Correspondence

Apocalypse Now

We are flying amid fluffy, white cottonball clouds that reach above us to tremendous heights, forming darker mountain peaks lined with crevices and tinged by the pinkish-orange glow of the setting sun. My six-year-old daughter, eyes wide in innocent fascination, whispers, "Is this where God lives?"

"Even higher," I answer.

"But His angels are here," she asserts.

"Maybe."

Maybe. I am pondering the lost innocence of childhood, stripped away as the evil princes of the consumerist kingdom seduce our progeny. As we leave the sky for the road, I am also realizing just how naive the Religious Right must be to believe that a Christian culture can survive in the world of "democratic capitalism." The mud flaps on the 18-wheeler ahead of us read "Jesus is Lord. Truckers for Christ."

It's 105 degrees on the road to central Texas, the hill country, and on to the Gulf Coast. Dallas and Fort Worth are no longer distinct entities but a mass of grotesque strip malls that stretch from Piano to "Cow Town's" invisible city limits. It's the "Metroplex" nowadays, another step on the way to global homogenization and the obliteration of local identity and geography. But the furnace-like heat and merciless sun remind the Masters of the Universe that there are forces they cannot control. The temperature reaches 109. The "Metroplex"...

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