“The Dog Made Me Do It!”
Let’s say I’m a big, fat murderer. I strut with confidence and a zeal I know only my redeemer can give me. I was a football star when I was young man. I was good-looking. A long time ago, I had a pigskin in my hand and I bobbed and weaved between the defensive line rolled into an unprotected end zone and scored a touchdown.
Next thing I know, I’m carrying a gun and a knife, and a wad of nylon rope over my shoulder. I’m told to kill – kill everything that lives at one particular address. I kill simply because somebody told me to. I’m following orders. I am the mindless drone I seek to eradicate.
Let’s say I’m trying to sleep one night in my apartment, but the damned dog won’t stop barking. In my head, I’m hearing words, pieces of my language. The barking becomes spirited. It starts to speak to me, more pieces of words – and then it tells me to kill. I’m completely serious. The dog is telling me to kill. I remember my Father. My Father is a monster, and I am his son. So I go out and I kill because a dog told me to kill.
Let’s say I’m in prison, serving consecutive life sentences. I hear another voice. This time, it’s God. I’m sure it is God. It has to be God. Who else is going to talk to me as I sit here, masturbating my time away in lock-up?
God tells me to straighten up and fly right, worship him. Ignore the barking dog. Ignore Charlie. “Pay attention to me”, this voice tells me, and I believe him. Of course, I believe him. I believe anything anybody puts right out in front of me! For there is no trace of skepticism in any aching, twisting fiber of my spine.
I don’t mean to befoul the notion of religion. My friend, Colin Hall, as you had heard, is very much what I call, a “Jesus-freak”. I did note a hint of frustration from him when he spoke of trying to adapt to the Bible’s more arcane and compassionate messages, but this is why he’s such a fantastic person; so charitable, so generous, and thoughtful.
I do have to wonder – is it such a dramatic change to go from mindless murderer to devoted follower? Even Christ tell us, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.” Either way, you are devoted, and you are listening to voices. Does it matter if those voices spread messages of peace on Earth, or “helter skelter” or “Kill a bunch of people and grab me a bag of kibble!”
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