Religious extremism has always been a part of my life. The funny thing is, I have never been a religious extremist. I can remember my earliest experience with religious fanatics in Kentucky, where I grew up.
My friend, Claude Miles, was required to attend a rural Southern church of some obscure denomination, the name of which I have long since forgotten.
I can remember going to services with him and watching the parishioners hoop and holler, while holding their arms high. You would hear a ‘Praise God’ here, and an ‘Oh, yeah’ there. Some would cry, others would just moan. It was extreme, to say the least.
As I entered my late teens, I ran across my first real serious girlfriend. She was a fundamentalist Christian, the hypocritical type. Every now and then she would have dreams where a man with a beard, dressed in all white, would appear and tell her not to have sex with me anymore.
That would last about a week and we would start having sex again (her choice, not mine). I tried going to the gym