Those cheeky Canadian Christians are at it again!
In its summer issue, Geez Magazine sends a reporter under cover on a Caribbean cruise for "Christian singles." Hilarity (and outrage) ensues.
Earlier this year, Geez — with its tagline "holy mischief in an age of fast faith" — dipsatched their reporter to take a five-day luxury cruise in the Caribbean, the "Christian Singles Valentine's Day Cruise," promoted by AllChristianCruises.com.
With tape recorder in hand and cameraman in tow, Lyndon Froese, a 26-year-old single guy from Manitoba with "Mennonite roots" (who considers himself only quasi-Christian these days), drove from Canada to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and hopped aboard the Royal Caribbean's Liberty of the Seas in search of a story about "the underbelly of the Christian leisure industry."
In this 10-page story — the longest in Geez's seven-year history, apparently — Froese observes "the nonchalance some Christians bring to the disparity of wealth between North Americans on a holiday fling and the nearly-enslaved workers that serve them."
Froese's a good sport (if a mischievous one) and plays along, if not by all the appropriate rules: He smuggles booze aboard the ship, enters a contest for "The World's Sexiest Man" (and takes second place, making him a mini-celebrity among thousands), he takes an off-limits cab ride in Haiti, and he has heart-to-heart chats with people about finding happiness.
Upon docking in Haiti:
I hated to be Mr. Nancy Negative, but when our $800 million floating resort opened its doors, letting overfed pasty tourists out to "explore" Haiti, my first thought wasn't "Yeah, this is what Jesus meant when he said 'leave your boat.'" I'd surveyed a dozen Christians, but failed to find even one who thought the cruise was a weird thing to associate with Jesus. Some shrugged their shoulders. More common was a "Well, we're supporting their economy, right?"
Howdy, poor Haitians! Here come the aliens from Planet Consumption ...
About morning chapel:
Prayer time was at 6:00 a.m. I might have attempted some kind of private meditation, but the music from the boom box in the corner of the room was so ungodly. At first I thought it was just a long, repetitive gospel/praise song. After 20 minutes I realized it was on repeat. Music is quite literally used as a torture device. The U.S. Army loops Metallica to coerce prisoners into ratting out their associates. I tried, hopelessly, to filter it out.
How he felt the first day:
As I stared blankly at the spectacle in front of me, I realized a cruise is an attempt to create a world with space for only one emotion. Upbeat music was piped into every corner of the ship; every fun thing imaginable was on board. This was an attempt at Heaven on Earth. A failed attempt. Where the hell were all the Christian singles, the hot young women I had imagined?
Watch more of Froese's video diary posts from the cruise HERE.