Recently by Fred Reed: On Patriotism
Cyberg, Tennessee – The Reverend McBilly Osfeiser strode to the rostrum of of the Full Bible Perfect Word Baptist Church, a frame building reeking of plainness and Protestantism. He was a tall man, with the sharp facial planes and hard visage of a desert patriarch about to kill something. The congregation shrank in their pews. He was a man who brooked no sin, and no sinners, whom he consigned to eternal damnation, and thought they were getting off light. He looked fiercely about, and spoke:
“Brethren, I come before you to preach the word of God, for these be evil times, and the children of Israel, and yea the parents and grandparents, even unto their heirs and assigns, are sore beset by the tribe of Mohammed, and Beelzebulb, and Luciferin and Luciferase. In the name of God we must gird our loins, whatever exactly gird means, and smite the followers of Allah, and suffer them not to live, neither child nor mother with child nor suckling babe. Their lands shall be accursed and nothing there shall prosper, neither tares nor the wild ass; thus saith the Lord God, the God of Israel , the god of love and mercy.
“Today we shall begin our sermon with the story of Samsung and Delilah, in the book of Hezechiah, chapter fourteen, verses nine through twenty-seven, in the reign of Herod Agrippa. In that time Israel was sore beset by the Malachites and the Catamites, even the Stalactites and Stalagmites, and the Assyrians of King Areopagitica with many chariots threatened the city of Solomon. But Samsung spent three days and three nights fasting and praying, and sacrificed a sheep, and it was good in the eyes of the Lord. In the morning he went forth and slew them all, cutting through them with sling and samothrace as one scything wheat until not a Stalagmite was left standing, saving the city.
“Today, brethren, we of Christ face the same test of our faith. In Afghanistan, as we speak, the Mohammedan Taliban build mighty forces which they will use to conquer all of Christendom and enslave us, having gotten here mysteriously.
“The powers of the darkness are many and patient, and the Mohammedan awaits to make our wives and daughters into harem slaves. It is well said that if we do not slew them there, or perhaps slay them, they will slew us here, or a slew of them will slay a slew of us there, maybe here, or they will…whatever. Remember the second book of Malthusians, when Chay-suss expelled the Gadarene Swine from the woman afflicted with leprosy, “Rebus sic stantibus,” he said. “Carthago delenda est,” which is the Latin for “Get the back whence thou camest, and thy towel.”
“I urge you, brethren, to support our Christian troops who with magnificent courage are killing the heathen with drones strikes from thousands of feet while sitting in Colorado. To those weak in faith, who say that we are killing innocent women and children, I say unto ye, women are the source of all Taliban and thus must be military targets. If we destroy arms factories, should we not destroy Taliban factories? As the mighty warrior Jay-suss would want, we will smite them, and leave them bleeding and dying, and wailing over their broken children, blinded and crushed and burned, that they might learn to walk in the ways of righteousness.
“And now, brethren, I want to introduce you to one of our own warriors for Christ, Willy Bill Bedford, who is just back from the heathen land of Afghanistan, and wounded – wounded, brethren! – smiting the in-fiddle for Jay-suss. Willy Bill, will you come up and testify?”
Willy Bill was a big, chunky kid with a sloping forehead you could have used to bank a turn in a motorcycle race, and about every other tooth was missing so he looked like a piano keyboard. His left arm was in a cast. “Willy Bill,” shouted Reverend Osfeiser, “Tell your brothers and sisters in Jay-suss how you been doing the Lord’s work.”
Willy Bill seemed uncomfortable but he sort of scrunched up his courage and said, “Yeah, well. OK, Reverend. Well, we was out in Litani Province and there was twelve of us in a Humvee with ’bout a thousand rounds each of seven-six-two and a sack full of Bibles an’…”
The reverend roared, “And tell the brethren why you had Bibles, the inherent perfect word of God, with you!”
“Oh, yeah. We belong to Bible Spreaders, we try to bring Moslems to know Jesus, you know. BS is real important to us, so we always….”
“You hear that? Bringing souls to God!”
“Well, we came to Awali, that’s this village, maybe three hundred sand-nig – Taliban and their kids, all dirty and livin’ in mud huts because they don’t love Jesus and the kids there beg for something to eat because they don’t know that beggin’ ain’t right. Well, we told them to get away and smacked them around a little because they might be suicide bombers, you know, and you could just tell the grown-ups hated us for our religion and our freedoms and all, and then we heard a rifle go off. Well, they ain’t supposed to have rifles. So the lieutenant called in a air strike and a couple of sixteens came in, and whoom, they just smacked the livin’ dog-snot out of those fuckers and…..”
“Now, Willy Bill, don’t be using language like that. Do you think Jay-suss talked that way? It’s a sin.”
“I’m sorry, Reverend. I won’t do it again. I don’t want to commit no sin. Anyway, it was a good strike, killed almost everybody although a few was left screamin’ and makin’ a fuss and women was huggin’ kids or what was left, I mean, how much sense does that make? I guess they learned their lesson. So we went through and left Bibles on top of some of the dead ones so whoever found them would come to Jesus and then I fell off the Humvee and broke my arm.”
At which the Reverend McBilly Osfeiser shouted, “Hosannah! Praise the Lord! While we have sat here, living a life of ease, Willy Bill, Cyburg’s own Willy Bill, has smote the in-fiddles, and saved our precious daughters from being in harems, though perhaps not in back seats, and saved our holy Tennessee, where we are free and snakes have handles and the God of Wrath rules as he did with Noah in the Sinai!”
I need a drink.
Fred Reed is author of Nekkid in Austin: Drop Your Inner Child Down a Well and A Brass Pole in Bangkok: A Thing I Aspire to Be. His latest book is Curmudgeing Through Paradise: Reports from a Fractal Dung Beetle. Visit his blog.