by John W. Lillpop
In the way of confession, let me start out by saying that organized religion has never been one of my favorite hobbies. Naked girls, baseball, and Rocky Road ice cream have always kept spirituality near the bottom of my To Do list.
Oh, sure, I believe in the Almighty and all that. But I try to be moderate in all things. Including God, and most especially the whole concept of tithing.
When it comes to dropping my hard-earned cash into a collection plate, I always recall the counsel offered by former FED chair Alan Greenspan when he cautioned against "extravagant exuberance."
Mind you, I rarely take money from the plate, except in dire emergencies.
Actually, my experience with institutionalized religion has been a bit rocky, to say the least.
For example, I still hold that evangelical priest who manacled me to my ex-wife responsible for some of the most miserable years of my life. To say nothing of the $70 a monthly alimony that the surly beach still costs me.
By the way, Mr. Pastor Smarty-pants, next time you wonder why I give so little to your congregation, just remember that $70 per month alimony. I consider that my "tithe," and would appreciate a little more respect!
Still, religion is very important to most Americans. Take the presidential elections for example. Everyone seems in a dither about Mitt Romney because of his Mormonism.
I know from personal experience that most Mormons are good hearted, hard working people who value family very highly.
So highly, in fact, that some Mormon men used to take on six or seven wives just for the sheer joy of having as many families around as possible!
But back to religion. The Holy Bible is an amazing collection of stories, prophecies, and symbols.
Take the Book of Revelations where the "Mark of the Beast" is identified as 666. According to the Bible, the anti-Christ will force everyone to be marked with 666, as a precondition of Armageddon.
By the way, as far as I can tell, George W. Bush is not the anti-Christ. How do I know?
Because the Good Book describes the anti-Christ as clever, cunning, intelligent, and silver-tongued. Does that sound like Duyba to you?
But back to 666.
Americans generally stand true to Christian principles, avoiding pagan rituals, and superstitions at all costs. Witchcraft is usually prohibited, the only exception being the manner by which the Bush administration is allowed to juggle financial data in order to mask the real size of the federal deficit!
But back to 666.
Here is an example of how Americans eschew religious superstition:
For years, U.S. Interstate Highway 666, which travels through scenic areas of Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado, was known as "The Devil's Highway."
In 2003, Highway 666 was renamed Highway 491, but not because of any simplistic or false belief in a connection between 666 and the devil.
In fact, 666 was changed to 491 because of concern by liberals about the constitutional requirement for separation of church and state!
All of which leads to the big question: Is liberalism itself the anti-Christ?
John Lillpop is a recovering liberal, "clean and sober" since 1992 when last he voted for a Democrat. Pray for John: He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where people like Nancy Pelosi are considered reasonable!