Woodwork squeaks and out come the freaks.

David and Don Was probably had something different in mind when they came up with that lyric a generation or so ago, but here at the ever-so-slightly-miscalculated End of the Millennium, you can't hear the roar of the crowd for the incessant squeaking of the woodwork. Yes, kiddies, the True Believers are here, and no matter what it is in which they Truly Believe, they plan to make life as difficult as possible for normal people.

The United States of America contributes relatively few of its citizens to the World Fatwa Commission, or whatever body there is, that routinely riles up world Islam and inspires a few practitioners of this otherwise-peaceful creed to froth at the mouth at the thought of the Great Satan, by which they mean the USA. However, we compensate for this by devoting tons of media attention to them, mostly by ignoring the putative Christian literalists who are salivating at the imminence of the Second Coming, a peculiarly-American phenomenon getting ready to insert itself into Jerusalem, smack dab in the middle of legions of Muslims. Not to mention Jews.

It is situations like this which make me grateful for my lack of faith. Christianity, for its part, takes a dim view of doubters; the story of Thomas, who would not believe until he had actually touched the wounds of the risen Christ, is constantly being trotted out. They don't bother to mention that Thomas is actually just a Greek translation of "Tammuz", the sacred king whom the Romans called "Adonis", whose sacrifice was reenacted each year in Jerusalem (following the story of "Dumuzi", which originated in Babylon, no less), mostly because they were never told that themselves, lest they become doubters. For them, and for myself, I pray:

Dear Lord, if that is thy real name: I thank thee for this wondrous gift of questioning assuming you had some part therein. If not, please disregard this communication and accept my apologies.

Send any indulgences which may be due to .

The Vent

26 December 1999

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 Copyright © 1999 by Charles G. Hill