Allow me to elaborate a bit: These arrests are to be effected by a hot Seattle beat cop. Middle-of-the-road Seattleites are in my view an emotional refuge in a world of batshit craziness and self-righteous aggression, and as I recently mentioned on Twitter, some of these women are hella sexy in their two-tone dress blues.

If the stuff I’ve been reading is at all representative, Seattle is a rather more fucked up place than I had realized. I’d spent enough time around JBLM to know that greater Tacoma is a smoldering sociological train wreck, and its underrepresentation in American popular culture and literature has inspired me to strive to become the Billy-Tom Faulkner-Wolfe of Washington’s Second City. By contrast, I had thought that Seattleites had their shit together. Oops.

My inspiration tonight comes from an evening reading Yelp reviews and disgruntled ex-members’ exposes of Mars Hill Church, a metastatic Calvinist outfit originating in Ballard. Lordy. I had previously read some things here and there about Mark Driscoll, mainly claiming that he was a Calvinist hardass who enjoyed obnoxiously wallowing in man stuff and then shoving it in his congregation’s face. Not a particularly classy gent, or so I had heard. What I had not heard was that he sometimes leavens his sermons with his fantasies of sucker-punching older women in front of his toddler daughter as a way of strengthening them in the Word. This is the kind of thing that any good, upstanding man of the cloth is inclined to do when criticized by a stranger in a hardware store. You know, just punch the bitch for saying bad things about you and your church. Or at least go on the record in front of the entire congregation about how that totally would have been the equitable response.

This wasn’t the only instance in which Mark Driscoll publicly expressed his desire to punch a bitch. There are reports of other examples that he gave during other sermons. This glaring meathead goes on stage in front of an audience numbering in the thousands, expresses his desire to assault people for saying or doing things with which he disagrees, and, tellingly, does not get booed off the stage. He does not have a cataclysmic Michael Richards “nigger” meltdown from which he much later regroups, greatly chastised by public opprobrium. Instead, he carries on, in both senses of the term, emboldened by the rapt attention of his young, disaffected followers.

Jawohl, mein Fuhrer!

The cult vibe coming off Mars Hill is powerful. The violent ideation is but one aspect of it. The leaders have been known to deal with accusations of discreet but illicit sexual behavior by compelling sinners to sign “Discipline Contracts” and then issuing formal shunning instructions to the congregation when the sinner’s fuckery does not abate. Driscoll likes to yell at his followers, accusing them of depravity if he finds it expedient, when their participation in church fund drives has been underwhelming. His members have been known to corner drivers by calling their attention to nonexistent flat tires or reaching in through their windows and embracing them while they’re trying to leave shopping mall parking lots. If they find it an expedient way to start “conversations” about Mars Hill or the Gospel, they’ll gladly make squeegee man zealots, i.e., public criminal nuisances, of themselves.

A couple of months ago I was intercepted by a group of young men of this ilk at a Burger King in Klamath Falls. I had just come in from Los Angeles on the Coast Starlight and had stopped at the Burger King to get some coffee and do some things on my laptop. As I left, these assholes followed me out to my car, some of them at a jog, and started berating me about how they had a leading that I had knee pain. It was total bullshit, and I told them as much. I made very clear to them that I had an exceptionally normal gait that no reasonable person would construe as evidence of the slightest knee pain or debilitation. They wouldn’t listen. I angrily yelled at them and cursed them out, and they still wouldn’t back away from me and my car. I thought seriously about jumping in, starting the engine and playing an aggressive game of chicken with them, since some of them were blocking my exit in a manner so contemptuous, gratuitous and downright stupid that I was concerned solely with my legal liability, not with their physical welfare. At a couple of points, I very nearly threatened to call the police; more accurately, I would have gone back into the Burger King and compelled the manager to order the fuckers away from me and my car, but the effect would have been salutary enough.

