Bible Thumpers

This Is Your Proselytizer Speaking

Flight 34 suddenly sounded

as if the stick was in the hands of Elmer Gantry, not Chuck Yeager. The American Airlines pilot, Roger Findiesen, suggested that

Christian passengers skip the movie and instead attest to their faith by raising their hands in the air. The master of the ship then

invited an interfaith dialogue between the Christians and the nonbelievers strapped in their seats.

These

days most people are looking overseas and worrying about Muslims. Not me, because I’m worried about the religious fanatics right here at

home. I don’t care if you believe in god or even if you believe the Bible is literally the word of god. Believe whatever you like.

Unfortunately, in the last 20 years, religious fanatics have come to believe their faith entitles them — even requires them — to

interfere in everyone else’s life. Isn’t it enough that we non-believers are going to hell (you say)? Must we have hell-on-earth in the

company of bible thumpers, the painfully self-righteous and sanctimonious? These Christian Radicals are on jihad, claiming the one true

way and prepared to kill for their faith (something I can’t see Jesus approving).

When Chairman Mao lived, millions carried his

Little Red Book. There wasn’t the tiniest doubt that it contained all the Truth and Wisdom in the world. I know devout bible-literalists

will blanch at the comparison. But, consider, the followers of Mao would be just as shocked. So it is with fanatics.

Increasingly,

we are being assaulted and threatened by these Born-again Believers who believe American is ”a Christian nation.” Some of their

thoughtless intrusions are almost laughable, but something worse is in the works. Every day, the most radical and dangerously devout,

including the President, are working to limit our freedom: our freedom to believe what we want to believe (including nothing); our

freedom to choose, not just whether to have children but who to love and marry; our freedom from state-sponsored religion (a form of

dictatorship); our freedom to protest.

Am I repudiating all who sincerely believe in god? No. By all means, live your life in

loving compassion and peace; if it takes a god to inspire (or threaten) you, so be it. Believe what you will, share your beliefs with

your congregation. Work to change the world, through your own good example. But remember, most of us have different views and all of us

want freedom from oppression, no matter how well intended. mjh