So, this is how it works.

1.  Start with unreconstructed conservative Christianity, which takes as one of its premises that it possesses a uniquely true creed which offers the only genuine salvation in a world where every human being is headed to either damnation or salvation.  Then, roaming among the enormous and highly varegiated world of Christians, find some Christians who sincerely believe that being a Christian obligates them to offer their proprietary “salvation solution” to everyone who is not a Christian.  Then note that, with the stakes as high as eternal-life-or-eternal-suffering, the question of what it actually means to be a Christian is freighted with angst.  So some of these Christians feel anxiety, not only about the easily-identified damned (e.g. atheists, witches) but those whose piety is too lukewarm or not Christ-centered enough, or not belonging to the right tradition.  

2.  Now take a man who’s an unreconstructed conservative patriot.  His father graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy.  He himself was an honor graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy.  For ten years, he serves as a Judge Advocate General in the Air Force.  He’s a White House lawyer for Ronald Reagan for over three years, and also serves as general counsel for Ross Perot.  When his youngest son goes to the Air Force Academy, he’s the sixth member of the family to attend.  (At one point he does the math: in his immediate family, there are over a hundred years of combined active-duty military service from every combat engagement from World War I to Iraq/Afghanistan.)

3.  Make the man – we’ll call him Mikey, because that’s what everyone calls him – Jewish.  Then let his kids, as they attend the Air Force Academy, encounter some of these Christians who don’t understand the discourtesy involved in telling someone, “Your whole family is going to hell, and unless you join Team Jesus, you will, too.”

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