addendum and correction to American Taliban


In my recent post "American Taliban" I identified the clergy officiating the funeral of Pfc. Amy Duerksen, as being female. The cleric was male.

Just on an ironic side note: The church Pfc. Duerksen attended, while nowhere close to being a hate-filled fringe group as the Topeka, Kan.-based Westboro Baptist Church that protested her funeral, is a fundie church, a nondenominational church with a charismatic pastor and a vaguely Pentecostal theology. According to an Episcopalian drinking buddy of mine, they send members to other churches sort of like little spies. Like most fundies, they believe the Bible inerrant and that they and only they have the truth and nothing but the truth. Other churches who do not believe as they may know a little about their truth, but they aren’t quite on track.

Another side note: One of the hazards of my present job is on occasion having pastors try to convert me from my heathen ways (devout heathen left wing humanist that I am) and on Wednesday a pastor from Pfc. Duerksen’s church tried to do so. (I was interviewing him on an unrelated matter.) As I deflected his questioning, I mentioned that I learned more about what Christianity meant from an Episcopalian priest than from any other person I’ve ever met while covering religion. He raised a reserved eyebrow. (Of all the varied forms of Christianity there are, those that are Catholic or the Protestant churches that still are vaguely catholic in practice, still hold much suspicion in the minds of non-catholic Protestants; anti-Catholicism is still common among Protestants, though they try to hide it and get all sunshiny about Christian unity and start spouting they are united in their differences.) Anyhoo, my reference to taking Anglo-Catholic confirmation classes (they didn’t stick) made this fundie pastor suspicious. I’m pretty sure he thought I hadn’t heard a complete version of the truth. No wonder I was still a heathen. (The hate group that protested Pfc. Duerksen’s funeral is virulently anti-Catholic.)

I’m pretty sure that if I’d confessed that reading the Bible itself makes it even harder to believe, he’d probably explain that I’m reading the Bible wrong. That I’m missing his esoteric key to truth.

Thank god I’m still a heathen today.    

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