I was recently chastised, not for the first time, by a no-name who said he was "amused" (read: angry) because I rail against religious extremists despite being "ignorant of Christianity." As much as I'm told this, however, none of the critics has ever explained exactly how it is that I am off-base with the exception of a few who claim that I simply don't understand the Bible. This is telling, but more to the point, how is it possible to be "misinformed" about something not one of the billions of people on this planet has ever observed?

Perhaps my assailants mean that my understanding of religious mythology is wrong -- that I've screwed up certain plot or character specifics. This would be akin to getting Boba Fett mixed up with Greedo: errant in the literal sense, but much less consequential than, say, confusing real-life entities such as Oreos and Hydrox. Or maybe they feel that my lack of reading comprehension -- which has led me to conclude that "is" in the Biblical sense always means "is" when in fact according to them it sometimes means "is not" -- has led me astray. But I strongly doubt that any Christian would approach the subject of his faith from this angle, i.e., that the Bible is an assortment of vaguely entertaining but fictitious moral tales and parables. Nope, hard-line Christians' claim of nonbelievers' "ignorance" is just another play on the hand-wave dismissal technique favored by fat activists, i.e., "Everyone knows by now that being fat isn't in and of itself unhealthy, but a laughably ignorant and fatphobic media keeps foisting this lie on us anyway."

I really don't care if people disagree with me, even brainwashed ones, and I can't blame people who have had the evil skygod notion ground into them at an early age for taking umbrage at my characterization of the collective wingnut element of all religions combined. But for God's sake, if you're going to mock someone's analysis of something and appeal to their supposed ignorance on a topic, give specifics or at least clues to specifics. Otherwise you're really just mocking yourself, because your grousing is tantamount to exiting an argument with a cry of "you're wrong 'cause I said so!" and nothing more. Then again, I could do a better job of conveying the idea that I don't generally dislike religious or fat people any more than I hate all forms of running on account of loathing uphill 400's in sand. But obviously I expect people to either figure this out or be as indifferent to me as I am to them. I do admit it's a good thing I don't rely on the Internet to make good impressions or earn friends.

Speaking of fat activists, I am surprised I got to this before they did. I'm sure they'll be enraged at Mr. Didiano's receiving probation and a $20 fine rather than life in a chocolate-free Turkish prison. I find the story amusing, not because the kid was overweight but because Mr. Didiano was sufficiently red-assed and indiscretionary to live out a long-standing fantasy of mine, i.e., getting medieval on adolescent punks who gratuitously dish out verbal abuse to teachers, runners, women, and ice-cream vendors just because they figure they can get away with it, since everyone on MTV does. Yeah, I'm getting old.

Also, courtesy of a member of my unofficial pool of co-agitators, comes this. I'm sure the study was jointly funded by the makers of the Abflex System (tm) and a coalition of anti-semites.

There; that should just about cover all of the standard non-running topics that unwilling visitors to this place love to hate. If the collective wisdom of my detractors carries any heft, one day I'll discover that God is a 350-pound teenager who thinks runners are runners girly-men, but I'll take my chances.


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