JESUS H. CHRIST 

JESUS H. CHRIST

The "H" is for "holla atcha." Is it just me, or is everybody talking to God these days? First, the president started talking about all the things God told him to do. Then senators and congressmen spoke out about their godly edicts. Now as the debate over turning The Pyramid into a casino rages on, Shelby County commissioner, casino detractor, and general purveyor of piety Marilyn Loeffel has claimed to have inspirations handed down directly from the old man in the sky. All of this raises a serious question about our leaders: "If God told you to jump off a bridge...?" You know the rest. And, matters of faith aside, the question isn't all that far-fetched: Consider the $2 million lawsuit filed against Forrest Hill Baptist Church in East Tennessee for kidnapping youth-group members and submitting them to physical and psychological torture in what has been described as "a dangerous, cult-like event." In an attempt to educate church youth about Christianity in other (presumably Islamic) cultures, the kids were chased by law-enforcement vehicles with lights and sirens on. They were kidnapped, handcuffed, and placed in the back of a truck. They were told they would have one chance to deny Christ; otherwise, they would be killed. When a youth refused to deny Christ, a gun was fired and that youth was drenched in water. At least one participant returned home with cut and bleeding wrists from the hand cuffs. We may presume that God told the church elders at Forrest Hill to make certain their kids would never, ever want to go to church again. And they replied, "Yes, Lord."

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