Eleven years ago, when Cerebus ended, Dave Sim decided to answer all of his back mail. A month or so later, he had his "Jeff Seiler Day" in which he answered multiple letters I had written over the previous year. After I received that letter, I decided to keep writing, and he kept his promise to answer every letter he received. Now, I have a foot-high stack of letters written and received over 10 years or so. I'll be running interesting excerpts from those letters each week.
Today's entry doesn’t have a date on either my letter to Dave or his in response, but I can, by context, place it in the time frame of when Dave was doing Bible readings publicly. I'm pretty sure it came after the initial date of last week's letter entry. I also am pretty sure that it constituted an entry in Dave's Blog & Mail from that time period. It also constitutes Dave's experiment with answering letters by photocopying the relevant part of the correspondent’s letter and then typing in Dave's response. He also tried writing short responses in the margins of the correspondent's letter, but that went by the wayside fairly quickly. Note the handwritten note at the end of the letter. And, just for good measure, I don't actually recall to what letter of mine (or the topic/s of which) he was responding. I cannot seem to find the corresponding letter from me. It may have been one of those times when I didn’t make a copy of my original letter.
[DATELINE: DALLAS: Sometime in the fall of 2006, I think. Dave, if you see this and want to look up the entry in the Archive, please do, by all means, chime in.]
Thanks for helping me fill up the Sunday Edition once again. I'm certainly standing by in the event that you want someone to vouch for the fact that you are one of a small handful of believers of God in the context of the discussion group and that you stood your ground against universal opposition in defending the validity of my belief in demonic possession as a genuine present-day threat (which I suspect you don't share) and that you would not give in against pretty relentless pressure to denounce me, with your psychology background, as clinically insane. Personally, I find that a more impressive demonstration of faith in God than regular church attendance. If you need me to put that more coherently in a letter, I'll do my best.
I used to actively denounce Large Scale Religion (regularly late-night viewing of the PTL Club with Jim and Tammy Faye was a major impetus behind Church & State) but, at this point, I have to confess that I don't know what to think. Personally, I believe there are a lot better uses for a million dollars a month for faith-based purposes, but I also have no idea what's at stake or where we are in God's Plan. It's very possible that the Texas mega-churches are the last and best hope of Fundamentalist Christianity in the war against Terrorist Islam -- a matter of Go Large or Go Home? -- and that all of the Internet voting, plasma TV stuff is a slightly unsavoury but essential component of making sure there is still a Large Christian Standard around which to rally. As opposed to, say, the Anglican Church, which seems to be determined to wish itself into non-existence through the active embracing of ethical relativism and feminist-based social engineering. A lot depends on how much of their livelihood that $600 a week constitutes, I think. For some of those guys, it might be half their paycheque and for others just the skimmings from the petty cash box. The Synoptic Jesus praised the widow who contributed a single mite because it was all her substance, rather than the Ostentatious Big Spenders in the Temple. I don't think that rule has been made null and void in the interim.
Some thing with the Christian college telling you that they want regular church attendance or someone to vouch for you. You can call that "compulsion in religion" -- which is theoretically something we're fighting Terrorist Islam over -- but it can also be a necessary rear-guard action against rampant secular humanism and corruption. Unless we, as God-fearing men, start linking ourselves up and getting some semblance of standards back onto the table, we're not far from turning society into the gray interchangeable mass that none of us wants it to be. And with THAT territory, I think, comes the acceptance that different people are going to perceive of different ways to avoid the fate we seem to be on a collision course with. For me, it's scripture and feeding the poor, no church. But, I certainly can't fault the reasoning of anyone who sees the situation differently.
Particularly if they can raise a million dollars a month doing it.
(Handwritten note) Jeff -- Yes -- As you guessed, this is how I’ll be answering the mail for the foreseeable future -- I've at least added the touch of sending a copy ahead of the time!