In the time honored (4 year) tradition that is American Jesus Madness, I like to offer a breakdown of the first round matchups as a guide of sorts to voting.
Who or what you vote for and why is, of course, completely up to you, but I know there are plenty of people out there in internet land who are not familiar with everyone or everything in the tournament. So, I offer the guide to try and explain who and what is in the tournament.
Be aware, of course, that this breakdown is about as serious as the tournament itself.
Oh, and just like last year, if you have a breakdown of your own on your own blog, send me the link, and I’ll add it below.
And, of course, if you haven’t done so already, make sure you download a bracket, fill it out completely (i.e. every round), and email it back to me before the end of the day on Monday, March 17th. You can still vote without filling out a bracket, but filling out a bracket is what makes this tournament so much fun.
Anyway, without further ado, here’s your breakdown for the 1st round of American Jesus Madness 2014
The Jesus Bracket
In a first for the American Jesus Madness tournament we’ve got an entire region of the bracket dedicated solely to Jesus. Well, movie Jesuses at least. The movie Son of God made such an uproar over its casting of a not unattractive man as Jesus, that I felt like we needed to settle this debate once and for all and decide who is the greatest Jesus of them all. Personally, my money is on Willem Dafoe. Why? Because, sure, they all have their Jesus powers, but he’s the only one who’s also an exploding pumpkin throwing, glider flying, halloween themed supervillain. He may be momentarily distracted by the sheer sex appeal of Diogo Morgado or get tongue twisted trying to say all those “o”s at the same time, but that’s nothing the Green Goblin can’t handle.
Christians’ Old Love For Duck Dynasty vs. Christians’ New Love For Matthew McConaughey
Racism and homophobia be damned, evangelical Christians love them some Duck Dynasty. Which makes their newfound love for actor Matthew McConaughey a bit awkward. As you probably know from your Facebook news feed (who even watches the real news anymore??), Christians everywhere freaked out when McConaughey thanked God during his Oscar acceptance speech. So, per Biblical mandate, McConaughey was adopted as a Christian for his fearless and unprecedented thanking of God at an awards show. But as Jesus once kinda sorta said, you cannot love both Duck Dynasty and Dallas Buyers Club. Either you will love the Phil and despise “the gays” or love “the gays” and despise the Phil…or you’ll just be oblivious to the contradiction cause you never saw Dallas Buyers Club cause the Focus on the Family movie guide told you not to.
Mark Driscoll vs. Integrity
Some would say this is a battle Pastor Mark has already lost. You know, cause of the plagiarism and the silencing of critics and buying his way onto bestseller lists and all that. Well…they would be right.
Rachel Held Evans vs. Every Calvinist Dude On The Internet
Rachel Held Evans hates the bible. It’s obvious. I mean you don’t spend a year following it as closely as possible and talk about the Bible all the time unless you really hate it. Every Calvinist Dude On The Internet knows this and they know they have a divine mandate to silence every woman in the church just like our lord and savior Paul told them to do. So, don’t listen to the rumors. They aren’t pathologically afraid of this one woman. That’s not why they troll her blog and obsessively write blog posts denouncing her every word as heresy. They’re not completely insecure like that. They’re just standing up for the sort of male centered, marginalizing kingdom of divine killer tornados that Calvin promised in the Institutes. Will they finally triumph over the queen of heresy and save the church? The future of the church is up to you my friends.
Greg Boyd vs. Assault Rifle Jesus
Greg Boyd is a little nuts. He’s one of those Christian pacifists who thinks Jesus was serious about all that love your enemies and turn the other cheek nonsense. But as everybody knows, Jesus is coming back packing an AR-15 assault rifle. Not only that, but he’ll have an entire church backing him up with their AR-15s. Ok, technically only one person won that giveaway. So, it’s just two people with assault rifles that we’re talking about. But one of them is God incarnate, so let’s see Greg Boyd and his gospel nonsense can stand up to that!
Mark Sandlin vs. The Third Eagle Of The Apocalypse
Mark Sandlin is our reigning champ. He destroyed all challengers last year in unprecedented fashion. Can he do it again this year? Absolutely….that is if he doesn’t get distracted watching The Third Eagle of the Apocalypse’s epic YouTube videos. Which is far easier said than done. I mean how do you not watch a video about the demonic phallic imagery at the Denver International Airport or an apocalyptic themed music video featuring a septuagenerian from Maine?? Sandlin is still a safe bet, but if The Third Eagle can create prophecy out of the thin air of a Cadillac commercial, then he’s got the chops the pull off the upset of the century. So Sandlin better be prepared or he’ll get blinded sided by the one-eyed salute of the Antichrist!!
