My mother told me that when I came home from church talking about a sermon. The preacher was condemning pornography in mainstream movies. He and several church elders had gone to see Porkies as a ‘research project’ and were “appalled” at its content. (yes, I was a teenager when Porkies came out.)
I had been inclined to self flagellation because I saw Porkies and thought it was hilarious and had not been all that worried about its over the top nudity and sexual situations.
“I don’t trust fanatics.” That was all my mother said. But it made me wonder about whether the dear reverend was a fanatic. I wasn’t sure. I always assumed he must be good because he was, after all, standing up there preaching.
Fanatics. Extremists. They paint narrow lines of conduct, often conduct that is against our very nature. They define right and wrong and do not admit that sometimes its neither or both. They don’t care about people, they care about ideas. They talk about love, and act on hate. They aren’t about helping, they are about proving their point.
I think there are lots of fanatics in the world. Folks like my old pastor, who go looking for things to condemn. They hurt people in many ways. They create social and legal barricades against people who aren’t like them. They promote hate and fear. They do it all in the guise of morality.
When the belief gets strong enough, they blow up buildings and shoot children. When it is strong enough and supported, they send armies out to war. And they think its OK. Because they believe in something.
They are standing next to you.