“ . . . to true believers, those who believe in other faiths are a much greater threat than mere unbelievers. Unbelievers, after all, are just sinful people who refuse to hear the word of God. But the adherents of other faiths claim they have heard the word of God! They claim they have heard it saying different things, laying down different rules, dictating different holy books . . .” - Chris Beckett, “The Holy Machine”
Sitting before me on my desk is a one million dollar bill with the smiling likeness of Barack Obama on it. It also reminds me, just in case I wanted to rush down to Hobby Lobby and spend it, that “This note is not legal tender for all debts, public and private.”
Good thing I read that, before I went in somewhere and made a complete jackass of myself.
How did I come to be in possession of such funny money, which also reminds me that “Abortion stops a human heart?”
Well, it all started on a morning walk along one of Fayetteville’s walking/biking trails.
While I am glad that we have the trails, I don’t care all that much for them myself. If I have a problem to work out, or am trying to work something out in my head, the solitude on the trails drives me insane. I much prefer the presence of people, cars, the music from restaurants I may pass by (or even from cars that pass me by) to stomping along a path whose sameness after a time would drive all the creativity from me. It’s also why I like to ride buses, so I can listen to and watch other people.
Other folks like the trails, though, so I am all for them.
But this is the happy occurrence when walking along the trails provided me inspiration for a blog.
I was on my way to see my doctor a few weeks ago, and decided to take a short cut via one of the handy trails. On my way I passed a couple, a youngish looking black woman and a white man perhaps in his 40s with a shaved head, who were walking in the opposite direction.
Now, like a certain song might say, I don’t know much about geography, but I do know they were going in the opposite direction that I was taking.
I ambled on my way, thinking about nothing in particular and doing it very well. A few minutes later this same couple comes power-walking behind me, bids me “good morning,” and I mumble a reply, when the man whips around (I’ve always wanted to use that phrase, ever since I read it in so many times in the old Doc Savage novels) and hands me this small pamphlet.
“I wonder if I can give you this, sir?”
I already knew what they were up to, but since my philosophy of life is that almost every experience is worth a few hundred words, I accepted the slim book. They then commenced their power-walk down the trail.
The small booklet, “Why Christianity? Solving Life’s Most Important Question” is authored by Ray Comfort, who co-hosts a TV program with Kirk Cameron, who has been linked to Christian Reconstructionism, which can best be described as Sharia Law on steroids.
The first page of the booklet begins:
Imagine I offered you a choice of four gifts:
The original Mona Lisa
The keys to a brand-new Lamborghini
A million dollars in cash
So you can pick only one. Which would you choose? Before you decide, here’s some information that will help you make the wisest choice: You have to jump 10,000 feet out of an airplane.
So yes, you see this one coming. The choices offered symbolize Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity.
Yeah, I think you can see where it’s all gonna come down, and which religion is the parachute.
So I was targeted by these Kirk Cameron/Ray Comfort devotees, who doubled back just so that they could save my soul and meet their spiritual quota for the day. I was also told by my doctor that a contractor working on his house passed his wife the very same booklet.
I began to wonder if there are teams working the trails in Fayetteville, spotting cranky looking older men such as myself obviously ripe for salvation. I thought that maybe I would hang out on the trails for a while, and try to spot these two, or others like them. I could just sort of skulk around . . .
Yeah, realizing Fayetteville’s Finest might not accept my explanation of why I am sneaking around the trails, and invite me down to the jail, where I might enjoy a strip search, thanks to our Supreme Court, I ditched that plan.
Two things annoy me about this. One, obviously, is the fact that tag teams of religious fanatics might be working the trail system in Fayetteville, looking for souls to save. And the second is the fact that this isn’t the first time this has happened to me. In the 1970s members of the Word Over the Word group thought I’d be a dandy recruit to their little cult.
What is there about me that says, this is a man whose soul is in jeopardy? Or do they recognize a kindred spirit in me?
Mitt Romney and the Mark of the Beast
In Fiesta Square there sit the remains of an abandoned hot dog shop (right across from the movie theater) I liked quite a bit. The place always seemed to have quite a few customers, yet it shut down. Compare that with the B-B-Que place which rarely seems to have customers in when I walk by, yet seems to be still going strong.
Anyway, outside the hoit dog eaterie the tables remain where customers could eat their dogs in the sunshine, only now the tables are covered in green pollen dust. In a savage bit of whimsy last week I wrote on one:
Yes, I am a Person of Questionable Characteristics; keep your sons and dauighers away from me. I just couldn’t help myself.
As of yesterday, it was still there.
If you happen to be that way and see it, let me know.
Quote of the Day
The wise man reads both books and life itself. - Lin Yutang