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Thursday, July 29

Here's Our Church Membership Listing, Mr Bush

To: Bush/Cheney Re-election Campaign Headquarters
From: "Rev." David Batstone
Re: Our Service to the King

Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Kingdom:

I can't tell you how inspired I am by your detailed plan of action leading up to the November election. Being an evangelical pastor, I wasn't sure how I was going to mobilize my congregation to make a faithful commitment in the realm of politics. But rest assured, we are following diligently the 22 duties you so generously offered, so that God's will may be made manifest in the re-election of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney for four more years.

As per your request, I sent yesterday a directory of our church membership to your campaign headquarters here in California. All addresses and telephone numbers are up-to-date, which I trust will be quite useful for your field team as they seek to make personal connections with our flock.

Our pastoral staff even put stars next to the names of those members who have given more than $1,000 to our church during the past year. We do not have an especially wealthy congregation, but as I reminded them last week in my sermon, if a poor widow can give a mite, so might we open our hearts and checkbooks to the burning Bush of Texas, whom God has led to Washington for our sakes.

I do not suffer fools lightly, and for the sake of the gospel will continue to preach boldly words of political action. From now until October, at the close of each service we will have a call forward for those wayward individuals who have not yet registered to vote. My elders stand waiting, registration form in hand, for the Spirit to move those hardened by other political leanings, or perhaps lukewarm in their service to the King.

No, brothers and sisters, we will not hide our light under a bushel. We have restructured our Sunday School programs for the fall to reinforce the importance of Christian citizens taking on the mantle of conservative causes. Your Voter Guides will be distributed to each member of the church - the young marrieds as well as the seniors - and will become the focus of our Bible studies during the Sunday School hour.

You will be pleased to hear that our planting of seeds already is yielding fruit. By its own inspiration, the Visitation Committee announced its plans to suspend visits to the sick and elderly for the months of October and November (except in those cases of impending death). Instead, these faithful souls will use their hours of ministry going door to door in the neighborbood surrounding the church, handing out your Voter Guides and, if God opens hearts, asking for our neighbors to volunteer for Bush/Cheney '04.

I cannot recall a time when our flock was so focused on a single mission. In no small part we have you to thank. The campaign potlucks you demanded did not even seem like a duty; after the meal, we sang songs of praise for the divine blessing given our nation under Republican leadership. Thanks be to God, I now know how the people of Judea must have felt when He bestowed on King David His eternal wisdom to guide His people in a "united states" of Israel.

Do not fear, my brothers and sisters. On that day of judgment in November, when that great roll is unscrolled, rest assured that you will find each of our names recorded in the Republican column.

David Batstone writes for Sojourners, sojo.net, a magazine and ezine about spirituality, politics and culture. If you are like me and feel that the Republicans act as if they own God and Christianity, then this is a great website for you to check out and subscribe to their weekly mailing. Even if you don't practice your religion anymore, most likely you suspect that something is very wrong with the "God" whom the Republicans have hijacked. Sojourners has marvelous writers who can put into words those feelings you have about these times.

UPDATE: The above piece is a satire. Seems real doesn't it?

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