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April 3, 2014

One of my better moments

In 1979 I was in the Navy and based on an aircraft carrier with a homeport in Norfolk, Virginia. One night, some friends and I decided to go off base to catch a movie that had just opened. I was looking forward to it. I love Brit comedy and The Life of Brian sounded perfect.

The problem was that Norfolk was a hotbed of televangelism so when we got to the theater, it was surrounded by picketers who were apparently horrified at the sacrilege of it. My companions turned-tail and headed back to the base. I decided to press forward.

As I moved through the crowd, it became obvious that none of the protesters had seen the movie. They were taking a pastor or other third party's opinion and in many cases they didn't know if the third party had viewed the film.

I had a secret weapon for dealing with such people, a clipping that I kept in my wallet for such occasions. When I was approached belligerently by a group, I waited until I was asked the proper question. Finally it came ... "Don't you believe in the bible?"

Of course I do," I replied. "In fact I have documentary proof of its truth."

They were a bit taken aback. "What do you mean?"

"The old testament predicts the presidency of Lyndon Johnson," I said, "and the mess he made of the Vietnam war."

In spite of themselves, they were impressed. They weren't expecting biblical knowledge from someone as irreligious as they assumed me to be.

I pulled out my wallet and said, "Yep." I nodded at one of the bible toters, "Look it up right now." I pulled out my wallet and took out the clipping. "Proverbs 26:17." I held out the clipping.
"He that passeth by and meddleth with strife belonging not to him is like one who picks up a dog by the ears."

They backed slowly away and let me pass.