In the 60's, the slogan was "Kill a Commie for Christ!"
Now, it seems, it's "Jihad for Jesus!"
Those who didn't like my Blogs Against Theocracy posts during the Easter weekend, or my list of quotations from Jerry Falwell the other day, should stop reading here.
A student at Falwell's Liberty University has been arrested for making bombs to be used against any protesters who showed up at Falwell's funeral. Yes, one of Jerry's kids was willing to kill to keep his beloved preacher's funeral pure. Three more people, including a soldier at Fort Benning, Ga., and a high school student, are being investigated as possible accomplices.
Falwell was a hate-monger. He preached contempt for those who didn't believe as he did. He was an equal opportunity hater — gays and lesbians, liberals, Jews, Teletubbies... he even reportedly called Rev. Billy Graham a tool of Satan. And his university is teaching 20,000 young people to think and act just like he did.
Where in the Bible does Jesus say it's okay to kill in his name?
Our new bumperstickers should say "God save us from your followers!"
I grew up in a large Southern Baptist church. As hypocritical as things were there when I was growing up, I always kind of had a weird sense of pride that at least my church wasn't as wacky as those television preachers like Falwell, Jim Bakker, Ernest Angley, Ed Tilton, and Jimmy Swaggart.
My parents — God love 'em — are still devout Baptists, and still attend and support the church I grew up in.
But they're not happy.
A new, young minister of music was hired a year or so ago, and he's "modernized" things with multimedia extravaganzas and guitars and trumpets and new melodies for old hymns. His 21st century showmanship is not doing what it's supposed to — attracting younger new members — and it's irritating the bejeebers out of the older members who've been paying the bills with their hard-earned tithes for most of their adult lives. The older people stand up and stare instead of sing. They miss their old standards; they miss the good ol' days. They can't even read the movie screens with the song lyrics on them; they want their hymnbooks back.
I attended Easter service with my parents last month, and saw firsthand the cocky 20-something they'd hired to lead their music.
My misplaced pride that "at least" my old church wasn't as dopey as the TV evangelists was dissipated like vapor when I heard the young minister of music say, after leading us in a 10-minute "hymn" no one had ever heard before, "When I was at Liberty University, Jerry would have us all greet each other by saying 'He is risen!', so stand up and shake hands with your neighbor and say that to each other."
The next few moments were a din of noise as most everyone shook hands with each other murmuring what they'd been told to repeat. I paid them scant attention, though. My mind couldn't get past the bizarre image of 20,000 myrmidon borg-like zombie-students bustling from classroom to classroom, chirping to each other "he is risen, he is risen," like something out of an SNL Coneheads sketch.
I wonder how many of those 'droids had a bomb in their backpack?
Image: Virginia authorities arrested Liberty University student Mark D. Uhl after officials discovered several homemade bombs in the trunk of his car.
Jerry Falwell | Liberty University | Bomb Plot | TV Evangelists | Coneheads | Burning Taper | BurningTaper.com