As the internet becomes increasingly aware of gay-bashing, pandagator-hating website ChristWire.org, one issue keeps arising: Is this stuff for real?
ChristWire's genius (or evil) lies in its hyperbolic, worst-case-scenario Christian coverage of everything from wife-beating to ferreting out whether or not your husband is gay (sample sign: "Sassy, sarcastic and ironic around his friends"). But no one can seem to agree on whether the site is in earnest or not. It's so ridiculous that it must be fake...and yet some very real fringe groups have demonstrated a capacity to be ridiculous themselves. Moreover, the site features content from contributors such as Marie Jon, a known political and religious writer who is most certainly for real. And so while you want to think for all its absurdity that Christwire is satire, such elements lend it credibility.
The domain is registered to one Domains by Proxy, Inc. of Scottsdale, AZ, whose representatives told us the ChristWire folks had paid to keep their information private. However, we've poked around enough to declare the site to be fake, a well-executed parody of the religious fringe. The telltale signs:
Many ChristWire items could be straight out of The Onion. Take "Warning! Black Music Infiltrates the Minds of Future Homemaking White Women," by Tyson Bowers III. Bowers writes, "This week a video was found by one of my youth interns showing a group of future homemakers singing a song by murderous hipped hopped artists 'Snoopy Dogg' and 'Dr. Drea' in a church hymn style." Jackie Harvey, is that you? Then there's "Chinese Scientists Create Pandagators," which pairs a photo of alligators painted black and white with the claim that,
This is also more proof of why we should make it law for it to be illegal for China to:
1) have nukes
2) have science
4) cities that are too big
Another argument for the all-one-big-joke hypothesis is Stephenson Billings's masterpiece "Why Do Rabbits Rape Cats?" Writes Billings,
Something disturbing is happening all across America: children are witnessing the raw sexual conquest of one beast by another in the privacy of their own homes. No, we should not be surprised. Families have been turning their dwelling spaces into veritable Noah's Arcs for some time now, blind to the larger moral risks of mixing species never meant to cohabitate. Two such creatures no longer playing by the rules of domestication are rabbits and cats. The incidence of rape between these house pets has risen at such an alarming rate that many are asking, "Why?"
Perhaps the closest thing to a smoking satire gun, though, is an article posted way back in 2009: "Mexican Zombie Flu Raises Black Rapper "Tupac" From The Dead." Writes Abe,
Startling photographic evidence now reveals the Mexican zombie flu is rising people from the dead! I did not think signs of the apocalypse would happen in my lifetime, but here we go and the dirty Mexican pig virus is to blame!
Internet website TMZ.com confirmed today that gangster hipper hopper Tupac is one of the many risen from the dead. He was killed during a typical black family shootout, probably over women and welfare money.
Reading Abe's zombie rant (he continues, "By this week's end we may be on the Seals of judgment and all these Mexican infected thingies will be overrunning our streets, yelling their Spanish death moans as they try to infect you too") — which seems almost like a Christwire warm-up post, minus the Jesus factor — had me pretty convinced that ChristWire was fake. But I didn't stop there ...
A Word From the Founder
I contacted ChristWire co-founder Tyson Bowers III for more information on the site, and he happily obliged. Here's how it (allegedly) came to be:
Christwire was founded by myself (Tyson Bowers III) and by my best buddy Jack. We had a small following in our basement and one day learned internet technologies. One of our young male interns showed us over many nights how to post blogs, paste videos from the youtube, search for hazardous waste on the internet via the Google system. Once we had it down, myself and Jack took our church to the internet to preach to all those who are lost. Our fellowship has grown from the 35 here at our compound to over 5500 full fledged members.
When I asked him if he and his team believed in the Rapture, he responded,
June 14th, 2013 is when the world will burn for it's sins. Jack and I figure only about 154 will be saved on that day. So much send and more much punishment is needed.
Kind of a bummer for the other 5346 members, but whatever. Also, a little use of "the Google system" seems to indicate that the date June 14, 2013 has no significance whatsoever.
I also asked Bowers if the post on pandagators was meant to be a joke. He said:
How is something like that humorous? Only left wing liberals and homosexuals find something so horrifying to be humorous. Or as I would say homorous.
At this point I became almost positive the guy was messing with me. But here's something interesting:
The Case Of Marie Jon
As of earlier this week, ChristWire displayed writer Marie Jon's Facebook picture prominently on its masthead. Her Facebook bio reads, in part, "Marie Jon is a political/religious-based writer and founder of www.DrawingClose.org - a sister website to RenewAmerica." DrawingClose, at least on the face of it, seems to be a serious Christian website — and many of Jon's ChristWire columns, like "A wonderfully true and uplifting Christmas story," appear serious as well. So is this evidence that ChristWire is actually real? Not so much — when I contacted Jon, she told me,
I do not write for the site. ChristWire appear to be a spoof. I am a Renewamerica.com writer. Conservatives sites pick up my work. I hope that answers your question.
I asked her if she'd given ChristWire permission to use her Facebook photo, and got no response. However, when I asked Bowers how his team chose whose photos went on their homepage, and whether Jon worked for ChristWire, he responded,
The people on the homepage are leaders of our flock. They travel and do youth missions, preaching and sometimes we send them off to investigate very sensitive information.
To hear Jon tell it, she certainly wasn't doing any "missions" for ChristWire — and when I looked at the site today, her image was conspicuously gone. The masthead looks like this now:
If Bowers and his buddies are so good with the "internet technologies," they might want to fix that gaping, Marie-Jon-shaped hole. I'm speculating here, but it seems like maybe they put an actual conservative writer on their masthead to throw satire-hunters off their scent, and then were forced to take it down when Jon herself got wind of it.
Or, you know, it could all be the work of pandagators.
Why Do Rabbits Rape Cats? [ChristWire]
Is My Husband GAY? [ChristWire]
Mexican Zombie Flu Raises Black Rapper "Tupac" From The Dead [ChristWire, via Preferenced]
Image via Karlowac/Shutterstock.com