I was going to write an article about Jesus and God's correspondence. It was to go something like this: God sends a polite letter to Jesus, explaining that He's late for His second coming, no matter which way you calculate the beginning of the new millennium, and could He explain Himself please. Jesus sends a note back pointing out that the last time He walked on Earth, He was nailed to a bit of wood and left to bleed to death with His own shit and piss dripping down His leg. God concedes, but points out that He did it to save mankind. Jesus replies saying that He doesn't give a shit, and if He's going to walk on Earth again He'd better come back as a well-armed death robot, and preferably one that can turn into a truck at that.
I decided not to.
A close friend of mine moved to the States recently. She's Christian, and found herself in a country that was completely accepting of her faith; in England, mention of God seemed to send her friends' eyes skywards in a sort of awkward rolling motion. But here - here the people were reasonable, and willing to worship their Lord with body and soul; she felt, for the first time, truly at home. On hearing this, I rolled my eyes skywards.
"Why," she asked me, having sensed the sarcastic tirade I was beginning to formulate, "do people object to people evangelising at them? We're just trying to share the joy and peace we've found." She paused, searching for an adequate analogy. "It's no different to me finding a really great toothpaste and telling you about it."
My mouth fell open in disbelief; for me, Christianity is to toothpaste as widespread death and destruction on a global scale is to Cabbage Patch Kids. Do correct me if I'm wrong - and I'm sure some of you will - but there's just no comparison. Toothpaste makes your teeth white and clean; Christianity is an all-encompassing theology based on the most widely read book of all time. AquaFresh had a really annoying advert with cartoon children singing the praises of the multicoloured stripes; Christianity had a bloody crusade and two thousand years of craggy, white-haired ministers standing in the way of love and progress. Frankly, and I mean this with all due respect to a people who believe in all seriousness that they regularly talk to a supreme being, I'd rather take the paste.
My point is this: America is full of Christians. Full in a you-can't-get-any-more-in, the-pail-is-full-of-clams kind of way. And if I were to write an article ripping the piss out of them, even if it was in a spectacularly amusing and tremendously witty kind of way, I would have hate mail coming out of every orifice I have, plus possibly a few new ones.