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The Chatty Extremist Christian

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When I was a kid, Mattel sold these dolls called Chatty Cathy. You pulled a string in the doll's back, and it would say something, like "Would you play with me?" I think there were eleven phrases or so, played back randomly, in June Foray's voice. (June was also the voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel.) You couldn't have a real conversation, of course, because it's "response" had nothing to do with what you said to it statement. Exchanges went something like this: Kid: "It's raining outside." Chatty Cathy: "Won't you take me with you?" Kid: "Mom says I'm grounded." Chatty Cathy: "Won't you take me with you?" Kid: "Don't you understand? I can't go anywhere!" Chatty Cathy: "Won't you take me with you?" Chatty Cathys are a thing of the past, but today we have the Chatty Extremist Christian. This awesome doll, which speaks in the voice of Ted Haggard--or is it James Dobson?--will happily engage you in a homophobic conversation just by pulling the string in its back. Exchanges sound something like this: Gay Guy: "I wonder when Cher will be giving her next farewell concert?" Chatty Extremist Christian: "I don't mind if you choose to be gay, but God does and you'll burn forever in Hell." Gay Guy: "Huh? It's no choice, bozo. I was born this way." Chatty Extremist Christian: "I don't mind if you choose to be gay, but God does and you'll burn forever in Hell." Gay Guy: "Didn't you hear me? I said, it's no choice! I sure as heck never chose it!" Chatty Extremist Christian: "The Gay Lifestyle is the choice of sinners." Gay Guy: "It's not a 'lifestyle'. It's my life! And it's not a choice, you bonehead!" Chatty Extremist Christian: "I don't mind if you choose to be gay, but God does and you'll burn forever in Hell." Gay Guy: "Arhhhhhgggg!" Chatty Extremist Christian: "Won't you take me with you?" A big hit at Jesus Camp, these dolls are pretty much indistinguishable from real Extremist Christians because both seem to want to have a discussion. But they both refuse to listen to anyone but themselves, while quickly accusing everyone who disagrees with them of not listening to them! And along the way, of course, they give real Christians a bad name. Ironically, it's the Chatty Extremist Christians who are doing more to keep people away from Christianity than a century of secular science and materialism was ever able to do. Log Cabin Republican: "Maybe I should just go back into the closet." Chatty Extremist Christian: "Won't you take me with you?" Oh, please do. It's time for us to just stop pulling their strings, and let them shut up.

 

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Paul S. Cilwa is a computer programmer and author of four technical books and two novels (with another on the way). His specialty is putting the pieces together.
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