By Scott Sullivan
Ayatollah Joe warned They were coming for us.
They? I asked.
“Liberals. They hate that my $38K Mom-funded Ottawa Impact thwarts Their tyranny.”
Any moss that grows on you, I said, is on just one side. Let me put my mask on. This smoke makes me puke.
“From Covid poison They keep spreading?”
I thought it flew in from China.
“Anyone who spreads Woke lies about race, gay rights, vaccinations and equity.”
I must have slept when that happened. No, to filter out wildfire toxins.
“Global warming’s a hoax.”
NASA reports this July was the hottest month measured since 1880.
“Another hoax. They’ll all burn in hell. Why the camera?”
To witness life’s beauty truth and majesty.
“Don’t you mean God’s?”
There’s a difference? Hasn’t Ottawa County voted for Republican presidents since 1864, had white, Christian GOP boards forever, a history of low taxes, fiscal discipline, an AAA bond rating and grown like topsy?
“They passed Covid laws.”
I thought those were state and federal mandates?
“They’re going to hell too. Only we can secure people heaven. That’s why we changed Ottawa’s motto from ‘Where You Belong’ — which hyped the divisive Marxist race, gay and equity movement — with ‘Let Freedom Ring …’”
Or we’ll force you to?
“…. fired the administrator and replaced him with John Gibbs …”
That was Christian, I said. He needed a landing place after bombing out as a pro-Trump candidate in a Congressional district that had been a Republican lock since the 1970s. Had Gibbs ever set foot in Ottawa before?
“ ,,, axed the 40-year attorney and health director …”
Replacing a field professional with an HVAC service manager who opposed mask mandates?
“If a mysterious illness strikes down county residents, he can clean their filters. Plus he has online degrees. Even better, our new Lansing lawyer doesn’t think LGBTQ people are OK.
Didn’t Jesus preach love for all people?
“Hate the sin, love the sinner,” said the Ayatollah. “Just stay the hell out of Ottawa. We know our reforms to save heathens despite themselves are up against current currents for free-choice fascism. But our movement’s from the bottom up.”
Many movements come from the bottom, I said, looking at his moon face.
“Ours is spreading like wildfire.”
Nice metaphor … and nice sweater.
“Oh no …” he said.
Want to come to Saugatuck?
“I’d never set foot in the hell hole. I’m blest to be in West Olive.”
Is there an East Olive? You should know, you’re an educated man.”
“Yes. Freedom Baptist High School and Southern Baptist-run Cedarville University. Required Bible studies and daily chapel service. My kids go to Libertas Christian Schools.”
“They’re too young to think for themselves or read what they want in libraries.”
You’re free to be Baptists, I said and straightened my tie. No wonder you’re well-groomed.
“Well-read too. Bible daily.”
The literal translation?
In original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek languages? Nothing gained or lost in translation over two millennia into Latin, German, King James and Modern English?”
“God’s Word is infallible. So is each translation and all the translators. What they teach in the church and schools we go to.”
So you agree “secular schools have no religious instruction. General moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air …’
“… consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith. We need believing people …
“… my feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter.”
“That’s why we threw out Ottawa’s tyrants. What Godly man said those things?”
“Can we change the subject?”
I took comparative religion classes in high school and college, I said.
Having studied the Bible and gone to many churches, I learned to love and respect all people, cultures and traditions.
“You were brainwashed. Why do you call me Ayatollah?”
Heard of Iran’s theocracy?
“Some ‘Christian.’ The only faith’s mine. God, forgive you your sins.”
And yours too, I said.