July 10, 2011: I forgot to tell you that I received an envelope from a Mr. George Smith of Shippensburg, Pennsylvania which contained a small brochure titled “The Koran Testimony”. Also, inside the brochure were two mini-brochures titled “God’s Simple Plan of Salvation” and “Saved, Sure, and Serving”. The latter boasted a drawing on a yellow background of a white knight’s shining armor with the insistent sound of the “Onward Christian Soldiers” hymnal.
On the major brochure he writes in cursive script: “Dear Sir, This tells how God loves you and you can know your sins are forgiven by him (sic) and know your (sic) on your way to Heaven. Sincerely; George Smith.”
I once asked our priest jokingly, Father George Shalhoub of the St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church in Livonia, whether he would mind hearing my confession. He responded, not so jokingly, that “I don’t have two weeks to listen to your sins.” He abruptcy walked away to attend to some wealthy parishoners who regularly tithed the church. I, on the other hand, only went to church on Easter and at my wife’s insistence.
In any case, despite the uproariously poor grammar and syntax in the religious tracts sent to me by Mr. Smith, I simply don’t know how to respond. I can’t thank him for sending me folderol. I can’t wish him well because I know he sent the material to me thinking I was Muslim and in need of salvation. I mean, how do I tell him that the God in whom Christians, Muslims, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus and Buddhists believe cannot possibly exist? This marketed God of the above-mentioned faiths is an irrational fraud. A true deity, like that of Aristotle or Einstein, is pure reason and acts accordingly. He doesn’t send you to an eternal burning hell. He doesn’t tell you what to eat. What not to drink. But I will send him a letter insincerely thanking him for thinking about me. I will tell him that he may be blessed by some putative god and may spend eternity in a bowl of peach-flavored jello smothered in milk. That’s all I can do for Mr. Smith. ZAF