Nicolas Cage’s Left Behind vs. Kirk Cameron’s Left Behind
I admit it. I saw Kirk Cameron’s Left Behind…in theaters…and was excited to do so. But, hey, give me a break. It was high school. I was sucked into the books. It was a crazy time. Well, now Nicolas Cage is coming out with his own version of Left Behind…and I’m even more excited than I was the first time!!! But for completely different reasons. I’m expecting a train wreck of epic proportions and can’t wait to live tweet it. But will the acting powerhouse of Nicolas Cage and Chad Michael Murray be able to top the dramatic prowess of Kirk Cameron and…who else was in that movie? Rebecca St. James? T.D. Jakes? With acting chops like that, this matchup is too close to call.
Gay Wedding Cake vs. Christian “Persecution”
Cake is delicious. Persecution, not so much. But this isn’t normal persecution we’re talking about. I’m talking about “persecution,” you know, the kind in America where people disagree with you and you’re forced to live together and get along. You might even have to do business with people who don’t share your ideological convictions. That’s oppression on a level never before experienced in the history of mankind. “Persecution” is a tough opponent to be sure, but Gay Wedding Cake has a trick up it’s sleeve – icing. Nobody can resist the sweet allure of icing. It’s like a siren begging to be devoured, only to smash its victims on the caloric rocks of deliciousness.
Pope Francis vs. Every Pope Ever
Does this matchup really need analysis? I mean, Pope Francis was the first and only pope ever on the cover of Rolling Stone!! Obviously he wins. Oh, and there’s all that Christ-like self-denial and compassionate stuff he’s into. I guess that’s a decent reason vote for him too. I mean, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Stephanie Drury and Matthew Paul Turner vs. Christian Culture
In another first for American Jesus Madness, last year’s runner up Stephanie Drury is paired with Matthew Paul Turner for the first tag team in American Jesus Madness history. For years they’ve waged war against tacky, cheesy, thoughtless, and offensive Christian Culture. So, it’s only fitting for them to team up to defeat Christian Culture once and for all. But can they take down their mortal enemy? In reality, no. Christian culture is a festering malignancy that refuses to die no matter how much good taste and common sense you might try to hurl at its ramparts. So, good thing for Stephanie and Matthew this isn’t reality, it’s American Jesus Madness!! And yet, you never know. If Stephanie and Matthew aren’t careful, Christian Culture just might show up when things are going well and Jesus Juke a win away from the clutches of defeat.
Real Life Steven Furtick vs. Coloring Book Steven Furtick
I know what you’re thinking. Steven Furtick should going up against the haters. He has, after all, been fighting them off for years and never more so than in the past few months. But you have to understand something. Legally speaking, if someone has a cartoon version of themselves commissioned, then I am obligated by law to match them up against their cartoon incarnation in any and all fictitious tournaments. I mean, something that humble and serious deserves recognition. But Real Life Steven Furtick should beware. If Road Runner and Wiley Coyote has taught us anything, it’s that cartoon characters can’t be taken down easily. And what is a coloring book character if not a cartoon that hasn’t yet begun its animated fight? (Wow, that got way deeper than I meant it to. Vote for the coloring book version. I mean it’s a coloring book. What’s not to love about a coloring book?? Oh right, cause this one’s kinda cultish….)
Nadia Bolz-Weber’s Tattoos vs. Albert Mohler’s Suits
Jesus wore a suit and tie. It’s in the Bible. That’s why it’s a sin to preach in anything else and a double sin to have tattoos behind the pulpit. Albert Mohler knows this, but Nadia Bolz-Weber couldn’t care less. In fact, I can’t even repeat what she said the last time she was told to dress up for church because American Jesus Madness is a family friendly event and there simply aren’t enough asterisks and ampersands on my keyboard to try and type it out. So, will the faithful to the 50s man of God take down the sarcastic Lutheran? Are you kidding me?? Have you seen Nadia’s sleeve?? Even the Hell’s Angels are too scared to talk during her sermons. Al doesn’t stand a chance.
Ken Ham vs. Reality
Ken Ham has been fighting the good fight against reality for years. His campaign against the obvious came front and center recently when he took on Bill Nye and the evil overlord that is science. It was an epic battle between brains and denial. So, was that the zenith of Ham’s war against reality? Or will ole Kenny finally win the day and destroy facts once and for all? That’s up to you, my friends. But no matter what happens, as long as The Creation Museum is still up and running, we all lose.
Well, that’s my breakdown of the 1st round. If you’ve got your own breakdown on your own blog, send me the link or post it in the comments, and I’ll add it below!!
MORE 1ST ROUND BREAKDOWNS