Keep in mind that these guys were not thugs. In no way did I fear for my safety. They were just self-absorbed charismatic assholes who had been small-grouping it up over their crispy chicken meals and saw it fit to act as human shields obstructing  my lawful use of a public parking lot so that they could make me listen to their drivel. Another minute or two of that shit and they would have been the manager’s problem, with the option at my discretion to unilaterally summon the nearest available Oregon peace officers. Proportionate minor violence adequate to temporarily disable the fuckers or scare them off would have been completely equitable and instructive, but hard to explain to the cops. As an object lesson and a deterrent, a light summary ass-whupping was in order. Maybe they targeted me because they figured that I was too civilized to give them one. A straight-up White City Ed Hardy cretin probably would have made them walk upright in fear of the Lord.

If normal, well-adjusted people without axes to grind reached out to people like  these, they might not turn into such antisocial dweebs. Alas, it’s usually the cultists and the narcissists who latch on to them. They’re the ones who have the energy to deal with the awkwardness and the neediness. Would that that energy came from something other than a burning desire to abuse a solar system of omega orbiters, but that’s a pipe dream. Decent, gracious people like Baywatch get worn down dealing with clingy, socially adrift people like me, but contemptuous, possessive cultists like Junior Bear don’t. Alphas who treat their lesser hangers-on cordially, as equals, rarely maintain beta/omega spectrum courts rivaling those maintained by asshole alphas.

If I do say so myself, I’m really not that weird or draining by evangelical outreach standards. That’s a lot of fucked up, or, to use the proper churchy term, broken, humanity, becoming worse by the day as it hangs out with monomaniacal cult freaks. I’ve personally enjoyed both secular and religious versions of this social grace, although the former was usually worse. Lady Lejeune didn’t target specific individuals with eruptions of her artesian goo of sexual repression, but Junior Bear hazed the hell out of me, getting reported to the police only once, as a material witness when he made himself and his girlfriend out to have information on an ongoing shoplifting ring. He got pissy that I treated them like big kids for apparently abetting a criminal enterprise as adults, and I get pissy at him for breaking up with his girlfriends in a way that reliably severs my ties with them and their friends because he always leaves huge piles of interpersonal detritus in his wake as he arrogantly pilots himself through life.

Fair exchange? I don’t give a shit. I’d just like to live in a multipolar social world where Junior Bear doesn’t call all the fucking shots. That’s why I’m so thankful that I have people like Baywatch in my life, even sporadically. She lets her friends make their own big-boy and big-girl decisions about their relationships with other people. This shouldn’t be noteworthy, but for people with my social history it is.

The only good reasons I can see to mix it up with the  Mars Hill crowd are: A) Its main campus is in Ballard, which I understand to be a bitchin’ part of Seattle with cool old Norwegian fisherman’s cottages, and B) It has a sizable number of young single women, some of whom, it seems, are physically affectionate and interested in violating the sexual strictures imposed by their roid-raging adopted paterfamilias. I’m down for that. Fishing for undersexed women at Mars Hill is a bit like casting for semiedibles from the Huntington Beach Pier: not necessarily the most wholesome thing, but there are worse ways to waste an afternoon, and you’ll probably come across some Legends in the process. If Driscoll gets wind of our indiscretions and tries to go all meathead paterfamilias on us, I can always bring in some attorneys, and maybe some cops, to rub his nose in the dirt and reassert our free agency and sexual self-determination over his smug alpha ass. In any event, the cops will look sharper in their two-tone dress blues than he does in his fucking Mickie Mouse sweatshirts. I could probably play a very effective greater beta game on the single ladies at Mars Hill, what with that object lesson in ugly alpha tyranny yelling at them from the projectors every Sunday.

It’s just an idea, one that would involve hanging out in a sopping wet hipster infestation with one of the highest urban suicide rates in the US. The nice thing is that I’ve gotten so fed up with the cultists who have glommed onto me over the past few years that I’d be comfortable disciplining any overly familiar morality police like errant puppies and would probably be one of the most self-confident dudes in the pews. It hasn’t always been so, but I think I’ve climbed at least that part of the learning curve because I’ve accepted a somewhat unpleasant but important truth: into the loving clutches of Mark Driscoll but for the grace of God go I.