copyright © 2002 Lee Moyer

Denial of Service

A Sermon for the First Church of Judith

By Lee Moyer

12/22/01 — 1/04/02

My friends, welcome to the First Church of Judith Christ !

It is with a heavy heart I return to your pulpit today. For even as we come together today in Judith’s name, our dear Pastor Eldritch cannot be with us...

The doctors tell me that Pastor Eldritch’s condition is still dangerously unstable. Although they are pleased with the improvement in his heart, but are baffled about how he came to have the Bette Davis Knee…

The combination of these ills has left him too weak to be with you today. I sincerely hope that he will be among you again soon, but in the meantime rest assured that I will try to guide you as best I can in the great man’s absence.

No, not "ABSINTHE" Brother Rufus, "ABSENCE!"

No one has used Absinthe for years now! It’s not good for you Brother Rufus! No sir, not good at all!

Why, when last we gathered together here in this temple, I spoke to you about those so-called seven deadly sins. And judging by the spirited reaction among this flock, I’d say that the sermon was a tremendous success. PRAISE JUDITH!

It’s always a rare and beautiful thing when the young people among us seem to so quickly grasp at such a message, and grasp it they did. The young people and I came together and wrestled with sin, and I believe that we are all the better for it. We made a joyful noise. Hallelujah!

But lest I feel the temptation to rest on th… on… my laurels, let me offer up my service to any among you with questions. Does any one have a question this morning? Any New Year’s Resolutions or Proclamations? Anyone?

Are you people awake out there? Are you?

Well in deference to those who have confided that my sermons too often meander and take their own sweet time in coming to the point, and for those who might be nursing hangovers, I’ll endeavor to make this morning’s sermon as short as it is important. In fact this morning’s sermon will be [pauses and leafs through pages] at least 30% shorter than usual… or your money back.



Friends, what makes this world possible?

What keeps mankind alive?

What force surrounds us and binds us?


De Nile ain’t just a river in Egypt, my brothers.

It ain’t just Denali misspelled.

It’s no ancient muddy river. It’s no soaring snowy summit.

It’s the solid bedrock of this world- the basis of everything in our lives. Denial is the whole enchilada!

Every day we live, is another chance to deny the truths around us, to reaffirm our strength in the face of overwhelming odds, isn’t that a beautiful thing?

We deny so many things- From the smallest things: that it was you who left the toilet seat up, that you hated ET the Extraterrestrial, that that dress does make you look fat.

to the biggest things: that art and fashion are nothing but gimmicks, that none of us will get out of this life alive, that capitalism is an abject failure.

Yes, a failure. It’s not real, it’s simply the greatest game anyone has yet figured out how to play. Beating out even old Father Church.

And if it doesn’t help the poor and make the lives of the rich better? Well that’s because the game has not yet been perfected.

Does not Judith herself tell us that the "Poor will always be with you"? Doesn’t that help us all deny the failure of capital markets? There’s nothin’ you can do my brothers and sisters, because the game is rigged, and until it’s finished there’s no point in even trying to keep score.

And so the rich continue to be rich. Why should they not? Someone has to lead hollow lives of senseless privilege and quiet desperation. They deny the white guilt that rises up to choke their souls. And they do it by firing their foreign nannies, abusing their toadies and underlings and kicking their pets. To assuage their guilt, they attempt to redistribute their wealth here and there, willy nilly, to prep schools and religious charities; To offshore accountants and money launderers; To dealers in opium; To the makers of highly specialized fetish wear: to young children overseas who have no defense from their sexual predations.

In their hearts, they want a system that works for them, but in their minds, they know that there’s no such animal. So they deny the truth and propagate the system that keeps their world turning, and keeps the poor in their places…

Some say it’s our freedom of choice that separates us from the angels. Some say that ignorance is bliss. Some say that we are fallen… and can’t get up. I say that we are intelligent beings, and that means we are forever to be saddened and confused by the world around us. Our confusion only has one cure my friends, and that cure is Denial!

We all live "good" lives and try to be kind don’t we?

We all love our fellow man don’t we?

We always want what’s best for our friends don’t we?

We all hope that Tom Cruise and young Leonardo DiCaprio are not sissies and Sodomites don’t we?

We all live in denial.

Because that’s the only place we can live - the only club that will have us…

Faith is too often perceived as a repudiation of Denial, but in Judith, we can be led to understand that all ours lives are a celebration of Denial. Oh yes!

Don’t ignore denial.

Don’t denigrate it!

Embrace your denial my friends!

For denial is the only system that works for us all equally; whether we be rich or poor, righteous or infidel, great tasting or less filling.

Praise be to Judith!






"Denial of Service" debuted January 4, 2002, performed by Lee Moyer.

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