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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Shard: John Bennett- Onward Christian Soldiers


Onward Christian Soldiers
John Bennett

Insights and expletives. Strange twists of thought. The cup they never take away, stuck to your face like a harelip. Christianity ended with the crucifixion.

Let's put an end to this love business said the Romans. Nail the carpenter to a cross and co-opt his spiel. It may take a few centuries to feed all the true believers to the lions, but the Emperor's Think Tank says that if it's played right, this love thing can be reduced to a string of pop songs.

The Empire will morph into The One True Church, and Rome will still be ours long after the Barbarians have come and gone. Along the way there'll be spice wars and crusades, witch hunts and Inquisitions, splinter groups with names like Baptists, Presbyterians, Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons.

There'll be holy wars.

***
So, they had a little history behind them when recently some well-heeled Christians drifted into town from the East Coast and bought both downtown movie theaters, turning them into Christian nerve centers. Then they build a six-plex on the edge of town where it's not uncommon for six crapola movies to run simultaneously, a deluge of gratuitous violence, sordid Hollywood sex, and grotesque stabs at humor, while out in the spacious high-ceilinged lobby stands a large wooden cross anchored to a buckboard wagon.

Paying customers don't seem to notice. They queue up for tubs of hot-buttered popcorn and giant plastic cups of Coke, and--ticket in hand--enter the holy of holies.

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