takes being Christ-like. That takes humility and heart.”
You get the jist. My website has the full post, but that contains the essence of my thoughts on this subject. We are never going to save the lost sheep if we are too busy laughing at them.
God Bless, and peace.
Me thinks some people don’t have a sense of humor… honestly, lighten up!
And Jeff… that was simply priceless… ‘Karl Max Keating’ ROTFL!!!
May the Lord forgive me, but I loved Chittisterian chant the best.
Fundamentals of Catholic Suggestions?
That, sir, is pure genius. I’m reminded of Allan Bloom’s remark that Moses did not bring us the Ten Values.
The question isn’t: “Is it funny?”
Of course it is. It’s *very* funny. Jeff wrote a hilarious piece that really touches upon something deep within a lot of our hearts – that unorthodox doctrines really *don’t* get Catholicism. This is something good to reflect upon, and humor helps.
But a lot of things are funny: jokes about politics, jokes about nationality, jokes about religion, and some would say – jokes about race.
But humor has more effects than laughter. My criticism of The Dissident Book Club is founded upon my desire to see all Christians brought together. Humor can be a powerful tool to do that – but only in the spirit of humility, not the spirit of contention.
I only give this as my opinion, however, and in the same spirit I advocate – that of humility. I know the Curt Jester’s intentions were not to divide us. I know that he wishes to see the Church united, just as we all do. I’m confident that we will see Pope Benedict lead us to such unity in what I hope is the near future.
God Bless, and peace.
While I respect the need for humility and the love of one’s opponent, Nathan, I wager there is still a place for things like the “Dissident Book Club.” After all, there are many valid ways for one to make a point. Naturally, we can (and should) argue matterr through in terms of faith and reason, but there is no shortage of quite intelligent folks doing that right now (people like Finnis, Weigal, and the writings of, say, Gilson or Lubac come to mind).
Then there’s comedy. It’s more experiential than intellectual, more a gestalt switch than a argument. This sort-of thing manages to convey, better than most arguments, the inherent silliness of much of dissident thinking. And this is good, as it can be a first step – to illustrate just how loony something is may be the necessary first move to make an opponent realize, “hey, yeah….that is a little odd, isn’t it?” Then argument can begin.
But, just a thought. And I have to admit, I found the thing freakin’ hilarious.
Didn’t Chesterson also write “Orthodoxy?”
Very nice! Maybe those can be published by the Stinky Censer Press, LTD, which has already published two new books as well as four lost C.S. Lewis classics.
hmmm, I use humor to make some very serious points w/my children on a variety of subjects …. they seem to “get it � the point of my satire” most of the time in a bigger way than if I went on some gentle lecture on theology or whatever the topic.
But did God use humor??
” … Many puns and tricks conveyed in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament are lost in translation. For example, in the Genesis account of the creation God fashioned man (adham in Hebrew) from clay (adham�), and the woman created from one of his ribs was to be called woman (ishsh�) because she was produced from man (ish). Proper names play an important part because they denote the true identity of a person or thing. To change one�s name signifies a change in one�s vocation � thus “Abram” became “Abraham” (father of a multitude of nations) and the names of the patriarchs conceal hidden meanings.
The best-known example is that of Isaac whose name Yitshaq means “he will laugh”. The son of Abraham and Sarah was given this name because at the announcement of his birth by God both Abraham, 100 years old, and Sarah, 99 years old, laughed at the idea of becoming parents.
This is the first laugh in the Bible, but not the last by any means. Certain books are totally satirical. The book of Jonah is a fictitious tale that ridicules sectarianism, and the book of Job is an ironic commentary on conventional religious ideas and morality.
The prophets resort to ridiculous or outrageous behaviour to denounce the corruption of the chosen people. Isaiah went around naked for three years, Ezekiel ate a cake made of barley and human excrement, and Hosea married a prostitute to symbolise the prostitution of Israel with false gods. The Wisdom Books are full of humorous aphorisms …..”
Humor away …..
I would disagree with a lot of the above. The Bible can be funny sometimes–but I don’t think the books of Jonah and Job could exactly be called “funny.” Nor are they necessarily fictional. And I’m sure Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Hosea didn’t find the symbolic actions God made them do very funny at the time.
That said, I think the Curt Jester has managed to fight his battle, just as Chesterton did, with wit and humour, and he may well do more by making heretics look silly than so many other people do by trying to argue them back into the fold, or by neglecting to say anything for fear of offending them. There is such a thing as mean humour, but this certainly wasn’t it.
I agree with Nathan. He mentions loving our enemies. Not only that, if you are an orthodoxy loving Catholic like myself, you believe that the ‘dissidents’ are also your brothers and sisters by means of our common baptism. Bring it down to your own family level. If you have a disagreement with your biological sibling, do you dialogue with them directly about it, or do you make jokes about them to your other siblings that may agree with you? How many of us have ever tried to have an authentic discussion with those we find so easy to dismiss of not worthy of the name Catholic? I grant you that sometimes humor is a great tool of communication. But let’s make 2 jokes about ourselves for every joke we make about our dissident brothers and sisters in faith.
