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Meditation 172
Giving New Meaning to Oral Testimony
This Preacher Bites

by: JT

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Just before I arrived at the Grand Canyon,an Oceano California man was arrested[1] outside the El Tovar hotel, which overlooks the canyon rim.

He had been preaching outside the hotel about Jesus Christ and a creationist version of how the canyon came to exist. His preaching was largely being ignored, though some tourists did complain to hotel staff that he was approaching them and making them uncomfortable.

He was later observed chasing a car leaving the hotel parking lot, shouting at the occupants that they would be destroyed.

He then approached a family near Hopi House.[2]They asked him to leave them alone. He reacted by punching one of them in the face. When attempts were made to restrain him, he responded by biting two of them seriously enough to break the skin and require medical attention.

After being arrested, he said in court that the incident was the first time he had taken his preaching to the level of physical confrontation in order to get someone to listen to his message.

Harassing, chasing, threatening, punching, biting - what a fine way to preach the Christian gospel.

I don't wish to suggest this behavior is typical for Christian clergy today, or those of any other specific religion. However, there certainly are fanatics and terrorists prepared to use violence to promulgate their faith. And a cursory look at history reveals that force has been resorted to too many times to spread the word; the primary, but not only, offenders being Christianity and Islam. Whether it be intimidation, torture, or holy war, force has been the norm in the past.

If argument fails, and physical confrontation is considered necessary to get someone to listen to the message, then there really is no worthwhile message.

Any religion which has required (or still requires) violence for its promulgation is not worthy of our consideration.


  1. This story based on a Flagstaff Sun story (18 Nov 03,) television news, and various eyewitness accounts.
  2. Quality and pricey arts and crafts.