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SLOUCHING TOWARD ZION, Part I

Added: Tuesday, May 6th 2008 at 9:11pm by robertflynn
Related Tags: poetry, art
 
 
 

Thurston Morton was the kind of Baptist who when he said "thirty-ought-six," he expected everyone to understand what he meant. Elaine was raised in the Church of Christ and when she said Acts 2:38, she expected everyone to understand what she meant.

However, when Elaine reached puberty she became a Baptist because the Baptist Church had something every night. Giving Elaine an excuse to go out every night. Best of all, her Church of Christ parents wanted to hear nothing about Baptist meetings, which meant they would never know where she went or who she was with. When she and Thurston became engaged, Thurston’s buddies warned him that Elaine had dated every male in Chillicothe. "Chillicothe’s not that big," he said. Five others, including the halt and the married.

Elaine had proved to be a good wife--silent in church, faithful at work, obedient at home the way the Good Book said. All she asked was that some day they take a trip and Thurston promised some day they would.

Thurston worked at the grain elevator in the summer and the gin in the fall and listened to radio preachers who promised that God would prosper him if he would prosper them. And God did. Thurston’s father, a farmer, died two bumps into a poker game holding three aces and two fours. Thurston sold the farm, except three acres for himself, and for the first time in his life had money in the bank. Money in the bank troubled Thurston. When he was troubled, Thurston prayed. That always put him to sleep.

Thurston, who had previously ventured out of Chillicothe only to shoot animals, told Elaine they could take the trip to the Holy Land led by Brother Jerry. Brother Jerry, a radio preacher Thurston listened to, preached that earthquakes were the earth shuddering at man’s wickedness. Chillicothe had never had an earthquake.

Brother Jerry said famine was God’s punishment of those who preferred daily bread to the bread of life. Chillicothe was surrounded by daily bread farmland. Brother Jerry said tornadoes were the wind of lies turned back on those who told them. Washington, D.C. had been spared only because God’s science wasn’t exact. Chillicothe had been wiped out twice by tornadoes but God must have hit Chillicothe while aiming a tornado at Oklahoma.

Brother Jerry said that family and community were important; therefore, they should be denied to homosexuals. Brother Jerry found the homosexual lifestyle so attractive that he believed lesser folks like Christian soldiers and students would be unable to resist it once they learned of it.

Brother Jerry wished things were still the way they were when everything was better. Brother Jerry said moral values had declined since the mid fifties when the Supreme Court integrated the schools. Since that time blacks used words in their books, songs, and daily lives that white people had never heard of. The integrated public schools had become so diverse that students needed to carry guns to school lest they fall in love with a black, gay or non-Christian student.

The Supreme Court had expelled God not only from the public school, they had kicked God out of public places like courthouse lawns.

Brother Jerry believed God had created only two nations, Israel and the United States. Brother Jerry believed God should rule America just as He had once ruled Israel. To Brother Jerry that had been Mecca. Well, not Mecca but the Crusades, Inquisition, Confederacy or some other really spiritual time.

Brother Jerry wanted his listeners to follow him to Israel to see God’s hand at work. Thurston knew Elaine would celebrate their anniversary in Israel if he told her to. However, gracious submission by Elaine often cost Thurston more than he was willing to pay and when she set her mind on something, she was likely to get it.

Elaine agreed to follow Brother Jerry to the Land of Milk and Honey with three conditions. One, it had to be in the summer so she wouldn’t lose her job at the school cafeteria. Two, they also had to visit some of the romantic desert countries. Three, the trip could not include any of the hated four Ds--dirty, dangerous, difficult or after dark.

From a book by Robert Flynn - http://www.robert-flynn.net/publishedwork.html

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