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02.27.04, friday night

Yikes. I was gonna write about the belly dancers I saw in the City last night but then, thanks to missruckus, I read this article and this one.

. . .

Ah Doomsday, My Friend.

Well, my friend when I was a fifteen-year-old Baptist, bored with a Bible in my plaid-clad lap and looking out the window at the rundown houses that circled my family's church in southeast San Diego. The preacher insisted, Everyone but those who accept Jesus into their hearts will perish. Will you be there when the Rapture happens? Certainly not the Catholics or the Jews or those homosexuals in San Francisco.

Ok, ok. Perhaps he did not say this all at once, but this is how I remember the gist of Baptist ideology, and I suppose you can call me a prevaricator, damned by my words to one of Dante's seven levels, but distill all my conversations with my elders and that would be the malevolent residuum.

I also remember the sermons translated from english into khmer . . . how the preacher told my mother that I shouldn't go to Berkeley because that school's free-thinking (my mother snorted, Free? That school's expensive.) . . . how compassion was executed only to convert, via goodwill trips to Tijuana, with pencils, rejected toys, and decade-old cans of soup from basements.

And though I know it brings my mother comfort to think of God in the way she thinks of God (especially after all she has lost), I do not understand how you can go to bed without anxiety or fear of a future where the Apocalypse is imminent. What kind of dreams or fantasies arise from such a mindset? I know that it nests in me, I have known the hopelessness that whatever I do in the world is futile and what the hell, let everyone be damned; it took years and it will take more years for me to kill these thoughts. If that "secret" Pentagon report was read in its entirety, could it be gleaned that it was written by people who go to church every Sunday and really believe what their Preacher has translated from what he calls the Mouth of God? Or that it was written with such people in mind, people who could be easily swayed by such an authoritative justification for the increased production of nuclear arms?


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