When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Washington this past January, his initial meeting was not with President Clinton but with Jerry Falwell and more than 1,000 fundamentalist Christians.
Several years ago, in the midst of one of its well-publicized battles about sex, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) proclaimed, "Theology matters." At first glance, this was a slogan to warm the heart of a theologian. But then I started to wonder why our denomination even had to say such a thing.
I am a storyteller whose themes are informed by faith, but I do not preach it. In fact, one reader mailed back one of my novels complaining that it was filthy; with a magic marker she had blacked out everything she found offensive. When I saw that the first casualty was the mere mention of Jack Daniels bourbon, I knew there was no need to look any further. I mailed her a refund check.
I was doing 60 and thinking about my boss, who's been on my ass lately, when the doe bounded out of the cedars and onto the highway. The red Jeep ahead of me caught her rear end just as she was about to jump clear of our lane and she tumbled, legs every which way, across the other lane and into a wide ditch.
Sitting on the four corners of an intersection in the town where I grew up are the public school, the library, the town hall and my home church. Every morning an American flag is raised in front of each of the four buildings. The church, however, sits on a hill above the other public buildings, as if presiding over all of them.