After the tragic death of the recent president of the National Conference of Christians and Agnostics, Hollis Ferloren, certain papers were found in his breast pocket. We pass their contents on to you. Mr. Ferloren is survived by his widow, the former Hope Flickering of Toledo, Ohio.
As Christianity has been accused of excessive fondness for antiquated ideas, it is my responsibility to present it to you in terms pleasing to the modern mind. Surely such a worn-out phrase as “Sell all you have and give to the poor” would explode with new force were we to say, “Translate your bonds and debentures into ready capital to provide an upgraded standard of living for the lower-lower class”; “Love thy neighbor” could become “Display empathy in a psychic ethnocentricity”; and “Fear not: I have overcome the world” could ring clear as a bell as, “Unblock your libido: the existential predicament has been transcended.” Just a little thought and Christianity can be lifted out of the coarse fabric of everyday life and given, along with human engineering, archery, and training in running a slide-projector, academic respectability.
If I am to do my part in making Christianity acceptable to everybody, I must give you the true modern meanings of five traditional terms. For it is the old-fashioned vocabulary that is responsible for the impression that Christianity is a difficult religion, demanding a specific behavior from its adherents without an iron-clad guarantee of fame, riches, and the presidency of Rotary International. If I can explain what these five terms mean in modern language, and do it to your satisfaction, I am confident that within a month the present handful of hypocrites within the church will be joined by millions of their brothers ...1
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