It speaks pretty well to how I concern myself with public displays of religion. Like 'em or not, I only get a kick outta pickin' on the violently stupid and dangerous varities.
Well... for the most part.
Good Xians, Bad Xians
And a few ways to spot the difference
BY BILL COPE
This last week, displayed prominently on a reader board you can hardly miss if you're driving I-84 to Boise from Meridian and points west, was this message: "EDUCATION IS USELESS WITHOUT THE BIBLE." The quote was attributed to Noah Webster, known for his fine dictionaries. Now, maybe Noah said it, maybe he didn't. There is a cottage industry of Christian fundamentalists desperate to prove that the earliest Americans were just as nuts as they are, and if history doesn't bear them out, they aren't shy about rewording it until it does.
This particular message board has come up with plenty of zingers before, my favorite being the classic, "GOD CREATED ADAM AND EVE, NOT ADAM AND STEVE." (I've been itching to ask the guy who thought that one up ... "Well if God didn't create Steve, who the hell did?") And some years ago, I actually turned another one of their nuggets into a column. (On that occasion, the board read: "ENVIRONMENTALISM IS A RELIGION THAT WILL LEAVE YOU IN THE DARK. THINK CALIFORNIA," and it referred to the power-grid crisis the Golden State was having at the time. Since that crisis turned out to be the result of Enron's manipulation and greed rather than environmental regulation, I've been waiting five years now for a retraction to show up on that reader board--maybe even an apology to environmentalists. To date, no luck.)
I wouldn't want the people of this church barn to think I'm picking on them specifically. I mean it from the bottom of my heart when I say I'm certain the members of that congregation are no more or no less nuts than members of any congregation in any fundamentalist hive anywhere in the country.
But it just so happens that big freeway-side pop-up of theirs is a convenient way for me to keep up with what's going on in the collective mind of their brand of faith-based delusion, and I thank them for that. How else would I know what gormy little claustrophobic paranoias they are hatching without that reader board? Other than blowing a Sunday by attending a fundamentalist service, that is. Uh-huh, like that's gonna happen.
Thank you, Carol. That gave me chills because, as is just the way it is, most of the people we've ever met and are to know, are christians.
I don't need to share someone's silly suppositions (I've enough oddities in my own thinkin', thank you) in order to share their desire for better things for ourselves, our families and friends, and our species as a whole.
The article reminds us about whom who are NOT angry and fearful for our freedom, while nicely reiterating our valid and empirical reasons for fearing and fighting for particular issues and ideals.