I once heard the word sarcasm is derived from the meaning “to tear the flesh”. So, maybe we need to come up with a better form of humor than what we learn from the world through sit-coms, professional comedians, etc.
We have to realize that we’ve been given a gift. A huge gift of being able to accept and love the teachings of the Church. We can’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s just a matter of our own personal wisdom that we figured this out. It’s grace! How blessed am I that I’ve been given enough grace to have faith to accept even those teachings I wouldn’t naturally understand or like. We’ve been given that gift to pass on. The dissidents themselves can be considered a mission field in the New Evangelization. Imagine Mother Teresa and the sisters joking about the stupidity of third-world citizens while trying to evangelize them.
Brian, I didn’t learn sarcasm and irony from the sit-coms. I learnt it from Chesterton.
Of course one wouldn�t use this type of communication when in a serious conversation with a fallen-way Catholic. But is the purpose of this blog solely for the conversion of non-Catholics and fallen-away Catholics? Or, as I think it is, a very needed and wanted site where faithful Catholics can join together in cyber space for some fellowship? The two motivations are legitimate, but they would naturally have different directions. If the latter, then the very great humor displayed here does this community (but I can really only speak for myself) a good service. For in laughing at the pain caused by the thoughtless and ignorant comments by others, which cut down the very core of our being, that is, our faith, we are able to fight the temptation to blow up in anger and rage, which are only natural at such times. (And perhaps when our fellow brothers and sisters see us not angered at their jeers and taunts, but able to keep calm enough to explain the unreasonableness of their speech, I think they will see Christianity at its best.) I speak only from personal experience being in a very secular workplace and sometimes my only escape is reading these very happy blogs. Do keep it up, dear Court Jester!
Good points on both sides, I think.
It is enough to just be aware, and to reflect – and I think we have all done that.
God Bless, and peace.
Very enjoyable, Jeff. You manage to distill fundamental truths into bite-sized chunks and cry out, like the innocent child in the story: “The emperor is naked!!!”
Jeff I love seeing new forms of blogger comedy and this looks like a particularly rich vein. Here’s hoping you’ll regularly update your Book Club offerings.
Hi-LARious! Thanks, Curt Jester, once again, for your poignant parodies!
This is so not funny. The misogynist paternal rape inspiring hatred of this site frightens me for the future of our Church. By the way, is it OK if I use this in our fund raising letter?
Tip-top quality satire again. How on earth do you keep it up?
RE: sarcasm, Chesterton…
Fair enough. I do agree there is a proper role for humor. Could you post your favorite sources of where you picked up sarcasm from GK? I really would like to read it, and I’m not being sarcastic about that.
My concern is that this is a wide open area, not a private conversation among friends. Anyone can happen upon the site, even though it’s obviously not an evangelistic site (at least not this page, I haven’t looked around on the home page.)
I will say, most of the humor is aimed at ideas and not people, and that’s better than personal attacks. I still think we can strive for even less hurtful ways of coping. Unfortunately, I personally am not that creative or funny enough to come up with it. So, just a personal plea to others to expand our humor beyond ridiculing others, because I do enjoy good humor.
If you check out this website, maybe you’ll see what I mean. This guy is pretty funny, also very biting. http://www.expagan.info Most of his posts, I consider the self-righteous hardness-of-heart type humor/attitude we should wean ourselves off of. But link to “My General Apology”. It’s great because I think any Catholic across the spectrum could read it and find themselves in it and laugh at themselves. There’s something for everyone, it’s equal opportunity ribbing. That’s what I’d like to see more of.
James 1:26 “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.”
James 3:9-14 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth.
J.3:17-18 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. PEACEMAKERS WHO SOW IN PEACE RAISE A HARVEST OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.
J.4:11-12 Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him speaks against the law and judges it. When you judge the law, you are not keeping it, but sitting in judgment on it. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the one who is able to save and destroy. But you�WHO ARE YOU to judge your neighbor?
J.5:9 DON’T GRUMBLE AGAINST EACH OTHER, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!
J.5:19-20 My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.
All of 1 Corinth 12, but esp: 25: “so that there be no divisions in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other.”
Eph 4:2-6 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO KEEP THE UNITY OF THE SPIRIT through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit�just as you were called to one hope when you were called� one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Eph 4:25b-27 for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and DO NOT GIVE THE DEVIL A FOOTHOLD.
Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is HELPFUL FOR BUILDING OTHERS UP according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, FORGIVING EACH OTHER, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Okay, let me back off a little in regards to this entire site. Until now, I had only seen this post about the Dissident Book Club, so all my comments above were limited in scope to this one offering (and other random things out there on other sites across the www).
Now I’ve had a chance to look at more of this site, and I see that much of the humor here is exactly what I was saying I’d like to see more of.
Sr. Joan was that you posting on here again? I can always tell when it’s you. Always the little cockroach our of her cage. Oh wait I forgot…you like to be called Pope Joan isn’t that right? (sheesh)
I predict that THE INTERIOR TEPEE will be a best-seller.
hey – GREAT blog. did you come up with this yourself? i would love to link to it from my blog…….. you rock.
blessings! Matty (seminarian)
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