Citizens and Christians


The following example of pop theology for the Fourth of July may be seen on the bright commercial-style advertising sign on my formerly dark residential street: Whatever can this sign mean? Praise the lord, I was not born Canadian? Praise the God of southern white Anglo-Saxons (so beloved of H. L. Mencken), that I'm not a Jew? Thank you, God, for not making me a Mexican Catholic (Why did you make them anyway?)? Considering the source, all these possibilities are probably correct.


This piece of smug self-indulgence comes from a holier-than-thou denomination which finds fewer and fewer sectarian peers worthy to pray with them. They have been much in the religion news since the 9/11 tragedy. It seems their national president got carried away with his too-generous Christian spirit and authorized his NYC president to attend Oprah Winfrey's inter-faith service to honor the victims and rescuers. Ever since, both of these "East Coast Liberals" have been persecuted by the Midwestern based synod for the crimes of syncretism and idolatry. Perhaps the syncretism (the error of believing that one religion is pretty much the same as another) occurred when a papist cardinal led a prayer or when Mayor Guiliani's favorite hymn (Ave Maria) was sung. The idolatry (worshiping with the heathen) occurred when the "Citizens and Christians" were forced to listen to prayers by Jews, Hindus, and Muslims.That great idolater, Tom Lehrer, wrote and sang about "The land of the boll weevil, where the laws are medieval." Not to be outdone, America’s very own apple pie Taliban, are proving that they have a world-class benighted theology too.