Subject: Don't give up on books Dene, you have been insisting that 'quotes from old books'
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Kenneth Almquist)
Subject: Don't give up on books
Dene, you have been insisting that "quotes from old books" are not
convincing, so I have taken the trouble to type in the following
sermon. I hope it will help you see the error of your ways.
Friends, I want you to turn to page 127 in your dictionaries. Today's
sermon begins with the word "book", from the letter B. The foolish,
the iniquitous, refuse to believe that all the answers are written in
a book. Yet what does Webster say? "Book: something regarded as a
source of enlightenment or instruction." Yes, friends, *enlightenment*
and *instruction*. And Webster illustrates the word with a beautiful
sentence: "Her face was an open book." This very entry in Webster's
book is a source of enlightenment and instruction!
You can always trust the written word. As the courageous Washington
Post reporter Janet Cooke said after she was maliciously denied the
Pulitzer Prize for her story about a seven year old heroin addict, "I
was told by an anonymous source, and we know that his testimony is
true." Yes, true: "steadfast, loyal, honest, just," and finally, "in
*accordance* with the *actual* *state* of *affairs*!"
Yet even as yet even as we speak, dark clouds gather on the horizon.
Yes, "cloud: 4. something that has a dark, lowering, or *threatening*
aspect," as the book, our source of *instruction*, tells us. If the
President of the United States were here tonight, I would say, "Mr.
President, I don't know all the things you know. I have deep respect
for your judgement, and I'm sure you are doing what you think is
right. But, Mister President, if I were in your shoes, I would kick
the U. N. out of New York. I would stop coddling the Sandinistas.
And I would toss the ambassador from the Evil Empire out on his rear!"
Do you know what they call themselves? Do you? "Communists!" From
the root word "commune," meaning, "to receive *Communion*." Yes, by
the very name they take for themselves they denigrate the sacrament we
hold so dear!
The Secular Heathen-ists will give you counsels of despair. They will
tell you that we can't break diplomatic relations with the Evil Empire
because the result would be "nuclear armageddon." What are these
words that the *atheists* and the *pacifists* seek to terrorize us
with? Let us look in the book! "Nuclear: constituting a nucleus."
And what, friends, is a nucleus? "A central point, group, or mass
about which a *gathering*, *concentration*, or *accretion* takes place!"
Yes, *gathering*, as we are doing here tonight. *Concentration*, as we
focus on the book. And *accretion*, as we see here tonight: not just
an accretion of money, but of knowledge, understanding, *enlightenment*,
and *instruction*! YE SHALL KNOW THE TRUTH AND THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE
Yes, free: "not subject to the control or dominion of another." And
what is the second word that they wish to use to bring you under
control and dominion? "Armageddon." From the Greek: the scene of
final battle foretold in the book of Revelation. What does it mean?
"A final and conclusive battle between the forces of good and evil!"
Yes, my friends, a *final* battle, "not to be altered or undone." A
*conclusive* battle, "putting an end to debate." In this case,
putting and end to evil!
Truly, we are not talking about the petty day-to-day battles against
evil, which once fought have to be fought again the next day. "Battle:
an extended contest or struggle." Yes, extended, but in this case
*conclusive*, coming to a *conclusion*. And against *evil*, which is
"morally *reprehensible*; causing discomfort or *repulsion*; causing
*harm* : PERNICIOUS!"
There is one man, Dene, who is not in the audience tonight but who
will read this later. Dene, a great kindness has been given to you.
In the book we read: "Dene: a member of an Athapaskan people of the
interior of Alaska and northwestern Canada." So, Dene, your name is
written in the book of life. But: ARE YOU WORTHY? Each of you would
do well to ask yourselves the same question. If you were the man with
the hand on the nuclear button, would you shrink in terror from doing
your duty? Would you deny the truths written in the dictionaries that
appear in every library across this fair land?
>>> OR WOULD YOU HAVE FAITH IN THE WORDS OF WEBSTER, <<<
>>> WRITTEN IN THE BOOK!!!!!! <<<
------- -- --- ----
Friends--for I feel I may truly call you that after the way you have
generously contributed to my coffers. My dear children--for you have
parted from your money with a childlike simplicity that Jesus would be
proud of--I have one more definition to read to you tonight. "Amen:
used to express solemn ratification (as an expression of faith)." A
beautiful concept, solemn ratification. Let us solemnly ratify the
instruction and enlightment we have received here tonight. Let us say
all together: Amen.
I shamelessly stole the idea of preaching a sermon on the dictionary
from Philip Roth (_Our Gang_, copyright 1971). The definitions are
from Websters New Collegiate Dictionary, copyright 1973. The idea
of speeding the Second Coming by breaking diplomatic relations with
the Soviet Union comes from a sermon by Jimmy Swaggart (who, however,
let the relationship between these remain implicit). Janet Cooke did
not really say, "and we know that his testimony is true"; this gem
comes from John 21:24 (RSV translation, copyright 1946). I have
resisted using material by Joe Applegate since you have already seen
the original on the net, but you can be sure he was a major source of
inspriration. Finally, since I don't want to spend the next several
years of my life in hiding, I would like to stress that I have *not*
drawn any material from, and in fact have not even *read*, the Qu'ran.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank