(March 2005) A schizophrenic man was in line behind me at my coffee shop this morning, mumbling in a sing-song voice about how certain people need to die and then he started pointing around the room at people pow pow pow! Rebecca the barista diffused the situation by saying “Now Jeffrey, play nice and I’ll give you a cup of coffee.” Amazing how delusional behavior still triggers a panic response in me though.
I saw a new variation of the “Save Our Troops” yellow bow this morning. It starts out yellow with “Save Our Troops” written on the yellow panel, then the yellow turns to red and white stripes and then the stripes turn into a Christian flag with a big honking cross on it.
I’m not sure how this happened, since I was listening to Big Mama Thornton and her songs are certainly not hymnlike in the least, but the Christian flag immediately sent me back to my Vacation Bible School days. (And, incidentally, I’m still pissed that they only let the boys carry the flags into Vacation Bible School assembly.)
I thought about John Paul Crichton, a spaghetti-armed little fifth grader who always cheated by shoving the Christian flagpole against his “FORD!” belt buckle when he marched. This, in turn, caused my friend Paige and me to whisper “Look, he’s cheating” and to point at him until our teacher leaned over and shushed us.
I’m not entirely sure these words are all correct, but you’d think I’d remember them since I had to say the damn things at least weekly for the first 15 years of my life and daily at (shudder) Baptist camp each summer.
So here, for your um enjoyment, are two Southern Baptist Vacation Bible School pledges:
THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE CHRISTIAN FLAG
I pledge allegiance to the Christian Flag and to the savior for whose kingdom it stands. One savior crucified, risen and coming again, offering life and liberty to all men who believe.
THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE BIBLE
I pledge allegiance to the Bible, God’s holy word. I will make it a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path and will hide its words in my heart that I might not sin against God.